Thursday, July 31, 2008

Protest against Coal Fired Power Stations in Britain

Yesterday, I saw some of the Climate Campers cycling through London with their trailers, down to the protest camp in Kingsnorth.

For a while, some people thought that you could release useful energy from coal without releasing Carbon gases into the atmosphere. Sustainability, entropy, organics, or even chemistry, please?

Britain is still going ahead with building a new coal-fired power plant in Kent. When EON, the world's largest investor-owned power and gas company is the contractor, you have to automatically ask who is supposed to control Humanity in a globalized economy?

It makes a lovely (laugh) example for how democracy in Britain should be questioned for its faults, and not made complacent just because it is supposed to be superior to the evolving political systems in places like China and Pakistan.

Protest is supposed to be an essential feature of democratic freedom. The protesters of Western democracy today seem to be sweet young things, not the angry young men of yestercentury.

How successful will their protest be? Will they be ignored completely? Will they be given a "win", just as coal prices are soaring because even China has to shut down its power plants because of a coal shortage?

Will political strategists plot a democratic show with the lovely young green dreamers swaying the shrivelled hearts of the government into changing their minds? With gas bills rising, the fat slobs in cars going to shop at Tesco can moan at green moralists. The lovely green protesters will go away feeling unloved, hungry and impoverished for the thankless task. Six months later, we could see the British Government commissioning a nuclear power plant at Kingsnorth instead.

Either way, EON will have high-technology engineering contracts for German companies, that will hone even more power plants to sell into the Global Economy.

So Germans, under the cover of the European Union, despite having lost two World Wars and losing all desire to have babies will nonetheless be perpetuating the soulless technological industrialization that gave us Marx and Communism, except that the technology is now so advanced it depends on machines more than men.

Will our spiritual leaders ever consider the fundamental features of European Protestant heritage that have put Humanity on this soulless road? Could they slow it down, let alone stop and reverse it? Or will they sit in their day dreams of moral holiness, fed fat on the wealth of Tractors, Fertilisers and Pesticides, consoling their weakness with their belief in God?

All the while, the sexless Economists will be steadfast in their globalist economic mission, by earning fat salaries for merely marketing Growth and Wealth, but not for a minute considering where it must all end.

Join the dance, Stay in the trance, or Love the Planet?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

British Monetary Economy and Mortgage Market

James Crosby was probably paid for this report, and that's what makes it shocking. If he hasn't found anything new or surprising about why Britain has landed in this mess, it means that we might as well have had Orangutans running the Bank of England and the Treasury.

Well here's my simple explanation for people who cannot count, let alone care about money:

Britain exposed its monetary economic control to global financial markets. It was borrowing money from global supplies, for example to sell mortgages. It thought it was keeping control of its money supply, through the Bank of England, but it didn't count how these inflows of global money were affecting its money supply.

Oh yes, could an anti-globalist wish for anything better? The global financial system failed in one part of its machine, and the whole damn machine broke down. Britain was so proud of being part of a global machine. Well globalists don't tell you the downside of globalism, do they? The bigger the machine, the bigger the breakdown when just one thing goes wrong in the machine. A bit like a whole Space Shuttle blowing up because one person used the wrong type of washer when they were fitting a bolt.

So now Britain's monetary economy has been left to recover on its own, and all they can manage to say is that:

The global system broke. There are no quick fixes. We will have to live without the global machine and learn to be self-sufficient again. This will take at least two years.

To which I add:

Stop eating mortgages. In fact, stop eating and wasting so much food, otherwise the global food system will break down too!

I hope the wide-eyed kids who studied politics in university who work at Westminster for our busy, simple-minded, Members of Parliament can explain these simple facts of Globalization to their bosses:

Global isn't always Good. Global always is dangerous. Take the collapse in World Trade Organisation Doha round talks for example.

De-Globalization is best managed, and not left to chance, or worse, to War. Everybody needs to have a Plan B, and people who walk around saying Globalism is Good never seem to give us a Plan B.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

David Cameron gets his bike back

Is life fair? He loses it for only 4 days, and then he gets it back. With his helmet.

Supposedly the Mirror got it back for him.

I daresay all newspapers will be joining the game of having celebrity bikes stolen and then having them returned.

I'm not a celebrity, get me out of here. Where's my bike so I can get out of here?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Isn't She Lovely

I had to go into Central London today. It was the hottest day of the year so far, but the temperature barely crawled up to 26 degrees, and I never once broke into sweat. This eventual arrival of summer was obvious from the number of tattoos visible on rough labourers who, surprisingly, still have jobs in this lame recession.

Enfeebled on the way home by the Lurgy I suffered mid-week, brought on by the trauma of losing my bike last week, I walked with heavy feet, and looked at the London Wall. The City gardening contractors are still obeying Chelsea Flower Show practices: using rubber rakes, wasting water on the grass in this dry weather, and teasing the flower beds to look as crisp and clean as china flower vases. There is a healthy fig tree, heavy with fruit, and a herb garden in honour of the herbalist John Gerard, in front of the Worshipful Company of Barbers (they were the original surgeons and medicine men, because they had knives). The garden bends into one of the Barbican's modernist rectangular ponds, softened with lovely water lilies to catch the splashing water of its plain fountain. Already I was seeing here people who had the saintly beatification of being "lovely" about their person.

