Kill Bill

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 New Kid On The Block

 

Who would have guessed that the most attractive currency in the world could be something that you cannot touch, taste, smell or hear? In fact, you cannot physically experience it outside of seeing it represented on a digital screen.

 

Cryptocurrencies are not yet the most powerful currency but as people become familiar with the circulation of bespoke non-physical coins, it seems to be heading that way, ultimately killing the dollar and decentralising the money system. 

 

But this will not be immediate, the Queen B on the block is Bitcoin and she means different things to different people. As she flirts with investors and anarcho-capitalists alike they all want a bit.

 

 

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I have often pondered on how today’s world of escalating dishonour, in every facet of trade, could be reverted back to good old trust. And suddenly, from the least likely place, my questions are answered. A catalyst for change in the form of a coin. What have we done to deserve this? Nothing really, I guess the heavens showed mercy on those of us who actually want a fairer world. Or maybe it is a curse for those who are paid out of its imbalance. All we really need is a little gratitude, to say thank you and to make sure that the security of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain is upheld as a standard for mankind. Hopefully, before extremists succeed in resetting this crooked world.

 

 

 What’s All The Fuss About?

It’s a very, very big thing, even if you don’t know it yet, you soon will.In 2010 I was baffled by the concept of E-gold so I became curious. Virtual gold backed by real gold? How can you trust it, who, what, where, why?

I was lead to discover that people were beginning to use an alternative currency called Bitcoin. Immediately I thought that this may be the beginning of my ideal – A world of unregulated, free trade. Being a traditionalist at heart, a currency that you cannot touch seemed well abstract and wasn’t easy for me to accept, but on the other hand, a currency owned by the people: understandable.All this caused me to delve deeper into a more abstract concept called Cryptocurrency Mining which basically involves virtual miners (manned computer hardware) solving a digital request in the form of an algorithm and a complex equation verifying transactions on a blockchain. With this done successfully, the miner is remunerated in Bitcoin. The request normally aims to verify a ledger.

 

Even after reading numerous articles, and watching videos, it all still made no sense to me. My interest suddenly disappeared after realising the amount of processing power needed to generate a substantial amount of Bitcoin (more here). It was an investment that I felt was too expensive, time-consuming and risky; it didn’t quite weigh up.

Fast forward five years, I only recently returned as what I call, a late-early adopter as this was just before the period of mass awareness – 2016 to the present. My interest soared. I now see that I was clueless (and still am) as to how many fresh possibilities cryptocurrencies offered. It’s almost a sin not to know.

Waking Up

Although much about this new type of money has become common talk, I still couldn’t grasp a full understanding of it. I put this down to the complexity, the huge scope of this money of account thing, the volatility and the many huge unanswered questions surrounding it. But now, I think it’s safe to say that four years on, many of the initial issues, such as the convenience and transfer times, have been addressed with its natural evolution. By the growing amount of startups and the thousands of crypto exchanges emerging online right off of its back, you can see that the world is shifting.

 

 
But our awareness is still minimal. Well, at least of the worldwide impact cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain is having on today’s financial institutions and the suppression of the fact that the world is about to change forever; China’s attempts to sink the new heavyweight currency by limiting its usage in China is probably the best evidence of this. Meanwhile, others follow in their footsteps with hopes of killing her but in the most organic way making it appear like natural causes. But we cannot be surprised, we should know by now that every plutocracy, by any other name, will do all it can to assassinate any semblance of competition let alone an equaliser or, as I like to call her, the saviour of justice.

 

Appeal

 

The main thing that captured me was the idea of using a kind of cruise control money freely without a central bureaucratic body dipping in for it’s cut. After all, these forkers have a policy of taxing every God-given thing that nature provides for us – the earths natural inhabitants; from the ability to travel without tolls and being cross-examined, to the monetisation of natural elements and forced accrediting of innate skills by a bogus system of insurance that benefits from malpractice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR_KXZZc13U.
 
You can just Imagine how many legitimate healers have been suppressed from expressing divinely bestowed gifts on the needy, just because they can’t pay to get qualified by the regulation drunk authoritieś standards.
 

 

 

"Excuse me, sir. Do you have a permit to fish there?"

 

False Evidence Appearing Real

 

I’m sure there are a number of honest farmers who cannot afford organic stamps and credits, who are so far from knowing their personal power or recognising that earning remuneration for their service is their actual human right. So broken in spirit are they that they just sit and wait for permission from the state due to their ignorance of jurisdiction and a crippling fear of breaking the law.
 
By using and recycling fear and the fact that people need to feel safe, the regulatory boards go a bit too far with rules, at the same time creating stress, imperceptibly marching communities into ER on a daily, by lowering the quality of life, allowing harmful ingredients to exist within the supply chain, be it food, education or governance.
 
To some corporations, their concern for public health is far less than the profits on the sales of their Warfarin and Oxaliplatin drugs.
 Grooming politicians to introduce foreign policies that harm the locals and benefit the investor is not what you would want to call fair trade, in a common market or a united nation. Well, at least not in a natural mind.
 

 

In Securities We Trust

 

But we aren’t in our natural minds, are we? Because of our unaddressed insecurities, we parrot the media without thinking, dropping bogus information on our peers so we sound informed, spreading fear deeper into vulnerable minds. But this behaviour will only pause our insecurity momentarily without knowing the damaging effect of the information that we really know nothing about.
 
