Rotherham Grooming Scandal – Courageous statement from within the Pakistani Community

The link below is to an excellent article by Mohammed Shafiq. It is refreshingly honest and points towards the type of analysis and action that is required on this issue. Analysis that is still, unbelievably, virtually impossible to have amongst thoughtful people due to the utter paralysis of our politically correct culture.

BREXIT?? – great article by Janice Turner!

The following article beautifully articulates the class divide at the heart of the primary Brexit issue – that of free movement of labour. I have sat at a number of such dinners with family and friends!!!

Confessions of a lonely, left-wing Brexiteer

Janice Turner

Janice Turner


Dinner party liberals are appalled that I’m in bed with Galloway, Farage and white-van racists. They need to get out more

My husband has a new party game. When friends come round, he solicits their views on the EU referendum. Naturally being bien pensant London liberals, they express horror about the ghastly prospect of Brexit, and the even ghastlier Little England swivel-eyed, provincial, tattooed, white-van racists who support it. Then my husband turns to me with a wink: “And so, Janice, what do you think?”

It’s lonely being a left-wing Brexiteer. It’s like declaring at dinner in Le Gavroche that you hate bloody foreign food. I might retreat to a nunnery until July. Anything to avoid middle class high-horsing about threats to prosperity, human rights and national security, when really they mean threats to my second home in Puglia, to my Czech nanny (who, unlike a British girl, will also clean the house) and of reimposed duty-free limits on Bordeaux. David Cameron dog-whistled these folk this week when he warned of an end to budget flights. First they came for our mini-breaks . . .

What is this sudden passion for the EU? It is like football fans crying, “I love Fifa”. Such affection for a gargantuan, unaccountable, self-serving bureaucracy, synonymous with progressive, internationalist, bigger-together unity, yet as capable of taxing Google or stopping Russia annexing Ukraine as Nick Clegg in a Benetton sweater.

For my Europhile friends, the current arrangement is all win. I often wish the English working class had an exotic restaurant cuisine or made handicrafts which looked fetching against Farrow & Ball walls. Maybe then the middle class would find them charming, rather than the only group it dares treat as Untermensch. A Labour-voting Mr Fairtrade Coffee Bean jokes to me about shipping his Polish builders up to revamp his country residence because local tradesmen are more expensive and lazy. Some commentators dream of amputating the inconvenient Ukip-voting north or visit seaside backwaters to mock poorer compatriots for their weight and dress-sense. Companies don’t want to train these people: cheaper to buy some energetic graduate Poles. Why don’t they hurry up and die out.

Left social liberals and right neo-liberals alike see themselves as global citizens, cruising smoothly above crude national boundaries, with no more fealty to a Croydon builder than the bloke from Bucharest who undercut him. The former because it would be “racist” to care, the latter because they love cheap labour. But freedom of movement — which, let’s not kid ourselves, is the throbbing heart of the EU issue — doesn’t benefit everyone equally. If, for example, Romanian citizens who earn four or five times less than British workers are allowed unfettered access to our jobs market, people lose out. But who cares: they’re already poor.

In Ben Judah’s startling book This Is London, he describes the British builders who once earned £15 an hour but, after waves of migration, are down to £7. He notes the minimum wage is a fiction when Romanian labourers stand outside Wickes in Barking at 6am beating each other down to get a day’s work, just like dockers in the pre-unionised 1930s.

In broken northern industrial towns, companies such as Next, Sports Direct and Amazon, not content with an already cheap local workforce, prefer to recruit migrants via employment agencies because they have fewer rights. They, along with Lincolnshire’s agricultural towns, will vote overwhelmingly to leave the EU, and not because they are stupid. A 2015 Bank of England study showed net migration has driven down pay for the lowest paid. Across the economy, although employment is high, wages have stagnated because the pool of labour is almost infinite.

