This is a track from the new Bob Dylan album “Tempest”
George Harrison guested on this brilliant Cream track. His trademark guitar sound is instantly recognisable.
From Joe Cockers magnificent “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” tour.
This my comment to an article in the Guardian discussing “class” on the 26/10/12. I wrote the comment but unfortunately missed the deadline for the discussion.
The article title was
Across the barricades: love over the class divide.
Think class in relationships was only an issue in Jane Austen’s time? Think again. We talk to three couples about their experience of coupling ‘up’ and ‘down’
Class in its practical sense will determine your education, the type of work you will be engaged in, financial security and health just to name a few of its major effects. The lower the class you find yourself the less likely you are to be in a position to control the means of production, wield power and influence, although obviously many well-known revolutionaries over time would disagree with that one.
Class quite often when talked about is divided into socioeconomic status and although that is an important component as individuals it should not be our main concern.
The reality is that all classes commit crime, have affairs, break contracts, commit offences against the state and are capable of being treacherous in many ways to their countries and other citizens. Put more human negatives in there if you wish, the list goes on.
If you are feeling a touch precious about your class and are engaged in the process of being a tad wary of someone it might be wise to remember they also have a strong reason to be wary of you. Class at any level I’m afraid does not save you as an individual from scrutiny and careful examination yourself.
Maybe it’s only me that wonders whether the person I am talking to (no matter what class) is a foreign agent or a tax embezzler well not always, however the point is I have a long checklist to get through before I ignore the realities of the real world and delve into the murky world of what class a person is.
Large powerful institutions like the BBC, police and government seem to have had enormous difficulty in nailing Jimmy Savile. Although paedophilia has been against the law for decades, and certainly for Jimmy Saviles life, the detection processes in the 60’s and 70’s and possibly even the 80’s were not strong within our society. The paedophilia squads in todays police forces are much more sophisticated than they were many years ago. Did they particularily exist in the 60’s and 70’s?
I’m sure there would have been plenty of good police working hard to apprehend paedophiles but without an efficient system for them to take their findings to there was not a a great deal they were going to achieve. (the following sentence is an addition to my Guardian reply) On the other side however it does seem many people had over the years reported Savile to no avail.
Paedophiles are one of the most manipulative criminals in our society, they are adept at misdirection and slight of hand. From what I gather stage 1 for them is manipulating the people around the underage girls and boys, putting a great deal of time into this, being the friend the nice trustworthy person. Stage 2 the act, would after stage 1 be the easy part.
A culture of victims feeling they are able to come forward and be believed is essential, this is what has been missing in our societies and still is. Authorities and individuals, cold as this is, won’t act without proof and as we have seen in the Savile case you need to have all the aces lined up when you are taking on a paedophile. You need teamwork, individuals can’t beat them alone, in fact you may be taking on a ring.
It does however bother me even after what I have said, as to the extent of Saviles ability to escape prosecution given the enormous number of incidents.
It’s becoming more apparent that many people were aware and for personal gain (careers, people waiting in the wings for their job in TV) were possibly looking the other way. Sure everyone will have a viewpoint now that it is out in the open and sure we will have a degree of people covering their past actions from the BBC, the police and government and the many other institutions Savile weasled and embedded himself in.
The main thing to remember here is that Savile really didn’t manage this on his own. Whether he managed to manipulate the minor people in his deception (work colleagues, hospital employees etc), major institutions (BBC, police, government) or had direct help and was part of an organised ring is the bigger story here.
If the Savile affair is not dealt with carefully and honestly this will be an an indicator for victims of paedophilia that this business will go on as usual. Their lives will continue to be sacrificed so that working, middle and upper class people structures are not disturbed and the wobbly status quo is preserved.
The world and many parents watch this one with eyes wide open.
Let’s look at Londons.
The London Underground opened in 1863. It actually started with steam trains and introduced electric trains in 1890. There are around 270 stations with 402 kms of track.
Charles Pearson proposed what was called “trains in drains” in 1845. The House of Commons approved a bill in 1853 that allowed a railway to be built. The first line was built between Paddington and Farringdon.
The reasons that lead to an underground railway then are the same reasons you would build one now, Londons roads were overcrowded. Pearson managed to get private funding and it was started in 1860. So before a hole was even dug it took 15 years.
Jeff Kennett is right we need to start planning now if we want an underground railway because it won’t be commenced or even approved for many years. I doubt we’ll be much different now. Infrastructure this large takes many many years to even be approved let alone arrive at the planning stage.
On January 10th 1863 the first London underground line was opened and used by 30,000 passengers on that first day. Charles Pearson had died a year earlier and unfortunately was not there to see the first train run. The railway system has been expanding ever since with constructions of newer lines and updates. The initial phases unfortunately during it’s construction displaced 1000’s of the poorer residents in the area during the digging.
Jump to now and the railway has approximately 1.2 billion users a year.
The cost of a modern underground line for Melbourne would be any ones guess. Many large projects in the last century or so were completed when labor was cheap, plentiful and occupational health and safety didn’t exist.
It would be an enormous task to build an underground railway in modern Melbourne without major disruptions. The cost would be prohibitive and figures now, as seems to happen in many modern day projects would blow out astronomically, especially after the many years it would take to complete the project.
On a positive note the London underground meant developing new tunnelling techniques whereas we already have tried and tested means in the different forms of tunnel construction.
We do seem to be tied or is it addicted to the car, however maybe the biggest obstacle will be political. Victoria would have to borrow an enormous amount of money as Jeff Kennett has rightly said (although I feel his hundreds of million dollars would be a small figure) and no government, Liberal National Coalition or Labor look like they will ever be keen to have a surplus again.
The Liberal National Coalition spent years convincing the public that Labor were bad money managers with the result that Labor now desires only surpluses. The other side of that coin is that the Liberal National Coalition have also now scared and talked themselves into a surplus only position also.
Out of the ways that governments acquiring money for new infrastructure can go, we could continue on the “Public Private Partnership” (PPP) route but surely that idea must be nearing it’s end. PPP Projects here and overseas have been found to have not been great value to taxpayers, will the concept still exist in 15 years?
In this day and age, yes we should be planning alternative transportation for Melbourne.
The continued building of freeways and the increased reliance on cars must surely be reaching breaking point. Although freeways are expensive and cars are polluting I very much doubt we will see an underground railway in Melbourne.
I may be wrong but don’t hold your breath over the next 15 to 50 years.