Getting back on track…..at last !!


      It feels like ages since I put pen to paper .. metaphorically speaking … and it feels even longer since my fingers danced the ‘light fantastic’ over the keyboard … well, maybe ‘dancing the light fantastic’ is a bit much, as I’m quite heavy handed actually … lol… cogsinwallAnyway discerning readers, what I’m trying to say is that it has been too long  since I produced some original words in the ‘steelcityman’ Blog. The only thing I’ve done recently is to ‘RE-BLOG’ other people’s work. Not that it is is a bad thing to do, re-blogging, I only reblog other people’s words when those words stir within me, some strong emotion and an urge to shout ‘Hear Hear’ whilst applauding …  or is it Here Here ??….Hear, hear vs. here, here – Grammarist …(I was right first time !!!)

      The last post by my friend and fellow blogger, Martin Upfold, is a good example of an article which stirred me enough to re-blog it, concerning  discrimination against people with mental health issues… give it a read if you missed it and check out Martin’s blog on how it affects him, his family and the people around him. It’s a fascinating read. 

The thing is, with the talent around on WordPress blogs, it is so easy to re-blog other people’s words. A couple spring to mind instantly for me … the first is a wonderful woman from the U.S.A , who has such a strong grasp on life with her philosophy  and modus operandi … CAROL .A. HAND … a wordsmith of the finest order, a teacher, storyteller and poet. If any blogger deserves an accolade from anyone, it is CAROL.A.HAND .  Her Blog is entitled ‘ VOICES FROM THE MARGINS’ … please give Carol’s blog a read, but be warned !!!! , you may be with her for some time ….

Another Excellent writer, blogger and all round first class wordsmith with a killer sense of humour (she’ll probably point out that Humour is spelt wrongly, same as my spelling of colour !!!) … Yes you guessed it, she is an American too !!! Her Monica is ELLEN HAWLEY, she resides in Cornwall and has us Brits well and truly taped !! Tcogsinwallhe blog site is entitled ‘NOTES FROM THE UK’  BE PREPARED TO BE ENTERTAINED….Again, if you visit her site, beware, you may be there some time !!!

A personal favourite post of mine is ‘Bell ringer’s injuries’.… larf ??? I nearly wet myself !!!. 

  I sincerely hope the two wonderful women I have mentioned in my inane whitterings don’t mind the accolades I have given them … nor Martin either…but there you are, I’m just writing what I feel. I hope you feel the same after visiting their blogs.

eyeballeyeballPoor  health is still plaguing me and putting  the brakes on anything I try to do lately … not that I’m complaining, well I suppose I am really, being limited by illness is a real shit package and of course, the real problem is that I’m still 23 years old in my head !!! The main problem, along with several other complaints, is Heart Faliure. Anyone carrying that around with then will know what I mean. It also limits me in what I can do regarding the VLOG on my You tube channel  … more and more I’m having to film indoors or in the proximity of the back garden because I don’t have the energy or strength to walk any distance in outdoor locations … still, the challenge there is to make interesting content without using more exotic locations … I like a challenge … lol.

I must admit, I really enjoy getting to grips with the technology  and equipment needed to produce vlogs as opposed to blogs. I’m hoping to start two more You tube channels in the near future … one will be a review channel for vlogging equipmentcogsinwall, not the usual High End, expensive equipment loved and coveted by all Vloggers..(we can’t all be as wealthy as CASEY NEISTAT !!!! ) … No, I’ll be reviewing the cheaper alternatives (which I use !!). Can’t afford a £600 mic ??? I’ll review a £25 mic … get the picture ?? It will be a technical review channel for … POOR TECHNOPHOBES !!! 

The other channel will be a PODCAST … just me waffling, no video just a background with my voice and a few sound effects. Should be fun…I’m looking forward to it … ONWARDS AND UPWARDS !!! ……..

 This is Patrick ..AKA… the steelcityman bidding you a very good night from the ….. 20140916_100002

Bipolar Me – Discrimination


This blog needs a reblog as it highlights the discrimination against people with a history of mental health issues .. in this case Bi polar disorder… it really brought home time how Martin must be feeling. Log on to his blog and read what he has had to say over the last few years …

martinupfold

There are many things I am unaccustomed to. A few of those things is an overwhelming sense and feeling of anger, frustration and injustice.

