The Conservative Party V The Labour Party – written in plain uncomplicated English.

Capitalism: privately owned money and businesses; pursuing and generating money by any means.

Right wing: the pursuit of money by the richest people over the quality of human life for normal people.

Left wing; the pursuit of a good quality of life for all by evenly distributing money so everyone can afford to live.

I understand that not everyone gets politics and I imagine that those who don’t understand feel left out by the language used by politicians and the newsreaders. If only there was a comprehensive, easy to understand run down – outline – of how it all works? That’s what I’m trying to write here.

Capitalism isn’t as scary a word as it sounds. It is the financial system of how we trade goods. It involves concentrating on individual people and businesses. This might sound familiar – businesses produce goods which are sold, the money from sales is used to pay wages to staff, running costs, tax and profit to the owners. Sounds simple?

What if I told you how it all began? About how a period now known as the Victorian Industrial Revolution saw the invention of steam powered machinery which helped to mass produce products which could be transported all over the country with the invention of the then new steam trains. This was an important period which changed the rules of industry forever. Sounds great doesn’t it? What if I told you that all this new generated wealth and prosperity came off the back of the first ever zero hours working conditions, where poor Victorian workers were housed in small over crowed houses in factory towns, where they lived in disease ridden squalor, where they were paid a pittance that wasn’t enough to feed their families, where children were forced to work, where if there wasn’t any work they didn’t work and they didn’t get paid. Where the business owners kept the vast majority of money from sales.

‘It’s all over now – we don’t treat workers like that any more.’ Don’t we?

Victorian authors Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell were just some of the writers who raised awareness about the horrifying accounts of human exploitation; writing novels and stories were the social media equivalent of campaigning for human rights. Their novels’ *Hard Times https://librivox.org/hard-times-by-charles-dickens/ and *Mary Barton https://librivox.org/mary-barton-by-elizabeth-cleghorn-gaskell/ give a good account of typical life in the factories.

Over a period of time these awful practices were stopped in this country and any workers who hadn’t died managed to a get a fairer deal – not necessarily a shit hot deal but something that helped and was less barbaric.

At least that doesn’t happen any more.’ Doesn’t it? What if I told you that the low wages and zero hours contracts for the production of goods for our country was simply moved to other countries? That the death and squalor was moved from our British doorstep to countries like Cambodia, China and *looks in label of t-shirt I am wearing* Bangladesh. And that their desperate plight is actually partly our fault through allowing foreign factory owners to pay such low wages.

But it’s OK because once a year we listen to the grave voices of television presenters who show us videos of these poor people suffering. The same scenes that would have greeted richer people in the Victorian days of starvation and death, but instead of campaigning for an end to slave wages we just squeeze the pus from our capitalist spot and donate what we can afford to a charity and get back to making a cup of tea or arguing who hasn’t done the washing up. It is then gone from our minds and it’s life as usual for us. Nothing changes – we never tackle the root problem of kids dying down mineshafts while they search for bits of gold to make our smartphones. Out of sight out of mind.

‘Why don’t we just pay the people who are working in those factories more money and make sure they have the same conditions over here?’ Yeah why don’t we?

Because what if I told you that because we exploited the people in other countries that it is more difficult to pay them a fair wage because the factory owners don’t have to abide by British law and change their ways, and that it would reduce the millions in profit that companies make.

‘Well that’s the way it is.’ Yep, starvation, suffering and death, just the way it is, just as long as it’s not where we can see it.

‘Where else do you suggest we buy our clothes etc.’ I have no idea – I don’t have the answer to that. I – the British equivalence of poor – also am responsible for taking part in this, for having not known until I was older how all these pieces of history and media fit together, until I studied and began to use my brain to think. I’d like to take a leaf though, from campaigners throughout history to try and raise awareness of the corrupt hidden structure which supports our thoughtless capitalist lifestyles. I want to use my voice before Theresa May decides to censor people who tell the truth. I wanted to write this in a language which avoids political jargon (complicated language) – complicated language which is used deliberately to stop everyone from understanding because political language acts like an invisibility cloak to help politicians – May in particular – carry on in her pursuit of profit over people.

