When people feel uncomfortable they quite often slip into self-defence mode.
I've watched people - real life, internet and media - winding themselves into barbed wire anger over the unfolding of what appears to have been systematic sexual abuse of children within most of our lifetimes. Under our very noses in fact. It feels so close to home, people feel the need to shout about how wrong it all was.
Last night I got a death threat on Twitter. Worse than a death threat in fact, it was an explicit threat to murder someone I care about.
So, I signed out, got a book out and went about the rest of my evening. Not frightened away, or bullied away, but just not wanting to spend my Saturday night in a blazing room (metaphorically or literally).
20 years ago a 13 year old kid was pushed down an allyway in broad daylight in a busy shopping Saturday and had things forced upon her which would steal innocence and hope. What’s remarkably unshocking about the attacks I faced throughout my developing years is how unshocking they are. They are not a stories that need to be retold, nor ones you need to hear. The thing is, something about them has been rattling around my head lately.
Next week there may be some trouble. I wanted to try and spin some sentences as a preemptive strike against an inevitable media backlash. I don't think I'll win many over, I just wanted to get in there first. And maybe plant a few seeds for thought.
Three months ago I cycled down to the London Stock Exchange to watch what I has assumed would be nine blokes in balaclavas fighting the police to get a girl guide rig down. I was greeted by one the largest displays of civil disobedience I have ever seen.
I wanted to pen something as I am learning to steer my course through what I suspected to be one of the toughest things in my life, but this journey isn’t the one I anticipated. Or to be more precise, it is not the one I think Hollywood had lead me to expect.
Yes, losing my mum is rotten, and yes leukemia is a snide bastard and yes watching someone you love going through chemo is like watching someone attempt to fix your precious watch with a sledge hammer; but my world did not implode on itself when my mum died in my arms.
A week on from my mum’s death, I thought I’d pen a self indulgent tale of some of you lot, the secret support network. So secret in fact, most of the people did not know they were doing it. Here’s my experience, as a rambling excuse for sprinkling some thank you’s and follow suggestions around the place.
Bonus payments are miss-named. They are performance payments and are calculated on a formula based on the difference between expected minimum performance and the higher achievement of the person paid.
Who then decides the minimum performance criteria? How is such measured? Why is it possible for someone to so far exceed expectations year-on-year that he can reasonably expect to be paid several hundred percent more for merely doing his job, which in nearly every case is already hugely rewarded by stratospheric basic pay?