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Moving backwards in every way. Stop and think!

Face book activity has been off the chart lately with the regressive policies being signed off by the 45th president of the USA, the seg...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Who is accountable for the rise in neglect?

I was checking all my various social media sites today and came across a post asking to share against child cruelty which I did.  Someone asked if it was abuse to leave a child on the street and I replied yes it was. I was then asked a question regarding this, which gave me food for thought.  I was asked who was to blame for this type of abuse and it was also stated that the ones that survived today would be raised in abuse and thus turn out to be tomorrows problem.  

This saddened me that this is what is thought of about children in care today.  I will admit that not all children respond to their new carers well, however I will also admit that not all carers are adept at caring for a child that has been through so much at such a young age.  I will start at the beginning however and try to restore some faith that the children in care today can be your leaders of tomorrow with the right help.

My response to the question  “was it child abuse to abandon a child on the street”  was not based on personal feeling, I am passionate about the subject and as such have read through as many laws and legislations as I can to understand it.  My response was thus based on the following legislations and laws.  Cruelty to Children Act 1889 and 1904 alongside the Children and Young person’s act 1933 including all up to and including 2014.  As well as these I also based my response on the definition of child abuse from the UN convention paraphrased below.  The UN convention it states  “Key child protection articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are Articles 9 (family separation), 10 (family reunification across borders), 11 (illicit transfer of children), 16(right to privacy, honour and reputation), 19 (protection from violence, injury, abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation), 20 (alternative care), 21 (adoption), 22 (refugee children), 23(disabled children), 24 (harmful practices), 25 (periodic review of alternative care), 32 (economic exploitation), 34 (sexual abuse and exploitation), 35 (abduction, sale or trafficking of children) , 36 (other forms of exploitation), 37 (juvenile justice and protection from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), 38 (protection in armed conflict), 39 (recovery and reintegration) and 40 (children in conflict with the law).  This is also available on their website in more detail below” (Unicef, 1992)  

All of the above acts would consider the abandoned child as neglected which causes numerous other forms of maltreatment in the process.  Although I do also see this as a form of neglect and thus child abuse I cannot honestly answer or respond to the question asked in a few lines.  The situation is much more complex.

I have to admit that I was not expecting the response that I received “I was asked who was to blame for this type of abuse and it was also stated that the ones that survived today would be raised in abuse and thus turn out to be tomorrows problem”.   I genuinely worry that this is the standard thought process about children in care today.  Many of these children have been emotionally scarred because of stresses and trauma in early childhood and it takes a particular type of person to take a child in and care for them.  I have known several kinship and foster carers and all have their strengths and they treat the children they care for with respect and understanding.  They work closely with professionals to try and resolve some of the mental issues caused in early childhood.   From all of the children I know or have met, none of them look, to me, as though they will be tomorrows problems.  Actually, it is quite the opposite, I see children being rebuilt, children understanding a lot more than they should and children who will continue to grow stronger as their carers continue to understand and remain dedicated to helping them. 

These children, I believe, will grow up to be team leaders and managers, supervisors and inspirations.  The logic behind this thought is that these children have dealt with stress ten times more dangerous to them than making a snap decision on the shop floor.  These children are the most logical answer to our stagnant economics and failing businesses.  Not only can they deal with stress, but they will remember how all they wanted when they were younger was to be listened to or to be treated fairly or not to be scared.  Given the right care, they can be the person that listens, treats people with dignity and doesn't choose to frighten their staff but rather, motivates them by using loyalty and dedication. 

