I used to think ..

This was written in the immediate aftermath of the vote on 23.6.16 and so therefore doesn’t take into account the events surrounding the Labour Party or the Conservative party.

I used to think that I was angry when working class and unemployed were blamed for the banking crash.
I used to think that I was angry when the Liberal Democrats propped up a UK Conservative Government.

I used to think I was angry when the UK elected a second Conservative Government and the harshest welfare cuts were brought into place that I can remember – or certainly of my life time.

I thought I was angry when the UK Government failed to bring about a decent piece of legislation to support the future of Wales.

I thought I was angry when the entire media and political world became paralysed and polarised by the EU Referendum debate.

I thought I was angry when Wales returned 7 (yes that’s correct) UKIP Assembly Members to the National Assembly for Wales in May.

I thought I was angry when I got my first taste of what UKIP would behave like in the Assembly.

At that point I was not only fearful for Wales and the future of the Assembly, but I thought I had reached peak anger, disappointment and frustration.

Then 23 June happened.

When I went to sleep at around 10:00 (don’t judge – I have a 4 week old baby), there were some tentative signs that Remain might edge it. A “close of polling” poll indicated that camp was ever so slightly in the lead.

At around 01:00 when I woke up, there was even a Huffington Post update reporting that Farage (rhymes with same sex marriage) had conceded that Remain might edge it. My son had his milk and I went back to sleep, quietly pleased that that was that.

Waking up again at 04:00 there was another Huffington Post. This time it said that Farage was on the verge of announcing his success and the triumph of the Leave campaign.

It honestly felt like a punch to the gut.

By the time I had woken up properly, the hits just kept on coming – not only was Farage gloating everywhere, but Wales had overwhelmingly voted to Leave and the value of the pound was going the wrong way over a cliff. There was no good news as a result of the decision of the UK electorate to vote themselves out of the EU.

Now, at the time of writing, David Cameron is a lame duck, Osborne is desperately clinging on to the door at the Treasury with all his might and the Labour Party has turned in on itself in what must be the best example of a circular firing squad in modern political history.

There is no plan for Brexit.

Some of the Leave campaigners have been waiting for this for 40 years, but they finally get what they want and they haven’t even got a plan for what to do next.

Not only that, it has since emerged that there were a number of “factual inaccuracies” (lies) included in the Leave campaigns materials:

  • £350mn into the NHS (nope)
  • controlling our borders (nope)
  • reform of freedom of movement (nope)
  • getting the most value for your pension (nope)
  • no continued access to EU funding (nope)
  • the UK will stay together (nope)

There is no plan for Brexit. 

Let’s be clear, Boris Johnson and the rest of the Leave mob are playing for time because they don’t know what they want or how to get it. The idea that now having left, or voted to Leave, that we can now negotiate a sweet deal with the EU is pie in the sky thinking. 

Wales will be worse off. Perversely, the areas which most vociferously voted for Leave will be some of the worst hit. We in Wales now have to rely on the UK Conservative party to pick a new Prime Minister, who we will have to rely on to make the best possible fist of this clusterf&€k that they can.

There. Is. No. Plan. For. Brexit.

And living in Wales, with two small children? I feel broken by the decision taken by Wales and England (outside of London).

There. Is. No. Plan. For. Brexit.

I am genuinely scared about what that means for me, for my family and for Wales.

What should we do?

KBO – Keep Buggering On (and hope for the best).

Something tells me I may well be returning to this topic.

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So you wanna be a (boxer) politician?

Just a quick ramble ..

I’ve often thought (not arrogantly you understand) that I’d quite fancy being a politician – probably in Wales, because through the regional list system it is at least in theory easier to get elected if you are in the top half of your party’s list (I recognise there’s a few caveats to my previous statement) – and heaven forbid, I might even be alright at it.

So you wanna ..There are things I’m passionate about and I like to think I can argue and compromise with the best of them. Not afraid of hard work etc.

But then I snap out of my reverie and realise that there’s pretty much zero chance of me being selected as a candidate (if I were to join a party) and then being elected. Why you ask? Well in my opinion, it’s simple – I’ve got a digital footprint covering Hotmail, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, 9Gag, WordPress and numerous other places across the internet. Certainly I know my Twitter has been around since 2007 and Facebook since at least 2005/6.

Why is this a problem?

