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


 

Peter Such

Peter Such

A view of Great Berkhamsted from Cooper's fields. 

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

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

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS CURRENT BLOG ANNOTATIONS/OTHER REFERENCES
Last published: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 17:19
 

SEPTEMBER 2014

TUESDAY 30th SEPTEMBER 2014 [morning post]
IS FIGHTING ENDEMIC IN THIS LIFE? [morning post]
The Times of Thursday 25th included an article on the kerfuffle created by a bunch of closed minded fanatics determined to close down an exhibition [Exhibit B] they did not like. A girl called Sara Myers claimed delight that her pig-headed arrogance had aroused sufficient numbers of criminally inclined activists to break down barriers to ensure their personal bigotry over-rode civil decency and proper exhibition conduct.
          The authoritarian arrogance with which she was reported to have proclaimed "We showed them the show would not go on and we shut it down." raises parallels with the Chinese behaviour over Hong Kong and the IS lot of idiots in Syria and Iraq.
          Knocking down barricades in London to thrust personal opinions of what people may see or not see according to their individual choice is, in principle, no different from determining a person will proclaim belief in a religious view not endorsed by "qualified authorities in that religion", or they will be killed.
          In principle, it is no different from China determining that Hong Kong may vote freely but only for candidates China determines are acceptable. They are all equally nuts. Pure bigotry seemed the only reason why people should not freely view the exhibition already seen and applauded by many, many of whom probably had some reasonable grounding in artistic criticism. No such authority was quoted as being a justification for the physical prevention of free intercourse and informed discussion on the matter. Very worrying and very disturbing.

MONDAY 29th SEPTEMBER 2014 [morning post]
THE 'UNPLANNED' PLAN! [morning post]
It is said that there is no strategy. Are we simply too stupid to see it; or is that one of the greatest red herrings ever, to envisage Farage as really not that good? Is it the truth that Farage is indeed so damned good, no one has noticed and this is indeed well planned strategy?
          I remember discussing with a friend, prior to the Euro elections, which way we individually were likely to vote. What he actually did I know not but I opined that the Euro election was the time to vote UKIP and see how they coped: then review at the General Election time when one had seen the effect they had achieved and whether there had been any (principally Tory) defections subsequently. So the game has played. Carswell went honourably and taking great personal risk. Reckless has gone without waiting the Clacton result. That too is courageous. It both bolsters the Clacton potential, puts further wind up the Tories and gives us a second chance to see if UKIP can hold or, if Clacton fails, a second chance will hold independently: or both options hold together. All in ample time for the dust to settle a little for more reasoned strategy before the General Election.

TUESDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER 2014 [after-noon post]
HOW NOT TO DO A JOB! [after-noon post]
BBC made an appalling mess up this after-noon. Salmond was speaking at the Scottish Parliament and should not have been interrupted. He was interrupted for Alan Neil, spending fifteen minutes before Miliband was due to speak, wittering with others about what they were expecting him to say. Completely irrelevant in place of Salmond addressing the Scottish parliament! Then Neil was interrupted, for what? An announcement that a chap called Dave Lee Travis who apparently periodically burbled on a radio programme many years back and charged for assault in a standard crown court. There was a partial result! Amazing the world did not stop.
          How can that be more relevant than Salmond actually speaking, let alone interrupting that for a paltry lead-in to Miliband speaking? We have a missing school girl: that would be news if there was a serious update on her but this court case was a retrial of a confused previous trial in which the jury could not agree and the present jury was taking three days not to come to a conclusion! What happened? The commentator burbled her notes, lost her thread and generally made a right pig's ear of it. She is still unable to provide the answer... only two thirds of the decision-making process has been made! We then transfer back to Miliband three or four minutes late... he's already begun speaking! This is NOT the way to run a TV news programme!

