‘All of a sudden it began to happen without the admonition I needed to breathe, I found myself inexhaustibly crying in front of colleagues old and new with the burning knowledge that my father was actually dead’.
Last nights events in the REM sleep brought what felt like a real time motion of grief and panic when I was pertly confronted with the knowledge that my father is no longer with me and coming to terms with this scale of the dilemma. It physically terrified me for a moment or seven when I slowly came back into consciousness and as I came coherent again I recalled the cerebral sensation that has been slowly creeping up on me since my late teens as dry rot would on a dream home. This is what Simone De Beauvoir called ‘the scandal of finiteness’, an undeviating addressment to the inescapable mortality of man, the death of us, our loved ones, and the beast that lives as one of the most universal of horrors in a society of any geographical description. Paraphrasing Robert Jordan, ‘Death comes to us all, we can only choose how to face away when it comes’.
Throughout the years we hear different lessons of ethos that are designed to make us believe we are destined to be more categorical creatures of thought, whether they pay off though is down to the acuity of others. But one such lesson I’ve heard rear it’s head through the plain of though throughout the years is the effulgence of warmth or the darkness of defeat created by a birth or a death. Two events that have capacity to truly maketh the man.
One thing that must be coupled with this attitude of a death knell on a personal level is my surprising, (to some) lack of experience with the passing of someone close. For I come from a materially small family from the South of the United Kingdom as do both of my parents. Also I am an only child, so are both my parents. This is a scene that comes across rather queer to most of my peers as I hold little in relation to what I deem and they hold dear, the traditional nuclear family. But does the need for us to have relations with the ones we respect actually matter when it comes to the one experience we all have in common but won’t be able to change, when, in Rush Limbaugh’s words, ‘we assume room temperature’. As though we’d be able to assume anything beyond this eventually daunting event when it comes, one which our fathers will already have embarked upon many milestones ago.
In 1983 Ireland was given a referendum to vote on an amendment to already existing abortion laws imposed by the state which after a 67% majority led to a overwhelming victory for the pro-life movement and a further restriction of choice for women who fall pregnant, regardless of situation or reason. Abortion was already illegal and had been since 1861 under the Catholic mandate which fundamentally read that a unborn fetus was recognized as a person but the motion meant that a prenatal organism was to be given the same rights as the yet to be mother. The assembly of Ireland, (The Dáil Éireann ) voted 110 to 32 in favour of holding a referendum which can potentially abolish the archaic abortion law in Ireland, (called the 8th amendment) and give women the right to say NO.
If the amendment is abolished then it would mean women can go through the procedure on their home soil rather than travel to other nations which they can currently do without fear of prosecution, but the latter is only due to the clauses that have been implemented over the years, not because of the kdness of the motion made thirty five years ago.
The piously outdated abortion laws in Ireland stands sharp to the wind when they are understood as human rights violations mandated by the state, motioned by the church and make any opportunity for life more important than the rights of any woman in the country. The division between defence and repeal is fundamentally a grave appendage of the battle between what has been the open nerve of disunion in the country for centuries, Catholic vs Protestant. The war of faith isn’t something I wish to go too deep into here, but do not disband the truth that it all ties back to which church you belong to.
There are some that believe the small clauses that have been indented on the amendment since 1983 are a laxing in opinion, slowly swaying public thought toward a successful ballot tomorrow. But the lengths that activists are going to in championing the NO campaign are divulging another truth. On the street outside Irish Parliament yesterday a man was pacing up and down with a sign around his neck which read ‘yes voters, you should have been aborted’. In Donegal a No campaigner planted 17’000 small white crosses on a road in commemoration for every child that shall never be born in Ireland if the YES movement hails a victory. It’s a number of extremes but it symbolises exactly what this means to those who thinks the country will lose it’s way if religious authority is undermined in any way.
The vote on repealing article 40.3.3 of the constitution tomorrow has the potential to be an historical monument for human rights but I don’t think this will be the cultural epoch of our time. If we look at the last row of milestones in history they’ve been allowed to be codified into law not because of a tempering in the consensus but because landmark cases in small sections of the country. In 2015 the supreme court of the United States ruled that same sex marriage must be hailed under the recognition question which was a result of the case Obergefell vs Hodges. Even though pastors in various states have refused to marry couples of the same gender on religious grounds by law their human rights must be recognised, and now so must the freedoms of the Gaelic women.
