How did Overhead become more Important than Work?

labour-party-uk_454As a modern society we decide that there is a minimum standard of living and facilities that we are prepared to tolerate.  If we had not desired this then we’d all still be living in caves and chasing our food and gathering berries.  In more recent times we’ve refined the definition of an advanced society.  If we explore the basis of this then we could conclude that people have the right to safety, food, water, sanitation, warmth, medical assistance, shelter, comfort, companionship, children, purpose.  How do we supply these?  Via a system of law and law enforcement, farming, sewers, pipes, power generation, housing, hospitals, ability to live with family.  How do we arrange this?  Education, research, cooperative endeavors (government?), infrastructure design and maintenance, etc.  If we want medicine and clean water we need to research and learn how to achieve these goals.  En route we need to learn how to build hospitals and reservoirs and pipes, and this requires engineering.

We are free to earn more on the side by making viral YouTube videos of cats flushing toilets, programming useless Apps, supplying phone-sex and a whole hoard of enriching endeavors with lottery scale odds of ever offering a return

too-big-to-failOf course to make engineering and these other things happen a system to facilitate the exchange of services and product must be devised and this is where money comes in.  A solid financial system will enable enough money to be present in the system when required and minimize corruption.  Furthermore we may also want to maintain some modicum of administration to ensure we keep track of what is going on and for future reference. Computers are good for such purposes, assisting those tasked with handling administration.  And some elected officials that will oversee the whole thing, like politicians.  I define this layer as being “overhead”.

What can conclusion can we rapidly draw from the above?  Finance and administration come at the bottom the list of priorities and are purely of service to the education, engineering, maintenance, training and all the other tasks that are at the front line of providing the safety, food, warmth, shelter, medicine, family that we’ve decided are of primary importance.  The world of commercial finance should ultimately be about efficiently connecting investors and those needing investment.

moodysSo why have the financiers and administrators (e.g. accountants, economists, bankers, politicians, computing specialists) – the Overhead – become the masters of the universe?  Those not part of this merry gang are being increasingly marginalized in many countries.  With the financial crash of 2007 (caused by reckless financiers and politicians) and the rise of austerity (advised by the same imbeciles) we see the victimization of immigrants, disabled, unemployed and now the growing swathes of employed who find themselves earning less than a living wage.  Even front line workers like nurses, cleaners, teachers, and security guards cannot earn enough to keep them above the poverty line – the line we as a society said we all deserve to live above.  If we are stupid enough to become a nurse, cleaner or teacher then it’s apparently our fault – caring professions are reward unto themselves and to manage we are free to earn more on the side by making viral YouTube videos of cats flushing toilets, programming useless Apps, supplying phone-sex and a whole hoard of enriching endeavors with lottery scale odds of ever offering a return.  But the servants of the servants – the financiers, the computer specialists, the politicians, the directors – are living ever more decadent, rarefied lives.  We’ve turned the whole pyramid of what defines a modern society upside down.  Everyone serves this select elite who in turn serve no one other than themselves.

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Did you vote No? Actions Have Consequences

Actions have consequences. Decisions have consequences. There is no you and them. You cannot divide yourself from the world. In the Scottish referendum of September 2014 the majority of people made the decision to register to vote and do so in greater numbers than ever before. The failure to achieve independence was not a question of apathy. People registered, got off their backsides, tore themselves away from their X-Factor and turned up to vote.

Maybe the No Voters were comfortable enough off.  Maybe they did not want to rock the boat, risk what they had.  Austerity is tough on many people, but the No voter’s have still got their pension (Gordon said so) and they have their jobs and if they live off savings and borrowings then their lifestyle stays relatively unaffected.  And they don’t personally use much of the services that are being dismantled.  They’re not sick or disabled or unemployed.  And they don’t intend to be.  They’re all right.

A sheer lack of imagination – too much brain dead television and internet activity likely saw to that – and we have an inability to comprehend the scale of change in the United Kingdom.  A country lurching towards the right and horrendous inequality and injustice.

If the country goes to the dogs, no amount of head in sand, I’m all right Jack, borrowing and cheating is going to shield you from that.  Seeing your neighbourhood turn into a ghetto, seeing your kids’ future disintegrate, seeing foreign colleagues deported, seeing your every waking moment being monitored and recorded for your protection, please tell me how that has nothing to do with you and that you were just looking after yourself?

Actions have consequences.

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Holistic Politics vs That’s what you are, what am I?

