Monthly Archives: January 2018

Letter #16

We seem to be having a wholesome’ day here at Ijo Pona HQ. Kathryn is at a Church Parade with her Girl Guide group and I am left to my own devices. Rather than just head back to bed to catch forty winks, I decided to try and put my time to good use.

That is, after all, the purpose of being here as a person — you have no say in your arrival or what you arrive with — but it is up to you to make something of it. And, if I can help other people get along, then it will help me get along.

This is what I made’ today …. I decided to write to Andrew Jones, Harrogate & Knaresborough MP. Believe it or not, the right to a trial before imprisonment is still not available for people fleeing strife in foreign lands. Habeas corpus (/ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔːrpəs/; Medieval Latin meaning literally that you have the body”) is a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the custodian of the person, usually a prison official, to bring the prisoner to court, to determine whether the detention is lawful. The right to a fair trial — for only crossing a border — is still being denied to thousands by the British Government.

Dear Andrew Jones,

There is growing criticism of Britain for being the only EU country without a statutory time limit for the detention of immigrants, including criticism by the UN Human Rights Council. Every year the Home Office locks up tens of thousands of people — including survivors of torture, trafficking and rape — and gives them no idea when they will be freed. The lack of a time limit destroys mental health. Self-harm, suicide attempts and deaths are common. This is state-sanctioned suffering on a vast scale.

Survivors of torture, trafficking and rape are among the tens of thousands held in overcrowded centres — for months, or even years — where a recent investigation uncovered widespread self-harm and attempted suicides”.

The Home Office has paid £21.2m to migrants it unlawfully detained over the past five years, laying bare its chaotic decisions” it was alleged.

Now campaigners believe a looming immigration bill offers a fresh opportunity for MPs to pass an amendment to impose a strict 28-day limit. Will you back this movement?

A stain on our democracy” — Andrew Mitchel, Former International Development Secretary

Almost 30,000 people are detained each year in the centres, with several hundred held for longer than one year. One person was held for more than four years, according to The Independent. I don’t think it’s right to hold people in detention indefinitely. It’s wrong in principle and this is an issue that really matters.

A suspension of Habeas corpus in this day and age, Andrew Jones? Really?

Half of immigrants leaving detention centres end up being released into the community — rather than deported — where monitoring them cost 80 per cent less, according to the latest figures.

Will you back a 28-day limit if it is supported by a fresh independent review into the welfare of immigration detainees, to be published in June by Stephen Shaw, a former prisons and probation ombudsman?

Most British people would be surprised to find out it is possible to be detained indefinitely in this country — something that goes back to Habeas corpus. I would like to see Britain use methods that have proven to be effective in other countries — such as Sweden — if Stephen Shaw says any consequences with a 28-day limit can be overcome. Will you add your voice?

Indefinite detention is not only cruel, but costs hundreds of millions of pounds.” — Afzal Khan, Shadow Immigration Minister

I will re-iterate my point: will you back a 28-day limit if it is supported by a fresh independent review into the welfare of immigration detainees, to be published in June by Stephen Shaw, a former prisons and probation ombudsman? Or, will you blindly suspend Habeas corpus, unlawfully, for another year?

Yours faithfully,

Andrew

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Letter #15

The Repeal Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation in a generation. It will rewrite our laws after we leave the European Union. Those laws affect every one of us — our friends, our families, our children. Laws against discrimination and privacy invasions. Protections for workers, LGBT+, disabled and older people. Rights we fought for and won long ago.

The People’s Clause makes sure the rights we’ve gained from EU membership aren’t going anywhere. The package:

Creates a black-and-white promise that ministers can’t use their Repeal Bill law-making powers to roll back our rights protections Makes sure Parliament scrutinises how ministers rewrite laws, to prevent backroom deals that dodge the democratic process Brings all our fundamental rights protections home from the EU in full force — including a fully enforceable Charter of Fundamental Rights and non-discrimination laws — and doesn’t let the Government get away with carving out a gaping human rights exemption from its promise to preserve legal consistency after Brexit. The case for these amendments is strong. The Government knows it. The Repeal Bill in its current form isn’t fit for purpose. It takes the people out of the process and lets a few ministers decide everything for us. Plenty of MPs and peers — from all the major parties — know it. Which is why dozens have stood up for the people they represent and signed up to the People’s Clause amendments.

Every week, more join the list.

Among all the noise about Brexit, we need to make sure we are heard.


Dear Andrew Jones MP,

I hope you are managing to keep warm despite the freezing conditions — we are currently choosing Heating over Eating. The matter I am writing to you about was prompted by the pressure group LIBERTY UK. They highlighted the effect of the Repeal Bill, and, I was alarmed. We need a formal commitment in the text of the Repeal Bill ensuring ministers have to protect every one of our rights in UK law after Brexit. Will you back amendments already tabled to the Repeal Bill — guaranteeing there will be no rollback of rights after we leave the EU?

The Repeal Bill gives a handful of ministers unbelievably broad powers to change our laws with no real scrutiny from Parliament or the people they represent. As my representative at Parliament, will you to stick up for me and my fellow constituents & raise the level of parliamentary scrutiny on the Repeal Bill?

Many of our hard-won rights are protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the General Principles. The Government says it wants legal consistency after Brexit, but, according to rights watchdogs LIBERTY & Amnesty UK, it has made a political decision to leave those rights behind. Will you hold the Government to its promise not to make the Repeal Bill about political policy choices and support an amendment to maintain our existing rights?

Ministers keep promising they’ll protect our rights as we leave the EU. So why not put that in black and white in their new law? I am worried that there seems to be a growing trend that fewer and fewer people have the power to shapes the Nations destiny — will you be a Voice of the people or toe the Party line?

