Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Politics of Envy

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As the economic recession bites more deeply into ordinary people’s lives, the social behaviour of the wealthiest has come under closer scrutiny whether it is tax avoidance, accumulated profits or their attitude towards those poorer than themselves.  The resulting picture has not been very pretty.

 

Responses now coming from the rich and powerful contain claims that scrutineers have debased their argument by using the politics of jealousy or envy.  Both jealousy and envy are poorly understood emotions and this ignorance needs to be addressed before considering whether such arguments have any validity.

 

The first thing to understand is that jealousy and envy are different emotions, have separate dynamics and function in very different ways.

 

Jealousy is a three-sided emotion. It involves an established pairing or relationship that experiences an ‘attack’ by a third party. In a healthy relationship, jealousy can actually be beneficial. As one utilises their jealous feelings to deal with the interloper, their partner can experience this as feeling cared for. Seeing off an interloper to an established relationship is protective and clearly demonstrates the value placed upon both partner and relationship. It is good to know someone loves us enough to become protective in the face of outside attack. As with all extreme emotions, jealousy can be harmful but by the time this occurs the feeling will have slipped over the edge into envy. Where jealousy can have a positive outcome, the only useful purpose envy serves is to highlight psychological insecurities in the envier themselves. Otherwise, it has nothing to recommend it at all.

 

Envy is a two-sided emotion where the dynamic is between the envier and the envied and it works like this. The envier sees something desirable in another (the envied) that they believe they can never possess, regardless of any factual evidence to the contrary. The fury that arises is envy and produces two outcomes.

 

Stage One is where the envier severs any relationship connection and then blames the envied for the lack of that connection. With the envier responsible for this communication failure, there is little the envied can do. Of itself, a relationship breakdown is survivable. What makes envy the most destructive of all emotions is the next step.

 

Stage Two is triggered by the feeling of loss within the envier. They have seen or experienced a quality or ability in another that they believe is lacking within themselves and which they believe they can never possess. For some people, awareness of lack could be a spur to attain this quality or ability for themselves but not in the case of envy. The envier perceives the envied as an attacker who has caused them loss. This perception triggers a furious reaction which causes the envier to launch an all-out attack in retaliation against the source of the problem. Please bear in mind, that this is not straightforward assault but an attempt to wipe out the envied from existence itself. It is not enough to hurt; it is not enough to destroy; when this emotion rides high, the envier is seeking to annihilate the envied and everything they represent and feels perfectly justified in doing so. There is no compassion; no willingness to consider alternative viewpoints and the only acceptable outcome is the complete removal of the envied from existence. As a result, nothing is permitted to stand in the way of an envious attack and every weapon at the envier’s disposal is brought into play. History is littered with the outcomes of the politics of envy.

 

Envy is the only emotion-in-action that has no redeeming features, which is why it is considered the deadliest of the seven sins. Envy is what is meant by the ‘Evil Eye’.

 

Therapeutically speaking, it requires a very high level of skill in both practitioner and client to lay bare the bones of a full-blown envious attack and when politicians or the wealthy begin to accuse the poor of envy or envious jealousy we step on extremely dangerous ground. If envy has any role in public life, it can only be in the politics of annihilation because this is all envy is capable of.

 

When the wealthy start alleging that they are victims of political envy, it is important to look at how this dynamic is being played out. For example, how easy is it for the poor to make their own case? Does the evidence support the allegation? If it can be demonstrated that the “accused” have been systematically silenced by their accusers, then we might be looking at a projection. If it can also be demonstrated that the “accused” are experiencing personally destructive outcomes as a result of the actions of their accusers, then we are probably looking at the politics of envy.

 

It might sound odd to suggest that the wealthy envy the poor but, on balance, current evidence suggests that this is exactly the kind of politics in play at the present time. We can be grateful to the unconscious awareness of the accusers for naming the problem so accurately.

 

Speaking personally, I have never found the experience of being envied to be a pleasant one and I see no good reason to change my mind. If we are truly now functioning within the collective politics of envy, then the envied are facing the annihilation of all they value, up to and including their own lives, from enviers incapable of any form of compassion or mercy.  Those in the throes of envy are unrelenting in their destructive pursuit of the envied. The process will not end unless or until every remnant of the envied is obliterated from existence, or until some outside intervention places firm boundaries on the actions of the envier.

