Monday 27 May 2013

Nigeria: The NGF saga is the biggest fight for democracy today

The leadership deficit
Friday evening presented us with a clear indication of the leadership deficit that has plagued Nigeria for decades and still continues to haunt the country without abatement or respite, the trajectory to progress is not in the remotest sights, it is depressing.
As the day closed, we all waited on social media for the results of the election of the new chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) which as a political block within the Council of State, though not constitutionally relevant is significant in the power brokerage that defines the distribution of power and privilege in our federal republic.
Who they are
In some ways, it determines whether the executive at the centre will have untrammelled lien or negotiated settlements as regards federal and state distributions of the largesse of oil money amongst many other issues that could pertain to the ratification of federally promulgated laws at the state legislature – much of the dynamic is unscripted but it is by no means to be pooh-poohed.
It claims to draw its legality from Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which loosely guarantees the freedom of association and assembly. [Chapter 4 of the Constitution]
A battle royal so despicable
The apparently outgoing chairman of the forum is the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi who recently had somewhat fallen out with the President over matters unnecessary for comment here apart from the fact that proxies of the Federal Government had engaged in frustrating and embarrassing the man. [Grounding of aircraft – Vanguard Nigeria]
The Nigerian House of Assembly had only the previous day excoriated certain federal agencies for overreach, lack of due process, bias and dissimulation, much of which should have embarrassed all the parties involved, but embarrassment is an unknown emotion in Nigeria - where in other countries there will be contrition, apology and restitution, maybe resignations, one cannot expect the slightest regret of officialdom if they can help it.
A vision unseen
Now, it would appear that the NGF works from this basic premise as articulated in their vision statement – to be, “An effective, proactive, inclusive, non-partisan forum which actively fosters, promotes and sustains democratic values, good governance and sustainable development in Nigeria.” [NGF – Our Vision and Mission]
They acknowledge this goal is idealistic but they believe that they have both the capacity and determination to realise and project this vision and thereby achieve it.
The reading of yesterday’s events shows that these gentlemen and that is a too effusive a compliment for them but for the want of a collective term, failed to attain in the slightest, the effectiveness, the proactiveness, the inclusiveness or non-partisan aims so succinctly expressed in the NGF vision.
Rotten politics at play
As it transpired, an election took place and Governor Rotimi Amaechi took 19 votes to Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State’s 16 votes and was duly elected the Chairman of the NGF.
However, it is the intrigue and machinations behind the scenes before the election that needs some scrutiny exacting excoriation in the starkest terms because it was tyrannous, underhand and atrocious at best.
The ruling party (PDP) has a majority of governors in Nigeria and so it is very likely that any vote will produce a PDP chairman and as a sop to the other parties, the deputy chairman might well land in their docket.
Really rotten politics at play
What really happened was that the PDP governors, 23 of them met and of the lot 19 resolved to post the governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, as the Chairman of the NGF with Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State from one of the minority parties as the vice Chairman.
This is after having persuaded other interested governors to withdraw their candidacy whilst Jonah Jang filed his nomination papers well after the deadline necessary to indicate interest in the chairmanship, something people have not yet touched upon.
The mover of this scheme was Governor Godswill or better still Devilswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State whose democratic antecedents is one of rigging, manipulation and dishonesty having confessed in March 2013 that he manipulated the PDP senatorial primaries in favour of his preferred candidate in 2007. [Akpabio Rigging - Punch][Video – Sahara Reporters]
Democracy is opportunity for all
One can easily say the non-partisan aims of the NGF were seriously violated with this factionalisation within the group along party lines but there is a more atrocious issue in play.
The PDP governors numbering 23 constitute a majority within the NGF but the other 5 parties sharing just 13 states are not insignificant. The governors had gathered in Abuja to vote for chairmanship of the NGF and the basic democratic principle will suggest that all of them will be given the opportunity to exercise a voting privilege together in the same place and at the same time.
For the PDP faction of the NGF to have engineered a resolution that garnered 19 votes to install Jonah Jang without the whole group constituting the NGF being present was wholly reprehensible apart from constituting themselves into a tyranny of the majority overriding the wishes of the minority even if eventually the result might go the way of the majority – that patently was not democracy at play, it reeked of subterfuge and dishonest politicking to ulterior ends.
Winning the argument
It is the victory of reason over corrupt enterprise that an election eventually took place because it gave everyone of the governors a say in who to lead the NGF, though one governor was absent; and if the resolution was really worth the paper it was written on, after being tested by secret ballot of all the governors, it should have stood – it fell.
Whereas 19 governors resolved to support Jonah Jang, by the time the votes of the secret ballot were counted, 3 of those governors had dissolved to renew Rotimi Amaechi’s tenure with 19 votes against 16 votes for Jonah Jang.
Secret ballots reveal truth
That in my view was democracy expressed as best as it should, a secret ballot with a count to determine who wins and it must for all intents and purposes if there is any justice and fairness in this world carry the greatest validation and authority over an open resolution that denied the full house of governors the opportunity together to decide who to lead their forum.
Sadly, the Presidency with its interference and weak leadership having been humbled and trounced by the basic tenets of simple democracy in action has not found the strong voice to support a clear democratic verdict that the spokespersons have vacillated and prevaricated on a matter of clear and honest principle, epithets none of the lot appear to possess to any discernable extent and I mean, honesty, character or principle.
This must not stand
The government with all its Machiavellian apparatus of state and calumny will do everything to undermine a democratic verdict for political and pecuniary advantage without scruples – this leaves Nigeria the much poorer where opportunity to show that progressive change is possible it is aborted for selfish interest and megalomania.
A parallel NGF organisation with allegiance to the President is now operating without a democratic mandate having conducted a selection rather than an election, claiming the election by secret ballot after the resolution was rigged, when it was not. The gormless men could not present their ploy to the full house of NGF governors and win the argument by persuasion where everyone had the opportunity to vote without coercion and menace – the NGF vision has well and truly been blinded and abrogated completely on the capriciousness of objectionable men.
We must stand with truth
I would hope that Nigerians will see what is happening in this machination of the utmost evil in high places and refuse to be conscripted into this rotten enterprise just for the aggrandisement of the powerful – Rotimi Amaechi won that election fair and square, the democratic principle should stand regardless of whether we like him or not – it is a matter of the basic tenet of democracy, the man is simply necessary to represent its purpose, somebody needs to be elected when people have voted and the votes have been counted.
The other issue of men who signed a resolution in the open not being able to stand with what they signed when presented with a secret ballot is simply expressive of the absence of good virtue in the men that lead Nigeria; it has been our eternal plague, I am sad to say.
Other references

