Thursday, March 31, 2005

Thoughts for today. . .

  1. If Prince Charles really hates facing the media so much, then why, why, why doesn’t he just stop? It’s not like there’s a gun held to his head. He’d be doing us all a favour anyway, and would stop taking up valuable news space. Jug eared twat.
  2. Overheard at work by two colleagues discussing their iPod playlists: “The Maroon 5 album’s really good”. Now, let’s be clear about this, lest there be any confusion: listening to the excretia pumped out by these turgid, sub-OC soundtrack material, soul-less, MTV poodle, pop-funk cocksuckers is like being fucked in the ears. They make me envy the deaf. Just wanted to clear that up, once and for all.
  3. Can we please impose regime change in Zimbabwe?
  4. Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day. And in the spirit of that adage, Michael Howard has today said something that I actually agree with for once. He wants to defeat ‘yob culture’ . Granted, it would be far more entertaining if he did it personally: I’d pay good money to see him come around my way and deal face-to-face with the be-capped Neanderthals that seem to be slowly taking over the entire country. But let’s face it, that’s not going to happen. Still, I like the idea of the police instilling fear into antisocial young people. Another method would be to drag anyone caught driving a souped-up Vauxhall Nova from their cars and hit them with clubs like seals. Perhaps some sort of tagging technology stitched into the fabric of Reebok Classics so we always know when they are gathered in numbers greater than two? Should anyone care to read any more of my thoughts on our chav/prole underclass, you can do so here. Just bouncing ideas around. But I’d still never vote for Michael Howard.

God Botherers Bother No-one

Originally posted by The Realist

YES! Now shut up you idiots. Just shut up.

What these extremist (arguably terrorist) organisations are arguing is that the show was blasphemous. Well, type in ‘Satan’ on google and behold! Real blasphemy is available to all! 24-7! So is it just the medium that you’re complaining about? With the imminent advent of combination tv/cable/net, that ‘argument’ will soon be eradicated. So then you spew up the argument that you don’t want your licence fee funding this. Ok, well would you have complained if the show had gone out on ITV? Yes – so once again, fuck off. I abhor my licence funding Songs of Praise, but that’s the nature of public service broadcasting.

Now comes the inevitable, whiny ‘ah, but if this was about Mohammed or Buddha…’. Well I’d say fuck them too! Anyone has the right to say anything about faith based belief because as soon as a religious notion becomes beyond criticism, you’re in a very dangerous place indeed. A place I’m going to call Allah-land.

So, shed a tear for the baby Jesus and the death of your movement and I will revel in the fact that I’m allowed to say that I also think Jesus may have been a little bit gay.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Confused old man makes fool of himself in Easter outburst

According to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor (yes, really), the head of the Catholic Church in England in Wales, abortion numbers since the 1960s amount to the same thing as the Holocaust. He also banged on about gender selection being the slippery slope to Nazi-style eugenics. I think he threw in something about human life being “sacred” as well, while touching on the Terri Schiavo case. Oh, and something about protecting the weak.

I have some points of my own.

  1. People making the extremely distressing decision to abort due to their life circumstances is NOT the same as the Holocaust. To compare this to the systematic genocide of a race of people is unconscionable. In any case, it is a personal matter. So shut up.
  2. Speaking of the Holocaust, Cardinal, are you a spokesman for the SAME Catholic Church that pretty much just shrugged its shoulders while said atrocity was occurring? Yes, yes you are. There was always a good time for your church to speak out about the Nazis. The 1930s, for example.
  3. Oh, and help me out here because I'm still confused. Is this also the same Catholic Church that routinely covers-up acts of child rape (let's call it what it is) within its realms? Yes, yes it is. Therefore shut the fuck up about protecting the weak.
  4. Interesting point about Terri Schiavo and the sanctity of human life. Perhaps if you lifted your squeamish view of embryonic research we might make a bit more progress in stem cell growth that could enable mankind to conquer critical brain injury and save us all from this grisly pantomime. Just a thought.

Music 101

Originally posted by The Realist

It appears that my previous comment on the lyrics of The Smiths has been picked up on by the ivory-towered-leather-elbow patch world of Academia!

