Why the energy prices should rise

Gas burner with writing over it saying Why the energy prices should rise

Whilst the increase of energy prices is awful for many families across the UK and the world, it shouldn’t surprise us that the price of energy is rising, in fact we should be expecting this. Energy companies aren’t philanthropists, it’s their job, their role to make a profit. Their role isn’t to give us good deals on energy or to ensure that we all keep warm and have enough electricity. They exist for one reason and one reason alone: to make money. Of course, when our lives are so dependent on this energy it affects us hugely, as does the rise in the price of food, the price in rent or mortgages and every other tax hike currently coming our way. But none of it should surprise any of us for if we truly understand the system we live in, then we can see this is exactly how it should be performing. In fact, we should be expecting this, it should be common knowledge and easily understood when we identify that we all live within a system based purely on profit by any means. 

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Extract from VIR(US) novel by Kai Motta

Plane flying in sky cover of VIR(US) by Kai Motta

Kai Motta writes about ‘throwaway’ culture in this extract from VIR(US)

We could throw away that guilt, because we had learnt to throw away everything, for our culture was inherently built on obsolescence.

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The importance of reading and the written word

Transcription of video below:

As the world falls deeper into the algorithmic way of life, nations caught under the hypnotic spell of the infinite scrolling of social network timelines, a perpetual somnambulance entrancing millions in the act of low brow voyeurism I find the importance of reading and the written word more valuable by the minute. This is not to say I’m advocating in a Jaron Lanier fashion a complete deletion of social networks, but I am advocating a different addiction, a healthier pastime, one of reading the written word, and by written word, I mean a book.

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Tenerife, and the volcano that almost killed me

Mount Teide at dawn

I have to be honest, before I went to Tenerife, I did hold a particular view of the island as being a tourist hell hole that served up English food, to English people who only spoke English and would never make the effort to speak any other nations language, but thankfully, as I found out this was only in the plastic Disneyworldesque cultural low points of the island know as Playa de las Americas and a few others where you can sunbathe on the fake imported sand from the Sahara and order your food in the ‘propa langwij’. If you so choose, you can have a completely English holiday in a completely foreign land. Ah what it is to experience the culture of others.

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Let’s talk about User Experience

1. Human vs Machine

How powerful is your computer? There is a strong chance your answer to this question will be along the lines of: I have an Apple Macbook with the new M2 chip and an 8-core CPU or I have a PC with an Intel 12-core Core i7-1260P. But that isn’t what I am asking. The answer I am seeking is far more interesting, and possibly dangerous.

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Food Bank Britain – A Broken Society

Food Bank Britain - A Broken Society. Map showing hundreds of Food Banks

Solidarity and understanding are two major components to recreating a better society. As it stands, we are easily divided by many things, one of them being wages. This has been highlighted in the media response to the strikes by the RMT in the last week. And it worked. Given that the strikes aren’t even solely about wages, it’s clear that the ‘wage’ can be used as a divisive issue causing discontent among some of the population as they react with how little they earn in comparison to the 60k a train driver earns. Is it the train drivers’ fault, if true? Of course not. This is a corrosive issue across all our society. We should also be focusing on and questioning the wages of politicians which currently stand at £84,144 https://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/pay-mps/ and be happy that our contemporaries are making a good living. 

A society can be judged on how it treats the worse off, the impoverished, those who truly need help. As it stands in the UK there are many now in full time employment who still have to go to food banks and apply for a top up benefit to get through the month. This is a clear indication of a society that is broken. A health care assistant in a hospital works a 12-hour shift in a day with 2×30 minute breaks helping patients, some in incredible pain whilst also having to deal with the deaths of other patients, a toll on their mental health. They earn less than someone who works in McDonalds. That is insanity. A newly qualified teacher will start at 25k – 32k depending on the location. A newly qualified Band 5 nurse earns £25,655 a year. The average Bin Man salary is around 20k. How do any of these professionals and others from areas of employment survive in United Kingdom at the moment? They struggle, particularly with the UK average house price at £327,712 https://www.zoopla.co.uk/house-prices/uk/ and the average rent now at almost a £1000 a month https://www.zoopla.co.uk/press/releases/average-uk-rents-approach-1000pcm-62-more-per-month-than-at-the-start-of-the-pandemic-as-increased-cost-of-living-squeezes-house/#:~:text=Wednesday%209th%20February%2C%202022%2C%20London,its%20quarterly%20Rental%20Market%20Report.

