Petitions Against Austerity & Other Useful Links:

It isn’t enough anymore to sit and drink tea and dunk biscuits you can ill afford.  Complaining to your neighbours won’t change anything.  If we don’t stand up and be counted, there’ll be no one left to count, except the wealthier folks of our society of course and their hefty tax rebates.  There are plenty of e-petitions circulating the internet that would benefit from having your name added to them…100k signatures each means they can be presented to parliament and our collective voice will be heard.  So below are some such links…click them, read the blurb and finally, get off your arses and actually DO something about the cruel situation many of us find ourselves in.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Amnesty_UK_to_protect_the_human_rights_of_the_sick_disabled/?pv=7

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-uk-government-changing-the-law-retrospectively?source=facebook-share-button&time=1364294462

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-bedroom-tax-3

https://petition.avaaz.org/en/petition/Lets_have_a_vote_of_no_confidence_in_the_UK_coalition_government/?aoquXbb&external

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/iain-duncan-smith-iain-duncan-smith-to-live-on-53-a-week

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41600

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom-either-sack-iain-duncan-smith-or-demand-his-resignation-2

 

 

 

For advice on how to avoid paying your Bedroom Tax:

 

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/03/30/important-bedroom-tax-take-action-now-how-to-and-why-everyone-must-appeal-their-local-councils-bedroom-tax-decision/

 

 

Articles of Interest:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/02/ten-lies-told-about-welfare

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/27/olympic-legacy-failed-jobs-london

http://www.walh.co.uk/Tenants/TheBedroomTaxMyth.htm

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130117/debtext/130117-0002.htm

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/iain-duncan-smith-should-look-1400558

http://lookingatreality.blogspot.co.uk/

http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/

http://tompride.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/here-are-some-of-the-cabinet-millionaires-who-gave-themselves-a-tax-cut-today/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-true-story-of-the-bilderberg-group-and-what-they-may-be-planning-now/13808

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/farewell-to-the-nhs-19482013-a-dear-and-trusted-friend-finally-murdered-by-tory-ideologues-8555503.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2199596/89m-MPs-expenses-26-just-year.html

http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2013/03/what-have-disabled-people-done-to-be-punished-as-biggest-victims-of-cuts/

 

 

Rumour has it, on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, that our public posts are being “watched” by government employees wishing to minimise any damage our “honesty” might cause them.  Whilst I know not the truth about these rumours, I can confirm that several of my posts have already vanished and thus, I have decided to write here more often instead.  One was never given a voice to remain silent.

And while benefits are slashed by billions and wages are frozen, MP’s have requested a 32% pay increase at the expense of the taxpayer…and that’s after claiming over £89m in expenses already this year.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/10/mps-call-pay-rise-survey

They induce fear with their rules so the general public obey them; they demote any politician who stands up against the cuts and Great British mentality is allowing them to get away with such atrocities.  You won’t be able to obey or disobey when they’ve taken every penny off you, when you’ve sold your belongings in order to survive, when you’re homeless because you couldn’t afford to pay your rent, your Bedroom Tax, your Council Tax.  The way I see it…what have you to lose by backing the campaigns against the Tories other than what they’re forcing you to lose already?  At least fall with your dignity instead of by their dictation.

 

 

A little something for your amusement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bik9299kA0c

 

The future poverty of the impoverished – It beggars belief.

An Agonizing Ache of Adversity…

 

I’ve spent the past week or so closely watching the developments of the Government, Atos and media Vs The People of Great Britain, or should I say, the most vulnerable people of Great Britain, being the unemployed, the disabled and all low income families. I wasn’t afforded such an education at school and so, have been playing “catch up” in the hours when normal people sleep.

It’s true to say that the banks got our country into debt and yet employees still retain their bonuses whilst the aforementioned “vulnerable” people of our society are expected to foot the bill, even at the cost of their health and in some cases, their life.