Creeping Out of The Woodwork

Originally posted by The Realist

Another elderly-god-freak has put in his unelected voice into the ‘debate’ on abortion. Just when I thought this unwanted argument had been terminated. I read about this on the tube this morning and was incensed. I contemplated why I was angry and then realised that if this was coming from doctors and/or health professionals, I'd think ‘Ok, your call. You have all the empirical evidence, you know best’. But this demand for a change in UK law is coming from an unelected, unqualified man, expressing his interpretation of someone else’s interpretation of the views of the god of one of the five main religions.

I agree with this man that ‘these are profoundly moral issues’, but do not confuse morality with religion. The implication is that there is no morality without religion which is, of course, nonsense.

What does amuse me about all of this is that the church (in the UK) is an almost entirely defunct body. It is a body of elderly, homophobic men excreting outdated sentiments to a population no longer listening. With a membership shrinking faster than Michael Jackson’s Christmas card list, the church is now reduced to banging its sceptre on the ecclesiastical drum of single issue politics.

It is effectively advertising its death throws.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Third Labour term now guaranteed

It's Easter, so it's only fitting that a someone be crucified. Not for our sins, but for those of his political party. I am enjoying the latest crisis in the Conservative Party enormously. Howard Flight (I'd never even heard of him until this story broke, but he's going to go down now in history as the man who guaranteed Tony Blair a third term), an ex-City-whizz turned politician with a penchant for Thatcherite, free market economics, made a speech to some other Thatcherite Conservatives and said (Shock! Horror!) that the £35 billion cuts to government spending that they propose as an election pledge was "only the tip of the iceberg" and that the party were holding back their most radical ideas until after the election. In one fell swoop, a senior Tory has publicly admitted that Labour's central charge - that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for massive health/education/welfare cuts - is correct. Labour's army of electoral strategists can just put their feet up now, as they have no further work to do. Michael Howard, meanwhile, terrified that people might not like the truth, sacked Flight from his post as deputy chairman, then banished him from the party altogether. Not a popular move with the right wing of his party. So at a time when they should be pulling together and gearing up for the general election, they are instead (once more) at each other's throats.

It's strange, you'd think I'd be bored of watching the Conservatives disintegrate by now, but not so. It's highly entertaining. Gruesome, but required viewing. Encore! Encore!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

This is the neeeeeeewwwws

A few things have been going around my mind today so I'm going to copy The Realist and make a few points under one, easy to digest post. Lazy? Oh yes.
  1. Speaking today, Tony Blair said that church leaders should play a bigger role in society. No, they shouldn't. He also said churches make a "visible, tangible difference for the better in society". No, they don't.
  2. Hospital superbug MRSA has claimed its youngest victim so far: a 36-hour-old baby. Who wants to bet that the Conservative Party won't try to make political capital out of this tragedy within the next two days? They've been grabbing at straws trying to stake a claim for any populist political cause lately. Even more than usual. Anything to get media coverage, usually appealing to the baser instincts. Immigrants, abortion, gypsies, the EU convention on human rights, the toast landing buttered side down - if they think people don't like it, they'll build a policy around it. I saw one of their campaign ads the other day, which simply says, in a mock, "common sense" statement: "I mean, how difficult can it be to clean a hospital?". The idea that the NHS would be safer under a Tory government is so laughable it doesn't even warrant consideration. It'd be like making Colonel Sanders patron saint of chickens.
  3. The Terri Schiavo ruling. I don't know whether it is right or wrong to continue someone's life under these circumstances - I don't know enough about the case and the situation changes depending on where you read about it. Some sources say she responds to conversation and certain stimulus, others say she is in a permanent vegetative state. Who to believe? The fact that Florida state and, now, after a grisly pantomime, a Federal judge have decreed that the feeding tube should be removed, suggests that the medical prognosis that she should be allowed to die is the correct one. I know that if I was in that situation I would not want to live. The idea of perpetuating life, just because it is possible, is ridiculous. Surely keeping her alive is the cruellest of options? But even then, the manner of the death is horrific. Withdrawal of food and water until death by dehydration occurs? That's positively barbaric. Surely there's a quicker and more humane way of doing this?
  4. Camilla Parker Bowles will not be queen when Charles becomes king. She will instead be "Princess Consort". Well, praise be! Thank the stars we've finally had that one clarified.
  5. Another day, another gun massacre at an American high school. But you'd be a fool to think that changing the gun laws would make a difference. After all, guns don't kill people: psychopathic, Nazi-obsessed goths with easy access to guns kill people.
  6. I know it's all in a good cause, and it's "just a bit of fun", but if I hear that fucking Comic Relief song by Peter Kay/Tony Christie one more time I swear I will go on a killing spree of my own. Is This The Way To Amarillo? No, it's the way to irritate the hell out of the whole country. Peter Kay, the backlash starts here.

