Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

Category: political/current affairs

THE VOYAGE OUT


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/voyage/”>Voyage</a&gt;

I have stolen the title of Virginia Woolf’s first major work because I could not find anything more apposite.

THE VOYAGE OUT

Just before midnight on the evening of June the 23rd 2016 I was lying in bed with my tablet watching the BBC coverage of the election results on a referendum to decide whether or not The UK should leave the EU or remain a member of a united Europe. The first large city to announce its result was Newcastle, in the North East. It was forecast to vote 60% to 40% in favour of remaining. It voted to do so, but 50.3% to 49.7%. I Put away my tablet, turned out my light and prayed for the future of all my friends in Europe.

A few minutes before six in the morning I awoke, turned on the tablet again and accepted the fate imposed upon the world by 52% of the electorate who had decided, for whatever insane reason, to leave the sanctuary of a ship that was floundering but which could yet be saved. Instead those voters chose to let it sink and preferred to sail off alone into the egotistical, self-centred oblivion of finding its own new world. Sadly, nobody pointed out in the preceding campaign that the New World had already been discovered, was not that great but bearable, and there were no more worlds to conquer.

I let the day pass as I assimilated the damage that had been done to three things. Firstly to the world’s opinion of the UK which had changed from a respected and prosperous democracy to a selfish, uninformed and greedy bunch of nationalistic extremists who cared for nobody but themselves.

Secondly I surveyed the economic damage done to the UK itself as the pound floundered and the value of each person’s possessions, monetary, industrial or in real estate diminished on average by seven per cent. The promised land of no longer allowing immigrant workers to steal jobs by accepting lower wages backfired and UK workers realised they would soon be earning less anyway. But the immigrants would earn what they always had. Commercially, small businesses would fold as banks now had no money to lend them to keep them afloat. Just as they would not be able to lend people money for mortgages, so the homeless would remain just that.

Thirdly I reflected that, as the ship of state sailed off into the wide blue sea of uncertainty, the UK’s European partners were now facing a horrific reality that could have been kept hidden until it was put right, but now cannot. Most of the countries in Europe were living off the money Britain gave them, but as they traded with Britain this was a problem that could be managed. Now, when that trading stops , seventeen European countries will be so badly bankrupt that the common market will no longer be able to exist and several hundred million people will be facing ten to fifteen years of recession bordering, in some cases, on starvation. Did our voters even know this two days ago? No, because nobody bothered to tell them the implications of what they were doing. In short, the claim that we held the first truly democratic vote in our history proved only one thing. Democracy only works when those who take democratic decisions are correctly informed about all aspects of what they are having to decide. In the UK most of us did not. I am glad to be able to say that I at least pointed out these dangers in blogs and on Facebook several days ago. But then a voice crying in the wilderness does not expect to be heard.

But our voyage out may not have been a complete disaster for the Western world. There is a strong chance that when the citizens of the United States see what economic and social chaos is created to the detriment of all, if one votes for walls instead of doors, they might think twice when confronted by extremism of this kind in their own country in November. They will ditch Donald Trump when they see that Britain is no longer GREAT and that the rest of the world will hold them in universal contempt if they bring their own country down to the same level of vilification. Thank God I am a Scots Australian, though born in England, for it was the ENGLISH vote that did this.

AWE

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I THINK I’LL STAY IN THIS WEEK


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/aimless/”>Aimless</a&gt;

we should all aim less and embrace more.

I THINK I’LL STAY IN THIS WEEK

‘Brexit’ demands that we all get out,

And Thursday we’ve been asked to vote.

Should we ditch all our European friends

To keep British economic hopes afloat?

 

The idea of abandoning many poorer folk

To give us more cash makes me feel as sick

As any sane American would feel next Fall

After giving Donald Trump a thumbs up tick.

 

There is no excuse in this modern world

For being selfishly mean or power mad.

Nobody from any country, by their birth

Alone, should be considered  as being bad.

 

Yet there are people from my native land

Who really believe unity, to be just a word  

That means being ‘un-British’ in some way,

I can’t think of anything so stupidly absurd.

 

I was born in WWII, bombs falling all round

The house which was my first earthly home.

But now, nearly seventy five years on, I call my

Enemies friends, thanks to the treaty of Rome.

 

I can’t run away from folk I’ve come to love,

My whole life would be a mockery, a waste.

No. I’d rather remain with my European kin

Than abandon them in selfish, hateful haste.

AWE

GBLTQandS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/open/”>Open</a&gt;

an open letter to the intolerant

GBLTQandS

I feel I have to write what I really feel, believe and want everyone to accept about the whole modern approach to the sexual orientation question as it affects and applies to all of us today.

Firstly I want to look at the world from a purely biological point of view. It is now accepted that there is a group of people which can be identified as forming the GLBTQ community. More importantly it is acknowledged to be a minority grouping because more than half the world’s population would not admit to being part of it. But biologically it is incomplete, there is a letter missing. ‘S’. If you add this it includes all of us when those letters stand for: gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual, queer and straight. So let’s add that S and see just what makes all the people under each heading different yet also the same as all the others. Watch. (Note all the = signs mean in a physical relationship, not mental, spiritual or social.)

G = a man who prefers sexually loving men. L= a woman who prefers sexually loving women. B = equals a man or woman who enjoys sex with both men and women. T= a man or woman who wants to, or already has, changed their gender because they feel they are biologically incorrectly gendered by birth. While preferring to be identified as their non-birth gender, they often still come under B for sexual enjoyment. Q = a person who actively seeks to flaunt their sexuality in order to seduce someone of their own sex. S = men and women who prefer to restrict their sexual love to a person who is of the opposite sex to themselves. But many in this category would have experimented with sexual relationships with people in the other divisions above but usually prefer someone of the opposite sex. Agreed? I hope so. The important thing about clarifying the biological aspect of the subject is that the vast majority of all people have a sexual drive of some sort, want to satisfy it and usually do in a wide variety of ways.

Ok, that is biology and it accounts for all of us and all our tastes in sexual relations. So why the fuss and the bad-mouthing of anybody for being a particular type of human being when it comes to how one wants to express one’s love and sexual attraction for another person? Well this is primarily a social question which can be divided into purely secular legal issues and religious teachings of right and wrong. Let’s look at the secular legal one first. In many countries now the law does not permit people to offend GLBTQ people purely on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Why not? If I tell a joke about a queer tranny, and it is really funny and is aimed only at being funny, how is it different to making a joke about a straight man’s mother-in-law? I have no idea, but I do know that minorities can have me arrested but majorities can’t. Daft. On the other hand I know offending people must stop somewhere.

