Kent: Passengers on South Eastern Railway take their dogs to work today

It is National #Takeyourdogtowork day which is great for mental health in the workplace, and gets the dog out too, and, of course, immensely spoiled.

I was pleased to see some railway passengers taking their beagle to work this morning, on my way to London Bridge. The lady took the dog after 10am and avoided the crowded rush hour so he was quite comfortable.

Hope to see more and more people take their dogs to work, perhaps more often than a day, to help animal welfare charities and reduce workplace stress and sickness. It also makes the workplace more fun and ‘human’.

To take part next year, keep a note of this website: https://bringyourdogtoworkday.co.uk/ for details.

England: “Because it’s Tradition”, we do weird & stupid things.

LONDON:

I always find that State Opening of Parliament fills me with nausea. We have this cringeworthy spectacle for an unelected woman to make a speech in Parliament, a supposed democratic institution. (hello?) Is it just me to thinks this is weird?. The mass media never talk about this. It is like the elephant in the room.

Then I also get annoyed that the soldiers in their bearskin hats are outside Parliament in a 32C heatwave, and are not being allowed to take them off ‘because of tradition’. It is just ‘not good form’ to do that. So soldiers are expected to faint instead. What kind of culture are we in? The class system is plain stupid. What kind of army leaders do we have? What, a ‘real soldier’ doesn’t take his bearskin off? The Queen didn’t seem bothered at all that they were very uncomfortable. Well, she is of a different generation. After all these years, they still make soldiers keep them on. Why don’t soldiers stand up to this nonsense – they are probably court martialled if they do, or bullied.

Even 91-year-olds like the Queen should not be out in a heatwave, on the ‘hottest day of the year’ and the NHS encourages us all to ‘check on their neighbours’ and to keep out of the sun from 11-3pm. Haven’t we forgotten that we are human? In countries like Spain, they have siestas for times like this, but no, we English go ‘out in the Midday Sun’ as the song says. And a lot of the time, we don’t even wear hats either to protect us from the high UV levels, which again, the Government warns us out. Some Brits have second degree burns because they don’t even use any sun protection, unlike people in other hot countries.

What about the emergency services who are inundated with people ignoring Government public health heatwave advice? Why don’t public health warnings apply supposed old people like the Queen? Why couldn’t the Queen just get Prince Charles do her job, at least she wouldn’t be out in the heat getting roasted? No, the Queen has to be out in a heatwave at 91 years old, ‘because it is tradition’, and even then, she’s stubborn enough to be out there during this time because ‘she wants to’.

I understand that the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, has been taken to hospital yet the Queen would appear to be at the State Opening of Parliament, instead of being with him during the day. And, after that, she even went to Ascot in the heatwave. All because she cannot upset ‘tradition’.

Horses should not be racing on the hottest day of the year either, and she is supposed to be a horsewoman. Horse.com advise “Know your horse and signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat that his body cannot handle. Heatstroke can happen if exercising in hot conditions, but be aware that it can also happen if standing in a hot stall or trailer.” I am at a stables, we keep our horses cool, and none of them have even been out riding in the heat today. The racing industry can be appalling and greedy. The Queen should not be encouraging racing in this weather too. Why not have race times only in the cooler part of the day, or would that ‘not be tradition’? I would rather ‘blow tradition’ than have a sick horse to attend to. I don’t hear anything from the vets at Ascot, maybe they are gagged or are ‘enablers’ of the greedy racing industry in a heatwave, after all, they get a free day out at Ascot.

There comes a point in life that doing the ‘right thing’ is taking the time off work for family reasons, health reasons and animal welfare, this is more important than ‘being on show’. Some traditions are plain stupid, and even more so, in a heatwave. Being a younger generation than most of the old fogies who carry on making these stupid rules, I make my own stamp, by standing up to it and questioning it.

Some people who do ‘challenge things’, actually comes from kids. Recently a academy school banned kids from wearing shorts during a heatweave, so the boys wore skirts as a form of protest and got lots of media coverage. Why can’t boiling soldiers all together, in a band of brothers’. and make a stand, why can’t horse grooms make a stand for their horses? Even the journalists are made to wear suits in a heatwave, ‘for show’, which is ridiculous too. Sometimes were Brits are a bunch of wimps and won’t say boo to a goose!

We have to question our culture, but adults never seem to learn, and that’s a tradition too!

