WEDNESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2013
ON JULIA GILLARD AND DOWN TO EARTH BRITISH COMMON SENSE
Intelligence in politics at last! If only the rest of the world had as much intelligence and guts to exercise the common sense of the Australian Prime Minister! It used to be British common sense, until the EU got involved without us being asked if we wanted their damned interference.
The whole world needs a leader like Julia Gillard who told Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law on Wednesday “… to get out of Australia”, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks. Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: “IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.
"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!
"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.
"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'. "If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.”
The promoted idea that the UK is a multi-faith and multi-cultural community is not a bad concept that needs to be openly promoted for what it is: an essentially Christian orientation of values in the Christian sense of social charity. Multi-ethnic toleration must not be allowed to demean in any way the historical basis of the whole community that the UK is Christian-orientated and Christian culturally based.
SUNDAY 24th NOVEMBER 2013
ON THIS AND THAT AND QUITE A BIT OF THE OTHER
As usual, I find empathy and argument between the microcosm and the macrocosm. I recall connecting with a chemotherapy sufferer’s post whose cancer was in remission that what had helped her through her treatment was being a journalist. Her attitude had been, “Oh, so I’ve got cancer, a new challenge in my life, let’s investigate.”
Steve Evans, brilliantly brought face to camera his way of handling terminal illness, highlighting the personal nature of these matters that must be down to assisting the individual in their chosen way and time of dying. That is the true meaning of palliative care. If that means giving them the syringe, or pushing the plunger if they can’t themselves, DO IT. Yes, there are genuine legal difficulties but NOT unresolvable. SOLVE THEM! I detect a prejudiced reluctance to entertain the idea at all: precisely why it must be addressed. Such reluctance to address is an admission, by default, the subject is worthwhile and meaningful and the argument valid that in certain medical conditions it is a person’s right to terminate their own life when they choose.
I come from the age when child awareness was not acknowledged, when people wilfully withheld knowledge of a person’s imminent death from that person. My father was overseas and his mother was dying, “We don’t tell her, its easier for her not to know.” My mother had said. I riposted that it was her right to know and determine how her last days were to be spent. As a child of only ten or so I was of course shushed up but I have retained an anger against such attitudes until we gained the rationality of the hospice movement. I feel the same intensity for demanding the same attitude towards the patient’s right to end their own life their own way under their control.
With the Roman church still failing to follow Protestants’ lead after four centuries, secular society on practical values has the upper moral hand save, it seems, on voluntary suicide, in which case the argument is going to get more complex, the moment we actually do get women bishops into the Lords. At least the Christian religion can at last address the real world in a meaningful manner. In religions’ general refusal to accept the reality of what it claims to believe, as science has proven to be the case, it has invalidated its claim to be taken seriously until now. Now the Church of England has accepted the principle of having women bishops, the church once more is in the leadership of Christian values and at last dealing with the world as science has indicated is His reality. Protestant Christians at least can start being seriously rational and meaningful in the world of today and in preparation for the world tomorrow, once more able to hold their heads high as being relevant to the realities of life. Too much religion for too long has looked backwards to ancient history and to an undefined ultimate tomorrow, missing out on any understanding of today, let alone preparing for a middle distance tomorrow in the interim.
On the personal level, I have just had my first full English breakfast for a long time. Like the journalist I quoted earlier I have been fascinated by the need to reduce weight and prepare for being declared a diabetic, when things will get a little more formal but not drastically so, for the moment. I’ve achieved! Reaching the weight my dietician wanted me at well before my next formal appointment. So why reverse?
First, at this stage I can still enjoy flamboyantly, provided it is responsibly so. Second, I need to starve myself. I will deal in more detail on my NHS page, where matters unsavoury will be posted. For now, I need to eat well for after 13:00 I cannot eat at all until after the invasive medical investigation has been completed, at which time it is unlikely I will enjoy eating for a few hours. I actually want to get my weight down to where I was three years ago, to give myself a little bit of leeway, especially with Christmas on the horizon. Anyway, details on my NHS page (in due course). In the mean time, I discovered how much I had missed my regular full breakfasts at the Crow’s Nest, looking out over the expanse of the Aylesbury Vale with Whipsnade’s lion carved into the chalk. Of course the occasion required a Sunday paper. When first published I was a regular Independent man. Thereafter, my purchase was geared to the headlines available.
On major events I took two or three papers. Depending upon the time of publication, it was interesting seeing the diversity of the reportage, which often did not seem as if they were reporting on the same event. Now, I mostly rely on electronic news feeds. This morning’s enticement was The Observer. The front page provided an interesting diversity: Labour in crash crisis over Co-op Bank. Unfortunate that a moral incentive in the reality of commercial life should have become sullied but mud slinging, Cameron, demeans the slinger before it hits any target.
The calamity over the three ‘imprisoned’ for thirty years in domestic servitude ties in with the claim Ian Duncan Smith is re-examining the criteria on which the seriously ill can claim benefit, to their disadvantage but to the state’s economy? The connection with me is that I am having to prepare my body for an invasive procedure. I recall a period when I was a teenager, my intentions in life being over-ridden with a hospital incarceration for an investigation. I remember expressing my irritation we weren’t simply 'getting on with things' so I could get back to my life. “My mind is the interpreter of my soul, my body the servant of my will, it’s purpose is to do that which I require of it.”
For the next forty-eight hours I am back to being the servant of my body again, for medical need and it pisses me off completely but with the experience comes not only an investigative mind on how the NHS will handle the matter but beyond; to that time when I really may be in the hands of others and subject to their determination of priorities.
It is one thing to be incarcerated in one’s home but quite another to be somewhere where one is the subject, by sheer cost-effective necessity, of other people’s schedules. In a nutshell, I perceive the complex emotions and practicalities that surround provision for an increasingly elderly population; the pride and determination for independence which can lead to irrationality, or stubborn bloody mindedness; the diversity of culture and upbringing, as well as the detail of individual lives led, that make up the continually heaving mass of the population requiring conflicting priorities of healthcare.
The idea of all healthcare information being centrally computerised is obvious while at the same time the enormity of the task should instinctively state, “it can’t be done”. Who spoke with what authority and/or with vested self-interest to influence whom, at what stage of decision-making, we may never know, only that millions of pounds were pointlessly spent getting all of us nowhere. Centralised co-ordination is obvious, even if that means many separate, smaller database systems and the obvious locations are the GP surgeries. They are best placed to facilitate the varied transitions individual patients will require through their life-time of care. Most particularly, GPs are the ones that will acquire the detailed accumulated knowledge so essential to ‘knowing’ the patient.
I recall the time I was heading for a nervous breakdown and fortunately had the knowledge to know it. I rang my GP and asked for some Valium. Quite rightly he refused to prescribe over the telephone but knowing his patient said, “Get yourself down to the surgery within the next hour, I’ll warn Reception you are coming and I’ll see you as soon as I can.” He did, diagnosis: “You are multi-threaded over-stressed. Stop everything you are doing IMMEDIATELY. Go home to bed or take a country walk. Either way, go via the chemist and see me in three weeks time.” I had walked close to the edge and had nearly looked over. I had no wish to go even that close ever again.
Uganda raises multiple topics. British influenced, yet perversely Catholic rather than Protestant, hence its homophobic and irrational attitudes. Rome remains as duplicitous and authoritatively wrong as it was at the Reformation. It proclaims belief in God’s Creation, yet denies the reality of that Creation as Darwin has exemplified and other scientists have confirmed, in terms of a natural proclivity to same-sex sex amongst a minority. To really extend the macrocosm, the Brazilian jungle may not be a natural phenomenon after all but may have arisen from a much earlier vast civilisation and its way of managing the area, the details only now emerging.
We continue to learn about Creation and its relevant history. Religion refuses to acknowledge the growth of knowledge and to accept that the relevance of religion is precisely whether or not it is still relevant to Creation as it actually is and always has been. The problem is religions’ refusal to accept that its precepts along the journey have been entirely based upon a static mindset of interpreting facts, relevant only to the knowledge and ability of people to understand knowledge two thousand years ago but has never addressed the actual facts as they are relevant to the modern world to which His Creation has led us. Further, the Catholic church deliberately and specifically still governs itself in complete contradiction to the restraints it imposes and the demands that it makes on its congregants. It is as riddled with corruption as it was four centuries ago. That it now has a parish priest as pope may help, provided the church doesn’t bump him off before his time. His presence is a statement, similar to the Chief Constable of a UK police force. The title is a deliberate reminder that although they may be the ‘top’ officers, they are fundamentally no different from the six month rooky walking the beat. They are ‘constables’ by royal warrant, which is all the authority they require and in that they are equal to all police officers and have no greater authority than any of them, before the law. So it is with the pope. He may be the top priest but he still is ONLY a priest. His authority before God is no different than that of every other priest onto whose head the Hand of Christ has been placed, through direct personal contact down the millennia, as with nearly all priests, Protestants included. ––[ To be continued but time for now is running out and I need to re-adjust to what is to follow.
THURSDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2013
CHURCH OF ENGLAND ONCE MORE TREADS THE MORAL GROUND
At http://www.petersuch.com/mysteriousways.html The significance of the Church of England’s reappearance into the real world of Creation.
SATURDAY 9th NOVEMBER 2013
CONTRASTS AND CONTRADICTIONS
This morning, on newswatch, we had a viewer complaining that the sound track, used as evidence at the court martial of a marine charged with unlawful killing of an Afghan insurgent, was played as an “every day” news item, when a verbal description would have sufficed. We also had criticism of news reporters standing in the rain outside the relevant locations rather than sitting comfortably in the studio. Further news highlighted a stamina record attempt by former marines raising £20,000 for injured servicemen, while Colonel Mike Dewar expressed his agreement with Major-General Julian Thompson’s plea for clemency, in this morning’s The Times.
Murder is murder, even on the battlefield, if it is a death caused other than according to the rules of war. Soldiers are trained for the circumstances they encounter and are expected to handle those situations according to their training, it is why we pay them. Evil has never obeyed any rules. Sometimes openly confrontational, more often deviously insidious, evil has always been there. It is proper at this time to be both horrified and proud of the collective whole that has and is taking place over this weekend.
This is a Christian mongrel nation of a predominantly Anglo-Saxon culture. For centuries, this island race has played its part internationally, looking at the collective whole, admittedly as if we owned it but leading far more than we have misled. We are not saints. If anything, through the Reformation of Henry VIII we have been somewhat contemptuous of saintliness, best expressed by that deeply ingrained Protestant ethic developed from the Reformation. Our best justification to being leaders in the world is the hordes that have followed along the paths we carved out. We have led by example. We have been prepared to get our hands dirty and to get stuck in and do what it has been necessary to do, through the diverse individuals that make up that “British Spirit”. From these different, yet entwined threads, we have woven an ethic of accountability that blazes gloriously today in all its aspects.
Yes, we have found guilty a soldier who committed a contemptuous act. Honour on the battlefield has been an integral part of our code of living for centuries. With total transparency we have brought to justice and objectively found one defendant guilty, two others not guilty of the specifics of their charge. There is a mandatory sentence, due to some past judges proving complete idiots on sentencing. It is correct and proper that it be passed as is.
We are also the nation of Shakespeare and of Christ and the quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'tis mightiest in the mightiest… and through Christ can come complete forgiveness in true penitence. We will all, in time, come before a final judgement on our lives. What will be taken into account is the circumstances in which we may have committed our transgressions and the circumstances in which we might have been expected to achieve more than we did.
A plea for clemency is proper, for the circumstances are extreme, even allowing for all detail relevant to the preparatory training. This is why it was quite proper for the BBC to have broadcast the audio tracks that the court heard. We need to be appraised of the circumstantial detail. The battlefield is a completely different world from civil living. It is we who pay them to be there and do these things on our behalf. It is an automatic procedure that sentencing takes into account all aspects of each individual case, hence the appeal procedure. The law can only deal with general aspects of society
So with those reporters in the rain. Quite proper that they should experience and show that experience of the reality, that is what TELE VISUAL is about! For the marine, there are great opportunities for him and his family. Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress in prison. Profumo made great social impact following his downfall from the Keeler affair. There are others in that category. It will require a major adjustment and it will take time but there is a positive path ahead of him if he can rise to the challenge.
At this time we remember the sacrifices so many have made for others. Amongst those memories will be acts brought to light, may be acts not yet brought to light, or arguably worse than this marine has recently committed. Underlying the collective whole is the greatness of humanity trying, trying, trying to make a better world. Behind the manmade specifics, we live with nature. Take the moment of one woman, wailing in total desperation at the disappearance of her house in the latest typhoon. One of many who have lost everything. Each event a major trauma, part of the collective whole that is part of all of us. As is the family of the insurgent this marine killed unnecessarily. This conflict is no different than the turmoil we experienced during the time of Mary and Elizabeth. We have moved on. We have suffered, come through and see the world with a greater insight. We need to remember the sufferings of our own forebears and with that experience look at those similarly anguished today, in their beliefs of how life should be.
FRIDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2013
THE AGE OF CONSENT
An interesting collusion of ideas has suddenly broken open. The Scottish Referendum will seek the votes of sixteen year olds declaring that in the opinion of the Scottish government that is an age old enough to know their own mind regarding the government they want to rule over/for them. Also to train with the military, although the UK Parliament does not consider them old enough to die for their country until they are eighteen. There are now moves that people should not be admitted to the ranks until eighteen, despite the many benefits such experience can give a certain type of person.
There are moves in the UK for the age at which people are considered capable of applying for a car driving test to be raised to eighteen, although they may hold a provisional one at seventeen, as below eighteen they are not really capable of taking such responsibility without guidance.
The Church of Scotland allows sixteen as an age for confirmation and I do not think has objected to the Referendum age. Why then is it against forces recruiting at sixteen? Is the promise to church and God of less importance than the risk to their potential working life and life itself? The Church of England has no specific age, it accepts the maturity of the person in their own right to make that decision on confirmation, or to seek preparation for it.
Is a girl's decision upon when she should give her consent so meaningless that she may make that decision at sixteen, rather than be protected by law until eighteen and if at sixteen she is enabled, with her partner to consider herself capable of being responsible for a family, why should there be higher limits? Yet, unless bought for her by an adult in her company, she cannot buy alcohol until eighteen, while the Church of Rome regards seven as the age of reason! English law used to recognise the age of ten for reasonable accountability and legal consequences.
It seems to me that a large number of supposedly intelligent people are talking a lot of disconnected twaddle without much thought of the collective picture. Perhaps we need a Royal Commission?
TUESDAY 5th NOVEMBER 2013
AN ECONOMY AWAY WEEKEND
I am sharing a Hotel report for several reasons. The requester channels responses into their own preconceived categories which may well be useful for data classification but is rarely meaningful--I always endeavour to be meaningful, so ! repeat the fuller description here as there are issues arising which are relevant to the wider world.
Glenwood Hotel, Margate meets the expectations of a 2 star hotel. The external façade of established conviction, somewhat counters the internal reality of an A1 truckers’ caff with added bedrooms, that is still trying to get away from where it actually is.
To be commended, in all sincerity, is the friendliness and helpfulness of all staff, whose sole motivation was to render service. Genuine spontaneity in this regard is no small matter. It stems from a happy, family-orientated proprietorship, endeavouring to make something of themselves and therefore their hotel.
The building seems a succession of terraced housing cobbled together and therefore somewhat haphazard. Breakfast was well cooked, non-greasy and of quality food. My test is bacon and the rashers were excellent cuts of meat. Yes, the ambience did give the impression of a caff on the Great North Road on a very quiet day but you would not expect to be served on Royal Doulton there either!
The most notable aspect is that there is a lift. It seems there is not a single B&B or hotel in Broadstairs charging two and three times the price of Glenwood that provides a lift. This is the 21st century, with an increasing population of the Old, Ancient and Pathetic, to whom a lift is as essential as a door on the bedroom, or that there is a bed in it! I have even known members of the clergy rate hotels, with an ambience geared to the fit and able, happy that the more frail members of the community should struggle with a flight of stairs.
I am even more astounded that the awarders of stars under whatever category do not consider a lift in a multi-storey building a requisite before awarding one star, let alone four! Having a relative in the House of Lords for her work on championing provisions for the disabled, herself being one of the four or five members in wheelchairs, known in the House as “the mobile bench”, I am perhaps more consciously aware of these things, regardless that I am myself unhappy with hotels without lifts, although on this occasion my room was on the ground floor.
While on a particular evening I asked for an increase in room heat and received it, the fact that all members of staff wore thick pullovers rang a warning about concerns for economy and it is obviously an expensive building to heat. On the other hand, economy is increasingly essential for all of us, not only on grounds of costs but for anyone having a modicum of conscience for the environment. However, some of us oldies do have health problems and warmth is a necessity to maintain health. A warning for potential winter stayers.
The sudden arrival of the cleaner while I was still in the shower indicated a proclivity to transport caff hours of working and sense of priorities but you get what you pay for. The clientele was as diverse as you can get: from the young and enthusiastic who only needed the bed, through the middle-aged of employed trade; mid-level clerical, experiencing enforced early retirement; the pensioner on reduced income. A two star place with aspirations in which one might encounter the whole world.
MONDAY 4th NOVEMBER 2013
NOW PROVEN: MY EARLIER BURBLES ON NIQABS AND BURKHAS
One incident and a lot of facts gained to quell the twaddle.
1. Islamists can be gay. Why else would a male Arab wear a burkha if not a transvestite?
2. This particular criminal used the burkha to hide his identity for criminal purposes, proving the value of my earlier comments that the burkha and niqab are modern equivalents of seventeenth century English highwaymen's dress, the deliberate purpose of which is to hide identity.
