2. Prime Minister Prime Minister

Whether you love or hate the present prime minister he is in place due to charisma, a straight talking politician, a showman with a common touch. But he is not the first, and perhaps something of a turned down version of a previous prime minister Lloyd Geoge.

Lloyd George was described as a “cavorting charlatan”, a “bully”, a “rogue” and a “scoundrel”, who “would not recognise truth,” He was ruthlessly ambitious, and didn’t mind who knew it.
The population joked that Lloyd George had a child in every town.

Similarly he was untouchable for a while. Whatever he did: he got away with.
But when a charasmatic leader loses his shine. He’s dealt with quickly.

And then followed by a more traditional boring politician.

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North London Counsellor Blog 2022
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1. April Ashley Trans Trailblazer

April Ashley  had gender reassigned therapy male to female in 1960.

Anyone can barely imagine the level of prejudice and hatred against transgender at this time.         April Ashley pictured in 1969
Born in Liverpool and one of nine children she went to sea as a teenager.

She became a model only for a short time as a newspaper outed her.
She was married to an aritsocrat, but at divorce the marriage was anulled, and she got nothing.
She opened her own restaurant, had a heart attack and retreated from the public eye.

A life masterclass on how to survive judgement and prejudice.
April Ashley 29 April 1935 – 27 December 2021

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42. Fatherless Children Coincidence

Back in the day hundreds of American psychologists flew into city psychology conference centres. On the first day  they were asked to silently mingle around the conference hall and to pair off with another person. The criteria would be if you liked the look of the person, or they felt familiar.

Then they were asked to sit down & talk about their childhoods. Suprisingly or Unsurprisingly they identified similar strong themes, events, & traumas. The idea being that we send out secret silent messages of criteria we need to connect to another. We have little choice of who our partners and friends are. We just repeat what was imprinted early on.

Take the dating couple, worn down by a series of first dates. An immediate connection born of familiarity and comfort. Later discovering the early loss of their fathers. The trauma bond. Then moving into the woman’s flat. The block building which unknown to them both was originally an orphange for Fatherless Girls.
Fatherless Children Coincidence

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41. Truth or Peace at Xmas Dinner?

Truth or Peace at Christmas Dinner?

One of the flashpoints of Christmas conflict is the Christmas dinner table. This is where all the dispersed arguing in the kitchen, the smokers outdoors, upstairs preparing bedrooms, comes together over the food.
There are broadly two camps: peace and truth.

The Peace guests rely on suppression, avoidance, and distraction tactics. Desperately trying to avoid hurt, confrontation and possible family fracture. The peace guests control the conversation to the unpolitical and banal.

The Truth guests see this startegy as cowardly, and deceitful. What better platform to set up the day by being truthful, honest and having everything out. Guests can have a good fight then settle down purged of bitterness and anger to have a restful authentic day.

Neither seems to work as one strategy excludes the other. The idea is to focus on what brings you together to the table with a common aim. To pretend the family dynamics come together just at Christmas is unlikely. They are a window into what happens the rest of the year.

Is the Christmas the best time to look for a change?

 

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40. SelfEsteem “I do this all the time”

Self Esteem sings ” I do this all the time”

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A modern treatise to feminism wrapped up in a ballad.
The lyrics have it all. Male Oppression, Female Oppression.
Age, Marriage, Children, Friends, Female Appearance.

A guide to living a life free of social constraints and institutions. Worth a try but not possible? But important to have an awareness of what society expects of women and men. Is modern civilization freeing or abusing?

Mass production, power, light and clean water demand conformity. But a what price? Or does the mainstream support and create the platform for the avante garde?

Is the role of man and woman improving and the relationship between them more equal? Men say yes, and women no?

“Look up, lean back, be strong
You didn’t think you’d live this long
Be as one, hold on, steady stand
For as long as you think you can

Old habits die for a couple of weeks
And then I start doing them again
This sun is making me feel like I’m missing out on something
But if I went to your barbecue
I’d feel uncomfortable and not be sure what to say anyway
It’s like when I go to your birthday
Drinks to congratulate you being the age I already thought you were
Or not, I don’t know
It’s a miracle, I’ve remembered at all
When I’m buried in the ground
I won’t be able to make your birthday drinks
But I will still feel guilty
You see, when the air warms up like this
It brings every single memory of you back
And it makes me so sick, I can’t breathe
Except I am still breathing, aren’t I?
Sometimes I think that’s the problem

Look up, lean back, be strong
You didn’t think you’d live this long
Be as one, hold on, steady stand
For as long as you think you can

Be very cafeful out there
Stop trying to have so many friends
Don’t be intimidated by all the babies they have
Don’t be embarrassed that all you’ve had is fun
Prioritise pleasure
Don’t send those long paragraph texts
Stop it, don’t
Getting married isn’t the biggest day of your life
All the days that you get to have are big
Be wary of the favours that they do for you
They’ll tell you I’m wrong, they’ll tell you (I do this all the time)
They’ll tell you I’m wrong, they’ll tell you (I do this all the time)

Look up, lean back, be strong
You didn’t think you’d live this long
Be as one, hold on, steady stand
For as long as you think you can

All you need to do, darling, is fit in that little dress of yours
If you weren’t doing this you’d be working in McDonald’s
So try and cheer up, I’m not sure
You’re moving around too much and you need to stand still
Be more like Mairead, shh
Stop showing off
You’re a good girl
You’re a good, tall girl
You’re a good, sturdy girl
One day I would love to tell you
How the best night of your life
Was the absolute worst of mine

