A strong dose of old-fashioned Socialist discipline needed!

The former Socialist countries, and the existing ones, are often criticized for their restrictions on individual freedom, but surely the pendulum in our own society has swung too far the other way?

Individual freedom is fine so long as it doesn’t interfere with the freedom and wellbeing of others. When it does, the community comes first.

There are a number of areas where I feel a good dose of old-fashioned Socialist discipline might work wonders:

  • The obligation of everybody of working age, and able to work, to do so.
  • The obligation of citizens to show gratitude and loyalty to the society which educated and raised them.
  • The obligation of all young people to offer service to society, and learn respect for their elders.
  • The encouragement of all citizens to become actively involved in running and improving society

These four points, though not necessarily exhaustive, summarize what I feel is needed, or would be needed, in a Socialist Britain or a new Socialist federation of countries with Britain as a member state.

  • Full employment needs to be created by the State and all unemployment benefits abolished. No work, no income should be the rule for all of working age able to work
  • Strict controls on both emigration and immigration from/to either Britain or the federation/union we belong to. No swanning off to where people think the grass is greener unless compensation is paid for the education, etc. they received in their motherland/fatherland. Similarly, immigration should be controlled and nobody allowed to take jobs from our own citizens by working below the minimum wage.
  • A National Community Service introduced for all teenagers. This could be one or two years at, say, age 16 – the gap years some take after leaving school/college and before starting work or going to university. This could include service overseas, such as that done by Voluntary Service Overseas, Oxfam, War On Want, the American Peace Corps, etc. This would be service to the community (not military service) to teach youngsters respect for society and their elders. Gang membership should be a criminal offense, and certainly all teenage gang members should be directed into a National Community Service, as should all those with ASBOs.
  • All citizens should be encouraged to take an active role in politics and trade unionism. Ideally all working citizens should be required to join a trade union, and all adults should be encouraged to join a political organization and help run society. To just put a cross on a ballot paper every few years is ‘opting out’ of one’s social responsibilities and encourages corruption in those we just delegate to run society for us.

These four princples are all essential for progress towards an efficient, caring Socialist and hopefully eventually self-governing Communist society.

The ‘Blow you Jack, I’m all right’ mentality of capitalism is destroying society and our planet. Too much individual freedom equals anarchy and the ultimate breakdown of society. Citizens should be free to walk the streets without fear, and for that we also need an armed police force constantly patrolling our streets and open spaces, and rounding up teenage gangs and directing them into National Community Service . The police can be armed with incapacipating weapons, but when gangs are carrying guns and knives potentially lethal weapons carried by police would be a deterrent to be used only as a last resort.

To those who are concerned restrictions on emigration would amount to an ‘Iron Curtain’ around Britain or the federation/union we belonged to, that is not the case. People would be free to holiday abroad as at present, but if they wanted to emigrate they, or the country they were emigrating to, would be expected to pay compensation towards their education, health care, etc. when growing up in their homeland.

If people failed to return from holidays abroad, then their bank accounts, homes, etc. would be requisitioned by the State as compensation.

There could also be a quid pro quo arrangement with other countries, so that people with skills obtained here could emigrate without paying compensation if people with similar skills were to come to this country; a sort of ‘pairing’ arrangement. This does not mean, of course, that a skilled scientist wishing to emigrate could be paired with an unskilled worker from abroad.

Everyone is free to travel and live where they like provided the country they go to accepts them, but they should not expect to go without their homeland being compensated in some way for the money spent on their training, education, etc. Pairing of people with similar skills emigrating and immigrating would be one way of doing this. But if you go abroad and just stay there, then don’t expect the value of any assets left at home to be kept for you or sent to you abroad.

Of course there will always be some people with few assets who go abroad on holiday and never return, such as young people just leaving school or university and still living in the family home. Compensation would be expected from the country they eventually settle in, which could of course be a ‘pairing’ arrangement as described above.

People of pensionable age who are no longer working could still, of course, retire abroad if they wish. No compensation/pairing would be necessary as they have already paid back their debt to society. Their pensions would be sent to them abroad.

The important thing is that uncontrolled emigration and immigration causes untold damage to a country. Hundreds of thousands of Poles coming here and working below the minumum wage not only put many of our own people out of work, but left Poland with an acute shortage of labor. This was disadvantageous to both countries.

This is a question the EU needs to address so that areas of the EU are not starved of labor while others are overwhelmed.  The EU needs to ensure opportunities to work at EU regulated salaries are available thruout the Union. The same would obviously apply to any Socialist federation, where wages and prices would, of course, be controlled and full employment guaranteed thruout the federation.

Beating The Bomb – new documentary

I attended the CND preview of this new documentary film at the Prince Charles Cinema near Leicester Square this afternoon, followed by some Questions and Answers.

Having been active in CND and the peace movement since 1961, I found this history of  it and where it is going in the future very interesting. It also put the case strongly for nuclear disarmament and against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly focusing on the use of depleted uranium and the terrible effects on civilians in several countries.

If I have one minor criticism it is that the early days of CND were rather skimmed over after the first Aldermaston March in 1958. This first March was in fact organized by the Direct Action Committee, not CND itself which had just been formed and the CND symbol unveiled for the first time, representing the semaphore letters N.D. for nuclear disarmament. CND was formed at a meeting in Central Hall, Westminster earlier that year, and its symbol designed by Gerald Holtrom was launched at the first meeting of London Region CND in the small hall of St Pancras (now Camden) Town Hall a few weeks before the first Aldermaston March.

But the 1960s and 1970s were rather glossed over, and it was the 1960s when I became active, and indeed worked at CND Head Office for six years from 1962-1968.

These were crucial times for the movement, and many lessons from that period need to be remembered today.

First there was the split between the direct actionists and those who believed in using only legal means of protest. CND fell into the latter category at that time, so CND’s first and only President, the philosopher and humanist Bertrand Russel (later knighted) resigned and helped form the direct action Commitee of 100. Canon L. John Collins continued as Chair of CND, the legal wing of the nuclear disarmament movement in Britain.

None of this was mentioned in the film, but it is important as CND has now adopted direct action itself. It was huge direct actions and civil disobedience demonstrations, such as the massive sit-down involving thousands of protestors (including myself)  in Trafalgar Square in September 1961 which, along with the Aldermaston March and other protests, had enormous publicity and impact at the time.

My first demo, which I attended but didn’t actually join in the sit-down, was the Committee of 100’s first demonstration in February 1961 when I heard Bertrand Russell speak from the plinth in Trafalgar Square, then lead a march down Whitehall to the Ministry of Defence (then round the corner facing Green Park), pin a notice of protest to the door and lead a sit-down protest outside, whilst the Empire Loyalists (forerunners of the National Front and British National Party) heckled the protestors from a loudspeaker van.

