The lost card world

The only thing I support about Labour is their trial to introduce a basic income in Wales. I really think a basic income would solve a lot of secondary problems of the rich and the poor world we have right now.

For example a lost card world has emerged.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What this means is that if people hang around long enough outside of train stations or bus stations, they can bet to find a lost travel card somewhere, if not more than one.

What happens then is that a person advertises this lost card on social media. Yesterday I came across a travelcard of a child being advertised on Facebook as lost.

Facebook told me they don’t mind this happening. Even though it breaches the privacy laws to publish the details of a minor without the parents’ consent, Facebook doesn’t mind.

Now not even TFL minds that their travel cards are advertised on Facebook, in the hope of -reuniting the card with the owner.

Even relatives of school staff are involved in this. I have not yet heard back from the school in question whether they mind that their staff and family are involved of advertising children’s lost travel card on Facebook.

Complications would arise if there is a common name on the card. So if two Peter Joneses lost their cards and the first one picks it up but it actually belongs to the second one, someone gets a lost travel card until the original owner reports it as lost to TFL, that is when it gets cancelled. There is quite a big movement on advertising lost travel cards on a Facebook group, that so far has attracted in excess of 25 k followers. TFL only cancels cards if the original owner tells them, not if they get to know the card is advertised as lost on Facebook. TFL in fact doesn’t mind that some persons advertise their lost cards on Facebook.

When it comes to bank cards the situation drastically changes. I have seen quite a few ‘lost’ bank cards advertised on Facebook. To be collected by the real owner in a local shop for example or the advertiser asks to contact him/her.

What I find especially worrying about bank cards is that the ‘finder’ has no way of ascertaining whether the card loser was the actual owner of the bank card or is indeed entitled to have it. It may be a stolen card or borrowed card or something similarly sinister.

In the case of lost travel cards the advertisers claim that poor people could not afford to replace the cards, as if they magically know that the loser is a poor person. But in the case of bank cards, such arguments do not hold water, as bank cards are replaced free of charge.

Then there are the lost keys advertised on Facebook. Quite amazing. I can imagine that if you are homeless a bunch of keys to a flat would be attractive to you, if it is advertised on Facebook. How indeed would the finder know how to sort out ownership of the keys.

People used to hand in lost items at police stations or in case of travel cards at TFL but now they put it on social media instead and I wonder what else happens.

Obviously only the loser of an items would know the item. For example on the day of my driving test I was so nervous that I lost my key in the local post office. Upon returning there the staff could remember the keys being lost and me and returned the keys to me. However had the keys been advertised on social media, quite a few people would have come forward to claim them. Or my daughter lost her travel card in a bus, the bus driver still had it on the return journey and could remember us and so returned it to me. But had this card been advertised on social media, it would have been different. There are quite a few people with that name on the card.

What is really important is that there is a degree of privacy between the card issuer and the card holder and the bond between the two is being interrupted by third persons who take on the role of re-distributing those cards to anyone who claims them thereby circumventing the genuine owner of the cards.

Those third parties, publish the names of card holders publicly without being challenged of doing so.

The blame game

I keep on hearing that Lutfur Rahman is the bad boy, it is all his fault and the great and good Labour Party has nothing to do with his wrong-doing.

WRONG

Lutfur Rahman’s reign happened during a period of Labour administration in Tower Hamlets and whatever happened is as much Labour’s fault as it is Rahman’s fault.

I remember the extremely bad quality of the home improvements we got. They didn’t even give us matching window locks to save money. Our toilet had to be replaced after a few months as it broke due to bad quality.

Whatever happened in the admin of Lutfur Rahman also is equally the fault of the ruling Labour Party. People have decided to allow Mayoral elections for Tower Hamlets and Labour simply cannot wash their hands of elected candidates by blaming them and pretending it has nothing to do with them.

This LTN scheme for Tower Hamlets has produced extremely bad results for more traffic in residential streets.

traffic is sent around Wellington Row, a once peaceful residential area. Such plans are in place for other neighbourhoods too. This is what a Liveable Street looks like now. Lutfur Rahman has promised to return traffic to normal and that is what makes him popular with voters.

prevent the wrong person election

It seems almost comical that in Tower Hamlets, they are running a referendum to prevent Lutfur Rahman from being re-elected as Mayor.