 

Until the politics of envy are properly understood and contained, the world can expect to learn about this subject in the hardest possible way.

 

Again.

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So, UK: Exactly How Big A Mess Are We In?

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Every so often, there is a shift in collective thinking and new minds are awakened to the collective problems we are facing together. From my observations, it would seem that we have a new ‘class’ who have just joined those of us who have been awake for a while.

It can be a confusing and difficult experience for the newbie, so this is a ‘Cooks Tour’ of the problems I believe we are all facing in one form or another.

1.     Introduction

As humanity enters September 2012, we are faced with some very serious problems that will affect us all. The crisis affecting the global economy is already at lethal levels for ordinary people and is set to worsen in the immediate future as we enter a global food crisis resulting from drought and crop failures around the world. This is already being felt in rising food costs. These are very serious problems that are affecting a rapidly increasing number of British people and are set to get much worse before they improve.

A healthy society facing such enormous problems will look to their leaders for collective solutions. Regrettably, evidence suggests that many ‘solutions’ being passed by the British government at present do not appear to be serving the public and there is increasing opinion that it favours a very small group whose main focus appears to be maximising private profit regardless of social expense.

In order to full appreciate the seriousness of the problem, it is often useful to find and apply recognised measures of healthy behaviour, both in ourselves as well as in others. By looking at healthy measures, we can begin to appreciate how ‘sick’ we might actually be.

It helps to start with people at the top because any problems here will have a flow-down effect upon the population.

2.     Setting the Standards in Government

In the UK, elected members of Parliament are required to adhere to the following, taken (from “The Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament”) :

IV.  General Principles of Conduct

8.  In carrying out their parliamentary and public duties, Members will be expected to observe the following general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life in its First Report as applying to holders of public office.[1] These principles will be taken into account when considering the investigation and determination of any allegations of breaches of the rules of conduct in Part V of the Code.

Selflessness

Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Integrity

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

Objectivity

In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Accountability

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness

Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

Honesty

Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Leadership

Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.”

 

Paragraph 10 of the same document goes on to say this:

 

“Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.”

 

Given that this Code applies to all UK MP’s, it might be reasonable to assume that these requirements form a part of a Social Contract to govern and if it forms part of a contract, then failure to comply results in a breach of that contact. For example, under UK Employment Law, the Contract is deemed to be an agreement between consenting adults and sets down the standards expected of both employer and employee as well as detailing how serious contractual breaches will be dealt with, up to and including dismissal.

Readers are invited to consider whether they have seen any evidence to suggest that this Code might have been broken.

3.     The Social Contract

Who ever is elected to Parliament takes on the responsibility to meet the genuine needs of the electorate. Because this area has always been a matter of interpretation, setting measures that identify these needs can be difficult. There is one simplistic measure that addresses this in general terms: Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Whilst there are disagreements about how Maslow interpreted these needs, there is general agreement that the first two fundamental needs have remained fairly accurate during 70 years of study. These are:

Physiological needs

For the most part, physiological needs are obvious – they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function.

Physiological needs are the most prepotent of all the other needs. Therefore, the human that lacks food, love, esteem, or safety would consider the greatest of his/her needs to be food.

Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements. The intensity of the human sexual instinct is shaped more by sexual competition than maintaining a birth rate adequate to survival of the species.

and

Safety needs

With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. In the absence of physical safety – due to war, natural disaster, or, in cases of family violence, childhood abuse, etc. – people (re-)experience post-traumatic stress disorder and trans-generational trauma transfer. In the absence of economic safety – due to economic crisis and lack of work opportunities – these safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, reasonable disability accommodations, and the like. This level is more likely to be found in children because they have a greater need to feel safe.

