Friends Of St Bede’s College In Manchester (FOBCIM)

Let me introduce you to a new group, a pressure group if you like, who have resolved not to pressure anybody as long as things are going along the right road.  We are Friends of St Bede’s College in Manchester (FOBCIM) or FOBs for short

I set out in 2011 when Daniel Kearney was made headmaster of St Bede’s College in Manchester to right a wrong.  Having received the trite note and a note was all it was, from Monsignor Michael Quinlan, once head of Governors at the school, to all parents to say that Michael Barber  had gone and Daniel Kearney was in place, I smelt a rat.  I smelt it straight away because of the speed of transition.  Why?  Because in the best run places that is not how things are done.  The end of one headship and the start of another is a careful and predetermined programme of events destined for it to be seamless to the observer.  It can last for a year or even longer whilst discovery of new and adieus of old take place.  But this soft shoe shuffle by Quinlan and Kearney warranted careful inspection, in fact it seemed highly suspect.

More or less immediately my suspicions turned into definite evidence as I started to learn of what was happening at the school under the Kearney/Pike foremanship.  All sorts of people were contacting me telling me of their disquiet with the way things were panning out.  Time honoured methods were being changed for no apparent reason, experienced staff were leaving in droves, parents were no longer treating the place as a “must go to” for their children and those parents with children at the school found themselves caught in a trap.  It not being the place they had signed up to years previously.  They felt they had no say in their children’s destiny, in short they felt their fears were being disregarded, in fact ignored.

Over the years since that Kearney/Pike putsch in 2011 disaffected people have been contacting me, disaffected people very close to the school who could see the wood from the trees and were alerted by this blog.  Concerned old boys, trapped parents and those not so trapped who had the ability to pull their children out of Bede’s and send them elsewhere and dare I say it, abused whistle blowers.  Not of course sexually abused people but those who felt the quality of their professional lives had been downgraded since the new regime emerged.  People within the aegis of the school who thought Kearney’s methods was an abuse of their personal and professional standards.  People who thought they had a right to have their thoughts recognised.

These people did not become a group, they were individuals who saw the value of this blog and the power it gave them to fight back anonymously by reporting verbatim what was going on.  None of them knew another but all had a common cause.  Between us we achieved a fair amount and although we cannot take the whole of the credit for Kearney’s and Quinlan’s demise, our programme of disparagement of the duo’s behaviour must have helped.  I know for a fact that Kearney was rendered dyspeptic by some of our revelations on occasions when if he possessed a cooler head he would have been better displaying it.  No, I have to say they brought most of their bad fortune to the table themselves.

In the last six months since Kearney’s eventual protracted departure we have remained calm, we have discussed where we need to go and we have all decided to give the new head, Mr Richard Robson, a fair crack of the whip.  At least his advent was not the result of a nefarious back-stabbing operation as was Kearney’s, albeit a risky and shabbily managed process that saw the school produce a new head out of a hat within the space of about six weeks instead of the normal lengthy process of discovery to ensure that the new choice is really fit for purpose with no attached baggage.

We, the disaffected individuals of yore are now bound up in a loose Association.  We remain a cellular structure, nobody knows who the next man is, except for myself, they all remain anonymous but there is communication between ourselves using me as the channel.  A little like that scary organisation at the turn of the 20th century in Ireland, the Irish Republican Brotherhood or the IRB as they were known.  The difference is that we are not a bunch of murderers and rebels but just decent people seeking the truth and trying to help the disquieted.

We will over the rest of this school year observe, listen and say nowt, unless of course there is something that absolutely needs saying.  Mr Robson looks a decent enough chap with no particular religious ideology like Kearney brought back from southern Spain with him.  Our only worry is his lack of experience at senior management level at a seven or eight hundred pupil school which has or had a high level of success in public examination.  At this level the head has to keep so many balls in the air, one moment of distraction can mean empty hands and no balls at all.  Certainly however  his early experience at stage school as taught him how to look the part, is early snaps at the College show him to be neatly turned out and fresh looking and in his opening address on the school website he did not appear to have the rabid dog mentality about discipline that Kearney portrayed in his preface in 2011.

