Tag Archives: social movements

“Back to the Future”

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Waterfall nebula

Waterfall Nebula

This blog begins with a complaint from the ‘future’ about the failures of the past. One of my social-media friends was tweeting his anger and frustration towards his elders – my generation who, from his perception, had used their lives to free-ride whilst bequeathing all our problems to them. As far as I know, it’s possible that every up-coming generation feels this way – I remember expressing the same anger and frustration when I was young. Now my situation is reversed and it becomes ‘my fault’ the world is now the way it is. I have a lot of empathy with that view and it was remembering my own anger that frequently prompted me to enter situations that, without it, I may have let pass me by.

There’s always been that nagging question when I’ve faced down problems or blockages I’ve found in myself or my environment; what do I say to the children when they ask me what I did to stop this occurring? I’ve always known what kind of answers I would give but, then, have always been faced with the actions I must take to ensure my responses are authentic because children deserve no less. Yesterday, my long-awaited ‘moment’ arrived and this blog is my reply.

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Artwork by Memtitued

Without doubt, the youth of today have a very valid complaint about the state of the world we are bequeathing to them. To all intents and purposes, any benefits my generation of Baby Boomers enjoyed have now been swept away and our grandchildren are facing the same poverty as was faced by my grandparents. It is as if we – and the world – have come full circle. It is not surprising that the young would criticize my generation’s apparent laziness and selfishness – we were, after all, the ‘me generation’ – because it certainly looks that way from their vantage point.  I remember feeling the same kind of grievances when I levelled equally valid criticisms at my own elders. It seems almost as if I have been preparing for this moment all my life. So here is my own answer.

On a personal basis, I have never stopped challenging the inequalities and iniquities of the social systems of the West I was born into. I fought as a shop steward in my twenties; an educator and psychotherapist in my thirties and forties; and, now, as a shaman in my fifties. My battles have ranged from the intrapersonal (with myself), through the familial, interpersonal, political, social and spiritual – and this is what I have learned along the way.

BPdgnHYCUAAopefFirstly, the social problems we are facing as a global community, are an ancient system buried deep within the pysche of humanity. Within our human community, there are very few who have remained untouched by this system and that it has caused untold harm to all life on earth – of that there can be no doubt. But how to describe this ‘Long View’ I have discovered during my travels. I tell the story in this way.

People have always drawn their deepest wisdoms from our environment and, in the West, we translated some of that wisdom into the discipline of Astrology. The astrology I learned, when I was thirteen years old, worked as a map – or guide – to the internal experience of life as ‘known’ by a particular moment in time on Earth. The moment of ‘birth’. Both astrology and psychotherapy attracted my teenager because they represented my first awakening that my human experience could be understood and, if need be, changed – I didn’t know people knew such things until then and I was so hungry to learn because I knew I had real problems I needed to deal with.

Nevertheless, the pressure of the mundane world – making a living and doing all those ‘things’ I had been socialised to do – forced these studies onto the back burner. I didn’t really start unpacking these maps until my thirties when I entered therapy, eventually becoming one of my teenage ‘dreams’ – a psychotherapist. Therapy deepened my understanding of how the planets worked in astrology, but neither study gave me the answers I was looking for. Those didn’t arrive until I realised my other teenage ‘dream’ by becoming a shaman. I discovered that by directing my intention down our least colonized pathways, I was gifted with the ability to see a compassionate tale of our human evolution despite its terrible consequences and the appalling situation we all find ourselves in now. Let’s see if I know the story well enough to tell it to my young friend now, in response to his perfectly valid criticism of my generation.

Armenia’s Stonehenge

Long, long ages past, lost within human memory but ‘known’ still deep within our souls, our experience of Earth was as if we lived in Eden because we dwelt within our natural instincts. It’s not to say that death, injury, sorrow and pain were unknown – for they surely were; these experiences have formed a part of the Life-Death-Life cycles on Earth from the very beginning. The tales are writ deep in our Great Mother’s bones. We humans live our tiny lives alongside the much longer cycles of Great Mother, She who leads the Dance of Life-Death-Life.

The way the story was told to me was this. The last time Great Mother entered Her Great Dying, She released a Great Cry of agony and grief for the loss of all her beautiful children – the echoes of her grief are still told amongst humans to this day. To ease her grief, the Creator Spirit elected to teach some of her new children emerging from the ashes how to help heal Her Wounds and assist during the next Great Cycle of Dying and ReBirthing. Both Creator Spirit and Great Mother searched amid the ashes of her Great Dying and found the few remaining females who became all of our foremothers so long ago in Africa. Into these mothers, the Creator Spirit placed a catalyst which would eventually result in the human spirit as we know it today: the ability to think, to become ‘conscious’; to become self-aware in a whole new way.

It’s not that we were ‘unconscious’ before – we were naturally instinctive, responding to the energy streams of Great Mother as naturally as breathing – an integral part of Her Great Tapestry of Life. The catalyst that resulted in our capacity for independent thought has enabled us to grow into an understanding of this world around us – where we could shape this world to fit our needs in ways that weren’t possible before. Human civilisations emerged from this catalyst – this ability to think in new and different ways. But what was the catalyst itself? I was told it was this: Free Will.

Thus began the Great Cycle of Human Evolution. When we began our journey through the explorations of Free Will, we still lived close to our instincts and our Great Mother. Our societies were Mother-led but as Free Will worked it’s way through our consciousness, we discovered we had other choices and began to explore where these would take us. With each move we made away from Great Mother, so we ‘lost’ our innate connection to our instinctive selves and came closer to our intellectual capacities to understand the world around us. We moved from Mother-knowing to Father-understanding. With each move towards intellect, our capacity to create miracles like Stonehenge or the Pyramids dwindled and this also included our knowledge of the universe around  us.  For example; there was a time when we had known and understood our solar system and Her place in our universe but this knowledge became buried in our instincts where our minds could not reach. At the very height of our Great Separation from Great Mother, the White peoples knowledge was limited to only seven visible satellites around our Great Sun Mother/Father and, so foolish did this limited knowledge make us that we believed Great Mother was flat and that we were the centre of the universe around which all Creation circled.

envisat_karman_vortex_canarie_20100606_h1It was the catalyst of Free Will coupled with human ingenuity that created our way out of this terrible error in thinking. Humans began to be industrious in work and sciences – eschewing and dismissing old knowledge like astrology in favour of mind-based understanding. We developed learning that could test our knowledge of the world. In the 1770’s, the White peoples ‘discovered’ that there was more to reality than we realised. The discovery of Uranus not only changed perceptions of the solar system, the ‘energy’ of this planet enabled a collective shift in consciousness. This gave the ability of ordinary people to collectively change their world and gave rise to dreams of a better world than contained within earlier  limited thinking imposed upon us.

Cross-section of a Molecule

Cross-section of a Molecule

In the following centuries came more new ‘information’ which re-established conscious links between instinct and intellectual awareness with the rediscovery of Neptune and Pluto. These impacts caused further changes within collective human consciousness that resulted in, at its very best, human beings being able to show Great Mother Her Own Beauty and, it worst, the true meaning of genocide and holocaust.

Our instinctive knowledge is being returned to us now, just as we enter the Great Dying again. For those humans who remember the reason for our journey, at the beginning of the Great Cycle, the time we have been yearning for throughout this bitter and painful journey has arrived but, as with all Creation, we must let go of our past in order to move forward, with our Great Mother, into Her Future.

Neutrino tracks (copyright: Cern Laboratories)

Neutrino tracks
(copyright: Cern Laboratories)

This is where we stand today. We better understand Free Will;  our power of Choice and its consequences. Until now, true Free Choice has not been available to humanity as we worked through the consequences of our choosing. Collectively, we are already down the Road of Returning. In human terms, that path began over three hundred years ago for the Peoples of White Medicine. Returning does not mean to live past mistakes all over again, but to re-turn towards Great Mother and Her instinctive wisdom of Life gifted with the intellectual knowledge of how Creation occurs. This is what our Great Journey outwards has been about.

When Great Mother’s season moves on to Rebirth, those humans who keep choosing to Re-Turn to Her Ways will be Her Allies and Helpers. Learning how to do that wisely has been what this past adventure has been about.

And this was where my story-teller ended the Tale.

So, how does that influence what I might say to the younger generation, who are angry with mine for our irresponsibility and the mess we are leaving behind us.

QT7i8Firstly, I have seen some of this wisdom in action in my own life. As I look down the generations of women I am birthed from, both my mother and grandmother were born before Pluto’s discovery. Each, in their own way, carried the Planet’s transformational power but only on an unconscious level. In Astrological terms, this means that the access to deep transformation was blocked to them – they could only go so far and no further. As a young woman, I did not understand this and there was no-one who could explain it satisfactorily to me at the time. Perhaps now, as someone on the other end of the argument today, I might offer my version to see if it is yet satisfactory to our new ‘young’.

I am amongst the first generation who was born with the power to transform. Pluto was rediscovered when occupying the sign of Cancer – the transforming ‘Mother’. We notice the synchronicity of Mother issues – together with the highly destructive expression of ‘father’ issues within human society. The first generation to feel the full impact of Pluto upon our consciousness was my own. Pluto was in Leo – a perfect description of the ‘Me’ generation but it is also interesting in the message that seems to say ‘Before we can change the world, we must change ourselves.’ It might look like self-indulgence to those who face such enormous problems in their own future but our collective awareness didn’t finish expanding. Chiron was rediscovered in 1977 – I don’t have conscious awareness of this power unless I choose to go looking for it. For you youngsters, you were born with this gift.

BPdfJjyCUAAJb_mThe solar system I studied in Astrology some forty five years ago has altered beyond all recognition. It has become infinitely more complex. As young people, you will have access to knowledge and wisdom now that I cannot even conceive of, because I am now – like my mother and grandmother before me – a woman of my time. My conscious ability is limited in what I am able to do, not because I am stupid – far from it – but because I am wise enough to know my limitations. We are but leaves of one season on the Tree of Life – you are unfurling to your fullest abilities whilst I turn the colours of autumn and will soon nourish the Earth to nourish this Life we are a part of.

