kingfu.co.uk

Bullshit & Ignorance

April 30, 2011

Good Old Charlie

People like to say the British Royal Family don’t do anything, but how wrong they are. Yesterday they were all at some big knees-up, and today big Chas is right back to the grindstone. Off to go visit the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre. That’s working that is, and on a fucking Saturday no less! No doubt he was up all night doing tequila shots with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen and so on, so he’s probably absolutely hanging. Working, on a Saturday, with a hangover! That’s dedication that is. He’ll have to look at stuff and say “How delightful” and maybe even shake hands with commoners. Good work, fella.

January 3, 2011

Wait, was that another decade that just went by?

Where’s my fucking flying car? That’s what I want to know. We’re living in the future and sure, we have some pretty cool technology and all, but we were definitely sold short on the flying cars and rocket packs.

2010 was a pretty big year for me personally, what with me moving to another continent and getting married and all. It was a pretty interesting year for British politics, too. I mean, a Conservative/LibDem Coalition? Really? I wouldn’t have believed it a year ago. That’s not what we (well not really me at this point I guess) actually got though, is it? Seems to me what the British public really got was a Tory government with Nick Clegg bolted on (by his lips. To Cameron’s arse) doing a great job of destroying any and all credibility the LibDems are likely to have…pretty much ever again. Good job, fella.

Anyway. Happy New Year to all!

June 7, 2010

I’m not a racist but…

I don’t use Facebook. In fact I recently deleted my account completely, because while I can understand and see the value of a social networking site, Facebook, for me, gets it all wrong. Their constantly changing (and frankly laughable) privacy policy alone is enough to put me off; You may be interested to take a look at http://youropenbook.org for a glimpse at how accessible the information people post on Facebook is.

Something that openbook showed me was the way in which a site that connects so many people can be a most potent rumour mill. Searching for “I’m not a racist” returned a staggering number of results with a number of variations on the following:

POLICE ARE GOING AROUND PUBS AND CLUBS SAYINGTHAT WE CANT WEAR OUR ENGLAND TOPS 4 THE FOOTIE & GOTTA TAKE THE FLAGS DOWN AS IT IS UPSETTING THE PEOPLE THAT DONT COME FROM HERE !!NOW IM NOT RACIST , BUT THIS IS TAKING THE PISS! THIS ISOUR COUNTRY AND WE NEED 2 MAKE A STAND IF YOU/THEY DONT LIKE IT GO AWAY!WOULD YOU REMOVE UR TURBAN & BURKHA BECAUSE IT UPSETS ME, IF YOU AGREE POST THIS AS YOUR STATUS

Wow. Just wow. Where to start? I’ll skim over the capslock-is-cruise-control-for-cool elements and the mixture of ‘txt talk’ with actual words and just get straight to the heart of this. Saying “I’m not a racist but..” is a pretty good guarantee that the next words out of your mouth (or off the tips of your fingers) are going to be racist. Worse is the depth of ignorance involved in this statement. Let me take a moment here to break this down.

  1. POLICE ARE GOING AROUND PUBS AND CLUBS SAYINGTHAT WE CANT WEAR OUR ENGLAND TOPS 4 THE FOOTIE & GOTTA TAKE THE FLAGS DOWN AS IT IS UPSETTING THE PEOPLE THAT DONT COME FROM HERE

    No. Just no, alright? This entirely ridiculous rumour started because a few police forces, especially the Metropolitan Police in London, sent letters around a lot of licensed premises making a suggestion that during the World Cup they might want to impose dress codes, including banning the wearing of football shirts.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with upsetting “people that don’t come from here” and everything to do with reducing the risk of trouble between sets of football supporters – this article from thepsychologist.org.uk explains how the police in the UK rely on the findings of Crowd Psychology studies, a theory which in very basic terms stipulates that crowds in some way form a group consciousness which when coupled with other factors, including an increased sense of anonymity, can lead to irrational and even violent behaviour. There’s plenty of psychologists who criticise this theory, but the fact that the police use it as a model to help with crowd control makes the assumption that large ‘uniformed’ crowds increase the risk of anti-social behaviour (particularly when the crowd is fuelled by beer) an entirely reasonable one.

  2. NOW IM NOT RACIST , BUT THIS IS TAKING THE PISS! THIS ISOUR COUNTRY AND WE NEED 2 MAKE A STAND IF YOU/THEY DONT LIKE IT GO AWAY!WOULD YOU REMOVE UR TURBAN & BURKHA BECAUSE IT UPSETS ME

    Well okay, by this point it’s pretty obvious that you are, if not a racist, perpetuating a racist statement. This whole “let’s make a stand!” rhetoric is pretty mind boggling, especially since any perceived slight against English people here is entirely fictitious. The whole thing is being used as an excuse to promote hostility towards Asian people. I’m not even going to start trying to explain why it’s so incredibly ignorant to compare a replica football shirt to a turban or Burqa.

