## It's all about the Money, Money, Money

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Last year I talked about how the west was bankrupt and that part of this 'scamdemic' was to cover this. Here is an update on the world's finances, take 15 mins and watch it because there is a huge crash coming. The IMF and the Fed are printing money like confetti and there are hard times ahead. Please watch and share.

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## Messiahs, malice, money & masks

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Well, it was an interesting few weeks switching off from the world, although, it is difficult when you still have to go to work every day and interact with others. The only way to  really do it is to have a place away from everything, where you can actually sit in peace and quiet, like Henry David Thoreau in Walden - Life in the Woods, but I don’t have access to that type of land, unfortunately. Self-sufficiency, far from the madding crowd, I can but dream.

About 100 years ago, radio was invented, prior to that, the only noise you would have heard in your daily life was other people talking. Music would only have been heard if there was an occasion that called for it, be it a party, concert, wedding or ceili. Life would mostly have been quiet and silence easy to access.  Modern life is never silent, it drones on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without respite. Television, movies and music have intruded into our lives and brains, and there are a thousand voices competing to be heard in my head alone, even when sitting quietly; memories, lines from songs, scenes from movies, tv programmes, all vying for space in a place that is already overcrowded and noisy.

When you stand back from the noise for a while, you realise that most of it is meaningless, without purpose or substance, especially the TV. Mindless ‘entertainment’, soulless fodder being fed to the masses with the lowest common denominator as a guide.

Taking a break from it all allows you to adjust your perspective and when I look now at the overall picture, all I see is corruption. We live in a world based on lies and deceit, and sadly, a population happy to play along if it means they don’t have to bother thinking for themselves.

Everything is a lie, absolutely everything that we were told to believe in growing up is a lie and I’m not just talking about Santa Claus. The ‘greatest story ever told’ is exactly that, a story, another manufactured piece of Roman propaganda to quell the rebellious Jews and exert control over them and the people. I had actually thought that Jesus did exist although, I never believed in a virgin birth or resurrection, but now I find out that he never existed at all and was the product of some imaginative scholar working for Rome. (I'll expand on this another day) I have to say there is a great freedom to be had from being able to completely shed the diktats and guilt-tripping of Christianity. No more turn the other cheek or forgiveness here!

And it is the same for everything, they have been lying for centuries, not just decades.

Voting is, I suppose, another lie, we have the semblance of change but it is merely window dressing and the elite still pull the strings behind the scenes. And it is not just religion and politics that is riddled with lies - the same goes for our ‘health’ service and never more so than now. It’s really the pharmaceutical industry manipulating government and the medical profession to make and keep us ill. They have been giving us all the wrong dietary advice for decades and disdain any alternative approach to health, except one that involves the chemical products of their industry and makes money.

We don’t have a health service any more, we have an illness maintenance service based on medication and lots of it, which is now pushing for vaccination for everyone, for everything. But it is too easy to just blame big pharma and government, there has to be a degree of personal responsibility and too many people think that their health is something the doctor takes care of.

For example, type 2 diabetes is controllable through diet so why are people with type 2 not referred to a dietitian or nutritionist. I know several people with this condition and one of them is on 15 different medications a day, some for thyroid, kidney and blood pressure problems, all related to the diabetes. But not once have they been told to modify their diet other than a vague ‘watch your carbs’ when, time and again, it has been shown that a high fat, high protein diet is better than a low fat, high carb diet.

I am sick of the lies, the propaganda and the ‘messiah’ complexes of the wealthy who cannot leave us in peace to live our short lives.  What angers me most about this whole covid scam, along with all the others, is the stress and fear that have been deliberately generated and with absolute malice aforethought, and all to make money for people who have far too much of it already. I mean, does Bill Gates really need another 20 billion so he can buy another ugly jumper?

Anyway, at this point, I have lost complete faith in everything. I see a world where corruption is endemic and so widespread that it is almost impossible for us to attempt to end it while the majority stand like cows at gates mooing along. The majority, unfortunately, seem to be happy with their imprisonment with no consideration for the fact that their complicity is destroying freedom for the rest of us. (I’m basing this on the reports that the Conservatives seem to be set to win the Hartlepool by-election, I hope the polls are wrong).

Back in 1930’s Germany, if the Jews had fought back when they were removed from public life and denied the right to go to parks/theatres and their businesses destroyed, they could not have moved them into ghettoes, if they had fought back against the ghettoes, they could not have forced them to wear the yellow star, if they had objected to the ghettoes and the stars, they could not have proceeded to moving them to ‘work’ camps.

If we hadn’t accepted shutting down businesses, they could not have ordered us to wear a mask. If we hadn’t complied with the mask, they could not enforce a vaccine, if we hadn’t taken the vaccine they could not begin to consider enforcing a ‘temporary’ vaccination passport. (Temporary, like 3 weeks to save the NHS!) Also, the implications of this are not being taken seriously at all. What about the right to privacy and confidentiality regarding medical treatment? What about the Geneva Convention and the Nuremburg Code that was put in place to stop medical treatments being forced on anyone? What right does the government and big tech/pharma corporations have to deny us our rights to freedom of choice, freedom of movement, freedom to personal autonomy? And when this is all put in place, what is the next step going to be? Social scores like China that restrict your ability to live and work even more?

I know what’s coming, I’ve done my research, we have learned nothing from history and those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them, and that seems to be exactly where we are heading. Medical fascism is being implemented and there is barely a word of dissent.

What sickens me more, is the ‘allegedly’ smart people who won’t admit or even look at the information because their egos could not conceive that they could be, or are being, played and deceived. The elderly, who are not ‘tech’ savvy, I can forgive but the wilfully ignorant, I cannot and will not.

If you are complying, you are sleepwalking into a totalitarian/fascist technocracy and dragging the rest of us with you. However, there is a window of opportunity for the people of Britain to register their dissent against this with the May elections. I would ask you, for the sake of freedom, to not vote for any of the main parties and give your support to those who oppose this lockdown. I would also ask, if you care anything for freedom, to take off the f*cking mask, start today and make a stand for freedom and humanity, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of future generations.

I haven’t worn a mask at all, it really isn’t that big of a deal and if anyone gives you grief about it, tell them you are exempt or to f*ck off, which is easily done too, the choice is yours. You are not obliged to disclose your private health information to anyone, and it is not legally enforceable. And if the police stop you, ask them to show you what statute it comes under because there is none. It is a ministerial directive with no basis in law and stories about arrests are just that, stories, to try and scare you into complying. Take it off today and breathe the air. Your children and grandchildren will thank you.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/anti-jewish-legislation-in-prewar-germany

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Casper Smith, Thursday, 22 Apr 2021, 20:50)
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## Truth, Trust and Effort

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Now that the Biden puppet has been installed in the White House, we can see that all the reports and stories of ‘this is going to happen’ or ‘that is going to happen’ were just that, stories. We live in a world of fake news, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies, designed to keep us divided and confused, and making it more and more difficult to find out where the truth lies.  This is not a recent development, they have been doing it, and getting away with it, for decades.

Like the ‘climate change’ fraud, even science cannot be depended upon any more to provide the truth. While the media screams about climate change, the powers behind the media are stomping around the world starting wars to gain control of all the oil, ie: Libya and Iraq, and let’s keep our eyes on the continuing propaganda against Iran. If they were really concerned about the environment, why do they need to control the oil, are we not moving to a ‘greener’ world?

The corruption sadly, is endemic in most governments, corporations and main stream media, and means that we cannot rely on the news to report honestly, or provide us with the truth, or even gives us some context or perspective on it. Instead, the media fuels the fires of fraud and today’s news bears more resemblance to the ‘sad’ story of an X-Factor contestant, playing on the over-hyped emotions of the audience, than an objective reporting of local, national and world events, or real investigative journalism. Something, that has long since died a death in the mainstream.

We are being played, day and daily, and it’s not just the news, television advertising is a constant barrage of the poor, sick and desperate trying to guilt you into parting with your hard earned, to ‘charities’ that pay CEO salaries of £100K per annum. It’s not charity any more, it’s business.

Social media too, is anything but, it is another arm of the corrupt, designed to fuel division and, as I have said many times, while we are down here arguing amongst ourselves and distracted, whether it is over Brexit, BLM or masks, they are sitting back laughing and, usually, making a fortune at our expense.

The worst thing about it is that it is our own governments who are doing this to us. They are engaged in a propaganda war against their own citizens, at the behest of globalist corporations and bankers, to deceive, confuse and repress us. The deceit has been enabled through a web of worldwide corruption that is prepared to use blackmail, black ops, false flags, psyops, propaganda, threats and murder that fuel the interests of this global elite. Is there a government anywhere in the western world who could be trusted now? Our governments do not work for us and have not worked for, or represented our interests, for a long time, our ‘democracy’ is a lie.  As George Carlin remarked, ‘if voting made any difference, it would be illegal’.

However, it is too easy to just blame the government and the media. This last year has been eye-opening; watching people’s reactions to the ‘plandemic’ has been interesting, to say the least, and has revealed a lot about them and the kind of people they are.

The drama queens love it, it makes them feel alive, they get off on all the fear and hype, and just love to talk on the phone with friends about how terrible it all is, emoting at every possible opportunity, over all the ‘poor people who have died’. They can’t get enough of it, especially if they have a ‘vulnerable relative’ who they can be ‘very concerned’ about, self-righteously pontificating that they wear their mask, to ‘protect others’. But even better is if they have an underlying condition that could make them vulnerable too. They’ll have their friends ringing up all the time to check they are ok, because people like this always have friends like them, who love the drama of it all, and who would not miss an opportunity to virtue-signal to the crowd.  But the biggest thrill of all, is if they know someone who has ‘died of covid’, it doesn’t matter that they were 85 with dementia and several co-morbidities, only ‘covid’ counts. They wouldn’t miss the evening news for love or money (well…maybe for money…) feeding like parasitical statisticians on the numbers, for the ghoulish thrill of it all! WOOOOOHH!

Then there are those who are aware that it is all hype, but are playing it to suit themselves, those who can’t come in to work as they are afraid they might get the virus, and they have a ‘vulnerable relative’ or a ‘child with asthma’. The teaching profession is playing this one, big time, helped by the Unions who are using it to play party politics, and GP’s surgeries, who are offloading their work to the Emergency Departments. Each with their own agendas.

Then we have the hypochondriac’s - at last, all their dreams have come true! A deadly virus! A pandemic! They have Contagion on a loop on Netflix, to see what is going to happen next as they run to get tested for the tenth time in a fortnight, taking their temperature daily and googling their symptoms to see if any new ones have been added! Those with Munchausen’s Syndrome are also in this group. (Although, I seriously think the entire pharmaceutical industry and Bill Gates should be checked for Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. Gates should also be psychologically assessed for a ‘Messiah’ complex too while they’re at it!)