Your Elders are wise in experience but limited in their ability to see the Future because that is your skill. Your ‘limitations’ will be to deal with the consequences of our mistakes when we took a hand, not because we are the irresponsible generation but so you can see how we failed. If you look around you, you will see members of your own generation failing too. This is because we have all yet to deal with the original catalyst.

BPfOcz2CIAExCd7We all have to explore issues of Free Will ourselves and on our own terms. Humanity, as a whole, is slowly moving towards the consequences of the choices we have made – particularly in the West… what I call the White energies of the Medicine Shield. Astrologically speaking, each generation born now comes with a greater capacity for Free Will than before which means that some people have the potential to lead our White energy in our Re-Turn to Great Mother’s Medicine Shield. But we will have to leave behind our bad old ways. This cannot be done overnight. Neither yours nor my generation have that ability. All we can do is ‘grow’ ourselves towards it and our histories are like rings within the Tree of Life. Each generation is ‘bigger’ than the last. You may not feel it now but the generation behind you is already nipping at your heels, chivving you along, challenging you not to be the hypocrites you claim we are.

And your challenge… eventually? To stand in my shoes and give answer to the charge to from the young that your generation was irresponsible when you were caretakers for the planet.

To you, my young friend, my answer is that I have always done by best with what was available to me at the time. I won’t apologise for my mistakes because they taught me to be wise enough to answer you but I am sorry for them nonetheless. No human being would wish our current situation upon another. My generation were prevented from dealing with it but I know you will be able to do more than we could and I am still here to help. I haven’t stopped battling – once we learn how to exercise our Free Will for the sake of others, we know our true worth and we never give it up, no matter how much it might hurt us.

And the prize?

tumblr_lzjcjsGDXG1ro46rko1_500For me? Three times in my life I have had the chance to turn a dream into a reality. The first was political – I ran a trade union for a short while but I ‘failed’, so I turned inwards to find out if the problem was me. In doing so, I began to realise my second dream; to become a psychotherapist but I still didn’t find what I was looking for. My third dream was to become a woman of magic dedicated to healing. This was the most unattainable of all – the crazy notion of a 1950’s child of the ‘respectable’ Tory-London suburbs. Yet, this ‘dream’ is my life now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else on earth, not only for loving it so much but also because it gave me the answers I share with you now. This is what Pluto in Leo taught my generation – the power of personal transformation. I have learned that for as long as someone uses that power for personal gain rather than collective benefit, the Peoples suffer. I have learned to pay close attention to quantum mechanics, Complexity theories and other sciences because they are revealing how my magic works. These are the gifts of my generation to yours – they are the baton in our evolutionary Re-Turn relay that will eventually create the Rainbow Nation.

In our times, we are the Rainbow Warriors – acknowledging our responsibilities; accepting our limitations; and yet still leaping into the Void in pursuit of our Peoples’ dreams.

Welcome to the world of Adults, young man. I offer unconditional Respect; for you are our Future and, as both Creator Spirit and Great Mother know, we need you now.

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Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

“The Wormhole of Evolution”

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When I was first being taught the shamanic pathways of my Land – the Spirit of the Islands of Britain and Eire, with all their tribal diversities – my teacher, John Matthews, spoke of the shaman’s way as being ‘seamless’. I have come to understand this to mean being alive to both Spiritual and manifest reality – to ‘live my visions’.

 

When we follow a true shaman’s path, especially living in the ‘West’, it is inevitable that we will encounter opposition. It is fascinating to observe, now I have ‘arrived’, how those I oppose define who I am and who I believe myself to be (with all my flaws visible to the eye). Equally, if I look at the behaviour of those who oppose me, the sins I am clearly guilty of seem to pale into simple misdemeanors by comparison – it would seem there’s hope for me yet.

 

The Chalice Well - Glastonbury Source - unknown (happy to attribute)

The Chalice Well – Glastonbury
Source – unknown (happy to attribute)

 

Nevertheless – a shaman must deal with the ‘reality’ they find themselves in. I am not ready to go back into that fray yet. I haven’t completely closed off the option of seeking medical help yet – if only for the sake of the hearts of my friends – but I first want to share my experience of stepping through the Veil of Death. In some ways, it is the equivalent of Jesus’s ‘eye of the needle’.

 

(As I was writing that last paragraph, my electricity meter cut out because my credit had run out. Clearly, I’ve been able to top it up but the process involves lifting a heavy ladder to get to the meter. With the ‘weight’ in my chest reminding me of it’s presence – and being in the middle of this blog and not at the end – I chose to lie down afterwards. My Otherworld Allies and Teachers have been doing a lot of healing work on my heart and, just now, we removed the most toxic black object (a long lightless sharp-edged sliver) from it I have ever been asked to ‘handle’. Whilst most of my other symptoms remain, the ‘dark weight’ in my heart has gone.)

 

tumblr_lavqrsd7jY1qephwdo1_500The world of the ‘Dead’ speaks the Language of the Ancestors, I have found, and She imparts her Wisdom to me through the legends, histories and deeds of the People and our past.  It’s where the richest seam of practical Ancient Magic of Britain resides; where we find the Halls of the Heroes and the Weavings of the Wisewomen. We have to be True in our Intent when we cross the Veil – any wavering of our intent topples us into the Abyss, for Death becomes quite real now… for some people. For others, we are merely experiencing a transition from one form to another. The journey into the Underworld is well mappedit involves a stripping away of ego and property until La Búsqueda is brought before the throne of the Queen of the Underworld (this is a woman’s tale, remember!). It is a tale told in many Lands of our Great Earth Mother, but the major template for the West is this one.

 

When I was in prison, I did a number of Soul retrievals and power extractions for both staff and prisoners. It was always interesting to see who still clutched to their selfishness afterwards. Nevertheless, there was one lass who approached me again after I had been recalled to prison. It seems that the written record of my work had been stolen from her by an ex-boyfriend and ‘ could I do it again?’ Well, no – and my present sense of ‘unfinished business’ makes me think that I need to share the work I did for her now. She’ll know who she is when she reads the parts I remember.

 

I cannot recall how I got to the Lower levels of the Lower World, but I do know that when I got there, the Soul part I was seeking was cornered and under severe attack. I know I was able to bear the Soul part safely-enough away, despite continued pursuit because a portal to the Void opened before me and I stepped through it onto the back of my power animal. My Power ally then conveyed me, with the Soul part, through the Void to another portal of Light into which we stepped with perfect safety. All our pursuers fell into the Void and were lost to light – I’m told that what occurs to them afterwards is God’s business. This is what I remember from some seven years ago.

 

tumblr_lqcjztuOdF1r1vfbso1_400When I step through the Veil of Death, I step into the Void. I am reduced to Spirit alone – nothing ‘manifest’ can accompany me. It is at this point my Soul is ‘weighed and measured’ and shown the correct destination for me to follow. The ‘judgement’ is always about which way to go next – I’m never going to be perfect at present because I have no desire to be. I grow much more from my mistakes and I have yet to tire of growing. This is how it works in my ‘Heaven’ anyway. Once we know where we are going, the path opens up before us because we are in accord with the Will of Heaven. I know this path well because I have walked it in both Spirit and Life.

 

To pass safely through this portal and into the Wormhole of Evolution; the Eye of the Needle; is to become ‘naked and bowed low’ because this is the only place we learn where we truly belong in our Universe. When our own Honesty drives us to the edge of Death, we need to understand what we are doing. Not all of us do, and we die in great pain and suffering. In the Underworld of the Dead, this soldier – and all those like him – dwell in the Halls of Heroes; the Soul’s of Love severed from them in life restored to full glory and honour for holding to the truth of their situation. In the Realms of Women dwell all our unsung and unknown heroines who were ‘tortured to death’ in the same way. These wounds are healed with Forgiveness and Compassion. But there is also a place in the Underworld of the Dead for all those who inflict such wounds upon the ‘Children’ of Love and in this Queen’s Kingdom, any hierarchy gets determined by behaviour-on-earth or by learning. By our deeds shall ye know us. In this world, everything is turned upside-down and topsy-turvy compared with the ‘real’ world – and it is in this living experience of ‘here’ that we learn to ‘see’ Truth face-to-face.

 

tumblr_m3bmiqYSCs1r2zdh7o1_500It is a rare breed of human who can withstand the pain of watching someone they love go through their personal experience of facing Death – I am Blessed with dear friends of this nature. They are willing to trust that this journey is needed – this blog is, hopefully, about proving them right. More often than not, these days, the tale of the descent to the Underworld seems to end in Death alone. This is the man’s way. It does not belong to women and children. We have our own path – which a man might walk only if divested of his ego. In our legends, there is a Return from Death. The Hero/Heroine descends for a reason – to claim some ‘prize’ for the community – and is reborn to Life ready to share it with those who can hear.

 

According to Jesua, the first to recognise the Truth from a returning hero or heroine will be ‘last’ and the last will be first. He turns mundane understanding on it’s head. The ‘gift of knowledge’ borne by the hero/ine contains the power to overcome the tyrant Holdfast. In my ‘real’ life, Holdfast runs my country – if I am truly the returning hero then something in these blogs of my journey to the underworld will enable those, previously disempowered, to act in ways they were in some way prevented from doing before. I hope, too, that those who presently find themselves in the Void of Despair see their path to new Life opening up before them.