3. This latest incident of male Arabs dressing as Arab women justifies the requirement that all niqabs must be removed when entering a bank or other place requiring the basic security of knowing and identifying who people physically are. No different from removing a motorcycle helmet.
4. These are matters of elementary common sense, proven by the latest Arab criminal intent in the UK and represent NO antagonism towards Arab culture.
Regarding Arab culture the niqab and burkha have NOTHING whatever to do with Islamic religion. It is simply a style of clothing, no different from dressing as a punk or a Goth. If Arab women want to show their romantic side by appearing as if they have just arrived across the saddle of John Hanson in the latest production of "The Desert Song", well, okay, so what?
5. As regards claims that the niqab enables the wearer to be closer to their concept of God then they really have some very weird ideas about God: all seeing, all pervading, He is. What could be simpler?
My conscious wakening is in continual awareness of the spirituality that is the whole of everything around me. Why would I want to hide myself from any of His Creation? It is totally illogical and God is logical, obviously since we, His Creation made in His image, have the capacity for logic, therefore to be truly meaningful in honour of God religion MUST be logical and if not it is not proclaiming that which it purports to uphold. Simple. Why will religion make it all so complicated? The outward appearance of religion is of a building without a hearth. Without a hearth it is an empty shell. Create a hearth and you could do without the building!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED EXHIBITION OF OIL LANDSCAPES
I must share yesterday's Private View of Brian Bennett's latest exhibition www.thehawkergallery.co.uk The Maltings off School Lane Amersham Bucks HP7 0ET.
For those familiar with Brian's work he still manages to find new angles, new views, new interpretations on his established local scene of The Chilterns, so that it appears he has approached his subject as if it was for the first time.
Not only that but as one expects of an artist so established as he is, Fellow and past President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, there are changes in his presentation: I welcomed the inclusion of figures in some paintings and was enthralled by his seascapes.
I am unfamiliar with his Scilly Isles paintings, apparently because they usually end up in a gallery there for tourist buyers due to commissions that take him there.
As usual, when I receive a Private View invitation from Brian my instinct is to buy every picture on his elaborate invitation card. Alas, I have neither the money nor the wall space: I already have two of his pictures hanging on my walls and several pictures in storage that are changed periodically to give me fresh views!
Well worth a leisurely hour or so's visit. Tuesday to Saturday until 10th November 10:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.
SATURDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2013
CATCHING UP FOLLOWING A BREAK
@FreeThePressNow I was tweeted they are following me on Twitter. Can't think why, unless they have been exploring my various pontificating web pages! The tweet that followed announcement of them following me stated: "Royal Charter causes outrage as freedom of press is cast aside after 300 years" to which I responded with: "outrage irrational. Greatest freedom brings huge responsibilities and some UK presses failed to meet those resp=need to curb"
The arrogance of the press was admitted in their refusal to sit down rationally with those trying to bring the control they themselves were incapable of exercising and confirmed by their trying to bring a High Court action to stop the Queen signing the Charter. That is the declaration of an autocratic arrogance out of control.
WEDNESDAY 23rd OCTOBER 2013
GRANGEMOUTH—WITH WHOM IS WHO PLAYING POLITICS AND TO WHAT INTENDED END?
A complicated picture indeed with so much at stake in so many ways. Too little information and too soon into the events to presume to make any comment.
MONDAY 21st OCTOBER 2013
While one may commend Tesco’s honesty, in admitting the appalling state of its stock-taking and customer anticipation management programs, causing 30,000 tons of food to be scrapped in the first quarter of this year alone, such a waste of food, due to mismanagement of supply and demand, remains unacceptable.
I am appalled at the broadcasting commentators who make no attempt to put the information into a meaningful perspective: the number of hungry people overseas whose lives could have been saved or at least extended; or the increasing number of food banks for which we in this country are finding an increasing need and the degree to which this waste could have filled those stores.
In a world of increasing awareness of the chronic need to behave responsibly and account for resources consumed, such information omission is disgraceful. Now it seems Channel 4 news is countering so far inadequate reporting.
THURSDAY 17th OCTOBER 2013
LABOUR PANICKING HENCE POLITICAL POINT SCORING ATTEMPTS
First, it appears the Ofsted report on the Al-Madinah Muslim free school is not yet published, so are we dealing with facts? It is claimed to be failing. Second, Labour has come screeching in angst at the government, yet it is Labour that has always been forceful in supporting minority interests and this is the first Muslim free school opportunity, so why are they not even-handed if not positively supporting the school and its efforts? To leak a report before publication, is that responsible journalism… and this is the BBC!
PEOPLE BEING AS DAFT AS BRUSHES
From my local Owl watch (police/public local information exchange) there have been several successful exchanges to extract people's credit cards themselves as well as information and then denfding the owners' accounts. Looking at CCTV pics of the people believed to be responsible, you only have to see those faces to know immeidately you are dealing with someone who is completely untrustworthy. How can people be so daft? Look for yourself at http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/news_articles/101013_-_0792.aspx.
TUESDAY15th OCTOBER 2013
POSTAL WORKERS & POST OFFICE SELL OFF
Dave Ward, deputy secretary of the Postal Workers union made it quite clear, unintentionally I am sure, that the union has one objective and that is to be totally unrealistic in terms of market value of its members and their jobs. "I am not having private entities making money out of our members." So, he knows the post office is over staffed and needs to be more economical in its methods, because the case presented, isthat the union acknowledges it has deliberately defrauded the British public in its history of refusing to accept modernisation and destaffing levels, as every other business/service entity in this country, private or public has had to do. On behalf of the public, fed up with failure to modernise, the government has sold, as would any other investor have done as, like any other investor we need the cash, due to previous Labour governments failing to understand the sound management of basic economics: a political party backed by the trade unions. So, why are they complaining about the results?
As for Labour complaints the post office was undervalued, no one with an ounce of sense would make such comment for at least a few months yet. Setting a starting price is highly complex. One must ensure success to assure any possible future venture and one is faced with a bunch of workers historically proven to be bloody minded. Very difficult to get the right balance. If Labour complains, they must blame their own supporters for such a bloody-minded workforce.
CARING, IT'S COSTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
On this particular matter I have to declare a personal interest. I'm 70, currently able but diagnosed with cancer and various other ailments that could debilitate me sufficiently seriously as to wish to ensure I determine when and how I make my exit. Therefore, I insist we deal with death rationally and objectively. Assisted suicide is essential and I am a Christian-orientated free thinker and psychic researcher, so says my Facebook page.
Regarding healthcare, I have made reasonable provision to see me through to the end of my days, subject to reasonable competence in my final days. I am a bachelor, therefore if all my "wealth" is consumed in seeing me out, so be it, that is the luck of the draw of life. Anything over will go to family in various ways with some external bequests. Those external bequests being bequests I should have made during life but which I have treated, as I said to the stranger who stopped me in the street the other day asking, "Have you any spare change, mate?". "I haven't finished living my life yet, so I don't yet know!"
Regardless for the moment, as I will return to this debate, how we should respond to healthcare, what is important is that we know where we are going at the beginning of our lives, so we can plan accordingly. The initial intention of state intervention was to protect the needy but it has developed into a system where people deliberately fail to make proper provision for their own livelihoods and responsibilities through life. We are now waking up to these facts somewhat late in time but in time to learn from the appalling mistakes of a socialist intended state which clearly is not economically realistic.
There is absolutely no problem in having CCTV watching patient care. God sees all. You don't believe in God? Fine. ANY moral code will declare that complete openness is never a problem with those acting morally and with due care and diligence. Now just get for CCTV.on with it. I am astounded it has not already been in stigated. What stupidity did instigate was privately controlled public telephones when we've all got mobiles! Use those wires for CCTV.
SATURDAY11th OCTOBER 2013
WILFULLY TWISTING THE FA CTS
First, the press. The greatest freedom of all is the freedom God gave us upon Creation and with it came the greatest responsibility of all, to use that freedom wisely and to be accountable for the manner in which we exercise that freedom. The press is no different. It has, in the UK, what we the people all have, that freedom which God gave us and the press has consistently, steadfastly and determinedly decided to abuse it and misuse it, without any claim to a moral excuse to abuse when it has pushed the expected limits. The press has forfeited any right to decide for itself. That there are editors who have acted responsibly, or have at least not acted irresponsibly, is unfortunate but perhaps a first "fail" might be accorded to them without a penalty, as recognition of their past responsible conduct. Perhaps that principle could be applied to all publications once the new rules are instigated, before any particular paper falls foul of the new legislation. That way they can all start on a level playing field.
Once more the innocent pay the costs of all those who flout basic decencies of life and those who will not do anything about the situation wilfully caused. Another boat has tipped a host of desperate immigrant families into the sea.
Looked at simply,
the fault lies: with the desperate families for acting illegally and stupidly; the boat owners who have a duty of competence and care and have clearly failed knowingly. It is claimed Europe must do something, when Europe has not only done nothing to invite them but has specifically stated they are not wanted. Why should we be involved in the costs and provision for other countries' populations?
Clearly, the root cause lies with those countries that are not being run in a manner in which their populations are happy to co-exist and get on with a meaningful life. The matter then is immediate referral to the United Nations. We need to review the situation in the global context. This brings us back to what defines a civilisation; what defines an acceptable state of living, under what moral code and the extent to which individual freedom must remain uncompromised by majority opinion, under which authority democratic governments function; and the extent to which authoritarian regimes may be permitted to exercise such authority over a willing people?
In the mean time, those countries acting in a morally responsible manner
are expected to pick up the price of allowing irresponsible authoritarian regimes to escape accountability for their irresponsibility in whose hierarchies certain individuals fill their pockets to no benefit but their own self glory.
Either through The Hague or the United Nations, we must establish a basis of acceptable living for all, so that no one feels such desperation as to leave their homeland in such dire straits as today's latest Mediterranean victims.
TUESDAY 8th OCTOBER 2013
"OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES" BE ALL PRAISE Matthew 21:16/Psalms 8:2
An Islamic female child, Malala Yousufza, spoke words of wisdom and plain common sense with the maturity of a first degree graduate.
In that simplicity, she reminded us Christians of the simplicity of Christ Himself. She showed up how much the framework of religion has buried Christ the Man, let alone His message. It is apt that the child is female. In that simplicity where is there any argument that gender is remotely relevant to God, let alone the authoritarian arrogance that decrees only men are fit to manage a church and its wider relgion at any level, however senior? In 'just her being', she refutes any and every argument for gender difference in authority in Christianity, Islam and Jewdaism. Message conveyed.
TUESDAY 1st OCTOBER 2013
AMERICAN TEA-LEAFS & BRITISH BONE-IDLENESS
A quick slot from my Facebook page. Now the truth is out. American republicanism has embraced the mentality of the tea-leaf party, "we can't get things our own way so let's bugger everyone up!" I write "tea-leaf" deliberately as it was a slang term for male gays and I perceive those of republican orientation to be the least accepting of gay orientation.
The Republican Party is to be congratulated on being up front and honest, unusual in political parties, it is stating clearly and openly it cares not a damn for its responsibility to America and Americans but for those only who have what it takes to grab for themselves and sod everyone else who isn't as well equipped to cope with life's natural misfortunes.
So much for the belief America is a Christian-orientated society (and I'm aware religion and state are specifically separate entities) in fact these days religion generally seems to have little to do with concepts of God anyway. So, on behalf of world opinion on America and Americans the republicans are stating America is a country and Americans people who don't give a damn for anyone who isn't rich and greedy and utterly irresponsible. The truth is now out!
Meanwhile in Britain teachers have gone on strike and the postal workers may do so, metaphorically spitting in the faces of the unemployed: "We've got jobs and look how we abuse them! So yahboo to you!" So republicanism and socialism are united in their philosophies, "Let's all bugger everyone and everything up just because we can't have our own way!" What a world. Is America going Communist, while Russia goes authoritarian right-wing?
POSTAL DELIVERY SERVICE
The sheer witlessness of the Postal Communications Union is beyond belief. No wonder Miliband is trying to offload its baggage from his shoulders but currently looks as if he hasn’t got the guts to actually go through with it. Labour attempted to offload the burden of the postal delivery service and warned the union what is currently proposed would be the result if they didn’t co-operate. The union did not co-operate with Labour’s intentions and so they have the result they knew full well would happen. What are they complaining about? They think they may go on strike, clearly stating their unfitness to modernise, as they have consistently proved over the years.
Why should we tax payers pay that price? Why do we need the capital influx? Because the trades union-manipulated Labour party ran us into unacceptable debt, promoted by the same unions! It is claimed the majority of the public are against the sell off. Which poll did they organise to find out? I’m not aware there was one, nor what the result was. Why in the TV news reports on it no statistics have been provided? There is no reference to who organised it, the methodology or the size of the poll. Why not? Why only waffle, not facts?
BARKING ABOUT THE BURKHA
The burkha is not a requirement of religion. This is clearly illustrated in TV reports from Islamic countries, where only some Muslim females choose to wear it and many Muslim females wear Western dress, even on TV.
The burkha is a cultural choice of dress akin to this country’s highwaymen’s dress of the seventeenth century and that is the point, the covering of the face is specifically to avoid identification in an intended act of criminality. Or, it is an honest admission that Islam specifically demeans women, causing them not to have the confidence to go out into the world as fully-fledged members of society. Their background and education is to teach them to accept only a secondary role? Their need to “hide” is to deny them the self-confidence to stand up and be counted, open to the open community of a very open yet accountable country.
WELL DONE THE CHURCH OF WALES
What a farce. A clear statement from Wales makes it unquestionable there is NO theological argument against women bishops. Leaving the Church of England, that majored in the Reformation; bringing Protestant sense and sensibility to religio; created by a woman; having a woman as its supreme governor then deciding it won't have women as bishops: pure, plain stupidity.
It was an Englishman who brought us the knowledge that God's Creation was of an evolutionary nature. It was England, provoked by Germany who brought us Protestant intellect but that intellect fell short of Darwin's evolutionary knowledge (his remit was not sociological development but that follows on automatically) and failed to lead society into the new knowledge and ways of thinking, preparing society for the modern times religion has a duty to do. In that failure it ends up declaring itself irrelevant and ineffective.
That there is a God is without question. What may be the nature of God is another matter but that spirit is an entity of continuity is a confirmed factor of extensive reportage over the time since Christ. That the church has got hung up accepting change is the fault of all of us, me included. Change is difficult, despite the obviousness of its reality and our responsibility to "get real". That means accepting the male and female of His Creation and that they have absolute equality of being and rights is the only way to understand the reality of His Creation. So, why are we having such difficulty in simply getting on with it? We have taken too long to learn to live with His Creation as He created it. Instead, we have wasted time on old men's recorded perceptions in times of limited knowledge. it was God who gave us that evolutionary development to acquire that knowledge.
SUNDAY 8th SEPTEMBER 2013
ON THIS WEEK'S "THIS AND THAT"
Regrettably, post-exertional malaise lasted to midday, which was disappointing, as a bishop was preaching and we had a multi-baptism and confirmation as part of the full choral service. Had I been fit I would have gone to this later service on this occasion but then I would have missed Marr. His and the “Sunday Morning Live” programme following and its seasonal partner (the name I forget) I find enthralling and irritating, depending upon the self-discipline of the speakers or the effectiveness of the chair.
I was delighted to express my pleasure at seeing Andrew Marr back in operation, clearly suffering from the results of his stroke but in so doing, he illustrated how serious his stroke had been and the battle through which he had fought to make it. All applause to him for that and what a fine example he is to other stroke sufferers that he has forced his way back to operational health.
MILIBAND, KENNY, GMB,HEALTH, POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING
Paul Kenny of the GMB union clarified excellently why Miliband is so right in offloading the bulk union vote. On BBC Breakfast he clearly stated his union’s distaste for individuality and that the whole purpose of trade unions, in his view was the bulk bullying they have so frequently used to wreck this country’s economic stability, although he lacked the honesty to express it in those terms.
Political voting IS a personal matter and none of any union’s business. Paul Kenny clearly stated that his political authority comes from gerrymandering his position in the union to be over-powerful in political matters. [Much union business relies on presumption, through members’ nonparticipation by default of actual interest]. Paul Kenny illustrates what is believed of all trade union managers, “I am important management because I wield members’ power”. Union bosses are NOT important, they are servants to receive direction from their members in matters commercial, not in managing the country: that is solely an individual matter.
Regarding political parties generally, their income should come from individual donations drawn by selling themselves through their electoral mandate, which should be maintained and published on a regular basis as circumstances change. It is arguable whether companies should provide political funds. If so, there should be an upper limit in terms of cash and a valuation for donations in kind. These should be subject to board approval and preferably in advance by shareholder meetings, it is after all the shareholders’ money.
Unions likewise, or other entities, according to the vote of general union funds by the members at annual meetings and any contribution to a political “charge” an individual opt-in decision. So, with the very rich, there needs to be a limit on personal donations, also defined as “value in kind”.
Controlling the broadcast media needs to be looked at in relation to prospective influence, according to what criteria, regarding new trends and influences? Past records are fine for established parties but how can one fairly deal with evolving trends, showing initially only limited public support due to being in the early stage of their evolution? I suspect the UKIP question is being currently debated but this debate should embrace the principle not the specific.
The same principle applies to the newspapers. It is proved beyond doubt that some of them can be completely irresponsible, if not downright unlawful in the way they conduct their business. What precisely is the financial capital that controls them and that capital controlled by whom, in what manner?
Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, complained about shortage of cash in social welfare but absolutely failed to declare the cause of that cash shortage being due to his party’s previous mismanagement of the country’s finances. He was beautifully countered by, I think, Anna Soubry, who pointed out what Andy Burnham should have been wholly aware of had he properly informed himself, that Health has not seen a reduction in budgeting under this government.
