An Open Letter to our Prime Minister: Theresa May

Dear Prime Minister,
I have a lot to say to you, and no it will not be about Brexit or your belittling of the Scottish Independence Referendum, although I do have a lot to say about that – believe me.
Today, I want to talk to you about how are knowingly out-casting and disregarding the futures of the youth of today and the families that they come from.

Did you know that there are currently around 3.6 million children in the UK who are living in definitively impoverished households? That is more than one in every four children within our so called great nation that live under the poverty line.
Do you realise the effect this has? Of course you do, but let me elaborate.
Children from poorer backgrounds do not have access to adequate education. They go to school in impoverished areas, learn in over-attended classrooms, and are taught by under paid, demotivated and exhausted teachers.
Child poverty has been shown to blight education. It has been proven that those growing up in impoverished households achieve lower grades than their wealthier counterparts. Thus leaving them with fewer gained qualifications which leads to lesser progression routes and translates into lower earnings throughout their adult working life.

This of course, without a doubt has a detrimental effect on society as a whole.
So tell me Theresa, What are you doing to reduce the cause and effect this has on society?
You are; introducing up to 140 new free schools, cutting budgets within state schools, cutting parents benefits and tax credits, lowering the wages paid to state school teachers and funding £170 million to technical education.
Excuse me, What?

I’m sorry, but what exactly will this do for our children?

How in any way whatsoever do you believe this will work to raise the education standards within the poorer areas of the UK and help children fight their way out of poverty?
It won’t, and let me tell you why.
Free schools will not help raise the standard of education for all children, it will raise the standard for a select few.
It will encourage elitism and superciliousness within the community, It will intensify dissociation between the classes and it will put a halt on everything we have worked towards for diversity and equality over the past few years.
So tell me Miss May, who’s place is it to say whether one child is better or more intelligent than another and therefore deserves a better education and greater future prospects? Is it fair to give one child the opportunity grow to develop a career and live a life whilst giving another the option to take a job and just survive?
No it’s not.

Every child deserves an equal opportunity, every child deserves to be guided and shaped in to the best version of themselves that they can be.
So how can we do that?
We can start off by stopping the budget cuts to our state schools. Stop all these absurd “funding” and money-making governmental schemes for things like free schools and actually invest within your communities. Disburse monies within these inadequate state schools and make them excellent. Give them the funding and training they need to excel within education.
Stop the cuts being made to parent’s benefits and tax credits and reduce the cost of living. One way out of destitution is allowing impoverished families to have enough money to raise their kids. Most children in poverty have at least one working parent bringing in a steady income but it’s just not enough to exist on the bare minimum.
Provide state school teachers with a decent income and smaller classrooms thus allowing them to allocate their time properly with their students and focus on their individual needs rather than submitting to a robotic syllabus. Take already excelling schools and place the under achieving schools and teachers within training programmes under the wing of these successful schools to help them step up their own levels and teaching skills.
Encourage parents and teachers within the communities to cooperate with each other and enhance the already bare resources we have within the arts and academics. Encourage communication and allow trial and error to find what works best for the individual.
And finally reinstate and fund more programmes within state school communities that deal with career, academic and vocation counselling. Allow us to offer these children the experiences to find what they excel in and then fine tune their talents to their full potential.
These are the basics that every community and every nation should have in place to allow our children and future generations to prevail. We need to be seen to encourage our children to thrive and become an integral part of our civilisation.

This Prime Minister is how we need fight child poverty within the UK and if you are not willing to do so, then we will have to find someone who will.

It is that simple.

You can follow Dionne Melissa Newman on twitter @DionneMNewman or at her blog page dionnemelissanewman.wordpress.com     

 

Gods In Disguise

very time an advance is made in people actually respecting and accommodating others’ bodily autonomy, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, or other difference, you are sure to hear the cry “it’s political correctness gone mad!”. A similar cry, of “Alphabet Soup!”, goes up whenever a new letter is added to the LGBT+ acronym.

