Dear Boris

Dear Boris,

I know you are a very busy man at the moment so I will try and keep this as brief as I can. I’m perceptive so I can sense you have much more important things to do. After all your hair isn’t going to style itself is it? Also, you’ve got to probably plan to find another way of getting to the destination of your choosing for your summer break this year haven’t you? What with all the planes being grounded and the airlines going out of business.

I know my problems, seem rather trivial in comparison to yours but as Pete on Gogglebox said you are “our hero” so I thought I’d mention my predicament as you always seem to know what to do.

For example, the Corona virus broke out three months ago and I for one feel so assured and protected by the incredibly well planned and processed measures you systematically got in place to prepare for every eventuality.

For a man obsessed with Winston Churchill Boris, rest assured he would be so proud of you.

You and your government have thought everything through.

There have been announcements after announcements. All carefully considered before release, and all agreeable and adhered to by the British public.

You tell idiots to stop panic buying so they do stop. Immediately.
You suddenly advise us all to not meet socially or go to pubs or restaurants. It was a good job all businesses knew of this beforehand wasn’t it?

You advise people over 70 to self-isolate. Which is fine because it means younger family members can now go out to supermarkets for them and get all we need from the empty shelves because we don’t have a job anymore. You really do think of everything.

Meanwhile schools are open so little children who show most resilience to the disease can mingle with other children who have got it and then take it back home as a little present and pass it onto their parents. Tell you what, I’d give it another week or so before you close the schools, because by then, all the parents will have Corona virus and they can then pass it onto their relatives when they finally get to look after the children. That’s just in case mummy and daddy still have a job to cling on to.

You said you will “do the right thing at the right time.” Oh you certainly are, well done.

Yes, there was thermal passenger checking at every airport, central station, and port, to minimise the risk of it getting in. Test kits then and now for people to prove to their employer they have the virus for SSP. Good job testing will not now only happen at hospitals. That would be silly wouldn’t it?

Where are my manners? I have spent so long talking about your fantastic recent achievements I forgot to mention my little gripes. Oh right well, just quickly then. I recently started a new job. Now, I don’t know whether you know but most jobs now have a probation period. I know, it is strange isn’t it? It’s almost as though we’ve already done something wrong. Anyway, first three months were fine. I was even told not to take too much pressure on. Then after a further 3 months I was sacked for poor performance. Imagine that eh?

Now like I say, I know you are busy. I know the government’s likes to provide for people that have babies every 5 years so they don’t have to find a job. Or make the system so complicated no one can follow it. So it is made easier for asylum seekers, while others who need it have to jump through hoops and struggle.

Now for me. For someone that has paid taxes and national insurance for the last 30 years, what help will I get now? What help will I get while all job leads are on hold? Where my rent is astronomical? Where the bank won’t lend me money at the rates you say you have made available? What can you offer me? Where is help for a single person who identifies as male with no dependants?

It’s a good job none of our nurses have left the profession isn’t it?
It’s a good job no hospitals have been closed isn’t it?
It’s a good job we have enough Police if things get nasty?

I’m sure, because you are so well respected, and the British public are so at ease, we will never see the need for armed guards at supermarkets to stop stockpiling, but it’s nice to know you can do that if need be isn’t it? And nice to know too, that should anyone step out of line, no courts have closed so those offenders can be quickly processed and put in a bright shiny well-staffed prison for a couple of days to cool off.

Well done Boris. I thank you for your wisdom, insight, and power to lead from the front. Just think if you were on a six month probation. You would have passed it with flying colours wouldn’t you? Just look at how well you’ve dealt with things so far? The NHS was apparently in crisis. What crisis? And then there are those floods that you went to see once they had gone. It’s nice to know all of the countries defences against anything will work as well as those flood defences did for thousands of homes in England isn’t it?

Best regards and all my praise. Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration.

Mark

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Human Education… (The start of something… possibly a book.)

I’ve always been confused, bewildered, and fascinated by human evolution from a very early age, but more so now.

Principally my questions relate around how the human species developed. For example, the body and the brain. Which came first? Now, it seems a silly question I know but bear with me and tell me when either it or I doesn’t make sense. Knowing the minuscule amount that I do about the human body, nature, and the existence of anything doesn’t really hold me in good stead to make any assumptions I know but let’s go with it. Because in a way, it does.

We can call learning education or sometimes we could, if we were morose call learning conditioning. Why? Because with some things and some instances, we are telling children how to think. We are saying this is the way it is, this is the way things are rather than asking them what they think. I realise there are limits in how far we should go with the freedom of education and I agree and applaud that sometimes we can substantiate this with science. The problem can be though that in some cases the science is guess work or arrived at by assumptions and speculation. Allow me to give an example of where my idea of freedom of education and the assumption of science can be good and bad.

If we have asked a child through the centuries to answer the question what shape do they think the earth is and some say square we could ask them why they think it is square? They may give a perfectly plausible explanation as to why they think what they do. Then in response, over the centuries the retort from an adult could have changed over time. From the Pythagoras theory of the earth being spherical to the flat earth theory sometime after, scientific evidence has evolved and changed our view of the answer. Until, we can, without any shadow of doubt show a child a satellite image of earth and say, see it is round.

My points are just because we think something is so doesn’t mean it is until the answer is unequivocal. Assumptions are very dangerous indeed. Whether it is assuming that your partner understands what you meant by a nod or a noise to assuming we know exactly how the mind works or how we have evolved.

Conversely I concede it is dangerous to have too much freedom. For a child to say I think the earth is square and this to remain unchallenged or the contrary unexplained is also dangerous. I guess, in the end science plays a massive part in the explanation of something or even the evidence for the thing itself. However unless that science is exact, then it is unhelpful. Do you agree? Furthermore, even when there is scientific evidence, we must be careful not to rely on it unless it is conclusive and also to always not omit the credence of common sense.

