Extremist capitalism

Just as I am reading “The America we deserve” from Donald Trump, I came across an interesting quote: “….because business is the task of linking private ambitions to social needs”.

That sounds very good indeed. Prof Colin Mayer, author of a new report on the future of the corporation for the British Academy, has detected that Britain has the most extreme form of capitalism in the world.

“The corporation has failed to deliver benefit beyond shareholders, to its stakeholders and its wider community,” he said.

The Academy’s report comes a week after the Labour Party manifesto proposed the biggest shake-up of how business is owned and run in decades. It included the nationalisation of water, rail, energy, mail, broadband and the forced transfer of company shares to employees.

 

XR school strike this Friday

Just as all pupils in London either have started their GCSE mock exams this Monday, which will go on till the end of next week or start their GCSE mocks next Monday, Extinction Rebellion is calling for a school strike this Friday.

Why do this in the middle of the important GCSE mock exam?

It really is not necesary to prevent pupils from getting good grades by spending a day out of school at this time of year.

There are other, more suitable days – for example during holidays to do this.

Stop monopolisation of quality goods

background blank business craft

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I am all for quality goods. The distribution of throw-away articles, which are of bad quality and mass-produced and imported at great cost to the environment because of the carbon foot-print does a lot of damage to our environment.

Unfortunately quality goods as – for example Louis Vuitton – are unaffordable for most. It is not possible to mass-produce quality goods and distribute them equally as fast as throw-away goods  because quality goods take much longer to produce.

However, they last longer. I think a Louis Vuitton bag can last not only for one but two generations, hence the carbon footprint of such a luxury item is very low indeed.

Louis Vuitton has just bought the luxury brand Tiffany for around £12.5 Billion. See original report here.

The luxury goods market is totally centralised and unaffordable for the majority of people.

What would be viable is, if more people get the skills and equipment to make high quality goods themselves and sell them for an affordable price or make themselves.

person holding sewing machine

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I can knit a jumper or sew a dress and it will last for decades but if I buy a cheap one, it will be unusable within 2 years. Yet, I do have the skill to knit a jumper but how many people out there could do it? How many people even would have the time to craft something? They are all busy working on cheap products instead.

Crafts are dying out and what we need is crafts to slow the environmental impact that products production and transport has on our environment.

It is amazing that political leaders like Margaret Thatcher, who was the first major leader to address the UN on climate change, at the time when the Berlin Wall fell but who also failed to understand the correlation between mass production and carbon footprint. Luxury goods would have been right up her street.

Home and attitude

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

blue wall alley

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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.

clutter

Why do I spend more money in Lidl when the store is much smaller than other supermarkets like Asda or the big Sainsbury?

It all has to do with clutter; we just love it. The close proximity of stuff in Lidl reminds me of rummaging in a the loft of my ancestors house or in a cellar with hidden treasures. The fact that biscuits can be near cosy socks creates an association of a cosy evening in front of the fire place, having some bickies and lounging on the sofa with the cuddly socks on.

I just can’t help imagining that I have a garden when I see those amazing plants at the entrance of my store. I bought everything from a Mandarin to an Olive tree, bulbs and house plants.

It is much harder there not to spend any excess money than in a larger store where all the items are distributed neatly into different isles. The order of a big store already rationalises my mind and that brings with it an ease to not forget my budget. But when things are almost randomly distributed among the food stuff it feels like I come across treasures, which I need to take.

Whilst I just uncluttered my home, I am now vowing to stop to endulge in any more trinkets.

woman carrying bear plush toy inside store

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Leisure in Tower Hamlets

Leisure facilities in Tower Hamlets have seen an enormous increase of use during the last 7 years. From 2002 – 2019 visits jumped from 80K to 2.2 Million.

A great statistic to see, published by Tower Hamlets council with their OS Leisure Facilitiesv4 papers to be discussed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 25. November 2019.

Yet the council wants to invest only 1.9 Million to maintain and improve 7 Leisure centres. That is simply not enough in my view. Anyone interested can go to the Overiew and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday 25. Nov at the Town Hall and make their views known.

I have lobbied the Council officers to consider increasing that spending and to consider a greater involvement in swimming for secondary school pupils because there is little happening in Tower Hamlets at the moment.

