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


Last published
Sunday 31st January 2016 17:00

Labour and the Lib/Dems 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 were sufficiently self-assured, or were too ashamed or panicked at our self-confidence that we knew what we were doing, showing up their wilful incompetence... or is that simply arrogance, or fear of contrary opinion due to their own uncertainties?

[Author's note for "WHENEVER"! My Apple has turned into a lemon in less than nine months! Fortunately I always buy extended warranties of 3 years. Under their standard warranty terms they simply said "warranty job but we will need it for two weeks!" [They have forty machines in for repair in the Watford shop already.] I am in that process of change where it means I have no spare computer. Fortunately, I have been able to borrow from a friend who, like me for the last thirty years, has always run two computers due ta essential software upgrades requiring hardware upgrades, which means in this case I have no duplicate programs beyond the basic simplicities of communication. My previous Apple lasted seven years before the hard disk crashed necessitating this present urgent purchase [Apple only supply parts for a five year model life]. So, if I appear to have suddenly ceased, I have not necessarily DEceased, or been taken ill, merely taking notes for a later mass update, hopefully by the end of February, depending on when things start happening, which means when I can 'let go'! I am currently plugged into my TV monitor—it is the screen that has gone. An interesting direct exercise in what it really means to be without technology in a technological world!]

Sunday 31st January 2016 [evening]
This is an interesting period which helps to alleviate my frustrations. I recall a friend saying to me some time back, when I was bemoaning my problems and she herself had her own problems, at least our problems are rich peoples' problems! Her point being that: (a) we had such problems; (b) we had the intellect to recognise them and see them in perspective; and to recognise a range of options which we could fathom out for ourselves; (c) we had the resource to handle the situation and get things going again.
      So now, I am irritated, frustrated and annoyed for diverse reasons but taking things calmly. Why? For those reasons just recalled, although I cannot think of what world issues contributed to that observation then. Problems are deviations from the path intended. but diversions can be looked upon as bye-way, for they are not usually along major roads. This brings me to M Scott Peck's book, to which another friend introduced me many moons ago, The Road Less Travelled. I felt an immediate affinity with this, as my friend had perceived I would.
      Not recognised by the adults around me at the time, who perceived me as being simply contrary, my animal affinity was clearly for goats. I was happy with my own company and chose paths 'far from the madding crowd'. Forced diversions usually involve some bye-way down which one would never have thought to travel otherwise and I usually took great delight in the unexpected encounters that provoked a new style of thinking; introduced different aspects to my otherwise perhaps too staid way of viewing life.
      On the one hand I am panicked to realise I am a twelfth of the way through the New Year having seemingly not started progress on what i intended would be a busy and productive year. On the other hand I realise the extent to which I have been cosseted in my own little world (albeit, getting on with a preoccupied life). Blind faith in Apple and Rolls Royce has been rationalised, brilliant though their technologies may be they are human originated and fallible. True Asian carpets will always include a small deliberate fault, usually in a corner as the weaver's humble acknowledgement of Allah, for only He is perfect.
      Where I am now is stuck with 10.8 on my resurrected old machine and I bought 10.10 Office! Preoccupied with the changes in Microsoft's Office for Mac licensing I had forgotten to check system comparability. On top of which Apple can't see me to hand my new machine may get my machine back before i even hand it in to Apple! In which case I could survive without an office or get them to sort out my software incompatibilities. It's all a learning curve of life and illustrates my complaint about religion's failures to move with the times. It is not just the will to move it is the ability within the jungle of interactions moving at there own paces.
      I turn to Facebook to catch up with news. It illustrates the result of bye-ways I mentioned earlier. From a friend's post: "We were at an event this week where some Congolese speakers were loudly proclaiming the worth of women as mothers, sisters, beautiful beings... It may be well intentioned but women are human and should be respected as such.
      In some situations the cultural celebration of women can be the very same reason they become weapons of war, everything the community holds as key destroyed through rape and maiming. 
      Championing equality and empowering all people to uphold human rights for one another simply because we are human, because all human life matters equally. It's not about sexual or gender but the simple opportunity to live and live well."
      I replied: "I agree with your concern. This is not as innocent a statement as it appears to be. I would widen this principle beyond humanity. All "living biology'" contains the essence of spirituality and should be regarded as being a part of the collective whole, yet recognised as the individual spirits they are.
      BBC1's "Great Debate" this morning was on Islam and whether there should be a "British" Islam. It helped to separate the different threads, not just within the religion itself (as Pentecostal, Protestant, Free church, Roman Catholic are divided within Christianity) but in terms of the diverse influences of originating culture. It is these that cause most of the problems and looked at closely, Islam's "real" tenets are essentially universal."
      This raises the possibility that British law can evolve into pure secularity and religion be left as an entirely private matter.
      Now to practicalities. I shall now wind up January, open up February with my "notice" paragraph and when I can, I will continue!

Saturday 30th January 2016 [early morning]
Forgot part of my message last night: what has Rolls-Royce to do with Apple? Apple is generally regarded as the Rolls-Royce of personal computers, so that the idea that an Apple can go wrong during its warranty period seems as unbelievable as the idea that a Rolls-Royce can break down but they do!
      I have a college friend in Canada who has been somewhat more successful in business than I have been. He has been running Rolls-Royces for years, buying when they are two or three years old, using them for two or three years and then part-exchanging them while there is at least two years of the warranty to run—the warranty on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley runs for eight years.
     He had a problem with one of his purchases and Rolls-Royce tried to tell him he had not been keeping the oil topped up. The argument ran for some six months before Rolls-Royce finally agreed to replace the bottom half of his engine at their cost. I was therefore disappointed, but not surprised when he emailed me shortly before I was leaving for my flight, "Sorry to say I have just sold the Rolls."
      Having phoned him to tell him I had arrived at the station I pondered on what car he would be driving, thinking it would be a top of the range Jaguar.   What bowled into the station car park was a two years old Bentley! Meanwhile, I have no intention of buying anything but an Apple. As my friend said, "That is what you are paying for."

