Friday, 29 May 2009

The Party Political Broadcast Rundown!!

Most of these are the 2nd broadcasts...

The Lib Dems second Party Political Broadcast was... topical; all about the expenses scandal and loss of public trust in Parliament. Honest, straight forward, direct. Nick Clegg keeps it interesting even though it is a little bland.

The Labour parties 2nd one is still is all about Labour's achievements and the Governments attempts to fight the "international recession". They even have a hidden dig at the old Tory Government. Come on guys! It's been 12 years!!! Same Old New Labour.

The Tories 2nd one was edited in a similar way to one of those annoying Channel 4 adverts which means you learn allsorts of things at speed but end up thinking "sod it, this looks like a vehicle for some over rated celebrity". Which, basically this advert was. It was all about David Cameron. There was some policy talk but really no centre. It was all over the place. Lots of money thrown at this, and lots of marketing nuance but no heart.

UKIP's is STUPID. It's designed a bit like one of those poorly funded educational programmes from the early nineties and believes the UK on it's own would be able to compete with China, India or Brazil. Dear UKIP, stop lying. If you want us to be free of the EU, great for you. But if you think we will be able to compete in the future with countries over 10 times bigger than us, then you are... insane. They want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, Lib Dems want a referendum on Europe. Hmm.. who should the Eurosceptics vote for?? Silly advert doesn't even make sense.

Fucking hell. It's the BNP. And they are pretending to be the inheritors of the heroes of WWII. They believe we fought WWII to defend our British values and "Christian way of life". No. We did it to protect our own ARSES from doom after we'd spent our time appeasing a racist dictator. The Nazi plan was not to create a European super state. It was to gain Lebensraum for the German people. I'm fairly sure they did not plan to create some sort of love in with Western Europe but create puppet states and vassals. They planned for a racist German super state free of the elements the Nazi's despised. Not quite unlike the BNPs policies. Also production values are on a par with my Media Studles GCSE coursework i.e. RUBBISH.

Jury Teams advert seemed to suggest they were all just very nice people. With no policies, except being nice.

What about us? Is the English Democrats cry. WHAT ABOUT ME?? They are the selfish brats of the political parties of Britain. Like a sister looking at her other sisters plates and thinking they all got bigger portions and it's obviously a conspiracy on the part of their mother. Now I don't want to say they are like the BNP. That would be unfair. But this is for the voter who thinks the BNP are great but hates all the nasty racist, homophobic bullshit. For the tolerant, selfish voter.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Monday, 25 May 2009

March For England Seems To Not Understand Respecting Our Troops

When our troops came under verbal attack from some radical anti-war protesters in Luton recently, they maintained their professionalism and dignity in the face of the insults and taunts of the protesters. Some who had come to the parade to pay tribute to the troops were, somewhat understandably, undignified in their response but the police managed to maintain some form of order. That day served as a reminder of the professionalism of our armed forces and police, and our protection of the rights of free speech for all (something we need to see more of admittedly!) no matter how repugnant that speech is.

Alas, some organisation named "March For England" organised a peaceful protest that got out of hand over the weekend in Luton, with slogans such as "No Sharia Law in the UK" and "Respect our Troops". Whilst I very much agree with the sentiments, I somewhat think the organisers missed out on one major thing: this sort of protest is bound to draw in the wrong elements and in so doing bring dishonour upon the troops whom they claim to be defending.

And some of the protesters this time certainly sound like lovely representatives for the cause of respecting our troops:

"Groups of young men in balaclavas and England shirts chanted outside the city centre and one balacava-clad protester held a Rottweiler on a chain, while others clashed with police in riot gear. One Asian man was hit across the face with a banner and left with a bloody nose."

Mmm... English nationalism at it's best. These people should be roundly condemned for allowing this sort of a mess to be carried out in the name of respecting our troops! It is a hideous insult to their courage and reserve.

Our British soldiers deserve a better tribute than this rabble of "English" people.

If we are to stand up for the rights of our decent citizens and our honourable troops then we must do so peacefully, decently and with integrity. If we are to defend our way of life from sharia law, and religious stupidity, we must do so through the proper channels (the law, our Government and the way our society works). We must integrate our communities and not allow differences which sow terror and violence among our population.

Riots, racist attacks and disorder serve only to bring our country into disrepute, and stoke tensions in areas that need few reasons for outbreaks of violence. We must engage with our minority communities and bring them into our society and not show them reasons to avoid integration such as has been done here.

How can we imagine that by showing our way of life to be full of hate and violence we are going to encourage the young minority community member to engage with mainstream society? I'm not a Christian but surely reaching out with love (not tolerance, we don't wish to tolerate people, we need to embrace them as our neighbours!) is far better than doing so with hate.