++ Note I am typing this in a library, keeping cool with fans.

Do I feel safe in London after the attacks?

No, I do not.

I believe the police when they say we are on Severe or Critical alert.I have seen that London is not safe.

We rarely get police walking along the streets due to red tape and cuts. I don’t see police do Stop and Searches though they do sometimes but I don’t see them doing this. There are no proper check points screening and checking motorists. The police tend to be out in their cars a lot, missing local intelligence.I feel sorry for them, as they have their hands tied by the ‘people at the top’.

The local media and Government tries to say #londonisopen, which is a bit of a PR stunt. It’s all very well carrying on ‘as normal’, but this can put our lives in danger. I certainly don’t trust our politicians. We have seen that these attackers target busy areas for maximum media coverage, so avoiding crowded places helps. Sometimes I forget about avoiding crowded places, and then, think about it afterwards. I try to avoid busy areas where there are few escape routes and I always take shoes that I can run in. Some people say, ‘you are letting them win’, I say, ‘I am winning, I am staying alive’.

I am a lot more vigilant now and I do report any suspicious behaviour to the police. Only a few weeks ago, I reported someone suspicious on the underground who was going from East London towards Westminster, a couple of weeks before the London attack. My friend kept on telling me, ‘there’s no need to report him’, but the police were glad that I did. He certainly looked out of place on the tube, particularly his reading matter. As soon as I saw his reading matter and his manner, I got off the tube train at once.

Once I helped a police inspector catch some car thieves at our local train station. The police were using our offices to spy on them. Though he was probably pi**ed off that I spotted them, and he didn’t, he did say they were up to no good and caught three males. I have a good sense of spotting shifty behaviour. We need to use our observational skills.We cannot be apathetic any more.

In the ideal world, I would prefer to wear an anti-stab vest in London or anti-knife collar round my neck, then if I was caught in some kind of stabbing spree, I would have a better chance of survival. These are quite expensive though, but I think they are worth it if you have the money. The thing is terrorism is so ‘random’ but there are places, that they always target and types of people.

A few days ago there was someone loading fireworks in Bermondsey, Southwark, and we wondered what was happening, and only last night, at the ridiculous hour of 1.30am I heard a serious of random gunshots or firework bangs,and I heard a police siren soon after. This is out of the norm at night. I am on edge, and I don’t safe but because of that, but I can be far more vigilant, and report unusual behaviour, this is something we can all do to combat terrorism. Maybe the nutter at Manchester could have been spotted earlier if people were vigilant. Prevention is better than cure, however, it doesn’t always work, as some people did report the London Bridge attackers to the police, but they somehow got through the net. At the end of the day, you can only try and do what is right, avoid busy areas and ones that ‘are likely to be terrorist targets’ as many of them follow a familiar pattern, particularly the copycats.

It is horrible that the UK has changed so much over the last decade. Things are different now, but we have to be awake to the new UK and learn to deal with it. Actually no city these days is safe from extremists. Sometimes avoiding busy and touristy places, is the key to survival now. Surviving is the best revenge to terrorists!

London: Animal victims of #Grenfellfire looking for temporary homes, can you help?

The Blue Cross Animal Hospital are looking for people who would urgently help offer a home for a pet, due to displacement of the Grenfell Fire Tower victims.

I have offered to offer a hamster a temporary home, if they have any. My room is too small for a cat I think (and no, I could not swing a cat in it!) Am a Millwall fan, gotta help out!

Please contact them on 0300 777 1890 if you would like to help or a pet that needs help. They are also on Twitter the_blue_cross

You can also donate to them on https://www.bluecross.org.uk/donate

UPDATE:19/06/2017 They have reported back that they don’t need any more foster homes for the Grenfell Tower pets. Thanks to everyone who have helped.

Grenfell Tower Fire: Press Complaints Poll: Results so far

I asked if Twitter followers have complained to IPSOS, the Independent Press Standards Complaints Organisation, about the appalling standard of tabloid journalism on the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Here are some results so far:

Have you made a complaint to IPSOS? 25% Yes

I won’t make a Complaint: 63%

0% Don’t know

12% Not Yet

If you would like to make a complaint about to IPSOs about the tabloids insensitive behaviour, the website is https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/

London: Press Complaint: #Grenfelltowerfire Stop Tabloids Identifying Vulnerable People #Respecttheirprivacyingrief

I was disgusted to see tabloids naming the person who owned the fridge that caught fire in the Grenfell Tower fire. This included The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail, others also followed suit.

