Archive for April, 2015

Green Revolution? Beyond Brighton, It’ll Take One

April 30, 2015

Democracy is something for everyday, not twice a decade. — Russell Brand

Democracy is something people should do, at the moment most people have it done to them. — Natalie Bennett

After a revolution the Greens are the sort of people you’d want running things, not a narcissistic lunatic such as myself. — Russell Brand

Yesterday we had Ed Miliband in conversation with Russell Brand.

Today Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas are in conversation with Russell Brand.

To knock on the head a falsehood that gets endlessly repeated. Russell Brand has not said do not vote, he has questioned casting a vote to prop up a corrupt and failed political system. That is what politicians want you to do, cast your vote, then post-election day, do nothing, do not participate, let them continue ruining our lives.

What Russell Brand has proposed, is that we have a Revolution and overthrow the present corrupt political system, but if you have a chance to vote in a candidate of the calibre of Caroline Lucas who actually acts for the people then yes get out and vote.

Bankers and other elites have power because corrupt politicians gave it to them.

TTIP will make an even corrupt system even worse.

The Tories, having used austerity for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to benefits, want five more years to finish the job. Five more years of library closures, privatisation of NHS, longer hospital waiting times, cuts to welfare benefits, five more years for the rich to double their wealth yet again, as they have done over the last five years.

We must have more grass roots activism, that people are prepared to take direct action to force social change.

Listen to the great borefest that is General Election 2015. It is politicians telling us vote for them, and they will spend the next five years telling us what to do, and spending our money. It is not, we will work with you, listen to you, hand power to you.

If you live in Brighton, get out and vote for Caroline Lucas, get your friends out.

Over 9 million people follow Russell Brand on twitter, over a million subscribers to The Trews. How many live in the UK? Let us assume, that every one who does live in the UK, goes out and votes Plaid Cymru, SNP and the Green Party. Think what shock waves that would send through the system, the message to the political establishment? Don’t just think about it, go out and do it, then plan what real political action you are going to take.

Shame on the BBC, that for BBC Question Time they did not invite either the Green Party or UKIP to participate.

Milibrand: The Interview

April 29, 2015

Front page of the Daily Mail and The Sun this morning, smears of Russell Brand and Ed Miliband, inside more pages.

The cause of this muckraking from the gutter, was an interview Russell Brand of Ed Miliband for The Trews.

One could have been forgiven for thinking, the interview had been broadcast, had you not known better.

It had not, all that had been released was the trailer.

Such is the gutter technique of these two hate rags.

Why the hate?

Russell Brand has repeatedly exposed the tactics, the tax dodging of Murdoch with The Sun and Lord Rothermere with the Daily Mail.

Facts? Who needs facts when you can make it up, and the gullible brain-dead readers can be relied upon to regurgitate as facts.

I experienced this today, when having a drink with a friend. A moron on a neighbouring table got all excited about fracking (a wonderful idea), did not like SNP, who he claimed was in favour of fracking (they are not), that they were taking over in England (it was pointed out they were only standing in Scotland), but his coup de grâce, was to tell us that at this very moment, Alex Salmond was writing the Labour Party manifesto. When asked did he have an original thought of his own in his head, rather than regurgitate from mainstream media (no doubt The Sun), and that he ought to get out and about about a bit more, he kindly informed me he had travelled the world killing people and offered to kick my head in. A real charmer.

Why vote? Yes, the Suffragettes fought for votes for women, blood was shed, but why vote, if that vote is wasted, if Big Business is pulling the strings politicians whores for hire, prostituting to the highest bidder?

A spirited defence by Ed Milband, good examples given, NHS, workers rights (most of which the Tories have destroyed).

Ed Miliband also makes the point, would not have happened, could not have happened, without a push from the people.

People power matters.

Break up the banks, split casino banking from retail banking. Put a few bankers in prison.

Set up local, community owned and controlled power grids. Renewables feed into the local grid, get a fair guaranteed price, consumers pay a fair price, surplus from the local grid is fed to other local grids, any profit is either fed back into the local grid or goes to support local, social enterprises, open co-ops, collaborative commons. The Big Six would then become an irrelevance

Break up the media ownership. Limit what any one person or corporation can control.

