Wednesday, 18 April 2007

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


Anonymous said...

Firstly, let me add my voice to the praise of Jeanluc's pictures. Fantastic !
You raise the question of smacking children. I feel qualified to answer because I have a son of 23, a daughter of 19 and another son of 3 years old (yeh, I know!! Well as an 'older Dad' me and my toddler bonded straight away because we have something in common - we both have to get up in the night for a pee !)
Anyway, my point is, I've been through parenting twice in a way and have never physically abused (or smacked to give it it's cutesy name) any of my children for two reasons.
Firstly, it's fundamentally wrong and a form of bullying and secondly, it simply doesn't work!!!
Witness the kids being dragged around Tescos against their will being wacked for being bored - does it control them? Do they stop moaning and grizzling? Of course they don't, they scream louder and get more agitated then ever.
A quiet word and the promise of rewarding good behaviour has a much better effect.
Do you want your kids to do as you say only because they are frightened of you? Or do you want them to choose to behave because you have educated and nurtured them into happy human beings who can recognise right from wrong?
Engage them, include them, talk to them, keep them interested, give them your attention when they're behaving well ( don't think, 'leave them while they're quiet')and praise their good behaviour, make them feel inclusive to the family rather than an outsider who has to be punished all the time. Make life fun for them.
Parenting is not easy - no one trains us (teachers get a few years training, parents don't) but good parenting goes on for years, it doesn't start and stop with a slap around the legs for screaming in the supermarket. You have to build good behaviour over a long period of time. Invest in that time early on and you'll reap the rewards as the years go by.
I cannot claim to be the perfect parent, I've made mistakes, of course, it's a tough job, but I've always tried to talk TO my children and not AT them and tried to make their lives fun because that's what I want for myself.
I cringe at the lobby who claim that they know how hard they should smack and think they can guage what consitutes chastisement and what constitutes abuse. They can't ! It's always physical abuse, low level violence and bullying - but I repeat -it doesn't work so why do it?

Anonymous said...

You're right Steve. My parents taught me to respect myself and others and that any level of violence to another was wrong. Anyway, one of my father's 'looks' was quite enough to inform me when I had done wrong. I have continued this with my own kids who are now young men.I could never consider hurting the little people who I love so much.
Of course, we have had the usual 'ups and downs' that go with growing up - some of the issues have been very serious - but we have eventually found a way to talk them through to try and find a solution. I don't think we could have done this with memories and grudges borne through previous 'punishments'.
I went to a school that advocated 'corporal' punishment. Due to a case of mistaken identity, I was assaulted and humiliated by the maths teacher with a buttock caning in front of the class. I guess he probably enjoyed the experience but the result for me ? - a complete switch off from further study of maths and a lingering sense of injustice that still hurts 38 years later! Not a very effective punishment.
Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest!!!
Best wishes and peace please,

Paul in the Dales

Anonymous said...

Parents don't 'smack' children to make them behave. They do it to release tension, the same way self harmers cut or burn themselves! It doesn't work in either case. Perhaps we need better understanding to avoid the 'necessity' in the first place.

Just downloaded the Wezlar gig. Makes me hungry for some more English dates!

Tony H.

Anonymous said...

While I agree, the act of smacking a child (or anyone) has only negatives attached to it, it seems to me that isolating, and looking at it from the perspective of 'calculated corporal punishment', is a bit narrow.
The reasons parents inflict any kind of violence onto thier children are miriad, my guess being that the majority of smacks, slaps etc.. come from an emotional outburst, and not calculated and dished out as some kind of measured punishment.
It is only one kind of violence, and again, we learn violence in a miriad of ways.
The laws can be made, and so they should, but it will be next to useless if the lawmakers don't take serious account of the violence in society that we all grow up with, each interpreting and reasoning it in and out of our nature. And we would be stupid to deny that there is an animal (for want of a better word - suggestions welcome)side to us all, of which violence (again, for want of a better word) is a part of.
We can debate the law and the rights of the child, but it will be for nothing if we don't debate what violence really is, assuming really are living in a society based on reason.
For instance, what do we do for the young woman with 2 kids and no hope, on the 10th floor of a block of flats off The Old Kent Road, so she doesn't end up educating the next generation with bruises?
How many of us were tortured (bullying is too nice a word) when we were kids, usually totally unexpectedly by some other kid. How many kids pass it on? Like Paul (of The Dales - beatiful place envy, envy) I too had a maths teacher who helped to put me off much good learning, an evil man of calculated violence (who's brother was apparently exactly the same), and what I would say here to maybe spark debate is; Didn't you want him hurt too?. I mean, for me it was a mental curse of a thousand horrible things to happen to him. He was one of the very few genuinely nasty people I have met in my life. Incidently, he ended up beating up a kid in front of the whole school, for which he got sacked, and yes, you guessed it, he was back working at another school the very next term!
I ramble

anyroad, regardez - peas an' chirps

ramblinmad (never the perfect father, but educated enough to know there are no excuses if you want to be loved)

Anonymous said...

I yes, I nearly forget - Jean-Lucs pictures - what ho!, bang on old chap!, whizzo!, super dooper! flippin' good! - I have some technical questions for you Jean-Luc, I hope you don't mind.



Anonymous said...

Hi ramblinmad and all first supperists,
There is a postcript to the maths teacher chapter of events in that, each year, there was an end of term rugby match between masters and pupils which we were made to watch while freezing on the touchline. Some of the 'big' boys (and presumably fellow victims) had got together and decided a bit of the dish best served cold was in order. The maths teacher's first catch was followed by the most amazing crunch of bodily contact I have ever witnessed. About 800 lbs of adolescent bone and muscle landed on the bloke and he was stretchered from the pitch immediately thereafter. His right leg was broken in three places and his ankle too. Next term he arrived with one leg shorter than the other and a permanent walking stick. I am truly ashamed to admit that I thought he had got what was coming - but maybe this makes me as bad as the others.
Human instincts are complicated aren't they ? Now I just try to live in peace and create the same for those around me.

Best wishes from the Dales (it is a beautiful place).

Anonymous said...

Paul - you really are in a beautiful place - both physically and mentally! A bit harsh to say he had it coming but very difficult to feel any sympathy for him.
I went to my little lad's playschool concert today, a fund raising event because they're under funded (surprise surprise) and it was a joy to see 25 four year olds singing their hearts out and enjoying every minute, smiles all round, no cross words, lots of encouragement and praise from the teachers and helpers. The children's self esteem must have been mightily boosted by the event. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Not quite an EBB gig but almost as uplifting !

Anonymous said...

Hi Stevening over Shoretops,
Thank you for your kind words.
It is lovely to hear the sound of children singing, the freshness and innocence of the little voices. I hope that, when they grow, there is indeed 'a better place'.
I've just had a 'blast' of 'Call me a Liar' and the mellow reflection of 'Someone'.
Now I'm off to the pub for a pint where my fellow locals greet me as 'Edgar' (can't imagine why ! - must be my efforts to increase the fanbase!).
Best wishes,