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Thought Picnic: My Interview Weaknesses

Interviews are not the same
We all interview in very different ways depending on the situation, the circumstance and the opportunity. In my case, interviews have straddled the spectrum of a grilling interrogation to a friendly discussion sometimes without a definitive inkling as to whether I will be considered suitable for the role or not.
It is not easy to determine what to expect at an interview and when it is not face-to-face, it is more difficult to project oneself as well especially where a question presents a difficulty in coming up with clear answers.
My lacking in ability
Whilst I am fine with telephone interviews, I will only attend a Skype interview without the video element, though I can remember about 14 years ago where I attended an interview at a recruitment agent’s office, it was recorded on video and sent to panel working for the employers where current employees voted on who they liked and that determined eligibility.
Recently, I have noticed that I am not that good at core technical narratives, much as I have been doing what I do for over a decade, I fully understand the workings and the innards but the hypothetical scenarios I get given at interview leave me wanting for expression and jargon, I am almost tongue-tied.
Planning ahead of typical troubles
Another disadvantage I seem to have had comes from not experiencing some of the issues that come up in questions I have to answer, it was interesting when the interviewer said on reflection that I probably take time to plan out and capture as much as I can of the situation before I design and implement solutions – I end up with fewer management and critical issues and by reason of that, I am probably not as tested as those who have to fight fires daily because of unforeseen issues and much else.
Where one is engaged to design from scratch, one is at an advantage but in situations where one is to maintain an existing but flawed deployment solution change might be difficult to instigate and implement for more political than technical reasons.
Swotting to swat the quiz
I find I still have to learn to exude to the level that I know to do in a practical setting; reading gives words to the actions I have literally learnt to perfect, creating scenarios and painstakingly working through each to some working conclusion creates consistent workflow processes that I hope I will find words to express when asked at interview.
Most pertinently, I rarely attempt to reinvent the wheel, so many have travelled the roads I travel and have documented hard-won lessons that come in handy every time, I am grateful to them because it usually means, if I know what to look for, I will find a clue, a pointer, a thinking, a process, an implementation or a solution that I can adapt and use to perfect the imperfect situation I am facing.
Books still matter
Sometimes, that is simply what an expert is, not the person who can give a good talk but the person who understands the general problem and knows how to seek out solutions that work.
Meanwhile, back to the books, there is much theory to refresh until it becomes the Shibboleth of interview success.

