Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Why a decline in men attending church?

Unless I am mistaken the concept of church and the western leisure related life-style would add to the decline of men attending a Christian based church.  [Figures show this is not so for other religions Tearfund Stats]

The other religions tend to be culturally fixed within their religious practises, [Westerners less so] ,and men are considered more 'important' or 'worthy' than women in such religions.  Not in a subversive way, though sadly it can be and often is, but in a culturally accepted way.

As the western life-style tends to bring female behaviour in line with male behaviour, rather than women striving to achieve or live as they could as women/female, they tend to ape male behaviour, normally of the worst kind - a ladette for example.  The church has to see this and like single parenthood work with it and through it.  No good whining "oh the shame of them".  It is as it is work with it.

The fact that there are [apparently[ more men leaving the church than women can show two things, irrelevance of church moral ethics to them, which are less so for a female, and leadership identification.

If we take the latter, which I believe the why church site is using as the reason, it it necessary to match men leaving churches led by women in comparison to churches led by men.  [I am working on such data]

In all my years of church visiting and attending from 1980 onwards I have noted the ratio of about 3:1 in favour of women attendees.  Reasons given were that the men were: at work, home from work, watching sport, gone to the pub, can't be bothered and leaving it to the wife to take the kids if that's what they want.  To be honest not once was I told that it was because, especially when, of course, women were accepted as ministers by the Church of England, bear in mind that other church denominations have had women ministers for a long time, it was a woman in charge.

Considering the gender gap in attendance then church programs to some extent will and must reflect this, that there are more women to cater for than men ; concentrating on holding events or programs just for those at are missing and might turn up - why would they - is both costly and demoralising.

That does not mean that churches should not try, but it is a circular argument to say that men are not in attendance and then say that it is because most church programs are female orientated or run, and it is because women are in charge. Those two are unlikely reasons in our Christian western culture.  The church attendance by men started declining long before that.  I believe the decline was noted as from 1950 onwards - both a decline in church attendance by men and women, which was not about feminisation of the church, and then a societal change of life style behaviour, which took men away from church as individualism and independence from fatherhood and traditional family values became the norm; and promoted by society, but then ignored then rallied against negatively by the church establishment.  Too little too late.  That is why Independent, Free and some Evangelical churches are seeing an increase in numbers.  What the gender ratio for those churches I have yet found statistics for.  My initial thought is much the same 3 or 4:1.

All comments welcome.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Message

Well the Queen gives one LOL

In remembering our troops, the other countries troops as well who are working with us, who have been killed in action, it is important to remember that the other side are human too, with family and loved ones who will be sitting at tables looking at an empty chair.  They do not celebrate Christmas but they do have meals together for their special occasions.  They too might think their loved ones died for a cause. 

I am not asking you to condone the terrorists, though they too feel they are doing their duty for their country, I am asking you to spare a thought for their babies, children, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers - the list could go on, as it does for our troops who have died - who have been left behind.

The terrorists use violence and underhand cowardly tactics to injure, maim and kill.  Not just OUR troops but the local armed forces, police, ambulance, fire crews and innocent civilians.  Their bombs and other weapons kill indiscriminately - babies, children, families - who are caught up in the conflict.  Our bombs and weapons sadly kill indiscriminately too.  Not all the people we kill are terrorists or bad guys even.  That is war.  Modern warfare targets people, not just those on the battle field, but areas where civilians live and work.  Think of the difference between World War 1 and World War II.  Yes civilians got caught up in WW1 but it was WWII that had the aims of targeting civilian populated areas.  To demoralize the population.  It was not all about ammunition depots and railway lines.  Sad but true.  War means people, armed forces and civilians are going to die. Remember the resistance was seen as terrorists by the German Government.

So in remembering our troops who have been killed, let us remember those other people such as the police, ambulance men and women, firemen and women, who have been caught up in the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, who have been killed too; our troops are working with them.  They all suffer.  Their loved ones are suffering too. 

In remembering our loved ones, our heroes, I am going to ask you to also spare a thought for the families of those terrorists who have been killed and who are also grieving; the terrorist are wrong, we believe they are wrong, they think they are right, that is always the case in conflict.  It is their loved ones left behind that I am asking you to spare a thought for. They may well have backed the terrorist, the same as we back our troops; we think they are wrong to do so, they think we are wrong to back our troops against them. That will not change. But how we think can help towards change in the end.

We will always have fighting, that is human nature.  But let us not pretend that suffering is all one sided, and remember that families of both sides have great grief and heartbreak. So this Christmas, when we think of those families sitting of our troops sitting looking at an empty chair, let us remember there are ‘other’ families sitting looking at an empty chair as well.

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

This I Am Enjoying

Much as it might seem odd – looking through my last posts – I like this site!

http://northwestlibertarians.blogspot.com/

It has given me food for thought and is set in a nice clear manner, a dude like me can follow it.

I got involved in politics when I first started work way back in the 1970’s under Prime Minster Edward Heath (1970-1974).  No I did not work for Teddy!

As a low paid NHS worker without the means to improve my lot I got involved in what was then NUPE (National Union of Public Employees).  Got elected as a Shop Steward (Union Representative if you don’t like SS) for the department I worked in.

The standards required of me as an employee were high, as were the standards of ward cleanliness and hygiene.  What has happened to that?  There were no fancy labels such as “hospitality assistant”.  You were a ancillary worker – cleaning staff, kitchen staff, porter staff, laundry and linen staff etc., you get my drift.  Nursing Managers were in the making and the age of Matron, Sister, Staff Nurse along with the Consultant Director (medically trained) had been slowly eroded for the post-modern nursing “manager” species.

Then came the shake ups.  The staff remained the same but the job title changed, “hospitality assistant” – and more management and admin staff appeared; more paper work for the ‘nursing manager’ who in truth became a ‘non-nursing’ personnel.  It was pass the buck time.  Very complicated system. 

Harold Wilson (1974-1976) then James Callaghan (1979-1990) came next, both Labour dudes.  Both not in touch with reality.  Agreed public sector workers needed a wage increase and decided on incentive bonus scheme implementation, allowing for the departmental staff to vote in the one they wanted – fixed or fluctuating depending on output, rather than overall pay increase.  Save money?  They thought so because bonus payments were not paid on holiday or sick pay. 

Save money?  Nope.  The continuous admin costs and payment to work-study (time and motion) teams to measure the cost of items to be produced and the time and method carried out to produce said items were astronomical.  Cheaper to have given a small overall wage increase.

Departmental staff voted for the bonus schemes to be implemented and put into action not through knowledge and concept of what it meant but through ignorance and lethargy.  The dude with the better articulation of the system or a management ‘friend’ persuaded and coerced employees to get what was ‘applicable’.

The department I worked in was work-studied three times because our bonus was deemed too high – good for us – at 40%.  The average fluctuation bonus payment ranged from 15-30%  The fixed bonuses at 12-15%  It cost a lot to try and revamp the work study measurements that never stopped the high bonus.  And of course an admin dude had to put in the figures every week to get an out put measure, sometimes more than twice when the management balked at the result – however and whichever way it was tried we still hit 40+%.  They succumbed to the inevitable – bonus schemes in some industries do not save money (the real intention) nor do they impress upon the worker an overall incentive to work harder. 

In the department I worked it meant a continued work load with extra hospitals being targeted to ‘subscribe’ to us – with the hope that the staff would work harder for their bonus; but not get any extra money as in agreement for the top level to be capped there was an agreement that there would be a low level cap.  Hmm LOL.  All serious stuff at the time, peoples livelihoods at stake.

Imagine how I felt when I went to another town, same department doing the same thing, slightly less amount of workload, and the highest payment they received was 22+%.  They did not believe me at first but hey that’s life.  Took a pay drop to do the same thing and workload in the end :) But that is free market for you, in a very roundabout way.  Remember the NHS was still government run with set rules and applications to be abided by all NHS personnel. 

