Archive for politics

Swansong

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

Many times over in the past, the question about use of nuclear energy has been raised. The element of safety particularly catching the attention of those in our communities globally with regard to environment and the future safety of generations to come. Nuclear energy in Britain began with the opening of a plant, in Cumbria, Calder Hall at Windscale, in 1956. From Hunterston to Dungerness, Britain still has about eight or nine open and operating plants. And more recently, the Tory Government has decided to increase this number

(https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/03/mini-nuclear-power-stations-uk-government-funding)

, and created the portal for doing so with funding being made available from tax payers. It is something to heavily debate with regard to what happened in Japan at Fukashima. Even during the first months of this year, new earth movements have been recorded, big enough to be of concern and reported in news items on television networks and papers.

(https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/28/cumbria-hit-32-magnitude-earthquake-residents-describe-shaking/)

Notably France has developed and used nuclear energy to supply electricity for its population. There is little mention of how waste is dealt with, but, I do suspect like the USA, they bury it probably deep in a mountainous area, supposedly away from heavily populated zones. How sad if something then might disturb these safe areas or sealed safe areas, say by way of an earth quake for example. I am so glad and grateful to all those who have campaigned for safe renewable energy and for all the provocative and thoughtful protest against dangerous fuel types of energy. Thankfully Greenpeace and anti-nuclear groups did enough work to make people aware of what the world might look like if we were to pursue this type of fuel. Additionally, it is notable, that whenever any kind of unusual event occurs, perhaps a change to the magnetic polar positioning of the planet, that governments stay still tongued and I would have to say ‘scared’ at the prospects of what might happen.  I kept thinking of the information I read about Fukashima and the radioactive plume effect that resulted from the leaks coming from the plant after the Tsunami hit the island of Japan. Some reports are saying the Pacific is ‘dead’ of animal life. There was mention of the China syndrome, which is the result of the melt of highly active particles supposedly burning a hole right the way through the planet. Well, with mentions of the mid-Pacific floor being on the move, (material from the upper mantle rises through the faults between oceanic plates to form new crust ocean floor spreading) and further earthquake and volcano activity, it leads me to think, that, we just may have gone  too far with the development and reliance on nuclear fuel. Fukashima is still in a dangerous state. The whole of at least the north east side of Japan will feel the effects of the radioactive material for many years to come. The pollution from the Fukashima plant is still entering the ground water system of the island and also thus flowing too out into the Pacific. There is an abundance of silence. I wonder where politicians spend their free time. It clearly does not reflect in their plans, the absolute tragedy of Fukashima, or possible equivalent happening our side of the globe. All seas meet. The radioactive isotopes, the particles, these have free flow in water. There is no magic switch to undo the radioactive element.

Our supermarkets are selling fish caught in Pacific waters, including Alaska, cheaply as fish fingers, or white fish in the freezer cabinets. I am terrified for people who are unaware. It horrifies me that fish is seen as a healthy option, and parents with little time to research these issues, will find their loved ones succumbing to cancers. Cancer anomalies will begin to show again around any nuclear plant zone, as this was also the public outcry before around the Sellafield plant. Are we going to sit idle waiting for this horrendous plan to be carried out? Or will people address these issues through their local MP’s and finally government? Comments  welcome.

(https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/jul/14/greenpolitics.science)

 