POLICE COMPETENCE, CORRUPTION?
Returning to the papers and their general competence, Scotland Yard’s response to the Prince Andrew incident paints a completely different picture to the one presented by the press. Unfortunately, the police of late seem to be conducting themselves with such incompetence one cannot trust the Scotland Yard statement: it has to be taken with a table spoon of salt. It is of concern if, yet again, a sensationalist newspaper can't present simplicity of facts remotely accurately.
Come to think of it, what has happened about that allegation that the police fitted up Andrew Mitchell and then failed to tell the police officers involved that it was all a deliberate set up to discredit a minister of the crown, despite the fact the police are servants of the crown and therefore supposedly supporting the minister?
LIVERPOOL CARE PATHWAY, THE NHS AND EUTHANSIA
Liverpool Care Pathway was a lie: it was euthanasia in a brutal act of crass incompetence and carelessness. It should be recognised that that aspect of the NHS supported euthanasia but appallingly badly and incompetently, highlighting why euthanasia must be an open debate and discussed with the patient and family. So, lets get on with it and do the job properly and honestly. Keeping people alive when the condition does not determine it proper and they are ready to let go of life, let them go. We would not treat a dog that way so why a human being? It is not rational.
ON GOD IN PUBLIC LIFE
“Sunday Morning Live” wanted to discuss the relevance of God in public life. Failing to define “God” caused many contributors to get tangled up with religion. Religion is a means of defining God and the fact there are so many religions clearly shows no one religion has yet defined “God” satisfactorily that we all know what we are talking about.
It would have been more meaningful if “God” had been replaced with “spiritual values”, then perhaps we might have got somewhere. What makes religion generally irrelevant to modern society is its proclivity to insist upon a patriarchal arrogance, totally divorced from any real meaning of spiritual value. As the world’s present state of general mayhem declares men’s inadequacy at basic management, where is the rationality in attributing authority to them?
Taking my own background, we have a CofE that was started four centuries ago by a woman, sorting out her inheritance of Henry VIII’s mess. It is a church currently run by a woman and it won’t have women bishops. That sort of asinine stupidity is why religion has a bad reputation. The Roman Catholic church won’t even have women priests; preaches humility for everyone else except itself; and is ridded with immorality and corruption.
I will not presume to comment on Islam, other than to include its name in this list, as well as the religions of India. All these have this extraordinary presumption that males alone are in power; are authority and what they want holds sway; yet all the while, in their attitudes, men collectively declare their total unsuitability for such presumptions, through national and local demeaning of women and refusing to accept women’s unquestionable equal authority alongside men.
Public life is dealing with the practical realities of living. That is ALL of us, male and female and we all have a right to equality of contribution and recipience [Shakespeare made up words and over forty of them are now standard English!].
Had the question been about “spiritual values” then we would be debating something superior to morality and ethics: talking about something meaningful to the reality of the whole of existence and our part and responsibility in it and for it and especially its future.
SHOULD PORNOGRAPHY BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS?
“Sunday Morning Live” then tackled pornography in schools. There is an argument that schools should teach basic biology at the least. Social interaction, leading to the greatest of intimacies, should be taught by parents who best know the age at which it is right to do so and in what way for their child. That many parents can‘t or won’t talk about sexual matters with their children (and mine couldn’t, they left pamphlets for me to find surreptitiously), let alone the very basics of proper social interaction and responsibility, then the schools must do the job. Teaching a responsible attitude towards people leading up to the greatest of intimacies should not need discussion on acceptable or unacceptable pornography.
FRIDAY 6th SEPTEMBER 2013
ON PUTIN'S INFERIORITY COMPLEX
For some extraordinary reason Putin appears to be feeling insecure. WHy else is he so overawed by this tiny island that built the largest empire civilisation has yet known. Perhaps he was aware of how little his great Russian continent has done in the mean time. Fancy feeling diminished by little us!
THURSDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 2013
ON THE BBC
It would be nice if the BBC could first master its own technology. Marvellous vanguard reassures me its not my age that holds me back, they haven't got the hang of the tecnology either.
Nor have they got the hang of managing money. It appears they paid over a million pounds more than required to those made redundant; not including the sums paid to those people when supposedly working, when clearly they weren't needed, for why else were they declared redundant?
BUT, thanks to "Rough Justice" they got two innocent men out of gaol, proving the death sentence is NOT justifiable! EVER! On that, well done BBC! Except that the BBC appears to have axed an exceedingly good programme. Why? Does the BBC not like success? Perhaps it is embarrassed by finding something at which they are competent: it shows up even more those who quite clearly aren't?
Ariel Castro in America only committted suicide because he could not face his sentence, proving the value of life sentences.
ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Universal Credit is an elementary common sense proposition. Bureaucracy is the last thing anyone wants. What is appalling is the number of people purporting to understand computing who in fact appear not to actually have a clue. By now the civil service really should know the wheat from the chaff in IT. As usual, money has nothing to do with it but elementary competence at one's job. Technology is moving magnificently, if understood. At 70 I am somewhat slower on the uptake than I was but at least I see the benefit and am glad to be involved. At the much younger ages at which IT people seem to be involved, is it the lack of life experience that is causing these hiccups, they just do not get the overall purpose of rendering a service and cannot grasp the wider context in which their speciality fits?
It now appears that those in charge only gave information to the minister according to what he wanted or expected, not according to the actual facts, just like the Iraq situation. How has the British civil service got itself into such a mess that it employs people who do not understand the meaning of information? Its purpose is to inform, which means it conveys knowledge about facts. How can people so incredibly stupid as not to understand this simplicity ever be regarded as employable? It isn't rational. Is the state educational system really that bad or have the public schools now gone head over heels to teach as disastrously as the state?
WEDNESDAY 4th SEPTEMBER 2013
ON THE DEATH PENALTY
It is deeply regrettable that a man, so obviously a candidate for suicide, should have been able to commit suicide so early into his sentence. Once more crime pays! However, for those in doubt, what Ariel Castro's suicide clearly demonstrates is that life sentences work. He can't take his punishment. More over, in the UK we have recently convicted a man, incredibly a father of five, so clearly getting his oats, of murdering a complete stranger [please note those who think murders are by people known to the victim] for which we had already convicted two men completely wrongly. Mercifully the BBC came charging in with a "Rough Justice" programme querying misjustice. Thank God they weren't hanged!
It now turns out Ariel Castro was visited at half-hourly intervals. How damned stupid, obviously you visit such a man erratically, so he never knows when the next visit is due!
ON PERSUASION, BLACKMAIL OR EXTORTION?
Now we at last know the truth on Labour's relations with the trade unions: at the very least unhealthy! [http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/gmb-affiliation-to-labour-party].
MONDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER 2013
ON PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTH
Later to be developed for my NHS page, an extract from this morning's Facebook interaction.
Delighted you add to the debate, Wren. Steroids to counter cancer is what is causing me a technical weight problem. I say "technical" because I don't consider myself overweight, yet medically apparently I am and waistwise I must confess to expansion, which was of concern before a possible diabetic condition indicated I had to take weight seriously.
Faced, therefore, with medical evidence of the disaster that is overweight then clearly it is a matter for open debate. I am horrified at the demands I am "indolently" making on the NHS, just to maintain an everyday existence and I am not yet on seriously expensive anti-cancer drugs (although there has been some preliminary chemotherapy). Having cancer in both lungs means (unless blessed with an absolute heart attack) there will come a time when I will be kept alive in a bed with oxygen tanks and incapable of doing anything. Ridiculously costly. Give me the syringe in time and I'll cut the cost immediately.
If overweight leads to ill health, the rest of us pay, why should we? If overweight is due to a health condition and the patient is doing the best they can, fine but is medicine being too pedantic at what should be a healthy living state, as opposed to just a "simple state of living"? These matters need to be openly observed, debated and discussed.
We need to address the ridiculous concept that we must keep people alive who would much rather pass on, while denying ill people, whose condition is rationally improvable by hip replacement, say, but are kept pointlessly waiting through lack of money? We have damn fool religionists getting in the way of rational thinking on life and death.
Religion has been nothing but a disaster for society, based entirely upon a patriarchal hierarchy that has done nothing but show men incapable of organising a simple piss up in a bl***y brewery. The EU insists we maintain common criminals illegally in this country rather than send them back home on the basis of their "human rights", yet denies the entire EU the basic human right of absolute equality between men and women, allowing Islam and the Roman Church to foster unacceptable background inferences of male supremacy, which are the roots, in my view, causing serious social disorder from men refusing to treat women properly. It is irrational and unacceptable.
That there is spirit behind/absorbed in everyday physical life is without questionable doubt. There is no rationality for life to be lived according to ancient concepts but that requires another page which is being developed (probably in Body and Spirit). For the moment enough said on this particular paragraph of interaction, which I shall now post on my weekly page, to spread the word further. Cheers for now. Love you all.... it is indeed a great life Hang on to it.
FRIDAY 30th AUGUST 2013
CONTRASTS & CONTRADICTIONS
A sudden gash of blue Buddleia broke the varied mid- to deep green tranquillity of the path, exciting a clutter of cabbage whites to grab the diversion offered, on one of the “last days” of summer.
Traditionally, perhaps I should say “historically”, this is the last week of the Pendley Open Air Shakespeare Festival. Moved forward a fortnight, it is arguable if this enhances its chances of better weather but if inclement, certainly there is less chill effect and although under cover from the rain, an audience does need warm coats on such a night.
I was thinking on this, as I wandered Ashridge this lunchtime and stopped off at the open-air “ranch-like” cafeteria, to enjoy a specially made beef burger, with onions and a coke and contemplated dropping off at Pendley on the way back for a cream tea.
It was surprisingly busy and being a bachelor, out of touch with school time tables, it took me a moment to realise this was probably the last week of school holidays, as well as being a short week for taking time off work, with the advantage of the Bank Holiday Monday.
I thought on this tranquillity, whose peace was only occasionally interspersed with happy children’s laughter, otherwise there was simply the busy country noise of general sounds and the chat of people at tables; or quiet closets of parked cars, their boots opened for access to the hampers and folding chairs now scattered around.
I had determined not to clutter myself with a camera and now regretted it. Feeling a flush of energy I had walked a longer path than intended and rediscovered a bench, a few steps above the path, lending a magnificent view of the village of Aldbury in the valley, for which enjoyment a section of trees had been specifically felled.
I sat there, enjoying the view and wishing for my camera, as the angle was such that normally one is shooting into the sun. This after-noon the sunlight was diffused by haze, enabling a soft focus view of its ancient country church and the surrounding character-filled buildings that bordered its ancient duck pond and stocks.
I dwelt on the richness of my life, not in terms of shekels (merely solvent) but in terms of the richness of my surroundings; a magnificent view; the ability to get there as I wished; the magnificence of the English countryside; the ancient history of our people, portrayed in the village in the valley; the wide sweep of the Aylesbury Vale beyond, leading round (out of sight) to the Whipsnade lion carved into the chalk hillside.
Perversely, the song “Lions and tigers and bears… oh my!” of Judy Garland came into my mind, at the same time as Africa and the Middle East crisis. A not inappropriate jarring. My peace sitting there; the tranquillity and freedom of another age that led to Baum’s imaginative creation; the ancient village history below me of our times when we internally warred over constitution and religion; the industrial upheaval enabled by such people as the Duke of Bridgewater, the canal builder, whose monument was behind me. Then, the horror and anguish of children and their families in Syria, while ours were playing happily with their families, riding bikes... or ponies. This area is a superb mixture of town, village and countryside, less than an hour by train to the centre of London; capital of empire, now faded away; centre of a Commonwealth of Nations, now rendered an “also played” in the world’s future history. Of what value was all this history?
I had earlier walked the graveyard of St Peter and St Paul at Little Gaddesden and thought on those buried there, who would have lived through two world wars and doubtless lost loved ones in them. I had then thought on the Middle East. Thought on last night’s Commons vote. Where lay the blame that we should seem uninterested in other people’s misery, while our experience was that we too had known such misery, caused likewise by both politics and religion and, albeit often likewise alone, come through it, yet were not lifting a finger to aid others in their need?
The answer: mismanagement by good intent. Clearly, Cameron must have been responding (out of a desire to be helpful, nothing more) to oblige Obama and there is a simple logistical logic to recalling parliament to debate, without causing turmoil to an already planned programme. However, it would have been better, as he should have felt able to do, if he had simply told Obama to wait.
Blair, I think acted likewise in good faith but clearly wrongly over Iraq. Had he not burbled twaddle about intelligence that simply did not exist or was plain wrong, I think we would now be actively supporting America and perhaps rightly. Likewise, had Brown’s Labour party not wrecked the country’s finances, we might still be involved but we simply no longer have the money, Labour squandered it.
Our intelligence services MUST deliver fact or “no comment”, not allow themselves to be manipulated, causing us now not to trust their competence, so those in the Middle East now suffer, as we ourselves have suffered in our own history, yet still have not resolved our own problems.
The Church of England was started by a woman, is governed by a woman, yet still will not allow women bishops. It is a laughing stock were the situation not so serious. Until the cofE sorts itself out we are in no position to seriously bring the Roman church to heel for its archaic patriarchal presumption, which the asinine legal construct of the EU specifically legalises, while ensuring common criminals and other mountebanks cripple us with their presence when we want them back in their own countries.
The Middle East problem is stemmed in the authoritarian arrogance of male supremacy, despite two thousand years of men proving their total inadequacy to run anything. Despite our current inadequacy, we have at least established a fundamental uniqueness of government, which no one with an ounce of sense would wish to dislodge.
The power in this land is in Parliament. Churchill, at our most critical time, said to the House of Commons, “I am but your servant and you may dismiss me as you please.” There were around a dozen abstentions and votes against. The rest of the House backed him.
Last night, Cameron accepted gracefully the Commons opinion, which in the circumstances was understandable and probably inevitable. In 1938, Chamberlain came back from Hitler waving a bit of paper and was applauded across the land: warmongering Churchill was ridiculed as an idiot. History proved Churchill right.
Bagehot stated “It is not so much the power the monarchy has as the power its presence takes away from anyone else.” As part of his beliefs was the true separation of the judiciary from government and that happened only in 2009. Nearly 150 years ago, Bagehot was ahead of his time, to be relevant to today… and is still relevant. Is Obama going to Congress before actually doing anything, with the US public opinion seemingly split 50-50, just as in Great Britain?
We have been through, in these lands, precisely what the Middle East is going through… and we still have not completed the job. What Iraq taught us is that there is no good starting something without first knowing how you intend to end it and leave. No one has yet spoken of what action should be taken, how it is expected to pan out and the result likely to be achieved, with all inherent risks clearly stated. Until then, no one should go anywhere or do anything.
THURSDAY 15th AUGUST 2013
A NEW DAWN
To all the young ones getting their results, all the very best. It is yonks, yet seems as clear as if it were yesterday, that I received mine. To those who have cause to be disheartened, don't be, you have a life ahead, there are some your age for whom that life is already pre-determined to be short through ill health. There is time in your youth to try again, or a choice to do someting else. For those who suffered tsunamis or other tragedies, there is no choice, just the savagery of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Good luck, in the life ahead of you. Grab every minute it gives you. As the American comedian George Burns once said, "I am not at all surprised I am 84 but what does surprise me is the speed with which I got here!"
WEDNESDAY 14th AUGUST 2013
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN A MODERN WORLD
The credentials of Professor Ashworth indicate a voice to which attention should be paid, primarily, in my view, for awards not through examination but through the opinions of his peers. Reviewing crime and punishment is a regular pursuit of qualified professionals but is not always opened to the public in an informative manner. In the main, it would seem, that public opinion is influenced by personal bias according to social background, not the rationality of informed debate.
The nature of this country is Protestant Christianity from which sound base the largest empire civilisation has known was built, a base that has made provision for progression (ultimately) in many aspects of what is now regarded as "civilised society".
It seems to me the key question is: punishment, retribution, vengeance, restoration, discouragement, what is the relationship? One might first of all ask the question, why is there crime? Simplistically one might say "because someone else has something I want and I haven't got." One might refer to "A Toddler's Charter" as the raison d' être of too much crime. However, there are more questionable attitudes: is social life fair, which is not the same question as, "is life fair"?
Bluntly, the reality of life is that it is not fair. The purpose of civilised society is to try and eradicate the unfairness and provide equal opportunities for all to live a fulfilled and meaningful life. From this reality derives the hierarchy of priorities and whether one wishes to dispense with God, as Tony Blair purportedly wished to do in The Queen, despite being a recent convert to Roman Catholicism and the Queen being the Supreme Governor of the Protestant Church of England (highlighting the ease with which irrationality so easily enters serious debate), or accept a nonGod concept of moral values but even these are usually closely associated with the attitudes and sayings of one Jesus Christ, some artificiality has to be imposed upon the natural order.
'To those to whom much is given...' but the nature of human society is greed, which is why, when the trades unions gained power, they wrought cavalier disasters upon many and bullied just as much as the aristocrats, but not so physically as the proletariat did during the French and Russian revolutions. In a sense, civilisation is an artificial construct contrary to the natural order.
Arguably, then, one should remove concepts of moral values and deal with crime and punishment rationally, without sentiment. What is the most cost-effective utilisation of our time and resource? On this basis, locking people up is irrational. Only those who have demonstrated a physical abuse of society should be behind bars. This leaves everyone else liable to repay society for the costs of their crime, first to the direct victims and then to overall society, for the costs of necessary policing and administration in monitoring their restitution. This is a direct road to slavery. In that context, is slavery a bad thing? Should society be geared on the basis of "each to their ability', or "each to their need"... or "each to society's requirements" but then who determines society's requirements?
