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Personal submission: Heat of the Summer

Another great submission from Richard Banker, this time he shares his view through the lyrics of one of his personal hero’s the late protest singer Phil Ochs.  Richard explained to us that it was one of the pieces that got him into music and politics, so it seems fitting to share these lyrics to comment on the protest situation happening across the globe

IN THE HEAT OF THE SUMMER

In the heat of the summer
When the pavements were burning
The soul of a city was ravaged in the night
After the city sun was sinking

Now no one knows how it started
why the windows were shattered
But deep in the dark, someone set the spark
And then it no longer mattered.

Down the streets they were rumbling
All the tempers were raging
Oh, where, oh, where are the white silver tongues
Who forgot to listen to the warnings?

On and On come the angry
No longer following reason
And all the stores were the target now
Where just the other day they were buying

Drunk with the memory of the ghetto
Drunk with the lure of the looting
And the memory of the uniforms shoving with their sticks
Asking, “Are you looking for trouble?”

“No, no, no,” moaned the mayor.
“It’s not the way of the order.
“Oh stay in your homes, please leave us alone
“We’ll be glad to talk in the morning.”

“For shame, for shame,” wrote the papers.
“Why the hurry to your hunger?
“Now the rubble’s resting on your broken streets
“So you see what your rage has unraveled.”

Barricades sadly were rising
Bricks were heavily flying
And the loudspeaker drowned like a whisperin’ sound
when compared to the angered emotions

And when the fury was over
And the Shame was replacing the anger.
So wrong, so wrong, but we’ve been down so long
And we had to make somebody listen

In the heat of the summer……

Blog: The crazy world of social media debating

Why is it that people with no prior knowledge on a specific subject, choose to interject during an ongoing debate but complain when their argument gets pulled apart by those who know their stuff or just more up to date?  The usual get-out of jail card sounds something like “imagine how you’d feel…” or “shut up you [insert negative label here]”. 

Curiously, the most common behaviour is to turn on their opponent and list a series of negative traits, usually in the vein of “you’re never wrong are you”, “you just have to be right all the time” or even bringing up old personal skeletons (this one above all demonstrates the lowest form of intelligence – if you want to call it that). 

Like, frustration alone is good enough to somehow open the heavens and be appointed the winner, or at least neutralise the conversation and call a draw.  Like, there was no Aristotle, there was no Newton, or Einstein.  Like our science only works in hospitals, construction sites and rockets, but in all other places, science is a more caring, living entity that takes your feelings into account and deep-down, recognises everyone as a winner.  Rather than interject blindly, why don’t these people use the opportunity to learn something new?  Debates are a great source for new reading topics.  People seem to only use them to get their daily hit of endorphins by winning, whether they actually do or not is irrelevant to them. When you have more information than over a million combined Alexandria libraries at the touch of a thumb in your pocket, ignorance becomes a choice!

How is it that we are so far gone that even logical syntax can vary from person to person?  That’s right, people with no clue who Aristotle even is, are just making up their own logic syntax patterns as they go along.  You give some people 2+2 and all they ever throw out is sixes and sevens.  There are a number of contributing factors to this problem and make no mistake, it is a huge problem and the very root to most of society’s problems today. 

To some extent, I blame participation-trophy culture and similar modern-day practices that play a big part in the shaping of society.  The result is someone with no clue on a subject, but will interject anyway, lose spectacularly, then insult everyone at the table for not seeing it how they want it to be.  Even though there is an accepted way to go about things including, the scientific method and a logic syntax that has endured for thousands of years.  Most young adults and teens today have had a childhood of adult mediators intervening in arguments, forcing a truce even though one person was usually in the wrong.  This principle has made it’s way into everyday life and the result is sitting right there on your social media feed.

Today, unless you have a specific career in mind, there is no real incentive to have further education, to grow your vocabulary, your knowledge, your intelligence, to continue independent learning. It isn’t rewarded proportionately either.  Nay, in many schools it is even fashionable to be a total dumbass!  Nowadays, you can mess around in school, fail your tests or not even turn up to your exams, spend your 20s partying hard and you can still salvage a life and even start a career that requires very minimal intelligence and live a comfortable life.  There is no real incentive to continue learning after school years, for most people, learning is a part of childhood and adults just get on with the slow dumbing down process.  