The best way to understand the news from the TV and big newspapers is ask yourself ‘who is making money out of these terrible things happening around the world?’ ‘Who is making money from the story?’ Because everything is about making money.

‘Money can’t be made from war, surely?’ Yes it can. Here in the UK guns or arms as they are otherwise known are made here and are sold to countries like Saudi Arabia, which are used in wars like Syria. Perhaps if we stopped making weapons and selling them to foreign countries there would be fewer wars and innocent civilians wouldn’t have to run from their homes to find safety. I don’t think it would stop wars, but it would sure as hell slow them down and we could feel better knowing our country has done something to help towards a more peaceful world. But obviously the Conservative government don’t want that because all they care about is the money made from selling them. And it’s not like you can use weapons for anything other than the intention to kill. Again newsreaders use a very serious/sad tone when they report about a war, as if our country has nothing to do with it, as if Theresa May has had nothing to do with it. She voted for wars.

The news channels reporting on these terrible, serious wars are actually owned by Conservative supporters. So just to recap, Theresa May our Prime Minister voted for wars, her Conservative buddies who own the BBC, Sky TV, the Sun etc report on it as if they believe the war is terrible and you the reader/watcher think oh my goodness why won’t someone do something about it. You can do something about it by voting for a party that doesn’t support war and who will stop selling warfare – weapons – to foreign countries. You can vote for a party who will ensure fair wages for all, who can begin one day to deal with our involvement in overseas poverty. When I was at secondary school the Third World was called the Developing World which left me wondering why it has never developed? It’s because with Capitalism, someone always has to be poor and taken advantage of for so called progress to take place.

What exactly is progress? Progress is to achieve a better state than before, but this is misleading because this is not progress for everyone, just those who were born in countries like ours and even by a measure of our own standards our lives haven’t actually become any easier. Going back to the Industrial Revolution, there was the promise that labour saving machinery would give us more time to do what we wanted, but instead we have filled our time with MORE work. Our brains have to process more complex information and an additional list of things to achieve in a day and are left with feeling worthless when they can’t keep up with others which some people find difficult to process – this has lead to an increase in mental health problems. So when people say mental health is made up, it’s something that has become an issue because of the increased burden of information overload. Our bodies don’t work so hard any more because of labour saving machinery, but our brains are worked so much harder. So in a nutshell the more we work towards progress, the more we will fill our time with the next lot of work which is also labelled progress, therefore never actually getting to spend more time with our families or looking after our bodies or planet.

All political leaders are not the same this time around – there is a real option for peace on the 8th June. It might not happen again so make the most of your ability to vote and vote for Jeremy Corbyn the leader of the Labour Party.

‘But Labour voted for Iraq – Blair and Brown made some awful choices.’ That’s correct they did. But Corbyn gives a shit, he cares about human lives – he is not remotely like Blair or Brown. Imagine you eat at a cafe and they mess up your favourite meal time and time again. Eventually you won’t go there any more because the food is crap. Imagine everyone stops going there because they have had the same experience, but then it is taken over by new management who revamps the menu by introducing new options and puts some old favourites back on the list. Would you still not give it a try just because the last two owners fudged it up? Corbyn is the new management, he has revamped the menu to reflect what ordinary people want and need; he isn’t just catering to the rich people.

Conservatives: just cares about money and not people.

Labour: Cares about people.

*Audio book links so you don’t need to read them.

How the belief of money was possibly established and why human life is more valuable than money.

 

It costs 3p to make a £10 note; what makes it worth £10?

Belief.

Nothing more and nothing less because it never ceases to be a piece of paper.

Once upon a time money didn’t exist, bartering coffee beans for grain did instead which was highly impractical. I suspect the dishonest were creative in making other materials look like coffee and grain but for the best part these essentials were exchanged as they were.

Along came precious metals. Actually they didn’t come along, they were discovered, maybe a bit like this:

“Well wha’do’we ‘ave ‘ere then?”

“I dunno mate, but it’s the shiniest rock eye’ve ever seen”

“’Ere lemme chip some uv it off – ‘ere ‘old”

“Gold? ‘Ow do you know wha it’s cawled?”

“No you div – HOLD, I said HOLD!”

“Oh ok. Well wha shall we cawl it?”

“Might as well cawl it gold!”