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The Cost of a Life

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by kathydasilva

alfie evans

It does not matter, to me, the complexity of someone’s illness, or ailment. It does not matter to me, how long it might take for someone to get well. It does not matter to me, if it might take a lot of adaptions, if someone is disabled. If it is a relative or son or daughter of mine, they have the life God gave to them, and I would love them no matter what happened. Our NHS has been under attack for so long, that now it is coming to this, who lives, and who dies. It is appalling that a specialist children’s hospital should end up, with a choice of ending care, in the way that the little toddler Alfie Evans long term care came to an abrupt final week, at Alder Hey, in Liverpool, England. Expected to die after the life support system was removed, and yet he breathed, and even opened his eyes. And he did so the whole of five days from the Monday to the Friday, apparently only succumbing to death due to no fluids or food being administered to him. He would have I am sure lived a little longer with the right amount of nutrition and food. It is impossible, to see why the hospital behaved as it did once the babe had actually survived the removal of the ventilator. Additionally the doctors would not release the baby to the care of a Vatican Hospital, where the entire family would have benefited from the prayer of a Christian community. Whether Alfie was destined to live, is not down to the bureaucrats who organize funding. The offer from the Vatican was for ‘free’, including transportation. So there is no excuse for the hospital staff to not have a heart. It would not have cost Alder Hey a penny to allow the parents to take up the offer from Pope Francis himself. I find myself angry, but, yet I am not the one hurt, or punished. I am not the baby allowed to starve. I am not the parent who had to watch, and hope someone would come with a passport out of the hospital. They had arranged it that Saturday would be the home going day, but the parents had thought it would be with a live baby. So what went wrong? And was that the gruesome (sea change) that doctors expected both Kate and Thomas to accept, that a baby could only go home once he had passed?  There is something dreadfully wrong with this story. There is something dreadfully wrong with the law. I do think that parents faced with these dreadful decisions, have to have a lot of empathy from hospital staff, and more, the possibilities, need to be broader and freer. I spent my entire week thinking and worrying  about Alfie, and the fact he might not be being fed, or nurtured as a toddler would need energy to do all that breathing, even if he was unable to walk, breathing does take some energy. I hope, Alder Hey, change their policies. Not another child or parent should suffer. Parents and particularly mothers are given so much attention when pregnant. Pregnant mothers attend ante natal classes and literature is passed to the family for free. All so babies can live. I would hate to see the problem that occurred in Germany of selection of only healthy babies, being introduced to society. The problem with not enough ‘reaction’ to this death, will be, that it will happen again, the same doctor will assume it was alright. I could not believe his appearance on Morning Television, amidst the whole sufferance of the parents, the same week. May the whole of Liverpool get behind Kate James and her partner Thomas Evans with how they proceed from here.

Prayers Never Go Unheard

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2018 by kathydasilva

I have had such a deep sense of purpose for about twenty-four hours, as a result of hearing the news and developments about the treatment of a toddler of two at the hands of medical professionals practicing in England in the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, Alfie Evans. I myself had an accident two years ago now this month, that took me into the care of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. I have noticed two things over the years the Tories have been in power, which is to my amazement, they seem such an unfriendly party, to even contemplate a vote in their direction fills me with horror, but, there has been an unprecedented building or re-building program going on. Middlesex Hospital ( a new building) had me in as a patient with a hernia operation same day surgery. Royal London is in a new building, and some parts of this building are hardly used and not staffed yet. UCH, has a new building. So that is about three major London hospitals to have absolutely new buildings, and of course they cost money. The money that might have been spent I guess on staff. The planning of the expenses of these hospitals is what needs further scrutiny. Doctors, surgeons are being asked to perform operations, for hour upon hour, all within a certain period of time, one after the other after, another. The surgeries for the ‘consultation’ period of attendance are lengthy and usually you have to wait around for an afternoon at least about two or three hours for all the checks, X-Rays, and then the meet with the surgeon to see what is going to be done in preparation mentally as well as in a practical way for the treatment. The medical staff as a whole are very good, mostly at their manner with patients, but, I did feel, on the last occasion a little bit like being on a conveyor belt, and was very glad when the surgery was all over, and I went home. I guess, there are two ways of seeing this. Either you buy medical private care, or possibly be victim of a organization, which has been stretched beyond itself, and budget.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is in a new building in a park. I wonder who managed the budget. How much pressure might have been on that individual? I also would not trust a Conservative member of parliament with the money paid for the NHS.
I fear mistakes are being made in diagnosis. I fear that the sacredness of our own humanity is at risk. A little boy of two has as much right to life as an adult. But, because of his age, and inability to speak for himself, he is at risk of being ‘talked over’, prodded, and assessed without recourse to the outcome, and how ‘he’ feels. He is no less a human being than the bus-man or train driver, but, because he is too young to be assessed on ‘usefulness’, what is happening, is a simple ignorance of how wonderful this little patient is as a whole. All life is sacred, we should never forget that.
The treatment of Alfie Evans, will stay with me for a long time. If I were in the hospital I would want my child fed, regularly, even if his life has become somewhat limited, this could be temporary. St Theresa of Avila, had a fever, which rendered her like a victim of a stroke, she barely could raise a finger, but after the worst of the fever passed, her strength returned, after much prayer, much saying of the Credo, and the Our Father, Glory Be, and prayers of faith. I am one who does believe in the phenomena of the ‘miracle’. Light over Dark. We do battle for our loved ones, it occurs daily, but, many times, over, I forget how tough this battle is, and how lazy I have got about prayer. But, I pray now for Alfie Evan’s healing. Lord let the victory be Yours. Amen.
I am writing this, knowing, every minute in the next two or three days is going to count in the saving of a life. The saving of Alfie is what the next twenty-four hours is going to be about. Both parents have tried to legally regain some control over what happens with their baby. I believe them, entirely that the little one is doing well. That Alfie knows his father and mother’s faces, and he is able to see them. His eyes it is mentioned do dilate open and close to bright light. He can hear. He experiences sensation, but the doctors were trying to progress his demise, they were trying to beckon death upon this little baby. I do not think it normal that an institution that is essentially about healing is behaving in this terrible way. I cannot believe that the state has this little baby literally ‘hostage’ style and imprisoned. There is an air ambulance standing ready to take the toddler to Rome for treatment. The Pope himself, Pope Francis has offered to help Alfie, but the stubborn and evil law institution has grown frayed around the edges with this. The Law is not protecting the common man, and this is inherently wrong. Alfie is now an Italian citizen. And still this means nothing to that institution of the Law that is a fallacy of it’s own making. When laws do not protect the innocent, then we all know we are in trouble. So we must press for a change in the law, about families and their rights, and the rights of the individual who cannot speak for themselves.
I encourage debate, and comment.

