Tag Archives: Brighton

Bins of Brighton

The Independent’s reporting of the bin problems in Brighton this weekend was pretty irresponsible and unbalanced. I scoured other newspapers but could only find a local online site and the Argus, the city’s newspaper; and the Socialist Worker who disappointingly took a swipe at a near cousin.

 

On the local Green party’s website, it was clear that the refuse collectors had gone to work that morning. But by the end of the day, the Independent’s website still omitted that, despite readers commenting that the strike was off – for now.

 

The way the i reported it made it clear that they were for the striking bin workers and against the Green led council whose changes resulted in the industrial action. It seems though that theses rubbish collectors had striked before, during the previous government.

 

The Independent printed the views of residents who were passionately Labour and ‘would never vote Green now; they were just like everyone else after all’.

 

I have a suspicion that the only Green council in Britain was given an unusually cut budget to make this progressive party, the most diverse from the ruling one, fail.

 

This is unfair since it is the Green’s first chance to be leaders, and what happens in one city isn’t a reflection of them as a whole – and nor is one incident or even leadership representative of even Green’s current administration in Brighton and Hove.

 

The problems are around a pay restructure which allegedly means up to £4k less per annum.

I’ve been trying to find out how much bin workers are paid, and some accounts say £30k+ -if so, I do not pity them a small loss as that’s already a huge wage, far more than many others get. No sources about Brighton’s problems spell out the workers’ wages, which changes one’s sympathies somewhat – only the potential loss.

 

I am completely against striking as a means of protest, making your community suffer because another party is not appeasing you. I know that many Greens support striking but I never think that industrial action is fair. It is the same ethos as taking hostages – hurt an innocent 3rd party until you get what you want.

 

Whereas other British national papers have seemingly ignored the situation (though my local mentioned it), it is unfair that biased reporting has sought to whip up bad feeling against one of our most well intentioned parties (and by that I include all existing parties).

 

My own experience of Green councillors has been very positive.

 

I am not a political party supporter but I do think that the Green’s policies are a far cry from the usual crowd and based on an ethos of caring, responsibility and genuine concern – which is exactly what government, local beyond, should be about.

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Radiotherapy Rape

I wondered if that was a bit of a hard title – but it feels necessary.

If someone is forced to undergo bodily actions against their will, especially those that are harmful on a physical and mental level and that have altering affects, than that is rape. Rape is not purely for sexual abuse.

I refer to to the news around the Roberts family, where a court has forced a recalcitrant mother to let her son have an operation and therapy for a brain tumour that she doesn’t want – and to lose parental custody for a year, as well as banning her passport.

I cannot tell from reports quite how this got into the courts. Was it the estranged husband who raised the case, or that mother Sally took her soon away to stop him having the therapy? Did the authorities really come looking for her due to missed appointments?

I am incensed by the judge who really cannot call himself Justice anything.

Our bodies are our own, not the state’s, not the court’s, not the hospital’s. None of those places can make a decision on anyone’s behalf.

‘A mother’s choice’ in our society means she can choose not have a baby, but once born, that choice reverts to the state.

What really seems at stake here is that the mother, Sally, has defied the system. She has said no to submitting, as so many unquestioningly do, to the harsh treatments, and wanted time to explore other options. She is told that there are none and then forced to go to court. She is told by “experts” that these other treatments she considers are not “proven.” Truth – there is fear that doctors are losing their power and that the harm of traditional cancer treatments is becoming better known. And that “experts” and evidence are chosen to back up what those in power want us to know.

Sally is quite right to consider other options and query methods where damage has been done. Alternative healers often speak of the alarming statistics where the health professions harm, not cure. I don’t believe it is their way of getting our custom instead (I am wary of that); and nor do I believe that most allopathic medical staff intend harm; I am sure they are trying genuinely to assist.

But they have bought into their own medicine that there is one way – the established one – to deal with medical issues. When my own mum was dying of cancer, I found out that alternative health shops were legally unable to answer my query. I have discovered why – the 1939 Cancer Act, England, which has few search results on the net, but forbids the statement and advertisement of cancer cure other than via radio and chemotherapy.

You have to ask who made that law – people set to gain from these treatments, trying to have a legal as well as financial monopoly on cure. Donna Eden asks in her Energy Medicine book why such laws (also found in America) are there, as ultimately all genuine healers want to heal, and the prohibitions she found are not only curtailing patient choice (and her own gifts) but stopping that healing taking place.

I also discovered too the surprise of doctors when one does not simply go to the therapy rooms as prescribed, their almost anger at orders not being obeyed, at their plans not being followed. As an adult, my mother (encouraged by me) could freely choose not to have treatment – the little she did had precipitated illness, for despite having stage 4 cancer, she had looked very well til then. Yet Neon Roberts, Sally’s son, has not got that choice. No report speaks of what he wants and how much he can understand about the risks and treatments being foisted on him.

The medical profession also fears death as a sign of failure. But for those of us who see death as a passing from this to another, better world, it is not to be shunned at any cost. Perhaps we are worse at accepting child death now than when the mortality rate was higher and people were generally more religious. I think spirituality is returning, though not yet to the establishment. We feel a good life is a long one and that a shorter one, especially in children, is a life cheated. While desperately painful for loved ones, perhaps it is better to see that lives are of varying lengths and that growing into old age is not an automatic right and necessity. I believe we come into the world for a purpose and that sometimes that is fulfilled in a short time.

I do feel for the family. But this piece is about a serious and frightening point that a mother is being overruled and our bodies are not our own.

It seems that this is using emotive talk to get the courts and public to side against a mother for being open minded. It’s easy to read Dec 22nd’s outcome as rewarding the conforming, malleable father with care of the son so that what the state wants can happen. I did not like what his defence lawyer said, hinting (as did the judge) that Sally is going off the rails and being wayward – and therefore not deserving of winning the case or having care of her child.

Obviously what’s hard is that the parents do not agree on what should happen.

What’s the real battle here?

I am aware some believe in the conventional system and that others may genuinely think that this method is the best to save a life. But as Sally points out – what kind of life? And what if the other methods can also save him and be safer and less horrific to go through?

Having already subjected a little boy to a long gruelling op, he is recalled to hospital because they missed some of the tumour. That to me is rectifying their failure, fear of suing for negligence.

This is clear: no state or doctor or judge can force anyone (human or animal) of any age or mental state to have treatment they don’t want. I am sure Neon’s mum is not wishing her son to die – the reverse – but it’s not a choice that others get to make for her.

And as for evidence for other healing methods and against radioactive ones, there is plenty, but it is being hidden and curtailed. We need to ask – what is the business of medicine really about? The only answer is to heal and assist, and if it’s not doing that, then it is wrong and those wanting anything other than to do that need to resign (judges included). It’s not about drug profits or supremacy, it’s about care. And justice is just that – not imposing the will of the powerful.

I am pleased that Sally is mounting another appeal (Jan 3rd), and I’m appalled by the tone of reporting and the comments posted. I am often appalled by the views of many readers – and we are supposed to be a ‘developed’ country!

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