The 2013 Honours List

I am just not getting excited about the Honours List any longer. It is the result of a boring and irrelevant process to give those that attract a lot of public attention a Queen’s Honour. People like the creator of Moshi Monsters or actresses.

Whilst there are fire crews and ambulances, together with volunteers battle to save and help flood victims here in the UK, the entertainment industry gets top honours. The Queen is a batty old lady, who is totally removed from reality.

What should be honoured are attempts to ease the suffering from freak weather conditions and to help the planet.

Yet a record number of women got honoured at a time when there is little compassion for the poor and needy. My theory is that single career women have little sympathy for those in need. Just at the moment little workers are the most repressed. Police workers are on strike so are other public service workers. It would have been good if at least one of those honoured would have refused the gong in favour of those who work hard and never get anything, but that didn’t happen this year.

But that just shows how corrupt current society is in Britain, those at the top are very much aligned with the government, that created 100 new peers, raised the Queen’s allowance, raised the MP allowances, whilst the rest is stuck on the minimum wage or gets below inflation rises.

28 Jan 2014, just to complement this story of Royal malaise, it has been reported that the Queen is unable to control her finances and down to 1 Million in reserves, holds lots of parties but cannot repair her estates and palaces.

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The anti-social government

What this government does now is positively anti-social in terms of the bigger picture. Mr Osborne has been warned by the IMF and other heads of financial services that they have to stop this strict austerity but Mr Osborne defends his plan to continue to scale down.

This is at the expense of our children’s education, as I previously blogged and also our economy continues to shrink. I think this government suffers from Conservative Autism.They just want to do their own thing in their own order and if it disrupts others around them, it doesn’t matter as long as it is done the Conservative, or should I say Cameron way.

David Cameron looks more and more like Henry VIII; he has steadily put on weight, despite one of his colleagues recently proclaiming that only people from poor working class backgrounds are obese nowadays. Incidentally Cameron and Clegg seem to put on weight at exactly the same rate. Perhaps they spend many hours having dinners to discuss their discrepancies and the stress of it all makes them eat more.

But surely now Osborne, Cameron and co. are now the only ones in the village that think the way they do; even fellow Conservative old-timers have stood up to speak out on the disaster.

I wonder whether Cameron wants to break up the EU by withdrawing economic activity of the UK because that will severely affect the other nations around us because our lack of consumer spending power will reduce the amount of goods we can import from our neighbours. Our economy has shrunk.

I think it has gone beyond the joke and Cameron’s desperate attempts to save Royal Britain from the European Republic simply puts the Queen and the monarchy in a very bad light indeed and does more damage than good.

The UK, the uncaring nation

I must say, I am thoroughly disgusted and it is literally keeping me awake tonight, that the UK felt fit to put their elderly monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband through the ordeal of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations the way they did.

The Duke ended up in hospital with a bladder infection, that is the official version, and that could, in my view, have been avoided.

I would not have put our own pensioners through the ordeal of having to spend half hour outside in the cold on Jubilee day but our Queen had to endure 90 minutes standing in the open air when the temperature was forecast for only 12 degrees with wet and windy weather. The Duke is 90 years of age.

Some people wouldn’t force their dogs to go for a walk on a day like that but we expect our elderly Queen and royals to spend hours outside in the cold and rainy weather. Even under an umbrella, I thought it was too cold for a pensioner to spend prolonged periods of time outside, that is why I moved our own street party indoors into our community centre.

It is unbelievable that the organisers of the Diamond Jubilee did not have a plan B for a cold and rainy weather. That was more than inflexible and I think unworthy organisation for our great nation. Of course the flotilla itself was very impressive but we should have shown more care for our elderly royals and should not have forced them outside for hours in that weather.

There should have been a plan B and an indoor celebration should have been available for bad weather. Shame on the organisers of the Queen’s official Jubilee celebrations.

Why honour anything?

I have just read some stuff on the New Year’s Honours list and I am very disappointed that the down-ward trend on who gets the honours is more than apparent. Somebody actually got a honour just for turning away from crime and doing what most of us usually do, that is not to commit crime and one person got an honour making sure drug addicts get clean needles. If he gets an honour for turning away from gangs, all of those who never committed crimes in the first place should get honours too. If a nurse gets a honour for giving addicts clean needles then all those who do not use drugs should get honours too.

As if there are not enough outstanding law-abiding citizens around who truly improve the lives of the people who bring quality to our society. The Queen is making bad examples a virtue. I would like to express every respect to those who refused the Queen’s Honours. Fact is that those who genuinely contribute to society with outstanding art or scientific work for example hardly need the Queen’s approval to do so in any case.