So it’s likely that the fractured minds of ‘We the people’ are the ones that will succumb to the fictitious rumours and play the biggest roll in trying to bring down the unfamiliar, new coin on the block through this farmed fear. From within that fear, the sentiment is echoed ‘Better the devil you know‘ as we automatically seek to police what could be our own salvation. Such is our faith in a failed system, even at its end with the potential of something fair, fresh and new we still arrest it.

 

 

 

Bit Whatnow?

 
In November, the CEO of Morgan Stanley, James Gorman said: “Cryptocurrency doesn’t quite deserve the attention it’s getting”. This is after just two months earlier saying that he thought Bitcoin was “certainly more than just a fad.” This illustrates the attitude that most investors have developed with Bitcoin: a love-hate relationship. Because so many people are in bed with her and she won’t show special preference to any of them they’re taking it personally. She’ll enthral anybody who’ll put their politics aside and dip their hands into their pockets for her.
 
Unlike the dollar and the federal reserve, she works on her own and will accommodate individuals and countries alike with no care for how they look, sound or act. In fact, Bitcoin isn’t really the problem it’s probably the insecurity of bwankers that is the issue we need to carefully observe. They’ve sampled her, fell in love but know that they cannot control her so they’ve decided that She Must Die!
Being so used to pimping cash by centralising its flow, starving a country or two here and there, every measure is being taken to get her into bondage like all other currencies. When it’s finally known that Bitcoin is not for private sale, she’s actually from a clean background and is really a question of our own values, we may stop wasting time with the insults, they’re self-harming.

 

Designed For The People

 
One thing for sure, Bitcoin was not designed to be controlled by any one organisation, so you had better be preparing for a different world.
We will not be going backwards from this event. The key fact that we need to know is that every radical mind with ideas of a fairer world is busy working with the Blockchain, choosing the world they wish to create.  That’s why you keep hearing the word ‘DECENTRALISED‘. Knowing this, our trusty media owned government offer crypto options that look and smell like her but weight the same as fools gold. Remember these guys can withdraw funds and wipe out whole countries at will with their remote money.

 

 

 

 

 

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Judas 

 
Ultimately what this means: is that as the world decides on which cryptocurrencies to adopt, media campaigns are being tailored to steer us into accepting the ones that governments can breach making it is possible for Bitcoin to fail into the hands of the illu… centralised world tyrants. But that’s an impossible feat if ‘the people’ ignore the current smear campaigns and stand by their new Quean. Alternatively adopting a new centralised government-issued coin will allow the issuers to lawfully acquire Bitcoin along with her future profits that were willingly abandoned. In another way ‘…they will buy up the profits from the saviour that we helped them crucify’.
 
If we can cast our minds back to America, 1933, Executive Order: HJR 192 under F.D. Roosevelt, we will see that governments often decide where the people should find value and the media assists. The peoples gold was taken out of their clutches and exchanged for bills conveniently around the time of The Great depression or more conveniently the Great Gold Haul.  It’s not too far a stretch of the imagination to think that this could easily be repeated on a global scale by the takeover of the primary cryptocoin. Or by simply pulling their final hand – the law, deeming all trading in Bitcoin and other currencies illegal while still holding on to our crypto. All because of it’s threat to the dollar.

 

 

 

‘Bloodbath’ Another committed headline from The Express 

 

 

Meanwhile online, the rumours keep coming. One such rumour suggests that Satoshi Nakamoto (Bitcoins creator) isn’t a real person but really just an anagram made from four major telecommunication companies names, adding doubt about her ethics and intentions amongst the already confused world. Then there’s other talk suggesting that Sophia, the first Saudi Arabian robot citizen (oh god!), masterminded the whole thing.  The spread of this useless fear satisfies only those interested parties of war funding dollars.
 

 

To draw a parallel it’s like the oil companies fighting to exist in the presence of the electric fuel revolution or maybe even genetically modified organisms over organic food. It seems pathetic that a drug company can fight against natural herbal medicine in plain sight of the masses but this is what we allow.

 

Clearly, you can see the fight going on between good and bad but its a game of monopoly where the winner will not be the one that exerts the most force but exercises their right to simple non-participation in the unhealthy rules that the major corps need the people to accept to profit their sponsors. A simple ‘No’ could mean everything. To want to share your shares amongst the people and attenuate the bank will change the game forever. But there will be compelling incentives to test us. We should not be surprised that these offers will hide behind ethical looking media groups ICO’s and cryptocurrencies alike.

 

 

 

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Sophia

 

 
In September 2017 Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan said ‘I’d fire a JPM trader in a second who traded that. It’s against the rules, it’s stupid, it’s dangerous”.  This was in reference to cryptocurrencies and was stated when the banks started panicking after taking notice of crypto’s profitable rise and the inevitable threat to their financial system. The comment seemed emotional, desperate and a little less calculated than the deeper, Edward Bernays style, psychological attacks that the media are dishing out today.
 
Dimon later went on to say: He regrets saying this and believes in the technology behind it. J.P.Morgan Chase have since announced the launch of a blockchain based system. It’s hard to believe that a decentralised system can come from such destabilised views.
 

 

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The Cavalry

 
Knowing the deeper message of the currency, it seems sensible to assume that those who fight against it with such venom and misleading words like ‘Bubble’, ‘Hoax’ and ‘Crash’ and attach fraud, drugs, terrorism and money laundering to her are more likely to be the same criminal minds benefitting from the same crimes in a different name on a different shore. I fail to remember when the dollar curbed participation in these ongoing major crimes.

