sister rosa parks
Sister Rosa Parks was a pivotal figure in U.S. American Black History, in the same way the likes of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and in his own way, Buddy Bolden was as well. People who change things. Rosa Louise McCauley was born in rural Alabama back in 1913.
At first I wasn't sure as to whether I ought to add a piece on the Respect Page, as Sister Rosa had had songs written about her. We don't rebel anymore (unless you are young and it is aimed at folks older than yourselves, whilst demanding 'respect'), as, in a way we are living today in a comfort zone. We can do , pretty much, whatever we wish. Called a democracy, so I am told. Nothing democratic about Black America back in the Fifties. When issues concern the day to day Civil liberties back then, those with the stronger wills helped change things in society. Sister Rosa did just that. She almost pushed a button that made Black people sit up and listen. Used to be called 'Coloured' back then. Thesedays the word 'Nigger' is used by the younger Black generation, without really realising what the origins of the word is and how it was utilised back in the day.
When Sister Rosa passed away, she was 92. 50 years earlier she got on a bus and took a seat. A white man asked her to move. She refused and was, subsequently, fined 14 dollars. Not a great deal you might think, but back in the Fifties it caused a scandal and was quite a lot of money. She said back in 1992, 'The real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long.'
How dare a Black person tell a white person what to do! I guess Sister Rosa had had enough. You can go to the toilet here, but you can't go there. You can sit here in a bar (or restaurant) here, but not over there. Back then, if I was Black (which I am not), I would have felt dirty, used and pushed around. This was an ordinary person taking a stand.
This woman set the Civil Rights movement in motion. If you, personally, feel you cannot make a difference in the World today, think again. Martin Luther King prompted a boycott on all buses. 9 years later, in 1964, a law was passed called the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination in the United States. Martin Luther King championed the cause until his assassination in 1967. Check the poster below. Out the same year. You can understand why the struggle had to go on. Malcolm X fought harder and the powers that be extended him the same death sentence. The powers that be are too politically correct thesedays to carry out the same political assassinations. Communications have moved on. Computers, the Internet, have changed things as it gives you guys a voice. Think about it.
You younger than 40? Probably doesn't mean much to you. All in your history books at school. If you are white, you probably didn't think twice about sitting next to your Black friend in class today. You didn't recognise colour, you just saw a good friend. You couldn't have done this if Sister Rosa hadn't made a stand. It is strange to think how long ago that William Wilberforce abolished slavery and yet in the middle of the Twentieth Century, there were still men in pointy white hats, tracking down Black people and hanging them. It's so sick really. In the U.K., we still have the British National Party. Their politics all glitzed up thesedays, but still with similar values. Racism still prevails today. If you don't believe that, then why is a campaign running at this moment concerning kicking racism out of football here.
In the U.S. I remember the Civil Rights movement quite clearly. We had a step sister from Africa living with us. Her name was Esther. She was Kenyan. When we watched the T.V., saw this racist stuff going on, I felt embarrassed. All I saw here was my step sister. Not any better or worse than myself.
Sister Rosa died in her sleep in Detroit. A woman who took a ride on a bus that changed history. As Jesse Jackson stated 'she sat down, so we could stand up'.
Sister Rosa's brave action ought to be a lesson to all of us, in whatever we do in life. If a 42 year old seamstress can change things, do bear in mind that whatever you do, does have an effect on things. You may not be aware of that, but it is the truth. If you make small mistakes, that's fine. People who don't make mistakes, are those who don't do any work, or make any effort.
Bless her and her like. Rest in peace Sister.
the U.S.A. national socialist white people's party leaflet in 1967....lest we forget
Toby Walker 26.10.05.
what's going on?
'You can't throw a pebble into a pond, and expect there to be no ripples'. I wrote that back in July, and, boringly, repeat myself regarding that quote many times. Went away in August after an everyday, working Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menenzes had been, for want of a better word, 'gunned down' in a tube station in London by our own Metropolitan Police. Ours is, one of the highest regarded Police services in the World 'in theory'.
He lived in Stockwell in London. Look at the facts of this scenario. He was going through the local tube station, after being followed from his place of residence in Stockwell, by undercover Police, and looked a little like a man, if you used your imagination, exactly the same as an individual who had attempted to kill further people in London two weeks after the first carnage. Are you Asian looking? Some of the kids in my daughters school do. Scary isn't it? 'Shoot to kill' policy in operation right now, it is known as. Would you be scared if a bunch of police, out of unifom, ran at you with machine guns? I know I would.