WAS MILIBAND WORTH IT?
He's trying to pick up from the Scottish zest by wanting to over-ride the advice of the professional advisory boards and increase wages without reference to production costs, with no mention of how this will be related to market conditions—the purpose of the advisory boards!
           He wants to break up the big banks but it was Labour that made them bigger, or allowed them to get bigger, or agreed with the EU for them to merge!
          We're going green! Seems confused between devolution and decentralisation. Now going for apprenticeships, already done by the Tories!
          He wants to force landowners to release building land and build but no explanation as to how this will relate to market forces BUT, yes, it is possible their sitting on land banks is delaying, for self-interested financial reasons... or is it due to economic uncertainty? How is he going to address that first?
          It seems he is against NHS re-organisation but has no clear idea where the money is coming from for so many additional staff, nor any explanation as to why and where they are going. Tax avoidance is already being addressed; his mansion tax has no details; he wants to increase tobacco taxes. Since I have not had a whiff of a smoker of decent cigars (or any at all) for yonks I can only assume he is aiming at his own potential voters, who I assume are mostly cigarette people. Well, good for him, for hitting his own potential voters: that really is showing leadership and certainly it is cigarette smoking that seems mostly the cause of our health costs.
          He wants to reduce the voting age. I am not convinced but certainly the Scottish youth voters really showed their adulthood. A girl/boy may decide her/his virginity status and arguably the most important decision in young peoples' lives is to determine their religious beliefs and the Catholic church thinks 13 old enough, without first ensuring a course in comparative religion... but do parents want children of that age to be signable for military service and to drive cars (at 16) and buy beer in a public house? Those were the arguments for reducing 21 to 18.
          Reform of the Lords has no detail. If it is to be electable, I am not convinced. He wants to devolve government. No, decentralise!
          The purpose for Constitutional change is to avoid or delay the West Lothian question. It must not delay the Scottish question and the Scottish question cannot be pushed through without resolving the West Lothian question. Miliband is flunking it and blathering.
          Reforming the EU is a nonstarter but worth an honest try. The EU simply does not like British practicality and its cost-effective efficiency stance. If the EU was cost-effective there would be vastly reduced staff numbers, higher unemployment but reduced unproductive costs! He agrees the EU needs to change but his party agreed to the present terms!

MONDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER 2014 [after-noon post]
A FAIR WIND AND FOLLOWING SEAS: DON'T FOUL IT MILIBAND... or the other also-rans! [after-noon post]
Despite a classic English-style cock-up, the Canny Scots weren't bamboozled by one of their own and had the wit to see through Salmond's blarney. Now it is for the "English" side of the Union to pass muster.
         Last week, I encountered the diversity of experience that is the richness of the British way. Recently she has been successfully touring South-East Asia but previously I used to trail Hayley Westenra across the UK and Ireland, using her concerts as the reason and then adding on a few days either side to explore the city she was in. I have never previously done this in London. Less than an hour's (normally) easy train ride in and out it has never been relevant. At the end of last week, I had occasion to spend three days in London. The purpose was a formal city livery dinner at Fishmongers' Hall, so I wallowed my time. The key day was Thursday 18th September, a momentous day for Scotland.
          London was experiencing an Indian summer. The tall sash windows of the Hall were opened both top and bottom, even at 11:00pm, when the air was still balmy. It was a microcosm of the momentous events taking place north of the border. In its own small way it evoked moments of past contrasts: London, about to hear the news of Waterloo; of Trafalgar; of Gordon of Khartoum; of the fall of Singapore (when we pointed our guns in the wrong direction!)... The Times of London in Printing House Square, just down the road, waiting the latest despatches from the Crimea. A microcosm that is a world of its own, yet also the central hub of the global world outside for so long. A steadfast constancy that through time, like life itself, is a continual state of change.
          The London livery companies were the earliest form of trades union, the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers receiving its first charter in 1272, although the building, twice rebuilt after the Great Fire (the 1835 rebuilding repairing wear and tear and accommodating a new London Bridge), was then subsequently damaged by World War II bombs which failed to flatten it. So, the building, on an ancient site was resplendent in the superb plaster work of green and gold, its grand staircase graced with liveried members of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen: the ancient and the modern.
          The ancient and modern theme, more appropriately than might originally have been intended, was continued throughout the evening. The Reception included two particular items of note to be viewed: the renowned Annigoni portrait of The Queen; and the dagger used by Sir William Walworth, Master of the Fishmongers' Company, twice Lord Mayor of London (1374–75 and 1380–81). The Lord Mayor who killed Wat Tyler during the Peasants' Revolt.
          
