So long Scott, thank you for the music…

Scott Weiland, the former frontman of the band Stone Temple Pilots, passed away on the 3rd of December 2015, while touring with his current band “Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts“.

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This is a picture of singer Scott Weiland. Brazil, Dec, 2010. Credits – Humberto Bueno

As part of Stone Temple Pilots, and also the super group Velvet Revolver (which featured formers members of Guns n’ Roses), he had a formative influence on what music I grew up listening to and playing over my teenage and early twenties.

Songs like:

And the albums they came from, all made a lasting impression on my musical preferences and directions.  Memories like playing along on my guitar to Plush and Interstate Love Song, are still fresh.

As is seeing Velvet Revolver play live, their stage presence, and energy even in a vast arena stadium was immense. Scott Weiland as a frontman was awesome, to line up and share the stage with someone like Slash, takes both character and charisma.

Thank you Scott for the music, you will be missed.

 

 

 

ShowTheLove – The Climate Coalition

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The Climate Coalition have released their #showthelove (fortheloveof) campaign with a video.

David Harewood, Meera Syal, Stephen Fry, Dermot O’Leary, Jarvis Cocker, Deborah Meaden, Emilia Fox, Alison Steadman and Raymond Blanc bring Shakespeare’s Sonnet number 18 to life in a beautiful 100-second film that’s a celebration of the world around us.

This is a longer and more explanatory video:

They’re asking people to shares the things they love.

Because the things we love might be changed forever by climate change.

Let’s act on climate change.

Scotland said it’s “Better Together”

In the historic referendum on the question of whether Scotland should be an independent country. 

The people of Scotland, voted against secession from the United Kingdom.

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My hope is that in the aftermath of the two campaigns, a stronger and more unified Scotland emerges.

Scotland deserves that much at least.

HopeforJustice– Goes Global

HopeforJustice announced its unification with Abolition International and Transitions Global to become one organisation to fight human trafficking.

Check out the video introducing the new global organisation and their roots.

It’s great to see HopeforJustice expand its vision, its reach and its impact!

My “Zoe Challenge” Walk – 2014 – for Hope for Justice

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What it’s about:

Hope for Justice – have challenged their supporters, to help them clock up a total of 12,416 miles – the distance from the North to the South Pole, by doing sponsored walks up and down the country.  They call this their Zoe Challenge 2014 and hope to raise around £125,000 to fund specialist investigators, lawyers and aftercare staff.  As they work to fight against slavery, and trafficking in the UK.

Zoe Challenge–2014

 

Our walk in the Lakes will be around Rydal Water, and more of a pleasant family stroll, with about 1/2 the party being under 10, and with 3 under 3’s, there sure to be a lift or two offered by parents.

Should you wish to help support us, please give whatever amount you feel at this justgiving link.

A donation is not necessary, but perhaps you could share or tweet the link too.  Anything that helps raise the awareness and the profile of the issue of human trafficking, is support to those that are trapped and subject to such exploitation. 

Thank you.

LifeKids– “Dish Out The Money” – The Charity Single

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“Dish Out The Money”  – is a charity single done by +LifeKids Manchester  (children and children’s groups leaders) from LifeChurch Manchester – supporting 3 great charities which all have a connection with LifeChurch Manchester , involved in various communities and projects.

All well worth supporting!

Read more about what they do below.

LifeKids Manchester–Dish Out The Money

The Charities supported are:

City Centre Ministries (CCM)

The aim of CCM is to reach out to the marginalized in our city with the love and compassion of Christ. We believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that is the message we take out on a Wednesday and Saturday night.

City Centre Ministries

 

Hope For Justice

Hope for Justice is an anti-human trafficking organisation working to uncover and abolish the hidden crime of modern-day slavery.

Hope For Justice–Every Good Father

 

PepAids

PEPAIDS’ mission is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and to raise awareness, both within the affected communities and internationally, of the issues surrounding poverty and HIV/AIDS.

PepAids

Education, Education, Education – Hmm, Hmm, Hmm

 

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“Education, Education, Education” a slogan made famous by Tony Blair at the 1996 Labour party conference .

(“Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education, education.” – 1 October 1996, Labour party conference speech)

Now some eighteen years later, there are still struggles we face to get the balance right around personal and private choice.

