Category: divorce

My Place in the Sun

My Place in the Sun

A lot of people have taken me to task because I have suggested that the E.U. referendum in the UK was very xenophobic.  I do happen to think that in all areas both sides of the argument exaggerated and said things that were not true, but if you think sovereignty (whatever that is) economics, democracy  or any of the other things swung it in favour of exit I am not sure where you have been.  What swung it was we want to stop immigration.  As I said before not all people who vote exit are racist, but all racists will vote exit.  Sure some will have thought about the other arguments, though how anyone could cut through the noise to any factual knowledge I don’t know.
I said from day one, people will make their decision on this campaign emotionally.  That’s how people make decisions; perhaps they shouldn’t but realistically that what people do.  So what swung the vote were nasty racist posters, and we must control our borders.  We need to stop people coming into the UK.  It’s putting pressure on schools and housing.  I wonder why no one ever asks how much pressure divorce puts on housing. How can we possible think or say that a lot of this rhetoric, posters and advertising were not xenophobic?  I wish someone could explain that it was not a xenophobic campaign to my non UK friends, who work hard pay taxes, and were not allowed to vote but are quite afraid now; maybe sharing the fear of the two million plus UK citizens who live in other EU countries.
 It seems perhaps surprising, but perhaps it shouldn’t be that London, which has the highest number of immigrants, and my area very, very many yet we voted to stay in. May be we understand the benefit of immigration. What is also surprising, but probably should not surprise me is how many of my non birth UK citizens voted out. Kenyans, West Indians, Sri Lankans, Bulgarians, who have UK passports, friends of mine, but voted out.  It’s that yes I have my place in the Sun I have the sun bed and my towel is on it, say don’t you come in and touch it.
Let me tell you some stories which explain why I should not be surprised.  Some years back I remember being in Switzerland, I was there with refugees who years before had come to the country escaping war, and lived in really hard conditions.  But as is often with hard working, innovative, creative refugees they have done well.  I’m glad, nice houses, nice cars, prosperous.  I was aware that there were new wars at the time and new refugees coming into the country, so I asked my friends “how is the country coping with the new influx of refugees”.  Their response; ‘Our country needs to do something to stop these people coming in’! 
Story two, when we started helping refugees and asylum seekers in the UK we were advised to take some advice from an expert who was running a large half way house for people, not refugees but people with problems, we met the said gentleman, he was obviously from Asia and his turban sort of gave him away as not being of original English decent. His advice was most helpful, but then he asked what are you doing, my wife explained that we were setting up homes to help refugees and asylum seekers, his response to that was ‘we don’t want those people in our country’ my wife glanced up at the turban without saying anything, he obviously read her thoughts, and responded with ‘oh that, me I’m English’.
Story three, another friend of mine was running a youth club, arrived one day and asked the main worker where are all the young people today, they are not in the club, don’t know was the answer, looking out of the window he notice a whole load of young people kicking a football around, Oh he said I see lots outside, oh no came the reply they are not young people they are Polish.
I have all along during this campaign for in or out of the EU felt that the end decision was going to be made selfishly, we never once really asked will it hurt other Europeans, is it best for them if we leave, what do the immigrants hear in the UK feel about the anti foreigner rhetoric even the economic argument was always the selfish one.
Now, again not surprised, is to hear the Christians saying Gods will has been done, really?  Why do people always think Gods will has been done, what a funny idea, why does Jesus tell us to pray that God will, should be done, if it always is?  I am sure that often what happens is not God will at all.  So we may say as the Muslims do Inshalla or as Christians say D.V Deo volente, “God willing”. God may be willing but that does not mean His will has been done.


Well now going back to that Brexit, was it what God wants.  I don’t know.  Personally to be non selfish, with all the wrong of the EU I felt it was better to stay in for lots of other peoples benefit, influence, the protections that the UK gave in negotiations to smaller countries.  I listened to others in Europe who worried that if the UK left it would hurt them, I did not want that to happen.  Am I sorry that I have said it was so badly racist influenced, no and sadly the post exit decision seems to have raised a terrible dragon of permission to be racist; with people shouting in the street go home, to various non UK people;   Sad.


