fast movers

red bus on road near big ben in london

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

The urban myth that you need a car in London to get around, is really a myth. Scientific examination of transport has proven the following:

The following numbers came up or moving people around town:

  • 22.000 people using trains
  • 19.000 people walking
  • 14.000 people cycling
  • 9.000 people using buses
  • 2.000 people using private cares.

Read about all the details on New Scientist from where I gotten those numbers.

I had a dad who worked just down the road and needed to take his car to drive there. So that car dependence is just a little bit of an addiction.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan will let us have a car-free day on 22. September 2019. I love the idea, better than the whinging Boris Johnson always did talk about needing large family saloons all the time.

Apparently Talk London is consulting on having car-free days once a month. Bring it on.

London Transport is amazing, with Central Line trains running every minute.

 

 

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kicking cans

If the promise to leave the EU is as strong as the promise to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 are of the same strenght, then we can assume that this government is just a promise but no action government.

What we get are sincere, deep voices, manly promises, but nothing changes, really.

Greenpeace thought of getting the grey cells of some politicians into motion but that didn’t have any effect, other than being pushed out of the event.

Action speaks louder than words but words are all what some people can come up with. The dinners, the speeches, the outfits, the glamour.

I am not certain that our politicians these days have the mental capacity or even flexibility to actually change anything that moves them out of their current comfort zones.

I don’t care whether we get Brexit or not, but what I care about is that our quality of life increases.

And I don’t believe those who say they are so totally Green because they all use medications and modern technology that was borne out of dirty production methods and using fossil fuels. They all have cars and use flights.

We need to start somewhere and how about changing the way we fund and perceive our schools?

Why not make sure that all schools are enabling our pupils and future generations to breathe in clean air? That all our pupils get plenty of palying fields and green spaces?

If we really want to change our lives, we need to change the way we calculate profits, taxes and distribution of wealth, ownership. In fact we need to redefine the meaning of wealth to include

  • health
  • environment

You cannot sell a walk in the forest for profit, you cannot sell the rainforest because it needs to be wild and just as it is. You cannot sell the ocean because it needs to stay and we cannot sell the north or south pole because we need it just as it is.

Yet there are two things, which are wars and space exploration, which create more carbon emission than a lot of other items. Also the production of white goods and anything that uses metals is highly contageous. Calculate your carbon footprint here.

Lets think about that for a while.

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using machines is simply not creating the bio diversity we need to keep the environment healthy and evacuating from earth to another planet is nothing but wishful dreaming.

I must admit, I just love living in our civilisation, the freedom that women can have would be not even half as good in a primitive low carbon society.

Yet there is still the possibility of an educated low carbon society, something we probably all dream about. Articles 25 and 26 of the Universal Human Rights deal with health and education whilst the vast majority of paragraphs deal with legal definitions of personal freedoms.

Perhaps that declaration of Human Rights, should include taking care of our planet as an obligation and right for all of us.

Health first

action activity adult athletes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The best part about being a human is being as healthy as possible. At least that is what we are striving for.

Here in Tower Hamlets, school children are thought to have 10% less lung capacity, compared to children in rural areas.

Tower Hamlets schools are normally encoached in busy traffic areas, with roads, right, left and centre.

For example Bishop Challoner School is unfortunately a good example of a school being in a totally traffic polluted area. The school is judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted because of exam results only. The school is siutated in Commercial Road.

For Ofsted good results are everything, they do not consider other health considerations when they judge a school, which I think is very sad indeed.

On the other hand, Raine’s Foundation school, is a secondary school situated near Victoria Park, an area classified as almost suburban, with leafy streets, access to Victoria Park for PE and much less traffic, as roads around the building are one lane only.

Raine’s Foundation school is classified as ‘in need of improvement’ by Ofsted and because of this, parents won’t apply to send their kids there.

Parents as well as Ofsted only care about exam results.

Tower Hamlets Council  now wants to close Raine’s Foundation school because of the poor exam results, poor in comparison to national results.