I would be the first person to agree that openly bad-mouthing anybody for their sexuality is unpleasant, unkind, unnecessary and likely to provoke public disorder. It is simply not something anybody should do. But having a perfectly sensible discussion about how one feels on this subject, and saying that one does not like certain types of sexual orientation, is fine. In fact it is basically what I am doing here. But some idiots somewhere have decided to invent the word homophobia in order to make people who do not like homosexuality appear in some way in the wrong for saying so. Not only is that undemocratic, untrue and unnecessary, but more importantly it is completely inaccurate. A phobia is a fear not a dislike. The word homophobia is basically a neurotic anxiety condition describing people who have an irrational fear of a section of society. Well I do not like the idea of having any sort of sexual activity with a man, but it isn’t a fear. It is just my sexual preference. I have a lot of homosexual male and female friends and relations of whom I am very fond. It just stops there! Where we do have a problem, however, is when one set of people start telling others sets of people that, for religious reasons, being homosexual is wrong. And I mean wrong in the sense of sinful. That is rubbish and is not the teaching of any faith I have studied, and I have a doctorate in the history of world religions.

Where some faiths, and they are perfectly entitled to, condemn homosexual acts they do so on the grounds that the ACT is wrong, but the person can be forgiven. This is a very important distinction because it doesn’t leave anyone in the clear. In the Christian and Islamic faiths, for example, it is wrong to have sex outside holy wedlock. That’s all, that’s it. It is a sin for every GLBTQorS to have sexual activity with someone to whom they are not married. It doesn’t matter how you do it, who you do it with or anything else. Outside marriage it’s wrong. I know very few people in my world who manage to keep the right side of that blanket for the whole of their lives. Some, of course, but very few. It doesn’t make you a bad person, that depends on a whole host of other things, the main one is whether you are a basically good, kind, loving and caring human being. How you manage to stick to any other rules imposed by creeds which you might espouse is your affair. Just don’t point the finger at others on principle when you have no idea whether they are better or worse human beings than yourself. But I can’t leave this without touching on the really important social side of sexual acts. When do they become legally criminal?

I cannot excuse any sexual act that is not consensual, especially if it physically or mentally damages another person. Thus all rape, male and female, paedophilia, and seduction of those unable for any reason to fully understand what is going on, should be punishable by law and in most countries it is. The most difficult of those to decide sometimes concerns questions of the age of consent. For instance, is it wrong to pick up a thirteen year old call girl who looks seventeen? And is it really incest when two youngsters in the same family are just experimenting? Yes they shouldn’t, but it’s not a crime unless their parents let them. God what a world we live in.

Are you wondering what sparked all this off? No, of course you aren’t. That mass shooting in Orlando made a lot of us feel physically sick. But I felt more. I felt dreadfully sorry for the chap who did it! What sort of society did he live in that allowed him to be armed when law enforcement officers knew about him years earlier? He was mentally ill, all brain washed extremists are, and I personally included him in my prayers that night because I didn’t think anyone else would. You don’t send someone to hell because they’re bonkers.

AWE

THE VISION I WANT TO COME TRUE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/vision/”>Vision</a&gt;

THE VISION I WANT TO COME TRUE

I had a vision today of the world in about 75 years time. Some 25% of the population of today’s poorer or oppressed nations were living happily in the modern, Western, developed world enjoying bringing up their children to a happy, healthy and generally useful and well educated life. Some 20% more of the really lucky ones had managed to bring about such happy changes in their native lands.

Are we all really so selfish today that we don’t want to help such people find a better life, a life nearer to that which we live ourselves? What threat do impoverished, destitute migrants pose that is so great we would rather see them starving, down trodden and basically ignored? None that I can see. 

Just think back to our colonial centuries of living off the less fortunate peoples on earth. We owe them everything we have. And in the US what was wrong about poor or persecuted Europeans of 250 years ago wanting to find a better life and so crossing the Atlantic to set up what we now call the United States? They were the very migrants that so called civilised, cultured people want to turn away because they  do not want to share their wealth and social advantages. 

I would so much rather go to my maker content in the belief that the vision I really want to see at the end of this century is one which will actually be there, be real. In Britain we don’t want to stop helping our friends in Europe. In America nobody wants a wall to keep out Mexicans when they are hard up and basically ordinary, pleasant people. Very few Europeans want to be forever arguing with each other, and the rest of the world, about who should have the highest salaries and the most modern gadgets in their homes.

None of us want any of these things for the world at the expense of peace and friendship among nations. We want a world  that our children and grandchildren will be able to stand up in and proudly say ,”this is what I helped create.” We all owe everyone a happy future, a loving future; not a world  of wars, hatred and ‘exits’ from all regions where we should be helping others instead of running away. 

AWE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RIGHT TO SPEAK AND THE LEFT TO DICTATE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/curve/”>Curve</a&gt;

‘curve’, how apt for everything politicians try to do with facts to suit their own ends

THE RIGHT TO SPEAK AND THE LEFT TO DICTATE

There is a lovely row going on in Britain about whether saying you do not support zionism or disagree with zionist policies makes you anti-semitic. The real joke is that the row is between a former left wing mayor of London and his Labour (ultra left wing) party leader. The latter  has suspended the former mayor from the party for saying  something  against zionism, because this equals being anti-semitic in his eyes.

Personally I do not think the state of Israel should have been established  in the way it was in 1949 purely because the people who were intending to live there had no legal right to do so. The vast majority of founding Israelis were European and American, and had no excuse at all to throw two million Palestinian arabs out of their homes and steal their land. I am NOT anti-semitic, I have many, many Jewish friends, but that’s a racial distinction not a political one. As a Catholic I no more support the religion of Muslims than I do of Jews, but if I like members of those two faiths as people, and recognise them as friends, that doesn’t mean I am not a Chritstian. What I must never do is offend people on purpose because of their religion or race. Well I don’t. Nor did the mayor referred to above. My first wife, who was killed with my daughter in a war, was an Asian Buddhist. Hardly an indication that I don’t like people of other races or creeds. But I am still allowed to separate politics from race and beliefs without being offensive. Well I hope I am!

Apart from anything else I get very fed up with millions of people on a daily basis being unbelievably offensive and blasphemous to my face in a grossly un-Christian way and, when I report them to the relevant authorities, am just told to …something …off, and that by the state officials who are supposed to be protecting civil rights in our country. But I put up with it because my job in life is to love my neighbours, whoever they are and whatever they do. And if they offend me I should forgive them. I wish some so called minorities would start doing the same.

AWE

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mask/”>Mask</a&gt;

one word prompt ‘mask’ is just toooooooo tempting

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

The ultimate non-choice for President is now looking very likely to steal the GOP nomination and then  we will see if he is prepared to drop the mask. So far the obnoxious insult to the American population, Donald Trump, has managed to convince enough people that Republican party members should give him their nomination to run for President. What we have to ask ourselves is this. Was his campaign just an attempt to make sure his party had a really strong candidate to return them to power, or was his performance up to now a serious series of statements of his intent to act like an idiot if he gets the top job?