We might achieve a little more.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Why I Voted Lib Dem

The European elections may still be two weeks away but my ballot paper is completed and posted already. And, quelle surprise you might think, as paid up member of the Lib Dems I placed my cross loyally in the box next to our candidates. But why?

The 2004 European election was the first time I had a chance to vote, and despite helping leaflet and door knock for the Lib Dems I placed my mark in the Green Party box (hopes no one from the party back home reads this!). Why? Because I had seen Dr. Caroline Lucas (who was MEP and head of the Green Party list) speak a couple of times before and had found her to be intelligent and persuasive, and her parties policies are hardly a million miles away from my own beliefs. This time I am now in the London region and completely without any information on any of the candidates beyond their names and party positions. Logically I just had to vote for the party that I felt would represent us best in Europe. And thankfully it was easy!

The Liberal Democrats are a pro European party. Personally I think Britain's future lies with Europe. Many seem to think that we are better off with America, but history and current events prove the Americans are 1) not as politically close to us as our European friends and 2) not interested! But the Lib Dems aren't blind to the faults of our current European Union. They want to reform it, make it more democratic, less centralised and more financially prudent. And the Liberal Democrats fully support a referendum on Britain's continued membership of the EU. So really they are a bit like me... they are optimistically pro Europe, hoping that the EU can be made better for the benefit of all Europe (which includes our benefit for the selfish folks out there!).

So there's my main reason for voting for them, given this is for our European representation. But also, domestically, I think they have the best policies on a whole range of subjects.

The Liberal Democrats are very much in favour of protecting and restoring our civil liberties. They are very much in favour of democratic reform (hello Proportional Representation!). One Lib Dem MP has been doggedly pursuing the matter of MPs expenses and freedom of information long before it became popular (hello Norman Baker) and have been a little less blatant with their expenses than other MPs (hello Sinn Fein!!!!). Nick Clegg has been trying to see beyond the current crisis and is very much pushing for change in the Parliament.

And best of all, the Lib Dems are not a "nasty party". On a local level things can be a bit different (until a 2003 "revolution" back home our Lib Dem local administration was somewhat insane), but nationally the party and it's policies portray optimism, hope, and a positivity that has been sadly lacking in politics.

You might not think these cogent arguments, or agree with me at all, but that is why I cast my vote for the Lib Dems. Because I think they offer the best hope of a happier, brighter future.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Time For A Revolution?

Maybe it's just me but the Prime Minister's suggestion of creating a new, independent entity to review MPs expenses in future is just plan rubbish.

I don't think an unelected and unaccountable group of over zealous managerial types is what we really need. We need a complete, system wide change of checks and balances within Parliament not more structure and expense on top.

It's time we started thinking about the big questions: do we need a written constitution to enshrine the rights and duties of Parliament and MPs forever more, rather than allowing them to change things on a whim? Do we need a new method of voting that allows a more diverse Parliament so that the big three parties don't make secret gentlemen's agreements behind closed doors with little scrutiny? Do we want an elected upper house whose task it is to keep an eye on the other one?

It's time for sweeping change, not more bureaucracy and more expense.

That's my opinion anyway.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Monday, 18 May 2009

I Squandered The Public Purse But Don't Be Homophobic!!! Part 2

This time it's Chris Bryant, following in Ben Bradshaw's footsteps, who has cried "But I'm GAY!" as a reasonable excuse to take tax payers money for his second home.

I am obviously disgusted that the Rt Hon. Chris Bryant had his home attacked by homophobes. But should this be used as an excuse? NO! Why? Because Mr Bryant is a MP and he can reasonably expect police protection from this sort of abuse. But instead of sticking it out, like a man, he decides to take OUR money to protect himself. Way for standing up against the homophobes there. Let's just give in to them and move somewhere safe! Great idea, very noble.

I just did a check on TheyWorkForYou and Chris Bryant doesn't appear to have EVER suggested putting some our tax payers money towards protecting gay Iraqis from their own police. This is obviously a mistake on my part because a privileged man in his position is surely far less vulnerable than these needy folks, so I look forward to him putting me correct. Also, based on my findings there, he seemed very much in favour of the "separate but equal" civil partnerships, equating them to gay marriage, but didn't pursue the point. Perhaps he might wish to put a bill before Parliament demanding a redress to the obviously unequal status of marriage in this country forthwith before he starts screaming "I had to, the homophobes made me do it".

How many more times must I say it: HOMOPHOBIA is not an excuse for immoral behaviour. In fact, using it as such an excuse is beyond despicable. People are DYING for their right to love right now and we're getting a bit of graffiti and taking tax payers money to defend ourselves. What sort of image is that presenting???

