How to succeed in fairytales

As the end of Lockdown approaches our perspective may change (if we’re at all wise) from fighting a fictitious plague in our immediate vicinity to resisting a very real transnational – and transhumanist – adversary. One whose plan is to take over the world and subject all us common folk to perpetual surveillance, harvesting our biodata to better the algorithms that run the robots. You think this sounds like bad Science Fiction, don’t you? Yet it’s already happening in China. And, are they resisting? In China? Puleeze!

Don’t be so smug – after all, you’re not resisting either, are you? You don’t even want to admit what’s really going on. If you did, you’d then have to wonder what you could do about it. The problem with that is, at the moment, no-one seems to have much old-fashioned gumption. (That’s a mostly Scottish word for initiative, enterprise, lively intelligence, know-how and opportunism.) Thinking about what to do about this global techno-fascist takeover would involve thinking about what to do about other things that need sorted out – and that means the dishes and the laundry basket and the back garden and the TV aerial and that squeaky board on the landing upstairs. As well as your family, friends, romantic relationship and bank balance.

So, instead, we tend to just make more coffee, break out the biscuits and watch another episode of some TV series with the same plot as all the others (mildly marginalised ambitious young pretty White woman beats the boys and the Blonde Complete Bitch with the help of her friends: fat/ disabled, geeky/ gay and African-American with European features). Because it’s easier to imagine an upbeat ideal life of conquering adversity than to deal with the depressing downbeat reality of our own.

Well that’s not how they succeed in fairytales. (And it’s not how to get ahead on Netflix either, but that’s for another blogpost.) To succeed in fairytales, there are rules you must follow – and the first one is to ACCEPT THE REALITY OF YOUR SITUATION. Sounds trite and unhelpful, and yes Cinders did sing Someday My Prince Will Come but she also swept the floor, and it was because she was hardworking and could follow instructions that the Fairy Godmother bothered to turn up at all.

Which leads us to the next one: USE WHATEVER ADVANTAGES YOU’VE GOT. Fairytale heroines tend to be beautiful, it’s true, and the heroes tend to be at least agile and often strong (Jack was a farm labourer, and the Woodcutter cut wood, which means they both had muscles, Aladdin was a street urchin nifty on the rooftops to evade capture, which means he was skilled in parkour). However there are more natural advantages than being muscular, lithe and beautiful. ABILITY TO TAKE ADVICE is essential – especially when the advice is unconventional, even counter-intuitive (which means it sounds daft). USING YOUR SKILLS is key. And false modesty here is only cute the first time, then you have to get on with it. “Oh but I’m only a cow herd” is fine but if that’s what the plot calls upon you to do, get herding!

You do get extra points for having a skill that everyone else thinks is useless. Because, in a time of crisis, sure as Fate it’ll turn out to be just the thing! A Prayer for Owen Meany is a lovely modern American fairytale illustrating that very point.

Furthermore (as my students will write) it’s good to have ambition, as that may be rewarded – as long as it doesn’t shade into hubris, which leads straight to disaster – but the important personality trait is OPPORTUNISM. Now, you have to be careful with this because some do succeed by jumping off the back of a bigger animal at the last minute and so winning the race (I’m looking at you, Lunar Year Rat!) but that’s risky because another winning quality is KINDNESS. Especially to the old, the young, the marginalised and, of course, animals. People have entertained angels unwittingly. Be kind. You just never know who you’re dealing with. Yes, it’s its own reward – but if anyone has the secret recipe, or that old rusty key, or the map to the buried treasure, it’ll be that minor character you helped back in Act 1. Be kind. It’s worth repeating.

WORK HARD. What? You thought this was going to be easy? You try climbing a skyscraper beanstalk or walking right through Wilderland, including the Barrowdowns, Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains, from west to east. PERSEVERE. You’ve switched on the kettle and the TV, haven’t you? Next rule: DON’T KEEP MOANING! The audience will go right off you, Tinkerbell will flutter by and the woodland creatures will turn up their pretty noses and just scamper off. Complaint is so unattractive. There are worse off than you. Just stop it!

BELIEVE. I know I’m going to get into trouble for saying this but it doesn’t really matter in what, as long as it’s better than this. However, be canny, don’t be misled, DISCERN WELL. How do you know who to trust? BE OBSERVANT and FOLLOW YOUR HEART.

