The Politics of Infrastructural Change
Politics is about power and power in Britain has always rested with men.
And a specifically educated, self-perpetuating class of men at that!
Private School and Oxbridge anyone?
So by default, infrastructural decision making also rests with men.
Yet women make up 51% of the population and have a different mindset. They also have so much to contribute to improving family life and creating a fair society..............so something must be wrong!
Power is known to corrupt, so some men will only relinquish power slowly and with great reluctance.
The well-worn pattern of political lies, corruption and greed, leads to a path of concealment and political obduracy.
Every reason in the book will be quoted to resist change.
That is why women, who only obtained equal franchise voting rights in the 1920's, still don't have equal franchise in the Westminster Parliament.
An equality of representation is quite simply made, by changing the voting rules. For instance; the number of constituencies could be halved. Then each constituency could be represented by one male & one female MP.
Voting by means of two ballot papers - one for all male candidates, the second for all female candidates.
But only coordinated and sustained pressure from women will initiate this change.
The EU Gender Equality objective is as follows: (It remains to be seen what an Independent Britain's objectives are!)
Promoting equal economic independence for women and men.
Closing the gender pay gap
Advancing gender balance in decision making
Ending gender based violence
Promoting gender equality beyond the EU
The UN Sustainable Development Goals state that:
"Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world".
Surely, these are worthy objectives for all of us.............but when will it happen?
Speculating on a Political Future for the British Isles,
is fraught with temptation!
Graphic by Ross Eccles - Feb 2020
Political Change - The Process
Allowing men to dictate the pace of change has been proven by events to be ineffective.
So a campaign of non-violent action by women remains the only civilized course left open to them.
It is something that women have to organize for themselves..........but they can be assured of the support of many men!
Iceland - as an example to follow
Out of 144 countries, Iceland ranks 1st in gender equality.
It also ranks No 1 for the political empowerment of women.
Yet in the early 1970's, working women's pay in Iceland was 60% of men's pay. Women also had very unequal political representation and therefore, little say in political or business decision making.
Women' groups then joined together in a Redstocking Movement.
This led to a women's strike in 1975, which took the form of a "Women's Day off Event".
This had an almost immediate political effect and by the following year, Iceland's Parliament passed a Law guaranteeing equal rights for men and women.
Why women's contribution to the Political Process is so important
It is generally accepted that women think in a different way to men. Quite understandable when we look back to our evolution and, the differing roles men and women have played in the development of our human species.
Thinking is a function of the human brain and, the brain has developed an evolutionary balance over hundreds of thousands of years........ and it is this balance that has contributed to dominance of humans over other evolutionary forms on this earth. (see graphic below)
The human brain is made up of two hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum. This is the "nerve transmission mechanism" connecting the hemisphere functions. The corpus callosum happens to be more connected in the female brain than the male brain. It is reasonable to assume that this may be the reason why women seem to be more adaptable than men at many tasks. A definite bonus to any political process.
Being in "two minds" begins to make sense when we understand the differing functions of the two brain hemispheres. Decision-making can be difficult, when information from each hemisphere is conflicting.
A failure of education
Modern state education is a very recent development in evolutionary terms. Unfortunately, much of our education fails to consider evolutionary brain function. It tends to concentrates on rote learning and, measurable functions associated with the left side of the brain. The system, holds little regard for the creative and instinctive functions of the right side of the brain.
Only male and female equality of representation in the political and decision making process will allow the democratic process to fulfill it's true potential as a governing mechanism.
Balanced functions of the human brain
Graphic by Ross Eccles
Planning for the effects of Climate Change and Mass Migration
Lack of "vision", leads to a lack of understanding!
This is particularly true in regard to infrastructural planning, which is about planning for the future. A future threatened by catastrophic climate change and unsustainable world population growth.
Climate change is a catalyst for mass migration and, a recipe for civil unrest on an international scale.
Rising seas around Ireland offer little protection from either.
The world population explosion has yet to be recognized!
To put this in the context of Ross Eccles lifetime:
Population of NIgeria alone, has increased from 20 million to over 200 million..... A 10x multiple!
And World Population has increased from 2 to 8 billion.
Assuming equality of opportunity for all and a sharing of the worlds diminishing resources, we all face a challenge. Few seem to recognize that it is a challenge of epic proportions and the principal cause of climate change!
