Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Conservative Party And The Working Class.

The Conservative party and the working class

When you think of your 'typical' Conservative voter you might think of a rich, chubby, white guy with too much money and a disregard for the working classes. Well, if only rich people voted for them then they wouldn't keep winning elections. Of course, lots of people who vote Conservative are normal, working class people like you and me. They aren't absurdly rich; they work hard, have money worries and want life to be a bit easier for hard working people like them. 

I have seen/heard some people express the view that a party like Labour only want to reward people who are unemployed, live here illegally or have thirteen children, don't work and drive Porches, drink Champagne for breakfast and enjoy twice-yearly holidays ON OUR MONEY (said angrily by a bald, white bloke who spits when he talks). They believe that the Conservative party is a party who want to stop money going to these 'undeserving scroungers' and instead give it to good, honest, hard working people like themselves.

Well, here are a few ways that Conservative leadership has affected ordinary, working class people in this country.

#1 - Fall in value of real wages.

UK wages have dropped 10% which is literally worse than anywhere else in Europe apart from Greece. Numbers from the OECD's (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) showed that only three countries have seen wage declines since the financial crisis and those are Portugal, Greece and the UK. It is the longest and steepest decline in real wages since 1830.

#2 - Austerity hasn't helped working people.

If you Google austerity it says 'difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure'. This is what happened after the financial crisis. The Conservatives pointed at what happened in Greece and said that we needed to make severe cuts in order to protect the economy so the same thing doesn't happen to ordinary people here that happened to ordinary people there. So, how have these harsh austerity measures benefited ordinary, working class people like you and me? They haven't. Research has actually shown that more austere countries have a lower rate of GDP growth!

#3 - Cuts to important job sectors.

Most sane people can probably agree that nurses and firefighters are ordinary people who work hard, aren't generally super rich and provide an invaluable service to our country. How have they fared under a conservative leadership that rewards hard working people? Well, the number of mental health nurses has been cut by 15% and the number of firefighters has been cut by 6,700. 

#4 - Benefit cuts have cost workers money.

A common argument for support of a party such as the Conservatives is that they will cut benefits to save taxpayers money. However, the National Audit Office have said that fining claimants for failing to meet certain conditions has actually cost the government almost twice what it gained. The Department of Work and Pensions said that £30-50 million a year was spent applying sanctions and £200 million monitoring the new terms but in 2015 had saved just £132 million. That means that even even if think all those benefit cuts are fair and justified, they have actually cost you more money than they have saved!

In conclusion, don't just believe Conservative politicians when they tell you they want to punish 'lazy' people and reward hard working people like yourself. Look at the facts and figures and see whether ordinary, working class people like you and me have actually benefited from living under a Conservative government. 

"How can you trust Jeremy Corbyn? I mean, he looks so scruffy!"

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Things That Started Good Then Got Awful.

Things that started good then got awful

There are many things in life that you become interested in only to witness its gradual decline in quality. Here are a few things that I enjoyed in their earlier stages only to watch them become awful, or at least worse. Obviously, these are just my own opinions

#1 - Coldplay. 

Liking Coldplay has become an easy way of letting the world know that you are white and uncool. However, I will be the first to admit that I think their first two albums, 'Parachutes' and 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' are actually full of great songs. I honestly think that the main reason it has become embarrassing to admit this is because of how bloody awful everything they have done after that has been. I'm am by no means a music snob but their sound has become so painfully generic and uninteresting that it is impossible to enjoy anything they put out these days. 

#2 - The Simpsons.

Do you remember when The Simpsons was genuinely one of the best written shows on television? 90's nostalgia is very en vogue these days but there is no denying that getting home after school to watch The Simpsons, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was pretty good. All three shows were well written, funny, portrayed characters you actually cared about and had just the right amount  of emotional content thrown in (we all remember that amazing Fresh Prince episode). The difference between the three? The other two knew when to stop. The Simpsons has been on a steady decline for years and is unrecognisable when compared to its earlier incarnation. 

#3 - Star Wars.

Probably the most obvious one on this list. The first three films were brilliant although, even as a kid the Ewoks did seem kinda stupid. Even a lot of the tie-in stuff back then was good. The Star Wars arcade game is probably my favourite arcade game of all time. However, after sitting through three long, awful prequels and 'The Force Awakens' which received great reviews but I personally found completely forgettable,  I no longer want to taint my experience. I'll just stick to the original trilogy and that old arcade game thanks. 

#4 - Prank Videos. 

