Wednesday, 2 January 2013

My Top Ten Blog Postings

Here are my top ten blogs, some from previous years, with a few extracts or notes, and the links to follow up to the full blog postings:

Sifting Saville - 24 Oct 2012

After watching the documentary, and reactions to it, one question which keeps resurfacing: Why have people not spoken out before.  One of the best answers I've seen was this: "I think people have not spoken publicly until after his death because it seems they were afraid they would not be believed as he was such a well known popular figure who did an immense amount for charity"

It is notable that he seemed to prey particularly on young girls at Duncroft boarding school, where it could almost be assumed that as "bad girls", they could be making up tales that would not be believed; hence the risk to Saville was far less.

There's also a Jersey connection.

Lionel Logue and the King's Speech 22 Jan 2011

Caroline Bowen has her own ideas about why Logue's methods worked:

Why did Lionel Logue's methods work? From the little evidence we have I believe that his confidence, his empathy with his clients, and his understanding of the profoundly traumatic nature of a serious  impediment to communication, combined with techniques to reduce  inappropriate muscle tension and respiratory patterns, and to demonstrate to patients that there were many ways of producing fluent speech were all important

"The Concept of God in Africa"  29 Jan 2007

The southern Nuba, who have a matrilineal system of descent, refer to God as "the Great Mother", and speak of him (her) in feminine pronouns. Thus, in commending a dying person, they pray, Our God, who has brought us [to this world], May she take you. Here, and in prayers for rain and good crops, they use the same title ("Great Mother") for him. They say that "God gave birth to people", or "God gave birth to the world, earth".

This usage of the name, "Great Mother", has two meanings. One carries the concept that God "mothered", created, "gave birth" to the world and to mankind. Secondly, God cares for, nurses, and helps his (her) children in the hour of need (death, drought, etc.). In connection with man's origin, the Ovambo say, "The Mother of pots is a hole in the ground; the Mother of people is God"." The Ovambo are also matrilineal; but they speak of God figuratively as male, though they do not regard him as either Father or Mother as such.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee 23 Aug 2011

A look at voting records of two former States members (and their manifesto commitments)

Historical Child Abuse: request to Council of Ministers as amended: This proposition by Francis le Gresley  was to set up an public enquiry as promised by former Chief Minister Senator Frank Walker, which had been dropped without debate by Senator Terry Le Sueur, who appeared not to want to be committed to promises made by the States previously. Both Angela Jeune and Anne Dupre voted CONTRE

Millennium Town Park [in St Helier]: Both voted CONTRE. "We are very privileged to have such wonderful open spaces in OUR Parish [St Brelade]." (Angela Jeune)

There's No Place Like Home 6 Aug 2010

A comic masterpiece by James Thurber:

Trouble really starts in the canto called `In the Customs Shed.' Here we have: `I cannot open my case.' `I have lost my keys.' `Help me to close this case." I did not know that I had to pay." I don't want to pay so much." I cannot find my porter.' `Have you seen porter 153 ?' That last query is a little master stroke of writing, I think, for in those few words we have a graphic picture of a tourist lost in a jumble of thousands of bags and scores of customs men, looking frantically for one of at least a hundred and fifty-three porters. We feel that the tourist will not find porter 153, and the note of frustration has been struck.

Jersey's Sex Offenders Register - Why the Delay? 25 Nov 2010

A historical note - the law is now in place, but despite calls for it, in 2010, the States could find no money - not even from any of Senator Ozouf's magical contingency funds.

TV Reviews: Titanic, Once Upon A Time, Arena, White Heat 12 Apr 2012

Titanic is a TV series which is, I fear, fast sinking, with ratings flowing out through a large hole made in its budget. I gather the total complement is around 80 actors, which means that there were around twenty or thirty jostling for space on the small deck. Most of the lifeboats were quickly gone, and we actually only saw two lowered. "It can't come up", says an Officer of the half-empty lifeboat. But I think it did, when the cameras were off, so that it could double up for the second lifeboat.

How to Entertain Without A Maid 14 Apr 2011

Do not attempt at any time to entertain elaborately without the help of a maid. Give informal little parties like bridge and tennis parties, and make it the fashion for guests to help themselves or help each other. You will find your entertainments go well: if they strike this informal note.

Nothing is more disturbing to guests than to have a hostess always excusing herself in order to mix the salad dressing, whip the cream, or take the ice from the freezer. Every meal should be leisurely, not one hustle from beginning to end, as it is if you entertain without a maid without first taking the trouble to learn how to do it in as charming a fashion as possible

Independent Advisory Group - A Comment 21 Jul 2010

Minutes are mentioned, and it would be interesting to know if any of the frustrations were aired in these minutes, and also how the group actually went about challenging "unfolding events from a community perspective." It would also help to see why the group disbanded, after over four months with Mick Gradwell presumably chairing meetings, or did he not bother to call them? The minutes would at least tell us how many meetings he deigned to call while he was in charge. Surely dates of meetings would not be confidential?

New Plans for Plemont 1 Apr 2012

Senator Sir Philip Bailhache said: "We have good relationships with the Emirati and Qatari governments and I have built on these firm foundations during my visit. The political agreement with Qatar, which I signed during my visit, is further evidence of our commitment to this important partner in the Middle East, and Qatar will be investing in Jersey. In an exciting new development, Qatar has bought the site at Plemont from the previous owner, and after sensitive negotiations has secured planning permission to build on the site. Instead of the ugly holiday camp, there will be offices for business, a community centre for the Island's Muslims, and the first Mosque on Jersey soil. The building of this will provide substantial work for the local labour force, and help ease the unemployment situation."

It is understood that the site may become sovereign territory for Qatar, following the model of Victor Hugo's Hauteville House in Guernsey, which is legally French territory.

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