Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Dutch are great right?  It’s like a paradise country.  It’s flat, there’s plenty of water, it’s one of the cleanest countries in the world.  Us Dutchies lie on beds of tulips in the shade of our windmills, eating nothing but cheese when we get the munchies of the readily available weed.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Except that’s not the case.  At all.  So stop booking your trips to Amsterdam (not in the least because there’s a heck of a lot more to Holland than Amsterdam) and look around you a bit first.

The Dutch Government

We, as Dutch people, are known for our tolerance right?  We have this super multicultural society where everybody is welcome whenever they want right?  Other countries look at us and how we do things, because we have almost no racism.  That’s right, isn’t it?  No it’s not.  Not at all, in fact.  You wouldn’t believe how many people voted for Wilders in the last election, Wilders being a right winged idiot who will give the leaders of the BNP and the EDL put together a huge run for their money.  He wasn’t actually elected, but the idiot had so many votes that he became some sort of advisor to the cabinet.  And when he didn’t agree with something crucial, the cabinet had to be dissolved.  Elections have only just been held again, I’m scared to look at the results.

This all started about a decade or so ago, when Pim Fortuyn suddenly reared his ugly head.  Interestingly, I once had a seminar by Pim Fortuyn, a seminar on Marxist Sociology.  Imagine my surprise when his main message was, in very simple terms (and that’s how he put them): All foreigners OUT.  Pim Fortuyn was murdered by an animal extremist, but his party continued to grow in popularity.

So no, Holland is not tolerant.

Pass the Dutchie

The other great thing about the Dutch is the free access to drugs right?  Wrong.  You now have to apply for a “weed pass”.  You can only apply for these from the council in which you live.  With your pass, you can only buy weed in the town for which you got the pass.  So me, a Dutch person, cannot buy weed in my own country anymore because I don’t live there.  I am now, when I visit my own country, a drugs tourist.  Back to the tolerance again, I guess…

My Own Little Gripe

Some years ago, I moved to the UK because my husband is from here.  When my passport ran out, I found out that I have to go through a hugely complicated process just to reapply for a Dutch passport.  Not a problem, I thought.  Since I am married to a Brit, I’ll just apply for dual nationality.  I contacted the British government and they said that wouldn’t be a problem at all and that I should contact the Dutch authorities to set the ball in motion.  Surprise, surprise, the Dutch don’t allow it.  Once you’re Dutch, you’re Dutch for life.  So, the only way I can get an English passport is if I officially denounce the Dutch nationality and apply for full British nationality.  That entire process would cost me somewhere near £3,000.  And my son, who is half Dutch, half English, will be allowed dual nationality until he is 18.  On his 18th birthday, he will have to choose.  The British would be happy for him to have two passports, but not the Dutch.  He either chooses fully for his half cultural heritage, or he doesn’t get it at all.  Again with the tolerance.

So next time you praise the Dutch for all their wonderfulness, think again.


I, personally, am sick to death of the coalition government, even more so now that the conservatives are going to be making more cuts to tax the poor and benefit the rich.  So, I have written to my local MP to ask him to put in a vote of no confidence.  I would like to ask anybody in the UK that also has some serious issues with the coalition government to do the same.  You can find your MP and enter the email I sent (change your name, obviously) by going to this website.  I will keep you up to date in terms of responses, please do the same!

Dear Alex Cunningham,

I would like to enter an official vote of no confidence in the current coalition government. I have various reasons for this, including but not limited to the fact that no citizen of the UK has voted for a coalition government and the fact that, once again, the divide between rich and poor is being made bigger, particularly by taxing the poor and giving tax breaks to the rich. I feel I don’t need to explain this to you as you have always seemed to fight the corner of the working man.

My initial idea was to enter an online e petition through the government’s official website. I was very interested to see that when searching for “no confidence” (or “no confidence in current/coalition government”), a range of petitions are shown. None of these, however, show that the British public have no confidence in the government that represents them, but rather look at specific issues. Interestingly, approximately 8,200 petitions that request specifically a vote of no confidence in the current government have been rejected on the basis that this petition is already running. Either the powers that be that run the website don’t actually read the petitions, or the government is putting obstacles in the way of democratic voicing.