I have been discriminated against on mental health grounds.

It does not matter if you are of a different race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, creed, gender or as in my case having mental health issues. Discrimination is a horrible and bitter thing to happen to ones self.

For many, many months I have worked hard to prove to the Driving & Vehicle Licensing Agency [DVLA] that I am fit and well enough to have my Bus and Coach license returned to me. Continually proving I am stable, steady and well enough to earn my driving licenses. Spending, actually investing is a better term, money I do not have and having to find the patience to wait and wait and wait for things to happen. Well after 2…

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A Glittering career on YOU TUBE ??…or even HOLLYWOOD …???


cogsinwall
I thought I’d better make an effort and get on with the old Blog ..I say old because other newer things seem to have taken the place of the blog, namely the VLOG on my You Tube channel.(Aside from the fact that I’ve been quite ill and got blue lighted into hospital for two weeks and the subsequent recovery time, due to heart failure ..and complications… I haven’t had the wherewithal or motivation, let alone the strength, to either write in the blog or film the vlog…but Hey !! I’m back !!).

I’m finding that Vlogging is much more challenging, much harder work, more time consuming and, of course, much more expensive to execute. Apart from the computer, there is the camera…mine is a Canon 750d, external mics, tripods, lighting set up, sound recorders and software for editing. I spend money I don’t really have, not quite getting into debt, but not far off !!! … Anyway, as I was saying, vlogging is much more challenging both personally and, because I’m a technophobe of the highest order, technologically, but I find the rewards are much greater. I get a buzz when it goes public on my You tube channel.. and an even greater buzz when people leave comments. I get a buzz from this WordPress Blog when it is published and comments come in, but it cogsinwallrequires far less effort (and expense !!) than making a film and striving to get it technically ‘right’… I’m no Cecil B De Mills, but I enjoy pretending to be !! lol.
There is a young man residing in ROTHERHAM, a town next door to the ‘STEEL CITY’ by the name of HARRISON FLETCHER, who is a remarkably fine film maker and You Tuber (check out his You Tube channel )                                                                                                     . He read my blog about me questioning whether or not I was too old at 68 to be a You Tube Vlogger and, he also watched the film  I made of the  same subject  on my ‘steelcityman’ You Tube channel 
, after which he approached me and asked if I would like to be part of a documentary film he was making as part of his media and film making degree course at Salford University, in Media City, the Northern powerhouse of TV and program production. I was really taken aback that Harrison had chosen me to be a part of his work and I agreed on the spot…instantly …. maybe even sooner than that !!!, and after some dialogue we agreed dates to do the filming. He first visited my home to get some background on the ’70 year old vlogger’ as he titled me, shot some footage and did a short interview and we agreed another date for me to travel to a studio in Media City to do a longer more in depth interview, with some ‘B’roll footage both inside and outside the studio. I must say it ws a very professional set up and it all made me realise how make do and mend my filming set up was … There were cameras worth thousands of pounds..lighting rigs to die for with all the attendant controlling software … Really put my pokey ‘front bedroom studio’ to shame…. If nothing else, it gave me something to aspire to !!!
cogsinwall
I was a little nervous at first as the interview and filming progressed, but soon warmed to it and got quite comfortable with it all in the end, and really enjoyed the whole thing. Even my lovely wife Christine appeared in a cameo

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The Wonderful Christine

role (which freaked her out a bit !!!) but she did well and put it in her experience bank.  After the filming, we all went and had a few drinks and a meal (Italian),
had a good laugh and left for the station for the rail trip back to Sheffield … a good day indeed.

A great big thank you to Harrison Fletcher and his wonderful partner Tasha, they treat us like royalty and made things easy. Hopefully the documentary will be released soon, on You Tube, and when it is I’ll post the url so you can see it if you so desire.

Now then …. If I sit close to the phone and just wait a little longer….it may ring….long distance. It’s taking a while, it been ten minutes since I sat down and started waiting ….waiting…..waiting………..

A Re-Blog of a Re-Blog….


