‘There. Take it’

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

‘There. Take it’

As I read the words from the post-it note, I could hear her voice, defiant and victorious.

I picked up the shattered pieces of the glass that I had drunk out of for the 20 years of our life together, the glass that we had bought together in a flee market in East London, a glass that she knew would devistate me to see discarded and shattered on the floor.

On the buses

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Barrington waited for the bus, on his way to work, like he had done every day.

“Why are these buses never on time.” Barrington exclaimed  “Every day it is 10 minutes late. What happens 10 minutes up the road from here that makes this bus late every day”.

Just then the bus can around the corner and slowly came to a stop in front of him.

He listened as the bus’ hydraulics lowered the front of the bus until it was level with the pavement, and he could wheel himself on unassisted.

“What happens up the road that you are 10 minutes late every morning?”

The bus driver looked down at him. He had been asked this question many times on the route so far and none of the answers he have had satisfied the passenger asking the question.

Barrington looked up at the non-responsive face of the driver, and realising that he was not going to get an answer, rolled himself to his usual spot, reversing his wheelchair against the back, what he considered by now to be his own private designated area, marked out in yellow, especially for him.

Barrington looked up and the driver was looking back at him as he did every day.

He could not be sure whether he was seeing whether he got to his stop safely, or whether he was cursing Barrington, yet another person to ask him that dumb question this morning.

The ‘white’ men will come

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Once upon a time there was a little girl who did not want to ‘Vampire’ cough.

“Cough”, she went blowing her germs into the air.

“Do not cough like that” said her mother “or the white man will get you”.

The little girl said “I am not afraid of white men” and carried on coughing into the air.

“Cough, cough”.

“Do not cough like that said her mother“ or the white man and all his friends will get you”.

“The white man can not catch me” said the little girl and she continued to cough into the air.

“Cough, cough, cough”.

Then suddenly, five men wearing white hazmat suits turned up at the little girl’s door and took her away, never to be seen again.

The ‘white’ men had got her, all because she would not ‘Vampire’ cough.

The End.

Bed

•2 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday I woke up late, but then recently I am always waking up late.

I have the whole bed to myself so I savour the pleasure of stretching out, claiming all four corners of the bed as my own.

I relish the undisturbed moments of quiet, without the jolting sound of wardrobes been opened then slammed shut in what sometimes feels like a protest to extra time she requires to get ready in the morning, time that she begrudges me, time I could sleep.

Ecological Collapse

•1 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I am dead.

My parents had the fortune of dying of old age may years past.

The rest of my family, my brother, died of respiratory complications brought on by the pollution that filled our sky, the legacy of my parents’ folly.

My friends are dead. They died trying to save me from the inferno that was caused when the Earth cracked, and the sky went dark.

And here we are, all together, lying in a heap at the intersection of 4th and Main, shadowed by the still burning sky scrapers that once depicted a progressive society, which now only serve to remind any survivors of the shame and squander of the past. A remnant of a fractured world of our own making, an ecological collapse of our own design.

I stare down at the man I once was.

I look into his lifeless eyes, still open, seemingly still absorbing the horror of my death.

My clothes are the best ones I had in the wardrobe that morning, as if I knew that today would be a good day to die, and I wanted to go out in the style in which I lived.

I was surprised that I was still wearing the black frock coat that I had put on that morning as part of the all black attire that I always wear. All through the mayhem of the day, all through the violence and destruction, I had somehow not noticed that I was still wearing a full suit, or had considered frock coat too important to discard.

At this point however the clothes were worn, torn, and covered in the unidentified ash that still rained from the sky. They looked like they had seen a lifetime of intense combat, all within the last few hours.

The attire of my corpse was in stark contrast to that of those who had been my companions at the moment of my demise. Some might say that for an apocalypse, jeans, trainers and a t-shirt with a pithy slogan that hints at their underline personality, or a cultural reference that identifies their media modern tribe would be more practical for negotiating the obstacles of a world under destruction. Yet here we all are on the same heap, their practical survival-friendly battle wear did not gain them the advantage they desired.

These people were my friends. These people died trying to save me, the last thing some saw was my outstretched hand as they clambered over wreckage trying to get to my position of weakness, before the environment had the last say in snatching their lives from them. It was not the explosion that killed them, but the inferno that engulfed them, burning away their flesh and snatching the air from their vicinity, leaving them with only what remained in their lungs.

