Sunday, 29 November 2015

The press vs society?

Sourced from google.

The printed press is as popular as ever plus with their reach online we should never underestimate the power of the press, yet with that power too many newspapers are using it to spread fear using lies and extensions of the truth. They have a duty to serve and protect this country but yet all they do is spread animosity, yes current situations causing great pressure amongst the profession of journalism and of course truth is very important, however surely creating fear and anger just to sell is counter-productive in the long term for themselves?

April 27th 1961, JFK spoke to the press and he talked about “common responsibilities in the face of a common danger”, of course at the time he was talking about the cold war and the enemy has changed except the sentiments surely have not changed? The press must take responsibility in what it publishes and certain newspapers use the platform to publish stories, that create more danger and hate within our own country and they use their platform to attack politicians on their beliefs, not their actions. Every editor and publisher should re-examine their own standards because the reasons why they became journalists in the first place, have surely been replaced with bitterness and anger towards the world as they have gotten older.

There is a clear and present danger that the press have too much control and power over the thought process of the citizens of this country, there are too many that rely too heavily on what is printed in the newspapers, even though a lot of people claim that they don’t like newspapers because all the print is bad news. Yet they read them and assimilate the bitterness as well as anger that emanates from the writing of certain journalists and newspapers, which is why newspapers bare a heavy burden to print the truth and don’t mask the mistakes that are made by the government and people alike. With this sentiment they absolutely must also take responsibility to not print ‘facts’ and create a sentiment of hate amongst the citizens of this country, this is exactly what the common enemy is trying to do.

“It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.”

– John F. Kennedy, President and the Press Speech, April 27th, 1961

There are many parallels with then and now, many similar circumstances we find ourselves in where we seem to ignore history and create these vengeful ideas that we assume will be the correct course of action without truly considering the consequences, with help of the press these dangerous ideas are passed onto the next generation and the sentiments of what he says are true today as they were then, the press and the media must make a change of outlook and tactics to help create a more peaceful society for everyone to live in, not just those lucky few with a lot of money.

Our way of life is not the only one at risk within this world, there are many nations and states across the world that want peace, but much like ourselves we listen to the press who print hate filled stories with a complete disregard to the truth, so that they can make more money. War is one of the most effective business and money making tools around the world, it has nothing to do with peace and prosperity for a global society.

“To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support--to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective--to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak--and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.”

 – John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20th, 1961.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A country called hypocrisy: Rose tinted glasses

The moral high ground is just the bodies of innocent lives
that have had to bare the brunt of our hypocrisy.

British history, it is a tale of grandeur and success throughout the ages where we stood tall, morally, economically with impeccable military standards, or is it? Because of the refugee crisis there is this constant reminder of how we helped so many during the two world wars, however how much of British history before, during, and after the wars have we distorted so that it fits our own ideology of greatness. We look down on the morally bankrupt treatment of people by ISIS and the war mongering hate they fill this world with, without looking at our own VERY chequered history.

Throughout history despite all the good we have done there has been a lot of bad moments, terrible moments, unfortunately the way history is taught isn’t with facts but with this revere of British figures. Winston Churchill for example a fantastic war time leader and great strategist but his years in office after the wartime efforts, not so much as he was PM when we decided that a democratically elected leader in Iran was a bad idea, and that it would be right to strengthen the monarchy within the state. Not to take away anything he did during the war because at that time it was that kind of leader that we needed, nonetheless on a whole we look at our own history with rose tinted glasses which is wrong because a lot of problems we face now, if we traced the origins then it would probably lead to something we had done in the past.

Let’s take our involvement in India and how we took a perfectly thriving country attempted to modernise it or when I say modernise, I mean turn it into what we know as ordinary life, without taking into account their culture and beliefs. The partition of India into three countries (The Independent, 2015)[i]: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the relations between these three countries have been fraught since, it displaced 15 million people and killed 1 million. The Bengal famine (The Independent, 2015) was one of the worst famines in history and we oversaw this, it was likened to genocide and it was our friend Winston Churchill’s policies that were largely to blame, 70,000 tonnes of rice left the sub-continent between January and July of 1943 and he had the kindness to say “I hate Indians. They are beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits”.

