Anosmia and corporate destruction of our legal system.

Still feeling a little down, speaking with Kate this morning I said that I think it’s the relentlessness of initially the very aggressive treatments and thereafter the multitude of side effects. As I’ve written before I think the term ‘side effects’ a misnomer, they are more full-frontal with many more subtle, but possibly no less debilitating side effects. After thinking the lymphodema under my chin had abated it’s returned over the last 2 days. Whilst it may not be that evident to others it is very evident to me, it makes me more self-conscious and has emotional/psychological effects which are cumulative and not so easily described and, probably, dealt with.

Just listened to a rant by some ukip twat on Any Questions, supposedly answering a question about student fees and paying for them. After he finished speaking there was a sort of dumbfounded silence from the audience, I really do hope their bubble is deflating but the results in May will tell us if this is so. An answer from dear Natalie Bennett has just had rapturous applause, mainly in response to her proposing proper progressive taxation. The programme was from Bristol and it seems to be the case that where there is greater racial mixing there is less ukip support, they do well where there is minimal racial mixing and in mainly white, poorer areas. The liberal twat, ed davey, showed up the liberals for the charlatans and opportunists they are as he stated they will support the largest party, no talk of beliefs and core philosophy, in contrast to Natalie Bennett.

Also I am getting increasingly irritated by jonathan dimblebore, he is not fair with who he allows to interject or curtail when they drone on. As I reflect on this I’m sure he’ll protest his impartiality but I would argue that when he exists in the milieu he does he cannot help but be imbued with the prevailing beliefs and dogma. Therefore he becomes institutionalised in his belief system, like so many other supposedly impartial presenters and interviewers.

Anyway back to me. I found an article written by Louise Woollam about the damaging effects of a cold on her olfactory nerve. initially she had anosmia (loss of smell and taste senses), later this developed into phantosmia (smelling something horrible when there isn’t a smell), parosmia (distortion of real smells and tastes into nasty ones) and cacosmia (where everything smells and tastes of shit). As someone who’s experienced first changes in taste, then loss of taste and now altered taste I have some sympathy, although I’ve never lost my sense of smell, although it has been heightened. Last night we went to Kate and Tim’s to watch Boyhood (really good film) with Sal and Mike. On the way home I talked to Kate (my wife, not Kate McGrail) about my mouth getting so dry so quickly when I walk and travel. Kate suggested I close my mouth, there was an almost instant flow of saliva from my remaining salivary glands and it tasted revolting, not shit like, but deeply unpleasant. As I’ve thought and written before I agree with Louise Woollam “I have lost a sense, and I feel it is a disability that’s similar to being blind or deaf – it’s just harder for others to notice, or understand”.

In last week’s Grauniad magazine in the regular section about what’s going up or down on the fashion scene wearing your watch over your sleeve is going up. Fashion is very stupid at times.

Disturbing article in the New Statesman by Anthony Barnett about the “British legal system being ripped apart”. He joined a rally organised by Justice Alliance which is highlighting how the current government has changed the legal system such that it “hits the poor, the weak and the dispossessed”: destroying legal aid, the probation service and marketisation of other apparatus of the law. The campaign is co-inciding with the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. There were three great issues that symbolise Magna Carta: holding the powerful and the executive to account, no-one to be imprisoned/destroyed except by peer judgment under the rule of law and the environmental common wealth. All these are seriously under threat now from the neo-liberals, as Barnett writes: “The corporations have stolen our political parties, they are stealing our media, they are robbing us of our government, they are suborning the law and now they are stealing our history” (Magna Carta). More evidence to my jaundiced eyes of the kleptos and bb’s theft of our common wealth.

And time to stop complaining about the referees in premier league footie. If this culture of  blaming the ref a la moanrinho continues then it will only make things worse. Far better for the likes of moanrinho to accept a bit of responsibility for a team’s performance otherwise he just sounds like the hsbc shambles.

Time for another Kliban:

Manifesto 91:

  • stop the horses I keep backing performing like donkeys.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

 

Losing your soul to selfies.

