Friday 21 June 2024

Learning About LGBTQIA+

 

We had Pride week at work with lots of rainbow flags around the building but i have only just found out that it isn't any old rainbow, the colours actually stand for something.
The rainbow-colored flags date back at least to the German Peasants’ War in the 1500s and the hippie movement of the 1960s used the flag as a peace symbol and it was this that was created as a symbol for gay rights in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978.
The six colors used are red for life and vitality, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, indigo for serenity and harmony and violet for spirit.
I also found out that LGBTQ+ is now LGBTQIA+ which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, asexual, and plus which can be a minefield as i also found out as Queer is someone who is not exclusively heterosexual and Intersex is a person with one or more innate sex characteristics that fall outside of traditional conceptions of male or female bodies. Not to be confused with transgender.
Asexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction and have little or no desire to form romantic relationships and the plus is used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that letters cannot yet fully describe.
Embarrassingly in 2024, there are 64 countries that have laws that criminalise homosexuality and almost half of these are in Africa and shamefully the death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for same-sex sexual acts in Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and in some northern states of Nigeria while in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, and the United Arab Emirates the death penalty could be applied.

How Stupid?

As we are in the throes of Euro's Football fever, lets throw out some metaphors at just how bad the Conservative's at been at running their own election campaign in light of the latest scandal regarding a select few of Rishi Sunak's closest colleagues were illegally betting on the date of the election.
Own goal seems the most fitting because Tony Lee, the Conservative party’s director of campaigning, has taken 'a leave of absence' which immediately leads to the question was someone actually directing this shambles?
Lee is the fourth person to be under investigation by the Gambling Commission for placing bets on the election date before it was announced joining Sunak’s closest parliamentary aide, Craig Williams, having placed a £100 bet on the date and then a police officer in Sunak’s protection team suspended for the same thing and then the Tories Bristol North West pick Laura Saunders found to have made a trip to the bookies.
You would think that betting on 'insider knowledge' when only a handful of people knew would be enough of a caution but to carry on and do it anyway, in your own name rather than a family member of friend, means that you do have to wonder just how many types of stupids there are and it may not have reached its conclusion yet because the Conservative campaign HQ have issued a statement saying it was a 'small number of individuals' which could mean 4 or could mean the whole of the Cabinet were queuing up in William Hills that afternoon.
I suppose as they know they are on their way out and the fake PPE gravy train has come to a halt that they have to make their money somewhere but not having the sense to be a bit more candid about breaking the law is mind blowingly stupid although as Lee was doing such an awful job 'directing' the campaign, Sunak should thank his lucky stars that Lee is left kicking his heels at home well away from it all.

Thursday 20 June 2024

What Happened To Streakers?

It didn't seem that long ago that almost every sporting event had a naked person running across the pitch and disrupting the action but although we still get people running on the pitch they are always now fully clothed so what happened to streakers?
I can't remember the last time a nude body flashed across a football, cricket, rugby pitch or a tennis court where once it was such a popular pastime that there was even a song dedicated to it in the 1970's but maybe it is a 70s thing and has gone the same way as Roller Disco's, Rubix Cubes and shirts with collars so wide you were in danger of lifting off in a gust of wind.
The TV Cameras no longer show people who manage to get onto the pitch so maybe stripping off and running around as nature intended doesn't get the publicity anymore and if you are only doing it to get your face (or your other bits) on TV and you go to all that effort only to be ignored then it hardly seems worth it.
I do understand men not wanting to do it during the football or rugby season which takes place in Winter and cold weather is not very flattering for a naked gentleman and i am not particularly keen to see a nude body disrupting the Euro's unless its Olivier Giroud, i would make an exception for him.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Confused About Those Manifesto Pledges?

All the Manifestos have now been published and after a while all the pledges can roll together so let's put them all side by side and see exactly what the parties are promising if they get into power.

Tax 
Conservatives will knock another 2p off National Insurance with an ambition to get rid of it altogether.
Labour has pledged not to raise taxes with no increase in income tax, national insurance, or VAT.
Liberal Democrats will increase the tax-free allowance and bring Capital Gains in line with other tax rates.
Greens will introduce a wealth tax of 1% on assets above £10m and 2% above £1bn.
Reform will raise the income tax threshold to £20,000 and abolish Inheritance Tax on all estates under £2m.

NHS and social care
Conservatives will increase NHS funding and recruiting 92,000 nurses and 28,000 doctors.
Labour will cut waiting times by adding 40,000 more appointments every wee and add 8,500 mental health staff.
Lib Dems will spend £1.1bn on hospitals and employ 8,000 more GPs.
Greens will increase the NHS budget by £8bn and legalise assisted dying.
Reform would cut tax for frontline NHS staff for three years and provide some NHS patients with vouchers for private treatment.

