Tag Archives: government

Wednesday’s Got Issues : NZ Shows That Love is Louder

Most people who know me, know that I have a particular love for New Zealand. I once lived and studied there, and completely fell in love with it’s beautiful landscape, people and culture. I realise that banging on about it all the time can be a bit annoying, but today I feel that I am justified in mentioning it. Today the NZ parliament passed a bill for marriage equality – which is excellent in itself – but it was the reaction from the gallery upon hearing the news that had me crying.

The woman in the striped shirt is Louisa Wall, the openly gay MP who sponsored the bill. Louisa, well done you!

They are singing Pokarekare Ana, a Maori love song.

P.S. If someone wants to buy me a one-way plane ticket back to Wellington, I’d be mightily pleased.

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Wednesday’s Got Issues : Come on America, keep up

Over the last few days I’ve seen a lot of chatter about DOMA, and the fact that the US government is debating whether to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law in 1996 by Bill Clinton. Recently the UK government legalised gay marriage, and there are some states who have already allowed people to express their love as equal citizens, but from what I understand the repeal of the act would mean that gays would be allowed to marry nationwide, overruling any statewide laws (Please correct me if I’m wrong).

My new favourite website, BuzzFeed, has been posting articles depicting both sides of the argument, but one in particular caught my attention. Pictures of young people who oppose gay marriage holding signs explaining their reasoning. Unsurprisingly most of them mention God, a few of them are having trouble with spelling and some of them seem brainwashed and lack an understanding of the issue. The surprising part is the very fact that they are young and educated, two factors that generally indicate an open and accepting mind. I have met very few young homophobes, maybe it’s because I don’t tend to associate with the kind of people who hate my friends.

But it just seemed jarring that there are people in younger generations who are yet to move on from the restrictive outlook of the past. I’m guessing that the main reason for this is America’s refusal to separate religion and the state, their people are repeatedly told that the laws of their country must reflect those written thousands of years ago by a supposed deity, whether they worship said deity or not. To me, it seems like fairly immature way of living, the kind of attitude that I last encountered at school when trying to work out how to fit in with the cool kids. Thankfully I got over that, hopefully one day the USA will too.

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Wednesday’s Got Issues: Politicians act like, well, politicians

Warm, meaty, expensive goodness

Today the main topic of conversation seems to be Cornish pasties and petrol, as the government announced plans to increase VAT on hot convenience food, and told everyone to panic buy petrol in case of a strike. Not only are Cameron’s cronies insisting that the already struggling working class must pay for their comfort food, but we must also keep containers filled with flammable liquid at hand at all times. As usual it seems that a government does not have the best interests of the populace at heart.

Watching 10 O’Clock Live this evening, the pasty tax seemed to be characterised as an attempt to curb people’s waistlines and ease the pressure on the (now fucked) NHS. But making people pay an extra 20p for a Gregg’s pie doesn’t seem to be the most effective way to encourage people to lose weight. I would suggest more community exercise programmes, better diet education in schools, or make healthy food cheaper – the amount of times as a student that I chose 8p Tesco Value noodles over a £2 salad is really quite embarrassing.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Minister Francis Maude is facing criticism over his advice to keep a jerry can (a large container with a capacity of 20l) full of petrol in our garages, to prepare for an upcoming strike, though the date has yet to be decided. This led to huge queues outside most petrol garages today, as people took the government’s advice and started to panic. This created chaos among the petrol suppliers, who struggled to keep up with demand, and may face further issues in the future.

Basically, it seems to boil down to politicians acting before thinking. Which should hardly come as a surprise to us, seeing as we are currently being ruled by an unequal coalition government full of such conflicting ideals that, in the only laws that they have managed to pass, they are the only ones in the country who support it. I give you the astronomic hike in tuition fees as an example of both how little thought there is for younger generations, or indeed pre-election promises, within 10 Downing Street.

I would quite like it if they could do something that the majority of people actually agreed with for once. I won’t hold my breath.

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Wednesday’s Got Issues: Syrians are massacred and the UN doesn’t care

Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik

This week it seems that everyone has begun to talk about the unrest in Syria, particularly in the city of Homs, but that’s all that they are doing, talking. I’m not going to pretend to know all of the details regarding why President Assad is murdering his own people, or even why the UN and various governments seem reluctant to take action against a violent dictator. However, as I recall, the action against Colonel Gaddhafi was a lot more decisive and swift, and I refuse to believe that any governing body can think that it is preferential to do nothing.

Today the main story has been the deaths of American journalist, Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik, an undeniably tragic occurrence for people who strived to tell the stories of those without a voice. Hopefully the high profile nature of this news story will spur the authorities into action against Assad, who, according to Colvin’s final report, has been purposely attacking densely populated civilian areas and refusing to allow anyone to leave. However, it should not be the sad deaths of two dedicated professionals that inspire our world’s leaders to aid the suffering Syrians, the very fact that a government was murdering their own people should have been enough.

As I understand it, the hesitation is due to the strong Syrian army, powerful position of the country’s leader and, probably, it’s ownership of oil (please correct me if I’m wrong). But the fact that it may be a challenge to overcome a terrible regime should not be a deterrent. Many Syrians have died in their efforts to attain freedom, and their sacrifice should not be in vain. Call me crazy, but the entire United Nations against one administration doesn’t sound like much of a fight. I can’t understand what they are waiting for, do they think that a homicidal tyrant is simply going to stop his vengeful attack? Or are they waiting for all of the dissidents to be murdered and for the country to return to a dictatorship, so that they can return to the more important matter of rewarding the bankers that caused a global recession?

Hopefully our world leaders will grow a backbone soon, for the sake of the Syrian people.

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