Sunday, 25 October 2020

The New Civil Rights Movement


Above are some photographs from yesterday's Freedom march in London. It is estimated that over 100,000 of us attended. The atmosphere was wonderful despite repeated attempts by the Police to kettle us and break us up towards the end of the march. The Daily Mail lied that they had succeeded, but the truth was that the march had processed peacefully and successfully for nearly three hours before coming to a natural finish in Trafalgar Square where a wall of Police waited for no discernable reason.

An entire cross section of the British public had convened from all corners of the country including a group of about 30 twentysomethings in black jeans and red sweatshirts emblazoned with 'Don't Let Live Music Die', a cohort protesting against the death of the hospitality industry, families, grandmothers, doctors, nurses - you name it, we were all there defending our inalienable human rights, our dwindling jobs and our rapidly disappearing democracy.

We started at Hyde Park Speaker's Corner with multiple speeches concerning multiple issues going on in various areas (I was particularly impressed by an impassioned Manchester grandmother sharing her experience of three generations of her family and what v.accines had done to them, leading to her decision to spare her children and grandchildren, who were completely healthy by comparison with her generation). A couple of protestors wafted burning white sage sticks around to bless us all with positive energy.

We then processed down Oxford Street and spontaneously all around central London bringing traffic to a halt and attracting lots of supportive honking from quarter full buses and empty taxis.  And I, for one, was wearing a face covering a cardboard B.ill G.ates mask.  A group of dancers danced along to a beatbox, drums and tamborines were beat, whistles were whistled. 'We ARE the 99%!' and 'Freedom!' were chanted at regular intervals. We were noisy but peaceful.

I met Piers Corbyn as we processed through Trafalgar Square. So much nicer than his brother Jeremy. 

I am now officially a Corbynista!

There were many sad stories of how the C.ovid situation has divided families between those who want their lives back and those who live in fear and attempt to follow the narrative rigidly, only to still lose their jobs and freedoms. Those for whom it is easier to lash out at the 'cons piracy theorist' in the family rather than a government deserving of their wrath.

At one point a policewoman sidled up to me and told me I need to go home as I was breaking the law. 'What law is that?' I asked. She looked surprised. 'The Covid law' she  replied and carried on. I wondered if the same conversations went on in BLM marches. Certainly they don't appear to be kettled, broken up or threatened by riot police. 

We marched past Downing Street and called Boris's name, but to no avail. He hadn't put the kettle on for us, it seemed.

All in all it was a wonderful and uplifting experience to know that there were so many people who felt exactly the same as me and my lovely companions, and that we are just a fraction of the millions across the country who have had enough of the lies, damned lies, lockdowns and other abuses.

Roll on the international Crimes Against Humanity trials where our leaders will be held to account for what they've done to us and our country. Wouldn't it be ironic, if having swept away our human rights, they found themselves condemned to face a firing squad or lethal injection?

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Re-thinking the Re-set

I can't switch on the TV or radio lately without hearing about the great 're-think' or 're-set'.

The chattering classes particularly wax lyrically on Radio 4 about the elongated dawn chorus with such opening lines as 'During lockdown I've really had time to start appreciating the butterflies in my garden' as if that's all that matters. As if the whole Covid thing has been a gain. Some sort of gift. No thought about all the industries and businesses going to the wall, the domestic abuse, the animal abuse, the people denied carers and medical care during lockdown or dying because Covid sufferers had been released back to nursing homes from hospitals to infect other residents going on behind the scenes. A multitude of sins and horrors brushed over. But that's ok, because a few privileged individuals have had time to appreciate the butterflies in their garden or enjoy a slightly nicer bike ride because there was less traffic around.

Well here's the thing. Not one of us chose to be plunged into the situation we are now in. It has been foisted upon us without our consultation or consent, whether natural or otherwise.

Now we are told we are about to enter the age of the New Normal, but WHOSE new normal?

And if it's all our fault that the world was in such a state (regularly inferred) then surely it is up to we 99% to decide what new normal or 'back to better' we want.

First let's ask ourselves:

Who are the some of the winners?
Bill Gates
PPE producers
Sanitiser producers
Bicycle shops
Pharmaceutical companies
Surveillance companies

Who are some of the Losers?
All of us - our human rights have been either taken away or substantially reduced with no end in sight
The elderly and vulnerable, many of whom have been denied all human contact for months.
Blue collar workers in particular as more and more of life is driven online
Independent businesses (unless bicycle or food shops)
Anyone who wants to keep cash
NHS - while we were clapping, our government were selling large chunks of it off!
The character and quality of all of our towns, cities and villages if planning regulations are being swept away.
The disabled as all towns and cities race to the bottom to replace roads (including disabled parking bays) with cycle lanes to become vehicle free.