I would appreciate it if you could either tell me how to enter a vote of no confidence through the official channels, or if you could enter this vote on behalf of what I am sure is a good 99.9% of the residents of Billingham.

Yours sincerely,

Have fun and let me know what happens and I will do the same!

If you are not in the United Kingdom, you may not have heard about this, but one week ago, a five year old girl, April Jones, disappeared from her village in Wales.  A man, Mark Bridger, has been arrested and charged with her abduction and murder.  No body has yet been found, and people remain hopeful that April will be found alive and well.  A message was placed on the 10 Downing Street Facebook page asking that the death penalty would be reinstated for Mark Bridger.  I am personally against the death penalty (unless it is in relation to beheading royals, obviously), but I understand this is an on-going debate that people will probably never agree on.  I will lay out why I am against the death penalty, just to start a debate.  But what I really want to talk about is how horrified I am by the barbaric nature of many people, who have commented on the post on 10 Downing Street.  I am, personally, shocked.

Why I Am Against the Death Penalty

First of all, I strongly believe in human rights.  And I think the most basic of all human rights is the right to live.  Taking someone’s life is hideous and horrible, but that does not mean you have lost your own human rights.  Bear in mind, as well, that Mark Bridger is innocent until proven guilty.  Personally, I think it’s a shocking state of affairs that this man has been named and shamed publicly.  What if he didn’t do it?  And it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened in the UK.  A few years back, a man was wrongly accused of murdering a number of prostitutes.  He didn’t do it, but he was named and shamed in the media and will never live this down.

But here are some statistics on the death penalty, which make it even more important for me that this horrific type of punishment is never brought back to this country, and why I think it should be removed from any other country:

  • Since 1992, 15 death row inmates have been fully exonerated in the United States.  This means they were waiting to die for a crime they didn’t commit but had a very lucky escape.
  • In the United Kingdom, three exonerations and one pardon have been granted to people who were executed between 1950 and 1953.  Posthumously, obviously.
  • Some specific examples of people wrongfully executed in the United States include Johnny Frank Garrett, Wayne Felker, Thomas and Meeks Griffin, Chipita Rodriguez and Carlos DeLuna.
  • Statistics show that 3% of executions in the United States are botched, meaning that three out of every 100 people executed should not have been.
  • In the United Kingdom, specific examples of people wrongfully executed include Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley.

There are many more examples from cases around the world and these are just examples of cases that were reinvestigated.  What does that tell you?  The chances of killing an innocent man or woman are just too big, in my eyes.

Not just that, every person sentenced to death is still someone’s relative, someone’s child, perhaps husband or wife, someone’s father or mother, someone’s friend.  Why destroy their lives even more in the process?  What do you gain by executing somebody?  After all, the perpetrator will simply be dead, nothing else.  Remember my favourite saying: an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

Despicable Words from the British Public

It seems that in the UK at least, there are plenty of people that don’t agree with me.  They are aggressive and violent and some of the things they say are completely inhumane.  In my eyes, that makes them no better than Mark Bridger, and I must reiterate once again that the man has not been convicted of anything yet.  Here are a few quotes from people that have commented on the letter to David Cameron, requesting a reinstatement of the death penalty:

Death would be to easy for cunts lyk this torture the fucker – three “likes”

This man needs more than hung or tied in a chair!! He need’s tying to a bed, tortured for days on end, when his body packs in and he is close to his end he then needs skinning and fed to aload of pigs! Evil, discusting, filthy worthless piece of shit!! I’d spit on his grave!! – two “likes”

Put an old tyre around his neck, fill it with petrol, light. Job done. – two “likes”

A bullet costs 30p. – six “likes”

jus put him or anyother inbreeded freak of nature in a hole jus leavin his ed above ground and cut his eye lids off n leave him, naa throw a rock a day till its stop breathin slowly but surly kil the cunt… – three “likes”

May he die a slow painful death u evil bastard if u molested her may ur penis be cut off in to tiny pieces n u be fed them u p***k – two “likes”

My Response

One thing I noticed is the incredibly high standard of literacy in these comments…  Anyway, here’s what I wrote and the conversation that followed.

