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April 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Lead Female

Manchester Marathon 2013

April 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

In the court of public opinion the prosecutors are liars, the defence are ridiculed, the judges are bought and the jury are sheep.


April 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I was born in 1985, so my understanding of the impact Margaret Thatcher had on the lives of the working class during her tenure is minimal. I wasn’t there. Sure, I can read countless articles and books but I could never claim to have first-hand experience of it. I could never feel what it meant to working-class and under siege for 11 years. What I do know is that she began the process of dismantling the state, privatising as much as could be gotten away with at the time. Her politics were an assault on the poor, and her handling of Hillsborough leaves the city of Liverpool and a great deal of others believing there was a cover-up that reached the very top.

I see on Twitter and various comments sections of national newspapers that there are a great number of people who are happy to see her dead. I am not a Thatcher apologist, I hate everything her particular brand of politics stood for (and still stands for), yet I cannot bring myself to say that I am happy at her death. There are a number of reasons for this, firstly I never knew her personally so I cannot say beyond any doubt that she really was a bad person. Secondly, during my lifetime I’ve witnessed such celebrations as those in Pakistan at the time of 9/11 and those in the US at the death of Osama bin Laden. I’ve witnessed level-headed Britons air their disgust at these celebrations, so it would be hypocritical of me to celebrate this. Finally, I said at the time of Hugo Chavez’ death that an idea is more powerful than a person and far outlives them.

This is certainly the case with Baroness Thatcher. Politically speaking, her death is an irrelevance. Her ideals live on through this current incarnation of the Conservatives and in all honesty, she passed on the baton a long time ago to John Major. Tony Blair then stole it and lovingly returned it to our incumbent PM. David Cameron and his band of trust-fund spongers are no less evil than her politics ever were. The difference is that Thatcher had the balls to be perfectly upfront about it, whereas Cameron is a snivelling little PR megalomaniac. Beneath the squeaky-clean veneer lies a cold, calculating tyrant who has somehow manipulated himself a positive PR image.

The national media will now enter a period of self-declared mourning, remembering her for her iron will and steely determination. The Real Conservatives will come out in force, declaring their affection for her in idolatrous missives via every form of media possible and The Secret Conservatives (Labour) will largely jump aboard this little bandwagon in a bizarre ploy to win a few polling points. We must not lose sight of the fact that her politics were despicable, that the current government are treading where she daren’t. They are selling off our NHS, they are savagely attacking the less fortunate punishing them for the sins of the most fortunate. We live in unjust times, ruled by an unjust government, informed by an unjust media, with a spineless opposition in a world that favours the rich and seeks to exploit the poor.

This is what Baroness Thatcher stood for. Don’t celebrate her life, but don’t celebrate her death either. It achieves nothing, instead save your energy for opposing this current government because we’ll need every ounce we can get. They are our greatest threat, whether rich or poor austerity will cripple this country and it will hurt you.

Iain Duncan Smith And The Budget Of Life

April 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Sounds a bit like a fun 80s archeology-based action-adventure movie, doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. Against the backdrop of savage cuts affecting the UK’s poorest residents, the so-called ‘shirkers’, all of which have been instigated and delivered by IDS he now has the gall to claim that he himself could live on £53 per week.

My initial thoughts were of course that IDS was being ridiculous. I mean, how could a Cabinet Minister live on just £53 per week? Then my train of thought took me to ‘Offensive’, after all it’s downright outrageous that someone in the position of IDS could even hint at the possibility of such a paltry amount sustaining a family or even an individual for an entire week. Iain doesn’t share the same definition of struggle as those nearer the bottom of society’s cruel ladder.

Then I got thinking, could anyone actually live on £53 a week? Or do they merely exist. If a family is saving for a rare holiday or deposit on a house they can tighten their belts significantly for a month or two but what would happen beyond that? Would you still be ‘living’ or would you just be ‘getting by’? In order to survive on such a budget, life effectively gets thrown out of the window, you submit yourself to a routine of dull food, entertainment begins to become repetitive and monotonous, friends begin to exclude you as you can no longer afford the social outings. You enter into a rut.

Then the postman arrives. Overdue Water, Gas, Electricity, Credit card bills reminding you of better times long since passed. How can you afford these? Your clothes are beginning to age, shoes falling into a severe state of disrepair, what do you do about that? Sure you can show some of that ‘British Spirit’ Cameron & Co bang on about, and repair them with a sewing kit but how long can you maintain that? You’ve applied for eight jobs (along with 2,000 others), you’ve managed to get 6 interviews. They’re spread out across the city, you can’t drive remember you sold your car for £300 to get a new washing machine & fridge-freezer, you’ll have to get the bus. How much will that cost?

You get turned down by those 6 jobs because you didn’t have the right ‘experience’. You can’t just go on to the Internet to search for more, you cancelled that three months ago along with your Sky subscription. It was too expensive. The free paper comes on a Thursday and you spent your last few quid on bus fares last week. You’ll have to walk three miles in the rain to the job centre. No umbrella either, that broke last month.

You’re in the job centre, the advisor is nice enough but they look at the state of you and it’s clear they don’t hold out much hope. You’ve applied for another 5 jobs, one of them is manual labour on a farm at minimum wage. Your degree in Finance won’t do you much good out there, but all the Finance jobs have either vanished in this recession or have 1000s of better qualified, more experienced candidates applying for them. You’re walking home, soaked. The icy wind of this extended winter is slicing through your bones, the thought of a nice warm home to return to flicks into your mind briefly before being cast out by reality: Heating is too expensive.

You walk by a newsagent and read how George Osborne thinks austerity is the best way to resolve this mess, how Ian Duncan Smith thinks there are too many people scrounging and living the good life on benefits, how Michael Gove is ruining our education system and how David Cameron is overseeing this all with a big, plastic, smug grin. You see how we should all be proud of the Olympics and the fucking Jubilee and Will & Kate and their little fucking baby.

You carry on home, thinking about dinner. Will it be Super Noodles and Tesco Value Sausages today (which you read causes people to die younger) or Tesco Value beans on Tesco value toast with a bit of Tesco Value paprika to spice it up a little. Then you remember the paprika’s nearly finished. Your thoughts are interrupted by the sight of an old school friend driving by in his white Audi with blacked-out windows, the smell of weed billowing out of them. It’s so tempting. Either the weed to briefly forget about your problems or the crime to get some money.

You get home, plump for the Super Noodles and sit down in front of the TV. It’s a 20” colour CRT, you don’t have Sky anymore so you’re pretty much forced to watch inane drivel like ‘The One Show’. Mercifully your nasty old Nokia 3310 rings, saving you from the banality of free-to-air television. It’s the bank. You haven’t kept up the payments on the five grand loan you used to buy that car you sold. You’ve defaulted on it now, you owe them six grand. They want it within two weeks, otherwise they’ll hand it over to a debt collector. You think of your friend in the Audi. No.

You go to the cupboard, pull out the bottle of own-brand vodka and pour a double measure into a tumbler. You look in the fridge for a mixer, there’s nothing. You down it. And another. You turn back to the TV, boring. You drift off, awakening just in time to see that smug little bastard in the news boasting of some Tory policy that’s working down there in London. Well that’s fucking lovely isn’t it? Your head drops into your hands, how did it get this bad?

Does Iain Duncan Smith really think he could handle a ‘life’ like that? Regardless of whether you think he can, sign this: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/iain-duncan-smith-iain-duncan-smith-to-live-on-53-a-week and let’s see if he’ll put his money where his mouth is.

Hello WordPress…

April 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

The clichéd first post is now over and done with.


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