Sunday, 10 February 2013

...when first we practice...

Today we shall be examining the bizarre case of an individual who, it seems, would like to be considered a "high profile" something-or-other, despite being neither considerably influential nor successful in any of the spheres in which they attempt to involve themselves.

It has been remarked that this extraordinarily unpleasant individual may be suffering from some kind of personality disorder & o
ne might be forgiven for thinking that a person such as this one has unresolved mother issues, especially when we note they way they focus their bile, in particular, upon women & children. This may well be true, however the type of cods wallop regularly spouted by this particular individual leads me to believe that they're actually nothing more than a bit of a nobber.

There is nothing unusual of course about this, as nobbers abound across the Interwebb but I think it is sensible to consider whether these types need some kind of authority to oversee their behaviours, as they are merely adding to the stereotype of frequenters of the Web as irrepressible egoists, who cannot abide other human beings & do not get on particularly well with anybody other than their own invented, multiple internet personalities.

It is important to realise that the world is not short of irritable, middle aged, individuals who have nothing better to do with their time than express views which they consider should be worthy of note, despite being insufferable bores. It would be a fine thing if people like this poured their time & energy into something constructive, but alas, being utterly detached from both reality & humanity, most of the drivel they profusely spout tends to do more harm than good.

Therefore I believe that the question we need to ask ourselves is should we continue to ignore the childish behaviours of this particularly badly behaved individual, or is there more to this story than meets the eye & in fact this person is, in their own sloppy way, actually crying out for the "touchy-feely" attention which they so frequently try to denounce?

Thus, I have written today's post in the style & language of this individual (so please forgive it's emotional lacklustre & odd grammatical construction) in the hope that it will appeal to their overriding narcissistic side & allow them to know that, in spite of all their, at best, foolish & often deranged ruminations, I pity them... as, I believe, do many others.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

My Child-napping Experiment

This week I removed two youngsters from the custody of their mother. A sister & brother combination... & I am in the process of making them my very own!

Well, I'm always hearing about how us common folk just don't 'get' the intricacies of the subject of child-protection; how we can't possibly appreciate the hardships & horrors faced by those working in the field & how only those with experience can truly be qualified to make decisions about such matters... So I figured I needed to get some hands on experience!

I feel qualified to call myself a 'Professional' in this situation, as I have, afterall, had 17 years intensive experience of child care, am a full time educator of three, plus have academic qualifications in the fields of Health & Social Care, Sociology & Psychology- I've got letters after me name & certificates dontcha know!... Besides which I am pretty sure that my social conscience, moral scruples & ability to assess what is best for a growing child are far superior to most... & other people that I mix with agree with me that Im a bit of an expert!
To the casual observer the family was functional, happy & loving... but since I am a 'professional' observer in this case, an expert decision maker, I feel I have an obligation to assess any family that comes into my scope with a much more rigid set of criteria than one would apply in everyday life & take action if all is not as I feel it should be... Ultimately the buck stops with me- I'm "damned if I do & damned if I don't"!

I first became aware of the family concerned when my own children became friends with one of theirs... That youngster did not get along with the Mother (they suffered a clash of personalities I think) & chose to leave home as soon as she was able & came to live with us.

I tried to make contact with the family, have a chat with Mum... but she refused to engage. In fact she was outwardly aggressive at my approach & the other family members also seemed un-inclined to communicate in the way I would have liked. I found this challenging & somewhat suspicious & it set alarm bells ringing... Maybe this family had something to hide? Maybe there were other issues, things 'going on' that I was not aware of?

I decided to delve deeper into this family's day-to-day living arrangements & see what I could uncover about them.

My initial assessment of the family occurred over a short period of time... I watched how the Mother interacted with her offspring- feeding them, washing them, cuddling them, teaching them. I observed the extended family whom they lived alongside also performing the same acts of nurturing & care-giving with diligence & affection. The Aunts & Uncle seemed very involved in the child rearing process & were frequently left in charge of the young ones whilst the Mother went out.

I would make it my mission to pop in unannounced to the family home so as to catch them unawares. Follow them when they went about their daily routine so as to make judgements upon their behaviours & make inquiries to any persons who knew the family about the way they lived their lives. This way I could be sure of building a case against them that would warrant my involvement.

I spoke to *The State & inquired as to what services it was providing to this family. I was informed that they were in receipt of of some benefits which afforded them food each day & a roof over their heads...
However, they were living on the breadline. On the 'means tested' minimum. On that which The State deemed essential & no more.

