Archive | May, 2013

Apartheid… Really?

27 May

Just a collection of pictures I found on facebook which consider a “different” view to that almost universally promoted by the global media regarding Israel.

(Click to zoom in…)

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These images clearly don’t reveal a detailed picture yet might make you reconsider the “apartheid” label so easily given to Israel ( meaning actual apartheid is taken less seriously).

Might upload more pictures later… but I can’t be bothered to write an entire post about it since people who actually think Israel is an apartheid state usually aren’t basing their view on rational arguments…

Here comes the hate 😀

Cultural Things that Annoy Me

14 May

Warning: this is pretty much just a rant but ENJOY! In no particular order:

1. Taking pictures on the toilet – What are you doing? No one wants to look at that. I really don’t understand this trend…

2. Small talk – in certain situations it is pretty unavoidable so I cannot pin the blame. However, if we know each other, please don’t talk to me about how much work you have or conversations we’ve had a billion times or other totally irrelevant topics, I really don’t mind just standing next to you in silence.

3. Shortened names – in themselves are fine. Yet, when people throw bricks at you for addressing them by their full rather than shortened name it’s like CALM DOWN they sound practically the same.. You don’t “hate” it so much so stop lying.

4. Sexual Orientation – No judgement being passed here. What does annoy me though is when teenagers claim they are bisexual etc…blatantly only for attention. Please find other ways to impress people…

5. “No offence but..” – You might as well just insult me without the PRETEXT ok – I think it actually makes me more angry/insulted than if you had just said what you wanted to say.

6. Hypersexual youth – It makes me really sad to see 10 year olds walking around wearing make-up and mini-skirts – EMBRACE YOUR YOUTH please. I blame the media. Everyone always blames the media.

7. Chav pants – Why are your trousers around your ankles? We don’t want to see your behind, you can’t even walk properly and you definitely don’t look “cool”.

8. Cynicism of the youth – you have achieved nothing – don’t criticise someone who has actually done something with their life, for no reason whatsoever.

9. “Grammar Nazis” – particularly annoying in debates. If you have resorted to commenting on my spelling and/or Grammar, you have clearly lost the argument. Please leave.

10. Americanisms – If you’re in the UK, don’t speak with these. Ever. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/6043777/Top_10_most_annoying_Americanisms/

11. Not knowing who the Prime Minister is – yet knowing who’s getting with who on Geordie Shore or whatever they watch. (I think this has turned into a rant at the youth of today – despite me technically being a part of that category…)

12. Facebook statuses – By all means post that you’re feeling sad and everything in your life is going wrong but don’t tell me “I don’t want to talk about it” when I ask you what’s wrong. WHY DID YOU POST THAT STATUS THEN IDIOT.

13. Phones – People who cannot get off their phone for one minute. For crying out loud would you live in the moment.

14. “Calm down dear” – I hope you know that by saying that you are simply fueling my anger

15. Secret anorexics – saying “phwoar I ate so much!” When you literally just ate half a biscuit the whole day

16. Chain mail – the amount of times I’ve died because I haven’t forwaded an e-mail and screamed “Bloody Mary” is ridiculous.

17. Awkward pronunciation – Scone, almond, rant etc…

18. – “Why are you staring at my boobs?” – I’m a girl, but if your boobs are hanging out, I’m GOING to stare at them.

19.  Apple – Stop updating everything all the time!! (And you’re ridiculously overpriced..) Why do people buy your stuff?? Also – what is the point of Ipads? You may as well get a laptop.

20. Moody employees – Why would I want to buy anything from you when you’re giving me the evils the entire time?! Isn’t the customer always right?? Especially true for teenage employees. Uch.

21. Politics – Why are you complaining about our political situation whilst proving you know absolutely nothing about it?   Also people who vote based on their parents views or no views at all *cough* Dani *cough*.