Why does nobody care about the children’s health? Isn’t it better to run a school in a healthy area because the kids will be better off throughout their life, if their lungs breathe healthy air?

I personally want to fight to keep the school open just to give children the chance to attend a healthy school. Because sacrificing health in exchange for good exam results will have long-lasting effects on the children’s health.

Access to green spaces, a nice playground, a nearby park will have a great effect not only on children’s mental health but also the physical health.

I want everybody to write to their MP to ask for support to change the classification criteria for schools in respect of a healthy environment.

Europe is going round and round – til the end of civilisation

As soon as Rory thinks he can get a majority in parliament for the deal that Theresa May has negotiated, the Labour Party seems to want to go for a second referendum in any case.

This means it is a no brainer that the Europe question cannot be resolved in the short term because if Labour doesn’t support the deal and wants a second referendum, then there will not be a majority for the existing deal.

Interestingly on the Victoria Derbyshire program the idea was mentioned that if Europe refuses a further extension, this would lead to parliament approving the deal but not if Europe keeps on giving extensions.

What really is important is that these questions affect different people in different ways.

There are

the farmers who say they cannot sell their products to Europe without a deal

the Irish who do not want a hard border

The manufacturers who move out of Britain because of disturbed trading with Europe

the self-employed businesses who have a large European customer base

the politicians who favour a strong monarchy rather than being ruled by a largely republican democracy

the Scots and Welsh who want to remain in Europe

the problem of not finding a solution is that on both sides, e.g. the Remainers and the leavers people vote for different motives.

Also, within the UK political parties want to get the majority in government so come up with political tactics that gets them the majority in parliament.

It seems to be a bit of a lock down.

Obviously the most agreed on part of politics is the Unity of Britain. Unfortunately, not even the so sensible Rory Stewart has mentioned the problems his deal causes for Wales or Scotland. That wasn’t discussed at all in the debate yesterday either.

I don’t think that Britain will leave Europe anytime soon, never mind what they all promise.

The unity of England, Scotland, Wales is the most important consideration that politicians will have and is most likely to down the Conservatives because they do not put the sentiments of the Scottish and Welsh or Irish voters first.

Scotland has already lined up a new independence referendum and has started their own negotiations with Europe on membership.

What I do not quite understand is why Labour keeps Jeremy Corbyn as their leader when he obviously quite strongly upsets the Conservative thinkers on all levels the latest has to do with his pro-Iranian views.

Obviously, Jeremy Corbyn is the one person that stops Labour from getting the middle ground to vote for the party. This of course has helped the Liberals to gain more support again. Greens also gained a lot on environmental issues.

Forget about political parties, vote for policies instead. Political parties ultimately hinder any kind of progress because as well as wanting to keep the absolute power, they do tactics that keep them in power and not policies which are necessarily best.

History has shown time and time again that the majority of people doesn’t always realise and or isn’t powerful enough to change a political course.

For example people should be allowed to vote on policies for instance

Vote for or against renewable energy

Vote for or against using plastics

Vote for or against having political relations with countries who are human rights abusers

rather than vote for a party that can have policies, which are unsustainable.

There are quite a few articles online, whereby scientists predict that civilisation will end in 30 years.

Weather will deteriorate, harvests will be disturbed, travel will be interrupted, communications may be bad.

I don’t think that our basic infrastructure will change much within areas that won’t be flooded but our government does very little to prepare for flood area predictions and keeps on planning like nothing is going to happen.

How are they planning to cope with those future earth warming immigrants, those who have to vacate their current land because it is flooded and seek safer shelter? Where will those move within Britain who will get flooded?

Europe is our nearest neighbour and transport to our nearest neighbour is always easiest. We do not know how viable the Euro tunnel will be in worsening weather conditions, but we need to ensure that we have reasonable relations with our nearest neighbours.

We cannot rely on the rich to help the masses because the rich can always go wherever they want; it’s us poor people who cannot escape we need to make the best of what we’ve got.