The BMI of the youngsters was on the low side, & tho they were not 'starving' they definitely looked like they could be fattened up a little. The food they ate each day was poor quality, unvaried & the youngsters had been allowed to breast feed for an extended period of time which was, seemingly, for it's nutritional value- but I suspected that the Mother was dis-inclined to wean them because she was either too lazy or had some other, more sinister motive.

Their home was adequate but meager. There were few luxuries around. Just the basics. The building they inhabited was sometimes cold & frequented by visitors, who often stayed over, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.

The youngsters were being home educated & attachment parented. They seemed happiest to be by the side of family members & refused to be separated for any length of time.
Their play appeared somewhat on the wild side- involving lots of time outdoors. I frequently observed the boy rolling around in the dirt of their yard & playing with sticks & other 'natural' items but there was no evidence of other kinds of toys being provided for them.
I saw no evidence of what I would deem 'an education' occurring, past the very basics of survival and in fact, the children were frequently left to entertain themselves whilst the adults merely sat around... or sometimes the young ones would be left completely unsupervised whilst the Mother & other family members went out for a meal or to engage in other 'adult only' activities.

The paternity of the children could not be ascertained... but the Mother was seen with at least two different males over the time I was observing her. There was a rumour that the Father of the young ones might well have also been their Uncle- & tho this was never proven, it was another factor to be considered. The Aunt's sexual liaisons were also scrutinised and found to be somewhat morally questionable.

Based upon all I had discovered I felt that indeed my attention upon this family was justified & that an intervention was definitely required.
Despite how happy the children seemed within the family environment I personally felt that their situation was far from optimal... & knew from other such cases that there could be opportunity for them to have a more luxurious & 'middle class' existence with the right intervention.
The children were both cute as buttons. Lively, attractive youngsters, still young enough to adapt to a new situation. I felt that they would make perfect candidates for adoption provided they were removed from the family at the earliest opportunity.

Initially I attempted to encourage the Mother to bring the children to meetings with myself & fellow 'concerned' individuals, in the hope that she would be convinced to give them up of her own accord... but she continued to be evasive & I could see that she was inciting the children to treat me like the enemy... She would not be persuaded that I had her children's best interests at heart... & I was not convinced that she understood how she was damaging them in the process... After several weeks I came to the decision that it would be best to completely remove the children from the family, so as to begin the rehabilitation process forthwith.

Removal of the youngsters happened in the early evening, as they were having their dinner... this meant I caught the family when they least expected it. It was surprisingly swift & simple- I distracted the Mother just long enough to make a grab for the kids & before they or she knew what was happening they were in my custody.

As is to be expected in such situations the children were extremely distressed by the sudden separation. They cried & tried to run away. Scratching at myself & others. Looking wide eyed & frightened. Shaking & wetting themselves. It was awful to see... But I consoled myself with the fact that I knew best. That I was in a better position to provide for these youngsters than their natural parent... and that eventually they would forget their biological family.

The little ones have now been in my care for 4 days.

Their initial fear has subsided only a little. Tho the boy seems more accepting than the girl of his change of home circumstances.

They have adapted to a diet of processed food quite quickly & do not seem to miss the more natural, biologically appropriate, organic foodstuffs which their mother used to feed them. I have given them cows milk in place of the breast milk they were getting from her & tho they do not like it as much they have had no choice but to accept in as the only available alternative.

The little girl still spends a lot of time hiding, cowering from touch & wets herself frequently. But her brother has mastered use of the toilet facilities & I am hoping she will eventually follow suit.

He has started to come out of his shell a little & even dared to play with another of my little ones last night when he thought no-one was watching, she however prefers to cuddle up to him at every given opportunity & continues to see myself & my other family members as a threat.(I blame the Mother for this, it's a shame we didn't take them away from her sooner.)

I have taken steps to ensure that the young ones do not have any communication with the biological family as I feel that doing so would only make the separation process harder for them all to accept. As there will be no going back I feel that this is the best course of action...

You may be asking yourself whether I feel guilty for the actions I have taken against this family... especially in light of my own recent dealings with others who would seek to behave in such a way against my own family... The answer is unreservedly YES!
The sick irony of my having done to another Mother... to someone else's children... the very same evil act that others might have done to us, does not escape me.

Observing these youngsters I cannot fail to imagine what must be going thru their heads. How they must be missing their Mum so much. How they must be wondering what they have done to deserve such cruel treatment. How they must miss her cuddles, her love & affectionate touch.
I cannot fail to recognise the fact that I cannot give them the same familial care that she would have done. That I lack the biological imperatives & abilities in which their Mum would naturally have engaged with them...