And of course I do like the gleam supplied by surprises in all their forms. A poll in 2016 by the market research agency Ipsos had a turnout of 67% wanting to repeal the amendment and one held in April of this year had the result at 63% in favour. There are many that wish for the laws to be changed but only in specialist circumstances and others that would prefer the UK model where it is the right of the woman to abort if she so wishes at a time before it would become harmful to the child in utero.
I am hoping within the next 48 hours that the religion of sectarianism has a distinct milestone left at the door of St Patrick’s Cathedral and in the hands of Pope Francis when he visits Ireland in August and draw a line in the sand of today. It won’t end the hoary feud between the Catholic church and human rights but for now the people of Ireland have an opportunity to give women in Ireland what they rightfully deserve, human rights and the right to be recognised as an individual in control of their own destiny.
22 Candles were lit today to remember the victims of the attack in Manchester Arena one year ago today. The minutes silence this afternoon is there to remember that our nation is not as it was before the rise of the Terrorist organisation ISIS, (The Islamic State). A moving procession was held at the Manchester Cathedral where commemorations and speeches of affable remembrance toward the 22 that died and the 800 and more that were injured in the bombing by a soldier of Jihadist extremism that picked a music concert simply because the audience was predominantly made up of children as young as eight. The audience was made up of the families of the victims, priests and politicians listening to accounts of the day that tested the ties of our nation and left the thought that no mother should bury her child a horrifying reality to some.
But the grave correlation doesn’t begin to drag it’s heals here as the result of last years bombing in Manchester Arena where 22 people, (mostly children ) died has left an acidic flavour on tongue of history. Socrates once spoke that “No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils”. For those who are left behind they see the journey taken by those lost as the greatest of evils instead of the greatest adventure and little to learn from this other than the baneful nature of man at its worst. Try explaining the Athenian philosophers maxim to a mother who was to bury her child before she had even reached her 13th birthday.
Eight year old Saffie Roussos was one of the victims on the 22nd of May 2017 who lost her life. Saffie’s father Andrew, 44, said: “There are a lot of good people out there and we have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown. This is undoubtedly a testament to how unity has birthed from tragedy
“Our life, our home and our business were in Leyland and Saffie was such a huge character and a massive part of it”. This was Andrew Speaking earlier this week about the painful decision to relocate.
“To go back to that without her and to have those memories would have been too hard. Saffie spent a lot of time with customers and was known and loved in the area. Even walking around Tesco would have been difficult as we would have been expecting to see Saffie at every corner”.
The grief that Saffie’s family feels still from the loss of their youngest shall never fully find resolve but they may find solace in the love that’s given to them by all else who see human empathy as a necessary toward those who have suffered such extreme losses. There are still discussions for a permanent memorial to be erected in Manchester but with this being the worst event of terrorism since the 2005 bombing of the London underground I think it’s more than likely the fallen children of Manchester shall be justly commemorated, and rightly so.
But there should of course be no commiserations toward the attacker ‘Salman Ramadan Abedi’, (except from his father who still protests his innocence and the Jihadi extremists who enforced him) a Sunni Muslim who like all other terrorists who have waged a war on our democracy condemn us for the God we pray to and the culture we keep. When it comes to freedom and liberty our enemies want us to be completely in the dark.
Like the Bataclan attacks in France in two and half years ago last years bombing brought the people together in solidarity regardless of their background in faith nor ethnicity. Sadly for our European neighbours this only lasted for a short period before the loftiness of division between the secular state and ethnic beliefs came back with a vengeance in dogma. Former President François Hollande is on record to have previously stated in rather obvious viewing that ‘France has a problem with Islam‘. This may address the external issues of foreign attackers but it neglects the ongoing need France has in talking about it’s fractured multi-culturalist attitudes. Nothing has been done to stifle the rise of the far right except for the result of the last election when Marine Le Pen National front party was expected to surge through but only garnered 33% of the vote against Macron’s 66%. But even with the far right being put into political wilderness for now anti-Islamic, (and anti-semetic) rhetoric still plays a huge part in the nations views on the ethnicity of their society. And whilst they are the central target of Jihadi extremism this will continue to limp on until President Macron and even his successor is leaning harder on religious doctrine, as well as anti religious hard lines.
