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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Developing New Local Currencies (Cryptocurrency, DeFi)

The Basic Living Standard and Basic Living Standard Wage creates the basic principle or governance requirement for how a complete Local Market Exchange, True Economy and System of Governance will work.

Everything quite literally anchors to or hinges upon The Basic Living Standard, which is a universal benchmark, which in terms of the Basic Living Standard Wage, provides the basic exchange rate between all local or decentralized currencies, or any umbrella, centralised or connective currency that then can link them all.

A currency that works on a fair and balanced basis must correspond to its own system of governance.

The fairest, most balanced and most democratic form of governance is where power it attributed and responds in its most local form.

As such – despite the commonalities between different currencies, the power to govern local currencies must remain local – not for the purchase of essentials – but so that non-essential goods, can always be exchanged at rates which correspond to the idiosyncrasies of production in their very localised form.

Beyond the practicalities of the requirements of the Local Market Exchange system, it is also ethically correct to keep the balance of power that accompanies use of digital currencies and finance in their most dispersed, local and transparent form, so that they cannot be used as a leverage tool within an oversized governance system that relies upon coercive control.

Local Decentralised Finance (DeFi) in the form of Local Cryptocurrencies that are linked only by the Basic Living Standard, assure our personal freedom from tyranny in any kind of form, in the most basic sense.

That process or supply chain must always be as simple as its possible for it to be. It is through the accumulation of additional stops or steps in a supply chain that don’t add value, but add additional and unnecessary costs, where so many problems begin.

The roles that we have will be redefined and reconsidered as the evolution of our new system takes hold. In fact, some of the jobs that have been highly regarded for all the wrong reasons during this dark age that is now ending, will simply no longer be ‘needed’ and will no longer have any reason to exist.

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The Basic Principles of Non-Monetary Exchange

What anyone wants, rather than what they need, will always be priced on the basis of what the ‘giver’ and get and what the ‘taker’ can afford.

The purpose of creating a non-monetary Local Exchange is to bring order to the transactions between people that involve the production and provision of the basic foods and goods that are essential for us all to live.

It is the first rule of a good community, that everyone adheres to the rules that are there to benefit and be fair to everyone, and especially so when they are there to ensure that everything that governs processes that apportion that which is available by sharing between everyone, is balanced and therefore proportional in every respect.

It is essential that everyone is fully committed to taking part, and that no level or partial form of opting out is allowed, so that people can do favours for friends or secure a higher return by taking part in a ‘black market’ or doing business on the side.

Yes, an individual should be able to opt out. But if they opt out in part, their non-participation should be taken as being in full and they should be excluded from taking any further part.

It is essential that all foods, goods and services offered are transparent and openly available to everyone within the community and participating within the system of exchange. The Local Exchange System will not be fair to everyone, if participants are able to ‘pick and choose’, as it will literally skew the value of everything on offer and diminish the value of ‘the community’ – taking us all immediately back to where we have just come from.

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.

Once you believe there is a need for change, you will need to change everything else that you believe

One of the hardest realities to get our heads around is that much of the way we behave with others and interact with the outside world is based on nothing more than belief.

Furthermore, we too often then fail to recognise that the beliefs that we have – which govern our behaviour for the future, are actually based on experiences that we have had in the past.

The past is quite literally governing how we will interact with our future.

We are allowing rules that we either created for ourselves, or that society created for us, to dictate what happens in circumstances and situations where those rules are no longer fit for purpose, or don’t serve any of our interests very well at all.

Yes, it can be quite a strange moment when we realise that we are living in the past. But what many of us don’t understand beyond this, is that our acceptance of this part of our reality – without question, means that we also don’t question change or the behaviour of others, when that change or behaviour can be quickly labelled with ‘That’s the way things are supposed to be’. ‘That’s just how it is’, or ‘That’s just the way that things have always been done’.

To be quite fair, it will feel to many of us that the system we have or the governance structure around us has been a good one.