The Cuba Missile Crisis of the following year, 1962, received prominence in the film, quite rightly since it brought the world the closest it’s ever been to nuclear war, possibly only saved by one man on a Soviet nuclear submarine over-ruling two of his comrades and stopping them press the nuclear missile button.

The important lesson often overlooked here is that nuclear weapons caused the crisis which nearly resulted in nuclear war. Many people thought incorrectly that it proved the deterrent had worked, when in fact it just proved how the presence of nuclear weapons can trigger a crisis which could easily result in a nuclear exchange. It was US nuclear weapons in Turkey targeting Moscow which encouraged the Soviets to deploy them in Cuba on America’s doorstep and which brought the world to the very brink of nuclear war.

Then came the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963 which banned nuclear tests in the atmosphere. The following year the first Labour government in 13 years was elected to power, with Harold Wilson as Prime Minister.

These two events had enormous, negative impact on CND. Virtually the whole of my local CND group became inactive overnight when the Labour government were elected. They were nearly all active Labour Party members, and assured everybody that CND was no longer needed, Harold Wilson, with pressure from the unilateralist wing of the Party, would get rid of our nuclear weapons. Also, now nuclear tests in the atmosphere were not being conducted (till China started testing them a few years later), it was thought we had virtually won the argument.

How wrong they were, and then the Vietnam War took over as the main focus of protests. Now this is what worries me about the current situation, since all major CND demonstrations in London recently have been co-organized by the Stop The War Coalition and have focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Trident replacement and the nuclear weapons issue becoming obscured. This is exactly what happened in the 1960s with Vietnam, and it led to the decline of CND for almost two decades, with only small-scale protests against nuclear weapons (though plenty of big ones about the Vietnam War.)

Then came the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signed in 1968, effective from 1970, and again many CNDers thought this was a sign that we could reduce the pressure. It was a very flawed treaty, since it gave no deadline for the existing nuclear weapons powers to give up their nuclear weapons, nor did it commit them to not using them against non-nuclear powers, or to no first use.

It was not until the end of the 1970s when nuclear armed Cruise missiles were deployed at Greenham Common and Molesworth, under the Thatcher government, that CND came to the fore again. Indeed all periods of great CND activism have coincided with Conservative governments, and declined when Labour was in power. Yet no Labour government has been committed to unilateral disarmament by Britain (though on two occasions the Party out of power has been committed to it).

Presently the wars in Afghanistan and the continued occupation of Iraq seem to be the main focus of the big demonstrations by the peace movement, though there have been anti-nuclear weapons demonstrations on a smaller scale at Aldermaston, Faslane and other places associated with nuclear weapons around the country.

My feeling is that mass national demonstrations in London need to focus solely on Trident replacement and nuclear disarmament, unblurred by the wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The anti-nuclear weapons message gets completely lost when these related issues are brought together. The Press and Media only refer to these demos as against the wars in the Middle East, rarely if ever mentioning the crucial issue of Trident replacement, which is now high on the political agenda.

So a good film very useful in campaigning, but the lessons of the 1960s (unfortunately not mentioned at all in the film) need to be learned: all forms of non-violent protest are equally valid along with work inside the political parties, this means supporting both direct action and strictly legal protests, which indeed CND is doing now. But it also means focusing on CND’s main objective of getting rid of Britain’s nuclear weapons, which effectively means not replacing Trident.

By all means let CND support Stop The War demos, and let them support CND demos, but keep the two issues separate. They are related, but the message must not be blurred. When we have a demo against nuclear weapons and Trident replacement, then the conventional wars in the Middle East should not be allowed to obscure this main message of the protest. Otherwise, like during the Vietnam War, CND could be in decline and its anti-nuclear weapons message lost at this crucial time when it is most needed as Trident replacement becomes a hot political issue.

No need for private/volunteer health care

I received a questionnaire and an appeal today from the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, a volunteer organization. As always with health care appeals for this country I did not respond, and for very good reasons.

While I’m sure the St John’s volunteers do their best, they are not trained paramedics. I do NOT want me or my friends/relatives to have to rely on well-meaning but unprofessional volunteers running an ambulance service should they suddenly fall ill or have an accident.

Are we to have unpaid, poorly trained volunteers augmenting the police and fire services? Surely we want properly trained professionals in all these emergency services?

St John’s are best occupied providing first aid at big public events, and calling the NHS if an ambulance is needed.

This brings us to funding. By donating to organizations like the St John’s to provide an ambulance service to back-up the NHS ambulance service, by donating for hospital scanners and other equipment, or to research cures for cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc not only are these donations a drop in the ocean, but they do more harm than good in my opinion.

The government has a responsibility to fully fund the NHS from National Insurance contributions and taxes, yet they are engaged in spurious expensive military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have already started to spend about £100 billion of taxpayers’ money replacing our totally illegal, immoral and military useless Trident system of weapons of mass destruction. Every penny given to health charities, or spent on private medical services like BUPA, lets the government off the hook and allows it to spend more money on weapons of mass destruction and wars abroad, etc. All this in the end profits only the arms companies, and props up the unstable capitalist system. Indeed the wars and terrorist threats are promoted specifically for this purpose, for without the constant demand for more and more arms and weapons of mass destruction the capitalist system would collapse. It is a way of subsidizing the system and the profits it generates for shareholders out of the taxes we pay.

Now let’s look at medical research for cures for cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc. Most of this is done by the private drugs companies, again with one principal aim: to make huge profits for their shareholders. There is little or no incentive for them to come up with cures for these diseases; it is much more profitable to keep people on medication for life, or in need of expensive chemotherapy, etc.

And where do these profits come from? Well in a country like Britain with a National Health Service funded by the government out of National Insurance and taxes, of course the profits come from us and go straight into the pockets of greedy shareholders. It would be much, much cheaper for the government to nationalize all the drugs companies (with little or no compensation as the shareholders have already made enough money out of us) and do the research itself in our universities and government-funded medical research laboratories. Then there would be a great incentive to find cures for all these terrible diseases, and there would be no expensive drugs for the NHS to buy as they would be produced by the NHS itself at cost price, with no huge profits for shareholders.

As for BUPA and similar private health organizations and hospitals, they are unnecessary, and again free up government money to be spent on wars and weapons of mass destruction. I’ve no objection to people paying for a private room in an NHS hospital, for special food, etc. But paying for priority or better treatment than you can get from the NHS is immoral and wrong.

I can understand people going ‘private’ when they are desperate, but it shouldn’t be necessary. The best available treatment should be accessible to all free of charge via a properly funded NHS.

Volunteers are of course welcome to help out in hospitals, visiting patients, supplying library books, things like that. The St John’s can continue doing good work training people in first aid, and sending their volunteers to big sporting events, etc. to provide first aid when needed till the NHS ambulances arrive.

Giving donations which then indirectly fund the government’s wars and weapons of mass destruction by saving them money on the NHS, or else saves the drug companies money they would spend on research so they can make even more profits out of the NHS and patients is not a worthy cause in my opinion.

