Tall oaks

I’ve blogged every single day of lockdown without a break, so today I’m putting my feet up, lying on the sofa, and am going to binge watch sci-fi.  To keep you all amused and edified in the meantime, here’s a guest post.

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Tall oaks

by Mark Russell

Before any effective treatment can be commenced, it is essential to first establish an accurate diagnosis to save the life of a severely ill patient. To do that, the doctor will apply years of knowledge and experience, then balance their judgement after a careful and objective examination of all the evidence.

In some cases, like septic shock, the only effective treatment may involve the loss of an organ or limb so the life can be saved and then, the onus on doctors to make that accurate diagnosis quickly is paramount, if the patient is to have a chance of survival.

Many of us experience these difficult circumstances in our lives – from both sides of the coin – but when it is our own life in the balance, all we can do is place our trust in those doctors – and have faith in our own resilience.

But by the time a cancer patient faces the surgeon’s knife, they will understand what is required to have a good outcome. The diagnosis and treatment plan will have been carefully explained and they can prepare themselves to make whatever sacrifices required to ensure survival. If they are fortunate, for sometimes the disease is so severe and threatening, there is little time to prepare.

Humanity is that acutely ill patient. Without warning, our busy life has been rudely interrupted by a critical health crisis that is rapidly progressing towards the gravest outcome – unless appropriate treatment is commenced without delay.

But as we lie in Intensive Care, watching our doctors’ dither and argue and fail to even recognise the most obvious symptoms of the illness, what hope do we have for our survival when such glaring incompetence and inexperience is revealed before us? Our predicament is made even worse with the knowledge that some of the doctors we are relying on are complicit in our demise by their neglect and mismanagement.
Should we resign ourselves to the inevitable tragedy – or do we seek a second opinion without delay?

The virus outbreak has provided much clarity. We have known for many years that our “economy” – our way of life – has been truly toxic for much of the planet and has destroyed many of the ecosystems and resources that are essential to maintain the diversity and environment we rely on to survive. Even with all the warnings, we have been unable or unwilling to change our ways.

Just like a chronic drug-addict whose unfortunate exposure to prescription opioids has created a potentially terminal illness, humanity has several urgent decisions to make before commencing life-saving treatment. Who do we trust? Which sacrifices must we make? What can we do to ensure a good recovery and prevent recurrence? What is the best treatment available?

On the question of trust, we can now see that our ‘doctors’ – with their extensive entourage – are no specialists, but snake-oil salesmen – and we would be foolish in the extreme to have any faith in their opinions.

In seeking to preserve the economy, politicians are not only prolonging and exacerbating the crisis, but risk our very survival by their actions. A complete change of direction is required yet it is increasingly obvious they are ignorant and incapable of doing so. Even at this late stage, we must summon the courage to dismiss them from any further responsibility in our affairs before they inflict the fatal blow.

We must remember this:

As a country with its own currency, the UK can never run out of money – but it can run out of people and the essentials to life – food and fuel – if the combined consequences of a pandemic disease with unknown potential and the evaporation of trust in the authorities are realised. By ignoring the desperate plight of millions of ordinary people, governments across the world are failing in their principle duty – to protect their citizens. Instead many have already been sacrificed on the altar of greed and power in the desire to save the status quo. This neglect can only lead to social collapse and disorder, which will greatly enhance the deadly progress of the virus and render recovery impossible for many generations to come.

That will be our final legacy if we fail to act decisively now.

We must first realise and accept that the virus has completely destroyed the global economy – and in doing so, it has done humanity and the planet a great favour. Within a few months all of the established fiscal frameworks have collapsed, forcing governments to issue new currency to meet increased spending costs amidst grave uncertainties and falling revenue. Growth and productivity have all but ceased and many businesses have already closed for good.

Our malign problem has been surgically and efficiently removed, but our dependency and addiction has left us weak and vulnerable following the operation and we face a critical time ahead on life-support. But as we recuperate, there is time to consider the clarity the outbreak has also provided in clearing the mists and myths obscuring the reality with money and government spending.

Last week (23r April 2020), Gertjan Vlieghe, an ‘external’ member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), gave a speech headed “Monetary Policy and the Bank of England’s Balance Sheet” in an attempt to explain the extraordinary sums of money that are appearing out of thin air. It’s a good effort, using the prevailing mists and myths from telling the story in everyday language – but really the game is well and truly up for these dishonest characters, who by their own admission, have been exploiting those mechanisms for the last half century.

