Posts Tagged ‘Hackney’

Happy Cat Coffee House

April 7, 2018

As I was leaving the Lincoln Vegan Festival in Lincoln Drill Hall, I noticed a coffee stall. At first I assumed it was a roasterie, as prominently displayed a bag of coffee.  Though there was also on display a bag of chocolate. A roasterie would have made sense. But no, it was a pop up coffee shop, Happy Cat Coffee House.

Did I want a coffee?

No, I do not like fake milk. It always tastes disgusting.

I had a cappuccino. It looked disgusting and was not good.

Large bubbles, at least a millimetre across.

Why was it so bad?

A combination of three things: lack of skill of barista (it was served scalding hot), fake milk, and maybe poor quality coffee (though taste so masked by fake milk impossible to tell).

It is not possible to make a decent cappuccino with fake milk. Apart from tasting disgusting, it looks disgusting. And what of the environmental damage caused by soy plantations, one of the main causes of destruction of rain forests?

The coffee was from Frank and Ernest Coffee. When a company peddles a gimmick such a nitro cold brew coffee, it says all you need to know.

I was given a sample of the beans.

Happy Cat Coffee House had driven all the way from Hackney for a pop up coffee shop selling cappuccino at £3 for a takeaway in a town that has three coffee shops, Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle and Makushi, only a few minutes walk away serving excellent coffee.

Questionable why a vegan festival which one would hope exacts high environmental standards has a coffee stall encouraging the use of disposable coffee cups, when what we should be doing is encouraging sit down and relax in an indie coffee shop serving coffee in ceramic or glass.

I left, pouring my coffee down the drain.

It was then to Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill where I was guaranteed a decent cup of coffee served in ceramic not a takeaway cup.

 

 

 

 

Sleeping rough on the streets

June 3, 2015
Lincoln homeless sleeping rough in abandoned shop doorways

Lincoln homeless sleeping rough in abandoned shop doorways

In Lincoln, Aldershot, Hackney, there are people sleeping rough on the streets. They are found in shop doorways. The same can be found in every town centre. Like food banks, it is a sign of the times, a measure of the failure of austerity and the evil policies pursued by the Tory government, who in the last five years have enabled the rich to double their wealth.

Hackney has decided to tackle the problem. By housing the homeless, for which they have a statutory responsibility to house?

Er no, they are are going to fine the homeless £1000 or an on-the-spot £100 fine.

These are the people at the bottom of the heap, they are penniless. How are they going to pay a £100 fine let alone a £1000 fine?

If they they do not pay, what then? Throw them in prison. At least they then wil be fed and housed.

It will be cheaper to house them rather than throw them in prison.

Is it now to be a criminal offence for being homeless?

Tweedledee v Tweedledum, can anyone tell the difference? A Labour-controlled council doing the Tory’s dirty work.

Hackney Council’s new Public Space Protection Orders  will give police and council officers the power to ban “anti-social” activities such as sleeping rough or begging. Those who breach an order could be issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice or a fine of £1,000.

As homeless charities have pointed out, this will criminalise the homeless who are already vulnerable. It is absurd to impose a fine of £1,000 on somebody who is already homeless and struggling. People should not be punished for the “crime” of not having a roof over their head – there is nothing inherently “anti social” or criminal about rough sleeping. Criminalising rough sleeping privileges the appearance of Hackney and the convenience of customers over the damage caused to the vulnerable and homeless.

Kay Zell Huxley, a duty manager at a pub in the area was reported to have admitted that the “vagrants hanging around” do “respect the businesses and the pubs and are generally well behaved.” It is completely unjustifiable to criminalise these people simply because they “may be intimidating for people outside.” We should not privilege the convenience and desire of customers to have a good night out without having to see any homeless people over the lives and rights of those who are homeless and vulnerable.

We already know that homeless people are amongst the most vulnerable in our society and are already victims of exceptionally high levels of violence, crime and victimisation which is often committed by the general public and largely goes unreported. Researchers at the London School of Economics confirmed this in a study commissioned by Crisis as far back as  2004 and the rate of homelessness has only increased since then.  We should not allow measures which will make the lives of those with nowhere else to go even harder than they already are.

We have seen public pressure stop similar measures when they were proposed by Oxford City Council. Let’s make sure we also stop this in Hackney and everywhere else it is proposed – we must force councils and policy makers to deal with the lack of affordable housing and rising levels of homelessness in London as a whole, rather than allow them to get away with shifting the “problem” into another borough.

Being homeless in Hackney is now defined as a anti-social activity. What of the Rachman landlords who evict people and make them homeless?

There has been no consultation by Hackney prior to bringing in these Draconian measures.