It is the role of government, once it has been voted in to ensure the population of the country are essentially taken care of, their health and education needs are met, and that the standard of living is suitable for all. They are our employees. Not our bosses. If you get into a taxi and the driver is drunk and reckless, crashes and finally almost drives you off a cliff, clearly, they aren’t the driver to hire and someone you don’t want to give authority to where your life is concerned. You would instantly stop the taxi, remove yourself, and not pay them. So why do we carry on with the governments that so clearly don’t have our interests at heart and instead are more interested in serving business and driving us off a cliff metaphorically? This is so evidently true just by the current state of play in the UK. Take a look around.

Every day I speak to people who tell me how their hours are getting longer, how their contracts have been rewritten to ensure higher profits for the bosses and in effect dismantle their benefits, how their wages no longer reflect the price of living and how they are struggling to make ends and heat their houses while energy companies are openly exploding with profits. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/12/trading-in-turbulent-market-helps-bp-and-shell-secure-record-profits How can this be? Because the people we have given the reins too, the people we have put in power to govern us are controlled by big businesses. It’s no secret that the Tories have received huge donations from major businesses. According to the Independent newspaper 25% of Tory party’s individual donations came from just 10 people. That shows a huge amount of control outside of the government on society. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-conservatives-rich-donors-b1898260.html Add to that, that most of the Tories in cabinet are extremely rich how could they ever begin to understand the plight, the world of the working class, or the precariat as they have become known. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precariat#:~:text=In%20sociology%20and%20economics%2C%20the,portmanteau%20merging%20precarious%20with%20proletariat.

With a plutocratic government in power, that is subservient to big business and essentially in their pocket where does this leave a struggling population? Surely the worst type of behaviour we can employ is to attack one another for it leaves those in power to carry on and keep running the show, free to carry on with business as usual, the old strategy of divide and rule. And it is here as I stated in the beginning that solidarity has the ability to change the shape of our societies and country. If we can stop fighting one another and understand what the real problem is, then we have a chance of making a change, of changing the direction of power. For instance, take the refugee/immigrant/asylum seeker situation. It only takes one article from a media organisation to ignite the hatred and for part of the population to start foaming at the mouth and stepping into their racist shoes. It’s a great winner for the politicians. A great way to divide. Priti Patel sending asylum seekers to Rwanda was the most recent example that garnered a huge reaction. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61808120 But what we should be asking ourselves is why that person so desperate to risk their lives in a dinghy across the English Channel. Do we think they really want to risk everything for £40.85 each and a place to live through the Government’s Asylum support? Or maybe they are also victims of a global system that is affecting us all. We should be showing solidarity with them rather than listening to the vote seeking rhetoric of our politicians, for the system is attacking us all.

I see in the UK that we have three choices ahead of us:

1. We just keep attacking others we are manipulated into thinking are the enemy by the government and the media so big business can just carry on without any focus on them.


2. We stand up to our government and tell them to start doing their job properly. To start serving those who put them in power rather than serving big business.


Or

3. We remove government and just let business rule, which is big businesses dream, but our true nightmare. Just cut out the middleman if they are of no use and move straight to laissez faire politics.

As John Dewey once wrote: Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business.

The only way we can make an effective change is through solidarity, understanding and questioning. Society is just built on ideas, and those ideas can be changed, modified, or removed anytime. It just takes solidarity.

Motta’s novels Celebrity Rape and VIR(US) are available from Amazon.