MONDAY 21th AUGUST 2013
LABOUR ON MIGRANT WORKERS
If Chris Bryant represents the likely component of a future Labour governement, then the last thing we want is another Laour government. His presentation this morning came over simply as a hidden MP wanting to show his credentials for future government. Okay, he may simply be trying to gain some experience but frankly, that is all he did.
What a competent politican would have addressed is that Labour signed all the EU requirements to enable this state of affairs to happen, against which he is ranting, and under their management allowed in some 800,000 migrants, contrary to what other EU countries did, while claiming 800,000 immigrants was only 30,000!
Bryant waffled a lot of historical irrelevance about some well known historical immigrants who had proved their worth but failed to explain how migrants, taking jobs from the current resident population, helped the housing situation, since surely migrants require houses, which we already know we haven't got for people already here!
Gloria De Piero, on Channel 4News hardly countered Bryant's inadequacy, no matter how much she gushed her irrational youth.
Last Night (9th August 2013) at Pendley Manor
Calling urgently all those people who feel that Shakespeare is not for them… to a production of As You Like It… and Love’s Labour’s Lost!
This does not seem very logical… but then Pendley is not logical.
In 1947, scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard II were performed on the back lawn of Pendley Manor, the ancestral home of the late Dorian Williams, OBE, perhaps better remembered nationally as “the voice”, for so many years, behind BBC TV show jumping and other horse events.
This entertainment was so well organised that half way through the performance the audience and actors changed places, because the audience had the sun in their eyes! Sixty-four years later, it is advisable to bring sunglasses for the first part of the performance but later you may need a warm coat!
Between these two dates an annual festival has developed during which nearly all the plays have been performed . During the twenty years I was with the company, from a thirteen year-old excited at getting four walk on parts in each of both plays, to leaving as Production Co-ordinator a couple of years after Dorian’s death, a little longer period than I intended staying, to aid continuity, the plays were performed on the vast panoramic stages.
Never designed as stages, they were just part of the garden landscape, they saw actors arrive for battle on horses; saw princesses drawn down the glade in glass coaches pulled by a double pair of matching horses; saw Ophelia drawn to her grave in a glass hearse, still occasionally used for custom funerals, having learned from the first performance, when there had been a change in the weather, to smear the glass sides with lemon juice, to stop Ophelia’s breath steaming up the windows! Laying a beautiful young woman literally into a hole in the ground created a very dramatic effect.
Memories of that event stood me in good stead when I was with the Company of Ten at the Abbey theatre, St. Albans. We were performing James Saunders A Scent of Flowers. There, the grave was simply a trap in the wooden floor. One of the actresses asked me how I managed to convey so much emotion in my speech, it literally made her cry, “You can sense the emotion throughout the theatre.” During that speech I was recalling Pendley’s Ophelia scene.
Today, the third stage is used, specifically designed as a stage with a magnificent backdrop of variegated shrubbery, hiding and deliberately, not so hiding, myriad entrances and exits at different levels. Smaller than the great panoramic stages, now used for other hotel events, it has the advantage of bringing indoor theatre to the open air.
It is an intimate stage, where actors may involve the first few rows of the audience (appropriate when the play includes the line “All the World’s a stage”) and ordinary lines may suddenly acquire an unexpected humour when “this damp and soggy ground” is a literal description, following a shower of rain!
In sixty-four years and around 600 performances, only two performances have ever been cancelled for rain. Pendley only stops if the rain is so noisy on the canvas roof, the audience cannot hear, or the conditions become hazardous to the actors. Such breaks/delays rarely last as long as ten minutes.
I recall one performance, by a Tring Arts Educational student, hoping to make professional theatre, who was playing Puck. She slipped on the wet grass and went sailing across the lawn on her bottom amidst a curtain of spray, rather like a motorboat chugging off Brighton pier. That girl was Lynda Bellingham, one of Pendley’s “children” who made it big professionally. Nearly half a century later we share another experience: we are both fighting cancer. I wish her well in her battle which I have no doubt will be feisty!
Unlike any other theatre, the Pendley experience really can be very exciting, as something completely unexpected can and does happen: such as a fox dashing across the stage; a rabbit appearing amongst the bushes, fortunately not the two events at the same time, avoiding upsetting the children; or an owl sailing down the glade hooting.
Today, the most likely interruptions will be the call of the peacocks, quintessential England: a grand country house, sweeping lawns bedecked with peacocks. Last night, as I arrived, I met a newcomer, unfamiliar with white peacocks and the fact they could fly to such high branches. To me, the white peacock showing his pride is more stunning then the coloured ones.
The rain does not often disturb the performance but there are times when the weather can add further magic: such as a balmy summer evening when A Midsummer Night's Dream is performed in pure moonlight. I recall a Lear performance when we had the worst electrical storm the area had seen in years. Dorian suddenly came charging into the control room in a state of fevered excitement, tripping over the dog that had been brought in because of the storm and scattering wildly various bits and pieces. “Cut everything!” Came the firm, authoritarian command.
Sound continued playing through his headphones to keep up with the dialogue; lights did a fast fade. The stage was pitch black. Lear’s voice (Stuart Ready) was thrown down the glade against the overhead waving branches and loud thunderclaps, lit only occasionally by flashes of lightning.
“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!"
That is the special theatre magic of Pendley. I know only of one other, The Minack in Cornwall, where the audience look out over the stage to the Atlantic ocean but the audience are not under cover.
I was strolling down one of the drives with John Branston, father of the present Artistic Director, Sarah, whom I remember as a precocious child, fascinated they had Branston’s pickle on the supper table, when T S Eliot came to mind.
“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.”
It seemed as if the twenty years I had been here had rolled together and were part and parcel of today; that the subsequent twenty-five or so had disappeared; that four hundred years could be drawn in and Shakespeare himself could have lounged these lawns and been one of the “strolling players” in last night’s As You Like It. Such is the magic of Pendley.
Tonight is its last performance. Next week it is Love’s Labour’s [sic] Lost. Er, excuse me. As it is plural, should that not be ‘s’ apostrophe, Mr Dramaturg?
Dorian’s attitude to Shakespearian Dramaturgy was, “If I can get someone, put off Shakespeare by uninspired schooling, just once, I hope to convert him.” That remains Pendley’s approach, for even today few have the scintillating enthusiasm to teach as the late Lynne Wright, to whom there is an inspiring In Memoriam in the programme.
I never met her but her story is the essence of Pendley and the people who keep the plays being performed. To much extent, that applies to the schools here and in this area generally, where we are blessed with many inspiring teachers. Details: http://www.pendleyshakespearefestival.co.uk/. Great Berkhamsted, Northchurch, Aldbury, Tring: this is that kind of place.
WEDNESDAY 7th AUGUST 2013
Notes on 'This and That' Acquired During a Week's Holiday
GIRLS GETTING THEIR KNICKERS IN A TWIST
It is unfortunate that Christine Blower, general secretary of the Nation Union of Teachers, lambasts Lord Coe so wilfully irresponsibly, highlighting again the unlikely value of NUTs in any comments for advancing the quality of education [Mail on Sunday 20130728].
That she considers 8-10 hours, over two years, sufficient time to train a teacher to teach PE adequately in a primary school is obvious twaddle and as daft as those asinine teachers (probably fully supported by NUTs at the time) who thought sport should not be taught because it created competition and competition was unhealthy. Yet they never explained how such unhealthiness disadvantaged countries in trading and cultural competition with us.
GIRLS GETTING THEIR KNICKERS STRAIGHT
Camilla Cavendish restores faith in women’s usual pragmatic common sense in her article for elementary, down to earth practicality and personal accountability in family courts. She reminds us of the proper accountability of a free press in The Sunday Times’ earlier campaign that prompted Jack Straw to get things moving [The Sunday Times 20130728]. She was praising lord Justice Munby’s initiative that judges must state why children and parents should be torn apart and has moved a step forward in requiring experts to be identified when pontificating about matters with which they have had little detailed contact.
On another tack, Eleanor Mills, in the same paper, points out the relevance of Cameron’s strategy for the internet world. If users will not apply the restriction freedom provides by its grant of responsibility, then someone else must and appropriately, that is government.
GIRLS STILL MAKING UP THEIR MINDS
India Knight spends three-quarters of her column telling us why she is writing it and then, in a few paragraphs, what I will write here in a sentence or two, the substance of her beef [The Sunday Times 20130728]. Essentially, she is complaining about the Border Agency’s inability to accurately assess the numbers of incoming migrants; their ability to speak English; their ability to provide sufficient resources to sustain themselves before acquiring a legitimate job; the fact that many of them are illegal; the inept way the Border Agency is endeavouring to locate those whom they have let in illegally and deport them.
Taking the last first, the Border Agency’s van advertising is naff by design, purpose and intent. Regarding the previous points, she just wishes they would do the job properly from now on and catch up with past mistakes as quickly as possible. In that, I fully support her. Let’s get on with it chaps.
COUNTERING THE FEMALE BIAS
In The Times  David Aaronovich highlights the incredible stupidity of the Iowa Supreme Court in (in effect) requiring all American women to wear the Islamic hijab, so they do not look like American women and likely to arouse the jealousy of dentists’ wives, who fear their husband’s dental assistant may fire his loins somewhat more than they do.
Seeing that many Americans had great difficulty in accepting gay rights it is extraordinary that an American court should discourage women from looking like women. Were the judges perhaps gay and seeking more employment of men?
Unfortunately, the Poet Laureate, one Carol Ann Duffy (completely unknown to me) has shown us that some women do fail, causing a cavalcade of appallingly bad verse to compensate for her inadequacy: but then an awfully large number of men consistently fail in the most elementary of requirements, such as acknowledging that women should be treated as being of equal status in all things.
CENSORSHIP AND NONCENSORSHIP
In The Times  Libby Purves writes an excellent article on freedom and censorship. Quite simply, all of life deserves, expects and requires basic decency and common courtesy: in all aspects of social mores. Where the participants are unable to act within these conventions, then government, representing the collective body of society has a duty to step in. Censorship does not inhibit freedom: it is freedom itself that inhibits the right to abuse it, for only with freedom comes the greatest of all responsibilities, the responsibility of self and to one's fellows within society.
IS THE GAY ISSUE A DELIBERATE DIVERSION?
The Times  has Hugo Rifkind writing on the world division on attitudes towards gayness and the pope showing a guarded tolerance towards the theoretical principle but not the reality of homosexuality.
Both articles, I believe, miss the point. In principle, the gay issue has won its fight. The arguments now are a deliberate intent to divert attention from the issue of the equality of women, especially in religion, where Islam and the Catholic church are determined to keep women subjugated to the utter inadequacy of male domination.
It is to these “august” bodies that I attribute the disgraceful trolling that appears too frequently on the internet. When such bodies deliberately fester presumptions upon people’s status within their organisations, they lay wide open the excuse in all other entities that these attitudes are acceptable. Male supremacy is not acceptable in any social context.
INTEGRITY IN ADVERSITY
In The Times  Rod Liddle extends the point I made in my Weekly Commentary awhile back (with which principles he seems to agree), to pornography, on which he has written a most amusing side paragraph.
What brought me into the debate on pornography was the anti-porn star Mary Whitehouse, determined to thrust her credentials for being a “literary” censor by declaring she thought George Eliot was a man.
Prompted by her outrages to investigate, I discovered a local church in Apsley was determined to close down a nearby sex shop, despite the fact it was one of eighteen nearby shops requiring a licence of one sort or another to sell their wares only to adults. What were they going to close down next, the betting shop, off-licence, pub, or launch an early crusade against tobacco smoking?
When I launched into the issue through letters to the local paper, it then turned out that congregation had been advised by their priest not to proceed on this tack. Incredible: there was a congregation with a priest who understood the reality of the world as it is, showing religion to be relevant and the congregation ignore him, determined to show religion’s utter irrelevance!
Although he does not say so as such, Liddle’s point is “What is pornography and who should define it?” The obvious answer (as nowadays we all seem to be intent on exhibiting our self-awareness), super-markets and general magazine sellers are placing “lads and girls” fantasy magazines discreetly, or assigning them to the sex shops. All perfectly simple, obvious and logical, just like Archbishop Wellby, understanding the CofE needs financial income before it can be munificent, or even survive!
BEING CHARITABLE IS NOT NECESSARILY A SENSIBLE THING
There are two reasons why I am reluctant to give: the failure of charities to display at the collection point the percentage of donations actually going to the declared cause; and the fact they find it necessary to act like commercial entities. The latter case is even more a concern since there are now indications we may simply be contributing to their employees’ pension pots.
I recall some years back when we were awarded a pension holiday because pension funds seemed over-subscribed. Apparently, the policy, to which proposal those of us with sense expressed our concerns, was indeed as asinine as we had said, since many pension funds cannot now meet their obligations.
My charitable giving is based upon the moment of awareness, which does not necessarily require a full statistical accountability but I am most certainly not contributing to someone’s pension, when my own pension fund denuded itself of sufficient reserves, contrary to my advice.
SHEER WITLESSNESS OF THE TORIES
Covert or overt, the only realistic plan against UKIP the Tories blew nearly twenty years ago: they refused to heed The Referendum Party. That is all UKIP is, a resurrected Referendum Party lacking Goldsmith’s honesty. Farage is merely a self-centred egotist, no more.
The issue is simple and straightforward: do the British people wish to belong to a political Europe or merely have an economic relationship with it? There has never been a problem with the question: only the ulteriorly motivated individuals controlling all our political parties, who are determined that they should submerge us under a pile of completely irrelevant paperwork, solely to keep them feeling important and further hide the truth of our unemployment figures.
Some witless fool, whose name escaped me, claimed the anti-frackers have pursued every democratic option to stop it. Codswallop. The democratic option is that those elected to government have determined fracking is acceptable. What this spokesperson actually meant was, “We don’t give a damn for democratic issues, we are determined to thrust our views regardless." That is not democracy!
It is stated by Cuadrilla that once the facts are known people will not object. This too is codswallop. If the facts are not yet known then Cuadrilla and those acting in support of them are being completely irresponsible. If the facts are known there is no problem in publishing and therefore no cause for present kerfuffle. So, why aren’t we coolly and calmly presented with the facts by both contestants?
Irwin Stelzer [The Sunday Times 20130804] presents a seemingly balanced economic/political argument for fracking. http://dangersoffracking.com/ presents the environmental “no” argument. A competent government would take http://dangersoffracking.com/ at its word and line by line counter its arguments.
Why not? http://dangersoffracking.com/ is merely an out of scale child’s diagram of generalities, without hyperlinked references to specifics. If there are specifics, why are we not advised of them? If the argument is invalid, why dos the government not say so? It all seems very simple to me and in coolly and calmly not presenting facts and counter arguments, then Irwin Stelzer’s article seems an acceptable conclusion that I shall be following.
First, you behave as sociably on Twitter and Facebook as you would in the High street or pub. Why not? That many on both internet media might appear semi-literate and socially unacceptable to many people is merely a wider declaration of the ill state of our society than we normally encounter. Modern social media highlights, at an earlier and in a more obvious way, the descent of modern society into an abyss, whose floor we have not yet discerned.
SPANISH IN FINANCIAL PANIC
Because Spanish seamen cannot navigate competently, they apparently snag their nets on Gibraltarian territory. For this incompetence the Spanish determine people crossing between Spain and Gibraltar should pay a toll. Since the road is nowhere near the sea, it seems I am not the only one who is mystified but I offer an explanation.
While I have no love of the political aspects of the EU, it seems Spain does not understand the issues either, such is the complexity of the EU bureaucracy. On top of which Spain’s economy seems to be in a worse state than has so far been admitted, hence the panic for income and the raising of essential funds from road tolls. How does a country get its finances in such an awful state?
Clearly Spain envies little Gibraltar: it being so much more financially astute than vast Spain. Spain’s current actions are an appalling indictment of the average Spaniard’s competence and ability; Spain apparently accepts this and is honest enough to declare it!
THURSDAY 25th JULY 2013
A MAJOR MUSE ON THE RELEVANCE OF RELIGION AND THE RE-AWAKENING OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
WEDNESDAY 17th JULY 2013
AN "ORDINARY" DAY OF CONTRASTS AND CONTRADICTIONS
“In the midst of life we are in death.” During my childhood, I acquired awareness of hospital experiences, at the turn of the eighteenth century, such is the influence of grandparents and great grandparents. An incredible thought, for when we refer to “the last” century, my instinct is to think two centuries back, whereas most people would think of 1900s as “last” century!
Even within the experiences of my own life, I have been astounded at the way medicine has moved forward so remarkably. It is extraordinary the way society has progressed and yet not progressed. We have overcome our problems with talking openly about cancer but still have hang ups in handling death and more particularly euthanasia. We hear news of tragedies affecting others of some distance away but rarely closer, save for those occasional moments in a life-time, when one’s own family is shattered with the everyday tragedy of a death by accident or by prolonged terminal illness, especially if too soon in a life.
Today was such a day. Shattered by the heat, I observed on my health blog my irritation, knowing my background problem would have allowed me to exercise energy, had it not been for the heat. My downstairs neighbour was away and he had allowed his rubbish to make our shared refuse space barely useable for me. Somewhat grudgingly, thinking he was away on holiday, I cleared his refuse sacks and then attended to my own rubbish.
This was done in the cool of early morning. Last thing, I noticed I had a sack indoors needing disposal and in so doing discovered his windows open, indicating he was back. I had a parcel for him, which I had taken in a few days previously. The obvious pleasantries assumed he had been on holiday. In fact, he had been in hospital having been diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer.