Blame the education system, which on a structural level has changed very little since the days of the orphan workhouses.  Blame a pop culture that supports “beauty” over brains.  A music scene that gives the biggest platform to the simplest musical structures and lyrics.  I bet half the parents who let their little kids listen to Little Mix haven’t even heard the lyrics properly.  We have been educated to believe we are entitled to be right.  That your opinion is like your own little Light of Earendil against the Shelob.  Sadly, it’s not. 

This part is so cool. Frodo does know some Elvish... (With images ...
your opinion is like your own little Light of Earendil against the Shelob

I wouldn’t have gone to the effort to write this article, but ignorance and stupidity is rife, it needs to be recognised as a debilitating trait in human society.  It’s the only real pandemic I have seen this year and it doesn’t seem to be showing sign of letting up any time soon.

Blog: You can go ahead and put Black Lives Matter in your “socially-acceptable reasons to break social distancing” folder

So let me just clarify something… Because it’s Black Lives Matter, people are amiably sharing “protest in your [insert local town]” posts. Ultimately, promoting large gatherings in built up areas. Major cities in countries around the world are “protesting” over something that is happening in the US? I understand showing respect, creating a political message and/or raising awareness, but all these countries outside of the US…who exactly are you protesting to? What exactly are you protesting, that you think will positively affect the situation right now in the US? I really don’t get what these other countries are hoping to achieve.

Also, I think it’s fair to say you can go ahead and put Black Lives Matter in your “socially-acceptable reasons to break social distancing” folder. Not to be confused with “don’t sit beside your dying son” or “don’t have anyone attend your Dad’s funeral” , which are firmly situated, as you know, in the “unacceptable reasons” folder

(to confirm: my personal view is that the lockdown is completely ridiculous and is an unjustified abuse of rights and liberties. Unless we have something like Ebola on our doorstep, spreading like fire then I will never support a government intervention on our liberty. The cost to public health, independent businesses and the wider economy, is just too great in the long term. (economy – another way of saying “the way we afford world leading healthcare, education, defence, law enforcement, justice, fire and personal care services”) I personally don’t have a problem with anyone protesting, at all. I just think they should be protesting for their own rights (which are still very much at stake) and therefore makes more sense to protest. Also the glaring and cringed hypocrisy is barely forgivable, considering the last few months have been mostly self-enforced by the people. That’s just my honest opinion.

I have people on my social media who, only last week were spewing the worst kind of bile online over people not observing lockdown and social distancing guidelines going out to beaches and parks etc even accusing people of murder, are now sharing pictures and promotional material encouraging people to gather in their local town to protest.

What. The actual. F*#%?!

Not sure who is more thick here, them or me for ever engaging in the first place. The thought that I could ever hope to make certain people understand something other than the thing they merely want to understand, in hindsight, was a tall order from me.

When the cold hard sinking realisation sets in that you have been wasting your time all along, it can leave you feeling somewhat obtuse. You live and you learn. I’ll be spending the majority of my time, going forward, thinking-up ways to make information clearer and more accessible to those who actually want it.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT CONSPIRACY? by Richard Banker

Boris Johnson groupies are the most extreme instance of putting blind faith in this ‘posh boy’ media pinup and that our rulers are benevolent. in reality, he’s a serial liar, abuser of power, incompetent, out for his own ends and archetypal ruling class. I arrived at the conclusion in my uni days that they conspire against us . The is a long standing right wing elite conspiracy bent on reversing civilised advances of the 1945 political settlement including making the NHS the same as the insurance based US healthcare system, destroying trade unions, etc. They see it as a ‘temporary aberration’. Political adviser, Dominic Cummings is archetypal, firstly over Vote Leave and now effectively Prime Minister pulling the strings on Johnson. Cummings is the bad guy to watch more than anyone else.

For the last 10 years, the Tory government has contracted out parts of the NHS to ripoff private contractors like Richard Branson,lumbered it with ruinous PFI mortgages attacked pay and conditions of junior doctors and nurses. From 2015, I was active in a group supporting junior doctor demonstrations and opposing Derbyshire health chiefs from cutting 535 hospital beds on instructions from above . The recent Panorama programme showed how not restocking PPE for hospitals in the name of cost cutting so large quantities became medically obsolete. This failure was why over 300 doctors and nurses died of COVID. At the same time, PPE stocks were centred on hospitals but patients were discharged to nursing homes and spread COVID in a closed in environment amongst elderly disabled inmates. Only a few months into the crisis did they include these figures into the lists of those who’ve died. These poor sods haven’t had a chance.

