Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Doom and Gloom — Look For the Silver Lining?

September 20, 2010

Rain today is water through the tap tomorrow.

Spreading gloom and doom is easy to do. A few days ago we heard that food in supermarkets had severely risen in price. We went shopping and found we actually spent less because of many reductions. Do these reporters go from shop to shop looking for the highest price to report?

Evidently only 15% of income is spent on food. It used to be much higher than that. And clothes can be bought cheaper today than many years ago. In my younger days, it paid to do your own sewing, now it costs more to do so. Bags and shoes are bought like sweeties. I rather think that money goes on more non-essentials than anything else. Phrases like ‘must have’ ‘shop until you drop’ ‘retail therapy’ were unknown years ago. I think we must have been more content and happy then. ‘Much wants more,’ my mum used to say.

Of course, it’s foreign imports that give us cheap choice. Unfortunately someone has to pay and it is those working many hours for very little pay. It would be called slave labour if it happened here.

Sex too, is ‘cheap’ in the sense that it is seldom considered special with virginity a desirable state until that special person comes along.

Are people happier for spending money frivolously? For leading shallower lives?

Society has to pay the piper financially for the individual’s over-indulgence but the individual pays with severe problems in his or her later life — should they live that long.

What we need is to change our attitudes and be thankful for life itself, to live more simply — as the old saying goes — ‘that others may simply live.’

So best not to listen to those spreading gloom. Otherwise their forecast will be self-fulfilling. When troubles come, why not look for the silver lining?

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Pulling Together

June 30, 2010


Pulling Together

Are we in for a year of discontent and strikes? I hope not. “Not fair. Not playing. Go play with your own busted ball, this one is mine.”
No matter who caused it, or why the country’s financial deficit came into being, it is here and will stay, getting ever larger unless something is done about it. If someone owed thousands on one credit card, it seems ridiculous to keep getting more credit cards to pay the interest that continually forms month by month on each one until the whole pay packet is spoken for.
Oh yes, it is annoying if you never get into debt yourself, if you live on a modest income, look after what you have and never throw anything away, but we are in this mess together. It is even harder on those whose jobs are threatened, or who have not been able to get work since leaving full time education. And not all are blessed with the knowledge that they have a public sector pension to look forward to. As disclosed, many people are actually better off when they retire and quite a few can retire early and live in comfort.
Inevitably, we have a financially unequal society. But, the “Spend, now, pay later (with interest)” culture is what got us all into this mess.
So how is the debt to be paid? Hard decisions have to be made. We CAN live on less to preserve jobs. We don’t have to go abroad for holidays, throw out clothes, wear the latest fashion, eat nothing but ready meals, drink till we’re silly, spoil our children, turn Christmas into a squalid episode of indulgence.
Personal responsibility has eroded over the years. Time to think what WE can do for the Community, rather than sit back and grumble. Helping others brings great rewards. So does living simply. “Money isn’t everything.” “Enough is as good as a feast.” “The best things in life are free.” So I was brought up to believe.
Years ago, when some of my family worked in Africa with Mercy Ships, one of the boys asked his mum why the children there seemed to be happy — smiling and laughing. After all, they hadn’t got toys or anything else. Their food was simple and (in our eyes) monotonous.
Looking back to my childhood, everything was wonderfully simple. Sure life was hard at times, food was plain and only just enough, but we never went without. Simple toys and games like whip and top, marbles, skipping, balls, and hop-scotch, kept us fit and happy for hours. Would TV have made a difference? Yes, likely we would have been less fit and less sociable. No money needed for electronic games or mobile phones — they had not been invented. Perhaps it is time to rediscover simple pleasures?
I pity the rich who get everything they want.
Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, they spin not neither do they weave. Yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Looking to the beauty around us and within people, doing our best for those in real need might just enrich us beyond our wildest dreams.