When asked who is to blame however, this takes deeper thought.  In our time now, I could look to the government starving its population enough for a young girl to abandon her baby because she just does not see a way to make ends meet.  It could be that sex education carried out by schools isn't a big enough deterrent as serious issues like HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are just briefly touched on because of adult embarrassment of the issues. It could be that the parents didn't follow up on the sex education to highlight the important factors such as STD’s, pregnancy and what motherhood is all about.  It could be culture, the girl may be disowned if she dishonours the family with a child out of marriage.  It could be that the girl is too ashamed of her situation and she just wants it forgotten and no one else to know about it (many girls have been known to go through pregnancy unnoticed, birth the baby and abandon it without anyone knowing).  In these cases we must stand back and look at the girls situation, what made her so desperate in that situation.  Can we blame the people around her, the state, or do we blame her for being scared of the consequences.  I am aware there are girls that abandon their baby for more selfish reasons but these are minimal compared to the girls that are terrified of the consequences from the people around them.  Can we realistically blame the people around her however? 

I feel that there is a lack of education out there about motherhood, responsibility, living with the consequences or even the help they can get if they knew where to look and that’s how we can lessen the amount of abandoned babies, as well as lessen other forms of cruelty and maltreatment such as neglect.  There is a rise in tolerance of various forms of neglect as they are now seen as normal, such as seeing your friend leave her baby in the baby walker all day, this is neglect and can damage limb development but so many youngsters do not know this and think it’s ok.  A good understanding of child development and their own expected life changes is required in schools and at home but it is not forthcoming as we stand and let governments dictate what we can and cannot teach, what we can and cannot learn so in this scenario, we are all to blame, because we do not fight to change things any more.

I thought it was an exaggeration but this is the Conservatives’ handbook!

It’s not the sort of book I normally would read but after reading 1984, I am keen to read his other works now too.  I had heard so much about George Orwell’s’ book 1984 and so many people telling me how the government of today were using it as an instruction manual, I just had to read it and judge for myself.  

I can say there is not much that I cannot relate to in some way or other, the two way TV screens that watch your every move and hear your every word, well our internet resembles that factor of the government spy network of its citizens.  The fake war that never ends and the reasons behind it (of this I will not say too much, as it is a piece of realization that should only be given by Orwell himself) but there have been several wars as of late that have been wrought with allegations of being illegal but the reasoning behind these wars is very convenient, to add to this there is further food for thought in Orwell’s revelation of this.  

The proles in Orwell’s book are left to their own devices, classed as natural inferiors, they are very poor and not educated enough to let them see what was going on, so as they would never revolt. They resemble the 99%, the proletariat of today. The way I describe stratification of our very own education system in a previous article is very frightening to consider, when you look at Orwell’s fictional world and how it resembles our world so very closely.  There were also no medical facilities for the proles that were mentioned either, much like our own NHS being dismantled right now. 

There is also the daily two minute hate sessions that are held.  The population of the outer party are brainwashed to hate one man, ‘Big Brothers’ opposition.  Under our government, the population is being turned on the poor, the conservatives opposition, very much like the German population of 1933 when Hitler took over as chancellor.  The government in Orwell’s tale control the media and news to a degree not thought possible, they change the news on a daily basis to match what they want the population to know.  Our own government also controls the media and can control what we do and do not see.  Any of these resemblances can be found in governments acts passed by our very own government on the government website and yet day by day people are drawn into Orwell’s vision unconsciously.

One final haunting thought that this book leaves you with are the great purges at the start of the reign of ‘Big Brother’, you cannot help but remember the purge of World War Two but this was based on the purge caused by Stalin when he had 11 million people slaughtered in cold blood.  Although our government is not as obvious as this, we are now sitting at an estimated death rate of around 20, 000 elderly and disabled since 2010.  After reading this book I can, with a clear mind state that I believe our own UK government and possibly even the US are using this as their handbook.  George Orwell is a great visionary, but I pray this vision comes to a halt before it becomes as blatant as his fictional vision.

I will say that I will have to read the book again as I soaked up every chapter so fast, I am sure I missed more resemblances and for those that have not read it yet I would recommend this as a really good read.  I understand that this, however, is a book of fiction based on some very real background history that the author experienced, the Spanish Civil War under the oppression of Franco and Russian Communism during the years of Lenin/Stalin. He decided to write some fictional novels about his experience, which are good reads on their own, however when added to today’s predicaments add a haunting note to his tale. 