Look up, lean back, be strong
You didn’t think you’d live this long
Be as one, hold on, steady stand
For as long as you think you can

Now and again you make complete sense
But most of the time I’m sat here feeling stupid for trying
My hunger times, my impatience equals the problem
You’re beautiful and I want the best for you
But I also hope you fail without me
It was really rather miserable trying to love you

I’ll take care, I’ll read again, I’ll sing again, I will
I’ll take care, I’ll read again, I’ll sing again, I will
We laid there in the darkness and you were asleep
And I wasn’t checking my phone for a moment and I felt—”



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39. Eileen Ash: 110 not out

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Eileen Ash Woman Cricketer (30 Oct 1911 – 3 Dec 2021)
Eileen Ash died last Friday aged 110.
Thriving on a diet of yoga, red wine and a positive attitude. She was an international cricketer, worked for MI6, and lived through two World Wars.

Up until 105 years old she did yoga twice a week and drove her yellow mini around the city of Norwich.

The Nursing home where she lived celebrated her 110th Birthday with a commemorative cricket bat with the inscription “Eileen Ash: 110 not out”

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38. Leadership in a UK Crisis

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In a crisis what type of leadership does the UK Have? At one extreme there is the Downing Street leadership style where everything is good until it isn’t. Fundamentally libertarian the culture is to let people do what they like. People are sensible enough to be able to make risk assessments and adapt their behaviour accordingly. Born out of a conservative ideology that people are self motivating and autonomous.

At the other extreme is the scientific community. Expert, evidence based and cautious. Taking the bottom line, at times the frightening bottom line peddling awareness, seeing what happened before, and doing everything early.
And the rest inbetween.
After two lockdowns seen as a questionable line of defence not taken up by some countries. Too little too late? One view is the UK locked down a month too late. The science community supported an early lockdown: the libitarian did not. Does the evidence support the efficacy of mask wearing? Not collecting in large public groups? Again science versus Libertarian.

So you take your values and align to the nearest leadership style to those values. From you telling you what to do: to someone else telling you what to do.
Are you out for yourself, or concerned with others who you will never meet or know? Do you wear a mask not get sick? Do you wear a mask to stop others not getting sick?

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37. Terence Wilson aka Astro UB40

Terence Wilson aka Astro was a founding member of the band UB40. Created in Birmingham by working class lads on the dole. UB40 was the claim form to get your money.

Born out of the turbulent times of Thatcher’s Britain in the 1970s. UB40 was a protest band with a protest attitude. Working class, with an ethnically diverse line up, they raged reggae style to the life style of mass unemployment. The era that started deregulation and global industrialisation.

Overlapping with Rock against Racism, and the Anti-Nazi League, UB40 were at the musical forefront of a divided nation seeking to redress a surge of nationalism and anti immigration.

With the theme of racism and the attention brought to how the world’s population were hell bent on destroying themselves and the planet.
UB40 appears amazingly topical.

You might think not much has changed.

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North London Counsellor Blog 2021
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36. Power in Sport – All Change 2

In the constant era of change there are gains and losses. Humans move in pendulum swings. The pressure of change isn’t slow or subtle. It gains and builds pressure slowly and surely. And then breaks. A tipping point.

The cry of woke is used to describe a preciousness gone too far. An over sensitivity. It’s the pendulum. It might go back to an mean/average. But it takes time.

Power is rarely given up freely. More like a pack of wolves on prey. The wolf that fights dirtiest get the biggest piece. What would it take for all the wolves to equally share the spoils? Not possible. It’s biological. The fittest surivive. Humans maybe are more like wolves.

Unable to share power: the status quo is tightly gripped onto. Nobody wants to let go of their power and influence. Particularly if they feel it’s being taken away from them through being ignored and neglected.

Public power forced an MP to resign against the government’s wishes. He was found to have broken the rules. Change the rules. But democracy won this time.

So the power is challenged, held onto, fought over.
But who has it? Does that change?

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35. Power in Sport – All Change

Change is painful. Resistance, Stubborness, Denial, Turning a Blind Eye.
Cricket the Gentleman’s Game seen as systemically racist, British Rowing failing at the Olympics losing a winning coach are just two of the most recent examples.

Through the cycle of a human life we are born, bred and for a brief time are current with the culture and trends of the present. Our morals and values are set in this time: so as the years pass we can become more out of touch, seeing the new present as unfamiliar and threatening.

Even if we remain the same: the backdrop us behind fuelled by time keeps moving. Values and morals change. We either acknowledge this or feel left behind. To hang onto the values of the time we grew up with is natural. But it can catch us out.

Race has caught out the white majority. Threatened by a loss of a way of life, overwhelmed by immigration. A refusal to move from exclusion to inclusion. Badly handled by the cosmopolitan democratic elite. Like the Yorkshire Cricket Board.

The relationship to authority has changed. Authoritarian demands with bullying is familiar to some but no longer tolerated. For some this is a problem. How do you motivate athletes without yelling direct commands at them? Like British Rowing.

Change seems only to happen at the point of collapse. Creating an intolerable pause, a regroup, renewal then moving forward to new success. This takes time, and is used as a reason to keep the status quo.

If you heard nasty noises coming from your car engine/battery you would stop the car. Not try to maintain the same speed by fixing it by climbing out onto the bonnet.
Change takes time. A lessening of success. It’s slow and painful.

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