Brian Harvey was extremely famous in the 1990s he had a string of hits with a band called East 17. Then after one interview the dream he was living all came crashing down.
Over the years I have followed Brian Harvey’s story. In the 90s I loved their music and bought a couple of their albums. It was just throwaway pop music that didn’t have too much meaning and shouldn’t be taken too serious or literally. In the last decade though, Harvey’s life in my opinion spiralled out of control. There was no solo career and the vain attempts at restarting the original line-up of the band fell at the first hurdle as they couldn’t even rehearse together without arguing or eventually turning into a punch up.
It was Brian and other band members lack of disciple (by turning up to crucial meetings an hour late) that cause the tensions in the band. These men weren’t boys any longer and people don’t put up with bad behaviour when you are trying to restart a career. No excuses you get yourself there on time just as you would for interview for a job.
In the latest chapter Harvey was ranting online about his problems and threatening self-harm. This isn’t a second hand interpretation but a sad reflection on a video that is still posted to his YouTube site.
In my opinion he is suffering from a persecution complex the idea that there is a shady underworld out their calculating and plotting to bring him down. There is no doubt in the last decade we have see terrible practices of the now defunct News of the World and their appalling phone hacking scandal that eventually forced its owner to close the newspaper down.
Harvey still believes there are people out there plotting to bring him down because of his knowledge of the phone hacking scandal. He describes in a video that his ex-manager had him sacked in the 90s and deliberately targeted Harvey because of the things he knew about Tom Watkins. In fact it was Harvey’s reluctance to continue churning out pop music for teenage girls and his desire to be a credible R&B singer that made people realise they had enough.
At the time I remember there was an anti-ecstasy campaign aimed for teenagers because of the death of school girl Leah Betts who had died after taking an E. It seemed strange now before social media but it was a radio interview Harvey gave that said it was okay to do E as he had in one night and driven home that caused outcry and his immediate dismissal from the band. The public might not have taken their music too seriously but Harvey’s words meant a lot especially if they were listened to by impressionable young teenagers.
Harvey’s apology and retraction did nothing to quell the anger and his fate was sealed. It is now he’s claiming he is all part of a conspiracy and others too as well as a manager are out to silence him.
I think there are loads of changes he could make to stop the cycle of persecution complex but then I am not a trained psychologist. Harvey wouldn’t make any money from the youtube videos as they aren’t receiving enough views to generate the revenue he claims he is relying (one assumes) on Employment support allowance as he has will have declared himself unfit for work. I only know this sort of side of things as I spent a year claiming this after my mother passed away.
Whatever your opinion of Brian Harvey I am sure that we can agree that he shouldn’t be dismissed as ‘some nutcase’ but genuinely needs help and a powerful intervention. He should find another focus in life that brings him joy not something that continually contributes to his low self-esteem and poor mental health.
This is one hideous character I think you should remember and this post will explain why I think you need to remember the name Jack Renshaw.
After the New Zealand Mosque there was a concerted effort not to mention the right-wing terrorist by his name thus giving him no power or status in the light of the terrible attack carried out.
The crimes for which Jack Renshaw has been convicted of were of stirring up racial hatred against Jews calling for the mass genocide of the people. For this crime he had been sentenced to three years in prison. It is alleged that Renshaw had been part of a group, National Action, that had been banned in 2016 as they spread ‘anti-semitic, homophobic and racist’ views.
I remember seeing him on an advert for the BNP in 2014 when they were campaigning votes in elections. I have written before about the dangers of far-right groups and how they have had people trying to justify their vile views on social media and in 2016 said that I was despondent that people still don’t realise how radicalisation of young minds whether it be for ISIS or far-right groups can lead to serious violence.
You should remember the name Jack Renshaw as he is an example of how hatred can turn into something extremely serious and sinister. Renshaw believed that he would be justified in killing a local MP in the same manner of Jo Cox the MP who was brutally murder by the far-right activist, Thomas Mair in 2016.
Renshaw planned to even be killed by the police if necessary if they surrounded him at the time. All of these threats were real as he had been previously convicted of grooming two teenage boys. His internet history had show he had made searches for gay porn and stated that he wasn’t gay but a heterosexual virgin who didn’t believe in sex before marriage.
Whatever Renshaw’s sexuality we do know that he’s been convicted of grooming children for sex. His warped ideology sent him down an extremely dangerous path and for his confession of planning to kill a MP and the policewoman who had investigated him for these crimes his sentencing will take place in May 2019 at the Old Bailey.
Renshaw is the example of a dangerous mind warped by conspiracy’s and lies. His hatred for certain religious groups is abominable. In my opinion he should be made to go through a de-radicalisation programme just as those who are convicted of carrying out terrorists attacks in the name of ISIS and other hate-filled groups.
