Previously known as Libdemchild

Friday, 23 December 2011

'Christmas' by John Betjeman

This is a wonderful poem but I have only reproduced the last three stanzas. Please read on and you will see why.

'And is it true? and is it true?

The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.'

The plight of the children in Gaza who suffer everyday and witness death and destruction is something that I want people to remember this Christmas. Below is a poem that I wrote for a production called 'Letters to Gaza' run by The Calders Bookshop in London to remember the hardship of Palestinians. I can never know what it is like to be a child in Gaza or Israel so I do not take sides. I have previously blogged about Jewish children too.

Children of Gaza
It’s just the luck of birth,
That keeps us at separate ends of the Earth,
That doesn’t mean I forget you,
I won’t just sit and stew,
I will try and fight for you,
Try not to feel too blue,
Whatever happened to your life?
It’s all just suffering and strife,
The poor children of Gaza.

Why at such a young age,
Are you in a cage?
Always hiding,
Your confidence is sliding,
Surrounded by sadness,
Chaos and madness,
It really isn’t your fault,
That all your happiness was locked up in a vault,
The poor children of Gaza.

Where is the democracy?
You are shot at with accuracy,
You stand no chance,
When the soldiers are in a trance,
A trance to kill,
There’s nothing for you to leave in a will,
Many people have died,
You have cried,
The poor children of Gaza.

You don’t want the blockade,
Or the grenades,
It’s wrong you have to play with bullets,
Which rain down like comets,
Your siblings are dead,
You don’t like to think how much they bled,
You still have nightmares,
Where no one ever dares,
To save you from the soldiers,
The poor children of Gaza.

There’s still a bit of hope,
That one day there’ll be a rope,
That’ll pull you out of all this,
Wouldn’t that be bliss?
Your friends are always there,
Or someone who cares,
But there’s death lurking,
Soldiers are working,
At least you are still alive,
One day happiness will arrive,
For the poor children of Gaza.

Me reading my poem at the Gaza Evening November 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Libdemchild with Rev Jesse Jackson at Occupy St.Paul's

I was asked to speak at Occupy LSX (St.Paul's) today with THE Rev Jesse Jackson. It was an amazing honour to be in the company of such an important and historical figure. It was also a great privilege to have been asked by the Occupy Movement to speak. This is my speech.

Good afternoon Occupy, It’s an honour, a privilege to be here today. This is one of my favourite places in the world. I am here today to contribute to my future through debate and an exchange of ideas.

I want to live in a country where the level of inequality is minute and where children are able to get the best education no matter which school they go to in what area. No doubt we will always have people who earn more than others because people's abilities differ but I do want to live in a country where children can afford to eat at home, have heating and have a childhood. Poverty affects childhood well being. Children from poor families have more problems such as mental health, school achievements, alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancies.

Youth unemployment is now at 1.027 million. I have reason to worry about our young and I am grateful to Occupy for providing a space for me to talk about these things. To me, a child, capitalism is scary. It presents an illusion of how if you work you will have a decent standard of living. This isn't the case. People have lost jobs through no fault of their own. I am struggling to understand what forces are at play that allows 1% to keep accumulating wealth while there are children in this country who don't have breakfast before school because their parents can't afford it.

We have had free market economics for 30 years and it has resulted in a lobsided world. The Occupy Movement is right to ask for our economic system to be looked at. Capitalism was meant to provide for all. It’s not. When billionaires like Warren Buffet says that he wants to pay more tax and uses words like ‘it’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifices then it really is time.

What is the future for us the young people who form part of the 99%? Bleak if things carry on the way they are. The Occupy movement has been phenomenal in the way it has made the debate on inequality a part of everyday life now. When the banks first failed it was seen as an economic problem, nobody really could predict the way it would affect us all. Then it happened but people weren't able to put a name to it. The Occupy movement have given us a language to describe what we are living. Inequality.

I don’t understand the hypocrisy of society. While children are being abused, killed and neglected in their own house unnoticed by society or social services the city of London’s director of community and children’s services provided a witness statement to say that children were at Occupy spending time with drug addicts.

What really makes me so angry is that while much is made about this camp being a health and safety hazard children are living in unsafe housing, overcrowded homes with leaking roofs and damp on the walls.

People at Occupy are insulted for supposedly not having jobs. Yet, strikes and marches are organised demanding jobs for people. So if you are at Occupy you somehow can go out and magically get a job but if you don’t belong to Occupy then you are not to blame for being unemployed?

Professor Richard Layard, the professor on Happiness, said ‘We do not need a society based on Darwinian competition between individuals. Beyond subsistence, the best experience any society can provide is the feeling that other people are on your side. That is the kind of capitalism we want.'

Occupy is stirring intelligent debate about social justice, economics, race, feminism and education. These are building blocks for sustainable living. Anyone who criticises Occupy misses the real picture. It’s not about the tents, silly. It’s about redistribution. Redistribution of wealth, opportunities and ideas.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Buffoon Face of the Tories Belongs To Boris

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has called the protestors at London Occupy St.Paul's 'hemp-smoking hippies...crusties' and he said that the demonstration was 'baffling protests against capitalism that have not led to a single resignation of a banker, but of three clerics'.

Some of you reading this will agree with Boris and that's fine. I am angry with him because as Mayor of London he has no mandate to be so downright dicriminatory against a group of people who have a lot of support and whose cause is widely recognised.

Message to Boris -Why are there so many people preparing to go on strike tomorrow, Boris? The Bankers, you ridiculous man. Of course, no banker has resigned. Nothing has been done by you to make them resign. The Occupy people and those who support it live in false hope that someone like you who has the power will listen and do something. But 'do nothing' is your option apart from to use insulting adjectives to raise laughs. Contact me and I will show you around Occupy St.Paul's so you can learn about the struggles of many.

To make matters worse Boris made these comments at a masked ball for bankers at the Royal Courts of Justice. It makes me very, very angry. Boris was hobnobbing with those people whose actions have caused so much misery and then letting the 99% down by making fun. No sensitiveness to the disabled, vulnerable and poor who are downright worried about their financial sitution.

The last word on the new culture in the UK of treating the vulnerable as pariahs must go to the City of London Corporation who said that the tents have to go because the 'camp is attracting vulnerable people'.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Which Side Is Democracy In?

Police Surround Protesters Yesterday at Occupy Toronto

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Is Student Debt the Next Sub-Prime Mortgage?

