Monday, 7 January 2019

'Solutions' that Exacerbate

Once Upon a Time it was generally considered that those more dubious solutions, proffered at times of 'crisis,' were simply ill-conceived, wrought through bloody-mindedness, or tunnel-visioned misunderstandings. Perhaps I am being overly generous, perhaps it was merely the simple-minded who believed such things? Perhaps this is all it takes? Divert the current and the vast majority of those wishing to swim counter to this are swiftly swept up amongst the rest- it is only the most staunchly determined who will struggle defiantly onwards... unless they too may falter. But, I am referring back to a simpler and a more honest, or less dishonest, time, or alluding to such a time.

Indubitably not alone, I will not have been Britain's only citizen to have winced at Ms May's still 'warm' 'promise' to fix the UK's housing crisis. Those given to more delicate disposition may even have felt the sharp intake of breath, manifest as an ear-popping drop in atmospheric pressure? But then, setting well-judged disdain aside, many of us already know that there are solutions... and then there are 'solutions.' Ms May's 'offering' will have clunked heavily into the latter, the faulty, box!  

Hue One
When next they should dabble will their insincerities involve ever greater degrees of deregulation? Will second or third bedrooms be shrinking yet further, perhaps now by association hoping to prompt bed manufacturers into considering the prospect of vertical sleeping? I did once manage to 'slip off' whilst standing but the effort, or lack thereof, did involve the imbibing of an awful lot of red wine. 'Twas far more of a catnap really, but then mine was also without the aid of straps. Have we looked at what Hong Kong has to offer?

Fiery prestidigitation, coupled with yet more serious corner-cutting, is likely to prove more than a bit tricky, what with Grenfell being still a tad raw! Whatever the challenge, I feel reasonably confident that the likes of RG Carter will be well capable of sinking to the challenge. Why, a cynic such as myself might even be given to wondering if this government's further slashing of the UK's already-pitifully poor legal aid provision was being driven by some of 'our' larger building contractors? "Pile them high, sell them cheap." Far more these days it's likely to be 'jamb them in, sell them overly-expensive... and mostly to investors.' In the UK's race to the bottom there is little evidence to suggest that anyone is even bothering to consider the likelihood of any potential and future bounce.

Those days of once and future, where kitchen was king, may soon be winging their ways also to a more fondly sought past. There are currently regions of our planet where the kitchen, such as it may be, is or remains quite minimal, or perhaps almost entirely absent. Will the UK now seek to exploit this 'happenstance,' except to note that where the need for food-banks is on a sharp incline the means to eating out will necessarily be on something of a downward trajectory. Can the soup kitchens perhaps handle yet another significant surge in demand? Oh, the dilemma of those competing financial interests. Currently, the housing backhand usually trumps that of the food-and-packaging lobby, but watch this space, as they say.

Questionably ingenious, will there be fewer and smaller bathroom facilities? More shared bedrooms? Smaller living spaces? Certainly no hallway! No storage space? No outside space? All of these options would seem to have been covered, as 'twere, by our 'honourable' building contractors. And the unsafe cladding option has been ever-so-unfavourably exposed. So, where to next?

As if in search of lost time, we are unlikely to soon find a governmental 'solution' that doesn't pretend that more private landlords hold the key... so to speak.

Hue Two
In that dying light of misperceived 'wrestled back control' similar conundrums seem to be bursting forth wherever one rests one's weary eyes. A particular bugbear of mine being the current misadventure with sport. So desperate has this issue become that it is now right out in the open. In this regard we should always bear in mind that the UK has become quite expert at 'hiding' its crises in plain sight, the space behind the operating screens long since having been filled to capacity. Do not expect any sort of real solution soon, remember instead that one person's crisis is another's means to making a killing... often quite literally we are finding these days!

Come fly with me, as, for example, we yet again observe them seeking to circumvent the net. Has one perchance, happened to have chanced upon the fictitious 'lucky' couple, who won big-time on the one-arm-bandits, immediately after a British Airways (Ad) flight? 'Product placement' by any other name? Watch those viruses wriggle and morph!

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze, as if fashioned from a more ethereal morning mist, we are told that there is now 'a fund' being set aside for dealing with the issue of gambling addiction? Is there? Really? If there indeed is, we would be naive in the extreme to expect it to consider properly dealing with the root cause. Self regulation again, what like the supermarkets did with plastic packaging- and how's that one working out?

Gaze with unbridled passion upon the sport of your choice, on any sort of semi-regular basis, and one is all-too-soon being bombarded with adverts exhorting one to throw more and more money into the pot. Will the current dabbling seriously address this? If it so much as pretends to we can be sure that things are even worse than is being selectively reported. The National Lottery, supporting 'good causes,' or diverting the monies of an increasingly desperate working poor, and into the pockets of a sporting elite et al? Walk down any high street and one cannot help but notice those budding betting shops. Modern day poppies upon corpses! 

Paradise was never lost, it was privatised. So we might consider, which really would be thought of as the greater crime, the systematic decimation of one's family life or, perhaps, orchestrated physical attacks upon any culpable premises on the high street? Consider the question not so much as any sort of endorsement of violence, instead think of it more along existential lines! Would such violence, were it to occur, be born of original unprovoked evil thought, or would the root evil and violence really that taking place when scarce money is being extorted from spent resources via sport 'entertainment?' Might we search out any pertinent biblical references?

