I stand on a lofty tower of self-justification regarding the below. Or maybe it’s within a glass bubble? Else it has to be on a pedestal that is a step closer to the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha. But whichever it is, I don’t really care this very moment. Maybe I will tomorrow – it remains to be seen. And it’s not because I’m claiming to be worthier, more knowledgeable or any such rubbish. No, not at all. Instead, I find observations made by an outsider with an inquisitive and sharply analytical mind somewhat sweeter. Especially if one who doesn’t have to make the difficult decisions, yet.
So when I read a piece titled How can royals champion women and endorse Saudi?, I thought, brilliant, well written, spot on! Similarly, when I read Tom Wright’s piece here, my first thought was ‘what a genius!’ Obviously, both of these writers don’t have to make any of the difficult decisions over the topics they critique. That’s someone else’s job.
But before we get purist or preachy about it, and tear down the obvious blind curtains of sanctimonious gobbledygook, over a sport personality with a dodgy name reminiscent of Caesar’s chums, who shot dead his model girlfriend (shouldn’t someone who is aiming to cripple direct a gun to the legs or the bottom half of a suspect when not sure?) and whose family includes at least one outspoken and two violent types; before we assess the real cost of welfare handouts to Britain; before we declare the prime minister’s trips abroad as little more than expensive shows (India – cartoon here, Australia) – his austerity programme clearly a failure; before we speculate whether the pope’s retirement was a carefully crafted plan of power politics (conspiracy theorist fodder!)? blah blah blah, let’s slow down a bit and spare a thought or two for a few mentally challenging questions you will not hear or find anywhere.
Neither in school, nor in work. Not on Tv or the newspapers (at least not those connected to the large media machinery of Western countries), in fact with a very few mostly unknown and probably anarchist exceptions, almost nowhere in the visible media or newstelling will you hear of such. Here we go:-
There’s a rumour that’s been circulating about for some time now that the US plans on establishing military bases in 35 African countries. Maybe it’s not even a rumour, maybe its now fact, but whichever it is, if it is true, don’t you think there’s a slight danger of abuse of power as has happened several times in the past (causing political instability in other countries or abusing prisoners of war – some of whom turn out to be innocent)? Even if it is all under the pretext of the ‘War on Terror‘, why don’t they invite countries like North Korea or even Iran (who are often seen flexing their military muscles) to also send troops to these places (we could even include Mali [1,2,3] or DRC to the list of destinations, if they are not already there), in exchange for lifting off some trade Sanctions? Didn’t they do just that with South Korea in the 70’s during the Vietnam War? Why then can’t the same thing be done now, instead of maintaining American-only (or America + Britain / Germany only) bases?
Is it because they are afraid, that doing so could be misinterpreted as weakness/ dependency. Or is is because in such circumstances the FBI or CIA would be unable to do anything illegal (or crafty) – as they have been known to have done in the past?
Closer to home, what if people on Welfare benefit as a result of sickness were somehow assisted to work and be resourceful in some way (i.e. If you claim that your back is broken – stopping you from work, then sit on your comfy sofa and use your hands to work a wheel connected to a generator for 2 – 4 hours a day, to generate energy to heat your house and your neighbours house. If you happen to be retired, or semi retired, you could even be watching Antique’s Roadshow while doing so, … and before you bring up the topic of arthritis, is it that inconceivable to have a foldaway pulley contraption in your living room to make everything soft and easy? With optional medication by the side should it be necessary :-).If it is your hands that are kaput, then we could make use of your legs, couldn’t we? With a pedal contraption similar in form to an old singer, connected to a generator, with pulleys and all, doing pretty much the same thing- generating you energy, thereby saving on fuel bills). With the added bonus of keeping you fitter.
The idea may initially sound bonkers, but if such were implemented, wouldn’t it have some tangible advantages, let alone a revenue stream (and jobs) to the inventors of the various contraptions? Couldn’t this also keep what the master’s friends call “invalids” in a sort of healthy state in the comfort of their own home, potentially saving the NHS££££ in the future? I hear one asking “What about Insurance should something go wrong”, well, to hell with the Insurers. How much more money will society throw at them? I know its a terrible analogy, but you don’t really need insurance to cook a meal in your house, or to use a gym, why would you need it to work a piece of equipment or to get your pet hamster to do some exercising?
Further afield, what is the real reason why European or at least British bankers have not been made to pay for the damage done by the credit crisis? In any society governed by law, if you do something wrong on such a colossal scale, and nobody with authority is locked up, in the absence of bloodshed, why shouldn’t you find another loophole sometime down the line and do pretty much the same thing again? In any case, shouldn’t the fact that there have been quite a number of banker scandals over the last 250 years or so be a warning. That in fact, there is a real possibility that it could happen again? And be just as devastating, and cause suffering to millions of families? Are legislators and leaders that shortsighted that they can’t do something firm and resolute about this lot? Or is it the case that they just don’t want to punish them, for all the obvious reasons. And more importantly, why are bankers of banks bailed by the state still getting bonuses, in some cases when their bank is declaring a loss? Its laughable! Think about it, if they got no bonuses, and subsequently relocated in retaliation, maybe the less riskier and more careful types would take their place? Or has anyone thought about this: Jobs are rare nowadays right? So if each job has a long line of potential talent chasing it, then maybe a wiser strategy is to employ scores of graduates and train them to be responsible and ethical in their banking and investment practices? At least more careful that the present lot who caused the credit crunch. If it doesn’t do anything else, it certainly would save you millions, if graduate salaries are anything to go by – unlike what you would perhaps pay a fat-cat who earns over £250,000 a year and is bent on getting a £500K bonus. And while there is talk of British and European legislators creating safeguards, in whose interests are they really working for? And is it enough to prevent a similar thing ever happening again?
Finally, on the horsemeat fiasco, which we all know has the past few weeks been in the headlines quite a lot. Why don’t we encourage more wild meat consumption in Britain and across the world? Not only horse, but why can’t more supermarkets stock rabbit meat for example or Venison, or even grey Squirrel?
On second thought, I’m not making my above assessments any longer, I think I’ll just end here.