Wednesday, 6 June: 6.45 – 8.00 am, transition time between holiday time, reading and going back to work – spent looking up words in the dictionary. Then 30 minutes Yoga – on my own at home (Teacher Tom’s away). At work 11.00 am, talked strategy to Cynthia. Cynthia, as most of you know, works together with me on everything to do with climate Change and manages this blog (and website). After lunch, Cynthia went to a discussion about Julian Assange’s TV interview series, ‘The World Tomorrow’ (www.rt.com/news) where he bravely interviews people not seen on mainstream TV (including Ecuadorian President, Raphael Correa, former Guantanamo prisoners, Tunisian President, Moncef Marzouki and other prominent Arab Spring leaders). I had to get on with Gold Label which I’ve have been dangerously neglecting.
What are we doing to help Julian in his hour of need? He is now appealing the UK court decision to extradite him to Sweden and the Pentagon is determined to get him one way or the other; his sources of public funding have been effectively cut off by the Bank of America and US based credit cards. My t-shirt, “I am not a Terrorist, please don’t arrest me” has even greater significance today than when I designed it for “Liberty” ( http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk). Straight away after they passed these laws under the excuse that they were protecting us from terrorists, governments used them as an excuse to trap innocent people; they could just imprison us with no reason ever given. We need to fight these emergency laws which our governments are using to trap – not terrorists, not anyone who has done anything illegal but simply anyone they don’t like – e.g. Julian Assange who is a public hero for exposing their hidden secrets, e.g. the facts, screen footage and numbers of civilian deaths. Of course, Bradley Manning – whose trial has now been delayed until late November – is an even greater hero.
If Julian’s last chance appeal doesn’t work then under the new totalitarian laws which overthrow centuries-long, hard fought for inalienable rights of the individual, e.g. freedom of speech, freedom of thought. (Read this passage from “Dispatches from the Dark Side: On Torture and the Death of Justice” by Gareth Peirce)Then he faces years in jail for sticking his neck out and telling the truth. Put yourself in his shoes; I would be terrified. And you guys who haven’t already read Orwell’s “1984” should read it now because “1984” is happening in our world now.
Gold Label: I got nowhere but at least I’ve re-started thinking about it.
Thursday, 7 June: Awake at 5.00 am Thinking about “The Story of the Stone”. The characters in the book are so alive to me. I just have the feeling that every person who ever lived, who took part in the vast timeless circle of time, is important, every little life counts and some of those lives are so beautiful even if they don’t manage to survive beyonf youth’s golden spring; some people are bad. I expect Buddhists would think of it as participation in a great kharma.
Early to the dentist. Long session but painless – new bridge work. Popped into Chinatown for my favourite fruit – treated myself to a durian.
Work, after lunch: Answered questions for a journalist friend’s book. (Fashion is so much about public face, interviews, etc.)Now it was 5.00pm. did one thing for Gold Label. OK!
Friday, 8 June: Rain, rain, rain! In my lifetime never have we had such rain continuing through spring into summer. I consider it part of the chaos point of climate change. It reminds me that England will be an exception to the desertification of the world which will be the case on a line below Paris. England will be habitable and subject to floods. I did my regular henna treatment.
Work: 2.30 Interview with le Monde. It was really a fashion profile, which I try not to do unless it brings in a lot about climate change, which the journalist, Veronique, was really interested in. I tried to make the point: Everything is connected. One thing for sure, we have to act fast against climate change. If governments would only see everything from the point of climate change, we might be able to solve the problem and the financial problem.
We all know that money is debt. Governments pretend that this debt will be paid by the future taxpayer. Even if the future were secure there is no way the debt will ever be paid. The debt will increase because that is what our financial system is based on. Every baby in Britain today owes £20,000 from the minute it is born. So the argument is that children who are born now or are yet unborn will pay off this debt when they become taxpayers. This argument becomes even more ridiculous when you ignore the factor of climate change. It’s like cooking the Sunday roast and you don’t switch on the cooker because the house is burning down – that will cook the roast.
Anyway, status quo right now is that governments must be seen to manage the debts so that the rate of increase of the debt can be controlled.
Hollande is doing the right thing in France by relaxing the austerity and perhaps borrowing money. By this he acknowledges the money is debt and the debt will never be paid. I believe it also acknowledges the need for human values. Nevertheless, he should stop talking about growth. Stability is what we need.
I believe in Europe as a political federation because that’s about co-operation – and we need the European Court of Human Rights. I hope it stays together financially because in that way – if everybody helps everybody else we will find a better financial system.
Tried to do a bit more knitwear.
Saturday, 9 June: Yoga. Then to my friend Jacquetta’s wedding. She’s a model and also works for the human rights charity, Reprieve. We went by train to Canterbury and then on to her parents’ home, Chilham Castle.
I had never been to Canterbury before. The cathedral is truly awesome and we went inside for a half hour. Those stones erected in the service of a principle and a way of life which is beyond the depth of my understanding. I have no experience to relate it to. Where are the books I should have read that would give me an insight into this world? It’s like I said: knowledge is insight; one day I may discover something which will make the connection – illuminate the life that this immense time capsule holds in suspension and without which my imagination is powerless. I am primed for this flash of inspiration because now this stone phenomenon is part of my life. I would need to come again, stay longer, read Chaucer.
Chilham is a little perfectly pretty really old village with an early Gothic church. The sun was out, the church was decorated full of flowers – lots of blue delphiniums and white daisies. I loved the service though I have to substitute my own metaphors for the idea of God. I enjoyed especially the singing – we do miss something these days; my childhood was full of singing. The bride was brimming with happiness in a lovely dress by Alice Temperley. After the service we walked over to Jacquetta’s family home, which is a Tudor mansion: Chilham Castle. The view looking down from here was unbelievable, a sea of blown green grass and blue sky filled with ranks of fluffy clouds, framed at the back with the ridge of the North Downs and not a soul or a house in sight.
Quite a few of the male guests were connected by their careers in hedge fund activity. Jacquetta’s husband works in this field but part of his work is directed towards philanthropy. Jacquetta is active in human rights – next time I meet them I must find out more. These are influential people; amongst the journalists, the editor of “The Economist” asked me what I thought about drones. (I shall talk about drones when I have a bit more time – very important that we all form opinions about this.) These people are not the same as me or a campaigning journalist like George Monbiot. George and I try to form an overview of what would make a better world, whereas these people are more establishment, more content with the status quo and how it will pan out for the best. I really need to talk to one or two of them – good to talk to people who don’t agree with you to find out if either can influence the other: we need to find agreement to work towards a better world. These people are movers and shakers of the establishment.
We missed the last train home. There we were, Andreas and I in the middle of nowhere in an empty station and the train didn’t come. We’ve since found out that it was 20 minutes late – but we moved off and found a taxi. The driver, who was this side of 30, had never been to London. Andreas couldn’t imagine how he could avoid the urge of one day driving on to the motorway from Canterbury up to London. The driver had the time of his life – Tower Bridge, the Tower, Elephant and Castle! Wow!
Last piece, “La Mer”. This is what is called ‘Impressionist’ music. It began with a series of notes drawn with the bow across the double basses. The sea was at once before us, grey in the first light and with each stroke the waves moved towards us, expanding until the sun caught them up. Divine when sometimes we represent one thing with another.