University graduates are among the 1 Million young people who are out of work in UK. I know a few of these young people and it is so sad to see them having to downgrade their ambitions. When they first went to University they had dreams and hopes and now they are sending applications off for jobs that they didn't need to go to university for. They worry about paying off their student debt eventhough they aren't eligible yet to pay it off. Nobody wants debts.

But if these students aren't paying off their debts and are having to claim benefits then isn't the Government going to end up paying a lot more? I know that in America the student loans are private loans but in the UK these loans are Government backed so loans in the UK can't quite become sub-prime loans. Nevertheless, I worry that student loans will end up costing the country in the long run. With the student fees going up the level of debt will increase.

I think it is time to stop selling young people the false dream of a University degree providing a secure future for all and that it equals employment.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Tents going up in Trafalgar Square

Are we seeing a revolution take place in the UK? As I write this tents are being put up in Trafalgar Square. At this rate London will become a campsite for people who really care about their cause. Fighting for the justice of inequality is the modern day battle. The press keep referring to how the Occupy movement is a leaderless revolution as if nothing of significance can happen without a leader. This misses the point that a collective voice, especially a global one, can act as a leader in itself. This could be the 21st century model of leadership in democratic societies.
I am ill at home otherwise I would be heading off to Trafalgar Square after school. I was at Occupy St Paul's recently and spoke about how the Chinese government bulldozed squatter homes when they hosted the Olympics to make the place look nice. This isn't the model of democracy that we want in the UK. Let debate in the UK be confined to causes and not aesthetics.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mothering is Serious Work

My title may state the obvious but what I mean to say that is that most people don't realise that there are different dimensions to mothering. I spoke at a MIRCI conference in Toronto, Canada last month which was titled 'Mothering, Education and Maternal Pedagogies'. My talk was on how my life has benefitted from having an empowered mother who takes an active interest in my education and in my life.

MIRCI is one of a few organisations in the world that specialises in the academic and activism of mothering. Women came from all over the world to attend this conference because it was the first of its kind to look at maternal pedagogies which is about how traditional thinking about motherhood is being challenged.

I must admit that before I went to this conference I didn't quite know that there were so many disciplinary perspectives to mothering. Popular culture has it that mothering is about making brownies, sewing costumes and dresses and fretting over stains on clothes. This conference was about feminist mothering and how mothers have special talents. beliefs and values which they can pass on to their children. Mothering is not just an act, a verb, but is an academic and subjective practice.

It is time that feminist mothering is viewed as being part of the feminist movement in the UK. Feminism is not just about fighting against Page 3 pictures or equality in the workplace. Mothers are excluded from feminism because feminism is also viewed as being an issue associated with women who don't have children. Feminist Mothering brings informed thought on issues that affect us all such as race relations, gender bias and the effects of capitalism on family life. My mother will be speaking at 'Occupy St.Paul's' on Saturday 12 November in the Tent City University at 11 am on Feminist Mothering.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I was at Occupy Toronto

I was at 'Occupy Toronto' last Wednesday (19 October) and spent 3 hours filming, walking around and talking to the protestors. What you will see in these videos is my view about the 'Occupy' movement and a general look around the park where they are camped.
It is all too easy to dismiss and criticise these people and to walk by them with your self-righteous nose up in the air. These people are intelligent with points to make. Stop and listen to them. At least they are making a stand. What else are the rest who are affected by the banking fiasco doing? We hear people complain everyday about how bankers put us in debt but we put up. The 'Occupy' movement is about helping make everyone's lot better.
The movement has been criticised for not having a point to make. They do. It is the '99%' message. Global inequality is huge. The 1% are getting richer and the 99% are getting poorer. The 99% are getting further into debt through borrowing and credit card use. The Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, said, the movement was due to the increase in inequality and that the less well educated have been hit the hardest.
What I saw in Toronto was a desire for social mobility. Some people I spoke to just didn't have the opportunities to do so. They were either jobless or homeless. I think the world needs to start paying a lot more attention to the 'Occupy' movement. This is a revolution of a global movement without a human leader. Their leader is a cause. This is a leaderless revolution. It is BIG.
I watched Ezra Levant on the Sun news channel mock these people in Toronto. I disagree. Ezra, you are wrong. They may not read books from the library and they may not be as well read as you but they have a passion and a point.
If you are a part of 'Occupy Toronto' please bring this blog post to the media tent's attention because I promised them that I would write about my experience.
Go Occupy Toronto, Go.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Piers Morgan flying Brit Flag in North America

I am in Toronto, Canada attending a conference (more on that another time) and have been fascinated by the British news and personalities making the headlines here.
The first of the pick has to be Piers Morgan who showed a fantastic British disregard for authority by trying to make Hermain Cain feel foolish for saying that Gay people choose to be gay. Piers did his interview the day after the Republican presidential candidate debate, which I watched. Herman is in the running but Piers wasn't letting Herman get away with homophobic views.
Simon Cowell is on billboards everywhere too. Should we be embarrassed that an export consisting of people who all think they can sing and dance their way to a fortune overnight is the big Brit thing?
Dulwich Gallery received a four column article in the 'Globe and Mail' (main newspaper here) for hosting an exhibition on Canadian art. Golly, I have never been to the Gallery and i have friends in the area whom I visit!Liam Fox got a big mention in an article titled 'Minister quits in best man scandal'.
Lastly, Alistair Campbell, Yes, Alistair because he used a rude work when he tweeted about the Blackberry breakdown. I can't tell you what the word is because I am a child so you will have to look at his tweets.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Cafe Latte Generation

Alex White, Matt Downey, me and Huw Edwards.
(Matt and Alex are talented liberal youth who are my good friends)
I have discovered something new about myself and it isn't often that this happens to people. Thanks to George Alagiah and his series on Mixed Race Britain I am part of the new growing colour mix of people. The surprising thing is that I don't feel any different or special compared to single race people.

However, I do think that the history of how mixed race people were treated is important because if we do not understand this then, as a society, we cannot progress. What amazes is how much racism and shame was associated with being mixed-race. Brown babies were put into orphanages because their white mothers were shunned by society. The Nazis conducted experiments on children like me to find out the DNA make up of these children.

I don't know what challenges lie ahead of me as a mixed-race child. Will there be genetic inheritance problems or will society start to view people like me differently as a result of the publicity for mixed-race people? Surprisingly, when my Asian mother was pregnant with me she was told that I would have a hard life because of my cultural mix. This was only 12 years ago. This shows, till how recently, racism was still in existence. I am pleased to say that I have not faced racism at all and being mixed has not held me back.