The Sorry State of American Politics — a UK biddie’s POV

June 15, 2010

The Sorry State of American Politics — a UK biddie’s POV

I don’t usually dabble in politics, I find it a rather dry biscuit to swallow. However, the present situation as regards the BP oil spillage and the US reactions to this disaster makes me put fingertips to keys!
Without a doubt, the problem is huge, unpleasant for both humans and wild life, an economic disaster on a large scale and a great worry to all living in that very large area. It must also be a great concern to those, who, concerned with the need for fuel self-sufficiency, went ahead with the programme of deep water offshore drilling.
Per head of the population, America is the largest guzzler of fuel in the whole world but appear to do little to restrain its appetite. At least, an effort was being made to gain a little independence. Apparently, there is opposition to just about all the alternatives of fuel provision. ‘Not in my backyard’. Let’s hope they (and others) don’t go bio and ruin forests and food production in poorer countries.
Having made BP the red-eyed monster in all this, in spite of the drilling service and equipment being entirely American (so I understand), the whole thing has now being equalled with the magnitude of a terrorist attack, which took thousands of lives and shook America to its very core.
Certainly, the accident has had, and will go on having, dreadful consequences. I find it sad that nothing appears to have been said, and no regrets expressed, for those poor workers who lost their lives. (Or has such reporting been missed out by foreign media?) Surely there must be injured personnel too? We have seen dead and struggling birds, angry demonstrations, pictures of oil on sea and beaches that horrify. But men risk life and limb to bring in oil. Doesn’t anyone care?
BP has become the Whipping Boy for America’s financial ills. To me this is shown in that comparison with 7/11. BP will be footing the bill for the clean up. No doubt the lawyers are already reckoning their future fees. So where is the comparison? Has BP suddenly taken on the persona of a terrorist organisation out to ruin the US economy? Ridiculous!
To make this comparison devalues the loss of life on that terrible day the twin towers fell. It also appears to make the BP workers into terrorists out to bring down America. Of
I am saddened that Obama, someone I have a high respect for, did not think through his ‘vulnerability’ speech before opening his mouth.

Let him without guile cast the first stone

May 23, 2009

 

While not defending outright fraud and dishonesty I think we should be wary of tarring all MP’s with the same brush. It is right and just that men and women serving in Parliament should have allowances and expenses to cover essential needs, otherwise only the well off or financially sponsored would be able to serve in Parliament.
What is truly abhorrent is a system, perpetuated by greedy members, that encourages MP’s to make excessive claims. If a bank opened a safe and allowed customers freedom of access in exchange for worthless slips of paper, (I seem to have heard of a similar scandal involving bankers!) then the inevitable would follow — bankruptcy of character.
How many citizens, including those who express disdain for MP’s greed, could resist an open invitation to make a little extra money, or improve their quality of living at the taxpayers’ expense? After all, we are ALL taxpayers!
Yes, condemn ruthless greed, but let him without guile cast the first stone at others doing their best in a confusing situation.
What is worse than than making the most of a twisted system is accepting bribes. Now that IS corruption!

I rarely delve into politics but this subject goes beyond the political scene into the very heart of society and what is wrong with it.

While not defending outright fraud and dishonesty I think we should be wary of tarring all MP’s with the same brush. It is right and just that men and women serving in Parliament should have allowances and expenses to cover essential needs, otherwise only the well off or financially sponsored would be able to serve in Parliament.

What is truly abhorrent is a system, perpetuated by greedy members, that encourages MP’s to make excessive claims. If a bank opened a safe and allowed customers freedom of access in exchange for worthless slips of paper, (I seem to have heard of a similar scandal involving bankers!) then the inevitable would follow — bankruptcy of character.

How many citizens, including those who express disdain for MP’s greed, could resist an open invitation to make a little extra money, or improve their quality of living at the taxpayers’ expense? After all, we are ALL taxpayers!

Yes, condemn ruthless greed, but let him without guile cast the first stone at others doing their best in a confusing situation.

What is worse than than making the most of a twisted system is accepting bribes. Now that IS corruption!