Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Hate the Conservatives due to their "History"? Perhaps you are "Politically Mentally Ill"?

Hate the Conservatives due to their "History"? Perhaps you are "Politically Mentally Ill"?

N.B This post is quite conceptually challenging. It is also quite controversial. I have realized since revisiting it that it was wrote in a quite patronizing tone, something which I am trying to work on. 


The Queen's speech occurred this morning which marked the inauguration of the new Conservative government. It is the first time there has been a conservative majority government in almost two decades. During dinner last night I was in discussion as to why people don't like the conservative government? My mum's boyfriend (who is from Dungiven, a nationalist/republic town just outside of Derry/Londonderry) and like majority of other Irish Catholics is a nationalist and hates the conservatives) smugly replied "ooo history". My mum had to calm me down before I went ballistic.

A lot of the reason  for the  hate towards the conservatives by the Irish Nationalists stems from the history of past conservative governments. During "The Troubles" nationalists argue that the conservative government did not treat the Irish people fairly. One incident in particular that stands out is the "Hunger Strike". Briefly, the hunger strikers were republican prisoners, however they believed they should be given special rights in regards to being prisoners such as not wearing a prisoners uniform. This was because they many others argue that they were not the same as ordinary criminals as they were "political prisoners" (This is a very "hot topic" with the new Conservative government wanting to abolish the Human Rights Act, read my article on this here: http://adamhenry16.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/prisoners-allowed-to-vote-why-dont-we.html ). On the other hand, Margret Thatcher very famously held that "Crime is crime is crime, there is no such thing as political crime". In essence Thatcher and her government did not believe that the prisoners deserved special rights due to their circumstances.

What some people seem to be ignorant of or forget with their selective biased recall of history, is that it was actually James Callaghan  and his Labour government who withdrew "Special Category Status" for convicted paramilitary prisoners, in 1976 before Marget Thatcher and the conservatives came to power in 1979. Thus, it is completely unfair to just blame Thatcher and her conservative government for the death of the hunger strikers: it was Labour who took away political prisoners rights in the first place!!!!!  Regardless on who you point the finger at Margret Thatcher is now dead! So is the majority of her cabinet! Nevertheless, in case you have not noticed, The new Conservative Government are not the same as the conservative government of the 1980s.  David Cameron and Boris Johnston were at school and university during Thatchers reign. David Cameron is not a woman and does not were a skirt of a hat, he is not Margaret Thatchers. The reason why they choose to become Conservative is not because they 100% agree with what the party has done in the past, but because they are the party who represent the fiscally conservative, and thus is why I support them. 

One should not use the history of past conservative governments and use that as an excuse to not like them. Surely that would mean that all black people should still hate white people as we kidnapped them and then used them as slaves in the past. I'm sure Barack Obama would never have been elected if he had held that view. This can be equated with someone who is mentally ill. If unfair events happened in a persons history and they are unable to get over this, then they have a mental illness: they have depression. They will struggle to progress with their life if they are stuck trying to get over things in the past. Can you see how that is illogical? Similarly people with their political views, who use history as an excuse not to like or trust a group of people, cannot progress. We cannot progress as a society unless we are futurists. We have to look at what is happening now, and what we can work with so that it is beneficial in the future. If you cannot do this and are "stuck in the past" then similarly as the person with depression, you are also mentally ill; you are "Politically Mentally Ill": you are not considering political matters rationally.  Judging whether you like or dislike the conservatives due to their history is illogical.

 When someone is suffering from a mental illness for example depression or  substance abuse,  in order for them to progress and recover, they need to acknowledge it first. Look at what happens when they don't acknowledge they have a problem: hey don't go to rehab, say No, No, No and die! And that is what will happen if people don't admit that not liking the new Conservative government due it's "history" is irrational. Most people want Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom to progress and flourish as a society and to do that people with opposing histories and views need to be able to synergise; we don't have to "sing from the same hymn sheet" but we do have to harmonize. In order to do this I believe one needs to admit this problem, and then go to political rehab: study or re-study the history whilst considering other perspectives apart from that of an Irish Nationalist, try and be nonpartisan. And then hopefully then realize that David Cameron and his cabinet are not identical to Margret Thatcher and hers. They are going to be here for a while, you might as well try and "get along with them".






Monday, 25 May 2015

Angst, Ennui and Weltschmerz

Angst, Ennui and Weltschmerz 


I suffer from anxiety and depression that are brought on from a mixture of reasons. However one of the reasons is caused from me being bored: I am bored with what's going on around me; I am bored with what I am learning at school; I am bored of my steps; I am bored of Belfast; I am bored of television; I am bored of movies; I feel unsatisfied and anxious about trying to find something that I will not find boring. The current problem is what should I do with my life? What career path should I follow that will not lead to boredom. I even considered joining the army because at least it would be exciting! These feelings I get are known in philosophy as "Angst", "Ennui" and "Weltschmerz". I shall explain:
  1. Angst - anxiety and dissatisfaction brought on by over-thinking. For example: you may worried about something, but what you are worried about is irrational.  
  2. Ennui - Boredom and alienation of the world around you. For example: when one finds their job is too tedious and are then frustrated by this. 
  3. Weltchmerz - despair at the fact that humanity always does and will fall short of expectation. For example: When someone does not perform as well as expected. 
I found a blog which gives a more in depth definitions,  if you are interested: http://mentalfloss.com/article/58230/how-tell-whether-youve-got-angst-ennui-or-weltschmerz

These three feelings are all relative to each other, as they cause a chain reaction or butterfly effect; it is a vicious circle which can be viewed as self-destructive, self-indulgent and ego-centic. However I shall mainly focus on Ennumi and Weltchmerz .I shall now explain how this has occurred in my academic life as an example. 