Then there are the merchants of doom, for them it is the end of the world, everything is going to hell, whether it was predicted in the Bible, the Mayan calendar or by Nostradamus, it doesn’t matter, it’s all going to end soon! They are also big into the ‘climate’ crisis or anything that allows them to wallow in the misery of doom, gloom and disaster. Even when confronted with reality, they refuse to acknowledge it. I met one of these in the graveyard a few weeks ago. He struck up a conversation and asked if all the new graves were from covid. I said no, none of them were, as I knew most of them, (the advantages of small town living,) and the majority were just old age and cancer. But he launched into a whole ‘it’s a terrible time for the world, it feels like the end of day’s’ (he must have watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie the night before). I remarked that it was pretty bad in World War 2 and we came through that, but he couldn’t be convinced and went on with his doomsday scenarios. I made my excuses and left.

But what he demonstrated is that, like all these types, they like to wallow in their delusions, they prefer the lie and are not really interested in the truth, the truth is too boring, or doesn’t suit the agenda or their own narcissistic viewpoint. They want a truth that feeds into their delusion because to look for the real truth and challenge the narrative would take effort. And even if someone else is making that effort, they ignore it because to question one lie, may mean that they may have to start questioning everything, and that would be too much effort. It might mean standing up to the crowd or their own family, it might make them an outsider, or put them in the firing line for the insult of the moment ‘conspiracy theorist’. It might even mean standing alone, something the majority of people are too terrified to even contemplate doing. It’s much ‘easier’ to just agree with everyone and not even try to think or act for yourself.

I see that same laziness in so many around me, the failure to challenge the narrative of the government, the unswerving belief that they, and the BBC, would not lie.  It suits their egos and agendas.  These are the same people who, two years ago, were screaming ‘liar’ at Boris Johnston over Brexit, and now believe every false statement and piece of manipulated data he gives out.  And there is no excuse these days when practically everyone is walking about with internet access in their hand. But that would require an effort of will and it is easier to just bleat along with the crowd and virtue-signal in a public show than to make the effort to actually do some research.

With Joe Biden entering the White House last week, I had a bit of a crisis and considered shutting down the blog. I thought, ‘What’s the point?’ especially now when I can see how deep and widespread the web of deceit is, and how willing my fellow countrymen are to remain tangled in it. I can see that loss of faith online, as well, in the posts from friends on social media. I thought about the number one fan and found that, that too, was just another lie. Like many others, I lost faith and wondered who I could trust and went through a sort of ‘dark night of the soul’. It was not helped by the fact that my most beloved aunt has been lying in a hospital bed for last 6 weeks, after suffering a stroke, and is now in the last days of her life. I have not been able to see her. Her own children were not even allowed in, due to covid restrictions. Where has our compassion and humanity gone, that the dying are denied the comfort of having their family around them?

I look at what we have become in the space of a few months and I despair. I will never again wonder at how Nazi Germany happened, at how ordinary men and women took part in some of the most heinous acts against their fellow man. I have seen it unfold in front of me every day, not to those extremes, yet, but I have no doubt about how easily it could change, when I see calls for quarantine camps for those who refuse to be vaccinated, or for them to be refused medical treatment, work or entry into shops.  Egged on, as ever, with a daily diet of propaganda, spoon-fed to the masses by corrupt politicians, and a corrupt and complicit media.

However, I got over myself and decided to continue with the blog, it is important to me and there are quite a few people reading it every day. I’m still not sure why I bother maybe, I’m just ‘thran’ as they say here or maybe, I just want to annoy the self-righteous, I sure seem to piss them off a lot. But I have decided to put my faith in a higher power, whatever that is, trust myself and, it feels like the right thing to do. The search for truth was never more important than it is now and even if I get it wrong at times, or make a complete fool of myself, which seems to bother other’s around here more than it bothers me, at least, I will be able to look my granddaughters in the eye and say that ‘Yes, I stood up for freedom, I made the effort’. Will you?

If this insanity is to end, (if anal swabs and triple mask don’t start to wake you up, then you are beyond help) then it is up to us to end it, no-one is coming to save us, and if you keep ‘going along to get along’, then you are sleepwalking into a totalitarian technocracy and dragging the rest of us with you.  You can stick your head in the sand, keep feeding off the drama and fear, indulging your ego and narcissism, or you can make the effort; research, call out the lies, make a stand, if not for freedom, then, at least, for common sense and a proportional response. Scott Peck says that good mental health is ‘dedication to reality, at all costs’. It isn’t easy to do what you know is right, it may be painful, you may find you are alone, friends and members of your own family may turn against you. But, there are bigger issues here and the time is rapidly approaching when we may all need to grow up fast and start taking responsibility for what is going on. The future of humanity may depend on it and your children and grand-children may thank you someday, the choice is yours.

Permalink 5 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Friday, 12 Feb 2021, 14:44)
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## The Great Reset

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I'm reading this book at the moment and came across this video on Youtube, which makes some very pertinent and relevant points about utopian ideas for reforming society, made by elites, and the tragic outcomes for humanity. It's only 20 minutes long and worth taking the time to watch and listen.

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## Travel Bans

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Saturday, 13 Feb 2021, 18:20

Well, what a coincidence! A few days after the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araujo says that they will not be implementing the Great Reset, they are banned from travelling to the UK, and no doubt the rest of the corrupt regimes around the world will follow suit.

And, what another coincidence! A travel ban on Portugal as well, just days after their courts rule PCR tests 'unreliable' and quarantines 'unlawful'! But I bet you didn't see any of this on the BBC, what you would see on the BBC site in relation to Brazil are 3 stories. The first one is 'Growing Concern over the Brazilian variant', Bolsonara is holding out against the globalists but they keep pumping out the fear with more than a little help from their media puppets!

The second is titled Young, Black and more Likely to Die (from police violence), so I expect Black Lives Matter will be making an appearance in downtown Brasilia any day now, as soon as the CIA /Mossad gets them organised.

And finally, Brazil hospitals 'lack oxygen' for virus patients. And their healthcare system is on the point of collapse too, apparently, but it's just another day in the propaganda war to keep us in fear.

On the Great Reset, I was wondering how they were going to take everything we have, well, the Irish Times recently ran a story on how 7/10 Irish people live in homes that are too large for their needs. There is talk of a property tax being brought in and not just in Ireland. This is the start of the media 'talk up', which is what they do with everything that is coming, they lay the seeds of it through the media and then ramp it up. Granny, who we have all been staying at home to save, will soon be the media and government scapegoat keeping the young homeless, and in accommodation unsuited to their needs. That is of course, if she is still alive after receiving the vaccine, 23 dead in Norway after getting it, hmmmmm?  But, of course, it will all be small part of the price we have to pay for the debts' engineered by the 'covid crisis', all those lost freedoms, jobs and businesses.

The NHS will go the same way, the government haven't said who will be paying for all the NHS 'covid' stuff yet, and if it has to come from the health Trust's budgets, then the next step will be that we cannot afford the 'free' healthcare anymore; we will all have to buy health insurance and our care will be handed over to the corporate friends of the government. Goodbye property, goodbye granny, goodbye NHS.

And if you are still sitting at home thinking, 'once we get to March, things will end and we will get our lives back', well, I am sorry to tell you, you are never getting your life back. EVER!

As Klaus Schwab says in Covid 19: The Great Reset - (available to buy on Amazon, I know it nearly killed me to have to pay for it but I needed to get a copy to show people, and prove that it is not a 'conspiracy' theory) the world as we knew in the early months of 2020 is no more...radical changes of such consequence are coming that pundits have referred to a 'before coronavirus, BC and 'after coronavirus' AC...they will shape a new normal radically different from the one we will progressively be leaving behind'. Goodbye life, goodbye freedom! Hello totalitarian control, hello 1984!

But if you are not happy with this outlook and are sick of the whole fraudulent, fear-mongering 'crisis', then the first step against it is to take off the damned mask and stop being complicit in your own enslavement.

On a positive note, the Italians are standing up and are going to be reopening their businesses this week in defiance of the government, well done Italy - Viva I'Italiano!

https://off-guardian.org/2020/11/20/portuguese-court-rules-pcr-tests-unreliable-quarantines-unlawful/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-55670318

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-55670786

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-55673006

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1212915.shtml?fbclid=IwAR0k3DOJA6QMnnSIEJf-wzNoK9mQdmWx3chIRs8qaop-VFSmE06rWuGqGcA

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## Star Wars, Serendipity and Truth

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Every family has their own Christmas traditions and, in my house, Christmas isn’t Christmas without Star Wars, so I watched the 3 original films again over the holidays, which are, of course, still the best. Little did I think when I sat in the Commodore Cinema, back in the day, watching Star Wars for the first time, that in my lifetime I would see the rise of an evil empire bent on world domination and control. As the globalist bankers, business men and their political puppets come with their vaccine to ‘save’ the world while simultaneously stripping us of our rights, freedoms and health and making a tidy profit for themselves, I can only thank God these people don’t have the ability to travel across the universe. Mind you, I would certainly be in favour of loading them on to a rocket and sending them to a galaxy far, far away.

Christmas is a religious holiday, usurped from the pagans, (if it happened now, you could call it cultural appropriation and start a row about it!) and I would not have considered myself a religious person, although a nephew once remarked that Star Wars isn’t a film in my house, it is a religion. You could do worse, I suppose, than aim to be a Jedi and how cool would it be to have a light sabre? Although, at the present time, I’d happily settle for a Kalashnikov.

Anyway, getting back to religion, I had started to re-read M Scott Peck’s, The Road Less Travelled again. This happened by accident, I was reading Moby Dick on my Kindle at lunchtime at work, and I went to check a note but couldn’t get back to the page I was on, and ended up on a page in the Road Less Travelled on a chapter on religion. In the passage, the author was talking about patients who do not claim to be religious and pointed out that they are, ‘You have a religion…a rather profound one. You worship the truth’. This struck me, maybe it was a serendipitous moment (the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for) or maybe it was just a coincidence, but I gave it some thought and had to agree, truth is my religion which is probably why I am at odds with so many and always have been. When I look around me, I see too many who question nothing and it’s not even that they believe everything they are told, but they pretend to ‘belief’ because it is too much work to act and think independently, and it is much easier to just bleat along with the crowd.  I also realised that not only do I worship at the altar of truth, but on each side of that altar there is a pillar, one to context and the other to perspective, 3 elements that are sadly missing in the cv19 spectacle being played out across the world in the web of lies, deceit, cowardice and fearmongering.

