Tolerating the pill poppers

Awoke at 5 with mouth drier than a bull’s bum dragged backwards up a hill. Being night time and a dozy fellow it takes me a while to get going to alleviate things. This is not good as I lie there immediately thinking of food and what I could have for breakfast. I think of many possibilities and reject them all as I will taste none of them. Obsessively thinking about food is one of the diagnostic criteria for TDD (taste disappointment disorder).

Getting better with the pain management regime, as I’ve mentioned before I’ve got beyond that middle class bollocks about using medication. Fay Schopen in today’s Grauniad (which had many interesting pieces today, well interesting to me anyway) in response to the news earlier in the week about how many of us are popping pills and the probably mainly middle class response from those who don’t take pills, or rather are lucky enough not to have to. They rather smugly declaim those who do, I was one of them and now I know better. Most drugs are taken for heart, circulation, depression and pain problems. Are all these people to be castigated for this? To keep the old ticker going, to alleviate depression and pain. Please think a little about what and who you judge.

Which leads me into my next rant, which is that we frequently of late hear and read about good old British values, such as tolerance. We are being somewhat disingenuous here, I think we are a pretty intolerant lot, quick to judge and blame others. The pill poppers, immigrants, the lazy and feckless, those who dare to be disabled, women, especially feminists, foreigners and the list goes on. Be honest, are we really a tolerant  nation?

Latest in the week’s Taming Corporate Power’ series and Larry Elliott, your mate Martin. He highlights the power shift; in the 70’s and 80’s Thatch and co demonised the unions and they were the scapegoats for many of our ills. The unions now have little power whereas corporations have way more power than the unions ever had and they are wielding that power with egregious greed and self-interest. I won’t bother listing all the recent corporate scandals which continue unabated.

Things Mr Elliott suggests are breaking up monopolies, splitting investment and retail arms of banks and paying all those employed in companies that receive public money a living wage. Also that there be a redressing of the balance between capital and labour, so more worker representation on boards, collective negotiation and the like. And of course corporations paying their due in taxes.

His final point, which really chimes with me, is making the CEOs more accountable, they hide behind the limited liability enshrined in public limited liability. They only respond to the profit motive, they should be enforced to carry out all their responsibilities: to the workers, to the public well-being, to all that makes social life worth living and to planetary well-being. And if it needs to be done at the end of a pitch fork, so be it.

Expectations eh? They can catch you. As I wrote yesterday I expected Question Time to be entertaining with Brand and the gargoyle, and after being so enthused by last week’s. As often happens expectations aren’t matched. Despite this it was fun watching Brand tear into the gargoyle, despite being in a very white Canterbury audience there was only sporadic UKIP fuelled nationalism and some audience comment on what is very rarely  discussed anywhere in mainstream media namely the gross injustice of inequality and corporate kleptomania.

I became excited when a grammar school question came up, but there was little proper discussion or analysis. But, guess who said that we don’t hear anyone asking for a return to secondary modern schools? Well, it was Penny Mordaunt, the tory on the panel. Now, as John Harris, suggests to get more and sustained progressive change it would be better if there were a coalition of the willing, not just lefties, greens, liberals but also more enlightened right wingers. Ms Mordaunt might be an example, so I take some of it back, only the regressive reactionary tories are evil. Would be good to have this type of coalition, I’m sure it would soon knock the regressives like UKIP back into the swamp where they belong. Continuing in this vein I learnt today that a British government in 1919 raised funds to pay for war debts from inheritance taxes (including the royals), it also broke up many aristos estates. It was a tory government.

There was also very shouty blue haired woman in the Question  Time audience, she said she was coming for the gargoyle in South Thanet, bring it on!

A Scarfe cartoon:

Manifesto 41:

  • amend public limited liability .so that bosses can be held more accountable.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan

PS listened to the interview with Wilco Mark, it was very heartening.

4 thoughts on “Tolerating the pill poppers

  1. Hi Duncan, so sorry about the Horrible TDD. Hopefully your taste buds will burst into action again soon…
    I am finally entering into the fray! It is good to hear you say that there might be such a thing as a reasonable progressive Tory! I am very much a Left leaning person myself but have long felt it is important not to judge and label whole groups of people whether you demonise or idealise them. I agree with you that it would be exciting to have a cross party coalition of progressive types and that such a coalition would potentially have the power to defuse regressive bigotry. It would also address the unhealthy polarisation and ridiculous posturing in the House of Commons aka the Punch and Judy politics mentioned on question time last night. Health, education, housing etc are obviously fundamental to our quality of life and there will only be social justice if these issues are safe guarded and prevented from becoming political footballs and subject to the kind of short-term ism that arises from self-serving power hungry career politicians. So bring it on I say…👍
    Love from Silly old Hector’s silly old Sal 😊


    1. Sorry Sal, Kate has just pointed out to me that it was Hector’s wife who wrote this comment. Great to have you on board, maybe you’d like to be on the ‘panel’ at the alternative hustings? Kate doesn’t believe me when I say I’d be a good chairperson.
      I do believe though that the ‘evil ones’ take advantage of those who would be more conciliatory and appeal to the basest instincts such as greed, fear and aggression. How we counter this I’m not sure hence my vacillating between pitchforks and coalescence.
      Either way I like a bit of a rant, spent too much of my life trying to be ‘nice’.
      Love Duncan


  2. Lovely to see you both at the Ruby anniversary bash handling the conflict of socialising enjoyably while not pretending that something grim and difficult is going on, you are stars.

    On countering ‘the evil ones’ without pitchforks:
    King’s (Martin Luther) notion of nonviolence had six key principles. First, one can resist evil without resorting to violence. Second, nonviolence seeks to win the ‘‘friendship and understanding’’ of the opponent, not to humiliate him (King, Stride, 84). Third, evil itself, not the people committing evil acts, should be opposed. Fourth, those committed to nonviolence must be willing to suffer without retaliation as suffering itself can be redemptive. Fifth, nonviolent resistance avoids ‘‘external physical violence’’ and ‘‘internal violence of spirit’’ as well: ‘‘The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him’’ (King, Stride, 85). The resister should be motivated by love in the sense of the Greek word agape, which means ‘‘understanding,’’ or ‘‘redeeming good will for all men’’ (King, Stride, 86). The sixth principle is that the nonviolent resister must have a ‘‘deep faith in the future,’’ stemming from the conviction that ‘‘the universe is on the side of justice’’ (King, Stride, 88).

    We do note that King was a christian, but did that really define him? NB I don’t have the answer…. xxx


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