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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)


Saturday 26th November 2016 [evening]



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 the Tories took too long to get round to doing so. Neither presented a competent argument.
We would have had a perfectly harmonious relationship with the EU had France not panicked over the greater empire and commonwealth that we created, for which reason they denied us earlier entry and ensured the rationality and logic we would have brought was excluded from the EU's basic structure, leading them away from proper objectives.

Hopefully I will regain access some time during this month's first week!


Saturday 26th November 2016 [evening]

I have just discovered an email from the above said gentleman addressed to a chap called P.!

"Hi P.
What kind of Britain do you want to see? One that’s open, tolerant, forward-looking, prosperous and united? Or one that’s divided, hostile and isolated?
      Right now, the Conservatives are leading our country down a path to a divided, hostile and isolated country. But we can change that."

[1. I assume he means Brexit. The Conservatives are not leading us anywhere. Due to Cameron's failure to understand basic management there were no preparations for managing our EU exit, despite the reality that a majority of the country did not want the EU and would vote for leaving! I have discussed how I certainly was aware of this on my EU page and why Cameron should have "known" full well what the result was most likely to be and to have properly prepared government to be ready to manage the situaiton: he failed to do his job.

2. How change? We are a divided country because of the EU's intransigence in turning a basic trading agreement into a political charabanc of "we know not what", except that as a country collectively we seem not to want it, so Farron's arrogance is the ego of the self-publicist: "I'm right, you who don't agree with me are all wrong."]

"On Thursday, the voters of Richmond Park and North Kingston can send Theresa May a strong message that she’s taking our country in the wrong direction. But we need your help to make sure they send that message."

[3. It is not the business of any constituency to interfere in the local affairs of other constituencies, which is the essence of any bye-election because they simply do not have a clue about them. Farron is being as witless as many a previous 'Liberals only' leader!]

"We’ve put together an ambitious programme to make sure voters who want to change the direction of the country vote on Thursday, but we need your help to fund it. Will you help make sure we win on Thursday by donating £25, or whatever you can afford?"

[4. Now we get to the grubby matter—they are short of cash and are using the local party as a means of advertising for national funds. Very worrying. We already have a problem about confusing local funds with national funds. Perhaps this is how it happens?]

"The good news is a group of donors who share our desire to change this Government’s course have generously agreed to match any donation you make before 10pm on Wednesday 30th November.

But time is running out - donate now and help Sarah send a message to this Government.

Donate and we'll double your donation <>'

[5. Who the hell is Sarah?]

Friday 25th November 2016 [midday]
A word unfamiliar in everyday English and the reason I am going to dwell on it may seem out of context with my reason for so doing.
     "An act of contrition is a Christian prayer genre that expresses sorrow for sins. It may be used in a liturgical service or be used privately, especially in connection with an examination of conscience", a definition quoted from Wikipedia.
     On BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning we experienced almost a Christian church service. Four ex-footballers appeared together in an emotional interview to tell of their torment after being abused as children by a coach. Last week Andy Woodward spoke for the first time about his childhood experiences from which has sprung the courage of the additional three. Over 100 telephone calls arose within a few hours to an NSPCC help line, every one of the three admitting it was Andy Woodward's example that had brought them forward.
     I have frequently been critical of the rigidity of religious thinking, especially religious puerilities to deny women the priesthood. I have commented, in amused tones, about concerns expressed at homosexual "announcements" of some professional football players, commenting that I thought 'one had to be gay to be a footballer', judging by the keenness with which they rush to jump on one another to hug and frolic. Quite unnecessary behaviour in my view.
      What is emerging is an apparent inherent "macho" scenario throughout sport, which implies a desire to expunge any idea that homosexuality is in any way inherent in boys and men playing so enthusiastically together. Yet, from where derives our respect for athleticism and culture but ancient Greece, wherein sexuality was openly identified and socially accepted? The key aspect of male homosexuality being its (voluntarily) acceptability by the young men in training of older men. It appears not to have been an act of hidden submission but something openly accepted. Is it western religion's fault that sexual matters have been driven underground and therefore misinterpreted in the stealth of subversiveness, leading to perceptions of deviousness and questionable conduct?
     Looking back with a mind educated in modern concepts, how could the Church of England, having broken from Rome under a woman's leadership, have created an attitude that denied support to women during the period of the suffragettes?
      As I have asked before, how could supposedly rational men, educated to at least one basic degree and many with several or higher degrees, conclude that women could not be priests? Then, ten years later, agree they could be priests but not bishops and then, a few years later, create the first woman bishop? They made a complete nonsense of the whole, other than the obviously open admission that even educated men can be complete morons.
     Looking in the context of the whole, outlawing male homosexuality drifted in with the Romans, who had gradually taken exception to Greek proclivities and only "understood" them as to be outlawed. Our "modern" negativity in the United Kingdom derives from Queen Victoria refusing to sign the "updated" act, believing "women don't (or physically couldn't) do such things".
      According to unattributed The Guardian sources, Parliament has never even legislated for an age of consent for lesbians, some lawyers considering that under common law there is an age of consent of 16 but this has never been tested in the courts. Our negativity derives from Roman law and the Act was changed for no other reason than for previous amendments, the bigotry of inexperienced, ill-educated, emotionally immature men.
     In looking back to the source, it is appropriate to recall that the word “gym” derives from gymnos meaning "naked" and the word "ecstasy" comes from the "ekstasis", meaning to "stand forth naked". At which point it would be good to recall that lesbianism derives from "Lesbos", that island's leading poet being Sappho.
      Being bulwarked by secular law and the church's determination to keep women out of meaningful ministry, homosexuality became the 'easy' meat of small time crooks, expressing their inadequacies through easy bullying and cheap income from blackmail. The "living in terror, of shame and of criminal consequences of discovery", ruined and sometimes destroyed through suicide, many innocent lives.
     It is in this context one must look back to the social life in which these activities of thirty to fifty years ago took place. The implied blame is religious bigotry, intolerance and appalling educational inadequacy that has led to criminal abuse brought on by a refusal of society to properly educate itself. However, while a properly educated society would have made things easier for those so inclined to seek partners of a mature and proper age, it does not excuse the emotional turmoil caused to the then young boys betrayed. In ancient Greece it is perceived relationships between mature men and young boys was of a voluntary and acceptable basis. Intimidation in any circumstance and abandonment of due "parental care and trust" is inexcusable. However, any sentencing following convictions needs to take into account the social attitudes of the time and that society as a collective whole bears some guilt.