Friday, March 18, 2005

I read the news today, oh boy...

Originally posted by The Realist

As mentioned previously, I am here to explain why you are wrong. So, here are some of today's issues on which you are incorrect.

1. A white girl who has been sent home for wearing a 'black' haircut. This is a non-story. It will be rectified by the Council before the end of this sunny day. She will be allowed to stay at school. End of.

2. Accusations that the awarding of military honours has been timed to boost Labour's popularity. Nonsense. End of.

3. This was a bad budget. Wrong. Help for first time buyers, windfall tax on oil companies, help for the poorest in society. This isn't going to make me better off, but that's not what it's all about. I laughed at Letwin's riposte - didn't land a punch - not one. Tory strategists are weeping. Like it or not, Labour will win the election, Brown will take over towards the end of the next term and will go on to ensure that Labour stay in power for longer than Thatcher and Major combined. End of.

4. Gays shouldn't be allowed to marry. Wrong again. Civil arrangements must be allowed for the sake of equality and to allow certain (dull but important) legal rights to be available to all. Against this as a concept? I don't care - you're wrong. Thirty years from now this will be looked back on and people will wonder if your views were a joke. I know where the 'Christ's-ones' amongst you are coming at with this - you want to heal gays. Again, your faith-only-based views will be looked back on as the tragic and hideous notions they are, just as mercury and electric shock treatment on gays in the 50s are remembered. The absolute truth in one sentence? OK. It's nothing to do with you, it's not going to bring about the downfall of society and the world IS round so accept that it is going to be allowed and shut the fuck up.

5. A downturn in high-street sales continues and this is will result in job losses. Good. There is nothing more offensive to my being than the continuing existence of shop staff. In 1997, I did the whole of my son's Christmas shopping in one hour on the internet. I was then able to stroll around smugly for TWO months while the muppets around me went shopping to buy Muppets from muppets for their little muppets. I vowed never to enter a toy shop again. Look, everything is available online, so there is no need for the wretched dregs of provincial humanity to insist on ‘helping me’ in a shop. Bank queues and bank staff? Oh, I don't think so. Not any more, you gainers of three GCSEs (preferably grade C or above). The sooner that the world outside consists entirely of internet delivery vans the better. I want to go to sleep at night safe in the knowledge that the people losing their jobs in the great high street exodus are working through the night packing my online orders in fluorescently-lit, sterility-inducing warehouses.

‘Can I help you Sir, innit?’

‘No young man, but I think I’ve found a solution which can help us all!’

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Top of da morning to ya

Today is one day of the year that never ceases to amaze me. I am always surprised, no, staggered, at how many Irish people there are in this country. Judging by the heaving pubs and bars in London tonight, it must be something like fifty per cent of the population. Incredible. I know catholics tend to have large families, but this is ridiculous. Where are they the rest of the year? Is it like flies in winter?

Seriously, what is it about St Patrick's Day that encourages mass participation? What is it about this day that makes people who are about as Irish as General Pinochet's cock want to drink Guinness while wearing those fucking stupid hats? I always struggle to remember when St George's Day is. I think it's April 23rd, but I wouldn't bet on it. Not only am I not sure when it is, I don't care either. Nor, as is no doubt now abundantly clear, do I care about St Patrick's day. Why would I? Why would anyone, other than the Irish? It's their national day after all.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

Atheism is wrong and dangerous

Originally posted by The Realist

On the rare occasions that this pops up as a topic of conversation in the real world and people ask me ‘what I am’ {shudders}, I never say that I am an atheist. This is a label applied by religious people dating back to the Romans and the Greeks. The point being that it has negative connotations. It is a label which causes believers to instinctively ask ‘What?!? You don’t believe in God?!?!’ – as if such a thing is possible! When this happens, of course, you need to be quick off the mark and get in the question ‘you believe there is a god?!!’ – putting the onus on the believer to justify their fact-impaired faith.