***Whilst browsing previously blogged articles in the Archives today (Friday 17th Feb 2017), I came across this article from August 2015, and I can still feel the passion and anger I felt whilst writing it…the feelings have not subsided one iota and neither has the problem described, namely ‘Affordable Housing’, been addressed either…Platitudes and Lies are all we are offered by this black hearted  Tory Government and it’s about time the ‘REAL’ working class of this country, the backbone and source of capitalist’s wealth, took off their blinkers and had a good look at what is happening to the unfortunate population who aren’t rich…. (stop press …. Because of public spending cuts imposed by the Tory Government,on council budgets, Council Tax is likely to increase 15-18% in order to pay for social care…….) All I can think about now is … Look what happened when Thatcher tried to impose the POLL TAX !!!

48% of GB’s wealth is owned by just 10% of households (https://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_428683.pdf)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING ???

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Source: AFFORDABLE HOUSING ???

 

First posted in AUGUST 2015 … I don’t often re-blog my own stuff…in fact this post is the first post of mine that I have re-blogged, simply because, in the run up to the election of the Labour Party Leadership, all the candidates, with the exception of Mr Jeremy Corbyn, have talked about solving the Housing crisis that is afflicting the UK, in terms of building more ‘Affordable’ housing. By that they mean houses (or rabbit hutches ) for people to buy or ‘Buy to Let’.

Only My Corbyn, who is at present, winning the race admirably, has mentioned, like a good Socialist, that the way to solve the housing crisis is for central government to fund a massive build of Council Housing…or Social Housing, as it is now known. WELL DONE MR CORBYN !! at least one of the candidates is listening to the electorate.

It has just stirred up the passion I have for a return to the Old Labour party with a social conscience….so, a reblog of earlier words ….

I can well remember the day , many years ago when, as a small boy, I witnessed the joy of my parents as we moved out of our private rented house and took delivery of a brand new, never been lived in by anyone else, Council house…24, Lowedges Drive, Sheffield 8….it had a luxurious bathroom with a wash hand basin, Bath and a toilet…three spacious bedrooms, modern kitchen and a huge back garden. It even had a brick built flowerpot on the front of the house. I thought it was quite ‘posh’. It was a brand new housing estate with country side at the bottom of the road. We had ‘arrived’. We had a relatively good life there..grew up ..moved on to different areas of Sheffield, always in a council rented property….more time passed and in 1979, a dark cloud passed over the United Kingdom. Her name was ‘Margaret Hilda Thatcher’…a name that most working class people choke on because of her governments relentless attacks on workers and their rights. Aside from her single handed destruction of the working man’s trade unions, which could fight for the worker’s rights and conditions of employment, one of the most harmful things she ever did was to make it the Tory party policy to allow Council house tenants to purchase the houses they rented from the councils where they lived. She talked a lot about the fact that an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’, people had the right to purchase the council houses at a discounted price and this gave way to the lie that if you owned your own house you were in effect, middle class and you had dragged yourself up from the working class…you were an owner of ‘property’.

Many people fell for this without realising what effect the practice of buying the council house stocks would have on future generations. Or, if they did realise what effect it would have, they didn’t care. That attitude has been attributed directly to the Thatcher ideology of me, me, me, and greed is good…up yours Jack, I’m alright !!….well…we are reaping the benefits of that Tory policy in this present day and age with a chronic shortage of housing stock and massive waiting lists of people who cannot afford to buy a house…and that number grows day by day. Many people, of all ages are forced into the private housing market, where landlords supply houses at high rents for their own profit, and we all know how it works don’t we ?…no repairs on the houses means more profit, no improvements means more profit and we finish up living in virtual squalor for the benefit of a profit seeking landlord. Unless of course you manage to get a benevolent landlord with a bit of a social conscience …and finding one of those is like trying to find rocking horse droppings !!!

Decent living accommodation provided by the people for the people is a social necessity and not a frivolous product of a more socially oriented society of a bygone age. Young people who are newly married and starting out on their lives, people on a low income, the unemployed who can’t find money for a deposit, let alone a mortgage, people who are pensioners and can’t afford a mortgage….the list of people disenfranchised from a decent standard of living by the government, and not only governments of a blue hue either…was it not LORD (that’s a laugh for a so called socialist, is it not?) Prescot, who sanctioned the wholesale demolition of thousands of council properties…then quickly shelved the plans to build ‘Affordable Housing’ to replace them???? The Affordable housing he refers to, is of course, housing for SALE, not rentable from the Council, but for sale, and the small percentage of housing not for sale is owned by ‘Housing associations’….The choice is stark is it not, for people who can’t afford, for whatever reason, to purchase a dwelling to live in…either pay a private landlord a high rent and rely on an ever dwindling public fund to provide rent and council tax relief, or tough it out and wait for another 15-20 years for a council house…….OR…..stop fighting illegal wars, and unwinnable wars which are costing the tax payers countless millions and invest in a public works program to build decent housing for people to rent off their local councils…problem solved for generations to come….And some people don’t like Socialism ?????….why the hell not?

