UBUNTU I am because of who we all are.
Supporting the 2012 Olympic Legacy—I WILL be positive and endeavour to maintain the Olympians' love of life and its challenges
MALALA—a statement of the failure of religion:
religion that fails to pro-actively promote the absolute equality of male and female is fundamentally immoral and unfit for decent society.
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)
Diversity within unity and change over time is the reality of Creation. Peter Such, poet and writer (1943–)
Neither praise nor shoot the messenger: the message is all.


 

Peter Such

Peter Such

A view of Great Berkhamsted from Cooper's fields.

Peter Such lives in Great Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England
Formerly working in printing and publishing Peter Such is currently an occasional writer on diverse issues, as the mood takes him.
He has regularly put his views to the test of public opinion, which is how he twice ended up as mayor of his home town.
 He also stood for The Referendum Party in the UK General Election of 1997.

www.petersuch.org www.petersuch.com
Also on Twitter as Peewit2 (he doesn't take it seriously) and on Facebook as himself (peter.such.5)

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS CURRENT BLOG ANNOTATIONS/OTHER REFERENCES

Last published: Thursday, July 30, 2015 11:43

JULY 2015
GENERAL AND COMMENTARY INDEX
NEVER FORGET
It was Labour and the Lib/Dems that denied us the political vote that turned commercial agreements on trade into political authoritarian diktat. As Churchill said "Trust the British people". Labour refused to do so and with the LibDems Labour STILL refuses to do so, hence our present mess.

We would have had a perfectly harmonious relationship with the EU had they done so, for the British people would have demanded the basic common sense that is our inherent nature before agreeing anything. Clearly neither Labour nor the Lib/Dems possess the necessary courage... or is that simply arrogance, or fear of contrary opinion due to their own uncertainties?

Thursday 30th July 2015 [morning post]
BALDERDASH
Now it seems the British themselves are losing command over the English language. Cameron is now accused of misusing the language by describing a swarm of people as a “swarm” which the current Labour idiot in charge, Harriet Harman, describes as a misuse of language: “‘Swarm’ should relate to insects!”  Balderdash! Quite correctly, Cameron is using the language with the full command of its richness and depth of subtlety that one would expect of an English Prime Minister, just as Churchill did. Such command is indicative of statesmanship.
 
Calais is not ‘crowded’ with people; not obscured by ‘clouds’ of people; not obliterated by ‘storms’ of people (they are mostly inoffensive); but might be described as ‘awash’ with potential criminals. Oxford accepts “a large number of people or things” as a definition. It is about time the Labour party achieved a leader who has at least a decent command of the English language for starters. What Harriet Harman means to say but lacks the guts for so saying is that she and her party are themselves totally clueless as to what to do abut the issue. Let’s get it out Harman! Be honest about your party’s inadequacies.

Wednesday 29th July 2015 [morning post]
INCITEMENT BEYOND REASON
Is it really possible to assess someone else’s actions when one had not oneself experienced a parallel situation? I recall, as a new councillor, a series of introductions into a range of social services provided by the council’s professional teams. One of these sessions was with the police and the officer in charge asked a basic question. How likely do you think you are to commit murder? One or two responded instantly that such an idea was preposterous. The majority were nonplussed. I was the lone voice that answered: “Dependent upon the circumstance and I hope my confidence in the objective, distanced tradition of English law would enable me to refrain but I know there is something within me that makes me perfectly capable of committing murder.” The response seemed to horrify one or two others.

The purpose of the question was to start a discussion on domestic violence. A jury is in exactly the same situation. Until they are faced with a murder trial many may never have considered such a question. My explanation has been that were I to discover a situation like a serious abuse of a child I would hope my understandable fury would be controlled by my inherent belief in “due process”.

Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion, murdered by an American dentist, putting the lives of his twenty cubs at risk of almost certain death before reaching their full potential, is such an incident as to provoke a fury beyond reason. Seeing pictures of this beautiful creature, prior to his being killed, clarifies in modern times, the wilful fall of man in biblical terms.

Purportedly the American Dental Association requires a certain standard of intellectual ability and basic education of at least a basic university degree. History has established their university standards are generally lower than our British requirements, which is how my own basic English degree was suddenly raised to an Honours standing, to provide a balanced comparison.

I am now granted a separate comparison of intellectual abilities: how can a man, able to command the respect of medical professionals (presumably, for why else is he still accepted as a dentist?) commit, let alone proudly boast, of such interests, let alone achievements?  What is the view of his fellow professionals?

Of more immediate note but now with the advantage of a completely different means of comparison, I look at the IS (Ignorant State) scenario. If we can have a professional man, rooted in the realities of our everyday, of the intellectual ability to be accepted as a valid medical professional, then are the IS lot not likewise intellectually capable people?

On the other hand, if we look at the more “authoritative” Christian example, we have the same examples of pea-brained self-important arrogance, even when taking into account the “real” time of the historical period. The pope of the time declared himself more important than the lawful inheritor of the English crown (Elizabeth I), connived with the arrogant King of Spain to send an armada to show the pope’s displeasure, during the course of which Spain lost it navy and was bankrupted from which event, arguably, it still has not financially recovered.

Having established, four centuries ago, that a woman might run the church, it was only fifty years ago that the Church of England had the stupidity to determine women could not be priests; although this was more due to the stupidity of the congregation than the intellectual competence of the clergy.