 

 

 

 

 
 
It’s becoming increasingly obvious how all the negatives at the centre of cryptocurrency news conveniently leave you feeling doubtful and confused, highlighting an agenda to crucify the saviour. Its decline could only aid those who have something major to lose on the outside and are possibly allergic to honesty. Ultimately we all fail to recognise and support the huge security benefits that Bitcoin has to offer.
 
 
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More desperate propaganda measures by the panicked media

 

 
The Blockchain is like the horse that Bitcoin pulled up on. It’s the back-end system that the cryptocurrency sits on and in as much as it sits on such an honest ledger system, the accounts are pretty much unhackable. You would think this would put fear in the criminal mind but it’s actually the governments and banks that are most scared.
 

 

Agents are experiencing a change  from within that they’re not ready for

 

 
It’s almost like Colonel Mustard is looking pretty nervous right now after pointing at Mr.Green for all those years; because this technology could mean in essence total accountability and no hidden spending, arms deals, misappropriated funds, toxic loans or ghost contractors.
 
It’s very transparent and almost an alien in this deceptive world that we have become accustomed to living in. You would expect it to be embraced with both arms but the tabloid dependent world doesn’t like it. And the rest of us – we get it.

 

The Plan

It would be nice to see this defender of liberty embraced and protected by women. I feel that that nurturing essence at the beginning of this major game change may protect it without the prejudice of overambitious testosterone. As flipped as our world may be, the organic nature of woman still seems to be to prioritise and conserve life and not to destroy, rob, modify, blow up poison, extract and whatever other mischievous ventures men will engage in to support their grand illusions of power.

I’m noticing many more women adopting the new cash and I hope this will inspire a sisterhood to replace the macho brotherhood and all of its harmful ways. This isn’t an attack on men but on that antiquated patriarchal state of mind that knows only the word ‘Take’.

In 2014, Bitnation was founded by Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof. Her ideas were formed around her father being stateless for a decade and witnessing unethical and non-sustainable governance during the Arab Spring. Her desire to create a more fluid communication between the people and the system, promoting the power to choose in all aspects of living and government, in particular, led to the creation of Bitnation.

Bitnation has an ethical, nurturing core and seeks to simplify the contractual communication between different parties for a more sound resolution without interference. The heart behind Bitnation is just a small example of the world that the Blockchain and its cousin Bitcoin are forming from the new young minds that actually get what it actually means to equity.

 

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Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof. Bitnation

 

Who Knows?

 

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws” — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild.
 
Well, not exactly. To that end, cryptocurrency says ‘Ok, keep your money and we’ll keep ours’. As shrewd and intelligent as Rothschilds statement sounds, I personally feel the quote is less worrying than it first seems. In the information-hungry world that we live in today, the real concern is total control of the amalgamated media groups. With the people’s trust in these information distributors, whatever they suggest will have a huge impact on global beliefs having a direct reflection on our lives. It’s fine if people remain dependent on the amalgamated press but we should recognise that what they dont know can hurt us all (911).
 
We should be aware that our confidence in the new coin will expand and contract as we’re fooled by the press. We will continue to be warned of the illegality and all the negative impact with the appearance of this Christ, that judges ALL equally. They will keep bringing up Ross Williams Ulbricht and his den of illegal trade: Silk Road as though crime never existed before that point.
 
There is also need to be aware of those calling themselves cryptocurrency experts. It’s no secret that the old world money ‘experts’ with (again) the help of the mainstream media make damning predictions regarding what they think will happen with local and foreign economies, their media then distributes the fear and we automatically make their prophecies into a reality. We could get into the chicken or the egg argument here but let’s stick to the point.
 
 
Paid to monitor yourself. We will see more poor use of decentralised apps (Dapps) in the interest of Google and other centralised organisations
 
 
Yes, they will pop up from the old world of finance with their paid reps dressed in fatigues and vans to appeal to our urbanness, hosting cryptocurrency talks to represent your saviour but in their way, for their benefit pushing their consortium or private blockchains which are not quite decentralised. But these yesterday experts should be handled with caution as they are opportunistic novices in this arena and by their nature they seek to create a federalised blockchain, contradicting the whole idea.
 
Let’s remember, those cash billionaires of yesterday – the types who invest their money largely in war and GMO crops in the guise of helping so-called helpless, third world countries have not a care or a concern for human life, and can easily afford the biggest platform to spit their agenda’s. And if you, like most others, do not look past the first page of Google, your sense of reason is at the mercy of their paid top four articles at the head of your browser page.
 
Whether their media says buy, sell or hodl, we ain’t trying to hear it because there isn’t supposed to be any experts in this. The only thing you can actually know for certain is that it’s here for us to trade fairly amongst each other and not for legal warmongers to complain, maintain, tax or even explain it.
 

 

 

 

 

Stocks And Stones

 
There are very simple things to comprehend before we go all anti on the very thing that’s killing the dollar and breaking the unforgiving, systemic chain around our necks.
One is that: It’s a problem to the banks and all those who feel they have a controlling grip on money.
 
As you read, there are corporate think tanks with more money than combined countries, assembling and desperately trying to find new ways to bring Bitcoin down and regain their control.
 They will naturally use the media and its biased reflection of morality as the tool to do so, as it has worked incredibly well in the past. But what happens when the media itself is set up on a blockchain network and those questionable quotes and opinions are attached to the author with their permanent signature and full liability for the disinformation with all links to the source of their lies? Oh, they don’t want this.
 
