The good, the bad and the awesome 

The good news is that the horrible housemate is finally gone and I can feel relaxed at home again. Or can I? Sometime between Wednesday and Thursday my window was smashed as seen in the picture above. The object used to break it has fallen in between the two panes of glass.

The police have obviously been advised but as I never actually saw the window being broken and the hideous housemate was always careful to only make threats when there was no-one else around, he will probably get away with it. I’m left hoping that he has no further unpleasant plans. 

It’s a bad situation but I can take one very big positive away from it. Derventio Housing who rent the property are awesome. As well as offering their full support when contacting the police they have been with me every step of the way. On the day that the heinous housemate moved out they immediately changed the locks in case he had a copy of the key made. They even offered to move me to another property, which I declined as I like it here and I’m not letting a nasty little bully chase me out.

If anyone out there would like to support a charity that is doing truly great work in helping the homeless please check out their website and consider donating your time or money to aid them in their good work.

Pest control 

I haven’t posted on here for a little while and for that I’m sorry. I forget sometimes just how helpful it can be to vent my feelings here. Since I last posted I’ve been forced to deal with three pests of varying degrees of annoyance.

The first was a cute little grey mouse that showed up one day. The little guy wasn’t a major issue as he was apparently alone and just stopped by for a few days while passing through. No complaints, no mess and he never outstayed his welcome. If only all my housemates were so accommodating. 

Which brings me to the second pest, this one far more serious. A housemate who moved into the property a couple of weeks after I did quickly became a major issue. It started with him having a few friends over late at night and escalated into a number of issues. Fortunately the housing association (Derventio) have been incredible and immensely supportive. He has been given notice of eviction and will be hopefully gone by Friday. I hate the thought of anyone being made homeless but his overt aggression and threats have made my life hell for the past couple of weeks and I just want him out of my life. 

The final pest is one that I don’t think I’ll ever be rid of and that’s the crippling depression that haunts me. It’s been a dark, lonely time recently and I’ve done what I usually do at times like this and isolated myself. I know that this is probably the worst thing that I can do but in contrast to the popular saying misery does not love company. I’m hoping that after the house bully moves out that I’ll be able to get back to a semblance of normalcy again but I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

I hope that next time I update here that I have something more positive to post. I really do hate these downer posts which is one of the reasons I’ve left it so long, I just haven’t had anything good to say. I hope everything is good for everyone out there and I’ll try to update a little more often.

Oh woe is we

That light at the end of the tunnel really is a train and it’s coming to hit all of us. I live in a world that is broken and fixing it is beyond my comprehension. War and terror reign supreme and instead of seeking peace we build more weapons. We see a child dieing of starvation and instead of putting bread in his belly we put a gun in his hand.

In my own country we have thousands homeless and thousands more using foodbanks just to survive. Instead of addressing this issue we are going to spend billions on weapons that if they were ever used would destroy us all.

I don’t normally swear in this blog but I’m so fucking sick of all the horrible shit I see every day. If we can’t do better as a species the just fire the bloody nukes, maybe the next dominant species on the planet will do better. They certainly couldn’t do much worse.

John Oliver is my hero

Ever since his wonderfully funny appearances on The Daily Show I have been a big fan of John Oliver. He has a dark, sarcastic humour that I find very appealing especially when he is using his talents to poke fun of terrible people. In the last few years, since getting his own show, he has turned his particular brand of sardonic wit into an art form and used it to highlight some of the worst of injustices.

Last Week Tonight is shown on Sundays in the US on HBO and is then uploaded to its own YouTube channel the next day. Thanks to HBO not having advertising the show is able to be completely unrestrained in its choice of targets, meaning that it is one of the few news programmes to be genuinely unbiased. Not that John would describe it as a news show, he is very adamant in interviews that the show is intended to be a comedy and nothing more. But while the show is indeed hilariously funny it also serves to highlight many important pieces of news that would otherwise slip through the cracks.

I would strongly encourage anyone with either a sense of humour or a sense of justice to watch the show. I have included several of his YouTube videos here and if you like them then there are dozens more available online. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. 