Saturday 18 May 2013

Opinion: Lord Macauley did not address the British Parliament in 1835

Comments are open again
I have decided not to allow the irritation of one person to spoil the open forum for interaction on my blog. I have removed all trace of his views and blacklisted him.
We are strangers here and the least that we can expect of each other regardless of our views, is respect, courtesy and dignified expression. You fall short; you fall out.
Closing Comments Update - 1st November 2013: In view of certain recent developments in the comments section of this blog, I have decided to close this blog to any new comments.
A more comprehensive note appears below the text of the blog.
Update – 26th July 2013: Having had so much traffic to this blog, it has become necessary to add more information and references about the quote, the context, the person and the somewhat ulterior motives that seem to govern the release of what I might refer to as "Internet Apocrypha".
I will advise anyone who is thinking of commenting on this opinion piece to first exhaustively go through the links provided within and below the article and appreciate the import of each submission, and then, if there is any desire to debunk any of the claims, please provide reference, attribution and accessible sources to support your views.
Akin Akintayo – 26th July 2013
Shared on Facebook
A few hours ago, I came upon a picture taken of a supposed speech made to the British Parliament on Facebook and the healthy sceptic that I am had to review the content to determine if this was true or not.
A quick search, though inconclusive proved my doubts and though I left a comment on the feature, soon afterwards the posting was removed in its entirety along with all the opinions expressed about it.
My control
That is probably what I fear the most about participating in the many forums on the Internet outside my control, the sudden disappearance of an opinion, a view or a comment so succinctly made at a moment in time representing my contemporaneous thinking which I may never be able to reproduce if it is lost.
This informs the reason why I mainly stick to writing on my blog where my views cannot be tampered with by editors or syndicators – my cubicle serves its purpose well.
The speech