I’m really saddened by some of the things that have been written on here. Read back and look at what some of you guys have said. It is barbaric and despicable. You are talking about gruesomly murdering another human being, someone who hasn’t been convicted of any crime yet. He is someone’s son, someone’s father and someone’s friend. And not just that, how are your opinions making anything better? Do you really think April’s parents are reading this and thinking their daughter will probably never come home but that’s ok because a bunch of random people want to have him hung drawn and quartered? I am honestly shocked at the brutality and evilness that is so clearly within some of you. Shame on you.


Jolande Mace… April was somone’s daughter, friend & loved 1… That arsehole took her from them.. He deserves all he gets you fucking muppet!!

Jolsnde mace fuck off its evil what he’s done

To which I said:

I never said April’s life isn’t valued. She is just as much someone’s daughter and friend. What I am saying is that even her killer – whoever it may be and if she is dead – is a human being too. The acts described in here as punishment for him are inhumane. No matter what someone has done, they are still human. Imagine for a minute that the bloke is your son or father, maybe then you’ll understand what I’m saying. His behavior, if he did it, is inexcusable. That means there is never any excuse for that kind of behavior. Ergo, doing it back to him is still inexcusable.

“fuck off” really? Is that how you always conduct yourself in a debate? Perhaps expanding your vocabulary slightly will give you a bit more credibility. The guy is innocent until proven guilty. Even if he is guilty, murdering him will not change anything. You will only destroy more families.

I’m very happy to say that my comment got 19 “likes”.  Hopefully this does say something about the general opinion of the British public.

What are your views?

Jimmy Savile – Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile – was born in 1926 and died in 2011.  He was an English DJ, presented television shows and was basically a huge personality in the media industry.  He presented Jim’ll Fix It as well as Top of the Pops.   He supported a huge range of charities and was known to all as a philanthropist.  He was knighted for these efforts and received an OBE and a KCSG.  He volunteered for his charities at Leeds General Infirmary, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Broadmoor Hospital.  Sounds like a nice enough guy right?  That is, until you hear about the allegations of sexual abuse.

Allegations of Sexual Abuse against Jimmy Savile

Scotland Yard has started an investigation into Jimmy Savile amidst allegations that he has sexually abused over 40 victims, including a man.  Dozens of people have contacted police forces across the country to talk about their own experiences.  The male alleges to have been molested by Jimmy Savile when he was just 12 years old.  A nurse has also claimed that she has seen Jimmy Savile abuse a hospital patient who was recovering from brain surgery.  She was in hospital herself, not on duty as a nurse.  Savile was volunteering here.  Another woman claims to have been molested by Savile as she lay on an operating trolley in the same hospital.

It is said that the molestations and abuses were committed between 1950 and 1990.

There are even some audio recordings during which Savile is behaving inappropriately with a young girl.

Pressure on the BBC

There is significant pressure on the BBC amidst claims that they knew Savile was being accused.  In fact, a new Leveson enquiry will hopefully take place into this claim.  The recording mentioned above is being questioned at the minute. Someone made and kept that recording and it isn’t clear whether or not it was ever broadcasted.  The Met Office’s child abuse team will now work with the BBC to find out the truth behind all of this.  Some of the allegations made against Savile come from women who said they happened on the premises of the BBC themselves.

The BBC, naturally, is denying that any of their senior figures were aware of Savile’s activities and would never turn a blind eye to this sort of behaviour.  For many, however, it is incomprehensible that allegations of this nature have only been reviewed internally by the BBC.

It has now been uncovered that allegations against Savile came out in 2007 and he was then investigated by Surrey Police.  This took place in 2007 and the allegations were said to have taken place in the 1970s.  Surely, the BBC knew about that one?  In fact, Savile himself bragged to his friends that he was “untouchable”.   Other broadcasters, including Paul Gambaccini, said he has seen this coming a long time ago and everybody knew that Savile had a penchant for young girls.  A driver who worked for the BBC has stated that people were getting fired from their BBC jobs if they made any statements about Savile.

Why the Powerful Can Get Away with Abuse

So how come none of these victims came forward sooner?  The alleged male victim claimed that he would not be believed and that it could damage his career as a school teacher.  In fact, when he told his family about what had happened, even they did not believe him, trusting instead the good work Savile has done over many years.