We wish him luck because he will surely need it, the fabric of the school is rent with uncertainty and past experiences, with senior management jockeying for position in the new era and with a Board of Governors massively endowed with sacerdotal ineptitude, disgruntled former senior management and a sprinkling of trite nonsense with the likes of Helen West, who supposedly reported me to the English police, the Garda Siochana and Uncle Tom Cobley and threatened to close my blog down.

As an opening introduction we thought we, the loose association known as FOBCIM or FOBs for short would send him an open letter to tell him that we are on his side.

Dear Mr Robson,

Welcome on board the good ship Bede and we mean that sincerely because we know you have your work cut out to make a success of this daunting mission that you have set up for yourself.  In a way your introduction to the school has been helped by the sterling work of Sandra Pike, who without the interference of the dummy chucker Kearney has managed to plug the hole in the keel of the school and steadied the sinking ship and brought it back from its almost terminal list.  It is now limping along at slow ahead from a desultory stand by and its your job to get it full ahead by the end of the year.  Excuse the nautical language but for three years that is what the school reminded me of, a large ship in a wallowing sea without rudder or power.  The power has been returned and is awaiting your dynamic input.  Every thing is in place for you to make a magnificent success of this voyage or fail miserably if your dysfunctional engine room lets you down.

Staff morale is low after a year of uncertainty and three years of inefficient tinkering and that probably is your first objective.  It does not need saying that the College’s Safeguarding issues need to be met head on and the onus is more on good practice than lip-service as Kearney discovered.  One real way of achieving this is by admitting to the historic sexual abuse of pupils of the College, holding up your hands and apologising wholeheartedly to the many hundreds of abused kids that have gone through the maelstrom of past College life.  Reconciliation is the key.  Admittance, acknowledgement and acceptance of the dark deeds allowed in St Bede’s College  to my knowledge, from the late 1940s and up to and probably beyond the turn of the 21st century.  In fact I doubt whether the problem has really left the school but Byrne and Moynihan will fill you in on the nitty gritty, if you do not already know.  If that approach fails you can always come to this blog where we should be able to chat in confidence.

Be careful with your dealings with the Board, having 33% of the board as priests of the Catholic Church is about 24% too much in this day and age and the looming presence of those two erstwhile stalwarts of the College’s glory days, the said B & M, does not help.  They were put there in 2011 by Quinlan to help Kearney in his nursery hour of need.  Little help they gave him for all they did when the pressure mounted was to resign and were then brought back again to give Kearney his coup de grace.  The shadowy and undeserving figure of Coffey as Vice Chair of the Board seems to give him more importance than he intellectually deserves but he is obviously there as an Arabic plant to ensure the Sheikh keeps his foot in the door of College life.

You will have been made aware of the disastrous path that Daniel Kearney trod helped in no small way by the behind scenes tinkering of the Diocese and its acolytes.  So we suggest an arms length relationship with Salford and this new and not so nice and grim successor to the Brainless one, Bishop John Arnold, whose recent history suggests he does not take prisoners.

So the best of luck and we will support you wholeheartedly providing you do the right things and we will certainly give you time to ensure your blueprint becomes reality.  But one final thing before we leave you in peace, or three as it turns out,

1. Why does Fr “Gus” Dearman still give his address as the school when the previous regime told everybody that he no longer resides there.

2. For heaven’s sake get somebody working on the College website, it is a disgrace and needs bringing into the 21st century.

3. Why is that erstwhile guardian and bully boy of the College, Fr Timothy Hopkins, the one time eyes and ears of Quinlan in College propriety, still skulking away in a private house in Crumpsall.  With his past troubles behind him supposedly and his young age for him, would he not be better off performing parochial duties, providing he is allowed and giving the likes of those two honest to goodness servants of the College, Jack Rigby and Kevin O’Connor some respite from their duties, as they are well into their 80s now and deserve a little respect.