RISK. Yes. Maybe not everything and certainly not all at once. But take a chance on life. The tales of Sinbad the Sailor are all about the ups and downs of Fortune. Now you can get religious about this and start talking about the Will of God and all that. And maybe that’s the point of the 1,001 Nights of Scheherazade, the epic and inventive storyteller who wove tales to save her own life. And succeeded. But whether or not there’s a Divine Will controlling all events, what’s plain as the nose on your face is that (despite all those tedious New Age teachings to the contrary) it’s not you and it’s not anyone else.

That means that your road is open for you to follow and no-one stands in your way. The Universe may not be conspiring for you but it’s not conspiring against either. So get out there and get on with it! FOLLOW YOUR DREAM.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings)

Gloomy forest around a mysterious lake

Thanks to Larisa Koshkina for releasing her image Gloomy Forest Background into the public domain.

525,600 minutes

Some baked cakes and some prayed, in vain, for their daily bread. Some danced around in hospitals and some died there, without one familiar face, terrified if conscious or comatose and hooked on strange drugs and stranger machines. Some never put a nervous foot over the door and some braved the dangerous moonlight, breaking curfew and bringing cheer. Some had nice gardens to garden and some had skyscraper weans to feed, and left them, regularly, with the shitting dog, while they ran, masked and frantic, round the supermarket – because it was safer to shop alone. Some learned a new language and some learned to despair. Some found they could depend on the kindness of strangers and some, deserted by family and fairweather friends, found they had to. Some soaked in baths and some in porn, some bought everything online, including salvation, and some stared out the window at the cold and constant rain and then jumped. Some tried to help, cutting debts and hedges, giving advice for free, some reassured and reassured and reassured everyone they could reassure but failed to reassure themselves. Some did gym and got slim and most did the opposite and ended up not caring. Some had hair to worry about and for some it had already turned grey. Some tried online romance and told themselves it was just like the real thing. Some built ivory towers of books and retreated up them. Some tried to sell their soul but even the devil was in lockdown.

The past year, midday 23rd March 2020 to midday 23rd March 2021, in Scotland, has been like no other. Maybe some of us will live long enough, and maintain enough fertility, to tell our grandchildren about the year when the whole world stopped. Maybe not. If we do, I hope they won’t believe us. I hope they smile at the exaggeration of the old folks. Then, with dear-bought wisdom, remembering what we all went through and knowing it was all, every lucrative pre-planned bit of it, in vain, I hope we cherish the little time we have left.

Never before in my half-century of life, son of parents who between them survived evacuation, forced march, prison camp and blitz, have I ever encountered such widespread wilful stupidity. Schools taught it, universities studied it, politicians stirred it and the media mixed it. Public opinion fanned it and it stuck, fast, smearing everything and everyone. The churches sanctioned it and the state sanctioned everything else. This is the year when thought became a crime. This is the year when unregulated multinational companies set up weapons of mass destruction in streetlights and no one did anything to oppose them. This is the year when we abandoned our old folks to die, drugged and despairing in their loneliness, when we all lined up to be experimented on, when we abandoned any form of civil liberty and stopped holding the police and armed forces to account for anything. Or anyone else only following orders. And all für ihre Sicherheit.  

525,600 minutes says the song. How do you measure a year? Scotland’s population by now is about 6 million. Start by multiplying it by that.

The lockdown has already lost us 6 million years of moments so dear in just one small country.

It’s time for this season of fear to end.

hourglass silhouette

Thanks to Piotr Siedlecki for releasing his image Hourglass Silhouette into the public domain.

Mother’s Day

St Valentine’s Day, sweet for some and bitter for others, was marked with horrible weather this year in most of Scotland so I decided to delay the tradition of planting seeds till Mother’s Day. I’d be planting them in Mother Earth, after all. Some flower and alium bulbs and some berry bush cuttings had already gone in and it wasn’t yet time for rhubarb (that’s April) so on Sunday 14th March 2021 I sowed beetroot seeds, mixed in with some for flowers for the bees, scattered across the newly raised bed – that already has onions – and carrot seed sprinkled over the mulchy soil in the big green box – that already has garlic. Then I upended a large plant pot, after renegotiating tenancy of various herbs (and composting a leafy green plant that I’d rescued and had grown lustrous big green leaves only for it to flower once then wither and die) and used the soil to cover up the seeds. Hopefully. I’m aware that my seed-sowing is rather Biblical. Another description is ‘haphazard’.

Strawberries

The strawberries, I’m happy to say, have survived the winter in their cosy cold frame and may even be persuaded, this year, to produce strawberries rather than just lots of runners.

Chives

Chives are springing up again in the centre of the first bed I raised – which did do well with cabbage and gave a steady supply of small Brussels sprouts all late autumn and winter.

