Greed Will be the Death of Us

Picture courtesy of submitted by kjhayler

I am lucky enough to have grown up in a place where I was able to be close to nature and bare witness to some of the most remarkable animals on our planet.

I consider myself honoured to have been close to elephants, been charged by a rhino, stood eye to eye with a water buffalo, watched a pride of lions devour its kill. I’ve stroked a cheetah, albeit a baby one. I have listened to the hyena giggling outside our tent in the dead of night.

I’ve taken pictures of the cutest jackal (i never knew they were so small) and been scared witless by a puff adder crawling in our garden. One of the joys of living in Africa is being on the doorstep of some of the most spectacular game and natural beauty on the globe. Anyone that lives there knows it, anyone who visits it, knows it, and anyone that’s seen pictures of it knows it.

But this is the scary thing to me. The idea and thought that one day soon, all I will be able to look at to recall the magnificent creatures that I was once able to stand and watch roaming free, alive and wild is a picture like the one above, scares the hell out of me.

12 animals, slaughtered for nothing more than an ivory tusk by a gang of professional poachers???

When the hell did poaching become a professional occupation? In Africa poaching has always been a serious issue. Mainly due to its vast size and poverty stricken people. Give a man an opportunity to feed his family for a year without hassle and you have a powerful motivator in your hands to inspire anyone to commit the most heinous of crimes against our natural world.

The latest outrage to have made the press in a big way over here is an attack in Tsavo National Park in Kenya. A place where once over 30,000 elephants roamed free and wild, a place where now concern is so critical that a government is considering the formation of a national army to fight against poaching gangs. So is this the launch of an International war on Poaching?

The crazy thing is that we living in the Western world get outraged as we see these things happening around the world, yet 50 years ago, it was us doing similar things in the pursuit of an ivory trinket to adorn our mantle or line our necks. Furs, skins, heads, teeth, body parts. You name it, we’ve wanted it, pursued it, taken as we please. Even I am guilty of this. Leather jackets hanging in my cupboard. An ivory handled letter opener on my desk. Think about it, nearly everyone of us are in some way guilty of it.

Now as another part of our world comes into its time of wealth and prosperity, all those things that we enjoyed at the height of our time at the top, is now being craved by a whole new generation of people willing to pay the price to have the status symbols of success and power. And only now are we outraged by the senseless killing! Cites? An international treaty on the trade of endangered species? Hell it is a treaty without muscle and one that fails to go far enough to secure and ensure the safety of what little natural beauty this world of ours has left.

It is the incessant greed of mankind that will be the ultimate downfall of this planet. We won’t stop wanting what others around us have, until there is nothing left to want, and then even more. If is not the tusk of a Rhino to enhance our sexual performance then it will be the hide of some poor beast to line our boots and make our hand bags look pretty.

Of all the things that I miss from Africa, the outdoor beauty of the natural world is the biggest on my mind. I cherish the moments I’ve spent on safari, camping, exploring the vast open savannah plains. My heart cries out at the senseless killing of such a treasure trove of beauty, yet I know deep down it will not stop. One day, very possibly even in my lifetime, I will not be able to dream of returning to see and explore the beauty I remember from my childhood, and that my friends is criminal. If anyone has the right to expect to be left in peace and allowed to prosper and multiply it is the animals that do nothing other than to enhance and give great wealth to our natural world.

Woe are we, for we all have blood on our hands.

Thought for today – “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” – Socrates

Song for today – Caribbean Blue by Enya


Drowning in a Septic Tank of Brown Mania

I guess in one way I am lucky to live in a country where freedom of speech is a given right, and expression of one’s opinion is not a crime, as it was and still is in my native Zimbabwe. Having said that though, I cannot imagine for a moment how a nation can sit back and ignore the folly of a hung parliament as it approaches the edge of precipice faster than a Formula One car completely out of control. It’s like committing mass suicide on the grandest scale imaginable, and I for one find it daunting beyond belief.

Let us consider for one moment the track record of the worst British and European Prime Minister for a quarter of a century in stark contrast with the mantra that he’s been steadfastly sticking too on his campaign trail as he’s tried to pull the wool over the electorates eyes.

It was on Gordon Brown’s watch that the Banks were deregulated and allowed to take power into their own hands in terms of self regulation, despite the cries of dismay from analysts both at home and abroad calling the move a fools folly. Well the lesson of time proved those people right, as fat cat bankers driven by greed cashed in on salaries I still fail to completely get my head around, and continue to do so, even after we’ve had the worst financial collapse in the history of the WORLD!

