Monday, 10 August 2020

Power is corrupting? Or a way to riches?

 

Genoeg is genoeg: het is tijd om hier een einde aan te maken; het is tijd voor deze politici (allemaal, geen uitzonderingen) om de macht en Libanon in één keer te verlaten. Niemand wil ze nog als leider omdat ze allemaal incompetent, egoïstisch, gewetenloze leugenaars zijn.

The above excerpt in the Dutch language is part of a Quora report about Lebanon and the explosion in Beirut. It says about corrupt politicians who knew the danger but did not do anything for years. It says that they must cede power at once because of their incompetence, egotism and lies.

Well, it is a damning article written by a Lebanese man about the standard of public figures. We might well ask, why are politicians so reviled? Is there a grain of truth in such allegations?

We all know the proverb about how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?

I suppose it is true because I remember the furore about one of our MPs charging the public purse (on his expense sheet) for a duckpond in his castle garden. And there have been quite a number of MPs who charged for second homes (which is allowed) but either rented it out or let their family members live in it free! So yes, when in power and therefore easy access to money and influence the case can be made that some will fail. The problem with politicians is that they want to be seen to please everybody. So lying becomes second nature as to say to a constituent, no I cannot do that or this is impossible would, it is thought, harm re-election.

Many politicians, existing and future seem to forget what it is about. It is about servicing the community, the country and its standing. Proper financial control, proper division of resources and good infrastructure so all benefit. It is certainly not about personal advancement or enrichment. And one of the most difficult thing for a politician, learn the ability to say no but in a kind and responsible manner with explanations as to why it is No and not Yes. On top of that we, the great unwashed should not expect that politicians can make our lives easy. That after all is in our own hands. Difficult to understand? Ask the Lebanese what they think!

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Live normal? Or more normal...

 

Puleeese give us a break! Army general (Major General to be precise) Jones is hauled before a military panel. Why? Oh he romped with a married woman. On top of that a lieutenant-colonel has accused him of bullying. I wonder why. Just asking a question here, is the Army pussyfooting around nowadays? Do we now need to see adverts, join the Army but only if you do not have sex, keep your mouth shut, don’t swear and you read girlie magazines. This ‘woke’ Britain is getting silly.

The whole society we know is changing and that is because we pander to idiots, we listen to all sorts of drivel. Why? Because it is the only thing we hear because the silent ‘normal’ majority stays silent. Just read stuff on Facebook or Twitter. I am not sure whether younger people, the 20’s-35’s are fit to lead this nation or indeed any nation. From where I am sitting I see a changing world. Simply because it is always changing. The problem today is people expecting to live as they have lived for their lifetimes. In other words, no change please we are doing fine. No, people you are not doing fine. Most of us cannot cope with change. Corona-19 virus is not really an extra-ordinary thing. I am sure it or something like it has been around for a lot longer than these last few months. What’s more there any thousands more viruses just waiting in the wings. Again this is normal. What is not normal is how we react, how we are leaving ourselves open to disease. Why? Overcrowding because people congregate in larger and larger cities. On top of that a heck of a lot are pretty unhygienic.

Take the wet markets in China, look at South America and places in Asia like India, Afghanistan just to name a few. Pretty all  Egyptians live in Cairo, even in cemeteries!. Now you begin to understand why we are as we are today. So far that’s the negative side of things. Are there plus points perhaps? Well, of course, we are fast moving into a society run on electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. Apparently even for planes! That by the way will still heat up the atmosphere because that’s what energy, all energy does. But there will be less carbon and therefore less containing the sun’s heat. On top of that we just have to become used to less. Less travel, less consuming everything we lay our hands on. Less land degradation. Not easy, humans are creatures of habit and habits are difficult to break. It will be fun I told my grandson, he looked at me with a scowl on his face.

Friday, 7 August 2020

Covid-19 Physical changes?

 

Seeing a picture in a national newspaper and on the web as well of our esteemed Prime Minister I just wondered what an attack of Covid-19 really does to the body?  Ah well, it's how I normally look getting out of bed early in the morning.

(Picture from a TV satirical program – Spitting Image. Reported in the Sun Newspaper 7/8/2020)

 

Blue skies over Dover...or is it grey?

 More reports coming in daily of small dinghies seen in the Channel (the Dover Straits or if you are French la Manche). Obviously the problem is getting worse not better despite those beautiful words spoken by our incredibly intelligent politicians. They keep on and on, it has to be stopped and basically that’s it. Now I am quite aware why immigrants want to move to the UK, anyone with a brain and cognitive powers can. But and there is always a but, you also have to know the pressures this can and mostly will, bring to established services and infrastructure. There are now some 68million humans in the UK, that alone already is far too much for ensuring that local farming and industry can cope. So we are dependent on massively importing foodstuffs and industrial equipment. Presently that seems to be working even though the coronavirus has made things a bit difficult (so to say!). Will this continue? Viewing present policy, speeches et al by our esteemed politicians they think it will. Say a lot, show you are in charge but do absolutely nothing.