Now Tim Farron charges in, ever eager to prove the Lib/Dems remain as determined to be irrelevant as ever, saying we have an obligation to accept the hordes battering down our gates so our tax payers should be burdened with the cost of supporting them. Maybe we should be taxed more but for supporting our own requirements of the NHS and restructuring the country (houses and the Northern powerhouse), not handed out to the “desperate” poor (but rich enough to pay thousands for a legitimate ticket worth only a few hundred pounds), who will not fight their own battles back home in their own countries. It is perfectly legitimate for us to expect them to fight for their rights in their own countries. How did we achieve the advantages they see we have other than doing precisely what is now required of them, centuries back, through which struggles and national sacrifices we built what we have and which they are so envious as to try and take from us by force?

Saturday 25th July 2015 [morning post]
LABOUR, UNINTENTIONALLY, BEGINNING TO GET EXCITING
Were Corbyn to go for "no" to the EU that would indeed be interesting, since it was Labour who said "yes" and denied the people their view. Just like the trades unions, always pushing for minority agreements if it means bringing everything to a standstill, from which attitudes the Labour party is now trying to disassociate itself, so it gives serious consideration to a trades unionist, Corbyn, as a potential leader. Interesting times indeed from a proTory position but I am a floating voter and can perceive a Corbyn Prime Minister!

BBC SELFCRITICISM
The News Review has somewhat improved since the previous fellow retired but one does sometimes wonder to what extent it is still muzzled. A chap called David Collins was wittering his age-related concern over the way the BBC handled the news story on the Queen’s family when she was aged 7 and giving the Nazi salute.

What did not come out was that the BBC needs to show its independence which means, sometimes, it has to make the point of “running with the crowd” and at other times standing aloof from the crowd, effectively “leading the way”.

To some extent this was a statement of the period and therefore socially relevant. The second aspect was the contrast of the family possibly “taking the piss”, contrasting with the realities of the London Nazi funeral. More over, it showed the insidiousness with which objectionable ideas can take hold: then, WWII; now, IS (Ignorant State).

What is the most important story is, “how did The Sun obtain the footage?” That is the leaked information that it is essential now for someone to leak.

Macrocosm and microcosm. Monotype, arguably the top type founders in the world, redrew their typefaces three or four times as they were resized. The reason for this is that the proportions within the alphabet need re-adjusting as typography does not work through mere magnification. Nowadays, typefaces, certainly for text, are simply magnified algorithmically, their purity of allegiance to the original design intentions giving way to the mechanics of cost-efficiency, dependent upon the algorithms built into the software program. This is why the spacing between words varies according to the sophistication (and expense) of the word-setting program. Typographically, the space between letters and words is an aesthetic one, not one calculated mathematically.

The same principle applies to argument. What may apply in the context of the macrocosm may not necessarily apply in the context of the microcosm. This situation arose in a Facebook exchange with a friend. The principle might equally apply over the Labour debate. The Labour party needs get the shake-up that Corbyn might well apply and help sort the party out but would the principle apply to the country? Labour, shaken up by Corbyn, might well arouse enthusiasm in the country. The country’s response may wake up the Tories and get them to ameliorate their stance. The result? Another Tory victory, interesting times.

Thursday 23rd July 2015 [morning post]
ISLAM AND LABOUR: EQUAL IN ANTIQUITY & AS IRRELEVANT FOR TODAY?
The fuss and palaver over Labour’s leader selection is becoming farcical. They want Liz Kendall to pull out of the race so her supporters will counter Corbyn’s chances by not deflating opposition to him. It is unfortunate she is a woman but it is possible they would have said the same thing had she been a man. Blair and Prescott present opposing views. Blair waffles, Prescott states concisely. Maybe Corbyn is Labour’s phoenix… and the country’s too? Why not? Put him in, really shake up the party, see how the party and the country react and two years before the next election replace him or confirm him. Interestingly this would happen at the same time as the Tories are changing their leader. The only constant will be the LibDems’ Tim Farron. Will he have proved himself? Will only the LibDems be going into the election with a successfully confirmed and proven leader? Will that confirm a re-invigorated LibDem machine? Could we have a LibDem/SNP coalition? We seem to be heading for interesting times indeed.  

Wednesday 22nd July 2015 [after-noon post]
HIYATOLLAH YET AGAIN

Interestingly, this week’s news not only contained the front page of The Economist as described yesterday but a copy of Briefing, an organ of the “Free to Believe” movement.

Peter Colwell opens the issue with an article headed ‘In the Shade of Sayyid Qutb’. His article provides a good “general” introduction into the probable mindset of many similarly minded Muslim radical thinkers. His article certainly shows that there is much rational thinking behind the seemingly mindlessness in Islam.

Peter Colwell is deputy General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and a Researcher at Heythrop College London. There is an interesting contrast between the picture of Qutb behind prison bars and the potted biography. It causes one to think of the minds that may lie behind so many other “Muslim types” that the media catch for their pages and TV. For the nonIslamist it proves the need for us “others” to make ourselves more aware of precisely what all the “fuss and palaver” is really about.

For me, perhaps more importantly, he provides what I feel is an authoritative introduction to trying to understand the Muslim mind, especially by introducing Sayyid Qutb’s writings, particularly his eighteen volume background notes to the Qu’an, which unfortunately is not for me at the moment but at least leads into an authoritative sourcing.

Peter Brain’s article ‘Relationships, not Dogma’ concludes with a quotation paraphrased from Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Fundamentalism is essentially self-righteous. If we wish to give expression to our beliefs then we must start with relationships not dogma. Answer the questioner even if you cannot answer the question and when it comes to commending the faith, all we can do is to live out what we believe and trust that it will carry weight. What you are shouts so loud I cannot hear what you say!”