It is thanks to Gordon Brown that there is a National Hole the size of a black hole in our pensions provision in the UK. Our old people are expected to survive on something as ridiculous as £57 a week, while oil, gas, electricity, food, transport, and any other basic need for life in the UK has spiralled out of control. He claims to have the interests of the people at heart, yet he’s had 13 years to get the situation for the elderly sorted out, and he’s completely failed to do so! Are people BLIND?

We know that Gordon Brown has lied through his teeth about the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no way that he can effectively expect any of us to believe that he accepted and made provision for every request made by the armed forces upon going to war to pay for and provide the necessary equipment, when it is documented and proven that men and women went into the field without the kit he says he gave the defence forces the money for in the first place. I have read of cut after cut applied to defence expenditure in the last ten years, and seen the effect of an army ill prepared and under equipped being sent into harm’s way, and Gordon Brown has the audacity to stand and say he has the best interests of our Brave Soldiers at heart.

It was on Gordon Brown’s watch that the biggest scandal of British recent history erupted to show a broken, corrupt, and greedy political establishment feathering their own nests at the expense of tax payers across the country. You want to tell me he didn’t know that the system was corrupt and being abused? Hell he had to repay money himself. I tell you what, were it that any one of the working class people such as you or me caught lying, stealing and committing fraud in circumstances even half as doggy as these, we’d have been arrested and banged up so damn fast that we’d still be experiencing a dizzy spell. At no point between then and now has the PM come out and stood for clean, clear and necessary political reform to change the house to a clean, transparent and fair political establishment, because he knows that he’ll not only upset every single member of the house in doing so, but he’ll more than likely be fired the next day of announcing the move to do so. Instead he hides behind the pathetic finger pointing exercises that try to discredit anyone else who may be talking about strong and sensible leadership to fix a political infrastructure battered and bruised into a public mockery of representation of the people who elect these officials.

It was Gordon Brown that created more jobs in this current civil service than at any time ever before, and now has the horrible, daunting and sickly task of cutting these jobs, yet it won’t be him who will admit that these cuts have to be made. So all those jobs that the Labour Leaders talk about creating, well, hello Britain, the horrid reality is that they are all on their way out. And don’t for one moment assume that this won’t happen. The truth of the matter is that we are in a worse financial situation that Greece, we just haven’t been told this as yet. We’ve borrowed more money than ANY other country in the world for our size, and while yes we may be more buoyant and productive than say Greece, the simple truth is that it’s you and me who has to suffer to pay back Gordon Browns spending spree. The US borrowed to pay its way out of recession yes. But the US has huge and powerful Industrial, Agricultural and Financial expertise to draw from when repaying its debt. What do we have. Our manufacturing sector is in tatters. Our farmers are so badly beaten and mistreated by this government that farming is a thing of the past in the UK. Our gas is gone, and we are doing everything we can to chase the rich and powerful away from the UK with proposals of Rich man’s taxes.

I’ve never heard of such a stupid thing. The rich, like them or hate them, are the people that put money into our banking system, that in turn gives banks money to lend, that in turn allows businesses to start and grown, that in turn creates jobs, stability and infrastructure. If I were a rich man right now at this time in the UK, the first thing I’d be doing is looking to immigrate. I’m rich for god’s sakes, so it won’t hurt me to move to say Dubai, a place also in financial trouble, but desperate to attract the rich so that their money can prop up their banking system. Oh but the rich won’t want to move, I hear you think. Don’t be so bloody stupid. Do you think they’ll stay here and pay more tax? They’ll move off, and visit the UK as often as they like, they are RICH for god’s sakes. And when they are gone and the money is no longer there, who will the government tax next? Wake up people for crying out loud!

