Thursday 31 August 2017

Going By The Book

If you heard the low moan, I apologise, it was going to be a bright nice day, but then the name Harriet Harman appeared in the press. And yes, there was mention of an historical figure, Margaret Thatcher, nee Roberts. Remember, the one with the hand bag, or was that Tony Blair?

One generation has been born since her time as Prime Minister, another died, and in between the effect of outflows and inflows entailing increases of population, let along internal movement, but Harriet cannot let go.  Does she still build Lego council houses to prepare her for planning legisation?

On Monday, 30 July 2012 in "Harriet's Little Secret" I pointed to Harriet's aristocratic family and their connections, notably the Chamberlain's, Joseph, Austen, Neville and all, not the sort you find in "East Enders" or "Coronation Street". Bow down ye lower middle classes and all that.

Then on Tuesday 10 June 2014 there was "Singing For Her Supper" when she joined the Alt Left demands to cut the Arts spending because the money was for the white upper classes. She had neither done the most elementary research nor run the figures and was talking complete nonsense.

"Spreading Harmony" on Wednesday 11 February 2015 discussed her plans for a fleet of pink "Battle Buses" to travel the land handing out benefits on request to single mothers and diverse others. Minimal awareness of the needs of logistics might have told her that this was a hugely expensive, impossible to manage and very hit or miss idea, that would be mostly a miss.

Then Wednesday, 13 July 2016 "Music To The Ears" refers back to the first of 2012 and again refers to her Chamberlain genes. It is indelicate to mention this, but Joseph Chamberlain in the 1880's went to the electorate of his time, which was of rapid industrialisation and severe agricultural depression, with the idea that giving three acres and a cow to each agricultural labourer was the solution to the problem.

Even Margaret Thatcher, who was descended from ag' lab's, might see that this one could never work, or would only if you had a major population crash due to starvation. Alas, she thought that property and finance would answer all our problems as did others. We are about to find out that it doesn't.

Looking for  periods of the past when the going was very rough one is the late 17th Century when people turned to religion rather than economics to answer their prayers. One of the most strict of Biblical beliefs and anti Bishop's and the elitism of the time were the Presbyterians, and among the most severe were the followers of Richard Cameron, The Cameronians.

Ms May has Scot's Patersons/Pattersons in her ancestry, and sure enough nestled among the names in the list of the major followers of Richard Cameron's Covenant is a Patterson.

Could someone give Harriet a Bible and tell her to start reading? Revelation tells about the Seven Last Plagues, it should be just up her street.

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Leave It Alone

The attention given to the twentieth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana is a media luxury we could do without given the real problems of the present and the way things are and are going. I would have preferred to avoid this but it is a good example of the media at its worst.

When the couple married in 1981 we were far removed and had no TV to watch. We were in a tent by St. Tropez and there were rumours that Brigitte and others were in town. What moderns like to call a "no brainer" in terms of immediate interest.

In any case, by then I had come to the view that the 1485 Battle of Bosworth had been won by the wrong side and that the lines of monarchy that had followed were not the right ones. Quite who should be monarch at present is a matter of dispute among the many of Plantagenet descent.

As for the couple I am inclined to blame neither. Poor Charles education and upbringing would have been challenging for a saint cum noble warrior cum scholar of high order. Especially, as during it all he was followed and watched by the worst of the gutter press.

Diane was one of the Spencer family. In the long past there have been some it would have been unwise to lend money to or have some sort of contract with. They had ways of their own which were not those of others and lived in the other worlds of the British aristocracy. Her education had a number of gaps.

Their never never lands may have been in part the same but there were many differences which would have created problems for any marriage, let alone one always in the public eye and subject to detailed scrutiny by people, some of whom were enemies and worse some who were friends but just as bad as the enemies.

Requiescat in pace.

Sunday 27 August 2017

Another Day Another Statue

With a debate about knocking down another statue, that of Christopher Columbus, one wonders what next. A reason why he figures so large in the histories of the America's is because he made it back to Europe, more or less in one piece, at a time when the monarchs and money men were taking a world view of their acquisition and merger opportunities.

One place history should tell us to stay away from is Afghanistan and President Trump may well have made the ultimate error in his off the cuff approach to foreign policy and the deployment of troops by going back there. One can only hope that the UK can distance itself from any of this. One of the few men who got out with any credit from a disaster there was Sir William Nott, 1782-1845 above.