Please  sign this petition.

Let’s make sure that Hackney Council doesn’t make rough sleeping harder than it already is!

How many of those on the streets are there because of the Bedroom tax, benefit sanctions?

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.

The Trew Era Cafe

April 4, 2015
Revolution - Russell Brand

Revolution – Russell Brand

The Trew Era Cafe

The Trew Era Cafe

A social enterprise cafe on the New Era Estate in Hoxton (Hackney).

The Trew Era Cafe was one of the outcomes of the campaign by residents on the New Era Estate to save their tenancies, save the estate, from being destroyed by greedy rapacious Rachman landlords who were wanting to triple their rents and drive them off the estate.

The tenants fought back.

Initially financed by Russell Brand with proceeds from Revolution.  It is expected to become self-financing, part of a network of mutually supporting social enterprises.

Excellent that emphasis on quality and organic.

I trust quality coffee beans, from quality roasters, and skilled baristas who know how to make coffee.

Well done Hackney Council for making land available to grow produce for The Trew Era Cafe.

People with allotments or gardens, could supply produce, maybe in return get a free meal or coffee.

Intercept waste from farms and supermarkets, turn into delicious meals on a pay-what-you-can basis. Better than food banks, as retains dignity, not having to beg for food.

Autonomous people, ideally open coops, or small businesses, supplied with beehives who will supply the honey, who will supply the produce, each supporting each other, giving local people meaningful employment, recycling money within the local economy.

How about occasional live music evenings?

The Trew Era Cafe is one of many social enterprises, contributing to the collaborative commons, that are now springing up.

Top story in Yum Coffee (Sunday 5 March 2015).

The Trews newsagent awning

April 3, 2015

Thanks to crowdfunding on StartJoin initiated by Tracy Herbert and supported by Russell Brand and Max Keiser, a Sun awning was ripped down and replaced by one for The Trews at a newsagent in Hoxton (Hackney).

The project rolls on to do the same with other newsagents across the country.

Carry out direct action, turn The Sun upside down, back to front, then pile other newspapers on top.

I do not know if it has been done, but a hoarding  outside advertising the latest Trews, with a smart code to snap with a smart phone to link direct into the latest Trews, would be a great idea.

The Advisory

October 20, 2013
The Advisory

The Advisory

I passed The Advisory on my way to a party at 195 Mare Street, a squatted Grade II listed Georgian mansion in Hackeny, a few minutes wallk down Mare Street.

As the promised vegan food failed to materialise at the party, I thought I would see if I could grab something to eat before I caught a bus to Waterloo Station.

Very pleasantly laid out, solid wooden tables, the food sourced free range and rare breeds, for example Gloucester Old Spot pigs. And reasonably priced. My cheeseburger £6.

A pleasant change to the disgusting fast food joints that line Mare Street. Why eat rubbish?

Very popular. On my way to the party, around nine o’clock, packed. Ten-thirty and still busy.

195 Mare Street

October 20, 2013
195 Mare Street

195 Mare Street

The party that followed the Anarchist bookfair, was held in a squatted Georgian building in Hackney.

From Queens at Mile End, two bus trips, though it could be I got on the wrong bus.

195 Mare Street, is set back from the Mare Street. Entry through padlocked iron gates then checked again once inside the building.

Entry through a donation.

When I arrived few people, but it soon started to fill up.

A bar. There was to be vegan food, but it never arrived.

In one corner, a clothes swap. Drop off unwanted clothes and take what you want. This proved to be very popular.

Several bands playing until the early hours of the morning.

Not long after I arrived, an avant garde rock group playing.

On sale several CDs by 52 Commercial Road. I picked up one of their CDs, A Wreck Provides An Excellent Foundation. Talking to a band member, he suggested I swapped for Communion, as it had not been released yet (due out on November). Their work is instrumental, avant garde rock including cello and violin.

It is good to see 52 Commercial Road, are releasing on bandcamp, as they will reach a far wider audience, but good too, they brought their albums along to the party.

The building has been damaged. Not by the squatters, but by a thug named Jim Casey and a bunch of builders, who illegally broke into the building and started smashing it. The Police were called and they stood idly by and let the builders smash the building claiming they needed to check the facts before they could act. A Grade II listed building being smashed but the Police have to check the facts. It was not until legal advisors contacted the Police, that they acted to stop the illegal action of the builders.

This is very reminiscent of Firgrove Parade. Bride Hall unlawfully blocked a public right of way. It remained blocked for ten days or more. The Police refused to act, on the other hand, when local people occupied the green to stop the trees being cut down, they were threatened with arrest for aggravated trespass.

