Are you in the right place?

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This is my personal blog. This is the place where I rant and witter inanely about all sorts of things that take my interest from opposition to odious far right groups to personal learning projects such as my intermittent studies on evolutionary psychology.

If you’ve arrived here looking for information on my mental health and social care training and consultancy services you might want to click this link instead. That’ll take you to my commercial website: The Care Guy

You might also enjoy taking a look at Care To Share Magazine while you’re about it. That’s not affiliated with my business at all (or indeed anyone’s business). It’s a community of people who are interested in sharing ideas and insights into social care without any distractions from political ideologies, corporate agenda or media ‘fashion’.

European Court upheld French veil ban

Today the European Court of Human Rights has struck a blow for freedom by, er… erm…. well…..
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The European court has stood up for the freedom of religious expression through its decision to…. to…. well it….. er….

In a bid to protect devout Muslim women who wear the veil as a religious observance from isolation the ECtHR has made it easier for them to show their faces in public by er…. well… by making it harder for them to leave their homes. This upholds their freedom of conscience because….. er….

Still – it’ll please these nice Britain First guys who never hide their own faces at all.

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Can you say “Hypocrisy”?

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Why I won’t go quietly

I’ve lost another friend tonight. Or at least I will soon. Either she will unfriend me or, assuming that she continues to advertise funding links to Britain First on her facebook page, I’ll unfriend her. Fortunately this one is just a facebook contact, not a real life friend, but it’s still sad.

A few people have asked me why I’m so adamant about this. After all, “it’s only their opinion” to support this neoNazi group – can’t I respect their right to their opinion?

The answer is, of course, “Yes, I can”. I respect their right to finance a group of neoNazi street thugs by posting paypal links on their social media accounts. But I also have the right not to associate myself with such people.

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This is more than just a difference of opinion. This is about supporting either street militia or human rights. It’s not possible to support both. Nor, in my view is it acceptable or realistic to pretend that it doesn’t involve all of us….

“First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.”
(Pastor Martin Niemoller)

Britain First attacks my Muslim and non white neighbours. I’m neither black, Asian nor Muslim but I am a member of this society. And divisive, neoNazi bigotry affects us all equally. We cannot be neutral. We can only act or look the other way.

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
(Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

To look the other way when friends advertise funding links for this group of thugs is to pretend that it’s OK. That’s the wrong message. It’s not OK at all. It’s divisive, destructive and I genuinely think that opposing these fascists is a duty.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

That’s why I’ve ended a few relationships. It’s also why I’m very clear with the other person about why. There should be a social consequence to antisocial behaviour. I can think of few behaviours more antisocial than funding groups who victimise innocent citizens on the grounds of skin colour, nationality or religious beliefs.

Some people just quietly unfriend people and ‘slink away’. To my mind that’s inadequate. People need to understand why they’ve been rejected. How else will we encourage them to reconsider? Slinking away may well be easier but it’s hardly effective.

We need to stand up and be counted.
We need to oppose the neoNazi scourge.
And we need to have the courage to tell our contacts (and sometimes our former friends) why.

United we stand,
Divided we fall!

I want to be part of a peaceful society so I’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with my black, Asian and Muslim neighbours in open defiance of all those who seek to harm them.

Will you?

Britain First: The far right ‘Dad’s Army’

In case you missed it last night. This was Channel 4 news’ broadcast exposing the reality of Britain First. Don’t be fooled. They’re not about saving puppies or respecting old soldiers.

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Britain First is a fundamentalist Christian group engaged in what they see as a Holy war against Muslims. They exist to start a conflict within British society (and car park barriers).

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Yes – they’re a joke now but let’s not laugh so hard that we forget the damage that Britain First can cause. Please spread the word and ensure people don’t fall for their lies.

Please watch the video (it’s quite short) and follow ‘Exposing Britain First’

Facebook

Twitter @ExposingBF

Here’s the link to that video once again

http://www.channel4.com/news/britain-first-far-right-anti-muslim-extremists-mosques

I just love this stuff

Today I was in Halifax in beautiful W. Yorkshire. It was great.
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I arrived last night and met up with a former colleague for a catch up over a curry (& beer of course).

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Then today was spent with around 20 of Calderdale’s finest mental health & social care workers talking about psychosis and interventions for people who hear voices. It’s amazing what a really enthusiastic group can get through in a single day. We covered basic principles of psychosis, a little philosophy of mental health care, models of understanding and normalisation in the morning. This afternoon was devoted to meaningful activity and validation, socratic dialogue, delusions and perceptions and principles of risk. These people really got their money’s worth today!

The group was great fun to work with and they really seemed to enjoy the day. Hopefully they’ve got some useful new skills to take away too.
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Even better, I think a few of them will be contributing to Care To Share Magazine before too long as well.

All in all it’s been a really successful day. And now it really must be ‘beer O’Clock’!