Feeling a little bit shit today; have slight cold, neck aching and fingers still tingling. But the sun is shining, I’m still alive and I’m cooking fish pie today. Spoke with my key nurse, she wasn’t sure about my neck and to keep an eye on it but tingling is chemo related. I’d sort of forgotten about chemo as all the other side effects have been radio-related. Has depressed me a little, every now and then things remind me that I’ve undergone heavy duty treatment and it will be a while before anything like a full recovery, if ever.

Still, Kate and I are round at Kate and Tim’s tonight for a film evening watching Boyhood and I’m cooking: a new mushroom starter, fish pie and apple tart. I love fish pie, it’s a great comfort food. When Kate and I got together I occasionally cooked fish pie on a Friday (didn’t know I was catholic?), the other family members increasingly complained so I haven’t cooked it for a long time. When I suggested cooking it the other day there was protestation all round, “we used to have fish pie every Friday”. I find it interesting how tales, even fables, develop. Yes we had fish pie occasionally but this has developed within our family lore as if we had it every Friday for years on end. As a truth seeking pedant I sometimes find it difficult when these stories develop, they are always based on some truth but with each retelling they are altered, personal embellishment takes hold. This happens with personal stories too and I must admit even I have slightly spiffed up the odd anecdote.

Writing of tales did you hear the one about the tory mp who embellishes their experience of life outside parliament by taking up various company directorships with generous remuneration. Such is the essence of condom cameron’s defence of rifkind and others taking these positions outside their ‘day job’. What a load of bollocks. I think to get anything like experience of life beyond the Commons they should spend a while on ‘jobseeker’s allowance (especially ian decidedly stupid), working zero hours style on minimum wage, as a black woman, as a teacher, as a cleaner, anything that takes them out of their gilded existence. I remember many years ago Matthew Parrish, then an MP now a journalist, attempted to spend a week on the dole, he couldn’t manage it (and it was more generous than nowadays). Would they still be as bigoted or evil?

Have you read or heard about Masih Alinejad? She’s an Iranian journalist who created a facebook page inviting Iranian women to post pictures of themselves without their heads covered. She claims it is a basic human right for Moslem women to choose whether they wear the hijab or not, she is not against the hijab just the forced wearing of it. Add male religious leaders to my list a couple of days ago of ‘merited males’. She calls her campaign ‘stealthy freedom’ and is another opportunity for men to support women and move towards equality.

So, Labour are proposing to counter zero hours working conditions by forcing employers to offer fixed contracts after 6 months. Crap idea, employers will just get others in before the 6 months is up, need far firmer stuff to counter this. But will they? The mantra is ‘flexibility’, right, the flexibility afforded to employers to exploit cheap labour with no rights and steal as much money as they can.

Meanwhile I read sales of ‘gluten free’ foods are mushrooming, I even had gluten free sausages for my lunch at my watercolour session. Apparently coeliac disease affects about 1% of the population and there are some other conditions that warrant a gluten free diet but not to the extent that gluten free stuff has developed, it’s a big industry now. Sort of reminds me of the demonisation of fat which is now proving misguided. What effects on our bodies will this gluten free stuff have? When will we start getting reports of all the benefits of gluten? And who will be the first person to report jaw muscle atrophy from lack of chewing?

See the grinning gargoyle has been at an American republican get together alongside such nutters as sarah palin. The tea party has a bit of fruitcake to go with it. Also a recent poll has him leading in the Thanet South constituency. I may be wrong but don’t these people of Kent realise that if elected the gargoyle will not do much locally and would find it hard existing on an MP’s salary.

Manifesto 90: (getting close to 100)

  • before anyone takes your photo (or after one has been taken) they need your permission. Perhaps those folk who think that taking a photo is stealing your soul might have a point.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Cruella and selfies.