I’d like to share some links with you, so you can read for yourself exactly what has been going on:

  1. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/03/disabled-people-have-never-had-it-so-bad
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/mar/23/tax-credits-benefits-budget-cuts-april-council-tax-bedroom?INTCMP=SRCH
  3. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/03/tragedy-alice
  4. http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/03/24/how-the-nhs-will-be-quietly-privatised-from-april-1st-while-the-media-ignores-it/
  5. http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/03/chancellor-eyes-up-welfare-for-fresh-cuts/
  6. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-wasted-700m-fund-1781725#.UU5UhFZIIn4.twitter
  7. http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/royal-charter-or-star-chamber-for-stars
  8. http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/03/23/amputee-in-bolton-declared-fit-to-work-and-has-his-benefits-cut/
  9. http://england.shelter.org.uk/news/march_2013/sharp_rise_in_number_of_homeless_families
  10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/21/jobcentre-set-targets-benefit-sanctions

 

It makes for stark reading huh?

Not only are the poorest in society being forced to pay the debt, they’re also being forced out of their homes, even with children. People are being forced in to slave labour and to top it all off, writers are to be silenced, so the Government’s treatment of us can go unchecked.

Benefit Fraud is at 0.5% and yes, we have quite the percentage of people out of work…yet work is being out-sourced to companies such as Atos.  A Coffee house advertised 7 positions within 1 coffee shop and 1300 people applied for them.  There isn’t sufficient employment available for all of the UK’s currently unemployed people…and still Atos are deeming the sick and disabled as “fit to work”. If it is the intention to recover the deficit, then make the one who got us into this mess also be the one to get us out of it. Or if it’s a case of depopulating the UK, then send home those who shouldn’t be here. Instead of  stripping us of our dignity and treating us as less than wild animals.

So I ask you, in your heart of hearts, do you think it is ok for the people to be treated in this manner? If the answer is “yes”, then I truly pity you.  And if it’s “no”…then why are you on this page reading me when you could be signing the many e-petitions set up so that the average “Joe” can have his voice?

I, for one, refuse to be silenced…because without my voice, me and my family won’t survive and as a mother, it is my duty to ensure we do.

Atos…so sue me.

Atos are the Information Technology (IT) company paid £100m per year by David Cameron and the ConDem UK Government to determine whether disabled people are “fit to work”. In their own words and from their own website, they describe their company as “Atos SE (Societas europaea) is an international information technology services company with annual 2012 revenue of EUR 8.8 billion and 76,400 employees in 47 countries. Serving a global client base, it delivers hi-tech transactional services, consulting and technology services, systems integration and managed services. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, it works with clients across the following market sectors: Manufacturing, Retail, Services; Public, Health & Transports; Financial Services; Telecoms, Media & Technology; Energy & Utilities.”

This kind of health assessment process makes a mockery, not only of the disabilities UK people suffer from, but also of the professional abilities of the doctors who have medically assessed their patients needs and health conditions for years.

Atos have threatened to sue the hosts of sites that challenge their decisions regards to peoples disabilities and as a result, a lot of these sites have since closed down, taking with them the public forums largely visited by those who have been wrongly deemed as “fit for work”. First, they take away their means to survive day to day and then they add insult to injury by taking away their support networks.

I personally don’t hold Atos completely responsible for the situation they currently find themselves in…afterall, they have been employed by the UK Government, who I believe are allowing Atos to be the scapegoats for their bad decisions. Yet I do believe they need to take some responsibility for the way they treat others when attempting to conceal the truth of the situation. I also believe they should reconsider their connection with the UK Government.  If Atos, by their own admission, have an annual income of EUR 8.8 billion, then what is £100m to them, if not a liability in the long term?

David Cameron makes an outward show of disgust when discussing the breeches to Human Rights in the Middle East, yet here he is in the UK treating his own citizens in an equally atrocious manner.  If you were the boss of Atos, would you wish to be linked so directly to the despicable Mr Cameron?

 

http://atos.net/en-us/

Obesity: Part 1

I shall be having Bariatric surgery this weekend in the form of a gastric band…this is the start of my journey of survival and one I wish to share here for all others who are overweight and considering their options.

In 2008-2010 I had heart problems and over time, due to inactivity as a result of those problems, I gained weight that exacerbated other conditions, including the slanted spine that I was born with.  I became depressed and ashamed of the way I looked and decided to do something about it.  So I tried new diets, including Xenical Reductil tablets that I bought on the internet for £100 per month’s supply.  When those didn’t work, I went to see my GP.