Safety and Security needs include:

  • Personal security
  • Financial security
  • Health and well-being
  • Safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts

Although it has been subject to greater disagreement and debate, I include the third hierarchy because it provides a pertinent commentary to the previous two needs:-

Love and belonging

After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs are interpersonal and involve feelings of belongingness. The need is especially strong in childhood and can over-ride the need for safety as witnessed in children who cling to abusive parents. Deficiencies with respect to this aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy – due to hospitalism, neglect, shunning, ostracism etc. – can impact individual’s ability to form and maintain emotionally significant relationships in general, such as:

  • Friendship
  • Intimacy
  • Family

Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs, or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, may ignore the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging

4.     How the Social Contract is being applied by the UK Government

a.      Physiological Needs

At present, there does not appear to be any forward planning with regard to food shortages in the UK, although the problem clearly is starting to affect our society.

This is from Wikipedia:

UK Foodbanks

There has been rapid growth in the provision of UK foodbanks since the financial crisis that began in 2007. Most UK food banks are co-ordinated by The Trussell Trust , a Christian charity based in Salisbury which serves as the UK’s only food bank network. Trusell’s first food bank was established in 2000; in 2004 they only ran two. [15] [16] Before the financial crisis, food banks were “almost unheard of” in the UK. [17] [18] In 2007 / 2008 there were only 22 food banks in the Trusell network; by early 2011, Trussell supported 100. As of May 2012, they had 201. By August, 252. The rate of increase has been rising rapidly. In 2011, only about one new food bank was being opened per week. In early 2012, about two were being opened each week. By July, Trussell had reported that the rate of new openings had increased to three per week, and by August, four were being opened each week, with three new food banks being opened in that month for Nottingham alone. [19] [20] [21] [22] Demand for food banks is expected to increase even further when cuts to welfare come into effect in April 2013; several councils have began looking at funding foodbanks to increase their capability, as cuts to their budgets mean they’ll be less able to help vulnerable people directly. [23]

Most UK foodbanks are hosted by churches. About a third of their food comes from supermarkets, with much of it donated by individuals. Trussell Trust aims to provide short term support for people whose needs have not yet been addressed by official state welfare provision; those who have been ‘falling into the cracks in the system’. The Trussell franchise has procedures which aim to prevent long term dependency on their services, and to ensure that those in need are referred to qualified outside agencies. The charity suggests that the credit crunch caused an upsurge in the number of people needing emergency food. Since 2010, demand for foodbanks continued to increase, and at a more rapid rate, partly as austerity began to take effect, and partly as those on low incomes began to draw down savings and run out of friends they of whom they are willing to request support from. Unlike soup kitchens [24], most UK food banks are unable to help people who come in off the street without a referral – instead they operate with a referral system. Vouchers are handed out to those in need by various sorts of professional, such as Social workers, health workers and housing officials. The voucher can typically be exchanged at the food bank for a package of food sufficient to last three days. A small number of foodbanks have been set up outside of the Trussell system, in part as they dont like having to turn away folk without referrals. [19] [25] [26] [20] [21] [15]

People who turn to food banks are typically grateful both for the food and for the warmth and kindness they receive from the volunteers. However sometimes food banks have ran out of suppliers by the time they arrive. Some find it humiliating to have to ask for food, and that the packages they receive dont always seem nutritious. Some food banks have tried to respond with innovative programmes; London street food bank for example has began asking donors to send in supermarket vouchers so that those they serve will be able to choose food that best meets their nutritional needs. [27] [16] [28] [21]

Britain’s prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the efforts of food banks; Caroline Spelman , his Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has described food banks as an “excellent example” of active citizenship. Labour MP Kate Green has a different view, feeling that the rise of food banks reflects folk being let down by the State Welfare system, saying “I feel a real burning anger about them … People are very distressed at having to ask for food; it’s humiliating and distressing.””

At present, the UK Government appears to be relying upon charity to meet the most fundamental human need of all; food. Whether this policy meets the criteria of social responsibility in a time of crisis remains to be seen but given current forecasts by the World Bank, if there are no government-led responses to these issues soon, it is likely to be failing in it’s duty to the public it was elected to serve.

We can also add a housing shortage and soaring energy costs to the list British people’s physiological needs.