Friday 29th January 2016 [late evening]
Handling Apple varies according to the store. I had used Regent's Street initially as that was the store from which I purchased my first Apple and it proved acceptable, including my regular interactions for training during my first year, despite an hour or so's journeying to pre-booked appointments—I am not a man who likes to be tied down by the mundane!
      The store at Covent Garden opened, with which I felt no real affinity—no explanation, I just did not gel with it, although the friend who had directed me to Regent’s Street preferred it for further purchases and still does, despite a store opening in Watford which is where this machine was acquired and why I took this in, prior to handing it in for repair. This is what led me to dealing with an independent Mac authorised engineer.
      I had several times taken my friend there as she also had experienced problems and the spare machine they were lending me needed a replacement part before I could use it. For the heck of it I took my old machine with me. He could acquire a fitting disk for it and basic software about two editions behind my new acquisition which has been updated already to El Capitan.
      It is an interesting contrast between everyday mechanics and spare time philosophy. With religious aspects of philosophy Creation is a "one off" event and it is religion's fault that we react too easily against change but how easily do we accept the state of continual change that is our daily reality? One cannot run with Apple's flow, one has first to check how many other software programs and hardware developments have kept pace? So, one moves erratically, just as religious ideas moved, through periods of contortion refusing, or trying to accommodate, different peoples' rates of progress.
      So, by dint of circumstance: good friends and the flexibility to respond to chance, I now have a spare computer again for a tenth of buying a possibly new one. I will upload a year's licence for a new set of Microsoft Office programs for Mac and possibly an extended licence for Dreamweaver that drives this site. This brings me into a new experience, this proclivity for increasing revenue costs in place of capital costs. With the old way I had an outdated program on the old machine and so a spare of everything.  With cloud working I have to duplicate access rather than working one system at a time. Aah well, new territory, the reality of Creation being a state of continuing happenings!

Sunday 24th January 2016 [early morning]
BT are falling down on OpenReach. The government allows major train investment of taxpayers' money to benefit Spain and Spanish citizens' employment (government may not have had a case if it saves us some money and does not increase unemployment) and the Northern line rolling stock is falling to pieces. Therein lies the truth. Talk of being more successful than other countries distracts attention from our yawning deficit which is not going down according to schedule, while at the same time we are reducing our social expenditure. Related to the NHS, in my letter to my MP (a Treasury minister) I told him Osborne needed pressuring to be open with the  electorate and raise taxes if necessary to ensure we have the NHS the electorate expects to have. I will develop the theme later that it is more tax banding and structure that matters rather than a necessary actual increase in taxes.
      Charlotte Rampling says what no one else had previously dared but I had thought probable, non white actors just didn't cut it this year.  I regard it as disgraceful that she should be pilloried for speaking the obvious, although apparently not phrased as successfully as it might have been. Was it Far from the Madding Crowd that caused her to acquire the soubriquet 'Rumpled Rampling'? In her acting she gave the impression of being one of those girls with whom 'bed' seemed an inevitable part of saying "hello!" It wasn't her, it was just the way she was, a superb presentation of all womanhood being a woman.
    While on the NHS, they have started a trend to making more money by raising the prices on sugary drinks in their canteens and others are following. For the NHS this is fair play, for others tagging on it speaks merely as an excuse to increase profits, the result of government failure to get on with official taxation; they do it with alcohol, so where's the problem? After all, we all pay for it through our taxes through NHS care for the irresponsible. Let's get them paying their way. If we are so tight for money then let's start serious assessment as to who is and who is not properly looking after their own bodies before they call on others to bail our their irresponsibilities. It now seems common money-grubbers are in the alcohol industry making a fortune out of other people's stupidities. Normally I would say "fine" but since excessive alcohol consumption costs me in my taxes for NHS care then "no way", something must be done.
      Now that sounds like a moralising tone, the last thing we want is the Puritans back. Even today there are some religions that have this weird idea one should not dance and sing and they wonder why religion is the hallmark of the illiterate (they do not understand the text) who love killing people who do dance and sing!
      Islam is supposed to be a disciplined religion and the majority of immigrants in the Calais 'jungle' are supposedly Islamic. What do they do but break into the Calais port and fifty of them try to board a British ship.  Now, we do not yet have the details but it is the same criminality the immigrants have already displayed on the roads and on the Eurostar line. This wilful disregard for time tables and passengers' personal schedules is unacceptable. If they are so uncaring of the nature of European living then what are they doing presuming they could be of some use to us were we able to accept them for employment? Further more, with such inherent disposition why are they not arguing in their own countries with the regimes they say they do not like rather than refusing to accept the way we expect them to behave?
      It is the same example set by their predecessors too many years ago when we should have positively intervened and government failed to do so. Even their Imans arrived unable to speak a word of English. How could such people hope to educate their flocks in what was expected of them living our style of life if they themselves are so ill-educated in our ways?
      Somewhat late in the day the Prime Minister is doing something about language skills but why at taxpayers' expense and why only women, it should apply to all of them, When I go to France or Germany I am expected to have sufficient grasp of those countries and their languages to be able to cover my stay without inconvenience to them. Why should we be paying those who choose to force themselves upon us? It is not rational. If you cannot speak the language clearly you cannot be employed and therefore how are you going to earn other than at the taxpayer's cost for subsistence? It simply is not rational. Why, tif they are coming here are they so ccontemptuous  of our style of living? They will dictate to us but will not put the usurpers who spoil their own countries in their place and run them out of town!