Over Christmas, I was also speaking to someone I hadn’t seen in a while, and who travels a lot for work, especially to China. I won’t say who they are or how I know them, but they were in the Shanghai area in June 2019, and told me that everyone was sick with a respiratory flu. They were unable to meet the boss of the company they were visiting, as the man was so ill he had to go to the hospital for injections to help him breathe. Is there anyone else out there who was in China in 2019 and had a similar experience or knows anyone who did? With all the debates raging over lockdowns and masks, we have taken our eye off the ball regarding the origins of this ‘virus’ and it is a question that still needs to be answered, especially since the residents of Wuhan were able to go out and party on New Year’s eve while we were all locked down.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Friday, 8 Jan 2021, 13:02)
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## Freedom

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As the American people march on Washington today, to save their democracy and make a stand for freedom and President Trump, I am proud to say my cousin Martin will be there. I have to hand to the Americans, at least they value their freedom and won't go down without a fight. Good luck to them all today.

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## ABIDE(N) WITH ME!

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Abide(n) with me, fast falls the eventide, the darkness deepens…

So, the Biden puppet has been installed in the stolen election, and democracy and the will of the people usurped. Mind you, they’ve been doing this for years, it’s just becoming more obvious now and, as George Carlin remarked, if voting really made any difference, they wouldn’t let you do it and it would be illegal.

So, what comes next? Well, it could play out a number of ways. Biden will be retired early on ‘health’ grounds and Kamala will take over. Who will she name as her VP? Probably Hilary Clinton and then Kamala will meet with either a tragic ‘accident’ or some ‘lone assassin’s bullet, and President Clinton 2 will take the helm, and then the fun and games will really begin. First, on the agenda, there will probably be an upscaling of the war with Syria and then Iran. Then, maybe, with the support of China, North Korea will go down and China might just take South Korea too, while they’re at it. Look out Vietnam, Cambodia et al, the sleeping tiger is about to wake up and show the world their teeth.

Will China and the globalists/bankers then join forces and go after Russia? We shall see, but if you have relatives in any of these places, I’d tell them to make plans to leave, just in case.

Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;

On the plandemic front, it will play out one of two ways. Either it will all magically disappear now that puppet Joe is installed, or it will be a full lockdown and mandatory vaccines for the US and no travel for anyone unless your fully vaxxed, tracked, traced and masked.

Funny, New Zealand declared themselves covid free yesterday and all restrictions lifted. Could this just be a massive coincidence that on the day Biden is declared the winner, covid disappeared, just like that - Poof!

However, the question for us is, will Brexit still happen, or will it be stolen too? Will Boris bottle it or do what he was voted in to do? Interesting times ahead, get your popcorn ready for the show of the century, it could be nuclear! And isn’t inauguration day going to be fun this time around!

And for all the anti-Trumpers out there who are feeling all self-righteous and smug today (who cares about democracy?) remember that in the days to come…

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.

Reveal the truth and expose the traitors lies

Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;

In life, in truth, O Lord, abide with me

Anyway, here’s a link to the late great George Carlin, enjoy!

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Monday, 4 Jan 2021, 21:59)
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## Letters to the Paper Round 2

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:39

Well I've a day off today and it’s been a busy few weeks so I’m just trying to get caught up with things and get the blog up to date. So, this is round 2 of letters to the local paper, this was the response to my letter, it added nothing to the debate, nothing on health figures or the efficacy of masks, lockdowns or otherwise to back up their case but here it is anyway.

Firstly I would like to paraise the author on her eloquence. It was a well written piece stating her points very clealy and I do agree with her when she describes the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ as lazy. It is a phrase too often trotted out to dismiss the views of a minority whose beliefs do not fit in with the mainstream narrative.

I do however have to question where Ms Devine is coming from in the rest of her well-crafted monologue. Basically she is laying the blame for all the current woes facing the world at the doorstep of Bill Gates.

Ms Devine states with such authority that what she says is the absolute truth – that one would be led to believe she has met Mr Gates. Not only has she met him but he has granted her access to his various investments and financial affairs. How else could she know such unchallengeable truths about his $1billion deals and his helping to draft legislation that would let pharmaceutical companies off the hook in the event of a coronavirus outbreak? I’m guessing and I stand to be corrected here, that Ms Devine has not in fact had dinner with Bill Gates but that she has received her Masters Degree from the University of the Internet. A well-attended educations establishment it is too. My question would be this: Why? What has Bill Gates got to gain from this pandemic? A quick Googles search tells me that he is already worth$114 billion so he’s hardly in it for the money.

The man will be 65 shortly – so unless he uses his billions to unearth the secret to eternal life, he has 30 years left , give or take. And what then? On his deathbed will he be surrounded by the rest of the supposed ghouls – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Jacob Rothschild – rubbing his hands and cackling at how he brought the world to its knees? (BTW I made no mention at all of any of these people in my letter if anyone want's to go back and check, or a new world order)

I just don’t see it. But maybe that is the point MS Devine is trying to make.

I would also ask though, so what? So what if there is some New World Order out there and we are all being played like cheap fiddles? We only get a few decades on this earth and time passes quickly. When you’re gone the nefarious cabal will be someone else’s problem.

Step away from the computer. Drive to the beach. Meet a friend for a cuppa. Do something productive because siting worrying about Bill Gates and the unholy dealing you believe his is weaving from his dark castle is not good for your mental-well being.

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## Not Banksy

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:58

You see, this is what happens when you don't get your art class, you have to get out and create something and when you have a political conscience as demanding as mine, then what else is a girl to do?? This is across from the local Sinn Fascist office who along with the SDLP took to the local paper to condemn 'vigilante conspiracy theorists' as you can see from the article below. Well, it might not be Banksy but it makes a point.

A few of the highlights from the article read: 'Vigilante conspiracy theorists need to catch themselves on after anti-face mask graffiti was daubed on at least two locations in Strabane this week.  The graffiti which appeared at the Bridgend and also on the river wall has also been described as 'mindless vandalism'.

One of the slogans reads, 'No new normal. #nomask tyranny #KBF. It is understood that the term KBF or 'Keep Britain Free' has been used by people protesting against Covid 19 restrictions.

SDLP councillor Steven Edwards condemned the graffiti. 'Not only does this graffiti vandalise public property but it also spreads 'fake news' around the wearing of masks...the vigilante conspiracy theorists need to catch themselves on and realise the damage they are causing to Strabane town.

Party colleague Daniel McCrossan added, 'Whoever did this - wise up. Protest if you like but don't blight our town. Strabane Sinn Fein also condemned the graffiti ' We have asked the council to remove this eyesore from outside our office. We are deeply disappointed that whoever decided to do this in the dark of the night also vandalised our poster thanking NHS and key workers.'

Daniel McCrossan also mentioned their 'moral duty' to protect others. The bottom picture in case you can't see it clearly, says 1939 with a yellow star painted next to it and 2020 with a mask. This was painted on the back of one of those propaganda covid 19 boards telling us to stay apart, wash your hands blah, blah, blah, and I painted a nice big swastika on the front of it so they couldn't put it up again. I was going to to the same to the Sinn Fein board they had put up about clapping for the NHS but my paint ran out and as a key worker myself I find it patronising and puerile as do many of my colleagues.

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## Another Dose of the Clap

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:32

Why, thank you, thank you for that wonderful round of applause for all us hard-working NHS workers, you’re much too kind, no really you are, we don’t really deserve it, after all, we’re just doing our job, but thank you, again!

3 weeks now and doesn’t it just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and evoke that old Dunkirk spirit, yes because we are a nation, we’re all pulling together to ‘Save the NHS’ and ‘Save Lives’. Because we’re all in this together and, ‘We have to do it, to get through it!’

And all the children with their pretty rainbow pictures up in windows because you can’t leave the children out, you gotta get them programmed early too, sorry, I mean you’ve got to include them too. Yes we must always be inclusive, include them while they’re young! Altogether now - ‘Children! Children! Future! Future! Children are the future - KIDS!’

And who’s leading the clap this week but none other than Boris Johnson’s pregnant girlfriend Carrie Symonds – aawww! Because you just know she’ll be delivering her baby in an NHS hospital and, by the way, does anyone know what hospital Boris is being treated in, could it possibly be a private one? But still wasn’t it good of her…aawww!.

There are just so many who care, I mean, we already had Prince Charles, who never put foot in an NHS hospital for anything other than to pull the curtain back on a plaque with his name on it. And the Beckham’s too, who live in the US and again, haven’t seen the inside of an NHS hospital for decades.  After all, the NHS isn’t for the likes of them, oh no, it’s just for us plebs but isn’t it great to see they are so concerned about us and caring or could it be that maybe they are just concerned about something else? Like maybe, if they don’t keep everyone indoors the NHS will be overwhelmed and people will see how much it has been starved of funding for the last 20 years. I mean when I drive in every morning, the signs from the recent strikes are still hanging outside ‘Safe Staffing, Save Lives’. Short memories, eh? So, maybe their motivation is not really to save lives but to save their own jobs, their own necks and their own privileged lifestyles? After all, you don’t want the plebs rising up in a revolution and demanding fair treatment or decent services for their taxes so let’s keep trotting out the feel good propaganda and shovelling the shit down the throats of the little people.

So, well done, everyone, it’s so good to see everyone turning out to support the NHS, but wasn’t there just a small part of you that felt like one of those sea lions, you used to see on variety shows years ago, who sat up on their little plinths and clapped to order?

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## NLF - election time

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:41

Another week, another election, and another drubbing for the powers that be.   Theresa May is finally going, and not before time.  Exaunt stage left please, Theresa, and do us all a favour and don’t dance again, at least not in public.  My eyes can never unsee it!   Dancing Queen?  I don’t think so, more arthritic stork.  In fairness, I have to say, it takes a special kind of talent to be even more useless than David Cameron.  I’m sure she’ll find a use for it somewhere, maybe the European parliament…

Come to think of it, what do MEP’s actually do all day?  They can’t bring in legislation, they don’t get to vote on leglislation, the commission allows them to look it over, so what do they actually do? Apart from long trips on the Brussels gravy train or shopping in their private shopping centre?

I see Martina Anderson, the Sinn Fein MEP had a makeover and a few elocution lessons for the election campaign, they had her well-scrubbed up. You can take the girl out of the bog, but can you take the bog out of the girl?  Well, they gave it a go, maybe there’s a beauty salon in the shopping centre? Of course she got elected, the sheep will vote for anything, if you wrap it in the flag of convenience

On the Euro vote, the Brexit party wiped out the rest in the polls and of course, the arguments are still raging on line between remainers and leavers.  Everyone claiming a majority, when the figures show, that the majority didn't even bother to turn out and vote.  Turnout averaged 36% which is 15 points short of a majority of voters and a whole 64% short of how many could vote.  Maybe it's time to set a threshold of 51% so that if those turnout figures aren't reached, then the vote is invalid.  Or maybe, add None of the Above to the ballot paper and make voting compulsory.  Then, at least, we would have a truer picture of what the people want.