Posted in Corporatism, Economy, Food banks, NHS, Politics, Society, Strikes, The Tories | Leave a comment

Pizza Hut – the epitome of everything that is wrong with Western culture

Pizza Hut restaurant in Ashford

Every week generally on a Tuesday night I treat my kids to a meal out. It’s a bit of time for us to spend together and chat about school, their digital existence, and life. I like to give them the choice of where we can chow down, but I draw the line at McDonalds. There’s something about the Golden Arches that doesn’t sit well with me: the unhealthy injection of sebaceous fat with every meal, the digital menus on huge screens to order your food that some have touched with their unwashed hands after defecating and the business model with their highly expendable work force, but most notably it’s the fucking disgusting and inedible food. When I do relent to them in moments of paterfamilias weakness and ‘treat’, isn’t that the oddest term for digesting anti-health fat fast food from any Ronald eatery staining the country, I try a fry and instantly realise why I never eat there. I don’t relish chips tasting like deep fried cardboard. And another reason is that I don’t eat meat, but that my friends is a whole other article. 

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Immigration. Immigration. Immigration.

Very colourful poster about equality in our society, refugees and immigration

And once again immigration in Britain is a Hot Potato, let’s just hope it’s a King Edward or a Maris Piper and not a Desiree or a Patata Naxou otherwise the gingham warriors will spontaneously combust with patriotic misinformed outrage.

Once upon time in the foggy corridors of politics Tony Blair was heard emphatically declaring: ‘Education. Education. Education.’ How long will it be until we hear Priti Patel in the same vein exclaim: ‘Immigration. Immigration. Immigration.’ Which she already is in all but words.

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First racist party past the post

Building with 'Refugees Welcome' banner hanging from it. First Racist Party Past the Post - Priti Patel, Asylum seekers and Rwanda

Nigel Farage must be popping champagne and celebrating tonight as he almost single-handedly has turned the Tories into a racist political party as they get ready to outsource 7 ‘illegal’ asylum seekers, yep 7! At the cost of £500,000 to Rwanda through their new legal people smuggling policy, that they’ve copied from Israel… where it essentially failed and led to them leaving via smuggling routes, heading to Europe via Libya. Remember Libya, yeah, we bombed the hell out of that country to the tune of £320 million under David Cameron’s government creating, you got it, refugees.

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Don’t attack the Tories, they are behaving exactly as they should…

Poster of Boris Johnson giving the middle finger with the writing 'Don’t attack the Tories, they are behaving exactly as they should…' written below

If you are currently a resident, an inhabitant of Great Britain, particularly England, there is a strong chance you are disgusted by the egregious self-interested hypocritical behaviour of our Prime Minister and particular members of the government, whilst simultaneously angered, worried and despairingly thinking about how you will manage the rising price of gas, electric, food and more. But all this shouldn’t really come as any surprise because it is exactly what should be expected from a system built purely on self-interest and competition. There are no places for ‘losers’, in a self-interested system there will always be winners and sufferers. 

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The stage is set for the great pantomime

Pall Mall the Royal Celebration

Whilst it is somewhat funny and perhaps reassuring to see and hear Boris Johnson being heckled and booed as he alights from his chauffeur driven Range Rover and then traverses the stairs into St. Pauls for the platinum jubilee event with his wife Carrie, following and preceding the adulation given to the royals, what really comes to mind rather than a form of minor rebellion on the publics part, is the performance of a pantomime. We all know how a pantomime works, it is a participatory form of theatre where the audience is encouraged to join in and partake in the show. Cheers for the heroes and boos for the baddies. Simple, but highly effective. Just watch the platinum jubilee ceremony at play.

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Waving Flags for Inequality

Store window display on The Stand, London of the Royal Crown Jewels

Whenever there is a royal event, I always feel it’s an important time to question and reflect on the monarchy. Now let me just put this down in writing first that I actually have no problem with them as people, as individuals, well not all of them but that is another article altogether. The point I want to raise and make is about the unequal hierarchy that part of the population embraces so freely and people all over the world admire.

