This isn’t a plea from some whimpering booze drenched old soak feeling sorry for himself, it’s all about that basic which sustains our life… Water, too much of it or the apparent lack of it, seems to be a popular talking point of late… We’ve had news about horrendous flooding in Australia and the death toll in Brazil. Last year the news was full of the floods in Pakistan and other flooding right across the Asian sub-continent, but it isn’t a new area of interest.
The latter part of 2009 saw the Cumbrian deluge of almost biblical proportions a little nearer to home. The after effects of which were of so catastrophic that, communities in that part of the UK are still rebuilding their lives. As recently as yesterday the BBC news announced; Town residents in Cumbria are to erect a memorial to mark the impact of devastating floods which claimed the life of a police officer… (Read more).
I suppose the subject of water as a topical taking point, isn’t as strange as you would originally think… After all, it’s both a basic survival need for life itself and importantly to me, a venue for my recreational pursuits as a diver, angler and watersports enthusiast.
Water: it defines our planet. It’s the basic building block of all our oceans; filling our rivers, nourishing our forests, helping to grow our food. And while the planet is 72% water, only 2% is fresh – with even less of that drinkable. Even more remarkable? There’s no new water. What we drink today is the very same water the dinosaurs drank, the same water our great-grandchildren will someday drink.
The above paragraph comes courtesy of the Voyage of Plastiki which, along with other eco-ventures and charities, has brought home many of the issues currently impacting on our oceans. A predominant one is the tonnes of plastic waste floating around the planet. This was also touched on recently by Anna Raccoon who told readers; “free yourself from the bottle” whilst exploring the silly situation that is bottled water. Apparently, ‘experts’ say the recommended daily intake of water is ‘two litres’?
We are always told to drink lots of water. We are bombarded with these messages from TV/Radio health programmes, government health propaganda, and advertising from drinks companies. (Read more)
Our oceans are in need of some help. Around 90% of our fish stocks are over fished and some 100,000 seabirds and mammals are dying each year thanks to plastic pollution in our oceans.
- In Britain we use about 275,000 tonnes of plastic bottles in our homes every year – that’s about 15 million bottles every day.
- Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.
- Only 2.5% of plastic bottles are presently recycled in Europe.
- 11% of household waste is plastic, 40% of which if plastic bottles.
WaterAid: is an international non governmental organisation who’s mission is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities.
Marine Conservation Society: The MCS has four campaigns to which you can add your voice right now. Marine protected areas are desperately needed to protect wildlife in UK seas – click here to help get marine reserves on the map. We need government action now to turn the tide on marine litter – you can help by signing our petition. You can report pipes to help us raise a stink about the sewage problem. And, if you eat fish (see below also), you can find out what’s good to eat, and download a handy pocket guide to help here.
Hugh’s Fish Fight: Around half of the fish caught by fishermen in the North Sea are unnecessarily thrown back into the ocean dead. The problem is that in a mixed fishery where many different fish live together, fishermen cannot control the species that they catch. Fishing for one species often means catching another, and if people don’t want them or fishermen are not allowed to land them, the only option is to throw them overboard. The vast majority of these discarded fish will die.
…Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink…
On the day after the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election the results have been confirmed and, if you couldn’t laugh at the ensuing malaise you’d have to cry…
Both the pre and post event verbal posturing has been almost deafening and as expected, the inter-party rhetoric, along with the critical (unbiased?) analysis by our wonderful media machine was I have to say, highly predictable.
What’s betting the tabloid journalists in EC4 have been burning the midnight oil and in the morning, were nursing headaches resulting from a night inventing crass and tenuous headlines, ready for the sensational crap they churn out. At least pharmacies in and around Fleet Street (and the North West of England), will see an increase in the sale of analgesics. Every little helps in boosting the post-Christmas decline in profit margins I suppose!
Ed Miliband has said Labour’s by-election victory is the “first step in a long journey” for his party. The Labour leader said the party’s win in Oldham East and Saddleworth, with a majority of 3,558 also sent a “clear message” to the government. (BBC News)
It is a well-known fact that; any political party sitting in Government generally has a poor show at a mid-term by-election. It’s all about the unpopularity of governments with the (usually) apathetic electorate. Over at Anna Raccoon today, there was a good and I have to say, a far more realistic examination of the results…
Meanwhile back at MrG’s media-watch HQ; continuing to scour the day’s offerings on the latest political balls ups (no pun intended), I came across the following…
Telegraph.co.uk: A £24m super school is set to close less than two years after being opened to great fanfare by Labour… Ed Balls, the former Education Secretary, officially opened the comprehensive in January 2009, with local council bosses claiming it was “more than just a school”… (Read more)
This piece simply served to remind me how; much of politics, and the actions of politicians, is about the here and now. A constant toil to court popularity and curry favour with the electorate, with very little concern for the long-term effects upon our society. Cast your mind back to the introduction of the Child Support Agency or the Family Tax Credits system. These two (Labour) government introduced bureaucratic systems, along with many others before and since, have probably failed nearly as many people as they have actually helped.
Government Ministers, irrespective of political colour, continue to crow at every opportunity about “how much their party has done for you!” Conversely the media will usually do their utmost to rubbish any and every claim made by the politicians. And where does this leave the apathetic and confused electorate? Usually climbing aboard the most popular bandwagon, without any real thought process (save what they read in the papers) or indeed any understanding about the repercussions of what they have done. And, as we all live in the here and now, rest assured their won’t be any cognisance taken of historical political events or blunders.
A sad but totally understandable state of affairs after all; humans nearly always gravitate to the people and places they feel most comfortable. Yet another example of the sociopolitical crap we are expected to endure today. All born out of an all too prevalent fuck you jack I’m alright trait within our ‘Big Society‘!
And, as the ITV News at Ten churns out another dose of by-election investigative clap-trap, the journos sit and pontificate about the next ‘exclusive’ scoop over a pint of fizzy in Ye Olde Cock Tavern. Hmmm, there’s an idea… I’m off to the psychology institute for a beer however without some restraint, I’ll be spouting similar cock-and-bull stories to those in Fleet Street.
- Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election results – live (guardian.co.uk)
- Miliband distances himself from the Balls strategy (newstatesman.com)
- Politics Weekly podcast: The Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election and bankers’ bonuses (guardian.co.uk)
- Oldham by-election: We will find out whether the Coalition looks Old and Sad (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Blow to Lib Dems as Labour hold Oldham (guardian.co.uk)