My GP told me that prior to a referral for a gastric band, I was expected to fill a certain criteria, so firstly I was sent to see a Health Adviser who discussed healthy eating with me.  During those 10 sessions, I learned everything I already knew – I wasn’t fat because of a bad diet, but because of inactivity.  As part of her job, she had to give feedback to my GP, stating that I had engaged in all of the sessions and had made progress in my quest to be healthier.

Upon returning to my GP, I found he had left and another doctor had taken his place.  The new doctor insisted he’d made the referral for a gastric band for me but insisted I again fill a certain criteria and referred me to see a nutritionist.  After several phone calls and missed appointments due to miscommunication, the nutritionist told me they were unable to help me because I was not able to engage in 1 hour’s strenuous exercise after each consultation with them.  So I again returned to my GP.

By this point I was very depressed with the situation and things got worse when my doctor advised me to eat less.  It had been assumed that I was overweight because I ate too much and I’d been conveniently stereotyped as “just another greedy fat person costing the NHS £1000’s”.  My GP made some excuse about the hospital’s computer system being updated and my gastric band referral not reaching them as a result.  He also suggested I be tested for Diabetes Type II, that “fat person’s disease”.  Suffice to say, I stopped visiting my GP.

When I related my experiences to a friend of mine, they kindly told me to research the private healthcare sector and get some quotes and offered to pay for the procedure as a gift to me and a healthier future.  This I did, chose the one I believe to be the best in the UK, and we booked a consultation.

I am currently 122.4kg in weight with a BMI of 36.6…apparently, on the NHS, you have to have a BMI of 50 before you can even be considered for bariatric surgery, regardless of any medical condition you might have.  I believe this to be unfair, same as I believe it unfair to stereotype every overweight person…we aren’t all greedy and lazy…some of us have real reasons why we have ended up in the position we are in.  When one is in severe physical pain every time they exercise, it becomes a catch-22 situation. No exercise means no weight loss regardless of whatever diet one chooses to partake in.

I’d be interested to hear your views on this topic and share in your experiences and suggestions.  I pay my taxes and thus, have a right to my voice…even if the powers that be disagree.

Normality, so easily defined.

It’s been a while since I posted anything…not because I have nothing to say, but because people are “normal” and don’t make the effort to interact…without other voices, how can this work as it’s supposed to?

I was on Facebook several days ago and saw people posting pictures that contained captions…most were about David Cameron and his apparent inability to make realistic and achievable decisions regards to who should be responsible for making up the “deficit” (debt) that this country has purportedly acquired for itself.  Captions that referred to bedroom tax – where people are expected to pay for any empty bedrooms in their house, yet it doesn’t mention all of the empty bedrooms in Mr Cameron’s 4 houses.

I believe a leader should set by example…and if he’s not prepared to pay the same taxes he enforces on everyone else, then he shouldn’t expect anyone else to pay them either.

Another caption was a quote supposedly uttered by Cameron himself regards to the latest British meat scandal, where horse meat is being sold as beef and used in our supermarkets.  The quote read as “if the poor are hungry, let them eat horse.” I’d like to be quoted too – “If you are hungry Mr Cameron, best you eat horse and if it fulfills the need, encourage the people of Great Britain to do the same.”

We fight for equality and yet we allow ourselves to be treated inferior by those who pride themselves in being “upper class”.

Many on Facebook liked and shared those pictures…yet none have the courage to stand by their opinions and raise their voice in the hope that together, we can change the way we are dictated to. Disagreeing with anything never matters to anyone when it is done in silence and behind the safety of a computer screen.

I have the courage to stand by all of my opinions, even if 99% of the population disagree with them…take for example the new Council Tax bill – I received a letter at the beginning of the week informing me that I shall be responsible for paying my Council Tax, even though I was born disabled.  I am no longer entitled to my 25% single occupancy discount because my son is now 18, even though he is in full time education. I received a direct debit form with that letter and was instructed to set up a standing order immediately, even though the amount I am supposed to pay has not yet been calculated. It’s illogical…what do they expect me to do, pay something so that they can then have an indication of what I might be able to afford and then charge me that same amount every month? Or send in the bailiffs for non-payment of an indefinite amount that isn’t even due for another month?