So was God will done, I don’t think so, but I am not sad about that because I know God well enough to know he takes all situations to make himself known, and for those who love him He makes all things work together for Good.  So I am happy.

                                                                                                                                         
Adrian Hawkes

Adrianhawkes.Blogspot.com

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Upstream Issues

Upstream Issues

I heard someone telling a story recently about how they were working in fish conservation and checking on clean water in rivers and streams in the UK.  Apparently they found an area of a stream where the fish were struggling for oxygen and dying. Workers then take out any dead fish and then it’s apparently possible to push oxygen into the water, often the water agencies do this by, as the Environment Agency says, pouring Hydrogen Peroxide into the water upstream. This releases extra Oxygen into the water. Such action appears to somewhat reduced the potential fish kill.

Upstream Issues

Upstream Issues

Upstream Issues

I heard someone telling a story recently about how they were working in fish conservation and checking on clean water in rivers and streams in the UK.  Apparently they found an area of a stream where the fish were struggling for oxygen and dying. Workers then take out any dead fish and then it’s apparently possible to push oxygen into the water, often the water agencies do this by, as the Environment Agency says, pouring Hydrogen Peroxide into the water upstream. This releases extra Oxygen into the water. Such action appears to somewhat reduced the potential fish kill.


Of course you can keep doing this sort of thing, but of course what is really happening is that you are dealing with an event like an illness or a tragedy that sometime keeps occurring, you put it right but then later on it appears again.  Often in the case of the fish dying, checking up stream you discover that there is a factory that periodically discharges its waste into the stream and this waste is toxic or depletes the oxygen in the water thus killing the fish.  So it is better to deal with the cause of the upstream issue rather than the results the downstream of fish dying.


It seems to me that this is often the case in our society at large.  We deal with the results and never think about the cause.  Now I know it’s not the whole answer but in this country we constantly hear we are short of houses, when you ask people what is the upstream issue they will tell you it’s immigration; Now I am sure that is true to some extent but is there another factory upstream creating the need?  What I would like to ask, happens when people get divorced? Oh yes there is often the trauma for the couple, definitely for any children involved, but then housing do they still live in the same house or are now two houses needed?


Now I think there are lots of upstream issues in our world that I think we need to look upstream to really help rather than just sticking plaster on the hurt at the point where the upstream issue has impacted.  Let’s think about some of the things we are reacting too.  What about the current government tax receipts shortages, are the upstream factories putting poison into the system?


At the moment we have more children coming into the care system than ever before, 2014 hit the highest need for Foster Carers for children than ever, we are doing our best with help and plasters, but is there an upstream issue we should be looking at?  In 2013 there were 68,110 children in the care system costing the taxpayer £2.5 Billion. The predicted increase in 2014 is said to be around 7%.  Will it go up again in 2015 are we dealing only with symptoms or is someone looking upstream and if so what is the cause?

According to the National Statistic office these figures are continuing to rise:
Number of children looked after at 31st march each year:

  • ·        2010 64,470
  • ·         2011 65,500
  • ·         2012 67,070
  • ·         2013 68,060
  • ·         2014 68,840

So I have picked up on just a couple of areas of our society and I am asking the question – its great and necessary to care, and to deal with symptoms, just like we would care in any situation such as a road accident for example, but it would be better to put things in place to stop the accident happening if we could, surely we should try and examine the upstream issues – don’t you think?

Adrian Hawkes

adrianhawkes.blogspot.com

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Edited by Gena Areola

Another Upstream Issue

The report is yet another example of the way that the practical action of the churches has been combined with a prophetic role in speaking out against structural injustice.  This is the synthesis we should always be looking for – compassion and justice – so that we continue to help people who are drowning in the river, but we also go upstream and find out who is pushing them in.

By John Kurt in Resistance and Renewal speaking about food banks and their need