Just about to start typing a blog and mention that I have just purchased a new laptop after a chatbot recommendation and Pink Floyds – Welcome To The Machine, starts playing on my Spotify music account on my computer while playing on random (when it comes to a computer though there is nothing random in what it does!
I decided to buy my new laptop after asking Microsoft’s chatbot for advice on where to buy one from and which to buy. It recommended the site laptops direct and I finally after a couple of years of trying to choose bought one which arrives tomorrow. It’s got a 17” screen and can play the latest games that I play so that is pretty much all I need really for using a laptop away from home. What has been putting me off though is the expense of buying a laptop with what is called a dedicated graphics card so that I can play computer games on it and also the worry that I have yet another old laptop that I have stopped using in my home that I don’t know how to get rid of.
My new Medion laptop photo above
I have been online today on the interweb though to see how to get rid of the 4 old knackered laptops I have here and how best to get rid of them safely and responsibly. There is a recycling centre in England that will recycle their parts and it will also donate profits made to charities so that all sounds good to me. Though I need to put them in box and post them to them, I must have laptops here going back 20 years or so. I also have a desktop PC for when I am at home but I don’t presently have a laptop that I can take with me when I go to stay with family and more importantly now to my mum now that she lives back in Devon.
So I will be working at home tomorrow and having it delivered to my home address, I just hope I am not on the work phone when it arrives. It’s being delivered by DPS who are normally good so I am hoping that they give me time to get to the door and get the exciting parcel of electrical wizardry off them.
It was a bank holiday today in the UK and so had a nice day off with, the taxi driver was taking about the sunshine and how nice it is that it is when I got in the taxi from the train station and I join in my best blighty British polite voice saying, yes isn’t the weather lovely, whereas on the inside what I am thinking is oh holly crap were all goner burn as this planet is continuing to get hotter and hotter.
On a more positive note though I found these little gems of thought provoking images.
Difficult to know how to express myself at present, our local government employer has recently had a new chief executive appointed to run the organisation and one of their first actions was to inform staff that they are not allowed to divulge information or talk about elements of their work that they know about to the press or media including social media outlets that the organisation wishes to remain confidential. So therefore I am not even sure if I am allowed to say the last sentence that I have just written without getting into trouble with my employer and it’s bugging me.
It’s not like I work for the secret service and am disclosing where the local spies live and what they are up to or that I work for the ministry of defence and am announcing what weapons are being shipped out to the Ukraine and when they are arriving and where. No what I really do is work for a district council which yes is controlled by a political party and therefore I guess the sheer act of commenting on how it is run or where it is not in my view not running well is political!
One of the managers in my organisation who is an honourable and hard working employee joked in my work this week to me saying there is a quote he read in a book concerning ‘if you know who the person is in your organisation that knows everything then sack them immediately!.’ I think it was funny when he said it, rather than how I am able to type it.
Last Friday I went to a small and perfectly formed gathering of people to send off my former manager on her way and wish her best of luck for her future. She is a wonderful human being and for personal and professional reasons resigned. I was nervous in that I was not sure if I ever would see her again when she first left as she left work, very suddenly and only announced that she was not coming back a month after she had gone. I am nervous about what the future holds for myself my team and how managers will manage the situation concerning what work we can do, what needs to be done or what they consider no longer able to be done. It’s all still very much in the air with no decisions or plans being in the open or agreed upon, so speculation about what they can, will or should do is also futile due to the ‘though shall not disclose information clause at the top of this blog!
Though don’t get me wrong I really do enjoy working for my employee and it is far more enjoyable than being sick, jobless or working for an organisation where I do too much or even not enough, the work life balance is good and I work hard and feel I make a contribution to the organisation, I am mentally and possibly even physically healthier for having this job and for better or worse can’t presently see myself working anywhere else in Exeter at this moment in time. I do believe it is possible to be both constructive and critical about something both at the same time.
Well I hope I have been able to express myself whilst also not over divulging. Sometimes when I am not sure what to write on my blog, it’s because I know exactly what is bugging me but not sure how to express it in a way that is clear, allowed and appropriate.
So like a good little composting green machine I gather the fresh leaves and grass cuttings of my thoughts press them down, to where the previously gathered ideas have been left to mulch over in time and then see what comes out the other side in my writings. I then lay freshly made compost of ideas and see what new seeds of thought can grow from those that I have broken down.
