Don’t let the banks and corporations have it their way again on our watch! We need to stop this TTIP from being endorsed by all the major political parties. use this site to help consolidate support against this insidious agreement. This is what Richard Murphy has commented, Economic Justice Campaigner of the Year ad described as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”.
The second of my concerns with the Labour manifesto is its commitment to TTIP. I’m aware that it has said it will ensure that the NHS is excluded from this Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership but that is not enough. This deal with the USA appears to me, and many other campaigners, to provide legal backing to multinational companies to enforce their right to profit (whether or not they could actually make one) from the supply of services to the government or within what we now think to be the state sector. It is my belief that the entire TTIP agenda is wholly misplaced and represents a belief that wealth is only generated by private sector companies and never by the state. As I have argued, including in The Courageous State, this belief is wholly misplaced. Mariana Mazzucato has done more than anyone to prove this in her book The Entrepreneurial State. So in that case the endorsement by Labour of TTIP is worrying and appears wholly contrary to the philosophy I hope it would adopt.
All the major parties are keeping very quiet about their endorsement of this agreement and I think it deserves alot more attention before we vote in the next government. This site is not party political – it consolidates views from people of all political persuasions and focuses attention on the concerns of them, please have a look at what they have to say – then make up your mind as to whether our elected representatives should be endorsing it,
I was doing an ordinary thing, the same ordinary thing that millions of housewives do, possibly even synchronistically (we”ll never know, and it doesn’t matter does it?), anyway I was just standing moderately still pushing an iron across a board with a shirt draped over it, but mostly I was listening. I was listening to Jeanette Winterson on a morning radio programme, thinking how she articulates so well where my thoughts have been, prods and pushes them to go elsewhere. She was talking about how some of us are dead already, measuring out lives without consciousness, and how important it is to make ourselves take notice now; whilst we can. I remembered a letter I wrote perhaps thirty years ago to a lover, explaining how we commit our own suicides times over. I remembered a favourite poem by Stanley Kunitz, The Layers, and how it burned when I first read it. ‘ I have lived through many lives, some of which have been my own ‘, the feelings of excitement and thrill from sharing visions with people I will never meet. How extra ordinary is this life we inhabit, the one I’m in now, tapping away on a keyboard , aware of a major humanitarian disaster having wreaked its havoc on hundreds of thousands of people in the oceans far away, and feeling such pathos for the victims. How can I live so free, so full, so contentedly amidst this world, which hurtles through space disinterestedly and do nothing? How can I? But I do. I forget to make the awareness count. I don’t live on this planet alone, I share it with you , and with those who have no food, no homes, and no hope.
Jeannette Winterson was not making a political point yesterday morning, the discussion was about the individual coming to terms with him or herself, but it is a political point too. Each individual life is connected to each other individual life. We might not like it, or want to think about it too often. But that doesn’t make it false. So I wonder about what I am going to do today, to take some responsibility for a tiny part of the colossus which makes up humanity. It won’t be big or heroic, I can’t run marathons and I havn’t got much so can’t give much, I am the ordinary, but when lots of ordinaries come together, extraordinary happens.
Serendipitously I read a short poem before I sat down to write, it came through my in-box via Brain Pickings – ostensibly about the companionship of her dog, it is about being alive, by Mary Oliver;
THE SWEETNESS OF DOGS
What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It’s full tonight.
So we go
and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself
thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up
into my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.
Photo taken from RSC Gallery Competition,Jennifer Hutchings: ‘The Tempest’ Out of the Book
How can I tell you, the love I have for a dead man? Or rather, the love I have for the work of a dead man? Like millions of people from every part of our globe my life has been altered by the scribblings of a 16th century poet and playwright, we all know our language is steeped in his. I am ashamed how much I have been taking him for granted lately, in the way we all take our loved ones for granted, so I took an online tour and reacquainted myself with some of the resources available to discover his bounty. That’s what I want you to do with me. I want you take a tour too, to dive into some of this amazing resource which is all free!!!! What can you lose? A few minutes? If you know his work already it still offers fresh insights, and if you have never dared to unlock the door – well chum, here’s the keys, it’s all yours.
William Shakespeare ‘was not of an age, but for all time’ according to Ben Johnson. That was some critique given that Germaine Greer , renown academic, punctuates Ben Johnson’s remark with the observation that Shakespeare was more modest than Johnson ‘in every way’ . If you want to hear more from Germaine, amongst others then go to the BBC archives of In Our Time and link here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00546s8
For a more dynamic approach the British Museum are staging an exhibition and if you can’t make it , the website is worth a visit, the short video is a performance in itself. If you don’t try any of the other links, try this one!
I hope you did. Now you might want to go even further and check this website out. It is packed full of stuff people are doing and reading and getting excited about, all down to our friend Will. There’s even a free book you can download, WOW! ( Another tip, the Sally Vickers talk is worth hearing)
One of the greatest aspects of the bard is his psychological insight into the human condition. This was before we had all heard of Freud and Jung and CBT. He is just a brilliant observer of men and women and the interplay between them. We all know of the tragedy Romeo and Juliet; Juliet was fourteen when she fell under the spell of lurve, and he got the pitch spot on. Before Juliet’s speech, we hear the rubbish spouted from the adults ( her mother in particular!! ) The language transforms when Juliet speaks about her feelings. It is another dimension altogether. Isn’t that the way? Love transforms us all, the world is brighter, colours deeper, people kinder. I won’t go on. As always here in the UK, our trusted BBC come up trumps and there are links galore to frolic around here