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The State We’re In Pt II

r-119

I’ve experienced personal ups and down, climatic catastrophes, the good and bad of political life but I have never before experienced the level of ruination of my country perpetrated by this government over the last 13 years, and especially of the last 3 years. I have never before witnessed the problems facing our younger generation, and the difficulties in finding viable property to rent or buy, and in an environment of rising interest rates.

With the UK’s record of the highest inflation rate and lowest GDP amongst developed nations; major increasing debt accumulation and the failure to address the key problems facing us, I’m pessimistic about the future. It will take a revolution to change things. It will take honesty, integrity and skill to fix the state we’re in. I am not optimistic.

r-03

As I was about to complete this piece the Queen died peacefully, surrounded by her closest family, at the age of 96. Arguably, she should have handed the throne to Charles at least 10 years ago. He is now 73 and I believe the oldest person to inherit the crown in sharp contrast to the Queen who was 25 when she inherited it. While I respect and admire Elizabeth’s dedication, dignity, tenacity and character, I often wonder what practicable purpose royalty has in relation to the country’s governance. For example, the Queen approved the proroguing of parliament, Brexit and more recently the abhorrent removal of immigrants to Rwanda. Perhaps with Charles in post more questions will be asked to justify the more extreme policies and place more emphasis on Climate Change. She’s left a deeply wounded country which seems to have gone decades backwards politically and socially, and I’m left wondering if we are really in a much better state than we were in the year of her accession…

r-221

In so many ways we seem to be stuck in a distant and traditional past - the House of Lords, the Honours System, privilege, social and economic inequality. As a country we need to move forward, to modernise and to shed many of the traditions that have held us back for so long. I have long criticised the BBC over its monopolistic and over-influential hold of the music scene through its national radio and TV networks. Its Playlist policy ensures that only a select number of musicians receive substantial levels of airplay whilst many genuinely talented musicians are starved of this publicity and struggle to survive. In relation to the Queen’s demise the BBC can be accused of overkill with endless coverage over several days…

r-02-2

I have one abiding memory of the Queen’s coronation in 1953. To celebrate the event children fancy dress competitions were held in many towns in the country. It was the year of the Ashes cricket contest between Australia and England. My father who was a bit of a gambler with a sharp eye for detail and decided that myself and my twin brother would be entered into the competition - to win! So, dressed as opposing test cricket captains down to the smallest detail we gathered on the local green and after surveying the competition my dad reckoned it would be a cake-walk. We came second, were robbed, when a young female relative of a local councillor came first and we came second…nothing changes.

r-20

Of all the most autocratic, criminal world leaders Russia’s Putin continues to prove by his actions that he is up there with the historical worst. And not only because of his actions but also for his support of other dreadful regimes. The world failed to punish him for his deadly, criminal actions in Syria in supporting another tyrant. The world failed to punish him for his invasion of Georgia and annexation of Crimea and subsequent 2014 invasion of Eastern Ukraine, including the downing of a civil aircraft with hundreds dead. The Russian population cannot see what is really happening because of Putin’s absolute control of the media, and democracy there is pure fiction. Putin has also murdered and jailed his opponents in Russia and around the world. Putin and his friends must become increasingly isolated, even beyond today’s international sanctions, while certain major ‘neutral’ countries should side with the West against this murderous criminal.

r-231

In the past the world has been timid in dealing with Putin, until now, but there’s more to do including increasing the material and logistical support for Ukraine in its heroic fight for freedom. Hopefully, the Russian people will be able eventually to see the truth and rid the country and the world of this corrupt and criminal leader.

r-412

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