Democratic Travesty: Good Friday Agreement

For thirty years the British army was deployed in Northern Ireland in an attempt to bring peace to the area.  Granted this didn’t work very well, causing the conflict to spiral out of control and leading to a timeline of conflict that we call today “The Troubles”.  For many the scars of this conflict still impact those involved personally today, and they carry that burden with them.  Those who were born after the troubles are still affected by the times, especially when it comes to the political impact on Northern Ireland.

Recently though the arrest of an ex-member of the Parachute Regiment has just made a mockery of the entire process.  The idea of the Good Friday agreement was to bring all members, of all sides together, and move forward.  Each side treated equally, moving to bring justice to those who have suffered, and peace to those who detested the conflict that marred their homeland.  There is a slight problem with that though, a problem that makes the issue one-sided.  Soldiers have names, numbers, ranks, order, signed orders and thanks to those things, they have a responsibility for what has happened, and the outcome of orders they follow.  So this soldier who took part is what is known as “Bloody Sunday” has been arrested due to the deaths that occurred that day, so following the justice part of the entire “Good Friday” agreement, why is that so wrong?

Well where are the terrorist arrests?  Most of them have been released due to lack of evidence, or as part of the Good Friday agreement.  The problem with Terrorists is they don’t have names, number, ranks; they have orders, but they have no responsibility.  Thanks those who wish to make a mockery of any move forward, they will not name those people as guilty.  They won’t stand up and say “He was a member of the IRA and killed people” because they feel they have “Won”.  Well this confirms the victory of Terrorism over Democracy, by allowing someone who was ordered to do something to go to jail.

Why not drag out Jerry Adams, the man who hides behind children and a known member of the IRA and put him in the dock?  Martin McGuinness, gun runner and bomb suppler, caught and convicted, yet apparently not a member of the IRA, why hasn’t he been arrested and convicted?  Well let me tell you why; that wouldn’t be PC, nor would it move the peace accords forward.  What is happening here is victimisation of those who are forgotten, those who can afford to be lost to provide peace.  No one dares to stand against the Northern Irish “Democratic Terrorism”, where the terrorists are allowed to dictate policy, including the detainment of those who served against the IRA during Bloody Sunday.

The IRA have been the driving factor against peace in Northern Ireland.  They want to get democracy through blackmail, and its what they have done since day one.  Historically I am one of the first people to agree that we had no place in Northern Ireland, however I cannot change history, I can just look forward.  What is happening now doesn’t support a true democratic process; it makes a mockery of those who have died to bring peace.  It mocks those who obeyed orders from the side of order.  Granted not every soldier was a saint; bring them to the dock.  However as it stands we pander, daily, to the terrorists from Northern Ireland.

Its a time to take a stand, its time to back the true democratic order.  I support peace in Northern Ireland, but it needs to be an equal peace.  It needs to be peace where members of the following organisations are brought to justice equally, not just those who fought within the British Army:
IRA
RUC
PIRA
UVF
UDA
INLA
UDR
IPLO
RHC
UR
CIRA
RIRA
LVF

Members of the above organisations have as much blood on their hands as any serving/ex-serving member of the British army.  No one is innocent but lets not stand by and allow those who followed orders, who were ignored during enquiry after enquiry, suffer & pander to terrorists.

If you live in Northern Ireland and want peace; agree to equally prosecute anyone who took part in the troubles.  If you live in Northern Ireland and want to bring justice to those who caused suffering; agree to equally prosecute anyone who took part in the troubles.  Don’t hide people because they are family; because they fought “The good fight”.  In war there is no “Good fight” there is only fighting.  No side is right, no side is wrong; conflict is resolved through either totally victory, or a discussed peace.  If you support the arrest of a ex-British Army soldier who was part of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, then you support the terrorists that also committed atrocities during the troubles.  You don’t want peace, you just want to place the blame on someone and move along.

That isn’t true peace, that’s a democratic travesty.  One that is tied up in militarist-political lies, sold by terrorists to a tired people, eager for anything but violence.  Is that the Northern Ireland you want?  Well if this carries on, it’s what you will have.