That is between seven and eight year’s worth of ammunition that opponents, the media or just people in general can look up, research and throw at me if they want. There have been a few stories recently of people who have Tweeted or blogged in haste and then have had to repent pretty hastily too. I actually read today about another candidate whose undoubtedly quick and unthinking Facebook comment actually made it onto page 2 of Wales’ national newspaper.

I can’t recall every Tweet I’ve posted (for the record it is north of 12,000) and I feel certain that somewhere along the line there will be something (or more than likely a few things) that:

  • I’m not proud of
  • I probably shouldn’t have posted
  • Could cause me embarrassment / be the source of a damaging news story
  • Would identify be as being in opposition to a party policy or position

Why does this matter? Well in my view, my digital footprint is probably not that different from other people of my generation, but it is likely smaller than people younger than me. This means that, in my opinion, a contributing factor to some people not getting involved in politics could be that they are or maybe concerned about what could get dug up about them from the internet.

Is it going to be a massive factor for huge amounts of people? Probably not. Could it be putting off people from entering politics? Probably yes.

To coin a phrase .. what an omnishambles

It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve written anything on here, due to various things (mainly – having a baby, moving house and getting a new job), but I’ve been catching up on my reading and listening to podcasts recently and I was struck by a thought .. what an absolute mess the Labour Party is in.

I should say that I am not a member of the Labour Party, nor have I voted for them. My political leanings can be discerned from previous writings on this blog.

So what kind of shambles? An omnishambles in my view.

Ok they had a bad election night. A really bad election night. But it appears to me that the Labour Party can’t even get introspective navel gazing right! Seemed right to me that Ed Miliband went after the party’s defeat, but the Conservatives have capitalised brilliantly on the lack of opposition and are making the most of the fact that Labour are (or at least, appear to be) a rudderless and leaderless rabble, totally consumed by a leadership contest which hilariously looks like it might be won by someone that apparently few who nominated wanted to see in in the first place!

For an outsider, the contest reached new levels of ridiculousness, with well known warmongering pseudo Tory Tony Blair making an unwelcome return to UK domestic politics and the brilliant bluff and bluster of Lord (?!?) Prescott adding his considerable weight to the fracas. It is now hilarious to me that Labour MPs helped Corbyn “get over the line” in terms of nominations, in order to broaden the debate, are running as far away from Corbyn as possible.
Similarly, has anyone else cottoned on to the hilarity of a traditionally left or dare I say it, socialist, political party terrified of selecting an avowed left-leaning candidate?
This segues nicely onto my thoughts about the leadership candidates.
  • Andy Burnham – a flip flopper who seems that he would just deliver more of the same, or at least change his mind so often just so everyone is really unsure about what he really thinks
  • Yvette Cooper – comes across as bland and more of the same
  • Liz Kendall – fair play, she’s said a few things that she believes, but I suspect she’ll run afoul of the great labelling machine (a Blairite or a Tory .. not sure which is more damaging)

And then finally, the man of the moment, Comrade Corbyn.

A man who (certainly this is my take on him), says what he believes and believes what he says. Now, on Any Questions (Radio 4) a few weeks ago, Chuka Umuna got quite agitated about the suggestion that the left of his party appear to have a monopoly on passion. Ironically he got quite passionate about it. But (and this is what I shouted at the radio) .. he’s not running for the leadership and I don’t think that the left of any party has a monopoly on passion – it’s just we haven’t heard any passion from any of the other candidates.

So Jeremy Corbyn, the candidate who has got the left of the party, and plenty of Unions and new entrants to politics excited. and that is no bad thing. I was also interested to see that in contrast to one of the central criticisms of Corbyn (that he would make the Labour Party unelectable), the Indy and YouGov published some data showing the majorities of people who agreed with some of his policies.

Also – it has been suggested in some quarters that he would be the candidate the Tories would most like to win. I would dispute that. My gut tells me that Cameron going up a genuine thinker, a passionate leftwinger – he’d have his hands full.

I think that part of Corbyn’s apparent popularity is down to his a) ability to appear to rise above the personal attacks and petty squabbling of his rivals (reminiscent somewhat of Blair/Brown/Mandy?) and b) to his passion – he says what he thinks and believes what he says and he is genuine.

Now, do I think he would be Prime Minister – no I don’t think so. However, could he be the leader that the Labour Party needs at the moment? I actually think he might be.

