Friday, 29 June 2007

Spot the Nazi

Some pretty eye-catching ink on this chap.

Neo-Nazi Curtis Allgier killed a guard, broke out of prison in Utah and was later re-captured at a burger joint.

Pre-conceptions about tattooed people are not good. Who knows, the surgeon who saves your life, the lawyer who saves your ass, or even (God forbid) the consultant who saves your business, could all turn out to be tattooed.

So when this picture initially caught my eye, my first reaction was that facial tattoo’s on neo-Nazis were not good PR for the tattooed community.

But thinking again; possibly it should be compulsory for all neo-Nazis. It would make it easier for the rest of us to identify them, hunt them down and then dispatch them swiftly to whatever fucked-up Valhalla they aspire to…

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Same shit. New PM.

So we have a new Prime Minister. I feel that I should have something meaningful to say about it, but frankly I don't. Even to mention the event probably dignifies the occasion with more significance than it should have.

Ever since that fateful dinner at Granita it was clear that the price of Brown's succession would be a commitment to deliver more Blairism after Blair. New Labour is now in such a place that it is really unthinkable that it could go in any other direction. Blair-babe Harman's election to the deputy leadership only confirms quite how irrevocable this now is.

Obviously there is however a massive difference in personal style as Cavalier-Blair is replaced with Roundhead-Brown.

And funnily enough, in this age of dumbed-down presidential politics, where personality and image is everything, Brown's style (or lack of it) may actually be his saving grace. Blair's public school gloss has worn thin after all these years of spin, and there is now a widespread suspicion of untrustworthy
politicians. Cameron of course is cut from the same cloth - an opportunist with a toff's charm.

So it's now conceivable that although Brown will doubtless continue the same discredited policies, his dour Scottish Presbyterian bank manager persona may just help to keep the Blair Shit Project alive.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Blair & The Church

Having flirted with Catholicism for much of his life, Blair is now going to start the formal process of conversion.

I spent the first 18years of my own life being raised as a Catholic, and the next eight years in the pre-Blair-ite Labour Party before it was ruined. So I am inclined to simply say that the two parties thoroughly deserve each other. But then on reflection; Blair’s late conversion is symptomatic of his spineless careerism.

There can only be one possible explanation of why he didn’t take the step sooner; being a Catholic in this country is simply not a great career move. The 1701 Act Of Settlement prevents a Catholic from taking the position of monarch and also prevents a monarch from marrying a Catholic. But even Blair’s ambitions probably don’t go that far. Instead I am sure that he is aware that, although it is not constitutionally prohibited, Britain has never has a Catholic prime minister.
Why is this ?

One reason is xenophobia and anti-immigrant prejudice. With the exception of a few Brideshead-type aristos, and some quirky pockets such as part of Lancashire, Catholicism in England did not really survive the Reformation. There is therefore something distinctly ‘foreign’ about it. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century with mass immigration from Ireland, and to a lesser extent other parts of Europe, that there was a Catholic revival. (A phenomenon that we see again now with the arrival of Polish immigrants).

Even in that nation of immigrants, the USA, Catholicism was considered to be the faith of undesirable newcomers. White Anglo Saxon Protestants defined themselves as an elite to resist swamping by the later arrival of the Catholic hordes from Ireland, Italy, Poland and the Hispanic countries. Kennedy, the first and only Catholic president, had to defend himself against the accusation that Catholicism was un-American.

But there is also a totally justifiable suspicion of Catholics in public office.

Whilst it may seem reasonable to say that religious faith is a personal matter and need not influence the political process, no good Catholic would ever accept this . Because Catholicism is not a faith based simply on the individual's own supposed relationship with God.

Alone of the major world religions, Catholicism extends acknowledgement of the authority of the Church to a doctrinal point. It is what separates Catholicism from Protestantism: God’s will is supposedly not just revealed to the individual by the study of scripture, but by the active role of the Church that acts as God’s agent on earth. This point also separates Catholicism from Judaism and Islam, who both have no priests but only teachers to help the faithful interpret the scriptures. It may come as a shock but not even the most extreme fundamentalist imam claims the same divine authority as a humble Catholic parish priest.

