Don’t pre-judge my prejudices.

Yes we all have them, prejudices. Racism is probably the most naturally occurring prejudices of all. We are all born into tribes, and belong intrinsically to that tribal group. We are brought up to respect our own as a primary behavioural response. We are in nature defensive to people from other tribes.

The more different the tribe the more defensive we become. The marks of difference are many and various, including but not exclusively, relative wealth, language, education, colour, religion, physique and many others.

Tribes have been fighting and murdering each other since time immemorial, as they do today in the Middle East, on the Chinese India border, and in the ghettoes of our huge cities.

There are ideological prejudices between democrat and totalitarian, between socialist and republican, and between rulers and the ruled, the exploited and the exploiters.

We all would do well to categorise our prejudices, to look inward and see ourselves as we really are. A collection of prejudices, not many of which paint us in a favourable light. If we take any one and encapsulate that in one anti-prejudicial catch all: Change!

We will improve ourselves, our tribe and our world.

All lives matter, History matters, our future matters.

Kneeling on the neck, “Shit, who cares! I’m a police man and I can do what the fuck I like. Specially to black folks!”

That’s what woke up the world. Imagining the beginning of man’s inhumanity to man. Another expression of superiority of race, one man over another.

The world as we know it was built on a series of wondrous adventures and artistic achievements, from the glories of the Benin kingdoms, through the Aztecs, the glories of India, the wonders of Aboriginal civilisations. Then through Greek and Roman philosophies and systems of governments through to the adventurous Victorians of England and their European competitors. Not to mention the contribution of modern America.

I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list of civilisations, excluding as it does the mighty and inventive civilisations of China and Japan and other Far Eastern cultures.

The issue today is, not how we got here, but how do we go forward? Yes we need to be aware how nasty we have been to each other, from the horrors of the Holocaust, to the ghastliness of Srebrenica, and to the capture and sales of 4 million Africans in to slavery. Slavery was and is not the exclusive sin of the Europeans. For everyone has espoused the practice from China to South America from Ancient Greece to the teachings of the prophet Muhammed. It continues today in West Africa, the USA, Europe and UK.. In brothels, nail bars and car washes, in the services of ships and bars, in the forests and mines of Africa, and many palaces throughout the world.

All these examples of man’s inhumanity to man are wrong, unjust, unspeakably evil. The world abounds with murderous states like Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Iran, who both routinely execute their citizens often for the most frivolous and capricious reasons.

It is clear then that man has consistently treated his fellows with contempt and unkindness. The question that faces all of us is how we treat the future and how we manage our histories.

Not all our civilisations are similar. I assume, for example, that the Saudis think that chopping criminals’ heads off in public is OK! Most civilisations think killing human beings is wrong. This is here and now.

Workers (usually low caste Indians) in the gulf states work in appalling conditions, many die struggling in impossibly hot temperatures. There are thousand upon thousands of women trapped in slavery round the world. This is here and now.

There are millions of Muslim Uighur and Kazakhs Chinese locked in ‘Correction camps in northern China’. This is here and now.

So while the action of thousands rightly support “The Black Lives matter” demonstrations, they must recognise that they have not the monopoly on righteousness. There are so many evil drivers in our world, some born long ago, many still thriving today.

I agree there is no excuse for evil deeds past or present, and I support wholeheartedly the will to change existing racism. Especially in the United States of America the leader of the modern world. I am far from sure that tearing down statues of men and women wrongly seen as heroes in their time, is doing anything other than hiding the past.

Whist the Vicar’s wife thought it Ok to hold shares in a sugar plantation, she was ignorant rather than evil, because she knew not what she did. Ignorance and fear led mankind into all sorts of cruelty, conflict, and inhuman murderous acts. We know these acts today as wrong. Even when the Church supported many inquisitions, the barbarous cruelty of some was swept under the carpet.

There is little doubt that the white races have treated the black races as inferior. This is an untenable lie. Yet this belief is commonly held by white men and women. The recent and persistent police murders of black citizens, has at last raised the common consciousness of the veil of racism. We can only hope that the veil will stay raised and real change will come about.

