Vive La Revolution Permaculture – Part 2

So how do we embrace permaculture when we have no knowledge of it? When you look at websites about it they talk about the need for design and the importance of planning, and this is intimidating. Especially for me. I was brought up to do things right… first time.

This has been an ongoing battle throughout my life, to forgive myself for not getting things right first time. To not beat myself up for not being perfect. And when you scratch the surface of permaculture theory you find that the teachers haven’t got things right first time, that they aren’t perfect and it’s OK.

The reason there is the stress on planning etc. is because if you are going to go the whole hog and recycle all waste (including human waste); build ponds or swales (to keep as much water on your property for as long as possible); even building raised beds, in fact any kind of major landscaping project needs to be planned, because it’s not a job that you’re going to want to do twice, and it’s going to be difficult or sometimes impossible to change later.

For most of us who are thinking of dipping our toes into permaculture, planning need not be quite so important. If you’re thinking of planting a tree then there should be some forethought, but a way around that would be to keep it in a pot until you are certain where you want it. The same for other smaller plants, you can keep them in pots and move those pots around the garden until you’re reasonably happy.

Don’t forget though, the soil in your pot isn’t necessarily going to be the same as the soil that you plant into. Also, bear in mind that pots may need watering, especially terracotta which dries out much faster than anything else.

You might find it useful to look at companion planting. There is good evidence that some plants do much better when planted together. But the advice is generally, try it out, see what works, repeat that which is good, avoid that which fails, but be aware of other factors that might influence outcomes.

Good luck with your food growing. 🙂

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Austerity… Part 1

My parents were born in the 1920’s. They lived through the war. They understood real austerity, austerity because of practical circumstance. What we are living through is NOT austerity for any practical reason, but a form of desertification imposed by those who already have far, far more than they need.

Children are dying from malnutrition in Western Industrialised societies in a time of plenty. It is a time of plenty for those who have decent, well paid, long term employment. In that group I would include the mainstream media, upper echelons of corporations, and politicians.

People who have never been without have no understanding of what it is like to have the washing machine break down just before christmas, and then having to choose between the washing machine and christmas presents for family.

They have no understanding that visiting relatives for a few days has to stand in for a holiday because there is no way you could afford to pay for any kind of real holiday.

And it very easy to sit in judgement of those who have less than you do for the “bad” choices they make. It is very hard to understand why people buy things instead of healthy food; why the very poorest drink, smoke, dye their hair, take drugs. But the stereotype is not accurate, and there are reasons for those decisions.

When you are frightened and feel insecure what do you do? You get a blanket and some cushions and make a nest. When that is how your life is, all the time, you buy things, more things, things to try to make a nest that makes you feel secure. And because the food you eat is inadequate, you never quite grasp that it is your mind set that you need to change, because your brain chemistry makes it very difficult to think clearly.

When your reality is awful and you can see no hope of changing it, you feel the need to blot it out, at least for an hour or two. So you drink, you take drugs. You can’t really afford them, so that makes you feel worse, and, for some, the spiral begins.

The more desperate you feel the more you need to do something to lift yourself, the less it works, the more desperate you feel. And some just give in. Others finally hit a bottom that is so low they can start a new journey, to a different reality. A different way of looking at the world. Rejecting the pressures imposed by wider society to conform to the materialistic claptrap of the TV and papers… the very media people who have that decent income.

And so we live with this artificial austerity, knowing that some are not effected by it. And resentment grows. Do they not realise that they are creating a tinderbox? Or is that what they want, to give them an excuse in the eyes of their believers to “crackdown” on the very poorest and most vulnerable?

And what do you want? Do you want to live in this tinderbox? Do you want to be part of, and party to, this insanity? We cannot avoid being involved to a certain extent, we need food, we need clothes, but I think we need to look back to the realities that my parents knew, before the coming of the supermarkets (who have created some of the problem). It seems to me we need to think once again of both community and self-reliance. We need to be building an alternative, kinder, more local society, either to avoid the explosion, or to be there to support us when the explosion happens.

For help with that https://www.transitionnetwork.org/

Hallo Helloween

I hate Halloween. It was all right when I was younger. It was an odd celebration with apple bobbing and not a lot else. But gradually it has become dreadful (as in full of dread). It is the importation of “Trick or Treat” that has made it so bad. We didn’t have “Trick or Treat” when I was a child. I believe it’s history is ancient and widespread, but it’s current form apparently took shape in America in the 1920’s or 30’s. England re-imported it relatively recently.