Mine is slow-developing lung cancer and I have completed my three score years and ten. I suspect he is in his early thirties. His package was MacMillan cancer literature with which I was well familiar for my own needs. As a BBC journalist posted, when she was diagnosed with cancer (she now in remission), also in her thirties, “I saw the news as a new adventure to be followed up”.
I too had found myself fascinated with the complexities of the body’s biochemistry and immersed myself in the diversities of the situation. He is but thirty or so, making the news for him a completely different scenario to contemplate.
Suddenly, my own world crashed in on me. Whatever the trials and tribulations that may lie ahead for me I have run my life’s full gamut: a serious question mark now hangs over his. A completely different ball game to face up to and I could see the enormity of his situation was only beginning to weigh in on him.
In contrast, I watched a police documentary while I ate a salad supper. A foolish youth in his twenties, already a father of two was driving a car with windows so obviously unfit for driving he had been stopped. They let in 10% of light instead of the 70% the law requires. The police (two attractive young women not much older than he) then discovered he was a learner driver not displaying “L” plates; not having an experienced driver with him; who already had nine points on his licence!
He had the temerity to complain about more fines as these would cause him to starve his children because his income was restricted by the benefit system!
Next, other police were handling a major accident causing serious injury to a young twenty years old girl. She had been driven into by a mature woman too preoccupied with her telephone call to pay any attention what ever to the traffic around her!
The day started as a “run of the mill day”, frustrated by the burden of heat that was causing me to languish when I might have been doing something productive, yet a day of contrasts and contradictions.
MONDAY 8th JULY 2013
THE CLWYD MESS WITH JOHN JILLINGS REPORT ON CHILD ABUSE
Very simply, at any one time, half of all qualified practitioners of law are proven to be wrong: they are the ones who just lost their last case. It is therefore elementary common sense that when you don't get the answer you want you take a second opinion. To therefore shelve a report on one legal opinion of its liability libel action is foolish in the extreme, especially when it deals with wilful child abuse.
For any qualified person (legal in this case) to say people in the report might sue for libel, they are making a statement that they believe the report to be invalid. Where has such charge been made and on what grounds? If there is nothing wrong with the report in principle, then clearly there are no grounds for anyone to sue for libel: they are simply trying to hush up their own failings.
Regarding insurance companies claiming there is liability for children to claim compensation which they will not pay up, several matters can be implied. The council has failed in its duty of care: to the children and to its responsibilities to the insurers in the way they conduct their affairs under the insurance policies; failed the electorate. What the insurers are saying is: "We want a cover up." How do they rate this attitude with their legal attitudes against policy holders who try and fiddle their insurance claims? If they are taking them to court, as they usually do, then clearly the insurers must stand up and declare their liability? However, the get out clause for the insurers would seem to be that the council did not conduct its affairs properly, were therefore in breach of the terms of the insurance and is liable anyway? With so much time having passed presumably any compensation will now be highly inflated, if not by inflation alone. Funny way to run a council!
Now there is a police investigatiion into the matter, about twenty years too late, I hope the police will bear in mind the seemingly deliberate and wilful conspiracy to pervert the course of justice that the insurers' action appears to have implied.
EGYPT AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND SYNOD
There is a parallel between the CofE and the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood: they are both stuck in a time warp four centuries old. In England then, we had the bloodshed to a similar degree that Egypt is suffering now. It is the same bloodshed for the same reasons: the irrelevance of religion to the practicalities of everyday living; a failure to truly understand the nature of God's Creation of Life, that Life is a continual state of change, as Darwin brilliantly showed us. Four centuries apart, both religions still argue against the reality of the Creation they purportedly support yet refuse to travel with, along its path of growth: growth that entails the sociological development in relation to its time.
In four centuries England has developed, dragging a reluctant church with it, until finally the church's irrelevance became too great a burden. We expect Islam to cover four centuries in forty years. We must be patient. At the same time, we must make it abundantly clear that refusal to accept the absolute equality of women in all aspects of society is complete anathema to any acceptable way of living in the present world.
Egypt must sort out its own affairs in its own way. England threw off the yoke of Catholicism and moved on to lead the world with the biggest empire civilisation had then seen. Perhaps it is time for Egypt to throw off the Moslem Brotherhood and all associated divisions of increasingly irrelevant religion.
THE REASON THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY APPEARS TO BE GOING TO PIECES
Seeing Woollard, purportedly representing the views of Conservative Party Grass Roots, bumbling along on TV this morning, it is quite clear that Conservative Grass Roots are what is tangling Conservatives' feet from moving forward. No wonder Cameron is ignoring them. They have some (in my view) good points, where they might have exercised some influence, had those good points not been entrapped in a morass of irrelevance. It seems that Conservative Grass Roots are not relevant today. Cameron, generally is and they are fools not to follow the leader.
HEADLONG DASH TO EXTINCTION
An organisation within the Conservative Party, "Conservative Grassroots" describes itself 'as a new, informal network of local Conservatives from across the UK who are eager to see core Conservative values flourish in the Party and in the nation.
As long-standing members of the Party we have worked hard over many elections to see the Conservative Party win at the ballot box and we want to see the Party win again in the future. However, in recent months, along with many faithful, local Conservatives, we have become increasingly concerned at the policy direction of the Party and the apparent rejection of cherished Conservative principles.
We are particularly disappointed at the manner in which the leadership is seeking to push through the redefinition of marriage, squeezing out the debate, scrutiny and accountability that Conservatives so value. Yet we fear that this experience is symptomatic of a wider problem - of a leadership that is out of touch with its grassroots. Through this network, we hope to build relationships and to provide resources to encourage a return to the clear, confident Conservative principles that will build a better Britain.'
On the marriage debate they have a rationale but it is a rationale that is tied up with pedanticism of semantics and not relevant to mainstream politics. All else is, in effect a statement of dinosaurs pleading for extinction. The Referendum Party was created because the Conservatives failed to address the European question. UKIP exists as its successor. Purely because the Party will not address the fundamental issues that matter. For its present time and circumstance, Cameron is handling matters reasonably well. It would have been much better had the party addressed the issue twenty years ago, which would probably have ensured the matter was dead and buried by now.
EDUCATION: IN THE CLASSROOM AND ON THE SPORTS FIELD
While I take on trust government reform on education, as I do not have the time to investigate in sufficient detail as to make any valid comments, certain contradictions fly high on their respective flag poles.
There was a period when some teachers had perverse ideas that the competitive spirit was not to be encouraged. As a consequence it now appears that we have an insufficient number of young people growing up with an interest in sport. A classic example why teachers need to be managed. However, it is equally asinine that schools should be managed by organisations whose management structure is blatantly sexist, as is the case in too many schools managed by religious entities. The CofE is trying to wake up at its present Synod but still has a glass ceiling for women. The church of Rome simply isn't remotely with it and as for Islamic schools...! The Education department needs to investigate such managed schools, to ensure their blatant sexist management structure does not influence the schools they are managing.
SUNDAY 7th JULY 2013
THE QATADA FARCE
Delight/relief of Qatada's departure diverts attention from the fundamental problem: that some damned fool(s) let him in in the first place! What is appalling is the lack of Islamic objections to his continued stay. This is a man Islamists claim is an educated specialist in Islam, yet everything he has preached declares the reality that he is an ill-educated, abusive individual without any basic understanding of any faith that could lay claim to being a religion.
relief at his departure also diverts memories that it was Labour that created the situation by letting him in in the first place and then signing up to the European Court of Human Rights, instead of maintaining Britain's stance for total independence. Of course we cannot be totally authoritarian. We need the freely given trust of other nations, so subjectivity to an International court is fair comment but something involved solely with Europe is NOT international and totally unfit to presume to interfere in British matters, which it did by changing the goal posts during the process, such is European unfitness for purpose.
SATURDAY 6th JULY 2013
ON RELIGION GETTING IT WRONG AGAIN: ABORTION AND EGYPT
Every moral battle is a story of the continual war to bring sense and sensibility into reality. With possible medical exceptions, there is a responsibility on partners not to start life where it is not wanted. This responsible attitude is deliberately thwarted by such entities as the Catholic church, which specifically determines that it is their concept of God's will that people should behave irresponsibly.
An Irish court recently sanctioned the death of a mother of other children as "unfortunate", because doctors chose to save a baby that was going to die anyway (and did) rather than save the mother because they would not abort. The death was a deliberate act of incompetent and unfit doctors acting according to the Catholic church and not according to medical sense and responsibility. When religion and its believers presume to get in the way of saving life and determine it is proper family life that children should be without a mother, then religion is simply not fit for decent people. It is claimed many Catholic believers do act responsibly and defy their church. Good for them. Were they truly honest they would renounce their church and become Protestant.
Those in America, deliberately thwarting senator Wendy Davis, are trying to maintain the irresponsibility of religion (for that is in effect what they are doing) have forgotten that concepts of religious freedom are personal and individual, not part of the State, other than a general belief that there is a God.
Religion is supposed to be kept out of American politics, as I understood things. What is being stated here is that America and the Republican party in particular, have defamed the concept of manhood and placed all men in the cattle truck of shame. Anti-abortionists are simply an embarrassment to decent men. It was, after all men (although perhaps less decent men) who created the situation in the first place!
What would be more productive would be if the anti-abortionists railed against the men whose behaviour towards women is totally and wholly unacceptable. Then we might get somewhere. That means, it would seem, railroading the Republican Party!
Religion again has interfered in Egypt. It is gradually emerging that there has been a more than "under the counter" relationship between Morsi and theMoslem Brotherhood. Clearly, that is why there is disaster. Religion is simply not capable of dealing with the practical realities of living. It has had centuries to prove this to us.
It would appear that perhaps the army has moved in too soon. That it would have been better had they allowed Morsi to prove his complete unfitness for the job and show more obvious signs of the influence of the Moslem Brotherhood. On the other hand, was the army conniving at such relationships, so that it could act as it just has in order, in the long term, to retain control?
For all those abroad, this is one of those classic English summer after-noons. Superb sunshine, superb green grass and two young women playing tennis on the greatest tennis court in the world at the greatest tennis match in the world. What a day!
It wasn't my preferred winner but two brave emotional and wonderful girls delivered a magnificent performance in play and wonderful conduct afterwards.
DOES PORN ENCOURAGE OR DIVERT PERPETRATORS FROM COMMITTING WORSE CRIMES
Altough retired, so she is not making a great challenge to her career, I believe Butler-Sloss is correct with her views, especially since Venables murdered first and was a child at the time. His latest imprisonment was not to do with what he had done (accessing child porn) but with the "simple fact" that he had committed a crime while on parole, sohe was automatically recalled. Butler-Sloss is not out of line with a wide academic view on cause and effect.
FRIDAY 5th JULY 2013
ON THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND EXTENDING ITS INFLUENCE IN SCHOOLS
This arises from a recent suggestion that the CofE should extend its management of schools into a wider sector of the state system. No way, until it accepts women bishops. It would be totally improper for the government to inculcate into main education a management system that supports such sexist attitudes. Further, since the issue has been raised, the government should consider bringing CofE schools into the fuller state system, in order to prevent such miseducation. We cannot possible tolerate entities having responsibility for education that are blatantly sexist in their own management structure.
TUESDAY 2nd JULY 2013
It appears that Snowden was employed by a firm called Booz Allen Hamilton to whom work had been contracted by the US government. This does not excuse Snowden from being a traitor to his own people. The government remains the managers through BAH since the government is the ultimate manager.
Regardless of employee relations within BAH, which I understand are not highly reputed, the expectation of a citizen's loyalty to their country remains and Snowden was still effectively employed by the US government, it was their work he was doing.
Without getting too detailed, what Snowden is raising are the issues Burgess and McClean raised when they passed over atomic secrets to Russia. Did they worsen the Cold War as a result and would relationships have been better sooner had they not betrayed us, or did they stop the US getting even more out of hand and bullying the rest of the world?
If it is the case Snowden believes he needs to fulfil a personal mission to express his moral integrity, in opposition to the representatives of the rest of the country, then why is he fleeing and not standing forth as the martyr he tries to make himself out to be. What he is actually saying is, "I believe I need to step out of line, my arrogance will over-ride the majority conventions and I will ensure I do not pay the price".
Many people pay the price with their lives through tsunamis, which destruction they did not seek. Snowden has chosen deliberately to encounter his challenges but wants to do so without paying the resultant price. This is not morality. Look to the Christian martyrs and the Protestant conflict with Rome for morality, in the conduct of Sir Thomas More. That is how to take a moral stance. For modern times, look to Mandela! He did not run away, he stood to be counted.
ON ORGAN DONATION
The Welsh government is considering making organ donation an assumption by default of people not making a clear declaration NOT to donate.
As usual, the key point of the argument is being missed. Wales wants organ donation to be by default, rather than relying on people who have positively stated their wish to donate their organs.
There are two arguments. One is simple statistics. It is claimed organ donation will go down, as has happened elsewhere, not be increased as a result of compulsion by default. That is a practical problem to be discussed upon the balance of the evidence.
The second argument is, "who owns the body?" It is customary to enact the last wishes of the deceased but where, when, how, do the bereaved exercise any rights, since they are the ones having to deal with the reality?
To what extent should we collectively deal objectively with death, rather than indulge ourselves in emotion? Officially, the NHS does not support euthanasia, yet does support it by default, as in the Staffordshire Hospital where people were allowed to die, through positive disgraceful lack of care.
How can the NHS say it is short of money and so tell a middle-aged patient his/her hip replacement will have to wait three years, while spending money on expensive drugs to keep someone gasping longer than they want, on an issue of principle? It is not rational.
There are claimed religious scruples but Christ’s manifestation as Man, according to God's Creation, does not make him less an encapsulation of biochemistry than are the rest of us.
I am comfortable with the perception that I was before I decided to be born and I am confident I shall continue to exist after my biochemical presentation has disintegrated. Not being a gifted psychic myself, I have mixed with a sufficient diversity of psychics and engaged in direct experience as to be comfortable with that scenario.
Those with no acceptance of spiritual values, regarding them as superstitions are luckier still. To them there is simple acceptance of bio-chemical reality, no sense of excitement that death is the last great adventure of life, just a shrug of the shoulders, “Oh, was that it?”
I feel sad for them, save for a mischievous twinkle in my eye that says, “I’d love to see their expressions when they realise there is no death!” I am hopeful Oxford University will take me for teaching purposes but as I have cancer I have to prepare a funeral service just in case, which I regard as a damned nuisance. I‘m rather inclined to have a jazz band turn out, rather like the one in one of the Bond movies but then one has to think on the sensitivities of those likely to participate, which brings me back to my question, “Whose funeral actually is it?”
ON MANAGING TECHNOLOGY
Starting on 19th June and mentioning again on 24th June, I was happy with BT yesterday. They make extraordinary fanfares through email and snail mail about what they are doing, going to do and how marvellous things are and will be when you actually get into direct touch with employees (based on the three or four by telephone and physical arrival with whom I have recently interacted) BT sounds and feels great.
Supposedly upgrading my line from 10M mbs to 70mbs I find the system is slower than it was and the telephone does not work! One can find out through the internet that they are aware and they are looking at it. Surprisingly, they record the fault at 27th June when I did not know I had a fault. Clearly they did so why did the engineer not tell me and reassure me? In fact the only intimation I have of a fault is this morning, twelve hours after the engineer had left me. They do say the new system can take three or four days to settle down but made no mention that it might not actually work!
MONDAY 1st JULY 2013
Having put the matter into the hands of an independent committee, that committee then hands back the recommendation to MPs to make the decision! Ridiculous. Keith Vaz highlights the point precisely when he says MPs should not talk about their remuneration. They should not vote on it either. Either the independent committee should stand up and be accountable by making the decision (in which case I suspect they would state it should not now be implemented because they daren't face public opinion), or the matter should be a question on the ballot paper at the next election, applicable for that parliament.
Are MPs worth that salary? Yes, I believe they are if they are doing their job properly and that is based on some personal interactive experience. Should it be implemented now? No but phasing in half might be acceptable. We must remember that many MPs are always uncertain of their jobs. Only now is it a guaranteed period of time and that only for five years. MPs in a borderline constituency may never be employed again. I know that is the experience of at least one MP. That is what must be remembered.
SUNDAY 30th JUNE 2013
COMPARISON OF DEMOCRACIES
A passing thought. The situation in Egypt is parallel to the UK's positon in Europe. Both are elected governments. The British governmentS (both parties) have deliberately refused to give us a vote on whether or not we want political Europe because the politicians, who determine they know better than the mass of people, have decided we should be there.
In Egypt, the mob is trying to change the government but the government (in Egypt's case) is legitimately there and without just cause to be criticised. In the UK, the government is arguably not in the right, by being party to an arrangement with Europe on which our position has not been asked. The present situation has been deliberately manipulated over years by our politicianse to a position where we will be bored stiff with the argument and no longer bother.
For the moment, Cameron is right, in that this is not the time to do anything but the mess is almost a direct parallel. Egypt needs to become accustomed to the change implemented and needs to give more time to the further changes intended but not implemented.
Morsi is right to stay firm, Cameron is both wrong and right: right that now is not the time to do but wrong in that it is his party that failed to bring the question. Hence the Referendum Party and now UKIP, all created by Labour and Conservative determination not to ask us. Centuries of experience allow us the peace and patience in which we fume: Egypt has yet to acquire that confidence and peace of mind.
FRIDAY 28th JUNE 2013
MP Nadhim Zahawi has called for a one-off amnesty for illegal immigrants in the UK to improve relations between the Conservatives and ethnic minorities. Codswallop, condoning individual illegality, committed solely for personal self-interest is never the correct way to proceed unless, possibly, one addresses the wider issue as to why they are entering illegally and insist that qualification requires a competent mastery of English.
