Moral Courage

Those who find themselves in positions of responsibility are morally obliged to make the ‘right’ decisions. That is, decision-making that affects other people must be good and just and in the common interest. Otherwise the moral basis of our society is in question. Are we fundamentally ‘good’ people or just selfish monsters obsessed with wealth accumulation in an age of greed, who de-humanise our fellow beings in the process of getting what we want?

human rights2We see far to many instances reported where people are allowed to suffer the consequences of bad, wrong or just plain evil decisions from leaders they look up to and trust.

The obvious example in British news at the moment is the deeply disturbing child sex abuse scandal in our national sport, football. Club officials have turned a blind eye to the activities of serial child rapists so as to protect ‘the good name of the Club’. Shame on them. Lives have been ruined as a result.

Ordinary people have a right to be protected from abuse and exploitation by those they look up to – managers, politicians, religious leaders – but all too often the abusers and exploiters are the ones in positions of power. Who can they turn to when bullied and threatened by their abuser?

A manager or parent is a first point of contact, but image the victim’s misery being compounded when they are not believed or accused of being complicit in their own abuse. Our police force is there to uphold the Law and protect victims of crime, backed up by civil society – organisations and charity groups. The infrastructure is there, but perhaps needs a higher level of governmental and public backing. Victims must feel confident to speak out and know the correct channels to do so. They must also have confidence in the system.

Distrust in our leaders goes right to the top, with many citizens no longer believing our politicians have the moral courage or sense of community to ‘do the right thing’ when it comes to decision-making. We are now consumers in an age of capitalist exploitation. We are encouraged to be selfish and greedy, to accumulate and hoard things we don’t really need.

It has become obvious to many that our government makes decisions that are in the interest of ‘Big Business’ over citizen welfare, and some point to the Brexit vote (higher in the regions away from the wealthy South-East) as evidence of disenchantment. The politics of shoring-up the interests of a wealthy minority and favouring them over the interests of the majority will surely come back to haunt our current crop of London-centric politicians. Theresa May, be warned.

This is at the heart of our culture of indifference to human suffering and the belief that greed is good. It isn’t. Not in my house. If we cannot treat each other with respect and kindness then we are failing as a society.

I believe it is our collective duty to create an atmosphere of kindness, tolerance and helpfulness and have the courage to speak out and denounce acts of evil. When we elect our political leaders we must hold them to account. They are charged with overseeing a tolerant society where citizens’ rights are protected, where they have opportunities to achieve their goals in life, and are protected from the predatory monsters who lurk amongst us.

 

 

 

Halloween… the Day of the Dead

To celebrate Halloween I’ve discounted my spooky thriller, Devil Gate Dawn, to just 99p/99c.  if you download, please message me and I’ll send you a FREE pdf copy of my short story, ‘Halloween 50BC’.

http://hyperurl.co/ii7gpl

halloween-50bc-cover

Halloween History

Straddling the line between autumn and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Sah-wen, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st and 2nd  as a time to honour all saints and martyrs; the twin holidays, All Saints’ Day, followed by All Souls Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Sah-wen. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.

Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterised by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

Are You a Psycho?

Are you extremely self-confident, egocentric, charming and fearless?  Do you lack empathy for your fellow humans?  Are you employed in one of the following positions or professions?

Trump psychoChief Executive Officer (CEO); Lawyer; Broadcast Media Professional; Salesperson; Surgeon; Journalist; Police Officer; Clergyperson; Chef; Civil Servant.

These are the top ten most likely jobs for people with psychopathic tendencies, according to the ‘Great British Good Psychopath Survey’, run by Kevin Dutton, a psychologist at Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology.

You’ll never look at your vicar/priest/pastor in the same way again, nor that calm, smiling police office.  Okay, we’ve known for years that business leaders, top chefs and TV presenters are psychos, but civil servants, surgeons and religious leaders?

The survey report points out that although people with psychopathic tendencies are drawn to high-paying power jobs such as CEO and lawyer, their difficult personalities may hold them back from succeeding.  Their out of work life may prove problematic, as their ‘difficult’ personality traits will put them at odds with others.