I remember back in the days of Thatcher, when the country was in uproar because she liked to pinch pennies from the poor to benefit the rich…whether the details are the same or not, it doesn’t matter…the principles are the same and once again, we’re the ones who voted them in to power. David Cameron will still have full pockets and 4 houses when his term in office has expired, but what of the people he’s forcing to pay the whole country’s debts from monies they simply do not have?

The future of this country actually scares me and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Clive Henry versus UPS:

I read that you worked for UPS for 11 years prior to the problems that arose when they merged with Lynx Courier (another company).  Tell me what they were like as employers during this time and how you felt working for them:

I started working for UPS in 1998 as a Customer Service Agent. I was very proud to work for a company that was globally recognised. I got on well with all people from management to staff and had respect for everyone, including the cleaning staff.

Would you say you loved your job?

I loved my job dearly and as a result of my total time at UPS I received seven 100% certificates during my eleven year period.

Isn’t it true to say, that while the merger was taking place in 2008, you were given the responsibility to supervise the merge of all Lynx Courier accounts in your department?

It is true that I was given responsibility to supervise the merger in my department. I was sent to a meeting with all of the Area Managers and the Sales Director, who went through how important this project’s success was to UPS and that this was a number one priority.

So it’s true to say that they perceived you to be a valued and trusted member of staff?

In my department I was often referred to as “The Oracle” because I was the person that management and staff alike would ask for help on things. I came to the sales department from The International Problem Resolution Department. This job was to get parcels delivered in transit on import or export that had some delay. Being from that background was an asset to the Sales Department.

What is a PIP and how did it come about that you received one?

For the uninitiated, Performance Improvement Plans are a program that you put an employee on so you can closely monitor their work because somebody, somewhere, has determined that they aren’t cutting it and need remedial help.
My new manager, whom was the Director of Lynx Couriers decided to use a PIP to set up the framework to boot me out the door.

And was this authorised by Human Resources?

The PIP was not authorised by Human Resources. This made alarm bells ring because the UPS culture had always been a tight ship regarding Human Resources.

In previous interviews, you described your warning letter as being “smudged”, what precisely do you mean by this?

The warning letter looked like it had been deliberately smudged with a thumb mark over my name. I know accidents can happen, but under the circumstances of everything that had happened and understanding that the manager had a personal vendetta against me from me being the only person ever being placed on a PIP, the highest target ever in the department and being shouted at when I asked “If I am the only one on the PIP” I can only go on opinion based on what facts were presented before me.

Tell me what happened between then and when you resigned in March 2010:

Jan, 2009 I raised the issue with HR and I started to have anxiety attacks. My sleeping patterns were messed up and I was also signed off sick from my doctor. He saw the smudged letter and made notes about it. I had an appeal meeting with my previous manager whom apologized about the letter and advised she would investigate my claims and get back to me.
At the same time my mother had a heart attack and had to have emergency surgery to fix her heart valve. This was my worst period of my life and cannot describe, or wish to go back to that period.
I went to work as normal, keeping the secret that my mother had undergone surgery, as I felt I was under watchful eyes of management and staff.
I received an email from HR to advise the conclusion for the appeal was: “We will remove the warning but you will be placed back on the PIP with realistic goals.”
I then emailed HR to ask for the UPS corporate details to escalate to Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Ten minutes later I got a call to ask for an emergency meeting.  Nine days later we had the emergency meeting with HR, My manager, my previous manager and a staff member.
In that meeting I explained that I was not happy about the appeal conclusion and being placed back on the PIP. My previous manager said “Ignore that line”. I said I’m taking what you have given in writing so after verbally telling them of my disgust of the whole situation and how it had been handled, my manager was forced to apologise. I refused his apology because he did not mean it and if I did not escalate with HR, this emergency meeting would not have taken place! I closed the meeting by producing a letter to raise a grievance against my manager. After the meeting I also asked HR for the UPS corporate details to send them the information I’d gathered up to that point, but she gave me the UK office and HR manager contact.
I posted the letter and followed up with an email to get confirmation that the documents were received. The answer I got back was that the documents were received and what should I do with them? This made alarm bells ring because no HR manager would reply with such an answer. I checked the UPS organisation chart and realized I had been given false information. At this point I decided to take a day off work and make my application to the Nottingham Tribunal. I also posted the documents to the UPS Corporate office in America and received an email confirmation thanking me for bringing this to their attention.
The Tribunal case was open on May 14, 2009. I continued to work there under great pressure from the job and also from the fact that I was moved to a desk outside of a manager’s office. I trusted nobody, but did my job duties to the high standard that I always worked to.
My last day at UPS was March 18, 2010. One week before the tribunal case on March 23 – 25, 2010.

