Saturday, 9 October 2010

Scaremongering and Salad Forks

There have been a few things crop up in the news as of late which I’ve found myself having comments on and wishing there was a forum (which allowed more than 140 characters) for me to discuss these comments. It then occurred to me that such a forum exists in this very website. None of these thoughts revolve around Salad Forks

• It has been a running theme that when I’ve discussed politics on this blog, I’ve attacked Labour and supported the Conservatives. This is because they are the party I vote for (slight sidetrack but it was very entertaining how people assumed I was rich because I wanted to vote Conservative). As a rule and as I said in the last post on this page, I do not support government cuts where they are unnecessary but considering the economic situation this country has been left in by the Labour party, some of whom refuse to believe they did anything wrong, cuts are needed. It will mean some people will lose their jobs and some services will be scaled back – but the media and vested interests are painting this as anarchy. I think it’s not unfair to say that a fair proportion of this country really couldn’t give two shits about what the government, whichever party, does and as such, discovers all their actions from newspaper headlines. These very people will have seen scaremongering from people in the NHS, the Army, and Unions etc and might think the government were about to embark on a series of very large cuts that could paralyse some public services. In these testing times, how dare you scaremonger? What will that achieve (other than an increase in newspaper sales)? I said above I voted for the main party in this coalition and I wish it wasn’t a coalition – but how about letting them get on with the job and seeing what happens before screaming at them for being shit? At least this government were honest about cuts – if we had re-elected Labour, cuts would have been delayed for a year and they didn’t even say where they’d come from. That’s a good rescue plan right there!

Anyway – That was a bit of a long winded way of getting to the main point of this section which is the news that the benefit system is to receive a shake up and two major changes would happen. The first change is that unemployed families couldn’t earn more than families who work. The second change being that child benefit is being scrapped for people who earn a certain wage. Dealing with these individually – point 1 about the unemployed families not being able to earn more than employed families is bloody marvellous. The benefit system is there to help the people most in need – it is not meant to be used by the work shy. Hopefully this will also tackle one of the things which is a significant problem for generations which is parents not working, so their kids don’t see the point in working. This means unemployment and the “why work? We can get benefits” attitude passes down through generations of people. This is not a good attitude to have so to see the government try to change that and demolish the client state is a very good thing. The child benefit issue is slightly more complex but at the same time, the headline I find myself agreeing with – why should people who earn more still be entitled to benefits? As I said above, they should be used for the neediest and not those who don’t need them but claim them because they can. One thing which appears to be a flaw in the system and the aspect of which I disagree with it is that “a two-parent household earning £43,000 each will keep the payout, but a single parent earning £44,000 will not” (Sky News). That seems an anomaly in the system and could be interpreted as an attack on single parent families. I’d say the only way for this to be fair is setting a fairly high “family income barrier”. If it was set at hypothetically £60,000, and a single parent reached this then they wouldn’t be entitled but if both parents reached this then they also wouldn’t be entitled. This would remove the “attack” on single parent families I think and it would work quite well. According to a poll, 83% of people support the move as well. Now, of course you have to take that with a pinch of salt as that poll doesn’t include everyone and we don’t know who voted on it (it was a yougov one, and I didn’t) but that is quite a result in favour of this governments decision. I think it’s one of the fairer ways of making a saving. Also, isn’t it funny how no-one is suggesting that this change will lead to anarchy? Every other bloody cut will do apparently.....

• I don’t watch X Factor, but it would be foolish to say I don’t have a rough idea of what’s going on. Reality TV dominates the front pages of tabloids and news channels and it is hard to completely avoid it. I’m guessing there was some form of conspiracy or shocking decision by Cheryl Cole to not send one contestant to the final in favour of someone else or something. That might be a bit too simplistic but like I said, it’s a rough idea. The person Cole opted not to send to the final has now been told that they have to leave the country. As I understand it, the singers mum violated the terms of her visa by claiming benefits which she wasn’t entitled to and their visa has expired. The application for the visa to be extended was refused. Now I do find myself feeling a tiny bit sorry for them as they have to return to Zimbabwe – which isn’t the most fun place to go at the best of times. Though to be fair, I think it is the mother of the family who was at University (the visa was a working visa) and is now a qualified nurse – so if nothing else, chances are there will be a job for her when she returns to Zimbabwe. However the response to this decision has been interesting and for the most part, hypocritical. Had this been a random Zimbabwean family in the country that had been told they were to return home, 99% (perhaps more) of the country literally would have said “so?” but because one member of this family was on X Factor, that somehow means she should have the right to stay in this country? Sorry that is not how the system works. The family violated the terms of their right to be in this country (perhaps it was a genuine error) and therefore they should go. X Factor is a singing contest, where the best singer in theory should win. It should not be used as justification to extend an immigration visa. Because of this, I am only a tiny bit sorry for them. It annoys me that people think she should be given special treatment because she appeared on X Factor when I know full well if she didn’t – this country wouldn’t care!

• If you say something is gay that means thousands of teenagers who might be confused to remain so. This is the gospel according to Anderson Cooper, who is on the rampage. Apparently in the trailer for The Dilemma, Vince Vaughn says that electric cars are gay, and Cooper thinks this is unacceptable...

Really?! Hey, stupid – just because he said that electric cars are gay, that is not a homophobic comment to make. How many confused kids are going to see this movie, focus on that one line and think “Oh no! Vince Vaughn said something is gay, that must mean gay is bad?” He isn’t the first to attribute the word “gay” to something negative in that context and he won’t be the last. Gay people say things are gay; it doesn’t mean you are referring to a homosexual when you say it. In context, there was nothing wrong with what he said. Now, had he said electric cars are dick sucking faggots – that might have been a step too far, but he didn’t! This is such a poor argument that stupid Cooper is putting forward. He is essentially saying because someone famous said something was gay, that means confused kids won’t be able to see past the context and just hear the word “gay” and be afraid to come out. Could it be that if they are afraid to come out, there are other reasons other than pop culture which, by the way, is very accepting of gay people these days? If it wasn’t, Louie Spence wouldn’t be allowed to leave the house (I think that should be the case anyway with him, but we can’t win them all). Anderson Cooper is insulting all gay people by being offended on their behalf. By the way, in a similar incident (if it has to be called that) happened years ago in the Simpsons. The writers had Epcot calling electric cars gay, and then the scene panned over to a group of robo-homosexuals (or romos if you will) saying “One of us, One of us!” That was funny. I’ve not seen it but I’m sure it’s fairly humorous. Do fuck off Anderson Cooper. Get a sense of humour, and have a first name (your two surname name is stupid)

Going to blog again soon about Lacuna Coil and Jason Manford gigs. This is enough for now

"He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestow should never remember it."

Pierre Charron

No comments: