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Stories on BBC News 1st December 2015

With the Syria Debate and Vote planned for Wednesday 2nd December,
Michael Fallon, the Conservative Defence Secretary has stated,
UK already an IS target”.

Ken Livingstone, co-chairman of Labour’s Defence Policy Review,
states “Bombing doesn’t actually win you a war”.

The Atom Bank, based in Durham, is offering App banking.
Simon Gompertz looks at the rise in popularity of App Banking.

Christmas Lights can affect your WiFi speed
and the future for BT Openreach

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in 21st century, BBC, News

 

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Does Simon Burns represent your interests?

This blog doesn’t often contain material of a political nature but yesterday something happened that made me very angry indeed. I’ll provide some background. Some years ago I heard of 38 Degrees. It is my belief that this organisation does exactly what is says on its home page:

38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change.

It provides an opportunity to help co-ordinate action in a peaceful and logical way within the understood democratic process of the United Kingdom.

Simon Burns is the Conservative MP for Chelmsford. His website declares the following mission statement :

Since I was elected as Member of Parliament for the Chelmsford area in 1987, I have fought to the best of my abilities, for the interests of all my constituents regardless of their political affiliations.

Mr. Burns should be reminded that the Conservatives did NOT win the last election. He should also be reminded that there is no mandate for the current proposed changes to the NHS. He should also be reminded of his mission statement above.

38 degrees are helping ordinary people, like me, to take a stand against the current political tactics to destroy all that is good about the NHS. Mr. Burns isn’t happy about the co-ordinated efforts and his reaction to “the interests of all of my constituents regardless of their political affiliations” is to refer to us ordinary folk as Zombies.

Mr. Burns, as an MP, is a public servant. He SHOULD BE representing the interests of all of the electorate. The electorate are his customers. As one of his customers I feel that his customer service skills are fundamentally lacking, including the fact that he does not follow the mission statement on his own website to fight “to the best of my abilities, for the interests of all my constituents regardless of their political affiliations.”

Mr. Burns’ abilities to represent the electorate are sadly lacking, as he only seems to want to insult the electorate who express an opinion that differs to his own.

Perhaps he is less of a public servant and more of a caricature. Perhaps he is like another Mr. Burns, who is equally thoughtless about his customers and equally hungry for power at any cost.

Mr. Simon Burns, you owe 38 degrees members a public and full apology. Either that or you should resign for not representing “the interests of all of my constituents regardless of their political affiliations”.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in 21st century

 

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Radio Ramble

From Wikipedia RNI campaign bus

As a youngster I was a big fan of the pirate radio stations, Radio Caroline and Radio Northsea. I was just a naughty kid listening to the radio late at night when I should have been sleeping, I didn’t know that Radio Caroline helped get the Conservatives elected in 1970. Nor at that early age did I care about the other suggested events reported on that particular Wikipedia page. Now we have huge television screens, 3D/HD, on demand, 24 hour a day television, if you want it. I enjoy television but there is something about radio. Radio 4 plays are always enjoyable, challenging and brave enough to showcase new talent.

Absolute Classic Rock My getting ready music; doing the housework music; singing and dancing, when I’m in the house alone, music. I adore Absolute Radio but it was stations like Radio Luxembourg (Fab 208) the precursor of the pirate radio stations Caroline and Northsea that made me a lifelong radio fan.

Originally I just used to listen on my little transistor, frequently warming up batteries on the radiator to extend their life. Then for my 12th birthday Mum bought me my beautiful bright orange Dansette Record Player and Radio and I could listen to my favourite radio stations whilst doing my homework or reading. But still saved my little transistor for late at night whiling away the wee small hours with Santana, Led Zeppelin and the sweet talking DJs,

Radio Northsea used to close with Move Over Darling by Doris Day. An evocative song sung by a beautiful lady who also starred in the film of the same name. The Calamity Jane star’s romantic role and a song that still makes me feel that it’s time to go to sleep.

From Pirate Radio Hall of Fame : Tony Allan, broadcasting on Radio Caroline during the seventies. Photo by Martin Stevens, reprinted from ‘Offshore Radio’ published by Iceni Enterprises.

Tony Allan was one of the great stars of pirate radio. Sadly he died in 2004 but if you’d like to read and hear more about the life and work of this wonderful man I would suggest you visit the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame .

Special effects in film and television are very clever and there are many great stories and breathtaking visuals for us all to enjoy but there is something about radio that stimulates my imagination; makes my heart sing and makes me feel like a teenager again.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in 21st century, History

 

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Soong Ching-ling – Madame Sun Yat-sen – The one who loved China

Politics

Soong Ching-ling– January 27, 1893 – May 29, 1981

Image from Wikipedia

Soong Ch’ing-ling was one of the Soong sisters, three sisters whose husbands were amongst China’s most significant political figures of the early 20th century. Also known as Madame Sun Yat-sen, she was described as the “one who loved China”. Her Christian name was Rosamond.

