19 May 2010

Last post....

Blog moved to new, and I think, slightly fresher premises. Overheads are less. Less rent, cleaner feel. Bye-bye blogger, hello georgeallwell.wordpress.com

04 May 2010

Why a tactical vote is crucial for the future

Who ya voting for? They are all the same? Nothing will change anyway... Ah, it must be election time. If you haven't heard these sentiments you're in a minority. Voting for who and what you believe in should always be the case. Primarily for the reasons outlined in this article by Lisa Ansell.  This election is different. Public spending has to be reduced, all parties agree but don't want to explain the fine print or which ring-fence should be pulled down or replaced. By ''all parties'', what I mean is Labour and Conservative, they are the only two that matter, or that have mattered for the best part of a hundred years. That has been the choice. The democratic representation. "They are all the same", "nothing will change anyway" - it certainly appears that way. Those are the stark - and at times depressing facts - of a voting system designed to provide strong government. Or dictatorial regimes. Depends on your persuasion. Trust needs to be restored in democracy. The only feasible way of that happening long-term is to feel represented. The only way that can happen is with voting reforms. This is a compelling argument for proportional representation. 

Ignore the media spin. A hung parliament is something I have wished for since the Tories had a 22 point lead nearly two years ago. A coalition should be the chance for politicians to take some responsibility, agree to do what is best for the people, instead of themselves, agree to prioritize policies and work together. Yes, that might sound naive or idealistic, but surely a group of elected representatives can work together? That is why, when asked, I have said have a look at voting for a party, for this election only (or until voting reform happens), that stops the Conservative Party getting an overall majority. If that happens nothing will change. We will keep the House of Lords. The monarchy. The voting system. The banking system. The drug laws. The fear. We might even lose the BBC in its current form. So, before it's too late, have a look at this brilliant election database and see if your one of the lucky ones who has a vote that matters, because over 75% of constituencies have, according to most of the parties, been decided already. That's democracy for you. British style. Maybe with one tactical, biting your lip, ignoring the odd moral or two, tactical vote against the Tories, we could get the voting system that means all our votes count. Is anything more important that the validity and effectiveness of our democracy?

Just look what happens when people vote for polices instead of parties or personalities. Strange that. So we could have a coalition of Greens, Lab and Lib Dem's or, on the other side - Tory, UKIP and the BNP. The choice is yours.*

 *My choice: I have lived in four different constituencies in the last five years. Voting tactically, I would vote for three different parties. Labour, the Lib Dem's and Plaid Cymru. Only one of those would be with my heart and head combined, two would be tactical. Thankfully I can make a combined decision this time. I'm voting Liberal Democrat.

01 May 2010

Daily Mail readers advocating Cannabis cafes?

Check out this story, or don't, probably best not to in case your eyes get distracted to some brown shirts or racist bile, maybe a smear or three - you might be of the unlucky variety - and stumble across a Littlejohn 'article', so, heed my advice, take my word for it and browse some of the images here.

Now, call me an old cynic, but that must be 'Lib Dem' trolls (if such a thing can possibly exist) or the cannabis is great alliance posting comments - but they are the most popular!!! Not hand-picked. The Mail Online readers actually think we should have cannabis cafes.

Do you need anymore reasons to hope for a hung parliament?


Clegg to Cameron: You can have the inheritance tax for the rich and 19.5 VAT and we will take the weed cafes so we can please our core electorate?

Cameron to Clegg: Deal - I tried it in uni when I was hugging a hoodie or a lamppost or a Thatcher statue, I can't quite remember.It was good shit.

*from across the room

Jack Straw: My son does some good stuff at a good price?

The Final Sunday Polls

*click image for more info. 

So, still, we are heading for a hung parliament. That has been the case since the start of the campaign, and that is still the case now. Average poll: 56% of the electorate want progress 34% want watered down Thatcherism. The election system wont reflect that though, wierd that, also wierd why the Tories don't want to change it.

23 April 2010

18 April 2010

Podcast #21 - The Podcast Four


This week the discussion basis was, “Poker and Gaming.” George tried not drumming like a twat, we played a video of a daytime TV games debate, Dom was angry, together they discussed poker for a bit and gaming and other stuff, yeah.

Topics discussed;

Twitter-tard, beer warning, sensitive George, 13hr days, poker arrogance, BlackJackTwats, Mo Poker, a brief bad beat story, stop for GaGa, Ivey don’t (full) tilt, poker cuntface, general celebelections, National Service can fuck off, 18th Birthday surprise, George’s Gang Warfare, outside but anti-social, PC Gary Cooper lies, Religious group, A.I. - Ay Eye, Tishmarsh is a cunt, Kelvin McKenzie is a MASSIVE cunt, sand in vagina callback, computer games mass-debate, pause for apology, Tsuani of violence gets applause, parents? Interaction? No need, shout outs, copywrite, screenwriting, little bits, some charts, film talk, absolute shite talking from George - seriously mental shite, yes I said partner, Kick Ass, Daily Fail’s paedo review, Chris Tookey - get a grip nonce, end.

17 April 2010

The future is all yellow and sunny

The future. The Liberal Democrat future. The landslide that is now upon us, even if it requires 63% of the popular vote or something to claim a majority of 1, who cares, surely all the other parties will come out on Wednesday May 5th and declare that all voters should vote and adopt a new, cool and headline grabbing liberalism.

