Think and think again on Gaza

Think and think again on Gaza, says Joseph O'Donnell
Think and think again on Gaza, says Joseph O'Donnell

Where have all the brave leaders of today gone?

Why do the EU, UK and USA remain silent on the destruction of Gaza and its people? In doing so, they give tacit encouragement to Israel.

To quote Sir Thomas More seems apt for today: “Who is silent is seen to consent.”

I have been writing letters on this subject over many years to protest about the brutality and injustice that has visited Palestine. These unwelcome guests appear to have taken up permanent residence in that unfortunate and occupied state.

Israel operates with impunity under the aegis of America, which supplies them all the necessary weaponry for modern-day warfare and defence, while receiving munificent benefits in dollar form and have apparently been given a receipt for carte blanche to apply “Rafferty’s Rules” on all Palestinians, which they do with great gusto.

But valorous they are not, when women with babes in arms, the old, the infirm, the non-combatant civilians are paying with their lives... all innocent lives.

Over the many years, the demarcation line of decency and humanity has been crossed by Israel. What has it achieved? World opinion has turned its back on them.

After all of this, Mr Netanyahu’s standard reply is “Israel will do all that is necessary to protect its people”. This sounds all well and good, if like Mr Netanyahu you dwell in the citadel of Israel. But tell me Mr Netanyahu, if what is printed in the European and UK media is correct, have you considered the wellbeing and personal safety of the Jewish diaspora? You may be in for a nasty shock when it may dawn on you that through your inhuman action on defenceless civilians, you may have given rise to the current upsurge of anti-Semitism.

I would urge everybody to think, think and think again.


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I’ve prayed and worked for this

At long last the General Synod of the Church of England has made it possible for women to be consecrated into the Episcopate.

There will no longer be any gender based divisions in the sacrament of ordination.

Many of us have worked and prayed that this would be so for many years. “We are all one in Christ” is St Paul’s great vision for the Church and for the world.

We have had women priests in our Church since 1994. Many parishes have had 20 years’ experience of that development in ministry.

Like male priests/bishops some appear to be in the ordained ministry to make up the numbers and some have made a significant difference.

I contacted a few of my old college friends in the States for their observations as the Church there has been ordaining women as priests since 1977 and bishops since 1989.

One of them wrote, “quite frankly, I cannot tell that women clergy generally have made much difference in the Church and that would include women in the Episcopate.”

Bishops in most of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion are elected by members of the Churches and not appointed, as is the case in England.

The jury is still out in the age-old debate about whether we get the bishops we need or the bishops we deserve, whatever the system.

Widening the field of candidates to include women will certainly give the Church greater choice in the appointment/ election of bishops. Our American friends and others would not want to turn the clock back but a change in the system does not guarantee a better quality in the overall ministry in the Church.

There will be an initial blaze of publicity when the first women are consecrated and they will be given a rough time from some quarters in the Church of England especially from those who thrive on sharpening their critical faculties!

The American experience has brought about a more settled situation.

Women in the Episcopate now number 20. “There are very few congregations now who would be reluctant to call a woman for their rector”, writes my friend, who is still ministering in Asheville, North Carolina.

He goes on to say “ women clergy have been a reality for so long that they often have the more outstanding resumes. I have looked for some evidence that women priests/bishops might bring a different kind of personality to the Church that would dilute the male characteristics of competitiveness, etc.

“I see no evidence of that so far. In fact our Presiding Bishop (Katherine Schori) is probably more likely to confront than the previous PB.”

It would seem that we could be in for some interesting situations in the next few years!

The acid test for me about the ministry of the Church for 
both men and women is that it is composed of people “whose hearts God has touched.” (1 Samuel 10:26)


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Who thought up this layout?

Having lived on the Danesholme Estate in excess of 40 years I feel well qualified to comment upon the proposed layout to the above premises and the reduction of available services.

After having successfully inflicted a third world letter delivery service upon the residents of this area in recent times it would appear that this triumphalism has engendered among the executives of Royal Mail/Post Office an acute spasm of desire to now go one step further by imposing alterations at Danesholme Sub-Post Office in Corby to ensure chaos takes over wholly.

However, a person in a stable state of mind could possibly think that the positioning of the Post Office counter immediately adjacent to the main entry/exit door and alongside the news agency/grocery counter is

a spectacular figment of imagination of someone who has resided in Narnia.

Clearly whosoever has suffered this desperate mental aberration needs to attend the premises round about 9am on a

Monday morning during school term time and properly observe the situation.

Doubtless the powers that be will suggest that longer opening hours will relieve attendance at peak times.

The residents of this estate are not cretins and should not be regarded as such.

Additionally the prospect of having of having to commence work at 6am must be eminently attractive to the present lady members of staff. NOT.

The only advantage I can envisage from these proposals is that I will have to spend so much more time queuing there is a 
good chance that by the time I get back home my suit will have come back into style.

Finally I would implore the 
persons who have devised this scheme not to venture outdoors without wearing protective headgear.

This should help diminish any potential attack by woodpeckers.


Sports facilities are very welcome

On receipt of The Link – the communications brochure issued by Wellingborough Council – I was pleased to see the artist’s impression of the first phase of the Wellingborough North development incorporates a cricket and football pitch together
 with tennis courts and some open spaces.

I look forward to these amenities being available.


These works have taken far too long

The work to improve the roundabout at Wilby Way, Wellingborough, started in September 2013. The original signs stated that the work would be completed by February 2014. The completion date was then extended to June and again extended to July. Using the A509 and Wilby roundabout every day, it is obvious that the work is still not complete as there is still a lot of tidying up to do.

I don’t consider work to be completed when there is still “tidying up” to be done, do you? I think it is typical of this country’s workforce that a job that was supposed to take
five months has, in fact, taken almost a year! I do not believe that we would see this sort of thing in other European countries! I think the project itself is very good and the roundabout is much improved but the “shoddy” part relates to the length of time this has taken.



Now we have war all over the world

According to the history books Gavril Princip shot Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie and a few weeks later the First World War began. Today we honour the dead, quite rightly so, but let’s not forget within 20 years the Second World War had begun and even more carnage ensued. Now we have conflicts all over the planet, using as much weaponry and munitions as was ever used in previous conflicts. We, that’s the United Kingdom, have manufactured weapons for Syria, Israel, and the Ukraine, its the biggest industry in the world.

Cameron says nothing and hides in the corridors of Westminster talking about immigration control, sitting on his hands letting thousands die needlessly. When enough weaponry has been spent that’s when we will act, when its time to renew the contracts. Then we decide who to protect and who we call the enemy.