Camping in Bristol and London

Trip Start Aug 22, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, November 6, 2011

A bit chilly, the heating's on

A lot has happened since my last entry.

The Kernel was found in a drainpipe and summarily shot.  The allies looked on via the media and murmered words like 'inquiry'  and 'getting to the bottom' regarding the manner of his death, as he was captured alive.  The Libyan people queued up for days to see the body of the man who had ruled over them with an iron fist for 42 years, they prodded him and took photographs, just to make sure the rumours were true.  In an ideal world they would have captured him, put him on trial and let him rot in a cell till the end of his days, but perhaps the people of Libya needed to see him die, and more than that, actually dead, in order to move on.  Do we really care?  Personally no

Then there was the Musa Kusa story on Panorama in which the former Libyan Foreign Minister was traced to Qatar.  While watching the programme I recalled seeing Cameron and Haigh talking about the 'defection' of Musa Kusa to the UK back in March/April, saying that he would not be immune from prosecution should he be found guilty of any misdoings.  It would appear that Mr Kusa is now living the life of luxury in Qatar having been given all his money and 'permitted' to leave the UK without any questions asked.  Oh, and Mr Kusa is big mates with MI5 too.  It's starting to get a bit smelly from where I sit.

Last week I met John and 'The Chief', two homeless guys recently released from prison.  We got chatting about the state of the world, as you do, and it turned out they were living in a hostal just around the corner from Stokes Croft.  'The Chief' had just done 5 years for shooting his bow and arrow at a 'Pikie' for annoying him and his missus, for the umpteenth time that week, and John had just been released after 3 years, crime unknown.  They couldn't go to the pub because they would be breathalized before going back into the hostal every night.  'The Chief' had tried to score some weed earlier in the day (it helps with the pain in his legs, injuries sustained when beaten with an iron bar some years ago) but the guy had taken his 20 and done a runner.  They are permitted to stay in the hostal for 3 months, then they are supposed to be rehoused, but the reality is they get passed from hostal to hostal. 

On release from prison John had had his disability reassessed and now finds himself on the lowest possible benefit.  When I shook his hand to say goodbye I noticed he had no fingers on either hand.  He later told me he had no toes either.  I'm not sure what to say about them or their situation except to make an observation about the way a life can take a turn in a particular direction.  We've all had to cope with major events in our lives, a death of a loved one, losing a job, health issues; but what happens to people when ALL these things happen at once? It can happen to any of us, so be grateful not smug or judgemental.

I ran into John and 'The Chief' while on my way to visit the Occupy Bristol Camp on College Green, I wanted to see for myself whether the Green was occupied by reactionaries, revolutionaries and anarchists.  Relax peeps, they are just like you and me, except they are making their feelings known by pitching their tents outside the Council House.  I got chatting to a guy who had 'done very nicely thank you' out of the IT boom and then played poker for a couple of years so while technically he is unemployed, he is not unemployable or claiming benefits.  He is of independent means, an old fashioned term rarely used now.  He also helped me out with this whole banking crisis we are all talking about but few of us understand.  I don't pretend to FULLY understand it now, but at least now I have a better understanding of the problem and what a possible solution might look like.  Fractional Reserve Banking is the problem, described simply here: 

The fact is we cannot rely on the media or politicians to inform us any more, we have to do the research ourselves, draw our own conclusions and work out what it is we want.  Opponents of the protests say 'they don't know what they want' and I wouldn't disagree with that, this is just an outpouring of people's disgust and anger at the way in which the bankers, the politicans and big business works.  They (we) don't know what the 'answer' is, what we DO know is that we don't like the way it has been in the past and the way they (the bankers, politicians and business) all seem to want to get back to in the future. 

And lastly .................... The Archbishop of Canterbury FINALLY stood up to be counted this week, honestly, where's the bloody leadership?  My only worry about the St Pauls Camp is that the religion thing will get in the way of the real issue, but I suppose be grateful for small mercies, the church didn't go ahead with the eviction and A of C is at last speaking out for the minority.  Then there's the problems with Greece and the Euro but frankly that all pales into insignificance when you consider the Israeli people's concern over whether their government really are planning to attack Iran's nuclear capability next week.  Yes, I said next week.  The Israeli Foreign Minister said this morning on the BBC 'We are the strongest nation for a thousand mile radius around Jerusalem, and we intend it to remain that way'

Scary Mary ................


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