There are no such things as faeries, pixies, elves and monsters, rather everything around us can be explained rationally and clearly by scientific, reasoned thought. For things which cannot (yet) be comprehensively explained by science, there is usually a religious theory and a scientific theory (big bang is a case in point). Take a step back and see which is the most likely theory that applies. It's never the religious one. But (and this is the important part, kids) the world around us is no less beautiful for that.

The joys of waking up early

Originally posted by The Realist

Observations from this morning:

13 hours straight sleep makes you mentally alert, but physically exhausted.

Swiss people don’t take any shit.

On public transport, there will always be those amongst us who want to walk quickly, yet there will always be those who insist on shuffling along leisurely. The budget should have allowed for cattle prods to be issued to fast walkers.

There should be an extremist wing of people who believe there is no god.

No pop lyrics have ever, ever surpassed the lyrics of The Smiths.

Despite Iraq, I’m going to vote Labour.

My iPod has made my life 17% better.

‘Church setting news agenda’ is just an unpleasant memory. For now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Catholic Church in 'No Concept Of Irony' Shock

“It astonishes and worries me that so many people believe these lies. The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true.” - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa

I must say, this surprised me. Has a senior member of the Catholic Church really decided to come clean and tell the truth about the Bible? Alas, no, for he was talking about another work of fiction that’s been selling by the truckload over the last of year or so – The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

Now, I’ve read this book and it is rubbish. Very entertaining rubbish, admittedly, but rubbish all the same. Dan Brown has a very prosaic writing style. His characterisation is weak and his narrative is execrable. However, he knows how to craft a thriller and I enjoyed whizzing through the five hundred pages or so. I thought it was an interesting idea (we all like a good conspiracy, don’t we?) and it was a entertaining read. I won’t be reading any of his other books though, I assure you.

Even more entertaining have been the reports from France about clueless (mostly American) tourists visiting Paris with a copy of the book as their tour guide, often unaware that all events in the book are fictitious. Oh, people. As if the French needed any more reason to hate Americans or be rude to tourists. Still, they’ll take the money anyway I’m sure.

But I digress. Our friend the Cardinal is going to hold a seminar called Story Without History to refute the claims made in Brown's novel. He wants to “unmask the lies” so readers can see how “shameful and unfounded” the book is. Pretty rich from someone representing an organisation which bases its entire beliefs on a book of apocryphal stories, don’t you think? Not only that, but a book that doesn’t even have a definitive version: it's spawned numerous faiths, none of which agree with each other and, more often than not, have been prepared to kill over. A book of questionable origin, missing scriptures and contradictory passages. Yet Mr Cardinal wants to defend his church against the charges of lying and deceiving, and does so with a straight face.

Welcome to the Vatican – an irony free zone. Please drive carefully.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Modern Ethical Dilemmas - Part 1

Something that I've been pondering today: will it be acceptable to listen to any of Michael Jackson's music should he be found guilty? I suspect not. It's a real shame because, let's face it, there's a bucket load of quality party tunes on Off The Wall and Thriller. Even Bad isn't that, erm, bad. It was never acceptable to listen to anything subsequent to that anyway (Earth Song, anyone? Nope, me neither), so there's no real issue there. But it's certainly an ethical dilemma. Could you still enjoy listening to Beat It given that he liked to masturbate 13 year old boys?