Personally I think he had been hiding behind a mask and he will now drop it, the Republicans will let out a sigh of relief and give him their heartfelt support. If he doesn’t drop the mask, however, there are only two things the GOP can do. First of all throw him out of the party. He has already said he doesn’t like the people he represents so why would they acknowledge his self styled allegiance? No they would have to take away his GOP membership and in July put forward an intelligent, popular and moderate candidate. Preferably a woman. The second thing they must do is convince ALL Americans that people like Trump, left or right, are extremists of the very worst sort for whom there is no place in a respectable political party. Failure to do this will effectively mean a new party will have to be formed to replace the GOP.

But then I’m a moderate Democrat, so I hope this necessary restoration of the Republican image comes much too late to Stop Hilary getting the armchair in the oval office. I know it’s not all over yet, but the longer Trump rants on insanely, the longer the rest of the world is going to wonder what is happening in the US to make its citizens support such an obviously unpleasant man. His foreign policy will never work because no other world leaders, and I mean any, will even talk to him.

Roll on November and let’s get this freak show right off the road. It’s damaging America’s image unbearably, something the world cannot afford!

AWE

 

 

 

 

 

NEARLY ELECTION YEAR


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/childhood-revisited/”>Childhood Revisited</a>

My earliest memory (7 months) is not detailed enough  so here is a latest look into the future instead.

 WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR DADDY?

It’ll be new year in a couple of days and the new year will be a presidential election year. Now I wonder how many of us can name all the people running for their parties’ nominations. In the US maybe a lot of you, but over the pond here in the UK and Europe probably only Trump and Clinton. That really is worrying because usually by this time most informed Brits and Europeans can name at least three possible front runners from each party at the start of a year when a president has to stand down. I may be the exception because I follow US politics, but beware of world opinion at the moment. Most people neither know nor care who becomes president because Obama has shown that the job, hard though he tried, is one which carries very little meaningful influence and absolutely no personal power – unless you are a mentally unabalanced multi billionaire like Trump.

Current polls over here place Hilary on 70% and Donald on 30% in a head to head vote and can’t name anyone else. For those of us who can comment on the subject I personally expect the GOP to shoot itself in the foot and eventually choose Trump, only to watch a late surge by Kerry, the Secretary of State, become the next president. He would be a good choice. Wouldn’t it be great if he re-wrote the first and second clauses of the constitution! Imagine what he could do. By straightening out the first one people would be free to express their ideas and feelings again, not just follow politically correct legislation which accentuates  putative offensive stances rather than making them disappear. Acts of discrimination of any type, religious, sexual, ethnic etc are already criminal offences under other sections of the law.

And if the second one was scrapped altogether nobody could carry a gun except in time of war, and then only in a federal army. The police might not like having to enforce the law without killing people, but it would actually be rather pleasant. They would also have to earn their salaries too. But I have no vote in the US, even though I hold the rank of lieutenant colonel in the US army, but I have a lot of close blood relations in four states and certainly care what sort of a world they will have to live in after next November’s ballot.  It would be nice to think that no guns and no fear of arrest whenever you opened your mouth could both disappear from my families’ lives. More tomorrow on 2016.

 

AWE

 

 

HOW SHE ACED HIS TRUMP


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unexpected-guests/”>Unexpected Guests</a>

the odd couple

HOW SHE ACED HIS TRUMP

I know you aren’t all as rich as I am and don’t own million dollar mansions near Las Vegas, but even those of you who could would have been amazed at what I found when I returned to my playboy’s castle in Nevada yesterday afternoon. I mean, who let them in? I asked my butler, Dashwood.

“I say, Dashers, old thing, who on earth are those people sitting cozily sipping tea and huge wedges of Dundee cake on the sofa in my lounge? I’ve never seen them before in my life. Did you admit them without even asking me?”

He drew himself up to his elegantly dressed five foot ten inches and deigned to enlighten me. “Indeed, it was with some reluctance, My Lord, but I felt I had no option. The rather self important middle aged gentleman with the well disguised hair piece slipped an identity badge into my hand, and the lady just puckered up and said ‘fruitcake, I’m with him.’ I mean, Sir, what could I do? The identity badge was an envelope with $10,000  in it and so obviously I had to be polite to his, how shall I put it, Moll.”

I sighed, it was so hard to get decent servants these days. It was my own fault as I had insisted that the successful applicant had to be openly devious but secretively cunning. I certainly got what I deserved when I hired him. “Well, did they give their names, or just order tea? ”

He coughed behind his hand. “I never admit strangers, My Lord. The gentleman said his name was Donald Trump – hardly likely to be a real name is it, I thought – and the lady said she had once been first, but was now just plain Mrs. Hilary Clinton. Obviously a fraud, Sir, I mean does she look plain?” But the names rang a vague bell in my Oxford educated ear, and I thought it might be amusing to join them. I wandered nonchalantly into my own beautifully furnished room and introduced myself.

“Mrs. Clinton I presume, you are most welcome to take tea with me,” and shook hands with all the grace I could muster in the circumstances. Then turning to her toy boy I again offered my hand and said, “And you must be Mr. Trump? Well you must be, I mean there is no one else here, what?”. But don’t let me interrupt your conversation. They stared at me as if I was mad. Which of course I am.

“Say, My Lord, we heard you had this little place where we could meet up in secret to have a heart to heart chat. We knew, or our goons did, that you wouldn’t mind. Donald even said he’d been told in Scotland that you could solve our little problem. Can you?”

“Well, madame, if I knew what it was I am sure I could. I own an estate in Scotland like Mr.Trump, if you are genuinely he, “I added, looking questioningly at the fellow opposite me. “But unlike me, you do not have a title attached to your real estate, do you? But natter on my children, I am all ears.”

Wow, did they natter. Donald had an interesting proposition to put to Hilary and, as I have said, their chat was heart to heart. He asked her,

“Look Hill,  “I detected an American accent, “About this election for the presidency. I’ve wrapped up the GOP nomination, ” – the what?! – “and you’ve gotten the Democrats to put you up against me, so how say we do a deal? I’ll promise to tell everyone you’re a Muslim if you agree you are. That way I’ll get elected and you’ll find a nice little cheque for a billion green ones in your off shore bank account? I mean Bill need never know.” She smiled. Well, smirked actually, but in Britain we don’t say that about foreign ladies. Here was her reply.

“You don’t understand  how it works, honey, you really don’t. Look when was the last time your party ever took a risk and elected a ‘first’ in American history? We’ve done two and I’m going to be the third. Then when I’m lounging in my oval office I can have you arrested  for treason, the one crime I don’t have to prove, and that way we get all your money anyway. Every way you lose, Donald. It’s the one thing left that you’ve never done in life and I’m going to make sure you do it.”

Far from worried Mr. Trump was looking puzzled. “I don’t get you lady. What have the democrats done first twice, and you’ll make it a third first? I don’t understand what you mean.” She said she was already aware of the level of his IQ and so explained.

