Lewisham Round Up

Something weird going on with my browsers at the moment, which has meant that I’ve not kept track of as many Lewisham stories as I thought I had this week.

  1. Pat Condell describes his love of trees – “Then I got a job planting cherry trees for Lewisham council.”
  2. Mmmmmmmmmm! Cabbage……..! – Year Six are experimented on.
  3. Is Your Journey Really Necessary? – Steve talks about his Freedom Pass.
  4. Ole Deptford – Slightly’s Gran talks Deptford, pies and liquer.
  5. Falling walls, flying sticks and wheelie bins – Slightly has the low down on the chaos caused by the wind.
  6. New Cross Haight Ashbury?? – Transpontine does the timewarp.
    1. Again, if I’ve missed something you’ve liked then do let me know.


    About Andrew Brown

    I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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    One Response to Lewisham Round Up

    1. crossofthorns says:

      Here is what I would say to Simone Clarke if I could have her audience for a few minutes:

      If you would kindly spare a few minutes to entertain my point of view, I would like to express some thoughts. Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, seems rather cowardly in his approach to the immigration issue. A man of faith and devotion to his people should be at peace within himself, and preach acceptance of others, regardless of how their beliefs might differ from his. The stance of being pro white, anti-immigration or pro Britain is really a smokescreen. I think that the BNP’s myopic approach to dealing with the ills of a culturally diverse and integrated society (i.e. always talking about immigration and asylum seekers as the source of the problem) ultimately reveals a lack of intellectualism, moral sense and common decency. The more polarised Mr Griffin finds his views compared to the majority of White Britain, the more he may struggle to stay in accord with his own, if he has any consideration and acceptance for the wider experiences of the British people.

      Hypothetically, if my fundamental values are in complete contradistinction to yours (e.g. total inclusiveness of all races in a harmonious interrelationship on the one hand, and segregation of races on grounds of purity and cultural preservation on the other), I have to question how it is that in my strength and wisdom it is possible for me to hold such views that others find completely unacceptable (and I am sure that the universal brotherhood of man ideology is held in contempt by more than a few individuals these days, as it has always been); and in posing that question I must ponder how another person’s views while a mirror opposite of my own can also arise through a seemingly similar process of intuition and strength of will, and yet be deemed unacceptable too. Who is right? The actual fact is that the differences in our values are ultimately irrelevant. Why? The fiery discord that rages at the heart of our opposition can be extinguished by a mutual regard we hold in seeing our similar struggle to voice our position and gain acceptance against the tides of reason and opinion. In essence we come to see the sameness in the formation of our convictions (i.e. our experiences as human beings), and disregard the differences in our beliefs. Consequently, we grant respect, positive sentiment, awareness and regard for the whole spectrum of our respective histories, thoughts and feelings and how that comes to bear upon us as individuals.

      Have you ever seen a martial arts movie where two equally good fighters from different schools come into an arena and fight to a standstill, acknowledging that while they fight for their respective schools they are as good as one another and can only learn from each other, and only give each other respect by bowing and walking away? That is what I’m talking about. We should bow to each other, for we each have wisdom to bring to the fight next time if we choose to learn from past encounters with one another. But if you only seek to destroy your enemies by any means then you will gain no wisdom for future confrontation.

      The BNP versus the right thinking individuals of Great Britain is a simple case: We can be equally strong in our sense of being right and equally repulsed by the position of the other. The solution: embrace the other, accept their position, engage in intelligent debate, and resolve the matter of our differing views peacefully without any party being excluded from the dialogue.

      A line must be drawn in this country. We must agree to disagree on the roots of our numerous social conflicts as being merely culturally, politically or socio-economically derived. We need our human respect, to see the similarities in our experiences, and in the experiences of our ancestors even though our convictions may appear to come from opposite sides of the fence. Consequently, we can rise above our hostilities and embrace each other in a union of agreement and accord as men who respect each other in the form of our convictions, in the way that one’s convictions are an exact mirror of the other’s as psychological constructs rooted in experiences, although apparently polarised in terms of their fundamental substance.

      I know that this is wishful thinking, and I struggle with my own prejudices every day.
      But I think that to reinforce my values in the wider community and to give them a rightful place within the whole spectrum and continuum of human history and thought that I need to reconcile my faith and belief to the world and seek to live in harmony with other men as a means to justify myself – as a way to say, “my views are right because they stood against the test of the outside world.” I hope Nick Griffin and others who think like him can do the same. One should respect the value that every man should be free to think for himself, and free in his body and in the determination of his own will. If Nick Griffin truly believes in liberty, democracy and justice for white people, he would embrace the presence of black people as a reference point of the important distinctions (and similarities) that exist between black culture and white culture and how those points are woven into the framework of British identity. He should be willing to account for the strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the argument (for multiculturalism and for isolationism).

      Nick Griffin should be a scholarly man, and not merely a thug parading about in a suit, shouting loudly to the world that he is not what others try to make him out to be. He should show some regard and respect for foreign people, since we can all learn from looking at another person at the very least for what makes us distinct and special in ourselves. A rainbow doesn’t work if there is only one colour. A blank canvas is not a work of art. It requires a full range of colours to be drawn upon it, if for no reason other than to pick out your favourite tones, textures, images and colours from the whole work. All human beings are equal as human beings even if they are not equal in all things. As a people we are bound to learn and to teach one another. Is there nothing a black man can teach a white man and vice versa? The world would be a pretty boring place if it were all white or all black rather than a mixture of the two. Can you imagine a world without Shakespeare, Einstein, James Joyce, Goethe, Schopenhauer or Mozart on the one hand, or a world without Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King or James Brown on the other? It would be a poorer world on both accounts, would you not agree?