Cancel Trident replacement and we’d immediately have about £4 billion a year extra for the next quarter of a century to spend on the NHS. Anything the public gives in donations or private health charities is surely a drop in the ocean besides figures like this. Don’t let the government off the hook – make them stop wasting taxpayers’ money and start spending it on the NHS and other public services.

They Know, You Know

Paraphrasing that great comedienne, the late Hylda Baker, with her phrase about her sidekick: ‘she knows, you know’. I’m talking about Spirit, whether it be male, female or of no assigned gender.

I’ve had so many communications where Spirit (or Spirits) have made it plain they are aware of what’s going on, sometimes telling me things I didn’t even know myself.

Some examples: my grandmother came thru via medium Colin Fry and told me not only how she died and her first name, but gave explicit details about the botched refurbishment to my mother’s kitchen which had just taken place, even referring to my standing a hot pan on the new working surface, burning a hole in it and then covering up the damage. She even said exactly where this was – on the left as you walked into the kitchen.

My deceased partner, George, told me where two things were hidden in my flat in the months after he died – I certainly didn’t know these things were there.

He also told me much more recently that he’d seen me remember the 17th anniversary of his death by turning a spotlight on a memorial panel and kissing his picture. I read this seconds after I performed these actions. (He has various ways of sending messages to me, including the written word. Other messages I hear via mediums or in other ways, or sometimes I just receive them telepathically).

Telepathically he told me about a close friend’s daughter who had just been born, and her name – Danielle. I couldn’t understand this message for weeks, till the friend reminded me they had called their daughter Danielle.

I also had two premonitions in dreams. One was on the morning of 9/11, and the dream contained all the elements of the dreadful events that were to occur later that day: broken masonry, the fear of falling from a great height, two things rising high up into the sky shrouded in clouds of some sort, and a great expanse of water in the foreground. Not only this, but I’d have forgotten the dream had I not woken up and had a telepathic message from Spirit: ‘get up and write down the details of this dream immediately – it is about something momentous that will happen later today’. I’ve never had an impulse like this before or since, and most dreams I forget unless I’m somehow reminded of them later. Like in this next example.

The other precognotive dream was about Minneapolis and its twin city across the Mississippi River, St Paul. At that time I’d never been to Minneapolis, not even flown over it, and didn’t know it had a twin city across the river. I dreamed I was flying over Minneapolis, saw the winding river and the city on the other side, which I somehow knew was a separate city, though it just looked like one urban area.

That very day a friend of my deceased partner came into the office – she’d never been in there before while I worked there as she lived in the Minneapolis area of the USA. She confirmed that there was another city across the river, and it was called St Paul.

Another precognotive message, not via a dream, came to me telepathically telling me a close friend of myself and my deceased partner would get seriously ill while I was on holiday in America. So strong was this message, that I rang him up and warned him to be careful. When I came back he was in hospital seriously ill, on the verge of death, with septicemia. Fortunately he recovered.

Thru a medium I was told that a second holiday I planned in Jersey, where my partner got so ill just before he died, was a good thing. It was, as it helped me lay to rest the bad memories I had of that island.

I write posthumous letters to my deceased partner, and he has answered questions I asked in them the very next day.

Writing this blog on two separate occasions (see About in the Menu above) Spirit has intervened and stopped me posting. The last time this happened, a blog about the possible future for Cyprus if the talks about reuniting that unhappy island failed, I consulted my partner and read that the blog had been stopped because it was too gloomy and dark in trying to foretell the possible future of Cyprus. The other blog which was stopped by Spirit intervening was something about Communism and Stalin I believe. On both occasions I was physically stopped from posting – the last occasion by line feeds between paragraphs constantly being deleted, even if I inserted several or started a new blog on the subject altogether.

The  old lady who had lived in my mother’s flat before she did and had died  knew that my mother had moved in and tried her best to get her out. Her spirit turned on the kitchen taps on one occasion and flooded the flat below, and we had to pay for the damage. My mother constantly dreamed about the previous tenant, who she’d never even met.

Years later a carer called on my mother who knew the previous tenant in this sheltered accommodation. She talked about this lady, and when my mother described how she looked in the dream, short of stature and what she was wearing, the carer laughed and said this was so accurate, and told us other details about her, such as she kept turning the taps on and leaving them running.

My mother had the presence of mind to calmly tell the woman’s spirit that she was dead and it was time to move on, this was now my mother’s flat. She has never been bothered by the woman’s spirit again.

Spirit,  those we knew who have died, remain close to us, in the next room virtually, and are aware of what is going on in this world. This, more than anything, is proof of survival of death. Especially when they tell us things we didn’t even know ourselves, but which prove to be correct. Such as where those things were hidden in my flat, and the precognotive dreams and messages.


The so-called British ‘independent nuclear deterrent’ is in the news once again because Nick Clegg has raised the folly of replacement of the Trident nuclear missile submarine system at a cost of over four billion pounds a year for the next 25 years.

Let’s leave aside the moral arguments for a moment, and look at the credibility of this so-called ‘deterrent’.

Many military men agree that Trident is totally useless, and if we look at the past 65 years since nuclear weapons were developed we surely have to agree. Nuclear states have been attacked, they have engaged in wars abroad and lost some of them. Britain had the Suez fiasco, America Vietnam, the Soviets had to pull out of Afghanistan. Britain had its Falklands colony reclaimed by Argentina, America had 9/11, Britain had 7/7. Nuclear weapons were of no help in any of these events.

How are nuclear weapons, and in particular the Trident system, supposed to deter anyone, or indeed help ‘win’ a war? (I would maintain nobody really wins any wars since they always cause as many or more problems than they solve, and sow the seeds for future conflicts).

To be credible against any possible attacker there would have to be a belief that a nuclear nation would use these weapons of mass destruction against the civilian population of a non-nuclear nation, making the leaders of the nuclear nation some of the biggest war criminals and mass murderers in human history. OK it happened at the end of World War II, and the world was so shocked by what the Americans did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that no nuclear nation has dared used them since. This is why they weren’t used in the Korean or Vietnamese wars, even when America was losing the latter. They did some terrible things in Vietnam, including the napalming of civilians (i.e. burning alive with jellied petrol bombs), but they just didn’t dare use nuclear weapons. Nor have they used them in other conflicts around the world. Conclusion: not credible as a deterrent against a non-nuclear nation or entity.

The other scenario is the use of nuclear weapons against another nuclear state. This would, of course, be suicidal, and this is supposed to be the justification for the deterrent. But it is crazy and only benefits those in the nuclear arms industry. If a nuclear weapons state only keeps these weapons to deter another nuclear state, why not get rid of the weapons altogether by mutual agreement? Conclusion: not credible as a deterrent against another nuclear-armed state since this would be suicidal.

In other words, there is no situation in which nuclear weapons are militarily usable or pose a credible deterrent. Smaller, so-called ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield could easily cause escalation to a full-scale nuclear war, so have never been used. Also their radiation effects are unpredictable and could backfire on the side which used them.

