Renaissance returns_Tory plan to restore privilege and entitlement

As students and doctors protest and strike against government plans for them, people must see that these two issues are just part of a greater plan to turn back the clock back, on basic hard fought for human rights. The plot includes the dismantling of worker’s rights, free health care for all, free and fair education for all, justice for all, affordable housing and an end to the welfare state.
In short the British people are going to have to wake up pretty quick and fight the tories intention to reinvent the 19th century in the 21st. The 19th century in which average working conditions were dire and wages were little more than a pittance, workers doffed their hats to fox-hunting, gentrified bosses and factory owners, and young men were used as conscripted lambs to the slaughter, in pointless wars.
Shameful times and thought to be long forgotten and hopefully never wilfully revisited. That aside the tories are the party of privilege and entitlement, born into wealth many believe that it is somehow their inalienable right by breeding to govern those judged to be inferior to themselves. The British people, make no mistake are dealing with a particularly nasty, over confident version of tory, last seen under Thatcher’s charge.
So full of themselves are the tories just now, that when, ‘we’re all in it together Dave’, was suspected to have been intimate with a pig, there was nothing much in the way of a denial. You see when you expect to rule by birth and your childhood and adolescence schools you for such a role, the block is hard to chip, it grows up impervious to empathy, blind to suffering, deaf to the cries of the disenfranchised and disabled.
Whenever I think of Cameron, Osborne and Hunt etc. I see their education and grooming in Britain’s long established Public Schools, I see how the opportunity of a life time to create truly great people is squandered under the guise of breeding and destiny, what you get are soft in the head, self centred, selfish cowards. Like all tories, they are frightened of change in case it knocks a few points from their share valuations and affects their ‘right’ to govern. They are hard shelled, ready to take the knocks of the political system, but dig a little deeper and you have shallow individuals, who would otherwise be selling dodgy second-hand cars and lousy insurance, or masquerading as evangelical priests, messengers for the great lie – religion.
They will crumble if challenged but where is the opposition? In disarray, thanks to Blair moving labour to the centre, creating ‘tory-lite’, Britain’s workers must re-unionise, fight to retain what is theirs won through their own hard work and take back the industries, services and utilities sold off already by the tories, to their rich masters, mates in the banks and the city of London.
The tories with the cunning that they would deny to foxes have seized this moment of disarray in the opposition, to wage a new class war. Their ideology, driven by fear and cowardice, a lust for unlimited and unchallenged power over the newly poor, has to be forcefully and bluntly opposed. The scalpel being surgically applied to Britain’s most prized jewels, the welfare state and health care can be easily dulled but for that to happen, Britain’s electorate needs to wake up and seize back power. The sooner the better.


Homeless Soldiers_immediate measures to take.

Homeless Soldiers present an everyday problem for Britain, an embarrassment to British people except for the politicians, who have had plenty of time to fix the problem and done very little. I would be ashamed to be a politician in Britain for many reasons but this situation has to be near the top of the list of things that need urgent attention.

It’s obvious, homeless soldiers need somewhere warm and hygienic to stay, a comfortable, bed, food and some money in their pocket for daily needs.

Tell them that on going to a Social Security office, Police Station or Town Hall, they will be provided with a decent quality hotel room or B&B and a daily allowance. They would also be assigned a ‘carer’, someone who can keep an eye on them and monitor their progress. Those who need physical and mental health treatment would be given it as a priority.

To make sure homeless soldiers know of this, firstly tell all police on the beat (who know where the homeless soldiers are) of this plan, they can relate it by word of mouth, as a priority, quicker than any posters or advertising could do and take them to the nearest provider of this service. Also inform the general public by the usual methods of this scheme, so that no soldiers fall through the net.

There should be no problem funding this, the country is rich by any standards, the current government doesn’t want to collect unpaid taxes from off shore tax dodgers or from corporations, such as Amazon etc. you know the culprits. The banks owe a massive debt to the nation for bailing them out but again the tories make no effort to claim this back now that they are thriving again. So, it’s clear that while taxes remain uncollected from obvious dodgers, there is plenty of money available to support the homeless soldiers.

