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  • Sharon Tootill 4:25 pm on March 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , freedom, independence, , , , , resistance, tyranny,   

    If She Tries to Resist, Assimilate Her! 

    Just a very brief outline of what was upsetting me yesterday, and will no doubt continue to unsettle for a while.

    Last year when Mum moved in with us, I took her along to a Women’s mental health support group which was run by a national charity known as Rethink Mental Illness. I was surprised to recognise many of the members from the Fibromyalgia group I had previously been a member of, but had been uncomfortable with it being run by a mental health charity. (ME and Fibromyalgia have been dogged by inappropriate association with psychiatry for decades)

    To cut a long story short, the group decided to break free of Rethink and set up on their own (there was actually a very acrimonious split but I won’t go into details).

    It was decided that the group would amalgamate to be both a Fibro group and a mental health group and since we were all friends, we could divide the time informally and equally between the two. I thought it suited everyone.

    But then, just after Christmas, there was a big, bad falling out and one of the members left/ was pushed out of the group, and one or two members made a complete turnaround and decided to ask Rethink to step back in, as though everything that had happened before and all the reasons we ejected Rethink were irrelevant.

    I was given leaflets to re-apply to Rethink to be ‘assessed’ by them, and I filled them in but carried them around in my bag for weeks, really not quite comfortable about being involved with them again (not to mention the fact that I was unhappy about various aspects of the way the group was going, not least of which was the decision to offically call the group a Mental Health group and ignore the ME & Fibromyalgia).

    On Friday, we weren’t able to get to the group and apparently they met with Rethink  without us. Rethink determined that nobody could be a member of the group anymore unless they were assessed and approved by Rethink and so we could no longer attend meetings until we got that sorted out. Not only that, but they stipulated that we were not even allowed to meet members of the group for coffee until Rethink had approved us.

    Well, no.

    Apparently the other members of the group all sat there meekly and said “Yes Rethink, whatever you say, Rethink, three bags full, Rethink.”

    They seem to be honestly surprised and confused that I would disobey. They had not anticipated it and apparently everybody is reeling because I have broken the group up!

    Of course I am very sorry and upset to have hurt or upset my friends. But by all accounts, I think these friendships must have been very weak and superficial if not entirely fake if they would submit to tyranny for the dubious promise of safety that Rethink offers.

    I think I probably need to learn to say “no” louder and more determinedly at an earlier stage if I’m to avoid repeats. But in this instance, I think it’s all over and we need to stand our ground and be prepared to lose the group to Rethink. I’m not willing to submit to the malevolence or incompetence of a group that has already shown themselves to be untrustworthy and more trouble than it’s worth, and I doubt the others are strong enough to resist.

    I hope I’m wrong and the friendships will survive despite the disagreement (and Rethink’s ridiculous rules). But somehow, I very much doubt it.

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  • Sharon Tootill 9:01 am on March 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Easter Rising, freedom, , , , , revolution   

    No Treasure But Hope 

    I really know very little about Irish history, it is not something we are taught in British schools (not even the British side of the story – it’s just brushed aside completely, at least it was when I was at school, and I doubt things have changed significantly in that regard) which makes me a little sad as it is part of my heritage.

    So I thought I would share this famous poem from the Easter Uprising of 1916 to mark its centenary, and since hope and despair as well as freedom and escape are such common themes on this blog.

    The Rebel

    I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow,
    That have no treasure but hope,
    No riches laid up but a memory
    Of an Ancient glory.
    My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born,
    I am of the blood of serfs;
    The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten,
    Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,
    And, though gentle, have served churls;
    The hands that have touched mine, the dear hands whose touch is familiar to me,
    Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,
    Have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers,
    I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone,
    I that have never submitted;
    I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people’s masters,

    I that have vision and prophecy and the gift of fiery speech,
    I that have spoken with God on the top of His holy hill.
    And because I am of the people, I understand the people,
    I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire:
    My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers,
    My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,
    I have yearned with old wistful men,
    And laughed or cursed with young men;
    Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it,
    Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free,
    Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,
    Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailors
    With their writs of summons and their handcuffs,
    Men mean and cruel!