Sunday 20th November 2016 [evening]
It has been an interesting day of singular diversity, closing with a lovely Facebook post of a friend: a Sunday after-noon's autumnal walk, amongst changing trees and a dry spell following some early winter disquiet.
     There is a regular Facebook post going the rounds "You never know the journey the person you have just met has travelled before meeting you. At least welcome them with a smile." So, in that moment of sharing, I understood some of my friend's fun and enjoyment of their moment in the sunshine: the awareness to use their camera to formulate those memories of shapes and colours and their sharing of that moment on a "simple" walk, proving there is no simplicity in a "simple" life, if you are to make the most of what there is around you. That moment for them at the time and for me sharing their experience through their post has complex meanings.
     In that, her post was no less meaningful than my own earlier post of yesterday. "Not a good day. Beloved friends' daughter with four under age children facing serious kidney problems, so far undefined; a cousin in for serious personal problems and one of my closest friends since college days has just died!"
     Response? "Take it easy and should any feelings feel the need to burst free, know I am here and very ready to listen." To which I responded, "Loving you deeply in the Platonic sense, knowing your own challenges which you have faced so bravely." Even in the despondency of the moment and one's own past's sad traumas, there is an opportunity for uplifting sharing.
     So, how was my day? Despondent, obviously, yet thankful my fatigue is not as bad as it was yesterday and sleep was not too disturbed. My Sunday morning collection of BBC1 programmes was interesting and informative, challenging views as they usually do. During the TV time I got out the ironing board and dealt with yesterday's washing accomplishment. Then, intending to write this, I allowed myself to be diverted by some re-showing of favourite programmes. That took me to supper (my day's main meal—breakfast and lunch are no more than incidental snacks). A nice piece of chicken breast, sautéed root vegetables.
     Yesterday I had a similar meal and finished off a bottle of Waitrose Australian dry white. Most of the time I make do but occasionally act irresponsibly. I have a friend, somewhat more successful in business than I, who had managed to buy a Jacobean manor house in the West country, to which he and his wife were most generous in inviting me regularly... it was a second marriage for his wife and her eldest daughter was retained at boarding school, awaiting an appropriate time when her education would be least disrupted to relocate her.
     "You wouldn't like to come down next weekend would you? Oh, by the way, It's Charlie's exeat weekend, you couldn't perhaps pick her up on the way down? Would you mind awfully if you went back Sunday night, you could then drop her back to school on the way back?"
      Finally she was established locally, where her younger sister was already well ensconced, which obviously went down very well! I am delighted to report that my visits were no fewer but then had the benefit of leaving Monday morning, taking a half day off work each side of the weekend made a world of difference to the work week and really made the weekend a holiday. However, I missed the diversion to pick up and drop my little chatterbox. Not so little now of course with four of her own.
     Anyway, the relevance of that side track was that he acquired a massive hotel wine rack from which he cut off a small corner, "That should fit in that nook by your front door", he said. It holds five wine cases! Consequently I occasionally treat myself to a more than average reasonable wine which stores well and I forget it. Then I realise it can't stay indefinitely so I make an effort until there is an excuse to restock. This was such a night. I find a good wine will run over three nights and as I had planned for beef tomorrow I opened a 2013 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Excellent!
     Then, I turned to Facebook. My friend, of whose previous communication I quoted above had posted "We had a nice wander along the navigation on the river Wey today. Some funny dogs and just a little bit of rain. Last leaves of Autumn poised and twitching ready to tumble. What's everybody else been doing? Stomping in the mud? Snuggling up on the sofa? Adventuring some place new? Would love to learn how your weekend has been, if you'd like to share." I replied "What a lovely invitation. I was just about to share my feelings on my own page. I think I will do so there and provide a link, as yours is so simple and yet no less meaningful, while mine is somewhat complex and a trifle darker. A lovely potpourri of a quiet gentle family autumn." A simple interchange yet, like so much of "simplicity", its undercurrents were deep, diffuse, complex and so meaningful in their own particular moment.    