195 Mare Street, provides social space. We need social space. This is the ungoverned space between the state and business.

Now planning consent has been granted to demolish The Tumbledown Dick, a 1720s pub and popular live music venue, 195 Mare Street serves as a model of what can be done, were it to be squatted.

The Nativity of Our Lord

December 23, 2011

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Please be seated.

In this passage at the beginning of John’s Gospel the Greek word for ‘dwelt among us’ – skenoo – is more literally translated as ‘tabernacled’ or ‘tented among us’. It’s also an echo of the Hebrew word for tent – mishkan or ‘place of encampment’, which contains the root meanings shekhinah (‘divine presence’) and shakhan (‘neighbour’).

John is telling us that, with the birth of Jesus, God is pitching his tent among us, as he had previously done in the midst of the people of Israel in the wilderness. He’s on the move again, exposed just as we are to the elements, to the powers and principalities, to the unruly fathoms of the human heart. Christians usually lump this lot together as Sin.

It’s a very rich semantic field, this verse from John.

capitalism is crisis

capitalism is crisis

It’s almost as rich as the field of meaning in the encampment around the Cathedral Church of St Paul’s in the City of London. And because preaching a Word at Christmas, amidst the surfeit of festive cheer, is not an easy thing to do, I decide to take the 76 bus from Hackney into the City to go and visit the tent people for some inspiration.

The bus passes the Finsbury Square encampment, which now looks like the morning-after-the-party. It’s become a field of mud with a deserted ‘info tent’ and a sign, fallen over in the breeze, offering ‘free hugs’ – but with no indication of any happy huggers to dispense them. The bus continues through the City, sloping along the wall of the Bank of England, and then loops round beside the Cathedral itself. I stay on and get out at the Royal Courts of Justice.

This is where the City of London Corporation is making its case in the High Court to rid itself of the campers. The City says that it does not object to lawful protest, but that it does not consider that the tents themselves are a necessary part of the protest. It says they are an obstruction on the public highway and they need to be removed.

sorry for inconveneince

sorry for inconveneince

I arrive just in time to hear the camp’s barrister cross examine the Registrar of the Cathedral (the chief administrator), Nicholas Cottam, who has been called as a witness in support of the City’s case for eviction.

Mr Cottam, a former Major General, says that he wishes to remain neutral in relation to the substantive issues raised by the camp, but that he has been particularly agitated from the start about the hazards of fire (amongst the other health and safety concerns). He says that, given the location of the tents and the emergency service’s reliance on Sat Nav devices, the fire brigade would be confounded by the camp were they ever required to extinguish a blaze in the burning building.

Maybe it is understandable that the administrator for Wren’s cathedral, which emerged from the cinders of the Fire of London, should be peculiarly sensitive to these incendiary dangers.

But the counsel for the campers is not entirely satisfied:

“A place of worship does not need to be wrapped up in metaphorical protective clothing does it?” he says in that leading way that barristers have, “the cathedral is surely a working building.”

“It is not a working building,” says Mr Cottam, “It is a sacred space – a place of sacred worship and respect.”

But what of ‘liturgy’, commonly understood as ‘the work of the people’, that is at the heart of that collective experience of sacred worship? Has London’s original dome become simply a grand mausoleum for state ceremonial performing cultic rituals of order and control? Have we forgotten that the building is itself no more than a big top with some fancy equestrian statues and a great acoustic?

When we identify too closely with these physical pillars we are in danger of taking our eyes from that pillar of fire that led the Israelites through the wilderness and will lead us also through the dark days ahead. To follow this fire we need to be ready to pitch and strike our inner Tent.

We have something to learn here from Jews who, annually at the feast of Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles (or Tents), remind themselves of their years in the wilderness; that they are a people on the move.

If the camp is a judgment on the Church, recalling us to our biblical roots, it also a judgment on the City of London Corporation.

Occupy St Pauls’ daily General Assembly brings to mind the Saxon folk-moot that gathered at St Paul’s Cross in the churchyard of the Cathedral. This is where the City of London Corporation has its origins. This is where the Citizens of London historically deliberated on matters of common concern, in the lee of the Cathedral, and it is where they elected their Portreve, the office that became the Mayor after 1189, as well as their Chamberlain, the man responsible for the money.

bankers need hugs not bonuses

bankers need hugs not bonuses

Although the current High Court action to evict the tent people is lodged in the name of the “Lord Mayor, Commonalty and Citizens of London” – legally a body corporate, constitutionally representing a balance of interests amongst the Citizenry – in much of its operational life the City Corporation has come to represent the single interest of capital.