 

tumblr_m3g57cWoIW1r312weo1_500Remember that true change often comes disguised at first – we believe we are dealing with one ‘thing’ only to discover that we have loosed a ‘jinn’. If we are in the midst of living this nightmare, please keep trusting your feelings and sharing. For all those who have been lost, how many are still miraculously alive and finding their way through? We have to make our own way but if we trust that Love is real, we will encounter it in our lives and each hand of kindness offered is the handrail through to your own version of the Light. Expect the unexpected – the more unlikely it is, the more authentic it is likely to be. Trust your instincts – not every hand offered will be that of a friend. Use the experience for learning – then you can spot the problem coming in future and side-step it. In my Otherworld, No is a word that is respected but our best results come when we say Yes.

 

It’s the gift of this journey to be able to write authentically about the process Holdfast the Tyrant is inflicting on my country, Her People and Land. It is an Abomination in the eyes of my Goddess – She who gives Life. In my Heaven, the Power to apply the Law of the Creator Spirit on Earth resides with Her. This is the Message I bring back. The plethora of difference in human spirit currently present on our planet is to be likened to the Cambrian Age of Life on Earth. We are all the result of Free Will and we have all been necessary for this stage of our Spiritual Evolution. Nevertheless, Mother Earth is cleansing Her Body as She has done many times before. Following the cleansing, only those Spirit/Souls chosen by Mother Earth will remain. The Choice is ours but Earth Mother is only likely to nurture those children who Love and Respect Her in return for Her Gift of Life.

 

tumblr_m2y10u0jRM1qav48no1_500I say these things because I believe we are in the midst of a Spiritual, Instinctive, Thoughtfully-Awake evolution with Mother Earth. We are going to have to align ourselves to Her Laws if we have any desire to survive. She’s testing our resolve now. Those, from the White Peoples of Medicine Shield must step forward and take up our Spiritual Duties to our Earth Mother, whether we perceive it in that way or not.  When all four Peoples of the Rainbow Medicine unite, more pathways will open. Those who have already Chosen will find their paths Blessed with Assistance or necessary lessons. Those who freely and generously share their wealth with those in need will find their actions Blessed in the same way. Our proper attitude is Gratitude for all Life. The proper approach is to deal with your realty and begin removing that which does not favour Earth Mother in all her life-forms – the task is huge and will not be completed in our lifetimes, or even that of our greatgrandchildren. What results from we begin now is for Earth Mother to determine, not us. Simply put, we are ‘merely’ the turning of the tide marking the onset of the tsunami that will be human transformation. Wise are those who have learned to heed the signs and start moving to safe ground. Wise are those who trust the ‘messages’ that find them during their waking life or in dreams. Wise are the men who, not always ‘understanding’ but with trust in our ‘mystery’, listen to the intuitions of their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends. Wiser, still, are those men who ‘hear’ the same ‘secrets’ within themselves.

 

I hope the above is enough to heal the wounds and wipe the tears from the Love of my friends who stood with me yesterday. It is a terrible thing to do to anyone. I am ‘free’ to do this because I have no children. Mothers should never have to walk this path – I can do a better job because I have no future to be concerned about. There is a very special place in my Heaven for the Stephanie Bottrill’s of our country and an equally special Blessing for her children and grandchildren, for she died a heroine and an honest woman. She died believing there was no Hope – Jesua has things to say about those who make good, honest folk believe lies like that. For sure, I would never want to be in their shoes now. For others, still living on their last knockings of hope, I hope this blog shows a possible turning point.

 

When we turn to face death as result of the murderous behaviour of others, we are not choosing to kill life itself. We are choosing to kill that which murders life that has, in some way, attached itself to us. If we truly are honest, Life will show us mercy through release or it will return us to life without the parasite obscuring our vision or mind. This is the shamans way.

 

Today an increasing number of us are stepping through the Veil that is the Fear-of-Death because there is something more important than just the life we call our own. This trickle is going to turn into a flood as the prophecies about secrets being shouted from rooftops comes into manifestation. The pattern is the same each time this dynamic plays out only this time, Mother Earth isn’t playing and we humans are expected to be responsible adults about it.

 

Within all of this are going to be my generation’s flaws – there are things I cannot see that seem blindingly obvious to those who follow. My errors are supposed to be corrected on the understanding that their solution will also be flawed too, and so on down the generations. The intention of any Spirit path I open to others is to enable you to find your own connection and make your own course corrections.  Our own Soul is always our best pilot.

 

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Idle No More UK

Idle No More UK

 

 

The Ethics of Obeying Orders

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Amidst the various news stories I came across yesterday were two that caught my attention. The first was a ‘note‘ written by a successful suicide and published by the family because they thought the information contained within it needed to be shared with others. Given that their decision came from one of the most painful experiences known to people, I acknowledge and respect the courage of both the author and his surviving family.

 

The second article was this: UNISON instructs its members to enforce the bedroom tax. As a former shop steward from one of the unions amalgamated into UNISON, I’m going to comment on this latest ‘advice’ to members, not only because I think this instruction is wrong but also because I believe the impact of it has the potential to cause very great harm to the ordinary  membership who are going to have to comply with it.

 

Many thanks to Robert Livingstone for his outstanding art work

 

But let’s begin with the bigger picture.  I make no bones about my opinion of our present incumbents in the Houses of Parliament. With the exception of a very few, no MP of any party has yet to earn the epithet they award themselves; ‘Honourable’. The UK Government, with its now daily offerings of cronyism, corruption, personal profiteering and ideological tyrannyin all walks of life – makes it all but impossible to conclude that these elected/appointed officials have any interests over and above their own career path. As the suicide and death rates rise, it is also becoming easier to believe that the results of Austerity presently being experienced by ordinary UK people are exactly the outcomes our government is seeking. To put it bluntly, the UK government is presently pursuing murderous policies against the wider British public; employed or unemployed, healthy or not,  and there has been a stark increase in people dying unnatural early deaths as a result of government policy. Whilst it is true that not everyone lives to a ripe old age, when death is caused by the intentional actions of other people, our law is inclined to call it murder. When such murder is being inflicted on a people by a government, our law has also been known to call this genocide.

 

One of the problems we face – those of us on the sharp end of these policies – is the apparent lack of comprehension from decision-makers in all trades/professions because those involved are frequently directly unaffected by what is happening on the ground. The UNISON decision falls within this remit. From my perspective, it is as though the leaders have forgotten some very basic Trade Union wisdom about solidarity with ordinary people. They are disconnected from reality in a way that is likely to prove extremely BNVz2o2CUAEFaXxharmful to their members and it is one of the reasons why I currently place no faith in traditional ‘working-class’ solutions to our collective problems. I am not alone in this opinion but mine is based on understanding the impact our involvement has on the psyche of each and every TU member party to implementing these government policies.

 

It would not be fair to single out UNISON alone – many of our public service trade union members face exactly the same problem – but let’s use my old TU’s ‘advice’ for the sake of this blog. The mythology that public service pays better than the private sector is now just that – a myth. Decades of public sector wage restraint has eaten away any advantages that might have once existed and our services now stagger from one crisis of service to the next. These services are provided by employees who are frequently low-paid, which means that when sanctions for non-payment of bedroom tax are applied to those who simply cannot afford to pay, UNISON members are likely to be sanctioning their own colleagues – something that is already occurring within the Department of Work and Pensions. So much for solidarity amongst the membership;  indeed, I cannot think of anything more divisive to workers’ organisations. The Unions apparently seem to be unable to support their own membership, which makes any declaration of their support for other social groups highly suspect.

 

UNISON claims the following:

It is… vital to ensure that UNISON members are advised, that if they are employed to administer part of the arrears recovery process, that they should follow the instructions of their employer and that they should be advised that they are placing their continued employment at risk if they choose not to fulfil their contract of employment.

This applies whether that is the sending of reminder letters, issuing possession proceedings, applying to the Magistrate’s Court for a possession order, attending Court, instructing bailiffs or attending with bailiffs in order to secure possession.

 

It is interesting that this advice centres on the Contract of Employment, not least because there are other legal interpretations that could be made had the union been willing to contemplate them. Whilst the reader can find more details here, I want to focus on what has happened to the ‘heart’ of this Contract, bearing in mind that there exists, in law, something known as an ‘Unfair Contract’.

 

I’m going to look at this from the perspective of civil and crown servants simply because the heart of the contract between Crown and Servant has been made explicit. Please bear in mind that these are only my observations. My opinion may carry no weight in law and therefore needs to be checked.

At the heart of the psychological contract are the following conditions: respect, compassion, trust, empathy, fairness, and objectivity. At the heart of the Crown contract, a servant must demonstrate the four core values detailed below:

  • ‘Integrity’:  putting the obligations of public service above your own personal interests;
  • ‘Honesty’: being truthful and open;
  • ‘Objectivity’: basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence; and
  • ‘Impartiality’: acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well Governments of different political persuasions.

In addition, if a civil servant believes that that he/she is being asked to behave in a way which conflicts with the code, he/she may now report the matter direct to the Civil Service Commissioners.

It is now clearly specified that the code is part of the contractual relationship between the civil servant and his/her employer.

As an observer, I would wonder whether these legal requirements for integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality also fall upon the employer too. If they do, and there is objective and politically impartial evidence to show that the employer is failing to adhere to these requirements, I would suggest that this may go to the Heart of the employees’ Contract of Employment. It may be that an employers’ breach of the Civil Service Code could be deemed sufficient to render previously forbidden industrial action lawful especially if the action sought to impose ‘fair’ conditions, like integrity and honesty, upon government in this instance. It would probably be necessary to demonstrate that individual members of government were failing to adhere to their own Code of Conduct with objective and impartial evidence.

 

There will be differences between a civil service/local government Contracts of Employment but they will be written down somewhere because this is how public servants function – everything is written down, or should be, because it allows for public scrutiny and the ‘heart’ of the Contract will contain the same standards.