We hope you have a fair wind and a following sea.

Members of FOBs

To Be Or Not To Be.

Before I begin this little but very important blog posting I would just like to register myself as a definite confirmed heterosexual of unambiguously male gender and so can only look at today’s subject with a sympathetic outsider’s eye. I am writing as I feel after my small amount of research, I might have some terms and facts wrong but I am new to this area of life’s rich tapestry.
This train of thought came about with a careful nudge from a transgender friend after the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender 17 year old from Ohio in America on 28th December 2014. For those of you unaware, a transgender person is one whose brain tells them clearly that they are of the opposite gender to that which they were given at birth and which their physical appearance might suggest. Leelah was born Joshua but through her early teens knew she was actually a girl and dressed and thought accordingly. Her Christian parents believed she was damned if she continued with this perspective and forced her into a course of conversion therapy, a brutal remedy which borders on mental abuse and which ought to be banned.
It was this inhuman conversion therapy and the thoughts of her parents bullying attitude that eventually led to her death. Her parents still considered she was their son and that they could not accept her gender for religious reasons. It is a fact that Christianity and especially the Catholic Church, does not deal fairly with people whose sexuality or gender is not conventionally heterosexual.   They consider that anything else is a perversion not a God given gift whilst the Asian religions of Islam and Buddhism and others tend to be far more welcoming to gender variation. We, after all, are all God’s children and we should all be treated with equanimity and equity.
Faced with this dark force in the western world you can now start to see the absolutely complicated decisions that affect some people’s lives, decisions that we as heterosexuals of conventional gender just take for granted and never have to consider.
This transgender friend of mine grew up as a boy knowing herself to be a girl but with male apparatus. By the age of 20 she was dressing as a woman and became suicidal at the societal pressures put on her by family and others. However she was intelligent and used her common sense and swapped back and forward in gender as the occasion arose. It is a sad fact that 50% of transgender children attempt suicide as a way out of the pressures that society often places on them, but she was older and stronger than Leelah when it really mattered.
There is help out there for people in this difficult position but because of their youth they are often not mature enough to access it. This I think is where sympathetic parents hold the key. A good parent should, when they love their child enough, be able to throw off the shackles of convention brought on by religion and society. Leelah’s parents were not able to take that step which I can imagine is a difficult one to take even though they confess to loving Joshua as much as any parent could. They should have sought out real help and advice not the inhumane conversion therapy with which to treat their daughter.
You might now be asking so what, some dumb cluck teenager topping herself, why should I be interested? But the problem is a serious one and no child should have to tread these waters alone, help should be readily and easily available. It is reasonably estimated that possibly 0.3% of the population is faced with this horrible worry and if you think of the United Kingdom with 60 million of a population, there are 200,000 transgender people around. An awful lot of people with no steer to the early parts of their lives.
How can we help these poor souls, lost in a strange world that gives them no help? Well we can start by not sniggering when transgender is mentioned, we can stop being dismissive when the subject comes up. We can all start to feel sympathetic towards the minefield into which they might be heading. We tend to think of these people as being degenerates and perverts but they are no different than me or the next person. It is just that it is easier for us to rise to a level to suit the typical societal mores. We do not jar, they seem to, all because perverted and deserted Christianity tells us so.
So let us all make another New Year’s resolution. Let us look on our personal sexualities and gender as a gift from our maker. Just as there are many shades in the colour of skins in this world, there are also lots of shades of sexuality and gender and we the majority should not get on our high horse when dealing with, speaking to or even helping out the minorities. We all add flavour to life and we should all be treated with respect.
When I persuaded myself to do this difficult posting I thought of the many years I had spent largely unaware of these matters. I did not think about the lives of even straightforward gays and lesbians of which there are an awful lot. In the UK there are about 1.5 million gay men and about 900 thousand lesbians. It never entered my cognisance of the many, many transgender people and variations in between but this exercise has been therapeutic for me as I hope it will be for you, if you choose to think seriously about this subject. I in the space of a few days have learnt to be magnanimous, sympathetic, appreciative and above all understanding of this rich creed of people that I had not considered before. If there is any kind of positive spirit that has come out of Leelah’s tragic and premature death, it is that she has raised the awareness of her situation in all of us.

