(Written on a train travelling south to Liverpool Boxing Day 2013)
|Return Of The Ice Hare : Makeshift 2013|
And, so this is Christmas/2014 And All That.....
And, so this is Christmas and what?...war is over? ...People are joining hands and what?...Dancing around a circle as one?... Are united in liberty, fraternity, equality?
John Lennon's words may be visionary but as we move toward 2014 Syria, South Sudan and, of course, Ukraine are all showing unrest. We always hope for these things, war being over and people having resolved their differences but we know even Father Christmas can't bring us that.
Image of a rather large man in white trimmed red suit sitting looking despondent shrugging 'Well I tried, believe me folks I tried'.
Unfortunately, we know in the year to come, people will still go hungry despite there being plenty of food in the world, the homeless will not be provided with shelter despite there being plenty of empty homes and the impoverished will still have to carry the burden of austerity despite the fact that there is plenty of cash sloshing around ( and not only in David Cameron's pockets) bankers will still pick up 30 per cent bonuses and politicians will take their 10 per cent plus cut.
Of course, neither can we blame starvation, homelessness and poverty on people who don't work hard or are, somehow, less intelligent than others.
Last week I reminded you all that huge armies of people in work in the USA have to depend on public assistance. A similar situation also exists in the UK where many people who have jobs still have to depend on welfare to get by.
Next year I plan to do more work on my thesis that the UK, in particular, but the USA as well are both on the road to 'readjustment' and not 'recovery' and in 2014 I want to tell you why.
And, before we mention it people are not hungry, impoverished or
homeless because they are no - smart, unemployment among graduates has never been so high, but really there are number of luck factors involved. Right place, right time sort of thing.
The people who live by Jakarta's grabage dump at Bantar Gebang work on and around the fly-infested rubbish tip from morning to night, seven days a week. They build their homes from materials scavenged from the dump, before the bulldozers arrive, and feed their families and themselves from the meagre daily pickings they get from working out there.
They are not lazy, they can't afford to be, and they will never, ever, have access to proper education so we can't tell if they are smart or no - smart.
Their situation is not something they happily volunteered for pre-birth.
"I want to be born into a family who lives by the rubbish mountain at Bantar Gebang...please!"
From all the possible families they could have been born into - and the possibilities are almost infinite pre-conception - they become the sons and daughters of the people of Bantar Gebang and their infinite possibilities pre-conception become finite post-birth.
So, from any possible combination of parents taken from the billions of people on the planet, at any time, in any period anywhere, they become : 'An Individual Born At A Particular Time In A Particular Period Of History In A Particular Geographical Location' - and probably within a particular religious grouping.
What do you say to that Santa?
"Ughhh? Well, let me think" shrugs shoulders. "Erm...."