Without food or, in a climate like ours, shelter and warmth then we can reasonably expect people to die. Whether this consequence is already occurring is a matter that needs to be examined by those involved.

b.      Security Needs

The impact of shortages upon peoples’ physiological needs have a direct consequence upon the security of society. Food shortages are known to result in food riots and such events have already been predicted for the UK. An absence of socially responsible initiatives from government is likely to contribute towards such unrest.

When riots occur, as they already have, a healthy government and public would look to the police in containing the immediate problem and restoring public safety. Given the present unrelenting political pressure in favour of privatising Britain’s police services and the already implemented reduction of publicly-funded front line staff, it might be worth considering whether the police are actually capable of meeting this expectation anymore. If we listen to the police, they are raising these concerns themselves. A further concern to the public would be whom this privatised police force would serve especially as some elected officials, in other parts of the world, have openly referred to the police as ‘their private army’.

Further, the demand for health services arising from the failure to meet basic physiological needs is also likely to occur. This is will be happening at a time when the National Health Service is also being subject to unrelenting political pressure to privatise too. If we listen to those involved, they are already reporting the consequences.

To this, we must add the following:

  • reductions in social welfare payments to the sick and disabled via ‘assessments’ utilising methods of questionable ethics .
  • requirements for the unemployed to work, without pay, in order to continue to be eligible for benefit payments. That profitable private industry is the recipient of this unpaid workforce also raises ethical questions regarding what is or is not in the public interest.

This is not an exhaustive list – many other issues have been left out – nor are the issues dealt with in depth because they have been very well addressed elsewhere. Clearly, even with these limitations, there is a very serious picture emerging about the factual condition of British society that is not being thoroughly addressed, as far as I can determine at present, by those whose responsibility it is to do so.

It is my opinion that one of the biggest obstacles to addressing the above is current party politics and this includes all the main political parties of the UK. These problems become much clearer when viewed from Maslow’s third hierarchical need.

c.       Love and Belonging

Each individual will have their own interpretation of the meaning of these terms. In social terms, however, this level of need refers to social inclusion and appreciation.

The following are a list of links that explore various forms of social inclusion in the UK:

http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/very-definition-of-irony.html

http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2012/hard-working-tory-mps-on-lazy-british-workers/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/marketforceslive/2012/aug/22/sse-investors-applaud-price-hike

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/08/22/rolling-in-it-the-mps-making-six-figure-sums-outside-parliament/

In the light of the above, it would be reasonable to conclude that social inclusion of all the UK population does not register high on our present Coalition government’s agenda. What is more disturbing is that those political parties whose public duty would be to act as a break to Coalition policy, or to act in opposition, have significantly failed to do so. By failing to act, it would also be reasonable to suppose that present government policies are a result of cross-party consensus. If this supposition is true, then the British people are facing a constitutional crisis alongside all the other crises now occurring.

5.     How this crisis has occurred

When faced with effectively managing this kind of crisis, all contributory factors have to be considered whilst trying to identify workable solutions.  Some factors, such as the food crisis, are beyond human control whereas others, like political agendas, remain firmly within it.

In my opinion, it seems that to all intents and purposes, the UK Coalition Government has chosen to abandon the general public interest at a time of great need. According to the MP’s Code of Conduct, this should not occur:

 

“Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.”

 

But given the impact of present government policies what is now regarded as ‘public interest’ does not appear to be especially inclusive , as the following links clearly show:

http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/p/mps-with-or-had-financial-links-to.html

http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-telegraph-think-tank-and-very-dodgy.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/8442756/MPs-who-repaid-expenses-got-money-back-in-secret-deal.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/20/tax-inspectors-clash-mp-expenses?CMP=twt_gu

I would suggest that when MP’s apparently fail to adhere to the standards of the Members Code of Conduct, either individually or collectively, it inevitably follows that the public will suffer the kind of abuses to human needs outlined above. I would also suggest that failures to address the problem point to high levels of collusion amongst those empowered to call transgressors to account.

It is clear that those involved see no problem with their actions and have every intention of imposing further hardships upon those whose needs it refuses to recognise, as evidenced by the following tweet from one of the Government’s ‘think-tanks’, Policy Exchange.

