Gaps in provision of KinderPolitics costs more lives than lack of PPE equipment

At different stages of the unfolding of the coronavirus response in the UK, as presumably across the world, what suggestions and questions are received as helpful and timely is contentious. Each contention demonstrates to me, as a mediator most-inspired by the life and legacy of Marshall Rosenberg, how under-developed is our collective capacity to "move forward more together". To take to heart "We're All In This Together" means different things to different people. To me it means choosing dialogue rather than the "3Ds of Distancing" - debate, demand and/or demeaning "the other".

Choosing debate, demand and demeaning over dialogue can cost many lives. I offer three examples from a month of the UK experience and leave others to calculate the number of lives that would have been saved if the dialogues had respectively
1) brought lockdown forward by three days?
2) provided clear learning about how to clean and reuse PPE safely?
3) empathised with (and opened up behaviour change in) those deemed dangerously non-compliant with "lockdown UK"?
1) You may well have missed the 16th March interview on LBC by Nick Ferrari of "Pause the System" protest spokesperson, Kelly Waters, which I contrast with Nick Ferrari's 16th April interview entitled: "Captain Tom Moore, 99, raises over £14m for NHS". I leave you to watch the films to determine which interview contained the phrase "you are beyond naive" and which began "It's an absolute privilege to speak with you". What Kelly Waters from "Pause the System" was proposing, against opposition/(hostility?) from the interviewer, was that the UK enter lockdown including the closing of schools"

I wish we each acknowledged the privilege conferred on us when anyone wants to communicate with us. Isn't it wonderful to have the amazing capacity, via the internet, to hear so many expressions of others' needs/values? Many expressions of need might be tragic in the sense that they are unlikely to be met on account of how they are received; perhaps nowhere experienced more than by what pleas we hear conveyed by twitter and met by something other than love and kindness.

When presented with a wish for co-operation in problem-solving the challenge of how to close the schools whilst ensuring childcare provision for key workers, Nick Ferrari declined the implicit invitation that could have saved many lives. So too did Keir Starmer on Twitter apparently do little to help illuminate and support the (politically-risky but life-saving?) options around reuse of personal protection equipment (PPE). Appending the link to this Guardian article, the 11th April 9.04am tweet from Keir Starmer began "It is quite frankly insulting to imply frontline staff are wasting PPE". Having expressed what might be called "Righteous Indignation", the rest of the tweet could be seen as a call for empathetic understanding and taking of responsibility, or it could, for example, be taken as accusatory and blaming, untrusting and unconstructive power play:
"There are horrific stories of NHS staff and care workers not having the equipment they need to keep them safe. The Government must act to ensure supplies are delivered.." Responses to this tweet typified for me "adversarial/polarising politics". I caught myself smiling less than kindly at the first response I saw, with it's (back-handed compliment(?) to the new Labour Party leader): "At last you've found your backbone". From the government, @Helen_Whately replied: "repeating a false accusation doesn’t help anybody and it’s surely not your style. If you want nhs and care staff to have the PPE they need - as I do - surely you’d back people using the right PPE for the tasks they are doing." You might see that as a reasonable response, and so, if I share my judgment of Ms Whately's tweet as "Adversarial Score -High", what do you make of my judgment?. Of course there were twitter responses to Keir Starmer that were perhaps even less about building a shared understanding and joint plan of action; from @LonsdaleKeith replying to @Keir_Starmer: "Thank goodness you lot didn't win in December. We'd have no PPE, no Nightingale hospitals but, diversity managers on every ward." Would you agree with my judgment that @LonsdaleKeith's tweet here was "Adversarial Score -High"?

That we judge the actions of others is in our nature, what we do with those judgments a crucial choice. I asked my political secretary, as I ask you, to watch this film of an NHS worker clearly upset, and list the unmet needs that are being expressed:

"In no order. It’s amazing what a short speech can offer in terms of needs: Appreciation; Fairness; Compassion; Caring; Community; Consideration; Inclusion; Mattering; Respect; Safety; Shared reality; Support; To be known; To be understood; Ease; Order; Peace; Nourishment."
I am heartened by what I perceived the impact to be of this NHS worker expressing their needs without targeting an individual, seeking to prick the collective conscience into meeting her unmet needs. What response might meet the requested caring and sharing? Perhaps the doorstep sharing (alongside decontamination kit) of whatever surplus food one has? That behaviour I have heard of in New Zealand in the midst of this broadcast promoting befriending etc

Meanwhile, sharing another YouTube film from an NHS worker, the commentary I offer is of my sadness at the expression of needs/values in ways that are unlikely to get them met:
Rather than caring for the quality of connection and the realistic ways in which behaviour is changed, the above film marks for me an impoverished culture of "shaming". Many of us grew up with "shaming" used as a technique to seek compliance with the behaviour sought from us by other family members -and may experience this still? Whilst conscience is a key energy to action, shaming is to me energy put into what Marshall Rosenberg seemed keen to call the "Domination Culture". I ask Maria Arpa of the Centre for Peaceful Solutions, who brought Marshall Rosenberg to an international conference to work between concentration camp victims in the former Yugoslavia and their captors, to share her understanding of what "Domination Culture" looks like, pre-"Pandemic Era" and in the midst of the Coronavirus "management"?