Here are some facts regarding the Police statements and the truth:
The Police: 'A man of Asian appearance, behaving suspiciously, was shot dead at Stockwell tube station.
Truth: The 27 year old Jean Charles De Menzes was a Brazilian electrician.
The Police: His shooting was 'directly linked' to the investigation into the London Bombings.
Truth: He was a plain and simple electrician.
The Police: He was running into the station 'vaulting' the barriers.
Truth: He entered into the police station, walking, picked up a free newspaper, used his travel pass, where he only ran after the train had just pulled into Stockwell tube.
The Police: He was wearing an unseasonable heavy coat, which led to Police suspicions.
Truth: He was wearing a lightweight blue denim jacket (see below).
The Police: The Police Commissioner stated that he was challenged and refused to obey their orders.
Truth: There was no Police challenge.
The Police: Mr De Mendes tripped and was shot 5 times as he lay on the floor.
Truth: The Close Circuit footage indicated that Mr. De Mendes looked left and right and sat on a seat facing the platform. When the Police arrived, he stood up and the Police pinned his arms to his side, forced him down where ten shots were aimed at the man. Three missed. All on camera. The other seven contributed to his death.
Funny thing was, that I came back from holiday in Cornwall in the U.K. a couple of weeks ago. Now, in the U.K., we are supposed to see our Policemen as being 'figures of comfort'. We long for there to be more of them around, however, I had an uncomfortable feeling walking across a station platform at Paddington, with groups of these guys with automatic weapons on full display. It almost said to me that the new mindset is 'the Police are worried about our own safety, we'll think about yours later'. Now I am not Asian, neither do I look Brazilian. Just my personal feelings and recollection, that's all.
Tony Blair can claim whatever he likes, however a 'series of unfortunate events' led to an innocent Brazilian man being killed as a result of two bombings, one successful, one not, in the heart of the capital I live in. Why? Today there is footage on Al Jazeera of one of the first perpetrators of the initial 'successful' suicide bombers. He was from the North of the U.K. Loved by his family. He loves the Muslim religion, so one morning, he packs some explosive into a bag and heads off to London, never to return, leaving several distraught victims families and his family wondering what on earth was going on. As for Mr De Mendes, well as far as Mr Blair (sorry Sundance) was concerned, he is just a casualty of war. The Police Commissioner is still at his desk, when he should have resigned weeks ago, and there is a family in Brazil, wondering what the hell has happened to their son, in what was the country awarded the Olympic Games in 2012, 24 hours before the carnage in London. Life is cheap. My heart goes out to the De Mendes family. The offer of money by the British government makes me ashamed to live in this country. I bet the De Mendes family are bewhildered as to how the U.K. government can put a price on a human beings life? The British government are physically inactive, naive, misdirected and unwell at the moment...
...cut to Iraq. Some unwell person spreads a rumour that there may be a suicide bomber within the midst of a meeting. Over 1,000 ordinary Iraqi's die. Why are the allied forces still there, after all, all we wanted was to get rid of Saddam and this was all about 'weapons of mass destruction'? Remember them? Not to do with oil, was it George W. or Mr Blair....? Iraqi life is cheap to the West, isn't it Butch? If you can't understand them, then they are disposable. I remember there was another regime that thought that you can dehumanise a section of humanity which it made it easier to deal with them. Now who were they? Look below. What diginity. Anyhow, look a little further....and I don't want to sound 'crude'...
lest we forget...
...cut to the hell in New Orleans. The G8 agreed on a package of measures to deal with global warming...well, all except George W. Too much 'oil' in his grey matter, however.... The war in Iraq wasn't about oil, so no issue there, was there?. Back to the hell in the Southern States after New Orleans (along with many other towns) flooded. His first political speeches weren't about getting aid to people, who by the main part, were folks who were taken out of the mix, vote wise, at the previous two elections. Hell, these Black Folks are easy meat. No money in their pockets, so they can't find a lawyer to receive their civil rights. No way to get out of the Hell about to arrive, so the Senate can pass any instruction they wish.
Butch's first speeches were about the U.S. people conserving oil. All States in the Union. Nothing about getting food and drink to the hungry and needy. New Orleans sinks 1 metre every 100 years. Fact. The sea defences were in need of repararations. We all know that part of the States gets around 8 hurricanes a year. Give them a nice name and they don't seem that bad do they? Bit like the missiles that killed thousands of innocent Iraqi's. Call the 'Pershing' or 'Tomahawk' or Cruise' and they don't sound all that bad do they? They ought to be called 'Death Bombs' or 'Family Oblitorators'. That is what they are. 'Katrina' is a nice name. Doesn't alarm folks does it? Why not call these things what they really are. 'Mother nature is coming to get you'? The media controls people. Sure we can't spend all our lives 'living in our heads', however, when did your last real estate agent tell you anything other than what you wanted to hear? An honest one, in this region, would have told you, 'well this is a poor state, and the sea defences ain't all that, but you ARE living next to Fats Domino, and if the defences do breach, don't look to the White House for support'. As Muhammed Ali once said, there is a reason for that place being called that name. Times don't change. As I get older, I wonder if the bigotry ever will end. Look to the kids I guess, in hope.
