Our cancerous society.

Have been a little anxious of late as I waited for the results of a blood test I had just before our holiday. Went to see our lovely GP, she was the one who first spotted my cancer, and she told me I have ‘borderline hypothyroidism’ which is not serious and if needed easily treated. Probably explains the pins and needles in my fingers. Will get Alan the acupuncturist to give the thyroid a boost next time I see him. Reckon it’s yet another side effect of my crabby treatment, will discuss next week at my next crabby check up.

Was a little perturbed sat in the surgery when I had to ask about what hormone/s the thyroid produces and their effects as my degree was in physiology and stuff like the hormonal system is a fundamental part of physiology. I still blame ‘chemobrain’. Anyway, the thyroid hormones, thyrosine and triiodothyronine, are fundamental to controlling and regulating our basic metabolism and effect pretty much every cell in our bodies.

In much the same as way the so called free market, neoliberal capitalism is debilitating human society, yes thatch there is such a thing: ‘the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.’ And, like when a vital organ is diseased, for the past 40 years or so society has been afflicted by an economic doctrine that is wreaking havoc on humankind and the Earth. It has allowed a few kleptomaniacs to hoover up ever increasing amounts of economic wealth to the increasing detriment of everyone and everything else.

One manifestation of this disease is: “the disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or at least neglect persons of poor and mean condition…..is….the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments”. This was written over 200 years ago by Adam Smith. It is deeply ironic that an institute named after him is this country’s leading ‘free market neoliberal thinktank’, don’t think just tank the economy and society.

This worship of the misnomered free market is what is responsible for many of our current ills and the latest cancerous eruption is Grenfell Tower.

We treat this illness with, much as for treating hypothyroidism by restoring hormonal levels, a restoring of societal equality. We treat everyone, not just the fucking kleptos, with respect, dignity, fairness and equality. So women are treated fairly and equally starting with pay. The poor and disadvantaged are supported to alleviate poverty and disadvantage. People of all races, ethnicity and even creed (although this is somewhat dependent on particular creeds behaving in a like manner) are treated fairly and equally. Simple really.

cancer_cure_600

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

 

Let’s really take back control.

Lots of chatter at the moment about the economy; inflation rising, UK economic growth slowing, productivity down (been going down for many a year), most people continuing to experience effective falls in ‘living  standards’, bosses saying the poorest can’t have any increase in their already low remuneration, overpaid public sector workers. And yet this year shareholders are giving themselves a right old bonanza, £33bn, that’s a 14.5% rise from last year. OK some of it goes to pension funds, which we’re constantly reminded about, but I wonder who grasps the larger share of pensions in their grubby maws?

As the human world is in the midst of it’s latest industrial revolution how much of all this largely ill gotten gain is invested in the new technology? Not much, the shareholders and bosses cram as much as they can down their greedy gullets. Despite interest rates at long term record lows and corporation tax rates ever lowered where is all this fabled entrepreneurial spirit we so often hear about?

It’s bollocks of course, all that has been developed is the kleptos avarice. We’ve even had the most explicit Neronian moment with all the powerful and entitled fiddling in Kensington and Chelsea whilst Grenfell Tower burned.

Kleptonic ceos now pay themselves £5.3m every year on average, 386 times the national living wage which many of the kleptos consider too much such as cineworld bosses and dear old Brixton Ritzy employees. Ah, but we deserve it, it is a meritocracy after all they opine. Bollocks, meritocracy is a myth, boris de pfeffell twatface is more than ample evidence.

And all the time the mendacious twats mislead and delude us; look at the benefit scrounger, the immigrant, the greedy public worker, the unpatriotic leftie (yes you David Hollister and your dodgy flag post).

Let’s really take back control.

7772c4b7b4f9eb2e31388a89f1939340--political-cartoons-leveon-bell

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

It is a class thing.

Narratives are still important, even in the age of twitter, memes, snapchat and gifs. The best stories still have the wherewithal to grab people (us boys are grabbed by the cojones what are girls grabbed by? and I’m certainly not thinking trumpian which is an oxymoron). And it is very pleasing to witness the end of the ukip story (who they?), except of course they have infected others, most notably the increasingly shambolic tory party.

And I despair at what they have wrought as our benighted realm thrashes around in it’s class ridden shitpit. At the risk of confirmation bias I come across a review of a book by one Perry Anderson, someone I’ve not come across thus far, even though I’m 60 bleedin’ years on this Earth, especially as he’s our ‘most distinguished living Marxist historian’, which articulates my most current understanding of our shitpit.