Which is why Catholics in public office are always going to be problematic; their ultimate loyalties are always going to lie with the Church and not with the electorate.

In English history it is the same phenomenon expressed in both the homicidal fanatic Guy Fawkes and the noble refusnik Thomas More.
On the otherhand, I’ve always believed Oliver Cromwell to be much mis-understood on this matter. He certainly was pretty intense when it came to his own personal religion belief, but he was quite happy to extend this to others, even, and unusually for the times, to the Jews. But not to the Catholics.

They could not be trusted to put loyalty to the sovereign body of parliament before that of loyalty to Church. Which is why the Catholics were the most die-hard adherents to the King’s cause and encouraged him to seek alliances with the Irish, the French or the Spanish, just about anyone other than their own countrymen. And to be fair Cromwell had the same objection to Presbyterians who were willing to assist a Scottish invasion to further their Church’s cause.

Cromwell’s view of the Church was that of a congregation of like-minded individuals who were free to join, leave or set up their own congregations.
If we must have any religion at all (I’d much rather we didn’t) his is the only version that is compatible with a democracy.

And if all this sounds like an obscure historical rant, ask yourself could you trust a Catholic politician to set aside the Church’s view on abortion rights, homosexuality or sex education, if it ran contrary to the mandate of his party or the electorate as a whole ? And why not form a party to honestly express Catholic views ? This is what the Christian Democrats did in Europe, and such a party has always been Blair's spiritual (!) home.

Friday, 22 June 2007


My part of London doesn’t have many tower blocks. Most of the housing stock is terraced Victorian / Edwardian houses from the time when the area was a bastion of artisan / lower middle class respectability. With the onset of inner city decay, most of the larger houses have been divided into flats. Other purpose built flats have also been built on some sites that would previously have housed industries now disappeared.

But whatever the form of housing, one un-mistakable feature on all of them is the proliferation of those fucking hideous satellite TV dishes.

An apt symbol of our post-Thatcher times; the age of the homeowner-democracy myth. Spurning anything that smacked of collectivism, in the ‘eighties we were told that we would be empowered by each owning our own home. Greed was good and there was no such thing as society.

Now in the ‘noughties, we are bombarded with 24 hour access to multi-media, mind-numbing, dumbed-down, celebrity/reality bollocks.

Put the two together – and the result? Every house has its own individual satellite dish and in the case of multiple occupier dwellings, several dishes on the one house.

A visible reminder of quite how shallow our lives have become and a fucking ugly blot on the urban landscape too.

Would it be too far a stretch to think that we might have communal satellite dishes for which we paid a rental fee to access?

Maybe it’s the inevitable march of progress and the rot set in when we abandoned the communal well.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Another racist bites the dust.

The nation’s favourite bigot died yesterday.

Bernard - “I’m not a racist me – it’s all political correctness gone mad” – Manning.

I’ve never subscribed to ‘don’t talk ill of the dead’; he was a vile arsehole when he was alive and now he’s a dead vile arsehole.

His was the humour of the school yard bully, mocking any vulnerable minority. Such as the lone black policeman who was the focus of his act at a police charity dinner. Or the two black waitresses at a roundtable event. How sweet was it when a fly-on-the-wall documentary team followed his tour of India ? Manning was determined to show that his paki jokes would go do down as well there as on the white northern club circuit. With the tables turned and him now the minority, he died on his feet in front of bemused and offended audiences.

It was also the humour of the ignorant. He would rant that black and asian people weren’t truly British – how could they be they weren’t with ‘us’ in the war – where were they at Dunkirk ? Again sweet humiliation as he was challenged by Richard Wilson on the Mrs Merton Show, reminding him of the role of empire troops.

It was his appearance on this show that finally forced Manning to show his true colours. Previously he had denied that he was really a racist and that it was all 'just' comedy. He actually came out with the classic ‘just because a dog is born in a stable, it doesn’t make him a horse’ to refute that non-white could ever be considered British.