 

Knowing these things, I look at the UNISON instruction and ask how the BMGmmISCcAE1_Mcpsychological ‘heart’ of the contract is being met by asking some union members to cause severe hardship to other union members for the sole purpose of keeping their job? I also ask how well Ministers issuing these instructions are complying with their own side of the Contract. In fact, from where I am standing, it appears that any living, beating heart has been torn from the living body of the British public… that no Heart exists in that realm anymore which, by logical progression, means that public sector staff are being instructed to deliver a heartless service to the people.  That my old union, UNISON, is instructing members to comply is about the worst thing it could do under present circumstances, not just to its own membership but also to the public at large.

 

There is one element that seems to be missing from the union’s thinking and that is the issue of ‘unlawful instructions’. No employee is required to obey unlawful instructions – simple. If an employer starts to issue unlawful instructions, an employee is actually required to disobey them – the reason? Because if we obey unlawful instructions, we become an accessory to crime and are guilty ourselves. Certainly, to take such a path will be fraught with dangers and dismissal may certainly feature within the experience whilst the case is fought through law but that is still no reason to refuse the solution, not least because our refusal will impact upon our psyche.

 

How is an employee likely to feel if, as a result of their unions advice, they become responsible for the prosecution and likely homelessness of one of their colleagues? How are they going to feel, day after day, dealing with the suicidal distress of the public? I wonder how Stephanie Botterill‘s case-worker feels because, in complying with government instructions, they may have violated their own heart and the damage this causes to the pysche of otherwise-loving people is as extreme on the inside as it is on the outside. The suicide note of David Somers describes the effect of treating other people as if they have no instrinsic worth:

 

I really have been trying to hang on, for more than a decade now. Each day has been a testament to the extent to which I cared, suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so that you could feel as though I was still here for you. In truth, I was nothing more than a prop, filling space so that my absence would not be noted. In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time.

 

This stuff eats away at our very soul until all life is extinguished. We end up carrying, personally, the guilt of others until it destroys everything within us that we value:

 

You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

 

When I departed my trade union/local government life, I went into the psychotherapy business and learned, sitting with those who entrusted the tender aspects of self to me, exactly what happens to people who face this kind of systemic crime. The harm visits every generation afterwards. What we choose to do now will affect your children, their children and all the children who follow after. The decisions we make today have that kind of power.

 

And I have to ask myself, is this what UNISON intended when it instructed its members to collaborate with a criminal government? If it isn’t, then the union better reconsider its actions so far.

 

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“The #UK Human Cull: Progress Report” #NotSatire #EvidenceBased

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The red areas are doing significantly worse than the national average (source: BBC)

 

Today, the BBC is reporting on this: “Longer Lives” – you can find the report here. The aim of this post is to identify how the UK elite report on this with a particular emphasis on what they have failed to include. So let’s start with the BBC’s report first:-

 

The local variation in early death rates revealed in a new league table for England is “shocking” and must drive action to improve health, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Public Health England’s Longer Lives website, which ranks local authorities, shows people in north-west England are at the greatest risk of dying early.

Mr Hunt said the data could be used to tackle smoking, drinking and obesity.

Labour called for a “One Nation approach” to end health inequalities.

 

In fact, Jeremy Hunt – the UK’s Health Minister – is reported as going further:

 

Mr Hunt said: “This shocking variation in early and unnecessary deaths means people’s lives are needlessly cut short, and that cannot continue unchecked.

“I want areas to use the data released today to identify local public health challenges like smoking, drinking and obesity and to take action to help achieve our ambition for saving 30,000 lives a year by 2020.”

Local authorities are being given £5.4bn over two years for public health.

 

Now isn’t that nice of Mr. Hunt? Or is it? A very quick look at the statistics tells a very different tale. Fortunately “Longer Lives” gives us the figures and you don’t have to be a mathematician to work out exactly how far Mr. Hunt’s ambition extends.

 

So, according to the statistics (and do check my numbers – I do make mistakes), 456,342 people died under the age of 75 between 2009-2011 (3 years) which becomes 152,117 deaths per year. Therefore to reduce this figure by 30,000 a year by 2020 begins to look rather a poor ambition to have, especially when the same Mr. Hunt happens to be privatising the NHS. Those figures take on a very different flavour when we look at how long we are going to have to wait before we save just these 30k people from an early death.

 

If we use present statistics, between now and 2020 (152,117 x 7 years), to ‘save’ our 30k over ONE MILLION PEOPLE (1,064,521.1) will have died. That’s a rather alarming fatality rate to attain Mr. Hunt’s ambitions. What we also need to bear in mind is that another report, “Walking The Breadline” and published by Church Action Against Poverty and Oxfam, provides some very telling statistics of its own which point to the likelihood that present early-mortality rates are set to rise very rapidly – here’s their explanation of why:

 

“We estimate that over 500,00 people are now reliant on food aid – the use of foodbanks and receipt of food parcels – and this number is likely to escalate further over the coming months. This is substantially higher than the headline figure of 350,000 supplied by the Trussell Trust, as at least half as many people again are provided with food parcels or other forms of food aid by non-Trussell Trust food banks and other emergency food aid projects.”

“Some of the increase in the number of people using food banks is caused by unemployment, increasing levels of underemployment, low and falling income, and rising food and fuel prices.”

“More alarmingly, up to half of all people turning to food banks are doing so as a direct result of having benefit payments delayed, reduced, or withdrawn altogether. Figures gathered by the Trussell Trust show that changes to the benefit system are the most common reasons for people using food banks.”

“There is clear evidence that the benefit sanctions regime has gone too far, and is leading to destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale.”

“The growth in food aid demonstrates that the social safety net is failing in its basic duty to ensure that families have access to sufficient income to feed themselves adequately. The exponential rise in the creation of food banks reflects a growing problem and only delivers mitigation. Food banks provide a vital emergency service to the people they support but they do not address the underlying structural causes for the growth of food poverty”

And widening the issue to other sections of our society, CAAP and Oxfam go on to say: “It is unacceptable that whilst thousands are being forced to turn to food banks and millions are unable to meet the rising cost of living as a result of the Government’s austerity programme, wealthy individuals and corporations continue to dodge their obligation to pay their fair share of taxes.”

 

In other words, we have a problem with poverty in our country. It is interesting to note that the BBC reporting of this fails to mention or highlight that there is a connection between poverty and early mortality.  Funny that, because its in the report itself.

 

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I wonder why the BBC would leave something as significant as the above out of it’s reporting? I don’t suppose it might have something to do with this?

 

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When activists say that the BBC has become the propaganda wing of the Tories they make a fair point. In abolishing the NHS, under the shelter of BBC non or slant reporting, what contribution is this likely to make to our early mortality rates in England? For clarification:  I am using the word “Tory” advisedly. When I say Tory, I mean those who are or intend to profit from this. I do not include those who are politically Conservative because I believe they will be as appalled as I am. To fully understand what is happening, I recommend you read what the CAAP and Oxfam have to say. I add my own voice to their report and others have added their voice to mine. How many people have to say this and die before those with social and public responsibility begin to act on it?

 

As far as I can see, a large part of the British Parliament has forgotten the true meaning of public service, even though they attained their parliamentary posts for the express purpose of serving the public. One of these responsibilities is a duty of care to ALL citizens. I don’t need to explain this responsibility to those who already understand it – those who need to have it explained to them are more comfortable in the private sector because their inability to understand renders them unfit for public office.

 

So, in a climate where poverty is one of the major contributory factors of early mortality, how does Jeremy Hunt and the BBC discharge their Duty to the Public? They blame the usual suspects – obesity, smoking and alcohol. Since we can already demonstrate an absence of salient facts by the BBC, let’s look at what the CAAP and Oxfam have to say about them…

 

People on low incomes in the UK pay higher prices for many essential goods and services than people who are better off. This is known as the Poverty
Premium. Save the Children has estimated that it costs the average low-income household an extra £1,300 a year, as they pay more for food, fuel,
finance and other goods and services.
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The Poverty Premium is related to food poverty in a number of
ways. The creation of large superstores and out-of-town shopping developments have driven local, independent retailers out of business and left the poorest people in ‘food deserts’ without access to affordable, healthy food. Superstores are difficult to reach for people on low-incomes; 85% of households with weekly incomes under £150 do not have a car. The poorest people in the UK are paying more for their food than their richer counterparts. Research has found that a list of the cheapest available selection of groceries was up to 69% more expensive in some of the poorest parts of the country than in stores belonging to the same chain in richer areas
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At least four million people in the UK do not have access to a healthy diet; nearly 13 million people live below the poverty line, and it is becoming
harder and harder for them to afford healthy food. Lower-income families in the UK have cut their consumption of fruit and vegetables by nearly a
third in the wake of the recession and rising food prices. At the end of 2010, lower-income households were buying 2.7 portions of fruit and vegetables per person, per day, compared to the average household which continued to buy about four portions per person, per day. These rates are likely to have declined further in the past year, as inflation has continued upwards and household incomes have shrunk.
“In the most deprived part of the borough [Westminster], life expectancy for men is 17 years shorter than in the richest part of the
borough. If I went to Glasgow it’s even worse – a 28 year difference in male life expectancy. Life expectancy in the poorest part of Glasgow
is 8 years shorter than the average male life expectancy in India. That’s how bad health inequality is in the UK.”
Sir Michael Marmot (Director of the International Institute for Society and Health)
Poor families are not only hit with the problem of how to put food on the table in the short term, they are also suffering the double injustice of the
long-term effects of food poverty. People who are forced to live on an inadequate diet have a significantly increased risk of developing serious health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes; they are also more likely to suffer from stress, ill health, poor educational attainment and shortened life expectancy. Poor children suffer
from lower nutritional intake, bad dietary patterns, hunger, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and problems accessing food in the school holidays.

 

The report goes on to comment about how the government, which claims there is no money for poor people, has been dealing with what welfare system remains to us.