Just voted again for the green party this week and so pleased to see how well they are doing in Exeter and across the UK as a whole. In Exeter with 6 councillors they now are the second largest party on the council behind labour who have a large majority.
The Green party did win overall control of its first council in the UK in Mid Suffolk District Council, which is a huge achievement. I would love for them one day to be running my local district council. They also doubled the amount of councillors they had that were up for election in England with an increase of 241 councillors with 481 in total elected on the day.
To have some sort of chance of surviving the current and future climate crisis we need forward thinking green politicians in power that focus on long term growth of the environment and not growth of the pound in peoples pocket.
UK ELKECTION RESULTS KEY PLAYERS MAY 4th 2023
Labour elected 2,674 councillors 536 councillors gained
Conservative elected 2,299 councillors with 1,061 councillors lost
LLIBERAL DEMOCRATE PARTY
Liberal Democrat elected 1,626 councillors 405 councillors gained
Independents elected 874 councillors 80 councillors lost
Green elected 481 councillors 241 councillors gained
The economic model of growth for growths sake for an economy is a busted flush on a world with finite resources and will only lead to long term environmental damage and therefore a new way of managing and caring for the environment and the people that live within it is desperately needed to enhance our chance of survival, rather than simply pandering to money markets and capital.
Social justice and the birth of the labour movement were very much needed at the beginning of the last century and it feels like and I hope that now is the time for ecological and environmental justice in political parties and progressive people and protestors alike.
Though as with all political movements, views, perspectives and opinions we might not agree on all things concerning what is broken and what needs fixing and how to go about fixing it but at least by thinking, voting and expressing and enacting ecological and environmental views and voting in those that aspire to solve and tackle these very real issues there is a great chance of survival for people and planet and surly that can only be a good thing.
Hate seems to be a real driver in politics and life today along with fear too. The thing is though I genuinely struggle to hate although I do experience fear. I tend to fear those that hate the most in any political sphere or even life in general.
Home secretary Suella Braverman said those coming to Britain in small boats had “heightened levels of criminality” – including drug dealing and prostitution – but failed to provide any evidence for the claim. If this is not incitement to generate fear, cause anger which will lead to hate and suffering then I don’t know what is.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick also went on to say that small boat arrivals were “essentially asylum shoppers”, as the Illegal Migration Bill cleared the Commons despite a tough time from Tory MPs concerned by the plan to detain and deport Channel migrants.
Its times like these when the UK is reminded that we have a right wing government in power. I fear for the politics of hate I also feel sorry for those that are hated and demonised; no good can come from this level of manipulation of a situation in order to score political points.
The conservative can continue to peddle lies and propagate damaging legislation into laws because they have a majority in our house of commons and they have they have that majority by wiping up hate for those that would challenge them.
I also saw the above photo doing the rounds on a hipster cool anti government page on Facebook in the UK about the state of American politics and their only crimes are probably that people have been taught to hate them. You might not agree with their views or how they conduct their politics or business but that does in no way make them criminals.
Peel below the surface of people that peddle this kind of disinformation and your in for one hell of a lot of conspiracy theories that just amount to zero fact and plenty of incitement to generate fear, cause anger which will lead to hate and suffering.
Was not sure whether to have dancing to the jail house rock as a song here today or something completely different!
Today was the 175th Grand National horse race at Aintree, I know I am old because I still enjoy and support the running of this horse race. One horse sadly died during the race and 118 people were arrested who attempted to stop the race from going ahead. I did not enjoy the actual race this year as I was quite fearful of the risk to jockeys, horses, protestors and police had a protestor tried to take matters into their own hands and run on the course in an attempt to stop it during the running of the race. This would have been a sad and sickly sight with potential fatalities’ that would make news all around the world all for the wrong reason.
These protestors have decided they are hell bent now and at future race meetings aiming to stop this event by breaking in to the event on mass and trying to chain themselves to race course jumps fences in order to prevent the event from going ahead. We live in a democracy where we can without harm to ourselves or others say and do what we like. But we should not and cannot aim to inflict or forcefully implement our views onto others.
If the law makers that we vote in decided that something is wrong, immoral or cruel and we need to stop doing it, then the legal process to stop doing the said event or activity is there and would result in something that the people as a majority do not want to happen to stop. But in no democracy should the will of a few be forced onto the many. To my mind when you say people no longer have a freedom of choice your moving swiftly into the realms of a form of fascism and totalitarianism, where you are not free to think or do things for yourself because someone else is telling you how to think and what to do and I am very strongly opposed to that kind of control, without dam good reason.