It has allowed the world around us to keeping turning. It has kept everything outside of our own bubbles working, so that everything we want is ready and waiting wherever it should be. It has made us believe that life is easy and can only get easier, without us even questioning what the real cost of this automatic surrender of our trust would be.

But we don’t really think about what’s going on around us. Because this is the way that things have been done for so long.

We trust that the people we elect are in office to represent us.

We trust that big business always put the needs and interests of their customers first.

We trust that the public sector works and operates to make life for the public better.

We trust that the establishment together, will always do right for all of us.

Yet as an increasing number of us are now realising, the time when any of these beliefs were created, was a long way back in the past.

We are beginning to understand and accept that placing our trust in the establishment was at best a mistake. At worst, it is being proven completely wrong.

The ‘system’ no longer works for the people. But because of our collective belief and deference to the way we believe things should work – even when they clearly aren’t, we fail to realise that the power everyone within the establishment has isn’t theirs because of the money, status, position that they ‘have’ or because they are special in some way.

It is because we have given them that power. And we have forgotten that power is ours, and we have every right to take it back.

Getting your head around the reality of where power really lies is hard enough. What becomes even more challenging is taking the next step to understand and to accept that all the tools that the establishment have been using to make life so easy for us, only work because we believe everything that we are being verbally or experientially told.

We are collectively blind to the fact that any or every part of the system would stop working immediately the very moment that we stopped believing what we believe about it. And that at the very moment we did so, we would be withdrawing from the establishment, what is our assumed consent.

There is a very good reason to make the effort to try and making sense of how the governance or ruling frameworks of the world that we know around us really work.

That reason is the system as we know it has not been run or managed in our best interests for a very long time.

The cumulative effect of decision after decision being made to benefit the specific interests of those within the establishment has been catalysed by the government response to recent events and the whole system is now in the process of a massive collapse.

The challenge presented to us all by what is happening around us right now, is that you quite literally have to see it, to believe it.

And if you still believe that the ‘system’ you have spent your life believing in will always work for you, even when it becomes very clear that it doesn’t, it hasn’t and it won’t, then you will not be able to see the damage that it is and has been doing when the time comes for us all to do something. The people and people just like them who we have all believed to be ‘in charge’, will simply be able to continue to count on your vote.

If you have read this far and have concluded that I am talking bollocks, I’d like to thank you for doing so and sincerely wish you all the best.

However, if you can see any of the truth in what I am saying, or even suspect that at least some of it could be right, please do keep reading as we are all on a journey that can no longer be avoided.

What happens next, is all about us realising that the power to do everything that needs to be done is in the hands of each and every one of us.

The power for creating a much better future isn’t based on the past and won’t simply appear in the future. Its all about what we think, decide and do right here in the moment or in the ‘now’.

Surviving The Great Reset | Grow your own | Use the wisdom of others

It has never been easier to get help and advice on how to grow things. Gardeners and the people who already grow their own vegetable and fruits for themselves or on a small commercial scale are often very happy to share their experience and provide tips that will prove very helpful when it comes to growing your own.

There are plenty of blogs, websites and low-cost downloadable books and pamphlets available and you will find these literally by starting with a search of ‘grow your own’.

If you are a fellow blogger and author writing about growing your own food, nutrition from basic foods, growing methods or even if you are selling good, easy to set up and use equipment without looking to cash in, NOT for the apocalypse – but as a long-term thing, I would love to hear from you and share some links. We really will help ourselves if we work together to help all!

e-mail levellinglevel@gmail.com or let’s start a conversation on @levellinglevel on Twitter or Facebook.

Why do we need to survive The Great Reset?

The uncomfortable bit about change of the scale that ‘The Great Reset’ will be, is that all of the things we take for granted are going to stop, at some point, at least temporarily.

Locking yourself away in a cold-war era bunker with a year’s supply of everything, your own power and water because you can financially afford to do so, might be taking it a bit far.

The best way to get your head around this is to think about or list ALL the things that you actually need to be able to bring into your home, or that automatically come into your home each and every day, and then consider how you would feel if any one or all of them were to suddenly stop.