Why people didn't bother to vote, is anybody's guess.  Maybe like me, they are sick of the sound of 'Brexit' or maybe, like me, they have lost all faith in any government institution to actually put the interests of the people before the interests of the party and their corporate friends...

Brexit isn't the only thing that I am sick of hearing about.  I don't know about you but it seems to me that there is a massive pester-power campaign going on in the media.  I don't have Sky TV, just Freeview, and there are about 5 or 6 subjects on telly at the present time, World War 2, the Royal family, Brexit, climate change, cooking and home makeovers of one kind or another and then there are the repeats, of the repeats, of the repeats!!  There is so little worth looking at, that the minute I hear 'climate change' or 'Brexit', I turn over but most nights I find myself turning off and watching Youtube. At least, it has some variety and provides an escape from the endless droning of brexit climate change WW2 royals, brexit climate change WW2 royals, brexit climate change WW2 royals....

What I feel is happening, is that this is part of some grand brain-washing scheme by the media (or the powers behind the politics) to wear us down until we sink into apathy and despair and just give up (if you don’t believe this could happen, watch Century of the Self).  For whose benefit, I’m not entirely sure but I just get the feeling that in a boardroom/Bilderburg meeting somewhere, there are a group of, most probably men, (Rothschilds? Soros? Et al?) sitting back and having a great old laugh at the rest of us.

Laughing at how easily we are manipulated and led around like fools in a merry dance, being played off one another until gradually we become worn down by the constant fighting, bitching and arguing but mostly by the sense of powerlessness that no matter who you vote for, what arguments you make, what evidence you present, the truth remains buried and/or distorted, the rich get richer, the poor stay poor and the government still gets in…

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## Neo-Liberal Fascism part 2

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:32

I don’t know about you but I feel as if I have just come through 3 weeks of ‘shock and awe’ on ‘climate change’.  Between the media, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, we have been bombarded with ‘climate change’ propaganda.  And no harm to Greta, she is supposed to be a clever girl but maybe she should start looking at the real scientific facts and not just the misinformation pumped out by the IPCC.

It was also quite nauseating to watch all the neo-liberals fawning over her.  They even trotted out Ed Miliband for the all-star, and old has-been, meet Greta Thunberg Show.  I wonder if the neo-liberals are planning a comeback or maybe a coup to oust Jeremy Corbyn.   However, I’m also beginning to wonder if Jeremy has already crossed over to the dark side of the neo-liberal, politically correct and all-inclusive fascist movement?  One of the biggest disappointments recently was watching him jump on the Greta bandwagon by declaring a ‘climate emergency’. That should make for an interesting conversation, the next time he speaks to his brother Piers!

Greta also stated after her speech to the EU that she was going to travel home by only using ‘green’ transport.  A noble idea with absolutely no meaning in reality, unless she planned to walk home barefoot across fields which is the only real way to travel ‘green’.  Because every car, bus, train, boat and pair of shoes has been made in a factory somewhere using oil and products derived from oil because there is no human process anywhere on earth that doesn’t impact on the environment in some way.  Unless you live in a house made from mud that you built yourself, grow and eat only your own vegetables using organic methods, spin your own cloth from your own crops and make your clothing by hand with a needle carved from wood and never fly, drive or travel, use a phone or any modern appliance, then you cannot be truly ‘green’.  What is wrong here, is that we lack perspective and proportion but mostly, it is because we are narcissistic about who we are and what we can do.    We, white folk here in the west, think we know it all about everything.  We know how to fix the planet, we’re going to save the world, just like we knew how to bring all those indigenous and primitive tribes to civilisation.  Because our way, is the best way, simply because it’s our way and anyone who thinks differently is stupid, misguided and ignorant.  Gawd, bless us, one an’ all!

Meanwhile, in a boardroom or Bilderburg meeting somewhere far from us plebs and guarded by the forces of the state, while we’re all being distracted and arguing away about ‘climate change’ and Brexit and any other item they can use to keep us divided, other darker and more sinister forces are at work.  In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a nice little build-up of tensions going on in the gulf as the US and the Saudi’s sabre-rattle towards Iran and the anti-Russian rhetoric is starting to build up online again too.  Is there a war looming while we’ve all been looking the other way?

Going back to Brexit, I have to say, it was great to see the Tories getting trashed in the council elections.  Roll on the Euros! The Shinners got a bit of a drubbing here too and lost 4 seats on our council.  It was heartening to see a move away from the old 1690/1916 parties and a swing towards independents and Alliance.  I’m sure the murder of Lyra McKee had some influence on this.  Not that it makes much difference to the politicos, they’re still trying to get the Assembly up and running again and still churning out the same old rhetoric.  ‘It’s not us, it’s them! Ya, boo sucks!’

Another interesting thing that happened a few weeks ago, it was actually the week before Extinction Rebellion started their protests in London, but wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the BBC, was the protest in London by 22,000 bikers and veterans in support of Soldier F.  In case, you don’t know, Soldier F is being prosecuted over the Bloody Sunday shootings.  A travesty if ever there was one.  I don’t live very far from Derry but there are many there who disagree with this prosecution.  This soldier has been scapegoated and hung out to dry by the powers that be.  There are several reasons why this should not go ahead.  For a start, soldiers act under orders so if there are going to be any prosecutions, it should be whoever gave the order.  Secondly, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, all the Republican and Loyalist prisoners were freed.  If they did not have to serve out their terms, then no one should be brought before the Courts for any of these past issues and events.  The Attorney General John Larkin suggested a while ago that there should be no prosecutions for anything prior to the GFA and that we should draw a line under the past.  Of course, he was met with howls of protest from most of the politicians and only Basil McCrea of NI21 supported the idea.   Come to think about it, I haven’t heard of NI21 since!

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## Idealism vs Reality

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 12 May 2022, 14:07

We haven't had a working government in Stormont for 2 years now.  It's a political stalemate between the 2 extremes of Irish Republicanism (Sinn Fein) and Unionism (DUP) which are, in all probability, irreconcilable.  Especially, since the DUP hold the balance of power in Westminster and are keeping Theresa May in office and the Conservatives in government.

The same political stalemate is happening in the US with the stand-off between a Republican president threatening to close down the Government again and the Democrat-controlled Senate refusing to fund his wall.

Then, we have the political shambles of Brexit with Theresa May incompetently lurching from one crisis to the next and unable to deliver a 'deal'.  There is political stalemate with Europe refusing to renegotiate and neither the Left nor the Right anywhere able to fully grasp the reality of life outside the Parliamentary bubble for the rest of us and deliver what we want and need and not just on Brexit.

The stagnation of politics in the West at the present time is because we are caught between 2 irreconcilable positions, the Left and the Right, or public vs private and there is no-one of competence, capable of stepping up and delivering a coherent and practical alternative. (Well, apart from me!)

The other problem is that the political structure and the policies of the Left and Right are years out of date and do not serve the world of today.  The Right dominates at the moment because the Left have collapsed and failed to address the reasons for this.  Tony Blair did attempt to move Labour from the old policies of the 70’s that had kept them out of office and towards the middle but unfortunately, he kept going in that direction and ended up more right-wing than some Tories.

The Right believe in capitalism, especially Free Market Capitalism which has been the doctrine since the 1980’s.  It doesn’t matter that it collapsed in 2008; those on the Right still refuse to acknowledge its failure or to acknowledge that it worked best when it came with a social conscience as it did in the time of people like Cadbury and Rowntree.

The political doctrines of the left and right were drawn up when the parties were formed, either in response to or opposition to, events or social and political conditions as Labour did after the Second World War when the populace demanded change.  The Welfare State was set up to address the demand for better health care, education and housing and to provide a safety net against poverty.  However, the Conservative Party detest the Welfare State and have been doing their best to dismantle it since then.  Their belief in the private over public is best seen in the way they sold off and privatised all the nationalised industries.

Here in the North, Sinn Fein are becoming strangulated by their ‘ideals’.  Their refusal to sit in Parliament was a policy drawn up a hundred years ago as a protest against British rule in Ireland.  Since they have signed and accepted the Good Friday Agreement, they have accepted British rule in the North so why are they not taking their seats?  They also have a problem with the oath to the Queen but let’s be realistic about it, would anyone think they really meant it? Or they could do what Tony Benn always did and cross their fingers.  If they were in Parliament, they could at least drum up support against the oath from other Parliamentarians and get rid of it altogether.  Ironically, if they had taken the seven seats they won after the last election, they could have made life very difficult for the Government and since they were able to change their position on the EU from anti to pro within a couple of years, I don’t see why they can’t make that change.

The doctrines of the Left and Right, like Sinn Fein and the DUP are based on certain ideals.  Each has their own belief in what the world should be from their perspective and they try and shape it to fit in with those ideals.  That’s not to say that having ideals is necessarily a bad thing but when it translates into policies and dogma that are unchangeable and cause political stagnation then it becomes a problem.

The politic world is ripe for change, a middle way has to be found between left and right, a balance between public and private because as history has shown us, neither of these options has worked when put into practice. It is time to abandon the doctrines of the past and move towards a new way of working. Brexit has shown that issue-based politics has driven a wedge through the left and the right but it also offers hope of a better way of working in the future.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) it would mean the parties within Westminster would have to abandon their dogmatic political position and work to deliver a solution where politicians would work together to resolve the issues instead of trying to impose a party-based solution more concerned with keeping a government in power but which cannot deliver in the long term.

We need a complete restructuring of the political landscape.  We should decide on the issues, healthcare, housing, transport, security, education, what are we willing to support through taxation, what kind of society do we want and what are we willing to do to create it?  In abandoning party politics and moving towards issue-based politics, we would be dealing with the actual problems, free from the dogma and rhetoric of the past and instead, focussed on finding a solution to today’s problems. It would also mean a reduction in government and an end to cronyism and corporate predominance.

There should also be rules in place so that only people who actually live in a constituency have the right to stand for election in that constituency. This would get rid of the London-centric politics which has split the country and left those outside the London and Parliamentary bubble feeling disconnected and forgotten.

While many are worried about Brexit, we should see it as an opportunity to redraw the political landscape.  Once Britain is free from Brussels, we have the chance to start over, to wipe the slate clean and rebuild society and the political structure.  Margaret Thatcher once said ‘there is no such thing as society’, this was a very famous quote but it was only part of what she said, she went on to say, ‘There are individual men and women, and there are families.  And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after ourselves and then look after our neighbour.  It is time to look after ourselves.

