Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Good Muslim

One day, a Christian of America made up in his mind to test Jesus, saying, "Teacher, remind me on how I am to inherit eternal life."  Jesus said to him, "What is written in the New Testament? How do you read it?" And he answered, "I must have faith in him whom God has risen from the dead. It is a living faith which leads me to love God and my neighbor." And Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live."

But the Christian of America, didn't fully appreciate the answer. He straightened his back. Cast a smirk of a smile and said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Jesus replied, "A man was going was Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, and he was car-jacked by several persons, who stole his clothes, seized his smartphone, broke his ribs, cracked his skull, leaving him unconscious on the side of the road.  Now it happened to be the time of a great conference and a pro-life group was passing by, and when they saw the man, they passed on by. Likewise a missionary group who just returned from India, when they came to the exact same location, they too passed on to the other side.

But a Muslim, as he traveled to work, saw the man on the side of the road, and when he saw him, he entered into his suffering. He pulled out his first aid kit, tended to the man's injuries and then called 911 for emergency assistance. He followed the ambulance to the hospital and sat over night with the man in ICU.  Next morning he told the hospital billing office, "Here is my credit card. Take care of him and whatever he needs."

Jesus looked at the Christian of America and with strong eyes asked, "Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man carjacked?"

The Christian of America clenched his fist. He looked around fumbling with the keys in his pocket. He finally looked up to Jesus and said, "The one who showed him mercy."

And Jesus says to the Christian of America,

"You go, and do the same."

This retelling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) was inspired by my friend Jared Wilson who tweeted on Monday December 7, 2015:

"If Jesus were telling the parable we call The Good Samaritan to many evangelicals today, it might be known as The Good Muslim."

This year has proven we need to revisit this parable and others like it to recover how we are to live as Christians in this current climate. We are seeking to justify ourselves and how we treat others on the basis of our citizenship, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Such justifications lead us only to love those who are like us. This parable demonstrates the power of transformative love when those who are in conflict share in each other's suffering. This parable is spoken to those who ask the question, "What must I do to inherit life?"

Jesus is speaking to us today.

Jesus is telling us a old story in a new way.

Jesus who has showed us mercy now says,

"You go, and do the same. It will cost you time. It will cost you resources. It will cost your life. But because I have give you the power of an indestructible life. You go, and do the same. Show mercy as an act of gratitude for the mercy you have received."

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

We must have bold decisive action - NOW

It seems to me that our political leaders of all parties are pussy footing around the issue of bombing Syria. Once you start bombing (or have we already started?) you accept that there will be the murder of innocent civilians collateral damage. As Stalin reputedly said " A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." So why worry over the deaths of a few? Further in Syria and the surrounding countries we are not quite certain as to who the good guys are and whom we should be killing. Therefore the logical solution is to kill them all.

A few, 6 or so I would guess, large nuclear bombs would suffice to kill all the people on all the sides. It would also end the refugee crisis, there would be no people left to become refugees. If we included Israel and Palestine in the target zone we would also end this conflict.

With far fewer people in the world it would help reduce the pressure on growing food and producing clean potable water. If we irradiated the oil fields in this region this would help the oil companies by driving up the price of oil which would reduce traffic and lower dangerous emissions. The more I think about this idea the more I am growing to like it. We could extend the idea to cover trouble spots in Africa, drug regions in South America etc.

The military should like it as none of our forces lives will be put at risk and it would prove once and for all if our nuclear weapons really work. Why have them if we are not going to usefully use them?

So I urge you, write to your MP, the Prime Minister and anyone else that you can think of you to take this bold decisive action now.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The latest rendition of "The Sandbin"

The Sandbin - being performed at the Old Askean Association Advent Lunch on Thursday 19 November at Chislehurst Golf Club. I think that singing lessons are required before next year's performance!
For those that do not know - the Sandbin is the school song of my old school, Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Boys' School.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Lord's Prayer

Following the ban, in the UK, or having an advert containing the Lord's Prayer from being shown in cinemas please share this with all your friends.