New Orleans is the second major catastrophe that Butch has had to deal with on his watch. The first one saw him spending the first third or his Presidency on the Golf Course! Yes, George could, also, do a lot fishing. As he once said that year 'Amazing what you can do with faxes thesedays'. The second, well he hadn't learned from his burns. He had no idea what to do and gave the game away by talking about oil and not about real people. All told, his reception on the outskirts of New Orleans will stop him going into that central area. His first intervention was to stop looting. 'Hello', if you are without water or food, what is your option, other that to enter the building's that contain those life savers. Instead you get the public turning on each other and folks just screaming. Panic all told.
So what are the consequences? Well if you are a Black Person, you want to help. Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites mailed me and told me he is going out there to do what he could. Fats Domino was supposed to be lost, but he was lifted from his house, as was Irma Thomas, I am told. What the hell is going on? The richest power in the World can't get aid to New Orleans in a day or so, however, food was arriving in Thailand, after the Tsunami on a lesser timescale. My personal belief is that George W. was trying to save the oil supplies in the region as, the insurgent's in Iraq are delaying those future valuable resources about to come from that country. Ask yourself this. What parts of Iraq are the best guarded? You can guarantee it isn't the Mosque's. I watched television pictures of huge sea tankers leaving Europe for the largest and wealthiest country on the planet. Not a bad thing, but there are thousands of poor Black Americans at their wits end, in a flooded New Orleans. Now who do we turn to at a time of a major disaster? Obviously, not George or Tony. They have their eyes on their own prize. Priorities? Well those who said Iraq wasn't anything to do with oil....well wake up and smell the coffee. In New Orleans it certainly is.
As for Tony Blair, well I voted Labour all my life. At the last election I had had enough. After the Tsunami, anyone who could remain on holiday in Egypt, whilst the worst disaster over the last 200 years had hit the planet... well 'cold and arrogant' aren't too stronger words. He still maintains that the London Bombings weren't anything to do with Iraq. Al Quaeeda, said they were. Al Jazeera said they were. The British people said they were. British Muslims said they were. I believed they were. Even our media said they were. What the hell is going on? I guess we are all wrong and 'Nero is fiddling whist Rome is burning'. Butch is covering Sundance's back and vice versa. Where are the Statesman that used to walk the halls of Westminster and the White House lawn? Where are the Martin Luther King's of this World? Easy, the media allows us to distance ourselves from tragedy. If we can watch people blowing each other up on the television screen or a disaster movie, then all things are anaesthetized. So watching people suffering after a natural disaster, well, what the heck, we see that all the time thesedays. Real or not. Makes everything accepatable.
On yes, by the way, we celebrated the first anniversary of the Beslan massacre today. Nothing to do with the conflict in other parts of the World, is it? I don't think so. 300 people died there as a result of a major power inflicting it's might against it's own poor. 150 of those were children. Pebbles in the pond again.
This World has become a much more dangerous place within the last 5 years, mainly down to the leaders of the three powers that constitute the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia. However the politicians want to dress things up. What goes around, comes around. You do something, such as turn on a tap of water, you cannot complain if water comes out of the thing.The West has angered the Muslim people, so they are fighting back. As far as New Orleans goes, well it proves that the bigotry of the Sixties is still there. The Republican's just hope the poor keep quiet and go away. Nature has a way of redressing the balance. Usually, means folks rise up to be counted. In the meantime, maybe the G8 leaders ought to act on Global warming. What are the chances of some decent defences for the folks in New Orleans. No money in it so why bother? Makes me physically ill. Peace to all of you brothers and sisters out there suffering. Blair never got my vote last time round. Maybe middle America and the Republican's next time round? Who knows? One thing you can state is that, when George W. tells the people of New Orleans that 'New Orleans will rise up and become a bigger and better place', it may well do, but not on his watch.
the tsunami - boxing day this year
Toby Walker 3.9.05.
london under siege
You can't throw a pebble into a pond, and expect there to be no ripples. What goes around comes around. Use any expression you like. In whatever way you want to dress this up, the West has created a dish that is highly, socially, unappetizing.
