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Potting and plotting!

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 25 Oct 2019, 15:19

Another day, another interview or 2, and another 'we regret to inform you'.  Not that I really mind, I'm in no hurry back to the daily drudge and I'm enjoying my time out especially now that I have achieved, or rather acquired, something that I have wanted for some time now, an allotment!  I got it on Monday and had a great day out in the sunshine, I met so many people I know and hadn't seen for years but unfortunately, the weather has turned again and now it's back to the wind and rain. 

I was surprised how fit I was, it's a bit overgrown so I got stuck in clearing beds on Monday, I was there for a several hours and thought I would be wrecked on Tuesday but I was fine, a few aches in some muscles but that was it.  I was back over today as the persistent rain has given way to more showers but the ground is still too wet to do much and it gives rain for tomorrow again so that's another write-off.  But I'm crocheting a blanket at the moment and doing an oil painting, both presents for friends so that'll keep me occupied on wet days, in between job-hunting and interviews, of course!

Had the dog out for a walk up around the river on Sunday, it's amazing how everything has bloomed within the space of a week and fishing season is open again.  There are a few pools of water is some of the fields and they are full of tadpoles so the rain is needed as some of them were quite shallow and could dry out before they are fully grown.  I'm going to take a jam jar up this week and collect some.  I have a water trough in my back yard and might put a few in there, thought it would be interesting to show the grand-daughter how frogs grow, takes me right back to childhood too!

I am sharing the allotment with my nephew, I was visiting him and he was telling me he has started growing his own veg and showed me his trays of seedlings so as the conversation developed I suggested we get an allotment as it was something I always wanted but thought it would be too much to take on myself.  We initially agreed to take on a half plot but we're going to go for a full plot now as we want to get some chickens too and the half plot would be too small. 

We're going to follow the Charles Dowding organic, no-dig, method but we have to dig first to clear the ground of weeds and no chemicals are allowed anyway in the plots.  I got his book a few years ago and have been making my own compost with a view to improving the soil in my own garden which isn't great.  Once you get the garden planted, you just keep adding compost and nutrients to the soil and weeding regularly, and that's it, not too much hard work involved.  There's a lot of talk and interest now around the link between gardening and mental health and one of our other allotments has just signed up Paul Brady to help raise awareness around how gardening can help with things like depression.

Election day tomorrow too, another round of 1690 vs 1916!  This one could be interesting, it's a fairly safe Sinn Fein seat but people are fed up with the lack of government in Stormont so they might not get the result they're expecting, and why should they, when they're getting paid for a job they're not doing?  Not that the line-up of candidates is inspiring, no new ideas, same old parties and the same old claptrap and a serious lack of vision all round.  It's quite depressing because several of the candidates are in their twenties but still churning out the same old rhetoric their predecessors did and all the old self-righteous grandstanding, it's hard to listen to - I'm between a rock and a hard place!  There are several countries around the world which include the option None of the Above on their ballot papers and there is an online petition to have it included as a viable option on ballot papers in the UK too, just follow the link below if you're interested in adding your name to it.  I just did!


Ah well, sun's out again, back to some potting and plotting!

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Elections and Votes

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:11

Looking at the results of the local elections in Britain, I have to say I find it very disappointing to see how low the turnout has been, although considering how democracy has been subverted for many years now, it’s hardly a surprise that people have lost faith in the political system.  I think this is due in part to the fact that there is no mechanism for appeal once a party has been elected, so the politicians can promise all sorts during the campaign trail, but once in office, they can do what ever they like which, of course, they have done and there is no one to stop them or make them follow through on the promises they made. 

 I also think we are still suffering the fall out from the Thatcher era.  Her attack on the unions, strongly backed by a right-wing media (I for one, am delighted that the past is finally catching up with Rupert Murdoch and his whole media dictatorship, having been railing against him for years) has left the working-classes without a way into politics or a strong voice that truly represents them. 