Under this kind of aggressive thinking, unless or until the situation changes, ordinary people can no longer expect any realistic support from their government unless individual MP’s personally choose to place their constituents needs above those of their respective party’s policy. It can be noted that this is starting to occur but whether this marks a true change in political thinking remains to be seen.

If that change were to take root, there is already one strikingly successful solution that could be considered as an alternative to current UK policies.

6.     A Part of the Solution

 

These are all very serious issues that seem to be stuck for ideas when it comes to solutions.

Whilst there are undoubtedly questions to answer about who is responsible and what needs to be done to prevent this occurring in the future, the problem with such discussions is that they do not materially contribute to resolving the immediate problems we are facing. These need to be dealt with at local level. If my neighbour is starving, it is not my MP in Westminster who sees this, but me.

During the last eleven years, I have lived amongst the poor and excluded as one of them. What I have noticed are the high levels of unexpected creativity and practicality when these groups are asked to resolve problems affecting them directly. This can prove to be particularly successful when those involved are given the resources to do it. Such resources may have initial investment costs but these more than pay for themselves over the longer term. Unfortunately, many workable solutions that might be produced by the poor for the poor are likely to be disregarded or dismissed in favour of a form of accepted thinking that is demonstrably failing society elsewhere. The first issue that needs ‘unsticking’ is the belief that those currently labelled ‘undesirable’ or ‘excluded’ have nothing to offer a country in crisis.

The second issue that needs addressing is the assumption that the prevailing ‘Westminster’ view of society is the only opinion available. What may suit London and the South East does not suit other regions. Imposing Westminster solutions will inevitably fail if the region itself has different ideas. Enabling and resourcing regions to support their local communities on their own terms falls into the kind of investment described above. Such investment contributes to the local economy thereby reducing unemployment whilst, at the same time, creating needed social infrastructures tailored to met direct need. These are the politics of social inclusion.

Finally, there needs to be recognition that the private sector may well have something socially worthwhile to offer. Not all those working in the private sector are crooks and liars indeed some are already stepping forward to assist others. In addition, the private sector offers greater legal flexibility than the public. The public sector is only permitted to do that enshrined in law and no more. The private sector may do anything provided it is not prohibited in law. Were a private company to enshrine social and corporate responsibility as part of its operational practice, it may well be able to meet community needs above and beyond the ability of the currently-structured public sector. Such companies have done well in the past so there is no reason to suppose they wouldn’t do well now.

Even in these straitened and increasingly difficult times, there are still opportunities for ordinary people to taken control of their immediate needs if they understand the chance is there and are willing to take the risk. All that is necessary is a change in thinking followed by a change in action.

What we can be certain of, given the evidence above, is that to continue to depend upon Government for solutions at this present time may to prove very hazardous to the life, health and safety of society. Given the impending global famine, it is also likely to be true that the time for discussion is rapidly coming to an end.

These are the problems I can identify with any clarity. The true extent of the problem is far greater and is affecting everyone. Nevertheless, I hope you have enough information now to arrive at your own educated answer to my opening question.

Ecuador and Assange – The straw that’s breaking the global camel’s back?

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At the time of his appeal to the UK Supreme Court, I blogged about the impact its decision would have upon the collective:

“The death-dealers need to realise that the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Julian Assange has little to do with legalities anymore, even if it might appear that way. It is about which path the Heart-Energy takes now. In much the same way as Anonymous is an idea not an individual, so what is occurring around Assange and Manning is an emotion triggered by an absence of honest truth – the instinct to do what is in harmony with the planet. Death-dealers may think they can ‘take out’ these individuals, but you can’t kill the Spirit and every time you try, the Spirit grows stronger and becomes more powerful. She can’t be evaded or avoided because this Spirit resides in everything we are and everything we see around us. If Julian Assange is being judged for his choices so, too, will you be judged and the consequence of all our collective choices is in manifestation now. I don’t know how this will happen but happen it will because the Assange River has just flowed into the Heart-Spirit Ocean and no human thing will be able halt the tides of change.”