I’m sure some of you are mystified as to my negativity on this front. It’s all about little kids dressing up and having fun isn’t it? No, it isn’t. It is about what we are teaching said children and the effect their behaviour may have on the disadvantaged in our society.

Let’s look at “Trick or Treat” without the cutesy overlay. What is it really? “Give us – all of us – a treat or we will play a trick on you”. Does that sound familiar to you? “Give us your money or we’ll beat you up”. I think that is the grown up version. It’s called demanding money with menaces and it’s a criminal offence.

How can it be right for us to teach small children that this is desirable behaviour? I can remember a conversation with a neighbour a few years ago about children playing ball games in a communal area. She said “we don’t mind the little ones doing it, but not the bigger ones”. She didn’t see that the little ones turn into the bigger ones. That you can’t expect them to know at what age you consider them to be too old for such behaviour. If you want children to learn something really well you teach it to them whilst they are too young to question it.

If you don’t want them to do it when they get older, the easiest thing is just not to teach it to them in the first place. Now, I know that many children will grow up and realise that there is a difference between cute toddlers in fancy dress and a teenager in a hoody, but not all will.

And think about what it’s like for those on the other side of the equation, the victims of “Trick or Treat”. I don’t know if you’ve ever been poor, I don’t mean short of money, I mean at the “do we pay the bill or do we eat” stage. I have, and when you are in that place the expectation that you can find the money to buy treats for someone else’s children is not a reasonable one.

You’d be amazed at the number of people who will go without rather than disappoint the kiddies. With some it is testament to their generosity of spirit. With others it is fear at what the trick might be. And then there are those who just don’t answer the door at Halloween, not because of their fear of the supernatural, but because of their fear of the natural, the very natural indeed, when you teach it.

Green And Pleasant Land

It’s very, very scary at the moment. They are destroying everything. We have to hang on to what is really important, the people we love, the things we can actually do, and, if we feel strong enough (and there is no shame in not being strong enough) protesting and shouting about the ways our world is being poisoned and changed.

I am horrified by what is happening in Parliament Square at the moment. It’s like reading about (and seeing video from) America. Not English Bobbies, how could they behave like that? There have always been some arseholes in the police, we saw that back when they fought against the miners way back in Thatcher’s day (at her behest). She was the first Selfservative Prime Minister to declare war on the very people she was supposed to be working for. Her agenda was very personal and basically rooted in her fear of other people.

But moving forward to this week where Parliament Square is full of peaceful, legal protesters. Protesting at the inhumanity of the changes being forced on the British people by a government that has no real mandate. If a fairer political system was in place we would not be in this situation. It would have been a small change that would have done much to protect the freedoms that we already had.

The situation is more frightening for those of us not dependent on the mainstream media for our information, the fact that the BBC is not reporting the level of anger and resistance in Britain at the moment indicates that the fingers of control have reached further than we feared.

But even those not in the know are scared. They know things are wrong, they just don’t know the extent of the problems. They think that all we need to do is survive until the election and magically all will be returned to as it was before. I wish that they could be right. Unfortunately even the best case scenario won’t get us there. Things have been damaged and changed so much that some things cannot be undone.

Fracking is the most obvious and frightening ecological example. Once rock has been shattered only volcanic activity can make it whole again! All to get gas we don’t need, and an awful lot of us don’t want. As for the insane suggestion that coal should be burnt off in situ, underground… I can’t think of words that can describe the stupidity of it sufficiently.

I have never understood the mentality that thinks that it is OK to destroy and poison the natural world. We can’t replace it once it’s gone, there is “no planet B”… To quote Devo, “There’s no place like home to return to…”

Fracking leads to the poisoning of underground water sources. It is inevitable and unavoidable. There is no way that their industry can stop it. That means it will very quickly severely reduce the amount of clean water that is available to us. So, the air will be further polluted by the gasses they cannot catch (escaping from cracks they did not expect and will find very difficult to locate), and we will have to buy poisoned water, because free(ish) tap water will be a thing of the past.

Houses near fracking well heads will see their value plummet, the jobs created will be minimal, the gas extracted will only be a fraction of what is down there… and we can get more energy for less financial outlay by following the renewables route. We would have to suffer from terminal stupidity to allow fracking to happen in our, at the moment, green and pleasant land.