These were my friends, but what sort of friend was I to have led them to their deaths.

I stand over the corpses that lie where they fell, at the intersection of 4th and main. I am surrounded by the desolation created through the actions of humanity.

The once bustling intersection now falls silent, but for the sound of crackling fire and the rustling of leaves in the wind. The once proud buildings still stand at the intersection of what was once a hub of life, and now stands to serve witness to the destruction of humankind.

The buildings are not unscathed as they too stand scorched by the fires of redemption, windows shattered as if they were the eyes of humanity that could no longer bear witness to this, the final legacy of humans, and were plucked out either as punishment for the crimes of Man, or out of mercy, that they would no longer have to look upon the destruction at their feet.

The buildings, once opulent and laden with the trappings of wealth, glistened briefly in a sudden burst of sunlight, a reminder of the glory they once held. However the sunlight was short lived, a break in the smoke filled clouds that once again blocked out the sky, and plunged the buildings back into the reality of their fall from grace, the scorching from the destruction clinging to their outsides as if to claim dominion of them.

This decimated concrete landscape now casts a shadow over the intersection that plays host to so much death, the intersection where my body lies, the intersection where I stand over my lifeless remains.

The sound of leaves grows stronger, almost inescapable as I remember the thing that made the intersection of 4th and Main stand out from other intersections. It was the only intersection with a large and looming tree in the middle of the road. The tree was a 300 year old oak tree that the council had tried to remove. I myself as a council member voted for its destruction, but those green activists had chained themselves to it in protest, lobbied the other elected officials until they relented, and the tree was allowed to remain. Now the tree is only living thing to remain at the intersection of 4th and Main, its rustling leaves sounding defiant as the last remaining thing in this place.

When I was alive, I would afford the best of everything, including the best positronic brain storage that money could buy. My mind was backed up to a cloud server and could be reloaded into any organic sleeve upon my death. When my body died, my brain must have tried to backup to the cloud server, but the servers had long been corrupted, so it backed me up, to the nearest living thing.

I stand over the lifeless rotting corpse of who I once was, looking down on the man that escaped this holocaust through death, leaving this incarnation to continue to suffer through the experience of a world that has turned against its oppressor, listening to the sound of my leaves in the wind.

Executing a Will in Barbados

•13 October, 2018 • Leave a Comment

For those who are going through the painful process executing a will in Barbados, here are a few notes on what to look out for.

Once the will has been read, instruct the solicitor to make the announcements in the media immediately.

Two announcements need to go into the media over fourteen days.

Nothing can proceed without these announcements so it is best to get them out the way first.

Next the solicitor will have to carry out a search of the estate’s assets. This is where the solicitor writes to all the banks and financial institutions to find out whether the deceased has any holdings in those institutions. You may be asked to pursue other institutions such as pensions, life insurance and others.

It can take financial and other institutions up to a month to get back to you with information.

You may be asked to send originals of death certificates to some institutions, so be sure to send them via registered post and insist that they are returned to you in the same manner.

Once all of the assets of the estate have been accounted, you will be asked to go into the Magistrate’s court and sign an affidavit in front of the court officials.

This is not the will going into probate.

The solicitor then needs to collate all the information gathered and the legal clerk will then submit the will into probate.

It is important that all information has been submitted otherwise the probate will not begin until all the papers are with the court.

Check with you solicitor that all the paperwork is submitted and, if possible, ask for written or pictorial verification of the fact that the will is now in probate.

The Justice Minister in Barbados has determined that the clerks should take no longer that two weeks to process a Will, however if you know Barbados, you will only now have finished laughing at this sentence. In practice mine took two months, and I am told that the Magistrate’s clerk went on holiday so all work stopped. I would expect that with the right persistence from you solicitor’s clerk the Will should be approved by the court within a month.

Once the Will is approved by the Magistrate’s court, it comes out of probate and the executor will be issued with the ‘Letter of Testimonial’ more commonly known as ‘Letter of Administration’ within ten days.

Once the Executor has received the Letter of Administration they will be able to access the assets of the estate and distribute in accordance to the Will.

The four main banks act very differently when distributing funds of the diseased.