Conservative leadership debacle

What we should really look at is self-critical analysis of what appeals to us the most and how this can be used to play tricks on our minds into believing what we are being told.

Obviously the most experienced persons, e.g. Johnson, and other ministers are very well trained how to speak, be precise, say impressive soundbites with sincere voices.

And this goes down a treat, even if what they say is totally meaningless.

Then there was poor little Rory who has not gotten the speaking technique and his thoughts did not fit into one little sentence and he almost seemed to stammer at times.

I would feel exactly the same as him.

At this stage it is all impressing the masses and let the deep voice and looks play their part.

As after the initial selection, the two women and the one openly gay bloke were not selected, that left those on stage, which are the accepted chosen few by the party.

I simply do not believe the show any longer. I want to listen to the message, hear what it really means and Rory at least tried to express what the situation is for real. Yet there wasn’t really time to say anything of substance because this question time was all about fast sound bites. Nobody gave any proper answers to any questions. No yes or nos.

I am not sure whether reality would actually spring a chord with the Conservative membership.

Conservative members obviously only want to back the winner for the next election but since the general dissatisfaction is very large with either not delivering Brexit or the lack of social care policies, those who just make a no-hope promise will fail at the next hurdle.

I watch the debates and it has been said now thousands of times that the EU won’t re-negotiate, yet those supporting Johnson keep on saying that he will renegotiate the deal.

I think the whole EU system should be changed, the EU should make an endless membership into a fixed term membership and member states would have to renew their membership every ten years, and so make the membership actually a choice rather than push states into it just to make it impossible to leave afterwards.

The EU needs to be a democratic organisation.

But, it is amazing that none of the British politicians ever suggested such an idea, that the EU needs changing so that membership becomes easier rather than more doctrines being put upon us.

Yet those who argue that a new deal with Europe about this Brexit should be negotiated are the can kickers.

As we live in a democracy we constantly re-elect our government, that happens every 5 years. We would not argue that because we voted in one government that this is the will of the people and we could not change the government.

Yet this argument is held by the Brexit voters. They say, that because 51 % voted for Brexit in June 2016, which was now 3 years ago, we need to do it.

Unfortunately the referendum did not specify any Brexit conditions so that is what causes the problem.

Yet the EU itself tries to make leaving impossible and at the same time tries to tighten up the organisational ties between member states, with some leading nations being mainly in charge.

There are only two ways around that, either construct an US style amalgamation of states or make the EU a loose geographical alliance, which allows members options to leave very easily.

What about the fire service?

Currently the most powerful person in Britain is obviously the Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, who said he will resign his Conservative membership if Boris Johnson becomes the new leader.

Mohammed Amin MP, will not forget what Boris said and neither should we forget that Boris Johnson is responsible for reducing the number of fire fighters we have in London and who avtively asked for the reduction in fire stations.

A loss of Muslim support will bring a lot more Labour voters at the next general election guaranteed.

That is especially important on the day that Grenfell victims hold a memorial service.

Unfortunately most Conservatives who voted for Boris Johnson in the leadership race so far, live in the past, they only remember the good old times but have forgotten what happened since the London Mayor Johnson.

Doing Brexit is not the most important issue in Britain at the moment. Causing widespread unrest in Britain with a Boris selections is.

And would Boris Johnson want to entice business to invest in climate friendly technology with his blank cheque offer of tax cuts for the rich?

 

detachment is responsible

standing family near fireplace

Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com Family

I think that the reason for the rise in the crime rate and especially gang related crime, e.g. knife crime, gangs, drugs is the destabilisation of family life.

As I stated in my previous post about renting, currently in Britain, an average renter only stays for 4 years in a flat. People are moved around the country, into areas they do not know anybody just to get a roof over their head. Some call it de-gentrification of inner cities like London.

Renters conditions have been changed, so that a permanent tenancy is now hard to come by. the old-fashioned flats for life, people could pass on to a relative have largely gone.