Thankfully, we now have, a simple translation of the speech and its implications for governments and individuals in every country.

This is one example how HMG could structure a response where money is no problem:
All policies directed to maintain the two vital ingredients essential for our recovery; preservation of the individual and those services fundamental to our survival – the NHS, food and medicines and the basic utilities – power, fuel and communications. It is incumbent on the State to apply adequate fiscal support to both until the outbreak and its inevitable consequences are contained and absorbed. That process may be counted in years if not decades.

Thus, direct payment to the individual must be apportioned immediately. This can be achieved by making everyone an employee or student of the ‘State’, with every person receiving a regular monthly ‘salary’ in addition to other supporting measures.
No debt repayments of any kind – mortgages, rents, loans, taxes including VAT, will cease immediately.

No payments for utilities, communications, prescriptions.

A weekly free-of-charge package of groceries and household items.

Emergency grants and funding for all community activities assisting the response and for restoration and support of essential business and services.

This represents a critical investment in a workforce we will desperately need if we are to survive intact and in sufficient numbers to bring with us the expertise, skills and knowledge that will be essential in the years and decades ahead.  We will need new skills and a radically different focus for business. This will take time, careful planning and consensus to formulate. The difficult, but crucial period of isolation provides a unique opportunity for everyone to participate towards that goal.  But only if they have support.

To achieve this, the ‘State’ – using emergency powers – assumes responsibility for all utilities, telecommunications, mobile and Internet providers, insurance and other essential business such as food production and distribution, supermarkets and pharmacies.  The commercial banks are nationalised and serve as a conduit for funding from government. All off-shore banking activities and financial markets under UK control, should be suspended immediately and access to existing deposits will be restricted.

Without this investment and reforms, our children will never know or benefit from anything we have learned and achieved in our lifetimes. Instead they will face the bleakest and most savage future imaginable.

If we are in in this together, it must be on equal terms – or not at all.
The net worth or earning capability of any individual is no longer important or representative of their true value. It never was. Is a footballer or media celebrity more important than a cleaner or carer? Do billionaires like Branson, Green and the Windsors deserve any better than you or your family?

It is simply not possible – and highly undesirable – to transition from one society to another under the heavy burden of unjust inequality and unrestrained greed. In time we will need to reconcile these discrepancies in a fair and sensible manner – but for the foreseeable duration, whilst our very survival is in the balance, we must all be on an equal footing financially – and in all other areas of support.

Nothing less will do.

History has taught us that every civilisation, at the point of collapse, has but the briefest of time to adjust to the new circumstances and threats. As yet, none have grasped the moment or faced the challenge with any realism and all have failed.
We have everything we need at our disposal to navigate through the troubled waters ahead, but we are being dragged down by the weight of a snarled anchor.

Just as humanity must dispense with the discredited snake-oil salesmen it is time to cut the chains from the deadweight below – those who the salesmen truly represent. There is much to be done – how we organise and support each other through the difficult times ahead.

How we recover and rebuild. How we restore, not only ourselves but also this place we call home. Unless we do this together, many of us will perish. Together, on equal terms, we may yet again flourish and learn to appreciate the true value of this life and each other. But everything needs to change.

Unfortunately, it won’t – at least not with any Westminster government and the British Establishment in charge of our affairs. As Vlieghe’s speech illustrates – even when Pandora’s Box has been opened, they still try and claim it’s nothing more than a meaningless trinket. They are the very worst of the snake-oil villains and will stop at nothing to preserve the status quo. They have yet to realise that is no longer possible. That dichotomy spells disaster.

On that basis, I appeal to those in Scotland in a position of authority to urgently consider the potential for Scotland, as an independent country with its own currency, to provide for its citizens a radically different fiscal stimulus, where the only limit on spending and progressive policies is our own imagination.
All of the suggestions outlined above can be achieved in a moment if the Scottish people and government have sovereignty over their own affairs. The time for decisive leadership is surely upon us. It is a matter of survival – nothing less.

