Following is a copy of written evidence I submitted to the UK Parliament’s
House of Lords Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee in September 2018.
I am publishing it here as a reference point for persons involved in ongoing, direct and indirect conversations I am having with neuroscientist Dr. Becky Inkster, the “writer, academic, itinerant scholar” Dr John Rapley, “retired” educator Mrs Janice Gurney (she’s still teaching me a thing or two) and other residents of Great Yarmouth and other Norfolk and wider England-based seaside towns who are demonstrating extraordinary resilience as the confidence undercutting currents of Brexit and other psychosocial phenomena take their toll on all of us.
Readers please note that I am probably just as surprised you by the reference in this parliamentary submission to purgatory, which suggests a conscious continuity between that reference last September and the more developed treatment of the purgatory theme in the article preceding this one, published on September 30.
That was not planned. I had forgotten about the reference to purgatory a year ago.
And then there is the reference in the last sentence to “transient storms” pounding our “psychological shores”.
Might there be a message here for Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley and other prominent Barbadian feminist leaders of the global battle of the sexes about the intersection of coastal and cerebral environmental factors?
I think Ms Mottley, who made much of the vulnerability of Caribbean and other island states after the devastation hurricane Dorian inflicted on The Bahamas, would do well to consider the possibility of a measurable “chaos theory” link between climate change and disruptions in human ecology that she, Sir Elton John, Barack Obama and other conscious or unconscious gay rights orthodoxy advocates and their reactionary religious and secular opponents have spawned.
Mottley, Bahamian prime minister Hubert Minnis, Jamaica’s Andrew Holness, Trinidad and Tobago’s Keith Rowley, Guyana’s David Granger, St Lucia’s Allen Chastanet, Ralph Gonzalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica’s Roosevelt Skerrit, Antigua and Barbuda’s Gaston Browne, other Caribbean leaders and their counterparts in Africa, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, India, France, Africa and elsewhere would do well to note what in my view, is a more than merely metaphorical similarity between Dorian’s “abomination of desolation” devastation of The Bahamas, and the opportunistic, Cambridge Analytica recalling flash flooding of print and electronic media and other formal and informal information and education channels with a Dorianesque deluge of deeply cynical, truth disemboweling misinformation.
And I think married to money “banker bride economist” Ruth Lea’s clearly biased, bigoted verbal assault on the Duchess of Sussex, during today’s edition of Broadcasting House is a particularly flagrant example of the destructive capacity of such divisive misinformation.
Responding to journalist Sathnam Sangera’s expression of sympathy for Duchesss Meghan, as he suggested that there is “an element of racism” in the destructive Dorianesque coverage that has been unleashed on her, Prince Harry and their baby son Archie, Lea responded “Well, there may be. But I think more to the point that she has to accept, as a royal that she will have to behave as a royal and that does mean an awful lot of self-sacrifice, which she seems reluctant to do.”
This assertion of “the point” by the banking industry veteran Lea suggests an omniscience about the Duchess’ psychosomatic state and capacities that I think she will have difficulty justifying to any but her most bigoted, self-righteousness assuming anti-Meghan supporters.
Lea’s subtly aggressive, deeply arrogant assertion smacks of the
“elements of fragmentation, inconsistency and incoherence” in the UK’s formal and informal communication and education channels that I identify in my letter to the House of Lords Committee below.
I assert that these social schizophrenia propagating, divide and rule elements are impacting negatively not only on the seaside city of Great Yarmouth but on communities throughout the United Kingdom.
Mr Junior Campbell – written evidence (RST0007)
My name is Junior (Jay) Campbell and I am a Norfolk, England-based Barbadian holistic communication and education specialist, trading as Intelek International.
Noting the Committee’s concern with issues around education, I write to share my observations about artificial divides that exist in coastal Norfolk’s “knowledge trading” structures and systems.
Drawing on a theory of cognitive and affective degeneration and renewal that I first articulated in my book The Bible: Beauty And Terror Reconciled, I will be giving particular attention to the informal education channeled through virtually omnipresent 24-7-365-day radio and television broadcasts.
It is apparent to me, based on my more than 36 years formal and informal (self-directed) study of communication and education phenomena, that elements of fragmentation, inconsistency and incoherence in Norfolk’s formal and informal communication and education channels are impacting negatively not only on the seaside city of Great Yarmouth but on communities throughout the United Kingdom.
Moreover, based especially on my verbal communication work and wider interactions with Norfolk based churches, mosques and synagogues, Hellesdon Hospital, Wensum Valley Medical Practice, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norfolk Police and other organizations and individuals involved in the emergent mental health and religion marrying “Spiritual Emergency” movement, I believe that any efforts at regeneration in Great Yarmouth or anywhere else in Norfolk risk being eroded by divisive, degenerative psychosocial and sociopolitical currents that have been undermining Norfolk’s and the wider UK’s social cohesion for some time.
