Nothing Changes

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Obama is giving Thatcher a medal and privatising the TVA.
When are we going to grab the idea economics doesn’t work?

Our energy bills are going through the roof, so privatisation worked did it?

We are in the sixth year of a “crisis” with an end as realistically in sight as world war claims ‘it will be all over by Xmas’.   When Canute ‘tried to prevent the tide coming in’ it came in and did so since.  He may have been demonstrating limits to a monarch’s powers or a total arse (plenty of royal examples).  Modern economics and government tend to make us believe the sky will fall without them.   Maybe Canute is the better example?

The song is 60’s – the economic arguments better understood in the 20’s when E D Morel unseated Churchill in Dundee.  We can waste £10 million on the funeral of a woman whose family could have done it quietly and sold the event to the Daily Mail.  Do you know the names of any of the leaders of the best country to live in for the last 100 years (Sweden)?  It’s time for a big rethink.  Sadly, most of our most able go to university to make sure they never will think for themselves.

The Secret Life Of The Evil Poor (part deux)

The story really starts 35 years ago.  I was working Old Trafford and got a call to another beat.  It was a favour from Panda control  The complainant was apparently very tasty.  I found a couple with a young baby driven out of there wits.  The problem was an old woman next door (terraced housing).  There was nothing I could do at the time, other than establish the old dear was barking.  I said I’d be back to help and it was clear the young couple didn’t believe me.  They’d been let down by at least ten other cops, including one I was going out with.

I went back three times to collect evidence from other neighbours over the week. Rumours my interests were only in the guy’s wife abounded, as they do.  The evidence amounted to discipline charges against fellow officers – they had had plenty of scope to act and had not.  It was enough to satisfy me something had to be done.  Putting together 40 pages of documentation that would make a case and drop my colleagues in the proverbial wasn’t much of an option.  I tried social services and got the usual fob-off.

The easiest route was to lock the mad woman up for something solid.  I didn’t regard her as criminal, but she was doing stuff like hurling roof-slates at kids,playing blaring music and banging on doors, walls and ranting.  I took a few statements that left the other officers out and went to tell her a few things, knowing she would get irate.  It worked and she hit me – totally ‘unprovoked’.  She I nicked her for police assault.  This was around tea-time on a day I’d started at 6 a.m.  She was squabbling along with her husband and clearly giving me a hard time.  Another young couple stopped and asked if they could help.  They parked their car (they were just passing) and stayed with me until the van came – for moral support.  My mate the van driver rewarded them by running into the back of their car – just a light lens broken.  The charge office sergeant wasn’t happy with a police assault charge, but we did a breach of the peace thing and I had thus to go to court the following morning. Another job kept me up all night.

The court appearance saw the old dear get the social services’ help she needed and I have to say after this all parties, including her and her husband got the peace they needed.  People involved were decent enough to thank me, including the now none mad old dear.

‘My case’ starts in this series of incidents because the response of GMP more than 30 years later was as piss poor as in the old case until I arrived on the scene.  Much worse when one considers the perpetrators were vile, thieving, child-abusing drunken recidivist scum.  The very idea that police and other authorities have learned lessons is bunkum – they were worse more than 30 years on, with all kinds of new legislation and alleged partnotship notworking.

Like other cops I went to many domestics and neighbour disputes and often did not much because not much needed or could be done.  Some complainants were just ‘complainers’, and I saw women egging their partners on to hit them so I’d arrest them and they could then demonstrate their love by refusing to give evidence.  Squalid crap mostly, though the clear problem was our lack of power to do anything in clearly dangerous or severe nuisance situations.  A lot of cops share my view that we were trained in nothing that mattered other than by more experienced cops and a sense of morality.  One night, with twenty rioting yobs advancing on us my mate asking if I was any good at fighting.  He wasn’t, he said after I’d mentioning playing rugby..  One other officer had run away and my mate Ken was bruising away in the distance.  We charged through the mob to join him. The three of us and two more from Traffic arrested 15 or so, back-to-back at one point.