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Charlie Brooker Says Everything I Wanted To Say But Didn't Know How

In his latest Guardian article Charlie Brooker distilled my thoughts, made them witty, and put them on paper. Is this man psychic? No but he sure is clever...

It was the first time I was explicitly told that racism was unpleasant and it was a lesson served with a side order of patriot fries. Or rather, chips. Our headmaster had fought for his country, and for tolerance, all at once. That's what I understood it meant to be truly "British": to be polite, and civil and fair of mind.

Well said indeed.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 17 May 2009

It;s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Hug a member of the GLBTQ community today!!

Erm.. but why did they specify places as "England" and "Scotland" yet those from the United States were not listed by state. Grr... *breathes* It's a day of understanding I must accept that some people like being English and Scottish and move on... *breathes again*

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Thursday, 14 May 2009

My Grumpy Letter To The Owners Of The Canterbury Tales

Following on from my rant here, I've gotten proactive!

Dear Sir/Madam

I noticed a recent news story on BBC News that, as a gay Kentish Man (living in London) piqued my interest. The url is It was about a
supposed lack of support of the LGBT community by Canterbury council. I quote from the article:

"In response to the concerns raised by Canterbury Pride, one of the city's visitor attractions, The Canterbury Tales, said it would be offering members of the LGBT community a discounted admission fee until 30 June to encourage further "pink tourism".

Steve Beer, centre manager, said: "Here at the Tales, we definitely welcome all sectors of society to our attraction."

May I ask how this policy is to be 1) justified and 2) implemented?

I am totally shocked that a visitor attraction designed for theentertainment and education of the people of Kent and visitors to our wonderful county, could possibly single out a single group (even one of which I'm a proud member!) for a discount over others. That is discrimination of a terrible kind. Would you think it was acceptable to say "All white people get a discount" or "All straight people get a discount"? It is not, and neither is this.

Secondly how do you propose to implement this discount? Self disclosure? Anyone can say they are a member of the LGBTQ community! Gay people aren't walking stereotypes who can easily be spotted, but this policy seems to suggest they might be. Perhaps you are looking
for those with a keen dress sense, a snappy turn of phrase and perhaps a limp wrist? I am deeply offended by the very idea one would know who is a member of the LGBTQ community based on looks alone or by the suggestion such a member should be worthy of a discount over others and need to disclose their sexual behaviours to strangers in order to get said discount.

I find what you are doing extremely concerning and hope this is a mistake on the part of the BBC and not your actual policy. I am keen to hear your views.

Thank you in advance

Jason Kay

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Canterbury? Unwelcoming To Gays?

As a 16 year old boy living in Folkestone, Kent, I went and got myself a boyfriend in the wonderful city of Canterbury. I was blessed with a wonderful mother who would spend her weekend evenings ferrying me to Canterbury and then picking me up in the very early hours (wonderful to me, but then again I was drinking myself silly every night whilst underage with her blessing so some moralising prudes might take issue with this). Even after I split with him Canterbury remained as the centre of my "gay social life" as opposed to that I shared with my schoolmates. When I went out with Gareth in 2003, the gay bars and clubs of Canterbury became very important to me once more. Bar 11, West Bar and even Girls And boYs. So much fun.

So I was somewhat shocked by the suggestion Canterbury was particularly unwelcoming to gay people.

Canterbury Pride is calling for the council to fund a community drop-in centre for the LGBT community, and to make more reference to gay people in its culture.

They also want a gay bar to be opened. Mr Brettell added that the council could be missing out on substantial revenue.

Erm, why should the taxpayer be paying for specific services for certain groups? What exactly is being proposed be done at this drop-in centre that can't be done at a health centre? Social gathering? That's not the councils business and I'd hope they'd keep their noses out of that sort of thing. And why make more reference to gay people particularly? Surely we shouldn't be referencing people just based on who they shag, or the colour of their skin and particularly not on what sky fairy they worship. We should mention them for their input to society, their cultural achievements, the size of their rather well developed arm muscles. You know. Important stuff.

And a gay bar should be opened? Erm... I highly doubt the council is suppressing gay bars, nor are they in the business of operating them so perhaps, crazy thought, Canterbury Pride could open a gay bar and then, out there idea here, use the proposed profits to fund a community operated drop in centre!!

"The council has provided Pride in Canterbury with funding of more than £4,000 since 2005/06 through our grants system, to help them identify the needs of the LGBT community and promote their concerns."

They also held a gay open day at the council offices and addressed the concerns of Pride in Canterbury's "regular correspondence", he added.