I just hope that if he does win, he injects some passion into the Welsh Labour Party.

Finally – if you got through my ramblings about the Labour party, sit back and enjoy something else that is missing from the National Assembly for Wales – great oratorical skill (and yes, a bit of passion too)

This week I have mostly been getting annoyed … (part 2)

So straight on to part 2 – the Pope.

Bit of a heavy one this, so no photos or media.

I should probably point out as well that I’m not a Catholic.

As you may know, off the back of his Middle East Tour, Pope Francis spoke “informally” to reporters on board the papal aeroplane (who knew there was a papal aeroplane!), taking questions on a range of subjects, including child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. According to a CNN report, Pope Francis described sex abuse as a “horrific crime”, he called for a “zero tolerance” approach and compared it to, “by comparison, holding a black Mass”.

Now I admit I had to look this up.

From a quick bit of research, the actual practice is somewhat unclear, but I’ve gathered that it is a ritual characterised by the inversion of the traditional Catholic Mass, often featuring upside crucifxes and in the modern era it is linked/associated with Satanic worship sacrifice. Serious stuff.

The BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen agreed. On Radio 4’s Today programme he said this was strong language from the Pope, language to be taken seriously. I agree – if the Leader of the Catholic Church, Christ’s representative on Earth is comparing child abuse to Satanic worship that is surely a sign he is taking the matter in hand and dealing with it*.

Isn’t it?

Well, that is a matter for debate.

From my admittedly limited knowledge of Catholic law excommunication is the ultimate sanction against a Catholic – cannot receive blessings or attend Mass and at least it used to also mean that unless the Pope interceded on their behalf they could not ascend to Heaven – again pretty strong stuff. So has Pope Francis excommunicated any of the Catholic priests convicted of child sexual abuse?

Um. Not that I can see.

Most recently an Australian priest was excommunicated for supporting gay marriage and women’s ordination. A Brazilian priest was also excommunicated for refusing to rescind a statement which he made regarding his belief that two people of the same sex could be in love. Now there is the possibility that I’m wrong about excommunication and it’s not the severe punishment that it a) sounds like or b) I think it is.

Or Pope Francis has not acted against at all against Catholic priests convicted of child sexual abuse. Referring once again to the CNN report, three bishops are apparently under investigation. One has been found guilty and the “penalty is being considered”. I’m sorry, considered? Surely turn all your evidence over to the courts and let him be found guilty and sentenced (one would hope strongly) by the laws of the land.

In my view, if Pope Francis is to be the reformer that many hope he will be/is (acknowledging that the Jesuit Order from whence he came is quite conservative) he needs to take decisive action on this issue, above all else. It will show the world (well beyond the Catholic population on the planet) that he truly believes this heinous crime is a “betrayal of the body of the Lord” and that he has the strength of will to deal it with properly and slowly begin the healing process for the victims of Catholic abuse around the world.

* I should like to point out that a learned colleague of mine has pointed out to me that arguably child sexual abuse is “even worse than mumbling a bunch of gibberish with an inverted cross on display”. I do agree.

A new post for a new phase

So I haven’t posted anything online on here for a while (in fact since March last year). One of the reasons for that was time, everyday life (and I got married too!) and work commitments, but also finding things to write about.

I had a period when I was unsure what I could or should write about because of work and how some things might look to outside audiences. It was also pointed out to me that posting  online either on a blog or on Twitter can provide content which could damage oneself professionally at some point in the future. Now I’m happy to stand by everything I write or say and argue with rational people but sometimes even that means I think twice about posting.

So, what to blog about?

I hope that from time to time I will still post about things that exercise me – mainly politics-related or current affairs, although I do post on Twitter alot so I’m covered a bit (as much as I can be in 140 characters). But right now I would like to write a little about a new phase of my life – as of 25 June this year, I am a dad.

image

My daughter (about 1hr old)

So this is my daughter. She arrived early and a bit ‘not according to plan’, but she is healthy and beautiful (although admittedly I’m biased).

Some of the details of Lily’s arrival are personal but sufficed to say she was delivered by emergency Caesarean section instead of how we thought she would be. And that was a scary experience for me, for any new dad I would have thought. One minute you are talking to the mother of your soon-to-be baby and a few seconds later there are alarms and someone is telling you to get changed into a pair of scrubs.