That night we were supposed to do observations on a house a woman with an injunction against her husband was living in.  None of the section were on patrol,everyone dealing with prisoners.  I did the charge sheets because I was the only one who could type at any speed.  The house was on my beat, so when a 999 call came in, I dropped everything and raced off to my Panda car.  My old mate Bill followed, as fine a human being one was likely to meet.  We got there in time and arrested the vile husband under the injunction.  I near thing, you might think – but think on – the injunction turned out to have no power of arrest and he was released later in the morning and nearly killed her in the afternoon.  Bill and I knew there was no power of arrest.  We acted illegally and knew.  So did the bastard.  We ‘Rag and Flocked’ him for drunk and disorderly (£10 fine).  One got used to the law being an ass.  Of course, it still is.  He was released without any power of arrest being added to the injunction.  One might wonder what barking use one is without one.

More than 30 years later it is reasonable to think no lessons get learned by our authorities gone mad when they still issue injunctions without powers of arrest, and they do.  You will also discover victims have no support from any ‘Victims’ Code’ until they are dead.  The woman with the injunction was supposed to be visited regularly on the afternoon her violent husband was released, but I know she wasn’t and that the relevant log was altered. Two off duty cops attended the house meaning to suggest one of them stayed the night there. Otherwise she’d be dead.

The evil couple I came to know much better than I wanted to were in a more or less constant state of domestic violence or feuds with other families.  This was the case over the twenty years before I was fated to meet them.  They still are.  They do the same things they did when they were teenagers in trouble, relying on the same lies and posturing to keep themselves ‘out of trouble’ – which means always in it.  The question, as we explore their lives in part three, is why no one is really interested and prepared to prevent the injustices done in the lives they blight or admit the problem as everyone is affected by it.  I met plenty similar in the 1970’s and believe more help was available all round then.  I won’t be considering the economics, but I’m sure the leaching of cash and wage decimation is a key background cause.

Wandering through our town centre with an old mate over from the States, we laughed between ourselves watching some of our white urban poor.  We might have been crying, but we ain’t men that cry.  Many of the problems are obvious, so obvious you can see them on a trip from one pub to another.  We needed none of the sociology we teach (mine is ‘post-industrial’).  The old white working class isn’t working and no one gives a damn. We were once of it and able to leave.  The supply of tickets is long used up.  Part of the problem is that we left.

 

Obama fails to plead the 14th – we move closer to doomsday

The hype over the Us debt ceiling in our media has been witless.  There is now a deal and it’s one that makes no economic sense.  What it demonstrates, like our own Condemlibbers, is that the rich are running the show and none of the rest of us matter. Austerity is a mug’s game, other than in household budgeting or corporate housekeeping.  Obama could have shown some balls and used the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling and forced the barking Republicans into war with the Tea Party clowns.  The great black hope is now laid as waste as all the under-sized heavyweights until Klitscho.

Much as we have come to hate welfare dependency and the evil poor, this is not the reason for economic decline.  The bottom 10% in our country hardly make a blip on the wealth of our country (see the ONS figures) and they (have to) spend whatever they get and thus help keep businesses afloat.  The problem everywhere is the rich, a bunch of thieving swine who are playing crooked games made legal.

I’d be all for austerity if it was coupled with structural changes like a genuine greening of the economy, the way we relate with each other and the production of social capital and new forms of entertainment and leisure.  Instead, we have a clown form that cuts the number of cops, slashes services, charities and hardly produces a decent job.

This is all happening at a time when we have truly amazing technologies to produce energy, food, housing, communities and a genuinely educated society.  I’d put it in terms of this thought experiment.

“Would we be better off losing the bottom 10% of our people or the top 10%”?

The sad truth now, I suspect, is that we would easily survive either, but be much better off if we could redistribute the wealth of the top 10% into radical social and work change.  Of course, if the wealth of the top 10% just went to government we’d see very little change.  The wealth needs to be in circulation paying people to do stuff and re-invest wages in change.