The Amritsar massacre (The Independent, 2015) is a moment that doesn’t fill me with tears of national pride more a long sigh, the year was 1919 thousands of peaceful protesters demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar. What do we do, talk to them and maybe find out what they want? No, we send troops led by General Dyer back them against a wall and open fire on them indiscriminately, then we thank him for his good work and duties by raising £26,000 for him and laud him as a hero, still think we are so great? One more for India, our seizure of Delhi in 1857 was horrific because not only did we kill sepoy troops but indiscriminately kill civilians, apparently one young officer was recorded saying “ we were ordered to shoot every soul….it was literally murder”.
There are many more examples that I could go into like our treatment of Germany after the First World War and how we exploited them with the treaty of Versailles. What is interesting (and worrying) is we continue to teach kids that these heroes have been great, because they have done bad things in the world however it is British  so it must be fine, except when someone else comes along and causes some kind of brutality we shudder in disgust at their actions. We set the tone for the rest of the world to follow and now we wonder why there is so much bad in this world and why we can’t fix it, surely this is a time we must learn from the past not glorify those atroc

[i] Singh A. (2015), ‘Think India should be grateful for colonialism? Here are five reasons why you’re unbelievably ignorant’ in The Independent, 2015, London, (26th Nov)

Monday, 23 November 2015

An emerging 'coo' d'etat

Our streets are not safe from the ever closing threat to our national security, recently at Gare du Nord in Paris all was well, until a security alert. A pigeon had become a ‘martyr’ or attempted at least, thankfully no-one was hurt but these things are clever by using the electric systems of the station, and no one is sure how he got past security? We must step up surveillance on these flying rats!

The Columba livia or commonly known as the pigeon are an estimated 10-15 million in Europe, our country is already overflowing we cannot allow more in perhaps a better vetting system should be adopted, you know like those great powers Australia. Although a better vetting process is needed and it is good letting a few in, let me suggest shutting our borders to these pests and stepping up surveillance on the general public, that’ll prevent any atrocities happening on our soil.

Did you know 1 in 5 British pigeons show sympathy for this attempted attack, I interviewed one pigeon that said “coo coo”. There we have it proof that all pigeons are terrorists, plus I have yet to see any pigeon leaders come out and condemn this attack on our way of life, we see it every day in London when they have their lunch time congregation at Trafalgar Square, we need to step up our security at Trafalgar Square or get rid of it all together.

They meet their and hassle ordinary citizens when eating their lunch and also congregate in one area, I see them plotting and their leaders standing above the others on the statues that we, yes the mighty British built, using their considerable influence to incite hate on our way of life. This abhorrent behaviour must be stopped and it is clear to me that we must segregate these things from our society, fuel a hate-filled agenda then wipe them all out because what is important is our freedom not theirs.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Parliament week in bournemouth

Bournemouth Town Hall

Parliament week was in Bournemouth on Friday which saw a debate with students from schools in the area, that were Bournemouth School, Bournemouth School for Girls, St Peters, Winton and Glenmoor schools, Bournemouth Collegiate School, The Bourne Academy. Their opposition was a host of local politicians - Julie Girling, MEP for SW England and Gibraltar, Annette Brooke, MP for North Poole & Mid Dorset, Tobias Ellwood, MP Bournemouth East, Cllr Jane Kelly , Vikki Slade, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Poole and Mid Dorset and Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West. Hosted by the town hall and was chaired by Bournemouth’s mayor, Cllr Chris Mayne.