Brussels

Most of those tall stalks are still producing at the top but as the sprouts keep opening rather than getting any bigger it will soon be time to compost all the plants. I think I might sow lettuce there this year and cabbage and Brussels again in the new raised beds – wherever there’s a space not occupied by flowers or aliums.

Jam jars over alium shoots

I can’t yet tell if the aliums already shooting up are onion or garlic – but I covered them with jam jars anyway, to keep off the birds.

Berry bush cartons

I went a bit mad and bought Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Gooseberry and Raspberry cuttings – in the hope they’d suck up some of the water that’s currently flooding the garden.

Berry bush cutting with daffodils 1
Berry bush cutting with daffodils 2
Berry bush cutting with daffodils 3
Berry bush cutting with daffodils 4

The berry cuttings aren’t doing much of anything yet, only one has buds, unlike the daffodils springing up everywhere to take over from the crocuses, and I thought the same of the hanging basket which had flowers then coriander (cilantro) last year – which I’ve resown in another bowl near the kitchen this year.

Crocuses
Coriander/ Cilantro

However, when I pulled out dry dead stalks and plucked out and trimmed back the grass that had somehow got up there, I discovered a base layer of happy healthy green leaves, that might be a herb or a flower that I don’t remember planting. We’ll see.

Hanging basket mystery plant

The greenhouse, a rather flimsy affair it must be said, had ponged a bit at the end of the growing season and the subsequent airing out meant that some stragglers either didn’t survive the abrupt change of temperature inside the house or became windblown and withered. The Chinese lantern was among them, however I’ve left the stalks and roots in the pot in the hope it might come back, as its flower cases are so pretty. The Sanvitalia (Creeping Zinia) which flowered and flowered and flowered last year in the greenhouse (after an unhappy period planted outside) and grew and grew and grew over winter indoors but attracted wee black flies so out it went again, where it withered away to just two small shoots, is temporarily back indoors, flyless and recovering.

Seeds on dried grass in plastic compartments
Mud
Seeds covered with mud and soil

Still, the smell has gone and, after a tidy up and clear out last weekend, I had the room and the patience to sow sunflowers and runner beans. The former were almost all eaten up by the greedy birds last year (only five survived out of about twenty that I successively planted) and those of the latter that survived their aerial predators did the same as the strawberries – lots of leaves and no fruit! Beans really should wait a month more but they were looking musty so in they went on top of dried grass at the opposite end of the small compartments in plastic trays that I’d bought small flowering plants in last year. Then I topped that off with mud, scraped off the stepping stones that had disappeared with the endless rain we had from early autumn on after a glorious summer.

Cress

There’s a tray of cress I sowed on St Valentines’ Day (I felt I had to do something) that’s springing up and a circle of moss that I’d used for cress last year and then, after cutting most, left the rest to seed – because I didn’t have the heart to cut them down as they were so few and so pretty. So the greenhouse once more smells of life.

Moss

After the bitter chill of fear blew round the world last year, accompanied by an endless deluge of depressing and despairing outpourings, from pharmaceutically-funded officialdom, pharmaceutically-funded medics, pharmaceutically-funded state and supposedly independent media and, last but by no means least, pharmaceutically-funded social media, many human beings, in ripe old age or even in the flower of their youth, lost their bloom and withered away. Some were brought in for intensive care, which killed them, others were isolated, which killed them, some few (perhaps many) were only found dead because of the smell. The very basic elements of our life, fresh air, sunshine, the warmth of touch and humankindness, these things were restricted by those who gave themselves the authority – under no state contract – to do so. And most of us just went along with it.

Now there is a new hope because all these pharmaceutically-funded influencers (including a great many people on social media who advertise themselves, cleverly, as people-like-us) have convinced a great many people to take a wonder-drug that is untested and so toxic in its effects that it has been banned in several countries. DDT, AZT, Thalidomide…I could name so many toxic substances marketed by the same people, with the same persuasive strategies, and the same assurance that it’s fine, it’s safe and everyone else is taking it.

For reasons that the eminently-qualified Dr Dolores Cahill outlines, this new hope is a false one. Anyone who takes an untested drug (especially the more toxic second dose of this one) and hopes for the best is like a gardener who plants tender seedlings before a frost.

Hand holding strawberry plant

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Strawberry Plant into the public domain.

Grow Your Own

strawberriy plants in cold frame

Last autumn, my brother and I took down the old hut in my mother’s garden as we’d bought a new shed and wanted to use the wood to make raised beds for vegetables and companion flowers and a cold frame for the strawberry plants I’d been growing since spring. First thing was to construct the ‘big green box’ on the site of the old hut, cutting the wood from the sides to measure. Well, more or less!