Labour had problems with the labour force, inherited from Edward Heath, the Unions had their own agenda, as all organisations should, the clash was spectacular and acrimonious.  [But that was nothing to compare with the clash of ideals that would rise up between the Conservative Government, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and the TUC.]

It was in the above climate that Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) came to power.  There was bound to be a clash of ideals, how could there not be?  If only she had kept to the Libertarian guidance of Milton Friedman, if not F.A. Hayek. 

Private out-sourcing was the mantra, not necessarily a bad thing, but with reduced staff to cut costs, the only way the out-sources were cheaper, and the same staff being employed, the ignorant statement of a dude at university with me who said that all ancillary workers, in this case talking about cleaners, were lazy and that out-sourcing would fix it was definitely infantile and or on something, same staff dude!  However, regardless, inducements of exceptions of taxes and sweeteners were all lurking in the background, a no no for free-market ideology.

By the giving of incentives and sweeteners to such organisations, for then indeed there was money to be made as hand-outs were expected, not forgetting the other ‘monetary’ sweeteners to induce investment and building, Margaret Thatcher had moved away from the ideology of the relationship between capitalist markets as described by Milton Friedman in Capitalism and Freedom, through the auspices of the Adam Smith Institute ideology, and though she has been criticised as bending towards the more austere F.A. Hayek in 'The Road to Serfdom, the test was in the servitude to market ventures and the insidious government interference in the market to ‘cobble’ the playing field to create a favourable climate for such ventures to be led and sweetened into.  The market was if you like ‘corrupted’ into paving the way for investors and capitalists rather than let the capitalist organisations flex, retract or extend within the flow of free market structures.  The rest, as they say, is history, or should it be ‘herstory’?

To be continued…

Coalition-government, Libertarianism, Conservative and Liberalism

The violent outbursts by the students protesting against the Governments increase in educational fees did not do much to win them public support.  Nor did the heavy handling of the situation by the police on duty.  Total cock up really.  The police did not provide a secondary exit route and thus jammed everybody in to a confrontational corner.  Overkill could have, should have been prevented.  New kid on the block it seems.  Thought he knew better than to do it the old way or take advice from someone else who had experience in these matter.  Just because you are the ‘head’ of something does not mean you know it all.  The same applies to all leaders – that’s why you delegate and have deputies and or assistants, team work is what it is called in the real world. 

There will be more demonstrations against this coalition Government because it has not got a clue as to real working people’s lives and aspirations.  Not working-class, middle-class, privileged or status classed, the Government has not got a clue as to how these people work and live. 

The Government says it wants to care, but it does not know reality from ideology, it wants to put power back into the hands of the electorate but has no desire to lose power because of such activity.  You can what you like as long as its what I tell you to do.  Someone explain politics 101 to them, and the meaning of libertarian, liberalism, conservatism and socialism. 

The Government want to be libertarian with a caring heart.  Good aspirations, but do they know the meaning of the words?  And why are the hooray henry’s, “bloody working class yobs and benefit scroungers, flog them all I say, another port anyone?”, still flapping about in the Government?  Dump them if you want to be seen as a serious Government doing grown up things.  As for the bloated House of Lords, pleeze.  Time to join the real world.  Having said that, if the House of Lords managed to prove itself to really be a good debating chamber then that is a good thing, parliamentary reform notwithstanding.  There will a vote about that later.  Hmm.  Maybe first past the post is a good thing.  Imagine a whole load of toadies flopping around in parliament.  Cringe worthy I think.

I give this coalition Government three years before the fireworks show.  Plenty of little fireworks going off throughout those three years, and we are into the first year, but the big show is yet to come.

Is Labour any better?  Nope.  They had their chance and blew it.  Mighty Blair and Badger Brown cocked up the system with patchwork policies, another reason the coalition Government has a problem, it has to ditch some policies and try to un-patch other policies to see where the hole or tear is, and then decide if it wants to patch/review or ditch/privatise.  Never easy decision than to:

  • patch or ditch the benefit system
  • patch or ditch free education available to all
  • patch or ditch the pension system
  • patch or ditch the NHS
  • patch or ditch the police, fire and ambulance services (and the armed forces?) 

If they ditch those things, pure libertarianism, then they hope that the private industry will take up the provision of.   If they patch those things, part liberalism and a tad conservatism, then someone has to pay – you me and the average workers, not the rich and the powerful, oh no, they have their private education, pension, health care – which includes using NHS staff and equipment, their private security personnel, the only thing they have to rely on is the armed forces, but hey that too can be privatised, as with the fire service etc.etc.etc..

News flash! Private provision is only in it for the money!  It does not want to provide anything.  Supply and demand.  Lowest bidder for the provision of services is low because it cuts staff and provision to a minimum.  Don’t blame the private industry.  That’s what they do, that’s what they are totally and solely about, profit, profit, profit.  But hey that’s libertarian policies for you:

Milton Friedman:

There is one and only one social responsibility of business -- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits. 

So long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2008/01/16/where-milton-friedman-was-wrong.aspx

David Cameron:

“We should not be naive enough to think that simply if government rolls back and does less, then miraculously society will spring up and do more.”

"The truth is we need a government that helps to build a big society."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10680062

Yes that’s Cameron, with Clegg falling in line, the Dave & Nick Show; but BS is all about the big boys, you’ve got it or you haven't, if you haven't then you’ve got to beg, borrow and beg some more for it.  And that is what this coalition Government really is all about.  Let’s stop pretending it’s about anything else and get on with it.  And if the electorate don’t like it it?…Watch this space.

According to Libertarianism: A Primer by David Boaz, Free Press, 1997.

Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person's right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.

http://www.theihs.org/node/504

Liberalism

The political terms of "modern", "progressive" or "new" Liberalism began to appear in the mid to late 1880s and became increasingly common to denote the recent tendency in the Liberal Party to favour an increased role for the state as more important than the classical liberal stress on self-help and freedom of choice.

By the early 20th century the Liberals stance began to shift towards "New Liberalism", what would today be called social liberalism: a belief in personal liberty with a support for government intervention to provide minimum levels of welfare.[3] This shift was best exemplified by the Liberal government of Herbert Henry Asquith and his Chancellor David Lloyd George, whose Liberal reforms in the early 1900s created a basic welfare state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Party_(UK)

  • Liberal: Believes in governmental regulation of the economy and is against legislation of morals. (Think welfare, progressive taxing.)
  • Conservative: Is against government regulating the economy but supports the government taking a role in encouraging morals. (Think laissez-faire economics, family values.)
  • Libertarian: Believes the government should not legislate either morals or the economy.

Keep in mind there are as many degrees of belief in these philosophies as there are political thinkers

http://everything2.com/title/Liberal+vs.+Conservative+vs.+Libertarian

Friday, 26 November 2010

Welfare

I studied Social Policy graduated 1996 BA Honours.

The fact is that the welfare system never was intended to provide for long-term mass unemployment, never mind people on long-term incapacity because they cannot work, or single-parent families; not having a go at those groups of people just stating a fact.

What has changed since the start of the welfare state is the attitude to work and the expectation of a lifestyle committed to welfare benefit.

It matters not if immigrants or nationals are on benefits, what matters in the central collective understanding of a work ethic.

Most of the media and financially wealthy moguls, people the young admire or sadly idolize, give the impression that it is the norm to get what you want and start at the top. It was not for most if not all of them and it is not for people living in the real world. People have to stop saying that they will not get out of bed for less than £300 (£15,600 year) to £400 a week (20,800 year); that’s £7.50 or £10 per hour @40 hours a week, before tax. The minimum wage in the UK for people over 21 is £5.93 an hour; £4.92 for people aged 18 – 20 and £3.64 for people aged 16 – 17.

How do they think working folk in low paid jobs survive? Look at the wages of those jobs that are available; and their taxes also go towards welfare benefits.