Academic Ennui 

Anyone who attended secondary school with me, knew one thing about me: I hardly ever did my homework or bothered doing any sort of studying and actually quite often I would forget  I even had homework or that there was a test. 8-1 hated me because if they ever lost the class merit it was because of me!  Similarly, anyone who went to university with me knew one thing: I hardly ever attended a lecture, for example when I went to ask questions about a past paper to one of my lecturer's in my final year, she asked me "who are you? are you in my class". I told a white lie and said I had been at a few at the start... I had been to one, it clashed with my dancing class. Traveling 2 and half hours there and back to an Irish dancing class seemed more important to me. 

Part of this is due to Asperger's: I am quite disorganized. However another reason for this was because I was bored in school. I knew I was quite academic, so I didn't get any satisfaction in studying to get a grade I knew I could possibly achieve: If you know you can achieve something, the accomplishment doesn't seem that great. I always aimed to do as little effort as possible to just achieve an average mark. In my school reports, my attainment grades were usually higher than my effort grades, quite often they would read something similar to: "Adam is good at this subject, when he feels like it." 

This attitude of mine did not always go to plan however, for example my GCSE's. I thought I would just wing them and get straight As - it didn't work out, I wasn't just quite as smart as what I thought I was. I was too lazy for coursework, instead of reediting my corrections, I would just reprint what I had done and hand it back. I never did my reading homework, so when asked to highlight the important points I just highlighted random parts of it (to make it seem like I had read it). I remember the night before my religion GCSE I decided to try and do some studying. I took out my notes and realized I couldn't read or make sense of any of them: my file was such a mess and my scripture was all wrinkled and highlighted randomly. My insomnia was very bad at the time so religion class seemed like a great opportunity to have a nap. I decided to give up and watch the movie "Carrie" instead. I somehow managed to pass all of them. However, the straight As didn't happen, and thus I fell short of my expectation and this lead to Weltschermz.

During my A-levels I learnt the art of cramming. I wanted to go to university, and I discovered if I crammed three days before each exam I would usually get what I was aiming for. I found that this gave me a huge adrenaline rush and I enjoyed this a lot.  This continued at university, studying still didn't interest me I use to leave all my essays or studying to the very last minute, I was the ultimate procrastinator. This meant I could have time to do my obsessions Irish dancing, poker, clubbing and "gyming".   But this adrenaline rush of leaving all my deadlines and studying to the last minute solved my ennui, I felt on top of the world! It is like Sisyphus in the myth of Sisyphus.

Lindsay Lohan: The Perfect Example of Ennui

Although Lindsay Lohan is now the butt of many jokes, for example my article on her and the Human Rights Law: http://adamhenry16.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/prisoners-allowed-to-vote-why-dont-we.html . Nevertheless I do not think it is possibly to argue that she was (and hopefully still is!) incredibly talented. Look at her in "The Parent Trap" nobody really appreciates her great acting skills in it. Some movie snobs laugh at "Mean Girls", however it was very critically acclaimed, it is one of the most Iconic movies of the Millennium if not the most; it is arguably a "Classic".

However, what happens to Lindsay Lohan after this movie? She is bored: ennui starts to haunt her! So she starts drinking, taking drugs and lives the ultimate hedonistic life style. Nothing gives her pleasure anymore, as she knows she can achieve it! She creates drama to add excitement to her life, maybe not directly on purpose, but sub-consciously she is. It's like she is playing a game: Can I get away with this? She is addicted to drama! She is doing anything for an adrenaline rush, because she is bored! It is the same reason people have affairs, they are bored and they love the excitement of potentially getting caught. 

What happens as a result of this. She messes up, she eventually gets caught out and she is yet to reach her full potential  thus Weltschmerz! She could of won an oscar by now, but instead the amount of times she has been in jail and rehab outweighs the amount of awards she has won. Although she seems to have settled down in the last year or two, she seems to be getting her life back on track now.

Conclusion

Similarly to Lindsay Lohan, I am bored and as a result I haven't achieved my full potential yet and am confused as to what it is. I am filled with angst:
  • Why am I here?
  • What purpose do I have?
  • What career do I want? 
  • Do I want to live? 
  • What is the point in living? 
  • What will make me happy? 
  • What will stop this ennui that haunts me? 

My granny use to say to me "the world is not against you, Adam!", sometimes I feel that it is: I feel like Sisyphus. My granny also use to sing to me Que Sera Sera (Whatever will be will be), the lyrics tell you not to worry because you have no control and can't see into the future. But when I look into the future all I see is misery, despair, anger and frustration and I have no control over this, or do I? 