Drawing out descriptions from others of the seismic shifts we have experienced in just weeks, I now share the description of a zoom conference with strangers I attended last night:
"The Coronavirus has fundamentally reshaped our world, in ways that are still unclear. Along with immense suffering and fear, there are many silver linings: a shared awareness of our vulnerability, a shift toward collective solidarity, and a shift in our economic priorities. However, dark clouds also loom on the horizon: Fascist leaders are using this emergency moment to tighten their grip, while the apparatus of a totalitarian state is becoming normalised."

What paradigm shift are you feeding in the Pandemic Era? What Ethics? What Economics? What Politics? Together we might (in a series of co-written blog posts and replies) develop #PandemicEraEthics* [link] and from there draw out #PandemicEraEconomics and "PandemicEraPolitics"? If we take the first letter of each of these three branches of this new discipline - E for Ethics, E for Economics and P for Politics - amidst the #PPE crisis - we can be developing an antidote #EEP? Will the development of #KinderPolitics and #PandemicEra #EthicsEconomicsPolitics attract anything like the £21million to date that Captain Tom's walking for the NHS has attracted? https://PayPal.me/RefugeTreeWoods

*34 Questions drawn out (from @OpenDemocracy) about Pandemic Era Ethics

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Sally Ann Hart (Hastings & Rye MP) Easter Day & Easter Monday PPE (Personal Protection Equipment -not Philosophy Politics and Economics -which was what Boris Johnson & I understood by PPE at Oxford!)

Dear Sally-Ann

As your running colleague in the last general election, standing up for common sense when you were being misheard and misrepresented*, you are the most influential person to whom I can send this tweet:

which says:

Out of the 750,000 #NHSVolunteerResponders in this #Coronavirusuk situation, do we yet have an #ArmyOfPPECleaners-for if #Nurses & #Doctors #refusetreatment on account of #PPE #Shortage it’s surely at least 60% (guestimate) on account of non #reusing? 

Please act on it with all the responsibility you can muster and hold,

With the kindness you kindly acknowledged at the electoral count,


* http://additionalinfo.blogspot.com/2019/12/i-ve-got-your-back-sally-ann-and-peter.html

Dear Paul, 
I remember well – and thank you for contacting me. 
I am aware that much PPE can be reused including eye protection, scrubs and N95 respirators. Healthcare professionals are taught how to clean these properly using well established hygienic measures. 
I am also aware that we are going to needs countless supplies of PPE and if we can successfully decontaminate PPE for healthcare workers on the frontline, it might help with ongoing supply issues, should this become a burning problem. 
I will pass on your suggestions to the Health and Social Care department.  
I hope you had a happy Easter despite the circumstances we all find ourselves in. 
Kind regards, 


I need to see your Immunity Papers, please

I put it to a neighbour passing my locked (waist-high) front gate that the community institute three kinds of armbands according to our coronavirus status. Further dialogue with friends on the ethics of this brought me to only advocating one kind of armband; the reassuring kind, if it can be believed. I suggest that all those with the coronavirus antibodies make green armbands and wear them in order to give reassurance and to say that you are happy for other members of the community to ask for your immunity papers if they are to engage in further business/closeness with you. The test result documentation I guess you'll have uploaded online? Thus, in this imagined near future, you can call out perhaps a web address or social media account details by which the other, standing a few metres away, can check your papers -perhaps with reference to a government website- before allowing you or your paper copy of the (presumed) immunity papers closer.

Personally, I can’t wait to meet a green armband wearer who is available to do residential care work, which consumes 70 hours a week in #DadAndSonIsolation. There’s plenty of space in this house with small front and back gardens and to have someone else sharing the burden; someone who didn’t need telling every day that there is a pandemic (being responded to by) reshaping society the world over, would free me up not only to blog with my chosen co-writers -today Maria Arpa of the Centre for Peaceful Solutions- but also to co-host teleconferences on ways of building social capital freeing up communities from so much dependence on however the monetary economies end up being reshaped.

I introduce Maria as a colleague for over 15 years. Maria Arpa and I both adopt a Marshall-Rosenberg inspired approach to our mediation work; running The Centre for Peaceful Solutions (charity) and Mediation Support Ltd respectively. We have written one key article -now a blogpost- together, which was submitted over the weekend before the 2019 General Election to the Hastings Independent Press. The piece published in the Hastings Independent instead, entitled “Disability And The Minimum Wage” was a transcript of the response of all four of us Parliamentary Candidates to a digging up of a Facebook “like” by the Conservative Candidate two years previously; which became the controversy of the whole election in Hastings and Rye, with ongoing resentment and misunderstanding present. I wish I knew how to get the blogpost (rejected for publication in the Hastings Independent more widely read and reflected upon): “ I’ve got your Baçk, Sally Ann and Peter”, Maria Arpa has agreed to write another two blog pieces with me here, unfolding what I’m hashtagging as #PandemicEraEthics. So, Immunity papers, Maria?