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Green Man

(or Jesus in a tree) depending on your spiritual persuasion.

eye tree2

On a side note (and to remind myself there is still quite a lot of work to do personally on the love and peace front) here is today’s beef.

DRIVERS: Part of your skillset when you passed your test involved making your vehicle go backwards.  Yes, that manoeuvre known as reversing.  Do not set off on your journey determined that all your motion must be of the forward variety.  Do not make me travel backwards all the time, so you don’t have to.  And the next person to point with a finger to indicate their zero intention of utilising the reverse gear in their vehicle is going to meet my full wrath.

You know who you are.  If you can’t reverse – walk.  Or be like my mother who can reverse any car you like, with bells on, and doesn’t mind the odd bit of collateral bollard damage along the way.

Idiot Osborne

That’s it, I’ve really had enough. The blog is constantly having to express its frustration about the coalition government because if it didn’t I would run the risk of spontaneously combusting into a fireball that would hurtle into orbit. The draft primary curriculum, which I haven’t even mentioned (yet), exercises me, the high-handed attitudes infuriate me, the sticking of the fingers in the ears in an I can’t hear you gesture frustrates me. The no Plan B drives me up the frickin wall. How much longer are we going to put up with this shower of ego-driven, small-state ideologues? What do you have to do to get rid of these incompetents? Where’s the annual performance review – one every 5 years at an election – seriously???

It’s the Mansion House speech that’s pushed me over the edge. Yesterday’s announcement of cheap credit to banks to lend to business and households has caused bank shares to jump with joy today, but, mark my words, it will be shortlived. I’ll tell you why too. It’s because just as the banks were too anxious about the economic climate to lend the billions they have already been given under quantitative easing (to lend to small businesses – ringing any bells?), so small businesses and households will be too uncertain of the future to borrow from the banks, start spending, and stimulate the growth the Chancellor is probably praying for. It’s not going to happen George. It’s not going to happen because all we’ve heard for 2 years from this government is what a terrible financial position we as a country, and as individuals are in. It’s been drummed into ‘us’ on a daily basis, more-or-less. We’ve lived beyond our means, now get with the austerity programme. It’s what you need and, actually, it’s what you deserve. That’s been the harsh ideological message from Osborne and his chumocracy, a message that gets us to shut up and take the medicine of cuts, cuts and more cuts. The medicine may be disgusting but it’s what you need…

And now he’s shot himself, and us, and the UK economy in the foot. We’ve been brainwashed. When I say, we and us, I mean the squeezed middle; the middle-earners who now simply can’t afford or are too fearful to spend, the same squeezed middle that drive 70% of the economy. That’s right people, the pathway out of this mess lies in our ability, potential or willingness to spend. But we can’t can we? We can’t think of spending more, because we don’t have more to spend. Inflation and the increase in VAT and petrol duty (and the knock-on costs on food) have seen to that. And that’s where the plan (not B) but A with panic buttons attached is going to fall down. The way things are right here, right now, and never mind the Eurozone, we aren’t going to spend more, so business can’t expand – even with billions to borrow – because the market for their products has shrunk.

Well done George et al, well done. You’ve not just shrunk the state, you’ve shrunk the pounds in my purse and the whole of the UK economy. That’s what you’ve done – you bloody idiot.

What George should have said yesterday:

# Reduce tax on fuel
# Cut VAT
# I’ll get my coat

A civilised society?

There’s a lot of emotive talk on the radio at the moment as we criticise our own response to taking care of the needs of the elderly and disabled in our society. It’s probably on the telly too, but I haven’t watched that much this week.

I caught the end of a discussion on the Today programme earlier wherein AA Gill, he who we are pre-disposed to hate on account of his meanness to our favourite Clare Balding, bemoaned the fact that we just don’t seem to understand that most old people are very nice and interesting people.

Is it just me or is this just a nonsense? Some people are ok, most are ok. Some are not. Age has nothing to do with it. What we are actually dealing with is not an outbreak of disgust for elderly or disabled people, we are dealing with the consequences of a capitalist society. Old people don’t just ship up, all infirm and demanding. They come through the ranks of families. And they are, presumably, for the most part loved by their families.

The problem, as I see it, is that families no longer have the capacity to look after their own elders because most families have their noses to the grindstone trying to make ends meet. After all aren’t two incomes needed to run the most basic of consumerist households. What are you going to do when your parent becomes ill? Give up your job to be a full-time carer? What if you live miles away – what then? Don’t worry though, in steps the capitalist society offering care homes for you. These are businesses you know, not just philanthropic concerns. Old people, the disabled, people requiring residential care have their existences reduced to a business proposition. But as we live our lives that way, why are we complaining?

Well we complain because it is clearly wrong. But it is the end product of a society that only has value for people’s money and not people themselves. We seem unable to accommodate people once their economic usefulness is at an end. It is not as that ridiculous AA Gill wailed that we have somehow gone off our grandparents or parents as they age. It is just that we have trapped ourselves in an ultimate hiding to nothing, distracted by many worthless baubles along the way.