In these times of guilty conscience and learned cliches  we shouldn't, even for a fleeting moment, be prepared to consider the viewed sport as being somehow cushioned from any culpability? Because, that's what any fund for 'dealing with' addiction is supposed to lead us to somehow conclude. So, think more of it as a sort of smokescreen, devised entirely in order to divert or destabilise any genuine efforts at dealing with gambling addiction... 'unnecessarily' nibbling away at those 'handsome' profits. Clearly there's thought to be far more betting potential in the '100 ball cricket experiment' than there is the 'test match.' So, will this finally bring about the death of test cricket, sacrificed also to the heavier-betting game?

It is merely an illusory age of innocence? A friendly reference was recently made, "When the charity premises start creeping in to the malls, then the economy is in deep do-doo!" Myself, I tend to consider betting companies as being the flip-side of the same coin, one side battling to offset the damage, the other feasting greedily upon the carcase.

The grapes of wrath and seasonal merriment are still warm upon our lips. But behind the glitter and indulgent feasting, beneath the clamour of bells and rainbow pyrotechnics, we may just barely detect the hushed 'concerns' of those 'charged' with having rather exacerbated another of society's problems. Why, it is almost theatrical, is it not? "They're behind you!" somewhere, maybe... or more likely not.

Hue Three
Devine trajectory? Of course, the drinks industry wishes to have a say in how their profits might be undermined. Much as the supermarkets wished to 'self-regulate' with regards to the over-packaging of their produce... ten years ago? Was it ten? Maybe more like twenty then? Thirty, you think? 

Mea culpa! And, the industry 'wonders' why it is that we're so sceptical about their motivation. 'Solutions' that exacerbate! 

Ethereal castles in the heavens, such as Mr Grayling's railway 'solutions?' The Grenfell enquiry? Gove's dabbling with back-door privatisation of education? Dabbling, and some! Blair's third way? PFIs? Any government minister and our precious NHS? Wherever we look, we see the exacerbating 'solutions' being rolled out- and there are always more to come from those well-remunerated think-tanks- another one off the production line, please! 

Close to the madding crowd, in one of the continent's most 'crowded' country's, it's hardly surprising that there's a problem with cars. In effect it's rather more than one singular problem. There's noise, there's speed, there's pollution, there's space... where to start? We might almost be forgiven for believing that much of this stems from being essentially 'overcrowded.' That is, after all, what we're being led to believe... by some.

So, yea or nay? All the more reason not to believe then, is what I might contest. Or, at the very least we should search for those reasons to doubt... at least in part.

The metamorphosis is surely now almost complete! Do those immoral shareholders doubt it? Have they factored in the out-sourcing and under-funding (more mis-funding!) of public transport? Have they considered the power of the motor industry to glam-up cars. Have they noticed the power of the same motor industry to push the sale of those cars, over and way beyond all other counter-considerations. Have they given thought to, and then attempted to justify, the stripping back of legal aid budgets to the bone, in any manner whatsoever that doesn't seem to more-than-strongly imply that this is to yet further skew the system away from and out of reach of ordinary people and in favour of the monied and the well-connected? Will they have contemplated the fact that we are fast developing into a society that encourages the wholesale discarding of items such as TVs, over and above considering the ever-diminishing option of repair? Will they have spent much of their precious time in meaningful discussion, regarding the vast factories from Hell that seem to churn out no end of cheap plastic tat that must surely be designed essentially to soon self destruct, and to swiftly join that blossoming ocean raft of discarded tat, over any more further-reaching goal? There is even a term for the practice, 'built-in obsolescence,' and companies like Apple thrive upon it! Will the shareholders have observed that almost rabid hatred that our government has for anything 'public?' Or will those shareholders, far-more-single-mindedly, simply calculated the shortest route to the highest returns?A momentary pause for thought and we might almost be there, an enlightenment for the twenty-first century!

So, stop a while and let us consider parking.

Into thin air, or is it to be instead 'out of thin air?' Those far larger homes with copious outside spaces may have the room for any number of vehicles, those less mansionesque residences afforded the space for a garage or a driveway may easily accommodate the space for one or two off-roaders, suburbia may- although increasingly may-not- afford the kerb-space? More urban areas increasingly like to box up kerb-space and to then sell it back to the home-owner-renter, as zoned-parking. Variations upon this system  exist... almost always tied up with private profits. These days, spot any popular destination and there's a serious likelihood that parking facilities will have been boxed up and sold on! Driven, largely by those with the means not to have to pay...

Catch 22! Because we might have a problem with space? Or, conversely, because we are creating- at least exacerbating- and then exploiting the problem of space?

Post storm hue
Oh, bountiful world, there is always the argument that we could consider throwing money at a problem'- because, well, how do we know, really know, that it won't work? What if instead we opened up all of those areas of zoned parking, and looked more seriously at why all that yellow paint is really there, and offered free-parking zones for shops, and visitors, and, well, parkers? Would there suddenly spring up a car-parking fund, in order to reimburse the overly exploited, and the unfairly clamped? Would the car-park industry want to self regulate?


The sun also rises, so we could always go with ignoring those vested opportunistic interests and, somewhat unconventionally, go instead with those who more genuinely recognise parking and transport in general as 'an issue?' Throw in a bit of re-nationalisation, leading to properly funded public transport and, who knows, we could almost have solved something... instead of exacerbated it. A solution that doesn't exacerbate! Whatever next?

Beneath a heart of darkness, instead there's austerity!

Lest they should forget, there's also Armistice Day, where we rightfully remember the sacrifices of the two World Wars, by wrongfully funding further and far more questionable modern-day international conflicts, and thereby also, effectively, arms sales. Is there a pattern emerging here, do we think?

Ergo, insert also the industry of your choice. Does it too fit the bill? 

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