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)


 

Peter Such

Peter Such

Berkhamsted from Cooper's Fields

A view of Great Berkhamsted from Cooper's fields.   

Peter Such lives in Great Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England

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

www.petersuch.org
www.petersuch.com
Also on Twitter as Peewit2 (he doesn't take it seriously) and on Facebook as himself (Peter.Such5)

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS CURRENT BLOG ANNOTATIONS/OTHER REFERENCES
 

[20140119: Due to much interest the site is overloading and emergency restructuring is having to take place. For the moment, only from December 20131202 is being taken forward. 20130109 history has been temporarily side-lined to WeeklyCommentary2
        Additionally, it appears the master template needs rejigging completely. I apologise in the mean time for erraticism of typeface.]

 

FRIDAY 4th APRIL 2014 20:44
ANOTHER GREAT TRAGEDY

Another young woman proving her worth. These are the examples that ALL journalists should follow. When they abuse their unique relationship with the public and their readers they are also abusing the finest examples of what true journalism is about at: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/anja-niedringhaus-acclaimed-ap-photographer-of-life-and-death-1.1760934

THURSDAY 3rd APRIL 2014 10:44
MORE WAFFLING INDECISION & GENERAL CONFUSION

The EU Debate
Interesting that once again Nigel Farage won hands down but his calm approach bordered on superciliousness. Apparently, previously, he had been of a less calm disposition when Nick Clegg had come across as the calm one. This time, Nick seemed panick-stricken in his desire to get across his enthusiasm for Europe without really explaining why, dismissing Nigel Farage's keenness to leave as going back to yesterday, when it is the EU's construct of regulation that is of yesterday, precisely why it is inappropriate today when flexibility is all, showing up the EU's bureaucracy as just getting in everyone's way who is trying to do something positive and meaningful.
          Nick Clegg never came across as promoting anything worthwhile, other than his enthusiasm upon which he failed miserably to enunciate. LibDem supporters interviewed afterwards seemed to flannel even more, further fuelling the impression there was no rational reason but pure personal conviction for the LibDem enthusiastic support for the EU.
          
It was
David Cameron, on BBC Breakfast this morning, who made sense of the debate, "neither of them is offering what is needed: reform". The problem is, how can you get a bunch of clearly complete idiots to agree rationality, which can only show up the stupidity of their own inadequacies and the EU, as it is, is unquestionably irrational. Where were the LibDems when Lisbon was on the agenda? It is no use Nick Clegg now saying that was when the question should have been put to the people. Where was the LibDems' clamour for a referendum then? No use saying now that should have happened then but lets have a referendum next time Lisbon happens.
           The EU is in the same position as
religion. "This is what we believe now and this is for eternity." Time has moved on, highlighting why flexibility not rigidity is the key to long-term relevance. Times change. Now we have the proof of Russian insecurity and on that Farage is absolutely correct. Putin has performed magnificently (for Russia's interests) and usefully reminded us of Europe's folly for straight-jacketed organisations and the UK of its folly in not pushing for more nuclear power sooner.
           Since Farage, the UN has decided on climate change. There are still no guarantees but at least there is a collective view that steps need and must be taken to what ultimately will be world government. So why did the EU insist the UK devolved its Commonwealth? Of all the European imperial powers GB is the greatest, turning its empire into a commonwealth of 53 nations. The UK is used to diversity. For four centuries these islands have looked out on and to the world while the great European continental mass has merely gazed at its tummy button and expects us to be likewise besotted with complete irrelevancies.
           Accepting climate change at least as a serious probability entails far reaching thinking ahead, including potential for mass migrations or major power and habitation resources for counteracting the effects of weather extremes. This has got to be managed coherently, raising the question, are open frontiers practicable? The very problem highlighted in miniscule by the UK's inability to control its own borders, devastating any concept of resource management, the original purpose of the ten yearly census.
          In contradiction, Scotland thinks it wants to be independent, yet expects to deny the remaining countries of the UK the vote on whether they want their own currency control and sound fiscal management affected by independent Scotland's financial requirements! The concept is as daft as the EU itself, which is probably how the idea formulated!
         Three centuries ago, Scotland agreed England's parliament should be the centre for the UK government, which is why I have always resisted this ridiculous idea that England should have its own parliament: it has! Its the rest of the UK that uses it! What such arguments raise, however, is why on earth do we allow Scottish MPs in Westminster to vote on matters relating entirely to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland? Precisely the reason the question is being asked, if Scotland votes for independence, should Scottish voters be included in the 2015 General Election? Technically in law(?) they would have that right but on the same argument should the rest of us not have been included in the vote for Scottish independence? Would allowing the Scots to vote for Westminster government in 2015 invalidate the Scottish vote for independence as the rest of us were not included in that vote, as were sixteen years old voters not eligible in the UK General Elections?
          This is what happens when you artificially create a form of governance by bureaucrats and not by "professional" MPs ensuring the voters have the last word, as was specifically prevented in the pre-creation of the EU.

 

WEDNESDAY26th MARCH 2014
WAFFLERS WAFFLING WAFFLE

Wilful Mismanagement
Bob Crow has passed on to argue angels' union rates with God, so the teachers decide they'll prove his soul goes marching on! This is totally unacceptable. There is no cause but pure bloodimindedness of socialism. The damage is not only in a failure to educate [showing children irresponsibility and a cavalier disregard for others, including the children themselves, through the effects and disruption teachers' strikes cause their parents' working availability affecting their employers and their childrens' welfare] but is yet another example of unionism. "We have a closed shop so can afford to be irresponsible."
          I've only once in my life offered to take two weeks absence without pay when, in my twenties, I was offered an opportunity to spend three weeks touring the States. The printing industry had that year agreed three weeks paid annual holiday but agreed one week to be taken in the winter to help firms counter the management difficulties. My boss, who had himself spent a few years in Canada said "Like hell you will, just go, grab the opportunity, will do you the world of good and we'll gain from what you gain." The unions of course complained and received the response that anyone given a similar opportunity or has good cause to lump three weeks together would be treated equally.
          Apart from that one-off occasion I have never earned so much in my life as to be able to take time away without pay, so clearly teachers would appear to be overpaid. Recently, there was some evidence on Facebook that teachers (UK) were working 60 hrs a week. Such claims do require serious consideration. I can recall a diversity of social challenges during my working life, quite apart from technical changes, that seriously restructured society. For those with management responsibility akin to the vocational expectation of teachers, 60hrs a week was not uncommon, despite purportedly being employed for only 40hrs. In those days public service personnel were able time their work precisely.
          Essentially, the debate behind working hours and social life is the debate between the individual and social needs, communism being the centrally organised authoritarian structure and laissez-faire the freedom of society to inter-relate according to individual abilities and personal accountability. That is why religion failed (just as did communism): neither sought to match the essential requirements of life, that it is in a continual state of change. Both philosophies chose regimentation, in contradiction to what life is and requires: flexibility, adaptability, malleability and the preparedness of the collective whole to be continually adapting.
        
The latest Teacher's union representative claims their irresponsibility is supported by parents (although she wasn't honest enough to use the term "irresponsible"). Labour's Shadow Education Minister is making the usual Labour response when its feeling unsure of itself, she's sitting on the fence.

POWER, EGOCENTRICCITY AND MARKET FORCE
S
SSM's
Chief Executive waffled beautifully around his reasons for fixing prices, allowing customers to change contracts and seeking 500 voluntary redundancies and intending to reduce potential future profit. He could have explained all in one word: competition. Trying to make the best of a bad job he claims his companies are intending to separate their various inter-relationships, such as source and supply, trying to appear his company is forging ahead of the game. The truth is that both his company and its competitors have been 'slumming it' behind a façade of noncompetitive market realities for too long.

SUNDAY23rd MARCH 2014
IS ENGLISH LAW ABOUT TO UNLEASH ANARCHY?

Mammon, Religion and the Spirit
As so often happens, seemingly disparate events in diverse spheres coalesce, turning sunshine into a murky despondency. That is the English weather; it can also be the English character; it can also be simply the perverseness of a society living in a perverse climate.
          The Sunday Telegraph
's lead front page story today was "Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs", presumably intended to sell the paper and create a furore for purely promotional reasons. Second priority is "Europe takes UK to court over benefits"; Third "Hague: must stand firm in the face of bullying Putin". Fourth priority is humour, in contrasting modes. One, a large photograph of Tony Blair being hugged by fawning Cherie, broadcasting that one of his charities has just won a £3milion deal with Barack Obama's flagship African programme. Another page reminds us that Blair himself is reportedly worth £30milllion, a not uncommon position for a trades union socialist, so why didn't he just allocate some of his own money?
        Matt provides greater humour in a tenth of the area, in simple line, showing a Lamborghini car show room with a pensioner couple admiring a car. The wife is in the driver's seat. The husband is looking perturbed, probably because he is not so sure he can handle the car and is more accustomed to the wife driving from the back seat.
          For the realm of Magna Carta not to have maintained those earth shattering fundamental principles since 1215 is, in many aways, astounding but such was the enormity of the event that much was assumed from it, without being properly tested in the detail, allowing much presumption by default on the outcome.
          There are many causes. Like religion, Magna Carta was an incident that got caught up in a statement of fact at the time, overlooking that "times" are a continual state of change, although the concept that one parliament does not bind another existed in principle without being stated.
          I blame the Church of England as being a prime cause for England's potential for progressive thinking being stymied. Establishing from the first a woman as the Supreme Governor should have ensured women were acceptable in any position in the church's hierarchy. Instead, the Church of England has spent the last fifty years arguing as to whether women priests are acceptable and then having accepted them, arguing if they should become bishops. There is not any reason why a woman should not be Archbishop of Canterbury for the last four hundred years but unadulterated male bigotry. Parliament's determination to open the inheritance of the crown to equality of the first born, regardless of sex, raises the question, why so half-hearted? Why is the principle not global?
         Arguments of clarity of lineage
can be registered by name change if necessary or by simple protocol of assignation. When I was recording my father's death the registrar was more concerned about her beautiful handwriting than the essence of the message. Having written out once on a scrap of paper she then wrote it wrong in the book! The inability to keyboard it in, so it can be checked on the screen and then signed off with a security code is appalling. The last thing with which you bother recently bereaved people is how pretty is your handwriting. They just need to get on with sorting the administrative details so they can get on with their own lives again, having spent the previous few months in the chaos of the terminally ill.
          Being a Shakespeare lover, I have enjoyed the King James' version of the English Bible and never bothered about change, perhaps even resisting change, although such resistance was probably more due to mode of change, rather than the principle of change. Times move on. I am myself caught in that conflict of "growing old disgracefully" while realising, in practical terms, my belief that "the times they are a'changing" and I remain resolved to be involved to the last.
           If we look to the spirit world to come, well, there are aspects that this present existence may ultimately lead us in that way: the current interactions with Russia show that while disagreements in Islam seem to cause divisions, Russia shows us the diversity of our intertwinings. Perhaps we will reach a global awareness of harmonious acceptance before it is too late, particularly if we take seriously the suggestion Putin is the Devil's latest incarnation.
           Will that mean harmony and sameness or a relaxed state of happy diversity? Communism may be regarded as the secular form of religion. Communism has failed as assuredly as has religion in all its diversities but it is from failure that despots feed and grow strong.
          Regardless of belief, we are factually in this state of being we mostly collectively accept as "life on planet earth".
We can agree on a majority view of the obvious physicalities. What may have been appropriate for historical practicalities in times past are not necessarily appropriate today or the days following. Collectively, we are more than we were and have to prepare for what is to come. It is quite clear that practical reality, as expressed in the simple term "humanity", must over-rule religion and that confirms the female as unequivocally equal to the male in all aspects of society.
         
So, why is the Law Society instructing solicitors on how to draw up Wills conforming to Islamist principles over which The Sunday Telegraph has chosen to get excited? From what I have read {an article for laymen, I am not qualified in law] I would answer that since Islam is as muddle-headed as Christianity in the diversity of its interpretations, in order that matters are less likely to be challenged in court some form of standardisation is being advised. Where's the problem? The idea that a man's last testament is rarely challenged is precisely because English law has upheld it as an invariable right for centuries. Children have been cut out of Wills for diverse reasons. Why should people of faith not insist their life's earnings are bequeathed according to their beliefs?
          In my circle of friends (in these examples all Protestant-orientated in thinking) I have known Wills written for maintaining control of family firms according to perceived need; to ability, regardless of predisposition of the offspring, their lives being uninhibitedly controlled for this expectation, which several times did not happen due to... a changing world generally! So what was the point of controlling their lives through anticipated burden of inheritance that circumstances dicated otherwise? Where lay the right to control from the grave? Some great estates have withstood time and the changes it brings. They have adapted, the British monarchy being a classic example, both of family and also of country but does the exception prove that specific rule for all? If that rule is to change then why not make it a global application?
          This is the nub! The rule has changed, for the specific. It must now be applied to the generality. So why is the Law Society re-affirming precedent, knowing that it specifically opposes the march of time; the very mistake the Church of England and most religions have been making since they came into being?
         This is the root of much rational argument against the EU. The EU represents a parallel to Putin's Russia. It was created by an oligarch, given a parliament to give the appearance of democracy but that parliament is specifically prohibited from altering the fundamental structure. That is precisely the example Magna Carta gave us. Magna Carta in its time, changed the world. That is what the EU Parliament has been specifically created not to be able to do.
          Islam is another oligarch that presumes to support the status quo of male supremacy. In this it runs parallel to the Church of Rome... archaic and irrelevant... and the EU parallels both of them! How many women were involved in the creation of the EU; in that decision that religion could be exempted from recognising the reality that male and female must be treated equally? Now, having "recognised" the absurdity of its position then, it tries to rectify the damage caused by proclaiming appropriateness for any job in hand should not be carried out by the most able and fittest but according to the percentages of males and females in that context... and the EU expects to be taken seriously! Just as ridiculous as religion itself.
          The problem, which the newspaper does not illustrate, is that this principle must be applied to all religious beliefs and that includes the Church of Rome, now that the Church of England has started getting its act together. This is the opportunity to widen the Act for Succession to the Crown to be applied globally.
That is the issue the Law Society should be addressing, not tidying archaic formulations of male bigotry and irrationalities.
         In my own circle of friends I have encountered an extraordinary diversity of interpretation of primogeniture. Families concerned at inheritance for continuity of the family firm. Family firms during my time have evaporated, due to either or both changing technology and inappropriateness of the inheritor for the job required and other reasons. Landed estates may go through hundreds of years but still ultimately change according to female preponderance or simply no children. In my own family circle the policy has been equality, regardless of sex, or an assumption that what parents had created was for themselves, once their children had gained maturity, unless they chose to live in a way that created excess of resource. Why should it be any other way? One has one's life-span and gives regardless of sexual status
. Any alternative is to place a burden, unless requested in life by the recipient.
      These are the issues that the Law Society should be addressing: practical humanitarianism over-rides religious scruples and personal vendettas should not be allowed to extend beyond the grave.

MONDAY24th MARCH 2014
On Russia
Lord Danatt believes the British forces are being reduced too greatly. I am unsure if i ever posted previously on this but I have certainly had it in mind that history too often has proved that when we reduce our forces it usually heralds a change in world affairs and an immediate need for those very forces. We suddenly realise we are denuded of resource. That is not to exclude the reminder that the reason for the present reduction is due to crass incompetence, believed to be at political level, due to inabiity to order requirements in a competent manner, combined with Labour's inability to control expenditure, worsening our present financial near bankruptcy.
           Lord Dannatt's statement gives weight to The Sunday Telegraph's third heading yesterday regarding standing up to Putin. Lord Dannatt's suggestion is merely an "incidental' to Putin's presumed (because we so choose to interpret) intention of mere "exercises" on Crimea's borders. We have to assume Putin, when he feels he can do so without giving the West just cause to be factually involved,
will move those troops into Crimea, close to its borders with the Ukraine.
           In my view Dannatt is correct and we must respond with alacrity in that mode he suggests.

THE EU MOVES AGANBST BRITAIN [11:17]
The EU must be regarded as being as devious as Putin. Putin appears to me to have Tsarist dreams, implying potential for megalomania. The EU is less likely to succumb to pysychological trauma
but the timing of its complaint about our changes to our benefits system does raise the question, "Is it as simple as that?". The EU elections are approaching. Is there a delberate strategy to raise this issue to affect the voting intentions and cause problems later on?

 

 

 

THURSDAY 20th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES [11:00]:
Is not always useless. Circularity can hone purposefully. The oxen at the well have no knowledge of the benefit of their labour and cannot relate their food and most of all their drink to the circularity of their daily plod, for they are blindfolded.
          Of how much are we aware, In our ball's annual plod around the sun? It seems incredible that a General Election is only a year away, by which time we will know if Scotland is going to leave us, when and how; whether UKIP romped home across Europe with the other European sceptics; whether Europe is still at peace, most importantly that Crimea feels it is free and Ukraine too and that Russia will bear Crimea's share of outstanding costs. We are nearly a quarter through the year and I find that speed of time frightening but then, how significant is time, going round in circles?
          Ed Balls makes a fuss and palaver over a Conservative publicity stunt from which he endeavours to draw attention away from the fact that he has nothing meaningful to say on the Budget, not wishing to make more of a clown of himself than Ed Miliband did in the Commons, floundering around, seemingly filling in for our much missed Morecombe and Wise Show but they needed the two of them, hence Balls this morning, no doubt.
          Effectively, we are still going round in circles, continually contradicting ourselves. George Osborne declares we should be in charge of our own money. It was Labour that brought in this ridiculous concept that pension pots must be deposited into annuities with cavalier disregard to how the markets might be at that uncontrollable time when individuals are forced by circumstance to make decisions regardless of economic truths. That travesty was due to lack of profits, yet Labour doesn't want people to make profit until the trade union labour force has got sufficiently high wages... which instinctively reduce profits and cause the loss of customers through high prices and ultimately the loss of business through too high costs and insufficient profit.
          It is fair to comment that if people behave irresponsibly with their own resources we, the collective whole of the state, have to pick them up off the floor. Sorting the wheat from the chaff of inadvertent misadventure (and we do wish to encourage the right people to take risks) the Welfare budget acquires a certain circumspect tang.
         
What George Osborne is actually saying is: we trust you with your own money but we do not trust you with your own country, that is why we are not giving you a vote on the EU and why we didn't give it to you before allowing politics to over-rule our independence, after we'd got you to agree to the trade relationship.
          Labour are likewise being duplicitous. They want to keep quiet about the deficit they created out of which we are still struggling to escape. They want to keep quiet about the fact they don't like companies making profit, despite ensuring pensioners acquire annuities at disastrous rates through lack of profit due to Labour's fiscal mismanagement, yet are now agreeing that welfare benefits are too high. Yet Labour still does not trust the electorate to manage its own affairs, which is why they don't want us to have any EU vote either.
          Round and round in circles getting nowhere fast.

TOO MUCH WARMONGERING: Miliband, in PM Questions yesterday, was not being responsible in pushing PM to make advance comments regarding the G8. Disengagement from necessity to meet advantages Putin, does not disadvantage him, so G8 should not exclude him. He is simply laughing in the West's face at this time. He is simply re-establishing Russia as the global power its past communist antics, followed by various stages of despotism while trying to appear democratic, clouded the reality that it was once a serious power with rationality. Its a new world for them but the country is moving forward, it would appear, unlike the West's preoccupation with too much religion, that denies the reality in which it claims to believe. Religion, as a collective whole, has done as much damage to the West as Communism has caused elsewhere around the planet.
          In terms of peoples' freedom, the EU has ensured that unelected despots create the EU as they want it to be, then they created a parliament, specifically forbidden to change the structure. All the UK's potential governments make damned sure we don't vote on the issue as to whether we accept the status quo or not. The EU is in no position to criticise Russia for not acting democratically. All it was doing was protecting its peoples' interests, being a fledgling in open publicly accountable democracy and rather frightened about a world that does not rigidly adhere to rules and regulations that are irrelevant or simply unworkable... like religion. Understanding with patience, not confrontation should have been the West's approach.


WEDNESDAY 19th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
PUTIN ON TARGET [16:17]: Nothing so far has happened beyond that which was implied from the beginning, save for the West to appear what silence would not have shown so effectively: that it is impotent and really at this stage none of its damned business. There is the question mark that undermining forces were already being supported by Russia but essentially Putin foresaw what was going to happen, or could and it was his duty for his country to protect Russia's interests. What the West has to take into account is that its perceptions of being the supreme masters of the world were a presumption too far and it must now learn a little humility: the need to work with people not swagger the arrogance of past imperialism.
          Makes Alex Salmond look a right twit. Crimea can do so much in just a few days what's holding Salmond back, isn't he sure of himself?

UKIP CAUGHT UP IN RELIGIOUS TWADDLE [17:00]: The Times reported some while back a fact of which I had been unaware: that Orthodox Judaism forbids men from shaking hands with women other than their wives. What on earth is a "modern" political party in the UK doing pomoting prospective MEPs who hold such unacceptable attitudes? Sexual equality in all social matters must be accepted as a fundamental right and reality.

TUESDAY 18th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
JUST CAUGHT MY EYE: I was suddenly reminded that the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England decided to celebrate being a cardinal by claiming the coalition government responsible (by not taking sufficient action in support) for UK poverty. Were the Catholic Church as open and honest as it demands of its adherents the cardinal would also have acknowledged his church's responsibility for deliberately discouraging responsible attitudes to contraception, thus causing families to propogate contrary to their economic resource and blatantly expecting protestant or non believers to pick up the cost tag of his church's sheer irresponsibility. He also failed to acknowledge his church's deliberate sexism in its refusal to accept women clergy and failed to explain its wilful perpetuation of child abuse. Put matters in context O Cardinal, before you have any right to expect us to listen.

GB NOT SO GREAT, EDUCATIONWISE: On March 11 The Times advised immigrants were, on  average, considerably better educated than the native "Anglo-Saxon", as well as those immigrants born here through three or four generations. This would seem to counter any charge that our education system is amiss since these people will have been educated in the same way as the rest of the country BUT, is it a matter of attentiveness and the discipline of attending? This implies their religious devotions, which might be presumed to be other than Christian, are behind their learning. That may be worrying, as many nonChristian religions seem to insist on a cultural background unrelated to modern western society, not excusing the fact that some claiming a Christian background can likewise be ridiculously nutty.
           This is particularly serious since the same paper carried a front page headline of Muslim parents wanting the anti-terrorist sections of the police to pro-actively "sort out" would-be jihadists. This pro-active involvement appears to run parallel to a change in police attitudes through pro-active female police officers taking charge. In itself this is encouraging since Muslims apparently have an inbuilt bias against female involvement, so may be it is the mothers predominantly making things happen. If so, once more showing the appalling inadequacy (on both sides) of men.
           Church of Rome take notice! Church of England, move your ass more quickly. It also turns out that complaints against a "planned underground take-over" of a state school seem to be based upon an inability to check facts before getting over-excited, as some newspapers apparently did.

UKIP: In terms of Goldsmith's Referendum party, UKIP is highlighting, that simple, straight forward madness is an ineviatble part of the political scrum. So what are the purported "professional" politicians doing about it, other than continuing to be their usual barmy selves? So, apparently are the civil servants around them! The National Statistics Agency has consistently updated various reports several times because they can't get their figures to agree so other organisations' figures (not all in the UK) are likely to be more correct, for they even asked Canada for clarification, prompted by the new Canadian Governor of the Bank of England, more used to civil servants in Canada knowing what they are doing. Thank God for the Commonwealth otherwise, where else might he have gone?

