Elephant in the room

People are terrified of being label racists if the say that one part of any community has a problem. This has pervaded more so in the recent grooming cases where men of Asian decent had been involved in the grooming of white girls.

Reading the news over the past day it still seems strange how some cannot believe and deny that there is a problem within the black Afro-carribean community of gun and knife violence. Operation Trident was set up to tackle these crimes in 1998 solely addressing these issues.

I am not saying that all black people are involved in gun crime as that plainly is a racist suggestion as you are saying ALL the community are involved. That’s simply not true. I spent three years in an Afro-Caribbean college and got to know many people. There was no even a mention of it then.

Gross generalisations have whittled our ability to distinguish that which is reality and that which is truth. Ridiculous conspiracy theories that all police are “trigger happy” and willing and ready to shot anyone who get in their way.

Yes there have been inexcusable prejudices and problems in the past. You only have to look at the disaster of the various initial Hillsborough enquiries to know that transparency hasn’t been forthcoming.

Society must move on from such tragedies and learn from the past. There is no point in taking with you your own baggage and hoping that it fits the future as it won’t.

Let’s look to the future that evidence and proof need to be examined and what ever the outcome people have to accept and move on.

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Mark Duggan

There is again a lot of hysteria and vitriol about the verdict of the killing of Mark Duggan. His death was said to have sparked the riots occurred in London and they spreading to various cities in the UK in the summer of 2011.

I don’t understand how someone could possibly know what happened in this incident without hearing evidence from those at the scene. The jury has sat and listened to three months of information. Some of which won’t be published in the press.

I myself have experience of when something has gone wrong in life and all I wanted was the truth to be told. I didn’t ever say that I was right or hold automatic decision of how something was going to conclude. You have to explore all areas and be open to what ever is decided.

Acting and responding to outcomes without decorum and dignity for me shows true natures of someones personality. The riots were a reflection of peoples lack of morality. It wasn’t a protest to what they thought was an injustice it was mindless thuggery and opportunism.

This isn’t to say that serious questions shouldn’t be asked of the police’s roll in gathering vital and sensitive information and using this correctly. Police should have been questioned and not allowed to pass on written statements in such serious cases. I believe now that the law has been changed so the are compelled to give face to face interviews.

The majority verdict was given that the police officer believed his life was in danger and therefore took the decision to shoot. It wasn’t a drive-by-shooting and they randomly picked a target. Mark Duggan wasn’t executed as has been claimed. The information on the case has been presented and the jury has reached it decision. If there is ANY other additional information that could change the case then that should be presented.

Benefits Street

Well it didn’t take us too long to forget good-will to all men and peace on earth. If you haven’t seen “Benefit Street” it is an eye-opener.

The responses to this programme has been in my opinion staggering. From those who have called for the “gassing” of those who appeared to blaming the programme on Tory propaganda.

As a human being I was saddened by the programme because I am fully aware that people live like this. It isn’t something that has happened in the past decade. It’s a spiral of neglect, abuse and addiction. I taught in a school that was an area of low economic wealth. People did have a sense of community. But there were always going to be ones to played the system and you as well I know that you don’t have to be poor to take advantages of monetary handouts.

There has certainly been a lack of compassion from people who I have read commenting on various forms of social media. Instead of condemning those who have appeared so far in the programme why hasn’t someone commented on what the solution might in fact be? It’s certainly not about giving more money to either those who have or have not.

Encouraging education. Increased help for those with addictions and mental health issues. Helping those who live in these areas take pride in where they live. This is a start. I am know that there are a lot of people out there who work day in and day out with people with such problems.

Merely dismissing the people in the street as scum or blaming it on some sort of Tory propaganda exercise is ludicrous.

January Blues

So we have established that the England Cricket Team aren’t brilliant at the moment. That Evander Holyfield is an ignorant man. That bad weather only gets reported if it hits the south. Football remains a bit shit and Christmas and New Year fun seem to be a distant memory.

One thing that has rattle my ageing teeth is the governments plan to flatten ancient woodland and put up revolting new houses in their attempt to stem the problem of Britain’s chronic housing shortage. More people than ever are living on their own (like myself) the population has undoubtedly risen. But really it is necessary to build on ancient woodland?

The argument for this is “biodiversity offsetting” – planting more trees in replacement for those you have chopped down. But who cares about the irreplaceable habitat to Britain’s wildlife especially when there has been a concerted campaign over the past few years to encourage the wildlife back into our own gardens. According to 70’s screechy folk singer Joni Mitchell “We paved paradise and put up a parking lot”.

You only have to look at some of the major development that took place in the 1960’s to see what some town planner have done to destroy our cities.

Houses should be built in areas that are brownfield sites. I heard that the argument against that is some of areas needed cleaning up first. So for the sake of the profits of the investors and contractors it is cheaper to tear down woodland rather than making use of areas that are desperate for redevelopment.

I wonder if in a hundred years time the people will look at our generation and despair at the mismanagement of the country?

2013 – Where has the year gone?

You were thinking it to. I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone. I know I say this every year but it’s true. We had a lovely summer didn’t we? Or did we. I cannot remember. That seems a distant memory.

I am thinking about the past twelve months. Have I achieved that which I set out to do? Well if was to keep doing what I was doing the previous twelve months then yes. I don’t make any resolutions. I never do. You set yourself up for a fall and it’s psychologically damaging. Can you truly say that whole-heartedly you have ever kept a resolution for the full twelves months? Happy in the knowledge that you are pleased with the outcome?

I am pleased I managed to get in the garden a bit more. Although you wouldn’t thought so if you looked at it now. It looks like a wasteland. All that’s missing is an old sofa and a broken fridge.

What am I expecting from 2014? Well I could lose weight that’s a certainty. That’s it really. I expect I will keep going and make sure that people around me are okay. This year I have wrestled with the inner demons and I am sure that I will continue that battle.

I hope you (three people) have a good New Year and a Happy 2014!