And it concerns an essay he wrote in 1964 “Origins of the Present Crisis” in which he argues that Englandshire had the first ‘bourgeois revolution in Europe, experienced the first industrial revolution “producing the first proletariat”, created the first global empire and from this ” ‘set’ British society in a mould that it has retained to this day”, which is our poxy class system. And it moulds brexit as the brexiteers vaguely thrash around with no coherent strategy and “at the first tap it falls apart like a chocolate orange” (Amyas Morse, auditor general, but he’s just an ‘expert’ and not a gove).

So, over 50 years after writing his essay, his analysis gives shape to describe our ‘present crisis’. Despite valiant efforts over the last century or so to introduce an alternative the poxy class system has remained in place, in fact we have had “the retrenchment of a single hegemonic class, comprised of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, which not only controlled the means of production but was “the primary determinant of consciousness, character and customs throughout the society” “. So we have a totally inadequate system, producing totally inadequate wankers like boris de pfeffel twatface johnson leading us into perfidy.

And the Grenfell disaster also captures much of this as the governing classes actually create the conditions for such a disaster to happen and then compound the situation through their wholly inadequate response. It may surprise some to know that nicholas paget-brown went to cranleigh school (a private school with current fees of £36K which is about £31K more than the safer cladding on Grenfell Tower would have cost). And his replacement, elizabeth campbell, has never been in a high rise block and I wonder about her schooling? And so the whole sorry story continues.

We need a new narrative, one that isn’t dominated by an inadequate few cornflakes from the ‘upper classes’.

2-ben-jennings-cartoon-illustration_900

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Yin Yang eh?

Still getting my addled bonce around the fact that I’ve now been 60 years on this Earth. As with everything there is a bit of positive and negative, yin and yang, and had a great time celebrating with friends the weekend before last but took a little while for the body and brain to come back to some equilibrium. It’s a physiological thing, something I learned in my first physiology lecture at dear old no longer exists Chelsea College. The old body is never in a steady state of equilibrium, it’s forever ‘hunting’ that equilibrium going up and down in a never ending cycle until the steady state of death I suppose.

Up I go for the weekend down I go for a few days after, with a few little up and downs along the way. Thing is you need to be open or put in a little effort now and then to allow stuff, and it’s not just the simplistic ‘be positive’ schtick. Yesterday I had the unctuous stall at the local Kingston Country Fair, expectations, while not low, were on some sort of equilibrium. Selling was steady and above the norm. A woman came in some distress about her red and swollen eye from contact dermatitis, had been like this for many weeks and had been prescribed eumovate, a cream with steroids, which made her eye sting and wasn’t working. She put a little of my unction on and left. Later, when a couple were considering purchasing some unction, the woman returned in a state of some euphoria, “look at my eye” she said all swelling and redness gone. “This is a set up” said the bloke considering a purchase. But no it wasn’t, and yet again I experienced a vague sense of euphoria tinged with disbelief (yin and yang?) my little creation having such an effect?

Later on I had the most delicious steak, a piece of ribeye from the newly opened Salt Pig in Swanage town, as Kate and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, our actual second wedding. Is steak good for yin or yang or neither or both?

And we are in a weird electoral cycle, who thought that a few months ago may and Mr Jeremy would be where they are now?

And who had a few pounds on the Lions to beat the All Blacks last week? Then last Friday I couldn’t decide on who I should put my money on so plumped for the draw at good odds. And it was another brilliant game with the Lions thoroughly deserving of the draw. How did the yin and yang play out in that series of games?

3191441357_54c51d8a82_b

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

 

Whose side are you on?

For a mere £30 you can ascend the shard and have the ultimate London viewing experience:

‘Experience London’s highest viewing platform at the top of The Shard – Western Europe’s tallest building. It’s the only place to take in over 1,000 years of the capital’s history all at once.’

And look in a roughly north-easterly direction and you can view the the latest chapter in the capital’s history as you gaze at the charred remains of Grenfell Tower. And as you take in this view ponder awhile.

Contemplate that on that platform you are actually adjacent to 10 apartments valued at £30m-£50m which have been empty since the building was completed a few years ago.

Reflect on the absolute horror that a still unknown number of people went through as they died in Grenfell Tower and on the ground around as they jumped to their deaths.

Chew over that there is a very real possibility that for the sake of saving  £293,368 on cheaper cladding things may have been very different. In financial terms that is near enough 1% of the cost of one of the cheapest shard penthouses.

Mull over that Grenfell Tower is surrounded by numerous other highly desirable, hideously expensive and long term empty properties all bought by kleptos who have so much money all they can think of doing is ‘investing’ in stuff like property to hoover up even more wealth.

