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Parenthood and Identity

9 Jul

Does being a parent make one more invested in the future?  It may do,  on the flipside of that opinion is the fact it could make you only interested in your own progeny’s future at the expense of all others.

Does being childless make a person less worried about the future? It may do, on the flipside it could make you more motivated to build a different kind of legacy in the world.

What I do know is that generalisations and attempts at one upmanship based on flimsy unprovable summations is wrong, shows a significant lack of awareness and will crumble at the most cursory examination.

All lives matter, everyone has value. The second that any stigmatisation of any group happens, moral high ground disappears.

Entrenched thinking and relationships

31 Aug


I decided to blog this thought train instead of writing a myriad tweets, if it feels relevant please share/comment, although it is response to @DedicatedPeeler and @moderndayman18

As I was driving I thought about how the best way to *challenge* entrenched thinking would look: the first thing that is needed in my view is a positive relationship with the person/s whose thinking you wish to challenge.  This is slightly easier on a one to one or small group level than in an organisation.   If challenged in a *wrong* way where defense mechanisms kick in, the entrenched thought gets buried deeper into the persons psyche and is harder to  root out.  They may outwardly follow the new way  but with the thinking unchanged the genetic code of the organisation stays the same and anything that challenges the way the code is connected gets attacked by the organisation’s white blood cells.
I think about organisations as bodies… positive change and entrenched thinking as viruses.  The quickest way to change an organisation is to affect it’s genetic code: so that thinking whether positive or negative is bonded to the cells and is there for generations.
If entrenched thinking is likened to cancer in this symbolic way it helps to understand how pervasive it can be and how harmful attempts to remove it can be (surgery or chemotherapy) although the result is a body without cancer it is not always as healthy as it could be…
IF, there are good relational bonds and the members of the organisation feel valued and not ostracised for their beliefs  they are more likely to be open to change.  This positivity infects the organisation as a whole and a new, stronger, healthier genetic code is embedded by the contact of one changed thinker positively engaging with another colleague and the results snowball.
The biggest danger that I can see is that negative changes, due to poor relational challenge are more virulent.

I hope this helps explain my thoughts 🙂
Namasté Jules

Workfare and Anti-Slavery Legislation

24 Aug

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Left-wing bloggers against workfare, like Johnny Void, have repeatedly pointed out that workfare constitutes a form of slavery. Under the government’s welfare to work reforms, benefit claimants can be forced to work for companies for no pay, if they wish to receive their benefits. This applies even if the claimant has been sanctioned, so that they receive no benefit payments whatsoever, and are forced to use their savings or go to a food bank. Even if this does not constitute slavery, it certainly constitutes forced labour, which is almost the same and just as offensive under international law.

Yesterday I put the oath medieval slaves took in seventh century France, when poverty forced them to give up their freedom and become a lord’s slave. I pointed out how close this was to current workfare and in particular the use of workfare labour when the claimant has been sanctioned.

Sasson commented…

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Medieval Slave’s Oath: Now Applicable to Workfare

22 Aug

As ever Beastrabban gives an interesting perspective, here he looks at Medieaval Slave oaths comparing them to Workfare…

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Looking through the books and materials I’ve got on slavery the other day, I found the oath slaves took when they formally renounced their freedom and became the property of a feudal lord in 7th century France.

‘Everyone knows that great poverty and very bad harvests oppress me, and I have nothing with which to feed or clothe myself. At my request you have given me some money and some clothes. As I cannot repay you, I cede to you my liberty: you may dispose of me as your other slaves.’

Well, it’s now fifteen centuries later, and we’re in the 21st century not the seventh. The attitude still seems to be the same at the DWP. It’s certainly the idea behind workfare, where in exchange for receiving the pittance to relieve hardship and allow the claimant something to eat, they are put on the work programme to labour for…

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Fighting Demons (guest blog)

14 Aug

Fighting Demons

What happens next
Is hard to say,
When you’re only living
For today –
The miles ahead seem
Dark and hard;
Each inch a victory
To gain a yard –
Grasping anything
Not yet lost,
Reclaiming life at any cost –
To confront your truth
And not recoil;
To fight your demon
On foreign soil –
Fighting demons may be
Hard to do,
But fighting demons
Can be good for you –
To redeem yourself
In your own eyes;
To cease believing
Your own lies –
To change your path
And make amends;
To learn to be your own best friend –
You scream;
“If this is life, then give me death!”
For madness rides
Despairing breath,
Yes – fighting demons
May be hard to do
So this is one truth
I’ll pass to you;
Faith in your steps
Will see you through –
Just remember –
Fighting demons can be good for you.