Doubtless in the inevitable obituaries it will be argued that Manning just reflected the cultural prejudices of working class people of his generation. Bollocks. My parents are of a similar age. It’s true that they occasionally use expressions that are out of step with current attitudes. But at worst they are awkward, like ‘coloured gentleman’. Or they are overly polite to black and asian people because they want to make them feel 'at home'. Embarrassing at times but certainly forgivable. They would never dream of using the kind of language that Manning did, out of basic politeness and courtesy. And of course that fundamentally is all that political correctness is about.

Bernard Manning 1930-2007. Bigot and supposed comedian. Good riddance.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Falklands 25 Years On

25 years ago I was doing my A levels. History was my thing, and I was thoroughly immersed in the nineteenth century. So when the Falklands came along, the parallels with Palmerston and his era of gun-boat diplomacy were immediate. The policy of embarking on colonial adventures whenever things got a bit sticky on the domestic front seemed to be the inspiration for Thatcher's thinking.

Only a year or so earlier I had been in the cadets and suffered from an obsession with all things military; a couple of the older lads from my unit actually served in the Falklands (and happily returned). But by the time of the war, I couldn't believe that so many people weren't able to see the connection with the mounting anger at unemployment and recession, and the off-setting feel-good factor of a war.

So the Falklands were a defining moment for me, when I first really became aware of politics. I was by then already a CND supporter, and my family background provided a vaguely socialist influence. Even so, it wasn't until the war engulfed the country in a tide of jingoism that I realised what it was to stand up and argue against the mainstream.

There is a danger that at its 25th anniversary the Falklands war seems like an echo from a 'cleaner' more innocent age. A war where civilian 'collateral' damage consisted of a few wounded sheep; there were even bayonet charges. Contrast this with Iraq and its daily news of suicide bombings and torture allegations .

But this is to ignore the sinking of the Bellgrano and the cynical manipulation of public opinion - (remember The Sun's "Gotcha" ?).
Still, the biggest war crime of the Falklands was in facilitating Thatcher's re-election in a frenzy of flag waiving. Without this Britain would now be a very different place. Who knows, there might never have been Blairism, we might even still have a Labour Party worthy of the name.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Cornwall for the Cornish ?

All nationalism is stupid.

At the BNP end of the spectrum, in all its racist and fascist varieties it is repugnant. In its Little Englander, xenophobic and small minded varieties it is infuriating and depressing. And then in its hopeless eccentric lost cause variety it is plain hilarious.

Which is why I have included in full this statement from the Cornish National Liberation Army. Funny at the moment , but just imagine for a minute that the arseholes who wrote this ever actually took power. The regime would look like a fourth reich in miniature complete with 'incomers' taking the place of Jews.

There's not much of a Black or Asian community in Cornwall, but just imagine if some of these 'incomers' were non-Aryan, or that it was Ainsley Harriot rather than Rick Stein who had a restaurant there. This whole business would seem a bit less comic then.

Any similarities to Reg's speech from Monty Python's People's Front of Judea are I'm sure coincidental - a sense of humour is probably not part of these guys' arsenal:

Following a recent meeting between members of the AN GOF militant organisation (originally founded in 1980 and reformed in 2007) and the Cornish National Liberation Army it has been agreed to stand both Organisations down and to reform as the CORNISH NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY. The CNLA will maintain an east and west division in Kernow.

The previous AN GOF programme to remove all flags of St. George (white with a red cross) from our Country of Cornwall (Kernow) will be incorporated into the new tactical objectives plan.

We are pleased to announce substantial funding from the other Celtic Countries and from Irish groups in the United States of America. Our growing membership, a combination of younger and more experienced patriots, operating in devolved groups under the control of a central Council have received training from members of the Free Wales Army (FWA), the Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA) and members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and the now defunct Provisional Irish Republican Army (Provo IRA). We have recruited members from one of these organisations into the CNLA and hope others will follow. We do have limited weapons available but intend to reply on more controlled methods to achieve our aims.