Martin Camroux, a retired United Reformed Church minister whose doctoral thesis ‘Ecumenical Church Renewal: The Example of the United Reformed Church’, published by Anglia Ruskin University, challengingly asks ‘Can We trust Religion?’. He requites a statement he made much earlier in one of his addresses “Religion Kills” in which he acknowledges religion has perpetrated much evil. The simplicity of this article alone demonstrates the rationality with which religious people are prepared to seriously question their beliefs, demanding that they stand up to modern rational questioning, the essential thesis behind the ‘Free to Believe’ movement.

Brian King reviews Reason, Faith and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate and David Lawrence offers a personal opinion on the question of religious satire. He opens with satire thriving in the gap between promise and reality, in effect that satire is the pin with which to pop self-inflated egos. He believes religious satire is essential, not only for the health of religion but for society overall, stating that it is often at the point that a particular failing becomes a public joke that the process of dealing with it begins.   

I quote his closing paragraph. “The right to offend religious people is vital if society is to remain free and religious people would do well to remember that if what we say is what we do, the jokes will eventually fall silent!”

In my view, for those claiming to have little practical involvement in religious faith or awareness of the practicality of religion in the modern day-to-day world, if only as a way to an informed understanding of the varyingly arising public debates, an annual subscription to “Free to Believe's” quarterly Briefing would be well worthwhile. There is a donation, not a fee, on my copy, so I would suppose £10 a copy times four a year a not unreasonable contribution to The Treasurer, Free to Believe, 145 Whitchurch Road, Tavistock, PL19 9DF.   

By the by, the National Annual Conference is April 1–3 2016 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire: “Cutting Edge Faith”—Tolerance not intolerance; Inclusion not exclusion; Radical not Timid; Prophetic not pietistic. Speakers: Susan Durber, Christian Aid; Lawrence Moore, Director the Windermere Centre; Andrew Bradstock, Church and Society Secretary, United Reformed Church. Cost £175. Bookings to linda.harrisonATcolchsfc.ac.uk .  

Tuesday 21st July 2015 [morning post]
HIYATOLLAH
So, on its front page of this week’s issue, The Economist welcomes the Iranian agreement, realistically debating the pros and cons, effectively greeting the agreement optimistically, as the best of poor options.

“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.” -Ernest Hemingway, author and journalist, Nobel laureate (21 Jul 1899-1961). 
 
The following history of “the war to end war” shows effectively that the First World War never ended, it merely called a picnic break, before restarting as the Second World War.

While I submit to the opinion of Lord Dannatt, former head of the British army, that we need to get physical with IS (Ignorant State), Churchill’s maxim “jaw jaw, not war war” is first in my mind. However, indecisiveness is arguably worse than doing nothing, for indecision proclaims weakness to the potential enemy, which may well be worse than leaving him uncertain as to our likely response. It is a typical British attitude that we should run down our forces immediately prior to needing them!

Quite apart from the irresponsibility of Labour’s perennial mishandling of immigration and all its related issues, there are three fundamental historical failings over immigration. The bigotry of an empirical government that failed to involve its electorate in the collective whole of their own empire; the latter socialist attitudes that were so determined to force equality by wilfully pulled down standards, rather than lifting society up to meet those standards; an extraordinary naiveté amongst immigrants that they imported their lifestyles and refused to adapt to the country in which they had chosen to make their home.

I notice this in various clubs and bars in America, particularly the Irish ones, where the immigrant gathers as a home from home and their own homes are likewise over-decorated in their homeland hues. Were I to have emigrated to the States it would have been to embrace America as being American, not as a Britisher in America, why else be in America? It is perhaps an important observational note that the countries to which I would be most inclined to emigrate are all English speaking and part of the “Old Commonwealth”. It is not that I am culturally disinclined it is simply that linguistics is not my forte. 

Desperate to save money, the Conservatives are now looking further back in history than the 1930’s, to the days of the barber surgeon, but only to offer health advice. Perhaps the nurses in the doctor’s waiting room will be offering haircuts, if the doctor is running late on his/her appointment schedule?

Meanwhile Europe persists in the irrational. The Schengen agreement means those countries providing borders to the agreement act as border guards. The French are complaining and wanting the Brits to do the job for them, when they have already let the immigrants into France because Italy isn’t bothering either! Once again, the Brits are needed as Europe’s policemen. Angela Merkel is right. The problem has got to be dealt with at source. ANY deviation from handling at source is running away from the basic issues and running away never solved anything.

Having determined they will have their own currency, even though they had already proven they can’t get right what they are already doing, rather than admit they were wrong, Europe has decided the project will be further supported by digging the pit deeper. Theoretically, somewhere there should be a mountain built from the pit’s excavated soil. Only the EU could dig a hole so deep there is no spoil. It must have evaporated like Greece’s euros.

I find the Greek debt personally interesting. For reasons of helping out a relative I have moved myself from pre-planned financial preparedness to a state of indebtedness. Rather than drawing on reserves, I have chosen to batter down the hatches and resolve the situation through austerity. It is a salutary experience. I am at that stage in life when planning ahead with expected income (whether or not rising) over a number of years is simply a nonstarter, it is a sharp lesson that my general lifetime prudency was worthwhile. I pity the Greeks. I pity those facing a reduction in welfare. I damn Labour for their past stupidity in wilfully nudging people into that situation of dependence upon expectations that were never their right but a momentary aid to help themselves to move onwards and upwards. Too many chose simply to stick. Again, that attitude of pulling down rather than raising up.

