Friday, 17 December 2010

Definition of "choice."

What is technically the definition of choice? Well, dictionary.com summarised one context as “the right, power, or opportunity to choose; option”. Then why do people want to revoke choices? There are a number of things which are banned in the world which should quite simply; be a choice. The main things which are banned and that I completely agree with are stem cell research and euthanasia. The reasons these are banned are for ‘ethical reasons’ when in reality it’s because of religious reasons and why should that be allowed? They’ve taken away one of our freedoms and that is choice.

Yesterday, I heard about a HIV-positive man possibly being cured via stem cells. Now, I’m struggling to find a truly popular and credible source covering this story so it’s a bit hard to find information other than 140 character related tweets about it. It became a trending topic last night and no UK paper is covering this story. Why? I’m not sure, it could be a hoax or it could be another reason. I’m going to go with the latter on this one. If it is true then they’ve finally cured HIV and we should all be celebrating and it should be on the news everywhere that we may have affectively cured it. In my opinion, the reason they haven’t covered this yet (if ever) is because it’s not definite and it’ll probably give a lot of people false hope which isn’t nice. There’ll also be an uproar asking why this is banned and there’ll be more protests - from both sides - and potentially riots so I suppose they’re holding off for now.

If it is true then I feel sorry for the people who may not be able to receive this treatment. They’ll just have to die an agonising and drawn-out death because of things they may not necessarily agree with. What I don’t understand is that religious people condemn it and protest against it because it’s against the invisible-man’s will. We’re letting people die because of a hypothetical God who has a fail safe of faith. “It shouldn’t have to show its work or show itself to you, it should just be worshipped anyway” is the great cop-out of religious people. Their blind faith may have killed a lot of people with the ban on stem cell treatments which is unfair. It should be - at the end of the day - a choice.

Luckily, as I looked into this subject I found out that the UK is behind stem cell research now with Cambridge having £10m donated to them for them to research into it. This has made me happier but I can’t find if the treatment will be given afterwards which is a little confusing. Stem cells has a bright future and could cure many things like cancer but religious and ‘ethical’ reasons may hinder its progress. For example, embryonic stem cells are still being debated but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with them being used. Either way, it should come down to choice. When it comes to your life, shouldn’t you be able to make choices regarding the saving of it? The prolonging of it?

Euthanasia is legal in only 10 places. It’s only legal in about seven countries and legal in four states in America with California thinking of legalising it. That’s a very minor amount and it should be a lot more. According to figures I found online, two thirds of Britons think it should be legal yet it’s still illegal. Why? It’s clearly just a choice. I’m going to go to a simple quote “if you don’t like it, don’t do it.” It seems such a simple quote but in practice it’s more difficult because of people who say it’s not your right to end your life, it’s God’s right.

If it was God’s right to end MY life then he wouldn’t have given me free will. Either way, you can’t force your religious beliefs on people and you can’t make them suffer in their final hour. That’s cruel. Their final hours will consist of them in an inexplicable amount of pain that will leave them begging for it to end and for any way out possible. If you were in their shoes you’d be wanting the exact same thing and it’s only a matter of time so why not it let end on their own terms? Why force your views of how that is a ‘sin’ on them and just let them be at peace? Surely that would be God’s will.

If you want to end it all there is one company in Switzerland which offer this sweet release of death and those saviours are Dignitas (funnily enough, Dignitas is also a gaming organisation which is pretty big in competitive gaming and eSports). They will lay you or your loved one to peace in a pain-free manner. Unfortunately, if you do do this, when you arrive home you get arrested for assisted suicide which is still ridiculous. Why is that an arrestable offence? It’s your choice to end your life. It shouldn’t be anyone else’s but your own. No one should force you to live in the pain because of outdated, traditional views. That’s just immoral and everyone should realise how immoral it actually is.

Euthanasia isn’t ‘assisted suicide’ it’s a relief to the person, a goodbye on their own terms so they can say goodbye to their loved ones and finally pass away in an endless slumber instead of writhing in pain in a personal purgatory-like place. You’d think that the government would recognise all of these advantages, but they don’t. They’re still stuck with traditional thoughts and I see no reason why. That’s one of the reasons our infrastructure is one of the weakest in the UK because we don’t embrace change, we’re frightened by it. Let’s face it, the BNP and UKIP are the most traditional of all and I won’t rant about them now but they have idiotic thoughts which would put our government in reverse at a catastrophic speed. Traditions should be scrapped and we should welcome the new and accept all that is good. Holland, Switzerland and Japan (besides Japan’s debt) are role models to the world that we should live in. They’re liberal and open to change and we should model ourselves after them. After all, wouldn’t you like a change?

So let me define choice for us: “an illusion; an anti-tardis that, in Britain, is ever shrinking whilst expanding for others.” That’s what a choice is now.

