Anybody actually care for Ashya?

There is a little boy in a hospital somewhere in Spain who has been taken away from his family.  The claim that the family of Ashya King have broken any laws is spurious at best.  We need laws to protect and guide but within those laws we have the right to choose whatever way we think is best to raise children.  I feel this family should be left alone to do their best for their son that they feel they can do.  We all see examples of parenting that we might not agree with but unless parents are mistreating their children, causing them harm, then the authorities should not intervene.  It appears the parents of Ashya King were simply desperately trying to make something happen to get their son better.

However, the most disturbing thing about this whole debacle is the whorish appetite for information by the media and, ultimately, from us, the British public.  What business is it of ours to know the details of the health of a little boy or the outcome of his tragic parents’ legal hearings?  This is a family at the height of torment and all our media can do is turn it into a Hollywood manhunt and show-trial.  I wish we could just leave them be and give their family and friends space and freedom to give them all the support they need.

Nobody seems to be thinking about the little boy left on his own in all of this.


Spoil your vote

Tomorrow in the West Midlands we have the ‘wonderful privilege’ of voting once again for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

I am not happy about this. I was speaking with a local councilor yesterday and he told me this election is costing approximately £3,000,000. On top of the cost of the actual election the Commissioner is to paid £100,000 a year and those selected by the Commissioner to represent the different boroughs in the West Midlands are each paid about £12,000 per year to attend a few meetings.

Because of that I am going to spoil my vote. I expect the turnout tomorrow will be minuscule and every spoiled vote must be counted I understand so, who knows, maybe the spoiled votes could win!

I think it is an important principle that we should make use of our right to vote. And not matter how apathetic you feel about a specific election or bunch of candidates I believe you should still make time to head down to the polling station tomorrow.

Anybody not going to vote?

Police boss voting

Voting is really important. The right to vote and opportunity to vote should not be taken for granted. Therefore, I will be voting gratefully in the morning.

However, I feel strongly that the leadership of our police forces should not be politicised and turned into party political games. I also feel that this whole venture is a massive waste of time and money.

For these reasons I was really tempted to spoil my ballot paper. But that’s not really going to help anything so I’ll be voting for an independent candidate who seemed to have a few good things about him.

What are other people’s thoughts? Anyone else voting?

Poll: Will you be voting in the PCC elections?

Will you be voting in the elections for the upcoming Police & Crime Commissioners?

I have a couple of opinions about this yet don’t know much about it….so thought I’d test the water and see what others think.

Please complete the poll and if you’re happy put your reason(s) in the comments section.

The Riots

It’s time for the nation to unite.  We’re on the brink of anarchy because of the actions of the minority.  We need to stand together to stop this.  I don’t know what we can do but I do know we need to be united.  Politicians, please don’t bicker or go for easy shots.

Part of me wants the army to take the streets – and maybe that would be the solution for now.  But it would be more powerful for the peaceful masses to take to the streets?  I do belief that peace will overcome violence.  Is there anything we can do to stop this for tomorrow night?

And then once the emergency is over, what are the consequences?  What should be done to those who have been caught?  Will it do any good to throw the book at them?  Probably not long term.  Our communities need serious restoration and reconciliation.  We need to pray for wisdom for our community leaders and our politicians to sort this mess out and to work out what needs to be done in the future.

This is bad bad stuff that’s going, we have got to use it as a catalyst to transform this country.  The perpetrators are out of order and need to face justice but they’re the victims too.  These kids are the victims of decades of policy that has alienated them from the police, schools, politicians and worst of all their parents.  We are one messed up society and for too long we have been blinded by our superiority complex.  We have looked around haughtily at other countries – called them animals for the atrocities they have committed.  Are we any better?

God help us.


Precious Times

Yesterday me and Anya started on a bit of an adventure together.  The only shame is that Rada is not with us to enjoy it.  But it is great to get some precious time with Anya.

We left Montenegro in the morning.  We got over the Montenegrin border with no problem having a laugh and a friendly greeting with the border guard as he was from the same village as Rada’s family.  Half a mile later and the Croatian border were not so friendly.  The border police didn’t take kindly to my not understanding the Croatian for ‘car registration documents’ and sent me off to empty the boot and one of the suitcases for Customs – first time that has happened to me – I was a bit nervous because I forgot to declare our bottle of Amaro Montenegro liquor but he didn’t find it.  Phew.

100km later and we were stood in a traffic jam for 45 minutes while a land mine up the road was disposed of.  Never fear, we had The Last Battle on audio book to keep us company.  Alas, environmentally conscious I had turned the engine off but kept the lights on and the CD player going.  Not an ounce of power came from the battery once the explosive ahead had been cleared.

I was just getting my trusty reflective triangle out to warn traffic behind that some egit was stuck in the middle of the road, and was about to don my high visibility vest, when a vehicle recovery van stopped by.  He didn’t have any jump leads but he pushed me to a layby with the help of a passing policeman and woman and then called his mate from the last town to come with the jump leads.  While we were waiting he was telling me how he hated Montenegrins because they burnt his house down during the war for no reason.  I obviously sympathised but felt a bit uncomfortable – so I quickly changed the subject to the successes and failures of Croatia footballers who’d played for Aston Villa.

Once the car was up and running again I tried to give them some money then tried to give them the Amaro Montenegro but they refused both and wished me well.  Anya and I arrived at the hotel just south of Split while it was still light, had a great walk up the beach and then stopped for a pizza and beer (Anya had cola).  A great day….looking forward to the rest of the trip home but wouldn’t complain if it was a little smoother.

Fresh Meat

Mmmmm just had steak that came from an unfortunate young bull that died at the hands of my father-in-law 24 hours ago.  On Sunday I get to witness pig slaughtering.  With any luck I’ll be able to try my hand.

In other news.  Rada came back home today with the phone number of a policeman who had stopped her for a routine traffic check.  And an offer for both of us to go out for a drink with him.  Intriguing but I don’t think we’ll be taking him up on his offer.