When you represented yourself at the Race Discrimination Tribunal several weeks later, you claimed that the judge deliberately dismissed key evidence.  Can you tell us precisely what evidence was dismissed?

The judge ignored the whole evidence. Just to let people know, the case bundle is 99.9% of UPS documentation showing that all of my claims are true. The UPS witness statements and their witness testimony in court shows how strong my case is and how weak and guilty UPS are. This was my reason to represent myself because it’s such a blatant discrimination case, that even if I were Caucasian it would still be discrimination.

At this stage, how did you feel towards the people who had previously treated you as an asset to their team?

My spirit was crushed. Some of the managers involved with this had known me for years. To see them side with the manager and his wrong-doing made me angry and physically sick. With what I have gone through I don’t trust easily and I have no expectations that people will treat me in a correct manner.

How did all of this impact on your emotional well being?

Since this has happened I find it hard to relax. I always have to be busy so the mind doesn’t wonder to this past experience. I became very withdrawn. Time is a great healer. I’m now feeling slightly better.

Did you appeal against the Tribunal’s decision? And if so, what happened next?

I did appeal with the help of my MP, but was only given a verbal hearing. The judge stood by the decision of the Nottingham judge and didn’t care. I did have a free representation lawyer at that court but he decided to pull out 5 minutes before the hearing.
I represented myself again and stated my case. The court clerk and the note taker looked angry, confused and amazed as they heard my case. I told the judge I will go further!

Has your case and appeal been given a date to be heard yet in the Court of Appeal in London?

In March, 2011. The Court of Appeal and The European Commission opened cases.
October 2012. The court of Appeal closed the case stating you are not likely to be successful. In November, 2012 The European Commission close the case with an explanation that I need to go back to the UK courts. The European commission is meant to investigate and pass this onto The European Court for Human Rights.

What things have you done since the start of this ordeal to bring it to light to the general public?

After realizing that a judge can be as bias and corrupt as the next man, I decided to go public with my story. In September 2011, I got my story published in The Minority Perspective, The Voice and Afro News in the UK and The Hinterland Gazette in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
With the online links for these publications, I then used Twitter @clivehenry1 to network this story to the masses to raise awareness that things like this are happening. I gained a lot of support on Twitter from Human Rights groups, celebrities, companies and the general public. The story has been re-tweeted in its millions. I also made contact with and have done two radio pod casts, The Dr Vibe Show (Toronto, Canada) and Awaked Radio (Alabama, USA).

I also know that you sent a complaint to the European Commission for Human Rights in Brussels…what is the progress with that so far?

The European commission is meant to investigate and pass this onto The European Court for Human Rights. This case is now closed.

Based upon the evidence I’ve seen so far, the interviews and articles and the original paperwork itself, I truly believe that you’ve been a victim of blatant racial discrimination in the workplace.  By pursuing the truth, what do you hope to achieve in the long term?

What I hope to achieve is setting a precedent to help amend and expose the system for the flaws in how justice is carried out. For people to have a different perception of the law and for them to be able to analyse how things work. Also, to know that through sheer hard work and determination, you can make a difference. I have received so many messages of support and messages that I have inspired people, the compensation I may receive if I win this case is not important.
We live in a world that has a dark side behind closed doors and regardless of race, innocent people are being destroyed. We need a system that is more transparent or that is monitored better so judges are made accountable, and not a law unto themselves.

What advice would you give to anyone else who found themselves in a similar position to yours?

My advice to anyone that suffers discrimination in the workplace is:

1. Make HR aware of the situation ASAP
2. Seek legal advice from the Citizen’s advice bureau. Don’t be afraid to take legal action if the workplace is delaying to resolve the situation.
3. Make as many people aware of the problem as possible. Either public bodies, company share holders or media.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank so many people for their love and support to help me get through this. I have just found out that my application to The European Court for Human Rights was successful and the case is now open from January 2013. It’s a long road to fight for justice but we must all play our part if this world is to improve for the future generations.

