Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why government is all in it together, but not in the way they say...

So, I watched this this morning, and as a result posted the letter below. It's probably a little too accusatory to be effective, but I vented!

Once again, I feel the need to write to my local MP to express my concerns over ethical behaviour of the government and it's relationship with the financial sector, the media and business corporations.

Increasingly I read about the government's dealings with other business sectors to find that they are of an inappropriate nature, and involve arrangements which the voters are unaware of, did not expressly request for, and I feel I am now discovering our government to have a thread, perhaps a vein, and perhaps, it may be found, to be a bigger cancerous proportion of corrupt, unethical arrangements with banking sectors, media moguls and business men, arms dealers, even turning a blind eye to dealing with countries which have well known human rights transgressions for the sake of business.

If Mr Cameron truly believes that the UK should become a place where 'we're all in it together' and wants the general public to adopt a more altruistic approach to life, surely it must be seen to be coming from the top first? A parent teaches a child by setting a good example themselves.
 As our law makers, you are the parent in this situation, but instead of taking care of your charges, you are leaving us in the shop doorway and hoping that someone else deals with us. In fact, you're raiding the children's piggy bank to pay the milk man, the grocer and the paper shop. Your children are sick, and yet you won't take them to the GP. Your children are hungry, and you withhold their pocket money in exchange for feeding some of them, and when you do you promote junk food and alcohol over fresh vegetables, as it has more financial benefit to you. You dine and wine with your husbands and wives of media, finance and business, and allow them to raid your children's savings accounts, and never demand that they pay it back. If anyone is acting immorally, irresponsibly,and selfishly, I'm afraid to say it seems to be yourselves.

Bankers must be held accountable for the recent bail-outs. Without holding the financial sector up to proper scrutiny, and changing the way in which capitalism functions, the world will continue on it's destructive path. It seems quite blatently clear to the majority of the world that the knock-on effect of having a civilisation that functions on increasing profits yearly, is that the people below end up channeling more money into a never ending consuming machine of greed, resulting in starvation, disease and poverty not just in third worlds, but second and first ones as well.  If corporate fat cats are not forced into giving something back, they end up in a situation where (as we've just seen with Apple,) they hold more money in reserve than one of the greatest world powers.

As Barack Obama intimated in his speech, the USA and the UK are long known for standing together against evil and terrorism. I'm not so sure this is the case any more, but if something isn't done to clean up our systems soon, the world will suffer a cataclysmic collapse. You are our caretakers, voted for by those who had least had a modicum of interest in how the UK and the world is run. Moral and ethical obligation can not be just a responsibility of the unemployed and disabled, because they are not worthy to be supported, (and I am one of those) but is essentially the responsibility of those with power and money.You are the only people who can make this happen. As my local representative in parliament, I have to rely on you to listen to my voice, but more importantly, to act on it.

The government has to care about the general voter, or they will lose us, as they are already doing. By not holding the financial sector to their promised responsibilities, by not admitting to discussions with Murdoch about BSkyB, by taking weapons dealers abroad with the political entourage whilst on trips to Arab states, by cutting into the very heart of the public sector, by not listening to alternative, more viable financial suggestions, as put forward by organisations such as Robin Hood, by stripping away the assistance to those in need to the extent where their human rights are affected and their ability to contribute to society is less as a result of having less support, and even more potty plans, the government is making a statement to us. That they don't care. They don't care what happens to the poorest, the sickest, the youngest. They don't care about the general voter, because it was the banks, the media and the unions which placed them in their position of power, and so now, the government is really owned by them, and not us.

Fundamental change to all of these attitudes is vital. Compulsory voting might be one way of addressing a small part of it, but I suggest Mr Cameron and his party look to their own ethics before demanding the general voter to help thy neighbour.

I apologise for the tone of my letter, my contempt is not purely for a single MP, or even for a single party. Unfortunately I address you all, and ask that you, our law makers and breakers take on this enormous task. But it has to be now, and it has to be all of you.

Yours sincerely,


Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Dylan Moran is pure genius

Most people are aware of the old adage that clowns hide behind their tears, but until last night, I had never experienced the true depth of what it's like to have both the comedy and tragedy inside oneself all the time. I'm not sure that everyone walks away with the same impression of this show, certainly the Telegraph review by Dominic Cavendish seemed to grasp some of the show's aims, but was quite blase about how personal a show it is.  Dylan Moran is a true genius in that he performed two shows at once; his stand up routine, to his usual very high standards, relating and empathising with two thousand people at once. Simultaneously, behind him, some of his own doodles, thoughts, and artistic representations of the mind. All of it seemingly effortless. All of it horrendously insightful, and in hindsight, as I look back, performing the task that Art is, in my mind, meant to; it makes you question yourself, your relationships, your surroundings and circumstances, other people's surroundings and circumstances, and indeed, makes you look at your present, past and future society. I laughed as inwardly I cried. Amongst the many things he was saying was that we love putting things in boxes, seperating and segregating people, thoughts, and ideas. To this end, as an artist myself I was shocked into realisation, that artists are put into boxes, but perhaps 'comedians' the most.  I hope I can continue to see other people and myself in a more rounded, holistic way, and that my expressive abilities as an artist will only benefit from having a more open attitude.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The importance of spelling

A friend posted a link to the poem I've posted below, which is a really good example of why spelling is quite so important. I just thought I'd share!

