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Lo sé, estoy predicando en el desierto.  Pero si nosotros los que sabemos, no seguimos contando al resto, que ellos tienen los medios para cambiar este sistema político actual, entonces nosotros también seremos culpables cuando todo se vuelva realmente desagradable.

Todos los días desde que he vivido en España (y Portugal), hace 17 años, he sido testigo de aquellos que tienen trabajos seguros de por vida trabajando para el estado, usan su posición para servirse a sí mismos, a través de la corrupción y el miedo.  A lo largo de los últimos cuatro años esto se ha convertido en algo personal gracias al personal de: seguridad social en Aracena/ servicio sociales en Cortegana/ la oficina de empleo en Cortegana/ y más recientemente correos, que colectiva e ilegalmente me han privado de más de 45.000 euros, dinero que en cambio ha ido a parar al bolsillo de otras personas.

Al mismo tiempo también he desperdiciado cuatro años de mi vida, persiguiendo papeles y llevándolos de una oficina a otra, cuando ya estaban disponibles (digitalmente) para aquellos que me los solicitaban y requerían.

La última gota ha sido el Defensor del pueblo.  Ese departamento de Estado cuya única misión es erradicar la corrupción y garantizar los derechos del ciudadano común.  Ahora también han sucumbido a esta enfermedad, y solo defiende su postura e interés.  Así que la próxima vez que usted piense que todavía hay una oportunidad de obtener lo que se le debe, no pierda un segundo  más de su preciosa vida persiguiendo.  Aténgase a la lotería y a la caridad de la iglesia que en su lugar ofrece las mismas posibilidades de éxito.

Lamentablemente esta codicia continuará, consumiendo servicios y aumentando la tributación hasta que no quede nada.  La única esperanza de sobrevivir que cualquiera de nosotros tiene es matar la enfermedad erradicando al anfitrión.  La próxima vez que haya una elección, voten en un sistema de gobierno totalmente nuevo, Ya no tienen nada que perder.

 

– wake-up time

I know, I’m preaching to the converted here.  But if we who know, don’t keep telling the rest, that they have the means to change this current political system, then we have only ourselves to blame when it all turns really nasty.

Every day since I’ve lived in Spain (and Portugal), 17 years now, I’ve witnessed those who have secure lifetime jobs working for the state, using their position to serve themselves, through corruption and fear.  Then over the last four years it became personal, thanks to the staff at: Seguridad Social in Aracena/ Servicio Sociales in Cortegana/ the Oficina de Empleo in Cortegana/ and most recently CORREOS, who collectively and illegally have deprived me of over 45,000 euros, money that has instead gone into other people’s pockets.

At the same time I have also wasted four years of my life, chasing papers and taking them from one office to another, when they were already available (digitally) to those requesting them.

The last straw though has been the Defensor del Pueblo.  That state department whose sole remit is to root out corruption and ensure the rights of the ordinary person.  They have now also succumbed to this disease, and now are only defending their own.  So next time you think there is still a chance of getting what is due, don’t waste any more of your precious life chasing it.  Stick to the Lottery and Church instead, the odds they offer are just as good.

Sadly this greed will continue, consuming services and increasing taxation until there is nothing left.  The only hope any of us have of surviving is to kill the disease by eradicating the host.  The next time there is an election, vote in a totally new system of government.  You no longer have anything to lose.

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how would you set about finding the perfect place to live?

Not as in “when I win the Lottery”, but if you wanted to do it right now, with just your current resources.  The reason for asking is I have completely run out of ideas how to publicise El Pocito is for sale, and desperately need some fresh input, preferably of the “cost nothing or next-to-nothing” kind.

My biggest problem (I think) is that the Sierra de Aracena is more-or-less a total secret from the rest of the world, no-one else has ever heard of it or this part of Spain.  Except that is for the lucky few who were born here, or like us came upon it by accident.  The fact that there are 182,000 hectares of woodland/ mountains, packed full with an equally incredible variety of wildlife/ fauna/ and fauna, and very few people to disturb them, has passed everyone by.  As has that the villages and small towns that do exist are small and date back hundreds if not thousands of years, including some castles and of course Spain’s oldest mezquita (mosque).  With a pace of life which is more like my 1950s childhood than modern day Europe.  Sevilla (Spain’s most beautiful city) si just an hour away.  The beach only an hour.  Portugal 45 minutes.  So how do I tell people all this?

Another problem is the total lack of estate agents (with a relevant internet presence) featuring this area.

Nor can I find any publications (anywhere in Europe) that cater for this kind of market.

All I’ve got so far (to spread the word) is my site (https://elpocito.wordpress.com) and two Facebook pages: PHIL ROOKSBY (http://facebook.com/phil.rooksby) and  OFF GRID SUSTAINABLE SMALLHOLDING IN SW SPAIN FOR SALE (http://facebook.com/elpocitoinalmonasterlareal/).

Can you help?

Also I would like to know how to increase the traffic/ visibility for my site (though not in a too technical way please).  As well as any alterations you think might help.

