Archive | March 2013

I Have Not Forgotten

I must apologise for the inactivity here in the last week, sadly I have a lot of University work to be doing right now which has to take priority.  I will hopefully be able to post here again soon once I’ve got the bulk of it out of the way.

Thanks for understanding.

The Only Security For All is in a Regulated Press?

Thomas Jefferson once taught us that “the only security for all is in a free press” and I think he was on to something.  If big companies or even governments didn’t have the risk of being publicly shamed or even found out at all for wrong doing then what’s to stop them?  Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t stop them a lot of the time anyway, but its better then nothing.  However Thomas’ theory doesn’t seem to stand true in our modern world where self regulation really does mean a free reign, nothing is crossing the line when you’re the one holding the paint brush.

Recently in the UK the press have been found guilty of hacking a young murder victim’s phone to listen to her answer phone messages along with plenty of other high profile phone hacking cases involving numerous celebrities, so it seems that Jefferson was wrong, not everyone is secure with the press free to do as they please.

Problem is though, where do we draw the line?  I’m really stumped on this, on one it’s nice to have a free press that can talk about potential corruption of the government that we wouldn’t know about otherwise.  But on the others much of the time they chose to report the news immaturely, bending the stories to sound them more interesting to sell more papers.  I like the idea of a third party regulating them, because the government certainly can’t be put in charge of it in any way, think of the amount of scandals that would be covered up so easily and how much dirty point scoring could be used (something I’ve touched on previously, this would just give the bigger parties a bigger mouth to shout with).

But at the same time, anyone in charge is going to chose to run it in whatever way benefits them most.  Another option would be to make the news free, not free as in freedom, free as in readers don’t pay for it either.  So there is no need to try and produce popular stories, just important ones.  That said with the internet most stories are available online for free, however I wonder how many of them are ripped straight from newspapers or bigger, supported websites?

What is your take on all this?  How should the press be regulated, by whom or should it be at all?

St Patrick’s Day Silliness

Happy St Patrick’s Day for yesterday I guess, to any of you who celebrated it for whatever reason in whatever way.  I can understand Irish people celebrating this day, and if you’re Irish and Christian then even more so, but it seems to me that 50% of the population suddenly turns Irish just so they could drink Guinness, which as far as I’m aware is actually still sold and legal all other three hundred and sixty four days of the year and it’s sale does not require any specific nationality.

The celebration of this day baffles me.  Like I said, if you’re Irish and proud of your heritage then great, but if you’re not then why are you wearing that green giant leprechaun outfit and dancing like an idiot?  Its just an excuse to get drunk, isn’t it?  Come on we can all be honest here.  But then this baffles me even more, we need no excuse to get drunk.  The consumption of alcohol on the day is generally tradition because of the end lent, but I have yet to meet a single person in my life who actually takes part in lent.

Call me a grumpy bastard, but isn’t all this silliness a bit, well, silly?  Its become another day that’s meant to stand for a religious landmark (in this case the bringing of Christianity to Ireland) that corporations have cashed in on, selling you more Guinness merchandise that will get thrown away the day after.  I’m not normally one to let people having harmless fun get under my skin, but for some reason this does.  You don’t need an excuse to drink, you do it every other week of the year, you’re not Irish, you don’t need to celebrate the end of lent and if you enjoy a Guinness that much why don’t you have one more often without being told to?

Point Scoring Parties

I can’t help but notice recently that almost every time we see a politician on TV he has something to criticise his opponents over, and that’s fine, I like that it gets people thinking about whether or not they agree with what’s being said.  However, I feel that they need to actually back this up with some of their own views and intentions, and recently the Labour party have been pretty guilty of not really doing this.

Every time Ed Miliband opens his mouth publicly, he seems to be simply criticising Cameron and Co.  I’m no fan of David Cameron or what he’s currently doing with the country, and I don’t hold anything against Labour, but I can’t remember the last time he actually suggested any new policies or solutions to any problems.