I had the pleasure of being able to get a place to watch the debate unfold, which was very fascinating as I was able to see possible politicians, journalists etc. of the future and those who will shape the country one day. It started off with debate about issues that will one day affect them and done under the guise of an ‘imaginary’ council, they were a possible raise in council tax and cuts to vital front line services. I was surprised by the amount of knowledge these school kids knew despite being very young, they showed that they knew how to research and create a point so that they could argue their case. Obviously being children still and up against seasoned professionals there were some nerves that you could tell, but as soon as they got in their flow of thought and debate they held themselves very well.

The second debate was about something more pressing that we see every day and that is whether the government is doing enough to help refugees, when asked who would like to go first the room fell silent and after a minute or so the mayor quipped “well don’t everyone jump at once”. Luckily there was one brave soul who stood up in front of everybody who tried to claim that the current government were doing enough, this was Tobias Ellwood himself, afterwards it stirred something up in the students which was wonderful and they were able to stand with confidence and plenty of information to argue their points brilliantly. There were claims after that the topic was too emotive however that’s what politics is, politics decides how our lives could be and is incredibly emotive because the decisions of a few people can affect millions of lives.

What was more pleasing to me is that when there was a vote on the statement “the government is doing enough for refugees” the majority voted against, which shows that the younger generation are currently growing up in a good way and that this should be nurtured. Parliament week in Bournemouth was a huge success, the students were able to learn from speaking in public and to debate with such passion about one subject, that they don’t fully understand at the moment and another that is incredibly emotive, that in turn creates a movement for the students who want to choose the ethical option and create this better world for everyone.

There were a few other things that I picked up on and it gave me ideas to write about in future articles, however I think we can chalk this one as a success and hope more debates like this happen in the future. Perhaps even give the voting public a proper chance to vote on what happens to their local areas, because those who we voted to represent us don’t ask us what we want for our area they just see an idea and rush it through before anyone notices. They do put it in the ‘public’ domain so that we can vote for or against it, except it is so hard to find that it takes a lot of time and effort that other people don’t have. This debate has opened up an opportunity for us as adults to learn from, not just the children because we are currently the ones who have the effect on their future and we must do right by them.

A few useful links:

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The world is not all doom and gloom: The simplicity of life sheds light on the world

Photo in question, shared by LyssaP
As we all continue to see the aftermath of the attacks that have shocked the world, you could be forgiven in thinking that the good in this world died with them. I will conjecture an objection to this sentiment, good still exists but you have to look for it and with the media pounding us continuously, again you could be forgiven in thinking that it doesn’t exist.  To look past what is put in front of us is difficult especially when something so tragic has happened, that need and want to be able to find out what has happened and perhaps see some justice dealt to those who deserve it, understandably is a need and want for so many.

I woke up today to more airstrikes on ISIS and France still in heavy mourning, and uncertainty over what actions should be taken plus the weather his dull and absolutely p***ing it down. I could easily be forgiven in being fairly miserable however I am not and I shall enlighten you how, the world is not all doom and gloom, there is plenty of good around and I have personally no reason to be miserable which is part of the reason. Simple acts of kindness within our society are the source of a feel good factor that can make a dreary day/week/month/year seem that significantly better, and it’s the little things in life which you need to come to enjoy, the stuff that seems unimportant is usually more important than anything to ensuring you live a happy life.

The story of an old man helping a young smartly dressed commuter (The Mirror, 2015)[i] was shared on the internet through a picture that amassed 1.7 million views. Our story starts with a young man sitting on a bench at Atlanta subway station struggling with his tie, when a lady in a red coat notices but doesn’t ignore him or judge him, instead she politely goes up to him and asks him:

“Do you know how to tie it properly?”

To which the young man replied “no ma’am”

She taps her husband and tells him to help by teaching the young man how to tie a tie, he goes round to the other side and she then stands to block the view of other commuters, so the young man doesn’t feel embarrassed, the old man shows him how to do it with a step-by-step tutorial then watches the young man repeat those steps back to him. A small good deed that sheds some light on humanity where an older couple saw a young man struggling, without any hesitation they stepped in and helped.