But she arrived and even though it is over done, I’ll say it here – I was smitten. Instantly. The only simple way to say it, is that the second I held this pink, noisy, slightly messy bundle in my arms I knew that I (turn away here if you want to avoid the soppiness) was in love and there was nothing that I wouldn’t do for her for the rest of my life. Nothing would be too small or trivial. And even though she was pretty out of it from the various drugs she was on at the time, I felt closer and more connected to my wife than ever before.

I could easily go on and on about the huge rollercoaster that the last four weeks have been (two separate emergency trips to hospital, both resulting in 5 day stays – but I might touch on that at some other point), but I am rapidly learning that sleep is now a high value commodity so I will pause for now.

Hopefully when time permits I’ll write more here about my new daughter and this brand new adventure I and the missus have got ourselves into.

And maybe touch on some politics every now and again.

Dave’s dodgy dinner dates

I can’t really take credit for the title of this one, i think i must have heard it on the news or from a report on the Commons this week, but i thought it was good so I’ve stolen it.

So this whole thing is kind of about money. Money and power. Money and power and influence. And politics. Its easy to see why it attracted the attention of the media and rightly so, however i think one of the more interesting things to think about is party funding. Clearly dinners with the PM, that aren’t minuted or attended by civil servants, for party donors from the private is not right or proper and at least when pressured (they shouldnt have had to be pressured) they released the information, but its largely to down to money.

Cameron needs to court wealthy donors in the same way as Labour needs to court the unions – they need some money to run their political operations and shenanigans. However, i believe that this reliance on large companies or groups or individuals for cash not only leads to the potential for stories like those we have seen recently but also removes the political process and politicians further from us normal people.

If there were to be a cap on donations to political parties, say maybe 20k, then the parties would have to go out, fundraise, meet people, encourage them to join the party, pay their subs – all of that. It might start to mean the end of lazy politics. Imagine that .. Politicians actually getting engaged with their constituents and communities.

So how to administer the donations? Again, I cant claim credit for this idea because i heard it on the radio this week. Set up an independent ombudsman/body with representatives from a range of ages and backgrounds, across the country. This body would receive donations from a blind trust at set points in a month and then pass on the donations to the individual parties. This would mean that no party would know who had given money and that way no-one could be accused of currying favour or influence.

I would like to think (because i’m slightly optimistic) that this will change and this will make a difference. But let’s be honest .. I don’t think it will and it probably won’t. Oh and lets just wait and see the politicians blame the lobbyists for this one.

what would you do?

i’ve recently travelled quite a lot of miles for The Day Job and as a result i’ve been listening to LBC. now, some of the presenters are quite annoying and right wing and many of the callers are clearly nutters. however, a call in session last week particularly caught my attention.

last week the police cleared the Democracy Village from Parliament Square after the Police Reform and Social Responsiblity Bill was specifically amended to cover this protest. specifically amended. [note – this action was targeted towards the Brian Haw encampment but there is another group which has an injunction against them being moved so there are a few people still there]. now this legislation was amended specifically to allow the police powers to remove the protesters from Democracy Village. it also includes bans on protest in other parts of London included Whitehall, Bridge Street, the QEII Conference Centre and Westminster Abbey. so here is a piece of legislation which received Royal Assent in September 2011 that specifically limits the opportunity for members of the public to protest against actions taken or to be taken by the government of the day. prompted by this story in the news, the call-in session focused on this question: “In the UK, if you found the actions of the government of the day so gut-wrenchingly awful and abhorent, what can you do to legally register your digust and opposition at said actions?”.

depressingly the host of the show and the majority of the callers struggled to come up with an answer. i suspect this was the point of the question – the straightforward answer is: “very little or next to nothing”. let’s brainstorm:

  • start a twitter campaign
  • join a facebook group
  • write to your MP
  • write to your local authority
  • go on strike (not an option for everyone i admit)
  • write to the PM
  • wait for an election
  • start an online petition
  • start a local campaign using social and traditional media
  • start an online petition on the No.10 website (hoping to get it above the threshold of 100k signatures)
  • join a political party, run for election, get elected, serve as an MP and vote against the government (ok, so that one is a bit of a long term option …)
  • protest – but how?

now for me that is quite a depressing list. most if not all of those actions are easily ignored or dismissed by those who they are supposed to target. twitter and facebook, despite the one off instances such as the Trafigura incident, are very easily dismissed as online and untangible and let’s face it, although we on twitter like to think we are important and doing something we aren’t really. at all. so what else do we have… write to your MP or the PM – again likely ignored or responded to with a form letter. write to your local authority – forget it. go on strike – apparently the only group of people for whom this works is London tube drivers who manage to threaten strike and then get huge pay rises, but often this doesnt even work – how successful have PCS and Unite been at reversing the UK government’s austerity drive? start a grassroots campaign in your local village, write to councillors, the town council, get a twitter and facebook going … again somewhat effective against local issues – planning decisions can often be swayed by such campaigns, but the impact on national governmental decisions is likely neglible.

so what is there left on the list – protest. now we come to it.