As with any crisis, the rich have become richer while the poor have become poorer (and in this case, the squeezed middle as well) Funny that.

Notwithstanding, it should not be up to the 1% - the cabal of billionaires who appear to run the world and hoover all the wealth - to tell us what world we are going to have, let alone impose it. Or to tell us we can't use cash anymore or have our human rights back until we all submit to a v.accine to make them even richer with no guarantee of success and no indemnity insurance against injury either.

The great re-set troubles me because on so many levels (including the local council using Covid as an excuse for all manner of highway robbery), it is starting to feel like the motive for what is happening. More and more it smacks of something long planned.

I do not consent and was never asked.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

The Battle for Madeira Drive!

Scarcely six months since the 40th anniversary celebrations of the cult film Quadrophenia in September 2019, Brighton's iconic Madeira Drive, possibly one of the most famous stretches of road in England, found itself unceremoniously closed, no warning or public notice, ostensibly to 'provide more space to exercise' under lockdown.

Come June and travel restrictions were lifted but Stewards continued to guard the entrances and exits to all traffic and the traders grew restless, demanding a meeting with the council. Meantime my partner Ollie (mod, biker, cyclist, walker and occasional driver) often cycled down there for a cup of tea and a chat with the cafe owners. He was astonished to be told by one that a council official had come to visit and advised him that the council were planning to make Madeira Drive closure permanent!

We were both shocked. How could the council even dream of doing this and when the city had just been economically crashed for three months?

No more veteren car rallies? No more Mod weekends? No more Brightona and other events?
And what about visitors? What about the disabled? What about the restoration of Madeira Terraces? We are supposed to be a resort town!

We immediately set up a petition here to re-open Madeira Drive and Ollie started a blog here, which he updates daily, detailing every twist and turn in the saga.

Amazing people started approaching us and offering to help spread the word, but it soon became apparent we were up against some dark and determined forces who were not above underhand tactics.

Various articles and letters appeared in the Brighton Argus, Ollie was interviewed for Brighton Argus, BBC Sussex Radio and Latest TV. I made a list of pros and cons below and found there were virtually no pros to keeping Madeira Drive shut!

If you would like to see Madeira Drive open again, please sign our petition here and also fill in the council's newly created consultation here. The matter will go to full council on 23rd July 2020.
Thank you. Let's keep Madeira Drive alive!

Madeira Drive Closure
Makes Momentum/The Greens happy
Will cause businesses to close down (souvenir shop already gone)
Provides more pedestrian and cycling space (though in reality, few are using the middle of the road for these purposes)
Restoring Madeira Arches would provide more pedestrian space as would re-open covered walkway, upper footpaths, slopes, staircases and cliff lift.

Losing money through:
·        Lost revenue from 393 parking spaces
·        Trader’s rent strike
·        Hiring a minimum of 4 x staff for 7 days a week to stop traffic using it.
·        No events and minimal visitors
·        Possibility of being sued by both traders and event hosts.

Discriminates against disabled, carers, visitors, bikers, scooterists and anyone who is not fit or local enough to drive or walk everywhere. Disabled have been told they have to park in Black Rock car park, a mile away!

May be used as an excuse NOT to restore Madeira Terraces or preserve unique Green Wall.

Traffic parking in Kemp Town or Hove instead, affecting residents who cannot park there.

No coach parking, particularly overnight and supporting local hotels or to take bands/equipment/audience to Concorde II

No taxi access

No through traffic, though was never much used for through traffic, but as a destination

Chicanes already in place to prevent boy racers

Not most polluting road in Brighton and no emissions studies to evidence pollution.

Permanent closure mooted without public consultation under the auspices of the (temporary) Coronavirus Act 2020 and without requisite public notice or applying for A TTRO under Road Traffic Act 1984 (currently being legally challenged by two events organisers, we understand).

Bad cycling accidents by speeding cyclists

It is naïve to assume that Madeira Drive would be allowed to lie fallow indefinitely. Once businesses are gone, it could easily be sold off to developers and lost to the citizens of Brighton and Hove as an iconic promenade and events destination forever!

Sunday, 7 June 2020

The World I Was Promised...