Excogitate about the almost total ineptness of a local council in dealing with the catastrophe, which continues in their unwillingness to properly house those who have just lost pretty much everything in anything like decent housing. A council that has hoarded almost £300m and gives £100 council tax rebates makes one think that perhaps they are on the side of the kleptos.

Ruminate on how those in power are already trying to ‘manage’ the narrative, for example that we can’t ‘politicise’ what has happened like Mr Jeremy and co have when it is absolutely political and is an egregious example of all that is wrong with our benighted land. A further aside; when listening to a tt talk yesterday on the wireless about the disaster as an accident and a completely unforeseen event……what an absolute wanker, the tenants of Grenfell Tower had been raising safety concerns for years, some being very explicit about the possibility of a conflagration.

Now meditate, think carefully and deeply about which side you are on. What and whom do you care about?

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Does sport make us dumb?

In that weird space when you first return home from a trip elsewhere; your home feels that bit different, you’re tired from travel and a very early start and a letter from the health centre wanting you to make an appointment with your GP. I had a blood test the day before our departure, the phlebotomist said they should have results later the same day and I’d be called if there was anything untoward. Alarm tinkled in my brain, “that’s quick” said I, “I’m off on holiday tomorrow so could any untowardness be delayed ’til i’m back”

Three years ago I had an appointment at Poole Hospital which I went to on our way to France for a family holiday. The consultant said, with what I thought a little too much glee, that she could see the crabby growth and would I like to see it? No thanks. Put a little damper on the holiday. Didn’t want a repeat so didn’t tell Kate what the phlebotomist had said, kept things to myself and tried not to get too anxious. Told Kate about the letter on our return today, call them now she said so I did with some trepidation. Made an appointment for a few weeks hence and some relief when informed that it wasn’t urgent.

Of course I should have told Kate straight away but she was so looking forward to a well deserved holiday and I didn’t want a repeat of the French trip.

And now it’s a few days later and we’re back from another trip to Shropshire for a bunch of us to celebrate our 60th year. We pretty much had a pub to ourselves, an old coaching inn, for the weekend. I think everyone had a good time, I did, meeting up with old friends, meeting some new folk, learning that my increased weight made my kart slower, that I’m crap at clay pigeon shooting and pleased that I managed to be one of the last to bed both nights and reconfirming that old saying ‘early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’.

So now I need a few days recuperation.

We watched a recording of last week’s Question Time last night and it disturbed me for many reasons but mainly for the continuing displays of the divide and anger that fucking brexit has unleashed. Any discussion of how a deal might involve anything other than a complete separation from any aspect of European integration and an immediate travelling back in time to the mythical heyday of the British Empire was met with extremely aggressive bellowing by phalanxes of white males. It really is a load of bollocks.

And the Lions won, beating the mighty all blacks. A bunch of us watched it in the old coaching inn on Saturday and I must say I do get a tad annoyed by all the other arm chair pundits who say stuff like “the all black handling is just so superior”, “there’s no way they can be beaten” and other forelock tugging crap fawning before supposed superiors smothered in a shallow guise of a knowingness that I, who believe that a Lions win might be possible, get cheap pleasure pointing out every all black handling error. All very similar to the last election.

About which just read a piece by the perceptive Patrick Coburn and how a ‘perfect storm of events’ in Canterbury lead to the first ever loss by a tory in that constituency. One significant part of the storm came from students at the 2 universities and how there was political engagement from every group of students except one. Can you guess which group?

sports

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

It was the sporty students of course.

PS We all missed you Martin.

 

The only sense the sensible party has is their sense of entitlement.

Just listened to grayling groaning on about the tts and their dodgy dupes being ever so sensible about their future together. To every question on the toady programme he used the word sensible, so it would appear strongnstable has segued into sensible.

What’s your name? Captain Sensible.

What’s your favourite computer game? Sensible soccer.

mrs may, what sort of shoes do you wear?

So the tts continue their attempted duping of the nation even as the scales finally fall from desensitized folk. And one hopes that the media folk finally flay the tts biggest dupe of their fiscal fibbing. It is a given that Labour always borrows more isn’t it? Er, no:

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/03/13/the-conservatives-have-been-the-biggest-borrowers-over-the-last-70-years/

And I’m listening to their bollocks again right now on the toady show and some tt defending their austerity shit. Just fuck off with your barclay’s mates.

At last some of the kleptos are being done.

Adios amigos, off to sample Mallorcan wine and food.

'It's such a relief to finally find a level-headed woman.'

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.