For anyone wanting to delve further into todays policies I have put the link below:

Friday, 28 February 2014

Mars One update

As I follow this project with interest, I find it curious that although the Mars one expedition only requires 4 people and have accepted thousands of applicants from very normal backgrounds with no specific requirements but now asks for the following ready for their preparation expedition being based in the Canadian Arctic:

Firstly they ask for volunteers to compile a team of six members when the original expedition only accounts for a 4 man team.  Secondly the original expedition asks for  no special requirements. No science skills, no engineering skills and anyone could apply.  On this expedition  however "Applicants will need to pass a physical exam and must be cleared by their personal physician to participate. Applicants must be non-smokers ... Dedication to the cause of human Mars exploration is an absolute must, as conditions are likely to be very difficult and the job will be very field support person will also participate in the expedition in and out of simulation role. This person should have excellent field mechanic and wilderness skills." cited from

This new expedition seems to focus on how the team will work together however they are already overlooking the differences in the terrain and psychological aspects of these two very different teams on two very different missions.

Firstly the team being brought together for the Canadian Arctic expedition have been through university to gain the qualifications on geology, engineering, and the various other skills they are looking for.  Already, this gives this team a psychological advantage as their cognitive abilities are able to deal with academic pressures with more efficiency meaning they will be able to deal with pressure with more ease.  Secondly, this team will be in contact with a remote team whenever they need support which means that psychologically they are not alone with only three other companions to support them.  

When you look at the circumstances for the Mars one team, they have access to a remote team however it is highly unlikely that communication will be instantaneous due to the distance between Earth and Mars.  This leaves the team with no instant support, no cognitive ability to deal with complex engineering issues or scientific issues and only each other for support on a constant basis. 

My worry here is that the two teams are not really testing psychological impact or group work; although the terrain is apparently very similar to the terrain in Mars, the situation each team is being placed in is far from similar.  To measure anything in the preparation expedition will not show any true significant correlations between these variables and leave the project totally unprepared for the launch of Mars One. 

Because the children are Scotlands' future.

I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about the 'No Campaign' as quite frankly every time I read something about the 'No campaign' I become frustrated at the lack of evidence they supply in order to support their statements.

I have however done a lot of reading about the 'Yes campaign'  who have supplied a fully detailed manifesto of what the plans are and how they will achieve them.  The 'Yes campaign have made no promises of a bed of roses or a magic fix to our current situation in Scotland, they have however outlined a clear plan of action and within the manifesto and you can see the evidence to support their idea's.

Throughout this whole campaign the 'Yes campaign' has talked about solutions and reminded us that nothing will change if we remain together, they have pointed out key area's where things could get worse if we don't vote yes and this is all fine.  On the other side however, the 'No campaign' continues to throw scare tactics at us, threats at us and generally treat us as stupid.  They have even been caught on record, several times, saying we are not educated enough to make this type of decision.

Throughout all of this; I, being Scottish and too uneducated to make this type of decision,  have been watching what is going on behind the smoke screen being created by the no campaign.

Did you know that organisations and charities who slander our current government can now be punished? Did you also know that there are plans to cut out TV licences and bus passes for pensioners if the Tory's get back in in the next election.
Did you know that food banks are on the rise and that there are 15,000 children in care in Scotland with a further 3.5 million children living in poverty. the Tory's blame this on the unemployed however as of this month there are 2.34 million unemployed.
Do you remember the two men who won their case regarding workfare and yet its crept back in again....

The new plans by Ian Duncan Smith are linked below and are bleak to say the least for anyone unemployed. the new plans target unemployed once again cutting even more benefits and causing even more child poverty. You can see there is a difference of  1.16 million between child poverty and unemployment and yes there are often more than one child in a family but you cannot tell me that there are not working families living in poverty as I am one of them.  My man works full time and I am a student but we still find that financially it is a never-ending struggle to pay for child care, buy clothes, shoes, winter coats, summer clothes and shoes, and deal with birthdays and Christmas too.  The children that are being driven towards poverty are from working families now as the families relying on benefits to keep them fed are already suffering and have been for quite some time.  We will start to see a drop however as the definition of children living in poverty is reworded and therefore certain children will no longer be counted !