I’m not sure if they came from the West Country but for illustrative purposes of how a belief is established we’ll say they were.

So it’s a bright shiny yellow coloured rock, never seen before. Just like when mobile phones came out, everyone thought they were the dogs nads, but now, now everyone has one and they aren’t as big of a deal. Gold obviously became a big deal, so did silver etc. With gold came greed. It was so much easier to stock pile gold than it was to stock pile loaves of bread, eggs and cows. People went from having what they NEEDED to what they GREEDED – I think I made that word up. Gold didn’t have an expiry date and was much more convenient to carry. Kings and all the big wigs decided – you know because it was so easy to carry – that they wanted a cut of the wealth so they often sent off their delegates to go and pillage/steal from anyone who had gold and called it TAX. Would they have done that if they were bread, eggs, coffee etc? NO because they weren’t as easy to carry and food items had an expiry!

Time carried on and even gold, silver and copper coins became too cumbersome to carry so the money makers decided to make PAPER money notes to REPRESENT the number of gold coins so carrying money would be even easier. Even this became problematic because people were able to carry a hella lotta money – which again you wouldn’t do if you had eggs, bread or milk -and this invited thieves to steal and other fraudsters to make FAKE money – whatever that is!

With this flaw in design it brings us up to our current day where a plastic card REPRESENTS intangible numbers which live in a computer screen that you can’t touch, but you still believe exists.

Money was invented as a TOOL for trade, to make trade easier, but BAD people existed and still do exist who wanted to CORRUPT this tool for trade purely because it was yellow, shiny and rare. They believed in this at a time when people believed in Greek Gods, when women or witches were burned at the steak or drowned in a river for having a period, because they didn’t have a scientific, logical explanation for the way of the world.

To believe a shiny bit of yellow rock or a TOOL FOR TRADE is WORTH MORE THAN HUMAN LIFE is simply FUCKING RIDICULOUS just as ridiculous as drowning a woman for having a her period.

Jeremy Corbyn is the first MP in my lifetime who wants to UNCORRUPT the concept of money, who wants to put HUMAN LIFE before intangible numbers which represent a piece of PAPER which represents GOLD which is has been mined to fuck just because some witch believing primitive humans once believed gold was pretty and shiny and might impress someone. Those who discovered these shiny bits of metal could have had another opinion, they could have said ‘this rock looks like a mammoth pissed on this – I’m not touching that’ – it was a game of chance which lead us down the path we live on now.

We are where we are. Business and trade exists. We need a tool for trade, but we don’t need corruption, we don’t need a media bias based on a belief that money is worth more than HUMAN LIFE. EVERYONE needs to eat. EVERYONE needs shelter. EVERYONE needs medical attention. NO ONE needs a rock, paper or intangible numbers. We need to rewrite the money story so it has a happy ending.

Coppers are no longer made of copper so they aren’t even worth what they were and gold doesn’t even exist in £1 and £2. They are just bits of metal.

If you value PRETEND corrupted currency over HUMAN LIFE are you even human?

 

Gluten-free Oat Flour; how my diet has taken a step-back 25 years.

I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease when I was 14 years old.  At the time, buying Free-From groceries was unheard of and my mum would have to search the supermarkets for the crossed grain symbol which appeared on tins of Heinz Baked Beans and soup.  My prescription food was pretty disgusting; the bread tasted like powder as did the spaghetti and digestive biscuits.

Over the past twenty years, huge leaps have been made in providing gluten-free alternatives to my former favourite foods – M&S cocktail sausages being right at the top!  This was until supermarkets started adding gluten-free oat flour to biscuits.  I had a period where I could tolerate these gluten-free porridge oats but slowly but surely I began vomiting.  I had no idea they were to be included in the ‘new’ recipes which have spread throughout Sainsburys, Tesco and M&S and the first I knew about it was an evening spent being ill.

I’ve searched the internet to try and find a logical reason for the addition of this ingredient to already great tasting products and the only conclusion I can draw is that it’s possibly a cheaper ingredient to use.  If anyone out there has the answer please do let me know.