Moreover these voters have experienced huge and rapid changes in their streets and GP surgeries and their kids’ schools. These are not global but rooted citizens. Their identity, once attached to a job — being a miner, a steelworker — is now defined only by place. Islington lawyers and Shoreditch dotcom millionaires will not, like the people of Hexthorpe, in my home town of Doncaster, have 500 Slovak Roma move into their village in the space of months, bringing every kind of social problem from fly-tipping to knife fights. The well-off transcend community so care nothing for cohesion. They remain untouched by culture clash, overcrowding or fights for limited resources. Yet they condemn those affected — if they dare to complain — as bigots.

And it would aid the Europhiles’ case if they declared how Britain is supposed to plan for limitless migration. Alarm about our rapid population growth is always wafted away as Malthusian angst or — once again — racism. But we will need 880,000 more school places by 2023, 113,000 in London alone. As for housing, the ONS reckons we need an extra 68,000 homes a year just to accommodate net migration assumptions. Is that okay? How will Europhiles tackle this? And can we at least discuss — honestly for once — if this is the society we want.

Only two things make me hesitate from voting Out. The “Britain will turn into a neo-liberal hellhole” argument that the EU is the last bastion of workers’ rights. Not that it helps those on zero-hours contracts now, nor did it stop the troika asset-stripping Greece. At least the Tories are our neo-liberals: we can — if we had an opposition — vote them out.

Then there are my fellow Brexiteers. What a horror show! George Galloway and Nigel Farage shaking hands like the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Head-bangers Priti Patel and Chris Grayling. Slippery Boris. While the In camp has . . . Emma Thompson. But I can’t be the only leftie for Out. Join me. Brazen the dinner party rows. Let’s make a badge.

Self Love is not selfish!!

I am posting a wonderful little Blog from a therapist called Margaret Paul. In it she beautifully dismantles the corrosive idea that to develop self-love is somehow selfish and narcissistic. Originally posted on the MindbodyGreen website under the title ‘The 1 thing that can make or break your relationships’.

When I was growing up, the idea of self-love didn’t exist. In fact, people who “loved themselves” were called selfish, self-centered or stuck-up. I was taught that being selfless and sacrificing yourself for others was a great quality. The general understanding was that relationships thrived when each person was focused on making the other happy.

Both of my parents were selfless, self-sacrificing, and devoted to making each other happy. But no matter how much they gave of themselves, no matter how hard they tried to please each other, neither of them was happy. So, I went looking for answers. Here’s what I found.

No matter how much another person loves you, if you don’t love and care for yourself, you will not be happy. If you ignore your own feelings, or judge yourself harshly, or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to avoid experiencing and dealing with pain or discomfort, you are abandoning yourself. The hard truth is that self-abandonment will always make you unhappy, no matter how many people love you.

Love vanishes in the face of controlling behavior.

When you relinquish responsibility for your own sense of self-worth and inner safety, and for your own pain and joy, instead making your partner responsible for your feelings, you will feel constantly unworthy. That’s because when you reject responsibility for your feelings, you are actually rejecting yourself – rejecting your inner child, who is the part of you feeling these feelings.

When you reject yourself by avoiding responsibility for your feelings, even if you don’t realize it, you start expecting your partner to give you what you are not giving to yourself. The more you abandon yourself, the more you try to manipulate your partner into giving you the love that you are not giving to yourself.

The more you try to control your partner – with anger, blame, withdrawal, compliance or resistance – the more your partner also tries to control you. Love vanishes in the face of all this controlling behavior.

This is what I saw happening with my parents and what I continue to see in the relationships of the many couples I work with as a counselor.

The more you abandon yourself, the emptier you feel within. You don’t have love to share with your partner because you feel empty inside. Instead of being able to share your love with your partner, you are trying to get love to fill the vacuum.

If you want to change this pattern, it’s crucial that you internalize and act on the belief that self-love is not selfish. Abandoning yourself and expecting others to sacrifice their needs in order to replenish you, regardless of the consequences, is selfish.

Loving yourself is about learning to value who you really are — your true soul self, your beautiful inner child — and treating these parts of you with the same caring and respect with which you would treat an actual child.

This means acknowledging painful feelings with a desire to understand what they’re telling you. These feelings carry important messages about how you are treating yourself and how others are treating you. Don’t suffocate them with self-judgments and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

It is only when you take responsibility for your own happiness, pain, inner safety and self-worth that you have a well of self-replenishing love that you can share with your partner. When both of you have this source, and share it with each other, you create the most wonderful experience in life — a circle of love.

