Category Archives: Politics

On Immigration Debates

The great ‘Immigration debate’ is one of those great drunken Jacks-in-a-box, one of those recurring national issues which won’t stop rearing its head every once in a while in ‘developed countries’ (God, I hate that term). Being a teenager living in a town/multicultural town/ghetto/failed liberal experiment/ticking timebomb, delete as is your political ideology, and being the child of a parent born in England but with ethnic roots elsewhere while the other parent naturalised and well, naturally I have something to say about it.

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Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right

When will we learn?

Of course you’ve heard of the quickly escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. It’s been on your television, your news reader, in your papers. There was a brief mention on your radio station before you switched to the next one. The world is watching the Middle East once again (because let’s face it, the Western media has all but forgotten the plight of Syria.) Most media stations have expressed the sentiment that Gaza will fall. World leaders are waiting for the bombs to finish falling, waiting to see which group drags themselves out of the rubble so that they can quickly change allegiance or reaffirm support for the group they knew would win.

And in the middle of it the innocents die and are forgotten.

Now, I won’t pretend to be an expert on this. I don’t fully understand the reasons or the predicted outcomes. I am not in the position of either Binyamin Netanyahu or Hamas. I will never be able to see the situation as they do. But I will say that what either side is doing is not working, and that it will never work.

Hamas’ approach is wrong.

Hamas attacking Israeli citizens with rockets will do nothing but cause the deaths of Palestinians in return. They know this. The idea that this whole affair is them testing their allegiance with Egypt’s new Islamist leadership is disgusting, and despicable. Yes, Palestinians have been severely wronged but that is not justification for deaths on both sides. Provoking Israel like this will only cause more Palestinian death, or push Israel to destroy Gaza entirely–the only reason they have not so far is because of the outcry from Western allies. Any more condemnation from the Western media and that may no longer be Israel’s concern.

Israel’s approach is wrong.

To quote this excellent Guardian article, Israel’s reaction is a result of the logic of escalation. They can’t be seen to back down and so they escalate the situation, returning fire and marching on Gaza. Except this time it seems Hamas may not back down and might even (possibly) be supported by the Egyptians. They say offence is the best defence, but Israel’s actions are not only harming its own citizens but forcing itself into a corner. If violence is Israel’s answer, it may as well kill all the Palestinians and do to them the very same thing that the Germans did to the Jews, in an irony which would not go unnoticed by many.

Now if fighting is not the answer, should speech be? Perhaps. I almost grow tired of repeating myself regarding issues of conflict, and suggesting that opposing sides should talk. I guess I’m an undying pacifist. But I say it because it seems the only option which few try. They laugh instead and tell us pacifists that we don’t understand, that we can’t. And yes, I am aware that decades of mistreatment and enmity will not go away magically because of one peace talk. But I am also aware that these talks are possible. Colombia and FARC are making an attempt, even if Colombia’s unwillingness towards a ceasefire are making things difficult. And all are aware that even one day of peace would save more innocent lives than one more day of gunfire.

Multiculturalism Or Integration?

But can the similarity overcome the difference?

We had an interesting debate in my Philosophy class the other day: we were discussing, amongst other curious ideas, whether the British government’s philosophy of multi-culture was a good thing. Our teacher mentioned that a lot of the conflicting feelings over it came from the fact that, back in the 50s and 60s, immigrants to Britain would assimilate into the culture. However, in recent years, that hasn’t been happening because of a push for multi-culture, and now there are people living in Britain who want nothing to do with the British and cling to their own culture, refusing the society they live in.

Do you think this is right? Which do you think is better: multiculturalism or integration?

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What’s So Great About This Thing We Call Democracy?

Positivity Link: Disney and occasional cases of decency.

It’s election time in America again and the media will not let us forget it. I live on the other side of the ocean, and yet there’s still talk about Biden and Ryan and a whole sea of Obama supporters (for some reason us Brits don’t like Romney. I think it’s something to do with the Mormonism. Or the unnerving smile.) Even here in English politics, the entire country was able to groan when Nick Plebb “apologised” for his party’s lies and then readjusted his tie in preparation for the 2015 elections.

Politicians on both sides of the world are preparing for their slinging matches and proud voters are buying badges and shirts to publicly affirm their support for X party. And I have to admit that I just don’t understand it at all. Democracy seems to be a popularity game, with an entrée of lies for the voters and a main course of unfulfilled promises. And yet the public buys into it every single time.

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Of Islam and Innocence.

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It all looks so…cheerful, doesn’t it?

Sam Bacile…really? Am I the only one who thinks the pseudonym was intended to sound like “Imbecile”?

There’s isn’t a lot that’s new to be said on this topic. Some bigots/freedom fighters/anti-Islamists/truth-spreaders (depending on your view) posted the 13-minute trailer of a film called the “Innocence of Muslims” which (whatever your view) ridiculed the Islamic prophet. In retaliation, some Muslims (and again, whatever your view, a fraction of the world’s population) have stormed embassies around the world, killing some and injuring others.

Some claim this as proof that Islam is a violent, destructive and medieval religion which will never change. That it is growing and seeks to usurp the West.

Some say that this was provocation, and the reaction to the film was one of culture rather one of religion. That most Muslims have ignored the film and gotten on with their lives, and the rioters are just violent idiots.

I like to think most of my readers can guess my opinion on this topic. It can be summed up in these pictures. I live in a town which has a relatively high Muslim population. Last year (or the one before?) a former resident blew himself up in Switzerland. An anti-Islam group which opposes Islamic extremists was set up here in the last couple of years. (I call them anti-Islam and not anti-extremist because, unfortunately, despite their original noble goal of opposing extremism, most members are skinheads who weren’t of the right social class to join the BNP and who only chant racial slurs at their rallies.)