This is the BBC news channel inviting two media people to comment on this morning's papers. The twit (both men, so understandably so) made a right pig's ear of rheir fifteen minutes, both names I failed to grasp from two journals I don't recall having heard of. One was cocmpletely witless not understanding that having voted 100% minus 3 people of the Falklans population voted to stay British. This chap thoghr this was a grey area. The man is clearly witless it is a clear black and white decisio—-end of discussion.
      It was Corsbyn he stirred this matter. One must understand that Corby is one of life's delifhtful anomalies. He is socialist and believeas the Labour party is comprised of trsde unionists wishing to be po;litical. For some reason the arty has been run these last few years by university twits whp saaw teh partyy fithful convenient cannon fodder over whom they could rides rougshod for their own egocentric glorification. Corbyn maintains their parllimentsy members ate there to do what the body of teh party requires which usually means unelectable policies. So be it. Whether this means a Labour government in four years time only time will tell. Where's the problem?
     The problem is that trades unions do not want democratic voting within their own organisations,  especially on stike voting and certainly don;'t want such democracy anywhere elese, which is why Corbyn is not interested int eh opinkions of teh Falklanders or Gibraltarians. This is why he wants Trudent  submariens built but designed not to carry nuclear weapons: jut as trades unions declare a gtrkke witdhout havign a clear mandate for it.
     Labour's shadow chancellor decries the paltry £130m late tax repayment of Google as derisory. He is correct thsy should be for each year rthey have defrauded our country.
     Regarding Calais again, Corbyn wants to let in 3,000 children. Like a union exaggerating it strike posiiton, he under-the calamity of his suggestion—he can't count. Human Rights Act. 3,000 children equal two parents per child meaning ultimate acceptance of 9,000 people. Is Corbyn an asset or a lilabiity? He's both right and wromng depending upon the siubject of teh moment and teh context in which viewed. There is only one answer and tht is when teh voters make their choice in four years time. `He might be righ! He coud just as easily be wrong. Henc teh mess over the referendum. Wea wknswer until we get it... at the moment we don't have the i formtion on which to vote!




Saturday 23rd January 2016 [midday post]
Watford and St Alban's City hospitals appear to be run on nineteenth century administration methods, if not quite on quill and parchment but by longhand notes in hard cased, section sewn exercise books. As I am about to make some comments on my recent NHS experiences, making critical comparisons between West Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire NHS Authorities, I discover the Berkhamsted Gazette is re-awakening its campaign for the re-opening of Hemel Hempstead's A&E department. 
      My recent experiences (although very much on the periphery of services) has shown that Watford General does not appear to have been enhanced, despite Harrington's (Conservative MP for Watford (the town has been Liberal)) declared intentions; Watford and St Alban's City hospitals rely on longhand notes whereas Buckinghamshire turn their computer screens round so I can read them while the consultant talks to me; Berkhamsted's local GPs have got together and declared they need a combine health centre, so Hertfordshire county council knocks down the police station, in the centre of town, close to the town's central car parks on which space they build houses!
     I have not yet checked my facts but I believe the Hemel community health centre has been closed as well as the Tring one. So we move on. Apart from the local paper's re-promotion these are really NHS  facts and I need to update my Sjögren's page too. Whether this will get done before I lose my computer for two weeks, I don't know. I am dreading that period and am boardering upon buying an IMac. I don't like being without a spare computer but for the moment I have borrowed a spare 27" Imac from a friend who, like me, overlaps upgraded computers so as to maintain two themselves. However, lugging it up from them I realise I am less able than I was but then, as my next upgrade was intended to be a 27" monitor for a Mac Pro, perhaps that will be lighter. For now, HMRC will have to have priority and I dread looking at spreadsheets on this equipment, it is an erratic fudge having grown used to 5K Apple resolution.

Friday 22nd January 2016 [late evening post]
It was before Christmas I had cause to say to my youngest nephew, "There is nothing wrong with debt, provided it is managed debt and you are in control of the debt, not the debt in control of you." The same principle applies to time and other resources. The old-fashioned cry, "If it ain't broke, why fix it?" being the fallacy of the bone-idle but staying on top while being fully enthused with life is no easy matter... or is that my cheap cop out?
      I know I am running late and I am generally blasé about it but for me time really is running out—not through any specific warning, just the obvious logic of age and health and the more I think of the reduced time I have the more I realise how much I have yet to do. Will I get it all done as I now perceive I need to do?
      I have written previously on news reports of people feeling lonely and when we have interviews with them on TV news programs and see the lives they did not live I wonder, "Why were you here?" I do not think that I have had a privileged upbringing but I do know of many who regard me as being that privileged while at the same time there are many who would not regard me as remotely special but whom I would look upon as being more advantaged, while not myself regarding them as any different from my own awareness. We were all in that  broad middle class society of  "commerce": family firms,  professional tradespeople or company directors, in my case including both church and the services (army, navy and civilian police).
      It is intriguing how one's ideas meld across subjects not seemingly related or relevant when one first sits down to write. For reasons to which I have previously alluded I am outside of my normal life. I am sitting, tapping into my laptop while watching the result of my words on my television. My laptop screen has now completely closed down, making it difficult to get going as the TV gives me no picture until I have entered my password and seeing that is by dint of guess work and "hey presto!" my TV lights up.
      I look at the view and think of the time when I was jumping all over the scaffolding, working out which of three possibilities would give me the best view when built. I made the right choice, sitting at my dining room table, looking down the valley to the Bovingdon hills six miles away, as the evening gloom descends, melding the trees in the valley into one self-same shadow, the street lights, like the LEDs on a model railway layout. Another job nowhere near starting, just boxes of model accoutrements and only a vague idea as to what I am going to use as the main working top. I have always wanted a model railway and was given an 'O gauge' clockwork one one Christmas when they were very expensive.
     Later on money was more urgently needed for formal education, not rich boys' toys. A boy at school had the good fortune to have a quite large 'double oo' layout in the roof of their garage to which he often invited me to share with him. My view is a collidescope of memories. The scene itself having passed through many transitions.  The periods of those transitions representing diverse scenes in my and my family's lives: tragedy, excitement, just the ggentle enjoyment  of living and being aware of what was around me and realising, knowing that I (who ever 'I' was) was a part of that collective history of individual moments in which I had paused and thought.
      There is the macrocosm of my long-term project: de-cluttering the attic and clearing the decks to make things as simple and straight forward as possible when it is my time to finally depart. That revision has brought me into contact with the NHS which locally is a right shambles, of which my recent past history under Bucks NHS show how a twenty-first century hospital should be run while Herts persist on running them in the nineteenth century manner., the details of which i shall follow through on my NHS page. Today, this week's Gazette publishes an outcry at West Herts NHS general failings.
      Then there is the microcosm of my laptop disaster, just when I want my apparatus fully functioning in order to try and be effective and contribute to the collective whole... but how effectively? I started by commenting on the so-called 'lonely'. Where am I?I have a mid 2014 version of MacBook Pro and the screen has digitally disintegrated but I am able to use my TV screen as a monitor to do crucial work before losing my laptop for a fortnight! It is the equivalent to losing one's mobile phone a few years back... and then think back a few more years when it was walking down the road to the phone box!
      I think of using my former laptop, Windows Toshiba. Hardware superb but the software..! It won't drive either of my printers. I could try downloading software but the wi-fi won't talk and the physical line connections have disappeared. In just a few years I have a collection of various bits of technology that no longer talk to one another, so fast has technology moved. I live with a friend of mine’s comment the other day when I was bemoaning problems "Basically, when your Apple three year warranty runs out, you replace, if only to keep up with the software changes.
      I had planned, when I made my decision on this current MacBook Pro, that this year I would buy the 27" monitor for my designing needs which would then be the item needed and ready for the Mac Pro I really want, a thousand pounds more than the laptop with which I grudgingly "made do". As my friend said, that's why you buy Apple. Who else would simply ttake it and replace all the insides of tyour laptop's top section on full warranty?

