An Uncomfortable Truth

June 8, 2020

Black lives matter. Well, of course they do. But as a slogan for our times, it is basically a RACIST rant. All lives matter. Black, brown, yellow, pink, off-white – they all matter! To suggest only black lives matter, is to turn your back on well over half the human race. And surely that can’t be right.

I understand it is a form of words rooted in frustration and the ongoing struggle against the cultural constrictions of our times. But, I repeat, it is a racist message. It highlights and reinforces division. To use racism to fight racism is the road to hell.

The outrage that has gripped many nations in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the USA, is likely fuelled by resentment over Covid-19’s extreme impact on black communities. In the UK some of the most disadvantaged sections of society have suffered dreadfully because of the disease. People of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and other black backgrounds face a much higher risk of death – of between 10% and 50% – compared with white Britons from Covid-19. People of Bangladeshi background face the greatest danger of dying from the disease, according to a review by Public Health England. Their risk of death is double that seen among white British people.

The failure to tackle the disproportionate number of deaths of black, Asian and minority ethnic people from coronavirus fuels simmering tensions over racial injustice in Britain today. It is time we took the bull of structural racism by the horns. Be open, be honest. We aren’t going to get rid of racism overnight, but there are a number of things that can be done. As Mark Hendrick, the MP for Preston, recently said:

“Racism has bedevilled our societies through the generations; but the economic, social and health inequalities highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic have exposed racism in a way humanity has never seen before. Long after this crisis is over, we will be judged on how we sought to eradicate the virus of individual and structural racism by dealing with the conditions that have created it.”

Racism in the UK has changed significantly since I was a child. You no longer see signs in windows stating ‘Rooms To Let – No Blacks, No Foreigners’. Even so racism is as ill-understood and consequently remains as unaddressed today as it was way back then.

The Macpherson report published in February 1999 concluded that the investigation into the death of Stephen Lawrence “was marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership by senior officers”. This institutional racism, the report explained, is “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”

Among its many recommendations, the report suggested that the police force boost its black representation, and that all officers be trained in racism awareness and cultural diversity. For a short period of time, activity took place that trained police officers to understand what “less favourable treatment” looked like and who and why it should be avoided. But as soon as the coalition government came to power almost all equality training was stopped.

“We tell ourselves that good people can’t be racist. We seem to think that true racism only exists in the hearts of evil people. We tell ourselves that racism is about moral values, when instead it is about the survival strategy of systemic power. When a large proportion of the population votes for politicians and political efforts that explicitly use racism as a campaigning tool, we tell ourselves that such huge sections of the electorate simply cannot be racist, as that would render them heartless monsters. But this isn’t about good and bad people. The covert nature of structural racism is difficult to hold to account. It slips out of your hands. You can’t spot it as easily as a St George’s flag and a bare belly at an English Defence League march. It’s much more respectable than that.”

Racism is a societal issue that is present in many institutions. A person of colour within the UK is four times more likely to end up in prison than their white counterparts. Four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act. BAME people account for over 50% of all stop and searches despite accounting for less than 15% of the population. Though, statistically, BAME people are more likely to access higher education than their white British peers, they are still far more likely to be unemployed afterwards. Whether it’s due to racial bias, pack mentality or anything else, our institutions seem like they’re built to preserve the status quo and lock BAME people out.

So, we should ALL reflect and closely inspect the lives we lead and ask ourselves how can we challenge discrimination in its many and often subtle nuances? It’s the responsibility of each and everyone of us to help work towards a fairer and more just world – a world in which rewards are give for merit and effort, not skin colour. It would also be good to remind ourselves (I include government here) that a state of paralysis is not one from which change can occur.

As Steve Taylor, Ph.D. wrote recently: “It is also helpful to remember that there is no biological basis for dividing the human race into distinct “races.” There are just groups of human beings — all of whom came from Africa originally — who developed slightly different physical characteristics over time as they traveled to, and adapted to, different climates and environments. The differences between us are very fuzzy and very superficial. Fundamentally, there are no races — just one human race.”

The Easter Message

April 13, 2020

Office Friendships

March 17, 2019

Eve is madly in love with Hugh
And Hugh is keen on Jim.
Charles is in love with very few
And few are in love with him.

Myra sits typing notes of love
With romantic pianist’s fingers.
Dick turns his eyes to the heavens above
Where Fran’s divine perfume linger.

Nicky is rolling eyes and tits
And flaunting her wiggly walk.
Everybody is thrilled to bits
By Clive’s suggestive talk.