Why have I gone off on a tangent? Good question. I will try and explain myself. I use the example of teaching children because this is where learning starts and has more influence. It is great that a human being can learn pretty much anything at any time although I appreciate it is more difficult when we get older.

I’m using the teaching example at all because if we look at the teaching of a child and the teaching of an adult the process is different. A child generally absorbs knowledge like a sponge. They may agree with what they are being taught, but if not and if they chose to say something they won’t care of the consequence. They may just speak out. As we get older, as a child becomes an adult and may choose to follow an academic path their response to being taught evolves. May I suggest that once an adult we as humans have more focus on learning what we are being taught, and less focus on challenging it, even though we have more experience to possibly do so. Our ability to challenge is balanced against ridicule or redress. We take less risk and I don’t think this is right.

So, back in the room. Well I am yes, for now. Where does that leave me and my questions on how humans developed and how we use our brains? Well, it is a fantastic contradiction in our belief of the educational system and knowledge in general that we are only taken seriously by our piers if indeed we are in a circle of piers to begin with.

I actually find it hilarious, if not at all ever so slightly worrying that everyone will stop and listen to a child from Sweden who flies around the world telling everyone that anyone over thirty has ruined her life, but no one without letters after their name can challenge human evolution or the way the brain works.

So, when it comes to myself, because I have had a basic education, I am not ‘conditioned’ into thinking certain things. I actually like this because it means I can think what I like, however absurd, and do it unchallenged. I’d like to be challenged and put right in my thinking but no one would listen in the first place.

Also, even with that basic education, because it was moons ago, most of the things that were taught to me in the subjects that now really interest me, have turned out to be wrong anyway. Who would have thought it? Science fact has become science fiction. By the way, I’d like to point out that I was taught the world was round when at school. I’m not quite that old.

I know, I could go online and read about the development of the neocortex and pallium but hey, where is the fun in that when I can bug you all instead?

Mark Scotchford © 13/03/2020

Posted in Neurology, Psychology & Psychiatry | Leave a comment

See Saw

Bought a dress
It was like your other one
Fail to impress
No matter what is done

Found that film
One always wanted to see
Couldn’t remember
What the hell is it with me?

Compliment and play fair
Never seems enough
Conversant and always care
Reply always tough

Out of mind
Except when something to do
Fed up being kind
Is there a way through?

Nothing in the fridge
Not got a lot in
Not even a sandwich
How long has it been?

As soon as left
Cook yourself a meal
Just feel bereft
Tell me this is real

Women not in their place
Don’t have to cook and clean
Jealousy for a friend in your face
What on earth does it all mean?

Cannot continue
Must change your way
Ache in every sinew
Why would I want to stay?

Always a competition
Have to have upper hand
Met with derision
Trying to row on land

Have to say goodbye
Both move on to someone new
Shouldn’t need to ask why
It’s what you’ve made me do

Mark Scotchford © written 09/07/2019 typed up 01/09/2019

Posted in Loss, Love, Poems | Leave a comment

Two Many

Annoyed at him
Was in love with you
This relationship worked
Just us two

What was he thinking?
How could it end well?
Whip up the wind
Bask in the swell

Causing havoc
Just for effect
Gone forever
But won’t end yet

It’s the time it happens
We all have to change
These aren’t cushions or flowers
Want to rearrange

The whole thing
All that we know
Smashed to oblivion
With a show and go

All those times
Decades of deceit
Held on a pedestal
Prefer to be at his feet

Still can’t fathom
Plunge into the deep
Go if still want to
His to keep

But this be the trap
Fallen into my friend
Can’t count on a heart
That has nothing to lend

Mark Scotchford © written on 06/08/2019 typed up 01/09/2019

Posted in Loss, Love, Poems | Leave a comment

Inconsequential

Your opinion doesn’t matter now
Why did it ever?
Don’t answer back Son
It’s not big or clever

Stop asking questions
Just do as you are told
Wait until I am stronger
Or you are too old

All those orders
Constantly told how to think
Yourself missing days
That will be the drink

Will there ever be a time?
When you look back
Say sorry and care
As though talking to the third person
Because never really there

Don’t ever imagine
That you taught me what to do
As usual you are wrong
Because it is all of me
And all the others only
I am the polar polarity opposite
Of everything that is you

Mark Scotchford © written 26/08/2019 typed up 29/08/2019

Posted in Loss, Poems | Leave a comment

Bonding

From cradle
To the slave
From nothing
To the mouth that gave

Given
And well to receive
With temptation and touch
Who would ever leave?

Subservience
Isn’t always about eagerness to please
Does the master?
Ever get to tease

Look up
Down below
And to the side
Tell me the reasons it is wanted
Remembering why we hide

Let it happen
Lose control, keep saying
Simply just don’t care
The body may heal
Danger and damage
Will always be there

Mark Scotchford © Written 09/08/2019 typed up 28/08/2019

Posted in Love, Poems | Leave a comment

Never Enough

You know when you are in a really good mood?
And there is a song you’ll play over and over again
And however loud you play it
It isn’t loud enough

However much you move, dance, or jump around
It’ not enough
It’s as though you want more and more
Even though
You know
More will never be enough

Well that’s where I’m going to take you
That’s how I want to make you feel
I’ll make it so you’ll never have enough of me
You’ll always want more
Even when you’re tired and sore

I’ll be the music
The beat and the deep base
You’ll dance underneath and on top with lithe movement
I’ll never forget your face

Mark Scotchford © First written 10/08/2019 typed up 28/08/2019

Posted in Loss, Love, Poems | Leave a comment