Thursday 21st January 2016
[early morning post]
The expression derives from the American motor car industry, when a vehicle reaches that point where every part within it is at the extreme of all permissible tolerances at which point it simply does not perform. I will not burden with too much detail but simply the past year has been a succession of such misfitting. 
     Towards the close of 2014 I was considering buying a new Apple. My first Apple was then seven years old and mentally I was still attuned to replacing every ten years, thinking that would put me back into the position I had been in since I bought my first computer nearly forty years previously! Wrong! Indeed, times they are a'changing! I discover that Apple only makes parts for models up to five-years old, only two years older than their extended three-year warranty. My then model was seven years old showing worrying signs and as a result of some fiddling in the Watford shop gave up he ghost. I think I have previously lost one satellite disk, possibly two and this was my first actual PC hard disk to go. Pre-backed up before I brought it in of course but in that moment I had to make a decision on which I had only been pondering. and I was just getting my head round a strategy. A friend the other day to whom I was regaling this history observed that they need changing every five years just to ensure the model can cope width the software demands. Therein lies another problem but for another time.
      Decision made I could no longer make the "easy" transfer from old to new. It had to be done mechanically. Later on in 2015 I had to upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan and that process managed to lose my mail accounts!
     My initial response to my new MacBook Pro—16Gb RAM, 1Tb solid state hard disk, 2.8 GHz Intel core processor—was "over the moon". Then the 15" 5K retina screen started flickering. Dropping in on the off chance (they were overbooked) a chap in the store taught me about system preferences and got it sorted. Then in June I tried internet chat and further played around but the adviser there said it would ultimately be a "return to shop" job  and the shop has just confirmed , "it's warranty but we'll need it for ten days, we already have forty machines in".
      As my friend observed, "...that's why the price is so high, they give you that sort of response",. I can't help feeling that if they got it right in the first place the price need not be so high but my experiences through the last year is that no one seems to have their minds on their jobs! More anon. For now I have to consider a fortnight without a computer and i realise the extent to which my life depends upon that immediacy but I suspect, in fact know, there is much to be done that does not need the PC other than for making notes, but I have given my typewriter away!
      I turn to my first laptop: a Toshiba for Windows. As a machine I remember being impressed with it and it has served me well but it is Windows. I think it was Vista that threw me. I thought 'if I have to make so big an adjustment then I might as well go the whole hog' and I bought my first Apple, its disk being split to run both systems. I am still impressed with the Toshiba but Windows again... no way! A Windows formatted stick and I should be okay wish the basic notes to get me through but I am thrown at the idea of being without two mutually compatible PCs. I am currently getting by using my TV as a second monitor, I have HMRC still to attend to and thereby hangs another tale!

Friday 15th January 20 [late evening post]

The Cof E is trying to and making a right pig's ear of it in the process. Islam is scattered to the winds not knowing which way to turn while secularism, in the form of the EU is equally floundering out of its depth. What scores? Good old fashioned British common sense!
      I am horrified to find ten days have passed since I last posted here, much has been going on and I have much to report under a diverse range of headings. Keeping it simple this late hour I will merely observe. Due to the authoritarian nature of men, coupled with an understandable ignorance, religion has had it wrong from the very beginning: Creation was not a one-off event but is happening now—a state of continual change through Time.
      The CofE is trying to please everyone by upsetting everyone through failing to define the bedrock: Homo sapiens is an animal into which biological entity spirit has entered and aided its superior development by comparison with other biological entities ,which equally are themselves developing. Religion has failed to recognise that however spirit chooses to manipulate Homo sapiens with spirit's idealism, spirit is still working with the elements of biochemistry which respond according to the rules of science, not philosophy., hence this entanglement in sexual proclivities. To proper, serious religion based on philosophical principles, sex has nothing whatever to do with it. It is the spiritual world to which one alludes, accepting its context, the present physical plane.

Islam is in the same state of chaos with which the Christian religion is still wrestling but at least there are signs that certain sections are trying to be rational. News announcements this evening of new fashion styles in keeping with Islamic tradition but acknowledging the western twenty-first century. Islam is beginning to think! This can be compared with the shock of the waltz which initially horrified people;  the raising of nun's skirts so they showed their knees. Christianity is trying to wake up and Islam is at last starting along that path. Three cheers!