I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in the country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.” [Wikipedia]
Intent unexpressed
Now, with regards to the picture above and the words transcribed there is probable cause to believe that there was intent by the British Empire as it spread its tentacles in the 19th Century; I had my doubts that they were expressed as such, especially in Parliament.
Sensational and inflammatory as it definitely is, it can be used to whip up nationalist fervour and jingoism for the ways in which colonialism and imperialism raped the colonies but if we are historically incorrect in attempting to harness a sentiment for polemics and so political gain, eventually the truth of such manipulation will be revealed, but long after the mob has been excited to wreak havoc on our peace.
Quite improbable
Now, this speech was said to have been made by Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay on the 2nd of February 1835 to the British Parliament. This would have been difficult, if he left for India in 1834 and returned in 1838 serving on the Supreme Council of India.
The fastest ships of that time managed 5 to 6 knots and this was before the time of the Clippers, Suez Canal did not open until 1869, so with a basic calculation of London to Bombay via Cape Town, a distance of 10,721 nautical miles with no days spent at port, an average one-way trip to India will take just over 74 days. [Using Sea Distances – Voyage Calculator]
This was not a journey to be taken lightly if you were based in India in the 19th Century; it is quite unlikely that T. B. Macaulay made a speech to the British Parliament in 1935.
Then one might ask how this got attributed to him. He did take minutes on the 2nd of February 1835 on the issue of Indian Education but those minutes do not contain the said words, it is suggested that the words might well have been an embellished paraphrase of a number of opinions that the man might have expressed in different documents and letters.
Apparently, the East India Company had been given the monopoly to trade with India and was instructed by the British Parliament to spend 100,000 Rupees on promoting the education of Indian natives. [Source - Doc]
The Company officials were divided on the kind of education to be promoted – will it be the indigenous system of education, or a new education system patterned along the British system of education.” The context of T. B. Macaulay’s minutes a subject of the English Education Act of 1835 were implemented in India in 1854 was advocating the promotion of European style education over the indigenous system.
The reprehensible thinking of those times
There are other words that are apparently attributed to Lord Macaulay and this follows the thinking of colonialists of that time; on page 325 in Essays, Critical and Miscellaneous, by Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron Macaulay, we find the paragraph below as also corroborated in Callaloo Nation, by Aisha Khan.
There never, perhaps, existed a people so thoroughly fitted by nature and by habit for a foreign yoke.
This reads no different in context and understanding that Lord Lugard proffered of Africans in his book, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa in 1922, where he said, “In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person; lacking in self control, discipline, and foresight ...” I covered this in my Apes Obey Series.
Debunk the fallacies, always
I expect the picture to go viral as it gets shared and commented on by readers on Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media forums, it might even catch the eye of some newspapers on its way to becoming a meme, many not bothering to verify the information and ascertain its provenance, veracity and correctness with historical fact.
As to the exact words spoken or written by Baron Macaulay, many of which might be in dispute, one can only end on the damning excoriation of taking things at face value exemplified in these words authored by someone who did not sign their contributions to this debate. “Available in the archives to genuine researchers. Not for followers of the ‘If it cannot be Googled it did not happen’ doctrine.” I hear you.
Other notes added 26th July 2013
In response to a comment that was posted recently, this piece was attributed to Lord Macaulay in 1835, well, in 1835, he was Mr Thomas Macaulay, he did not become Lord Macaulay until August 1857, which would suggest this was an attribution as a reported event rather than diary event, else, the postscript would say Mr Thomas Macaulay who became Lord Macaulay.
There is no reference in the Hansard of any speech, address, opinion, bill or comment by Mr Thomas Macaulay in the years from 1834 to 1838 inclusive.
Mr Thomas Macaulay apparently took up an appointment on the Supreme Council of India between 1834 and 1838 for which he was paid £50,000 to help pay off debts his father had accrued. [Spartacus Educational Biography]
There is another view that the real documented quote made by Mr Thomas Macaulay, though again unproven is below - the research continues:
I accept catholic beyond the across and across of India and I accept not apparent one getting who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such abundance I accept apparent in this country, such top moral values, humans of such caliber, that I do not anticipate we would anytime beat this country, unless we breach the actual courage of this nation, which is her airy and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I adduce that we alter her old and age-old apprenticeship system, her culture, for if the Indians anticipate that all that is adopted and English is acceptable and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their built-in self-culture and they will become what we ambition them, a absolutely bedeviled nation.” [WikiQuote]
Pertinent References
(These must be reviewed before posting a comment challenging the opinions stated here.)
Talk:Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay – The WikiQuote analysis of this purported speech.
Biography of Thomas Babington Macaulay – From Spartacus Educational, here, it noted that he was ennobled in August 1857, that is when he became Lord Macaulay.
Minute by the Hon'ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835. – From Bureau of Education. Selections from Educational Records, Part I (1781-1839). Edited by H. Sharp.  Calcutta: Superintendent, Government Printing, 1920. Reprint. Delhi: National Archives of India, 1965, 107-117.
A dubious quotation, a controversial reputation: the merits of Lord Macaulay – An exhaustive study of Lord Macaulay by Koenraad Elst – This must be read.
Macaulay's Minute revisited - Ramachandra Guha – The Hindu
Lord MacAulay’s Speech to British Parliament 1835 – Robert Lindsay on whipping up nationalist sentiment with contrived and false quotes.

Finally to put this all in context - The Curse of the Internet: Fake Historical Quotes

Dear Reader,
After almost 6 months of having written this blog with over 6,000 reads and all together 39 comments, I have decided to close this blog to new comments.
I appreciate everyone who has found time to read what I have written and have left comments either in support of or against the views expressed here.
Many, times, I have reiterated that the purpose of this blog is to dispute the letter of quote attributed to Lord Macaulay; at no time, I have suggested that colonialists have not practiced the spirit of the forgery attributed to the man.
My basic premise has been, if we are to be beacons of truth and justice, our activism and agitation must be based on the truth and the facts, never on fabricated quotes to suit our sentiments and subjective views. See - The Curse of the Internet: Fake Historical Quotes
Recently, the comments have digressed from the purpose and context of this blog; they have become unhelpful and do nothing to further the debate. I did not write this blog to entertain idle retired trolls.
I have suffered his views for long enough that I have decided to close this blog to new comments.
Everyone has a forum in the greater, bigger world of the Internet to publish their concurrence or disagreement and link back to this blog, if they so wish.
Thank you for reading and visiting my blog, I am honoured if providence has led you here whether you have gain anything or not from reading my blog.
With the kindest regards,
Akin Akintayo - 1st November 2013

