Some thoughts on my 2015

Saturday 1283  –  2.01.2016

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Well hello everyone. It has been nine months since I last posted on this blog and Nooooo I haven’t had a baby in that time, in case you were wondering !

I would like to share some thoughts about my 2015, what I’ve been doing since I posted here last and what I’ve been thinking

1 – It’s been a difficult year personally because of ill-health both physical, with heart disease, and mentally, with depression. The first is mended the second is influenced by all the stuff that follows, but I am getting there. Anyone who has visits from the “black dog” will know how difficult that can be as it steals your motivation and self-belief, saps your energy, and affects concentration. Mental illness is still not talked about enough and many sadly still feel they have to hide it because of stigma. It is an illness just like any physical illness and people who suffer it should be treated with understanding and empathy. 

From the World Health Organisation (2012)

“Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men.”

I’m sure I will be writing about this again!

2 – It’s been a helluva difficult year internationally and has certainly not helped the above  – Hate and destruction seem to be running unfettered, across the world, whipped up by the media, xenophobia and fear mongering by many who have vested interests in keeping people in fear: after all people are easier to manipulate and control when they are fearful; are they not? ( there are several posts in here but I have been too overwhelmed to write them yet!)  It is sometimes difficult to remember that the majority of people want peace and harmony to enjoy their lives with their families and friends, but I still believe this to be the case. 

3 – America has to contend with Donald Trump, who taps into that fear and magnifies it 1000 fold. Need I say more?  America led by Donald Trump would be a very scary prospect indeed!

4- Here in the UK we have to contend with Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP ( United Kingdom Independence Party ); some might say a watered down version of Trump.

5 – I’ve always been political but this year, faced with what seems like a cruel and heartless Conservative government, I have put my money where my mouth is and joined the Labour Party, since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader. I intend to be much more politically active in 2016 so I’m sure I’ll be writing about this as the year goes on.

6 – I lost my Mojo for photography and indeed for blogging but I am gradually rekindling my love of the 1st, hoping to share both my photos and my thoughts by way of the 2nd.

7- The world is getting smaller as social media gives us the opportunity to be connected with each other; and in real-time. I discovered twitter this year ( I have been on it for a couple of years but not actively )  It gives you unprecedented access to makers and shakers, nationally and across the globe. It is both exciting and terrible at the same time. It brings out the best in people when they share Missing people’s names or campaign against something unjust but it also brings out rank bigotry and hatred in too many people. It is easy for some people to hide behind anonymity and quick to type something without thought for the effect it will have on others. A double-edged sword indeed!

8- Many of you will know about my passion against injustice, fighting it wherever I find it, but in the 2nd half of this year I felt I should give that up for self-preservation.  Then I got impassioned by a Campaign here in the Uk called #WASPI – Women Against State Pension Equality who are fighting against unfair changes to state pensions for women born in the 1950’s. All  have had their pension age increased from 60, not just once but in many cases twice, with up to 6 years added on; in my own case 5 years and 5 months. The issue has been no or little notification of the change so no time to plan financially. It has caused real hardship for many, most of whom are not against equality of state pension age between men and women but feel they have suffered dis-proportionally.  You can find out more about the campaign on twitter or on Facebook . Main issues Here  and if you live in the UK you might like to sign this Petition to the Government. There will be a debate in Parliament on 7th January.

I am always reminded of what Nelson Mandela said –

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Throughout my life this has always been so very important to me. So the fight goes on and I suspect I will still be fighting against injustice when I have one foot in the grave. I just cannot help myself!

9 – Part of my fighting injustice in the world continues to be my support of Kiva  which I have written about before in a post called A Hand-up not a Hand-out which you can read here

10 – Some things I have been particularly thankful for this year – My beloved children Katy and Steven, my dear friend Helen and many others. The beautiful,natural world of trees, water, animals, birds and insects. How healing it has been to get outside and into nature when I have not been feeling the best. It is reliable and constant. ( and mostly wet at the moment!) I am truly thankful I am still alive and for our wonderful National Health Service which effectively saved my life; an NHS under threat by our Tory government as it is gradually being sold off to the private sector, service by service. 

Finally I would like to wish you all a 2016 full of hope, passion, laughter, love and above all peace and freedom. Please click on the photo below and watch the 3 minute Video. I am sure it will make you smile. Thank you

 Human

More here – Human-the Movie

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever.

Saturday Girl signing off.. I promise it will not be 9 months before I post again!

You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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Tony Benn – A Politician with a Passion for Truth, Justice and Humanity

ton y Benn

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Saturday 1377  – 15.03.2014

I couldn’t let this Saturday go past without paying a tribute to Tony Benn who died yesterday, 14th March.  He was an inspirational man who believed in the Socialist ideals of fairness and equality for all.  He was an ardent supporter of the Anti War movement and president of the Stop the War Coalition. Below is the photo I took of him, the last time I saw him speak, at the demonstration against Military Intervention in Syria in August 2013. He was dedicated to the cause of Peace right up to the very end of his life.  If you click on the picture it will link you to a video of this speech, one of his last.

Tony Benn at the NO War in Syria march in Lndon

You always knew that he really meant what he said and he is certainly the only politician I can remember who I have felt has been entirely trustworthy throughout his decades as a Member of Parliament. 

Yes of course he made mistakes and it is ironic that his hard left politics are blamed for  helping to convince people to vote for the Conservatives during the 1980’s. A Scapegoat maybe?

Sadly the country was not ready for his strident Socialism; I wonder if it would be now, when we have millions relying on Food banks in this country and where the divide between rich and poor has never been greater.?

Certainly the brand of Capitalism we have is not working when , according to Oxfam,  “1 in 5 of the UK population live below our official poverty line, meaning that they experience life as a daily struggle”

That is over 13 million people …  A shocking figure isn’t it? .

The quote at the top of this page says it all. This is what Tony Benn believed fervently and of course he was absolutely correct.

He once said “I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all frighten people and secondly, demoralize them.” 

The quote above was from Tony Benn’s interview with Michael Moore in Sicko, in which he highlighted poverty and healthcare inequality as a democratic issue. “The people in debt become hopeless, and the hopeless people don’t vote… an educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern,” he said.

Tony Benn has never been afraid to speak out and in 2009 he famously took on the BBC during an interview because they would not broadcast details of a Gaza Crisis Appeal so he went ahead and gave the details on air and would not allow the interviewer to stop him. Truly magnificent !!

Click on this picture below which will take you to the short video . It’s only 3 mins long and shows his humanity and passion for what is right. I absolutely commend it to you.

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Tony was also a prolific diarist and letter writer and below is the very moving last letter he wrote to his children and grandchildren. Truly he was an exceptional human being and the world is poorer for his loss..

Tony Benn's letter—————————————————————–

” There in every human heart from the beginning of time there have been two flames burning , the flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world. And those two flames are burning in our hearts today, in the hearts and minds of millions of people.”

– Tony Benn

http://stopwar.org.uk/news/rip-tony-benn-tireless-and-inspirational-fighter-for-peace-justice-and-equality

http://www.cnduk.org/cnd-media/item/1851-tony-benn-a-stalwart-of-the-peace-and-anti-nuclear-movement

As ever I welcome your thoughts .

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Saturday girl signing off.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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