Between 120,000 and 350,000 people (depending on which paper you read) had their Christmas plans disrupted by the closure of Gatwick airport south of London over a 36+ hours period due to drones flying illegally and creating chaos. The police considered that shooting them down was too dangerous and the Army were called. Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary took the opportunity to add another gaffe to his collection by claiming this was an unprecedented attack (several countries had similar problems) and the public were treated to a somehow amusing list of possible ways to stop drones that includes trained eagles although Britain is not keen in case the drones’ rotors harm their talons.
Gatwick has reopened and one hopes the Army remains on alert considering the high chance of copycats getting ideas. However, given the use of drones to attack “enemies” in various countries we can be pretty sure such ideas have been around for some time now. The lack of preparedness shown by the Government in this case (having dedicated over 2 years to not finding a good Brexit plan – all other vital issues like the NHS, social care, education, housing, etc, ignored and in disarray) is but a symptom that Britain is not in good hands and the sooner there is a general election the better.
The official reports insist this attack does not appear to be related to terrorism which at this point is impossible to tell but there may well be economic reasons for this statement. Airlines and insurance companies do not compensate travellers in case of terrorism unless they, the travellers, have taken a “terrorism ad-on” and otherwise the Government may have to foot large bills.
Trump’s tantrum (sigh….yet another one…)
“The federal government entered a partial shutdown at 12:01 a.m. EST on Saturday because President Donald Trump would not budge on his attempt to get the American people to pay for the border wall he spent his entire 2016 campaign promising Mexico would pay to build.
“Both chambers of the Republican-controlled Congress adjourned on Friday without agreeing to a bill to fund the government, and no plan to reach a compromise that satisfies Trump’s demand for wall funding. The House passed a short-term budget bill with the $5.7 billion the White House wanted, and the Senate adjourned without achieving the 60-vote majority it needed to overcome a filibuster to pass that bill. Earlier in the week, the Senate unanimously passed a spending bill without wall funding.”
Trump is blaming the Democrats. Who else? So this Christmas American civil servants and other government departments will go without pay, either staying at home or working for nothing. Another example of “Democracy” in the “free world”. Could the workers seek redress through the courts? Is there an independent judiciary? Well, actually, Trump has been appointing whoever he pleases. Perhaps the squabbling politicians should pay workers out of their own (guaranteed) paycheques.
This coincidence of closures adds to the general climate of insecurity and anxiety shared by millions of people around the world. The future could not feel more unclear, TV catastrophe genre tells us that in case of disasters we are on our own, so better arm yourself, (this is patently untrue as real life crises show most people react with solidarity) and with very few exceptions those who lead governments and system institutions have proven themselves to be self serving and incompetent.
However people with wholesome, positive and realistic ideas based on solidarity are already appearing, but they are actively ignored by the media, until they reach some position that makes them visible. For each of the women, say, like Ocasio Cortez reaching Congress in the US, or Tomas Hirsch in Chile, or Melanchon in France, or the Podemos people in Spain, etc, there are several million grassroots people activating themselves to vote for and support them, studying their proposals, creating new ones.
Young voices are becoming leaders because they understand the future must open, or they will not have a future.
The shutdowns of an airport or a government may allegorise the malaise, the “shutdown” of hearts and minds that cannot cope with the disasters of a system that is collapsing, because the new one being born is not yet completely visible. In order to see it we must abandon our isolation and reach out with compassion and affection to those around us. The methodology of Active Nonviolence in all its expressions is bringing about a social, personal and spiritual revolution and everybody is invited.