 

As events have unfolded, the essence of my intuition has proven accurate in some profoundly unexpected ways. At the time of writing this, Julian Assange has become a citizen of Ecuador having successfully sought diplomatic asylum in their UK embassy. The Latin-American country took a close look at his case and concluded that there was something very wrong in the way the laws were being applied to the whistleblower. The subsequent and extremely undiplomatic actions of the UK Foreign Office have more than demonstrated that the countries involved have a case to answer and that Ecuador has been largely correct in its view about the human rights issues involved. The US, UK and Sweden have been playing fast and loose with their own laws in ways that are now apparent to anyone who is willing to look and we are at the stage where some countries, particularly in Latin-America, are taking collective steps to put the issues involved onto the international agenda.

At the same time, Assange’s actions in seeking asylum have opened the global Pandora’s Box concerning the gender politics around rape. To be clear, Assange has not been charged with any crime. There are questions to answer and he has made it clear that he is willing to be interviewed but not in Sweden because he fears extradition to the USA on unrelated matters. The allegations of sexual misconduct fall into deeply unclear categories as far as the patriarchal mind is concerned. Regarding the man himself, I find myself profoundly ambivalent. I have a deep personal antipathy towards cults of personality that apparently exonerate bad behaviour because the individual has done something elsewhere for benefit of the collective. In my own mind, this applies to everyone not just Assange. Nevertheless, if potentially criminal behaviour is to be subject to examination, that individual has the legal human right to be treated fairly. Sweden, whose record on women’s rights falls far short of equality under law, has some very serious questions to answer in its handling of the allegations against Assange. Whilst publicly denying it, the US has been shown to have prepared secret charges against him created in equally secret courts which, potentially, could result in life imprisonment or execution whilst publicly denying this.  The UK has been exposed as willing to arbitrarily tear up international diplomatic agreements in this global witch-hunt against a single individual. In short, all three countries have been found blameworthy of manipulating facts to the point of downright lies. Anyone caught lying in such situations can be reasonably regarded as unreliable and their evidence untrustworthy. In the circumstances, Assange’s right to a fair investigation – let alone a fair trial – seems to have disappeared altogether and we find ourselves in a global battle between truth, lies and the law.

In my earlier blog, I’d described the case as the Assange River which had now become part of the Heart-Spirit Ocean and this has clearly proven to be true because it has torn open the gender politics of rape on a global scale. As a woman, some of the rape-dismissive comments made by Assange supporters have been truly terrifying. Apparently some men think their desires are justifiable regardless of whether the woman consents or is capable of consenting. If Assange is guilty of such behaviour, he is certainly not alone in his attitude. In such minds, women become a commodity where a man can freely help himself and the levels of astonishment that we might actually object to being treated that way is, in my opinion, obscene. The polarisation of attitudes in the case has become as vicious as the pursuit of the man involved. Some Assange supporters dismiss the women’s claims as unimportant or a diversionary tactic. Others have accused anyone wishing to explore these issues as a ‘rape apologist’. Both viewpoints try to impose simplistic solutions on a highly complex problem and neither contributes to humane, let alone legal, solutions. The world finds itself caught up in some very deep and destructive tides.

As a woman, the debate about what constitutes rape has been highly educational. The subtleties of the Assange case have made me realise that, under these emerging definitions, I am amongst those who have been raped in the past and I have certainly been subject to violence for my refusal to consent to sex. I didn’t report it, as many women don’t, because in practice the UK legal system fails to recognise such nuances. It is highly unlikely that my experience would have ever been taken seriously, let alone seen charges or the inside of a courtroom because these only manifest if prosecutors think there is a chance of winning. UK statistics concerning rape cases tell the sadly all-too-familiar stories about what happens to victims who do pursue much clearer cases through the courts. I don’t know anything about the Swedish legal system but I know the country doesn’t do well on a woman’s property rights, so I am inclined to be cynical about the motives in pursuing Assange purely on the basis of these allegations. I am not questioning the complaints of the women involved or their right to have their experience examined under law but I do wonder if their stories would have been given as much attention had the perpetrator not been Julian Assange.