Soong Ching-ling was born to the wealthy businessman and missionary Charlie Soong in Nanshi (known today as the Huangpu District), Shanghai, attended Motyeire School for Girls in Shanghai, and graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, United States.

She married Sun Yat-sen in Japan on October 25, 1915. Sun Yat-sen had previously been married to Lu Muzhen. Ching-ling’s parents greatly opposed the match, as Dr. Sun was 26 years her senior. After Sun’s death in 1925, she was elected to the Kuomintang (KMT) Central Executive Committee in 1926. However, she exiled herself to Moscow after the expulsion of the Communists from the KMT in 1927.

Although Soong reconciled with the KMT during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), she sided with the Communists in the Chinese Civil War. She did not join the party but rather was part of the united front heading up the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang.

In 1939, she founded the China Defense League, which later became the China Welfare Institute. The committee worked for peace and justice, and now focuses on maternal and pediatric healthcare, preschool education, and other children’s issues.

In the early 1950s, she founded the magazine, CHINA RECONSTRUCTS, now known as CHINA TODAY, with the help of Israel Epstein. This magazine is published monthly in 6 languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Arabic and Spanish).

After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, she became the Vice Chair of the People’s Republic of China (now translated as “Vice President”), Head of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Association and Honorary President of the All-China Women’s Federation. In 1951 she was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize (Lenin Peace Prize after destalinization), and in 1953 a collection of her writings, Struggle for New China, was published. From 1968 to 1972 she acted jointly with Dong Biwu as head of state.

On May 16, 1981, two weeks before her death, she was admitted to the Communist Party and was named Honorary President of the People’s Republic of China. She is the only person ever to hold this title.

Unlike her younger sister Soong May-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek), who sided with her husband Chiang Kai-shek and fled to Taiwan with the Nationalist government, Soong Ching-ling is still a beloved figure in mainland China.

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Footsteps

Footsteps - image created by Maggie Baldry

Legal bit
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the authors.  Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this work neither the author, contributors, employees or advisers are able to accept any legal liability for any consequential loss or damage, however caused, arising as a result of any actions taken on the basis of the information contained in this work. All third-party brands and trademarks belong to their respective owners.  Please note this notice is to protect the source research material. Please feel free to link and quote with references back to this page. Thank you. Copyright : Maggie Baldry

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in History, Soft Footsteps

 

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Politics – Annie Kenney

Politics

Annie Kenney– September 13, 1879 – July 9, 1953

Annie Kenney image from Wikipedia

Annie Kenney was a working-class suffragette who is credited with sparking off suffragette militancy when she heckled Winston Churchill

During a Liberal rally at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in October, 1905, she and Christabel Pankhurst interrupted a political meeting to ask Churchill and Sir Edward Grey if they believed women should have the right to vote.

Neither man replied. The two women got out a banner declaring “Votes for Women“, and shouted at the two politicians to answer their questions. Kenney and Pankhurst were thrown out of the meeting and arrested for causing an obstruction and a technical assault on a police officer. Annie Kenney was imprisoned for three days for her part in the protest. Annie was jailed 13 times in total.

Emmeline Pankhurst from Wikipedia

Emmeline Pankhurst image from Wikipedia

Emmeline Pankhurst later wrote in her autobiography that:

this was the beginning of a campaign the like of which was never known in England, or for that matter in any other country …we interrupted a great many meetings… and we were violently thrown out and insulted. Often we were painfully bruised and hurt.”

Born in Springhead, near Oldham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the 13 September 1879, the daughter of Nelson Horatio Kenney and Anne Wood, Annie Kenney studied the great thinkers at an early age and joined the Pankhursts in the women’s movement after she spent time working in a cotton mill. She was the only working-class woman to become part of the senior hierarchy of the Women’s Social and Political Union, becoming deputy in 1912, unusual in such a middle-class organisation.

She took her message as far afield as France and America, but eventually married and settled in Letchworth, Herts, after women won the vote in 1918.

She died on the 9 July 1953. In 1999, Oldham put up a blue plaque in her honour at Leesbrook Mill where she started work in 1892.