 

White supremacy in British sport today

I welcome it that in Football valiant efforts are made to eradicate racism, especially within the spectator ranks. The discussion was whether to stop matches if racist attacks get too bad because players are of ethnic origin. At least football makes it easy for racial integration. Athletics is also nice and multi-ethnic with Dina Asher-Smith winning the Sports woman of the year award.

There are however other sports in Britain, which are mainly white and little effort is made to weave in ethnic participants, often because the taking part is expensive and so it happens that only rich people actually can afford it.

I won’t name any names and will make it impossible to actually identify who was involved but to share the situation with you:

A major British sports organisation, also part of Sport England, recently published a picture of a new set of sponsored sports coaches, who get trained to get active on the national level to support British sports athletes. The picture showed 95% of white males and 1 white female.

I made a comment saying that I wish more effort was made to include ethnic and/or female coaches. I did not say anything that the selected coaches were only selected because they were white males and I did not doubt that the selected coaches were excellent coaches. I merely wanted to point out that the sport would benefit from more ethnic participation.

Here is a reply I got from one who was offended:

“I have removed your comments from social media as I find them very offensive and take away from my achievement. Is there something wrong with being a white male nowadays as this seems to be the issue for many people. Hard work has got me to this level, not because I am a white male”.

I do not doubt that there is plenty of hard work involved what I want to know why there are only white males getting involved into the top coaching level of that sport. Nobody wants to take away from that person’s achievementes.

Obviously that person who wrote to me, has little understanding of the issues and seems to feel attacked by the fact that I asked why only white males are involved and doesn’t want to even think about that non-whites could get involved too.

Because it is very important to reduce crime rates in our local areas by getting more ethnic minorities involved in sport and other activities and ethnic minorities will be more likely to get involved if they can identify with their peers.

I publish this openly because I do not want to get involved in private conversations of that sort on an encrypted social media channel.

self-indulgent Conservatives

Reuters reports that the Conservative Party raised 26 x more donations than Labour. What do you expect, the rich splash the cash and the poor don’t have a lot.

If the Conservative Party would donate that money to the poor and homeless instead of using it to lie to us, they would gain some respect but like it is, nobody is believing the lies, regardless how nicely they dress it up.

Conservatives raised £5.7 Million and Labour raised £218.500. Of course the rich pay a lot of money to get the Conservatives back into government. I don’t think they care who the prime minister is, they are just interested in keeping those same policies.

Since this is a manifesto for the poor of course the poor can’t donate as much. So I don’t care.

Looking at the Manifesto Labour shouldn’t need much money to convince pensioners that they get care for free and they do not need to convince students who will get university for free. Families want good quality council housing that they can rent on a permanent basis. So who needs a lot of convincing?

The American conundrum

It is absolutely terrible that the current problems with

  • Prince Andrew’s alleged association with convicted American Epstein
  • The Dunn family and the American Anne Sacoolas

could be compared.

I don’t want to get into the like-for-like comparison because there is so much human suffering through wrong-doing involved.

But I can’t help noticing how Prince Andrew is being urged to volunteer his evidence to the American investigators, from the highest level whilst Anne Sacoolas has the support of Dominic Raab to stay where she is and not come to the UK for assisting the criminal investigation.

There seems to be no proper understanding on both sides of the Atlantic that both countries need to work together and volunteer for individuals involved in investigations to assist.

 

legalising Cannabis

man smoking a cigarette

Photo by Brandon Nickerson on Pexels.com

Unfortunately the Liberals stand for the legalisation of Cannabis for recreational use. The Washinton Post published research showing that the number of car accidents has risen in areas where cannabis was legalised. ““The combined-state analysis shows that the first three states to legalize recreational marijuana have experienced more crashes,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president of  the IIHS’s Highway Loss Data Institute, in a statement.”

So do we really add to the risk of car crashes in the UK?

adult alcohol bar bartender

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We are just about able to cope with alcohol consumption and mobile phone use. Adding cannabis consumption will significantly add to the pressure the police is under, which will wipe out any benefits that will be created from the planned Cannabis tax.

Whilst a new law will require the installation of alcohol brathalisers in cars to stop it from starting when the driver had a drink, was reported by the Express.

Yet the alcohol breathaliser will not work with Cannabis.

That is one reason why I won’t be voting Liberal.

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