What is "lovely"?

It must have been sometime before the millenium that Britain got fed up with "nice". Then we had nasty. It must have been at some time after the 2004 London terrorist attacks, that "lovely" became de rigueur. Corporations had to demonstrate social responsibility, including caring about humanitarian and green issues, and their human resources assets.

When I arrived in Finsbury Circus, the largest green oasis in the City of London, all my dread was hardened. There they were, all being "lovely", as the lunch hour was beginning on a summer Friday, on the grass, on the benches, in the sunshine. The internal melodies of R.E.M. Shiny Happy People kept their loveliness at bay from the pain I feel so easily when I am unwell. Indeed, to wander through London whenever you are not feeling well is the opposite of all medicine, even the crudely effective sort that John Gerard practised 450 years ago.

All of these Lovely People in Finsbury Circus were young, fit, healthy and good-looking. If they had not been born onto the Conveyor Belt of Success, then their youth and looks meant that they were quickly put onto it. Here we are, in a darkening recession, where even the people of Glasgow East, despite being the most sheepish form of Labour supporter, have finally thrown eggs into the unlovely face of Gordon Brown, our Scottish prime minister. Here we are, in another global food crisis, where over a million people in Ethiopia are waiting for a grain shipment from South Africa, or they will starve in the next month. Here we are, in London, where there are plenty of people whose pain needs to be shared.

And there I was, seeing the lunchtime workers in Finsbury Circus, being "lovely". Before Lovely, people in the City had to be thrusting and sexy, so this is a new social phenomenon.

When I saw the shop, The White Stuff, advertising "Lovely Clothes for Lovely People", I knew it was time to blog about "lovely". Attack!

"Lovely" has nothing to do with Love. In the English language, there is only one word for Love, which is a stunning reflection of the naive level of understanding of love in English culture and history. Sorry, I have to tell it like it is. As I have said before, in English, Love is just another four-letter word.

So what is "lovely"? To be Lovely is:

1. to appear absolutely harmless and non-threatening, and
2. to portray an aura of compassionate intelligence,
3. to appear to be able to extend kindness to anyone in the vicinity who should need it.
4. to appear to have an easy laughing heart
5. to know you must hide all your pain underneath lest it might violate the fragile fantasy of happiness of those around you.

Yes, "lovely", is superficial as it gets, even if it is the nicest form of superficial you can get. This is because Lovely is the old Nice.

The most "Lovely" people seem to live in North London, for miles around Crouch End, but they are not alone. They are just green enough so that they feel worthy. They are just humanist enough that nobody can say they don't care. They are all so terribly lovely, and live in such gilded lovely worlds.

"Lovely" is also endemic in the workplace. To see it in the City is a recent social phenomenon, but it has been brewing in the public sector for years. Particularly in the NHS, it has been adopted as the perfect camouflage by those staff who know that they are overpaid in relation to what they produce.

At least Lovely People are not bicycle thieves, knive stabbing murderers, or coke-snorting greedy City Traders, but their problem is this:

Lovely people are not part of the solution, so they are nonetheless part of the problem. "Lovely" does not solve any problems, let alone pressing ones. "Lovely" is a form of mutual social masturbation, akin to sitting around making cups of tea while bombs are falling on your neighbours.


Onward to Spitalfields market, where Loveliness acquires Grittiness, and what do I have to report, except that the devastation of Spitalfields Market is finally completed, since I first blogged about it 4 years ago. Indeed, even the Health Food Shop near where the Spitz used to be, was finally moved out two months ago, and is now across the road while this last bit of the market is given the same tacky makeover worthy of a BBC Television programme. Yes, London is now for sale to those who couldn't give a damn about authentic historical places: so long as it has been modernized with the bling of Millenium Oil-Powered Industrialization, someone will pay more for it. Russians and Kazakhstanis, I suppose? Or Malaysians and Middle-Easterners, maybe? Who knows. It is all Global Capital, and the Lovely People of London who gather in Finsbury Circus, are quite happy to take home their wages while fostering this globalization.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can David Cameron bring back Capital Punishment for Bike Crime

I am 8 days ahead of the fashion for having your bicycle stolen, because today, David Cameron also had his bicycle stolen, from in front of a supermarket.

Yes, to him, his bicycle was priceless. Mine was priceless too, and the priceless bit was counted in the tears, the grief, and is still being counted in the effort of finding its replacement. He is the future Prime Minister of Britain. He probably had insurance for it, and can afford to lose his bicycle more than I can, yet he feels upset about it. If there had been a camera filming me when I found out my bike was stolen, you would have seen how priceless a bicycle can be.