 

In recent years there has been growing concern about the hardship caused by an increasingly harsh and punitive benefits sanctions regime
.
In 2010, in response to the Department for Work and Pensions’ consultation
21st Century Welfare (Cm 7913), a number of consultees raised concerns that
if conditionality is increased, protections must be put in place to ensure that vulnerable people are not penalised.
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At the time, Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme warned that the new sanctions regime being introduced alongside Universal Credit would “expose people to the risk of destitution. Removing benefits and leaving people with no income will result in extreme hardship for them and their families.”
25
In April 2011, The Guardian published an analysis of DWP statistics which showed a 40% increase in the number of people who have lost their Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) between April and October 2010.
26
In October 2012 a new JSA sanctions regime came into force, which  introduced a new and ‘more robust’ system, with low-, intermediate- and high- level sanctions. A broadly similar sanctions regime will be introduced under Universal Credit (the revision to the entire benefits system which the DWP started to roll out this month). Just three months later, in January 2013, an internal DWP ‘scorecard’ leaked to The Guardian revealed that more than 85,000 sanctions had been applied or upheld against JSA claimants in one month alone. This would translate into more than a million sanctions per annum, against a total JSA caseload of just under 1.5 million.
27
Most of the policy debate on sanctions to date has focused on the extent to which the sanctions regime is fulfilling its primary purpose in promoting ‘good behaviour’ on the part of benefit claimants. More recently, there has been a growing controversy as to whether Jobcentres have ‘quotas’ for getting people off benefits. As a result of this debate, the Government has now agreed to set up an independent inquiry into the use of sanctions,
which is a welcome move.
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However, to date there has been little or no Parliamentary debate, or Government or Parliamentary research, on the wider impacts of sanctions in terms of generating material hardship, stress or hunger

 

As for smoking, when the anti-smoking lobby finds it necessary to lie to get its message across, I start to wonder whether that is propaganda too. With alcohol, Tory policy has never been in the public interest. Perhaps if the poor weren’t treated so badly, they wouldn’t need to smoke or drink as much as they do because these are activities designed to ease pain; drug addiction has a similar cause. I wonder why a part of our public is in such pain in the first place. At the same time, the Tories have put precariats outside the protection 0f the law.

 

As a retired shop steward, I can tell you now that public servants caught lying, stealing or involved with corrupt practices get the sack and are prosecuted – or they were back in the day and this is why.

 

A Public Servant, whether elected, appointed or employed as, has a duty to serve ALL members of the public because not all members of the public are able to speak for themselves and that duty is a “Duty of Care”. Society is a huge web of human complexity and people have experimented with a variety of different organisational models in order to manage that. The last time one of our neighbour society’s experimented with the particular model of ‘social management’ detailed above, the global community deemed it to be criminal. Arising out of those global lessons came a Woman’s Law – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – and its a Woman’s Law because Eleanor Roosevelt gave birth to it. At the same time, the working class men of Britain created the Welfare State – which is where the people learned about Public Duty and personal ethics. The Welfare State is also Woman’s Law because every improvement we saw, after it’s inception, took care of British Women and Children. Margaret Thatcher began the process of stealing it from us. Let’s have a look at how far the Tories have gone with what she and Ronald Reagan began. This is the US but the UK won’t be far behind

 

 

I began this post, I realised how little I knew about tax avoidance, so I asked my twitter pals for plain-english (which most Precariats understand) suggestions. My friend, Steve Walker, has shared this this this and this (thanks Steve) and everyone recommends the Tax Justice Network. What there isn’t is a Precariat guide to exactly what the Tories have been up to. Nevertheless, the fact remains that they are getting richer whilst, at one and the same time, they are intentionally depriving more than a million people of the means to a natural life-span. In fact, the public are already being told, by the BBC and Tories in all our political parties, that over one million in poverty will lose their lives early by 2020 due to the debunked and deadly gods of Austerity. If that isn’t a declaration of intent to commit wholesale murder of the poorest people in Britain – but more especially, England – then I really don’t know what is.

 

Every single way precariats come at this problem, we see the same thing.

 

Public Duty has never been about the money. Public Duty carries a sacred responsibility that is understood by atheists because it is intrinsic to a healthy human being. The bottom line is we don’t treat people this way – not if we’re truly British because Gandhi told us so (apocryphal) . Perhaps Gandhi was wrong about a lot of British men but he was right on the money when it comes to British women.

 

To the British men – young and old – who’ve been strutting their left-wing credentials and proposing people’s assemblies that look remarkably like the old ones, I say this:

“Your methodology failed with Thatcher and it will fail again because I’ve yet to see it sustain a win. You fail because you don’t speak Precariat – you speak Working Class. As the rich got richer, the poor have gotten poorer. We can’t be working class because there are no jobs ON PURPOSE! The working class ‘leaders’ are now suspect and so are you if you are not at the sharp end of this.”

 

Then I’d ask this question. Given that I had a heart attack last November, what do you think of the DWP decision to call me to TWO Work Capability Assessments in the 10 months immediately following? What do you think it might do to the likelihood of my being one of the statistics of early mortality? Does this violate my Right To Life and could it be considered psychological torture? If it is, do I get to stand on the same platform as you? Have I earned the right to be heard? Is your life on the line? Because, if it isn’t you won’t know what you’re talking about and anything you say about us can only ever be secondhand. If you haven’t lived it, you don’t qualify.

 

Then go have a look at the Human Rights Act and ask yourself what you intend to do about it. You are not doing this for the glory, you are doing this because  women and children, alongside all our other vulnerable peoples, being forced into hunger, homelessness and early death by downright evil people and that cannot be anything but wrong.

 

And once you know what it is you need to do – GO DO IT!

 

 

Idle No More UK

Idle No More UK

 

One final point: I don’t believe all money-rich people are Tories but there are an awful lot of sheeple who are mesmerised by the lies and propaganda. If you aren’t one of them and you are money-rich, then now is the time to start giving it away to women. Keep what you need and give the rest away without strings. The women will take care of the rest – honest men included – and woe betide any woman caught misappropriating or misusing this without reasonable excuse. Self-serving misuse is no longer regarded as reasonable. Money is a tool, not an ambition. I say this now because tomorrow I might be dead and I’d regret not saying it when I could.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Precariat advice on dealing with closet fascists

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Yesterday, a fellow precariat posted this on the internet. I don’t know who this brother is or whether he has acted on his feelings but I know the rage he feels about how he has been treated because I feel much the same way when I am suicidal. If he has committed suicide, then his blog speaks the same language as Stephanie Botterill and Vicky Harrison. Indeed, if this brother does take his own life then, in truth, it might be a kinder ending than experienced by some in his position given the way the impoverished and homeless are treated by some in our community.

 

BIuqy41CEAIw50CLet’s be quite plain here – when the number of deaths, per week, due to Welfare Reform, had risen to 73 last October, we can make an educated guess which way those numbers have gone since the latest round of welfare cuts kicked in last April. This is murder-by-government.

 

When I worked as a psychotherapist I attracted, for some reason, a statistically-significant number of clients who were the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. The fact that my professional supervisor was German enabled me to deepen my knowledge of what went on under that facsist regime. During one discussion, I pointed out to her that there had been many other holocausts since and asked why, in her opinion, the German version was so bad. She replied that, for her, the fact that the wholesale murder of people had been done by an elected government – it had been systematic and ‘legal’ done in the name of an entire country’s people – therefore carried a far greater ‘weight of sin’. Whilst I wasn’t certain I agreed with her at the time – I hadn’t lived the experience then – it is much harder to disagree with her now. I mention this wisdom, learned over twenty years ago, because it has informed me ever since and might suggest that I know what I am talking about when I say that the British parliament is filled with fascists in all of our political parties.

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When we – anyone, really, not just precariats – is faced with others who believe our only value to our community is by being dead, one of the first things we might try is communication. This is a fascinating exercise for anyone who has tried it. In the UK, Spartacus tried. The outcome is detailed here and matches my own experience. True fascists avoid such conversations – even if they are ‘obliged’ by standards and rules to listen. It’s an interesting avoidance because, once we force the issue (usually following months of ignoring us), they switch the focus from content (“You are systematically killing people”) to ‘process’ (“You aren’t being polite so I’m not going to talk to you”). I’ve always been interested by the emphasis those with murderous intent place on politeness, although it’s taken me years to see how this process works well enough to put it into words.

 

There’s an example of this occurring at the moment. A collection of our church leaders in the UK have demanded an apology from Coalition ministers for their misuse of statistics as a means of demonising the poor. The same church leaders have worked hard, alongside other anti-poverty campaigns, to counter this propaganda but seem to be having as much success as Spartacus, the courts and the EU. It doesn’t matter how much evidence well-meaning people present; how many laws we enforce; how many petitions we sign or how many protests we attend – the government isn’t listening because it doesn’t want to.

 

What interests me is the peoples’ response. Speaking as a precariat, with my brothers and sisters unlawfully suffering and dying in their tens of thousands around me, I want to know when our ‘supporters’ are going to wake up to what is really going on around them and understand that apologies will never be enough. To truly apologise is to acknowledge our wrong-doing, provide restitution where possible and never commit that sin again. Show me the evidence that our parliamentarians understand this because, with the exception of a very few, I see no sign of such awareness. What I see are these ‘people’ not giving a toss for what anyone else thinks and carrying on regardless, whilst closing their minds on the grounds that we aren’t being polite. Exactly where does this behaviour fuck off in the minds of our middle-classes?