Is there any other precedent for this? Gary Glitter's "music" hasn't been much in demand the last few years, nor Jonathan King's, but they weren't particularly enjoyed by anyone anyway. With MJ we're talking one of the biggest stars to ever live and breathe; one whose musical output is stitched deep into the fabric of Western pop culture. Potentially this could all just disappear. Will radio stations want to play the music of (not to mention pay the royalties to) a convicted paedophile? Will record shops be keen to make profits selling his CDs? Will his own record company continue to produce the albums? It could be an unusual situation where the biggest star of the last thirty years will just be written out of history. It's a strange one alright.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

About fcuking time too

I read in the week that the high street clothes chain French Connection have suffered from a big dip in sales over the last year. It would seem that, at long last, people have grown tired of their wearisome FCUK brand. So shocking! So daring! Do you see what they did there? Some bright spark (Trevor Beattie, in fact. He is also running the Labour Party election strategy this year) noticed that the acronym for French Connection UK almost (and this is the clever part), almost looks like a rude word. What started as a mundane play on words has become a ubiquitous monster. FCUK is loudly emblazoned on virtually everything sold in their store. Now you can't walk down any high street without seeing one of their dumb slogans on someone's t-shirt. "Born to FCUK", "FCUK Me", "FCUK Work" and so on and so on to the point of tedium.

So it's good news that they intend to phase out the use of this cheeky little trademark. You see, I quite like their clothes, but I don't want to look like a CNUT.


Originally posted by The Realist

Catholics, Nigerians and right-wing Americans form an unlikely union who believe that ‘life must be protected at all costs’. This assertion offends me when related to both ends of the (literal) lifecycle. Millions wax lyrical on birth control, so I’ll concentrate on the less glamorous and less newsworthy world of prolonging life:

The pope is going to die. The ill health he has suffered would have finished off most people. Most people, however, have not been kept uber-healthy by the rich food and even richer doctors he has been privy to. Food and care, incidentally, paid for by the desperate catholic Africans mentioned in another post…

I look forward (in time, not in anticipation) to when his life is at an end. His frail body experiencing the intolerable, searing, white-hot pain of pre-death, confused and frightened as his cardinals (carrying out the Papal laws he himself wrote) order doctors that they are not, under any circumstances, to stop the machines which are keeping him alive – ‘this is what he would have wanted’.

In reality of course, I don’t wish pain on anyone, but it would be ironic if a man who is directly responsible for the untold suffering of millions suffers an uncivilised and agonising death caused by his own (incorrect) assertions that all life is sacred.

A victim of his own success.

Danger, Danger – High Voltage!

Originally posted by The Realist

My ‘liberal-nightmare-alarm’ kicked in recently, at the discovery that people are claiming that they are being made ill by electricity. No, really. Apparently, electromagnetic-illness ‘sufferers’ are unable to work as they can’t go near offices. And that kinda got me thinking…

I also feel sick when I’m near my office, so I’m currently (hand)writing a letter to my always-keen-to-go-overboard diversity team, demanding a PC/BlackBerry/phone/fax-less office all to myself.

Once I’m settled in, I will no longer fear bumping into that guy from accounts who’s been pestering me about my company credit card bill. I’ll reassure him that all he need do is send me an email outlining, in detail, all of his concerns. He could mark it ‘urgent’ and CC my boss to boot. I don’t care – I’ll be doodling on my notepad all afternoon. If all else fails, I can just about see a courtyard from my window – perhaps he could send some smoke signals?

After the inevitable sacking for financial misconduct, I’ll start up a charity and organise people in luminous tops on provincial high streets with clipboards using the campaign motto ‘Help the electricity-impaired’. Can you imagine how well that would play in Romford? I could sell copies of the CCTV footage of the ensuing street fights and make a fortune if only I could operate the video.

Brown, skeletal children

Originally posted by The Realist

Last night I felt obliged to endure some of Comic Relief. Pious, c-list celebrities using the show as a career-defibrillator, piggybacking on the ill and the dying. I know I shouldn’t be so disparaging and I accept that my antagonism may be due to the BBC’s assertion that ‘funnyman’ Lenny Henry be wheeled out for his annual luvvie-fest, but it struck me that this is largely a way of making the British Public feel better about themselves. I remember feeling exactly the same about Live Aid - and I was only nine then. That said, I was (as anyone with a pulse would be) deeply affected by the pictures of suffering and death in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, where I differ from other people is that they do not make me sad. They make me angry. The images cause sadness amongst people in Bovis homes in dull cul-de-sacs with dull lives, looking at the suffering of brown, skeletal children. These people then phone and pledge £10 to save them. Job done. Conscience clear. Nothing else can be done to help, surely?

