Thursday, 15 December 2016

Dysfunction and Brexit!

BLOG 5 15/12/2016

Many presume- those of political orientation, if they don’t like one side the other must be right or correct! Another example of binary thinking!

Criticism of one faction will designate you as being a member of the other. This binary process of right to left, then left to right, is and has been an expensive unproductive process. That is for most -other than for the political party favoured at the time, and their friends!

As each side has become entrenched, it appears, at this time, each has become more extreme. I have often visualised this as two people looking through a drain pipe! One looks up and believes they should have it all and the other looks down! At present “the worker party” who cares for all the down-trodden and blames the greedy business people points in clear direction to more and more strikes!

The other, more a Right faction of the Tories nostalgically looks back to the ‘greatness’ of Britain. It appears expediency is the name of the game. With a long line of the ruling class they have little need to question anything, their track record being to divide and rule. If others are at each other’s throats- they have little challenge to their own lofty position.

Sadly neither group serves the Country. I am not alone in being somewhere in the middle. Aware and unbiased most people recognise it is necessary to have business and commerce to make the Country thrive. They also see a caring society which keeps poverty at arms-length is good for the people and good for a civilised country. (I like to think so?)

We are blindly approaching a commitment to Brexit, although its significance has not been realised. It is probably the most important “decision” if we can call it that, to have faced the country since our commitment to WW2.

The present Right wing faction of the Tories is reactionary. These people believe in ruling Britain, their treatment of the Scottish Government illustrates this attitude. These are the same people who have created mayhem and bloodshed throughout the world! Look at the Partition of India- the bloodshed, look at Israel, apartheid and continued friction/wars in the Middle East.

Look at the Labour party, or part of it. We have extremes within both Parties calling the shots -not representative groups. They are so extreme they are counter-productive for the Country? One wants strikes (or more money for workers -at whatever cost) and has embedded itself within the Public Sector to promote itself : it is unclear what the Right intend as they are less than candid in longer term view.

But it is clear that the Country is dysfunctional. Although the Government may assess what is a problem and what needs to be done- they appear totally unable to implement. This is, I believe due to Mr Brown embedding the Labour Party within the Public Sector when they spent tax payers money on reassessing job descriptions within that sector: it meant placing themselves in there too! Some, I believe are afraid of that Party and afraid of losing their jobs and afraid perhaps of the unions.

It has been expedient for the Labour party to prove just how uncaring the Tories are! Whatever cuts there are, by creating the greatest disruption, and inconvenience to the Public, they can then blame the Tories.

These are merely some differences creating dysfunction. We face the dogma of the Paper Article 50 being signed in March and no one knows or quite frankly seems to care (no one in the prospective parties). The Government wishes to appear decisive- whatever the cost to the rest of us, and the Labour (both factions within, find it expedient for their Party) to go along with it!

Is the significance of the occasion somewhat being slighted? There are so many different points of view in our Country: this may be seen as a threat by some of the Right. After Brexit we may be obliged for the economy to develop much closer ties with America. There is already talk of a trade deal, Is America better for us that Europe? America is preparing for war in Asia by the already installed military bases around China. Continual War and production of armaments economically favours a few and requires greater amounts in spending on “security” at the cost of Freedom and free speech. The NSA has full access to our emails if not everything else. Why it requires storing everything from all of us means perhaps anyone not agreeing with their system can be singled out – potentially?

The track record for British firms in the US is unfavourable, with endless expensive legal battles, which usually always conclude with them winning and large pay-outs from our side. BP is an example, Halliburton built the base of the rig in the Gulf, many of the individual claims made against BP were proven bogus but were still sustained? Standards of food and quality of life are something many British aspire to on the Continent: whereas American standards differ.

Sympathy with having a large bomb to give this Country standing have already been expressed. Is this really what people want? Sadly significant issues are rarely aired publicly.

