Monday, 30 March 2015

Election Starting Pistol Sounded

You may be mistaken in thinking that the election campaign began a long time ago but today is the official starting pistol as Dave turns up to the Queens pad and asks her nicely to dissolve Parliament and then it's a six week race to May 7th and voting day.
What never changes is the predictability of the whole thing so we can expect to see a baby being kissed, burger/ice cream eating depending on the weather, an off the cuff remark picked up by a microphone possibly left on the interviewees shirt, Nigel Farage holding a pint of beer and someone dressed as Elvis losing their £500 deposit.
Something we can guarantee is that the loser will reluctantly make some noise about stepping aside and make a tearful goodbye speech and tender their resignation to make way for new party leaders.
One person who we will probably say goodbye to is Nick Clegg who faces the walk of shame out of Downing Street but it is uncertain if Dave Cameron and George Osborne will join him being dragged by the hair out of number 10 or the younger Miliband of Labour falling upon his sword to be replaced by an older Miliband we will find out soon.
Our old friend Google Trends has an impressive record of correctly choosing the winners of elections and with 38 days to go it is showing a thumping win for Labour which is very much against the polls i am seeing which has the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck at the moment so i wouldn't bet the rent money on Prime Minister Miliband just yet.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Other Political Parties Are Also Available

The next Prime Minister is only going to come from the Conservative or Labour Party with the Lib Dems, SNP and UKIP making up the numbers but each election we also get a chance to put our cross next to some of the lesser known parties, many of who pay the £500 deposit and then lose it as they do not gain the required 5% of the votes cast in that constituency to receive it back again.
So if you don't want to vote for any of the mainstream parties you can always go straight towards the bottom of the ballot paper where the minor parties live.
Parties such as the Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol Party, No Candidate Deserves My Vote Party, The Pirate Party, The Common Good Party, the Idle Toad Party, the Roman Party, the Church of the Militant Elvis Party, Fancy Dress Party and the long running Official Monster Raving Loony Party.
With the way things are going we could see the prospect of a gurning lunatic with ridiculous policies gaining seats in Parliament, or UKIP as they are also called.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Stop Moving Easter Around

According to people who know about these things, the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22nd and the the latest possible date for Easter is April 25th and this year it falls on April 5 which means as my Birthday is 4 days earlier, i am sure to be unwrapping an Easter Egg this year.
Being a religious holiday, Easter is the day Jesus apparently arose from the dead but unlike Christmas nobody seems to be able to pin a date on it which is why it wanders around the calendar but apart from eating our own weight in chocolate, Easter is very much the poor relation of religious time off work.
The Easter Bunny is no substitute for Christmas's Santa and i have never heard a song wishing it could be Easter Everyday or excitedly singing that the Easter Bunny is coming to Town so you better behave or you won't get that Cadbury's Button Egg. 
It is also the holiday when us Atheists don't get it in the ear from religious types about celebrating something that we dismiss the rest of the year which means i am unable to use my well worn pithy reply that i don't believe in ghosts but it doesn't stop me celebrating Halloween.
As Christmas has long moved on from being about Jesus and wise men and is now all about Santa and red nosed reindeer's, i think whoever makes the decisions on these things should say Easter is on a certain date each year and from now on it's called Chocolate Egg Day and let's knock this religion thing on the head altogether because lets be honest, it's no fun sitting in a dreary church listening to a vicar try to make sense out of a collection of random folk tales that were written a few thousand years ago.

US Staying With The Death Penalty

In the wake of a worldwide boycott of US departments of correction, led by the European Union i am happy to say, States with the death penalty have been struggling to acquire the medical drugs used in lethal injections and with supplies at an all time low, some states have come up with a solution, one of which is let's shoot 'em instead.
Utah has revived the firing squad, Tennessee has moved to bring back the electric chair, Missouri has publicly contemplated rebuilding its gas chamber while Oklahoma is considering introducing a new type of death by nitrogen hypoxia.
I haven't heard any calls for discussions around whether the state taking a life as a punishment for taking a life doesn't seem a very civilised way of doing things but despite it being abolished in the vast majority of countries, it still goes on in 21 countries who deal with their more unsavoury members of society by killing them.
Amnesty International have gathered together the statistics and the top state executors are China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United States, Yemen and Sudan.
Looking at the names of the countries on the list, i'm surprised the Americans are not shamed at finding themselves included with such company in the way they treat their prisoners and are instead  just finding another way to stay part of that particular gang.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Why Not The SNP?