Defence
Conservatives will boost defence spending to 2.5% of GDP.
Labour will also spend 2.5% of GDP.
Lib Dems would raise defence with an ambition to spend 2.5%.
Greens will cancel Britain's nuclear deterrent.
Reform would increase defence spending to 3% and recruit 30,000 army staff.

Immigration
Conservatives will put a cap on the number of people who can move to the UK and move forwrds their Rwanda plan.
Labour will scrap the Rwanda plan, reform the points-based immigration system and bring in more restrictions on visas.
Lib Dems will lift the ban on asylum seekers working and scrap the government's Rwanda scheme.
Greens will introduce safe routes for those fleeing persecution.
Reform would freeze non-essential immigration and pick up migrants in small boats and take them back to France.

Housing
Conservatives will scrap stamp duty on homes up to £425k.
Labour will build 1.5 million new homes and create new towns.
Lib Dems will build 380,000 new homes, including 150,000 social houses.
Greens will build 150,000 new social houses and end Right to Buy.
Reform will abolish stamp duty for houses under £750k

Education
Conservatives will ban mobile phones during the school day and introduce 30 hours' free childcare from nine months old.
Labour will recruit 6,500 new teachers, establish 3,000 new nurseries, introduce free breakfast clubs and charge private schools VAT.
Lib Dems will put a mental health professional in every school and increase funding.
Greens will give a £2bn pay uplift for teachers and scrap University undergraduate fees.
Reform will ban transgender ideology in schools and provide a 20% tax relief on private schools.

Economy
Conservatives pledge to reduce borrowing and debt.
Labour will focuses on wealth creation.
Lib Dems wants a better relationship with the EU and focused on the renewable industry.
Greens will raise taxes for the wealthy and nationalise the railways, energy companies and water providers.
Reform will cut red tape on house building and make it easier to hire and fire workers.

European Union
Conservatives will build on its post-Brexit strategy.
Labour want to reset, deepen and improve its relationship with Europe.
Lib Dems will seek to join the single market.
Greens will take Britain back into the EU immediately.
Reform would renegotiate the EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Climate
Conservatives will cut the cost of tackling climate change, treble offshore wind and scale up nuclear.
Labour will double onshore wind, triple solar power and quadruple offshore wind and establish a new national Energy company.
Lib Dems will cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045.
Greens will stop all new fossil fuel extraction in UK, phase out nuclear power, and increase wind and solar power.
Reform will ditch the net zero plans and subsidies and fast-track licences of North Sea gas and oil.

There's the choices then but be aware that a Manifesto pledge is not a guarantee it will happen and does come with the massive caveat that these are things that they would like to do, not absolutely will do.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

The Kids' Are Alright

As the age of buying alcohol in the UK is 18 and most girls, with a bit of make-up and a push up bra can fool most barmen, being able to drink under-age was never a problem back in my day but since most places now require evidence that you are 25 before passing you alcohol for being over 18 then it is much harder to get rat-arsed on a few J├Ągerbombs now and maybe that's why teenagers today don't seem to bother.
According to GlobalData, the number of Gen Z's who plan to socialise less with their friends outside their homes had increased to a fifth by the end of 2023 and these days, young people go to bed early, go to the gym, are vegan, sober, not having sex and the only pills they’re interested in taking are the Vitamin sort.
Some of the kids say that the single biggest thing keeping people away from nights out on the lash is the price and some are concerned about the safety in this age of date rape drugs being slipped into drinks and a Government report shows they are right to be cautious with cases of spiking in the UK skyrocketing from 316 in 2021 to 1746 last year.
Others are saying it is the problem of wasting the next day recovering from the bathful of vodka the night before and we all know that feeling, the amount of times i have woken up with what feels like a carpet in my mouth and someone playing bongos on my skull while trying to remember how the hell i burnt through that much money in one evening is one i recall well so maybe the younger generation are playing it wise.
To be fair they are probably a lot more sensible than my friends and i were at that age but then on the other hand, we could get in at 3am and still turn up at work at 8am the next morning so maybe we were more hardy but overall i think the kid's are alright, skint, sober and not as rebellious obviously, but alright nonetheless.