Taxes, by stealth or otherwise are needed to pay for the welfare state. Otherwise we would have to go down the path of the USA and the implications of insurance based contributions for health, education and homes – or be without if one cannot afford or falls foul of the small print clauses and exceptions.

It is not just the “system” that needs a shake up it is the reality check of having to work and taking and making responsible life choices. It is hard. It is disappointing to work for a low wage. But that is life. Truly wish it was not. I don’t want my family working all hours for a pittance, but work they must to try to better themselves, work and save for their pension so they do not have to rely on the state to survive, but to live slightly better lives.

I think it would be better to scrap the ages for minimum wage and just say anybody regardless of age gets the upper limit.

I would also bring housing benefit payments to 16 year olds so that they can learn to stand on their own or with their partners or flat mates, it is not applicable to treat them like children when they are in fact adults.

Give young adults, 16+, a start in life to look towards and work at being responsible citizens not little children.  That means treating them as adults – wages, benefits and access to other so-called adult areas such as:

  • Marriage; the minimum legal age for getting married is 16 years old. In England and Wales the written consent of the parents or Guardians is required for persons who have not reached 18 years old and have not been previously married. If either of the persons is below 18 a birth certificate must be produced.  
  • Alcohol consumption; before the age of 18, you are not allowed to buy alcohol in pubs or shops, drink alcohol in pubs or outside in public places.  It is also unlawful for anyone else to buy alcohol for you if you are under 18 and the drink will be consumed in a pub or public place.   [However, if you're aged 16 or 17, you are allowed to drink wine, beer, or cider (but not other alcohol) with a meal in a restaurant, hotel or part of a pub set apart for eating meals. You can only do this if someone aged 18 or over is with you at the meal and buys the alcohol.] 
  • Voting; 16+ year olds can register to vote but cannot vote till they are 18.

Time to not just rethink the welfare state policy or shake it up by tweaking it.  It is time to get back to basics and see what it was about – universal vs means test ideological aspects also need rethinking.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Persecuted for being a Christian

Not in this country – so far.  But throughout the world people are being persecuted for being Christians.  As true as this is a lot of the persecution comes from jealousy, ignorance, fear and loathing of that person.  Them being a Christian is a way to ‘get’ at them.

Villages and towns in those countries that allow persecution have a small mind mentality.  They live in incestrial, as in ‘close’ and ‘insular’, communities that allow an unchallenged sentimental intellect , if not ignorance, to develop and ‘fester’.  Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that someone is a Christian but everything to do with the ‘communities’ power and status structure, not just from the male side but from the female side as well, who see the freedom of a female Christian, in a totally male dominated society, and want it, they cannot have it without change, they have to stand out against the male dominance, so they do the only thing they can, which is attack what they cannot have.  The men are the same, they need to keep their power base.  Institutionalised religion is obsessed with power, and fear the loss of it.  Ignorant people always attack what they are afraid of, be it the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims or the homosexuals, the women, the ‘other’!

Yes indeed Islam and Judaism were, are progenitors of hate as were and are some Christians.  Yes indeed are some Hindi’s and Buddhists progenitors of intolerance and in some cases hate.  But one way to be powerful, and the only way for some men and women to feel powerful and in control is to attack ‘the other’.  To ensure the ‘other’ does not rock the perceived status quo of said community or even country.  And in this case the other is the Christian.

Those in control of their fate, in true harmony with their belief do not need to attack, to find scape goats to hate.  They are not afraid of the other because they have total faith in their own belief.  The other will dissipate over time.  The other is not a threat.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Cuts

We are going through difficult times now days. Were there any times that were not difficult?

The government has introduced draconian cuts to welfare benefits in order to cut the national debt. I hope they are taking cuts in their benefits as well. If the over paid inefficient and ineffective bankers, industrialists and business people were made to pay back into society their excesses and bonuses, not really earned boys and girls, you got bailed out by ‘our’ money, then gave yourself a bonus, you greedy selfish immoral people, then the national debt would be halved or wiped out!

But hey that’s life, the robber barons of the past are still here in the present and will be taking from the ordinary working folk in the future. Hey Dave and Nick, new name for you, The Baron Boys of London Town.

Of course not all the welfare cuts are draconian in nature. The need for people to work to pay taxes to pay for pensions, welfare benefits and the social amenities that make the UK what it is, it critical. Without those taxes coming in we will not have any social or state benefits to pay out to people.

There has always been in place penalties to be applied for non-compliant of employment related activities. They have just not been enforced where they could or should have been. A lack of efficiency on behalf of the Job Centre staff. Or they were, are, just too overwhelmed by numbers to enforce ‘discipline’ or ‘penalties’. The number of decent people who took their proof of job search to such centres and just had the information ignored, well people what would you do? It has not changed since the revamping and outsourcing of the Job Centre programmes.

The question has to be asked to people who have been out of work for decades, is why? Most people out of work for so long are out of the work ethic mode, some are looking at a too high a wage and job related realism. Been there, done that. Sadly the crisis could lead to a US style imposition of working for your benefit by being ‘put’ into a job regardless of your ability or aptitude for that job. Bums in jobs; makes a change from bums on pews.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Halloween

I found this site for info about Halloween and thought it was pretty good.  It comes from the Woodlands Junior School site which is always very interesting, I used it a lot for information on the church newsletter I used to produce.

Must say that Halloween is more of an American phenomenon, but we Brits have taken it on board big time.  Ghosts and stuff well, what ever rocks your boat, remember that there are goodies and baddies in the 'other world'. 

I personally believe in Angels and Spirits, or ghosts if you like, so I do not meddle in the super-natural, my religion says it is a dangerous thing, and that I should not be tempted to take part in such activities; I believe that if you are not careful you could end up in a situation that is well beyond your control, another debate for another day.

So is Halloween just harmless fun?  Is it pagan and satanic as some people claim?  Apparently not according to this site, I guess it depends on what you believe and how you use the tradition. 

Personally I would stress the fun side and the fact that if you want real spooky things then how about Jesus raising from the dead and wandering around for forty days, appearing out of the blue and eating with people?  Beats Halloween spookiness for me :)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Talking and Listening 2

In ‘Why Bother with Theology’, Alex Wright makes a point that both the institutional and evangelical Church should listen more because “…theologians seem reluctant to acknowledge legitimacy and truth other than where it was found in biblical authority, canon law and Church doctrine.  The consequences are that theology can often seem out of touch as the social and sexual morality of church leaders.  Those church officers are left without precisely the resources that they need in order to make sense of society today, with the still further ramifications that nobody cares or in fact knows about what Christianity may have to contribute to the constructive ordering of our world.”  (Wright, p15, 2002)

There is much to be said for Wrights comment, but it is also important that theologians do become so secular minded that they lose sight of the message of the Bible.

The message is not nice and easy to listen to.  The message questions our ways and asks us to look and listen to find out what God’s way is.   Of course those outside the Biblical teachings may not wish to heed the Message or the Word.  H0wever even those not wishing to heed the Word they have to accept that the Biblical scriptures have moulded the western world through the application of its laws and moral codes of behaviour.  All are affected and effected by the Bible.

But it is not the only source of information, and both sides have to listen as well as talk.

Listening and Talking

In today’s modern world of high technological  communications one wonders if the human race has lost the art of listening to each other – are we so busy “saying something” that we no longer really hear what is being said to us?

We may be able to contact one-another more easily, but is the content so superficial, that meaningful dialogue has become an art, or even obsolete?

Christ spoke often, and clearly, using parables to explain or reiterate what he was saying.  He also listened very carefully to what was being said to him.

Dialogue based on self-definition and ideas is obviously not wrong, but how often do we repeat what what we’ve been told, only to find out the we hadn’t got it quite right, in fact we seemed to have totally missed the point or meaning of the conversation.