“In 1960, Donald, we were facing a tough fight with tricky Dicky, so we chose JFK  and he was the first catholic to become president. Then in 2008 we had the election won as soon as we chose a coloured candidate. Mr.Obama certainly made history in that election. And you know what, Donald? I’m going to be the first woman to be president. It’s a cert, I can’t lose.” But Donald was not as thick as so many of us thought. He suddenly had a briliant idea.

“Look, baby, if you bust up with Bill between the election and your inauguration and then marry me, I could become ‘First Man’. That would make me the greatest man in US history. Will you do it for me?”

She was still shaking her head as Dashwood showed them out, and the last thing I heard her say to him was, “Nice try, Don, but Bill’s already done eight years at the top and he’s really looking forward to being ‘First Man’, in every sense, for the first time in his life!”

I felt a heavy hand shaking my shoulder and waking me up on the sofa. “Dreaming again, Sir, are we?” asked Dashwood as he brought me my afternoon pills.

AWE

PLUS ÇA CHANGE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sorry-im-busy/”>Sorry, I’m Busy</a>

I should have written this years ago!

PLUS ÇA CHANGE

We have a very interesting debate going on in the media in Britain at the moment centred round probably the most emotive and disturbing subject that has done a complete U turn in my life time. But before continuing let me make it clear that I am not writing anything other than an account of how acceptable behaviour has changed in the past sixty years. I am telling my own version of what I have observed and why I am very worried at how easy it is to change different classes of society’s perception of right and wrong, and hatred and acceptance, without actually changing much conduct at all. Just making the sins of the rich available to everyone.

When I was growing up as a young boy, let us say at the age of ten in 1952, three aspects of sexual pratice among people of all ages was seen as being very definitely the worst things anyone could do. One was being a practising homosexual, the second a practising prostitute and the third being a practising paedophile. One of these has since been legalised, one made illegal and the third abominated as the worst crime of all. Incredibly, members of the public have been told it is a criminal offence to oppose the first change. A new and inaccurately stupid word, ‘homophobia’, has even been coined to allow people to be charged with so called ‘hate crimes’. I know why things were as they were in 1950 and why they changed, but I have no idea why the emotive hate aspect had to be brought in to justify changes in the law.

Take a typical central London street in 1950, say in the West End; eg. Soho. Prostitutes were allowed to solicit openly because they provided a ‘service’ that was not something against which legisation had ever been introduced. Homosexuality was condemned because many upper class people held hypocritical views about Victorian morality and, although practising homosexual acts a lot of the time from their schooldays onwards, – both sexes, – were socially ashamed to admit this. So they either never spoke of it or ranted against it. But where did that leave youngsters of my age who were told that some things were wrong and dreadful while experiencing the horror of watching ordinary people either committing such acts themselves? Or worse, being abused by the very people who preached to them that such behaviour was disgusting? Well here is my experience.

My mother’s side of the family were all on the stage or in some branch of the entertainment business and with my sister, a year older, we often spent a lot of time in top theatre dressing rooms with members of the family. But we had been well instructed in the dangers of allowing homosexuals anywhere near us because they might influence the way we perceived sexual practices both then and later in life. The important thing was that we were never made afraid that any so called ‘pervert’ was going to sexually abuse us as children in any way at all. Actually it was mostly exhibitionist lesbians and male dancers who flaunted their homosexuality, but we found it amusing and actually got to know and like quite a few of them. So I asked one of the monks at my school, I was a catholic at a school run by a religious order, why I should not make friends with people my mother thought could have a bad influence on me or set a lasting bad example. The answer was superb.

“Anton, any sexual act outside marriage, no matter what combination of genders, is against the ten commandments, therefore a sin and therefore you shouldn’t do it.” You have to admit that was pretty straightforward, down the line and spot on; but it was how he dealt with my reply that I did not understand until I was nineteen!

“Father, why are sexual acts between people who enjoy them any worse than breaking any other commandment? I shouldn’t tell lies, but we both know that and do it all the time. Why is one worse than the other?” Listen to this reply.

“Because by the age you are now (I was then 11) you understand why lying is a sin and why you shouldn’t do it. You won’t understand sexual misdeeds until you are old enough to have experienced them. So you have to be told in advance what to look out for and then avoid it.” What a confusing load of rubbish to tell someone my age who did know and did understand anyway. From then on I formed my own philosophy about ‘sins of the flesh’ as they called them. Yes, they were sins but there were good reasons why people committed them, as with all sins. But what changed?

Well first we had a law passed in the late fiftys making soliciting in public illegal for reasons which I never understood. A lot of my female acquaintances round the theatres were on the game. I knew they were, they never threatened me and as often as not they had a good sense of humour and my sister and I were too young to see any harm they were doing. Even so they were soon classified as criminals if they sought to sell themselves in public.

A long time later the outcry against homosexuality began to die down because, as my generation grew up, we could not accept that those who did not like having sex with people of the opposite gender should be criminally marginalised just because of the biological natures and predelections with which they were born. A man can love a man just as much as he can a woman, and so too with women. It was this realisation that led to the changing of the law to make it okay for anyone to have sex with anyone else no matter who they were. The logic is simply that one person’s sexual preferences, though sinful, are not something which they can help and is not a fit subject for legal interference. But there is a point where it is.

If people start telling other people that having sexual relations with anyone at all just because you enjoy it is not wrong, then the moral dimension comes in and that is where so many people get inordinately over heated and concerned both ethically and emotionally. Well as I’ve said I know what constitutes a sin and what does not so I have no problem in this way. But I certainly would if I found anybody trying to make another person commit a sin when that person did not know why it could be wrong. And, as the law stands, if I interfered in such a case where homosexuality was concerned  I would be liable to be jailed, but not if I told someone they should not be adulterous!

Insane? Yes, of course and nothing to do with free speech. Just the failure of the politically correct to see my point of view, which is that if I love someone I would not want them to be encouraged to do wrong. Done with compassion that is an act of love not hate. And it goes as much for people trying to seduce others into acts of heterosexual adultery or any other type of sin. What I should never do, and never have, is insult or berate a homosexual just because I know that is the nature with which they were born. But then you shouldn’t do that to anybody simply because their natures are different to yours.

Just because the idea of having any type of sexual relationship with another man makes me feel like vomiting is my bad luck. It is, if you like, the natural reaction to matters sexual with which I was born. It certainly does not make me holier than thou when comparing myself to a homosexually orientated person. I would never encourage anyone to deliberately commit a sin if I knew they understood and believed that that was what their actions might be. And I would always make it a priority in everything I did to ensure that I was not hurting, harming, mentally upsetting or just being plain insulting to somebody else for any reason at all. A good or clever joke, which might not be appreciated by someone because they had no sense of humour, would only be insulting if I told it in a deliberately insulting way. Believe me Catholics and Jews tell the best jokes on themselves of any people I know.

