Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I am finally Home

I am finally home….well at least for a wee while. I was in London and my laptop was so screwed up my blog suffered. I do love London though trying to do comedy with fireworks banging in the background was eternally annoying. I went up to Oxford to perform comedy and met up with Rose Gentle. Rose is from Glasgow and was at the death inquest of her son.

She is the mother of Gordon Gentle who died at age 19 years old in Iraq when a road side bomb killed him. The UK armed services failed to provide the necessary equipment to detect landmines. To make matters worse, it was the Iraq people who took Gordon to hospital not our own Armed Services, the Iraq doctors tried to keep him alive as the army took to long to get to his damaged body. He died.

Rose has taken on the might of the army and was in fine spirits when we met up. She has battled with the government over the last four years to get justice for her boy. Rose tells me that Gordon loved being a soldier, but the army failed to give him equipment that would have saved his life and that’s the issue she deals with. They have now made ten amendments alone to the uniform after Rose drew attention to the issue, and on the day Gordon died, mobile units like his were quickly fitted with the life saving technology four hours after Gordon drew his last breath. It seems paper work got lost and that’s why his mobile unit went out into the firing line without proper armour and equipment, yet they are still trying to figure out who never sent a letter to inform the crew to collect the vital supplies in mine sweeping.

“Rose, but don’t you think people would say that your son became a soldier and maybe you can’t complain if he died in action, isn’t that what he signed up for?” I asked her.

“Janey if your daughter was a window cleaner and they gave her a broken ladder to stand on and she fell a great height you would demand safer equipment for her wouldn’t you?” she answered “I loved my son being a soldier and was eternally proud of him, but even soldiers need safety equipment to do the job that is asked of them” she added.

She is right of course.

Meanwhile back in Glasgow my daughter is having a big fight at her University. It seems the lecturer that is supposed to be teaching her screenplay writing and film making is hardly ever at class and Ashley as student rep has had to stand up for everyone. She is currently in battles with the University and is appalled at the standards of education that are directed at her class, she pointed out that even though she is a third year student she still hasn’t been shown how to work a camera and hates the thought that she will be leave Uni with a degree but will have no real experience.

The upshot is she has been teaching herself camera work and passing the notes onto her the second year students, my best mate John Fleming kindly gave Ashley a great bag of books on film making and at the last meeting with the dean of the Uni she pointed out that the books she was given have actually been more informative than the lectures from the absent tutor.

I am glad she can fight for her rights, too many people get scared and step back from confrontation…not my child though and I am proud of her.

It seems our children have to fight for their rights, some depend on authority to provide and when they are let down, it can be devastating, at least my wee girl is alive to tell the tale of her disappointment in the government, Gordon Gentle will have to depend on the strength of his feisty mum to make his point as he died protecting the rights of others.

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