 

The Wannsee Conference (Berlin 1942) on the “Final Solution”…

“ushered in the final stage of escalation of the extermination policy – the incorporation of the whole of German-occupied Europe in a comprehensive programme of systematic annihilation of the Jews. The evolution of such a programme, once intiated as a planned operation, rapidly gathered pace in the spring…”

Ian Kershaw: “Hitler, the Germans and the Final Solution” 2008

Following the publication of the first of my precariat pieces, I came across a blog by Dan Silver which, in its own academic way, says that we will not achieve any meaningful social change without talking to those presently excluded from social discourse. As a precariat, I would agree entirely but for three reasons: firstly, precariats have experienced nothing but being ‘talked at’ scaled_full_c82403f5ec81a55b08fb– only the few actually listen; secondly, if you want us to listen to what you have to say, it might help if you started talking in plain English and, finally, any conversation has to be translated into action, otherwise why should we waste our time and intelligence with you?

 

There is a very big problem that gets in the way of any meaningful communication between various sections of our community and that resides in emotional intelligence and experience. Unless someone has actually experienced the underlying intent of our all-party UK government policy, you are going to have to take our precariat word and evidence that it is already murderous and many don’t ‘get’ this. Those in more comfortable circumstances (like having a sound roof over your head, a bed to sleep in and food to eat when you are hungry) won’t have experienced the feelings that erupt as a result of not having them. These are the people who complain about our precariat ‘attitude-problem’. To those I would say this – if someone is systematically trying to kill me, how the fuck am I supposed to feel?

 

workfare-stick-upAs a psychotherapist, I learned that anger is the healthy response to abuse. As a precariat, I am not supposed to express this anger, so what am I supposed to do with it? According to the fascist doctor I met in prison, I’m not supposed to feel anger at all! Well, that can fuck off for a start. In human terms, anger is the impetus enabling our ability to change things that are unhealthy for us. So when the comfortably-off chattering classes start bitching about my attitude, that tells me they don’t want anything to change that might affect them even slightly – like the discomfort of listening to those they have systematically silenced whilst colluding with our wholesale murder. You see, that’s the thing about precariats – we have a tendency to call a spade a fucking shovel.

 

Th problem continues closer to the precariat class too. The working class are getting hit as hard or, in some cases, harder (although I haven’t seen evidence that they are dying in the same numbers as precariats). They also have a history of organising themselves – which is what they are doing now. As a former Trade Union official, I’ll wave to my comrades of the People’s Assembly; recognise our common enemy; and then say this:

BKIsb8jCYAA0XQl“You are not going to change a fucking thing until you get right down to the bottom of society. Your Peoples’ Assembly fails to include the precariats because, hey, we’re going to cost you money to listen to us. You’re going to have to shell out for bus-fares to get precariats (and, for that matter, your poorest TU members) to your meetings. Perhaps you may need to feed us too. Remember that when you go out for a pint afterwards, if you want us there you’re the one that’s buying because we can’t afford to. In rural areas like mine, you may need to give me a lift back to my precarious home because the buses stop running early – or, if my worst imaginings come true, back to my tent if it’s still there when I get back. This isn’t some kind of socialist replay of ‘our glorious past’, we’re slap bang in the middle of a fascist government implementing wholesale murder.

 

scaled_full_3c3cdc5606510b56ed22Has the People’s Assembly got any plans for how to care for our existing homeless or is that something that can wait until our glorious revolution has been won? If that is what you are thinking, you’re as bad as the fascists and you’re still learning the lessons of how the German people ‘didn’t know’ about the Holocaust. ”

 

At this point, I would probably walk away from the mic because I would hope, at least, I’d been talking to folk who are half-awake and not closed down entirely. To carry on in that vein would meet my own definition of impolite.

 

The thing about true change or growth is that we have to start with grim reality and this is as true for personal as well as social transformations. For as long as the population is governed by what it chooses to believe rather than what is real, nothing changes. We have to be as disillusioned, disenchanted and authentic as we can be if we want to change the world. Those uncomfortable with my kind of authenticity are those who, at present, collude with murderers. For those who ‘getting’ what I am saying, take a look at this and then see how you feel. What you are feeling gets deeper and stronger the further down the social scale we live, because every other bloody class above us is saying the same thing whilst, at the same time, passing the buck of blame down too. To the rich, I’d like to say ‘I feel your pain’ but, hey, precariats have our own and it’s bigger, better and definitely more colourful than yours. To the rich, I’d say that I’ve never seen such a bigger bunch of incompetents than you and if that’s what your expensive education taught you, I’d be closing those establishments down. If all you can come up with is more of the same, get out of the fucking way so the people can do the job you refuse to do.

 

As a retired psychotherapist; as a practising shaman; as part of what I believe are my social responsibilities, I have to exercise tolerance but I tell you this – there is a moment where my tolerance for irresponsible social cruelty to others crosses a line into absolute refusal to play your game of social niceties. I hope inactive non-precariats start to feel deeply uncomfortable with my self-educated, intelligent and eloquent stare coming right back at you from the Abyss because you won’t change without it.

 

We can make changes right now to how we behave but those changes have to be authentic and meet a real need. Waiting until you’ve organised this; or prepared that report; or had a discussion; or whatever other delaying tactics you choose to employ is no damn use to anyone. If your imagination can’t stretch to what you, personally, could do why not take a few lessons from those who know how to.

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Who knows – one day you might discover that you were wrong about those you despised.

 

If nothing else, that would be a step in the right direction.

 

 

 

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Identifying Our Sacred Signposts

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In Ecuador's Yasuní National Park, butterflies sip a yellow-spotted river turtle's tears. The mineral-rich liquid helps the insects reproduce. In exchange, the reptile gets a good eye-cleaning. (Click on photo for more information)

In Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park, butterflies sip a yellow-spotted river turtle’s tears. The mineral-rich liquid helps the insects reproduce. In exchange, the reptile gets a good eye-cleaning.
(Click on photo for more information)

 

Human society is filled with those claiming they speak in God’s Name. They come from everywhere on the planet and have been responsible for both wondrous creativity and unspeakable atrocities, particularly in Western culture. It is a very delicate operation, therefore, to start claiming some kind of divine power for oneself – regardless of who we are. As someone who has made such a claim – even if it only applies to me and requires no other believer – it helps to produce evidence.

 

The problem with sacred knowledge is that it is – and always will be – absolutely personal to the ‘Knower’. To make anything authentically sacred is to infuse Life with the meanings of Love, Creation and Power. Each one of us defines and understands such qualities at a personal level. What maybe meaningful for one person, can mean little or nothing to another. What I do know, from personal experience, is that if someone reaches for the Sacred with an open mind, the Sacred often replies with synchronous events that are meaningful to the individual.

 

For example: the ‘bid for power’ contained within my previous post has started producing such ‘proofs’.

 

The first is symbolic.

The picture at the top of this post, with it’s accompanying information about the Amazonian Yellow-spotted River Turtle’s Gift of Tears, carries significant meaning for me. I made abundant use of Butterfly wisdom in my post and, separately, have been clear of the importance I attach to the First People’s movement, Idle No More. For those unfamiliar with the cultures and histories of the First Peoples, it may interest you to know that the land mass of North America is known as ‘Turtle Island‘. Amongst the darker tales of the First People’s history is the genocidal ‘colonization’ of America by white immigrants in the nineteenth century, resulting in ”ethnic cleansing’ and called the “Trail of Tears“.  The First Peoples’ experience of Life includes both turtles and tears.

Whilst the article about the butterflies and turtle tears may have been published on 22 December 2012 (an interesting date given the Spiritual significance so many people attached to the previous day), I did not encounter it until now – after I had written about butterflies.

It is without doubt that I drink the shared indigenous vision and wisdom of contemporary First Nations wisdom as I struggle with my own path. It follows that such knowledge will be infused with the collective experience of the Trail of Tears and many similar lesser-known histories of the First Peoples. If I listen to the timing of our Earth Mother and her example of the yellow-spotted river turtles generosity to the creative abilities of butterflies, I might trust that my intuitions are guiding me correctly but…

For this to be true, there must be an exchange – there must be something to my drinking at this source of creativity and wisdom that cleans the vision of the giver. To me, unless that requirement is met, the synchronicity remains unconfirmed. Many First Peoples object to the colonization of their Sacred Ways by westerners and rightly so given the cruel treatment and systemic betrayals to which they have been and continue to be subjected to by governments. So, there is the possibility of a link but it has yet to be verified.

 

The second synchroncity is this:  “Ways of extending the welfare state to the poor”

The links in this blog are much closer to home. In my previous blog, I talk about the need to return to the land and to the communities who dwell there. This is written by ‘my people’ – I live in North East England – and my people are saying that ‘Names have Power’ and are starting to redefine the language we have been subjected to. The region has good reason to want to redefine this language given the massive loss of earning potential it has experienced in the last 24 years.

 

The third synchronicity is this: the lunar eclipse on May 25  falls on Quyllur Rit’i or Star Snow Festival of the First Peoples of the Inca.

The Quyllur Rit’i festival falls in a period of time when the Pleiades constellation, or Seven Sisters, a 7-star cluster in the Taurus Constellation, disappears and reappears in the Southern Hemisphere. The star movement signals the time of the coming harvest and therefore a time of abundance. For this reason Incan astronomers cleverly named the Pleiades “Qullqa” or storehouse in their native language Runa Simi (“human’s language”) or Quechua as it is also called.

Metaphorically, due to the star’s disappearance from the night sky and reemergence approximately two months afterwards is a signal that our planes of existence have times of disorder and chaos, but also return to order. This outlook coincides with the recent Pachakuti or Inca Prophecy literally translated from the two words pacha and kuti (Quechua pacha “time and space”, kuti “return”) where pacha kuti means “return of time”, “change of time” or “great change or disturbance in the social or political order”.[3]

(Many thanks to Mike Williams for sharing this)

If theory is accurate, this will be the first Star Snow Festival since the resetting of the Mayan ‘Long Count’ calendar since 21 December 2012. I didn’t know this festival existed when I wrote about the astrological impact the eclipse will have on my birthchart. Now it’s significance has deepened in my own understanding of the Sacred Mystery.

For me, this third ‘coincidence’ completes the sacred circle which began with the butterflies and turtles because we return to South America.