Tipping over…

It’s all distraction and exhaustion, the more pressure everyone is under the less likely they are to challenge the system. Until… you reach tipping point… they’ve gone too far, both in America and here. People, even the most unlikely people, are starting to think.

We have rising unemployment balancing against people working stupidly long hours. Many of those who are in work are stressed because they are over worked, under appreciated & terrified they will lose their jobs. And many of those who are unemployed are stressed because they have totally inadequate income, the media attacks them all the time, they feel they are failing in their lives, they are terrified they will never get a decent job.

What this picture lacks are two things: common sense, which would tell anyone this is an insane situation and is possible to remedy; and, respect… respect from employers to employees, respect from the media for those who have to struggle with our twisted benefit system usually through no fault of their own, and finally self-respect. I have worked for my self respect. No bastard is taking it away from me. I am a worthwhile human being whatever my employment situation is… and so are you!

We have media that oversimplify, stereotype & trivialize. They demonise the poor & powerless, at the same time deifying “celebrities” (who they have created in the first place).

The criteria used to decide what is newsworthy is not just biased, it is warped, increasing feelings of powerlessness, fear & alienation in the naïve, uneducated (wait til that rant appears), & unwary.

The entertainment media predominantly concentrate on themes of deceit & mistrust to the point that dishonesty seems normal. To want or expect honesty & decent considerate behaviour is viewed as, at best, idealistic &, at worst, naively stupid.

“Soaps” are the worst offenders in all ways. Stereotyping characters in the most negative ways possible. Trivializing & poking fun at those who most need sympathy & understanding. They also underline their own myth that every happy experience will inevitably lead to tragedy. All in the guise (for many watchers) of reflecting real life.

Much of the media treat all their followers as if they are stupid or naïve. They offer little in the way of mental stimulation but much titillation, then wonder why fewer & fewer people engage with them. In attempting to always grab the biggest market share they have forgotten we are all individuals. We will swallow their nonsense for a while, then, inevitably, one way or another it makes us sick.

Life itself, as well as being mundane & tragic, is richer, funnier, more rewarding & unexpected than anything the mainstream can imagine. The stories passing around the social media certainly illustrate these points.

The inhumanity of governmental behaviour at this point is very worrying. It’s like they believe their own propaganda. This is scary to say the least. Bear in mind that “power” often attracts those who feel inadequate in normal life, very often they have sociopathic tendencies (the need to manipulate, absence of compassion, etc). This means there are a disproportionate number of politicians who have these qualities. Obviously there are those who go in to politics because they are so horrified by the behaviour of the sociopathic element. But it does explain the cruelty of much of what is going on at the moment.

Protest marches are a great way of getting people to realise that they are not alone. But if those marches are misrepresented, or not reported at all, by mainstream media do they have the intended effect? We need to look again at the tactics of resistance. Tactics which worked in the recent past aren’t necessarily going to be particularly effective now. The establishment have developed ways of dealing with predictable resistance…

Any ideas anyone? It’s time to tip over this government that is destroying everything we have and hold dear.

Against the 1%

So you think your government is corrupt. You think the 1% have bought all the politicians. If that’s the case what are you going to do? You could be one of what the unkind call the sheeple, one of the people who follow either because they are happy to or because they can’t think how not to. Or you could step away from the path others expect you to follow.

If you’re going to choose your own path, you then have to decide whether you’re going to completely go it alone or if you’re going to team up with other people who you think might see things the same way as you do.

Going it alone, completely alone, is a trendy and sexy decision. The maverick or outsider has long been a romantic figure. The one person who is brave enough to say what others dare not even think. They are the heroes of many, many movies. However, how many people in the real world who have taken that stance can you think of who actually have made a difference?

They certainly do exist, Florence Nightingale, Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Luxemburg, Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai. Some wonderful examples of what a truly human being can do. But how many in each generation have that greatness in them? And would you really set yourself up as being an equal to any of them?

Then there is the problem of aligning yourself with any group (it’s always been a big problem for me anyway). Groups often seem really good to start with, then the group dynamic becomes more and more apparent, you get to know who’s going to say what and which people will actually do what they say they will… I’m sure you’ve all been there.

It can really put you off the idea of aligning yourself with any group. However, the advantages of being in a group are phenomenal. Having other people around with ideas and their own motivation can be brilliantly supportive. But it really does have to be the right group for you. And that’s where the Transition Network wins hands down.

They are aware that not every group is going to work out and they offer courses on how to deal with some predictable situations. They are also not afraid of the idea that, so far, we don’t have the tools for dealing with some dynamics. They don’t try and shoe horn everyone into a “one size fits all” system. It’s up to you and the people you are working with to work out what your priorities are, what structures and “rules” you need in place…

It’s a very grown up approach, expecting everyone to make their own contribution and to take responsibility for themselves. And Transition isn’t just about talk, actually talk is just the glue, it’s about action… local, small scale, practical action that a small group can undertake to give them a better chance of surviving in this world that is falling further and further into insanity.

They are trying to increase what they call resilience, that is the ability to flexibly respond to the challenges that are likely to be confronting us in the not so distant future. They really are trying to create alternatives to current structures within society. Different approaches to current problems, diversity is strength. Diverse approaches, that none the less are allied to each other is huge strength. This is permaculture written into societal forms.

If you really want a Resource Based Economy (RBE) this is where you will find it, if not already in action, then well along the road of planning for implementation. If you really want caring, supportive communities, here they are. If you want that rosy future, this is how we’ll get it. This is an international movement that is quietly subverting mainstream society and politics. If the establishment realise how much of a threat they are we can expect reprisals as soon as they work out how to enact them.

And to protect this wonderful, precious shoot of new growth we need to galvanise ourselves into action. We need to make sure that the establishment doesn’t workout how to stop this movement away from material values to real moral values (I’m not talking about conventional religion here, though I’m sure space will be made for it if it’s important to you).

You see what I’m talking about is we need to vote, we need to vote against the mainstream parties. If you don’t vote you are effectively giving your vote to the establishment, because what is not against them, is for them. Think about it. Those who do support the establishment will be voting. If you don’t vote against them then not only have you not used your vote, but you may have invalidated the votes of others who are anti-establishment.

I am not advocating supporting the LibDems, nor Labour, and you don’t want me to start on how I feel about the CONservatives (or their smaller, nastier shadow, UKIP). I am talking about the real alternative parties that the mainstream media (owned by the Conservatives) ignores. I’ve mentioned them before, no doubt I’ll mention them again… the Green Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Mebyon Kernow, Monster Raving Loony, The People’s Assembly, actually any of the small parties who can’t afford to cover the whole country, or even an independent candidate if they seem trustworthy.

I’m not suggesting this will be easy, I am very aware of the level of corruption and misinformation that is going round. But if we don’t vote we are handing parliament back to the establishment on a platter. I, for one, won’t do that.

And while you’re waiting for the election why not check out The Transition Network http://www.transitionnetwork.org/ and see what you think about them.

Is Violent Revolution Inevitable… And, What Should We Do About it?

I got involved in a discussion yesterday with one of my Facebook friends. He’s of the opinion that Russell Brand is right and voting makes no difference, so you shouldn’t vote. The political system is broken and all we can do is wait until violent revolution breaks out and then we can build a new and better world from the ashes.

I am of a slightly, but only slightly, different opinion. But before I can explain where I’m coming from I have to give a sociology lesson. Some of you won’t need it, but there is so much misinformation out there that I don’t dare continue with out it.

On 5th May 1818 Karl Marx was born in Germany. He grew up to be a economic and political theorist. He worked very closely, so closely that they edited each others work, with another German called Friedrich (or Frederick) Engels. They were of the opinion that society moved through a series of stages based on what they called “the means of production”. The means of production are the processes and technologies used to produce goods and profit. Marx said that each of the stages of history had the seeds of their own destruction within them.

Contrary to popular belief, what is called communism, in both Russia and China has little to do with what Marx saw as being communism, if only because both countries tried to sidestep the current economic stage (capitalism), completely miss out the stage Marx believed would come next (socialism), and go straight for the main prize (communism). Marx would never have used the term communist to describe either country’s political system. His communism could only follow what he called socialism, and was a system where the need for and the power of the state, any form of government, had withered away completely, and everyone had freedom to do as they pleased, as well as having complete responsibility for their own actions.

Marx’s vision of socialism was something akin to the Resource Based Economics that many of my facebook friends (and I) are very keen on. Where the means of production are no longer owned by the few, but are in the hands of the many, who make decisions based on the greatest good. Marx was a very complex thinker and wrote a great deal, as did Engels. They are well worth reading, if only to look for the flaws in their arguments.