If Ed Miliband genuinely wants to see people working with politicians, then let us see a genuine commitment to participatory democracy. Let us also see support for open coops, social enterprises, collaborative commons, all networking together.

If Ed Milband wants to see these things happen, then he has to be prepared to work with Plaid Cymru, SNP and the Green Party in a loose alliance. He also has to be prepared to end austerity.

Ed Miliband came accross quite well, a genuine conversation, not the usual  meaningless sound bites.  To his credit, he was willing to appear. This is probably the best interview Ed Milband has ever done.

European Central Bank at Work

April 29, 2015
ECB at work

ECB at work

Lunch at Food for Thought

April 28, 2015
quiche and salad

quiche and salad

strawberry scrunch

strawberry scrunch

A somewhat late, but nevertheless excellent lunch at Food for Thought

Quiche with four salads.

Followed by strawberry scrunch for which Food for Thought is famous.

It is a tragedy that Food for Thought is closing on 21 June 2015, driven out of business by a greedy landlord driving up the rent to unaffordable level.

It is symptomatic of what is happening everywhere.

It is also symptomatic of the gentrification and social cleansing that is taking place across London.

Walking down Neal Street to Food for Though, a Pret a Manger and Costa down a side street.

In the 1970s, after the market pulled out, the whole area was derelict. It was to be bulldozed for development, but this was stopped.

Next to Food for Thought was a shop that either built or repaired barrows, maybe both. These would line the street and in the summer it was pleasant to eat outside sitting on the barrows.

Now, down the street, trendy shops, the whole character of the street destroyed.

On my table two girls, one from Malaga, the other I know not where, had three years ago walked El Camino de Santiago, and so we had an interesting conversation about the pilgrimage and Santiago de Compostela.

13 Shades of Romanian Party

April 27, 2015
filming

filming

music

music

party

party

Luckily, from Trew Era Cafe, it was not too hard to find Queen of Hoxton, where the 13 Shades of Romanian Party was being hosted. Head off down the road and keep walking.

Queen of Hoxton something of a dump, I have been to better squatted buildings. Its one redeeming feature a rooftop terrace.

On coming down from the terrace, the party I found was in the basement, with its own ticket office. I had assumed it was the party as I walked in.

Filming was taking place of the party for the film 13 Shades of Romanian. I assume some sort of crowd scene.

The music was awful.

A somewhat aggressive Romanaian wanted to know why I was taking photos.

I did not stay long.

Outside, I chatted to an attractive Romanain called Gabriela who told me she was studying architecture and was helping out with the filming.

She enjoyed the music of Jewelia (who has provided the sound track of 13 Shades of Romanian) and enjoys reading Paulo Coelho (and has read about half of his books).

Gabriela directed me to Liverpool Street Station. I could have caught No 26 bus direct to Waterloo Station, but I had no idea from where to catch and neither had anyone else.

Trip to London

April 27, 2015

Somewhat late setting setting off for London, but had I set off earlier, it probably would not have made much difference, as no trains for two hours, due to someone being killed on the line. The train I caught was ten minutes late, then ran very slowly.

At Waterloo Station, many people milling around. I assume due to many cancelled and delayed trains.

Hungerford Bridge

Hungerfotd Bridge

From Waterloo Station a pleasant walk to Covent Garden.

view downstream from Hungerford Bridge

view downstream from Hungerford Bridge

The view downstream from Hungerford Bridge, one of the finest views in London, or was. A view of St Paul’s, but now being destroyed by ugly high rise buildings.

Excellent lunch at Food for Thought. More’s the pity it closes 21 June 2015, after forty years in business.

Covent Garden is being destroyed. Walking down Neal Street to Food For Thought, down a side street, Pret a Manger and Costa.

After lunch, it was then try to find Trew Era Cafe.

I knew what bus I wanted, or thought I did, and vaguely knew from where to catch it.

The bus I wanted was No 243, which would have taken me straight to where I wished to be.