“Have you often felt overwhelmed by life, having reached that point that you feel you cannot cope with all the stuff coming at you, wave after wave?  Sometimes life feels that we will never get to that point when all our needs are over and done with. One need is met; another one crops up without any respite.  In today’s gospel the disciples are feeling just like that, weary and have need of rest, yet the crowds are persistent in their need to be with Jesus.  Yet note what Jesus says to his apostles: STOP!  To have a period of rest is part of their vocation as co-workers for Christ.”

So the rector started last week’s homily. My doctor did that to me once. “What do you mean, ‘that’s enough!’ I’ve only just got here!” Fortunately, I had suspected what was happening and sought an urgent consultation. “You are multi-threaded over-stressed. Stop everything immediately and either go back to bed or take a country walk. Either way, go past the chemist and then come and see me in three week’s time.”

We all need to rest, not just to recuperate but to give ourselves space, regardless of our religious beliefs. Personally, I would use ‘philosophical’. Many religions contain much down to earth basic common sense, the bedrock of practical community living. Unfortunately, those early communities needed the animal hierarchy of male dominance and later on then condemned too much religion to the sideways of practical living that a developing society needed. It was religion that was too frightened to move forward, misunderstanding its own text, believing that Creation was a ‘one off’ event; not understanding it was a state of continual change going forward through time.

Unfortunately, we seem to have cast out all religion, rather than carefully maintaining that which remains seriously relevant for now, for tomorrow and for tomorrow’s morrow.

Saturday 18th July 2015 [morning post]
HELLO WEEKEND!
The Sun has just eclipsed itself, raising the issue as to whether the “please remove my history” numbskulls should not also apply beyond the web. First, it appears that The Sun has acquired personal photographs from the Queen’s private collection without permission and by implication through theft, otherwise The Sun would have declared source. Second, it appears (I refuse on principle to buy a copy) to have failed to place its news in context. The photograph is in no remarkable in the context in which taken, in the period in which taken. So, nothing remarkable, no news value other than The Sun’s unimaginative ability to find a front page news story, effectively eclipsing itself. 

Thursday 16th July 2015 [morning post]
DAY OUT
Lunch at Apothecaries’ Hall was a gathering of former work colleagues, some arriving for the first time as they reach retiring age, somewhat stupefied at seeing people for the first time after thirty years, inspiring jolted flashbacks. The Wellcome Trust sold its foundation to GSK some time back, hence our diverse separations.

It was good to see the advantage of the work on Blackfriars station. Must have been as great a pain for commuters as I presume it must currently be for commuters at London Bridge station. It raised in my mind the problems over Heathrow. Hell for a time but… Should it perhaps be Gatwick? Not for traffic “convenience” but for its “inconvenience”. The London paper’s headline was “Soaring Death Toll of London’s Toxic Air”.

An interesting report in yesterday’s London Evening Standard stated an 87% accuracy in determining a test sample of people’s state of depression by their mobile phone use. Writing unscientifically, I can confirm, from personal subjective experience the presumptions of this too numerically small test to be seriously significant, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. When one has a multi-medical condition, which includes several separate reasons why one might have mood fluctuations, one gains an insight (at surface level) of the complexities of depression.

'Every student needs someone who says, simply, "You mean something. You count." '-Tony Kushner, playwright (b. 16 Jul 1956). Applies to all of us whatever our age and arguably, even at the end of life, there remains so much still to know, for the journey continues.

From personal experience, it is necessary to recognise the different forms of feeling depressed from actually being depressed. True and worrying depression is a medical condition while feelings of depression are merely the social consequences of being involved in life.

The London Evening News 
Being an irregular traveller, the London Evening News is an infrequent news organ to me. I have not read it for a while but its stapled 60 pages seem more than I remember since last looking at an edition and would imply its freebie status has enhanced its circulation. It’s a model that relies on advertising. An interesting observation, with the BBC insistently filling programme connections with its own personal promotion, instead of simply “getting on with it”, which is why I prefer the BBC to commercial stations. That damned idiot thumping percussion prior to the news drives me up the wall.

Tory Party Being Cocky
The BBC is a windmill against which the Conservatives are ill advised to joust. Likewise, in other fields, the bullyboy aspect of Conservatism is sprouting it wings all too easily and all too frequently. Sort yourself out Labour, fast. However, if Labour are daft enough to counter Harman and are so keen to hide the source of who voted for whom, then they seem determined to have trade union domination, again. Fine, while the Lib/Dems are asleep it would be no bad thing to have the Tories flummoxed at every move when they get too cocky. It will then be interesting at the next election to see if Labour’s preoccupation with history has tired us out, while serving a current need, or has inspired us to vote Labour because the Tories were too damned stupid to pay heed and remember their overwhelming need to learn humility.

Interesting. I have an Internet item arriving by post office parcel rather than courier or ordinary mail. They now have a tracking service, not as finely tuned as it might be but at least I was forewarned of an intended delivery today, presuming a need for a signature and I am impressed.

Greece
Incidentally, Cameron, the UK will NOT be responsible for any financial contribution to Greece’s irresponsible financial mess.

