Archive for July, 2016

It’s hard to report the peasants revolt from inside the castle

July 31, 2016

In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. — Bertrand Russell

People are not here for me – they are here because they want to be part of our movement and part of the change that we’re offering the country. – — Jeremy Corbyn

When journalists reported from Iraq, or when they reported as few now do, they rarely got it right. Not because they were deliberately misrepresenting what was happening on the ground, they simply did not know, they were either embedded with the military or in the Green Zone.  When you saw them reporting to camera, they were on the roof of a hotel in the Green Zone as that gave the best satellite connections. But they rarely had the honesty to tell you this.

In the last election, Labour were headed for a massive defeat, but you would not have known this from the media reporting, or the wipe out in Scotland, or the vote to leave the EU.

If somewhere in the Europe, an unknown politician, unknown to the media that is, had come from nowhere and won a landslide victory, had then gone on to build the party as the largest social movement in Europe, with mass participation, they would be knocking on the door to report this phenomena.  And yet all we hear is that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable. The fact this flies in the face of the evidence is not seen as relevant

A week ago, with only 48 hours to register as a Labour party supporter, registrations were running at one a second. At £25 a go, it brought  £4.5 million into Labour Party coffers

We have a sustained attack by the coup plotters, granted a platform by the mainstream media, not only on Jeremy Corbyn, but also on his supporters, who have been called ‘mobs’, ‘thugs’, ‘dogs’, ‘morons’, ‘Trots’, and much worse, culminating in a former minister going on TV to falsely accuse people of running a hate campaign who have only ever tried to fight for a fairer and kinder society for the most vulnerable.

At the same time Jeremy Corbyn has been attacked relentlessly and falsely by large parts of the mainstream media. An LSE study  showed 75% of stories about him misrepresented his position. Other studies have also shown the level of misreporting and bias, including by the BBC.

Rather than defending him, his MPs have fuelled and supported that attack before finally smashing up party democracy in a sustained attempt to hijack the party. They didn’t give a single political reason: they attacked Jeremy personally, shouted him down in meeting after meeting and assassinated his character at every opportunity they got. Their only motivation hatred of Jeremy Corbyn, their only policy Get Corbyn.

One of the biggest liars is Angela Eagle.

Claimed she was harassed at a meeting. She was not at the meeting.

Claimed a meeting had to be abandoned because of harassment by Corbyn supporters. The meeting was cancelled by the venue as they did not want her there.

But her biggest lie, claiming a Corbyn supporter had put a brick through her window. Where was the evidence, where was the motive? But as Peter Hitchens writes, it was even worse than that.

Remember that window in Angela Eagle’s Labour party office in Wallasey, that was supposed to have been broken? Remember the insinuation that this had been done by wicked Corbynites? Well, I asked Merseyside Police, and they told me that the window wasn’t that of Mrs Eagle’s office, which wasn’t broken. It was the window of a stairwell and hallway, in an office building which Wallasey Labour Party shares with several others. Bear this in mind when reading coverage of this contest.

Then there is the alleged break in of an office of a Member of Parliament. A serious matter if true.

One of the coup plotters Seema Malhotra resigned more than a month ago. One would have thought would have vacated her office by now. It did not take David Cameron a month to vacate Downing Street, he was out within days. A month on, boxes outside the office, the office manager with keys to the office, decided to check. No, still there. But this gets blown  into a break in and harassment by Corbyn supporters.

frightened my staff, including a new intern, who have become concerned about their safety, and as such took the decision that no member of staff was to be left alone in the office.

Seema Malhotra has form. A while back she spread rumours that John McDonnell was mounting a leadership bid.

A formal complaint was lodged with John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. He ordered an investigation and reported back that there was no case to answer.

Coup plotter Conor McGinn claimed he was attacked by Corbyn supporters, subjected to a torrent of abuse and threats. The truth was somewhat different.

A group of Labour Party members found themselves locked out of a local meeting. A couple of women approached Conor McGinn and demanded an explanation.

Coup plotters Ben Bradshaw and Neil Coyle claimed Jeremy Corbyn had lost a council seat in Totnes.

Somewhat difficult for Jeremy Corbyn to lose anything when the local party had not put forward a candidate.

Alex Mockridge, a Corbyn supporter, stood as an Independent. She was not elected.

But what Totnes demonstrates is a a problem with all parties. Scraping the bottom of the barrel to find anyone to stand on a party ticket. We end up with the present situation of useless councillors.

We need to follow the example of nearby Frome, or Barcelona or towns and cites across Spain, ordinary citizens seize control of their Town Halls, then network across Europe.

