Andrew Allison

Archive for January, 2007|Monthly archive page

Do we learn from the past?

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2007 at 2:28 pm

“There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now”

That is a quote by the playwright Eugene O’Neill. It’s a very thoughtful quote. We never learn from history. We keep making the same mistakes. If our leaders fully understood the history of Iraq, they would have understood Iraq is made up of Shias, Sunnis and Kurds, all of whom have a mutual dislike for each other. Remove Saddam Hussein – as brutal as he was – you will leave a vacuum of power and despite our best efforts, you cannot ram democracy down the throats of those who do not recognise it or indeed want it.

Iraq, however, is another story, and I do not wish to dwell on it. I have only used it as an example. What I was disturbed to read in The Times today was that a Holocaust memorial in Berlin was being used as a public lavatory by tourists and by neo-Nazi sympathisers. Perhaps the tourists were drunk and didn’t realise what they were doing? Perhaps there was remorse in their hearts the next morning when they realised what they had done? All of that is possible.

The Neo-Nazi problem in Germany though is growing. I am sure some of them will have read books telling Germans Hitler wasn’t all that bad. Perhaps they have read Mein Kampf? What they do understand is the hurt and distress they will cause to Jewish people. If they have their way they will try and destroy Jews in the same way the Nazis did seventy years ago.

I have visited Germany many times over the years and I have many German friends. I know Germany will not allow the Neo-Nazis to get anywhere and still today, police guards are placed outside synagogues. I know Germany will keep on top of this problem. Those of us who want O’Neill to be wrong, have to become more vocal, much stronger and be ready to present our arguments on a much more regular basis. As time goes by – people forget. It’s up to us to make sure they do not.

Starting to feel better again. (I hope)

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2007 at 5:34 pm

I was thinking last week how much better I was feeling, and then around three hours later I started to cough and then the coughing became worse and before I knew it I was running a temperature, shivering or sweating, aching all over and sleeping as if my life depended on it. I don’t think I have slept as much in my life. One day last week I went to bed at 1.15pm and got up again at 6.45 the following morning. I am starting to feel better, although energy wise, I still feel very depleted. There are some nasty viruses out there and I hope none of you get one.

Therefore, I apologise once again for the very light blogging of late. I have been so tired I couldn’t even tell you what has been in the news. I am only just trying to catch up now. This next week I intend to get back in to the swing of things and hopefully normal service will be resumed. It hasn’t been a very happy new year so far for me, so all I can say is, ‘roll on February.’

More cat than dog?

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2007 at 10:20 pm
You Are: 60% Dog, 40% Cat
You are a nice blend of cat and dog.You’re playful but not too needy. And you’re friendly but careful.And while you have your moody moments, you’re too happy to stay upset for long.
Are You More Cat or Dog?

Thanks to Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe and The Last Ditch.

Big Freeze?

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2007 at 10:00 pm

Although this time year generally gets me down, there is one thing about the media that makes me chuckle. Every winter – every year – we hear about the big freeze. As if it never got cold in the winter? We hear about temperatures plunging to… 6C. Wow! It could even be -2 overnight. If I mention to friends in the US that the temperature got down to -2, they ask me if I mean Fahrenheit or Celsius.

I’m sure we can all cope for the next couple of months with the cold. Then we can look forward to new hosepipe bans!

Cameron backs cannabis for medicinal use

In Blair, Cameron, cannabis on January 22, 2007 at 9:48 pm

I got this one from Ellee Seymour.

This is a subject close to my heart. A few years ago a vicar friend of mine was diagnosed with MS. ITV followed him to Amsterdam where he smoked cannabis – legally – in a bar. He continued to use cannabis until he died. He said it was the only thing to give him relief from his pain. We should not be criminalising a section of society. MS sufferers are not drug dealers. They do not peddle their wares on street corners. They are simply coping in the best way they can with a terminal illness.

It was also good to see David Cameron give a straight answer to a straight question. I can’t imagine Blair doing the same.

Euro English

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2007 at 9:35 am

I go this from Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe. It certainly made me laugh.

Back to blogging!

In Blogpower, James Higham, Tom Paine on January 18, 2007 at 6:58 pm

I can’t say I am feeling 100%, but I miss blogging and tonight is the first time in a few days I have felt like saying anything.

This time of year is never good for me. I suffer from SAD. I hate the dark nights with a vengeance. My body does not seem to be able to cope with darkness at around 4.00pm. Couple that with my IBS flaring up, quite a bit of emotional stress, and trying to work full-time with – on average – about 2-4 hours sleep a night, you can probably understand why I have been feeling ‘under the weather.’ Physical and mental exhaustion doesn’t begin to tell the tale.