I am in despair: how will I ever get myself out of this negative cycle? There is only one way negative downward thinking leads to. It is not healthy, but I seem to have no control over it, but yet the existentialist in me is able to explain the cause of it. Will I ever find a job and a life that I am content with, will I ever be satisfied, will I ever be happy? 

What do you think after reading this? Do you think I am just a young man who is bored, frustrated over-thinking everything while trying to figure the world out? Or do you think I am just like Winona Ryder in Girl Interrupted: A lazy, self-indulgent little boy who is driving himself crazy. 



























Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Gay Cake Debate!: Part One: All about that Cake! Part Two: The Gay/Equal Marriage Debate

The Gay Cake Debate! 


Part One: All about that Cake! 


Just like the very emotional woman from mean girls who "doesn't even go here", I also want the people of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom and the rest of the world to get along and "be happy": Protestants and Catholics, Blacks and Whites, Men and Women, Gays and Christians, Mariah Carey and Slipknot fans. There is room for everyone in this world (even Kim Kardashian and Justin Beiber... unfortunately!). In Northern Ireland and many other countries, there is often conflict and debate over LGBT rights. I am pro LGBT rights and pro Gay-Marriage, however I do understand and acknowledge that there are people with different views and as in previous posts I have mentioned I do respect democracy. 

This conflict all came to a heads up recently when a Christian Bakery decided to reject a request for a cake with a pro Gay-marriage message on it. Again, like in previous posts I am beginning to sound like Alanis Morissette, because "isn't it Ironic, don't you think", that a CAKE has caused a row over LGBT rights. Cake is one of the most gayest things I can think of: gay means happy, in happy times you eat cake, homosexuals got the term "Gay" because they are stereotyped to be very happy people, who like cocktails, cock and cake. For those who don't know, it went to court and the Gays won against the Christians. It was ruled the bakery was discriminating and this was against equality.  

My initial perception of this is that it was blown way out of proportion. I mean, really? Did the Gay man really have to be such a primadonna? I am not surprised from experience, I have learned that some gay men can be the most stubborn creatures in the world and could make a song and dance so dramatic that it could put this woman, the "Queen of the Night" herself to shame.

(Please do watch the video, to remember how f*****g amazing she was! Beyonce ain't have s**t on her! *clicks fingers and shakes head*) 

However, after further evaluation, I have realized that it was not just wrong that the Christian bakers denied to make the cake(because it was discrimination and against equality), but it was actually against their religion itself; they have misunderstood scripture! The new testament (which is meant to be the most important part for Christians),  clearly teaches not to judge others (read further in my initial post: http://adamhenry16.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/my-political-and-religions-views.html ). It was not the bakers place according to the Bible to judge whether gay marriage is right or wrong: only God can judge! So... if they had not misinterpreted the new testament in the first place, there would not of been a "Gay Cake Debate" and it would of saved them a hell of a lot of hassle. Just like Gay men, I have also found that religious people can be just as stupidly stubborn and this clearly is an excellent example of! To conclude, Christians please re-read your bible before you give another excuse for a queen to make another song and dance and leave the judging up to God! 

Part Two: The Gay/Equal Marriage Debate


Let's get one thing straight: I am not actually pro-marriage, in any sense. As far as I am concerned, all that marriage guarantees you is: a hell of a lot of debt, you will gain weight and an argument every evening. But, maybe I am a bit cynical since my parents are separated and on my dad's side of the family, out of his siblings only 4/8 got married and out of them only 1/4 did not end up in separation or divorce. But whatever, I am all for equality, LGBT rights and hate any type of discrimination and as a result of this I believe that Gay people should have the right to marry if that is what they want. 

However, I do understand  a lot of people in this country due to their religion are opposed to gay marriage. The DUP for example see marriage as strictly religious, and believe that a civil-partnership is good enough for equality. Furthermore, let's not just point the finger at Protestants, Unionists and Conservatives; the Gay Marriage Vote revealed divisions among the SDLP as well. Adding to this, it is still very much seen as a controversial issue in the Republic as many Catholics are opposed also,  and is thus why a referendum is occurring there. Aside from Christians,although they may be a minority in Northern Ireland, there are other people from other religious practices who are also opposed to it. 

Last night I posed this question to my Facebook friends, on twitter and on "I want a non-sectarian Northern Ireland" (which is a Facebook group I am a part of): "I am pro gay-marriage. But I understand that a lot of people are not. And I understand democracy and that the DUP is the largest party in the Assembly. If they changed the legal definition of a civil-partnership to equate the rights of marriage, would that not be a good compromise? Both the LGBT and Religious people happy?" I got various responses, and I understand the frustration of the LGBT community, I don't believe that it is morally right for homosexuals not being allowed to marry (and I don't believe Jesus would think so either!). 

However, would it not at least be a step in the right direction? We really need to think about how far the UK and Ireland have come in terms of LGBT rights: it was not so long ago that homosexuality was a criminal offence. The problem with "lefties" is that they can be as stubborn as the very socially conservative: If you don't suggest anything other than skipping through a field, naked, with a massive spliff singing "Kum Bi Yah"; they aren't happy either! Unfortunately I am not a wizard: I don't have a magic wand were I can't magically change the views of the socially conservative! Neither does anyone who has political power! One has to respect their opinions and one has to respect democracy. Thus considering both sides of the argument: I believe changing the legality of a civil-partnership to match that of a marriage, would be a good compromise. The Christians and other religious people could keep their religious definition of marriage and it would also be a step towards equality for the LGBT community. Then, I would bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat it and be happy! And then dance with somebody who loves you to something fabulously camp in the Kremlin! 










Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox


It has recently been revealed that the new Conservative government plan on lifting the ban on fox hunting. My first thoughts on this is: "Dear God lifting the hunting ban is going to make the Tory party resemble even more like a group of posh boys". Personally, I am a bit of a "woose" when it comes to any sort of violence towards animals. For example, when my family and friends would occasionally go on fishing trips, I was completely traumatized at seeing the fish getting a hook in its mouth followed by suffocating. A further example is that when watching a movie, I get far more upset about seeing an animal die than seeing a human die. What makes fox hunting even worse for me is that my dog  looks like a big fat fox. However, before I start sounding like Liz Jones, and go on a big rant about animal rights, as most people know the reasons against fox hunting and hunting, let's look at the reasons for the ban being lifted.

Gypsy my Dog



  1. It's Traditional- Foxhunting has been around for centuries. As well as welcoming other communities cultures and traditions, people should respect British peoples cultures and traditions. It is a passion and past time of people in the countryside. On the other hand, however, one could point out that slavery was also a tradition, therefore it doesn't mean that it was ever moral or that we should re-legalize it. 
  2. Hunting Provides Jobs- Hunting was said to provide around 750 jobs. It is therefore providing employment and beneficial for the economy.
  3. Hunting is natural - it is part of the "circle of life"; foxes die anyway and besides that foxes are predators themselves and hunt other animals.
  4. If you are not a vegan, to oppose it would be hypocritical -  although the foxes are not killed for human consumption, their fur is often used for clothing such as scarfs. If you are anti-fur perhaps you should check where your clothes are being manufactured to see if it is being made by child slaves, which in my view is far less ethical than wearing fur. 
  5. They are a pest that need controlled- foxes are a nuisance to farmers, as they often prey on their livestock. Foxes use to be preyed on by larger animals such as wolves but they have become extinct, and now their population is out of control. Hunting is viewed as a way of managing their population. As well as this, the farmers or the government would have to spend money on pest control, whilst the fox-hunting would provide this for free. 
  6. Hunts are impossible to police- Police are not psychic and can not tell when a hunt is going to occur. Asides from this, should the tax-payers money not be used for better causes: should the police not be going after proper criminals, not people enjoying a traditional country sport.
  7. There is no evidence to suggest that fox hunting is less humane than other methods used to kill foxes - at the end of the hunt the animal either escapes or is killed and thus there is no wounding. This is comforting to me, I have heard the dogs "rip the fox to shreds". They must of been uninformed. Think about it again - they usually keep the animals course and use it as some sort of trophy, or use it for fur. This could not happen if it was "ripped to shreds by the dogs". 


 A Fox 


The thought of killing an animal really upsets me. I love animals, any form of cruelty towards them disturbs me. Nevertheless, after considering the reasons for fox-hunting I can understand why it would be perfectly rational to re-legalize it. It's economically beneficial to farmers, it provides jobs and saves the tax-payers money on pest-control and trying to police them.  Foxes are a pest, they cause economic devastation in the countryside and they need to be controlled. If they are going to be controlled anyway, and there is no other way of killing them which is more humane, why not let the country people do so whilst enjoying their tradition? Fantastic Mr Fox did kill the chickens after all: he was no angel. 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Ginger Spice: The REAL reason why I am a Unionist.


Ginger Spice: The REAL reason why I am a Unionist. 


Since I have arrived home to Belfast, a place where I have spent a great deal of my time is Fitness First Connswater. For anyone who does not know, Connswater is situated right beside the Lower Newtownard's Road (Which is were the rioting near "the 12th" occurs in Belfast, as well as I like to call the "Fleg" protests). Fitness First would be my closest gym, it's about a mile from my house, which is situated close to Ballyhackmore nick named the "Champs-Elysees of Belfast" or the "Upper East Side". Like in a lot of cities, "posh" or middle-class areas are not far from working-class areas. Thus in the gym I attend almost daily, there is members from both areas. Ironically the reason why I use this gym (apart from to look incredibly sexy when I'm naked!), is also to keep myself in shape for Irish dancing. 



If I don't know someone well, I tend to be quite shy (apart from when I am drunk: I have a mischievous drunk twin!).Nevertheless, I tend to be quite polite and wouldn't consider myself to be unfriendly. However, for some reason in Belfast when I see a very muscular man with a shaved head and tattoos, I become terrified! I all of a sudden feel as if I have a massive flashing sign above my head saying "Taig" and then because of this, they want to kill me. What is this(I am sure a lot of my English LGBT friends would find this hilarious, "they sound sexy", they sound like they just walked out of a Vauxhall Nightclub!) ? It is paranoia! It is the reason why I believe a lot of the trouble in Northern Ireland occurs along with many other types of prejudice and discrimination such as Racism and Homophobia. Many people are homophobic for example, until a member of their family or a friend becomes homosexual. 

