Britain leads the world

But our PR is dreadful. That’s what we have to fix.

The U.K. is a leader to be proud of in many areas. Take two for instance.. climate change and overseas aid.

We meet our climate change commitments and lead in this area. Globally we rank second only after Denmark. We’re doing much better than France and Italy. Germany has a dreadful record. I’d be prepared to bet this would astonish our Corbinista millenials.

We give generously to overseas aid – 0.7% of GDP alongside Scandinavian countries (Germany and France do not). Our generosity helps millions of refugees stay close to their countries (that’s what they want). Yet it’s Germany that is seen as being heroic here.

Odd isn’t it. Why is our publicity so bad?

Here again – within the EU we have been the second largest net funder. We’ve always obeyed all the rules. Yet we have always been castigated as “bad Europeans”. Why? Because we don’t play the corrupt politics of the Commission well – with its smoke filled rooms and underhand deals . ( Anyone who doubts this should read Adults in the Room by Varoufakis).

Again, we have a pluralistic tolerant and largely democratic society. Look elsewhere – where would you prefer to live as a persecuted minority? What’s not to be proud of…

Yes we have things to fix. How can we let the wealthy live separately from the poverty and distress of those who live rough subsist on food banks?

But for heavens sake our youth – wake up to what you have…

.. and can we please start telling the world about our qualities so that we can persuade them to tolerance, overseas aid and climate action ?

Untied States of America

I shouldn’t be surprised. It seems to me that liberals here in the USA are beginning a process to accommodate Donald Trump as their President. The words are “no one’s all bad”, “it’s really just the way he talks that offends me”. And so forth. I shouldn’t be surprised. I am disappointed though.

But, though British people feel that we have a deep bond with this great country – really, do we? After all “English descent” is only the fifth population group here. First are the German descent then African descent – between them 100 million.”, then Mexican descent and Irish descent – adding a further 75 million or so. Before you get to the 20 million English descent.

Of course, we thought we shared common values. Rule of law, tolerance, democracy, freedom of press, word as bond. Apparently not. President Trump has ripped up the climate treaty, and the Iran nuclear treaty. Both painstakingly achingly crafted internationally and signed up to by the USA. Gone. On the changed word of this country’s president. Shame. What does it teach Iran? The USA is fickle. Don’t trust their signature on treaties. Learn from President Kim. Build nuclear arms and threaten to use them. Shame.

I’m not proud of many things about the United Kingdom, but we still abide by our word. The Scots had their vote on independence. If they so chose they would have had it. The Brexit farce is just that, but it’s being played out openly and democratically. There won’t be revolution in the UK whichever way it turns out. Just sorrow.

In different ways we are now the Untied States drifted apart from the Untied Kingdom.


Death is an illusion, so is life (by our definition)

This is how I imagine consciousness. There is a “self”, but it’s a force that attracts and captures stories – narratives. What others mostly perceive as us, and which our ego reinforces – is actually (I think) a bundle, a quiver of stories.

Why then is death an illusion? Because our “ego” doesn’t really exist anyway. The ego dies, but what is it in the first place; a phantasm that acquires a will to continue.

What we think of as “life”, that of our ego – doesn’t exist. Neither then does death. What of the rest, the real stuff. Well the stories – the ideas weaving together – persist. As for the force that attracts – well that’s a mystery beyond this bodies imagining. I don’t believe it dies though. I think – like the Hindus – that it is a droplet of existence that returns to the ocean.

And there, dear Heart, is a joyous thought. This life is lonely. We are boundaried. If at our body’s dissolution, as ego fades – so then evaporates our boundary. To the loving infinite. To each other. Then: Bring it on. Comrades. Sisters. Namaste.