Thursday, 12 January 2017


As many of you know by now, part of a condition I have makes me 'ramble' as I call it. In effect I can start speaking / writing about one topic and end up somewhere else. This post highlights the problem. I have included it here to supplement the recent Brexit post but when I first wrote it I was initially drawing comparisons between empathy and sympathy. See what you think.......

People often mistake sympathy for empathy, it's like chalk and cheese. You can keep your sympathy, nobody wants or needs it. It's fair to say I have probably experienced and / or witnessed (good and bad) more than the average person in a lifetime. I did it relatively quickly too. It is only by experiencing or seeing first hand what others only read about you can learn empathy. An example where most of us can have a little empathy is in losing someone close. Most of us know how that feels and we can put ourselves in the position of another, that is empathy. 

Giving a homeless person a few coins without ever being on the streets yourself is sympathy. With some it is to appease their conscience. I have always hidden my emotions, it was considered weak in a man / boy, tears were a girl thing. In many respects I thank my father for teaching me how to control my emotions, it was an essential part of my defence mechanism. Now it is obsolete, I have become very emotive. Perhaps 'become' isn't true, I have always been but never showed it.

All my life I felt I had some kind of purpose, a raison d'ĂȘtre, but I never knew what it was. I suppose I still don't know but the feeling has strengthened rather than abated. I'm currently of the mind it has to be something to do with my writing. I've always hated writing - it was a punishment at school - so it is a supreme irony I do so much of it now. That's pretty much how things go with me.

I more or less stopped making life decisions. It seemed no matter what I did or how hard I tried, if it wasn't in my destiny it wasn't going to happen. I could just be a failure but I won't be that until I'm dead. Anyway I don't believe that, areas in which I have failed have usually been due to some bizarre circumstances. My successes are no different. It is almost like I have a guardian angel with a sick sense of humour and a peevish streak. I can't really complain though, I'm still here and despite a few battle-scars, relatively unscathed. So what is this thing I have to do? I wish I knew. Perhaps nothing. One thing I have found is the dawning of realisation is always preceded by darkness.

My obstinacy is both my saviour and my curse. Very often it causes me problems as I refuse to buckle against much stronger opposition but without it the towel would have been thrown in long ago. All I can offer is my strength and the hard-earned knowledge taught by personal experience. We all see the problems in the world but most feel detached. Far off problems in a far off land, not our concern. This is the general attitude. The headlines tell of barbarism and division, they detract from the cancer within our own society. It is the same animal, just more stealthy.

The government is as culpable as the big corporations who fund their campaigns. The reason is not for the good of the people, they are protecting their interests. America has quite brazenly shown what is happening. Electing a billionaire with no political experience seems the height of folly in itself, and that's without listening to his rhetoric.

Trump and Putin tired of cheap Chinese knock-offs ruining business? China apparently nicked a US underwater drone in the South China Sea and big mouth Trump is ranting about it being an 'unpresidented' move. Okay it may be hilarious due to the very nature of his typo, but in fairness to the Chinese it was in the South CHINA sea. Wonder how he would react if they found a Chinese drone in the Gulf of Mexico. Trump is a loose cannon and I dislike him simply for his stupid comments. Now I'm wondering if he is just the fall guy for those in the background pulling the strings.

Our situation is no different. Conservative governments aren't interested in the good of the people, it's all about business. Brexit certainly put a brick up Cameron's backside and the Tories are positively mortified. The people won albeit not completely for the correct reason. Immigration swung it but that's not why I supported Brexit. British goods were among the best in the world and always highly sought after. We now have no steel industry, no coal industry, severely restricted fishing quotas (which other EU countries blatantly ignore), no merchant shipping to speak of, and are (were) controlled by Brussels.

Given our history with Europe, I'm guessing they are necessary acquaintances rather than equal friends. Even that is not the real issue. A country cannot be run as a business. In a business you get rid of non-profit making areas and compete with rivals. Somebody has to lose. Industries should be subsidised not sold to foreign investors. Saying it is far cheaper to import is stupid. How many communities up and down the country were destroyed when coal and steel were dumped, how many people were out of work and claiming benefits. The benefit payments could have subsidised industry and kept people in work..

It's not just about money though. Taking away a man's livelihood destroys the spirit. Many of these towns and villages are now hell-holes blighted by crime. The scavengers moved in to pick clean the bones of honest working people who were stripped of hope and dignity. Work can be found if people are prepared to uproot and relocate. Their houses now worthless, repossessed and sold for a fraction of their purchase value. Greedy landlords prey on the the misery of others with inflated rents condoned by politicians who no doubt have a few fingers in pies.

I remember when young having Christmas Dinner at the colliery working men's club. It was fun, a great occasion where we all played together and toys were never discussed. Of course we didn't know it was because the miners were on strike and our families had no money to feed us. Our parents shielded us as much as they could but it was all in vain. This is where the flaws occur in a government run as a business. The human cost is immeasurable but hey, current events tell us life is cheap. It only has sentimental value on a personal level.

Politicians will whine that we need to compete. No we don't, that is why we are in this mess. We need to redevelop our industries and concentrate on quality not quantity, people will always want our goods. We also need to be self-sufficient as an island nation. Even if we discount the spectre of war, the likelihood of a natural disaster - or a series of them - is a very real threat. Nations will be too busy with their own problems to help anyone else.

I'm all for global unity, but unity is exactly that, acting as one entity, together for the good of all. I do not see our species as being capable of such a thing. If everybody is not on side, unity crumbles and I've always considered it better being alone than part of a gang.

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