ignorance isn’t bliss

Stumbling across the local council’s facebook site I saw that they had flown the flag for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and biphobia. In 2018 you would think attitudes were more tolerant. Nope. 

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This comment was the most bizarre out of the ones I read. This lady is stating that the council do not have a right to fly a flag above their own town hall in the name of fighting prejudice. I am baffled and confused.

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If it had been phrased as a humorous comment then maybe some people might have laughed but it wasn’t. Someone actually stating that they are fed up with hearing and seeing things about those in minority groups really needs to learn some history and see how living as a minority in any country affects someones day to day life.

Also that he has gone out of his way to use his energy and time commenting on it too. What it must be like to be able to live a perfect life away from minorities and be able to function as a decent human being.

In my experience, people who have hatred towards LGBT people have issues themselves and hate that part of themselves that may even have an attraction to the same sex. Those who are comfortable in their own sexuality don’t generally seem to care one bit about those who are trying to change people’s minds.

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Lost connections – depression

Maybe we do over think things. I know I do. But if there is a problem then usually there is an answer. 

I have been told  – not only by others but by my therapists – that overthinking something just isn’t good for us – but it is a natural human response. If we are lost in an unknown place we look for a way out and if are pain receptors are being buzzed continuously we will look for a cessation.

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Stumbling across some youtube channels and tv programmes I found an interesting documentary maker called Hamilton Morris. He is pursuant of psychedelic experiences and the use of drugs to induce such as a state. I became interested in his research as I have had mild side-effect experiences from my anti-depressant I am currently taking called Mirtazapine.

I can single out that certain chemicals have reacted with the medication to cause sleep disturbance and vivid dreams bordering on hallucinations. It’s only after a couple of hours of being awake I have found myself free from thinking what I had experienced in sleep wasn’t actually real.

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Now, this could be a combination of a number of things I acknowledge that it has only ever occurred when I have been taken this medication. In a current study, the drug MDMA has proven effective in the treatment of PTSD. I am really interested in this area and whether I am able to take a pill in such a way that might ease the depression. But does that mean I would have to take it every time I felt I needed it or ‘prescribed’ on a regular basis like normal anti-depressant medication?

Hopefully, in the future we will be able to treat mental health as quickly and as openly as physical health. The funding that should be available for effective treatments. The chronic under-funding leads to a detrimental knock-on effect on the rest of the country.

 

 

Experiences in teaching 3 – dance

Never been a huge fan of dancing. Always goaded for not ‘loosening up’ in physical education at school. 

My first tutor group as a teacher in a secondary school I was given year 11. Not usual for someone who had just qualified as a teacher to have the oldest ones in the school. But they were a nice enough group. One of the ‘schemes’ in school as a tutor was to mentor some of the pupils who were seen as middle-ground and maybe needed a little encouragement and guidance.

There was one girl who said to be that one thing she really wanted to do was become a dancer. I didn’t dismiss her or tell her she be better off working in a shop let some terrible careers advisors do. I encouraged it. But was told that her ‘father wouldn’t let her’ and it wasn’t ‘the right thing’

It was a number of years later I heard that she had a few children and was in a terrible relationship with a lad who was abusive. I wondered what would have happened if she had followed her true vocation and became a dancer. This video is for you wherever you are. I still think of you.

Experiences of teaching 2 – Summer of ’95

That summer is still very clear in my mind. I was finishing my PGCE and after a final school observation returned to Oxford.

Staying at a friends house on the outskirts of Oxford no longer rented a room in the city as my time as a full-time student was coming to a close. Briefly returning to my home where I would spend a month in another school observation – the final piece of my teacher training.

It was a hot summer in ’95. The thermometer hitting at least 30ºc on one or more occasion. Coming as I do from the northeast where we don’t experience such extremities I found it unbearable. It was later on to be an omen – a dreadful indication of what lay before me. Of all the people I had to have contact with was a certain line manager. I had been offered a job in a school on the east side of Durham. Not knowing the area I thought it would be good to put in a little research first.

I knew something wasn’t quite right when she invited me round one night for a meal before the school term commenced. I knew it would be utterly impolite to not accept her invitation. I couldn’t make a bad impression right at the beginning of my teaching career as so much had been placed on the first year of teaching. ‘They’ had the ability to confirm or reject someone in the probationary period. Something I would find out later in life at complete bollocks.

I accepted and spent a soulless night chatting and providing small talk not to give away too much or to come across as someone who was unsuitable to take on responsibility. I know now it was a fishing expedition to find out exactly how I thought and ticked.

Of all the people I was lumbered with at the first experience of professional life was a horrible, gossipy, nasty piece of work, who would sell her last bean for a morsel of scandal. She was the worst of all line managers. Unprofessional and unsupportive. Someone who shouldn’t have been in a position of any responsibility.

Even after twenty-three years since that first meeting, she hasn’t changed one bit. I receded after the first year that I couldn’t go on and continue to work with her it was either it was her or me. Of all the other heads of department, I would work with she was the worst one. Why she was planted in my world I will never know.