What you are hearing is the sound of the privileged complaining about a loss of privilege (otherwise known as ‘playing the game of life on a lower difficulty setting than other people‘, or ‘getting away with stuff that minority groups would not get away with’, e.g. Ryan Lochte, Brock Turner, and many other similar cases).

Examples of advances in respect for others include the word cisgender being added to the Oxford English Dictionary, having gender-neutral toilets, labelling food for allergens, providing food for people with special requirements (halal, vegan, vegetarian, coeliac, etc), providing electricity for disabled people to recharge their wheelchairs, implementing consent policies at Pagan events… the list goes on. You name it, someone will probably have exclaimed “it’s political correctness gone mad!” (or something very similar) in response to every social advance that has ever been made, right back to that dangerously radical innovation of giving the vote to women, or perhaps even further back than that.

Where does this insidious phrase come from? Its history is quite convoluted, but it has often been used as a pejorative term, and was fairly obscure (and a left-wing in-joke) until it was taken up by conservatives who were opposed to progressive educational policies. After George Bush Snr used it at a commencement ceremony at the University of Michigan in 1991, its use became widespread among conservatives to refer to anything they regarded as an “imposition of liberal orthodoxy”. It use rapidly spread to the UK, where it is used every time someone wants to do something inclusive and someone else perceives that their privilege will be eroded by being more inclusive.

One example of privilege is that non-disabled Pagans don’t have to worry about wheelchair access to venues, and expect public Pagan events to be low-cost or free, so when event organisers book a venue, they are constrained by these expectations to look for lower-cost venues, which often don’t have wheelchair access. When it is suggested that all public Pagan events should be wheelchair-accessible, even if it costs more, you are sure to hear cries of “it’s political correctness gone mad” – despite the fact that accessibility is actually a legal requirement for public events.

Similarly, inclusive Wicca advocates an expanded understanding of concepts like polarity, and a few tweaks to Wiccan rituals, to accommodate a more up-to-date concept of gender and sexuality. To hear the howls of protest from some quarters, you would have thought that inclusive Wiccans had advocated abolishing the whole of Wiccan liturgy, or something. (Meanwhile, many people outside Wicca are baffled that we are still having a conversation about this in the early 21st century.)

As Neil Gaiman wrote, however:

I was reading a book (about interjections, oddly enough) yesterday which included the phrase “In these days of political correctness…” talking about no longer making jokes that denigrated people for their culture or for the colour of their skin. And I thought, “That’s not actually anything to do with ‘political correctness’. That’s just treating other people with respect.”

(Yet another reason to love Neil Gaiman.) He goes on to suggest that people should try replacing the phrase “politically correct” wherever we can with “treating other people with respect”. And now, thanks to a New Zealander called Byron Clark, there’s actually a Google Chrome extension that does exactly that.

The latest version of “it’s political correctness gone mad” has emerged from some sections of polytheism: the accusation of “putting politics before gods”. It is particularly insidious because it implies that those of us who care about respecting the rights of our fellow humans (and of other animals) are somehow impious.

The central tenet of my religion is “only connect”: connect with other beings, respect their autonomy, honour their dreams and aspirations, and recognise the divinity within them.

I believe that divinity is immanent in everything; every being has the seeds of godhood within them. Some choose to trample on the seed, others choose to nurture it towards growth – but divinity is everywhere, however dimly reflected.

If I deny the divinity immanent in my fellow beings, then I am also denying the divinity of gods, who are expressions of the same divinity.

Therefore, in my world, treating other people with respect is honouring the gods. The ancient stories of gods and angels visiting humans disguised as mortals are metaphors to express this idea. You never know whether the stranger to whom you showed hospitality and respect was a god in disguise – so you may as well behave as if everyone you meet is a god in disguise. Because actually, they are.