ROUND AND ROUND IN CIRCLES:  In The Times of March 11, there was a leader on an article about Time. John Robinson, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, referring to perceptions that life was getting frenetically hectic, commented that today people simply cannot just "be". W H Davies also asked, in his poem Leisure, 'What is this Life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare". There seems to be a perception that if one is not 'working' then one is being idle and the diversity of synonyms and alternative verbs are effectively negative, save for the use in terms of an engine 'idling'. That is, it is turning over without being engaged in a load or gear.
          For me, that definition turns the whole world around. I am instantly engaged. An engine idling is serving a purpose: it is on the starter's pistol, like a runner, ready for the off. On modern cars particularly that could be charging the battery but with older dynamo generating cars it could be running the battery down. Life continues in a continual state of change. So, with the idler. Jerome K Jerome remarked in his book. Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow that he could sit and look at work for hours.
          The title for his book of essays is the title of his first essay which opens as follows: "Now, this is a subject on which I flatter myself I really am au fait. The gentleman who, when I was young, bathed me at wisdom's font for nine guineas a term—no extras—used to say he never knew a boy who could do less work in more time; and I remember my poor grandmother once incidentally observing, in the course of an instruction upon the use of the Prayer-book, that it was highly improbable that I should ever do much that I ought not to do, but that she felt convinced beyond a doubt that I should leave undone pretty well everything that I ought to do."
          Now that is a clear example of the positive merits of idling, or being idle. I should not need to remind readers that he is the author of Three Men in a Boat!  My problem is that my idleness is expended in starting various motors that never haul anything or take me anywhere, save for the land in which I require no transport, in which I alone may solely travel.
          Perhaps there is good reason for there being more negatives than positives in the nuances on idleness. Seneca implies guilt: "out of breath for no purpose, always busy about nothing". However, for Aristotele, leisure was the first principle of action. "The opportunity to choose trivially in leisure is the blessing of an affluent society. Still more is the opportunity to choose idleness.
           The last verse in the poem Kyle of Lochalsh "The thread that runs through all the tales they weave—/A silver thread that runs through life itself—/Makes no demands, nor asks that you believe, But for a moment, 'be... and know thyself'." It appears in my first offering of poetry Gone Fishing! published by Hazelwood (Publishers) Ltd but is not yet available in digital format.

MONDAY 17th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
EVERYTHING IN A MESS AND EVERYONE MAKING A MESS! So, we have the majority vote. No, we don't. It has to be seen in context. It appears that Putin abused a relationship and persuaded a President to act contrarily to the wish of his parliament. Putin then moved surreptitiously on a pretext but dishonestly, seemingly in support of some of that country's citizens who did not wish to move forward as the majority of the overall country's citizens indicated they wished to move, or certainly as the majority of the country's overall elected representatives perceived was best for that country overall.
           Fear affected both sides. Self-interest and a certain sense of arrogance over-rode calm thinking through the road ahead. Looking on, what should have been obvious from the beginning? Russia: strength of military might; accustomed to central co-ordination and singularity of purpose; frightened of individual thinking. Like the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Russia believes education should be what the West perceives as indoctrination; Russia still lacks self-confidence in managing truly free expression, especially contrary opinion to the established patterns of thinking. Factually, it has self-interest in Crimea, for which it is justifiably concerned and has a duty of care to its citizens to protect. It gave Crimea away to Ukraine without a vote but at that time Russia effectively controlled Ukraine. What has happened is that Russia has taken no more notice of how the world has changed than the Holy Roman Catholic Church has taken note of the reality of God's Creation. Religion and secularity are each equally out of touch with the way the world today wags, or would like to wag.
          America, renowned for being late for the previous two world wars and declaring Europe should run its own business without America seems suddenly to want to be on time if not too early! That is not helping but it does indicate the way the world has shrunk and the extent to which we should be looking at cohesiveness not emphasising our divisions.
           The EU is going off at half cock. it has spent the last few years pretending it is a block of consistent views and is now owning up to the reality that such diverse countries have diverse opinions and will respond as is right for their individual interests, which is why the fundamental principle of the EU is flawed: you cannot have uniformity across diversity and richness and value derives from individuals thinking freely. This is why Russia is nervous, because it has not yet fully matured into the West's experience of true freedom. Even the West hasn't got it right. Only now is the West accepting sexual realism and the Church of Rome is as determined as ever to fly in the face of reality to the point of absurdity. Understandably Russia is nervous but tries to hide it, behind calm determination and creeping action.
           What should be happening now, as Churchill said: "Jaw jaw not war war". We all need to cool down and speak quietly with one another, not go charging off threatening sanctions against people who might argue with Putin. Obviously they won't if the EU puts their backs up! What a statement about the ineffectiveness of the EU. What a highlight about our inadequacy to get going on a new nuclear power station, showing our vulnerability of essential resources. The West is artificially trying to consolidate that which should not be consolidated but thrives with the richness of diversity.

SUNDAY 16th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
MESSING AROUND WITH TEACHING AGAIN: It is not that long ago we had "educationalists" advising that team sports were undesirable as no one should lose. We now have people advising that all children should start school being told they are graded "top" (if that is what is meant by an "A" grade) and that they must work hard to maintain the status with which they were started off in life. As I understood education, its purpose is to awaken students' critical faculties, enabling them to independently sift fact from fiction and to reason rationally. If so educated, they almost immediately understand the purpose and reality behind rational grading, that it is based upon proven facts and instantly realise they have been sold a pup. What is the point of foisting a delusion upon an audience you are going to advise have been deluded?
         The excuse, apparently, is to reward for effort not ability. Are we to say that current teaching does not take into account both? The purpose of education, in crude terms, has always been to sift the wheat from the chaff, acknowledging that chaff has its worth and ability needs to be guided into those areas which coincide with the students' predispositions as well as their abilities.
          Having thus taught them objectivity and relationship of skills to jobs appropriate for their abilities, society tries to determine that these matters are completely irrelevant. What should determine job prospects should have nothing to do with their abilities and appropriateness for the job but what sex they are, in relation to the sex of the people around them, seems to be the current job prospects argument. Why on earth did we bother to teach them objectivity and how to think?

EDUCATION AND RELIGION: Too many religions do not understand basic teaching. I am not here intending to research the origin of man's presumptive domination other than cursorily observe the majority perception of physical strength and stamina, accepting base animal instinct as an ancient necessity. Modern society does not need that ancient concept.

TAXES: Osborne wants a 10p tax rate. It was Labour that abolished the 10p rate. Why aren't we told , "we got that wrong"? He complains that the coalition still has not got rid of the financial debt into which his party plunged the country and he regards that as the coalition's fault, not his party's for having created the debt

SATURDAY 15th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
BIAS AGAINST ABILITY: Once more the havenots are trying to argue the unfairness of those with ability. The argument against so many Old Etonians in the cabinet is that being an Old Estonian they don't have ability. On what grounds? It is precisely the same argument regarding the balance of women. Women must be elected or appointed in order to balance men and women not because there are more able men than there are able women. The job determines the abilities required and therefore the appropriateness or not of the appointment. When the job is relevant to it being occupied by a woman, man, bisexual, homosexual (male or female), transsexual either way, then such a person correctly needs to be appointed. In exactly the same way, the only way to ensure equality of education is to ensure the state schools are as competent or better than private schools and there has been recent debate that the state schools should be judged on private school criteria which, by implication is of a higher standard. When the comprehensives produce people of political ability they t will be in a cabinet. Where's the problem?

SORTING OUT THIS RELIGIOUS TWADDLE: Apparently some Islamists have just attacked some soldiers in Egypt while at their prayers. Were it realistic to describe such people as being Islamists then they have disowned themselves from their own religion; or are declaring their religion unacceptable to a civilised modern society. Which ever, it is an invitation for secularity to take charge. We need to bring several presumed authoritative concepts to heel. Humanity is the reality of this world's status and all humans are equal regardless of sexual fact or proclivity. That which does not acknowledge that status is not fit for exceptional consideration. If ate  Church of England had got off its ass a century ago  or, arguably four centuries ago, we could have led with moral integrity. Even now the Church of England is still fumbling around taking too long to do what should never have needed doing since equality of women throughout the church was unequivocal the moment Elizabeth ! took command.
          In trying to make London in particular but the UK generally an open state of society we are preparing the way for the reality of our spiritual state later on as implied in Galatians 3 24:28. So lets get on with it.


FRIDAY 14th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
THE EU CONTROVERSY: Today the BBC (Daily Politics) showed us the procedure for becoming considerable to be an EU civil servant. Having passed such a hurdle It is a great pity that so few of them choose to show the knowledge they are supposed to have proved and so bring sense and sensibility into the marquee of fools!

LORD STANSGATE: Tony Wedgewood Benn would appear to be the only true socialist with the wit to oppose the EU. That was before going slightly haywire during his latter years of serious Labour consideration. A controversial figure, who made his mark in the elegance of his speeches and through his concise writing. 88 is a good age to achieve. Well done.

SOCIETY Local society may not be quite so disastrous as national society but even national horrors are local to someone but the fiends are out there, everywhere, as also is the great courage of many, been sentenced to perhaps too quietly sung. Locally John Jenkins 70, a pony-tailed builder who'd fleeced a pensioner of 67 of over half a million pounds for a consultancy that should have cost only £60,000. He disappeared while the jury were deliberating and is presumed to have left the country.
          Picture of the week was of schoolchildren cooking for a charity event, literally.
          A teen driver trying to be responsible slept in his car rather than drive home after intoxicating himself and died from carbon monoxide poisoning. He had the engine running to keep warm.
          Nationally, a father of a schoolboy punched another schoolboy in the head knocking him out despite the schoolboy politely apologising for accidentally treading on his foot.
          On the same page, we learn that the mother of a convicted robber, who had been sentenced to four years imprisonment for killing a disabled male for verbally protesting against his friend for riding his bicycle on the pavement. A national outcry felt the sentence was too short, to which his mother said she did not know why there was such a fuss, so what?
          The least trusted bank in the UK, the Royal Bank of Scotland, reportedly having lost £8billion is presumably the Bank of Scotland Salmond will rely on if the Scots decide to have independence. Why on earth does he prefer the Bank of England? Because he wants to ruin that too?

THURSDAY 13th MARCH 2014
SNAPSHOTS
THE EU CONTROVERSY: Miliband declares his continuing uncertainty by trying to play both ends towards the middle. The obvious conclusion of what he is actually saying is, "I don't like this subject but feel I ought to do something, so I'm sitting on the fence in order to show I am actually doing something!" The reason for this is he doesn't like to remind people it was his party, in direct defiance of his party's belief of standing up for society, which waved two fingers at the people and gave away the very rights that are causing all our problems. A subsequent speaker tells us, Labour supports the EU but is afraid of being too up front about it, unlike the LibDems. Why, when the EU walks roughshod over us? At least give us reasons, because there certainly is not any talk about giving the EU the kick up its backside that it clearly needs.

LOST AEROPLANE: Disappointingly but also somewhat frighteningly, as one must ask what might be happening elsewhere, Malaya seems to be making a right pig's ear of the missing aircraft. Are we simply finding out that aeroplanes are not monitored to the extent we had been led to believe they were?

MONEY, TAXES, FAIRNESS, SHARING VALUES: Conveniently following on from the death of Bob Crow we have unions jumping up and down at the economic news of public workers pay deals. Not a word about the Labour Party's (purportedly the people's party) choosing, in their years of government, to cause us all to spend our tax money on paying interest on loans that seem to have done nothing to advance the interests of the very workers they supposedly represent and which deficit the coalition is desperate to put right, in order that we may all gain from the prosperity of our hard work.
          I am technically retired, according to state predictions but due to an inherent disinclination not to be doing something that does not result in a productive outcome, I am suddenly faced with hitting the 40% tax liability. That is despite the Labour Party choosing to so mismanage affairs that investment income is reduced; the coalition government has been unable to raise the tax threshold as soon as was hoped; I delayed receiving state pension due over five years, so tax liability is for all five years in one year.
           Yes, that is not all earned income (it is paltry interest, due to Labour's policies, on income from deposits accumulated by taking a responsible attitude throughout my life); as well as income from both the state pensions (now being received) and a private company pension. Prudence; due care for potential disasters (which mercifully did not happen earlier) and a responsible way of living in the world, including voluntary public service as a councillor in my home area and other voluntary social interactions. As members of the coalition government have themselves said, "we have not been able to implement the necessary tax reforms intended". These would have taken me out of the 40% level. In other words, I see myself solely as Joe Average, achieving no more than might reasonably have been expected from the background start I had in life.
          Now let us return to Bob Crow. He sold himself to his members on his ability, which is why his union membership increased so staggeringly, in contrast to many other unions. However, what did he actually achieve? He was in a closed environment, lacking competition (no wonder socialists do not like competitive forces). He simply blackmailed. His bully boy tactics did not bring out all the people he expected to bring out when he called a strike. What were his strikes but blackmail, stating he believed his particular branch of the labour force was more important than the rest of the labour force trying to earn their own crusts. Interesting that they too now may be as liable as I am on paying 40% tax!
           When doing holiday work as a student in a factory I was advised by one trade union official: "you shouldn't go to the lavatory after you have clocked out, you should do that in the firm's time". Another trade union official said to me, "We're threatening strike action because not enough of our members are earning above the average wage." To achieve that obviously everyone had to be paid the same amount. This seemed to confuse him. These are the realities of trades unions.
          Pursue such ways and what is happening over such lines of thinking? The Communists are trying to be capitalists without letting it appear so. Okay, let us keep to capitalism but control it through national pay rates according to the country's perceived needs. We've tried that. It failed.
           We want everything controlled centrally and regulated according to need. We're actively trying to decentralise while at the same time appearing to be pushing decisions down the line but actually not— how else did the Somerset Levels flood but trhough NOT doing what the locals said was essential. [Not actually quite that simple but the principle is correct.]
           That's the EU's intention: standardise everything across a diversity of differences. That is why the EU is unable to agree a common front against Russia's perceived intention to be authoritarian and a likewise bully boy.
           The reality is they have different interests and needs—that is reality, something the EU does not like facing. So, why do the trades unionists want to be bully boys to those hard workers struggling to support their families for the vested self-interest of their particular members, when the most socialist party of all, the Labour Party, caused the situation to arise?
          Free trade? Competition is bringing down prices but Morrisons are not meeting customer requirements so, twelve months after making nearly £900 million profit, the shareholders are now having to fork out for a nearly £200 million loss.
          John Lewis, their workers (who own the company as a partnership) are likely to gain 15%. That is Private Enterprise. The EU wants to standardise across the richness of diversity. Diversity is the reality of life. The Labour Party wants to support the people and improve their standard of living and is against capitalist values. Why then borrow so much money from the capitalists causing the country to pay staggeringly high interest rates, rather than provide social aid in measured form.
          Take religion. There was a movement to ecumenism for greater understanding. It is the philosophical version of the EU's standardisation. That didn't work either.


MONDAY 10th MARCH 2014
WORLD GETTING VERY BIZARRE
This is really extraordinary. Russia outlaws homosexuality and presumed Russian ethnics in Crimea, which Russia is hoping to annexe, commit sa do-masochism by publicly whipping people, rather like the Islamists do, who themselves take exception to people enjoying their sexuality, hence their pre-occupation with FGM and publicly flogging people! A contradictory world indeed!
          Today was an interesting diversion which i have written up on my NHS page. Here I will simply observe that on my walk a pair of red admirals and a pair of cabbage whites were frolicking around the plants in someone's garden. Their hard work has been noted by a complete stranger and whomsoever you are will probably never know I passed your door but your effort was worthwhile, as are the efforts of all gardeners who may do things purely for their own enjoyment. Nonetheless, be assured the efforts of all of you are noticed and appreciated by a wider audience than you may know. Hurrah!

SUNDAY 9th MARCH 2014
COULD THE LIBDEMS SERIOUSLY BE MEANINGFUL?
This after-noon's presentation of Nick Clegg's speech, closing the LibDems' conference, towered with the LibDem's intentions at their best. As always, there are provisos. To reflect that he was somewhat contradictory, highlights the nature of our world, that it IS a contradictory world. Taking a positive note from his speech, that contrariness is more to do with our openness and adaptability than to pigheaded, arrogant stubbornness.
          Reality has to be faced head on. Are the LibDems up to it? Perhaps the better question is, are WE, the people, up to it? To say the decision to participate in government was obvious is as unfair to the people who brought it about as the LibDem women have recently proved to be in their opposition to the very man enabling it to happen, through exercising their petty personal biases. That high strung female exhibition of personality traits highlighted the LibDem's history of bias to trying to be all things to all people, ending up as wishy-washy as the supporters who deserted them in showers, because they could not take the driving rain that comes with being in government. Nick Clegg asserted his belief in this country much as I would have expressed it myself.
        The problem, however, is doing something about it in way that is meaningful and yet not missing out on the right opportunities. For me, what Nick Clegg has done is to turn up the lights on his forthcoming debate with Farage. He highlights the nature of the world we are in: a world of contrasts and contradictions and asks "how best to adapt fundamental principles to the diversity of reality without losing either the underlying philosophy of purpose and intent while remaining flexible". 
          Russia raises several issues: it is frightened; it retains the ability to bully as well as having the history that in bullying it always gets its own way—classic school playground scenario; the West is weak, in economic terms and therefore highlights its diversities when facing crises showing why the concept of an EU superpower as one unit is nonsense. It is a composition of individual sovereignties.
          The Russian situation highlights why we must have diversity of power source and why we must be as independent as possible—Labour's failure to move with nuclear power. The logic ends arguments against shale fracking: we need to find out the viability and to get on with it, especially if Scotland goes its own way.
          Clegg highlighted British lawyers being foremost in demanding and outlining basic human rights. How then did we allow the EU to over-ride those principles and give exemption to religions whose philosophical basis is a deliberate and wilful affront to women?  As the BBC's 'The Big Question showed up, there is no question whatever that religions that in ANY WAY what so ever treat women as secondary citizens, those religions must be brought to heel and if necessary outlawed, or at least their unacceptable practices.

ARE WE MOVING FORWARD?
The appearance of Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe on Channel 4 news on Friday 7th March was less than inspiring. Rather than give reassurance of providing a boot up the bum he still seemed more concerned about defending his goal and saving his job. The need to declare he felt he was the man for the job seemed an admission that he realised many people did not think he was and he seemed somewhat unsure himself, hence his need to say that he was, which seemed merely to confirm the uncertainty. I remain unconvinced, especially as his TV time seemed more concerned at what he intended doing, all of which I thought had already been implemented and was an expected basic standard before they started!

ON THE LIBDEMS
Declarations to raise personal allowances and the tax threshold are sensible measures and are totally compatible with the cost-effective relationship needed for benefit assessments. However, making such declarations when the ability to implement seems remote is not helpful, it merely raises dreams away from the practicalities and only "by the way" draws attention to their unlikelihood due to labour's misfeasance of our financial security.
           It is certainly disappointing that supporters of the LibDems have lacked the courage to stay with them let alone flock to them. They made a courageous stand in order that they would greet the next election with the practicality of government experience and they chose the right party with Clare's law with which to align, although i think numbers alone precipitated the decision. That, at this stage, it appears not to have been appreciated is disappointing but time will tell.

CLARE'S LAW
Is going to be debated on BBC's The Big Question on this Sunday morning. It became law on Saturday 8th March giving partners an opportunity to pursue enquiries of any reported violent behaviour in previous relationships. Two questions arise. Who is going to think to ask and why, as such people can be very convincingly two-faced. So, does this mean anyone entering into any relationship is going to ask the question? The argument seemed to be in faviour that is should be projected further.
          Second and this harps back to an earlier question regarding secrecy of government held personal information (NHS), why are we so jealous of personal privacy? In days of yore God knew everything. NHS records provide important information in a collective whole that is there by default, so why should it not be used statistically and impersonally?
          In the UK we have been blessed with the freedom of complete privacy, regarding it as a triumph of our society that evil does not usually present us directly, either personally or as the collective whole of the state. We particularly demand openness of government and politicians, generally all people in public view, including performing artists where arguable freedom of privacy has tended to be infringed. In principle, why do we need privacy, unless we are intending to do down our fellow citizen; or our assumed collective understanding of the role of the state/government?
          This issue arises both in the principles behind Clare's Law and also in the proposal to decriminalise failure to pay the BBC licence fee. Surely, this is a step, however slight, into accepting that taxpayers may select the taxes they are prepared to pay, so they personally have only that aspect of government to which they personally agree? Very dangerous. Or is it simply recognising the reality that as democracy broadens out and religious entities insist in carving their place in the wider society, that the only way to govern is to accept diversity of principles of intent?
          How does that sit with Scotland's purported desire to go independent, yet join the EU? How does that sit with the EU's determination that all should be subjected to the universality of intent when, over Ukraine, the EU most positively asserts its diversity of individual self-interest?
          We set ourselves in conflict with preconceived religious ideas on Creation, which themselves have difficulty getting on with one another, persisting in the codswallop that diversity of that reality of life, however created, is best represented by conformity, when everything about Creation is diversity, flexibility and adaptability. Are we sure we are not living in a mad house of our own creation, simply by being wilfully bloody stupid? That we have educated ourselves beyond our ability to understand our own learning?

THE INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK TIMES
          This is a good reminder that however convenient is digital news the daily print on paper still provides a different nuance. When market researchers stop me on the street a simple answer, "Yes, I work in publicity/promotions" usually ends further discussion. If I have time, I declare I am retired, although still acting in a consultancy role, or else simply "a gentleman of independent means", which usually throws them and indicates I am prepared to chat. So we chat. In those circumstances I am very difficult to chat with, since I refuse classifications without purpose 'on principle'. Genuinely, I do believe I am not slottable into any standard concept, almost to the point of it being a matter of pride.
          The problem with the international edition is that it is global, which gives the advantage of seeing the world as America sees it, well some of it but I counter this by taking digitally The New York Times as the Americans do receive their news, which is why I regard Piers Morgan's contract curtailment as no other than being suprprised it took as long as it did. It was challenging of him to take the line on guns he did but it clearly switched off Americans and that is of concern. There are certain aspects of the Americans in which they just damned well will not sit and hear alternatives to their presumed opinions and those are worrying traits, not necessarily less worrying than the Russian stance. Then of course there is the diversity of our own press. Just "keeping in touch" can be quite expensive these days!
           The New York Times presumes the EU will impose sanctions that much is going on under the covers, oh dear. Quite the wrong thing to do as is being perceived. For the moment it is clear Russia is all powerful and it knows it. No one in Europe is in the mood for war and that concept, used properly, should lead to greater harmonisation... or will it? The danger will be that it will be merely the modern day appeasement. In Cyprus, little heard of here, there are signs of intention to reconcile. In a sense, that is what Ukraine is about. Interesting contrasts. Countering that course is Russia APPEARING to be totally open. What is happening is that the West is realising it is NOT omnipotent and has itself been living in something of a dream world, just as the EU persists in doing.
          Tolls provides a cartoon of a wasteland (reminding me of T S Eliot) entitled "The Persistence of Procrastination" on the subject of Climate Change. Similar Prevarication is espoused in South Africa of changes to the law on political party funding—the very people permitted to bring in the changes being the very people to whose disadvantage such laws will apply. The paper describes it as foxes guarding the hen house. An unfortunate juxtaposition when the Pistorius trial is showing us how well black Africa is managing affairs.
          Countering Russia's determination to grab what it wants in defiance of Ukraine as a complete entity, Japan's nationalistic bias may threaten its US links, while the EU is showing the diversity of opinion in contradiction to its bias to speak with one voice and increase uniformity, defying nationalistic perceptions. Scotland wants separation from the UK, yet wants to control the UK's currency without asking the UK's inhabitants and tax payers, while at the same time wanting to give up the acquired independence by joining Europe! Interesting seeing things from another perspective.

IRRESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRESS
          There was a lot of kerfuffle some small while back over the idea that murderers, sentenced to life, could not be so sentenced. The concern was actually only the failure to review. Where on earth was the problem? The whole purpose of trading hanging for full life terms was that we occasionally got it wrong and sentenced people to death when they were later found to be innocecent. The press got unnecessarily over-excited, probably because they felt nothing much else was of interest and we have white paper to fill. If it was felt that death can be an unjust finality from which mistakes are unrecoverable, the principle of mistakes happening still applies to life terms, for wich compensation can now be made, so what on earth was the problem of life term reviews?

OUR TIMES ARE DIVERSE: ENCOURAGING OR DISCOURAGING?
          That is life; why religion is diverse in its opinions; while the EU concept of being one together contradicts how the world wags.
          More than three quarters of teenagers feel the press report them negatively which is disappointing because they are our future. I remember, as town mayor, giving a short speech to a gathering of several school groups who had made various presentations to the examiners on their way to a national award for best company. I was able to tell them that attending had been absorbing and that what ever the outcome, there were no losers; all had won by being good enough to get that far and make their presentation but someone had to come out first... I did not envy the job of the examiners to name that someone.
           I have also had experience of youth groups set up by the council administration when i was the town's mayor. There was no question about the enthusiasm and sense of responsibility the young people exhibited in the way they went about setting up a youth council and involving themselves in diverse aspects of the town and its people.
          Over 80% of teenagers feel they are unfairly represented in the media; such negative media affects their chances of getting a job; nearly 90% felt that social media was an effective way of gaining momentum behind social issues and 38% ha signed an online petition.
          Reported today is the sort of response I had experienced as mayor, ensuring a youth council got off the ground and was realistically functioning twenty years previously. Why then still negativity? However, this report in the condensed Independent concluded youth are generally hard-working and caring and that certainly was my experience twenty years ago. The problem, as I stated then was the preoccupation of newspapers to sell their papers, rather than fully and with considered balance present the facts, coolly and calmly. The conflict is clear, balanced presentation of facts while trying to attract attention and sell papers to make profit for the investors: therein lies the eternal conflict—you do not realise what you have lost until you have lost it! Be involved. The nub is that society is diverse and needs that diversity to include all—the EU demands sameness and is top heavy in bureaucrats to make it so.
          Baroness Warsi raised these very points in the Middle East. "Tension, turmoil and terrorism are "...stripping the soulfulness and kindness of spirit from the heart of Islam", calling upon Islamic leaders to "... reclaim the true meaning of the religion". She claimed that such divisions were rarely confronted but posed... a great danger to our world".
          "The hatred that can exist between sects—between people who follow the same God and share the same holy book—disturbs and saddens me. Even in Britain we are not immune from it, with division being preached by some and the belittling of another's faith, or domineering being used as a way of re-affirming one's own. Often the strongest condemnation seems to be reserved for your brother or sister in faith".
        At least that is one prominent leader in a major religion prepared to speak out for commons sense and true belief. At the same time, the head of one of Christianity's great dividers—the Holy Roman Catholic Church—decides to renew divisions amongst his calling. He criticises the government's welfare policies, without acknowledging his church's responsibility for destitution, by denying the proper use of contraceptives to help retain family size within the families' economic means to support, carefully not stating specifically that his church expects the Protestant taxpayer (or he of no faith) to pick up the tab. Quite unacceptable conduct if he wants to be taken seriously as a meaningful senior churchman.
          The Independent's daily briefing carries a lovely section: "Caught and Social" parodying The Times' "Court Circular". Saturday's radio Any Questions was most disappointing, the TV version Question Time is much more meaningful.

AN INTERLUDE
What does the potter's wheel mean to you? Not sure? Think on it in connection with the heading above. I am in such an interlude. The sun is shining; technically and factually it is English spring time. I have just broken off from my studious preoccupations to grab the moment, walking around my home town where I have not walked for too long a time, grateful for the eyes that can see; the ears that can hear; the ability to walk at all. I offer my prayers and best wishes for those who have cause to wish to be me. Not that I am anyone special, just a guy meandering his way through the world in which (as Churchill said) I chose to be born.
          Walking up over Castle Hill I recalled times, when as a boy I, with my aunt Hazel, would walk that way and meet Stan Dickens, farmer thereof. He was one of that BAODS crowd (Berkhamsted Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society). I first made his acquaintance in my first 'proper' public play, along with Alan Dickman and his father; both chemists of H H Dickman and Sons in the High Street (still there), from where we bought our grease paint, Leichner in those days; before Max Factor expanded their women's make-up into the range required for theatre work. H E Todd was also of that crowd, he being the creator of Bobby Brewster; Eunice Snoxall of Snoxall's garage of Chesham Road, where dad had our black bullet nosed Austin A40 serviced. They were also at Boxmoor, where they had more room for expansion. Their Chesham Road garage later became the varnishing department of Wellcome's Clunbury Press, so I knew the area in both guises before it became flats.
          There was also my first, well not quite, infatuation. One long, golden-haired Denise who, alas, was more interested in her pet lamb, seemingly not realising lambs become sheep and was most distressed when it was sent off for mutton, although it did save her father from mowing the lawn for awhile.
          Walking that way, seeing the magnificent views of the Ashridge estate, looking down on the castle ruins; in that moment, I was aware of more than 1,000 years of Great Berkhamsted history and realised again the singularity of my home town. Here, on the edge of town, Berkhamsted Place, built from the outer stones of the castle, hence the castle's ruined state; The Place itself now over-ridden with detached and semi-detached properties but of reasonably substantial size as to meld with the landscape. Berkhamsted farm was still there; then the folding pastureland hills. The reason for Berkhamsted still being a classic Chilterns market town.
          Many sorrows in the world. No different from those this realm has endured, in days of yore; the three inns next to one another in the High street reminding us this has always been a destination in itself, as well as a major coaching stop on a major road, Watling Street, since the Romans came. My heart goes out to those suffering what we once suffered and I only hope that our gained knowledge from that same experience can help them on their way to properly enjoy their own peace, shortly.

AT HOME AND ABROAD
There are times when it seems the world is going to pieces and one must do something in order to wake people's ideas up. The key problem is being overly indulgent, or tolerant, of the intolerable and unacceptable.
        February 27th's Evening Standard told us that Cameron has failed on his immigration policy. This begs the question, did he say what he did as a political gesture to counter UKIP or did he really not know what he was talking about? Merkel clearly stated that he was implying things with which she had no agreement in the manner he had been implying was the case. In clarifying that her visit served a purpose. This implies Cameron's idea the EU will adapt to us is clearly opposing the wind and splashing himself in the face. In effect we have to bear in mind it was Labour that sold us down the river and the LibDems will support EU against us or our chance to voice an opinion. There would appear to be but one practical outcome: get UKIP into EU parliament and see how they shape as a party and how the EU handle that statement of their presence, the first time we have been able to express ourselves. There appears to be a mass movement across Europe in a desire to bring it under the people's control. We then review the situation in 2014. I suspect UKIP will fail to hold together (I am happy to be proved wrong) and therefore will be unable to field a seriously potential UK government. This would mean accepting the fait accompli the Labour party would appear to have lumbered us without asking us—we were only asked to agree trade interaction not political controls.
        From an entirely practical viewpoint it would appear we are stuck with what we have got and we just have to get on with it, always remembering that we have not paid as disastrous a price for socialism as the Russian people have paid and currently the Ukranians. We also have to bear in mind the LibDems forcing of more rational thinking on tax. The Tories' rational argument for sound accountancy can only work if taxation levels are raised. To increase (via the minimum wage) a higher wage than the market will bear will only turn business away, as some businesses are currently bringing work back from China because they have increased their wage costs too far.
          Labour is now proposing an Act making insulting behaviour towards service men criminal offence. I always thought that insulting Her Majesty's forces always was a criminal offence. That it has not previously been thought necessary is of concern as an other indicator of the diminishing status of public decency.
          The same issue of the London Evening Standard and that day's Daily Mail report the mother of the convicted killer of an autistic man, who had the public spirited wit to remonstrate with a cyclist cycling on the pavement, was "no big deal". This accompanied by a sentence that many people regard as paltry. Let us see what the Court of Appeal reasons.
          In contrast, Mac produced a lovely cartoon on Mrs Merkel's visit: "Remember, two verses of Deutschland, Deutschland and don't mention the war!"
          It now appears that car mechanics cannot even be relied upon to test drive customer's cars to check safety of repair work. A dealer in Poole wrote off his customer's £170,000 Mercedes Benz AMG just through driving it around, to chek it still worked!
          It was reported that hundreds of police officers swooped on a range of properties to arrest fifteen and recover hundreds of thousands of pounds as well as guns and assorted valuables. Last night, as I started writing this, we learn that fifty houses have had to be evacuated because some completely irresponsible fool has been storing explosives in his home. The imbecility of people seems to be getting worse and what diversities of stupidity and criminality. Bankers are appointed who don't actually understand the banking system—The Co-op are thinking of selling off farms and pharmacies. Could that connection be due to someone not knowing how to spell pharmacy and thinking they are related to farms? With so many bankers completely bereft of basic accountancy one has to ask! Then why pay them bonuses, save for the man realising and pointing out they do not know what they are doing.

SATURDAY 8th MARCH 2014
MIX AND MATCH

The name Malala is at the head of this page. She is still around, currently supporting (among other things) Fahma Mohamed. Fahma has met with the Education Minister on FMG of which she became aware when attending an Integrate Bristol meeting after school. This raises further the lunacy of the Labour Party wanting taxpayers to fund Islamic orientated schools—the very sector of society promoting Female Genital Mutilation, Muslim manipulation being again on BBC news this (Friday) evening.
          The only way of stopping this archaic illegal practice is to ensure open public integration NOT assistance for further covering up an abhorrent cultural practice. A practice which itself highlights warped religious thinking. There is a world of difference between male circumcision, following ancient Jewish practice and the wilful unnecessary mutilation of the female. Even male circumcision is not regarded as so medically urgent as it once was. This is yet another example as to why it is religionists that must state their case for their irrationalities, not the general public be forced to tolerate their aberrations.
          Conversely, the World Health Organisation (Fahma is supported by the secretary-general of the UN) has warned about an epidemic of obesity in UK schoolchildren. Over 35% of children aged between 10 and 11 in England are overweight.
          I remember raising overweight on Facebook some while back and close friends decided to take issue with me for 'simply' observing the fact. Although, on that occasion, it did not relate to children. A point of their criticism was of my potential lack of knowledge that some of my observations could have fallen upon those suffering cancer, or other debilitating disease that throws their body mechanisms out of kilter.
           I disagreed with their criticisms on the grounds that failure to observe and share gave another opportunity for nothing to be done. That is the point of social interactions, to keep the debate open. If we do not take proper care of ourselves we lay ourselves open to the public incurring unnecessary costs, at the expense of other patients, whose illnesses may be more severe and be caused by none of their own making.
           Following on, in a wider context, I observe the debate about the NHS desire to sell data. First, the government tried to co-ordinate the entire mass of digital information. While prudent monitoring is essential, we need to stop panicking over data dissemination. Yes, there are criminals out there and digital records can be interfered with but this has to be seen in the context of the wider good.
           Individual rights campaigners have long argued against CCTV. CCTV frequently provides the only safe way of convicting criminals committing serious public order acts. In my opinion, case closed. The argument should only be about observational ranges and detail of images acquired. Likewise, NHS data has vast potential for perfectly genuine commercial interests—I am only a printer but I write as a former employee of The Wellcome Foundation who has rubbed shoulders with doctors, veterinarians and research scientists for thirty years. It is we, the taxpayer who has forked out the money to acquire this information and selling it on helps reimburse or offset future expenditure. Why not? It is also we, the taxpayers, who have to fund the damage caused by drunkenness, drug abuse, where our money is wilfully squandered by those who are inadequate by deliberate intent. Why should we? For no other reason than to add to the weight of argument, elsewhere in the world people are dying simply out of hunger. How can we not do something positive and cost-effectively? 
           At what point do we abandon self-interest for the greater good? The BBC's The Big Question raises this on Sunday 9th March. Question one.
Is it our moral duty to stand up to Russia?
           No, it is our moral duty to recognise freedom of expression and realise we Westerners have been appallingly snobbish about Russia and Putin. Yes, he's a bit of a prat, as his long walk down a red carpet highlighted his pretensions. Unfortunately, his pretensions are backed by the reality of strength with which to make his claims. He's the product of a totalitarian background (Cameron thwarted by the Old School here, preoccupied with duck houses and castle moats, 'though not so damagingly) and Putin is playing the West's "own game" against it a damned site more effectively than the West is playing its own game itself! He has an empire: we gave ours away; The EU is a collection of failed empires; America is as debt-ridden as the rest of us. Poor Ukraine. A flash in the pan ignited by Putin, possibly misjudging and/or proving he is indeed very very competent.
Does Clare's law go far enough?
           The fact that I had to check up on Clare's Law shows I haven't cottoned on. It is an interesting conflict. People don't like the NHS releasing our data for cash returns which we taxpayers paid to acquire, thus denying the opportunity for returns helping to defray future costs and gain much cost-effective information. Once punished we are supposed to be able to rehabilitate, certainly religionists would claim this. Statistically we don't seem to achieve cost-effectively. Let's see the result of one step first then review. 
Can children be damaged by fundamentalist religions?
          On Fundamental religion everyone is damaged and the fact damages itself. Refusing to acknowledge the reality of the "God's Creation aspect" as it is, rather than the way they persist in espousing it, religion is just getting in everyone's way who is trying to do something positive. Religion is arguably the last thing any child should be taught, until religionists make up their minds as what they actually do believe, which is at least a damned sight nearer the reality of life than religion currently understands it.
          The Guardian produced an amusing cartoon: two humanised oil rigs sporting the faces of Cameron and Salmond headed "Scotland's choice: two farts in a hurricane". Loved it!

FRIDAY 7th MARCH 2014
AFRICA IS EXCITING

The time shows wonderful mixes of opinion across this vast continent. In Uganda we have a decent man, bewildered by an indoctrinated childhood, totally at sea with something he simply does not understand. Museveni is therefore happy, in his conscience before his concept of God, that denouncing God's creation is a proper thing to do, by outlawing homosexuality. He is doing nothing different than what we British did a century and a half ago.
           The British parliament acted exactly as his parliament has just done. Unfortunately, Queen Victoria, being a woman who loved sex and having a horny German husband, could not understand why anyone could not love sex as she did and refused to accept women were so damned stupid as to ever say "no" to their husbands. She refused to sign the Bill.
           Consequently, the Bill had to be rephrased so as to be solely biased against men, despite the fact homosexuality is a natural aspect in nature, although not scientifically known at that time. It was through animal breeding that homosexuality was discovered, when a male refused to mate with a selected partner, which of course is how aristocrats are lined up, apart from occasional political over-rides. That is why the Russian revolution was so determined to flush out the blood line, it wasn't just politics. The Duchess of Cambridge seems to have a sound line behind her so, opening out the royal stud line should add strength and further guarantee the lustiness of the line.
          We are all the subject of the micro-biology of genetics. For religionists to claim, "Aah, but the spirit that enters that body has to control its biology" is utter nonsense and in direct opposition to the very 'God the Creator' concept in which they claim to believe. Try changing your body chemistry when you have been diagnosed with cancer! That is not to say that mind cannot affect the body, the more one reads about cancer and its treatment the more one hears, as I have personally just recently of seriously cancer affected persons going into remission, seemingly against the odds, through a vehemently positive attitude of mind.
          As a thirteen year old I remember telling my hospital doctor "My mind is the interpreter of my soul, my body the servant of my will, its purpose is to do that which I require of it." Now seventy and faced with 'slow growing inoperable' tumours (even slow-growing can be too fast!) one is a little more philosophical. What is without doubt is that there is a body of affinity with positive thinking and successful outcomes. Technically, this is not scientific evidence, other than the size of numbers in a particular context. Medical opinion is to be positive and persist. Why is there a scientific problem with religionists' taking the same attitude? The numbers are large across different faiths in different contexts of spiritual phenomena. Why is there a problem in accepting this as a bedrock of established understanding?
           All that is happening with the wakening forth of acceptance of homosexuality, in the western world is increasing awareness of the rationality that is a basic component of God given Creation. We learn more, we understand more, we move forward, as is the nature of His Creation, as religionists seem to proclaim without themselves actually believing in what they preach, persisting as so many do in "old age" thinking! We knew then, that is all we accept today. It is simply ridiculous and they undo themselves and their purpose.
           It is with interest I discover the opinion of Terry Eagleton on Dawkin's The God Delusion. Author of forty books including Reason, Faith and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate Eagleton is clearly a man to follow up. His book Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983) sold 750,000 copies!
           Back to Africa. From Uganda to South Africa, where the western world has made a right pig's ear of civilised living and the black world, given the freedom to run its own affairs, has grown immensely. In the Pistorius case we have a black woman judge presiding over a conflict between whites. Oh boy, how the South African world has moved on.
           What a contrast to that conversation I had with a white South African on a London tube train so many years ago. He was trying to make out that "... the blacks aren't made like us, they don't have the intellectual ability. It takes generations to develop as we have done." "Only when you make damned sure they are not educated." I riposted. Here was religion at its worst. The Dutch Reformed Church fully supported apartheid and the white supremacy, just as Rome today decries the British government's financial rationalisation of state support. At the same time Rome denounces contraception as a means of responsible parenting, determining the British Protestant taxpayer should pick up the costs of over large families, not requiring families to take a responsible attitude towards their financial abilities. It is all to do with power and people control. Hypocrisy, cant and a refusal to accept their "God Created" world as it actually is, is what lies behind too much of established religion.

THURSDAY 6th MARCH 2014
CATCHING UP IN ERRATIC SPURTS

I had intended doing this earlier. I was in the hairdresser's this after-noon. It seemed only yesterday when i was last in there but it was nearly six weeks previously. I also had the sense that it was only an hour previously that it had been Thursday last week. Going nuts, or just getting that old? Perhaps it is age but the speed with which time passes, during which I perceive little has been actually achieved, is increasingly worrying. What I like seeing, however, is the contrast (or the comparative relevance) between the microcosm and the macrocosm: that juxtaposition alone speaks volumes simply through their state of contrast. So catching up with the news retrospective is not a bad thing, rather than trying to keep up with it as it happens! First time I have recognised the value of weekly editions. I have a friend in the States who keeps up with English news by taking a weekly abstract.

PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
February 26 reported the incident of a man supporting his "friend" confronted by a middle-aged pedestrian remonstrating against cycling on the footpath. I myself was nearly knocked down by a cyclist cycling in direct defiance of a red traffic signal and totally ignoring the people who had started crossing the road, me being one of them nearly mown down. Mercifully, this reported incident was on camera filming the "friend" killed the pedestrian with his fist.
           Were this truly a "friend" he would have immediately remonstrated with the cyclist himself and apologised on his behalf to the pedestrian affronted. This clearly was no friend, clearly determined to label both of them by their behaviour as unfit persons to be at large. Four years (two before he is out) imprisonment for manslaughter does not seem to be sufficient, we await any further outcome. There have also been reports of several cyclists being killed on the roads through movements of heavy vehicles. Yes, some motorists do drive irresponsibly but so do some cyclists cycle irresponsibly and apparently so do some of their "friends" behave irresponsibly.

LABOUR STILL CHAOTIC
In Harriet Harman we have the disappointment of seeing one of the intelligentsia of the Labour party declaring her unfitness for government. The moment I realised PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange) was accepted and affiliated to the NCCCL (National Council for Civil Liberties)) I dismissed the organisation as unfit for purpose. That it is now "Liberty" has not yet drawn me back.
           Harriet Harman had no cause to be put out by her historical association as she seemed not to be involved with, nor had any responsibility for, checking out the suitability of members when she first joined. In fact, it seemed at that time to be an unmitigated shambles of administration, another reason for not taking it seriously. At that time it seemed only a little more sensible than Mary Whitehouse's organisation and just as irrational.
           While I have only operated politically on a very small scale, whenever buttonholed by a member of the public I have always been happy to answer them directly. Either the fact you are prepared to talk throws them and they are off, or you give them a rational answer to their question and they lose the self-confidence to continue. The mere fact that they had buttonholed you seems to be their sense of achievement.
          Why, at her level of experience and public operation why Harriet Harman could not simply have done the same thing, instead of going on the defensive, i simply do not understand. I had perceived her as a safe pair of hands. Now, i can only be more horrified at the prospect of a Labour government. The idea that PIE should have duped a government into giving them taxpayers' money probably ties in with the period when many socialists actively sold off school playing fields, deeming them unnecessary, as sport taught self-reliance, not team work and that someone always had to win. In their view all children should be allowed to win... So why on earth were they not being taught anything remotely relevant to life and the grown up world? That's socialism for you.

GETTING IT WRONG AND STILL NOT LEARNING
Apparently, this is the time for commiserating with the miners who were led into poverty and near starvation by one Scargill with inflated ideas of his and his union's self-importance. Regretfully, we still have not built the necessary nuclear power stations to cope with our fuel demands and need to reduce carbon gases. That is down to government and mostly to Labour, again, although the Tories do carry some accountability for failing to move on.
          The trades unions still have not learned about cost-effectiveness and personal accountability to maintain professional standards. The Daily Mail advises [February 26] that the Royal College of Nursing may have squandered as much as £50,000 supporting the unsupportable: rank professional incompetence for two members struck off for not being professionally competent. However, if professional people want to contribute their money to organisations that spend it in that manner two things are obvious: one, it is their affair; two, they would appear to be overpaid, from taxpayers' money!

SQUANDERING TAXPAYERS' MONEY
In terms of paying out taxpayer's money pointlessly it now appears that a Guantanamo Bay Briton was paid £1million compensation, prior to just being arrested on suspicion of waging jihad in Syria. Not proved guilty yet but were the Americans not right after all? The problem is defining in a free society what is reasonable involvement in the world's affairs?

JOY OF JUST BEING: PRAISE THE LORD
The same paper on the same date printed a full colour picture of a little girl sitting on a rock, an island, in a sea of wide opened purple crocuses. Spring is on the way! It is a great world and we all need to try and hold that greatness

"WE'RE ALL WORKERS", SAYS 'WORRIED OF BERKHAMSTED'
On February 25th The Guardian printed a rationally sized photograph of yellow crocuses in Hyde Park. Clearly more concerned about paper than the Daily Mail, which usually doesn't have much to say but to shout headlines, hence its devotion to a whole page for their picture, while The Guardian is more concerned about being meaningful and demands cost-effective use of space.
          Apparently, the Tories are seeking to represent 'the workers'. Other than certain Tory MPs who prefer to spend more money on duck houses, for the pets living in their castle moats, than on welfare for the common good, I thought we were all workers. Having just completed half a century working, to keep myself from being a burden on anyone and making provision to keep myself until my death likewise, save for possible infirmity, I can at last consider myself as something of a 'gentleman of independent means'. Now, having some experience of that I can also say that 'just being', in this convoluted world of continuing rapid change is very demanding and tiring! How did I ever have time to earn a living... and live!? What I find astounding is that there is still a proclivity to spend money on nonessential matters, without any thought of tomorrow, let alone next year and retirement. The mechanics of the future simply do not seem to be addressed and we seem not to have learned much in the half century I have been involved? I find this worrying.