Catholic views – Alfie Evans

What can be agreed on is this case is that sad not only for the family but the life of a little child who will never experience life as a normal adult. 

I have been astounded by the amount of coverage that case of Alfie Evans has been given not only in mainstream news items but in constant appearance in social media. It has echoes of the case of Charlie Gard who last year lost his life after parents battled with the courts and against medical advice hoping that they would be able to take their child to another country for treatment.

In similar scenes, we have seen people make violent threats against medical staff because they are unhappy with the decision made regarding the care of a child some who have probably never met.

Social media, emotions and some religious groups are to blame for the rise of these incidents.

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During reading articles appearing alongside ‘Alfie’s Army’ which was trending Twitter was this site that argues that the people of Britain have been influenced by the ‘Marxist Socialist belief’ that people are the ‘property of the state.’ They say the reason why Alfie’s parents aren’t able to do what they like with their son in terms of his treatment is that in Britain we no longer follow Judeo-Christian teachings.

It is no surprise that these articles are written by pro-life Catholic groups who are desperate in their attempt to cling to their own beliefs and justify their actions in supporting Alfie’s family not only in a medical setting but financial backing in the courts.

‘National moral fiber, along with the religious basis upon which the United States and European nations developed, is being replaced by a misguided faith in man and his institutions.’

They are claiming that the European nations are unable to tackle ethical and moral issues without the belief in god. They know that their place in dominating the world with their moral teachings and beliefs is rightly being brought into question. It was in 2009 that Stephen Fry and the late Christopher Hitchins argued that the Catholic Church was NOT a force for good in the world. I whole-heartedly agree with them.

 

The Catholic Church has been the puppet master behind Alfie Evans’ family. They have used the case to further their own agenda. They have time and time again gone against medical opinion to extend the ‘right to life’.

In my opinion it is the Church that is moral corrupt and should be exposed in its dealings with this family. I am sure that again we see people again basing their moral decision on feelings rather than the facts. Just because huge sections of a society does not suscribe to higher power does not make it unable to make sound moral decisions.

Enoch was wrong

Enoch Powell was correct in that mass immigration would take place in Britain. The negatives consequences of this is where he was wrong. 

Some say that ‘history will teach us nothing’ that’s bollocks. You drop a brick on your foot you know it hurts. The books and material from that we learn and gain knowledge are due to testing that which is true and that which turns out to be a fallacy.

Some argue that they predict a bleak picture for the future. Powell envisioned that in less than a generation ‘the black man’ would ‘rule the country’. Race riots would facilitate a new generation where the white working man would no longer feel he is My dominant.

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My question would first ask why he thought ‘the black man’ would want or need to procure ‘the whip hand’. Such a cultural shift in racial demography is not only extreme he argues that the people coming into and staying will continue but the behaviour of those who have entered the country is to have such a profound effect on society that the power of those who call themselves British to be rescinded to migrants.

Those people will not only want to come into Britain to live and work but consume and dominate those who are native to the country. A sanctioned invasion. He goes on to argue that if those in power continue to allow mass immigration those people regardless of their origin will want to control not only fellow immigrants but an entire population.

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I was the only white man in my class of eight in a West Indian run college. I spent three years living and learning in a culture utterly alien to my own. It not only made me examine my own cultural practices and beliefs but gave me an enormous appreciation of the history of the people who were invited here to work after the second world war. They didn’t come over here to ‘take over’ or ‘denominate’ they knew who they were in society and how they contributed.

In the late 1980s, I remember Enoch Powell as being a controversial figure – his predictions of race wars and rivers of blood were inaccurate and false. The only people who want these wars to occur are the racists themselves. Then their misguided beliefs in their own minds can be justified. It is those who have a warped way of thinking about a society who look for a way to vindicate their hateful rhetoric.

Joan Hickson

Growing up not having the internet or even the possibility of buying loads of DVDs I asked my mother what could I watch that was good.

One of those Saturdays as a bored teenager in the 1980s I would have asked my mother for a solution to it. What should I do? ‘How about watching this programme?’ She suggested.

Mother was fond of crime mystery dramas. Whodunnits. Nothing too gory or sacrificial, but a mysterious death, that turned out to be an unsuspected lynching. She liked those sort of things and so I resided myself to watching “Murder at the Vicarage” that was first transmitted in 1989. I was only a teenager and wasn’t too fond watching dull dramas with old ladies and other dull things.

How wrong I was at the time to dismiss such a thing. Joan Hickson had me hooked from the moment I saw her playing the elderly sleuth Miss Marple a marvellous creation of the writer Agatha Christie.

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Even in her 80s, Joan Hickson brought a brilliant calm and shrewd approach to the role of Miss Marple. She seemed to take to the role effortlessly. There was a steely connection to the character yet a soothing reassurance that truth and justice where ever she may go will eventually prevail.

I would have loved to have met her I am sure that she could have told a tale or two about the goings-on in the show business world. Meeting all those interesting and eccentric people.