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  Elvis Shakespeare blogland

Elvis Shakespeare blogland

Welcome to Elvis Shakespeare blogland where the weather is intermittently overcast & gloomy with occasional showers of brightness. This is where we rant against the iniquities of life (but promise never to metion the damn trams).

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Here's The Future, Your Future
We have recently had the perfect example of why capitalism will never work (unless you want to make an awful lot of money whilst neglecting any human element, of course)when applied to the service industries.
Southern Cross, the UK's largest care home supplier, recently collapsed leading to 750 care home residents(31 000 people)wondering if they would have a roof over their head for much longer.
Southern Cross was bought by private equity/venture capital firm, Blackstone, years before,who decided the best interests of its shareholders was served by selling its property at an instant profit of 640 million, making a nice little earner and then renting the properties back from the new owners. Never mind, that drastically reducing its assets and putting itself at the whim of market forces ( rents going up, councils cutting back on the amount they will contribute towards residents' upkeep), has led to the demise of the company; Blackstone have long cashed out their shares and made their profit and moved on. This is the nature of private equity firms: make short-term profit for thier investors ( a much nicer name than asset-strippers) with the irony being that all those who came late to investing in Southern Cross, now find themselves with worthless shares.
Those of you in your 50s/60s, I suggest you start being nicer to your children!
An Undemocratic Democracy
Its local elections time folks and its time to try and save the public services in this country.
We are facing an unprecedented, ideological attack on our public services ( I have read so many independent, expert studies saying the cuts dont even make economic sense in the long run without even taking into account the social costs and incredible unfairness of it - bankers pay up 7% last year, executive pay up 70%: yeah, there's a real crisis!: you do the internet research/read the papers) by a party (or 2!) which is basically an undemocratic minority.
In the recent past it hasn't been of such grave concern wheteher we have elected a Peter Lorimer govt or an Eddie Gray govt. Tony Blair was capable of playing on the right-wing, in the centre, basically anywhere he wanted, while John Major was equally comfortable sitting in front of the back four as he was stuck out on the right-wing. However, we now have a govt which is ideologically so far to the right, it makes Stanley Matthews look like a centre half!
The turn out in the last election was 65.1%
The conservatives got 36.1% of the vote.
Now, my maths are not that great but that would seem to be that about 24% of the uk population (and that doesn't include that bunch of excluded unsavoury folk such as criminals, the royal family and lunatics).
So, this undemocratic (in the pure sense of the word: what we really need is compulsory voting and a none-of-the-above choice, but that's a matter for another day) minority is engaging on a wholesale destruction of public ownership of health, education, you name it, they want it privatised, made safe, free from those pesky instituions such as trade unions which keep annoyingly interfering with market forces.
However, now is our chance. Dont focus on the tories: it will be too late by the time we can get them out. Focus on the arse-licking scum (ie the lib dems). Destroy them in the local elections. Force their party members to face the shame of tuition fees, the part-privatisation of the health service, the bribes given to schools to become academies and make them see they have to act now before it is too late. We must force a vote of no confidence in this govt within a year and go to the polls again (and those 34.9% who didnt vote last time, please do in the next one). By any means necessary, we must get rid of lib dem MPs. Natural wastage, a couple of heart attacks here & there would help (I'm not advocating political assasination but, hey, everyone to their own and it is a democracy remember!).
Your vote is your freedom: use it wisely.
A Nice Poem by Pablo Neruda
In this time of politicians glibly throwing words around to try and disguise the fact that they are asset-stripping the UK, I thought a nice poem about the meaning of life might cheer up any browsers who still have two farthings to rub together:


How much does a man live, after all?

Does he live a thousand days, or one only?

For a week, or for several centuries?

How long does a man spend dying?

What does it mean to say 'for ever'?

Lost in this preoccupation,
I set myself to clear things up.

I sought out knowledgable priests,
I waited for them after their rituals,
I watched them when they went their ways
to visit God and the Devil.

They wearied of my questions.
They on their part knew very little.
They were no more than administrators.

Medical men received me
in between consultations,
a scalpel in each hand,
saturated in aureomycin,
busier each day.
As far as I could tell from their talk,
the problem was as follows:
it was not so much the death of a microbe--
they went down by the ton,
but the few which survived
showed signs of perversity.

They left me so startled
that I sought out the grave-diggers.
I went to the rivers where they burn
enormous painted corpses,
tiny bony bodies,
emperors with an aura
of terrible curses,
women snuffed out at a stroke
by a wave of cholera.
There were whole beaches of dead
and ashy specialists.

When I got the chance
I asked them a slew of questions.
They offered to burn me.
It was all they knew.

In my own country the dead
answered me, between drinks:
'Get yourself a good woman
and give up this nonsense.'

I never saw people so happy.

Raising their glasses they sang
toasting health and death.
They were huge fornicators.

I returned home, much older
after crossing the world.

Now I ask questions of nobody,

But I know less every day.
Ground Zero Mosque, My Arse
Let us nail this ground zero mosque nonsense on the head. The proposed building in Manhattan being talked about is neither a mosque or at ground zero. It is a multifaith community centre, with an area for prayer (it is not and never will be a mosque as it doesn't meet the very strict guidelines for a sanctified mosque), two blocks north of where the twin towers once stood. A quarter of it is a sports and fitness centre, something you think our generally obese cousins would welcome.
As for morons like Sarah Palin and her ilk at The Tea Party , well good luck to you Americans if you are even thinking of voting in a manipulative liar who prefers to reinforce her own prejudices rather than gain a smidgen of knowledge on subjects such as the environment, religion and birth control (though i guess she's getting a little more knowledgable about this as her sprogs struggle with their ridiculous chastity pledges). The Tea Party is a dangerous combination of ignorance and prejudice. Don't even give them the time of day.
Labour (sic) Party Leadership Race
Soon be time for another election battle when the ex-socialist party, L.A.B.O.U.R (to a disco beat)decides who is going to lead them into the future.
The choices are: middle-class ex public schoolboy, middle-class ex public schoolboy, middle-class ex public schoolboy, middle-class ex public schoolboy or Diane Abbott.
The Bill & Ben brothers seem to be little weeds and as for the unfortunatley monikered Ed (his wife would be an excellent candidate but, hey, she's too busy looking after babies and pensions according to hubby), he has decided that what the party needs is a lurch to the right if his recent immigration comments are anything to go by (stopped short of saying shoot 'em as they arrive but basically claims - despite two reports from independent bodies recently stating the exact oppostie - Polish folk are taking indigenous Brit's jobs (would somebody please explain who these folk are as, irony of ironies, they call them anglo-saxons which would seem to indicate some sort of dual heritage in the first place (thank you Mr Billy Bragg).
Mr Burnham appears to be a rugby league prop forward with little distinguishing features which leads us back to Ms Abbott.
For God's sake, those of you out there eligible to vote, put your X next to Diane Abbott's name and try to give the Labour (sic) Party back a wee bit of its soul.

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