Friday 18th November 2016 [after-noon]
Male supremacy derives, according to many scientists, initially from the force of genetic predominance. Sociologists would say that male dominance derives from the invention of the plough, requiring the male's proclivity to muscular ability: survival being the driving force in both cases.   
     In his book Women After All—Sex, Evolution and the End of Male Supremacy Melvin Konnor argues the relevance of the male to the reproductive need. That is not particularly his aim, the demise of the male but he perceives there is indeed a strong movement afoot to address the imbalance acquired over the previous few hundred years and restore a more harmonious relationship between the sexes and for the benefit of the species.
     If so fundamental a species' presumption can be directly addressed, why not then a reality of the whole species, death itself? Society persists in fighting the presumption that a man is "in charge" and women, despite determined efforts to break its stupidity and yes, men really can be incredibly stupid, even the most sophisticated societies have difficulty in accepting absolute ease of accommodation with absolute equality of the sexes!
      Theology determined women as being of lower status than men, its precedent being the historical fact of early agricultural societies and then later, in more sophisticated societies, where guilds of craftsmen and the concept of professional authority developed. While I accept there is no universality and my personal orientation is western, Christian, religions not only codified the lower status of women but also excluded women completely, from holding the higher status roles of priests.
      Since most religions of meaning now accept women in their ranks of priests, what remains outstanding is the LGBT+ communities. Then, if we are to accept the universality of the intellectual plane, we must accept open awareness of the natural biochemical differences inherent across the human species—in fact, across all species, in principle. If we are to accept the value to social need as being of the intellectual plane, (as we are being so magnificently successful today with physical disadvantages) then we must ensure those of diverse intellectual attainment, or presentation are not ostracised or belittled, as we once used to treat the physically disadvantaged and only now learning the error of our ways.
     So, as a species we have a commonality of interest in a certainty: death. What of it? Why do we have a problem talking about it and making appropriate responsible decisions about handling it, for ourselves and for those who are reluctant to handle reality? Death has replaced the former taboo subject 'cancer'. We now handle cancer as a matter of course and inevitably as part of that discussion 'death', or more meaningfully perhaps, the preparation for imminent death.
     What has hit this morning's news? A "14-year-old girl who died of cancer has been cryogenically frozen in the hope that she can be “woken up” and cured in the future after winning a landmark court case in her final days." What does this mean? First, she has faced up to what many adults are incapable of handling 'death'. Second, it appears it was her father who could not handle the situation, not the mother. Third, money is required but in principle she has made a decision as to how her body should be treated upon death. Few adults can be relied upon to do that and many adults, through due legal process of involvement, cannot cope with the freedom of the individual to determine how they want the home they have inherited since birth should be disposed of.
     "Out of the mouths of babes..." the usual misquote (through modern language updating) of Matthew 21:16. A child, forced by circumstance to be grown up before her time but in so short a life, has she not learned more than many adults living a full term? Yet, what of the spirit? Where lies this certainty that it would be better to preserve her existing body to be re-awakened ... to be driven by what? With an inanimate body can there be any expectation that the original spirit would wish to enter, for her spirit is surely now released into that state in which all spirits exist before travelling on. Would a spirit choose to re-enter an old body, assuming any spirit has the choice as to the state of body they enter upon its formation. This incident has seriously raised a comparison of beliefs: has this been considered before?
     We know of spirit communication through `proven' religious historical records. We know of modern spirit communication through various present day mediums (I, myself have such experiences). Which, then, becomes more believable? That "vouched for" religious "historical records" confirm there is 'life after death' or that science is confident enough to say that the theory behind cryogenics is practicable at the appropriate time. There is no proof in either case. In what state is the body? Is it 'dead' or is it in a state of hibernation? In which case, surely, the spirit remains attached and what would be a freedom of the spirit becomes an incarceration? There are theories that the spirit wanders freely while the body is in deep sleep, so does it matter?
     What a young girl has done is to determine how she wants her body disposed of when there is no biological life within it. Is there really any difference between determining the destination of the body, when it is biologically inert and preparing for such destination as the body reaches the outer gates and (if competent at the time, or having so defined at a time when one was) why should not the body be speeded on it's way through the gates, if the final passing cannot be managed with appropriate dignity and lack of pain?