Additionally the emigration rate through wars in far away lands has unsettled large amounts of people around the globe who also add to the new additions to society.

group of people in a meeting

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com Work place

Families are destabilised because in families now all family members have to work. Decades ago one family member could stay at home until a child reached the age of 13, that is now reduced to the age of 5.

In practise that means if a family has older children in schools, those kids often find themselves without a parent after school.

The close family contact between people no longer exists. Employment conditions have become more and more unpredictable, income can vary tremendously with times of hard-ship, e.g. reliance on food banks.

All these uncertainties contribute considerably to making gangs attractive to young people. Especially vulnerable youngster get picked off the expelled pupils registers to work for Post code drug gangs.

It really has nothing to do with the keeping people busy, it has a lot to do with giving people the right to be the boss of their own life, to have a right to a family life and give kids the guidance they need.

man lights legs silhouette

Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com     Gang member

Gang bosses can give plenty of guidance and that is why they are so successful recruiting youngsters. Those youngsters then are led to believe that carrying a knife is the only way to stay safe, its either kill or get killed. That is the terrible fact about the current crime scene.

Whilst youth funding is cut back, police officers reduced and parents are stuck into jobs through the work program, there is nobody available to give a shoulder to lean on for our young people.

Families just can’t help each other out any longer easily, they often live apart, have been moved to different parts of the country or world and have no longer any time for each other.

Until a government restores our sense of family, gives people the dignity of having permanent homes and permanent jobs, I do not see an end to the current problems. People need to belong and feel they are safe and increasing the instabilities is not going to help. The government needs to show some sympathy, emphathy for people. We are not just all robots who follow work rosters.

The knife edge

Initially I supported the work program. I thought that is the way to keep people out of trouble, keep them busy and get them into work and it will then make the knife problem go away.

I even supported the reduction of police officers because I thought when people are in work, they won’t have any time to commit crime, they will be too tired.

It was one of the strongest arguments from the Tories against the previous Labour government that knife crime was so high.

But what headline do we have now?

Knife possession at 9 year high.

So the work program is not helping the wave of crime we are experiencing now. The reduction in police officer numbers also didn’t help.

And I am sick and tired of the tit for tat accusations between political rivals to accuse each other for being responsible.

I don’t even think that Boris can help the problem by reducing taxes. Especially not by reducing taxes. Though the aim is to make the poor better off without reducing the wealth of the rich. Yet, it doesn’t work. Dropping out of the EU will not work and getting the deal changed will not work. The early autumn will be very stressful for most of us.

I think Boris did well as London Mayor, he delivered the Olympics, sorted out a lot on London Transport, but that is it.

The situation now is different, he said a lot more that is offending a lot of people and all he can count on is his nice voice and his sincere personality and a lot of memories people have.

Of course he might get the top spot but that is because his party colleagues think he may help the Tories win the next general election. Dooooooo

We need social mobility

The former Conservative slogan ‘Britain isn’t working’ showing people queueing for work could now be altered to show people queueing for food instead whilst they got jobs now.

The Brexit disaster is a great example why we need more social mobility.  It’s the way this Brexit story came about that makes the case.

At the time David Cameron and George Osborne formed that young Conservative government. Both pals from university, one could almost feel the connection those two had. They both felt strong and nothing bad could ever happen was the feeling they radiated out to us.

And then David Cameron cooked up this recipe for disaster, which is called the Brexit vote. Now we have nothing but division and dismay over this Brexit referendum when the country was split in half by it.  51.89% leave and 48.11% remain. David Cameron himself then left his post as prime minister as he was obviously upset by the results, which he did not expect and his old friend George Osborne followed David’s example to leave government as well.

Yet these two had a lot of power to set up British political events for decades to come, those two uni pals. Apparently many people in powerful public positions know each other from university. In Britain the two most influental universities are Cambridge and Oxford.

There are now some MPs who say we need to honour the outcome of the vote,

The vote was badly set up, it simply asked: ” Do you want to leave or remain in the European Union?”

