Category Archives: Social Policy
you have to be at your strongest when you’re feeling your weakest
staring into nothingness
A few days ago I decided to stop following the news. It isn’t so much the hard news of current events which I find distressing and depressing, it’s the rather one-sided and left-liberal commentary, opinions, and spin that goes along with the news. I can form my own opinions concerning the facts and truths, I do not need to be told what to think.
The unvarnished news is bad enough; the economy has tanked, the coronavirus is still making people ill, routine heath care and dentistry has ceased for the duration, there is no formal education for most, people are rioting in the streets, restrictions on personal freedoms continue, and nobody can go anywhere. If I did take a train to somewhere there’s little to do when I get there, and certainly nowhere to eat or stay overnight.
This COVID-19 lockdown has cost unimaginable billions. It’s obvious that it’s going to take decades to pay off all the money the UK government has borrowed to support this country during the current medical crisis ~ some say as long as it took to repay all the borrowing that resulted from WWII. That took decades, in fact about a half a century. That means Great Britain is entering a new era of austerity. Most in this country are going to be financially much worth off for the foreseeable future.
Add to that the disgraceful riots and violence that has infected our town and cities, and you can see that this country has become a distressing, depressing, and unsafe place to live. The lawlessness is particularly distressing for the average ‘person in the street’ ~ there is a feeling that nobody and nothing is safe.
Perhaps it is time that the 1715 Riot Act, repealed in 1967, was brought back into English Law. Although, the Death Penalty for being part of a tumultuous, riotous assembly of 12 persons or more is a little harsh for this day and age. And transportation is out of the question, you don’t have to be a criminal to go to Australia any more.
Selfishly, the thing that is distressing and depressing me the most is that I first got sick just about 3 months ago, and I’m still suffering. Weariness, lassitude, lack of energy, shortness of breath, coughing, and confusion to name but a few symptoms. I’ll get over it and get better sometime ~ I hope it’s sooner rather than later.
doom, gloom, death, and depression
when you’re not at work weekends are seven days long
Today, as the whole pointless lockdown begins to be eased, the British economy is in a worse state than it was during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Officially there are 2,100,000 unemployed in Britain today, but that is an utter fiction. There are also more than 11 million people being paid by the government’s furlough scheme, a half a million teachers who aren’t working but are on full pay, and another 5 million civil servants who weren’t working all during lockdown but were still on full pay. So, 18,600,000 workers weren’t working here, and lots of them still aren’t working.
Add to that 5 million self-employed who couldn’t and probably still can’t work but are not included in the official unemployment figures, and another couple of million people supposedly ‘working from home’, and there are perhaps 25 million people not working for a living here in the UK. That’s out of a total possible workforce of about 35 million.
Trust me on this, most people ‘working from home’ mostly don’t do any actual work. When things start to get back to normal I predict that many who are ‘working from home’ today will be staying at home because they have no job to go back to.
The British economy has tanked, and government spending has skyrocketed ~ a perfect storm for economic disaster. The US economy is in an equally parlous state, and all the lawlessness, rioting, looting, arson….. will merely serve to make matters worse.
As an indicator, vehicle production here has fallen by 99.7%. Only 197 cars rolled out of the factories here in May, and even when production begins again there will be many lay-offs, redundancies, and people taking early retirement. Rolls Royce, the prestige car maker expects to cut 3,000 jobs. Rolls Royce the aero engine manufacturer expects to cut 9,000 jobs, and the Gods only know how many airline staff will not have a job in the foreseeable future.
We need to get the global economy going again. Anyone with any sense of history, honour, or business ethics will not include China in their future business plans. The ex-head of MI6, (the agency James Bond worked for), says that COVID-19 is a man-made virus and that it may have been purposefully released by China. Made in China, is off my shopping list forevermore.
We each of us know what we can do to get the global economy kick-started, time we got off our backsides and made a difference.
Some say that it’s right to protest. And that violence is a necessary weapon in the war against racism. All I know is that the protesters may never work again either, looting and burning down places of employment is economic suicide.
