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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

The transition from the Global FIAT Money Economy to The Localised True Economy ‘Exchange’

When the money that we have and use has lost its perceived value – as it is almost certain that it now will, the most orderly transition we could have to The True Economy and our new ‘post Top-Down world’ will not be possible until we leave the money and currencies we have behind and recognise their true value – which is nothing.

Yes, in time we will need to reestablish currency as a practical means of exchange. These new currencies might even still be called $Dollars or £Pounds.

However, we cannot create and develop the True Economy and ensure that the governance is agreed and secured that will ensure we always attribute value to everything in the way that we should, unless we recognise what the priorities dictated by genuine need really are first.

To bring an ordered system that works for all using money as a medium, we have to remember, recall and reinstate the basics of that order before we do.

The process begins first by recognising that money no longer works. It then continues by accepting that to survive and thrive, we must have a system of exchange at least temporarily in its place.

The end of the money system for many will come in the form of a crisis or critical point that they will recognise when they don’t have enough money to secure the basics that are essential to life.

Others will have to be big enough to recognise that the game is quite literally up, and that they can make a positive contribution to change, before avoidable circumstances finally give them an unwelcome push too.

Survival during this period of crisis and transition from the old system to the new, will rely on exchanging whatever we have, or we can offer to others, to secure whatever we need in return.

When we were children, and we swapped sticker cards, sweets, marbles or anything else we no longer needed but might want to exchange for something that we did, the stakes were no higher than the emotional value that you attribute to either. A process which may not have felt like it, but was nonetheless very much under our own control.

When we are faced with the realities of swapping or exchanging anything that we have so that we or the people we care or are responsible for can continue to have the basic foods and goods that are essential to survive and live, the stakes will not feel like they could be higher. For many the emotional entrenchment of that process will reach to the sky.

It is inevitable that bartering and exchange will take place between individuals as reality begins to hit all of us very hard.

However, one-to-one transactions in these circumstances are likely to lead to greater levels of frustration, anger and violence than necessary.

The best way to address social issues in the community quickly and effectively will be to establish a non-monetary Local Market Exchange – that will also form the basis upon which The True Economy can begin.

A new, fair and balanced system, can only be built from the Grassroots-Up

There is no part of the system we have today or the governance framework that allows it to function and dictate every part of our life, that has been left untouched by somebody somewhere changing it to further or to protect their own interests in some way.

Whether it has been local public service provision, local interpretation of planning law, the way non-government organisations are run, the rules that govern imports, exports and supply chains, or how public policy is designed by civil servants in Westminster, EVERYTHING at EVERY LEVEL has been built to serve the mechanics of a system that is Top-Down.

If you are anywhere in this hierarchy or pyramid at a level which is below the top, it has only worked for you by giving you things you have been led to believe you need, but which you actually want that are outside of yourself.

The price will have been that to some degree or another, you will have forgotten something or perhaps everything about real life, real values and the fundamental building blocks of who you really are.

How we interact with others and with everything in the world outside of us, is a mirror image of the person inside us at that very moment. Its who we believe we really are at that time.

If you pause and take that in, you may begin to see the part that everyone has played in allowing the world to become the place that it is today.

However, rather than dwelling on the things you’ve said to others, or the things you have or haven’t done, the way to put that behind you and play a role in shaping a world that is fair, balanced and works in the best interests of everyone, is to put the value back into everything in your life, and make everything that feeds into your life experience have meaning. This is not only your first building block of a new life for you, it’s the very first step towards the creation of the new world around us, beginning by changing the way we think about everything around us. Its how the old world will be replaced.

YOU ARE THE GRASSROOTS – no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you have or haven’t already done.

Before anything else, it is you, the Grassroots that must come together as neighbourhoods and then as communities. We can then work together to rediscover, reinvent and reinterpret localised systems that work for and on behalf of everybody. Always prioritizing peoples needs before anything else, and not what money or profit can be accumulated, or what glory, status, power or influence can be attained.

Top-Down is over. It’s all about Grassroots-Up. And it’s the people who are the GRASSROOTS who must always come first.