I wish I wasn't paranoid about this; this voice in my head saying "all working class protestants want to kill me." I am sure the men in this gym are offended that I am afraid of them. When does a dog bark? When it senses that someone is scared of them. They don't understand. Human's fear what they don't understand. I grew up with a variety of people from different backgrounds, however not many working class protestants or working class people whatsoever, and thus I am naturally intimidated by them, because I don't understand them; I've never new any well. I was friends with middle-class protestants and my friends in school who were middle-class Catholics use to say "they are different from us", some people use to even call me a "mud-blood" because my mum was a Protestant and my dad was a Catholic. 

These paranoid feelings I have, are quite ironic; I should feel at home in East Belfast considering some of the political views I have. A "Catholic turned Unionist", I must seem like some sort of a hero, like i have been "saved". And to be honest, I quite like the colors red, white and blue. My favorite spice girl after all was Ginger Spice. My dad use to make jokes, when he would see a Union Flag, he would point to it and say "there's another Ginger Spice supporter." I think maybe he blames her on turning his only son into a unionist, also when Gerry Adams was named on the news, he use to say "it's you and ginger spice getting married".  My Grandad, who was a Chinese-Malaysian G.P., practice was in the exact same area, so probably what quite a lot of the member's Doctor. My uncle who is also a G.P. (ironically again) has his practice is in Ardoyne, and is the G.P to some Catholics I know from Irish dancing. 




I have been told about a program called "Corrymeela", which is a "Christian community whose objective is the promotion of reconciliation and peace-building through the healing of social, religious, and political divisions in Northern Ireland. It runs programs aimed at establishing a shared society defined by tolerance, where differences are resolved through dialogue in the public sphere and where there is equity, respect for diversity and recognition of interdependence." Although, you may know from personally knowing me or reading a previous post, I am agnostic and hence not religious myself. However,I am about to apply for a program ran by this community. I hope to become more involved in it. I think it is terrible that  myself and others are paranoid about people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Hopefully by being involved in this program this paranoia will stop. 










Saturday, 16 May 2015

Stop being stubborn, and get on with the Welfare Reform! If Austerity doesn't work then explain the seven year low of unemployment in the rest of U.K?

Stop being stubborn, and get on with the Welfare Reform! 

If Austerity doesn't work then explain the seven year low of unemployment in the rest of U.K?

N.B. The use of the word "retarded" is only used to reinforce a point. I am aware it is not politically correct and I apologise if it does cause offence. 

The Northern Ireland assembly is facing gridlock as parties cannot agree on the welfare reforms. Arlene Foster (the newly appointed Northern Ireland Assembly finance minister), has warned that if the assembly does not reach a conclusion within a fortnight, it will cost the assembly £500 million. Sinn Fein party members argue that the rising austerity imposed by the conservative government is causing a "huge hole" in the assemblies budget in addressing issues on welfare and disabled members of the community.

Jeffery Peel debating this issue on  "Nolan Live" stated that the amount of people claiming Disability Living Allowance(DLA), is twice as high as those claiming it in Great Britain. I have since checked this claim, and it is true, 1/10th of the population in Northern Ireland are claiming DLA. I'm sorry but I do not believe that 10% of the citizens in this country are severely disabled to the extent that it has an effect on their day-to-day lives. Northern Ireland is a special place due to the history of it's people, not special because Northern Ireland is twice as disabled as Great Britain! I'm sure nationalists would love the headline:"Northern Irish twice as retarded as the English!"

Austerity clearly has worked in the rest of the U.K.: Unemployment has reached a seven year low. Sinn Fein do have a place in the Northern Ireland Assembly, they represent the nationalist and republicans. However, their mandate is not as strong as what the conservatives is. Edwina Currie on Nolan live pointed out that Sinn  Fein had not gained any extra seats, the Conservatives and the Unionists had. I do not agree with everything the DUP stands for (they are too socially conservative for me), but I do respect democracy.

As well as having a stronger mandate if you research the backgrounds of members of Sinn Fein compared to the Conservatives, the Conservatives  are more educated and represent the UK better. This is because their party members socioeconomic background is much more diverse than Sinn Fein (who tend to only be white, male, Irish and Catholic). Thus as well as the Conservatives having a stronger mandate from the election, their backgrounds reinforce they are deserving of it.

The First Minister Peter Robinson, has stated that he believes that Westminster will take the Welfare power back off the Northern Ireland assembly, instead of letting the assembly face government inertia, resulting in a mountain of fines! Is this what the people of Northern Ireland want? Is this what we voted for? No! Years of fighting for democracy for then to have a democratic power to be taken off the assembly due to Sinn Fein being ridiculously stubborn, over welfare when the amount of people on benefits in Northern Ireland is paramount to the rest of the U.K.! Get your act together, stop acting so childish, or else Northern Ireland faces either huge fines or a democratic right being taken away from it and given to the English and that truly would be "retarded" and thus the headline "Northern Irish twice as retarded as the English" would be very deserving!!

References

  • http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/13/uk-unemployment-falls-as-wage-growth-rises
  • http://www.poverty.org.uk/i15a/index.shtml
  • http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2015/05/northern-ireland-%E2%80%98faces-further-cuts-without-welfare-reform-deal
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32652290
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32758936
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32714202
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05v2sv6/nolan-live-series-4-episode-1




Friday, 15 May 2015

Beyonce is right: Girls do rule the world! My lifelong battle against "Fat Bottomed Girls"!