Ok, so I’m guessing you can see why that expedition was necessary. I think we are not in a recession. I think that in some ways Marx was right. I think capitalism is starting to run out of possibilities. I think things could all come crashing down some time in the not too distant future. It’s not just climate change (global warming), it’s not just peak oil, there are many things that are changing and the current system, this way of looking at things, this paradigm, is not sustainable.

Our political system is one of the things that is not sustainable. We cannot continue to be governed by people who are in it only for the money. Their corruption and greed only hastens their own downfall. Their assumption that we are all ignorant and stupid only highlights their own arrogant stupidity. They might have broken our not very good education system, but we are neither ignorant nor stupid.

We are the ones who live with the consequences of their short sightedness on a daily basis. Their power over us is neither as long term or as complete as they think. Capitalism is breaking and the cracks are showing, their behaviour is part of that whole process.

I couldn’t say if socialism, in the Marxist sense, will follow capitalism. But, if we put the work in now, there may be something better, more humane and egalitarian, to follow it. There are people trying to build new systems now, so that they will be in place if, or rather when, the old systems fail.

These people are the Transition Network (http://www.transitionnetwork.org/) To quote their own words “What does Transition Network do? Transition Network is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.

“Ultimately it’s about creating a healthy human culture, one that meets our needs for community, livelihoods and fun. We’re here to support you.

“We run events, conferences, trainings, blogs, webinars. We produce monthly newsletters, books, films, guides, tweets, and more, all with the intention of best supporting those around the world who are doing Transition.”

And I strongly recommend you check them out. They are flexible, inspiring and intelligent. They are trying to give people proper support networks in their local areas. As much as possible is being kept local, local food, local skills, local community, local help, even possibly local money. All so that there is somewhere to turn when the larger scale systems fall apart.

Modern society is both mentally and physically unhealthy. If we can embrace just some of the actions advocated within the Transition Network, we will all become healthier and stronger.

This possibility of capitalism falling apart and something new taking its place may seem very frightening, but the new things won’t be unfamiliar. They will be a different slant on things that are actually traditional and familiar. It’s as much about taking old values and ways and thinking about them in a slightly different way.

The Green Party are great fans of the Transition Network. There is a significant overlap between the ideas and values of both groups. If we can manoeuvre Green Party politicians into positions of power they will work to support Transition.

This is probably the only way we can avoid violent revolution. We might not be able to avoid it completely, but with transition in place we stand a much better chance of moving away from the wreckage that capitalism (with it’s insistence that money is more important than people) has become without too much devastation.

If we don’t vote, if we don’t stop the main parties from continuing in what has become ruinous insanity, then things will get worse. Our lifestyles will be torn apart and there may be a chance of building something better out of the ashes, but I’m afraid they will be built only after much pain and destruction.

So, in conclusion, I am suggesting that our best route forward is to embrace Transition, and vote Green to keep as much of what is good in our lives alive as we can. I would suggest that if you do not have the option to vote Green you should vote SNP, Plaid Cymru, Mebyon Kernow, Monster Raving Loony, The People’s Assembly, actually any of the small parties who can’t afford to cover the whole country, or even an independent candidate. As far as I can see it is our best hope for peace.

Useful sites:

The Transition Network http://www.transitionnetwork.org/

The Green Party of England and Wales http://www.greenparty.org.uk/

Scottish Greens http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/

SNP http://www.snp.org/

Plaid Cymru http://www.plaidcymru.org/

Mebyon Kernow https://www.mebyonkernow.org/

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party http://www.omrlp.com/

The People’s Assembly http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

A Picture of A Different Life

Modern Western society is focused on the short term pursuit of sufficient income to have a “good” standard of living. The longest term anyone ever really thinks about is the life of their mortgage, if they happen to have one. Many people have a severely limited income, they only look as far as their next “pay” check.

We have lived through the time when we were told to “get on your bike” if you wanted to work and there was no work in your area. Families have become dispersed and fragmented. The idea of being rooted in a place is the preserve only of the extreme ends of the economic ladder. The richest, because they can afford to do what ever they please and live where ever they please; the poorest, because they cannot afford to give up the tiny toe hold they have.

Everyone else is almost constantly on the move. Many people commute for several hours a day to go to work. They don’t necessarily live where they want to, but they live where they believe they can afford to live. Many people have holiday homes, where they spend as much time as they can “afford” to, away from their daily grind. And both these groups squeeze those who were born in that area out.