Just had a wonderful massage from Kate, I am so lucky having her as my wife. Kate thinks that maybe my tingling fingers are a result of all the needles stuck in my arms during treatment and it’s part of the process of vascular recovery, there’s a phrase I’ve never used before. Internal throat pain continuing to subside but there is more external neck pain, maybe damaged muscle recovering. Hair growing back everywhere, certainly not having that denuded feeling, which is good. Weirdly hair growing back in different colours: brown on my belly, one brown eyebrow (the other white) and head hair mainly white but some black coming through, beginning to look like a bleedin’ dalmation, best keep clear of Ms de Ville. Top of my jaw/neck hurt during massage, Kate thinks lymphodema might be the cause. But still by far the most debilitating side effect is fatigue.

Had a meeting with Gemma at school yesterday, she’s the new deputy to the new head Sophie (both promoted up from within) and with a new head of care and assistant head it’s a whole new team. Anyway, lovely to see her and I had to clear a few things up regarding retiring on health grounds. Hopefully paperwork will all be OK but mainly relying on medical report which I should get back soon. Whilst Gemma was composing email to human resources person she stopped and looked at me saying ” why am I doing this, I don’t want you to leave”, reflecting now makes me sad as I’ve been teaching at the school for 17 years, quite a long time.

As I left and was walking down the school driveway I stopped and looked in through the gate to one of the houses the students live in, a girl in my class, Kia, saw me, a big smile lit up her face and she opened the window to talk to me. Soon after one of the care workers, Kristian, came out and let me in and I sat with a group of them while they had dinner. As well as Kia there was Mo, Megan and Lorna at the table, all girls who’ve been in my classes. It felt so normal and comfortable just sat with them (they’re all autistic) and simply talking about whatever. I will miss them all.

Later as I walked along the road home the sky looked good in the twilight and then I noticed how many different birds were singing away. A symphony of birdsong. Spring is on it’s way.

Unlike yesterday initial perusal of the Grauniad didn’t fire me up in the same way, which is no bad thing as it forces me to read stuff I wouldn’t normally read, writing of which I’m still waiting for Katherine the pro-lifer to send me pieces to read in a non-judgmental way about the rights of the unborn child. Anyway, I read the journal long read again, this time by Jacob Silverman about social networks: “Pics or it didn’t happen” and “How sharing our every moment became the new living”. He writes of how the various social media now dominate people’s lives so much that it’s become an endless stream recording so many people’s lives that metadata isn’t a big enough term for it. One reason so many do it, he reports, is the fear of missing out; so many of us are doing it that we’d be “impoverished” if not part of it. Yet so much of it is banal as so many continually try and “capture the moment”. Just like Mike and I experienced at the War on Drugs concert with so many holding their dumb phones up to record the band instead of simply watching and listening and really being in the moment. Mike held his hand up in a camera shape a couple of times as he has the latest technology implanted in his hand. Anyway, as Mr Silverman writes in regard to filming concerts: “we hold our phones aloft so friends on the other end of the line can hear – what exactly? Again, we find that it doesn’t quite matter. We will probably never watch that video later, nor will we make that photo our desktop wallpaper or print it out and frame it. The crummy photos, the crackly recording, the indecipherable blast of music a caller hears: these are not personal remembrances or artistic artefacts. They are souvenirs, lifestyle totems meant to communicate status – to be your status update. They do not describe the band being captured; they describe us.” As I learnt reading the essay people do all this stuff for status, Kate already knew this when I spoke to her. Silverman argues that all this faceaching, twitting etc is nothing to do with any personal fulfilment or wish to share but all to do with ego and a demonstration of status. I know, I’ve expressed with some vanity when I think I’ve expressed things in this blog that might be ‘ahead of the curve’ or are ‘breaking news’. And I’ve had one ‘like’ so far (that was me early on playing with this blog site).

I continue to resist sharing this blog on other social media, am I what is termed a ‘lurker’, someone who doesn’t share on social media (excepting for this blog of course)? Is my blog just adding to the increasing cacophony?