But I haven’t mentioned how and why paedophilia has become so much more widely perceived as a really dreadful act. Firstly, if it involves adults abusing young children, up to the age of twelve, there really is no excuse for putting a youngster through an enforced experience that can physically and mentally scar them for life. This is not just a sexual crime it is an act of torture for which there is no excuse at all. And yet there is a reason why people do it. Some people, far more than most of us would like to imagine, actually get physical pleasure out of having sexual relations with very small children because it turns them on. This is the really hidden ‘crime’ whose name nobody mentioned for centuries and is only now being universally criticised. Its full viciousness has been realised only since being brought out into the open by the large number of admissions from its victims that they suffered in the way they did.

But I wish the media would stop reporting celebrity, educational and religious cases of child abuse in a way that suggests that no journalist or news photographer ever lusted after a child in their lives. They are amongst the worst of the lot and should be named and shamed as much if not more than those they publicise. To my own knowledge more than half the newsmen I knew when working in different parts of the world used to make for the nearest child brothel as soon as they hit town. In asia and South America it was especially disgusting, and the way they boasted about their discoveries and methods of enjoyment, which they could only satisfy when a very long way from home, was ghastly. It is the only aspect of journalism which I can honestly say revolted me and made me ashamed of my profession. Consequently it is the only profession in which you never hear of anyone being guilty of this offence. Many, many reporters are too afraid to finger someone who might be able to point the finger back. The world of entertainment is just as bad and my mother would not let me enter the film business when I had the chance aged fourteen, and thank heavens. Child molestation was rife in that industry and still is.

But There is one side of sexual consent and the law which is still absurd. In our country if two fifteen year olds make love neither is guilty of anything. If a sixteen years and one day old kid makes love to a fifteen years and 362 days old child then one is deemed to have been raped and the other to is put on a sex register and could even be jailed. I admit one has to draw the line somewhere, but I think common sense should be the arbiter here not an absolute rule for every case. I believe in some states in the US it is illegal to even write about someone having sex under the age of eighteen. Why, when hard core porn is available on tap for all ages on all computers throughout the world? I am not advocating filming and then uploading licencious behaviour between any couples at any age, just wondering why the anti porn laws are not enforced. I suppose there is too much money and greed involved for thousands of cases to be brought to court.

But to finish, I think what I have seen in my lifetime is a world in which one lot of double standards, where everyone was either good or bad according to their station in life, has been swapped for one in which nobody is considered wrong for following any sexual preferences. Yet if you think of it, everybody is still behaving exactly as they always did only it just happens to be the turn of a different section of society to get away with being as awful as others have always been. Plus ca change….!

AWE

PIANISSIMO


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/strike-a-chord/”>Strike a Chord</a>

why I love the piano

PIANISSIMO

I have loved the piano all my life. I first tried to play it at three and half years of age and when no tune came out of it just by hitting the keys at random with my fingers I just got flaming mad with the thing and tried to imitate the tune I had just heard on the gramophone. It took six goes at listening to an arieta from Figaro, and some fifteen to twenty goes myself trying to pick out some similarity to the melody on the instrument before I finally played something which sounded vaguely like Mozart’s tune. I had lessons for 16 years after that and have played for enjoyment ever since. However, I have never described in prose how the music I play inspires my thoughts especially on topics that really matter.

I have to be completely alone, and also wear my voice activated recorder round my neck so that I can verbally jot down thoughts as they arise when I am playing. Proof that this works came only yesterday when I read a blog by sachemspeaks: in which a girl called Marwa defends her identity as an ordinary American born, peace loving, charity working Muslim.

Her main complaint is againt the lunacy of people like Donald Trump who believes all Muslims are potential terrorists and should wear some sort of identity badge and also be able to be tracked. She puts him in his place perfectly, so please click on the link above. I was playing a lovely piece of music, Granados’ Valses Poeticos, when her ideas made me think what on earth had made it possible for a man like Donald Trump to have any influence at all on Americans in general and the current terrorist situation in particular.

Imagine a very vain man, he colours his hair to look younger for heaven’s sake!, who has made two criminal speeches – one anti race and one anti religion – so far in his attempt to get the Republican nomination, either of which would normally have landed the speaker in jail. He insults people he doesn’t like because he’s so rich he can get away with it. Now there is nothing wrong with being rich, but if you don’t share your good fortune with others in need, or on causes that the world needs promoting, then you are not much of a human being. In fact you are rather despicable. But he’s worse than that, he’s actually mentally as thick as two short planks. I mean he actually thinks that being president would make him able to run the country as he wants. No president since Jefferson has ever done that.

Look at the present incumbent Mr.Obama. His three main aims when coming to the White house seven years ago were a) to provide more affordable health care for everyone. b) He wanted to stop ordinary people from carrying firearms because his country had the highest level of gun crime and socially related deaths of any country in the developed world, by a mile. And c) he also wanted to ensure that his country was at the forefront of restoring the world to economic stability. Well Mr.Trump should look at what his party ensured. That NONE of these ideals could be implemented as the president wanted because just 9% of the population were in a position to politically stop the head of state from doing what was best for his people. At least the republicans don’t pretend to be democratic, they just rig whatever elections they can – Bush Jnr was never legally president of the US, at least no non-Americans ever thought he was – his family merely had the right judicial support.

But what struck me most about my thoughts as I played was what I believed should be the attitude of all people in all countries towards people of so called different faiths. I am a Catholic but that doesn’t mean I think all Muslims are inhuman terorists or a threat to my own love of God. We love the same God, for heaven;s sake, and for the same reason. There is one thing that all religions have in common. They all believe there is only one God. Well that is the point, there is. We simply worship that deity in different ways. Fanatics have led factions into religious wars, and prelates of all faiths have tried to claim civil authoritarian priority over their flocks, but that is just a human fault. What matters is how we live our lives by being kind and considerate to others and helping those whom we love, and try to love and forgive those who we have problems with or have committed really awful acts. That is my creed, and certainly that of all the faiths I have studied in depth, which is most of them. You should never preach from a position of prejudice or ignorance.

I wonder how Mr.trump would feel if he were taken suddenly seriously ill and the only doctors available to save his life were Muslims who were only too willing to help him. I bet he would not stop them, though he might deny he knew their beliefs. Unless of course he’d tagged them. Think of the state we’d be in in Britain if we lost 30% of our health industry workers. That is the per centage who are Muslim.

And another thing that I find odd about such a man is that he is opposed to illegal immigrants in the US from Hispanics to Syrians. I wonder how he would feel if he had to deport 776 of his personal employees, who are on one third the average wage for their menial jobs, and pay the full rate to the type of Americans (if they exist) whom he wants to see in work in his country.

But the one thing I would never wish on Donald is somebody kidnapping him, blacking up his hands and face and setting him free near a police station in the middle of the night. He wouldn’t be around the next day and it would be his own fault. But I still could not do that to him. No, people like him are there to be shown the error of their ways and turned into decent human beings who might eventually get to Heaven. We have to do our best to make sure everyone has that opportunity however much we dislike what they purport to be.