 

Yvonne Aburrow

Yvonne Aburrow has been a Pagan since 1985 and a Wiccan since 1991. She has an MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University, and lives and works in Oxford, UK. Her most recent book is “All Acts of Love and Pleasure: inclusive Wicca”. She has also written four books on the mythology and folklore of trees, birds, and animals, and two anthologies of poetry. She is genderqueer, bisexual, and has been an anarchist socialist green leftie feminist for the last thirty years.

You can also follow Yvonne on her twitter page click here and at her website click here

featured Jupiter and Mercury in the house of Philemon and Baucis, by Adam Elsheimer – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain

 

Let’s Talk Bioresonance: Part 2 – My Experience So Far

First things first, I should just say that I wrote this a year ago, so any time frame mentioned is for back then, not now.

If you haven’t done so already, may I suggest you give Part 1 of this subject a read. It’ll help you understand (hopefully) what Bioresonance actually is. You can do that by simply clicking the link below:

http://losheps0212.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/let-talk-bioresonance-part-1-what-is-it.html

Once you’ve read that, just come right back here & carry on reading Part 2.

Ok so you’ve read Part 1 & are now an expert in the field of Bioresonance but you’re still probably wondering what it’s like to actually experience this treatment.  Well don’t worry because that’s what this post ia all about, my experience so far. Be warned this will also be a long post, so I advise rests for my fellow M.E Warriors & again I’ve had to write this over a few days.

Right then, let’s begin shall we?

I had a couple months waiting time, from making my first appointment to actually getting there.  As you can imagine I was on count down, just willing the days to come & go fast, as by that point, my health had gotten worse & for the most part I was now housebound, only able to venture out a couple times a week & then that usually resulted in sheer exhaustion & pain. However, as the date (18th June 2014) drew closer, the nerves & stress of the unknown began to surface & this resulted in my body producing adrenalin. Now as all those with M.E know, this is like being injected with poison every single day, so by the time the day of my appointment arrived, I was feeling pretty bad to say the least.

So nausea at an all time high, we set off on the two & a half hour journey to Bramley, Leeds for my first two hour consultation.  I don’t remember much from the journey, I think I was a little quiet.  I remember taking a couple of pictures of the scenery & sending them to a friend that was texting me & I think I got a message off another friend saying they hoped everything went well.  But apart from that, the journey was a blurr really, I think that was because I was concentrating on keeping my stress & nerves down.

We got there with some time to spare, which was good because it meant I could have a breather, have a granola bar & my next lot of medication (a true spoonie is never without her pills & or a snack) I’ll add in here, that we were in one of the specialist’s houses, as the treatment was done in his conservatory at the time (they’re now in a little office unit)  So we meet one of my specialists, who is just lovely & has had M.E & used the Bioresonance treatment to make himself better!  I don’t often speak face to face to people that have experienced what I’m going through, but it was just so wonderful speaking to him & when I was telling him how I am with this illness, the nods of knowing, understanding & hearing the words “I know exactly what you mean” were so comforting & made me feel like I was in good hands.

Ok now let’s get down to business, the real reason you’re here reading this post: To learn what this treatment is like;

So I get comfy in the chair, feet on the metal plates, probes in hand & the machine is turned on. This first time is a full body check basically & as frequencies start to block & I’m told what’s being found, I’m then asked about certain symptoms & my health in general.  I’m not going to go into detail on every little thing that was discovered, they’re private & really things I only want my mum & my specialists to know about, not the whole world, as there are things that I would like to remain private regarding my treatment & what I’m being treated for in addition to the M.E.

The main point of interest really that was found, in keeping with the whole subject of this blog, is that I have a whole load of Epstein Barr Virus!  A lot of it was found in a number of glands in my brain (it sounds so weird!) so I was asked to place the smaller more intensive treating probe on my forehead to begin with. As soon as I did so, I could feel the treatment doing it’s thing.