I read today that British Airways staff have refused the latest offer put on their plates. What a bunch of greedy idiots. The company made a substantial loss last year. It’s just had a 10 day grounding where the vast majority of its fleet couldn’t get off the ground try what they may. It is said to have cost the company £20 million a day. The company HAS to curb costs. But oh no, the union representing the staff will just be complete and utter irresponsible idiots and continue to force the company closer and closer towards administration. Hell wake up people. If a club the size of Portsmouth FC can go bust, do you honestly think something the size of BA can’t break at some point. Yes, your greed will force a company to close, and then what? Oh hell, we got so greedy we don’t have ANY job now! Well, for one, if that happens I say good for you. You deserve to be living a hopeless and joyless life. You have no idea what you’ve got. Your greed and self indulgence is staggering. There are people around the world who’d kill to have even a small proportion of what you have, and they’d be content and happy have having it too, but you? Nope, we just want more and more and more, no matter what the cost of our greed, regardless of the detriment to the company that gives you the chance to live this privileged life you lead. The Post Office is the same. And in weeks and months to come, and as the screw tightens, and we feel the pinch more and more, you’ll begin to see the effects of your greed, and the failure of Gordon Brown to do something while he could to help prevent this kind of exposure. Personally I don’t think that all the staff at BA are to blame, I have a suspicion it’s a core of Fat Cat politicians stirring up the trouble acting as if they have their Unions members best interests at heart, and I think that the staff at BA know this, but it’s the usual British fault of shutting up till it’s too late, and then we’ll just moan and whinge about what might have been if you’d only stood up for yourselves.

I watched the results unfold through the night last night, and as I did I listened to Gordon Brown give his speech on his re-election in his home constituency. As I did, I choked on the ego of a man manic for power, and completely blind to humility and the benefits of a measured approach to leadership. Gordon Brown is the most arrogant, pompous man I know. In his acceptance speech I was staggered to hear of all the wonderful things he’d done to fix Britain, yet it is in the worst condition today than it’s been since even after World War 2. If this is the Britain you so perfectly served and did so well in making it work, why have you just been dealt a 90 seat reverse in power Mr Brown. Is this perhaps not and endorsement of your useless inability to see beyond your nose. Perhaps to coin a very British expression, perhaps a visit to Specsavers would be of very beneficial use to both you and the British Public.

The hallmark of a great leader to humility in leadership. Not once did I hear you acknowledge that you have an outstanding team behind you that make all the victories you talk of happen. It is by their hard work and diligent support that you can say anything about success for your party as a whole, not you as an individual, as it seems you’d have the world believe. Not once have I heard you on your election campaign admit that together some of the most beneficial policies to come out of parliament have been through all the parties reaching a working consensus. No you’d have us believe it was all you Mr Brown. Yet in your eyes, you see us all as Bigots. The working class pastors boy, who is in fact so driven by your desire to be a toff that you have lost your way completely and become nothing but an opinionated, self righteous and bitter man.

The markings of a great man is the ability to charm and impress people. You are the laughing stock of Europe. Every member of the EU parliament look down on you as a leader not of the electorate of the UK, but a bully who barged your way to the top. This election goes to show that in the vast opinion of the British people we’d rather be shot of you than have to submit to another parliament run by a bumbling buffoon who can’t get it into that big muscle that everyone says you do have, that you just really don’t have what it takes to lead this country. There are people within your own party that can’t stand you. There are men and woman around you that would make far better leaders for us to vote for had you had the humility to give them a chance. Today’s results would have been a very different affair had one of the more sensible, charismatic and in touch leaders been allowed to run for office, but NO, your greed and power hungry mind could never allow anyone but the Brown succeed in power.

And so now the country is left in the worst possible condition as you begged for tactical voting in a campaign that sort to discredit anyone that was seen as a threat to Labour, rather than leading by example and being a decent and outstanding politician. This is the problem in the UK. Outstanding leadership is just something we don’t have. None of the leaders contesting the 2010 election stood out as a true, dynamic and inspirational leader. Not one of the policies outlined in manifesto’s, campaign promises or party lingo stood out and showed Britain how it was going to make our nation a better place.

The truth of the matter is this. We are fucked. We have some of the most difficult years ahead of us. As the world slowly collapses around us, and we draw to a close as a world power, we here in Britain are going to suffer, and it is as a result of poor leadership and poor choices as a nation that we find ourselves in this position. In the first chance for so many years, Britain failed to stand up for itself and elect substantive change in the politics of the day, and for this we will now suffer. Personally I didn’t believe that any one of the men running for office, deserved office. There was no fire and no substantial gain in voting for any one of them in particular. But I am sick and tired of being knee deep in shit, and life under Brown is no pick nick, so I’d hoped we’d see the man bow out gracefully and accept his days were over. But the arrogance that is Gordon Brown lives on, and I am astounded that in a time such as we live in, there is no serious direction in the people of this land. I could go on pulling the man and his failures of the last few years apart, but it only serves to depress us even more, so I’ll end off with this final thought.

Britain was once a great nation. Today it is a mess of confusion and disarray. This is the fault of its people, and the people we choose to lead us. So when you sit back and complain about the state of life here in the UK, give yourself a pat on the back, and realise that it’s our own fault we suffer so much.