This is a real problem for Labour, Cameron has already gone on to say that this is a fight between the Tories and Labour that they are ready for as well as stating that they have “never been more up for the task of turning our country around”.  I agree on both points.  Labour and the Tories are the main two parties still and it seems almost certain that one of them will be in power after the next election.  I think the country needs Labour back, because they value the lives of the average working family at the highest regard, and that’s who’s been hurt the most by the Tories (as usual).  However, Miliband needs to make it clear why they are the guys for the job and stop sitting on the fence on everything, or his potential voters will be confused where he sits on too many issues.  I also agree that the Tories have never been in better shape to positively turn around the country  however that’s not really a complement, they’ve never shown themselves to be in good shape in the modern world.

I think the Lib Dems have done a decent turn in office and Clegg did enough to deserve the amount of votes he got in the last election, however they’ve shot themselves in the foot more than once this term and I think they will lose a lot of the student votes that got them where they are now.  Which could bring another part into the big time, maybe UKIP, independence seems all the rage right now.

 

Let me know your thoughts on all this.  Thank you for reading.

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The Price of Beer

Here in the UK we have a certain culture stigma surrounding us, we like our beer and we like to drink a lot of it.  We’ve probably earned this title fairly enough, go to any town on a Friday and Saturday night and you will see streets full of people likely to wake up regretting whatever you’re watching them doing right there and then.  People get hurt, people drink so much they damage their bodies and all sorts of other nasty things occur due to alcohol, but you know what, we Brits work hard (well, some of us do) so why shouldn’t we be allowed to play hard?

I can understand Mr Cameron wanting to slow some of binge drinking down, it probably causes the NHS a fair amount of work and he wants to cut that down too, so it sort of makes sense.  But slapping a bigger tax on alcoholic beverages?  Have they not forgotten the disaster that was the insane “pasty tax”?  Next thing David will be appearing on TV with an awkward grin exclaiming “Yes, i drink beer, I love a good pint of *squinting eyes” bit-ter when I get home” actually expecting us to believe his functions resemble that of a human.

What would the tax rise achieve?  Do you actually think that you’d be tempted to have a night in instead of spending a few extra quid each week?

Personally I don’t.  I don’t go out every Friday and Saturday, but it’s still something I do regularly, and the price can range from anything between £20 to £50 depending on seemingly random events, I think my wallet eats money while I’m in a bar.  Driving the price of a pint up isn’t going to make a jot of difference to me, and most of the people who are determined to kill a few brain cells will do it regardless of a few extra pence per pint slapped on.  The brewing industry is a funny beast (I work in it regularly, so I know), some breweries are thriving right now, there are always massive expansion projects going on, and some small ones seem to keep growing too, but why would we want to do anything to risk stunting growth of one of the few thriving industries right now?  Not to mention how much the pub trade has suffered these day, in my local towns the number of none-chain pubs must have halved in the last 5 years.

I see this as nothing more than another money making scheme, which is fine, we’re in a country with serious economic problems and this seems better than borrowing even more, but please for the love of God just be honest with us.

Remember, I’m posting this to try and get people thinking, I appreciate so much that people read my other post and liked/followed it (I’m being genuine here, it actually means a lot that my first post already generated readers) if you disagree tell me why.

The New Pope of the Catholic Church and Rivalry Between Countries

I suppose congratulations are in order for Pope Francis, he has after all just achieved perhaps the world’s most desired of all promotions, he is now the Pope.  Not being a Catholic myself I struggle to get excited about the prospect of a new nutter in charge of one of the world’s most worryingly out-of-date and influential organisations.  More bigoted, old fashioned and dangerous lessons to be forced upon people who know no better I’m sure.  He’s already gained a reputation for being fiercely against abortion regardless of situation, and we can only assume that contraception falls under this.  Yay, more diseases and unwanted children for everyone!

One thing that has startled me in the news though; the rivalry between countries.  Brazil in particular seemed most put out that Argentina won this match, sorry; election according to the BBC.  People have actually compared this to football though in a none-sarcastic manner, claiming disappointment and some people have gone as far to say that atheism will actually rise in Brazil because of this.  Although I struggle to see that as a negative point, it makes me wonder if someone can truly think of themselves as a Catholic if something like this is enough of a reason to waiver their beliefs.  Talk about glory supporting.

I’d love to hear from people all over the world from all religions and their thoughts on this, if you have any at all.

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