måndag 20 december 2010

The corruption of British democracy

For sheer awfulness, the present British government surpasses even the previous one. They give the impression that they are driven by the prevailing anarcho-capitalist ideology, whilst at the same time not knowing what they are doing.

Democracy in Britain is failing to deliver the sort of government that people want. Or perhaps, on the other hand, it is a precise reflection of the British people and their attitudes. If it is not, why, I ask myself, would newspapers like the Daily Mail sell more than a handful of copies. I regularly come across people parroting the views expressed by its journalists, which suggests that they are catching and shaping a widespread popular mood. Which is even more worrying. In the meantime, a generation of young people is becoming radicalised - something that has not happened since the 1960s. There will be blood on the streets next year.

Underlying these movements is the same issue that Plato talked about in the Republic. The first qualification for being a political leader is not wanting the job. And so pretty well all politicians are unsuitable from the outset. The corruption of democracy runs deep. Politicians are too easily tempted by offers of lucrative non-executive directorships on retirement, in exchange for favours whilst in office. The system is fool proof, since the corrupting interest groups are obliged to deliver if future politicians are to be drawn in.

What might be done? Perhaps, on retirement, members of parliament should be obliged to live under some kind of house arrest on a modest pension and be forbidden to communicate with the outside world beyond their immediate families. That would certainly discourage the chances and others on the make who hanker after the levers of power. But these turkeys are not going to vote for Christmas.

onsdag 15 december 2010

The Bishop of Stockholm's comments on terror attack

In a short commentary about the terrorist attack in Stockholm, Bishop Anders Arborelius encourages everyone to distance themselves from all violence that is done in the name of God.

The full text is as follows...

"We are all shocked by what has happened amongst us: that a young man has blown himself up in the middle of Stockholm and perhaps planned to drag others to his death.

"It is deeply tragic that he should have done this from religious motives, as is now being claimed. All of us, whether Christian, or Muslim or belonging to some other religion, must say yet again: we distance ourselves decisively from all violence and especially from violence carried out in the name of religion.

"Such actions are actually an attack on God Himself, a blasphemous action directed against God and a denial of God and His love.

At the present time it is also important to pray for God's help and protection, so that nothing like it will happen again and that no innocent people will, in any other way suffer from the actions of a blindly fanatical individual."

Stockholm bomber - just a maverick?

I came across this from a friend on Facebook...

"It's time for the secular, post-modernistic and atheistic Europe to wake up about Islam. Islam's role model is "prophet" Mohammed. It's time that we study his life. Then we will stop being naive about Islam and its political goals for slumbering Europe."

The followers of all religions have done both good and bad things. The difference between Islam and the others is that when Buddhist and Christians do bad things. they are going against the teachings of the religions and what they are doing is the opposite of the actions of those whom the religion venerates eg Buddha, Jesus. When Muslims do bad things, they are following in the footsteps of Mohammed. The prophet IS responsible for the evil doings of Muslims. We need to be clear about this. Islam has only ever spread itself by violence.

söndag 12 december 2010

lördag 11 december 2010

Killer jeans

The jeans I am wearing in the picture below are old ones I got from a market stall or charity shop. Apparently, the worn-out look is fashionable, though I reckon that clothes in that condition belong in the dustbin. I would never pay good money for a pair of "new" worn-out jeans.

It now turns out that the fashion is deadly. The worn-out look is achieved by sandblasting, and the factories where it is done are full of dust. As a result, the workers have been getting silicosis, the lung disease that used to be common amongst coal miners. The practice has been banned in Turkey since 2007, but not before many factory workers became incurably ill. The manufacturers have moved production to other countries in the world, which has simply shifted the problem.


The death of civilised debate

The Guardian has been steadily reducing the number of articles on which comments are allowed. On the newspaper’s web site, which used to ap...