We won’t get any sense from the goon-class of politicians that serves the rich.  This is the Doomsday road to serfdom, led by the country we once thought the beacon of democracy and capitalism – now become the military fiefdom of robber barons.  Even America can’t produce jobs and has one in seven on food stamps and half its population poor.

The infamous double-dip is more or less with us, and as cops line up for decimation, we’ll find many other jobs disappear, inflation making families unable to pay bills and even food shortages in some homes.  The IMF is predicting £1500 a year lost per family over the next five years.  That’s about the same as we’ve spent in Iraq and Afghanistan in money, before we count the lives taken and those of our own lost.

It won’t be long before one set of clowns or another start venting spleen against the newly thinned blue line.  The brick flying in Toxteth is linked to Obama’s failure to plead the 14th.  Nothing in the politics in polemic here justifies any violent action against police officers.  I personally abhor the juvenile crap.  It’s all a long way from a couple of us in uniform facing 10,000 pickets and being offered butties and tea.  NI looks likely to kick off again too.

One might think, by now, our democratic leaders would do more to head off street demonstrations with alternatives the other voices in our society could deem fair and worthwhile.  I know none.

Bin Laden’s Death Brings No Peace

Who was the greater war criminal – Bin Laden, Bush, Blair and so on?  We do not generally consider Moses a war criminal, but he clearly is in Numbers 31.  Wars, of course, often progressed through killing the men and taking the women and ‘other’ livestock.  Later Western conquests have often been through disease.  We seem broadly incapable, across the globe, of accurate history.  I know of no country teaching such a syllabus.

It takes an idiot to make glory of the past and want to be a medieval warrior.  I suspect they were shits to a man, outside of fiction and myth.  Terrorists fade into heroic freedom fighters.  More will die as misguided souls pay tribute to  Bin Laden the martyr.  I shed tears in advance for the victims.

‘Saudi Arabia’ (a fairly recent invention) has been the ideological base for ‘Muslim terrorism’ for a century and a half.  British suppression of this in India was brutal and involved the hanging of whole families of men.  We have a sorry colonial record along with many other countries.  Ours is more recent than Mogul, Russian, Indian, Mogul, Shaka Zulu and so on.  The current empire is American, and not short on squalor (the Philippine War and so on).  One might ask what the world would look like now, had British, French and Russian forces bundled into the US in 1861, as intended.  We probably owe a considerable amount of the progress in what democracy we have to the USA.

It was an alliance of nations made up of Austria-HungaryFranceGermanyItalyJapanRussia, the United Kingdom, and the United States that invaded China around 1900 for imperialist trade purposes.  These countries were soon fighting each other in largely imperialist world wars.  My guess is we have as little clue now of what is brewing up.  I suspect Bin Laden and ‘international terrorism’ is a convenient cover-up of what we should really be discussing in public scrutiny.

The key question is what is between us and world peace.  This question is mostly dismissed as only for idealistic fools who know nothing of ‘real world politics’.  Some of the ‘answers’, of course, fit this bill.  Pulling down all our institutions in the hope of ‘truth lying in the main destruction’ (anarchist sloganising), and people being thus freed to live good, natural lives.  Those so crudely ‘natural’ should watch Japanese hornets beheading thousand upon thousand bees, like ancient warriors using short swords on the losers of mass battles.  Marxist ideology can be quite beautiful in its emancipatory form (see Terry Eagleton), but we have seen it only corrupted in the hands of power.  Even to think of society as the free individual writ large soon collapses to an exemplar of the ‘tragedy of the commons’, or if a team on bandits form.  The Athenian Democracy was almost always at war, imperialist, not for slaves and committed genocides – only escaping this fate itself on account of Spartan tolerance.