Sex suppressed will go berserk,
But it keeps us all alive.
It’s a wonderful change from wives and work
And it ends at half past five.

Gavin Ewart

Without stick or sword

January 15, 2017

rose-freymuth-frazier-hounded

Diary 15th January

Returned yesterday from a small soirée at Goodrington Sands. It is a dog owners paradise, and most of the population seemed to be engaged in walking their dogs along the beach or promenade.

We arrived there Friday lunchtime and had a boozy lunch followed by a long walk along the beach. The wind was bitterly cold.

S, almost in tears, fears her cat may die soon; it has been very ill, and she has spent a small fortune on vets bills – but, despite every test known to man, the vets are unable to determine exactly what is wrong with the animal. They are perplexed.

S is also concerned her father will not see out this year. Hopefully she is wrong on both counts!

More booze follows.

Twilight then night, with its brood of phantoms that walk the world as sentient things. Muttered “Hullo’s”. Glimpses of the strange, profound and baffling. Circling faces and disembodied voices.

A woman, mid-fifties(?), fleshy and flashy, tells me she has a complete school uniform at home: gym-slip, white socks and big sensible navy-blue knickers. ‘You should come see me in it,’ she says. ‘A weekday’s best for me. I even have a satchel containing crayons and drawing pad.’ She passes me a slip of paper on which is written a phone number and address. ‘I play an adorable little virgin, so innocent – you can corrupt and debauch me in whatever way you desire!’

Time passing. Grotesqueries of light and shadow. The people here are all affluent, bored, over-sexed – almost parodies of themselves. Women with strange secrets in their drowsy eyes. Men, faces flushed with lust, join in the never ending dance.

A woman’s face above me: shadowy eyes, a bright red mouth, and nostrils like dark wells. There are wrinkles at the edges of her mouth and her tongue seems huge inside my mouth. Her cheeks flush scarlet and her eyes glow like little lanterns when her climax engulfs her.

A man’s whispering, Mephistophelian voice at my ear. He offers his wife, a plump forty-something, who spreads her legs to my passionless gaze. He tells me in explicit, vivid detail what he would like to see me do to her.

I comply with each of his shocking instructions.

When she cums it is like a cataclysm.

And then, in another room, another much younger woman. Incredibly vivid. Incredibly flexible. Intense and demanding in each of her movements. The surging of blood to her face, lost in pure physical sensation, and the tingling of nerve endings. The quickening of her breath and spastic motion of hip and thigh…

Finally to bed like an impotent old giant.

Unfortunately, I sleep badly. Doze and wake disoriented in my strange surroundings. Dee snoring gently beside me.

As if to reinforce the surreal experiences of the preceding evening, I watch the breakfast news on BBC. A doctor in an A&E department explains to the camera that he has no beds available. No trolleys left, either. Ambulances are backed up on the A&E ramp outside. The patients cannot be removed from the ambulances, there is nowhere to put them. Consequently, the ambulances are unable to respond to any further calls for assistance.

It’s a mess!

A crises!

Then, amazingly, the Queen of Brobdingnag, Terresa Maybe appears on screen in a different report. The problems, she explains, the NHS is currently experiencing is due in part to GPs not working evenings or weekends!

Luggnagg meets Brobdingnag.

I think I shall relocate to the land of the Houyhnhnms. It’s feckin’ safer.

After breakfast we say our goodbyes to S and her man. Drive then into Brixham. Dee wants to see the place again, a nostalgia trip. She’d last visited in her teens with AN, a girls only camping holiday…very Sapphic, I’m sure (only kidding girls).

Dee tells of the transvestite artist they met there beside the harbour. An older guy. Diabetic, with an ulcerated leg. He invited them both back to his ‘artist’s garret’ to show them his collection of clothes. He asked the girls to try them on, which they did. He sketched away like mad as they shamelessly stripped and dressed in his offered finery. An intimate, almost immemorially pagan scene.

Then he asked AN if he could try on the top she’d been wearing. She agreed, but the top was far too small and his attempts ended in seem-stretching failure.

He explained his leg was ‘killing’ him and had to sit down. AN, very kindly, changed the dressing on his leg for him…

Dee and I sat outside a café in bright sunshine. The weather was totally different from yesterday’s. We’d left Cornwall in snow flurries. And now, sitting looking out across the harbour, I could feel the sun burning my face!

Incredible!

Dee said, ‘What a glorious sunshiny day! We’ve been so lucky.’

Finally, we drove home. I felt very second-hand to be honest. Slightly hungover and jaded. Cooking a meal last night for Dee and L, I was really running on empty. I managed a glass of wine, for myself, followed by a large brandy, but no food. I went to bed at eight-thirty and fell immediately fast asleep.