Amen to that!

And just to prove this isn’t just new-age psycho-babble. 2,500 years ago someone in India realised much the same thing:

Psychotherapy and the NHS – Time for some Honesty?

A phone-in on 5 live this week has prompted a desire to comment on the issue of mental health and therapeutic intervention. The phone in was ostensibly on social anxiety and the main bulk of the callers recounted the crippling impact that suffering from this mental health problem had on their life or the life of a cherished family member. In this respect the phone-in could have been on depression, self-harm, bi-polar or any other recognizable psychological disorder. The commonality being the catastrophic effect that these issues had on the sufferers ability to live a fulfilling, rich, expansive, happy life. Listening to the testimony of these courageous callers was humbling.

What struck me however was that the general experience that these callers had had from the statutory mental health services was wholly inadequate. Many of them were languishing on endless waiting lists. Many of those that had had some access to talking therapies had a very brief intervention that had limited impact on their long-term mental health.

There was a common opinion on this situation from the callers themselves and from the various psychologists, therapists, charity workers and other mental health professionals that contributed to the program. The opinion was: We need to fund mental health services better and give greater access to quality, long term psycho-therapy. This goal is also high on the political aspirations of many politicians and lobby groups.

While I agree that more money should be made available, it seems to me that public funds will NEVER get close to providing the sort of intense, prolonged and complex therapeutic interventions that so many people need to achieve the quality of life that they long for. The very best that can be hoped for, surely, is that sufficient provision is found for appropriate crisis intervention to stabilise and protect those who are in such a dark place that they are imminently at risk of serious and irreversible harm to themselves or others.

Front-line mental health professionals are going to continue to be presented with clients who are afflicted with depression or anxiety or who finds themselves so traumatised by their life experience that they are tortured by  maladaptive, dangerous and life-denying defensive behaviours, addictions or character traits.

I wonder if the most compassionate response to such people might be a little brutal honesty:

“The problems that you are living with are likely very deep rooted in your view of yourself and the world around you. These core-beliefs have developed in response to your experience of life starting as a young child and unfolding as you have grown-up. There are likely some deeply traumatic experiences that were so unbearable that you had to develop protective beliefs and behaviours that protected you from further harm. The roots of your current problems have probably been screened out of your present awareness as part of this defensive strategy. A superficial treatment of your current symptoms will at best give temporary relief before new stresses trigger these deeper dynamics again. If you do not resolve these deeper dynamics that drive your experience of yourself, your life and your relationships it is likely that you will continue to struggle with life and fail to lead the type of fulfilling and meaningful life that I am  sure you would want for yourself.

The good news is that the field of psychotherapy has developed extremely powerful models, techniques and tools for helping people carry out this difficult personal work. There are many different approaches and what is best for you will probably take some investigation and trial and error. This is very difficult, though not impossible work to do alone. It is much more likely to succeed if you can find a therapist that you can build a close long-term, supportive and trusting relationship with. This is the space where you can gradually find the courage to uncover and face the issues that are at the root of your difficulties. This can take months or more likely years. It is a long difficult process but without it your life experience is unlikely to fundamentally improve.

The bad news is that this help is not, and probably never will be available on the NHS. If this is important to you then I urge you to do everything you can to find the £30-£50 per week that you would need to obtain this help privately. There is an army of highly trained and experienced therapists out there. If this involves sacrificing other aspects of your life or taking on extra work then so be it. Its your life, its up to you. I’m sorry but this really is the best advice I can give you.”

A little stark? – maybe. Dangerous? – in this un-sugarcoated  form it is a bitter pill to swallow. Maybe the core skill of our front line professionals is to use the precious little time that they have with clients to somehow get the basic point illustrated above across. It should of course be tailored and nuanced to suit the individual with as much sensitivity and skill as possible. Maybe however if people could walk away from their brief contact with the NHS mental health services with this vision in their hearts and minds perhaps it will set them on a path of courageous self-discovery and exploration that may lead to the kind of life that they dream off.