More than 12 years of interactions with various academics, business people, journalists, medical professionals, lawyers, police personnel, politicians, religious leaders and other Norfolk residents have led me to believe that these degenerative dynamics, characterized among other things by entrenched and opportunistic religious-secular antagonisms and competition, are reflected in the 2010 census branding Norfolk the most atheistic county in England.
As Cath Elliott notes in a 2009 Guardian online article, Norfolk is by no means unique in this pronounced atheism.
Elliott cites a survey by the think tank Theos which declares the entire East of England “the most godless region of the UK.”
However, I believe that the 2011 census’ identification of Norwich as having “the highest proportion of the population reporting no religion at 42.5 per cent” is highly significant, pointing to a mentally divisive, schizophrenic understanding of both secular and religious systems of knowledge acquisition and transmission.
The typically poor performance of Norfolk schools is probably also evidence of this unhealthy, excessively competitive ideological environment in which the empathic and ethical dimensions of intelligence are de-emphasized.
The so-called affective or emotional dimensions of intelligence, the realm most crucial to the inner, psychic infrastructure of our self-awareness (and hence our capacity for resilience or personal regeneration), is apparently being devalued in Norfolk, as elsewhere in the UK, because of an excessive emphasis on cognitive intelligence: that aspect of intelligence that is evident in literacy, numeracy and related academic competencies.
Ancient and contemporary warnings of the dangers of literalism, which led the biblical author of 2 Corinthians 3:6 to warn that “the letter killeth” seem to be bearing little fruit in Norfolk, despite the claims of influential individuals and organizations based here to dependence on rigorous empirical research (that is, “scientific method”), on one hand, and deep religious faith on the other.
Both secular and religious thinkers seem to be struggling to come to terms with the dangers of intolerance of ambiguity: thinkers on both sides of that historical chasm seem prone to the folly of coast conscribing certainty in spheres of thought prone to conceptual erosion.
This inflexibility or brittle belief seems especially, but not exclusively apparent, in the realm of secular education, where the concept of faith is systemically frowned upon, consciously or unconsciously, and viewed as being at variance with and even inevitably inimical to rational thought.
And this is despite the clear operation of a secular humanist species of faith operating, for good or ill, in the academic arena.
Through interactions with “Creative Entrepreneurship” guru Ian Chance, Development Studies specialist Cecile Jackson and other lecturers and students at the University of East Anglia, I have detected evidence of a type of adherence to or conformity with the dictates of certain secular academic “apostles” or authorities that seems as highly prized as and otherwise indistinguishable from the corresponding conceptual boundaries erecting force of authoritative personalities, creeds and notions of “orthodoxy” in the religious realm.
And I may have occasion here or elsewhere to explore the rather disappointing Kalibank suggestion of one female academic that this virtually religious deference in secular academic contexts is a hang-over from male patriarchal dominance of Western education systems – as though men invented anal retentive pedagogies that promote divisive notions of faith and reason (Please note that I have raised this matter in a letter to the Committee on Gender and Equalities. The age old, interminable “battle of the sexes” certainly seems central to the diachronic and synchronic transmission of belief and knowledge systems, as the lives and work of RD Laing, Karl Jung and others from the field of psychology suggest.)
Alternately, on the other side of the same corrupted communication coin, there is evidence of an excessive reliance on “common sense” or communal knowledge and an indifference or, in worst case scenarios, outright hostility toward so-called “book learning” among Norfolk residents.
Here again, divisive, fragmentary, essentially literalistic, binary ideas about the nature and workings of the knowledge trade are the central feature.
Hence, the secular-religious knowledge divide is replaced by a common sense versus book learning antagonism, with terms like “local knowledge” and “education” being confused with the phenomena they refer to.
Overall, the elements of fragmentation, inconsistency and incoherence in both Norfolk’s secular and religious, formal and informal communication and education channels recalls the values confusion I, Barbadian political scientist Dr George Belle and others have commented on in relation to our island home’s transition to “developed” nation status.
And as in Barbados, the role of the electronic and print media in consolidating divisive, fragmentary knowledge acquisition (typically at the behest of various, competing political, religious, commercial and idiosyncratic interests) is crucial.
As economic historian and former Labour Party MP Tristram Hunt implies through the inclusion of Barbados in his ten cities that have built the British empire, Barbados’ psychic or “cosmological” coastal conundrum makes this purgatorial outpost of contrarian political, religious, gender and other currents a useful, microcosmic object of study for much that happens in Britain.
I would welcome an opportunity not only to discuss these and related matters further with the Select Committee, but also to share solutions I and others have been developing to meet the challenges of social dissolution and disintegration.
They and I have been developing “technologies of trust” to preserve both Barbados’ and Britain’s fragile domestic and external relations as the terrors and tremors of Brexit, the Trump presidency and other transient storms pound our psychosocial shores.
Junior (Jay) Campbell