Repetition of news not put in context distorts the picture. Experimentation in Canada by a Scottish doctor, using tapes and repetition, experimented with this idea: it apparently works, if people are told something enough times, they start believing it! The Oscar Awards and the BBC seem to have embraced the idea with gusto!

It is not clear when that paper is signed in March: what will happen. It appears clear the cost of everything will go up. It is likely some of those who voted for Brexit will change their minds. Whether it is possible to renegade on that agreement is unclear. It is more than likely people will want a General Election. This probably will be too late. It will delay and be indecisive for business and all Markets and make a Brexit even more damaging.

I believe smaller Parties voicing different opinion with close ties to their constituents and a form of proportional representation would serve the country better. Where MP’s vote according their consciences and constituents, rather than what their polarized party wants: would help this Country move forward.

Parties working together with common interest rather than polarising each other with continued jousting/quibbling/shouting/pointing in the Commons most people, I think- are extremely tired of.
A General Election before Article 50 would help to unify by giving voice and re-instate democracy: expressing a new awareness within the country and help all to move forward. Common interest requires nurturing rather than division.

My view is whether for or against “Brexit” this is secondary and a distraction- the issue is – is the implementation of a Brexit worse than staying in Europe and negotiating with our neighbours? We now live in a more Global world which is an opportunity?

Monday, 12 December 2016

Film, 'The Coming War...', Pilger, and more....

BLOG 4                                                     (07/12/2016-12/12/2016)

 Coverage of the dire situation in the Yemen has been limited. When mentioned, we see as always; it is the unprotected, women children invalids who are destined to suffer most. The unprotected sadly are the payers. Britain although aware of the destruction of hospitals/ schools-all the rest has implied this will be investigated, however apparently continues the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia.

It is difficult to see that the arms are to do with Defence and especially in regard to Iran? Looking at the picture of the destruction of the Yemen, how this can be termed defence? Yemen is yet another country being devastated by the supply of armaments by the West. Resorting to a ma- Yemen lies to the south of Saudi Arabia not between it and Iran. Ports on the Arabian Sea between the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf may be of interest?

The idea as, I suspected is yet to bring another country, in the longer term: Iran to its knees. Israel voiced this some time ago. We will be told and have been: Iran is a danger to us, as Iraq was.

I look back nostalgically now to the Cold War. There was a balance between the amount of destruction the Soviets and the American could inflict. That was possibly one of the reasons we did not have total destruction. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989 and the disintegration which followed of the Soviet Union, there has been no balance. The American/West became the over-riding power. Since the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the world has been so horrified about the idea of more nuclear horror this had become anathema.

After the Soviet Union’s fall the World has become much more dangerous. There has been no other Country keeping Washington in check. A Cold War peace was achieved through fear: fear of the bomb, the fear of total destruction. Leaders apparently display an awe and respect publicly of a Nation whose strength is to unleash poison- perhaps to the destruction of all life as we are able to see it today.

Previous civilisations have usually excelled in developing learning, language, industry, art- only plunderers like the Huns went in for death and destruction, and offered no replacement.The film last night on ITV by John Pilger “The Coming War on China” confirmed Washington is expanding its nuclear arsenal. It excels in making arms, which it depends on for its economy. There is a necessity, as it views it - to try the latest out. This formula has worked in the past so they have little reason to think outside the formula and think of other creations for the betterment of human kind, only to destroy it, or more exactly everyone other than themselves- or maybe those of use.

Bikini Atoll is part of the Marshall Islands where nuclear testing starting in the 50’s has continued - poisoned it and, its inhabitants (who had to leave) and continues to terrify them by testing missiles sent from California at a regular intervals. This is all part of a plan said to be named 'Full Spectrum Dominance'.

The islands were taken over in 1946 as a Trust with the welfare of islanders guaranteed. The 23 islands are now the most radioactively contaminated on Earth. Every day for 12 years a Hiroshima equivalent bomb has been dropped.

