ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE ...

                                                                                                                               ... ONE HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

POLITICAL & Irreligious thoughts of an ageing pensioner

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THE EURO HOKEY POKEY                                                    March 2016

I'm fed up already of the sound bites & spin from both the Europhiles and Europhobes - and the main campaign hasn't even begun. I will vote to stay in the EU - it's bureaucratic & unwieldy and needs reform, but no way are we going to influence any change from the outside. No do I relish the prospect the  likes of  Michael Gove, Boris Johnson & Ian Duncan-Smith running the government if Cameron loses - not to mention twerps like Farage having an influence on policy. My take on the campaign is summarised below:

Your left wing in, your right wing out   In out in out debate it all about

Loads of hokey pokey and spin around   Eyes shut ears bent blah blah blah

               So  now we’ve got a  referendum Oh dear how will it  endum

              There’s a hidden agendum  For in out in out blah blah blah

 

             Dave he wants us to stay in Boris for Brexit he is braying

             And Jeremy has hardly got a say in For in out in out blah blah blah

 

           We’ll have immigrants sleeping in our alley  Unless the UK border stays at Calais

           But from the  EU they all come in legally    In out in out blah blah blah

 

          We need  the EU for our trading ! We get bugger all for all we’ve paid in!

         Truth behind the soundbites  fading  For in out in out blah blah blah

 

So throw our left wing in, throw our right wing out  In out in out  hear politicians spout

Their load of hokey pokey and media spin  We’re better out  and we’re better in

 

GOD CREATION                                                                                                                            21-11-15

Since the dawn of civilisation man has marveled at the beauty and complexity of our natural world and the universe. – and has sought an explanation as to how it all came about. It is little wonder that imaginative people attributed supernatural powers to those things that impacted profoundly upon everyday life - the sun, the moon, and various creatures (real or mythical) in an attempt to supply answers in terms that the populace could appreciate. Unsurprisingly, too, that those sages who offered an explanation would have found themselves in a position of respect, and in consequence, in a position of power to influence the very society in which they lived. Veneration of some ethereal spirit, with homage paid with sacrifice and ritual would have been a progression easily implanted in primitive minds. Nor would it have been difficult to make the transition from presenting their theory of natural order to claiming that they alone could interpret the wishes of an imagined creator, and thus impose whatever set of rules they wished as being demanded by a higher, superhuman authority.

The word superhuman is used deliberately. The ‘priests’ of these ‘religions’ graced their deities with human characteristics and passions – anger, love, jealousy, for example – and in multitheistic cultures, the conflicts between rival gods mirrored such emotions in earthly society. Furthermore, alternative theories would have been actively discouraged since they would present a threat to the credibility and therefore the power of the priesthood.

The concept that the very existence of a complex ordered world implies some driving force in its creation would almost certainly have arisen early in man's consciousness. Personification of such a driving force into a creator, or god, would seem to have been a heaven-sent opportunity for sages to consolidate their influence. God speaks to the prophets, the prophets convey the wishes of god to the people, with the threat of everlasting suffering for failure to comply with their edicts. What a brilliant strategy for control of the masses by the self-appointed few!

Much of the world today is still effectively under the control of the three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They all share common roots and many of the same prophets who have offered their interpretation of god over the millennia. Right from the earliest written accounts, this all-seeing, omnipotent master of the universe is bestowed with those same consuming human behavioural characteristics of anger and love, offering vengeance for disobedience and reward in the afterlife for compliance. Thousands of years since the time of Abraham and over a thousand years since the coming of Islam, bitter rivalry of creeds continues with bloodthirsty inevitability as their exponents all claim to have the same one god on their side in defending their position of power and influence. To me this seems a strong argument to support the view that man created god in his own image, not vice versa. I am willing to accept that Jesus and Mohammed, undoubtedly the most influential figureheads over the past two millennia, were most sincere and genuine in their views of how we should lead a better life. Regrettably, both have had their whole existence and message hijacked by those who play the power game.

Throughout history right up to the present day challenges to the belief systems of established religions has been met with at very least ridicule and often with violence. Even when faced with clear scientific proof many 'believers' prefer to rely on highly selective extracts from texts written over two thousand years ago. If we are created by god, with brains second to none in the animal kingdom, is it not likely that god would have expected us to use those brains to discover more about the nature of his creation? If science challenges the dogma of the church, why should it matter if it's still all part of god's creation?