What about forums, can you recommend any?

Looking forward to hearing from you, don’t be shy.  Phil.

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…. especially in the Houses of Parliament, along with the various roosts of the Royal Family.  Each virtually immortal, having already existed for hundreds of years, fed on the life-blood of the humans.

Yes, I’m off on one of my rants again.  Today it is about pensions, as rumour has reached me that there might be a General Election in the offing this autumn.  And as most of you already know, expats don’t get a vote, not in the UK or even in their new country of residence, just as they aren’t entitled to most of the social security/ unemployment benefits either, because the UK doesn’t play fair when it comes to EU membership.  So I want to make sure those who do have a chance to make a change, do it effectively.

Assuming there was a system of justice in the UK, surely if you have been forced to contribute for a lifetime to the state pension plan, then it is the duty of the government to pay out as agreed when the need arises?  Yet apparently this is not the case.  Instead they have been steadily changing the rules when and how they wish.  Done away with Widow’s Pension, significantly raised the age when you can start receiving a standard Retirement Pension, removed income and spouse-related Benefits, and as I write, planning even more drastic cuts.  All totally illegal of course, but who is ever going to take them to court?  Yet why, if they want to make the changes, don’t they allow the current beneficiaries to receive what is their due, and start the new system with those about to begin work?  Answer: because they really don’t care.

I am one who has fallen foul of their treachery.  Have already been swindled out of 20,000 euros and If I actually live to become a pensioner will have already lost 45,000 euros altogether.  Though that is nothing to what every UK woman (born after 1950) has lost.  While at the same time a Member of Parliament, even if they are in the job for only a day, still gets a life-time earnings-related pension, on top of their state pension, immediately upon leaving.  How is this just/ fair?

When we lived in the UK we were proud to be in such an honest and law-abiding country, proud of the checks and balances that sustained this.  But seems none of that was real, more the case of being culturally downtrodden for so long (by those who rule over us), believed this was how things were.  Because as soon as we moved to Spain/ Portugal, where everything is so much more out in the open, I could immediately see the vast inconsistencies, even at a local town council level.  Not only that the average UK taxpayer is paying as much as 99% of their hard-earned income on taxes and resultant loss in purchase value (see https://elpocito.wordpress.com/living-on-less-money), but that one of the universal laws of nature is: the more money you have access to, the more corrupt you become (with no exceptions).  And who has the most access?

A General Election is the once chance (short of apocalypse) we (or you) get to make a change, vote in a government that isn’t just about providing its membership with as many ways as possible to make a nice tax-free profit.  But one that simply provides the services the greater population needs, free of backhanders and nepotism, and consequently reduces the burden of individual taxation to what it realistically should be, almost nothing.

Deprive the vampires their source of sustenance, and get someone moral and mortal in to do the job instead.

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Without internet access/ a tv/ or radio here, books & magazines take on a whole new significance (aka FARENHEIT 451).  I re-read my entire library at least once a year, and when there is spare cash search out new titles.  Magazines however are not so easy.  For a start I have no idea what is available now, they would also be too expensive to buy (from either the UK/ US) sight unseen.  So all I have left now is a few copies visitors brought and those we came with in 2000.  Not nearly enough to get me through all those long dark evenings coming up.  I was wondering therefore if anyone out there had any old back issues they could pass on?  Doesn’t matter what, or how old, just that they are in english.  Thanks, looking forward to the response.

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Seems a while now since I wrote anything, and then it was only to voice my at being ripped off by the Spanish Post Office (CORREOS), a battle which still continues.  This one is more like my old self.  ln fact it is the same old message, only this time will probably irritate even more people.  Though this is not my intention, so please bear that in mind before posting any negative or nit-picking replies, they will only be deleted.

My inspiration came from a film/ DVD kindly sent by a friend (who having shelled out £25 for it, sight unseen, probably wants to try and recoup some of that), entitled: wetheuncivilised.  A documentary made by two young people from Lewes (E Sussex), who set out in a van to seek an alternative way of living in the UK, and on the way paid a visit to friends and communities, interviewing, plus having an unexpected baby.  All apart from the last bit, just up my street.  Especially living in a van (though I have to say ours was much better fitted-out, see the photos: https://elpocito.wordpress.com/living-in-a-van-nomadism/).  Likewise I have a strong interest in finding or setting up a community of like-minded souls.  Anyway, based solely on the wonderful packaging it came in, I was really looking forward to watching this.

The film however is a total disaster.  And in so many ways.  Including: having no real story or direction/ its main two protagonists lacking any credibility/ constant side-tracks and padding with clips from other sources/ appalling camera-work/ inane soundtrack/ boring (well over-long at 141 interminable minutes)/ plus incredibly self-indulgent (rather like being forced to watch a neighbour’s holiday videos).  Though the biggest howler of all was the contribution from the (and I quote) grass-roots activists and leading figures of the UK ecological movement.  All of whom are esteemed and respected beacons of the ecology movement, some of them for decades.  Yet total embarrassing, because what they had to offer was ego/ human-centric, total claptrap, or simply unintelligible, like listening to a foreign language.  Their worst crime being none of them mentioned, or even appeared to realise, the two major issues facing us right now.