Another reason as to why someone as powerful as Jimmy Savile can get away with this is that he hides where you least expect him: in plain sight.  He behaves in such a way that there is no chance anyone would ever believe he was a paedophile, by being a philanthropist.  For many of us, someone who does so much for charity cannot do something as wrong as abuse children.  A certainly not someone who does their charitable work publically.  We are conditioned to think that they wouldn’t dare, that they wouldn’t jeopardise their career like that.  But we are wrong to think that.

Worst of all, it isn’t just the horrific idea that someone who seemed as “nice” as Jimmy Savile could potentially be an absolute monster.  One of the problems is that it is highly conceivable that people in the right places (the BBC) knew about it and let him carry on.  It was more important to keep someone like Savile in the public light than to admit they were shooting a paedophile straight to fame.

How often do we hear this story though?  Whether it is politicians, people within the clergy or any other figure of authority or power, the same thing gets said time and time again by the victims: I didn’t say anything because I thought no one would believe me because of the position the perpetrator was in.  If we are to change anything for the better, shouldn’t we change that mind set at least?

The Problem with ATOS

Posted: October 4, 2012 in anarchy, controversy, politics

You may have heard of ATOS, they have been in the news quite often lately.  But who exactly are they?  What do they do?  And why does it seem like so many people have such a huge problem with them?  Let’s start by being honest and showing you who ATOS say they are.  Then, let’s take a look at why this company is the scum of the earth and what you can do to tell them that their business is not ok.

Who Are ATOS?

ATOS was one of the main sponsors of the Olympic Games.  Together with other ever so sporty sponsors, like MacDonald’s, Coca Cola and Visa…  ATOS is a company that focuses on IT services.  They generate 8.5 billion Euros per year and employ 74,000 people in 48 countries.  So yeah, they are everywhere.  What they do is deliver all sorts of IT consultancy services in all sorts of different industries.  They basically say that their IT systems are almost full proof and that they can deal with any type of project.  Ok, doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  Everybody needs IT and if they are providing a fantastic service, then what’s the big deal?

The Big ATOS Deal

Take a wild guess at what sort of contract ATOS has been awarded in the UK?  Obviously, the government wants to cut their budget and they think the way to do this is to overhaul the benefit system.  Because, obviously, the real money is in benefits and not in tax dodgers and millionaires in this country.  ATOS has been awarded a contract of £100 million per year (yes, when the government is making “savings”) and their role is conduct interviews with people who claim disability benefits.  They have designed a system that will test whether or not they are actually fit for work.  That is the problem with Atos.  And it isn’t just disabled people who are worried about seeing their benefits cut who have a problem with this.  MPS has voiced their opposition, as has the British Medical Association.  They have both called for an immediate halt to Atos’ system.  The system was also reviewed by Dispatches, who showed that staff using the system were put under pressure to declare people fit to work.

This is wrong for so many reason that I don’t even have the space to write it all down here.  But here are some facts for you: a number of people have now died due to their disabilities, who were declared fit and healthy by the Atos program.  Oh and in terms of saving money, the statistics show that only 0.5% of disability claims are fraudulent, but the government aims to save 20% on their welfare bill.  This means 19.5% of disabled people (who actually are disabled) will be forced into work when they are actually incapable to do so.

What Has Been Done?

There have been many anti-ATOS protests recently and they are set to continue.  A big focus came on ATOS during the Olympics, when UK Uncut organised demonstrations all across the country.  Also, a coffin filled with messaged from people who have fallen victim to Atos’ program has been delivered to their Head Quarters in London.  In Cardiff, a mass die-in was staged, Armchair Olympics have been organised and the ATOS Sheffield centre found itself stormed.  Also, protestors were able to jam ATOS’ phone and email lines for a whole day.

All I can say is keep your eye out for further ATOS protests and join in where you can.  Every little helps as they say right!  By the way, you too can email ATOS to annoy them a bit, mainly on  Have fun!

Have you ever wondered whether there is anything you can do to change the world?  The answer to that is that yes, you can.  In fact, too many people right now sit on their sofas and do nothing but complain about today’s world.  They complain about the economy, they complain about the government, they complain about their lives.  But they do nothing about it.  These people, really, have no right to speak.  Tell them that they can make a change and they will say no one will ever listen to them anyway.  They are just one person, so what difference can they make?  In fact, they – and you – can do a lot!