There are, in fact, two ways of making a difference to this appalling state of affairs. Stopping political apathy and stopping religion.

I am by no means a friend of everything Labour do. But yesterday’s announcement of a debt cancellation, aid and anti-corruption package is one of the bravest and most positive things this Government has ever done. This proclamation (worth a billion red noses) should register on the radar of the Bovis-couple, though I fear it will elude them much as it will elude leaders of other Western countries, who will probably not ratify Blair’s plan.

So, that would help tackle the symptoms, but what about the cause? I in no way throw all of the blame at religion. Corruption and greed have a massive part to play (and indeed would be tackled by the Blair plan), however, the dogged resistance by the Catholic church against moving away from their idiotic and dangerous policies has caused suffering, death, disease, ignorance, pain, bankruptcy, abject poverty and misery. The church has condemned a whole generation of a whole continent. Read that sentence back.

The church was recently exposed as promoting the idea in the developing world, that condoms cause HIV/AIDS and, despite Rome’s protestations, this is the message that Africa is getting. My only hope is that, as access to (secular) education expands, that the church is exposed as the ridiculous and dangerous organisation that it is.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Red Nose Day? I've Got A Better Idea

Tony Blair, speaking today at the Commission for Africa, has challenged world leaders to help end the suffering in that blighted continent.

"There can be no excuse, no defence, no justification for the plight of millions of our fellow beings in Africa today. There should be nothing that stands in our way of changing it. That is the simple message from the report published today."

Well, indeed. Who could argue with the facts? It is indeed a “"stain on our conscience”" as Blair (or was it Gordon Brown?) said some time ago. The life expectancy in Mozambique is 38. Only 12% of roads in Ethiopia are paved. 100 million children have no schooling. Much of the continent is ravaged by HIV/AIDS. Four million children will die this year before reaching the age of 5. The statistics are truly mind boggling. So what can we do to help? It’s all very well politicians talking about giving more aid, but that doesn'’t even scratch the surface. Surely it would be better to give Africa a level playing field? Because despite all the talk of the world being a global market (remember: we are no longer citizens, we are consumers) where all countries should surrender their controls to the beauty of free trade, there still exist arbitrary and expensive guarantee systems like the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

For those of you who don'’t know, the CAP is the ludicrous, Kafkaesque mechanism that subsidises European farmers. It ensures that a certain level of output is maintained, regardless of whether or not that particular amount of output is required. The CAP was designed to guarantee that enough food is produced in Europe and (more importantly to the architects of this antiquated scheme) ensure a good standard of living for agricultural workers. Sounds fair enough doesn'’t it? Well, no. For a start it costs £30 billion (about $57 billion) a year to maintain. To put this in context, the total annual EU budget is £60 billion. Another grisly consequence is that it results in (indeed, encourages) over production because farmers are paid to meet certain quotas. So what happens to all this excess? It gets exported to places like, yes, Africa, where local farmers cannot possibly compete with such low prices. Inevitably African producers go bankrupt and the cycle of poverty and despair is exasperated. Who benefits from this deal? France, principally. They are the main sponsors and, unsurprisingly, the most resistant to change. Spain, Ireland and Germany also block reform. Chief proponents of change are the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands.

So for the politicians discussing ways to help Africa in a permanent way, there is an immediate solution staring them in the face: kill the CAP and instead give the £30 billion as development aid. This would be better than a thousand Live Aids or Comic Relief days. Sure it will piss off some French farmers, but they’'re French - they'’re going to be pissed off about something whatever happens. Make them compete like everyone else. I’'ve never understood why agriculture should be singled out for government assistance anyway. Let’'s stop flooding the third world with our cheap surplus produce and give them a chance to compete. Perhaps then parts of Africa might actually have sustainable economies and all the benefits that come with it. In addition, we won’'t have to rely on Red Nose Day every two years which, in the grand scheme of things, is no more effective at solving Africa’'s problems than me pissing into a volcano to cool it down.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This Sure Makes You Look Pretty Ugly… (an interesting swipe at Americans and religion all in one concise comment)

Originally posted by The Realist

For those who aren’t aware, the gun toting, American-funded, ‘give Ireland back to the Irish’ brigade have been making kind and generous offers to carry out slaughter. But will that stop our cousins from across the pond viewing the Republican cause through green-tinted lenses? Well, no. Adams is shortly going to be in Boston and Chicago drumming up cash to fund his party. Cue much whooping, Tricolore flying and novelty hat wearing from ‘Irish’ Americans.