Next I painted the wood with green preserver (hence the name of the box) and filled it with layers of branches, twigs and leaves.

I’d also planned to make a new compost heap to supplement the plastic bin so we could let one decompose for next year while we used the other this year.

The black compost at the base of the bin was going into the green box as well as some in a bag (for tomatoes I think) that I’d found thrown away down the park.

For the raised bed in the veg patch, instead of building up, I dug down and laid down the same successive layers, to improve drainage – and then constructed a wicker fence all around it. Over winter, the only thing I could plant was garlic so that’s what went in.

Next job was to build the cold frame, from the old wood. I wanted to use the window section, so I had to cut it to size then screw on a wooden support so I could attach the hinges (from the old hut door).

Then a few screws to keep it all together and some gauze sheeting I’d found to keep the soil off the wood. That done, I filled it with compost and earth…

…and the strawberry plants.

Apart from the strawberries, the only thing growing in the garden is Brussels sprouts. They’ve been producing since October, a steady growth of small organic (and a bit bird-pecked) sprouts and I reckon they’ll go on till at least St Valentine’s day when I plan to plant seeds – like last year.

As I said in previous posts, with Brexit and the continuing planned madness of lockdown and shutdown, it’s only common sense, if you have access to any land at all, to grow your own fruit and vegetables. The Great Reset to inaugurate the 4th Industrial Revolution contains publicly-available plans to clear people from the land so that we can be monitored, controlled and transhumanised in dystopian urban space. I’m a novelist and I really, really wish that this was Sci-Fi. If you still think it is, inform yourself.

Save Lives in the Dead of Winter

By the time you read this, it may be too late. I’ve been off Twitter for Advent, focusing on more positive things than this incremental international nightmare of state tyranny, crony capitalism and medical harm.

But, according to the BBC three days ago, today, Monday 14th December 2020, in the UK is the day they come for the old people in care homes. I need to break my silence.

That BBC report by Philippa Roxby has a photo of Margaret Keenan captioned “Margaret Keenan, aged 90, was vaccinated at University Hospital, Coventry on Tuesday morning”; the photo shows a lady with red hair (looking very fresh for 90 and who apparently retired from work at the age of 86) and a nurse, named by Gemma Mitchell in the Nursing Times as “May Parsons”, wearing a dark blue uniform striped broadly in white around the sleeves and narrowly striped vertically in light blue, administering an injection.

An independent YouTube report by Channels Apart, called “WAS DAY 1 OF GIVING OUT THE COVID 19 VACCINE JUST A STUNT? IS IT ALL FAKE? ARE THE PEOPLE ACTORS?” The points raised may perhaps be explained: light blue stripes may disappear depending on lighting; the varying reported years of NHS service (24 or 17 or 4) may be reporters either failing to check facts or conflating qualified UK nursing with training or prior service abroad – the only UK nurse named “May Parsons” is one “May Richell C Parsons” whose UK registration as a fully qualified nurse is dated 24/05/2004. Search the Register yourself to corroborate this. The lack of an electoral register entry for this person can be explained if she is ex-directory.

The YouTube journalist shows a similar photo, same fresh-faced older lady, and a nurse with a blue uniform with the same white broad sleeve stripes but no light blue vertical narrow stripes. This second version of the administering nurse can be seen in this 8th December ITV YouTube video entitled “Meet Margaret Keenan the UK’s first Covid-19 vaccine patient” – where it first appeared to me that the different shade of the narrow stripes might be only sometimes obvious, depending on the light. I’m not familiar with Forensically, the online tool that this journalist uses to analyse this difference but she finds no evidence of the narrow stripes in this photo or on any uniform of that hospital. Channels Apart also draws our attention to the nurse’s very odd lack of PPE and her unconventional (wrong) administration procedure – as well as to the peculiarities of this person turning up in “3 different pictures on different days” (from the video description) for Covid photo-ops, and her supposedly 90 yr-old patient not only wearing a different mask in two the photo and the video of her exiting the hospital but also walking in one and being wheeled out in the other. This independent journalist says it looks as if “they did a couple of takes”.

It does seem staged for the cameras but it was a media event, so that’s unsurprising – and a person who can walk being wheeled from one part of the hospital to another is not unusual.

What is notable is the lack of updates on her condition. It’s been almost a week. (You try to find an update on her.) We are being told to encourage our most vulnerable loved ones to take an experimental rushed vaccine for a virus that has never been isolated (even journals pushing the official narrative admit it to be full of holes) based on a controversial but lucrative medical theory that some hold that Pasteur relinquished on his deathbed.

