Springingtiger's Blog

My Reply to Gordon Brown MP

Like many people I have received an email from the Labour Party, in the name of Gordon Brown. I have the utmost respect for Gordon, indeed his biography of James Maxton remains one of my favourite books, so I felt was only polite to respond. The Text of his email is in parentheses and italics, mine follows it.

(Dear Rory,

Over the past few weeks, I have spoken to thousands of people across Scotland who will soon decide whether we stay as part of the UK or separate from our 300 year old partnership. 

I have held public meetings in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Aberdeen and Dundee. On Sunday 6th July I will be speaking to more voters in Cumbernauld at 6.45pm and on Monday 7th July at 6.45pm in Kilwinning. Register you details here to join me in Cumbernauld or here to join me in Kilwinning.

I believe in a strong Scottish Parliament making decisions on hospitals, schools and policing but enjoying the strength and security that comes from being part of the United Kingdom. This campaign will be won by people like you making that case to friends, neighbours and work colleagues.

If you can spare some time to help Scottish Labour’s ‘No’ campaign, you can sign up to get involved here.

While I know there are many demands on your time, I hope you will be able to spare some time to support Scottish Labour’s campaign to keep Scotland as part of the UK.

Best wishes

Gordon Brown MP)

Dear Gordon,
Thank you for your kind email. I shall probably not be supporting your campaign unless it were to include certain cast iron promises. The most important would have to be the removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil, but if we remain within the UK that would be the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from all the UK, its territories and waters.

The second would be to extend the power of the Scottish Parliament to, not only vary tax, but be responsible for all Scottish resources, incomes and their use. Further, instead of a grant from Westminster, the Scottish Parliament would allocate a portion of any revenue it considered surplus to the UK after all other expenses had been met.

The third would be control by the Scottish Parliament of all social and welfare in Scotland and all environmental matters.

Fourthly there must be a commitment by all Westminster Paris that there will be no referendum on continued membership of the EEC.

There would also have to be immediate dissolution of the House of Lords, an end to subsidies to falling businesses, the nationalisation of important infrastructure including railways, energy supply and wired telephony.

Finally the continued subsidy and rule of the Royal Family should be opened to public consultation.

If the Westminster parties are willing to commit to the above, I shall be happy to give you my support.

Rory Patton

Crystal Jigsaw: PSHE – The Lesson They Should Ban
June 28, 2014, 16:44
Filed under: autism, disability, Parenting, Politics | Tags: , ,


I don’t often reblog other people’s posts, but this is a real problem. The school appears, in my opinion, not only to be encouraging promiscuity, but making girls with special needs vulnerable to exploitation.

Filling The Dishwasher IS an accomplishment!

Today as I put together my to-do list the thought occurred to me that we dismiss most of what we do as routine and mundane. We do a lot of things that, when asked, “What did you do today?” it would not occur to us to include the answer, it certainly would not occur to us to consider them accomplishments, perhaps we should.

We tend to reserve the term accomplishment for the big things people do; we lose sight the fact that the big things do not exist in isolation, but require many little considered, commonplace actions to bring them to fulfillment. We have to eat, we need to sleep, to bathe, obviously; less obviously we need entertainment, beauty, interaction, simulation. Beethoven’s symphonies are accomplishments, but had he not sawn off the legs of his piano, they may never have been written. A chef may create a magnificent new dish, but not without washed utensils, not without chopping and mixing, and how much depends on the ingredients? It is easy to celebrate the accomplishment of the chef and forget the farmer, the fisher, the market gardener, the sous chef, the kitchen porter, the butcher and even the cutler.

We also forget that an accomplishment requires us to know what to do, and that learning is, in itself, an accomplishment. When my daughter, Ambika, told me she was going to teach my granddaughter, Rhiannon, to tie her shoes, I showed her the “Ian Shoelace Knot”
by Ian Fieggen .  She furrowed her brow and said, “It shouldn’t be that easy!” And that is another reason we don’t recognise accomplishments, we expect them to be the result of hard work and effort, they can be, but there no reason they have be what makes an accomplishment is recognising it.

