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The View from the Hill

I took the long way back from Tesco (Express - that means it's slightly and inexplicably more expensive than the traditional superstore, and less well stocked). A nice walk down the hill, you know, the one through the farmland, toward the river and by the weir.

The farmer died a few weeks ago. He was a nice fellow. Apparently a few months, perhaps even years, ago he'd sold his land. Developers have been sniffing around for a few years now. Across their number they have tried to acquire multiple patches of land so they can make a profit of course. It's not about building to meet a need. We obviously have that, but these will not be affordable homes, nor will they exist in sufficient number to meet any reasonable demand.

This is just about making money from farmers that can't support themselves. This isn't NIMBYism, the land is for everyone to enjoy. Not just rich homeowners (whose number will now increase). I enjoy that land.

Or I used to. I could walk down that fie…
Recent posts

Your Daddy's Still Not a Nice Man!

This is a follow up; I've gone back and forth on this issue.

There's no doubt that a small group of anarchists will never be seen positively protesting the likes of the Tory elite and it's creepy darlings.

However reading this has made me think twice. I rewrote my original post as initially I was less forgiving to the Moggspring. While I don't want to see anyone's kids bullied or victimised or used as political capital, there are some mitigating issues here.

Firstly, it transpires that the protest was announced a few weeks ahead of time. So Mogg knew what was going to be happening. He was also clearly ok with being present - it, as he has gone on to say, was not something he felt bothered by.

Secondly, apparently, he brought his kids out during the protest. So not only did he not take them seriously, he obviusly didn't think his kids would either, nor that they would be in any danger (they weren't). Whether or not you agree with the actions taken, it's …

Your Daddy's Not A Nice Man!

Moggy, moggy,'s a rich man's world!

The sun rises and a group of protesters, called Class War, descend upon the (latest) home of the bewilderingly out of touch Jacob Rees Mogg. A man who thinks that rape should be rewarded with further brutality: the curtailment of women's rights is simply another assault the victim must endure. A man who thinks the existence of foodbanks - a symptom of cruelty and state created deprivation - is uplifting; thus he washes his soul in the misery he inflicts on others. The UnAmerican Psycho.

A man who thinks the Bedroom Tax is a carefully calibrated policy - yes, calibrated to fuck up the lives of many for no appreciable gain, such that they have to lie about the existence of a 'spare room subsidy' to mechanically justify its workings. A policy of ideology, not the remotest shred of pragmatism.

This man is abhorrent. His existence is an unwelcome counter productive anachronism supported, I would think, by a large business …

The Unkindness of Strangers

Or, The Internet Is a Shit Show.

Let's be honest. For all the wonderful things it brings, it is a very hostile place. Especially if you have mental health problems. That's not to say everyone using it is a horrible person, but that those who are face no consequences. It's the wild west and it's run by cliques and group think. If you fall foul of a prevailing consensus, things will go downhill and never change. In fact if you appeal or seek redress you will make things worse. The cognitive dissonance of this outcome, of the reasonable decision to try and clear things up only making things worse, is particularly toxic for mental health sufferers. For all the nice things and nice people that are online, the prevalence of toxicity remains a huge problem.

I don't know how to fix this; I am not an authoritarian and we certainly can't expect the likes of government (especially one that is killing the poor) to deal with this.

I feel obliged to point out that the above …

Everyday Crapitalism returns to the buses!

Bonus feature!

In other words, I got short shrift on the buses again and it's all capitalism's fault.

Sad thing is, though, I'm not wrong!

Why is it always the buses? That's easy; they are a vital public service that is still held in private ownership. Of course you could say that about any number of 'commons' - food for instance. That's why I spoke about the sight of security guards in private owned profit driven supermarkets. Folks gotta eat!

So one of the very few things I can praise First Bus for is their adopting technology to allow people to buy tickets using cards rather than coins. The problem is they have no answer when these systems go wrong, so ultimately you still need to carry coins with you because, if they machine (or your card) craps out...

This is problem number one: people need transport in a modern society. You have to go to the shops to buy food to avoid starving. You need to get to appointments to see doctors, or sign on, or whatever. D…

These are the Solutions on offer

I haven't heard from my advisor since March. Each time I've tried to get in touch the mail seems to mysteriously end up in her boss' inbox. Why is this? I can only assume she's dliberately passing it on, which means she doesn't want to talk to me at all. Why might this be? I cannot say.

When I first met these people, almst exactly a year ago, they seemed a refreshing change from the usual behaviour of these types of organisation. But then, they all do, at first. They'll sweet talk you to be your friend and then, sooner or later, they change. They all revert to type.

At this point the only thing they are willing to offer is something called 'Solutions'. To put it simply, and you can see from the screenshots I've taken of their paraphenalia, it's just another example of the magic thinking 'let's go on a journey' self help guru rubbish this industry peddles. It does not - cannot - address the structural issues that surround unemployment…

Everyday Crapitalism Goes to the Library

Last week I went to the library for the first time in ages. Nothing terribly significant about that, I just tend not to bother these days. There stock is limited thanks to cuts. That they are open at all is however impressive, and so I support libraries in principle. I've also spent the first half of the year buying a LOT of books that I am still wading through!

What I don't support are fines. This is an iniquitous principle that only serves to punish the poorest for wanting to take advantage of the vital service libraries provide. Clearly if you're wealthy enough being fined for a late return is no punishment at all and thus the idea of enforcing correct library behaviour - fair use of books - is not the issue.

But people, by which I mean me, forget to return stuff. It happens. If you're me you take a lot of books out at a time - because going to the library requires a trip into town and so not worth it for just one or two books. So if you forget to return one thing, …