And so we have a situation in which the oldest democratic institution in the world has now become a lobby group for the financial services, the ‘business city’.

“We have no ‘authority’ to take on this role [promoting the business city],” concedes Stuart Fraser (the current Chairman of the City’s Policy and Resources Committee) in an exchange of letters with me at the time when I was also a City Councillor, “which is why it is funded from our private funds – City Cash.”

No one knows for sure how much money is in this particular pot because the City Corporation refuses to publish the accounts. The City puts the total equity amount in the Cash at around £1 billion. Some say, however, the funds are at least double that. As the consolidated accounts below show there is about £500M tied up in cash. Because the City doesn’t put a value on its vast property portfolio these figures are all speculative and more work still needs to be done on unravelling these accounts.

But how can money held in trust for the Citizens of London be considered ‘private’ money? And on what grounds can it be used to promote the ‘business city’, a role the Chairman of Policy concedes the City Corporation has no ‘authority’ to perform, beyond that which it gives itself and that which Parliament, in turn, allows?

Statements of accounts are not just financial ledgers. They are also moral documents. They reveal our priorities and expose our commitments. Our January credit card statements bear witness to this. The City of London Corporation should not be fearful of publishing the Cash Accounts.

The Gospel writer’s story of the Word ‘dwelling among us’ is also a judgement on our well-defended distinctions between what is private and what is public.

In this new age we are called to participate in a common life where we belong to one another in mutual dependence and with mutual accountability. At times this may be place of windy exposure and vulnerability. It’s a campsite.

If we let them do so the tents may remind both the Cathedral and the City of our origins.

But in the end they will be swept away.

In the end we will all be swept away. There is no abiding city.

For now let’s remember faithfully, with grace and truth, where we have come from and whose we are and be thankful.

And all for His sake.

The End is Nigh

The End is Nigh

Posted by Father William Taylor on his blog Hackney Preacher.

Father William Taylor is a rare example of an ordinary person who has served as a councillor, what is known as a Common Councillor, in the Rotten Borough of the City of London. A secretive organisation that lobbies on behalf of City of London banks, that sits on a massive cash pile and property portfolio.

Father William Taylor has shed a little light into this undemocratic black hole by publishing the accounts.

Guest post: City Cash by Fr. William Taylor

Reclaim public space

August 15, 2011
Message on Recipease Jamie Oliver shop in Clapham

Message on Recipease Jamie Oliver shop in Clapham

Factory chimneys belching out smoke, slate-roofed rows of terrace houses, the Victorians also gave us parks.

In Lincoln there are two parks, Boutham Park and the Arboretum, two commons, South Common and West Common, all are within the city boundary.

In Guildford only a few minutes walk away from the bustle of the High Street lies the tranqulity of the Castle Grounds and the River Wey.

In Hackney, Vicky Park as it is known locally, or to give it its more formal name, Victoria Park.

Often these parks had bandstands. On the seafront at Brighton a bandstand has recently been restored. In the park adjacent to the Royal Pavilion you will be lucky to see a blade of grass in the summer, especially on a hot day in the shade.

Although very popular, parks are at risk, as greedy developers eye them and corrupt councillors and planning officials agree to their sale.

Schools used have extensive playing fields. Many have now been sold off.

Green space is important for our health. It may be stating the blindingly obvious, but those whose outlook is green space are healthier than those who look out on a brick wall.

Ambient light level is important. That in many residential homes is too low, not surprising many of the residents turn into zombies.

It is not only physical space that is being lost, privatised, so too is our cultural space.

People no longer make a choice in what they wear, what they listen to, their culure has been stolen, turned into a mass-produced, mass-marketed commodity and sold back to them.

Watch a Nigerian rap group and they are churning out the same crap gangster rap, wearing the same gangster clothes as their counterparts in New York. They could be clones, maybe they are.

I travel on a bus and cannot see out of the window because the bus has been turned into a gigantic billboard.

Naomi Klein in No Logo and Paulo Coelho in The Winner Stands Alone have excellent discussions of this theft of our culture.

In the London riots and the riots that spread across the country, the must have was the latest mobile phones and trainers. Worth is determined by what we wear. At the end of the day merely footwear and a communication device but such has been the brainwashing and theft of culture.

The only good to have come out of the riots and looting were the people who in the aftermath came out and cleaned our streets, who recognised the importance of common space.

What we saw was less not knowing right from wrong, what we can get away with, but lack of an internal sense of morality, lack of respect for those around us.

But is this surprising when Members of Parliament fiddle their expenses, when companies like Vodafone fail to pay their taxes?

