An imperfect storm

It’s a stormy morning in Frome.  Battered by the edges of hurricane Florence – exacerbated by climate change we seem unable to recognise.  And a collection of inputs over the last 12 hours that add to a river of thought:  Firstly a Town Matters council meeting yesterday in which people from three organisations stood and told us in stark terms what new county council cuts really mean.  We move in minutes from positive moving stories of people’s lives changed by simple inputs, to ‘Our funding is being cut this year and I’m being made redundant in December’.  I am not alone in feeling a mixture of horror, shock and anger – and powerless.  Although we have knows this was coming for years, the visceral impact of hitting rock bottom is different.

So I went home and finished reading John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ in bed.  (Dustbowl Oklahoma’s farming populating heading West in desperation, hitting both the worst and best of humanity).  Stories from then mixed with life of now.  Inequalities in Britain are greater than at any point since the nineteenth century, with over a million people considered to be destitute and rural England in the mix as much as anywhere.

Hope – or at least options – comes in my breakfast reading.  Hilary Cottam’s ‘Radical Help’.  Focussed on how we could remake the Welfare State, she simply exposes how we’re continuing to use systems designed a century ago to do a job that has completely changed.  The challenge facing us all is how, when we know what to do, is can we get the drivers of these vast ocean liners to change course?  In health, in education, in work, in political systems, even with climate change, humankind has the information we need to get out of the mess.  But…..


About the author

Peter Macfadyen

Social activist, ex Mayor and Leader of Frome Town Council, author, public speaker, undertaker, grandfather.


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  • Hi Peter, thanks for your interesting heart felt post!

    Why in an apparent ‘democracy’ did we the people have no say in the enormous austerity measures used to bail out the shareholders of private banks who’s agents gambled on massively leveraged derivatives knowing full well that they would make unbelievable fortunes and when it went belly up their puppets in Parly ment would get us folk to pay the bill?

    Why do we have no voice when it comes to huge issues such as fracking, GMO’s, chemtrails, 5G, selling off the NHS and going to war? We can all bank online securely, why can’t we vote online on every issue or at least 4 times a year as in the Swiss system.

    Why is quantatative easing even legal and where did all the money go? What would have happened if the banking bail out and the quantatative easing (slush fund) had been shared fairly amongst the inhabitants of this land – one wonders how many good projects could have been funded?

    When the treasonous paedophile Ted Heath took us into the ‘Common Market’ in 1973 he knew he was giving away sovereignty to a foreign power. More than that he knew he was selling us down the river and down the river we went! Since 1973 the GBP has lost 85% of its value against the Swiss frank and 70% against the Deutch mark – later the Euro. (see

    Why do we have a central bank owned by secret private shareholders who have the right and privilege to print the money and sell it back to us at interest (2.5% I’m told)? Why can’t we as a nation print our own money interest free as we did during WW1 with the Bradbury pound – which Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell proposed bringing back in their Parliamentary Early Day Motion in 2013 –

    What has changed since Steinbeck’s time and the Great Depression – as you say there are so many similarities today? Indeed at the time of Poldark many things remain the same – a corrupt judiciary and politicians, the police fraudulently enforcing the agendas of big business when their only mandate is to keep the peace, the poor kept in poverty etc, I could go on and on.

    I disagree with Charles Eisenstein’s view that the system is just chaotic and has evolved this way by corporate greed. After the 2008 crash and bail out no British banker was held responsible and prosecuted. The private central banks operate through the Bank of International Settlements which sits outside of the law with no transparency, yet it controls almost the whole world economy with secret meetings and secret accounts, creating and controlling fiat, fake, monopoly money sold back to us at a profit.

    Many people have done the exercise of adding up all taxes (direct and indirect) paid throughout our lives and for most of us it comes to a staggering 80% plus of earnings depending on your situation. What is your definition of slavery!?

    Big business and the wealthy pay very little tax using offshore bank accounts and tax specialists – a long established and highly protected privilege that isn’t going to change anytime soon unless we reform the whole system.

    Reform of the political, banking and judicial systems are a priority if we seek to create a world that is willing and capable of dealing with the issues you mention.

    On that account I invite you to check out the New Chartist Movement – as they are proposing a major overhaul and leveling of the playing field for all the good folk of these lands.

    All the best


    • Thanks Greg… oh how I wish I had answers to a fine set of quesions?? and why do we sit about and wonder why?
      I’ve put your comment on my Facebook Flatpack page as it deserves wider circulation given all you put into it.

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