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Private universities in Nigeria: Where are the ‘big’ men? - A Rejoinder on the Moral Element

I originally published this on NigeriansTalk.
A rejoinder is necessary
I have not written for NigeriansTalk in quite a while but after reading Salisu Suleiman’s piece titled Private universities in Nigeria: Where are the ‘big’ men? I could not resist the need to comment on a particular part of his article.
By the time I finished writing my comment, I realised I might well have broken an unwritten rule of concision and brevity required of comments that I decided it was best published as a rejoinder-blog to the original article as appears below.
Dear Salisu,
I very well agree with the main drift of this article which is the need to establish more universities, hopefully of academic excellence and qualitative progressive education with far-reaching benefits or endow existing ones to spread opportunity and access in Nigeria.
However, when I got to the part I highlight below, I do have misgivings I must voice.
Also, many families have found to their cost that sending children to schools abroad may not necessarily produce the better students in terms of qualification or moral development – many students sent abroad ended up victims of alcoholism or drug addiction. Having private universities here will help parents monitor their children’s development in person, not through vague progress reports from foreign schools.
This is a generalisation too expressive in stereotype that needs to be challenged. The issue of moral development when put in the context of being at home or abroad is simplistic at best. One had to take exception to this characterisation of foreign academic pursuits that suggests waste, loss and reckless abandon.
Much as many students including Nigerians can be given to social vices abroad, it smacks of cant if that is not juxtaposed with even more serious issues of cultism, abuse of females especially, the shirking of responsibility by academia in terms of incessant strikes, the absence of accountability of authorities for overreach and much else in Nigeria - you castigate serious students abroad too harshly.
The other issue of moral development you allude to in monitoring students is exemplified in the egregious abuse of authority and megalomaniac atrocity accompanied with reprehensible punishments as meted out most publicly by Covenant University and others in that ilk.
These private universities, rather than stimulate development of the mind and the person, tend to diminish the personality and esteem of young adults, creating a glorified secondary school atmosphere of non-inquisitive, non-questioning pliant drones of rote-learning and cloned attitudes of closed-minded conformity.
I say, let universities be mainly institutions of learning, expression and progressive development but leave the moral upbringing to parenthood, community and society at large - the downward trend of converting private universities into fiefdoms and pseudo-borstal homes of presumed innocence in pursuit of academic achievable should be not be encouraged.
It is of the utmost importance that we properly define the purpose of universities and the role of society at large without conflating issues; good moral conduct is generally expected of people in university but morality, no matter how broadly defined and presumed to be essential to our sometimes myopic outlook to life should not suddenly become part of the credit-scoring system of academic attainment.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Thought Picnic: Having an eye on the centre of the storm