Perhaps you feel strongly about an area of your personal privacy or choice being removed or gradually eroded?  Then don’t acquiesce, and allow such regulations and restrictions to become the unchallenged norm in your culture, and lifestyle.  Now more than ever, individuals have the options to speak out and challenge these issues and campaign for redress.

For example write to your MP via Writetothem

You still have choice, to stay quiet or to speak out – use it wisely!

BigChurchNightIn – Manchester

The BigChurchNightIn event (1st of 2) in Manchester tonight! (22nd Nov 2013)  (Looking forward to it loads!)

 

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It’s taking place at !Audacious Church Manchester, and will feature the !Audacious Church Band, and headline acts from Martin Smith and Leeland.

Here’s a video preview of the event:

BigChurchNightIn 2013–Martin Smith & Leeland

 

Martin Smith is of course well known as the lead singer from the group Delirious?

Leeland are a Christian rock band from Baytown, Texas

Here are a couple of my favourite tracks from Leeland:

Leeland – I Wonder

 

Leeland – Carry me on your back

There’s also the 2nd BigChurchNightIn event on the 5th of December – which features Stuart Townend and Philippa Hanna – so there’s another opportunity to catch some great music!

HopeforJustice– Happy 5th Birthday!

Happy Birthday and Congratulations to HopeforJustice for another great year!

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Here is their “Hope News” celebratory video:

Hope News–Nov 2013

From HopeforJustice

This month we’re celebrating 5 years of rescues and lives restored! We’ve changed the lives of over 200 modern day slaves and started to build a rescue network that will leave perpetrators nowhere to hide!

Here’s to many more rescues!

Link to last years note

On Restrictions

There have been a couple of campaigns that I’ve supported recently:

The Gagging Law:

The Campaign to prevent the “Gagging Law” (Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill) going through Parliament in its current state – which would seriously restrict and curb the ability of a large variety of organisations and bodies to lobby and campaign in a period preceding an election by imposing strict funding and activity criteria.

because it threatens to stifle public debate on policies that affect people’s lives in the year of an election. This is because the Bill includes a very wide definition of campaigning for “electoral purposes”. It means that, in the year before an election, if Oxfam campaigned on a policy that impacted on the lives of poor people – on the impacts of climate change, or on tax avoidance – and one political party supported our policies but another didn’t we could be seen as campaigning “for electoral purposes” and be breaking the law.

Despite serious concerns being raised by charities, think tanks, unions, civil society organisations and the Electoral Commission, the Bill has passed through the House of Commons and is moving to the House of Lords next week without changes Oxfam sees as critical in allowing us to run campaigns on crucial policies in election years.

See Oxfam >> link

Complete the survey for “The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement” >> here

Education & Term Time Holiday Rules:

Secondly one that imposes strict conditions and limitations of term absence (holiday) that can taken while a child is in education (term time family holiday rules under The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006)).

Ok there is the cost based aspect – the general holiday period are accompanied by inflated travel prices.  But as the campaign note says:

Doesn’t the government think that holidays can be a source of education? Two years ago I took my 6 year old to Rome on holiday and he loved it. Soon he will be doing a project on Romans at school. He can say that he has been there and to Pompeii. If this isn’t education then what is ? The government are so narrow minded.

This petition is being handed in to the Department of Education next Wednesday 30th of October 2013 in London at 12.00 pm and everyone that would to be there would be very welcome.

Support and Sign the Petition >> here

My Thoughts:

There seems to be too much effort from the government to remove the ability to think independently from the public.  Aided and abetted by not enough thorough thinking on the whole spectrum of implication on the results of these bills by the government itself.  This is far from the free-thinking democracy and reasonable and “lawful” self-determination that voting electorate should be receiving from the elected representatives and civil service.

Update on Gagging Law:

The UK Government has postponed the bill to re-think aspects of the bill further.

Here are newspaper articles reflecting on this decision:

Apart from all the prose about the implications and politics – I find these statistics pretty interesting:

A few statistics have been plaguing MPs for some time. The National Trust has four million paying members; 38 Degrees has 1.9 million (we don’t have to pay subs but sometimes do anyway); many animal or wildlife charities boast 500,000 members. Membership of political parties, meanwhile, has fallen to 1%, or under 500,000 (in the three main parties combined). This means there are more people who care about birds than who can get meaningfully exercised about the victory of any particular candidate.

It really shows how and what people are engaging in, or not as the case may be, and politics – by membership of a party isn’t one of them.