The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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On Trial

Posted on September 30, 2011

This is the day we never fully realized would come. The London Food Bank holds a press conference kicking off our annual Thanksgiving food drive but also we commemorate our 25th anniversary as an organization. Who knew? A quarter of a century ago we were just trying to stem the tide of hunger that had predominated during the recession of the early-80s. Food banks were a phenomenon – started by citizens in a response to institutional and capitalist failure and adjustment. We opted for storefront properties or rustic warehouses meant to temporarily house us until the recession had run its course. The belief was that the institutions would pick up the slack once again when the economy improved. It never happened. In fact, everything…

The End of Work

Posted on September 29, 2011

It’s started already, though we are only now getting around to thinking of the predicament of how you have a successful society when jobs are in serious decline. It’s not hard to figure out the pattern. The industrial age is dying, and along with it the majority of jobs that produced massive goods through assembly line production. Jobs protected by union support are now slowly disappearing. Technology is now making a mockery of old-time production and manufacturing techniques in how quickly it can regenerate. Governments and large businesses have bought into the paradigm of endlessly searching for low-cost suppliers (even if they are overseas), the ongoing practice of endless cost-cutting, leasing whatever is required, pushing down wages and benefits so as to save even…

Overcome By History

Posted on September 27, 2011

I was unprepared for the emotion of it. In 2005 I wrote a book titled A Path Between Two Mothers – the story of our daughter Abuk and how she survived slavery, civil war, and the death of her mother during some terrible years in Sudan. It was just meant for her personal memories and I never intended it to go any farther. Then some gifted musicians got together and decided to turn it into a musical. I was surprised and delighted. Last night was the first of three performances of Abuk: The Musical and I found myself overcome. Abuk (11 years old) had done a couple of media interviews in advance, but even she was fully captured by the story. I remember when…

“How Did She Do It?”

Posted on September 23, 2011

So here’s my domestic schedule for the last 24 hours: 4 loads of laundry 5 loads of dishes ripping up the old carpet upstairs take the kids to their school BBQ change the bedding get groceries help Ater with his paper route help with homework dust living room rearrange furniture Now to a typical Mom, this is nothing. But for me … well it kept me hopping. Add to all that the numerous food bank meetings, handling our development programs in Sudan, meeting with London’s emerging leaders, three blogs, writing more paragraphs to the two books I have on the go, and attempting to assist a fledgling African NGO get off the ground, and you can see I’ve had a bit of a hectic…

“The Muddled Middle”

Posted on September 22, 2011

The great American diplomat George Kennan spoke of “The Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn as “the most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be levied in modern times.” Solzhenitsyn’s insights probed deeper in the to diabolical nature of political power than anyone in the West had encountered previously and led to his humiliation and imprisonment. Western observers pretended they understood all this and delighted at the fall of the former Soviet Union. So did many who had suffered under its rule as well. People like Solzhenitsyn had their many followers among the intelligentsia who trumpeted the free market reforms that ensued after the great fall. Ironically, under Vladimir Putin, many who once spoke out against the abuses of power have now become…