Monday, 16 November 2015

This makes sense to me

From the letters in today's Daily Telegraph

SIR – The Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford (Meco) utterly condemns the loss of innocent life in Paris. The perpetrators have besmirched the good name of Islam. Not only is their fanaticism completely at odds with the teachings of the Holy Koran, but they seek to heighten tensions between Muslims and those of other faiths.
For this reason, British Muslims must combat the poisonous ideology of Isil. It is essential that its absurd theological propaganda, championing a medieval concept of violent jihad, is exposed as totally non-Koranic.
While the slaughter in Paris should be denounced unreservedly, France and other ex-colonial Western nations must be held accountable for their foreign policy in the Middle East. In recent times, the US, Britain and France have all tried to reinforce Western imperialism – first by their invasion and occupation of Iraq, then by their illegitimate government change in Libya, and now by their interference in the Syrian civil war. Such actions have alienated Muslims and accelerated the emergence of Isil.
The only way out of this cycle of murder and mayhem in the Middle East and Europe is a two-fold strategy. First, Muslims must put their house in order by tackling extremism while establishing true political democracy. Secondly, Western powers must forgo their historic control of the riches and resources of the Islamic world and deal with Muslims as respected partners.
Dr Taj Hargey
Director, Meco

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Whay are we so silent on the majority of atrocities?

I do not believe in the "grand" conspiracy theories. In general I believe in the incompetence theory - governments are too incompetent to organise anything, never mind a grand conspiracy. There is however something more subtle taking place - a slant placed on events that take place, a manipulation of the general population to shape a "right" view of what is taking place. 
Most of the killings/murders that take place in African countries pass by with minimal comment. The condemnation of atrocities by Muslim countries and moderate Imams also receives less coverage in Western media. There is manipulation in the media taking place - I am not sure what the narrative is that they want us to believe but we are being fed information on a selective basis.

Orwell was right.

Friday, 6 November 2015

A reader struggles with his faith

He writes:
I am sorry but I simply had to reach out to a fellow Catholic.
I may not be too much help, but here goes.
I feel that I am losing my religion.  I had once believed that the Holy Spirit guides the College of Cardinals in the selection of the most wisest holiest candidate for the position.
Why would you think that given the fact that cardinals chose Alexander VI?  Or that Jesus chose Peter?  Recall Chesterton: ” “When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its cornerstone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward – in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed, because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing, the historic Christian Church, was founded on a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
I no longer believe that since Francis has become the Pontiff.  It was evident to me when JPII and Benedict were made popes but something went horribly wrong with the election of Francis.
Nothing has gone horribly wrong.  What has happened is that false expectations you placed on God and the Church are dying and you are experiencing the pain of that loss.  But Francis has not, in fact, said or done anything heterodox with respect to the Faith, merely with respect to your human expectations about things neither Jesus nor the faith ever promised in the first place.  You are losing faith in false human traditions you projected on to the Faith, not in any promise Jesus or the Church ever actually made.
Maybe the Holy Spirt does not guide the Church in these matters?  Maybe it was a lie?  Maybe everything else is a lie too?  I am losing my faith.   I feel like my faith is unravelling.
It would be good to cross-examine your assumption in light of the Church’s actual teaching then and ask, “Which is more likely?  That Jesus Christ and the apostles, martyrs, and saints are a pack of liars, or that I am wrong about something somewhere and need to rethink the unspoken assumptions and demands I placed on God without ever asking?”  Common sense says its the latter.  So ask:  “Where have I elevated mere human traditions and assumptions to the level of divine revelation?  What can I do to give that up and stick with what God has actually said through Holy Church?”  He’s not jerking you around.  He’s shaking loose false ideas you have about him and about his Body the Church in union with the bishops and Peter.
Everytime I hear a pronouncement from Francis I shudder and realize that we have a socialist nutcase in charge.
We don’t.  We have a Catholic with an intensely strong evangelistic and pastoral charism articulating Catholic teaching just like his predecessors.  Everything you need to know about him is summed up in the words, “He has preached good news to the poor.”  Nothing he has said is incompatible with the Church’s teaching.  Most of it is a rehash of things JPII and B16 said.  It’s just that you didn’t notice it.  To wit:
In Wilhelmine Germany, too, Catholic groups felt closer to democratic socialism than to the rigidly Prussian and Protestant conservative forces. In many respects, democratic socialism was and is close to Catholic social doctrine and has in any case made a remarkable contribution to the formation of a social consciousness.” – Pope Benedict XVI
I rue the day when not too far off the Synod on the Family will pronounce gay marriages / families as somethign worthwhile and receive the blessing of the church.
You are worried about phantoms.  The Church cannot alter the sacraments.  The most that may happen is that the Church will face the fact that Caesar has decided to pretend that there is such a thing as gay marriage and that people involved in such arrangements require some form of pastoral care. Would you rather the Church simply reject them and their children?  Christ comes to call not the righteous, but sinners.  So that’s not an option.  The desire of some Catholics to cut people off from the very opportunity of grace is as old as Donatism.  The Church as a fortress and an engine of vengeance is not the gospel.  She is bound to seek the lost.
Part of the problem is that people have no idea what this Synod is about.  It is, like all conciliar actions, a time when the Church “holds herself in suspense” as Bp.  Robert Barron puts it, and makes up her mind about things.  It is supposed to hear from all sides so that it can sift wheat from chaff.  The pope did something similar when drafting Humanae Vitae, consulting theologians who urged him to ditch the Church’s ancient tradition about artificial contraception.  He declined to do so.
What this come down to is a test of your trust, not in Francis, but in Jesus Christ’s promise that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church into all truth.  It is He, not Francis, who is the soul of the Church.
Anyway, my faith has been shaken.   Please pray for me to recover the certitude I once did in the teachings of the Church.
May God our Father hear the prayer of Paul for you through Christ our Lord:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Faith means “you stay”.  That’s really it.  When the disciples’ faith was shaken they turned to Christ and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”  It is Christ who remains the source and summit of our faith, not our false ideas, not the pope, and above all, not ourselves. :)  Don’t despair.  Stay, and see what Jesus is going to do in you and in our holy Church.