I would imagine there will be some very anti comments to this post from people of a differing political standpoint…well bring it on !!…just remember what I said in the blurb about the Red Box…these are MY views and it matters not a jot that you disagree with them, what does matter, is that we have a platform on which to disagree and debate these issues……….. This is a very important issue for me and so I needed to shout about it…stay safe people.

A few housing facts to back up my claims..(information taken from Charitable groups and Housing charities)

7.7 million homes in England fail to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard

1.6 million children in Britain live in overcrowded, temporary or run down accomodation

The average weekly rent in 2009-10 was £156 for private renters and £75 for social renters

Almost 50% of local housing allowance claimnents face rent shortfalls-averaging £100 per month

across LONDON homelessness is up by 27.4%

4 million children live in poverty after housing costs have been paid

33% of private renters had lived in their homes for less that 1 year

Birmingham..highest number of homeless people , 925 households

8550 households are homeless because their short lease came to an end.

37% annual increase in number of people being housed in bed and breakfast accommodation

Housing affordability measures show that housing is unaffordable in ALL 33 UK regions

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1THOUGHT ON “AFFORDABLE HOUSING ???”

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    A fascinating discussion, Pat. I love your analysis of the issue of affordable housing that interweaves your own experiences and observations within the larger historical context. The Thatcher/Reagan years were indeed an assault on unions and social programs that ushered in the mean-spirited austerity that is still with us today – profits are more important than people…

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Letter of complaint to IPSO about the Sun and Mail disrespecting Britain’s war dead on Remembrance Sunday


Pride's Purge

Independent Press Standards Organisation
Gate House
1 Farringdon Street
London
EC4M 7LG

I am writing to complain about misleading and inaccurate material published by the Sun and the Daily Mail – as well as the disrespectful and dishonest behaviour of a press photographer.

On this year’s Remembrance Sunday, the 13th of November 2016, two distorted and misleading articles and photographs were published by the Sun and the Mail about Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance of the Cenotaph Service commemorating Britain’s war dead.

The articles and photographs appeared online and possibly in print and were headlined: ‘Is this really the day to audition for Strictly, Jeremy?(the Mail) and ‘Jeremy Corbyn DANCES his way into Downing Street as he attends Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph(the Sun). Screenshots of both articles and the misleading photographs are attached (attachments 1, 2).

A photograph…

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Brief Reflections about Standing Rock – Wednesday, November 23, 2016


This is getting out of hand … the government and the corporations need to take note of their racist policies in search of ‘profit at all costs’ … it’s inhuman. And to think the Americans had countless thousands killed at the hands of the Nazs and here they are doing the same thing to the protesters at Standing Rock … your actions disgust me and I stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Protesters ….

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

Today a young woman is in critical condition due to escalating police violence, all so corporations can pollute and profit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/standing-rock-arm-amputation_us_5834853ee4b09b6055ff01ec. Her only “crime” was standing in peaceful solidarity with Standing Rock Water Protectors to prevent corporations from creating yet more environmental devastation.

Photo: Huffington Post - Thanksgiving Message to Indigenous People from the Invading Forces Photo: Huffington Post – Thanksgiving Message to Indigenous People from the Invading Forces

(Link to Huffington Post photo and article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/standing-rock-sioux-tear-gas-thanksgiving_us_583496a3e4b000af95ece35d?wjz1i201zkpf8t1emi)

The list of the militarized police forces arrayed against Standing Rock Water Protectors is daunting: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/11/02/how-contact-people-who-sent-militarized-police-standing-rock-166326.

I’m not entirely sure why, but this situation reminds me of Wounded Knee and the Ghost Dance: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/program/episodes/eight/likegrass.htm.