  3. IF YOU AGREE POST THIS AS YOUR STATUS

    And this is how it spread. Yeah! I agree, this is outrageous! Let’s stick it to those foreign fuckers! They Come to our country, take our jobs, erode our culture, dress like ninjas! They’ll be banning bacon soon! It’s political correctness gone mad! etc. etc.

Immigration is a complex and sensitive issue, particularly at a time where the country is in a state of economic recession. But let’s try to avoid blaming ethnic minorities, foreign nationals and immigrants for things that have nothing to do with them, particularly things that aren’t even true.

Wasn’t so long ago that an angry little man in Germany was blaming the financial hardships of that nation on the Jews as a way to gain support. That didn’t end well for anyone. Let’s try not to forget the lessons that history has to teach us, hey?

May 14, 2010

Holy Crap Batman!

Tory-LibDem coalition! Who’d have thunk it! I’m going to resist the urge to dissect the possible pros and cons and just them get on with shit. I’ll spare them (and you) my predictions and pass my judgement after they’ve had time to fuck everything up actually do something. Should be an interesting time.

Enough politics though. I’ve about had my fill of it for the time being. Instead, allow me to link you to this video of Russell Howard’s Dail Mail Cancer Song, which I found deeply amusing! I’ve mentioned I hate the Daily Mail, right?

May 7, 2010

Election 2010: Hung Parliament

I’m tired today, because I stayed up past my bed time to watch the election results coming in. Seems to me the whole event was a fucking shambles. Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night coverage finished around 1am and at that point there were fewer than two dozen results returned, which meant that three full hours after the polls closed we were still no closer to knowing a result.

Exit polls, which seem to have been fairly accurate, predicted a hung Parliament with the scum Conservatives as the largest party. Some time around 10:00 this morning enough results had been returned to confirm that no party has achieved a majority and so indeed we have a hung Parliament.

Gordon brown as the incumbent Prime Minister gets first crack at forming a coalition government. If he opts not to, or can’t then he must tender his resignation to the Queen, who will then have little choice but to offer David Cameron the opportunity to try to form a government, be that an unlikely coalition with the Liberal Democrats or, much as Harold Wilson did in 1974, form a minority government and hope he can make deals with other parties day-by-day to get legislation passed.

All in all it was a pretty disappointing night for the Lib Dems. They seem to have gained a tiny percentage of the overall vote, but despite what the media are now dubbing ‘Clegg-mania’ they actually lost seats. With no party able to take a majority however, those seats the Liberal Democrats did hold onto are more valuable than ever. Both Gordon Brown and David Cameron need Clegg’s support in order to realistically hope to command Parliament, which will give him significant leverage.

For me the biggest triumph of the election is that BNP leader and pudgy-faced-hatemonger Nick Griffin, was soundly trounced in Barking. Labour MP Margaret Hodge held onto her seat with a huge majority of over sixteen-thousand votes – an increase of around four-thousand from the 2005 election. I’d say the public has spoken loud and clear on that issue. Crawl back into whatever hole you climbed out of and stay there you horrible little man.

It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few days. One thing we can be sure of from all of this however is that it won’t be more than a few months before we have to start this whole circus up again.

April 27, 2010

And in the Red Corner…

I just read this article from RIA Novosti about the Ukrainian Parliament descending into chaos over the ratifying of a deal with Russia over a naval base and couldn’t help but laugh. Granted I don’t know anything about the situation and I’m sure there’s probably a good reason why many Ukrainians are so angry about it, but still, eggs and smoke bombs being thrown during a parliamentary session just tickles me.

Despite the heckling and jeering from the back benches in the House of Commons, I don’t believe we’ve ever had a full on brawl break out, which is something of a shame. Perhaps if we wind up with a hung Parliament after May 6th, we could decide who gets to be Prime Minister with a trial by combat.

In such an event I suspect Brown would really be up against it. He’s not only older than both Clegg and Cameron, but he’s blind in one eye which must limit his field of vision on that side. Cameron and Clegg strike me as fairly evenly matched; in a straight one-on-one the outcome would likely come down to preparation and conditioning. I would put Clegg ahead as a marginal favourite.

Of course, in the more likely event of a three-way bout everything changes. Raw pugilistic ability would need to be partnered with shrewd tactics. Brown and Cameron have plenty of bad blood between them, perhaps Clegg would be best advised to hold back and wait for Brown and Cameron to duke it out, then step in to take on whomever emerged the victor on the assumption they would have been weakened.

Brown and Cameron may both feel they can best the other, and double-team Clegg to take him out of contention so they can get back to the age old battle of Tory Vs. Labour.

Either way it would be the pay-per-view event of the century. in fact, I’m starting to think we shouldn’t bother with the election at all!