Eye Opening “Citizenfour”

So tomorrow I start my new job, fingers crossed I’ll never have to work a weekend again (apart from if I manage to get back into the Army Reserves; but I want to do that, its not really work).  I decided that I would treat myself, and be a teenager again, stay up late and catch up on TV.  Working in retail, late nights are a not really an option.  4am wake ups are common place, especially when the masses need their coffee.  However now I have a new job, I thought I’d treat myself to Match of the Day, and to finally watch “Citizenfour”.

Wow, what an eye opener.  Last night my entire opinion of Edward Snowden was changed by Laura Poitras, massively hard hitting documentary.  As I put it on, I was generally disinterested, expecting it to be another “Talk to the viewer” documentary, where its just facts and figures thrown at you by someone who has no great understanding of how things work.  This was an outstanding documentary, one where you followed the path that Laura walked along, from prior to her actually receiving the original e-mail from Citizenfour, through to him ending up on Moscow.  I watched how the NSA attempted to tell four judges it was okay for them to ignore constitution and law.  As the documentary progressed, I was, honestly, on the edge of my seat, hooked.  I watched Edwards journey from US citizen, to lost soul in an airport and I felt his pain.

Now, for those of you that no me, I am not usually an emotional soul, but this film really hit home.  I was shocked that the NSA, and GCHQ, are using such tactics, and actively. Now I’m not am American, sometimes I wish I was, but watching this I am damn glad I live on this side of the pond.  Well, I was until I learned of “Tempora”, and how the evidence released in the documentary point to that we’re tapped often, frequently and this meta-data is collected.  As was stated, how can people educate themselves, when they live in fear of being spotted looking at something they shouldn’t.  It pushes them underground, it criminalises them in the eyes of said governments.  Don’t get me started on that stupid “1918 Espionage Act”, what hell is wrong with American law?

“Hey, we are charging you with breaking the 1918 Espionage Act.”, “Well alls I did was tell the truth.”, “Yeah, by the way, any defence, is no defence.  So your guity, that is the only outcome.”

What.  The.  ?!?!  On how many levels of wrong is that?  You’ll happily debate about random unimportant issues, like computer game certificates, yet sensible changes on the law, nope.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for you Independents across the ocean.  We’ve been together since, well, hundred & odd years ago, and I can’t see that relationship souring.  However considering you are all meant to be the shining example of civil liberty, I cannot see that after watching “Citizenfour”.  You are the opposite.  If the NSA aren’t reigned in, if they aren’t stopped and the people who allowed it happen brought to justice, you are one step from creating Big Brother.  How long until peoples doors are being kicked in because they searched the word “Jihad”, under the patriot act and arrested indefinitely.  The fact you have charged a US citizen with something he is automatically guilty of, because he told THE TRUTH.  He showed your nation, he showed the world, they you have lied to everyone who trusted in you, and what do you do?  You commit the one single act that screams against every single, civil liberty that you threw the shackles of colonialism off for; Freedom.  You have ruined a man’s life, because he told the truth, because you didn’t like it.

Well, Obama may be President, but he could have pardoned Snowden, as he revealed the issue within the NSA.  Instead he has allowed this charade to continue, and has even supported the legal side of the affair against Snowden.  Any person with an ounce of intelligence knows he’ll be put in jail, or worse, put in jail and disappear.  America has egg on its face, they know it, the world knows it, why can’t the US just do the one thing it never has; Put its hands up and say “Yeah, we messed up.”.

I hope that Snowden eventually gets to where he wants to get too, somewhere he can call home, that isn’t another oppressive, insecure state.  If you haven’t already watched “Citizenfour”, watch it.  Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, just go and sit down now and let your mind do the rest.  This isn’t some Zeitgeist BS that I’m asking you to watch, its a documentary.  Something that happened, see how it impacts you, them, Snowden, Poitras, Greenwald and the US.

https://citizenfourfilm.com/

Time for some gaming me thinks.

Sharing a memory for Stan

Wow.  So much wow, obviously I never realised that what I wrote could reach so many people, but here I am, still writing.  Obviously what I wrote touched a lot of hearts, or at least sensibilities regarding the subject of the Falklands.  My father did three tours of Northern Ireland as well, but Stan Collymore hasn’t managed to duck out of my sights just yet.  I want to increase the weight of the case against the man whose moral obligation is way below his own personal intelligence, and that isn’t as high as he first thought.  In ten days I mourn (or celebrate depending on how you do it yourselves) the loss of four men that went to the Falklands and never returned.  Like most people, especially between May and June, those feelings rise to the surface as memories are brought back to the fore.  Having had the absolute honour of meeting some of those men I want to touch on the survivors; those who live the daily horrors of war.