When I was a young boy, my grandmother died from a simple act of medical negligence that was completely avoidable. No one had the knowledge to speak up at the time and we can never bring her back. I still miss her today. She instilled in me her great love of this beautiful country, its people, their history and traditions. “It has everything you could ever want”, she used to say. It does; we should hold onto it with everything we can. Especially the Blackmount Rowan.

On her mantelpiece was another tree – a porcelain ornament with an inscription below and another lesson:

“Tall oaks from small acorns grow.”

Now is the time to make that happen.

55 comments on “Tall oaks

  1. Mark Russell says:

    Just wanted to add that although I’ve used a medical analogy to illustrate the politicians handling of this crisis, in no way do I associate the incredible and dedicated doctors and nurses risking their lives in the NHS, with any of the scoundrels in government.

    Just to be clear.

    • Mark, you put a tear in my eye there pal.
      We can take some Hope from the fact that others are pondering and attempting to organise a new response to our failed socio-economic model, notably in my experience, Yanis Varoufakis via the DIEM25 movement and Jacques Fresno’s Venus Project.

      We really must seize this moment of humanity and the earth are to survive and flourish.

      Capitalism and its Sacred Cow of ‘Economic Growth’ need to be humanely despatched to this end.
      Now.

  2. Ken2 says:

    Health before wealth,

    Independence for a better longer life.

    Cut out the fiddle men.

  3. Pete Smith says:

    Love this essay. Spot on. Bring on the Revolution.

  4. Wendy says:

    This gets to the very heart of what is wrong with society and what needs to happen to put it right. I just wish I had faith that someone in authority would do it.

  5. James Mills says:

    Great read , Mark !

    So many reading this will agree 100% – but in our heart of hearts we will despair that this opportunity will be wasted .
    It is often said that cockroaches would be the last to die after a nuclear holocaust – Westminster politicians and their string-pullers are in the same category !

  6. bringiton says:

    So far all I have heard from the clowns in Westminster when asked to do anything radically different is “It’s not appropriate for the UK”.
    They are not appropriate for the UK,maybe in Trump’s America.

  7. Dave tewart says:

    The point to be made is ‘Why is it that some people on this planet are supposed to live on a few dollars a day’?
    Already i’m hearing neighbours say they are working from home and could be allowed to continue and they’d save £50 a week on travel.
    You’re so right , WE need to sort out this economy thing to be more in tune with our species surviving.
    A quote from Tony Benn, ‘If you can have full employment to KILL Germans in WARTIME,why can’t to have full employment in Peacetime to SAVE the population’?

  8. An interesting and thought provoking piece, Mark.

    It achieved what every good writing should ; make the reader think., and make their brain hurt.

    I thought of the following:-

    “The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.”
    …. technology has had a destabilizing effect on society, has made life unfulfilling, and has caused widespread psychological suffering…..that most people spend their time engaged in useless pursuits because of technological advances; these “surrogate activities” wherein people strive toward artificial goals, including scientific work, consumption of entertainment, and following sports teams…..further technological advances will lead to extensive human genetic engineering and that human beings will be adjusted to meet the needs of the social systems, rather than vice versa…..technological progress can be stopped, unlike people who understand technology’s negative effects yet passively accept it as inevitable…. a return to “wild nature.”

    The erosion of human freedom is a natural product of an industrial society because “the system has to regulate human behaviour closely in order to function”, and that reform of the system is impossible because “changes large enough to make a lasting difference in favour of freedom would not be initiated because it would be realized that they would gravely disrupt the system”.

    However, the system has not yet fully achieved “control over human behaviour” and “is currently engaged in a desperate struggle to overcome certain problems that threaten its survival”. … “if the system succeeds in acquiring sufficient control over human behaviour quickly enough, it will probably survive. Otherwise it will break down,” and that “the issue will most likely be resolved within the next several decades, say 40 to 100 years”…..that the task of those who oppose industrial society is to promote “social stress and instability” and to propagate “an ideology that opposes technology”, one that offers the “counter-ideal” of nature “in order to gain enthusiastic support”. A “revolution against technology may be possible” when industrial society is sufficiently unstable.”

    The above from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s ‘Industrial Society and Its Future’.

    He may have been a psychologically damaged murderer but his thesis has been given serious consideration by academics.

    Your ‘new normal’ recalled Huxley’s Brave New World, Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Kafka’s Metamorhposis, Miller’s hapless Willy ‘Loman’ in Death of a Salesman, and so much more.