Beyonce is right: Girls do rule the world!

My lifelong battle against "Fat Bottomed Girls"!

N.B. I have made fun of people who have bullied me in the past and present with "big bottoms", it is meant to be "light-hearted" and used for comic purposes. I have nothing against fat people personally. I have friends who are not in perfect shape and my granny certainly has a rather large bottom and I love her very much so!




Throughout every aspect of my life, I have been a victim of bullying. I was bullied in primary school: I guess being the star in the school play, having the best birthday parties, getting an A in your 11+ without a tutor, showing off your medals and cups, being able to say "my mum was Miss Northern Ireland and my dad is a doctor", "I live in the house of Harland and Wolf who built the Titanic, it has a tower!" and "I have an aux pair!" does not make you very many friends at this stage of your life; children are not usually shallow or superficial. I remember that me along with a friend of mine (who is now my cousins fiance), were basically banned from being in the school play because parents and their children did not like us very much! It wasn't our fault, we weren't nasty. I know I may sound a bit like Gretchen Wieners here, but we couldn't help it that we were smart and could sing! Yes precocious, but for Gods sake, we were children:we didn't understand!


Mean Girls GIF 

In secondary school, I was also bullied! By everyone: boys and girls. However, in my junior school class there were two particularly nasty girls who tried to make me and some of my friends life's hell! Two tall girls who towered down on us tiny junior school boys. They use to play all sorts of nasty tricks on us and call us all sorts of nasty names. One had a massive ass (or fat bottomed if you like.) and the other ginger (It's quite ironic now I look back, that they were the bullies!).

Something me and these two girls had in common was that we did Irish dancing. One girl was a festival dancer like myself except her teacher was in the FDTA. The other girl was a feis dancer, she was an comdhail (at the time I had no idea of the various feis organisations. My first Irish dancing teacher a very passionate festival extremist had painted a picture of a wig wearing, fake tanned,  space suit wearing dancer"with no interpretation or style!" Feis wear essentially the anti-Christ). The festival dancer in her numerous speeches use to brag about how she had "won the ulsters". I was very impressed by this, but my teacher would not let us enter the Ulsters because she thought at the time the FDTA was "feisly" influenced. I told this girl this and she had replied "that is because your school was not good enough to be part of the FDTA!" As I didn't have much knowledge of the feis world at this stage, I wasn't sure how the other girl had done, but I presumed by the way she acted and talked about her dancing and the amount of confidence she had, she must of been some sort of a champion.

When I was 14 I started on/off dating who I thought was the prettiest girl my age in festival Irish dancing, who I'm still good friends with.  I remember telling the festival girl in my class this, who was in her age group. "You are not going out with her!", the other girl would say something like "You do not have a girlfriend, that's impossible because you are GAY!" followed by sniggers. I found out that the two girls from festival were good friends with each other.  (check out me and my first girlfriend, and now good friend a few years later about 16 years old,dancing at a show in Spain!)

 

I found out from dating this girl that she had won the FDTA Ulsters 3 times, I knew already she had won it once. And when I told her that the girl in my class claimed she had won the ulsters, I found out this wasn't true. She had NEVER won the ulsters, the closest she had been was maybe third when she was quite a bit younger. I never told this girl I had found this out. Just knowing it was satisfying enough. Plus I found her kind of scary. Around this same time me and the ginger feis dancer had a huge argument in school. She had tried to steal my mobile phone and send messages off it, I snapped it back out of her hands and her friends accused me of being violent. She started calling me names and I said "well at least I didn't tell people that I was the best looking girl in my year!" It all blew off and in English class we were screaming across the room. Other times a part from this she made comments like "festival is a load of rubbish! She also made fun of my style of dancing whilst bragging to other members of the class about how great she was.

As the years went, when me and the festival girl in my class danced against each other, sometimes she would beat me, sometimes I would beat her. But a few years later in my festival dancing career, I won the European Championships. Which was the biggest title you could win at the time in festival. I beat the current ulster champion in my age group (she came second!). I also won senior championships in festival (either over 17 or over 19 depending on the festival). Both of these feats the girl in my class never achieved! This girl did mature as she got older (and her bottom became not just so large either) and we are now fine now. I wrote on my tumblr about the politics which started to happen to the school I was dancing with the at the time. This girl did laugh at one festival about how silly one judge had been when she had stated the reason she hadn't placed me first was because "your foot turned up during a front click" and in the step there was no front click (or actually any clicks in the step!)! The girl said after I did my set "I wish I could of done what you just did." (check out me winning the Europeans (it was all about the top 6 in festival, not the top 5 like feis)Funnily enough there were two judges in festival who consistently seemed to have some sort of vendetta against me, one had a rather large ass and the other ginger!



 I later moved over to CLRG (which is the feis style and is the largest Irish dancing organisation in the world). Where I have won the Ulsters, and placed top 5 in the British Nationals, top 10 in the All Ireland's, Great-Britan's and All-Scotland's. I have researched how the ginger feis girl did in An Comdhail, she never won or got close to winning anything! I don't think she even placed top 10 in the Ulsters or All Ireland's. Maybe in team dancing, but not in solos, which is not the same! I think she might of  placed top 5 in the an Comdhail Belfast championships, which in festival I had won five times! The first four times it was just the boys, but twice my raw marks were higher that the girls! And the fifth time I won the Senior championship in with the girls! I don't think I even have talked to this girl since we were in junior school.