Tuesday 5th January 2016
GETTING REAL—2 [mid morning post]
Male arrogance still persists in all its unacceptable traits, a good subject for New Year's Resolutions, "Men MUST change their attitudes!" I am not referring to Daesh. Was it the case that Sid could not get high enough to God from his bouncy castle, or was it the case that Daesh is feeling somewhat forlorn and hoped a bouncy castle would straighten their own lost way and raise them up? Or could they have been thinking that a man immersed in sales-peak could flannel his way to new converts, since Daesh own over publicised twaddle was only heaping ridicule upon themselves. Or was it a more serious attempt to promote themselves honestly by saying, "Look, our cause really is just a blown up balloon, we truly are just a lot of air."  
      Then there is that McLaughlin interview with Chris Gayle as part of Network Ten's "Big Bash League" broadcast. The man is clearly socially inadequate, he commented on McLaughlin's eyes, before suggesting the two "have a drink later". Conversation privately in a corridor as they pass one another might be acceptable but one needs to gauge the situation very carefully. To make such a proposal on TV is the height of insensitivity and then pass it off in a totally inadequate apology as "the incident was a joke" is merely to add injury to insult.
      It is not only that men need to change their attitudes but need to try and acquire more knowledge on the realities of the world around them. Were such a conversation acceptable, it is a conversation between two private people. In front of the camera lens Mel McLaughlin is not a private person, she is an employee of the TV company and her conduct is determined by the TV company's expectation, so what ever answer she wished to give, she was not entitled to express it, so what was the damned fool doing asking such a question? Was it high handed arrogance, typical disregard for women or that he is educationally subnormal?
    Then there is Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale texting lewd messages to a seventeen years old girl because he was having a drink and marriage problem. Many MPs have drink and marriage problems because they are normal people taken out of normal life and are representative of society's general failure to handle personal accountability.  With so many examples in the Commons of man's general inadequacies one would expect the House to do something about kicking the male gender generally "up the bum"... and society's too! It would achieve instead of just talking about legislation against sugar and cheap drink. Get on with it.

GETTING REAL [noon post]
Jeremy Hunt's report on BBC news this morning seemed eminently reasonable but is it reasonable to imagine that people of the calibre of medical doctors would call for a strike without wilful provocation? Hunt represents management and it is management's personnel department (or human resources if one insists) which is responsible for personnel interaction. So, what went wrong? Are degree educated adults incapable of a straight forward discussion/debate? Let's be quite blunt about it. Patients have enough problems being ill; then with the NHS having problems of prioritising when they can be dealt with, throwing periods of uncertainty into their daily lliving, disrupting their schedules and thereby disrupting other people's schedules (and have such 'peripheral' costs been taken into account to society overall?). Then there are the inadequacies of resources to ensure medical needs fit in with patient's needs to continue to conduct their lives either directly or with the help needed to cover their periods of 'unfitness for purpose'. This covers child care provision and the basic security of a lockable cabinet into which one can keep one's laptop and have a socket into which one can plug it for recharging. Then there is the need to access to the internet and we have hospital notices not wanting wi-fi for fear of interfering with medical equipment. Surely medical equipment is insulated against such possibilities in order to cope with modern living and working?

Sunday 3rd January 2016
Technically Eleven days ago!
New Year has not, after all, started well. I am plagued with an eyelash digging into my eye instead of curling away from it. I'll deal with the history on my NHS experiences and Sjögren’s Syndrome pages in due course. For now, this happened at a regular eye check-up at Watford General as part of the overall monitoring of my Sjrögren's problems. It was an opportunity to cauterise the root, "St Albans` should contact you within a fortnight." I did not hear him say "or so" and they have not! It would be a pity to miss the opportunity, apparently they cannot count the follicles, so he could not then pluck it out, for the time being it had to stay in.
      Normally, my optician "down the road" does this for me at about six weekly intervals and usually manages to fit me in within a couple of days. Some times I leave it a week or so to ensure it is long enough for him to grab hold of and yank it out. Unfortunately, I had already held off for ten days, knowing I was going to see an ophthalmologist. It is now truly driving me up the wall and I have to be careful for driving and also it is seriously interfering with my computer work. Depending upon when I hear from St Albans and when they can fit me in I may have to call the option off and just get the thing yanked out.
      A similar incident happened with my teeth. For the same health reasons my dentist wanted a second opinion and implied I would hear from Luton and Dunstable "in a couple of days". It was nearly three weeks before I heard from Aylesbury, a week being lost before my dentist’s staff got the letter away. My letter from Aylesbury asked me to ring them within two weeks of receiving their letter. The letter arrived half way through this period! I was given a choice of two hospitals and neither could fit me in sooner than the other so I went for Amersham. Luton and Dunstable was not an option and for geographical reasons, in the event of needing their surgery, Amersham would be cheaper by taxi.
      Two weeks before this appointment was due, Amersham wrote, putting the appointment back for a whole month (my calendar has just reminded me it is next week!). I already had problems accumulated from almost a whole year ago when the hard disk of my first Mac (seven years old) crashed, just prior to deciding what to replace it with.
      The Watford store had this in stock so I grabbed it off the shelf but I was preparing major updates across diverse programs which were being held back for the new machine. Needless to say I have been faced with mayhem all year!
      So, I start the New Year having already lost a day's work, not only in messing around mechanically but having lost my first two paragraphs with which I had been singularly pleased. Whether they will be as good tomorrow when I re-write them remains to be seen! For now, supper is cooking and John Deed has been booked! So, switch out time.