The BBC is featuring footage and history of how hard life was for mixed race children and their parents. By contrast I am grateful that I was interviewed recently on the BBC News 24 during conference by Huw Edwards. My colour did not even come into it. Integration has come a long way. However, people may not care about my heritage but I have been asked many curious questions by the press about my 'pushy' mother. It is assumed that because my mother is Asian she is forcing me to do things that children my age would not be doing. This partly comes from the memoirs of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua, who pushed her daughters to excel. I don't have a pushy mother but she does encourage and help me to achieve my best potential. She is a Huffington Post blogger and you can read about her parenting style at:   


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Jumping On The Bandwagon of Cats

My Cat :)
 You thought this was going to be a post about Theresa May and the cat and the Human Rights Act didn't you? Everything has been debated to death already so I thought I would just post a picture of my cat, Sarah. I wanted to be a part of the debacle but in a different way.  

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Feminism's Footprint in the Front Line

Today David Cameron apologised for appearing to make sexist comments. He claims that what he said came out wrong and that he is not a sexist man. When David Cameron said 'Calm down dear' he was just quoting from an advert and he did not mean it in a sexist manner but the way the male MPs reacted it seemed as if they were promoting sexism and this is terrible.

It is important for the Prime Minister to say that sexist jokes are wrong because it shows strong leadership and it sets the trend for a non-sexist society. Prime Ministers always need to be very careful about what they say, this is not the 1800s (or even past then) where sexism was accepted and no women were allowed into the House of Commons. We live in a modern and free country where feminism is coming into action. The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is known for having really bad attitudes towards women. We don't want that.

I don't understand why the MPs reacted so much when David Cameron said that Nadine Dorries was 'extremely frustrated', she was talking about abortion, a very sensitive subject and she has the right to get angry about it. Lots of male MPs get frustrated in the House of Commons and they are not jeered.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Leave Rory Weal Alone

Rory Weal is the 16 year old boy who spoke at the Labour conference two days ago and is now being attacked in the press, in blogs and on Twitter for his speech and his circumstances. Rory said:
"I owe my entire well-being and that of my family to the welfare state ." He said this because his family had hit hard times and had to rely on the welfare state to get through.

At first Rory received praise for giving a speech at his age. Then, in true British style, he was villified mercilessly because the press found out that Rory used to go to a private school and lived in a very expensive home and now goes to a Grammar school.

I am going to stand up for Rory because in my previous blog post I said I would speak up on child issues (but even I didn't realise that it would be to defend another child who speaks at conferences). I was featured in The Observer magazine on 11 Sept in an article titled 'Spot the Future Prime Minister' along with other Liberal Youth. The youth from Labour and the Tories were featured too and Rory is in the magazine.

I don't know where to start because I have so much to say. Firstly, does a child have to come from an underprivileged background to go into politics? Rory was telling the truth as his situation is now. The family lost their wealth. He is a true example of how the welfare system should work i.e someone who has lost their job through no fault of their own then depends on the welfare system to help them get back on their feet.

Rory gave the impression that he came from a disadvantaged background when he spoke about using the welfare system. Why do middle class people always get attacked when they talk about a working class situation? Social mobility usually means to move up in the class system but people forget that social mobility also means that people can move down. This is what happened to Rory by the looks of it.

I believe him when he says that the family struggled financially. He may not have been poor but when has poverty been a requirement to speak about politics? Private schooling is used as a weapon to beat people away from the world of politics. I go to a private school but remember children don't have a choice of where they go. I don't want to be ridiculed for going to a private school.

Also, not every child who goes to private school will end up ruling the country and not every child who goes to a comprehensive will end up unemployable. The riots showed that there is an overlap. Children from rich backgrounds and private schools rioted too. Where you went to school should not be a barrier to a child's future. This whole wealth creation debate forgets that the middle class is growing. The middle class covers a whole load of people. It is the largest layer in society.

Also, I can't understand why a capitalist country (UK) always ridicules the symbols of capitalism like private choices over schools. It is as if we want capitalism but only in a way that suits our political ideology.

In summary, leave Rory alone. During the riots people spoke about the useless young who don't do anything. When a young person does they are thrown to the wolves. Stop.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Clegg's Conference Call

The bounce back at our conference from the defeats of the local elections and electoral reform vote was phenomenal. We are the Jack-in-the-Box pop up political party. The sense of unity and optimism was astounding but I still think that we are struggling about being in Government.

Take my personal experience as an example. On Saturday when I got to the ICC there were two armoured cars. Someone had told me that George Osbourne was at the conference so I immediately assumed that the cars were his. A few minutes later I realised that  it was Nick Clegg's cars. Him being the Deputy Prime Minister. That is the paradox. We are in power now but sometimes the Lib Dems behave as if we are still a party in opposition. Thank goodness we aren't but even Nick Clegg seems to get it mixed up occasionally. Take this line from his closing Leader's speech

"We speak up first and loudest when the establishment lets people down.'
Isn't Government the biggest part of the establishment? Our slogan for this conference was 'In Government, on your side'. Slightly confusing. Maybe this is because Nick Clegg is still having to convince party members about the decision to go into coalition. This is a shame because valuable time is being spent explaining past decisions rather than looking forward.

"We proved something about ourselves last year, when we faced  historic choice: whether or not to enter Government in coalition with the Conservatives."
We have always been the party that shouted in protest at the Government of the day and now we are the Government and are having to make decisions. I sensed this myself during debates and at fringe events that Lib Dems still feel a need to apologise for being with the Tories and have not reached the stage where we feel comfortable justifying the decision. This is a negative tactic.

The Tory bashing at conference was unhelpful because it took debates nowhere. Stalemate. We have to work with the Tories till 2015. Of course we need to stamp the Liberal Democrat personality on issues and causes but not by taking cheap shots otherwise electors will ask us why we stayed in coalition at all and for 5 years, at that, if the Tories were that bad.

When we face reelection our decisions will be challenged by voters on the grounds that they were made as part of a coalition. Lib Dems will have to be a strong party that can explain and justify everything we have done when the next election occurs in 2015. What will we need for this? Our local party base has always been the glue that holds us together. At the next election if we don't have enough grassroots support then we will be in big trouble.

"We do not serve and will never serve vested interests"
Localism is our vested interest. Traditionally we have been the party that operates at local authority level. This was our strength. Now I see a tension between the localism agenda and the centralism agenda. This was especially apparent to me during the debates on free schools and academies. Lib Dems are against anything that takes away power from local authorities but free schools actually give power to parents over choices in education.

