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Jason Baldwin: WM3 Anti-Death Penalty Campaign

5 Jun

Jason Baldwin: WM3 Anti-Death Penalty Campaign

If My Nan Could See This Post, She’d Be So Happy!

31 May

One See’s One

You have an opinion. You express it. Your mate has a differing opinion, they express it. Something they say, or maybe something completely unrelated that you discover later, gets you thinking: maybe there’s more to this issue? You look into it, maybe on-line, read a book or 2, speak to a couple of other friends. Your opinion changes. When you tell your friend, they are at best smug, at worst they say something along the lines of  “…but you said you thought jaffa cakes were a biscuit, not a cake!”

Isn’t the point of having these conversations with people to evolve, to widen your perception?  So why is it such a crime when you admit you were wrong, or misinformed, and change your opinion? You’re a dude, damnit! You have an open mind, and the more you learn, the more you change. You incorporate new information into your world view.

I am quite anti-establishment. I think generally, money and power lead to corruption, and i don’t trust 80% of politicians. I don’t respect people just because they are a policeman or a soldier. You’ve gotta earn it.

But i do love the queen.

My friend does not understand this. She says it opposes everything else i believe in.

It wasn’t always this way, when i was an opinionated, passionate teenager, i was an anti-royalist. But then i did some research.

The royal family generates a ton of cash monies for Britain every year. Tourists love that shit. Buckingham Palace, The Crown Jewels and The Tower of London are just a few of numerous real royal earners. The argument that the Royal Family cost too much really is redundant. It’s hard for us in the UK to understand why people from all over the world, particularly The USA and Australia are so in love with our Royal Family. When did you last see thousands of people lining the street to catch a glimpse of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel (who is she?)? The royal family bring the crowds in, and the crowds spend their money on our hotels, our historical landmarks, shops, taxis, restaurants etc. The royal family costs each person in the UK 69 pence per year, if you consider it a tax on tourism revenue, it’s a bloody bargain, mate.

What would be one of the most compelling argument against the monarchy is the fact that they are not elected, and this is supposed to be a democratic society. Except, the monarchy has no real power anymore. Yes, technically every act passed by parliament must be signed by The Queen, and technically she does have the power to veto them. BUT (see those capital letters? that means  i really mean it!) it would NEVER happen, because the power is only a courtesy, the Queen would never use it. For the sake of argument, lets imagine she does go mental one day (dons a Nike tracksuit, eats only jelly-babies and begins every public address with “yo, my biatches!”), and decides she does want to veto an act. I imagine parliament would dissolve the monarchy, or revoke the power of veto. Either way, it all adds up to the same fact: the monarchy have no real political power. It’s all pomp and ceremony, and us Brits love a bit of that.

The Queen is amazing for diplomatic relations. When Queenie visits abroad, everyone takes notice, there is a real sense of occasion and it does a lot of good keeping things ticking over nicely in terms of the delicate semi-peace balance we’ve got in this world. It saves the politicians time, which (theoretically) is better spent doing stuff like…erm, running the country?

The Queen is 86 years old. But she is no ordinary pensioner. Her official titles include Head of State, Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Head of the British Armed Forces, and she is the patron of over 600 charities. Last year, the Queens average working week was about 54 hours. At 86 years old, ffs! What The Queen actually does is so vast and varied, i won’t bore you with it here, but if you’re interested, go here . Safe to say, girlfriend be earnin’ her 69p a year fee!

The Queen offers something presidents can’t, because of the nature of the role, and that is contingency. Our current Queen has reigned for nearly 60 years. She’s seen the comings and goings of 12 US presidents, and 12 British Prime Ministers (one that got re-elected again!). She’s seen good times, recessions, the birth of the internet, the rise and fall of various property markets, financial scandals and natural disasters. She offers us security and consistency that elected folk don’t. She also doesn’t need to lie to get our votes. She just kinda is.

I have a few personal reasons for liking the royal family. Prince Phillip is one. He literally has me in stitches sometimes. I imagine him with a dry humour, i think he know’s what he’s saying (see here, if you’ve been living under a rock). He’s a funny, cantankerous old man! I like Charles sort of too, i imagine he’d be a proper hippy had he been born somewhere else. He grows lemon grass around the palace cos he likes the smell of it under his feet! 😉 He does tons for charity and i think he’s a bit of a closet new-age scientist! He’s well into sustainability and eco-stuffs. Harry’s turning into quite a character, and William and Kate, well….i’m sure they’re really aspirational to a certain type of young person. Plus, it was a pretty decent bash back in April, no? Good for the morale of the country, despite the cynics. The Brits: any excuse for Pimms and cake.

It irritates me when people go on about how good the Queen has it, when she never asked for it. She was born into it and she has trained for it her entire life. What about all the responsibility that goes with it? Tis as likely to be a hellish prison as it is to be an opulent dream.