Wounded Knee Massacre - December 29, 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre – December 29, 1890

(Photo Source: Wikipedia)

The circumstances feel eerily similar. Two vastly different cultures collide, one with fear and lethal weapons, and one with hope, ceremony, and prayers. One to exploit the earth for short-term individual profits, and one…

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How a US PR company conned UK voters into voting for Brexit


Further notice that the ‘BREXIT’ campaign was an organised symphony of lies deceit and marketing strategy (which is MORE lies) … reblogged for all my ‘BREXITEER’ friends on Facebook and Twitter ….

Pride's Purge

gunster-brexit

Sorry Brexiters – but you’ve been conned. By an American. And he’s not even hiding the fact.

PR executive Gerry Gunster has been boasting about how his firm was behind the successful Brexit campaign – and how he used sales techniques instead of facts to trick British voters into voting for Brexit.

Gunster claims he was behind the successful slogan “take back control” and was the person who directed the Leave campaign to run a campaign free of facts which played on voters’ emotions, in particular fears about immigration.

Gunster even employed the services of a hypnotist to work on Leave campaign videos.

The extremely expensive services of Gunster’s Washington firm were bankrolled to run the Brexit campaign by multi-millionare UKIP backer Arron Banks.

gunster-winning

In the past, Gunster’s firm has helped big US corporations fight unpopular public health measures such as sugar taxes.

It’s ironic the very voters who…

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Good news on the VLOG front…


Forget about the Presidential election, forget about how the Rotherham Titans RUFC loscogsinwallt again last Saturday … There is GOOD NEWS happening right now !!! The VLOG on You tube, steelcityman … has finally moved off 2 subscribers  (who were family) and now stands at 9, yes NINE subscribers and the views have  sped past the 500 mark (539 views).  My audience is growing and giving me the feel good factor. Oh! yes !!!

      It’s not really Earth shattering  news, but it gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to know people out there in the WWW are beginning to find my Vlog, and the blog as a consequence. All I need to do now is find the time and application to publish the Vlog on a ‘Regular” basis … as well as finding the all important ‘NICHE’

ADDENDUM …. subscribers now at 12…. as of 21st Nov … 

cogsinwall

Open Letter to White People at Standing Rock


Read this, please, with an open heart. If you start feeling defensive, take a moment to reflect on why that is before returning to reading. I couldn’t NOT reblog this post, written by Miriam Schacht (RoteZora) re: the suggestion that white activists have been taking over from the indigenous people at the STANDING ROCK protest. It certainly gives food for thought as well as feelings of guilt and shame at being white, American or European … try and put those feelings aside to be dealt with later, and read the full post with an open heart and mind ….

Voices from the Margins

By Miriam Schacht (RoteZora)

I wrote this note while staying at the Two Spirit Nation camp within the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock about a week ago. I originally drove out there to help someone else out, but without the intention of staying, because I take seriously the critiques that suggest that white activists have been taking over the protests. However, I stayed much longer than I intended because it turned out that there was important work to do as a white accomplice–work that addressed precisely the issue of white activists at these camps and these actions. Part of the necessary work of white accomplices is to lessen the burden on people of color. At camp that meant I was asked by Two Spirit folks to give white visitors “allyship 101” or “Two Spirit 101” lectures; this letter is my attempt to keep that work up, and keep taking…

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Bell ringers’ injuries


Note from the U.K …. an excellent blog from Ellen Hawley, a writer of note and an excellent wordsmith with a killer sense of humour. I urge you to read more of Ellen … she will certainly brighten up your days and “ring your bell” !!!

Notes from the U.K.

In last week’s post, I mentioned that York Minster had fired its volunteer bell ringers. It was a small part of the post, but the comments it provoked have been fascinating. So first—because, admit it, you don’t actually read every golden word I publish, although I can’t think what else you have to do with your lives—let me draw your attention to a few of the comments.

John Evans wrote a first-hand explanation of bell ringing, and that was followed by several other comments that are also worth reading, for both the mechanics and the politics of it all. I won’t give you a separate link since they’re all grouped together.

John also sent a link to a bell ringers’ publication. What could I do but follow it? I was rewarded with a statement from the York bell ringers, setting out their side of the story. John did say…

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