Every evening I end my day by reviewing it with my “Daily Greatness Journal” and it asks questions like, “What went well today?”, “What did I learn today?, “What am I proud of today?”. It forces me to evaluate my day and what I’ve done. It is easy to look back on a day and wonder where the time went because we fail to value the routine, but when we notice what we have done, we realise just how full been our day and much we have done.

The Pope Supports Scottish Independence


The headlines may shout out that the Pope is opposed to independence. However the media have shown themselves less than honest in the reporting of matters relating to independence, e

ven the Scotsman has questioned the BBC’s integrity, ironically the BBC’s decision to allow its studios to be used for making the Better Together advertisement is defensible although in very poor judgement, but it will merely fuel the fires stoked by its unbalanced political coverage of last. Of more concern are the misleading claims that the Pope has opposed Scottish independence “POPE: MY FEARS FOR A DIVIDED BRITAIN” as the Daily Mail puts it. However what the Pope said was, “There is independence by emancipation and independence by secession.

“The independences by emancipation, for example, are American, that they were emancipated from the European states.
“The independences of nations by secession is a dismemberment, sometimes it’s very obvious.

“Let’s think of the former Yugoslavia. Obviously, there are nations with cultures so different that couldn’t even be stuck together with glue.

“The Yugoslavian case is very clear, but I ask myself if it is so clear in other cases – Scotland, Padania, Catalunya.” 

He added: “There will be cases that will be just and cases that will not be just, but the secession of a nation without an antecedent of mandatory unity, one has to take it with a lot of grains of salt and analyse it case by case.” The Pope also said, “Scotland’s national status has always been recognised by the Catholic Church,” he stated. “Indeed, Scotland has been a filia specialis, or favourite daughter, of the Papacy.”

Scottish independence is in fact what the Pope describes as an independence by emancipation because there was a mandatory unity. Union was imposed on the Scottish people against their will as Daniel Defoe observed, during the riots against union, “for every Scot in favour there is 99 against”. Scotland fought two wars of independence in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries to prevent annexation by England, after the Act of Union the Scots rose in rebellion three times in 1715, 1719 and 1745. The United Kingdom has never been one country, but has always been a union of four distinct nations; England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales a union compelled by the English Parliament and opposed by the ordinary people of the other nations. The union was made for the benefit of England and continues for the benefit of England. Much of Ireland has broken free from this enforced union largely by force of arms, Scotland is seeking to withdraw peacefully if possible, but the scars of the earlier armed struggles remain fresh. When we interpret the Pope’s words in the light of history, we can only assume he is in fact in support of Scottish independence.

Scotland has always been a separate nation, and throughout the three hundred hundred years of enforced union there has always been a movement to restore Scottish sovereignty, independence is not the dismemberment of a nation, but the liberation of a nation from unwilling bondage.

Lego and Free Thought

When, yesterday, I shared my Lego Brick Planner, a system to introduce structured flexibility into scheduling, a friend told me to patent it. However as I said to her I will not. I don’t believe in the ownership of ideas, but in sharing them. It may be argued that by publishing I have established intellectual ownership; if I own the idea I can do with it what I will and I will share it.

Despite all the infighting and arguments I still like to think of those affected by autism spectrum disorders as a community and communities share. There are too many people who seek to profit from the misfortunes of others, who exploit the desperation of parents; there are too many who see autism as a source of income rather than an opportunity to serve people. I have received help and support from the community, I chose to give back. If someone uses my. Lego system to help people and earns money by doing so, I will not begrudge it, but no one owns this, it is a free idea, an Open Source thought.