It should be a moral imperative that companies like Vodafone pay their taxes, that is their contribution to the common good. If not they should be seen for the social paraiahs that they are, shunned. And yet we see George Osbourne promoting them in India, David Cameron in South Africa.

Town centres, market squares grew organically. They were where roads met, rivers were crossed, or if on trade routes where there were springs and wells. Local people set up trade, outsiders brought their goods in on market days. These were public spaces, where people paraded, partied, protested. None of the latter is possible in a shopping mall!

The only people who have talked a modicum of sense post-looting have been the Archibishop of Canterbury in the House of Lords last week and the Bishop of Manchester on Sunday.

A broken sick society

Hit the thugs hard

August 11, 2011
Tariq Jahan whose son was killed defending his community against looters

Tariq Jahan whose son was killed defending his community against looters

The one thing that has been learnt from the London riots and the riots that have spread across the country is this is what decent people on slum estates have to suffer from day in and day out.

For a long time gangs have terrorised slum estates. I have been to interagency meetings even chairing one of them where the same issues were always raised: failure to carry out repairs, failure to deal with the thugs on the estates. But sadly no one cared, no action was ever taken.

Maybe now the police will go in hard and clean up these estates. But it takes more than rigorous policing. The slum landlords must be dealt with. And that includes the Housing Associations who treat their tenants as peasants.

So long as the thugs stayed on the slum estates no one cared, it was not their problem.

The decent people on these estates have been asking that the police go in.

It says a lot when I chair a meeting and a lady at the meeting raises open drug dealing on the street. We know about it says the man from the council, we watch the deals go down on CCTV!

These estates have become the dumping ground for the garbage society does not want.

It was not always so. It was the poor who lived on the slum estates, and then they were not slum estates. But slowly, slowly it has changed, the decent people have moved out, the roughs have moved in. The decent people who are marooned there live as prisoners in their own homes.

My grandparents were poor, lived through two World Wars, but they did not go out thieving, looting.

Hackney was a very poor area, but one always felt safe walking through.

We have people who have no values. They know the difference between right and wrong, but lack any moral thinking. Their mindset is must have latest mobile phone and trainers.

They are conditioned by the society around them. By moronic celebrities who contribute nothing to society.

There are no jobs, youth unemeployment is high, and with government cuts it is going to get worse, but even if there were jobs these thugs would still be unemployed as they are unemployable. They lack education, in many cases they are incapable of stringing a simple sentence together.

In Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, youth uenemployment is very high, much higher than UK, but the young are not looting, burning down their neighbourhoods. They are taking to the streets, occupying public spaces, but to demand political reform. They are articulate and coherent.

A friend used to teach, or try to teach, some of these youngsters. They had passed through the school system and had failed to learn anything. They were now compelled to sit in class in college as a condition of welfare payments. They did not wish to learn, did not want to be there. Their idea of fun was go out and get drunk.

They compare very unfavourably with young people in Europe who wish to learn, with who it is possible to hold an intelligent conversataion.

I can talk to a friend in Prague. She will be at a cafe sat outside talking with friends, or has been to an art exhibition. It is the same when I chat with friends in Moscow.

These thugs contrast very unfavourably with the dignity of the Asian father whose son was hit and killed by a car whilst guarding his local community from looters.

Birmingham deaths: Praise for Tariq Jahan’s plea for calm
Grieving father’s voice of sanity

There are those who are calling for those found guilty of looting to lose their homes, to lose their benefits. This will only make a bad situation worse. With no money, they are going to be forced into crime.

We used to call for problem families who were terrorising their neighbourhood to be evicted, but only after they had been warned and given the opportunity to reform.

A sample of what we are dealing with was the woman leaving court today with her offending offspring. She shouted abuse at the media.

When I was growing up, we did not need youth clubs, we did not hang around on street corners. We kept ourselves amused. We mowed a patch in a field and used it for crcket and football. We explored local woods, walked along the river, went fishing. Had we been in trouble at school we kept quiet about it, we did not go home and complain, because if we did, we knew we would be in trouble all over again.

The ConDem government has lost all touch with reality. One wonders how Nick Clegg gets up in the morning and manages to put his shoes on the right feet.

On the sink estates the excuse of the police for not coming out was that they lacked resources. If the police lacked resources then, we have seen they cannot cope now, how will they cope with 20% cuts? As Mayor Boris has said, there is no case for the cuts.

Riots: Think again on police cuts, says Ed Miliband

Policing only works with the consent of the community.

Representative democracy, where we are offered a choice of one corrupt elite or another, has failed. We need participatory democracy. We can only move forward when we have the full support of the community, when those in power act on behalf of the community.

The difference between the corrupt elite and looters is that looters are more direct and get caught!

A broken sick society