Thursday, May 17, 2007

MEGABLOG

I’ve been very busy and very lazy for the last week, so the blog has suffered. Blame Niall: 2 epidsodes of Seinfeld a night and the blog do not go hand in hand… I’ll do a compendium post to catch up on stuff.

SNP. So the SNP won the election and Alex Salmond is the First Minister. Putting aside the fact that he looks creepy, smug, and greasy, and that the Sturgeon is clearly not a human being, I actually quite like a lot of the policies and “big ideas” that they have talked about so far. It’s just the “independence thing” that I can’t get with at the moment. I’ll see how they manage in government, and listen to their arguments for independence with that in mind.

Brave Maddy: Not forgetting that a child has been abducted, a couple of things about this story trouble me. Firstly, am I the only one that feels uneasy about this trial-by-media? The press used to be restrained enough to hold fire on reporting rumours and conjecture about cases, but recently there has been “open season” on anybody arrested, or even questioned, with regard to a high-profile case. Remember the Norwich prostitute murders? A guy was arrested and questioned, with the media branding him a “weirdo loner” and “just the type”. Of course, they were a bit quieter when a different man was arrested and charged, weren’t they? I’m not saying that the suspect in the kidnapping case is innocent, just that printing his name and publishing maps and photos of his house sits a little uneasily with me. My second concern is the way that the media have latched on to this. Yes, it’s important to keep the profile of the case high and, yes, we can get emotionally attached to things or people that we have no relationship to, but isn’t some of this a little too much? I’m looking at you, Sun newspaper. What benefit is there to having Alex Salmond pictured with one of your “Find Maddy” posters? And what on earth was the thinking behind handing out thousands of posters to Spanish fans at the UEFA cup final last night? The publicity is priceless, isn’t it? Are your intentions pure? The Onion has an excellent old article that sums up some of my suspcions.

Lost. I won’t say too much, as my old Sky+ hard drive has ensured that Simon is a few weeks behind, but wow. It’s certainly the best programme on TV at the moment. And who saw Jacob (click for spoiler)? I did.

Spank Rock. After listening to their excellent Fabric mix, I bought the Spank Rock album. I know that I’m a year behind on this one, but it’s shit hot. Here’s a little taste.


Swearing. Ironic Sans posted an excellent little rant about censored swearing, and even wrote an extension for Firefox to de-censor swearing. I couldn’t agree more with his points.

Well that was certainly my longest post yet.

3 Comments:

Blogger Gus A said...

Hmm Swish - lets help you out - which its of the “independence thing” have you got problems with?

Gus
http:/1820.org.uk

11:36 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

Gus,

Thanks for your comment and taking the time to read my post. I’ll attempt to expand on what I mean.

I have always been against independence “just because”, with no real reason behind the notion. This recent election brought the issue to the forefront of Scottish politics, and forced me to actually think about the issue; I have to admit that I am probably coming at this from a very ill-informed starting point.

Although I posted my intentions to (tactically) vote Labour, and did, I also started to properly think about the “independence thing”, and asked myself questions that I have not before. What are the advantages of becoming an independent country? What will we lose? Can we actually succeed as a nation? Without knowing the actual statistics, it’s clear that Scotland has poorer health and higher unemployment than the United Kingdom as a whole: how could this be improved by independence? And the big one: do the economics actually make sense? How reliant would an independent Scotland be on oil? I work within the Oil industry and although there has been recent optimism for the future of the North Sea, the outlook is beginning to become gloomier. What else have we got? My friend Simon pointed out that we have contributed £27 billion to the United Kingdom in the last 20 years: what does the trend of the money-flow look like? Is it a downhill curve that will (or already has) cross through zero? If so, how do we address this?

Aside from the “mechanics” of independence, there is the “attitude” or mindset. I feel Scottish and British. I like being part of one of the most powerful and (in my opinion) best countries in the world. I love our (generally and relatively) multicultural, tolerant, varied, society: and within that I include Scottish, Welsh, English, and Irish as well as the usual groups such as British Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. I don’t, personally, feel a great need to define myself any further than I already have: in other words, how would I feel more Scottish if we gain independence? I also worry that many people like the idea of independence but have not thought through why: they would vote for independence but would be ambivalent or unenthusiastic about the outcome. Surely for a sustainable and dynamic nation to emerge, people would need to be focussed and fully behind the idea?

I can, however, see a lot of the benefits as well. Smaller countries can often have exactly what I have just talked about: focus and a unified direction. Surely de-centralisation will allow local problems to be solved more effectively?. The Hollyrood parliament has not necessarily distinguished itself yet, but things like the smoking ban and free eye-tests have shown how it could. I’m all for a more active role in Europe, and would assume that independence would bring with it entry into the Euro. Self-determination would also, I’m sure, have spared the lives of the Scots who have died in Iraq.

Apologies for the length of my reply, but I’ve only just begun the process or truly opening up my mind to the idea of independence. You’ll see that it raised a lot of questions…

Justin

12:36 pm  
Blogger Jenny said...

I did not see Jacob, but did think that scene was weird. (but in a very cool way). Missed last night's episode - supposedly my brother is going to download it and burn it to a DVD for me and he should bring it on the plane with him tonight!

6:13 pm  

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