There was a time when I used to love prank videos. They seemed like harmless fun. Do you remember Trigger Happy TV when they staged abductions of people by a gang of squirrels or when Tom Green simply went up to people and asked them, 'What are you doing today'? Well, it got warped by people like the Bradberry brothers who performed 'pranks in the hood' where two white people go into predominantly black areas and harass black people until they get a reaction. Thankfully, the likes of Youtubers such as 'H3H3' have now pointed out how awful this and we are seeing a return to genuinely funny prank videos. 

Papa bless.

#5 - Sunny Delight.

It doesn't taste as good anymore...right?


Sunday, 19 February 2017

Debunking Reasons To Hate The FA Cup.

Debunking reasons to hate the FA Cup

You hear a lot of criticism about the FA Cup not having the prestige it once had. I personally still love the competition and all the surprises it throws up. Here is a quick list of why I think some of the common arguments against the FA Cup are wrong.

#1 - The big clubs only play their second teams!

This is largely true but there are two main reasons why I don't really think this is such a problem. The first is that OBVIOUSLY they are going to have to rotate their teams with the amount of matches that top British clubs have to play. Not doing so would result in an increase in injury and a drop in standard. It just makes practical sense. The second is that the players who don't get to play week in, week out in the Premier League need at least some sort of stage to shine on. Even though you do see some of the big clubs not playing as well, you also see players who exceed expectations when given this opportunity. 

#2 - Attendances are awful. 

This can be true and you can see some pretty woeful attendances (especially in the early stages). However, I don't think the status of the cup is totally to blame, it is probably largely to do with the fact that attending football matches has already become so bloody expensive that many fans can't afford to attend all the cup matches as well. Also, you do see the flip side to this. For example, yesterday, Huddersfield town set a new club record attendance at their current attendance when Manchester City came to play. These matches are still a huge draw and an excellent cash cow for the 'smaller' clubs. 

#3 - Clubs don't care about winning it any more. 

When you have a team that is focused on winning the Premier League/Champions League then it may be difficult to care as much about winning the FA Cup. However, tell that to Lincoln City. There are still plenty of teams who put their heart and soul into trying to progress in this competition. Even if you are playing against a rotated squad there is still a huge amount of pride in taking a Premier League scalp and the possibility of even winning the cup could be the highlight of the season for many fans. Scenes like the ones you saw when Lincoln City beat Burnley are one of the times when domestic football has a genuine, emotional pull. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

10 GOOD Things About 2016.

10 GOOD Things About 2016 (Not Ordered By Importance).

It would be easy to hate on 2016. I mean; Trump became president despite being disliked by every human I personally know, we were (as a guy from 'Muslims Like Us' put it) knocked out of the Euros by Iceland and voted out of Europe by people who shop at Iceland and we lost so many celebrities that there was an actual campaign to save Betty White from 2016. But an entire year can't be all bad, right? I've racked my brains (and Google) to find 10 positive things that happened in the year 2016. 

10) We finally got another female Prime Minister. She may be a Conservative and she may be Theresa May but still, about time! I know I'm pointing out the blindingly obvious but it is pretty shocking that women make up half our population yet we are only just seeing our second female leader. Perhaps a step in the right direction for gender equality.

9) Gove didn't become Prime Minister and anyone who has worked in Education breathed a huge sigh of relief.

8) Costa Rica ran almost entirely on renewable energy in 2016. A positive sign for the future of the world. If they can do it then perhaps other countries will follow. Importantly, it simply shows that it can be done.

7) Las Vegas city government is now completely powered by renewable energy. When you think of all those bright lights it is probably the last place you would imagine to be shining the light (terrible pun) for renewable energy in the Unites States, but it is! 

6) The unity of large parts of society AGAINST the intolerance and prejudice of Trump/Brexit. Despite the polls it was also obvious that there were huge amounts of people disgusted with the xenophobia showed in the presidential race and the leave campaign. Even in defeat it is important to take note of all the people fighting the good fight. 

5) Lots of developing countries are pledging support for renewable energy. Not just the aforementioned Costa Rica. Other countries such as Uruguay, Tanzania and Kenya have also pledged to help protect the future of our planet.  

4) Leicester City won the Premier League. Probably the most incredible underdog story I have witnessed since becoming a football fan. It was nice to see that the richest clubs don't always get to call the shots. 

3) Great Britain did amazingly at the Olympics. Maybe I shouldn't go all patriotic after talking about unity between countries but I do tend to reserve most my patriotism purely for sporting events which I like to think is a fairly safe release. A smaller nation doing so well at such a huge event hints at very positive investments being made in sport and fitness which is only a good thing for the future. 

2) Leo got an Oscar. Before 2016 Leonardo DiCaprio was just a poor multi-millionaire comforted only by his huge wealth, multiple homes and string of beautiful girlfriends. Now we can stop feeling sorry for him because he has a shiny trophy as well. 

1) Betty White survived!