Monday 14th July 2015 [morning post]
SIMPLICITY
26,000 children in hospital in the UK last year… for bad teeth, so there is a suggestion labels should be placed on sugary drinks warning of the hazard of drinking them! It seems not to have occurred to anyone that parents have failed in their duty to properly supervise and educate their children! If taxation doesn’t discourage them why does that stop such drinks being taxed to enable the exchequer to reap in more money? After all, it is only now that the Chancellor has got round to taxing cars for road use. For years Road Fund taxation went anywhere but on the roads and the NHS wants more money.

“Only benefit for two children” does not mean the third or more are less looked after, it merely means the collective whole is not so well off, bringing back the responsibility for the parents to breed according to their ability to feed. The Catholic church, if it persists with its attitude against contraception, must provide the relevant funds or abandon its irresponsibility. You cannot have personal accountability to God and dismiss accountability on earth; the church must be accountable for the consequences of its doctrine.

We need to remember that adapting taxes to social need in the community goes back to the Poor laws of the fourteenth century. They have been adjusting ever since. Nothing new there, we are merely debating priorities, as usual.

On TV, Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said Labour has to face up to some "hard truths" this summer in order to stay relevant. Why, after so many years, suddenly do something so startlingly original?

Meanwhile, Labour’s Harriet Harman sets the example of a truly experienced politician who knows her worth: knowing her own mind and seeing objectively her place in the whole, which is why she is currently leader but has no intention of being available as a future leader.

In this assessment of herself, she mimics Nick Clegg of the Liberals: two worthy and very capable politicians because their minds are on ideals; their feet are firmly on the ground and they are aware of all that is around them, both in time and place. Divorced not only from time and place is Jeremy Corbin, the person for whom I would have voted had I joined the Labour party just to vote for the leader. Vote him in as leader and the Labour party will not be in government until he is in his coffin. Interestingly Michael Meacher supports him: we were at school together—he head boy and me as a fag, just starting!

The real problem with the IS (Ignorant State) lot is that they defame religion generally, increasingly reminding us that religion has done enormous damage to life’s progress. Is the balance of value still in religion’s favour? Without real Islamists contradicting them, based on actual knowledge of their faith (and actual knowledge is as difficult for them to agree upon as it is amongst Christians) the whole department of “religion” becomes tainted and in danger of being dismissed as no longer relevant.

Is Nazi memorabilia different from any other form of collection? No. It reminds us of two things: what the uniform stood for, the encapsulation of an ideology, nothing to do with a country or its people; and that ideologies have no physical boundaries, they smother minds so they are no longer able to think for themselves.

Thinking for oneself is something the Catholic church most assuredly does not like, which is why it relies upon indoctrination until at least the age of seven and usually confirms at thirteen, before the child really starts to think questionably and begins to realise the extent of the church’s hypocrisy and duplicity. This is a church that would depose a queen by arousing another monarch to bankrupt his own country and destroy his navy… and fail, confirming the Protestant faith with a far stronger conviction than the church of Rome. 

Having determined its raison d’etre was secular, the EU then decides religious twaddle may enforce sexual proclivities contrary to the EU’s own belief in equality and requires to enforce laws consistently across diversity. Precisely what religion did, fly in the face of its own proclaimed beliefs!

As so often happens in England, sport sets the example. We have had a superb month of tennis: Queen’s, Eastbourne and an incredibly superb fortnight at Wimbledon. As with the Olympics, the superlative nature of our sports people has shown the leadership and thrust of determination to do the best and to be the best, straight down the line with a straight bat—a mix of sports but the Ashes is now in progress, having started halfway through the tennis stint.

What a contrast to the political scene: locally, nationally and globally in diverse shady corners, implying one thing while delivering another. The Observer this Sunday delivered some superb articles on world debt, the European crisis, The Osborne budget and its political and social consequences.

My view so far is of social concern for the collective whole. From Labour and the Lib/Dems we have an indeterminate period of introspection while, rather than charging ahead, the Tories seem somewhat bemused at making decisions on: transport connections for the northern powerhouse; international transport (Heathrow or Gatwick); devolution (but central will still control, or over-rule such as planning) and devolution will be conducted through electable mayors, in contradiction of many votes against such a principle.

Meanwhile, immigration needs to be sorted; school education appears to be failing, as we are lacking trainable employees for our new “moving forward” economics; and a CofE bishop castigates the social consequences of the Budget, while leaving a noncleric to espouse that our views on Islam are similar to our 1970’s attitudes to Roman Catholicism.

On a personal level, my proclivity for saving in advance for planned expenditure has suddenly been thrown awry by having lent my own intended provision for my own planned needs, which loan having been overwhelmed by more financial tragedy for the borrower.

I consulted a cousin (a retired minister) over lunch on the Christian response. Clergy are rather like lawyers; they often answer a question by asking a question. “Are you actually helping him?”

It was the umpteenth repeat of previous scenarios over several lenders, so there had been no successful resolution of the principle cause. Nothing was being learned. In adding further debt and this time to a close family creditor, the mountain was growing and the concept of greater guilt was not lightening his load. That question served as an independent observation that one had done quite sufficient.

I am a great believer in making comparisons between the microcosm and the macrocosm, in this case between the personal and the international—Greece. On this occasion I have not done anything with which I cannot cope, after a little bit of re-assessment, I have thrown myself into an unusual situation where I am holding myself back because provision for intent has suddenly been thrown out of the bath tub. It is miniscule but it opens a sense of understanding of how my borrower may be feeling and how the Greek people in all their individual situations must be feeling.