He has a page in Wikipedia. There were severe losses in this campaign, notably the massacre of the 44th Regiment of Foot at Gandamak on the hill of bones. There have been many more hills of bones since and more in the future. This regiment is better known for its part in the 1812 Battle of Bladensburg when the British put the Americans to rout and went on to torch Washington D.C..

This page on Sir William Hay Macnaghten briefly tells the broader story of the Afghan debacle but it was a serious setback to British arms at the time and a major disgrace during a period when all could have been lost. It was just over a decade later when almost all nearly did in The Mutiny, as we prefer to call it.

Nott has a large statue at Carmarthen in Wales, this is his birth place, but his father, Charles Nott, an innkeeper, had come down from Herefordshire being one of a number of Nott families around there at the time, one of which is in the ancestry of Benjamin Britten the composer. But there are no tunes of glory in Afghanistan.

Perhaps the best we can do is to ask politely the C Company of the 1st Battalion, The Vikings, Royal Anglian Regiment to pop over to Washington D.C. with a few boxes of matches.

If we can afford it.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Nelson, Steady Boys Steady

One of web sites of choice and to which I often refer on matters of family histories is the wonderful Ayshford Trafalgar Roll which was compiled by a couple from the muster rolls and other information relating to The Battle of Trafalgar of 1805. This was a crucial naval action in the Napoleonic Wars.

Had Britain lost we might have had another world, a Napoleonic one and the Royal Navy would not have been able to clamp down on the slave trade after the Abolition Act of 1808. Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson may have had retrograde views on slavery that were common in his time but did his duty.

Now The Guardian leads the way proposing to remove from the plinth and smash his statue because he held such opinions. A quibble with Nelson is that he referred to Englishmen, perhaps reflecting his views on eugenics. The Roll, however tells us that there were a great many Irishmen, Scots and others on the decks and behind the guns.

The Norfolk seamen in my ancestry were not there, being busy on the vital East Coast Coal and Baltic Trades but the farmers from County Wicklow were. Put to sea when young, Nelson was not expected to rise far being from a family of only middle standing and with few connections. But war created opportunity and created vacancies in the higher ranks.

When, later, the government was tidying up central London and removing the nests of other thieves and slums that were too close for comfort to Whitehall and Parliament, they built a great square and the name Trafalgar seemed to be a good option agreed by most. There was no doubt that we had won that one, whereas many naval actions won had meant heavy losses.

In those days of primitive thinking no square could be without statues which gave rise to the difficult question of who? By the time it  was being finished Nelson was an obvious choice. There was no agreement about which politicians, King George IV was a no-go and Wellington was still alive and kicking, hard. Nelson's convenient death in the battle of 1805 had removed one of the more awkward, noisy and opinionated leaders of the Royal Navy.

Also he was disabled, having lost an eye and an arm and needing care and assistance for the ordinary functions of life. Given his messy private life and financial problems why on earth was he in charge of the fleet? Because he had a very special skill, he was a winner when it came to naval battles, especially the critical ones.

The BBC have recently run a series on The Vikings who were big in the slave trade of their day. Given the numbers they took down to the markets of the Middle East, it is likely that a very large proportion of the populations there have a trace of British or Irish slaves in their DNA. The Vikings morphed into the The Normans among others, and later Plantagenets, who had their own methods of reducing the lower orders to servile status.

It is 500 years now since Martin Luther triggered the Protestant revolution, which later in the UK led to the stripping out of much of the high art of the Middle Ages from churches and other buildings. We can only wonder at what has been lost and at what cost. But on the empty walls later there came the memorials and statues to the major figures at the time.

I suspect that the great majority of these as with others at their times had beliefs and ideas that would not fit well with our modern thinking in many ways. To remove them all may suit us and we might knock down all the churches and buildings because they might remind us.

In fact it might be safer to wipe out all history while we are at it, just to make sure, so torch the records offices and archives. What fun it would be and how good we would feel after it.

Tuesday 22 August 2017


No sooner do I mention Michael Parkinson, see yesterday on Lulu, than the ghost at the feast arrives. Geoffrey Boycott turns up to do a foot in mouth turn at a hospitality dinner saying that a knighthood for him might depend on colour.

Many once famous sports persons and others are now in the business of after dinner speaking to audiences they hope are there to listen to what they have to say. Up to a point, that is, and with Geoffrey perhaps it is a little like letting a hungry Yorkshire Terrier off the leash.

It took him ten little words, Geoffrey does not do long ones, for him to misjudge the flight of the ball. Instead of just patting it back for the umpteenth time to bore the crowd stiff he took a verbal swipe which flattened his wickets and has been declared out.