 
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Comparing her to Myspace. We know the propagator
 
 
We should understand that transparency is transparency and if the government (for lack of a better word) can no longer hide and are made accountable for their local and foreign interactions it will naturally dissolve. So what? It’s not in our best interest to put our governments on life support when it serves itself first. At its very core, it is not really the friend of freedom. By all means, try but one way or another it’s time up and, as painful as it seems, cryptocurrency is the catalyst that neither a theist nor atheist saw coming to set the record straight. Like it, lump it, get in or get left out but it is certainly a change in power that nobody could have anticipated- a digital judgment day.

 

 

 

About The Saviour

But we don’t all see things in the same way. The media isn’t the only issue. Although some deists are adopting the Christ Coin, others are more than happy to hold their breaths waiting instead for a saviour, looking suspiciously like Ptolemy, to pop up in sandals, robes, and maybe a Louis Vuitton halo to sort out this economic funk.
 
There’s also the atheist sitting in hope that trusty Steven Hawkins will keep thinking for him and identify a reachable rock inside of a Goldilocks zone somewhere in the heavens to propel him safely through space to start screwing up another organic solar system.  All this dependent on god particle dimension manipulating technology that science says doesn’t really exist. I mean is it possible to find God’s system without believing she exists?
 
And of course, there’s silly me taking both of their views as non-literal metaphors and looking to find my sun of God in helio-space exploration while seeking Christ in technology. And Oh! have we found her.
 

Herstory

 
At the beginning of the millennium, BBc (before bitcoin), the Limewire BitTorrent popped up as an early Peer 2 Peer system using the Gnutella network. It was my first introduction to decentralised p2p. Imagine, rather than the longwinded act of searching various websites to get to a file online you could simply extract files from another computer, anywhere in the world using the internet browser only as a bridge to connect the two computers together, with full encryption and all in one location. This was really the birth of decentralised transactions online. The benefits were simply that it cut out the middle dood, it’s much faster and poos on regulations.
 
Unfair, you may say, especially with intentions of piracy but in the way that cryptocurrency works the intentions are often geared towards freedom and convenience and you will see this common theme with those who generally take an interest in cryptocurrencies and/or Blockchain technologies. The security is already built into the code, so that’s one greedy middleman that is no longer necessary.
 
If you doubt its exigency I suggest you look back at how trade security regulations have benefited only privileged groups with no real concern for the meekest of our humankind, leaving everyone but the privileged on the outside.
 
Unless you work a 9-5 for enjoyment alone the blockchain and its unique type of sharing may not appeal to you but if like most others, you have to work to put food on your family, (to quote the first jester in office George W. Bush), keep the roof over your head and avoid poor health, then you need to carefully study the wonderful possibilities of this revolution. It puts the power in your hands and will help to balance the books with certainty and they know it.
 
In 2008 the domain Bitcoin.org was registered online. Later that year a bitcoin whitepaper on a Peer-to-Peer electronic cash system was posted to a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2009 the first block called The Genesis Block was mined by the author. In 2010, Nakamoto handed the network alert key and control of the Bitcoin Core code repository over to Gavin Andresen, who later became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation. Shortly after that Nakamoto disappeared and was never heard from again although, in reality, nobody had ever physically seen him.  Andreson claims that it may have been after he told him that he had a meeting with the CIA. Well, who could blame him?  I’d have probably done the same, maybe faster.
 
To this day nobody can confirm whether the individual  Satoshi Nakamoto ever existed outside of a pseudonym.  I would be inclined to entertain the rumour that this Bitcoin thing was the government’s idea all along if it wasn’t for the fact that Bitcoin rests on the blockchain that, as a ledger system, allows no room for foul play.
So if the creator of Bitcoin, be it man or a machine, had government ties then they’ve created a tool to wipe out deception and quite possibly the government as this contradicts the ethos of government that exists to resolve conflict, now investing in conflict to justify its presence and remain significant.
This more socialist angle shows that if it were the government, it shot itself in the foot as each blockchain user is on a transparent system of transactions, a one size fits all situation that can only benefit the whole and eliminate contention.
 
 
Your money or your life
 

 

 

 

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Who’s laughing now?

 

 
 
Yet still, somewhere outside of mother natures’ cosmic order, this blockchain thing poses a problem to some mature men in small private clubs, whose white hair may as well be bum fluff for it means nothing to their juvenile moral views of the world. They stand to lose a whole lot when cryptocurrencies secure their place in trade history and they are putting hard money into its fall. At the same time investing in it, fearing they will have to try to control it too one day soon.
 
Even a child would hope that having endured decades would produce a sagacious man that would rather lose everything he has in order to see the world with a fair system of barter simply because that’s the way it should be. Yet these boys in grey suits would rather the world lose everything it has – people, vegetation and fresh air too – for them to keep a grip on the planet’s system of trade.  What a heavy karma baring ambition.
 
Their overall investment is in the segregation of people, the spreading of fear and the satisfaction of knowing that the world community will always be divided and steered by their media. These are the ones that have unwittingly created these currencies as a solution to their plunging the world into darkness. So in an impalpable sense, it ‘was’ created by the government as an answer to their greed.
 
Ironically the legacy that they will share is only to make one thing certain: The word ‘Bank’ that we used to describe as a storage place for money will soon be an entry in the Urban Dictionary as a curse word.