To protest at being out of work the men of Jarrow peacefully walked the 300 miles to London in the cold October of 1936
for many, the greatest fear is abandonment
I am pretty certain that over the past couple of months there have been more people living mostly at home, alone and isolated, than ever before. All of the reasons for people being abandoned at home and alone are related to the COVID-19 virus. At best they could be working from home, and / or suffering lockdown, quarantine, self isolation. Many will have lost their jobs, or in the UK have been furloughed, or been unable to work at their business because of the lockdown. There may be more tragic reasons such as a severe illness or death.
Whatever the reason, being at home alone and isolated from physical social contact, is bad. It will make people very sick; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. People suffering solitary confinement, (and effectively having to be at home alone is solitary confinement), become depressed and distressed. They will suffer insomnia, either be unable to eat or eat far too much, they may drink too much, use drugs too much, and feel so exhausted they can’t or don’t want to do anything. People in that state stop looking after themselves, don’t wash, shower, shave, clean their teeth, or get properly dressed ~ maybe they wear the same dirty stuff day after day. They may have thoughts of hurting themselves or others, they might go out and kill someone, loot stores, set fire to cars…..
Being at home alone and isolated touches the greatest fear most people have ~ that of abandonment. It’s a deep childhood fear, an abandoned child will quickly and certainly die, and our innermost psyche remembers that visceral fear.
There are some solutions, but none of them are easy, particularly for someone who has already suffered serious physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual decline.
What we need to do is;
- Go outside. And I don’t give a flying fuck what the rules and guidelines and official advice says, we all need to get outside into the fresh air and natural daylight.
- Get some exercise. And I don’t care how bad you feel. You’ve got to walk, do yoga, find an exercise routine on YouTube…. but do something to get your muscles and blood moving.
- Have strict routine. Get up at the same reasonable time every fucking day, get clean and dressed, have breakfast, do something positive or your job maybe, have lunch at the same fucking time every day, do something positive then prepare dinner. Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Eat healthily, don’t drink, smoke, or indulge your other nasty habits too much. Take good nutritional supplements. Especially vitamins B, C and D, along with iron, magnesium, zinc, and a good fish oil.
- Stay away from depressing news, and keep well away from social media. Instead reach out to your family and friends. Telephone, Skype, email, chat, write a fucking blog….. But don’t be alone, even if you can’t be together.
Some say that lockdown and social distancing are there to keep us safe. And that they can start living again when all these restrictions are lifted. All I know is that life is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, make the most of it.
refuse to be a prisoner
we live in strange and disturbing times
These days, crime is endemic, and getting worse every damn day. Sadly we are not allowed to shoot people here,
Years and years ago, when I was a boy, Health and Safety was never on anyone’s mind. But then, in the recent living memory of most English people were the horrors of WWII, and we had the ongoing privations of post-war austerity. So, things like the paleo diet, or obesity, or walking 10,000 steps a day would have seemed like something from a weird Druidic cult. As a growing boy my main concern was getting enough to eat.
As for security; doors were only locked at night, we didn’t chain up our bicycles, and banks were for rich people. The thought that someone would install a CCTV camera would seem like something from George Orwell’s 1984, (which I was reading at grammar school).
And yet, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Today I will buy a CCTV system to monitor my apartment, especially my front door. I have a good reason or three.
Yesterday I had a rather unfortunate incident involving a drugged-up piece of shit banging on my door. Of course I was stupid enough to open the damn door. From there things went downhill, up to the point of my calling the police. It seems that the young male concerned is well known to the local police, although he is not a convicted criminal. The senior police officer made it clear that it was better that I hadn’t hit the disgusting drugged-up piece of shit.
I have to concur. This isn’t Texas, or Arizona, or New Mexico where blasting holes in the guy would have been the thing to do. Here in England we have very few rights when it comes to defending ourselves and our homes.
Hence the new CCTV cameras, which will be installed as soon as I can get them delivered.