Let’s just have a quick run through of the things we need, that come or are brought into our homes in this way, each and every day. Let’s start with the immediate essentials:

  • Food (BIG HINT – this isn’t takeaways, or anything pre-prepared by anyone else. It’s the basics – it’s what we actually need)
  • Water

Then the things that we might use each day, that are important, but would not always be essential during a crisis:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Solid Fuel (Wood, Coal etc)
  • Accommodation
  • Toiletries
  • Transport to obtain or access essentials

Then the things that help to make life easier, or improve quality of life:

  • Phones & PCs
  • Internet & Broadband
  • Transport for other purposes
  • Essential Clothing items

The things we don’t actually need, but want:

Okay, so if you’ve read this far, you probably already know and understand that its never a good idea to criticise taste or appearance.

The point is that beyond all of the above – which really is a sliding scale down from absolute essentials to stuff that should provide us with a happy life, to the rest that makes it a good life, there is a colossal section filled up by things can be very different, but which each and every one of us like or want.

NONE OF US need these things. Things like takeaways, £subscription TV streaming services, trips to coffee shops, the latest phone are all things that we want. They are things WE do not need.

You will know what yours are, once you look beyond the lists above.

Once you recognise what you really need if everything stops, then you can begin to plan ahead and insulate yourself against the risks from what lies ahead.

At best, by doing so, you will make a very difficult time much easier to bear and potentially even help your community or help others.

At worst, you may be able to stay away from social problems and civil unrest, if the worst should happen and frustration boils over into anger when no help comes, and others haven’t done anything to prepare.

Thank you for your support – Here’s the best way to get value from Levelling Level:

April 11, 2022 Leave a comment

Before anything, a big thank you to everyone who has visited Levelling Level here (in its Blog form) or has already downloaded the Book.

Since I began to publish the Book broken down into blogs last Tuesday, the number of visits has been more than I had expected. I have really appreciated the likes received from some of you, that have reflected a lot of interest in pages such as Food: What we need and The Basic Living Standard. This has been rather heartening, bearing in mind that creating and then maintaining The Basic Living Standard is what Levelling Level is ultimately all about.

Clearly, many of the ideas and suggestions I have made in Levelling Level stand up on their own at first glance, to those of us who are already receptive in any relevant way to the need for change.

Yet I am acutely aware that the complexity of the problems that we all face together are such that we cannot and will not succeed in fixing them or implementing real solutions that will work, unless we take a very different approach to the one that has led us here. We must seek to address each and every problem in its own right, but also in relation to each and every other problem, one-by-one and one-and-all, as never before.

The fact that even people who have a vested interest in rejecting a Basic Living Standard do at least unconsciously appreciate how it would work was illustrated very well to me just yesterday, when I went out for an early morning walk. Bumping into a very successful business owner who I have got to know by passing the time of day, the subject of us not meeting over the past 6 weeks came up and I told him that I had been writing and publishing the Levelling Level Book.

Their rejection of the idea that everyone should have a fighting chance of success as a stepping off point, instead of so many of us having lives that revolve only around a lifetime of fighting to keep our heads above water (and in many cases failing, as the system has developed to so easily allow us to do) was palpable, just because they had experienced a very challenging start to life.

Once we had passed the accusation that I could only propose such things because of the privileged position that I now had, and that had been put to bed by referencing the back story that I have had, we very quickly moved into a number of suggestions that they were making – which are a natural follow through of where we really are all now heading – but which from their current perspective, they were adamant would never be practical or work.

As things still appear to be for many people today, they certainly appear to have a point. The intrinsic values crisscrossing society are all based on what we have or what we can get after all.

In fact, before starting only to touch the nuts and bolts of what Levelling Level is really about, I had already warned them that they might find what I was about to say controversial in some way. And that’s why I have written the whole proposal, suggestion or philosophy that is Levelling Level in the way that I have.

Levelling Level is about the present, immediate and longer-term future of my Country, The UK. But the principles and suggestions are relevant to wherever you live or may be.