Brighton had their local party suspended, their elections of  party officials annulled. Why, could it be because they support Jeremy Corbyn and wish to see their anti-Corbyn MP Peter Kyle de-selected?

It has been falsely claimed the meeting was badly conducted. Numerous eye witness accounts have said the opposite.

On the other hand, abuse of two visitors from London, one a colleague of John McDonnell, who had attended a pro-Corbyn rally in Brighton, no action taken.

Last week a wealthy donor who thought he could buy the party, took High Court action to block Jeremy Corbyn as leader. The judge threw the case out, no case to answer. Blink, and you would have missed this on the BBC News.

Sarah Marshal has unresigned from the Shadow Cabinet, and asked to be taken back. Jeremy Corbyn in a magnanimous gesture, has welcomed her back.

If she is competent, then yes, maybe take her back, and shows forgiveness on the part of Jeremy Corbyn.

But she in turn owes an apology and an explanation as to why she resigned. Was she part of an orchestrated campaign to discredit Jeremy Corbyn? Maybe she can shed some light on the workings of the coup, how it was orchestrated.

Jeremy Corbyn should think the unthinkable and invite MPs from other parties to take seats in the Shadow Cabinet. This would not involve deals with other parties.

The attacks will not stop, when as seems likely Jeremy Corbyn is reelected as Party leader.

Coup plotters have already vowed to continue with their war of attrition.

Coup plotters want business as usual, a nice easy life. a sinecure for life. That is why they hate Jeremy Corbyn, as he is willing to mobilise large numbers of people to take back control of their own lives.

We need to form broad social movements that seek change at all levels, that form open coops, participate in the collaborate commons, the exact opposite of the failed mainstream politics of the lust for power, puppets of an elite.

The coup plotters have done everything they can to destroy the Labout Party, then when things go wrong Blame Corbyn.

What they are scared of, what scares them shitless, is us.

Afternoon in Farnham

July 30, 2016
River Wey riverside walk

River Wey riverside walk

A pleasant walk along the River Wey, then up through Gostrey Meadow into Downing Street.

I was pleased to see the little tea van was back in Gostrey Meadow, though less pleased to see the ice cream van engine running belching out toxic fumes.  I wonder how many parents appreciate the brain damage being done to their toddlers.

The reason the van has not been around, was as I thought, at festivals.

I suggested for next year, Godalming Staycation Live, which this year is next weekend.

As always, excellent cappuccino in Krema.

Barista Lounge closed down.  Re-opening Monday.

Late afternoon walk around Bishop’s Meadow. I noticed last week the grass had been cut and the hay gathered in. Fencing around parts of the meadow. Maybe cattle will be introduced.  Unless my imagination, the patch that had been ploughed and wild flowers sowed a couple of years ago appears to have been extended.

Late for Waitrose. Then too late as chatted with a lady with a dog.

Missed the bus, or to be correct, bus only goes as far as Farnham not all the way to Aldershot.

Caught train instead.

Man closing station, warns me of the drunks by the bus station. Same problems as Friday evening, when police had to be called.

Afternoon in Guildford

July 29, 2016
narrow boat on River Wey

narrow boat on River Wey

Although I caught an earlier train, I ended up in Guildford an hour and a half later.

An earlier train, to avoid the Gatwick train, as this time of year, especially on a Friday, overcrowded, but even the earlier train was crowded.

Jess no longer at the FCB kiosk at Guildford Station. She had warned me she would be off travelling.  A friend had taken over, a guy called Chase. Keen on coffee, he made me a reasonable cappuccino.

FCB and Harris + Hoole occupy the top coffee spot in Guildford. Surrey Hills Coffee at third. Caracoli, whilst they employ an idiot as manager who is clueless on coffee are being made a laughing stock. The chains serve disgusting undrinakable coffee.

Too late for lunch at Debenhams. I thought I would be but looked anyway.

I revisited Rooted, an art exhibition in St Mary’s. They turned off the New Age music, and what a difference it made.

Many of the paintings had a path wandering off into the distance. Each had a verse, but did not match the Biblical quote. I was reminded of Robert Frost ‘The Road Less Travelled’ which is actually ‘The Road Not Taken‘.

Paulo Coelho  refers to ‘The Road Not Taken’ in The Winner Stands Alone.

After passing through the market in North Street, late lunch at the Thai takeaway at the top end of the High Street.

I looked in Ryman and Maplin. The best offer at the moment on powerbank (portable battery to charge a phone or tablet), is in Lidl for a fiver (one of their special offers, when it is gone it is gone). If your phone or tablet does not last the day, these are very useful to carry around.