Unless someone moved the border without telling me, Scotland is part of Great Britain so i'm not sure why the Scottish National Party are being treated as outsiders by the Conservative Party while rumours persist that after the election Labour will make a coalition with the Scottish Party.
Scotland's new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has a list of demands for the Labour Party which chime prefect with what the left stands for, an end to austerity, spending cuts, scrapping Trident, the abolition of the House of Lords and reform of the voting system.
How can anyone on the left possibly be against any of those demands which is why the right wing are so against it.
Austerity has always been a Conservative policy to reduce Government and keep the downtrodden trodden down and enrich the guys at the top and spending cuts have been a disaster. The police are so under-staffed that they are shouting loud and clear that they can't do their job properly and try and get anything done by a Government department where staff numbers have been decimated, the Passport Office are swamped and HMRC are months behind with dealing with post and prepare to spend hours listening to music trying to get through on the phone to a tax adviser.
Trident is an expensive toy costing us upwards of £70 billion for a weapon we will never use just so we can stroll around saying we have a nuclear weapon and the voting system is in dire need of transformation to a proportional representation system so we don't end up with the absurd decision of the Government being voted in by a third of the votes.
The Conservatives have been the nasty party, the 400% rise on food banks under their ownership of the Number 10 keys should mean them being booted out come May 8th and Labour should point out that Scotland is part of Great Britain and it is wrong to squeal that a Scottish Party should not be making decisions that affect England while having no such concerns about English Parties making such decisions for Scotland, Wales or the Northern Irish.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Clarkson Sacked

Considering that Jeremy Clarksons whole shtick was that he was a grown man acting like an idiot i'm sure it wont take the BBC long to find a suitable replacement after they took the only reasonable approach that they could and sacked him.
The BBC director general, Tony Hall, said that following the investigation the BBC had decided not to renew Clarkson’s contract, saying the presenter had 'crossed a line'.
The attack left the producer, Oisin Tymon, with a split lip and now the police are looking at charging Clarkson with possible assault charges.
The BBC has promised that Top Gear as a show will continue but it may have a very different line up as all three presenters’ contracts were due to run out at the end of this month and when asked about his future on the show, James May said: 'We are very much the three of us a package. It works for complicated reasons that a lot of people don’t fully understand. So that will require a lot of careful thought'.
As long as the BBC choose the right people to replace them, Chris Evans seems to be a name sounded out about replacing Clarkson, everything should work out fine and we will have one less violent idiot to watch although i am sure he will be snapped up by another channel after a short break.
Buenos Aires is nice this time of year i hear Jezza, and i can even suggest a number plate for you this trip that i am sure the Argentinians would find agreeable, JC T02SER.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Tucked away on one of the far flung satellite channels i stumbled across a programme called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
To my surprise it had the FOX logo on the bottom of the screen which surprised me as i associate FOX with Rupert Murdoch who isn't exactly known for high brow programming and then i wondered just how well a programme that scientifically explained the how, when and why we got here went down with science denying Evangelicals in America.
The excellent presenter, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and his cosmic calendar must have had the teeth grinding on the religious right as the calendar shows a universe that is 13.8 billion years and an earth that is 4.5 billion years old.
It appears that the bible bashers don't accept the challenge with proof or evidence, they just block out the bits they don't like as several TV stations pasted an advertisement break over the bit regarding evolution in the episode.
To much delight he dismissed the 6,000 year old earth theory by explaining that the dead stars and galaxies we still see in the night sky, explaining the time light takes to travel to us, he showed viewers that stars we look at in the sky could not be less than 6,000 years old, because if they were, we could not see them.
Tyson really went for the religionists jugular by explaining how Noah’s great flood never happened, or worse, was a rehashing of another story, the Epic of Gilgamesh, that predates the great flood and show that the Bible is nothing but copies of earlier texts, retold with the names changed.
The barb at the end of the final episode was said with relish: 'One of things I love about science is that we don't have to pretend we have all the answers'.
In your face creationists who believe all they do based on a book of stories while scientists have a library of books, evidence, fossils and DNA as high as a mountain to base their beliefs on and on top of all that the wonderful Neil deGrasse Tyson who FOX should sign up to present all their shows whatever the subject matter.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey should be shown in every school to children curious about how we got here and what makes the universe work because anyone who has seen the news lately will know that what we need is a bit less religion in the World. 

Where's The Money Gone Dave?

George Osbourne tells us the sun is shining and UK is walking tall as we strive bravely onwards out of recession and into a bright future.
I know politicians use all sort of spin to make their point but the bottom line is how much we owed as a country when Cameron took over and how much we owe now after 5 years of austerity.
The figures from HM Treasury shows The UK Nation Debt in 2010 was £0.76 trillion and today we owe £1.36 trillion.
Now i don't make any claims to be an economist but to me that seems that we owe almost twice as much as we did after Dave and George got their grubby little hands on the economy.
A favourite line from the Conservatives is to blame the 'mess that they inherited from Labour' but the vast majority of the debt they inherited was from Labour having to bail out the greedy bankers to the tune of tens of billions, the Conservatives have no such excuse.
They have the extra money from the student tuition fees, increased VAT, the slashed public services and the severe austerity measures so how can they have almost doubled what we owe while telling us they are making savings?
All politicians of all shades hide the economic truth behind lines such as 'in real terms' and 'adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity' but the one figure is the one on the bottom of the balance sheet and it says at the start of the Tory reign we owed £0.76 and now at the end of it we owe £1.36 trillion and i think we should be told what have they been spending it on because from where i am sitting it isn't being spent on us!