In all cases you will need to present:

the death certificate,

Letter of Administration,

Your ID card (not driver’s licence or other government id)

Passport as secondary id

(Additional information may be required as explained later)

If your name is on the account, then in all cases you will be able to transfer the money into your own account.

If the deceased was with Royal Bank of Canada or Soctibank, you will be able to transfer the money into an account of your choosing either as an account transfer, a third party bank transfer, a wire transfer to a foreign bank, or a banker’s cheque.

If the deceased was with the CIBC First Caribbean Bank, they are forced to follow the legal laws of Trinidad, and as a result you will have to set up a new account titled ‘The estate of [the deceased] c/o [the executor]’. This wording is very precise, as the money can only be transferred or cheque written to this account from the decease’s account.

If the executor is fortunate to have an account with CIBC, then they will use the existing details of there account to set up the new account. This is very useful if the executor is not a resident in Barbados as it reduces the number or items documents required for verification.

If the deceased was with Republic Bank and the executor’s name is not also on the account, you are shit out of luck.

In addition to the requirements for CIBC, you will not be able to use your existing accounts with Republic Bank as part verification of identity. You will need to provide all new information as if you were a new customer.

If the executor can not demonstrate an income, they will not be able to open an account with Republic Bank.

If the executor is not resident in Barbados, they will have to provide additional proof of id, and residence from their country of habitat. All documents will have to be notarised and originals, no scans or copies, all delivered in person.

 

If there is property involved, it will need to be surveyed by a surveyor and the plans submitted to the Town and Country Planning office.

Surveying three acres of land should take no more than five days. The plans should be into Town and Country Planning no more than a week after that.

The plans will then be reviewed, and presuming there are no issues the plans are approved and issued with a certificate of compliance.

Your solicitor will need the specifications on the plans in order to draw up the final deeds.

Once you have the Certificate of Compliance from the Land Registry your solicitor will review and finallise the Assents. He will then submit Assents to executor via courier for signatures. Once returned the Assents are recorded before the Final assents is deliver to executor.

Final tips

You will need to keep on at your solicitor. They will try to stretch out the work for anything up to two years, with no proper explanations of conceivable reasons given.

Ask for constant updates, and set acceptable milestones. If these are not reached, ask for proper explanations.

If you are unhappy with the work of your solicitor do not be afraid to change solicitors. Always have a back up solicitor on hand so that if you are unhappy with the service of one, you can switch to the backup without loss of momentum.

Where possible become a signatory on the account of the person before they are deceased.

If you know that you are going to be the executor of a parent of partner, get them to put you on the account before they die. This will make accessing their funds easier in the long run.

If your name is not on the account, it is a crime to steal money from a deceases account via ATM or other means, when there are other beneficiaries to those funds.

If you as the executor and know that land will be included in a Will, get the land surveyed and have the plans registered with Town and Country Planning before the person dies.  This does not mean that ownership changes hands, but it does speed up the process when you have to execute the Will, and rules out any compliance issues early which may cause delays.

Kuala Lumpur

•13 June, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Kuala Lumpur is a city is good now, and will be great when it is finished.

It reminds me of Singapore back in the late nineties, where there is a lot of massive shopping centres and malls with expensive and affordable shops surrounded by building work.

From the airport, pick ip a travel card. Which will cost you 12.50rm empty. You can get them from ‘MyNews’ shops or other news agents and they can be used on all lines.

There does not appear to be a saving, especially as you have to buy the card, but it is more convenient that trying to find the right  change for the buses, monorails, and trains that you will be taking around the city.

Be sure to pick up a free Transit Rail map to work out the closes stations when getting around town.

It will cost you 55rm one way to get the RapidExpress into KL Central, or less than half that if you get the commuter train.

The distance between attractions in Kuala Lumpur is not that great, and in the relative 23 degree cool of the evening, you will find it a pleasant way to get your steps up, however in the 31 degree heat, and 90% humidity, a 30 minute walk will leave you drenched in sweat and unnecessarily irritated, when you could have got the bus, monorail, or train for 2rm.

There are a lot of stairs and steps that make the city a little for difficult to access if you are week in the knees or wheelchair bound.

Train stations will require wheelchairs to be man-handled in order to get up and down stairs to the platforms, and even stepping off the curb will be difficult for the less able bodied.

