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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This day deserves marking before it comes to an end..
Today the second of my children left this island, and returned to Canada. My youngest son joins his slightly older sister in forging a life in what I still believe, even after 20 years, is a gentler place.
Canada is not paved with gold.. it is not a paradise.. it is however a country which allows you to make the best of yourself if you're willing to put the effort in. Ability is appreciated and rewarded, at least for the most part.
I wish my son all success. I am sure and safe in the firm belief all my children are prepared.
Sure. From this keyboard to God's printer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The oddest thoughts pass through the head, as the clock speeds it's way towards midnight..
I wonder, at the marvels of the quotidian day, reduced to fragments of memory which wisp-like float through the mind.. How many of the interactions we face remain exactly as they happened.. how many are redacted to excise the unpleasant.. how many are exaggerated to enhance the pleasure we felt..
The mind's our best line of defence against the constant barrage of nonsense taken in by eye and ear.. and the best defence when our mouth opens and tripe flows forth..
Amazing. No doubt it's what keep politicians sane.

Politics. How dry and dusty can a topic be.
But, we on this island go to the polls on the 2d of May, and the hustings are in full swing. There's no need to go through the various Party Manifesto's.. no need to examine every plank in their platforms.. They are essentially all the same, perhaps with minor variations on a theme..
It seems the Conservatives hold a very slight lead over Labour.. But fringe parties the likes of the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) and UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party), both jokes 18 months ago, could well be King Makers in this new Parliament. Under the leadership, such as it was, of Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats who have traditionally been the also rans, are about to disappear, eliminated in Scotland by the SNP and in England by UKIP.
Yet, while we're teetering on the brink of an horrendous coalition, the majority of Brits simply don't give a damn.

It's a statement in itself, that ennui can set in so strongly, when the man on the street has lost all belief in the system that governs him, and those elected to run that system. 
It's a bitter pill to swallow, this knowledge our personal situations will not really change regardless of who is in power.
Two months, a little less actually, to decide which Party is the least of all evils.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Upon reflection, I feel my stance on nature/nurture could be misunderstood. I am not suggesting our collective morality has imposed a situation upon those who become fringe hangers; I am suggesting a certain mentality can be swayed to extremism in reaction to the various stimuli provided by those the impressionable mind encounters. Be that ridicule, physical bullying, or simply being part of a suspect race, it all contributes.
But it says something about a cause whose dogma must be propagated behind the barrel of a gun. It says something about those who follow that cause that they are willing to pull the trigger. They have condemned themselves by their actions, and must be subject to the legal pro forma and then executed.
But, the followers who came from Britain must give we who remain , cause to examine our own devotion to our own cause and to what length we will go to preserve it.

Monday, March 02, 2015

To most of the world, those who live on this island are seen stereotypically. There are many variations and gradations on the themes, but all have at their kernel an overweight, pint drinking darts throwing football watching bloke who'd have your back in a fight. Probably.
It wouldn't be politic to go into how we see those from the US or Canada, or India, or Central Europe. Maybe as a follow-up.
However, we, even with our inherent cultural differences, see ourselves as tolerant, sensitive, yet determined people. We are fair. We accept those among us from lands far away as positive additions. Differences in faith are not questioned; tolerance is paramount in being 'British'.
We're neither the stereotype the world may hold, nor that we're determined for ourselves.
We wonder, how three teenage Muslim girls could throw their life on this island away to fly off to Turkey, and then take a bus to the Syrian border to join Islamic State jihadists. We wonder how the man video'd beheading several people for the benefit of those who feed on propaganda could turn out to be a Londoner, a man who grew up and was educated here in the UK. The man known to his family and friends here as Mohammed Emwazi is now 'Jihadi John' to both the world, and his confrères.
We, in the collective sense, made this man. Somewhere along the line he decided to abandon being British, and committed himself to an ideal into which he could fit comfortably. We have had several incidents involving those who believe themselves to be following the dream of establishing a Caliphate over the past couple of years, and while we in our comfort can surreptitiously snigger at the US with it's race problems, we must become more introspective, for ours are worse.
We are not as tolerant as we believe ourselves to be. We are not as accepting of foreign ideas as we tell ourselves we are. We are not a society of equals.
Not that any country can make that claim confidently, regardless of constitutions or bills of rights.

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