Taken from:

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Heath Care in the UK

Medical specialists in the UK make just over half what they do in America, and less than their counterparts in Australia, Canada, France and Germany, according to the seminal study on the subject by David M Cutler and Dan P Ly of Harvard University, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. The two academics conclude that “the one major country that appears to be paying its physicians too little is the United Kingdom”, a remarkable statement given the thoroughness of their research. One consequence of Britain’s excessively low medical wages, they argue, is that the UK is losing much of its homegrown talent and has had to import 28 per cent of its doctors from abroad to compensate.
Other research backs this up. The most up to date figures from the OECD show that specialist doctors in the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Israel, Finland and even Turkey earn more than their British counterparts, once adjusting for the purchasing power of their wages. As to junior doctors, Canadian starting salaries are between 14 per cent (in Quebec) and 49 per cent (in Alberta) higher than those in the UK when adjusted in the same way. It costs much less to live in (say) Texas that it does anywhere in the UK, so even in those cases when cash salaries don’t look that much higher abroad they often generate a much better quality of life.
So we need to pay our doctors more if we are to stop them leaving the UK - it seems madness that we "export" our homegrown talent and then make up the shortfall by "importing" talent form other poorer countries - where do they get their doctors from?

The major issue is of course where do we get the money from to pay our doctors the "going rate" in the global marketplace that we now live on? Putting the question the other way round how do we limit the demands on the NHS? Should we try to limit the demands? Modern treatments become ever more complex and this means more expensive. Doctors are now postponing death more and more so that we are living ever longer (so far no doctor saves lives as we all die eventually).
It is my belief that if we were to double spending on the NHS overnight within a few years there would be a funding shortfall as more and more of us would be living even longer.
We need to have a gown up debate on this - but with the current crop of politicians in all the parties there are better odds on my winning the lottery than of having a sensible discussion on the NHS. Accodring to the actuarial tables my expected lifespan is about 15 years so I won't really have too long to worry about the issue. But I would like to think that my grandson who is not year three can look forward to a better future.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Attacks on The Faith

I have received the following from a Parishioner - the message is clear we must act.

