Stepping Back from the Brink

Stepping Back from the Brink: An astonishing new field of enquiry explores the deep changes that could avert a planetary disaster By George Monbiot, published on, 31st January 2018   We know where we’re …


Doing deals

Doing a deal with Europe

Notice the language - we’re trying to ‘do a deal’.  I wonder if the agreements collectively could be termed ‘a bundle’ – then we could align our aspirations with any damned BT TV advert.

It’s the same with Services in the UK, you get a Car Insurance quote, it’s a hundred pounds more than anything on a comparison site, call the company, and they magically find a ‘deal’ that’s three-quid less than the best quote online.  Electricity, Gas, Internet, Bank accounts, Mortgages, Rail tickets – go online, find a better deal.

Dealers - Back-street spivs who open their overcoats to display rows of knocked-off wristwatches you can choose from.

Dealers – Young hoody types on dark corners leaning into cars.

Whatever happened to ‘coming to an agreement’ – or for that matter, what ever happened to costing services we all need so they’re affordable – no less, no more.  No 'Market Forces', no shareholders.  Ooh dear - a little bit socialist eh?

And you know what?  I'm 62 years of age, and since I was 15 I've known to my very quick that the only mechanism that could ever really work for the planet - is some form of socialism, of sharing resources, of collective responsibility.


Remember when?

Remember when . . . . . . .  three out of four of our members wore sunglasses indoors?



11th December - 3 pieces of news, one thought.

This morning's Radio 4 news was full of Brexit, this week's Grenfell disaster inquiry, and snow.

The single statement that most resonated with me afterwards was "most of the rush-hour traffic has disappeared because of school shut-downs".

Imagine a world,  or just a little country, where it would be universally seen as TRULY WEIRD if a schoolchild was driven to school, and the school they went to was the nearest one to their home, regardless of OFTED reports.

True, segregated cycle-paths meandered from all points outward toward schools, colleges, high streets - as intra-town traffic filed gently past, at 20mph on the narrowed streets where normal, everyday, non-lycra, non-headgear, non-hi-vis middle-aged cyclists pop to the local shops, basket on Bike.

Christmas dreams.


Every damned TV & Radio stn this week.

Sainsburys did marginally better over Christmas, non-food sales down overall across the segment.  Following this we had endless "analysis": questions about online sales, aldi etc, discussion on market share, future growth/profit warnings.  TV news had exactly the same, business editors (someone who reads you the business news) perched up there expounding on same, questions to industry leaders by video link or across the desks, brows furrowed, papers shuffled - is this the end of the high street?  Will XXX go out of business? Is this the end of shopping on foot?  Should all the shops be houses?

Well maybe they should, in a few years time - but you know what?  It was all rubbish.  

A complete and utter waste of air-time.

The Christmas retailing results meant:
"People like to SEE the food they buy for Christmas, rather than risk the delivery substitutes - this then equals a reported growth in food sales for that period, then it reminds you
 'people use online for gifts'."

That is all.  Full stop. No analysis needed.