What a cracking day!

Heartless government cut pay of police officers injured in line of duty. And threaten the sack.

Stuart Sorensen:

Awful. Just awful!

Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Looks like the Tories are taking revenge on the police after their falling out over the plebgate controversy.

The Tory-led coalition government has decided that police officers who are disabled or injured in the line of duty should face a pay cut. Or the sack.

A report into changes in police officers’ pay and conditions was completed way back in 2012. But now government ministers have suddenly decided to implement some of the more controversial changes recommended in the report – including this part:

police pay cut

The Disabled Police Association says injured and disabled officers will be ‘substantially disadvantaged’ by the changes:

Pay reforms: Disabled officers ‘substantially disadvantaged’

As always – very little of this has been reported in the mainstream press.

Which is exactly what always happens whenever there is any news about how despicably the sick and disabled are treated by this government.

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Please feel free to comment. And…

View original 3 more words

A letter to a friend

I just posted this to an old friend’s facebook account. It gives me no pleasure but some things are important.

Hi *****,

Some time ago I contacted you about your support for Britain First and gave you some information about their true purpose. Britain First is a racist, fascist organisation whose vision of Britain is of a whites only nation living under a far right regime. They persecute and slander Muslims in much the same way that the Jews were persecuted by National Socialists (NAZIs) & the SA in 1920s Germany. I have sent you this information already.

Whilst you are, of course entitled to support whichever political party you wish, I owe it to my society & to my conscience to oppose neoNazism whenever I encounter it. The song “Your racist friend” may explain my reasoning – so I’ve linked to it below.

Not having heard from you since raising the issue I checked to see that you have been online & on facebook. You have and the BF support remains on your page. I can only assume then that you really do support these neoNazis & their far right, white supremacist ideals. I find that odd given our past friendship but so be it.

Therefore I wish you well for the future, *****. It’s important to me that not a single neoNazi is in any doubt about my opposition to their cause. Unfortunately that seems to include you.

I’ll give you a day or so to respond in the hope that I have misjudged you. If I don’t hear back from you by Sunday evening I’ll consider our friendship over.

Once again, I wish you well, *****.

Your friend,

Stuart

They Might Be Giants: Your Racist Friend *Studio …: http://youtu.be/Ow-nuHCTA5E

Meet the overzealous Mr Selous

Andrew “the overzealous” Selous MP is Ian Duncan Smith’s Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS). He also seems to be a bit confused. Arguably confusion is to be expected since he cherry picks his ideas of right and wrong from an ancient book with a moral compass that points straight back to the bronze age.

Yet with such a public assertion of faith you’d think he’d have read at least parts of the Bible before taking public office.

His confusion over dyed in the wool biblical issues like gay rights seems very odd. He voted strongly against equal rights for gay people and yet vaccilated about gay marriage. Could it be that his 20th century conscience has been pricked a little despite the ‘ancient wisdom’ of a small group of desert nomads?
Andrew Selous MP social issues voting record
Unfortunately he has had no such fit of conscience in relation to homelessness. This is odd in itself considering that his entry for the SW Bedfordshire Conservative Home website reports a keen interest in homelessness and participation in sponsored sleepouts for homelessness charities.

He supports local homeless charities by taking part in annual sponsored sleep-outs.”

Perhaps though his interest is more about keeping homeless numbers up than about helping the homeless themselves. Perhaps his annual sleep out is no more than a form of penance intended to assuage the wrath of God in payment for his other homelessness related activities.
Andrew Selous MP voting record
As if his voting record wasn’t enough to demonstrate his abusive, pathological need to increase poverty and homelessness he recently attacked that other bastion of his Christian faith, the Trussell Trust. And yet even here he seems confused. Speaking about his local foodbank he said:

“I have been a supporter of Foodbank for many years. Working in addition to the welfare system, Foodbanks have been proven to help turn people’s lives around which is why I think so highly of them”

Andrew Selous, Local Constituency MP

And then he goes and does this:
Andrew Selous MP
It seems that the Right Hon. Andrew Selous MP is fine with his own receipt of taxpayer funded nourishment but not too keen on charitable organisations that provide sustenance to people who really are in need. Especially when those organisations, such as The Trussell Trust have the audacity (some might say ‘sense of fairness and social justice’) to question why so many UK citizens are so desperately hungry in the first place.

Apparently asking questions about hunger and trying to do something to change the situation is ‘too political’. I’d have thought that for someone with such a publically professed Christian faith he’d have heard about ‘the sermon on the mount’ and ‘the beatitudes’ with its list of ‘blessed’ individuals. But let me remind the good Mr. Selous of another familiar bible quote:

“Whatsoever you do unto the least of my brethren, do you also unto me.”
Matthew 25:45

It’s going to take more than the occasional night out of doors to make up for this catalogue of oppression Mr. Selous. Not least because, as the good book says….

You shall know them by their deeds.

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