Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Why bother voting?

Election fever is all around me. The UK (home) goes to the polls on 6th May, the Philippines (where I'm living) on 10th May. Electioneering all around. News, commentary etc and so forth.

And once again I'm not bothering to vote. Haven't done in years. In the past it was largely because political decisions back in the UK affected me very little. Living abroad generates that distance. This time it's for wider reasons, largely to do with the fact that the politicians quite frankly refuse to grasp the nettle firmly. The British economy has been hammered, government spending is out of control and grossly inefficient and ineffective. What I want to see is someone stand up and say that spending has to be slashed (let's say 25-30% reduction in 12 months - a proper, hard-headed business approach). That means simplifying government, especially tax and benefits systems and cutting back on the bureaucrats. (No I don't think you need to cut teachers, doctors, policemen etc to make those savings.)

The main point, though, is there are too many politicians and not enough who understand politics. What's the difference? this, from the Oxford English Dictionary:
politics n.
2. The theory or practice of government or administration.

a. The science or study of government and the state.

c. Public life and affairs involving matters of authority and government.

and then the people:
A n.
1. a. A schemer or plotter; a shrewd, sagacious, or crafty person. In later use also (esp. U.S. derogatory, influenced by sense A. 2b): a self-interested manipulator, whose behaviour is likened to that of a professional politician.

2. b. A person who is keenly interested in practical politics, or who engages in party politics or political strife; now spec. one who is professionally involved in politics as the holder of or a candidate for an elected office.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, usually with opprobrious overtones.
Pretty much sums up the whole thing, really. Not enough people with any real qualifications or who understand the proper stuff of politics. Just a bunch of self-interested politicians who really don't have the nerve to do what is necessary in the best long-term interests of their country. Or so it seems.

And so my protest is not to vote. Yes, democracy & the right to vote is important. I have cast mine. Maybe the silence will be deafening to those who would listen (or maybe they are just deaf).

Sometimes I think that Douglas Adams had it right when he wrote that the person most suited to being in charge is the one who least wants to do so, as all those who do wish to are so inappropriate.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Parallel universes

There was a period when the idea of parallel universes, existing on different time planes was a popular concent in Science Fiction. You know the kind of thing; mad scientist invents workhole which allows jumping to another dimension. Same world but different evolutionary outcome. The whole notion hits the "barely plausible" button, even with the great Hadron Collider elevating mad-science to new levels.

But parallel universes do seem to exist and it's the internet that is creating them. How do i know? Some random surfing. And checking some of the odd searches that land on my blogs. I've found people drop by while looking for all kinds of odd stuff. Strange life-styles, religions, politics, photography and other writings. There are people out there doing things and leading lives that I didn't even know existed. The internet gives a global voice to the individual and a means of connecting the disparate. parallel layers of connected lives. Right here on Earth, right now.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

So why another blog?

I write several photography-related blogs. And that is fine and dandy. But lately I've been feeling the need to put down some thoughts, get them out in th World, on a range of other subjects. This is that blog.

Living alone can have it's disadvantages, not least is not necessarily having anyone to talk to about this stuff. But then I can vent to the world in general. Comments and conversation welcome. Keep it nice. You may not like what I have to say but I like constructive argument and disagreement: I reckon that's how we make progress in life as individuals and as a society.