All posts by Steve Evans

College Lecturer, would-be Pirate

Grenfell Tower – apologies mean nothing

There’s not a single reason to read
any apologies.

or, any trite little devices such as “recognise the response blah blah blah”, never mind some now housed in ‘Luxury’ blocks temporarily, nor even the money going to the homeless survivors.

The people that run us (not just the politicians) will know we soon forget – soon turn to the Next Big Thing (oh my god – “I’ve not got much charge left on my smartphone“)

Let’s do a bit of drilling, shall we?

  • Who owns the block?
  • Who profits from the block?
  • Where do the owners live?
  • How much do they earn?
  • How much tax did they pay last year?
  • Where are their second and third homes?
  • How many holidays a year do they go on?
  • What other financial interests do they or their families own?

But don’t stop.

Building/refurbishment/legal costs.
How much for each item?  I MEAN for each ITEM that makes up some ‘cost’ we’re told about (note – we’re told about).

. . . . . . and then – widen these questions to every single tower block in the country.

______________________________________________________________________

We hear such-and-such “just had a £20,000,000 refurbishment / build / new road / new pedestrian crossing / cycle lane / blah blah”

well show us where every single penny WENT.

  • Where does that money ACTUALLY GO?
  • Who owns the companies doing the work?
  • Who owns the companies supplying the materials? / Renting out the equipment etc etc etc.
  • Where do these owners live?
  • How much do they earn?
  • How tax did they pay last year?
  • How many days a week / month do they work?
  • What are their qualifications?
  • Who sets these Quals – who pays who?
  • Where are their second and third homes?
  • How many holidays a year do they go on?
  • What other financial interests do they or their families own?

We’re all getting too much CRAP. . . getting told and sold too much crap . . . . .

and they’re making us pay too much, for too much crap.

 

Scotland’s weather

Here’s a bit of news for you . . . .

non_news

This was the BBC front page for their news offering this morning, to be fair (god! I hate that expression) you could pick any channel, any website, any newspaper and you’d get worse, or better – it really doesn’t matter.

That’s the point – IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER, it’s all non-news, and a really large proportion of it is crap, utter crap.

____________________________________________________________________________________

So on this very same day – another little set of facts caught my eye.

tempmap_may17

The map above is today’s predicted temperatures – and it mirrors, largely, the UK temperature situation this past month, and a trend that is becoming alarmingly real.

In truth, if you’re as old as me – you’ll know that it was UTTERLY UNHEARD OF FOR SCOTTISH TEMPERATURES TO BE HIGHER THAN THOSE AT LOWER LATITUDES.
And yet there it is, for the umpteenth time this month, plain fact.

FACT – you notice?  Fact, not crap.

There’s your real news right there.

Embrace the Reds under the bed

guardian

Well, there’s a headline – privatise mail, railways, energy firms.
Not sure about the mail thing – unless you can get even more radical and insist nothing is posted unsolicited through a letter box.
Imagine the relief upon rubbish collections.

But to be a little more thoughtful – Energy?  Yes, of course – I was banging on about the unimaginably ridiculous need for a UK citizen to “do a deal” on their energy tariff.  This is truly ‘market forces’ gone mad – and you still don’t get good value, or a deal that works, or really anything other than hassle and time-wasting with no-one to defend your rights.

Bloody ridiculous.

Let me be clear.
(Ha – how many times have you heard that particular little device this year from a politician on the radio or TV?)
The tariff is the cost of supply, staff (watch the salaries), upkeep, modernisation.  Every householder pays the same.

Rail – that’s a bit less easy isn’t it?

In truth –  (you’re lucky I didn’t type ‘to be fair’ just there – but then I would have had to kill myself) – where is the logic in different companies running stuff on the same rails?  I think this idea needs teaming-up with a conscious push to get freight off of the roads, and again the same truths emerge – in Europe (god! what did I say???) – rail ticket prices are reasonable (they probably reflect true costs and needs) – here?  Do profits help to keep ticket prices affordable? 
Don’t make me laugh, profits go to shareholders.

I’ve long held the belief (since I was 15 – so for 45 years) that some sort of modern socialism is the only way the planet can get along, share-out stuff – if you will.

There are certain things in this life we need (our hierarchy of needs, incidentally): shelter, food & water, heat.  Anything more than that is a bonus.
And I don’t think it’s pandering to reds under the bed to suggest that, yes, such utilities should be run for the good of everyone not shareholders.

Air pollution #1

delivery_truck

Just a thought (air quality/pollution) – as all supermarket home
delivery vehicles run quite light distances, and never far from base before returning – why are not every single one of them electric?

George Monbiot penned a beautifully researched piece << here >> about this.

And further – now the supermarkets have got back into the high street (Tesco express, Sainsburys local etc) we are seeing enormous trucks arrive to re-stock them – how is this progress?  Surely out-of-town distribution points should be where the big trucks go no further, then much smaller electric trucks complete the job?

I mean, are we serious about this or not?

You could go further – Taxis, in other words – those that merely
poodle around town all day – electric – why not?

I guess the time will come, no doubt the death rate isn’t high enough yet.

NEWS !! Italy, Bretagne, East Germany – all now leaving the Euro zone!

I’m usually up around 6am most mornings, and this morning’s rainy Sunday was no exception.  The radio is exceptionally easy on the ear at this time on a Sunday.

radio

. . . . and next up is the News and papers – so is this where I learn the astonishing news that forms the title of this posting?

No.

It’s the water trickles though the dirt of the van next door.
europe_van
europe_van2
It’s the SHAPE isn’t it? 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Gods have spoken to me!”  I thought, and ran away to get Klicky McKlickface . . . (my Camera, no idea – it just seemed funny when I said it the first time).
thing
Risking the sheer acid spitting hell & fury of a partner who likes to sleep in on Sundays (or any bloody day if she didn’t work), I charge into the bedroom and fire-up Big-Bogey (the PC – I dunno, it just seemed funny at the time), Firefox, Google, and the Maps pages – understandably in that order.

PhotoShop is next: tracing the photo of the van, squeezing the layer across onto a map of europe –
something’s wrong though – it doesn’t fit.
brexit2
Germany I know, Italy I know – but there’s a knob – a KNOB sitting out there to the West.
french_regions
Bretagne?
Going as well? – unbelievable.

So there you have it.  Incontrovertible proof from the Gods themselves, the new shape of Europe.

You heard it here first.

 

It has started, and we’ll do nothing to stop it

“Rich western countries are now siphoning up the planet’s resources and destroying its ecosystems at an unprecedented rate,” said biologist Paul Ehrlich, of Stanford University in California. “We want to build highways across the Serengeti to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones. We grab all the fish from the sea, wreck the coral reefs and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have triggered a major extinction event.

Link for full text here (Guardian)

Biker babies

Just idling here . . . . I wonder where all those fashionable pretend biker ladies black leather jackets are now?

jacketsEverywhere weren’t they?  Even that couple of blimmey-we-were-off-focus-but-thanks-to-baking-we’re-back-in-vogue couple could be seen, er . . . squeezing into the things for interviews, or to regale us with their hilarious personnas.

 

Most of them at the bottom of wardrobes I guess, next stop Landfill.