Thursday 17th November 2016 [evening]
Complete chaos this week. Further news anon. For now, an extract from a discourse on Facebook.
Pacifist white poppies: record sales this year
Sales of Peace Pledge Union flowers symbolising peace and commemorating war victims ‘exceeding 110,000 of last year’
Description:  white poppy wreath is placed next to red poppies at Bradford cenotaph during a Peace Pledge Union gathering, 13 November 2016.
A white poppy wreath is placed next to red poppies at Bradford cenotaph during a Peace Pledge Union gathering, 13 November 2016. Photograph: Asadour Guzelian
Wednesday 16 November 2016 19.24 GMTLast modified on Wednesday 16 November 2016 22.00 GMT
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White poppies, worn as a symbol of peace on remembrance day, sold in record numbers this year, exceeding all previous sales over the last 83 years. More than 110,000 white poppies were sold by shops and cafes, and ordered online across the country, in the run-up to 11 November.
     And to what disabled groups is employment given for their manufacture; to what disabled groups is the income from their sales given and is the collective organisation a registered charity?

Peter Such And to what disabled groups is employment given for their manufacture; to what disabled groups is the income from their sales given and is the collective organisation a registered charity?

Michael  I think the proceeds go to the Peace Pledge Union.

Peter Such "think" and "Peace Pledge Union". I have not been able to find a charity reference number (doesn't mean it does not exist) and while its history is more extensive than I thought it certainly has not been well promoted. Remember the red poppy pays disabled workers and sales able such people.

Eleanor Hum, I don't see one either. As for the red poppy it certainly has received large funding from arms manufactures, and there is a danger that it''s forgetting it's message of never again in favour of our brave boys and girls, which has the danger of glorifying and leading to more of those brave boys and girls being injured and disabled in the first place.

Peter Such As I have asked in other circumstances is any money donated to charitable causes "dirty" in the manner and purpose used by such end charitable cause?

Eleanor  Contacted them - Michael you might be able to know the ins and outs of this Description:

Dear Ellie,
Thanks for your question. No, the PPU is not a registered charity as some of our work is deemed to be too "political" to make it likely that we would be able to register as a charity.
     Charity law in the UK is complex and inconsistent, so some campaigning groups are able to register, but they generally have to put a lot of energy into making sure they don't step outside the rather narrow limits of what is considered to be "charitable".
     The Peace Research and Education Trust is a registered charity that shares many of the PPU's values and which often funds certain aspects of the PPU's work when they are deemed to be charitable (such as our education work).
     I hope this helps.
     Thanks very much,

Peter Such:In other words white poppy sales are not distributed to the war injured or their relatives? How largely is this fact displayed by every seller of them?

Eleanor The ideas is to promote people not getting injured in the first place. Prevention not cure.

Peter Such So, no charitable purpose and into whose pocket for gain?

Eleanor Tbh if I'm going to give money to charity wounded soliders wouldn't be my first go to anyway - though I quite like Michael's child soldiers initiative which helps former child soldiers. If you want to dontate £1 you can always give it directly to the Royal Britsh Legion or choose another charity.

Peter Such You are avoiding the issue. Into whose pocket goes the inflow of money gained from the sales of white poppies and how well is that fact stated at the point of sale? More over, you are donating to the British Legion by buying the [red] poppy! That's its purpose. You are implying a private entity, that admits it does not meet our standard charity requirements to be classified as a charity is trying to make unrelated gains by crashing in on an established tradition for a completely different purpose and you are supporting that misrepresentation!

Monday 13th November 2016 [morning]
#BusterTheBoxer #HomeforChristmas
Sometimes advertising hires people who know what they are doing. The John Lewis Christmas ad is superb.

