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From Alex's Mum

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

It's such a funky quirky place
Hebden presents a happy face
But if you venture in the park
Throughout the day or after dark
And if you look the other way
A different Hebden's on display.
The funky photogenic town
Has let some of its people down.
They're drinking Spesha and smoking dope
And seem to have run out of hope,
Cheek by jowl with suxxess
One part of Hebden's in a mess.
A film about young self destruction
Caused a quite enormous ruction.
So just where did those judges look
When scoring places for their book?
While shouting Hebden's virtues loud
Remember - linings have a cloud.

From Andy M

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Thanks for that but why has 'the 'town' let some down? Is this merely a rhyming construct or are you saying that the community or council or some other aspect of HB is to blame?

From Jonathan Timbers

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

I think this poem's better than Ian MacMillan's poor effort, and says more about the town. Clearly, we have all let people down either because we ignore issues or actively contribute to class and gender constructs which leave some people feeling out of the mainstream here.

What we need to do is reflect on this. I've already suggested that the town council should fund a research project to ascertain the level of drug and alcohol abuse, and levels of disaffection in town amongst certain groups (I'd include young women, not just young men, and consider disaggregating by socio-economic status). When we have more details, we can think about proportionate policy responses.

In the mean time, the poem just reflects wittily what some think about the town. It certainly puts my feelings in a nutshell. Thanks, Alex's mum. Best posting on this site ever imho.

From Andy M

Thursday, 23 December 2010

So I am in part to blame for not actively tackling drug issues but being actively middle class and male?

I fully support helping people to ovecome problems and providing resources to help if that is what is wanted/needed but I don't accept that a large proprtion of our community is automatically 'to blame' because they happen to have a certain social cache or label attched to them.


From Jack Hughes

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Drug use? Drug abuse? Where do we draw the line here, folks? Having fairly recently been the unfortunate recipient of an alcohol-fuelled tirade of abuse from a (very) well-known local 'politician' in my neighbourhood pub, I feel that some clarification is sorely needed here. What exactly is it that we regard as a 'drug', and what is considered a 'harmless social lubricant'? In the Co-Op (sorry) earlier today, I witnessed several local addicts stocking up on caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, getting in their Christmas "stash" in what seemed like a paranoid, panic-stricken 'binge', presumably so as not to have to suffer the agonising pangs of withdrawal. I pity these poor individuals. Why don't they just go home and chill out with a nice hashish-and-marijuana joint, courtesy of our brave boys currently on Xmas leave from their tour-of-duty-in Afghanistan?

To be serious for a second. Hebden Bridge has a long-standing reputation as a 'druggy' town. In my 1970s-1980s youth, the illicit intoxicants of choice were psilocybin mushrooms (ubiquitous, free) and cannabis resin (ubiquitous, cheap-ish). I do not recall receiving any kind of aggro from (fellow) stoned or tripping youths, despite my (even then) slightly unconventional appearance. Nowadays? Drunken idiots seem to regard it as their privilege, nay, their right, to be verbally or physically abusive to anyone who they don't like the look of (in my personal experience, this tends to be short-haired women or long-haired men). Maybe this is a separate issue - the perceived festering resentment towards the 'unconventional' inhabitants of our lovely town (of which I am, I am proud to say, a genuine 'native')? Rant over. Maybe it's time I skinned up? Merry Xmas to all.


From Rev Tony Buglass

Monday, 27 December 2010

When I was a prison chaplain, we knew there was a fair amount of dope being smuggled in, an increasing amount of hard stuff, and every now and then someone would manage to brew some hooch. The unofficial word was that officers would turn a blind eye to the smoking of dope (if they could - just don't make it too blatant, like stinking out the whole landing) but would clamp down hard on alcohol. Dope kept people quiet, booze made them fight.

As to drug abuse/use - well, where can the line be drawn? It was a frequent line of argument among the inmates that they had been sent down for using their drug of choice, by a judge who would then go and have a glass of his drug of choice with his dinner. Unfair? Inconsistent? Arguably.

My own personal view is that anything which destroys or degrades is abusive, whether self-inflicted or not. I will have a drink or three, but it will be me in control, not the booze. I don't smoke, because I can't see any justification for inhaling carcinogens, and I don't touch illicit stuff because it's illicit. I've watched people I know lose battles for control - a man I knew enjoyed a pint until he lost control, and then the only way he could save his life was by not drinking any more. Pity he lost that pleasure. Another had started smoking for pleasure, but ended up smoking because he needed to, and it was no fun at all. Pity he lost that pleasure.

Having a drink with friends can be good. Enjoying a nice wine, ale, or whisky can be good. Is that proper drug use? Getting off your face so that you abuse yourself and other people - well, it speaks for itself, I reckon.

Apart from that, I hate hangovers! Have a great Christmas.

From Sutti H

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Rev Tony Buglass, I do enjoy reading your posts. A very level headed view on life. Thanks