Tony Blair had imparted to his colleagues, before the events of two weeks ago, that he had had several sleepless nights worrying about this sort of thing happening. Nightmares. Why were you having nightmares, Prime Minister? If Iraq wasn't going to have an effect in London, then nothing to worry about, was there? Wrong.....twice.
Well whatever Sundance might say, he threw the pebble into that particular pond, along with Butch, and now around 50 Londoners have lost their lives. These are people from all races, so these guys in the picture above, bombs on their backs, picking up their tickets, were purely making a political and religious statement. I really feel for these Londoners bereaved families. We've been through a similar experience ourselves this year and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
Sundance said there is absolutely no connection between this and the war in Iraq. Why are these four young men doing this then? Was it 'just something that just crossed their mind's, Prime Minister?' Four Muslims just having a nice day out in the capital. Come on Tony, if it looks like a dog, barks, wags it's tail and chases cats....it's a dog. Most Muslims in this country deplore these acts, however, our governments have contrived to 'pee off' certain sections of the Muslim people, that have been driven to this point of desperation.
I walked into a local store near here yesterday. Run by Muslims. Lovely people. They had the radio on and I asked them why were they glued to the news. I didn't know what had happened, however, we commenced a conversation regarding why this stuff was going down. They all agreed it was Iraq. They were pretty annoyed as well. Now if that is these peaceful people's perception......
50 Londoners. About the same daily deathtoll, after the supposed war in Iraq was over, in that beautiful country. I have spoken about the Global Village before. The London deaths were people just going about their daily business. The story is exactly the same in Iraq. Do we feel more pain than an Iraqi family, if we lose one of our nearest and dearest? Of course we don't. I saw a huge figure of, an estimated 26,000 fatalities since the illegal war supposedly stopped. Imagine that figure transferred to London. Think about it. We would all be involved in an all out conflict all over the planet. Internment for certain Muslim's here.
Those four young men in the image above were encouraged by those, who were filled with hatred, to pack up their bags and go off to a better place after pulling the switch a fortnight ago in London. Yesterday four more tried, thankfully, unsuccessfully, to do the same. What are we doing to our kids? These guys parents loved their kids and have said they can't understand why they did what they did.
The situation is all about the pebble and the pond. For Tony Blair to tell us there is no link, well, it's like saying that he denies we ever had any beef with Muslims. Hello, we just bombed the hell out of Afghanistan and then took a detour because Butch wanted to finish off what his Dad couldn't do in Iraq. He couldn't do that as he was obeying U.N. resolutions. Butch's 'itchy trigger finger' ignored all protocol. Remember before the war? Planes flying over the North and South of Iraq, no weapons of mass destruction, no U.N. mandate and yet we still went in. We threw that pebble and now we are experiencing the 'ripples'.
Watch or rent 'Farenheit 9/11'. A must see. Imagine you are an Iraqi watching that movie and you see troops telling you that they play a heavy metal track, in their tanks, with the lyrics 'burn, mother f***er, burn', as they blow the hell out of your family. Sexually arouses these military guys, but not all of them thankfully. Would you feel comfortable with those tanks coming down your street? It is now us Londoners that are burning. Who is next on the hit list?
Make no mistake 9/11 was awful. There are still many unanswered questions, however. Why did it take so long for aircraft to be scrambled (half an hour) after airliners strayed into airspace they should not have been in on that day? Why was Butch spending the best part of that year fishing or on the golf course? You are the leader of the biggest power on Earth. Why are you in office in the first place? You got less votes. Not one member of Congress supported the Afro American's request for a recount. One by one they stood up and asked to be counted. If one member stood up and supported their cause, Butch wouldn't be in the movie and we wouldn't be at war. Sundance has no backbone.
All told, the Earth is currently being run, in the West, by folks who really don't know what they are doing. In London we are slamming the door after the horse has bolted. Buses being blown apart, trains having the same, and to what end? Police state? Bear in mind, there is no point in sending out a posse, if the perpetrator has already executed themselves.
All told, this problem should have been resolved before it reached the stage where young men, like the guy below, felt he wanted to kill himself, for his belief's, as a result of the war that began in 2001 and before. The London bombings are a result of our involvement in Iraq and our rhetoric that sees us threaten the likes of North Korea, Syria, Libya and Iran.
When I was at the school (at the same one my daughter is currently about to graduate from) back in the Sixties, there were two boys, one called Graham, the other called Paul. They were pretty weak kids as they were bullies. They used to wait for me at the end of the lane to try to pick a fight with me. One day I had enough and I punched the pair of them. You push someone too far, they will come out fighting.