I remember, at some point during 2007, during the Falklands 25 celebrations I was invited to come to a presentation on the Falklands at the Imperial War Museum North.  It was a perfect chance for me to meet some of these blokes who my Dad always went on about, those heroes who fought at Goose Green, Tumbledown, Harriet, Two Sisters, Wireless Ridge & Longdon.  My father rarely spoke about anything that happened at the Falklands, he always left the room on Remembrance Sunday, always spoke about the fun times.  He often preferred to tell me the stories of his time in NI, which wasn’t a nice place to serve at all by anyone’s standard.  So I came a long a felt like a bit of an outsider, but as I have come to expect, Falklands Veterans are a hugely welcoming bunch and soon I was talking Soldier to Soldier with most of them.  At the time I had just left the Signals (V) myself, same trade as my old man, Radio Relay.  After a couple of presentations, it was spread across a week, it came to Rick Jolly’s presentation.  It was a moving presentation & speech that left every person in that room with wet eyes.  Afterwards, as I have come to recognise as the drinking of the sorrows, I went for a few beers with my old man, some gents from 2 & 3 Para, 42 Commando (Sorry if that’s wrong) and Julian Thompson (just thought I’d name drop).  Later once the beers had flowed I was told a moving story from a paratrooper (I don’t want to cause offence; so I won’t divulge) and it broke my heart.  Listening to this man tell me what he saw, went through and had to deal with on a daily basis must be torture.  Suddenly it dawned on me, War creates humanity on a level unseen.  You realise how weak the body is and how easy the soul is broken and these men saw the worse of it and look at them!  Classic, perfect examples of men that you have ever seen.  They would do anything for each other.  Again, just after Rick Jolly delivered his tear jerking speech, a Marine stood walked over, shook his hand, thanking him and left.  He was there just to thank this man who, twenty five years earlier, had saved his life.

Now I want to look at those people, those boys (many between 18-22 years old) turned into men.  Who afterwards, through a destruction of their internal methods of thinking and dealing with problems, turned into fine examples of humanity.  Yet behind closed doors, many struggle and fight a daily loosing battle.  PTSD is rife amongst those men, my father was a proud man, but he had his own inner demons that he fought on a daily basis.  Look at what they have as well, they either still work, dealing with the problems that arise as and when they can, or they struggle on a small military pension (or huge depending how long you served and suffered for).  The British army made these men what they are; a perfect example.  Where are you going with this Len, I hear you cry, well bare with me and you’ll understand.  In 2007 my father, struggling with cancer was granted a gift by the SAMA82 organisation to return to the Falklands and it meant so much to him.  He managed to visit the final resting place where his four friends passed away, he always wanted to say a proper goodbye and despite suffering from Cancer at the time, he climbed up Mount Pleasant and said his goodbyes.  Pride, I cannot begin to describe what I felt.  In 2009 when he passed away from the cancer he suffered from, he was given a military send off from his SAMA82 colleges and I was so happy they helped me say goodbye. 

Now, considering what my father went through to battle his own demons, his were small, few, but troublesome.  The boys that fought through those jagged rocks, across barren green expanses, through terrorising night attacks, they still live with that to this day.  They get nothing in return, apart from the brotherhood with whom they served.  They have a war pension to look forward too, but in today’s financial climate, it isn’t much.  Yet as long as TalkSport, MOTD and any other sports shows offer to finance and pay Stan Collymore to work for them and share his offensive views, you are spitting in the face of all those Veterans that fought in the Falklands War.  Your also accepting the mockery that Stan Collymore makes of the peace process, and the losses caused through the actions in Northern Ireland.  Not only Soldiers perished in the Northern Irish conflict, civilians died as well, and I call on TalkSport & the BBC to ensure that Stan Collymore is fired from his roles, so he cannot and will not continue to make offensive, irrespective and degrading remarks for those who have thought for the flag he wears on his shirt.