My reason for being there was my Alma mater's celebration of a year when two contemporaries of mine, who had been instrumental in bringing their respective new livery companies to fruition, had been elected Master for 2014. It had then turned out that another near contemporary of theirs had been elected Master of his Worshipful Company but one of somewhat longer standing. It had therefore been decided to organise a celebratory Fund Raising dinner. Again: ancient and modern, blended.
          Sir Anthony Cleaver is the current Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians [50] (dating back to 1350); Michael Harrison, Master of the Worshipful Company of Marketors [90]; Michael Webster Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists [100].
          The numbers in brackets are their respective positions in the roll of the 110 City Livery Companies dating back to before 1394. It is believed, but not proven, that the expression "to be at sixes and sevens" dates back to a dispute between The Skinners and Merchant Taylors companies as to which one was registered first. The confusion may have arisen over the dating as to when they were respectively registered and when they received their Royal Charters. The bickering lasted for over a century, until the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robert Billesden decreed they should alternate annually at Easter.
          The fund raising was in aid of the new "David Case" cricket pavilion, in remembrance of a pupil who had been both Captain of Cricket [1982] and Captain of School Athletics [1983], unfortunately killed in a traffic accident on his way to a hockey practice while still at the school. Obviously an auctioneer was needed and who better than Antiques Roadshow furniture specialist John Bly, of similar vintage at the school as the three Masters! The School itself? The Berkhamsted Foundation, dating back to 1541, founded by John Incent, Dean of St Paul's, just down the road!
          So, what did this all portend? Classic Britishness! The detailed microcosm, intermingling naturally with the greater macrocosm. World affairs remembering the minutiae of detail. Nearly one thousand years of history and still relevant and vibrant in a modern world going forwards with just as new and challenging concepts as when Shakespeare presented his plays in the Globe theatre, across the river, near Southwark Cathedral, from where Chaucer travelled.
          Wandering in the mornings around that area, that history, exploring the surrounds of the Shard; the Cheesegrater; the Gerkin. Wandering Southwark Borough market. The upheaval due to cross rail tunnelling; the closed in streets throwing shades of light and contrasting angles between old and new, the centuries' old Lilliputian and the oddly shaped modern Goliaths. Four storey buildings looking as if they had just been picked up off the lawn of Beckonscot and seemingly as easy to still be picked up; the trees similarly easily moveable. The whole city scape suddenly surreal: ultra modern, complete; ancient, preserved; this century modern, already being knocked down and rebuilt. In many cases one turned a corner to find oneself in the middle of a building site... and this was London, as fresh, as modern, as relevant as it has been continually over a thousand years. The capital of a country that traverses Elgaic pastoral fields to the cannon's roar and thunder of "Land of Hope and Glory".
           This is London; this is England; this our United Kingdom. The Scots have saved the day do not now let us English balls it all up with the minutia of trivia. Will Europe now realise that the EU MUST be reshaped? Will we have to put it to the vote? If we must, then we must but let us not forget, the Scots have a different view and we need to tread warily.
          "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
— Samuel Johnson
           Boswell and Johnson were discussing whether or not Boswell's affection for London would wear thin should he choose to live there, as opposed to the zest he felt on his occasional visits. (Boswell lived in Scotland, and visited only periodically. Some people are surprised to learn that Boswell and Johnson were far from inseparable over the last twenty years of Johnson's life, the period Boswell knew him.)
           This discussion happened on September 20, 1777, and Johnson, someone who hated to spend time alone, was always going out and enjoying what London had to offer. Remember that: Boswell was a Scot—and Johnson an Englishman!

MONDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER 2014 [morning post]
A DAMNED CLOSE CALL HERALDS A MAJOR SEA-CHANGE BUT IN EXCELLENT CONDITIONS: STEADY AS SHE GOES [morning post]
At the opening of the Labour Conference it would be good to say "Don't balls it Miliband". Whether or not Cameron has outmanoeuvred Miliband is not relevant. What had to be done had to be done and that is the key. Westminster's duty, as a collective whole, is to back their leaders to the hilt, not be small-time, small-minded and feel slighted about lack of consultation. The Scots MUST have their way.
          Writing previously I opined that were I a Scot I would have gone for independence BUT for Salmond's floundering around the fundamental issues: currency; border security were the UK to later leave the EU and the cost-effect those two issues would have incurred. What Salmond was relying on, which is the reason he would have been totally unfit as First Minister of an independent Scotland (another reason for not voting "Yes"), was that he would be able to bully and make it appear the UK was bucking his people's wishes. No. The right of his people to go independent was, in principle, the same right that the UK peoples had to first be asked if they wished their currency to be affected by the economic consequences of independent Scotland's political policies. He intended, by bombast, to deny the UK people precisely what he was demanding for his Scots. That obviously was not on.
          By precisley the same argument the UK has a duty to ensure Scotland gets its way unhindered and without argument. Writing bluntly, what Scotland has delivered to the collective whole of the UK is an almighty and long overdue kick up its over-ample complacent arse. Had Scotland gone for independence I would have followed the same trail I believe the UK should be blazing now: a quiet, assured, confident but certain and determined, classic British-style revolution.
           Were Scotland to have said "Yes" I was prepared for major, fast upheaval. Fast, major upheaval must be maintained as surely as Scotland would have demanded (and the world was waiting to see) had it said "Yes". Scotland's decision to stay within the Union MUST be supported just as fervently and the consequences are no different but are arguably even more important to ensure they are carried through in ample time and with as sure and certain forethought. There must NOT be any turning back, or dragging of heels.
           I raised the West Lothian question in the earlier pages of this web, ensuring that no Scot voted on English issues (including UK separation involving English viewpoints) from the moment the "Yes" result was declared. The "No" result is a great relief but a relief that must not be sullied. The principle is the same. From NOW on no Scottish Westminster parliamentary seat must be allowed to counter the English will in English matters. That is an absolute.