Misunderstandings arise from this, it could be that we really did not understand what was being said to us, or it could be, which is more likely, that we were so busy with our own thoughts that we failed to listen properly.

When people say that dialogue is useless, impossible, pointless or irrelevant to a situation, then what they are saying is that their way is the only way, their voice is the only voice; in most cases it is the only voice they want to hear.  And if two people are talking together are both taking that stance what happens next is…conflict, violence even war.

Yes we have to have strong positions to work from in our lives, be it family, social or political standpoints.  But strong does not always mean right.

We know someone can can hurt us by what they say and their actions, we know that they might well hurt us with out provocation, and of course we would not do that would we?  We would not strike out for no reason at all would we?

We would only strike out because we felt threatened, hurt, rejected, frustrated, or simply because we were made to look foolish or powerless.

So maybe we strike out first, so none of the above things happen to us, and thus we prevent ourselves from being hurt: therefore attack is the best, no the only form of defence.  We stop listening and just act.  Because what we want and what we believe in is the only thing that matters.

If you are a Politian or someone in religious authority, you might well say that it’s the best for the country, best for your people, best for the other people that you are not listening to.  At the end of the day though you are acting on your wishes alone.  You say in your heart that you know you are right.  So does the other person.

Dialogue fails if we know we have contributed to the mess, the aggravation, despotism and tyranny, and we don’t want to admit that we could be, was, wrong.  To admit one had made a mistake, was wrong, an error of judgement, to have acted out of self-greed and influence of more aspirations of power  is very hard.  But once you say it out loud, the fear of being seen as foolish, the pride that prevents you from saying your were wrong, that all subsides.  Then you can start talking from a different stance, one that will open up people’s ears and minds to listen.

People, having heard the truth, can then decide what to do, they can judge the situation better, and so can you, this is putting free will into action.  Having truth and reacting to it.  And if this is allowed to happen, I believe you will see a different perspective and outcome, and dialogue can and will take a different course.

Monday, 13 September 2010

A Sunday Message Monday

Moving away from the stress.

Stress is so common amongst westerners that there is no wonder there are so many specialists and self-help books.  And they all tell us the same thing, in order to de-stress your self you have to…

That’s where Jesus differed from the chattering classes of his day. He did not say you have to…he said to those who had heavy burdens, heavy hearts if you like, stress in their lives that was wearing them down, worries that were eating away at them, he said “come to me and I will give you rest. Do what I tell you. Learn what I teach you. I am gentle. I am not proud.  Then your hearts will rest, for what I tell you to do is easy, what I give you to carry is not heavy.” Matthew 11:28-30 Worldwide English (New Testament) Version

Maybe you know this version better:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

In other words you don’t have to do it all yourself, go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to help you.  All those of us who are weary and burdened do not have to de-stress ourselves alone, we have been given the opportunity of the Gospel to go to Jesus.   Ask him for help.  He will help you.

Ask the Lord to help you with the things that are going on in your life.  Maybe you are holding on to things that are burdensome and weighing you down.  Ask the Lord to take them from you, direct yourself towards the Gospel.

Remember to treat others as you would have them treat you!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

9/11

Least we forget.  Those who died did not do wrong.  Those who died were not evil.  Those who died will never be forgotten by those who knew them and loved them.

This applies to all people who have died in the sadistic, satanic and evil actions of terrorists.  Even if those terrorists though they were martyrs of righteousness.    Even if those terrorists were, in their minds, killing, maiming, destroying human life in the name of justice and retribution.  Their ways will always be the wrong way.

War is also an act of murder when the violence is proscribed towards civilians.  The weapons of mass destruction have taken the warfare out of war between two opposing armies and put warfare into the physical hands of politicians, who sit comfortably in their armchairs whilst destruction and death fall down upon civilians. 

Not for them the smell of blood and death.  Like the generals of old sitting comfortably away from the action as the armed forces thundered into battle with bullets and bombs going off all around them.  Keep your nerves boys they said as they poured out their port.  Won’t be long now till this glorious battle has been won and I collect my medal and the glory and the praise.

The same for the wars of today.  The glory and the honour is soaked up by the politicians.  Where are the scars of battle on the likes of the Bush’s, father and son, and Blair?  Did they hear the screams of the children and woman?  Did they rush to the aid of a dying comrade?  Comfortable chairs and a nice glass of port.  Plenty of time to write their new books.

The religious fanatics who dance to the death of the others, they are no better than the Blairs’ and the Bushs’.  They too sit in their opulence safety, worshipped by people who should really know better.  The Popes of the Crusades, the Nazi’s of past.  All to the distant sounds of death did they laugh.  The new Popes and Nazis are walking around, and to the sound of death they too do laugh.

We are not laughing, we are just numb.  That in this day and we could be so dumb.  Fight for the glory, fight the soul, fight for the freedom, which you will then control, but whatever you do, as you sip your next glass, make sure others do the fighting for you, so you don’t feel the draft of death creeping up upon you, ready to pounce, to devour your life.   You sing to the tune of freedom for all, but only the freedom that is worthy to you.  Where were you in Zimbabwe and Somalia too, in other countries where your ‘brothers’ rule?

Where are you when oil and diamonds and rich minerals and gold are not  in those countries where you could be bold?  Not for  those peoples do you sing to the tune of freedom, nor do you send others to sing or to dance,  you who do this are the least worthy of men.  Whatever you do, do not get out of your chair, or walk to the window and hear the cries, for indeed  you may catch a glance of the dead and smell the blood and hear their cries.  Death is your hero, but you are not wise.  Sad human you are. Sick in spirit and soul.  Be you religious or atheist I care not to know.  Your deeds have been written your words have been heard.   Sit in your chair do not move at all, the one thing we do know is that death takes us all.

In memory of those who did not chose to die and those that did in the false belief that they had the right to kill.  And to hope that one day good will triumph over evil, and knowing that not all who say they are good are good, and that not all we think are bad are bad. 

In loving memory of the wisdom of my Dad – George Donald Parker.

Friday, 3 September 2010

The Cuts Are Here

Yo Ho Ho Off We Go!

Where can we get money from now? I know we'll stop all projects that might actually help the working people out there, and especially those single parents, and benefit layabouts. Yo Ho Ho Off We Go!

Play areas and Youth Club have been cancelled and closed in my area, just when it was looking like there would be something for children and teenagers to do rather than just roam the streets - thank you ConDems at Brighton & Hove. Yo Ho Ho Off We Go, who can we take money and facilities off of now?

I know, care homes, carers, the sick and the ill, anybody who we decide is not good enough to to be one of us ConDems. Yo Ho Ho Off We Go!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Cuts Will Hurt

Of course the benefit cuts will hurt - cuts hurt. It is just the ToryLdems only see working class cuts as the way forward. Cuts to tax waste and high paid pseudo managers and specialists would save a whole lot more money for the country. Sadly they are all part of the ToryLdems little club. You thought Tory Blair and his side-kick money-grabbing frauds were bad, you "aint seen nothin yet"!

Just transfer this to the Welfare principle:

Like all short term money saving the workers get kicked out first. Quick and easy way to decrease your spending. See who is the easiest target to hit to save a quick buck - unemployed and the sick.

Then you cut corners in the Health and Safety or the Quality Standards. Then you up the mangers pay because he came up with the idea. Make sure the unemployed and the sick can't get back at you with support and help or extra money. Increase the private sectors input and reward with money taken, sorry, saved, by and  from slashing the benefits of others.

Then you cut some more staff to pay for his bonus. Good managers are hard to find you say. Indeed they are, even more so if there is no one to manage or an  industry to run because the workers are all unemployed - with minimum benefits if they are lucky - and industry has stopped providing and or producing goods or utilities. Keep taking from the unemployed and the sick so that jobs are taken out of fear and absolute need - killing off the weak and disenfranchising the poor from social improvements. Ensuring that once again the wonderful Victorian principles of sweatshop and child labour, with no minimum wage or health and pension benefits being available for the nasty working class; and the growing number of middle class that are now unemployed and need welfare. Get a job why don't they?

