It has only been three of four days but it seems that the sea swimmers of Clevedon featured on the BBC News ident have finally taken off their bathing caps and thrown in the proverbial beach towel. It would appear that, according to the BBC, these hardy souls who brave English coastal waters in the depth of winter represent both the “diversity” and the “oneness” of the Great British public and are ideal harbingers of our daily news. (more…)
March 15, 2017
March 8, 2017
With not enough hours in the day to find or even keep up with real news and every day of the week bringing blizzards of falsehoods and distractions, thank goodness there are designated days, weeks, months and years of commemoration to keep us focussed on the inevitable passage of time. However, with so much to remember, the calendar can become congested requiring important dates to cosy up and time share.
During the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Kingston enjoys the honour of being the only city on the banks of the River Hull to be designated UK City of Culture for the whole of 2017. Hull will prosper from the legacy of London based “creatives” using the funding to recite Chaucer to groups of bewildered Kalahari Bushmen and then take the money and run. Like Derry-Londonderry before it, Kingston-upon-Hull is so good that they named it twice
The quiet dignity of National Bed Month might be overshadowed by Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month but half way through Fairtrade Fortnight we can still commemorate the importance of British Pie Week, National Apprenticeships Week, Endometriosis Week and National Conversation Week. During February we had Dignity Action Day, World Cancer Day, National Libraries Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Safer Internet Day, Toothache Day, National Pizza Day, Singles Awareness Day, World Encephalitis Day and World Thinking Day as well as Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Eating Disorders Awareness Week and numerous other special times of random kindness and charitable giving. (more…)
February 3, 2017
The trauma, anxiety and adverse effects caused by street crime, particularly robbery, is dependent upon the psychological resilience and the physical and emotional health of the victim. Although each crime is unique and the reactions of victims may vary, there are common trends that apply to most victims of crime both during the robbery itself and the aftermath of the crisis.
Many victims report a sense of unreality as the crime is being perpetrated and in the moment find it difficult to believe that another human being is actually robbing them of valuable possessions. The initial instinct is to cling onto valuables with dear life until the realisation that direct or implied violence might threaten dear life itself. In retrospect, a robbery that in reality might last for seconds seems to last for hours as the emotional calamity is played out. The acute stress response sometimes characterised as “fight or flight” forces a split-second conflict between obvious feelings of anger and fear. Most targets of street crime tend to abandon possessions when faced directly by violence and threats of violence and fear almost always holds sway over anger. (more…)
January 31, 2017
The darkest hour is not necessarily just before the dawn and it is possible to be surrounded by stygian gloom even in broad daylight. With the black dog of depression lying across the collective chest of humanity as hatred and ignorance flourish unchallenged, optimism and compassion is for fools and traitors asking questions will find the hot breath of Cerberus snapping at their heels. Perhaps the victors are correct and losers like me should get over it, move on and stop moaning.
I have attended enough rallies, marches and demonstrations and have signed enough worthy petitions to know that marching and demonstrating and signing petitions has a precisely zero effect in challenging injustice. An hour or so out in the cold or an occasional blister on the big toe might make the warrior feel a warm glow of self satisfaction but it has never saved children from being bombed by dictators. Signing a petition is now even easier as it allows militancy from the comfort of a device connected to the internet and saves the security services so much time in identifying individual threats to national security. (more…)
January 28, 2017
Another reaction might be to simply deny that such madness is possible 17 years into the 21st century and hope that if we close our eyes and make a wish then the whole thing will turn out to be a bad dream. A third coping mechanism might be to dismiss the deranged collection of executive orders as meaningless posturing only intended to grab a passing headline and a fourth straw to clutch at is that all of Trump`s hatred is unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. It is relatively easy to explain and disregard Trump`s tub thumping as the product of a fragile ego, an unstable mind and a rather sad, desperate plea for attention. Sadly, the sorry spectacle of a British Prime Minister rushing to legitimise the descent into a new dark age is a fandango that is more difficult to fathom and one that will be difficult to forget. (more…)