Remember, The evil that men do, lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.

Trump – a sacrilegious idiot.

Donald Trump having cleared the way through peaceful protesters with tear gas and truncheon wielding goons, has the nerve to pose in front of a Church holding a Christian Bible, and preaching hatred.

The guy is a massive buffoon, who has now really shown us that he respects no one. I am not a Christian, but I respect all religious beliefs that preach respect and love. That the POTUS could demean his role and behave in such scandalously self promoting peacock pose, is astonishing and the most disgusting gesture since the second world war.

I know that his posturing will appeal to some, but I do hope that most people see this goon for what he is. A self promoting half-witted idiot.

Please vote if you are an American, against TRUMP! Help save the world.

Violent protesters are voting for the status quo.

                                       We can see the USA turning the knife in its own gut.  The terrible and indefensible killing of George Floyd has let loose an understandable rage which itself has led to indefensible abuse from protesters and Police alike.

Firstly I have to admit that I think police brutality especially against Black Americans is common place and in all cases inexcusable. Whilst not all police in the USA are guilty of excessive violence, too many are.

Of course law enforcement is in the shadow of zero gun control, a fact that must make law enforcement at least most hazardous.  Nevertheless the culture of brutality that exists widely in the USA is an inescapable fact.  Not all policemen by any means are physically brutal or colour prejudiced, but many are.  This is self-evident.

I fear that the riotous behaviour of many of the protestors will influence the upcoming election in favour of the incumbent. (Hard to believe – I know.)  However history teaches us that non-violent protest swings opinion to the Democrats and vice versa. It is also a fact that violent protests, looting and destruction attract the most news worthy headlines.  Add these two things together and all Trump has to do is keep schstum, and the election will be his.

If America is to see positive change toward a less racist more harmonious society, it must embrace the idea of passive protest.  There is a need for leadership akin to Mahatma Ghandi and Luther King. Do I see such a leader or group of leaders emerging?  Sadly I do not.

So, the violent protesters and looters are allowing Trump to fiddle, while America continues to burn.

The Cummings and goings of Boris Johnson.

There was a time I was prepared to support Boris, yes, I knew he was a bit of a bounder, he lacked the command of detail but at least I thought he had a modicum of integrity.  Indeed I was encouraged when he seemed to take the brakes off austerity and pledge to support the newly converted labour supporters of the Northern ‘red wall’.

After a bumbling start we have been overwhelmed with the Corvid-19 virus and it has been obvious from the outset that the PM has no grasp of detail at all. He might have got away with that had he delegated to his Cabinet colleagues, (not all the sharpest tacks in the box), but no, Boris has become an introverted shambles who relies on a small coterie of advisers none of whom were elected.

One of the great lessons of leadership is you can make mistakes but you cannot forfeit trust.  Boris has scored a splendid hat-trick. He has mistrusted his technical (scientific advisors) he has not been decisive at all, he has bumbled and wasted time showing that he’s not so clever (one of his perceived electoral  advantages), and now he has allowed Cummings to break his own advice and thus forfeit the trust of the whole community.  He has proved to be one of the worst and inconsistent leaders of my lifetime.

It beggars belief that he has let slip the great good will with which he entered Downing Street.  Yes, of course, the pandemic is exceedingly difficult to manage, but nonetheless British democracy is based on an elected representative parliamentary democracy.  Boris has undermined this in very short order.

Why are these special advisers like Cummings allowed to dictate Government policy and then allowed to flout it?  I see no other reason than weak untrustworthy leadership. I do not like, one bit, the combination of Trump-like judgement and Xi like dictatorship in our British way of life.

Beyond the virus. Do we care?

What will it take to change our behaviour? This pandemic is merely a wake up call for our dying planet. Is this true and do we care?