It should be discussed whether Capital Punishment should be re-introduced for Bicycle Theft. Since the Sixties the concept of having capital punishment has met resistance even for crimes of rape and murder. This has resulted in Western countries having prisons overflowing with drugs and obesity, even while indigenous tribes in Africa and Asia are dying of starvation and malnutrition.

I think it would be much easier to bring back capital punishment now, and especially for bicycle theft and crime. The mood is right. The failure to bring this subject into discussion in the Houses of Parliament will only result in yet more people being keen to adopt Sharia Law. Yes, even I could be converted to supporting Sharia Law, since I have had my bicycle stolen.

So there it is - we either spend the rest of our years suffering the social results of namby-pamby Sixties liberalism, while seeing more of society converting to Sharia law,

or we discuss bringing back Capital Punishment. After all, there are so many humane ways of execution nowadays - an overdose of Prozac, maybe? Or being given as much alcohol to drink as is necessary to become unconscious, before a quick capsule of cyanide is popped down the gullet of the heinous criminal.

Watch out, bicycle thieves. Give back your stolen bicycles, or be sentenced to death!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh Wail, oh wail, oh

Ooow...Aarrhh Oh!
From the Bed to the Sofa.
From the Sofa to the Bed.
What have I done
It all went wrong
But not a sound's been made
the wail song has moaned silently
Sullenly for months
So deeply that it has been unseen
But wails do surface
For air.
It's been all my fault.
Wail, Waaahhhh!
It's all gone wrong.
Life's not worth living
What have I done
To deserve the very life I despise?

The weekend of playing briefly with the old lovelessness
Yesterday came down with a heavy dull, dumb thud.
In mere hours I had shown here all there was to show
all that was green in my pleasant land
And even to me it was so obvious there is nothing here
That I want any more.

Lying on the bed
Waiting for life to return to my drained will,
Love loomed again and again
Each time it was your face
Your hairy face,
Filling my field of view.

I yearned
And chastised myself for yearning
But I need to believe in love
Even if love will not believe in me.
What have I done wrong,
but where was the glue
to help us to stick together?

The kiss
The perfect most loving kiss
I miss.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Social Network

Road Network:
With footpaths
To motorways.
Yet some still need TomTom
To get from A 2 B
Social Network:
Is there a TomTom
For people and connections?
Perhaps I don't even know where A is,
Let alone B.
Those who don't know their A,
Should take no shame in it,
But they could do with some help.
Those who don't know their B,
Need a Rough Guide to a Lonely Planet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

When my bike was stolen

When my bike was stolen last week, I was truly heartbroken. I thought to myself then, that even when you think you are already a broken man, something can come along that breaks you down even more.

Today, I am getting on with things. It would be wonderful if the police could recover my bike, with all its bits, but the chances of that happening are less than that of the thief coming along and saying,

"Here mate, thanks for lending me your bike, I've brought it back for you and here's £5,000 for the bother. Can I buy you a drink?".

Such is the joy of fantasy. No, the reality is that not having had insurance for the bike, it will take me a few weeks of careful shopping to find one that was just as cheap and perfect for all my needs. It was a cheap bike, but it was perfect for my needs. A quick look around on the Internet was not greatly encouraging. The bicycle industry has been chopping and changing its bike models every year for the last decade, it seems, and they don't even make things that they sold off the shelf 3 years ago. I don't like new-fangled things unless they are elegantly simple and functional. Any accountant or economist would immediately deduce, that there needs to be an extra cost added to the actual Purchase Price: the Cost of Buying something Perfect for your Needs.

So the total cost of purchase should include not just the Purchase Price that you will hand over to the seller, but also the Cost of Buying something perfect for your needs.

Reality is no fun, is it? It's too much like the life of a proper accountant, not even the thieving Enron-type of accountant (Arthur Andersen were their accountants, and Accenture has also been in the news lately for their questionable practices?).

So here's the rest of the fantasy:

"Well mate, if I didn't get to borrow your bike, I wouldn't have been able to nip down to my boat in time to catch the tide and sail across to France. It was a lifesaver, because I managed to catch the horse show in Normandy, and I got to see some beauties there. You like horses? Well, one of the factories I own, you see, makes horse carriages and carts. You like that? Well tomorrow I will send a pony trap to collect you and take you down to the factory, and you can pick whatever job you fancy doing. Now let's get another pint down, and then go downtown and get some grub! Here we go! Cheers!".

Oh fantasy. Oh god. Oh get real.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A week of Voices from the Past

What is it about this week? Is there some outrageous astrological influence? I get three phone calls in one week, from people I have not heard from in ages, and in one case, years.

There is something about voices from the past, when they ring you up. They seem to expect to pick up where they left off. But where have they been? Perhaps I needed them before now. Clearly they only think they need me now. I resent it.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. These distant friends are not available, and so they are not there when I need them. So they cannot be friends.

In our globalized world, this delusion that the telephone is a substitute for being nearby, is like a virus in the software of society. I would rather have one good friend at my side than to have 10 "friends" on the telephone, or 100 "friends" on Facebook. This has become difficult, because 90% of people are busy believing in their Facebook "friends", and the other 10% of people believe in their telephone "friends".

