Energy Price Rises Hit Disabled People Hardest

I think this quite shocking news is worth flagging up. Disabled people and the families of disabled people will be hardest hit by soaring energy prices. “Families with disabled children who rely on specialist medical equipment say they are facing impossible choices as energy bills in the UK soar…Almost 2,000 families [of 5500 who took part in the bbc survey] said they feared their child’s condition would get worse as a result of rising prices.” By and large, apart from my powerchair and communication aid charger, I don’t use much more energy than average; yet there are thousands of people whose conditions mean they need a constant supply of energy, often just to stay alive. They will be hardest hit by these price rises, caused in large part by Brexit, but mostly by a Tory government which does not care about such people.

Is Putin Stable?

Thinking about Putin and Russia, you really have to wonder, just how warped and unstable does someone need to be to order your army to invade a sovereign country, completely unprovoked, and then try to argue that it is the rest of the world who are acting aggressively when we try to help that country defend itself? Not that I know any more about Putin than anyone else, but I really must say, the more I hear about him the less stable he seems. He is behaving like a dictator of old, clearly being needlessly aggressive yet portraying himself as the victim. He’s obviously mentally unwell but what worries me is that he’s now very very powerful. While his threats against the West might not amount to much, and Putin obviously thinks Russia holds much more sway over the world than it does, I think we should be very worried about what he’ll do next as his plans to dominate Eastern Europe become more and more strained and he becomes more and more desperate for some kind of victory. More to the point, though, is the question of what we can do to stop him.

Exploring Two Parks With Dom

I just had a very nice afternoon, although I must remember that my nose is by no means an adequate navigation tool. At about eleven this morning, Dom messaged me to ask if I wanted to meet him in Forster Memorial Park. Of course I said yes, but never having been there before I had to check where it was on Google Maps. It didn’t look too far away, so putting my coat on I set off. It looked roughly in the direction of Lewisham and Catford, and I told myself that I could always ask for directions if I got lost.

Unfortunately, predictably, that turned out to be far too optimistic: I got lost two or three times, and it took about two hours for me to get there. When I found him, Dom was almost asleep on a park bench, and I really must credit him for waiting so long for me. Yet as usual it was great to see my old friend: can you believe we have now known each other for eleven years, since my early days living with Lyn in Charlton? When Dom pointed that out earlier, time seemed to have flown.

We then spent quite a wonderful afternoon together. With Dom on his bike, he lead me to Beckenham Place Park, a huge, beautiful park built on the grounds of an old country house. There we first found a place selling lunch, which I think we both needed by then, before taking a stroll round the park. The gardens were just starting to bloom, and there was a lovely little lake. I could have spent hours exploring, but by then it was starting to get late. We left the park on the other side we had entered it, and, ironically enough, found a bus stop from where I could get a bus to Blackheath, from where I could get a bus directly home. I was home within an hour, going via the shops, without getting lost once.

Mind you, something happened on the bus which I think I ought to record. On the way, I began to hear raised voices coming from the upper deck. I thought little of it at first, but the voices got louder and louder. A few stops on, my fellow passengers were beginning to murmur: something serious was happening up there. Then, all of a sudden, two men came down the stairs, shouting at one another. It was a full scale fight. Fortunately, one man leapt out of the open door, still hurling abuse. The whole thing was over within seconds, but nonetheless it really shook me up: nothing like that had happened before. Being sat in the wheelchair space by the stairs, I could have been in harms way. It was only a small, fleeting incident, but it just goes to show what can happen in London, even on days like today.

I’m Staying Away From Twitter

You may have noticed that, from time to time, I post other people’s tweets on here. People sometimes make comments on Twitter that they want to echo on my blog. I try not to do that too often, but I think it isn’t an unreasonable form of blog entry. However, I need to say that I am not a big Twitter user. I use my blog to express my thoughts, experiences and opinions, and use good old Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Twitter has never really appealed to me, and I find it’s short form too restrictive. The fact that it has now been bought by the world’s richest wanker only adds to that conviction. It may be the world’s most widely used social media platform, but no doubt Elon Musk will now want to turn Twitter into a soapbox for his right wing friends like Donald Trump. He has already said he wants to deregulate the platform, but surely that means letting reactionary douchebags say whatever they like to the detriment of everyone else. Thus people like Musk claim to be champions of free speech, but are in fact precisely the opposite: Musk is obviously intent on turning Twitter into a perverse, reactionary, hate-filled squawk box by giving Trump and his ilk free reign to spew whatever bile they like, in turn drowning out more rational, sensible and balanced voices. It’s yet another front in the ongoing culture war, although for my part, having been blogging here quite happily for the last nineteen years, I think I’ll just keep out of it.

France Avoids Frexit

I think that we can all be quite relieved at the news of the outcome of the French election. Of course, I don’t follow French politics that closely, so I can’t say much about it, but I think all pro-European, educated liberal people are breathing a collective sigh of relief this morning. I’ve heard it said that the choice between Macron and Le Pen was like the choice between cholera and the plague, but at least we aren’t waking up to a far right, ultra nationalist becoming President of one of Europe’s major economies. If Le Pen had become leader of France, it would have been a disaster, not just for France but the whole of Europe: she would no doubt have sought to take France out of the EU – Frexit – which would probably have eventually lead to the collapse of the European Union altogether. It would have been 2016 all over again. At least that danger has now been averted, and we can perhaps hope that this news marks the turn of the tide back to some kind of sanity.

Dorries and Dyslexia

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is now trying to claim she has a form of Dyslexia after being caught mixing up words. What utter bullshit. Dorries, like all tories is a moronic charlatan who, rather than admit she’s as thick as thick can be, is now claiming to have a neurological condition. What is being described in this article is nothing to do with dyslexia, but boils down to a limited linguistic ability; precisely the opposite of the knowledgable, world wise image of their selves the Tories want to present. This is quite a perverse, extreme example of what I call Cultural Intrusion. She cannot abide being shown to be anything other than the ultra-articulate master of the Symbolic she sees herself as, so she claims to have a disability. Frankly, the fact that someone so privileged and powerful would claim to be a member of a group her party has persecuted so wantonly in an effort to gain sympathy, rather than admit the obvious truth that she isn’t as clever as she wants everyone to think, is utterly depraved.

Sir David Attenborough named a Champion of the Earth by the UN

Huge fan of Sir David that I am, I’m slightly embarrassed that this wonderful news from yesterday slipped under my radar. “Sir David Attenborough has been named a Champion of the Earth by the UN’s Environment Programme. The prestigious award recognises the 95-year-old’s commitment to telling stories about the natural world and climate change.” Attenborough must have contributed more to our collective understanding of the natural world than anyone else, so I think this award is certainly well deserved. The article goes on to say that his more recent documentaries have also highlighted the impact of global warming, so his work has been vital in the fight against climate change. If anyone deserves to be named a Champion of the Earth, surely it’s Sir David Attenborough.

I better Just Stop Watching

I think we have reached the point where I better not watch anything to do with politics any more. Whenever a Tory politician appears on tv, I instantly feel an uncontrollable, burning rage so intense it scares me. Watching the lunchtime news earlier, I had to turn it off: the sight of Johnson and his cronies taking us all for fools was simply too much. Everyone knows that Johnson broke the law and should resign, but rather than admit it, he behaves as if power is his to do with as he pleases and his opinions outrank everyone else’s. I loathe those Tory charlatans with every fibre of my being, but what makes it worse is knowing that I can’t really do anything to call them to account. I can only watch as they lie their entitled, arrogant heads off. That’s what make me so furious, so I better just stop watching.