Equality and Effort

I started off writing a comment on a fellow blogger’s page after she had linked to the Mirandasings video that I had posted called, ” I Don’t Support Equality”..

The blogger enjoyed the post and it got her thinking about equality and inequality in terms of talents and abilities and in terms of people’s rights. I agreed with her that we are not equal in talents or abilities although equality of human rights must be observed as she also stated.

I then realised that I was going somewhere else with my comment – as those of you who know me know I’m inclined to do. 😉

Hence this post.

I suppose what drives most people batty is the idea of inequality based on human rights. In the UK any perceived violation of human rights can be referred to the European Court where certain agreements are in place to protect the rights of individuals as human beings. People have done it and legislation has changed to reflect any injustice. In the US I guess that would come under your Constitution.

Nowadays it seems a nonsense in our culture to think that women once did not have the right to vote. You should hear my daughters on that one. They just can’t imagine that this was ever the case. One of them last night was asking me why women in the workforce were ever paid less. (Not that it still does not happen). There followed a history lesson.

I completely agree that we are not equal in talents and abilities and what a boring world it would be if that were the case.

However, there is an identified hierarchy of human need that has to be recognised when we speak of equality for people and these rights are paramount, I feel, when we argue for equality.

450px-Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

What I can’t bring myself to feel comfortable with is that some talents and abilities are more recognised as valued than others and so we have crazy situations where footballers are paid a fortune for their skill with a ball and, of course, the effort they put in to acquiring that skill.

We have politicians whose ‘skill’ in their field may have less to do with their innate ability than other forces that come into play e.g. a thirst for power or glory, an ability to articulate and/or be presentable to the public, a family tradition of politics (unless we choose to call those innate abilities, I suppose).

We have models whose looks rather than talent determine their success in their field. Although we could argue that this too is innate good fortune.

We have movie stars and pop stars whose individual talents may or may not far outweigh the accumulated talents of so many others. But does that mean their efforts are any more worthy than those of ‘untalented’ people?

What really concerns me is that there are millions, well billions, of people getting up every day and putting in the effort to be active, work (if they can and if they are able to find it), to try their best at whatever they do and the reward, in terms of material return, in no way reflects the effort.

We could argue that it is more difficult for people with minimal talent to achieve great success and therefore their efforts must be worth more – that they try at all.

When we come back to the hierarchy of human needs we could argue that as long as we have the bare minimum at the first two levels we’re sorted. But, if that is the case, why do we all strive for more than the minimum? I think we all, or most of us, want to achieve that highest level. But what are the chances of that when basic needs are not met? And there are so many reasons why those needs may not be met. Not all of them self-inflicted as some politicians and others would have us believe.

There is a growing tendency to look at the ‘have-nots’ with some disparagement as if they choose not to have or to depend on the state for basic requirements.

I know of no one whose basic needs are met while depending on the state. And I know quite a few people whose inability to manage with what is received results in loss of electricity and heating. Results in doing without what many consider to be basic essentials. people who either are unable to work or for whom no work is available.

First priorities always include food and shelter. These are two on the lowest most basic level of human needs. And they both cost!

Perhaps that’s why sex is so popular. It’s free!

Why else is there a growth in food banks? Why else are so many at risk of losing their homes? Why else are so many children still living below  the recognised poverty line? No amount of ‘handouts’ from the state matches the level needed to avoid that.

Sure, there are some who abuse the system. But the percentage is miniscule compared to the percentage lost through tax fraud.

fraud chart_1http://www.cas.org.uk/features/myth-busting-real-figures-benefit-fraud

Inequality is alive and kicking. Not always because of differentiated talents or abilities. But because we as a society value certain skills more than others. As long as we are prepared as a world to pay millions for the work of dead artists and millions for talented footballers we are telling most of the world population that effort does not matter. That dragging yourself out of bed everyday and doing your damndest in whatever it is you’re doing isn’t worth the effort needed to do so. As long as we listen to purveyors of distorted truth and cite laziness or licence as the reason for hardship rather than economic mis/management and inequitable policies, practices and perceptions, there will be inequality.

Get Up MM900285266MH900358961

Einstein may have been right when he said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. But in our world the perspiration seems to count for very little. Regardless of the fact that it is the perspiration of the vast majority that keep the wheels of government and commerce going round.

The fellow blogger mentioned above asked at the end of her post,

“What do you think? Is equality possible? Or should we focus on encouraging and developing our personal talents?”

It may be Utopian to imagine that equality is possible given that we are so varied as humans. And it’s great that we are. Let’s develop those talents and innate abilities and attributes. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that, for most people, it will not be their talents that take them to work each day or get them out of bed to tackle whatever their day may hold. It will be the effort involved in believing that another day in life has to be accomplished as best they can even while unappreciated.

Now how do we change a value system that no longer appears to support or accommodate the realisation of our basic human needs?

Now here’s a Scots comedian who knows what I’m talking about. Maybe I should just have posted this in the first place. 😉



I Am. We All Are.

Your human rights are less important than mine.

You’re gay.


I had Pankhurst.