Many have condemned LyssaP, who tweeted the picture, for making the efforts to hide any possible embarrassment that the young man may have felt, nonetheless she has defended her actions, as reported in The Mirror, by saying:

“I just wanted, others to smile about something that has made my day. All this bad in the world and I share something good.”

I agree completely with her for sharing it, there is so much good in this world but you just have to want to see it, if you don’t see any good in this world then it is you who has a problem because those who only see the bad, that is all they will ever see. Live more positively and live with in mind that this world is full of good, no matter how small it is, it exists and if you truly want to believe it you will see it.

Bad things make headlines because it sells plus the idea that everything is broken and needs fixing lures people, however the only thing that is broken is the way everything is reported. Good news should be the main headline of the day and bad news should only be reported because the public need to know, and when bad things are reported the writer should focus on the good within the story, don’t exaggerate to scare people in thinking the worst, as there is too much good in this world to be ignored.

[i] Livesey J. (2015), ‘The story behind this picture is warming hearts and restoring faith in humanity across the world’ in The Mirror 2015, London, (17th Nov)

Monday, 16 November 2015

A country called hypocrisy: Out of sight, out of mind...

Taken from google

Details will slowly emerge from France, about the identities of the attackers and exactly where they came from, the public will continually find someone to blame. What astounds me, is the level of support given to France, yes, it is wonderful show of unity however it is as if you support your neighbour when a nasty person eggs their house, when this person has been doing it along the street over, but because it is now closer to your home, this is the time to feel outrage and anger. Not only does this anger blind you, it forces you to blame everyone on the street where it was happening and had decided to take refuge, in a few people’s homes on your street because of fear of a more violent attack.

That is a scaled down version of what is happening right now, our anger is just but misguided, our solidarity is just but misguided, everything we feel right now is just but misguided. The constant quotes from Enoch Powell is ridiculous, he was an extremely bigoted man where there were whispers of indiscretions with minors (though currently unfounded but probably true). Nonetheless what we feel, that anger and pain is just, and we must take that pain then hold it tight and use it as catalyst, to create good in this world.

What I talk about is not to go and blindly attack them that is what created them in the first place, we must solve the problem with little to no violence. A day before Beirut was attacked and 100s were killed however the western world saw very little coverage of it, this is the hypocrisy I am talking about whilst our lives continued onwards with no disturbances, others were losing theirs and we claim to hold a moral high ground over others. Only when a neighbour is hit do we begin our outrage again, which is just but horribly misguided and the constant blame on the Muslim religion as a whole is ridiculous.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, 0.0003% make up ISIS and their support, to say that an entire religion, that promotes peace, is responsible is using it as an excuse to justify their fear and hate mongering, bigoted views. Not only that, 2% of terror attacks are committed in the name of Islam, the wars abroad have helped to create this distortion between fact and fiction that is usually gleefully written in right wing newspapers. The people who are fleeing the region because they could die are called terrorists by us, ISIS declare that they are going to use the refugee crisis to flood Europe with jihadists, and then a passport was found near (not on) the remains of one of the bombers at the Stade De France.

If this was a home based security issue we would be calling it out as fake, that it was planted but because they are Muslims and painted as these evil doers, we take it as face value which is wrong, we decided that they are all terrorists and now details emerge (The Independent, 2015)[i] that it is a strong possibility that the bomber, from which the passport was found near, may not have been a refugee at all. This fact will not deter the bigots from claiming otherwise and because it does not fit with their ideals, they will also probably ignore it or call it a left wing conspiracy even though apparently, right wing views can never be classified as conspiracy even though they are usually crazier than the actual facts.
In conclusion, we are a very hypocritical country, this has been happening elsewhere for years and we do nothing and call an entire religion terrorists, only when it is near us do we even consider that something must be done. They want to use the fear and confusion to plant the idea that these bombers were refugees, so that we distrust them even more, which creates more panic and confusion until the next attack comes. We must slow down and think, do not make rash decisions based on hearsay and ‘apparent’ evidence, we must look closer at the evidence then think to ourselves “what do they want us to do?” We hold a responsibility to help but to help in the correct manner, rash actions always lead to even more disaster and we must not help create the next generation of cruel people.