TUESDAY 16th SEPTEMBER 2014 [noon post]
WERE I A SCOT: A PLAGUE ON BOTH THEIR HOUSES! [noon post]
The YES campaign refuses to honestly state that 'use of', not 'control of' sterling is acceptable, because 'control' means the rest of the UK must agree; refuses to state that in staying with Europe this depends on the rest of Europe agreeing and that Europe's acceptance determines whether they use the Euro instead; the issue of the UK possibly having a referendum on whether or not to leave the UK may determine that the English/Scottish border becomes a passport controlled border. At what extra cost?
          The NO campaign likewise fails to address the future: what if the UK leaves the EU? Why is it suddenly offering what Westminster should have granted years ago?
          In short, the collective whole is a classic British cock-up. The matter should have been handled centrally: devolution across the realm and a centrally organised re-construction instead of the piece-meal disjointed dog's dinner with which we (as the all-embracing UK) are going to end up.
          As a Scot in an independent Scotland I would be one vote out of 5 million: as a Scot in the United Kingdom I am but one vote out of 55 million. The majority opinion of England and Wales appears to be against the EU. The bias in Scotland appears to be towards the EU. On the (purely personal) basis that I want to run my own country, I would not want to be in the EU; I would want to control my own country's currency—that means creating my own currency or, if staying/rejoining the EU, accepting a proven disastrous Euro; the 'way of the world' is that there is increasing fragmentation generally, especially in the EU: 'unification/harmonisation' seems to have some bed bugs. If I want independence, why accept a part-independence with the EU, when I have just left an independence that has provided proven stability for three centuries? It is not rational.
          In fact, I am an Englishman who puts "English" when ever I can and only secondarily acknowledge "British", on the basis that half the world either can or wishes it could, so claim for itself: that's the consequence of the English creating the greatest empire civilisation has yet seen. I say to myself "here we go again... yet another almighty bloody cock-up".
          All the British have ever been asked to accede to is an economic union with the continent. Since when, a diverse set of agreements have been set in place, rarely anything to do with economics but always to do with political irrelevancies to the interests of the British people. Politicians are perpetually concerned about their re-election instead of doing the job they are there to do, which is to render service: ego and self before duty; unlike the Queen whose motto is "duty before self". Full marks for Douglas Carswell (resigned Tory MP for Clacton now standing for UKIP). That is what rendering service is all about. It is (in a much less significant way) why I stood as an Independent in my local election and ended up twice being Mayor of my home town. One perceives there is an issue in which one should absorb oneself
          What, then, is my interest as an Englishman? We dismiss politics for sole economics and if we must have both then we will do without both, unlike Scotland that would seem to want to seem to have independence while covering up their dependency under a magician's cloak so reality can be ignored! Pretend games are for children!
          If the situation were properly managed: we would determine Europe as the UK; determine if Scotland wished to leave; determine the value of spending a fortune on central rail links between London (and Europe) with Edinburgh and Glasgow. A factor that seems not to have entered either campaigns' concepts. What is the point of spending billions on improved rail links if we then stop everything for half an hour for a passport search? Counter-argument could be that at a  certain point north the trains are sealed and customs inspection takes place during the rest of the journey.
          In short the whole shambolic state is a classic statement of the British inability to properly manage a piss up in a country brewery. How did we ever manage to build an empire?

SUNDAY 14th SEPTEMBER 2014 [after-noon post]
WHEN WILL WE GET JOINED UP GOVERNMENT? [after-noon post]
The Daily Mail announces Jeremy Hunt is suggesting drunks should be charged for the time they take up in A&E. Of course they should! Those that wilfully abuse their freedom so as to inconvenience others, if only by adding to the bills for which they pay tax, should pay for that amount with which they rob society through their wilful abuse of our resource.
         Problems arise with questions related to "due care". To what extent should we be held responsible for the consequences of our style of living? If we contribute to the NHS and use its resources we have by direct implication a duty of care to ensure those resources are used wisely. That emphasises an obvious personal responsibility to look after our own health, calling in specialists only as and when we have cause to say "I think I have a problem".
          In principle, that is no different from due care when up a ladder with a paint pot and likewise when walking close to someone who is up a ladder with a paint pot. The proximity of physical relationship determines due care. Assuming "due care" is exercised by both parties any resultant accident is truly an "accident": but how often do we all act with "due care?
          This concern for health cost-effectiveness obviously leads on to lingering over dying. There seems a paranoia in dealing realistically with death. In many ways that is simple: you organise everything before you go—yet apparently 30million people in the UK have not made a Will, let alone determined how they want to die:

SCOTLAND: THE QUESTION IS NOT YES/NO BUT BY HOW MUCH? [after-noon post]
For the first time and perhaps it is NOT coincidence that Andrew Marr was the interviewer, Salmond came across as rational and responsible. The nub of the interview opens the prospect of: sharing the pound (but the interview did not go into the details and therefore strong differences could become acrimonious); there is good cause for the EU to be accommodating of an independent Scotland; the relationship with the monarchy could further strengthen the collective whole of the Commonwealth and strengthen the UK, especially were the UK to leave the EU but, by implication of Salmond's viewpoints, it could become more irrational for the UK to separately leave the EU than heretofore.
         
Then Tommy Sheridan comes on and burbles balderdash, undermining all that Salmond has just achieved! With people like him promoting the "Yes" campaign, unionism has won the day BUT! Cool, calm, objective discussion is not Salmond's argument. Both are people, perhaps from different political shades, who are over-empassioned and their minds have moved over to be completely throttled by their passion.
          What is without question is that the simple fact of the vote will cause major upheaval across the UK.

BACK TO THE BEES (YESTERDAY'S HEADING) [after-noon post
]
Apparently, city scapes are not anathema to "wild life". As well as foxes invading and claiming their right to exist it now appears that bees are finding town gardens enticing. That is a great relief to both the bees and ourselves who are concerned at the diminution of bees.
          The clue is the ease with which all things will, over time, adapt to changed reality of its conditions. Life/Creation is a state of continual change. Why is religion, that purports to explain all this, so refusing to acknowledge its reality?

SATURDAY 13th SEPTEMBER 2014 [noon post]
MURMURINGS OF INNUMERABLE BEES BACKDROPS THE PANDEMONIUM OF POLITICAL PANIC [noon post
]
It gradually emerges, as it must, just what the Scottish "Yes" campaign is all about: smoke and mirrors. The panic and over-excitement is Salmond's: he is at last being rumbled. He is gambling that the financial furore that will arise, on an announcement the verdict is "Yes", will force the UK government to act with the immediacy the money markets will demand for the sureness and safety of all; disadvantaging the rest of the UK to being bound by Scotland's self-interest "and sod the rest of you". That is the truth of Salmond's strategy and he lacks the honesty and courage to stand up and say so to all our faces. Salmond is a charlatan and any new nation built upon such a leader's baggage can only go one way: downhill... fast.

FRIDAY 12th SEPTEMBER 2014 [after-noon post]
UNDERWHELMING OVER-EXCITEMENT LENDS A SENSE OF BALANCE TO A WORLD VIEW PERSPECTIVE [after-noon post]
The presumed English expression "gone to the dogs" is not English. It is believed to derive from the Chinese who would not allow dogs inside their cities, nor vagrants. Hence the expression. Neither is the expression "down and out" English: it would appear to derive from American football in the context of a manoeuvre "the receiver runs downfield then turns out, toward the sideline". 
          Both asides emphasise the significance of the incidental, in highlighting the absurdities of presumed importance, be it the ego; the headline attraction for marketing purposes; or naked presumption of personal posturing. Within just twelve hours overnight £150,000 has been donated to a Manchester dogs' home in which 40+ dogs died and 150+ had to be urgently re-homed. A boy of fourteen has been arrested on suspicion of arson.
          The boy: did he, could he, have reasonably been expected to know the outcome? Was the boy's condition such that he required special supervision or was his physical or mental conduct, including home life, such that there has been a failure of care over him?
          The principle of the dog's home's very existence. The British are supposedly a nation of animal lovers. How is it cruelty to animals is so endemic, the nation that created the RSPCA, which prosecutes weekly adults wilfully found guilty of cruelty or lack of care. The nation also created the NSPCC and other institutions such as Barnardo's. Yet we imprison adults for failure of child care, cruelty, unreasonable behaviour and responsibility for child deaths!
          We have the world's attention on a disabled runner who has magnificently overcome many personal tragedies and challenges, yet is facing sentence for culpable homicide in South Africa, while less attention is placed on Prince Harry's efforts for many disabled, successfully overcoming and still fighting the consequences of standing up for their countries, in many situations to aid and help the less able; the victimised and the terrorised, in their participation in the Invicta games; as happened in America under their own initiatives; as happened twice here in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
          In parallel, we have egotists determined to prove they have no valid argument for their wilful murder and terrorism. At what point is it simply easy to describe as "terrorist" or "mentally disturbed", such people as IS? Have we examined where we may have gone wrong in creating a scenario where such people feel so disfranchised they consider themselves a cut above everything and must set their cause in single-minded defiance of the status quo?
          Are we (in the widest sense) culpable for our historical acts, which have to be seen in the context of the knowledge and the circumstances of the time when such decisions were made? Could there be one simple answer to all these problems: we are no longer God fearing peoples? To keep it simple, let us solely look at the UK. Catholic and Protestant burnt each other at the stake. Is that not worse than a jihadist IS beheading with a sword? They, it seems, do get it right, whereas the Tower of London, doing that sort of thing over centuries never quite got the hang of it and often had to take several strikes with an axe. One wonders at what point the victim was relieved of his or her headache? They did not have aspirin in those days.
        Then there was the Holy Roman Catholic Church: "We are THE authority and always right, even when we are wrong". Rome got it wrong when inspiring Catholic Spain to send an armada against Protestant England. They forgot to pray, or God simply messed up: the wind blew the wrong way and the sailors, so afeared of Protestantism (because Protestants think about their religion) went the long way round to get home and lost some more ships. Spain was bankrupted but Catholic Rome's coffers remained intact. "Bad luck, we sympathise but thanks for the effort" was all Rome gave the Spanish people. Flagellation is the modus operandi of the Opus Dei, so the Spanish bowed their heads, thanked God for being His sacrificial lambs and carried on paying the price for arguing with Protestant England... they are still arguing, somewhere down Gibraltar way... then, of course there is Catalonia, interested in Scotland's debate about Independence. Interesting.
          In the mean time in the Middle East we have the Palestinians voting in a group called Hamas to take control there. Much of the world calls Hamas a terrorist organisation. It refuses to recognise Israel as a country and wants Palestinians to be able to return to their old home—and will use violence to achieve its aims. Though the Palestinians don't have an army, rockets are regularly fired from Gaza into Israel. Israelis living in border towns are used to having to take shelter and adapting their lives to deal with the rockets.
          