The wider issue is that illegal immigrants are here because their natural country has failed to provide the living conditions they consider acceptable. They are also stating they are not adequate persons to put right their own country's ills. If they are not able, or prepared, to put their own country right, of what advantage to us is their presence here, at our cost, by default of any financial inadequacy on their part?
This brings us immediately to Iraq, Syria and Iran, to mention just some countries. While access to oil has to be seriously considered and in that consideration it is not unreasonable to say that the world need over-rides the right to territorial unilateralism, then the question arises as to the nature of world government.
The nearest thing we had to that was the British Empire. Not perfect but it was at least co-ordinated. The Hague failed to prevent the Second World War and the United Nations has done nothing but co-ordinate clouds of hot air around present problems. The US tries to behave like the British Empire but lacks the stability of that history and authority (British authority being in relation to the conventions at the time of acquisition).
Nonetheless, the argument remains that those citizens leaving their natural homes in an illegal manner is a statement their countries have failed in good governance and it is those governments that should either foot the bills, or move aside for more mature countries to run their affairs for them. Sort that issue out first Mr Zahawi, do not burble for the sake of a cheap political thrill.
ADVERTISING AND PORTRAYING PROPER RELATIONSHIPS
Unlike Mr Zahawi, Ed Miliband bursts forth with a flurry of down-right common sense about the sheer incompetence of some advertising firms. He praised Sainsbury's ads for portraying men doing the shopping. Even some of the great internationally known advertising companies can employ complete idiots, as I have myself experienced in the past.
Mr Miliband is quite right to criticise adverts portraying girls playing with dolls and boys wishing to ape super-heroes. In my day, girls didn't wear jeans so being the polite little boy I was, I always let the girl go up a tree first. One never forgets one's first flash of the seat of navy blue knickers climbing high above one. Perversely I found convent grey most attractive, probably because she was a convent girl and there seemed to be that excitement of extra wickedness in watching.
Surprisingly, seeing my father was a military man, he did not approve of girls in uniform, not appreciating that his wife's younger sister was a Wren. I recall having my sister being dumped on me and then being told "You can't do that as your sister's with you." "Why not?" "Because she's a girl?" "What's that got to do with it?" "Oh don't be so damned stupid my boy!"
Miliband is quite right. We must stop inculcating this perception that there are certain things each sex does which the other doesn't. It wasn't my intention but thinking on the hoof, one should also consider those who choose to decide their "sex" role, rather than simply have it thrust upon them. For now, the flamboyant display of some tennis players' knickers at Wimbledon puts my schoolboy excitement into the vestibule of historical irrelevance and one concentrates on the dexterity of attractive and very able women, for whose company I am totally unfit. Bully for them.
IS ETHICS A MATTER OF CONSIDERING GOD'S VIEW?
Fears that interfering with the mitochondria will lead to later and more drastic interference with wider aspects of human DNA, affecting the character and nature of the resultant baby, is not greatly different in principle to the argument over GM crops. In principle both intentions are good but we are playing with the natural order.
Whether or not one accepts there is a God concept behind the creation of life, the nature of that creation is factual: the body is nothing more than an encapsulation of biochemistry and has its own way of going haywire, without cause or reason, save its own nature. Part of that nature is the creation of a brain which raises the concept of a mind (soul) separate from the organic substance.
recall being in hospital at 13 with a potential need for an appendectomy and saying to one of the patients (they found I was too long for the beds in the children's ward, so I was moved to the men's ward) that I had deliberately done what I had been told not to do, in order to get the operation over and done with, so it did not affect my playing in my first serious (but amateur) public play. "My mind is the interpreter of my soul, my body the servant of my will. It's duty is to do what I require of it. It is my mind that will determine the timing of my appendectomy, not my body."
This story was obviously recounted to Matron and shortly afterwards the surgeon came down to do a detailed all over examination, finally concluding an operation wasn't necessary. Fifty plus years on I still have my appendix!
The point is that we have always interfered with the "natural" order. Even religious entities, both historically and still today in many aspects, refuse to acknowledge the reality of their believed Creator's creation: that it is in a continual state of change; as are its social mores, as knowledge broadens the mind and intellectual awareness opens up the previously hidden aspects of the mind provided by the organic substance of brain.
In their refusal to properly acknowledge the reality of their concept of their God's Creation, they have betrayed themselves, their disciples and their own concept of God. The "ethics" of the argument in both cases therefore, is purely the ethics of who is scientifically correct, according to orthodox and ethical procedures by which thay have arrived at their conclusions and recommendations.
In this, mitochondria interference would appear to be proper. On GM, for the moment, I sit on the fence as I have studied the subject insufficiently. As is the case on fracking, save to observe that the "balance of needs" is within the authority the Christian interpretation of God gave man at the beginning.
OTHER MORAL ASPECTS
Purportedly the CofE, which declared its determination to be extraordinarily irrelevant in its refusal to accept women bishops, may invest in its second bank. Good for it. It is good to see it understands what Christ said: "Render under Caesar that which is Caesar's; render under God that which is God's. Coin of the Realm is material matter essential to the sound management of (on behalf of) God's bounty on earth. The CofE has a duty of care to makethe most of its resources and unlike the Catholic church's bank, I am wholly confident in the CofE's ethics and managerial competence.
That the Islamic community has decided to declare its abhorrence of paedophilia is a very positive message and congratulations for at last giving the indication they understand basic moral values. The problem arising is the message's limitation. What would have been more meaningful would have been a clear declaration that not only do children have rights but so too do women: equal rights with all Islamic men. Were that to have been included we might start getting somewhere towards a reasonable state of society.
MONDAY 24th JUNE 2013
Now the truth is out: socialism is geared to reducing all to the level of the most inept and unfit. The NUTs are marching against the idea that head teachers could reward more competent teacherrs for their ability. That is publicity parlance. What it actually means is that teachers of competence should be rewarded and the NUTs are insisting that the ineptitude and unfitness of the rest should not be noticed. Competent management would remove them entirely.
MONDAY 24th JUNE 2013
Full marks to BT for consistency—it continues to be completely and utterly incompetent. EXCEPT when you finally get through to an actual person, in my case Bernadette, who mollified me completely and managed to knock my bill down slightly for an increased performance, although it entails receiving one of their engineers! Oh God!
To get to her however entailed another ramble on the web site going round in circles. Then a cessation of service completely, this time of both telephone and broadband. It made me think they had again failed to use the new card and had not taken their payment. I tried the mobile telephone electronically, then three-quarters of an hour wait but they had a recall system, supposedly workable on mobile but didn't, although that could be my unfamiliarity with the mobile, it's only used for emergencies out (should I break a leg walking over Ashridge or have the car break down).
Suddenly a telephone call comes through, perhaps it was a technical breakdown not due to failing to manage my account properly. Nonetheless I decided to do a one-off transfer on my card as an assurance and still going round in circles on their web site rang another number. Again automated but in fact the automation directed me elsewhere which allowed me to handle my account relationship change completely... until the end when it said there was a technical difficulty. I rang again and again three-quarters of an hour wait but this time the remote call back worked and about ten minutes later I was in contact with Bernadette, who patiently heard out my historical rant and managed to talk me into allowing an upgrade from 14Mbpersec to 60-80 odd and since I am only a mile form the source, it seemed silly not to. It was the default option, I simply could not cope with the fuss and palaver of changing to an unknown quantity at the moment, so the devil you know, I guess, won the day, despite pinching several hours (including precursor history) out of my life, through pure administrative inefficiency.
Technology is fine, if used correctly. Too few people recognise technology as being no more than a servant and like all staff it requires competent and intelligent management. The problems caused by BT, started
by administrative failure of the person sending me the advice, that they had acknowledged I had changed my charge card and therefore AUTOMATICALLY checking, as was their obvious duty, that nothing in the pipeline needed redirection. Or, when the first charge bounced, checking back to see if any changes had been made during the process, before simply disconnecting my line. Sheer, downright rank incompetence. The people themselves aping technology and becoming mere automatons, forgetting automation is the purpose of technology NOT human beings and as human beings their duty was to oversee and manage the circumstances.
MORE ON SNOWDEN
Love it! Love it! Love it! A mess of journalists stuck on an Earoflot plane without liquor, to nowhere special, for no purpose whatever, because Edward Snowden wasn’t on it! The times the press has so wilfully messed up normal innocent (often but not always) people’s lives has at last been brought to book… unfortunately, for only a very short period of time!
SUNDAY 23rd JUNE 2013
ON BRADY: SUICIDE, EUTHANASIA, LIFE IMPRISONMENT OR DEATH SENTENCES
Suicide is a personal decision between the suicidee and their God. Knowing a person's intention to commit the act, it is the responsibility of all persons within reasonable chance of preventing the action to so do.
Regarding Brady, his intention is to avert his punishment (as in all prisoner cases). He is making a clear statement that life in prison is intolerable and he can't take his punishment. It is a clear statement that the death penalty is inappropriate, it should be life imprisonment because Brady is clearly stating it is an effective punishment.
No prisoner should be allowed to starve themselves to death. Suicide is the voluntary choice of free people, not people suffering punishment, the purpose of which is to deprive them of their freedom and free choice. It is ridiculous for the state to allow prisoners to starve to death. It is precisely the same as if they left the cell door unlocked and let the prisoner go, that is what starving to death achieves.
As regards the induced starving of cancer patients through the NHS this is the NHS’ double standards: they are actually operating euthanasia without the honesty of asking the patient’s permission and without doing so in a humane way. Deal with the issue of euthanasia openly and up front.
All gambling opportunities should clearly display the sign, Gambling can seriously damage the value of your wealth.
Religion is merely a specific area of philosophy and all religions are divided within themselves. Since God created Life and since Darwin clearly illustrated that Life is in a continual state of change it is illogical for religion not to be likewise developing and changing in its interpretations and understanding.
There are as many paths to God as there are people to tread them!
SATURDAY 21st JUNE 2013
ON GAY TIMES!
Wakey wakey!! Calls to mind... for those of UK origin and of years as to know where that comes from! It applies today to the homophobic community. Their key lynchpin "Exodus International" has suddenly decided it was indeed talking an arrant load of utter cobblers, that gay people could be persuaded, through prayer and psychotherapy, to be straight!
Exodus International is a collection of odd knobs meeting in California, where I always thought everything simply "hung out". Perhaps being anti is as much hanging out as those promoting something on the fringes. Its president and key motivator even went so far as to apologise for the arrogance with which he has promoted his ridiculous idea, that homosexuality is not a normal mode of being for a large number of people. He formally recognised the appalling misery he has heaped upon so many. That I suppose is an achievement of the prayers of the gay community! So his thoughts that prayer would be helpful was right after all! Welcome to the real world Mr Alan Chambers and the rest of the homophobic community.
WEDNESDAY 19th JUNE 2013
THE SHEER INCOMPETENCE OF OUR MODERN WORLD AND ITS IMMORALITY
We are in the crisis of a depression. The fact that word is specifically not used is yet another example of our inability to face reality. Moral turpitude is unquestionably the state of our nation, despite the magnificent example of correctness set by our Queen.
The NHS is a vast edifice and cannot be expected, on grounds of pure statistics, to be always perfect, or even right, everywhere. It is now reported that not only was there incompetence in one hospital but that incompetence was deliberately hushed up, in order to present an entirely false state of affairs and to ensure those responsible for the first failing got a way with it. We all make mistakes. What is unforgiveable is failing to own up to them and put matters right.
We now have a report out that says that on the basis of history, certain executive conduct should be liable for prison sentences. Nothing new. At the time of the banking crisis we all know it was entirely due to criminal incompetence. Yet no one brought charges at the time. Iinstead, they ensured the defaulters were paid excessive sums, for failing in the required and expected competence of carrying out their highly paid duties, to appropriate levels of care.
It is not just at the most senior levels of management that incompetence runs riot but throughout the structure. Due entirely to the inability of Amazon to run a competent accounting administration, its handling of my account caused Mastercard to perceive someone was misusing my card and advised it be cancelled. This affected my account with BT. They went to the trouble of advising me they had noted my change of card; then they refused to use it; then they claimed I had not paid and without any forewarning cut off my internet when I was due to order some more medication. Apparently BT does not understand that modern society runs on the internet with the active participation of Her Majesty's Government. The internet therefore becomes an invaluable life-line on medical matters, not to say anything else. BT then had the temerity to charge me £12 to reconnect me, a charge which they have now agreed to reimburse.
This hiatus caused me to review my charge card use and to take up BT's offer of paying monthly by direct debit as a further easing of my finances. In following the links on their web site all I do is go round in circles! They can't even get that right!
One of the programs I am using is Quark Express. I am thinking of updating it. For various reasons I have not had to communicate with Quark since my last update. They refuse to acknowledge that I exist, despite using the information they gave me to maintain contact with them!
Let's take the opportunity to be positive. I have just ordered a walking stick seat. The carrier used emailed me the day before intended delivery to advise anticipated delivery times. This was exceedingly useful, since I had planned to be out that day. All worked superbly well. So some people can get it right. Why can't everyone else?
As for the moral aspects of all this, it comes down to personal accountability and the Queen's example: "Duty first, then self." Our accountability to God was religion's hold on a moral compass. Unfortunately, many of its priests abused their position (as many Islamists are doing today) and rendered religion not fit for the modern age.
As Darwin clearly illustrated, God's Creation of Life is in a continual state of change. This means the social mechanism that makes the collective whole work is also in a continual state of change. In that failure to adequately change, religion failed us but secularism has failed to provide the moral compass religion lost for us. That is where the faults lie.
MONDAY 17th JUNE 2013
We really must clarify the moral indignation over tax avoidance, which is perfectly legal and tax evasion, which is wilful falsification of the accounting procedures. We must also stop getting excited over moral obligations to pay more tax than is required. The duty of business managers is to protect the interests of those who have invested in the business and own its capital, which includes people who trade with it and to whom the business owe money, as well as those people to whom they have sold goods, especially vouchers, to ensure they are to standard and can be honoured. Such people are liable to criminal charges of irresponsibility or failing in their duty of care and competence if they do not conduct themselves according to procedures and pay only that amount of tax that is due under the law.
The supposed problem of international switching of tax liabilities is surely a question of defining the law within each country? As regards the international tax market, it is just that, a market, so market rules apply. The UK recently re-implemented a previous decision to allow reduced tax liability to attract the film industry. The same principle applies to all trade, you use the tax levels as a means of encouraging further investment and trade. The level at which this is manipulated is all to do with the competition of the market between countries and setting out one's stall.
Unfortunately, we are not operating in a free market. Europe doesn't like free markets, which is why we should not be part of its political entanglement. We only went in, as a people, agreeing to the trade relations. Now, the same politicians who forced on us a political entanglement, on which they deliberately denied us the chance to express our opinions, have entangled us with a whole lot of irrelevant bureaucratic twaddle, the sole purpose of which is to minimise market opportunities and to encourage the very tax manipulation about which they are making such a song and dance. Clear out the bureaucrats, make free markets free and therefore simple and straight forward and we will go a long way to making the tax system simple and straight forward. We will all have to pay less tax, since the cost of avoiding it will be reduced or eliminated, more revenue will come from tax—provided they more rationally look at the tax system overall. It is the Exchequer's problem, not the problem of international businesses.
ON RELIGION AND "GAY MARRIAGE"
Marriage is for heterosexuals in a religious context. What should have happened is that heterosexual couples should have been given the choice of civil partnerships in a secular context.
However, if religions want to preserve the semantics of "marriage" they must also accept the equality of women within their churches, which many do not and in that they have invalidated their arguments.
For once, progress has swamped religion when religion for far too long has held back progress. Yet most religions promote God's Creation and His Creation, being life and life, as Darwin clearly illustrated, is in a continual state of change. Therefore, for religion to claim its relevance it too must change in parallel with life's changes.
FRIDAY 14th JUNE 2013
Usual US cock-up. The Iraq war is the war we should not have had. The Syrian war we should be involved in—two years ago. Going in now is too late and we've already lost. Russia, moving earlier behind the scenes when we should have been involved up front and openly means Russian interests have already won. Islam is paralleling the Protestant revolution of Christianity but unlike the Protestants leading the way, both sides of Islam still haven't got the hang of the argument—both sides denying women their absolute rights of equality with men. Without that recognition, no religion has any value or authority what so ever. Few religions have grasped that God's Creation of life is that life is in a continual state of change and development. Without recognising that reality of God's Creation in the reality of life as it is today no religion is remotely relevant.
THURSDAY 13th JUNE 2013
I was surprised to learn there is an increase in the number of children requiring medical attention for obesity. I'm horrified to find that my own BMI tips me into the lower quartile of overweight. Eating with regard to weight and waistline has never been a concern until now, when various aspects of my health require me to take note of what previously took place automatically without thought.
I pity teachers, the way they seem to have been continually messed about by politicians for the last ten years but I blame the trades unions for their utter irresponsibility in seeming to support people who give the impression of being unfit to teach. Encouraging disruption to pupils' learning and organising cavalcades through the streets is not the way to uphold the dignity that should be an inherent attribute of educationalists.
This morning's news tells us the education system is failing brighter pupils in nonstreamed schools. This is not new. When the comprehensives came into being this was the very charge that was made against the concept. Competent schools streamed but this was discouraged and grammar schools were phased out, utterly ludicrous. It was socialist claptrap about equality that loaded the bias towards private education, further amplifying the divisions. There is only one way to lose private education and that is to ensure all state education runs on the principles of public schools and at their standards. It is not rich parents who want their children in private education, it is parents who are involved in reality and scrimp and scrape to afford the fees because socialism, in its effect on state education has so devalued it.
