trees as weapons

trees can be a force for good or for bad

As a good force they capture carbon and keep it in the wood they produce. For that to happen a tree has to be 20 – 30 years old and not be allowed to rot be destroyed otherwise.

A bad side-effect of trees can be that they can destroy buildings either with their roots (subsidance) or branches if they are too near to buildings.

Remember Zac Goldsmith, former Tory Mayoral candidate, he wanted to tear down council estates and replace them with newer private buildings.

The government has now promised to plant thousands of new trees and people have to watch out that they do not use them to destroy existing council homes.

On our estate, Tower Hamlets Homes has planted two large tree species, Silver Birches, which reach a height of about 15 meters and get huge crowns, very near 2 council houses, in fact within 3 meters of the building. Tree saplings are allowed to sprout along the whole length of the building. Those trees should be planted 10 meters away from a building.

Not only will these trees take away all light from residents, they will also destroy the guttering and external decorations of the buildings and their roots will cause subsidence as our summers get dryer each year.

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Picture copied from a BBC article originator WildBlue Media, channel 4

We are not supposed to accept trees just because there is a hysteria about earth warming and a climate emergency. We do not want our homes to look like that do we? Down the line our culture can disappear under trees. Good for the planet though.

Council estate residents have to be alert to the fact that some councils may plant trees to near to council buildings to destroy them, so they have an excuse to tear them down. If you have residents associations who are tree huggers mainly you cannot rely on them to do something about it.

Our homes are the priority. We do need trees to support us, we need to plant them in appropriate locations.

 

LBTH council budget 2020

Looking at the latest budget discussions published by Tower Hamlets Council, it seems to cause offense that the council wants to raise council tax by 3.99%, citing among other an ever tightening belt and less funds.

So, I look at the docs, which are published in that respect and I find it impossible to get a reference stating why the council put £17 Million into building and improving Raine’s Foundation buildings and how the tax payers of this borough actually benefit from that.

It seems easier to get a building improved for free and then close the school rather than continue education there. Is that a logal loophole that has been exploited?

I have asked my local MP Rushanara Ali and Councillor Danny Hassell for comment, which I shall share as soon as received.

Anyhow I am looking at a document called budget amendments pack and it contains some interesting facts and figures.

There are two main motions

  1. From the Conservative group
  2. From Lib Dems

Obviously the wasted £18 Million in total on Raine’s Foundation expenses and the additional cost of building a brand new school in Shadwell makes up a considerable amount of expenses. Yet, I can’t see any direct reference in the large amount of documents published.

Perhaps it would be easier to actually have a fully transparent easy to read list of documents.

So The Conservative group propose and end to a loss of reserves through inflation by investing the money.

I agree that purchasing solar wind farms would be a great idea but can’t see where they actually could be built in Tower Hamlets. There are however different proposals on environmentally friendly heating by using ground heat.

Purchasing cheap for rent flats for key workers in the borough is a great idea but that would mean that all those who change jobs and stop working for services in the borough would have to move out and that creates a whole new lot of problems.

I agree that a publicly owned charging system for electric vehicles is very good, yet the main point of problem is that the electricity itself needs to be green electricty.

Again the Conserverative group complains about how often the name of Mayor Biggs and John Biggs is mentioned in the now 1/4 publication of East End Life and ending this publication would mean a mere saving of £864 k per annum. A small sum compared to the £18 Million that has been gifted to the Church of England and the Raine’s Foundation.

Of course the ‘hail our leader’ philosophy is nothing new. In Iraq for example there were big billboards with Saddam Hussein everywhere.

But mentioning a person by name repeatedly does nothing to disperse with policies, which are damaging.

Anyhow social media has run away with election campaigns, false news and plastering us with news about some politicians endlessly for years now.

It is concerning that the East End Life budget is higher than the spending on CCTV in the borough, but that does not necessarily mean that we need to get rid of East End Life.

What is however concerning is that quite a lot of money is put into mother tongue language classes and that money should be used instead for ESOL classes to help the 27% of adults in the borough who do not speak English.

Anyhow, I highly recommend that people spend time and do the number crunching. Today’s media is full of glam gossip, we need more reality publications.

 

same lies

Whilst President Trump explains in his state of the Union speech that there is now record employment, also amongst the multi-cultural population in the US, the BBC reports that there is record child-homelessness in the US.

How does this all work out?

Obviously the wonderful world of high-yield economy should work for the people and not just for the employers.

The same strategy gets used in the UK. One of the most used arguments in parliamentary debate is, to rebuff Labour, yes, but the unemployment rate is very low.

Whether that creates the highest number of working poor and other problems does not seem to be the problem for the governments on either side of the oceans.

The standard of living is very important and voters really have to stop creating poverty for children.

brainwashed

artists audience band blue

Photo by Jacob Morch on Pexels.com

Greta Thunberg has been told to get an economics degree to be taken serious. Yet, going through years of some education may brainwash you into believing that the only way to do business is the old one.