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My love for France

The French Flag, life across the English Channel in the UK and our differences
The French Flag

When it comes to training: running and cycling, I’m a morning person. Within 20 minutes of my eyes opening and after the performing of the perfunctory matutinal ablutions I’m out either running between 3-5 miles or cycling 15-20. Given that our lives are now unfortunately consumed and partially wasted in front of a multitude of screens I find it important to exercise. Losing weight is less of an interest to me than just getting out in the natural elements and… moving. I did try the gym once for a stint of about 4 months through a dark wet British winter (is there any other kind here in Blighty?), but it was short lived the moment the sun started to rise early, and so it was back outside for me. Plus, I couldn’t take witnessing men video themselves in their Lycra lifting weights anymore to post on the ‘gram. Let’s be honest who can? And furthermore, who ‘likes’ that?

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My dinner with Satan

The Devil otherwise know as a Tory
The Devil

On the 8th May 2022 a BBC article ran with the headline:

“Shop owners to be forced to rent out empty premises, government says.” 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61362442

It then went on to explain how “under the move, set to be unveiled in Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech that buildings left vacant for over a year would have to be entered into a ‘rental auction’”. Boris Johnson is quoted to have said that “boarded up premises were a blight on towns and cities and damaged local economies.” BBC. 

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What is Love?

Neon Heart
What is love?

What is love? This may seem like an odd question but let us be honest in understanding that it is something we all say every day and possibly at times without much thought. Not that we don’t mean it, but in a loving partnership, we know the other wants to hear it and when we part, or at moments appropriate, it is part of our lexicon and leaves our lips. But right now, I want to investigate what it means to love, what is love and how do we define it.

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The Alien’s Report

Alien

Imagine if an alien came down to the Earth. What a field day they would have.

I say ‘they’, as I don’t want to assume their gender. I mean it’s hard enough on this planet if you make a gender faux pas but imagine making a cosmic one! And anyway, what gender does an alien have with 6 titties, 8 testicles, 3 vaginas, 5 penises and 6 anuses? Don’t worry I’m sure Facebook with its 71 genders will add one in due time and we’ll be fine.

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Ronald, I’m not loving it!

McDonalds Logo… kind of

If there is one term in this cosmos of captions we now find ourselves encapsulated in that I truly biliously detest and everything it stands for, it is ‘brand loyalty’. Why anyone in their right mind would devote themselves to anything as dull and faceless as a ‘brand’ is truly beyond me. Have you not seen these clowns ‘branded’ head to foot with logos exhibiting their ‘brand loyalty’, under the incredibly false assumption that somehow, we should envy them or even worse be under the illusion that they have achieved something by simply going into a shop or online and paying for the ‘branded’ item? Wow what an achievement! It’s a pair of fucking shoes! It’s a garish gaudy handbag! It’s just a fucking car! I love to hear folk brag about how they think their ostentatious material products speak volumes about them. They have to, because they nothing to fucking say! It illustrates the legerdemain of marketing.

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Francis Bacon and Mildreds

Francis Bacon Tryptic

I had been trying and hoping to view the ‘Man and Beast’ exhibition by Francis Bacon for some time which was being held at the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly. One thing or another had acted as an obstruction and so with just 10 days left before its closure, I booked it for an early Sunday afternoon. I don’t venture much into London anymore. I was born and brought up there, spent many years between my 20s and 30s hustling in the metropolis and have seen it slowly morph meretriciously into a nothing more than a monstrous shopping mall with streets simply lined with gaudy corporate logos. But the one attraction it still has to offer is art with its huge galleries decorated with paintings by the masters. 

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A solo sojourn in Wales

Pen y Fan – Brecon Beacons

My mind eludes me as to how and why I got the mental itch to travel to the Brecon Beacons and hike up Pen y Fan Mountain, but at some point, in the last 6 months I had become fascinated, enthralled, and obsessed. Possibly I was inspired by my brother’s whirlwind 24-hour escapade of climbing the 3 peaks starting with a long haul from Folkestone to Ben Nevis and then working his way back through the verdant valleys and umbilical express ways that join the United Kingdom to ascend the remaining 2. Or it may have been that my cousin Tam who is a resident of the welsh metropolitan city Cardiff, which in a motor is only a short jaunt away had mentioned and suggested it. Either way, I was hooked.