Uneasy dreams followed. They always do. Gigantic shadows of men and women entwining. Faces glowing scarlet-red with excitement. Ephemeral rooms, scattered with cushions. Laughter, gently mocking. Becoming harsher –

Then waking, thankfully, to this sombre dawn.

A new day begins –

Good Morning

August 20, 2016

a finger

rainonthemoor

Diary 9th March

Gale force winds from the coast, this morning…Banshee screams in the chimney…and driving rain that smells of salty sea. A rough night, to be sure. The house all at sea, finally shipwrecked on this moor-like peninsular, miles from anywhere…
#
It’s my fervent belief that the point of consumption tax on “remote gambling” (think internet or cell phone gambling) should be raised to 30% (it’s currently 15%). I know the companies involved try very hard to avoid paying any tax in the UK, but the cheerful Chancellor should whack ‘em hard…but will he?
#
The head of Devon & Cornwall police recently claimed there were “no beds available within the UK” for people with serious mental health issues. And long has it been this way. It’s a situation that is totally unacceptable. Mental Health within the NHS has always been the poor relation when it comes to dolling out funds. The police have little option now, but to deliver an individual with mental health problems to a hospital A&E department and leave them there.

Wunderbar!

Needless to say the police claims are “disputed by health chiefs”. Well, they would be, wouldn’t they?

A recent report compiled by a panel of NHS and independent experts states that there’s been “chronic underinvestment in mental health care across the NHS in recent years”.

The extent of the financial squeeze and divergence of mental and physical health budgets is underlined by findings from BBC Freedom of Information requests. These show that the income of mental health trusts in England fell by 2% in 2014/15 after taking account of inflation. The Health Foundation think tank says that over the same period of time the income of acute trusts – hospitals dealing mainly with physical health conditions – rose by 2.6% in real terms.

In other words, money earmarked to improve mental health services is being used ‘elsewhere’.

Sounds like a job for Dangerous Dave…Or is he still too busy pissing-off the junior doctors?
#

nurse Sherri

"It's going all the way up, sweetie..."

“It’s going all the way up, sweetie…”

Nurse Sherri, you may recall, went on a killing spree in the 1978 movie of that name, using a variety of instruments as weapons including needles, scalpels, and even a pitchfork – “Her bedside manner will keep you in stiches”.

Perhaps, the NHS might consider utilizing Sherri’s services? You’d see a dramatic drop in waiting list times as patient numbers fell…

At last, a doctor who talks sense!FuMan

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it… don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually.. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So steak is nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable product.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain… good!

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy?!? HARRROOOW!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! ‘Round’ a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO, what a ride!!”

AND…

For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats
and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

CONCLUSION:

Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Peedeel is BACK

May 30, 2010

Peedeel is BACK…well, more or less.

I was rushed into hospital for an operation on my left eye. Simultaneously, laser procedures were carried out on the right. I’ve had a number of operations on my eyes in the past, but this was the longest at 2.5 hours in the operating theatre. Post the procedure, I had to remain face down for seven days (I was allowed a ten minute break every hour to eat, pee, or scratch my balls). Nightmare, believe me. Could I sleep face down? No, I couldn’t. That seven days felt more like seven months.

Anyhow, I’m up and about now. I can see after a fashion – and I’m certain my vision will improve over the coming weeks. As it does, I’ll try and update my blogs more frequently.

See you soon.

Suicide is Dangerous….

March 10, 2010

Figures taken from the World Health Organization Website: suicides per 100,000 of population, ordered by average of male/female rate :

First figure is male suicide rate, second female, third the average –

United Kingdom (2007) 10.1 – 2.8 – 6.4

Australia (2004) 16.7 – 4.4 – 10.55

Ireland (2007) 17.4 – 3.8 – 10.6

United States (2005) 17.7 – 4.5 – 11.1

Canada (2004) 17.3 – 5.4 – 11.35

New Zealand (2005) 18.9 – 6.3 – 12.6

Sweden (2006) 18.1 – 8.3 – 13.2

Austria (2007) 23.8 – 7.4 – 15.6

France (2006) 25.5 – 9.0 – 17.25

Switzerland (2006) 23.5 -11.7 – 17.6

Ukraine (2005) 40.9 – 7.0 – 20.8

Russian Federation 53.9 – 9.5 – 31.7

Belarus (2003) 63.3 – 10.3 – 36.8

The UK is lowest; the people there have a “Nanny State” to look after them…