You don't have to be a Catholic priest to understand that this is a recipe for unhappiness and social disaster.

No, you just have to be starved and tortured by being dumped onto a desert island for a whole week with only just enough water, and absolutely no food, and no electricity, and hence no telephone or the internet. And no guarantee that someone will rescue you at the end of the week. Then you will understand.. You? Whomever I mean by YOU.

Oh, by the way, you don't even get to take any Desert Island Discs with you, because there is no wind-up or solar-powered record player. And no, you don't even get a copy of the Bible, but you can still write in the sand, and read what you write.

Walk softly and carry a big roll of carpet

If I had not walked,

I would not have heard the grasshoppers and crickets, whirring away in the grass despite this hopelessly grey summer.

If I had not walked,

I would not have gone into the shop and found the best cheap padlock I could find.

If I had not walked,

I would not have picked up the roll of carpet and walked it home, much to the amusement of those I encountered.

If I had not walked,

I would have ridden my bicycle, but since the idiot that stole it has not returned it, and the police have not gotten around to looking at the report,

I could not ride my bicycle.

That bicycle is gone. Hope has a limited time offer. Despair's sale is over.

Forgetting is one of the most useful by-products of an un-inhibited emotional reaction series including depression. Depression should never be stopped or dragged out with stupid things like Prozac. Depression should be processed to its own comfortable conclusion.

That bike is gone. So are you, so you keep reminding me.

Forget, forget, forgotten.


If I had not walked, I would not have a sore foot.

If I could forget, then I would have no wishful thoughts. Then at last, I could be just like these loveless, soulless people? If I cannot beat them, should I join them? If I cannot join them, should I not leave them?

They who cannot love, are they not machines? Should they be ridden like bicycles, until they are worn down, or should they be loved until they learn how to love?

When you remind me that we must move on, that angers me.
How much harder it is to move on when there is not even a decent bicycle to move with.
How hard it is to move without a bicycle.
All those people who refuse to move without their cars, or a bus, or a train, or a taxi, or even a horse. How lazy they are.
To move on, with only your two feet, is something that homo sapiens var. industrialis has lost the ability to do, and I am unsure that I can still do it.

Once, I too had a car, and sat in a glass workhouse, not a greenhouse,
being watered, nurtured, fertilized,
without ever having to use my own two feet.

The cars are gone, now the bike is gone, but I still have my two feet.

God help me when they are gone, for the people in London
whom to me have always seemed the bravest,
are the elderly infirm
who struggle on foot through the uncaring and pushy
who struggle on foot to cross the road against the traffic
who struggle on foot to drag their shopping.
And never does someone else of their own age,
or indeed of any age,
driving past in their car,
stop and offer them a lift.

For this is how London has been ever since the Eighties, and even now, even with all the wealth that China exports to us, and all the handouts that the government has thrown into the wind, it is the same, except that fewer of those elderly poor are English.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stop. You have nothing to go with.

Yesterday, I was getting ready to go off to the allotment. Warm day, though still cloudy and drab, I actually remembered that my water bottle for the bicycle needed filling.

So I went to get the bottle from the bicycle. I opened my front door

I looked.

I didn't see.

Shock. I quickly looked inside to see if I had kept my bicycle indoors for once.


It was stolen.

I was unbelievably upset. I was shocked. Horrified. Then distraught. I don't think I cried this easily over my father's death. This was yesterday. I am still progressing through the emotional stages of anger, self-blame, denial, despair, and depression. People who don't have emotions, or who who belong to civilizations/cultures that repress many emotions cannot understand this, and cannot see the point of it.

They may as well be the loveless soulless criminals who stole the bicycle on which so much of my life has depended, and was depending upon. What loveless soulless people. I was ready to bid them goodbye forever. For there are many strains of humans that have survived, multiplied and prospered on a reproductive method of loveless rape and loveless child-bearing. Indeed, the barbarians that had the Tower of London, and an empire, then the First World War, and the Second World War, could hardly yet have been removed from the gene pool of the British population.

And I, like so many fools before me, having once been in awe of this barbarous animalism, like a moth to a flame, have now for so long been living in a civilization and a culture that knows no love, that I have had my fill of it.

Stop. You have nothing to go with.

In the English language, love is a four letter word, and even to the intellectuals and academics who chance upon this website, the mere mention of it invites as much contempt as a Flash sex video on "Doing it with your dog".

Stop. You have nothing to go with.

What have I, where do I have to go, and when did I start?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guess Who is the new chair of the National Trust

As if he needs any more publicity. This man has more opinions than references, was an editor of The Economist at the height of Thatcherism, and because all newspapers are just as bad as each other, is now a columnist at the Guardian, as well as the Murdoch.

Yes, I first noticed his writing back in the Eighties because he launched a pro-dioxin tirade which was clearly ignorant both about Nature, Science, and the selfishness of Humanity.

With age he has become more moderate, and has been most noted for his focus on the architectural heritage of English Churches. Nonetheless, he seems to know nothing about life, but is one of those people who spews out words endlessly, even more quickly than he consumes them. Is it not fitting then that he has taken such a shine to bricks and mortar conservation, which until now has been achieved in isolation from cultural conservation?

The National Trust is so desperate for publicity that they think he will be a boon? The National Trust doesn't need publicity. It needs reality. It has been run by a host of affluent molly-coddled retired people who live in fantasy. Their fantasy has been to an olde worlde time of architecture and landscape. To a tourist, this is wonderful, compared to some other countries in the world. Indeed so. But where is the economy and culture of the people who lived with this architecture and landscape? Do you see it at Tesco, or on the M4, or in your office? Does it exist in London or Ludlow?

Back in the Eighties, Britain was accused of being like a giant Disney World. Never more so than now, when all its local culture has died out and been replaced by people who drive everywhere, watch TV or Youtube, and can't listen to anybody because of their Ipod.

What is the National Trust to do? Well, has Simon Jenkins grown up enough that he sees the error of his ways? Like the archetypal Tory Boy, when he was young and didn't care, he had no heart, and now that he is old and cares too much, he hasn't got a brain. For he will care and rhapsodize about the architecture of masonry, and because of his background in economics, he cannot see that the architecture of modern economics has killed the architecture of civilization and culture that needs to go with the masonry.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

IUCN Species Survival Group

There is a United Nations for one species of 7 billion people, who show no sign of becoming extinct.

There is also an IUCN for all the other millions of species, many of which are becoming extinct because mankind drives them out by taking up most of the food, space and water, and leaving behind poisons, pollutions, and people.

The annual budget of the IUCN is very small. Less than half a billion dollars. Even London's annual budget controlled by the Mayor is 9 billion bounds.

That's how much humanity cares about Living Things. Human beings are common, and caring for humanity is so common that even people who love dogs and horses only love them because they project human personalities upon them.

For a laugh, from Why don't you Blog?

Obviously, for creationists it’s a simple matter to solve. Just pray loads to the big guy to create another few thousand species. That’s bound to work. And anyway, humans are above the animal kingdom aren’t they so we probably don’t depend on biodiversity to survive. Etc.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Boring Drab Weather and Entrenched Employment Protection

Anybody who came to England for the first time in 2006, when the El Nino was on full, would have thought they had stumbled on the perfect paradise to hide away if Global Warming was becoming true.

Well this summer, the El Nino and La Nina effects are gone at last, and the cloudy, unpredictable, sometimes chilly, grey and wet weather have reminded me that this is much the typical English summer. If you get a sunny day, you grab it, because it might be the last one you see for a long, long time.

A small local Chinese Grocery supermarket that opened up only a year ago is closing down and they say they're going back to China. Quelle surprise, as Julian Clary would say! It doesn't take people long to figure out now that there's no point in hanging around in England, when things are so much better at home.

Walking down one of the nearby major High Streets last week, I counted at least 5 shops that were closing down. Nearly every shop had a sale on, even though summer sales do not usually start until end of July.

The recession is on everyone's minds and lips. It may have taken 6 months longer for it to happen than in the USA, but it has gotten through to the man in the street. This time round, the property market went down before the retail business, and before the job market. I suppose that should have been predictable, since the property market has been the main engine of the UK economy over the last 6 years.

Oh yes, the job market is disappearing, and of course, the private sector has gone first. The public sector is protected by unions and endless employment law, and with a Labour Government in power, there is no chance that they will have to absorb cutbacks. Nonetheless, the unions will still fight for above inflation pay increases, even though they are lucky to have jobs, when all the people outside the public sector are losing theirs and have no new jobs to go to.

Yes, if there were an election in 6 months time, the Conservatives would sweep into power, and things would be sufficiently bad that they could probably do the one thing that nobody has dared to do for 30 years:

Remove enough employment protection so that it is quick and easy to remove unproductive and no longer required employees.

You see, despite all the reform from Thatcherism, this was never actually achieved in legislation. No, the only way to get rid of employees was to make them redundant, and this required organisations to re-structure themselves, or be slyly driven into bankruptcy, just to get rid of dead wood. The other ruses by which dead wood could be removed were much more roundabout, but became so common that they defined corporate business practice from the late Eighties to the early Noughties. They were of course, firstly Privatisation, and then secondly, Outsourcing.

Privatisation was essential to revitalising the European and especially the UK economy. Anyone from overseas who saw in the early Eighties, the European PTT (post and telecoms) organisations, for example, used to laugh their heads off at their backwardness, incompetence, inefficiency and lack of productivity.

Outsourcing was a far more ridiculous and devious solution to the need for organisational restructuring while keeping Seventies employment protection. It was also far less effective, because TUPE was upgraded to protect the rights of employees who were part of the organisation that was sold to an outsourcing company. What resulted was that dead wood ended up being transferred to an external outsourcing company, and only by extensive attrition and sidelining and eventual redundancies were useless and ineffective employees eventually removed from being paid to do nothing, or worse, being paid to do harm to the rest of their organisation.

None of the outsourcing would have been possible if Britain had not welcomed with open arms every illegal immigrant who was willing to work without being able to answer back to their boss in English. Yes, they took their pay, and didn't complain, which made them far more desirable than local employees. Of course, this eventually pissed off everyone in the country, because guess what? We have had a Labour Government since 1997, and this was what they were encouraging.

The French might only now be catching up with the UK, but the UK still has employment protection that defies economic sense. In this recession, I think the Tories when they take over the government, might be given the democratic power to remove the last nonsensical employment protection from the rulebooks. Is this a good thing? Yes, but it is sadly much too late. All that employment protection was the reason why British manufacturing stayed so uncompetitive that today, none of it is owned and managed by themselves, and what there is left of manufacturing survives because of factory robotics.

Well, robotics use oil, and human beings need physical work, so this is a silly state of affairs. This is the time to ask for a democratic mandate to remove obstructive employment protection laws. This can be done now because all the industry is gone, and because the welfare and social security system can be kept operational without the need to keep employees in jobs where they are producing nothing, or even less than nothing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you
You're looking so well
Whatever bent your wheel
Seeing you makes me melt.
So even I cannot deny
I am still in love with you.
Happy Birthday to you.

Dance Powered Electricity and Welfare Powered Landlording

Mr Charalambous, a Greek-Cypriot who owns 1,000 properties in north London as well as land in Europe,

So now you can clean your conscience by turning green. To his credit, at least he is doing some good, and is doing it publicly, because there are many other wealthy landlords who keep a low profile and accumulate wealth for dynastic ambitions.

I remember in the Eighties when Landlording in Britain was something despised and condemned by all idealistic politicised youth.

Since then, we have had endless growth in landlording, effectively powered by the insatiable need for social housing. Tax is taken from some people, and the government has spent it on housing other people. For despite the growth in Housing Associations and new home development, the rental market for homes suitable for welfare-dependent mothers of many children has been fed by years of extreme left-wing idealism about the universality of human rights, particularly the right to housing, and this has mostly been focussed in the perpetually Labour boroughs of London, such as Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Newham, etc.

New Labour was distinct from old Labour in that it spent years ridding itself of this base of alienated idealistic extremists. The borough first to benefit from this clean-out was Newham, partly because its MPs were part of or at least close to the religious group that formed the Blair government. Consequently Newham was one of the first boroughs to have its own elected Mayor. Since then, the placement of the 2012 Olympics in Newham has extended the changes to the extent that old Labour, in Newham, is effectively gone, and probably retired to Morecambe Bay.

The other Labour boroughs have also caught up, although they took a long time about it. Haringey, which is in North London had the benefit of wealthy middle-class neighbourhoods around Alexandra Park, the Ladder, and even near Turnpike Lane. Haringey is the undisputed centre of London's Turkish and Greek-Cypriot communities. That they chose to live next to each other is surprising but typical in London: in East London in the late 20th century, Tamils, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs chose to live as close to each other as is possible without having to actually admit to liking each other. Since the 21st century started the influx of East Europeans from Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, and Bulgaria has predominated in London, although there has also been a steady flow of immigrants from every class level in every place in the world.

Now they can all come here to dance up a storm, or have lots of babies and get social housing that will power a landlord's empire, which because of welfare idealism and social housing, is still more recession-proof than sleeping on a solid block of gold.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Soggy Wet Day in a soggy week in a Messed up Year of Weather

What a soggy, soggy day! Once upon a time, if I saw someone cycling in this rain, I would have thought them simply mad, or just plain stupid. Yet here I've been, into town and back, through the unrelenting rain. So soaked that I had to stop to drain my shoes and wring my socks out half way.

At least it was warm. The last time I biked this much in such wet weather was in cold stormy winds in December.

This week has been wet, wet, wet. Aside from a bit of rain at the end of May, it has been relatively dry since April, with some 2 week stretches of scorching drought.

The weather has been perfect for the raspberries, which have been blasting away for over 4 weeks, but are now near their end. I have eaten so many raspberries every day that I don't mind a break! The variety I have, Glen Moy, sometimes crops a second time in September/October, and it looks like if it stays warm with enough sunshine, that shall happen again this year.

But the disaster has been the plums. The local yellow plum has failed miserably because of the warm February, followed by a cold March and April, with the heavy snowfall on April 6. What flowering there was started in February, but never got pollinated, because there weren't enough bees around, and what did get pollinated seems to have fallen off from the snow and cold that followed. So this year I will be having less than 10% of the amount of plums I had last year.

Climate change? There is no way that Genetically Modified Anything could ever be designed to cope for this degree of unpredictability in the weather. It takes a few years to design and distribute any new variety of food crop. With weather as changeable as this, the only 100% reliable form of agriculture is to grow mixed pasture and graze animals on it. Just when the global food shortage is telling us to eat less meat, especially pork and chicken, as these are fed on grain stocks.