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Footsteps

Footsteps - image created by Maggie Baldry

Legal bit
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the authors.  Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this work neither the author, contributors, employees or advisers are able to accept any legal liability for any consequential loss or damage, however caused, arising as a result of any actions taken on the basis of the information contained in this work. All third-party brands and trademarks belong to their respective owners.  Please note this notice is to protect the source research material. Please feel free to link and quote with references back to this page. Thank you. Copyright : Maggie Baldry

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in History, Soft Footsteps

 

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Politics – Sarojini Naidu

Politics

In the entertainment industry women have successfully pioneered against barriers of sex, class and race but when it comes to changing communities and societies women have also stood proudly and worked hard to earn their place in the political arena. Now it is time to learn some historical lessons from The Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu, who was a child prodigy, freedom fighter, and poet; an English working class suffragette, Annie Kenney and Soong Ch’ing-ling, “the one who loved China”.

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Sarojini Naidu– February 13, 1879 – March 2, 1949

Sarojini Naidu from Wikipedia

Sarojini Naidu, known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India), was a child prodigy, freedom fighter, and poet.

Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

She was responsible for awakening the women of India. She brought them out of the kitchen. She travelled countrywide and re-established self-esteem within the women of India.

Some of her famous and inspirational quotes are:

  • When there is oppression, the only self-respecting thing is to rise and say this shall cease today, because my right is justice.
  • If you are stronger, you have to help the weaker boy or girl both in play and in the work.

Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad, India as the eldest daughter of scientist-philosopher, Aghornath Chattopadhyaya, and Varada Sundari Devi, a poetess. Her father was the founder of the Nizam College. She learnt to speak Urdu, Telugu, English, Persian and Bengali. Her favorite poet was P.B. Shelley.

Child prodigy

She attained national fame for entering Madras University at the age of twelve. At sixteen, she travelled to England to study first at King’s College London, and at Girton College, Cambridge.

At the age of 17, she met Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu and fell in love with him. He was from South India. After finishing her studies at the age of 19, she married him during the time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed. Her marriage was a very happy one. They were married by in Madras in 1898. They had 4 children: Jayasurya, Padmaja, Randheer, and Leelamani.

Freedom Fighter

She joined the Indian independence movement, in the wake of the aftermath of partition of Bengal in 1905. During 1903-17 Sarojini came into contact with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

From 1915 to 1918 she lectured all over India on welfare of youth, dignity of labour, women’s emancipation and nationalism. After meeting Jawaharlal Nehru in 1916, she took up the cause of the indigo workers of Champaran. In 1925 she was elected as the President of the Congress, the first Indian woman to hold the post.

Sarojini Naidu and Gandhi from Wikipedia

In March 1919, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act by which the possession of seditious documents was deemed illegal. Mohandas Gandhi organized the Non-Cooperation Movement to protest and Naidu was the first to join the movement which the government worked to suppress. The independence of India became the heart and soul of her work.
In July 1919, Naidu became the Home Rule League’s ambassador to England. In July 1920 she returned to India and on August 1, Mahatma Gandhi declared the Non-Cooperation Movement. In January 1924, she was one of the two Indian National Congress delegates at the East African Indian Congress.

Naidu arrived in New York in October 1928 and was concerned with the unjust treatment of the African-Americans and the Amerindians. Upon her return to India she became a member of the Congress Working Committee.

On January 26, 1930 the National Congress proclaimed its independence from the British Empire. On May 5, Mohandas Gandhi was arrested. Naidu was arrested shortly thereafter and was in jail for several months. She, along with Gandhi, was released on January 31, 1931. Later that year, they were again arrested. Naidu was eventually released due to her poor health and Gandhi was released in 1933. In 1931, she participated in the Round Table Summit, along with Gandhiji and Pundit Malaviyaji. In 1942, she was arrested during the “Quit India” protest and stayed in jail for 21 months with Gandhiji. Naidu shared a warm relationship with Mohandas Gandhi, even calling him “Mickey Mouse”.

At the Asian Relations Conference of March 1947, Naidu presided over the Steering Committee.

On August 15, 1947, with the independence of India, Naidu became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, India’s first woman governor and she died in office in 1949.

Poet

Sarojini Naidu is also well acclaimed for her contribution to poetry. Her poetry had beautiful words that could also be sung. Her collection of poems was published in 1905 under the title “Golden Threshold”. She published two other collections called “The Bird of Time” (1912), and “The Broken Wings” (1917). Later, “The Magic Tree”, “The Wizard Mask”, and “A Treasury of Poems” were published.

In 1916, Naidu published the first biography of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, The Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity.

Footsteps

Footsteps - image created by Maggie Baldry

Legal bit
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the authors.  Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this work neither the author, contributors, employees or advisers are able to accept any legal liability for any consequential loss or damage, however caused, arising as a result of any actions taken on the basis of the information contained in this work. All third-party brands and trademarks belong to their respective owners.  Copyright : Maggie Baldry

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in History, Soft Footsteps

 

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