There is no point in going on. Those that care for the world outside their immediate home know and are aware: the problem is not resolved by throwing money at the victims but they need that help. Religion is no help. Only now has the leading Protestant church woken up after four and half centuries of indolence and recognised a truth it has always known but never acted upon (Galatians 3:26-28) quoted at the head of this page. Earlier in history Christianity chose to take the Judaic interpretation but that is only one interpretation in several ancient religions. Arguably religion has, from the very beginning, chosen to deny the reality of Creation while claiming it to be a God created universe: that it is a state of continual change, manipulated by a male-centric domination determined to control knowledge for its own gender's ends.
          The Scottish debate encapsulates the all in a nutshell: the ego or the community? Again, quoted at the head of this page: "Diversity within unity and change over time is the reality of Creation". The harmony of difference but by choice, in so far as that is practicable and in respect of divergency.
          At a time when we are regularly precessing personal achievement against seemingly insuperable odds, both actively and passively it is good to remember Jesse Owens, four times Olympic gold medallist (1913–1980) who said: "The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.

TUESDAY 9th SEPTEMBER 2014 [noon post]
CHAOS ALL ROUND: CLASSIC BRITISH PANDEMONIUM, "we have to make decisions for which we have made certain we are totally unprepared, despite knowing full well it was all going to happen! [noon post
]
Were I a Scot I think I would go Independent but... what the hell are citizens from various other countries doing, presuming to express their opinion and having the vote, when so many true Scots in England and Wales are denied the vote? Why on earth would someone be waving the EU flag, of which membership specifically denies the very reason I would vote independent, to be independent?
          First, the idea that Cameron should resign were the Scots to agree "Yes" is nonsense because the fault is the entirety of the UK political system. The three parties cannot agree amongst themselves what devolved powers should be and in any case government is by two of the three parties. Scotland's "yes" is a failure across the board. The greater concern is the narrowness of the decision which is almost certainly going to cause concern.
          The most stable way of handling the situation would be for the Queen to extend the present parliament into 2016, or at the point when dissolution would have been called to then require a continuation under an all party coalition agreement, to cover or provide by Act of Parliament provision to manage the separation of Scotland, implement the outstanding re-adjustment of the already recommended political boundaries, including provision for excluding MPs from Scotland and then call an election. "How's that!" to use a cricketing phase, for managing the devolution and the inevitably prolonged period of uncertain events?