...but oh well! What's done is done. My opinion was, at the time, that I could give to them a life of luxury & social acceptability which far surpassed anything they would have gotten with her... & besides which I thought they were cute, hence the reason why I have chosen to keep them for myself & not have them adopted out. (Perk of the job)

If I hadn't removed them from the family who knows what kind of life they might have had... Home educated & 'Unseen' by The State or a 'professional' such as myself they could have been being taught any manner of things which might have been different from 'the norm'... that would have been 'socially unacceptable'... that Joe Public might not have approved of...

... they could have had an accident. Gotten pregnant whilst quite young. Learned to be part of some kind of sub-culture or parallel society. Not learned to bow to authority. Lived a basic & wild lifestyle. Continued to rely upon State handouts to get by. Spent their days lazing around instead of providing service to others.

The Mother will now be able to go out & sustain herself without the need for State support, should she so choose... tho I suspect that she will continue to live a life of frivolity & I would not be surprised to discover that she is pregnant again in due course, especially now she does not have the contraceptive benefit of breast feeding & because she seems the promiscuous sort!

I can justify my actions in myriad ways & ignore all the negatives because I:
(a). am sanctioned by 'The State' to do so....
(b). have professional credentials & experience in the field...
(c). allow myself to feel morally & intellectually superior to everyone else who isn't of the same mind as I.

It's been a busy few weeks but ultimately satisfying. The job got done. I have been paid & have what I want. I do not have to ever look in the eyes of the Mother again if I shouldn't choose to & have a plethora of excuses & moral justifications for what I have done..
All I need  now is to appoint myself with an important sounding job title & I should be set for a career in this kind of work...

What does one call oneself when one has made work for themselves performing a task of social engineering.... hmmmmmm?

 I think I'll call myself a 'Social Worker'.




Since the details of these youngsters never made it to the pages of some tabloid newspaper I thought I'd post a picture here of my new charges.

 *'The State' = The Farmer.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

"You should stop being so 'political'..."


  • Of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country.
  • Of or relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politic
This, it would seem is at the root of all my problems...
If I could just cast off my need/desire/drive/inclination to be so 'political' then my life would be one of peace... 

One lacking in drama.... 
One of quietude... 
One which does not run the risk of lapsing into a state of conflict, drawing unwanted scrutiny or alienating any person or institution with whom I may have cause to come into contact...
                                         ...or so I have been told!

I have been pulled up on several occasions of late, both by people close to me... & complete strangers... & informed in no uncertain terms, that the reason I have 'problems' in my life... the reason I am 'The Exiled Educator'... the reason I do not have a life filled with fluffy bunnies & rainbows... is because I have too much of a 'political' mind... too many 'political' opinions... & generally cannot stop being so damned 'political'!

Before I go much further I must clarify...
...this label of 'political' is one which has been affixed to me by the judgement of others & definitely NOT one which I would ascribe to myself.

... I have, after all, very little idea of the real 'state of the economy'... could not even begin to tell you about a recent political scandal... & to be perfectly honest don't really care for much of what goes on in the 'world of politics' on a day to day basis, the names of the players, or know exactly how much of the public purse they have squandered this week creating spin to justify their next horrific act... and I don't even watch the news!


I DO care about revealing & preventing the corrupt practices of those in power against the people they have power over... 
I DO have an interest in learning & spreading ideas about how to rid ourselves of the stranglehold that 'Big Government' & 'Big Business' have over our individual freedoms, food chain, water supplies, land ownership rights, economic systems, technological communications & information sharing abilities, cultural ideas, education, spiritual beliefs and social structuring... 
...and I DO earnestly wish for a world free of  statist constructed war, poverty, bigotry, inequity and slavery...

... so I guess it may be that, in the minds of some, I am a *little* bit 'political'!

10 years ago my greatest concern in life was where mine & my children's next penny, meal & fun times were coming from. Being 'political' was not something I had the energy, interest or brain capacity for. It was not fun, it was not easy to fathom & it definitely wasn't cool.

The closest thing I had to political awareness was when the BBC news told me over dinner their version of how the world looked today & an occasional letter from the DWP about changes to my state pension...
...I believed that I lived in a country & region of the world where war, poverty & political corruption were just images on the TV from a far distant land.
Home educating my children was a decision I came to at the time of this state of mind... the one where I was only doing what I thought was immediately best for me & mine & that was the most important thing in life. 
As with much at that time, I believed this was simply exercising a 'right' that I had as a person living in a 'civilised' & culturally sophisticated part of the world & time in history... & I did not have any fear that this was a right that could ever be jeopardized...
...just like my belief in 'rights' to clean water & air, adequate food & shelter & freedom of thought, movement & speech.


 I'm not sure if it was JUST the Badman saga... 
...Im sure I'd started to question the status quo prior to that...
... but it was definitely instrumental in bringing about a change in the way I saw the whole of the world around me.