The Home Office has proposed the following:

  • Priests, Imams and Rabbis must be enrolled on a national register of faith leaders.
  • They must undergo government-specified training.
  • They must undergo security checks.

Under this proposal, a priest or deacon could be struck off the register and have his “license” to be a priest or deacon taken away by the government.   The police can be called on priests by any member of the public and be arrested with the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuting and criminalising them. 

There are also new laws against “Hate Speech,” which is just about anything that is not politically correct as per the government.  Catholic teaching on sex and marriage has been deemed as an indicator of religious extremism by Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for education, and she is threatening to censure and shut down Catholic schools.  Priests and deacons preaching Catholic principles at mass could be prosecuted for “Hate Speech.” 

Here are the three radical individuals in the UK Government that are driving this:

We see how intimidated Christians are becoming in the UK.  We see primary and secondary “Christian Schools” in the area (our children attend one) now only teach Christian values as part of a wider comparative religion course and are too afraid to encourage their students to practice Christian values.  We have to teach our children the Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule at home because their “Christian School” doesn’t teach it.  It’s ridiculous.  No one is allowed to have a religious framework to figure out what is right or wrong anymore.  Churches and schools are too afraid to say anything.  The UK now has the highest rate of family breakdown in Europe.  

The growing religious persecution in the UK will worsen if the Catholic Church and its members do not start taking firm legal action against the UK government to stand up and protect their freedom of religion and speech whilst we still have it. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Have braved the shave!

If you want to support us raising money for Macmillan Cancer then click here

If you want to read Billie's Cancer Blog then click here

Monday, 14 September 2015

Brave the Shave

The attached refers to Aidan who is a very dear friend of ours. So after Thursday you may not recognise me!

Deacon Aidan McPartlan's  future daughter in law, Billie, was diagnosed with leukaemia on Friday 4 September. She decided that she would have her very long hair cut, so that it could be used to make a wig for children. She wanted to do this before she starts on her treatment and so had it cut on  11 September. As you can imagine Aidan is very proud of Billie and already thinks of her as his daughter. He is also so impressed with her and her can do attitude.
To support Billie and to raise funds for McMillan Cancer Deacons Aidan and Barry Mellish are going to "Brave the Shave" and lose their Greying locks"! You can support then by donating to McMillan on:

More important than your money are your prayers, please pray for Billie, her fiancee Tony and all of their families.
Billie is writing a Blog on how she feels on what is happening to her, she is a very brave young lady:

So far we have not "had the chop" so here are the before photos, the chop comes this Thursday - remember please pray for Billie.
Inline image
Inline image

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Assisted suicide bill

A very thoughtful and considered letter form my local MP
Dear Reverend Mellish,
Thank you for contacting me about Rob Marris’ Assisted Dying Bill. I appreciate that this difficult issue raises strong and genuinely held opinions on both sides of the debate, and I wanted to read through the Bill in its entirety, which has only recently been published, before responding to you.
I approach this dilemma with an open mind. Anyone who has had a family member or loved one with a terminal illness knows how distressing and difficult it can be, both for the patient, their family and friends. Highly emotive cases increasingly appear on the news, and our palliative care must be as sensitive and flexible as possible to these peoples’ needs. This should not, however, distract us from the essential question this Bill poses: should doctors be licensed to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who ask for them and meet certain conditions?
Having read through the Bill, I feel, regardless of whether in principal you support or oppose assisted suicide, there are insufficient safeguards in place to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society. At this point it is also worth stressing that this is the conclusion all the Royal Colleges, the British Medical Association (BMA) and the major disability charities have come to.
Although the Bill does include provisions to ensure those wishing to end their life have met certain qualifying criteria, there is no guarantee that these will translate into concrete safeguards. This is particularly the case in deciding whether a request for assisted suicide derives from a settled wish or whether it is being influenced by pressure of one sort or another. That pressure may come from a family member, or, unfortunately, an internal belief from the patient themself that they are a burden on their loved ones.
On this point, careful consideration must be given to the doctors whose responsibility it will be to ultimately make the final decision. A decision of this magnitude must, of course, take into account factors that lie outside the field of medicine, something research indicates only one out of seven GPs would be prepared to do. Drawing on my experience as a lawyer, it is also difficult to see how this fundamental problem can be mitigated by the arbitration of a High Court judge, whose duty, as envisaged by the Bill, would be to little more than rubber stamp the doctors’ decision.
Where similar legislation has been enacted overseas, there has often been a demand for changes to the laws governing other forms of euthanasia. In Belgium, for example, a law was passed in 2014 to enable children to be euthanized, whilst in Oregon – on whose assisted suicide law this Bill is based – the extension of euthanasia is currently being considered. I am concerned that, if assisted suicide were to be legalised in Britain, in may prove difficult to avoid a similar trend.
I believe more safeguards need to be put in place, and a clear plan of how these would actually work in practice, before assisted suicide could ever be legalised here. For that reason I will not be supporting Rob Marris’ Private Members’ Bill when it comes before Parliament in September.
Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact me.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

