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Friday, 23 October 2009

Hard Times of Old England (traditional) By Mrs J

A very thorough & useful article from Mrs J c/o The Green Arrow

Now all of you tradesmen who travel alone
I'm asking you now where the work has all gone
Long time I've been travelling and I cannot find none

Chorus (after each verse):
Sing, Oh the hard times of old England
In old England very hard times

Provisions you find in the shops, it is true
But if you've got no money, there's none there for you
So what are poor folk and their families to do

You go to the shop and you ask for a job
They answer you back with a shake and nod
Ain't that enough to make someone turn out and rob

Our soldiers and sailors have just come from war
They're fighting for Queen and for country once more
Home to be starved, better stayed where they were

And you can see our poor tradesmen out walking the street
From morning till night for employment to seek
And scarcely have they any shoes to their feet

And now to conclude and to finish my song
Is hoping these hard times will not be here long
And soon I'll have occasion to alter my song

Final Chorus:
Sing, Oh the good times of old England
In old England very good times.

We're all very used to 'popping out' to the shops, to be able to get what we need, often at any time of the day or night. Supermarkets beckon with their groaning shelves of food, local shops have plenty to tickle our fancies. But how secure is all this? What would it take for all this plenty to disappear?

Very little actually. Supermarkets operate a business model called 'Just in Time'. Originally devised in Japan, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Supermarkets know, almost to the last iota, exactly what they will sell, and deliveries of goods are timed so that lorries can be unloaded and the products be put straight on the shelves.

Next time you're in the supermarket, look and see if you can find the storage area – it'll be on one side or at the back. If you can't see into it, mark where it starts and then go and look at the building from the outside – not very big, is it? It's not even really a storage area, it's a holding bay where stillages and pallets are kept before being sent to the shop floor.

When it works, which it does most of the time, it works well, but it is easily messed up. Examples can be seen when celebrity chefs bring out a new cookery book – for instance, when the last Delia Smith missive hit the shelves, you couldn't buy frozen mashed potatoes for love nor money (not that I'd want to!). When a new supermarket opens in a town, there's always lots of reduced items or shortages until they figure out what people buy in that area – and the existing supermarkets end up with surpluses because some of their customers have gone to the new place. But these examples are just inconveniences – the supermarkets just adjust their ordering and soon things are back to normal.

The problem with Just in Time (JIT) as seen from the above examples, is that it can be disrupted, and something a little more serious than a new Jamie Oliver book will have a much greater effect.

Strikes, riots, civil unrest, pandemics and even rumours threaten the delicate balance of JIT. Strikes upset parts of the chain, riots prevent deliveries getting through, or even destroy those deliveries (I'll never forget the sight of a bread lorry being subject to a controlled explosion, it looked like a giant toaster had gone berserk as slices of burnt bread were flung in all directions).

Civil unrest or disturbance can do the same, pandemics mean that employees off sick can delay a delivery, and rumours cause panic buying. Right now we're facing all of these, except the rumours. Fortunately, the riots have been one-off affairs, the strike is from the Royal Mail and swine flu hasn't (yet) had a massive effect on sick leave. What happens if, say next year, we have riots day after day? Such as in 1981? Another fuel protest? Massive sickness? And you lose your job? If there's nothing in your cupboard, you'll go hungry.

As Nationalists, we can see the writing on the wall clearer than most and we need to get prepared. We can't campaign and fight while touring the shops or waiting in line for a government handout. How can we give our best if our children are poorly and can't get medicine? The coming storm could either be an opportunity or our downfall – which is it to be?

How to prepare – the practicalities

The survivalists' motto is “Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids”. Nanny State Britannia doesn't allow us the bullets, so I guess we're stuck with the beans and band-aids. What does that mean in practical terms? At its core, it means, quite simply, storing enough food and medicine to see you through a crisis. It isn't difficult and it needn't be expensive – there's no requirement to go out and spend hundreds of pounds to immediately fill up your store.

Firstly, don't run around telling your neighbours what you're going to do – you don't want a queue of them on your door if the proverbial hits the fan (SHTF), or worse, being robbed for your stores. Encourage relatives and fellow Nationalists to do the same by all means, but don't announce it to the world. Most of them will think you're nuts, anyway.

You'll need somewhere to store it. In a modern shoebox or flat this could be problematic, so you'll need to be inventive. You don't need visitors to see your stash and in a SHTF situation, you don't want the authorities to know, either (in a martial law situation, they can confiscate 'hoarded' items). I use a very small spare bedroom, but other people store behind books on a shelf, under beds, under floorboards, in lofts or sheds. You know best where to store your stash.

What to store? Another survivalist motto is “store what you eat, and eat what you store”. It's no good buying tinned Brussels sprouts (yes, there are such things) if no-one will eat them. You know what your family will eat, so store that. If you only ever eat fresh food, then now might be a good time to slowly introduce canned and dried foods into your family's diet, but take it steady, especially with children. If you shop at supermarkets, take advantage of special offers and bogofs on storable foodstuffs, and each week buy a little extra for your store. Keep the shortest dated near the front, rotate your stock, don't just fill a room and then not use it and wait for Armageddon. Each week, I take some stuff out of storage and put it in the kitchen, so I don't have to trudge upstairs every time.

I also preserve some of my own foods – I make up big (OK, huge) saucepans of bolognese sauce and either freeze it or put in Kilner jars (you can find instructions on the internet – hint: Americans call it canning, even though it uses glass jars). I also make jam, marmalade, I pickle eggs and onions and make chutney. I've just bought a food dehydrator, I'll let you know how I get on with that.

Toiletries and medicines are next on the agenda.

First on your list should be toilet paper – you really don't want to run out of that. If you do, I'm told the next best thing is the old Roman way of a sponge on the end of a stick (kept in disinfected water), so perhaps a cheapo pack of baby sponges would be a good idea! You don't want to end up all Islamic and using your left hand.

Second, soap. The hard bar stuff keeps for ages and can be used for more than hand washing.

Third, paracetamol. I buy this every shopping trip because you're only allowed 32 at time. Don't get me started on nannying government control. Don't bother with cough medicines, they don't work, if you've got a cough a bag of boiled sweets is just as effective. Ointments – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-histamine. Plasters in all sizes. Bandages, lint and micropore tape. Antiseptic. Toothpaste and toothbrushes. If you take prescription drugs, then try and build up a buffer – there are honest websites where you can buy the drugs without a prescription. I've used a couple and they are good (one is in Guernsey) and if anyone is interested, PM me on GA's forum and I'll let you know the URLs. A supply of vitamin and mineral supplements.

This is purely the basics; I do think that we need to be prepared, but pray that we never need these preparations. If you are rotating your stock and using it then it will never be a waste – additionally, always be prepared to give your kinsman a helping hand if they have nothing. If there's enough interest, I can write further articles on details, with recipes and hints plus medical advice.

Please think about what I have said – it may sound a bit paranoid, but better to have surplus than go hungry when the SHTF, whether it be for personal reasons such as losing your job, or globally because of societal breakdown.


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