      I have my own views about race and ethnicity. I also understand that those views have changed over time, and may change yet again as I grow as a human being. That is why I don’t have to beat other people over the head with my beliefs. Anyone is entitled to the same right to grow and change as I have and continue to do, whatever his or her experiences may be. I don’t need to tell anyone what my views are either. They are my private concern. We are all works in progress. But it appears that Nick Griffin wants this country to listen to him as if his views are absolutely correct, he wants the world to change into what he envisions to be a better place (more white), to think like he does, as if he is completely enlightened and all knowing with no more need to grow in wisdom or in his feelings. Can you imagine that the culmination of all wisdom over the ages is embodied in Nick Griffin? How can that be when his vision entails total exclusion of a type of human being based on the colour of their skin or their racial or cultural background, or their immigration status? In the meanwhile, he surrounds himself with thugs and lackeys who are no doubt less intelligent than he is. In my experience, I have endeavoured to be in the company of men who are equal or more greatly accomplished than myself in certain things, so that I might acquire knowledge through the benefit of their wisdom and experience. Who are the advisors to Nick Griffin? Who are the publicly acknowledged and appreciated men of letters to whom he defers for wisdom? Or is he just above learning anything? A man should not surround himself with lesser men to elevate himself. It would be interesting to see Nick Griffin hold his own in a spirited debate, with scholars, academics, clerics and interested members of the general public. Instead, he is holding backdoor meetings and being escorted by heavyweight bodyguards at all times, holing himself up in all-white communities, with party members who encode their names in e-mail transmissions and gather clandestinely outside tube stations to discuss their political views and devise their campaign strategies.

      This is a bizarre, nonsensical, unethical, immoral, non-intellectual and inhuman set of affairs to be conducted within a democracy. All that aside, here is what I feel to be the truth about Nick Griffin. In the end, Nick Griffin is seen by me to be a racist against white people. He is a self-hating white man who looks into the faces of other white men and hates them because they don’t think like he does. Other whites serve as a mirror of his distorted viewpoints, which are ultimately unrealised upon reflection. Yet he needs white people to vote for him, give him money and think like him. No doubt, he would cast aside any white person who is strongly against his views or whose lifestyle doesn’t reflect his values (Simone Clarke), as a traitor, as if other white people don’t have the intellectual capacity to think for themselves and arrive at their own unique conclusions (and not just conclusions merely filtered through the perspective of being a White Briton, but conclusions drawn from a range of human experiences that do not translate into embracing hatred and exclusion in order to seemingly feel whole).

      Nick Griffin will rub shoulders with other white people, knowing in the back of his mind (no doubt rife with paranoia and delusion) that another white person is a potential enemy and betrayer should they ever grow, change or simply already are different in the way that they think from him, or if they ever thirst for his power and decide to try taking it from him. What a burden to bear every day of your life!!!

      The truth is that black and foreign people aren’t his problem…other white people who don’t think like him are his problem. If they all thought like he did then there would be no problem as he sees it because people of colour would simply be removed by force. But all white people don’t think like him. They never will all think like him. Still, he must pander to them in order to amass his power and to maintain his minor significance on the world scene. Self-empowerment and self-esteem does not have to mean containment, control, manipulation, transformation and destruction of others. There is a universe of human concerns that transcends racial and cultural barriers, where reason cries out to the soul of every human being and to humanity as one. Despite this, Nick Griffin wants to tell you that the trouble at the heart of Britain is a man, woman or child of another colour??!!! How sad!!! I wonder what his views are on Ian Huntley or Steve Wright (Ipswich rapist) or Myra Hindley or the IRA. How does he switch his mind off from the troubles of white folk who exemplify evil and pain in all manner of deviancy from paedophilia to drug abuse, prostitution, child abuse, alcoholism, yobbery and rape? Who will his scapegoat be, in his ideal world, when he has to deal with the problems and issues that lie within the white majority culture of Britain that eats away at itself every day in towns, rural villages, and city centres throughout the country, and there is no black person left to point a finger at?

      Wake up, everyone!!! You are in the grip of a monstrous evil. You may imagine that you are asleep and dreaming peacefully in the right, but you are actually in a waking nightmare if you cater to the point of view that the BNP represents on human relations. The great Albert Einstein, physicist, Jew, and holocaust escapee, said that genius is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in your mind at once. I present a corollary as a question – What do you call someone who can hold two contradictory personalities in his mind at once? … The answer is the Devil!!! We should all think about that when we clutch our little white and black children to our breast with love and hope for their future, if we have the slightest sting of racial hatred also burning within that same breast and hiding like a cancerous tumour waiting to eventually spread to our children’s’ minds. I will never hate another man because of the colour he is even if he hates me for mine. I was not born that way and will not be shaped that way. I wish enlightenment to you, and the power to think for yourself…. Peace be unto you!!!!

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