Change will come, the disaffection of the people with politicians and the political structure is evident across the world.  We have hit an impasse and Brexit has revealed the failure of the Left and Right to find a way forward or to offer a solution.  If we are to move forward, then we have to address the realities of the world today and create a political structure that serves the needs of the people and the country first.  The day of party politics is coming to an end, change can be frightening but with a little courage and imagination, there is no telling what kind of society we could create.  All it takes is the will to make it happen, we can be idealistic and wish for a better world but at the end of the day, it is up to us to create it.  Idealism does have its place, it can and does inspire us to action, great men like Mahatma Ghandi were idealistic and achieved so much but it was achieved through action and by facing and dealing with the realities of the day.

Idealism fails when it doesn’t deal with reality as we have seen only too well in the last century.

Albert Einstein once said, ’Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow’.  I think we should learn from yesterday, act today and tomorrow will take care of itself’.

A few weeks ago, a bomb went off in Derry; a stark reminder of what can happen when the ‘ideals’ of the past, impinge on the present reality.  When vacuums open up in politics and leadership (quite often between their ears!), the worst elements step in and try to fill them.

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## Atom Heart Floyd

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:44

I took my life in my hands and headed out on Friday night to see Atom Heart Floyd in the Balor Theatre, in Ballybofey.  I didn't realise at the time, I was taking a chance with my life by going.  Storm Eric was forecast, it was raining and a bit windy but nothing overly tempestuous.  However, by the time the show was over, Eric had arrived in full force.  Between the howling gale and the torrential rain, it was a treacherously slow drive home, much of the time on the wrong side or in the middle of the road, to avoid the pools of water.

Was it worth it?  Definitely!  A great time was had by all!

Atom Heart Floyd hail from the south of England so keep an eye out for them if you're a Floyd fan, they put on a good show and if they come back this way again, I'll definitely be there.

They started off with some early Floyd from the Sid Barrett era and finished the show with Comfortably Numb.  They had a large circular screen and throughout the show, there were mini films projected on to it featuring, among others, Sid Barrett and other surreal graphics and images.  During Brain Damage, from the Dark Side of the Moon album, they showed film of politicians from the 80's, Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev and a few other less notables.  While listening to the lyrics and watching the screen, I was struck with the thought that at one time these people were all giants on the political world stage, inspiring admiration and loathing in equal measure.  Now, practically all of them are dead.

Considering the state of politics in the world at the moment, this was a comforting thought, because it made me realise that no matter how big they are politically or how much power they might wield, eventually, their time will pass, things will change and they too, will become a footnote in the history books or an image on a screen, reminding us of the past insanity of our 'leaders'. I can safely look back now to all the anti-Russian rhetoric of the 80's and the threat of nuclear war that hung over us like a cloud of lead and see that it was nothing more than egotistical grand-standing by idiots with too much power and not enough sense to realise the limits of their time on earth. They could have done so much good but most of them wasted it.  In a thousand years, who will even remember them?  So, if you're worried about Trump, Putin, Brexit or anything else in the world, political or otherwise, take comfort in the fact that it won't last forever or as Shakespeare so brilliantly put it -

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

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## Vice

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 20:49

In spite of the cold, I ventured out tonight to see Vice, the biopic about Dick Cheney, starring Christian Bale as Cheney, Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld and Sam Rockwell as Dubya.  What can I say? I have looked upon the face of evil and lived to tell the tale...

Brilliant performances all round.  Christian Bale is truly deserving of the accolades he has received for his performance.  Steve Carrell was so good as Rumsfeld, I've even forgiven him for Finding a Friend for the End of the World and Sam Rockwell was outstanding too as Dubya, I got the feeling he was enjoying every minute of it. Mind you, you never go too far wrong with Sam.

The downside is that they were all so good, I came out feeling like I needed a shower after being in the company of such slime for 2 hours.  I had always thought Rumsfeld was the real evil in the Dubya camp, but Dick Cheney is a man??? Well, a male person anyway (I think? Possibly made in Area 51c...) He's cheap, nasty and soulless.  He reminded me of a description of the character, Annie Wilkes in the book Misery.  'You could stick your thumb into her and she would just be solid the whole way through' or something like that.

The other downside is that because of Dick Cheney, I'm never donating any organs.  My car tax and insurance were up this week and I was online getting it sorted the other day and coincidentally, there was a form for organ donation.  I started to fill it in and when it came to the liver, I thought, I need to think about this one, I don't really like the idea of my liver being given to someone who has drunk themselves into ill health (yes, I know I'm being judgemental but I don't care, not when it comes to alcohol).  So, I didn't fill it in.

In the film, Dick Cheney gets a heart transplant after years of heart trouble.  The big surprise was that he actually had a heart!  I remember thinking the same thing when it was announced Martin McGuinness was having heart trouble.  A bit of a coincidence too, now that I think about it!

So, that's why I'm not donating any organs because you don't know if they'll be given to some evil toe-rag to extend their life and I don't want to be responsible for keeping the Dick Cheney's of the world alive.

But apart from that, anyone with an interest in politics or the Iraq War, should check this movie out.  It shows how rotten the whole political world is, not that we didn't know that anyway, but we just don't get any in-depth investigations into their dirty dealings anymore.  At least, none of the calibre that we used to get in World in Action and Panorama.  And the worst thing about it, is that they got away with it!  Cheney, Bush, Blair, the whole rotten shower of them, they got away with it and made a fortune.  Disgusting!  But go see the film anyway!

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## The Purge

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:29

I’ve grown tired of the noise of modern life.  Not just noise in the literal sense, but in the metaphorical sense too, the visual ‘noise’ and the ‘noise’ of stuff that seems to be clogging up my life.  The audio pollution seems relentless.   I try not to listen to anything more than I have too.  I had stopped watching the news and I’ve stopped listening to the radio in the morning because I just can’t stand the daily drivel as I drive to work.  And there’s another thing that gets on my nerves, the over the top dramatics of everything, the news, interviews, even quiz shows.  You can’t get a straight answer anymore, there has to be a dramatic pause before everything.  I used to enjoy quizzes but the minute the dramatic pause starts, I turn over or as it is now, turn off.  Which explains why my TV watching is down to 3 shows, The Good Fight, the Grand Prix and Gardener’s World.  Monty Don on a Friday night is the most chilled out moment of my week.  Yes, I know how sad that sounds!

The sound of silence is seriously under- appreciated and it’s only when you try to find a silent moment that you realise, silence is almost impossible to achieve.  Even when there is no one around, there is still the background noise of cars in the distance or planes passing overhead.  Even at the top of Gortin Glen, you can still hear the distant drone of traffic.

So, I’ve been cutting back and cutting out a lot of stuff recently, I’ve also cut back on my time online, again the ‘noise’ of constant advertising driving me away.

I’ve been having a bit of a clear out too.  As well as trying to get rid of the audio and visual pollution, I’ve been clearing out my ‘stuff’ as well.  Actually, it’s been less of a clear out and more of a purge, getting rid of all the old stuff that has been clogging up my life and my house.  There is just too much of everything and I feel overwhelmed by it.  Too many clothes, shoes, books, creams, jewellery and all the other useless stuff I have accumulated in pursuit of…I don’t even know?   What is the point of it all?  I mean, what is it all for?  I’ve also found, the more I get rid of, the more I want to get rid of, so I’m still purging. Minimalism here I come..

I’ve also called a halt to all spending.   It’s part of my life plan to try and bring capitalism down by not spending my hard-earned on anything other than the absolute necessities, like food.  So, I’ve set myself a weekly budget of £40, £20 for diesel (I need to travel to work, although I’m looking for something closer to home) and £20 for food, which is doable when you live alone.  I don’t have much debt and I’ll be rid of most of it within 20 weeks or less, although there is one loan that will run until next year, unless I get lucky and get a lift of money from somewhere.

I was discussing the accumulation of stuff a few months ago with a good friend of mine and he recommended a great documentary called The Century of the Self.  It’s available to watch for free online, and was made by the BBC.  I highly recommend it.  It explains how government and business have basically being doing their level best to brainwash us all.  And they’ve been pretty successful at it too, I have to say.  We have moved from the concerns of the collective, to the promotion of the individual over all others.  It’s basically, divide and conquer by another name.  We’ve been encouraged to put our own individual needs, over the needs of the greater good.  Where we used to have neighbours, now we have competitors in the race to have and to own; better job, bigger house, fancier car, more stuff and more stuff and more... etc, etc.

And what is all the spending for?  Profits, for the corporations.  The wars and misery in the world today are driven by profit for the few at the expense of the many.  The pursuit of money is a poison for humanity and the planet.  It has caused the most horrific damage, pain, death and suffering to the world and its inhabitants since its invention.  If we got rid of money tomorrow and instead started living by the maxim,’ everyone taken care of’, the world would become a very different place.  All we need is the will to do it…  To be continued

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## Towards Honours

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I had taken my degree in 2015 without honours.  I had a chance to get involved in a writing project for stage which is presently touring the north west and thought I had finished with studying.  But, now things have settled, the pull back to the books has risen again and I've decided to go back and hopefully finish off with honours.

I wasn't sure what to do and was initially drawn back towards literature and A335.  So, I had a longish talk today with a student adviser and after much consideration I'm going to go for a level 3 politics course.  It seems strange now that I ever considered literature before politics, when you look at the content of the blog.   So, it seems to make more sense especially since my level 2 politics course was one of my highest marks.

So, I'm going to make the most of the summer before getting back to the books....can't wait to get started! The only thing now is which level 3???  I think it has to be Living Political Ideas.  DD306, it's really where my natural interest lies.  I just remembered, Tony Benn left parliament because he wanted to get more involved with political ideas.  Well, I think that confirms it.

So, onwards to hopefully upwards.....

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## Billionaires and their house repairs

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:29

Three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds! Three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds! I just can't seem to stop myself saying it, maybe it's because of how it rolls off the tongue. Three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds! What a number!  And you can write it in so many ways too...you can write it in numbers like this, £369 000 000 or you can write it in letters, three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds.  Or, if it is your want, you can write it using both, £369 million pounds.  Take your pick, try any of them.

I prefer to write the whole thing out in letters.

THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE MILLION POUNDS!!!

You really get the full impact of it like that. Of course, it's a mere pittance to a billionaire, little more than pocket change...but then do you think billionaires have pocket change??  Hmmmm, not sure about that...