More and more children will end up without breakfast, without lunch and without the proper clothes to wear in winter because of this.  This will only lead to ill health as each child becomes older costing more on the NHS ...but wait, they are selling that off in parts too aren't they.  How long will it be before we have no welfare state?

I for one, do not want a child growing up in a country were the government use a blame culture to divert attention from what's really going on.  I do not want a child growing up in a country where a government cannot be trusted because they pass laws where you are not allowed to say your piece.  I am also extremely aware of how Hitler got around the Reichstag (the German equivalent to our houses of parliament) and how Cameron is getting around are straying dangerously close to misusing the houses of parliament  to get his own way.   I am also very aware that the Labour leader and the Liberal democrat leader have seemed to dissolved into thin air, why is this, what game is Cameron playing that would shut the opposition up just like that.  In some cases the opposition are even backing Tory policy, why?

Quite frankly all of this scares me more than any 'No campaign' junk thrown at us. There are too many closed doors, too many quiet 'opposition' leaders and a growing amount of authoritarian attitudes being taken by the people that are suppose to look after the States citizens.

Cameron is leading the way into a hard core dictatorship and it terrifies me to the core when I think of what the children of Scotland will suffer if we stay together.  I have put links below if you want to look at the evidence I have supplied. Like I said at the beginning I do not pretend to know everything but I do know that for an uneducated Scot who is not programmed to make a political decision I totally defy this uneducated slander by stating that I am quite capable of voting and I will be there on September the 18th later this year to do so.

The choice on which way to vote it totally yours but please do vote.  I will vote but not for me...the future belongs to today's  children and we owe them sanctuary from a dangerous dictator so I for one will be voting yes to save Scotland children from a future of hell.

References used for this article
Quote taken form above website:  "For Adolf Hitler, the goal of a legally established dictatorship was now within reach. On March 15, 1933, a cabinet meeting was held during which Hitler and Göring discussed how to obstruct what was left of the democratic process to get an Enabling Act passed by the Reichstag. This law would hand over the constitutional functions of the Reichstag to Hitler, including the power to make laws, control the budget and approve treaties with foreign governments."

Friday, 10 January 2014

Overview of Mars One analysis

Mosaic image taken on Jan. 4, 2004, by the navigation camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit
 Mars One, the project that aims to send 4 people to Mars and colonise it.  The project that cannot bring them back again.  Reality TV on Mars,  access to TV and email.  Four people to live out two full years on Mars before another four arrive.  Four people that will need to learn how to survive, not only on another planet, but in a completely different atmosphere with completely different terrain.

These four people will be responsible for building the next colonised part of Mars for the next group of successful  colony members and throughout all of this, they will be alone, dealing with such things as Engineering, Medical, physics, architecture, various science fields and many other factors to support them and their colony throughout the first two years.  When the next group are sent, they will be sent with further supplies to do the same for a further four to be sent 6 years after the first four.   This repeats, until I presume, funding runs out. 

Can it be done?  Can this rightfully be called a colony?  Why hasn't procreation been looked at further as yet?  What are the implications of this project and is it right to let 24 people do this knowing they can’t come back. 

A few days ago I wrote a blog about researching this topic.  As the days have gone on I have to say I have more questions than answers but over the next few weeks I plan on finding more answers to these questions.   

This topic is very complex in terms of financing and technology available so I will be working on several blogs regarding different key areas.    The Mars One Timeline Key areas to be critically analysed are as follows :

Crew selection and Training

Mars-bound Demonstration Mission

Communication Satellite

Rover mission

Operational outpost

Crew departure and Landing

Each of these is part of Mars one own road map to the success of the project, there are other steps however these areas are ‘standard’ for any exploration project and do not raise moral or ethical, philosophical or psychological questions.  The areas above however need in-depth understanding and further detail in order to conclude whether this project will be any of the following:







I have listed several of the websites I have taken much of my information from and will be adding to this list as I analyse each factor.

