Springingtiger's Blog


Bracken’s Response (to a Labour Party that has lost its people)

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A friend of mine who lives in England received a request from the Labour Party for help or donations to win the Scots from Independence. I copied her reply because it is a powerful response from an English Labour supporter, and former member of many years, who opposes her former party’s stance on Scottish independence. It puts a lie to the myth that Labour is united in its opposition to Scottish independence, and she speaks with the voice of the Labour left who feel excluded and betrayed by the party they love. Labour was once the party of ordinary people made extraordinary by their solidarity and passion for justice, this letter shows that passion is still alive; it also shows that in England, as in Scotland, the traditional supporters of Labour are divided from a Labour leadership that has lost touch, not only with its own supporters, but with the principles upon which it was
founded.

“I read your correspondence and hope you will read my response.

I support the right of the people of Scotland to express their preferences about the future governance of their country  in a referendum. Living in England and having an interest in politics I have formed my own view of the forthcoming referendum. However, I believe in self determination – and it is up to Scotland to make the choice.

I have heard Labour Party spokespeople comparing a possible yes outcome to a divorce. Perhaps Scotland will vote to leave the union because they have been treated so poorly within the union. The Labour Party must take some responsibility for that.

I note that polls have indicated that many people who voted Labour in the last general election intend to vote Yes in the referendum. I wonder, given this fact, why  Labour Party MPs  arrive in Scotland to campaign for a NO vote rather than having the humility to listen to the concerns of the people in an impartial manner.

I do not think people are impressed by MPs absenting themselves from Westminster and neglecting to hold the Prime Minister to account on our behalf in order to lecture the Scots on how they should vote.

I  feel badly let down by the Labour Party, when in power they took us into an illegal war and in the run up to the forthcoming general election the leadership have promised to retain spending cuts.

I oppose further nuclear power stations and want to see the country acting to implement their obligation to nuclear disarmament from the treaty we signed. It seems clear to me that Labour is wedded to the retention and so the consequent cost of maintaining Trident- this will be a major fact in my decision when casting my vote next year.

I look at the way the Party responds to US demands for action over ISIS and sanctions over the situation in the Ukraine and the slow and inadequate response to the ongoing situation in Palestine.

I wondered if the photo of Ed with the Sun was photo shopped- but no, it was real – what an insult to the families of the Hillsborough victims who are still fighting for justice.

Almost every week the leadership, or sometimes the lack of it, gives me another reason to look for a different party or candidate to vote for.

I couldn’t help but compare the  influx of English Labour  MPs into Scotland with their relative lack of presence in supporting marchers who walked 300 miles to raise their concerns about the NHS.

I have a lot of respect and time for a small but  dwindling number of Labour Party MPs who do their best to represent and help their electorate whilst  staying  true to those who first established the party and the values and principles they held.

A UDA camp has been established outside the police station in Rotherham and today our region witnessed the spectacle of rival far right groups coming to blows in Rotherham; a town which has been pretty solidly Labour for all of my lifetime.

Labour representative have failed young people there for decades. The vacuum left by disillusionment  with the Labour Party has produced an alarming and dangerous situation which will lead to further alienation from the political process and serious tensions between different groups in the town.

I see little evidence of any sense of urgency from the Labour Party to tackle the situation.

So no – I don’t wish to donate to your work on the Scottish referendum but I will continue to make donations to assist people and organisations here and overseas who strive to defend services  like the NHS and who provide humanitarian help to those who are suffering as a result of military action and the failure of the international community to defend them for example in Gaza.”

I hope that when you read this it will remind you that the working people of England are not our enemies and their struggles are ours. Our freedom from English rule should not separate us from the English working class, or indeed the workers of any nation, but should rather be a pledge to stand beside them their struggles, as they have stood beside us.

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Ninety Seven Percent (thoughts inspired by the Tony Benn film)

Ninety Seven percent, 97%!
In Scotland, in the run up to the independence referendum we have got ninety seven percent of those eligible to vote registered on the electoral roll, experts are predicting a turnout of over eighty percent for the first time since 1951. However Scotland votes on the eighteenth of September we have an almost unprecedented opportunity to promote popular engagement in the political process, or to put it another way, get ordinary folk involved.

Last night I went to see the Tony Benn film, “Will and Testament” which was followed by a question and answer session. Needless to say a member of the No campaign tried to cheapen Tony’s legacy by reducing the evening to “would Tony vote no?” and ignoring the lessons the film contains about democracy, public ownership, misuse of resources, nuclear weapons, colonialism, capitalism. I squashed the attempt by saying, “The point is not whether we vote Yes or no, but whether we put power back into the hands of the ordinary people of Scotland!” I personally believe that it does matter that we vote Yes, and that a Yes vote will best increase democratic engagement among Scots, but I have too much respect for Tony Benn to misuse an occasion like the screening of his film.

I must admit I was annoyed to see the No camp trying to co-opt Tony Benn to their cause when they are, in many ways, opposed to his views.
Tony stood against nuclear weapons the no campaign wants to keep them and continue to squander resources on them.
Tony set up an oil fund to use North Sea oil for the benefit of the people, but the Unionist parties of Westminster plundered the oil to support financial misbehaviour and to subsidise banks. The YES campaign supports an oil fund. The NO campaign does not.
The YES campaign wants finances to be managed responsibly, whereas No campaign parties are opposing European legislation to cap bankers bonuses to fifty percent of their salary.
Tony Benn stood for social justice, the Yes campaign is committed to preserving the European Community Human Rights legislation and the Court of Justice; No campaign parties have announced they intend to repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw as a signatory of ECHR. Why? Because the Human Rights legislation provides protections to workers, refugees and minority groups from abuse and exploitation.
Tony stood for social justice and equality, the United Kingdom is more socially and economically divided today than it has been for half a century and the Unionist parties are committed to perpetuating this inequality, even the Labour Party has promised continue the Tory austerity measures and so we will see queues outside food banks some time to come of we allow them to continue.