Initially inhabitants imbibed or were injected with radioactive substances. They have been monitored and assessed by US scientists over this time. “Guinea Pigs” is the term given, and how the Islanders who are left view themselves and their dead family members. Some were treated to see the sights in the US and assessment of radioactivity was made, the sufferer having to sit in a metal box. Early on the Marshall Island inhabitants were termed “Savages”.

The Marshall Islands with their fish, and fruit could have been termed a paradise prior to the US and their scientists. These islands had sustained themselves for thousands of years. But strategically placed between US and the East Asia they were of interest, to be used as a pivot to Asia: and far enough away not to contaminate other land masses where there could be potential for complaint.

Numerous US air bases and missile sites now encircle China and many war ships patrol the waters. The film explains Vision 2020; the number it is intended to happen. A bit like 11th September which was the date the Generals in Chile launched their attack on the civilian population. This was deemed the first war against people who could not protect themselves. It is interesting the one in NY on the same date decades later, was the trigger for the war on people who could not protect themselves in the ME.

Returning to the horrendous continued suffering by inhabitants of the Marshall Islands the big hydrogen bomb Bravo, and the massive fall out inspired 'the Bikini'. The Bikini was named as a celebration and there were live comments about creating explosions around the females wearing them when it was first introduced!  Bikini Atoll, the island is no longer habitable.

China’s economy could take over number one position in the World. The Generals and men in the Pentagon perceive this as a threat. Recently I have observed men, or some- are linked into a binary system. It is them or someone else. It cannot be both.

I believe this is to do with the propagation of their DNA. For some reason also when they win they take all and they like to see the loser has nothing  - and suffer! This is especially apparent in the White male and those prone to schadenfreude.

As unruly children squabble without the ability to share and treat others with the same respect it is so with particular nations. The advancement of technology especially nuclear with the potential of destruction of all life: together, with this continued mode of thought does not bode well for the future of life, as we know it on this Planet.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Labour, Labour, Labour....

BLOG 3 23/09/2016

Today the Labour Party continues to haggle and argue about rules, processes and their Party, their Party. Apparently oblivious to what appears an almost rudderless country without a generally known vision. Months have gone by, absorbed they are Labour, Labour, Labour indicating to many people the importance of the Party is all important and the Country, if  mentioned- a mere backdrop.
After their Party, as has been mentioned the next priority is the Tory Party. The evil, selfish, hated Tories. Over the last few weeks the actual mention of Tory has gained new emphasis, a new accent almost expletive.
When I was becoming a little aware of Politics in the 60’s and 70’s it became apparent much more energy was dissipated by the Country stepping horizontally from Left to Right and back again. Changes sometimes in boundaries, education, names of offices, different priorities- and apart from effort, and work of the change: there was the cost. If advantageous it would be worthwhile.
My observation tells me and I have seen this at local level: that when you have only two Parties their contacts, the machinery of function remain in place. It appears to me we have had the effect of an Animal Farm but as a dichotomy.
When Mr Blair ran the Labour Party it felt to me that perhaps you did not need a Party with a powerful leader? If the followers re-iterate the same, vote the same and all the rest: what is the point?
Recently one wonders if Mr Cameron erred about having a Referendum purely to appease the problems within his own Party? At local level time and time again I saw policies manoeuvred for the benefit of their own. Casting a shadow too on the opposing group appeared a worthwhile endeavour.
The Labour Party appears more concerned with electability than having any Plan. The more it argues within itself the more destructive it is being perceived.
For an outsider, it is impossible to see how anti-nuclear/socialist can be reconciled with New Labour who tells us they moved on with Tony Blair and many of which have middle-class incomes and do very well.
It seems perhaps they would do better accepting this and splitting: voting together on the issues they agree with, but accepting their differences? Generally smaller Parties could be a possible way forward where MP’s would need to be more in tune with constituency feeling and needs, and vote accordingly also with conscience, rather than what the Party tells them?
I am unable to grasp why the Labour Party cannot see their main potential threat is the Right which is UKIP. It is they in the Referendum who took a swathe of Northern England, which were Labour heartlands?  The vision and the emotion UKIP are displaying are further Right than any Conservative government?
This is merely my opinion.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Grammar, Comprehensive,Grammar?

