Writings, photos, politics and rants... *Original content - may not be reproduced without my consent.*

Sunday, 24 June 2012

How the Onceller could have done it better...

In Dr Seuss's book, The Lorax, the Onceller is a faceless, straightforward, capitalist exploiter who ruins the world of the Brown Barbaloot's and Swammee Swans.  He and his family whack down the forest of truffulla trees to make thneeds (that everyone needs).

A thneed is something of many uses - mainly its use is for the Onceller to make lots of money from exploiting people's naivety, labour and of course, the natural finite resources the ineffectual Lorax claims to speak for.


In the end, the Onceller loses it all.  the land is degraded and devoid of all life and the Onceller sits in his tower, grieving over what he has done.

The Onceller is a fool.  He could have done it better.

He created something everyone needs.  A thneed.  A thneed can be anything.  It can power homes.  It can level cities.  In the wrong hands a thneed can be strapped to a missile and within forty minutes, it could devastate London.

The only way these thneeds can be controlled is in the hands of the state.  But of course, the Onceller would have problems extracting profits if the state where to own, process, protect and "deliver" these thneeds. 

If the Onceller was to own these thneeds outright, if anything went wrong, he would be to blame.


How to extract profit from something too dangerous for him to own?


Why not create corporations that service, protect and even though delivery of these dangerous thneeds is out of the question, why not create delivery systems that will, of course, never be used?

Oh, but there is a snag.  what  if the country elects representatives who either take complete control of these weapons from servicing through to protecting, engineering and delivery?  That would be a disaster to the ambitions of the Onceller family, who want to bigger and BIGGER and BIGGER!

In fact, such a government - one that may decide to serve the people of the country rather than the profit taking Onceller family, could take over all of the important industries and run them democratically for the good of the people!


This would be a disaster.


The Onceller family have to create a political atmosphere in which freedom of speech is upheld, though within well defined and controlled parameters.  Any talk of "sharing" and "for the good of all" must be slapped down and derided as "extremism."

A political party or parties should be sponsored by the Onceller family (the more the merrier as this will give the impression of democracy, even thought the parties all will be controlled to ensure the parameters are kept).  The party or parties will speak about using the taxes collected from the people all in the name of freedom and progress and growth and deliver the cash to the Oncellers accounts.

This party must be helped by a Onceller owned PR company.  This company must of course ensure people know what has been created for them - ie. thneeds and ensure also they know that it is what they all need.  And need more and more of.  The company will control TV, radio, newspapers and wrestle the internet from the people.  The PR company will ensure people are more interested in the colour of Cindy Lou's shoes than in how Whoville is run.

Together the Onceller funded political party or parties and the Onceller run PR company will tell all of the Whos in Whoville just what they need.  Thneed power and Thneed weapons to ensure evil Grinchy countries will not develop their own thneeds that could be used against Whoville.

Now, the original thneeds were made from truffulla trees.  Everyone could see that these trees were whacked down leaving a desolated land.  The eco system collapsed Easter Island style.

The Onceller could have avoided this PR disaster.

He could have bought off another country, its government and its resource rich land.  A country far far away from Whoville.

The ruler of this country, lets call him President Grinch, could have been enriched, at a small cost to the Onceller family corporation, and through international aid sent by the Onceller political party, amd he or she could keep his army well fed and ensure they are given privileges for slapping down any attempt by the people of the country to push for democracy and control of their own resources that are being spirited out of the country.  

An evil dictator, one that that Oncellers PR company can now and again, when the dictator does something particularly vile, denounce and then ensure through the use of Cindy Lou Who's night life or love life, that people soon forget.

Whoville keeps it's Truffulla trees, but Grinchville is decimated.

The Truffulla trees from Grinchville are transformed into an intercontinental ballistic missile system that is serviced and protected by Onceller companies who charge Whoville tax payers billions to create and service these useless things that everyone needs.

And then the Onceller turns to the water system, electricity, schools, hospitals, trains, policing, prisons, care homes...

And everyone who thinks taxes should be used directly to ensure these things are run for the good of the people and not profit are denounced as evil Grinches... 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I am a nuclear extremist

by Neil Scott

Neil Scott hands in letter to the workers of Faslane... photo by John Lanigan

I’m a nuclear extremist. I hate the evil, ugly, murderous, vicious things. I hate the apathy that has been built around them by the Government and the press barons who obviously have shares in the companies profiting from the creation and maintenance of these obscenities. Companies such as the publically controlled RBS (the Government own 70% of RBS after a massive bailout using your money) and SERCO, a company with interests in the UK ranging from care homes and hospitals to the maintenance and running of Faslane Nuclear Submarine base.

 I could quote you statistics, and huge figures of money (such as the £3bn investments RBS makes in companies developing nuclear weapons), but I think it is hard to think of these weapons in terms of money.

And then there are the jobs. One of the first arguments the supporters of these mass killing devices turn to is the money. And I sing, 
“Is it worth it A new winter coat and shoes for the wife And a bicycle on the boys birthday… Within weeks they'll be re-opening the shipyards And notifying the next of kin…”

If you don’t get the reference it is the lyrics of the Elvis Costello penned song, “Shipbuilding,” a song about the seeming dichotomy between jobs and money for working class people, and their building warships that will ultimately be used to kill people. To me there is no dichotomy, and hence my opening sentence. Besides the expense of these vile objects, their raison d’ĂȘtre is to kill, indiscriminately, thousands, if not millions of people. The fact that there are 225 nuclear warheads in or around the Clyde – more than the rest of Europe put together, is bad enough. Have no doubt, the jobs on the Clyde and beyond are jobs created to manufacture, maintain and deliver something that if launched would mean the deaths of innocent families, children, mothers and fathers. 

 There is a minimum sentence for concealing a murder weapon of ten years. To conceal a weapon does not necessarily mean you used the weapon or even planned to. To profit or to make a livelihood around weapons of murder is despicable and the law agrees

 So, there is no dichotomy. The companies and people currently employed in profiting from these weapons are guilty. The Government is guilty. A vote for independence and a rejection of these murder machines is a condemnation of them. And what of the jobs? Let’s make it clear, anyone employed there at the moment is concealing murder weapons – weapons that have been created to kill indiscriminately. 

“Its all were skilled in We will be shipbuilding With all the will in the world Diving for dear life When we could be diving for pearls.” 

Let’s dive for pearls and create jobs that help sustain life. 

 Am I an extremist to reject mass killing? 

 Faslane Peace Camp is 30 years old this month. We are travelling up on 28th June to sing, act and shout, assembling at the Peace Camp at 11am. Come join us reject the war-machine on our beautiful shore.