Poetry – We Will Prove Them Wrong.

We Will Prove Them Wrong.

We will have to prove them wrong.

There is a place for fairness.

It can work.

Can power ever be noble?

Yes it can.

Like a rare orchid

Growing in the desert sands.

But the deserts can bloom

And power has been known

To work for good.

In spite of our aggressive nature,

Our selfishness and greed,

There is a germ of decency.

There is still hope.

Amid the raucous bedlam

There is a small voice.

Opher 3.4.2019

We are that small voice. We speak out against the madness of mankind as we devour the very thing we live off.

One has to hope that the insanity of mankind will mature into a more responsible adult.

Without some sanity the planet is doomed. We are wiping out the ecosystems that sustain us.

Time is running out.

I still hope that sense will prevail and that we are not the callous killers we seem to be.

We need to prove them wrong.

Politics and the Tory and Labour Party – A view to discuss.

Politics and the Tory and Labour Party – A view to discuss.

I do not want a party that pandas to the electorate and tries to be all things to all people. I want a party based on sound principles. I think the electorate need inspiring and educating.

The Labour Party was born out of the Trade Union movement – out of the struggle of working people for a fairer country.

The Tory Party was born out of wealthy businessmen to protect the interests of wealthy businessmen.

The Tory Party controls the media and uses it as a propaganda machine. They opposed the enfranchising of votes for all men and then later they opposed votes for women. The represent the establishment – God, Queen and Country.

The Labour Party, in order to become elected, has to support the establishment. If it appears too socialist or radical it is demonised in the media and made out to be a threat.

The Labour Party, when in power, always looks after the poor and public service.

The Tory Party, when in power, cuts public services and gives tax cuts to the wealthy.

The Labour Party has always believed in a fairer society with less inequality. They would tax the rich more and nationalise institutions so that the profits go to the country and not wealthy entrepreneurs.

The Tory Party believes in giving money to the rich wealth-makers. The principle is that the country becomes richer and the money trickles down.

The problem that The Labour Party has is that when they are in power the wealthy withhold their wealth so it is difficult for the country to prosper.

The trouble with The Tory Party is that the wealth does not trickle down. The wealthy squirrel it away abroad, public services decay and the poor have nothing. Inequality grows and festers.

I want a fairer society. I’ll give my vote to The Labour Party. I want to see well-funded public services. I want a graduated tax system that makes the wealthy pay more without removing incentive. I want the poor looked after and helped.

I don’t vote out of selfish greed. I vote for what I think is best for the country.

I think that The Labour Party should start with its principles, say what it stands and what it stands against and not care what the electorate want.

I do not want patriotism, xenophobia or Brexit. I want an outward looking country that cooperates with neighbours. I want freedom to go where I want without hindrance.

I think Corbyn got it right (apart from Europe) but was not media savvy or charismatic enough.

The key things for The Labour Party to do now is to unite (bring both wings together), formulate clear policies (together) that stem from its basic principles of fairness, and explain them to the electorate. I think they need to be far fiercer and go for The Tory Party expose their lies, sleaziness and corruption, expose what they are doing to the country and talk about The Labour Party policies with passion.

We need some integrity, honesty and principles!! We desperately need a viable opposition to this most corrupt, inept bunch of extremists.

The waters have been muddied by Brexit, xenophobia, nationalism and lies. The wrong people have been empowered.

Time to put it right.

Poetry – A Question of Priorities

A Question of Priorities

There’s one percent for caring

And forty-four for war.

There’s a wall instead of sharing

And a world outside the door.

Millions for profiteering

Cuts for the poor.

Opher 18.3.2021

I am really beginning to dislike the ethos of this country. It used to be outward looking, honest and trustworthy. It used to offer refuge and a helping hand.

What we have now is a narrow-minded, insular, little Britain – inward looking and nasty.

We have a government that lies, breaks international law and is destroying cooperation and trust in the name of petty nationalism.

They promote inequality with blatant cronyism and disregard.

I despise their arrogance.

They offer 1% pay ‘rise’ to those who risk their lives while doling out millions to Tory donors who are blatant profiteers. They then propose to waste billions on a 44% increase in nuclear weapons.

They insult our friends and suck up to tyrants and despots.

They disgust me. The people who support them disgust me.

Poetry – Papa Jose – The Only Good Addiction is Love

Papa Jose – The Only Good Addiction is Love

Love

Is the only

Good addiction.

That is the magic of Mujica.

Fairness

Is the only

Thing worth being shot for.

That is the magic of Mujica.

Equality

Is the only

Struggle worth a bean.

That is the magic of Mujica.

Freedom

Is the only

Dream to hang on to.

That is the magic of Mujica

Hope

Is only one

Of the gifts

That Jose Mujica radiates.

Opher 29.1.2016

Papa Jose – The Only Good Addiction is Love

Jose Majica is an old man, a past President of Uruguay, a fat old contented man, living modestly in a little house no bigger than most of his compatriots. He is a man who spurned the trappings of power and wealth. He is a man that has been shot three times for his beliefs and refused to die. He was a terrorist rebel. He stood for fairness, justice and equality.