Industry can not afford to put profit back into their businesses because there is none, it's gone to the really good manager who slashed the workforce, cut the reinvestment, well actually it got reinvested it into his bonus payment, but now he has walked out of the job because it was not paying enough for his skills.  There are no businesses and industry relies upon third world sweatshops for its commodities and staff - cheaper than British sweatshops - but even they are closing down as industry collapses. No one to buy the products because no one is working thus they have no money to spend.

Yes in-deedy good managers and politicians are hard to find.
Oh to be in England now that Summer's here - yo mad dogs and ToryLdem men are out in the noonday sun!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

PRAYERS ANSWERED

This is good news!

Prayers answered.

Same-sex couple to be freed!

As prayers and vigils were expressed by many people this is good news indeed. Though the Malawi law does not accommodate same-sex couples to be recognised or accepted as such, the harsh penalty of 14 years hard labour was overturned on humanitarian grounds by the Malawian President.

Monjeza and Chimbalanga were arrested two days after they made a public commitment to marriage in a symbolic ceremony at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked as a janitor in late December. They were the first same-sex couple in Malawi to seek marriage.

Passing sentence on them on 20 May, the magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said: "I will give you a ... sentence so that the public [will] be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example."

The pair were then separated. Sent to prisons more than 40 miles apart, they had little hope of maintaining contact.

But after talking with Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, Malawi's president, Bingu wa Mutharika, announced the pair would be freed.

"These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws," he said after the meeting, at the southern African country's State House. "However, as the head of state, I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/29/malawi-frees-jailed-gay-couple

 

This is good news!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Are You Ready?

The opening of Parliament went well. Most of what was proposed I actually agree with. My concern is that the ordinary folks will not really have a choice in educational, health, work and career choices. They will have to take what’s been creamed off by the have’s.
I like choices and options to pay for and participate in civil society. However, and it is a big however, the fact is that allowing Academy Schools, Faith Schools (and Religious groups for that matter) to have charity status is un-libertarian. They should be made to compete in the real world of market economy and global capitalism, of private donations and voluntary labour. There should be no subsidies for business, industry or commerce; nor for private schools – includes Academies – or private health care. If they are to be private then they must fend for themselves with the capital acquired by their sponsors' – not government or local or council authority, as they should be providing at least a modicum of minimum services to their constituents.
So we will have a two-tier system, as was before the great welfare reforms, with private insurance/assurance companies and health groups collecting weekly or monthly payments from the average working family, because, believe me, the average working family will not be able to afford Academy schooling for their children, outsourced health care and access to the means to share in the wealth and consumerism of the ‘privateers’ of the nation.

FRANK FIELD history of the welfare state.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Coalition Government?

And I thought it was a coalition government!

Seems like Nick has signed up to be a true blue Tory. Shame. I thought he was better than that.

So we really really do have a Conservative government in power. Can the Lib Dems stop pretending now. They cannot match their manifesto pledges by sharing the power [who is actually ‘sharing’ the power] with the Tories. The Dave and Nick Show will be an interesting series - wonder if it'll run it's scheduled five year course?

For those of you who are on benefit or low pay or hope your children will get to a good decent school - the way the Dave and Nick [what happened to your pledge about Academy schools?] Show see it, if you can't afford a good one, or if a wonderful, super, splendid, fantastic, jolly good Academy school is not for you then gosh - TOUGH old bean.

A chat between ‘The Boys”:

Dave: "I went to Eton don't cha know..."

Nick: "Oh really wow, I went to Cambridge...

Dave and Nick in unison [no not UNISON the union]: "Us boys really ought to stick together. Damn right old bean. Underclass - what underclass? Don't know anyone from the Underclass - is that a school in the East End or, both shudder, up North somewhere?"

I could be wrong about the boys. But I don't think so. Come back Maggie all is forgiven, at least we knew you were a Tory and you did not try to pretend you cared about the normal working, state schooled, NHS reliant, people! UNDERCLASS? What underclass?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

LEARN YOUR HISTORY

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I subscribe to ‘History and Policy Organisation at:

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-100.html

Time and time again Politian's’ fail to learn from history and pretend that the current political and parliamentary crisis is a contemporary phenomena. A new age rising of the modern global market. Actually this is bunkum, and as ‘cuts’ ‘cuts’ ‘cuts’ is the mantra of the political masses, I decided to look at an issue of Social Policy, something I am well versed in, from the ‘History and Policy’ website:

“In the field of social policy, politicians are especially prone to generalising about the past, making assumptions about the reasons for change and legitimising their own proposals with rhetorical appeals to 'history'. Margaret Thatcher pioneered this with her campaign in the early 1980s for Britain to revive its so-called 'Victorian values'. Abigail Will's H&P paper showed how New Labour also subscribed to the myth of a law-abiding 'golden age' of respect and deference in the past, adopting the most severe policy stance on juvenile justice for 150 years. H&P has held policymakers to account for their use of historical examples and attempted to foster a better understanding of the past. For example, at our major event on pensions reform in 2006 we successfully confronted the then Pensions Minister with his department's bad history of the Beveridge reforms.

Pensions reform remains one of the most challenging areas of domestic policy, with twentieth-century governments missing opportunities to achieve lasting solutions approximately once every decade. As a result governments cling to policies that past and present experience show to be failures - means testing and pensions linked to employment contributions - to the detriment of pensioners living in poverty today. The British pensions system has become a multi-layered and highly complicated web as successive governments have bolted on new features rather than tackling inherent problems. Hugh Pemberton showed that, from the outset, the state pension introduced in 1946 was not properly funded, in fact operating as a pay-as-you-go scheme with current contributions funding current pensions. Then from the 1950s the value of this pension began to decline relative to pay, creating demands for an earnings link to be introduced, while occupational pension schemes mushroomed, creating a vast and powerful interest group in the private sector. Pat Thane's paper explains how women in particular have lost out as a result of this cumulative policy failure: their public pensions have been inadequate since they were first introduced in 1908, and were always recognised as being so. This was why the first pensions were non-contributory and why later reforms proposed to remove gender inequalities but, due to the low rate at which state pensions were paid, this was not achieved. Understanding the history of British pensions reveals that the famous Beveridge Report of 1942, romanticised above all by Labour, was never fully implemented by the Attlee government or its successors. Its core proposal, for a universal basic state pension which would provide enough to live on, has yet to be achieved today.

Policies to support single mothers and their young children have also seen the perceived financial needs of the modern state prioritised over effective social policy. Tanya Evans shows how the 'New Poor Law' of 1834 left an unpleasant legacy of workhouses and the stigmatisation of illegitimate births, which was not properly addressed until the Finer Report of 1974 proposed a one-parent family benefit. Though this was to be means-tested and, where possible, recouped from the absent parent, it was rejected by the Labour government of the time as being too expensive. Instead, late-twentieth century governments have implemented yet another series of measures which have failed to deliver long-term solutions for single mothers, focusing unsuccessfully on forcing fathers to pay, though history has consistently shown that many absent fathers are simply unwilling or unable to do so. The high cost of enforcement and repeated attempts at effective reform of the Child Support Agency (CSA) have now far outweighed the cost of introducing a scheme such as Finer's, which would at least have been money spent improving the incomes of single-parent households and the life chances of children.

Meanwhile Thomas Nutt shows that in some parts of the country the pre-1834 'Old Poor Law' seems to have operated more effectively than the present-day CSA, with parishes in early-nineteenth century West Yorkshire recouping 97 per cent of the cost of supporting unmarried mothers, while the CSA had arrears of almost £3.8 billion by September 2009. Looking at the Old Poor Law's success in this field as a model for present-day reformers suggests that a successful child support system requires not only institutional determination to enforce paternal responsibility but also responsiveness to absent parents' ability to pay and flexibility in the system to allow for individual circumstances, and this is more likely to be achieved if administration is devolved to the local level. "

Like I said, learn your history, and stop reinventing the wheel, if the political elite did this more often our country might not be in such a mess and we would not be ridding around on a political roundabout.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Now What?

