Sunday, 28 February 2016

Raising money for British Heart Foundation

Last year my wife, Sam, did a sponsored De-Chox to raise money for the British heart foundation.

For a whole month she gave up chocolate in all its forms which for her is a HUGE deal but she was strong and succeeded in raising many monies.
This year she is taking Sophie along and our little five year old has vowed to be as strong as her Mum - even though her chocolate in take is fairly low anyway.

 For those of you who aren't regular readers my son George (14 months old) was diagnosed with Pulmonary atresia before he was born. The left atrium was non-existent and the ventricle that pushes blood to the lungs massively under developed. At three days old he had heart surgery to put a shunt in his heart and again at 8 months to turn his heart from a defective four chamber heart to an effective two chamber one. In three years he has to have a final surgery to complete this.

The British heart foundation were a great resource of information for us to research the condition and what needed to be done, meet other families who have gone through what we were about to go through.

Commonly you think Heart problems and you think of over weight people suffering heart attacks but it really does strike many. There are conditions that I'd never even dreamed of let alone thought one of my children would be struck with.

Sam has joined a couple of the support groups where parents with Heart babies can get together to talk, socialise and help each other through and there are some truly heart breaking stories with children, some only a few days old, in life or death states and sadly - not all are as lucky as George.

The Heart Foundation does so much good work in research and support to try and help sufferers and their families and is deserving support.
Sam's target is £75 and I believe she's almost made it - please help her, even if it is a few quid.

Do it for the kids, do it for yourself in case you get heart problems,  do it to make my life hell... Whatever floats your boat!

Here's her Justgiving page if you want to help.


Monday, 22 February 2016

My wager on the Brexit referendum

With the announcement that the UK is to hold a referendum all the political parties are drawing up lines.

The Liberal Democrats are united as part of the IN choice and will be joined (eclipsed) by elements from the Tories and Labour against UKIP, George Galloway and elements of Labour and the Tories.

For me it is a no brainer and the EU membership offers vast opportunities if we led and tried to reform it rather than follow the UKIP line of voting "No" to everything if they turn up at all. Also with my belief structure a united Europe with a strong Germany at the heart is always an appealing notion!

Any way I won't try and sway your vote (just yet) as this isn't today's scope.

My big question is why are we IN parties going to bother? Brexit will win hands down.

I caught a few minutes of Murnighan earlier and someone was comparing the two line ups and suggested the Out camp needed to work on their image and that got me thinking....

Yes, George Galloway (possibly the most hated person in British politics by politicians) is a liability, yes there will be infighting by Tories and Labour unhappy with being on the same platform and then there is the UKIP scion which no one wants to openly admit working with.

Ultimately though their disunity and infighting will not damage their campaign at all as the vote is all about the issue not how they go about it.

For years the British press has been filling their headlines with stories of Europe with not all of them true, after all stories of the EU investing in community projects, forming international police task forces to combat major crimes or getting rid of those pesky data roaming fees just doesn't sell papers as blowing up little stories into chaos.

In the last fifteen years I've seen British sovereignty under threat more times than in the fifty preceding years. We've had X million Poles, X million Romanians, X many Hungarians and now a wave of countless ISIL terrorists are coming via Greece and Turkey disguised as refugees all granted citizenship by Germany and allowed to come here to steal our jobs and benefits! The EU have attacked our Chocolate, our bananas need straightening, our laws, our way of life and their courts (which are separate to the EU) have over ridden the decisions of our judges on our crimes etc... Bastards.

Brexit is seen as the only way to stop these countless waves and raise the drawbridge guaranteeing British people their money and jobs for hard working Britons (Though I look forward to the waves of former unemployed fruit picking or manning the grills at MacDonald's), make Britain Great again and restore sovereignty to the country before returning it to its former glory.

There is such a web of half and untruths to fight through and deep seated fears that ultimately the "In" campaign have a veritable mountain to climb and the victory we're all smugly thinking isn't as achievable as we think (though I pray that it will be) and come the end of June we'll be saying good-bye to our European buds and isolating ourselves further.

This is all before you say "The Lib-" (usually when doors close or interest is lost). Farrage still has a lot of support from grass roots who think he can do no wrong.

I fear that it is so unachievable that I'm close to asking why bother? It isn't like the plucky Rebellion vs. the Empire with its Death Star - it's the same number of fighters vs five a Death Stars and a fleet of Stardestroyers... 

So confident am I in my defeatist prediction that I will make this wager - *if* the UK votes to stay In I will put in the Acknowledgments of my next book; "Thanks to Nigel & George for pulling a Porkins" 

Come on Britain... It's worth voting "In" for that!