That "Nazi Salute"

Hitler and the National Socialist Party were abhorrent and people who supported them are rightly vilified.Whether the so called salute is really a salute, a young girl having a joke or wave we will never know.
It is interesting that people who expressed sympathy for Communism and "nice" Uncle Joe" Stalin are not vilified in the same way as those who express any kind of sympathy for the Nazis are. Yet when it comes to mass murder and wholesale massacre of people Stalin makes Hitler look like a vicar at church tea-party.

Monday, 22 June 2015

THE "Right To Die" Bill

Taken form Mark Lambert's Blog on the subject.

Assisted Suicide, the right to die, is back in the news again. Labour MP Rob Marris plans to introduce a Bill that that would legalise assisted suicide, in a move which essentially copies the law proposed by Lord Falconer in the House of Lords in the last Parliament. 

There are many problems with the right to die. Of course, everyone will die anyway, so "right to die" is a total misnomer. In reality what we are talking about is the right to be killed. It is a sensitive subject, because many people feel that it is no one else's business; you should be allowed to end your life whenever you chose. However there are real effects which are extremely negative for society and can be clearly demonstrated. In countries and states that have adopted assisted suicide, palliative care (the medical specialism designed to relieve pain) is fundamentally undermined, vulnerable people can be pressured into assisted death, and that human life is devalued by medical culture and society more largely.
This was recently brought home to me very clearly when I had a conversation with a sick lady who is following the arguments very closely. She is genuinely terrified that an acceptance of this bill will result in her being considered somehow obsolete by society. The cultural result will be that society looks at people with terminal illness or serious health concerns and suggests it would probably be best if they did the honourable thing and removed the burden they have become from our having to deal with them.
From a Catholic perspective of course, this is wholly abhorrent and must be opposed!
Essential Catholic reading on the issue includes (but is not limited to) the great encyclical on the Gospel of Life from Pope St. John Paul II Evangelium Vitae & the CDF Declaration on Euthanasia. But in today's secular society, few people look to the Church for wisdom on such issues. Instead, they spurn the wealth of knowledge the Church has to offer and even caricature those with faith as being disingenuous on issues such as this, motivated by faith rather than reason and common sense.

The reality is that you do not need to have faith in order to see how bad this is for our society. Peter Williams at Right to Life has written the following article on assisted suicide calling all people who support the right to life to oppose this bill. He uses logic and reason in a way which clearly illustrates the intellectual shortcomings in the agenda of those who would seek to legalise murder of the most vulnerable in our society. Please do read this and follow his suggestions- get involved, write to your MP and make a difference today! 