OK so now the General Election is over and the Liberal Democrats are co-opting onto the Conservative Party, what happens next? Will voting reform come about, as the LibDems were elected for, or will power be the ruling priority in the Dave & Nick show? Whatch this space.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Bored Now!

OK so the 2010 General Election is only days away but now I’m bored. Nothing new with the terrible two and the terrible third is sitting on the fence to see which one he’ll hold hands with if there is a hung parliament. By saying that he’ll be prepared to sit with the Cons or Lab means he does not differ much between the two. So why vote for someone who’s not that different! Status quo yet again; there I was hoping for some real parliamentary change. Wonder how many seats UKIP or the BNP will get? I can not believe I am saying that in the UK. A nationalist party with fascist overtones and a fascist party with nationalist overtones. It had to happen. I blame Maggie and her protégé ‘Tory’ Blair – they have made the UK less responsive to what really matters to the people. The Blairites were so busy looking after themselves and their  cronies they forgot about those who have had to pay the brunt of the spin and bollox and sheer hypocrisy of this government. We can moan at Brown, but Blair was the instigator, or was Alastair Campbell the one in charge? Back to the drawing board. Dagnabit.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The True Christian?

The recent hallaballoo of the B&B owned by a Christian couple [the Wilkinson's] who failed to honour the booking of a gay couple [Mr. Black and Mr. Morgan] has led to a spate of debates. The Christian couple are breaking the UK law, the gay couple are thinking of taking up a civil law suit on the grounds of discrimination. In reality it should be a criminal law suit, but hey...

So what did Jesus do? He slept in and ate in houses that were occupied by 'outsiders' - prostitutes, extortionists - tax collectors, and other unsavoury characters that the religious majority considered sinners. Can't see Jesus turning away anybody from his B&B. Heck, his welcome and compassion and love would be amazing. Yey, who knows his sinful guests, well that is why the Wilkinson's turned away Black and Morgan [I hope they turned away sinful co-habiting couples as well, in order to be consistent in their faith], might well have become Christians. And as Christians are called to 'convert' the Wilkinson's failed dismally by not even being hospitable in a 'Good Samaritan' kind of way - Black and Morgan were without somewhere to stay for the night because of their action. OK so they found some where else but...

And finally I am a Gay Christian - I know - but I would be expected to obey the law if I were a B&B owner. So no discrimination. However if I see an advertisement for a B&B that says Christian or Gay then if it was the only one in the area I would ask if I was welcome. I know I, as a Gay person should be welcome, and as a Christian I should be welcome, or at least not discriminated against. But reality being what it is...The Wilkinson's and those with the same feeling tyowards certain people should state that they are a Christian B&B, same as Gay owners do so because they run their business on that premise. Just my point of view.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Are you a Humanist?

Are you a Humanist?

Posted using ShareThis

I answered the questions and this was my result: D = 8, C = 5, B = 3 & A = 8

I guess Humanist viewpoint is not for me but we do come to an agreement on some very major points.

Of course the BIG difference is a belief in God.

However, if Christians and Humanists were to join forces to fight those agreed problems, or evils if you like, then imagine how much could be achieved. I kinda like to think of myself as a Christian Humanitarian along the lines of Dorothy B Sayers maybe.

Much is always made about difference, but so much really could be achieved for humanity and OUR planets other life forms!

I know as long as Christians pretend to be doing God's work by being ignorant and bigoted, by lack of intellect and scientific knowledge, by looking back to a non-existent 'hey day' then the Christian voice will be one of shrill and indifference and intolerance and down right stupidity.

And as long as Humanists use the same shrill voice then it will like two good people refusing to help a drowning man - one won't help if the other one does - because they are arguing about which one has the right to save the drowning, if not by now drowned, man. Shalom.

Oh To Be In England – To Vote Out The Two Party Circus

The election is coming, the election is coming, what can we do, sleaze and fraud is committed by all!

The right to be different is not on the cards as extreme views of hatred would send those who are different up onto Mars.

The country is trying the best that it can as workers are made jobless to carry the can for incompetent mangers and greedy self-satisfied management man.

The fascists are rousing the dogs from their sleep, the fanatics of religious thought strut down their streets – encouraging ignorance and bigotry too, to be spread not just in England, but in other countries too.

The choices are stark and none can claim truth, but where is the honesty fuelled from our youth? The past is our history, lets lets learn from it please, stop going in circles like the winds and the breeze.

We need to be bold we need to be true, we need to face seriously by whom we are ruled.

‘Tis no time for timid abstain, or petty ignorance, from wherever it came, ‘tis the time to say, in an old Jewish vey, Enough Already, Enough We Say!

Jan Noelle PP.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

UK General Election 2010

"Vote for what you believe in… or you will wake up on May 7th facing another five years of more of the same.”  Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg.

I agree, now is the time to vote, not for what your family voted for in the past or what your best mates voted for so you don't seem like the odd one out. If you are British and are fed up of Labour or the Conservatives taking your vote for granted then take a look at the political policies and see where you really stand.

I'm not advocating that you must vote Liberal Democrat, but it is time for the British voters to take a stance in their choice of voting. It does not have to be a two party rat race! Close vote results would be a good thing, especially if everybody voted what they BELIEVED in. Party politics has been the safety net of the Labour and Conservative Party. Time to take away their safety net. Just a thought.

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says there are 4 steps to a fairer Britain:

  • Fair taxes
  • A new, fair start for all children at school
  • A rebalanced, fair and green economy
  • And clean, open, fair politics.

Fair taxes

One of the biggest changes we offer is to your tax bill. My philosophy on tax is simple. A fair tax system is one that rewards hard work, enterprise and initiative.

3.6 million people will be freed from paying tax altogether; no-one will pay tax on the first £10,000 they earn. Tens of millions more on low and middle incomes will get a tax cut of £700 back in their pockets. A real change to deliver lasting tax fairness for everyone.

Children at school

New investment in our schools. We’ll be putting more money, £2.5 billion every year, into schools to pay for more teachers, better discipline and catch-up classes. An average primary school could cut class sizes to just 20, ensuring children starting out at school have the personal, nurturing relationship with their teacher they need. An average secondary school could put the money into catch-up classes for 160 pupils. Making sure no child is ever left behind.

A rebalanced economy

We cannot have a new kind of growth with the old kind of banks. It is time to break them up. Bring back competition. Bring back diversity. Bring back building societies.

And until we do it we should insist that banks pay a premium on their profits to the taxpayers who have bailed them out. We will separate low risk utility banking from high risk investment finance once and for all. So banks never again take insane risks which jeopardise your everyday savings.

Reforming the banks should not be an act of retribution. It is about getting money flowing to the thousands of businesses starved of credit today. Without support from banks, companies go bust, and the jobless remain without hope.

When we bailed out the banks: Did you ever imagine your money would be used to put British people out of work? Only Liberal Democrats say: never again.

Britain used to lead the world. We built ships. We designed railways. We laid the first telegraph cables across the oceans. This is the nation of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Of Isaac Newton, who made modern science possible. Of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the greatest civil engineer in history.

We have to harness that inventive spirit once again. We have been blinded for too long by the glitz of the financial services sector. Blinded to the real, solid virtue of making things. It has to change. Under the Liberal Democrats, it will change. No longer just betting on things. We will start Britain building things again. That is change that works for you.