We had three days:

Day 1 we arrived at the hotel at 08.00, dropped off our bags and went straight to the Batu Caves. The journey is 1.5hours by train and the caves open at 10.00, lunch at 13.00 and closes at 16.00.

The caves are free but not for the faint of heart, as there is a 272 step climb to the entrance of the cave. There are other paid attractions around the caves including a side ‘dark’ cave in which a guide shows you the spiders, bats and other creatures that live in the caves.

Be aware that there are monkeys all over the cave They are relatively tame and will eat from your hands and steal from your open bags, but they are still wild animals.

You will spend a couple of hours at the caves before starting back.

It is safe to eat in the local cafes and restaurants that you will see on the roadside. Most of the menus are in English and the food is a fusion of dishes and spices found in the region and reflecting the wide variety of people that live in Kuala Lumpur.

After lunch, a dip in the pool and some duty free bubbles, we headed out for the evening to Marini’s on 57 to enjoy drinks at this rooftop bar located next to the Petronas Towers.

From there we went to the Bukit Bintang region to eat cheap food and soak in the nigh life. We went to Lot 10 hutong, but you could just as easily go to Jalan Alor food night market for great food.

We spent our money on the experience of fancy bars and cocktails, rather than restaurants because the local food is excellent, cheap, and great value for money.

From there we went to The Rum Bar KL for a cheeky night cap before a gental stroll back to the monorail.

Day 2, we got up and headed to the SkyBox at KL Tower. There is a shuttle bus that takes you from the entrance to the base of the tower. You pay 99rm each to and ride the lift to the outside skybox.

There are two skyboxes and a bar at the top and you are invited to take your time and enjoy the view in surprising tranquillity.

Once you have had enough you can proceed down to the observation deck which is enclosed and muck more of a tourist trap.

From there we got the bus to the Central Market / Petaling Street area where we were tempted by the fake watches, wallets clothing and bags of Petaling street, as well as more original gifts of Central Market.

After a late lunch we went back to the hotel to enjoy the pool, and our duty free before heading out for the evening.

For dinner we went to Suk Yuen Cantonese restaurant opposite Pudu station, reportedly the oldest Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, where we signed and explained to the staff with limited English, to match my limited Chinese, a delightful cheap and delightful meal.

Day 3 we went to Bangsar where we explored the far West of the Kuala Lumpur. It is not easy to get to by public transport but is a reasonable destination if you are into outlet shopping and fancy places for brunch. The are also comes alive more at night.

We took the buss back to Central Market from Bangsar going through Little India on the way.

That evening we went on a ‘roof top bar crawl’ heading first to Heli Bar. This is a helipad that turns into a bar in the afternoon/evening. This was by far the most exposed roof top bar that we went to and was a great place to watch the sunset.

From there we walked up to Luna Bar opposite KL Tower. This is much more of a bar for the young at heart, if not in body.

The bar is situated around the hotel swimming pool which is frequented by people in their twenties. Loud music and pool tricks to show off to the opposite sex are the orders for the evening, but the view is good and the drinks are reasonable.

From there we headed to Elysium, which is a very sophisticated bar with a more refined atmosphere, but with less of a view from the rooftop.

By now it was 22.00 so we wandered down into Jalan Alor for tasty street food before a gentle walk back to the hotel to conclude our trip.

We caught a ‘Grab’ car in the morning to the airport which cost 75rm in total including tolls which took 45 minutes at 6.45.

The express train would have cost 55rm each. The express trains start at 05.00 in the morning but the monorail to get to KL Central starts at 06.00.

 

Tips and tricks for enjoying Seminyak, Bali

•18 February, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Seminyak is lively, vibrant and based north of Dempasar airport. It is a go-to destination for Australians to party, be loud, and scream “wo-wo” when a song they like is played.

Before arrival I would recommend downloading this offline map: https://maps.me/

It will allow you to find locations, suggest routes, and direct you to locations without the need for international roaming, or access to mobile data.

When booking your accommodation, check that there are no building works or renovations planned for your residence or the adjoining properties. If so, ensure that they price the accommodation accordingly, or compensate you in other ways.

Spirits are taxed very heavily in Bali up to 300%, and so finding affordable cocktails or spirits in Bali or Indonesia can be difficult.

