A changing world

In 1985 or so, I can remember a lesson at school where we were discussing what made a superpower. We decided that land area (or empire) and population, resources and technologies were important factors. At the time, the USSR as was and the USA as is were the two big superpowers and we then thought about who else we could add or who else could be a super power. Off course, talk turned to the continents. We said as eager pupils “China” as it had/has a big population and a big area, but our teacher laughed and said” Never. its isolated, communist and has no sphere of influence, no technology.” We talked of past empires and how they rose and fell, looking at Greece, Rome, British Empire. Nodding our heads at the certainty of decline.  Then the Berlin wall came down in 1989 after I left school and went to university. Russia went bankrupt, and the state owned things were sold , the oligarchs came. Europe expanded and became a wannabe superpower, and China developed into the second economic power in the world. Today we have certain superpowers, The USA, China, Russia, The European Union, India, and then those that will become superpowers, Brazil, African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria. Perhaps Africa will develop its own equivalent to the European Union and show us how it’s really done.

Europe has fallen. Its still a rich and important market, but growth is stagnant and we now spend our savings instead of saving money. Even worse, our countries all have big debts, which we will have to take responsibility for eventually, and as we are now spending our savings, we are declining in Europe. We have no glue to hold us together, no identity, language or culture that joins us, and so Europe will fall.

What will take its place? Northern African countries do have a similar language, identity, culture and tradition. Perhaps they will form a block of countries to make a trading zone. Perhaps a nucleus of European countries will remain tied together, or even merge to form one country. Perhaps. Today canditad Trump has told us its the end of globalization and the beginning of Americanization, a clear vision that tells us America will now nolonger have influence in the Middle East and will look to Fracking to produce its oil, meaning American Military spending will be cut and that those zones of tension will undergo turbulence followed by stability. America will look to import less and produce more of its own things, a clear shot over the bows of the Chinese economic model of production, meaning China now has to develop its internal market or , go to war in the South China Seas as a way of uniting the population . If America turns its back on Japan, as looks likely if Trump wins, then Japan will have to change its pacifist ideals.

But Trump’s declaration forgets that business look to make the best deals. Where labour is cheapest. Where taxes are lowest. And business is no longer “heavy industry” but cutting edge and technogy/service based. China can produce more steel per year than the rest of the top 20 world steel producers combined, ten times what America produces per year and 8 times what Europe produces per year. China can control the supply of steel, cloths, electronics, raw materials, (except Oil) and has a powerful position. China will look at what it needs and try to take these things, as in Tibet (Rare earths) and Afghanistan (Rare earths/drugs) and Taiwan. If America makes the things , it has to sell them at a profit, which means that labour will have to be cheaper , or that raw material prices drop, or that robots do a whole load of things, and so energy has to be cheap. Perhaps Trump has understood the future involves a whole lot more robotics and so less work for people.

 

 

Letting go

Nothing to say
Just ink , spoiling pages
Churning waves in bays
Waiting for this months wages
Slave to grind, Slave for sale
Blocking the direct debits
Last month’s smoke, this month’s joss stick
Tied to a service I didn’t choose
Watching the food go mouldy.
 
Ball in heart, knot in stomach
Hoping to find a solution
Offers come in for later.
Now we wait,trust
Belief, Believe choose, choice, steal, thief.
Sticky as the keys,thick as thieves
Irregular verbs and lessons
Shaking with fear,or pain,or both
Panic comes.
 
Breathe. Hold out my hand.
Feel forward in dust
Stars will shine on our ashes
Long dead stars. Wish I must.
Land! Ahoy! Come into land,
Row , don’t strand
Oars turn to rust
Soup the sea
And drink up to trash
 
Ah ! Where do roads lead?
Frost told us the difference
And summer lanes ,wooded and hooded
Gnarled banks and rootballs bulk
Canopy shielding shading,shining
Green filtered light speckling down
Dust shod feet echo through ages
Pilgrims and poor men
On roads to life
 
Years later. Finally.
The pen hacks its way through the wood
Digging Heaney’s grave
O’Brien greets us
Under Chestnuts
Wooded lanes to nowhere
Love, late in life
Vote for fools, lies lose,
Oil on the fire
 
Lost in libraries
Perhaps time moves
Treacle in space
A glass.
Bring me my road
Warts on the toad
Rap and rhyme
Speak to me as I have
Nothing to say.

Age

Shaking woke me up

Not from drink

Pills to shore me up

Sit on the edge of our bed

Hold .

Sit and know

Tiredness in all pores

Worry about being up to scratch

Count the stars

The flowers in the field

Stars long dead, petals washed by wind and rain

Who is your brother now?

Share wealth hope happiness

Age washes up on the beach

Strange things dredged from our past

Leave them on strange beaches

Don’t drag them from  shores

Washed by tides and memories

You cant change them

Time changes them

Washes them into caves.

Drags them out to the currents of thoughts

Patterns in your past.