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.

Real Things

Money’s not a real thing
nor flesh
or steel
or stones in golden settings ablaze with light
cast from lanterns or lightbulbs, unreal
these things,
temporary, passing arrangements only
moments in a melody beyond mortal man’s knowing
one made of vibrations on flowing threads
of the one single real thing energy.
Energy is effort
devotion to grow
an art or a passion or a person
its how we know
nurture from harm
pleasure from pain
sense from stupidity
healing from hurt
real things, energy, help it flow,
and learn.

Lament for Man

The High fall,
the Low rise
one and all, its no surprise
many go screaming to their demise.

for what lies beyond this endless wheel,
Something more? or something less real?
sometimes I look on, feel lost and damned
as lethargy, greed and avarice make plans
shortening the string, letting fall the sands
our time runs out in our own folly’s  hands.

the Highest, fallen
the Lowest, risen
Samara’s wheel in life, our prison.

We gild and gird greed in gold
we hide rot  ‘neath gown’s silken fold
conceal the crap, perfume the mold
the Nations? supplicants, slaves to be sold
their masters? Oil, gas and cruel weapons cold.

The Highest, fell,
the Lowest rose
thus my lament for Man I close.

A view on Death

Death. It is the universal fear that resides in the heart of almost every man, woman and child. We fear pain and we fear death.  Of course there are myriad ways to deny the fear of death. Some people choose to be oblivious and never think of it, others find a faith and a promise of an afterlife. Yet others view it as a deadline, and so get as much done in their lives as possible.  Either way we find a coping mechanism, a means to face the possibility that we, as beings, may well cease to exist.

This article will try to illuminate a different path, an alternative view. This view has been arrived at through a rather strange and unique (to my knowledge) combination of influences in my life, which, if requested, I will happily divulge in further posts:).

What is Dying?

A seriously misunderstood process, I believe:). This stems from negative views regarding the process of decay. Dying is the ending of chemical, biological life. However, the body does not stop changing, as it did when it lived. Instead, the matter of it, the stored energy, is broken down by time, other living things and forces.

I wish to make a point before I continue. Grieving is completely natural and totally allowed!:)  I am simply expressing a view of death I have found to provide me with a certain amount of peace, knowing it is based (partly) on facts and partly on a very spiritual view of the world.

To resume, assuming that E=mc2 and that all matter is stored energy, then the process of decay could be described as the redistribution of energy. Therefore, that energy is returning to the world in one form or another.

A great number of religious texts, wiccan writings and so forth refer to power, or energy of their respective deities, channelled through people in most cases. This suggests one universal concept; that the power of spirit is a form of energy.

Concordantly can we assume that the energy of a person and their soul are one? If that is so, then that energy must go somewhere as well, assuming that the laws governing energy still apply.

To round this segment off, we’ll talk about ghosts and spiritual influence. Perhaps it is possible for the energy of a person to remain in a form of coherence outside the physical. If so, that would still fit the fundamental principle of my supposition that the spirit is a form of energy.

In summary, dying is the redistribution of energy.

Ok…what does all this mean?

It means that the people we love are always with us! It means that even if the person is no longer in a single, coherent form, the energy that made that person is not dead, simply their body is. Where their spiritual energy goes who can say? Perhaps it stays, perhaps it is paradise to be in this form, which would explain heaven and so forth. Perhaps humans are unique in that our thoughts in this life (another form of energy, perhaps even the same one) can direct our energy, our soul once we have passed, perhaps we are not. My point is that this means, literally, that our loved ones haven’t actually ceased to exist. The energy they used and stored will be redistributed. I believe a quote from James Cameron’s Avatar film sums this up best.

“…All energy is only borrowed, and one day you have to give it back..”