Overall conclusion: nuclear weapons are totally useless in any conceivable situation or even as a credible deterrent. The dangers they pose, however, are considerable: nuclear war by accident, or a madman or a fanatical terrorist/suicide bomber getting control of the nuclear trigger or a nuclear device. Possession of nuclear weapons far from deterring such lunatics make it possible for them to get hold of the technology and necessary materials.

Conclusion: existence of nuclear weapons makes it possible that they will one day be used accidentally, by a mad person or by a suicidal terrorist. Banning them and destroying the technology would make this virtually impossible, since creating the technology from scratch is beyond the means of terrorists and would be detected long before completion if done by a nation state – which is why Iran is coming under such close scrutiny.

A world-wide ban would make it extremely unlikely any country would try to acquire such weapons, and if they did action could be taken well in advance to prevent it. However whilst the weapons are being stockpiled and produced, it is increasingly likely other countries and terrorists will get access to the technology.

Conclusion: the very possession of nuclear weapons makes the world a very unsafe place, and certainly doesn’t make any country safer. On the contrary, nuclear states would be the very first targets in any nuclear exchange.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin, which is the vast majority of nations which don’t have nuclear weapons. If they were so essential as a deterrent against attack/occupation by another state, then why do the vast majority of countries manage perfectly well without them? Why haven’t they all been invaded?

By saying the Trident system is essential to Britain as part of its defense, we are in fact saying that every country in the world needs them as well. The logic, if followed thru, is that the present nuclear states should give nuclear weapons to every state in the world and then we’d have everlasting world peace. In actual fact, of course, we’d have a far more dangerous world, and sooner or later these weapons would be used somewhere, and might well unleash a nuclear holocaust.

As long as these weapons remain this is the great danger, along with the real prospect of terrorists getting hold of the materials for a crude nuclear device. While enriched uranium, plutonium, etc. is being produced and stored by the nuclear countries for bombs, missiles, etc. this is always a danger. If there were a world-wide ban on these weapons it would be virtually impossible for terrorists to get hold of such material. A ban would have to go hand-in-hand with action on civil nuclear power. The dispute over whether Iran is developing civil nuclear power or aims to get the Bomb is a case in point.

The fact is that nuclear weapons have become a ‘status symbol’ in the modern world. A very expensive and dangerous status symbol, but they bought the first five nuclear nations a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. The danger is that the longer the present nuclear weapons states hold on to these weapons or replace them, the more they will spread to other nations who also want to acquire these status symbols.

The vicious circle has to be broken by both unilateral actions by nuclear states and multilateral agreements. Britain could set a great example by deciding not to renew the Trident nuclear missile/submarine system and thus saving the British taxpayer £100 billion over the next 25 years. France could easily make a similar decision, and multilateral agreements could continue to make progress towards world nuclear disarmament.

It should be realized that it was not nuclear weapons which kept the peace during the Cold War, but that they nearly destroyed the world in 1962 during the Cuba crisis. It was touch-and-go whether they would be used and unleash a nuclear holocaust. The ironic thing was there would have been no Cuba crisis had it not been for nuclear weapons – they CAUSED the crisis in the first place. That’s how dangerous they are.

What kept the peace in the Cold War was the post-Second World War agreements between the Soviet Union and the USA principally for ‘spheres of interest’. Following WWII the rival NATO and Warsaw Pact military alliances marked out the territories which came under the influence of one side or the other. Whatever happened in these countries, the other side would not interfere or intervene militarily. This was a mutual advantageous agreement, and nuclear weapons really had no influence.

This can be seen by the many neutral nations which were not in either alliance. Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, etc. in Europe alone were not invaded by the Soviet Union or the USA, yet had they been neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact would be obliged to intervene, nor would nuclear weapons come into the picture.  In actual fact the Soviet Union voluntarily withdrew from Eastern Austria in 1955 on the proviso it remained neutral.

It is high time we got rid of Britain’s nuclear weapons (the Trident system) which are neither independent (relying on the USA for much of the technology) nor a deterrent, and joined the vast majority of nations which need no nuclear weapons.

Alternative methods of security must be developed, and a permanent United Nations peacekeeping force or world police force is the avenue I would like to see explored.

Gay Genes?

I attended a lecture yesterday on whether the genes in a person’s make-up were a deciding factor in whether or not that person grew up to be gay, lesbian or heterosexual. The lecturer was very pedantic in insisting studies proved it was all down to genes, and that upbringing and experiences in childhood had little or no influence.

This is, in my view, not only a sweeping generalization, I don’t believe it is true, and it also seems that the conclusions were reached before the figures and studies were even looked at. It seemed to me that they decided on a politically correct outcome, and this was that people are born gay or straight and have no choice in the matter (just as people are born black or white) but they also made sure to add the proviso that this did not mean Nazis or prejudiced people could weed out the gay gene. This was because many genes were involved, and if you tried to gerrymander them you’d also interfere with a lot of other characteristics in the person’s make-up. All far too clean-cut and convenient, I thought, and it didn’t tie in with my own and other people’s experience.

I think the truth of the matter is that there is something in a person’s genes which could potentially mean they turn out gay, but it depends on a lot of other factors as well. Otherwise, surely, siblings would tend to all be gay or straight since they inherited the same genes from their parents.

The fact is we are all born with a mixture of male and female characteristics. This has led some academics to say nobody is 100% heterosexual or homosexual, we are all to some extent bisexual and with a mixture of masculine and feminine aspects to our character and make-up.

This sounds reasonable to me, and upbringing, environment and experiences in childhood and adolescence almost certainly do influence our sexual orientation in adulthood, despite this lecturer insisting such theories were discarded in the early 1970s.

The hostile or absent father figure and over-dominant mother was often cited in the 1960s and earlier as a factor which would make it more likely that a boy would grow up gay, and I think this is absolutely correct.

Take my own case. I must have had some gay genes in my make-up from birth as at primary school I was always trying to play in the Wendy House, which was reserved for girls, and in later childhood years, whilst I didn’t play with dolls, I loved playing shops, or building towns whilst my brother found such things boring, and used to ‘bomb’ the towns I created.

Another theory of this lecturer and his colleagues was that having an older brother made a younger brother more likely to turn out gay, but I had a younger brother and no other brothers or sisters. He was always the more macho and the dare-devil. He’d take the lead in climbing trees and doing risky things. I always had a much more passive, feminine nature if you like. For instance, I was a pacifist ever since I was a little child, never got involved in fights, and insisted that I would be a conscientious objector if ever called up for the army (in actual fact National Service was abolished a few years before I would have been old enough to be conscripted).

I had many of the elements in my childhood which would, under the old rules, make me likely to turn out gay. Quite apart from the passive, more feminine traits in my character/genes from birth, I not only had a largely absent and hostile father and over-protective mother figure, but I was scared stiff of men in my early childhood as I’d had so little contact with them.