Sometimes you feel helpless when bad things happen thousands of miles away. I felt I needed to show solidarity with those who are suffering.
In the days after the Christchurch killings I felt utterly helpless. In the past when I have seen such suffering I have been able to help by sending to money to those who need it. This time is different as how can you let people know that these people are not alone and we won’t sit silently allowing such hate and evil go unnoticed.
I follow a north east group which protests against racism and those who chose to stir up hatred within the entire country. They felt it was necessary to hold a vigil for the people who have survived the massacre in New Zealand.
It was amazing to see so many gather in St Nicolas’s Cathedral, Newcastle. It isn’t surprising but very sad at the same time that we have witnesses the rise of hate-related incidents in this country and it parts of the world. People’s inability to leave in a harmonious way has led us into some terrible times.
The rise in social media and people sharing unsavoury views about certain groups has led some in our society to have views which I think are plainly warped. Their views about the Muslim community has been distorted by those who have played a dangerous divisive game for years. Spreading lies and mistruths for their own agenda.
Thank goodness now the social media companies have started to crack down on those who spread hate. The main ones have put the brakes on those who spread hatred. They have decried their so-called action as attempt to ‘silence’ and ‘censor’ them. This only plays into the hands of the supporters as it gets them angry even though there are thousands of other ways in which hatred can be spread throughout the world.
The evening was a peaceful reflection where there were members representing a number of faiths, including those from the Jewish and Roma communities, came together as one. As someone with no faith I still strongly believe in standing shoulder to shoulder with those in a minority who had suffered in such a way.
Dipu Ahad is a Labour councillor in Newcastle and was the person who introduced some people to speak about the attack in New Zealand. It was heart-warming to hear of the generosity of those who had reached out to the community on the other side of the world. As I said at the beginning of this post I certainly felt helpless at being unable to share my sympathies with those who were hurting but after this evenings vigil I felt I was able to give my support to the victims of hate and violence.
My heartfelt sympathies go out to the friends and family of this despicable crime. New Zealand and other decent countries deserve better than this awful tragedy.
I watched carefully the response of people from all side of the political spectrum. It was incredible to see the wonderful response of the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden.
These sort of crimes could happen anywhere in the world. The fact that it happened in New Zealand was appalling as they had been immune to terrorism on the scale that has been seen other countries around the world.
The different between other terrorist attacks was that it was carried out by a white supremacist someone who believed that his race is better than others and those people who were killed somehow deserved it.
Like others who have murdered in the name of an ideology the terrorist had to be radicalised a word that is often used to describe the process of someone turning from a normal human being into a cold mass murdering killer. I wrote a blog post in 2017 about how people become radicalised into becoming terrorists and it is often a long process that has taken place over time where people will look for answers to complex problems.
People will want to know the reason why the terrorist did what did and why he thought carrying out such an atrocity was the right thing to do. He will try to promote his cause in court and claim his a soldier in some sort of war. We often put ourselves in the position of the person carrying out the crime and wonder how and why they could carry out something so despicable.
These sort of actions don’t happen over night they aren drip-fed through media, television and news outlets that often portray immigrant communities in a negative light. We know there are bad people in all races not all are perfect we all have problems to contend with whether it is illegal drug trades, knife crime or domestic violence. Each community has its own share of problems.
Just as the Islamic community now is being blamed for terrorist groups like Isis people believe in conspiracy theories repeating by far right agitators like Tommy Robinson. These sort of conspiracies are extremely dangerous. At the turn of the 20th century there was a publication printed called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In it was the ideas that somehow the Jewish people should be regarded with suspicion as they were seen as some sort of threat to world order and that they were the ones who wanted to over all control and domination.
The same lies is being spread by those on the far-right and those who choose to demonise all immigrants as bad people. This is how people like the terrorist become radicalised in the first place.
I always like to think I am a free-thinker. I am a humanist. I don’t believe in god but I do believe religion and political ideologies can have a strong influence on someones beliefs, and actions. Sometimes those actions have catastrophic consequences.
I want a life with compassion, hope, love, justice and hopefully peace.
When someone dies people are on an edge mentioning the person who has passed just incase you might upset the person. It’s a natural response because you don’t want to feel you have upset them.
The month of March is a difficult one for me in the middle is mum’s birthday and around a week or so later is mothers day. It used to be a time when I would cook food or take mum out for the day and we would spend happy times with each other.
Now she is no longer around I try to spend these days thinking about the good times especially the last ten years of her life when we were particularly close.