We live in strange and disturbing times.
this is not the world I expected to live in
now is the long dark midnight of your soul’s despair
and after lockdown
it was so quiet in the ruins
walking through this old town
the dogs bark but no children play
every child is kept safely locked away
no bright shining voices to be heard today
and the freedom to walk
has been taken away
the English do not like being told what to do
The ‘National Lockdown’ already seems to be falling apart here in England, as I strongly suspected it would.
As it’s a reasonably nice day here I took myself out for a long stroll, (which is kind of not allowed). For a Saturday morning; there were an average number of cars on the road, people were strolling in groups of 3 or more, and there were passengers on the buses. Of the three supermarkets I passed, there was only a small queue outside one of them. This is not what lockdown is supposed to look like. We are all supposed to be isolated in our own home, or standing in line for an hour or so just to shop for ‘essential items’.
Of course it does not help that Mr Plod the Policeman has been seen behaving in his usual crass, overly officious manner when it comes to telling people they can’t sit on the beach, or let their children play in their own front yard, or do solitary yoga in the park. I think the killer when it comes to police stupidity was when some senior police officers said they would be checking shopping carts to ensure that people were only buying ‘essential items’. FFS! The police have no authority to enforce a lockdown. But people in uniform like telling the public what to do.
Neither does it help when government officials and ministers are seen to be utterly ignoring their own rules. Nor when the BBC is pumping out a continuous stream of propaganda about staying at home, keeping safe, and protecting the NHS.
It seems that few English people believe this mendacious coronavirus crap any more.
I should be there, and not here
if there were still airlines flying
we may ask you to wait outside the store
This morning I decided to break the coronavirus lockdown, and take a stroll via the post office and one of the local supermarkets.
The post office wasn’t much of a problem, but the supermarket was another matter. The queue outside the store, of people waiting to get in, stretched 450 yards around the parking lot. I know it was 450 yards because there were helpful markings painted six feet apart on the tarmac, (blacktop).
Conveniently for my sense of rightness it took me exactly 45 minutes to get into the store. You know what, if I didn’t really, really need some fresh fruit and vegetables I would have just given up and gone home. But, it’s also Easter Weekend so all the stores are closed tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, so if I didn’t get some fresh food today I’d be eating out of cans all over the holiday.
Inside the store was empty, so WTF was making everyone stand in line outside all about? I’m beginning to think that the government, health officials, doctors, police, and big business are making life as difficult as possible for the ordinary man and woman in the street ~ just to prove that they can.
One can’t even go to the pub to complain and drown one’s sorrows, because all the pubs and bars are shut.
Cynicism is beginning in me.
I have a new plan;
let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future
one day I will see sights like this again
It’s not the cough that kills you ~ it just feels like it might.
I still have the cough / difficulty breathing , the headache, and the temperature / sweating, but I am so much better than I was a few days ago. At the beginning of the week I only wanted to be asleep, and my sleep patterns were very disrupted. It isn’t normal to be awake all night, then sleeping most of the day in front of the TV instead. I had no appetite, forgot to take my cold medication and vitamin pills, and could only drink Lucozade, (an energy drink for the sick), mixed 50-50 with water.
Until yesterday the idea of showering, shaving, washing my hair was just an impossibility.
But yesterday I got myself clean, cooked a hot meal, (tomato soup out of a can), and even ate most of it. This morning I made coffee, and made some plans for today.
I don’t think I’ve left the garret since I got sick, which I think was on my birthday, March 23rd, so today I’m going out, as far as the store…..
Recovering from this virus needs to be the same as when I was recovering from pneumonia, pleurisy, and the 5 broken ribs that went along with that.;
- Take it easy
- Get plenty of rest and sleep
- Do something to exercise my mind
- Have a little exercise and get some fresh air
- Eat properly, drink plenty of fluids, take my vitamins
The number of fatalities here in England is still going up, and our Prime Minister is in hospital with COVID-19. It looks as though the current lockdown in England is going to continue for a while yet, maybe to the end of April. So, I have plenty of time to recover properly before I’m tempted to do very much, or go anywhere.