It’s like getting rid of democracy because people could vote for the wrong person.

But, that is not what democracy is about. Democracy is about making elections possible and not to prevent them. If we would devise electoral practises to get the correct person into place, we would almost already have fascism.

Hello Tower Hamlets. If people don’t like the Mayor, they can remove him. But you can’t stop a Mayor from getting elected. That is not what democracy is about.

Lutfur Rahman was removed before and any Mayor will be removed again, if they turn out to be unsuitable. People have to learn the difference between a good and a bad Mayor, they cannot learn if you do not allow them to have a Mayor because the Mayor is not sticking to t he rules.

What is at stake is the principle. Should there be a Mayor, which can be elected by the general public, regardless of his status as councillor or should be have a Leader of the Council, selected by Councillors from elected Councillors only, not allowing the people to choose from any candidate standing.

Lock-down’s not working for me

I have had the worst start to the New Year.

I reside in a building that is plagued by bad plumbing problems. As soon as it rains above the normal, which is just a little bit, my drains block either my sink or my bath.

It takes the landlord then around a week or more to unblock it.

My kitchen waste gets through the same waste pipe as my bathroom waste and as the bathroom pipe has been blocked by upcoming silt, I am totally unable now to

  • use my washing machine or diswasher if I had one
  • have a shower/bath
  • use my kitchen sink

as all my waste water from kitchen and bath, come out in my bath tub.

The idea of lockdown is that you spend time at home and do not use public bath and shower facilities. Unfortunately for me, I can’t use my personal facilities either. I have been getting a lot of excuses.

Just wondering how is it furthering public health if people can’t wash properly at home?

My landlord says they do not have the necessary staff available to deal with repairs in good time.

bank’s negativity

My online banking has asked me to allow them sending me messages about account movements.

But, yea but no but, they only sent me the outgoings. The balances they predict only contain negative messages. E.g. your balance is nearing zero. Yet, where is them calculating in my predicted income.

Fact is my online banking messaging system does not include income scheduled.

Of course every proper capitalist does not have a guaranteed income. Every income is the best one can hope for in a positive outcome.

Just reminds me when I deal with the current Chest Hospital development situation.

Crest Nicholson had dire financial problems in 2009 alongside other developers like Barratt. That just brings home that those, being part of the private finance initiative, need to make money to survive. They cannot rely on a backhander from government reserves, they need to built their own reserves.

Chest Hospital remains boarded up, but since the planning permission has finallyl been granted, perhaps something is going to happen sooner rather than later.

So it makes me smirk at best when those complaining about profiteering from private developers say that they (the developers) want to make a profit.

But the council house building has also hit rock bottom.

So what do we do? Do not build any new houses because there is no money for councils to built them? Do we just let areas rot away and leave humans to sleep in tents in the streets?

Private house developers do build homes for those earning lots of money but if we do not allow them to build homes and refuse their homes because we only want council houses then we just do not get homes.

Well, that depends on the government that is currently in place and this creates the political and financial climate.

My stance has always been, allow a private developer to built on the former Chest Hospital site rather than just let the site rot away, allow rats to become cosy in the old buildings and help protesters feel happy about having prevented a perfectly sensible housing development.

Who wants to live next door to rotting buildings and smelly old hospital amenities?

Some protesters even came up with the issue of light. They argued that the Chest Hospital development would take away the light on neighbourhing houses. Yet, they completely forgot that we have in excess of 150 mature trees in only one estate next to the site and those trees take away considerable amounts of light from residents already there. So where is the argument?

It’s really a spot of bother if Resident’s Associations want to prevent others from moving into their area. How can they ever develop a positive relationship in the community with the push away attitude?

It’s always easy for those already in a home to say to others they are not entitled to have one.

Yes, the protests may have improved the quality of dwelling offered by Crest Nicholson but that has only pushed up the price to those who already have lots of dosh.

Whilst in the meantime the poor people have to put up with being put into former commercial offices, which have been converted to bad quality homes, the Chest Hospital protesters are only concerned about the quality of housing offered to those with lots of money.

A skills-based win

Apparently my business skills and economics, business based set of qualifications, gained in various specialist schools both in Germany and Britain and my great ability to do accounting, are probably responsible for my most recent win of a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

I have run my own business for 10 years. I had been a company director.

