Sunday 30 January 2011

What goes around comes around

When the eastern bloc fell in the late eighties/early nineties it not only brought about a seismic change in Eastern Europe but catapulted leninist-marksism as a worldwide movement into terminal decline. No single cause really replaced it. Many of the young folk in the west were seduced by the curse of the capitalism. Ideologues turned to the soft left or the more progressive environmental movement. In other parts of the world Islam filled the vacuum vacated by revolutionary communism. Now the changes in Tunisia and the unrest in Egypt look as though they could possibly be about to alter the political landscape in the Middle East. And, depending on how far it spreads through the region could well have a significant knock on effect throughout the rest of the world. If Egypt does succumb to democracy where next? Libya? Jordon? Saudi Arabia? Dubai?

The riots after the suspect elections in Iran might have been quelled and no doubt many who took part have been rounded up and subsequently have suffered imprisonment, torture and death, but the resentment and feeling of injustice will I’m sure have been fermenting away, waiting for an opportunity to express itself again. It could happen. In fact only a fool would dare to say categorically what will be, as in reality anything could happen. Who knows what the future holds?

If democracy does spread like wildfire throughout the Middle East who’s to say it will hold? And, who knows what will happen if you have widespread unrest and instability in a number of major oil producing countries? The ring-piece of many a Middle Eastern leader must be puckering at what is currently going on. The government in Israel can't feel too comfortable either. Israel might not be under threat from the unrest that could well be about to sweep around them, but when the dust settles and the new political order emerges there is no guarantee that they will have neighbours that are any less of a threat.

Even here in the UK we might well not be immune from what is happening. That coupled with unrest at home could well change our lives. Whilst the causes are different we could be about to experience 1973/4 all over again!

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Izzard point

Eddie Izzard looks positively statesman-like in his photo that accompanied the latest missive from the Yes to AV campaign. I do wonder if he has a desire to go into politics. But that’s by the bye. Until the referendum is in site there doesn’t seem like a lot of point shouting about the joy of AV too often as people will just get totally fed up with it and switch off, but before the campaign can get started proper the Yes campaign is in need of some cash:

This is probably a once in a lifetime chance to make our voting system fairer. Please help by donating what you can.

Sunday 23 January 2011

On the huh


This is a phrase that I’ve grown up using and as far as I know is peculiar to Norfolk and Suffolk. It refers to something that is off-centre, wonky, skew-if or out of true. “On the huh”; use it today.

Man’s worst friend

WARNING: If you allow sentimentality to cloud your judgement to the detriment of rational thought then you will be offended by this blog post. Sometimes pragmatism needs to win out over emotion.
Want to help the environment?

I’m not a pet person. In my opinion it is immoral to own one. Pets exist purely for the gratification of their owners, and for no other reason. Owning a pet is an act of extreme selfishness. To those that claim that they are ‘company’ I say “get a life”. No wonder society is in the state that it is in if we prefer pets to people. Pets are the pointless playthings of the blinkered, selfish, uncaring and stupid. If humans were bred with defects purely for the purposes of entertainment and amusement there would be a public outcry; and rightly so. So why do it with animals?

Given that pets are essentially immoral and pointless’ let’s discuss the most ridiculous and most pointless pet of all; namely the dog. The dog is a shit machine on legs, full stop. It serves no other purpose. They are dirty, smelly, noisy, bite-y and stupid. And, don’t tell me that there is anything clever in fetching a stick, because there isn’t. Big dogs can kill, and do,yet we allow anybody to own them. At the very least they should be subject to very strict controls. They are dangerous.

Sadly, not enough people share my prejudice about pets. But if you can’t grasp the concept that owning a pet is a totally selfish and immoral act then help is at hand, because it turns out that owning a pet is very bad for the environment. It actually could be better to own a 4x4 than a pet. Seems like a good deal to me - dispose of your pet and get a 4x4 – shed loads more fun!

Let’s rid the country of pets!

With climatic change the future potentially is a grim picture; dwindling resources including large-scale food shortages could well be the order of the day. That could well be the time we will have to start eating the pet population. I wonder what roast dog tastes like. Don’t tell me. Chicken!

Monday 10 January 2011

Tabloid twunt

witnessed an oaf on the train this morning reading the Daily Mirror (other tabloids are available). He turned a page and a couple of leaflets fell to the floor. Seemingly oblivious of this fact he carried on reading, or looking at the pictures. He was aware though, as a little while later he moved them under his chair with his heal in a nonchalance and thoughtless manner. What a rather sad world we live in now...