Finally, I take great pride in having a strong stake in the party because of Nick Clegg saying the following:

"...Britain is our home. We will make it safe and strong. These are our children. We will tear down every barrier that they face..."

This is a party fighting for a better future for children and I will carry on feeling justified in writing about what affects children. That will be Libdemchild's voice in the party and personal manifesto.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Pre-conference musings

It's that time of the year again, conference. It's the only good thing about the end of summer. I have been thinking about what the party ought to achieve from this conference.

There's a good quote in The Times today in the article written by Philip Collins: "In 2010 no party was in the right place but the electorate brilliantly conceived a coalition as if to say "now, that's what we meant and try not to forget it"."

I still don't feel as if the Lib Dems have worked out our position in Government. Ok, people must have voted for something we stood for. We want to be Liberal, which is about giving people choices and options, but then we switch to paternal Liberalism. We give our leadership a hard time without really understanding their role in Government. The leadership seems miles apart from the ordinary members of the party like me.

Does anyone agree with this or do you think I am being negative?

On a personal note I will be speaking at a fringe event on Monday night at 8pm on the Education Bill, Hyatt Regency, Dolce Room. Sitting on the panel with me will be Christine Blower, head of the NUT, Paula Keaveney, Liverpool Council, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Naomi Phillips, British Humanist Association and the event will be chaired by Kavya Kaushik, Liberal Youth Scotland.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Libdem child ranked 7th in the world among teen bloggers

I have been ranked 7th in a top 10 list of child bloggers globally. I feel humbled, excited and grateful. Thank you for all your support in reading my blog and leaving comments, especially JohnM, Goodknight, Frank Little, Philip Blond of ResPublica and LeftLiberal.

There are two other bloggers in this list who are of interest. One is Madonna's, the pop singer, daughter Lourdes who comes in at 10. The other is the daughter of the Tiger Mother who comes in at 9th.

Also to the right of this blog post is an interview that I did with who are interviewing some LibDem bloggers in the lead up to our conference. Winkball reporters will also be present in Birmingham so please be nice to them because they are a great company.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The use and abuse of children is evil

This is a photo that is currently doing the rounds on Facebook and on blog sites (eg Daily Maverick). I don't know if this picture is a fake or not. I do hope the child is pretending to be dead and wasn't really shot by the man in the photo or someone else. However, fake or not it demonstrates how children are used and abused all over the world. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

A sad picture from Birmingham

This message was posted by the niece of Haroon who was one of the 3 Asian men who died in Birmingham and were buried yesterday. It says how much she will miss him and how happy she was whenever he visited her.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Peace and Wishes to Birmingham

I went to Birmingham last weekend and I saw the scale of damage from the riots there. What I saw was both physical and emotional damage. Some shops were boarded up but they were mainly open. Lots of windows had a spider web of smashed glass covering more than half of the window. It did look eerie but there was a marvellous British spirit of getting on among people.

I spoke to some Asian taxi drivers and they tole me how upset they were that they had lost three members of their future generation. The funerals of the 3 Asian men are being held today. Two out of the three were brothers and their father has had a heart attack since the murders. The taxi drivers spoke of their sadness at losing men who were well educted, one was a university graduate. These taxi drivers represent an older generation who came over from Asia and watched their children intergrate into British society. They all felt British, were all proud to be British and were devastated at what had happened to their community. There was a sense of such deep sadness that I felt.

A week after the riots there has been an endless queue of young people appearing in courts.  This has left Britain feeling unstable but I live in hope that society will mend. There's so much debate and action on the streets to put shops back together and find people homes. Maybe a lasting solution will be found.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Politics of Envy is the new threat to national security

I have been watching the debate and the analysis of the riots all day. It is clear to me. The riots weren't about class or race or the cuts. It is about people wanting things for free and without working for them. I have long seen this trait in children around me and I worry about it.

The politics of envy come from the celebrity culture which is widely adored by children everywhere. Take this as an example, Justin Bieber the pop star, has a twitter account and whenever he tweets it only takes 30 seconds for it to be retweeted 100+ times. For 100 plus teenagers to be sitting there waiting for Justin to say something amounts to an obsession. Shows like X-Factor or Britain's Got Talent are taken by children to mean that all they have to do is to sing or dance to become famous and rich. Children never pay attention to the judges criticism of those who have no talentc or how those who do have talent have to work harder. Children only hear what they want to hear and see and they see fame and wealth in these shows. 

Children would not have participated in the riots if the parents had taught them between right and wrong. Not all parents, however, are bothered to do this. For example, a 15 year old boy was in court today and his parents did not even bother to show up. The judge shook his head at this. Also, children are copycats. If one does something the others will follow and join in.

People are saying that the bankers created a culture of greed and that the rioters are following their example. I don't think the rioters can be compared. The rioters were opportunistic and were looking for what they could not afford. The children in the riots probably don't even follow politics close enough to know about the banking crash and sub-prime mortgages.

Gang culture has been mentioned as being behind the riots. Apprently the children join gangs for protection reasons and to feel part of a family. I find this sad. Why can't they find this at home?  I heard a woman two days ago say that if the Government forces single mothers to go back to work when the child is 5 years then the child will join a gang. I couldn't understand why this should be the case. Are gangs babysitters?

I don't think any Government can ever do enough to save children from knife and gang culture and broken homes. We must realise that the solution is a partnership between parents, Governments, social workers, teachers, police and youth leaders. But the child still has to want to participate in society. We can help but they must then take responsibility for their actions and learn to help themselves.

Our Western style of democracy was taken advantage of by the rioters. Libyan TV was broadcasting the riots and telling Libyans that people in the UK were demonstrating in support of Gaddafi. We were used. With China on the rise and how it does not believe in human rights we must protect our freedom and carry on dealing with those who threaten it.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

It may happen in my area tonight.

I don't want to say where I live in case it attracts the looters but my area in London is on high alert. There's 1,000 police officers drafted in. The streets are very, very quiet and it feels eerie. The neighbours and my mother and I have been knocking on doors alerting other neighbours and checking that the vulnerable are aware of what may happen. There are a few elderly people who live here and a newborn baby too.

 I will provide an update later but I am hoping that I will be able to say 'nothing has happened'. Please keep safe everyone.