Monday 17 June 2024

Eighth Time Lucky For Farage

It is funny how the racists always hate it when you point out that they are racist but Britain's most well known racist, Nigel Farage, did tone down the racism somewhat recently but after the dog whistle of Rishi Sunak 'not understanding our culture' he pitched up on TV this morning to launch the Reform UK Contract (he doesn't want to use the word Manifesto) so what is he offering?
First up is he will leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as part of a plan he claims would 'stop the boats' because, you know, Human Rights.
Then he wanged on about fighting back against 'divisive woke ideology' and specifically banning 'transgender ideology' in schools and would replace the Equality Act and scrap diversity and equality because who didn't love a time when anyone who wasn't a straight, white man was able to hate on anyone who wasn't.
Then he turned to Climate Change which he said trying to combat was 'pointless' as 'Climate change has happened for millions of years, before man made CO2 emissions, and will always change' therefore showing the same grasp of the Changing Climate as he shows on ducking when someone aims a milkshake at him.  
His final announcement was that he would cut the foreign aid budget by 50% and then he took questions which went well as his claim that half of the migrant visas were for dependents (it's 33% and dependents are not entitled to claim benefits), postal ballot's were open to fraud and it happens in the UK all the time,
(1 convictions for postal electoral fraud in 2019)  and man produces just 3% of the CO2 produced in the world every year (Scientists at Nasa put man made Co2 at 33% of the total in the atmosphere).
The Institute for Fiscal Studies did the sums in the Reform UK’s tax and spending plans and it says they don't just not add up but are out by tens of billions of pounds so better find another fag packet to work out your financial plans Nige because the IFS are saying buy some new batteries for your calculator.
As Farage has failed seven times previously to become a member of Parliament, he must be keeping his fingers crossed that there are enough gullible right wingers around to make it eighth time lucky and no doubt there are some who will lap this nonsense up but hopefully enough people will look at the recent history of great political liars (Johnson, Trump, Netanyahu, Farage, GW Bush, Blair) and the list of worst possible people to hand power to and quickly find out they're the same list.

Sunday 16 June 2024

NOAA Says It's Gonna Get A Bit Blowy

The problems with making a prediction is some smart-arse will come along after the event and mock it if it never happened and that is especially true with anything related to climate change because as we all know, there are some proper ignoramuses who bizarrely refuse to believe that the climate is changing because all that mountain of evidence isn't proof enough for them but then they are probably the sort of people who would need directions to make sure they are sat on the toilet the right way, so what ya gonna do?   
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have stuck their head above the parapet and have predicted that there is an 85% chance that due to favourable conditions for hurricane formation between the coast of Africa to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, there will be 17 to 25 named storms (average 14), with 8 to 13 becoming hurricanes (average 7) and 4 to 7 will become major hurricanes (average 3).
The Hurricane season lasts from 1 June until the end of November and Hurricanes rated category 3 and above on the Saffir-Simpson scale are classified as major and the boffins believe that due to record high sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and La Nina will help storms develop.
The NOAA have a good record in predicting Hurricanes, last year they predicted 14 to 21 storms and there was 20 but before the Climate Change deniers get their knickers in a bunch, Climate Change does not create more Hurricanes, it just takes the ones which are there and ramps them up so it could be a Tropical Depression which gets an extra kick from the warmer seas and develops into a Hurricane or what would have been a Category 2 Hurricane tips into a Category 4.
To go along with more powerful hurricanes, another trend the NOAA has noticed by comparing Worldwide Hurricanes over the last 70 years is that Hurricanes are moving slower so are dumping more rain so increasing flooding because anyone who attended science classes will remember being told, warmer air holds more moisture and Climate Change is doing a great job of warming the air.
Obviously i will be back in December to assess how the predictions have got on but if you are directly in the path of one of the 8-13 Hurricanes or 3 major ones then hold onto something and check in once you have your wifi, house or street back again.

Friday 14 June 2024

The Euro's 2024

This is that time, a few hours before a football has been kicked that the supporters of the 24 European Teams dare to dream, before assorted factors and reality come and kick us in the guts.
In truth the Euro's are hard to win, only 11 sides have won the tournament since it started in 1960 and three of those, the Soviet Union, West Germany and Czechoslovakia, no longer exist but England is still going as a country for now and us fans are basking in a warm glow of optimism before VAR technology, injuries, biased referees and John Stones being picked to play conspire against us.
This summer’s tournament celebrates not just the skill of the players but also life, inclusion and diversity according to the UEFA President in his pre-tournament address to the media which seems a bit deep and meaningful for 22 men kicking a leather ball around but there are some new rules for the competition with
only team captains allowed to speak to referees during games which may be tested in the first five minutes of the opening game when someone boots someone 4 feet in the air and then protests they got the ball first.
Hopefully, what we won't see is the scene of tanked up England fans lobbing plastic street furniture around in a German square followed by the smell of tear gas in the air and England fans being led away to spend the night in a German prison cell and then saying the German police are too strict with them smashing up their cities.
As for England the football team, we do have a good squad and are 4th in the World but that loss to Iceland in our final warm up game was either a dire warning that we are not as good as we think we are or a brilliant tactical move to lull the other teams into thinking we are not as good as they thought we were but whatever, i anticipate us going out when we are drawn to play the first decent team as usual.