However, the virus shows that our defences are virtually non-existent. Our preparations, our awareness of what life is really all about is zero. This will also continue and so the next time a virus appears we will be in the same old boat. To get back to immigrants, they too will continue and in ever greater numbers as the criminal cartels that operate this activity will get better boats and get better organised which in turn will attract yet more immigrants. It must be obvious the French authorities look at the problem with stopped ears and half-closed eyes. Therefore the ball is in our court. Who is handling the tennis racket to hit the ball back? Or rather turn the boats, dinghies, kayaks and canoes and even inflatable kid’s toys back? Have we still got a navy? All questions that should float around our collective minds. So, Boris, Priti if you are actually alive and not holographic images, get on with it. After all that’s one of the reasons we voted for you!

Ed 8/8/2020

Looking at this morning's BBC News and Ceefax a good report from Calais. Despite what the French say, we saw a boat (dinghy) being put to see with up to 20 people. No police in sight. Again and again we hear British politicians say 'It's appalling, it has to stop'. But nothing is actually taking place except we pick up the self-same immigrants. Which is exactly what the smugglers know and bank on. What I may say now will shock - turn the dinghies around mid-channel. It will only take 4 or 6 Border cutters, fast boats who will continually patrol, day and night. If needed tow them back. Do not, I say NOT land them in Dover or anywhere else on the UK coast. By now it has to be obvious that most immigrants are not asylum seekers, they are looking for a new life. I understand that but there are proper ways to do this. Besides what is wrong with asking asylum in France? It is one of the nicest countries in Europe but with a joke of a government. You cannot have everything it seems.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Brickie bonanza? Britain concreted over? Yeah, believe it...

One would always think that things could not be worse from yesterday. But you could well be wrong!. Reading various reports from the BBC’s Ceefax pages will show you the most irritating news. Mr Kendrick, Housing Minister has taken steps in a process that will re-write Planning law. Now I would not state here that the present planning laws are brilliant but what is proposed now is astoundingly idiotic. Let me explain, developers will be getting automatic, yes AUTOMATIC permission to build homes. Now, what do you think will happen if that goes through? I do accept that homes need to be built, people need affordable, sound places to live with their families. But you only have to look at how people behave because another report says that people are moving out of the cities to get a place in the countryside. That’s thanks to the virus of course. More, people are now buying second hand low quality cars because no-one wants to go to work by bus, tram or train any more. All quite understandable I suppose. But putting all these things together you will see a worrying future. I am afraid that I have lost faith in government, they are no more than tinkers. That means again we have stop-gap government. Policies made on the hoof, without much thought just because it is thought that’s what people want. This present government, sorry Boris, is no more than a sound-bite entity trying to please everyone by sweet talking. I really wonder what Covid-19 does to the brain?

I have noticed in the past how developers behave, even in a small town in the Rhondda. The machinations, the pressure and alleged corruption. But it is how we all behave, generally speaking. When the leash is off the dogs run (and so do we).

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Human rights, yeah and what then?

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. These values are defined and protected by law. In Britain our human rights are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. (https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/what-are-human-rights).

Very laudable I’d say. And there is more, not just those few sentences above. We have the European Convention, we have International Human Rights. Brilliant. Is it? Well, it really depends how you look at it and where you are situated on the planet. Let’s have a look at the basics. What are your rights when you are born as an Eskimo? As an Amazonian Indian living in the darkest middle? Or as a Mongol in a yurt? It seems to me that the only thing that matters then is the care, the love of parents. If that is not available then blooey go your rights. You’ll be dead. Obviously human rights are simply a set of ideas set up, agreed by many different governments and then argued over. If we are scrupulously honest we note that human rights are really zero. It is only when people actually care they may mean something. It is only when things appear to go wrong on a personal level people start to shout about human rights. We should ask, OK human rights, great but have chimpanzees rights? Gorillas? All other animals? They are born, they are alive! What about trees? They are alive too. In principle, I’d agree with the drawn up laws of Human Rights, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, meaning the test of the law is in the actual use of it, the why and what for. And my friends that’s where it fails in many, many ways. I go by a few simple ways of living. As a Christian I go by ‘Treat your neighbour as you would want to be treated yourself’. Factually ‘neighbour’ meaning everybody and everything else. Human rights? No, not really but a personal moral way of living. Caring about others whether white, black, pink or grey.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Rubbish? What the ...

And so a new era has arrived, the post Brexit, post Covid era. There is a worrying trend which I noticed, probably also noticed by many aged persons, and that is the uncanny behaviour of young people. Young people are very good at protesting about all sorts of issues, amongst other things, the use of palm oil, plastic in the oceans and seas, CO2 and global warming and lately of course racism. Wonderful you’d say, it’s about time. But then these self-same young people when gathering in large groups, leave the most astonishing amount of rubbish. Even where I live, a small town in South Wales which I call Rubbish Town because of fly-blown detritus like small bits of paper and plastic, things are not as bad as that which was seen in Cardiff a day or so ago. Unbelievable. People dropped everything imaginable. Plastic everywhere, left-over food, drinks, cans, you name it. I know, the world is the world and things happen but we all could take a bit more care about the way we behave. It is, as far as I see it, a British disease. Protesting about anything and everything under the sun and then completely ignoring the reasons what they were protesting about. It is also one of the reasons why Covid-19 is so virulent in the UK. We have probably more deaths per 1,000 than most European nations. Even Spain? That’s because our young people are mostly ignoring what they are asked to do. Abide by the reasonable requests the government has made. It doesn’t bode well for the future. Perhaps this whole episode is the beginning of the end for humanity. Watch this space!