The NHS was set up by the 1945 Labour Government to free people from the fear of escalating medical bills, a GP gatekeeper system handling referrals where they couldn’t treat, an ambulance service, health visitors and especially preventative medecine including vaccination (and, from my experience a Live Well clinic for healthy eating and exercise). It was set up as part of a programme of social improvement including clean water, public health and decent housing. My personal experience of the NHS one way or another is quite extensive one way or another. It is compatible with those with alternative medecine (and probiotics). 

I’m highly aware that lockdown legislation includes a ban on gatherings of more than 2 for 2 years (even with proposed relaxation) so national protest demonstrations will be illegal for the first time under the letter of the law (A year or so back, they tried to charge national demonstrations for the cost of policing, sealing off traffic so they have history) Johnson is still bent on Brexit and selling off the NHS

This country had enough warnings of the coronavirus and the WHO on Jan 30th decided that the outbreak constituted a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” (Its on the WHO coronavirus timeline) . It strongly advised countries to set up a test and trace programme, immediate lockdown, social distancing. All other European countries followed this advice while Johnson opted for ‘herd immunity’ and we must ‘take it on the chin’. He let the Cheltenham Races go ahead, the most effective way of spreading COVID far and wide. He wasn’t guilty of draconian lockdown but on the contrary, too little too late as the lockdown only kicked in on March 20th . On top of this, the ‘stay at home’ ,’control the virus’ mantras let Cummings and Johnson off the hook for their gross negligence towards the NHS for 10 years prior and during the pandemic. The ‘stay alert’ mantra is both vague and puts responsibility for catching COVID on the individual and not on the government.

I checked the origins of the world Health Organisation on Wikipedia and it comes directly under the auspices of the United Nations and not the fiefdom of Bill Gates. it’s worthwhile noting that Trump is threatening to cut funding to the WHO on his own nationalist and backside covering motives and not out of philanthropy. where Trump leads, the alt right social media surely follows. 

by Richard Banker 

Blog: Whatever happened to “catch it, bin it, kill it”?

The ‘2-metre rule’ or ‘social-distancing’ are terms that were ‘conjured out of nowhere’, there is no scientifically credible reason why social distance should replace individual diligence and common sense. The rule is simply there because, in the government’s eyes, we cannot be trusted. [1]

The lockdown will be lifting soon, we are all expecting it.  I’ve just been looking today at some example of preparations businesses and organisations are choosing to make before lifting the lockdown.  A theatre in Germany are removing chairs from theatres to create distance between audience members [2], in the US and UK some schools have introduced marked-off areas and hoops on the floor for smaller children to stand in [3] and pubs could be opening with clear Perspex barriers, like those in supermarkets [4].

Is this a taster of what is to become the infamous ‘new norm’? Is this how terrified we really are?  So much so that we‘re willing to risk the very high chance of causing serious mental health issues for our young people to grow up with, who rely on us for good guidance throughout their development. [5] Human beings are fundamentally social creatures and are hard-wired to interact closely with people.  This is not good guidance; this is complete and utter madness.

Let’s not get carried away, it’s important to remember that the lockdown was actioned by a government that has little to no scientific or technical expertise of their own.  The politicians of today are not the representatives of real-world people as they should be, but rather trained social engineers that rely on hidden ‘experts’ to provide data and ‘facts’ that at least sound logical to us (most of which I doubt they even believe themselves), so that we confidently turn a blind eye to everything else they do.  The lockdown was based on a messy and scientifically flawed computer model and overreaching scientists.  [6]

“This guy (Fergusson) has caused massive strife to the world with his absurdly fake ‘science,’” – Elon Musk [7]

 “Neil Ferguson’s lockdown predictions are so dodgy that you wouldn’t even ask him what day Christmas is on” – Ross Clark [8]

If this was an airborne virus, which it isn’t, then you will catch it whether you are 2 metres or 10 metres away.  Not that people were constantly brushing shoulders before.  Whatever happened to “catch it, bin it, kill it”?  Did that not work in the past?

Although the lockdown measures have not been fully relaxed, you only need venture out to your local town or village and see that streets have been a lot busier for weeks now.  Why can no one explain to me how and why the daily cases and deaths can decrease even though the distancing is relaxing?  Whether it has been permitted by the government or not, most people are starting to get relaxed.  Yet, every new idea for exiting the lockdown strategy still has people holding a twinkle in their eye.

