Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Total war on The Pusher man

The executions of drug traffickers in Indonesia have been controversial, and there are many moral questions raised by hard drug crime and capital punishment. It has been said that the death penalty is not really a penalty because it takes the recipient right out of the game.

Some see the execution of the Bali 8 as barbaric and cruel, but others have no sympathy for these dealers in death and misery. There is considerable debate in the Australian press about the death sentence carried out on two of their citizens. One writer mentions that sympathy should be reserved for the many families who have lives torn apart by drugs.

President Widodo known as Jokowi has declared war on the drug traffickers and refuses to give way on his firm stance in support of capital punishment for those involved in hard drug crime.  Perhaps he has been influenced by the lyrics of The Pusher, made famous by Steppenwolf and also by the cult film Easy Rider.
            If I were the president of this land
You know I'd declare total war on The Pusher man
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bletchley Park codebreaker Nora to be buried in Hornchurch

Bletchley Park code breaker Miss Nora Gotts,who died last month, will be buried in the family plot in Hornchurch cemetery on Thursday, 30 April, after a thanksgiving service at Hornchurch Baptist Church at 2 p.m.

Nora Gotts, 1/11/1921 - 20/3/2015, outside Hut 6 at Bletchley Park.

There is a tribute to her in the latest edition of the Romford Recorder on page 43.
There are further details about her time at Bletchley and photographs in this blog, when she last visited BP in June 2012.


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Sad to see Sadio Mane diving so much

Michael Owen could not help notice the number of blatant dives by Southampton's Sadio Mane this afternoon. It is bad for the game and I hope the referee learns from these tricks, and that manager Koeman takes Mane to task for this unacceptable cheating.

Hampshire Blues: tasty cheeses

During my short break in Hampshire I bought two blue cheeses in Lyndhurst: the local New Forest Blue, from  Loosehanger Cheeses, and the Isle of Wight Blue.

Of the two, I preferred the New Forest Blue.  The Isle of Wight Blue was a little too salty for my taste, but it had a lovely creamy texture. The New Forest Blue, which was available at the Beaulieu Hotel, had a lovely toffee like texture and smooth taste.

Robber Rahman played the race and religion card

It is really bad form to play the race and religion card to defend corruption, deceit and daylight robbery.Looking at reports in the national press it is a disgrace that Lutfur Rahman was able to cheat, engage in ballot rigging, bribe, forge postal votes, lie and rob Tower Hamlets of funds. This stinks!

Hats off to Andy Erlam, Angela Moffat, Azmal Hussein and Debbie Simone for challenging the corrupt practices of the former Mayor of Tower Hamlets. They risked a hefty legal bill, but the election commissioner Judge Richard Mawrey, Q.C., found in their favour and now Rahman faces bankruptcy. Rahman "proved himself almost pathologically incapable of giving a straight answer."

Friday, 24 April 2015

Beaulieu is a beautiful place and you can have a really good time there

I have spent hours at Beaulieu, yesterday and today, and it was most enjoyable.  I stayed at the Beaulieu Hotel, near Beaulieu Road Station by the New Forest and by the magnificent Beaulieu Estate in Hampshire.

There are lovely walks all around the area where hikers, cows, horses and New Forest ponies wander the heathland.

There are many attractions at Beaulieu and so much to look at around the vast estate, as you can see from the following photographs. Enjoy!

There are outrageous and hilarious exhibits! Highly amusing.

Under construction ....more to come.

And some more to see.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Fear within Islam

There are Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims living in fear of reprisals after attacks and mosque bombings. Taliban and ISIS/ISIL/IS are now engaged in violent confrontation.  Alawites in Syria are fighting against Muslim opponents, who regard the Alawites as heretics. Houthi rebels are fighting bloody battles in Yemen around Aden, right now.  All these conflicts have generated a great deal of fear and flight among Islamic groups.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Dame Angela and an urban myth

Dame Angela Watkinson, the Tory MP and now candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster, maintained  this evening that ten per cent of the population is gay.  What planet does she live on?  It may be true for parts of London NW3 and Brighton, but not for the whole of the UK. The Integrated Household Survey of the Office for National Statistics puts the figure at just 1.5 per cent of people in Britain.  That's far from ten per cent, which is peddled by some parts of the media, but even Stonewall estimate the figure at five to seven per cent. I wonder where Dame Angela got her figures to promote an urban myth that one in ten people are gay.  For women, in fact, it is probably below one per cent.

Killing the Christians

Perhaps you saw the recent BBC2 programme Killing the Christians. It shows that Christians are being tortured, persecuted and murdered throughout the Middle East in countries and areas that are controlled by Muslims. We are told that these barbaric actions and horrendous events are nothing to do with Islam. It is a position that seems hard to sustain when those who carry out these evil crimes justify them with reference to the Koran and Islamic teaching.

The church in Syria is in dire straits. Christians live in constant fear of attack and severe persecution. Bashar al Assad is seen as an ally against Islamic jihad and the vile ISIS movement. This shows how desperate the situation is now.

Recent reports of beheaded Christians in Libya have stunned the church community.  The Archbishop of Canterbury and other clerics have spoken out against the savagery. It is so very difficult to be a Christian in many Muslim countries. That is a fact! Prejudice, ignorance, superstition and bigotry abound. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, sadly.  Islamophobia is said to be an irrational fear of Islam. In many Islamic countries rational fear is part of life for Christians and Jews. Fact!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

FIFA rankings are like Swiss cheese, full of holes

When Switzerland are ranked in the top ten in world football you know something is wrong. Yes, Switzerland are ranked higher than Spain, France, Romania, Italy and England!  There are other teams ranked below the Swiss, when common sense tells you the rankings stink like a smelly stale cheese and the ranking system is full of holes like a Swiss Emmental.

FIFA decided to have a World Cup in Dubai, which has no tradition of football at a top level and highly questionable infrastructure for the matches. And Blatter is still working way beyond his sell buy date. It stinks.

FIFA opposed for many years goal-line technology. It still opposes video replays, that are now used as part of NFL and test match cricket.  When so much is at stake in some of the top games video technology should be available to referees. It will come one day, but no thanks to FIFA. Common sense will make it happen and we will wonder why it took so long to introduce.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Hornchurch Passion Play is on again this Easter weekend

Yesterday, Good Friday, was the first performance of the Hornchurch Passion Play 2015.  The weather kept some people away but it did not rain at all during the performance. Crowds did come to the Queen's Theatre Green and were able to enter in to the spectacular event. We expect more to come this evening and tomorrow evening.

In 2011 I played the part of Rabbi Daniel, an opponent of Jesus, but this year I have the role of Joseph of Arimathea, a rather reticent and fearful supporter of Jesus.

As some of you may know I have written about the Hornchurch Passion Play not only in this blog but elsewhere.  For those who are interested I have attached the appropriate links.

Pages 140 and 141 of the 2015 April issue of Essex Life.

Pages 5 and 6 of the 2013 Spring issue of The Oxford Theologian.

The hard work, preparation and rehearsals have been worthwhile and more great performances will take place, D.V., God willing. Many prayers have been answered already. Praise God.


River Stour