The two images below are why we are being attacked right now. This mess has gone too far for it to be resolved peacefully. Londoners will walk to work. Americans won't travel here. Real shame. Olympics just round the corner. Scary, isn't it? Perhaps a little less political and military scabre ratting might be a good thing? We are too arrogant in the West and it is imperative we recognise that. If we don't, well, the consequenses are unthinkable.
toby walker 22.7.05
the election (u.k. stylee)
...three men walk into a bar......a liar, a scotsman and an asylum seeker
With George W. back in the White House (and back on the golf course! LOL), we are now suffering the joys of people, here in the U.K., who we never see for four years at a time, running our lives, knocking on our doors and asking us 'I hope we can trust on your vote?'.
I was in our local mail shop, when I looked around, and lo and behold there was our local M.P. (Member of Parliament), Edward Davey. He looked terrified in case anyone might recognise him, although the designer suit was a dead giveaway and it didn't help the poor bloke that the shop assistant said, in a very loud voice, 'Anything I can do to help our local M.P. is a pleasure'! Pass the sick bag! LOL. If I had gone into the place a little earlier, I am sure the conversation would have gone something like this:
oh yes, here's the charming mr. davey..butter wouldn't melt..and i haven't seen the bloke in the last 4 years...
Shop Assistant: 'Mr Davey, a pleasure to see you. How can I help you?'
M.P.: 'I am afraid I can't answer that question'.
Shop Assistant: 'Then why did you come in here?'
MP: 'Well under successive New Labour governments, I have had to come into this establishment, buy some stamps, in order to get my Election mail out to the good people of this town'.
Shop Assistant: 'Do want to buy some stamps?'
M.P.: 'Why should I buy something that has seen 50 price rises under this Chancellor and I never mentioned wanting to buy some stamps!'
Shop Assistant: 'Well what are you doing in here?'
M.P.: 'I am afraid I can't answer that question and as you have a dark skin, are you an Asylum Seeker? We were against that conflict and we welcome legitimate Asylum Seekers here, but not you, trying to force your stamps on me. This is all about oil, isn't it?!'
Shop Assistant: 'I am guessing you don't want any stamps, and I was born here by the way!'
M.P.: 'There are far too many of your sort here, trying to sell us decent people of Britain stamps. Where do your kind get off? You should go back to where you came from!'
Shop Assistant: 'Who wants to go back to Peckham, and I do have Second Class as well as First class stamps here in either packets of 6 or 12?'
M.P.: 'I am sure I can trust on your vote, and do you sell stamps?'
Shop Assistant: 'Yes we do, Sir'
M.P.: 'So you admit it! You do sell stamps! Should we get another term in office, I will legislate that you can only deliver mail by camel and it will be free to all.....that is until we get into power and then you will see enormous stamps stuck to the side of all camels claiming a state pension, but only within the London congestion parking zone, and only on a Friday...make of that what you will. Do I make myself clear? If I do, then please accept my apologies, you sponger off the State! People like you make me sad to be British. Free camels for all and free the Birmingham newts! Can I still count on your vote?! Good day to you, my man...........oh yes, you don't sell stamps do you?'
This upcoming election is being greeted with the same excitement as a visit to the dentist. We have, what amounts to, three Conservative parties. In many ways, we are mirroring the States right now. The Blair administration has positioned itself to the right of the Conservatives. (George W. territory). The Liberal Democrats (you've guessed it) are the equivalent of the U.S. Democrats. The Torys (Conservative) are in Never Never Land somewhere in between.
Mr Davey is a Liberal Democrat. His literature describes himself as 'A Worker and a winner'. Can't quite remember what he has 'won'. Maybe he was in the London Marathon and I missed him? Still he has made some great acheivements, one of which is beautifully resurfacing the streets in the neighbourhood and then digging the roads up again as they forgot to fix the gas mains! LOL We now have a lovely patchwork quilt of a street right now. Doesn't matter to old Eddie as his party have as much chance of getting into Government than my grandmother has of building a Saturn 5 spacerocket!
The Tories are run by a bloke called Michael Howard. He was asked a simple question on a late night news programme regarding over-ruling a prison governor a few years back. He was actually asked 9 times the same question and his answers were pretty much like Eddie's above. Their policies are now clear. On immigration, it's 'hooray!', on the economy it's 'yabba dabba doo!' and on the Health Service it's 'Yippetty Dippetty Doo!'. All clear there then. The joke of this bloke is he wants to cut down immigration into this country from people who are fleeing conflict in their own lands. His family are Romanian and fled to the U.K. during the Second World War! If his current policy was intact back then, he wouldn't be here today! 'Ding dong diddly doo!'
