Category Archives: Politics

I’m so British it makes me slightly anxious

Signals for Pilots. British. Johnson's new cha...

Being british is about being awkward, not to mention the innate love of constantly talking about the weather, everyone knows that.This outburst has come about because of a recent revelation and so here we begin, belt up.

It struck me recently, while slumped on the sofa, resembling something of a cat, or a middle aged, depressed, loveless woman, that I am infact ridiculously British by nature, no real surprise for a British person I suppose. However, I’ve always liked to think of myself rather cosmopolitan. What reason I haven’t a clue, probably some White English desire not to be another language flop.

Anyway, the moment I realised what a British toff I am was, typically, when watching tennis, I know, I stink of stereotype. The realisation struck, rather embarrassingly, when I noted that I always feel slightly nervous and awfully awkward, when I see tennis players walking to their seats from opposite sides of the court. The moment that haunts me is when the players have to directly pass each other to get to their seat. You see, there’s not enough room to walk past each other so they have to time it perfectly so to not clash face on. Eugh, the thought of the side step shuffle that occurs when facing an opposing human makes me shudder. If I found myself in the same situation everytime the game had a drinks break, I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself walking around the opposite side of the net altogether, just to get to the safety of my seat. It’s stressful stuff!

It’s not that I hate human contact at all. I simply find having to negotiate a pass-through,mentally, with someone not well aquatinted, or even a rival, a horrifically unnecessary and displeasing event.
Life is tough being British. It isn’t easy fearing embarrassment induced by social contact. Life is riddled with the stuff, you can’t get away from it, it hunts you down until you collapse into a mush of apologies and nervous giggles.

If you think I’m being ridiculous then you’re probably American, and probably shouting to your neighbour to pop over for a swim with just your speedos on, and your probably taking no notice of the weather report either.

I can’t help but think us Brits have got it all right in a wrong way. Oh did you see the weather we had today? Nightmare.

Racism rife in Euro 2012 capital

Donbas Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2012

Donbas Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine – UEFA Euro 2012

With the European Championships just round the corner all eyes turn to the host nations, Poland and Ukraine. In many ways this is just another championship in two ordinary countries in a exiting summer of sport. However, this championship could prove to be at the heart of the most controversial decision UEFA has ever made. By allowing the Euros to take place in Poland and Ukraine UEFA may be lumping their own heads on to the chopping board. The choice to allow Poland and Ukraine to host such a prestigious European football tournament could have dramatic consequences. It has been revealed that both nations are home to a horrific racist footballing culture. With this in mind we have to ask the question whether UEFA awarded the Euros aware of these barbaric attitudes, and if they were not, why they were unaware of the situation at hand?

I had read a few articles and heard the odd rumour that Polish and Ukrainian football fans could be racist, even to the point of undertaking racist attacks on other supporters and players alike. An awful thing to hear, especially when the UEFA are continually taking steps to rid football of racism. However, I didn’t really grasp the full magnitude of the problem that is blatant racism in these nations, until I watched the BBC Panorama programme¬†Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate. To understand the extent of the behaviour adopted by football fans you have to watch the programme. There behaviour can no longer be graced with the title Right Wing politics, it can only be described as hateful, anti-Semitic nazism.

These stadiums are a breading ground for prejudices, enmity and hostility to mere scapegoats labelled as the stimulus for their hate. These stadiums are the same ones fans from countries all over Europe will be sitting, singing and celebrating in. Does it seem right to welcome men, women and children into a place that houses an atmosphere resembling the horrific years of Nazi Germany?

It was very saddening to discover the racism that was so blatant in Poland and Ukraine, whether only in the footballing community or not, that is no excuse whatsoever. I sincerely hope UEFA have not, as I have, just discovered the situation they have entered players from all ethnic backgrounds into. This could seriously be a disaster. UEFA may have just opened a can of worms too big to swallow. UEFA must be accountable to the actions that take place in the host nations, after all UEFA were the ones gladly giving Poland and Ukraine the seat in the spotlight.

I can only hope that Poland and Ukraine are not embarrassed by these minorities who believe there is still a place for racism, let alone neo-nazis viewpoints in today’s world. In no way do I want an act of racism to be a feature of Euros 2012, however, I also don’t want these diseased cultures to go on unrecognised. There must be action taken against those who openly exclaim that ‘Jews should be hated’. There is something seriously wrong with a culture that overlooks the exclamation of racial hatred.

I had naively believed, hoped, that human nature had moved on from the past and learnt from the costly actions of others that in no way can racism, antisemitism or general hatred of an ethnic group be acceptable. We must destroy this misplaced anger, we have to, it is imperative if we are to survive as a species.

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Politicians: How about the truth this time?

Image of the front door of Number 10 Downing S...

Number 10 Downing Street

Now when I say the truth I mean the real truth, the one that isn’t a lie. You may be thinking, well obviously the truth is not a lie, and is there even such a thing as the ‘real truth’ because surely by definition the truth is real truth anyway. Besides giving myself a headache I’m come to the conclusion I’m talking rubbish: normality resumes. This article however, has got some point to it, whether you will be able to extract it is another matter all together, but we’ll have a go.

What the introduction was meant to state, but failed miserably, was that politicians are well overdue in telling us the truth, the real truth that is! In other words politicians are made of some crafty stuff, for sure. I was watching the News when it hit me; you rarely ever get the truth out of a politician and it’s like getting the truth out of Pinnochio, damn difficult, I think, isn’t it?

