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Archive for September, 2015

EMPATHY, COMPASSION AND REASON

So we have a major crisis on our hands – yes our hands!  We live on this planet with the rest of humanity, therefore any of the worlds problems are our problems.

Thousands upon thousands of people rushing out of Syria, in abject fear for they lives.  These people are REFUGEES, that is “a person who fears, on well founded grounds, persecution in their own country”, as accorded by the Geneva Convention on refugees.  Well I think being bombed out of your home, with whole villages being wiped out, just about covers it!!

A MIGRANT, on the other hand is someone who wants a better standard of living, a better job, a better way of life, who leaves their own country to live in another.  This is also called IMMIGRATION.  The person leaving the country of their birth is called EMIGRANT!  There is also a crisis at Calais in France, where their are thousands of economic migrants, who wish to come to Britain.

With a large amount of reason, a sprinkling of compassion and smattering of empathy lets look at this situation.

Firstly, wherever you are lucky or unlucky to end up on this planet is a complete accident of birth.  You might be lucky and pop out of your mothers womb in a rich, democratic country, with freedom and food and luxury.  Or unlucky, born into a poor, starving country, or a war torn country or a country ruled by drug barons, a country ruled by a despot or the army.  Believe me, there are more nasty places to live than nice.  If you live in Europe, or North America or Australia/New Zealand/Japan you are living in the richest countries, which comprise a third of the world!  How lucky are you?  I hope you are grateful.

So, if you didn’t win a place in the “West” ask yourself this?  What would you do?  Probably what people have always done – migrate!  Thats if you had any initiative.  I wonder how many people sitting in their armchairs in the UK would have the guts to do what some of these migrants have done.

Secondly, humans have always migrated, immigrated, emigrated – moved from place to place.  Thats how the world got populated in the first place.  Humanity came out of the African Sub-continent.   The UK is a country full of immigrants – we are all immigrants.  From Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, France, Spain, India, and the old colonial countries, that we ransacked and raped.  Indeed Britain is responsible for many of the worlds troubles.  Our country has been made great on the backs of thousands of these nationalities.  Its all in the mix!

Thirdly, many Briton are migrants.  Thousands of British people have made their homes in Canada, USA, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand to name a few.  And some are lucky enough to have homes here and abroad!

And so we come to the question of refugees from war torn Syria.  England has given refuge to the smallest amount of these people.  I know we are a small country but I think thats something to be ashamed of.  I’ve heard all the excuses, the latest that they may be terrorists in disguise.  Some may well be but surely we can weed them out?  Are we to be dictated to by Isis threats.

Are we happy to be a race of Little Islanders, who barricade their doors for unfounded fears?

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WEMBLEY 2015 RUGBY LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP

Had a fantastic long weekend in London, topped off by my team the Leeds Rhinos winning the Challenge Cup in fantastic blazing style.  Brilliant experience – never been before.  Amazing stadium and atmosphere.  Rugby League fans rub shoulders together without animosity.  Friendly banter and fans from all clubs attend making it a really special family occasion.

IMG_2101 IMG_2103 I cried my eyes out when Danny Jones’s wife sang Abide With Me.  Danny died of an undiagnosed heart condition whilst playing for Keighley Cougars against London Skolars earlier this year.  He left his wife with twin babies.  She is a professional singer and completely stunned the crowd with her singing and courage.  We stood, sang with her and cheered and clapped till our hands were sore.  Danny would have been so proud.

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The rhinos were on fire.  They beat Hull KR 50 points to nil.  Tom Briscoe made five tries making an all time record.

The Hull KR fans were brilliant, staying to the end and supporting their team.   We left the stadium on a high and went to celebrate in London with a few beers.

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