Falconer Redux: Oppose the Marris Bill!

by Peter D. Williams
The threat of assisted suicide has cropped up again, this time in the House of Commons. Right-to-lifers now have an opportunity to deal a serious defeat for the assisted death lobby, if the House of Commons decisively rejects their goals.
Every year, the House of Commons holds a ballot for MPs who wish to introduce a Private Members Bill (a change to the law introduced not by the Government, but by an individual MP). This year, the Labour MP Rob Marris won the top of the ballot, and plans to introduce a Bill that that would legalise assisted suicide, essentially as a copy of the law proposed by Lord Falconer in the House of Lords in the last Parliament.
It is worth remembering what the problems were with the Falconer Bill, as the same criticisms will be able to be applied to the Marris Bill also. Lord Falconer’s proposals were based on the system of assisted suicide used in the U.S. state of Oregon.
The Oregon State Public Health Division brings out an Annual Report each year, and in 1998, the year in which the ‘Death with Dignity’ act, legalising assisted suicide in Oregon took effect, it reported that 13% of patients applying for medication to commit suicide did so because they were frightened of being a burden on their families(1). This percentage has substantially increased since, even whilst fluctuating, to the extent that in 2014 almost four times more patients (40%) were opting for assisted suicide for this reason(2). In 2012, only three years ago, this figure had exceeded it, at 57.1%(3).
Meanwhile, in Washington State, which also uses a similar system, the most recent figure for this reason cited by those opting for assisted suicide is 61% (4). All of this illustrates the degree to which a so-called ‘right to die’ (more accurately a right to be killed) can in fact become a duty to die.
Do we really want to live in a society where this is the attitude engendered in the elderly and the terminally ill, or do we want a compassionate society in which people are valued for who and what they are – human beings with inherent dignity, who are always valued – and which consequently invests in good quality palliative care?
The so-called ‘safeguards’ in the Falconer Bill were far too lax to protect from abuse. The requirement it mandated that two Doctors must ascertain that those presenting for assisted suicide truly wished to do so(5), is the same system used in the Abortion Act 1967, which we know is largely abused. This also relies on both Doctors knowing the patient well enough, and their families, to be able to evaluate their intentions, mental capacity, and freedom from duress such as subtle pressure from relations. Given the relationship between most patients and even their GPs, this is incredibly unrealistic.
To add extra rigour, a ‘safeguard’ added to the Bill was that a person presenting for assisted suicide would have to satisfy a judge of the Family Division of the High Court that they had made a “voluntary, clear, settled and informed wish to end their life”. This was proposed by Lord Pannick on the grounds that judges of the Family Division already hear cases of medical life or death, do so speedily, and would supposedly add another level of stringency in making sure sufficient ‘safeguards’ were followed.
The version of such a safeguard that was proposed, however, would only have involved a court verifying that the procedures mandated by the Bill itself had been met. Yet as we have seen, it is precisely the procedures themselves that leave vulnerable people open to being pressured into ending their lives due to unscrupulous, or even just exhausted or cost-laden relatives. Involving the courts would thus bring no real added protection to those who could be pressured into suicide.
The Falconer Bill also required the person committing suicide to have mental capacity (6), and to commit the action – pushing a plunger, or pressing a button – that kills them (7). This would exclude the high profile hard cases of this issue (e.g. people suffering from Alzheimer’s and thus lacking mental capacity when they would want to commit suicide, like Sir Terry Pratchett, or paraplegics who cannot commit the physical actions necessary to end their own lives, like Tony Nicklinson), but would endanger the lives of many more vulnerable people.
It is certainly worth remembering that the introduction of assisted suicide is opposed by almost every major medical body, as well as leading palliative care organisations, and campaigning groups for the elderly and disabled: the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association, the World Medical Association, the British Geriatric SocietyScope, the UK Disabled People’s Council, and Not Dead Yet UK.
The debate over the Marris Bill should show that no amount of attempted safeguards are sufficient to avoid the abuse of assisted suicide. The right-to-life movement therefore has a great opportunity to make the pitfalls of such a proposal clear, and also to advocate truly humane reforms that will make assisted living, not assisted death, the concentration of Government.
We can only do this, however, with the help of ordinary right-to-lifers. The Marris Bill will be debated at Second Reading on September 11th, which is a Friday (a day when MPs tend to be back in their constituencies). We need as many people as possible therefore, to contact their Members of Parliament, outlining the problems with assisted suicide and specifically the Falconer/Marris proposals, and asking them to do two things:
  1. Be in the Palace of Westminster on September 11th, and attend the Commons Marris Bill debate.
  2. Oppose and vote against the Marris Bill.
If enough Members of the Commons were to do those two things, it would lead to a great victory. Please therefore write to your MP today, and urge them to defend the right to life of vulnerable people.

