Saturday, 14 November 2015

Selfish thoughts

It is probably the most selfish of positions
But every time something like this happens, my thoughts are always the same
Thoughts that go round and round my mind
Hour after hour
Night after night

They told me to try and hold the thought for a minute
To challenge it
"How likely is it to happen" in my mind very
"What is the worse thing that could happen" read the history books
"Will this matter in five years' time" in my mind this is becoming more likely as time goes by

I listen to an extended "any answers" on the radio
The caller suggest that refugees be militarily trained and forced to go back and fight
Another that anyone likely to be "one of them" be sent to a concentration camp in Scotland
And that friends and family "who should have known" will also be sent there

I find myself thinking up plans to be prepared
Looking for strategies from the past
Who survived when Europe last turned on its minority religion?
What did survivors have that others didn't?

Apparently best chance was
Married to someone of a different religion
Connection to someone in authority
Certain professions including scientist, tailors chefs, musicians
Aged teens to thirty
Committed to some ideal
Connected to country by language / heritage
Able to establish and maintain links with others including outside immediate family

Ultimately I conclude it also depended on whether or not one was able to influence others to leave with the children before it was too late  

Monday, 28 September 2015

RE homework

Write 200 words on the subject "life under occupation"

I thought you could help me
It isn't as if anyone else will have any knowledge about this

Half an hour later

Stories "as conveyed"
Bullet points

Half an hour later
Toned down
All specifics removed

What do you think?

Well it just seems like you are describing a natural disaster

Ok then that will probably be safe

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Endless cycle of misery

For decades or longer the Europeans mistrust their Jewish minorities

As a result "nationalist" and "religious" political movements are born

Calling for the creation of a "state" based on ancient history and religion

There is poverty, followed by war in Europe

Half the European Jews are murdered

A proportion of the remainders "migrate" to Palestine

The new Jewish "state" thrives, but causes wave upon wave of catastrophes for all its neighbours

As a direct result numerous "nationalist" and "religious" political movements are born

Calling for the creation of a "state" based on ancient history and religion

There is poverty and war in the Middle East

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are murdered

A proportion of the remainder "migrate" to Europe

For decades or longer the Europeans mistrust their Muslim minorities

As a result.............

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mummy's boy

"Nana told us" he said in the car as we drive home

She told us about uncle S and the wars, that he went, she says he is still traumatised

She said she didn't want him to go

Why didn't she stop him from going?

If we were there, and there was a war, would you do anything to stop me going?

I would kidnap you and take you to another country

The car veers slightly as he hugs my arm tightly

Thursday, 4 June 2015

It is all in the names!

So two ISIS fighters named HAYDER and HUSSEIN have been captured and interviewed by BBC

What next a couple of BADR militia named OMER and OTHMAN??!!!!!

Update 17th June

Well what do you know? Orla and team do interview the BADR butchers

Unpunished atrocities committed by the allies used to excuse further crimes, and the cycle continues

Twelve years after the invasion
Four years after the investigations were completed
Millions displaced
Millions radicalised
Hundreds of thousands murdered, humiliated, traumatised
A country ripped into three
Hordes of foreigners arriving from abroad to live the "Muslim Umma" dream in the once-upon-a-time land of mathematics, science, knowledge and possibilities.....

The Chilcot enquiry continues to slowly simmer
Weapons manufacturers around the world
The Middle East envoy, the wife of one warmonger, and the brother of another continue to reap the rewards

Ramadan Kareem!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Speak no evil?

Events have meant I spend a fair amount of time trying to recall childhood, teenage and young adult life experiences in an attempt to understand how I could have been so oblivious to how I was being viewed, how others felt, and how fragile and transient was the ordinariness I so took for granted.

As my own children traverse a very different route in life, I now contrast and compare.

One stark difference it appears is the definition of polite conversation

My son is mocked and jeered for "his" religion, is told that the political party supported by one third of his classmates would deport him and his family, and the class boys have had detailed discussions about parents income, and astronomical value of homes (in the context of the school's version of the national elections, labour supporters being mocked for living in houses worth less than 2 million pounds)

I cannot recall an exact conversation, but am still guided by a set of principles, that some things were private and should remain so, religion was never discussed, and money was never brought up, everything seemed fair on the surface, but just below the surface was the ugliness waiting to fatally surface.