Hinkley Point C

July 28, 2016

Hinkley Point C will cost 18 billion euros.

Correction, Hinkley Point C  has an estimated cost of 18 billion euros. Large infrastructure projects have a nasty habit of being over time and over budget. This is true of EDF’s latest project in France.

18 billion euros is larger than the capital value of EDF. Major shareholder in EDF is the French government. If Hinkley Point C proves to be, as many suspect, a White Elephant, it will destroy the French government.

The French Unions are oposed to Hinkley Point C and are considering mounting a legal challenge.

The new UK government is having second thoughts.

The price of electricity from Hinkley Point C is guaranteed for the next thirty-five years at double the current price of electricity.

The price of electricity from renewables has been halving every 18 months.

The offshore wind farms Siemens plan to build in the North Sea will deliver electricity at much lower price than Hinkley Point C

Hinkley Point C is a disaster and must be stopped.

Proponents correctly say we need reliable sources of clean energy. That is why we must push ahead with renewables, the more we have, the more reliable, as not reliant upon the unreliability of a  few sources.  Also resilient.

We must follow a Soft Energy Path, one wheres sources are matched to usage.

Nuclear power is hard energy, it is also very brittle.

installation of rooftop solar panels

installation of rooftop solar panels

Last week, my neighbour installed 14 solar panels on his south facing roof. Speaking to the contractors, they said peak output (on a good day when the sun is shining) is 3 kW.

Imagine if every house had solar panels, if new build was mandatory to have solar panels.

Inshore wind farms have been a disaster. Wealthy landowners reap the subsidies. Or did

We need to create community owned local area grids. Into which feed renewables guaranteed a fair price. Consumers would pay a  fair price. Any surplus energy would be fed to other local are grids via a publicly owned National Grid.  Any monetary surplus would either be fed back into the local grid or used to finance community projects, watering of the collaborative commons.

EU pushed diesel, thanks to lobbying by VW (the same VW that rigged emission tests). Net result nearly ten thousand deaths a year in London due to air pollution from toxic diesel.

In US and Japan, a different route of hybrid and electric cars.

One of the problems with electricity supply from renewables, is matching supply to demand. Electricity from the sun  during the day when demand also peaks. Wind blows at night when demand is low

Surplus generation, could be, at cheaper rate via smart meters, used to charge electric cars. Electric cars when not in use, with fully charged batteries, could be used when peak demand exceeds supply. Smart meters can also use the electricity for low grade heat, for example water heating and space heating, where being cut off for a short while does not impact on the user (especially if have manual override).

A couple of weeks ago, a useless report on abuse by the Big Six, a useless report that cost millions to compile. A couple of their worthless recommendations was better use of price comparison sites (better called price fixing sites as paid by suppliers to set up deals) and if consumers had not recently change supplier, add them to a database to receive junk mail from suppliers.

One measure at a stroke would improve the situation, eliminate standing charges, a fixed rate per kW-H, or maybe two rates, one a special cheap rate when surplus exceeds supply (requiring smart meters).

There are no standing charges when paying for petrol, there should be no standing charges when buying electricity.

We do not need to nationalise the Big Six, introduce community owned and controlled local grids, and the Big Six would be driven out of business, as unable to compete.

Post-Brexit, we need investment in green infrastructure, investment in publicly owned railways, in locally owned and controlled electricity grids. What we do not need is bad infrastructure, HS2, Hinkley Point C, expansion of London City Airport or additional runways at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Surly Stagecoach bus driver refuses to accept Bus Pass

July 27, 2016

Today at a little before 1650, a surly Stagecoach driver refused to accept a valid Bus Pass and ordered the passenger off the bus.  Driver when asked, refused to give his name.

Stagecoach Goldline, route No 1, location Farnbrough Tech, bus No 22744  heading towards Farnborough town centre.

Passenger forced to get off bus and walk.

Two bus drivers confirmed Bus Pass was valid.

At Queensmead bus interchange, driver of No 1 bus heading towards Aldershot, was shown Bus Pass, asked was it a valid Bus Pass, driver said yes.

Bus Pass was used on return journey, no problem. On alighting from bus, driver was asked was Bus Pass valid, driver said yes.

Refusal to accept a Bus Pas, whilst rare, is not uncommon, drivers finding bogus reasons not to accept.

