0729-Royalty

Harry and Meghan’s Sussex title was ‘unfairly acquired’ and should be ignored, Brighton and Hove council to consider.

The Sussex title held by Harry and Meghan was “unfairly acquired” and should be ignored, a bizarre debate due to come before Brighton and Hove council will hear on Thursday. Councillors are expected to consider a petition demanding the local authority boycotts the Royal couple’s title after thousands of people supported the cause online. Written on behalf of “residents of Brighton and Hove”, it calls on the council to reject “the usage” of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex title, which is “disrespectful to the county of East Sussex”. The Dukedom held by Harry is said to be “entirely non-democratic” and “symbolic of the oppression of the general public by the wealthy elite”.

After a meteoric rise, the petition has become the third most-supported online in the council’s history, with 3,800 signatures. But it is a political crusade of somewhat unlikely origins. Charles Ross, the 54-year-old steward behind the campaign, admitted he had set it up when he was “bored” and expressed surprise it was now the focus of a political debate.  Any petition with more than 1,250 signatures must be debated by the full council under internal rules – a figure that Mr Ross’s petition has more than tripled. It is to be the fifth item on the agenda when Brighton and Hove City Council meet at 4.30pm and will include a three-minute speech automatically granted to the principal petitioner. Mr Ross told The Daily Telegraph: “I have been a long-standing republican, but I didn’t particularly take up the cause – I think I was bored one evening, if you want me to be honest. “I started a petition and I didn’t realise what a ball I would start rolling.”

Despite now being the figurehead of an apparent republican uprising on the south coast, Mr Ross admitted he had no links to political or campaigning groups on the issue. “I literally did it off my own back,” he said. It is understood no politicians were required to sponsor the petition for it to be debated and Mr Ross has not been contacted directly by the council about its contents. He joked: “I imagine they are probably keeping their heads down.”  Outlining what his address to the council chamber might contain, he continued: “Basically I will be espousing the fact that if politicians believe in a free society then they should not be according special privileges to people that have inherited titles. “My point is that I’ve got nothing against Harry and Meghan personally.” Other less impressed residents of Sussex have called into question the wisdom of the council in choosing to stage such a debate. The petition was condemned online as an “embarrassment”, a “waste of time”, with one Twitter user suggesting  “the guy starting the petition needs to grow up”. Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, founder of the British Monarchists Society, went as far as to claim the petition was indicative of a troubling rebel movement brewing in the region. He said: “We are utterly dismayed that said petition has been signed by so many. “This certainly highlights that Brighton and Hove is a hotbed of Republican dissidents and is now proven to be so. “Brighton and Hove should not pander to minority treachery and should not further entertain such a petition as proposed.” But Mr Ross remained resolute. He said: “I think if (the council) are fair and reasonable, they should act upon it – if they truly hold to people’s democracy they should follow through. “But I have my doubts that they will.”

0727-Anwar’s columns

“Malburgen is a knife with two sides”

If I walk around in a neighborhood that the Dutch think is a disadvantaged neighborhood, I feel at home. Malburgen, for example, a neighborhood in Arnhem that many would rather walk around. It is a neighborhood just like a knife. One with two sides. It seems as if the knife cuts in the middle of the neighborhood. On the east side are the houses for sale and the working people, on the other side there are many unemployed immigrants. Nuisance, poverty, drug use and crime form the picture from that side.

I met a lady who has been living there for nineteen years and can barely speak Dutch. Only a few Dutch families live in her area. It is also strange that families with children live in a flat, while single people without children live in a house with a garden.
I recognize the negative side of the knife from my own childhood. I lived in a poor area of ​​the Syrian city of Aleppo. We lived in an apartment building without a garden. All workers packed together in a neighborhood. Because we all had a low income, we supported each other.
A teacher in the neighborhood taught the poor children in the neighborhood, a carpenter made the broken door of his neighbor for free. We were hospitable and looked after each other.
The children who grew up in my time, almost all went to college later. I also see these possibilities in the youth of Malburgen. The people in the Arnhem district are also hospitable, look at each other and take care of the youth in the neighborhood together.
The comment of the old woman who barely spoke Dutch was significant. “I don’t want to move. I will stay here until I die.”

