Thursday, 15 April 2010

The First Election Debate

Against my original inclination, I feel compelled to give my (worthless) opinion on tonight's debate between UK's three main party leaders.

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Right. Scrap all I was going to say. I just gauged some reactions from various people's statuses on Facebook, and here is my two cents on the First Election Debate; history has been made...

Firstly, the comment that most provoked this unforeseen reaction in me was "politics turned theatre is a joke" - erm...excuse me, but all politics is theatre, played out on the world stage with people who try every day to convince us that their point of view and their policies deserve our backing. And there is no doubt that a huge amount of acting (and manipulation) goes into this - just take a look at the Lib Dems for the past, say, two general elections. They talk about winning and about what they would do, but they knew deep down, as we did, that they never really had a shot at power.

What we saw in tonight's debate is something quite extraordinary - the third main party in our electoral system got a fair platform from which to challenge the others and to push forward their own agenda - and, most importantly, in a way that was accessible to the whole electorate. All too often the Lib Dems get shooed into the corner because no one really believes their policies are worth serious airtime. And I think it worked very much in their favour. Early polls suggest Nick Clegg was seen as the 'winner' of tonight's debate, and I really hope that this (and the other two debates left), firstly, helps encourage more people to register to vote and, secondly, ensures people seriously consider the political choices they have before them - it doesn't have to be just 'red or blue'.

Just two more quick points -

Considering how the debates might fit overall into the bigger picture, there is a danger that those who have made up their voting minds won't now be swayed one way or the other by a few television performances. I don't know what the viewing figures for tonight are, but I genuinely hope enough of the 'floating voters' watched it to get some sense of political perspective.

However, my biggest fear is that, actually, not enough people really give a shit. The apathy of the general public frustrates me beyond belief. A lot of my friends tend to be quite blasé about elections and the like, and what frustrates me most is not the blatant disregard for the future of this country, but the fact that so many people don't bother to exercise one of the most fundamental human rights that this country's citizens are entitled, and almost privileged, to have. (I say 'almost' because a 'right', by its very nature, is not a 'privilege' as such.)

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Lamest quote of the night came from Cameron: "Choose hope over fear."

Friday, 2 April 2010

Quarter-end Review

Easter is 8 days earlier this year than it was last year.

Unlike Christmas, which always falls on 25 December, Easter has a tendency to jump around different Sundays in March and April. This used to be a great source of confusion for me. Surely if Christians celebrate the 'birth of Jesus' on one particular day of the year, they should also celebrate the 'death and resurrection of Jesus' on one specific day of the year too? I have since found out that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon after 21st March.

(...which still doesn't quite seem to explain why the jumping around is necessary. One's Anniversary of Death is, just like one's Anniversary of Birth, always going to fall on one day of the year! Anyway, I think I am past the caring stage now, I just appreciate the fact that we have a Bank Holiday and I can laze about for four days.)

So, a quick review of the success (or otherwise) of my year-to-date:

- No matter how good my intentions are, I am perpetually in the 'quitting' stage of smoking. At first when I quit, I would go five days without one, and then 'reward' myself for good behaviour by smoking a cigarette on the sixth day. (I should start my own brand of Warped Logic.) And due to large numbers of smoker friends, I tend to smoke a couple casually over a drink (or three). However, I am not viewing this as a failure, more as a need to readjust my attitude.

- My other resolutions have worked out alright, I suppose. Not really biting my fingers any more; (very important that I differentiate between the nails - which I don't bite - and the skin around them - which is the real problem. I sound like a cannibal!) Am possibly biting/chewing on my lips more, must investigate.

- Have started some workouts: 10mins stretches/warmups, 20mins abs, 10mins 'buns', 5mins press-ups. Am trying to work up the courage to go for a run. (Yes, courage is necessary. As I fear I won't be able to get past the end of my road.)

I am also now officially a full-time worker bee. And I don't hate my job(s)!

Happy Easter!