The Week 23rd November 2014

After spending the past month and a bit working hard to promote my first short story and launching everything else that goes with it, I thought I should take a sidestep and stop going on about asking everyone to buy and share it. I thought that this would be a good time to just chat; it is a better place then fb or twitter to get a dialogue going.

I thought I would start by outlining my thoughts and opinions on the world at the moment. Let’s start with Ukraine (fun place to begin you might think, I know but stay with me) So this week in the ongoing ‘whose got the bigger manhood battle’ The mad haired President Putin meets the Australian vice pm’s, who comments “I suppose I best shake your hand but you should get out of Ukraine.” To which the topless, bear wrestling Russian replied, “I’m not in Ukraine.” To most likely a loud “Ohhhh no he didn’t,” from his security team. So, what to make of this quip, what is it actually conveying to us as we look at the largest war in Europe since the Balkans? Well, first let’s work from the proposition that Putin is mad, as my father would say “He’s as mad as a box of frogs,” So if we start from this juncture we can begin to unpick the Russian’s words. We all know by now that Russia has fully invaded Crimea. I believe this is so they can capture and maintain their domination of the sea of Azov and retain unhindered access to the Mediterranean for their nuclear subs. This is the basis of the fervent pro-russia response that Putin is pushing. But why is this so important? 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and communism (I know it hasn’t really fallen, I’m just saying!) I think the issue is because Putin is ex-KGB and an all round madman with more power in those tiny childlike hands (seriously, have a look) than any other person on the planet and as all before him, he has fallen fowl to the old proverb ‘Power corrupts and absolute Power corrupts absolutely,” Just as Stalin did before him, Putin is directing the considerable might of the Russian people back onto their old enemies to try and camouflage the disgusting state that the country’s economy is in, whilst crushing hope of civil liberty and an all around good standard of living for the many rather than the few. The Russian people have been living with yokes around their necks for centuries now and Putin is just another small man who seeks to control that beautiful and vast county with terror and fear.

Any who!! Back to Ukraine, or maybe more accurately, to Poland where NATO, everyone’s favourite dysfunctional relative symbolises alliance by putting on war games that the Cold War era would have been proud of. Here we are again, postulating and implied threats. Now, let’s stop postulating please, it is pointless when one side is all ready committed! It’s like your mate getting punched in the head at the pub(bar) and you deciding that a good old fashioned maori war dance will be enough of a threat to stop the assailant, who by now has kicked seven shades out of your mate. Given, if that did happen, the assailant might stop in sheer wonderment at your bizarre response and admire your dance. But, on the world stage that isn’t going to happen. Some of you might be thinking that at least Putin will know we mean business with so many men and equipment, we might ride in like the Balkans and stop it. Indeed, I do see that point but the difference being is Putin won’t retreat, he won’t give up, he will hold onto Crimea for all he is worth and the world has nothing to hold over him. Sanctions are fine, penalties are fine, but all they really do is vindicate Putin’s comments about the West and Nato in the eyes of his supporters. The ball has been neatly put in our court now. The West will have to be the ones to enter Ukraine and we will be the ones who “invade Crimea” and then what that is the response? Move to Nuclear war, the threat of the end of humanity? It is more likely that Nato will do nothing, Russia will carry on until the world completely forgets about this, just like Georgia, and a part of Ukraine will be enveloped back into the mass to the East.

The next major issue is that finally the world is focused mostly on Ebola in North Africa, where the death count has reach a criminal 5600 – this has been going on for months but the world was too self obsessed to respond and destroy the virus as soon as it was first spotted in march, yes MARCH!! FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY we were really slow off the mark. I came across it around early April as i was looking up some scenery inspiration for my books and came across ” Mob attacks treatment centre in Guinea” I remember talking to friends and saying how this isn’t being picked up and reported globally. I had seen a few things here and there on the internet but nothing big until around early august when the first United States citizen was infected then the media outpouring was huge! “What is Ebola!” “What can we do?” “How do we stop it?” It was as if the Western world stood up and over our takeaways and reality shows shouted “Oh no, here’s something that kills indiscriminately, no matter your wealth, age, race, sex – anyone might get it!!! The hysteria that ensued in parts of America was remarkable. Why am I talking about it now? I’ve stayed clear of saying anything but with this new Band-Aid song coming out and a load of celebs in Britain rehashing a song with a few new lines to raise money for Ebola I’m thinking “WHERE WERE YOU FOUR/FIVE MONTHS AGO?” How come some random writer with almost no money to his name and, quite frankly, hair that is far too long, realise the dangers of Ebola before those who, let’s be honest, do bugger all. Why wasn’t Bono or Sir Geldof, or anyone of some influence shouting from the roof tops about when it started? My point, or question to pose is this “Shouldn’t those who benefit hugely from this celebrity culture we have carry with those gains the duty to look around the world and callout things that are clearly going wrong. People want those in the public eye (who have chosen to be there) Celebrities, politicians, you-tubers bloggers – should be thinking less about themselves and more about what good they can do – from the position they are in – guys like me are on our own, shouting in an empty hanger about Ebola or Ukraine, or about the erosion of civil liberties by our own governments’ (yes, even in democracies, honest!) and no one is listening. But, if someone with a few million followers or even a few thousand, takes a moment to try and spread the word then they might be heard and might have made a difference, got the West to act sooner, saved some lives!!!
I know, we do have a voice and if we all shout loud enough maybe things like the horrific Ebola outbreak could have been stopped before it become so bad but isn’t it so much easier when people are listening?
Last thought on Ebola – it isn’t airborne, I’m thinking more about folks in America here, Ebola is a viral infection that is passed by secretion it IS NOT airborne so the only way you can catch it is by being in direct contact with someone infected via their saliva, blood, faeces or sweat enter your body. And the infection doesn’t kill everyone .So calm down and breath – The West are not in danger, what we all should be doing is forgetting about ourselves and either send money or supplies to aid agencies to fight the infection.
These are just my opinions; I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. I’m aiming to do this every Sunday, if only for therapeutic reasons!

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