Yours faithfully,

Andrew

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A Peasant’s View Of Art

Kathryn had the day off work today — so we decided to pop over to Leeds to take in some culture. The City centre Gallery had benefited from a refurb and we were pleased to see that Joseph Beuys was the artist featured in the ARTIST ROOMS in the gallery. Not that I knew much about him before I arrived.

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and revolutionary cultural figures, who changed the look and meaning of sculpture forever. A political and social activist and educator, Beuys believed in the healing power and social function of art. He saw creativity as central to all aspects of human existence, declaring that everyone is an artist’.”

I appreciate I may not be the most qualified of chaps to comment on the artist, Beuys, output. So, if you have anything different to say please leave a comment in the footer of this post. However, I went to an exhibition and this is my blog — so I will write about the exhibition.

Josephph Beuys

But what did I make to the above art and, inevitably, the artist’s take on life: I loved it. I believe Beuys was trying to merge the Scientific and the Spiritual through his sculptures and, personally, I think he challenged the way people see the world after being exposed to his art.

I know it has for me.

The materials he used were not the most palatable of choice for me — lots of materials that set my teeth on edge: felt & fat being two choice examples. But I love the symbolism of what he was hoping his viewer would get. Like Shakyamuni’s finger pointing towards the moon, the works I saw in Leeds today spoke of wider memes and counterpoints to the global psyche of the latter part of the twentieth century. I actually, for the first time in my life, think I got an art exhibition!

Beuys was instrumental in the founding of the German Green Party and used his profile as an artist to speak out for the disenfranchised and dispossessed. He actively campaigned for environmental issues and befriended a coyote. Were his works aesthetically appealing? No. In short, I believe his point was to provoke and administer a revolution of the individual. To overthrow our self-imposed rulers and set our selves free to be who we want to be.

After a bit of research into Beuys when I got home I read this about his choice of the before-mentioned materials: in 1942, Beuys was stationed in the Crimea and was a member of various combat bomber units. From 1943 on he was deployed as rear-gunner in the Ju 87 Stuka” dive-bomber, initially stationed in Königgrätz, later in the eastern Adriatic region. On 16 March 1944, Beuys’s plane crashed on the Crimean Front close to Znamianka. From this incident, Beuys fashioned the myth that he was rescued from the crash by nomadic Tatar tribesmen, who had wrapped his broken body in animal fat and felt and nursed him back to health:

Had it not been for the Tartars I would not be alive today. They were the nomads of the Crimea, in what was then no man’s land between the Russian and German fronts, and favoured neither side. I had already struck up a good relationship with them and often wandered off to sit with them.” — Joseph Beuys

Was Beuys an artist or a revolutionary … or a healer? I cannot answer that & I will leave the answer to those who knew him best. Either way, his work has left an impression on this peasant. I see him as someone who used the tools at his disposal, what he was good at, as a way of effecting long-lasting social change. Whether he was successful or not, I doubt it — but it has made me want to take up the baton for improving the self for the sake of others.

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Ooh, Hai 2018

So, 2017 — was it a good year for me?

I had a lot of bad things happen to me that were out of my control in 2017. A few examples of this were Brexit, Grannie passing away and my Dad’s dog passing on. However, these things are out of my control — they were ordained by higher powers (whatever they are) and I had little to do with their matters. I can but bear witness to them happening and work with those I know towards achieving a legacy.

For the things that were in my control — I had a great year; Guerrilla Dub System had four top ten hits and my web design business went from strength to strength. I qualify as an Audio Mastering Engineer soon (as soon as I bang the homework in) and I saw my Niece blossom into a little lady. I grew closer to my Mum & Dad. Indeed, I told my Dad I loved him — there was an awkward 11.5-minute silence and then he asked if I had taken my medication. Mum just called me soft.

My radio show started to get taken seriously — if you want to see that check out go to www.theparishnews.com.

I made some great friends and cemented some friendships that are Samson Strong. Kathryn, as ever, has been amazing to me and lets me do as I wish within reason — she really is amazing, awesome lady.

For NYE, I strolled, barged-booted and Ox-broad, to Harlow Hill Club for New Year’s Eve celebrations. The reason was Metal Sans Frontieres. Not what you would call my cup of tea — a hair metal night has never really appealed to me. However, there was a noise and humanity to the night that would not be rivalled through town. We were amongst people we love and respect — we were free to be who we are and come what may.

However, I sat like a grumpy arse through most of the night only loosening up towards the end — the quiz was a right laugh although it did not go to plan. The host, Stuart, had his family with him and they were a credit to him; good lads the both of them Stuarts boys.

We went to an after party and Kathryn and I shared a beer before heading home. Good shindig. Called Watty-P (based in Dubai) a rude word and I hope he doesn’t get deported — still it is all on me and my fault. He sent a link to me on Whatsapp about people getting deported for swearing when they are in Dubai — most of Eirene’s friends (Watty-P’s better half) want them to get deported so that they come home.

My New Years resolution is to swear less and be less of a nob. I will start a tag that I’ll keep people updated on the progress of the swearing — here it is. I can’t make promises on the updates for being less nob-like though. I am worried this could turn me in to another prude or a naysayer. Hopefully, it will make me into a better person?

If I could do one thing in 2018 a bit better (other than less swearing // Nob-like behaviour) is to be a bit more of a better listener. I find that when people tell me things I am keen to jump in and give my two-pence worth before they finish their schpeal. If I left it to the ultimate (them finishing their talking) then they will probably be able to give themselves the answers that they need. Funny how it works out. I suppose it goes back to bearing witness — my interpretation — where you stand for what you believe, but point the way as opposed to telling them what to do. However, I could have this wrong. Am I qualified to point the way,” am I even qualified to listen to people talk to me?

Here is a better representation of what I think — In a heavyweight dub style.

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