It was around that time I first heard this (now well worn) quote, which is attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
It has become a favourite of many of the the more politically aware members of the UK home education community, since it became apparent that we are, on the whole, viewed very much as a renagade faction of society... one which does not conform to the 'norms'... one which bucks the trend to leave the education of our children up to the state. 

As such, when the practice of home education came under attack from the previous government via the Badman report & there was an attempt to introduce legislation which would have severely limited our freedom to live & educate as we thought best, as opposed to how the state saw fit, we did not garner much in the way of support from those who did not choose this path for their own families.

What is more there were some within the home education community who also did not see what concern it was of theirs that the liberties of home educators were under threat... some were nearing the end of their own home education journeys, some believed that the proposed changes were only going to affect the more 'unorthodox' types & still others were merely apathetic about the whole thing, seemingly believing that the fight would be fought by other more 'political' types & so did not require their effort or input!

Those of us who did engage in the process were privy to what I can only describe as an unwarranted, dirty & downright evil attempt to besmirch us as community & as individuals. An effort which was garnished with hefty sprinklings of corruption, lies, illegitimate wranglings & the overstepping of many marks. 

It wasn't just the outrageously inaccurate & offensive report by Mr. Bad Man... It was a multifaceted attempt by government- nationally & locally, by numerous organizations & those with vested financial interests, by individuals in the public & private spheres, by the media, celebrities, other home educators & various petty rent-seekers to each get in a twist of the knife & a piece of the pie... it was, frankly, a frightening, exhausting & disheartening time...

...& it was also very, very enlightening! 

A few months ago my interest in the 'political' took an even more personal turn & the Niemöller quote an even more personal twist... 

In exercising my assumed 'right' to family privacy I was put to the test on my willingness to assert this right. I was put in a position where I had to make a choice... either live my morals & 'walk the talk'... or allow the 'rights' that I wished to have, to be taken away & compromise my belief that freedom, privacy & autonomy should be something which I, and every individual, should be afforded & has the responsibility to fight for...

...Fortunately when "they came for me" there were others who also believed as I do... who were also prepared to be political & active & empathetic, rather than apathetic... others who also were prepared to fight, & think & walk the talk!

I guess what I learned from all of that was that it doesn't matter whether you consider yourself 'political'... whether you have an interest in politics... whether you can be bothered to get your head around the way it all works...

... at some point in life, somehow, some way, politics WILL take an interest in YOU!

Whilst you are busy being unaware, uninterested & uninvolved in 'politics' the wheels of politics will never-the-less continue to turn... Those in power will continue to grab for more... and the instruments of the state will continue to play the tunes to which they would have us all dance.

You may THINK you have the right to freedom, privacy, autonomy of thought & deed... water, food shelter... a vote, equality, peace... education, heath care, social welfare, free speech... to not be victimised or offended or endangered or killed... but the 'rights' you believe yourselves to have are not written in stone... & I actually gravely doubt the reality of many of them... they are but a mirage. They are merely privileges accredited to us by others... they are hard won & can be easily lost.

It might be that your life is already full of everyday 'stuff' to attend to... it might be that you prefer to focus on the positive aspects of life & negate the negative... it may well be that you find politics difficult & boring & testing on your nerves... but unless you are prepared to defend, fight for & assert these 'rights' you believe in so strongly you may well find that in fact there is someone... or many others... who do not agree that you have such rights at all & who are prepared to take them away from you!

Therefore I have this to say in return to those who have accused me of this terrible crime against my own ability to live a "peaceful & positive" existence...

...this crime of being 'political'.

I would rather be exiled, rather be distraught, rather be in conflict, rather have to keep on the move, rather worry, rather exhaust my body, mind & soul being 'political'... than live a life in ignorance and denial, be unaware of the goings on of the world I inhabit, or hide my head in the sand & only ever see life thru rose tinted spectacles!...

...And when they come for me I will be ready for them! 

...And when they come for you, and your children & your neighbours & mine, I will speak out for you all... just as others have done for me!... & I will be proud to have been a little bit 'political'... 

...will you?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Letter to a tyrannical teacher!

(this should sort of rhyme, if read in the right way... I hope)


Dear Miss Downing...

Once upon a time there was a 6 year old school-girl...
She was skinny & freckly & a little bit plain & awkward.

She hated school & had few friends. She was always much happier at home.
Sometimes she would be picked on by the other pupils for not being 'typical' or conforming to the 'norms'... Occasionally she would kick back (literally & metaphorically) so, mostly they left her ALONE!

