Tower in Flames

That the building industry thought that it was not risky to clad a high rise apartment block in flammable cladding is frightening enough. You may hope that it was mere oversight how many councils decided that the look of a building trumped the safety factors and not just clad their building in a pre-packaged instant disaster, but now are leading in the race to become of most productive in the calculation of terror.

That Governments implicate themselves by bonfires of regulation to allow businesses to do whatever they felt could be acceptable risk. It was not just trying to make things look better by covering these buildings with a flammable cosmetic. It is building in vapid negligence of safety regulations.

The non-flammable may be more expensive prior to the first fire. Now, perhaps it should be the only option on the market. The fifth tallest skyscraper residence, in Dubai, all 89 stories of it evacuated without even a single injury.

The money they spend on this edifice to structured living with unnecessary luxury, a concentration of wealth so desperately crammed together, these “homes”. Unbridled luxury or high rise poverty, the destruction of homes is the most terrible fear.

Notwithstanding, the safety record of that building compared to Grenfell, and witness now the Governments of the world have failed to regulate for safety due to budget constraints. That’s one terrifying omission. We want Governments to remove regulations that expose our lives to risks that can be avoided? The difference to less flammable classing for at least 80 dead people was only £300,000 at Grenfell. It would have been more on this and the 30,000 other risk clad buildings in the Middle East. Just think, the masses live in Tinderboxes at the dawn of the age of global warming. Good plan? Leadership? Or just an illustration of something more sinister? Human greed seems to create blindness to consequences of broadly shared risk. The owners of these buildings have a problem. The risks their designs pose to insurers and the risk of the loss of life and the loss of living. Cramped quarters are still someone’s digs. 80 stories of people Losing everything is tragic, but it is not as criminal as they at least got everyone out.

Nuclear Threat

Does North Korea pose a genuine threat to the USA with a handful of nuclear missiles pointed in its general direction?

Does the USA pose a genuine threat to North Korea?

Both bear the scars of a dreadful war in the early 1950s; a war that has not officially ended. In the intervening years, South Korea has emerged as a powerhouse exporting nation with advanced technology competing with Japan and China boasting companies such as Samsung. North Korea, in comparison, has locked itself into a military specialisation to the detriment of its own people who slavishly admire their leader or land up in a gulag, starved to death.

And now they are testing ICBM missiles and it is only a matter of time before they are able to use one against its enemy, the sponsor of South Korea, the USA. And now both countries have belligerent leaders who want to prove themselves with a “good war”.

The USA accuse Russia and China of responsibility here. Russia and China would rather not be at war with the USAA, so having a proxy threat is perhaps useful. All out nuclear war, of course, is in the interests of nobody.

What is the endgame for this terrible standoff? It seems unlikely that either party would not blink due to the nature of Nuclear weapons. If North Korea were to risk launching one, the retaliation could be complete and final. They will never have enough weapons to stop a systematic invasion let alone a nuclear response, but America would most likely have to live with the threat until it can justify action to China and Russia or better yet, engage with them to finally oust the military regime of North Korea.

Guardian article

Reunification turned Germany into a world leader. It is time for Korea to reconsider its path for mutual benefit between the North and the South. Is it in the interests of the West, Japan or anyone for North Koreans to suffer so and for the shroud of death to hang over the region? Does Trump style diplomacy help or is there a better way to help the Koreans to unify?

Fear drives North Korea to act

Democracy

The countries that believe they are the world leaders in democratic fairness are in fact fooling themselves into a false belief their system delivers the “will of the people” when it is heavily weighed to deliver the status quo. Keeping a momentum going for a bit too long is selected instead of cutting short potential. The current era of economic liberalism was delivering a return based on an inflating fiction up until the 2008 crash, as investors optimism evolved into the unfulfillable hunger of a flaccid market, devoid of long term growth through conventional means, i.e. where common production and consumption supporting long term growth. The market roared into a cliff edge – why would anyone believe that our accounts are now in the red but with ten zeroes after the number?

The need for a Commonwealth is apparent in advanced societies. The needs of the majority start to become a more agitated policial force as deception is unmasked.

In the USA, the Senate is comprised of two Senators for each State. Some States have vastly more people than others. How are they equal? The President is a product of votes by arbitrary numbers of Electoral College votes that are supposed but not guaranteed to reflect the decision of the voters of that State.

It seems hard to find a map comparison of the electoral college and the population levels but this cartograph shows the relativity of voters by number in a distortion of the land they occupy (from . This is not meaningful in a democracy. America is not a democracy, it is representational. We support a general direction by voting for one or another of two dominant political memes. Only two? Yes. And then the choice is not one of a plebiscite but one where the resources controlled have a say. Where influence has sway.

It is a strange value – but reflects the British use of “electorates” with boundaries potentially redrawn by the Government. Actual democracy would be a threat to the status quo. It remains that genuine economic direction is established by engagement of the actual majority rather than how we fool ourselves letting privileges guide us. Privilege gets old.

Here is an excellent range of maps to explore how undemocratic America can become. The electoral college does not select based on the popular vote but by a contract of mutual benefit of each state. It made some sense in terms of economic stability until they elected a backward looking president that reboots the coal industry and bans abortions while scientists calmly try to explain that climate change and human growth are threatening the very continuation of life on this rock in space. Trump probably won’t succeed at being the Antichrist, the world is not going to end in flames, but as a sigh. An exhaled breath that dissipates.

Shoot to kill

The Prime Minister, electioneering, has said that she fully supports “shoot to kill” while defending herself from the resonant accusation that she reduced the police forces during her time as Home Secretary and since by nearly 50,000.

“Shoot to kill” may sound like a brief action of a few armed officers but the concentration of automatic weapon brandishing officers in London has increased so much in the last ten years. The reduction in police on the beat has made the city feel under siege rather than safe.