  • 1 million people marched against the war in iraq – still happened
  • 1 million (?) students marched recently against the rise in student fees – still went ahead
  • the Occupy London group have recently been moved and also – ignored

with the passage of the PRSR Bill one could argue that the last opportunity to register your opposition to the actions of the government is to wait for an election or break the law. one of the first callers to LBC last week suggested chaining yourself to the gates of Downing Street … an action that would get you arrested within about 20 seconds and would result in you likely going to jail, your cause and protest being forgotten and overshadowed by stories of security failures. so what is left? how can we effectively protest or register our opposition? ok, so registering opposition is relatively easy, but how to protest as the state shuts down avenues for protest?

i would go as far to say that the passage of the PRSR Bill marks an enfringement on our democratic freedoms. if that is the case, what is left?

one of the few things that protest may change?

a somewhat depressing thought to finish on i agree, but if anyone has any great ideas that i’ve missed feel free to jump in!

ok, time to own up

ok. i feel i need to come clean somewhat.

i have set out some of my more liberal credentials and beliefs in previous posts on this blog. i certainly would not describe myself as right-wing or even right of centre. i would hope that people would describe me as a bit of a lefty. i have previously blogged about that great line from the west wing when santos talks about picking up the label of liberal and wearing it proudly as a badge. i am not going back on this.

but.

the thing is, i am noticing that as the political rhetoric around public sector pensions, the future of the public sector etc etc intensifies, i struggle to understand why the left apparently have to defend the public sector to the hilt? why can one not be a bit lefty, but also work in the private sector and be realistic about the public sector and what it can do?

let’s just be clear:

  • the public sector does not create wealth
  • the public sector does create employment opportunities
  • there are examples of huge waste in many public sector institutions and organisations
  • there are examples of excessive payments and general excess in the private sector
  • there are lots of hardworking people in the public sector. there are also lots of people who are not hardworking
  • there are lots of hardworking people in the private sector. there are also lots of people who are not hardworking

i would like to see the NHS deliver the best healthcare in the world (i certainly do not want the American healthcare system pre-Obama) but i am not precious about who delivers it. if a private sector partner to the NHS can deliver great services, free at the point of use, then fine – let them do it.

i work in the private sector. i have previously worked in the private sector. the problem has come about, as per usual, as a result of extreme (in many cases) political rhetoric. the dialogue which abounds in the media, online and in the blogosphere appears to try to demonise some parts of the private sector (the private sector has become interchangeable in my view with “the bankers and the banks”) and idolise the public sector.

so now we have a situation where to even suggest any reform of the education or health system is so incredibly heinous you have to go live in a cave somewhere and never see anyone ever again. i should say here that i think the Lansley Health Bill is ridiculous, mainly because it is confusing and a mess and no-one really knows what it is for. i am not against reform or even introduction of some partnerships with the private sector – if they work, if they can deliver good or better services and if they safeguard the future of the NHS as a national health service.

i remember studying political rhetoric at university and one of the classic devices in rhetoric is to construct heroes (angels) and villains (demons). so we have angels (nurses, doctors, teachers, carers etc) and demons (bankers, consultants, private sector managers etc). and because of this artificial construction and differentiation between the two to even suggest reforms or changes is, as i said above, heinous and heretical. and of course politically, it becomes somewhat of a vote / confidence loser if you start suggesting attacking / changing things for the angels or putting them out of jobs (see Cameron reaction to all the health unions and spokesgroups ganging up on Lansley).

let’s be honest – if we were going to design public services from scratch we probably wouldn’t end up with what we have got now. but i think it is pretty clear that in order to even get started on reform we need to start thinking about how we differentiate between the public and private sectors. we certainly shouldn’t be constructed one against the other, demonising and then idolising the other.

so, in conclusion – just like sam says in the west wing – teachers should be on six figure salaries, schools should be palaces – i just haven’t worked out how to do it yet.

the dangers of dehumanisation

at the risk of annoying people / offending people with this post i should say at the start – what happened in Norway a few weeks ago was terrible, shocking, awful and can never be justified. what i would like to think about briefly is how the perpetrator has been treated / is being treated in the press / in discussions.