 

 

 

 Final note

 

With the world trying to phase out Bitcoin and China’s ban on Bitcoin mining within China, the fact that they mine 60% of Bitcoin, it makes sense that the ‘Ban’ may well be an attempted takeover. Especially as 51% unified mining means a coup. A government can hijack the mining operations to ends I don’t even wish to imagine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

phase something out

— phrasal verb with phase verb

 

to gradually stop using something:

(Definition of “phase something out” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

 

 

By Angel Lewis

 

 

 

 For Colonel Gaddafi and his vision of a fair decentralised economy. RIP

 

For the Telegram groups: Bitcoin UK & Bitfriendly meetup and the helpful dialogue that shaped much of this article.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/4x3y4j/bitcoin-needs-women
http://hplusmagazine.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitnation
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/09/jamie-dimon-says-he-regrets-calling-bitcoin-a-fraud.html
http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/first-cryptocurrency-god-christ-coin

RBKC Council Selling Vital Community As$et

By Urban Dandy

 

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Canalside House on Ladbroke Grove

 

 

Less than eight months on from the Grenfell Tower fire disaster and Kensington and Chelsea Council’s money grab in the North Kensington community is back in full flow. Canalside House, one of the last remaining spaces utilised by charities, the voluntary sector, small businesses and other local enterprises, is to be sold to property developers. The decision raises questions about whether the Conservative council has learned any of the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire, which was the culmination of years of neglect, indifference and wilful ignorance by the local authority. In the run up to the crucial local elections in May, the decision to sell Canalside represents a calculation by the local authority that the local population will be apathetic as one of the community’s last assets is stripped.

Context

Canalside House, less than a mile from Grenfell Tower, is home to almost 20 organisations, most of which have played a direct and ongoing role in supporting the community in the aftermath of the unprecedented fire on Lancaster West estate on June 14th. In the absence of a serious local authority response to the disaster, local organisations and their volunteers stepped into the void left by the Tory council. The council is widely believed to be responsible for the 71 deaths and incalculable trauma in North Kensington.

Kensington and Chelsea has a large number of charities, but it is a borough that needs them, owing to the grotesque levels of inequality and high levels of poverty, much of which is concentrated in North Kensington. Canalside House is one of the main hubs for community organisations, serving hundreds of local people.

Backstory

K & C council owns the land on which Canalside House stands. It has long coveted the sale of the building, confirmed in 2016 when residents were informed that they would be moving to a converted industrial site on Latimer Road. Canalside would then be turned into private flats. This was initiated by Councillor Rock Feilding-Mellen, the former Deputy Leader of the Council and the man apparently responsible for the catastrophic, bargain-basement refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

The Grenfell Tower disaster forced the council to put their plan on hold. In Summer 2017, council leader Elizabeth Campbell was told by Canalside residents: “We’ve been doing your work for you after the fire, you can’t make us homeless now” and she said she would “pause” the Canalside sale.

But the sale is now back on. The residents only know this thanks to the posting of a video of the K & C Scrutiny Committee meeting by Grenfell Speaks on Facebook. No resident organisations were informed of the meeting. The decision was confirmed by the publication of the council’s Executive Decision Report:

Exec Decision

Opposition councillors at the meeting said that the last they had heard about Canalside House was in February 2017, when they were told that it was “being sold”.

Replacement Site

The council’s sale of Canalside means that all the residents will be forced to move. One, the Volunteer Centre, moved last year, having been presented, along with all the residents, with a fait accompli by K & C. Richard Egan, Director of Corporate Property Services at the Town Hall, in the latest meeting, used the Volunteer Centre’s move as evidence of current residents wanting to leave, but Volunteer Centre were offered space at a suitable location by the Westway Trust, and snapped it up while they could, rather than be forced to move to Latimer Road.

There are multiple issues with the proposed Latimer Road site, according to the Canalside residents: It is half the size of the current building; It offers no privacy, which is essential to every organisation in the building; There are no good transport links; It will be extremely expensive to build; And the move is to be “project managed” by Amey, the company that has so far failed to provide much-needed repairs and refurbishment to Canalside House.

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Deceit

The council’s determination to push on with the sale might reflect a narrowing window of opportunity. The local elections are on May 4th and are essentially a test of whether the richer wards in the borough will abandon the Conservatives in the aftermath of Grenfell. Should sufficient numbers of community-minded people engage in the election, there could be a change in who controls the Town Hall, and this could scupper the plan to turn Canalside House into another block of flats for the rich.

Even if the above analysis is wrong, it is a fact that at the Scrutiny Committee meeting, much of what was uttered by the council was untrue and aimed at a forcing through a particular agenda.

Director of Corporate Property, Richard Egan announced that “each tenant has been consulted” and had given “generally positive feedback”, “support for what we are doing”, “the people in there don’t like being in there”.

In fact, all those statements are wholly untrue, according to the very people he attributed them to. Urban Dandy spoke to most of the Canalside residents and each of them reported that their consultation had amounted to being summoned to the Town Hall individually to be told ‘Here’s the plan, take it or leave it’.

All the residents said they wanted to stay at Canalside House, which is perfectly situated for transport. It sits in the heart of the community, is spacious, familiar and appropriate for their tasks, which include delivering advice sessions, support for Grenfell victims, supplementary schooling and other services that are impossible to provide when you are hot desking and are not allowed to keep paper records on site…

Kensington and Chelsea Social Council were quoted by the Council as being supportive of the sale. But again, the evidence is that the opposite is true:

submission to cabinet re Canalside House

Egan was joined by the council’s Deputy Leader, Kim Taylor-Smith and Councillor Matthew Palmer.

Remember them?