The cost of living in different areas is seldom addressed when people look at moving house. The extra tax of living in a rural area comes in the form of fuel prices. There is seldom any useful form of public transport any more. And anyone not able to drive themselves, for whatever reason, is stuck paying premium prices for everyday goods.

Everything revolves around money. What very few people remember is that money is merely a token to make bartering easier. It has no intrinsic worth. Nowadays new money is created by a bank on a computer in the form of a new debt. And then people wonder why there is a debt crisis. What else could it be?

There are very few people who are happy with their lives the way they are. So then the question becomes “do we have to live this way?”. Well, I don’t think so. But we would have to redefine what is important on a pretty much world wide scale. It’s not so much about creating something new, more about reclaiming some old ways and giving them a new twist and a new shine.

It’s not about abandoning science, we need science. The scientific, analytical mind is a wonderful thing. But we need science that is not bound by where the next “pay” check is coming from. Science that can look at a longer time scale than week to week. We need to think both big (maybe very big) and small (so very small). We also need a science that cannot be bought by the big corporations to give the answers they want; a science that will insist on looking at potential long term effects before even considering the possibility of trying things out outside of the laboratory if there is the least likelihood of ill effects.

It’s about returning to real values, long term values: the value of land; clean air; and clean water. For too long we have been dictated to by the supermarket chains with their illusion of choice. For too long our governments have bamboozled us with assertions of choice where none is wanted, and pretence of concern where none is felt.

People are laughed at for caring or believing. But we all believe in something, even if it is only ourselves. We all care. We sometimes care about the wrong things, but that is better than not caring at all. Most people are thinking, caring beings, but they have been lied to; misled; and deliberately confused. They have been put under pressure and forced away from their support systems so that they have neither the energy nor inclination to question or fight against what is going on.

People are not healthy because this is such an unhealthy way of living. We need to re-embrace healthier ways, both physically and emotionally. We need lives that are full of good food (local food), good friends (local friends & distant friends), time to appreciate things, time to create things, time to grow things.

Ivan Illich talked about deskilling society, that is what has happened. People have been taken out of their environment and thrust into a place of employment, where their natural skills and knowledge are not valuable or valued, so they are vulnerable and more easily manipulated.

For those who remember “The Good Life” with it’s theme of rural living in suburbia, there is probably some part of you that still hankers for that crazy possibility. Rural living isn’t for everyone, but it would work for far more people than the few who realize it. Our roots are in the land. We belong to it. We need it. Without the good earth we all starve.

I’m not rejecting technology, I am rejecting our current culture of greed, I am rejecting money (especially in the form of debt) and I am wholeheartedly rejecting our current political system. There is a better way. It starts with each one of us valuing ourselves and each other. It continues with each one of us valuing the land and the bounty it can bring us.

Mentally Well?

It’s mental health awareness week. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. We have a government who seems to be quite happy to send it’s own citizens to the very depths of depression, even to suicide. And the government’s behaviour seems to be rooted in a total absence of empathy, which seems pathological in its completeness.

What to do? If we lived in a true democracy (a true democracy is where every one who has the right to vote, has the right to vote on every policy decision) then there would be ways we could vote against their insanity. But we don’t. As I have explained before we live in an elective dictatorship. In the recent past no government would dream of behaving the way the current Ca-moron band of chums are.

Lets go back to the origins of our political system. After the usual local structures of power we eventually ended up with a monarchy. Not a great political system, but a common one. We had one particular king who pissed his mates off big time. Eventually, after they had tried being reasonable with him, they strong armed him into signing what has become know as the Magna Carta. This was an agreement between the king and his lords.

This agreement is the root of our current political system. This is a problem because, it wasn’t about respecting ordinary people, it was about safeguarding the position of the already privileged. All through our history until very recent times the vast majority of laws passed by what became parliament, have been about keeping property safe, or about keeping money in the right person’s pocket.

There has been a certain amount of fairness built into the system, sometimes even intentionally. But the law in Britain has always left something to be desired as far as the unprivileged masses are concerned. Never more so than now.

We are entering uncertain times. Predictions of doomsayers from the 1970’s and 80’s are finally starting to look like they really are coming true. We really are starting to run out of oil. The world is poisoned and struggling to make enough pure air and water to keep the humans alive.

If we are to save anything we need to be acting in a proactive way. Putting improved (for our survival) systems in place. What we have is a reactionary government that is so scared of the world, they want to cocoon themselves in money, because that will make all the nastiness go away. They don’t realise that their own thinking is mentally unwell…