Obviously things are not that easy. There are contracts and terms and conditions to respect. Only if the policital system in the EU was so bad that we would rather fight them then deal with them could we even consider not honouring our contractual obligations.

The vote itself was very badly set up, very short-sighted.

Neither politicians nor the public were properly informed what staying in or leaving actually implied.

People were not asked whether they want to just leave without a deal or what kind of further relationship they want and that insincerity now causes all the problems.

I blame to a great extent the lack of social mobility because the same mates that go to uni together then find themselves in position of power. If universities get populated more by people who come from different walks of life the whole emotional backdrop would not exist and people would become more rational and actually examine their own mindsets and the whole thought processes in depths.

What now also becomes apparent, is that after years of Conservative government the cracks begin to show. More and more companies close down, or get moved to Europe or other parts of the world. The only way the employment rate is kept high because people are driven into self-employment or zero hours contracts. Apparently many people have to do questionable things to be able to cope with Universal Credit, a system that causes immense misery to more vulnerable people. It also exploits women who are driven into doing things they normally would not do to survive.

Britain is now the least family-friendly country in Europe according to UNICEF.

That current benefit system is self-serving, it keeps the low very low and stoops them lower whilst it supports the government and allows them to keep huge amounts of savings in case of no deal Brexit. So the Brexit saga was merely an instrument to increase the misery of the poor.

Perhaps it is worth examining the data the Department of Works and Pension holds to find out how it is possible to have such a high rate of employment when the press is daily filled with company closures.

It is quite apparent to everyone that most of our high street shops have closed in favour of food outlets and that footfall in highstreet has dramatically decreased.

Social mobility would stop such crass disputes in parliament because the two sides created through our elitist education would not emerge to that extent. Working class and richer kids could mix in uni at student level and get to know each other then instead of clashing later. If there were more people from poor backgrounds involved in government, the policies would change to take more care of the vulnerable citizens.

The emergency of the Change UK new party is a direct result of social clashes and people who want to overcome them.

The only good thing I can say about Food banks is that they are better than the food stamps Hitler used to give to the people he liked and refused to give to the people he let starve to death. Food banks are relatively easy to use and people can access them.

Yet, a political system that boasts full employment but makes those employees relying on food banks despite a minimum and national living wage is obviously very flawed.

 

 

Sorry Boris

boris

Souvenirs from Boris’s Mayoral election campaign with signed sweatshirt, though my name misses the h in Johanna

Souvenirs from Boris’s Mayoral election campaign with signed sweatshirt, though my name misses the h in Johanna

I just wanted to say sorry to Boris for not being able to support him in his try to become Prime Minister.

When Boris ran for Mayor everybody was very fed up with Ken Livingstone and his bendy buses. Yet design faults are not only Ken Livingstone’s fault, Boris then also made mistakes investing in the Thames Estuary airport scheme. The designers forgot about the fog on cold winter days. But Boris successfully delivered the 2012 Olympics.

Anyway at the time I helped Boris’s campaign. Who remembers having been given a Back Boris travel card at Canary Wharf? It was me standing at the exit of the Underground, handing out Back Boris travel card holders. Two can still be seen. Boris then also promised that the over 60s free travel would be continued and that was definitely a reason to support him.

Now however Boris stands for Prime Minister under an anti-EU flag and is supported by anti-environmentalists. Boris even mentioned dismissing parliament to force Brexit through and not permitting the House of Commons objecting. A no deal Brexit is very much on the table with Boris.

Boris still uses the Back Boris logo, probably cheaper if he can use the old logo. I must say though that children generally do not like the blue block printing, kids are put off by that.

I don’t think that I could ever again join any political party because I cannot trod along when a party has a policy that I cannot agree with. I just switch as we all do with energy suppliers; why not do the same with political support.

I had big arguments with some Labour Party members who called me a traitor because I left, saying that party membership is not for life. Party support is meant to support the party that makes the best politics. There is no incentive for political parties to change policies if supporters stand with them regardless.

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