WEDNESDAY 5th MARCH
SOCIALIST CONTRADICTIONS

Bob Crow, of the RMT union, charges off against emptying train toilets on the railway line. Were he remotely responsible, he would be sounding off at the appalling loutishness of general members of the `British public', renowned across Europe as the world's litter louts. It says quite clearly above the toilet, "please do not flush when the train is standing in a station".
         He rightly raises the issue, to which he apparently has only just woken up, that this is unhygienic for workers on the line. So why did he not raise the issue before? Presumably, because now there is a break from other opportunities for being on the front page and he likes being the centre of attention.
         Apparently, it has also escaped his attention that modern trains are designed with sanitary tanks. What he is therefore indirectly complaining against is heritage railways using old-style stock. So why isn't he honest enough to say he resents the private money of members of the public spending their hard-earned money, despite the strikes he causes to disrupt their ability to earn their keep and pay their way, to enjoy themselves on helping to reduce railway costs by further enhancing income on main lines?
           Meanwhile, the Labour party, which union members are forced to support, regardless of their voting intentions or personal political wishes (until the Labour party finally implement a one member one vote rule, which anyone with sense would always have demanded from the first but which the trades unions have always resisted (they don't like freedom of expression)), has illustrated its potential for intelligence with its latest report on a comprehensive view of citizen's welfare. I have not read the report but the details emerging from David Neil's "Daily Politics" interview (Tuesday) indicates a whole lot of sense.
           Why, then, does the Labour party, only the day before, proclaim its support of religion? Apart from a desire to claim more votes (as it perceives) and endeavours to show it does have some vague ideas on how the world really does wag, why proclaim support for utter irrationality? The Church of England, after half a century arguing against women priests and then against women priests holding more senior positions has finally got its act together and officially sees no problem with them? There has never been, nor never could have been, a problem with women clergy at any level in the Church of England other than plain stupidity—the church was started by a woman, sorting out her father's administrative mess! Its supreme governor is a woman! Where then, such irrationality, since religion claims the world is God created? Rationality is part of that God and His Creation. It is an historic presumption in itself that 'He' is not a 'She' nor "ambidextrous", or simply neutered. After all, Greek and Latin both contain neuter options in language construction, so why is religion so irrational to the reality it proclaims as God created and presuming that God is male, other than the Christian tradition, which was governed by the social proclivity of the day?
           Regarding sexuality, Galatians 3:28 states: [New International edition] "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ."
           Through various mediums with whom I have sat (I am not myself mediumistic, other than through the conventional communication of secluded contemplation) I have an open mind regarding other life existences. For a spirit to regard itself as 'complete', I perceive at least two lives are necessary to understand the male and female psyche but Galatians would indicate this is not necessary. The complete spirit enters on birth and on death regains the spiritual awareness it already possessed but hopefully improved upon through life's experiences on this plane. Arguably, successive lives, while gaining diversities of experience, cannot acquire an equality of the allness of spirit, as different time frames themselves are different experiences with myriad possibilities of interpretation from experience gained.
           The issue at this point is that the Church of England is at last facing up to and changing some at least of its irrationalities. Why then is Labour embracing a religion totally mixed up with historical culture, biased against the female; preoccupied with the earthly values of garb; perceiving women as almost a different race entirely; when the established 'state' religion is beginning to see some sense? All religions proclaim a God created world that is male orientated in which rationality is a key component. Why then do religions persist in being totally irrational in their pursuit of what they proclaim?
           The extreme form of socialism is communism, which has proved to the world that it fails: Russia is becoming capitalist and is held in check by self-centred oligarchs. The Labour party ran this country into enormous debt, which is why we are unable to seriously counter Russian aggression—possibly advantageously as our penury demands we stop and think.
           From this comes great positive opportunities. We are beginning to realise our world is truly integrating. We MUST work WITH one another, wherein lies the compulsion to "give and take". Too long we have treated Russia as a common cur. Russsia is simply (hopefully) saying "Hang on, we're not going to tolerate this attitude any longer". Apart from perceived genuine concerns, perhaps that is all this present contretemps is about? The root cause being "a frightened people".
           Having achieved three score years and ten my future is more to that moment when this bag of biochemistry in which I exist is no longer inhabitable and I return to that existence from which I came. In so far as I have been able to interact with my former state of existence, there seems no certainty of agreement. Different views seem to persist dependent upon with whom and through what mediumship I communicate. What is without doubt in my mind (and I have Galatians to thank) is that what we perceive here as diversity is merely glimpses of a canvas more vast than the vision we can comprehend here, where we can only see through a glass darkly and in stages, as we are able to comprehend and manage that awareness. 
           What I see, with increasing confidence, is that the richness to come shows that diversity need not cause disharmony. It merely enriches the depth of the panorama. That should be the goal to which we here in this plane should be heading. This continuum of our present existence should be aiming at acquiring acceptance of differences, respect for appropriate boundaries and the realisation there is more in common than we are willing to observe. This ties in with the need to recognise just what are the practical boundaries, in terms of time and space, of our present existence and that we must make preparation to ensure our resources are not wasted but preserved and allowed to regenerate. That is the real nub of our present crises. It is an opportunity to take stock of the collective whole and seriously re-appraise our presumptions.

TUESDAY 4th MARCH 2014
NOT SO QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT
This Morning
The world is not yet at war, although there are warring factions around the globe. Appropriately today I come a cross a quotation seemingly well fitted for today: "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." -Eli Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)
           Well, we are protesting and so far in a manner correct and proper and maybe remembering the beginning of World War I, a hundred years ago, serves a positive purpose. History is important and "... we will remember them." is so very relevant at this time. Not just internationally but in our own country and home.

INTERNATIONALLY
It is not unfair to claim that Russia is trying to avoid responsibility and consequences for interfering in the Ukraine by persuading its President to default, in defiance of what appears to be the populace's wishes. Certainly it appears to be the opinion of the majority of the elected representatives of its parliament that it should continue with overtures to the EU while not necessarily seeking to relinquish historical relations with Russia.
          It is quite clear that Russia is wriggling. So far, protection of its citizens in an area where Russia's own history shows it as both friend and foe, which is what lies behind the difference of opinions within Crimea, makes its actions dubious, despite an underlying justifiable concern for its own people. We can bear this in mind when ever any other country feels the need to send in troops to any other country when it fears for the safety of its own passport bearers. This unfortunately also broadens the dangers of conflict, since we have replaced a British passport for an EU one, without us being asked! Was this really thought through for incidents in which Russia is currently leading?
          It is important that the West plays it very cool, as it is transparently obvious the West is weak and Russia is strong: physically, strength wise. However, it is also clear that Russia itself realises it is playing a high stakes game. This may be the first major international play out in which modern technology and universal media plays a serious and positive role. Nothing is hidden under cloths or tables [William and Harold pre1066].
          The production of a letter from the ousted President is a feeble attempt at justification, as the obvious charge is going to be that it was written after the event, and/or under Russia's direction. There is no question that Russia's behaviour while publicly declaring strength of position, is in fact a somewhat panicked response to a manipulation Russia mismanaged.

AT HOME: THE OTHER COSTS OF SOCIALISM
The Balkan situation makes clear the need for financial stability and credit worthiness. One of the reasons the West generally is weak to act is the size of its respective national debts. The value of the proposed Conservative policy, to bring the country in to adequate capital reserves, is today highlighted. The irresponsibility of Labour's running us into debt is highlighted but also its own proposed future policies that indicate it is bereft of voting eligibility.
          Why is the Labour party wanting to spend public money, we do not have as a result of a Labour government, on Muslim schools? Purely to obtain votes it will not otherwise garner. Labour is not behaving rationally, nor is the EU, supported by both Labour and the LibDems. it is indicated that pupils must wear Islamic dress. How come, since Islamists have determined they should dress as they wish, now they are suddenly demanding that we may not? School uniform needs to be rational and practical. How do pupils play sport in robes? What, they do not believe in sport or equality of women with men and vice-versa?
          The Crimea highlights the basis of human rights. Why on earth are we supporting the Ukraine's right to independence when the EU, into which we have been politically plunged without our being asked, persist in encouraging religious entities to deny basic freedoms to its own populations? By what rational right has a religion to determine it will take exception to women, gays and those of personal sexual predilection? Just because religions are not rational is not the excuse for the EU to be likewise be irrational, irrational though it actually is! It claims to support Ukraine, yet countermands its argument for doing so by ensuring that bureaucrats control essential base aspects of the whole EU edifice, which was set up before parliamentary powers which parliament is not authorised to control. It is a basic contradiction that undermines its own argument against Russia. It is the same contradiction, supported by Her Majesty's government and especially Labour and the LibDems. Where is their own people's opportunity, most especially the UK's, to determine if they want their sovereignty determined by a bunch of fools somewhere in Europe (the EU keeps moving its headquarters).
          Alex Salmond wants independence for Scotland. He specifically excludes Scots away from home and includes the immature of society to weight the vote (he hopes). He wants to interfere in the rest of the UK's management of the pound sterling without those peoples being asked if they want their currency b*****ed about by a smaller country that has just stated it does not wish to be included in the UK? Where, on that basis, is our argument, let alone the EU's, in interfering in Ukraine, claiming we are defending the independent rights of its citizens when none of the EU's entities are giving a damn for the rights of its own citizens!

MONDAY 3rd MARCH 2014
SUDDENLY ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE
The Morning
Started with an interesting aside on Facebook. Deciding to declare as a new aphorism [Reality is always frightening to those who themselves have never been real!], resulted in a dialogue with Julie Elliot; one Gabriel Garrick chose to interact requesting definition of terms used, leading to the following explanation.
          "To define any word/term in the context of general use (as used here) is to contradict the universality of common meaning and narrows the term's value to only a pre-described context. 'Reality' in 'general' meaning is that state or states on which the majority of people, regardless of opinion, would perceive as a state of existence without need to describe or explain, or think further. It is an automatic common experience/acceptance.
          'Those' is used as a pronoun for an undefined body of people within the overall concept of society. "never been 'real'" observes that these people see a form of 'reality' not shared by a vaster group of persons of sufficient size in number as to constitute the 'norm' of society. For such people to discover (if their minds are that open) that there are other views, some of which embrace vast numbers of people in general agreement, can be a shattering experience.
          Religions are the classic example. They believe in a God created universe but resolutely refuse to define God. Part of Creation is rationality: therefore, God must be rational. Why then are religions generally irrational? In being irrational, they factually deny their own proclaimed beliefs. The ‘reality’ of Creation is that it is in a continual state of change. All religions are steadfast in mankind’s knowledge at the time they were started. Were religions to truly believe what they proclaim they would be in a continual state of change, ready and happy to embrace the future, as time develops mankind’s understanding further. Instead, religions resist change, therein denying the ‘reality’ of their own faith!
          Eliot expresses this beautifully in the “Burnt Norton” canto of  “Four Quartets”. “Time present and time past/ are both perhaps present in time future,/ and time future contained in time past. / If all time is eternally present/ all time is unredeemable.” Here, I disagree with Eliot.
          “If all time is eternally present/”, the cross existed before its actual appearance within the time frame of history in which Christ first appeared. Therefore all time is redeemable, which is the purpose of the cross and the raison d’être of the Christian religion: the only one of all the world’s religions attempting to define God but in the context of mankind’s knowledge at that time and expressed for the wide understanding of simpler mindsets.
           I could go further but I won’t. This is why I run this site. Facebook is not really appropriate for discursive emissions and all my time is currently overloaded with diversities, prohibiting appropriate time on structuring my methodology."

        Then came further news on the Balkans and I started thinking we were playing out a Shakespearian tragedy. I thought of the Pendley Open-air Shakespeare Festival. Their current page is headed "Some Things are Better Out in the Open". That could equally apply to Putin: and perhaps sooner than we might like as the revelations might be awesome. I thought it therefore appropriate to share that Facebook comment here.
          "How many understand the complexities of the Shakespearian stage? For that is what is currently playing out.
          There is the main stage, the fore-stage and a variety of side issues on different levels, including balconies, all designed to attract attention at different moments, while at the same time still playing out their roles when the audience attention is not focused on them.
           The script is the key to what is going on. So what is going on? We have different scenes playing out in different places while the script also changes locale, not necessarily in relation to specific physical places. This is a dramatist at work; a puppeteer who would be a general but for the moment is a little shy of cutting his knee.
           Each step is designed to draw attention to another area and to provoke one stage further until there is a response that places the defendant in the adversary position making it appear the defendant is the aggressor. That is what is behind Putin's play-acting.
           This is superb stage management. Hence my interest in the heading on that page of Pendley Shakespeare Festival's web site. That is real theatre and excellent Shakespeare but are the players on the world stage as good at acting as Pendley's actors? Pendley's actors KNOW they are actors, pretending to be real people. Do the real-life actors realise they are real-life people; that this is no play; and that death is not make believe, 'get up and take a bow', it is death in a field of mud under the earth bewailed by their loved ones? Those loved ones are not theirs but other people's.

MEANWHILE IN SOUTH AFRICA
The world seems way behind and out of date. A black African judge presides over a white man's killing of his very beautiful white girlfriend. No jury, to counter the danger of perceived historical racial prejudice but what a way to do things! In Europe they are as frightened as the populace of South Africa once was, which Europe condemned but even then The Dutch Reformed Church, originating in Europe still failed, as surely as the Catholic church still fails in Europe. Old and ancient, does Europe really have a clue as to what it is about?


SATURDAY 1st MARCH 2014
CATCHING UP & FOLLOWING ON AFTER A BREAK!
Reviewing the papers bought but not looked at, let alone read, over the last fortnight gives an interesting change of insight into the news. One gains a more cohesive over-view: the microcosm melds into the macrocosm and the macrocosm shows a wider homogeny than might be generally perceived from details revealed only as isolated moments in different frames of time. These tend to amplify diversities rather than embrace similarities.
         
Glancing through the papers casually I am somewhat depressed by the persistence of
déjà vu in almost every aspect of life. We review the one hundred year anniversary of the First World War, started in the Balkans, once more attracting our attention with their disruptive influence, a troubled people indeed: their problems both seemingly instantly solvable; yet the cause so understandable as to project the dangerous inevitability towards suppression and war. Great care and patience is needed and the courage NOT to act despite seeming loss of advantage through inaction. Most of all, trust is required where fear has already embedded so much distrust. Essentially, distrust is born from the various efforts over the centuries in which trust has been so wilfully abused by the powerful, not just the physically powerful but also those with the mental acuity to dominate, suppress others and thrust their egos. Ego is the root cause of all our troubles, the ego of self that over-rides any and all proclivity to render service. Render service to who? One's fellow beings; entities; life-force; creation: the simple statement, "We are, this is, what now?"
          One can understand the various entities' nervousness. Russia has a fleet based in the Crimea; the area's history is Russian-orientated since the First World War, during which time various Russian influences have shown the area the power of Russia's love and hate. It is understandable that Putin feels a responsibility for his country's interests, while also trying to distract attention from the possibility he is the cause of the present problem, by having manipulated a Russian bias contrary to Ukraine's majority interest which prefers to "grow up" and open out to the wider world via the EU.
          In that, the Ukraine represents a parallel world to the UK. Scotland wants independence from the UK having, three hundred years previously, agreed Westminster should dominate rather than Edinburgh (it was a Scottish king that inherited England). The Scottish Nationalist party is gerrymandering the vote for independence by denying Scots not living in Scotland at the time the vote is taken, despite the fact postal voting through absence has a long-serving precedence. The vote is also being gerrymandered to include sixteen year olds but the Scottish nationalists have not been honest in declaring their intention that this means sixteen year olds can be called up for national service... the obvious conclusion of lowering the age of consent but are sixteen year olds truly old enough to drive a car on a public road and if not are they fit to determine their country's government and accept legal parenthood, for those are the inevitable ultimate consequences?
          More over, Salmon has determined that Scotland will control the English pound if Scotland votes for independence but has made no provision to ask the English, Welsh and Irish if they find interfering in their national currency is acceptable. He is doubtless relying on Westminster's precedent of allowing the EU to over-ride the voters' wishes without asking them, so he expects Westminster to agree with him without giving its own people the referendum over who may control their own currency. Neither does he appear to have discussed with the EU what his country's relationship would be with the EU if the Scots vote for independence, presumably expecting to blag his way, simply declaring a fait accompli. Is this situation any different than Russia and the Ukraine? Afraid of being late again, is Obama charging in without thought that this might be the occasion when the USA being late might be the right thing to do?
          What an interesting time we are living in. Déjà vu indeed!

SUNDAY 16thFEBRUARY 2014
Oops! Been preoccupied and plants need watering. Drooping badly but I think they are lifting their heads slightly. Just in time with the water, hopefully.

FRIDAY 14thFEBRUARY 2014
GETTING MYSELF SORTED OUT

Phew! Beginning to get back together. Been absent helping my brother-in-law clear his mother's flat—she's moved into an all care home. Interesting experience, everything locked up and she is the most aware of them all but the worst are in another building across the way. Oh God! you can live too long, although at the moment she's fine to be with, she just needs help awareness constantly for physical safety reasons.
          Interesting aside. Totally absorbed in my own surroundings I am not unaware of the rest of the world and have diverse interactions with it but the sudden diversion into someone else's world helped me to review my own. I suddenly realise what it is to run one's own life around oneself. An odd thing to write for a bachelor who has not really settled into a "retired phase of mind". Still much to do and still determined to do, despite health telling me too early I am getting old and need to pace myself more vigilantly.
          Just that contrast over the last week has brought home I truly am a gentleman of independent means... for the moment. Concerns for unknown costs that may arise as health deteriorates becomes a concern but for now, just plough on, be and make the most of what you have. Yet a sense of selfishness creeps in: people do not have to experience the reality of flooded homes, flooded businesses; lost dreams; the sense of taking several years backwards to feel embittered. For some, just being as they are without these traumas is trauma enough. To all those not so fortunate, I grieve for you and wish you well.

MONDAY 27thJANUARY 2014
NOW THE LIBDEMS ARE BEING UTTERLY IRRESPONSIBLE
Once more the LibDems are determined to show their total unfitness for government. We cannnot take in any more refugees and we are the second leading country to make serious massive efforts in terms of monetary outlay
. To add further to our economic contribution is plain foolhardiness.

RELIGION STILL BURBLING TWADDLE
On Channel 4 this evening we have a Russian, Vitaly Milonov, clearly highlighting how the land of Communism (another failure in that great country's history) has suddenly turned right wing Christian. Vitaly is a purported lawmaker, who is clearly appallingly ignorant on medical reality
, judging by his ideas on homosexuality. Even one transvestite, with both parents doctors of medicine, do not have the medical competence to understand homosexuality. Never mind insurance, for God's sake, simply do NOT be ill when visiting Russia. Their state of medical knowledge seems the pits and extraordinarily warped versions of Christianity are plunging the depths of unChristian views. Aother example of claiming God the Creator of all but presuming to deny some of that which He has created! It seems Russia is still a very backward undeveloped country.

REVIEWING GB
Utter twaddle being burbled about further developing London. We need London to be spread out across the country! This discussion does raise the question as to whether HS2 is right. We perhaps need the north staying in the north, not able to have people rush so eaasily to London. We need to stop this headlong rush south.

HOUSING MINISTER FLOUNDERING
On BBC's Politics there seems a load of waffle and no factual reality of substance.
Clearly things are NOT happening under this government. However, while there is much controversy over HS2 there does not seem to be the same national awareness over housing. Ignoring the finance aspect, the reality of HS2 makes putting housing further north, away from London or simply the "South-East" a practical prospect. We need to match costs with job salaries to pay for them and travel availability, otherwise we will end up in a built conurbation throughout the South-East. Have we reached the point when we need a national review of all houseing/living conditions? Surely that is supposed to be gained from the censuses?

THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION
An exciting debate by three highly intellegent and well educated women. Very interesting point about women being thrown on the defensive: why are men not being expected to change THEIR attitudes to life generally, as well as to women.

SOMERSET PROBLEMS: FLOODING
The government ministers and local MPs seem still to be floundering. I personally suspect the Environment Agency has had its attention diverted elsewhere, hence lack of control. Have they simply been following the wrong procedures?
          
Once more planning is under debate and rightly. We concrete over far too much, stopping too much ground from absorbing water, causing water to simply run off. What are the statistics on rainfall, are we having more totally or more spasmodically in this area?

THE SNOWDEN APPEAL
The Snowden appeal is still going the rounds to have him exonerated for liability for his criminal activity against his own country and the western, arguably whole, world. Were he remotely interested in others than simply promoting his own ego, he would return home of his own accord and face the music, arguing the validity of his case. He doesn't, because he knows he is wrong and knows he has done us all a serious offence contrary to our own safety. The statement in the latest appeal for him states: " This is about much more than one man. If Snowden's act of truth-telling leads to crippling punishment, it sends the wrong signal to abusive governments and whistle blowers everywhere. If 1 million of us take action now, we can send President Dilma [offering him refuge from the consequences of his act] the largest citizen-supported asylum bid in history -- sign to safeguard Snowden and defend democracy everywhere."
          This is totally incorrect. The message sent will be exoneration of irresponsible country presidents wanting cheapskate answers for their own lack of ability and a clear message to all that criminality, properly managed by equally corrupt, or at least immoral, entities will get you let off. That is the real message that is being sent around appealing for Snowden's support.
          Snowden had plenty of opportunities inside his country to put forth his concerns and failed to do so. Let's hear his explanation, in court in his own country that he has so wilfully betrayed NOT exalted. What he is raising, is the extent to which one man may choose to command an opinion above that of his people who has chosen NOT to put his opinions (as I have done in my home town, as most people do, save terrorists)
to the test of public opinion and seeing truth and value of those opinions in fellow citizens' minds. Those are the correct procedures. In World War Two, Churchill was faced with the same situation. The person advising him, like Snowden, was exceedingly concerned and in great personal turmoil, that he was infringing "due procedures". He proceeded in a responsible manner to a man he could trust and who later delivered for us our fine war prime minister. That is blowing secrets in a responsible manner for the benefit of the greater good.

SUNDAY 26thJANUARY 2014
THE POPE FORCED TO BE DIPLOMATIC
The Times showed the pope looking po-faced as he met President Hollande. I suppose he had no choice but to grant him a meeting just as the Queen has suffered the indignity of being treated like an honourable man because the heads of state she meets have warped ideas of women's place in the real world outside their religious dreams. In that, they have a point. As Galatians [3:28}states "...there will be no ...male or female... all will be one in Christ", effectively telling us that the need for sex is the procreational need of this physical plain of existence rather than the perpetual reality of  spirit."
The only problem is that such contexts bias thinking to a predomination of male supremacy, rather than a bisexual equality and would therefore seem to contradict the spiritual message, rather than accepting the reality of this "plain/plane/mode of existence". Odd.

EGO AT THE LOWEST LEVEL
The Times also reported a man shot in the leg over something to do with money while a mother (Emma Wilson, 25) was sentenced to a minimum of fourteen years for battering her eleven month old son to death. No reports of medical insanity, therefore the assumption must be the manifestation of pure evil. Neatly bringing religion back into the equation. Whether or not one holds religious views and assuming medical science is trustworthy on its knowledge of clinical psychiatry, then the nonreligious must give serious consideration to accepting the fact there is such a state of being as pure evil. If one accepts that, then there is a valid argument for religion and if there is a valid argument for religion, there is a  valid argument for a concept of God. The problem then becomes one of defining God. Therein, we need to agree to live properly as nearly all religions command their supporters, WITH one another and not against them

EGO AT THE LOWEST LEVEL
The Times also reported the value of mysticism as Goldie Hawn expounded on mindfulness at the world Economic Forum in Davos. Apparently this is well practised by business executives and Olympic athletes. Since most of the Middle East problems are to do with differences upon the interpretation of the nature of God, why on eaarth are these leaders not practising it?
           Yet on the next page we have a British woman doctor comolaining that fellow doctors do not report genital mutilation. It appears that those people most excited and enthusiastic about their religion and belief consier it necessary to mutilate female genitalia. Yet another statement of the absolute twaddle that is religion generally... or is reigion being confused with cultural values? In that case the burkha and niquab are confirmable as cultural matters and having nothing whatever to do with reigion. In which case we may reasonably question the concept that the woman must be regarded as subjective to the male. That too is a cultual factor that has got confused with religious mores. The triuth is that it is all wrapped up in purely male ego that is being massaged under the guise of religion, because bullyboy men lack the manhood to actually stand up for themselves on their own account: thereby admitting they have no moral case for their argument of domination?