I once read about the healing mission of an American woman called Catherine Kuhlman. “The greatest power that God has given to any individual is the power of prayer.” She had the gift of healing, and amazing things happened for those who asked God to enter their lives. Sometimes it is in the tragedy of illness, and trauma, that we are literally brought to our knees. I do it, I know other people who pray, and being humble enough to admit where we ourselves have failed to be good, and in our Catholic Church, we do say to God: Look not on our sins but the faith of your church. So yes, we all need to get our church to pray for Alfie and his parents. it will be the answer in the end to the ‘dead’ silence coming from Westminster currently… ‘deafening silence’.. considering the enormity of this event.  I myself understand being Catholic, but eerily it is looking like Theresa Mays affiliation with the DUP, are an exposition of what influences institutions today. I hope that the prejudice is removed soon. Let us hope all the Catholics in Liverpool light a candle and say a prayer for Alfie.

The Glenn Greenwald Experience

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

 

This evening, I traveled to the Royal Society of Arts headquarters, London, to see David Miranda and his partner former Guardian, award winning, journalist Glenn Greenwald, talk about their experiences subsequent to the Snowden revelations, and their return to a country that had been out of their reach for about four years. Leading the discussion was Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and member of the House of Lords. This was quite a unique event, in that Glenn Greenwald, and his partner David Miranda, had been at the center of the most controversial of whistle-blows, possibly this side of the millennial change. Here we are in the twenty first century and, society has become tight lipped, and hidden. We behave like mice who have been put in a maze, with only certain doors open to us for expression. Tonight, was all but, an hour. A very short hour. Only enough time to cover essential facts, about the two courageous subjects, who for all the glory of the huge Snowden, story had become fugitives, unable to guarantee their own safe transition between one country or another, with possible threats to their freedom, and indictments hanging in the air, like lightning strikes.

It was, an emotional moment for the two of them. David Miranda’s own account vividly described to a live audience, who sat completely transfixed, as he described his nine hour ordeal at the hands of British GCHQ operatives, who bombarded him with questions and threats of incarceration. He had had to leave all his personal laptop and mobile phone equipment with the port at which he had arrived, hoping for an onward flight to Rio his final destination. He had decided to sit the nine hour ordeal, without taking food, or allowing a local British lawyer, to be brought in, for his knowledge of the law was such that a prisoner is only allowed one call to a lawyer. He was quick witted enough to remember this fact. His partner Glenn, had been called only after three hours of David’s detention to tell him where he was and when to expect his return. The talk and exchange lasted about half an hour, with question time from an audience only given twenty minutes. But, clearly the audience had an eager interest, in the whole topic of surveillance state, and Glenn’s book No Place to Hide, which now is in paperback and available through all good bookstores and online, was barely mentioned.