    You probably lost Willie Rennie, Jackson Carlaw, and Richard GMD Leonard after the key sentence in your opening paragraph.

    A terrific read.
    Thanks
    More please

  9. andyfromdunning says:

    Thanks for a great article.

    What you suggest is possible with annual ground rent, citizen basic income, applying different financial management (MMS) and actively building up to an export based economy. Income must at least match expenditure in the ideal world to reduce state debt.

    I am getting on a bit age wise and have therefore seen lots of governments come and go. This lot of idiots are the worst.

    An independent Scotland will be managed by people so never perfect but compared to WM and the establishment it could not be worse.

    Thanks again for your article

  10. Clootie says:

    Thank you for the article.
    I expect many to disagree with me but I have came to a simple philosophy on Independence.
    1) On currency – regardless of what we do we will be attacked before another Referendum and certainly if successful fUK will ensure we are disadvantaged by various BofE changes. They will not want us to succeed. They cannot afford to allow that. Therefore I feel we should adopt the Euro as our currency. It ends any risk by sharing with 500million people. The upside far outweighs the down.
    2) Political approach – we must end this game of following Whitehall/Westminster rules. We must become an endless pain in the arse. No MPs at Westminster ( 600 to 50 no more impact than 650 to none). Follow the Ghandi model of refusing to accept THEIR rules.
    3) Holyrood – it should be the prime focus. People will vote for a party that fights for Independence above all else.
    4) List seats – we must agree a method by which Independence supporting Parties prevent Unionist Parties crawling in on the list vote when the SNP takes a large vote. The Unionist designed it for this reason so break it.
    5) This is the part when I get shouted at – the second Independence Party for the list should be a YES Party. No baggage of pet bills on how Scotland will be shaped. Not SNP/Greens/SSP or any politician. A YES Party focused on Independence to make those other political choices. We have a mass of talent for the role of MSP not (I repeat NOT) currently politicians but active in the YES field.

    Time to stop asking nicely!

    Sorry for the rant! Now shoot me down.

    • marconatrix says:

      Nicely put. What’s the opposite of “shooting down” (clearly not “shooting up”! LOL) but whatever it is, consider yourself shot up by me Clootie, fwiw 🙂

    • scrandoonyeah says:

      I for one, want to lift you up

  11. Ken2 says:

    Election of a YES Party without a manifesto. Could muck up SNP good policies. They could sabotage Independence. End up a right rammy

    More people need to stop voting unionist and start voting SNP. That is happening. 1/2. The unionists can be outvoted.

    Change the List system. Introduce by Leslie Evan to sabotage Independence. PR. The Council are the same STV. Everyone’s second choice. Not happening in the rest of the UK. FPTP. Voters vote in who they want. Vote out who they do not. One person. One vote. No confusion

    Try a YES Party but difficult to organise. In a relative short space of time.

    Scotland would be Independent now without Holyrood PR.

  12. Hamish100 says:

    The problem with having another Independence Party is we would have 3 parties similar to the unionists (splitting the vote) excepting of course that the party would only stand for the regional vote. I would suspect the rules would be changed to stop this.
    Even if allowed who would pick the candidates? Happy to vote for Lesley Riddoch would never vote for the Reverend party reps or ex Snp candidates maybe with the exception of 1 or 2. Of course I would vote for Wee ginger dug but no doubt some sod would stop us.

  13. To get fairer Scottish elections, all people on the list vote must stand for a 1st passed the vote for a constituency.

