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Posts tagged: opinion

I am hoping that as we have to, sadly, come to terms with the fact that terror is becoming a regular part of our lives that we can resist the temptation to close up and build walls both figuratively and literally.

Right now different communities need to embrace each other even more rather than become more divided.

Remember these attacks are by extremists, yes I know they hide amongst the normal and look normal and that is scary but remember they are not normal.

I urge everyone to ensure we don't become more divided and to make an effort in these coming days to draw closer to people who are different to you.

I am not just talking about race or religion here but everyone.

Right now we are a nation in the heat of an election in which, for the first time in a long time, the main parties look very different in what they are proposing and what they believe in. This has made it a passionate and sometimes particularly nasty campaign with accusations of bias and unfairness being raised daily.

Many of us are being challenged as we learn about the political beliefs of our work colleagues and neighbours. Maybe some of us are saying things that will make our relationships with these people harder once the election is over.

So just stop and think for one minute. These terror attacks are by people who want to rob you of the ability to have those different opinions. They want you to live under their law where you don't get to have an opinion.

So right now the best thing you can do to beat them is to celebrate everybody who thinks or believes differently to you.

So those people you have been arguing with on Facebook and Twitter recently. Let them know that you would defend their right to have their own opinion more than you would defend the opinions you argue over.

Find someone you completely disagree with and have coffee with them and discover all the things you do agree on.

Why not spend time with a Tory or Labour supporter. Why not really go for it and even invite a UKIP supporter or one of those Greens.

If you have a faith then make an effort to get to know people of other faiths. I am not asking you to believe what they believe I am just saying your faith should not seperate you from them as a human being.

Terror is designed to bring fear. Fear brings separation and as the old saying goes "Divided we fall".

Let's demonstrate by action not just words that terror is not the answer.

The opposite of fear is love. Let's demonstrate our ability to disagree in peace is an act of love and is why these people will never win.

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I first watched this TED talk by Ken Robinson about 4 years ago. Since then it has remained one of my favourite TED talks. I was interested to learn today that it is also one of the most watched TED talks ever. This actually makes me pretty sad as it also means it must be one of the most ignored TED talks ever.

It's almost 9 years old and speaks a simple truth about how we are robbing many of our kids of their futures. Having had 5 kids go through the UK education system I have seen the reality of this in our own home. If you don't fit the pattern then you are pretty much written off or sometimes even punished.

Teachers have been turned into robots , churning out repeat goods year after year. Teachers with creativity have themselves been forced to conform (or leave) which is absurd. Even worse the industrialisation of the process has facilitated and allowed a lot of people to become teachers who, in my opinion, have nothing to offer our children other than the rules and the system.

My favourite, and most productive teachers at school were always the slightly odd ones who lived on the edge of, or maybe even slightly outside of the rules.

It makes me angry that no government has the brains or the courage to actually do something about making education a journey of exploration and discovery rather than a list of results for political gain.

If you have never watched it please do. It's just under 20 minutes long and may just open your eyes to the dark place our education system is in.

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At heart I am a pioneer. Now admittedly I haven't actually pioneered anything you have probably heard of but I am always starting a new project or setting out on a new idea. I just can't help it.

What you have to understand about pioneers is that we're not trying to get away from a bad past or even necessarily unsatisfied with the present. It's just we always feel the future can be better if we're prepared to explore it.

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I am hoping that Scotland will vote for independence this week. Not because I understand the economic arguments, in fact I have no idea if in the short term independence is economically good for Scotland or the rest of the UK.

It's also not because I am trying to get rid of Scotland from the UK. I love Scotland and enjoy the rivalry the Scots and the English have as one union yet two nations. No, I want Scotland to vote for independence because it will force a political and governmental shake up of the UK that we so desperately need.

That might seem a little selfish hoping Scotland vote yes so that the rest of the UK gets to change. However I do genuinely feel that with independence Scotland will itself have a huge opportunity to forge out a new modern nation free of the baggage of hundreds of years of entrenched politics.

The NO campaign has become desperate over the last few days and started making any offer it thinks it needs to get a no vote. These offers do mean the UK will never be the same again regardless of which way Scotland votes. The trouble is the people making these offers have no way of ensuring these measures will ever actually get implemented. In reality any attempt to implement these rushed out ideas will just get completely bogged down in arguments over what they actually mean and our currently ineffective governmental system creating years of bitterness and arguments.

A yes vote gives us no choice but to examine every aspect of UK life including national government, local government, pensions, taxes, energy , defence and the NHS. The process of independence for Scotland will provide both Scotland and the rest of the UK an opportunity for change, that in my opinion, is more important than any short term ramifications independence might bring to either side.

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