Coincidentally, closing this post, a friend facebooked a discussion on racism to which I replied: “any form of differentiation is to concentrate on a part of the collective whole: to miss recognising what is the collective whole is to miss the point of all. Time past, present and future are all parts of the collective whole both "as they are, relative to one another" and also in their contexts.

All in all, an interesting week.

Saturday 10th July 2015 [after-noon post]
RELIGION: MUDDLED AS EVER
Pope Francis, currently touring Latin America, remains as contradictory as ever. The presumption of his church that termination of a ten years old child’s pregnancy is required by God, is itself an abomination before the Lord, regardless that the child is presumably Catholic, as was presumably her rapist.

Philosophy would rationally consider the situation. I have no qualified medical opinion as to whether giving birth at 10 is safe and am somewhat surprised that a child of 10 is mature enough to conceive. Let us take the religious angle. The child is born in original sin and is expected and required to make amends. She may, or may not have been sufficiently indoctrinated as to acknowledge the sanctity of her body and was presumably taught that adults are lawful authority, so despite being hurt she presumably did as she was told, or was she castigated for failing to fight off her attacker?

Her childhood is ruined, but not necessarily her life. Her parents have been granted the unique trauma of witnessing and helping her through her pain and distress. She has been given a unique opportunity to atone for her original sin and has great opportunity in educating a child she has been required by God’s servants to deliver into the world. Presumably, this child will not be born in sin since its birth has been determined by God’s own ministers and is presumably to become another great saviour of the world, in the manner in which he she or will conduct their life for the greater benefit of all and quite probably leading the way for women to become priests. Catholicism does indeed have a lot to say on so much. The trouble is, so much of what it has to say is such utter rubbish that with them, the irrationaI Islamists who don't actually understand their own book and the "true" Islamists who seem more confused between themselves than Christianity generally is within itself and whose prophet is less than laudable than all the others, which ever version is projected, one wonders if atheism isn't to be preferred.

However, we are talking philosophically, which means that in dispensing with God we still have to define a world creator. Why don't we start with today? How the hell did it all start? A thing called science seems to offer some clues but even those do not lead us to all the answers. What we do need fairly immediately is some basic down to earth management. Historically, the British Empire appears not to have made too bad a job of such enterprise. So why don't we resurrect that, as most of the world wants to come to its shores, so its already as near voted in as makes no difference and lets get things properly organised.

With a little bit of good old British common sense we might actually begin to get somewhere. Sounds pretty good to me.

Friday 10th July 2015 [morning post]
DEFINING: FACT OR CONTEXT?
“You need to separate the statement from the advert. Who or what the entity is I have not a clue and care less. ‘The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.’ Serious self-criticism is challenging. Most of us lack the honesty and courage to face the truth of our inner self and then compare an honest answer with the world at large, in which we may find we are much smaller and far less original than we generally choose to think. That is what is difficult. Truly knowing oneself.”

The foregoing was part of a discussion on facebook. I have just made a decision. No capital for facebook. It speeds up the process of typing. The pause for that shift+f does slow things up. So, am I bastardising English as I plough my way through what I say (‘write’ but I used the vocal to rhyme with ‘way’, I’m clearly feeling creative) but where is the linguistic palette, that common ground for mixing words to create new phrases and twists of ambience to open new vistas of the mind? [When I use my excellent (only little used s far) Word/Apple dictation facility will it recognise my adjusted custom dictionary or persist with its own database? Interesting.]

Where, linguistically are the myriad hues that throw new lights on steady, authoritative words that have stood the test of time in staid positions, then suddenly are seen, by a writer’s use in a completely different stance? Is it just some hobbledehoy of a recalcitrant youth, or is it a moment of genius that becomes a staid repetition by following also-rans? Shakespeare invented some forty to fifty words that are now in everyday use. Is to do likewise merely an affectation for anyone else? What is language if it does not communicate? What purpose are rules, to outline common ground, if they are not changeable to enable communication as it changes through time?

So, we have debate upon the meaning of the budget and may find it has more meaning, or a completely different meaning, than the manner in which it was presented. Today we learn that devolution, supposed to be the song sheet of the parliament, does not embrace the dictionary terminology but actually means the exact opposite “we, the centre of government will direct your planning purpose in your area, so we collectively have the house numbers the country needs”.

So much for devolution, or is that simply highlighting that balance between the individual’s right to disrupt the whole by being individualistic, or the individual’s responsibility to harmonise with the collective whole, itself composed of previous centrally composed palettes, varying between harmony and abstract shock, according to the population’s political mood at the time of any previous election?

So, we turn to IS, that conundrum of risk (for other people) or sense of nanny state obligation for the collective whole. The one country in North Africa to have played an exciting and meaningful role in the “Arab Spring” is to be abandoned to its fate, through loss of crucial tourist income, by the British Foreign Office, calling home all British citizens from Tunisia. To make an individual decision invalidates insurance, including health care. It is not responsible, for the effect on others (family or nation), for individuals to deliberately put themselves at risk.

It is an exact parallel with the domestic situation over house building. It is an exact parallel with the migratory determination of the persecuted to risk life and limb for the perceived greater benefit of their families… or self-interest. If it is self-interest, would it not be better that they stay and contribute to trying to bring rationality to their own countries?

Where is the control for this influx of migrants? Italy is failing in its obligation to manage, which responsibility it accepted by being an EU frontier country. Countries behind Italy and Greece have failed to maintain proper population control through EU dreamland wishes to deny realities, “we don’t want borders”! Ooops, apparently we can’t control the movement of people without them, never thought of that!