There are reasons that I can think of where people’s rights to do something should be restricted and the majority of the population did agree in this country with that restriction and that time was with gun control legislation. It is one of the greatest successes in legislation in the UK to my mind because of how many lives have potentially been saved.
But there are things that I still think we have a choice to do such as eat a beef burger or watch a horse race. Some people are passionate about the idea that I have no right to eat certain animal and fish based foods and I am also no longer able to watch horses racing at Aintree. If a utopian view of veganism was adopted overnight I would dread to see what a vegan Britain would look like and also how the vegan police would enforce and prosecute those that broke the new vegan based societal rules.
Also if animals in the countryside were no longer being farmed for their meat does this mean that there would no longer be profit or a point in looking after any domesticated animals in the countryside. What would be the point of keeping an unmilked cow or an unprofitable pig. The domesticated animal market would be dead overnight if a vegan utopia was adopted. Would we also be arresting and jailing those that continue to trying to eat meat or race horses over fences.
Well we could reintroduce rewilding which I am a huge believer in and I worked for a charity called Moor Trees as a Trustee for a number of years that works towards the rewilding of Dartmoor to a woodland and more natural environment, this is a wonderful concept and one which for many areas of the world I fully support. But a wild environment is no utopia in itself, its wild, no vets and pretty bleak and brutal at times. The natural environment is a wonder awe-inspiring place but there is no such thing as a clean death in nature or a wonderful life in the wild.
A wild environment is not some giant entertainment centre for a vegan to play and populate the planet from. Its wild, brutal and potential deadly environment to live, survive and thrive within. The domestication of plant and animal life has happened over thousands of years for very good reason. Because a wild natural environment is a brutal and repressive place to live it’s no Disney movie or fantasy play ground and often this is ignored or overlooked by vegan society advocates. You have more chance of being a happy, safe and sheltered vegan by being plugged into a computer and playing on your favourite games than you do by being at one with a completely wild environment.
Trying to find a solution to a problem is sometimes like trying to find the needle in a haystack and when you find a solution to the problem it might sting a little bit at first as a result of trying to get to the point!
My boss resigned last week after over 1 year of being in the job and after 1 month of being on sick leave for a variety of reasons. She simply lost the will to work at the council anymore and her understanding and interpretation of the situation meant she had valid reasons to seek out pastures new and ensure she could do something else that would enable her to heal and not continue to be unwell.
The senior management are already circling what is left of my team asking questions such as what should we do differently? Who should we hire next? Who do we need to hire? What problems are we going to get? What solutions can be found and finally what can they afford to do to solve the problems?
One of the crazy things is the team that we work for and causes me and my colleagues the most problems is one in which generates an income stream on its own through collecting of fees and processing payments, the problem is that there are not enough staff to process these payments efficiently, accurately and in a timely manner and at times such as school holidays and bank holidays like Easter then the staff want to book time off to recover, recuperate and enjoy themselves with their families leads to there being even less staff around to process those applications and take the payments. A member of that team also handed in there notice to leave today too and that will make things worse for me and my team as well as the team she is leaving.
So with all this going on and me thinking I am doing ok and ready for bed I go to bed feeling wide awake and write a to do list for myself for work and then start writing this blog post because I still cannot sleep.
I am the most long serving member of my team and have worked for two managers who have no left and 5 further members of staff since I started working there in July 2020, considering our team only has about 3 to 4 people in it at any one time that is quite a high staff turnover.
With the potential changes coming into force I am not sure yet if they will get a new manager for the team and the senior management team might just decide to split what is left of the team and allocate us to different areas to act directly as support staff to other manages rather than a central team of support staff. It could work well but if they are doing it as a money saving exercise rather than a problem solving one then their thought process will be flawed. So I have jotted down my ideas for a restructure on an email to myself for work and will forward them to a senior manager to look at in the morning.
I hope this post has managed to exorcise a few of my present demons so that I can try and get back to sleep now. Luckily I did not have access to the temptation of cigarettes or anything else to smoke tonight nor have I tried to do such things for what must be nearly some 15 years now, alas those where the days long time passed now!
He deserves to be condemned and convicted by his own words, action and deeds. Though the writing is not on the wall for Trump concerning the first 34 felony counts towards him all relating to hush money payments to three individuals and I am concerned about the over complication of this first case and whether that could lead to Trump being let off the hook.
The clip below is a quick brief look at what fascism looks, sounds and acts like in the USA today.