Finally it's good old Tony. His policy is crystal clear as well. 'Vote for me and you get Gordon Brown half way through our 'hysterical' third term...and I mean 'hysterical'! He is hilarious on the television. Good old Sundance thinks a third term is a done deal. He gets angry at anyone who asks him any question at all and has halitosis, according to U.K. television presenter Zoe Ball! 'I trust I can count on your throat!'
All of these fools promise the Earth and when they get into power, well, as the Rock group Talking Heads once sang 'Same as it ever was'. In the U.K., Mrs Thatcher (who I personally think was one of the Borg Collective from Star Trek!) was elected 3 times over an 18 year period....'resistance is futile!'...and she changed the country into an extremely selfish place, where, the likes of the Michael Douglas character in the movie 'Wall Street', ruled. We are reaping the rewards of her contribution to the U.K., today. Our kids expect everything, for the minimal amount of effort, and are allowed to say whatever they like to their elders. Thanks Maggie. Sundance has travelled the same road. It will 'take time', the man says. He lies to people and then blames his advisors. 'Not my fault, and I trust I can invade whoever I like (with Butch Cassidy) over the next four years'.
Who on earth am I going to vote for this time round? I am an old style Socialist. It is important to vote, as was beautifully demonstrated in South Africa after the Black majority received their undeniable right to vote. The choices here are stark. You can either vote for a Sundance merging into a Gordon Brown, a party that has no chance, so they can promise anything, including a family trip to Neptune along with as many members of the Borg Collective you might want to take along if you vote for them......or 'Yip Yay Yippee Ding Dang Doodle'! I know who gets my vote. It's that assistant in the Mail shop! LOL
Personally, as an old Labour voter, I used to vote on many things I held strong opinions about. When the Tsunami disaster happened back on Boxing Day, Tony Blair was on holiday in Egypt with his family. He stayed there. Guess it was an easy thing as thousands being killed, and mainly women, so far away was something easy for the man to ignore. The British people didn't. These kind people ought to be very proud of themselves. Christian, Muslim, Catholic, Hindu. All races. At the time, I said I would never vote again for a party led by Tony Blair. How arrogant and heartless of the man. Forget politics, this is the devastation of life and we should have done more and shown more compassion. Put a penny on income tax. We'd all have given that the thumbs up, wouldn't we? I think I may spoil my ballot paper this time round and just write 'None Of The Above' on the thing. First time since 1975. Always used to vote Labour.
As far as the state of the United Kingdom is currently concerned, well it can be summed up by the mail I received from my local Building Society this week. It was a financial statement. I am currently £2 in credit, That means I owe them nothing, they have two pounds of my money, and I have to have that 'nothing' in by the 16th of May, or they will be 'in touch'! Good here isn't it! LOL.
toby walker 28.4.05.
I suppose the one thing regarding getting older, is you do have an awful build up of hindsight. It feels that, as soon as you get a grip on the bigger picture, your time is up. Look at the images above. I guess whether you live in London, New York or Berlin, you might recognise the guy on the image on the left. You see them most places. Today it is cool to do what the guy in that part of the image is doing to anyone he feels like doing it to. What is scary is we are all accepting it as part of our society's fabric. The word 'respect' is a highly misused term thesedays. You demand respect without actually giving it. Funny thing is, real respect comes from those who give respect.
Today I went to our local town. Kingston Upon Thames. Went with Julie & Grace. Walked there and got the bus back. I had received some e-mail hinting that I was being 'lazy' at the site and I needed some fresh air. I went to the various shops Julie and Grace wanted to go to, and was patient whilst they checked out the stores for their 'girlie-bits'. Once all that had passed we took the bus back home.
In the U.K. (and I guess wherever you are you must have your own term for these guys) we now have allowed our younger ones to do whatever they like. Some folks call it political correctness. I must admit that I do not think hitting a child is a good idea. If you don't, you have to use psychology with them in order that they do not mess with other folks. My neighbour says that the girls are harder to deal with that way. I disagree as it seems to me that boys have to prove themselves more demonstratively to their associates. In our local school, for instance, if a boy behaves badly and disrupts a class, he is sent home with a PC and told to do his schoolwork at home...with his parents (shock, horror, probe!) and then return the machine at the end of each week. Rather ingenious I thought!