Sunday 3rd January 2016
Technically Eleven days ago!
I am matching the underlying mood of the period by being seemingly "all over the place". To be in such a state for the full period of Hallowe'en to the 2nd February would really be pushing things too far. It is amazing how many "new year's" there are across the world. The most famous western tradition has been maintained through Shakespeare's Twelfth Night where the lords of misrule rule for only those few hours, while the whole period is an hotch potch of Christian determinism to crush paganism, through Julius Caesar's new calendar to pope Gregory's. His calendar set the Christian church at odds with its own interpretation of God's Creation and highlighted the accuracy and logic of the pagan solstice. Stonehenge being no more than a chance configuration of landscape, according to modern research, it was the pagans that got the earth's cycle right and the 22nd of December should be the New Year's first day.
      In my own perverse way on this web, I let December run into January and copy the tail end of December into the new year.   What will finally result I have no idea. We all plough through our lives doing "our thing" and all we can hope for is that in the time on this earth we have been given, we conclude our period doing at least something on which we can look back and say "I'm glad I did that". Inevitably we can look back and also regret the time we wasted and the things we did not do or even attempt, which might include things we did and wish we had not done! Even the negative 'achievements' are a success, we have learned through recognising those failures and owning up to them, even if their confession is only to ourselves, for in recognition we learn more about ourselves and the experience strengthens and matures the soul... for what?
      "The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn no traveller returns puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?" Is that so? Four centuries later we argue the question with greater certainty of the 'authority' to determine for ourselves, for this year sees the quad centenary of Shakespeare's death and death, or more particularly the nature of dying, is a more open subject, helped ironically by the advances made in handling the dreaded "C" word, which is how people used to refer to cancer. There is the classic example of society's maturity, the way during my lifetime, society has grown up to accept medical realities and not allow them to be left to the "experts". We are all involved, have all been touched in some way and death is no different. Religion tried to debase paganism but paganism was right (and respected both sexes) while religion (the Christian religion) betrayed its belief in Creation, choosing to deny Creation's realities and preferring the priestly arrogance of the presumptuous male usurper.
      Is that "bourn" the source of an "undiscover'd country" and have no travellers returned from it? Does not the Bible itself cite appearances of spirits in seemingly human form and is not folklore steeped in such tales? Modern tales do not speak of apparitions but certainly of mediumistic communications through mental sensitivity.
      So, due prudence, or consideration for family and friends leads us to consider our own journey into that good night. Amazingly, two-thirds of British adults do not write a Will! Yet death is the inevitable consequence of being born. Unless the circumstances are complex, persons under the age of consent have no concerns and in principle one need not bother until there is a sound cause, such as engagement or the solo buying of a property, or other acquisition of wealth. Do these statistics relate to people who are single but do not own property? For those two circumstances flag up the immediate need to write a Will. Having written one, it very quickly can become worthless if beneficiaries die, remarry, especially where children are concerned, or one moves properties etc.. So, it is not just a matter of writing a Will but of maintaining its relevance to continually changing circumstances and the fact of death and its absolute finality in this plane of existence is a continuing possibility, however much we may dream of three score years and ten.
      So, having had cause to write a Will several times already, I am preparing my latest version to find I have to cover contingencies for the inadequacies of government, which may well make it necessary to incur the costs of a solicitor, instead of revamping my existing one through my now retired solicitor but by being retired he is not insurance covered, nor is he up-to-date with the possibilities of which way changing legislation, affecting the NHS, local government, social agencies may wander.
      Therein lies another tale. As happens with Sjrögren's Syndrome, a lot of diverse minor irritants arise, causing a great deal of wasted time and effort for both the NHS and me. I will turn to this for a mention, when I am ready and then hyperlink it to my NHS experiences page.  Currently I am waiting St Albans hospital to advise me when I can see an ophthalmology surgeon... for another attempt at cauterising an eyelash currently driving me up the wall as it has grown into my eye instead of away from it. A fault caused by having had shingles in that eye.
     In parallel with that I am waiting an appointment with a consultant dental surgeon at Amersham as my dentist wants a second opinion because of my Sjrögren's problem. While one of course has understanding of the NHS's problems one also should bear in mind my time and effort. Time taken out for medical problems as a patient are just as economically disadvantageous as to anyone else. Age has nothing to do with it, time is just as precious for getting on with something productive.

Technically Eleven days ago!
I'm momentarily panicking I'm going nuts! I recognise those "odd" moments I've seen in elderly members of my own family, that momentary forgetfulness. I have just mislaid my spectacles. Friends of my own age have occasionally posted on Facebook that they have just caught themselves in a "mad" moment, The reassurance derives from having the awareness of noting what one has done wrong and being unashamed of the incident let alone panicked by it.
      I have to confess to being totally thrown over this holiday period and have got confused over which day I am actually in. That is not unusual! When working in a factory it is easy to get confused with production coming forward, anticipating the bank holiday, while production itself is for publications necessarily variously advance dated. In production mode for a moment I suddenly realise I am advance booked for the next twelve weeks ahead, which brings us to Easter when I will be joining the Camroux's, by which time I should have a clearer idea as to how my year is planning out. Pressure is suddenly on and the next month is clearly going to be very busy... and I am retired! Technically, by government decree of age but as we all know that has nothing whatever to do with the work to be done due to the inclination of those who persist in remaining alive! As a young man I never understood this preoccupation for being retired. It was perceived by those who had reached that age as an achievement and by those still on their way as something to be achieved! For me, it is ill health that is slowing me up, not age and I am gambling on a minimum of another ten years before I am ready to relax... fingers crossed!