They were just finding for me because they obviously looked at the accounts of the local social landlord e.g. council and from the accounts they could determine what had and had not taken place.

There is always room for basic logic to be successful in many walks of life.

Far away dreams

Why do people explore space, want to go to Mars or explore for Exo Planets? Most likely because they look for happiness.

People’s relationships rely largely on chemistry whether that is triggered by money or some other currency of exchange value.

Just watched the Bruderhof and it reminded me a lot about my child-hood. I could however never now, express myself over a love for Jesus. I would use other values instead. Values like honesty, humility and responsibility. HHR, I might have found a new letter combination that means something to me at least.

It’s extremely rewarding to emphasise important values and it is humiliating to learn that a lot of people do not understand the basic values that life consists of.

I suppose in places like the Bruderhof you learn to concentrate on those basic values alone before anything else and it’s harder to get confused and divert into destructive or unhealthy habits.

I suppose people who enjoy the Bruderhof will be strong characters who have a huge will to live and contribute to their community.

In a ‘normal’ society people who are depressed are most probably the ones who are most frivolous in their behaviour. People who are depressed also tend not to clean so often.

I have just come across basic values in my own community. Learned that people have big plans, starting large, expensive schemes to teach people about environmental values but they are unable to remove the weeds in front of their own porch to stop weeds from destroying the concrete tarmac.

This is how our Residents Association keeps their porch in front of the community centre. Yet they have great plans to start a Climate Task Force. Perhaps what they need is a weed removal task force first. Even if the social landlord doesn’t do their job, would it not make sense to get a task force of volunteers to deal with that?

It’s pretty easy to explain that away with environmental concerns, to say that a living weed has a big environmental impact and that the damage to remove it would be immense.

Still those weeds destroy the civilised building structures, overgrow a footpath and where would that weed-growing stop? Would we end up being re-forested for the sake of the environment and have our houses swallowed up by trees or can we manage a basic form of discipline and agree to keep our cultured living spaces clean and free from plants whose roots can destroy our driveways?

Those are the people who have been given a substantive amount from the BIG LOTTERY to teach us about the environment. They probably going to teach us to leave weeds be; if we let them.

 

They’re attacking our food supplies again

With the argument that food supplies make up 20% of global emmissions, the Big Lottery has now funded – on a big scale – a project here in Tower Hamlets that wants to tell people: “Don’t rely on food banks, grow your own food”. See my previous post.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

This, in effect, makes the situation of poor working class people worst. They are trying to teach you, eat what you can grow locally.

Many residents of Tower Hamlets and indeed throughout Britain rely on large-scale food imports. From rice to spice, it all has to come from far away places.

Unfortunately this new trend is masked up as working on our well-being. Whilst our residents face eviction notices, they are told to grow their own food to save the planet.

Whilst in our area people oppose the building of new housing, they support the growing of own food. Put the two together, you achieve less housing more farming in a place that is called the City of London. Overall the aim of those radical groups is to reduce the population number, reduce the size of cities and ruralisation of our country.

Even if you are a regular coffee house customer and eat out, your restaurant relies on food imports to supply your tasty morsels every day.

The project, which just received major Big Lottery funding has built-in “the Parkview and Cranbrook climate task force”

Previously Extinction Rebellion declared the Glasshouse Community Centre on Parkview Estate as one of their favourite haunts and they use it to prepare props for those large-scale demonstrations that put a stop to life in London as we know it, by blocking traffic and trying to stop commuters boarding trains.

Unfortunately major community organisations in Tower Hamlets have agreed to take part in this project. Of course they do try it first with the poorest as they are the most vulnerable and easiest to draw in.

All those attempts to shut our supermarkets down and replace them with plastic free, self-selection shops failed because the products are not as cheap as the conventional ones.

Whichever way you look at it, the working people, who earn little money need to be able to buy food in the time they have available to do it.

What these projects are doing is telling the poor working class: “Don’t rely on the ‘bad supermarket food’, dont’ rely on food banks, Grow your own food.

If you see how little space there is in an inner-city housing estate or garden to grow food, you would know that any crop would not achieve more than one dinner per harvest. If you have a plot you may achieve a aquivalent of 10 dinners with one large tub of earth.

