6 Ideas to move England forward.

by Oliver Thomas

Ok, so I’ve lived in sunny old England for quite a while now. Where I am from is not important to this post, but it is a very English place, and has even more political problems.

I want to suggest a few things that might actually solve England’s economic and social issues, in the tradition of the internet list article, with less snappy images and hopefully more sensible, well spelt words.

1. Make all party manifesto pledges legally binding.
I have seen this appear in a few places and frankly, it’s genius. As long as the punishment that comes with breaking it is severe. Imprisonment for a year sounds good, with no special privileges (if anything politician prisoners should be kept under observation, their powers of persuasion are, after all, professional level.)

2.Deny politicians a salary.
This will cause cries of outrage and dismay no doubt, but indulge me a moment. What do we actually pay most politicians to do? Make decisions, for the sake of all of us. In business, if you make a decision that is actually good for the business, then and only then should you be rewarded. When you can reward yourself, or pay yourself BEFORE you have done anything good, well, you get a financial crisis abit like 2008. Or a political system like the current one in England. Additionally, the salary a politician receives is incentive to achieve the position, without thought to the purpose. A politician should be in power because they have won the hearts of the people and want to help the people. Not because of big money.

3.Legalise and regulate the cannabis industry.
I know I know, typical of a person born in the 1990’s, but again, think about it. Right now, across the UK, millions of jobs are waiting to spring into existence off the back of this industry. Unskilled and skilled labour, admin and so on ready to leap out of the shadows and start adding to the country’s coffers rather than taking away from them. Oh sure, most of the big growers and so on are ruthless profiteers….but that sounds alot like our banking system, right? Point is London had quite a good global reputation as a finance centre for a while. We legalise, regulate and TAX the cannabis industry, and we get into a market that is growing globally, as well as updating the image of England to other countries. In short, we look nicer, smarter and we get abit wealthier.
A counter argument that occured as I edited this, is that cannabis would be hard to tax because it grows so quickly. Well, no. We tax food. Alot of food can be found out in the hedgerows  and fields of Britain, but people trust that bought from a shop because more people have worked on it.

4. Renewable Energy Investment.
Oh no, you groan, another stoner-hippy eco  keyboard warrior. Well, no, actually. It’s quite simply, logical. Concerns about nice views aside for a moment, turbines could produce a sizable chunk of the power we need for our homes. Of course using renewable energy would not be easy, and it would require investment (hey, that means jobs!) in multiple technologies (which means even more jobs!) and R & D (you get the idea) but it does something much more important. It will change how England feels about itself. We can lead the charge on technology. Once, we were hailed as a nation of inventors. Now, we aren’t even hailed at all. We are mentioned, often as an afterthought. If we combine this with….

5. Sustainable living policies
Charging for carrier bags is a good idea. It’s awkward, but it helps. It is the kind of bitter medicine that works best. But this is the merest icicle on the tip of a large iceberg of problems in this regard. English public transport is a joke, and needs a serious overhaul. This means work which is good for the nation and it’s people. Fracking is also massively environmentally damaging, as is excessive sheep farming and bad, profit-hungry farming practices generally. For the sake of those to come, we cannot keep these things up.

6. Proportional Representation.
This is really fundamental to democracy. The current voting system is not democratic. I don’t even need to go into the topic of the current prime minister. In an un-democractic, farcical system such as ours, it is little wonder that so few of the young or the busy bother to vote. Anyone with an eye to see can tell the system is archaic. First past the post representation is sham democracy, and has seen the same two parties stay in power in Britain for far too long. Of course, all systems break, and in time others might improve on Proportional Representation, but for now it appears to be the simplest and most effective democratic system going.

None of the ideas in this list would benefit us right now. Shocker, some would say, silly, but this is about going forward, not remaining static. We can uphold a status quo for so long until it changes, violently, without our consent. Or we can embrace the change, command it and usher in a new and brighter future, for everyone. Not for you, or for me, but for those who will come after.

Right now the people in the street are trudging, because the battle for survival is hard and without incentive. Under polluted skies and over dead concrete and stone people struggle from one job to the next just to survive. Very few people seem to really live anymore in England. This might well be my inner poet talking, but I see this nation bleeding. I see her people weeping, and it breaks my heart. So pass these ideas around. Let some people hear them. Don’t keep to the shadows anymore if you have something good to say. Speak up and speak proud. We will be heard if we are loud.