Taylor-Smith backed Egan up by claiming that Canalside is “not a good building”.

And Palmer contributed his expert opinion, that the building is “not fit for the modern era”.

Canalside House is functioning with virtually no council support or maintenance. The residents want refurbishment, or a serious alternative that offers all the same benefits. But the residents also believe the building has been victim of the council’s managed decline policy, which played out so appallingly on Lancaster West.

Canalside residents recalled that the council turned down a grant of £100,000 from the Tudor Trust to install a lift to make the building easier for disabled users to access. This undermines the argument, repeated ad nauseam by the Council, that the move is necessary to serve the disabled.

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The Real Deal

The opposition councillors at the meeting did well to drag the discussion out, despite the three-pronged bullying of the two Tory councillors and their quisling, and they secured some useful information for the public: Canalside House will be replaced by “luxury housing” – zero social housing.

Deputy Leader Taylor-Smith insisted that any further debate on the future of one of North Kensington’s last standing community buildings would be “a banal conversation”.

We disagree. The organisations in Canalside House disagree, as do their service users. It seems unlikely that the wider North Kensington community will be overjoyed to learn of these plans and will surely see the forced removal of another community asset on the back of a set of lies as a hostile move.

The very community that did the council’s work for it last summer is under attack again.

 

Facts for Activists:

–          All Canalside House residents want to stay

–          Latimer Road alternative not fit for purpose

–          No consultation carried out

–          Canalside to be replaced with flats for the rich, zero social housing

Group – Whoop!

 

 

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Art by Angel Lewis for Urban Dandy Meditation

 

We’re in an atomised society, but you’re not an atom, you’re a social, interdependent human. So, with the demise of the extended family system, the weakness of the nuclear family system and the rise of the lone individual consumer system, finding community is necessary.

Where’s your group? What’s your group? Who’s got your back when you’re down, out or lonesome? We whittled matters down to one question and asked it to a load of Londoners. One respondent told me that the breakdown of the family system is “actually against natural law as it leaves most people desperate and stressed with feelings of redundancy, unworthiness, detachment at the cost of a feeling of separation rather than attachment” – well put.

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The Question

The question was the same to each person: “What do you get from your group that you wouldn’t otherwise have in your life?”

Agathe told me about her meditation group:

“Whenever I walk in to ‘our’ room I am enveloped with a feeling of welcoming and acceptance. A feeling that I have a place there, so it’s a sense of belonging…a feeling of support from others. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling, how I’m meditating, those in the group do not judge me and often they can also relate to me. I know this because we talk openly about things that matter to us and that we wouldn’t talk about so easily to others. What a treasure and comfort it is to be able to talk about who we are, to be able to connect – in an unstable and constantly changing world – to our unmoving and unmovable self in a safe and supported environment. What we have in our group is friendship based on truth and compassion”.

 

Antonio talked about group psychotherapy:

“We are very interested in each other’s pain, we become kind, loving and compassionate…Without the group I would be less accepting, less tolerant. I’ve learned acceptance and tolerance in my group”.

 

Alice participates in a variety of groups – addiction recovery, yoga, employment:

“Connection – identification and closeness to people with who I share a common bond and/or interest (the purpose of the group). Group participation takes away a layer of separation between people, and brings those who might not otherwise socialise together under a common purpose or interest. Groups remove the superficial reason for separation – gender, age, race etc. between people.

From this connection stem opportunities for intimacy, the sharing of thoughts, ideas and where appropriate feelings, which, in my experience, reinforce the sense of connection between people… From intimacy stem a whole load of emotions – hope, excitement, sadness, fear, love – all of which ultimately result in a sense of fulfilment – the acknowledgement that I am alive and living”.

 

Martin talked about his family:

“I feel that being part of my sibling group gives me a support and a feeling of value. Inside the family, because we are totally familiar, there is an awareness of the full capacity of my commitment the group. So, when help is required I am asked only what I am capable of. I feel happy to be of service and have a sense of value because I am useful to great people that matter to me. To me, the family group is a symbiotic relationship that feeds everyone involved and expands the spirit. Groups outside of this can feel contractual and draining, without the end feelings of voluntary service. I imagine the difference between receiving a letter from a friend in need and a letter from the tax office. One group leaves you feeling useful”.

 

So the key to success could be getting as close to a healthy family dynamic as possible…

 

Jason: “I’ve been going to men’s groups for the last three years”:

“The feelings I get within them are a mixture of frustration, challenge and at times a sense of deep connection. On the whole, they are something that nurtures my soul, rather than just banter or goal-orientated back slapping.  

One is a Ritual Group. Men who come here are looking for deeper or spiritual exploration to see their life anew. Men are part of the group, but somehow go beyond it, going into a deep personal space, which may or may not be shared.

Usually a key function of all these groups is a talking circle. Or more accurately a listening circle. Men take turns to speak without interruptions. The intentions are to be lean of speech, talking from the heart and only saying what is most essential. There is no direct feedback. This would shut down and close off what the speaker is going through.

This is the most important thing we can give to each other, to be heard. Only I am in a position to help myself, and I know more about my problem than any of you. Advice is useless. Empathy is useful.

Sometimes it’s powerful and enough to hear someone talking about their own story instead of talking about mine directly and seeing the parallels to find solutions. Hearing their struggles can sometimes help me find strength in managing my own tribulations.

With women in the group, unconscious power structures come into the dynamic, which is not useful for heart speaking.