Levelling Up: Throwing money and shiny gifts at a societal problem won’t change the way people think about each other

January 25, 2022 Leave a comment

‘Levelling Up,’ much like the Cameron Tory ‘Localism’ before, has become one of the Johnsonian Tory watchwords at which the Government funnel every problem outside of London, with a particular emphasis on their forward electioneering across the unexpected 2019 wins across the areas misappropriately named ‘The Red Wall’.

But what is ‘Levelling Up?’ – Do the Tories themselves even know?

On the face of it, the answer to this question is a clear and hearty yes. Yet the confused crossover with ‘Build Back Better’ – which may well be a cynically deliberate move, along with actions such as Culture Minister Nadine Dorries suggesting recruitment at the BBC needed to include more people from working backgrounds instead of using ‘tokenism’ as a recruitment tool when the two things are exactly the same thing, instead tell us that the Conservative Party is clutching at straws when it comes to the question of what real ‘levelling up’ across society is really about.

New infrastructure that improves any community’s way of life, rather than white elephants or the pet projects of out-of-touch politicians that nobody outside of the sphere of government ever accepted as being needed, will always be a good thing.

But the barriers to personal development and the issues of social mobility that come together to tell us that equality in its truest sense does not exist across British society today, cannot be addressed by the quality or existence of a road, railway track or building.

The problems certainly won’t be cured by rejecting left-wing labels for positive discrimination that favor and promote so-called diversity, then replacing it with another set that are only more acceptable because they badge the problem in ways which are more palatable for those on the right wing.

The problems that we have across society; the problems that are stopping people from different backgrounds, races, locations, demographics, sexes, genders or whatever way you want to identify them from ‘getting on’ and achieving a good standard of living as a minimum is simply about the way differences between us are perceived by those with power and influence.

It is a process that exists right from the very start in the way that teachers behave with us as very young children and extends right through every area of life or every activity that prepares us up to how Universities recruit and then how recruitment decisions are made by hiring managers throughout our entire careers.

The ‘discriminatory’ decisions and choices we are talking about here are not the ones that can be catered for or eliminated by rules that are published and made available for reference in any kind of handbook.

These are the innate prejudicial decisions made by those individuals at a level below active consciousness.

They are decisions and choices informed by the prejudices that exist because of personal experience and conditioning. Ways of looking and perceiving the world around us that many people are simply unaware of because they do not self-analyse, reflect or enjoy their reality at the level of self-awareness. And self-awareness is a force for our collective good that in many cases can only be achieved through life experience, rather than it being a skill for life that can be taught.

No, there’s nothing wrong with not being self-aware. But in an age where everything available to us is teaching us that life is ridiculously easy and getting easier all the time, it should come as no surprise that we have a culture where teachers, academics, public servants and even managers across industry mark down, work against or rule out candidates for jobs, opportunities and progression based simply on a feeling or resistance about someone that they do not consciously understand. It is a travesty that they are actively aided to do so by the procedures and rules that years of rights and diversity promotion have created that actively allow bad decisions to be covered up by simply following procedures under umbrella terms such as ‘due diligence’ or ‘good practice’, therefore hiding these inherent wrongs in plain sight.

It is clear that the people who lead us – and by that, I mean the politicians on all sides of today’s political divide – either don’t understand or don’t want to understand the real depth of the problem that faces the UK as far as the realities of anything synonymous with ‘levelling up’ under any political model or leadership is concerned.

This is a reality that should be troubling for us all. It suggests that as a Country and as the Communities that are together part of that Country – right down to our neighborhoods and streets, we are moving further away from a place where people are being actively encouraged to understand and help each other.

It tells us that the measures being taken to address a problem that these people do not themselves understand are quite perversely making the situation worse. And the solutions being touted are at best no more than sticking plasters being applied to what are the ones of many problems that are only effects of a problem that will keep multiplying outwards until such time as we address the actual root cause.

The politicians that we have today are simply not equipped with the ability, understanding or motivation to deal with the problems that we face in a different, meaningful and beneficial way.

Like many of the issues facing society – many of which are interlinked to the issues surrounding real equality in all things, the complexity of the issues and the determination and resolve that it would take just to begin the process of turning this decline in our personal, cultural and community wellbeing around, is just too big for these people to tackle or to risk dealing with – if indeed they do in any way understand.