But apart from that, how could you even think of objecting to it? I mean, she's an old age pensioner and she needs her plumbing and electrics fixed, poor thing!  All together now...awwhhhh!  And she does so much for us doesn't she?  Like.. like..ok give me a minute to think of something....oh yes!  Tourism, she brings in all those tourists.  Just think of all the people who come to see Buckingham Palace, they might not come if she wasn't there.  Just like Egypt, because no one has gone near those pyramids since the Pharoah's died off. Or France.  Has anyone ever bothered to go there since they got rid of their royals???

But sure if it's upsetting you, just think about little George and Charlotte, I mean, they are just sooooo cute!  What's not to love??  And I'm sure you wouldn't want them to visit a house that didn't have proper lights and plumbing. God!  Do you think they still have an outside toilet??

But what do I care that the taxes I pay on my pathetic minimum/living wage is going to help do up the house of the richest woman in Britain while the NHS is being starved of funding.  I mean, it was those same taxes that helped to bail out all those rich bankers when they gambled and lost and royally screwed the economy and us poor working saps!  Sorry, I mean hard-working strivers!  Because that's just what we're here for, to make the rich richer and allow ourselves to be shafted again, and again, and again.  Royally shafted even!

Now, my nephew has a young son, and he's just as cute as George (actually he's cuter but I don't want to brag)  Can his granny get some millions to do her house up?  Because she could really use it, she had a bit of a flood recently and she has MS, she could really do with some help. But when I think about it, she wouldn't even need millions, a couple of thousand would suffice. Any chance the government might give her a handout, do you think?  Or what about his great-granny, I'm sure she would like a few million from the hard working, tax paying, suckers... Oh!  Sorry again,  I don't know why that keeps happening....I mean strivers, STRIVERS!

Well, why does Mrs Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha-Mountbatten, deserve to be given three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds of taxpayer's money to do her house up?  (Yes, I know, Windsor IS a lot more user friendly...like when they changed the name of Windscale to Sellafield) But still, for the life of me, I can't think of one valid reason.

Ok, so she's the queen..but what does that even mean?  I know that centuries ago people used to believe that royalty had blue blood and had a Divine right to rule (nothing to do with me,by the way)  But then, people used to believe that the Churches were Christian and a guy called Santa lived in the North Pole.  ( I even believed that one for a while,but then I grew up...)

Ok, she comes out now and again and smiles and waves to people.  I could do that, and for a whole lot less, let me tell you. But I've been giving this some serious thought, just in case someone would object, like maybe OUR public representatives, and I think I have a solution.  Since it's coming out of the public purse, maybe we should make it a crisis loan.  You know, like when you're on the dole and you have an emergency, like your washing machine breaks down and you need to buy a new one, you can get a crisis loan. Of course, you have to pay it back.   You can't expect the Government to hand out money to people and not get it back..  (Sorry, what was that...bankers??)  But she has millions and millions in property, jewels, money, even race-horses!  She would be able to pay it back in no time at all!  And if she couldn't afford it, then she could do what all those other people who lived in London had to do when their benefits were cut and they couldn't afford the rent.  She should downsize or move out of London.  Well, there's always Balmoral or Sandringham and I'm sure if she was really stuck, Charles could find her something down there in the Duchy of Cornwall.

By the way, my car broke down recently, and I think it's going to be expensive to fix, probably more than the car is worth..(that's expensive for me on my wage, not expensive from a billionaire's perspective..a mere speck of dust in the corner of their wallet, if even that)  Do you think the government would give me some money to fix it up?? After all, technically, it is my money, I've been working and paying tax for years.  Yeah, that's what I thought too...

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 23 Nov 2016, 12:34)
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## Irony

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:45

It's rather ironic that the year I was doing a 'writing course' is the one in which I was writing very little for the blog.  I'm off work this week so I promised myself I would use this week to get back in the habit of more regular postings.

There is so much going on in politics at the moment that it's a bit difficult to decide where to begin.  Greece is the big news and good luck to them for defying the 'autocrats' and fear mongering of the troika and voting no.  The biggest threat to the EU monolith is the chance that Greece would pull out and make a success of running their own country - I sincerely hope they do, then maybe Spain, Portugal and Ireland might consider doing the same.  I support the idea of a common market for Europe but I don't support the idea of a European State controlled by corporations, the IMF and the World Bank.  The creation of the single currency was a con that sucked in poorer nations who were never going to be able to compete economically with richer nations like Germany, and now it has come back to bite them on the ass and deservedly so - I've pasted this article by Chris Kanthan from nation of change.org as he can explain it all much better than me;

Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can't pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right?

Except that it is a big fat lie ... not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades.

Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail.

In summary, the banks wrecked the Greek government and deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt so that oligarchs and international corporations can profit from the ensuing chaos and misery.

If you are a fan of mafia movies, you know how the mafia would take over a popular restaurant. First, they would do something to disrupt the business - stage a murder at the restaurant or start a fire. When the business starts to suffer, the Godfather would generously offer some money as a token of friendship. In return, Greasy Thumb takes over the restaurant's accounting, Big Joey is put in charge of procurement, and so on. Needless to say, it's a journey down a spiral of misery for the owner who will soon be broke and, if lucky, alive.

Now, let's map the mafia story to international finance in four stages.

Stage 1: The first and foremost reason that Greece got into trouble was the "Great Financial Crisis” of 2008 that was the brainchild of Wall Street and international bankers. If you remember, banks came up with an awesome idea of giving subprime mortgages to anyone who can fog a mirror. They then packaged up all these ticking financial bombs and sold them as "mortgage-backed securities” at a huge profit to various financial entities in countries around the world.

[x]

A big enabler of this criminal activity was another branch of the banking system, the group of rating agencies - S&P, Fitch and Moody's - who gave stellar ratings to these destined-to-fail financial products. Unscrupulous politicians such as Tony Blair got paid by Big Banks to peddle these dangerous securities to pension funds and municipalities and countries around Europe. Banks and Wall Street gurus made hundreds of billions of dollars in this scheme.

But this was just Stage 1 of their enormous scam. There was much more profit to be made in the next three stages!

Stage 2 is when the financial time bombs exploded. Commercial and investment banks around the world started collapsing in a matter of weeks. Governments at local and regional level saw their investments and assets evaporate. Chaos everywhere!

Vultures like Goldman Sachs and other big banks profited enormously in three ways: one, they could buy other banks such as Lehman brothers and Washington Mutual for pennies on the dollar. Second, more heinously, Goldman Sachs and insiders such as John Paulson (who recently donated $400 million to Harvard) had made bets that these securities would blow up. Paulson made billions, and the media celebrated his acumen. (For an analogy, imagine the terrorists betting on 9/11 and profiting from it.) Third, to scrub salt in the wound, the big banks demanded a bailout from the very citizens whose lives the bankers had ruined! Bankers have chutzpah. In the U.S., they got hundreds of billions of dollars from the taxpayers and trillions from the Federal Reserve Bank which is nothing but a front group for the bankers. In Greece, the domestic banks got more than$30 billion of bailout from the Greek people. Let that sink in for a moment - the supposedly irresponsible Greek government had to bail out the hardcore capitalist bankers.

Stage 3 is when the banks force the government to accept massive debts. For a biology metaphor, consider a virus or a bacteria. All of them have unique strategies to weaken the immune system of the host. One of the proven techniques used by the parasitic international bankers is to downgrade the bonds of a country. And that's exactly what the bankers did, starting at the end of 2009. This immediately makes the interest rates ("yields”) on the bonds go up, making it more and more expensive for the country to borrow money or even just roll over the existing bonds.

From 2009 to mid-2010, the yields on 10-year Greek bonds almost tripled! This cruel financial assault brought the Greek government to its knees, and the banksters won their first debt deal of a whopping 110 billion Euros.

The banks also control the politics of nations. In 2011, when the Greek prime minister refused to accept a second massive bailout, the banks forced him out of the office and immediately replaced him with the Vice President of ECB (European Central Bank)! No elections needed. Screw democracy. And what would this new guy do? Sign on the dotted line of every paperwork that the bankers bring in.

(By the way, the very next day, the exact same thing happened in Italy where the Prime Minister resigned, only to be replaced by a banker/economist puppet. Ten days later, Spain had a premature election where a banker puppet won the election).

The puppet masters had the best month ever in November 2011.

Few months later, in 2012, the exact bond market manipulation was used when the banksters turned up the Greek bonds' yields to 50%!!! This financial terrorism immediately had the desired effect: The Greek parliament agreed to a second massive bailout, even larger than the first one.

[x]

Now, here is another fact that most people don't understand. The loans are not just simple loans like you would get from a credit card or a bank. These are loans come with very special strings attached that demand privatization of a country's assets. If you have seen Godfather III, you would remember Hyman Roth, the investor who was carving up Cuba among his friends. Replace Hyman Roth with Goldman Sachs or IMF (International Monetary Fund) or ECB, and you get the picture.

Stage 4: Now, the rape and humiliation of a nation begin under the name of "austerity” or "structural reforms.” For the debt that was forced upon it, Greece had to sell many of its profitable assets to oligarchs and international corporations. And privatizations are ruthless, involving everything and anything that is profitable. In Greece, privatization included water, electricity, post offices, airport services, national banks, telecommunication, port authorities (which is huge in a country that is a world leader in shipping) etc. Of course, the ever-manipulative bankers always demand immediate privatization of all media which means that the country gets photogenic TV anchors who spew establishment propaganda every day and tell the people that crooked and greedy banksters are saviors; and slavery under austerity is so much better than the alternative.

In addition to that, the banker tyrants also get to dictate every single line item in the government's budget. Want to cut military spending? NO! Want to raise tax on the oligarchs or big corporations? NO! Such micro-management is non-existent in any other creditor-debtor relationship.

So what happens after privatization and despotism under bankers? Of course, the government's revenue goes down and the debt increases further. How do you "fix” that? Of course, cut spending! Lay off public workers, cut minimum wage, cut pensions (same as our social security), cut public services, and raise taxes on things that would affect the 99% but not the 1%. For example, pension has been cut in half and sales tax increase to more than 20%. All these measures have resulted in Greece going through a financial calamity that is worse than the Great Depression of the U.S. in the 1930s.

After all this, what is the solution proposed by the heartless bankers? Higher taxes! More cuts to the pension! It takes a special kind of a psychopath to put a country through austerity, an economic holocaust.

If every Greek person had known the truth about austerity, they wouldn't have fallen for this. Same goes for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and other countries going through austerity. The sad aspect of all this is that these are not unique strategies. Since World War II, these predatory practices have been used countless times by the IMF and the World Bank in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

This is the essence of the New World Order -- a world owned by a handful of corporations and banks; a world that is full of obedient, powerless debt serfs.

