Don’t Let Memories Die


Memories are our own history and is important to ourselves and our family to record as much as we can.

I do wish I had done this, especially with regards to my own parents, for they are no longer with us and these memories are now lost for ever.

Author -Carole Parkes

As an avid family historian, I’m a great believer in memoirs and autobiographies. If your aged family members are capable, encourage them to give you a written piece on  their life experiences. If that would be too difficult, encourage them to talk about their lives — the times they laughed until their sides ached, or when sadness overtook them, in fact, to tell you about everything, including what they remember about great uncle Fred.

I know, it’s not always easy in our busy lives to find time to sit and talk but, just remember, those frail relatives will probably not be around when you finally do have the time to spend with them. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard those researching their family trees say they wished they’d asked the questions. Please don’t be one of them. We often only develop an interest in our roots as we…

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Sanctioned for not being able to sign on on bank holiday Monday. Tears, frustration and rain.


The poor side of life

Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.

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We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy.  But it’s a whole lot harder for them.

I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at  Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…

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Secular Talk: Judge Has Journalist Arrested for Using Freedom of Information Act


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It seems that freedom of the press is under attack all around the world. Erdogan, the wannabe Ottoman Sultan of Turkey, has made himself notorious for jailing anyone, journalist or not, who dares criticise him. John Kampfner, in his book, Freedom for Sale, describes the clampdown on press and media freedom across the world, in Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Dubai and Russia. And now America. In this piece from Secular Talk, Kyle Kulinski comments on a Vice Report about the arrest of a journalist in the US state of Georgia, Mark Thomason, and his lawyer, Russell Stookey, by the chief judge of Pickens County superior Court, Brenda Weaver. Thomason’s the publisher of a small, local newspaper, Fannin Focus. They were arrested on charges of identity fraud and making false statements. Thomason’s real crime was making official requests for public documents on illegally cashed cheques. He and Stookey also…

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Vox Political on Chilcot’s Damning Verdict on Blair, and What His Readers Think


I did support Gulf War 1 to ensure the liberation of Kuwait and could not understand why the allied forces did not pursue further into Iraq to topple Saddam, So I could have supported the evental removal of Saddam. However I have always been untrusting of Blair, but did rejoice in the overthrow of Saddam, so the rights of all Iraqs could be progressed. But as we were only too aware, after the event, that no constructive plans of operation had been thought through. Blair and Bush by their actions created a vaccum in which allowed the formation of Daesh to be created from some of the forces which had originally,appeared, to support the Bush/Blair initiative.

From this lessons should have been learned, but this did not prevent the removal of Gaddafi in Lybria to create a further vacuum.

it is clear, that the prresiding factor was oil, as Blair and Bush have not taken similar actions in other countries where oil in not a factor, Zimbarbre being only one example.

With the evidence of the Chilcot report and the current state of the Middle East it is amazing that Blair still feels he was justified in his actions and would do it again.

He and Bush are totally responsible for the current state of the Middle East so Blair should be prosecuted as a War Criminal, as accountability should have a bearing on decisions made by persons when they hold positions of responsibility.

The families need closure and while the Chilcot report goes some way with this, the prosecution of Blair would be even more closure.

Blair needs to be made responsible and accountable for his actions and not so glibly make comments that in no way answer his ctitics and the evidence.

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Mike over at Vox Political has reblogged a piece from the Guardian by Owen Jones, laying out how damning the Chilcot report is of Tony Blair and his decision to lead the country into war. Owen Jones is a fine journalist, who clearly and accurately explains the issues. I’ve read and quoted from his book Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, which is very good, and has rightly received great praise. He also has another book out The Establishment: Who They Are and How They Get Away with it. I’ve been thinking about that one, but have avoided buying it so far on the grounds that it might make me too furious.

Mike also asks what his readers think of the Iraq War. He asks

Do any of you believe the war was justified, as Ann Clwyd still does (apparently)? Have any of you come to believe that?…

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Norman Finkelstein on the Coming Break-Up of American Zionism: Part 2


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What changed Jewish attitudes to Israel was the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Americans saw Israel very much as a kind of outpost of American interests in the Middle East, and identified its people with great American heroes like Davey Crockett, and the struggle of the Texans for independence from Mexico. There was an equivalence between Israel’s soldiers and the heroes of the Alamo. The Israelis were invested with all the heroic values Americans believed characterised themselves, and from it being unpatriotic to support the Israelis, it became the reverse. It was super-patriotic to support them.

Crucial to this was the Israeli claim to have practised ‘purity of arms’. Unlike Vietnam, where the Americans were losing and committing terrible atrocities, the Israelis were winning without committing massacres and other breaches of human rights. This record has gradually darkened as the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbours continued. The classic case…

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Vox Political Against Islamophobia and the ISIS Terror Attacks You Don’t Hear About


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Daesh’s Muslim Victims

Mike over at Vox Political has put up a couple of posts keeping the Brussels attacks in perspective. The attacks, as well as those in Paris, were a horrible atrocity committed by fanatics with no conscience or respect for the lives of innocents. But Mike also reminds us that there have also been Muslim victims of Daesh’s terror campaign, that have not received anywhere near the same amount of coverage and outrage. These people too deserve our sympathy, and we should also be outraged and disgusted at their suffering.

Mike has put up a list showing the numbers of people killed by ISIS’ thugs and butchers, not just in Brussels, Paris and San Diego, but also in Yemen, Tunisia, Ankara in Turkey, Afghanistan, Beirut, Libya and Baghdad. The atrocities committed in these places have also killed tens and hundreds of people. And Mike’s article reminds us that…

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