EU Elections and Beyond

Like with tastes, one’s political views may also change with time. When I was younger I undoubtedly stood with Labour — they are the people’s party, after all. Some of my earlier posts also state that I support Labour. So what’s changed?

Just as I believe that where you are born should not decide whether you live, where you are born does not mean that you can mooch off the system until death (even if the system somehow allows for it). These days (although obviously not true of all) I feel that Labour seem to be supported by a bunch of mooching layabouts. Everywhere you go, you hear people complaining about getting their benefits cut and how it affects them not being able to afford cigarettes or a bigger telly.

This may all be media hype, but don’t get me started on mums having as many children as possible because the more they have, the more they can claim. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with people abusing the system while friends and family work their arses off to keep the country afloat. It’s one thing needing a bit of assistance while trying to get back on your feet. But it’s shameful when you piss and moan about your country not doing anything for you when you’ve done f**k all for it. On top of that, who can trust a man who doesn’t like bacon to lead a party?!

Oops. That just turned into a bit of a rant — not exactly sure where all that came from. But I really can’t be associated with a party that seems to be dragging Britain down. Not to mention, if UKIP council candidate Bobby Anwar was in fact attacked by his neighbour, who is reportedly an avid Labour supporter, then those that have been demonising UKIP also share responsibility for the act. Violence and sending shit in the post have no place in politics. Full stop.

I generally can’t be bothered with politics but these recent occurrences surrounding the impending EU elections have really upset me. And I’ve been thinking, if Labour are out, then who? I decided to give EUVOX (EU-wide voting advice application) a go and see which party actually better fit my beliefs. I was neutral for a few questions but the results were interesting. Most of my responses were definitely not in line with Labour but to be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to anaylse the rest of the results (feel free to enlighten me).  In the end, I suppose there will never be a perfect party. But if you’re that passionate about your party, perhaps it’s better to represent it in a more civilised and intelligent way so as not to taint their image or introduce new problems to society.

Economy Society

Economy-Society

Economy Europe

Economy-Europe

Society Europe

Society-Europe

What UKIP Needs: Super Poo!

If you follow UK politics, you may have heard about some anti-UKIP supporters that have been sending faeces to the party at their own expense. What kind of person sends poo to a political party?! I never thought I’d have to add “dislike when people send boxes of shit in the post” to a long list of reasons why I’m not fond of politics. Sure it may be costing UKIP a bit to receive your smelly poo, but do you realise how insulting such actions are to postal workers? I hope you lot have remembered to put your name and return address on the box so they can “return to sender”.

If you must send poo-themed items to UKIP, why not send some Super Poo from Artbox UK, who are offering free delivery on all UK orders? I personally love the poo shaped sharpener. Aren’t they just adorable? UKIP seem to be constantly under attack these days, and after this shitstorm I’m sure they could do with a bit of cheer. When in doubt, always choose kawaii.

Farewell, Margaret Thatcher

As you probably have heard by now, Margaret Thatcher, the first and only woman prime minister Britain has ever had died of a stroke on 8 April 2013.

Thatcher Compilation

Whether you loved or loathed her, there is no question that Baroness Thatcher shaped Britain as few others did. Even with nicknames like Iron Lady, the Milk Snatcher, and Attilla the Hen, Lady Thatcher served three consecutive terms in office. It’s obvious that most Britons did quite well during Thatcher’s years. But not all would agree, even if history has proved Thatcher to be right time and time again.

I let out a groan when I learned of Thatcher’s death, as I knew it would mean another excuse for people to riot. We’re not stupid. You may call it ‘celebrating’ but what kind of celebration involves trashing people’s shops and causing mayhem? I’m so fed up with yobs and rioters and senseless violence and general lack of respect that people have for each other and the place they live. I know we won’t find reason where there is none, but I can’t help but wonder what the point of all of this is. The poor lady is dead. What more could you want? Her legacy will live on, no matter how many riots you stage or how many bottles of booze you smash. So can we please just let her rest in peace?

I am willing to bet that half the young people that are out there on the streets ‘celebrating’ and plotting to sabotage Thatcher’s funeral next Wednesday know very little about Thatcher’s work and how she really helped save Britain.  As John Phelan rightly pointed out, there may be celebrations when Thatcher dies, “but the next day the revelers will wake up with headaches and Margaret Thatcher will still have crushed Arthur Scargill, will still have helped win the Cold War, and will still have shown the supposed inevitability of socialism to be the dimwitted sham it was. And those achievements will last longer than the hangovers.”

Awkward Apology From Michael Gove

Nothing much has changed Mr. Gove. We’re all cringing with you. (Michael Gove apology – Daily Mail)

30 years on and Education Secretary Michael Gove is still indulging in ‘pathetic showing-off’ — most recently with an insincere public apology to his former French teacher, Danny Montgomery, for misbehaving in class three decades ago. As BBC reports, in his letter Gove acknowledges (with little regret) that he may have missed out due to his poor behaviour but thanks Mr. Montgomery for his patience and perseverance. To add to the cheese, he also writes:

“And you were a great teacher – one of many who helped introduce me to the work of great thinkers and writers – and thus gave me the greatest gift of all – the chance to write my own life story.”