She wasn't very brave, or beautiful... but she was VERY bright!... So much so that teachers tested & measured her & forced her to perform for them & when those scores came back as her having an IQ of the highest order... 
...they pigeon holed her as "a bit of an eccentric genius"... & then, much to the girls relief, they mostly ignored her.

But she just wouldn't get those thoughts of hers down on the paper... & they grew frustrated with her for not doing things in the way that they meant....
... & after many battles they just gave up on her & she shrank into the background & stared out of the window... & in her dream world she was occasionally left to be content!

But you, Miss Downing... YOU were not to be usurped!.... No young whipper-snapper EVER got the better of you... 
No child was ever left behind in your classroom.

You would make your mark on the hearts and minds of every poor unfortunate sent your way... 
Nobody was ever going to forget the impact YOU had on them, were they!?! 

You bullied & you shouted & you mocked every little thing you could get your vicious claws into... & you were NOT to be ignored!
And if any of those fragile wee things tried to be invisible in your presence you would call them out, pull them up, write their name on the board!

But for one set of 10 year old's it was to be doubly painful.
One year of your torture & wickedness & menacing ways would have been more than enough to bear... 
...but they were treated to a change of teacher a few months after they thought they'd escaped you... & once again you were there.
In your horrible brown cotton canvas dresses, with the sweaty armpit patches & the withering stare.

No-one could ever fathom why you chose to be a teacher...You really seemed to hate kids... & other human beings... & I'd hazard a guess at small furry animals too... 
No wonder you stayed a 'Miss'.
School was hellish enough & really quite tough, but oh so much more so day in & day out with you!

And on Parents Evening every child in your class would know that there was no hope of a pass... or an encouraging word or a kindly critique... No extra points for being nice, well behaved or unique.

So when you told the girl's mother "Your daughter's quite lazy... She's not really that bright & her logic's quite hazy"... It came as no surprise!
Then with bile from your tongue & spite in your eyes you tried to get in one final dig...

"If this girl doesn't apply herself... discipline & deny herself... she go nowhere in her life you know... I see her future quite clearly in fact.... 
She's going to end up sat on a fence, in Ireland, chewing a piece of grass."

And the girl's mother, a some time dreamer herself, said she thought at the time, but didn't dare say (coz you even effected grown adults that way)...

 "That wouldn't really be a bad life"...

& you both were correct!

Fancy that! :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Once a Catholic Unconventional, Anarchistic, Home-Educating 'Hooligan'... always one...

"Bless Me Father for I have sinned... It is a very, very, very long time since my last confession... & these are my sins:

I have committed the sin of being a Non-Conformist & "Unconventional" in my lifestyle.

A few months ago I shamefully attended a meeting about how to obtain Organic Food, leaving my young children in the care of their 17yr old brother, when I should have been at home washing the clothes...

This led to scrutiny from 'authority' figures & caused me to commit a further sin of defying that 'authority' when it sought to persecute myself & my family for my wayward ways, particularly my disgraceful choice to educate my children outside of the state system or allow my parenting, educational provision, or moral scruples to be inspected & dictated by dubiously qualified 'experts'.

I thereafter committed the sin of acting in the best interests of myself & my children by removing them from a rapidly escalating, agenda driven situation... which I realise was VERY selfish of me when I should obviously have sacrificed us all.

I fled from my previous home & started a new life with the help of other anarchistic & freedom loving types, instead of staying put & bowing to the expectations & delusions of other friends & family... & I have also ignored their demands that I allow myself to be a scapegoat, so as to allow others to remain in denial & ignorance of the corrupt system that was working against us.
Sorry for rocking the boat.

I have not yet begun regularly ironing my children's clothing or acting like a 'conventional' person, as per my Mother's advice- which I suppose goes against the commandment 'Honour thy Father & Mother'.

I continue to be 'political', which only this week I have been warned by someone far superior to myself, is probably at the root of all my problems. I also DARED to request friendship from this far superior person under an irreverent sounding pseudonym & then refused to allow myself to be slandered & bullied by this person... whatever was I thinking?

I have, all in all been a bit of a hooligan of late!... My sins have been many & varied... but all with one similar aspect to them... my inability to lie down & take a shafting by those who think they know better than I how I should raise my children, use my mind, what I should eat, watch & read & generally how I should live.
I guess I never learn...

I know I should say an 'Act of Contrition' & beat myself up over all of my mis-demeanors... but that would only add the sin of Hypocrisy to the list... & I am *REALLY* NOT sorry for any of these things I have done... In fact, I'm quite proud of myself!

I will however continue, as I always have, to try to live my life without causing harm or loss to others... & I hope you will help them to reciprocate in kind!