Theatrical, political, artycal?

Who knows anymore?

Who the fuck cares...?

By Steven Carne, Jul 26 2017 11:11AM

This summer - use the term loosely - has been a hive of activity (see what I did there?) with bees galore buzzing around and birds swooping in the garden at all times of the day. It's been a real pleasure to see them and hear them. The bees especially can be bloody loud in the ceonothus (California lilac for the non garden types).

Why am I being so noisy about this? Well for the last 5 years I've seen the number of birds and bees dwindle in the garden. When we first moved here 12 years ago it was a busy traffic area with sparrows playing "Heathrow" sitting on our greenhouse roof taking turns to feed from the fat balls in winter and buds in Spring. But about 2012 i began to notice not so many were visiting. That was when the rise of Rapeseed was moving in bigtime. And since then East Cambridgshire has pretty much become a blanket of golden yellow for 360 Degrees around our area.

I actually love the yellow even though it plays havoc with allergies and breathing. But this year 2017 the farmers have changed the crops. We're back to wheat and cornflower. And with them it seems are the birds and the bees.

It's got me thinking there is a definite link between the crop - and the neocotinoids/sprays and pesticides used to grow it - and the shrinking of the bird/bee population in our area. And if it's happneing here it must be happening everywhere.

California poppy with a visitor
California poppy with a visitor

This is nothing new. Since the popularity of Rapeseed Oil in cooking - another oil to get away from the saturated fat family of oils (cheap) - farmers and enviromentalists have been arguing the toss. This from 2007.

Trouble is it seems the bees LOVE Rapeseed. But it sends them a little crazy and interferes with their ability to navigate, collect pollen and even buzz! This is a very recent study and reveals much about the effect of the innocent golden yellow on our poor bees.

Haven't yet discovered how the sparrows are effected. This is enough for today dont you think?



By Steven Carne, Jun 18 2017 01:17PM

The aftermath of the horror that is Grenfell Tower is one of anger, confusion, disbelief and fear.

Confusion is not surprising given the poor coverage on mainstream media and, out of necessity, our reliance on uneven quality social media.

Disbelief for many as the realisation that the fire that took only 30 - 45minutes to spread up the tower could have been prevented by simple old fashioned and correct fire safety standards. (see LINK end of article)

And fear. Fear that those in power really don’t care and will shake off this disaster as a catastrophe from which “lessons will have to be learnt”. Again. Hollow words from Theresa May, the Conservative party and its Ministers who are now revealed as failures of human beings.

And of course that leads right back to the Anger. Anger can be a soul destroyer but in this case anger can be and should be a major food supply for our hungry inner souls.

In a moment of much needed calm we should also be asking ourselves how we got here. Thirty years or more of a warped twisted economic philosophy we now dangerously give a cute name - AUSTERITY - is how we got here. The simple hopeless philosophy that the private sector focusing on profit - men and women in suits using their business profit accumen to care - is a better performer than publicly publicly run services where attention to saving and protecting people’s lives is the main focus.

As Deon Lombard, Principal, Deon Lombard Architects said in his article about placing public safety into private hands

Another post this morning on the dreaded Facebook alerted us to the fact that Parliament had, in August 2016, decided sprinklers were no longer necessary in new school buildings.... um... new state schools not needing sprinklers... I'm.... it's OK. Only poor kids. There's too many of them anyway... that's Austerity mentality.

We need to be asking ourselves why there wasn't public and media outrage at the time of these Parliamentary debates, bills, motions and amendments. Bills allowing lives to be put at risk by the kneeling to profit and the shirking of government responsibility to protect lives. Why government has stepped to one side to let the business world take up controlling positions over our daily lives. Business only exists to create profit. That is not rocket science. Corporate business on a grand scale now rests its overfed fat arse on the seat of public power in this country.

Why didn’t we know? Because our democratic processes don’t allow us in. Hasn’t done for years. The last three decades of “buckle your belts grin and bear it” has made it very difficult to participate in democracy and that seems to suit the politicians - on all sides of the house - just fine.

This underlying psychology of “Austerity” is what is truly terrifying.

“We’re poor so we don't deserve" is the psychological state of being that has been dealt to all of us, our kids, for too many years. Some manage to break from it, others find themselves actively fighting it. But for the majority the effort of surviving in low pay jobs, paying huge rents, trying to offer children a childhood, supporting elderly parents - getting involved in politics is just too much. Especially when politicians prove to be receivers of financial rewards as a result of their heightened status as elected representatives.

Austerity is literally KILLING PEOPLE and the rich don't care.

Why should they? Is not in their DNA. Just as politics has been bred out of ordinary people the rich have have also had social conscience sucked out of them.

Oh we can talk of philanthropy and good people who donate to the poor... you know what? Fuck off. I'm sick of charity. Charity just maintains the system of dog eat dog. The throwing of scraps to the needy. That's why we're seeing so much of new Corporate Charity being dragged into our lives in the NHS, mental health, disability and social care, education.

Our limited two party political system is diseased and failing us.

This week it has proved it can also kill us. Our mainstream media is diseased, failing and this week proved that it is happy to support the establishment even when it is killing us.

Our country is sick, failing.

But there is hope. It is awful that it takes a disaster like this to allow people the opportunity to find their rage and their voice. But they are finding them. And especially in the young generation for whom the vision of a hopeless “no prospects”, “living in hard times”, “there’s no money” has finally rung like a cracked bell. Hollow.

Dismissed by the mainstream media as the “naive, misguided youth vote” theirs is a voice we need to support and allow to flourish. So in honour of all those lost and affected by the catastrophe in West London let's get writing to local councils, newspapers, MPs, local media. Get our voices out there. This thing called Austerity is political malice and wrong.

