Bus station attack 

I was sitting this evening watching a programme on channel five called Police Interceptors. I have interest in crime and its causes ever since I studied criminology as part of my degree in the 90s. 

I am not shocked at hearing the stuff that people get up to but what does concern me is when things happen in my area and I don’t hear about them I become concerned. 

The incident in question happened in a town called Stanley in Co Durham. A group of black youths had been set upon and threatened with various items including an iron bar. 


The programme described how the police unit were aware of who the people were and the ring leader that they wanted to question in regards to the incident.  They were tasked with arresting the youth and detaining him for questioning. It was later revealed that one of the the youths was sentenced to seven years eight months for the crime. 

What really concerns me isn’t the crime but the fact that I cannot find one item of news on this? I have search using numerous terms to see if anything has been reported. 

You would think that such an item would be in the public interest and this would be a top story. Are the press choosing to ignore such stories? Are the police only allowing information that will subdue the public to thinking that everything is okay. We can print an article now and again about how some pervert has been locked up and this will make people think that things are okay in the world. 

1940s

I adore the 40s. I admire it so much over the next few years I am going to slowly turn back the time on my house. I currently own a lot of furniture inherited from two generations of family members. First being my grandparents who’s dark earthy furniture was always seen by mother who insisted her house contain items that were fashionable in the late 50s and 60s. So the next progress is the furniture of parents from a time just before my arrival on earth.

I am not a fan of some furniture of this time. It’s a minimalist, thin and to me bleak appearance. Bear hallmarks of science fiction and cheaper materials it leaves me feel cold and physically uncomfortable. Give me old huge sofas with bouncy cushions and floral design that wouldn’t be out of place in a Miss Marple living room.

IMG_1950.jpg

IMG_1941.jpg

IMG_1940.jpg

IMG_1964.jpg

IMG_1960.jpg

IMG_1957.jpg

Death 

I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

Woody Allen

It’s been a strange year. 2016 has thrown us a myriad of people who have died; many that have been featured predominantly in the eye of the public. It comes as a shocked as some we never ever thought of dying at such an early age.

One newspaper made the stupid observation that people don’t get as upset at the death of five hundred migrants in a boat that is only designed for a fraction of that number. Comparing our shock and disbelief at a celebrity death isn’t the same as a group of people losing their lives in a tragic accident.

We aren’t in anyway connected to those people. By this mean that for decades we haven’t come to know them or buy into something that they are providing. Prince has provided people with music and people make strong connections with it and sometimes it marks particular occasions in someone’s life.

We don’t know the life story of a migrant we can certainly understand the circumstances in which they have found themselves to in as they are forced to flee a land torn apart by war and terrorist atrocities. Someone with a caring spirit would show them compassion and allow them to make a better life away from the country they have left.

I wouldn’t expect other people to grieve for my mother who died just over four months ago. They didn’t know her as I did. They didn’t share in getting to know her in her final years. So chastising someone for a moment when we remember a pop star or a celebrity doesn’t mean that we automatically don’t care about migrant deaths.

Have a conversation with someone in the pub about immigration and people who want to move to the European Union. You will soon find out those who make sweeping statements about others and don’t show any human compassion to those who’s lives have been shattered by civil war.

Ched Evans (update)

Ched Evans won his right to a retrial. He said that there would be no celebrations as there are no winners in this situation. Quite rightly maintaining a dignity in his way when looking to clear his name.

Social media is full of the bile from both sides of the fence. Harden feminists are ready to act out a retribution similar to a horror film as is those who are supporting him. 

The wheels of justice have to turn again and regardless of whether you thinking that Ched Evans is guilty or innocent all evidence has to be heard in a trial. New information that wasn’t presented to the court has now appeared setting in motion a retrial. I hope soon that things will be sorted and life continues as it should. 

Victoria Wood RIP

From my early teenage years I can remember loving the comedy of Victoria Wood. In particular the song which talks about unrequited love. I was so mixed up in my teenage years growing up in the 80s. She said what I was thinking. I am devastated at her passing. 

Crush – Victoria Wood

I saw you today. Well, I just saw your blazer, and it went thro’ my heart like the beam of a laser and I thought that today you would turn round and see me but you didn’t.

The bus didn’t come. It was dead rainy weather, when it came it was full and we didn’t stand together and I smiled half a smile down the aisle, But you didn’t notice, did you? Did you?

I love you so much, all my friends think I’m crazy. I get told off at school cos I dream and I’m lazy. I’m dreaming of you, but I don’t suppose you know that do you? 

You smiled at me once. Don’t suppose you remember, but I know when it was. It was the tenth of September and you put down your bag on my foot and I said it didn’t matter.

I’ve got old souvenirs like your empty crisp packet, and a blond curly hair from the back of your jacket. They are under my bed. Maybe one day I’ll show them to you, shall I? Shall I?
If we went on a date I would just be in heaven. Well, I know you’re sixteen but I’m tall for eleven. If I paid for myself could we p’raps go for a pizza? Could we?