I had Mandela.

I had Gandhi

And King.

Every voice

In history

Who cried

For justice.



Royalty now.

But back then,









So take the beatings

And the vitriol

While we watch

And say little.

Do nothing.

View the games

With blackened eyes

And bruises.


This your legacy.

This our pride.

To stay silent.


While waiting

For a regal voice.


I am black.

I am woman.

I am all nations.

I am gay.

We all are.

“I Don’t Support Equality”

This is Miranda, alter ego of Colleen Ballinger, introduced to me by my sixteen year old daughter, Rachel. Rachel loves Miranda and ‘forces’ me to watch her vlogs. Actually, I now find her quite amusing. And even downright funny sometimes.

For those who don’t know her, she is a comedian. And, like most comedians, can encapsulate life humorously and with more truth than argument.

Rachel miranda2 And, just for the hell of it, this is my daughter dressed as Miranda. We’ll pretend that it was for Hallowe’en. But it wasn’t. She just likes dressing up! At 16!

Serendipity, Synchronicity And All That Jazz

Bear With Me. I Do Get To The Point. I Think. Eventually.

Should I apologise now or later? Feck, let’s make it later.

OK, I know that on Friday I waxed a bit about Scotland and the beauties of its scenery and the quality of the land that makes me feel proud to call it home. Blame the whiskey and a hard week.

I feel its history and its trials and tribulations. But feelings aren’t always enough. Not always. There are thoughts and there is reason. There is right and there is wrong.

I’ve been pondering politics and independence.

Don’t switch off!

That’s not what I’m talking about here. It’s just that sometimes things come together in a magical way. And I do question, then just accept the synchronicity that exists in the universe. The hand of god touching. Poking finger into pond and causing ripples.

Where the feck to begin.

I could begin today with Shirley Maya posting an almost identical post to mine insofar as it touched on the voice of womankind within the world. A huge absence I think anyone with truth in their hearts would acknowledge. Politics has been for so long the realm of men. It’s been that way for many reasons. You know them all. I can’t be arsed listing them. If you want to, send me an email. And I’ll fill that page.

I just don’t have time or inclination to do it here.

Women have been, and continue to be, under represented in the voice of the world.

And, NO, I’m not talking of the burn-your-bra-men-are-bastards-sort-of women who portray womankind in such a distorted light.

I’m talking of your mother. And mine. Of all mothers. Of your wife. Your love. Your sister. Your daughter. Why are they not listened to in the way they should be by all men who claim to love them?

Why are they petted and cossetted as brainless princesses with doe eyes until they reach THAT age and then they are every man’s jail bait?

I will make generalisations here that I acknowledge may apply equally to men. I get that. Anyone with half a brain knows that there are good and bad men and women.

But men are still over represented in the political realm regardless of their goodness or badness. Or maybe because of it. 😉

I was thinking last night of some of the women who have featured in the political field for one reason or another and the names that sprang immediately to mind filled me with dismay. Maggie Thatcher. (God forgive me! I still have to ask that every time I think of her). Imelda Marcos. What a feckin’ eejit and betrayer of womankind. Then I thought Cleopatra! (Shit! I’ve just realised why I started thinking of Roman soldiers and then did the tortoise post! Gawd, my mind!)

Anyhoo, I’m already losing track of where I’m going with this. OK, you too.

To the chase.

Lots of stuff that I won’t go into ‘cos you’ll fall asleep or go, ‘Oh yeah?’ are coming together for me and making me believe that nothing really happens without cause. And effect.

Scotland. That’s where I started. I think.

Yeah, this guy, Magnus-MacFarlane Barrow. Scottish guy. From a place called Dalmally. I had been involved in his project ‘Mary’s Meals’ through schools. Knew I recognised the name. My mum had gone to a place called Medjugorje in Yugoslavia where she further realised the power of Jesus and His mother in her life. Yup. Knock on effect. Two of the people who had visited that place gave over their house as a retreat centre to anyone needing ‘time-out’ and rejuvenation. Calum and Mary-Anne MacFarlane Barrow. Parents of this other chappie.

Then tonight my brother posts on Facebook a message for me to listen to –Tommy Sheridan and Scottish Independence dealing with poverty and justice and then posts the one below.


All mothers (and fathers, I know!) must feel for the plight of these children.

My mother was involved with this family. I have been involved with this family. They’re Scottish. The cause is now a worldwide one. Can Scotland make it on its own? Do mothers have a voice? Should women be listened to in the global political arena? Who will make that happen? Or let that happen?

Am I making any feckin’ sense here? No wonder I write poetry.

There are times when right just feels right. And this feels right. It’s also good reasoning.

There is one species of humankind. There are two genders. We must listen to each other.

We really must listen to the voice of mothers. Because, with the odd exception, they love selflessly. And that’s what the world needs.

And I KNOW so do men. But the voices must be shared. How else do we achieve balance?

And now should I apologise? Nah. I don’t think so. 🙂 x

Perfect Disparity

Where he goes she follows still.

Quo vadis? This her way,

Though guidance lacks illumination,

Direction gone astray.