If you yourself are transgender or have a family member or friend who is transgender, remember that there are organisations and help lines for you.  Don’t do what Leelah did.  If you e-mail me in confidence on malpas46@eircom.net, I can provide further information.

Dry January

Well after putting on 3Kgs in December it is time to take stock, I need to lose that three plus more if only to keep my endocrinologist happy.  I sold my soul to the good Doctor Lourens 18 months ago and more than anything in my life I cannot let her down.  So we, that is my pencil slim wife of over 40 years, have decided to go back on the original low carb diet that proved such a success back in 2013.  Basically it is no spuds, no pasta and no bread, plenty of greens, reds and fruit.

Alcohol is a source of dispute however, wifey says dry, I say showers.  My normal intake is 500 mg glass of 25% vodka, 25% freshly squeezed orange juice and 50% sparkling water.  It tastes just like the bottle of Jusoda I used to take to Old Trafford as a kid to watch the likes of Alan Wharton, Peter Marner, Ken Grieves, Malcolm Hilton, Roy Tattersall, Brian Statham and sadly Cyril Washbrook play, all those years ago.  I say sadly because Washbrook was an obnoxious bastard.  A creation of the 30s which was out of place in the 50s and early 60s.  What great memories those first six names give me but I digress.

So my apero around 4.00pm is this comforting 3/4 of a pint of fortified fruit juice.  I then sit down to my evening meal at around 5-5.30pm and having lit the fire previously I settle down in front of its all embracing warmth, having been finely victualled, with a book and a bottle of Malbec. That Argentinian wine that I consider the best value for money wine there is these days courtesy of the Aldi supermarket in Carrick on Shannon. This gentle cocktail puts sand in my eyes by 7.00pm and shortly after that I head for the stairs, to arise normally at about 3.00am.  Fresh as a daisy and ready to read my e-mails and trawl the net to find out what is really happening in the world.  As regular readers already know, we have no television, nor do we buy newspapers.  Our minds are pure to absorb the truth and not the shite that is the content of main stream media.

I digress again, I apologise.  Well wifey wants me to give up both apero and digestif and I feel that I am not for turning but to please her I have decided to forgo the Malbec.  I can hardly give up the fruit juice because of the massive Vitamin C hit it gives me.  I am happy with the compromise even though I have not yet broached it to her.

Anyway, cutting out the Malbec will give me a few more hours writing space, something I have neglected these last few months.  I sometimes feel the muse has deserted me.  After four years of writing about child abuse with now every man and his dog contributing on the subject, I feel that I am abused out.  No longer does the sexual abuse of minors shock me with even the main stream media covering the subject these days and with even the abuse getting more and more sickening by the day.  I cannot get shocked therefore I can no longer write about it.  But I can sometimes poke fun at the cretins the establishment put up to investigate our sadness.  Like that eejit Butler Sloshed the other day making us realise that this Official Inquiry into child abuse is not going to work.  I say leave it to Michael Mansfield’s unofficial inquiry which was established before Christmas and Bill Maloney’s gathering of retired detectives, pressmen and lawyers who are at this moment stirring up a witch’s brew of delights for these establishment perverts.  By late summer the shit should well and truly hit the fan.

The thought of reducing my Malbec intake is already making me inattentive and for the third time in a few hundred words I have digressed.  Yes I was talking about Dry January and weight loss.  This dream of mine to get under 16 stone or 101.6kgs will become a reality and dare I say 99kgs a possibility.  So its 6kgs I am looking to shed, its nothing, six bags of sugar, just over 13lbs, almost a stone.  Easy peasy.