Parkinson comes from Cudworth by Barnsley. Boycott is from Fitzwilliam, by Hemsworth, a short bus journey away on the road to Pontefract. This could be described as the epicentre of Yorkshire man and for that matter women.

However, the name Boycott is not necessarily local. The Wikipedia and Britannica articles on Captain Charles Boycott 1832-1897, whose name was given to the practise of ostracising individuals, that is boycotting them, suggest that the surname comes from migrant Huguenots expelled from France in 1685 because of their Protestant religious beliefs.

It could be that Geoffrey is of migrant refugee stock. The fact that he is not a knight whereas some West Indian cricketers are may be more to do with the catalogue of pungent Geoffreyism's and arguments he has had from down the years than anything else.

So will Geoffrey Boycott live up to his name?

Monday 21 August 2017

Lulu Who Do You Think You Are Wringing The Blues

Lulu, the popular Glaswegian singer from the 60's and 70's, born in 1948 and still going strong, was the latest person to be featured in "Who Do You Think You Are".

Unusually, this showing had a single story from the past rather than the usual two or three. WDYTYR has become a programme for celebrities and performers for whom there is a human interest tale to tell and this was one.

When trying to summarise major cultural productions I often call them "bone headed men" or "three handkerchief" jobs and this fitted both these bills.

One grandfather, Hugh Cairns was a Glaswegian hard case, see Wikipedia on "Glasgow Razor Gangs", the programme was very restrained about this and their activities which reduced parts of Glasgow to a state of war in the pursuit of the usual criminal activities and dominance of territory. Given his age and record he may have been a gang leader.

He was a Catholic, and the grandmother, Helen Kennedy was from a prominent Protestant family high in the Orange Order. In an age of bitter religious divisions it was a miracle that they had come together and lasted, but it ended when she died young, tragically from a burst appendix. He died a little later but the cause of death not stated for some reason.

Clearly the series of these programmes have to avoid telling similar stories and relating to the same major events in history. There are only so many lost on the Titanic that the viewers are interested in. Michael Parkinson was told by the programme makers they could not find anything interesting in his history. I found a colliery disaster but others had already been done.

The mother of Helen, Lulu's great grandmother, also called Helen was a major figure in women's Orange Order of her period, not only locally, but at a Scottish national level. She was an enthusiast for the works of Robert Burns introducing women's Burns NIghts as well as promoting women's roles in the Orange Order.

For both Clan Cairns and Clan Kennedy families there are Wikipedia pages. But here I declare an interest having a Jean Kennedy ancestress in Ayrshire who married a Park and was buried at Girvan in 1784. There were a lot of Kennedy's in that area, it being their patch and many moved on to Glasgow. Between then and the end of the 19th Century there must have been some who led interesting lives.

My guess is that along the various lines of this ancestry are a few military here and there as well as maritime. One wonders about what might have been, notably dealing with things and places we may be anxious to ignore.

There were a number of Scottish Kennedy's in British India, including some in the Royal Artillery; when anything happened usually one or more of them was there.

The picture above is some cheerful Glaswegians in 1954, near the River Elbe, who stood between western civilisation and the Soviet Third Shock Army.

"Boom Bang-A-Bang" says it all.

Saturday 19 August 2017

A Bright Golden Haze

At the centre of the debate about the meaning of the Presidency of Donald Trump are the questions of what is America and who are the Americans.

If nothing else his individual style of governance and off the cuff ideologies have brought out the realisation that the USA is not what it was and it is unclear what it will be.

It would be interesting to know what Jane Austen might have thought about America, but her ideas will have gone into the fire that her sister, Cassandra, made of most of her papers and letters. What is little known is that Jane can be connected to the Battle Hymn Of The Republic.

When Francis Scott Keys wrote it during the Siege of Baltimore, the Brit' in command outside was known to and probably acquainted with her through their mutual clergy and extended family contacts. His wife was a Marianne and the centre of scandals.

Time has moved on since then. A few days ago the BBC Proms did a double bill of the musical "Oklahoma", the original stage version is from 1943 and the film 1955 the show being centred on the Territory becoming a State Of The Union in 1907.

A big show stopper is the chorus celebrating this about farmers and cowhands being friends and should now stick together. The USA at that time was driving to the West with migrants both from America and Europe taking the land. What we call First Nation now was not mentioned.

The Trump's however stayed in New York and went into money and property and did very well. The erstwhile farmers and cowboys found their new paradise turned into a dust bowl in the 1930's. The poverty stricken went west to California and were derided as "Okies" migrants, see John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath".