 All the political parties are now populated by upper/middle class public school boys who have no idea how the other 95% of the population live.  That the front bench in the House of Commons is full of millionaires, speaks volumes about our so-called democracy.  Where is the voice of the working-classes in Parliament?  Even the so-called left wingers seem so egotistical and arrogant that they don’t really speak for ordinary people any more, with the exception of Dennis Skinner and, since Tony Benn retired, they are becoming thinner on the ground and there does not seem to be any new blood following in their steps.  Politics is now a career for the upper middle-classes and they work in the interests of one group, and one group only, their own. 

The whole class system too, is part of the problem.  The most obvious example of this is the House of Lords.  The whole idea of an unelected upper house based on class and privilege is so anachronistic in the 21st Century and completely subverts what is supposed to be a democracy.  Why should these people have this right?  It supports privilege for some and exclusion for most of the rest of us.  How can Britain even claim to be a democracy when this system remains in place.

 What is really needed is political reform, but how is that going to be achieved when it is in the interest of the ruling classes to maintain the status quo?  The truth is, is that those who now rule, are not the least bit interested in democracy but are only interested in self-promotion and self-protection for themselves and their own social class.  And I’m really going to p*ss off the middle-classes with this next statement because I believe that they too, are partly to blame for the situation. 

The class system is elitist and unfortunately too many aspire to be part of it.  I don’t believe in the middle-class, and if you think of yourself as middle-class then you are, in my eyes, a working-class snob.  What does it even really mean to be middle-class, other than you have more money and a bigger house (or should that be mortgage, another con, but a subject for another day) than someone who is called working-class.  Middle class is an illusion, you either work for a living or you don’t, and to divide people into class groups is nothing more than social apartheid, and is every bit as disingenuous and damaging, as the racial apartheid that existed in South Africa.

 So how do we resolve the political apathy that exists?  Well, firstly, I would like to say thank-you to all those who did turn out to vote, at least you made the effort.  To all those who didn’t vote or who haven’t voted for years, I challenge you.  If you are so disillusioned with the system and those self –serving politicians, then put yourself forward for election next time.  Go forward as an independent, and let’s start a campaign to fill Parliament with independents at the next General Election, because your vote IS your voice and if you don’t use it, even if it is to spoil it, then you shouldn’t even be allowed an opinion. 

 Politics affects every area of our lives, and almost seventy per cent of the people who were entitled to vote, didn’t even bother to turn out.  Now, what if those seventy per cent had turned out and voted for the most politically independent candidate on the ballot paper?  Or just for the fun of it, voted for anyone as long as they were not a candidate for any of the big three?  What kind of difference could that have made?  Because it isn’t just one vote, it amounts to millions when used collectively or not, as the case may be.  Opting out resolves nothing, if you want to change it, then you have to get in there and do something about it, otherwise things will just remain the same. 

 And when you do get in, remember why you are there.  Get rid of the House of Lords, and while you’re at it, do your best to dismantle the class system, and that means removing the Queen from Parliament.  The monarchy is an out-dated system and doesn’t really have a place in a truly democratic society.  I have nothing personally against the Queen, she seems like a really nice woman, she can still be Queen if that’s what people want, but an honour’s system that confers titles, again supports the social elitism of the class system and she doesn’t have any political power, so why is she even there?  I read in the paper today about a move to bring in changes to the Honour’s system by removing Empire from titles and instead give awards that are more reflective of the reality of life in Britain today.  Rather ironic that the Queen’s Lord Lieutenants are more in touch with the social reality of Britain, than our so-called Parliamentary democracy!!

 And remember too, that when elected, regardless of who has, or who has not voted for you, you have a moral obligation to govern in the best interests of all the people in the country, because the business of government, is the business of the people, and the business of the people, is the business of government.  This means, that government has a moral obligation to work in the best interests of the entire population and that the population too has a responsibility to be aware of what their government is doing, and to hold them accountable for it, and the only way we have of doing that at the present time IS WITH YOUR VOTE.  So please, use it!

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