Yet, the town is not a hive of terrorist activity, anti-Western vitriol or pro-Sharia law demonstrators. It is a town. We have a nice mall. Sometimes it’s sunny. Sometimes it rains. We have a street you might call “Asiantown,” or whatever. There is a degree of distrust between races and cultures. It is the same as anywhere else, and it is bred by the fear of strangers and feeds on the fear of the unknown. It is solvable. At school, there isn’t a reason to fear other students, and we get along fine.

There’s been no reaction to the film in this town. Of course it’s been heard of. But no-one cares. A friend made a Facebook comment: “I wish people would stop mistaking culture for religion.” That was it. Up in London, 150 protesters burnt an American flag. They should be arrested, but they won’t be because this is England. Mob mentalities drive the riots in the Middle-East. Many turned to looting straight after breaking into buildings. There isn’t even a reason, it’s just senseless violence. It reminds me almost exactly of last year’s London riots. Something’s been cooked up simply to provoke a reaction. And it’s a sad situation which has led to the unfortunate loss of life of innocent people. I can only hope that whoever is behind the film is caught quickly.

If you disagree with me (or if you’ve guessed the town I live in from all the massive hints) feel free to start a discussion below.

Of (Metaphorical) Mice and Men

I’m really growing sick of reading online articles now. First I gave up on the Daily Mail, a tabloid which uses sensationalist headlines and gross exaggerations of Britain’s immigration problem to attract readers. Next I’m almost ready to give up on Yahoo. I still read The Guardian, as it is not as sensationalist, but sometimes its articles are a little too forced, a little too left-wing for me to bother with (also, its commentisfree contributors can sometimes be down right annoying and self-righteous). Yet I suppose you could call my disgust somewhat misdirected, as it is really the comments section on the Daily Mail and Yahoo which boil my blood.

Reading the blatant racism, you’d often think we were stuck in the early 20th century. Or right back in the days when Europeans discovered other continents and their people.

Granted, and thankfully, not all commenters act in such a way, but if an article refers to a minority than the topic always rears its ugly head. Last month, I wrote a post on the freedom of speech. I disagree with the content of many comments sections, but I recognise that it is a person’s right to make them. I also don’t like to indiscriminately throw the word racist around. So what angers me is the cowardice. The sheer cowardice. I don’t understand why people would make such comments on the anonymity of the internet, and then go back out into the world and say nothing. I may sit here blogging about various things, but I express the same views in real life. Online, they complain that they cannot spout their views because the government will throw them in jail, accuse them of racism, etc. But so what? The “immigrants” they refer to fought for their right to live in Britain, even at threat of physical harm. Even the publicly-despised and radical Muslim clerics continue to shout their views despite widespread hatred and in-between getting arrested. So what are those who wish to “defend” Britain waiting for?

*Sigh* I don’t like to get involved in this whole issue. But I was tired after a long school day and a few posts on The Student Room website got me seeing red, and I responded rather critically to a thread. In hindsight, I know I should not have said some of things I did and I do regret that I said them. However, the issue of racism is one that needs to be addressed. In the West it’s handled the exact same way in which gay rights is: with a ten-foot pole. Some members of the White British community are panicked by British immigration, especially when they see places like Bradford, Luton or Peckham. Some members of minority groups, particularly Asians and Blacks, walk around with a chip on their shoulder and blame all their problems in life on racism, and love to play that card. But the answer to this isn’t to put up walls, try to kick each other out of the country, or to shout each other down. That solution has never worked. Once again, the only way through this is sitting all the groups down and undertaking the arduous process of changing minds. People like to say it doesn’t work, but the truth is humanity would be nowhere if minds didn’t change. And we’d still be back in the stone ages if those minds didn’t change together.

The Thank You Post

A hug for everyone, courtesy of Pooh and friends. ;)

And I truly mean it. Thank you, all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my Freshly Pressed post. Both those who agree and those who disagree with me, and especially the latter for commenting with the respect each human is due another. Because of the subject matter, I was worried that a feature would mean many negative or even downright abusive comments, or that the whole comments section would descend into a gay-Christian bashing war. I’m glad to say that the WordPress community has proven me wrong on both accounts.

There are so many comments that my Gmail and WordPress apps have both crashed multiple times with the notifications. 😉 I watched my daily views shoot up from a max of 16 to a whopping 1,583 and counting. Numerous people have liked my post, or shown their support, or at the very least wished me luck in my spiritual journey and life.  Many have resolved to pray for me, and regardless of our disagreements I thank you too, because this is only an extension of love. I never imagined my post or thoughts could attract attention like this, and I’m touched from all the people telling me that I’d made a difference to them with my maturity and refreshing ideas. I’m glad I could make that difference with this little expression of thought.

I am a woman, I am sixteen, and I am a Christian. I might be critical of the flawed idea that is religion, but my faith in Jesus Christ is a conviction for which I do not need to fall back on religion. I have certain ideas about Christianity, and whether or not I or you believe homosexuality is a sin is irrelevant to gays and Christians living together peacefully. My post was made to say that re-conciliation is possible, not to push my views down your throat. I have my own personal relationship with God, He understands me and I try my best to understand Him. Some people say my understanding is wrong, but that understanding is still my own and is no greater or lesser than another’s understanding of God.

A big hug to all my new followers, likers and commenters, thank you for giving time out of your day for me. 😀 I’m sorry I haven’t answered everyone’s comments yet, with the influx of comments if you have any personal queries you want quickly and directly answered it would be best to send me an email. Thank you all and God Bless!