This is the world I was promised as a child...

And I want it back! Who do I sue...?

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Parental Alienation

In support of a loved one in this situation, whose children have not only been alienated from him by an ex who clearly hates him more than she loves their children, but from his entire family, including uncles, aunts and cousins as the ex cannot afford for her programming to be undermined.

Coercive control is now recognised as abuse and has duly been made illegal in romantic relationships, but not as yet in family relationships, no matter that CAFCASS has termed it 'child abuse'.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Environmentally Responsible, not Green

I love dolphins, birds and rainforests as much as the next person and used to regard myself as Green, an environmentalist. In fact I wrote the first environmental policy for the Oxford college where I worked in the early noughties.

However now I find that being 'Green' seems to entail ditching all my old school tech and investing in a load of smart technology with built-in obsolescence and believing in scary sounding concepts like 'global compliance' and 'depopulation', I am having to revise my position and thus Green identity.

My idea of being environmentally responsible is somewhat different;
  • Rescuing heritage buildings and retro-greening them in preference to demolition and erection of glass and concrete blocks with a 50 year life span.
  • Walking, cycling or busing most places but occasionally driving a 16-year old car containing no unnecessary electrics or air conditioning but which has outlived its carbon footprint, passess its yearly emissions test, runs on unleaded and is easy to repair.
  • Expecting clothes to last at least 5 years.
  • Seldom flying
  • Recycling
  • Remaining child free
  • Not wasting food or anything else (if I can help it)
  • Being an almost-vegan (aside from the odd bit of cheese)
  • Ignoring most fashion and fippery (ok unless it's a REALLY cute piece of jewellery)
  • Eschewing so-called 'smart' technology including the Internet of Things, which are all just a waste of electricity and batteries to perform simple tasks I am more than capable of performing myself.
  • If I could buy a computer that lasted a decade and a mobile phone ditto, I'd be delighted, but computers tend to have a 5-year lifespan tops, even with upgrading works and you are lucky to get 2 years out of a mobile phone before the manufacturers cease support for it and it becomes increasingly unusable. You cannot even remove the battery from new phones any more.
  • Being strongly opposed to scrapping pefectly good cars, utility meters, boilers and street lights in favour of over-engineered, ugly and inflexible new ones, which claim to be green, but will take years to prove it and meanwhile could have detrimental affects on our health.

In a nutshell my own personal environmentalism translates into 'being sensible' and not buying stuff for the sake of it.

'Extinction Rebellion' and Greta Thunberg have to all intents and purposes, been put out of a job by the current CV crisis.
Enter various wealthy public figures, stage left, to opine that the world is 'over-populated' and that de-population measures will need to be adopted.

Whoah! Let's stop right there shall we?
1. Who are these (mostly unelected) public figures to make these decisions and without public consultation or consent?
2. How is there an ethical means of shrinking the world population within the next ten years beyond making free contraception universally available to all and tax breaks and other financial incentives to encourage people to have fewer kids? (and yes, I do want my enormous tax break for having none!).
According to 'Freakonomics' human beings respond best to financial incentives for behavioural changes.

If there is no ethical, consensual and transparent means of bringing this about, how is the architect of de-population any better than Mr H.itler? How is de-population any different to g.enocide?

If you adulterate a human being's food, environment, air, water or medicine to compromise their natural health and life span, this is murder. As for wars, whether military or germ, these are not ethically acceptable population thinners either.

I do not consent to this world and nor should you. You can bet your bottom dollar that the super-rich are not going to be affected by it, same as they are exempted most other human issues.

If you think I am being melodramatic, do your own research.  It doesn't take many clicks to find verifiable evidence on independent news sites. And it's a head frack to say the least.

Only don't forget to speak out and share the knowledge when you do. Bad things happen when good people do nothing. Moreover...

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Cons Piracy

If there were no conspiracy theorists, would there still be conspiracies?
If there were no conspiracies, would there still be conspiracy theorists?
(What a genius word conspiracy is; first part 'cons', second part 'piracy')

If a thing or person is discredited, does that also make that thing or person disproved?

Here's some stuff allegedly crazy people have achieved in the past, having no doubt had to battle through the three stages of truth to get there.

To return to Mark Twain's quote (top) what does censorship and secrecy do other than BREED a deal more conspiracy theorists? Surely transparency and telling the truth about everything would put a stop to them.