Inevitably, some soldiers will remain homeless, whether through choice or bad fortune but the vast majority would benefit from this idea. If I can think it up quickly why after all these years haven’t politicians done anything about this? Are they just too busy being career politicians, happy to embarrass the British people with their selfish ways, to do anything?

I don’t expect, Cameron, the sorry excuse for a man and ‘leader’, to see this but Galloway, Corbyn or Livingstone might, what are you doing about this?


Sanders #Feel the Bern

With Bernie Sanders’ authentic voice leading corporate stooge Hillary Clinton in recent Iowa and New Hampshire polls, the mainstream, cable and printed press black outs on Sanders’ campaign are lifting. Sanders is also rapidly gaining on Clinton in Vermont, the state where he is governor. However, now that the blackout by Fox, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, CBS, Huffington Post and The Washington Post etc. has inevitably begun to lift, their disbelief is compounded by their ignorance of the reason for his cream like rise to the top of this weeks political milk.

Sanders’ strength is that he isn’t ‘one of the others’, he isn’t bought and paid for by wealthy donors, he has financed his campaign from voter donations, small amounts from a large number of committed voters. They recognise the authenticity of Sanders’ ideology, he will break up the banks, he will strengthen the principle of health care for all, he will take on Wall St. and not be their lackey like Hillary Clinton, he will scrap tuition fees and introduce many more measures to make America a fairer society for all.

Despite Trumps’ appeal being similar to Sanders, in that he too is not one of the establishment, Trump appeals to a finite voting pool, the fearful, the greedy, the religious extremists, the racists, the nationalists and bigots. Sanders can continue to grow though, as the message spreads and news outlets can no longer ignore the fact that a Social Democrat is a serious candidate for the American Presidency.
Much as they would love to just bury him in an avalanche of negative allegations of communist leanings, impossible to finance schemes and if those don’t work, sleaze and corruption, the corporate media can’t. Bernie is a formidable, straight talking intellect, he answers questions and he is clean as a whistle.
I can only dream that Sanders will be the next President but at least, the genie is out of the bottle now and the corporate media and press have egg on their faces, once again.


Copy of Giorgione, ‘Warrior and his Equerry’_1509


For anyone interested in how fine art is created, here is one approach to creating an under-painting, which is a less highly coloured and less detailed version of the finished painting. Upper layers are then added, either with transparent coloured paint or/and with opaque coloured paint. It is a way for the artist to build a painting retaining the details of a detailed drawing as long as possible and thus render the detail more easily, it is called ‘Grisaille’, literally painting in greys.
There are inevitably variations and it has been at various times in art history a finished painting technique, not just an under-painting.
Variations on grisaille painting occur when the artist adds another tone for instance burnt umber or burnt sienna, enabling a slight variation in tone but still relatively uncoloured, this can create a beautiful effect in its own right as well as aiding the artist to separate difficult tonal areas.
In portrait or painting of nudes, artists in the Renaissance often painted their grisaille by mixing yellow ochre and black to create a green tinted black which is then mixed in various amounts to white to create the different tones of grey/green. This green tinted grisaille complements skin tones, red and green being complementary colours on the artist’s colour chart and is known now as ‘moonglow’. When choosing to finish a painting in grisaille style, this is my favourite tonal choice, it gives an eerie, ‘other worldly’ effect. It is apparent in the closed front panels of the triptych by H. Bosch, ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’_1490/1510.

The photography of my under painting for the Giorgione copy giorgione1
is rather rough but you get the idea, the next stage for me once this layer is dry, (less than 24 hours) is to refine it, evening out variations in tone and adding fine detail which I have hurried previously to complete it quickly.

I’d like to mention that to paint this, I used mediums by ‘Alchemist Mediums’ which are recipes used in the Renaissance and are found in the translation of the De Mayerne manuscript found in Donald Fels’ book.