Namely, overpopulation by our species, and the environmental impact of money.

At this point I would like to introduce a chart to try and give an idea of the scale this represents, because I still don’t think people actually get how far we’ve moved away from what is/ was normal.  I’ve chosen just the period from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which is when we really started to lose the plot.

year UK population world population UK household income (annual)
8000BC   5 m  
1700 6 m 0.6 b £12.75
1800 16.3 m 1 b £27.55
1900 41.6 m 1.6 b £52
2000 58.8 m 6 b £20,000
2017 65.5 m 7.5 b £35,000

 

Population.  All life on this planet has a definable sustainable limit to its numbers.  This is managed instinctively and allows for a maximum diversity of species to exist/ develop, as well as protect the (finite) natural resources of the planet.  This is difficult concept to grasp/ justify, I know, it implies there is some kind of shared intelligence among all life (or over us), but as we are the only species known to have deviated from this pattern there must be something to the idea.  Anyway, just in terms of being totally dependent on a diverse ecology for life itself it is necessary we abide by this rule.

For whatever reason we chose to disregard it and increase in numbers, especially after so many millions of years while our numbers remained low and stable, the effect was that other species then started to suffer and die out, this happened from (around) 8000 BC.  Slowly at first, then speeding up exponentially when those who rule over us began wholesale enslavement of the entire human race with the Industrial Revolution.  Since then it has continued to increase in speed, but with an equal destructive effect being wrought simultaneously by the spending of money.

These two indices therefore are the only reliable measure of ecological meltdown.

So why aren’t we doing something about it?

I think we were, or at least the ecology movement was getting their message across.  That is, until the advent of internet and mobile phones (around 2000), when vested interest regained the advantage.  Since then all information has been under their control, to keep reinforcing their message that procreation and spending are good (for them).  It is only those (shades of FARENHEIT 451) who remain disconnected that are able to think differently.  See the obvious comparison between the seemingly limitless buying opportunities of today, their effect on the planet, and the much better life of our forebears who had nothing by comparison.

At the end of the film I stepped outside, out onto the patio of El Pocito, from which there is a very steep slope downwards, so you are looking out onto a 180 degree vista which stretches into infinity, nothing but countryside as far as the border with Portugal.  The sun was directly in front, casting its golden glow directly into the house.  And what I saw/ felt then was something never experienced/ appreciated before.  The dogged belief that had kept us searching for a different kind of life for over twenty-five and more years, had finally earned me a place in paradise.  There is no other way to describe it.  And I wouldn’t swap the highest salary for this.  Hard to explain, but there are ways to live an incredibly fulfilling and beautiful life without spending (any) money or procreating.  And if we all chose them instead, then maybe we could save the planet.

Visitors welcome any time, to experience the difference.

 

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The first in what I hope will be an occasional series about how wherever there is money/ power/ or influence, corruption lurks also, usually in equal measure.

This is not something in the UK most people know much about, at least not first-hand.  Probably because being one of the richest/ most powerful countries in the world, those who stand to gain most from it want to retain that privilege, otherwise if everyone realised just how corrupt those who rule over us actually are they’d no longer have that right.

Except in Spain the opposite is the case.  To be accused of corruption here (especially to get away with it) turns you into an overnight celebrity.  The daily prole-fodder mediums actually encouraging this down through all levels of society, so those who are not involved have now become the absolute/ tiny minority.

My experiences (first-hand) have been innumerable, the worst being public services (who still owe me nearly 20,000 euros), the latest of which is CORREOS, the spanish Post Office.  In particular MARINA PADILLA ALFARO, who while merely an employee for this company, still feels it is perfectly just to defend a scam which illegally fleeces thousands daily.

This concerns packets/ parcels entering the country from outside the EU (letters for some reason are not affected).  As a matter of course now, when they arrive in Madrid, they are automatically subject to three forms of taxes.  One, on the value of goods enclosed.  One, for the extra cost of delivery within Spain.  And the other, VAT/ IVA on the former.  Typically this adds 100+% to the cost of buying anything from outside the EU.  BREXIT supporters please note, this will happen in the UK eventually.  Prepare for massive inflation.

All fine you may say.  There is the choice of buying solely within the EU.  Except all of this is totally illegal.  In spanish and EU law, if you receive something as a gift then it is not liable for any import duty.  If it is a book, likewise.  If the sender has already paid the full cost of delivery then it is also illegal to charge extra (plus VAT/ IVA).

Oddly though, if the parcel/ packet was sent via a third-party (like AMAZON/ E-Bay), then it goes straight through without attracting any charges.  How?

As with all spanish public services, it is impossible to complain.  You have to pay up or not be able to receive the parcel/ packet.  Obviously MARINA PADILLA ALFARO has never had this problem otherwise she wouldn’t defend it so vehemently.