Increasingly I despair when looking at politics. The average politician these days is a simpleton bully, the kind of moron you had at school who would keep yelling the same line over and over again until everyone else was battered down: “That’s what you are; what am I?”  A twerp?  “That’s what you are; what am I?”  A stuck record?  “That’s what you are; what am I?”  Oh, forget it.  “That’s what you are; what am I?”

IDS Yesteday

IDS Yesterday

Apparently Scottish Labour have better policies on women than SNP.  Apparently SNP have the weakest strategies in place on gender equality of the major Scottish parties when it comes to policies supporting women.  Of course what does this actually mean?  How is this evaluated?  Is it not a case of comparing some statements written on a manifesto somewhere?  Could it not be that SNP got side tracked and forgot to elaborate such points clearly enough?  Could it not be that the SNP were busy with other stuff like trying to save the whole country of Scotland and turning out a 700 page plan balancing everything from currency to war to economy to nuclear weapons to renewables to healthcare to education to oil to Europe?


United Kingdom in the year 2020 – Scotland voted No!

The complete idiocy of comparing policies as if they were on a giant check list is that it’s fundamentally impossible to address any significant policy individually without considering the whole ecosystem?  So Scottish Labour scoring cheap points over SNP on women’s issues is insane because when the whole United Kingdom – that Labour ensured we remain part of – goes down the toilet and begins to resemble the Victorian era again, we’ll not be very concerned about what some irrelevant party has on a bullet list.

Free Dental Clinic in Los Angeles.  Welcome to the UK's future

Free Dental Clinic in Los Angeles. Welcome to the UK’s future

When the economy has gone to the dogs, when you are up to your ears in debt, when you’re homeless and on the street with your family, when you’re without human and worker rights, when education quality is dropping, when you need to go to a charity for healthcare, when you’re queuing at a charity backed food bank, when fracking pollutes the water and makes you sick, when radiation leaks from rusty submarines and cost optimized private nuclear power stations, when you exchange your right to vote for food and shelter, when you’ve lost every last scrap of human decency – then some bloody Labour policy on women’s rights is not going to make much of a damn difference.

I do not stop at the politicians.  The academics and journalists that evaluate and report on policies are also severely lacking in ability.  That supposedly intelligent people cannot think in a holistic way is frightening.  But then again is it surprising?  Weighing up countless factors and drawing conclusions on how they all influence each other is hard work and, in a world with little patience for more than a quick sound bite, is liable to leave you sounding wishy-washy and uncertain.  Ultimately it’s much easier to just shout: “That’s what you are; what am I?”  Over and over again.

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Parpcaster – From Broke to $1Billion IPO in 6 months

From its humble beginnings in a student dorm room just six months ago, has come a long way.  The new darling of the financial markets, this upstart British based technology company is set to sweep the world stage, treading in the footsteps of the likes of Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.


The premise: make use of the universal language of sound for a truly global communication medium.  Parpcaster’s founder and CEO David H. Tanenboom was becoming frustrated by the limitations of Twitter’s 140 character basis.  This was compounded when trying to connect with people unable to speak a common language.  That’s when it became clear to Tanenboom that a less restrictive and more natural means of communicating via social media was required.

“Snapchat was just stupid and Twitter was becoming passée.  Young people were finding it increasingly difficult to get their thoughts out of their heads in 140 characters,” says the spirited 22 year old. “Let’s face it words are complicated and can have different meanings for different people.  One night I accidentally Skyped a man in Burma … I don’t know what he was saying but from his rather desperate screams I could still empathize with him.  From here the idea was born and I began programming, pulling all-nighters and maxing out my credit cards until version 0.1 of Parpcaster was up and running.”

Parpcaster definitely comes from the same primordial gunk as Twitter.  Users sign up for free accounts.  Users can have an avatar and basic profiles.  However instead of Tweets, users make Parps.  A parp is a short noise – typically a few seconds.  The user can record Continue reading

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Sold from under our feet

Fracking and other Neocon vices: this is what 55% of Scotland voted for. And although Better Together did try to keep it quiet, we all knew this was afoot. The idiotic head in sand attitude of much of the 55% believes in Why can’t things just stay the way they are? They don’t see that a vote for NO was a vote for a massive swing to right wing extreme policies. Enough said – read on about the joys of fracking, coming to a place under you soon.