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Movies for juniors

Film, movies, the cinema, the pictures, the silver screen, the flicks, the motion picture has played a dominant role in my life from a very early age, as I’m sure it has in many others. I don’t recall and I wouldn’t want to confabulate, but according to my father, he took me to the cinema in Leicester square circa July 1977 and introduced a 4-year-old version of me to George Lucas’s science fiction cinematic masterpiece, Star Wars. I’m by no means a fan anymore but I’m sure at such a young age the moving picture left an indelible mark on my highly impressionable still forming embryonic mind as I stared wide eyed in the darkness at the huge screen, the celluloid light bursting across the theatre illuminating the auditorium like a religious experience with projector above beaming the film over our heads to be reflected back on the audience with images dancing over us, as we all tucked into our popcorn and watched Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero with a thousand faces’… in space.

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Why are we so powerless?

I currently live in a small coastal village by the name of Seabrook in Kent. It is sandwiched between Sandgate and Hythe, and if one is driving from the latter or the former to the other and happens to blink, they will never have known the village existed. This, in itself, gives you an idea of how geographically microscopic the village is.

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What would I do with a six pack?

I have a mirror in my hallway hanging on the wall adjacent to the bathroom door and one above the toilet. Unless I choose to wear clothes in bed, which I have no desire to do, when I take that hazy matutinal stroll to the toilet to empty my bladder I am faced with the body I was ‘blessed’ with, or more to the point, one that I ‘shaped’ over the years. The slightly rotund stomach, the adipose tissue clinging to the sides making ‘love handles’, the ubiquitous ‘Dad’ bod, that women apparently love. Let’s face it, I have my fair share of avoirdupois. 

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What is the point?

From as early as I can remember I have been a creative person. This I consider a blessing, a true benediction. To be constantly bursting and overflowing with ideas across different formats and genres, adrift and absent in the moment where time is of no consequence with thoughts parading in the background unattended is a state one could only wish to attain constantly. It’s a freedom, a release, a spiritual connection unblemished or untarnished and untangled from emotional thought and subjectivity.

As I ground a canvas coupled with music or the natural soundscape, as the brush is dipped into the paint and the mind/arm/hand move swiftly and symbiotically in tune leaving indelible strokes and marks, as my fingers dance across the keyboard so freely married with the mechanisms of my mind using the alphabet to digitally scribe and bring my thoughts to life, as I strum, bend and hammer the strings of my guitar to interpret my emotion, as the minds meet when I perform in front an audience… I am truly free.

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To drink, or not to drink, that is the question

The other night as I settled onto my settee for the evening, I picked up my fridge-cold can of Brewdog, their Elvis Juice flavour to be exact and took a good hefty hearty swig. This was the way to end a night, with our nations much loved ‘alcohol’, the permitted and accepted drug. I was acting out as the rebellious consumer chugging down on a Brewdog and living vicariously through their outrageous and offensive advertising as they ‘disrupt’ the alcohol market with expletives and engage, which I guess could be considered postmodern, in the act of mocking advertising itself. It is an interesting insight into the workings of a society where marketing that uses cussing and coarseness still resounds as an act of rebellion, you only have to look at the millions of people who were willing to pay to have the word FCUK across their chests. But yes, it still grabs the eye of the consumer, and particularly rankles as we work our way through this new age of purity. Does this say more about marketing or about us, the consumer?

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False Celebrity

For a moment picture the Earth floating through space, this lonely ball of rock placed with exactitude in our solar system, the perfect distance from the Sun for life to begin and flourish, this planet surrounded by other heavenly bodies, all spinning on their axis in what we have called the ‘Universe’. And as we start to move into our world through the clouds, we can begin to see the shapes of blue and green where the aquatic worlds float under the surface and mammals stretch across the land comprised of towns, cities, deserts, mountains, forests and jungles. And what seem like ants from a distance are human beings living within their social structures, their evolved environments, their religions, their economies, their quotidian affairs utilizing some of the most advanced technology enhancing their lives, like never before. We definitely are living in a world of wonder, creativity and leisure. With the touch of a finger, we can access a colossal amount of information that will undoubtably add interest and inform our lives incredibly.

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