parked in a disabled bay?
George Osborne was out in his ministerial Range Rover and he wanted to go into a shop. He got out and his driver went and parked. Absolutely nothing to do with Mr Osborne, the driver parked in a disabled space.
The Telegraph headline ran: “George Osborne photographed using disabled parking bay.”
That is headline news; a driver parks in a disabled bay and a man who was not even in the car is held to account.
Is It Eever Ok to Compliment a Woman?
The leader of the “Free World” is not free to have an opinion!
In Britain we were all treated this week to the news that there are now seven social classes. The lowest class are the “Precariats,” people of low income and no social life; they live in a continuous precarious state, hence the word precariat.
Do you know how many people in wealthy Britain, once the leaders of the Free World, are precariats and thus live in a constant state of worry? 15%, or one in seven of the population.
And in the same week as we find this out, the Telegraph is worried about Mr Osborne’s driver parking in the wrong place.
“Millions of gardeners grow vegetables in home, community and roof top gardens, fruit on their patios and terraces, and herbs in window box and kitchen gardens. Some even have backyard vegetable gardens or fruit trees. At the same time, 1 in 4 children (1 in 3 Hispanic children) under the age of six live in food insecure homes with families struggling to feed them - yet fresh produce is not available from the local food pantry.”
This is the introduction to a charity in the United States called AmpleHarvest.org which tries to get fresh vegetables and fruit to children in a land where obesity is rife, which prides itself on free speech and freedom of expression. And poor old Barack is not allowed to say that a woman is good looking.
Pope Benedict wrote in one of his letters that all this political correctness stuff leads to “confused consciences.” Basically what he meant was that when we start making our own morals and make no reference to God then we finish up talking nonsense.
In a country which spends billions of dollars a year on cosmetics and fashion, all designed with the aim of making a woman “good looking,” and where 37.5% of adults are clinically obese, (CDC report 2010) children starve and a woman cannot be told she is looking good.
Talk about confused consciences!
But sometimes the wee man strikes back.
accused of a "colossal failure" over the
bank's 2008 collapse be barred from banking?
Now isn’t that music to the ears. Then on top of that we read that three directors and executives of HBOS are to be barred from ever working in finance again. Sometimes we get a little hope. Not much, mind you but a little.
It seems the investors are saying that the RBS boasted about being in good financial health six months before the whole thing went belly up and had to be bailed out by the taxpayer. These people who had shares in RBS as part of their pensions are claiming the money simply because they were lied to. Hard to see how they don’t have a case.
Workers in Aer Lingus were recently told that their pensions were worth 4% of what they had paid in. Brian Cowen and Bertie get 150 grand a year and the mugs who believed them are broke.
I wonder what life is like as a “precariat.” Seriously, have you ever thought of what life would be like if you were waiting on the dole cheque to buy the groceries or to get a bit of electricity?
On the other end of the social scale there is now a new crowd called the “Elite.” These are the super duper rich people and they make up about 6% of the population.
What about the New North, what do you think our percentages are? Would you say 25% precariats and 3% elites?
The reason I mention this is because we are living through a period of great change, a period when we in the West are declining as other grow more powerful. We are losing all our social and moral compasses; we do not know where we are going.
George Osborne is not responsible for where his driver parks nor is it a matter of national news that his driver parked in the wrong place. Barack Obama is entitled to his opinion.
Well, in fairness at least David Cameron did not say that “Margaret Thatcher was the best looking Prime Minister Britain ever had;” that would have been too much!
with this year's winner Aidan McQuade
Congratulations to Aidan who won Mastermind last Friday evening on BBC2. He sat in the chair composed and rattled off the answers like nobody’s business. As we would say in this part of the country “He fair knew his stuff!”
The second point is that if you are heading over the border be sure and take a few aspirin, panadol and any other drugs that you think you might need with you. Oh, and bring a few bandages and a towel or two just in case.
The “Troika,” those three infinitely wise men that now run Ireland by a three monthly visit, have declared in their wisdom that the Free State health service spends too much on drugs; less drugs, less survivors, less mouths to feed.
Quite a simple logic really; don’t say you weren’t warned.
