AV or not AV, an intelligent debate…. well no actually.
I am old enough to remember the last referendum we had in this country. It was to decide whether or not the UK should remain in what was then called the EEC. Like this vote there were members of all parties on each side of the debate. Now it might be rose tinted memory but I remember the debate being of a high level as well as being polite, respectful, and hard fought.
Unfortunately this time round my impression is that the debate has been of a very low level, bad tempered, stupid and patronising on both sides. The one thing lacking has been honest, thoughtful presentation of the information people need to help make an informed decision.
I have lost the leaflet from the YES campaign but here are the 5 main points made by the NOs in their leaflet:
1. AV will produce more coalitions – Rubbish, they may be slightly more likely under AV but the real cause of coalitions is the singular failure of any party to inspire enough people to vote for them.
2. AV is used by only 3 other countries – So what? Those three might be right. I look forward to Cameron’s passionate campaign to kick bishops out of the Lords as only 1 other country has unelected clerics with a guaranteed place in government – that would be Iran.
3. There will be lots of spoilt ballots because AV is complicated – You patronising bastards.
4. It will cost £250m – Rubbish, it costs no more to run than a council election with multiple counts which we have now. No counting machines are required. Even if the figure was correct, is getting the right voting system not worth the same as a couple of Typhoon jets.
5. It would give second votes to supporters of the BNP and other fringe parties before supporters of more mainstream parties – This is the only argument with any merit. (It was made to me by my son Bob weeks ago, and may yet be the clincher for me)
So I’m afraid the politicians have let us all down again by patronising us and treating us like idiots. – No change there then …..
Catholicism, dont you just love it…. well no actually.
You may have noticed that I am not overly fond of the Great Abrahamic Religions or, as I prefer to call them, the Desert Dogmas. I usually try to be at least even handed in my criticisms but this time the Catholics have really excelled themselves:
On the first of May there was a ceremony to beatify the late Pope John Paul II. This means that the Catholic Church is well on the way to making a saint of a man who:
Thinks people will burn forever in hell if they fall in love with someone of their own sex.
Thinks contraception is wrong – even in countries riddled with HIV
Thinks abortion is wrong – even if you have been raped
Helped get rid of communism in Poland, and then set Polish women’s rights back 10 years
At the very least turned a blind eye while paedophile priests were protected from prosecution
Still the ceremony was enjoyed by all the guests especially a certain Robert Mugabe who was there, despite a European travel ban, because the Vatican is its own state and not in Europe.
It’s good to know these people are around to protect our morals – hey maybe we could let them run some more of our schools ….
So OBL is finally dead and the reaction is ……….. quite calm actually!
It is early days yet but so-far popular reaction (by Muslims, not Americans) has be very calm and muted. There has been less screaming and shouting for death and revenge than we recently saw when two bloody idiots (one British one American) burned copies of the Koran!
I find this makes me cautiously optimistic. The reason for my optimism is what is being called the “Arab Spring”. Very brave people, Muslims, are showing that the way to get rid of oppression is not blind, bigoted, religious murder but dignified demands for freedom and democracy. I mean real oppression not the imagined oppression of the great Satan of the USA, though the west must carry its fair share of blame for propping up these oppressors in the name of stability.
I hope these brave people will be the inspiration of young, disaffected, Muslims, and non-Muslims, everywhere and that OBL’s vile ideology will soon be as dead as he is.