Monday, 28 July 2014

Children and wars

Why do the innocents suffer in wars?  Just watched Lyce Ducet's very powerful drama on BBC TV about the young children caught up in the Syrian civil war. Tragic, not only because of the bad situation now, but also because they are becoming radicalised at such young ages - the sides almost don't matter - so the hatred will go on and on. The same story holds in Gaza, Afghanistan and other war zones around the world. It is a powerful lesson on how quickly things can fall apart.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28513709 .

Sunday, 27 July 2014

World conflicts

In our ever more connected world, we hear about the troubles around the world very fast.

It seems to me, there are more trouble spots at the moment  than when I was younger, with trouble in the Ukraine, Gaza, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as in West and Central Africa to name just a few.

Usually, trouble flares up where there are underlying tensions as a result of unfairness to parts of the communities.  Some of these conflicts require long term changes of attitudes and sadly, these will take generations. Happen they must. In the end, the world has to grow fairer or we all suffer.

Ukraine and MH17 crash site

Time is marching on and still no proper investigations have been carried out. The separatists and Russia are looking ever more guilty by being ever more obstructive. If  they were guiltless they would have sealed the area and let in international observers right away. All the evidence now suggests they are trying to cover tracks.

Gaza and Israel

Sorry to go on and on about this conflict, but it sickens me. Israel is the real aggressor here, not Hamas. Yes Hamas has been firing missiles at ever greater range into Israel, but Israel has treated the people of Palestine like the scum of the earth for as long as I can recall. The people of Gaza and the West Bank deserve much better.

It is in the best interests of both Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate real peace that is fair to all sides. Israel should stop building settlements in Palestinian territory and stop its divisive war on Gaza. 

Is it any wonder the Jews are still hated? I hear anti-Semitic sentiment is on the increase. It does not surprise me.

Israel, the solution is in your hands. Elect a government that is serious about peace.  Treat your neighbours respectfully, as you yourself would wish to be treated. Did WW2 not teach the Jewish people anything?  WW2 was a great tragedy for the Jews of Europe, but why does Israel continue this hate?

What is missing is trust and guts. Now is the time for real peace.Get around the conference table and negotiate a just peace deal to end wars in the region for ever.

Small steps

The "My tracks" GPS app on my Samsung S4 mini phone is remarkably accurate. Today we walked to Budgens and back, and this is the track of the walk. Small steps - 1.27km in total.  A year ago,  this would have been a trivial little stroll. I have been further, but am grateful I can manage this.  

Walking as such does  not exhaust me: it is that I feel giddy that really tires me out.

I do want to be fully fit again soon.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Churches and little ones

What is it that fascinates very little children with old English churches? Yesterday we went to Snailwell church about 4 miles from Burwell.
In Snailwell Church yesterday

Both the "London" grandchildren love it. Neither go to churches normally. The little one  kept saying, "shhh" to us. I have no idea why! They have no religious association with churches, but they both love being inside them.

Snailwell is a very lovely little church with a round flint tower, more like a Norfolk church really. It dates back to the 11th century - very old. There are only about 10-11 regular attendees and they are finding it hard to meet the costs of repairs now.

Local taxes on large supermarkets

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28495631 .

All I can say is GOOD.

If this move helps councils to raise money locally all well and good. Some have called it the "Tesco" tax. Food prices might go up a bit, but more likely the profits of the big supermarkets will get trimmed. It must help smaller, local  traders.

What a sensible move, and not before time in England.  It already happens in Scotland and Northern Ireland.