So gulliver and flint in front of the treasury select committee yesterday being slightly inconvenienced for all their kleptocracy, blaming others and never taking responsibility, just the money and the status. Oh we’re so sorry for stealing so much money from the common weal. Just stick ’em all together on a single island tax haven. They are a disgrace to the human race. And when is the reverend green going to be hauled in front of the committee? Or better still in a court. Read all about it in the torygraph! Or not.

Manifesto 89

  • the next Bond and Dr Who to be women.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Female quotas and a nectarine.

No blank page syndrome today as I almost feel overwhelmed with thinking about what I can write about, so much in the paper that tickles my favourite memes. Why can’t Duncan just write in plain English, like wot they do in the sun and add a few tits; well I for one am somewhat tired of trying to read stuff on my computer and having an almost constant stream of scantily clad young women popping up vainly trying to flog me stuff, it’s wot the internet’s all about hey rupert?

Anyway after my watercoloured adventures yesterday (and I’ll stick a picture of my nectarine in Julie, not in Julie but in this blog) I felt very tired last night and a little uncomfortable: had a sort of ‘pins and needles’ feeling mainly in my fingers but also toes. Have reported how I feel the cold more than in pre-crabby days so wonder if the treatment has affected my circulation, another question for my next check up. Felt a little disconcerted going to bed and worried I’d have some sort of attack (panic or heart), but not to panic I slept OK and nothing untoward.

First up the ‘monstering’ of poor Natalie Green, as Zoe Williams writes she is now ‘discredited’ by the right wing twats as what she is trying to say does not ‘credit’ their narrow view of the world. Zoe quotes a philosopher called Roberto Unger (new to me, will have to check him out): “We have lost faith in any of the large available understandings of how structural change takes place in history,” the philosopher Roberto Unger said in a recent lecture in London, “and as a result we fall back on a bastardised conception of political realism, namely that a proposal is realistic to the extent that it approaches what already exists.” In other words anything that doesn’t fit with the neoliberal narrative is discredited. So, as Ms Williams goes on to write the lining of private landlords pockets with billions from housing benefit is OK but suggesting we spend far less on building social housing is anathema.

Although not mentioned but there’s a whiff of misogyny about Natalie Bennett’s treatment by the media, no coincidence that her three main interlocutors were men (Neil, Ferrari and a Toady man) and running through today’s Grauniad are female and feminist related pieces. Owen Jones writes about the dilemma of ‘modern man’ being a ‘macho feminist’. After a rather depressing listing of statistics outlining how ill treated women are in the world he writes about the deep irony of ‘powerful’ men then writing about what women have been banging on about for millenia. He quotes one leftwing feminist, a description I think he should have not used, maybe just written her name? Anyway, she said she can work out a man’s attitude in 5 minutes by: “Do they interrupt you? Do they listen to you? Do they presume they know more than you?”

Makes me think and try and reflect, do I? Anyway I think there’s a simple answer and that is quotas: 50% female in parliament, on all company boards, in the judiciary, on all public bodies. There’ll be lots of male squealing (and some unreconstructed female squealing) banging on about merit and such like but that’s simply met by pointing out what’s happened, and is happening, all around us with merited men: step forward rifkind, straw, gulliver, saville (oh, he’s dead|), reverend green, branson, bono, thatcher, ids, pistorius, isis, blatter, et al.

Another is a story from China about how men have stitched up women over housing deeds and land rights, despite “laws protecting the rights of women – the problem is customs and traditions”. Just like here, there might well be some laws of equality but it’s just the way things are and always have been that men have the power and women do the work and get abused, (although not always one way).

Good comment Martin, compulsory purchase of land at a reasonable rate and hey presto lots of social housing for the common weal and no money going to the kleptos. Do you all know what a stitch up land ownership is in this country?