Why? Hmm.. I'm thinking of a money making scheme here. Set up my Flying Spaghetti Monster group and getting funding to then admonish the city of Canterbury for being too supportive of Christianity. Brilliant! Who's with me?

Then the really DISGUSTING quote reaches us:

In response to the concerns raised by Canterbury Pride, one of the city's visitor attractions, The Canterbury Tales, said it would be offering members of the LGBT community a discounted admission fee until 30 June to encourage further "pink tourism".

Steve Beer, centre manager, said: "Here at the Tales, we definitely welcome all sectors of society to our attraction."

WTF???? So let me get this straight:

1) based on who you shag you can get a discount. In July those who fuck red heads get in half price!!
2) how on Earth are they going to KNOW?? I mean, as a gay guy, it's drummed into us from the moment we are converted not to show anyone our Velvet Mafia Membership Card. So how else can they tell???

Offering a discount to one group of people based solely on their sexuality is DISCRIMINATION. It is WRONG. It is so wrong that I'm going to write them a strongly worded email. But to all straight visitors to The Canterbury Tales, just say you're gay and so are your children to get a discounted admission in the meantime.

Gay people are DYING in Iraq and Canterbury Pride is sitting there moaning about needing a drop in centre, more love from elected blowhards and a place to drink alcohol and get laid. At least they have their priorities straight. Peter Tatchell, who is taking part in Moscow Pride against fierce official resistance and probable violence, would be really proud of them I'm sure.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

I Squandered The Public Purse But Don't Be Homophobic!!!

Ben Bradshaw, a Labour MP who just happens to be gay, is playing the homophobia card and expecting equal treatment from the media in comparison to the likes of David Cameron.

And whilst I'll move on to the main point in a second one quote in this article really pissed me off:

"They have also referred to my partner as my boyfriend - did they refer to Samantha Cameron as David Cameron's girlfriend? All partners have shared income rights. The implication is gay people in civil partnerships are not equal."

Sorry Mr Bradshaw but the reason is simple. You are not MARRIED! You have entered into a civil partnership which is a form of segregation between straights and gays introduced by the Government you serve!! Gay marriage is not allowed in this country. Should you wish to have a husband I would advise you to seek a remedy to this disgusting situation! A partner is a person you enter in a business relationship, not someone whom you love and cherish dearly. For fucks sake. Even our gay MPs don't understand the concept of "separate but equal" (i.e. others are more equal than you) that was the basis of racial segregation in many countries until relatively recently and has now spread to us gays. Thanks Mr Bradshaw for being part of a discriminatory system.

Now... homophobia is not a concept to be used lightly. There are people in this world who die because of their sexuality, who suffer violence and abuse because of it, who are not even able to get married (thanks perhaps to people like Mr Bradshaw whom I expect voted in civil partnerships). They are suffering from homophobia. When a newspaper refers to your "civil partner" as your boyfriend, or treats your relationship as inferior to a married couple (which morally it is, because YOU DIDN'T STAND UP FOR GAY MARRIAGE), that is not homophobia. That is the newspaper understanding the difference between a real marriage and your Government santioned sham one, introduced to stop the gays complaining whilst keeping the religious woowoo brigade happy. Grow some balls, suck up the abuse, and PAY BACK YOUR EXPENSES. You get paid twice the national average wage, so stop asking for more money, simply claiming them was immoral whether or not you made a profit on them.

P.S. perhaps campaigning for gay marriage wouldn't go amiss either but I suspect he's too busy championing some other New Labour policy of more importance, like... erm... invading some other country for no reason. He seemed quite keen on that last time.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Politics Just Got Interesting

The corruption in Parliament is finally being brought to the fore and good Lord (Foulkes) they don't like it.

Lord Foulkes had the TEMERITY to denounce the salary of a BBC presenter who doesn't claim expenses and complain about democracy being undermined when he himself sits in a house of appointed Lords who are hand picked by the big wigs of their respective parties to represent the interests of those parties in the other place.

He complained that a member of our public broadcaster was being nearly twice the amount an MP is, when he himself has claimed in previous years as much as £145,692 in expenses!!!

Is this not another to make you sick? At least the Tories and the Lib Dems have the good conscious to be ashamed.

Indeed the Speaker of the House might do well to learn from some of their new found humbleness. His personal attacks against MPs who were trying to stand up for the interests of their constituents (across the spectrum) were foolish and disgusting.

Bring on the next General Election. It's time we sorted the wheat from the chaff.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Sleaze Isn't Just A Labour issue

It spreads across the whole spectrum of politics in this country, and so stories like this one annoy me. The media is only ever interested when there are leaks or when it can be used to bludgeon an already on it's knees Government. Why? Because they are in on it too.