Using Social Media

One great way to get any message that you want to convey across is to use social media.  Facebook is a fantastic medium to reach a really wide audience. There are loads of pages and groups you can join where you can get inspiration.  Not just that, you are instantly not alone.  A word of warning: you will find out who your friends really are.  Many will say that they grow tired of your ideologies, hide your picture feed (at best) or remove you from their friends list (at worst).  If that is the case, don’t change what you are doing.  Be happy for the fact that you got to know that some people find it more important to tell the world what they had for breakfast and that you no longer need to associate with them.

Sign and Create Petitions

There are lots of online petition websites.  You can go here to sign petitions for causes that you agree with and know that they will be sent to the right people.  Sign up to their newsletters, so you receive an email when a new petition is made available or when action is taken on the basis of a petition that you have signed.  There are also a number of websites where you can start your own petitions, the UK Government’s e-petitions website being a good example of this.  These petitions are all viewed and although action may not be taken, your message will at the very least be heard.

Change the World by Focussing on the Nice Things

You can change the world by telling everybody what you think about the economy and the government.  However, rather than fighting the bad, you can also support the good.  The book 365 ways to change the world, for instance, will show you a day by day idea that you can do to change the world.  Most of these ideas are free, which is great as well.  The ideas are about raising awareness about the goodness that is out there and you can contribute to that.

So, at the risk of sounding like a horrible politician myself: change starts at home.  You, as an individual, can change the world.  You can do things that make a difference and your views can be heard.  I would love to hear ideas you have about how to make the world a better place, please share!

I hear you laughing!  Don’t all politicians lie?  Well yes, they do.  Some, however, are little white lies (also not ok by the way), but others are serious and really bad lies.  Like Nick Clegg saying they wouldn’t raise tuition fees.  Big, fat, ugly, horrible lie.  But he’s apologised, so let’s cut the guy some slack.  The problem is, all of us lie.  If you would stand up right now and say you only tell the truth, you would be lying.  But you don’t, as an individual, represent a country and all its people.  You are not a politician (if you are, can I just ask straight away “what the hell were you thinking?!”), so it’s ok.  Nobody cares about what you do in your personal life, except the people it directly affects.  Politicians, however, make decisions that affect all of us.  No matter how big of an anarchist you are, you will still be affected by governmental decisions and if they are based on lies, you have a serious problem.  So, how can you tell when a politician is lying to you?

Know Your Stuff

First of all, you are never going to spot a liar if you don’t know your stuff.  So, before you start picking apart a politician’s answer, know the question that has been posed and do your research on what the answer should be.  Research things that the politician mentions as well.  Politicians are notorious for using scientific discoveries or theories and twisting them to their own advantage, hoping that the general public will assume them to be true because they have scientific credentials.

Read between the Lines

You also need to hear exactly what the politician isn’t saying.  Very often, they won’t flat out lie, they will just not mention the truth.  For instance, if you ask a politician what they will do about a certain policy, they may simply describe how they feel about it.  That means they haven’t told you at all what they are going to do.  Not an outright lie, but lying by omission is still a lie right?

Listen Very Carefully (I Shall Say this only Once)

You must listen to each word the politician says.  Don’t confront him or her until you have listened to it again if at all possible.  Politicians have a knack of making their speeches long and drawn out, thereby hoping that nobody notices they actually say two opposing things in the speech, keeping everybody happy.  It is a known psychological fact that people only listen to what they want to hear, this is how fortune tellers turn out to always be right.  Also check what is being said with the mandate the politician released, because there may also be contradictions in there.

Be There when It Happens

Try to always hear a politician speak live.  Study their previous speeches as well.  You need to get to know the politician and the body language they generally exhibit.  Changes in body language are a good clue that a fib is being told.  Don’t trust in reading a transcript of a live interview.  You want to be able to see movement and hear the tone.

Listen to Body Language

Body language is hugely important.  If they fidget before answering a surprise question, you have spotted a major red flag.  Shifting between their feet is a clue, covering the mouth is a clue, looking away is a clue and so on.

Having said all of this, I still feel like I’m preaching to the choir or stating the obvious.  All politicians lie…  What is perhaps more interesting is how to spot a politician that tells the truth, which seems to be a contradiction in terms, or perhaps what to do once you have spotted a lying politician.  What are your thoughts?