Two and three generations later in turn they are now coming to terms with other migrants from many places. Only California has a large population and in terms of size and wealth outstrips many independent nations of the world.

It is not surprising that many Californians now wonder why they need Washington DC to have final control of their affairs and soon there may be a real push for independence.

Perhaps the farmers and the cowhands are going to start falling out again. Perhaps the Supreme Court may decide that the "First Nation" remaining people are the ones who matter and really own the land, it could happen.

But the diggers and sifters of the past, the archaeologists and geneticists are coming round to a different view, that the real First Nation people may have been from the East.

With China now buying up so many of the assets of the West with it seems unlimited funds, however created, this is back to a past we can only imagine.

Friday 18 August 2017

The Drilling Bits Bite Back

There you are driving along with all the family and the presents when you realise you are low on fuel. Then you remember that by taking the scenic route you have avoided all the petrol stations. A nice day out has just gone badly wrong.

There is a problem with our hopes that fracking will fill up the tanks, not only in vehicles but in the economy when the other supplies of oil are reduced and increased in price.

Moreover, it is a UK problem that is tectonic, meaning allegedly the wrong kind of rocks in the wrong place for us to take advantage of what may be down there. It seems that other places are not the same and we may have been taking our geology for granted.

The upshot is that a lot of drilling will have to be done to determine whether or not fracking drilling can work. Our politicians may find it challenging when explaining this to their constituents.

So how long have we got?

Wednesday 16 August 2017

What's In A Name?

We in Europe might wonder about the Charlottesville troubles. In the USA other places have similar problems. It may be a small town for us but in the USA it is a place with major sensitivities.

To quote Wikipedia:

Charlottesville is a city in Virginia. It’s home to the University of Virginia, with its core campus designed by Thomas Jefferson. On the outskirts, Jefferson’s mountain-top plantation, Monticello, includes a mansion and rebuilt slave quarters. Highland, President James Monroe’s home, retains many original furnishings. The city is a gateway to Shenandoah National Park, along a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Jefferson, one of the key men of the early history of the USA and James Monroe of the Monroe Doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the drive west and the creation of a new major world power. Then there is the name.

The Charlotte was the Queen of King George III, a lady forgotten in our history or written off as a figure of little consequence. But she could be rated as one of the more interesting and able monarchs in British history. George's spells of severe illness put her into the position of being key to the politics of the time.

One feature of those politics was the rise and influence of the Anti-Slavery movement that in Britain culminated in the Act of 1833 for the Abolition of Slavery. It paralleled another Act of that year, the Factory Act that attempted to deal with the horrors of child labour in the industrial areas.

The Abolition of Slavery Act, however, resulted in compensation being paid to estate owners largely in the Caribbean for the loss of value entailed. This has long been held to be something that should not have happened, the idea of paying off slave owners understandably provoking opposition on moral grounds.

But there was more to this at the time than is understood and I only came across a possible explanation by accident, as ever, looking for something entirely different. Seeking information on wills and probate for certain people to work out how and why they could afford to stand for Parliament the figures I was looking at were odd.

The value of property of an estate had to be declared and where a slave owner had died, this meant the valuation of the slaves. But looking at the values given for slaves of various ages etc. they did not make sense, especially given that the owner had to house and feed them. All too often at very low level, but still added costs.

If the values were over stated, it attracted more tax; so why did the figures seem so high? One obvious reason after the 1808 Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves is demand and supply. But there was another side to this. A clue was in the rise of the Lascelles family to become major estate owners.

They were bankers and many of their customer estate owners failed because of the ups and downs of the trade and years of bad harvests as well as too much consumer spending. So the Lascelles found it financially better to run the estates rather than having to sell them at a knock down price.

What was characteristic about the Caribbean estates was that they were often mortgaged to provide capital and also borrowed to cover running costs, a bad combination. One result was that The City and the bankers charged relatively high interest rates.

As the slaves were often bought with borrowed money then The City had a major role in the funding. In short the 1833 Act was less about helping out the estate owners than making sure The City did not suffer major losses or difficulties.

Without compensation there might have been a run on the banks. There was still a run a few years later, but that happened later and was just one of a series during a period of instability, when often the government simply made matters worse.

But what was striking about the slave valuations was that the annual cost of all this for the estate owners was actually rather higher per head than that of factory owners in England paying their workers.

So when the "free" workers, who could be hired and fired at will complained about being worse off than slaves this may not have been an exaggeration. It is one reason for the riots and political demonstrations of the period and the violence, fear, hunger and uncertainty.