Why must you make me cringe at your every word and make feel like vomming, Gove? I really didn’t see the point of this awkward apology — oh wait, it was simply a stunt to publicise this year’s Teaching Awards. I love that National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower also picked up on his bollocks: “So Mr Gove recognises that teachers are not the enemies of promise or happy with mediocrity as he previously asserted.” As we have all seen, and as The Guardian would agree, it is he that is the enemy of promise. I’m seriously concerned for the future of Britain under politicians like Gove. Now can someone remind me of when the next election is? I’m afraid not soon enough.

Is This The End To Homework?

I can’t say as a child that it was all fun, but I do appreciate all that my parents sacrificed in order to give us a ‘proper’ education. That said, I often feel I’ve let them down as the hours of extra maths lessons, violin and piano, swim, dance and language tutoring didn’t exactly lead me to their idea of success. But I guess you could say I’m a well-rounded person!

Photograph: Klaus-Peter Wolf/Alamy

Although I agree with finding a balance in children’s education, you can probably understand my surprise when French President François Hollande recently announced plans to abolish homework and return to four and a half days of school rather than four. Hold on! Four days of school was the norm? And now no homework? To be fair, primary school children in France spend more hours a year in school than many other developed countries, as they are often there all day, starting early in the morning and ending as late as 6 p.m. The ‘lengthened’ school week would hopefully mean shorter overall days for children.

So what is Hollande trying to accomplish with all this? As France24.com reports,

“Education is priority,” Hollande said at Paris’s Sorbonne University on Wednesday. “An education programme is, by definition, a societal programme. Work should be done at school, rather than at home,” in order to foster educational equality for those students who do not have support at home., he added.

I can’t say that I agree with Hollande’s approach to fostering educational equality. It’s like punishing the entire class when one child has misbehaved. Wouldn’t it be better to help those who might be struggling with their schoolwork? Repetition and trying out a problem on your own is all a part of the learning process, especially when it comes to subjects like maths, reading and spelling. I can’t recall my parents helping me that much with my homework, as they were too busy working (and when it came to English, it wasn’t exactly their first language). I certainly don’t agree with giving children so much homework that they don’t have time to play, but a wee bit of independent thinking ought to be a part of every child’s education.

George Osborne Has Lost The Plot

Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

As you can see, Chancellor George Osborne has lost the plot. Either that he’s playing us all for a fool. Earlier this week at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham he proposed a plan that would allow new workers to swap rights for company shares in an effort to introduce a big deregulation of the labour market. Disguised as an employee-ownership scheme it is essentially asking employees to become slaves to their companies and relinquish their rights and what little sense of job security is left in this economy. As the Guardian reports, Osborne told the conference:

“Workers: replace your old rights of unfair dismissal and redundancy with new rights of ownership. And what will the government do? We will charge no capital gains tax at all on the profit you make on your shares. Zero percent capital gains tax for these new employee-owners. Get shares and become owners of the company you work for. Owners, workers and the taxman, all in it together. Workers of the world unite.”

Why would any sane person waive rights around unfair dismissal, flexible working, time off for training and maternity leave for imagined money? Do not be fooled by the promise of £2,000 – £50,000 which you may never get. Unless that money is sitting safely in your bank account, it’s not yours and is worth nothing to you. And what if the company were to go bankrupt? You will have no job security and will get nothing if you’re fired.

The schemes are targeted at fast-growing and mid-sized companies and will be available from April 2013. They will be voluntary, but only available for new employees and of course I have no say in what you decide for your future but I wouldn’t recommend taking this offer and do not think that it should be compulsory for new hires. Perhaps this might work for start-ups, but I honestly think it would be a mistake for any company to adopt this scheme.

Political Party Quiz: Where Do You Stand?

Now here’s something I rarely blog about (in fact, this may be my fist): US Politics! But seeing as there’s that overly hyped thing called the 2012 US Presidential Election going on, I thought I would humour the Ginge and take this quiz. It consists of only 12 questions and covers issues regarding the environment, immigration, debt and healthcare, to name a few.

I’ve always considered myself overall to be a ‘relaxed conservative’, if such a term exists (perhaps the correct term would be ‘moderate’ conservative), and I lean more toward UKIP than Labour these days. But my overall results show that I am what Americans would call a ‘moderate democrat’:

So what does all this mean? To be honest, I’m not really sure. The Ginge and I share the same views when it comes to social issues, which seems to involve a lot of common sense.  According to the results, I’d be deemed as ‘very liberal’.

But apparently when it comes to economics, I think money grows on trees. Ha! But doesn’t it?

Although 12 questions may not seem like enough to determine one’s political standing, I thought the questions touched on key points. And the results essentially show that politically, I’m all over the map and you simply can’t fit me into one neat little box! And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I refuse to align myself with any party. One day perhaps I’ll come across one that actually fulfills all of my expectations but until then, you can save your breath on trying to convince me to join your party.