The only way I can describe it, is if I you get two magnets & play with them, trying to fit them together, you can feel a force between them, one magnet rejecting the pole of the other.  It was the strangest feeling & with every passing moment, the pain I was feeling in my head was getting worse.  I’m not going to lie, this was quite a painful experience when it truly got going & I had a lot of time spent on my head. The Epstein Barr was sat in a whole host of places in my brain, that effected all different functions throughout my body, including my emotions & my nervous system.

When these points in particular where beginning to be clear of the virus, my adrenaline began to kick in as a reaction & I could feel that poison running through me & I began to shake.  As if that wasn’t enough, my emotions began to become more intense & out of nowhere I began to cry & as one of my friends would say, I was a “hot mess!”

I like to think I’m pretty tough, my tolerance for pain has improved a lot out of necessity over the past year, but my specialist looked at me at one point & said “you can take a break you know” I don’t remember really saying anything to this, I think I just nodded, all the while my body was still shaking & I had tears rolling down my face.  I was looking so attractive & very thankful I don’t wear mascara!  I took the probe off my head & he set the machine to work on calming down my nervous system for me. There’s no way I could have calmed myself as quickly as he got the machine too. I also went through a couple of lovely colour changes while this was all going on; from my usual pale white to the wonderful grey that every M.E Warrior knows & back to pale white.

I will point out here, that this wasn’t & isn’t the normal reactions to the Bioresonance treatment in general.  This was my own body reacting to what was being done & partially due to the virus fighting against the frequencies that were killing it.  Getting rid of the virus allows the effected parts of the brain to begin to heal & begin to work correctly again. That is what I was experiencing.

I’ve not had this intense a reaction since, yes at certain times, I’ve felt some pain when being treated for certain things but nothing like that first treatment. I’m actually very sensitive to the Bioresonance treatment, more than most people, so I can feel it working & can actually pin point which areas are being worked on. I also find, when the Epstein Barr Virus is being worked on, it sets off certain symptoms, my temperature goes through a number of variations, my nausea kicks in more & one that’s always fun, the muscle spasms multiply, especially in the tops of my arms.  Again this is more likely the virus fighting to stay alive than any adverse reaction to the treatment itself.

So after my treatment was over, I somehow managed to get from the house to the car, put on my hoodie, put my hood up, laid down in the back of the car & just closed my eyes pretty much until we got home.  I was a bit of a wreck for the next few days but by the following week I’d picked up a bit & one thing I did notice, was that my muscle spasms have lessened a little & they’re still not as bad as they used to be.  My mum has also noticed that I no longer go grey when I’m crashing, this isn’t such a good thing, as she can no longer read me & I’m now having to listen even more to my body & be even more open on how I’m actually feeling & when I’ve had enough.

One revelation (if you will) regarding this is that the second specialist I am now seeing said that the Epstein Barr is incredibly deep in the cells of my body.  He began to ask me when I thought I became ill; now I’ve always thought a bad case of swine flu triggered it off around 2008/2009.  But my mum said, that she wasn’t so sure, she remembers me hitting the age of 11/12 & becoming incredibly exhausted all the time, resulting in missing a lot of school. I would never make it through a full term without having time off.  She said after a while of this, as I got older, I seemed to get better but then after leaving school & going to work, I then went through stages of having no time off to missing on average a day a week from work due to sickness & exhaustion.  But again, I seemed to come right, until around 2009/2010. By the time 2011 hit I seemed to be struggling again, 2013 I finally got a diagnosis for what was wrong; M.E/CFS or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (to give it’s proper name & if you think it’s hard to say, you should try living with it) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

As my mum was relating this, my specialist was in full agreement & from what he could see as to how deeply the Epstein Barr is in me, I have likely had it since I was 11/12 years old, as my mum has figured out.  So with that revelation, I’ve actually had undiagnosed M.E for 18 years & diagnosed for a year now, in fact, it was a year last month since my official diagnosis.