I just wonder whether the Queen has gone soft in the head and whether there should be a pension age for monarchs.

Dame on the Rocks (Box)

Whilst there is in my mind no doubt about it, that it is the size of a person’s bank account that determines the elevation to Dame or Lord, in Dame Vivienne Westwood’s case it was obviously not high enough, because the good lady elevated herself even higher to address the St. Paul’s Camp. I wonder whether the Queen now regrets having bestowed that honour onto V Westwood or not. After all her Majesty is the  head of the Church of England, the very religious establishment the dame arose from.

Whether the Queen will be more careful in future whom she empowers to such titles, maybe she wants to wait a bit longer. Just because obviously wealth and titles do not stop public figures from joining left-wing protests.

So far her Majesty has refrained from joining the diplomatic row over the movement that strikes at the heart of the Monarchy, the St. Paul’s church is one of the most important symbols of British power.

Isn’t it nice and easy to join a protest once one is rich and famous. I wish I had the choice. But then I have to find a job and cannot possibly be seen near such a collection of upheaval. Of course we are all afraid of the earth warming but camping in tents outside of St. Paul’s is hardly going to stop it nor would it give the necessary discipline or ideas to cope with it.  I love the pinstripe against the redhead, so tasteful against the backdrop of the architecture. It’s like a sun down in the city. Or is it a sun rise. As the saying goes: “Red sky at night, shepherds delight, red sky in the morning, shepherds warning.

Having once been invited to a fashion show, I was surprised that there are designers that actually want to use natural materials, which are not environmentally straining in any way, something Vivienne perhaps could turn to in her strive to be more environmentally in tune.  I have seen bracelets made from snake skin, huhuhu, lets not even go there. Maybe V Westwood thinks those protestors might want to use designer tents in future and are a new type of customer, perhaps.

Perhaps the session is just part of the normal British street meeting mentality. Solving communication problems with street meetings is part and parcel of the British mentality. We have the Big Lunch, just to name one, who encourage people to talk things over in open spaces. So the tent camp outside of St. Paul’s is nothing out of the ordinary for the British, whose homes are their castles.

More down to Orde

From this recent BBC article it seems that Sir Hugh Orde is more down to Earth in his approach to policing here in Britain because he puts the context within the European Union and the laws that have to be observed in Europe. David Cameron’s approach is quite clearly a forceful one as he accused the police of acting timidly. Cameron’s newly appointed personal advisor Bill Bratton wears 2 handguns when he is out on patrol. Bratton has 400 gangs in his neck of the woods to deal with and Sir Orde points out that getting to a stage where 400 gangs can even built up is a sign of bad policing. I am not certain how many gangs operate in the UK.

Bill Bratton has advised that the UK police cannot arrest their way out of the problem, that either indicates that he thinks shooting is better than arresting or that he thinks that the underlying social problems have to be addressed.

I think what has to be on the forefront of tactical thinking is the fact that the riots have to be broken up quickly to prevent loss of life and victims. The longer those riots would have gone on, the more people’s lives would have been at risk and there were already a number of deaths and people had to escape fires and run or jump for their lives.

It’s a little bit strange that David Cameron gets  himself a personal advisor from the US on board, who has no legal powers whatsoever in the UK and cannot think in the local context. There also has been wrangling between government ministers and police chiefs over who has the final word on policing orders and strategies. Obviously the police have to be seen to be politically neutral. Theresa May reacted cleverly to publications about a possible rift with the police over cancelling all leave. One report said she ordered all leave to be cancelled whereby police said that she has no power to do so. Mrs May praised the police for their actions.

The riots were completely unpredictable and with current police numbers impossible to quench quickly on the basis that no water canons or plastic bullets were used. I don’t think using those methods would have alienated the youth more because there is little in social actions proposed to help them out of the dilemma they are in, the youth that is. There is little social investment in young people and their families and instead of proposing some, the government wants to favour benefit cuts and homelessness for riot participants and their families. It would have done the youth a favour to cool them down quickly and disperse them even faster because then they could not have committed the crimes that later happened when the riots progressed further north.

It seems that Mr Osborne is more concerned cutting the 50p tax rate than devising help packages for our young citizens.

The riots leave a bitter taste in everybody’s mouth who expected a caring attitude from our government towards young people. It’s really just cracking down the whip and getting rid of the responsibility by sanction and imprisonment.