UPDATE 1:  I have made a roster. Each of the people in my block of flats have an hour shift to watch out for the rioters, if they come. My mother and I are doing the 11-12 am shift. Luckily we are all still safe but we will remain vigilant. I will carry on updating.

UPDATE 2: I have just finished my last patrol of our property with my mother. Glad to say that everything is ok so far. We noticed some youths hanging around for 10 minutes but they have moved on. I haven't actually seen 1,000 police officers but there have been enough of them around to make me feel safe. I am very sleepy and tired. I will update in the morning. Goodnight and thank you for your concern and care.

UPDATE 3:  9:05 am 10th August. Thankfully, there was no trouble in my area last night. The roster system worked well. RIP to those who died overnight protecting their areas. I also pray for those who lost their homes and possessions in the riots.

Monday, 8 August 2011

London's Burning

My neighbours and I are keeping watch in case the rioters head our way. There's nothing so far in our area but the scale of the riots in London and how it is spreading is scaring us. There is no excuse for these riots.

The cuts, disenfrachised youth and inequality are all being used as reasons for the riots. The coalition has been in power for just over one year. The cuts have not really taken place yet. The cuts cannot be blamed. Also, by blaming the cuts it implies that there was plenty of money before which made a difference. If so, how can all that have been undone since May last year so quickly which has led to London burning?

What I am trying to say is that what we are seeing is people who are opportunistic, who want a good life without working for it - looting expensive shops. There's something else going on. Is it youth apathy? Is it a disrespect for communities and life? Is it a total lack of morals and values? I think it is.

Friday, 5 August 2011

ITV 9pm today (Friday)-Violence Against Jane

There's a programme being shown at 9pm tonight called 'Someone's Daughter Someone's Son'  which I ask you to watch because the family of the murdered victim being show in the programme need thousands of signatures to bring their case to Parliament.  As Liberal Democrats this is the sort of issue we care about
Violence against women is something I saw today when I was out with my summer play school. I was at a Central London ice skating rink and I heard an uproar. A couple with a small child were shouting at each other. The man then hit her and ripped the sleeve of her t shirt. His friend held him back. The woman ran off crying.
There was a recent study which showed that violence against women is on the rise, especially violence carried out against teenage girls. On tonight's programme you will also see how society views women, as not really being important enough to protect.


Monday, 1 August 2011

Keep away from the far right

In my last blog post I wrote about the far left and how they use violence and force to make their point. Since then the horrible attacks in Norway have occurred because of far right views. We are experiencing  the extreme sides of politics which are trying to dominate the centre ground. The centre ground is the position we must protect because it is the point at which all reasonable views meet to form a fair society. Liberalism is under attack.

The Norwegian young people who died were future leaders with views that promoted the centre ground. I hope Norway does not descend and become a country that rejects liberal views. Already immigrants in Norway have been reporting of attacks against them. I hope this view does not spread to the rest of Europe thus encouraging and supporting the Norweign murderer's actions. 


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Has the Westminister Bubble burst yet?

A bubble popping
 I have been scared to surface for the last two two days in case I get infected by the ignorance going around Westminster. You know how easily children pick things up. It is as if nothing else exists apart from the phone hacking. I blogged about this a few days ago. Anyway, I sat through 5 hours of the select committee hearing and the thing I noticed the most was that Rupert Murdoch did not match up to the Shrek like Ogre which people had portrayed him as being. I kept asking my mother whether it really was Rupert Murdoch or if he had sent his own father instead to the hearing.

I was waiting for a killer statement which would justify all this speculation which has been going on for weeks. The select committee were bombarding the Murdochs with questions in order to reach a different conclusion from what we have already heard. The whole word was waiting for something big to come of the select committee hearing and it never really did. The Murdochs apologised and their company's share price went up. I was rather impressed when Murdoch said that it was the most humble day of his life, it was a good move on his part.

I couldn't work out why the MPs were asking a billionaire whether he was aware of payments of £100,000. Murdoch is at the head of a billion dollar empire and only payments in the millions would be brought to his attention. Even me, being a child and all, knew that. I was then half expecting them to ask him about his stationary budget and how many paperclips he had bought in the last month. I don't even know how many fluorescent coloured paperclips i have bought in the last month and I don't need many paperclips at all.

This is not to say that the phone hacking is a minor incident. Questions had to be asked because people's privacy had been invaded. I just question the way the country has focussed on one issue - this one- for weeks.

The foam pie attack was just stupid diversion but it is a worrying example of how the far left always seem to hijack an issue with the use of power and force. There were demonstrators outside Portcullis House carrying banners saying 'Murdoch's Evil Empire. I don't wish to underestimate Murdoch's empire but I do wonder about the use of the word 'evil'. There is no evidence of the Murdoch empire abusing or killing anyone. Evil is what happened in Bosnia and Sri-Lanka. How can the far left be progressive when it didn't demonstrate like this when Labour was infringing civil liberties? The far left has got it wrong. People power isn't about misusing the right to demonstrate and taking attention away from the real problems.

The debate in the house yesterday on the phone hacking scandal constantly surprised me because of how Labour was treating this country as a one issue crisis. Here we are on the brink of a Eurozone disaster and Labour fails to see that the economic crisis is really serious. Labour is being far too opportunistic instead of working on the real issuses. I am glad the bubble is finally starting to burst but I feel we are in slow motion . We must speed things up as babies are dying in Africa, that is where my real concern lies.


Monday, 18 July 2011

A Death, resignations and what next?

News is just coming through that the journalist, Sean Hoare, who first broke the story about phone hacking has been found dead in his home. The resignations are piling up. What will tomorrow bring? I fear worse will come. I fear that a witchhunt is escalating. Everybody who can gain from this situation is jumping at the chance to do so.

In attacking Murdoch's vested interest the attacking parties have their own vested interests. Firstly, Ed Milliband sees this as his chance to show leadership by criticising Cameron. Yet, Labour were in power for 14 years and were in power when the hacking stories first occured. They didn't do anything. At least the Government now are going to deal with the hacking.

Secondly, Gordon Brown in his speech last week could be seen to be punishing News International for publishing details about his son's medical situation; and also for the Sun supporting the Conservative government last year during the election.

Thirdly, the other newspapers stand to gain if News International stops publishing. Already, there is a price war among the Sunday tabloids who want to fill the gap left by NOTW.

It is as if there are no other issues happening in the world. The eurozone debt situation is getting worse. The fighting in Libya goes on. America is renegotiating the debt problem. I know the phone hacking situation is serious but I do think it is being forgotten that there are other issues around the world that could affect us in much more serious ways.