We're all selfish.

There is no way you can please everyone in the world and this is because of one reason, selfishness. Everyone has a sort of ego or God-complex thing going on and they all truly believe that the world should be catered to suit their needs and their needs only. It’s weird how something so common like this can go unnoticed and no one would have actually realised how selfish the entire world is. But why is this?

Just a note: When I say everybody, I mean the majority of people and I’m leaving out (what I personally believe to be) a pretty small minority since I think a lot of the world is selfish. I’m not saying every single person in the world is, mostly the people in charge really. I realised after posting this that I was saying everybody was the same but I didn’t mean that, I only meant the leaders and the majority of people. This is just my opinion after all.

So where does this selfishness come from? Does it stem from self-importance? Arrogance? The fact that they’re always right? They could run the world better? Probably all of these. The sad truth is, that there are very few genuine nice people out there or people who actually realise that there are bigger problems than themselves. Am I saying I’m one of these fantastic people? Not really, I’m just the same as everyone else. I put my needs in front of others because that’s in our nature. It’s in our nature to provide and care for ourselves, to look out for ourselves and want things our way. We’re just naturally selfish but, we’re also smart enough to stop nature in its tracks since we can adapt our personalities and our thinking.

Let me explain where all this came from. It comes from a few things. The first of these, are the tuition fees, the protests and the latest Welsh Assembly decision. I’m against the increase in tuition fees and the destruction of the EMA system so don’t think I’m being hypocritical about my last post because I’m not agreeing or condoning what the coalition (Tory) government planned. I’m just saying that a lot of students are now taking to the streets even though it doesn’t affect them but I think a lot of them think it does. That’s not selfish, I know. They’re standing up for what they think is right. But is it for the right reasons? Are they actually doing it because they think it’s wrong or because it’s better suited to them? The majority of these are probably only doing this because they’re currently students. A lot of people I know are against the tuition fee increase and now the subsidy that the Welsh Assembly are offering has silenced the Welsh students because now it doesn’t matter to them (us). This is because our work is done, our tuition fees are fine so a lot of people will actually stop fighting for what is right. Or will they? I hope not because that’ll prove me wrong and I don’t want to be right about this, I really don’t so let’s hope the students prove me wrong.

What I’m saying is that a lot of people are complaining about the government because they don’t consider them, when they more than likely do but just ignore it. The thing is, the government don’t even want to cater to the majority really, not this one anyway. This current government is looking out for two things, the rich and the English. If you’re poor then you’re nothing but a poor peasant who doesn’t deserve anything. Their elitist views are what make them selfish and uneducated, which is a surprise since they all went to “top schools” and a “top university.” I think that their privileged education gave them an understanding of how better they are. Most of the people who are in parliament didn’t even pay for university, so they have no idea what it’s like to struggle for money. Now they’re selfishly trying to protect their wealth by not letting it getting eaten up by taxes, even though that’s where their salary comes from.

I know a lot of people say they could be a better Prime Minister. A lot said that about Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. I stand behind Gordon Brown, considering he’s possibly one of the most intelligent men we had in charge of this country and our economy but because his smile eats your soul and he’s uncharismatic…and Scottish (believe it or not, that’s a factor) then he got kicked out. Kicked out, for a man who wears fake tan, proposes change to the UK when he’s nothing but a Tory who lies. He lies and slanders others because he can’t actually fight with his own policies because the majority of the UK would say no to those policies. He has to slander and scrape at any mistake made just because he has no chance.

Sorry, I’m ranting. What I’m trying to say is that a lot of people say they can do better but if they did try, they’d just cater for themselves. They wouldn’t try to actually please the majority. They’d selfishly fend for themselves and they wouldn’t actually care a tiny bit about the majority and that’s where they get led astray. By power. By greed. By the ability to help themselves only. It’s hard to actually find a person who would actually stand up for the majority and what is right in a democratic country, even if it hindered them slightly. I’d like to think I would actually do these things but when I think about the policies I’d introduce or the type of changes I’d like to do I’m not so sure. So how can I hypocritically write about selfishness? I know what I’d do is not punish the rich for being richer, but I wouldn’t punish the poor for that either. It’s a tricky situation to work around.

Now, let me engage you in why I think the EMA scheme shouldn’t be scrapped, just maybe a bit more regulated. My girlfriend actually uses her EMA for education. She uses it to buy supplies for her diploma and it’s a pretty expensive course since she has to fund everything herself, including a camera for photography. She uses it responsibly but she does treat herself so she’s not perfect, but who is? It’s free money. I’m the worst for it, I don’t think I’ve used much money for my education - except for petrol because it’s a necessity to get to school and back since I don’t qualify for the bus any more. That’s it. I suppose my computer could count for educational reasons but I’m not going to lie, I bought a very good computer for gaming mostly. What I’m trying to say is, maybe you should have to claim EMA as a sort of expense. That’s the only way I can see it being regulated properly and going to people who truly use it for that and not an under-age night out in town. Of course, that would cost quite a bit and require a lot of human resources but they’d save a lot of money and on the money they save they could hire or train their current staff to deal with it. The money they’d save from giving it to people who actually don’t use it for education would be huge and there’d be more jobs in the world. Win, win situation? I think so. I just actually said to slash my only income, that’s a bit idiotic of me but I actually can’t find a job but at least I’ve tried. My CVs are probably unread and dusty in these places. Either that or thrown in a bin and possibly recycled at best.

