July 8, 2015 – Let go

Motivating Giraffe

let go


In other giraffe-related news, I’ve officially hit the half way mark and have sold about 630 copies of the Motivating Giraffe book, both online and off. This officially blows my mind and I am so incredibly thankful for the support that you’ve all given me along the way…none of this would have been possible without you guys.

If you’d like to get a copy of the book or check out reviews, just follow this link. Otherwise, I hope you have a lovely day wherever you may be 🙂

(PS I have just found out my phone has not successfully been sending emails, so if you’ve sent me an email in the last few months and I haven’t replied, I’m so sorry! Please send it through again and I will get back to you!)

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Royalty and Austerity.

Royal Wedding and the Austerity Programme

Royal Wedding and the Austerity Programme

The Royal Household made the news recently and apparently it set Twitter “ablaze”. And things got a little bit fiery on my Facebook news feed too. This in response to an article in the Huff Post: Royals Vs Republicans: Does The Royal Family Really Pay For Itself?

Here is my Facebook Post:

Wouldn’t it be something if Twitter and the Media in general were set ablaze by something actually of real interest and/or significance…something that might make a tangible, social and economic difference to the lives of millions……I give you…

ACUTE SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

How about a cure for demand…caps on private rented sector to mitigate welfare dependency.

How about a cure for the supply side…huge investment in house building.

In a stroke, the government could redress the single biggest cause of social inequality in Britain and create the economic environment for sustainable, economic growth.

The benefits to UK plc and UK society would be simply immense:

a) would put thousands of construction people into work and all the way down the supply chain, manufacturing and service sector… would have a seismic impact on employment across all regions;

  • improve existing or develop new infrastructure, amenities etc;
  • provide secure tenure for many families and individuals on lower incomes;
  • redress and re-calibrate true cost of living, CPI and RPI, leading to a natural ‘correction’ in the national average ratio between incomes and property values;
  • redistribute power from landowner to occupant (not something the landowning Tory class is very enthusiastic about);
  • revive and regenerate old communities, especially in inner city areas, killed off my transiency and the buy-to-let obsession;
  • address the (profoundly unjust) inequality that exists between the baby boomer and generation and X, Y, Millennials;
  • reduce pressure on individuals and families to migrate/leave home/travel long distances;
  • provide Britain with an opportunity to go green, more Eco towns;
  • reduce strain on housing support and associated benefits;

Instead, we have to put up with the Tories who just want to sell sell sell and don’t actually want to build anything of value. They truly are the party of unemployment and if you probe deeply, they actually NEED welfare, it is THEY that suffer from welfare dependency!

Instead, we have rancid parties like UKIP, who tell us that all “these immigrants” are taking all “our” houses, all “our” services blah, blah, blah. Whilst they too are in hock with landowner interests and fiddling their EU and Westminster expenses.

Instead, we have politicians, of every stripe, milking the expenses system, so they can ‘flip’ homes or furnish duck houses, politicians in hock with landowners and their powerful vested interests…lets keep the poor in their place, God forbid we allow for any upward or social mobility on our watch.

Instead, we have an ineffectual Left who blame previous Governments for not building enough, or the current Government for not building enough homes.

Instead, we have a Media (from the comfort of homes they own) telling us about the SMALL BEER of home improvements to Buck House. Apparently, the schism between Republicans and Monarchists is what keeps millions of us awake at night.

And someone, somewhere is actually getting getting paid to write this crap! Am not a Monarchist by any stretch but this just one of many examples of how the media distract us from the REAL issues.

Towards a Global Ethic.

An interesting article published in The Spectator which popped up in my Facebook news feed. It wasn’t an article I could especially ‘Like’ but it does make some good points, which prompted some comment of myown:

Interesting article. I think European platitudes are the legacy of colonialism. The sword is double edged, however as the colonial hangover is hard to cure. Recent military engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya serve as a reminder. So I remain sceptical and ambivalent on ‘the problem with Islam’ narrative for three reasons:

a) history and current events teach us that religion is often used as the lever to divide and conquer a people as it is conducive to securing land and resources

b) the biggest threat to Christianity in the West is not from Islam …it is from rampant secularism, also met with “platitudes” by the political establishment

c) the biggest threat to world peace and security is resource scarcity, driven by climate change; this being consistent with the US military establishment’s view.

“De-literalisation” is a challenge for world faiths collectively and individually. If the Torah had been de-literalised, would the State of Israel have been founded? If we de-literalised Moses’ Ten commandments, would western civilisation have established the major tenets of law that are firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

So I have a more optimistic view than that which is expressed in The Spectator and by the newspaper media in general. Based largely on my own experience (not mouse clicks) the major religions have far more that bind them that divide them.

Why, in any case, would a profoundly secular media be in the business of promoting the Good news? When I was doing some Interfaith work back in the nineties, I first came across the “Declaration of the Religions for a Global Ethic.” This was first drafted one hundred years earlier by the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, 1893.

I keep a copy on my wall as it is a daily reminder that the world is a safe and beautiful place. The document in many respects was ahead of its time. Not only does it ‘hold’ all core values of the worlds’ religions, it embraces values that play to modern day humanism, environmentalism and spirituality.

I appreciate that the Interfaith ministry / movement is one of several elements that can help to reconcile differences. It is limited insofar that religious differences don’t always go hand in hand with cultural, ethnic, national, political and other differences – differences that make us human beings so fascinating and each one of us, unique! So it is wise I think, as with so much of life, to adopt an open, holistic and multi-faceted approach.

I am very much drawn to the Global Ethic because it is very inclusive and to a simple man like me, unburdens me from complex theology and the moral maze. It’s refreshing because so many faiths, traditions and institutions assume spiritual and moral authority over others. This is something I am not terribly comfortable with, more so, because I feel that I am part of a multicultural and multi faith society – at a local, national and global level. I also like it because it plays to humanism. My impression is that British humanists are quite adept at excluding themselves from any ‘interfaith’ forums. Their tendency is to overlook that ubiquitous caveat ‘those of any faith or none’. God forbid they might enlighten us with their superior powers of reasoning! This is why I don’t feel like I am part of a (healthily functioning) secular society. In a genuinely secular society, we’d all be talking to each other and at worst, agreeing to disagree and finding mutual ground.

I think those of different faiths have more to gain though working and worshiping together. Our biggest threat is not from each other but from the rising tide of aggressive secularism. Personally, I don’t have a problem with authentic secularism and consider it healthy. However, I have to say, with some regret, that I see more of that healthy secularism overseas than I do here in England. I may be a little out of touch but my impression is that countries like the Uruguay, Netherlands, the Czech and Irish Republics, Hungary, France and Canada ‘do’ secularism better.

I don’t know if Mr. Dawkins is entirely to blame for this militant brand of atheism but I do know that he is not very much liked by many Atheists, especially his scientific peers, who are more conciliatory and tolerant.

I understand very well, just from my own experience, that interfaith work is challenging but it is healthy and can help to enliven one’s spiritual,cultural and social life. I don’t for a minute consider it to be a watering down of one’s own faith. My concern is that some would see it that way.

From a conflict resolution perspective, I can’t imagine that being uncompromising about one’s spiritual beliefs is tremendously helpful if the goal is reconciliation and peace. Interfaith work isn’t for the fainthearted but for those with open minds, it can be a very rewarding and enriching experience.