Where is the love?

photo of baby breastfeeding

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Could not help chuckling pleasingly when Camilla Parker-Bowles announced that she looks forward to hugging her grandchildren.

Good on her. I suppose it is easy to get to know the grandchildren when their parents actually involve the grandparents into the process, e.g. like

  • getting to know partners of children prior to marriage or conception of grandchildren
  • regular visits
  • communications that are meaningful
  • Family of grandchildren live a meaningful lifestyle and are responsible.

I hardly see any of my grandchildren. I have not met my daughter’s partners prior to them moving in together. I have not been involved in the process of decision-making, e.g. what is best for the child.

Nowadays the modern families change quickly, e.g. partners change, the family set-up is no longer the same as it was, but, people really need to communicate to keep family members up to speed, so that all know what is going on.

I would not even want to dictate what kind of a family my daughters want to form but it would be good to be kept informed and be involved.

I would want to see that my daughters make responsible decisions. Like

  • Have they got housing
  • Do they have an income
  • Are there plans to improve the quality of life and how
  • Do they raise their children positively
  • How safe is the relationship they are in? Do I approve of the partner?
  • Will they keep me up-to-date with developments e.g. pregnancy, childbirth, getting to know the grandchild.

Unfortunately I had non of this. Some of my grandchildren live in Wales and I am not allowed to see them because my daughter there is afraid I could get social services involved.

Some of my grandchildren live in Scotland but my daughter didn’t introduce me to her partner until the day she moved out. I then went to visit in Scotland and had to ring the council there because their whole communal backyard was filled with rubbish bags. I went to visit a couple of times but since then my daughter split up with her partner and now replaced him with a snake and a dog.

I hardly get to see the kids. They do not contact me via Facetime or any other form of chatting to talk and get to know each other.

Some of my grandchildren live in London and I have not even known that my daughter decided to break up with the partner of her first son. My daughter then gotten into deep trouble with domestic violence with another partner. The latest new partner I did meet occasionally but he has changed beyound recognition since I first met him. He used to wear neat suits and looked like he jumped straight out of a dressmaker’s window. Now he wears tracksuits and sports a liberal beard.

I had not met my newer granddaughter till my daughter suddenly announced they are coming round for Christmas and of course they expected presents.

I made everything nice but the grandchild was very much afraid of me because she had never met me. The last time I met her she only spoke to me when I asked her what gifts she wanted for Christmas.

Otherwise I received abusive and threatening phonecalls from my daughter.

From that I can deduct that breastfeeding and not smacking children doesn’t make them more sensible. My youngest daughter is the only child I breastfed for a long period of time and one of my children, which I never smacked. Yet, I get insulting phonecalls.

I think the concept of grandparent needs some involvement so that everybody is on the same page. Grandparents are not just gift suspenders whenever people think they would want to come round to collect them.

I think that grandparents should means-test their gifting. And not just give because somebody has a grandparents on a birth certificate somewhere.

 

 

Energy consumption

india_fuel

India uses the most fossil fuel

Use of any type of energy, that is produced with the effect of carbon emmission will contribute towards global warming.

If we reduce energy consumption in whichever shape or form, we’ll do good for our planet.

Lets look at cooking for example. It makes a huge difference whether we use gas, electric hobs or induction.

I have realised that induction hobs use considerably less energy than any other form of cooking.

Yet what makes is very difficult for most people to actually get the latest white goods to instal in their kitchen is to have the facilities to do so.

My landlord for example, is a social landlord. They make a kitchen available and that kitchen has built in units with a facility for an built-under double oven and hob.

The measurments however are so tight, that it would not accommodate the standard of goods available in the market today.

The kitchen was made to accommodate a double oven and a gas hob or hob that doesn’t sink into the work top below the work-top level.

Now most work-tops quite thin.

Induction hobs tend to sink into the oven space and take about 2 cm away, which makes it impossible to fit into it any standard double oven.

Yet, when I asked my landlord about altering the kitchen unit the accommodate the latest energy saving cooking method, they refused, telling me that I just have to get what I can fit into the space provided or make an application to alter the unit myself.

The problem with altering any type of standard kitchen unit from a landlord, means they make you responsible for the maintance of it, and that piles on a cost, which otherwise tenants would not have to pay.