Many will think this as an over-reaction, something to which he doesn’t deserve to lose his job.  Remember that when Stan is being offensive about the British army in one conflict, he’s making a mockery of the British army.  Many of these soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, and the Falklands, some served through Korea, the Cold War, Iraq and Afghanistan.  He’s using his ability, presence and popularity to make it acceptable for him to say such things, hoping that money and prestige will protect him.  If anyone above him, next to him or in control of him has any morality or intelligence about himself, they will cut him loose.  I call upon the BBC & TalkSport to cut him loose of his contract and allow him to wallow in his own pit of despair.  Let him walk a mile in the daily shoes of those soldiers who suffer, let him see what he feels to be made a mockery of for entertainment.  He will not be laughing anymore.

Opinions that don’t matter

So as many of you know, but some don’t, my father served with a large group of heroes to go down south in 1982 and liberate the Falkland Isles from an invading force of Argentines.  We went to an island eight thousand miles south of us, that was inhabited by nationals of the United Kingdom and liberated them against foreign invasion.  It was something that no one in the world at that time thought we could accomplish, especially considering the cuts and pressure from the Soviet Bloc during the cold war.  Outnumbered, outgunned and logistically stretched the British Navy, Air Force and Army managed to wrest control of the Island’s from a nation whose ports and airfields where a stones throw away.  It was a miracle forged through blood, sweat and tears.  It changed how the world worked in a political sense, people didn’t want to mess with a nation that would do such a thing and it also proved that the United Kingdom would, and still will to this day, protect its sovereign territory.  Hundreds died and thousands still bare the scar’s of war to this day, some physical, some mental and some both.  I was lucky to have my father back after the conflict, many wives, sons, daughters and families didn’t see their son’s return home.  It was a short, brutal war that united a people under one flag.

Enter an eleven year old boy, who has hopes of becoming a football star one day.  I have no idea who his father was, but judging by his comments regarding Sir Alex Ferguson about being a father figure, he obviously didn’t have a father like I had.  Stan Collymore has opened his hole once again and started talking about issues he has no connection too or full understanding of.  So I have here to give Stan Collymore a brief history lesson of the Falkland Isle’s so rather than offend the group of people who had suffered because of the conflict, he can educate himself and learn that his scything statements mean nothing, just like his punting.

The Falkland Islands was first, according to written record, founded by a English Captain named John Strong.  Upon finding said UNINHABITED (This means no one lived their Stan) island he left it.  So firstly, de facto, the island was founded by the British in 1690, however the French, ever to annoy us, decided to settle it in 1764 and it changed hands, a lot, until finally, we settled it proper and it became a colony of the United Kingdom in 1840.  Not a single, solitary, individual Argentine set foot, as an attempted native inhabitant (against Crown will), until 1982.  Yes Argentine fishermen often frequented the ports of the Falklands, but it has, since 1840 (Which, just in case your maths isn’t up to fact; One Hundred and seventy four [174]) been a British Colony.  Recently, in order to prove that its inhabitants wanted to be British, the Falklands had a referendum poll where out of a total of 1,650 people, 1,513 voted to REMAIN British, 3 voted to NOT BE British and the rest didn’t vote.  That’s a 99.8% to remain as part of the Commonwealth, and if that isn’t your smoking gun I have no idea what is.

Now, before I digress into the history of a disputed part of land eight thousand miles away, I need to point something out.  When you played for England, you did nothing, lets be honest.  You failed to not only score, but at most you played 270 minutes of unimpressive football, pretty much sums up your entire career within the footballing realm.  Every single person that sailed to the South Atlantic to fight against the Argentines, to protect the civilians that had chosen to make a life their from an aggressor that has an appalling civil human rights record, worked (at least) for a total of 116,496 minutes.  That means, in comparison, that each soldier played a total of 431 games for England and did a damn sight more than you ever could.  Your 428 caps short of being close to anyone who sailed down South that year and fought for the flag that you so proudly stand behind.  I’d love to see you do a day in the shoes of any of them men and call it easy.  You are nothing but a bad footballer, that punched his girlfriend in France and then threatened his ex-wife and her parents.  You are a pathetic excuse for a human being, and you stir up the feelings of every single person who has not only been touched by the Falklands Conflict, but also by the Conflict in Northern Ireland.  People want to forget the past, but they want to respect the fallen as well.  You do neither, attempting to make yourself more popular by offending anyone and everyone in the process.

