Monday, 20 January 2014

Survivors Insights ignored by The Church and The State

Again and again we see that Survivors insights and experience, and thus their real needs, are to a large degree sidelined as both Government and The Church craft 'responses' to the situation.

We are invited to make representations, we are to a degree
consulted, yet in the finalised outcomes the decisions made are from the point of view of Government and The Church and how they wish to frame their liabilities, and the consultation appears to be a matter of form, rather than substance.

In recent days we have had the completion of the 
review by the United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child in Geneva of The Vatican's response to the world wide child abuse issue within it's own institutions, and the announcement of  the Irish Catholic Church's 'Towards Peace' support service.

United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child has criticised the Vatican for it's actions to the present date, and as yet has to issue further comments and determine further action.

Eyewitness accounts and the transcripts will show that The Vatican has not altered it's course and is maintaining a strategic approach to the 'problem', rather than being open, honest, vulnerable and seeking a just resolution for all concerned.

The 'Towards Peace' support service has been launched without the detailed input of survivors, which had been promised. However what is true of the Vatican is also true of The Irish Catholic Church. Their approach is strategic, rather than open and honest.

In Australia, there is
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which has been working since early April 2013, and is continuing as I write. In this inquiry over 5000 survivors gave evidence, as did the Church and other bodies... One of the targets of this Inquiry is the "Towards Healing" process crafted under the aegis of Archbishop Pell in Melbourne, for whom Tony Abbot has recently issued statements of support.

And yet again, at this level of Inquiry, we see the same 'strategic' approach from the Australian Catholic Church, although with the evidence of 5000 people to counter it, it will take some assistance from the Abbot Government to 'help' the Church 'manage' this situation.

"To date evidence showed the process failed some abuse victims who found it as traumatic as the original abuse because of the legalistic approach taken by the church.

Towards Healing will be the subject of several case studies by the commission which will hold public hearings in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia as well as in NSW before June this year"

This same approach, that of acknowledging abuse only when Survviors come forward into the public domain, and then 'managing' the response to protect the status and image of both Church and State has been seen in every case where Survivors have come forward.

Across the world, both The State and it's institutions and The Church and it's institutions  are obviously concerned about their roles in the abuse, the cover-ups and mismanagement of investigations, and understand that they have a liability that can be expanded if they are 100% honest and they seek to reduce or minimise that liability.

Whilst this is to be expected and is indeed standard corporate practice, it remains the fact that it is moral cowardice, and that Survivors lives are impacted by this management approach. It is also true that this impacts not only the Survivor, but their families and the wider society, as well as doing little to protect children, and other vulnerable people, from future abuses.

It also is a misunderstanding of the intent of the vast majority of Survivors, whose aim is to a) have the truth told and understood b) prevent further abuses (and the 'management' of exposure of abuse) c) regain some degree of healing in our own lives, and in the life of the community, the State and The Church.

We Survivors are gifting the world with our concern, our stories. The changes we represent can only increase nurturing in our Society. That's the fullest truth here.

It's long past the time that all this was recognised and responded to accordingly, not only by Government and The Church, but by society at large, by the people who sit in pews and pray and by all parents and caring people.

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

Saturday, 11 January 2014

MIchael Gove, Blackadder and our childrens futures.

Michael Gove "thinks it is important not to denigrate the patriotism, honour and courage demonstrated by ordinary British soldiers in the First World War."

He believes that "Blackadder" denigrates these.

When in fact "Blackadder", as satire, tries to show the futility of patriotism, honour and courage in a situation largely brought about by Political Power peopled by individuals who lack any or all of these qualities. (the 'patriotism' of General Staff had more to do with position, influence, career prospects, income and power than anything else: it was selfish rather than selfless)

In other words, the narcissistic self interest of the ruling classes of Europe, and their concerns about Empire dominated their deliberations and behaviour, and they used dedicated, professional and sophisticated propaganda to suggest otherwise to the people they Rule, and forced them to engage in a brutal war to meet those narcissistic perceived needs.

A bit like the way the BBC, Government (all sides) and the Mainstream Media are using dedicated, professional and sophisticated propaganda to suggest that the poor are work-shy, the disabled are blaggers, the elite rich are to be praised, the banks are to be supported and the country will be over run by Romanians .... and that the problems in Iraq today have nothing to do with the illegal and cruel invasion of Iraq in 2003 by US/UK Power, with allies....

To associate the qualities of 'honour and courage' with the realities of trench warfare in 1914-1918 is ideological posturing and wilful ignorance.

Rather Michael Gove, as Education Minister, who by his office,which he has chosen to inhabit, has a fiduciary, corporate and personal responsibility to all the children who go through the State Education system ought to consider the sheer horror so many, on all sides, were forced - conscription is coercion - to endure whilst those who sent them into harms way sought to gain from the situation a crucial lesson to be learned from, in order to prevent such outcomes in the future.

But of course, he and his colleagues are supportive of, for example, the contracted ATOS assessments of disabled folk's ability to work, as a mechanism to reduce public expenditure on services for vulnerable people. In other words, they hold their ideology above the welfare of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Gove and his colleagues across Parliament and elsewhere were also supportive of Tony Blair's war for 'Iraqi Freedom' which is today being played out in Fallujah with horrific results, years after the US and UK Government proclaimed end of that war.

What he will not do, of course, is confront the realities of that War. Of any war for that matter. He is not unique in this. Far from it, the standard Institutional denial of the full realities of war is a central theme in Governance, in State Education, in the mainstream media and elsewhere. We see this in the comments sections across various media all the time..... "They fought to preserve our freedom!"