There are sciences, which are pure and do not relate to current affairs but those decisions that need to be made in relation to climate change are actually not calculated on pure science but on the greed of those wanting to make profits.

Having listened to the Grenfell discussion on ‘politics live’ this morning, we’ve heard that some tower blocks are not so dangerous as they have night patrols. The answer was that many leaseholders cannot afford to pay for it.

Private ownership again hinders progress being made. Of course owning something privately means you rely entirely on your own resources. The smaller the building the less economical can it be to share and spread costs and if a private building owner has to replace a load of cladding on a building it becomes unaffordable.

Nobobdy questions the principle of private ownership, they question why the government hasn’t yet introduced laws to force owners to change the cladding. But this is a Conservative government, a government that supports private ownership.

Question the logic of this.

I don’t think there is a pure state in existance today that has a properly installed community government.

  • North Korea, is a kind of family tyranny, that starves it’s population but which tries to blow our planet apart with constant nuclear testing
  • China, a half-capitialist government, which is unelectable and relies on trade with capitalist countries
  • Russia, a pseudo communist country that charges a flat tax rate to all, regardless of income. Nothing is being shared around there.

This planet is being run into the ground by large money accumulators who run business and produce goods that keep us in employment, the economy moving and make them richer.

The poor have no choice but to work in jobs being offered as they have to work to be part of an acceptable community, which relies on taxes.

Round and round and round it goes.

People ask again and again why didn’t the German’s stop Hitler, ask yourself, why does nobody stop the destruction of the environment.

 

Victoria = Boris’s first victim

Is it incidential that the Victoria Derbyshire program gets shut as soon as the Conservatives have gained an enormous majority?

Victoria Derbyshire was the only program that gave detailed insights into grassroots problems.

It took a TV disclosure that Barnet council realised how bad housing conditions in one of their blocks was. Now they suddenly want to re-house residents in the block.

Victoria Derbyshire is important reality TV and compared to Call the Midwife, show cases actual events with poor people suffering from policies and managerial problems.

I have stopped watching ‘Call the Midwife’, which seems to show caring nuns. I never came across caring nuns in my lifetime. Perhaps that program is supposed to be attractive to foreign viewers who have no healthcare whatsoever.

Back to housing. I appreciate that in Tower Hamlets, the council and housing providers make much more efforts to keep residents in good stead. Of course Barnet, a Conservative led council shows less concern.

Find it though slightly concerning that the method of public housing admin has similar models in Barnet and in Tower Hamlets.

Barnet has Barnet Homes and Tower Hamlets has Tower Hamlets Homes. Councillors in Tower Hamlets opposed the elongation of the Tower Hamlets Homes housing contract, they wanted housing to get back in-house with the council.

 

The conscience of a nation

Justin Welby brings sense and sensibility into this country at Christmas when he voices his concerns about the direction the country is travelling in:

  • the increase in homelessness
  • the domestic debt increase and inability to pay back
  • increase in food bank use

Why do we need a man of God to tell us that we are becoming less and less human?

It is probably the fault of our economic system and how we administer success. Paying for services rendered but showing little respect for people’s need of abode, nourishment and social needs.

person woman sitting old

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

We have become a solely profit oriented society and the recent votes towards the political party, which masters profiteering has been given the largest majority to give us more of that.

Our laws should need to change, it should become illegal to tolerate homelessness and poverty.

Every council should have an absolute duty to house every individual in their area and business should have to pay a homeless levy.

It really doesn’t help that profit making is the ultimate goal of our society and indiviudals within it.

Less people concentrate more of the pool of money in circulation and the ever increasing poor rely on the charity of those having accumulated all the cash.

We do not need God to help us, we need to help ourselves and cynically it is a man of God who has to remind us of our worldly duties.

Home and attitude

My frame of mind gets pushed out of sync when I am watching ‘The worlds most extraordinary homes’.

blue wall alley

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

It’s mind-blowing to see homes wedged under rock, in the forest, along a steep coastline or balancing on mountain ledges.

Recently, I completed a survey, which asked what I like about London and I answered among other things I like the plenty of food and shopping opportunities.

Today I watchen the program and there are no shops, someone had to actually build a road to get to a build the house and buildings in the rainforest. There is no infrastructure as we know it, there is just somebody with a lot of money who can afford to build where they like.

Only people who do not work 9 – 5 can reside in remote locations, anybody with a regular 8 hours job probably couldn’t commute as there is no established transport to the areas of the houses.

minimalist photography of white and gray condominium

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

We workers live in blocks of flats or mass-occupied areas with a steady supply of goods, services, food and of course public transport.

Living in a city, a block of flats, in an urban environment, our minds always circle around the same thoughts, which are quite restricted to daily routine, commuting, shopping, education, work, budgets.

But living in a wild, remote area, with no shops, little traffic and no neighbours must spin the mind off into other things. I wonder whether this increases creativity to be able to make world-changing discoveries, like Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity by watching an apple fall from a tree. Imaging what could happen if we lived in remote areas with all that modern knowledge we have these days as compared to primitive cultures living an remote areas without modern comforts.