"Candidate for a Pullet Surprise"
By Jerrold H. Zar, Northern Illinois University
Journal of Irreproducible Results 39, 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1994): 13

Note to my students: you should not take this poem to indicate that spell checking your papers is a bad idea. Every semester I am amazed by the number of students who turn in papers full of typographical errors that would have been caught by spending a few minutes with a spell checker. On the other hand, one should not assume that the spell checker alone can guarantee perfect results...
I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
Bee fore a veiling checker's
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.
Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.
Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why waiting list figures are a sham

Undoubtedly there must be a pressure on the NHS to perpetually reduce waiting list times. I'm hazarding a guess that indeed their performance must be judged partially on these. On being referred myself recently to three different departments, I mused that it would be interesting to see the differences in waiting list times. How quickly that initial contact would come didn't actually occur to me.
And here's the rub: performance figures are based on how long you have to wait from when they receive the referral.
As six weeks had passed since my first referral, I thought it was time to make a few enquiries and see what was holding things up. The surgery confirmed that the referral had been sent and faxed on the 19th April. The clinic claimed to not have received it. The surgery then confided that actually, this happens quite a lot. The next step was that they would re-fax it to them, and if I rang the clinic in ten minutes, I could get them to confirm receiving it, and ask them to hurry up an appointment as the original referral had been made so long ago. Ten minutes later, the clinic confirmed receiving the faxed form, but as they didn't have hard copies of the blood results and the covering letter from the GP, they couldn't accept it as a referral. The surgery now has to wait until the GP returns from leave in order to get her to do another referral.
So, by using these stalling tactics, the clinic have bought themselves another month or so, totalling about three months of stalled time without it affecting their statistics.
Clinic no. 2 rang me about a month after being referred. To arrange a phone appointment for this week. Slightly bemused by being rung to arrange a phone call, I waited for the allotted time and day. No phone call appeared. By the end of the week, three days after the supposed appointment expired, I rang the clinic. I named the practitioner who'd rung me, and outlined the details that she'd given me. The nameless person I spoke to fobbed me off with an 'oh I'll email her and then inform you of what happens in writing.' Ok, so another stalling tactic again.
Clinic no. 3 at least had my details and confirmed receiving the referral, albeit a week after it was sent to them. I am apparently on the waiting list, but the receptionist couldn't confirm how long that would be, and just said I would be notified in due course after the consultant had assessed my need. This was the most satisfactory though, because I expect to be on a waiting list, I expect there to be delays, but what I don't expect is to have to wait to get on the waiting list.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Egypt, Jim, but not as we know it!

Archaeology has been using infrared viewing technology to view areas of Earth's surface and underground from satellites around Earth's atmosphere. What they have revealed is amazing; undiscovered and lost pyramids and maps of entire cities, as seen below.

BBC1 are showing a programme on Monday 30th May at 8.30pm. I'll definitely be watching. I'm a little concerned that the presenter's look like Tombraider's cast doubles, but hopefully the programme will be a little more informative than the usual History Channel documentary, where you get thirty seconds of actual information slotted between twenty minutes of commercials.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oh God, I hate blogs, bloggers and blogging - wtf am I doing here?

After all these years of avoiding blogs, I've ended up starting one. Why do I hate them so much? Because, generally speaking, most of the ones I've read tend to be self-obsessed twunts who want to tell you about their mundane, unimportant lives.
To be frank, you don't want to know about my day to day life - it would bore the shite out of you. Don't get me wrong, I love my manshape and the kids to bits, but I do realize that however fascinating it is to me that Son No. 4 has got 5 teeth and has learnt to play with the computer mouse pad (at 5 months), you really don't want to hear about it. And, quite frankly, I have no interest in the contents of your meal last night, nor which pub you're planning to go to tonight.
But, and I realise there's a flaw in this plan, I need a forum to shout out my rage at the world. I think posting on facebook has it's value, but I can't keep creating endless notes, or I'll end up spamming them all as much as the youtube music videos I frequently end up scrolling through.
And let's face it - I've been stuck on this sofa for a while, and it looks like I'll be here a while longer. Until I can get up off my arse and DO something, this is about the only way I can endlessly talk tripe and at least feel like I'm doing something worthwhile.
So apologies are in order, but hey, I only invited you here - you don't need to keep reading! But hopefully, somewhere along the way, you might find my shit mildly amusing or entertaining, or maybe even valuable. Of course, I anticipate most of it will be links to articles about outrageously unjust political situations, but that's what gets my goat. Shoot me if I start talking about cross-stitch though, eh?