Two of our members have been approached by Cornish residents of the town regarding the problems caused by Stein. He owns businesses at: The Seafood Restaurant, St. Petroc´s Hotel, The Cafe and Stein´s Shop, The Seafood School, Fish and Chips and Deli and The St. Edmund´s Hotel.
Recently at the Obby Oss Day he was rough handled by local Cornish Nationals sickened at his presence in our Country whilst he was in a local Public House. He will deny all knowledge of this for fear of bad publicity to his business interests although what happened was witnessed by many.
In a recent letter to Tony Rickard, a local protest leader (who has no connection with the CNLA at all) he stated that other businesses ´have benefited from the rosy glow of (Stein´s) publicity´.They have not and many have witnessed the effect Stein has had in our Cornish port of Padstow. We feel that the time must now be here for Stein to feel the ´rosy glow´of a real fire and so we declare his businesses, him and his clients and their transport a bone fide target.

We have seen the effects of this arrogant English man in our Country causing property prices to swell. We also declare this man, his business and the Watergate Bay Hotel, clients and cars bone fide targets.

This English flag (white with a red cross) has no place in Kernow no more than it does in Scotland, Wales or Ireland. Its presence insults many Cornish people some of whom are afraid to say as much. It is a flagrant reminder of the 1549 Cornish Holocaust and is used by our enemies, the British National Party and the Unionist parties in the North of Ireland. The now defunct An Gof organisation removed such flags at Tresillian and on the Bodmin Moor cafes and elsewhere and are pleased to note that the untarnished and non Imperialistic flag of St Piran (black with a white cross) is now seen on the Moors. This St. Piran´s flag is a guarantee of safety whilst those flying the Flag of St. George (white with a red cross) are bone fide targets of the CNLA be such flyers English incomers, misinformed Cornish Nationals or Tourists. To fly this flag is an invitation for our devolved operatives to take action and other damage to property cannot be ruled out.

Whilst we greatly admire and respect the efforts of Cornish Nationals who seek change through moderate means, we note that previous members of the IRA are now in power in the North of Ireland showing that there is a place for military action. Therefore we may use direct means to underline the efforts of moderate Cornish Nationals.

Kernow Bys Vyken !

signed: The Council of the Cornish National Liberation Army

Thursday, 14 June 2007

In defence of design

Working at the edge of the design world - actually at the artisan end in pre-press - the whole 2012 Olympics logo business makes me cringe.

Let's face it the logo is crap. We set the task for some of our apprentice artworkers to see what they could come up with in an afternoon; and their results were all better.

I know that it's supposed to be considered not just as a static printed logo but also in dynamic multi-media form. I also know that the marketing brief, which specifically excluded emphasis on sport or London (?!?), was probably the main culprit in the fiasco. But it's still crap.

We're probably going to have to live with if for five years which is bad enough, but even worse the logo undermines the already fragile status of the public view of the design industry.

This was summed up in the business press when some city-type spoke about 'easy money again for the men who don't wear ties'.

I'm not going to defend the £400k fee, but as wasted money goes this is a drop in the ocean against the Iraq war, bonuses for city fat cats, or cronies in quangos. Even worse, there is the implication that design is really just poncey bollocks that anybody can do.

I know that on a scale of usefulness to society, designers come considerably behind doctors, nurses, fire-fighters, teachers, and social workers, but I would also say considerably ahead of futures traders, private equity consultants , tax advisers and corporate lawyers.

Designers can be guilty of the kind of appalling pretentiousness and bollock-speak that graces pseuds-corner ;although a lot of that comes more from the marketeers and brand strategy consultants than it does from actual designers.

But there's no getting around the fact that unless you live in a wilderness somewhere, every bit of your environment for better or worse, is made up of the work of designers.

And for this reason alone, we don't need to take any shit from city-suits.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Zen & the art of biking...

One of the nicer aspects of the chunky and primitive engineering of Harleys is that it is a bit easier for the ham-fisted amateur to work on them than hi-tech Japanese technology.

But precisely because I am that ham-fisted amateur, I thought it worth getting the bike shop to do a thorough 10,000 mile service if for no other reason than to get everything checked out.

I picked my bike up at the weekend but didn’t really have a chance to feel the benefit of it on my short run to work until yesterday when I took it for a late night spin around Epping Forest.

If you don’t ride than you’ll probably have no idea what I am talking about, but there is something very special about riding through the woods in the dark when everything feels just right: No body else around, just the smell of the trees and the purring of the engine. I first had the feeling as a kid when I rode my moped in the dark through Windsor Great Park, and every now and then it comes back to remind me just what it's all really about.