[i] Lichfield J. (2015) ‘Paris attacks: Ahmed Almuhamed’s passport may have been planted by terrorists’, in The Independent London,

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A country called hypocrisy: Not so 'Great' Britain

Hypocrisy, is the name of the game and how we are very talented at displaying boat loads of it. Just like those boat loads of refugees, that as a society we are very quick in denying a refuge, because according to the far-right rhetoric and propaganda, they are all terrorists. The hypocrisy displayed by most of the country was shocking, and I bet most people don’t even realise they were being hypocritical.

What I am talking about is the Paris attacks that this morning rocked the world, the shocking nature of the attack proves the cruelty that can be cast upon this world, by those few who mean harm to the many innocents that were caught up (purposely) in their attacks. We must unite and stand against them in a way where we can stop atrocities like this, however we cannot allow fear to create a prejudice view of a religion that promotes peace. The warmongers who hide behind the face of something peaceful are cruel people, who just want cruelty to beget cruelty, without thinking “where will this stop, if we win?” The answer is simple, it won’t stop and a new kind of cruel will just be born from their personal ideologies and oppression of a society.

Those few who read this will probably be asking, where is this hypocrisy? I see it everywhere on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. The support for France is overwhelming and a wonderful testament to how, as a society, we can unite together but where was this united front when we heard about people fleeing their countries from these same terrible people? By all means I am not suggesting military action and I don’t know what to suggest, however what I do know is that by essentially ignoring the issue and spouting anti-Islam rhetoric, and the Tory machine being unable to conjure up any kind of response, has perhaps forced the hands of these people.

The things they were doing in those countries that forced millions of refugees to flee their country, has now hit a country that is close to us and now the sudden realisation that it is real has finally hit so many, who had previously said rhetoric crap like “why don’t they go back and do something about it in their country” etc. The worst possible outcome of this, is them winning by creating the fear that they want from us and we must perhaps learn to maybe not forgive, but forget and talk to them.
I don’t know what to do now and maybe the solution hasn’t changed, nonetheless because it has hit somewhere that is close to our country, which now has created a vacuum of violence that we may get sucked in to, many will now call on military action. Where was this determination when it was affecting millions of people before? Where was this compassion towards others, that too many denied, when it wasn’t near our shores? Yes there have been a vast amount of people who have been trying to help, but all too many spouting anti-religious rubbish to further themselves in the political spectrum, to get cheap claps, and play on the fears of the public.

Out of sight, out of mind, this is a dangerous mind-set that too many seem to employ within their lives. If it doesn’t affect them personally then it must not be happening, but unfortunately it is and because of a lack of any action, it is getting closer to us. We should’ve done something before and not just to save our own selfish country, but to help others, much like the support we are giving to France now that should’ve existed long before it hit them. I will not be changing my profile pic or whatever to a French flag or the sort, as this is a global issue that existed long before these attacks. This sense of “I am doing good because I change a picture” or whatever is also why I won’t, real good is done by true action, however now this ‘good’ has been done you can go back to your lives, and sleep soundly.

My condolences goes out to all those have been unfortunately affected closely by these incidents. I want to do more, although I have no idea how and will have to find some way but it is difficult, so I can understand that people don’t. All I ask is for everyone to consider that this has been going on for a long time, and remember the next time something terrible happens in a country where it forces millions or even just thousands to flee their homes, that it is real and we cannot turn a blind eye and let fear control us. We have a duty as a society that is capable of helping to help those who are suffering, and when you turn in for the night or continue life as normal, just think that these atrocities are still affecting many people out there, so don’t whinge about a small delay in your life, be thankful you still have a life.