So, lot’s of praise for Jean Luc’s photos and deservedly so. I don’t think I have seen better pictures of the EBB from any where though Chrissie Hamlyn got some crackers at the last 100 Club gig which is not the easiest of venues to take photos in.
We are beginning to recover from the German gigs which we all enjoyed. I fear some of us older ones feel the strain for longer though I am not certain there is much difference between us. Some times the long journeys are tedious but in such good company the miles fly by. The gigs were hot and steamy and that takes its toll. Some of the venues were the furnaces that are typical small clubs jammed with folks which we all found tough going. One night Steve had a grievance against a very unprofessional crew who left a battery of lights full on above his head during the song Green Lights. Worst of all the lights were red. The last gig was a great way to end and stuffed with folk bopping to the EBB. Hey Tone here is a thought. You give up guitar playing and I'll give up slagging you off - NOT!
It looks as though Tony Bush’s reign is almost at end. Good riddance to the pumped up little upstart who changed the way a whole cabinet pronounced the word “ services”. New labour is full of such irrelevance and meaningless terminology. Gordon looks like a kid about to get his first sexual encounter but I don’t think he is man enough for the job. I have been looking back over the Blair reign and I have found lot’s of discrepancies in what was promised and that which was delivered. Even if we could remove the Iraq-atross from around Tony’s neck he still comes out of it all with a diminished profile and will be remembered by many of us as a liar and deceiver. For a man who accused the Tories of being Kings and Queens of sleaze he has done poorly while taking the art of spin to new heights. He seems on balance to be much more ordinary than I first thought. I think we might judge a governments success by looking at the improvements for quality of life of the poor , the elderly, the sick, the home less and the state of our children. We all know what UNICEF had to say about the latter. In my work with young people I see New Labour writ bold across the new policies for crime prevention etc but I see little or no improvement in the quality of their lives. I am involved in filling out more paper forms and returns than ever and how ever they add it all up, if they do at all, I see no real desire on governments part to effect meaningful change. Most of the current paper work seems to me to have only one clear outcome. That is to be able to determine where every young person on a youth service’s books is or was, at any given time. I would bet that 99% of young people I work with have never even heard of G. Orwell. We imprison more young offenders in the UK than any where else in Europe.
On October 4th 2002 The United Nations warned the UK government that their refusal to ban smacking in the home was a serious violation of the international convention to protect the rights of children. I wonder what First Supperists think about physical disciplining of children.
"States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child..."UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 19
NSPCC Director Mary Marsh said: ‘We want to contest the idea that hitting children is 'common sense, the normal thing to do. It's not - it's wrong, ineffective and can be harmful. The Government has a clear responsibility to take a lead…’"
In September 1998, the European Court ordered the United Kingdom government to pay £10,000 compensation to a boy who was repeatedly caned by his stepfather (the case of "A v UK"). This was the first case concerning parental corporal punishment to be considered by the Court. Prosecution of the stepfather in a UK court had failed on the grounds that the punishment was "reasonable chastisement". The European Court unanimously found the punishment violated Article 3 of the European Convention ("No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"). It cited the UN Convention, stating that there must be "effective deterrence" to protect children and other vulnerable individuals.
New Labour has dragged it’s feet regarding doing much about this issue and will not be remembered for it’s radical approach to such matters involving young people and parents. Remember they wanted to be able to take an offender to a cash point and fine them on the spot. They wanted to make big in roads re educating young people about using drugs. Today’s figures related to the exercise and the Talk to Frank campaign failure is another example of SPIN WON’T WIN. Come on Tony clear off and clean up on the American lecture tour circuit. Your mate Maggie did very well out of abusing this nation I seem to remember.
copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2007