These are the energies that have found me this morning. That they have come in a three-fold manner is meaningful to me. That they arrived unexpectedly and independently means they are beyond my personal control – I did not go looking for them. They contain sacred information about life, people and our Great Mother Earth and seem to confirm what my imagination was telling me two days ago.

Perhaps the beating of this butterfly’s wings has produced an energetic reply. I will wait and see.

“Oh, Sacred Spirit – I am paying very close attention to Thou but I am just one small and imperfect woman who makes many mistakes. If my ‘seeing’ is true, May You Share Your Wisdom With Your Awakened Children so we might better understand your Will.”

“What I tell you three times is true” – Lewis Carroll

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Why I can no longer listen to @classicfm

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Dear ClassicFM

 

At the moment I am in the process of decorating my home and, traditionally, I listen to your station while I work. I discovered today, after a bout of ill-health, when I resumed my task that I can no longer listen to you at all. You see, whilst I was poorly, I learned you don’t pay any UK taxes. I try hard to be a forgiving woman but I find my usually capacious stock of it is missing.

 

It’s not so much anger that I feel – although that does form a part of it – it’s the level of disappointment. Here you are, apparently milking your listeners dry with your products and performances  but you see no need to contribute to the public purse that enables your audience to afford you. No doubt, many of your presenters have their own ways of avoiding paying taxes as well, if I think about it.

 

I can’t listen to you anymore because every time you play a piece of music, I wonder what the composer would make of what you are doing – using their creation to make money for yourselves and giving nothing back to the people who made you what you are. I wonder what Beethoven would have thought of your use of his music? Or Mozart? You have taken their creativity and are using it to feed your personal greed – if that weren’t true, you’d be paying taxes. You benefit a great deal financially from the creativity of Joanne Rowling but you don’t follow her example.

 

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I do not have a problem with people making money. My problem arises with those who profit from the poverty of others. Joanne Rowling doesn’t just pay her taxes – she gives her money away but you don’t, do you? Unless you can show similar behavioural standards to Ms Rowling in terms of taxes and charitable work, you have no business using the creators’ music you profit from, in my opinion.

 

I may be an audience of one but I do wonder how many other people might feel the same way I do. I have great respect for composers and love classical music with a deep passion. I cannot listen to your radio station – nor can I listen to the BBC for their open political bias – because I find myself betraying those I respect by doing so.

I’m tired of listening to selfish rich people abusing the creativity of the poor. Beethoven wasn’t rich! Neither was Mozart! How much money have you made from them? How much do you give back so the composers of tomorrow can emerge from those who are poor but creative? You don’t even contribute to the society you’re milking by your tax avoidance schemes. Why should I listen to you?

 

The thing that gets me the most is how I didn’t see it before! But then I didn’t know you don’t pay taxes. And I find I can’t forgive you (and that’s a big issue for me).

 

Financially, I am a poor woman and always have been. In my best earning year, I hit £30k and thought I was rich. I was self-employed at the time but I still paid my taxes. Those taxes pay for the infrastructure you take for granted but which is collapsing, if not already collapsed, for one third of the British population. The middle third are feeling the pinch and it’s hurting them badly. The final third – the ones who are running the country to suit themselves and nobody cares what happens to the rest of us – is your demographic. The lifestyle you advocate might as well be in Lala-land in comparison to mine nor is yours fairly earned as far as two thirds of the country are concerned. The size of your wealth is measured by the depth of our poverty – earned wealth includes paying taxes to support the infrastructure of the country.  You refuse to pay taxes when two thirds of the country are suffering – what kind of people are you?

 

Why aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?

 

The thing is that it’s likely your listeners come from all walks of life – just like me. Some of us are fully aware of the connection between tax avoidance like yours and hungry, homeless people dying in our streets.

 

To refuse to pay our social responsibility to the creative community we profit from is selfish but to continue to refuse when that community is suffering as a result of your selfishness is a sin that can only be forgiven by God because I cannot find it in myself to forgive you at the moment.

 

That is why I will never willingly listen to your radio station again and it’s got nothing to do with the music!

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dee

Women, men and finding new ways of relating

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Once in a while I encounter someone who I experience as setting no limits on who I might become for them. When this happens, I’ve always found it helpful to explain the limits I work within.

Here is an example, which began with a twitter conversation and has arrived at the following email:

Good morning, Danny 🙂

Arrggh – the ‘Abyss of Masculine Sexuality’ into which I could have fallen! Thank you so much for being a gentleman and helping me past it!

It might be worth explaining my gratitude in more detail because this is always an issue between women and men in danger of exploding in both our faces – if we can avoid this trap, all the better for us.

When I talk about this, remember I am not talking about you personally. I’m giving you an insight into my problems, not yours. Hopefully this may assist you elsewhere in your own work, especially when it comes to ‘women’s issues’ such as sexism and rape.

Firstly, my personal relationships with men (and women, for that matter) have always been fraught with problems. True; I’ve learned a lot and one of the lessons I’ve learned is that I get on much better with men, as people, when personal sexuality is excluded from the dynamic. I like men but life has left me extremely prickly around sex and sexuality. At 58 – and sans womb after a hysterectomy – I’m no longer driven by hormones into that region and, to be quite honest, I find that to be a relief because it leaves me free to be myself and to channel my desires into other energy.

I’m not the first woman to say that there is something about me that frightens some men. In the sexuality arena, this is because – on a psychic level – some of the harm I’ve experienced in the past has left unexploded minefields any serious suitor would have to cross. Because these unexploded bombs are emotional in nature – and many men have very real problems even hearing the emotional dimensions, let alone navigating them – it seems far more merciful for everyone to simply remove the entire subject from my agenda.

When ‘consent’ is removed, at the extremely early stage, we can see how sexual/gender politics affects the debate on the subject. For example; between us (and because my ‘energy’ contains this ‘No’ from the outset), it enables you to help me sidestep the masculine minefield by being the perfect gentleman – and I can explain to you why this is so helpful to all of us. Firstly because it strengthens trust. When men and women protect and guide each other safely through the minefields of personal relationships, we strengthen each other. Because sexuality and power dynamics are so heightened and corrupted generally at the moment, this is vital for building communities.

When I asked to be included in your web network, I was asking as a teacher and guide. I don’t know whether what I teach is useful or not – that is for you to decide, not me. What I do know is that I can’t function in that role if I’m bound within the limitations of current ideas on human sexuality. By removing that element – but not the minefield (funny how towers surrounded by thickets spring to mind) – I can see who is willing to put that aspect of themselves aside too. It is very clear that you can – which makes you an excellent role model and enhances what I am trying to teach. Thank you, young man. You are a credit to all those who raised you to manhood.

Our example enables me to teach lessons about love.

For example: the ancient Greeks had three words for Love: Eros, Philos and Agape.

Eros is the first expression of it – falling in love; being hit by cupid’s arrow. That kind of thing. There can be this element in a heterosexual man’s feelings for a woman included in his sexual expression. If it is there for both man and woman, then the chances of their love growing into Philos are excellent. Otherwise, Eros blows itself out in the end. It is not a lasting Love.

Philos is the Love that grows between friends. It lasts. It is the kind of Love that keeps couples together ‘forever’ in this world and the next – and it’s the kind of Love I seek to access with you by bypassing Eros altogether. When Philos is established between people (whoever they might be), Love continues to grow and becomes Agape.

Agape is to experience the ‘Oneness’ of the unified Universe – where nothing is excluded excepting those who, by personal choice, exclude themselves. (This is a Principle of Free Will – we all have a choice and if that choice removes us from creation, it must be respected and managed.) It is this experience I am interested in enabling other people to find because the information contained there affects what we believe about ourselves and others. It frees us from many of the limitations we are presently struggling against. What makes it different from all other routes is, in my experience, the fact that it is personal to each of us. Agape is to experience the universe with each one of us – exactly as we are with exactly our history – being perfectly placed to transform our planet and our lives for the better. It is to learn that each moment is a step on our journey and each choice we make opens the door to the next step.

We live in ‘interesting times’, as the old Chinese curse would say. One of the curses that affect us all is the systemic treatment of women globally. I’d suggest that a woman who doesn’t have a minefield around her is a rare bird, which can make life very difficult for men who do see us as people. In addition, the power-abuse dynamic (clearly illustrated in rise of BDSM pornography) seems to overwhelm everything to the point where some men are only interested in what they can get away with.

The advantage to all of us of ‘gentleman’ skills from the men is this. By behaving this way with each other by free choice (as opposed to some social ‘rules’), we can see who can’t behave this way and won’t be corrected. These are those whose free choice is to exclude themselves from Love and they do this by their behaviour. Who they are – or who we are, for that matter – is immaterial. Such issues belong to the relationship between individual and Agape and are none of our business. Our behaviour has to respect this relationship between individual and Divine (which includes Atheism too – it’s none of our business!) and we do this by treating our human relationships as if they are ‘sacred’ because they are!

When we understand this – Agape – we have a much clearer idea about the problems we are all facing as a community capable of experiencing this kind of Love. We care about this energy, so we behave in ways that minimise harm and accelerate healing. This is what I am interested in teaching to anyone who is interested in learning.

I don’t teach details; I teach Principles because these can be translated into our daily life in one way or another. Principles are tools anyone can use in their own way without loss – in fact, when we share how they work in our own life, we often give each other helpful ideas. For example, in my reality, I discipline myself around stealing other peoples’ ideas: the ‘property’ remains with the creatrix – I am only permitted to steal the idea if I can improve and return it in better shape than before. If I can’t improve on it, I must share it as it is, giving full credit to its originator. In a world of patents and copyright, I wonder if that works for others. Please bear in mind the pattern of our unhealthy system to thieve the ideas of women and claim them as their own. We are in the mine-field here, so let’s be careful of each other.