I wonder whether creativity needs solace to think out of the box.

Deal or no deal

With the oncoming general election the Conservatives are striving to get into government once again, which would lengthen their stretch by another 5 years.

Promises to end fracking, raise benefits by the inflation level from next year is meant to appeal to those poor who are leaning towards the Leave campaign but are natural Labour voters.

I think that offer is not good enough. What about the rubbish housing laws that see the poor misplaced and moved out of areas into short-term tenancies?

What about working conditions that don’t even allow workers to determine when they want to take a holiday, gave us zero-hour contracts?

And of course the promise of the Labour Party to end the misery caused by tuitition fees will be very attractive to large swathes of the population, even the middle classes will like it.

Free care for the elderly will attract everybody who has some property and does not want to have to sell it to pay for care.

The Conservative Party even gotten rid of the maintenance allowance for poorer students. That was a payment of around 3 – 4.000 pounds per year to help students with rent and living costs whilst studying. The first act the Conservative government did was to stop the Child Trust Fund, which paid money into an account created for every newborn child.

A rise of benefits with inflation will not even touch the loss of other major needs.

The benefits freeze was initiated by George Osborne, who then opted to leave the government. Osborne also was a big influence on the decision to hold the referendum that still haunts this nation for years to come.

A strong woman

The women pushed these days into positions of power are often the type who have their maternal instincts removed and instal policies a woman with maternal instincts and children would not make.

Just watched this first discussion about the outcome of the Grenfell Report where the female London Commissioner Dany Cotton of the Fire Brigade caused concern for victims by defending the behaviour of the officers on the day, saying she would not change anything on the information she knew at the time.

mother-as-nurse

A picture of my mother working as nurse at the end of World War II

A typical old-fashioned female would have felt sorry and come up with some more potentially life-saving answers to please the audience.

Margaret Thatcher, the first female British Prime Minister  is the classic example of a desensitized female who becomes even more stringend in her disregard to people as an old-fashioned Conservative man would. She hated working-class families and dismantled the unions. She started the process, selling off council flats, so that poor people had their bases taken away.

Theresa May, destroyed any integrity working-class people had via zero-hours contracts, Universal credit and a further reduction in housing security. Theresa May took it one step further from what Margaret Thatcher had started.

Now Esther McVey, feels no shock for leaving poor females in an old cock-roach infested block of flats whilst she proudly proclaims success for a new housing development for rich people nearby.

I can remember the old-school Conservative government well. A mixture of sexist males who would find generosity in their policies towards poor families with children and provide family-friendly policies. At least people still had proper rented homes with benefits to match demand and poor families had a chance to settle into family life.

All this changed with strong females at the helm who came up with policies who would punish people who dared having families without the money to do so. It’s the Conservatives who invented the Female Dictator figure. I think it is sad that woman allow themselves to be used in that way, just to prove that they can be as efficient as men.

I think women, wo made it into the richer, upper crust, want to show their superiority towards those poor, unfortunate woman who have no choice but survive in the poverty they have been given.

My own sister is an excellent example. Unable to have children herself, she always disregarded me as some unmentionable entity. Living in Britain with a poor man but lots of children, my sister refused to speak to me. When my father died, my sister tried everyting she could to deprive me of my inheritance, guaranteed by law and engaged a solicitor to snatch my quarter of my inheritance of me. She didn’t succeed, as many of you know I am good with legal arguments.

My sister has lots of money but cannot find a penny to help me or my children. Of course my inheritance is long gone, paying back debts, I had accumulated whilst my sister, as a spinster finds solace in counting her money.

 

homeless choice

Just as I reported about 45.000 homeless people in Los Angeles the other day, today I find a story about a homeless mother and son from Somalia living in Wandsworth on a bench.

Of course probably the weather makes a big impact on the homeless lifestyle. On average in Los Angeles temperatures are 13 degrees celcius in the winter, whlst the average temperature in London in winter is 2 degrees celcius. In a very cold year, it can be as low as -15, though that rarely happens.

On average the life expectancy of a homeless person in Britain is around 44. So living outside is not as good for your health as living in a flat.

Yet the culture of being homeless in California is very concerning, that poeple live inside of bridges, cars, all kinds of crevices, trailers. It seems to have become a lifestyle to escape the rules that come with having an abode.

The couple – a mother and her son – who live on a bench in Wandsworth, refuse continuously offers of flats and make themselves local celebrities on the bench. Well, cabs give them free rides, local takeaways give them free food. That is attractive and saves a lot of money. I am not sure if they also get benefits; so they could save quite a bit.

With earth warming, we may get higher temperatures and that habit of living on the streets may spread here as well. It would breakdown our culture and civilisation if people don’t dwell in proper houses.

 

woman in gray dress lying on bench

Photo by Nicole Law on Pexels.com

 

 

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