At the end of the day, in a selfish, dog-eat-dog world we all do what is necessary. The famous “survival of the fittest” quote which has been iterated so many times for so many different topics. It’s applicable here and it will be applicable in many other aspects, but it is more relevant here. Survival of the fittest, the key word is survival. We do what we think will best suit ourselves and we do it selfishly, I doubt a lot of people consider anyone else. At best, the other consideration is loved ones and that’s not enough to be considered not selfish. We live in an age where selfishness is at its peak. We need a person in power who isn’t selfish or otherwise motivated, they should make only informed decisions that would suit the majority because that’s the only way of truly being fair.

Weirdly, I’m going to end this with a quote by a fictional character from a TV programme, and he’s the least intelligent of the six. I’m going to quote the famous Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) when he says that “there is no such thing as a selfless good deed.” Can anyone prove him wrong?

Politics and the ConDem(ned) Nation.

The big elephant in my room; politics. More specifically, the Conservatives. Now, the spark that kindled this rampage of thoughts were the riots and protests held today. For those who don’t know, read below and for those who do you can read if you want but there’s no point.

There was a protest about the cap on tuition fees being not only lifted but trebled to around £9000 per annum. That’s a ludicrous amount of money so students, potential students and people who just agreed tore through the streets of London. That I’m not sure about. Either way, they marched through London with banners, chants and so forth. This wasn’t because of the terrible Tory leadership but more the coalition government. It was more about the fact that Nick Clegg signed a pledge to “Fight against an increase in university fees” which we all know, won him quite a majority of votes. This is because of the students thinking “woo free uni” and such. This has turned out not to be the case (surprise!) and instead they’ve increased. They marched wanting Nick Clegg and the Tories out. They wanted them gone. Who can blame them? I’m with them on this. The protest turned violent with a minority who tore through a Conservative building and hijacked the roof with anarchy flags and such.

That protest and subsequent riot has made me angry. I’m not angry at the rioters and DEFINITELY not at the protesters because they have the right to do what they want. I’m annoyed that innocent people got hurt, including police officers who were just doing their jobs. What annoyed me was thinking about how the police officers were still doing their jobs and getting hurt even though there has been a massive spending cut on police, prisons and all things law. They were doing all that to protect a government which is going to cut a few thousands of their jobs and all things related to them. I know they had to but it’s just annoying that the Tories will literally learn nothing from this demonstration. This act of aggression is the first of many and people are preparing for that. The Tories were protected from people who they could make redundant. Ironic.

Before I move onto the budget cuts which will infuriate me I’d like to mention Nick Clegg. The lapdog of David Cameron. The man who literally has a whisper in Cameron’s mansion home while Cameron is having a cocktail party in his garden by the pool. A sign reads “no dogs allowed” so Clegg patiently sits outside with his list of propositions which will be ignored and perhaps even dirtied and soiled. Nick Clegg actually signed a pledge to “fight against an increase in tuition fees” and in his manifesto he claimed he was going to get rid of tuition fees altogether in five years. There’s his key demographic. Late teens and people in their young 20s. They all say “wow he could do something” and vote for him thinking that maybe the whole tuition fees and legalising cannabis thing might actually happen. The students praise and applaud a na├»ve man who has a glimmer of hope. This, obviously, fell through and then he got a sniff of power and greed took him. Greed is something which a lot of politicians must have as a mandatory and potentially innate trait. Nick Clegg promised he’d stay true to the LibDems words and not let Cameron get away with everything. He said he had a voice. He was wrong and I think he knew it. He’s been a lapdog, nothing more than someone who stands on the sidelines with his tail between his legs and afraid to park in case he gets sent outside for the night. He’s scared to voice his opinions and even now he’s changed his opinions to suit Cameron. Great to see that people sell out so easily and they run our country. The coalition has broken down.

Another problem they don’t see by raising tuition fees is that many people won’t go to university. This means a lot of talent will go to waste, a not of natural cleverness will go to waste in a dead end job because they couldn’t afford higher education. In what world is that fair? This means that the rich will get degrees and they’ll get jobs and get even richer whilst the poor struggle as they won’t even be able to get public sector jobs as they’ll be gone. People with degrees will not be the best any more, they’ll just be the people who could afford it. This means I couldn’t go to uni as I come from a very poor household, there is no way I could afford it. This means I would struggle to find a good job and struggle to get people to realise that I’m a lot more intelligent than my non-existent university degree says.