  14. And Spouse says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Something missing though, what the future would actually look like and not just words.
    I feel genuinely sad for hamish100 who would vote for some independents and not others. I’m sad that the SNP are in their present position. What happens when Big Ecks volcano erupts.
    Here’s the thing we are going to allow big brother to break us up.
    We need the vision of what independence will really be like. We need that to show to the NOs.
    We talk of independence as if it were the end result. It isn’t. It’s the beginning. But if we not careful the carpet baggers and the wealthy and establishment will get in there first.
    I’ve thought that at this time we could put Scottish football back together in a manner to make us world beaters like Belgium. Ain’t gonna happen under some of these guys watch. So I thought I’d have a dinner party and invite some wisdom to give a view on how we might change it. Who would I invite? Henry McLiesh, Alex Ferguson, guy who steered Belgium, jock Stein, Walter Smith, Ken Loach?
    Anyway Wee Dug, why don’t you and Lesley n Bella n Rev and Craig n others hold a wee weekly Zoom meeting and talk about a topic each week. Invite NHS expert in on the health week. A banker on the money week. Share the video.
    We are not getting balanced Journalism, we never will. Here’s a wee chance to make a change. Dunno if it works.
    And here’s the thing, forget the in fighting, vote and join SNP, put the numbers in to tsunami. After Indy there will be no SNP, it’s just a bus and we don’t need to chat, know, like everybody on the bus.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Don’t feel sad for me. If there are 3 parties you can only vote for a maximum of 2 in the Scottish elections. Incidentally some of those “Indy purists” or so they claim and want a 3rd party actively ran down the SNP during the last U.K. general election. They lost. Thankfully. Some of the so called 3rd party promoters are undermining the only party that can win right up to this day.

  15. Joe says:

    Just watching channel 4.news.and let me say first.one person who dies of Coronavirus Is one to many.but today Westminster releases details
    of thousands of residents of old peoples homes dying Of Coronavirus in
    England.and they do not even know the correct Amount who have actually
    died from the virus.
    but no no.channel 4.Has to investigate at an old folks home in Dundee.
    even got plenty Of people willing to tell you all the problems.(.whats
    the betting they Are all hand picked Britnat unionist.tories.) all spouting SNPBAAAAD.
    And channel 4.news reporter in Scotland.Ciaran Jenkins just loves to
    Report any story in Scotland.to rubbish the SNP.government.he is a
    Real asset for the Britnat unionists.up here.
    This man cannot help himself.no matter what it has to be SNPBAAAAD.

  16. James Cheyne says:

    Humanity has been in a dangerous situation since industrialisation, when the environment was not considered before or over profit, nor were people, in which the rich became wealthier on the back of others, and the gulf grew at an alarming rate between the rich and the poor.
    Sometimes I do not understand our mentality why we allow the black communities around the world to claim that they alone were victims of slavery, ( and they definitely were) But no one mentions the hundreds of thousands of white slaves that were working in cotton mills, tied by poverty to their masters, where children started work at very young ages, often dying due to bad over crowded slums, many different families bunged into one room. Suffering from malnutrition, tuberculosis, and lost limbs.
    No one mentions how mothers and fathers were forced to take their young children down coal mines either to make up the family income or they would be thrown out onto the street as there employers owned their slum houses too. Often losing whole families in clasped mines.
    No one mentions that if anyone was starving of hunger and took a rabbit or a fish from the big land estates owners the punishment was automatically not in the poor mans favour, children, mothers and fathers were separated and sent abroad as slave labour to the new colonies were they owned you, and women and children were molested and raped.
    I do not say this to down grade in any way, what was suffered by black communities around the world, But to remind those fighting for independence and freedom that we all have been slaves to the industrial revolution, black or white.
    It is time for change.
    It is time to change how the world is run.

    • TeenyfraeTroon says:

      I tend to agree. Families were perhaps not slaves in the common sense of the word but were in servitude to the mine owners, the land owners or the mill owners. When you spend time looking back at where your own family came from, the jobs they did and the lives they lived you realise that our current way of life is not that different. We are in servitude to the economy, to technology, to business owners, to the government.

    • Selkie says:

      Do read “Indian Peter” by Douglas Skelton, the harrowing true story of an 18th century Aberdeen boy sold into slavery by his own family, one of many, many children sent to America to be sold on as slaves. His is a remarkan]ble tale of slavery, escape, torture, life amongst Native Americans and eventual return home. Scots sold by Scots

      • I’m currently reading ‘The Lowland Clearances’ by Anderson and Cassell, which describes the mechanisms that introduced that servitude to the Scots cotters.
        It’s worth a read too if you haven’t already done so.

  17. Bob Lamont says:

    Bravo Mark, as eloquently expressed as any might expect on a forward thinking forum as this.
    Now the task is to wake the rest up…..

  18. Ken2 says:

    Bristol Bus Boycott.

    In 1963 Tony Benn helped organised a boycott against the Bristol Omnibus Company. They refused to employ Asian or other ethic drivers. Discrimination still going on. Universal Suffrage 1928. .

    The American civil rights movement. Discrimination still going on against people of different race. Against migrant contribution. Illegitimate and unfair.