Although lots more topics just want to extol one and that’s Ian Martin’s essay in G2 today about the really scary privatisation of London. He writes with angry passion, which I love, but also so powerfully about how the almost absolute domination of a neoliberal, ‘free market’, privatising cultish dogma has taken over this once great city. “Everything we owned was being flogged off by pinstriped bastards reeking of lunch”. He writes of how language was commandeered by these fuckers “private good, public bad” and look what we’re ending up with in London? What’s going to happen when the really big crash comes? London will turn into a feral Ballardian dystopia. Read Martin’s piece and weep if you have any feelings for London.

And then I read those dread headlines “London stock market hits an all-time high”, I wonder what will come next?

Anyway here’s my watercolour nectarine:

20150224_222959

Remember it is my first effort ever.

Manifesto 88: (another easy one)

  • 50% female make up of all institutions.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Dirty little gerbils in watercolour.

Sat back at home after a most enjoyable day painting with watercolours. Kate had told me about how Peter, the husband of Sue who she massages and beautifies, goes every Tuesday to paint with watercolour at a lovely house in Lulworth Cove. Kate dropped me off this morning and Peter drove us to a stunning house with absolutely stunning views of sea and cliffs. Our teacher/mentor, the engaging Gay, had painting stuff ready for me, gave me an introduction and off I went. Lunch and wine in a very relaxed atmosphere all made for a brilliant introduction to the art of watercolour. At least my picture of a nectarine looked something like a nectarine and I’ll be a regular as long as I’m welcome. So, little old me, a writer and a watercolourist!

Mouth very dry on my return home, really noticeable how dry my mouth gets when I’m out and about. Bit annoying losing salivary glands.

Bit annoying also for poor Natalie Bennett with her radio interviews today. Feel for her as the interviewers keep on about how much the Green policies will cost or how much they won’t get from the kleptos. I think instead of saying how much things might cost, or how much they’ll get from taxing the kleptos she should take a leaf out of the other politicos books and say stuff like: “well, the tories found x billion for quantitative easing which has just lined banker’s pockets” or “the government spending so much on employing people to recoup relatively small amounts of poor folk benefit fraud when they should spend far more on employing people to repatriate unpaid taxes” and, of course, innately demented smith wasting so much money.

Or, of course, simply talk about gulliver and the amount of money travelling into his offshore accounts overseeing a company, hsbc, which has just posted a 17% reduction in profits and has forked out billions in fines. How come a government, or governments, has allowed such to happen and perhaps such money can be better spent elsewhere, like on houses for people. It has only ever been when the state spends money on housebuilding do enough houses get built, can’t rely on the private sector alone. Really well argued defence from gulliver about how can he be expected to know what everyone is doing in his company? Perhaps we might expect him to at least know about those that are costing the bank billions, ‘cos isn’t that the bottom line with these folk? People like gulliver and reverend green take, or rather steal, loads of dosh and increasingly relinquish responsibility. Maybe someone can create a law that equates increasing remuneration with decreasing responsibility for the kleptos and it’s opposite that applies to the poor bloody workers. Like the Grauniad states; ‘performance unrelated pay’.

And gulliver’s reason for sticking his ill-gotten gains in an offshore account when in Hong Kong that he wanted to keep the amount of bonus secret from his colleagues, why? Greed of course. I am not envious of his kleptomaniacal rewards just fucking angry and interviewing toerags on radio 4 and LBC simply try to humiliate Natalie Bennett who has honourable intentions. Oh you’re so naive Duncan living in your little utopian dream world, wake up and join the ‘real world’.

So it wasn’t the evil rats fault spreading the plague but cute little gerbils (really giant gerbils, but not going to allow little things like facts get in the way of my reporting) that spread bubonic plague. If we’d known this earlier Cagney could have said: “you dirty yellow bellied gerbil”.

Perused a copy of Saturday’s torygraph today and on the front page an article about the pressure put on staff at the times to meet advertising selling targets and inside a half page spread having a go at the Grauniad for promoting a company in their pages and not a peep about hsbc and Mr Oborne. Funny that.

Feeling very tired now, it’s hard work watercolouring, so I’ll sign off.

A watercolour by John Sell Cotman, my uncle Barry’s favourite watercolourist.