The hub of our own inescapable test in the culture of the UK has also been going through since domestic terrorism began to probe the foundations of our society in 2005 as a result of our intervention in the middle east. The United Kingdom’s position on our cultural division between Muslim and British and whether those affected by the atrocities in Manchester last year will write the history books blaming a lone wolf or expanding their anger toward an entire people has yet to be seen. This test has yet to been seen as a sustainable force but seeing the procession of unity in Manchester Cathedral today it shows that at least on the surface a mothers will is much harder to break.
Well the eve before the most important event of 2018 we are led to believe is lurching behind our front door with flag in hand. No, it’s not Trumps impeachment date, (much longer to hold on for that one if it happens) it’s the royal wedding of Prince Harry, and in all but an official moniker ‘the Princess’ Meghan Markle. Just to exemplify my own indifference to this pseudo-epoch event I keep wanting to spell Meghan’s surname in the same fashion as that of the German Chancellors, (where I would be more interested in discussing Chancellor Merkel’s immigration policy than Meghan’s dress-wear if i’m to be bona-fide in my opinion ). If we didn’t feel the pangs wanting hot debate on republicanism in the United Kingdom before the date was set I surely hope it will now knowing that the British taxpayer is fronting the £30 million and above bill for the security. While less than 100 feet from Windsor Castle the homeless people of the town are being harassed by police to give up their belongings so that they aren’t subject to countless security checks which is stepped up indecorously on and around the day.
Many of those living rough in Windsor feel that they’re being victimized due to the ridiculous amount spent on the wedding. Sunny, a gentleman living rough in the town spoke to CNN about the . “Think about the amount of money they’re spending on the wedding,” he said. “That’s taxpayers’ money, isn’t it? You’d think they could help us out with houses or something like that, but they can’t house for 10 or 12 people.” Even a bus that has been donated to house rough sleepers was seized by the upscale police presence because the charity project manager that delivered it did not have the correct licence. This would come as a pleasant move by Windsor Councillor Simon Dudley who stated earlier this year that ‘homeless people should be removed for the royal wedding on Saturday’.
It’s ultimately this plutocratic harnessed by the baronial union and supported by the elite that will sadly be overlooked by a large proportion of those going to Windsor this weekend who’re more interested in rejoicing on an extension of the monarchy than the wealth and class division that the royal family symbolizes. Just one more reason why the subject of Republicanism should be brought back to the table, remove the polished silverware and bring forth the need for change. It won’t remove the elitist element that feasts on our society, but it will address that it exists more than some would like.
For anyone who heard the interview UKIP general secretary Paul Oakley gave to BBC today presenter Nick Robinson the day after the local elections about how his party has movement in kinship to the Black Death, stating to the journalist in an almost threatening rhetoric, ‘it’s not all over at all, we’ll be back’ the comparison was blinding, (regardless of it being a radio interview) and some listeners probably developed symptoms in shock which are liken to the bubonic plague .
Ultimately there was nothing great about this plague other than the terrifying number of people that lost their lives. And as the results of the local elections this week have proven, there is no chance that the number of people who died tragically at the unbias behest of the plague will ever vote for the UK independence party. One of the fundamental reasons for this is the only real success that’s ever been attributed to the party which is being part of the movement to see a successful referendum for the UK leaving the European Union. Which in turn is the only fruit that came from the tree growing in Nigel Farage’s garden that bears the crop of Jingoism, his only crop. Now that this has been achieved and we are less than a year away before the final brexit bill is to be signed, (unless it’s scuppered by the house of lords) the question must asked. With the multitude in accusations of racism, bullying, organizers punching pensioners, voting fraud and rife anti-semitism building up over the years since their limited rise in 2010, (limited only that their language focused primarily toward those of a nationalistic view), what real purpose does the purple rosette wearing poor excuse for a political faction really have in this two party system?