Such mutilation is a direct contradiction of their religious beliefs. If God created all as religionists claim to believe, then they are wilfully in contravention of their concept of God, who created what they have determined they will abuse. Where, precisely is the logic of tis stance? Logic is a fact of creation and therefore is of God. How then can any religion justify not being rational and logical?

WHO'S GOING NUTS FIRST: NOT FARAGE OR UKIP BUT PERHAPS PRINCESS MICHAEL OF KENT?
Fortunately madness is not a trait of the Royal Family (King George's problem was physiological (biochemical)) and Princess Michael is a foreign import. What lies behind her utterly irrational and totally unsubstantiated outburst was the simple matter of common little money-grabbing, she's trying to sell a book she has written and could only get a dead duck person to interview her for that publicity. For example, from the Express this morning, we learn: In an astonishing outburst: "'...she also described Princess Diana as uneducated and said she could not cope with fame because she did not have a strict mother.' Princess Michael, who recently celebrated her 69th birthday, made her comments during a bizarre chat with disgraced media tycoon Conrad Black on Canadian TV."
Some people regard him as a common criminal in this country. That says a lot about Princess Michael.

BALLS TALKING ABOUT BALLS AGAIN!
Ed Balls once more waffling (on this occasion the BBC's the Andrew Marr Show) but much more impressive than when he delivered a speech yesterday to the Fabian Society. 'Just don't incur debt in the first place, other than for expansion, based on the ability to pay' now apppears to be Labour's philosophy.
            I had thought it was everyone's policy who had any practical understanding of business affairs. Is Balls now admitting Labour does not have much understanding of business, which is why they support union irrationality? Am I being as stupid as Princess Michael?. He is still not acknowledging it was his party that put us in the mess out of which we are trying to climb and is now looking to bring down a deficit his party created? Why then create it in the first place? If he believes in getting the deficit down why did the Labour party create it? If he believes in reducing welfare, why did his party create the welfare deficit? He is now eager to work oppositely to the way his party worked last time they were in government. What we want is explanations as to why we are in the state of debt we are, created by his party, out of which we are trying to get. I still think that Labour still doesn't get it. I admit, I've never got it! Am I now as nuts as Princess Michael?

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
McCloughlin making a complete pig's ear of presenting his case on railway costs. His department seems generally to be in one hell of a mess. Apparently it recently lost a computer stick. Civil servants seem to do this regularly, i think a few years ago they lost two or three laptops, leaving thm on the train! On those occasions I think Labour was purportedly running the country... downhill.

FARAGE PREPARING TO LOSE IN 2015
On the BBC's The Sunday Politics Farage made a superb weather forecast. Clearly he is expecting to lose in 2015 and is preparing for his Music Hall act as a means of earning some money when he is no longer relevant. For now, UKIP is quite practical for the EU elections this year. EU is as daft as he is and seeing them in Europe will give us a chance to see how they actually hold together as a party. Interesting.


IS WAR EVER JUST? The BBC's 'The Big Question'.
Meeting very well managed. We have a Muslim now saying that we need an international 'police force' to manage impartially. Arguably 'correct' Islam is NOT in conflict with fundamental Christian moral principles. Take the macrocosm to the microcosm, when a married couple are unable to agree the best benefit of their children and one of them insists on thrusting their own inflated juxtaposed issues, they then divorce but are expected to remain civil and in communication with one another without upsetting each other. We need an international equivalent for the macrocosm.

SATURDAY 25thJANUARY 2014
WHO'S GOING NUTS FIRST: FARAGE OR UKIP?
It is difficult to know if Farage is simply panicking over a loss of publicity or whether he is simply nuts. He thinks we should all carry guns on the basis that only criminals carry guns, illegally, while decent people are required to have a licence and are restricted as to where and how they should keep them. My personal guess is that it is purely a publicity line since America is a clear example of why we have realistic gun laws in this country. I suspect the truth is he has cause to think he is losing ground and I cannot think why he should be so defeatist.

BALLS AT THE FABIAN
In the light of the LibDems' excitement over proper respect for women, why did Ed Balls kiss the woman who introduced him to the platform? Surely that was inappropriate, however well he /she may know him?
He complaisn the Tories are giving us the slowest recovery in a hunded years. Is he really that witless? Clearly it matches the worst deficit in one hundred years left by Labour, so what did he expect?! Rather floundering in his delivery. Seems to lack assurance. So far extraordinarily flat and trite. He wants fairness. This is the sort of twaddle you would expect from your local representativeon on your doorstep at a local election. This is not the quality of presentation one expects of a supposed major speech at so prestigious an event as the Fabian Society. Labour now disowning Communism, have they really woken up to that extent, with the trade unions still controlling them?
          Again floundering. Has he been writing this to the very last minute? Was that why he was late on? He links BNP with UKIP in negativity to our interests but there is no dispute about our need for WORLD trade not EU biased agianst the world. It is the politics of the EU that are the cause of our problem NOT world trade.
          Talking a lot of spending. Nothing yet on the source of the money, other than to borrow again! The deficit is the balance of what they left in the first place but he forgets to mention Labour caused the deficit! I wonder why.
          Fiscal policy: agree with cuts; again he ignores the fact they created the deficit in the first place! Now wanting to be economical in management. Why not previously? Now they are looking to achieve a surplus. Long term recovery to acquire longer investment but special borrowing needs won't be part of overall intent not to borrow! Double speak here!
          They now want iron discipline on finance! Why then so vast a deficit when they left? Now talking of following Tory initiatives, some of them! Want lower tax rates. Will bring back fifty per cent taxation on earned income over £150,000. Can Labour change Britain? Well they didn't when they were last in power, other than for the worse and so far we have had a lot of talk about... but no deliverance of facts.
          Interesting they will work with business when it is the unions that finance Labour and cause business so many of its problems. Interesting, they are going to change the trade unions! So they acknowledge the unions are a disaster.(?)
          Now it is question time and platform manager (a woman) wants to be biased towards women! Is that proper?
          Ed Balls seems simply to be sticking to taking half your wage over £150,000, how dispiriting for those we want to involve in moving the country forward? HMRC said fifty pence tax wasn't financially cost-effective. Labour saying HMRC got it wrong.
We need table comaprison. Overall, Ed Balls seems to be saying, "Hi! We're over here but nothing much has yet changed... we're thinking it over still." Interesting.

FRIDAY 24thJANUARY 2014
GOD OH GOD! & THE REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
In Northern Ireland of all places they are arguing over God, just when Christians are beginning to talk sensibly with one another. Let's face it, it is only in the lead up to Christmas
, Epiphany, the start of the new Christian Year that the Church of England, having ben started by a woman and having a woman as its supreme governor, accepted they could have women bishops. There has never been a problem over women bishops other than damned fool stupidity.
          Now, I have not seen nor read the text of The Bible which the reduced Shakespeare company is intending to tour round the UK but Northern Ireland is a classic example of how unChristian Christians can be. More over, the Unionists have been most insistent in declaring how unpatriotic, as well as unChristian, they can be in their deliberate denial of the Queen's peace. It is they who have taken exception to The Bible.
          Suddenly, in our home country, we are plunged into Syria and the Middle East. We are no different! We are still arguing over God; interpretations of God
; and demanding God exists in preference and with greater authority than nonGod concepts. By a senior court judge (Sir James Munby) it has been stated the English courts cannot operate on the assumption that Christian values predominate in a pluralist society.
          What the Northern Ireland Protestant Unionists have done is to affirm Munby's correctness: bring to a head the reality that even in the United Kingdom, Protestant Christianity must be subject to the objectivity of a pluralist society, thus allowing for nonGod concepts of opinion, OR that the Blasphemy laws have to be reviewed, either to remove them completely, or embrace other religious aspects of devotion. Did they really mean to do all that? Or were they, as so often is the case, simply not thinking through, simply thrusting their individual egos and panicked with having to take into account views other than their own. Arrogant, enthused egos once more rearing their heads! Quite frankly, other than acting in or on behalf of en masse, so elected to be there, they are no different from Snowden. Interesting comparaison.

AND NOW ITS THE MUSLIMS!
Six sisters sentenced today
for assaulting and attempting to kidnap one of their own in a  gay relationship. What this highlights is that the naturalism of gay relationships is not confined to ethnicity but is universal across the human spectrum. Secondly, what would have happened to the girl had they managed to force her into a car? The implication is that they might have murdered her. Regardless, mercifully, they failed on their evil intent and had the audacity to show lack of penitence when sentenced.
          Once again, in different sectors and different ethnicities, the arrogance, in direct defiance of the very faith they proclaim, religionists are totally careless of basic common decency and respect for society. With such blatant examples we have to be realistic and say that nonGod philosophies are paramount and religiosity must be a solely private matter and not promoted in any way. Have we really come down to this, that religion must be moved out of a mainstay of life?

BURBLED TWADDLE FROM THE SUN
Not a paper that normally crosses my desk let alone is bought in the first place but I am interested in news per se and even twaddle is about worldly awareness. In the October 31 2013 edition (I am still clearing out!) The Sun's editorial complained that three centuries of press freedom had been signed away in secret. What The Sun most specifically made a point of NOT observing was: that this had come about through wilful press irresponsibility; wilful denial of any sense of accountability; wilful abuse of freedom of the press that allows arrogant, egotistical authoritarian editors, of self-inflated, bombastic self-importance to abuse their unique privilege as a result of over-rich, equally self-important investors, happy for their particular views to be predominant in society, beyond their personal actual wealth and real value to society.

           Had The Sun  acted remotely like a competent newspaper (as so many press organs have been at pains NOT to act of late) it would have briefly related the history of how we came to be one the most admired
nations we have become, aspects of which the European Union in so many guises is keen to eliminate, or reduce, precisely because of the fine examples we have set and created. European concepts are frightened of us! It is a tragedy that the press generally has sunk so low, when its story boldly declares of The Times of London, 'The Thunderer". Now that IS a newspaper!

LIBDEMS ONCE MORE IN A MESS
The have now started jumping around over-excitedly as usual. Apparently there has been an upset about a cartoon referring to Mohammed. Moslems describe Christ as a prophet in direct, wilfully provocative intent against Christians, to whom he is without question of doubt the son of God. Christians, perhaps because Christianity has existed far longer than Islam and are following the example of Christ, take such "insults" with a shrug of the shoulder. The inability of Islamists to respond likewise is one of the many failings of that religion.
          BBC's Daily Politics has just taken up some time on this and raises another question: to what extent should a prospective parliamentary candidate adapt his presentation to the electorate within a prescribed formulation, or be openly honest and present himself as he is, for surely, it is as himself his party have accepted him? Are they trying to present a false image to the electorate?
        
  Once more Nick Clegg wants the world to believe he is in charge of the LibDems. Why then has he decided to put Hanncock in purdur
through the party not acting properly in 2012! Exactly the same mistake they made over Rennard. Will the LibDems ever get managing their party properly? For only from that can they possibly go into an election claiming they are fit for government!

THURSDAY 23rd JANUARY 2014
THE VALUE OF A STANDING ARMY

In effect we are talking about insurance. We cannot afford the insurance we should have as a result of having experienced a socialist government that does not understand basic economics and left us outrageously in debt. That is the true damage Labour has done to this country. Yet Labour would like to further spend our resources on bringing in Syrian affected people, when we have already led from the front on what should be done in terms of effective help. We cannot complain about asylum seekers if we then invite others to come forward when we have already paid hundreds of thousands of pounds helping them in situ.
          Now we have It confirmed that even in the modern day, face coverings like the niquab and seventeenth century highwaymen ARE DESIGNED TO HIDE CRIMINAL INTENT. Honest people do NOT walk covered up, they proudly, without arrogance, look the world in the eye and let the world look at them. This comment refers to a girl who used a niquab style covering over her face in order to pour acid over a friend. Some friend! More over, those liking the niquab claim it is a statement of humility before God. Codswallop. Even those unfortunate enough to have been born disfigured, or are disfigured through their misfortunes of medically necessary drug treatment make the best of their condition and show the world a brave face. That which God has created, if God is your philosophy, has no cause to hide from the rest of His creation.
          The tragedy of forced troop reduction brings greater challenges to those made redundant than to those likewise suffering in civilian life. In civilian life employment is "just" a job. Ex servicemen have to relive everything. This is a great emotional upheaval and we must do all we can for them. One way, would be for all of us to pull better together. It used to be said that socially we lost the benefit of two tears enforced military training. The times have changed but that concept in principle is not bad and should be reconsidered in terms of social activity for perhaps six months or so but be flexible so people can fit in university in the right environment or take a drop out year as so many do.
            In America a young man of nineteen who can apparently sing quite well, has just been busted for driving a Lamborghini a twice the speed limit while drunk and on drugs. Now that is the sort of personality that does need two years of down-to-earth square bashing, while those who have much to give their country still, are dispensed with.
            Yet Labour still does not get it. They are trying to rubbish the reports
wages are rising. "Oh no! You have to take into account the amount job benefits have been reduced. What arrant twaddle. Benefits are fort those in need can't get a job, not for those seeking out a living because they haven't the talent to do a more responsible job, assuming they have made the best they can of the education they have been freely given. If of such low intellect that they are unemployable upon a living wage then clearly social benefit is properly paid out. How typical of socialism that it sees benefits not as emergency payouts but as a right to exist!

WEDNESDAY 22nd JANUARY 2014
BOTH OF THEM FLOUNDERING AS USUAL—LABOUR
Ed Miliband moaning that the Conservelpatives
are sorting out the mess Labout left the country in, as a consequence he reduces the House of Commons to a corner of Hyde Park and uses his front bench seat as a soap box, just to make a headline and have people notice he and the Labour Party do actually still exist. Mercifully, so does the country still exist—because of the Conservative Party!

BOTH OF THEM FLOUNDERING AS USUAL—THE LIBDEMS
Typical of the LibDems this has descended into empty banality. If it is party official agreed that there is no argument that would stand up in court. It was damn fool mismanagement that manipulated the situation into requiring Lord Rennard to apologise for in so doing he would be acknowledging something happened that he does not believe happened, which immediately knocks out any defence should this (as one woman has stated she will do) end up in court That very party statement made it IMPOSSIBLE for him to respond, however willingly he might want to do so, whether he believes it necessary or not. It is party management that has fouled up and LibDem women who have declalmed they are not up to it after all because they would have complained AT THE TIME. That's why they are in politics. To stand up for other people and... they are incapable of standing up for themselves! The party IS a laughing stock and it is LibDem women and party management that have made it so NOT Lord Rennard.

TUESDAY 21st JANUARY 2014
CAN CHURCHES BRING SENSE WHERE POLITICIANS JUST RUN MAD?
The São Paulo Statement: International Financial Transformation for the Economy of Life is hardly an inspiring title for a publication that wallows in its own self-importance but at least some aspect of a faith (actually faiths) is trying to be relevant in today's reality. Having spent so long immersed, in their various ways, with what once was and pig-headedly denying the facts of what they purported to believe, something tangible is to be welcomed. Certainly, with the British LibDems
scratching one another's eyes out to show their ingratitude for one of their own achieving something on their behalf, maybe it is time to re-look at philosophy, rather than those trying to deal with reality in as muddled a way as religion has persistently dealt with life's realities!
          The first
six pages elaborate on what they reject. Only on the last paragraph of page 7 do we learn the purpose of the document. That purpose is to find a new way forward. They then list where everyone else on the planet has gone wrong (mostly already stated by the environmentalists) over the previous half a millennium but not a single observation on religions' own failure to pay heed to the scientific discoveries of the actual nature of God's creation which they have steadfastly ignored until the last fifty years. Effectively, the churches are saying "we have woken up to reality as it actually is, not how we have always believed it to be." Well done for that.
         They then contradict themselves by claiming anthropology is distorted, probably unaware they are leaning towards invalidating forensic science evidence at post mortems. In a very muddled way they seem to believe in gender equality but are not sure. "The world economy and the international financial system have become globalised but democratic governments have not followed in any appropriate way." It would have been honest if that sentence had been followed with an observation on their own failings to respond to gained scientific knowledge at a far earlier time than now. Effectively, they observe that power without moral values is a menace but refrain from noting the disaster of religion having power and abusing it, as religions have done. The section on "Regulating the Financial Sector" more or less repeats what we collectively in the UK believe and are trying to do something about but no suggestions on how this might be brought about.
          They believe in supporting the less able contrary to economic realities and in the following paragraph agree with maintaining due prudence! They believe taxation should be on the basis of ability to pay that encourages further investment. They agree with the need to open up tax status worldwide so we know who is fiddling whose account through which country's "convenience"
measures.
            I had hoped this paper would mark an exciting new initiative which is why I commented as I read. Disappointingly it turns out to have been first published October 2013 by The World Council of Churches, republished with acknowledgement by the Ekklesia Think Tank. Other than to dissemniate, I can't think why. There is not a shred of practical suggestion throughout the entire paper, other than to advise that religion/faith/churches are trying to make out they have at last got 'with it'. Very disappointing.
           Meanwhile, the LibDems have decided to prove the validity of Lord Rennard's reticence. One of the women accusing him has threatened to go to court: precisely the reason Lord Rennard declined to be manipulated by the LibDems into not doing what they requested. Can they possible show themselves to be any more stupid?

APPALLING DISASTER
I had thought that the proclivity of councils to squander money on translation services for foreigners unable to speak English was an EU requirement. It now seems it is simple bone-idleness on the part of the claimants. Only now is it being considered that if they are in this country seeking state benefit they should be expected to understand the language at their expense. I am astounded. One wittering EU fool (Germany's Foreign Minister one Frank-Walter Steinmeier
) said Cameron's view was damaging Europe. Codswallop. It is only because most people speak English as their second language that the EU wants children educated in two foreign languages as most would choose English as their first choice. It is elementary common sense that if you wish to draw benefit from the country in which you choose to live that you should speak that country's language and understand its procedures. If they cannot, clearly they are unable to work here so they can only be here on holiday. What on earth are they doing claiming benefits for heaven's sake? Has the whole civil service gone raving mad?

QUENELLE GESTURE

Nip in the bud, stamp it out, or ignore? How can you rationally and responsibly
respond to perceived provocation? I thought the gesture of Nikolas Anelka (apparently a well known footballer) was simply that he was scratching his arm. He apparently confessed to supporting his friend Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, apparently an actor in France and his rubbing his arm was intended as supporting his friend in an anti-establishment mode. Others have interpreted the gesture as an inverted Nazi salute (which i personally simply do not comprehend) or as a specific anti-Semitism gesture.
           In acknowledging he was not simply scratching his arm he is confessing to having made a specific gesture, rather as Lord
Rennard has specifically not apologised for an alleged incident because to do so would be to acknowledge the charge against him. A legal basic apparently beyond Nick Clegg's understanding. Anelka would therefore appear to have acknowledged guilt for a gesture intended to have meaning. In his position he had no business making gestures of any sort other than to graciously acknowledge the support of the crowd.

MONDAY 20th JANUARY 2014
LIBDEMS PLUNGE INTO DISASTER
Not only is Nick Clegg not up to the job, neither it seems are any of the women and that is of great concern because I have always been pushing for the female input. The key is that we are now learning why the LibDems believe in Europe and not asking us if we want to be run by Europe. Europe is its own disaster and two failures simply love to reassure one another.
           Only the LibDems could possibly vote out the man who put so many LibDems into parliament and who achieved getting them into government. Only the LibDems would ride roughshod over someone so capable and the reason is solely because the LibDems cannot cope with competence and ability—they themselves simply don't have it, they are embarrassed at being competent—so declare themselves incompetent!
         
It is elementary common sense that if the evidence against you would not stand up in court, then there is no valid charge. To therefore give an apology for an event that is denied promptly gives the accusers the very proof for which they were lacking! Lord Rennard therefore cannot apologise and the present confrontation has been specifically and deliberately created by Nick Clegg. What the hell is the fool upto? If he cannot understand the basis of legal argument when he is not in a court room how the hell can he seriously and judiciously comment on laws he is contributing to creating?

SUNDAY 19th JANUARY 2014
GENERAL DISSEMBLEMENT INTO MEDIOCRITY
I nearly wrote in angst last night, following a simple trip to the grocer's,
on people's increasing indolence but held back, as I knew I would not publish until I had checked it in the cold light of day. The cold light of day is in the process of dawning and I am more enangered upon a related matter than earlier but I think I have a clearer head, so I will proceed.
          A news item on BBC Breakfast TV advises that Cambridge Council is dropping apostrophes on all its signs. Unfortunately, I am not one of those who was ever likely to obain a degree from either of them, because neither of them of were likely to accept me in the first place—the "either" referring to Oxford, from whose scholars Cambridge was founded, through having upset Oxford tradespeople.
          One might therefore argue that as Cambridge is only the secondary tier it does not really matter. However, Great Berkhamsted, under the directions of the Borough council of the 'new town' of Hemel Hempstead (technically not a New Town, simply an enlarged old hamlet), under which administration Great Berkhamsted has been subsumed, suddenly found apostrophes missing off new road signs.
          I took issue but may have been too clever for my own good. The classic example from Borough, "Well, where would you put the apostrophe in 'Ravens Lane'?" I was astounded that a Borough official should be so ignorant of our history that he did not realise it was named after John Raven, squire to Edward Woodstock, otherwise known as the Black Prince, who owned the castle. I wrote back advising that as 'raven' was a flocking bird it would be "s apostrophe", expecting him to write back triumphantly advising it should be "apostrophe s', in which case I should have been delighted to correct him and further emphasise the need to maitain the town's dignity and respect for its history. He didn't. Either because he did not know and accepted my 'reasoning', or because he suddenly realised he would be giving himself away and highlighting he was just being bone idle. He could have googled the church but while Google is very useful if you just want a memory jog, it is erratically unreliable if you want to write with authority. One should always check its references.
          The net result is that I have now added The Apostrophe Society's web address to my options on my main index. The site is approaching the point of a reshuffle but for the moment, sorry, fingers to keyboard, let's get ideas out, then I'll worry about reshaping their presentation.
          The original dissemblement to which I referred on opening, having carried out some basic shopping and having walked to force essential exercise upon me, was that nine vehicles had decided to half park on my pavement. Had I a pram I think I would have got through but the presence of the cars forced pedestrians to walk on a less comfortable part of the pavement.
          This pavement is particularly dodgy since it is on a slope because the last time the road was seriously repaired they simply added surface rather than digging and lowering. The balance is that... there isn't! The area is on an icline, the road higher than the pavement and the pavement at the level of the doorstep (except that in many cases there isn't) of the property alongside the road. Reviewing the collective whole it was one almighty mess, requiring an unrealistic small fortune to attempt to put right.
          Perhaps inconsiderately I did publish a letter in the local paper, pointing out the planners' interesting manner of reducing hospital costs—by creating sloping pavements, so that when we had ice more people were more likely to break a leg, thus loading the local hospital with leg breaks. The increased inident of such accidents would therefore reduce the indiviual cost of mending a broken leg and that it was nice to see planners working ahead with cost contro firmly in their minds. The result? We received an article in response fully explaining the horrenous problems of managing Great Berkhamsted's High Street, so that we all at least understood the problem.
           Regardless, these cars were all taking up pavement space; were parked on a yellow line which was still within its time frame and for which historic inattention of traffic wardens had clearly indicated "safe to park". The cars were facing the right way but one was parked with its headlights fully on, so it eas easy to cause a pedestrian to stumble on the sloping and uneven surface. Further on, another car was also parked, also with its headlights on but facing the wrong way, blinding car drivers driving correctly, obscuring their clarity of view as they negotiated the obstruction, while bearing in mind the unlit side of any particularly wide vehicle approaching them. This car too was parked on a yellow line.
          Is it bone idleness, "Sod you I don't ive a damn" or "I'm alright Jack"? Or incompetent driving and unfit to be on the road? It is no different but no less important than not putting appostrophes on signs, or anywhere else for that matter. Is it simply that people are caring less? Or i it becoming more and more obvious how badly educated people are and is a further indication of the failing of our education system?
          On the BBC's The Big Questions this morning we had a debate about the poor. Educated vested interests cavalierly over-rode the less articulate and the moerator frequently lost control of the audience. That Channel 4 is intending to provide a forum for discussion should square the circle. Essentially, Benefits Street has served its purpose: it has opened up the debate.
          On matters relating to revealing a child's sex was an horrific revelation. Apparently there is a proclivity amongst (mostly) Asian-orientated people, to bully a woman into aborting a female child. There are three issues. Religion (and or culture) is poking its nose into matters not of its concern. So many religions arrogantly presume a male dominated world and such concepts are utter codswallop and MUST be addressed worl-wide.
          The second issue is culture. Through again male pig-headed arrogance there is a perception that only men can work and therefore a female child is a financial burden. Codswallop. Ensure women are as well ediucated as men. NO PROBLEM. End of argumemt. World government must ovre-ride such prejudices.
           The third, is the immediate family issue where in some cultures mothers-in-law are allowed to presume too much and immediate family may physically over-ride the bride's health and personal wishes. This presumption of male supremacy is wilfully provocative and totally out of order.
           The medical duty of any operative is to ensure the patient has as much knowledge of their condition as they do. That is without question. Withholding such knowledge because it may be detrimental to their health would certainly apply to those of uncertain mental condition and could be argued would be justified in those religious/cultural conditions where arrogance of the predominant family member might over-ride nature or God's determination but that only further determines such situations must be removed. I recall when a much loved aunt was dying.The tradition then was "we don't tell", so everyone was on the tentehooks that they must not talk openly and honestly. TWADDLE! Mercifully, the hospice movement has put an end to that arrogant pig-headed rubbish.
         The third question was, does Satan exist? Like the term 'God', it is all to do with definition. Despite diverse opinions being uttered, somewhat muddled in their presentation, They all missed the point. That there is right and wrong. That there are moral codes; that there are mental disorders; that the body is but a bag of biochemsitry acting to the laws of biochemistry; that there are are wilful acts one way or the other that determine life experience. If one is not religious, clearly these are but facts of biochemistry. If one accepts a concept of God then that which is not God is nonGod being called satan. One simply chooses (barring accidents previously listed). What's in a name, a rose would smell as sweet...