Technically Eleven days ago!
Sydney,  Australia kicks off with some excellent visual effects but the accompanying music was simply atrocious. It is astounding that someone who clearly has excellent visual perception can be so cloth eared when it comes to auditory sensitivity.
      Mercifully, I am able to face the new year with optimism. Having experienced complete chaos during the past year, as a result of several minor matters colliding with a major 'prepared for eventuality' and compounded by a family incident which threw my financial planning into chaos I said to one of my nephews earlier in the year, "However abreast you may think yourself to be, you still need provision for the unexpected emergency".  I was not prepared to incur debt, other than an over-ride on my credit card and simply delayed buying what had been scheduled. I determined the discipline would not do me any harm and I perversely linked my condition with the the traumas of the hordes of migrants trying to get into the country, for whom my irritations undoubtedly would be a joy for them to experience.
      Now, of course, my heart goes out to those who have been flooded... then there are those who have been flooded twice... or three times... and may yet be flooded again! As Corbyn rightly pointed out in a press interview today (BBC News), this is where money should have been spent, not cut back. Interestingly, Corbyn failed to mention the state of debt we are in was massively enriched by Labour's past profligacy, why on earth was this not mentioned?
      In accepting accountability we must all face the fact that we must cut back, be more efficient with our expenditure but also be prepared to accept increased taxes. This may be where Chancellor Osborne has failed, he based his budget on political considerations, matters of complete irrelevance to sound management, especially at the start of a five year term, instead of acting with due prudence and ensuring money was available where it was clearly needed. The cost of repair is likely to be considerably more than the cost of ensuring it didn't happen, on top of the cost of doing what should have already been done!
      Then we have the stupid arrangement whereby the EU declares its benevolence in spending money in our country, failing to advise equally loudly that it is our money in the first place coming back to us. Being so much in debt due to unrealistic socialist monetary policies, it would be more rational for us to spend that £12million a year we pay the EU, to fund our own needs, including paying back some of the debt that is crippling us through interest charges.
      At the same time, we have not only to sort out the rationality of our social security system, as Osborne is working on but have to address the world's problems which are climate change and social need. We literally are "all in this together" on all four fronts: world resource, demand, the ability to pay and the responsibility to share (and bear accountability)—on a global base, for no other reason than it is for our own long term protection. 
     This Daesh 'IS' lot have to be confronted playing their game in their own territory. The reality is that they are nothing, just a bunch of common criminals masquerading under contrived names like little boys playing kings of their castles wholly lacking in any rational substance. That is all they are, common criminals and the UN needs to be rational in meeting the situation head on in a co-ordinated manner. This is where the entire concept falls apart. Even educated, rational human beings play the ego card, arguably making themselves even more ridiculous that the Daesh lot make themselves look.
      As for the BBC, its idea that it must be "fair" to criminals declaring themselves is as ridiculous as the EU claiming to be rational. Nothing of the EU is remotely rational and it is most certainly not the BBC's job to worry over duly about criminal identities. Having written that, we of course need to be aware of the various factions but only with sufficient detail as to separate one fruit cake from another.

Sunday 27th December 2015 [evening post]
May be it is the season, it is so unseasonal but I thought that as one aged the more "stuck" one
became in one's ways and resisted change. In my case it seems I welcome new ideas with an increased fervour.  Why? Is it that poem's sentiment, "... I will wear purple... and run my stick along the public railings..." syndrome? [Jenny Joseph "When I am Old"]. The more obviously I age and become more affected by the diverse (so far "light") exigencies of my health, the more I seem to revel in change. However, changes to routine matters are a bore and maybe there is an undercover compatibility: I have always been perverse, not provocatively so, just seemingly in contradiction to the majority opinion as a natural proclivity and perhaps my health intrusions are seen as wilful challenges to my will and so must be challenged.
     Christmas was easy, a good family gathering, if noticeably diminished when the toast "absent friends" was proposed and we each, silently in our minds, went through the names of those that used to join us. I had no fears of icy roads or fog or snow but obviously compassion for those up north, contending with flooded homes inevitably jolts one's cosiness of all going right.
      Compassion for those facing natural disasters not of their own making is unquestionable; but one then questions the wisdom of those in governance as to why precautions were still not adequate, despite all the money spent in supposed preparation. Government at least should be in possession of the more absolute facts of climate change. I don't have the time to ascertain "authority" of those writing on these issues and the counter arguments as to what and how much must be done and at what speed.
      My mind then dwells on the Calais and other migrants. Many are Christians for whom Christmas is as important as it is to me, possibly more so, as my preoccupation owes more to cultural tradition than religion. After all, the Christmas tree was introduced by Prince Albert from his Germanic traditions and arguably the Christmas tradition itself is in defiance of God's exaltation, having been promoted by early Christian "authorities" caught up in their enthusiasm to abolish existing pagan cults and dominate them with Christian concepts. Hence the perverseness of 25th celebrations against 21stcelebrations. Certainly, this year, I have been mentally attuned to receiving spring from the 22nd onwards and already have a March mentality, despite a potential three months of snow and ice—not impossible.
      Then my mind turns to those in Calais and unlawful immigrants elsewhere. Where lies personal accountability? In these islands we have had to fight for the rights we take arguably too casually these days, assuming no one would dare try and take them from us... but that same casual acceptance can degenerate into a "don't care, won't care" who, as the rhyme tells us, "was made to care".  Yes, we could lose our inheritance if we do not vigorously, consciously and proactively argue their essence. Why will the parents of these immigrant children not likewise defend or claim their own rights as our previous generations did for us, perhaps losing their children in their fight for rights, just as our own forebears did?
      Is our involvement paternalistic, Christian... or the self-interest of oil? To what extent is climate change being resisted by those so deeply invested in oil and other natural resources promotion that they will not change for reasons of personal greed? We have recently been asked in certain areas to switch off Christmas lights to save power where it has been made critical due to flooding. This morning, a chance visitation on a USA TV channel caught a programme where there is apparently a competition for the most exciting family Christmas light show.  A house was shown so overloaded with lights in every room and all over the house that it spoke of wilful squandering of resource, both in the family’s capital expenditure and their wilful consumption of electric power. This is abuse. It is no different in principle to the people who abuse their own bodies and then abuse our collective costs in maintaining national health by wilfully making demands on our too few resources. Thoughts like these encourage an overall view of the way we rich nations abuse our power, albeit power acquired through initial diligence. I wish my downstairs neighbours would think on these things as they sit outside their front door right next to mine smoking cigarettes. At least they do not do it inside where they have a very young child but why should I smell their smoky detritus at my front door?
     The news advises that the young are catching on with ideas of fitness, that cigarette smoking is seriously decreasing and concern for fitness increasing. It takes time to implement change of attitudes. The Roman church will not accept women priests, the CofE took far too long making its own adjustments and is still having difficulties. In other cultures, perversely, women have pre-eminence and then wilfully abuse through their own sense of ego and control. This was shown the other night in the docu-bio of Princess Diana, claimed to be based solely upon gossip but arguably sufficiently researched (as determined from my own understanding of such cultures) as to imply that had it not been for the entrenched attitudes or matriarchy, the Pakistani doctor with whom Diana had an affair might have resulted in a permanent relationship that could have saved Diana's life, from which might have stemmed an interesting personal, yet inevitably public but positive interaction with Islam.
      On the other hand, Dr Hasnat Khan has chosen to make full forceful denial that the film is no more than ill-informed gossip about their relationship but nonetheless it reminds us that there are just as many and similar problems where there is a reversal of the patriarchal society but arguably not so in religious terms, where males still dominate. The IS (Deash fruit cakes) give Islam prominence, associating it with all that it is not but highlighting that it too is divided similarly to Christianity in its Sunni and Shia interpretations.
      So, in these twelve days of Christmas we have time to pause and reflect. Where to in 2016 and in what manner, with what thoughts and intentions should we progress? A momentary pause to count our blessings, even for those whose lives have already been devastated by three floodings in the same month! In terms of support they are better off than most of the Calais camp and others elsewhere. In the light of both communities' problems we have a duty to raise the issue of the wilfully drunk taking away resources from the seriously sick through no accountability of themselves but the natural order of life. This is the time to take a full account of all our accountabilities and responsibilities in the overall state of world society.