Links for case:

http://thedrvibeshow.com/vibe-and-vegas-show-clive-henry/ Radio interview about the UPS racism scandal. No.1 listeners in the shows history or Google: Clive Henry UPS
www.voice-online.co.uk/article/no-special-delivery UPS Human Rights scandal in the UK’s No.1 Black News & please Google: Clive Henry UPS

 

Hate Before Acceptance.

Isn’t it true to say that we automatically assume the worst of people?

Most people judge others – that’s a fact.

They judge strictly upon their own standards and experiences – again, a fact.

People hate in others what they hate within themselves – another fact.

I’m under no illusion, that in order to succeed here, I first have to have my fair share of haters.  I actually welcome it…for without argument, without judgement, there is no debate.

I’ve often been judged by others, I accept it, after all it is par for the course of “life”.  I’ve seen and heard the judgements: “she’s weird because she’s a writer.” and “oh…a poet? that means she’s a freak!”  I spent many years willing and hoping that I would be accepted by my peers for what I do and more so, for who I am…yet I, like many many others, am guilty of pride-polishing the ideal and not the reality.  I accept me and that should be all that matters.

After many years of being invisible, I finally have the gift of VOICE and I have every intention of using it to its full potential, hopefully to improve the lives of others, even if that means I have to have scorn thrown at me.

So I ask:  Why do we believe we have the right to judge others?  Is it because we are insecure of selves? Do we feel inferior to every person we ever encounter? Does being “different” scare us? And if so, why? Shouldn’t we focus instead on becoming better people instead of trying to make someone else seem inferior to ourselves?

We judge a man for the colour of his skin, for his religion, for his fashion sense, for his education, for his weight, for his wage. We place man within a “class” system according to his materialistic worth and worst of all, we stereotype everything and everyone.

I am a widowed white single mother to 3 mixed race children, a poet, an author, a home renter.  I pay my tax and abide by the law…yet general consensus states (I have heard it with my own ears) that I am “a shriveled up old prostitute whose black pimp has dumped her for a younger model and now she sponges off the state”.

I personally care not for the labels others choose to stick along my brow…yet so many peoples lives are dictated by stereotype and for them, it has devastating and often catastrophic effects.

Maybe I am stupid…or maybe you just hope I am.  Tell me, why is our society so hellbent on shaping everybody and everything into categories deemed as “acceptable to the masses”?

Who are we to judge anyone? And what then gives us the right to punish others for our assumptions?

 

Justice?

Police have charged a Berkshire man for the daylight killing of teenager Keiran Crump Raiswell on a Manchester street on 16th January 2013. Raiswell died after being stabbed at a bus stop.

There are incidents like this happening frequently in the UK, some get reported in the media, whilst others don’t…I believe that all murders should be reported by our national press.  The tabloids should have a daily feature titled “Murderers Amongst Us”, a full page dedicated to the animals who think taking the life of another is acceptable behaviour.  Their names and crimes should be listed so that people can know what really goes on in their communities, instead of reading which celebrity is on which diet and who is wearing the best clothes.

This is reality people! Stop allowing the media to manipulate you and know what it is to live with your own sight, your own views and the truth of the situation we live in and refuse to actively do anything to resolve.

Firearms offences are down by 40% compared to figures published nearly a decade ago…this is down to the commitment of dedicated police officers…that statistic could be lowered further if people had a sense of what was happening around them and the gumption to report it.  When we close our eyes to truth, that is when we make the fundamental choice to say “this is our world and yet, we don’t care”.

It’s about time someone gave a damn instead of complaining about it over a cup of tea, instead of turning the page or flicking through the TV channels…instead of waiting until it happens to them or someone they love.

Ignorance isn’t a virtue…it’s a convenient cop-out for cowardice.

Interview with Desire McNeish

What is P.A.G.A.K.C?

A:  P.A.G.A.K.C stands for People Against Gun And Knife Crime.  It is a foundation dedicated to spreading awareness, inspiring the youth, putting on events, going to schools and doing work shops, helping the community, working with other organisations etc. with an aim to stop this violent behaviour we see on our streets.