Tony Benn would be delighted by the level of political involvement in Scotland at the moment, across all levels of society. I was leafleting for YES in Springburn when a little afro-caribbean boy said he’d take one into his house, he stood halfway into his house and read the leaflet. As I came back past his house he asked me, “How old do you need to be to vote?”, sadly I replied, “sixteen, sorry.” and his little face fell. It reminded me of news reports of black South Africans queuing to vote for the first time and of just how precious a privilege it is to have a vote. However the vote may go, NOW is the time to to build democracy in Scotland! The people of Scotland have tasted the possibility of power; whichever side wins the vote, if they fail to move government closer to the people they will be guilty of a terrible betrayal. There is no evidence that a No vote will bring power to the ordinary people, indeed yesterday we saw William Hague assuring Conservative MPs that the promises of more powers for the Scottish Parliament, made by the party leaders, carried no more weight than election promises and are not policies. A YES vote begins a process of democratic involvement such as these islands have never seen, as we build a new country, with a new constitution, enshrining human rights and bringing government close to the people neglected for too long by a distant parliament in another country.



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

http://crystaljigsaw.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/pshe-lesson-they-should-ban.html?m=1

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.



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!



Lego Planner

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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.



That’ll Be The Day…
May 18, 2014, 10:11
Filed under: autism, disability, NLP, success | Tags: , , ,

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People appear to be fond of the saying,  “Live each day add if it were your last”, The Daily Greatness Journal frequently asks questions like, “What would I do today if it were my last?” It is not a bad question, it focuses the mind. Some people mistake the point of the question and think they should be doing something spectacular, some immediately pull out their bucket list, others start thinking about how they want to be remembered, their ‘legacy’.

It occurs to me that if you need to be remembered, you had better start building your legacy sooner rather than later. Neelam likes to listen to ‘Last Words’ on BBC Radio Four. When I listen it is obvious to me that, in terms of being remembered, it is usually those who devoted years to a passion who are best remembered; when remembered for one thing or event it is usually a product of a passion long pursued.

Many people find the prospect of impending death empowering. We all know stories of AIDs and cancer patients who have found new purpose on realising how limited was their time, or who have discovered a new richness in their experiences made more precious by the knowledge of how few there will be.

Before you rush out to spend your ‘Last Day’ bringing about world peace or whatever big thing you fear you have left undone, ask yourself, who says you should have done something with your life to leave a ‘legacy’ in the memory of men? Ask yourself what, if the opinion of others were irrelevant and it is, you would really love to do? Me, I want to spend my last day with my wife, as I want to spend everyday; that is what I call a happy ending.

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Anchoring Greatness

I was tired and needed to sleep, but before I went upstairs, I returned to the sitting room to pick up a magazine. My wife had started watching a documentary about Liberace and I came in while he was playing. Rather than had straight upstairs I waited to the end of the piece and, as I expected, he smiled at the audience, into the camera and I felt happy. When I was very small Liberace had a regular television program and my regular shout went up each week, “Mummy, that man’s smiling at me!” It made me happy then, his smile makes me happy now and that is the power of anchoring, that a smile I associated with being happy over half a century ago, still releases in me, feelings of happiness. Understanding anchoring is one of the most useful things I learned in NLP, I am pleased to say I can now choose whether to be anchored, I am keeping the Liberace anchor.

As I have said elsewhere I am using my intuition on a daily basis to have my life be great. The primary tool I use is to create my Sovereign Circle as I learned in Darren Eden’s courses, but sometimes I need to be in that intuitive state instantly and then I use the anchoring techniques I learned from Terry Elston, my NLP teacher. Anchoring is a core NLP technique and it is impossible to be certified as a practitioner without learning it. However it is only in hindsight, after a few years of using it, that you really appreciate its utility and power.

My anchor for entering my Circle instantly is both kinesthetic and visual. Firstly I close my eyes and move my eyeballs in a circle, but with the sensation that they are actually moving in a circle through my head. I secondly, swiftly, visualise a circle drawing itself around my had like a golden, fiery halo. Because every time I follow Darren’s full process I include these two anchors, I can now, whenever I need to think on an intuitive level, skip the “innocent child” and “symbol elicitation” steps and go straight into state. However whenever I have time, and certainly in my morning and evening greatness sessions, I anchor the full process again. The more often you practise the anchor, the more powerful and accessible it becomes.

I think I may have mentioned that the NLP technique I find most useful is that of eliciting and creating strategies. I do not work as well as I would like if I do not have a predetermined strategy to which to work. I have now built my Sovereign Circle anchor into a strategy that kicks in when I am under pressure, particularly in circumstances where I am unsure of what is happening or how to behave such as large social gatherings or when being questioned. In effect I am using my intuition strategy to direct me to the most appropriate strategy from my library, you could call it, possibly, the “bridge” or obvious action, but it is in intuition that it becomes obvious. I think the intuition strategy somehow serves to exclude much of the jumble of extraneous information and stimuli and allows a calmer and more rational choice, of action.




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