January 1, 2023 9:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Article by Beth Porter

Apologies to all. I’ve been on a work break but glad to return with this column for the LPJ.


Now comes news of another kind. Shock horror! Radio waves don’t just tune your wireless to Radio 4! A consortium of engineers, researchers and academics has recently begun construction over two continents to map the known universe. They’ll be able to peek past clouds, space dust, even black holes to reveal billions of years in the past.

Don’t hold your breath, though. The Square Kilometre Array, aka SKA, won’t produce results for at least a decade or more. It’s a brilliantly coordinated effort, exciting the scientific community worldwide.

I’m not any kind of scientist; my path to journalism began elsewhere. But I’m also excited by what SKA may tell us about our home planet, and its place in the Galaxy and beyond. It’s the basis for comparison that holds my interest, and yours as well, I hope.

Whatever related questions those waves may pose, they certainly have the facility to help examine our current political chaos. Surprisingly, it’s nothing new.


One of the intriguing truths about our collective past is how relatively advanced our ancestors were. Some of my previous columns outlined the ways they worked round problems of daily life tens of thousands of years ago.

But these days, and especially with regard to the co-called civilised world, our self-styled leaders and their allies have been making all the wrong choices. Their justifications are not mere rhetoric but verging on the criminal, and, sadly, even crossing that line of legality.


Of all the tell-tale remnants of Britain’s Roman occupation one has proved dominant. The tenacity of socio-political control. You’ve seen it in your own lives, and it’s left you feeling just as impotent as most of our population. The exceptions, of course, are those very elite who not only have taken it upon themselves to define leadership, but have developed to embody and maintain it.

It’s not envy to state the facts of fiscal disparity. The elite refer to the small cluster of billionaires whose lack of qualifications can only be measured by quantification. Reports in newspapers, online and by broadcasters as well as speeches and statements in both Parliamentary Houses harp on and on and on how we the hoi polloi are constantly affected by the ever-changing policies of the wealthiest people on our planet.

The real incontrovertible fact is dodged. You’re a multi-billionaire and have been since you were born into your obscene fortune. If you were to spend one million pounds a day it would take you 2,740 years to spend one billion pounds! Gee, we little folk need to start saving our pennies!


Please don’t justify the equation by claiming the elite inherited their dosh from hard-graft boot-strappers. First of all they either stole the money and the entitlement that accompanies it, no matter how long ago. Or they were gifted it in exchange for promises of support along with direct donations from a succession of political parties as well as kings or regional rulers.

I recently read a heartfelt and apposite online comment connecting the essence of hard work with the social status of Baroness Susan Hussy. To paraphrase it said that carrying the lipstick for Her late Majesty is an activity, not a career. Hussy, though she recently resigned her royal posting, remains the godmother to our current King, as she was to the Queen and still is to the current Prince of Wales.

Were you in any doubt about the function of a godmother, the consensus is she’s a woman who presents a child at baptism and promises to take responsibility for their religious education. Whatever your beliefs of faith, genuine or non-existent, such self-selection is far too open to abuse. The re-naming of Ladies in Waiting to Maids of Honour is quite meaningless viewed in the context of a political agenda. Sadly, so is the option of elections, at any level.

A Godfather, of course, evokes quite different literary and cinema options. Hey, ya gotta laugh, doncha?!


Under such an examination, the very concept of hard work has been dismissed as irrelevant. And that’s due to the very function of class. For the elite, the rest of us are there primarily to serve, to provide the means of production to satisfy their needs, whims, and greed.

Included, though not exclusive, is a list that may involve digging underground for raw minerals, or packing off their men to die at the hand of unknown enemies, or sawing mature trees to clear acres for more commercial planting, or sending young children down chimneys to act as soot cleaners, or diving deep in dangerous waters to collect shellfish, or chaining men and women to factory machines producing stuff from iron, paper, and animal hides. They and our ancestors have worked hard. They’ve lived to serve. This has not been their choice. What about yours?

Our current King has recently announced his donation of refrigeration to a chain of food banks. Which sends the message that the poor must be kept in their place, even poorer.

Yet, if the handful of the very billion-est of billionaires pooled their resources and gave away a million pounds to every single man, woman, and child on the planet – with no strings attached – they could wipe out the Cost of Living Crisis at a stroke. Will they? Fat chance!

Perhaps those future radio wave can help. But somehow I doubt it.

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