 

What is your role there?

A:  I’m the founder of the foundation and unfunded, I do most of the lessons/workshops and fund the foundation and activities myself.

 

What is your goal/aim with your charity in the long term?

A:  The aim is to stop gun and knife crime, teach kids alternative ways to channel their aggression and to avoid situations and people hell bent on destructive behaviour.

Also, to unite foundations and work with other community leaders, in order to best support youth and the community.

 

What events have you organised so far and what have these achieved?

A:  I would love to see the government help us after they awarded us with a Peace Prize Certification in 2011.  The gesture would be the next step in continued support for what we do.

 

To ensure the future success of P.A.G.A.K.C, which organisations would need to be involved and what role would they need to play?

A:  The same answer as above.

 

What events do you have planned for the imminent future of P.A.G.A.K.C that might encourage others to get involved?

A:  We are in talks with a company to do a documentary for TV on the issue and hope to put on a big event near the end of this year, God willing.

 

I believe that music and media play a huge part in influencing our youth regards to gun and knife crime.  What are your views on this matter?

A:  I also believe this and while some would disagree I can’t see how they are so blind.

 

You are an up and coming music influence in the UK, what things have you put in place to ensure the youth of the UK take only positive messages from your music?

A:  I’m an underground artist waiting, working, pushing towards becoming an over-ground artist. I don’t swear, I don’t use racism, sexism or any isms in my music.  I believe music should unite people, make people feel emotion and/or tell a story.

I will not say that I will not have sexy women in my videos or that I may make music videos with action in. But I draw a line between fiction and reality and I hope that would be evident in my work.

 

Tell us about your imminent single release.

A:  my record label is very happy with my latest work, and at the moment they are deciding between four tracks as my single:

  1.  I don’t claim to be the hardest
  2.  she could see me
  3.  I was wrong
  4.  it ain’t about love

 

Are there any other organisations you’re involved in that also raise awareness for this cause?

A:  At the moment I help Boxing Evolution, Mamma, Mothers Against Guns, Williams Foundation , Princess Trust,  many youth centres, Bernardo’s Trust Etc.

 

In your opinion, what needs to happen to prevent deaths of this nature from happening in the future?

A:  I believe stronger deterrents like boot camp, some form of physical way of releasing aggression, martial arts, boxing etc.

Better education on how to deal with their anger effectively and positively. Community work making kids proud of where they live, cleaning graffiti etc.

And finally, more youth clubs with activities for youths and teens.

 

In 2012, 0.5% of all crime in the UK was gun and knife related.  How do you think this figure compares to the rest of the world?

A:  I would say its low but still not low enough…no child or adult should die at the hands of another. We do not have the right to be judge and executioner (sadly, on the world stage, we condone our armies doing just that).

 

I’d like to say a big thank you to Desire for his time today and wish him all the luck and happiness in his future.

For those wishing to know more about P.A.G.A.K.C just Google it, there are many links there that will take you to view the many things Desire has achieved so far.

 

Breaking the Stereo-Type

When we think about gun and knife crime in the UK, people automatically stereo-type it as gang killings, drug related incidents, all relative to our youth. Most imagine hoodies, black skin, broken homes and inner city mentalities. Over time, I have learned that these stereo-types belong to middle working class minds or people who think media influence is akin to religion – all truthful and worship-worthy.

And yes, my own stereo-typing is intentional here…for isnt that what every individual does? Isn’t it true that we like to judge others, place them in little decorated mind boxes and please ourselves in finding comfort in our assumptions?

Two men in their 40’s were stabbed to death in Birmingham yesterday, on busy streets full of shoppers at 17:50 GMT. A man was arrested minutes after the stabbings, but police are appealing for witnesses…there are potentially 100’s of witnesses.

These killings don’t fit the stereotype, yet it doesn’t make them any less real. When things don’t fit our stereo-typical expectations, we tend to turn a blind eye because we aren’t comfortable with what we perceive to be “different from the norm”.

If you were in Birmingham last night and you saw anything at all, however insignificant you deem it to be…come forward, speak up and contact West Midlands Police…these senseless killings won’t stop until we, as a nation, say “enough is enough”, stand together and raise our voice.

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/reporting-crime/