Farage Protest Backfires

Just let us recap on the wisdom of UKIP over recent times.
According to Nigel and his broad: 'Businesses should be allowed to refuse services to women and gay people', the recent UK storms floods are a result of allowing Gay Marriage, working mothers are worth less than men, women who don't clean behind the fridge are 'sluts', women wanting to breastfeed should find a corner out of the way and we should stop sending aid to bongo bongo land.
How ironic then that the demonstrators who turned up at the George & Dragon pub in fancy dress where he was eating his Sunday lunch were gays, women, breast feeding mums and immigrants.
The UKIP leader ranted at the 'scum' as he called them saying that they scared his children who he left in the pub to be picked up by a relative some time later.  
It must have been distressing for the kids, it's not their fault their dad such a mass of intolerance but a bit of an own goal certainly but Farage can't expect to be immune from protest while at the same time spending his days protesting about others.
Although the protesters were in fancy dress, singing songs and peacefully protesting, to do it while he is 'off duty' and enjoying a day out with his family can't be condoned.
Wait until he is peddling his UKIP nonsense and then he is fair game for whatever is thrown at him, to do this just gains him sympathy.

Political Celebrity Endorsement

Who hasn't been stood in a voting booth with the pencil poised and a voting sheet before you and as you ponder which way to vote your mind has began to wonder to who would the lady from the mid-eighties cop show Dempsey and Makepeace vote for?
Glynis Barber is a Labour Party supporter so that makes the choice much easier but what it you were not a fan of police shows from the time of padded shoulders and polka dot skirts?
Luckily celebrities are not slow in coming forward with their view on who we should be voting into office so we can mine the rich seam of information gleaned from party political literature, fund raising parties and celebrities  who have had a selfies taken with a party leader giving a cheesy grin and a thumbs up pose.

In the blue corner, supporting David Cameron and the Conservative Party we have the following: William 'Ken Barlow' Roche, Michael Caine, Geri 'Ginger Spice' Halliwell, Gary Barlow, Steve 'Interesting' Davis, Jim Davidson, Ian Botham, Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Joan Collins, Gary Numan, Phil Collins, Frank Bruno,  Ronnie Corbett, Paul Daniels, Jeremy Clarkson, Carol Vorderman, Andy McNab, Cilla Black, Lulu, Peter Stringfellow, Anneka Rice, Michael Brandon, Errol Brown, Judith Chalmers, Ken Dodd, Lynsey de Paul, Bryan Ferry, Tony Hadley, Jimmy Tarbuck, Marco Pierre White, Anthony Worral Thompson, Bill Wyman, Trevor Brooking, Tony Cottee, Garth Crooks, Nick Faldo and Graham Gooch.

Coming out of the red corner and waving Ed Miliband flags are:
David Tennant, Richard Wilson, Noel Gallagher, Tracey Ullman, Alan Sugar, Cheryl Cole, Eddie Izzard, JK Rowling, Lily Allen, Stephen Fry, Bianca Jagger, Melvyn Bragg, Janet Street-Porter, Patrick Stewart, Ross Kemp, Bill Bailey, Tony 'Baldrick' Robinson, Duncan Bannatyne, Dawn French, Alex Ferguson, Angela Lansbury, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons, Ben Elton, Jo Brand, Stephen Hawking, Dermot O'Leary, Lewis Hamilton, Delia Smith, Maureen Lipman and Beverly Knight.

In the yellow corner wearing 'I Love Nick' t-shirts are the Liberal Democrats sprinkling of celebrities which include:
John Cleese, Daniel Radcliffe, Colin Firth, Brian Eno, Floella Benjamin, Honor Blackman, Richard Dawkins, Heather Mills, Kate Winslet, Andrew Motion, Chris Martin, Judi Dench and Sandi Toksvig.

Munching muesli bars in the final corner is Green Party celebrities such as:
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mark Thomas, Philip Pullman, Joanna Lumley, Thom Yorke, Tim Roth and David Icke.

Outside in the cheap seats and looking around uneasily we have the UKIP supporters:
Tim Rice, Des Lynam, Mike Read and Rustie Lee.

So if you are finding it hard to decide which party deserves to run our lives for the next five years, consider the names backing the parties and let a star make the decision for you. Or Geri Halliwell.