The seemingly endless march of greed and the reverence for wealth, luxury and money now feel like we are on an unstoppable date with destiny where it will not be politicians, but events that are out of their control which will ultimately turn the tide.

Community and simple living are the key to returning us to a place where we have the values and the willingness to learn about, understand and accommodate the differences that are inherent in all others – no matter how they might otherwise look or be perceived.

This is the real ‘levelling up’.

Yes, there are positives that are likely to come from this Crisis. The most significant will be a new ‘norm’

March 27, 2020 Leave a comment

Fear has gripped the Nation. Whether its fear of catching Coronavirus. Fear of not having enough toilet paper or fear of not having enough to eat. Fear of being fined or worse for going out in the way that days ago we took for granted. Fear and how it runs and rules our lives has suddenly become very obvious to us all.

The immediate question is will we all learn the lessons that the role of fear and it’s impact on our lives involves?

But what if fear isn’t the only thing we are now waking up to that has influenced and taken over our lives and has only become apparent to us since the Coronavirus Shutdown occurred?

Right now, the novelty of having our lives placed at a standstill has still to run its course. But for many, a realisation has started to unfold in front of us that is showing us very clearly how habit has been dictating life in so many ways and takes over pretty much from the minute that we were born.

Routines like going for coffee, where we shop and how we respond to the influences that prompt us to choose how we dress are all routine. They are the tip of a culture that we have bean brought up and conditioned to accept as normal, which is based upon material wealth and little more.

Money has become the lifeblood of everything.

What is more, the role of money, its importance to us and its suggested value has been successfully used to manipulate us. Banks and big finance have taken over the responsibility for its generation and flow, and cheap money facilitated by ignorant politicians has made us debt dependent. Those in control have swamped the world with money that didn’t come from any other source, making themselves ever richer, whilst what money we already have has gone down in value repeatedly making many of us feel like we are a lost cause.

But that was before Coronavirus arrived.

What this enforced space to think and see life differently is likely to reveal to many is that putting money and material wealth before anything else is never really going to have a happy ending.

I’ve been writing blog after blog about the reality of how badly the impact of the shutdown is going to affect people of all backgrounds simply because they have lost or are about to lose their income.

I have argued that the Government should simply stop the payment of bills, interest and accumulating debt of any kind for everyone. Because without the income to service bills and debt even partially, it is easy to see and understand the pain and misery that lack of money is going to cause – when it doesn’t need to be like this and there isn’t any need for it to be so.

The banks, the finance houses and big business only have the ability to make politicians think that bills must always be paid, because politicians think the way that normal people think.

Yet there is no golden rule or higher law that says money and interest must always be paid back on time, or that the application of interest for lending or debt should be payable at whatever the created rate might be.

Yet economists and the people who work in finance have managed to surround themselves with what seems to be a perpetual myth. A false or at best hollow idea that they have secret and esoteric knowledge about money, how it should be handled and that this understanding, alone and only in their hands will keep an economy strong.

Relaxation of restrictions under thinking such as neoliberalism has made the situation worse. And the open secret hiding in plain sight that we should all be aware of as we weigh up the situation that we are now in is that these banks and financiers literally create or print the money that they lend out to us at interest. They then manipulate everything so that money can be made at every angle without the need to add value, whilst the amount of money available inevitably means that we all have less, whilst they end up with significantly more.

Climate issues, poverty, the cost of living, going into debt simply to live. Before the Coronavirus arrived, it was the march of this form of greed-driven capitalism that pushed globalisation and cutting the corners that hurt us and future generations. It has been sold to us insidiously as the way for us to access the material possessions and things what we are continually told that must have or that we need at cheaper prices, whilst the value of our earnings have gone down and the goods we then believe we want quickly become too expensive to easily afford.

Its a vicious and destructive cycle that politicians have the power to and should have already stopped.

But we are now in the place where things could easily change.

People across this Country are now being forced – ironically by the incompetence of our political classes – to see the value in life, in things that are not material and therefore that we don’t have to have money to afford.