The next layer, the first colour layer will involve transparent colour ‘glazes’, (thin layers of paint) applied in various depths to refine the tonal values and contrasts. I like to paint my shadows transparently where possible as this gives a greater sense of depth to them and thus adds realism to the finished painting. Here I’ve already added shadows as I know from experience that in such a dark painting, almost ‘chiaroscuro’ like, they will work with the transparent shadows I add in the upper layers. Once this layer is dry, the whole painting will be adjusted for detail, tone and contrast in any other added layers to create the finished painting. equerry
It is understood by taking paint chips that Jan Van Eyck finished his wonderful early renaissance paintings with relatively few layers but by the time of Rembrandt, many layers where being added, Rembrandt is known for the his amazing photographic technique, which involved the painting of many layers.
As I’ve said in previous recent blogs, these copies are a way for me to build stamina and get back into extended painting sessions after illness most of last year. figures

This is one in a series, from the renaissance to Bouguereau.

I should have posted progress as it was made but certain factors have prevented me from making rapid progress, so paintings became a priority over net updates. Anyway here on 28.3.16 is a near finished version, Sorry once again for the dodgy photo.




Floods – a progressive’s answer to the recent UK floods

Floods, floods, floods! Floods destroy lives and property and create utter misery, Britain needs a completely new approach in addressing the problems associated with repeated flooding, this would involve removing the Environment Agency’s role in flood defence. A new Government controlled body would be set up, with devolved local control to enable detailed targeting of problems using local knowledge. A broad approach to this problem isn’t the answer as each flooded area has its specific problems. The Organisation would be extremely aggressive and passionate in its approach to flood defence, drawing on past experience combined with modern technology and planning.
A large workforce would need to be created, you can see this as a National Works Programme if you like and would be shadowed by similarly large workforces rebuilding infrastructure, housing, roads, reservoirs, canals, railways, where needed, thus stimulating the economy.

Britain needs to create an exportable expertise in flood defence, so the Organisation can become self funding, we become masters of this skill and use it to help countries which are going to come under increasing threat of flooding from global warming. The Dutch are past masters in flood defence and land reclamation from the sea, we need to tap into their expertise, employ some of their top engineers and return to having a respect for how rivers naturally drain land and route them safely through built up areas.
There needs to be an end to the craze for removing gardens and turning them into mini car parks with hard standing, they create massive problems for the drains in times of serious rainfall, not to mention other problems. It is my belief that when Regional Water Authorities where sold off and privatised by the myopic conservatives in 1989 and then messed up even more by the establishment of the Environment Agency in 1996, water management in Britain took a step backwards where profit is god and damn the suffering of the victims of flood-water. This attitude has to end, of course under Cameron and that cretinous tribe he leads there will be no such change, just vacuous white noise as always and damn all you who suffer the catastrophic effect of flooding.
Hopefully with a Corbyn led Labour government in 2020 some vision will finally return to British politics, it would make a huge change to the cowardly inward looking tories, fearful of change frightened of their own shadows, pre-occupied with their share portfolios and not interested in creating a just and fair society for all.


To the Trump Organisation

Donald Trump is to be debated by the British Parliament, Parliament is to debate whether to ban the entry of Donald Trump into the UK because a sufficient number of British people regard his recent comments aimed at Muslims and Mexicans as hate speech. His project ‘to make America great again’, can be interpreted as nationalistic rhetoric designed to appeal to the fears, racism and xenophobia of disenfranchised white Christians.
Your reaction to this British democratic process is to threaten to withdraw your investment in Britain, firstly that’s no big deal when weighed up against the size of the British economy, peanuts in fact, more importantly, it amounts to black mail, so we can add that to all the dodgy things we know about Donald Trump, four times bankrupt etc.
Personally I say let him come, he will be interviewed here in a way that he never is in the land of free speech and exposed for the shallow, inept clown that he is. Some forensic interviews will at least cause some embarrassment, I don’t think for one second it will make any difference to his attitudes or his native support.
One final thought, free speech comes with the acceptance that it must be used wisely. Spewing out vile hate speech at every opportunity, risks freedom of speech meaning nothing in the quest to make a just and truly free society for all.