Tuesday, 17 March 2015

So, I am so incensed about various issues this week that I don't know where to start. Shall we preamble? I want to get back to discussing things in more detail, but let me get some things off my chest to begin with......

I have been pursuing my family tree again. I am stuck with my three x great grandfather who, despite saying in each of the censuses that he was born in a particular place in 1806,remains without the attribution of a baptism. In the end, the problem may boil down to one of non-conformist records being secreted away somewhere where no one can see them. This problem confounds many an ardent family tree researcher, an impenetrable barrier to generations past. But why isn't it law to deposit these records in an archive somewhere? As things stand, records can be kept out of public view or knowledge; kept by chapels who regard documents as their own property to be kept away from us and, ultimately, lost to family history forever. (I know one such person who keeps chapel records from a deconsecrated chapel in his attic where they moulder until the day he dies when who knows what will happen to them? )It really is a scandal isn't it... and typical of the church in all its facets. Somehow the folks, who over the centuries have been born and lived and died in attendance of a religious institution, who have genuflected to it and feared it,who are the cannon-fodder, as it were, who perpetuate the institution, its life-blood and succour to its ministry, become in their death the property of the chapel, to be chained to oblivion if the chapel so chooses. Yet they are OUR relatives. Our antecedents have given them life and they have given us ours, but we have no rights when it comes to honouring them through family research. They are locked away.

We talked in another blog about the Church of England burying the dead according to a hierarchy: those with headstones have their grave-plot recorded , those without are not documented. That represents just how much we church goers over the centuries mean to them... The church is there for THEM, not for us, we are simply there to serve the continuity that the church requires and when they are done with us, they don't give a damn who is buried in their churchyards. It's that simple.Genes versus memes. Flesh and blood coming out second best to religious doctrine.

So what else am I concerned about this week? Well, how about the government's Prevent Strategy? I'll come back to this, but suffice it to say that I am incredulous at the sheer idiocy of the whole shambles. Let's apply a bit of logic: Prevent is supposed to deter disaffected youth from drifting into terrorism and reclaim those who have strayed, back onto the straight and narrow of good old British values! What a laugh! If we are so upright, why on earth are young Muslims such easy prey to radicalisation? And didn't the Iraq war have something to do with it? But we are assuming that our government is capable of thinking aren't we? Or did we know that they don't know a thing about basic psychology? Look, you have a young person who has been radicalised and you want to purge his or her mind of it. With me so far? So to de-radicalise them you have to talk to them, right? You have to find out what they think and why they think it in order to challenge them? But here's the rub: THEY can't talk to you because what they are thinking is imprisonable! ...There was a young man on the radio a few days ago who had been released from prison on licence. He was put on a Prevent program. If he had revealed what he was really thinking he would have been sent back to prison!So he kept his thoughts to himself.Now, did Prevent, therefore, his inner-most thoughts not evinced, believe that this young man had been deradicalised?! Are we to take it, then, that secret thoughts make us innocent and spoken thoughts make us guilty? Is this really the criterion whereby to judge? (It reminds me of government plans to render some mental patients guilty of crimes before they are committed and , of course, is the reason why imprisonment without trial becomes morally defensible....) So look, in this sorry little story you can see one of the many problems inherent in deeming a thought to be equivalent to an action. Let's get back to this soon.....
Next blog:Misattribution of intention.

No comments:

Post a Comment