A recent visit to my GP surgery led me to discover that gluten-free prescriptions are possibly coming to and end due to the ‘good’ quality, availability, convenience and cost of supermarket gluten-free products.  To say I’m worried is an understatement.  Juvela white sliced bread is the only remotely normal bread I’ve tasted and the thought of eating the clumps of powdery dough bread from the supermarket makes me wonder if I should eat gluten-free flour straight from the bag.  What if they begin to include oat flour in the bread, the pasta etc?  My diet is slowly shrinking and I’m beginning to worry about eating out in case the gluten-free meal is no longer gluten-free for me.

On the up side, losing a bit of weight shouldn’t be a problem for me now.

 

Seriously who reads Self-Help books?

I have.  And I’m astounded at the stigma surrounding them when you consider the immense power they hold.  I correct myself – the power we all hold.  Negative thinking is contagious and I’m the first to admit that wallowing in self pity has at times been second nature, but I’m not the only one.  If I wasn’t wallowing in self-pity then I felt numb or empty and would regurgitate in detail the next unbelievable thing that has happened in my life to anyone who would listen.  Yes I am aware after the incident that I behave like this – it is deep rooted, learned behaviour which is hard to change, but not impossible.  I know more people who negatively think than positively but is that because like attracts like?

The thing is, as with all things, what is second nature to one is another one’s mountain.  At uni I was surrounded by people who instantly picked up what was being taught, who managed to work, have a social life, while I had to cut everyone off to be a parent and to really go over what I was learning – I felt I had to work twice as hard to achieve the same output as the high achievers.  In Macklemore’s Ten Thousand Hours, Ryan Lewis sings “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint/The greats were great cause they paint a lot” Is there shame in this?  I think not.  It’s frustrating but not shameful.  So why is there shame around learning anything – even positive thinking?

Years ago I was recommended a book by a professional Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.  I got about half way through reading it at the time and felt empowered beyond belief, so much so that I decided to go back into education….GCSEs, an Access Course and then onto completing a degree with a not too shoddy result.  Strangely, I met the professional’s son at university who taken the same course as me!  And all because of his dad recommending ‘the book.’ Had I not read the book I would never have tapped into my self belief that I could achieve something reserved for….well not me.

I now have two grown-up daughers who are at times a product of my critical, negative environment.  They both received ‘the book’ for Christmas (as did my mother 5 years ago) but I’ve clearly not conveyed its magic well enough because none of them have opened it yet!

 

 

“”Now I’ll make the eyes,” said the farmer. So he painted my right eye, and as soon as it was finished I found myself looking at him and everything around me with a great deal of curiosity, for this was my first glimpse of the world.”

I know, we’re just waving goodbye to that time of year again which came in two parts – first the banal, repetitive ‘I still need to buy for…..’ ‘Are you all done?’ which echoes through every shopping center and home from November until Christmas Eve, followed by part two: when every media outlet is awash with ‘a new start’ or ‘kick start your healthy eating now.’  While Christmas catchphrases are my pet hate, they somehow manage to roll off my tongue in an automatic response to the festivities – I’m fully aware of the Christmas code, but it’s still got me.  The language surrounding Christmas maybe ingrained in me but the ‘buy buy buy’ isn’t. Over the past few years I’ve realised that by participating in cultural consumerism I was neglecting what was important to my family – time.  As Marcel Duchamp once said: “my capital is time, not money.”

I’ve finally understood that my time is not only precious but has been wasted in certain respects, as it eludes us all.  So those New Year adages?  The ones that can’t get me?  Yes well they have. In November I turned 39 which means – and it-snot hard to work out – that I turn 40, in about ten months.  :/  Cue desperation, frustration and that much needed rocket under my arse to make me actualise my dreams which have sat listed, folded between the pages of a note book for longer than I care to remember. The same note book which is also filled with shopping and to-do lists, all of which do get fulfilled.  The irony is that those lists which have been completed are the unimportant lists; I’m never going to look back and wish that I had repaired more broken bits around the house.

So to hell with all of the boring life stuff and even if this house falls down around me, I’m actually going to do this shit.

40? Why child, wait ’til you turn 50 or 60!  I hope I do and then the farmer can “make the other eye a little bigger” so that in twenty years’ time I can say “I could see much better than before”.

The point of this blog?  Like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, I don’t want to be forced to stay upon my pole – I’d like to stop being told who I am and find my voice.