I wonder in the 1930s if anyone raised doubts about whether Mr Hitler was a nice bloke or not, only to be silenced with 'Oh shut up with your conspiracy theories! I don't want to hear it! Look at all these lovely autobahns he's building. And look how he's smartened up the local youth club with all those new brown uniforms. You're crazy, you are!'

The fact that the term 'conspiracy theorist' has become a term of abuse is certainly an effective means of censorship and thus shutting down all further question and debate on a subject, so that the established or groupthink view is the accepted one truth.
Social media has become a case in point. An echo chamber where approval is gained by fitting in, not standing out (unless virtue signalling counts) and friends are quickly lost through any deviation from accepted views or cute animal pictures. Where there are debates trolls can be paid to debate either or both sides, almost cutting out the need for the account holder, to form a sock puppet show.

Then again, bad things only happen in Bond Films. Or in other countries without the benefit of our fine western values. Surely.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

If 'The Truth Will Set You Free'...

If 'The truth will set you free', why do so many of us seem so scared of it?
To believe in a delusion or set of delusions surely sets us up for far worse....

It is nigh impossible to coerce or control someone who knows the truth because their fear factor will be gone if knowledge is power.

Why this post? 
Why these ever more censorious times? might be a more pertinent question.

I saw an interesting post on social media yesterday (before it disappeared). 'Everything being censored is what you need to know.'

It is often argued that truth can be relative, but if you have any doubts, there is a simple solution. Rather than take one person's word on a matter, just keep asking the questions that bother you with an open mind, check out multiple sources (including non-mainstream) and join the dots. Following the money in any given situation is also a good tip. Ask yourself who benefits?

Finally gut feelings play an important role in our internal guidance system. If something feels 'wrong' it probably merits closer inspection and question.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Don't You Know There's A War On?

'What did you do in the war Daddy?
'I shopped our neighbours on social media for having a glass of wine with a friend on their balcony son.'

We are at war it seems.
Which brings out both the best and the worst in people.
We are told we're all in it together. But actually we have to stay apart.

The enemy is invisible. We are told we need to hide from it.

No one seems to know a lot about this invisible enemy. Is it a killer or can an individual recover with just a few restive days in a handy Scottish castle? Are those it kills just about to die from other causes (aka Eddie Large in the final stages of heart disease)? Do the small percentage of apparently healthy victims have underlying health issues they didn't know about? It's odd that their healthy status seems to be declared on the same day as the death rate for that day, which wouldn't allow time for a full post mortem.
Anyone recall that months after David Frost died, his apparently healthy 31 year old son collapsed and died while running a marathon of an undiagnosed heart condition? My own family suffered the tragic loss of an apparently fit and healthy 10 year old niece the same year, who collapsed and died while warming up on a sports field one Saturday, another hidden heart condition.

Even the means of contraction is argued over with no clear information on whether it is airborne or otherwise.

As for the advice on staying safe, that just seems to concern 'social distancing' and personal protection equipment, not solid commonsense advice on what we can do to boost our own immune systems by optimising our nutrition and lifestyle or what else we should be cleaning apart from our hands. Would a daily temperature check before leaving the house be just as useful as locking a whole country down?

How many die in hospital? How many die at home? Hospitals in themselves are dangerous places and known to generate more than 20,000 UK deaths a year from hospital-acquired infections including sepsis. It doesn't help that most hospitals have sealed windows nowadays, forcing all staff and patients to inhale the same recycled air circulated via air handling units, which may or may not be serviced on a regular basis, and use outsourced cleaning and maintenance, over which they have less control and accountability. Many staff also arrive and go home in uniform kit which potentially transports germs in and out of the hospital.

All we know for sure is that we are dealing with germ warfare, but is it natural or was it created in a laboratory? The means certainly exist and the use of germ warfare has been both possible and, at various times and in various conflicts, employed since WWI. We also know that sometimes natural viruses come along or mutate from more harmless ones, hence the caution against prescribing too many antibiotics, so they still work when we really need them to.

They say the first victim of any war is truth. But what is truth anymore?
Fake news is everywhere. But the 'fake' label seems to exclude sponsored news, news owned by media goliaths or news angled to further political agendas, if not conspiracy ones. There's no such thing as news without spin any more. Even the timing of the Queen's special speech was apparently carefully timed to be neither too early nor too late in the crisis.

Perhaps follow the money is the best advice that can be given in any crisis. It is clear that many millions will financially lose in this situation (largely the middle and working classes, who are likely to be squeezed past breaking point in many cases), but who will gain? Who gained from the last (conventional) war when Iraq needed re-building and large contracts were ripe for the picking?