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## Black Friday

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 28 Nov 2014, 22:53

Black Friday

So the annual glut fest begins in earnest, as if we weren’t gorging enough with Christmas, we now have the cultural imposition of another Americanism, Black Friday, where you get to see humanity reduced by the brainwashing of the media and the capitalist system into a spending frenzy, buying stuff they don’t need and if they really sat down and thought about it, would realise they probably don’t want either.

It kills me to see human beings brought down into acting like rats fighting over the scraps from the bin, and for what?  A bargain buy, another piece of stuff to fill the house with, as if we didn’t have enough already.  At the end of the day, are you really any happier with the latest iPhone, has the quality of your life suddenly improved because you can now download your apps a little quicker?  (I don’t even know if that’s correct, I have a very basic mobile, I don’t have an app to my name)  It’s heart-breaking to see how many people fall time and again for all this nonsense, it seems as if the whole world is brain-dead.  When did we all become fashion victims?  When did we stop thinking for ourselves?  Are we all so desperate to feel ‘accepted’ that we have to follow like sheep to the next ‘big thing’.  Social acceptance is like a cancer in our minds, and who are we all trying to impress?

Why does anyone give a damn what anyone thinks about them?  No one else is living your life but you, so why does some stranger’s opinion matter?  And really, if you need certain stuff to fit in with whoever, maybe you should re-think who your friends are and start connecting with people who accept you for who you are, preferably without the need for all the stuff!

Because that’s what this is all about, the judgement of others.  There was never a time when human beings were subjected to the ‘tyranny’ of public opinion more so than they are now.  We watch week in and week out, programmes like the X Factor and those crap shows Channel 4 specialises in about people on benefits.  Watching the news tonight, didn’t the media just love it, watching the scraps for crap!  They point the finger in condemnation, like the Tories and their self-righteous pillaring of the poor and unemployed.  Let the self-righteous point the finger when they haven’t been party to encouraging the whole sorry spectacle to begin with.

Immediately after the news story on Black Friday was an item about Ebola in Sierra Leone, here is a country in crisis and people living in the most appalling poverty.  We have so much here and still we’re brain-washed into wanting more, more, more!

If we are into adopting Americanisms, then let’s try this one, let’s adopt the habits of the original Americans, let’s take only what we need from the earth, let’s re-build our communities (tribes) and look out for each other, let’s take care of our people and our environment and let’s stop with the competition.  Instead of working to out-do each other, let’s work together and support each other and let’s work to make sure that every human being has access to the things that really matter, like food, clean water, a decent and safe place to live, health care and education.  Then maybe, at some point in the future if you really have to go shopping, you can go knowing that in your community, there isn’t a child or older person going without or feeling lonely or that out in the world, there isn’t another human being sleeping on the streets or dying from the want of some of the basics in life that we all take for granted.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by William Konarzewski, Saturday, 29 Nov 2014, 05:27)
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## Big Society

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:33

I was just checking through some of my old blog posts when i noticed 'big society' in the tags, whatever happened to Cam's 'big society'???  Anyone any ideas??  When the Tories come canvassing for the next election, maybe we should ask them?

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## Strivers, skivers and parasites

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:25

Well, I hope you all enjoyed Christmas, and looking over the weeks headlines, it’s good to see the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the Tory party.

From Osbourne’s ‘strivers and skivers’ speech, to Alec Shelbrooke’s big idea to give welfare claimants cards, that can only be used for essential items, and now we have Iain Duncan Smith planning to cut welfare for up to three years to discourage the lazy and wanton, and all those who are living the high life on benefits!!

Now, I have a solution to all these problems, I ask you, why stop with cards?  If they really want to be sure that these ‘skivers’ don’t use the taxes that us ‘strivers’ pay, to spend on things like drink and cigarettes let’s take it one step further.  Why don’t we put tags on them like they do with criminals, then with all thBe technology we have, we can track their movements, or better still, although this one probably applies to the long term unemployed more.  If they’re out of work for more than six months, we could have them chipped and pinned like they do with dogs.  We could give the police scanners and if they find anyone in a pub and/or smoking, or walking along the street with a carry out, then they could be scanned and if they are on benefits, we could have them arrested and cut their benefits.  We’d save the tax payer a fortune!

But, now when I think about it, this might prove too expensive.  Maybe we should try something else, I know, we could have them wear a special kind of badge that shows they’re on benefits, and then if someone sees them drinking or smoking or spending their money on non-essentials, we could set up a hotline where they could report them.  Of course it should be free, but I don’t really think the hard-working strivers of this country would mind spending a pound or two to rid the system of another scrounger.  Who knows, we might even end up in profit!!

Come to think of it, badges might not work either, well, they could take them off you see, it would be difficult to enforce, and cards too could be expensive, and then if they lost the card it would have to be issued again, even more expense.

Right, what about this instead of cards at all.  We could set up stores where they would have to go on a weekly basis to collect the essentials they need to live on, then they wouldn’t need money at all.  I’m just thinking, we could kill two birds with one stone here, as well as controlling the spending of welfare recipients, we could also put those with weight problems on a restricted calorie diet, thereby fixing the obesity crisis as well.  Simple eh?

But now when I think about it a bit more, there could be a more efficient way of organising all this.  I actually have very good organisational skills, did I not tell you, oh yes, I am a model of efficiency when it comes to getting organised.  I’m also good with ideas, I know, I’m a real all rounder!  Maybe I should join the Tory party!!

Right, so how could we make it more efficient?  I’ve got it, why don’t we round them all up and put them in camps, after all, they are parasites feeding off the rest of society and really they don’t deserve to be part of society so we should separate them from all the ‘good hard-working strivers’ in this country.   Yes, that’s a  better idea and they can stay in the camps until they get a job which, of course, we will help them to find.

That’s definitely a better solution, but then what would you do in a recession when people can be out of work for a long time and there might not be any jobs?  Hmmm, now that could be a problem and it could prove to be very expensive over the long term.  Give me a minute to think….Ah yes, I’ve got it, you know at times I amaze myself with my thinking!  We could have them put down, yes, that would work, wouldn’t it?  I wonder if anyone would object, that’s always a possibility, you know how people are always banging on about human rights these days.

Hmmm, let me think what we could do to drum up support for the idea.  Well, we could always run campaigns in the papers and pick out some of the worst cases to show the hard-working strivers how these parasites are sucking the life blood out of this country.  Yes, the Daily Mail would definitely be interested in that, and we can always count on Rupert’s media empire to support us.  Oh and do you know what else we could do, we could sell it as a green solution to the problem of over-population, reduce the surplus population, reduce the green house gases and save the planet too, I really am brilliant when I get going, if I don’t mind saying so myself!

Now that that’s sorted, how are we going to actually get rid of them?  I know, maybe we could shoot them all, that’s quick and fairly painless.  One bullet per person, to the head, that would work best, wouldn’t it.  It would definitely be the quickest way, and maybe we could get the bullets from Asda,  I hear they’re great for this sort of thing.  Oh sorry, I should explain, Asda are Walmart, they’re just called Asda here.  Who knows, we might even get a discount for buying in bulk.  Maybe we could even help them out with the problems they’re having with their workers going on strike in the US.

Now there’s another line for the business to expand into.  Oh yes, we could make a business out of it because everyone knows that the only thing that matters in life is business and making a profit.  Yes, people have to work, that’s what they’re here for isn’t it?  I mean, have you never heard of the old saying ‘Work will set you free’?  Yes, I remember reading that somewhere, there was a place where they had it above the gate, it began with A, I think, oh it’s slipped my mind now, but I’m sure it will come back to me, anyway……

Now that I think about it, the shooting thing might not work either, it might be a bit time consuming, having to shoot each one individually.  I’m sure there’s a much quicker way of dealing with all this….YES!  I’ve got it.  We could do them in batches, round them all up into a room, it would have to be sealed of course, and then drop in something, like poison gas!  Yes of course, it’s such a simple solution to a simple problem, I can’t understand why we didn’t think of it before!

Which is really what the Tories big ideas are all about.  Simple solutions thought up by simple-minded people.  It’s very easy to paint everything black and white, it’s easier to group people into categories and stick labels on them and ignore the fact that you are dealing with individual human beings, in individual circumstances.  To think like the Tories requires no real thinking skills at all.  In the world of Osbourne, Shelbrooke and Duncan-Smith, people on benefits are scroungers, skivers, parasites, feeding off the backs of the hard-working men and women of this country, the good people, the taxpayers.  But when you really look at it, who are the real parasites feeding off the people?

I mean, what about the global corporations?  There is a myth about the economy in this country that is continually supported by the media, I recently heard it repeated again on the BBC news.  You have heard it too, when pundits and politicians talk about the ‘decline in manufacturing’.  THIS IS A LIE.  There was no decline in manufacturing in the UK .  What happened was that companies took all the manufacturing jobs from here and moved them overseas.  All the manufacturing jobs that used to be done here are now being done in places like China, India and Turkey .  Most of these jobs were traditionally done here by the working classes but under Margaret Thatcher’s ‘free market economics’, (after she wrecked the unions and with the help of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire turned Union into a dirty word), companies were able to chase their profits around the globe from one exploitable, low-waged economy to the next.

But here is the paradox in all this.  The people here are still expected to support a first world economy even though their jobs were allowed to be taken away by their government so that all their business friends could make bigger and bigger profits while those who were lucky enough to have a job have found the value of their wage going steadily downwards.

And this is another thing I have often wondered about, WHY ARE  ALL THE  PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR A COMPANY NOT ALLOWED TO SHARE THE PROFITS?  One person may start a business but it takes a whole army of workers to build it up and maintain it.  No one became a millionaire or billionaire by themselves alone! Where is it written is stone that the person who started the business is the only one entitled to the profits it makes?

There are only two things in nature that take more than they need, one is man and the other is cancer.  Anyone who operates in this ethos of greed, who sucks up a bigger share for themselves and is quite happy to sit and watch his fellow man go without especially, when he has more than he will ever need, is a cancer on the face of humanity.  These people are the real parasites.

And now, in the midst of a recession, caused in no small part by the very party whose initial policies led to these problems to begin with, they arrogantly scapegoat the working classes and unemployed, and blame them for the present economic ills when they had little or no control over them at all.

Margaret Thatcher and business leaders promoted an ethos of greed in the 1980’s, it is still alive and well in certain sections of the business community and the present Government, and is evident in the arrogance and simple-minded outlook of Thatcher’s Children and their policy ideas.  In their view, it’s dog eat dog world and tough luck if you lack the skills and/or money to survive in it.