The audience questions were fast and flowing and surprisingly, dominated by women, who were keen to explore the subject of state intrusion and privacy on the internet. One person had said the net had been lost (they meant to the globalist agenda), well I hope not, I hope encryption will still make privacy possible again. There could be many worlds within worlds in computing. The Tor Project has proven, that I.D.’s can be scrambled, and therefore state intrusion kept out. I am in favor of invention with this respect.

I wondered that how all of this discussion was going on, in a building, which had association with ‘royalty’. Something of an institutional background with the whole room, covered in painting from a classical past, that, had me thinking, how distracting particularly because one of the paintings had quite a lot of semi undressed ‘gods’, and nymphs dancing about in a country scene. And then again, what a perfect simmering down from the ‘high’ alert that the two men, had had to endure for four years. Why is it journalists revealing big stories, become, vilified, for their efforts?

My friend from the Assange vigil Emmy, stood up to ask some questions, at the end, and became quite emotional. She is a Greek citizen, who now lives in Britain, with her family. She is someone who, takes an active interest in politics in general, but, also particularly in her country of origin. Her point was to emphasize, the how we as a world community have become entangled with Amercan NSA surveillance and sometimes, without much discussion. That the prime minister of Greece had found his own phone tapped by the NSA/CIA and had been threatened, and made to leave his job, during the time of the Greek Olympic year, 2004. His family had been literally kidnapped, and his hand forced. The citizens of Greece had been victims surveillance by the NSA initially for security during the Olympics, but the surveillance had continued for nine months afterward, when it should have come to an end. The publication of this fact, had only just recently come to light, and it was indeed Pierre Omidyar’s, The Intercept, who Glenn Greenwald writes for,  that had brought it to her and the public’s attention. So much has been occurring, in all of the European countries,  with regard to a tightening security grip, without public knowledge. Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, whilst on the whole did a splendid job of presentation, could not handle, the emotions being, poured out at the end of the talk with Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda. In fact it slightly became frustrating, that not enough was discussed due to the small amount of question time.

I am pleased to have seen Glenn Greenwald live tonight and indeed to have listened to David Miranda tell of  his involvement in the Snowden revelations. I wished we could have had more time! Why no signing of his books??.. I was hopeful to get my hard back copy signed!

 

 

 

Assange Five Years in the Ecuadorian Embassy, London.

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

I was feeling challenged today, as two news items have caught my attention. One the shocking fire at Latimer Road, area of London, and the other, the hard to fathom, wait for the freeing of Julian Assange, as today is the fifth year running, of an anniversary. Julian Assange yet again, postponed appearance at the balcony and live speach, because the British government, had made an assertion of willingness to participate in negotiations toward the goal of freeing him. The cat and mouse of the political gambit. It seems wholly unfair, that Assange should still have to remain, like a fugitive, caged in a foreign embassy, whilst Chelsea Manning, now roams free thanks to a relaxing of the sentence awarded her for whistleblowing. I saw that as a pardon from Obama, though he himself says, she had served enough time for the offence of revealing secret documents.  Whatever, legally bound Britain to his arrest warrent, surely as this is now dropped, it is a matter of pure diplomacy now, between governments. Julian Assange, from the outset of his creation of a whistleblower site, has asserted his anti-war, anti-oppression opinions. His goal, to create perfect anonymity for the whistleblower to enable, the revealing of corruption. He has loyal friends, and associates. His followers, and supporters of the publishing site Wikileaks, have funded and helped, and emotionally stood with him for the nearly ten years of publications. Fellow journalists, have applauded the facility of the Wikileaks site, as a help in their research for items of news. All the major papers including the New York Times and our Guardian, have also benefited from publication of materials originating from Wikileaks website. It seems so turncoat, of them, to turn around, the argument of freedom and transparency, as and when the colour fits, bowing to government influences, and thus curtailing proper criticism of the politics surrounding our generation. It is refreshing to see a surge in youth interest at election time.