    Human slavery still apparent. Against migrants and others. People of a different race. Discrimination between different races. Against International Law. Still going on with the Tories and others. Breaking International Law. Illegal wars.

  19. Ken2 says:

    Tony Benn did not support Scottish Independence or the EU. A Christian Socialist who supported Marxism?

  20. Ken2 says:

    Tony did not support Scottish Independence or EU membership.

    What a future.

    Baillie’s back.

  21. James Cheyne says:

    It is also perhaps wise to be cynical with a selective mode regards some areas of climate change, until we know which big companies are invested in the products, wether they have background funding from other large foundations,
    Bbc action, has received funding from bill gates, and most of us now know not to believe everything we hear,
    But that should make us wary as to what messages bill gates wants you to hear, and why,
    Bill gates would gain vast amounts of money from the vaccines he makes,
    At yet through his historical history and connections he seems to believe in eugenics, as do many others at the top, leading our countries, whom can be seen in videos personally commenting on a over populated planet,
    Bio-fertiliser is a scary subject nowadays, recycling humans in place of burials, spreading them on the farmers fields, especially if any humans had illnesses that that could enter our food chain, and be transferred,
    This is not scaremongering the scientists and politicians have already discussed it,
    Be careful always.
    If we are to do climate change in a big way, then always question who has money invested in the product, who has funded it, who is pushing for it.
    Am I a climate change denier.
    Definitely not, I remember when people did not have to travel miles to go to work in cars, or on the tube,
    When fathers worked for their families and mothers looked after the home and children instead looking for a new job miles from home.
    And most people in towns and villages had gardens where they could grow vegetables or flowers,
    This was how I was raised, and I realise that our throwaway society has to change, transport, and fossil fuels have to change, the way we run our country has to change,
    But at the same time with common sense and full knowledge of who is in the drivers seat.

    • James, I’m with you on this.
      Of course we need to take urgent action to save our planet but as you correctly state; we need to forensically examine the backgrounds of those pushing the current narrative and how they personally stand to gain.
      They are in no way different from the ‘improvers’ who cleared Scotland’s lands of people in order to enrich themselves; same ethic but extrapolated to global dimensions.
      The rich and the landed never change.
      If ever humanity needed a cull, it is of their class.

  22. Dave tewart says:

    Just reading the update on BA’s plan to make staff redundant.
    Their problem seems to be relate to buying in Fuel at a much higher price than it’s selling for now.
    That and probably NO income from grounded aircraft and loans to pay for.
    Not just BA then,it will be all the competitors with the same problem.
    Anyone want a cheap Boeing or Airbus passenger jet.
    BA seem to be saying their problem is not going away this year.
    Likewise likelthe same for the cruise ship companies of which Virgin has just taken delivery of a new ship.
    Pressure to ease the lockdown coming?????

  23. BBC Propaganda Breakfast TV is preparing ‘the nation’ (that’s England really) to ‘celelbrate the 75th anniversary of ‘Victory in Europe’ at the close of WW II.
    Lots of footage of Churchill, Lancaster bombers, streets parties with Butcher’s Apron hats flags and bunting, the Red Arrows flypast over Buckingham Palace, the Windsors in their Gold Coaches waving at their subjects through bullet proof glass, the Great Unwashed who thronged the Mall like zombies waving the Jack and cheering at their queen, to the strains of Vera Lynn whining ‘We’ll meet again’.
    English Imperialism at its most frightening and fascist.
    Not a dickie bird about Brexit.

    There will be ‘victory in Europe’ on 31st December 2020?
    They’ll crush the Hun again.

    I doubt that Germany will celebrate the 75th anniversary of ‘Defeat in Europe’ next Friday, do you?
    What the fuck are these warmongers ‘celebrating’. Smashing the Bosch?
    I wonder what Europe thinks of England’s five yearly War Dance? England’s Mighty Great British Empire?
    I doubt that there will be a flag fluttering, never mind a virtual street party down our way. Nor will we be gathering at our front steps singing ‘God Save The Windsors’.

    England has morphed into a fascist rogue state.
    It is mass hysteria of a dangerous kind.

    The Elite, the Filthy Rich, the Royals, will be giving it big licks, no expense spared, while thousands die because of the Free Market profiteering of PPE by ‘spivs’.