    I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.
    And now I speak, being full of vision;
    I speak to my people, and I speak in my people’s name to the masters of my people.
    I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains,
    That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer,
    That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,
    God the unforgetting, the dear God that loves the peoples
    For whom He died naked, suffering shame.
    And I say to my people’s masters: Beware,
    Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,
    Who shall take what ye would not give.
    Did ye think to conquer the people,
    Or that Law is stronger than life and than men’s desire to be free?
    We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held,
    Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars

    P H Pearse

     
  • Sharon Tootill 11:24 pm on December 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: freedom, , , , radicalisation   

    New Start for 2016 #homeed 

    1teddyrow

    I’m still pondering and planning the specific details of what our home education will look like for the new term and the new year. But I think now is a good time for a re-think, so I’m starting with a new look and I’ve moved the virtual ‘furniture’ around a bit. (what do you think?!)

    I don’t often post many links or photos because I am generally posting from my phone (it’s not impossible but it’s fiddly) – my health issues make laptop use too taxing. So I know plain text can be boring, but bear with me!

    The last five years have been really hard for us as a family and disruptive to any idea of neat or formal, smoothly run education at home. We have moved 4 times officially (6 times if you count the three months when we were temporarily re-housed after flooding) amongst other things.

    The situation now is that we’re squeezed into a smaller house with no garage or garden, and not allowed to use the loft space because we are renting, so a lot of our stuff including most of our books, is still in storage. We will either have to move again or do without the books indefinitely.

    Whereas I thought we would be sorted and settled by now, we’re far from it and can expect more disruption to come. So I think that we can’t expect to have a normal, formal, ‘school at home’ experience any time soon, and perhaps that’s not what we need anyway. More on that next time.

    ~

    Our hard times have coincided with a relative lull in hostilities between the government and the home education community, thankfully, because we are battle-weary and I know we are not the only family to feel that way.

    But now the government has made their intentions clear, with Nicky Morgan announcing that a new review into home education may be necessary to ensure that we aren’t ‘radicalising’ our children by pretending to home educate while using illegal schools «sigh» so we are (not) looking forward to dealing with that next year.

    Since the last skirmish, battle-weary as we have been, we have kept our heads down. I avoided posting home education links to my facebook, not wanting to offend (or bore) people. I even created a separate twitter account for home education.

    However, now I think the time has come to raise our heads again and stand up proudly to say that as home educators, we are doing a respectable and honourable (though still unusual) thing, and despite the government’s continued attempts to unjustly slander us one way or the other, we are doing nothing worthy of government interference. We’re not invisible, and the government already has plenty of powers to deal with illegal schools as well as home educators that might happen to break the law in any way, without curtailing the liberty of the rest of us.

    For any who are in doubt, Home education is a legal option; indeed it is the legal default option, and it always has been, since even parents who use schools retain the responsibility for educating their children, and the government’s attempts to shut us down by conflating us with illegal schools, just like all their other spurious claims, is completely unjustified.

    Over to you:

    Do you have any questions about home education?

    I will attempt to post more often with details of what we do as part of our home education lifestyle, connections to the wider community (both locally and nationally), books and resources we use, interests we pursue, places we go and activities we engage in.

    If you are a home educator, what are your plans for raising the positive profile of home education in 2016?

     
  • Sharon Tootill 2:43 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: freedom, , , , ,   

    Election Thoughts 

    On a selfish note:

    For myself, and for every other home educating family in the UK, I am mightily relieved that our liberty is not immediately threatened as it would unequivocally have been had Labour won. Ed Balls specifically told us that he would “finish the job” of eradicating us if Labour got back in. So the fact that Balls has been ‘snipped’ is deeply satisfying.

    And for my thoughts in more depth, see my personal blog:
    https://cityborgontheprairie.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/election-thoughts/

     
    • Firebird2110 4:51 pm on May 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It was like my birthday had come early. I’d only a few minutes before said to my brother that the one thing I really wanted was for Ed Balls to loose his seat and lo and behold it was true!

      Like

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