What I would advise, Stan, is that you stick to what your good at: Being a bad football pundit and beating up women.  Considering you need a job I would advise steering clear of offending veterans as, often, they are in positions of power higher than you could ever dream.  You might have kicked a ball around a pitch before, but you weren’t good at that either, so why not climb back into the pundit hole you came from, keep silent and let the world carry on without your venomous presence.  If my father was here to write this himself, I would assure you, it would reach places that would embarrass you.  Sadly he isn’t here anymore, so as his son I will stand up and say it instead.

Politics & Religion (Rated: 15)

So seventeen days in a row in work, one of them a fourteen and a half hour shift (a staggering seventeen hours away from home!) and I can definitely say, I cannot write when this mentally tired (instead I play Hearthstone; badly).  However I wanted to touch on a subject that, currently, is moving around the usual social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter etc.), whilst my brain was alive and fresh, here goes.

If you know me, I’m politically motivated.  I believe in certain things that some may disagree with, and some may agree with.  I rarely force a belief onto others, but I will partake in debates and conversations where I stand my ground.  I feel now however, that I need to change my stance slightly, I need to become more focused on pushing back and publically shouting down these idiots.  I am struggling to find what part to discuss first and foremost, religion or politics.  Lets discuss religion, as a catholic I am sure I can put this into terms that even the simplest man could understand.

I have had this argument before, how the book can be abused, not everything has to be taken literally that’s written in the book, bad people come in all walks of life.  How does a Muslim man differ from a Christian man?  They are alike, they are human beings, they just happen to believe in two different deities.  How does an Atheist differ from a Muslim?  They don’t, apart from beliefs.  Now a belief can make a man do terrible things in the name of that belief, but so can nothing.  A man who has no faith has less rules and regulations that controls his life, not saying they are lesser people, they aren’t.  Religion isn’t for everyone and everyone isn’t for Religion, so there aren’t hard and fast rules with religion.  What angers me, really angers me, is how stupid, idiotic and simplistic the inhabitants of Great Britain are when it comes to being spoon fed information.  “BritainFirst” are this new “Anti-Islamification” political group that have sprouted up out of no-where with the intention of making sure we all know the extreme edge of what could possibly happen, in the rare event we become the next Afghanistan (Pre-2001 invasion) under the Taliban. 
Yeah. 
We’re all in danger of the nation becoming a nation ruled by Sharia Law, immediately if we don’t vote for them now.  The honesty is that this won’t happen, ever.  Its designed to get the most idiotic and moronic of people who live in the country to panic and believe that is could happen.  Even if it did, it would take the majority of the white population of the UK to actually agree to it happening first, but heh, you all knew that much didn’t you.  Didn’t you?  I hope so, considering that the most brightest and intelligent of this Great Britain, all agreed that we aren’t a nation ran by religion and we should never be.  There has never been so much agreement of the separation of State and Religion in a long time and, this new party BritainFirst is a party based on the Protestant beliefs.  So much for separation of State and Religion if you vote these goons in.  They are the NF/BNP/EDL, the only difference is that they no longer shave their heads and wearing steel toe capped boots.  They have evolved into wearing suits and owning businesses, making themselves look like great members of society.  Instead their beliefs, principles, policies are all based around creating an elite that, through pure education alone, is based on colour of skin and basis of religion.  Considering how long it took is, as a world population of human beings, to see past things like colour and creed, even today that struggle continues.  In a well based, fully democratically education society like ours, you never expect to see a party like this succeed.  If it does, I will no longer be proud to say I am a British Citizen, I will turn in my passport and leave.

That brings me to Europe and the UK Independence Party.  Europe was a bad idea from the start, however we’ve come a long way together since it started.  So far that it would be massively damaging to actually withdraw from Europe at this point.  The main war drum sounding for UKIP is that which states 26million people are waiting for our jobs.  That is a bit of an over exaggeration, if 26million people where waiting for our jobs, they might as well invade and take the jobs.  Our standing army is a mere one hundred thousand, even rushing the country we could kill twice that number (200,000).  So I very much doubt that 26million people are waiting for our jobs, its scare mongering.  The other part of this is, why not?  Recently I have tried to employ six people for two positions.  Now that seems simple enough, advertise, interview and employ.  No, its really not.  Only the last two of that six actually turned up or wanted to work, the rest just stopped coming, like its acceptable and normal to not turn up.  Its okay to not communicate or talk to your manager, its perfectly fine to waste a weeks worth of work, per person, per interview and when offered, just not turn up.