Added to the medical harm are the legal consequences for any individual or corporation that encourages anyone else to take the risk of this new and untested pharmaceutical product. The drug companies have liability: you don’t. Encouraging others for whom you have Duty of Care to take the vaccine may mean that you become liable for its adverse effects.

If you do care, send an email to your local care home, along these lines:

“Hello,

I am a [local resident/ relative of one of your present or former residents] and I value your provision of elderly care in our community.

I’m not sure if you are aware that the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture and distribute the new experimental vaccines for Covid-19 have managed to obtain indemnity from legal proceedings against them in the case of adverse effects of these products. This means that relative of elderly people and staff who experience such effects, after being encouraged to take these new vaccines, may have no recourse other than to take legal action against those who encouraged this.

Even if Public Liability Insurance were to cover this (which is disputable and insurance companies are known to be very reluctant to pay out compensation) it would still be very bad press for your company as well as causing your insurance premium to shoot up.

I am very concerned that, with the best intentions, your company may also suffer financially and in reputation due to running this unnecessary risk.

I urge you to discuss this situation carefully with your management team and to be very wary indeed of anyone (media, drug company reps, politicians, etc.) who asks you to put yourself into a position of being responsible for the consequences of these new untested drugs – while themselves declining to take such responsibility.

Regards, [your full name and address]”    

Then write to your MP.

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Plastic Syringe into the Public Domain.

That Old Hut

Something was always holding me back from clearing out that old hut. There was all that electrical equipment to go through, and the old paint tins, and what about the broken bikes and the broken sunlounger with the ripped mattress? Clearly, all this stuff couldn’t just be thrown out. No. So my patient brother put up with my procrastination, and for months we had ‘the old hut’ and ‘the new shed’ both in use in the back garden of the home we grew up in. At one point I’d had three old bikes (one in bits and one not working) then a friend gave me a shiny new (to me) one. Something had to give. The abandoned kid’s bike I’d rescued, that no-one I knew wanted, I fixed up and left outside a community centre (last year) with a note on it: “free to a good home”. It was gone in two days. Months later, I faced the fact that the best-looking bike was actually the worst (as it needed more ballbearings in the rear hub) and fixed up the old banger so it would go. And then, for weeks, I did nothing.

That old hut wasn’t just wood inside and junk inside, of course. It was our gang hut when we were wee. Me and my sisters used to play together, as my bro was too old to play with me, ‘the baby’. I remember rare Scottish sunny days with Cremola Foam drinks in lime green plastic tumblers, making up gang hut activities, like our perfume factory (the roses recovered and the compost heap was blessed) and our neighbourhood espionage (noting down the licence plates in the car park round the corner – why?). It was also where we kept our tennis racquets, for our yearly fortnight of summer enthusiasm during Wimbledon – until we fell out with each, other over who had to go get the ball, and gave up.

But most of all it was Dad’s hut. All those mysterious manly objects, like spark plugs and the whetting stone. The heavy roller lawnmover and the electric hedge cutters, that I pleaded to use then almost cut my finger off with, were here and, later, the strimmer. Seed packets, bought and harvested, the riddle, spades and hoes and rakes and forks. Wellington boots and green twine. It was a world I was always impatient with. It wasn’t till my last year at my first university that I began to get a glimmer of understanding why. I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance then and hardly understood a word. But I got this bit:

They talk once in a while in as few pained words as possible about “it” or “it all” as in the sentence, “There is just no escape from it.” And if I asked, “From what?” the answer might be “The whole thing,” or “The whole organized bit,” or even “The system.” […] The “it” is a kind of force that gives rise to technology, something undefined, but inhuman, mechanical, lifeless, a blind monster, a death force. Something hideous they are running away from but now they can never escape.

Robert M. Pirsig (p.24 in the 1999 Vintage paperback edition)

It wasn’t till my last year of my Ph.D. studying Pirsig’s work that I felt his theories click into place – and saw how I could simplify them. The famous paraphrase of Einstein (by Roger Session of the New York Times) asserts that ‘everything should be as simple as possible – but no simpler’. So I cannot simply characterise my father as a technophobe. He was a tailor by profession, a competent car mechanic, gardener and helpful handyman. Yet he’d swear in Polish (which was worse than when he swore in German) when wallpapering and an old anger, of being pitted against the world, would return.