As a citizen journalist, there’s a fine line between telling an important story and putting vulnerable people at risk. It is extremely insensitive. This man is in grief and shock and he is not allowed privacy in such a time. This is inhumane. What kind of world are we in?

This will cause extra psychological trauma to the person, who not only could get PTSD but could be at risk of suicide, which will also affect the rest of his family too, if he doesn’t have a good support network. He has a child too. As a writer, we have to stand up to unethical behaviour like this.

Maybe they took the photo from a Facebook account, and tabloids would say, “well, it’s ‘his fault’ he made it public”Come on guys, you have degrees in journalism, surely you have some common sense. Why aren’t the police protecting this guy too?

I am a citizen journalist who has an interest in trauma and mental health. Perhaps these journalists should have some Mental Health First Aid training and learn about mental health. Even they themselves, may need counselling and could be vulnerable too after witnessesing this. I wonder if they are getting any help? Anyone who experiences such overwhelming trauma needs a lot of support, love and self-care, not ‘shaming in the media’ so media organisations can get huge profits.

Several members of the public, both in the UK, and worldwide, have complained on various forums about their behaviour. Some professional journalists, seem to have no duty of care to those they write about. Some QCs online are also disgusted.

If I knew him, I would offer him a cup of tea and a chat, and try and get him some trauma counselling. It will take years and years to deal with that. I hope he is surrounded by ‘friends’ that don’t sell him’ to the gutter media’.

If you are a professional journalist reading this, come on, show some balls and tell your boss to ‘stick it’ if they make you identify a vulnerable person like this.

To make a Press Complaint
: https://www.ipso.co.uk/make-a-complaint/

For those who need help after the Grenfell Tower Fire, here are some useful numbers

Mind Charity (for Mental Health) 0300 123 3393

Child Bereavement Uk, if parents etc have lost a child. UK Tel 01494 568 900

Cruse Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677

Winston’s Wish (The Charity for Bereaved Children) FREEPHONE
08088 020 021

The Guardian complain about identifing the person but flash up the Daily Mail with their tweet identifying him, here (which is ironic). https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/16/mail-online-story-about-alleged-cause-of-grenfell-fire-prompts-more-than-1100-complaints?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2FIOlg+%28Media+%7C+The+Guardian%29

Ironically if the Royals behave badly, the Press censors their photos. Identifying vulnerable people is ‘an attack on the poor, the superrich who can afford gaggling clauses.

UK Elections: Britain’s Crumbling

I woke up this morning to a hung parliament, between Labour and the Tories!

I was also told this morning by my flatmate that the Greens had lost a seat (and I’m a Green), so it was a lot to take in. However, I was pleased to say that the Greens did keep their’s in Brighton, so I will have ‘words’ with the flatmate. I hope that Labour will form an Alliance with the Greens, if at all possible.

Well, the whole thing came as a surprise really, a bit like the last Election. However, it was a ‘good surprise’ and an interesting one. I don’t remember any Labour / Tory Governments in my lifetime, though I could be wrong. I think it is certainly the People’s Election this time.

I was concerned that after the last election, the Tories will be sitting forever in their seats but this was not to happen. This was really refreshing to see. Getting rid of the Old Guard. I’m looking forward to see who’s gone. I think the Tories trying to get rid of the Human Rights Act didn’t help their case.

However, the whole situation is a bit messy, particularly with Brexit and the already lax Terrorism issue. I have never seen so much political upheaval in my lifetime and I dread to think what the current situation will do to our economy. But there IS so much difference between rich and poor in the UK (as I have seen myself when I went up up to Billionnaires Row in East Finchley recently (The Bishop’s Avenue), this just cannot go on.

We need stability too so this is all a bit crazy. I don’t see a real difference to my own life, but we shall see and I will report on my situation.

So lib Dems Simon Hughes isn’t in, despite all the screaming orange signs saying he’s back in #Bermondsey.

It was certainly a bit sombre in Kent this morning. Generally people are getting on with it and not talking much about it, though the postman was full of beaming smiles this morning. When I go up to London later, it will probably be completely different.

I spoke to a Tory Parish Councillor from Kent who thought that may be a chance Labour would do well a few weeks ago. He didn’t feel the Tory campaign was good enough, compared to Labour’s and said Tories hardly were seen to be campaigning in his area. He said also that ‘I wish we had a better political system’ which is what the Green Party was campaigning for.