SATURDAY 18th JANUARY 2014
THE LIBDEMS EVER ANXIOUS TO PROVE THEMSELVES UNFIT FOR GOVERNMENT
It is a matter of elementary common sense that if Lord Rennard has denied involvement
(most people plead innocence until proven guilty) then were he to apologise he is immediately admitting guilt and where the LibDems have currently agreed there is no case in law to answer, he would thereby immediately create that case against himself for them. The the head of the LibDems and immediate past head are so inept on basic legal procedure they do not understand that there is NO WAY the LibDems could possibly be considered fit for government.

ON RELIGIOUS MATTERS, HONESTY, THE NEED FOR ONLY ENGLISH LAW & GENERAL COMPETENCE IN MANAGEMENT
The excitement
of Islamists to maintain their religious beliefs is well shown in the statistic provided by The Sunday Telegraph (20130929) that 11,248 Muslims were at that time in prison, making up 13.1% of the jail population. If they are so devoted to their religion, how come so many of them are in prison? Apparently, for what can only be described as the sheer utter incompetence of meat suppliers, some of the suppliers of meat to the prisons can't tell the difference between one animal and another. Some prisoners have apparently got upset at eating pork without realising they were eating pork! For which insult (since they themselves apparently can't tell the difference between animal meats) they expect to receive compensation through the European Court of Human Rights. Apparently, it has never occurred to them that if only they had obeyed the law and been true to their own religion (unless it specifically directs them to break the law, in which case Islam needs to be banished) their discomfort would never have been enacted.
          
In the same paper, on the same page, there is a report of a Lithuanian wanted for trial in Eastern Europe for 22 serious crimes but who keeps wasting British courts time continually appealing against extradition on human rights grounds.
          That is one European we have allowed ourselves to be over-run by. Yes, over-run because the same paper quoted a camp of Roma living in Park Lane of whom two had just returned from having been sent home at the expense of the British tax payer!
           It is then revealed in The Daily Mail (20131128) by Michael Burleigh that the witless EU Employment
Commissioner who criticised Cameron for his sagacity, by calling GB a "nasty" country because it was objectively rational, is a Hungarian. He is also an entrenched socialist. So why is his own country, Hungary, tolerating anti-Semitism; is likewise against the Roma and Hungary's government is reported as the worst in Europe on human rights? Talk about forked tongue duplicitous diplomacy! Criticised by the US as being an authoritarian government, wouldn't a citizen of such a country be more keen to bring his own country to heel before presuming to criticise Great Britain for its straight forward open honesty in endeavouring to respond realistically to the irresponsibilities of the EU? Perhaps, like so many EU Commissioners, he is simply not up to his job!
          Dealing with the simple reality of this fool's utterances, Great Britain hands out a quarter of all new EU citizenships, especially since our own socialist government chose to embrace immigration as an essential economic tool... well, why else would they have let so many in, unless they are re going to admit they did not actually know what they were doing?
          Lying, the simple word describing anyone who is not telling the facts as they actually are (the whys and wherefores are always irrelevant)
is an inherent fault of business people, according to an article in Professional Manager. By quoting this, I do not mean to imply that anyone employed by the EU (as reported generally) could possibly claim to be a professional manager, but there we are. The extraordinary ability NOT to comment, brilliantly tells a lie, without technically lying: that is indeed lying! Avoidance, by talking about anything but the actual matter in hand. Actually lying, not being found until so much later, because you lied so incredibly well, they offer you a commission to reveal all for the benefit of the whole as with the cyclist Lance Armstrong. The more senior the manager the more likely he/she will lie, apparently 10% more than more junior staff. Lying, like all sinning (religion bouncing in again!) if you get away with it once you will more easily lie the next time... then you find facing the truth is even worse.

BORIS ON SOCIETY
At the end of 2013, Boris had something to say in line with my previous paragraphs. The Daily Mail 920131128) reported a speech in which he claimed equality was impossible: 16% of our species have an IQ below 85. 2% have an Q above 130. The able do have a duty of care for the less fortunate but some measure of inequality is essential to inspire the spirit of envy to drive forward economic activity. The rich need to be recognised for what they give to society, generally speaking. Boris remembered attending a Tory meeting in which they all agreed it was not right to bring back the grammar schools. Probably because most of the people there were going to send their children to some of the most viciously selective Independents. "We claim to have capped immigration when we reduce New Zealanders by 60% but don't equally loudly acknowledge we could not stop the entire population of Transylvania from coming here."

OUR OWN CIVIL SERVANTS AREN'T COMPETENT
Apparently there is an inadequacy of financial management and general management nous in the civil service which is failing to regain student loans amounting to several millions of pounds, according to Andrew Levy of The Daily Mail. Basic protocols appear not to have been implemented or followed through.

           However, matters get singularly complicated when management roles are unquestionably in the public view and politicians feel the need to see themselves in a quasi most senior management position. This was the case with Sharon Shoesmith in the Baby Peter child abuse scandal, finally ending with a reputed £600,000 award for wrongful dismissal. An example of caving in to pubic sensitivities in total disregard to appropriate and proper managerial conduct. The involved minister being Labour's Ed Balls. It really bears out the gloomy forecast of philosopher John Gray. While institutions may evolve, human nature did not and remained nasty and vengeful. An indirect reference to the reality of man's biological evolution and re-raising (from which one can deduce, although he did not say so) the failure of religion to render service and envisage what was likely to come, which is how we all fall down.

ISLAM AS CONTRADICTORY AS THE EU
In The Times
(20131214) we have two contradictory articles, back-to-back. The universities back down on sexual segregation, while Muslims protest against shops selling alcohol in Brick Lane (East London). The women are dressed as nuns and wearing the niquab, while pushing babies in prams, their heads so covered against the cold there is no vestige of a face.
          Apparently organised by the Sharia Project whose opening paragraph reads: "As the British government continues in its implementation of oppressive man-made laws it is clear that there will be repercussions for such blatant aggression against the commands of Allah (God). In fact, when one looks to the nations of the past who similarly transgressed the limits set by Allah (God) you will see how, ultimately, it led to their destruction." Obviously referring to the seniority of British government amongst the other former empirical states in Europe.
          The sheer witlessness of such rubbish invites the most obvious response: "Go back home". They feel it necessary to tell us their word for 'God' is 'Allah' and fail to understand that being a Christian country, wine is an integral part of the Communion with God in this country. That Munby (President of the Family Division) has chosen to state we are a multicultural nation and can no longer think unilaterally in Christian terms does not in any way licence such wilfully inflammatory twaddle. Apparently, this "demonstration" was aimed against shop owners who were Muslim. The inability of Mizanur Rahman, the organiser of the demonstration, to understand that such matters were none of his business is incredible. Here is a clear statement by people living legitimately (presumably) in the land who clearly do not understand the country in which they have chosen to make their money and bring up their family.
          There is sense and sensibility in Islam. Usama Hasan, of the anti-extremist think-tank The Quilliam Foundation, a spokesperson for one of the largest mosques in Britain condemned the rally as a publicity stunt which could only antagonise local people and business owners. Precisely why anyone, presumed to be a devout Muslim, would wish to antagonise people against them and their beliefs i do not understand. The fact the women in the press photograph were wearing the niquab seemed a clear statement that they felt ashamed of themselves and their conduct. Was this another example of Muslim male domination, scaring their women into submission? When people are afraid to exhibit themselves openly and claim accountability, there is indeed something seriously wrong with that aspect of society.
        More to the point, apparently the demonstration threatened to impose forty lashes on such shop owners. Now hang on a minute, what are Islamists (so called) doing indulging in sado-sexual practices, or immitating early Christian (though originally Roman) concepts?
Apart from the contradiction of the EU, that allows Islam to defy Human Rights with its attitude to women and Islam's opposition to certain attitudes to sex, how can its claimants legitimately indulge in such sado-sexual practices? Such activity at the least is a wilful parody of the Christian faith. It is an aspect of Christianity with which i have never been happy: the agony and the ecstasy of the crucifixion. Through Opus Dei the self-indulgence of pain remains a dominant aspect of the Roman Catholic Church. It remained a central part of Catholic teaching until they were finally "caught at it" and even now there are difficulties in bringing such sado-masochistic practices to heel. As with Christianity, it seems Islam is getting all hot under the collar on sexual matters—which might well turn out to be the Christian's concept of hell—as if they did not already have their own sexual hangups—the Opus Dei are onanists, they just self-flagellate.
        In Central Africa we have a reverse scenario in a more despicable state of affairs! Damned religion again getting in the way of down to earth common sense. There, It seems that Christians are being nasty to the Islamists: just forget all religions and simply be down to earth practical... and secularist!

 

FRIDAY 17th JANUARY 2014
LORDS PROVING THEIR WORTH
Campaigners won a significant vote at Westminster in the Lobbying Bill's Report Stage on 15 January 2014, thanks to the votes of crossbenchers, Labour peers, two rebel Conservatives and four rebel Lib Dems, two English Anglican bishops and an Independent. The coalition's substantial defeat was 237 votes to 194. It secured a compromise that limits the range of controlled activities by NGOs that staff costs will apply to, though it does not remove them. The amendment, along with several others, was tabled by Lord Harries of Pentregarth, the former Bishop of Oxford, on behalf of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement (CCSDE), of which Ekklesia is an active supporter.

         It is this superb mix of life that is why the uniqueness of our system of government, the mother of parliaments as the world has described the Palace of Westminster, MUST NOT be interfered with. The ability to filibuster a legitimate government by such diversity of opinion, in full public gaze, while in no way reducing that government's general authority and credibility is unique, rendering an assuredness with which we may turn the tables upon an instant, while retaining lawful order. It is what democracy and government is all about. It is why we should be unashamed in standing firm to our traditions and most particularly OUR authority over that which IS OURS. All other entities MUST acknowledge OUR supremacy in all matters ENGLISH. There can and must not be exceptions.
          "Ann Pettifor, the wonderful economist who first said that ‘Britain is living in an Alice in Wongaland economy’, a line that on its own is worthy of a Nobel economics prize, points journalists to George Osborne's pontification. He was then a model of fiscal rectitude. Britain had to move away from ‘unsustainable private and public finance,’ he said, to ‘a new model of economic growth that is rooted in more investment, more savings and higher exports’." Quoted by Nick Cohen.
          In 121 pages Just Money explains its compact argument. Just Money is a digital book at only £2.99 in Britain downloadable from Prime Economics. Main information source: Ekklesia.

ON GOD
Still relevant today, In the highest of engineering skills! Crossrail workers will not enter the tunnels they are digging out
unless they have been blessed. A statute of St Barbara, patron saint of tunnelling, has been set outside every tunnel entrance.
          Meanwhile, in the UN, the Catholic church is answering questions on why it has enabled so much child abuse to take place on its premises and under its authority.
Humanity WILL and MUST control religion, not religion control humanity

OH GOD!
The LibDems still floundering around on internal party indiscipline involving Lord Rennard. We must remember that Lord Rennard is chiefly responsible for the present coalition government, so it is both unfortunate that he should so be involved but also unfortunate that the LibDems, by so stating in effect, their inability to manage their own party, declare themselves unfit to be a government in their own right. They need to be controlled by a more experienced major party and that clearly, should it be necessary in 2015, must be Conservative, despite the shambles they will inevitably make in holding back that party on meaningful matters. Clegg persists in failing to understand the inaequcy of his party's management. It really is extraordinary and apparently women are leaving in droves—we need women involved and running away from the party's stupidities, rather than addressing their problems head on. This is plain stupidity!

TAKES AWHlLE TO SINK IN!
It is now being perceived, what I thought had been known (certainly by me) at least twenty years ago, that if you drain upland and concrete over lowland, floods will result in the excess speed with which water will flow into the rivers causing them to overflow. It is now being announced that this has just been discovered!

CONTRASTS IN CHURCHMEN & CHURCH MATTERS
It is useful to remember that some time back the former Archbishop of Canterbury,
Rowan Williams wrote, in an article for the Rowntree Foundation, that our society was corrupt in governance and accountability. Philosophy is fine but needs to be relevant to the day. Hopefully the present archbishop will actually get the Church of England moving in a practical manner that makes it pro-actively relevant. Too much religion has stood steadfast for too long pontificating, not actually rolling up its sleeves and being practically involved. While the Church of England has insisted in wasting half a century arguing over the validity of women (for which there was never invalidity other than crass stupidity) Islamists persist in declaring the principle of any religion completely invalid, through the dumbed down image the UK universities have just presented. Their accepting seriously of the opinions of the IER (Islamic Education and Research Academy). This seems more related to Islam's social etiquettes than having the remotest unerstanding of modern day relevance.

CHURCH AND STATE
I have just noticed a headline that more than 148,000 prisoners have a least fifteen previous convictions.
How? Clearly the church (of whatsoever belief) is not having any effect but neither, then, is secular society! It used to be said that it is the poor whom you can trust, despite the provocation of their state. We know we can't trust those who are rich: banker, stockbroker, co-operative movement. That last encapsulates the whole and puts the poor to shame, such is the depth of modern depravity.

LAW, ORDER & RELIGION
Where then are we actually? "Reliance upon religious belief, however conscientious the belief and however ancient and respectable the religion, can never of itself immunise the believer from the reach of the secular law." That was Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, which would seem to put the former Archbishop in his place with his ideas we need to accept Sharia Law in this country! The key answer is the old established tradition, "When in Rome..." In the secular world deal secularly. Although much of our foundation of law and moral values are Christian-influenced it is but a religion. Religion is an aspect of philosophy while secularity is dealing practicality with the realities of the day.

LABOUR IN A SHAMBLES AGAIN
When Santander acquired three building societies, Labour let them. Lloyds was coerced into acquiring branches they didn't want and the EU (fully supported by Labour) ordered them to offload them. Labour thinks we sould have more energy suppllers but has made no suggestion on how we should acquire more energy to supply. Now Labour (apparently) want to reduce the size of the banks in order to have more banks; having done nothing what ever about the banks' disaster in their keeness to broadcast their unsuitability in basic management; nor stopping Santander absorbing three perfectly good (until Santander got hold of them) building societies!

RETAIL IN A SHAMBLES
It is now accknowledged that the little corner shop was the right way to sell convenience food: an incresing number of convenience stores are now being opened by the supermarkets!

 

THURSDAY 16th JANUARY 2014
CONTRASTS & NASTY JOLTS ARE JUST LIFE
I think I was woken by my mobile, there was a message there telling me my current balance. Why O2 want ant to reduce teh size of reh banksto tell me that at 04:00 in the morning, I cannot imagine. I suppose the problem is with 24/7 availability. As i wanted to cover the possibility of an emergency call coning in, I could not have switched off sound but even then I might have been wanting an early morning alarm call!

        
   A dull grey morning but I had clearing up and out to do, so battled on. A reasonable morning until i decided i should renew my home insurance. I had gone through all the bumpf yesterday and made my decision and now it was time to ring and renew. It's John Lewis, so should have been simple and straight forward: except they had not got the figures right! Nor had they paid any attention to what I have been doing with them for years. We were in fact changing covering company, as John Lewis have obviously entered into a different deal with Royal and Sun Alliance but some of the figures were
not correct and it was quite clear they had borne no proper assessment of my past history. Irritated!
  
         Also, the fellow at the other end seemed more concerned at going through his routine rather than listening to me, let alone paying attention. Perhaps for different unrelated reasons we were both slightly irritated at not receiving the straight forward simplicity we each had initially expected. Unusual, I usually rate John Lewis highly and can't speak too highly of them and my interactions with them have been of a regular, long-term and diverse nature: stores, Waitrose, online shopping. The whole, collectively very good, in my view.
          Then on to clearing accumulated rubbish, including putting out rubbish for weekly collection. There will come a time when I may not be up to that and that will raise all sorts of problems. There will come a time when these matters must be addressed but without being morbid, precisely what do I try to cover in advance? The need to organise someone has to be prepared for. In the mean time, simply soldier on. What is frightening is the speed time moves forward. We are nearly half way through January. HMRC has to be dealt with but at least my preferred software has now made itself available on a Mac, so in future I can perhaps maintain equanimity with all on an ongoing basis as I used to do, without the need to swap in and out of Mac/Windows operating systems as i have had to do for the last three or four years. The update arrives most conveniently before i have finalised the specification I need for my new Mac, so that at least is helpful.

LOOKING AHEAD
Healthwise I start the year optimistically, despite not being able to get medical insurance for a trip to America (had thought not) and not being able to get annual cover for Europe but no panic, for the latter there is time to move, yet on single trip specifics only and were I wiling to pay I could probably cover America and Canada as well, somehow, yet to be found!

THE NATURE OF SELF, THE STATE & PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
What lies behind any entrenched view? Is it right to blame religion, that settles itself upon then known knowledge and refuses to adapt? In the Christian world we have the specific examples of Christ. While The Bible may be in conflict with itself, the collective whole of Christ's example is preparedness to change. Simplicity led to complexity, was that necessary? Complexity led to authoritarian arrogance and the thrusting of egos, in the mode of earthly kings and emperors. How did the idea arrive that a changing world must stay chained to a bastion of moral law increasingly unfit to handle the changes taking place, through natural progression of man's knowledge, purportedly a knowledge gained and inspired by God's own Creation?
          
What lies behind our unsettled state today? Perceptions of how things might and could be, if only they weren't as they are, seems to form the bedrock of those claiming Islamic beliefs, while believers are not able to agree amongst themselves their particular differences of interpretation.
Christianity is in exactly the same pot!
           
While using modern equipment and methods in pro-active confrontation, Islamic believers seem determined to put the clock back: for them, but a century or so; for the western world, half a millennium at least. For all of us collectively, we need to address reducing resources; major climate change, for which our society seems responsible and must therefore counteract; increasing populations with educing labour demands (requiring a major re-assessment of economics); an organised world debate is needed on how we collectively agree a future that best protects our planet and prepares us for the collective future.
          In the microcosm, we have the European issues which may serve as a guide plan to what will not work on a global scale. If, on the European scale, we have difficulty in reconciling conflicts of interest in a seriously unbalanced diversity of countries, then clearly, flexibility, adaptability, malleability must be the hallmarks for all. Those are the simplest base rules to make the whole work rationally.
          Part of that equation has to be the self-balance of ego with the rendering of service to the collective whole. What is, has to be understood for what it is, in itself and its underlying purpose, then accepted 'as is'. Then, in the context of the whole, we can see who and what needs to change, adapt, meld so that we can all go forward seeing ourselves as we are, in the context of the reality as it is, and desiring the inevitable improvements that we must make.

CONFLICTS ARE INEVITABLE: PATIENCE ETERNALLY TRYING!
In my sorting out I came across this: "Jane, 28, has terminal cancer and is expected to live for 18 months. She receives £94.25 per week in ESA [Employment and Support Allowance], which she could lose if she refuses to take an unpaid work placement." [Daily Mirror, Feb 18, 2012]
          Clearly there are going to be many headlines like this one. We are going through major change. We have to go through major change because we have consistently ignored reality and not looked to the future far enough ahead; not reviewed our changing times within their time but belatedly looked back to see how we are, in relation to how times were. Only then have we realised how out of kilter we are. In The Observer of 20131124, Miranda Sawyet had this to write. "We live, we are told, in an age of austerity. There are many people struggling to pay bills, fund food, access the necessaries to buy a weekly bus pass. I don't doubt this is true. The gap between rich and poor in the UK is great and growing and money attracts money. If you're rich, you get given stuff for nothing: smiles, frocks, paid positions on important trustee boards. If you're skint, society says to you, 'You know what, it's probably for the best. You wouldn't be able to handle any more cash.' This is why one God-fearing drug user is left to shout at litter swirling across the street while another one is handed a bank to play with. I think that's the reasoning, anyway."
          She was recommending Andrew Dilnot's radio programme A History of Britain in Numbers on Radio 4. He thinks we've never had it so good... she must be very young, I can recall Harold MacMillan saying that... I don't want to remember when!
          She went on to recommend a book by Stephen Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, promoting his view that life was much better than it used to be... and digressed further to highlight how bad things once indeed had been. In our present time, what might be more relevant would be for us to look ahead and realise how disastrous things could once be again if we do not try and organise our societies better than we are. Therein lies the fundamental truth of sorting it: whose version is to prevail and God willing, are they ilkely to be considerate of the poor and needy rather than the rich and powerful... and in whose interests?

WEDNESDAY 15th JANUARY 2014
OOOH LA LA, LA FRANCAIS!! ET LE MONDE
What a world indeed. France has a president who doesn't know with whom he will be sleeping on his visit to America. Will America care? They are wrapped up in working out if Snowden showed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed how to rig things or if it was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who showed Snowden how to betray his country. The questions raised: are Mohammed's lawyers just playing around (and presumably the American citizenry is paying their costs?) hence the tortuous objections raised
(but then, it is not just grist to the mill in proving the robustness of the legal system?); the fact that a former American president and the sister of a pilot brought down over 9/11 are both happy with water-boarding (Ch4 news 20:00 20140114) Guantanamo Bay insiders, why should anyone else get excited?
          Of course Mohammed is happy to be water-boarded, he has another two volumes of his novel (purportedly the reasons for 9/11 and what really lies behind the "war of terror") from which he is expecting to receive royalties, either in kind or notoriety for posterity. If the authorities simply released him, he would freely publish all the information they want, if in fact anything he writes is remotely believable. This and his ilk are nothing more than sensational publicists seeking self-gratification. Its all publicity for the ego and pure perversity he doesn't simply have a wank.
          It's all old hat to the Brits. In the early days of Empire we simply locked them up and forgot them. If they didn't get bored and talked, they died, much more cost-effective. There is a certain mental attitude in such circumstances which says, "Ah well, interesting, let's see how they play it," and you just string them along in their own time. Its an old prep school trick, although in that scenario it never had to last very long. That is why the Brits are some times slow to react. The Public schools (now called Independents) (fed from Prep schools) were geared to educate empire administrators who simply took all things in their stride: never hurry; by the time you get there the only ones standing are just ready to collapse, or think they've won so are happy to co-operate and come quietly, they think they are in charge. The others, you just pick up and dump in a truck when you get round to it. Classic Military Police response. Steady as she goes boys... just to give the senior service a look in!