Open politics

It is just plain wrong that a government elected by the votes of just 22% of people can rule however it likes. It is just plain wrong that a government can commit us to an illegal war against the will of the people. It is just plain wrong that some MPs were so out of touch with the basic principles of right and wrong that they thought it was ok to do up house after house at taxpayers’ expense, flip them and flog them off for a profit.

http://www.libdems.org.uk/speeches_detail.aspx?title=Nick_Clegg_speech_to_Liberal_Democrat_Spring_Conference&pPK=8fafa999-9dc8-4b19-909e-654b15afbba2

Thanks to the Liberal Democrat website above for the information.

I used to vote for the same political party as my parents, who in turn had voted for who their parents voted for. They were working class so they voted Labour, because then the Labour Party was seen as a socialist party, and socialism was seen to benefit the working class. The consensus governments made sure that the reality of political party ideology were not poles apart. The Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher and the New Labour Party under Tony Blair have sought to marginalise consensus politics, but in truth consensus, albeit not a paternalist liberal and conservative consensus, is still there, otherwise there would be a huge political difference between the two parties.

The Liberal Democrats have come into the forefront now with political strategies that are more akin to liberal policies of old. Not exactly the same of course. Liberal came to mean middle of the road. But actually that was a source of misinformation and caricature put forward by Labour and Conservative supporters, including the press who had their own agendas to encourage Labour or Conservative popularity, in order to promote their papers. It did not help that the Liberal Party lost it’s way, becoming the Liberal Democrats and failed to elect or to find a contemporary leader with the same political clout as Thatcher and Blair. Has Nick Clegg got this ‘political clout’?

Past Liberal leaders of note as well as Liberal Democrat Leaders:

1865 William (Ewart) Gladstone (29/12/1809 – 10/05/1898): Liberal father figure and a passionate campaigner for reform, Irish Home Rule and ethical foreign policy.

1908 Herbert Henry Asquith (12/09/1852 – 15/02/1928)

Asquith now took on the House of Lords, which often blocked reforming Liberal bills, preventing them becoming law. He

He introduced the Parliament Bill, which stripped the Lords of any veto over money bills or public legislation. The Bill became law in 1911. The Lords were forced into passing the bill by the threat that hundreds of new Liberal peers would be created if they did not approve the bill.

As PM, Asquith presided over a period of national upheaval, with the issues of Irish Home Rule, and women's suffrage dominating the era. Asquith also brought Britain into World War One.

1926 David ‘Lloyd’ George (17/01/1863 – 25/03/1945)

Lloyd George is associated with the reforms that were seen to benefit the majority of society such as the 1908 Pensions Act and the 1911 Health Insurance Act. He also implemented the Parliament Act of 1911 whereby the House of Lords had there power cut so that they only had the power to delay any act passed by the Commons - the Lords could reject a passed act by the Commons three times, but after this it became law.

1956 ‘Joe’ (Joseph) Grimond (29/07/1913 – 24/10/1993)

1967  ‘Jeremy’ (John Jeremy) Thorpe (29/04/1929 - )

1976 David (Martin Scott) Steel (31/03/1938 - )

1988 ‘Paddy’ (Jeremy John Durham) Ashdown (27/02/1941 - )

1999 Charles Peter Kennedy (25/11/1959 - )

2006 Walter Menzies Campbell (22/05/1941 - )

2007 ‘Nick’ (Nicholas William Peter Clegg) (07/01/1967 – )

With thanks to: http://www.election.demon.co.uk/libleaders.html

 




Saturday, 6 March 2010

Equality and Christian Morals and Ethics

strang3_(2)jpg_thumb

So here we go again! The Pope criticises the Equality Bill. Well bless him, he is entitled to his own opinion. Trouble is he is the infallible leader of the Roman Catholic Church so what he says as Pope, Father, has to be obeyed by his children. However, as he has said, he had to belong to the Hitler Youth as a fourteen year old otherwise he could not have continued with his seminary studies, but he did not believe in it or obey it’s doctrine. I guess many Catholics live their Catholicism the same way – in spite of the Papal shenanigans - they live their life through their Christian belief. The Pope may have decided that Nazism was wrong but not totalitarian in and of itself. After all the Pope rules right? See links for info:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/feb/01/religion-catholicism & http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/11170 & http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/feb/01/religion-catholicism See this link for info. on the Pope and Hitler Youth Sieg Heil!

The Pope would sign away Jewish, Muslim, Atheist as well as LBGT rights if he could, and find a way of saying that it was all to do with ‘Natural Law’, heterosexual versus homosexual, you should only have sex to produce babies, and of course only through church ordained wedlock, and through the implication of the Scriptures; God hates everyone but the Catholics. and only those Catholics that obey the Pope, which they should be doing anyway, right? I’m with Richard Dawkin here, though he was talking about the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, the last part of Dawkin’s comment is worth thinking about as I believe there is no excuse for ignorance and stupidity and the abolition of human equality rights in the name of ones faith or belief: "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place." Faith without reason is faith with no meaning. I understand though that for many reasons men and women, Christian or not, cannot understand homosexuality and through their reasoning and or faith believe it should be banned; as it was in the UK before 1967* and as it is in some countries where it is not only a criminal, never mind religious, offense but the penalty could be death.

No doubt there will be more on this issue as time moves on which is why I believe the State should be separate from the Church, or any religious faction. Someone once asked, in an American situation, would an atheist (as if an atheist is automatically liberal as well as secular minded)  be elected President (and in the UK an overt atheist Prime Minister)? If an atheist was a good and responsible politician that could run the country, with the help from the other elected delegates (ministers of parliament in the UK) of course, then I would vote for an atheist - just because someone is Christian politician does not mean that they are a good politician.

This bring me to Premier Christian Radio’s petition to ask Christians to say they will, “Promise to vote in the upcoming 2010 General election using their Christian conscience to decide which party to support”, and that as Christians, they will be "voting on matters of national importance to create a stronger and better country that reflects Christian values”. What party are 'Christians'* going to vote for I wonder? There is no one particular political party with one sided Christian values. Most people vote with their conscience, for good or for bad, for a whole array of reasons and principles. I for one however, would not like to revert back to theocratic rule. Ever. I would have been burned as a witch or a heretic, or a Protestant under Catholic rule, or a Catholic under Protestant rule, or a Jew by both!, depending as to which family I was born into. And as for being gay – shesh…

*The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, supported the 1957 Wolfenden report’s recommendation to decriminalise male homosexuality. Thanks to Queen Victoria there was never a law against lesbianism, so there was not a law to repeal. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/4/newsid_3007000/3007686.stm

**There are many Christian denominations and organisations that differ with the main stream and orthodox view of Christian ‘ethics and moral’ teaching on a number of national issues such as the ethics of war, homosexual relationships, sex before marriage, abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty and prison and police reform.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

New Labour On The Way Out?

orangejpg                                      The Winds of Change Maybe?
Why Labour Wants to Lose The Next Election
By Communicity (September 2009) at:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-Labour-Wants-to-Lose-The-Next-Election

In this article Communicity suggests that it would not be in the best interests of New Labour to win the next election because they have made such a poor job of running the country that they would have a heck of a job to turn the country round – and that is the problem.
Most outgoing political parties leave a mess behind so that whoever gets in has at least a five year battle to put things right before it can really get down to implementing those polices it favours or promoted whilst in opposition.

Like all quotes about facts and figures relating to a governing political party all is not as clear cut as one might think. For instance the quote that, “Whichever Party wins next year’s election will inherit the highest levels of public debt on record in British political history”. Well not quite true:
1910 (2) ukgs_line.php (2)2


The real point is that whoever gets in has to deal with the reality of being in power rather than strutting their stuff on the outside. It is always easier to be in opposition, baying that the government, of whatever political persuasion, is wrong. But a look at the votes in parliament show that very seldom is their a big difference in attitude the vote on the war on Iraq for instance was passed by a large majority of 412 to 149; to see who voted for the war view hold them to account. Yet the Tories strut their stuff and say naughty Blair. If Blair lied then that is wicked, but if there was any doubt then the majority of MPs should have voted against, or at least supported the amendment against the war. The public were against it. Mass demonstration. But neither the Tories nor New Labour took any notice. Now the Tories say they are the party who will listen to the voters – oh yeah right. Truth is that the political system has been corrupt by the overt influence of non-elected persons having their say rather than elected members of parliament. The Thatcher government started the ball rolling with creating an unelected elite to have far more input than they should have. New Labour just carried it along by having unelected persons dictating policy – Alistair Campbell for example. Having experts give advice is one thing but when they and PR persons write and dictate the policy, well that is another thing altogether.