My father came from a different culture, Greek-Cypriot, which is extremely macho and chauvinistic. I hardly saw anything of him in my early childhood as he was out gambling, drinking and womanizing most nights and sleeping during the day. My most vivid memory of him is when he started smashing up the family home, tearing open wooden boxes, etc. in a blind rage when my mother was leaving him when I was aged 6. He used to get drunk and beat her up, and though I never witnessed this, he was a distant and hostile figure who I never really got close to all my life.

Having left my father, I was then brought up almost entirely by dominant women, namely my mother and grandmother. We lived in the same house as my grandparents, but my grandfather was a very quiet man, completely dominated by his wife, and I was rather scared of him too. He used to scold us if we damaged his garden out the back, but otherwise was very much in the background.

I attended two predominantly girls’ schools when growing up. A private primary school for girls where I was sent for a year or two to catch up because I’d missed so much schooling due to hospitalization for a club foot, one leg shorter than the other, cleft palate, hare lip, broken leg at aged 6 and there were other things which came much later.

The girls’ primary school had all women teachers of course, cats roaming round freely, and playtime consisted of walking in line sedately round the garden (there was no playground) doing ladylike exercises. Boys were only admitted up to age 7.

My last school, a commercial college course, was also predominantly girls with just a few boys in the class. It was mainly a course for girls who wanted to be secretaries or shorthand-typists, plus a few boys who wanted to be chartered accountants but who also had to take shorthand and typing. I excelled at typing, which most of the other boys were not good at, they much better at accounts which I hated.

Then there was the constant hospitalization I suffered as a child, with endless operations. The nurses and sisters were all women who by and large tried to make me comfortable; the men were all hostile figures (doctors and consultants) who planned horrible operations. This also planted the fear of men in my early childhood.

So bad and real was this fear of men that I cried all night, unable to sleep, at age about 8 when I was due to go into a male teacher’s class for the very first time.

In my first primary school I was so alienated from men and innocent about their ways, that I kept going into the girls’ toilet on my first day. The girls ushered me out into the boys’, but all I saw there was the disgusting sight of boys urinating against the wall, or so I thought. I’d never seen a men’s or boys’ urinal; the only toilet I’d known was the sit-down variety. My father was never around to take me into a men’s toilet facility.

Nevetheless by the time I was in secondary school I had three good male friends, and was so fond of a girl in my class that I made my brother take the long route to school so we could pass her house, and I’d follow her to school and get my brother to pull her ponytail, etc. just so she’d turn round and look at us and talk to us.

One of my friends who I hung around with at lunchtimes especially always had books of nude or semi-nude women, and we’d fantasize about these. He’d tell me stories with a high sexual content, all heterosexual, and his favorite fantasy figure at the time, and probably mine too, was the actress Diana Dors.

So you can say up until the age of about 13 I was, despite the ‘gay genes’ in my make-up, predominantly heterosexual. I had no sexual fantasies about boys at all that I was aware of, they were all directed towards women. That is I was turned on by the photos in the nudie books which circulated at school, by the idea of busty actresses like Diana Dors, and I had some strange attraction to this girl in my class who I followed to school.

Then some dramatic things happened which made me gay almost overnight. First the girl I was fond of died suddenly in the Asian Flu epidemic of 1957, when I was only 12. I’d never even got on speaking terms with her, or had a chance to tell her I was fond of her. Had she lived, she might well have been my first girlfriend, who knows?

Then I was hospitalized in early 1958, when I was 12 and about to turn 13. I had an operation on my leg, one on my lip, but was kept in hospital and doctors kept looking at my private parts. Nothing was said to me until the day before a third operation to bring about puberty. This was planned in total secrecy when I was only 12, and performed when I was just about turning 13. Quite outrageous, because puberty in boys back in those days anyway often didn’t come about naturally till later.

Whether it came about naturally or not, it was the secret, underhand nature of the way the operation was planned which amounted to child abuse, akin to rape. These are strong words, but I believe them to be accurate. I cannot blame my mother or grandmother, I was partly to blame, but mainly it was the doctors. They should have realized the trauma springing this operation on me would cause (I was only told about it a day or so before the operation was to be performed).

I don’t believe I was ‘not developing properly’ as with retrospect I remember my grandmother reporting to the hospital on an outpatients visit. I think I was perfectly normal. I was not yet fully sexually functional, but I certainly got aroused. However it was a female-dominated environment at home, and also a sexually repressed one. Such things were not discussed, and although I knew the basic facts of life (learnt from my mother), I knew she disapproved of my schoolfriend with the girlie books and fondness for Diana Dors, and that she felt he was a bad influence on me.

Therefore, when my brother first got aroused during the night and asked my mother about it, she brought me into the conversation and I denied that I ever got similarly aroused. Of course I did, but I was ashamed to admit it. I’m sure this is what brought about the inquiries which led to them thinking I wasn’t developing properly, and since I was in hospital anyway they might as well do two operations to bring on puberty.

Whatever, the operation was done, and a second operation to remove the deep stitches a few months later. These two operations left both physical and mental scars, deep ones which took years to heal.

They also had another effect. Just before the first operation my mother sprung the news on me why I could not leave hospital after two operations (on my leg and lip) but had to have a third on my private parts. She said if I didn’t I couldn’t have children. I remembering rebelling and saying I wasn’t meant to have children, that was why the girl I was fond of died. I also felt the operation was separating me from the women who had been so much a part of my life as a child, turning me into one of those alien creatures I’d been so scared of – men. I clearly remember these feelings. What it means is I was not ready to undergo such an operation, and would need time and counseling to get used to the idea and the implications of having it, postponing it or not having it at all. In 1958 children of 12 and 13 weren’t offered counseling; they were just treated as things with no rights whatsoever. At least that’s the impression I got from the way the doctors treated me.

If there was ever a moment when I became gay, it was then, when those operations were suddenly sprung on me. I can pinpoint to the month when I became gay: August 1958. That was just after the second operation which removed the deep stitches in the vicinity of my private parts.

My brother and I were sent to a home in Saffron Walden, Essex for a holiday for disadvantaged boys, and we had to share a dormitory with two other boys. This was the first time I felt sexual attraction towards anyone of my own sex, namely the two boys who shared our dormitory. Nothing sexual ever happened, but I definitly felt a strong sexual attraction to them.

Someone I told this story to said that the operations for puberty would have aroused my sexual feelings, but this is not the case. I had heterosexual desires before these operations. All they did was allow me to function fully, a process which might or might not have come about naturally in a year or so. Some boys don’t reach puberty till 13, 14 or even 15, or didn’t back then in the 1950s.

Whatever, it was not so much the operations but the way they were planned in secret and then suddenly forced on me which caused the mental trauma. I retreated completely into my shell for the rest of my college days. I changed schools in the Summer of 1958, just after that final operation to bring about puberty, and I never made another friend my own age for the rest of my college days, or indeed for the rest of my teenage.