In the global pursuit of the man himself, the governments involved have now made it clear that the subtleties and nuances involved do matter when it comes to the meaning of consent and the ability to consent. According to this interesting about-face, Assange must be prosecuted (anyone who thinks I am mistaken about this is invited to consider the likelihood of Sweden interviewing him and determining that there is no case to answer). So regardless of the case itself, I am deeply grateful to the women involved for bringing these subtleties to the international stage because their complaint has expanded the issue into other important principles.

For example, the US complaint against Assange is that he released previously secret information without their consent. They had said ‘No’. One might feel sorry for the US had its own past behaviour clearly demonstrated it’s tendency to override the democratic ‘No’ of many other countries. As a serial rapist of the democratic process, the US has been found guilty on numerous occasions. Under the auspices of the International Declaration on Human Rights, the USA could be regarded not only as a serial rapist but also a highly unrepentant one at that. The actions authorised by the UK government for invading the Ecuadorian Embassy in order to recapture Assange clearly manifest an intention to override the international diplomatic ‘No’ against the country involved. Transferred the realm of sexual politics, this could certainly be regarded as conspiracy to rape. The questions arising from Sweden’s actions and Australia’s inaction point to the possibility that they could be accessories to the rape of international law. Truly, this is the Heart-Spirit Ocean of global morality and the tsunami of Assange is laying bare a criminal level of intent by those who deem themselves to be international upholders of the law. As far as I can see, the only thing apparently being upheld by the US, UK and Sweden is the lawlessness of rapist mentality and their public statements of denial sound like every rapist who has ever been publicly accused of that crime.

The case of Assange stretches from the personal, between the man and these two women, to the international and criminal abuses of power inflicted upon the world by unlawful attitudes that turn people, and especially women, into commodities. It highlights prevailing male attitudes towards the accessibility of women’s bodies regardless of our consent. Transferred to the international arena, it highlights some ‘first-world’ attitudes regarding the accessibility of ‘third world’ countries, equally without their consent.

Had it not been for the evidence produced by Wikileaks and other activists in raising our collective awareness of the true nature of this so-called ‘diplomacy’, the chances of Assange and Ecuador being ‘raped’ by this mindset probably would have been very high indeed.  We can be grateful to the global attention created by outcry from both extremes of the Assange polarity that prevented this additional outrage from occurring. But supposing the world hadn’t been watching? In my own mind, I can almost hear these ‘diplomatic rapists’ saying to their victims that they could protest all they wanted to, no-one was going to believe them.

In all the reports I’ve heard about the case against Assange, I have yet to hear him accused of that.

Why UK Police privatisation may have exposed the political underbelly of the Right

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For those who weren’t aware of it before, there is a move to politicize policing within the UK. The Police Federation tweeps who report on this are angry about what they see occurring, particularly the loss of professional neutrality and the glaring inefficiencies of those private firms bidding to replace them.

 

Last week, however, these tweeps kicked off big time over a tweet sent by a bloke called Blair Gibbs from an outfit called Policy Exchange. I didn’t quite get what they were so angry about but angry they were and angry they still are, as this tweet and the responses show:

The problem was that I didn’t know enough of the background to fully appreciate exactly how and why Blair Gibbs‘ tweet was so offensive, so I did my own research.

 

There is a remarkable variation in the stories surrounding Policy Exchange, which are especially telling, depending upon the kind of website you visit. Anyone involved with opposing the privatization of the NHS will recognise the emerging pattern of business interests and MP’s. 

It would seem that different right-wing and inefficient ‘think-tanks’ have been handed the responsibility of privatizing two areas of public safety and concern, regardless of their ability to do the task in the interests of the public. I’m grateful to Mr. Gibbs again for demonstrating, so admirably, exactly which side his bread is buttered. For this example, we have to shift to the matter of electing Police Commissioners.

 

In November 2012, Britain will see the first PCC Elections. Mr. Gibbs describes it thus. It is a breathtaking piece of misinformation. He lauds…

 

In exactly three months, something rare and wonderful will happen — a national election on a single issue that the public care deeply about. On November 15 they will get to choose their new Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Actually, when looked with less ‘spin’, there are significant problems with having a single issue election outside the normal May election processes. This is in addition to the Home Office dragging it’s feet over actually telling the electorate about it. One might be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Gibb’s is suffering from cognitive dissonance – the projected turnout is so low as to suggest that the public don’t give a damn, except… perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be. With that kind of a low turn-out, rigging marginals ought to be relatively easy but I’m sure that would never have crossed Policy Exchange’s mind at any point.