Do you think most people in this country care about the phone scandal? Please answer this question, has your life been turned upside down by the phone hacking revelations? Has your quality of life gone down as a result? Most people care about their jobs, the cuts and their future. Also, I fear that people are forgetting that there are true human beings behind these scandals. Instead, they are being treated like hunted animals. Rebekah Brooks and others are being treated in a way that no other murderer or child abuser has been treated by so many for this length of time.
All I am saying is that this news is escalating out of control.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Who's next in the Power battle of the Rich?

 Do you remember Jeffrey Archer who was rich and famous whom politicians courted? Then Murdoch. Who's next in the power battle of the rich? Where there is power there will always be followers. 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Best of Tweets and Quotes on today's demonstrations

  1. 14,000 UK border agency staff have walked out yet majority of flights are still on time and those flights that are delayed are only 45 minutes late? If the flights can still operate on time without the 14,000 UK border staff then why not get rid of them and save the state some money and pay off some of the national debt?
  2.  A crowd gathers outside the Department for Work and Pensions head office in Tothill Street, Westminster to chant "DWP - pension thief".

  3.  Department for Education says of state schools in England, 26% are closed (4,640 schools), 22% are partially open (3,888) and 23% (4,115) are fully open.
  4.   When the time comes, I will also take strike action for the right to retire. Who wants to be treated by a 67-year old theatre nurse? I've been paying into my pension for over 30 years, and I pay taxes too.
  5. Aound 90% of the Met Police's civilian workers who are in the PCS union are taking part in the strike. This means police officers have been drafted in to staff the force's call centres - and that is having "some impact on times taken to answer emergency calls", says the Met. Average times to answer 999 calls was up to 15 seconds - five seconds longer than the normal target.
  7.  The fire alarm at Heathrow was set off in Boots at 1130 BST, resulting in Terminal 3 being evacuated for 20 minutes. Not known if deliberate or accidental.
  8.  "I'm a sports teacher. Can you imagine me teaching hockey at 68 in my wheelchair? It's simply not feasible." South Manchester teacher at Manchester march.
  9.  "Hi ho hi ho, we work all day and see no pay".
  10. The government seems intent to push the idea that taxpayers should not have to pay for public servants pensions. Aren't public servants taxpayers too?
  11.  The biggest outbreak of industrial unrest since the coalition was formed.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Are we still the party that cares?

We used to be the party that cared. We used to debate about issues that involved people's lives and how we would try and make things better for them. Now we spend hours debating about our position on the ranking scale of politics i.e are we centre left, progressives or economic/social liberals but then don't do anything with it. We are in power and we have the means to find solutions and answers to the problems that we previously spent time trying to make a difference to.

I now call upon the party to help the Tamils who suffered during the war in 2009 between the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers. A programme on Channel 4 was screened last week called 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields'. I wasn't allowed to watch it but I have seen short clips of it since. The programme showed actual mobile phone and video footage of the suffering endured by the Tamils.

The Lib Dems did care. On 29 April 2009 an Opposition Day debate was called by our MPs in the House of Commons. The motion was moved by Ed Davey who said:
'That this House is concerned that the fighting in Sri Lanka has already had a devastating effect on hundreds of thousands of civillians with thousands killed and wounded, many tens of thousands traumatised and suffering from lack of food, water and basic medicines...'

Simon Hughes was one of the first, if not the first, MP to talk to the Tamils who were demonstrating in Parliament Square during that period. We looked after the Gurkhas.

David Miliband has been the only British politician to speak out on this issue. Barely any one of the British press have written or reported about the programme. This programme is important because it provides real evidence of what went on during the war. The Sri Lankan government sent away journalists and the UN and then later said that it hadn't harmed any civillians. The truth is that they didn't want any witnesses to what they did to civillians. The Tamil Tigers were to blame to and shelled and killed the Tamils. However, the point is that the Sri Lankan Government did not follow the international laws on war. Now we have evidence.

The UN produced a report in April this year called 'Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka' which said that war crimes were committed by the Government of Sri Lanka. The secretary-general, Ban-Ki Moon, has not initiated any action. China and Russia side with Sri Lanka and it seems that the UN has too.

The Liberal Democrats are part of the Government. We need to take up the position of being the party that cares, NOT the party that cared. Our mid-term rewrite of the coalition agreement is coming up and I really hope we put in there 'War Crimes'. There's thousands of Tamils in this country.

We can still debate political positions but we then need to use this to do something. I study maths in school and wonder what I am going to do with all the formulaes I learn but one day I will use it to calculate my mortgage and bills. In this way we must go into society and care.

This issue is very important to me because I am half-Tamil. I was one of thousands in Parliament Square during that period demonstrating. People told me about how worried they were about their relatives who were in danger of being killed but I didn't realise the full horrific extent of it all. I now know.

Below is a quote about the UN and some links. Please look at them.

'You won't need the U.N. You will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones.' George Clooney 14 Sept 2006 in a speech to the UN.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Maelo Manning Interview

Another child blogger got in touch with me and requested an interview. Her name is Alisa and she has a great blog at Youths Do More.

What got you into politics?

When I was 2 years old I used to watch the news with my mum. Pictures of wars would make me angry and I used to jump on the sofa and shout, ‘It’s enough people’. I used to love watching the BBC News and still do. When I was 10 years old I joined the Lib Dems because I believe in their principles of fairness, equality and community. Politics affects all our lives in everyway even with children eg education.

Why does everyone love your blog instead of Harvard professor’s blogs?

It would be great if everyone loved my blog but I am very grateful for the followers that I have. I get repeat comments from well known bloggers who encourage me a lot. In this country people talk about policies that affect children like social mobility but nobody high up really asks children what they think. Not even me who blogs about politics but I carry on making my views known. I would love to talk to British politicians. Grant Shapps, Conservative MP, spoke to me about housing policy last year at the LibDem conference. A very nice man. I met a British politician recently who treated me as if I was a nuisance child (not naming this Lib Dem person). That’s typical of the way children are treated. Harvard! I would love to go there someday. Wow! I don’t think I can compete with Greg Mankiw’s blog yet.

Give us three of the best blog tips-not just for political blogs!
a. Make the blog attractive so people will want to look at it.

b. Use a variety of views – humour, serious opinion and fact.

c. Be topical and current. People don’t care about what happened years ago unless it is related to something current.