I’m all muddled up when I think of you. I’m not really sure what I’m meant to do.

My best friend Louise said, oh, write him a letter, cos it can’t make things worse, and it might make them better, so I did, but I think, well I don’t think you ever got it, did you? Did you?
It was all like in rhyme and I drew like a Snoopy and used all different pens. Did you think I was loopy? Did you crumple it up? Did you chuck it in your bin? Oh did you?

I saw you today. Well, I just saw your blazer, And I’m hurting inside like I’m cut with a razor, cos I thought that today that you would turn round and see me.

But you didn’t. I wrote that I loved you and I really meant it. Now I feel really dumb. I should never have sent it. Do you hate me or what? Did I do stupid spelling. Tell me, did I? Did I?

Cos I think about you right from dawn until dusk. You spoken to me. I just stand in your bus queue,
And I sent you a note, But I don’t think that you got it,

Did you?
http://youtu.be/ntyV_HNk8Qs

The Catholic Church

I have always had a light for the catholic church. Don’t know why. I think it was to do with the fact that my mother didn’t like catholics and therefore anything that my mother hated I would automatically express my love for it. Those days have gone though as I think a tad more maturely at the things that I have come to like and dislike in the world.

Vatican-city.jpg

I have spoken before about the debate that took place between Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry and members of the Catholic Church including the odious Anne Widdecombe on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. The debate lasts a couple of hours but there are clips on youtube which are of smaller content. The audience at the end is asked to chose their response in light of what they have heard from the speakers at the bench. It’s enlightening and entertaining in some parts but you get an overall sense of the immense damage the catholic church has caused in the past centuries. This still continues (as we all know too well) in today’s modern world.

The Pope issued his new guidance on the way priests treat their followers when is comes to Sex and Marriage in the church. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t see gay unions as being on the same level as those in heterosexual marriages “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”.

The Pope directs his sympathy to the relatives of those who have gay people in their family. Almost as if it is an illness that should bring empathy and love to those who are suffering the consequences of those who chose a ‘sinful lifestyle’. It is in irony that he also states that says the Church must avoid “every sign of unjust discrimination” towards homosexuals. It couldn’t get anymore unjust to describe someones marriage and relationship as second class.

pope.jpg

The way in which the Christian church conducts itself is under the microscope more than ever. I had commented on a youtube video where a ‘christian social media celebrity’ had recently got himself a tattoo on his arm. He had many comments saying that tattooing yourself was a sin. But there were a lot of people saying that it wasn’t. Taking the Levitical laws to condemn with one hand homosexuality then with another saying tattoos were a matter of conscience. Utterly hypocritical and damaging. It’s a pick and choose belief system that causes young people of today to turn away from Christianity. It damages those who are looking for the answers to life’s questions.

My view as a humanist is that all relationships are valid, gay or straight. Everyone is a human being and they should be on the same level and treated with dignity and respect. Women and men are equal they have different qualities and attributes but they are the same and again should be treated that way. I won’t condemn anyone based on their race or culture, on their sexuality or gender. To do so is morally wrong. The Christian church is proving itself to become more and more out of touch with the real world. Basing a belief system that it thousands of years old and has no place in deciding those who can or cannot marry.

Soon we will see the Christian church in the UK become nothing more than a crazy cult that pipes up every now and again with people who belief that blame can be pointed to sin in the world and cause localised flooding and down pours because someone has dared entered into a same sex partnership. It’s time to forget the church and leave it to die quietly.

RE and Humanism

As I qualified secondary RE teacher I find it appalling that the government have taken out the teaching of those with no belief in Religious Education. It’s almost like people without any faith shouldn’t have an opinion about moral values and life choices. I see it as a backwards step in highlighting importance of the vital role that Religious Education has in our schools in a modern world.

The terrible atrocities that happen each day in our world cause us to pause and ask the question why? It is no longer the case that our children and adults should be left with the answer that some people do bad things. This is a poor excuse for educating people about religious belief.

large.jpg

I was watching a programme the other night where they were discussing the issue of child exploitation that happens on a regular basis in the UK and thought myself that certain established religions have a lot to blame when it comes to talking about and educating young people about the dangers of online grooming and sexual relationships for someone who us under the legal limit of consent.

The programme highlighted the numerous times that girls were coerced into performed sex acts on their boyfriends and the blatant manipulation coupled with emotional blackmail that they felt under these circumstances. It is no longer a choice to bury your head in the sand and say that my child would’t do these things and they no better.

Education is fundamental. Talking about violence does not make someone violent. In the same way educating people about the dangers of sex doesn’t allow young people to think they are entitled to go out and experiment on the basis of the facts they have been told.

Think back to the days of your RE and would you really want the next generation to look at the world without the rich knowledge that RE does bring? Or do you want it to be begrudgling tagged on the lesson at the end of the week on Friday afternoon?