He is one of the few who put those values into practice when he achieved power. For Jose it was not rhetoric.

He was a liberaliser and a pragmatist.

He legalised marijuana but insisted that it was not good. He stated that the only good addiction was love. But it was better for the health of the people if the drug was controlled and the money taken out of the hands of the underworld.

He chuckles a lot. He is old and fat but still full of fire. I wish he ruled the world.

Core Values – Number 2 – Fairness

I believe in fairness. I’m not sure if that come from my upbringing or is something intrinsic to my character. One thing I am certain of is that it does not stem from any religious belief. I have no religious belief.

My trust in fairness leads me to all manner of social and political views.

I think the gross inequality created by capitalism, feudalism, monarchies, despots, global elites and all other systems created by human beings – stinks.

Politically this could lead me to communism. But I stop short of that. I do like the idea of equality but it seems to me that communism tends to create tyrannical control which impinges on my freedoms. So it leads me to Social Democracy. I think all people should be treated fairly and rewarded according to their effort and worth – but not over-rewarded. I think we should take care of the weakest in our society.

Fairness leads me to despise all forms of racism and misogyny, homophobia or discrimination.

Fairness leads me to recognising the value of all life and not treating animals with cruelty or thoughtlessness. They too, wild or domestic, should be treated fairly.

The drive to treat all people and animals fairly drives my life. It’s inherent in everything I do.

Poetry – Equality

Equality

Something’s gotta change.

This racial divide is despicable.

This use of violence intolerable.

This inequality reprehensible.

This has gone on

For far too long.

People need to act.

That’s a fact!

The level of racism in the country is incredible.

Indefensible.

Incomprehensible!

Opher – 20.11.2020

The Black Lives Matter campaign should not be happening.

Not in 2020.

The fact that racism is still so prevalent is a sign of a sick society.

America is the richest country on the planet – and the most unequal!

Something has got to change.

It starts with education.

Poetry – Let The Kids Starve

Let The Kids Starve

Let the kids starve.

We don’t care.

Who the hell says

That life is fair?

You get what you deserve

In this life.

You have to try harder –

Poverty’s rife!

The ‘haves’ get more.

The ‘have-nots’ get less.

That’s the way it is.

It’s not a mess.

Feckless parents

Need to take responsibility.

It’s not our fault

If they lack sensibility.

So let the kids starve.

We’ll turn our back.

We’re not responsible

For the food they lack.

But Mr Politician,

It’s not the kids’ fault.

The system you created

Has got them caught!

Opher – 25.10.2020

The callous situation that has developed regarding free school meals has clearly demonstrated the mind-sets. Tories are very happy with having an underclass. They need people to exploit. It’s their own entire fault. They should have had more ambition and tried harder. They are where they are because of their own fault.

If you can’t afford kids you shouldn’t have them.

They speak from a position of privilege. A bunch of millionaires representing millionaires. A party set up by millionaires to protect their elitism.

But those poor children, born into poverty, have done nothing wrong. They are the victims. Some of those parents may be feckless, but not all of them. Many are just victims of circumstance, of a system created by politicians.

Covid-19 has greatly exacerbated the problem.

Where is the compassion?

Surely a country with our great wealth can afford to feed our children.

It looks callous to me. The sums are relatively small. If it was a bank they’d be bailed out.

The Legal system – Restorative Practice.

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Restorative Practice

At school, as a Head of Year, Deputy Head and Headteacher, I used Restorative Practice to solve incidents. It is a philosophy which is efficient and highly effective.

You bring together the parties concerned and establish what has happened. This is often achieved through questioning but may require witness statements or further investigation. Once the facts have been established the people involved are confronted with their actions, the consequences on others and guided through what they should have done. Then suitable punishments are ascribed. I always asked both parties what they thought the punishment should be.

This is what I found:

  1. It was relatively easy to establish what had taken place
  2. Once confronted with evidence the guilty party invariably admitted their guilt
  3. Rarely was it one sided – there were mistakes made by all parties to one degree or another
  4. The punishments selected by the victims were usually lighter than I would have imposed
  5. The punishments selected by the guilty party were usually harsher than I would have imposed.
  6. By the end I had established what had gone wrong, who was to blame (and to what degree), and what should be done to make amends.
  7. Both parties left feeling that justice had been done
  8. Both parties were usually guilty to an extent
  9. The punishments fitted the crime
  10. Both parties accepted the verdict and felt the punishments were appropriate
  11. There was modelling of what should have happened.
  12. It was speedy.
  13. Both parties apologised and made up and could appreciate the impact, physically, emotionally and psychologically, on the other.
  14. The participants left the room without feeling aggrieved, feeling they had been listened to and justice had been done. Their punishments were an atonement.

I believe the Legal System could adopt a similar process for most, even serious, crimes. For perpetrators to see the effect they were having on real victims and for victims to see and understand real reasons that perpetrators had for committing crimes and for punishments to be applied fairly – it is a win win for me.