 

Nevertheless, were Mr. Gibbs the efficient professional acting in the public’s interest, we might have thought he would be concerned about this. Clearly he is not even though the Electoral Reform Society says

 

 “From calling a poll in November, to holding back on any opportunity for candidates to make their case to voters, the government seems to have done everything in its power to keep polling stations empty.”

 

Whilst there are those who have been slower in understanding what is happening here, the police are often among the first to spot wrong-doing because it’s their profession. They’ve had to watch the evidence pile up around them whilst the services has been systematically dismembered. Then they are instructed to sort out the Olympic FUBARs created by a firm bidding for their jobs. Gibbs’ priapic tweet was the final straw. It is really not a good idea to piss off the Police.

 

Although some of those in political power are highly impressed with themselves, they frequently fail to demonstrate the kind of social responsibility clearly manifested by those who actually work in the public sector. The police work for the public and the good police officers want it to stay that way. What a shame about so many of  senior management who seem to be already feasting at the privatization carve-up. The problem is that they cannot help but boast about it in one way or another.

 

This is the mistake Blair Gibbs made. He boasted about his power. This crowingly apocalyptic tweet from a think-tank that deems itself a charity, has been caught falsifying evidence, which hides its funding and yet directly advises the Prime Minister, really does give the game away. This man cannot see anything but his own agenda. This is the man who serves the kind of public who care deeply about PCC elections when the general public appear to be being deliberately excluded from accessible information.  If his cognitive dissonance keeps up, I’m sure Gibbs’ will keep representing his ‘public’. Whether any of them are fit to hold public office is another matter entirely.

 

If we’ve got to have them, I’d prefer the Four Horsemen to be on the side of Social Responsibility, personal, public and corporate, because otherwise there will be hell to pay and the public will be picking up the bill. Again. Which, I suspect, is what these carpetbaggers have been planning all along, but that’s just my opinion.

 

Whether all of the above meets the definition of legal or lawful is another issue that troubles me, but that’s a matter for the police to decide.

 

From Federation tweets, it’s starting to look as though they’ve made up their minds.

 

 

 

Mars Is Occupied by the 99%

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Today, 6/8/12, CuriosityMars landed safely and began communicating to us on Twitter.

The 99% put it there. Imagine all those people who made it happen and all those who followed as it happened? What you ‘see’ is only the tip of the iceberg. That’s the 99% at work. If it’s 99% it has to be a part of Occupy.

What I want to be very clear about is that when anywhere is Occupied, it has the support of Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive the unforgiveable. We do not forget the unforgettable. You should have expected us!

Congratulations to everyone who was a part of making this happen, however small your role – a retweet is enough! Boffins are the 99%.

 

But there is a legend I have heard about Martians in the Spiritual World.

 

This legend speaks of these Martians as a patriarchal race who, in trying to control the Father Spirit of the planet, destroyed all life there instead. It speaks of how the Spirit of those martians were permitted to come to Mother Earth but were not permitted to control the Mother Spirit lest they encounter a terrible fate.
I wonder if there might be any evidence of such a thing. What a confirmation that would be!

 

 

 

 

The reason I go silent for a while only means I’m listening – 6/8

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It means I’m listening to people and I’m listening for our Creator and Mother Earth. When these two #GreatSpirits speak together, it is a time of true power. They speak on every single level, thread, dimension and , from cosmic to personal – it is the power of the archetype. Astrologically speaking, the energies are coming from the Uranus Pluto square. Listen to what Carl has to say about this month.

There are a number of different strings to today – August 6th 2012.

 

But today is also this:

Lanterns float for miles along the Motoyasu River to remember those whose died in #Hiroshima from the atomic bombing

 

This is the work of Pluto. Pluto works at a nuclear level here.

This power has been ratched up again, this time at a Global level. Those who are still asleep are about to find themselves in some very real difficulties.