The FOAB Manifesto Launch

 
People say we are out of touch with the common man but here at the Falling On A Bruise Blog we know about hardship. Growing up we couldn't afford tea or coffee, we had to suck rainwater out of a piece of damp cloth and we lived in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, half the floor was missing and we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of falling.
We used to have to get up every morning, at six o'clock to go to work down the mill, twenty four hours a day for 17p a week, and when we got home we would eat a handful of cold gravel so we know of your struggles so here is the FOAB manifesto to put the Great back into Britain after what the posh Twats have done to it.

First up is scrap the Nuclear Weapons: We don't need them, they are ridiculously expensive and if we did use them it would be because someone else did so the world would be ended anyway. That's £200 billion saved straight away.
Next is reverse the madness that was Brexit and rejoin the Single Market and Customs Union which is worth an additional £140 billion to the UK Economy.
Then a Windfall tax on banks and utilities making obscene profits which would bring in £20 billion
Not sure what Capital Gains tax is but i am hearing financial experts say by tinkering with it we could bring in an additional £5bn so we will do that.
The Royals are worth hundreds of millions so why are we still shoveling cash towards them? Sorry your Highness but pay for your own bloody upkeep and we will keep the £100m.

So the back of my fag packet shows that is savings of £365 billion so where would we spend it?

The cost of a new hospital is approximately £178 million so to actually build the 40 new hospitals we were promised but never arrived would cost £7.2 billion so grab your toolbags builders.
Next up would be renewable energy and with currently 43% of our power coming from renewable sources, and the Government say to double this would cost £1.8 billion so here's a cheque, go do it and reduce peoples utility bills and stop polluting our planet.
Then Foreign aid which the Conservatives cut to 0.5% (£1 billion) with a promise to raise it once they could which they never did so we won't be putting it back to 0.7% but throwing it up to 1.5% at a cost of £3 billion because if we can spend £60 billion on weapons to take lives, we sure as hell can afford £3 billion to save them.
Finally we will build the 400 schools which we are told are needed at £35m a pop so that's a bill of £14bn.

Of the £365 billion additional income raised, that's a spending of £25 billion leaving an additional £340bn to still spend according to my fag packet so on July 4th vote for me and let's see if we can't make up for the last 14 years of Conservative ideological twatiness.

Disclaimer: The FOAB blog bears no responsibility if you vote them into office and their maths turns out to be very iffy.

Thursday 13 June 2024

A Post About Neuroscience And Brain Bits

A post heavy on Neuroscience isn't that exciting but nor is the mathematical Pederson Index so feel free to click onto the next post because there isn't much i can do to make this a fun read unless reading about political adverts triggering parts of the brain is how you get your kicks in which case, knock yourself out.  
The British electorate, apparently has been more volatile than ever in recent years with the elections of 2015 and 2017 seeing the highest number of voters switching parties in modern history and the Pederson Index is a mathematical equation which measures the change within the electoral party system resulting from individual vote transfers. See, wish you had moved onto the post about Metal and Punk bands now aren't you, i did warn you.
In late 1960s Britain, the Pedersen index stood at just over 10%, now it is 40% which all means a large number of voters are not sticking with the same party but switching it around and there is a debate over whether this is due to Social Media and politicians reaching out to voters with their message and the influence it has on the brain, or the part of the brain, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, that responds to fear and emotion.
Science has found that voters are more susceptible to messages that stress the negative rather then the positive as Evolution has conditioned us to be driven by fear when we are under threat.
The right wing politicians tend to delve into the negative more than the left hence Rishi Sunak's warning about the world being 'more dangerous than ever' and the nuclear deterrent but the bad news for the Conservatives is that voters tend to view the economy as their bellweather and voters change their minds based on economic performance and once a government has been associated with economic ills such as Liz Truss's car crash of a budget, they get blamed even if the economy is in recovery.
Obviously good news for Labour even if not for the Conservatives but it shows that despite all of Sunak's promised tax cuts and higher spending, the polls haven't shifted at all and they are on course for a tanking of Biblical proportions and serves them right.