WEDNESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2013
ON JULIA GILLARD AND DOWN TO EARTH BRITISH COMMON SENSE
Intelligence in politics at last! If only the rest of the world had as much intelligence and guts to exercise the common sense of the Australian Prime Minister! It used to be British common sense, until the EU got involved without us being asked if we wanted their damned interference.
The whole world needs a leader like Julia Gillard who told Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law on Wednesday “… to get out of Australia”, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks. Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: “IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.
"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!
"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.
"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'. "If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.”
The promoted idea that the UK is a multi-faith and multi-cultural community is not a bad concept that needs to be openly promoted for what it is: an essentially Christian orientation of values in the Christian sense of social charity. Multi-ethnic toleration must not be allowed to demean in any way the historical basis of the whole community that the UK is Christian-orientated and Christian culturally based.
SUNDAY 24th NOVEMBER 2013
ON THIS AND THAT AND QUITE A BIT OF THE OTHER
As usual, I find empathy and argument between the microcosm and the macrocosm. I recall connecting with a chemotherapy sufferer’s post whose cancer was in remission that what had helped her through her treatment was being a journalist. Her attitude had been, “Oh, so I’ve got cancer, a new challenge in my life, let’s investigate.”
Steve Evans, brilliantly brought face to camera his way of handling terminal illness, highlighting the personal nature of these matters that must be down to assisting the individual in their chosen way and time of dying. That is the true meaning of palliative care. If that means giving them the syringe, or pushing the plunger if they can’t themselves, DO IT. Yes, there are genuine legal difficulties but NOT unresolvable. SOLVE THEM! I detect a prejudiced reluctance to entertain the idea at all: precisely why it must be addressed. Such reluctance to address is an admission, by default, the subject is worthwhile and meaningful and the argument valid that in certain medical conditions it is a person’s right to terminate their own life when they choose.
I come from the age when child awareness was not acknowledged, when people wilfully withheld knowledge of a person’s imminent death from that person. My father was overseas and his mother was dying, “We don’t tell her, its easier for her not to know.” My mother had said. I riposted that it was her right to know and determine how her last days were to be spent. As a child of only ten or so I was of course shushed up but I have retained an anger against such attitudes until we gained the rationality of the hospice movement. I feel the same intensity for demanding the same attitude towards the patient’s right to end their own life their own way under their control.
With the Roman church still failing to follow Protestants’ lead after four centuries, secular society on practical values has the upper moral hand save, it seems, on voluntary suicide, in which case the argument is going to get more complex, the moment we actually do get women bishops into the Lords. At least the Christian religion can at last address the real world in a meaningful manner. In religions’ general refusal to accept the reality of what it claims to believe, as science has proven to be the case, it has invalidated its claim to be taken seriously until now. Now the Church of England has accepted the principle of having women bishops, the church once more is in the leadership of Christian values and at last dealing with the world as science has indicated is His reality. Protestant Christians at least can start being seriously rational and meaningful in the world of today and in preparation for the world tomorrow, once more able to hold their heads high as being relevant to the realities of life. Too much religion for too long has looked backwards to ancient history and to an undefined ultimate tomorrow, missing out on any understanding of today, let alone preparing for a middle distance tomorrow in the interim.
On the personal level, I have just had my first full English breakfast for a long time. Like the journalist I quoted earlier I have been fascinated by the need to reduce weight and prepare for being declared a diabetic, when things will get a little more formal but not drastically so, for the moment. I’ve achieved! Reaching the weight my dietician wanted me at well before my next formal appointment. So why reverse?
First, at this stage I can still enjoy flamboyantly, provided it is responsibly so. Second, I need to starve myself. I will deal in more detail on my NHS page, where matters unsavoury will be posted. For now, I need to eat well for after 13:00 I cannot eat at all until after the invasive medical investigation has been completed, at which time it is unlikely I will enjoy eating for a few hours. I actually want to get my weight down to where I was three years ago, to give myself a little bit of leeway, especially with Christmas on the horizon. Anyway, details on my NHS page (in due course). In the mean time, I discovered how much I had missed my regular full breakfasts at the Crow’s Nest, looking out over the expanse of the Aylesbury Vale with Whipsnade’s lion carved into the chalk. Of course the occasion required a Sunday paper. When first published I was a regular Independent man. Thereafter, my purchase was geared to the headlines available.
