London Terrorist Attack

I watched the events unfold on the television yesterday afternoon and was appalled that people were killed in such a brutal way. Innocent people from all over the world were caught up in this attack. I walked along Westminster Bridge two weeks ago and was amazed at the different nationalities that were stood there taking photos and selfies with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the background.

Within minutes of this attack, the vile Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) former leader of the EDL was in the middle of London near to the scene ranting about Muslims and how the country was at war. He claimed that ‘we’ had been at war with Islam for 1400 years hinting that since its inception that somehow Islam wasn’t a religion but brandishing an entirely with the mark of terrorism.

Let me tell you Mr. FUCKING Robinson or whatever you call yourself that this time last week I was treated in hospital by a Muslim doctor wearing a headscarf. Had it not been for her quick thinking and response to my illness I may not have been here to type these words. She wasn’t thinking about ending life she was there to save it.

I relish the day when I do meet you. When I do get the opportunity to tell you the damage, hatred, and poison you rant about is pathetic. You are no better than the terrorists that carry out these vile attacks. If I am a liberal Marxist leftie or whatever the fucking stupid label your organizations brand us with I would rather be that than the hate-filled, bile encrusted fuckwit that you are.

Leave it

There ‘s a cool breeze blowing throughout my house as I sit at my computer near to the front window. Something I know that would be very welcome to a lot of people who are stuck in offices with windows that open less than a cm due to health and safety rules. The irony is that it’s not okay to fall out of the window but practically a given that you should slowly cook confined in the space behind them.

What we desire, want and permissible are not usually things that we think about when we are content in life. To some it is money. To others, it could be the happiness in seeing your children and grandchildren grow up safely in a world of worry and hazards that are all too familiar once you look at the news each day.

I have had a privileged life in the fact that I have been able to get a decent education and afford to live in my own home. Now that both my parents have gone I feel I should be sensible and grown up in making life choices. After some thought and careful consideration, it is time to move on.

This decision I made was twenty years ago and not today or yesterday. I made it through hindsight and experiences I had in the years before. I gave up religion for good. I wasn’t a backslider anymore. Someone that may go back to church after a few weeks of absenteeism. I hadn’t had the spiritual flu or suffered a minor problem with my faith. It wasn’t there at all.

Each day I am reminded that the decision was the right one. Reading the updates about how a bakery in Northern Ireland has appealed a decision handed down by the courts in the fact that they discriminated against someone on the basis of their sexuality makes me realise I am better away from such organisations. I want nothing of them anymore. I have met my closest friends through church youth groups and I have some fantastic friends who would call themselves Christians. But your religion ends where my non-belief begins.

I have no problem with teaching religion. I did it for years in crappy school. But I taught it knowing that I would be talking about someone else’s religion someone else’s belief. If only there was more teaching of decent religious education would we have a more tolerant society? Less gullible in believing that if a handful of crazed idiots were to represent an entire religion then it would seem that everyone in that religion held the same views. I know and have met many Muslims who don’t think that ISIS is right just in the same way that the Christians in Northern Ireland don’t hold the same views as my Christian friends. I can distinguish between the two.

The faith that once I held has died. This means it cannot be revived by any means. I believe that once something is dead it’s dead. No amount of prayer, drugs or electronic stimulation will it allow it to live again. The story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to me is a story. Others might choose to believe it as a literal story. Others will see it as work of fiction.

I respect others and their faith. I have no problem in the talking about Islam or Taoism. I don’t see any problem in talking about it. I wouldn’t mind writing about or making a living discussing them it doesn’t break any rules. Even when I did have a faith I know that talking about others beliefs didn’t make a bad person.

Thank goodness I have left it behind. The petty arguments the church is having over two people of the same sex getting married is ridiculous. I do like talking and discussing religious and non-religious belief I have always been fascinated with belief systems. But to me they are stories. We will see more and more of these cases that I am sure. Where once the Church of England was a great moral bastion above reproach we will see more fundamentalist groups appear fighting their cause. The Church of England will become nothing more than a meeting group for the lonely. Something to wheel people into once a week and then wheel out again.

Sunshine after the rain

Parts of the USA getting blanketed with snow. People stranded and others very sadly have lost their lives. We are at the mercy of mother nature and the ever changing weather patterns across the world. If you are in the UK you would have heard the news about the localised flooding which has caused millions of pounds of damage to peoples homes and businesses.

When you are in the middle of it all and you are seriously affected by it it seems like the pain and misery caused by the weather will never go away. People who have to literally rebuild their homes can take months and even years to put back together the life that they once new. Sometimes it cannot ever be the same again. You are left still with the mental damage that this has caused. My thoughts are certainly with the people who have lost loved ones in serious weather conditions.

This weekend has been the first time in months that I have felt ‘normal’. I was used to waking each morning full of anxiety and dread of what the day will hold. It took a few hours of that anxiety to go and somehow I would calm down. That no longer happens. I can wake in the morning and feel like normal human being.

After looking after mum and grieving for her you have to put your life back together. Things that were dismantled and put on hold will need to be restarted. The storm has passed but it’s time to get on with things and sort out that which needs to go and others things that can be salvaged. The key thing is not going too fast and making a mess of things. Progress of this sort takes time and patience.

School Stabbing

It was about 2001 and I had to meet with a parents of a pupil who had brought a knife into school. At the time I thought it was going to be a simple case of telling the parents that we were deeply concerned at the matter and the people would be dealt accordingly at home as well as being suspended from school.

I explained the situation and the parents were completely indifferent. They thought that it was right that their son should bring a knife into school as he was being “picked on” and he did it to protect himself. Even after the meeting concluded and we had explained that under no circumstance should such a weapon be brought on to the premises they still believed that they were right to support their son. It was an appalling situation as the son joined us in the meeting and he looked exonerated. His parents condoned his actions.

I am deeply saddened by the news that a teacher has been stabbed to death in Leeds. But I am certainly not shocked at all at this situation. The rhetoric on news channels to say that schools are ultimately safe place just isn’t true. I believed that this would happen even all those years ago. Let’s hope something good comes of this terrible tragedy. Education is the key response to this.