Sunday 12th November 2016 [after-noon]
Reflecting with the nation. David Dimbleby's commentary reminds me of his father's commentary to which I listened with my father. I think in those days the family still owned The Richmond and Twickenham Times, an extraordinary and fascinating family. David's voice, now in its maturity, is very similar to how I remember his father's.
     So, where are we? Seemingly on the verge of repeating the mistakes of which consequences we are currently commemorating and commiserating. Rather than be horrified by the vastness of the numbers we should see each individual that makes up that composite, of either sex and expand that thought through our imagined mind to encounter potential brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter and wider relatives, plus friends, individually. It is not numbers, it is each individual and their wider connections that is awesome. Therein lies the enormity of the tragedy, a tragedy we are in danger of repeating?
     In my personal life I am again in organised chaos. Always busy, as I have previously observed, I do not understand how any retired person can complain of being bored: I confirm the cry of others, "I don't know how I ever managed to fit in work!" What is the difference? I hate this perceived necessity to label and classify, while valuing the organised library and scientific classification. It is "horses for courses": classification is not for practical everyday living. What is retirement? I have been wrestling with this of late. Am I retired, semi-retired, self-employed, a "gentleman of leisure", of "independent means". These last are not classifications to be found on insurance or finance forms, which are geared to artificial determinants divorced from every day realities. There is no place to put "one simply 'is' ". The correct rational answer depends entirely upon my mood at the moment of being asked.
     Why these quandaries? I went to my garage, some miles down the road (in Aylesbury) as it is one of a group of garages specialising in Toyota. I am due for my annual service in March and my first MOT and had managed to acquire some body scratches, so needed to gain an estimate and whether they could wait for the service or should be done before the winter. I ended up buying a new car!
     I have previously had three new cars but all of them were company cars. This would be the first time I had ever bought a brand new car for myself. It is almost certainly the last car I will ever buy! So, it was a matter of timing, how long was I going to be fit to drive, were it to be longer than I expected, how old then the car and there were certain facilities in the present upgrade I would like to have and why not make the most I could of a brand new car with the latest option? There was also a part of me that said "sod it!" I'm me, not yet too cranky but gradually disintegrating, bearing in mind I have some able and less able relatives in their nineties and I'm only in my seventies so be not bashful in letting world know I'm still around and kicking! It's a brilliant orange special edition! P. Such Esq is still around and being involved!
     Farage looks likely to make a fool of himself. He doesn't want the stage, then again he grabs the stage! We do not yet know what Trump is but typical of all bully boys it appears he cannot take criticism for behaving disgracefully. He has behaved absolutely disgracefully and has been properly criticised for it. Grow up little boy and learn your lessons of real life.

Wednesday 9th November 2016 [morning]
I wrote, some time back in this column, that a Trump win was not impossible. I am perturbed by it, although this is not so much a Republican win as a Republican party grabbing a movement opportunity. An opportunity presented in the UK by the Brexit vote. It is a universal mood reacting against the mindless numeracy of business-orientated self interest in preference for a human, social accountability. While there are notable exceptions, but so far minorities, a collapse in religious authoritarianism is giving way to a universal spiritualism, expressed through secular concerns for social welfare, although not necessarily accountability, as yet.
     In response to a Guardian article this report is as asinine as Trump's own campaign. This is not a vote for Republicanism it is the Republican party grabbing the tail coat of a politically indeterminable ground swell of the need for change. People are rejecting monetarism for a secular socialism, due to the proclivity of religion to adhere to authoritarianism rather than play true (except in places too late) to the spirit which launched its concepts.
     I felt some sympathy with a friend's Facebook comment. "Because I study conflict and research people across time who are challenged by political upheaval, invasion and threat, I don't feel this is the end of the world. It will move us forwards towards wherever we need to go. 
     "My American born friend said, at the beginning of this year, people should not be surprised about Trump. Trump is actually representative of a large proportion of America who are not suited elites working in cities, their voice often gets lost among the veneer of dominant American superiority. This does not mean Trump will serve those people, it does highlight a lot of America's problems. 
     "He researches and works with Latin American communities in the US and in Mexico. He sees the underbelly of America clearly and feels Trump has come from a place of racism, anger etc. It does not surprise him and he expressed that maybe it is now time to really see America, for what it is, not what it wants or pretends to be. He hoped a Trumperica will humble the United States, that the world will notch it down on the priority list. Maybe that will happen, maybe not, who can tell? We just have to see. 
     "Its an interesting situation but not the end of the world. The Trouble with America holding so much power is that its people get to vote but a world affected by the outcome do not. 
     "Let us see what we can do next. It is so important in all things to remain positive if we can and try not to widen the gaps between one another. 
     "I still believe in the collective good and know how well that can work. Positivity will help the world navigate this perplexing time better. By this I don't mean brushing it away with cheery talk but keeping morale high and unity at the top of our priority list. Stay realistic but hopeful.
     "The worst thing that could happen is malaise, feelings of long term defeat, an undercurrent of anger and further division. Keeping the 'can do' spirit alive, countering fatalistic feelings, is a radical approach at present but I strongly feel its the most constructive one.
     "Love not hate, absolutely.  We can all get through this, together, regardless of voting preferences. Humans will make mistakes, do puzzling things, sometimes our errors are not as grave and awful as we first feared and believed they might be. 