I have been thinking these past few days though and I was wondering what makes us blog? Is it an ego trip? Do we feel we can make a difference? Do we have other ambitions?

For me it is simple. I love writing. I always have. My mother – who is very articulate – still asks me to write letters for her to government departments and the local council, as I seem to write the letter in a few minutes. She also gives me that ‘look’ when I rearrange everything she has written down on a draft. Words fascinate me. My favourite word in the English Language is ‘serendipity.’ It has such a ring to it. If anyone says we don’t have a beautiful language – send them to me. I will soon show them the error of their ways.

I also – in common with all bloggers – like to express my views on any issue I think is important. What I think the blogosphere will do over the years is bring a different perspective on the major issues of the day to a very wide audience. I don’t know whether we in the UK will have the power of some of the US blogs, but I genuinely want us to. There was a time when the only political comments were in the newspapers and on television news. Not anymore. I usually pick up more news from reading fellow blogs, than from ‘The Times’ or the BBC.

Moving on; James Higham has been given too much stress over the past three weeks. He set up Blogpower in the interests of all small bloggers. He has now reported on how we should proceed. Tom Paine has described as the headmaster, and he is certainly sounding like one at the moment. This is not a bad thing. Those of us in Blogpower should all start to ‘play by the rules.’ The hits to my blog have increased dramatically since I joined this confederation. I have only been blogging for about ten weeks, but the response I get is fantastic and makes me want to write again. James has some great ways of moving this confederation forward and we should, firstly, thank him for what he has done so far, and, secondly, try to make it work now – and in the future – for all Blogpower bloggers. I hate to use the left-wing mantra of ‘United we stand; divided we fall’, but I just have, although as a child the first time I heard that expression was in a Laurel and Hardy ‘short.’

The next thing I want to talk about, are those who influence us and encourage us. I know someone in Ohio, USA. I have never met her personally – as she is a friend of a friend – but she has been influential to me. Ret Bailey was a copy editor, and she had a look at some of my writing in the past. She corrected it, but always said it was her personal preferences – nothing wrong with my writing. She has encouraged me and given me so much praise over the last three years. She has been an inspiration to me and I thank her very much.

I am sure we all have people like that in our lives who have encouraged us to write and express ourselves. I have singled out Ret; but there have been many others too. All of you know how much I defend our rights to freedom of expression and speech. It’s not just because I think they are now in danger in the UK at the heart of government. No. It is because everyone is born equal under God. Everyone counts. I want as many people as possible to express their opinions and make me think. Blogging is the epitome of everything I believe to be true.

Sorry for the light blogging

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2007 at 11:15 pm

I haven’t been too well of late and that’s why you haven’t seen any posts from me for a few days. When I am restored to health, I will start again.

More trackside deaths

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2007 at 10:24 pm

A few years ago I played the organ for a teenage boy’s funeral. He died after climbing on an old railway carriage and got too close to the overhead power lines. I remember the vicar saying to me before the funeral, he knew what he wanted to say, but couldn’t. This child knew he should not have been trespassing. He knew there were dangers. He knew he could get killed.

Once again, there are more deaths. This time two men are hit by a London Underground train. They were spraying graffiti at the time. No doubt their families will try to blame the authorities, saying it was too easy to get to the tracks, but the fact remains, they knew the risks they were taking. Why people do this defies all logic. Let’s hope this has put a few more off from doing the same.

Blogpower

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2007 at 6:37 pm

This is what I wrote on the comments page on defending the blog just over a week ago.

If anyone has been on Central News they will know in the past two days I have been commenting on it. I disagree with the views of the blog, but tonight I have commented about the BNP on my blog and given Central News a link. I have done this in the interests of free speech and in the ‘blogpower’ spirit. If we start banning people because they are members of the BNP, I will certainly leave. Blogpower has been good for me and I’ve read so many blogs I would never have normally come across. On my blog I urge everyone to stand up for our rights and liberties. Everyone has those rights and liberties whether we agree with them or not.

I have been saddened that other bloggers have left ‘Blogpower.’ I am a libertarian and feel everyone has the right to free speech, however, I have changed some of my views since the posting above.

Tomorrow at 6.00pm we will have a decision on how Blogpower will move on. I will accept any decision that is made, however I would prefer not to link to Central News anymore. I accept his right to free speech – and indeed defend it – but I do not have to give him a platform for his blog. I sincerely hope Central News goes and then I feel we can move on and hopefully get back to something like normality.