22. Obsession – People who only know how to talk about the opposite sex. Please find some other interests.

23. People who don’t “believe” in Climate Change/Sustainability – You’re wrong. *Cough* Mr Bremner *Cough*

24. One word texters – I know you’re SO busy but could I trouble you to type a full sentence please?

25. Wine snobs – Only about 0.00001% actually know anything about wine so stop pretending.

26. Teenage couples saying “I love you” to each other – Excuse me while I puke and then proceed to laugh for 10 minutes.

27. Text language – I understand the point in shortening words in texts but if you’re using the same amount of letters why do you want to make it seem like you can’t spell?! Hai babii dawl hope urrr in for 2k13 partay. Uch stop.

28. Central London Accent – That accent people in the city put on to make themselves feel important.

29. Reality TV – now I’m not talking about things like The Apprentice, Wife Swap or BNTM, I’m talking about shows that really shouldn’t be on TV like Geordie Shore, Big Brother, I’m a Celeb and X-factor. How are they so popular?? 90% of the time it is just promiscuous orange people running around trying to create drama.

30. Orange people – I doubt you went to the Caribbean over the weekend so please take that off your face.

I think I’ll stop there before I feel the need to enrol myself in anger management classes.

(Half of these weren’t even “cultural” but SHHH!)

Europe

8 May

In, out, shake it all about?  (Britain is definitely choosing the 3rd option at the moment…) 

The former Chancellor Nigel Lawson’s speech encouraging a British exit from Europe makes it clear the “Europe” debate has certainly not subsided…. it is alive and well. Perhaps then, the public should actually consider what it would mean if Britain were to leave the European Union.

What worries me is the influence of those with irrational political agendas on what is essentially an economic argument. (Nigel Farage springing to mind hmm…). UKIP has risen from a marginal party on the fringes of the right to a mainstream political party (increasingly seen as the “new Lib dems” as their by-election results have shown) whose populist image is already having a noticeable impact on voters.

Unlike both Nigels, I would have to say I’m in the Pro-Europe camp. Here’s why:

The benefits of free trade within the single market. We save a ridiculous amount on the cost of mobility of the factors of production simply by being members of the EU. Considering over 50% of our trade is with Europe, the CET that would be imposed upon us should we leave the EU is likely to be very damaging indeed. In addition, we are also seen as a “gateway” to Europe for many companies wishing to avoid the tariff by setting up factories and generating employment in the UK.

Despite the right’s ongoing rage towards immigrants exploiting the welfare state, EU immigration is actually pretty beneficial to the UK. Immigrants help to fill gaps in the labour market and actually pay more tax and receive less benefits than the average British citizen. If you’re a fan of the multiplier effect (as I am) then this is all good news! Also, sceptics may  not have realised that forced repatriation of many UK citizens living abroad isn’t likely to have positive effects – it is a 2 way-street after all. Although I said this was going to be an economic argument, I do believe there are many positive cultural benefits of immigration and for Britons to claim immigration is eroding their culture, I find absurd.

Evaluating the Costs of membership

Most of the “cumbersome regulations” that come with EU membership are actually there for our benefit. For example, ethical trade shouldn’t be seen as a burden but a necessary cost that helps to define a humane and developed labour market and the practices within it whilst retaining a degree of essential labour market flexibility that the UK has been noted for. We can cut costs yet I doubt any of us want labour practices mirroring those of developing countries.

I would have to agree with Ken Clarke in that a “Brexit” will be extremely damaging to the UK. The annual (approximate) cost of ÂŁ8 billion is outweighed by the benefits of membership or rather the greater costs that would greet us upon exit. Although we could regain control of the North Sea, stop subsidising the agriculture of poorer countries/regions and get rid of those pesky regulations, we would also lose regional development funds which have helped to revive poor regions, we would  likely be seen as less attractive for investment and most significantly we would lose our elevated trading position.

A looser relationship with the EU, similar to countries within the EEA, has been suggested however this perspective fails to realise the UK will consequently be reduced to a bystander with no VETO power or input yet still be largely bound by these infamous regulations. Surely we might as well exploit our current position of power? There is also no guarantee that the EU would even agree to such a relationship with the moody child of Europe.

Britain should realise that not all of its domestic problems are a consequence of the EU and that when the trend is increasing integration, opting for isolation may not be the best idea.