Friday 4th November 2016 [morning]
Even starting with man's simplest interpretations, concepts of a Godlike Creation grate with the reality of Life's diversity. Hence, arguably, the myriad attempts at religious interpretations. Yet the persistence in attempting uniformity leads only to division: Judaism, Christianity, Islam; to name but three main western religions. Secular society disowns religions as no more than a personal matter, yet makes the same mistakes: it demands uniformity across diversity, denying Life's realities, just as did religion.
     Microcosm versus macrocosm. Friends on Facebook debated the Armistice poppy, then FIFA made such debate worldwide; a corrupt organisation sullying all that it can but it is not the only cause for concern. In his article published in 2014, currently displayed by OpenDemocracy, Paul Rogers records his perception that if attitudes are not exactly changing, different sentiments are entering the anniversary. Also in 2014 OpenDemocracy published details of armourers, Lockheed Martin, financially supporting a Royal British Legion Young Professionals and Honourable Artillery Company's fund raising ball.
     As the FIFA upset illustrates, social attitudes are changing and need to be recognised, not just in the UK but worldwide, where other peoples view such symbols with different sentiments and from differing viewpoints, drawn from their own lives' experiences. In such matters it is good to look back to our origins.
    "In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing [the first plant to show determination to re-grow in battle-scarred fields], to write a now famous poem called 'In Flanders Fields'. After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance. I quote the poem below.

In Flanders' fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow  
In Flanders' Fields.

The Royal British Legion gives a light historical account. More particularly it provides two statements of what the poppy is all about and what it is not about.
The poppy is

  • A symbol of Remembrance and hope
  • Worn by millions of people
  • Red because of the natural colour of field poppies

The poppy is NOT

  • A symbol of death or a sign of support for war
  • A reflection of politics or religion
  • Red to reflect the colour of blood

Wearing a poppy is a personal choice and reflects individual and personal memories. It is not compulsory but is greatly appreciated by those it helps—our beneficiaries: those currently serving in our Armed Forces, veterans, and their families and dependants.

Back to my Facebook conversation. Lindsey wrote "Sharing Eleanor's status, she raises important points. Good to consider at this time of year.
     'I always feel conflicted on the poppy. If it's an anti-war symbol I'm all for it. But I've never felt it's really about that. Because people can't not wear it. If a politician or news presenter were not to wear one they'd get roasted for it. It's more than war is bad. It's chest thumping politics at times. Our brave boys. Glorious us. I know not for everyone, but for different people it means very different things. I'm all for remembering the dead and trying to stop other wars in the future. I'm not for our glorious fighting. There's a fine line between honouring people whwo have died and glorifying the dying. Too often I see the poppy starting to glorify the war that killed them. It should be a choice, meaningful and reflective on the horror—to me. When it's not, as it's often not to many people, it's something I find very hard to ascribe to.'
      'We need to think before buying poppies. They symbolise something important. Integrity and meaning have to come with remembrance for there is no point saluting the glorious dead whilst ever creating more.
     I am disgusted to learn this afternoon that the British Legion welcomes donations and substantial financial gifts from the world's most prominent arms companies. It defends this decision.
     If you wish to honour those killed in war, who have served, who gave their life and mobility for the cause of ending war, you could do more than buy a poppy. You could invest instead in the mechanisms of peace. These, like the British Legion, were set up in the wake of hideous human catastrophe to work for better, to prevent world war, to negotiate between powers, to raise up common interests.
     The United Nations isn't perfect, it isn't without faults, but through our national associations we can inform and participate in what it does. It is a greater hope than attaching meaningless glory to the business of war. War is never glorious. 
     If men and women are called to defend ideals and freedoms let them do so out of absolute necessity, not because it benefits leaders and corporates who profit from their sacrifices.
     I wonder how many poppy wearers realise this. I imagine most believe they are supporting the memory of loved and brave ones by humbly supporting a charity that counsels and raises up the existence of war dead, regretting anyone at all who ever has had to die because of war. I wonder what the wider response would be, to realise the makers of the world's deadliest weapons, investors and perpetuators of the arms trade, are routinely funding BL work. Carbon offsetting is one thing, moral offsetting quite another. [This raises the question as to whether money is ever "dirty". Is it not simply "money" and it is the use to which it is put that determinines its acceptability?]
I always feel conflicted on the poppy. If it's an anti-war symbol I'm all for it. But I've never felt it's really about that. Because people can't not wear it. If a politician or news presenter were not to wear one they'd get roasted for it. It's more than war is bad. It's chest thumping politics at times. Our brave boys. Glorious us. I know not for everyone, but for different people it means very different things. I'm all for remembering the dead and trying to stop other wars in the future. I'm not for our glorious fighting. There's a fine line between honouring people who've died and gloryifying the dying. Too often I see the poppy starting to glorify the war that killed them. It should be a choice, meaningful and reflective on the horror—to me. When it's not, as it's often not to many people, it's something I find very hard to ascribe to.
     Eleanor's view. "When weapons companies are the sponsors of the poppy. "We are thrilled to announce that Lockheed Martin UK will be the main sponsor for the Poppy Rocks Ball on 25 October 2014." Lockheed Martin get 10% of Pentagon contracts for items such as fighter jets and missiles, and into 2012 had to settle against allegations that the defence contractor had sold overpriced perishable tools on many contracts."
     In the final analysis, The Royal British Legion's funds are collected by volunteers standing freezing on cold street corners and all the money goes to the families who have lost someone or have a family member severely disabled (or have dependents) for giving their all to their loved ones, us, the people of this country.