With the arguments on the GCSE
standards, I think a mix of course work and exam is the better option but the bias against final exam conditions is irrational. The reality of the work place is that you have to think on your feet and make decisions of the moment. That is best experienced by the "end of year exam" for real life requires that all awareness upon the instant. There is not time to look back to one's course
work to know the instantaneous answer.
WILFUL SQUANDERING OF RESOURCE—A "DESPERATE" FATHER DECLARES HIS UNFITNESS TO BE IN DECENT SOCIETY
Let us be quite clear, the wilful destruction of any property of value is a declaration of the perpetrator's unfitness to be in decent society. No other interpretation is remotely rational. For every father who claims he has been wrongly declared by a court to be unfit to be near his children, there are many more mothers terrified, bullied, or for whom a man has made her life a misery, desperate to bring basic common decency of life to herself and her children. Hence the court proceedings.
Religion has a lot for which to answer. Too many religions perpetrate the ludicrous concept that men are all powerful and should run things. Throughout the ages men have been over zealous in demonstrating their complete unfitness for rational thought and competent management. Even the CofE cannot stomach women bishops, despite having been created by, and is currently being run by, a woman! The CofE is the religion that has shaped Great Britain and made a major contribution to the greatness of this country. It is disappointing that at a time when the moral values of properly presented religion is most needed, religion continues to fail.
On this particular occasion a superb item of art, depicting a woman, representing all the best of society, in her rendering of service to her people and the unfettered execution of the true meaning of duty has been wilfully desecrated, by one inadequate man's spite, because he cannot have his own way. People have described the incident as the act of a "desperate" man. Codswallop. It is the worst demonstration of one man's ego in direct defiance of everyone else.
While there are some women who make a man's life hell, through no failing of the man, the truth is there is a far greater number of men, who not only wilfully fail to meet their duties as a husband and father but deliberately harass the woman, in her endeavours to hold the family together and bring the children up in an atmosphere best geared to their learning their proper responsibilities in society. Let us make it quite clear, that if the claimed "Fathers4Justice" wish to associate themselves with this outrage, then they declare themselves unfit persons and confirm the correctness of the court judgements made against them.
WEDNESDAY 12th JUNE 2013
THE CHAOS OF SIMPLE INCOMPETENCE
I was telephoned, completely out of the blue, by Mastercard who were concerned that my card might have been compromised. They quoted a firm "UK Prime" which meant nothing to me and which had rejected my card, yet they saw no reason why it should have been rejected and wondered if someone else was using my details. They then elicited that it was "Prime.Amazon", which likewise meant nothing to me. Amazon do act as agent for other suppliers but I could not think of a recent Amazon purchase and certainly not one that would have gone through another supplier. It was decided they should replace my card. They also picked up that this would affect an imminent automatic request from BT. They agreed they would ensure it went through on the old card or would be re-directed to the new one.
Twenty-four hours after this conversation I received an email from Amazon telling me it had declined my card quoting: "A charge can be declined for a variety of reasons, some of which may not be related to the validity of the credit card. In many cases you simply need to update the expiration date. For more information on why the charge may have been declined, please contact the bank that issued your card."
Why was Mastercard not advised of this? Why was I not advised within 24hrs of the purchase ordered, which was three weeks previously and had been delivered within 24hrs without problem? How is it that Amazon's internal accounting can throw up a wobbly to Mastercard? How come, they advise me not to be alarmed twenty-four hours after Mastercard had sufficient information as to be concerned and then ring me out of the blue, when I hadn't a clue as to what they might be talking about?
The saga does not stop there. On receipt of my new card I went through the rigmarole of updating related accounts. On 1st June BT emailed an acknowledgement of my account change. This morning BT decide to disconnect my broadband and after an extended rigmarole I am told the account has not been settled. There can only be two possibilities, that I misentered my new card number, or that Mastercard did not make the appropriate cover for the payment . Either way, one would have expected an email advising me of the problem, not a sudden service switch out without prior warning, on the very morning I needed to order some medication on the NHS national system. No thought what ever has been given to the fact that through government encouragement everything has moved or is moving electronically, so medical matters are handled routinely on line. This is an act of wilful irresponsibility.
So utterly unfit for purpose is BT's administration that not only can I not access my own account, the BT employee with whom I am dealing is unable to access it too. So no one knows what went wrong or why someone chose to pull the plug!
Too many people are employed in over-paid jobs who are not fit for purpose and this is morally wrong when we have so many unemployed desperate to work. We must demand and expect to get better performance from those privileged to have a job. Now, four hours later, I still do not have an internet connection. They can switch it out quickly enough but in providing a service and getting it back on again BT just haven't got it.
About a week ago my brother-in-law was taking me over to one of my hospital visits as my health at that time made me unsafe to drive myself. The BT engineer was supposed to turn up between 8:00 and 13:00. He turned up at 14:00 when my brother-in-law was setting out to pick me up. I had to ring the hospital to warn them and fortunately they were able to accommodate my lateness by nearly an hour. Such is the confusion caused by Amazon's internal accounting inadequacies!
TUESDAY 11th JUNE 2013
FURTHER ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF SNOWDEN/PRISM
Transferring my Facebook interactions. Delighted we are discussing the issues raised. Martin, since we are all creatures of God and through that Creation a part of one another, were before birth and will be following death, is it not advisable that we should inter-relate more openly during the current phase of our existence? Instead, our individual ego and over-anxiousness for privacy over-rides and counters our wider and longer term interests.
Julie. On matters of the 4th Amendment, it is not my place to comment but accept your American stance as stated. The failure of governments to hold the trust of their people's comes back to my point on the openness of interactive personal relations. Governments are no more than being some of us, the people, they are not an entity separate from us. They are us.
I'm glad you acknowledge the co-dependence of society, Eleanor but you are deviating from the issue which relates to matters that effect all of us: your bank details bear no relevance to the security of the collective whole but the relevance of money laundering and manipulation of funds for criminal purposes does. In those activities particular individual egos have decided they will set themselves in deliberate opposition to the perceived interests of the majority of us, without asking us through the ballot box if we want their terrorism in our society.
I agree, Julie, that religion, as a general concept has failed society. Allowing for the excuse of the limited knowledge and understanding of the time of their conception, ignorance of that which the leaders claimed was their authority--the nature of life and living--damns their successors, as abusers of the resultant power and influence they amassed and their lack of humility. Here, I relate specifically to the Christian church's real desire to render service.
Christianity is somewhat different to other religions. There is a concept of religion through the structural edifice but the key is the specific message of Christ's life directly. Those who adhere closest to His message are the Protestant ones. It is they who counter the crazed egoism of power-hungry priests, eager to abuse their position for political self-importance.
It was expressing this political self-interest that inspired the crusades, the effects of which affect us today. The purely ludicrous position of the Vatican being acknowledged as a state is nothing more than extreme Fascism, set up by Mussolini and Hitler in connivance with the pope of the day (I think it was a Pius).
That is why the Catholic church has done absolutely nothing what ever about paedophilic priests. They are all part of a closed society for the perpetuation of their self-interests. Whether the present pope, purportedly a believer in the original Christian concepts of rendering service to God the Father's Creation will have any effect I doubt very much. The Roman Church is only a powerful cabal of vested self-interest,they are not servants of God.
Likewise with Islam, it's (who ever actually represents Muhammad) desire to bring religion into secular matters is one of its main failings to claim a relevance to modern western society and ultimately the east. It entrenches the concepts on which Christianity got hung up half a millennium years ago and on which the Church of England still has a hang up: its complete inability to understand that there is not and never has been a problem with women running the church, or any religion. Ellizabeth II is currently its supreme governor and has ruled in conjunction with modern society brilliantly. As did Elizabeth I in even more tricky times.
That, neatly, brings us back to my original starting point. Elizabeth I was superbly backed by Lord Walsingham, who created the British Secret Service of, ultimately, James Bond. In the historical facts of those times lies the current need of the state, ultimately representing all of us, to do what those in the know deem appropriate. The techniques used today are parallel with those used four hundred years ago. The only differences are those that are commensurate with their respective times.
MONDAY 10th JUNE 2013
I'm going to be really provocative. Why all this fuss and palaver over US's Prism software reading everyone's emails? God knows everything. Being created by Him we are all part of Him. So why should we not know too? What's the need for privacy? There is no privacy but total openness with God.
The above was issued on my personal Facebook page which so far has provoked two responses, the nature of which can be gleaned by my answers. I think watching in the bath, in this context, would be regarded as bordering upon pornography. After all, we all have our particular turn-ons and as long as both parties are adult and willing I can't see that is likely to be of any relevance to any but the puerile.
I think we can, someone else implies, disregard God in relation to the puerile and mundane. However, I don't see what selling products has to do with intelligence gathering and knowledge acquisition for the security of the main corpus of a free society which wishes to remain free and ensure that freedom from attack.
The other issue that Snowden raises is the balance of ego versus society and in this case, why should God promote your self interest as opposed to anyone else's? Surely His interest is everyone and the benefit of the collective whole of His Creation? In this, how does Snowden justify that his opinion over-rides those who society, directly or indirectly has determined should protect its interests?
We have yet to learn if Snowden went through any formal channels to raise his concerns to the authorities directly. He would appear simply to have made his own unilateral decisions for no other reason than the arrogance of his ego, in direct disregard of security contracts he willingly signed. Why should we therefore take seriously any pronouncements by a man who clearly has described himself through his own free actions as a liar and a cheat? It is not rational to treat him as speaking truth, is it?
MONDAY 3rd JUNE 2013
Ed Balls once more charging in to talk a lot of balls. I cannot recall which party introduced winter fuel payments but I think it was Labour, so Balls is actually saying Labour mishandled its implementation by making it available across the board in the first place. I thought it had reasonably been proved that to administer a system other than "across the board" was not worth the cost. So, what actually is Balls saying, that he wants to be even more uneconomical in any future administration? Labour seem to be as much at sixes and sevens and declaring their total failure to understand the enormous damage they last caused the economy, to have any convincing argument as to what they would do better next time. Mostly, it seems, they would do what the Tories are doing, while at the same time criticising them for doing just that!
On the Boston attack there seems some extraordinary goings on, begging the question who is motivating whom for what purpose? The family in Russia, broadcasting the defence of the accused without a shred of rationality. Who has put them up to it and of what relevance could their biased opinions be?
Meanwhile the USA seem to be in something of a quandary on several fronts. My present concern is Bradley Edward Manning, on 22 charges, including communicating national defence information to an unauthorised source and aiding the enemy. It raises issues of the individual conscience, inflamed with a most extraordinary arrogance that he considers himself above the public consensus, represented by the government of the day, that he should determine the standards of national security. It is the same argument that brought us the cold war, by individuals determining Russia should parallel the USA in terms of nuclear knowledge. On the other hand could we have trusted America with the status of being the sole nuclear power? All power corrupts... .
Then there is the ego with his concept of God. Modern society must regard all religions as having failed both society and all concepts of God. If God created Man and through Man society, then God has basically made one hell of a mess of getting His message across. The reality of society is that it is a mechanism that is in a continual state of growth and therefore of change. All concepts of God have woefully failed to understand the reality of His creation: that it is in a continual state of change and religion has completely failed in its interpretation of the nature of God, unless one looks to shared commonality of the underlying philosophies. That then raises the question of a common morality and with morality, loyalty: to what and to whom?
The only logical conclusion is that secular society must rule and bring all religions to heel.
FRIDAY 31st MAY 2013
The news on Bridger is fair and reasonable. In my opinion it is unlikely he will ever reveal what happened to April Jones as that remains his only way of fooling himself he is in control of the situation in which he finds himself. He will doubtless reason that fellow prisoners will not actually murder him, however much they will try to "bash him up", because that would absolutely lose all hope of ever learning what happened to the little girl. Such is the nature of power players.
Regarding discoveries of child pornography on Bridger's computer, it would appear that while he, to date, does not fit the "established" profile of paedophiles, it could simply be that he was caught at the first stage of entering that profile. May be other murders would have followed before he was caught, in which case, by then, he might well have fitted the "profile".
In the days of Mary Whitehouse I was very anti any form of censorship. To have someone as clearly confused as she was (she thought George Eliot was a man!) and insisting that sex and violence should be treated as the same subject was horrific. She also had a proclivity to announce things she did not like as "disgusting" and "filfth" but never defined what it was that disgusted her.
Doubtless inspired by Whitehouse, a local "Free" style church went for the sex shop across the road. This was a clear statement of an invigorated Puritanical campaign, as the sex shop was in the middle of a group of 17 establishments all catering for adult entertainment, within a quarter of a mile either side of the church, in that they could not sell some of their products to people below certain ages and were required to hold a licence to sell other products. Had the church succeeded with the sex shop, who else would they have gone for next? The pub; the betting shop; the off licence; or cigarettes? The internet however is a different matter. Children can access it freely and by default find what reasonably-minded (Man on Clapham omnibus) people would not want them to find.
we have problems. I am a bachelor and completely inexperienced in child matters but I have noticed news reports of late concentrating on young girls' legs and their skirt hems, rather than photographing the whole child in context. I suspect there has been some twaddle burbled about not showing children's faces without written parental consent of each child. Showing their legs, sock tops and skirt hems I would have thought even more provocative for those bordering upon the deranged.
Regarding the internet, I would have thought it was a simple matter that nothing indecent of children should be there in the first place, full stop. Nudity certainly not, unless it is within the private circle of family and friends within which there is clear restriction control. It is important we do not lose the ability to promote the delightful wonderment of innocent childhood fun where everything can safely "go hang".
That is another devastation Bridger has ravaged. In April's home area, the children are no longer allowed to play on the grass outside their own homes. I remember a time with kids of friends of mine with whom I used to stay and I was so enthralled with their frolicking fun and games I jotted down notes for an intended children's book. It became one of the half-dozen books I have started but never developed due to real work demands. Those two children are now mothers of two happy broods of kids. Seeing the family pictures of them at play reminds me of their childhood and perhaps I should endeavour to complete what I started thirty odd years ago.
On the subject of "suitability' we have two interesting developments. A recent photograph of Syria's Assad showed him supposedly being interviewed by a woman. She appeared as a nun while he was in a western suit. The spacing of everything, including the length of the table separating them indicated it was deliberately staged to make it appear Syria was "modern" in approach. This would have rung true if the woman had also been in western dress and if they had been as close to one another in the manner that western TV presents such interviews. The space between and mannerisms indicated the woman was very much in a subordinated position and nowhere near the tyrannical challenge most western interviewers adopt. Another statement of false presentation.
On another front we have a group of women in the UK beginning to take exception over top shelf magazines, called "lad's mags". They feel they should be able to enter a general shop without being confronted with such material. They have a point or two. One they do not intend, is that they emphasise the need for sex shops, to which top shelf magazines should be consigned. The danger is that they will then look at advertising, although I myself do wonder at some of the things advertisers thrust upon us etc. I think it would be more productive if these women spent their energies campaigning against the world's major religions, who blatantly advertise their determination to support male domination by their refusal to accept women priests. That remains the major affront to women, broadcasting the public acceptability of male domination on a daily public basis.
MONDAY 27th MAY 2013
Reconnecting with the world following a Sjörgren’s Syndrome fatigue state
Good day folks. I remain somewhat in a quandary as to how much to share with the wider world that might be of interest to those inclined to visit and how much might be interpreted as simply an ego boost and thus simply a waste of space. It is the same quandary I felt when invited to join a group of, at that time, largely similarly thinking but diverse people, enjoined to thrust their views on the local town as to how the world should wag in our community. The result is that we all ended up on the town council, save for two seats and I twice ended up as mayor.
Yet how can one complain about how the world is if one does not recognise that one's very existence is a statement that one is in and a part of the world. One has surely a duty to be involved and voice one's view, hopefully remembering one has twice as many ears as one's single mouth and between them resides a brain, supposedly co-ordinating the two with a capacity to reason, while not wishing to thrust a view beyond the wider merit of its argument, or its oneness amongst the many.
In answer, I quote "Ubuntu" from the Bantu languages of South Africa: "I am because we all are." For more background go to my home page.
I therefore persist in what has proven an erratic sequence of endeavour. I notice my last entry here was 30th March 2013, the date I noted in my medical history that I sensed I was slipping into a state of permanent fatigue. Only yesterday, while watching the French Open, I learned that Venus Williams was fighting Sjörgren’s Syndrome. My own researches have not picked up any sites encouraging me to interact with others of the same plight but that she has gone public on her problem and as I have had many interactions with the much criticised UK NHS, currently experiencing many changes, I have felt I should share my experiences.
So, hitting the nail on the head, I appear to be re-emerging from a period of such complete fatigue that I have spent days going back to bed after a morning bath due to complete exhaustion, getting up again for breakfast and going back to bed to rest etc, etc. Yes, I too have Sjörgren’s Syndrome so, I'm re-awaking and endeavouring to re-kindle what I started.
The fatigue appears to be leaving me—I am currently fluctuating through phases of fatigue, extreme tiredness, mild tiredness back to heavy tiredness to near fatigue again and I have no idea for how long I will be able to operate as if I were still alive on this planet (no, I don't mean I'm dying, simply being lost to the world in complete exhaustion). At the moment I'm disinclined to do housework (though that could have a psychological explanation rather than lack of physical energy!) and have decided to get re-involved here, hopefully for a good length of time. More, hopefully anon, as I will announce in my usual way, with flashes on Twitter and Facebook. Sorry Laura Robson lost out in the French Open but the sun is shining through my window and I wish you all a good day, after first referring you to my Sjögren's Syndrome Diary, My NHS experiences and my other new page on terrorism.