Grenfell Holocaust

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

GRENFELL

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(picture copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)
I continued my journey from Knightsbridge to see for my self, the horror of what has happened in the last week. It was not made easy for, all the surrounding tube stations, and it seems also buses coming into the immediate area of this fire, have been stopped from picking up passengers, and dropping them in the vercinity. I managed to walk from a further tube stop, nearby, I knew this area from a long time ago as an art student, Nottinghill is adjacent. I am grateful too, that on such a sunny day, this route proved, more of a spiritual walk of faith, to attend something so fundamentally right, and acknowledging the scale of the disaster, as a goal. I regarded this afternoon as a prayer walk. I had thought about the whole dilemma of tower block residents. I had too been in a top floor apartment, in Barkingside, but, my block had a fire hydrant point with miles of hose wound round a wheel all ready for when firemen attend to put a flat’s fire out. The one thing I do remember is the stairs in this council block were not that wide, they were narrow and not deep. So if a few hundred people tried through foggy smoke, to make a hurried way downward, you can imagine, the trouble, and accident it might cause. People who survived did describe this inability to see ahead, through the smoke. I did some fire training once with the ferry group Stenna Ferries. Infact, I went for a whole day to the fire training center in Sussex. The firemen, told us bluntly that our catamaran, which was the type of ferry we would be hostessing on, was made of a similar material to aircraft, and mainly aluminium, and it is the only metal that will catch fire. So inevitably all ferries have sprinkler systems onboard. This is the issue being raised it seems by everyone about the panelling in the Glenfell tower block. What an almighty blunder to have placed these panels all over the outside of the building. All the evacuees, needed a guide down the main staircase. They needed some training, previous to a real fire. The smoke, disables everyone’s vision, so you have to learn to descend feeling your way down (like a blind person), usually touching the left hand wall, and get everyone to put their right hand on the person infronts right shoulder. I can imagine sheer panic, because of no guide being there and it seems lessons yes, will be learned. Why no advice on the phone from the fire brigade other than placing a wet towel around shoulders?
The pictures tell their own story. People have lost homes, and loved ones, and there is no solace.

CSC_0185(copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)

DSC_0165a(copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)

DSC_0150(copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)

DSC_0149(copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)

 

 

Housman’s Bookshop Throw a Party For Chelsea Manning

Posted in Current affairs, education, Poetry, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2017 by kathydasilva

At 7 pm this evening Housman’s Bookshop, opened its doors and celebrated the news of Chelsea Manning’s first day of freedom. All supporters, who had travelled to London for the party took part in the evening of entertainment and mirth. Poets and activists for peace stood with beer and wine in hand with a tremendous feeling of worth. Such a wonderful day for Chelsea Manning seeing her sentence of more than 35 years commuted to the six she has served with clemency from Obama as he left the Whitehouse for the last time.

Attendees, are as follows: Jim Radford, campaigner and activist for peace a veteran of WW2; Kirsten Bayes, from C.A.A.T. Campaign Against Arms Trade; Rod Langlands, activist and anti-aparteid campainer in Israel for the Palestinians; Susan Johns, who read the statement from Chelsea Manning on what had kept her strong whilst in prison; Pauline Sewards, activist and poet, who also read tonight her own poem thanking Chelsea for her bravery( she says she writes mainly for activism on the site ‘I am not a silent poet’;  the staff of Housmans including manager Catherine Barter. The whole shop was filled with the most amazing warmth, and feeling of purpose. I looked around and found titles of grand inspiration, including Naom Chomsky’s titles. The main purpose was to celebrate the victory of Chelsea Manning’s freedom, and the wonderful feeling of perhaps being part of it.

The shop aims to send to Chelsea Manning the photograph of everyone who came with the signatures and well wishes of the many who came to support this brave whistleblower. Thank you Chelsea Manning for standing for PEACE and TRUTH!

 

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I have now uploaded the small snack bites of video from the party you can hear some of the speakers to the above event on YouTube.com  …