No, not your blog of course. I concede that your posts are succinct, insightful, humorous and well worth reading. That is why I would appreciate it if you could spare a moment to cast your eye over my efforts and let me know how I can encourage people to read it. On the other hand it may be the most boring blog, someone's has to be.

Newark market place

Newark market place
Newark market place dull Saturday morning

Newark Church

Newark Church
Two residents at the weir

Snowy Dry Doddington

Snowy Dry Doddington
Snow on the road to not very Dry Doddington

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished
Look for the "before" in the blog post

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Catholic church is wrong on adoption in UK

The Catholic Children's Society is a respected adoption agency that has certainly helped find good families for very disadvantaged children over the years. It now seems that to gain approval through the adoption assessment process with the CCS couples have had to pass the additional test of not being gay. This is not part of the formal assessment and one wonders what other unstated judgmental hurdles have been part of their vetting process. One could speculate that this phenomena is an extension of the original activities of the religious adoption agencies, assisting the removal of children from feckless single poor mothers to middle class conventional (Catholic?) families.

New proposed government legislation would prevent them discriminating against otherwise satisfactory gay adoptive parents and should be supported. The UK government must not dilute these proposed anti discriminatory measures, as they did with education issues recently. Why? There are many reasons but two spring to mind:

  • It will be the thin end of a wedge and the church knows this. It will give the green light for other organisations or child care social workers to argue that in conscience they cannot process the applications of or place children with prospective gay adopters.

  • The children who are placed with Catholic Children's Society adopters are not the property of that organisation. The state through UK local authorities decides who should be adopted, why and what their needs are. CCS are an integral part of this government activity as contracted providers and as such should be bound by the law which regulates it's operation.

It will be a sad day if the Catholic Children's Society adoption operation closes. However the truth is they are unable to accept (but are very mealy mouthed about saying in the current debate) the legitimacy of gay partnerships and what they believe they entail. They appear to be prepared to sacrifice their service to children on the altar of this belief which is an anachronism in modern day UK.

Lets face it the Catholic Church has not covered itself in glory in dealing with child care and child protection in the past. If potential Catholic priests had been vetted as closely as heterosexual and homosexual prospective adopters children in contact with the Catholic Church might have been safer.

So come on Mr Blair equality before the law must take precedence over outdated belief, prejudice and discrimination which has no place in the "modernised" world.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Pits and Puchs and Plates

Bang on 10.30 on Sunday morning the front door bell rang. Rob and his wife Beryl had come all the way from North Wales to collect the Puch moped they had bought off me on Ebay.

They were a friendly couple and we were soon chatting about our mutual interest in two wheeled transport in general and Puch mopeds in particular. During the course of our conversation Rob said that he had retired as a beat police officer in Wales four years previously. They now had a motorhome as well as their bikes and enjoyed life and followed the sun.

I fished his new acquisition out of my garage and after an embarrassing few minutes managed to get it going. Rob is satisfied and we load the little bike onto his trailer. As we are lashing the Puch on Beryl says how nice Newark is and how they have never been before "since Rob was here during the miners strike".

It will be remembered that Thatcher had large numbers of officers drafted into Nottinghamshire from outside to make sure the local miners could continue to work during the strike. Sadly it did not do them much good as most of the mining opportunities in the county were to subsequently disappear. Ex-pit villages have become areas of social deprivation.

Anyway I digress. We finished lashing the bike on and returned to the house so I could show Rob some Puch websites and manuals. For some reason I changed my mind about showing Rob the websites (emailed them on later) and brought the manuals down to the kitchen to show him. Rob and Beryl then went on their way.

I was later telling Susan that Rob had been here in the miners strike. "Good job you didn't take him in the study then, he might have seen The Plate". The Plate is displayed on the wall next to the stack of manuals and the computer. It is a rather aesthetically unattractive ceramic produced by the National Union of Mineworkers to celebrate the achievement of the thirty five strikers who stuck the dispute out to the bitter end. I wonder what they are doing now and if they met Rob?