In support groups, I am usually challenged on my intentions and thoughts. Men will actually say to my face that they think I am wasting my time, or avoiding important decisions based on what they know of me. Very useful; who in the world actually tells us what we need, due to fear of offence or because they can’t be bothered?

In the support group I currently go to, we initiate each other and de-initiate each other, challenging ourselves on why we are entering or leaving the group, what we offer to it. We have a charge circle, putting out into the open things we feel are uncomfortable about each other, and what they in turn say about us. We take turns to lead and give each other feedback on our leadership. We spend time in nature as a group.

Above all, men’s groups give me a chance to be brotherly towards other men, in a deep and caring way. A form of love which is not idealised or sexualised. Something plain and solid like a shaker chair”.

 

The Dalai Lama

(no quotation marks, this is me writing, not him) When DL first visited the United States in 1979, he was shocked to hear how much self-loathing was implied in the questions he was asked by his audiences. He attributed the self-hatred to the alienation brought about by the dominance of the nuclear family system, in contrast to the traditional extended family in India and Tibet.

 

Negativity

A retreat into a world of one is a safety blanket but the atomization of our culture is shaping our ideas and attitudes about ourselves. How do we habitually see ourselves? Dignified and noble? Or very negatively? From nagging pessimism about our value to the depths of darkness and loathing, my thoughts are often turned against myself.

A disconnection between the internal and external is exposed and hope lies in recognizing and nurturing the internal. This cannot be done alone. Where is your group in 2018?

 

Urban Dandy Meditation will take place for the first time on Thursday 15th February, 7:30pm in the Library, downstairs at Essex Unitarian Church, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill Gate, W8 4RT.

Free meditation class for the North Kensington community, learn/practise transcendental meditation, there will be readings of literature and poetry, information, discussion…All faiths/no faith, come as you are, everybody welcome,

For more info please call zero7884182408   

Night Whispers

I have seen lovers come and go

ghosts that pass through your life

leaving memories that dissipate

like the twilight mist

alone, but never lonely

your self-love precious

strongly manifesting itself

in those quiet moments

of reflection, pondering thoughts

glimpses of truth that enlighten your journey

filling your soul like a summer breeze

blowing into your most secret chamber

where you dance naked with butterflies

upon flower petals of tulips and roses

moonlight casting long shadows

amongst those that dare peek

turning men into stone

freedom your mantra

never caged, nobody’s slave

Your destiny to leap

amongst the heavenly bodies

that adorn the throne of God…

 

© M.C. Bolton

 

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Ode to Self-righteousness

Searching for a piece of solid ground

on which to make a stand

finding only slippery clay, cold wet shifting sand

nothing stable, untainted, pure

Everything corrupted

My own fine clothes exposed as rags

when the truth brutally interrupted!

 

Constantly falling into the abyss

outside space-time dimension

no beginning, end, finish, start

or realistic comprehension

 

Hating this so-fallen self

that no longer walks amongst the angels

my pitiful deluded self, against my soul it rages

hands and face like melting wax

dripping on to the keys of a pianola

Its constant tune plays sorrow’s song

as I yearn for paradise tomorrow

 

Still the parasites, the leeches

continue sucking at my core

the man I aspire to be

a mirage in this war

I see him in holographic dreams

awaking in sweat and terror!

 

The morning tormentors return once again

Pointing out my faults, my errors

Kept for perverse security

like two old cats about the place

my only fear of drowning

In God’s eternal lake of Grace….

 

 

M.C. Bolton, January 2018

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Happy New Year? From RBKC

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The new year began with no justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. National media coverage has faded, with the initial outrage at the failings of the state becoming a whimper. But in North Kensington, it’s different. Grenfell dominates the local landscape and mindscape, and people are still hard at work supporting survivors and holding the community together.

We spoke to one such person, Rajaa Chellat, an integrative counsellor who is working in a collective of therapists under the name My Shepherd.

“This kind of trauma has never hit a community like this before”

The Work

The group provide support for survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire and affected local residents. The sessions are held at the offices of local charity Making Communities Work and Grow, and group therapy is also provided every Monday morning at the offices of the Westway Trust. The service is funded by West London philanthropists and this has recently been boosted by local authority money.

We asked Rajaa what the motivation of her and her colleagues is. “We saw a gap in provision early on, a lack of emotional support from the authorities, and this is an ongoing issue”.

Three weeks from the day of the fire, which killed 71 people, Rajaa and her colleagues we able to offer desperately-needed therapeutic support. The My Shepherd team includes an art therapist, a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) specialist and an American therapist whose son was killed in gun crime in the States.

“This needs to be long term,” Rajaa told us, “I’m passionate about it. This kind of trauma has never hit a community like this before”.

Personal Story

And the disaster has hit Rajaa hard. Members of her family occupied two flats in the tower. Those on the ninth floor escaped, but five relatives on the 21st floor did not and were all killed. These were Rajaa’s uncle, his wife and their three children.

Rajaa lives opposite the burnt-out tower, surely the most sickening sight in Britain today. It is visible through her window, and to protect her child the curtains stay closed at all times.

Rajaa’s passion for helping others has been her way of coping with the enormity of the situation: “I’m adamant that we keep this going because you would never expect this to happen in the UK in a building like that”.

“The whole community has PTSD”

Council

On June 14th as the tower burned, the Moroccan ambassador was on the scene. The king of Morocco promised to pay funeral costs for the victims’ families, and has been good to his word. Rajaa contrasts this with the less straightforward conduct of Kensington and Chelsea council.