Anyhow, Julie and Grace sat in front of me on the bus home and we chatted. After a couple of minutes, three female 'Chav's' boarded the bus. What are 'Chav's'? Well, if you ain't in the U.K. it is a term that describes the likes of the person on the left above. A 'Chav' is an abbreviation for 'Chatham Native' which is an area ripe with the likes of our cherub above in the U.K.. The rule of the day is 'bunk off school, swear at anyone around you, spray graffitti, take drugs, drink alcohol and steal cars. White British stupid people basically. Michael Moore would have a field day with them. If you are unfortunate enough to live in a town on the Continent near a football ground, you know what I am talking about. In Florida, they are the people, at Disney World, with tattoo's and Union Jack boxer shorts talking like an unfortunate reincarnation of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, but in a more aggressive manner! What is it with us British that travel? We seem to leave the good apples at home and export the unsavoury. My apologies wherever you live outside the U.K. We aren't all like that, I promise.
Anyhow, getting back to the events of today. These three female 'Chav's' began swearing. Not quietly, but at the top of their voices. I put up with ten minutes of it before I told them to 'shut up'. They said they could say whatever they liked and Julie, Grace and I got off the bus, way before our hometown. We walked. When we got in we both felt terrible. I seem to be stuck in a mindset of wanting something to happen regarding this stuff and thinking 'What has gone on in these kids lives to get them to this place?' Julie told them that, if they were on their own, they wouldn't have the nerve to do this stuff. Safety in numbers. Cowardly in many ways. That would have led to bullying at school.
Used to be this guy that travelled into London way back, who was the same age as me back in the early Seventies. He used to dress up as David Bowie. Make-up. The whole thing. I used to really admire the bloke. A kind of Quentin Crisp of the Seventies. Looking different. All told, people are either good or bad. Doesn't matter their race, creed or colour. What does worry me is that we are all becoming undemonstrative. The 'Chav's hide within a uniform that makes them unidentifiable to the authorities. Safety in numbers. Cowardly, with a hint of snide.
Last week was half term. 8 of our local 'Chav's' decided to enter a vacated old Public House near us and 'torch' it. Second time that place has gone up in smoke. My wife even saw them. Some as young as ten years old! 'What did you do during half term son?' We seem to have lost our communication with our kids. Stick them in front of the T.V. or put on a video. Give them a load of fat or sweets to eat as well. I find myself protecting Grace from the outside World. Probably a very bad thing, although I do talk to her about most issues that might crop up. The kids on that bus were about 16. What hope for their kids?
Took Grace and three of her friends to the school disco yesterday. One is from the U.K., one was Indian, the other a Muslim child. Can't remember the last time an Indian child swore. A Muslim for that matter. The English child loved the Janita CD here. Bless her. Cooked for the lot of them. Homemade pasta and even bought them some glitter hairspray! LOL They are all in their last year at the junior school. Frightens me whatever is in front of them. Boyfriends, periods, yikes!
Today is two months after the Tsunami. The national relief U.K. site is now closing. Three hundred million donated by the British people. We can't all be 'Chav's'?
Tonight I am watching a Comic Relief programme (Comedians who raise money in the U.K. for famine relief etc.). There are children on this programme who have lost their parents to A.I.D.S. in Africa. One is thirteen, has a younger brother who is eight and her mother is dead, her father is about to die as well. I know that some of the Tsunami money has been redirected to these people. How do we get todays 16 year olds to relate, less to the above image above on the left and more to the image on the right? Answers on a postcard at your convenience. Oh yes, as we got off the bus, the kids did to us exactly what the 'Chav' is doing on that left image. There has to be some hope somewhere along the line? Perhaps we ought to stop celebrating stupidity in our society? Look at the left image and then look at the right. Speaks mountains. God bless those children on the right, and, in a way, on the left as well. Kill them with kindness. Made me weep seeing that programme. We are so lucky in the West. Those kids are growing up way before their time in Africa. Maybe one day... Peace.
toby walker 26.2.05.
the terrible disaster in asia
I guess the global events on Boxing Day have clearly placed all things into a true human perspective. A real leveller. How can you get your head around a disaster of this magnitude?
I spent New Years Eve with a friend of mine who is Sri Lankan. I visited the country in 1990. It is a colourful beautiful island, full of the most lovely people. The place is Third World, so say, if you see a beggar in London or New York, they are clothed and in one piece. The bulk of the people out there aren't wealthy at all. Many of the beggars are limbless. This makes this disaster all the more harrowing. It seems easy to see a family broken in pieces in the Third World on the news, yet it seems a far more serious matter if a Western family is destroyed. This Tsunami will still not be seen as a worse disaster that 9/11, even though 20 or 30 times more people have died as a result. No Bin Laden to blame for this, although it does make you wonder why there are early earthquake warning machines at the bottom of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, but not in the Indian Ocean.