The problem that has arisen is the lack of consistency for what is needed to deal with such sudden riots and what the political and social answer to those discontented is. David Cameron does not even want to hold an enquiry and forget about it as quickly as possible whilst Ed Miliband called for one.

The former advisor to Ken Livingstone made a sympathetic statement for the youth but then under Livingstone, there was a much higher rate of youth on youth crime, when he constantly had stabbings in London, which have receded under Boris Johnson. Yet under Livingstone we did not have youth rioting. It seems we have a choice between rioting and stabbing but that is a choice nobody really wants to make and all we need is a way out of this malaise.

From other comments made around the net, I wonder whether this riot was a political uprising on the scale of an attempted revolution and think that David Cameron’s approach will not help stem it at all. He simply drives the problem into the Underground and that can get well out of hand. It seems to be Cameron’s tactic not to get involved in any social tit for tat and just get rid of the unhappy youth by making them criminals and keeping them criminals and outlaws a bit similar to the good old Sheriff of Nottingham.  I think Cameron’s strategy is political suicide and will lead to a further detriment of the UK gentry.

Putting it into the context that Mark Duggan’s uncle was a crime lord, according to the Mail online, I wonder how much criminal and how much political context this whole riot actually has. History has proven that politicians always call those who are in more or less violent opposition criminals. Yet it has to be seriously considered as a tactic that local opponents of current upper classes want to flood the UK with drugs in the hope that those upper classes drug themselves out of their minds and become hapless victims of their own habits. The recent confiscation of a very large haul of drugs cannot have been welcome by UK drug barons.

It is only in the drug context that I can understand why Cameron wants to involve a US cop (Bratton) as advisor.  I see little hope that the current government can come up with a digestible approach that is coordinated across all service areas of government.

I am often tempted to compare today’s civilisation with the Roman Empire and scientists now belief that the sanity of Roman Emperors was afflicted by the lead in the water they drank because their water viaduct pipes contained a lot of lead. Could it be that the lead of Roman times is replaced today by class A drugs? After all the use of drugs spreads more and more into upper circles and I believe that today’s society is very much inflicted with drug abuse. We see that society is pretty stagnant and corrupt too.

Amazon environment activists killed

From this article that reports the murder of 2 prominent Amazon rain forest environmental activists it becomes clear that Brazil eased legislature on de-forestation of this important region of the world.

The Prince’s Rainforest Project raises awareness of the international importance of some regions of the world for the whole planet.

I think that countries who hold such international treasures,such as rainforest should be subject to an international panel of experts before they can make any legislation that affects those internationally important assets such as rainforest. The status of the Amazon rainforest will affect this whole planet and the earth warming we are already subjected to. Brazil now eased laws on deforestation. If each country in that region allows similar laws, we could see the disappearance of the Amazon rainforest within decades and that could have devastating results for the planet.

I am not sure why not more pressure is being put on World Health Organisations or other similar bodies to found an International organisation that has input on countries, making it compulsory to seek international approval before national legislation can be changed.

We are definitely sitting all in the same boat, I mean on the same planet and national sovereignty must come second when planet’s needs are overriding.

Green pressure on the Blues

Of course since the Conservative Party changed the logo from a flame to a tree, the emphasise became not only pictorial but also contractual a green agenda. The Conservatives promised to become the greenest government ever and that no doubt got them a lot of tactical votes from the Green Lobby.

The government since made some very unpopular moves in wanting to sell off publicly owned forests, which had to be withdrawn, there is now a query on energy and carbon management.

What I did not know about is the existence of a Green Investment Bank but that just shows how little that has been promoted over the general media. I read about it in a BBC article that explains how the green lobby wrote a letter to the Prime  minister that was signed by no less than 15 leaders of environmental organisations including Christian Aid, Green Peace and Oxfam.

I think that any future government will stand or fall on green issues as this affects our quality of life and environmental sustainability needs to be built in. I think that Prince Charles is the one voice not to forget about this as he shows great understanding of the issue with his rainforest project.

One of the biggest issues is of course energy and the government currently favours nuclear energy, which many are doubtful about, which is confirmed by the problems Japan had in a recent earth quake. Yet Britain is not prone to earth quakes but our near neighbour Spain, recently suffered an earthquake of considerable strength.

Of course anything new is expensive because it is not mass produced. What however has to be credited to this government is the fact that people have less money to spend and that must have a direct effect on the environment because if people buy less consumer goods less carbon is produced in making and transporting goods.

