A Petition with a difference

I have just logged on to the Government’s e-Petition site, and generated my petition which is shown below, and which should appear in around seven days.

I do hope that this gets some circulation; legs, whatever the term might be, because I feel rather strongly about this particular issue. After all, if even Albania doesn’t want the filthy stuff, why on earth should we give it more that a second’s thought before giving a flat and resounding rejection to this proposal?

We don’t want it, we don’t need it, and we surely have enough problems on this small and crowded country without importing someone else’s problems!

We wish to petition the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in protest against the importation of any part whatsoever of the residue, material or structure associated with the disposal of the Chemical Weaponry which is to be made safe from the Syrian State.

If anyone, anywhere else in the world wants to make itself the repository for this deadly material, good luck to them; but it should not be Great Britain, as we already have enough waste products of our own production to be going along with.

Do you remember?

Where were you, or rather were you even alive, on the day Kennedy was shot? I was  home on leave from Merchant Navy service, seated on a bus travelling back to my home, when a mate of mine spotted me, sat down and told me of the news. It seems to me that this one question, tells us more about how the world, and the people, have altered perceptions, and changed viewpoints than any other political event in the last one hundred tears.

Imagine, if the Internet, and citizen bloggers, and 24/7 news cycles, had existed on that sunny day when John Kennedy sat down in that motorcade which slowly wound its way through downtown Dallas.

It is indeed, more likely than not that LBJ would have been seated in that limousine, as the word, and fact, of Kennedy’s many flaws would have already driven him from office; either through resignation, or impeachment. Can you even imagine of the furore which would erupt if the news cycle was able to grab and run with stories of the American President having multiple sexual liaisons whilst his wife was in the White House caring for their youngest child? Can you even contemplate the size of the headlines when the assassination attempts on Castro were uncovered? Or the plots to overthrow the South Vietnamese President? Can you imagine the blog pages when Monroe serenaded Kennedy in public? All those huge problems would have been uncovered within hours of happening, because today, no-one gets away with much, except maybe bogus asylum-seekers and killers in Britain, and of course the SinnFeinIRA murderers in Stormont.

Camelot was always a straw building, and Kennedy was not even a very good politician, never mind President. He was a reluctant convert to the civil rights movement, and just about the only thing he got right was to stand firm against Kruschev over Cuba and the missiles, and even then Kennedy benefited from the spy Oleg Penkovsky’s advice on Soviet intentions. A pity that Penkovsky was later arrested and burnt alive after being betrayed by an American KGB mole.

So where indeed were you on the day that Kennedy was shot? Does it matter if there was a conspiracy? Why did Jack Ruby gun Lee Harvey down? Who indeed was on that Grassy Knoll? Who, if indeed anyone, really cares?

In life, as in death, we are as one.

When speaking or writing of death, or a death, I tend to lean on things which I have written before to give some balance to my words. I read, many years ago, of the ‘Elysian fields’ of Greek mythology, and remember them partly because of the illustration given them by one of the teachers from my schooldays. He stands out in my memory partly for his teaching, for his manner of passing information almost imperceptibly, and partly because he was just about the only teacher who didn’t use some variation of a fist when ‘correcting’ us.

He told us that the Greeks believed that the Elysian Fields, populated by those who had died, gave them all a means of an everlasting ‘achievement’ in their chosen area of expertise. If you had been a warrior, you were matched against an opponent who was your equal in every way, and you fought and struggled, until nearly beaten, but then you were given a final burst or infusion of guile, and defeated him at the last gasp. You then celebrated, slept; and the next day did it all over again. It probably seems a little simplistic, but hey: it beats 72 virgins!

I was reminded of this just today, when reading of a Warrior who realised that he was judged worthy of a true salute by fellow Sailors. Does me good just to read it.