It’s a bit like the EU

I’m a member of the National Trust. For an annual subscription I get free parking and free entrance to all their properties and can visit any of them as often as I wish. If I resign from the National Trust, I will have to pay parking and entrance fees every time I visit a National Trust property. The National Trust are not penalising me by imposing those charges, only applying the charges that apply to all non-members, which I chose to become by resigning.

It’s a bit like the EU.

Am I not a man and a brother?

The inscription ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’ became the catchphrase of British and American abolitionists. Medallions were even sent in 1788 to Benjamin Franklin who was then president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. The image was widely reproduced on domestic objects like crockery and also became popular on fashion accessories. Source

Let’s foster a better historical, cultural, and sensitive understanding of ‘taking the knee’. Think for yourself, don’t swallow the bigotry and propaganda. We all need to fight a culture war against bigotry and ignorance.

The England I want to live in

The England football team, staff, and manager, represent the country I want to live in. A country that works as a team, values diversity and inclusion, and stands up to injustice despite opposition. A forward looking, thoughtful, brave, open, and compassionate country.

Unfortunately, a vision made more difficult to achieve by Brexit, but I still hope and strive for it. C’mon England!

Football (like life) can be cruel!

Football is a microcosm of all human life: the best and the worst, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the triumphs and the sorrows, the successes and the failures, the ecstasy and the agony, the beauty and the ugliness. Love it or loathe it, you can’t escape it. You have to deal with it.

What better vehicle is there to teach our children human character, the value of working as a team, and emotional intelligence for their adult lives? And, in the light of the result, I would add the need to demonstrate graciousness in defeat.

It’s Coming Home

The England football song Three Lions (1996) (sometimes known as It’s Coming Home) can come across as arrogant, and arrogance is something often attributed to England (and sometimes more widely to Great Britain). Sadly, with good reason considering our attitudes and history. Equally, this arrogance is also felt in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Unlike other football songs, the lyrics express the disappointment of being a football fan. It’s actually about dreaming, recognising that the result might go against us, but still believing and hoping.

I think it’s bad news for the English game
We’re not creative enough, and we’re not positive enough

It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home (We’ll go on getting bad results)
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home

Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before
They just know, they’re so sure
That England’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away
But I know they can play, ’cause I remember

Three lions on a shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
Thirty years of hurt
Never stopped me dreaming

So many jokes, so many sneers
But all those “Oh, so nears” wear you down through the years
But I still see that tackle by Moore and when Lineker scored
Bobby belting the ball, and Nobby dancing

Three lions on a shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
Thirty years of hurt
Never stopped me dreaming

England have done it, in the last minute of extra time!
What a save, Gordon Banks!
Good old England, England that couldn’t play football!
England have got it in the bag!
I know that was then, but it could be again

It’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home
(England have done it)
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming
Football’s coming home

(It’s coming home) Three lions on a shirt
(It’s coming home, it’s coming) Jules Rimet still gleaming
(Football’s coming home
It’s coming home) Thirty years of hurt
(It’s coming home, it’s coming) Never stopped me dreaming
(Football’s coming home
It’s coming home) Three lions on a shirt
(It’s coming home, it’s coming) Jules Rimet still gleaming
(Football’s coming home
It’s coming home) Thirty years of hurt
(It’s coming home, it’s coming) Never stopped me dreaming
(Football’s coming home
It’s coming home) Three lions on a shirt
(It’s coming home, it’s coming) Jules Rimet still gleaming
(Football’s coming home
It’s coming home) Thirty years of hurt
(It’s coming home, it’s coming) Never stopped me dreaming
(Football’s coming home)

Mobile Roaming Charges

Many people in the UK (including news outlets) are wrongly describing mobile roaming charges as EU roaming charges. This post is one small step towards putting the record straight.

  1. The EU ended roaming charges.
  2. They are not EU roaming charges.
  3. The reason they can be brought back is because we are no longer in the EU.
  4. The process of leaving the EU was called Brexit.
  5. The reason the companies can do this is because of Brexit.
  6. Any questions?

Interpreting the Bible

As a Christian, my understanding is that the timeless truths of the Bible are greater than the cultural and historical contexts in which the actual words were written. God expects every generation to discover and apply these truths in their unique time and place. This is not to dilute our faith or disregard tradition, but simply to let these truths live and shine afresh in every age.

Equally, we mustn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because something was true in a previous era and context, doesn’t mean it should be modified or abandoned now. Christian tradition has much to teach us, despite the fact that the church hasn’t always been the perfect guiding light to timeless truths. Humility must be shown, and (if necessary) repentance demonstrated.

This is the overall context for the often highly charged discussion of equal marriage and inclusion within Christian circles.

We will remember them!

Yesterday (29 June 2021) England beat Germany 2-0 in the delayed Euro2020 football tournament at Wembley Stadium.

Having experienced England win the World Cup in 1966 by defeating Germany aged 12, I’ve waited 55 years for England to beat them again in the knockout stage of a major tournament. It was glorious!

Having said that, I do worry for my country when some England fans boo the German national anthem, laugh at a crying German girl being consoled by her father, and give her despicable abuse online.

We were victorious over fascism in 1945, not Germany. The Second World War is NOT a justification for England fans to demonstrate the very attitudes our forefathers died to defeat. We will remember them!

See also: They think it’s all over!

To wear or not to wear?

Yes, I know children don’t have to wear face masks in the UK, but Freddy put his on recently and I’m really pleased with this photo!

Despite the UK government being very slow to mandate face mask wearing, it’s now become a feature of life. Of course, there are those who are exempt, but this seems to be widely abused. Also, many people have selfishly given up wearing face masks, forgetting that wearing one is a selfless act to protect others.

The lifting of coronavirus restrictions, although delayed, are now on the horizon, but it’s likely that I’ll continue to wear mine in certain situations – especially in the winter when coughs and colds spread easily.

Will you continue to wear your face mask after the restrictions have been lifted?

Parent Governor Vacancy

A parent governor vacancy has come up again at our children’s school. I missed the deadline last time, so I won’t make that mistake again. A great way to serve my community in retirement. Is being a school governor something you might consider? The following is information supplied with the application form:

Have you got:
• An interest in education?
• Dedication to promote high standards of attainment?
• The ability to work as a team to meet the school’s aims and objectives?
• An interest in using your skills to offer opinions and solutions to topics and challenges?

Then you could have what it takes to join the largest volunteer group in the country, working with others to get the best for our children by becoming a Parent Governor.

Governors are:
• Parents of children who go to the school
• People nominated by the Local Authority
• People appointed by the Local Diocese
• Teachers
• Support staff
• People connected with the local community
• Headteachers

What does the role involve?
Governor volunteers work alongside the school’s senior leadership team to set targets, formulate school policy and plan for future development. Governors do not manage the day to day running of a school, but they do set the framework which should ensure the school is running effectively.

The three core functions of a governing body are:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
• Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Expertise needed?
There are no specific skill requirements for the role. However, schools do benefit and are increasingly interested in volunteers from the Finance, Legal, Business, Marketing, HR and Construction sectors. On appointment, governors receive an induction pack from the Local Authority who provide comprehensive training and support.

Term of Office
A term of office is for a period of up to four years. If the child of a Parent Governor leaves the school the governor can complete their term of office, unless he/she chooses to resign.