I believe that there is a driving force behind the existence of the universe. Call it god, if you wish, but the concept of a loving(?) super-being watching over each and everyone of us just does not make sense to me. And if I am wrong, then presumably god will be aware of my inner thoughts and judge me accordingly. And everyone else too - so why should mere mortals take it upon themselves to impose punishment on transgressors and unbelievers in their concept of god, other than to satisfy their own status, and even bloodlust. To them I say, stand back and leave it to god, who, in your own view, has a far better oversight of the whole scheme of things than you will ever have!

Many millions of people believe in the conventional views of God as propagated by the world's established religions. There are probably many reasons, too, why they do so. I may not understand their reasons but I don't question anyone's right to believe what makes sense to them. Belief is, and should always be, a personal thing, not imposed through need to conform to society or through fear or intimidation.

All the world’s major religions have a common theme expounded by their respective sages – in effect, to treat other people as you would want them to treat you, or ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. It seems that the zealots of all faith systems need to be reminded of this principle.

FLOATING VOTER                            April 2015

 

Soon will come a general election

I’d like to see a general rejection

Of two-faced arrogant politicians

Who promise the earth and pretend to listen

With deaf ears, closed minds, all self-serving

Claim a whopping pay rise they’re deserving

While a meagre increase to most denying

Economy squeeze excuse supplying

Reward big business, wealthy bankers

Any wonder that we think they’re w****rs?

It’s with truth and justice they’re most economic

Less worth than a joke from a stand-up comic

 

So in a sea of indecision floating

What will I do when it comes to voting?

Is there any party I could consider

To trust their promise to deliver?

 

Cameron and his fellow blues

Have they any credibility left to lose?

And  coalition Liberal Dems

Is anyone going to vote for them

Since in power they’ve been put to test

No more their votes attract protest

And I don’t fancy seeking solace

In Ed Moribund’s caracature of Wallace

And even more the thought appalls

Of a government run by big Ed Balls

 

As for the new boy on the block

Spouting loads of poppycock

With a pint glass in his hand

He’d lead us to a promised land

Of xenophobia, isolation,

Homophobia, desecration

Of principles that I hold so dear.

Will I vote for UKIP? No bloody fear!

 

Much Faraging on our TV screens

The media choose to forget the Greens

Whose policies for Mother Earth

Make sense, but can they show their worth

To voters who minds are most likely reckoned

To be swayed by soundbites lasting seconds

 

The Scots have their SNP

The Welsh can vote for Plaid Cymru

Northern Ireland has choice enough

But in England we’re bloody stuffed!

 

 

Really what I’d like to see

Is party thought-out policy,

On issues which affect us all

Should they come to power in Whitehall

Their published party manifesto

Should not leave us to hazard guess

Of what weasel words really mean

If their government comes on the scene

 

Come next May, come what may,

When to the voting booth I stray

No doubt I’ll vote for raving loonies

They’re all the same what’ere their tune is !

 

MY MANIFESTO  - General Election 2015

NHS

I would look at cutting unnecessary administrative posts

I would increase income tax by 1p with increased revenue going to NHS

I  would charge anyone arriving drunk at hospital the full cost of treatment, to be recovered  from their wages or benefits or assets.

I would withdraw free surgery through the NHS for cosmetic   ‘beauty treatment’ Only cosmetic surgery for injuries or congenital birth defects (e.g. hare lip) would qualify for free treatment.

I would not permit ‘queue jumping’ for surgery  through voluntary payments to the NHS.

All costs for treatment to EU citizens from member states should be charged to that member state. A reciprocal arrangement for UK citizens in other  EU states would apply.

All visitors  from outside the EU should be required to provide proof of insurance cover for health care to cover the duration of their stay. All immigrants from outside the EU should also be required to provide proof of insurance cover for health care for twelve months or until they have been in full time employment for 6 months, paying National Insurance.

ENERGY

I would cancel all contracts for new nuclear power stations, and phase out existing ones.

I would ban fracking

I would put an embargo on on-shore wind farms within sight or sound of any human habitation, and subject single unit wind turbines to strict planning regulations.