In Ireland one answer for most of the rural population was to plant potatoes.

Monday 14 August 2017

Spot The Error

The internet is not always entirely reliable. The quote below is copied from Wikipedia.

Use your skill and judgement to detect what might be on the whole and taking everything into consideration, a little misleading.


180 Ebury Street
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
180 Ebury Street in the Belgravia district of London was the home of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his family from August 5th 1974 to September 24th 1974 during the Mozart family's grand tour of Europe.[1]


We were in Pont Aven in August 1974, painting the town red.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Back To The Past In Korea

The Korean crisis gives a jolt to the memory. In the last few days of Army basic training it was time for postings to be made known. In the Corps they could be anywhere in the world or in the UK. Some badly wanted to be in the UK for personal reasons, others to be somewhere abroad that was interesting and peaceful.

The place that nobody wanted to be was Korea, anywhere but anywhere whatever the troubles was better than Korea. Not only was it grim, it was the most difficult to get back from at the end. So your National Service could last a lot longer in reality than the two years.

We were lucky, by our time few were going out. But if the rather random choice of who went where had picked on me I might have lived a different life and it would not have been a better one. Now seeing another crisis unfold in Korea is something I could do without.

Especially, as it seems to be yet again a puppet dictator with a big military and wanting to "do something" meets a US demagogue authoritarian President of the "do something, do anything" policy mode. Since the early 1950's and for that matter before how many of these have come and gone?

Then we had a new United Nations that was the means of organising a joint force to go to Korea. But we do not need them any more. We have the generals and political leaders in the bunkers controlling airborne weaponry that will always obey orders and in a time frame, not of weeks or months, but seconds and hours.

What is far worse is that we have two states where at the top the rule and decision making has become chaotic. We can only guess at the power struggles and bitterness at the Court of Kim in Korea and who controls the inputs to him. As for Washington DC the White House has become less of a ruling House than a transit camp for third grade media men.

Our world however is another world and far removed from that of the early 1950's. The networks of globalisation, the prominence of fragile and unpredictable financial systems now central to governments and the dependence on trade, foreign capital and interchange of so many states make any military crisis a world crisis.

History tells us that a combination of a power seeking military controlling a puppet ruler in one place and a confused and ignorant leader who just wants to be admired in another means a high risk of conflict and crisis across a world.

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Busy Going Nowhere

Recently, after links from time to time from one of the family, I have put on the list of sites to look at. It can tell me a lot. The latest makes me want a new Aston Martin, sadly the credit rating doesn't run to it.

This brief article whose text demands above average literacy, deals with the question of which countries are in the fast and slow lanes for future development; the UK seems to be in the slow one. This is bad for the long term future.

It is not surprising, our government has been pumping up the adrenalin for the financial sector as the big boy of the future. The last time the politicians went into a dizzy fit about this was shortly before the crash of 2007/8.

But what if the crash was not simply an old fashioned crash like all those we knew from the past? What if in a changing future it was just one more major readjustment that are now a key feature of global finance and trade and which occur more rapidly and with greater immediate effect?

Systems can be gamed of course as well as hacked or put to other uses. This short one from tells us that taxi drivers can do this to impact on pricing in their favour. As well as this the one before on hacking slot machines, and after on vulnerable equities tell us what the techie's can and will do.

It is possible that given the mind set of our leaders of today and the key people they go to for advice and policy guidance, they are more interested in gaming old and declining systems than they are in what is actually happening and how we are likely to finish up.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Facts And Figurines

"Let us have the facts" is a familiar request in many fields. The trouble is what one person may see as fact another does not and some facts are elusive. They can be difficult to believe if true and when used in debate become slippery and difficult.

Egyptology is an academic field that has been around for over two centuries owing its origin to Napoleon and his French invasion of Egypt. Their successors have been digging away, classifying etc. now for a long time and are a major school of archaeology, with all that is entailed.

Science has now become a greater instrument for discovery and analysis of what has been, rather than the painstaking work of digging, identifying on the basis of previous findings and then theorising on what might have been what.

The rapid and nature of 21st Century Science in particular is not only making discoveries but could cause revision or new thinking in many areas, to the discomfort of the established schools of thought if not entailing radical changes in some respects.

The report concludes:

But Egyptologists say that science cannot replace archaeologists and their work on the ground. "It is important to have science in archaeology," said Hawass.

"But it is very important not to let scientists announce any details about what they found unless it has been seen by Egyptologists."