I thought that Germany is a leader on environmental policies and it remains to be seen what public pressure can achieve in the UK. So far very little has changed in the long-term policies of housing providers, yet there is a glimpse of preparation for earth warming because the government is moving some of its agencies up north.

What is of course an important consideration, is the freedom of movement we call can enjoy as built in human right. That of course reflects on the burning of fossil fuels for the moment and energy prices again will be high on the agenda. I think that the swith in fuel habits is a painful one and industry is little prepared and the people have not got the cash to purchase those new, environemntally friendly vehicles; neither is the infrastructure in place to use battery driven cars, e.g. charging points.

I read about a new vehicle that works mainly on air, that is the one that interests me the most.  See an overview here.

plenty to think about

having watched the royal wedding gave me plenty to think about.  It was a very impressive event for several reasons. Of course as already hinted my main interest is the business and economic side of it because my main training is in business but I was also fascinated on other aspects like the strongly sexist impression I got from the very basic order within the family, which saw all males in military uniforms and all females in fancy dress.

Starting on the sexist part it appears a little implausible that a change in the female entitlement to become first to the throne would not also bring a change to the strict dress code. I thought males looked much nicer yesterday as their outfits looked better organised and more glamorous than the women’s. Men’s outfits were also more gay and even if the basic uniform colour was black in some cases like for instance Prince Harry, the colourful tassels and batches, buttons and medals made up for that.

I think women should have to counter that basic dress sense and design their own uniform code to be equally glamorous in the dress department to equal the men properly. Or why did the Queen not wear uniform when she as head of the country should have outshone the congregation, which was led by equally well dressed church officials alongside the military men. The only uniformed females on the day were some female police officers on crowd control outside.

And of course the main question for me is what does this royal wedding do for the economy and there the real puzzle starts. We saw a racially white royal family, served by white religious and military personnel, admired by a mainly white crowd, which was totally unrepresentative of the racial mix the actual population consists of.

What is important in this context is also the fact that the UK economy sees very little growth and suffers a deficit in the balance of imports and exports.

What we see is a small group of white people who made a huge diplomatic effort to befriend representatives of other racial origins, which were of course the carefully selected diplomatic guests from around the world.

In the crowd outside were a few almost Asian or black looking people but most were plain white. The question is how long can this small but powerful minority, in the international sense cling on to power and how much economic impact will that small group have? Of course we continually see the strategic efforts to give key posts within the royal household to persons of other racial origin but that can only stay diplomatic because on a personal level no racial mixing takes place. The only previous attempt of a member of the royal family to go astray ended in tragedy, when Princess Diana mixed up with Egyptian Dodi Fayed.

Yet each racial group must be allowed the basic right to preserve itself or not and that is really the question whether there is such a feat. Culture and colour are ingrained in groups of people who have occupied geographical regions for a long time and that is the same around the world. It is just that some racial groups are smaller than others.

In how far technical and intellectual superiority plays a role the balance of power has shifted to other parts of the world now that contains much larger groups with other racial features. Insofar as basic food production is concerned the UK has long outgrown its ability to grow their  own in self-sufficiency.

I think that the royal family itself has little economic power and it will have to be seen whether royalty will have to keep up economically to be able to stay in power.  Well saying that we saw lots of property owners yesterday.

Yet coming back to the dresses and costs all around I think women should insist less on variety and save resources and adopt a similar dress strategy to men, who dress more basic but more effective also. It also makes more economic sense if women would wear less choice and more style that is cheaper to maintain. Women damage their own economic prospects if they keep on spending on variety that is short-lived and expensive to produce.

I watched the wedding

It was a thoroughly enjoyable ceremony with excellent readings and speeches. I am glad that Kate’ dress was more nice than Princess Diana’s but feel sorry for Kate that she inherits a lot of the family sorrow to do with Princess Diana’s premature death. Kate would be better off a a Catholic as she would not get divorced down the line. It is very interesting to see how the wedding vows are going to be kept by this couple.

I enjoyed to see the few contemporary colourful outfits with bright hats. but those black ladies looked bleak and were easily outdone by men’s colourful uniforms. The page boys looked delightful and the traditional boy’s choir enhanced the wedding a lot.

I wondered whether Kate should not have been made a more contemporary headpiece of jewellery to wear to mark that new chapter in the royal family history.

The total absence of any protest along the streets was more than suspicious and seems rather repressive than a genuine picture of total approval and wonder why we condemn others for a lack of democracy.

I thought that it would have been a great sign of our big society if all services for that wedding had been made available voluntarily by those who could afford to do so. Monarchy is nice to watch but does it help our economy?

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