On major events I took two or three papers. Depending upon the time of publication, it was interesting seeing the diversity of the reportage, which often did not seem as if they were reporting on the same event. Now, I mostly rely on electronic news feeds. This morning’s enticement was The Observer. The front page provided an interesting diversity: Labour in crash crisis over Co-op Bank. Unfortunate that a moral incentive in the reality of commercial life should have become sullied but mud slinging, Cameron, demeans the slinger before it hits any target.
The calamity over the three ‘imprisoned’ for thirty years in domestic servitude ties in with the claim Ian Duncan Smith is re-examining the criteria on which the seriously ill can claim benefit, to their disadvantage but to the state’s economy? The connection with me is that I am having to prepare my body for an invasive procedure. I recall a period when I was a teenager, my intentions in life being over-ridden with a hospital incarceration for an investigation. I remember expressing my irritation we weren’t simply 'getting on with things' so I could get back to my life. “My mind is the interpreter of my soul, my body the servant of my will, it’s purpose is to do that which I require of it.”
For the next forty-eight hours I am back to being the servant of my body again, for medical need and it pisses me off completely but with the experience comes not only an investigative mind on how the NHS will handle the matter but beyond; to that time when I really may be in the hands of others and subject to their determination of priorities.
It is one thing to be incarcerated in one’s home but quite another to be somewhere where one is the subject, by sheer cost-effective necessity, of other people’s schedules. In a nutshell, I perceive the complex emotions and practicalities that surround provision for an increasingly elderly population; the pride and determination for independence which can lead to irrationality, or stubborn bloody mindedness; the diversity of culture and upbringing, as well as the detail of individual lives led, that make up the continually heaving mass of the population requiring conflicting priorities of healthcare.
The idea of all healthcare information being centrally computerised is obvious while at the same time the enormity of the task should instinctively state, “it can’t be done”. Who spoke with what authority and/or with vested self-interest to influence whom, at what stage of decision-making, we may never know, only that millions of pounds were pointlessly spent getting all of us nowhere. Centralised co-ordination is obvious, even if that means many separate, smaller database systems and the obvious locations are the GP surgeries. They are best placed to facilitate the varied transitions individual patients will require through their life-time of care. Most particularly, GPs are the ones that will acquire the detailed accumulated knowledge so essential to ‘knowing’ the patient.
I recall the time I was heading for a nervous breakdown and fortunately had the knowledge to know it. I rang my GP and asked for some Valium. Quite rightly he refused to prescribe over the telephone but knowing his patient said, “Get yourself down to the surgery within the next hour, I’ll warn Reception you are coming and I’ll see you as soon as I can.” He did, diagnosis: “You are multi-threaded over-stressed. Stop everything you are doing IMMEDIATELY. Go home to bed or take a country walk. Either way, go via the chemist and see me in three weeks time.” I had walked close to the edge and had nearly looked over. I had no wish to go even that close ever again.
Uganda raises multiple topics. British influenced, yet perversely Catholic rather than Protestant, hence its homophobic and irrational attitudes. Rome remains as duplicitous and authoritatively wrong as it was at the Reformation. It proclaims belief in God’s Creation, yet denies the reality of that Creation as Darwin has exemplified and other scientists have confirmed, in terms of a natural proclivity to same-sex sex amongst a minority. To really extend the macrocosm, the Brazilian jungle may not be a natural phenomenon after all but may have arisen from a much earlier vast civilisation and its way of managing the area, the details only now emerging.
We continue to learn about Creation and its relevant history. Religion refuses to acknowledge the growth of knowledge and to accept that the relevance of religion is precisely whether or not it is still relevant to Creation as it actually is and always has been. The problem is religions’ refusal to accept that its precepts along the journey have been entirely based upon a static mindset of interpreting facts, relevant only to the knowledge and ability of people to understand knowledge two thousand years ago but has never addressed the actual facts as they are relevant to the modern world to which His Creation has led us. Further, the Catholic church deliberately and specifically still governs itself in complete contradiction to the restraints it imposes and the demands that it makes on its congregants. It is as riddled with corruption as it was four centuries ago. That it now has a parish priest as pope may help, provided the church doesn’t bump him off before his time. His presence is a statement, similar to the Chief Constable of a UK police force. The title is a deliberate reminder that although they may be the ‘top’ officers, they are fundamentally no different from the six month rooky walking the beat. They are ‘constables’ by royal warrant, which is all the authority they require and in that they are equal to all police officers and have no greater authority than any of them, before the law. So it is with the pope. He may be the top priest but he still is ONLY a priest. His authority before God is no different than that of every other priest onto whose head the Hand of Christ has been placed, through direct personal contact down the millennia, as with nearly all priests, Protestants included. ––[ To be continued but time for now is running out and I need to re-adjust to what is to follow.
THURSDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2013
CHURCH OF ENGLAND ONCE MORE TREADS THE MORAL GROUND
At http://www.petersuch.com/mysteriousways.html The significance of the Church of England’s reappearance into the real world of Creation.
SATURDAY 9th NOVEMBER 2013
CONTRASTS AND CONTRADICTIONS
This morning, on newswatch, we had a viewer complaining that the sound track, used as evidence at the court martial of a marine charged with unlawful killing of an Afghan insurgent, was played as an “every day” news item, when a verbal description would have sufficed. We also had criticism of news reporters standing in the rain outside the relevant locations rather than sitting comfortably in the studio. Further news highlighted a stamina record attempt by former marines raising £20,000 for injured servicemen, while Colonel Mike Dewar expressed his agreement with Major-General Julian Thompson’s plea for clemency, in this morning’s The Times.
Murder is murder, even on the battlefield, if it is a death caused other than according to the rules of war. Soldiers are trained for the circumstances they encounter and are expected to handle those situations according to their training, it is why we pay them. Evil has never obeyed any rules. Sometimes openly confrontational, more often deviously insidious, evil has always been there. It is proper at this time to be both horrified and proud of the collective whole that has and is taking place over this weekend.
This is a Christian mongrel nation of a predominantly Anglo-Saxon culture. For centuries, this island race has played its part internationally, looking at the collective whole, admittedly as if we owned it but leading far more than we have misled. We are not saints. If anything, through the Reformation of Henry VIII we have been somewhat contemptuous of saintliness, best expressed by that deeply ingrained Protestant ethic developed from the Reformation. Our best justification to being leaders in the world is the hordes that have followed along the paths we carved out. We have led by example. We have been prepared to get our hands dirty and to get stuck in and do what it has been necessary to do, through the diverse individuals that make up that “British Spirit”. From these different, yet entwined threads, we have woven an ethic of accountability that blazes gloriously today in all its aspects.
Yes, we have found guilty a soldier who committed a contemptuous act. Honour on the battlefield has been an integral part of our code of living for centuries. With total transparency we have brought to justice and objectively found one defendant guilty, two others not guilty of the specifics of their charge. There is a mandatory sentence, due to some past judges proving complete idiots on sentencing. It is correct and proper that it be passed as is.
We are also the nation of Shakespeare and of Christ and the quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'tis mightiest in the mightiest… and through Christ can come complete forgiveness in true penitence. We will all, in time, come before a final judgement on our lives. What will be taken into account is the circumstances in which we may have committed our transgressions and the circumstances in which we might have been expected to achieve more than we did.
A plea for clemency is proper, for the circumstances are extreme, even allowing for all detail relevant to the preparatory training. This is why it was quite proper for the BBC to have broadcast the audio tracks that the court heard. We need to be appraised of the circumstantial detail. The battlefield is a completely different world from civil living. It is we who pay them to be there and do these things on our behalf. It is an automatic procedure that sentencing takes into account all aspects of each individual case, hence the appeal procedure. The law can only deal with general aspects of society
So with those reporters in the rain. Quite proper that they should experience and show that experience of the reality, that is what TELE VISUAL is about! For the marine, there are great opportunities for him and his family. Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress in prison. Profumo made great social impact following his downfall from the Keeler affair. There are others in that category. It will require a major adjustment and it will take time but there is a positive path ahead of him if he can rise to the challenge.
