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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Any colour you like......

A couple of days ago a mother and 4 of her 5 children died in an horrific house fire, her husband and son remain in hospital, critically ill. Such a tragedy, apparently arson, but a case of mistaken identity. The family were Muslims, not by definition, by faith. Is it important to mention their faith? This morning on 5 Live Nicky Campbell hosted his usual Daily Mail-esque phone in discussing the case of McKinnon, a man with Aspergers whose extradtion has been refused by the UK relating it to the recent extradtion of a Muslim with Aspergers who was extradited. A caller made a point which has stuck with me, that crime is all to often faith related rather than crime related. When was the last time a white 'Christian' man/woman's faith was included in the list of their crimes?

Last night, 'roof gate' aside, I watched bits of the international games available. All much of a muchness really, Scotland lost, Wales lost but Northern Ireland drew with Portugal! Funny old game. It seems all the 'fun' was going on in the England Under 21's game against Serbia. I cannot say what was said, I don't know, but after sever provocation, verbal abuse and 'missiles' being lobbed on the pitch, Danny Rose was sent off for reacting to a situation that was clearly out of control. Sky Sports news then showed Lee Croft fronting up to a ball boy, who happened to be black. The young lad looked like he kicked the ball away from Croft, and being the grown up in the situation he responded by 'having a go' at the lad, it has since been said that he used racist language toward the boy. What was particularly upsetting was the young lads demeanour at the end of the game, Croft tried to shake his hand, the lad looked angry and emotional. Paul Dickov knows 'Crofty' would never say anything racist, he's a 'cracking bloke' apparently and let's not forget John Terry ain't no racist either eh?

Stuart Pearce, formerly known as 'Psycho' appeared calm when interviewed about the stone throwing, seat throwing, monkey chanting. Shackled by the constraints of after game interview 'etiquette' Pearce can't have been more pissed off. A passionate man, tamed.

What's this post about? I admit it's a bit 'messy' in it's content. The key is that prejudice/racism is as prevalent in life as it was 200 years ago. I want to hear people who are on the receiving end of such hatred tell me how it is. I want Stuart Pearce to be properly fucked off, in front of camera, I want Paul Dickov, not to defend 'Crofty' but to say he'll comment once the Police have dealt with the complaint. When news of the tragic fire hit the radio there was plenty of time for social networks to be a flutter with 'what a tragedy' 'feel for the Father' but yet on my albeit small Twitter timeline there was no mention, not one. Was that because they happened to be a family who are defined by the faith or colour, I sincerely hope not.

I hurts me to see such blind hatred, it does actually hurt. I just don't get it. As a woman I have been discriminated against, and such was the culture at the time I kind of took it for what it was, silly men threatened by silly old me wanting to work in a garage. I am no man hater, in fact I have a lot of stuff I dislike and that gets me angry but hate is such a strong, physical emotion that I won't waste my energy on it.

And so, a solution. Hmmm easier to find outrage than a solution however Serbia must be punished, it is not the first time this nations fans and, it seems, some of their players, have been found to be hateful, to see Danny Rose so upset, hurt, angry is not what I want from my football, however he acted openly and honestly, which I applaud. The Croft/ballboy incident is in the hands of the Police, I cannot erase the look of upset on that boys face, I hope the incident is not proven to be anything other than a grown man being a prick, I suspect 'Crofty' probably 'lost it' and highlighted the colour not the boy.

Martin Luther King said this....'I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.'

Unarmed truth.....let's be honest people and fight it together x 




Wednesday, 10 October 2012

...and now the end is near

*I wrote this last week, dizzy in the hope I would be free by now...I'm not, it seems they would much rather keep hold of a disenfranchised member of staff than let me go quietly. My sentiments are the same however....just not quite free yet.

So, today I get to write my resignation letter a day that should be filled with the fuck you attitude I have been garnering for the past 4 months...strangely I feel sad, very sad. It's the end of what has been an emotionally draining period of my life and the end to my time in education. I wont return. Singlehandedly my soon to be ex employers have managed to destroy the passion I had for education. Singlehandedly they have proved the illusion I had of the public sector. Singlehandedly they nearly broke me...I am aware that 'singlehandedly' and 'they' shouldn't go together but I'm leaving it like that, it seems more strong sounding than anything else I can think of at the moment.