For the year ahead, I am going to Morocco in the spring and to Gallipoli in the summer.  More than enough sun in both places to restore my Vitamin D imbalance for the year.  Marrakesh to see by then 55% of my grandchildren who must be friends of Islam by now and Gallipoli to remember the fallen of the 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers whose centenary of their massacre is in August this year.  A good % of those unfortunates were from Yorkshire, men from the Rotherham , Doncaster, Barnsley triangle who had volunteered for the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment and were sent to their regimental HQ that was then in Limerick and 350 of them were snaffled by the powers that be when they disembarked at Dublin and sent down to the 5th Battalion that was being formed in Fermoy in Cork and although they at the time did not know it but were about to be thrown into battle against the powers of Islam or the Ottoman Empire as it was known as then.

Funnily enough that triangle of Yorkshire has a fair share of those of the Islamic creed and in fact I have a grandchild of Islam living up the road in Bradford, shortly to be joined by another in late spring, my son having conjoined with his lovely Bangladeshi wife to bring fresh new blood into that aging beast that is Yorkshire cricket.  And to bring you fully up to date, my third daughter is hoping to produce her second child in May, this one to be neither Islamic or Christian but hopefully god-fearing with a mind and a conscience untainted by constraint.

So by summer the tally should be nine grandchilds all with their own little inquisitive minds spread between Lancashire , Yorkshire and Morocco.  Let us all hope they take the best things from their Islamic, Agnostic Christian circles and work out a world that is fit for human consumption and not the shit heap our generation have conjured up for the people.  At least in the course of our journey we have all jettisoned the Catholic faith which held the most of us back these past years.

Where was I, oh yes my dry January, I have been digressing again.  My New Years resolution must be not to digress, concentrate on the attainable and hope the perverts get their just deserts.  A red hot poker up their jacksies preferably.

The Last Fuck Up Of 2014

This posting is short and really it is to wish all my readers a HAPPY NEW YEAR and to remind everybody of the last fuck up of 2014.  Yesterday Baroness Butler Sloshed, the erstwhile chair of the Inquiry into Child Abuse, agreed to be interviewed by the BBC and in doing so made the last fuck up of a year of establishment fuck ups.  She said that the establishment figures like her brother and many politicians did not think there was any harm in shagging young kids, so the whole thing about abuse was treated lightly.  How fucking wrong was she and how lucky we were that public opinion reared up and bit her.  Listen to the interview on the Tap Blog Spot of today’s date or those who despise the alternative media, read all about it in the Guardian.

She thought she was eminently suitable for the role because it is only experienced intellectual establishment types like her could control an Inquiry into this important subject.  What an unbelievable dick-head.  Terry May, the Transvestite Home Secretary should be appalled at his first choice.

Thinking about what she said made me smile and my mind went back 50 years to the first time I read J P Dunleavy’s masterpiece The Ginger Man.  A book which moulded my life and which I have read at least 10 times.  The hero of the story is Sebastian Dangerfield, an American on a GI scholarship at Trinity College in Dublin after WW2.  He was at a loose end as his wife had just left him but he had inveigled himself into the bed of Miss Lilly Frost who was a lodger at the once marital home.  His smooth Yankee talk soon had the knickers off this good Catholic spinster but she was overcome with guilt after the act and was really worried about what she should tell the priest in confession.  Sebastian was not put off by this remorse and the following night he found himself in the same position but instead of the vaginal intercourse he was expecting she would only allow him to thrust his manhood up her arse.

Sebastian said “Lilly, why do you want me to do it this way?” and Lilly replied “Oh Mr Dangerfield, its so much less of a sin”

And

Fun

Too

Butler Sloshed said she was going to be fair and judicial in her findings but was going to judge everybody by the mores of the time, when shagging young kids was a mundane daily event,

And

Fun

Too

Presumably.

 

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