I know both of these girls may well have matured and realized how nasty and silly they were being. But now in dancing I have achieved more than the pair combined. It's time for me to be a bit nasty and immature! So... to the two girls who bullied me in junior school and thought they were better dancers than me: F**K YOU!! And if there answer is"I became interested in other things" well you know what, I also got my A-Levels and my degree also AND I am sure I could party the pair under the table! I don't want a 9-5 job working in an office somewhere (it sounds like my idea of HELL!), now that I have my degree I am taking a couple of years to peruse other dreams of mine, and if they don't work out, at least I know I gave them my best shot!

It has only occurred to me in recent years that these girls along with other girls in my year who later on in my school life bullied me, were jealous and annoyed that I had never asked any of them out but instead "pulled" girls from other schools.  I'm tall dark and handsome, my skin might not of been brilliant back then, and I did some strange stuff with my hair and a few times went a bit mad on the fake tan and the sunbeds (before Geordie shore and TOWIE made it acceptable/cool (an example of me being a head of the times again!))but, I probably was still one of the best looking guys in our year. When I managed to bring probably the best looking girl in our school to our formal two years in a row, the guys and girls were pretty damn jealous (Check us out coming to my lower 6th formal. We don't look like a 16 and 17 year old, going to a school formal: we look like rock-stars/models about to hit up a Grammy after party bash!).  This is also mirrored on dance tours when instead of spending time with the Northern Irish girls, I'd go off and befriend the Eastern European girls and the Northern Irish girls would then bully me and hate those girls for it. It's ironic because the musician who all the Northern Irish girls fancied, turns out is now gay.







I am aware this post may seem very self-indulgent and egotistical. But the main reason why I am writing this particular piece, is to remind myself of how much of a fighter I am, and to encourage other people to fight bullies in their lives. Don't let bullies stop you from achieving your dreams! I have  not been myself for a while and had completely lost my self-confidence. At present I am dealing with a new pair of bullies who were part of my life for a couple of years. Like the pair of bullies before hand they have tried to bluff me and play on my naivety to make me scared. The past year I've been in shock over the treatment I received from them and didn't have a clue what to do about it. But now I am feeling ready to battle on. The pair may not be female biologically, but they essentially are "Queens". One is an old ageing, greedy, fat arsed Queen, and the other one throws "hissy fits", is spiteful of his past,is also greedy, and may not be the same shape as the other one now, but his arse is getting bigger by the second.  I'm not going to go in detail into what I think they have done, but it  has been revealed recently that something similar has happened and I have a strong feeling my conspiracy may be true. "Queen Bey" sings that "Girls Run the World", girls have tried to run my world in the past, this time I am not going to let two fat bottomed queens ruin mine!! 

To Be Continued... 











Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Prisoners allowed to vote? Why don’t we just give Lindsay Lohan her driver's license back!? Why David Cameron SHOULD abolish the Human Rights Act.

Prisoners allowed to vote? Why don’t we just give Lindsay Lohan her driver's license back!?
Why David Cameron SHOULD abolish the Human Rights Act.


To hear the re-elected conservative government are planning to abolish the Human Rights Act may seem horrifying, like the conservatives are on course to become a fascist dictatorship destroying human rights and liberty and bringing back slavery, torture and discrimination which are all illegal under the Act. However, this is not what it seems:it is part of the conservatives manifesto, yes to abolish the Human Rights Act but also to implement a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. David Cameron is not trying to impede on our human rights, but does however have problems with the Human Rights Act at present.


Under the current Human Rights Act prisoners are legally entitled to vote. David Cameron has stated that the thought of prisoners being able to vote makes him physically sick. I agree with David Cameron, I do not believe that prisoners should be allowed to vote and this is why: If you get too many penalty points on your driver's license or are caught driving under the influence, your driver's license is taken off you for a given period of time.  You are not allowed to drive because you have not respected the rules of the road. You no longer have the same rights as other drivers with licences. Why should it be any different when it comes to offenders of the law? Why should someone who has committed a serious crime or a number of misdemeanors be treated any differently? When one is in prison they are being punished, they have disrespected the law and/or violated the rights and liberty of other citizens. They cannot expect to have the same rights as the citizens who have not. Especially since the law is made by the government which is elected and thus breaking it is ultimately undemocratic. Why should a prisoner be allowed to take part in democracy when they had no respect for it in the first place?


This may be a sensitive issue particularly in Northern Ireland since prisoners here have often claimed in the past to be “political prisoners”. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has argued that abolishing the act will be a “scandalous attack” on the Good Friday Agreement. I do understand that people have undertaken criminal acts to be political. The judiciary decides at the time how long the prisoner will serve due to the particular circumstances. However, regardless of the situation a crime is still a crime. There will always be victims. Yes the terrorist acts or “political crimes” the IRA for example undertook may have accomplished something but it still created a lot of victims. Regardless they need punished. If one has taken the life of innocent victims, one should not be complaining that they are unable to vote, when they are alive. Lindsay Lohan can’t expect her driver's license back any time soon, criminals can’t expect the right to vote.