For years I felt inadequate in the man’s world. Young men often feel like this and the father-son relationship is often very difficult indeed. For years I felt I was secretly disappointing him so I told him openly how disappointing he was to me. We had years of pain. This is not unusual. I grew up and understood more deeply not just the war horrors that he and his generation had survived but also why almost everyone feels alienated from technology – even from organisation. And I strove to counter the basic illogic that constantly fucks things up in Britain, where it’s not polite to suggest rethinking something that’s always been a bloody mess; and I tried to do this in my family and largely failed. Because, of course, the root of it was in me.

All that junk in the old hut, and all my emotional baggage, life’s just simpler without it. But life isn’t life then. When I realised that my reluctance to clear out the old hut was my reluctance to (once again) face my unresolved conflicts with my late father, I did what I always had to do when I was leaving a country I’d been living in, or trying to hitchhike away from somewhere. I let go. Or rather I accepted that that’s where I was and stopped holding onto things that kept me stuck there. “Stuckness” is a very Pirsigian concern, he devotes a whole chapter (24) to it.

So I fixed up and gave away the old banger to a friend – with instructions about locating a shop to service it for free, under the Government 50 quid scheme. And this morning I sat down and went through all the electricals to see what could be reused. So only some things were taken to the dump by my sister (they recycle what they can there). And this afternoon my brother and I took down the old hut. Tomorrow we plan to build raised beds. I plan to keep you posted.

All photos (c) Alan McManus.

Student Solitary Confinement – email template for staff/ parents

Hello

Is [NAME OF SCHOOL/ COLLEGE/ UNIVERSITY] seriously imposing solitary confinement on innocent students for fifteen days? And disciplining students who do not comply or handing them over to the authorities? Solitary confinement is a form of torture and we can expect rising rates of depression, mental illness, self-harm and suicide to follow. That’s not a good look for a [school/ college/ university] proud to be [a Stonewall Diversity champion and] Positive about Disabled People. No matter how economically convenient (until outraged parents take legal action for harms caused) torture is not a solution!

According to Juan Mendez, the former United Nations special rapporteur on torture, the imposition of solitary confinement “of any duration, on persons with mental disabilities is cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” He has called on governments to abolish it for prisoners with psychosocial or cognitive disabilities.

He has also said that “the longer the duration of solitary confinement or the greater the uncertainty regarding the length of time, the greater the risk of serious and irreparable harm to the inmate that may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or even torture.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/29/submission-un-committee-against-torture-france

Under Scots Law, staff who enforce these measures may also be legally liable – judged to be acting “on a frolic of their own” as the antiquated legal phrase puts it – as “only following orders” went out as an excuse in 1948 at the Nuremberg Trials. So the [school/ college/ university] is also setting up staff for legal liability. That’s hardly Dignity At Work!

  • There is no provision in law for the imposition of solitary confinement (of any duration) on students nor for threatening staff with disciplinary action if they do not enforce it.
  • There is no provision in law for the mandatory download and use of any technology by individual members of the public.
  • Self-isolation must be, and must be seen to be, voluntary.

None of us is above the law. I make no judgement on the good intentions of those who are currently mandating the illegal imposition of solitary confinement. No doubt they passed lockdown in a spacious house with a lovely garden. Not in a dorm room smaller than a jail cell.

Permit me to say that the feelings of these people are not my chief concern at the moment. My priority is the physical and mental wellbeing of our [students/ children] and of my fellow [staff/ parents] – as well as the legal liability which the [school/ college/ university] as a corporate body and individual staff members are now open to because of this solitary confinement regime.

A better tack to take (and one more likely to avoid students ripping up residences to form barricades while singing La Marseillaise) might be to invite the students to self-isolate, to support them (and staff) – and to supply them with limes! 

Yours sincerely,

…………………………………………. [ YOUR NAME]

White hands of a youth clutch black prison bars

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Children’s Hands into the Public Domain.

Letter template to MP re. Drug Company Indemnity etc.

Dear [NAME OF MP],

Drug and data companies are clever. They spend an unusually large proportion of their budget pushing their products, and profits, using sophisticated strategies such as participative marketing (typically where hot young men and women, often paid actors, appear to voluntarily enthuse about their wares).

These companies have no other values than the bottom line yet are aware that values push products and drug companies specialise in appeals to altruism and emotional blackmail. Because they sell drugs.

Right now, while we hear of poor White students paid to volunteer to be experimented on, and don’t hear about the thousands of Black and Brown people abroad who suffered multiple harms from such experimental vaccines, drug barons have successfully lobbied the U.K. Government to rig a leading and misleading “consultation” regarding their legal indemnity to prosecution when such harms become widespread here, caused by the “Covid-19” injection – which mutates human DNA using nanotechnology controlled by data companies with a publicly stated agenda of global depopulation (as even this US government-funded ‘charity’ fails to hide).

