Oliver McTernan, director of the NGO Forward Thinking  
Wednesday, 30 June, 2010, 07:27 AM - Gibberish, Sport, McTernan
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Oliver McTernan here, from the NGO Forward Thinking, a proactive, demand-driven, facilitative organisation that works to promote in the UK greater understanding and confidence between the diverse grassroots Muslim communities and the wider society including the Media and the British establishment, to promote a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East, and to facilitate a global dialogue between the religious and secular worlds. Hi.

Has anyone mentioned the world cup yet? Just to follow on from the previous discussion about collecting Panini cards, FIFA are to look again at introducing goal line technology into the game. The head of FIFA has traditionally opposed this. "It would change the game by introducing more correct decisions," he said.

He has a point, which leads me seamlessly to what I want to talk about: the Invisible Magic Friend. Scientists have shown that technology is a bad thing. And these aren't just any common old scientists, these are neuroscientists, and at a top university too. So when they say technology is bad, you know it must be true. They almost have as much authority as the Big Book of Magic Stuff - that's how much authority they have.

By constantly interacting with technology, everyone is forgetting to stop and think about the Invisible Magic Friend. You can't think properly about the Invisible Magic Friend while playing Grand Theft Auto IV. The famous 18th century French Jesuit, Jean Paul de Cuisson, whom I'm sure needs no introduction, agrees with me so I must be right. The present moment has so many possibilities. Why waste it by doing things when you could spend your time more profitably thinking about the Invisible Magic Friend?

A lot of people ignore the present. They're constantly either in the future or in the past instead of being where they should be, in the now. You must learn to flap your arms like a pigeon so that you can soar above the clouds of things from other times. And when you get tired of all that flapping, don't allow your tiredness, weariness, laziness, bone idleness, indolence, apathy, procrastination, jealousy, distrust, hatred, greed, rage, murderous intent, lust, or desire for a beer overcome you.

To put it another way, people are naturally cautious.

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Oliver McTernan, director of the NGO Forward Thinking 
Wednesday, 24 March, 2010, 08:09 AM - Freedom of speech, McTernan
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Oliver McTernan here, from the NGO Forward Thinking, a proactive, demand-driven, facilitative organisation that works to promote in the UK greater understanding and confidence between the diverse grassroots Muslim communities and the wider society including the Media and the British establishment, to promote a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East, and to facilitate a global dialogue between the religious and secular worlds. Hi.

Proving that we British can still beat the world, England has become the top destination for Libel Tourism. The rich and powerful from all across the globe flock to England in private jets to stamp on the vile journalists, bloggers and commentators who have offended them.

Freedom of expression and the free exchange of views and ideas is of course terribly important. Terribly important indeed. No one would argue otherwise. I'm a big fan of freedom of expression. Everyone should be free to air their views on any topic. Open criticism of scientific, political and ideological positions is exactly what we need in an open, democratic society.

But...

There are some things you shouldn't say, some ideas you shouldn't criticise. You really might upset someone. I don't have any particular group in mind here, it's just a general point about people in general who might be offended if you say they are wrong. They might start crying because you've called somebody, not anyone in particular just a general somebody, something that they don't like. You may even upset them so much that you drive them to violence and murder, you wicked bloggers you.

If you'd all just shut up about certain things, not that I have anything specific in mind, and just do things the way they tell you to, then everything would be so much calmer an generally nicer. A guy from the 1st century who believed in the Invisible Magic Friend said so too, so I must be right.

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Oliver McTernan, director of the NGO Forward Thinking  
Wednesday, 17 March, 2010, 08:13 AM - Gibberish, McTernan
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Oliver McTernan here, from the NGO Forward Thinking, a proactive, demand-driven, facilitative organisation that works to promote in the UK greater understanding and confidence between the diverse grassroots Muslim communities and the wider society including the Media and the British establishment, to promote a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East, and to facilitate a global dialogue between the religious and secular worlds. Hi.

Happy Saint Patrick's day everyone! Saint Patrick is of course the oldest, the biggest, the best patron saint of the best country in the world. Although other countries are quite good too. I wouldn't want to be seen to be putting them down or anything like that. I totally respect other cultures that have the misfortune to not be Irish. I mean it's not like it's their fault or anything is it? I've met some jolly nice people who're not Irish. Some of my best friends are not Irish.

Saint Patrick followed in the example of Abraham by going to Ireland to found a church. He created a uniquely Celtic way of being Catholic and the people of Ireland have never looked back. Today, Christian priests in Ireland are more popular and enjoy greater respect than they've ever done. Generations of Ireland's sons and daughters have been entrusted to their holy hands.

It was as a young teenage boy, alone with his sheep, that Patrick discovered the need for natural rhythm, for a lifelong partner, to experience the imminent, yet transcendent nature of the Invisible Magic Friend.

So let's all join together in being proud to be Irish, even those of you who aren't.

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Oliver McTernan, director of the NGO Forward Thinking  
Wednesday, 28 October, 2009, 08:41 AM - Environment, McTernan
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Oliver McTernan here, from the NGO Forward Thinking, a proactive, demand-driven, facilitative organisation that works to promote in the UK greater understanding and confidence between the diverse grassroots Muslim communities and the wider society including the Media and the British establishment, to promote a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East, and to facilitate a global dialogue between the religious and secular worlds. Hi.

Climate change is really, really, really bad. I mean really bad. Some think this is all the fault of Genesis, where humans are given dominion over creation. But I prefer to ignore this bit and concentrate on its instruction to act as stewards of the planet, which it definitely implies, in a roundabout sort of way, somewhere. I just find it difficult to believe that changes in my own lifestyle can make any difference. What about all those Chinese, selfishly making things for us? Or all those big fat Americans? I think they need to cut back first.

The Copenhagen summit gives world leaders the chance to sit down and work together, laying all national and ideological agendas aside, cooperating for the sake of the planet. Finally, we'll all agree meaningful incentives to cut consumption, waste and energy use, no matter how painful it may be personally or to our economies, taking the short term pain necessary to secure our long term future. Yep, I'm sure that's what'll happen.

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Oliver McTernan, director of the NGO Forward Thinking  
Tuesday, 6 October, 2009, 07:17 AM - Democracy, McTernan
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Oliver McTernan here, from the NGO Forward Thinking, a proactive, demand-driven, facilitative organisation that works to promote in the UK greater understanding and confidence between the diverse grassroots Muslim communities and the wider society including the Media and the British establishment, to promote a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East, and to facilitate a global dialogue between the religious and secular worlds. Hi.

The Irish acceptance of the Lisbon treaty brings Britain's future in Europe back into debate. Being the well travelled, cosmopolitan sophisticate that I am, I'm naturally sympathetic to the European ideal. But I can understand why little people like you, who may not have the breadth of understanding that I have, might be suspicious of President Saint Tony of Bliar and his multi-nation bureaucracy. Fear not, people of England (and any other bits of Great Britain and Northern Ireland who may be listening). Much of what you now consider English (or any other bits) actually came from Europe. You have forgotten Subsidiarity.

This is the principle, invented by the Catholic Church and seen at its best in that splendid institution, that all authority comes from a society of individuals. The Catholic Church has demonstrated through the ages that democratic accountability, local decision making and informed debate are the only ways to run a church. You won't find an unelected, self selected, authoritarian, hierarchical, undemocratic elite running the Catholic Church behind closed doors any more than you will in the European Commission. You have no more to fear from President Saint Tony of Bliar than you do from the Pope and his Holy Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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