Blog 2                                                                                        11/09/2016

There is no doubt brighter children can be thwarted in their aspirations by disruptive behaviour in class. All very well the maxim “education for everyone”! With the higher school roll of the Comprehensives they were to give specialist equipment to six forms and more choice at that level. Pupils were given a feeling of ‘belonging’ by divisions into Houses ‘smaller groups’. Choosing subjects and streaming at an early stage became (some people believe) as divisive as the 11+ had been. Both systems because of rigidity were unlikely to cater for the student who developed later and required a new direction.
 If we refer back to a previous system -that of Grammar; the philosophy behind it needs to be recalled: that being, the more practical pupil would be catered for in a Secondary Modern to where he/she could develop their skills.
Governments change and where there is polarized difference sympathy for a particular ‘system’ by one of them could not be looked upon favourably by the other. It probably is a natural inclination when things generally are not going too well for the rest of the country to focus on ‘education’. After all the feeling could be ‘let us get it right next time. Next time would be well after that particular government ‘left office’!
It must be agreed children require stability within the processes of their schooling. My inclination also is they need some form of sanctity- protection from the outside world- whilst they are developing. Publishing results, focus by media; although some cope well, I believe it must stress many more. Add this to promotion of self-image on social media, especially  before the ‘self’ has been developed my inclination is to believe these are factors in the rise of suicide and depression amongst our young.
Grammar schools were always respected as being successful. It was in the context that there was accommodation for the practical rather than the academic. Academic learning has little significance to many especially when younger. Some require to investigate a need for certain knowledge and a reason for it prior to any wish to learn. Sadly: regarding Grammar School they were well funded whereas the Secondary’s weren’t. This was one reason the latter school became very much a second class option.
This is a great sadness; apart from the lack of fluidity to move later (after 11+) between the two systems – it is/was a philosophy which could have been successful. There still is the tendency to rate ‘the academic’ above the ‘practical’. It is done in every walk of life. It is presumed a person with a whole lot of letters behind their name is in possession of superior knowledge. Empirical knowledge again and again is dismissed.
This continued emphasis in education has created too many failures, too many drop outs, too many semi-literates, too many frustrated lost lives. One hopes the situation is better than it was fifty years ago.
People have potentially more to contribute if they continue their learning and inquiry throughout life. Those who purely learn for position and sit back often keep their knowledge in a time bubble, unrelated to the present have a limited contribution to the whole.
In a world of uncertainty not catering for the practical, not making education enjoyment pleasure and achievement is a curtailment of tomorrows for many. People make systems successful or not and amendment can be successful. Blame on systems usually amounts to failure within ‘ourselves’ at all levels.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Blog 1