Most people remain tribal in attitude.
They are unwilling to share territory or resources which they consider to be "theirs".
It has led to a flourishing Nimby culture. This poses a growing risk to the future of civilization, as it promotes confrontation rather than consensus.
Yet an individual DNA profile and distant ancestry check, will confirm that we are all migrants and closely related as a human species. A simple mathematical calculation confirms that, we would all be related in a matter of 1000 years, but for inbreeding and pedigree collapse!
Fighting, killing, disease and starvation, the traditional solutions to overpopulation, can never be a substitute for reason!
Democratic, male dominated, adversarial parliamentary systems, are a showcase for "lack of vision". Outdated, short-term political thinking, still regards infrastructural fire-fighting as "forward planning" and non-stop emergency measures as "great progress". White papers and lip-service to change, are no substitute for "doing"! So fundamental political change is necessary, before coordinated infrastructural forward planning is taken seriously.
It is not simply about.......more jobs, houses, hospital beds, social care, school places, transport, utilities, broadband, flood relief, sport and cultural facilities, etc.etc.......all considered in isolation. It is about the inter-connectivity of all of these things!
Comprehensive forward planning is about integrated, coordinated and sustainable thinking. It is about creating a "whole society" which is greater than the sum of the individual parts. The objective! To efficiently and smoothly overcome well-known infrastructural challenges and, make Ireland and the world a better place for all.
Integrated planning is complex.
No simplistic solutions exist.
It is a process that generates unintended beneficial consequences. It is about constructing a network that is sufficiently flexible to accommodate continuing change, as the needs of the population change. The very best brains, supported by enlightened politicians, are needed to progress the plan.
Examples from Nature
The natural world around is full of examples of integrated forward planning (evolution) where structure is of considerably more value than the sum of the parts. For example: A spider has the ability to produce multi-formulas silk from its spinneret glands. This silk can be used for catching prey, wrapping prey and as a trailed safety line. It can also be consumed (recycled) by the spider at the end of the day.
The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is a man-made example. Born as a visionary idea in 1764-1782, it was the most commercially successful canal in Britain. Initially conceived to transport lime and general cargo by horse drawn barge it had a multiplicity of unintended uses and is still in use today. At its peak in 1865, 1.9 million tons of coal were transported mostly by steam barge. It was a catalyst for the industrial revolution in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Many coal mines powering many mills, were developed along its route. Yet the scale of success, was never envisaged when the canal concept was born!
Creating infrastructure will allow Britain to re-develop the Regions which contributed so much in the past to Britain's past social development and economic success.
Politics of Change
Mauritania - the effects of climate change
Examples of the effect of climate change
Mauritania on the Coast of West Africa, suffers from environmental degradation, severe drought and food insecurity. The effects of migration both incoming and outgoing, creates conflict and chronic instability.
Assuming Europe and Ireland is closed to these and, many hundreds of millions of other displaced people, where in the world are they expected to go?
Given the political will (and I understand that is asking a lot!), the United Nations as the organizing body, could take temporary control of failed states.
Once stability is restored, and given the necessary guidance, authority could, once again be returned to elected representatives of the citizens.
The world is no longer accepting of migrants, as recent political events have highlighted.
Asylum Seekers and Economic Migrants are often unfairly lumped together.
Even in the most traditionally tolerant of countries, migrants are beginning to be seen more in a negative rather than in a positive light.
Unrestricted migration is no longer tolerated by any country in the world.
But migration, which is often forced migration, due to conflict or climate change, is now a fact of life!
So a question arises:
How does Britain play it's part in tackling the problem of mass world migration?
A Proposal for consideration
A possible solution could take the following form:
It assumes that allocating asylum seekers into communities without proper consultation breeds unnecessary opposition and resentment, even from fair-minded people!
Government could allocate an annual capital sum for all asylum seekers and the displaced.
Government could then seeks Tenders from the Regions for integrating asylum seekers subject to strict conditions. After central processing of applications on a humanitarian basis, successful applicants are placed with approved Tender Bidding Municipalities or District Councils.
Local Community Groups could be invited to integrate agreed numbers of asylum seekers within the Community and should be given the necessary funds to do so.
These funds should be adequate to include provision for community supervision, medical care, schooling, accommodation, etc. etc.