If as it is being forecast the Tories get into government, current poll ratings 16/02/2010 Cons:39 Lab:29 LibDem:20, then they will have the opportunity to put honesty and accountability back into politics. Have they the inclination to do it?

Whoever gets in will have to face some tough decisions – but they must. They must stop walking and talking their way out with glib sound bites and emotional theatrics. The country deserves better than that. And the country deserves to be told the facts about unemployment, health care costs and expectations, educational mismanagement, immigration and benefit facts – not myths for or against – and most of all the country needs to build upon its foundation of working class work ethics and middle class aspirations. Work ethics and aspiration to have a better life must go hand in hand. There is no easy answer to unemployment – the sad state of affairs that so many young people are out of work or who have never been in full time employment is a disgrace to the nation. The young deserve better. The old deserve respect for their efforts and their wisdom. Time to shake off the shackles of the "can not do it" mentality to the "can do it" and "will di it".

Time to stop propping up the system but to return to individual responsibility. Of course individuals need help, need backing, need supporting in times of need. But they need empowering (a very over used word) to help them to be proud of who they are and what they can do. Britain is a brilliant country. The British people are not work shy or lack aspiration and or innovation. But they have been lied to and ignored by those in power. Yes, indeed, whoever gets in has a hard job ahead.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

BNP Health Policy?

I found this blog and thought it interesting:

http://trusttheevidence.net/ami-banerjee/the-health-service-under-the-bnp#comment-925.

I added a comment:


"Your blog is correct Ami. It is important to understand that the whole workings of the NHS has to be considered when costs and ideology is involved. But the fact is that sound bites with no real meaning or truth for that matter, have always been used by political parties, such as John Major's "Back to Basics" and Tony Blair's "Zero Tolerance..." rhetoric.

Most people do not want to know how politicians are going to do something they just want them to say they are going to do something. If they are saying what the joe public thinks is true - that immigrant workers are stealing our jobs, that too much money is spent on aid to third world countries, that the gay agenda is destroying the way of the family and those religious (especially fundamental Christian) related organisations who will not accept such agendas, and that it would be good to "replace 100,000 NHS bureaucrats with doctors, nurses and dentists”, ( I come from a background of working for the NHS and found the sheer pettiness of the bureaucracy regarding bureaucratic power struggles and inadequate and business profit modelled management a detriment to both patient care and reshaping of the health service), then people will vote for the political party that espouses such things.

If political parties and other organisations want to combat nationalism, I think it is important to remember that though the main tenor of the BNP ideology is fascist, it's their rhetoric of nationalism that the people relate to, which is what the BNP means to most of their party members and those who voted for them in the EU elections of 2009, they are not all fascists in the true sense of the meaning of the word fascist, then they have to take up the rhetoric used and offer an answer that is meaningful to that rhetoric.

Nick Griffin and his followers are unlikely to look up and read about how and where the government spends it's money. Not many other ordinary people will bother to do so either. Thus political rhetoric to combat the BNP has to be to the point and simple. I have yet to see anything like that from the other political parties though the Lib Dems did a pretty good job in their NEWS  (For Your Local Community) newssheet I received in January of this year 2010 (Brighton & Hove Lib.Dems)".  

Comments always welcome!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Disaster and Tragedy

Help support Haiti as it has suffered the worst earthquake in history. This impoverished country was shaken to is core and left bereft of the necessities of government and social institutions with many of Haiti’s prominent people dead. Though the UN has send in troops and aid supplies are trying to be sent Haiti is in a dire  predicament and needs both aid and physical support. In times like these the human race shows that it does care and can achieve so much for a country in need.

My hope is that the money and aid collected for Haiti actually gets to those in need! So often the case the aid money is creamed off by unscrupulous government officials and businessmen to feather their own nests. It has and does happen.

Thinking about countries that are always in need of aid (disasters not withstanding) the question has to be asked why? A continuing crises is no longer a crises, it is a permanent thing. If those countries are to be helped then the socio-political system has to be looked at. A corrupt system should not be kept in power by aid. I know we cannot interfere in those counties political institutions but if we cannot get our financial aid to the right people then we are wasting our money and supporting a corrupt regime who is living off our handouts to the detriment of their people. The argument that the people will suffer if we don’t give aid is only applicable if the aid gets to them in the first place. If it does not and has not then what is the difference to them if we give or not? Just asking

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year to one and all – regardless of race, colour, religion – or not religious as the case may be - gender or sexual orientation, and whatever age you maybe. What do you hope for this year? Before we look at that question take a look at this link, just for a thought and a reflection, then do with the information as you will: http://evangelicalarminians.org/The-Arminian-vs.-Calvinist-Recall-Notice

I think that most people would want an end to the war(s) that abound around the world. Trouble is the cause of those wars are not resolved or are irresolvable because an ideology is opposite to what we in the west are 'fighting’ for. We are, for instance trying to impose or enable democratic progress to be implemented in areas where democracy is secondary to indoctrination. A whole new set of doctrinal presuppositions have to be understood, and they can be if those in charge wish for it to be so. If those in charge can stop blaming ‘the others’ for their problem and look for ways and means to build and care for their country – not just for themselves and their elect few, but for their fellow, and different opinionated, countrymen, and women. Growth and development has to override the mantra of ‘death to all who do not believe what I believe’. There will always be those of different opinions or beliefs. Try to show by example rather than by the bomb or the bullet – you might be amazed at what happens.

It would be good also if we in the west understood that our actions have an effect on other countries. From slave labour, sex-trafficking, arms and new technological supplies, industrial and financial misdemeanours to dumping chemical, toxic, white goods and IT items on less developed, and or less protected countries. I once read an economics book, one of many I have to say, in case you think I’ve only read one economics book!, that explained the why and then…nothing. Well any body can do that and be right, more or less, in their assumption. The real intelligent thing an economist could do would be to suggests solutions to the so called economic problems. Perhaps 2010 will bring about not just the reasons for why it happens, that in itself is most useful, but as to what remedies there are – and there are remedies, we just might not like them though! For instance, and please forgive the nature of this suggestion, but stay with me here. In the case of the rise of AIDS in the African and Asian countries: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/world-aids-day-warning-on-heterosexual-transmission-20091201-k3z2.html. & http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/world-aids-day-warning-on-heterosexual-transmission-20091201-k3z2.html Behaviour is the first remedy. Prevention, always is better than cure. But there you have the first ideological problem. Cultural difference to behaviour. If missionaries failed to get the word of God through the message of belief and transformation – their first goal it seems, rightly or wrongly, was to say all you folks should adapt to my way and that's that. No acknowledgement that some of the other cultural ways might actually have been beneficial. Ignorance and intolerance and bigoted behaviour on their part yes indeed, but some did learn from that. Some how we have to make a clear message that some actions will result in death, disease, hunger, poverty and war. That of course is the hardest part. Because there are many people who feel that other cultures should be left alone, to live the way they want – regardless of the outcome. But those same people also say we must help them. Indeed we must. But they must also be helped to help themselves. The question I shall impose upon you till my next blog is this: At what point do we start to help those to help themselves, and at what point is part of the helping them to help themselves considered to be imposing our will, or our westernised way of being, upon those who we feel fit to help?

A Happy New Year to you all - SHALOM