The Shock Doctrine

I am starting to think that just like Naomi Klein outlines in The Shock Doctrine, the “shock” of the EU referendum in the UK is being exploited by the establishment in cahoots with the right wing of the Labour Party to generate a leadership crisis. The last thing the British establishment wants on its hands is an anti-austerity leader of the Labour Party who could become Prime Minister and start undoing some of the neo-liberal policies being pursued in the UK.

The last thing the British people need is an opposition fighting among themselves rather than taking aim at the government.



Thankful February

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

Inspired by a TED talk about gratitude and how it can improve your life (even re-wire your brain), we have decided as a family to do an experiment during February.

Every day during the dreary (but thankfully short) month of February we are going to identify and choose three things that we are grateful for (and why) and write them down.

So dead simple:

  • Every day in February
  • Identify three different things
  • Write them down

By concentrating on the positive – and having to strive to think about the positive, you can make a deliberate push for positivity.


Tips I have gleaned from other websites:

  1. Choose the same time each day
  2. Choose a time that allows reflection on previous day/current day (at dinner, following the gym, following a drive)
  3. Set reminders on your phone/calendar if needed.
  4. Get a new notebook or journal to write them in (or a google doc or something electronic if that is the way you work)
  5. Be specific about what you are grateful for and why


I am grateful:

  • For the hug my daughter gave me this morning showing me that I am loved.
  • For the thank-you note my boss sent me yesterday.  It made me feel like a valued member of the team.
  • That I had 10 minutes this morning to do whatever I wanted; it’s been a long time since I’ve just flipped through a magazine.
  • That my ankle seems fully healed.  Now I can get back to my regular running schedule which helps me feel good and energized.
  • For the milk in my fridge and the Cheerios in my bowl this morning.  I appreciate that I don’t have to worry about where my next meal comes from.
  • That the sun was shining during my walk into work.  The colors reflecting off the building were gorgeous.



Gratitude the Secret to Happiness – Huffington Post Article
Action for Happiness – website with lots of information and resources
Happiness Habit #1 – Gratitude – from the website



Why I am supporting the NS NDP

Darrell Dexter at Pride

ndp ns logoThere has been a lot of criticism of the New Democratic Party (NDP) government in Nova Scotia.

I frequently hear that they are too close to big business or they are not radical enough or too right wing. I have some sympathy with these sentiments. I would prefer a party and a government with a more radical agenda and I would certainly describe myself to the left of Darrell Dexter. However, to paraphrase Mr. Dexter we are not choosing the perfect party to completely align with all our views and beliefs, we are choosing the best party among those on offer.

Protest votes

As a Labour party supporter in England under Tony Blair I had often experienced the feeling of disappointment that a party which was supposed to be of the labour movement was failing to meet that expectation. Many people wanted to get rid of the Labour government and foolishly voted Liberal Democrat in the election of 2010. The Liberals had painted themselves as more radical than Labour and fooled many people. Voting Liberal Democrat delivered a minority government and the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservative Party which put David Cameron in Downing Street.

The resulting coalition in the UK has been the most backward looking reactionary government since Margaret Thatcher.

Voting against something can deliver you something far worse.

Nova Scotia is Better because of the NDP

NDP in Nova Scotia have:

  • increased the minimum wage when the Liberals and Conservatives voted against it
  • increased the age for free dental care from 10 to 13
  • bought the Bowater lands for the people of the province
  • introduced anti-discrimination legislation for transgender people
  • protected vast tracts of Nova Scotia’s land for the future

I truly believe that the NDP will be better than the Liberals and certainly better than the Conservatives. I guess some people were disillusioned with the Conservatives prior to 2009 and voted NDP as a protest… of course they may be disappointed by this government but I believe, on balance, they are the best party to lead Nova Scotia and will be getting my vote.

 Dental care thanks to the NDP

Darrell Dexter at Pride
Darrell Dexter is the first Nova Scotia Premier to attend Halifax Pride