Anyways, I’ve had four treatments so far over the course of two months & I’m going to my fifth this coming Wednesday.  Each treatment has become easier, less painful & the amount of things I’m being treated for is becoming less each time, which means more time can be spent on clearing my Epstein Barr Virus, which is the main reason I’m having the treatment in the first place, it’s the main thing that stops me having a normal life.  I will admit the improvements haven’t been massive so far & I’m still very much up & down daily, but that is to be expected as my body is dealing with a lot right now & it’s still early days.  Plus the traveling is a bit of a killer for me, I can be exhausted by a 20 minute car journey, so a two & half hour one there & back leaves me dead for a good few days.  The day I see improvement in my PEM (Post Excursion Malaise) from the journey, that’s the day, I will know that I’m beginning my recovery but until then, I’m just doing my best to get through the bad days & enjoy the good.

Due to this fact, I’m still on very strict rest, which is driving me crazy!  I get out a couple times a week but not really any more than that.  I’ve been told that although in time, I’ll likely begin to feel much better & feel like I can have days where I can do more, my body is simply not up to it & I will set my treatment back & likely do more damage. The repair stage of this treatment hasn’t begun yet, that will start once everything that shouldn’t be in my body is pretty much gone.  After all you can’t begin to repair something if the cause of the damage is still there, the repair work would be futile!

So I think that pretty much covers my experience so far with Bioresonance, please do not be put off by my reaction during my first treatment.  I’m sharing this to help anyone considering this treatment to be aware of what may go on, as I didn’t have a clue.  Everyone’s experience with this treatment will be different, the way my body reacted will likely be completely different to someone else & it’ll also differ from illness to illness.  Even cases of M.E will likely all have different reactions to this, I mean, that one isn’t hard to understand considering how variable M.E itself is from person to person.

I hope after reading this & Part 1 on the subject of Bioresonance treatment, it has made it at least a little clearer as to what I’m having done & how it’s been for me so far.  I hope this post finds all my fellow M.E Warriors as well as they can be & all the non M.E Warriors staying healthy & doing well.

Thank you for reading & take care everyone.

TTIP – What’s it all about?

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Women for Independence National Committee Member Victoria Heaney has been campaigning against TTIP.  She has written this blog to explain why.

If you have been hearing a lot about TTIP and are wondering why so many folk are still talking about that music festival, then you’re not the only one.

Unfortunately TTIP comes with a bigger health warning than any festival. Although it is not in force yet, it is being hurried through the European Parliament with little democratic consultation with those who it will affect the most. Those people are us.

The proposal appears friendly at first. It aims to increase jobs, drive up the economy and make it easier for the EU and USA to do business in a range of areas. What could we not like or support about that strap line eh? After all don’t the global corporations who are pushing this (aggressively) have our and our children’s best interests at heart?

First of all what it actually is and what does it mean?

The Transatlantic Trade and  Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade deal between the EU and USA. It is designed to make trade easier for both sides of the Atlantic by reducing compliance costs and cutting trade tariffs by “harmonising” regulatory barriers. If you replace the harmonising with the word diluting it helps to get sense of the real meaning behind the term. It has also been referred to as a covert vehicle which will push the privatisation agenda for all public services due to its ability to allow private firms bid for public contracts. (NHS, Education, Social work, Residential Services and the Prison Service, etc)

What are regulatory barriers?

Regulatory barriers are in place to protect us and to keep us safe from trade from outwith the EU. This is due to other countries (such as America) having less stringent laws when it comes to workers’ rights, welfare provision and public health.

TTIP aims to reduce the barriers between the EU and the USA, and make the regulatory regimes more compatible. Essentially this means that whichever side has the weakest safety standards, this will be the bench mark. The EU works on a cautionary legislative practice, proving things are safe before they are used using research, testing and evidence. The US in contrast works on the premise that things can be used before they are found to be unsafe (think about Erin Brockovich and the case against the gas company contaminating water).