Now, as any Starbucker will know, I worked in many of the Manchester stores and, most of the time, I’ve been a Supervisor or Assistant Manager.  I can, honestly hand on my heart, say that some of the most dedicated, hard working people I have worked with DON’T come from the UK.  In fact those from the UK think its acceptable to turn up to work smelling of booze from the night before, turning up late, not in uniform.  Germans, Slovaks, Poles, always turn up on time, work hard and don’t just randomly disappear.

Why should I employ someone who has a history of not turning up to work?  Why shouldn’t I employ the Pole, German, Slovak?!  Just because some rich man in a suit who wants to monopolize on an opportunity for power for a few years to earn some easy money and get his friends places?!  UKIP are another flop party that don’t, really, know their arse from their elbows when it comes to politics, or what the majority of people in the UK want.

What do I want?  I don’t appreciate an open boarder policy, but I disagree with closing said boarders and giving the jobs to only those from the UK.  Based on my history of employing people (ten plus years) I can whole heartedly say that those from abroad work a lot harder than those from our shores.  I disagree that Muslims/Christians or any other religion is a reason for a politically motivated party to even get votes within the UK.  If BritainFirst want to get votes they should have policies that help the average working British person and focus on removing the austerity fail that has been left stagnant since its inception. We have worked hard to secure a State/Religion separation, and accepting a party into power that strengthens the bond between State and Religion is moronic. I believe that spending on benefits needs to be looked at, but not at the punishment of those who truly need it. We spend too much on people who are brought up in a society where its publically acceptable to live on the dole, we need to do more to change that mentality, or change the system so those who honestly need it are at the top of the list.  I believe that we need to ensure that Great Britain stays great and for that to happen we need to have an influx of people from abroad and a connection to Europe. The current faults within England don’t lie within the midst of society, it lies at the peak, where the power currently is and we can topple that and change it if we choose.

UKIP, BritainFirst and the Conservatives are doing what politicians have done for years; pulling the wool over your eyes. They are seeking to secure votes so that they can give themselves a healthy wage, whilst promoting their friends and families into positions of power at the expense of the British tax payer. If people are dumb enough to put these people into power, I will have lost all faith in the United Kingdom.

At this stage we need to abolish the bedroom tax and get people less reliant on food banks, both which are effects of a conservative government and how it treats the hardest working people of the country it runs. BritainFirst, UKIP & the Conservatives are not going to abolish any of those things. We live in a multi-cultural nation that has been forged by differing cultures and our interactions with them.

Don’t be stupid with your vote.

Religion in Politics, rant & Writing Update

Owen Jones reaction to David Cameron’s statement about how religion has a role on moral ethics was perfect.  I’ve only ever glanced in the direction of Owen Jones in passing, never really paying attention to what he has had to say, but recently, especially with him taking a huge step against Cameron, he has stepped more into the spotlight of the political scene.  I have his book “Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class” sat next to me, waiting to be read behind “Confessions” and “The Return of the Prodigal Son”.  Jones points out that Religion and the State need to be kept separate, and I whole heartedly agree, when you mix politics and religion together in a pot nothing but negativity comes from it.  Cameron though, sadly, is correct and religion can lead to be a positive role-model for people.  Surely though, I hear you cry, those morals can be given without religion.  Yes, yes they can, but its just something you have to indoctrinate your children from a young age, something which religion can step in and do so much easier for you.  Yet Cameron is stating that a country, which is multi-diverse with its religious state than it ever has, can be a “Christian” nation where morals are given to our younger generations.

Now the issue with this is, he is using religion as a tool, not as a moral guide.  If he, himself, had used the religion he so fully believes in, the bedroom tax wouldn’t have come into effect.  So we can also scrap the reduction in benefits, the spreading of wealth amongst those who need it most and the support network improved for the poorest of people within the United Kingdom.  Yet Cameron has done the opposite and has used the religious card as another political, long term tool, to attempt to gain votes that he has lost.  Targeting the very
moral tool that so many good children have been brought up on in this country, Anglican or Catholic, Christians are in it all together.  Christianity embodies the very essence of being in something together, completely, in fact most religions do also follow this very moral code.  An example of this the rich sitting next to the poor within church, not in a separate VIP section, not in a better furnished section, but the exact same section as someone who comes from a poorer background than themselves.  A good religious person, who follows a moral code or book to which their own, independent religion publishes, knows that within that book are some basic rules.  Treat people as you expect to be treated, humanity is first and foremost, don’t kill, don’t cause suffering. 