Sunday 27th December 2015 [midmorning post] I discover this was supposed to have been posted Friday 4th December 2015 [later evening post]. The port must have got in the way!
Discovered a Facebook post: "Out of my way! There's a house on fire there!"
"But... that's petrol in the bucket! Don't throw that! It needs water!"
"It'd take ages to go and fetch some water and we've got to do something. Don't you know how awful a fire is?"
"Yes, but..."
"It's a senseless destructive thing..."
"Well yes, of course, but..."
"...which can cause dreadful harm to..."
"Look, of course I know that fire is bad. You don't have to tell me. That doesn't mean you should be throwing petrol on it."
"Why are you trying to stop me taking action on this? Are you some kind of fire sympathiser?"
"What? Don't be ridiculous! I'm trying to stop you making it worse"
"Look at how much damage that fire's doing. It's already started spreading to our neighbour's house. If we don't take firm and decisive action now, it could be our house next! Just think about that!"
"Just put the petrol down. We'll work out where we can get some water from and then we can... Hey, stop! Stop! No, don't throw the.... Oh bloody hell!"
     I'm still uncertain but we are right to be involved provided we persist in seeing the collective whole towards a certain and determined end with those who will live there. We have to be there with them to be allowed to do what we do.
     Then a friend shared an excerpt from the EU on our own realities: http s:// Apart from the Daesh fruit cakes (IS the irresponsible States of Islam) we are running parallel to Syria and Iraq!
     There is no question that the British press does burble an arrant load of twaddle but to abuse its power to the point of systemic destruction is bordering upon infantile rage. What emerged, some time back, which the press seem not to have taken into account was that the Labour party has been run for years by university twits unrepresentative of the industrial working class, Labour's raison d' être, of which these twits were always proud to show their complete ignorance. That's why Blair said "Please EU, you're even more daft than we are, so please run our country for us then we won't look half so daft as now." Corbyn questions the whole principle of the EU, although he seems to be keeping rather quiet about that at the moment and his heart is in the right place but he hasn't yet got the hang of being himself and being a party leader. They are two different personalities and often act and think in contrary directions: that is par for the job. Neither Corbyn nor the press have got the hang of that yet.

Friday 4th December 2015 [early evening post]
Domesticity overwhelms: Christmas cards bought and written up. One advantage of "over" early starts, they were available and I made an impulse decision. A week or two later I discovered other better cards and wished... but by then I had sorted out their insides, printed and pasted them in with one or two additional personal letters, which fortunately had not added to the postal price weight. Posted today, bought my own tree, arrived home and found postman delivering three Christmas cards for me, someone has moved even faster!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015 [3rd early after-noon post]
Still hovering but Margaret Beckett made an excellent concise and cogent argument for action. However, some half hour later Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull) emphasised the lack of "what then?" which seemed to reinvigorate my bias against action. Yet he concluded with sound arguments for action. Arguments for "what then?" he accepted remain unanswered but his reasons for not being able to encapsulate following action were well listed.
      We are clearly hearing the nature of the debate within the Labour party whether or not within the PLP. I now retract my criticism of Corbyn for giving a free vote. He was probably right. This is about the validity of argument and therefore down to individual conscience, in no way anything to do with party political line up.

Wednesday 2nd December 2015 [2nd early after-noon post]
The Conservative rabble follows the appalling behaviour of the head boy who failed to apologise. He chose to hide in the locker room and the locker room has always been where the rowdies gang up against those who will insist in thinking for themselves. The Tories clearly are panicking that they are losing the argument!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015 [early after-noon post]
Only great men possess the ability to show humility, one of them was called Jesus Christ who had no need to apologise for anything. Is Cameron even a Christian?
     The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived. -Ann Patchett, writer (b. 2 Dec 1963)
      At the same time one should ensure one ruffles the surface for sound reason and not the simple expression of ego. -Peter Such, writer (b. 1943).

Wednesday 2nd December 2015 [High Noon post]
Cameron fluffed it. He had the opportunity to properly apologise for his unacceptable remark about "terrorist sympathisers". He has shown himself to be a small time little fag hiding in the locker room instead of the head boy he is supposed to be.

Wednesday 2nd December 2015 [morning post]
The "terrorist sympathisers" slur is not of itself a problem, it is the context and people so referred to that determines its unacceptability. It is the statement of a man who has placed himself in the position of promising action to our allies when he knows their reasons lack the stature required for British standards of public opinion—the "what happens after" planning. We need also to remember that one of these allies, through incompetence or wilful misrepresentation, led us into Iraq on a false premise. Caution must over-ride.


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.

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

Proportional representation. Which system?

House of Lords? Should it be elected or apnpointed 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.