One of the many aspects of this deal will affect how our food is farmed and the process it will go through before it reaches our plate. The difference in food standards between the EU and US is remarkable. It is common practice for meat and poultry to be rinsed in chlorine before going to the shelves in the US. This practice has been proven to mask the hygiene of the food and create carcinogenic (cancer causing) compounds. This is prohibited in the EU with only water being permitted to be used when rinsing. There is also the issue of importing meat and poultry from the US that has been injected with growth hormones that are known carcinogens and at present are banned from our shelves. Moving onto cosmetic products, the EU has banned more than 1200 substances from cosmetics because of their potential risk to our health, whilst the US has banned only 12.  This also applies to products that we use on children and babies.

This is a huge concern for public health as it is now looking possible that if this deal goes ahead we will have no inclination as to what we are consuming, due to clever packaging that does not identify these additives, additives which were once banned from our supermarkets and shops.

Another concern is the impact this will have on local farming communities in Scotland and across the EU. Small ethical and organic companies will be unable to compete against biotech firms that want to dominate the entire market with genetically modified food disguised as economic and family friendly.

The message that we are being sold  is that food will be rock bottom cheap,  despite the growing evidence of the health implications associated with over processed food.

Living in a world of TTIP

TTIP not only affects our food laws but opens the door for companies to come in and bid for public services. As we face increasing cuts to public services, local councils all over Scotland are looking for ways to make efficiencies and to cut jobs and services. Things we see as fundamental staple services that we rely on are now facing the prospect of being broken up and sold off to faceless companies. The NHS immediately springs to mind, but if we drill down further to things like homecare services, after school care and the education services, we can start to grasp the potential scale.

Our public expenditure budgets are now viewed as potentially profitable contracts by our American neighbours.

What if we resist public services being privatised? Don’t worry the global corporations are all over it with a nifty piece of jargon called ISDS (Investor Trade Dispute Settlement). This allows companies to sue the government if they feel they are being unfairly done out of business. This is already happening in America right now with McDonalds taking Seattle to court, stating that the new minimum wage of $15 (£7) per hour is damaging the companies’ profits. When we see the progress that Scotland is making working towards introducing a living wage we have to be aware that there is room for this to be undone under a TTIP deal.

Data Protection and privacy also enter this debate as the TTIP proposal could allow companies to force public services to hand over personal information in order to market services. Imagine sitting at home and getting (another) cold call from a health company who knows your family’s medical historyseeking to register you for their new healthcare firm that they claim can treat you better than your local GP, dentist, chiropractor etc. It opens the door for scaremongering sales tactics.

What can we do about this?

The fight to stop TTIP will only be won by a collective struggle, by political parties and people from Scotland and from the rest of Europe coming together to say No to the deal.

The difficult part is that this deal is being done in secret behind closed doors in Europe with no democratic consultation with MSPs or MPs. It is so full of jargon that it is a minefield, making it difficult to grasp the direct impact that this will have one working people.

Stay in touch with your local WFI group and other grass roots movements to keep abreast of action around this matter.

A Scottish Coalition against TTIP was launched earlier this year which Women for Independence are part of.

There will be an international day of action against TTIP on the 11 of October this year join us if you can. http://www.nottip.org.uk/nationaldayofaction/

For more information check out Global Justice Now and sign the petition trying to stop the corporate power grab.

Lobby your MEP, MSP and MP and state that you are saying no to TTIP and urge them to do the same.

 Victoria Heaney worked with the Radical Independence Campaign during Scotland’s independence referendum.  She has since been elected on to the National Women for Independence Committee, and is its youngest member.   She leads for Women for Indy in the campaign against TTIP.

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 Many thanks to Women for Independence National Committee Member Victoria Heaney and Women for Independence  for allowing Anyvoices for publishing this article .

You can follow Victoria Heaney on twitter @Vvfabs

You can follow Women For Independance on twitter @WomenforIndy or on thier website http://www.womenforindependence.org/

featured image from flickr.com