MONDAY 8th SEPTEMBER 2014 [noon post]
EVEN ALEX SALMOND CAN OCCASIONALLY BE INTELLIGENT BUT AS USUAL IN A SINGULARLY CACKHAND MANNER! [noon post
]
Salmond declares how asinine was the idea that postal voting should be available for everyone, regardless of they're simply being sick or out of the country. From personal experience I would never ever vote until the day, as you never know until the last exactly how the world will wag. We have that confirmation with the jittery nature of the financiers, clearly stating Salmond's irresponsible refusal to deal with the very issue that is causing the situation: his inability to decide what currency the independent Scotland will use. This debacle has nothing to do with Alex Salmond of course: in his view it is all Westminster's problem because it won't agree to his requirements before he's established his authority to make such requirements and knowing full well such change to the United Kingdom's financial arrangements requires a referendum to be put to the rest of the United Kingdom. Witless fool still floundering and refusing to accept the responsibilities he has chosen to place upon himself. God help Scotland if they go independent!

SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, THE EU: ALL A TYPCAL ENGLISH BALLS UP! [morning post]
Salmond is all roadshow travelling stand up comic. He has gerrymandered his vote to include sixteen year olds but failed to advise them (and their parents) they will be expected to die for their country at that age, for that was the basis of reducing the age of majority from twenty-one to eighteen. If you are mature enough to vote for your choice of government you are mature enough to die for it. Catholics usually confirm at thirteen, for fear they start thinking for themselves at that age. In religious terms is that any less a decision?
          Salmond has determined born Scots not living in Scotland but in England or Wales will be disinherited—they may not vote but not just English people living in Scotland may but other EU nationals may. Is this logical? Is it logical for Salmond to deny the third option of "complete independence but within the Union"? Why, demanding the Scots have not "their way" but "his" way he expects the rest of the UK not to be given a referendum as to whether their financial management of their own currency (which by definition of independence Scotland would be rejecting for itself) should be adaptable to Scottish independent financial thinking? Where is the logic? Salmond is clearly a shallow, me, me, me, man of the road side-show moment but not the statesman of substance Scotland will need for perpetuity.
          The English politicians have finally woken up to the fact that a Yes/No vote can go either way and are now appearing to offer what elementary common sense told them to offer at least two years ago. In just the same way the government reduces resources for the military, just as Europe wakes up to needing refurbishment and is recognising it is being sapped and is in danger from the Middle East activities and in Europe itself, with Russia and Ukraine. We've done it before and still haven't learned, unless it is a way to off load aged junk for clearing space for new and modern stock. We are accustomed to world affairs but the pettifogging irrelevancies of EU bureaucrats, whose concern is to reduce claimed unemployment by employing superfluous personnel, whose only job is to get in the way of people who actually are doing something productive has possibly (although i am not looking for excuses for them) diverted Westminster from the serious matters of consequence happening under their very nose in their own country?
          Oh what a lovely war we are having! Ooops, apparently not yet, we haven't quite disbanded sufficiently to be completely unprepared for it, so it can't possibly have started!

FRIDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 2014 [after-noon post]
TIME TO CRY A LITTLE: IS IT OLD AGE, OR IS IT APPROACHING APPRAISAL/REVIEW TIME AND I AM BEGINNING TO REALISE I DID LEARN SOMETHING FROM LIVING A LIFE, HOWEVER SEEMINGLY "RUN OF THE MILL"?
COULD I HAVE LEARNED MORE? RESOLUTION: MUST STAY OPEN TO LEARNING... OR RETHINKING... AND CHANGE! [after-noon post]
I posted on Facebook a video link "This dad refuses to walk his daughter down the aisle. You have to see his reason why." A friend of mine indicated her liking for this and added "Brought tears to my eyes..."
          This week's sermon for Sunday is "(Matthew 18.19-20). The second of these verses is very familiar, especially in extreme Protestant circles: we don't need the Church, a few of us gathered together in Jesus' name will do just fine." First, I do not regard myself as extreme Protestant, although recently reconnecting with the church from which I drifted half a century ago because it refused to ordain women priests, I find St Peter's Berkhamsted has itself drifted to the Catholic end of Protestantism.
           What the Assistant Curate chooses to leave out is that in having started with a woman as supreme governor four and a half centuries ago, thus leading the way for women to hold any position in the church from that point on, it is appalling that even half a century ago the Church of England would not tolerate women priests. Recently, it celebrated having women priests for the previous twenty years and had just accepted there was no problem in having women bishops (I wonder if the next incumbent for the rectory will be a woman?!).
           Let us remember the previous rector's use of (Galatians 3:26-28) at the top of this page and his pride in acknowledging "we, in this diocese had at least done our bit", referring to the then continuing debate over women bishops. Yet he went on from us to St Margaret's London (behind Oxford Street), where I found that church probably as Roman as you can get and still be Church of England.
           Henry VIII's problem was complex but in my view primarily caused by the culture of the age: women were not perceived as strong enough to hold a kingdom stable and Henry VIII was concerned for his kingdom and his people. As I have previously stated elsewhere and should have found its way copied to my God and Stuff page, the furore with which Elizabeth I had to cope with what she inherited should have encouraged the Protestant realm she inherited and sorted out, to look forward and help society to move on, not waste four and a half centuries to get to where we are today. The principle of Matthew should be taken in the context of Galatians: acknowledging that gender is pure superficiality for the mechanics of the physical plane on which we currently exist; and only that. Accepting those two factually different states, harmony should be automatic, it is simply the material world that got in the way, along with men's egos.
           Now let me turn from the microcosm to the macrocosm. "...this damned cancer..." as my brother-in-law read out my sister's last message in church at her funeral is in this child quoted above, exemplifying the anguish there and running parallel with the anguish of Ashya King's parents and siblings. These are incidents that remind us that children DO die. In that microcosm of detail here appears to have been an appalling falling down on basic communication.  
          If, in so 'simple' a matter, we cannot understand one another, what hope is there for the current Middle East situation, where there is no one language; no one culture; no one 'concept of God'; no one concept of basic justice?
          Some of us have the personal misfortune (although in my case very minimally) to know factually that borderline between clinical and social depression. Where lies the difference between social and clinical madness? Do psychiatrists always know or are borders sufficiently dense and grey for even they not to be sure which side any particular patient is on?
          How much is serious ingrained religion, or perverse religion? How much is the simplicity of nursery tantrum in an adult's body and mind? How much is social or clinical madness, literally? How much are they lost souls wilfully misguided by false prophets and need a helping hand and love, not condemnation "for they know not what they do"?
           These are the practical issues the Assistant Curate must deal with this Sunday, if his quotation of Matthew is to be relevant today. Hopefully I may be there, I am currently in one of states of complete exhaustion. Despite the controversies, it is my belief that religion is still relevant, provided religion itself will insist upon being relevant and on that score it is my firm belief it is for Rome to catch up with England, not vice versa. Looking to the macrocosm, it is Christian Protestantism that has the upper hand for rationality and the same down to earth English common sense that gives the United Kingdom the duty to lead in the world's present troubles.

FRIDAY 5th SEPTEMBER 2014 [morning post]
EMPIRES, IT SEEMS, ARE "IN"!
[morning post]
Haven't quite got the hang of things yet but it seems that Putin is trying to ape the previous Tsars, unfairly and wrongly put down by Communists who it now appears are regarded as "having got it all wrong", when all along the Tsars in fact knew what they were doing. Interesting, particularly as they were largely offshoots from Queen Victoria, so should have known instinctively how to govern but unfortunately got mired in Russian archaic history and precedent.
          In our case, we too should put aside the tendency to be apologetic for being so damned good at world government and start pulling up our socks, dusting off our caps and once more look the press and the world in the eye, openly admitting we really are as damned good as the world believes us to be and from which accolade we have so frequently and foolishly chosen to cower. We simply are as good as history has proved: why else would so many be so keen to leave the great wide continent with so much going for it, to join this tiny, over-crowded island? Unfortunately, it would seem these are general common criminals whom France has chosen not to put in gaol due to over-demand on tax payer resources. I do not think they are all, if any at all, French citizens with passports. In which case, how did they get to France in the first place? Something to do with an EU agreement, sounding like "Shangri-la", in which the EU said "dear world do come and dump you criminal classes and general underdogs on us and we'll get English tax payers to give them charity.... Oops, England didn't sign up and there's a small but large stretch of water between us, so we've got ourselves stuck with them. If we cancel this arrangement it will look as if we don't know what we are doing (even though it actually is so b********* obvious the EU has never known what it is doing). Interesting. Then, of course, we avoid the obvious question, how come the outer borders are so badly policed they ever got onto the European continent in the first place?

TUESDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER 2014 [afternoon post]
PLANNING CAN ONLY BE
EFFECTIVE WHEN IT ACCEPTS THE REALITY OF LIFE: THAT IT IS A STATE OF CONTINUAL CHANGE [afternoon post]
Haven't been involved with council issues for some time. The Lidl issue arose to which I have had to respond. Hence some delay in moving on with the new month. It has also got momentarily exciting and I regret no longer being on the council. On the other hand, time moves on and I have too much of my own needs to which I must give time. So, since this was famously parodied by the Daily Mail, seemingly over keen not to understand what was at stake—not that the town's council seemed to have much idea either—and although impressed and grateful for our town's web tv station (Deetv.tv) where a rational debate takes place, I felt I should once more stick in my oar. It was interesting to re-connect, however briefly and however remotely, so I created a special page which is geared to council not general public viewing, so it takes a little digestion, due to the Town Council report not being codified, requiring extensive quoting.

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