Saturday, 28 February 2015


How? why? when?
Everyone is talking about him
Was it while in school?
Was it while in college?
Was it because of the questioning?
Was it because of the failed attempt to recruit him?
Was it before or after certain events?

"They were Muslim, the family didn't socialise with others"

All I can think of is

Thanks God he wasn't Iraqi born, British schooled

Friday, 23 January 2015

Third time lucky?

So if you live in Europe and are Jewish and are feeling under threat you are being invited to Israel where it is safe

What if you live in Europe and have an "Airab" name or possibly even a "Muslimist" one and are feeling uncomfortable about your children being called "terrorist" or being avoided in case they "blow themselves up, or chop our head off" what do you do?

Your "home" country is one of the most dangerous places on Earth, you are not Arab enough, you are nowhere near religious enough, and even if you were, you were of exactly the wrong type of that religion for the time.

On the other hand for your type the only "welcoming" part of your "home" country is currently being controlled by the "chopping off heads- Muslimist- terrorists" so I guess the school mates might think that would be ideal for us

In the hope there is a better choice the advert could read:

"Middles aged couple, two bright teenage kids, Arab ancestry, ex- Muslim faith, European outlook, seeking welcoming third home"

Friday, 9 January 2015

I wish

I wish

I had the energy of youth
The determination of my other self
The drive of another time

When I ran just to keep up
When the days were never long enough
And the nights too short
When a week's worth of work lasted more than a hundred hours
When exams, deadlines and targets kept me moving

The years melted into each other
One decade following the other
In a blur
Age slowed me down

And the days became longer
And the nights went on for ever
Targets insignificant
Goals miniscule

Counting down hours to the end of the day
Days to the end of the month
Months to the end of another year

I wish

I did not have the time
To think
To hurt
To cry

Monday, 5 January 2015

The cost of living

It is the first week of January, everyone has returned to work, and tomorrow even the schools start again.

The politicians have started their election campaigning, it is all about the money, what they will spend, how much they will save, how they will fix the deficit, how they will save the NHS.....

January is always a tough month financially, we get paid earlier than usual in December, and then spend more than we can afford for Christmas, then spend some more in the sales just after Christmas, add to that for some reason the royal colleges and societies all demand their subscription fees in January, so  I have spent a few days juggling, deferring, moving debt from one credit card to another and generally trying to limit the damage, acknowledging that for the next two months I will have nothing to put aside towards reducing the astronomical mortgage that is still outstanding on our home.

I go to work to find a pleasant surprise waiting for me, the numerous emails, form filling and essentially begging have been effective... the drug company has agreed to give my patient Carfilzomib free of charge.
This is a new cancer drug that is not yet approved for use in Europe, I am planning on giving it to my 73y old patient, who has had seven prior lines of chemotherapy for his myeloma, and who I first diagnosed eight year ago.

I am planning to give him the drug in combination with Pomalidomide, another relatively new drug, which is being funded through the cancer drug fund; a government funded pot of money specifically set aside for cancer drugs that have not yet been approved for general use.

Using the combination, if he were to pay for his treatment would costs £18,000 a month

In another part of the world, a lesser being is packing his bags and travelling back home to die.

He is 59y old and has advanced renal cell carcinoma, he previously lost a kidney, and his treatment options should include chemotherapy, antibody treatment, possibly followed by surgery, and long term dialysis.

In the West he might live for six years or more, but the West didn't think granting him a visa to come to the UK and have treatment funded by his family would be a good idea, so instead he will return from Jordan to Mosul, the second largest city in the apparently rich Iraq, to the city with the country's (previously) second most prestigious medical school, but where currently there is no chemotherapy, there is no antibody therapy, and even if he had surgery there is no dialysis available either.

Don't you just love this crazily imbalanced world?