At this time we remember the sacrifices so many have made for others. Amongst those memories will be acts brought to light, may be acts not yet brought to light, or arguably worse than this marine has recently committed. Underlying the collective whole is the greatness of humanity trying, trying, trying to make a better world. Behind the manmade specifics, we live with nature. Take the moment of one woman, wailing in total desperation at the disappearance of her house in the latest typhoon. One of many who have lost everything. Each event a major trauma, part of the collective whole that is part of all of us. As is the family of the insurgent this marine killed unnecessarily. This conflict is no different than the turmoil we experienced during the time of Mary and Elizabeth. We have moved on. We have suffered, come through and see the world with a greater insight. We need to remember the sufferings of our own forebears and with that experience look at those similarly anguished today, in their beliefs of how life should be.
FRIDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2013
THE AGE OF CONSENT
An interesting collusion of ideas has suddenly broken open. The Scottish Referendum will seek the votes of sixteen year olds declaring that in the opinion of the Scottish government that is an age old enough to know their own mind regarding the government they want to rule over/for them. Also to train with the military, although the UK Parliament does not consider them old enough to die for their country until they are eighteen. There are now moves that people should not be admitted to the ranks until eighteen, despite the many benefits such experience can give a certain type of person.
There are moves in the UK for the age at which people are considered capable of applying for a car driving test to be raised to eighteen, although they may hold a provisional one at seventeen, as below eighteen they are not really capable of taking such responsibility without guidance.
The Church of Scotland allows sixteen as an age for confirmation and I do not think has objected to the Referendum age. Why then is it against forces recruiting at sixteen? Is the promise to church and God of less importance than the risk to their potential working life and life itself? The Church of England has no specific age, it accepts the maturity of the person in their own right to make that decision on confirmation, or to seek preparation for it.
Is a girl's decision upon when she should give her consent so meaningless that she may make that decision at sixteen, rather than be protected by law until eighteen and if at sixteen she is enabled, with her partner to consider herself capable of being responsible for a family, why should there be higher limits? Yet, unless bought for her by an adult in her company, she cannot buy alcohol until eighteen, while the Church of Rome regards seven as the age of reason! English law used to recognise the age of ten for reasonable accountability and legal consequences.
It seems to me that a large number of supposedly intelligent people are talking a lot of disconnected twaddle without much thought of the collective picture. Perhaps we need a Royal Commission?
TUESDAY 5th NOVEMBER 2013
AN ECONOMY AWAY WEEKEND
I am sharing a Hotel report for several reasons. The requester channels responses into their own preconceived categories which may well be useful for data classification but is rarely meaningful--I always endeavour to be meaningful, so ! repeat the fuller description here as there are issues arising which are relevant to the wider world.
Glenwood Hotel, Margate meets the expectations of a 2 star hotel. The external façade of established conviction, somewhat counters the internal reality of an A1 truckers’ caff with added bedrooms, that is still trying to get away from where it actually is.
To be commended, in all sincerity, is the friendliness and helpfulness of all staff, whose sole motivation was to render service. Genuine spontaneity in this regard is no small matter. It stems from a happy, family-orientated proprietorship, endeavouring to make something of themselves and therefore their hotel.
The building seems a succession of terraced housing cobbled together and therefore somewhat haphazard. Breakfast was well cooked, non-greasy and of quality food. My test is bacon and the rashers were excellent cuts of meat. Yes, the ambience did give the impression of a caff on the Great North Road on a very quiet day but you would not expect to be served on Royal Doulton there either!
The most notable aspect is that there is a lift. It seems there is not a single B&B or hotel in Broadstairs charging two and three times the price of Glenwood that provides a lift. This is the 21st century, with an increasing population of the Old, Ancient and Pathetic, to whom a lift is as essential as a door on the bedroom, or that there is a bed in it! I have even known members of the clergy rate hotels, with an ambience geared to the fit and able, happy that the more frail members of the community should struggle with a flight of stairs.
I am even more astounded that the awarders of stars under whatever category do not consider a lift in a multi-storey building a requisite before awarding one star, let alone four! Having a relative in the House of Lords for her work on championing provisions for the disabled, herself being one of the four or five members in wheelchairs, known in the House as “the mobile bench”, I am perhaps more consciously aware of these things, regardless that I am myself unhappy with hotels without lifts, although on this occasion my room was on the ground floor.