Our real wealth is in the way that we see the world. How we interact with others. How we help and support each other in a crisis. How we make allowance for the way that others think and see the world differently. How we take collective responsibility for the resources and the world that we share.

Money isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. But the way that we all see it, think about it and revere it is certainly going to change very soon.

We are now seeing that we can work and operate very differently. That we have been liberated and are not enslaved to the behaviours that ruled us before.

When the Coronavirus Crisis is over, we may not see the change as it happens around us, but we are going to want things to be run differently and the time will have come for big business to accept that it can no longer rule our lives, our environment or our politics and there is going to be a very different way of us living our lives, our travel and how we look at economics and business across the world in store.

This is a time when nature has intervened to call time on the selfishness of man, did away with the old and gave us the tools to create the new ‘norm’.

The supermarkets will be able to deliver more online if they simply tell people when they will deliver rather than letting customers decide

March 19, 2020 Leave a comment

As someone who set up a successful distribution business by winning a contract with a large newspaper company and setting it up overnight, I’m well aware of how to make a delivery operation flow right for staff and customers in a time sensitive environment.

Of course, as a commercial provider to a business customer, my key considerations were very different to that of a supermarket supplying a weekly shop to a retail customer. Or rather they would have been in normal times.

One of the greatest inefficiencies of the way that supermarkets have been working, has been to give customers the freedom to choose their delivery time and fit the delivery of their online order around that specific requirement.

This in effect means that even with deliveries grouped as much as possible across the number of vans that any store has, they will be zigzagging across a district or suburban area most of the time, adding time and running costs to the journey which limit or short-change the extent of what the driver and vehicle can do.

With the landscape changing and the idea that the customer is always right having been exchanged for one where we will get what the supermarkets can give us at the location and time it is available, the retailers we use for food and essential goods have options to cover more ground in less time and extend their online delivery services during the Coronavirus Crisis in ways that at other times they never could.

It all boils down to just one thing. Telling customers when they will get their delivery rather than giving them options to choose in the way that they currently do.

People are working from home and not going far.

If customers want food and the goods that supermarkets can provide them they will be grateful to have them delivered during the crisis and won’t worry about what time.

By being able to group deliveries into the closest distances between a set of addresses in blocks over a few days, efficiency is certain to increase. Even one more customer per van per shift would help more people than the system currently is.

If the supermarkets start delivering around the clock on a 24hr basis – prioritising more social hours for the elderly, the vulnerable and reaching key workers between their shifts – the existing delivery system could be able to double deliveries and perhaps even more.

Yes, there will be a shortage of staff that needs to be filled. But there will also be many people willing to step into help where possible to do so. I for one would be happy to do a few shifts from a local store or even drive an artic from a nearby distribution centre to the supermarket back door if I can find a doctor to sign off the medical for my Heavy Goods Class 1 renewal once more.

In difficult and challenging times, business as well as politicians have to consider whats fair and best for EVERYONE. Not just those who pay, complain or can influence more.

But we ALL have an investment in the government, the public sector and the businesses working to keep us alive getting this right.

They cannot do it alone and need our support to get there – even if that means opening the door to an online supermarket delivery person at what feels like a very peculiar time.

WE ALL NEED TO GET A GRIP PEOPLE: Because this is a Government that could react disastrously wrong to what is now going on

March 19, 2020 Leave a comment

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Hands up. I’m not worried if I have to eat less or perhaps miss a meal or two and go without. The upside is that I could do with and would be happy to lose a few pounds.

But for my elderly mother (73) and her husband (87) who are as good as housebound and rarely go out, what those of us who are out shopping on behalf of the people we care about are experiencing has passed the stage of being ridiculous and has now become negatively profound.

Many of us have responsibility for someone else, whether it is each other, children, parents, relatives or someone else that we care for normally day-to-day.

But even if we live alone and have not one other person to think about, the reality is that the Coronavirus does not and is not going to recognise any of the differences that we might usually use to build ourselves up, to blame others or to simply use as an excuse to differentiate ourselves against others or to make ourselves out to be special or entitled in some or other way.

We really are in this together.