“Health Minister James Reilly is under pressure from the troika to give each patient their own unique number so that their use of prescription drugs can be tracked,” wrote the Irish Independent.
It is obvious that the next move is that if a person is using too many drugs then they shall be cut off. Yet the governments of the west, unlike India, will not take on the drugs companies and insist that cheaper generic drugs can be made and used.
India told the drugs companies where to go and what they could do with their precious patents!
You see, the Elite own shares in the drugs companies and the Precariats are the people who cannot afford to buy the drugs. If the Troika and their governments would have the moral courage to take on the drugs companies then people and countries could get much cheaper drugs.
But there’s nothing like huge profits to make a “conscience confused.”
His father, Ted Gup, is a professor of ethics at Harvard University so he wrote the article from the point of view that 11% of children, that is how many are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the USA, are given drugs to calm them down because no one will take the time to listen to them.
He goes on to state that his son became a heroin addict and died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol. But it is Gup’s frank admission that he feels guilty for not listening to his son that got to me. He also said that the huge increase in medical drug use encourages the idea that a drug can cure everything:
“And so a generation of students, raised in an environment that encourages medication, are emulating the professionals by using drugs in the classroom as performance enhancers.
And we wonder why it is that they use drugs with such abandon. As all parents learn — at times to their pain — our children go to school not only in the classroom but also at home, and the culture they construct for themselves as teenagers and young adults is but a tiny village imitating that to which they were introduced as children.”
Later Gup goes on:
“Ours is an age in which the airwaves and media are one large drug emporium that claims to fix everything from sleep to sex. I fear that being human is itself fast becoming a condition. It’s as if we are trying to contain grief, and the absolute pain of a loss like mine; we have become increasingly disassociated and estranged from the patterns of life and death, uncomfortable with the messiness of our own humanity, aging and, ultimately, mortality.”
What Gup is saying is that we are no longer prepared to live life, the moment an issue comes up we run away from it, hiding in a haze of drug induced oblivion. He ends his article with the following harrowing lines, which shows a man who is prepared to accept his humanity in all its glory and weakness:
“Time does not heal all wounds, closure is a fiction, and so too is the notion that God never asks of us more than we can bear. Enduring the unbearable is sometimes exactly what life asks of us.
But there is a sweetness even to the intensity of this pain I feel. It is the thing that holds me still to my son. And yes, there is a balm even in the pain. I shall let it go when it is time, without reference to the D.S.M., and without the aid of a pill.”
A few Christians and Catholics might take issue with some of his last few lines but it is the integrity of a person who is prepared to face their loss and look squarely at life that makes what Gup says so important. And there is great hope in what he says, for there shall always be people who prefer to live life rather than hide from it.
Offshore’s Global Impact
What sticks in my craw is that these are the very same people who shall pontificate to the rest of us about how we should live. They are the nice people, the untouchables, who feel that they have the right to take all the time from society and can sit in judgement of the rest of us.
If you wanted to be cruel and put them in a social class, they would all have to go in to the Elites, (sounds like the start of a marathon race).
I will bet a week’s pay that there are no precariats among the 2.5 million names. And I will bet a second week’s pay that the vast majority of those named shall go unscathed: you scratch my Elitist back and I’ll scratch yours.
There was a bit of news that came out from the IMF this week that shall fill many in the Free State with dread. The IMF want the repossession of houses by banks speeded up: Madam Lagarde has decided that the people of Ireland are not being thrown out onto the side of the road quick enough. You would nearly swear she is the reincarnation of a famine era landlord.
Where is the forgiveness in all of this? Were the rich of this world always so cruel? Could we learn anything from the middle ages, those barbaric times when the Church was at the heart of the community and some people actually still believed in God.
In the middle ages under the feudal system there were periodic events of debt forgiveness. The timing of these events varied from country to country but in England they were held every ten years. The Lord of the Manor and his tenants would come together, add up all on the plus side and the negative side and if the figure was just too much in the red they would wipe it off and start again.
Moral hazard would say that this would encourage the tenants not to pay their way. The Lord of the Manor had the ability to throw anyone off the land that was not doing their best; that kept people in line.
Until the countries of Europe make some sort of decision as to what to do about the huge debts hanging over our society then we shall bounce along in a permanent recession that we may never recover from.
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