It really is no coincidence that as soon as the governmental flavour of the month is voted into power they begin their landslide into a pit of hate from their own voters. This amazing feat is repeated pretty much election after election, but for some reason everyone just seems to buy into it and vote for the ones they used to hate four years ago? Strange.

What annoys me most is that for some reason these same politicians believe they have some ‘get-out-of-jail-free-card’ for telling the truth. You have to give them some credit though, they give a masterclass in avoiding saying anything of any relevance to the probing question posed. Interview after interview, whatever the question the reply always seems to be along the lines of…’well what our government is doing, which I personally supported, is to provide economic growth to a country left in ruins by the previous (add formally elected party name here) government.’ Voila call me a politician and vote me into Parliament!

So why don’t they tell the truth anymore? Are their minds and hearts so scarred by the world of politics they have become immune to the notion of truth? I doubt it, but only just. They don’t tell us what is really happening and what is really going on because they know they can get away with not telling us. We just happily let them pull the wool over our eyes, but why?

I think it’s because so many people have lost faith in politicians they just don’t care what they say anymore, they just know it’s something that resembles a big fat lie. The real question we have to ask is why are the elect elite so untrustworthy? That we even have to pose this question is a good indication that something somewhere has gone horribly wrong. We, as a society, have become so fickle and judgemental that we form so many of our views on what that guy said in that newspaper; which, for anyone that didn’t catch on is a rubbish way to form a view. We support this MP because of this but hate this MP because of that, but isn’t the difference so marginal? I am opening myself up to some hideous political naivety, I apologise. But I think maybe we are the ones who have forced politicians into a truth-less, lie defining, parasitic existence (I added the last bit for affect, too much? Yeah, ‘parasitic’ was a bit harsh and pretty meaningless in this context too but roll with it, thanks)

Running the country must be no mean feat and how we haven’t all started attacking each other with pitchforks yet would suggest it’s going pretty well in my book. You can never please everyone, that is for sure. Shut down the animal testing centre and you please the animal rights activists but annoy the scientist who lose their jobs. Politicians are frightfully worried about votes, which makes sense. But because we despise and abandon so quickly, we cause politicians to turn to lies so to hide the truth that will only make us switch our allegiance, again.

So we conclude that politicians lie to us to stop us from turning to the opposing party, who they believe will do us more harm and damage our precious lives immeasurably, so it’s kind of sweet that politicians avoid telling us the truth. Oh don’t be silly that’s a stupid idea, their just bad sports, liars too!

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Public Transport: where did it all go wrong?

Hopping on the bus to work the other day cost me a whopping ¬£3.20. Fares these days are rising like unemployment, that’s stupidly high for anyone that didn’t grasp my poor attempt at a political gibe.

Standard class interior of National Express Ea...

Wishful thinking!

Now I know we are in a recession, which means we have to pay more for absolutely everything, which I don’t really understand, but we’ll skip over that as it’s the first of many. So with this philosophy it is expected that one should pay more for bus fares, naturally. It’s not like the recession means we have less dollar in our back pocket at all, grab away government it’s all good here, no worries we got your back!

Anyway, with all this complaining I am starting to sound far too similar to someone well matured in the fine wine that is life. And so before I bore you all into thinking that public transport isn’t quite as bad as this article I return to our subject matter: public transport. You find yourself sitting on a packed, rickety old bus smelling something like a cesspit that’s been flooded by Stella, wondering, where did it all go wrong? It really did seem like a good idea at the time I’m sure, but public transport is acting like a smelly child that just won’t go to the toilet. It just keeps hanging around, continually acquiring a greater hatred from it’s uses. You have to question is it just us or is public transport less than desirable on the continent as well? No don’t be silly, everything is always more desirable on the continent. I would pay ¬£3.20 just to watch a continental bus, oh don’t ask!

Unfortunately you’re not off the hook yet, the rant continues, I know I amaze myself at times. It is deeper than just a poorly designed system that is the real problem. Public transport is the bane of commuters lives; Buses are delayed, trains are overpacked and overpriced and flying is way to extravagant. Attempting a trip into town at peak times has become a folly ambition, let alone commuting into London everyday, it’s pretty much perceived as suicide, talk about staring death in the face. Pubic transport just has that stigma about it nowadays, as a nation we are not proud of the national service, we even sold most of it. We approach it with an air of suspicion and a great wodge of lack of faith that it will succeed in its core mission to get us to our destination. But why and how did this travesty occur, where did it all go wrong?

Sadly, I don’t have the solution, because well I’m not a politician (my second attempt at a political gibe). However, like an annoying teacher’s pet I have introduced the question secretly so I can have a crack at it. Here goes, hold on to your expenses (third, and admittedly more horrific, political gibe if it can even be graced with that title). As I mentioned early we have no real faith in our public service and this could be the crux of the problem. Society needs to stop dodging the blame and take a long hard look at itself in the mirror, metaphorical of course, government could never commission a mirror to be made that big, silly idea really. Our lack of faith has physicalised into a lack of respect through mistreating our transport something chronic, the amount of rubbish you find on a bus has caused me to accidentally catch a ride on a dustbin truck by mistake. I joke. The poor treatment we dish out is reflected in the service we receive and in reality we probably get a good deal for our lack of care. So does the issue really lie with us?

Can we change our attitude and take a little pride in the service that has changed the world and moved forward our society in many ways; scientific, industrial, and economic to name a few. With a new mindset and respect we can impact the service we receive, so really we are our own downfall, but, only if we don’t take any care.

But I mean, what do I know I’m only a student really.

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