Are we like that child who has privately figured out that the tooth fairy isn’t real, but doesn’t say anything to the parents because the money will stop if they no longer believe in it?  I think a lot of people are like this right now.  Otherwise, I am stuck for words to explain why there seems to be people demanding more lockdown and protection on one hand, and on the other hand, busy parks and beaches the second they relax the rules.

Just to clarify, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to the park or the beach if you believe it is safe for you and your family.  I just have trouble watching mass-hypocrisy in full swing.

 

References

1 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/07/government-has-terrorised-britons-believing-coronavirus-will/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1277125/coronavirus-lockdown-two-metre-social-distancing

2 https://www.thelocal.de/20200528/in-pictures-how-germany-is-doing-social-distancing-in-coronavirus-times

3 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8328819/Primary-school-unveils-plans-social-distancing-pupils-return-class.html

https://ksltv.com/433323/utah-school-uses-hula-hoops-to-teach-kids-parents-about-social-distancing/

https://www.infodash.org/virus/new-social-distancing-circles-are-shown-at-dolores-park-in-san-francisco/

4 https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-is-this-the-pub-of-the-future-for-enjoying-a-post-lockdown-pint-11989802

5 https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/doctor-note-psychological-effects-social-distancing-200414071411061.html

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-covid-social-distancing-significant-impacts.html

6 https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/05/08/so-the-real-scandal-is-why-did-anyone-ever-listen-to-this-guy/

7 https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-prof-neil-ferguson-resigned-moron-absurdly-fake-science-2020-5?r=US&IR=T

Blog: Criticising the lockdown is NOT selfish, it is actually the more caring position

It was somewhere in the middle of March 2020 when management came into the office with a different kind of tone.  It was impossible to not overhear the talk of potentially getting everyone to work from home.  Calls to HR were being made, ordering more IT equipment to facilitate the whole company working from home, “just in case”.  This was the moment I knew something different was happening, something serious.

In recent memory, we’ve had the Ebola outbreak, which I remember learning about as one of (if not) the most terrifying virus known to man.  The virus causes a terminal haemorrhagic fever, breaking down cell membranes in the body, essentially liquifying the organs.  With a potential mortality rate of 90%, a reproductive rate from 1.7 to 1.9, and an average incubation period of 12.7 days. [1] I actually remember watching the news, looking around and thinking “why the hell is no one worried about this?”.

Yet, people dismiss the lack of preemptive action from the government on the Ebola outbreak, regarding the preparation of society for potential economic calamity.  No contingency work meetings, no panic buying of toilet rolls, no shaming of people getting a bit to close to one another, attending football matches, concerts or opening shops, no talks of mandatory vaccines.  The excuse?  “It didn’t spread very far” or “it stayed in West Africa”.

This is somewhat false, Ebola arrived briefly, here in the UK!  The advice at the time was “There is no need for people in the UK to act differently, either now or even if we discovered a case of Ebola here”.  Never was it suggested that the whole world’s economy could be shutting down as part of a contain or ‘slowing the spread’ strategy.  To protect the NHS. To save lives.  Nothing suggested the possibility that the economy itself could all but shut down for several months.  Nothing. [2]

Fast forward a few years and today and we have a new virus.  At it’s peak, a similar reproduction rate (as of 15 May 2020, the reproduction rate was between 0.7 and 1.0)  and a similar incubation period albeit a far lower mortality rate. [3] Yet, somehow causing total havoc across the globe, leaving world leaders, in all their insufferable ineptitude, to stretch the media’s legs and potentially risking further civil and/or global polarity and ultimately, conflict.

What does this tell us?  It tells us that when the threat to human life is genuinely severe for everyone, the government are in-and-out with remarkable efficiency.  They don’t invest in media to hypnotise us with noxious mantras, to alter our behaviour, appealing for people to snitch on their neighbours thus potentially damaging important personal relationships and trust within their local community.  It also tells us that a virus with a high reproductive cycle and incubation period can be beaten without going into lockdown.

In some ways, the lockdown can be compared to chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer.  The treatment kills all cells indiscriminately, we have to hope that it kills the cancer before it kills you.  Whilst it is argued correctly that chemo does destroy cancer cells, it also destroys everything else in your body.  Including your immune system and therefore, your ability to effectively defend yourself against many other threatening virus’ and bacterial infections.  Thus, requiring the patient to take more drugs to treat a whole daisy chain of side effects, which go on to create more side effects that then need more drugs, and so on.

