13 Aug 2013

Prayers and chants

God, a Celtic Christian meditation 

I am the wind that breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave on the ocean,
I am the murmur of leaves rustling,
I am the rays of the sun,
I am the beam of the moon and stars,
I am the power of trees growing,
I am the bud breaking into blossom,
I am the movement of the salmon swimming,
I am the courage of the wild boar fighting,
I am the speed of the stag running,
I am the strength of the ox pulling the plough,
I am the size of the mighty oak tree,
And I am the thoughts of all people
Who praise my beauty and grace.

5 Aug 2013

The cause of the 2008 financial crisis

Adair Turner, chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, set out the fundamental cause of the financial crisis in a speech on Nov 2012:
“The financial crisis of 2007/08 occurred because we failed to constrain the private financial system’s creation of private credit and money.”

In Oct 2008, as reported in The Australian for example Alan Greenspan, the former US central banker from 1987 to 2006, famously said, 'I made a mistake'. Appearing before the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he said he had found a flaw in the "critical functioning structure that defines how the world works. ... I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms." In other words, he conceded that the free market philosophy he championed for 40 years has fundamental flaws and he said they must be addressed by a new era of regulation.

1 Aug 2013

Bedroom tax should not apply in some rural areas say MPs

We agree with the Rural Services Network that the impact of the under-occupancy policy on rural areas needs careful monitoring. Rural areas may be disproportionately affected because the nature of the housing stock means spare rooms might be more common. The under-occupancy policy also risks disadvantaging rural communities further because they lack the range and quantity of social housing required to provide the flexible response the policy demands. It is difficult to see how the under-occupancy policy, which might cause key workers to leave areas where they perform a vital role, and force children to move schools, is of benefit to rural communities. Settlements of fewer than 3,000 people, the same threshold as the Right to Acquire scheme, should be excluded from the under-occupancy policy.