The moral aspect of responsibility should have been defined by the European predominant religion, Christianity. Historically, Christianity has behaved more or less as IS is behaving, so not providing examples on how to behave there. Even now the Roman Catholic church is lagging behind society’s needs, which is a slight improvement on burning people who disagreed with its presumptuous authority. It still cannot cope with sexual equality.

In bringing the argument full circle to the local domestic circumstance, I knocked a book off the shelf: I’m writing this while keeping an eye on the TV, waiting for Andy Murray’s match. It was a copy of my first volume of poetry, not yet available digitally, Gone Fishing! It fell open at the section of Langford poems. One particularly highlight my own dithering acceptance of change.  Criticising religion can be very unfair. It cannot move too far ahead of society but is it not worse for it to lag so far behind?

There is a note at the bottom of the poem. “This (‘St Martin’s Fivehead’) and the Langford and Fivehead poems were written at Langford Manor when the Gilbert family were in residence, during the period of the Reverend John Simpson’s ministry.”

Published twenty years ago it could still have been written today but then, times seemed so much gentler than now but I believe the sentiment is still unequivocally right. Langford Manor is now a commercial operation but in those days it was still a family home.

… He’ll take a service according to the Authorised edition, and so I feel at home/I think on every word, assess the nuance of every meaning; and then atone / For what I might have done and did not do, and what I wish I had not done./ But with these modern ‘simple’ versions I don’t know if I am going to or coming from!/ So I hardly go these days , except when down in Fivehead and they let us know/ Which church is duty church that Sunday, the time of service, and then I’ll try to go./ But at St Martin’s, wich ever way they play it, ancient or modern, I’ll string along./ Now that says something about St Martin’s, or may be a lot about its vicar, John.

Thursday 9th July 2015 [morning post]
FACING REALITIES
We might have been a little further down the line if we had not had the Lib/Dems holding things back in the last parliament. On the other hand, in the last parliament the Lib/Dems did the country a great service by making a courageous decision for which the country has seemingly undeservedly kicked them in the teeth.

However, at the start of the last parliament no one had foreseen the danger the SNP could present to England and I think that is the reason the Lib/Dems paid so heavy a price. Without the SNP threat I suspect the Lib/Dems would have lost only 50% of their seats at most but we would be repeating the coalition. I am not sure we will overall gain. In my own postings I did say voters should look at the effect of their constituency on the overall country vote and that does appear to have been the tactic.

The key to austerity measures lies with the Labour party who ran up so great a debt, compounded by straightforward managerial incompetence in the banks, although some claim those disasters due to criminal skulduggery. It is still managerial incompetence both in accountancy, actuarially and governance.

Regarding a leadership candidacy, Liz Kendall took the opportunity on Channel 4 to show what a disaster she could be, clearly not wishing to make positive statements until she had sounded out other people’s opinions. She clearly showed what a serious state the Labour party is in if she turns out to be a serious contender, floundering around as she clearly was wholly out of her depth!

Greece not only shows us the disaster of indebtedness being out of control but the sheer bungling inadequacy of the EU’s basic management nous, further strengthening the argument for Britexit. Regarding the budget, the external world is too volatile to justify more comment than “steady as she goes”. I am concerned for those less well off but in personal circumstances, a small family loan has gone sour due to the original need becoming more complicated and suddenly… reserves are there and I have no crisis beyond annoyance at rescheduling my financial plans but it clearly exhibits the ease with which sureness can so easily plunge into a headlong dive without any bottom. A cogent example of extremes at national level and personal level and until one has had a chance to read diverse personal reactions one can only comment on yesterday’s fiscal announcement in the general terms given. We may be beginning to go forward.

CATCHING UP
Some observational notes since I last posted.

“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” This was a Facebook quote. Serious self-criticism is challenging. Most of us lack the honesty and courage to face the truth of our inner self and then compare an honest answer with the world at large, in which we find we are much smaller and far less original than we generally choose to think. That is what is difficult. Truly knowing oneself.

On Greek debt. There is a fine line between justifiable pride and wilful arrogance. Being in unpayable debt is nothing to be proud about, it speaks of incompetence at best or bone idleness at worse. Helping others presupposes those in need of help first face their responsibilities and the Greeks are still on the road to understanding the realities of life and have yet to face the truth of their situation. To some extent they have been misled by the Euro, which is a dream of arrogant politicians wholly lacking any credible understanding of economic reality.

It will be because the Euro was a stillborn baby, lacking understanding of economic reality and lacking the essential life blood which the EU itself lacks (FAM)—Flexibility, Adaptability, Malleability. Religions have already proved the failure of rigid rules and inflexible stances in a creation of continual change through forward time. Where is the logic in secularity following the same failed path?

The governor of the Bank of England is with the meeting in 10 Downing Street.   Apparently our business people are so daft that 50% of their trade is with the Euro area. How stupid, where's the rest of the world?

Until Labour thrust us into a too close a union with the EU we were a global trading nation, spreading our investment risk not putting all our eggs in the same [EU] basket... and a basket that deliberately restricts, or discourages us from trading elsewhere, purely because the EU lacks the flexibility we once had and which the EU has been so keen to destroy.

Bringing religion to reality: "Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. "-Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (7 Jul 1907-1988)

If people wish to dress like 17th century highwaymen, or the cast of The Desert Song, why shouldn't they? Goths have been dressing bizarrely for years. However, if one is to go backwards to how Christian nuns used to dress that is a sharp reminder to Islam that Christianity has led (reluctantly) down the road to modernisation, why are Islamic believers so keen to show how archaic and out of touch with reality they are?