Constructing the invisible
Most of my productive day is spent peering into logs, logs of events in faraway countries on systems I will never touch from people who I have made an acquaintance with on email or instant messaging chat programs.
From these logs, one has to deduce quite a few things; the easy part is when everything works, you know what to check and that is done.
Understanding the issue
When things fail, you brain goes into overdrive, you first have to locate the error, understand the circumstances around the error, determine if it catastrophic or benign and beyond that appreciate if that error is systemic or just an isolated issue.
If it is systemic, you have to work through a workflow that has become ingrained to a rote by reason of experience, whereas an isolated one might require identifying the variable that is sometimes unquantifiable in order to avoid a repetition of the same.
Interacting beyond sight
Meanwhile, as the logs are reviewed, you are communicating with people in a distant time zone, speaking a different language and under pressure to fulfil some project quota allotted to them without the consideration of unexpected eventualities.
As you divine the circumstances and communicate back your findings, this needs to be done in plain language especially if you require more detailed information beyond the usual logs to buttress the initial conclusions you have come to.
Between unsure and sure
At the same time, one is fallible, you see things that are not there, you might jump to the wrong conclusions and publish the same only to be debunked shortly before you’ve had time to offer excuses for your folly – it is a teachable moment, I take it and learn from it.
Autonomy is a welcome luxury of having initiative and the authority of an expert; it is so humbling to have your ego bruised when after painstakingly putting together the detail of your findings someone dismisses them outright as if you do not know what you are talking about.
Brook no nonsense
You pore over the data again, review your conclusions, gather more evidence and strive to enforce the weight of your well-founded opinions as indisputable facts finding the tone, nuance, context and gravity to come down like a ton of bricks of whoever had the effrontery to question your judgement.
The purpose is to come to an understanding whilst clearly defining the bailiwicks of the participants – I am engaged as an expert to perform a role, it is not asking too much to be treated with a modicum of respect which will elicit a more enthusiastic demeanour to help and bring the issue to a favourable resolution.
Softening the tone
Emails are more for jousting to prove a point, a telephone conversation or the use of an instant messaging facility seems to mellow the atmosphere allowing for a moderated level of discourse and parting on a friendly note.
Communication is a skill and those who know to use it will always find a way to settle an issue in the most amicable way regardless of the what wrong footing they originally irked each other on.
I like facts, the logs are good enough evidence if you can support the interpretations with incontrovertible proof – I am driven to know how, why and what because that is how lasting solutions are birthed.
I love my job, I am confident in what I know, I strive to be thorough so that I am right in my conclusions and we will get a solution if you allow me to do what I do know to do and work to do very well. 

Saturday 11 May 2013

Thought Picnic: We Never Knew What a Healthy Sexual Relationship Was Because ...

A difficult subject
Sometimes, I think I am one of the many really fortunate survivors of child sexual abuse by reason of the fact that I do not exhibit the classic symptoms that apparently many like me take into adulthood but it is a question of adaptation and adjustment – I am hardly unaffected.
From the time I decided to address the issue of child sexual abuse directly on my blog, I have tried to give voice to the experiences of others and mine in the hope that guardians become more sensitive to the emotional questions and travails of their wards.
That false sense of safety
One thing I have tried to highlight is the fact that the seemingly tight family structure at home does not essentially guarantee protection for the child from abuse and this has a more significantly debilitating effect on that child’s ability to trust and establish strong positive emotional relationships by reason of the fact that they lost their innocence within the cocoon of safety and protection we all assume children should have in the home.
I cannot say the age at which the loss of sexual innocence might not inform the course a person takes in using, abusing and/or exploiting sexual opportunity, some might completely clam up and never find any sexual expression at all.
Condemnation is easier than engagement
It is all too convenient for moralists and religionists to advocate chastity whilst thumping their holy tomes about sexual infidelity and sexual misuse where many amongst them professing the holiest of character and bearing in their communities have made catamites of boys and sexual objects of girls for their perverse paedophilia lusts – I dare say the abused mostly find help from people who are primarily humanists first before some belief system takes hold of their ability to be understanding or sympathetic, talk less of being empathetic.
The need for the absence of embarrassment about sexual education from the people closest to the child is all the more pertinent not by the instilling of fear which many resort to, but for awareness so that the appearance of abuse can be nipped in the bud before it takes root and begins to damage the sexual life the child goes on to have.
The memories of these experiences do not fade with time and seeing the studied long-term effects in this article suggests much more should be done to ensure children do not have their sexual innocence taken away by instituting prompt and effective action to tackle the abuser and meet the emotional scarring inflicted on the child by the experience.
Give the child a voice
Give the child a voice before sex becomes an outlet and a thrill without the essential fulfilling attachment fostering healthy relationships, where copulation is a matter of numbers rather than names and sex addiction could lead to more serious problems with life-threatening consequences. We must as guardians, adults, culture, society and the wider humanity be ready to face up to the shame and difficulty of dealing with child sexual abuse – the child must come first and never be swept under the carpet of convenient indifference.
Give the child the boldness and courage to have a voice long before they are violated and help them with all the therapy they need so they do not carry that baggage into adulthood - protecting a child's sexual innocence is of the utmost importance, it will not come from neglect.
Related blogs
My Sex Post - When I first addressed child sexual abuse that I experienced.

