Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dickens would be so proud of our brave new world - a rambling missive

Forcing people back to work, if they are unable to find work or are incapacitated, sounds like a return to Charles Dicken's country.  You could see the great man himself flicking through the pages of today's papers with depressed resignation at the direction the current government, opposition party and general populace are seemingly headed. 

With the ban on smoking, kill joys are now working on drinking, no doubt after that we'll all have to wear the correct type of clothing otherwise we'll be sent to the gallows.

Soon to, no doubt, as too many people will be perceived to be enjoying themselves, the holiday periods will be rolled back and working hours increased under the guise of research showing that if people didn't have so much free time they wouldn't:

  1. get drunk so often,
  2. have enough time to be obese eating all that balanced food

Whilst those who had too much free time on their hands would be made to work a 50 hour week for the benefit of the community, ensuring they are no longer:

  1. idly unemployed and going around robbing people,
  2. have time to smoke and so become less of a drain on the health service - eventually,
  3. need to live in deprived areas and having offspring turn into feral beasts - through boredom and nothing else better to do.

Yes, it's mainly those who are poor, whom the political chatterers and right of Stalin editors seem to have it in for.  If you're rich and wealthy then you can ensure your offspring are suitably taken care of by the chauffeur and bodyguards, even if they would rather be rogering the missus.

It's could, perhaps, be also true that there are shirkers out there who find the problem of moving to pick up a remote control, to much effort.  But the vast majority do want to work. Meaningful work.  Work, that at the end of the day makes them feel like they have made a difference. Work that is more than the means to a basic existence. 

Unlike, investment bankers, whose idea of making a difference is knowing they've pushed a few million more people further into poverty or destroyed the meager savings of another bunch of pensioners.  For this group, the government should barrel down with increased legislation.  Raise taxes so many of them actually pay proper taxes.  But will they? No. As the government is in fear they will up sticks and leave for easier climes.  Not realising that in reality, easier climes could only be had at the beach house.

A spineless government that believes this group will simply up sticks and leave, creating chaos and plunging the country into ruin. Perhaps.  but with the bloodsuckers gone, ramping up inflation (especially housing), then the vast majority will be able to manage on the average meager wage, and anyhow they will have to learn how to, once China and India truly begin their inexorable climb to burgeoning middle-class hood and their respective Bourses surpass the london stock exchange.  Then the redistribution of traders will begin as the lse fades into the distant horizon, overtaken by the far east and a new european financial exchange, the last dreams of empire finally fading into the mists.

Been at work is bad for your health, especially in this day age; unless you work for google or apple and perhaps - at a push - ibm. 

In london on any working day just - if you can bear it - travel on london underground and look at your fellow travellers.  Rarely will you see anyone smiling or laughing. If they are, it's a firm bet they are tourists, or passing through, or have only lived in the capital for 6 months and not yet had the happiness and love for life beaten out of them.  But just look at the people going to work. It's a chore, the majority don't enjoy it, but they keep doing it.  For they know if they don't, that they could be that grubby beggar pestering everyone for 10 pence or is it now £50, to help buy a cup of tea.  Heaven forbid they end up like that, so away they beaver and work. 

To be fair there are people who have lived in the capital for 10 or more years and are still happy. But then they have homes overseas, holiday 20 times a year, worked hard and don't have to endure more than they need to.

But for those stuck within the boundaries of the M25 and its lofty green fields, the constant grind has the subtleness of your own personal pneumatic drill.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Changing planets

With the ever increasing noise about climate change and how it will affect the planet and all the species it contains, perhaps now is the correct time to think about what comes after. 

Imagine all that captured carbon solidified and compressed into a small space then been carted over to mars.   With the leaps and advances made in the arena of ameliorating the worst effects our own climate folly could embue upon us, the flip side could be the knowledge to change another worlds atmosphere to one of our own suiting.  Yes that wonderful science fiction staple that is known as terraforming.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Security vetoes blood soaked hands?

Amazed at the shocks revereberating around the "developed" world that two permanent members of the security council vetoed the implementation of sanctions against Zimbabwe...

Let's see now?

Russia! Oh yes, a poster child for democracy. Not poisioning ex-spies it disagrees with, nor grabbing assets that under a different premier would have been sold off for cheap trinkets - like a tantrum child. Nor showing how manly and muscular it can be by posing with upper torso exposed whilst fishing. With a tenuous, almost Mugabgiesque view of what democracy should be, that's permanent member security veto number 1.

Then there's China, sigh. Ivory back on the market, promoting quiet diploamcy whilst buying up the "developing" - as if the entire world is not in a continual state of developemnt - world's resources, but unlike the Mugabe regimie more likely to imprision for decades as opposed to have the army or ex-army go around and kill them. Duff them up a bit yes. Kill them? No! Well, if you don't take into account Tibet, or the Tiananmen Square massacres (nearly 20 years ago - strange that it still feels like yesterday), or the Falun Gong 'sect', or "AIDS activists have been followed by police and beggars rounded up." And there we have permanent member security veto number 2.

So with all that and China soon to be in bed with Russia over oil & gas, supply and demand, then it should come as no surprise at all ,that things went the way they did in the UN security vote.

And there's obvioulsy going to be no surprise when the 1920's recession clips our chirpy wings, bringing us down from the heady clouds of the never-never we (oh so seemingly briefly) inhabited, to the scrabbling scorched earth of the never-never again.

IndyMac Bank, with perhaps Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae going the same way and destroying 50% of the US mortgage backed guarantees, the green back is looking, as each day passes, more the sick puppy that will soon be on its back in the advanced stages of rigor mortis; with everyone saying 'how did it happen?'

Well those who wouldn't be giving thanks that the great satan has been laid low.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Living on £1.64 a day

Can you live on £1.64 a day in one of the worlds greatest capitals, and remain fit, healthy, in charge of all your faculties, and still have change left over for an end of the month slap up meal?

Yes? Then write in and let us all into your little secret.


Living on £1,640 per day?

Then write in and let us all in your secret.