Levelling Level is written as a book that journeys through how we got to where we are today. It covers the role that events such as Brexit, Covid and Ukraine have played as the catalysts of a massive change that has been in development over decades. It then discusses how we will have to change the way that we live and everything that we are used to in order to survive and manage through the challenges and difficulties that we will experience in many forms as events force everything we know to change.

Levelling Level reaches its conclusion discussing how we can harness the learning from the experience that this challenging time will provide us to mould a better way of living for ourselves, whilst ensuring that there is a genuine safety net in place to ensure that nobody is from that point ever left behind.

Through the lens of the very material and money-oriented world that still surrounds us, the numbers of people receptive to the change now required may be growing. But for the majority, that need for that change will not be accepted or real, until events have led them personally to experience the pain that lies ahead.

When that pain arrives, it is essential that we harness the power of an opportunity to change life for the better that can only come at that flashpoint or seminal moment. A point in time when everyone will know and accept that the way we have been living and treating each other is unsustainable and can no longer go on.

From this perspective alone, I will make a suggestion: That any of you who are already receptive to the level of change that events and circumstances will soon force us all to embrace, will benefit most from reading Levelling Level in its original book form.

Sharing Levelling Level has never been about making money or charging any fees. The Book for Kindle is modestly priced, and I will be happy to provide a PDF copy of the text by e-mail, Free Of Charge, in receipt to any legitimate request. (Please email levellinglevel@gmail.com )

To get the best value from reading Levelling Level in its blog form without charge, please visit the web version using PC/Mac/Laptop. Please use the index on the right of the page to navigate from top to bottom, what are the equivalent parts/pages/sections of the Levelling Level Book.

Levelling Level is linked on Twitter (@levellinglevel) and Facebook (@levellinglevel) and I would really appreciate your follows, likes, shares and your taking the time to ask questions or make comments that might be helpful to all of us in some way.

Thanks again for reading. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Adam Tugwell

Sat in a Starbucks in Cheltenham, UK. Monday 11 April 2022

Levelling Level | Keeping it real

Levelling Level is not about trying to create a system that is perfect.

It is part of the human condition that some of us will step outside the framework of any boundaries that are placed there to help us.

In a society that is fair to everyone, it is essential that it is only when an individual steps outside the framework of that society, that the community then seeks to intervene.

When society does intervene, it must be with the lightest touch possible. Rather than try to regulate against every eventuality – which is how our world around us has now become.

Levelling Level | The Return to Values

Values and self-worth reflect in the way that we interact with others and how we come together with respect and care for others as a community.

Levelling Level is a way of being that recognises the only way to achieve and maintain the outcome of having a system that is fair and balanced for us all as individuals and as a community, is to create and secure a system that is fair to the poorest and most vulnerable individuals within our society before anything else.

Levelling Level | What Levelling Level will look like

When a system exists that is balanced and fair for all, many of the societal problems that exist and that nobody seems to be able to fix today, will simply vanish or quickly go away.

Poverty, debt, inflation, knife crime, antisocial behaviour, the cost of living, educational standards, drug abuse, theft, restricted social mobility, prejudices, political disenfranchisement, fake news, the lack of community, the failure of public services AND many other issues will be addressed, when enough people understand, accept and are ready embrace the inevitable change that will allow us to help others as we go through a process of helping ourselves.

Levelling Level is all about creating a system that takes care of every individual, every person in the same way no matter how many degrees of separation lie between us.

When we get it right for everyone else, it all comes full circle, and we get it right for ourselves.

No, this is not wishful thinking. It is about giving everyone at every age and from every background the reason to rediscover and give them back a sense of value and self-worth.

Levelling Level | A Media we can Trust

Trust in the media will only be achieved when there are no agendas at work.

Once again, the best way to achieve this will be to keep channels, platforms or mediums as local as it is possible for them to be.

That way, the interests and motivates of the journalists and managers will be to prioritise the needs and benefits to the community and people within that community they are working for. Not some commercial power that sits above.