That we should be looking for real world peace, rather than Western dominance arises as much in technical progress as anything spiritual.  The potential for mass destruction may be becoming stronger, perhaps to the level of very few people and resources being needed to produce something like nuclear weaponry in destructive power.  The madmen may as well be Texan as Iranian or members of the Scottish Liberation Army.  Being at the top of a power hegemony may no longer be enough, something those of us living under the American umbrella should ponder on.  It is common in the Middle East to think of suicide bombers as ‘our F-16s’.  Much worse could be dreamed into practice.  Bin Laden pales against ‘Dr. No’.

We have to suspect we are being lined-up for a big war and who may be doing this and why.  We have to think why clowns like Bin Laden are revered, and why so many of us unwittingly rejoice at his death, through chants at Ground Zero to idiot newspaper headlines on his ‘cowardice’.  I am quite sure we want a world without Bin Ladens; yet we also need one without corrupt banking, money almost unrelated to work value and effort and so on.

Work Ethic

In memory, a Goon Show starts with the sound of matches being lit and tossed into water.  Neddy Seagoon is trying to set fire to the English Channel, in order to cash in on the insurance policy Moriarty has ‘foolishly’ sold him to protect against this contingency.  I forget how it all turned out.  Neddy is, of course, tossing lighted matches into rocket fuel, which is what water is before electrolysis to hydrogen and oxygen.

These were my confused thoughts listening to El Cameroon’s podcast on turning Britain into an entrepreneurial nightmare of spivs selling aircraft carriers with no planes on them to India.  I had to make something up to tolerate the ghastly dross he was speaking.  He is as crazy as Blair poncing on about frog-marching drunks to cash machines, or pretending he was capable of making more sensible decisions on foreign wars.  I’m fairly convinced our politics is run by the CIA.  There is nothing for me to vote for.  What I believe in is never on the agenda beyond the blogosphere.

Satellite view of the English Channel

Image via Wikipedia

My view is a bit like Gadget’s in that I see a welfare dependency, ghastly moral corruption and farce.  I just can’t pin it on a brainless evil poor, or even a vile and corrupt nexus of politics and management – though I see these in action daily.  We have to see our own roles in the decadence too.  Policing is just one place to  focus on the wider demise.  We are all part of the decadence and the welfare dependency.  This is not to say, as Dr. Heinz Kiosk was apt in ‘Way of the World’, ‘we are all guilty’.

‘Money’ (whatever it is now) is detached from labour value, and its useful purpose in exchange.  This argument dates back at least to Aristotle, as does ‘retailing’ as a contempt word in Plato.  I have no doubt we need fairness, spirits of adventure, cops who protect the peace, invention and some way of being together creatively – a positive response to our plight.  Yet we seem to want to manage this without staring the world in the face to get a grip on what is going on so we can fix it.

Napoleon once derided us as a ‘Nation of shopkeepers‘, though we were, in fact, the nation of ‘balance of power’ foreign policy.  Sometime after the failure of the Corsican’s own military ventures, successful only in reducing the average height of Frenchmen, imperial powers met in Berlin (1861) to arrange to cut up the world’s resources.  The French, British and Russians intended to invade the USA on the pretext of supporting The Confederacy.  A little more determination there might have saved the world from canned laughter and the US foreign policy that out-imperialised us all.  Instead, more important matters such as Belgian dominance in the unspeakable rubber trade were sorted.  Britain now resembles the gruesome Athenian Democracy at its end, unable to build ships, organise its armies, and perhaps hoping those we have been fighting in long wars will take pity and remember some of the good we have done.

The radical change that might help us now, would be to really go down the freedom route and stop the production of docile bodies as wage and mortgage slaves scared to lose livelihoods (the microcosm here is IG‘s ‘I can’t come forward, I’d not be able to pay my mortgage’ – though it’s more complex than this).  Cameron is suggesting ‘entrepreneurial millennialism’ – a very old and dull cry.  We need a much deeper change in employment and wealth sharing relations than this.  I take some comfort from the failure of vapid Sino-Soviet terror-communism, but we should remember both these massive countries have been successful in military ventures, space technology and so on, as well as abject bastards to their own people.  At least our thinking can be free of marxist thought-licensing.