Just imagine the working person has to do a full shift or work overtime to earn enough and then they cannot even pop into a shop to buy food but they have to make do with what they grow at home.

 

BIG Lottery lost the plot

Virtually that is what they funding, plodding on plots. They have now funded a scheme that is giving the poor of Tower Hamlets the illusion that they can grow their own food, so that they no longer need to be reliant on food banks.

For that illusion they pay several project leaders good salaries to carry out that deception.

Remember how dreamer George Galloway tried it years ago, he tried to convince Tower Hamlets residents that they no longer need supermarkets but just have to buy local or directly from farmers.

The poor haven’t become any richer, they have become poorer and making them feel that they are responsible partly for 20% of the global greenhouse gas emmission because they don’t grow their own food is foolish to say the least.

Tower Hamlets council even splashes out on a community kitchen, which is (un)suitably located directly next to a private school. So any fires from that kitchen will lead to an evacuation of the school of course.

I thought avoiding accidents whilst cooking in my own kitchen was difficult at times but imagine sharing a kitchen with many who are led to cook there together. The person with the nut allergy next to the nut lover.

It is more than cruel to give people the illusion that they can grow their own food in densely crowded urban area.

I grow my own raspberries and currants and still end up getting them from Sainsbury’s because I do not get more than a handful. Any plots people have in Tower Hamlets are small plots, balconies, window boxes. Surely not enough to feed anybody.

And aren’t the poor to work for their money? Now they are not only expected to work but also to grow their own food, so they no longer need food banks.

Apparently the Big Lottery has not yet realised that you can’t grow rice in London and that fish grows in rivers and the sea and not the local canals. So food will always have to be transported into urban areas and all those food-growing schemes can be no more than a hobby to get people out of the house, if they got a tub somewhere.

I am more than disappointed that the Big Lottery supports that scheme, which is also connected to workshops about Climate Action.

As Extinction Rebellion already use our local community centre for making props for their demos, they now gotten even more money to educate local poor people on climate action.

Obviously the last thing a poor person wants to do is spend their last pennies on a bag of compost so that they can harvest 10 potaotes in a few months time. 

Unison Demo today in Tower Hamlets

Unison was holding a demonstration against Tower Hamlets Rewards. I am not sure what it is about, just pictured the moment as I came across the demo on the way home from shopping in Whitechapel. The demo was walking down Cambridge Heath Road from Bethnal Green towards Whitechapel.

I can understand people have a grudge against changes to working conditions. I noticed the traffic held up was not pleased. Did not see any police around to keep the peace.

unison-demo-TH-rewards-17-8-20

Demo against Tower Hamlets Rewards

Find it amazing that Unison is accusing Mayor John Biggs, to behave like Margaret Thatcher, when former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair himself hailed Margaret Thatcher.

It is true that John Biggs only enforces government legislation without making much fuss about it. All policies about school closures for example are carried out because of government rules on school funding.

What room to exercise discretion does any council actually have?

The reasons for the dispute are listed here.

  • Slashing Severance Pay by at least 80% and capping pay outs at £25,000.
  • Reducing starting salaries for Scale 6 to SO2 by one increment instead of expanding grades upwards.
  • Substantially reduced Flexi scheme that allows a maximum of one day owed per month with a maximum of seven hours credit/debit and loss of credit if not used within a month.
  • Travel allowances cut by £596 with more restrictive ECUA criteria.
  • Night work supplements starting later (at 9pm, rather than 8pm).
  • Market supplements replaced and restricted by subsuming into future pay rises and only giving to new starters.
  • Review of Special Leave entitlements
  • Removing protections around disciplinary and grievance procedures by making them non-contractual. This will offer less protection to TUPE transfers and reduce consultation if changed in future.
  • No payment for travel time in new Mobility Clause and limited compensation for excess travel costs.

It is concerning that the payment for travel time is to be axed. That always had been a big problem for people on zero hours contracts or the self-employed for example when they had to travel from job to job.

The proportionality of travel costs in jobs must be a matter of consideration. Almost everybody complains about travel costs. Season tickets can make a big dent into ones income. It makes a difference though if you pay for twice daily travel to and from work and a regular income with that or if you are self-employed, like a carer and have to travel to several jobs per day and dont’ earn proportionally enough to make that worth it.

 

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