While on a particular evening I asked for an increase in room heat and received it, the fact that all members of staff wore thick pullovers rang a warning about concerns for economy and it is obviously an expensive building to heat. On the other hand, economy is increasingly essential for all of us, not only on grounds of costs but for anyone having a modicum of conscience for the environment. However, some of us oldies do have health problems and warmth is a necessity to maintain health. A warning for potential winter stayers.
The sudden arrival of the cleaner while I was still in the shower indicated a proclivity to transport caff hours of working and sense of priorities but you get what you pay for. The clientele was as diverse as you can get: from the young and enthusiastic who only needed the bed, through the middle-aged of employed trade; mid-level clerical, experiencing enforced early retirement; the pensioner on reduced income. A two star place with aspirations in which one might encounter the whole world.
MONDAY 4th NOVEMBER 2013
NOW PROVEN: MY EARLIER BURBLES ON NIQABS AND BURKHAS
One incident and a lot of facts gained to quell the twaddle.
1. Islamists can be gay. Why else would a male Arab wear a burkha if not a transvestite?
2. This particular criminal used the burkha to hide his identity for criminal purposes, proving the value of my earlier comments that the burkha and niqab are modern equivalents of seventeenth century English highwaymen's dress, the deliberate purpose of which is to hide identity.
3. This latest incident of male Arabs dressing as Arab women justifies the requirement that all niqabs must be removed when entering a bank or other place requiring the basic security of knowing and identifying who people physically are. No different from removing a motorcycle helmet.
4. These are matters of elementary common sense, proven by the latest Arab criminal intent in the UK and represent NO antagonism towards Arab culture.
Regarding Arab culture the niqab and burkha have NOTHING whatever to do with Islamic religion. It is simply a style of clothing, no different from dressing as a punk or a Goth. If Arab women want to show their romantic side by appearing as if they have just arrived across the saddle of John Hanson in the latest production of "The Desert Song", well, okay, so what?
5. As regards claims that the niqab enables the wearer to be closer to their concept of God then they really have some very weird ideas about God: all seeing, all pervading, He is. What could be simpler?
My conscious wakening is in continual awareness of the spirituality that is the whole of everything around me. Why would I want to hide myself from any of His Creation? It is totally illogical and God is logical, obviously since we, His Creation made in His image, have the capacity for logic, therefore to be truly meaningful in honour of God religion MUST be logical and if not it is not proclaiming that which it purports to uphold. Simple. Why will religion make it all so complicated? The outward appearance of religion is of a building without a hearth. Without a hearth it is an empty shell. Create a hearth and you could do without the building!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED EXHIBITION OF OIL LANDSCAPES
I must share yesterday's Private View of Brian Bennett's latest exhibition www.thehawkergallery.co.uk The Maltings off School Lane Amersham Bucks HP7 0ET.
For those familiar with Brian's work he still manages to find new angles, new views, new interpretations on his established local scene of The Chilterns, so that it appears he has approached his subject as if it was for the first time.
Not only that but as one expects of an artist so established as he is, Fellow and past President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, there are changes in his presentation: I welcomed the inclusion of figures in some paintings and was enthralled by his seascapes.
I am unfamiliar with his Scilly Isles paintings, apparently because they usually end up in a gallery there for tourist buyers due to commissions that take him there.
As usual, when I receive a Private View invitation from Brian my instinct is to buy every picture on his elaborate invitation card. Alas, I have neither the money nor the wall space: I already have two of his pictures hanging on my walls and several pictures in storage that are changed periodically to give me fresh views!
Well worth a leisurely hour or so's visit. Tuesday to Saturday until 10th November 10:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.
SATURDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2013
CATCHING UP FOLLOWING A BREAK
@FreeThePressNow I was tweeted they are following me on Twitter. Can't think why, unless they have been exploring my various pontificating web pages! The tweet that followed announcement of them following me stated: "Royal Charter causes outrage as freedom of press is cast aside after 300 years" to which I responded with: "outrage irrational. Greatest freedom brings huge responsibilities and some UK presses failed to meet those resp=need to curb"
The arrogance of the press was admitted in their refusal to sit down rationally with those trying to bring the control they themselves were incapable of exercising and confirmed by their trying to bring a High Court action to stop the Queen signing the Charter. That is the declaration of an autocratic arrogance out of control.