Tag Archives: Women

The Party I Would Vote For . . .

As I watch, with increasing incredulity, our politicians handing their power away by supporting the proposed (and very secretive) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), whilst also allowing greater interference in how our lives are run by Brussels, two things cross my mind.

Firstly, what the hell do they think they are doing . . . Don’t they not want the responsibility anymore? Secondly, IT’S NOT YOURS TO GIVE AWAY!!

I, for one, do not remember consciously empowering them, with my vote, to allow them to then blithely hand that power over to the boards of global corporations and distant bureaucracies – the latter apparently totally incapable of responsibly managing vast amounts of our hard earned money, whilst still coming back for more!

It is blatantly obvious that our political system is now fundamentally broken and totally unfit for purpose. The people’s needs are no longer considered and the abuse is growing. We therefore need a new set of ground rules by which parliament functions and which protect us from predatory governments and corporations.

To my mind we need a new Magna Carta, devised by the people and with global values to confront global organisations, as well as setting out the terms of reference for business in Westminster.

At the very least it should cover the ability for us to live our lives with the confidence of knowing we will be properly educated, can find gainful employment, be looked after in times of ill-health and genuine hardship, with the ability to provide a home in which to raise a family if we so choose.

After a lifetime’s contribution to Society, that Society should be both capable and willing to assist, if necessary, in supporting a stress free period until we shuffle off this mortal coil. All achieved without the need for enslaving and mind numbing debt.

(As I write this I am thinking “It’s as though we’ve returned to the 11th century. How can this be?!”)

The new Magna Carta should not be a wordy document, perhaps just 10 broad but succinct topics, including those just mentioned. It should also reference broader and no less important issues such as sustainable management of our Planet, Gender Equality, Religious Tolerance and integrity of the Internet.

Once thrashed out by the people it would be ‘nailed to the walls of Westminster’ (in similar fashion to that which has already happened in Iceland) and Parliament has its future terms of reference. Any changes, or new legislation that does not contravene the ethos of our Charter can be introduced and/or ratified, through People Driven Referendums, as is the case in Switzerland.

We have now moved from the Industrial Age into a Technological Age and political systems that were introduced when we travelled by horse or foot and communicated by bonfire have to be dragged, kicking and screaming if necessary, into this new era. We are in unprecedented times in our history, as the Internet liberates people from the yokes of power of the past.

To do this requires new visionary leadership that will guide and nurture us into this new age. Their unique credibility would come from the certain knowledge that they would gradually put themselves out of a job!

As we become more adept at using new systems of democratic communication, they have helped us introduce, the need for politicians will be dramatically reduced. People will do the debating and decide their own future needs, unbiased by vested interest. It is how the Internet is now shaping our world. What has happened to music, books and retailing will also influence the democratic process, through people having greater control in managing the process.

A Party with an agenda such as this, which shows an understanding of the unprecedented changes now going on in our world and our place in that future, would inspire much needed confidence and a return to the ballot boxes, I would suggest.

We have been conned by successive governments for too long now with biased political agendas and vested interest. The sheer fact that a party such as this is prepared to admit to, confront and deal with our broken system shows a party who cares about the people . . . and that is good enough for me!

“The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it!” Einstein (Attributed)

 Until the next time

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It!          By J T Coombes

Gender Equality is Essential to our Survival as a Species

She avoids aggression

Elinor Gadon PhD, an American cultural historian, author and academic, makes the point that, in recent archaeological research, there is no sign of warfare in any Neolithic Goddess cultures, as there is no evidence of fortifications, violent death, invasion or conquest. Perhaps this is why it is postulated that women would never send their children to war! JTC

In Jungian psychology, the anima and animus represent the masculine and feminine characteristics of the unconscious – true inner self – in every one of us. The trick, we are told, to becoming a balanced person is to get these two aspects working with each other.

From this basic understanding of how we function, it follows that there is a duty upon Society to ensure that both the male and female of our species are also working in equal balance with each other, for our long-term benefit.

Let me also emphasise at outset when I refer to balance, I do not suggest for one moment that women have to mirror what men do to achieve this equality. Balance, for me, can only ever mean an equal application of power and perspective from women as that which has traditionally been exerted by the dominant male to this thing called Life.

The current imbalance has been with us since we were cave-dwellers and has seriously affected our ability to balance our development as a species. Like a Greek galley with all of the rowers on one side being suppressed, we can only ever travel in endless circles of conflict with narrow beliefs that are now taking us to our own self destruction.

This constant conflict, over the millennia, is the result of the testosterone-driven male ego functioning and reacting across the broad spectrum of our activities. Please, this is an observation and not a criticism, the subject matter is far too important and, after all, I too am a man!

If we step back and look at the contribution women have played in our Evolution, we will see it has moved from derisory to limited but growing. This imbalance has been held in check by the influence of our traditional institutions, including those responsible for our moral wellbeing, as they continue to diligently resist full gender equality.

From the very beginning of time, men have had the skills to provide and women the skills to sustain. When we lived in caves we see Life at its simplest, with the male putting the food on the table and the female seeing to the critical reproduction and maintenance of our species.