Manifesto 88:

  • reverse the reduction of arts teaching in schools, all children to have wide experience of the arts. Also RE teaching, might reduce boys and girls going off to join isis and dangerous bigotries.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Dissolution

I think I’ve just experienced blank page dread as I stared blankly at the blank page wondering what to write. It wasn’t so much not having anything to write about, or even choosing what to write about but more about thinking how what I write may affect others or even myself. We exist in this digital age that has unleashed opportunities for both mass and immediate spreading of information, which means that people are not only easily able to put stuff out but also that people are easily able to receive and gather information. So far with my blog, while I have self-censored, I feel that I have written typically from the heart and what stirs me at different times as well as the occasional immediate ‘stream of consciousness’. I have attempted to create discourse and had some with some of you, but lately wondered why there hasn’t been more.

Last week I pondered whether Mark in his new role as SNP branch secretary suddenly has to be a little more circumspect in his communication, likewise Steve in his aim to be a Green councilor (by the way Alice is a council green candidate not parliamentary candidate, but who knows, in the future?). But mainly today with a comment from someone called Katherine in response to what I wrote in my ‘Only Women Bleed’ blog, you can read it in today’s comments. She enjoins me to spend 24 hours and ‘lay aside my prejudice’ and explore the ‘facts’ of abortion. I don’t think I’ll spend 24 hours on it, have you done the same Katherine? I’ll explore my prejudice, in fact something I frequently do, and will devote a future blog to the issue of an unborn child’s right to a voice.

Hope my voice didn’t sound too arrogant there? Bleedin’ hard sometimes getting the words as you want them to be and sound.

I’m feeling OK, in fact just spoke to Kate on the phone and she asked me how I’d slept and I said OK and she said “not great then”, I said “no, OK which is neither great nor rubbish, but OK is OK”. Such is the mindset of those who want to be positive all the time that OK isn’t good enough, it’s not brilliant but for most of us most of the time OK is OK and sometimes life’s shit and sometimes it’s brilliant. Now after my opening about affecting others and I’ve upset Kate writing this. Blimey, what’s with Katherines today?

Throat still feeling like it’s bunged up and I will try gargling with hot lemon, honey and ginger today.

malcolm rifkind eh? Was going to write about him earlier as I was perusing my Grauniad comments site breaking news flashed up so I thought I could write about a scandal as it was initially happening, how current is this blog? Don’t be a twatish big head Duncan, is twatish spelt with one or two t’s? Anyway, rifkind, has been revealed to have been advising a Chinese company and he also sits (or sat) as chair of an intelligence committee. As MP Tom Watson puts it: “I think the prime minister needs to form a view whether he wants the intelligence committee chair to be working as a lobbyist for Chinese companies. Just put it the other way round. Do you think the Chinese government would let the equivalent chair of the intelligence committee in China work for a British company?”

Apart from this it’s the old debate about our MPs getting outside earnings. condom features cameron bleats on about having MPs with outside experience, but this and other vested interest type stuff isn’t about ‘outside experience’, it’s about greed and using their position and knowledge as MPs and government to feed that greed. the tories and bliars new labour lot both do it and it has coarsened our democracy. Like Angela Eagle just said in an interview it would be nice if more MPs would spend time actually representing their constituents rather than lining their own pockets.

Another lovely piece by Larry Elliott, he writes in the financial pages, a section most of us probably bypass but often as with Larry have interesting takes. He imagines Cromwell (as in Wolf Hall and Henry VIII fame) as a modern day chancellor (he’d almost certainly be better than that charlatan osborne) and how instead of going for the monasteries he’d go for the banks: “A modern Cromwell sorting out the public finances might conclude that the financial sector – rich, arrogant and lamentably corrupt – was ripe for the picking. If Cromwell was alive today, Stephen Green, HSBC’s former chief executive, would be in the Tower of London and the dissolution of the banks in full swing”. If only.

