Do you understand what they have lost or now sacrifice?
2019; what a challenging Year!
A year like no other; a year of consequences and of consequences to come.
Life for Consumers is about to change. But, it really isn’t about Consumers, it’s about our lives as Citizens.
For far too long we have talked about Consumers and Consumer Rights, as if this category of human existence is separate from the bigger picture of Citizenship.
Consumer Rights is simply an extension of our Citizenship and the Rights that are attached to that status.
2019 has already led to one real prediction about to come true; that deregulation is the clear and present danger to our Citizen and Consumer Rights. Political, Criminal and Organisational failure has delivered the maelstrom to come.
For a small number of Citizens, they have experienced their own, personal maelstrom, tragedy or difficulty with authority, often with devastating consequences.
The nature of our world is such that whatever the issues that arise, no matter the geolocation of an incident or event, it is transcended by the commonality of a chemical exposure, pollution, corporate indifference, political impotence and a legal passivity to an individuals or a collectives Citizens Rights.
The 2020’s are about to stress-test, to the extreme, our encounters, our ability to rise above disaster and our thirst for Justice.
Never has there been a moment in our Society when we should be vigilant and recognise and support those who have, in many cases, have had to learn how to deal with extraordinary circumstances.
Within this landscape, there are however remarkable individuals, who in some cases, operate across borders to challenge and create a good regulatory platform for Citizens.
For several years, some of these Campaigners or Bodies have been identified as being exceptional Citizen Defenders and as we have left 2019 behind, it is important to identify them and celebrate their work.
Each of my personal recognition’s is accompanied by the following citation:
“The recipient of this award is recognised as a Citizen Defender in 2019. Their work reveals a passion and dedication to their cause. Their work is long and sometimes tedious, but they never lose sight of their ultimate goals; righting an injustice and making the world a better and safer place for their fellow Citizens. At the heart of what they do lies compassion, kindness and patience. Their quiet dignity, in the face of a political or commercial intransigence, reveals the essence of their humanity. They are the voice of the weak in a Political/Commercial World; they are exceptional Citizen Defenders”
I am therefore proud to announce my choice of Citizen Defenders for 2019:
Stephanie Trotter OBE. Stephanie is the President of Co-Gas Safety, a Society formed and dedicated to highlighting the plight of victims and their families exposed to Carbon Monoxide. Stephanie has for many years been the voice at the heart of the political debate at Westminster and in Europe. Her untiring advocacy, research and tenacity, challenging Industry and Politicians are an inspiration for all.
Avril & Gordon Samuels & Richard Haines. Avril, her husband Gordon and their son-in-law, Richard, are constant voices in support of their Charity, the Katie Haines Trust. This Charity was created during a time of crisis for this family, when their daughter and wife, died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. This family’s quiet dignity strengthens their objectives in promoting information about the scourge of Carbon Monoxide. They are a constant reminder to politicians and the commercial world of the need for action.
Nicole & Kye Gbangbola. The story of this couple is remarkable. Borne out of a shocking story of flooding, a landscaped landfill and released gases into homes, led to the death of their beloved son Zane and the serious injury of Kye. Both Nicole & Kye have struggled through legal representation & opposition, council indifference, evidential blocks; a system not designed to deal with difficult questions and the truth. Nicole & Kye are just ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances, unable to properly grieve, but determined no other family should suffer the same fate; their quest for Justice remains unquenched.
Judith Anderson. Judith is an Industrial Hygienist, based in Seattle in the United States. Judith is a powerful advocate for Flight Attendants, Pilots and Passengers against toxic fumes found onboard bleed-air commercial aircraft; she also advocates for those affected by toxic uniforms. Her powerful advocacy and determination against a male-dominated Industry is made all the more remarkable by the skill-set and strength of argument that she presents without fear or favour. Her work will stand as testimony to aviation safety in the years to come.
Arie Adriaensen. Arie is based in Belgium and is a former airline pilot, having been retired due to suffering with the effects of exposure to fumes in the cockpit. Arie is a powerful voice for pilots and other aviation users. His attention to detail is legendary and he provides a precise and methodological approach to the complex issues of Cabin Air Quality. His multi-lingual skills helps him cut across the divides both with the Aviation Industry and Aviation Users. His work will also stand the test of time on the issue of Cabin Air Quality, not just for Pilots, but for Crew and Passengers.
Susan Michaelis. Susan is a former Australian Commercial Pilot, having being retired due to ill-health following her exposure to fumes in the cockpit environment; she now resides in the UK. Susan is the proverbial ‘dog-with-a-bone’, well researched, widely written and always prepared to argue for the rights of Pilots, Crew and Passengers. Like her other colleagues, she holds no fear for politicians, civil servants and industry. Like Judith & Arie, her advocacy on Cabin Air Quality will be remembered in the decades to come
It is important to remember that whilst we celebrate these Citizen Defenders, there are many more who provide a strong advocacy, fearlessly, often against direct or indirect threats; we should never forget their work!
I am proud to know these Citizen Defenders, but also the wider world of Citizen Advocates.
In this troubled world, it is refreshing and empowering to be in the company of these very fine Defenders; we need this courage and determination because they all help to contribute to positive change and improved process and safety for all.
My best wishes to all.
(This Podcast/Script is for the CreatingRipples Podcast™ - Citizen Defenders 2019. You can listen to Frank's Podcast here)