Other gardening events. I slashed my kiwi plant in a spate of madness 3 weeks ago, removing every leaf and branch until only the main stems were left. Kiwi plants grow to an unmanageable size, and I should never have planted it as I don't have that amount of space. The plant bled profusely for the first 3 days! I couldn't figure out where all the drip was coming from, until I noticed that the wounds were bleeding from 3 main arteries where the most recent shoots had been thrusting from. It was buckets of kiwi sap, if I had collected it, until it finally stopped completely after 5 days. The sheer osmotic pressure from the powerful root system was awesome to behold. I wondered if the thing would die, but fortunately it has survived and is putting out new shoots. A 6 year old kiwi plant, attacked ruthlessly in mid-season. If the damn thing would only fruit just once, but they are sexual, and this is only the lonely female, with no male around.

The clay soil of the allotment has been a lesson in humility. To grow food on untreated, unimproved clay soil is nearly impossible, as all the seeds and varieties that are bred for human consumption assume that you have John Innes loam. Bah! The broad beans are yielding only one third of what they should, while beans, squashes and tomatoes grow so slowly that at times I have been crestfallen. There is a very narrow window of fertility in clay soil, and that is when the moisture content is just right, which seems to be only 25% of the time. The rest of the time, clay is either too dry and hard, or too waterlogged, for normal vegetables to grow, even if you give it water when it dries up. Even weeds struggle! Only plants that bide their time and have plenty of time to bide can grow well in clay soil, and in the English growing season, nobody has ever bothered to breed vegetables suited to clay soils. Commercially, they would just plough it often, then dump lots of nitrogen fertilizer on it and grow wheat, potatoes or grass on it. They wouldn't bother using it for any other food you find at the supermarket.

I deduce that it will take another 2 years of cultivation before this soil reaches a reasonable level of productivity. Meanwhile, if it weren't for the Tescos, Sainsburys, Asdas, and Morrisons of the world, I would be starving as badly as any African. It makes me sick how ignorant people are about how food is produced. If I were a farmer on the Archers, I would be tempted to let the land lie fallow and let the population wonder where the food has gone. The English people are quite happy to cover up England's bountiful arable lands with concrete roads, parking lots, airport runways, shopping malls, suburban housing developments and industrial parks. The United Kingdom is only 60% self-sufficient in food, but is more than 600% self-sufficient in proselytizing about economic globalization and international human rights. The fools that bang on about how other countries should be run, drive to their supermarket and stuff their cars with plastic bagfuls of food flown from parts of the world where people are starving and malnutritioned. Being overfed, indolent and even obese, they don't need to eat half as much as they do, and even worse than that, they throw away half of what they buy. Is there any way to teach these people a lesson? Maybe they should be sent out to Africa or Haiti or Bangladesh and forced to live on half a portion of rice per day. That will be the day. We don't even do that to mass murderers in prison.

Emotional Repression and Restraint and Cultivation

I have always thought that there should a science of the emotions within a culture. This is because it has been obvious to me for some time that every culture in the world can be defined according to the set (the mathematical meaning) of emotions that are cultivated, or alternatively repressed, or restrained.

Today I was looking up the definition of "passive aggression". Having grown up in the middle of popular psychology at its peak, like many people I have been surrounded by notions and terms of which I had a vague understanding. Wikipedia is weak on this one, so I prefer the Straight Dope and Medicine Plus, which nonetheless are at the top of the google. A quick browse through the other Google listings makes it fairly consistent.

It seems that here we have a typical example of the disaster that was 20th century psychology. The term passive aggression was coined by military people, and then borrowed by psychologists and labelled as a disorder, then was subsequently recognized as a natural behaviour which could be a disorder. Imagine if I said eating was a disorder, then subsequently acknowledged that eating was a natural behaviour, and only if you eat too much does eating become a disorder.

It also confirms that psychology in the 20th century developed as an attempt to mould people into conformance with a military organisation. Since then military organisations have been copied by every corporation and institution that I know, with variations of moderating attitudes that have arisen as civilization became wealthier and more liberal.

Nonetheless, as the Planet grapples with the friction between cultures that has been caused by globalization, there has never been more need for a science of the emotions of cultures. That Psychology has failed miserably in this field must be because it has dwelled for so long on its Protestant and Western European intellectual foundations.

Anybody who has ever opened his mind to other peoples and cultures knows that there are emotions practiced which differ in intensity and sometimes are entirely absent, or entirely novel.

Such a science would have to be fundamentally aware that human beings have evolved their emotions and uses of emotions separately, according to their geographical region, climate, ecosystem, and history of civilization.

The absurdity of my proposition is that since globalization has progressed so far, it is now nearly impossible to collect clean data for such a science. It would be more difficult and inexact than the recent efforts at identifying the heritage of DNA sequences, which is what the science of ethnology seems to have become.

So let's drop the notion of a science, and propose it as an art, a humanity. Consider the emotion of Anger. What happens when one culture, which approves and accepts open but non-violent displays of Anger, comes upon another culture, which denies it and represses it as far as possible until it explodes (in the familiar pattern of Passive Aggression)?

This is but one example. There is a world out there that needs to be understood. Whether the world progresses to an unsustainable fully Globalized unit or a sustainable de-globalized form, this sort of understanding is very important, and I do not think should be left to the Psychologists, or Spiritual/Religious leaders.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Scarecrows of Whatfield Suffolk in the Global Food Economy

A week away from the internet, and most other media, is a refreshing joy which I intend to extend. But while the cat's here, let the mice seer.

As I wandered through the arable farmlands of Suffolk on my bicycle, I came into a village and was greeted by a large doll sitting in somebody's garden. It was brown-faced with woolly hair and probably 4 feet long, and I thought I had passed through a time warp into a gollywog-loving age.

As I progressed, I found that several more houses had large dolls in their front gardens, all in different clothing, constructions, and colours, in various attidunal poses and with props. I began to imagine that I had come upon some retirement village for an order of lunatic witches. One memorable exhibit had two dolls sitting on a tandem bike, but that memory is a reflection of the mental bias of a proper cyclist.

The village at this end was a few twee chocolate-box cottages, some with thatched roofs, evidently inhabited by affluent retired upper-middle class types. The more modern,dowdy, apparently council-built part of The Street was not participating in the doll display.

Eventually I came upon a doll of a publican with props such as a bar, keg, stool and towel. Everything became clear. There was a sign/advertisement:Make a scarecrow, any style and display it in your front garden, from 28 June onwards until this weekend.

For this was the weekend of the village fete, and surely enough, what remains of blue-rinse culture (for that generation has nearly all died off) was driving in cars to the village fete, on the green by the school, with the requisite marquee. It is wonderful to see a village where community exists at all, and see evidence of the Church of England helping it along.

But wonderment is seldom left alone on Love and the Planet. I could have just used a digital camera to copy some images of these modern scarecrows onto the Internet for some Americans to ape. This would be too common, too lazy, and not what blogs are about.

No, no, because, today Gordon Brown, our beloved and sage Prime Minister whom has been manager of the United Kingdom economy since 1997, finally told his country "to stop wasting food", and to "waste not want not". I shall not waste my vomit on his contribution (and that of many Guardian readers, I want to add) to the wasteful globalized economy that Britain has been party to, where all manner of waste has been sent to the dump, the tip, to landfill, and worst of all, to China and Bangladesh etcetera where they have permanently poisoned with pollution hitherto organic human ecosystems. So let me hurry along.

Scarecrows in Suffolk. Well.... my examination of the fields I saw in Suffolk revealed that they are 99% arable (no livestock), and most commonly growing, in order of quantity, wheat, oats, oilseed rape, broad beans, turnips/swedes/beets, potatoes. Almost all the fields are industrially farmed, with large fields worthy of tractor management. I never saw one person in any field I passed, although I passed at least one tractor on the road. Interestingly, by the end of June, the oilseed rape was already in finaly ripening stage - all the leaves were gone and the plants were down to taking what was left in the roots and stems and putting it into the seeds. Why is this interesting? Because with nearly half of the summer season (see my earlier posting for an understanding of how summer should obviously be defined according to day-length) left to go, vast acreages are already spurning the energy that reaches Britain from the sun.

Scarecrows? What crows? None of the fields had much sign of insect life or soil life. The broad beans were the most unblemished plants I have ever seen, with nary a blackfly upon them, let alone a ladybird. Most of the wheat fields appeared to be the same commercial seed variety. The hedgerows provided just enough tree cover to fool the ignorant into believing they were living in a conserved rural landscape. How many crows do you expect to find here?

So now Whatfield, which clearly was named after its Fields of Wheat, has perverted what was once a useful and necessary activity into a community-building aesthetically pleasing fun activity.

Waste not, want not? The wealthy and retired middle classes invaded the rural settings of England. They saw the rural economies transform into the Tesco Economic Model of production, distribution and consumption. But now the best that they can do (and believe me, most villages in England are ghostly shells compared to Whatfield) is to make dolls if ever the crows should come back.

People who don't know where food comes from, will never give a damn about saving it. It is considered rude to tell people not to waste food, because in Britain they consider wasting time to be a greater crime than wasting food. Yet all the time they save is spent sitting in their cars, or on their sofas, or on their office chairs, producing nothing, while consuming the earth.

So it is, but not so be it. For so shall it not be. Recession? Bring it on. A global economic system runs on a global financial system, and only a few people in the global financial system have already triggered a global banking crisis. Just a few farmers could trigger a national food crisis. Scarecrows were once the ultimate definition of food security. Now food security depends on global capital flows, GM seed, globally manufactured pesticides and fertilizers, and keeping the rest of Evolution at bay (lest a fungus, virus, bacteria or insect should suddenly arise that wipes out the mono-culture wheat or rice around the world faster than you can say "call an agricultural scientist").