And as the music and my musings come to their end I just want to add that I have more blood relations in the States than any other country, so I have no feelings of ill will towards the country at all. I just wish those with power would use it like good people and not self centred idiots, or worse in many cases.

AWE

 

MARS BARS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/yin-to-my-yang/”>Yin to My Yang</a>

yes but where is my soul mate?

MARS BARS

 

As I write this post or blog or just a thought, NASA is in the process of telling us that life could exist on Mars because they have found proof that water is flowing there. But is there any sort of life in it that could become us in 450 billion years time?

Well, I hope so. Just think of the fun we could have as generations come and go and maybe even very soon land on Mars and humans from earth even live there. Could earthlings help accelerate the evolution of Martian life so that it reaches a human state much, much more quickly than we did on earth? Wouldn’t it be great fun  to have a baby Martian dinosaur for a pet? And later teaching early Martian primates how to talk and behave. Just think of the possibilities this news is opening up. We could make sure they developed into really nice people by educating them throughout their early eons until a whole planet of peaceful, happy people existed just as we can when we want to. 

But there is a problem. When we are totally destroyed by our own failure to control weapons of mass destruction and overcome climate change that could implode earth completely, will we have set such an awful example to Martians that they live forever in fear of becoming completely humanoid? 

But I would love to have a soul mate on Mars so my soul could join him or her (or ..?…wow the possibilities!!) in one of those downtown Mars Bars. There we could have a lovely chat about whether God exists  and if so are Martian concepts of Him the same as mine? Pity I haven’t got a few more billion years to live, but hang on, think of it. I hope to get to Heaven, and that means for eternity. So I wonder what great surprises God may have in store for my soul. That really would be Heaven! Mars Bars here I come!

AWE

THE SPEEDY CUTTER


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/futures-past/”>Futures Past</a>

what do I see before my eyes?

THE SPEEDY CUTTER

The other day I was trying to find a copy of the great 1957 recording of Rachmaninov’s fourth piano concerto with Miachelangeli playing and Gracis conducting, recorded at Abbey Road. I found it eventually but in the meantime I was interrupted by a You Tube advertisement for a video featuring someone called Taylor Swift who was news to me. But Wow, she was sexually very stimulating and a great 20 second interruption.

Unfortunately I didn’t know what she was trying to do. She had no voice so wasn’t singing, she pouted a lot so I had an idea what her favourite dessert was, but apart from a skimpily clad frame I really couldn’t work out what was happening. Was she turning me on? Oh yes, she was doing that, but that was all. And she gets paid for this. Well I suppose it’s a form of legal prostitution but I still much preferred the piano concerto. I am happily married with a lot of kids and a great family life, so my wife would not begrudge me the 20 seconds of keeping up with the current generation’s excuse for entertainment, not least because it did entertain me. I told her to watch it and got a bit worried when I saw the way she reacted to it, but all this is beside my main point which is, ‘why make a fuss about whether or not untalented nobodies should be paid for doing nothing, and doing it badly’?

One might almost say her taylor had clothed her swiftly and she had disrobed even faster. Isn’t 2015 getting interesting? You know with Greece bringing down Europe, ISIS terrifying the world, 20.6 million people working for the federal government having their computers hacked, the confederate flag – a historical artefact of great significance – being picked out for public attention in case people still think the civil war resulted in any sort of conferring of human rights on coloured people, and all sorts of policemen toting their gats at will to accentuate my last point. I wonder what will happen next? I mean before Taylor falls off whatever that thing is she is trying to climb! I suppose it could be a U Tube.

Anton Wills-Eve

THE QUEEN’S BEST SPEECH


Take It From Me

Why have the power of speech and never use it?

  THE QUEEN’S BEST SPEECH     

          “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

This is a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. It is probably the most inaccurate remark on human beings that has ever been made by a prominent public figure. I only have to look at my own life and think of the many occasions on which I felt inferior to others around me when it was the last thing I wanted to do but had no choice. But then I wasn’t married to the President of the United States, and unless Hilary gets her skates on I never will be. But to return to a serious note, why do you suppose I have cited and discussed this remark?

Well, in Berlin the other night the Queen of England came closer than at any other time in her reign to making a very clear public statement about where she stood on a matter of extremely important significance to the future of the States that currently make up the European Union. At a state banquet she basically said that that Britons were naturally part of the peoples of Europe and had played a major role in making Europe the cultural and economic power block that it is today.

Obviously many European leaders didn’t like this idea, but with mild references to winning two world wars, the bi-centenary of the battle of Waterloo etc she made it clear that Britain was as much part of Europe as any other European country. But British monarchs are nor supposed to make their political opinions known to the public. Well, Elizabeth 2nd knew this, but she also knew she was eighty five years old, still in full possession of her facutlies and, for her age, remarkably articulate. One must assume she thought ‘why not say what I think? My country needs somebody to do so, and as no one else seems bothered I shall do so myself.’ And so she told both her own government and the other governments of Europe that basically as long as she was queen Britain was staying firmly in the centre of the European continent.

Another constitutional problem recently has been whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom. She hinted that that was what she wanted, and a referendum on the matter supported her voting 55-45 in favour of Scotland staying in the UK.

The importance of this tacit intervention is that it is no use holding high office if one never uses it to bring about what one believes to be right. Could you imagine the US President doing this? Saying it, yes. But doing it? I doubt it.

Anton Wills-Eve

SECURELESS FOR A DAY


Truth or Dare     SECURELESS FOR A DAY

Citizens, Quake in your beds,

The mighty NCA

Is forbidden tapping phones

For more than one whole day!

Oh how unpatriotic

Senator Rand Paul must be

For security in the USA depends

On what the NCA can see.

Does he honestly believe

T’were better the Brits had stayed,

To guard the US homeland?

(All defence costs to be defrayed!)

AWE

JEZ AND JED


Childhood Revisited

first of a few posts to make up for my absence

                               JEZ AND JED

    Jez and Jed are twins and live in a poor, quarter of Omaha, Nebraska. They are seventeen years and twenty three days old and love going somewhere secret and polishing up their lovely stolen policeman’s gun. They think it has about twelve to sixteen bullets in it but are not sure.

    A couple of days ago they were listening to their favourite rap music on the local radio station when it was interrupted for a news flash. About four minutes later the music resumed so Jez put her earphones back in. Jed had not taken his out as quickly and his sister asked him as they both resumed their roller skating up and down a free piece of concrete banking, “Anything hot on de news, bro? I mean like anyone in government been killed?” She did not know the word assassinated. The word had never been taught in their school.

    “Nah, sis, just some rich sport player getting richer by winning a key game here in Nebraska. Commentators said it couldn’t been closer. But even ma dumb math don’t figure 30 – 19 very close. But not in our league hun!” And they rolled on their way.