My own preferred places to start thinking involve humour.  Douglas Adams‘ notion of a planet ridding itself of its middlemen only to die out because there was no one to clean the phones is the classic.  Revolted as we should be to discover via Gadget or the Daily Mail of ‘evil poor rich bastards’ living it up on dole they never contributed for, the real welfare dependency in the UK is the vast horde of those with acquired wealth or paying themselves fortunes for abilities to prod leather-wrapped pigs’ bladders in the right direction with their meta-tarsals  or to suck on chocolate dipped strawberries whilst planning to fuck the typing pool.

No communist fantasy need ensue from such thinking on reality.  We just need work and fair pay back along with some idea that the old work ethics are not appropriate now.  You need an image of workers breathing cyanide, tossing bars of sodium as skilfully into a furnace pot as Bond was with his trilby to hat-stand, and one of a modern factory with robots singing opera top get some idea we are half-way to Robot Heaven and should not return to worker hell.  We need a new work ethic.  More than 30 years ago the notion of Quality of Work Life was suggested and abandoned.  This would do.

Without Robot Heaven, we can’t all sit  around on our arses all day but sweet sod all.  This doesn’t mean we need a system in which some turd gets rich off the backs of Pakistani kids sewing soccer balls for a pittance either.  Nor does it mean the public should have to put up with some untrained newbie just out of training school as a response officer because cops with more sense got themselves onto 9 – 5 squads or into chocolate-strawberry eating training – in other words onto benefits while some poor sod does the real work.

We need to take some real risks in the belief we can organise a country worth having.  We have brave people, mostly boys to someone of my age, dying and being traumatised for memories as unimportant as mine of a Goon Show.  We should recognise our history and build a better future.  Cameron is talking populist crap only fit only for the toilet.  Is it surprising a Cabinet stuff with millionaires is talking up their own interests and doing nothing about offshore tax havens and money laundering centres?  We’ve been conned.

The problem with our politics and society is our inability to think in argument.  We just take sides, without thinking that all the arguments may be piss.  I am not likely to care whether anyone is Tory, Labour or Liberal.  I just want to know, in principle, whether they would help to keep the street clean, the neighbourhood free of crime and help to kids with crap parents.  Hopefully, I’ll never need to know, but in practice I know we can’t even rely on most people to do their jobs, let alone muck in.  Strong positions on free markets and socialism are frankly barmy.  Neither get anywhere near being theories that might help us live better together, or get on with lives that might be radically different.

Entrepreneurs mostly get their business ideas from the employers they rip off when they form their own businesses.  Often, the only reason workers can’t do this is either finance or restricted practice.  Other entrepreneurs hang around waiting for the next fad like coffee shops.  Yet more reverse-engineer their entrepreneurial, self-made images, having been left only a few houses by an aunt.  Cameron is hardly entrepreneur material is he?  Can’t see him down the market selling the silver spoons his mouth was full of at birth.

What we need to know is how much work we should have to do as our fair proportion of what needs doing, before we get into political argument.  In full Robot Heaven, the answer to this would be ‘none at all’, at least in terms of what we now term work.  Bastards in the past have come to this conclusion by making people robots (slaves), and I suspect we still live under this govern-mentality.  We need new ideas that are free from millennia of idiot history in which groups kill each other and we piss such a vital resource as helium off into space via children’s balloons, most not even knowing why it is vital and irreplaceable.  The market trader is fine, but not writ large as society.

Political debate and the alleged consultation of changing policing share much in common.  There is no essential deconstruction to see if differences between interests are real or just rhetorical, and no scenario building to see what we would need, working back from what we hope to have.  There is nothing new in any of it all.  Magic solutions like making us all work longer whilst raising unemployment, should really make us worry.  We would probably lose a war with the French now.  Thank goodness they are too civilised and educated to be bothered.