THAT FAITH THING AGAIN
Incredibly 32 countries around the world insist that you believe in something yet do not accept that not believing is a belief! Extraordinary, so it is not just religionists who are nuts? It should make us realise just how damned clever we Brits are simply by being so down to earth with basic common sense!

BANKING
Momentarily in passing but seemingly not yet developed is a Labour suggestion the banks should be broken up. The obvious bank, Santander, was not mentioned. Why? It formed during the last days of Labour, absorbing three perfectly decent but small building societies. Why was this allowed? Is this why Santander is being excluded? My family had accounts with all three, since when sheer chaos has resulted. That would be the sensible thing to do: cut Santander down to size.

TUESDAY 14th JANUARY 2014
NHS
Andy Burnham wittering uselessly on A&E who wants to put everything back to how it was under Labour. Without saying so, he wants us back in debt again! Now a woman has come on to say that temporary doctors might not be so interested in the department if not there full time. Lady, a doctor is a doctor, a professional, not an intermittent involver as most politicians are, which is why they witter as uselessly as she just has

L' AFFAIRE FRANCAIS
With the straight forward panache of everyday living, the French seem bewildered as to why the English are so concerned as to which woman their president is currently sharing his bed. What the English should be concerned with is that (as usual!) the French are wanting to follow them, or at least their president who seeems interested in reducing his country's annual costs. That is what our news reporters should be reporting.

CATHOLIC RELIGION
Upworthy is getting excited
about the pope excommunicating those who support abortion, such as Senator John Kerry. There is no change, other than that which is standard Catholic response has been activated instead of lying supine in the face of evidence. There is no acceptance of the reality of contraception. If the church opposes responsible relationships by denying contraception so that women bear children they cannot afford, then clearly, other than abstention, which puts a totally contradictory strain upon a marriage whose purpose is to enable natural conduct between agreeing adults, abortion is the only option. This is an option the church deliberately and irresponsibly imposes since, very noticeably, it is not coming forth with the funds to support additional unwanted children; while at the same time the church presumes to criticise those who are financially solvent and supporting the less fortunate in terms of creating businesses and employing people. There is sound cause to criticise excess but no call what ever for this pope's pronouncements which are completely irrational and irresponsible.

MONDAY 13th JANUARY 2014
PRACTICALITY, RELIGION AND GOD: UNITED IN TWADDLE!

From yesterday's BBC programme The Big Questions, which contented itself with but one question effectively, 'who should be in charge, religion or humanity?', concluding effectively it was humanity that must manage religion, not religion be allowed to manage humanity; we lead into this morning's news that there is to be a major enquiry into systemic child abuse over more than half a century in Northern Ireland, across a diversity of institutions, including religious ones. Once more raising the spectre that presumptions of religion having the remotest fitness to manage humanity being completely delusional.
           Following quickly on such heels, we learn there is total confusion on an entirely human level on fracking. The French do not wish to frack in France because they have had the wit to install nuclear power in an organised manner and at an early enough time to provide a cost-efficient fuel. The UK has lacked that wit and decisiveness
so is having to adopt panic measures in a pragmatic way. That there should be objections to investigatory tests as to suitability is ridiculous. Let's get the information and try and undo the damage caused by dithering.
           Let us therefore get things simple and straight forward. If we are in a God created universe, rationality is part of God's Creation.
There is, therefore, no problem with being rational on human matters. Let's get on with fracking and find out where we stand in our desperate fuel needs. Yesterday highlighted the disaster that is religion. Christianity remains the most logical of all religions of which I have any acquaintance and has proven to be singularly illogical in its execution, despite logicality being a part of His Creation. This has been due to its proponents refuting His objectivity and its believers failing to apply it logically to the humanity He gave us; hence, as others previously, the current investigation into child abuse, encompassing a perverseness against women and the deliberate denial and ridicule of the rationality of Darwin.
           The tragedy is that there is sufficient clear evidence down the ages that all life has spiritual aspects, yet religion prefers to latch on to only tiny aspects of that reality, rather than embrace the collective whole of reality around it. Odd: but then, that's life!

SUNDAY 12th JANUARY 2014
WEEKLY REVIEW
The BBC's The Big Questions devoted itself to one question today, "Should human rights always outweigh religious rights"?
           I was astounded at the extraordinary openness of seemingly religiously-orientated people having such an open dialogue and agreeing to differ between themselves. I was relieved to find the consensus agreeing humanity over-rode by default and that religious views were primarily interpreted as a cultural overcoat. Human rights automatically over-riding religious opinion.
           Comments made by me in response to paragraphs flashed up on Facebook give an impression. "Religion is an aspect of humanity: humanity is the collective whole. The Christian Bible is NOT relevant to human rights it is merely an aspect of them. The Dutch Reform Church was a classic example of the appalling irresponsibility of being culture influenced and why religion must always be kept in control by humanity. [We are after all in this present reality: heaven or what after is yet to be proven and our role here is to deal with the here and now.] What utter incredibility/incredulity. Homosexuality is not a choice: it is the result of biological determination at birth. In other words it is an example of God's inadequacy in his own Creation OR it was His intention that homosexuality should exist. If one puts a pea in one's nostril, one is not "eating the pea!". Codswallop, one simply is not swallowing it, until swallowed it is not eaten by mouth or nostril. My response to Pinch of Salt's opinion includes oral sex! The Dutch Reform Church was a classic example of the appalling irresponsibility of religion and why religion must always be kept in control of humanity by humanity.
          A very interesting personal example was published from a bus driver."I was driving a bus where a woman got on my bus wearing a burka. On her bus pass she was not wearing it and had glasses, [undefined as then or on photo]. I could not tell if it was the same women as on her pass, so I required her to reveal her face. Other women on the bus went crazy calling me a racist but all I was trying to do is my job, and it is my job to make sure people had the right pass for the trip and that it belonged to that person using the pass. The women start to kick the driver's door and verbally abusing me. I called the police and my office, who sent out a ticket inspector. In the end, this pass did not belong to this women but to a friend of hers and she was trying to gain a fraudulent ride hiding behind the burka [I think the writer actually meant 'niquab']. This should be banned as how can we do a job when people are covering their faces? This not an isolated incident, when you go to another country you abide by their rules/laws and culture, so bide by ours.
"
          This is why EU's failure to fully implement legal precedent is so undermining. We know that historically the only people who wish to hide their identity from public view (such as the niquab or its equivalent) is to cause, or because they just have caused, a criminal event, such as seventeenth century highwaymen or IRA activists in the twentieth century, including bank robbers hiding from CTV.
          
In the studio it was interesting to see some Islamists wearing niquabs and some not; some demanding their right to it while others denied it was a problem to be asked to remove it on security, or other social grounds, such as attending an intervie; or in relation to accompanying children and being required to clarify authority to have custody of them, etc.
           Essen
tially, dress in any form is a matter of personal choice and if people want to go around attracting attention, looking like an ancient coven of nuns, seventeenth century highwaymen or just punks, then why not, as long as they respect the circumstances when face coverings enable misinterpretations and need to be countered for such sensible reasons as security? What on earth is all the fuss about?
          
More particularly, although we do have to be careful about the size of the numbers, although purportedly widely selected to include as diverse a range of views as possible, the general concensus was that humanity runs religion not religion running humanity: especially when religion simply cannot make up its mind as to which one of them is right, since clearly they all can't be right. They are but interpretations of their original time. Nonetheless, it still seems to me that the Christian religion holds a lead above all of them.
           Conveniently following on my thoughts here, Songs of Praise visited Lindisfarne, presenting a superb simplicity of expressions of the soul and the straight forwardness of simply being with Him. This was something I first discovered with my grandfather. I used to lose myself in the long grass at the edge of the allotment field while he hoed and tilled, seemingly in a period of all time that I later learned to express better when, in later life, I began to understood T S Eliot's poetry.
         
By contrast, yesterday saw the vigil for Mark Duggan, which apparently was conducted peacefully without disturbance, as had been specifically requested. There appears to have been a stupefied inability to comprehend a basic simplicity: the jury's verdict on the policeman who had fired the fatal shot. That was as one would have expected but the inability to understand a straight forward matter of procedure is bewildering. There are obviously, as the jury clearly thought, certain details that are complexing but the fundamental issue is perfectly straight forward. Obviously this family has experienced much and is having difficulties in coping, for which full understanding and compassion are due but other than their grief, there is no rationality about their inability to accept the verdict. Much of this same irrationality seems to be part of the religious sensitivities that continually arise and I put the confusion down to the mismatch of English law with European law, which simply lacks the simplicity of basic precedence that is the key to legal understanding.

FRIDAY 10th JANUARY 2014
MARK HILLTOP RESIDENT ABUSE: SENTENCES
Darren Smith, 35, from Lancaster, had pleaded guilty and was jailed for eight months at Preston Crown Court. Katie Cairns, 27, was jailed for five months, Carol Moore, 54, was sentenced to four months and Gemma Pearson, 28, was given a 12-month community order. The abuse took place from May 2010 to September 2011 at Hillcroft nursing hoe in Slyne-with-Hest near Lancaster. They were charged with ill-treatment and wilful neglect of a person with lack of capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
         
What I find so appalling aout this is how on earth did such people ever get selected as being remoteley competent in the roles allotted to them. I've never seen any staff in any care home (and 'no', my experience is only on the level of a diverse social visitor) who have looked so totally unsuitable for such roles. Something seems to be going very wrong in our care facilities.

THURSDAY 9th JANUARY 2014
MARK DUGGAN: VERY WORRYING STATE OF AFFAIRS & IT RELATES TO THE MITCHELL AFFAIR!
The formal court papers state
quite clearly the jury were convinced he had the gun with him. Nine concluded he had thrown the gun and one observed no witness had borne such evidence.
          As I have commented previously, it is the duty of all citizens to conduct themselves at all times in a manner which does not unsettle the police. That Duggan had given police cause to be concerned and his failure to act in a manner indicating their suspicions were unfounded automatically justify police acting in any manner they consider appropriate for the preservation of life. That is a completely separate issue from all other purportedly related issues now being drawn out.
          There
appears to have been an appallingly bad public relations issue in this area and there appears to have been an appalling failure on the part of persons labelled as "community leaders". Precisely who these people are and how they were elected to their role to represent who or what by whom, has not been made clear. Certainly not in their relations to local councillors and through them, the immediate council. If there is a failing of councillors then this should have been brought to the attention of the political party for which they stand or the council directly. Why has this not happened?
          There has been comment that race/colour has something to do with this incident. This is nonsense. At the beginning, the responsibility of every citizen is to allay police concerns during any enquiry by appropriate conduct, according to the circumstances. Duggan's race or colour is not relevant to the appropriateness or inappropriateness of his conduct. That he had acquired an association with criminal sympathisers through his own actions, even though his interaction was deemed as minimal at that stage, "catching developments in 'the bud'" is an essential part of crime prevention.
          
There are two outstanding issues here. One: the seeming contradictions or lack of clarity surrounding the movements of the gun. The second is the plurality of our society. That openness for which we, as a country, have received much admiration across the world, relates to an acceptance of diverse cultures but is NOT a statement that our inherent culture should be dominated or abused and most certainly not be over-ridden. It is the duty of citizens dealing with the police to do so upon the terms and expectations of the country historically, not according to the concepts of individual groupings of people.
          This explanation is further emphasised by the Andrew Mitchell affair [today, 10th January], where it now appears a police officer has pleaded guilty that in stating he saw the No.10 incident when it is alleged Mr Mitchell called a policeman a "pleb", he was lying.
         As this remains a messy affair, it would only be proper for me to observe: a policeman has admitted he lied in a witness statement he made. This is not the first occasion of such an event, known, proven or simply implied, or alleged but it is the most recent occasion, clearly establishing there is potential for the failure of credence within the police force. This is relevant to the location of the hand gun in the Duggan affair.
          There is already excited chatter about Mitchell gaining another government appointment. This is nonsense. Why did Mitchell want to ride or push his bicycle through security gates intended for a car when there was a perfectly good walkway gate through which he could and did push his bicycle? The expectation that two car gates should be opened so he could push out is little bicycle reads to me as such asinine nonsense, how could such a man be remotely thought of as a potential government minister? In a national security situation you simply do not behave in that manner!
           That there was any interchange beyond civil acceptance of the situation is likewise extraordinary.
No one, let alone a government minister should have contemplated such a reaction but to apologise decently for his own damned stupidity!
          If, as I believe was the case in the earliest press reports of the original incident, this officer or other officers involved were members of the Police Federation, then speaking from my own industrial experience in the printing industry, this immediately should have thrown a cloak of caution over all personnel involved. Too often active union members are there because they are of the second grade standard of requirement and their association adds a further element of protecting themselves from their potential inadequacies.
         If so, then it was clear from the outset to any experienced officer on the gate of No10 that all proceedings should be with great caution. It appears that no great caution was exercised anywhere at any time, until too late!

WEDNESDAY 8th JANUARY 2014
MARK DUGGAN: VERY WORRYING STATE OF AFFAIRS
I currently possess a great confidence in the quality of Channel 4 News' reporting. That the Jury were split does not help. That there are two clear separate incidents is without question. The key is that a jury determined a policeman had sound cause to be concerned of being a victim and used his weapon in lawful self-defence. There is no need here to question that legitimacy; on that fact is a fundamental basis of law: the moment one acts in a manner that attracts the attention of the police, it is the responsibility of the suspect to act in a manner to dissuade the officer of his concern. On that aspect the matter is open and shut: justifiable homicide.
         
  It was foolish of the family's lawyer [Marcia Willis Stewart] to take into account local opinion and that it is agitated; or in any other way to allow her attention to be drawn away from the essence at the kernel: not relevant to the issue. The problems arise from the second allegation as to whether Mark Duggan was actually carrying a weapon in the first place and if so what happened to it? Therein lies the problem. On that issue there does appear to be a conflict of factual probability. We have too many past occasions when evidence may have been manipulated for the politics of obtaining a "right" social answer. That is precisely how we end up having exactly the wrong social answer.
           The
riots following Duggan's initial death were never justified. That was merely an excuse to express simmering general social discontent. At the same time, as exemplified by an assistant commissioner, the police appear totally disrelated to the public they are supposed to be serving. That an Assistant Commisioner should have the stupidity to persist in making a public statement before a public clearly not in the mood to receive him raises serious questions as to the relatioship of the police with the public, full stop. An officer of his seniority should have realised the stupidity in doing what he was doing and to have refrained. He persevered totally ineffectually, to no purpose what so ever. If this is an example of police sensitivity to their community than the whole edifice is in serious trouble, lacking competence and believability. There can be no question that something is seriously wrong. That something, includes a failure of education and social services over the past twenty years: precisely where money and resources are supposed to have been invested, to prevent this type of problem. As regards Duggan, his incident is no more than a diversion of an underlying problem which is steadfastly not being addressed. Perhaps following the seeming contradiction over what happened to the unfound gun, may highlight an aspect of social failure where still too many are concerned: finding conclusions, according to expectation, not to the realties of fact.

ALSO ON CHANNEL 4 THE BENEFITS SCANDAL
I was astounded to find a campaign wanting to silence Channel 4's excellent exposé of benefit abuse. This is the sort of programme that requires serious promotion and support and trying to seek support to silence it is one of the worst examples of internet interference into serious social interest and concern.

 

MONDAY 6th JANUARY 2014
OLD & NEW, CONFLICT & CONTRADICTION: NEW YEAR, NO CHANGE!
I intended clearing away and embarking upon a slow, rational but earnest, spring clean throughout: in my home and my life. Regarding 'life', that is both leisure and business; it also encompasses the physical, emotional and the spiritual. I am already diverted from my intentions by BBC Breakfast being diversely stimulating in its news. It is now noon. I had it in mind that I would walk at the height of the day to gain the best of the sun. The sun has now gone behind a cloud and the after-noon looks like dipping into a light grey day. Since I perceive the energy to exercise, I shall walk and then have lunch (just soup). Back soon.
         Back sooner than expected. Plans flown out of the window. Deetv just phoned wanting a camera crew to Tring school for educational purposes. Fine, come back via Ashridge and walk around there. Must take my camera [which I then forgot!], which reminds me of need to check over all my electronic aparratus, an adjunct of spring cleaning. I have such diverse technology on different platforms, none coherently co-ordinated, that I frequently have to relearn what i thought I knew. No matter. Today's soup was  Waitrose's 'essential' tomato with my added sprinklings of Thyme, Rosemary and Basil, leaving me an hour to while away here, except that exhaustion has suddenly grabbed me and I need to lie down to esnure I am fit to drive, quite apart from suddenly not having energy to walk! Fortunately, only a passing moment.
         Moving into a new year the first item to distract my attenion is on Facebook, where it is reported that Noah's Ark Zoo in Bristol, despite exhibitng a diversity of animals, does not accept evolution. Apparently they are creationists who use the zoo to promote their Creationist view on life. According to a well respected scientist and BBC broadcaster, Noah's Ark proprietors are so confused as to get their educational panels, intended for children not discearning adults, muddled up as to what is scientific fact and what is mythical mumbo-jumbo. Exploring further in this vein I am astoiunded to find it reported that an extraordinarily large number of people think Gensis in The Bible is a factual statement of history! Extraordinary!
          
This reminds me of the misquotation attributed to the Jesuits: "Give me a child until the age of seven and I care not who has him therafter". The perceived actual quotation is "Give me the child and I will mould the man." The implications ascribed to the first are Catholic indoctrination. The second could still be indoctrination but is usually interpreted as an open-minded education, dependent upon how one defines the nature and expectation of what is 'manhood'. The ability to be open-minded, percetive to argument, unafraid to question and the ability for objective reasoning are chosen to be implied. Too much religion expects indoctrination, so no counter will later deflect. This is a requireemnt of the Catholic church, that a child is always assumed to be brought up Catholic in mixed marriages.
          What this misses is the insecurity exhibited by those adopting such attitudes. If such religionists were truly assured of their faith they would have no problem knowing that their argument will hold water against all and any onslaught, provided they educate with objective rationality. That they are clearly frightened of external influences is a clear statement they do not actually believe what it is they are endeavouring to indoctrinate. Their concept of a created universe includes reason, so why attempt to erradicate it? Religionists' persistence in looking back two thousand years for their knowledge denies the acquired reality since, so they are in fact denying the very universe in which they claim to believe! The BBC's The Big Quesion on 12th January discusses the issue of human rights versus religionists' rights.
          
The Church of England is classic in how religion has failed its own interests. The church has spent the last fifty years arguing as to whether women should be priests and then accepting they should but then arguing whether they should be bishops! The Church of England was started by a woman! Its present supreme governor is a woman! How could there possibly be any valid argument against a woman holding any other authoritative post in the church? It has been a nonargument over which the Church of England has been wasting time arguing for fifty years!
          Almost as soon as the Reformation created it, the Church of England has followed steadfast on the heels of Rome; "no change!". As a result the 'Free' churches broke away. Had the Church of England recognised the reality in which it claimed to believe, a God created universe not stuck in a time warp but a Universe that was in a continuing state of change, there might have been no need for the 'Free' churches to break away. Instead of the straggled state of the Anglican community we would have a vibrant, exciting, divergent Church of England as one entity. How much richer would we all be.
          
In Great Berkhamsted we have the opportunity for a revolutionary change, will the new rector be a woman? A very significant decision for a town outside of which William was offered the crown of England a thousand years ago and which for many years was the second royal residence after Windsor!

SATURDAY 4th JANUARY 2014
IS THE UK GOING DOWNHILL OR SIMPLY DEPRESSED?
I still retain the excitement of our 2012 Olympiad and there does seem healthy positive news in the air, although there are many disappointments. Considering the situation in Turkey it could be argued that we have nothing to worry about. Worry is not a definable state, it is simply an aura of being: a state of mind affecting attitude and progress forward. It can lead to depression. Are we depressed?
          
I ask this following this after-noon's "stroll" to Waitrose. I am glad that I forced myself to walk for beneficial exercise when really I wasn't up to it. Cars were queuing at both entrances and it was crowded. On that walk I made a variety of little observations. The proclivity of people passing one another the wrong way on the pavement. Is it not logical that when walking along the sidewalk of a major high street (even one with traffic reduced to 20 miles per hour) one passes with the person facing the traffic taking the outside of the pavement, as only they can see potential danger from a large vehicle progressing closer than usual to the kerb, or about to encounter a puddle that might splash up? Yet so many not only declined to take this obvious and immediate course but actually looked affronted that I persisted on the inside of the pavement, as my back was to the oncoming traffic. A small observation of how irresponsible parents so recklessly risk their children's lives, as that major fool on one paper's front page was shown nearly being swept out to sea with his son, due to walking deliberately too close to the heaving waters. The attitude in the microcosm being translated to the macrosom.
          
My path encountered a Waitrose trolley out of position on the footpath. Clearly someone had been collected by taxi and rather than return the trolley to an appropriate space had just left it there with a casual "Sod the rest of you" attitude. [They would doubtless counter they were paying for the taxi and it would have cost them money to put the trolley away. There is however a taxi stand with a seat in Waitrose's car park, by their main door with a free phone to call. They would counter argue that there can be a queue to get out which can further add to their bill. I will come back to that point.]
          
I collected the trolley, which was larger than I needed, so placed it in its appropriate rack to collect the size I wanted... which I found right there, having been parked in the wrong place. I swapped trolleys and proceeded.
          On emerging, I found a taxi trying to get into the exit queue. There are inevitable delays, when very busy, caused by people reversing out of their spaces. Would it take as long to reverse into them, so that driving out was simpler, reducing the delays? There is a fast exit (if you have had your ticket punched to allow free parking with a shopping bill) but the delay here, which was the cause of the whole pile up, was that someone had chosen to drive in the opposite direction to the one-way system, because they could not be bothered to follow round the car park and tag on to the end of the queue. Consequently, they were approaching the fast exit from the wrong direction and not only had difficulty in negotiating the turn but required three attempts at it, in order to line up their vehicle close enough to the post to allow them to insert their ticket. Not only had they queue jumped but they had taken the time for four cars to have exited who had approached the exit in the correct manner, enabling easy insertion of their ticket and immediate driving away. Doubtless, this is a regular occurrence, which is why the person had left the trolley I first encountered when mounting their taxi in the wrong area.
          In this little one hour shop I encountered incident after incident of a "Sod the lot of you" attitude, indicating a "Me, me, me, all the way..." and we have not yet reached Twelfth Night!

THURSDAY 2nd JANUARY 2014
REDEMP TION
Prompted out of sequence by a web petition that following Turin's pardoning, all persons criminalised for being gay should be pardoned, I have pointed out that the anti-gay legislation was only ever against men, despite its original intention of including lesbianism. This was because Queen Victoria loved sex and could not understand how women could possibly do without men and therefore believed women "wouldn't do such things", so the Bill had to be rephrased so that she would agree to signing it.
          Harping back to my article yesterday, it would seem reasonable to argue with Eliot that if all time is eternally present, then all time IS redeemable, since the ever-lasting raison d'être of Christianity is compassion and forgiveness: the sole purpose of Christ's birth and crucifixion. Yet time is the essence. For only in time and through time can the necessary awareness and penitence evolve, to arrive at a true state of contrition, to justify compassion, forgiveness and absolution.
          