References

Monday, 11 May 2015

My Political and Religious Views.

My Political and Religious Views

I was baptized, I Confessed, I made my Holy Communion, was confirmed, attended two Catholic Primary schools, attended Catholic Grammar school for 7 years  and at one stage I was even an altar boy. A true Catholic upbringing in Northern Ireland. People considering this might wonder how did I end up fiscally conservative, socially liberal, a unionist and agnostic?
Part One: My Philosophy of Religion
Religion, philosophy and politics have always intrigued me, when I was only 3 years old my mum recalls me asking “If God created everything, then why did he create the devil?”,I assure you she was quite shocked as this is not something you would expect a normal three year old to be asking or thinking about. This has always been a problem for me, I constantly question everything.
Although I had began scrutinizing religion, religion is nevertheless ingrained upon you when you attend Catholic school.  There is a nativity play every year, all the songs you sing in the choir are religious and your sacraments are made in school as well. Children of course want to stay part of Catholicism then, it is peer pressure; they feel left out if they aren't making their Holy Communion. On top of this you get to wear a fancy dress/suit, get lots of money and a massive party is thrown for you. The attention is all on you and you are constantly reminded of how proud people are of you for eating this man’s body. Then at confirmation you are told that you are an adult in the church now, and children love being approved by adults and been made feel that they are one, it makes them feel mature.
Apologies for the “rant” but this, what I just recalled, is the biggest problem I have with organized religion. I do not have a problem with theists, but what I do not agree with indoctrination, and that is what happens in Catholicism and many other religious practices. If you still belief in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy you should  not in my eyes be making religious sacraments; if you are not deemed old enough by the government to vote, you should not be allowed to be heavily involved in religion which then often has a heavy influence on a person’s political views.
My second problem with organized religion is  people using their religion to judge people. I do believe however this is due to misinterpretation of  scripture. I studied religion up until A-level and not to my teachers and some Christians in my class amusement I got an A (no a* available in 2009). My understanding of the New Testament is that Jesus came back to correct the ways of the Jews. The kingdom of God was not to be a subversive sect, God loved everyone, everyone was a sinner and no one was to judge apart from God. This is taught in many of Jesus’ parables and teachings for example the parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10-25-37 which teaches that we should love everyone and not judge anyone on regards to their socioeconomic background and John 8:7 “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” which indicates that you should only judge other people if you are morally perfect.

However since Christianity's beginnings, it has been used tirelessly as a reason for prejudice and to discriminate, whether it  be against outspoken women in the 17th century witch hunts, or to impose what is arguably homophobic legislation in Northern Ireland in 2015. On top of this, the amount of murders taken in the name of religion is paramount in comparison to those taken by any governmental institution. This is why I find it ironic when  Republicans or Nationalists who tend to be Irish Catholics do not support the British Government due to the amount of deaths caused during the troubles, however if you look at the history of the Catholic Church, it is in no way on a moral high ground when it comes to murders taken in its name.


My third issue is to do with morality. I do not believe there is a need for religion in order to be moral. I argue similarly to Kant that morality is innate. We know what is right and wrong, due to knowing how we would like to be treated. I am aware if I punch a person that it will be sore thus I know it is wrong. I do not need a God to tell me this. This is were I have the problem (which is more of a conundrum), that if you are only being a good person because you are scared you are going to hell or be punished by some sort of karma, is this behavior authentic? Or are you just being moral for your own personal gain or fear? If you are scared of going to hell, I find it quite difficult to believe a person's kindness is authentic.  I believe you shouldn't be moral because of fear or because you are going to be rewarded, but because you are rational human being and are aware that it is ethical.

Part 2: Political Views

In politics I tend to consider what is happening now and what I think would be best for people now in the present situation. This is why the political history of Northern Ireland(while indeed is very interesting) is not something that I would consider in evaluating political issues. I am more concerned with current affairs and problems such as the economy, education, healthcare etc. I have summarized my views in three simple points.

1. Fiscally Conservative.

I am a believer in free-market economics, and which is why I am a supporter of Thatcherism. I believe markets are more efficient when they are privatized, I also believe in consumers having autonomy in choosing what to spend their money on. I believe through the free-market there's more competition which brings about higher efficiency which is better for the economy and consumers.

2. Social Liberalism.

My social views could be argued to be quite bohemian, I really don’t care what people get up to in their personal lives; as long as they aren't hurting anyone they may do what they like. I am thus an ethical hedonist.

3. Unionist
I want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. I would like to explain that just because you are a unionist does not mean that a) you hate all Catholics, republicans or nationalists b) you believe it was right that the British government invaded Ireland and stole their land c) are homophobic or prejudiced in any other matter.  All unionism means is that in this present moment you want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. The reason why I am a unionist is purely because I believe we are better off with the UK in terms of Economics, that is all. I do not believe that because I am unionist it hinders my Irish identity. I am still from the Isle of Ireland and thus am Irish in that sense.

I hope this explains why I would support the Ulster Unionist Party in Northern Ireland and the Conservative party in England as these are the parties whose political agendas are most similar to my views.


Comments and questions welcome. I will try to reply to any queries in further posts!
I have changed the settings to allow anonymous comments.