    When they got home around five in the afternoon they couldn’t understand why their parents and relatives and a lot of the locals were jumping up and down and dancing in the in the street. “Jed, Jez we won, yeah man, we won.”

    Jed, who was famous in the family for his ignorance of, or interest in, most things floored his family by adopting a very laid back posture and saying, “Yup, but I still don’t see how 30 – 19 was close. Sounds like a thrashing to me!”

    “Look at it how you will it was both. The closest thrashing in Nebraska history”, his father said. But the boy was still puzzling it over an hour later when his sister came up to him and tossed their police gun to him.

    “Not loaded, man.We don’t need this no more. The state’s just banned the death penalty. That was the vote overturning the governor’s veto today. 30 votes to 19. Made it by one vote.”

    Her brother then surprised her. “Jez, when was the last killing by the state of Nebraska for any crime? Bet you don’t know. It was 18 years ago. But the white police still shoot us for fun.

    I reckon we’ve gotta follow what our Governor says. He says we must have the death penalty to defend our families. So go put the ammo back in dat gun. The governor says we gotta protect Maw and Paw. Agreed?”

    So this morning Jez reloaded the gun and everyday life in Nebraska resumed as normal.

AWE

WHAT A DAY TO BE FREED


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/imho/”>IMHO</a&gt;

suffering for the sake of others

WHAT A DAY TO BE FREED

I have just read of a fifty eight year old man who was released from prison yesterday after serving thirty years in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. Why was he held so long, and why was he freed?

From what I have read, and it is all I have to go on, he could not afford a defence council  and expert witnesses who would have had him out of that jail in one day. The trial was a farce, the chap was coloured, nobody in judicial authority cared two hoots about him and so they found him guilty but let him appeal in case the travesty was so obvious to everyone in the State of Alabama it might look racially biased. Well that would not have been news.

Why was he brought to trial on the hearsay of someone who thought one of his elderly relatives might have possessed bullets that might have been used in a gun that was used to shoot two people dead? Because he could not afford, nor could his defence council, to hire an expert witness who could have shown on the spot that the bullets did not fit the gun. Eventually this was admitted by the prosecution yesterday and he was freed after losing half his life. But, Like Jesus on the first Good Friday he had something very painful to celebrate. Jesus celebrated our freedom by suffering for all of us and it is to be hoped that the victim of this miscarriage of  justice will also have sparked off a movement to stop all detention on death row ever again.

Can you imagine a worse torture than not knowing from one day to the next whether you are going to be alive at sunset? It does not bear thinking about. The President is a coloured man, he should speak out against this appalling practice in the US. In the eyes of foreigners it marks the country down as the worst and most cruel nation on earth whose laws have been passed by its elected representatives and senators.  No, the only reason why miscarriages of  justice such as that revealed yesterday are committed are because  many rich Americans believe in revenge. What dreadful people they must be. Especially the coloured ones who do not even stand up for their ethnic peers. You can’t tell me there wasn’t a single coloured , very rich, man in Alabama who could have sorted this out 29 years ago. I just don’t believe it!

 

AWE

 

 

REMEMBER WHAT ARKAN SAW?


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fool-me-once/”>Fool Me Once</a>

odd minds some people have

REMEMBER WHAT ARKAN SAW

Why on earth is everybody making such a fuss about the religious freedom bill in Arkansas? Seriously what’s the big deal? The bill nowhere states that it has anything to do with a person’s sexual orientation. What it does say is that everyone should be allowed the freedom to practise their religious beliefs according to their conscience. Well of course they should. No, it is the immediate assumption that the bill is aimed at discriminating against people who prefer their sexual practices to be with people of their own sex, or mixtures of all sexes, that baffles me. It has nothing to do with this at all.

Had the State Legislature passed a bill saying the exact opposite to what it said THAT would have been discrimination. Could you imagine the outcry if priests had been banned from reminding Christians that they should keep the Ten Commandments? It would have been dreadful. But how does this bill differ from that religious freedom that all Christians in Arkansas have always had, even if they once did not choose to listen to their priests and ministers? It doesn’t. What it says is that if somebody wants to practise their religion in the way they judge is right they should be allowed to do so.

Are we going to give theives the right to steal because the only reason why they shouldn’t is because it is against God’s laws? No we are not, nor should we. But if I want to criticise another person’s beliefs  I have that right. I should not insult him, or her, because that is extremely unpleasant. But that is all it is. I am never going to say to somebody who behaves in a way which I consider to be sinful, “Oh it’s ok in your case. You can commit any sin you like.” But now we are getting close to the crux of ths whole problem. And it is a serious SOCIAL problem nothing else. What we have to decide is whether preaching what we believe to be right is something we must be allowed to do whether people who disagree with us like it or not. Ultimately, if that right were taken away, it would lead to no expression of personal opinions or beliefs in public at all.

But if we do have to drag sexual preferences into this debate let be in a sensible and understanding way. I have never discriminated against anybdy in my life just because I knew they had a different sexual orientation to me. Why should I? That is how they were born, it is their nature and they cannot help how they feel. But I do have the right to say that some actions are not acceptable to me  even if I understand why so many people indulge in them. And I am not talking about homosexual people, I am talking about adulterers  who don’t think twice about committing sins of lust and depravity. Their gender is totally irrelevant.

But I think what annoys me most about this is that far worse sins were rife and openly encouraged in Arkansas when I was growing up. Remember Little Rock and all those segregated school buses? I do. I am glad the practice was stamped out. I should imagine the President and most Americans are too. It was a far worse sin than two men or two women enjoying sex with each other. But the tragedy is that it only happened for the same reason, to wit, because the majority of people in the region at the time didn’t mind.

 

AWE

 

AWE

THE YEAR’S RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/we-built-this-city/”>We Built This City</a>

and :  if this is the land

in which I am daily fed. 

to it no praise : do I proudly raise.

No, In sad verse I weep instead.

 

The Year’s Response To Climate Change

 

January’s white snow drifts have forever gone,
Its trees’ branches are ice-tipped no more.
Warm breezes scatter the unsheltered sheep alone,
As climate change re-colours the woodland floor.

February heralds spring, not March’s gales,
As sunny clouds cause birds to mate and court.
Taking on the tasks of two months, February fails
To cheer the children,  bereft of winter sport.

March has lost its power and all that force
With which it brought rainy storms to April’s gate.
And nature’s seasons have had to change their course
Lest spring should come too early or too late.

Dan Chaucer, where has the Aprille you knew gone?
Its birds, its showers its first budding flowers?
They flew past, wrapped in March’s early sonne,
That brought forth buds too soon in glades and bowers.

Oh May! The lovers’ month, is now all too brief.
And Romeo has scarce the time to know
The Juliet he cherishes in love, she him in grief,
Upon our merrie stage they step, but straight must go.