Also an interview of Nick Leeson, remember him? He says nothings changed with banks since his day 20 years ago and that greed still rules. Probably more so now as it’s more ingrained in the wanking, I mean banking culture (Freudian).

Manifesto 87:

  • dissolution of the banks.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

When will we be feminist?

Feeling a little jaded, but not as tired as I expected after my night out with Mike. He very kindly bought me a ticket to see The War on Drugs, he drove us to Southampton and we had a very enjoyable evening at The Guild Hall. It is basically a very large room, standing only. After a couple of drinks, a chat with Louisa and her man (she’s head or deputy head at another cambian school) Mike then dragged me to the centre of the place just in front of the stage. The band were very good; more guitar changes for the front man than I have shoes, took a shine to the drummer and loved the sounds they produced. Have you seen them yet Mark secretary? Must admit that I was quite concerned about my legs towards the end, they felt numb and knackered, began to worry that I might not be able to walk back to car. Homer on the satnav was particularly annoying, how many accidents do satnavs cause I wonder? Anyway, thank you so much Mike for a great night.

Grace has been away with her mother and sister for the weekend and I do worry about her welfare when she’s with them, especially her deranged mother. She arrived back late this morning very happy with her new fur lined cape but with disturbing tales of her mother’s behaviour, have asked that she doesn’t get in a car again with her mother.

Well, that was very interesting just now. Kate is having acupuncture treatment as I write in our front room from Alice the acupuncturist. I went down to introduce myself and we chatted briefly about treatment and then Alice informed us that she is the local Green Party candidate for the May election! Cue immediate discussion. After a few minutes we all decided that it would be best for Alice, needle in hand, that she refocus on treating Kate and we’d talk later. Funny old world.

Another arresting piece by John Naughton in the Observer today writing about how the management and workers of tech companies behave. He argues that they are developing into a parallel existence to the rest of us plebians. He lumps them with the other kleptos: “investment banks, hedge funds and other elite (my italics) institutions – (these) people are overstimulated, appreciated, overworked (but in a “good” way of course) and richly rewarded. Meanwhile, in the other universe, people are under-stimulated, overworked and poorly rewarded. And the gap appears to be widening”. It’s just as I keep banging on about, Picketty has highlighted and many others commented on: there is rising inequality and it ain’t good. There is no sense of the common good, the common weal, just these kleptos stealing as much as they can. Maybe this should be number 1 in our charter for the Grand Remonstrance?

Naughton finishes by equating the rise of computer and information technology alongside the neoliberal fuelled rise in inequality over the last 30 years. The digital revolution “is driving inequality, not reducing it”. Hasn’t it been one of the claims for such technology that it opens up opportunity for everyone? Bollocks, it’s already been corporatised by the kleptos and bbs.

Ha ha chelsea drew and all because of the ref, shouldn’t there be some sort of investigation into how referees are deciding games rather than players and teams? moanrinho is a wanker, la la la la. terry is a racist la la la la.

Really, really powerful piece of writing by Eva Wiseman about femicide: the killing of women by men because they are women. She writes about Karen Ingala Smith (no relation) who first started counting dead women in 2012 and that last week saw the launch of the ‘Femicide Census’.  The context of their argument is that when men kill women they do so because male violence towards women is a consequence of society’s sexism with misogyny and the objectification of women so entrenched and pervasive. Wiseman argues, and I agree, there will be no change with regard to male on female violence until we all create a non-sexist world, until we are all feminists, until we are all equal. Number 2 on the charter?

At the risk of sounding pompous and the like, maybe we could start listing stuff from my manifestos, include Martin’s too, to create an initial charter for the Grand Remonstrance? Remember any of you can send comments with suggestions. In fact I’m going to use one of Martin’s today.

Manifesto 87:

  • abolish inherited wealth; private wealth becomes the common wealth.

Must say the conceited part of me has been upset lately as viewing figures for my blog have declined weekly since early January, but this week figures have gone back up. Wonder why?

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

PS thanks for comment Julie, we’ll try and check out the statue park.