Up The Charlies: What Alston, Drew and Chaplin Have To Offer September 2020

Above: painter, sculptor, botanist Charles Alston’s image of African American research scientist, surgeon Charles Drew, founder of Blood Banking for Britain in 1940 highlighted in author, writer, dramatist and activist Naomi Alderman’s Science Stories
Charlie Chaplin, as Kathleen Turner noted in the BBC programme Icons Of The 21st Century was actually talking about how he really felt and believed when, in the 1940 film, the Great Dictator, he satirically and comically played out  what might have happened in Germany had Hitler been given a different script.
That ‘what if ‘ of drama is the ‘what if’ of our own lives, experiences and dreams writ large. It helps us process, understand, progress. The ‘what if’ connects the home, the everyday, the tomorrow, with everything and everyone we are.
In the rush to reconstruct countries after the second world war to the unreal Cambridge Analytican mechanisms around Britain changing its relation with europe, seventy years on, you get a sense that we know that we’ve given too much authority and influence to accountants and local, regional, national and international information and telecommunication and satellite entities.
We need to turn these Costs and Control weapons back into tools that everyone can use to make the local and at the same time, the wider world, ours. What’s the point of a wonder superhighway with an empty and impoverished culture or an audience who actually thinks you’re greedy and empty? What happens to a world overburdened with one type of manufacture, supply and distribution that kills local regeneration and creativity?
Well then, it’s time for us all to  be well, not just the few.
In Kirkby playwright James Graham’s: Brexit: The Uncivil War Benedict Cumberpatch’s Dominic Cummings tries to expose how the ideal of a constitutional democracy where things would get better for more people, more of the time over time has nearly been hijacked by elite instrumentalism, elite career development, and corporate lobbies and reinterpreted as a kind of post modern eugenic theory (see also how Toby Young’s father who wrote part of the labour party manifesto after the second world war might be reconsidered)
Dominic Cummings knows all about the soft form of shock and awe using technologies, and has been described as a ‘career psychopath‘.
The problem really is that we need a dynamic reinterpretation of the way things are made and distributed here and across the world and new kinds of supply chains.
Simply manipulating privileged access to knowledge and information isn’t enough. We need real parliament, new ways of understanding demand and supply: links and connections that bring everyone in and back into full and creative capacity.
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Above: Prospect magazine image of Vote leave political strategist and advisor Dominic Cummings
 Jacob Rees Mogg doesn’t really understand that history is a process that isn’t about locking down more and more assets: history is a guide towards enlightened insight, away from a post modern version of feudal Britain into a genuinely modern and graceful country.
Away from the tendency towards totalising project matter,  I’ve reprinted Charlie Chaplin’s speech in the film The Great Dictator and put some thoughts against the first couple of lines about what people are doing locally, regionally as well as historically to reduce the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged:
First line: “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor.” (Good for you Charlie Chaplin, pretend Adolf Hitler, Small is Beautiful, is what I say. See, for example, Louchavan Lemard’s Nottingham based PH247 Plumbing and Heating: set up to bridge the often great gaps in understanding between landlords, contractors and tenants and owner occupiers in Nottinghamshire.
In this business the value of every individual needs to be supported by more people more of the time with equal access to goods and services.
Let’s support rehabilitation of people, buildings and the environment.
Second Line: ‘That’s not my business’. (Making sense of the world for more people, more of the time is the business we need and makes the world a better, smaller and more connected place). Get to know something about people you wouldn’t have dreamed…
For example, did you know that the development of blood banking was pioneered by African American Charles Drew? Did you know that after he’d headed the Blood For Britain project in 1940 where he perfected and developed the work of earlier plasma scientists in the methods of collecting, processing and storing, blood with John Beattie, John Scudder and EHL Corwen he wasn’t permitted by the Red Cross to donate at first?  The project was managed by the Red Cross (who tried to stop African Americans donating blood). But by 1941 when the programme ended, Blood for Britain had collected 14,556 blood donations, and shipped (via the Red Cross) over 5,000 litres of plasma saline solution to England. Saved our lives.
This information came from Leslie Braine Ikomi, known all over the world (and part on Linkedin, for his ‘Turning The Tables’ images of history where the stories of African men, women and children living, moving and impacting the world around them, are documented.
Third line ‘I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone’ (really big tech and social media giants and Mr Trump/ Mr Rees Mogg?)

and these are great lines:

Fourth Line ‘I should like to help everyone if possible’,

Jew – Gentile – Black Man, White.
Fifth line: ‘We all want to help one another, human beings are like that’.
Sixth Line: ‘We want to live by each other’s happiness’.
Seventh Line: ‘Not by each other’s misery’.
Eighth Line: ‘We don’t want to hate and despise one another’. 
Ninth line: ‘And this world has room for everyone, and the good earth is rich, can provide for everyone.’
Tenth Line: ‘The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way’.
Eleventh Line: ‘Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed’.
Twelvth Line
‘We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in’.
Thirteenth Line
‘Machinery that gives us abundance has left us in want’.
Fourteenth Line
‘Our knowledge has made us cynical’.
Fifteenth Line
‘Our cleverness, hard and unkind’.
Sixteenth Line
‘We think too much, and feel too little.’
Seventeenth Line
‘More than machinery, we need humanity’.
Eighteenth Line
‘More that cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness’.
Nineteenth Line

‘Without these qualities life will be violent, and all will be lost’.

Twentieth Line
‘The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together.’
Twenty first Line
‘The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all’.
Twenty second Line
‘Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world – millions of despairing men, women, and little children – victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people’.
Twenty third Line
‘To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair’.
Twenty fourth Line
‘The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress’.
Twenty Fifth Line
‘The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people’.
Twenty Sixth Line
‘And so long as men die, liberty will never perish…’
Twenty seventh Line
don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel.’
Twenty eighth Line

‘Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder.’

Twenty ninth Line
‘Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts.’
Thirtieth Line
‘You are not machines.’
Thirty first Line
‘You are not cattle.’
Thirty second Line
‘You are men’ (and women, some of you very young)
Thirty third Line
‘You have the love of humanity in your hearts.’
Thirty fourth Line
‘You don’t hate’.
Thirty fifth Line
‘Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural
Thirty Sixth line
‘Don’t fight for slavery.’
Thirty seventh Line
‘Fight for liberty.’
Thirty eighth Line
‘In all religions is written “the Kingdom of God is within man” – not one man nor a group of men, but in all men’ (and women and children).
Thirty ninth Line
‘In you’.
Fortieth line
‘You, the people have the power – the power to create machines’.
Forty first Line
‘The power to create happiness’.
Forty second Line
‘You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure’.
Forty third Line
‘Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite’.
Forty fourth Line
‘Let us fight for a new world – a decent world that will give men a chance to work – that will give youth a future and old age a security’.
Forty fifth Line
‘By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power.
But they lie’.
Forty sixth Line

‘They do not fulfil that promise’.

Forty Seventh Line
‘They never will’.
Forty eighth Line
‘Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people.’
Forty ninth Line
‘Now let us fight to fulfil that promise’.
Fiftieth Line
‘Let us fight to free the world – to do away with national barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.’
Fifty first Line
‘Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men (and women’s) happiness.’
Fifty second Line
in the name of democracy, let us all unite.’
(but this time let’s not kill or harm any more people).