This could get interesting and very difficult.

Sunday 6 August 2017

Sit And Deliver

Following Saturday's post on retailing, we are aware these days how much has changed in recent years. Those who are affected and do not like it blame a number of things, and one of those is the recent ability to shop online, for example via Amazon.

This from Zero Hedge tells us that there are other things that are important and have major effects. One is that our spending habits have changed quite a lot in many ways. These are major reasons and there could be more to come.

But over the last century there have been many and various changes that have impacted on shops and shopping from one generation or even decade to another.

My post was about deliveries but this is not new, there were many housewives when I was young who expected the local grocers, the butchers and others to deliver. One of ours is in the picture above, although he did not use the pram.

Then came supermarkets, now under pressure and alleged to be in decline. What next? Local centres taking in deliveries for collection 24 hours a day?

Saturday 5 August 2017

Booting Up The Future

This week we did the shopping. It took twenty minutes of careful clicking, albeit a strict list of items had been prepared, so no hopping about or responding to offers for this and that.

When the delivery arrived the man in the van took about five minutes of our time. Also avoided were visits to several shops or markets and being annoyed that things were not there or in good condition.

This explains why in near ten minutes and is worth the time to watch. It is an amazing technical and logistical story and for those whose shopping history goes back decades only causes them regret at all the time spent then in buying basic goods.

But not only is it a revolution in its field, it is the same for employment, skills and other things. If this is the way a basic function can work now what about all the other aspects of our lives? Would robot medic's make fewer mistakes than humans?

Then there is politics and government although I am not sure I would want HAL 9000 at The Treasury.

Thursday 3 August 2017

Governing Is A Lost Art

The central idea; that may not be easy to grasp or keep in mind, is that we no longer have a "government" in any sense of the meaning of that word. Governments may be autocratic, authoritarian, consultative, liberal, democratic one way or another but what we have at present is none of these.

It might be attempting to be all of them at the same time, if so that is a major reason for the failure, but while we have offices with hundreds of thousands claiming to be a part of government they are all playing parts in a charade that might once have been drama, may have been comedy, might have descended into farce but now is just a collection of beings doing what the documents in front of them tell them what to do.

It is not just the UK that has this pretence around the world in a lot of places it is much the same, sometimes worse or better, but often worse. There are places, mostly small with coherent societies where there is a vestige of effective and responsive government, but they are few as the flow of the lava of futility overcomes them.

What happens when this occurs in humanity is that the different groups go into long periods of hostility, war, and aggression where local and bigger leaders grab what they can for their own and their followers. This is usually armed and vicious, but might be by other means, notably control of food supplies and/or whatever are the forms of money in use and accepted.

There is the view that the major corporations have taken over from governments and in fact many governments are now basically part of the administrative systems of these entities. We think they are lobbyists or just major financial and other organisations but they are now the bosses who have become almost a world elite.

Elements within them do need to have some conflicts and wars going on, if only to distract people in the political and media parts of the system. Also, they are important to the functioning and economy of some of the major corporations. The difficulty is containing them to where they are supposed to be and in restricting them.

A hundred years ago my grandfather was in the 3rd Infantry Division, The Iron Division, in Belgium, in the campaign we know as Passchendaele. He was involved in the battles of Polygon Wood and The Menin Road, was injured yet again but managed to survive until the end. His answer to this failure of the European governments was to hang the Kaiser.

A century on we will need a lot of rope and many gallows to deal with the chaos of the present.

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Give Us A Tune

With all these modern composers doing their thing and trying to fit their various forms of music to our modern world, it is time to have a try. The piece in question would convey the reality of today and be in its way a celebration of how and who we are.

It will begin quietly but rising to a dissonant cry of a male chorus of plumbers singing "The part has not arrived yet!". They will be contrasted by a female chorus avoiding unison varying between honeyed tones and a shriek of "He's busy but will only be a few minutes."

Backing this will be a children's choir singing with emotion, "Your car has failed the MOT and needs a few new parts." This will go on for most of the day, before culminating all together with the major anthem of "VAT is payable on all items and work."

They will quietly and sadly sing the finale, "I'm sorry we can't help.", the orchestra will play a repetitive ring tone and it culminates in a final loud shout with crashing sound "Please leave a message".

I am sure this will appeal to all your hearts and minds.

Tuesday 1 August 2017

Got Any Gum?

Our government and other politicians constantly remind us that in these times of struggle and stress we must all stick together.

Science has found a way to achieve this.

It is certainly a binding solution.