I isolated myself from the other boys in my class (on the predominantly female commercial couse at a technical college) and wouldn’t join in their talk and games, some of which were undoubtedly of a sexual nature. I would not take part in Games or anything which involved undressing or showering in the presence of other boys because I was scared they’d see the scars around my private parts.

I didn’t actually discover the gay world or do anything sexual until I was well into my 20s. But I knew I was gay from the age of 13, from August 1958 immediately after that second operation to bring about puberty at that holiday home in Saffron Walden.

From then on my fantasties about girls and Diana Dors receded into the background and disappeared, virtually overnight. No longer was I at the school with my friend Peter showing me the nude girlie books, telling me sexy stories about women, or fantasizing about Diana Dors and the like.

So don’t tell me I was simply born ‘gay’ and it was all in my genes. Yes, I had genes and things in my natural make-up which would potentially make me gay, but it was my upbringing , environment and the things that happened to me during my childhood and adolescence which finally determined my sexual orientation.

Other gay men I know have also had things happen in their childhood which influenced their later sexual orientation. Hostile or absent fathers are a common feature. Another factor is child abuse. My life-partner was abused by a girl cousin when he was only about 8, as his mother lay dead or dying at Christmas time. This undoubtedly made him fear any kind of sexual contact with women (and incidentally made him hate Christmas.)

Later a stepbrother arrived on the scene, and a short but very influential sexual love/hate relationship developed between them. It is not entirely clear who initiated the sexual aspect, but certainly this relationship and the incidents which happened between them influenced my partner’s sexual preferences for the rest of his life, as he tried to recreate the mild sado-masochistic scenarios he’d experienced with his stepbrother.

What happens in our childhood and adolescence, and our general environment and upbringing, has a tremendous influence on our sexual orientation in later years, but I can concede that so-called ‘gay genes’ (that is feminine qualities/chromosomes in boys and masculine ones in girls) also play a part.

Oh yes, my brother is married to a woman, by the way, so what happened to the ‘gay gene’ he presumably inheritied? His childhood background was different to mine. A potential girlfriend didn’t die, he didn’t suffer all those traumatic operations. And also he was more orientated to boyish activities than I was, for whatever reasons, thruout his childhood and into his adult life. He has always indulged in dangerous, macho activities, such as caving/potholing and taking risks which I could never even contemplate.

The whole question of sexuality and sexual orientation is very complex, and no one factor is the cause. It is a mixture of things. Put a heterosexual man in an all-male environment for years, and he will be quite likely to change his sexual orientation at least temporarily.

It is not a thing we voluntary choose, that’s true. But it is something which comes about beyond our control due to our genetic make-up, environment and upbringing. You cannot say it is all down to a ‘gay gene’ which for some unexplained reason makes some siblings gay and their brothers and sisters straight.  Other factors come into play to decide our eventual sexual orientation.

To say it is entirely down to a ‘gay gene’ which cannot be engineered is a politically correct concept which has been decided in advance by certain gay liberals, and the statistics skewed to fit that conclusion.

Why I’m Voting Lib-Dem Again

Ban The Bomb for Evermore!

I was going to vote for the Green Party candidate in the General Election because they are committed to nuclear disarmament, but of course under our unfair electoral system in my Labour marginal this would just help let the Tory candidate in. Nevertheless I was prepared to vote Green as I never vote tactically, which perpetuates an unfair system in which only the two major parties, Labour and Conservative, ever get elected to government. It is a form of blackmail on the electorate: vote for us even though you don’t like us or you’ll get something even worse. You can’t afford to vote for the party and policies which reflect your views because we’ve made the system so unfair, your vote will be wasted and let in the worst possible candidate of all.

I’ve never fallen for this line, so I’ve voted Labour, Communist and Green in my time, even though the latter two never stood a cat in Hell’s chance of  getting elected. I’ve also voted Liberal Democrat in the last few General Elections for several reasons: they were well to the Left of New Labour, they opposed the war in Iraq, and  they didn’t promise overall tax cuts which would result inevitably in cutting public services .

Voting Lib-Dem now my once safe Labour seat has become marginal may well let the Tory candidate in, but all bets are off now we are in the era of live TV debates between the three main party leaders. Anyway if the local Labour Party candidate, a good local MP with progressive policies on a number of issues, wants my vote I’ve made it clear what he must do: tell me before the Election that he has changed his mind and is now committed to voting to scrap Trident replacement. That’s all that will stop me voting Lib-Dem now!

I felt under Nick Clegg they’d moved well to the right, but after seeing his performance in the first Election debate between the three major party leaders, and reading Kate Hudson (CND leader’s) comments about his opposition to Trident renewal (in fact I read her comments first, then watched the debate on ITV Player), I have to vote Lib-Dem.

My local Lib-Dem candidate, who I questioned on the Trident issue, said we must continue to have an ‘independent nuclear deterrent’ for the foreseeable future. Nick Clegg, and the Liberal Democrat Party manifesto (I’ve checked it out) is committed to scrapping the £100 billion Trident like-for-like replacement and just vaguely talks of some alternative, which is not necessarily a nuclear one. Indeed if Trident replacement is scrapped, there really is no nuclear alternative. Cruise missiles and the Vulcan bombers went years ago, and Trident itself is just an expensive, obscene and dangerous status symbol. It has been a millstone around our necks, expensive and tying us to American foreign policy.  It is neither a deterrent (one word – Falklands/Malvinas!) nor is it independent, since it relies on the Americans for so much of the technology of death. If we really need such a horrible and illegal weapon of mass destruction as a ‘deterrent’ why don’t we just make portable gas chambers and ship them around the world to gas to death a few million innocent civilians, taking a cue from the Nazis? Both nuclear weapons and the Holocaust were designed to commit genocide, there is no difference whatsoever.

Nick Clegg actually emphasized this point in the debate when he said, twice, that the Trident missile system was designed to flatten St Petersburg (or Leningrad as it then was) and Moscow. In other words, aimed at totally innocent civilians, including women, children and little babies, exactly the same victims as the Nazis targeted, and the same victims suicide bombers and terrorists target.

In mentioning cities like St Petersburg and Moscow as the original targets, Nick was brilliantly describing not only how outdated the Trident system is now the Cold War is long over, but that it is aimed at centers of civilian population. Places of culture and beautiful buildings. He was describing, in a simple sentence, how barbaric and stupid the whole ‘nuclear deterrent’ thing is.

Now I realize that the Liberal Democrats are a party born out of the merger with the SDP, who themselves broke away from Labour when it went unilateralist under Michael Foot’s leadership (by unilateralist, I mean scrapping Britain’s nuclear deterrent without waiting for multilateral nuclear disarmament). For this reason he has not committed the Party to unilateral nuclear disarmament in so many words, but in practice scrapping Trident replacement would do just that once the present submarines reached the end of their lives.