Matter

It
doesnt
Matter
whether you’re green, blue
plastic, stillborn or overdue you’re still,
just
Matter
constructed of slowly vibrating energy arranged in discernable fields we know as
proton, electron, neutron, forming atoms forming particles forming people in places forming races nations movements religions all groups making decisions  but,
still, just,
Matter
you do. you’re needed by someone, for something, somewhere even its only to maintain your tiny place in the endless pattern of living things woven by birth and death, war peace social increase, global warming and midnight feasts all just rearrangements of what the world and you will always be
miniscule
mysterious
miraculous
Matter.

Outcry (For Super-heroes)

Let there be a reckoning
biblical chaos is beckoning
moment by moment the seconds bring
closer, closer our death-knell ring.

Sing slow, my friends, lament the loss
 of the shine of life, its glorious gloss
we enter an age where the blind lead the lost
a dangerous threshold our leaders have crossed.

Tearing the land, with corrupting potions
with the heaviest hand, smiting life in the ocean
fear, friends, fear, their political notions!
the time is now, for terrible emotions.

Silent acquiesience wil break us down
mindless obedience of us, makes clowns
will we, believers, in false freedoms drown?
shall we, heedless, simply tut, and frown?

It’s not our world that’s broken, nor we, the race
sadly, as ever, its the few who disgrace
the whole
wasting our role,
as pillagers and thieves
for temporary wealth that binds and decieves.

Heed me! Hear me! Listen close ya’ll
we’re settin’ up now for a mighty big fall
our back’s up now, against Doom’s wall
it’s up to us now, to do, or not at all.

People, sweet people, you all know, right
its in the warm soul place, next to love, and light.

simply heed the world, stop the pillaging and pain
tend the soil, from waste refrain
stop our desperate rush insane
for things which death  renders inane
can’t you all see,
isn’t the answer plain?
No?
So,
I’ll explain, further
we can be super-heroes, protectors of Terra Firma.

Musings On The Mind

The  Paradox of Fulfilling Desire

It appears inherent in the human condition to strive, to desire a higher state of being (be that financially, spiritually, or whatever.) Why should this be? Acceptance? Something like this. To illuminate my point, let’s talk in terms of young children.

Babies are born with a few basic desires; food, water, comfort and love. Three of these things are largely environmental (food, water and comfort) the fourth, however, is special. The fourth is a connection with someone, anyone at the baby stage, who will care for them.

The relationship between a carer and baby is almost always fraught with stress, caused by the baby, mitigated by the process of their development and their reciprocative love for the carer.

Chand Baori

 

Chand Baori,
what’s your story
were you made, so great, in need, or glory?

structure sublimely sliding away
leads the eye, gently, to wander, to stray
doubtless unintended, now, marvelled at
artistry aligned with lives, compact
for a moment drawn together in life’s communal act
water, the grease for people to interact.

Exact, are your steps, proportions and stones
intact, you’ve kept, your allure’s grown
let us learn from your life-worn, well made sides
 life’s necessities surpass petty divides.

Chand Baori

Please click the above link for information on this fascinating location, don’t forget to follow the International Bellhop as well. 🙂

‘good poems weird the truth’
and play with all that’s absolute
redefining the resolute
finding its all dissolute
as poet’s learn to convolute
language’s many attributes.

on the words the mind dances
inky stuff inducing trances
pixellated pakcages gobbled up greedily, whole
on life’s knowledge quest many now bet their soul
yet are we, truth-seekers, in control?

Nay, nay, we do as we’re told
our words wending into social folds
minds confined to a social mold
of gold, gorgeous and great, literarily lush
want to know a good poem, listen here, hush…

‘…good poems weird the truth’
true as vibrant youth
truth thrust from thriving heart
know you now the poet’s art?

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/247926 accessed 21/06/2014 for the single quote in this poem. Full credit to the author Camille T. Dungy.

The Poet’s Art

Unto Dust

Unto dust,
will they rust?
those symbols of lust
of blood greed
that exceeds,
all bonds of trust.
Greed for ‘great’ deeds
for the glorious scenes
of war, death and dying over which Galleries compete,
and people
who delete people,
over tools of death
fight for the parts, whatever’s left
the ‘levellers’ ‘peacemakers’ life-taking steel
grant a sense of power all can feel
keenly,
supremely runs the course of this tale
for, in Man’s end, all weapons fail
man’s friend Earth would be stronger, hale
if the wisdom to disdain armed discord prevailed,
if Mankind saw truly what War’s path entailed,
flesh-splitting steel would thus
gather rust,
eschew by the enlightened, to return unto dust.