Sadly David Cameron hasn’t done any of the above, so considering that he has released a statement saying we all need to be more “Christian” about our lives, your the furthest from that David.  You treat people like they are the lowest of the low, forcing people to go to food banks, Christian run food banks, that you criticise with one hand and yet claim we all need to be more Christian with the other.  Humanity comes after profit, considering that is what the definition of Austerity really is, the reduction of budgets (the benefits being the hardest his) or increasing of taxes, neither of which affect you or your constituents.  Your forced policy on change within the benefit and welfare system has caused more deaths than you care to admit, especially the farcical ATOS episode, which I am sure you will put down as a “Mistake that we will all learn from”.  And finally suffering, how many people have suffered under the Conservative government David?  Too many, and yet the minority are protected thanks to your constituents being within that minority.  You are, possibly, the worst Christian that we can look for as an example of Christian living.

I am, as my followers know, coming back to my Catholic roots and it feels good.  Its nice to know that I have people can I be myself around and not feel as if I need to change who I am.  I am walking my own journey through life and its a tough road, I am suffering from stress caused by my life catching up with me and, through my own fault, myself not taking control.  I do, however, follow the Christian principles laid out by the Bible and what is read to me at church.  I don’t follow my faith blindly, I ask questions, I question my faith on a regular basis and I converse with people far more knowledgeable than myself regarding issues of faith.  I am embracing Theological discussions with people who are open minded, not from the Neo-Atheist department of thinking, as if I wanted an open mind to be berated by a close minded fool, I would join a Facebook group that told me what to think regarding religion (such as a Neo-Atheist group). 

The ironic thing about Neo-Atheism is this; They claim that religious people are closed minded fools who are told what to believe, yet happily share facts and are spoon-fed by the admins of these groups, information that is often false.  Catholics don’t let people die and pray for healing, they go to a Doctor, or hospital.  Afterwards they thank the Doctor and hospital for the help provided, and they then thank God.  In that order, not the order of “God, hospital, Doctor”, in fact I know that most religions if they believe God has actually had a hand with the healing process, it is through said Doctors.  There are extreme off-shoots of Christianity where small groups of individuals, bastardise and change the Bible so they can get what they want;  these people are called extremists.  Extremists change the words, processes and the very systems of belief to suit their own goals.  Extremist Christians will let their children die because they believe God will save their child.  Just like an atheist junkie will leave their child to die of starvation.  Extremist Muslims will use Jihad as a reason to kill lots of people.  Just like an atheist teenager in America will go on a killing spree because he is mocked for how he looks or his sexuality.  Extremism isn’t what the MAJORITY of us believe in, which is contra to what your Neo-Atheist groups will force you to believe.

However, attempting to converse with a Neo-Atheist is like trying to find the Higgs-Boson particle, you get close to proving a point and they will deflect the argument and disappear into a whole different point because they hate being in a corner they cannot get out of.  Yet a normal, sensible, honest Atheist will just smile and carry on.  Why?  A true Atheist will allow you to believe what you want to believe, they will allow you to worship what you want to worship.  Like I allow an Atheist to believe in a lack of God without berating them on the subject, why should I?  It’s their chosen belief, why should I try to change them?  If they want to converse in an intelligent manner regarding deities, then by all means I will participate.  Neo-Atheists are as bad as street preachers, they are as bad as people who ram religion down peoples necks, because they don’t just preach it, they enjoy the degradation and the mocking that comes with Neo-Atheism.  Maybe the mature thing for me to do is to just ignore it and carry on, which I do nine times out of ten.  What grinds my gears is when people act so righteous about Atheism, like it is an actual religion.  If Atheism was a religion it would be the Anarchy of religion, because what do you worship?  Who is in charge?  If Atheists want to be Atheists then surely it is just a lifestyle rather than an aggressive belief system.