I just saw this posted by @duncanthementat it touched me so deeply I got permission to share it


12 Oct


“Study me as much as you like,  you will not know me,
For I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be.
Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself,
For I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see”  Rumi

This quote has been going around in my head for some time. It applies to every aspect of my life. No malice, just fact. I expect it applies to you also.

It doesn’t matter how much you seek to know a person, you will always see them through your perception. Even if they try to bare their deepest thoughts to you about their *being* your understanding is shaped by both the flaws in their words and that perception.

They may have chosen to dwell *elsewhere* as you may have done. That makes the seeking more imperative and the journey more fruitful.

Random thoughts, feeding my soul
Simply be blessed.

Reward the rich and starve the poor.

6 Aug

Getting right to the core of this problem…

Social Action 2014


A letter a day to number 10. No 821.

Wednesday 06 August 2014. Reward the rich and starve the poor.

Shares are encouraged and welcomed. If this letter speaks for you and you wish to send your own copy please feel free to copy and paste, and alter for your own needs, the text for your own letter.

Website updated, letters and replies plus bonus material featuring Mr Suggs, Eeyore and Ribbit.

Also on the website, download the support compilation three album set from Atona. Not to be missed.

Dear Mr Cameron,

When Esther McVey announced to parliament in 2012 that ‘More than 300,000 disabled people will have their benefits cut when Disability Living Allowance is replaced by a new benefit,’ she was doing so before a single assessment had been made. There has been no impact assessment to this day and McVey has no medical training on…

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The ALWAYS Factor

6 Feb
When I taught in primary school we had a weekly *achievement assembly*. Traditionally this was where academic success and successfully *modified* behaviour issues were rewarded with a certificate and applause standing in front of the school.
Both ideas have their place in society yet it troubled me.  What about all those children who are overlooked and undervalued just because they do what is expected all the time?
If those children were not present in the class  teaching would be practically impossible!I decided to begin to acknowledge this category of people as my *Always Children*  The assembly came and the Head called out two previously unnoticed children, with a quizzical expression I was invited to say why they had been nominated.
The staff and many *regular* standers looked at me as if I was nuts when I praised them individually for being reliable and trusted class members ALWAYS doing what was expected.

Something interesting happened. Some slumped children in the hall sat a little more upright. The children named looked stunned but began to glow.  I did this every couple of weeks.  The overall confidence and personal achievement of ALL class members began to improve as they recognised each other’s value.  Other teachers began to use the idea too.  The morale in school was better.

How many people are there in all walks of life who are overlooked and undervalued just because the attention seekers or the high flyers are the ones who seize (sometimes literally) the spotlight of recognition?

What is the point of NOT acknowledging those whose contribution is the hub of any organisation’s ability to function smoothly?  Why does our society not recognise their value?  I look around and see many *ALWAYS* children who are now adults. You are vital people.

Thank you… ALWAYS  xx

Jules 🙂

Last Roll Call at A27 Clerkenwell, the Oldest Fire Station in Europe

10 Jan

I love the raw honesty in this blog by @Nikofire

My Fire Game


What is a family?

If You look into the dictionary, is a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit, or a unit of the Mafia, or a group of related things, from Latin, means ¨Familia¨. But I really like the Origin definition, late Middle English, ¨Family¨  ¨denoting the servants of a household or the retinue of a nobleman¨

This is what we really are. Firefighters work as a family, we are servants of our duty, our household is London and we believe in the good that human being can do to others. It could be a selfish feeling, saving someones life, or helping others when they more need it, and getting an adrenaline rush at the same time.

But it´s a positive, good selfish act for society, for us. And I know my family is safe because all of us look after each other inside…

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ideas and words

26 Oct



When I get an idea that I wish to communicate I use words. Many people use other mediums. Nothing unusual there. 

I have been pondering the way words can be so clear in their intent but so easily misunderstood or misinterpreted. 

Every word I choose has a shade of meaning taken from my own experiences and so does yours. How can we ever be sure of how our words our ideas are received? The simple answer is we can’t. 

Hopefully most people enter into a dialogue to test and check there is a shared meaning, particularly if an instruction was the idea being shared. 

So my ownership of my idea is tenuous at best as soon as it is committed to words to share. It is yours to own in the way that you have perceived it. You may have that perception coloured by your knowledge of me. You may take offence because of that. You may not know me and therefore choose any interpretation you wish. 

The possibilities for conflict are very high aren’t they? I am amazed that anyone dares to speak: that more sleights real or perceived aren’t committed! 

Just think about how even silence is understood differently by each individual! 

My mind has been blown by the revisitation of the concept this morning. 

Have a nice day!



Especially if you are planning important meetings this coming week! 



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