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A common theme we’re seeing is that of exploring why the middle-classes are not supporting independence. I have my own theories pertaining to the middle class still being comfortable enough, fearing the “great unwashed” Scotttish underclass, not wanting to risk even a few weeks of uncertainty or a minor drop in current income, and a delusional belief that a NO vote was for keeping things as they were – when everything says that the Neocon Westminster is going to squeeze the middle class dry. Connecting to the middle class to making it clear that nothing will be the same and one cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of others thinking it has nothing to do with them.



In 2011 the SNP won the most remarkable landslide victory. We won from Caithness to Cumnock. We won in every city in Scotland and we won across every social class, securing votes from all backgrounds. We won this astonishing victory on a manifesto that had a range of measures to improve our society and community at every level and we were rewarded for the good government we had demonstrated in the previous four years. We pledged to retain free education, keep free prescriptions and freeze the council tax. It was what could only be called a ‘One Scotland’ platform. We secured support and votes from all demographics and from people from all social backgrounds. 
On September the 18th, the Yes vote scored almost exactly the same percentage share of the vote that the SNP secured in 2011, but the composition of that vote could not be more different. The…

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Poll Tax Arrears Threat – Pure Evil

What can you honestly say about the plans of various Scottish councils to chase 25 year old poll tax arrears based on voter registrations from the Scottish independence referendum? Think about what this means?  Why would they do this after more than two decades?  Simple, Labour want to ensure that never again do so many of the disenfranchised poor of society bother with registering to vote.  Fearing a demolition job at next year’s general election, Labour continue with the kind of nasty dirty tricks honed during the referendum.


Miserable faced Labour MSPs informed by Salmond that he will block poll tax collection

What kind of sick and twisted mind thinks up something like this? Sure it is a final sign (as if one was necessary) that there is no difference between Conservative and Labour.  Old Labour was against the poll tax.  Twenty years later they are happy to drag one of the most controversial Conservative experiments back out of the closet for their own deviant gain.

The photograph above shows the faces of Labour MSPs after being told by Alex Salmond that he will block any attempts to collect poll tax arrears.  Anyone questioning Salmond’s ethics in front of me better duck quickly – compared to the vast majority of British politicians these days, he is an absolute saint and I challenge you to prove otherwise.

Why Salmond does not have an even higher status in Scotland is beyond me and says more about the sickness at the heart of mankind than it does about Salmond.  He offered us the chance of dispensing with healthcare privatisation, fracking, nuclear weapons, tuition fees, prescription fees, poverty, inequality, illegal wars … we’d have had 100% electricity from renewables by 2020.  We’d have a political system that wanted to involve the people in the process, that would have seen town halls packed with an active, well informed electorate.  Who would not want that for their children and grandchildren?  But no, back in our wee houses and then steeped in our private demons, fears and greed in the voting booth we chose to back a system and people that represent something that falls not far short of evil.

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The Elite Will Destroy Themselves (and take the rest of us with them)

Muybridge_Buffalo_gallopingThere was a feature length documentary a couple of years back that provided me with one of those paradigm shift things that self-improvement gurus are apt to talk about.  The film was called “Surviving Progress“.  The premise was that there is a feature in mankind that has served us well enough for millions of years but now that same feature will destroy us all.  Some may call it madness, but actually it is the same quality inherent in the majority of creatures – short term survival skills.  And yes when we’re in that survival state we’re not thinking much about the long term.  When a sabre tooth tiger is approaching then it’s not a good time to start working on plans for moving on from hunter-gatherer to farmer.  In our panic and emergency state we can indeed act quite mad as seen from a calmer perspective.

Surviving Progress

And until quite recently in the grand scheme of things this all did not matter very much.  When your number one weapon was a spear then you were not likely to permanently damage the planet.  But in the last few hundred years mankind has progressed well beyond spears and clubs with nails in them.  Modern weapons and industrial processes can and do cause massive, possibly irreparable damage.  And modern farming, medicine and hygiene are likely also very guilty in raising the stakes.  Were we intended to survive in such high numbers?

In economics the word externality can be used to refer to factors considered outside the control and responsibility of a business.  For example you may replace 1000 UK workers with 1000 workers in Asia to save 20% on your pay roll.  The fact that these 1000 people end up unemployed, spend less (on your products too?), need benefits and housing paid and therefore costing UK Ltd is not your problem.  If you can save millions by dumping toxic chemicals in the ocean off Somalia by paying the Mafia and buying off officials then the fact that it is killing the waters there is not your problem.  The problem with this is simply that we’re no longer playing with bows and arrows and our numbers are so numerous and global that we cannot regard our world as being infinite (economically and environmentally).  We cannot act without considering the greater repercussions of our actions.  The universe is a system; there is cause and there is effect.