...or is it me?

Sunday 9 January 2011

Blasphemy and sin

Blasphemy and sin are two highly emotive words that conceptually don’t have a great deal of value. I suppose I would think that being an atheist, but even trying to put myself in the shoes of a person that subscribes to a religion, I still find them to be words that are philosophically bankrupt.

Blasphemy is the irreverent, impious and disrespectful utterance or action toward religious artefacts, customs, gods and beliefs; so what. What harm can blasphemy possibly do? If you are an omnipresent, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing being then a few words or insults are hardly likely to affect you. They’ll be like water off a duck’s back. A god won’t be worried by a bit of ‘blasphemy’; in fact a god won’t even ‘worry’ surely. I suppose it’s debatable, that were a god to exist, that it would be capable of emotion, but it might. It does seem highly unlikely though. As a god if you were offended by language you’d have left out the offensive language gene when creating humankind, wouldn’t you? And, even if you’d have overlooked it in the original version you’d have made damned sure that you installed an upgrade as soon as you realised. But then if a god was offended by language or some other form of insult this would imply a failing or imperfection on the god’s part. Is ‘an imperfect god’ an oxymoron? Isn’t the nature of a god to be perfect? Imperfections would render one’s god-ship null and void. A god that is imperfect is not a god.

Sin is a different kettle of fish altogether. A sin can only be committed by an adherent to a particular belief system that has proscribed an action as a sin, or if as an individual you believe an action to be a sin. This is because unless you believe something to be ‘a sin’ then it isn’t. Sinners are essentially hypocrites.

Having dismissed both ‘blasphemy’ and ‘sin’ I will now give you an example of one action that qualifies as both. It is the only true ‘blasphemy’. The one true blasphemy is the taking of another person’s life. It is a blasphemy, for those that subscribe to a religion, because you are destroying your god’s ultimate creation. You are saying to your god, “I have the power of life and death. I’m better than you”.

No religion is based on truth or fact but purely on faith. You either have faith to follow a religion or you don’t. Religion can only ever be a personal choice. There is no value in a coerced set of beliefs.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

The Artful Dodger

The rise in VAT is a regressive tax. That really is fact, unless of course you practice Orwellian Newspeak. Taxes on spending always hit those lower down the economic scale harder than those at the top. This is why the Tories love putting it up so much. The more you earn the less you notice the increase. Rob the poor to give to the rich is the well used and worn basis of Tory philosophy. As Ed Miliband is saying, “This increase in VAT, which kicked in at midnight, is the wrong tax at the wrong time”. You can’t argue with what Ed is saying, unless you are a money-grabbing tax-dodging Tory.

Some of the biggest reported money-grabbing tax-dodging Tories, I’m sure you’ll not be surprised to learn, sit in cabinet. That tax-increasing public-expenditure-cutting bunch of tossers that are running the economy into the ground. According to Left Foot Forward George Osborne is one of three cabinet ministers who have been accused of avoiding millions of pounds in tax, along with Andrew Mitchell (international development secretary) and Philip Hammond (transport secretary).

Today 38 Degrees planned a newspaper ad campaign - “George Osborne The Artful Dodger” - the ad highlights his alleged tax dodging antics. Unfortunately not every newspaper that they tried to advertise in was willing to take the business. Can you guess two that refused the ad?
Yes that’s right, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. It’s not surprising that the Mail (“the paper that supported Hitler”) refused it as they are so driven by ideology, but you’d have thought that the Telegraph would have taken the cash as even though they are dyed in the wool true blue they never usually shirk from exposing misdemeanours by anyone in any party

We’re all in this together, my arse.

Monday 3 January 2011

The Archers


You wouldn’t catch me watching East Enders, Coronation Street, Casualty or any of the other mindless drivel that falls into the genre known as ‘soap opera’. I suppose if people like it then good luck to them. I’m not into censorship, so if there is a market for such low brow entertainment so be it. Everybody knows that soap operas are crap; nobody really pretends that they are anything else. So, why then is there such earnestness and snobbery over The Archers?
Just because the Archers are on Radio 4 it doesn’t mean that it has any value and it is no reason to treat it with any reverence. So why is it that people who consider themselves to be intelligent ‘thinking’ people follow it avidly?

It is shite. It is boring. Wake up world. It’s a bloody ‘soap opera’ for goodness sake!