Monday, 15 June 2015

A Few Days in Devon

We recently spent a few days in our holiday lodge in Devon. On the first day we met up with Lawrie, Emma and Henry who were departing to go home. So we managed to see our grandson, alebit for a few hours.
We went to Castle Drogo which is currently being refurbished or rather repaired as it leaks rather a lot!
The "Tent" over the Castle
We also went to Knighthayes Court which is rather special with lovely grounds and some fine artifacts.

A lovely tree  

I rather like this pot

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Care for the dying

Most of the daily papers are carrying articles on the inadequacies of care of the dying within the NHS - click here.
We need a proper debate on what medical research is necessary/feasible and desirable. Every different group; prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, liver disease, heart. lung etc etc is busy researching away on methods and drugs that will eradicate the disease and/or mitigate the effects of the problem. These all cost ever increasing amounts of money. Are we prepared to write an open ended cheque? Currently we seem to want to prolong life so that people can get dementia and then have euthanasia to polish us off. Perhaps we should focus ore on quality of life rather than prolonging life. We need a reasoned debate on these issues but as politicians will be involved this looks very unlikely.

Monday, 4 May 2015

It's over!

Well the five days of living on a £1 per day are over. I must admit that the bacon sarnie for breakfast this morning was really great. If nothing else the past five days has taught me how lucky I am. i did this as a challenge and to raise awareness of the 1.2 billion people who have to live on the equivalent of £1 per day. For them the reality is that there will never be a bacon sarnie for breakfast. It has made me feel very humble.
If you wish to sponsor me and donate money to a charity that is try to alleviate food poverty then:

Friday, 1 May 2015

Living below the line - last day!

Last day of living below the line. I can look forward to a fry-up for breakfast tomorrow. But for 1.2 billion people it will be the same food tomorrow as it was yesterday and the the day before, etc etc. It does make me realise how lucky I am. The tough part yesterday was being at a conference and watching the others eat lovely food whilst I had a sandwich with a meagre filling on basic bread. It has been a worthwhile exercise and has made me think differently about those less fortunate.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Living below the line

Day 3 of Living Below the Line just starting. So far so good. Whilst doing this as an exercise is rather fun for many it is the reality of their everyday lives. For me the risk is that I put in treats that we have in the larder. For many the larder is bare. Yesterday the menu was porridge, scrambled eggs on toast for lunch and pasta with a tomato & onion sauce.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Living Below the Line - Living on £1 per day for five days!

Taken from my Facebook page:

  • First day of "Living Below the Line" max spending on food is £1. Remember that 1.2 billion people live on the equivalent of this every day of their lives. Julia and i are just doing it for 5 days.
  • Stuart Mellish What's on the menu for today?
  • Barry Mellish Porridge for breakfast, rice and lentils for tea, lunch will be two slices of "basic" supermarket bread and soup.
    10 mins · Like · 1
  • Richard 'Dickie' Dugdale Out of interest barry is that packet soup or homemade? Im interested in which would be cheeper i bet its the packet stuff
  • Barry Mellish This is Very cheap packet. Julia usually makes the soup - it is a good way of using vegetables that are on the point of "going off". No matter how well you plan meals and shopping there always seems to be something that you have too much off. That makes homemade soup difficult to cost and for the purposes of this five day exercise we decided to use packet.
  • Barry Mellish The important point to remember si that for 1.2billion people they have no choice. There are also thousands in this country that are counting every penny. We usually forget how lucky we are.
  • Richard 'Dickie' Dugdale Ah yes makes sense barry, did you do a shop all together for the week then? Im tempted at doing this myself you know its very intriguing
  • Barry Mellish We have bought most of the stuff in bulk - this makes it easier and cheaper. Again some do not have that luxury - we are also using herbs and spices that we have in the house and making a notional 10p a day charge against the budget - is this correct - I don't honestly know.