Most measurements of our success are by the living standards of the economically rich. It is easy to see the chronic effects economically of the virus on trade, governance, health, labour, technology to name a few – and to consider where the balance of risk and opportunity may come out. It offers decision-makers a comprehensive picture of expected long-term changes, and inspiration to leverage the opportunities this crisis offers to improve the state of the world. Yet this pandemic is just one pestilence effecting our world at this time. About 150,000 people die in the world every day. By far the biggest killer is cardiovascular disease killing around 49,000 people each day. Corvid Virus so far has peaked at about 7,500 per day.

However the ice is melting, the fires are raging, the virus is screwing with the economy (oh we care!) but relatively speaking not killing as many people as Mr. Xi or Mr. Assad or the Taliban, or the many terrorists who cut throats, murder babies in their cots, or swindle the poor so that they die of thirst (4,300 per day), or for the want of a mosquito net. (e.g. 1,600 per day) Does anybody care?

Does anybody care that the lungs of the world are being cut down and burned with abandon each and every day in Borneo Brazil and Columbia and lots of other places too.. Does anybody care?

The planet is getting hotter, from Sydney to Sokato, from Carlisle to Columbia, floods, hurricanes, droughts and pestilence increase every year, Do we care?

One of the great reforms must be the growth and investment in IT and Platform enterprises. ” Platform Network effects are present when the value of a solution rises in proportion to the number of users that make use of that solution.  So, for example, a telephone is worthless if no one else uses them.  But additionally, the more users, the more people that can be contacted using a telephone, the more value that telephone has. In short, the value is not just in the machinery, it is in the network. They are in short ‘clean’ by nature.

The immense difference between non platform and platform enterprises is that for the most part it is heavily dependant on internet technology. The consequences are both wondrously beneficial but also radically different. One can see the simplest of massive change in retail and travel to name but a very small sample. Education must react to be up with these changes otherwise many will be swept away as the failed detritus of change. It is the platform enterprises that will offer the biggest employment opportunities in the future, of this we already have many examples in Silicon Valley.

As far as the planet is concerned we all are aware of the crisis that unfolds around us. Will we worry about restoring the status quo more than creating responsive change? Our race has a very poor track record, we have pillaged the planet, now we have been frightened by this contagion, but do we care enough to respond positively?

Sleep walking into the Chinese Juggernaut.

By and large I am not a conspiracist, and I was loath to accept, what I thought was a silly conspiracy theory, that China has set out to dominate the world. However, taking all the facts furnished by reputable liberal democratic sources, I am inclined to change my mind. The very act of changing one’s mind is in itself a difficult hurdle to jump, since we are all prejudiced by a range of dominant ideas that we carry around with us.

My dominant idea was (and largely remains) that Liberal Democracy will continue to flourish since this is patently to the overall benefit to mankind. I believe(d) that its intrinsic benefit to the human condition is self evident and will therefore always raise to the top of political choice.

Yet despite endless wars, and not least the collapse of the eastern wall, the proof was surely in the pudding. But look East now, China is dominating many parts of the developing world, China is driving technical capital i.e. Huwaie and 5G, as well as soft influence through soft loans to the new silk road and sea ways. China has spent over 3 trillion dollars to shackle so many emerging economies to long term unpayable debt.

China has without censure, imprisoned over a million Moslems in its gulag ‘correction’ camps. No word from the liberal democratic institutions like the UN. Xi has put himself in the impregnable position for life.

Many millions of Chinese work in slave labour conditions to make cheap products that dominate supply chains in the West. These can and are sometimes switched on and off according to Chinese whim.

China uses its commercial muscle to swot criticism from whatever source, you can see its response to the perfectly valid proposals of the Australian Government.

In a word, China is bullying the rest of the world. It is doing it because Xi sees himself as master of our world, economically and politically. He has no time for Liberal Democracy. He is walking over freedom in Hong Kong, has a domineering eye over Taiwan, is bossing Australia who have walked into his honey trap and is entirely dependent on China for a huge proportion of its export income for iron ore, coal, wine and agricultural supplies.