Thursday 3rd November 2016 [morning]
This morning, Victoria Derbyshire highlighted a victim of police outrage whose £37,000 compensation seems far too small and accompanying "apology" completely inadequate. When there are several male police officers involved in a situation common sense demands only female police officers should have been in attendance, one is seriously concerned at the apparent low intelligence of cadet admission into the force.
     Victoria Derbyshire''s programme also covered appalling conduct in care homes regarding family members' rights of admission to see relatives, a clear statement that the care home knows it is inadequately run. These would appear to be privately run care homes and we have already had clear examples of the inadequacy of private business to operate properly in government out-sourced facilities.
     Having said that, I myself have just been responsible for being a "damned nuisance". I recall, in a past life, we were very reluctant to change colouring and style and presentation of medicines so as not to confuse long-term users. However, medicine packages do change, particularly if the NHS is able to use different suppliers of generic drugs for reasons of price and or availability. In my case I had started a new drug which had just been confirmed for regular use and the bulk quantity is, understandably, differently packaged. I was continually looking for the original package when I tried to trace the new supply, causing some little mayhem in the chemist's and also my doctor's surgery. It exposed an anomaly in the system. The obvious check as to whether I had or had not already taken the prescription relies upon the prescription being at the chemists, where it is retained but only for the month. At the end of each month, issued prescriptions are sent on to the NHS: we were at the start of a new month, so history was not there! The advantage of the new system of having one's chemist pre-committed is that the staff remember regular customers and one member did say "I'm sure you picked it up last week". I had overlooked having it because the old package had been thrown, I was expecting to start a new package but it was completely different from its predecessor, hence it was overlooked!
     As I type this, I have just learned that the challenge to the government enacting Article 50 without parliamentary specific approval has just been upheld. Another example of how Westminster is so out of touch with the people and the country generally. Another example of the enormous damage the EU has caused us. We no longer instinctively know what to do in any situation! It must also be a reflection on Cameron and the Conservative party generally. This should all have been covered at the very beginning. Apparently no one thought it would be "no". It is basic management to cover the unlikely as standard procedure! It further shows Westminster does not know its own country. My countrywide understanding was that "no" was highly probable.

Wednesday 2nd November 2016 [morning]
It appears that, somewhat later than scheduled and causing more hassle than envisaged to use we are getting back to normal, now highlighting how much has managed to accumulate at my end! More anon, for now just saying, "hello world, I do still exist and have not expired as yet". At which point I seem to have got side-tracked and have now found (Wednesday) the web site still is not working!
     I think that I have problems but considering I am ploughing on, disregarding problems caused entirely by ill health, I realise I am not doing so badly. It is not that I take glee out of someone else's misfortunes, it is just that in seeing their problems I reflect on my own through a different light or from a different angle. This is where Facebook can be so helpful. One observes someone else's difficulty, sees one's own in a new light, from which experience one may be able to offer a solace helpful to that person having their difficulty and thus seeing their own problem in a new light or from a different angle.

Tuesday 1st November 2016 [after-noon]
Is it because of this extended time under the EU choker that everything seems to be going wrong everywhere, or is it that now we are intending to regain control, we realise how much damage has been done by relying so much and for so long on the 2nd rate EU management style?

Monday 31st October 2016 [after-noon]
MY DAY, Helping a Friend Along My Way!
First, as you have asked for such comments, my Monday has been superb. I bathed—haven't for a week, too tired even for that effort—rolled onto the road just behind the "must be in by nine" crowd, so emptyish roads and pulled in to The Crows' Nest for breakfast. Checked wheelchair entrance. Had an excellent breakfast, discussed dinner for 8 on 5th including booking table arrangements for wheelchair entrance and sitting. Also arranged for breakfast for 4 including wheelchair next day and speedy departure.
     Hit out on the road after spending a little while getting used to car. Things I haven't used for awhile, like de-mister, rear screen heater, where are the switches, I've forgotten! Almost 60-70 from Tring to Watford. Matters attended to simply and straight forwardly, back to Berkhamsted shopping, then home, no lunch, too good a breakfast but crashed out asleep. Thought I ought to do something, so I've started here.
     Now for my friend. Don't panic, we all do daft things from time to time. I once allowed myself to be talked into doing a bearded lady striptease at a party, down to Victorian long johns. Mercifully no one has mentioned it since... and I have been invited back!
     Regarding your dragon lady, have fun with her but if you are really going to take her on the only way to handle her properly is to be so damned good she can't argue, however she seethes. Universities and hospitals are the natural breeding grounds for eccentrics. Everything grows in those environments. I had a lecturer who was for ever selling a particular technical approach. I had to write an essay upon it and by implication praise it. It had its points but points that were not that praiseworthy in my opinion. My first paragraph praised it fulsomely, concluding with "... if only factory life really were like that." The rest of the essay explained that theorists' dreams were all very dandy in the classroom but out on the factory floor, life was completely different. I recall it received a good mark but under it was a cryptic remark, "I would have given you more but you really must learn to accept that yours is one opinion, there are many others.
      I remember a lovely character at school (are teachers allowed to be characters today?). He taught science but coming up to retirement he took the cloth, claiming that earning a salary as a clergyman he could still be paid his retirement pension. He thought he would be a good clergyman as he did not believe in God. This meant he could keep a clear head on the subject.
      I hope I've given you a little light relief.