Duty Free Alcohol when entering Bali or Indonesia is limited to the 1 Litre of Spirits & Liqueurs, Champagne, Sparkling, wine or other alcoholic beverages per person. If you have a 1.25L bottle you can normally get away with this as well. Good Wine in Bali can be really hard to find especially at decent prices, where as most popular spirits can be found in most stores.

If your more of a wine person consider bringing your own Duty Free Wine. It is cheaper to buy your Alcohol (except beer) before entering Bali/Indonesia, and if your heading to Australia from Bali it can be cheaper to buy Duty free in Bali DPS Airport before you leave.

You should never go anywhere without local currency, however I would suggest that you only get a small amount before you arrive. There are a number of reputable money changers in Seminyak and the exchange rates are considerably better locally and without commission.

However, check the rate that is advertised is the rate that you are getting; ensure that the teller counts the money out and then steps away from the money, allowing you to pick it up yourself to count it; watch for the slight of hand as they count out your money; watch for slight of hand as they replace your money with damaged or torn money; and watch out for different rates for different denominations of currency.

When you exit the airport, you will be confronted with taxi drivers wanting to take you to your destination. If you choose to use one of these drivers it is important to arrange the price before beginning your journey with them.

The journey from the airport should cost no more than 175,000 rupees as an upper limit normally charged by hotels. Return journeys should be considerably less, and should be negotiated in the hours before your departure for the airport.

The journey to and from the airport under normal circumstances should take about 20 minutes, however the government is building an underpass at a critical junction near the airport, and it now takes from forty-five minutes, up to an hour and a half. These roadworks are likely to take up to one year to complete, at the time of this article.

Blue-bird taxis are the official metered taxis, and if you wish to avoid bartering, you should take one of these, however be aware of other taxis that also paint their cars blue that do not have a meter. If you use an unmetered taxi, be sure to negotiate a price prior to setting out.

There is a public bus service that runs every half an hour from Seminyak Square that will take you to a number of locations. Prices for each one way ticket on various lines that go to and from a main hub, vary from 20,000 to 50,000 rupees.

None of the prices advertised in shops, bars, massage parlours and restaurants include the 15% government tax and 5% service charge. You should always consider these additional amounts when gauging the price of your purchase.

Seminyak is not cheap. Cocktails are around 100,000 rupees and Bingtang beer is between 25,000 and 45,000, Fanta is 10,000, Crisps are between 17,000 and 35,000, Breakfast menus are around 90,000, 450 grams of pork ribs is 175,000, and a whole roasted pig is 2.7million. Massages are very reasonably priced and can cost 100,000 rupees for one hour.

Always check that the amount that you are being charged for drinks, meals and goods, are the same amount that are being advertised on the menu.

You should budget for about $50 per day between food, drinks, activities and taxis.

If you wish to hire a van to take you to Jimbaran, wait for 5 hours while you enjoy the beach and get some seafood and bring you back, this will cost between 250,000 and 300,000 rupees.

Work under the assumption that all prices are suggestions and that negotiations are a part of everyday business.

A lot of plastic rubbish washes up on the beaches of Seminyak, so you will see groups of volunteers clearing the beaches as you go for your morning walk.

The beach has no shade and the sun and humidity become oppressive after 09.00am, so get your morning exercise in early, or wait until the sun goes down in the evening.

There are a lot of stray dogs on the beach and roads. Generally they are harmless, however they can turn aggressive very quickly, so either walk with a stick on the beach or back away very slowly maintaining eye contact if you are confronted.

If you are unfortunate enough to get sick and require medical or hospital attention, there are a few things of which you should be aware.

Always have the details of your travel medical insurance provider about your person, either in your phone, purse or wallet.

No hospital or medical facility will admit you without knowing how the bill will be paid. Often you will be required to provide a credit card until you can identify your travel medical insurance provider and the coverage it provides.

Know your excess liability on your policy and ensure that is the only amount that you pay when you are being discharged.

Hospitals have been known to say that your medical insurance only covers so much of the treatment, and that you have to pay as much as an additional $2500. This is where having your medical insurance provider on speed dial is useful, to clarify any misunderstandings.