As I walked around the local Tesco Store this morning, looking for the aisle where the tinned potatoes should be available, I was already thinking the shopping list on the envelope containing the money from my own set of oldies was itself some kind of surreal joke. And as I stood there, looking at the collection of baked beans that at one end don’t seem as popular as the loo roll at the other, it became clear to me that the guy who was stood there surveying the carnage in the same way as me, was having the same, if not very similar thoughts. As he walked away, he looked at me, smiled and said “Thank God we aren’t at war”.

The whole experience, following on from the pictures of stripped shelves and queues of people with trolleys from across the Country made me realise just how shameful our collective behaviour has really become and question yet again how it is that things have really got this far?

We are not at war.

There is no shortage of food or essential items available to retailers.

Yet the experience that normal people are now facing in shops and supermarkets tells us something very different.

And it’s not that there is a shortage and we are demonstrating any form of rational need.

It says that the panic buying, fuelled by the non-stop ‘Coronavirus Show’ in the media and online, will quickly play into the hands of a Government led by politicians who got themselves elected for all the wrong reasons and are as fearful of the unknowns that are accompanying this dreadful outbreak as anyone else is including you and I.

Talk of being on a war footing and using emergency legislation to effectively turn this Country into a dictatorship – albeit an apparently temporary one – should be cause for concern in itself for us all.

But our behaviour, whether that be our attempts to fill up on everything at every opportunity – because those rules were meant not for us but for others, or because we are saying damn the ‘advice’ we have been given in London and elsewhere – because coffee, beer and socialising as if everything is normal remains the priority and overriding cause, is increasing the risk exponentially that the politicians who are leading us today will not only create but then use those very draconian measures to restrict all of our lives indefinitely and disproportionately. Simply because their own fears have been amplified by what is on the part of too many of us a self-serving, selfish and completely unnecessary response.

Think back to when you have been upset or you have been angry. Think about how you have spoken and acted. What was your response?

Did you ever get it wrong?

The politicians that we have today are no different. And when they cannot, will not consider or are unable to understand the bigger picture, the added pressure on them from the avoidable breakdown of what should and still could be a fully functioning supply chain today, to how we will choose to behave as the negative spiral that panic buying has started escalates into anger, frustration and potentially much more in the days and weeks ahead, will in all likelihood at some point precipitate a knee-jerk response from the people we have put in power, with consequences for us all that will be far-reaching and considerably much worse.

If we don’t do our bit to help others and to help ourselves right now by following the advice that we are being given – no matter how ridiculous or how it can only really be there for others as we might see it – we will all have played a part in giving our inept leaders reason enough to act in the way that you can be assured that they will do, just as soon as it is clear that they do not have any more options to try to get things moving and to get people to cooperate.

All-too-late, it will become painfully clear that our elected leaders simply lack the real world experience and understanding to think outside of the Westminster box, whether the Country is in the middle of a National Crisis or not.

The Chancellor’s failed attempt to help the majority of workers and businesses affected financially by Coronavirus this week has already demonstrated the lack of ability within this Government to step up and take responsibility because they do not understand the reach and depth of the responsibilities that we have entrusted them with, or will not make decisions to help the people who elected them that many of their funders and supporters simply will not like.

Either way, these are politicians that we cannot trust to act equitably, fairly and in the best or better interests of us all in each and every way that either they should or that they can.

However, surviving this Crisis is not about them. It is about you. It is about me. It is about the people we care about and know we can trust. It is about the power of decision that each and everyone of us has to do the right thing now on our own and with the people who are around us, that when taken and done together will become worth a hell of a lot more.

Let’s use the example being set by neighbours, by pubs and by volunteers across our local communities as the real guide. People like the Salvation Army man I saw with a shopping list and trolley this morning who are out there doing everything they can to fill the gaps and keep each other going in practical ways that are human and about a real sense of selflessness and community.

Let’s be inspired by real people helping other real people in real ways.

Let’s join them doing something that we all have the capability to understand.

The shop shelves will refill for us all if we stop overloading the trolleys and only take what we need for ourselves and the people we care for in the immediate term. That’s pretty much what we can carry safely in our own hands.

 

image thanks to The Sun / Mercury Press

The words added to the picture ‘There’s enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed’ is paraphrased from the quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi ‘The World has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed’.

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