The ‘alternatives’ for our security could be any number of things, but are unlikely to involve nuclear weapons which have not stopped any wars since 1945, certainly not won any (nobody could win a nuclear war), and their possession has not deterred anybody from Argentina to Osama Bin Laden. They didn’t prevent the Americans losing the Vietnamese War, nor did they help the Soviets in Afghanistan. Totally useless, yet very dangerous.

Oh, and in case anyone comments that the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the Second World War against Japan they are wrong: the Japanese were already suing for peace when the bombs were dropped to demonstrate to Stalin that America had a new weapon of mass destruction; a terrible start to the Cold War. It had nothing to do with ending the War with Japan who sent kamikaze pilots to their deaths and treated them as heroes. The first ‘suicide bombers’ of the modern age, and the victims of the two cities would have been regarded similarly as martyrs for the cause.

What ended the War with Japan was the Americans’ agreement to let Emperor Hirohito stay on the Throne and escape a Nuremburg-type war crimes tribunal. Once that was agreed, the War ended. This would have happened whether or not the poor people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been targeted, as revenge for Pearl Harbor, to test the Bomb on real live human beings, to show off to Uncle Joe, or whatever other reasons the Yanks had to do such a terrible thing,  not once, but twice. All the Japanese were worried about was their Emperor. Virtually the whole nation would have committed suicide out of loyalty to him.

Never mind; perhaps the ‘deterrent’ will work better against Bin Laden and his band of suicide bombers! Don’t blow yourselves up or fly planes into our buildings and take innocent civilians with you, because if you do we’ll, er, well we’ll blow you up and take innocent civilians with you. Somehow I don’t think that would have any impact whatsoever.

I’m not going to try and guess what alternatives the Lib-Dems may come up with; I’m satisfied we can win the argument that nuclear weapons can not help our security and other methods must be found, as with most other nations in Europe and elsewhere who do not need these weapons.

Why vote Lib-Dem and not Green? Well I believe the Lib-Dems have a real chance in this General Election, if not to form a government, at least to form an alliance with the party which wins the most seats in a hung parliament and wring concessions from them on a fairer voting system (Labour is already committed to a referendum on this issue), and hopefully the Lib-Dems could push thru the scrapping of the £100 billion replacement of Trident as part of the deal.

However, we are in new territory. Never before have the three major party leaders been seen in these sort of televised debates. The polls show Nick Clegg and the Lib-Dems soaring in popularity. Anything could happen in the General Election, even a Lib-Dem government.

That’s why I’m voting Lib-Dem once again. Ban The Bomb for evermore!

I also love the irony of the idea that the surviving members of the Gang of Four who formed the SDP and so destroyed Foot’s Labour Party’s chances of winning and banning the Bomb all those years ago by splitting the anti-Tory vote and letting in Maggie Thatcher again on a minority vote, might actually see the Liberal Democratic Party they eventually became members of being the ones to scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons, or at least not replace them which would amount to the same thing.

What is more, it is a vote-winner. Poll after poll shows the British public do NOT want to spend £100 billion over the next 25 years replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system when this money could be so much better be spent on other things.

Never Been a Teenager

I have problems identifying with teenagers, or even understanding a word they say nowadays. Not just the current slang, but everyone under 40 seems to gabble their sentences, speaking far too quickly and indistinctly. For this reason I have to have the subtitles on the TV when anybody under about 40 is speaking, or I can’t understand what they are saying. Anyone over 40 I can understand perfectly, every word.

Perhaps this is partly because I was never a teenager, not really. Of course I went thru my teens, but I hardly knew a single teenager thruout my teens. The trouble was I was hospitalized a lot as a child for various operations, and four in 1958, two of which were very traumatic. This was when I was 12 and just turned 13.

As a result I retreated into a shell for the rest of my college life, hardly speaking to anyone. I didn’t make friends with anyone in my class at college, and completely isolated myself. They even invented a nickname for me at college: ‘Sociable’ because I wouldn’t talk to any of my classmates or join in with any of their camaraderie. This was a direct result of these two traumatic operations, which were sprung on me in secret, my learning of one a day before it was to be performed.

Then on my 15th birthday my one and only friend at the college, in a different department but we had been best friends since we were in the same class in Junior school, died as a result of a car accident the evening before. As I had left my only other two friends at my old secondary modern school in early 1958, I then knew nobody around my own age at all, apart from my brother 4 years younger than me, and Carol who lived in the flat downstairs.

In 1961, when I was 16 and the year I left college, we moved from Wood Green in North London to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. My brother made friends at school and college there, but I found myself like a fish out of water, hating the town, and not knowing anybody my own age. All the other teenagers knew each other from school or college.

I joined the local CND group, who were all middle-aged and middle-class. A year later I was working for CND at their head office in London, and commuting to and fro daily. So when my 21st birthday came, I knew absolutely nobody in my own age group to invite. I did invite some people from work, but being so far away I believe only one came, and he was an American volunteer I only knew vaguely.

My mother invited some of my cousins and her boss and his partner or I’d have had nobody to help celebrate my coming of age party. Get out that old violin/fiddle, this is sounding like a real Country weepie! Ha ha! I’m reminded of the Hank Locklin song about a man all alone on his birthday calling himself on the phone, sending himself a birthday card, buying himself a present and saying: ‘Happy Birthday To Me!’

We had no record player in the 1950s, no TV, and little money. So I wasn’t able to get into rock’n’roll, the teenage music of the era. My brother was really my only playmate, and he went to Salford University when I was in my early 20s and stayed up North for the rest of his life, so I hardly ever saw him after that. Also after I was 16 and we moved to Hertfordshire, we had separate interests, he had his new friends from school and college and I had my middle-aged associates from the local CND and Labour Party, in both of which I was active.

I never owned a pair of jeans or any ‘cool’ teenage clothes. I wore suits, collars and ties or a sports jacket with flannel trousers, and my short-back-and-sides haircut was the standing joke at college, where the other boys tended to go for the latest fashions – DAs, etc. My hairstyle, in photos of those years, looks something like Adolf Hitler’s! I was, let’s face it, a complete square.

So I really have never been able to identify with teenagers or the teenage culture, never having experienced it myself. My late teenage, from 16 onwards, was largely shared with these middle-aged, middle-class people in CND, the Labour Party and several Communists and Quakers who either were in the local CND group and Labour Party, or who worked or came into the CND head office.

I do regret not having had friends my own age, and blame it on a series of disasters: those dreadful two operations which should never have been forced on me in such an underhand way causing such trauma, leaving both physical and mental scars (similar to rape or child abuse, since they were to bring about puberty. Planned in secret when I was only 12? Outrageous! Puberty doesn’t always occur in boys till later, and anyway I should have been the one to decide whether and when to have the operations. Certainly not before I was 14 or 15.)