My mum is a nurse and complains about how understaffed her ward is. Luckily for her, she’s leaving to foster but this is why she’s leaving because otherwise she’d be screwed. She wouldn’t be able to carry on that job until 67 (the now new retirement age) because she lifts and lifts people all the time. The rich think that poor people don’t work hard and that’s why they don’t deserve such help and stuff. My mum has probably worked harder than a very high percentage of those and gets nothing for it but according to them she does nothing. I know someone who suffers from an invisible disease which has flares, just like my nan’s Polymyalgia, so they’re very unreliable which isn’t their fault at all. The doctor and assessors have now said that they could work as they’re not in pain that much. They come over and assess them on ONE day and as it’s something which is inconsistent, how does that make sense? They’ve now ceased their benefits and they can’t receive anything because they’re claimed to be fine. The appeal could take a year. How is that just? How is that fair? It isn’t but it’s the type of thing that the government condone in an effort to slash budgets, to cut bills yet none of them will take a pay decrease? Because it directly affects them and that’s just an outlandish and slanderous idea. We’re supposed to be living an age of fairness and justice yet this is the most unfair and unjust thing I’ve seen. I’d gladly be a testimonial to them as they do struggle and I see no way in them being consistently working even though they WANT to work. That makes sense, condemn someone who can’t work but actually wants to.

A protest song I heard earlier. Students are creative.

Oh Nick Clegg is a Tory! He wears a Tory hat! Oh Nick Clegg is a Tory! And now a massive twat!

Right, now let’s go on to their “budget cuts” which were proposed by the ever fantastic, George Osborne. He’s proposed to cut so much money that it’s pointless to even invest in the first place. As you’ll see below, they are severe. A total saving of £81bn in four years. It seems good that Britain can afford to save that money but the truth is, we can’t. The amount of jobs that will vanish are insane. By doing this they’ll probably attempt a privatisation of the public services to try and revive the jobs but it still won’t be enough. The amount of jobs that will be lost will mean more people who are unemployed and we’re at a peak of unemployment too. This will rip the economy to shreds as there will be no money being pumped into it because people won’t be able to afford anything. How do they expect us to grow if they do that? They’re sending us backwards, in this recession. They’re trying to get us out of debt when Japan are still borrowing and are in FOUR TIMES as much debt as us so why is it so necessary? Do they think Britain will get repossessed? “Oh, Britain…for your crippling debt we’re going to have to auction off Scunthorpe.” No! That’s not how it works! Why not reassemble the economy before making such insane cuts? Yet again, how can I see but they can’t. It baffles me. This could lead to a standstill on inflation and potentially a deflation. The pound will drop which will be good for exports as people will buy more from us as it’s at a cheaper price but it still won’t do enough.

  • £81bn cut from public spending over four years
  • 19% average departmental cuts - less than the 25% expected
  • £7bn extra welfare cuts, including changes to incapacity, housing benefit and tax credits
  • £3.5bn increase in public sector pension employee contributions
  • Rise in state pension age brought forward
  • 7% cut for local councils from April next year
  • Permanent bank levy
  • Rail fares to rise 3% above inflation from 2012

These cuts will result in a loss of 500,000 jobs in the UK with the worst hit city being Swansea. Fantastic. How do they get into power? Greed. That’s how. The greed of the British public who are rich and want to be unnecessarily richer and then there are the people masquerading as a rich person and trying to fit into the persona. I’m ashamed to say that my dad and his girlfriend are the latter of the descriptions. It is a sad thing that they’re so ignorant. My dad doesn’t know anything about politics but he just listens to his idiotic girlfriend who is as pretentious as they come. She actually believes The Sun is all fact and no lie. Her opinion is blatantly invalid.

This is what the Tories do best. Short term fixes, which barely fix anything but cause even greater long term problems. If an eighteen year old has no trouble in seeing this then how don’t they? Do they not realise how many lives they’re effecting and potentially ruining? That’s the biggest problem with the Tories. They have no real life experience considering they grew up in such favoured surroundings. They were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They know no one who struggles or who has ever struggled in their life. They would probably cast them aside and brush them away in fear of being sullied by them. They all went to Eton College, they all went to Oxbridge, LSE and other prestigious universities because of connections and money. It’s good to know the education system is also corrupt. They’ve essentially made Britain more of an under-progressed, suppressed cesspool of wasted talent. As long as they persevere though why in the world would they care?

I’ve hit the wall so that’s all I’ll be touching on in this post, I apologise if it’s ended abruptly. Just remember, as long as the coalition or rather the Conservatives are in charge there is on simple word to describe us. Fucked.