Monday, December 31, 2007

Caesar's Christmas and New Year message

As 2007 concludes I would like to take some time to share my thoughts and rants about many things.

Firstly I had a go at rewriting Christmas songs:

Christmas lies,
ID cards and spin,
Chil-dren binge drinking,
With ASBOs and fire,
drugs on the street,
A time for condemning all we see


Its voting time,
There's a need to be afraid,
At voting time we let in prejudice and build up hate

And in their world of plenty, they want more power,
To wrap their claws around the world at voting time.

But say your prayers, to pray for the other ones,
At voting time, its hard to have fun

There's a world outside your window - and its a world of dread and fear
When the only water flowing
Are the tears of the Lib-Dems...


I think you get the idea. Making fun of Christmas is easy - the mass consumption, profiteering, the lie that is Santa Claus (sorry to any children who might be reading) and the onslaught of other phony things.

However I think we should regard Christmas as a special and remarkable occasion. This is because for a precious short period humans all over the world demonstrate virtues like giving, tolerance, kindness and many more. Then a few days later they go back to how they were before, but slightly changed. That's because every year Christmas is a holiday dedicated to innovating in being virtuous, and we can apply what we learn from it in the New Year.

Secondly, looking back on 2007, I see it very much as a year of optimism, hope and change. Humans achieved so much, I think we have lots to be proud about in areas such as science, technology, healthcare, medicine, space exploration, literature and many others.

Well done everyone.

Finally lets turn to the New Year. What is your New Year's Resolution? What are you going to do next year to make 2008 even better than 2007? Whatever you decide, I wish you luck in achieving happiness and spreading virtue.


What's happened to WebCameron?

Over the past few months I've been visiting WebCameron fairly frequently - more so than the other political party websites - because I was impressed with David Cameron's fresh approach to politics. He frequently releases videos and a diary of his activities to engage people in politics and his message.

When the site began he introduced a feature called "Ask David" - which allowed people to ask questions and vote for the questions they most wanted answered. Every few weeks he would then answer the top three. However he stopped doing this because of abuse of the service (interest groups would vote to ensure the same questions kept on reaching the top).

The feature was replaced with a forum, in which David occasionally participated, however he got to choose which posts he responded to and also in order to register and participate you had to provide a lot of personal data, such as your postcode and house number. Despite this it was a revolutionary and positive idea.

Alas in my most recent visit, I've discovered that WebCameron has been merged with the Conservative website and the forum has been removed and now the site has become purely a propaganda outlet.

Hopefully the Conservatives will see the light and restore the forum function soon, but until then I'm going to be visiting WebCameron rejects.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Driving madness

How many times over the past few years have I criticised the government for stupidity? Quite often I suspect. However the proposals that you'll face several years in jail/a large fine for using a mobile, phone, sat-nav, or even tuning your radio whilst driving are utterly awful.

As one commenter on The Times website put it: "So let me get this straight, violent crime, breaking and entering, sexual assault... nothing. But use your phone on the motorway 2 years in prison!!!!!!!
Says it all really
Steve, Sunshine Coast, Australia"

If you happen to read this post Steve, please accept the 2007 Unlimited Jargon blog award for talking sense, because you are absolutely right.

This is yet another classic example of a government which completely fails to understand concepts such as "Freedom" (as in the freedom to drive whilst listening to the radio), "Probability" (as in if a million cars are on the road, a few crashes are statistically likely/there is a high probability of accidents) and "Justice" (as in Justice means being fair).

I am highly tempted to write another letter to the transport department about this poor idea and would encourage other readers to do the same if there is any sign these measures are being seriously considered. Hopefully though it will die early and we can get back to living life rather than being fitted with mandatory foam jackets to protect us from it.

Of course if you are a cynic, you might notice that there is a big fine associated with these particular offences, and that the government is constantly increasing its spending commitments... just a thought.

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