English can be so helpful!
"A sword used for beheading is called a heading sword. Sodalite is not another word for Diet Coke, nor is it a member of a sodality—it’s a mineral. Strawberry isn’t a berry, but a banana is."
Such a useful language it makes so much so clear so easily!

 

Saturday 4th July 2015 [after-noon post]
IS: THE IGNORANT STATE

The Guardian clearly presents an understanding of the confused mind of those nut cakes claiming knowledge of Islam while publicly proclaiming, through their actions, their complete ignorance of Islam. Isil, Isis, IS—my preference since it reminds me of Idi Amin, about whom my mind said phonetically, “The idiot I am”. Likewise “IS” represents the letters of what the IS lot mean (in English) while my mind says “Ignorant State”, quietly ignoring their dream state reality.

However, the BBC has an extraordinary subservience to the arguably criminally insane by insisting on being polite to them, as exemplified in an article by The Daily Telegraph by not using the word Daesh, especially daes or dahes, which terms are clearly deliberately insulting. A point missed, however, is that the BBC is acting responsibly in the light of not opening itself up to subversive revenge attacks, thus putting its employees in delicate areas at risk. Is it sensible to invite a war over words rather than tackle the main problem head on?

Each to their own but I am not sure that playing around with names helps dealing with reality and what precisely is reality? The bible thumpers would claim we have come full circle, back to the tower of Babel and the era of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The evolutionists would shrug “que sera, sera”. The spiritualists, what of them? In my limited knowledge I would say their opinions would be as diverse as the individuals they are. There is this conflict: religion requires conformity yet in all branches it is singularly diverse and contradictory.

Religion is supposed to reflect the spiritual state but generally seems to dismiss the collective whole for concentration on particular opinions and individual historical biographies. The vibrancy of general spiritual awareness, without a particularly prominent leader, leads them flummoxed, particularly the IS lot.

Where is religion, especially the IS lot, in terms of meaningful spirituality? There is no rationality, religion’s greatest failing. If there is a spirit existence whose biochemical constitution is currently unfathomable it applies to all spiritual creation. Therefore what exists as spirit, exists. What cannot be resolved in this plane of life remains unresolved into the next. So where is the logic in despatching from this plane of existence, whatever it is that remains, to still be contended with in the next? It is the reason I reject capital punishment. That, given time there is a space through which contrition and redemption may be achieved.

All that the Ignorant State offers is perpetual declarations of failure and inadequacy. The inability to accept a contrary opinion is a statement of uncertainty and fear. Fear that they may not be right after all and why they reject any form of dialogue. It is pure panic. This is why so much of religion has been plagued by wars and fighting factions. It is not strength of conviction but insecurity of belief that causes the contention.

On the other hand, delving back to the Christian Old Testament, is it not we who have deviated from the set course, arousing Arabic justifiable concern? Is not the western world, simply as it is, a wilful incitement in Arabian eyes? Thus one encourages debate by default as there is no formal authority to say “Hang on, should we not first look at ourselves before casting aspersions on those raising questions?”

Where lies that “authoritative” source, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6, NIV] Even Christendom is divided; has been guilty of misinterpretation; refusing to accept change and then begrudgingly; refusing to acknowledge for too long that Creation was never a “one time” event but a state of continuity with which we are still travelling.

Is not Christian authority so damaged as to no longer hold authoritative stature? Where then alternative authority? Spirituality is so diverse in expression and so individual in reception we must dismiss the whole for another debate elsewhere. That leaves us with basic biochemistry and the secular structures of governments based… on a continuous history we created here. Change is the constant; based upon the authority of physical force, developing into the validity of argument.

How come, then, we have such warring? On all fronts we are arguing over the spoils of earth, we are scrabbling, like termites but termites live as a collective whole. Even ants have divisions of labour and class, as does India still, both religiously and secularly.

 

So, we return to the good, old, knocked about British Empire, which turned into a Commonwealth of more than fifty nations around the world, which all three British political parties decided to abandon in favour of a political union with Europe. This was thrust upon the British people without any asking… so we have the current mess: an unmanageable, borderless continent on the verge of mass mayhem, with an economic strategy based upon the dreams of politicians, standardising everything across a diversity of extremes. Oh how the EU has achieved!

 

INDEX

The general conclusion appears to be that we need to increase taxes on those who can afford to pay and NOT reduce the cost of aiding those in need.

That would seem to include a proper provision for our military needs and ensuring extra taxation to meet revenue costs derived from taxpayers' REVENUE income.

PARLIAMENTARY WORK AHEAD
Boundary clarification. How many seats and what preferred size of constituency population?

Proportional representation. Which system?

House of Lords? Should it be elected or appointed and upon what classification? Originally based on the realities of the day: Spiritual; Legal; Defence; land ownership; hereditary entitlement.

Today? Spiritual but across the faiths (define), including pure secularism/humanitarianism (all appointed/elected by their respective churches); Legal, as is; Political (variable by proven worth, such as past ministers or retired professional senior civil servants and limited party nominations); representatives of Capital, Financial Services, Labour (all either retired or active, appointed or elected by their respective accredited bodies); Education (ditto precedents stated); Health (ditto); Other?

The whole reviewable by a statutory committee reporting with recommendations to parliament on a ten yearly basis to cover relevance of classifications in the then current world. Modus operandi as at present.