I don’t mind people who are aware of these things, but still don’t appreciate the monarchy, or people who buy into all the shape-changing-lizzard-new-world-order conspiracy stuffs (which i might, by the way, i just reckon if it is real, it won’t be the ones you can see on your TV). That’s fair enough, it’s just a matter of opinion, after all. It’s the people who ignore these facts and hate the monarchy out of principle, that i don’t understand.

If you’re interested in the person-queen, go here. Enjoy!

Congratulations for your Diamond Jubilee, Ma’m. I salute you.

My Friend Leitrim, World Peace and Michael Jackson

19 May

One of the people i most admire is my very lovely friend, Leitrim. You may’ve guessed he is an Irish man, and not just because that’s what it says on his birth certificate. He is (deservedly, i might add) very proud of his country, and he has a very strong sense of its’ culture and history.

He is a philosopher, poet, author and one of the most passionate activists i have the pleasure of calling friend. I respect him very much and love him even more.

One of the things we disagree on (sort of) is how peace is ever likely to be achieved in this confusing world of ours.

Leitrim recognises the importance of understanding past conflict in order to find conflict resolution. I do too, but i also think that, at some point somewhere, a line must be drawn if there is any hope of moving forward.

He often gets into trouble because he can seem aggressive toward English people, as he feels the effects of the oppression and violence toward his country very deeply.

I can’t and i won’t even pretend to fully understand the conflict between England and Northern Ireland, or The Palestinians and Israelis, or any other longstanding conflicts in history. I am not that educated; i catch the news a couple of times a week and try to stay abreast of issues concerning peace, because i feel it’s my obligation, as a peace-loving citizen of the earth. But that’s about as far as it goes.

But i do understand eternal and universal laws, and one of them is this;

Hatred perpetuates hatred. Only Love can dispel hate.

So many times, in interviews from the frontlines of various wars i’ve seen  (by AMAZINGLY brave reporters who we should all thank for ensuring this shit gets out there), people have said “We will kill them because they killed our fathers…”.

Where does it stop, this tit for tat?

In the next news report, you might see the same person weeping with terrible grief, because now their children or other family members have been killed,  again in retaliation.

When Leitrim and i discuss this, i tell him i think he is perpetuating the hatred, by continuing to hold colonialism against the new generation, our own generation. I didn’t and wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone.

He tells me that it’s still going on (which it is; Iraq, Afghanistan).

I admit (sadly and shamefully), yeah it is, but not in MY name. And i remind him that the biggest protest in British history was against the war in Iraq.

We remember that we’re both on the same side; the side of Peace, Love and Understanding. We talk about how ‘they’ (the government, the faceless nameless corporations, the arms dealers, the oil sellers, the Bilderberg group, the capitalist bastards,  and others whose agenda is money, power and  a New World Order) want us to be divided, want us to be in fear. Fear is the best method of controlling the masses, of keeping us in poverty, in conflict, in work, paying taxes so we can go bomb poor people, or sell arms to people who will.

I tell Leitrim that i think he is unknowingly buying into their gobshite and perpetuating their hate and fear by holding the new generation of English people responsible. But that’s only cos I’m a nobber who must have the last word.

Leitrim smiles cos he knows that i know this, and we have another drink. Or something like that.

The point I’m trying to make is it has to stop somewhere, and ‘they’ aren’t going to do it for us, or make it easy, because it’s not in their interests. We have to stand up and refuse to let hate, ignorance and intolerance dominate our lives and our society, we must refuse pass hate on to another set of children.

We can celebrate our differences and our similarities. We don’t have to fight. I don’t care about countries, borders, lines someone drew on a map once. Nationality, race, colour, creed, class, lifestyle is generally irrelevant. We are all earthlings. We are all one.

One of the biggest problems facing world peace is that they’ve got us believing it can’t be done. I don’t matter. What one person thinks won’t make a difference.

That’s what they want you to think. It makes it easier for them to swagger around the world, killing who they want, taking what they want.

It’s bullshit.

I’m starting with the man in the mirror,

I’m asking him to change his ways.

No message could’ve been any clearer;

If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change!

Who would’ve thought I’d be quoting MJ?! :s

Theres literally millions of us. There’s probably only a few hundred thousand of them. What you think and do does matter, because united, we are powerful and nothing can stop us.

Stay awake, stay thinking.

I don’t care that i sound naive, or idealistic, or ignorant, or stupid. If someone can show me another way to stop the senseless killings, I’d listen, with open eyes and an open mind.

But no-one has yet.

Martin Luther King had a pretty awesome dream, and so do i.

A world where no mother has to watch her child starve to death, a world where every child has an education, a home, a community, and never has to worry about their town, their families, their friends, being blown to smithereens. A world where war and poverty are shameful and redundant relics from the past, a nightmare we’re all better off forgetting.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes of all time, by one of the most prolific philosophers of recent times (stick with it, it’s lengthy but worth it!):

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question – is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say ‘Hey! Don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.’ And we…kill those people. Ha ha ha. ‘Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.

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