Do you want to be a political blogger all your life or is this just a stepping stone to becoming the Lib Dem leader?
It would be a huge privilege to lead the Lib Dems one day but, for now, my ambitions are to carry on being a political child blogger and doing well in school. My blog is not for political self-promotion purposes but is for making my voice heard especially to help women and children. I am a child feminist and am particularly worried about the poverty that women and children suffer in lower economically developed countries (LEDCs).

What’s your message to all the talented youths out there?
Talented youth excite me. It worries me how celebrity culture really dominates children’s lives nowadays. I wish more girls, especially, would aspire to become successful business women, MPs etc. I would love to lead a campaign to help change the way girls view themselves – brains instead of using their bodies.

You’ve been to a fair few political events. What’s been your favourite?
I go to every Lib Dem conference and many political events hosted by other groups such as Compass. My favourite inspirational moment is when I met Phillip Blond, Director of the think tank called ResPublica, who wrote ‘Red Tory’. He encourages me to aspire to great things and is a wonderful man and role model.


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Me in a bunny costume and Hugh Heffner

I was outside the  Playboy in Mayfair, London last night (4 June) dressed in my Easter Bunny costume to demonstrate against the use of children by the Heffner empire to increase his billions. I am talking about the merchandise made by Playboy targeted at children. These items of merchandise are pink in colour and have the bunny logo to make it attractive. The discrimination against females is done in a jokey manner so as to make it look harmless. Lots of girls I know have the Playboy merchandise without realising what it means.

Well, I saw for myself today what it means. It means that the club treats women as accessories for men. This type of objectification of women is dangerous because it encourages a downhill attitude that ends in violence against women. I saw the Bunnies close up and I cannot for the life of me see how it can be empowering to be dressed like that and to do the work that they do.

 Girls of my age want to be WAGS, models or pop singers. We need to show them, my generation, that they need to and can aspire to use their brains instead of their bodies. When my generation reaches the age of entering the workplace there won't be enough women to do so because they would have gone down the Playboy route in using ther bodies instead of their brains.

The demonstration was organised by the 'EFF OFF HEFF' campaign. I am glad it is spelt as EFF because i am not allowed to swear. Anyway, the campaign name says it all.


Friday, 3 June 2011

Syrian 'Children's Friday'

About 30 children have to date been killed in Syria during the demonstrations. The most memorable death is of the 13 year old boy called Hamza Al-Khatib who was tortured to death by the police. Today has been named as 'Children's Friday' by the Syrian Revolution Facebook page group who are dismayed by the torture of children. Unicef says that most of the 30 children killed were shot by security forces.

In the previous uprisings like in Tunisia there has always been a death of one person  that has united the freedom seekers and I think  this 13 year old boy has become a focal point for Syria. It is a disgraceful situation that the government of Syria has allowed the torture and killing of children in clamping down on demonstrations. The Syrian government must now make  a pathway to peace and start talking with the demonstrators. Enough of this unjustifiable  violence and killing,

Please remember Hamza and others like him acrosss the world who are caught up in wars made by power crazy governments.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

My Relationships with the American Presidents

I am so excited that President Barack Obama is in London as I write this post. Central London is so vibrant with cheering crowds urging him on as his motorcade drives by. There is a constant buzz of a helicopter hovering over the area where I live which is in central London.

I have been looking back to when I was 4 years old. George Bush came to London and my mother and I went to see him. I was still in a buggy and I held a placard with a very badly drawn poster which I did myself saying 'Bush Out'. This was about the war which America had started against Iraq. Unfortunately, George Bush did not see my poster as his 'Beast' limousine car drove by because I was very little. I used to stand on the sofa whenever Bush was on TV and yell 'Bush Out'. 

During the last presidential elections I supported Hillary Clinton's nomination  and was disappointed when she lost. I admire the way she has done motherhood and being a high flying career feminist woman.

When Obama came to London in 2009 I was standing outside Buckingham Palace waiting to see him. When his motorcade came by I caught a glimpse of him and Michelle Obama. It was an uplifting experience because he was the first Black president who had just been elected. The buzz and the excitement of the crowd was just amazing. People were cheering and clapping. It made me realise that I too could try and aspire to great things in life. Michelle Obama went to Oxford University today and demonstrated what a progressive woman she is. She encouraged some girls who come from ordinary backgrounds to aspire to go to Oxford.

Going back to that day when I first saw Bush, my mother and I went and had a hot chocolate afterwards. I was really tired out but excited. Aaaah memories!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Why is Liberal Youth important?

I wrote this for which is the discussion forum site for Liberal Youth. Please show your support for the youth of our party by visiting this site.

Why does politics seem so far away from the youth’s problems of today? This is the question that I ask myself when I see young people hanging around in the park, on the streets and in shopping centres looking aimless.

Yet, last year we saw thousands of students demonstrating against the rise in tuition fees. There was fury in the air and they had an aim-to get the Government to leave the cap as it was. These demonstrations were a rare display of mass youth participation in politics and showed that youth do have the ability to give an opinion on political subjects. This is the paradox of youth politics.

So, how do we get the youth to participate in politics? Last year during the general election my house was used as a campaign base for our local candidate. There were dozens of youth who came from Goldsmiths University and other places to help out. For many of them this was the first connection they had made with politics. One of them who didn’t have a job or a college place even said that helping to campaign gave him a purpose to get up in the morning. I saw how these young people were really passionate about getting involved.

How do we sustain this interest so it doesn’t happen only once every five years? I can offer ideas about the under 16s because I am 11 years old. Holding political awareness days at schools would be a good start. Children get really excited when there is a day that takes them away from the normal routine of schoolwork so the children will be really happy to get involved in these political days. The problem will be that the interest will not continue beyond the day and the children will not keep in touch with politics. My suggestion is that we give the school little packs of information which the children can take away and look at. If we include a little key ring or a toy, that will increase their interest and motivation level. Children normally see politics as being boring so if we can do anything to make them more interested then that must be done. At conference I walk around the exhibition halls myself picking up freebies so I know what I am talking about.

For the over 16s we need to talk about how Liberal Youth needs to energise young people because after the bad AV and local elections defeat we need a progressive movement badly. This is where the youth can play a strong part in politics. A progressive movement is important to youth today because the economy has produced inequalities like fewer jobs for young people, unpaid internships and university option.


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Rally Together-First Day of Fightback

'I am angry because you lied and got my vote and then delivered policies without mandate. Voted LibDem all my life-now have joined Labour.' -Quote taken from a Twitter post on 6 May.