Power also does strange things to man.  Political and business leaders now wield massive military, industrial and economic might.  This power, unchecked, becomes addictive, it fills an insatiable void, and the desire to make use of it, must become irresistible, especially in the face of so many less powerful mortals who refuse to play along with the increasingly disturbed perspective of the elite.

Pile of Bison Skulls - Bison were hunted nearly to extinction.

Pile of Bison Skulls – Bison were hunted nearly to extinction.

This picture of a bison skull mountain sums up the flaw in mankind as far as I am concerned.  An inability to step back and understand ourself and our place in the universe.  Hold this photograph in your mind next time you read about a politician backing more austerity, more indignation for the poor, more bombing of people that “just don’t learn”, more tax breaks for the rich, more surveillance, more “anti-terror” laws, more sheer insanity.  They’ll kill the golden goose to get all the golden eggs today.  In the end they will also destroy themselves, but not until they’ve taken the rest of us with them.

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Short Film: Scotland Votes No – What have we done?

A short film I made featuring the days before and after the Scottish referendum.  Maybe No voters can contemplate for a few seconds before switching on BBC again, watching some irrelevant crap and hoping their lives can simply return to their mildly comfortable rut. Burying their heads in some sand hoping danger and change never comes knocking on their door and to hell with the rest of the world.

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It’s not a Referendum, it’s a Revolution

ArtistTaxiDriver“It’s not a Referendum, it’s a Revolution,” says Mark McGowan, the Artist Taxi Driver in one of his incredibly loud and passionate YouTube monologues.  And he is completely correct.  To think this question of whether Scotland should be independent or not is just about whether 5 million people are slightly better or worse off is to notice the mouse in a room and completely miss the 300lb gorilla.

marieantoinetteexecuteWho are the people of Scotland in revolution with?  Actually it is with the usual suspects: the government, the rich, the powerful.  There has been over the last 30 years a steady, progressive slide to the politics of the right and we see a rise in xenophobia and displays of might by the Western Empire upon its own and other people.  And despite what a quick glance may suggest, everything you feel in your heart that smacks of injustice or insanity or being unsustainable is interlinked.

From banking crises to constant war for oil to protected paedophile rings to use of drugs in sport and academia to overuse of antidepressants to global warming to fixation on stars to insatiable desire for wealth and control to the growing chasm between rich and poor to the return of TB and malnutrition to Western countries, it’s all related.

It's all related. Don't kid yourself otherwise.

It’s all related. Don’t kid yourself otherwise.

The ruling establishment includes the likes of politicians, business leaders, main stream media, civil servants, entertainment stars and you see the across the board support they give to backing the Union.  This is of little surprise, they are the ones most bought into the insanity, the ones who believe they have the most to lose by any change to the status quo.

They may have the power but the people have them outnumbered.  The shock we see from the establishment is one of disbelief that there could even be a chance Scotland would vote to leave – they are so used to having the whole system completely weighted in their favour.  Think about it, all three main Westminster parties are broadly identical in their Neoconservative political and Neoliberal economic policies – that’s like ensuring the roulette wheel only has number 17 slots before you put your money down.

too-big-to-failWhy do the establishment back high risk activities like nuclear power, fracking, weapons of mass destruction, constant (illegal) invasions of other lands, unregulated casino banking?  Because the people involved in these sectors are part of the establishment too, scratching each others backs.  And it’s minimal risk to them – nuclear power, pollution, climate, nuclear weapons, banking systems are all too big to fail and when they do inevitably fail then they are bailed out by the tax payer, the majority of the people.  Again the system is completely, utterly rigged.

minor-entityBut in this “minor entity in the north of Britain” – as Scotland’s own Lord Robertson puts it – we have them running scared.  We have the most motivated, passionate and informed population in recent Western history and we have the power to say Enough is a enough, we want a new beginning, a new way to live.  The establishment of the UK and their foreign equivalents abroad know that there’s a very high probability that the Scottish revolution will spill over; a possible modern day domino theory.

IndyRef Ballot Paper AIt’s not a referendum, it’s a revolution.  And what a revolution -to think all you need to do is just put a cross in the correct box.  No need to kill, threaten or bribe anyone.

I look forward to a better world.

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