Monthly Archives: July 2016

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.