Take it easy everyone, take care, don’t worry, try to be happy.
stay in touch with family and friends
a thing which is hoped for but is illusory and impossible to achieve
Tesla Model S ~ from £81,200.00
Whenever the political establishment gets involved in anything to do with transport they fuck it up in a big way. The latest monumental fuck-up by the British Government is to propose to ban sales of all new diesel, petrol, and hybrid cars from 2035. This is in an attempt to meet a carbon-neutral target, which in itself is pointless as it’s designed to tackle the non-existent problem of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, (man-made global warming).
You heard right, in the UK from 2035 you will only be able to buy a plug-in electric car. This is going to be the most monumental disaster to hit Great Britain since WWII.
There are 32.5 million cars on the road in Britain today, of which less than 40,000 all electric cars were sold in 2019. Leaving aside the myriad of other problems to do with electric vehicles and consider instead the issue of charging these damn white elephants.
Currently there are only 15,500 public charging points for electric cars in the UK. Assuming that lots of people will want to charge their electric car when they are at work, shopping, and doing what we are wont to call living a normal life, then maybe another 20 or 25 million charging points will be needed. These charging points are damn expensive, to install one means digging up the road, laying cables, and connecting to the local electricity network. If this is to work at all it means the next 15 years will see British roads dug up like never before ~ how much carbon will all those diesel trucks, backhoes, road rollers, compressors et al produce? How much disruption is there going to be? We don’t have enough of all that stuff anyway.
It’s actually much, much worse than that. Everyone gets home at night, and the first thing they do is plug their electric car into their home charging point, and the local electrical grid collapses because it’s not designed or built to take that kind of load on top of everything else. So we fix that at vast expense and more digging up of roads.
That just pushes the problem up the chain until it hits the National Grid, which will collapse because it’s not designed or built to take that huge additional load. So we fix that. And every power station in the country trips out, and there is no electricity at all, across all of the UK.
To fix that we would have to build another 20 gigawatts of generating capacity, and that’s doubling the amount of all the electricity generated in the UK, and it will have to be instantly available electricity, which rules out wind and solar power. It will have to be 20 gigawatts of nuclear and fossil fuel power. It’s back to coal and oil again.
Some say this is our last chance to save the planet. And we should all be green, clean, and carbon neutral. All I know is that the sky isn’t falling.
there is no viable substitute for coal
mental health has nothing to do with being gay
If anyone in Western Europe or North America has a problem with homosexuality then it most likely comes down to their own fears and prejudices. The plain fact is that in most civilised societies homosexuality is now a perfectly acceptable practice, as is lesbianism, bisexuality, or being transsexual. Some draw the line at men being very camp and wearing makeup, but that’s more a question of taste rather than being bigoted against gay men. But there are some places where it would be very risky to be openly gay.
In the 50s and 60s the life of a gay man was a secret, in fact homosexuality was illegal in England until 1967 ~ you could go to prison for being actively gay. The situation was much more complicated in the USA with sodomy being illegal throughout the USA until 1962. After that various states became more liberal at various times up until 2006 when Missouri repealed it’s. law against homosexual conduct. Virginia had laws against lewd and lascivious cohabitation until 2013.
But, if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual there are still whole swathes of the world where to openly show it will get you thrown into jail for a long time; Saudi Arabia, Russia, most of Africa…..
The plain fact is that if you’re not straight keep it strictly in private unless you positively KNOW that where you are fully accepts homosexuality and all the other LGBT / LGBTIQA practices ~ and even then you’re sometimes going to come across the occasional bigot who just likes gay bashing.
Personally, I fully accept homosexuality and bisexuality, but I would prefer that gay men didn’t kiss while I was around. That doesn’t mean I’d say anything to them, but I’d probably get up and leave wherever I was. Most straight men, myself included, are more accepting and understanding of lesbianism, but that’s because we tend to bracket it with soft porn. Reprehensible I know, but most men are hard-wired a certain way, and there’s not much anyone is going to do about that for the rest of this century.
The plain fact is, in civilised societies homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality, are mostly acceptable ~ just don’t frighten the horses.
I’m not gay, I’m mentally ill ~ and that carries an even greater negative stigma than homosexuality.