This, basically, sums up why we were delivered a 'bitter blow' by the electorate. Fistly and foremostly, my heart goes out to the approximately 700 councillors who have lost their seats eventhough they have worked tirelessly for many, many years. Some of these councillors have been in their seats for decades. They paid the price for our Coalition policies despite the fact they are wonderful and hard working ordinary folk just like the electorate.

I think our party paid the price for the u-turn on tuition fees. Harriet Harman said: 'Young people don't want tuition fees'. It's not often that I agree with Labour but I do here. Much as I understand about the tuition fee rise most people don't get the argument about the debt problem and the link to university fees. Also, it may not have been just about money but that the trust between the Lib Dems and the people has been broken. How do we recover this trust? It could take a very long time.

I am worried that it seems that the Conservatives have escaped the punishment and brutal force of the public's opinion and Lib Dems have taken the knocks. Some have referred to our party as the 'protective shield' for the Conservatives. We aren't being seen as a strong force in the Coalition. Lib Dems are being seen as the party that goes along with everything. This is not true but the way people view it is important because it is the public/them who decide our fate in the end.

This is what the party should do to recover:
1. Increase gender participation immediately. Many councillors were women and we may have lost this base badly. Show the people that we are a party for everyone who wants equality, community and fairness.
2. Increase race participation. Even the Conservatives have more BMEs than us. I keep banging on about this point. In this way we reach out to a diverse community.
3. At party conferences, Nick Clegg -please say hello to the ordinary members who attend this conference time and time again and support you. This is the foundation base of our party and we have lost enough. Show support, raise spirits and make people feel a part of the party's recovery. A leader needs his troops and he needs strong troops.
4. Liberal Youth - please support them more. Give them a strong voice. The Labour party has the Young Fabians (which I am a member of) and the time and effort put in to them is tremendous. Next time we should have Liberal Youth explaining about tuition fees and how the party is important to young people.
5. Vince Cable and Chris Huhne have pushed the boundaries out far to point out that we are not acting as protectionists to the Conservatives. We are in government to do something. Let's run with them.

Nerves of steel - that's what we need to fight back. I was too depressed yesterday to blog but I realise today that we need to get on. Four more months to the Autumn Conference at which we really need to make a BIG impact and show people what we are about and why we are in power. Nick-get out there and start smiling and talking to grassroots people.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Osama mistreated women and children but will it stop now?

I was awake when the news of Osama Bin Laden's death came through. It was about 3.30am in the early hours of Sunday. The reason I was awake was because my mobile phone was beeping (low battery). My mother was wakened too and turned on the TV. We were stunned. My first thought was for the women and children who lived in fear of being harmed by Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda have been using women and children with learning difficulties or disabilities as suicide bombers. In January 2005 in Iraq Al Qaeda used a child with Downs Syndrome to carry out a suicide attack at a polling stations which left more than 40 people dead.

In March 2005 Al Qaeda placed a bomb in a car with two children in the back seat.  U.S. soldiers saw the children and became less suspicious so they let the car through a Baghdad checkpoint. When the car got through the checkpoint, the adult passengers parked the car and ran away, detonating the car with the children inside.

In November, 2005 a woman with learning difficulties was used by Al Qaeda in a bombing incident that killed herself and seven other Iraqis including a child.

Now that Osama Bin Laden is dead I hope the ideology of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, who are closely linked to Al Qaeda, will profoundly change the ways in which it treats women and children. I am hoping that Osama's followers were just carrying out his orders. Now that he is dead I hope that this type of command will be wiped out.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Did we witness social mobility and sexism today with the royal wedding?

'Commoner' was the word of the day. About every three minutes (ok, I am exaggerating) the word was mentioned as if we were seeing something so extraordinary- Kate Middleton comes from a well to do background. She went to Malborough College which is an expensive school. This means that she didn't come from a family that was badly struggling to marry into the royal family. So, I am wondering if Kate's 'social mobility' has been exaggerated.

I was really excited by the Royal Wedding because it promoted Britain as a world class country still. However why does sexism have to be tied into British culture? Did you notice the sexism of the whole event? The way in which Kate and her wedding dress were described by the press was in the use of words such as 'understated', 'demure' and 'not a crowd stealer'. People were placing Kate in a secondary position even before she had left the church. There was also a lot of gender stereotyping on show: girls who had been waiting to see the dress, loved the kiss and who said, 'it should have been me'. Are there any girls out there, apart from me, who don't want to be in Kate's shoes???

My favourite bit of today was when Kate and William drove out of Clarence house in the Aston Martin because it was the funniest moment. What would have been better would have been if Kate had driven the car. I suppose she couldn't because of her big dress.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter Theme of Crime and Punishment

Good Friday and the crucifixion of Jesus in modern day would be a debate about crime and punishment. Jesus was punished for something he did not do and was nailed to the cross to remove him from society so that he would not be a threat to other people. Now we have people who are imprisoned to remove them from society but most of them have actually done something criminal. Our prisons are overcrowded and many young people are being put away for what is said to be too long a period.

This was the debate at the Spring Conference this year at which I spoke. The debate was about the age at which children recognise the difference between right and wrong. As a child I see children at the age of 11 and upwards who would definitely recognise that what they are doing is wrong and the consequences of it.

I introduce who killed someone at the age of 14, more than 30 years ago, and is still in prison. Do read his blog as he reveals the inside life and thoughts of a prisoner. Ben is the only prisoner who blogs in the UK. He comes across as being intelligent, ambitious and compassionate. His life could have been used more constructively if he had been allowed back into society much earlier. He is a living example of how some children may lose out from being imprisoned for too long. But Ben has shown remorse for what he did. What about children who don't care who they have hurt? The problem of child criminals is growing. I see it all the time.

This Easter please think about people like Ben and the big problem to society of crime and punishment. Just like Christmas isn't only about opening presents, Easter isn't just about chocolate eggs.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

A Mother's Day Thought

Below is a prayer for all mothers everywhere. I chose this because it covers mothers in all situations. If you aren't a Christian and you are reading this then please stop and just think about mothers everywhere today. What is said in this prayer can also be a wish from people who don't believe in God.

A Mother's Day Prayer

God our Creator, we pray:

for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility;

for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting;

for those who are tired, stressed or depressed;

for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;

for those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty;

for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;

for those who have children they do not want;

for those who raise children on their own;

for those who have lost a child;

for those who care for the children of others;

for those whose children have left home;

and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.

Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender,

and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,

living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.


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