And it does not appear to be just the passion of the poor young. Rachel Johnson’s Daily Mail article “My daughter voted Labour!” must have ruffled feathers in comfortable middle class tory households across the country.

The Conservative party should feel more than ruffled. They should feel ashamed. And here I smile because it’s not just the young who are finding their voice. A 70+ friend made me laugh last week when she said:

“We need new swearwords. FUCKERS isn’t enough”.

So get writing to local councils, newspapers, MPs, local media. Get our voices out there.

Austerity has taken away the notion of self-worth from ordinary people below the £30,000 a year line. Many dream of £30k a year. But to most of the inhabitants of the political, banking, media bubble, £30k is piffle. Those people earning that meagre sum are the undeserving, the blight on a prosperous society.

And now a blight on the West London landscape reminds us that this corporate driven sadistic perversion of economic politics entered our lives and nearly destroyed us.

In the hope that one day soon we can see this perverse economic philosophy erradicated from our society, Grenfell Tower needs to be recognised as a living Monument to Austerity.


By Steven Carne, Nov 7 2013 11:14AM

Well I was trawling through the net as you do the other night and I kept coming across this word MEGGINGS. "What the bloody hell is that?" I asked my other half who is usually in the know about such things but even he was nonplussed. So online I go to find out. Turns out MEGGINGS are the latest fashion statement for men! Leggings for men! Yes!


No longer is stretchy lycra the domain of fat thighed women who we should be celebrating for being so generous with their bodies but really should be told "if your lovely belly is round your knees dont wear lycra". Men too can look like arses in thick tights!

I decided I had to try them out cos I'm just that sort of guy and discoverd I have a fashion tip for all those men out there who hate spending loads of dosh on fashion season rubbish but want that cutting edge look to stave off the suede panel cardigan and comfy slacks your Dad used to wear. Get an old pair of Long Johns - (Long Jonz is my brand), add old pair of thick wool socks, pair of DM's and wayhey! you're away and partying with Vivienne! (Westwood).

They are remarkably comfy and certainly I did get plenty of looks when I went to get the milk and papers frm the village shop this morning.

By Steven Carne, Oct 4 2013 11:07AM

After twelve weeks the time has come to leave. I’m happy. I’m relieved. I’m sad. I’m troubled. Happy to be going home to see loved ones and familiar walls with paintings on that I have chosen to live with and looked at everyday for the last eight years (at least). Relieved that the continual stress of dealing as respectfully as I can with another culture and language is soon to be over. It’s exhausting having to keep the brain in gear of being explanatory in tone whilst you speak. I’m sad to be leaving a country full of lovely people. Malawi is like East Anglia only with a lot more hills. It’s beauty does not hit you right away. It takes a little while. But it does creep into your soul. Troubled because I really have no idea if what I do here actually does any good? Is a film really something that can help people to create better lives for themselves?

We can but try. Goodbye Malawi I wish you well. Listen to your own truths and not those who only want you to grow so they can sell you more rubbish...

I'm the (still) fat one on the left looking troubled for some reason.

By Steven Carne, Sep 28 2013 08:04AM


Sitting in the dusty generator powered (bloody noisy) office talking to my wonderful Malawi colleague Lemani about the nature of development and Aid, Charities, NGOs etc. He is optimistic and hopeful like so many Malawians but he is intelligent and understands the dark side of the International Development beast and the need for Malawians and Africans to stand up to the White Man and tackle the old Colonial Spirit which still thrives enthusiastically in the form of White 4x4s, huge amounts of policy documents and literature featuring lovely pictures of little black kids being fed vitamin porridge, given a football, a new school uniform. My time in Malawi has made me realise that the White Man still rules Africa. It’s going to take some time for the masses to grow beyond the subservient (if they wore caps they’d doff them) and stand up to the hierarchy that exists above them. I wonder if the International Development Community is genuinely ready to cope with a continent of well educated and expectant people raised out of poverty to join the Global Life? What will the International Development Business Community do then? Find another poor country/continent to develop and make money out of.

Because that is what International Aid has become for many - a business. It’s an industry generating millions/billions from public donations, company tax dodge donations, circulating money from project to project, investing money into poor countries all the while speculating that once improved that country will be tied to the products and resources provided by the speculative donors. Example? Tobacco companies give lots of money to charity and AID Foundations in the knowledge that the local people are dependent on this money for food and will continue growing the poisonous stuff on their little strips of land and will remain poor and dependent in farming tobacco for the foreseeable future because the risk of not having the AID money is too risky. Poor means having no obvious choice and frankly caring about nothing but finding the next meal.

Take Cooking Stoves for example. USAID are promoting (Hilary Clinton loves them) new metal stoves that burn with very little wood thus (we hope) reducing deforestation in areas where trees are badly needed for the ecology of the land. These stoves cost somewhere in the region of $15 to buy - 5,250 kwacha - which is easily out of the reach of an average village family struggling to find 500 kwacha a week to live on. Plus these stoves are made in the USA keeping Americans employed, export companies busy. And of course the public cna donate to the metal stove campaign. They could be made in Malawi by the iron workers who spend days banging hell out of tin to make the loveliest watering cans and washing bowls I have ever seen. They’d go for a bomb in nice UK gift shops. Better still - as we feature in our new epic drama Mbeu Yosintha - people can build a brick stove for just 500kwacha. Bricks, water, sand, termite clay and goat manure. See link - BUILD A STOVE

So I hope that making a film with these lovely people has done something to break the image that the White Man is still in control. We have tried so hard to be equal with them, to encourage them to argue with us, disagree with us, express their real opinions not the “I don’t want to offend” opinions that automatically come out when a White Man asks a question.

A website for the film will be coming soon and there you might even be able to donate, buy a brick stove, buy a t-shirt, plant a tree, climb Kilimanjaro even!

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