Stabbed Roy Larner, Millwall fan, fundraiser raises nearly £46k

Roy Larner, 47, who was stabbed eight times by terrorists in the London Attack at the weekend, now has over £40k in his fundraiser account thanks to Millwall fans and supporters.

Roy Larner, is the father of the sister of Youtube English Language specialist, Jade Joddle, who I regularly watch on Youtube (and sometimes disagree with). She said that she also backs him although sometimes they didn’t get on.

As a Millwall fan myself (and sometimes disagreeing with their behaviour sometimes,even though it is my team), this is what we Millwall fans want to hear. Let’s get rid of ‘No one Likes us’ and change it to ‘Millwall, Proud to be a Lion’ in honour of Roy Larner, a true Millwall Hero.

Roy Larner’s Fundraising Account here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jayne-jacob

London Bridge Attack: My Experience

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ABOVE: Borough High Street, Sunday morning.

I was in Bermondsey, South London, listening to my friend’s podcast of his father who was doing his oral history for his birthday as he wanted to record his dad’s childhood memories as he was getting ill and approaching eighty.

We had a quick break after listening to an hour of it and my friend looked at the internet, looked shocked and said that there had been an terror attack at London Bridge, which is about 15 minutes’ walk away from me. We then dropped everything and tried to find out what was happening. I have never been so close to a terror attack before.

My friend had actually just arrived back from Bath on the train and had been on the tube going past London Bridge at about 9.45pm on the Saturday night but when he got home to Bermondsey, we didn’t look online until we had listened to some of the podcast, an hour later.

We couldn’t take it all in at first. I was online until 3am trying to give information to the public (although this was not always easy that there was false information from ‘reputable’ outlets which was frustrating.

Both of us let our family know that we were ok. My friend’s mother texted him and said ‘please be safe, as I have paid for the deposit of our holiday!’ in a typical British fashion. My own family, who I was estranged with at the time, seemed to be thinking of me, so this evening we had made up. The London Attack has brought us together again.

One thing that was really helpful, was the Facebook Safety Check, which went into action as soon as there was a terrorist attack in our area. This would tell our Facebook friends immediately that we were ok, so they wouldn’t have to worry, and they wouldn’t have to jam the Casualty Bureau’s lines. We could also ‘see’ friends who were also in the area too.

I heard the helicopter overhead all night which was really noisy and there were reports that one of the attackers had escaped (this clearly was inaccurate). At about 2am or so, I heard a huge explosion which was about a mile away which was a bit scary.

After this time I was very tired, and went to sleep. It was only afterwards when we both began to grasp how bad it had been. I was very surprised how late the incident had been which seemed to be out of character for these type of events. It was surreal as the London Bridge area is my regular neighbourhood, places I know very well and the people are generally nice It was shocking what happened to people, it beggars belief how mad these frenzied maniacs were.

This morning we wanted to gather our thoughts, reflect and visit the London Bridge area but it had all been cordoned off by the police with a bunch of international press there.

What I think we need are checkpoints like they had for the IRA in the Square Mile. In other countries where there’s frequent terrorism they have them. They can monitor comings and goings of cars and do stop and searches. Cars can be checked if they are stolen too.

I would like to thank the emergency services and volunteers who were so quick to the scene and helped make the area safer and all those who offered places to stay, free Wi-Fi, bagels and even tequila.

It is a terrible tragedy, there really aren’t words that can really describe the horror.

South London: I decided to hand out free ice creams in memory of the Manchester Attack victims #randomactsofkindness

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PHOTO: An empty FAB packet.

We need to make change instead of just talking about it. So in memory of the Manchester victims I gave out free ice creams to random people in South London today, which was a very hot day. I gave out my favourite ones ie Fab and Solero.

These are the people who received them (and they all were very appreciative).

1) a window cleaner
2) a Co-op Funeralcare staff Member
3) Three builders sitting outside a pub, getting hot and bothered
4) And old man sitting all by himself
5) Two staff members at a Computer discount store

We need to end violence but we have to do this at grass roots level. Kindness goes along way. We need to engage in the community again. Hopefully this article will inspire others to do a random act of kindness.

NOTE: I paid for the ice-creams from my own money. I did not receive any freebies. You can get some good icecream deals from Tesco though.