    Fuck them all, the long and the short and the tall.
    All together now….

  24. ecojoe54 says:

    If ever the time was ripe for a paradigm shift in human thinking on Ecology, Economy and the Welfare of everyone, that time is right now!

  25. Dr Jim says:

    They say politics is showbusiness for ugly people, and that was always basically true in the past before the selling of political figures as more dashing or stylish or more dependable, or apply any adjective to the above salesmanship and presentation of candidates for leaders or representatives,
    that created the interest of the population in the people as to what they liked the look of as opposed to which party was telling the truth about their policies

    Now we have identity politics sewn together with the loyalty factor so that policies are now accepted by the population as things that might or might not be carried out because everyone knows that everyone lies, nevertheless we defend our choices or we as a population look silly because we were convinced to make it personal by the original sales team, and we don’t want to look silly, nor do we want to perform the dreaded accusatory Uturn and vote for something else because our credibility as selectors of politicians becomes shot to hell and the embarrassement of such a thing would obviously kill us stone dead in an instant, so what is the solution to folk changing their minds without all the attached anxiety of betraying the concience that was sold to us as our own so well that we now believe in it unshakably forever amen

    Well in Scotland it’s pretty easy to get around all that worry because we actually only have one Scottish political party all the rest are the joint party of our next door neighbour who’s sole objective is to prevent us leaving their home and going on our own can, as Mums and Dads used to say when I was growing up, and in those days your parents wanted you gone, not because you didn’t earn enough or they didn’t like you, but mainly because in those days there were too many people and not enough room in the house for us, our parents didn’t worry about any loss of income because in those days our family was important and if they needed money we just gave them it if we had it

    Our neghbour England has never had that kind of equity in mind for us, they have always taken our children (after they’d been educated) to work in their country, they have always removed industry in our country to their country, they removed us as people to other countries where we might not have wanted to go but our work had been removed from where we live in our country

    So it seems obvious to me that whichever politicians in the only party we have that is for Scotland is the one we vote for to end this constant drain to England of everything we’ve ever had, because Scotland has zero influence in the selection of politicians and governance of England and we never will, and they will never change, why should they, they’re successful at what they do for them, they think

    It’s just shite for Scotland, so we need to stop doing it and vote for Scotland, and to the folk who find it difficult to change their mind I say *you don’t live in England you live here*

  26. So true. All we are is a bunch of resources for them to exploit.
    I’ve never wanted to tell them to f*** off more than I do today.
    Both that they treat their own any better but of course the English people are just Stalin’s infamous plucked chicken…

  27. Muscleguy says:

    Your prescription is far too complex, costly to administer and has no mechanism to prevent price gouging and anti-competitive behaviour in the provision of all the ‘free’ goods. I expect great complaint by those companies left out of the provision loop as well. Their goods which they have to sell in the marketplace will have to compete with free, a hard ask.

    Much, much simpler to both administer and regulate is the Universal Basic Income for all citizens and permanent residents of adult age. Then we can buy the food we like and can tolerate. I’m lactose intolerant (from weaning), genuinely gluten intolerant (diagnosed properly back in 1990) and allergic to bananas (a more recent acquisition). Can you imagine the administrative and logistical nightmare of catering for the above in my basket of ‘free’ groceries?

    Then there’s the modern epidemic of ‘can’t cook, won’t cook’. So some will want heat’em up meals, some will want jars of cooking sauces and some will want tins of tomatoes, garlic bulbs and herbs or a range of spices and chillies. Again, you either shoehorn everyone into one size fits all and render most people unhappy and probably start a secondary market.

    Far better to give me enough money to buy what I need when I need it.

    • Mark Russell says:

      I’m so sorry you have all those allergies, but like many others, you will have to adjust to these new circumstances. It takes people to grow, prepare and supply the market with all the ingredients you quote – and whilst there is still some in the supply chain, that will diminish rapidly as the weeks pass.

      You cant eat money – paper and copper don’t provide any nourishment – and it doesn’t matter how much you have when there is nothing to buy.

      We are transitioning from a next-day consumer based society with all the frills – to something very much akin to the Dark Ages. Any prescription – or recovery – is first dependent on survival. We’re on life support presently – personal preferences do not apply.

  28. James Cheyne says:

    Perhaps bartering will become the ( old) new norm,

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