I would make it a condition of planning permission that all new housing development include solar panels / solar tiles and/or heat exchangers.

I would prevent good agricultural land being used for solar farms.

I would encourage the use of small scale water powered generators wherever feasible.

I would require all water companies to invest in biogas generators for the treatment of sewage, and give incentives for  livestock farmers to also invest in biogas generators for slurry.

I would encourage investment in geothermal energy, tidal turbines and wave energy projects where appropriate.

I would encourage the development of technology to produce 'clean' gas from the vast undergound reserves of coal.

THE E.U.

I would refuse to make any increased payments to the E.U. until the E.U. accounts have been properly audited and accepted by the European Parliament

In principle I would support continued U.K. membership of the E.U.

However, I support the right of the British people to voice their opinion about the E.U.  An  'In or Out' referendum is far too crude a device to properly address  the many issues and concerns about possible withdrawal, and would be subject to sound bite scaremongering - on both sides of the argument. I would instead promote a multi-questioned national survey on a number of key issues, with  a  summary of 'pros' & 'cons' drawn up by an independent 'neutral' body made available to everyone (through social media, newspapers, and/or post). The results of the survey would be published and used by the government to determine policy towards the E.U.

EDUCATION

I would make all schools - state, private, 'free', academies - subject to the same rules and criteria for inspection.

I would introduce a moratorium on setting up of any new 'free' schools  or academies for 3 years until an independent  professional judgement of their effectiveness has been made.

I would require all schools to teach comparative religion to the same agreed syllabus. Schools supported by any particular faith would be celebrate their particular festivals and put their reasons why they believe in their religion. Proper provision, without any degree of punitive sanctions, must be made within such schools for children of other faiths.

I would set the formal school leaving age at 16. However, all people in the 16 - 25 age group would be entitled to 3 years (or equivalent part-time) full funding for further education  through F.E. college, university, or apprenticeship.

Tuition fees at university would be capped at £5,000. Student loans would be government funded at zero interest providing the student completed the course successfully. Interest would otherwise be charged at current bank rate  + 1%. Repayment would be made through PAYE once the salary reached 1.5 times average national wage.

LETTER TO NEWSPAPER                                                                                                                          January 2013

Your correspondent clearly implies that the ‘Word of God’ should be regarded as man’s record of  Divine inspiration, and thus subject to human error in  interpretation or translation. While this does not appear to have weakened his faith or respect for the Bible it does however suggest a reason as to why so much religious conflict exists in our world. 

It is man who purports to convey God’s wishes and, since no-one can be privy to what God may have actually said, if anything, to an individual, the message is inevitably influenced by that individual’s own experiences and views, no matter how sincere that person may be. It makes nonsense of the concept of one God if God were to be conveying very different, and even contradictory instructions for mankind through his supposed messengers. For any persons or group to claim that they represent the only correct interpretation of God’s will is therefore totally at odds with reason. 

It seems to me that man has – and still does – claim divine inspiration to justify actions that serve only to enhance his own standing and influence in society.  We may all have our own view about God but it makes absolutely no sense to argue and fight about different interpretations for which there can be no absolute proof – at least in this life!

 

 

HEAVENS ABOVE                                                                                                                        October 2012

Someone has a vision of the Almighty or claims to receive the word of God (impossible to prove or disprove) writes about it, persuades others of his or her ‘divine’ revelation, seeks to suppress or rubbish any other version of the ‘truth’.

This just about sums up the cause of religious conflict over the millennia.

Belief is a personal thing not something that should be imposed for political or religious correctness or control, even though many are obliged to pay lip service to a cause for their own safety. I firmly support the right for anyone to believe in whatever view of God they like, or in fairies at the bottom of the garden for that matter, but I object most strongly to those who claim that theirs is the only right  interpretation of God’s wishes or use  heavenly authority to legitimise unjustifiable intimidation and violence. 

If God exists and  is truly the one great architect of the universe, then there can logically be only one God – not a Catholic God, a Methodist God, a Moslem God, Buddhist God, and so on. Is Heaven divided into separate compartments for each?

The Bible  is not God’s word – it is a wonderful anthology of human concepts of God over time, and thus subject to  the writers’ personal prejudices and the social and political influences at the time of writing.