So all in all using the most energy friendly form of cooking is being made impossible by inflexible furnishings, provided by landlords and owners who do not want to facilitate change because of the cost.

Landlords should be made to provide flexible fittings, which accommodate any new technology, to make life more environmentally friendly. Instead they only supply, olf-fashioned, often wood-chip type furnishing.

Still I installed an induction hob anyway, I just will have a problem finding an oven that fits into the space below the worktop.

I have a space of 68.5 cm, which is too short for a double oven and too big for a single one. My landlord doesn’t care.

It’s a similar story with energy provision in homes via standard electricity and gas central heating systems, all provided by landlords to tenants.

Social landlords do not by default instal solar energy panels on the roofs of their buildings, they do not yet provide plans to change heating use to underground heating extraction.

cooking with gas

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There are calls to phase out gas central heating systems and the use of the utility alltogether.

Years ago, I decided to instal a built-under gas cooker in my kitchen because it gave me a choice. I didn’t solely rely on electricity to cook my dinners. Yet, the price of gas is going up from next year.

Apparently, as I experienced the maintenance of the internal gas burners on ovens is very hard indeed, if not impossible.

Having gas appliances in blocks of flats is a distinct increase of risk for the whole block. And whilst I am very responsible and get yearly gas checks from the landlord – yes I am a tenant – I feel increasingly uneasy about using gas for cooking.

it is an added responsibility.

Even though, in the past experience, electric ovens tend to break down regularly, needing replacements, which are not cheap, electric cooking seems the better option overall.

Mind you, we have a lot of options to cook nowadays we have

  • Microwaves
  • Air fryers
  • Ovens
  • hobs

still the regular flat has kitchens, which are designed to hold an oven. Whether it’s free-standing or build in or under, it is the heart of the kitchen. Most kitchens have lots of cooking options.

It has become a habit and one probably doesn’t realise it but some people only have microwaves in their tiny flats and many also rely on eating out because of job placements and sheer convenience.

But, whilst I can afford to change my cooking facilities, there are many poor tenants who can’t and perhaps landlords should take it on as a reponsibility to phase out gas cookers for people and replace them.

Often tenancy conditions do not include the cookers in kitchens. They are solely the tenants responsibilities. Those are some of the very practical headaches people phase in daily lives, which hardly get a mention in the press.

Home

black bicycle parked beside white wooden chair

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There is an event when the press reports that the Queen goes to Balmoral or reports are in the press about the few people rich enough to own near palace homes and those are the people we assume to be happy with their homes.

multi colored castle

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Yet, there are also former luxurious abandoned homes of those once rich enough to buy and build them but not able to keep.

Most of us live in average, often too small homes. The younger we are the smaller the home. I used to live in a 2-bedroom flat with 7 people.

Home seems a simple word but it can be quite difficult to be happy in it. We spend usually as much as possible to make it comfy. Buy the broadband, phone lines, heating systems; insure it, decorate and furnish it.

But living in it, is often quite difficult. It depends whom we share with and how much we can have respect for ourselves and those around us and make it work on an amicable basis.

Some people want to spend as little as possible at home and go to fitness centres for showers for example. Whilst those are closed, they will have to use their own.

green leaf potted plant

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Home can also be a boring place when our hormones and instincts want us to mix with others and make friends. That introduced a whole new industry of the caffee house culture and that bohemian society is largely responsible for most of the protest movements we know to cause uproar around our towns.

There is always a cause and where there is a cause there is somebody making money from it. Whether its a church or a club, political party, society, somebody holds the strings, collects our cash and gets us involved in activities around it. Almost every association outside of our homes has become a cashcow for somebody or groups of people. (Apart from some countries where memberships of some churches is compulsory).

Whole new industries evolved around the cafe culture, supply chains have specialised around it.

Staying at home also stifled the travel industry considerably. Those frequent flyer clubs are now so useless.

photo of couple standing on road

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We need to reflect and examine our consciouses and think whether our causes actually are useful for more than just making friends and getting that next cosy lay. Some protest movements are no more than meeting places for people who want to find a reason to make friends.

I moved home a lot simply because I was bored when I was young.

Do our protests really achieve anything spectacular or do they just get us out of the house and help us make friends.

business car daylight door

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Governments can come up with new viruses each year, so carefully examine what strategy to use next for making friends.

 

 

 

 

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

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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

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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.

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