It is 25 years in July since my father died and when I eventually met up with some friends on a summer camp a couple of weeks later I could tell people were a little nervous around me. I told people then and tell people now I don’t mind talking about what happened and I don’t mind being asked questions. I might get a little upset but that not because you asked the question or I was offended just a little pain recalling information and sad thoughts. We tend as human beings to limit our pain whether it’s numbing it with alcohol, drugs illegal or otherwise to reduce the hurt. Slowly coming to terms with this loss is all part of the grieving process and allowing ourselves to get emotional.
The people I say that we should watch out for that don’t show their emotion and I mean those who say that they aren’t upset or hurting inside. Bottling up emotions is dangerous for health both mental and physical. It will eat away at you for a long time and eventually you will reach a point when you might not able to handle that emotion in a safe and stable manner.
Girls and women in general are much better at accessing emotions as they talk to each other about them and process them in a more manageable way. Blokes on the other hand are crap with their emotions unable to talk your way out responses become violent and the person on the receiving end becomes a victim.
So we have another mothers day which I won’t ignore I won’t go overboard and build a shrine either but I will have moments when I can remember the good times I had and that’s what I have to take with me.
It still amazes me that some men cling to their masculinity like a ship-wreck survivor to a life raft. If someone questions it it’s seen such a threat.
I used to work in a school where the boys had to be men and the girls got pregnant and stayed at home. It was like I was living in 1850s time warp. I look at some of the profiles on social media of some of the pupils I used to teach and its all to apparent the amount of time spent in the gym and the stark abuse steroids in contrast to the rest of society.
Their inability to leave toxic masculinity behind and seek a progressive attitude towards society means they see anything they isn’t part of their own is a threat. It took me years to be accepted in such a community even though I was only born a handful of miles away from the area.
Terry Kupers, professor in psychiatry, explains in an article that the basis of toxic masculinity is the ‘constellation of socially regressive males traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia and wanton violence’. A man sees his right to assert dominance over women and any gay man he may come into contact is a threat to his own masculinity.
I see a lot of men who I define as having a ‘heterosexual blindness.’ What I mean is that anything that doesn’t fit into a mould of a macho stereotype will instantly dismissed. eg. Boybands are dismissed as being ‘gay’; any alignment with perceived femininity also the same. Jobs in the field of fashion the arts and world of entertainment were too brushed off as for ‘poofs’.
Growing up in the 80s boys had to follow careers in hard industry. Domestic science or cooking was for girls and woodwork and metalwork for boys. It was alarming that I taught in a school that still harnessed these outdated beliefs.
I am not stating that all heterosexual men have this blindness some see beyond straight roles and have successful lives in various professions. But there are still that cling on to the fact that men shouldn’t talk about their ‘feelings’. Even talking openly to a gay man is frowned up on.
The recent Gillette campaign for men to be ‘the best a man can get’ confronting toxic masculinity some were denouncing its campaign. Saying that it was unfair that all men are painted with the same brush but they missed the point. Some men are decent hardworking loyal people who contribute to society and haven’t done anything wrong. There are ones who look after their family work and pay for their children. We know that but we have all seen and know of the ones who don’t.
When we see the figures of domestic violence and how they affect women and incidents of bullying and violence it worries me that men somehow think it’s their right to carry on the way they do. They will be perceived as weak if they don’t tell a woman what they should be doing.
But it my opinion it takes a real man to be able to discuss his feelings. To not be afraid to cry in from of his peers. Its not about men becoming feminine either. Critics of the Gillette campaign have said that men are told they should adopt feminine characteristics. But again they still have missed the point its not about making men more like women its asking men to stop behaving in a way that has a negative affect on other people. Surely that has to be a good thing.
I never liked him even from the 90s so much so I would deliberately not buy compilation albums if he was featured on them but R Kelly is part of a music scene that treats women as objects and not human beings.
You only have to look at the music that the artists produce and the derogatory ways in which women are used in the videos.
Let’s take this group of guys who think that putting loads of women around them some how make them desirable and worthy of what they are singing about. But you have to ask yourselves the question why are there so many women in bikinis in this video and what is their purpose?
If you have managed to take your eyes off them for at least twenty seconds you would realise there is absolutely no reason why they should be in the video. Its basically talking about meeting people and sex but the women are used as objects. You would be mistaken to think it resembled a beauty contest from the 1970s. It’s a reflection of something that should be consigned to a bygone era.
R Kelly has been accused of using women and abusing them in coercive relationships. It an appalled indictment of a person who has spent decades in the public eye. A number of documentaries have been made about him and the women who have known Kelly have gone on record to say that they were controlled in every part of their lives. What they can wear and who them can talk to is a common pattern in controlling relationships.
It has been stated that an average of two women a week are killed in England and Wales by a partner or ex-partner yet it seems to continue without much attention. There should be public outrage that so many people lose their lives to horrendous abusive relationships.