He still thinks he won the last presidential election he desperately tried to steal. I don’t understand the type of rightwing prejudicial Christianity that seems to ebb and flow from in the US then forgives Donald Trump for all his sins and misdemeanours and felonies and yet condemns others not deemed godly enough to be saved under there scorning hate for none fellow believers. It’s one thing to vote Republican and believe that your views on politics respect and reflect the views of Christ, it’s another even great sin to then think that by voting for someone like Trump is in some way a morally righteous and Christian thing to do.
The man does not understand or express any forms of truth and justice, in the traditional American way although you might often see that many are mistaken for thinking he often thinks that does this.
The world looks on while the USA is split between those that do believe in Trump and those that can not.
A form of patriot game and political positioning that sadly still has quite some way yet to play out. If the story of Trump were a chess game, I’d say Trump still has plenty of pieces left on the board and there is simply no way yet to see how this game will play out or who will lose or how and at what cost too.
The headline is not intended to offend but to thought provoke and it was rattling around in my head when I woke up this morning because of a dream I had! I was also watching Question time on the BBC last night which is a political debating show prior to going to sleep. They had the usual selection of politicians and a representative from the right wing press but on the panel there was also the chief executive of Oxfam. Oxfam is a global community of people who believe in a kinder, and radically better world, where everyone has the power to thrive not just survive. We believe we can overcome poverty by fighting the injustices and inequalities that fuel it. There was also a priest/vicar from Bristol who spoke a lot of sense in the clip below.
It is heart warming to know that there are organisations and people out there that do such good works for lives on earth. The people in the audience of the Question Time show also consistently argued for a better environment, fairer immigration system and also had local needs such as an aspiration for more affordable housing for the young. These simple political desires of a better global environment, fairer immigration system and aspirations to have somewhere to call ones home are very much the present aspirations of the majority of British people that I know and I would even argue reflect the majority view of the UK at the moment.
But you would not think that when listening to Government Conservative Politicians and spokesmen from media outlets such as the Spectator or Daily Telegraph in the UK that seem to try to argue and peddle the idea that every decision being made in government is good and in the interest of people of Britain and their doing their best for the environment, immigrants and life as a whole. The things that keep on going wrong for them and getting worse do so because the challenges are complicated and difficult not because there solutions are flawed and doomed to failure, the audience did not buy those answers and that narrative for one minute which was heart warming to see on the News Night show last night.
At first this sounds like this is a really good news story for humanity. To finally have an opportunity to be born into a body that could live forever. Where science faction meets science fiction and the old enemy death is finally slain. But on a planet where when it comes to fairness, loyalty, equality and treating people with respect and dignity as a species it seems we still don’t know are ass from our elbow, a rude phrase meaning to be stupid and unable to understand very simple things.
I do often wonder why people are not kind, why people do not care and why people act selfishly and meanly. To me it seems counter intuitive and you can lose more by being hostile that you can gain from being respectful and caring. I feel somewhat naive in having this view as I don’t really have that much so don’t have much to lose, for example I don’t have a partner, a child or things or people that I have created myself to protect or invest in and therefore perhaps have this kind or be good to others as it’s the right thing to do attitude still inside me.
So why am I taking about kindness and benevolence when it comes to science faction or science fiction. Well because it matters. Actions have consequences a benevolent immortal is going to be a hell of a lot more supportive to humanity than a self interested and self serving one. If only the wealthy can live forever it could cause division and strife with those that cannot live forever a new class system based on how old you are allowed to be.
I always hoped and feared that such a breakthrough could be made within my lifetime and feared what it would mean for humanity and what it could mean for me. I quite like the idea of dieing of old age one day and joining my relatives and reviewing my life and seeing how well or bad i did and beign at peace. But the idea of what I might miss out if I don’t stay around is also an interesting and desirable concept to live longer than what we perceive to be a natural life span.
Ray Kurzweil who has made the predication about immortality also predicts that AI will become exceptionally intelligent within the same time frame as us developing immortality. Again will an intelligent AI seek to enhance humanity or deceive it, or seek to deceive some whilst assisting and rewarding others?
Could a power struggle like none seen before result in the wiping out of life on earth just at a time when immortality is possible for humanity. Well I guess no matter how dark the potential of negativity to occur or might be considered, you always have to hope for a higher plan and path for life on earth. Existence just as we are born into this world from a single fertilised egg or seed strives to be alive and grown and develop and evolve.
A once small acorn will one day under the right circumstances grow into a mighty oak. So in many ways we must aspire and hope, nurture and aim to grow humanity through into a direction and under circumstances that can enable the growth and development of us into our greatest potential just as the acorn grows into a mighty oak of sorts. A plan of a spiritual or god like venture where being given an opportunity to be birthed into the spiritual plain can then transcend into the physical one. A weird and deep thought going on here, what I am trying to say in a clumsy way is that I believe in life after death and the existence of spirit prior to during and after life and death. This spirit or omnipotent God has the desire, will and ability to do great good and though bad things happen and evil is manifest in this world does not mean that evil will triumph and that bad things will be our ultimate outcome on this plain of existence.
But again all metaphysics put aside for now if a soul can live forever is the soul then trapped in this plain of existence or is it freed and empowered on this plain of existence?
I don’t really have a top worrying headline to read on the news this week there are many. The first headline that sticks out to me is one about the DUP or Democratic Unionist Party have decided to yet again reject a deal on Brexit for Northern Ireland, this means that for a further unspecified time there will be no local elected representatives of democracy sitting in power in Northern Ireland and instead leaving major decisions on how to run things within Northern Ireland to British Civil Servants and the British Government.
The politics of Northern Ireland are complex and not easy to resolve but by refusing to take part in the decision making process being the decision that they choose to make is not really one that benefits the people of Northern Ireland and does not ensure there is political accountability in the long term.
I really am a strong believer in political representation, you vote, others vote, those elected then collectively come to a decision on how best to run your council, parliament, country and though at times I might not like what a local council or national government does at least I and others have collectively been involved in the decision making process that resulted in the decisions that then effect me and others taking place.
I even possibly somewhat naively like to think, that sometimes the more insane and off the wall decisions that an opposition party make against my own views and opinions means that there are more chance for those decisions being rejected, ridiculed and voted against in the long run. One such decision that is looking like a slow car crash of a political decision at present is the Illegal Immigration Bill which plans to make those that arrive in the UK via irregular routes ie via a small boat across the channel from France or in the back of a lorry will if caught be detained for 28 days and then deported.
In 2022, 45,755 men, women and children crossed the Channel in small boats to reach the UK, most of whom then claimed asylum. Nearly 3,000 people have already made the crossing this year, with official estimates expecting more than 80,000 this year.
In 2022, a total of 20,446 people were detained at some point. Official statistics show that 47% were detained for seven days or less. The current detention capacity in the UK is about 2,286, according to estimates by the Refugee Council, so detaining everyone crossing in a small boat for 28 days would require extra capacity.
It would also be very expensive – it costs about £120 to detain someone for one day so detaining 65,000 people for 28 days would cost £219m a year, and that’s before the additional costs of building more detention centres.
The UK Conservative government when it comes to delivering a policy or service or implementing government decisions is very much the McDonalds of the political world, it provides cheap and somewhat inedible and unhealthy solutions to serious and as yet undigested problems.
The arrogance of wealth and inequality that exists when it comes to global poverty and even local poverty is astounding. People with money often say they must keep all of their wealth and the feckless and poor don’t deserve any of their money or that there is never enough money to solve the problems of the poor. Though I agree that politics is the art of what its possible in a world of finite resource. This does not mean that in an attempt to solve a problem you in fact take a decision and create a solution that will then only make the problem worse.
Global poverty and inequality is a huge problem. Often exacerbated by trade barriers, forcing poor countries to not be able to trade with wealthy countries on an equal footing. In many ways people are designed to fail and live within poverty depending upon which country they live within and how much money their parents have when they are born and which country they are born into.
People fleeing global poverty, war and climate collapse and starvation will only continue over this century and a UK government MacDonald’s Big Mac bite sized government policies, will in no way satisfy the apatite of the global community or be a serious solution to serious political problems facing the world. Yes we must do what we can with the limited resources we have. But be under no illusion about just how much we must be prepared to do and if the system that we lives in sustains both poverty and climate damage then just tinkering around at the edges is not a valid solution to these global problems. I fear that if things get worse which they could and are likely to do the western northern hemisphere is more likely to try and fail to shut the door to the worlds problems while those very same problems persist in battering down that very same door.
I don’t think and write about these things because I am a pessimist I think and write about these things because they are real issues, affecting our times and people across the globe in the past, present and future. Though some in power might not wish to worry about such problems or see solutions, I am happy to continue to try to speak truth to power and continue to vote for those that I hope and believe can be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.
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