My deepest wish is that the Indian Government channel their monies away from their Nuclear programs into the relief effort. If they can get Pakistan on board then some good will come out of this horrid scenario.
I have sent money to the Red Cross, added a link at the site to their website and I am currently trying to put together a music event that will see all of the proceeds going to the people out there. I cannot imagine that there isn't anyone out there moved by the awful images that arrived here after Boxing Day. Had me in tears. My wife as well.
Seeing the man carrying his dead baby away from one scene was heartbreaking. If we believe that this will not affect us in the West, we would be naive. If the diseases spreading, that are predicted happen, remember that these countries are only a plane flight away. Disease knows no boundaries.
Last year was not a vintage one for the planet. This awful occurrence will take over a decade to even to begin to rebuild things. Whilst we are blowing families apart in Iraq, I hope this focuses the minds of the politicians on the real necessities, however, my fear is this will be soon forgotten by the powers that be, after all, in their eyes this stuff is going on on the other side of the World. Not in our backyards, therefore easily forgotten.
2005 ought to be a year that we walk in our brothers and sisters shoes and become aware we live in a global village.
Bush & Blair make me wonder, however. Their heads are someplace else. Can't remember a year when I have had so much e-mail from Brothers and Sisters in the States that start, 'Bush Is Not My President'. Well Blair isn't my Prime Minister either.......and that comes from a diehard Socialist!
Have a good 2005 and please try to send anything to these poor people. My God, if there is anyone in the World that deserves our help during this season of good will it is these guys. Our brothers and sisters as I said. They say that £50 or $100 makes a real difference. My daughter is donating her £2 pocket money this week. I am sure the aid charities will be grateful of any amount.
It is my belief that there are far more good people in the World than bad. It is just the bad ones that make the loudest noise. Empty vessels as they say. Talking loud and saying nothing. Personally, my friends and my family WILL be doing something.
We are a strange species us human beings. The Western Governments tell the Asian Countries that they should sell their assets to the West in order to meet their debts. Thay ask us 'what assets?' We thell them their forestation. They cut down all their trees, the climate changes and the water level rises. People die as a result. This was an earthquake this time round. What about the next time? We owe these people big time. We have made enormous amounts of money out of them. They work for next to nothing, so we switch all our telephone operators from the U.K. to Asia. Jobs lost here. Profit for the fat cats. Disney pays these guys pennies to make their clothing. Clothing that is sold for a huge profit margin. That is a story that is repeated throughout all the multinationals of the West utilising this cheap labour. We now have an opportunity to give something back. My God, we HAVE to do just that. We have to, please. Put a penny on my income tax. I won't die if you do. They are dying as I write this. They deserve better.
Peace in 2005 and immense love to all these people in these terrible times for them. Hell on Earth and possibly a timely reminder from the Planet that we shouldn't mess with it?
Toby Walker - 1.1.05
....as an endpiece, this is something I added to a weekly newsletter I mail out....
..........I hope that 2005 is a peaceful year and the reconstruction of Asia is something that doesn't wane over the coming months. If we had any heart, we should wipe Third World debt completely rather than tinker with interest payments. A clean slate might give these guys a fighting chance. Interesting looking at who has pledged what. Bidding war they call it. It's the only type of war I am in favour of. Seems the major powers are left wanting by their respective general publics. Australia and Germany seem to have the biggest hearts. Germany impressed me the most considering they are currently rebuilding the Eastern side of the country and need all the resources they can lay their hands on. Jack Straw said on television this morning 'It's not the amount we are pledging, but it's what we do with it'. Fine. You can do a darn site more with a hundred million than 50 million. Put a penny on income tax for a year. No-one would object to that. I won't be voting Labour again until Tony Blair is out of office. Can't vote Lib Dem or Tory, so I guess my ballot paper will read 'none of the above'. How a Prime Minister of the U.K. can sit on a beach in Egypt, sunning himself, whilst a disasterous global piece of history is transpiring, is beyond me. He returned after a few days. Nice suntan. Jack Straw making excuses. My belief is Tony Blair thinks that Labour getting back into office is a done deal. I think he may be in for a shock. He should be as ashamed as George W. ought to have been when he was told that 9/11 was happening, and he just sat reading to children in a classroom. I bet the pair of them think a Tsunami is a bunch of Newcastle United football fans! These guys are incompetent and have no heart. Enough said.