What seems patently obvious to me, with the problems we are now facing, is masculine-driven short-term thinking – and here, profit is very much a masculine value in its demand for instant gratification. We are constantly inventing new ways of providing, be it financial instruments or decimation of this Planet’s resources, but the feminine energy, force and concentration necessary to SUSTAIN all we do is non-existent.

In many other areas of Life we have introduced legislation to stop monopolies of corporate activity because we understand that domination in any sector is unhealthy. Yet we continue to operate the biggest monopoly of all by suppressing a full and equal female contribution to our Evolutionary progress.

In those areas where women have reached positions of power it has been because they have applied themselves with far great diligence, often suffering harassment and sexual abuse as a by-product of the process. Just imagine how our world will change when this tenacity is harnessed for our collective benefit.

I would also offer that it is not for women to compete with men by playing them at their own game. That would mean that the game would not change, and we would be no further forward as a species.

The task before women now, as I see it, is to play their own game in the same arena, bringing new values and perspectives that are truly feminine, thereby introducing a greater balance to Society.

Let’s face it, there are plenty of opportunities for women to bring their special talents to the struggling arenas of media, banking and politics, where there is increasing demand for transparency and respect towards the 99%.

There is not an area of Life that would not change for the better as this feminine influence spreads across the globe. Just consider the impact upon extremism, be it political, corporate or religious, as the current perspectives are reconsidered from a more balanced viewpoint.

Although we are seeing the emergence of a more balanced Society in some areas as women take their rightful place, it is painfully slow. In Bolivia, for example, in January 2010 50 per cent of the cabinet ministers appointed were women.

Redressing the imbalance of gender in this violent country now offers the first ever opportunity for women to play a critical role in changing the traditional political and environmental landscapes.

I would further venture that, provided they have been fully empowered, this new feminine influence will lead to a calming of the continuous conflict experienced by Bolivia’s people. I would also stick my neck out by suggesting this could happen within decades rather than centuries.

In the commercial arena there are many exciting developments. Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva.org, has harnessed the web to introduce one of the world’s first peer-to-peer micro-lending platforms. Since its launch in 2005, Kiva has facilitated over $436M in loans, connecting lenders and entrepreneurs around the world.

By seeking to create relationships beyond financial transactions, building partnership relationships – characterised by mutual dignity and respect, it is encouraging our natural unification as a species within the new global environment.

This last point strongly supports my argument about the equal contribution women have to, and must make, in Society. The thinking behind the work of Kiva.org goes beyond short term profit by understanding, from a female perspective, who and what we are as a species.

The future growth of this enlightened Banking will, I am certain, be recognised not only for its commercial skills, but by its longer term humanitarian philosophy. Women have a different perspective on Life to men and this difference translates into a less confrontational and more compassionate approach.

This difference in attitude can again be seen in Iceland, where two women set up a new financial services business in 2007, and survived the financial Armageddon in their country a year later. Halla Tomasdottir and Kristin Petursdottir steered Adur Capital through the financial storm with five feminine values that directed the financial services their company provided.

These values are:

a) Independence in thinking and operating to be able to put their clients’ interests first and not be compromised.

b) Risk Awareness. That they only invested in what they understand (as opposed to the sub-prime mortgage market promoted by their male counterparts and which nobody understood).

c) Straight Talking. Where the downside of the risk is brought into the open and discussed, as well as the positive features of any deal.

d) Emotional Capital. Not only is Financial ‘due diligence’ practised, but also ‘emotional’ due diligence. This is underwritten by the belief that, whilst spreadsheets are important to financial dealings, it is people who actually make the profits and losses.

e) Profit Principles. Whilst it is essential for profits to be realised from any venture, this is not the sole criterion. ‘Profit Plus’ denotes their criteria and looks for long-term positive environmental and social benefits, as well as making money.

What these ladies are achieving exemplifies a new approach and balance from the singular thinking of the past.

Whilst women relentlessly pursue their rightful place as equal members of team humanity, there is also a responsibility upon men to recognise the failings of the traditional imbalance that has existed within our species.

The Battle of the Sexes has been going on since we inhabited this Planet and it will continue, but hopefully in a more constructive fashion than previously. The Internet is pioneering a more balanced environment, where access is available without discrimination, as it increasingly permeates into our wider culture.

How will the empowerment of women change us as a species? I have no idea outside of my absolute conviction that our endless conflicts with each other will subside dramatically. A more caring, feminine influence will broaden our attention beyond current short-term goals that are now threatening our planetary resources and very survival.

Bringing us into greater balance as a species can only improve our overall Evolution, by fully understanding and empowering that part of us which has been subdued for far too long and making a crucial contribution to living Life as a Global Society.

It is a huge challenge, for both genders, in tackling an issue that is at the very core of the dilemmas we now face. However, I am reassured by the wisdom of Albert Einstein that, in bringing new thinking to the catastrophic problems traditional short term thinking is now presenting us with, we can take greater control of our future survival.

Until the next time