Archiv für Januar 2012

The Chain of Gold

27.01.2012

It is generally accepted, that a town mayor is an important head of the town, or city council. This is not quite the case in the UK.

Why? Because, over the years, government has become more and more centralised. Contrary to some other countries (including yours), it does not consist of historically important regions, or states. For hundreds of years, London has become more and more the effective centre of government. Now, the present government says that it plans to decentralise powers to the towns and cities.

‘The man in the street’, generally welcomes this, with the view that, for example, the requirements of life in Liverpool, are often quite different from those in London. Of course, parliament consists of members, representing all areas of the country. But they are mostly controlled by party politics, rather than the everyday life in local communities.

So, perhaps in the future, a town mayor might carry some authority in his briefcase, rather than only a gold chain around his/her neck. I’m sure you will forgive me if I end this blog, right here.

Glossary:

Mayor – the elected head of a city, town, or other municipality

‘The Man in the Street’ -   mister average

Party politics -   the themes of political parties

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-16754734

Super Sailors

19.01.2012

‘Courage’ is a wonderful word to the ear. There are many forms of courage, e.g. a lifetime of coping with a disabling illness; or defusing a road-side bomb in Afghanistan. We would usually see the latter as ‘bravery’. It’s more a form of instantaneous courage. I feel that both words could be used to describe the subject of this blog. I’m speaking of lifeboat crews. Allow me to say a little more about those men and their organisation, in the UK. Most importantly, it is completely based on volunteers. Secondly, it is not state-financed. It depends, entirely, on contributions of money by the general public. Consider the UK’s thousands of miles of coastline, which is historically dangerous to shipping. There are 60.000 sunken ships around the UK. More than anywhere else worldwide. Then think of how many life boat stations there must be, to cover these thousands of miles, efficiently. But, they are efficiently covered. Think further, of the unpaid crews of these life boats. They are ready, night and day to react to any emergency at sea and risk their lives. Their boats and equipment are of the latest and best technology. In this modern age, we tend to accept that such organisations are state-controlled and state-financed. It’s refreshing to the mind, to think that we are not all state robots; that such a large, modern, life-saving organisation, can be purely, individually, voluntary. It’s name, by the way, is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Perhaps we should have less, not more, state control in our lives. Brussels! Are you listening?

Glossary:

sailor -   seaman

latter -   last item of 2 or more

volunteer -   someone who offers to do something; not ordered to do it

entirely -   totally

contribution -   one of more payments towards a central cost.

to contribute –    may also be of time or effort

Order in Disorder

18.01.2012

As a child I was frequently told, that everything must have a place, and that everything must be in it’s place. I didn’t always comply with this, and was given painful reminders, as a result. I think, most of us will agree, that there must be order in our daily lives, otherwise many things may become lost, and targets not achieved.

Is this always the case? How often have you visited someone else’s home and thought, how untidy everything looks? Yet, that someone may be quite successful in a different way. Then, there are the super-tidy people. They spend their time looking at their watch or clock, worrying about a timetable for everything they do, or want to do. Should something unexpected happen to their plan, they panic and are completely lost.

The above examples could suggest that a degree of flexibility is the best way forward. Many of the world’s top geniuses have not been very orderly in their everyday lives. Look, for example, at the Silicon Valley. Most of the successful people working there, go to work in T-shirts, have long, untidy hair, etc. They wouldn’t normally, impress us well-dressed folk.

Again, compare nations. Those with strict laws, ordering their populations what they can do, and what they mustn’t do, are far less innovative, than those operating freer, more democratic societies. Does this mean, that we should say ‘leave the dirty dishes on the table, we can clean up sometime later’. Or, ‘I can throw my dirty socks into a corner, somebody will wash them, sometime?’ ‘I could become a genius!’ Over to you, dearest reader!

Glossary:

comply -   to do something, as required, or ordered

achieved -   reached

(un)tidy -   disorderly / orderly