Women aren’t placed on this planet to be subjugated to mens pathetic egos when they cannot cope with the fact that another man talks to their girlfriend or wife. They lose it when a relationship ends and aren’t mature enough to deal that there is no longer love in the affinity between the pair.
I have know men confront me because they don’t like the fact that I have been talking a laughing with their fiancé even though I am gay I was still seen as threat. If you are with someone who cannot cope with you going out with your friends then its time to look at the relationship to see if its really worth the stress the mans jealousy causes.
People like R Kelly get away with bad behaviour because some allowed it to happen. The mark of a true feminist is to believe that you are worth just as a man and not to be controlled by anyone.
As you get older the years seem to go faster. I remember 1982-83 and thinking that they went on and on. But what is in store for 2019 and will it be a great year that people hope it will be.
The current climate as we have witnessed over the past few days seems like we can scream and shout whatever we want as long as we are heard. The MP Anna Soubry has had to endure appalling abuse by far-right thugs who harassed her in the most dreadful way while trying to get into the Houses of Parliament.
Majority of people in this country are law abiding decent citizens who are appalled at this sort of mindless behaviour which show a lack of respect for someone else’s opinions and beliefs. When we become abusive and using terminology which is offensive that’s when we lost the argument.
I explained in a post back in 2017 the differences between free speech and hate speech. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed but the emboldenment of the far-right and other hate groups has somehow legitimised the use of people making threats to others. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) has complained for years about not being able to say what he thinks about Muslims and the religion of Islam while saying what he believes about Muslims and Islam.
Another thug appearing on the scene is someone called James Goddard who has fallen for the conspiracy that somehow Muslims are looking to take over the world and if we don’t so something about it we will be living under their rule in a few years time. Echoing the horrific anti-semitic mood that poisoned the minds of some during the 1930s when Jews were vilified not only in the press but through carefully constructed propaganda of the Nazis.
It a sad situation that this country faces. Brexit for some means that we should be allowed to say what we like to people regardless of how offensive some of that speech is. Well we can’t. There are, rightly so, laws protecting all of us from suffering under the hands of mindless uneducated thugs.
My honest belief that the will get worse before it gets better and others make a stand that we cannot continue as a nation while other abuse those who are in power and who are democratically elected to represent us on a governmental level.
It’s been a very odd year things have happened I never thought would happened and I am getting closer to having a normal life. I look back on 2018.
At the beginning of the year I visited Newcastle Central Mosque as part of a national campaign for people to visit their local mosque to learn more about Islam and to dispel the myths and lies that often heard about Muslims in this country and around the world. I am really looking forward to visiting again in 2019 and receiving the same warm welcome I was given at the start of the year.
Not only did I visit a mosque a made time to visit a recently open Buddhist centre again in Newcastle. It was a really interesting time talking to people about their beliefs. I was amazed that there is a thriving Buddhist community in the north east. Wonderful to see that they had raised so much money and completed the renovation of an old shop on Westgate Road.
Not only was I to visit in Newcastle but I stumbled across a cafe in Chester-le-Street where people were serving food that would have been destroyed. Refuse Cafe takes that food and with having no set price you pay what you think the meal is worth and donate. A way to use the surplus food that is often discarded by large companies. Cutting the waste that we produce.
I started a Chester-le-Street facebook group which basically post local news all to so with the town. It was in response to a local free newspaper no longer distributing around the town but being on sale instead in local newsagents. I combined the facebook site with the twitter account @lovechesta I acquired in the early part of the year. It has gone fairly well in my opinion we have about 1400 followers so far and slowly that number is increasing.
I continued by speaking out on the likes of Tommy Robinson and his band of hideous followers as Brexit deadline looms their obvious attempts to capitalise on this event and persuade people to become anti-islam still exists in this country. As long as I am still breathing I won’t let him win.
I got closer and closer to becoming employed this year much better than the previous year and how the world of work has changed so much in the years leading up to this time. More and more people chasing posts and the competition has become harder by employers expecting much more.
I wanted to trying a write more and my pathetic non-exist attempt at painting still remains to be resuscitated. It lies dormant and unused. Let’s hope 2019 is the year I finally pull my finger out and do something about it.
My health took a serious turn at the beginning of December as most of the people who know me read about; it ended up a couple of days of hospital and then weeks of recovery. It’s in these moments that you realise that people do care and those that have decided the no longer wish to be a part of my life have given little or no response to what has taken place. I am blessed that I have friends that are genuine who I have know for over thirty years. Life isn’t all plain sailing and those who cannot cope with a storm have no place in my life.
So I am making progress on the job front made changes to my lifestyle and looking forward to seeing what the new year brings.
UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!