Aha, now don’t get me wrong. I am not a Loyalist – so very, very far from it. I am against all such parties and ideas. Any political organisation run along divisive, religious doctrines should not be allowed to hold public office. End of. Charities? Go for it. Pressure groups? Sure. Prayer collectives? Why not – knock yourself out, it’s your time you’re wasting not mine. Personal freedom to exercise religious belief should always be protected, however such beliefs (and when you think about it, they are just that) should never, ever be allowed to hold any sway over public office or infringe on public life. To protect future generations, church schools must be banned from operating in Northern Ireland and the UK. And before anyone starts with the whole ‘society will collapse without religion’ nonsense, religion is not a pre-requisite for decent social policies or for a decent life, just ask the hamstrung horses of the old testament.

Now, as I understand it, Sinn Fein is (in the general sense of the word) a socialist party. Take out the ‘history’ and the religion and I wonder how many people on that Isle want to move away from the green-tiger booming capitalist life they are currently enjoying to the anti-capitalist beliefs of bye-gone days? Balaclavas and socialism are SO 1970s it’s not even funny. Perhaps the good people of Irish politics should spend a long, happy weekend in London, where millions and millions of people from thousands and thousands of backgrounds speaking hundreds and hundreds of languages live together in pretty much perfect harmony.

Now there’s a way of life to export back to your murderers and your bigots.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

There's more of us...

Originally posted by The Realist

Ah yes, this blog is going to be the rantings of more than just Citizen Sane. We've decided to join forces to overcome the powers of injustice, intolerance and stupidstition.

And so, a very brief introduction to my world. I am correct and you are wrong. That's largely all you need to be aware of.

You will be pleased to hear that in future blogs, I will gently explain to you why you are wrong. And then you will agree. I am the way, the truth and the light (illuminating your little minds). Expanding and growing your intolerant brain-matter with quips, ingeniously thought out examples and pragmatic reasoning. I look forward to making you realise that you are wrong. About everything.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Liberal Elite: A Mission Statement (Of Sorts)

The bottom line is this: we’re bored. Bored of mainstream media. Bored of traditional left-versus-right modes of thought. Especially bored of Labour and Conservative party politics (indifferent to the Lib Dems). Our roots and instincts are probably (just about) within the Labour Party but the incumbent government is often an animal that we do not recognise as the one we so eagerly supported in 1997. Perhaps we’ve changed. Who knows? The point is, ideology is dead and political labels are increasingly meaningless. We live in a country where a centre-left government frequently acts with dictatorial impunity on social affairs while managing the economy with Hayekian monetarist glee. Meanwhile, over the pond, a right wing, Christian conservative has, by removing the vile regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, greatly advanced the causes of global secularism and democracy while, at home, running up the kind of deficits and government spending not seen in the US since the 1970s.

Oh yes, we live in crazy, contradictory times. The old labels just no longer apply.

We’re also tired of the proliferation of boring, ill-informed blogs that fill the web. The internet is awash with the mind-vomit of millions of stump-headed troglodytes with absolutely nothing valuable to say. As if this were not bad enough, people think it is acceptable to publish their insipid twaddle littered with grammatical and spelling errors. No wit. No panache. No effort. No point. This is unforgivable in our eyes. Snobbery? No. Well, maybe a little bit. We prefer to think of it as having high standards.

Which leads us to here - The Liberal Elite . The name is meant ironically – we do not consider ourselves to be “liberal” (another increasingly meaningless label) or “elite”. We chose the name because we know there are a lot of people out there that would stick our opinions in that basket. Also because it just made us laugh. Our intention is to amuse, provoke, inflame, unite and destroy. In that order.

Our slogan is “Because you’re wrong.” Why? Because you are.