'Put that light out!' was the cry all over the land in WWII.
'Put that human freedom out!' could well be the cry for this war, if we are not careful.

Ah well, at least I've stocked up on my bread and circuses for the week. Now for my prescribed hour's exercise on a deserted bit of shoreline.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

You've Had Your Chips - a short story

You’ve Had Your Chips

At first it seemed a marvellous idea. A microchip implant which meant you never had to carry (or lose) money, keys or ID ever again. What freedom! Especially for someone like Sarah who had a brain like a sieve and was forever forgetting things. Once she had even lost a flight through forgetting her passport! 

Sarah was indeed the first in her neighbourhood to have the implant and extol the benefits of a smaller handbag to all her friends, neighbours and colleagues, though eventually it became mandatory, so she needn’t have worried.

Of course she felt a bit sorry for all the locksmiths, shopkeepers and others who lost out when keys and cash became a thing of the past, particularly the homeless. Though strangely the homeless soon started disappearing from the streets, so presumably they had solved the homelessness crisis. Either way, it was nice to see clean streets again and not get accosted every time she went out. 

The council grew satisfyingly efficient. They always remembered to start the birdsong tape at six every morning to brighten everyone's day. So much better than the old days of slippery bird poo and scavenged binbags everywhere. They also lined the streets with attractive no maintenance plastic trees which never shed any leaves or caused any root damage and each remained green all year round possessing a discreet solar panel at the top to power the driverless vehicle plugged in at pavement level.

Years went by and things became more and more expensive with transaction charges added to every electronic purchase but Sarah didn’t worry too much. They had to pay for all this new technology after all. And it was so convenient. She just went out less in the evening and had fewer holidays. Anyway you could get some lovely second hand clothes these days. She had never realised before.

Then one day Sarah went into work and it was announced there would be a special departmental meeting at 11am. Sarah wondered what it could be about. She soon found out. Her department was being closed and they were all being made redundant. Those closer to retirement age weren’t so upset and immediately started planning all the holidays they were going to have, much to the irritation of younger staff like Sarah.

From that day forward Sarah went into overdrive applying for new jobs. She had never been unemployed in her life before and wasn’t about to start claiming benefits now. No money wasting holidays for her. However many of the jobs she was qualified for in banking no longer existed. The electronic technology was rendering them useless, hence the closure of her department.

Eventually six months and many interviews later Sarah landed a job in a bank of a different kind, a DNA bank where she became a risk calculator for insurance companies. It was better paid and Sarah reveled in her tenth floor glass office – the first office she’d ever had all to herself.

To celebrate Sarah decided to throw a party inviting all her former colleagues. Only seven turned up out of the thirty people Sarah had worked with. Out of those thirty it turned out that fourteen had died. Sarah was shocked. She had been so absorbed in looking for a new job, she had only kept in touch with one colleague who was equally determined to find another job, Lisa, who had eventually taken a pay cut to work in an Estate Agents. Jeff the relationship manager had been killed in a car crash but the others it seemed, had all died of heart conditions, even Paul and Jason, who had only been in their forties, one while running a marathon. 

‘I can hardly believe it.’ Said Lisa. 
‘I know.’ Said David. 
‘We must be jinxed! Maybe we should all go for heart tests.’ 
‘That’s not a bad idea.’ Stuart chipped in. ‘I saw Jason’s widow the other day. She said just before he collapsed that he had a tingling pain in his right arm.’ 
‘I thought heart attacks affected the left’ said David. 
‘So did I’ said Sarah. ‘And I’ve had to learn a bit about medical conditions for my new job.’ 
‘She said much as she misses him, the insurance has come in handy as he was about to run out of money after their cruise.’ added Stuart.

‘Nice’ said David. ‘I hope my wife doesn’t say the same about me if I conk out. We’re also about to run out of money if I don’t get that departmental job I’ve just gone for. ‘
‘Well as long as you haven’t got a tingling pain in your right arm, you should be alright.’ joked Stuart.
David blanched. ‘Funny you should say that.’ He said. ‘Here. Pass me that fish knife.’
‘Why. What are you going to do with it?’ asked Stuart.
‘Something I suspect we may all need to do.’ replied David. 

They watched as he rolled up his shirt sleeve, tied a napkin tourniquet around his arm and used the tip of the fish knife to extract the microchip.

                                                                               ©LS King 2020