Blog 1

Blog appeared on the horizon today and had been suggested by those in positions perhaps you would raise a little above the sky line. The kernels rushed in early this morning, the major escaped and many busily followed. For poetry I merely explore one at a time, although others introduce themselves, they potentially are set elsewhere for other poems. Blog is so vast.
The glee apparent on Michael Crick’s face does not escape me. I would not term him a schadenfreude sort, I’m not, but there is infection in the air. Even the Conservatives are hopeful in broadening their appeal and taking the ground – all ground – with a comment it is theirs anyway. It was suggested perhaps they were taking advantage of the void on the opposite side which still ardently debates in various camps.
Some women within the traditional opposition have been having a difficult time allegedly suffering from hate and castigation. I would say join the other club! I have suffered much of these most of my life from both Parties.
The reasons for mine could be- for playing Devil’s Advocate however admirable in good intent: in practise manifests itself in unpopularity. Men comfortable in their beliefs do not necessarily tolerate being challenged by a small women. The small woman may be in search of truth for all the right reasons but not having tried to explain the reasons for her contradictions prior to the challenge: this does not feature as his neck turns red and blood begins to boil!
A single women too is tended to be viewed as a loose cannon not having a close male for others to appeal too if the cannon gets too loose! One who is reasonably able can also be perceived as threatening. Ostensibly too apparently comparatively to be perceived as having done quite well materially – is too viewed with derision (in my experience and location).
My sex also has been a problem. The ability to work physically hard with stamina and my tenacity have led in previous abode to be called lad or Mr on the phone and for receipts and bills and sometimes to my face.
The reasons for my own difficulties may not be the same as the Labour women but I believe the manifestation of hatred and the effects are similar.
If you believe no entity is exclusive, whether it is Parties, Religions or it leaves an area of potential common land on which to build, perhaps you may have a sympathetic ear.
Women generally are not part of top tables of decision making.  This to my mind is the reason for the debacle we are now placed within. My idea would be for the formation of a new Party: suggested name WAMA (Woman’s and Man’s Alliance) to further common sense and common good.
H. Bolton

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Waverley Blows-

Flying the Scotsman up the Waverley line poem about its opening last year.

Waverley Blows

Bright windows lit my early life when Auntie took me on the train.
Faded pictures in compartments promised exotic places –
I had never been. Aunt dressed in tweeds clad laced-up shoes
and smelt “Lily of the Valley”!

Engine puffed and heaved up Whitrope- our quest to see Tattoo.
Meanwhile: stirring up his brew, and preparing further up the line
to close the level crossing gates and lock by lever
which he clutched in hand, another yet to change the points.

For Billy Macleod the signal man did it almost every day.
People used to say he had a home from home!
His signal box had carpet strips and family lived close by.

When not at his small cottage he tended Lavatera, Lavender
Pansies and Chrysanths in borders at the station – such a fine display!
“Oh what a pretty station,” passengers passing - could not help but say!

When Billy was not at work his mind was never far away.
 If out with his two children often he would murmur
 “It’s the ten past four, as Barking Bill the engine rounded corner
 up the hill with roar and children jumping up and down
 sang loudly in top voice “There she blows, Billy - there she blows!”

In Edinburgh Aunt was disappointed with tickets she was sold.
So far away our draughty turret: the drummers and the pipers
appeared as tartan dots: but not marred by disappointment
she took me later to a shop to choose a Scottish tartan to have a kilt made up!
Bright window needed on my childhood mind made possible
only from Carlisle by the Waverley Line!

Made shut we know in 69 but Billy tended station borders-
though no train ever passed. His demise was in 1982.
Four generations in his wake and still some living close at hand.

Right now we know soon Macleods will be singing
and loudly on 6th September 2015 - when line re-opens
with a new beginning – as they chant and with singing –
 “There she blows, Billy, there she blows!”

H. Bolton

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Keith of the Lone Snowflake or Making the Difference

24/04/2016 inspired by a rant- Keith
Keith of the Lone Snowflake or Making the Difference!

Transformed and sent beyond the plane
where planes before could never go
as Keith twirled fast
into  space multiplying
hurling beyond the planets!

Back-packing back
expletives soared
back to the world
hair, body-
they were gone
he now knew
he was Anon.

Cold yet different
he became a flake
which could not be the same –
as any other
and dancing in a different way
to any other flake
quick steps, fox trots
waltzing like non other
name a dancing flake?

A different game
non are the same
playing  in  a void
loving all
and dark black
greyness -  static

The loneliness
appeared to him
like freedom
well beyond
his vision imagination
he did not worry
he did not care
he had no angst
he had no anger
he would return to land
not bothered where he landed
all would be aware of the perfection
or non at all
he himself
a form of the perfection
the perfection of all
of where-when-how
past – present- and the future
at the same time
Always different……
And the perfection
in the difference!