This uncouth driver, claimed use of bus passes was costing the company money.  His comment only serves to illustrate his depth of ignorance. Whilst it may be true, passengers using a Bus Pass are contributing less than ordinary fare paying passengers, they are contributing an extra revenue stream, which may make all the difference between a bus route being profitable or not, a revenue stream that would not otherwise exist.

There are also other advantages to wider society. Fewer car journeys, less congestion, less air pollution, lower emission of greenhouse gases. It gets people who would otherwise be housebound out and about, increasing their social interaction and mobility, delays dementia. The only disadvantage, makes people lazy, they may hop on a bus when they would have otherwise walked.

Anyone who deals with the public, be it in a supermarket or a bank, displays a name badge. The same should apply to bus drivers.

Once upon a time bus drivers used to have to display their licence. Why is this no longer a requirement?

Strictly Prom

July 24, 2016

 

 

 

Strictly Come Dancing comes to the Proms.

Or looked at another way, the dance, the music, without the crap.

Real dance, breath taking, sends shivers down the spine dance, not the dumbed-down garbage of Strictly Come Dancing, that does for dance what X-Factor and Britain Ain’t Got Talent does for music.

Indeed why even link to Strictly Come Dancing, as that gives the impression of dumbing down the Proms. Why not simple call Dance Night at the Proms?

To see full concert, watch on BBC Four, broadcast last Friday, or access via BBC iPlayer.

Adele at Glastonbury

July 24, 2016

Adele live at Glastonbury 2016, 22:15 Saturday 25 Jun 2016 on Pyramid Stage.

Excellent backing line-up.

For the lovely Sophie and Chloe.

Shocking the amount of rubbish that is left behind, the disposable society

Afternoon in Farnham

July 23, 2016
River Wey riverside walk

River Wey riverside walk

A hot afternoon, although not as hot as earlier in the week.

On the way, diverted to look in on Aldershot Live Music Day. As bad as ever.

A few days ago, sun lounger collapsed. It is not possible to get these sun loungers anywhere. Why I do not know simple and elegant. Not even possible to obtain folding chairs. It is even rare to see deckchairs.

The only chairs, are the fisherman chairs. OK.

Phyllis Tuckwell have a warehouse for furniture. Outside, I did not see on my way in, but did  see on my way out, a sun lounger, just what I wanted. I was though surprised they wanted £15, as I expected a fiver. But beggars cannot be choosers.

It put paid to a walk round Bishops Meadow, as I was now lugging a sunbed around all afternoon.

No tea van as I walked through Gostrey Meadwos. I did not see it last time either.

Too hot for a cappuccino in Krema. I had a smoothie. I would rather have had a fruit juice made with fresh. I had a quiche and salad. It was ok, but not great. Not one their strong points. They are good at coffee and cakes, and in the winter soups.

I always thought they closed at five, no, six. Only they are now going to change to five.

Downing Street needs to be pedestrianised. With the door open, noise and pollution of traffic outside.

I looked in Caracoli.

Someone must be listening. Bags of beans now give information on the beans and the roast date, but are still bagged as Caracoli, even though they are not the roaster. And had only been roasted a couple of days ago. Contrast with Caracoli Guildford, where bags with roast date (need a magnifying date to read) of October 2015. The manager cannot see that is a problem, but then Caracoli Guildford the manager is an idiot.

Aldershot Live Music Day

July 23, 2016
Aldershot Live Music Day acoustic set

Aldershot Live Music Day acoustic set

An annual event. usually rubbish, and today no exception. Well to be fair, marginally better than in the past.

Three stages, the bandstand in Princess Gardens, pedestrian street outside Costa, and Wastegate.

Aged rockers at the bandstand, could at least play, guy on acoustic guitar outside Costa could not.

As always, badly organised.

Why are no lessons ever learnt?

No publicity. Nothing in the town, other than at the bandstand to announce the event.

Why three stages, when not enough talent for one?

If three stages, one should be an acoustic set outside Caffe Macchiato, not at Wastegate.

Restrict to bandstand only, or if wish to have s second set, then an acoustic set outside Caffe Macchiato.

People handed out bottled water. A good idea, only not the organisers, a promotion by Specsavers.

Why not have street food in Princes Gardens?

And please not the pink ice cream van belching out toxic fumes at toddler height.

And to empathise further the bad organisation, timed to coincide with a three day event at the West End Centre.

If this festival is to continue, rather than waste public money, hand whatever is the budget to West End Centre and ask them to organise.

Rooted

July 23, 2016
Rooted

Rooted

Rooted, an art exhibition in St Mary’s.

Very much influenced by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

Unfortunate too many of the displayed works covered in glass, making impossible to see.