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Archive for April, 2014

We Need To Talk About Europe

April 29, 2014 1 comment

Over the weekend, news has come out that many young people in Britain feel disconnected from the EU, and yet still feel strongly to be part of Europe. It comes as we approach the European elections next month, and as UKIP push their anti-Europe agenda harder, trying to appeal to those who have become jaded with politics and feel that UKIP would bring local power back.

Let me get this out of the way: UKIP are the Tories on crack. You think Cameron’s policies on social welfare and selling off all our assets are bad? Farage would be a million times worse, since we’d probably lose a few human rights laws for minorities in the process. What’s more, those young British citizens who spoke positively of Europe would probably end up feeling even more disconnected.

UKIP have been sickening me with their recent prominent promotional attempts. Their billboards ads are full of lies, hypocrisy and twisted statements that simply don’t add up to scrutiny, but people are still blindly supporting them. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Read more…

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An Open Letter To Dave Re: Religion

April 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Today’s entry is an open letter to the Prime Minister of the UK in response to a thing his PR team he wrote for the press and appeared on the the Guardian website here.

Dear David Cameron,

I’ve noticed that lately you’ve been talking a lot about your Christianity and how important faith and religion are to you. It’s rather strange that you’ve bringing it up so much, especially because it’s not really been much of a thing before now. The more cynical amongst us might say that the elderly church-going crowd aren’t happy with the recent gay marriage legislation and you’re trying to appease them but I…no, I’m pretty much in that camp as well. I have no other explanation.

You see, your supposed faith is easily called into question when you state that you believe highly in the Christian values of “responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility and love”, and yet your actions over the last few years have shown very little of any of that.

In terms of responsibility, it’s hard to see you as responsible when your reaction to proven expenses fraudster Maria Miller was little more than saying “poor Maria, she’s had a hard life cheating the taxpayer, we should just let it go”. It’s not showing much responsibility for public funds or showing much responsibility as her boss.

Humility also doesn’t mean standing in front of a religious congregation and saying that you’re basically Jesus. Generally people who think they’re doing God’s work tend to be a little arrogant and/or batshit insane. I’m not sure which side of the fence you fall here, Dave, but considering you then compared yourself to a drain unblocker as well, I’m willing to wager it’s a bit of the latter.

And then of course we get to the compassion, charity and love. You decide to highlight this by talking about international aid budgets and a recent law to stop human trafficking. First of all, it’s hard to say you’re being charitable when the aid you’re shipping out was taken from taxes and not your own pocket, and the law on human trafficking is kind of a mandatory thing any civilised country needs to have.

What’s more, you fail to remember that there are many poor people within your own country struggling with the choice of paying their bills or eating. No one should ever have to face that choice, and yet here we are, with food banks on the rise and many people on low incomes shamed for working hard and getting little to nothing out of it. Yes, that’s right, many people on benefits aren’t work-dodging scroungers, they’re honest hard-working people struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly amoral job market that values shareholders over employees.

Now, I’m an atheist, but I pride myself on being the nice kind that doesn’t ridicule the religious for their beliefs, no matter how little I agree with them. If you have faith, you should be free to practice that faith, as long as you’re not shoving it in other people’s faces and telling them they should believe the same thing or they’ll experience an eternity of torture. Don’t do that, it’s not very nice. Or very Christian, for that matter.

But I do believe that religion should be kept out of politics. We live in a world that’s becoming increasingly secular, and technology is shaping our lives in a very big way, for better or worse. It’s hard to base a moral code for living in this world on a 2,000 year old book. A good moral code, in my book, should be based on letting people live however they want as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others to live how they want. It doesn’t take a centuries-old text to tell you that, basic human decency and self-reflection should tell you that.

But even if you must take your moral code from said book, I find your actions, as a supposed Christian, to be deplorable. While I don’t believe in Jesus as the son of God or anything like that, I certainly believe he had some good messages, whether he was real or allegorical. The Good Samaritan’s a pretty good parable about accepting people’s differences (and that sometimes important people can be dicks), “love thy neighbour” is a pretty nice message too, and turning the other cheek is something we could all learn from.

I also particularly like that bit in the Bible where he flipped his shit over the money lenders in the temple. It was pretty nice, suggesting that a focus on money can make you immoral, a message that’s very important in this modern global post-recession age, a sentiment I expressed in an old blog post that I believe to be one of my favourites.

Strange, then, that you didn’t learn much from this, since you seem determined to shame the poorest in society while welcoming the money lenders into the temple (St Paul’s counts, right?) and giving them tax breaks. Interesting. It’s almost like you’re not a very good Christian because you’re acting in precisely the way Jesus wouldn’t.

It’s also kind of odd how much you praise the Church of England school that you sent your children to, and yet neglect to mention that there were other CofE schools much closer to your home that you passed over because they apparently weren’t elite enough for you. I’m not even passing comment on that, because I’m sure you can see what’s wrong with that. Hint: Jesus didn’t mind mingling with the poor, so I’m sure your kids could have coped too. Yes, I know that story was in the Daily Mail, but I thought that was your favourite paper, at least based on your attitudes towards the EU.

So, Dave, how religious are you exactly?

“I am a member of the Church of England and, I suspect, a rather classic one: not that regular in attendance and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith”

In other words, you’re completely clueless. Good to know. So perhaps you could stop claiming to be a good upstanding Christian doing God’s work and start doing your job properly? Just a thought.

Ta

Love and kisses,

L.Haydn Price, The Cheap Ferret