Only there was no 243. It was being diverted.

No 38 was the bus for Hackney.

Welcome to Hackney

Welcome to Hackney

I hopped on a No 38, and got off at Dalston Junction.

Now which bus, that was the question?

I hopped on a No 243, to be told, wrong direction.

I hopped back off, walked back to where I needed to be.

Not sure what bus I needed, I asked a driver, no, you do do not want a 76, you want 243.

Woman at bus stop said no, you want a No 76.

I caught the next No 76, got off, had no idea where I was.

Walked through a park, came out by Hoxton Street Market.

Headed to where I thought I may needed to be, then realised there it was, there was Trew Era Cafe.

Only problem was, it was now eight o’clock, and it closed at seven.

It had taken me two hours from Covent Garden.

Now it was find Queen of Hoxton, where 13 Shades of Romanian Party was being hosted.

I set off in the right direction.

fruit and vegetables

fruit and vegetables

As I set off I passed Hoxton News adversing The Trews and a very temping fruit and vegetable display. I was very tempted by the black tomatoes.

A long walk.

It seemed to be on the boundary between Shoreditch and the City of London.

I think I was now in the City of London, where all the greedy bankers screw the rest of us.

Queen of Hoxton a dump, its only redeeming feature a rooftop terrace. The 13 Shades of Romanian Party was not up to much either.

How to get to Waterloo Station?

I could have caught a No 26 bus, but could not see where from, and no one knew either. But I was told Liverpool Street Station was not far and how to get there. And so I caught the tube from Liverpool Street.

Westminster paedophile cover-up

April 26, 2015
Greville Janner

Greville Janner

You could not make it up if you tried.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders, who decided not to prosecute Lord Janner for vile sex crimes on the grounds he had dementia, that it was not in the public interest, shared the same Chambers as Lord Janner.

There has never been an explanation of how it is in the public interest not to prosecute.

Was it in the public interest to mount a cover-up for the last 20 years?

A dossier on Lord janner, is among 114 files on child sex abuse that have gone missing from the Home Office.

Why did Keith Vaz kill investigation into Janner in the 1990s?

It is a basic tenet of justice, a fair trial, and that is a fair trial for the victims as well as the accused.

No matter how vile the crimes alleged, if the accused is not fit to stand trial, the trial does not go ahead.

We are told Lord Janner has dementia. This has never been tested in open court.

After he was diagnosed with dementia, he hosted banquets at the House of Lords, all at our expense.

Fit to host a a few banquets, but not fit to stand trial.

Victims could mount a civil case, sue for damages, force a third-party examination for dementia.

Reportedly he transferred ownership of his £2 million home to his children in March 2014 – the same month that police raided his Westminster office (no wonder the family proclaim his innocence). Unfit to stand trial, but fit and quick-witted enough to transfer assets out of the hands of potential creditors.

Since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, Lord Janner has claimed more than £100,000 in parliamentary expenses and allowances. On 9 April 2015, he was fit enough to sign a letter saying he wanted to remain in the House of Lords.

Cast minds back to Ernest Saunders and the Guinness Affair. The biggest fraud trial in England. There has been no more large fraud trials due to political interference, it casts the City of London in a bad light.

Ernest Saunders was found guilty. Ernest Saunders was released early on the grounds he had dementia. Once released, it was as Private Eye said at the time, the only known miraculous cure from dementia. Out of jail, Saunders was back in business.

Property developer Gerald Ronson, co-conspirator with Saunders, claimed it was his idea to play the dementia card.

Dementia is a favourite. Appear to have lost your mind, a drooling imbecile.

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet walked free from human rights charges due to dementia. Remarkable recovery when he stepped off the plane in Chile.

Rupert Murdoch, a drooling baboon when he appeared before House of Commons Select Committee, knew nothing about anything. Back in New York, fighting fit, fully in control

The judge tasked with reviewing the mistakes that prevented Janner from being brought to trial in the past was a close friend of the barrister hired to defend Janner against claims of abuse.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders should resign. If she refuses to resign, she should be fired. She is not fit to hold the post. It is not in the public interest that she remain. The police, the victims, the public, have lost all confidence in her.

