Sunday, 30 October 2011

Thank you

Surely the measure of a writer is one you want to return to. One you want to re-read. One whose words echo in your soul. One who makes you think of them at odd times in your day.

One who enchants and caresses you. Who makes you feel good. Who challenges your day-to-day assumptions. Who lifts you up and keeps you uplifted.

I hope I'm one like that for you. I hope that, by reading my words, you are coming back, reading again, feeling better, remembering bits from my blog bytes and pondering the messages I leave you.

I hope you get as much from me as I do from you, my dear and gentle readers.

Thank you.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Human Rights? Not for minors!

Article 5 of the Human Rights Act - Right to Liberty says:

"1) Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. "

Shouldn't that be non-negotiable? Is it non-negotiable?

Apparently not. There are exceptions. One of them is this:

"(d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision..."

So does everyone have the right to liberty and security of person?

No. Minors don't.

(As a tribute to one of my favourite films - Galaxy Quest - I will say 'Minors not miners"! )

So what is the use of Article 5 of the Human Rights Act?

And why should minors (not miners) be exempt from its protective power?

And what is so important about education that - supposedly - carrying it out incurs a get out clause in Article 5 of the Human Rights Act?

Then we have Article 4...

Article 4: Slavery

(1) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

(2) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

(3) For the purpose of this Article the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include: (a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed in accordance to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;(b) any service of a military character or, in the case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;(c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;(d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Isn't education generally a form of slavery or servitude?

One definition of slavery:

"Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation."

In other words, children are treated as property of the state in state educational factories and are forced to work. If they don't work they are punished. Children can be held against their will from the time they enter the state educational system; they are deprived of the right to leave (and, should they leave, they are branded as truants and their parents - as the children's legal represntatives- will fall foul of the law and be punished by it). Children can neither refuse to work nor demand compensation for the many years of servitude they pass through in the state educational system.

And, if you consider that minors cannot enter into contracts, the school as a contract is pretty meaningless.

Says a lot for the Human Rights Act (1998)...

A load of wind and watter, as my elder relatives would term it.

Monday, 3 October 2011

I'm wondering...

Seems to be that time of the year when I take stock, when I think a lot about what I'm doing, what I'm wondering, what I am and what I'm becoming and what I want to be.

What I never thought I would be is tied to my dear elderly mother's apron strings... At my age.

She's got me. She really has. And H. He has been magnificent. He has been caring. We both have.

Not that we're uncaring normally. Anyone who has children has to care.

But this time my mother fell and broke her right leg. She went to hospital in great pain, had an operation,and went to a second ward for recuperation.

Then she came home. Without official carers because she said, "My family will care for me at home". And, do you know, she was right.

We are. Caring for her. At her home. We have to.

They deemed her capable of making her own decisions so she refused other carers, and now we're it. Mostly H is it. And I'm doing the outside stuff. Shopping. Paying bills. Dog walking. Sorting stuff.

And I'm exhausted. Because it's so stressful. Because a mother is supposed to take care of you. Not you, her. Because she isn't capable of making her own decisions no matter what the hospital people said in their knowledge of her for a few weeks. She isn't capable. Her dementia doesn't show too obviously. It's subtle. It hasn't reared up and destroyed her ability to remember. That's not the way it's robbed her. It's much more complicated. But, of course, the hospital people know best. They've had a student nurse ask her a few questions, and - voila! - my mother is deemed to be competent mentally.

Hmmm. We know that she isn't. We know that whatever the government approved list of questions (did Mr. Social Care Rehabilitation guy call it MIMSY?) says my mother is not mentally capable of making sensible and reasoned decisions.

Now our family is paying for the cult of the ten minute expert. The cult of the one size fits all assessment of mental competence. And we aren't expert. We know nothing. We only know my mother couldn't cope for ten minutes in the full glare of the day to day life that most of us endure normally. We've only known that for years. We've only been caring for years. In this family. With no outside help.

No outside recognition.

The doctors and nurses assessed my mother as having a score of 26 out of 30 when she was admitted to hospital. She is capable, even though I was telling her everything that the doctor said, repeating the same message in different words until I could see that she'd finally understood what I was conveying to her.

Just like I've been doing for years. Interpreting the big wide world for my dear daffy old darling.

And I am so tired. It's the stress. It's the deep stress.

But it's all a learning experience I suppose.