“What are the alternatives?”  the best treatment for cancer is always a personal choice, and I would always support someone’s personal choice, it’s not my place to judge.  We can still discuss it though, can’t we?  Without someone coming along with a story about their relative who has died of cancer, only for the purpose of shutting you up because they don’t like people talking about it (like most of us haven’t lost someone to cancer at some point and aren’t allowed to speak about it).   There are many backed-up and supported alternative theories, aimed at preventing cancer, that draw many parallels to ‘alternatives to strict lockdown’ ideas.  Research that focuses immense value in the cultivating of healthier eating and lifestyle habits, to support a kind-of ‘immune system-driven herd immunity’ against cancer.

Granted, the lockdown seems to have indeed saved lives, although the exact figure of that success may be impossible to truly visualise, I believe the number of lives it will cost in the long term will completely overshadow it.  Already, only a few months in and we are already seeing a huge rise in suicides, domestic violence cases, cancer screenings and other diseases experiencing costly delays, new prescriptions for anti-depressants come flooding in and waiting lists for mental health services are growing. [3]

The lockdown will end, and once the government’s support diminishes and ultimately ends with it, tens of thousands of people will find their businesses (which are often an accumulation of their life’s work and personal sacrifices) will not be waiting for them when they return.  It’s clear to me and many others that the number of stories relating to a rise in lockdown-related suicide and personal crisis, is not going any where but up.  People will be haunted by the negative effects of the lockdown for a generation to come.  This is the true avalanche we should all be worried about.

By speaking out about the lockdown, you are appealing for balance in the ongoing public discussion, you are recognising that saving a few thousand people today, at the cost of potentially hundreds of thousands in the years to come, is not a success but rather a false victory and a bastardisation of good scientific reasoning.  You recognise that worse viruses have been beaten, without the need to cause widespread panic and mass social engineering.  You can see that it could be possible to have a lockdown that’s more bespoke to the small group of people most vulnerable.

An economy is supposed to be like a moving river, if the river stops, it goes stagnant and life becomes much more difficult.   Right now, most of people’s income being supplemented by the governments support packages, is being syphoned off into the pockets of tax avoiding corporations as the world’s richest have already gained $255 billion in just two months of the pandemic. [4] The money that is being spent isn’t returning much back to the state in the way of tax.  The economy is literally haemorrhaging.

You are not being money obsessed for understanding that the strength in the economy isn’t in it’s total monetary value but rather it is the combination of it’s total worth and being in a state of constant back-and-forth exchange.   The notion that it’s the billionaires who are only want us going back to work because they need us to make money, is complete gibberish.  The billionaires are already profiting nicely from the lockdown.  By opening the economy up, we are keeping that opportunity away from the billionaires and opening those opportunities back up to smaller, independent businesses who desperately need it.  All the modern healthcare services that we have taken for granted to date, are only made possible by a large, working economy holding it up.

It’s unfathomable that so many people would rather believe that people don’t care about human life, than accept that thinking about the long-term survival of our economic infrastructure, which includes the healthcare sector, is probably the more caring position to take.  With talk of a second and maybe even a third wave that are alleged to have a higher cost to life, how long do people think it can last without the economy?

 

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258044972_Incubation_Period_of_Ebola_Hemorrhagic_Virus_Subtype_Zaire

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ebola/frequently-asked-questions

2. https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2014/10/15/expert-interview-is-ebola-a-risk-to-the-uk/

3. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/25/attempted-suicides-elderly-may-increasing-six-fold-says-royal/

https://fee.org/articles/a-years-worth-of-suicide-attempts-in-four-weeks-the-unintended-consequences-of-covid-19-lockdowns/

https://eu.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/2020/05/10/domestic-violence-attempted-suicides-felonious-assaults-call-up/3085942001/

https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/18423572.cornwall-suicide-rates-rise-since-coronavirus-outbreak/

https://inews.co.uk/news/health/mental-health-coronavirus-antidepressants-medication-supplies-uk-lockdown-rise-demand-2842273

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/well/live/coronavirus-cancer-diagnosis-treatment-cure.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52531613

4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2020/05/22/billionaires-zuckerberg-bezos/#596fda357ed6

 

 

If you have any links that would support this article or even a counter argument, please share them with your response in the comments