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day where awareness and sharing is promoted all around the world. I can honestly say that my mental health, generally healthy, has been challenged the past 4 months. My self esteem, confidence and general well being have been attacked, without the support of my partner and friends I look back and wonder how I coped or even if I did cope....

Today is not a liberating day, it is a sad day. A day I say goodbye to my once one passion. In honesty I was already tired of the constant changes, the paperwork , the expectations but it was what I did, it defined me. I took on the kids no-one wanted, the kids that thrilled, witty, wise and lost. I say goodbye to them with a very heavy heart....there were rubbish times of course, verbal abuse, disrespect, anger but hey I'm like that on an hourly basis so once in a while from a kid that's had a shit life is to be expected.

Hmmm, interesting use of 'it defined me'...it did. Brash, strong, Queen of rinse, that's who I was. I was tiring of that persona and when you go into a classroom of kids, the moment you step over the threshold you are 'on', the kids I dealt with that 'on' was a full on thing, physically and mentally tiring add in the emotions that come with these kids I was nearing the end of a good run. And that brings me to today, the day when it ends. I have been treated disgustingly by my employers, they almost got me...almost.

So, farewell education, I will probably miss you at first, in fact I will, but you know what? I am me now, nothing defines me but me.

Oh and fuck you KCC, hard in the arse, I leave you with my head held high....bunch of cunts.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Heroes and villains.....

The thing about abuse is that you would never know it was going on and that's the point. Whether Jimmy Saville is guilty or not it is upsetting to think that the women who have come forward aren't being believed, which is exactly why they didn't come forward in the first place. It's difficult in todays society not to question motives, having worked in a boys school I have seen the power that young girls have. Why come forward now? Money, sell a story or maybe just maybe as part of some sort of personal rehabilitation now is the time....we will of course never really know but today as a 5 year old girl is missing it just shows that society is split, ok to make jokes about Saville and his victims, not ok to question the parents of April as to why she was outside on her own.

Pete Townshend, remember him? Yep, he paid for, using his credit card, for pornographic pictures of children. Very cognitive actions. Many refused to believe the legendary Who member could possibly be involved in any such activity and have denied the sorry episode ever happened, his reproach was he felt so strongly about helping the victims of child porn he wanted to research it further in order to help them. Hmmm, I am not a fan and my instincts were one of 'What the fuck?' A musical hero to many, let off. We won't know the 'truth' but I include this as a example of of the danger of hero worship, when heroes become villains.

A few years ago I supported a very dear friend through an incredibly difficult time. The police were  unable to help and while there was a happy ending the damage was done, she has never truly been herself again. Did I know what she was going through for all those years? No....not a clue. It took a particularly horrific incident for her to call me and tell me everything. Shocked beyond belief I vowed to help her but boy oh boy it was a shock, I had no idea, no-one did, she was too ashamed to speak up.

Sadly, we won't ever know whether Saville did like his girls young. The law cannot posthumously charge a person. Regardless of the sensationalism surrounding the ITV programme, one thing is for sure many inadvertedly colluded with Saville. Assuming these women are not lying, we say that times were different back then. Are we any further forward today? I'm not sure, abuse is spoken about more openly, schools are geared to spot signs of neglect or abuse, women can try and escape domestic violence, but one thing is prevalent, shame. I have discussed my feelings of shame here before, shame is a terrible burden to carry, it lays heavy on the shoulders. These women carry a shame, a shame that hangs around the neck like an anvil.....shame that they have allowed the abuse to happen, shame because they were unable to speak out thus allowing him to abuse again and again, shame that their families may have been tainted. I refer not just to the Saville case, for that would be unfair, however abusers love shame, it prevents usual reactions to unusual situations, a corporate wall of silence.

I have seen the results of abuse, be it in young people or good friends. There is no categorising abuse, it is different for everyone who suffers. Some follow suit and become abusers, many don't. What is key is being believed, that simple step of telling someone, of releasing the hold of the shame....

I defend the rights of anyone to speak freely, that's the beauty of our country. I am not surprised that twitter is full of jokes regarding Saville, I am surprised that I feel quite as strongly as I do regarding those jokes. I guess my work has been trying to rehabilitate kids that have suffered abuse in some form and it's just not that funny.