Then switching schools at the age of 13 leaving two of my friends behind at my old school, my only remaining friend dying from a road accident the day I turned 15,  a girl I was fond of dying in the Asian Flu epidemic when I was 12, and moving from North London to Hertfordshire when I was 16  just as I was leaving college.

Welwyn Garden City was no place to be a teenager in the 1960s – no clubs, dance halls, discos and certainly no gay pubs or anything like that. In fact even straight pubs were strictly rationed to one for every 5,000 inhabitants, i.e. about 6 or 7 in the whole town. I didn’t discover the gay scene, or sex of any kind, till I was 22 and a half.

The teen scene, I learnt later, revolved around trading purple hearts or ‘speed’/amphetamines (made by the local Smith Kline + French pharmaceutical factory) in the local Wimpy bar next to the station. Teenagers from London traveled there to rendezvous with others who worked in the SK+F factory, or knew people who did, and bought their purple hearts there to take back to The Smoke.

I guess I discovered my teenage belatedly when I was in my early 20s, going first to the Flamingo Club in London’s Wardour street with my brother most weeks for Mike Raven’s rock’n’roll record hop. A few years later, having moved back to London (Camden) I started going to the Fishmongers Arms pub in Wood Green where they had rock’n’roll revival bands, and once Gene Vincent in person. This was in the 1970s when I was in my late 20s but mixing with guys still in their teens.

I guess I was just a late developer, due to circumstances beyond my control. I do, though, wish modern teenagers would learn to speak, slowly, clearly and distinctly at least on the soaps. How they speak to each other off the TV I couldn’t care less as I don’t have to listen to them or understand a word they say.

Pedophile Priests

Cardinal Bertone has blamed gays for the pedophile scandals involving Catholic priests, and denied that church’s rule of celibacy is the culprit. It is a fallacy that gays are more likely than heterosexuals to abuse children, in fact the opposite is true. Most child abuse is of girls by male adults either in the family or close friends of the family.

As regards the Catholic Church, the celibacy rule which extends far beyond a ban on marriage for priests to a ban on any form of sexual outlet whatsoever, even masturbation, is the root cause of this child abuse. The scandal is that the priests guilty of this offense have so often been protected by the Church, and even allowed to commit the same offenses again in a different region, instead of being immediately dismissed and brought before the courts.

If more boys than girls are the victims of child abuse within the Catholic Church, and I don’t know that this is the case, it is probably because these priests are more often in a position of power and authority over boys. I’m thinking of choir-boys, for instance, and boys’ homes run by Catholic priests. Girls’ homes would presumably be more likely to be run by nuns and while they may be responsible for some child abuse, it is the problem of Catholic priests which seem to be the main worry, especially in view of the continual cover-ups by the Vatican.

The reason for the cover-ups is perplexing, unless it is because the Catholic Church knows its demand for complete celibacy by priests is to blame and doesn’t want this policy challenged.

With nuns and monks it is a free choice to enter into an institution with a vow of celibacy. With Catholic priests, it is imposed on them. I don’t think it is quite the same. A monastic order or convent is a much more closed community, but the priesthood in most churches is allowed to marry or even to have a partner of the same sex in the more liberal churches. Only the Catholic church, that I’m aware, demands celibacy, and only in the Catholic church is there a major problem of child abuse.

The celibacy rule for priests should go, and whether it does or not, there should be far more vigilance to insure against child abuse, and if it does occur the priests should be dismissed and prosecuted.

Gay men are attracted to adult men, heterosexual men to adult women. Pedophiles are a different kettle of fish altogether, since they sexually abuse children. If they are attracted to the Catholic priesthood it is probably because they know they will be protected from the law and just moved to another diocese if the Church finds they are abusing children.

To try to shift the blame on gay men is ridiculous – these priests are not having sex with each other, and if they were it wouldn’t be a crime anyway.

The Vatican teaches that any form of sexual outlet for its priests, including masturbation, is a ‘sin’, but in practice the actual crime of child abuse is covered up. Of course this policy will attract pedophiles into the Church. Note: pedophiles, not gay men. There’s a world of difference.

Is Science About to Prove God Exists?

This may seem a silly question, and of course it depends on what you understand by ‘God’. However now I’ve gotten your attention, what we are really talking about is a disembodied consciousness or conscious energy field which organizes sub-atomic particles in order to create matter. It doesn’t necessarily mean a Creator who is all-knowing and who planned everything in advance; it certainly doesn’t mean a Super-being with a long white beard sitting on a cloud in the sky. It is much more likely to be a constantly evolving and expanding conscious energy field, of which all living things are a part.

In actual fact it would seem that consciousness not only organizes but creates the sub-atomic particles out of waves of energy, also called by quantum physicists ‘waves of probability’.

Quantum physics has proved that sub-atomic particles turn into these waves of probability when not being observed. In other words, the very act of observing, which means there must be a conscious observer, turns these waves of probability into sub-atomic particles, and conversely they turn back into waves of probability when they are not being observed.

Now this means that you need a conscious observer in order to turn these energy waves or waves of probability into matter. So, as in the classic chicken and egg enigma, you have to decide which came first – matter or the conscious observer. Obviously it must be the conscious observer since matter cannot otherwise exist. I repeat, the sub-atomic particles which make up all matter disappear when not being consciously observed, and change into these waves of energy or probability.

It follows from this that the conscious observer must have existed before any matter, so it must be disembodied or a form of energy. Consciousness, in other words, must be separate from our brains which are composed of matter. Consciousness must be a form of energy, or at least a disembodied entity (call it Spirit, God or what you like) which is the prime creative force and which creates sub-atomic particles and organizes them into matter and all the life-forms and apparently inanimate things in the Universe or multi-verse. I say ‘apparently inanimate’ because this conscious energy permeates everything, so nothing can truly be regarded as ‘inanimate’.

This is basically what Spiritualists and indeed all religions have been saying all along; that the prime creative and organizing force is a conscious energy or Spirit, which some call ‘God’.

In a classic experiment quantum physicists fire beams of sub-atomic particles thru a hole and thereby prove that when not being observed these particles turn into waves which then pass thru two holes rather than one. I wonder how long it will take the majority of these quantum physicists to realize the tremendous significance of this experiment?

Ths significance is, of course, that matter cannot exist without a conscious observer, and therefore Consciousness must be separate from matter, and indeed must have preceded, created and organized matter. If that is not proving ‘God’ exists, it is certainly proving that Consciousness is some form of Energy or Spirit which exists separate from matter.

Moreover, scientists know that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed – for instance into matter and vice versa. So Eternity also is proven, and as Einstein himself taught us, Time itself is only an elastic illusion of our material Universe relative to the speed of the observer and apparently limited to the speed of light. Beyond the speed of light Time would go backwards, according to Einstein.

Outside of our physical Universe, Time does not exist. There is, therefore, no beginning and no end, no past, present or future. Everything outside our physical Universe is also outside of Time.