78 years after Jarrow

In October 1936 over 200 men from the town of Jarrow came together to march the 300 miles to London to deliver a petition to the government of the day. The depression had hit the working class of Britain very hard and the government of the time had done little or nothing to help those thrust into poverty.

The men marched because their families were starving as there was no work and the level of support from the welfare was no where near enough to keep body and soul together.

The shipyards in which the men worked was closed due to the depression and was eventually sold off and asset stripped by the new owners National Shipbuilders Securities, a government organisation.

Today we are facing a very similar situation, people starving in ghettos in cities outside of the prosperous South East. The right wing government is doing nothing to help generate work and is systematically cutting welfare benefits to those on the bread line.

Do we really have to wait until hundreds of starving people feel that the only way to effect change is to march on London?

The austerity of the 1930’s led to a rise in fascism and so it seems it is doing the same today with the rise of the far right groups like UKIP. These groups, just like the Nazis in Germany, are using non-native people as scape goats, build fear and dislike. And just like in Germany it can lead to dehumanising whole groups and maybe even crimes against them.

The left wing of this country needs to get to grips with the far right and to realise they are the biggest foe this country has.

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Climate change

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/24/europe-and-the-why-me-approach-to-decarbonisation#comment-42691431

The article above and the comments are pretty much saying the same thing and that is the environmental movement is dying. Concern about the environment has slowed and will soon come to a complete stop. Successive governments have been guilty of using the environment as a cash cow which has led to tax apathy in the population. It has also been used by organisations as a selling point but the very same organisations have failed to actually be environmental. Take our economy’s savour Jaguar Landrover. They have sustainability written large on all of their trucks, have produced a so called Eco version of a Range Rover but in reality the very production of a new vehicle is incredibly destructive to our environment.

No it comes as no surprise that targets are being pegged back, the war against climate change has been lost and we are now in the survival stage of the disaster.

Goodbye Bonnie Scotland?

Sitting here tonight watching the BBC’s coverage of the yes/no referendum and one thing has become apparent and that is no matter what the vote is in Scotland the UK will never be the same.

The general feeling is that the no vote will win but that won’t stop the break up of the UK into a federal type country. Good news I feel, the city near where I live is the biggest council in Europe and yet is hamstrung by a centralised Westminster government that can see no further than the South East.

An interesting point is that it looks like it could be a 90% turnout which is amazing and just goes to show people are interested in politics as long as they are engaged. Now it’s down to the political parties to pick up the gauntlet and to get people voting!

Projects

I am thinking of doing a photographic project based on Rodeo riders and riding.

I have started to research it and the photography would be of a similar style to the Moscow State Circus project I do a couple of years ago, a few shown here.

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I have recently bought 2 new cameras, a Nikon D7100 and a back up camera a Nikon D5000 so with my Nikon D100 I have a wide range of backs to use.

I will start reading up on the history and the modern day mythology of Rodeos and start saving to finance the project.

Anyone out there fancy donating to me to help the project feel free 🙂 in return for a £10 deposit I will send you a signed print from one of project photographs.

Send a donation through paypal with payment to email address click here to help Ruperts project

Electric cars are not environmentally friendly

It may have escaped your notice, ahem, but I am an environment campaigner but what many of you may not have known is that I am also a bit of a petrol head. I know! I know! How can I be environmental AND a petrol head? Well the truth is I can’t and I am trying hard to kick the petrol habit. I cycle as much as it is possible for someone living 25 miles from their place of work, which is on the opposite side of the city where I live. If its not practical to use the cycle I use a motorbike and if that’s not practical I use my car which is kept on the drive for most of the time,

So it was with some excitement that I started thinking that perhaps I could keep my green credentials AND get myself a new car if I bought one of the new electric cars on the market. But being the cautious man that I am I carried out a little research into them first.

My research has shown that, much to my regret, that electric cars are not environmentally friendly. I know a lot of you out there will say duh! But I didn’t know.

The manufacturing process of new cars is a huge contributor to global pollution, probably the same or even worse of normal petrol driven cars due to the battery manufacturing process.

They are not even convenient, A recent advert stated that their car did the equivalent of 359 mpg. Failing to state that the number of charges to achieve that number of miles would be around 7 full charges. Most electric car ranges are only around 50 – 70 miles, which in my case would seriously worry me as my round trip, without deviation, is 27 miles each way, not to mention sitting in slow moving traffic jams.

Electricity is still, in the most part, produced from burning fossil fuels, so unless you have your energy supply from a wind farm you are still contributing to global warming.

After 6 – 7 years the battery will need replacing, adding £7000 to the cost of running the car over the years, equal to £1000 per year.

I added the cost of charging the battery, around £6 per week, £24 per month to the cost of replacing the battery (£83 per month) (not to mention the environmental damage done during the manufacture of the replacement) and it comes out at £107 per month, which is more than it costs me to have a train pass and cycle. Add the manufacturing environmental damage and I think it looks a bit bleak.

So I think I will stick to the train and cycling and wait until they get round to producing a car that really is environmentally friendly.

London Olympics

The London Olympics are slowly drawing to a close and tonight we were treated to something very special indeed. Tonight we saw an Olympic first and I am not talking about the fantastic achievement of Bolt. No I am talking about Nicola Adams, the first woman ever to win a gold medal in women’s boxing and she was a very worthy winner as well. This young lady from Yorkshire came into the ring with her heroes, Mohammed Ali and Sugar Ray, fixed firmly in her mind of who she wanted to live up to. And live up to them she did in a fight that saw her knock her opponent to the floor before storming to a resounding points win.

In the interview after the match she never stopped smiling and I think her smile was the most genuine and infectious one I have seen during the Olympic games.

Well done Nicola you made us proud and took a huge step forward in Olympic history.

Olympic football

Two Olympic football matches down and one to go. So far the teams I have wanted to win have not and I am yet to see a goal to cheer. Football is like that, it can be frustrating and annoying and that is what it has been for me. I watched Japan v Honduras which finished 0-0 then tonight I saw GB women loose 2 nil to Canada.

Out of the two the Japan game was the more entertaining, not because it was better football, because it wasn’t but because the Japanese fans were so wonderful.

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Tonight’s game was sad because the British girls had such a great run of things but came up against such a strong Canadian side.

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Summer 2012

The summer so far has been cold, damp and hot and humid in a ratio of around 80/20 which is to say its been a typical British Summer.

We managed to avoid most of the rain by holidaying in Scotland near Inveraray on Loch Fyne which, I am able to report, is very beautiful.

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Antonella, Joe, Phoebe (two of my children), Alf our mad springer spaniel and myself stayed in a cottage right on the loch side.  We spent the week reading, fishing, collecting mussels from the rocks, cycling, messing about in our inflatable canoe and generally forgetting the rest of the world existed.

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Mussels from Loch Fyne

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Sunlight through the trees

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Loch Fyne from our cottage

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Antonella and Me

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Joe and Phoebe fishing for mackerel

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Loch Fyne

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More sun through the trees