Winter reading

Winter is coming... I've been getting stuck into seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones box sets, and Season 2 of the Crown, and reading a few other things including Imperium.

One of the things of interest to green-minded people is the way that everything we do has a solid basis in philosophy.  This is the beliefs behind policies.

Here are a few examples from Game of Thrones that may get the next generation interested in politics.

"Knowledge is power."
"Power is power."

Or the story told by the eunuch character (sorry I'm aweful with names)... a riddle.  Which shows how power is only really present when people believe in it, who they believe is in power.  That really underlines the importance of beliefs in politics!

Then there's the debate about whether people are good or evil or a bit of both.

I have friendly discussions with holocaust survivors, Jewish refugees, at least every month.  The evidence of appeasement with Hitler, at least according to the Queen character in the Crown season 2, certainly points to the fact that certain people are evil.  Some of these are even UK based or "expats".  She denies her uncle entry into the country.  Whether subsequent rumours about him are true or not, is for history to relate, but the facts are that he supported the Blitz, against his own subjects, his own people, and sided with the 3rd reich; early in the war he visited concentration camps and was photographed with Hitler.

An interesting book that you won't find in main stream circulation is "The Blood Never Dried" (on the British Empire)... I am up to the opium wars.  I'm still open to looking at the Library's empire shelves but find the titles to point towards a fair amount of white-wash in favour of colonialism.

As an aside, a question came up last year in the Labour antisemitism report that still hasn't been answered: Is it acceptable to draw comparisons with World War 2?

"If you want to lead one day you must learn to follow."

A final example of beliefs is when the princess says the nasty king will come back from battle; "The worst ones always do."  The advice the young characters receive from their parents is always a good guide of what values are at play.  Whether like the bad king you believe it's all a game, I view cooperation in a non hierarchical system as an analogy to music and counterpoint.  It's not a game but it does play out.   You have to have an eye for patterns and aesthetic, and enjoy, see the funny side, taking joy in debate and interplay of different values in the melting pot of a diverse movement. (Diversity - word of the year 2017)

The remaining 5 series I have on my "to watch" list, and the actual books, may be aweful, bloody, violent, and have some beliefs I disagree with, but the analogies in there are much more thought through, and less offensive, than the provocative remarks of a certain ex Mayor of London.

Meanwhile Brexit continues and the UK is hopelessly divided over it.  Any Climate Change legacy David Cameron and co that may exist, is at threat in the news that the Guardian today reports there are informal talks with the TPP, a trade deal that tries to balance against China's power, with an agenda of deregulation against everything we have achieved and more in the future.

A few good articles on Brexit are in the New Statesman and the FT.  The rest of the coverage is very biased and variable quality, which is why I prefer to escape to the fairy tale land of kings and queens of England this time of year.