Liberal Democracy is hurt by the Corona Virus (make of that what you will) but it is being trampled over by Xi and his cronies aided by the lunatics Trump and Bolsonaro.

It was easy to sleep with my dominant idea, safe and sound. What now?

Caring for each other.

Around the world people are clapping to thank all those who are on the front line fighting Corvid-19. Many of us have been reminded how vulnerable our older folk are. This is just one of the multitude of problems, including everything from child care and school start-ups to complex supply chains to high street moratoria not to mention the knotty problem of the economic chaos that the pandemic has brought to us all.

The lock downs seem to come and go, with none of us sure if everyone or anyone has got it right.

As an oldy myself, I am not specially worried about dying from the virus, you have to die of something at my age, but the care community especially in the UK is in complete chaos and has been for the last half century. No political party wants to bite on the bullet of wrapping up social care with the National Health Service, the most sacred of all cows.

The reason for this shambles has been the changes that we’ve made in family life. Fifty years ago, I would have looked after my mum, not left it to someone else. Ninety years ago Grandma was put up by Mum and Dad in most households. Since the sixties times have changed, mobility has increased families are spread over vast distances. The fabric of the family has changed from when we used to visit Grandpa every Sunday, we now only see him perhaps four times a year.

The care word has transferred from family to State, the only snag being that the state has not responded other than pushing the care issue down the road to local government. Now Corvid-19 has exposed the UK’s hopelessly outmoded system, where underfunded local authorities are stretched to manage an ever growing burden of an aging population. You would have to be a donkey if you could not see the interdependency between the care of the elderly and the state of their health care. Yet, government after Government have kicked the can down the road.

So while we clap our good friends at the font line of care, let us not take our eye off the real issues which is the effective integration of the National Health Service and the National Care Service. If anything good comes from this Corvid-19 virus, may it be that we care for the whole of our nation with all our integrated resources of central government , not from cash strapped fragmented local authorities.

If any politician of any party drives a cross party commitment to such a long overdue reform, they should be heartily endorsed by us all.

Lock Down

Locked down, on my own, no one but me

No hello, no why? No, just not anything.

How I wish I were with someone, anyone, especially you

But I’m not, I’m locked down with me.

I’m locked down, what does this mean? Lock down.

A lonely prisoner locked down on my own

I don’t even like myself, at least not too much

I am afraid of myself if I let myself go and scream!

I wish I could be locked down with you

I don’t know who you are, but it’s you I want

I want to be free, to be with someone I know but don’t

So I can be surprised by our startling face ups.

If I was locked up with you, would you be nice to me?

Would you be nice enough, to be nice to.

Being in lock down on my own, is good, it’s cool

Because I know I am alone and free.

Boing in lockdown, I can pray, and write a poem

I can wish, to meet all my other me’s.

I can imagine, imagine this and that

And be in love, with whoever I may want to be.

What next? Planet or Profits.

As the world struggles with Corva-19 Virus economic worries are slowly but surely overtaking health concerns. This is a fundamental choice and the human race is in danger of making the wrong choice.

It is true that the Virus has rendered our financial capitalist model invalid, yet the world seems to know little other than to retrace its steps to a ruined habitat. Is there not another way?

The Chinese, many people’s villain of the piece, clearly do not think so, and are already belching out pollution, accelerating their manufacturing base to seek an economic advantage.

Listening to my favourite world leader, (I don’t think) you would believe that we must race to the bottom as fast as possible, ignoring climate change and planet melt down on the way.

The world is not short of lunatic leaders, and collectively China, USA, Brazil and India will lead us to a climate as well as a health Armageddon with the minimum of delay.

This heath message is a wake up call. Yes there are enormous questions to be answered, and many will be painful solutions for us all. Whilst it must be obvious to a donkey that fossil fuels are no longer viable economically and environmentally, it will take great courage to accelerate away from old ideas to new ones.

It is my fond hope that the voters in America will lead us toward a new beginning. We cannot afford to fail again.