 

it is dangerous to start thinking of breivik as a “monster” or “mad” or “insane” as some have already described him. if we think of people who commit these kind of crimes as a monster then we instantly de-humanize them and refuse to consider the more difficult questions and issues – how can another human being commit these kind of acts? what is the potential for others / me to be like this? if we de-humanize people in this way we instantly remove them from the human race – they are not like us, they are not proper people and therefore (potentially more dangerously) we are not obliged to think of them in the same way, or treat them in the same way.

this is not a modern phenomenon however. this is something which has been happening for a long time – the creation of monsters in the public / general consciousness is a common theme in literature, politics, rhetoric and life in general. by identifying those people who have transgressed the accepted laws of the culture in which they live and exist as “mad” or “monstrous” is essentially the same as identifying them as “different”. by categorising people like Breivik or Himmler as monsters, we are making them into the unknown and scary “other”. by doing this it makes “us” (the “normal” people) feel comfortable – we can explain away the actions of these people by their “monstrous” tendencies and the fact they are ill adapted to society and don’t know how to behave because they are “other” or “animals” and it gives us an easy, non-problematic explanation – they did that because they are like this.

unfortunately by dehumanising people like Breivik we remove the onus from ourselves to consider the implications and real reasons for his actions. the fact is that people like Breivik and Himmler are / were human. their actions, whilst clearly wrong and impossible to reconcile with living within a human society with modern enlightened values, were the actions of men and as the Bard remarked – “the evil that men do lives after them”. it is now for us to reconcile, think and contemplate the actions of Breivik in Norway a few weeks ago, but whatever conclusion, whether it be medical, legal, cultural or philosophical, it must be remembered that they were the actions of a man and we must remember that the “evil that men do lives on and on” and will remain with us now as part of our culture and who we all are.

whatever conclusions are reached about this man, we cannot and should not simply dismiss his actions as that of a “mad man” or a “monster” – to do so is simply too dangerous.

we are all history

thinking about the news headlines recently i cannot but be struck by the historical nature of events i am living through and i’m only 26. now i know that everything is history as soon as it happens – by definition it is the past and the moment is also passed – but i have been particularly struck by the nature of events. now unfortunately the events and moments that are remembered by history and written about at some future point are those events which often do not show humanity in its best light – the 9/11 attacks, the 7/7 bombings in London or the shocking and horrific attacks in Norway most recently.

however there are events of my recent past that do give me heart – the coming to the end of the shuttle missions, whilst poignant and sad as it is the end of man’s exploration into space (at least in the short foreseeable future) and the overthrow of  the egyptian president in a generally peaceful way and in the more passed past the Good Friday agreement and of course i cannot forget that i have seen a black man elected president in America. these are events will be remembered as history and i have lived through them. now this all sounds quite grandiose but it is meant to be thought-provoking in a way – those of us alive now are living through events which will be remembered as that “proper” history which is recorded in great tomes and works of academic prowess in later years. these events are shaping and have shaped my current existence and will likely continue to shape my future – i now for example, live in a world where international terrorism is a reality in a way which it was not before September 11 2001. i live in a world and a time where the micro-blogging site Twitter “saved freedom of speech” in the Trafigura / Carter Ruck affair and these events have inevitably shaped my existence in some way – although i will likely not feel the effects directly or personally.

thinking about it, it is an odd thing to be living through history in this way, with so many momentous moments having happened in a relatively short space of time. i’m not comparing my existence to those people who have really lived with and experienced these moments first hand, but having experienced them in some way it is striking just how much is going on around us! everyone lives through history and in there are always historical events going on around everyone, no matter when they were born or when they die, but i just got to thinking, even though we are all history and even this lowly blog post will be history just as soon as its finished, how much of history is experienced and how much is forgotten?

what happens to those smaller more personal but nonetheless important historical events which have shaped our present and future but have been forgotten or, more accurately, were not and have not been remembered? what have we as a collective forgotten to remember?