Living the Fenner Brockway

A Man at Peace

A Man at Peace

Fenner Brockway was a man prepared to meet the personal cost of speaking out to uphold personal principles and 2015 will mark 30 years since his death.  In the UK, today, the appalling treatment of NHS whistleblowers is in the news.  I know from personal experience that this is the tip of the iceberg, hiding the much wider scale of staff abuse within the so-called ‘care industry’.

From my own perspective, voicing concerns comes from a conscious willingness to hold to account those who make promises without ever having any honest intention of meeting them, combined with an innate, autistic naive belief that they really want to hear constructive criticism and make things right.

Management teams are often supported by systems designed to help them maintain the pretence that all is as it should be while the vulnerable they are charged with protecting are left bereft at the realisation that those they trusted will silence their concerns.  It can take a while to make that discovery and for the most vulnerable, it may never happen.

So, if these management teams are so proud of their work, they will have no fear of staff approaching them with concerns about common practices and staff will have no fear of fulfilling their duty in reporting these concerns.  Grievance procedures will be followed with integrity and monitored by an independent observer and local politics will play no part in proceedings. Continue reading

Follow My Leader?

Does our tough-man ‘Cambo’ lead by example? Does he want us to do as he does and not just as he says?

Well, if so and you get a bill that you’ve agreed terms on but now just don’t fancy paying – simply don’t. It’s fine, Cambo says so and is setting the example he wants us to follow.

If you can’t pay, because of a change of circumstances – say our leaders mucked up everyone’s plans for life – well then you’ll be fined, gaoled and stigmatised, but just get a bit miffy and you’ll look like you have principles.

Isn’t that the sort of scenario that goes through your head between the first and second sounding of the alarm clock on a morning? Weird, unsettling but containing a modicum of reality somewhere? Continue reading

Food For Thought

With the intensity of the Scottish Independence debate wafting out of the zone of frivolous apathy (to be hijacked by the bossies, of whatever ilk) towards the realisation that the date that was plucked out of thin air in the belief that it would never actually arrive (Nostradamus’ influence, perhaps?) we do now realise that a very serious topic, and all of the consequences thereof, will be decided on, next week.  That will be it.  Then the next blame game will commence.

Scotland the Brave will be in the spotlight, viewed from all over the world.  Has the debate been conducted well?  Will we be viewed as a country whose residents and leaders are worth listening to? Have our leaders led in a style that befits their status?  Is that status seen to be deserved?  Well, has the public been offered facts in an objective and pragmatic manner? I would say not – from my skewed perspective, of course. Continue reading