Levelling Level | The Benefits Smart Card

The only obligation of wider society to those who are in need of support, is for them to be able to maintain a basic lifestyle during their period of need to Basic Living Standard Terms – with the support being given, being itself the only obvious difference.

By making all payments or rather the equivalent of payments using a smart card, or a bank card from the Community Bank that we will move on to cover next, the community can ensure that support is being spent and used as it was intended, and support to cover costs for anything other than items such as food – which even when rationed are a personal choice – should always be paid direct to the supplier, removing the risk of debt that will limit peoples next steps, at a time they are most vulnerable.

Nobody needs anything other than the essentials for living when they are in real need.

If anyone down on their luck has a problem with not being able to eat at McDonalds and having to buy the essential goods that they need, rather than what they want, the chances are that they are taking help and support from others as a lifestyle choice, and not because they are in genuine need.

The additional benefit to the wider community using smart card technology is that a supplier list can be defined that ensures card users make purchases from local businesses. This will ensure that money from the community is used within the community and therefore supports the community at large.

Levelling Level | Governance from the Community up; not from Westminster down

As you read through this book, you are increasingly likely to see that there is a vein of commonalty running through many of the issues or existing policies that Levelling Level looks to unpick.

That commonality is the mechanics of a top-down, hierarchical or centralised structure.

Levelling Level | Our Contribution to the Community

Another area of life today that must change so that we can achieve a workable Basic Living Standard for all, is our relationship with charity giving, how we pay for services in the community, and how we all give back or contribute in a way that gives us ownership or a stake in the success of the society that functions around us.

The fairest, most sensible way to achieve both a buy-in for us personally and a pay-off with impact on the world around us that we can actually see, will be for us all to give the community 10% of our working time or income – or the equivalent of one-half day working per week.

Most of us could use the specialist skills and experience that we have to offer three and a half hours of massive impact and contribution, or just volunteering to support charities and public organisations with whatever help they may need where we cannot.

Alternatively, if we believe that it would be more helpful to do so, we could donate 10% of our income too.

By providing such help and support, through a new local community services hub which is linked to the revamped and localised system of governance, we will easily reduce the cost of the local public services that we still actually need, reduce the reliance on ‘professional’ government staff, and all be able to play a part in improving the experience that we all have of our local environment, which will help us all to regain a healthy amount of pride.

Levelling Level | Community is a key part of Levelling Level

We learn the value of everything through what we consider ‘real experience’ to be. Life works best and most beneficially for all, when the interactions that we have with everyone and with everything have real meaning and have real value for all of those involved.

Over time, politicians and our system of government haver worked progressively to take the power and influence that we had or should have further and further away from us, so that the social learning and opportunity to understand other people and different people in our neighbourhoods and communities are longer available to us as they once were.

This ‘progression’ has meant that decisions are always made from the top looking down. Often at great distance and in a way that helps those same vested interests to get away with doing all the things that they do, without ever having to see or experience the end results which by now you will be beginning to understand are always painful for us.

Levelling Level | The importance of Community in all things

Our distraction is no accident

If you want people to forget who they are, what they want or what they need, give them bread and circuses.

Surprisingly, these words have been around since Roman times. They reflect one of the key ways of thinking that cynical and poor leaders use to prevent people from revolting and engaging in civil unrest, when things are not going well or as they really should.

During the Covid Pandemic, we were repeatedly misled by the Johnson Government and its ‘nudge unit’, that used behavioural science, to play around with the basic fears that operate often at an unconscious level inside our heads.

By keeping everyone, or rather, the majority distracted from focusing on their own inability to lead, by keeping everyone focused on what we were being told was everyone’s duty to fight for everyone else’s life whilst putting our own lives on hold, they have so far managed to walk away from crippling the UK financially and destroying many people’s futures scot-free.

The programming that the government and the media uses only works, because of the way that our society now works.

People don’t interact with others from an early age in the many different ways that they used to. So, when it comes to learning what’s real, what’s unreal, what makes sense, or what its in our best interests to do, unless we listen without question to family and the people who are close to us when we consider everything, the politicians and the media that support them have within all of us, an open book.

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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