SATURDAY 30th MARCH 2013
Provoked by any excuse to be obviously bone-idle, trade unions still persist in raising their antediluvian heads to remind us their leaders still haven't been committed! The postal workers are striking, because their division is losing money; so, they wish to be paid higher wages to enable these centres to lose even more money. They are confident the general public want to incur these increased costs from their personal pockets, already diluted by the previous Labour government's inability to understand basic economics: that Labour government having been financed by many trade unions! Fascinating! I don't recall being asked if I wanted to pay higher charges to cover increased losses without economies having been implemented.
Church and State
Carey bouncing in with the enthusiasm which had he applied it when archbishop of Canterbury we would probably by now have women bishops. The term “marriage” is difficult and the use of it for same sex relationships is something with which I am unhappy and still debating with myself. However, Carey needs to be reminded that the present crisis in Christianity is due to the failure of the ‘qualified’ to lead.
Too many churches have some cack-handed idea that the concept that God does not change means the church does not change. The church is merely the representation of man’s understanding of God at any particular time. As man’s knowledge of himself and his surroundings develops, so does his understanding of the complexity that is the nature of God and therefore the way in which he regards God changes, which is the inevitable consequence of gaining knowledge. Knowledge that has been the church’s great fear since Adam ate the apple.
It is rational to perceive God having a Creation in which He is the sole fount of knowledge. It is equally rational to perceive God as being so complex, yet desiring His Creation should know Him, that a prolonged period of study and understanding is required over several generations.
What Carey would be better applying himself to are the longer-term questions: the quality and nature of spirituality; the role of Christian views in the wider philosophy of spiritual existence and to be more confident of the certainty of spirit before birth and after death, leaving the present incumbent to concentrate on immediate practical issues, such as appointing women bishops to kick some sense into the organisation.
WEDNESDAY 27th MARCH 2013
Twenty-six days since my last contribution. Such is the devastation of clinical fatigue, presumed to be due to my Sjörgren’s condition, although any one of, or a combination of any of the three cytotoxic drugs I'm taking could be contributing. My greatest fear was that they might combine and exponentiate my condition rather than simply summate it.
As usual, my thoughts sit on the field fence of: microcosm and macrocosm. In the microcosm, I tried a new bowl of soup, vegetable. I am not normally one for chunky soups but I am glad I tried it and may well have it again as a variant to my standard menu: mushroom, oxtail, tomato and chicken. Basic priced foods from Waitrose which are stacked for regular rotation. Lunch, unless I'm out and even then may be only a sandwich, is only ever a soup.
In the macrocosm, we have the latest legal pronouncement on the Abu Qatada case. The press, so far missing the several related points. Have we examined how the border agency let him in in the first place? Having let him in, have we properly examined on what terms he was let in? Let in to work is one normal criterion. Let in to escape persecution is another. Whether he or we would agree with the regime in the country from which he is escaping we should have ensured by contract that he does not proselytise his beliefs, if they are at any time deemed contrary to our interests. Further, any entitlement to state benefits should be in return for services rendered. This is not any infringement on human rights since they are the basic conditions of a particular mode of entry and other modes of entries already have their various restrictions and controls. Despite European twaddle this is not yet a free entry country for all comers at the sole cost of its citizens.
On a national issue the need for a Beeching was unquestionable. It is tragic that following governments failed to see the country as whole and make earlier provision for trams and electrification. The same mistake has been made of nuclear. That decision should have been made twenty years ago!
On a 'smaller' issue, Jade Anderson's family are facing a trauma beyond traumas. Any family death, even a prolonged ill-health death which can bring some sense of relief is a tragedy. When it is the death of a child: without warning; without 'just' cause; 'out of rational time'; a body mutilated, one cannot embrace the enormity of what her family are having to cope with, save to offer prayers and think healing wishes in their direction.
What seems incredible, at this early stage of investigation, is that it has never occurred to anyone that it is the people who own dogs who should be examined and perceived fit to be responsible for a particular type of dog(s) before they are allowed to acquire one! Then, the premises where they intend keeping it should be examined, as well as the family members with whom it will live.
'nough said for now. Exhaustion rules!
FRIDAY 1st MARCH 2013
Eastleigh heralds the first streak of the 2015 General Election’s dawning, cold light, on the real mess into which we have landed ourselves. That election must be argued, over what is best for the collective whole and personal egos boldly set aside. Will we have the guts and magnanimity to pass the test?
The key to our survival, in the traditions of leadership to which we are accustomed and the most qualified of nations to lead, is in the hands of the Conservatives: the party that failed to handle Europe properly at the beginning, causing The Referendum Party to emerge. That party, openly and honestly, was a one-party issue for the specific purpose of giving the people what the three main parties flatly refused to give them, the vote as to whether they wished to turn an economic agreement into a political association of ad hoc countries, forcing a universality upon a group entity, whose richness and value was its diversity. The whole concept in principle was clearly fundamentally flawed.
Why did de Gaulle vote us out initially? Because he feared we would end up running it. We are in, we are not running it and it is an appalling shambles. Clearly, we should be running it, as no one else seems to have a clue as to how things should be done. That has now become the issue. It is no longer the simple question of whether or not we wish to surrender our sovereignty over anything, let alone everything (for in principle that is the situation now or will become so). The question is, are we going to be allowed to bring some sense and sensibility into a structure of government whose very rules make it ungovernable in the real world in which it has to exist for its citizen’s to survive?
The Conservatives are not naturally middle-of-the road people. They lurch, like their traditional lordly heritage in its cups, from side to side, even still having members who actually do own moats and are still sufficiently witless as to fall into them, if only metaphorically these days.
They had the wit to appoint the first woman leader who became the first woman prime minister but then proved their complete inability to manage her. All leaders of worth have their failings and need people around them in whose judgement they can trust, or who have the ability to manage them against their own frailties, in a desire to render service for the benefit of the collective whole. Margaret Thatcher was failed disastrously by her team, on the Poll Tax. She was correct in principle but her people appallingly mismanaged its implementation. Had that been in place I am certain we would not have the current wrangling over the NHS and scale of benefits. Personal accountability lies at the root of all life: civilised or uncivilised and the Poll Tax would have brought that economic accountability more clearly and personally to the fore.
Regarding Europe, Margaret Thatcher was without doubt absolutely correct and every male in charge since has proved spineless and inadequate, if not absolutely witless. As in the case of Labour, party ego and perceived future voting patterns were their motivations, not what was best for the UK overall.
The idea the Lib-Dems would lose Eastleigh was unthinkable, their ground base clearly rock solid. That UKIP displaced the Tories was a clear statement to the Tories that we are fed up with the asininities of Europe and object to the unasked for loss of power over our own destiny as a nation, in so far as any nation may determine its future role in the world against unknown events.
Regarding UKIP’s effect on the Tories in 2015, Eastleigh is merely a warning, it is not necessarily an indicator of a fait accompli. The Brits overall have too much sense. Having been a parliamentary candidate for The Referendum Party I am aware of party organisation and how people interact as individuals, cliques and as the collective whole. Standing as a one-issue party, The Referendum Party was open, honest and forthright, clear and decisive. Most particularly, because potential success would only disrupt the candidates’ lives for a short time period, were they elected, the calibre of the collective whole was far superior than I perceive relates to UKIP’s collective whole. UKIP has an unfortunate personality history where ego has been keen to over-ride the concept of rendering service. More over, seeking power to run the UK is a completely different concept to standing for a particular issue and endeavouring to do the best one can in the interim with other issues.
Now is the time for Cameron to address the feeble-minded whiners in his party and make it clear to Europe we will have things our way or we are not in. Our argument is not ego, it is purely the validity of the argument: sense and sensibility in a global reality. Europe is overburdened with waffle; directives; sheets of paper; too many over-paid heads floating around two centres; preoccupied with its tummy button, with minds confined within itself, rather than looking at the great global horizons to which this tiny island has proactively greeted, welcomed, explored and flexibly adapted to for over four centuries. It is lunacy that we should be confined by anything or anyone. It simply is not rational.
MONDAY 18th FEBRUARY 2013
Bluntly, excuse my colloquialism, "I'm bloody pissed orf". Damned NUJ union has decided their members are not up to the job requirements of the future and have decided to go on strike, meaning I have no immediate access to continuing news stories (channel 80), as I please on the channel I prefer. Let's be absolutely up front about this. That members are facing compulsory redundancy and the BBC, having decided to redeploy where they can and having ended up with surplus to requirements have proceeded as many hundreds of commercially viable private firms have had to cope across the country, as NUJ members are fully aware, for they are the ones who have been telling us! That the BBC is externally advertising while offloading is a clear statement that those being offloaded do not fit the criteria of the jobs on offer. What the NUJ is in effect saying is: "people for jobs should be selected on the basis of their colour, nationality, ethnicity, disability and total inadequacy but we do not accept they should be selected because they are right for the job". That is typical trades unionism! Fine. We have the internet. I'll go abroad. I also have Channel 4 which after the BBC is in my view the best TV news channel. And I'll bet the NUJ has been right behind all its members who have been causing the outrage of recent press irresponsible journalists ploughing cavalierly across people's private lives. We must get across some sense of personal accountability which apparently still does not exist in either trades union or Labour circles of influence.
MONDAY 18th FEBRUARY 2013
In responding to the BBC's Sunday morning: Breakfast, Andrew Marr, The Big Questions, Sunday Politics, I discovered a report on Wilko Johnson's reaction to being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
SUNDAY 17th FEBRUARY 2013
In responding to the BBC's Sunday morning: Breakfast, Andrew Marr, The Big Questions, Sunday Politics, I discovered a report on Wilko Johnson's reaction to being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
We all respond in different ways to shock news that suddenly turns our private world upside down: be that through news of accident affecting others, or our direct involvement in accident or trauma; and we have no idea how we would respond. My cancer is not at this stage terminal but having spent two years, during which doctors have had to undertake two lung biopsies to know what they are dealling with, although that is only one aspect of my health problems, I know how such dramatic news can promote an extraordinarily positive response.
Too frequently, even those of us who maintain up-to-date wills, forget our inevitable mortality. It is good to be suddenly brought up short and made to think. My response was to immediately change priorities and start looking at what I needed to do to try and make my departure from this life as easy and organsied as possble for those left behind.
I am a bachelor, which places an extra tier of responsibility. I have to cover being mentally unfit or otherwise being incapacitated, as well as what is to happen to my body. I am an inclusive organ donor and as I cannot stand funerals I need to try and get science to accept my body. My family line is straight to first cousins. Fortunately, there is one who understands my mind and in whom I can trust absolutely. By the time all is organised to guide her, I can make arrangements for a solicitor to handle in the event some tragedy causes me to lose her.
There is an ad for cancer related funding currently on UK TV which illustrates succinctly what it must feel like when you are still years from your expected natural demise. Despite prolonged life expectancy, the fact (barring acident) that I shall make three score years and ten dilutes any sense of panic; my mind is pre-programmed that anything in excess is a bonus and many have not made that. Therein lies a sense of guilt which I will dwell on later. My news is simply signalling the terminus is approaching: a warning that time's sand is running out and from now on my mind should be more concentrated on evaluating priorities as to how I should spend that time and what do I really want to make sure I complete. Therein lies the advantage of modern medicine, even if it is still unable to be more precise. It has flashed up "buffers ahead", stand by, rather like offering one a sherry, while one contemplates the menu.
WEDNESDAY 13th FEBRUARY 2013
In response to the BBC's "The Big Question", asking if organ donation should be by default of not opting out.
Yes. Society is at the tipping point of recognising a more realistic and pragmatic attitude to death. At one time cancer was never spoken about and people were "spared" knowing they were terminally ill (there were always exceptions of course). There is also a tipping point over aspects of religion and the exciting acquiring of new scientific knowledge and acceptance of scientific pragmatism.
Increasingly, those of religious belief or wider philosophy are being called to account for their views. Bodies are nothing more than encapsulations of biological activity. On all counts it is utterly immoral for any person to deny another life at all, or simply a better quality of life once it is clear their caldron of biological activity is unable to continue, to anyone else.
We have got to accept that if we cannot fund all needed medical help it is immoral to keep someone alive, when they are ready in all aspects to depart and deny an otherwise healthy person in pain a hip replacement when they need it.
One does not apply the laws of physics to the science of biology: why then defame researchers into the world of spirit; the reality of spiritual empathy between all living things; the complexity of deep prayer and contemplation; and those entities no longer in possession of physical bodies who wish and do communicate with those on this plane?
There is no conflict between science and concepts of the nature of God: the empiricist knows because they have experienced.
Before adding in above my response to a Facebook post. An interesting morning of contrasts and contradictions. Waitrose seem to be refurbishing their car park electronics for which there clearly had been no pre-planning for physical management, unless they too were caught out by an extraordinary busy morning. It seemed that everyone had chosen 11:00a.m. to shop. I had expected to whip in and out but then found myself buying more than was on my original list, having waited an unconscionable time for a parking space, acquired by going in exactly the opposite direction to everyone else.
We had Obama's announcement of some sort of intention to gun reality last night, countered by news of another American behaving oddly this morning, despite training to the contrary, killing four people pointlessly and then having a shootout with police. Now presumed dead, my response is, 'that'll save further expense of a trial' but on a human level, here was someone who obviously had gone haywire, possibly having rendered service to his country. Where were the social support options?
At least ITV apologised for their showing in focus the Duchess of Cambridge slightly pregnant in a bikini. The question is the balance between the public reality of their roles and their right
to be treated with the respect of privacy mostly accorded anybody else, yet it is transparently obvious they are not like anybody else. Therein the conundrum. The majority of the people currently want the monarchy to continue. In its present state, despite the jerky motions over the years, the institution has served us damned well and last year was an absolutely stupendous year that no other nation on earth could have delivered, because we and we alone (despite other royal houses still in existence) are the real McKay, full of precedence.
Meanwhile I confront my own conundrum. A believer in flexibility, adaptability and malleablility, I am frustrated with the refusal of all web browsers to respond in a universal, consistent way. Where one used simply to do a web page in MS internet technology and arrogantly inform people, use that and don't moan about odd results if you won't, a die-hard windows man who's moved to Apple (used to use Safari on windows) is somewhat floundering around. Mac Safari has too few a take-up to justify such high-handedness but as I persevere regaining the expertise I once had before a prolonged absence, I have to say DreamWeaver is indeed a dream, once you get the real hang of it... which I haven't yet! On the other hand I have just come across the following from the manual through which I am floundering to achieve my next goal. "Ajax is a great example of the natural tension that exists between innovation (going "outside the box" to achieve better results) and standardiasation (the desire to keep things orderly) because, amidst all the excitement around Ajax, there is also a concern that things are moving too fast and too wrecklessly." Encouraging. I'm not the only one with a conundrum!
TUESDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2013
We have been fortunate. A pretty layering for a day and overnight, then it cleared without the slush and muck. A damp coldness permeates but I do not have to go out in it.
MONDAY 11th FEBRUARY 2013
It is winter time and in this valley of the Chilterns we had a wet surface on which the snow lay briefly. With no deep frost it has evaporated without mess. I am sure we are all grateful while offering our commiserations to those not so lucky.
SUNDAY 10th FEBRUARY 2013
Rain has settled in for the day with a vengeance. Fortunately, light enough to easily endure on my way to church. I was tempted to carry on to a restaurant for breakfast but decided that was a cop out. There are things I had set myself to do and despite problems caused by my server going down, losing me time yesterday, excuses are excuses, even if one is making them only to or for oneself. "Move your butt". So, application.
A dull grey day but one in which I am alive, well fed and warm, because I am able to say "sod the heating bill". There are many who cannot and most of those do not deserve to be in that situation. That there are some who bring such despair upon themselves is without question. We have all come across them on our own personal journeys but I believe them to be in the minority. Nonethless, we have a duty to all to counter scroungers, while bearing in mind that some of those so deserving are responsible for heaping their own deserved misery on to others not so deserving: life partners and acquired offspring, and their extended family relationships; and those relationhips' friends. One individual can cause much havoc and great misery to many, simply by being careless of and uncaring to just one other person.
So, what good am I doing sitting at my desk and dashing out through my fingers the thoughts that come to my mind? I started doing this thirty years ago, drawing the attention of over 1,000 people a week simply by saying "Hi!" to the world at large, through the developing digital medium. As a printer, I was aware of Tim Berners Lee's early work on printers' type-setting software, so accepting the digital world came easily to me. What, for years, had been letter outpourings to the general press and articles to specalist technical journals suddenly became more prolific and diverse, as digital was so much easier than bashing keys on a portable typewriter.
I was in my twenties before I acquired a social conscience and joined The Howard League for Penal Reform and The Prison Reform Trust. It was then that I started writing letters to the press; became involved in press censorship as a result of Mary Whitehouse's opinoinated inteference; and ended up with a sufficient public prominence as to join an ad hoc group of independently-minded local business people who offered temselves as the next town council—the town said, "Give it a go"! I also stood for The Referendum Party in the 1997 General Election.
Family ill health, from which my own ill health developed, leading to a ten-year loss of digital presence, during which period technology raced to new dizzy aspirations, made catching-up a somewhat convoluted task but I think I am ndearly there.
So, what thoughts? What is my stance? A diverse background, involved in many things and while running out of steam, the mind is still there, the fingers agile and digital communications offer a wider sharing than paper and print can.
SATURDAY 9th FEBRUARY 2013
Hello. Having spent some weeks messing around, re-learning what I had grown up with while the technology was developing, I have ended up with something similar, in principle, to that which I first created over twenty years ago! Broadcasting my views digitally, growed and growed like Topsy, until Topsy fell ill.
So, let's hit the nail on the head. Cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. There are many cancers which remain livable and manageable, as well as some completely curable: mine is currently manageable and livable. Further, ageing does not mean copping out, for which reasons I'm back, once more launching forth!