Let’s all ignore the fact, that they are members of the party that created this world, that it was their policies that allowed the jobs of the working classes to be taken away, that skewed government policy and the law to favour big business and the corporations, that know nothing of the reality of life for the millions who are struggling daily with real poverty, who sit in their mansions pontificating to the rest of us about money and values while cutting housing benefit for the young, who deride the public sector but are quite happy to take THEIR wages from the public sector, who want to dictate to a man who has lost his job and is now living on £71 a week dole money, how he should spend it, while having done nothing to protect workers and their jobs.

Yes, Merry Christmas, Mr Cameron and Co, may the new year find you all on the dole and the sooner the better for us all, and shame on you Nick Clegg for keeping these people in office!

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Matt Hobbs, Thursday, 27 Dec 2012, 12:25)
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## Riots in Belfast - again!

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Saturday, 15 Dec 2012, 16:50

Well, plays have all been performed, to good reviews I might add, and assignments are up to date, so now that I am all rested and recovered, let’s catch up with what’s been happening in the world –

Riots in Belfast?  Didn’t we do that already?

They’re at it again.

You know, when I see people out protesting like that on the street over some perceived attack on their culture, faith or whatever, I often think, ‘You really don’t have enough to bother you’, and it really must have been a slow week for news when this lot made the national headlines.

Now, in the great scheme of things, how ridiculous must this seem to any outsider, the Union flag is taken down and there are protests and riots, for what, a piece of coloured material?

Now, the thing about all this is, you can say it’s about flags, or culture, or identity, or religion, or nationality, or loyalty, and you might think you’re right, but when you strip all that down to the bare bones it comes down to this, and this is what no one else in Northern Ireland will ever just come out and say publicly - identifying with the Union Jack is about clinging to an idea left over from the British Empire (of which NI is it’s last outpost) and that is, to identify yourself as British is to claim that you are superior and not just to the Irish, but to everyone that isn’t white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, that’s it in a nutshell.

It’s about nothing more than that, ‘I’m British’ means saying I’m better than you without actually saying, ‘I am superior to you’.  It’s the exact same attitude that prevailed in the days of Empire when Britain went stomping around the globe terrorising the natives and bringing us heathen types civilisation, and which still prevails today among right-wingers, from the Tory party to the National Front.

Ulster was planted hundreds of years ago by the British, actually it happened about a hundred years before Britain even existed, and Ireland has never been part of Britain, it’s always been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or as it is now, Northern Ireland.

So, there are no British here in NI, only a few confused Irish or Northern Irish, for we surely are a breed apart from the rest of the country.  I mean, how many years do you have to live in a country before you consider yourself a citizen of it?  Hundreds of years later, and they still can’t lower themselves to stand up and say they’re Irish, or even Northern Irish.  They treat it as an insult to be considered Irish, and as someone who is Irish by nationality, I find that insulting.  What is so wrong with being Irish?  What does nationality mean at the end of day, I was born in Ireland so I am deemed to be Irish, they were born in Ireland too, but they’re British.  What’s going to happen when/if the Scottish vote for Independence, Britain isn’t going to exist anymore, what will they be then?

When I think about my identity, I think first and foremost, I am a human being, then I am female, and identifying with a country, a flag, or one culture is far down the list of what I am. There are very few singularly, one culture people left in this world, not when you sit down and consider how much of our lives have been influenced by other countries and their habits, especially in these days of globalization.  In reality, each of us is a single multi-cultural unit.

As long as people don’t think for themselves, they will cling to other’s ideas of what their identity is.  It’s easier to adopt the cultural stereotypes we’ve been spoon fed by our respective communities, than to look at the reality of these things and challenge notions that are as archaic, and out-of-date, as the dinosaurs.

Now, if you really want to go out and protest about something that may be wrong in Belfast then here’s an idea.  In October of this year in East Belfast , in the space of 10 days, 7 people committed suicide.  Also, in West Belfast this week, apparently 5 people committed suicide.  (I haven’t been able to confirm this yet, I heard it at work in relation to the tragedy of another local suicide)  The rate of suicide in the North is off the scale compared to the rest of Europe .  (see previous post: In defence of young men)  With the ongoing stranglehold on the working-class Protestant areas by the paramilitaries, the decades of economic neglect by government and the pressure of culture and tradition, there are communities here in real crisis, and no-one seems to give a damn.

And it certainly doesn’t help when a Chancellor gets up in Parliament and starts sneeringly classifying the working class of this country into strivers and skivers, especially when he got to be where he is, because he had the double good fortune of being born into a wealthy family and the privileged classes, where their money and social connections bought him all the advantages that life has to offer.

There is a lot of pressure in people at the moment, the rising cost of living and falling value of wages, the added pressure of conforming to the social and financial pressures of the season of 'Goodwill', not to mention the fear of losing your job, or of trying to find a job if you don't have one in the midst of a recession.  These all make for extremely stressful times and it's heart-sickening to watch this government gleefully slash at the poorest and weakest in this society and arrogantly scapegoat them for the present economic ills which they were not responsible for, while giving all the breaks to the rich and fellow members of their class.  All I can say is, roll on the revolution!!!

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Sheena Bradley, Saturday, 15 Dec 2012, 22:01)
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## Christian?

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:30

A little quiz question for today, what do the Pope, the Queen, David Cameron and Bono have in common?

Well, if you said the Pope is head of the Catholic Church, the Queen is the head of State for Britain and the Church of England, David Cameron is the head of the present Government, and Bono has a big head, then head would be the connection and you might be right, and actually that is a right answer too, when you think about it.

But that’s not the answer we’re looking for today, so, sorry if you said that but good thinking just the same.

The answer we’re looking for today is this one, and this might surprise some people, but the correct answer is, they all say or think they are Christians but in reality none of them are, which might surprise some people since two of them are heads of Christian Churches , and at least one of them thinks they are God.

So, how is that the right answer, I hear you say?  Well, I was at mass a couple of weeks ago and the priest was talking about the reading that day, which was the one about how it would be ‘easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God ’ (or heaven, anyway, same thing).  And he went on about wealth and poverty, and I was sitting there thinking ‘well what about the Vatican ?’  I almost got up and said it, and if it had been another priest I might have, but this priest is old and retired and then I thought, ‘well he’s not Rome so why harass him about it’.  And then yesterday we were back on the money question with the story of the widow's mite.  Now, I go to mass, I consider myself Catholic, definitely not a Roman Catholic but Catholic in the original sense of the word, which comes from the Greek and means ‘universal’, and that is how I consider myself.  I am a member of the ‘universal church of humanity’.

I was in Rome a couple of years ago and while there was a lot to see, from an historical perspective, I didn’t particularly like the place and I certainly didn’t feel too inspired by the ‘Christianity’ of the Vatican, and wouldn’t be in a hurry to go back any time soon.  When I was there, I was hoping for some profound spiritual experience, and the nearest I got to encountering anything like that, was looking at Michaelangelo’s Pieta, which is in St Peters , and is a stunningly beautiful piece of sculpture.  If you ever go to Rome, I couldn’t recommend this highly enough.

The other big attraction was the Sistine Chapel, and honestly, I felt a bit let down by it.  Firstly, it’s not really a chapel, as you would imagine, it’s just another room in the Vatican, and by the time you get to it, you have passed through so many rooms painted from floor to ceiling with angels and the like, that your eye is a bit tired of it all.

I had the same thing in the Rennaissance section of the Louvre, I remember coming out and thinking, ‘If I see one more picture of the dead Christ…..!’  And for the record, the painting of God and man touching, which I had always imagined was this huge painting across a domed ceiling is in fact a small panel in the centre of the ceiling about 5ft by 3ft.  (it probably is bigger than that, but perspectively, that is how it appeared).

Anyway, what got me about it, was the wealth of art in the Vatican museum and also the fact that the Pope lives like an earthly king.  He lives in a palace, is surrounded by lackeys and riches, he is dressed in expensive robes, waited on hand and foot and is separated from the people.  He is supposed to be Jesus’ representative on earth, how is that anything like Jesus?  And here’s another thing, he is supposed to be infallible, says who?  I would like to know, where that idea came from?  He can’t be infallible, he is a human being, it isn’t possible, all humans are flawed and imperfect, it’s the most interesting thing about us.  Just think how boring it would be, if we were all perfect and flawless?

When you look at it, everything about the Pope, goes against everything Jesus preached about.  And the same goes for the Queen, it is a complete hypocrisy to have a Queen as head of any Christian church, and the same applies to David Cameron and Bono, you cannot be that rich and be a Christian, it just isn’t possible, you may perform Christian acts now and again, but as long as you are sitting with all those millions (and avoiding paying tax) you are not, and never can be, a Christian, in the truest and only sense of the word.

And since we’re on the subject of Churches and religion, any religion that differentiates between men and women is wrong, especially if the Bible is a big part of the religion, because one of the first statements in the Book of Genesis says, that God made them, male and female, both equal.  That’s it, equal, no more, no less, equal.  Not the Animal Farm kind of equal, where ‘everyone is equal, only some are more equal than others’, no not that one. There was no qualification to it, all equal, no argument.

And if you really believed in the God of the Bible, you couldn’t regard any human being as not being your equal, (or as discussed in previous blogs, of equal value), because if you believe God made everything, then to say that a woman is something less than a man, is to insult God.  If God made them equal then who is any human being to say that Her/His/ It’s creation, woman, is something less, when they are both human.  The value for what He/She/It has created, then extends to everything, because if you truly believed that, then you have to consider that every thing that God has created, is of value to God, otherwise it would not exist.

Which makes it very arrogant and insulting to go traipsing around claiming dominion over other lands and other human beings, and treating them badly, or as your own personal property.  Because if everything is God’s creation, then maybe it’s time we started to really think about that and consider how we are living and how we treat other people and the planet.  Maybe it’s time we cleaned up our act and started taking care of what we have been given because whether there is or isn’t a God, and whether you believe or don’t believe in a God, we only have a short time here so why don’t we do our best to live well and respectfully, and try and make life better for everyone.

I mean, does the Queen, and David, and Bono, and all those other millionaires and billionaires really need all that money.  They can’t spend it in a lifetime and it won’t buy them another life, and they can’t take it with them, so what do they need it for, to feed their egos and make them feel like they are successful, that they are better human beings than the rest of us?

Sorry, but the bad news about that is, if you can sit with millions or billions in a bank while on this planet another human being is dying for the want of something as basic as food, then you have failed in the most important area of life, you have failed as a human being and you have certainly failed as a Christian.

I mean, what are we here for if not to live, life is supposed to be lived is it not?  Why does it always feel that life is something to be endured or survived, why can we not just live it and live it well?  We speculate and ponder the meaning of life and maybe it is something as simple as that, to live it and live it well.

Comments as usual, are always welcome.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Julie Inan, Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012, 11:29)
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