Armed police are useless as investigators. As a last resort, they are more effective than a riot squad armed with batons, but it is only as a last resort are they at all effective. The PM is blind to the actual problem, she thinks that brute force is the only path to defeating terrorism, but it is actually the presence of many police with guns that normalises the fear and rewards terrorism for changing the way that we live, under constant reminders of threat.

London has over 2 million cameras which are nearly useless in detection but serve police well after an incident has occurred as investigatory tools. Reduction of police forces by such large numbers means that the support staff necessary to investigate and detect simply are not there. Being able to also now monitor internet chatter would not strengthen detection, it would require another 100,000 back office staff. There are not enough now to detect issues and thinking they can trail 20,000 people and predict that when they hire vehicle, they should be arrested, is plainly illogical.

To defeat terrorism, remove the reasons that stimulate it. Of course, there will always be radicals and insane criminality. Of course, there will always be thugs. But breeding them with an imbalanced society and starving the police of resources is Theresa May’s real crime. She is the cause of this rash of terrorism.

Happy New Year – from Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, leader of Germany wishes all Germany a Happy New Year in this profound message that says why a United Europe is so important.

Yes, Europe is slow. It’s arduous. It has to suffer deep incisions, such as the departure of a member state. And – yes – Europe should concentrate on what it can really do better than the nation-state.

But no – we Germans should never let ourselves pretend that a happy future could ever lie in going it alone as a nation.

Read it here.

Reboot time

In the early 2000s I felt I could see the future.  Not some psychic power, but something more logical.  I could see the rise of GW Bush – that America would end up with his presidency and his blind intention to invade Iraq.  It then proceeded.

Before Brexit that inner voice started to raise fears that Britain was about to make a terrible choice to abandon its responsibilities as a stable member of the EU.  And then it did.

And then the American election.  The same inner fears seemed to tell me that Hillary Clinton was not fighting the election in a way that would work.  Bernie Sanders was a better candidate as he had definite policies that his followers believed in.  She seemed to spend all her on-screen time talking about Trump.  If she was to beat Trump, it meant taking the rust-belt states.  The states that consider the middle-class as “elites”.

The effect of the 2008 crash seems to have worked its way out of the economy, at least out of the banking and asset trading economy.  There is a sector of the economy that has not seen recovery, and that is the part that was wiped out, lost their houses, their jobs, their health and most importantly, any rationale that any political force was going to help them.  Six years of Obama with the Republicans ruling both the House and Senate meant that their symbol of hope was unable to turn to help them out.

Like the dispossessed in Great Britain who blamed the “EU elites” for their trials, the American rust belt did not hear any answer from Hillary.  Instead they opted to go with what they perceived as a source of power.

That explains, to me at least, why we managed to get into this hyper Right-Wing cycle.  The “elites” are not the richest 1%.  They are now the middle classes and despised by the non-working working class who look at the ruling class as their “saviour”.  The elimination of the extremes of poverty in both cultures is more likely to erase the most poor from future history than it is to save them.  They are now, like Native Americans, an endangered species.

Long term politics are a form of evolution.  It means death to half of humanity.

Racism in UK

The levels of racism stimulated and seemingly legitimised by “Brexit” have risen to levels that can only be described as irrational criminality.

The latest report, maybe not as awful as some of the terrible violence toward “immigrants” by awful idiots, highlights now some people seem to prefer the behaviour of Nazis to civilisation.

 

Wet Cities at 4 degrees of climate change heat

Have a look at some scenes from cities of the world, with 2 degrees of global warming compared with 4 degrees of warming.

Or use these diagrams against a world map to see maps of water damage to cities with unchecked pollution or a 2 degree or 4 degree temperature change.

Why is the UK government spending billions on the historic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben when they will be underwater with the planned 2 degrees of temperature.

And if the politicians are able to hold the very long term threat to 2 degrees and stop methane or other gases that cause accelerated warming from having any effect, or the odd storm or tsunami from destroying riverside buildings and other expensive soggy properties.

 

 

 

 

Labour and the Opposition

Labour is not finished, it is simply not Labour. It is a party no longer in touch with its roots due to the simple fact that the 172 MPs, to get in behind a leader with socialist values, would have to change their religion. Will they remain steadfast to their own new gods, or will they utter allegiance when they do not feel it?

Personally, I think Corbyn is the man to lead Labour. To crystallise it with the purely red direction the grassroots of the party appear to want. If that includes Brexit in competition with the UKiP voters – then let it draw blood from the rats repopulating the Tory battleship.

A split is probably important if Brexit is to be properly opposed. Let’s face it, the Lib Dems are not properly formed either. A Social Democrat party which unites the Lib Dem rump with the 172 centre grounders as sincerely opposed to Brexit would fulfil the need for an opposition that actually argues with the Government’s (lack of) direction. Add in the SNP and we have a powerhouse. And the Greens – you will have future growth as more people realise sustainability is important for a political movement and more so as Brexit starts to threaten our own sustainability.

I have said this before and have been shouted down by Lib Dems and Corbynites. Labour has lost its form and needs to be true to its brand and maybe in 20 or so years it could form a government when the population realises it has been scammed by the Tories, once again and they need a welfare state to look after them again. In the meantime, the 172 are missing their golden opportunity to make a proper stand and have a voice.

All strength to Labour. It will need it. How can it be elected when its MPs want ideals that are different to its grassroots’ objectives? It needs a leader to rebuild it and Jeremy is the strongest choice. But the 172 need their own leader, and Owen Smith ain’t it, either.

Not electing David Milliband was the end of New Labour / Blairism. He would have beaten Cameron with finesse. Brexit would not be a “word”.

Now Labour and an opposition need to reform. In my humble opinion, they probably will not be the same organisation.