The therapist told Urban Dandy that those engaging with the My Shepherd service have no trust in the local authority in Kensington, that there has been no serious change in the attitude of the council as the months have passed.

Rajaa describes the council’s approach: “It’s ‘let’s shut them up and not deal with the emotional side.’ But I think it’s time to open Pandora’s box. This is what the council’s missing, they’re not thinking of emotional trauma: The whole community has PTSD”.

More money is needed for therapy, says Rajaa, along with better organisation of NHS services, which are all over the place, geographically.

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Housing

Anyone looking at the Grenfell situation knows that housing policy is the key issue. Before and after the fire, attitudes to meeting the most basic need of a human being have been decisive. Rajaa agrees: “The survivors are spending too long in hotels. On top of that, people who lived in the tower and people who lived in the walkways (the low-rise blocks on the Lancaster West estate) are being treated the same, but the tower survivors should take priority”.

All the residents of Lancaster West have been affected, not just by the trauma of witnessing the fire close up, but also by the loss of a reliable gas supply ever since. All residents are now entitled to social housing and relocation, if they want to leave Lancaster West. How long this takes, where it will be and how secure it will be are all council policy decisions.

Of the people living in limbo that she has spoken to, Rajaa told Urban Dandy: “They don’t want to live in hotels, but they don’t trust the council when they offer posh flats in Kensington. They wonder whether council tax will go up. These things aren’t explained properly. My auntie, who was on the ninth floor, took one of the posh flats; she’s a teacher, she’s well-educated and has a stable income, but for those that have less economic independence, and without strong English, they’re scared to take new places”.

“Some people have been offered properties that are too far away, out of the borough, away from home. People feel genuinely trapped in the system, they’re in fight or flight mode. They’re just dealing with the practicalities now, they tell us: ‘I can’t deal with my emotions at the moment’”.

And what is prolonging the resettlement of the victims? “The authorities aren’t willing to give empty homes to the community.”

The borough has 1,200 long-term empty homes, 9,300 second homes as well 6,000 homes listed as owned by companies registered in tax havens. So, the real estate is available, but hasn’t been utilised for Grenfell survivors, and there has been no suggestion by either local or national government that the unused homes will be requisitioned.

“Drugs, alcohol and suicide will be the issues in 2018”

Health

The My Shepherd therapists are in a unique position to predict what 2018 will bring. And Rajaa’s assessment is grim: “Drugs, alcohol and suicide will be the issues in 2018”.

“People lack an understanding of trauma and the vocabulary to think about it and care for themselves. They say: ‘I’ll deal with it once the practicalities are sorted out’ – but the practicalities are a nightmare. And trauma can hit you whenever. It’s only going to get worse in 2018 unless we deal with the emotional side”.

Men

Things get even more dismal when the conversation narrows to men and their experience of the disaster. “Men aren’t gonna talk about it. They want to fix things, so they’re repressing their emotions.” So, men aren’t attending the counselling sessions on offer, and are emasculated by waiting for homes and justice, now a perpetual strain over which they have little or no control.

North Kensington

The North Kensington community will gather for another silent walk on 14th January to mark seven months since 71 lives were lost and many more scarred forever. And what of North Kensington, where Rajaa was raised, and where she contributes so much for so little material reward? She and her colleagues take the approach: “It’s not about religion, it’s about humanity. It’s about what you give. You ask: ‘what can I give?’ We will never not be on offer and the group is ongoing”

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Interview with the Leader of K & C Council

Urban Dandy was keen to ascertain the views of the leader of the council, Elizabeth Campbell, who had vowed to do things differently when she took over the post in July, after the previous leadership was forced to resign. We were curious about whether she could see this trauma outside the political prism of caution, maintenance of power and press release wordplay. Who is running the council in the borough’s hour of need? An emotionally shattered community deserves the respect of some obvious questions being answered…

But despite initially saying she was “happy to try and answer” our questions, the council leader failed to confirm that she would speak to us.

2018

On Sunday, the local community will gather near Grenfell Tower for its slow, silent march to honour those who died. Among those paying their respects will be many people like Rajaa, who have found the strength to nurture life in the shadow of death. There will be many schoolchildren who have witnessed more than they ever should. Activists, campaigners, neighbours, philosophical people…thinkers questioning who benefited from Grenfell not being safe, from the lousy treatment of the survivors. Asking what ideology can be so far gone that it cannot change course in the face of such horrors as Grenfell?

As writers, our only duty is to tell the truth. As politicians, their plan is to not give the game away. Hence, swerving the interview with Urban Dandy.

Our questions were about a series of political calculations that have been made: The calculation that the people in the tower were worth the fire risk in order to save some money; the calculation that there is less political damage done by not rehousing people properly; and there is much more to be gained by selling off North Kensington’s public services than by investing in them.

Another calculation made was: that it is better to ignore us than answer our questions.

All in the name of ‘regeneration,’ labelled by others as degeneration, gentrification, degradation, humiliation…

2018 begins where 2017 left off: Those marching silently in North Kensington represent life and dignity. Those hiding from scrutiny and justice represent a power system that stands for something very different.

Happy new year, from RBKC

 

Rajaa Chellat can be contacted at Rajaa@myshepherd.co.uk 07960776445

Rajaa’s colleague, Dr Sara Alsaraf can be reached at saraalsaraf@gmail.com

 

A timeline of the Grenfell disaster is here

Previous posts on gentrification and housing policy can be found here, here and here

 

By Tom Charles @tomhcharles