If I haven’t lost you already, then I probably will now by quoting Steve Earle’s ‘The Other Kind.’ Like the sticker that I once saw on a bike said; 'if I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand:’

"I woke up this morning and I took a look around at all that I got
These days I've been lookin' in the mirror and wondering if that's me lookin' back or not
I'm still the apple of my mama's eye
I'm my daddy's worst fears realized
Here of late all this real estate don't seem all that real to me sometimes

I'm back out on that road again
Turn this beast into the wind
There are those that break and bend
I'm the other kind, I'm the other kind

Now my old buddy, what's his name, says, "Man what the hell are you thinkin' 'bout
You got two of everything, but you hang your head like you was down and out"
And I'm damn sure not suffering from a lack of love
There's plenty more where that came from
But leave it up to me to say something wrong and hurt someone before I'm done

You see it used to be I was really free
I didn't need no gasoline to run
Before you could say Jack Kerouac you'd turn your back and I'd be gone
Yeah nowadays I got me two good wheels and I seek refuge in aluminum and steel
It takes me out there for just a little while
And the years fall away with every mile'

Monday, 11 June 2007

The CofE and shoot 'em ups.

Sony are getting some flak for including Manchester Cathedral as one of the back drops for the new PS3 game "Resistance'.

Apparently there are general objections to portraying a distorted view of reality, characters having unrealistic powers, promoting violence and encouraging people not to take responsibility for their actions. But that's enough about Christianity.(Sorry that was just too easy).

There are also specific objections that permission wasn't sought. But I don't suppose TS Elliot asked the archbishop for permission before writing "Murder In The Cathedral' either.

It's also raised that the setting of the game is insensitive because Manchester is a centre for gun crime. The game is about resistance to an alien invasion for fuck's sake! You could more credibly argue that this is insensitive to aliens, who if they do exist, (and the evidence is no worse than that for God) are always stereotyped as violent aggressors.

It all looks too familiar to me - yet another religious organisation bleating for some sort of special treatment again.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Tom Paine

The anniversary today of the death of Thomas Paine in 1809.

Which takes us (strangely enough) to that seventies cult classic Death Race 2000. Wonderfully cheap and tacky production values, but like much Sci-Fi, a serious message underlies it.

In the wake of global economic collapse the USA is run by a fascist government. In order to keep the citizenry happy and distracted, and to cull society of its weaker members, the government televises a Death Race across the country. The objective is not just speed but to accumulate points for running over the public – with maximum points for a kill on the elderly or children. (If this all seemed far fetched in the seventies it now seems like a possible new project for Endemol).

Significantly the leader of the resistance movement which plans to disrupt the race, assassinate the Fascist president and restore freedom to the USA, is Thomasina Paine. And hence the connection to today’s anniversary.

Tom Paine, a true working class hero. Originally apprenticed as a corset maker, he failed in pretty much every job he tried his hand at, and this forced him to emigrate to the American colonies. Largely self-educated, he was an inventor and scientist but above all a political philosopher who provided in three short works a democratic and radical ideology that inspired revolutionaries in America (Common Sense) and France (The Rights Of Man) and rational opposition to religion (The Age Of Reason). He was imprisoned in France during the Jacobin Terror but never wavered in his support for the revolution and returned to the US only when Napoleon replaced the republic with the empire.

In our own age when the US stands as a reactionary superpower he is a reminder of where it all came from. The Republicans and Democrats today would do well to re-acquaint themselves with somebody who was truly both these things.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

We need to understand this

The internet is over-populated with opinions about the Middle East – so I’ll make this short. The fortieth anniversary of the Six Day War has received surprisingly little attention this week (maybe Big Brother has eclipsed everything else in the media).

Surprising, because the resulting Israeli occupation of the Gazza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem is one of the defining moments of our age.

A while back Cherie Blair, not someone I usually have much time for, got herself into trouble when on a visit to Israel she said that she could understand the desperation of a Palestinian suicide bomber. Sadly in these times of rampant chest banging, seeking to understand rather than empty rhetoric about the ‘war on terror’, is not going to make you popular.