Dimly lit the forest path,

Crescent slits dark blue,

Myriad beacons lost in night,

Light years unfiltered through.

Stars above cannot conceive

Of empty hollow space.

Should she now lead where he may go?

Alternate human race.

Or side by side,

In step, in tune,

Guided by

Night’s brightest moon

And daylight’s orb;

Disparate norm.

Day and night,

In perfect form.

Forgiven Not Forgotten


Maggie really messed my mind

I couldn’t focus, couldn’t find

She played with my full deck

The eighties were a nightmare ’cause

I hated all she said, no pause

In drivel. Flippin’ heck!


Such a feeling in my heart!

My first to loathe, an awful start

To hate another person

Hearing her on my TV

Could fill my soul with misery

I had to stop from listening


If only just to stop the tide

Of hatred that I felt inside

So angry at her reason

How could she quote St. Francis when

Her charity was stripped barren

All I felt was treason


That such a one should preach to us

Say she knew because she was

A simple grocer’s daughter

Stripped industry, denationalised,

So many hated and despised

When her minions said all ought to


‘Get on your bikes! Go find the work!’

‘No shysters here! Don’t try to shirk!

There’s work for those that matter.’

Of course, the truth was underplayed

Really it was not relayed

That employment was all scattered


Across the country far and wide

Leave family and home to find

Or else you get no dole

Humble men with working pride

In earnest, they began to fight

To make themselves feel whole


For ethic of the working man

Is so important in their plan

To feed and house those closest

Being called a layabout or worse

Felt like Tories had all cursed

Those who work the most


In Scottish land the hate was great

We felt it. God, we filled with hate

At woman and her peers

I shouted and I walked the streets

Demonstrated, fought for weeks

And months and many years


Eventually I tired of

The hatred fuelled by her because

It drained my spirit so

I stood at last in public forum

Relinquished feelings of all harm

I really let it go


Repentance, no, well not as such,

More preservation for self, so much

Hatred breaks a heart

I let it be and fought with might

Focused on a better fight

We got our brand new start

Open Minds


This sadness knows no end it seems.

Drenched in it,

Soaked into seams.

Drowning world

From unreal dreams.

Ears so closed

To others’ screams

For justice,


An open ear.

We cry alone

Who cry for fear

Of closed-in world,

No listening ear.


But we will shout,

We will be heard,

We are not animals

Coralled as herd.


Where others fear to plough a furrow,

Remember, please, that come tomorrow,

When your chaos reigns and help is sought,

Who counted others’ screams as naught?


Diminished earth in space and time

There is no time to tread a line

Of non-commitment to a cause,

Upholding unjust, archaic laws

That seek to separate and blight

The human race in hate and spite.


Open minds to all you see

And hear and read

So you may be

A better Man than he. Or she.


Video reading. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1430638027161369&l=8639054162534248407

The Polis

Quite distressing,

Watching news,

So many different

Points of views,

Seeking all to


Never missing

Any trick

To overthrow

Or undermine



Lying or being

Colourful with truth,

Quite a message

For our youth.

Give us your vote

On ballot paper,

Won’t screw you now,

We’ll wait till later.

Once confidence

And seats

Are ours.

Now we’re in

A Celebration!

We’ll fix this lot

The whole damn nation.

We’ve got a plan

Just wait and see

We like to call it


It’s changed a bit

From just before



The trouble is

Now that we’re in,

We have to deal;

We call it spin.

Shaving truth

From here and there.

We’re cuddly still,

A hairless bear,

With claws

And teeth

That bite.

But, worry not,

We won’t bite you,

You’re one of us.

Well ain’t that true?

I voted, yes,

I put my mark,

My little cross,

My vital spark


Trusting in


I feel though, that

I’m standing by

While you get rich

And pass us by,

Pissing up against

Our legs,

Doling out to us

The dregs.

While bankers


And walked.


Strange, misplaced,

This trust you urged.

Some view the process

As absurd,

When what is said

And what appears

Mismatch. The policy


There’s egg

On all

Our faces.


Still, better than


Or feudal lords

Who, fortune stripped

From workers

Ploughing in the field

Theirs the effort

Yours, the yield.

Oh, wait, that

Seems quite



A paper mark

Means nothing more

If once you’re in

You shut the door

On faces who

Extolled your worth.

Who’s laughing now?

Oh, you. Such mirth.

You’ve conned

Us all




I’m so naïve.

I listen and

Sometimes, believe

The shit you say,

You pose and preach.

We are all

Just out of reach

Of mattering

To you.

And other you.


Not much to choose from

I see that clear,

With clarity

Not dowsed in beer

That’s taxed

To death

Like everything

That’s left.

Which is

Not much

At all.


So, what’s my choice?

Should I abstain?

Refuse to take part

Once again?

Or trust that one day,

Maybe soon,

An upright man

Will fly from moon

And work

To serve

The job and people.


Excuse me if I don’t

Hold my breath,

Not ready yet

For certain death.

Is this what Aristotle


When speaking

Of a government?

I don’t

Think so.