Friday 28th October 2016 [after-noon]
It is not my week. I am certainly in one of my "exhausted" straits. Various matters have come to a head. New bed coming in and it won’t fit! Fish! Intended working plans will have to be rejigged and it is not a good day! Folding single bed had been opened up in the large bedroom (currently a major stock room) to cover contingency of delays of double bed being taken out of mall room for new, rather involved, single bed to take its place. I have psychological problems there. Dreams of further hunting trophies finally laid to rest. That is a period comment and really is not my style. I hope none of my women ever saw me that way but perhaps I really am old... or neutered at too young an age!
     It is fascinating what one discovers simply by moving things. A week or so ago I bought a brown trilby. I took a shine to remembering one like it I had previously. I have just found it! Wardrobe has to be emptied of all clothes and then, with effort, moved during which operation I can't find my tape measure nor torch! Aah well, both will turn up in due course. Wardrobe got moved. Have to think of bed another way round but at least I can get it in which I could have done in the other room. Also discovered two pictures leaning against the wall I had forgotten I had, lacking wall space at that time and forgot them! Time to sleep and then reload the wardrobe, otherwise I am not going to sleep anywhere tonight but a chair!

Wednesday 26th October 2016 [morning]
Was mine an "open" parenting? I have often perceived it to be but retrospectively it was "open" only comparatively. Less and more so than the parents of other boys with whom I was close to at school and probably somewhat more so generally than with my parents' wider social interactions. Arguably, because of the diversity of my interests, mine was a wider than average awareness but still bound in by the period's social conventions.
     As I have written elsewhere, the duty of a parent is to prepare their child to stand on their own feet and earn their way in the world that will greet them upon leaving school. Unknowing what that world may be like twenty years on, the parent needs to maintain a continuing awareness of social changes, balancing their personal interpretations and reactions so their child develops their own thought through responses, in preparation for the way the world will be, so it is able to adapt and be receptive to it. How then do we develop this extraordinary situation where nearly 8% of fans would not support their own club were they to openly employ a gay footballer? Frankly. I thought most footballers were gay, judging on the way they were all so keen to jump up on one another and enthusiastically hug. Am I simply nontactile?

Monday 24th October 2016 [morning]
At one time, before the EU, although not perfect—there was that idiot who pointed our guns in the wrong direction at Singapore—this country could generally be relied upon to sort things out in an organised and competent manner. I point no finger at the appalling, unchecked rise in immigration but presume the failure is ours, although imbued by the EU's general inability in basic management and the stupidity of our politicals, weak-kneed and feeblemindedly agreeing to the stupidities to which they have agreed. It is that attitude that has denuded so much of our inherent common sense and innate ability.
      Fortunately, we did not agree to the irresponsibilities of Schengren but France insisted it affects us, through its irresponsibility in accepting the stupidity for itself. Consequently, Calais accumulates people who have drifted through several countries to reach our borders which are, fortunately for the moment, in France. The reasons we are having to be there is because France is simply not up to the job.
     That these people are in France immediately places responsibility on France. That they seek access to the UK is secondary to their existence in France and therefore through France acquire EU recognition. It is from that recognition that they seek access to the UK and it is their duty to report appropriately through the proper channels.
     That their intent derives from a love of Englishness is fine and reflects our world-orientated status, which the EU's small-mindedness has been intent on eclipsing. Fortunately, it is not our style to be eclipsed! Had our own politicians not had the stupidity to abandon absolute control of our borders, in recognition of our realisation we could no longer allow limitless Commonwealth access, we would have been able to say what we might have said, "come in and lets sort you out". We no longer have that ability because we have abandoned absolute control.
     We therefore have to refer to the original cause. Defining such cause is diverse across the people but essentially lies in a failure of the United Nations. That is the authority for international intervention and basically such intervention derives from a collective failure to handle major internationally orientated criminality. Tribal frustration is best handled in the specific area. Criminal wilfulness, such as the IS/Daesh lot which, as the Daesh name implies, are pure terrorists.


It was Labour's socialism that determined acceptance of the EU's diktats without argument because it took away their accountability for what they knew the country would not accept. All that is happening now is the rational debate Labour were not capable of holding.

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 basot only the kitchen sinked 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 re-viewable 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.