Lego, quite rightly, owns the copyright on Lego products. However what they do not, nor do they try, is to own the creativity Lego inspires. I use a kitchen timer to divide my day, the timer only goes up to an hour. I use My Daily Greatness Journal, it has a daily planner that divides a day into half hours, as do most paper schedulers. Can I help it if I saw these regular units of time as Lego bricks, and if, when they became bricks, they became interchangeable. Lego is about creativity, you can use the colours of the bricks, you can move a mini figure from day to day as your week progresses to keep track of the days (Batman is good),. You might want to go to the Lego store and make mini figures to represent significant people you  meet regularly and put them on the days you are going to meet them. Lego is about creativity, the Lego Brick Planner is about creating a visual tool to plan your day and to accommodate changes to your schedule less painfully. It works for me because it is visual and kinesthetic, it won’t work for everyone, but everyone is free to try it. Me, I’m going to develop it further because that’s the NLP way, “What else can I do with this?” as Richard Bandler would ask.

I have to say I am delighted with the response from the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (if you haven’t already, buy the book, it’s very useful). This is what community is about, sharing, and Lego, and Dr. Who, and the National Railway Museum in York and it can all be plotted with colored (American spelling in honor of TPGA) bricks. I’m in an awfully good mood today happy, happy, happy…that gives me another idea for my colored bricks!


Let us make no mistake the Better Together campaign is not opposed to Nationalism, it is a nationalist campaign, a British Nationalist campaign. We can see how committed to they are to British nationalism when we look at the promise that, if we vote no, we will be faced with an in/out referendum on EEC membership. Even if the majority of Scots were to vote to remain in Europe, the English could take us out against our will. The No campaign is a confederation rooted in a sentimental attachment to a lost empire that was never the force for good they claim it was. The No campaign stands on a platform of Britain First; it is unequivocally British Nationalist and is being backed by those who believe that the United Kingdom should be Independent from Europe and not have policies imposed by Brussels. However what the BritNats claim for themselves they deny to Scotland, the right to govern our own affairs and to benefit from the exploitation of our own resources. The BritNats try to claim Scotland is poor while ignoring that we have the world largest oilfield off our western coast, how the BritNat coalition that is the No campaign would love to get their hands on that!

I think it is of concern for the electorate in the rest of the UK that the BritNat coalition includes the main British political parties, it suggests the differences between them are more imagined than real. In Scotland we can be free of Westminster by voting for independence, those who live in England are faced with the reality of the saying, “Whoever you vote for, the Government gets in”. In Scotland we can at least ensure that the government that gets in is the one we choose.

Lego Planner


I like to have my day mapped out so that I know what I am going to do and when, I really do not like having my schedule disrupted. In summer,when so many of my plans include gardening and the Scottish weather is so unpredictable, I face daily frustrations. I have been working with NLP for many years to discover strategies that enableme to get through my days without exploding, and the Glasgow weather has inspired the Lego Brick Planning Strategy.

Put in its simplest terms, I plan my day as if time were made of Lego bricks.I can either do it by visualising the day as bricks or by actually using bricks. The eight stud, rectangular brick represents one hour; the four stud, square brick is half an hour and the small, two stud rectangle is fifteen minutes. Personally I still plan my day on paper, but I think of each timed segment as a Lego Brick, interchangeable with any other Lego Brick or bricks that have the same number of studs. This allows me to rearrange the bricks should it be necessary without substantially altering my day, although living in Glasgow sometimes outdoor bricks have to be swapped to another day of the week. I do my planning with a diary and the weather forecast, the diary tends to be more useful because my wife supplies the information it contains. Not all bricks are moveable, every week has some immovable bricks, these are scheduled appointments, but every other brick in the weekly wall is swappable.

At the moment I prefer to work with the Lego Brick plan one day at a time, but I intend to work up a full planner, not only using different sizes brick for different lengths of time, but different colours for different types of task. Now I need my own set of Lego bricks, the ones my granddaughters left here are too big and too few for my purposes.


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