Your local Conservative candidate for Faringdon

As a Ex-Faringdon Town Councillor Judith’s hard work and commitment to local issues was an inspiration. I appeal to local voters to vote for Judith to allow her to continue her extremely useful and indispensable work for our community.

It Takes A Man To Apologise.

“I’m sorry.” Two simple words and yet for some two of the hardest to say. We easily utter them in response to trivial matters like accidentally bumping into a stranger on the street or giving the cashier the wrong change. Yet it seems in important matters and especially to those in public office, we can find public servants practically choking on the words.

This week in Faringdon, Oxfordshire there is apparently a breed of Town Councillor who will not apologise for offending a resident.

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Councillor Mark T Greenwood has publicly accused me of being a ‘nasty little racist prick’ on social media (see tweet below), for a comment I made to @jongaunt from The Jon Gaunt Show with regard to a debate about a British Muslim – Muhammad Ashraf Ali Yusuf, who has filed a petition demanding the Muslim call to prayer be played on loudspeakers from mosques in British towns and cities.

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I must admit that I have been called worse and have usually ignored such comments, but never from a public servant who is supposedly representing me. Does Councillor Greenwood also believes that anyone of the 96% White/British who live in Faringdon who are similarly concerned with such a petition, also nasty little racist pricks?

Now let’s get this straight Councillor Mark T Greenwood, I love working in the very multicultural city of Oxford because of it’s multiculturalism, my work colleagues are multicultural, I have many Muslim and other faith friends, I have dated women whose ethnicity and beliefs have been different from mine.

I can understand why those two little words are stuck in your throat. You are a Liberal and that’s your way of closing the debate, but I’ll try to explain to you how and why to properly apologise is a necessary step in moving from Liberal boy to Liberal man.

Your faults may be:

Pride. Apologising can be particularly hard for men because it involves the admittance of fault. It’s hard to say that we messed up. That we were wrong. Is your pride getting in the way?

Embarrassment. If we messed up, doing something truly boneheaded even though we knew better, it can be difficult to talk about it to the person’s hurt or public we let down. Do you feel stupid and would rather pretend like it didn’t happen?

Anger. Is your anger over how someone has “offended” you so great that you try to justify what you said and can’t get past it to apologise?

The antidote to all 3 obstacles Councillor Mark T Greenwood? Humility.

The reason we put up these walls is that we have an overinflated view of our true selves. We’re always right; we always have it together. But it is not true. We’re human. We mess up sometimes. You have to accept your imperfection as a part of life. Suppressing it will cut you off from others. Embracing it will allow you to grow as a man.

Don’t live your life as though every day you’re pleading your case before an imaginary court, presenting evidence for why you are not at fault and are innocent as charged. It’s not as important to be right as it is to have healthy relationships with the public you represent.

Would you rather be right than give up your relationship with a resident? Would you rather be right than lift the hurt feelings from another? Being self-satisfied in your justice offers little benefit but the feeling of smugness. And smugness won’t keep you warm at night.

You can find the things, no matter how small, that you could have handled better. Once you apologise for those things, that will get the ball rolling. Don’t let pride stop you from being the bigger person and taking the initiative.

Apologise as soon as you can after making a mistake. The longer you wait, the more resentment is going to build up on both sides, the harder it will be to make the first move, and the more awkward the situation will become. Be a man and nip it in the bud.

You have offend someone and you have failed to debate like a gentleman and ended up being snarky, attacking the person personally, you should apologise for your boorish behavior.

Here’s How to Apologise Councillor Mark T Greenwood.

Write it if you can’t say it. Sometimes our embarrassment or pride prevents us from going in person to apologise to someone. While a face to face apology is always ideal, if you absolutely can’t do it, then it’s better to get it out than not do it at all. And sometimes a letter or note is actually a superior medium to talking because it allows you to express all of your feelings without forgetting what you want to say or running the risk of setting off another argument.

Be sincere. This is the cardinal rule of apologies. An insincere apology is in some ways worse than no apology at all. The person’s hurt over your offense will merely be compounded by their anger at your hypocrisy. An insincere apology may take the form of saying you’re sorry but saying it in such a way that your lack of contrition is patently manifest.

Take complete responsibility. Never, ever make any excuses while you’re apologising. They instantly ruin the weight and sincerity of your confession. Don’t use any “buts.” As in “I’m really sorry that happened, but….” A man takes full responsibility for his mistakes.

Express your understanding of why you were wrong and the weight of your mistake. A person wants to know that you fully understand the seriousness of the situation, that you have thought through exactly why what you did was wrong and the full consequences of your actions. Nobody wants to hear an apology from someone who clearly doesn’t know why they’re in the wrong but feels like apologising is what they’re “supposed” to do.

Prove your contrition with your actions. In the end, words will matter very little if your actions don’t match them. After you’ve apologised, stop dwelling on it. Simply start acting in a way that demonstrates the sincerity of your apology.

One thing I do know, is that i’ll be waiting a long time before the coward apologises.

IAN GILLIES BELL

Anarchy in the UK: Radcot, Oxfordshire


In a programme in the Time Team series broadcast on 15 February 2009 an excavation of Matilda’s Castle was undertaken. The results showed that earthworks visible in a field near the bridge dated from the Civil War, when Parliamentary Forces built them to support cannon used to bombard Royalist Forces holed up in Radcot House. Underneath some of these earthworks were found remains of a Norman keep dating from the time of The Anarchy, much of them damaged because of the later construction. Some Roman remains, possibly from a villa, were also found.

Radcot Bridge is a crossing of the River Thames in England, south of Radcot, Oxfordshire and not far north of Faringdon, Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). It carries the A4095 road across the river on the reach above Radcot Lock. Adjoining the bridge is the Swan Inn and slight earthworks of Matilda‘s Castle.

There are in fact three stone bridges at this point on the Thames, from south to north: Radcot Bridge, the Canal Bridge and Pidnell Bridge. The first is nearest to Pidnell (a hamlet in Faringdon parish) and the last is nearest to Radcot. Whilst originally built on the Thames, Radcot Bridge is now on a backwater since the construction, in 1787, of a new cut for the Thames and Severn Canal. The Canal Bridge was built at the same time.

Radcot Bridge is often claimed as the “oldest bridge on the Thames”, having been built, with pointed arches of Taynton stone, around 1200. The Cistercian monks of St Mary at Cîteaux in Normandy were granted land for the purpose by King John. Much of the structure was broken down during the battle which took place here in 1387 between Henry Bolingbroke (the future Henry IV) and troops loyal to Richard II, although it was reconstructed in 1393 [six years later]. The bridge was again severely damaged during the Wars of the Roses, and was largely rebuilt as it appears today, with a flattened centre arch.

Radcot Bridge became a toll bridge and its wharf was commercially important as the highest shipping point on the Thames, with the junction of the Severn-Thames canal not far away at Lechlade (Gloucestershire).

The Thames Path crosses the bridges.