It is my perception there is a sea-change in the stirrings of the eternal wind that flutters the crisp pages of crackly dried tomes, to re-awaken ideas that have always been amongst us but whose true meaning was lost through misinterpretations. Misinterpretations driven, sometimes by accident, sometimes by self-interested manipulation, of the fads and fashions of the times through which these original concepts were transported to our present day.
           As
I wrote yesterday, it is possible to enter different time frames across the world, depending upon where you are and in whose society you are: you can connect with all the diversities of the last two thousand years of civilisation, all playing out their roles in their own time frames, yet all an inherent part of this Time of Our lord, two thousand and fourteen. Even the United Kingdom is highlighted as being tribal, with the debates in Ireland and Scotland; aspects of its relationship with Europe. Europe itself is confused about personal freedom; uniformity across natural diversity and undermining itself by contradicting its equality of gender, in preference to male domination of women in certain cultures. Are we in the dawn of that "time of times" when all things will be reconciled and all things known? Could compassion and a desire to agree to differ finally evolve so that the practical and spiritual worlds live in harmony?

WEDNESDAY 1st JANUARY 2014
WORLDLY SENSE FROM A SPIRITUAL ENTITY
The Archbishop of Canterbury's New Year's chat on the BBC showed there is no conflict between spiritual values and the reality of the modern world AS IT IS, not as so many religionists' pontifications credit it as being—an interpretation of their own mind sets, divorced from any concept of fact. Now that the church, under Justin Welby's management, has finally got itself sorted out about women holding any meaningful position within the church, the Church of England has great potential ahead, to be really relevant in a fast changing world.
          
There is no question that England once more holds the prime position of example in the Christian world. Rome may at last have a pope who has some idea at least as to what he is supposed to be doing and where he should be guiding the church but the witless incumbency of the Vatican will see him out, in his natural time or by their shortening it, before he gets anywhere close to having women cardinals; and making his endeavours remotely meaningful to God's Creation as He created it, not as so many of His supposed churchmen have been determined to interpret it for far too long.
          The church of Rome, centred on discipline, has itself been so indisciplined in interpreting His reality, His patience remains a shining clear example to all of us in the way we should regard others, in their determination, or perhaps fear, of leaving ingrained traditions steadfastly rooted, in defiance of the obvious need for their replacement, to meet His Creation's requirements through the natural evolution He constructed.
          
The practicality of the message is clear, in the meetings in Northern Ireland. In that place, we have been no different than the claimants of Islam in their wilful self-indulgent murders; cavalier disregard for law and order and any morally rational sense of personal accountability, other than to rage the arrogance of their individualist interpretations of how things should be and with whom.
           We may be called nations but that is only on the count of numbers. In reality, we are as simplistically tribal as the Middle East and Africa. The EU was supposed to bring unity, yet undermined its own intentions by allowing any irrational excuse called 'religion' to counter its universal appeal of gender equality. Yet, in pursuit of uniformity, the EU over-rides the diversity of the historical and cultural values across the countries that make Europe, giving Europe its richness and greatness. Flexibility, adaptability, malleability are all anathema to tribal cultures: the same qualities essential to interpreting the world of continual change that is our reality, regardless as to how our world was factually started.
          
May be it is 'that time of year' but being 'that time of year' remains the best time to review religious beliefs in their meaningfulness with factual reality. We are all the children of one God, so why not follow Mandela's example in forgiveness, compassion? He was a God believer but also a tribal man, highlighting that ancestral spirits are an inherent part of man's culture from the earliest evolutionary times.
          Remove God from the equation and sociological evolution has shown the inherent desire to work together but also to war. Cold, unemotional objectivity of psychology and sociology run exact parallels with concepts of God. They are all matters of egocentric power manipulation. In the practical world, co-operation is an essential reality: without it, most of society would die off within a few years. In the spiritual world the diversity of opinion on the nature of God is entirely irrelevant. One first must come to an understanding that spirit exists at all. If one accepts that it does, then one is exploring the nature of spirit through quiet contemplation and the way one chooses to live one's life. There is no need to leave that quietude and take up arms other than damn fool stupidity or enforcement for basic self-preservation, or rational precautions against such threats.
          in the same way, dismiss God concepts and practical reality tells us we are consuming the exhaustible, living our lives recklessly and cannot go on expanding our demands beyond our planet's ability to provide. Economies develop, awareness grows and the contented few find themselves outnumbered by the many who, in practical terms, we rich have enslaved and as Biblical history shows, slaves will rebel. The realities of each version of the collective whole: spiritual and factual are not only compatible but paralleled and intertwined. Each demands a harmony of agreeing to be different while rationally accepting the reality of working together: simply, agreeing to differ but getting on with living.
          
Guided by the realities of practical leadership, as Welby appears intent on providing, religion, especially Protestant Christianity, is relevant to modern living in providing an essential moral framework that adds authority to the practicalities of the secular power base.
          However, religion is not a 'be all and end all' but mere guidance to life's realities as Catholic Ireland is demonstrating by at last clarifying its laws on abortion. That doctors would wilfully murder a mother (and I use my language deliberately) rather than abort a foetus which they knew would not live because of adherence to religious codswallop that secular authority had the stupidity to heed, is a clear example of the irrationality and evil that dedicated religionists will inflict. In many such similar situations secular authority over-rides religious presumptions... and religion too easily does presume too much.
           This is the value of Protestant Christianity. It is not a culture-based religion, arguably it is not a religion, it is a way of life, the way of Christ's life; the rendering of service to the collective whole. How can even the blindest of the rich be comfortable with their riches in the knowledge of so many, physically, biologically, secularly, no different from them but needing so much? Only evil can allow this to happen.
          Does the word 'evil' separate religion from the secular world? Assuming one accepts the 'secular' world as being the collective whole of humanity, by what 'moral' basis would one not say there are different percentages of worth within that collective whole and of that 'worth' there is good/bad; relevant/irrelevant; essential/nonessential; of use/of uselessness; of ability/inability; willing/unwilling; adherents/opposers; powerful/feeble; intellectual/manual; responsible/irresponsible; natural/nurtured? What drives such a society: physically powerful or the intellectually astute? What drives the desire to improve and by what classification does one measure improvement?
          
At the opening of this new year all of humanity is before us. In Four Quartets Eliot expressed the sentiment: "Time present and time past/ Are both perhaps present in time future,/ And time future contained in time past./ If all time is eternally present/ All time is unredeemable.
         
Without plunging into deep analysis, Eliot is essentially writing about redemption. As I implied at the outset, however sophisticated our society, we remain tribal. Why else the politics of Northern Ireland (and I think we can more or less dispense with the religious excuse, one advantage of advancing secularist attitudes). Why else the consideration for Scotland to break away from the United Kingdom? Why is the UK arguing against the EU? In my case I consider it is rational. As the greatest of all the most recent European empires, the British have learned much. Why then dispense with the experience we have learned in preference for a second-rate also-ran state of affairs? It is not rational. The EU undermines itself on one basic principle: allows asinine religious/cultural concepts to counter the fundamental basis or moral integrity: gender equality. That alone makes EU irrational and irrelevant. That is caused by the stupidity of bringing in politics to what rationally needs to be only an economic relationship, as had once been achieved.
          
Back to Eliot and redemption. Although the UK's law and moral values are steeped in precedence and Christian influence, redemption is an integral part of secular authority's law and order, crime and punishment. Why then should spiritual and secular redemption not be entwined? Is not their intention geared to the same outcome and conclusion? All of civilisation's history shares this new year time frame: tribalism/universalism; aggression/humility; caring/carelessness; loving/indifference; self-interest/magnanimity; sacrifice/self-indulgence; tolerance/intolerance; suffering/caring; economy/wastefulness... .
           While many aspects of Christian belief have understood the need to move with the evolution of His Creation
, rather than steadfastly adhere to outdated understandings of past known and now irrelevant facts, The Church of England's decision to grow up and regain relevance in the world is most important. It melds moral authority with the authority of rational secularism. As a country, the United Kingdom can once more speak on moral values in a manner that speaks sense; contains reason through rationality; and is once more meaningful to society and the world it inhabits. Now lets get on with the job!

SUNDAY 29th DECEMBER 2013
FARAGE NOW SHOWING HIS & UKIP's CHEAPNESS
Nigel Farage is only saying UK should accept Syrian refugees to embarass the goverment and gain cheap headlines to maintain public awareness, as UKIP has nothing more worthwhile to contribute. Now the cheapshot state of UKIP is showing its indecorous edges.

TUESDAY 17th DECEMBER 2013
DAFTER AND DAFTER
May be I am somewhat jaundiced in my view of life as I am currently suffering another aspect of my diverse health problems: a half-closed eye with complications. Regardless, I do not think at any time in my life I have ever flamboyantly boasted any special intellectual skills: simply a run-of-the-mill type of guy. Either I am more intelligent than I have previously believed or people are becoming more and more stupid!

INCIDENT 1. The other day I received a knock on my door, despite a notice stating “No cold callers”. However, I had heard a bell next door and assumed my neighbour was either out or indisposed. Knowing his health is arguably worse than mine I accepted a parcel on his behalf and disposed of it in our joint rubbish area to which he also has a key, assuming the driver would leave a note through his letter box.
          Finding the parcel still there two days later I looked at it and found it wasn’t for next-door but for someone else. Knocking there a young boy, somewhat nervously, opened the door and decried any knowledge of the addressee. Nonetheless, I deposited the parcel under the locked security of their storage area.
          This morning, I am greeted by the same driver asking what had happened to the parcel. I explained the foregoing and then discovered he had been talking to that neighbour who had the parcel with her!
          Apparently it was not the parcel, it was a replacement parcel because with whom she had been told the original had been left had denied all knowledge of it. This was because the driver had indeed left her a note telling her where her parcel wasn’t! He had put the wrong address on the note!
          It then turned out that neither she nor her neighbour had keys to their storage area and never had, despite an obvious requirement to keep the area locked for security reasons. This fact throws up another aspect of crass incompetence. How did she acquire her front door key? By the same token, the key to the bin cupboard door should have been with it and both buyer and seller should have been aware of what was involved in any handover. Each as daft as the other?
          So, they had suddenly discovered they could not dispose of their rubbish because I had locked the area to protect her parcel—the locks are universal throughout this group of maisonettes. She was concerned that her son’s Christmas present was not going to be available for Christmas and had chased the supplier for an immediate replacement, which the same van driver was delivering this morning.
          The obvious thing was for him to therefore take back what he had just delivered. “Oh no, I can’t do that, I only deliver, I don’t collect!” What will now probably happen is that the manufacturer will have to arrange for another entity to liaise with her to arrange a convenient time for her and them to be available to collect!

INCIDENT 2
: I was just settling down to a slice of Christmas cake and a freshly poured cup-of-tea when my doorbell goes again. No one there. Looking out into an empty street a walker across the way waved and came towards me. “Sorry about that, I don’t want you.”
          “Then why did you ring my bell?”
          “I didn’t know where I was.”
          “How come, my number is in two inch high numbers on the door. My name is under the bell push. There is a notice on the door stating ‘No cold callers’. Why then did you ring me?”
          “I mistook you.”
          “Well, since you have acquired my attention, what exactly are you doing?”
          “I’m chasing people who have not returned their electoral form.”
          “I do mine electronically.”
          “Yes, I know, that’s what it says here.” He waved a form at me.
          “Why ring my bell, then?”
          “I got confused.” He then became prolific with clearly heartfelt apologies, presumably my internal seething was becoming noticeable.
          He was probably twenty years younger than I, so I looked straight at him and replied with all sweetness and light, “Not at all my dear chap. When people reach your advanced years dementia insidiously slides in without awareness but I’m very much in tune with the modern concept that one should not be ashamed of it. Clearly you aren’t ashamed of it either. Good for you. Happy Christmas”
          I think I left him feeling somewhat put out.

SUNDAY 15th DECEMBER 2013
EDUCATED BEYOND THEIR ABILITY TO COMPREHEND
- Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: "Universities UK agrees entirely with the prime minister that universities should not enforce gender segregation on audiences at the request of guest speakers. However, where the gender segregation is voluntary, the law is unclear. We are working with our lawyers and the EHRC to clarify the position.”[Their web site.]
          First, the law is unclear because the EU has presumed to inflict itself upon us in direct defiance as to whether or not we wish it to, we haven’t been asked! Because the EU’s legal process does not understand the basis of legal precedent it disassociates itself from the reality of life as already established, therefore rendering much of its law seriously questionable.
          Confusion has undoubtedly been caused by the crass stupidity of the Church of England’s own mixed messages on gender relevance, despite four centuries of factually declaring gender irrelevant by default. The Church of England was founded by a woman, Elizabeth I. Today, the Church of England’s supreme governor is a woman, Elizabeth II. How could it ever be remotely possible that a woman should not hold every other administrative position in the Church of England? It is irrational and all religions’ first duty is to be rational, for most of them declare a belief in a Universe Creator. Since rationality exists as part of Creation that Creator must be rational. For any religion to therefore be irrational is to deny the very belief it exists to purvey.
          The EU chooses to deny precedent because it wishes to be all newly embracing of new concepts. On that basis alone it trips itself up because in its Human Rights it insists in allowing existing historical beliefs, now totally outmoded in today’s modern EU society, that act contrary to the now required even-handedness of gender equality. The result is that we have complete confusion in what was once a perfectly straight forward social precedent.
          The UK is a Christian-orientated society, specifically of a Protestant persuasion, whose flagship is the Church of England. Like all religions that believe in a personified Creator it has a duty of care to lead its flock in the ways of that Creator. As time moves on that Creator’s Creation learns more and more about itself and its surroundings. Why then has the Church of England taken so long to understand the significance of Darwin and subsequent medical and other scientific discoveries but has insisted on total entrenchment in the knowledge first acquired two thousand years ago? It simply is not rational. When a religion fails to entertain new knowledge; fails to see how that knew knowledge may affect society; fails to understand where and how society might, or should, move forward in the light of new knowledge, then it fails its people in providing the guidance and understanding they need to continue their fulsome appreciation of their Creator. The failure to move forward is religion’s failure of duty of care for what it claims to promote, thereby declaring itself invalid and irrelevant.
          Now the Church of England has finally got off its over-ample-seated backside and recognised there never was a problem over a woman possibly being Archbishop of Canterbury, perhaps we can all move forward in a meaningful way.
          Because of the failure of the Church of England to recognise the social evolutionary changes brought about by agricultural, transport, industrial, economic revolutions, it was secular society that had to support: the suffragette movement; the reduction in voting age; the removal of related property requirements; the entitlement for women to own property in their own right; for women to earn in their own capacity; for women to control their own bodies and make planned parenthood a responsible response to life’s and society’s changed realities.
          Where was the Church of England’s lead through all this turmoil of change? At best, simply getting in everyone’s way, who were doing their best to cope, by doing something productive and useful: at worst, being blockheadedly defiant of the reality under its nose; ignoring the truth that this was all brought about as a consequence of Creation’s inherent ability to develop and expand, as was intended from the beginning, because that is the reality of God’s Creation! Change is the only constant, requiring continual changes in perceptions: of how things factually are; how things may develop; and perhaps most meaningfully of all, understanding how things not only were but were perceived in their time as being and why.
          Now Universities UK confronts us with the sort of hotchpotch twaddle burbled by the intellectuals that opposed Copernicus and Galileo. Purportedly composed of or for vice-principals of universities, any competent manager would have summarily dismissed this entire entity as being totally unfit for purpose; not just for the waffle it burbled but for the extraordinary insensitivity of its timing—the celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela, the world’s key opponent of segregation!
          Just as the Church of England has tripped itself up over women, so Universities UK trips itself up on religious bigotry. I can well imagine a situation where a speaker, perhaps on the subject of criminology, might want their audience divided up into blocks of different social classification, to illustrate a point in their lecture; or in music, to segregate according to vocal or instrumental proclivity; or in a vocational skill, to separate left-handedness from right-handedness and those blessed with ambidextrousness. All these options seem to be specifically denied as acceptable. Why? For an advising body to vice-principals of universities to pander to the emotional inadequacies of a speaker unable to properly relate to women, or anyone of a sexual persuasion contrary to their own is beyond belief. Such people clearly have not acquired that educated state as to be worthy to address a university audience.

 

THURSDAY 5th DECEMBER 2013
FAILING TO DEAL WITH REALITY
The only reason religion creates wars is because their supporters lack faith in their own stated beliefs. Meanwhile, the rest of society has to get on with the realities of living, not with religions' archaic perceptions. Governments of all political colours have likewise failed to address the realities of sound management, preferring to broadcast their beliefs in political philosophies rather than deal with life's realities.
         Regarding pensions, the initial idea was that they would only be paid for four or five years after retirement, by which time the beneficiary was expected to have died. Universality was administratively less costly than means testing and payment in by the recipients over the time period was not expected to lose so much value. Raising the state pension age to seventy is keeping in step with the original concept but not reality: people are living into their eighties and nineties. What governments should have done decades back was to encourage private pensions and make clear the state pension was not intended to be more than a cushion against personal misfortune, in developing one's own savings in preparation for that period of life when one would not be earning.
          The good will intended when socialism raised any ideas of working people having a pension has created a society of expectation without preparation. No one seems to start out looking at their intended, preferred or hoped for lives ahead, seeing first the work needed to afford basic essentials, before then looking at tbose items geared solely for pleasure. Society is geared to pleasure now and worry about tomorrow when the dawn breaks. Dawn light can be very cold.
                   In exactly the same way, successive governments have failed to provide for energy change and failed to make it clear to society that people are individually responsible for their own futures, the state being only the bulwark of last resort.
           Likewise the NHS was created within concepts of knowledge at that time and no account has been made of the way science and technology have developed, such lack of awareness paralleling society's perception that people only needed to borrow, not to save, before purchasing or lumbering themselves with excessive debt; all upon the assumption their economic circumstances would always rise, never fall.
          Religion, previously, in its time of attempting 'leadership' made the same mistakes. It did not take into account the reality of the world about which it preached but persisted in its philosophies, regardless of the increasing awareness of life's realities science was continually showing. Now we have hit the buffers and have no choice but to address reality. Religion must do likewise, as has the Church of England at long last, so Protestant England can once more lead with the moral values to which we are accustomed and to which other religions have yet to learn but must accept.
          On the naming of the soldier awaiting sentencing for callous murder in a war zone what is the problem with open public accountability, save that we have clear examples of the appalling indiscipline of some members of our society whose egotistical arrogance demands they should stick in their own contribution.
I refer to not only the current murder of a British soldier in a London street for no apparent reason than the alleged murderers' egos but to the incident when a paediatrician was hounded by a local mob because they were too ignorant to know the difference between a paediatrician and a paedophile. Another example of the appalling inability of our educational system to teach even simple everyday basics. As a nation we really do give all the appearances of going down hill with ever increasing rapidity.

WEDNESDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2013
ON LIFE, COMMUNITY, NHS
Simply introducing aspects elsewhere. On my NHS page (in due course) I comment upon my recent colonoscopy experience as a result of an alert from the national blood screening programme for bowel cancer. The tests are being changed next year so as not to throw up so many false concerns. Arguably, it is better to be safe than sorry although aspects can still be missed on a colonoscopy examination. I was initially miffed by the fact that what I had received appeared to be nothing more than a junior laboratory assistant's report, getting over-excited and wanting to rush into an investigative procedure without reference to my overall recorded medical situation. This was such as to offer many explanations having nothing whatever to do with a possible cancerous or other serious possibility and the idea that another oncologist should get involved witout refeernce to my current one was just ludicrous. In fact, concern to assure me this did not necessarily mean I had cancer was mildly irritating since we all knew I already did have cancer!
          However, being told as soon as they had finished that I was clear and there was nothing wrong with me but standard wear and tear from age was worth the knowing. Had they found anything what could be done at the time was so considerable that it really is worth finding out early if anything is going adrift.
          Perhaps it was just me being grumpy because I had just entered a stage with all four consultants with whom I enjoy a merry go round throughout the year, saying: "Tests more or less the same as last time, keep taking the tablets, see you in four months." I was therefore planning to think 'Christmas' from the start of Advent and take my time gently sauntering through the next few weeks. I therefore understand how much of a shock such a missive as I received must be to people who, unlike me, have no recent experience of a hospital environment. So I thought I would share my experiences. I fund it a fascinating experience.

TUESDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2013
ON LIFE, COMMUNITY, MEN AND WOMEN
So now we do know scientifically how much better women would be at managing, then the inherent bias of male supremacy has so far proven.
          From Pennsylvania's University Perelman School of Medicine. Management requires the ability to multi-task, as does motherhood, so does running a country.
          So religion would make more sense were women running religion, for religion is about community, which is about multi-tasking—the management of people. There are of course exceptions: The neural implication is the compatibility of men and women as pairs but the reality is getting the right individual of each together. Science has also prov
ed the validity of same sex relationships biologically... so, are we actually any further forward?


MONDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2013
ON
ADVENT

Good morning world. Today is the first Sunday of Advent. It is a new day in itself, a new month, a new Christian year. Arguably ending a week, it also starts a new week. Fresh, clean, pristine and unsullied; leading officially into the preparations for Christmas, with hope and renewed aspirations. If we choose to awaken to the reality of the everyday that is always around us, yet treated so familiarly we do not notice the difference from the day before, or realise the potential of the day to come; we fail to realise how much is within our power to alter, if only in our attention to detail, to the wonderment of the whole. Is the new day half full or half empty? Will it simply be another day?
          We should be looking forward with hope and expectation but for me is the knowledge of so many, not necessarily personally known, who are suffering anguish. The anguish of lack of knowledge, of friends and relatives dying of cancer, or other forms of ill health, not necessarily completing an expected natural term of life; hovering in a state of uncertainty; anticipating the hurt to come with a mixture of relief and sorrow, their anguish highlighted by the contrast with the natural expected happiness of the season.
          This is the price we pay for being awake to what is going on around us: awake to the anguish of those in Glasgow; the victims; the victims’ families and friends; the emergency workers and what they have to contend with. Yet, if we choose to sleep in our own worlds we cannot share the inspiring heroism of those rushing towards, not away, from tragedy to see if they could help. Ordinary people going about their every day lives, doing their jobs. Then tragedy. Knowledge of two police officers who lost their lives in the crash and learning that each, for different reasons, had been previously honoured for bravery; highlighting how little we know of so much done by “the average Jo Soap” going about their duties and living their seemingly unremarkable daily lives like us.
          Later that evening I watched a programme on the history of the song "Danny Boy". Arguably a main emotional key to uniting the diverse religious opinion in Ireland, being taken up by both Catholic and Protestant Irishman as “our” song. It was only later, during the modern “Troubles” that the third verse was added. The first two had been written by an Englishman and had sat for two years waiting an appropriate piece of music. Then the versifier (a barrister) discovered the “Londonderry Air” and adapted his words to match the tune. Why then did the Catholic church in New York try to ban the song being played at the funerals of irrationalities people after 9/11?
          For once the people stood up to their unreasoning church. Pity they did not stand up for common sense four centuries ago at the time of the Reformation. So much anguish could have been avoided. As General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army declared, "Why must the devil have all the best tunes?"

          No wonder God is a paradoxical concept: no wonder that which seeks knowledge of Him flounders in diversity of opinions. Dispense with any concept of Him and there is still Life as we know it in our everyday accountability. We still have to contend with its paradox. That is the reality of our world, however conceived. Is it not better to deal with its reality while awake to it, rather than ignoring awkward questions? There are juxtapositions, contrasts, contradictions but there is more fun, if some hurt, to be alive to reality as it is than to pass our time asleep.