Even once the correct excess has been identified, look out for the further slight of hand, as your excess may be increased by $100 or more, due to exchange rate differences or administration costs. Stand your ground. The only out of pocket expense that you should pay is the exact amount of the excess on your policy.

When you are returning back at the airport, you must have access to your boarding pass in order to get into the check-in area. This can be electronic or paper, but the guards to the check-in area will require sight of the flight number, date and time of the flights, along with your name. This seems to be an increasing protocol across a lot of Asian countries.

It is best to download these before you get to the airport as wifi access at the airport dose not appear to cater for downloading boarding passes or emails.

These are 100ml liquid checks at the gates before boarding the plane throughout Asian airports so drink your water or throw it away, and ask about your duty free allocation coming in and leaving.

If you watch out for these pitfalls you will have a great time in Seminyak. The people are friendly and everyone is looking out for an opportunity.

Enjoy.

Masking a WordPress URL with a GoDaddy URL

•14 October, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I have just started using a WordPress platform for business rather than pleasure.

Many WordPress administrators who use GoDaddy for their Web hosting company create their sites and then mask the actual URL with a domain name.

The administrator redirects the domain name to the WordPress URL and the domain name hides the actual URL of the site.

When the user types the specified domain name into a Web browser’s address bar, the WordPress site with the hidden URL opens in their browser and the domain name displays in the browser address bar.

GoDaddy provides this function through the Web hosting dashboard.

 

1. Open a Web browser and log in to your GoDaddy Web hosting dashboard.

2. Click the “Launch” option next to the Domains category header. The Domain Manager opens in the browser.
3. Click the domain name that will be used to mask the WordPress URL.
4. Click the “Forward” option, then click “Forward Domain.”
5. Click the “http://” drop-down box, then click “http://,” or click “https://” if your WordPress site uses SSL.
6. Type the URL of the WordPress site into the “Forward” input box.
7. Click the “Advanced Options” link.
8. Click the radio button next to the “Forward and Masking” option. Type a title for the WordPress site into the “Title” input box and add a description, if desired. Type keywords into the “Keyword” input box, if desired.
9. Click “OK.” The domain name is forwarded to the WordPress site, and the URL of the WordPress site is masked by the specified domain name.

Warning

  • The forwarding and masking process may take up to 48 hours to fully propagate through domain name servers.

01.02.17 – Rising tide

•2 February, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The tides are higher than normal at 16.00hrs these days, and the beaches are looking more deserted.

I am trying to work out whether it is because the tide is high and therefore the beach tourists are trying to avoid getting wet, or whether there is a natural lull in the number of tourists to the island.

Either way I benefit, as I now regularly have the waters to myself, observed only by another die hard local who braves these now choppier waters.

As my time comes to a close I find myself reflecting on how I underestimated the impact of being a Black man, in a Black country.

Yes, Barbados is not immune to the ‘shades of Black’ colour politics, but at the end of the day, I have found myself much more relaxed in my surroundings.

I find that I do not factor in whether someone is being racist when treating be badly or well.

I find that when I am in a position where I might make others feel uncomfortable, I know that it is because it is dark, or I am man, and not because I am Black.

Being Black, has been one less thing that I have needed to take into consideration, when going about my daily life.

It is not the same as growing up in a multicultural London, because although we were of many cultures and fought to be seen as equals, we were still identified as being Black and therefore categorised in that London multicultural, tossed salad of a society.

Living in Australia will take some adjustment again, as it is a country that is only now learning to live with its Black people. Australia has a history of killing off, breeding out, or annexing their indigenous Black population, and is only now learning to deal with a new generation of local and immigrant Blacks.

Even amongst the Black population in Australia there is conflict as some indigenous leaders refuse to accept their Black British, West Indian, African, Afro American, Pacific Islander and other Black cousins as being Black. These leaders instead prefer to non indigenous Blacks as ‘Other’ as if they are the only Blacks in the world.

I often am forced to remind them that even though they are the oldest culture an attachment to the same land mass, this does not make them the oldest culture, and certainly not the first Blacks.

The question of how Black someone is does not appear to be one that is raised much in Barbados.

These questions have been replaced by more practical everyday questions of political corruption, poor customer service and a lack of pride in ones pursuits. Unfortunately the energy we have save not having to actively be black, has not been channelled into resolving these other now pressing issues.