Sunday thoughts on the coming of Spring
I took this photo in Sandwell Valley last March. It was still winter, but it was sunny. The weather was good for a while and then the rains came… That’s the members only golf course. So much now is ‘members only’ in a country that panders to the rich and chastises the poor, just for being poor.
This week, those companies that are parasites on our public services, tendering to build and run hospitals, prisons, empty our dustbins, run leisure centres, provide ‘mental’ health services, IT services and provide the armed services with everything from weapons to meals have been doing rather well. Their share prices go up as the traders dealing for the pension funds hope to make a quick profit and boost their already obscene bonuses. The government meanwhile wants more of the same, more privatisation and more pension money to pump into it. It was this culture of privatisation that puts targets above patient care, that led to the scandal at Stafford hospital. Have they learnt anything? No; they go blindly on with the same political dogma, using the failure to close down essential services at Stafford.
Here’s a new idea… Local authorities provide social housing, why can’t they provide social jobs. Temporary jobs with training, for unemployed people. They could work in parks and nature reserves. They could work on street cleaning and car parking. You don’t need a degree in rocket science for those jobs. Councils could train people to be administrators, electricians, plumbers and other trades and professions. Then they could go out into the local private sector and get a job. The private sector bosses keep moaning that there isn’t enough skilled people.
Have you ever wondered why students always have to go away to university? Why can’t they save money and go to their local university. They always say they go to the best university for their course, but that isn’t always the case. Often they want to go to a ‘good’ university, it’s pure snobbery.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised the government’s plan for more welfare reform. It seems the campaign against the so called ‘bedroom tax’ is hotting up too. If there are protests against the reform it will be silly riots on the streets again. The problem is greed and so why make life difficult for everyone? Why not just make life more difficult just for the greedy? Blockade airports, spray paint luxury cars or boycott certain well known establishments. I had better not give people too many ideas!
They say doctors are dedicated to helping the sick. That judges and lawyers are dedicated to justice. That public servants are dedicated to serving the public. If all these servants of the people who earned over £100,000 a year too a 5% pay cut for a year, that would be enough austerity. There would be no need to cut welfare. Would they take a pay cut? Well no, because they’re greedy; pure and simple.
It seems it’s not only welfare rights that’s under attack, but civil rights too. We can look forward to secret courts and we could even see Britain withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. They have already messed with elections. How long before we have no elections, no rights, no freedom and no dignity. We are moving backwards to the dark days that fostered hate and saw two world wars. We know the Tories love a good war, but we were hoping the Liberal Democrats would be the voice of sanity amid the fascist rabble rousing.
The one thing you can rely on in Britain is the weather. Just as we thought things couldn’t get any worse, we have snow again!
The BBC has a feature about dictators home towns with the home towns of Stalin and Hitler under the spotlight. I wonder if they will do Cameron’s Chipping Norton at some time in the future? There are a few dodgy characters living there.
Part of the story in Casualty last night was about a homeless single mother who was encouraged to keep her baby by the nurse. The girl wanted to give the baby up for adoption, but was told all the baby needed was ‘love’. She won’t need a nice place to live, food, nice clothes and a Iphone when she’s a teenager then? It seems teenagers are being encouraged by the media, including the internet to have more children. That is a problem the government could be tackling, in a sensitive and sensible way.
Local authority jobs have to be advertised all over the European Union. Where I live the town hall is a mile away, but we are now governed from a posh Civic centre, 12 miles down the motorway. When we were governed by local politicians meeting in the local town hall, jobs were advertised in the town newspaper and went to local people. People travel miles to jobs now. If we encourage people to travel less, we wouldn’t need investment in rail and roads or new runways on airports. That investment could go into housing and job creation. Nurses from Sandwell work in Wolverhampton and nurses from Wolverhampton work in Sandwell; it bloody mad…
The trains are crowded, the roads are gridlocked, the motorways are so crowded they are driving on the hard shoulder. We import gas and oil and add daily to global warming and climate change. It’s bloody mad…
We have public schoolboys running the country, time the grown ups stood up and took over… What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box.