Democracy rebooted 

Here in the UK our democratic system of government is facing one of its greatest ever challenges. With the Prime Minister resigning we will soon end up with a new leader that was not voted for by the country. The main opposition is also trying to force its leader to resign despite the fact that he was voted in by the party and retains the support of the majority of that party.

In addition to these new problems we also have the traditional challenge to the democratic system that comes in the form of a house of Lords that is an entirely unelected body. An unelected body that is paid for by our taxes and which has a say in how the country is run.

It is not just the UK that has problems with its so called democratic system, there are problems in all corners of the world. In the USA this year’s candidates for president will spend billions of dollars trying to win the vote. An election that is paid for cannot truly be considered democratic. 

There could however be another way of running a country that would truly put decisions in the hands of the electorate. We have come to a point in our technological development that makes it possible for every person to have their say in the direction that they want their country to take.

What if we initiated a system in which potential changes to legislation could be proposed by anyone in the country. Then if they can get adequate support by securing a certain number of signatories it could be voted on by everyone in the country. This may seem fanciful but we have many of the facilities to do this already in place. 

Let’s take an example and run through it step by step. 

John would like to ban the use of insecticides so he goes online and starts a petition. He gathers 200,000 signatures so the petition is passed to a legal team that writes up a law based on the outline set out by John.

This law is placed online to be read by anyone interested in voting for or against it. It stays there for one month allowing time for people to decide on the issue and to campaign either for or against it.

There is then an online vote which takes place over the course of seven days allowing everyone interested time to vote. This vote is then passed on to parliament to ratify. 

Doing this or something like it puts power directly into the hands of the voters. We could put an infrastructure in place to ensure that people who are not technically proficient could get help in placing their vote and having their say. 

Our current systems are archaic and vulnerable to corruption. If we took these steps slowly and carefully we could eventually do away with the need for power hungry moguls deciding the future of not just our country but also humanity. 

I’d love to get feedback on this and hear about alternate ideas or problems that I have not considered. Even if you just think the whole idea is bloody stupid please let me know. 

Brexit? I’m for staying in


With the referendum only 2 days away we all need to think hard about the future of our country. That means setting aside patriotic nonsense and considering the real economic and political impact that leaving the EU would have on all of us.

Despite the widely discredited figures that the leave campaign claims that the EU costs us, virtually all of the big financial institutions warn us that leaving would mean households would be around £2000 worse of per year. Almost all large businesses based in the UK are against leaving and even most independent financial experts are warning that leaving could be disastrous.

Worse still, the leave campaign has offered no real plan of action to mitigate the loss of business and support that the EU offers.

On a purely financial basis the choice should be obvious.

Another big concern for the brexiteers has been the question of immigration. It is short sighted to believe that closing our borders to EU immigrants and asylum seekers would mean that there would be more work for British people. There would be less competition for jobs but, because of the inevitable economic downturn that would follow a leave vote, there would be less jobs available.

As to the question of security, I’d rather have a united European security force rather than have to deal with worldwide issues alone.

Everyone will ultimately have to make up their own minds but I would urge people to do so with thought and consideration. If you make your decision based purely on the mantra of “making Britain great again” you could end up doing just the opposite.

An idiots guide to being a decent human being


So apparently Donald Trump is calling for president Obama to resign and implying that he is responsible for the Orlando tragedy. I’m stunned by his callousness towards the people affected by this incident and horrified that there are apparently a large number of people who support his views.

What has happened in Florida should be the start of a real discussion about how we can all play a part in making a world where this kind of thing can never happen again. Instead it is being made into a political points scoring contest by heartless people with their own gross agendas.

This needs to be a time where all decent people put aside political differences and come together to say “NO MORE!”

No more violence, no more hatred, no more bigotry, no more sexism, no more homophobia. No more evil.

I’ve seen the worst that this world has to offer and it’s awful. We have all seen the results of violence and war, so how can we not want something better.

I’m lucky enough to have also seen the best this world has. Kindness, love, compassion. I wish that there was a political party that made these things their campaign promises.

I’m sorry if this seems like an unfocused rant but this whole situation has left me feeling sad, confused and angry. I don’t know how we can deal with this but I do know that now is not the time recriminations or campaigning. It’s time to heal, not just ourselves but the whole messed up world.