Finally, I’d like to say this. There are legends about crossing this minefield – it is part of the Monomyth. The Planet has nothing against male desire – She evolved it from the Passion of the Creator. The thing is that it is Sacred! You guys get a hard-on for God as well as women – it’s why the early Christian churches displayed you this way and why erections are sometimes called ‘godhead’. What has been forgotten by some is that you channel this energy, you don’t ‘own’ it. When you channel your desire to enthusiastically consenting women who also are friends, you will have a far better time than you have probably had up until now. Adult women have desires too and we can be friends to each other along the way to encountering the one woman who will leave you saying “Thanks but no thanks” to Allah’s offer of all those dark-eyed virgins. What I’d like to see is more gratitude to the women who do offer this to you especially because I don’t. If gentlemen are going to bed friends, remember she will be someone you will be able to easily introduce, without hiding your true relationship, to the woman who is sacred wife to your sacred husband.

This is how I would like us to love each other.

How does that sound to you?

 

Bear in mind that I do not expect these interpersonal boundaries to apply to anyone else but me. I share them because I suspect they might function as an example of  ‘good practice’ amongst those genuinely seeking to transform our troubled world.

 

 

The Astrology of February 2013

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This post is dedicated to all those people committed to change in our world.

February is the tipping point which will move us all forward.

Remember to be kind to each other while we do this!

The Progress of a Broken Heart

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Source: Unknown

 

 

For those who don’t know, following my blog post on November 5th, I had a heart attack. I was admitted to hospital as an emergency because my bottom artery was blocked by a blood clot. The clot was cleared and a stent installed to keep it open. Apparently my other arteries were unaffected. Whilst I was released home a few days later, the clot affected one of the valves in my heart, causing blood to flow back into my lungs, resulting in a fluid build up there. This caused serious breathing difficulties which meant I needed to be readmitted to hospital for further treatment. This problem has been successfully treated with diuretics and I am presently at home again. For the record, I think there may be further problems that need tending to, given how I am feeling, but I don’t yet know what they are. I’ll be discussing these with the cardiac nurses during my hospital appointment next Tuesday as well as taking things very carefully between now and then.

 

The amount of personal support I’ve received during this time has completely blown me away. On a practical level, my immediate neighbours have enabled me to traverse this new environment without harm to my home. They’ve fed (and cleared up after) my cats, helped me with shopping and visited me in hospital – all volunteered freely and with good humour. Given that my criminal offence, nearly ten years ago, involved hostile neighbours I am fully aware of how my recent experiences could have resulted in a very different outcome. To say I am grateful for all these kindnesses and help is to put it very mildly, especially as my current neighbours are fully aware of my past. They tell me this no longer concerns them – their assessment is based upon their direct experience of me now. Whilst it may not seem much to them, their attitudes mean a very great deal to me. On one level, it means that I have finally come home after a long period of homelessness. Yet now, from my perspective, this is going to have to be a different kind of home at all levels.

 

Firstly, the ‘home’ of my own body needs to be transformed – I cannot live the way I was living before my heart attack. This is now a life-and-death issue. I need to take all the meds the doctors have prescribed to keep my heart functioning and my lungs clear. I need to stop smoking (not as easy as it first appears). I need to take exercise (and already have a delightful volunteer neighbour stepping forward to help me with this) and I need the time to do all this before I can return to work. I doubt any of the doctors involved with this form of rehabilitation would disagree with me. Yet this needs to be set in a social context.

 

At a social level, I can count myself extremely lucky that my heart attack occurred when it did. If I were living in Iran, I would be being sent home to die due to the lack of available medication to treat heart problems. Given the current situation of the NHS and the UK government’s insistence upon privatisation, the services I received may not be there in the future. For example, there seems to be a suggestion that free prescriptions for those on benefit are likely to become a thing of the past. Those sickness benefits available in the past are not going to be there in the future. My housing benefit is being reduced next month – were it not for the compassion of both my landlady and her agent, I might have been facing a house move now (another reason for me to be deeply grateful). At a governmental level, it would seem that there is far less interest in my recovery. In fact, I find it easy to believe that my government would prefer me dead, such is their determination to reduce the ‘costs’ of my living. So whilst my immediate community supports me to live, my country apparently wants me dead – and I am a minor case compared with those whose own ill-health is far worse than mine. Therefore, I am deeply grateful to learn that there are those who are enquiring whether UK government policies towards people like me are criminal or not. Even if my own ‘value’ fails to meet the ‘life’ criteria, I think these questions need asking if we are to retain any vestiges of being a civilised society.

 

 

One of the problems I have in trying to bring everyone up to date with how I am is the fragmented quality of my awareness now. I experience what happened to my heart on 5th November as the equivalent of a mega-earthquake that is continuing to produce aftershocks in my physical, emotional and psychological landscapes. The structures of my past have yet to be tested for safety. I am no longer certain of where I am going or who I am capable of becoming now, in this new landscape. Any moves I make at present have to be tentative because nothing is certain anymore.

 

What I can be certain of, however, is that the epicentre of my personal mega-quake occurred deep in the subject of women’s desistance. I have not gone back to read the blogs leading up to 5th November because I know they will be filled – both accurately and inaccurately – with the pain and distress of trying to find a way through the social walls of a systemic resistance to listening. These are old, familiar and well-trodden paths that I had to follow many times in prison. Then it wasn’t heart attacks that cut through the barriers to common humanity but my blood-pressure which could register 240/130 during such crises. My BP would keep on rising until I encountered someone who thought I might be worthy of life. By the time such encounters occurred, I had normally been transferred to Healthcare. My heartful mega-quake was no different.

 

Jules replied to my 5/11 blog. In her reply (which I will post here at some point), she met me as one human being to another, following what I had experienced as a prolonged, terrible and abandoning silence in the face of what I was saying. Reading her email sent me into shock. I suspect that it was the impact of this shock that caused the crack in my artery which, coupled with my blood’s attempt to heal the crack through clotting, led to my heart attack. It might sound as though I am blaming her but, believe me, I am not. The compassion contained in her reply meant, in my opinion, that I survived this breaking of my heart. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have lived to write this.

 

Nevertheless, what is clear to me now is that I cannot survive my own desistance without kindness, compassion and a mutual willingness to engage another’s point of view from their perspective. None of our perspectives are going to be perfect but without a conscious capacity for humanity and compassion, we are likely to be unintentionally murderous, regardless of whether it arises from an individual offender; from those engaged within the Criminal Justice system; or as commenters/observers. I’m probably not explaining myself very well here but this might help. As you will see, my post elicited one response which required moderation because it was a personal attack towards me. The respondent had problems understanding that not every offender is a thief, mugger or murderer; that if I have paid the full price society has demanded for my transgression, then I am no longer ‘fair-game’ to blame for all crime; and that, as a desister, I have a continuing social responsibility to contribute to the lawful betterment of my community. As an illustration of the point I was attempting to make, the comment itself was ‘perfect’; so, too, the moderation which implies that there comes a point where such prejudice and hate must cease if a society is to retain its claim to humanity.

 

I support my own viewpoint with the evidence of my willingness to die in order to bring this message home to those who are capable of hearing it. It is a form of experiential teaching/learning like no other for it shows us all how much suffering we demand or require, both of ourselves and in others, before we empower ourselves to say ‘Enough’. What is interesting here is that when we realise and act upon our ‘Enough’, we find ourselves behaving lawfully. Sometimes we may also realise that, in all possibility, our previous failures to act may render us liable, or vicariously liable, to the charge of crimes against humanity.

 

I don’t teach this lesson to make people feel bad about themselves – those who need that lesson cannot hear me at all. No – my lesson is to help those who can hear me to feel good about themselves instead.  Yes, these are terrible tales we are relating – they are enough to break a woman’s heart – but if we can hear them, we can change them as we change ourselves. It’s not about apportioning blame – there is too much of it now to even begin to know how to share it out. It’s about saying ‘Enough’! It’s about saying we will not add to this appalling situation through ignorance, denial or refusal to acknowledge reality but will find other, better, healthier, humane ways to be with each other. It’s about gently removing the weapons of attrition from the hands of the wilfully ignorant and placing that responsibility into the power of wiser, legal and socially responsible minds and hearts so we stop treating each other this way. This is how we learn to feel good about ourselves and what we do. Ultimately, it’s about discovering that, no matter what we may have done in the past, we can all be forgiven… but only when we learn to stop sinning. This is the primal message of desistance and it belongs to us all, offender and non-offender alike.

 

The impression I am getting, in the aftermath of my mega-quake heart-break, is that I am not required to teach this death-centred experiential lesson again. The message I am receiving, from my neighbours and my immediate community, is that I am valuable alive and living amongst them. This blog – as fragmented and perhaps confused as it may be – is an opportunity for me to say thank you to my neighbours and those amazing friends I have made within my social media. If my neighbours overwhelmed me with their kindness when I needed them the most, my astonishing friends have been sending tsunamis of love that render me without words and what feels like an inability to respond. Yet, love demands response.

 

Until my body feels aligned to whatever life-force I must now dwell within to live, I can make no wise decisions about which pathways I need to be following. So I contemplate the aftermath of my mega-heart-break in order to see what needs to be allowed to die back and what can be cultivated to grow in healthier ways.

 

From this immediate perspective, what I can be certain of is that social attrition, cruelty, an absence of mercy and increasing austerity will grow nothing of any worth and is more than likely to destroy any remaining personal creativity any of us might be able to access. Whilst my neighbours and friends offer me the realistic possibility of a continuing life worth living for the benefit of my community, I cannot ignore that my government appears to want me – and all those like me – dead.

 

How am I supposed to respond to such a requirement?

 

Indeed, how is any law-abiding citizen supposed to respond?

 

 

And, finally, my apologies if this is hard to follow – it is, nevertheless, a true reflection of what is occurring within as I wander through the post heart-attack landscape I find myself in.