I hope you will join me on my journey to assess the Mars One Project.

Bibliograghy with links

In-text: (YouTube, 2014)
Bibliography: YouTube. 2014. MarsOneProject. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].


Mars Overview

In-text: (NASA, 2014)
Bibliography: NASA. 2014. Mars Overview. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Irish Times.

Life on Mars: Irish man signs up for colony mission

In-text: (Irish Times, 2014)
Bibliography: Irish Times. 2014. Life on Mars: Irish man signs up for colony mission. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

The Verge.

Mars One narrows applicant pool to 1,058 in first cut for 2025 colonization mission

In-text: (The Verge, 2014)
Bibliography: The Verge. 2014. Mars One narrows applicant pool to 1,058 in first cut for 2025 colonization mission. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Alan Boyle, S. E.

More than 2,700 pay up for a chance to take a one-way trip to Mars - NBC

In-text: (Alan Boyle, 2014)
Bibliography: Alan Boyle, S. E. 2014. More than 2,700 pay up for a chance to take a one-way trip to Mars - NBC [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

NBC News.

Mars is no place for children -- yet - NBC

In-text: (NBC News, 2014)
Bibliography: NBC News. 2014. Mars is no place for children -- yet - NBC [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].


Europe, Russia announce joint mission to put boots on Mars first

In-text: (DVICE, 2014)
Bibliography: DVICE. 2014. Europe, Russia announce joint mission to put boots on Mars first. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].


New reality shows bring private spaceflight to your TV

In-text: (DVICE, 2014)
Bibliography: DVICE. 2014. New reality shows bring private spaceflight to your TV. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Templeton, G.

Lockheed Martin receives $250,000 from ambitious Mars One project | Science! |

In-text: (Templeton, 2014)
Bibliography: Templeton, G. 2014. Lockheed Martin receives $250,000 from ambitious Mars One project | Science! | [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

ITV News.

Meet the British men and women shortlisted for a one-way mission to Mars

In-text: (ITV News, 2014)
Bibliography: ITV News. 2014. Meet the British men and women shortlisted for a one-way mission to Mars. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Mars One mission: one way ticket to new life

In-text: (, 2013)
Bibliography: 2013. Mars One mission: one way ticket to new life. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Mars rover photos featured in new exhibit at Smithsonian museum, marking 10th year of mission

In-text: (, 2014)
Bibliography: 2014. Mars rover photos featured in new exhibit at Smithsonian museum, marking 10th year of mission. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Eliseev, A.

Mars One explorers to undergo tests

In-text: (Eliseev, 2014)
Bibliography: Eliseev, A. 2014. Mars One explorers to undergo tests. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

UK, H.

'Death' Mission To Mars Delayed By Two Years

In-text: (UK, 2014)
Bibliography: UK, H. 2014. 'Death' Mission To Mars Delayed By Two Years. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Picture is Courtesy of  and is the mosaic image taken on Jan. 4, 2004, by the navigation camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit.  It shows a 360 degree panoramic view of the rover on the surface of Mars.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mars One - Will it Work?

Over the next few days I will be looking into the infamous project named 'Mars One'.  This project aims to send 4 people to Mars and on a regular basis send another four along with further supplies and equipment. There were thousands of applicants willing to be sent to Mars but the real shock, to me, at least, is that the applicants know that they cannot return to earth.

The technology required to a return journey is not available so it would be impossible to bring them back.   There are several other crucial factors in this project which I will be looking into, such as surface radiation, Psychological impact to the applicants and skills needed to run such a small colony.

I find the concept fascinating but dangerous, very interesting but I doubt it.  I am hoping to gain a lot more insight into this and give a full analysis of this topic based on information gained.

Stay with me as I journey through this project to find out just what it entails and whether it is feasible.