Ah, June at last, at least some balance does restore,
As fledglings and blossom maintain their proper days.
And, though early, summer sun still glows once more,
On gardens, orchards, and fields it shines its rays.

But stay, what does July bring in high sunny season?
Thunder and floods and hot and much too soon!
This is the month that has surely lost its reason,
For summer will never again serenade  in tune.

Sad August can no longer find Phoebus its place
In all the chaos of the wet and soaking sun.
In truth, for shame, it has lost its summer face,
And is impatient for its thirty one days to run.

Thus, by September, winds start to howl again.
Yet summer still keeps pace with searing heat,
While showers keep their own counsel when to rain,
Ensuring no Indian summers give one last treat.

October, shamed and beaten into submission
By the prior seasons’ self appointed weather,
Can neither help nor hinder the Autumn vision
Of its hibernating friends or emigrating feather.

In November, anything can be expected now.
The year it knew is turned upon its head.
Fruit, which fell early from the orchard bough,
Lies rotting still, in the ochre grass, quite dead.

What can December make of its climate’s uncivil war
Which has laid waste the pattern of its year?
No hope of Christmas being white with frost of hoar.
No hope of anything being normal. It sheds a tear.

 

Anton Wills-Eve

“UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM …….”


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/id-like-to-thank-my-cats/”>I’d Like to Thank My Cats</a>

“UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM …….”

 

I was standing on the balustrade of the gardens of the villa Borghese overlooking the dome of Saint Peter’s in the distance  in Rome when I was given the news that the Nobel Peace prize for that year, 1961, had been awarded to Dag Hammerskjoeld the recently deceased secretary general of the  United Nations.

I immediately thought back to the plane crash in the Congo in which he died while on a peace mission earlier that year. That was one price I would never pay for being given one of the highest awards in the world. The price was far too high.  But over the years since then I have wondered which Nobel prize I would like to receive and how high a price I would be prepared to pay to get it. In all honesty when thinking about being given really important recognition for something I have done in my life I have always bordered on fantasy, not least because I can think of no field in  which I might ever merit a really high honour. I suppose the first thing most people do is review the Nobel options.

I could just about reach a high enough level of medical research to qualify for the physiology laureate because the amount of original work I have done on mental  illness, and the various ideas I have put forward for treating any form of anxiety neurosis, could certainly reach the top level when viewed from the question of ‘do I have a broad enough and original enough knowledge of the subject?’ while obviously being mentally unbalanced, where I might fall down is on convincing people that I could cure  many of the illnesses covered by this field. You see the price I would have to pay would be suffering from the anxiety levels myself and thus being able to empathise fully when treating them. Well in this case I do, but I doubt if I could  bring myself to think them through again while writing up a thesis and still remaining sane.

The physics prize is one I have always believed I could put in my pocket any day of the week, but only because I can prove that atomic physics can never be subjected to an auto-logical series of tests that would leave no question that quantum physics is a load of rubbish. I know that it is, as put forward by most leading physicists, but I would have to learn how to speak the language of physics in which scientists couch the lunacy of their ideas. Pity, because that one would have been a cert, but the price would have been learning something I thought was valueless. No, I could never do that.

Now chemistry is really up my street when considered from the point of view of the invention or discovery of new elements which can be unearthed through phenomenological tinkering with archaeological sites which may yet reveal new aspects of  the chemical make up of our world. However the price I would have to pay for that would be personal exposure to the natural climate of our planet,  which in snow or high winds I would not enjoy at all.

This brings me to the literature prize. This is the one prize that the laureate can never manufacture for themselves on purpose. This prize has to be the whim of others so all I can say is that I would put in as much research as I needed to write a definitive history of thirteenth century Western Europe. The price, the work load, would be enormous but I would embrace it whole heartedly.  However, there is no way I could ever guarantee ultimate success.

Now when it comes to economics I would have a very good chance if I were to win the prize jointly with my wife. Together we have an unequaled knowledge of the machinations of world financiers and financial procedures but to prove just how clever we are at manipulating global fortunes we would need to be given at least one billion US dollars cash up front to start with. There are many ways this can be acquired, but when I started to contemplate the options I realised that neither my wife nor I would stoop so low, or jump so high,  in the realms of chicanery to kick start our financial dealings.

So we are left with the peace prize. Well I would like to win it for setting up a world wide charity devoted to feeding the starving, sheltering the homeless and comforting all the bereaved people who make up some forty percent of the population of the world. There would be no price involved, all I would need to do would be to raise my level of oratory in each of the five languages I speak and, with golden tongued eloquence, convince the rich of this world that they should shower me and my charity with their geldt. Now that is fantasy, but you must admit it is also really nice, isn’t it?

So my acceptance speech would begin as follows,

“Unaccustomed as I am to doing, saying or writing anything worthwhile………..”

 

AWE

 

THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/we-can-be-taught-2/”>We Can Be Taught!</a>

 

         THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB

 

I really feel like writing something  I feel strongly about today so this prompt has given me the chance. The question is, what makes a teacher great? Well a teacher needs two  qualities and one piece of luck to be really great. He or she needs to know their subject backwards because a great love of what you teach, and the enjoyment it gives you personally, is essential if you are to communicate this to others.

Secondly a teacher has to accept that many pupils  have genuine problems understanding the basic concepts of some  topics, maths is the obvious one, and they have to be patient and persevere just as much as the student. If a child is too shy to admit ignorance in front of his peers, when the class seems to be finding something easy but the child doesn’t, a really good teacher spots this right away and takes the kid aside after a class or lecture or whatever and asks what the problems are. This is vital to solving pupil-teacher relationships that risk breaking down for no apparent reason, but ruins the chances of the child ever getting a grasp of the subject.

However the piece of luck the teacher needs much more than any other quality, is to have a class of students they like. Any teacher who allows prejudice or pre-formed opinions of what a particular set of students is going to be like, is doomed from the start. But if that luck is not there, and the teacher really does find a particular group of students an absolute pain in the backside, they have to practise the old English trick of keeping a stiff upper lip. This can be terribly difficult with a set of uninterested youngsters,  who as often as not have been written off  by family and previous teachers as slow witted, unhelpful and a whole string of adjectives that have no bearing on their true personalities at all. As often as not they are too scared to do anything but follow the pack.

A good teacher must risk life and limb, and sadly in this day and age this can often literally be the case, to combat this mass-bullying attitude of so many youngsters or they will struggle at everything all their lives. I have many friends who teach at all levels and ages and the job they do can be truly terrifying. Women  haven’t a chance in poor areas of inner cities and the lengths to which television soap operas go to encourage appalingly anti-social behaviour among the young is disgraceful. But the great teacher does rise above these problems on occasions, though sadly not nearly as often as they, their charges or their charges’ parents would like. But it is a triangular tragedy which will only be solved by multi-lateral co-operation which is sadly lacking in far too many schools today.

AWE