Meanwhile, even supposedly clued-up institutions such as [CHECK YOUR LOCAL UNIVERSITY/ COLLEGE/ LIBRARY WEBSITE TO SEE IF THEY MENTION EXEMPTIONS TO MASK-WEARING] contravene provisions of the Equality Act 2010, Data Protection Act 2018 and Coronavirus Act 2020, by mandating mask-wearing without mention of legal exemption, thus setting up a hostile environment for people with health conditions and failing to provide access to the disabled.

  • Oppose these changes to advertising and indemnity
  • Oppose appropriation of the human person by the state (including opt-out replacing opt-in for organ donation)
  • Oppose curfews, lockdowns, shutdowns and any measures, such as obligatory or mandatory vaccination/ “immunity” passports/ mask-wearing/ sensitive data-sharing, which exacerbate the physical and psychological harms already prevalent in your constituency (suicides, unemployment, depression, death due to cancelled appointments, death due to fear of seeing a doctor, death due to fear stoked by relentless media fear-mongering, agoraphobia, economic ruin, career sabotage, mental illness, domestic violence, xenophobia)
  • Oppose censorship of medical experts who question the official version of the Covid-19 narrative in terms of symptomology or epidemiology

Someone as intelligent and informed as you cannot be ignorant of the agenda of The Great Reset/ 4th Industrial Revolution – set up by stakeholder capitalists (such as the World Economic Forum, World Bank, Microsoft, Gates Foundation, etc.) in a publicly-available videoed series of biological threat preparedness tabletop roleplays since 2001 (Dark Winter/ Atlantic Storm/ Crimson Contagion/ Event 201, etc.) – so there is no excuse to be taken off guard by what is coming.

Our citizen rights are being stripped. Our communities are being destroyed. Our most vulnerable are either suffering or dead.

What are you doing?

Apart from standing by, clapping, while drug and data companies increase their profits and continue to insist on you covering your mouth with a mask – and your eyes with wool.

Regards, [YOUR FULL NAME]

[YOUR ADDRESS AND POSTCODE]

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Plastic Syringe into the Public Domain.

UK GOV Consultation on Covid “Vaccine” etc. suggested response

Open consultation

Consultation document: changes to Human Medicine Regulations to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

Published 28 August 2020

SUGGESTED RESPONSE (ANYTHING NOT IN BOLD)

About You

(name and surname)

No

No

(individual/ organisation)

(ethnicity and area of UK)

5 areas you can comment on (tick all):

Temporary authorisation of the supply of unlicensed products

No. Authorisation of the supply of unlicensed products, temporary or not, is an extremely dangerous and disproportionate response to the current situation.

Civil liability and immunity

No. Immunity from civil liability means that there is no incentive for pharmaceutical companies (who have a history of causing human harms, especially in developing countries) to ensure that their product is safe and therefore they can act with impunity with profit as their sole concern.

Expansion to the workforce eligible to administer vaccinations

No. Administration of vaccines by unqualified persons is, clearly, unsafe and risks more harm than good.

Vaccine promotion

No. Vaccine promotion violates UK advertising standards and is unsafe.

Provisions for wholesale dealing of vaccines

No. Unlicensed wholesalers should not be dealing with vaccines in any capacity whatsoever. This is clearly unsafe and open to abuse.

Feedback

How satisfied are you with the consultation process?

Disappointed

How did you hear about the consultation?

(Various options, mine is Social Media)

On which social media channel did you hear about the consultation?

(Department of Health & Social Care/ Another government department/ [mine is Other – individual Twitter])

What could we do better?

  1. “a tested, unlicensed vaccine against COVID-19” suggests that this pharmaceutical product has gone through usual testing. This is untrue and is the reason why it is unlicensed. This wording is misleading and risks human harms.
  2. “the proposed changes will also facilitate the efficient mass distribution of treatments for COVID-19”. Pushing an untested unlicensed drug, administered by unqualified persons, using currently illegal advertising can hardly be described as “efficient mass distribution of treatments”. This wording is misleading and risks human harms.
  3. “Clarify the scope of immunity from civil liability”. The aim is not to clarify but to *change* the scope. This wording is misleading and risks human harms.
  4. “the deployment of a safe and effective vaccine or therapeutic product, will of course have a beneficial impact”. It would but for the reasons given here this is, clearly, not what is being promoted. This wording is misleading and risks human harms.
  5. “having to move quickly means having less time than we would like to consult on these proposals – indeed, we are asking for comments by the end of Friday 18 September 2020.” This is an unprecedented rush, clearly designed to truncate the consultation period so that responses from primed stakeholders will outweigh those of the general public. This is undemocratic.
  6. “Even though we are happy to receive comments from anyone, the purpose of this consultation exercise is to engage directly with specific stakeholders that we have identified.” How patronising!!!!! So this is set up as a sham PR event, when the UK people appear to be consulted (in a rush, with misleading wording) but actually it is only primed responses that the UK Government is interested in.
  7. All in all this survey is unethical and lacks academic integrity. The wording is leading and misleading and there is not distance from the data. For all of these reasons, it should never have made it through whichever Ethics Committee approved its use.