So I managed to write nearly five thousand words during my seven hours writing spree the other day, which was an accomplishment, however I don’t know if its good or not.  Luckily I have managed to get involved with a very support group of writers on Goodread’s that are helping me write.  Finding my muse is difficult, especially when I rarely get time alone and without interruption.  Several times I have been tempted to just give up on writing completely, but I honestly believe I have something to give and I have no given up thus far.  Due to my line of work I cannot turn my phone off, or mute it, as I am required to be in contact with people a lot of the time.  I have a feeling though that across the next few months, I hope, that things will get easier before they get harder.  If I continue to struggle across these months to write, I will probably just give up.  Its a huge emotional and stressful struggle attempting to do something that you really want to do and not getting anywhere with it.  I did expect to get a huge amount of support from family and friends, but so far I have only been given serious support from people I didn’t know six months ago, people I’ve never met and people who have no impact on my daily life.  I guess it can be too much to ask for sometimes, sitting in solitude when your in a full time relationship isn’t something that both parties will want to partake in.  Asking for a few hours silence when sat alone in a room, whilst sitting within a fully functional house may be a bridge too far.  However I cannot afford to pay £5/£10/£15 a day to write in utter silence in a coffee shop in central Manchester.  I guess I just attract the noise level, however I am open to anyone who wants to part-rent a small office space within central Manchester 🙂  I guess I will just have to see how it goes, however I may need to organise my time better than I already do, its frustrating but very little is me alone (this week has been, but with it being the holiest week on the Catholic calendar….).  I am just constantly feeling demoralised, if its not one thing, its another and being the age I am at, and the direction I want to go in, I can only take so much.

On a side note, I have been asked to join my local parish choir, which is in dire need of male members.  Obviously I said yes, so I now go up on high and blare out my voice for all to hear.  Its not pretty, but at least I am helping them out.  Anyhow I have ranted enough, I hope you all have a great Easter weekend

Take care.

Writing, life and religion

So my writing hasn’t really been occurring as often as I’d have really liked during the past week. That’s not to say I haven’t written anything at all, it’s just nothing I can really share. Plots, character developments and writing more detail around the areas in my book. I keep getting tempted by writing some shorts, but whenever I put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard I find myself drifting back into “Book” mode. I keep wanting to develop my plot or write more about Alex (the name has changed twice already), but the ideas keep coming. Obviously Alex can’t be the leader of a Rebellion, a fighter pilot and a master tactician. I might as just well call him Luke Skywalker and have done with it. I think I’ll write some shorts during my days off, especially for my upcoming (hopeful) appearances at the Manchester Speculative Fiction events. So to sum up my writing this far: around 6k words on plot and another 2k on character development, which to me is not much, but there’s plenty of scribblings and changes I’ve made in that time as well. I’ll power through and I imagine that when I start writing my book proper, the spices will flow!

On a more personal level, my crisis has ended. After talking with some close friends, I am decided. I think that stepping back into the church after all this time is the right thing to do for me. I have out reading “Reamde” on hold and I am currently reading “Confessions” by Saint Augustine. I see myself in him, obviously I don’t have the life long learning he had, but I have followed roughly the same path he has at a similar age. I just feel at ease when I read about Catholicism and I feel at ease when I am in Gods house. I know that the backlash here will probably be severe, friends will mock me or attempt to dislodge my choices, but I guess that’s why we’re tested. If we get through these times then we become stronger. I am sure my real friends will support me and help me, that will be the test.

Either way my knowledge of my own religion has increased the last few weeks through reading and conversations. I am not following my faith blindly, I am doing whatever it takes to educate myself, questioning and learning as I go. Blind faith is an uneducated method of following something and, although many do it, I am not willing too. Still I await the backlash, fingers crossed I can survive it and keep many of my friends intact. I’m not going to change, I am not going to try and convert my friends. Their choice is their choice, but I treat people as I expect to be treated. Will it work? Who knows, let’s just hope it does.

Work is tough at the moment, many issues and hurdles to overcome, but the team continues to power through and get it done. I am lucky to have such a great team and I hope that when I move on it keeps on going. Still I have been stressed recently, but it’s nothing to worry about, stress is part of my every day life now. I am as accustomed to it as breathing, when I am not stressed with something, work or real life, it is a rare and outstanding day indeed.

I hope everyone has a great April and I hope you good health. I will be putting a short up soon so, watch this space!