The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Welcome to autumn and welcome to October.
We are now into Halloween month! I dare say this is my daughter’s favourite time of year, even more so than Christmas. I have an idea for a costume, one that will hopefully top our experience during our last Halloween adventure (back in 2019, due to covid), where I dressed as a chicken.
The End of September
I have bemoaned the weather in a number of previous Musings, and I wonder if someone or something heard me. September’s weather proved oddly pleasant, somewhat cool in the mornings but quite warm and sunny in the afternoons. Has fate been trying to make up for the failings in July and August? It could hardly be destined to last, but at least for a few scant moments something vaguely resembling summer arrived.
Are we Winning?
I remember at the turn of the century there was a petrol crisis. It got quite serious and saw a lot of people struggling to get fuel for their vehicles. The problem has returned, albeit on a smaller scale, and for different reasons – reasons that could see the problem escalate.
The problem is Brexit, though most media outlets in the UK (BBC, ITV, Sky, to name but a few) won’t call out our failed experiment by name. I will grant that the pandemic has not helped matters, but whilst there are a few supply chain issues in Europe, they are nowhere near as bad as they are here.
Let’s be clear. We’re not looking at a fuel crisis – yet. At the first whispers of a problem people have rushed out and panic-bought (much like we saw with things like toilet roll last year), and urging people not to panic-buy only seems to encourage them. The media does like a frenzy, and could do with standing back from doomsday reporting. However, if not for Brexit this situation wouldn’t exist in the first place. It’s a situation that could easily get worse if supply chain problems are not resolved.
Alongside this issue is a labour shortage. A lack of pickers and drivers means goods are not reaching supermarkets and a number of shelves are empty. There are CO2 supply issues that have been temporarily resolved, but will potentially see the food industry paying five times as much. Energy companies are collapsing, and the ones that haven’t want to charge people more – they arguably need to – at a time when the government is cutting back on Universal Credit and raising National Insurance.
In my previous Muse I made it clear there is an alternative to forcing ordinary people to pay more. The rich can comfortably afford to pay more tax and remain rich, and doing so would raise a lot more money too. The richest man in Britain, Sir Leonard Blavatnik, could pay 10% tax, contribute £2.3 billion to the UK’s budget, and remain filthy-rich.
In short this government is failing epically, and as is the norm for the Tories they are hammering the poor into the ground to look after their rich mates.
Look at the sharp rise in foodbank use, necessitated by a growing poverty problem. In 08/09 just under 26,000 people used foodbanks. In 20/21 2.5 million people needed to use them. That’s an increase of 9696.51%! We’re not far shy of a ten thousand percent increase!
In England the number of rough sleepers rose steadily from 2010 to 2017, rom 1,768 to 4,751. The numbers dropped slightly in 2018 and 2019 but remained a lot higher (4,677 and 4,266) than before. It was only in 2020 that numbers dropped significantly, to 2,688, but that is as much due to pandemic control measures as anything else.
The cost of buying and renting properties has increased much faster than wages. People are being squeezed and yet, there are obvious solutions that don’t require pressure being placed on the working class.
Le sigh. I am so annoyed with all of this – no, not annoyed, furious. At what point will we wake up as a nation and hold our crumbling wreck of a government to account, not just for their mishandling of the pandemic, not just for Brexit, but for a decade of slowly ruining us?
In lighter news, the other day my daughter, granddaughter and I were walking home when we saw not one but two foxes, who were milling about. Foxes are beautiful animals, and so cruelly hunted by arrogant toffs. Don’t get me wrong, I understand they can be pests and dangerous, and I understand the need to keep them under control, but to have them ripped apart by dogs in the name of ‘sport’ is savagery.
These two could be the same pair we saw scampering around as cubs earlier in the year. We’d hear them in the evenings and we could see them playing from our bedroom window. On a few occasions they ended up under our living room window and had we wanted to, we could have reached out to stroke them (a very bad idea!). They even came up to our cat, who didn’t appreciate the attention.
The development of The Awakening continues at a reasonable pace. I’ve re-edited more than ten percent of it, and I’m following the guidelines and suggestions of my publisher. in the course of the edit I’ve decided some additional changes to the story itself are needed, in order to flow more naturally into a probable sequel. It’s proving to be a satisfying if challenging process. Onwards and upwards!
A friend from work recently introduced me to a chess app for my phone. This has led to a number of games, and an alarming ability to throw away winning positions and draw instead. If anyone reading this wants an easy win, let me know!
‘There is no such thing as Racism’
These are the words of TEWSNBN, over at Theology Archaeology, in a post entitled Josh McDowell. Would he tell that to the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, to name but two victims of institutionalised racism?
He also had this to say:
Don’t be fooled by those people crying for equality, they only want the power shifted in their favor and will not give equality to anyone else. if you want an example, look at all the times the LGBTQ community and its supporters have attacked Christian businessmen and organizations.
They treat Christians in a harsher manner than Christians ever treated them. You preach God’s message to the world and let people be hurt and upset. You do not hide the truth from the very people who need to hear it.
The LGBT community treats Christians worse than Christians treat them?! In what manner, for having the audacity to ask businesses (which, by law, are not religious institutions and therefore cannot legally discriminate against customers) to treat them fairly?! TEWSNBN is clearly ignorant of history and reality.
The Family Tree
I’ve continued to explore my family line. The tree itself now has a great many branches and some tenuous-yet-compelling links to descendants of common ancestors who now live all over the world. I’ve traced family to various parts of the USA, and also to Australia and New Zealand. My wife doesn’t understand why I’m looking sideways as well as backwards, but I find it fascinating.
To offer up a clue, one descendant is a retired judge in the USA. We have a common ancestor in the form of one of the Faa gypsies. There could be distant links to Egypt and potentially to King Edward III (as well as Danny Dyer!).
Fatigue is a perpetual state of being for me at the moment. I can’t help feeling flat and lethargic. I wonder if my mind and brain are slowing down. I’ve never considered myself to be especially smart and lately I feel… slower(?) than usual. I don’t know… maybe it’s the events of the last 18 months, they’ve been trying on all of us for so many different reasons. I feel drained, in ways I cannot put into words.
In the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard, the PM won’t make misogyny a hate crime. I’m not at all surprised that he’s too spineless to take such a step, he feels there’s enough in existing legislation to protect women already – even though Met police officer Wayne Couzens falsely arrested Sarah as a ruse to rape and kill her. We’ve reached a point where police officers cannot be trusted by women, and internal procedures seem to be more about officers protecting one another. Misogyny should absolutely be a hate crime.
This hasn’t been the happiest of Muses but then, that’s the world and the mood right now, at least it is for me. We’ll push on and see how things are in a couple of weeks. Take care everyone!