I’m not interested in trading nationalisms and competing claims to the land. The Native American gem comes to mind that people arguing over land is like fleas arguing over who owns the dog they happen to find themselves on. But there is no stronger motivation than having nothing left to lose. And that must be exactly what it feels like to be a second-generation refuge in what was once your own country, abandoned by your former allies and the international community.

To understand what the injustice in Israel/Palestine means in human terms I would recommend Joe Sacco’s comic- book ‘Palestine’. Like Art Spiegelman’s comic-book of the Holocaust ‘Maus, it more effectively conveys a complex message than many more weighty tomes. Both should be standard texts in every school.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Some stuff never leaves you.

As a teenager, music was pretty much everything. Musical tastes defined not just what you listened to, but what you wore, your attitude to life and even what kind of beer you drank. This kind of tribalism is I think very much a male phenomenon; no woman I have spoken to remembers it the same way. And if it gripped you hard enough as a kid, it will stay with you forever.

Which is why at the moment I can’t stop playing Southern Rock Opera by the Drive-By Truckers. It’s an alt-country / Southern Rock concept album about the experience of growing up in late seventies Alabama as blue-collar liberals and Lynyrd Skynrd fans. The album is their own adolescent story, with Lynyrd Skynyrd as the heroes, and the racist five-times governor of Alabama, George Wallace as the villain.

I never got to see Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in 1979 although my mate did. But I can remember when John Bonham died; sneaking in to the local biker pub and drowning our sorrows in Carlsberg Special Brew. Listening to the tributes on Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show on the radio whilst we crashed out for the night in the pub car park. And I still have the Led Zeppelin back-catalogue on vinyl, cassette and CD. And I still wear the t-shirt. And last year I saw Robert Plant twice.

If reading any of this makes sense, check out Southern Rock Opera. Here's a taster ...

Dropped acid, Blue Oyster Cult concert, fourteen years old,
And I thought them lasers were a spider chasing me.
On my way home, got pulled over in Rogersville Alabama, with a half-ounce of weed and a case of Sterling Big Mouth.
My buddy Gene was driving, he just barely turned sixteen.
And I'd like to say, "I'm sorry", but we lived to tell about it
And we lived to do a whole lot more crazy, stupid, shit.

And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet
With 38 Special and the Johnny Van Zant Band.

One night when I was seventeen, I drank a fifth of vodka, on an empty stomach, then drove over to a friend's house. And I backed my car between his parent's Cadillac's without a scratch.
Then crawled to the back door and slithered threw the key hole, and sneaked up the stares
And puked in the toilet.
I passed out and nearly drowned but his sister, DD, pulled me out.

And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet
And the band that I was in played "The Boy's are Back in Town".

Skynyrd was set to play Huntsville, Alabama, in the spring of 77, I had a ticket but it got cancelled.
So, the show, it was rescheduled for the "Street Survivors Tour".
And the rest, as they say, is history.

So I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhoads in 82
Right before that plane crash.
And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw AC/DC
With Bon Scott singing, "Let There Be Rock Tour".

With Bon Scott singing, LET THERE BE ROCK!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Cardinal's opinion not welcome.

If some ‘Mad Mullah’ called on his flock not to vote for any candidate who supported the war and occupation in Iraq, the Little Englanders would be up in arms. And smug that they don’t live in a theocracy.

Meanwhile, Cardinal O’Brien, primate of Scotland has called on Catholic voters not to support ‘pro-abortion’ candidates. He’s also going to deny communion to those Catholic politicians who don’t come out against abortion. (By the way, I’ve yet to meet anyone who is ‘pro-abortion’; though quite a few believe that there should be a right to abortion).

And this from a bloke who has taken a vow of celibacy, has no family and absolutely fuck-all experience of relationships or bringing up children. He has absolutely no business expressing an opinion on women’s reproductive rights. Or using the 'authority' of the church to intervene in how people vote.

Mind you this is the same guy who a few years ago denounced sex education as "state-sponsored sexual abuse" of children. Hold up there Your Eminence – I think your church might be on rather dodgy ground on that particular subject !

Personally I’m as tolerant of religion as the next guy: Just so long as it’s kept between consenting adults and behind closed doors.

ie: Don’t take it as your right to indoctrinate your children in faith schools, and stay out of the political process.