Ukraine 24th February 2022

I imagine there are many of you out there who are feeling, as I, pretty powerless in the face of what is happening in and around Ukraine.

I see two massive powerblocs, Russia and the West, at odds with each other, each desiring to secure Ukraine into their cultural and economic spider’s web.

It’s very easy to imagine that the West is the good guy and Putin the bad. Personally I see both the west and Russia as vying for influence over any and every country and people they can get their hands on, just as China appears now to be doing also.

There seems to be, in all of these countries, a lack of checks and blocks on megalomaniacs acceding to positions of power that enable them to throw their weight around as Putin and Nato are currently playing at, with ordinary people’s lives being carelessly expended.
So, what are we to do?

I imagine, if you are like me, you are somewhat scared of the possibility of Europe descending into a blood-bath, and wondering what we can do prevent it. It would be oh so easy to blame Putin’s apparent posturing and take sides against him, throwing weaponry at the front line in an effort to stop what appears to be bullying behaviour on his part.
And that would then be that! How would we ever pull out before Europe had been obliterated as there’s no doubt in my mind that this would trigger mutual escalation until nuclear weapons were threatened and quite possibly used by one side or another to prove that “I’m less scared than you of pressing the button”.

What kind of madness would that be?

And if we don’t follow that path, what’s the alternative?

Well first of all, I state very clearly that none of the actions of the British establishment are undertaken in my name. I distance myself from any actions that may provoke further escalation on the part of Putin and his allies.

Secondly I reaffirm my commitment to the principle that any people must be the determinant of its own future and no outsider may exercise domination over that people. While I’m not particularly nationalistic, countries, regions, ethnic groups, any cohesive group that wants to do its own thing, must be honoured in its choices, as long as those choices don’t inhibit another group exercising its own freedom to do its own thing.

Thirdly, we must stop the production of arms, of all arms, stop their trade, stop their use in any setting. We must commit ourselves to peaceful methods of dealing with difference. We have laws against domestic abuse, in which the use of weapons would draw long, long prison sentences. What’s the difference when that abuse is national and international, exercised by police forces, governments and armed forces? The same thing must apply, although I can’t say I favour prison sentences as a way of dealing with irresponsible behaviour. Yes, the perpetrator must be stopped, and there are much more successful ways of bringing abour rehabilitation than prison.

Fourthly, as I was inspired, funnily enough by a Chinese commentator, to believe, Ukraine must declare itself to by neutral, no interest in Nato, no interest in joining Russia. It needs to go one step further and de-militarise itself. In fact, the United Nations should declare itself as encouraging all of its member countries to declare themselves to be non-belligerent and neutral in international matters. We have to choose a new paradigm in international relations, one in which weapons of war are no longer available to be employed when communication breaks down. What is needed is to put as many resources as are necessary to develop whatever is required to deal with differences in a peaceful way. There is no alternative if we are to survive as a species on the planet. Co-operation is the absolute necessity of the day, to deal with climate change, to deal with people across the planet desperate to improve their circumstances on a planet with limited resources.

In the UK we are consuming between four and five times the amount that the earth can sustain if this level of consumption is matched throughout the planet. The USA consumes more than six times this amount. We have to co-operate to bring this back to what the Welsh government recognises in its planning regime as One Planet Development.

Competing for scarce resources, competing for influence as this current war displays, is not compatible with the survival of the species. Our evolution demands a level of awareness, a level of consciousness, and a level of action that goes way, way beyond what we are seeing embodied in current leaders throughout the world.

We, the people, must take responsbility for the changes and put people in positions of authority who reflect our and the planets immediate needs, and the lines of authority must be devised in such a way that pyschopaths and narcissists such as Putin, Trump, Johnson, Bolsonairo, and so many others, are not able to take hold of the reins of our world!

Robin de Brea

I am the founder of Humanity. I live in Kessingland in Suffolk with my wife and my daughter. I am also to be found at NowHere in Northern Tuscany and at Paradise Valley in Herefordshire.

I founded Humanity in 2009, when I couldn’t find a political party which didn’t favour the use of weapons of war – even the Green Party at that time favoured a “well-equipped defence force”. It is my view that killing people is no way to conduct our relationships with each other and that the human race is better served by using its resources to exhaustively explore how we can live with each other peacefully.

I was born into a family of achievers, which is definitely one reason I had no problem in founding Humanity. My learning was that I had to do something big to be approved of, to be loved. Although I’ve struggled with that all my life, a sense that being me without any attempts to prove anything somehow wasn’t acceptable, I’ve decided to risk it and put myself out there in this way, as, for me, I’m driven to do something to save this paradise we have the good fortune to be living on.

So, my grandfather on my father’s side was the meteorologist on Scott’s expedition to the South Pole and then became the director of the Meteorological Office and is held to have given it the secure foundation it benefits from today. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a highly respected economic historian in Germany between the wars and co-led the German emigre movement in the UK following having fled Nazi Germany in 1934. I found both of them mentioned in the same geography text book at school!

My aunt was described by Chapman Pincher as “the most successful female spy in history”. She was responsible for conveying the american nuclear weapons secrets to the Soviet Union in the 1940s. I loved her dearly. She was my mother away from home when I spent a year in the German Democratic Republic in 1969, and when I found out about her spying, in the 1980s, and she said she’d passed on the secrets to ensure a balance between the West and the East, so that they’d never be used, I felt so, so proud of her. I take on that family mantle in my work here.

I’ve been a student union development worker for the National Union of Students, I’ve been a truck driver and a bus driver and a trade union rep in both of those industries. I’ve been a communard in a self-sufficiency commune (Atlantis Commune). I’ve trained as therapist at the Humaniversity Therapeutic Community. I’ve cared for my highly disabled daughter, in conjunction with her mother, for the last 24 years. I’m a trained Scott Peck Community Building facilitator (he of The Road Less Traveled fame). I have designed and built many, many geodesic domes of all shapes and sizes for varied clients and purposes (Geodesics Unlimited). I’ve stood for Parliament in Derbyshire Dales on 3 occasions. I’m founder of an off-grid, low-impact, vegan community in Herefordshire, on land gifted to the community via the Living Land Trust (Paradise Valley). I’m author of three books: Section 60 (A true story of schizophrenic breakdown and recovery), To God with Leila (the story of my and my daughter’s visits to John of God in Brazil) and Geodesic Domes: Their geometry and how to use it. I’ve composed and recorded three albums: Full Moon, Songs of Love and Spirit, and Requiem and Resurrection.

I’m very happy to have learned how to use WordPress so that I can share what I’ve learned in my life with you.