When religion and sex collide

I walked away – The comments referred to in this blog were lost in my transfer of the blog from an old domain.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Thought Picnic: Disengaged Indecisive Convenience

Unsure decisions
We met again on a day that started too dull to have been the follow on from a brilliant day, the day before and I was hardly dressed for it.
It was time to consider whether it was prudent to convey my clinical needs over here in terms of many things I have enjoyed with the treatment, the professionalism and the consideration that had served me so well over the last 4 years in the Netherlands.
Not as absorbed
Usually, I am seen within 15 minutes of arrival, but it was 30 minutes before I was called in, though I occupied myself with the New Statesman magazine that I took with me not sure of what to envisage.
When we got talking, we ticked off the issues; more questions came than I had answers for though I had enough information to help determine a particular course of treatment along with the need to contact my medical consultant in the Netherlands for additional information having signed some forms.
The news was not entirely good, the basic organ functions were fine but some readings were not an improvement on my last tests that a new battery of tests was needed.
The atmosphere was nothing like the conviviality I was accustomed to and once the doctor had disappeared, I saw nothing of her again before I left – it was rather disconcerting but for the expediency and immediacy of monitoring and treatment close to where I currently work.
A feast for long fangs
Soon, I submitted myself to the phlebotomy of needy vampires and I could have swooned for the life that was drained from my veins into six vials.
In two weeks, we will meet again and one wonders what will be in store though there is enough to bother me if I were to care so much for that fact that certain readings are not going in the direction one would have wanted.

Monday 6 May 2013

Thought Picnic: The Barrier to Confiding in our Guardians

My troubles in me
As I sat on the train on my way back to North Wales this evening I began to think about things that have happened to me that probably would not have become big problems further on in my life if I had someone who could help to talk to then.
Some might wonder if my childhood was as idyllic as I have so painted it in many blogs before, what could have left me tongue-tied on more personal and emotional issues that I have now acquired the knack for writing about now.
Under their noses
Indeed, I had an enchanted childhood, we lacked for nothing materially and we had much freedom and the support of extended family and servants for the convenience of my parents and ourselves, we had it good.
However, within that somewhat safe setting, we lost our innocence and were exploited by those who were supposed to care for us and somehow we never seemed to pluck up the courage against threat and fear to approach our guardians to put a stop to the atrocities.
Unresolved emotional baggage
In the end and I think I speak for many, we have carried humongous emotional baggage into our adulthood where many are still trying to get some sort of normalcy in their lives and existence hoping the situation if we have learnt the better of our past does not become a vicious cycle of the failings that we then pass on to our wards.
It goes without saying and people of our parents’ generation probably thought children had no emotional problems, we could be seen but not be heard, we were to listen but never to engage in discussion, we ran errands but our latitude for initiative was constrained to a modal expectation of the best behaviour we were to acquire even if we had no example of such character.
Tradition gave voice and truth to the older, it gave honour and absolution to the community leader and if the child ever did have a voice that got heard, at home it was trouble and in school it was radical – in both cases curtailment came through corporal punishment, the child was moulded by stripes and pain – a cuddle or a kiss was a sign of weakness, whilst encouragement if any was never effusive for the fear that the child might become big-headed.
Fear for respect
I was however taken aback but the resonance of a tweet I sent on the train which read thus – “When our parents confused our fear of them with our respect of them, they lost the many times we could have confided in them.
Our fear of our guardians was supposed to be a moderating influence on our behaviour, the fear of rebuke and harsh discipline apparently made us think of the consequences of our actions the inference was our fear was a sign of respect but what that also did was it raised barriers to interaction and conversation where it was necessary, we have internalised much hurt and abuse until when we have the independence to give voice to what could have festered for decades.
Break that chain
It is interesting that this issue is not just identified with cultures I am quite familiar with because even in Spain lenticular printed posters are being put up that reveal at a child’s eye-level what adults would not see at their eye-level, information about who they could call if they do need to confide in someone.
Sadly, everywhere somewhere a child cared for by someone does not necessarily have the sympathetic ear of that person on the deeper issues of life – questions, concerns, troubles and fears – we must break that chain and refuse to allow the damage we have experienced become a generational heirloom handed down to those that follow us.