April 26, 2010

Benedict Condoms

The UK foreign office is tripping over itself to apologise to the Vatican following the leak of an internal memo drafted by a junior civil servant suggesting some “naive and disrespectful” ideas for marking a planned visit by the Pope in September. The Daily Fail Mail has a frothy outraged article on it, but I’d read this article by the BBC if you prefer your journalism to contain less fuckwittery.

The suggestions were frankly fairly entertaining, including suggestions the Pope may wish to bless a gay marriage, open an abortion clinic or that “Benedict” branded condoms could be made to mark the occasion. Funny yes, but probably more appropriate to have saved for a discussion with mates in the pub rather than forwarding to Downing Street and a number of other Whitehall offices.

In response to this incident, Peter Forster, the bishop of Chester said in a radio interview that:

“I think that Christianity has been so much a part of the furniture of our society that it tends to be neglected and taken for granted…There’s a ‘familiarity breeding contempt’ in some circles of society about our Christian heritage which leads to the distasteful events we had yesterday with that memo”

So what? Christianity doesn’t and shouldn’t get a free pass to the land of unquestionable respect. The Catholic church might be a religious organisation, but when it speaks out as it often does on issues such as contraception, abortion, homosexuality etc. it goes beyond the spiritual and enters the political arena. Once there it opens itself to satire and ridicule just as any other political stance taken by anyone else is. Also, neglected and taken for granted? I wasn’t aware we were under any obligation to take care of it.

In totally unrelated news, leader of the Daleks, Stephen Hawking has been warning the world of the dangers of trying to contact alien life. Apparently Hawking thinks that there’s a pretty good chance that any aliens that come visiting could well be essentially space vikings, and would plunder our planet for resources before buggering off again. He’s probably right!

April 21, 2010

The Great Liberal Deception

I’m getting quite caught up in the general election stuff at the moment. Nick Clegg’s performance in the leaders debate last week has thrust him and the Liberal Democrat party into the public eye like never before. Apparently this boost in popularity for the Lib Dems has put the frighteners on Tory-supporting-hate-mongers The Daily Mail, who have devoted their “Debate” page to bashing Clegg and his party and politics all under the glorious title of “The Great Liberal Deception”. Guardian blogger Paul Owen posted an article on this which you can see by following this link!

Despite having been a supporter of Liberal Democrat politics for as long as I’ve been able to vote, I can’t see them actually winning the general election. That’s not to say that they might not take a bigger slice of the pie and of course increase the likelihood of a hung parliament thus giving them an opportunity to enter into a coalition with someone – but winning it outright is highly unlikely. As a spectacle I’m enjoying it though; Clegg and his party are like a non-league football team going on a giant-killing F.A. Cup run. Deep down you know they’re never going to go all the way but we all love an underdog and so I’m enjoying the journey, watching them sticking it to the established giants as they go.

April 16, 2010

Election Debate

Last night saw the first ever live televised debate between leaders of the UK’s three largest political parties (Nick Clegg – Liberal Democrats, David Cameron – Conservatives, Gordon Brown – New Labour) as part of the lead up to the May 12 General Election. It’s an idea the Americans have used for some time and despite the rather tacky set and constant sense that Robert Killroy or Jeremy Kyle were about to leap up from the audience, it was rather fascinating to watch.

All three men seemed nervous at the outset, but Brown and Cameron settled quickly as the debate got under way. For a little while, Nick Clegg looked like he was fighting out of his weight class. He remained a little jittery while Brown and Cameron began to speak confidently and fluently in response to the questions posed to them by audience members. I have to say, I was somewhat saddened by that, as while Clegg seemed out of his depth, what he did say struck a chord with me. He seemed the most genuine, less interested in taking cheap shots at his rivals and more interested in explaining the Liberal Democrats’ position on the issues, what they would do and perhaps more importantly how they were going to achieve their goals. I was pleased therefore to see Mr. Clegg growing in confidence as the debate moved on. His body language relaxed and with it his oratory rapidly began to match and often surpass that of his rivals.

When all was said and done, Nick Clegg walked away from that debate with a whole heap more political kudos than he began with. I’m of the opinion he won the debate and according to the various polls following it, including the ITV poll of 4000 voters that followed directly afterwards, most other people share my opinion. I think it’s fair to say that Brown as the incumbent had most to lose going into the debate. He had to defend thirteen years of Labour Government during a time of significant economic upheaval and while our armed forces are engaged in unpopular wars in the middle east. It was never going to be an easy task, but to his credit he fought his corner well; he emerged battered but far from beaten. David Cameron on the other hand had very little to lose and everything to gain. Expectations were high and while he performed adequately, I don’t feel he lived up to those expectations.

There are two more debates to follow. I will be watching with great interest.