I can't wait. Everybody clapping. Street parties. Houses being painted yellow. Boys and Girls being called Nick. The most popular middle name becoming Clegg, with the braver parents going the whole hog with a John Stuart Mill tat. Council estates where everybody is friends. You haven't been to ghetto till you have been to a Lib Dem ghetto. Liberal hoodies asking old ladies if they need help across the road. Daily Mail readers and editors either quietly emigrating to Costa del Peckham or embracing such wonderful change with a now legal smoking of the odd joint of a sunny July evening. Heaven on Earth. The Lib Dems are my hero's.

Do we all have something to lose?

Check out the comment by Steven Harris@05:48PM (why the Telegraph feels the need to use a twenty-four hour format and still ignore its basic premise is beyond me.)

A few interesting points made. Are they true though?

Thatcherism is largely to blame, including that Blairite blend of Thatcherism that ensured three election victories for the Labour Party in recent years. Is there still a revolutionary communist inside you Robert? If so then you are a rarity. Marx argued that the revolution would be driven by the class with nothing to lose. Thanks to Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown our aspirations are thoroughly middle class, our materialistic gene has grown out of all proportion to the rest of our political make-up. Our houses are filled with gadgets, gizmos and endless consumer shackles. We ALL have something to lose (or believe we do). The revolution has been indefinitely postponed.
So according to Mr Harris it is now impossible to be a revolutionary communist because we are all middle class. Kind of. Is there any truth in this? Sat here using a wireless connection on a laptop after listening to the football on the digital radio; am I in fact a product of intensive consumerism? Product or prisoner? Economic controller of my own affairs or advert-programmed robot revelling in the midst of increasing debt levels?

My materialistic gene. Not my favourite to be truthful. It is there, I do come over all happy-clappy with a new bit of fascinating technology, but 'things', any kind of 'things', actually mean fuck all to me. The ability to communicate in the modern world is fantastic. The ability to freely express my own opinion and compare it with others is essential. It is progress, not consumerism. The tools are only the means.

Democracy, true representative democracy would be a bonus, but the X-factor style surge in public opinion towards the Lib Dems might give the election system its required detailed public assassination. The issue is a much bigger scandal or con than the expenses scandal. It might also reverse the trend outlined by Mr Harris of an indefinite postponement of the revolution.

Without it - without the change of system - we truly do have something to lose. Democracy and freedom. I'll keep my free thought and ability to vote over any fucking Nintendo Wii.

Funny from Robert Webb in The Telegraph - yes, The Telegraph!

This article is funny and was highlighted by Anton Vowl on Twitter. The comments section is the icing on the cake. 

Just a snippet... My favourite snippet. 

...It is not, for example, immediately obvious to me why I am a Labour supporter. More than half of my family are Tories; I grew up in a very conservative couple of villages in the largely Conservative county of Lincolnshire; I attended an excellent but hugely conservative grammar school, surrounded by the conservative sons and daughters of local Conservative councillors, solicitors, farmers, retailers, policemen and RAF officers. 

So at this point, aged about 15, I was basically a revolutionary communist. OK, maybe it is obvious: there is such a thing as rebellion. But most of the other boys and girls at that school didn't see any need for rebellion: it was a nice school and they were happy. I was happy too; I just also wanted to burn the place down.

Can you spot the George Comment?

31 March 2010

Peace for Beginners by Ian Kellas - review by Brian Attwood

Ian Kellas’ Peace for Beginners, success in the excellent Writers and Readers series and proof that, in today’s world, comic books are a more effective medium than catechism lessons.

There is a danger with this kind of presentation that complex issues will be over-simplified, yet the author handles his subject so that the format enhances the argument and never debases it. Kellas is refreshingly original in his treatment, pinpointing the contradictions within peace movements and identifying non-violence firmly among mainstream beliefs,

Any discussion on human behaviour comes down to a question of nature versus nurture. Is violence instinctive or man-made? Ethnology provides many examples sufficiently explain the distinct character of human violence, ‘humans with their practices of mass murder are different. They have an element of choice’.

Why, given the choice, do we consistently opt for violent solutions? Because the way in which choice is conditioned - by attitudes, values and social organisation - has led to a common tendency to form exclusive groups and to seek power over others. Ironically, conflict is only exacerbated by human ingenuity - excused in terms of religion or politics, made more effective through technological advances.

Does this mean non-violence and political power are impossible to reconcile? Kellas’ potted history reveals that when religious-based peace movements came into contact with the state the result was less of an accommodation than a hijack by opportunist rulers. Ambiguous doctrines which recognised ‘we shall always see Truth in fragments and from different angles’ (Gandhi) were open to cynical manipulation. even the justification of war. Hence the spectacle of Gandhi’s funeral, when the prophet of non-violence was carried to his burial on a gun carriage and his assassin hanged.

If divine intervention failed to bring peace on earth, science and the age of enlightenment did little better, The idea that Society could be governed by rules akin to Natural law led to a belief that rational government would end such irrational activities as war, allowing free trade between nations to continue unhindered. However the utilitarians’ ‘business as usual’ approach overlooked the fact that warfare was as much the concern of industrialists as of princes. Today the human obsession with groups and power continues unabated, except the groups are larger and the stakes much higher.

Superficially, Peace for Beginners is a fun book designed to whet the reader’s appetite. Yet the real value of the book is not the superb graphic work but the written content. Perhaps because history favours victors rather than losers it is too easy to forget the contribution to non-violence made by its early proponents. This in turn has allowed critics to misrepresent today’s peace campaigners as cranky or alien to tradition. Ian Kellas has done his bit to set the picture right and to provoke questions rather than provide answers to the present nuclear threat.

Brian Attwood