A few points regarding World War I, and the British Government:

1.The Liberal Government of the time were blackmailed by their own desire to remain in Power above all else - key members of their own cabinet and party who refused the Party Whip, and threatened to resign if the Liberal Party stuck by it's own memberships wish* and policy to avoid being drawn into a war which did not directly involve Britain or protect Britain's strategic interests. Those resignations would have led immediately to a General Election which the Liberals would have lost. The Governments urge to go to war had less to do with European politics and honour than it had to do with their individual desire to remain in Power. Of course, they could not be honest about this in public, and thus the propaganda campaign was launched to sell the war to the British people. Nothing much has changed in the last 100 years in this regard.

On August 1st and 2nd, Liberal Associations across the UK met and voted that the government should pass a resolution of neutrality. "

source :

2. Conscription was introduced because Britain was not prepared or ready to mobilise for a war in Europe, and it worked primarily because so many young males were unemployed, and without benefits as we know them, and it was the combination of effective propaganda and poverty which acted as the key incentives.

3. The General Staff of the Army were gung-ho, ideologically driven, professionally clueless, unwilling to admit it, and their ineptitude and dysfunction led directly to the huge degree of attrition which was the result of trench war fare with industrial weaponry.
“In print, Haig attacked a skeptic who dared question the usefulness of a cavalry charge in the age of the machine gun and the repeating rifle. It was as strong a tactic as ever, Haig was certain, since the “moral factor of an apparently irresistible force, coming on at highest speed … affects the nerves and aim of the … rifleman.”

source : Hochschild, Adam (2011-05-03). To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 (Kindle Locations 819-821). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

4. The troops in the trenches very quickly lost their patriotism, given the ineptitude and amorality of the General Staff and the suffering they endured following insane orders. Patriotism was replaced with a desire for revenge, which drove the fighting on all sides, which is understandable in the circumstances where thousands upon thousands of troops were mown down in pointless attacks directed by General Staff, and where the soldiers had no possibility of confronting the General Staff with their ineptitude, and had the 'enemy' troops, mostly poor conscripts like themselves, to project their fury and anger onto.

And yet, that fabled moment of  a football match on no-mans land during Christmas between both sides shows that many did indeed understand they were in the same situation, poor human beings being directed by rich human beings to exercise outrageous violence against each other, just on different sides. The human side of war, the vulnerability of people caught up in it, is rarely the concern of Politicians.

5. The standard school texts on World War I do not pose a critical analysis from which students could learn about the realities, the context and the lived experience and meaning of war, and appear to focus on glorifying and justifying the slaughter as a noble and necessary sacrifice for freedom against a determined and evil foe.

6. World War I was none of these.
If anything it was a a combination of Empire Logic and dreadful error, made by leaders whose own psychology was so dysfunctional that they were unwilling or incapable of acting rationally or humanely. It was a war of Empire, with various Empires seeking to thwart the aims of each other,and to come out on top. The way in which territory was 'carved up' after the Armistice proves this to be the case.

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

THRIVIVAL: Context and Definition

1. Nature works. Impeccably. That impeccability implies, to my mind, the existence of a Natural Logic.

2. Nature does that which works, and generally does that which works in the long-term. There are exceptions, and these are situational rather than endemic.

3. Everything in Nature receives pretty much whatever is required to thrive, and returns any excess or surplus back to the environment in ways that return nutrients to the nutrient cycles of life. All life is food for more life.

4. Everything that lives has the innate ability to learn for itself those behaviours needed to  live successfully and to master it's own being in the environment.

5. All life, from the tiniest one-celled being to the largest is to some degree capable of some sensory functioning and has the ability to communicate with others and to adapt to subtle changes in the environment. by responding to those changes in precise ways. This capability is the basis of biological organisms maintaining dynamic equilibrium in an ever changing environment.

6. I am nature.

7. You are nature.

8. Any human designed process that does not return nutrients to nature, that deprives others of access to nutrients in nature is irrational in terms of bio-logic. The argument, that because we (industrialised society) are in nature, and we (industrialised society) make pesticides, then pesticides must be nature, is false.

9. Nature cannot be understood by Anthropomorphism or by projection. Just because we do not speak Elephant does not mean that Elephants are less intelligent than we are. The same goes for all organisms.

10. That assumption of innate human superiority over everything else in nature is a quasi religious faith or belief, it is a cultural artefact, one which lies at very the core of Industrialised Society, which means that those who hold it are, biologically speaking irrational.

12. They were not born irrational. That irrationality is learned, it is the outcome of what they have been indoctrinated to think, and having little choice in the matter, they learned to 'think' by adopting other peoples justifications as their own. Internalisation. Which only compounds the problem. However as all children of Industrial Society are essentially bullied, it's understandable. We are not to blame for being misled by our culture.

13. Natures fundamental logic is exceedingly simple, and the benefits of nature's simple logic are immense diversity, outstanding beauty and continued prosperity of all life. "Everything eats, everything gets eaten, all poop is food for more life." Materials are metabolised in living organisms, and then deposited for other living processes to build on.

14. The state of being and the collective noun to describe all processes that lead to nurturing the habitat so that more life flourishes is to be called THRIVIVAL.

15. THRIVIVAL; Noun : the state or fact of living such that the habitat is nurtured by one's behaviour. It is the antithesis of Survival, which implies struggle, insecurity, doubt, threat of imminent death.

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe