2019

As you get older the years seem to go faster. I remember 1982-83 and thinking that they went on and on. But what is in store for 2019 and will it be a great year that people hope it will be.

The current climate as we have witnessed over the past few days seems like we can scream and shout whatever we want as long as we are heard. The MP Anna Soubry has had to endure appalling abuse by far-right thugs who harassed her in the most dreadful way while trying to get into the Houses of Parliament.

Majority of people in this country are law abiding decent citizens who are appalled at this sort of mindless behaviour which show a lack of respect for someone else’s opinions and beliefs. When we become abusive and using terminology which is offensive that’s when we lost the argument.

I explained in a post back in 2017 the differences between free speech and hate speech. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed but the emboldenment of the far-right and other hate groups has somehow legitimised the use of people making threats to others. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) has complained for years about not being able to say what he thinks about Muslims and the religion of Islam while saying what he believes about Muslims and Islam.

Another thug appearing on the scene is someone called James Goddard who has fallen for the conspiracy that somehow Muslims are looking to take over the world and if we don’t so something about it we will be living under their rule in a few years time. Echoing the horrific anti-semitic mood that poisoned the minds of some during the 1930s when Jews were vilified not only in the press but through carefully constructed propaganda of the Nazis.

It a sad situation that this country faces. Brexit for some means that we should be allowed to say what we like to people regardless of how offensive some of that speech is. Well we can’t. There are, rightly so, laws protecting all of us from suffering under the hands of mindless uneducated thugs.

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My honest belief that the will get worse before it gets better and others make a stand that we cannot continue as a nation while other abuse those who are in power and who are democratically elected to represent us on a governmental level.

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Conspiracy theories the new religion

You used to be laughed at if you believed in conspiracy theories and not the truth. Now the tables are turned. You aren’t normal if you don’t believe in them. 

I am really having a hard time with the internet and humans at the moment. I have spoken a few years ago about the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories. People who have revisionistic ideas about how they view past events and some atrocities claiming certain things didn’t take place.

I want to know why people believe in conspiracy theories and can this be linked in the same way that humans attach religion to themselves by giving their lives meaning, purpose and hope.

The fact that as humans we look for an explanation of events and occurrences. We want to know why things happen. The part of our brain the amygdala is the thing that kick-starts the processes of emotion. It starts out processing fear of something so when we are confronted with that which should scare us into running eg. enormous cat with a mallet chasing after us.

Our evolutionary brain helps us decide that which is a real or false threat. Then we look for the reason why something happened. One assumes that in child-psychology and development as a young person grows constantly as the question  ‘why?’ – a characteristic that parents no doubt will attest.

Our brains are processing that all that information and it’s not to say some conspiracy theories are all false, some do in fact turn out to be true. Someone, like myself, claims to be a free-thinker we are able to process quite clearly that which is true and that which is complete bullshit.

Take for example these posts from The Daily Star I have collected over the last year. These are all headline news topics written and presented to get you to (click bate) click and read. If you were to only get your news and information from this one site you probably be a nervous wreck unsure whether to the world is coming to end by either freezing to death, nuclear war or being fried in your own juices due to a heatwave.

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When I was researching this post I found it fascinating that some people have a propensity to believe in conspiracy theories and this then moves on to confirmation bias. So even if you have all the facts in front of you people will still tend to trust their own thoughts and beliefs. That which you think is true is confirmed eg. all Chinese people eat green rice. You will seek out that information which confirms your belief rather than rationally choosing to look over information provided to form a new opinion. You don’t challenge facts and information even though you are told otherwise which leads to belief perseverance.

Every time I hear or read of some spurious claim on social media I have to test the information rather than relaying it others to make sure I am not sharing blatant lies. Our connection to social media now has allowed being sucked into all sorts of conspiracies and falsehoods.

Religion tends to rely on higher powers and hierarchical structures to confirm and guide people in all situations. Lots of people will claim that they are not a slave to anyone else yet allow facebook sites, twitter accounts, fanatical leaders to provide them with their own assumptions of the world.

So for me, I think those people who dance behind the pied-pipers of conspiracy theories are just the same as those who readily make decisions about their own lives according to how their holy scriptures or priests tell them. There’s no such thing as a free-thinking follower of religion neither is there someone who subscribes to organisations who promote and encourage ridiculous conspiracies.

Now that the election is over

I breathe a small sigh of relief to know that the election is finally over. But in my opinion that sense of relief is going to be short-lived. From the results, we can glean that the young people of this country have mobilized and others have stood up to the current government and saying no.

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This country has faced years of austerity where public services have been cut and budgets slashed. People and business are tired of not knowing what is going to happen with Brexit and how it will affect them long term. Businesses, however big or small, don’t like uncertainty.

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What is apparent to me is that people’s living standards will get worse. Things will become more expensive and more than likely we will head for a deep a lasting recession. What people voted for and what people will get longterm isn’t going to be the same.

 

Stop the world 

What on earth is going on with our society and other countries?

  • Two unarmed black men shot and killed in the USA
  • Over three thousand incidents of hate crime reported to the police in the UK last month
  • Five police officers killed in a sniper shooting in the USA
  • Hundreds dead in Baghdad in a terrorist bombing
  • Two dead at a music festival before its even started in Scotland
  • New prime minister voted in who has a poor record on LGBT rights

These are just some of the stories I have been reading about this morning. What really is going on? Has the world turned in on itself?

Hate is the keyword in all of these. Hating on black people or gay and lesbian community. Lack of tolerance and education has caused this. Justification of religious freedom to deny decent equality laws.

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Let’s get rid of proper education on relationships in schools as we are terrified to teach children to be aware of dangers that lurk in all areas of life. Terrified of standing up to people who spout hatred and bile about muslims or other religious groups.

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I bet not many people know that the Mayor of London met with Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to discuss the rise in race hate incidents that a occurred since the vote to leave the EU. Mr Khan broke his fast during his time in Ramadan for Iftar.

There are those who think that people of different faiths and nationalities cannot live side by side in harmony. There are those who are determined that their hatred will somehow win over the rest of the country. I have said it time and time again these people will NOT win. I prefer to live in a world where there isn’t fighting or death. Where people can share their differences and respect them.

There has to be reform of gun control. There has to be the continual stamping out of race hate and crime. Those who perpetrate these crimes should be punished. Those who use deadly force again another person without proper justification should be made to face the consequences.

 

More Brexit silliness

I have been thinking about this post for a long time. I have been wondering how to make sense of it all. For someone who is innately miserable and depressive, I am trying to see the good.

I said in my last blog that we need to pull together as a nation and work for the good of everyone. That seems a far away dream at the moment when rolling news items talk of awful incidents of racist attacks on people who are British citizens but were born in a different country than the UK.

Racism and abusive hate speech should be socially unacceptable. It should be condemned right from the beginning from all political parties what every their differences of opinion may be.

The turmoil within the Labour Party adds fuel to the uncertainty. Within times of crisis, it has been said that the country needs an effective opposition to hold the government to account and to ensure that we come out if this crisis as unscathed and intact as we were before Brexit was announced.

We need to reassure each other that things will be okay. There might be some rough moments but those in the communities should reassure the minorities that they are welcome in our country. Our country is better than racism and hate. Despite the lies that have been bandied around by both sides its time for reconciliation and hope.

The result

I woke up about 7am and looked at my phone to utter shock and dismay. The majority of the people in the UK want to leave the EU. It had been said at the beginning that it was going to be close but it would be the remaining vote that would get the overall majority. This wasn’t the case.

The simple claim that we could automatically funnel the supposed £350 million from the EU to the NHS has been proven to be false even Farage backtracking to claim he never said that in the first place even though it was a big decider in voting to leave.

Billions have been wiped from stocks and shares and I already have seen an advertisement on TV for those people who have lost money and how to claim compensation. This won’t last for today and the stability that we experienced before the referendum will not continue over the coming months and years.

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What do we do now? I am a firm believer in democracy and freedom but when the country decides to vote in such a way that yourself might not agree with we have to respect the majority.

I will continue to fight inequality and racism where ever I see it. I will champion the immigrant who has left their country due to war and conflict. If they need somewhere to go I think our country should be welcoming. You won’t see closed borders despite what the leave campaign have argued.

I will roll my sleeves up and get on with life.

EU in or out?

I don’t get normally bogged down with subjects such as politics. I am passionate about getting people out voting though. I know that most people wouldn’t care whether we are or not part of the European Union. As long as our bills are low and it doesn’t affect us directly.

There is a side to this referendum that is ugly and thats the lunatics of a the far right that see it as a ticket to “getting back out borders” unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Switzerland which isn’t part of the EU still has high immigration and it would be part of the deal that Britain would take migrant workers. To say that the borders will be shut would be an economic disaster and bad for the huge amount of trade and relations that Britain has beyond the EU.

If you are basing your vote in any election based on race then you have a serious problem with the rest of the world. You don’t have rights to holiday in Jamaican if you think that people from the West Indies should be sent back home to where their parents are born. I am sure that you won’t mind all the ex-patriots that have set up permanent home in the EU countries being sent back to the UK.

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I despise groups like Britain First who have hijacked this campaign to peddle their own racist agenda. I do agree it is not racist to want to get a control on immigration I don’t have a problem with that at all. That’s sensible politics and good economics to balance the needs of our country with those who say that they want come to here work. I agree that as a country we must get a grip with the migrant crisis and not give an open hand to anyone seeking asylum but seeing a genuine need and tackling that need.

I would never tell anyone how to vote in an election that’s up to you. But I do ask that you do use your vote. We have become a complacent country that takes elections for granted and we a privileged country to have a government that is democratically elected.