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Plastic Syringe into the Public Domain.

Of Girls and Sheds

When I was a laddie (or loddie, as we say in the local dialect of Scots) I decided in the school playground one morning to get all the boys to get all the girls and put them in the shed. This was in the early 70s, just after the Baby Boomers, so classes had between 25-30 pupils in them. The playground where I said “Hey, let’s get all the boys to get all the girls and put them in the shed!” was only for the infants (aged between 5-7) but that meant three years of three classes each. So, even by a conservative estimate, allowing for absences, we must have rounded up over 100 girls that morning.

I stood in the middle of the playground and oversaw the task. Which the boys did cheerfully, and fairly gently; the girls went willingly, intrigued by this new game. Fortunately – because (clearly) once we’d got the girls in the shed, we’d have had to do something with them, though I hadn’t thought that far ahead – the bell rang. And we all lined up, two gendered lines for each class, arms outstretched on each other’s shoulders (to maintain the correct distance) to go back to our classrooms. So I never found out what I would’ve said when, inevitably, the boys asked “what do we do with them now?”

But I did learn these lessons that day:

  • People like there to be a plan (no matter how pointless)
  • People will generally follow instructions (no matter how disturbing) without question

I don’t think I’m particularly persuasive. It was just something for us to do. Us kids in Primary 1-3 all played together, unlike ‘up the school’ (Primary 4-7). They tended to divide into year cohorts and fairly closed activity groups: Football; Skipping/ Kick the Can (a variant of Hopscotch); Smoking; Flirting; Gossip.

It’s true that, some days, ‘down the school’, two boys (mostly) would put an arm over each other’s shoulders and walk around chanting “who-wants-to-play-at-Cowboys-and-Indians?” – or Tig (Tag), British Bulldogs, Hide-and-Seek or Best Man Fall (we’d line up to get shot in that game) and others, of either sex, would join the line until we had enough kids to play.

But, most days, the social dynamics of the infants’ playground, in those years, were fairly unstructured. And we all know what happens when you drop something structured into an unstructured environment: either the structure dissolves – or the free elements start to align with it.

I prefer to consider my temporary infantile manifestation of Us and Them as an early indication of public speaking and managerial ability, rather than of an authoritarian and twisted personality. (I’m aware than not all of my acquaintances would agree with me on that.) In my defence, when I’ve worked as a manger, I’ve tended to prioritise building and maintaining good relationships rather than keeping to set plans. But this blogpost isn’t really about me. Because, whether or not I was a wee fascist (and whether or not I grew up to be a big one) isn’t the point.

That group of wee boys and girls was fairly typical of Scottish small town kids of that generation. It’s the generation that’s in power now. The First Minister, the elder statesmen and stateswomen, the top judges, lawyers, principals of universities, CEOs, heads of schools, heads of charities, heads of social care and health boards, NGOs (government-funded and appointed or not), it’s all mostly Generation X. The games we played then were also played by more urban kids, and more rural kids, and I don’t believe that Scots are more rule-bound than any other nation in the UK. Fully a fifth of Scots were estimated to have broken the law to resist the hated Poll Tax, during Thatcher’s regime. So those kids weren’t particularly inclined to follow orders. But they did.

Behind the pointless and self-contradictory regulations of the social game we are all currently playing, named “Covid-19”, there’s a disturbing agenda that’s been hiding in plain sight for decades. We’re being divided, and herded. And we’re all joining in, fairly cheerfully and willingly.

The difference between my former self, that little Scots loddie, and the current powers-that-be is this: once they get us where they want us, they know exactly what they want to do to us.

Are we going to continue to (unquestioningly) just follow orders?

Four wee diverse kids, with colourful clothes, playing

Thanks to Dawn Hudson for releasing her image Diverse Kids into the Public Domain.