And the worst thing is then all these people going "they are all the same, don't know why we bother voting" blah blah blah blah. Well mate, if you think that MAKE A STAND. Put yourself up for election. Make a difference. Do something. I vote, I sometimes campaign (alright, not since the 2005 election but I've moved to a new area and been busy). I'm thinking of standing for council next election just to try to show decent, sensible people can stand and not be there just for the sake of personal arrogance/ambition/corruption.

Don't lose faith in politics just because politicians are corrupt. That's always been the case. We just need to keep badgering them in good times and bad to keep the weak and stupid ones on the right track.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Friday, 8 May 2009

First Lib Dem Euro Election Broadcast

Feels refreshingly unspun and direct. Of course that means it's really very well spun but still... I like! Fingers crossed for next months elections.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Trouble With Twitter

God I hate jumping on a bandwagon. Seems that since Twitter reached saturation point a couple of months ago, "everyone" (for which read "moany old gits") has been complaining about it.

And really there's nothing wrong with it. The site is great, the principle of microblogging is no less worthy than blogging. But the problem is the users. The simplicity of the interface and the concept means that most of the time is spent with people "RTing" (retweeting) other people's tweets. The rest of the time a lot of people become so convinced that they are going to be media moguls that they are tweeting links to just about any story on the net they see. No need for interesting comment or a reason for the link. Just post the link and story title.

Tweets about what you had for breakfast are a common complaint among the naysayers but personally I think it's those tweets that are most amusing and relevant. Tweeting what you are doing or reading or moaning about is interesting. Tweeting for attention, or just to post links is a little more than just annoying. It's abusing the whole concept.

I was already following very few people and I'm about to wield the axe on a few more retweeters and on those posting links to story like "Cat caught up tree in Little Rock Colorado". I have no use for them.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Sheltered Lives Of Stupid White Men

Joe the Plumber (it's an American thing) on gay marriage:

CT: In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?

WURZELBACHER: "At a state level, it’s up to them. I don’t want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it’s wrong. People don’t understand the dictionary—it’s called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do—what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we’re supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they’re people, and they’re going to do their thing."

1) Anyone want to break it to Joe that God is make believe? He isn't explicit on anything because he is a fictional character in a made up story!
2) You wouldn't let your gay "friends" near your children? Erm... friend is such an over used word. I think Joe maybe met a gay person once, and decided they were his "friend". Bless him. He's like a 12 year old girl on Facebook.
3) Women and men are not for anything. We do not have a purpose. We are, in fact, pointless. Life is thus what we make it. Nobody makes it out alive.

If there was a God (which there isn't) I'd thank him for making me gay (which he didn't) because of the new perspective it gave me on life and the ability to see beyond my own sheltered existence and empathise with fellow human beings who live "alternative" lives to those of the privileged "majority". I wish I could make homophobes live a year as a gay teenager and see what they think about life, the world and everything at the end of that.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Exploitation In Porn

So. A favourite argument among anti-porn activists is that the women in porn are exploited and it encourages exploitation of women by men. As a gay man, who doesn't have much of a vested interest in this argument, I often wonder how they square this argument with certain things (and this is not an attack, I just haven't heard the defense against these accusations):

1) Are the grown, muscular men featured in much of gay porn "exploited"? If so, who by? And if not, then are activists saying men and women do not have an equal ability to participate in porn as adults?
2) The rights and freedoms of women have only increased during the period of relaxation of laws censoring porn. Not only that, but rape has significantly decreased. So how can one say that increased porn usage leads to a degradation of society as a whole (I accept increased porn usage can have adverse personal effects on addicts etc.) and to less rights and freedoms for women?

Anyone out there willing to offer me honest opinions on this (again this is not an attack, I am just interested to hear some views so keep it nice and non confrontational please)?

Arguments from religion can be considered as already heard and understood.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Saturday, 2 May 2009

For Flu's Sake!!!

Honestly. Is the Middle East run by idiots? After Egypt ordered a cull of pigs following the swine flu outbreak (note so far there have been no confirmed pig to human confirmed flu cases, only human to human) the Iraq Government has called for the wild boars at Baghdad zoo to be slaughtered.

Let me reiterate: these people are too STUPID to be allowed to rule a country. If there was ever an argument against democracy and in favour of an academic oligarchy I think Iraq is that argument.


P.S. The whole name change thing makes me laugh. Can't call it swine flu because people get confused! What about Spanish flu? Did people think this was passed around only by Spaniards? Scary thing is... they probably did.