Jacks BackWhy not take the test below (as featured in the mirror.co.uk recently) to see where you are on the psychopath spectrum?  Reporters have been having fun with this, recently declaring that Donald Trump has a higher score on the scale than Adolph Hitler! (how Hitler answered from beyond the grave is not disclosed).

Answer these eleven questions as honestly as you can, count up your points, and post a message below with your score:

For each question award the following points:

0 = Strongly disagree

1 = Disagree

2 = Agree

3= Strongly Agree

 

  1. I rarely plan ahead.  I’m a spur-of-the-moment kind of person.
  2. Cheating on your partner is okay, as long as you don’t get caught.
  3. If something better comes along it’s okay to cancel a long-standing appointment.
  4. Seeing an animal injured or in pain doesn’t both me in the slightest.
  5. Driving fast cars, riding rollercoasters and skydiving appeal to me.
  6. It doesn’t matter to me if I have to step on other people to get what I want.
  7. I’m very persuasive.  I have a talent for getting other people to do what I want.
  8. I’d be good in a dangerous job because I can make my mind up quickly.
  9. I find it easy to keep it together when others are cracking under pressure.
  10. If you’re able to con someone, that’s their problem. They deserve it.
  11. Most of the time when things go wrong it’s somebody else’s fault, not mine.

How did you rate?  0-10 points means you have few psychopathic tendencies, and are a warm, cuddly, empathetic person with a conscience and sense of social responsibility.

11-21  You have a conscience, but have a pragmatic streak and generally aren’t afraid to do your own dirty work.  You’re neither a shrinking violet not a pushover.

22-31  Right or wrong isn’t as important as getting the job done.  You know what you want and go for it, even if it means bending the rules and putting some noses out of joint.  Nothing fazes you.  You are decisive and self-confident.

Hannibal Lecter32-33  You’re at the top of the spectrum, a total psycho.

How did I do?  I came in the 11-21 category – I’m an empathetic pragmatist.  I can get things done, but not by stepping on others…

 

 

Time to Panic, Mr Mainwaring?

dont-panicSince the dreadful Brussels Airport and Metro bombings on 22nd March, there has been much alarmist reporting in the media, aimed at, well, terrifying the citizens of Europe. It used to be the case that the media reported news events and went in for measured and balanced analysis, with the aim of helping us sheep understand complex events. Now they have thrown that aside in an undignified, disrespectful and hysterical scramble to out-do each other as they stoke up a huge moral panic. I’d prefer my news without the hysteria, please. I find it disrespectful to the survivors and victims’ families.

Check out this morning’s (28/03/16) usually calm mirror.co.uk (newspaper of the year and not the mail!) news report…

SPOOKS ON ALERT AS EASTER TARGETED… (page headline)

50 hardcore jihadis ‘plotting terror attacks in the UK’ (sub-heading)

“More than 50 hardcore jihadists are suspected of planning attacks in Britain in the wake of the Paris and Brussels atrocities…they are among 450 extremists across the UK…it is believed MI5 and counter-terror police are tracking as many as 25 serious plots in support of Islamic State or al-Qaeda…Investigators also fear ‘sleeper cells’ could be awaiting orders to activate plots to bring carnage to Britain’s streets…”

Parliament bombedHold on a minute! If the security services know who is a threat, where they live, and where their weapons and bombs may be stored, why are they not picking them up? European citizens are asking this question, particularly after the Brussels bungle following on from the Paris slip-up. Hostile settlers intent on destroying us from within are laughing as they use our freedom of speech, association and human rights laws to their advantages – laws that they wouldn’t tolerate in Islamist countries/societies.

Maybe it’s time to remind ourselves that our hard-won freedoms are the result of hundreds of years of citizens agitating for fairness and equality as we struggled to throw off the shackles of feudal/Victorian oppression. They are a part of our history and social development, and suit our western way of life. They should not be a wall behind which those who mean to kill us can hide.

The citizens of Western Europe do not want to be told to run and hide in fear. They want to hear that our security services are acting to protect them. NOW.