People keep all receipts as if they have to prove to their partner where the money is going

When a Dutchman is shopping, he always asks for the receipt at the checkout. Viewing and checking the receipt is not the end of the buying process. People keep all receipts as if they have to prove to their partner where the money is going.
In the house of my Dutch mother Gerda is a room that is theoretically an office, but in practice a sort of warehouse. Years of old papers and receipts are mixed up. It is chaos. Every time I offer to clean and tidy her room, she says: “No, my husband Erik knows exactly where everything is.”

A while ago I registered with the Chamber of Commerce to start my own business under the title AnwarVerbindt. This way I can earn money in a decent way with the chores that I do or lectures that I give. That is instead of the Tony Chocolate lonely chocolate that I always get as a thank you, that has almost given me diabetes. I find it difficult to start such a warehouse. A room full of receipts with which I can prove to the tax authorities what I have issued or received. And then paying tax on work that you have done yourself, terrible!

I didn’t think it was fair. Erik, the man from Gerda, helped me with my declaration and gave me a different perspective on the case. “I’m happy if I have to pay a lot of taxes,” he said. “That means that I have earned a lot.” Good point. Moreover, no one can say to me anymore: we pay for you. No, it is not. I have been here four years now and have been paying tax for two years. Hopefully for people who need it more than me.

I still associate expressing your opinion with danger

The Netherlands is not only known for its cows, cheese and tulips. Also because of freedom. The right to express your opinion is most widely used in the Netherlands. Demonstrating, protesting, actions and stakes are very common here. The government then sits down with the campaigners and thinks along how they can still make the people within the law happy. It is a right that really exists. If groups want to stand against each other, the police are there to steer it in the right direction. You can say anything but not fight.
When the mayor of Arnhem Ahmed Marcouch was installed, I wanted to be present at the ceremony to welcome him. I liked him, because when we went to the Lower House with our integration class, he was the only one who came to greet us. On the way to the town hall, I ended up among people who demonstrated against him as mayor. They had hate texts and flags against him as a person and as a Muslim.

I had written some welcome words for the mayor, but when I saw the demonstrators, I threw away my paper. I was sad and scared. I was afraid they would discover that I was for the mayor. That the police would shoot and a revolution would arise. In Syria, a revolution starts exactly that way. I went home without welcoming Marcouch.

I still associate expressing your opinion with danger. Demonstration requires prison, dismissal means strike. Welcoming a mayor who is not loved might mean that I have to go back to Syria.

Although I am always told that this is not the case in the Netherlands, I am afraid of a line after my name. “Anwar, we have to keep an eye on that.”

Arabs can work hard, but in a different way

An acquaintance of mine who lives in the Netherlands wants to build a house in Morocco. Like a holiday home. During her vacation she went to Morocco to have her dream house built. She returned after two months. “How was your vacation?” I asked her. ,, Pooh, it was tiring, Anwar. You know how the Arabs work and how it goes with appointments. Work hard one day and then don’t come for two days. And during the working day, she takes an irregular tea break. ”We laughed together. “Yes, recognizable,” I said.

It reminded me of my uncle. He is a tailor, father of seven children, does not have his own store but does have his own sewing machine. He lives in a village near Aleppo. If he gets one customer after a whole season without customers, he suddenly starts doing professionally. “Come back after two days, I’m too busy now,” he says. He thinks it is better if his customers regard him as a busy man, but that customer will of course never return.

Arabs can work hard, but in a different way. There is no plan of action, there are no fixed working hours and there is no fixed break time. Starting early with a fixed structure and a fixed plan, whereby we walk outside together as a group of ants at noon, that is not for us. It then feels like we are children who receive punishment.

I am accidentally telling about “our dirty laundry”. But it just needs space and time to switch the way we work to your system. The system that looks like a computer system. Soon we will walk outside like a colony of ants with a sandwich in our hand.

0726-Solar energy (update)

Monthly report: November 2019

Figures as per 30 November 2019 

  • 48.431 KW produced;
  • € 9.02 earned;
  • 18.60 Kgm CO2 emission saved;
  • equals 0.08 trees planted; total 3.8 trees.

* The connection between the solar converter and the house wifi network was lost as per 27 September. The installation was repaired 15 November. The above mentioned data is based on 1 November and 15-30 November.

0725-Holiday travel