Friday, 28 August 2015

Onam : A Remembrance For All, and a Hope for the Future?

Today (the 28th) marks the festival day of Onam. It is a date of great joy to the people of the State of Kerala, India as it celebrates an almost mythical period of great prosperity in their State, in a time long ago.

It is written:

If only such conditions would again prevail.

For the Kerala people it is a time that is remembered in reverence, and an occasion to apply some of the principles you would find in such conditions, namely kindness and forbearance. 

Such an occasion is reminding me of the TV series recently shown on BBC TV about the Buddha, Socrates and Confucious. All these three could be said to be idealists who would greatly welcome the conditions stated above, and ideals that they promulgated in their lifetimes.

In other words, these three believed that in the psyche of man there is the spark and quality that can lead to perfection - towards the Perfect Man. And this is the Truth also taught (in different ways) by both Jesus and Muhammed and other great souls.

All we need to do is to work to find that "spark and quality". Yes that is "all". And if we were to do so then the ideal world would, ultimately (after much suffering perhaps), prevail.

It can be done: the Festival of Onam reminds us of that. But like the Great King of that time, our leaders must show the way. We should find leaders of the right character, then.

The time will come.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Many Meanings of DWP

The DWP (otherwise known as the Department of Whopping Porkies, or, better, the Department of Wicked People) has finally come clean. The DWP has finally bowed to public demand and has published the "death stats" in actual numbers as well as "Age-standardised mortality rates".

What are we talking of here? That the Ministry refused for some time to publish the latest available stats of people who have died while claiming incapacity benefits since November 2011. The DWP has only this week announced that the number who died between January that year and February 2014 is a shocking 91,740.

This represents an increase to an average of 99 deaths per day or 692 per week, between the start of December 2011 and the end of February 2014 – compared with 32 deaths per day/222 per week between January and November 2011. This appears to be a threefold increase.

The Minister, Iain Duncan Smith, had previously told Labour MPs that asking him to publish the statistics was ‘absurd’, ‘disgraceful’ and ‘unbelievable’. IDS even went on to claim, bizarrely, that the statistics did not exist. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, subsequently stated that they would be provided, after much protest.

Please link to Vox Political for a more detailed analysis.

Now, will the House of Commons now debate these stats as requested in The House on July 21st?

While these stats need to be examined very carefully (and Vox Political - link above - provides good guidance in this respect) the question has to be asked, "Just what kind of government is running the show here?"

Examples of their disingenuous and perverse nature (whilst proclaiming that they are the Party of the People) pop up all over the place, and - to me at least - indicate that we are ruled by a minority class who have no idea at all on how the other 95% live. I do recall some years ago that the then recently defeated MP and star of the Tories, Michael Portillo, voluntarily went onto a TV program to assess how the poor survived on benefits, and came away saying that he didn't understand how they could. I don't think he's uttered a political statement since that time, preferring to entertain us instead with travel programmes on using the railways. At least he was on track in that respect!

So long as we continue to find examples of seriously ill people being assessed as fit for work (and thereby losing benefits), the protest must continue.