Lord Janner should be put in trial. It should be the judge, sitting in open court, depending upon the evidence brought to court, who decides whether or not Janner is fit to stand trail, not Alison Saunders behind closed doors.

Until such time that Lord Janner is brought to trial, justice will not seen to have been done.

Public confidence in Westminster is at all all time low.

Towards an alternative economy

April 26, 2015

Compassion and Justice

compassion2We live in a capitalist economy, based on exchange of goods and services using the medium of money. When we buy or sell something, we make an agreed exchange of value. In theory nobody wins and nobody loses, but in practise the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Is there an alternative?

If we all valued other people as much as we value ourselves, a culture of giving could create a different sort of economy. An economy based on ‘loving our neighbour as ourselves’; where as we look after the interests of others, we can feel secure in the knowledge that others are looking after our interests. I know that this seems idealistic, but bear with me as we explore the matter further.

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Open letter to George Osborne

April 26, 2015

rosbayeswriting

Dear Mr Osborne,

You have spoken a lot of rhetoric about “people who want to work hard and get on”. It sounds fine. Few people would argue with supporting those who want to work hard and get on. But this language automatically excludes as at best insignificant or at worst worthless one particular category of people.

There are some people who, by reason of severe, usually multiple, disabilities, will never be able to be gainfully employed. My daughter is one example. She is in her early thirties and lives in a residential care home. She has quadriparetic cerebral palsy, a learning disability, autism and partial sight. Please don’t feel sorry for her. She has a very good quality of life.

I read a policy document which your government has published on the subject of disabled people. It was called “Fulfilling Potential”. In many ways it was a laudable document. It…

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Rise in foodbanks

April 25, 2015
Trussell Trust food bank

Trussell Trust food bank

There are several successes we can attribute to the Tories, and their willing little helpers the LibDems, though some of their successes they would rather we did not know about.

They claim to have reduced taxes.

They have not, not if we include income tax, VAT, Bedroom Tax, loss of benefits.

The poor and the rich are about 2% worse off, the allegedly squeezed middle a fraction of one percent worse off.

Massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

During five years of austerity, those at the top of the Sunday Times Rich List have seen their wealth double.

Increase in jobs. Low paid, temporary, de-skilled, mind-numbing, zero hours McShit jobs.

Fastest recorded growth in food banks.

The number of Trussell Trust food banks has risen eight-fold in just five years, to 445. Its most recent accounts show an annual income of nearly £3.4 million.

Many of those dependent upon food banks, are caused by the arbitrary sanctions being handed out by Job Centres.

A question mark though needs to be raised against the Trussell Trust.

For the Trussell Trust, food banks have become Big Business. Their recent claim of a million people dependent upon food banks has proved to be false. They have handed out a million food parcels, not quite the same thing.

But it gets worse, they have been charging local volunteers and churches what amounts to little more than franchising fees, £1,500 to set up food banks. telling them the money is needed for ‘branding and PR’ and ongoing fees of £350 a year.

The pitch to prospective punters says:

We’ll provide you with all the tools, training and know-how that you need to start a foodbank so that people in crisis in your town don’t have to go hungry.

They are told they will be given a website, publicity materials and ‘opportunities to talk to the Press’ among other benefits.

Foodbanks are asked to make a £1,500 donation towards these costs.

Last week I found the baskets outside Waitrose Farnham had leaflets inside asking for donations to Trussell Trust. I have never seen a food bank in Farnham, or mention of on church notice boards, but I assume one must exit. But why not Waitrose donate the food?

Waitrose likes to project a green social image, workers are colleagues, partners in the busines, which in reality is little more than greenwash. John Lewis, outsources the cleaners who are on minimum wage (though this may change).

If you want to set up a food bank, you do not need Trussell Trust. In Lincoln, a church gets donations from farms, from shops, and serves it up to the homeless.

And why set up a food bank? Set up a social enterprise cafe, intercept waste food, serve as delicious meals on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis.

These social enterprises should also be helping the fight against benefit sanctions. Always appeal.