Tuesday 21 July 2009

How fucking barbaric is this?

Muslim woman to be flogged in Malaysia over beer

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia ‘ An Islamic court in Malaysia has sentenced a Muslim woman to be flogged with a rattan cane for having a beer in a nightclub, a court official said Tuesday.

What makes it even more sickening is that it's in the name of something that doesn't exist.
There is no God, so drink as much beer as you like!

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Edward II

Saturday saw me at the Ely folk festival. The big draw for me was Edward II. They have reformed for ‘one year only’ and I just had to see them. It had been quite a few years since I’d last seen them which was just before they split up, disbanded or whatever you want to call it and I was wondering if they’d lost the magic.

Edward II, who were originally called Edward II and the Red Hot Polkas, nice historical joke, are a roots fusion band. They take traditional folk tunes and songs from these isles and give them a ska, reggae or polka treatment, then on other occasions they’ll take modern reggae songs and enhance them with a little local English flavour. It all makes for a highly danceable and pleasing sound. Whilst they are saying that they have reformed for one year only I do hope it is for longer, or that they have frequent ‘get togethers’. They are a quality band and I don’t understand why they were never more popular than they are. They easily have the ability to cross over, but I suppose that’s the nature of the folk world, it is largely ignored by the mainstream music business, which is a shame.

I was not disappointed. They played a blinding set including all their old favourites. I’d forgotten about Simon Care. What can you say about Simon Care? Top class melodeon player and all round nutter perhaps? He bounces around on stage playing with his squeeze box and leering at the audience in a Johnny Rotten style that he has made his own. That coupled with fine musicianship from all the other members including a really strong mini horn section makes for a very round sound. If you get the chance to go and see Edward II do so. I guarantee that you will find it impossible to stay still while they are on.

Other great acts I saw included, Chris While and Julie Matthews (always top performers), Something Nasty In The Woodshed, QP and Flossie Malavialle (an amusing and attractive young French lady who speaks English with a French/Geordie accent - quite surreal). I didn’t bother staying for the final act The Peatbog Faeries, as I just wasn’t bothered, Edward II were top of the bill as far as I was concerned.

Friday 10 July 2009

We get what we deserve

The recent shenanigans over MPs expenses have left me shouting, ‘What do you expect? ‘at the telly and/or radio on a number of occasions. This is not because I’m a cynic that believes that power corrupts and that they are all in it for the money. Heaven forbid. No, I shout because people are so quick to criticise whilst sitting on their fat arses, whilst at the same time they are not prepared to engage with the democratic process. How many of those that moan actually turn out and vote at every election? When you discover that it’s usually in around 60%/70% for a general election and around half that for local or Euro elections it shows what a farce our democracy is. ‘He who is without sin cast the first stone’. Participation doesn’t end with trolling down to the polling station, that’s just a tiny part of it. Elections are about choosing a representative, but how can they represent the people in their constituency when they don’t know how those people feel? How can they be held to account if they are not questioned, challenged or lobbied by the people they represent?

If we are to live in a true democracy then it requires the vast majority of the people to participate in a more vigorous way than they do now. That means that people should join a political party, go to surgeries, go to council meetings, ‘shout’ about what they believe in and generally let their representatives know how they feel. Until we all start doing some of this we have absolutely no right to criticise and no right to expect MPs, councillors etc to do any better than they are now. That not to say that many don’t do a good job already, because many do. You will often find that idealism, and not personal gain, is what drives people into politics. I think it’s fair to say, no matter of what persuasion that you are, that our prime minister Gordon Brown is one such politician. Doing something, however small, is better than nothing. If you don’t feel ready to go to join a party or go to meetings then start small. If you are reading this then the chances are that you have internet access (unless someone else has printed this out for you). Check the news sites to see what your representatives are up to. Join in with online debates on forums and blogs. Visit ‘TheyWorkForYou.com‘. This is a really useful website that helps to keep tabs on the UK’s parliaments and assemblies, and it also allows you to contact your representatives about issues that are dear to your heart. A sister site’WriteToThem.com‘ enables you to make contact with local councillors and MEPs.

Please do something, however small. Our democracy needs you! Use it or lose it.

Just in case you are wondering, I plan to join a political party, and to see where that takes me.


Thursday 9 July 2009


I have never really been one for partaking in any sport for the purposes of enjoyment, apart from badminton which was okay when I played with friends just as a knock-about sport. To me sport is something that gives you exercise and is not done for any enjoyment. At school (many many moons ago) I would try and avoid team games. I hate team games and have had nothing to do with them since leaving school. Today most of my exercise is derived from walking, which is far and beyond the most sensible way to retain a modicum of fitness.

There you have it, playing team games and sport in general is basically a shit thing to do. It’s Neanderthal activity for those that are too half-witted to partake in the arts. Given that playing sport is the lowest of the low what does that make those poor lost souls that want to watch it?
I have never been able to fathom out why anyone would want to watch sport of any kind. What can people possibly gain from it? Personally I’d rather watch paint dry than watch sport. Having to suffer 90+ minutes viewing of 22 overpaid lower life forms dragging their knuckles around a football pitch is my idea of hell. Hell comes in many forms, this week it is cricket, last week it was tennis, next week it will be something equally boring. What is the point of it all?

When I’m being entertained, I want to be challenged, amazed and/or amused. I have no wish to sit like a vegetable gawping at boasters of physical prowess. As if watching sport is not bad enough some people actual pay good money to do so. They must be truly mental. Perhaps there should be an extra tax on people who watch sport, as clearly they have more money than sense and therefore would presumably not be too bothered about being relieved of some more of it.