Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Animals at Christmas.

Apparently, in Poland, it's traditional to go vegetarian for Christmas day!* Which makes one wonder, why? and, if there's a good reason, why just at Christmas?

Among the things you can guarantee will be on the telly at Christmas are Dr. Who, the Queen, and animal charity adverts, although the Queen's looking less likely each year, and is certainly less popular than the other two.

But isn't it strange that we celebrate the birth of possibly the most compassionate man to ever have lived by slaughtering millions of animals so we can feast on their flesh, and by presenting children with baby animals they cannot possibly look after. And so we are flooded with adverts from the National Dogs Trust, the RSPCA and, even more worryingly, the NSPCC.

One advert that caught my eye was the Labour partys campaign to keep the Hunting Ban, led by Patrick Stewart. An attempt by Labour to steal any Animal Rights votes available from the Green Party, perhaps? I do hope no-one's really that stupid!

Unfortunately, they are correct about the Conservative promise to lift the ban if they win the next election, I even have an e-mail to that effect from Mr. Damian Green MP, who has refused to sign EDM 79 on the grounds that he sees it as an "unnecessary and ineffective piece of legislation." I would point out that any legislation is "ineffective" if not properly enforced.

With 2009 coming to a close it's not been a fantastic year for animals, with the recession apparently forcing people to abandon their previously loved, four legged "members of the family", while certain breeds of dog have become a fashion accessory/weapon of choice amongst the hooded delinquents who were brought up to believe that "might is right" and "animals are less than human". And then there's the incident in Folkestone of a poor dog being beaten to death on the beach.

And, if the Conservatives win the next election, I'm afraid it's just going to get worse. Labour and the Lib Dems don't have animal welfare policies, and the BNP and UKIP don't even bare mentioning!! If you care about animals, or anything else for that matter, that leaves you with only one option...

I think it's high time we brought back the dog license and extended it to all companion animals (that's Animal Rights talk for 'Pets', btw), and have signed a Care2Causes petition to this effect, and urge everyone who reads this to do the same. I have also signed up for the Vote Cruelty Free campaign, as have most Green Party candidates. As Gandhi said:

“The greatness of a nation
and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Of course, were I in a position to sign that EDM things would be different...

(Diekuye, Kamilla!)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Asylum Seekers

Having attended a meeting in Deal on Friday I was shocked to hear about the treatment of asylum seekers in Calais.

These people were turned out of their self made 'town', the so called 'Jungle', on Wednesday 16th September, to the "delight" of both Alan Johnson and Damian Green, (Times online) but then what happened? As it turns out, many of them are still there. Their few possessions were thrown into landfill, leaving them on the street with no food, no shelter and no hope. Delightful!! It is now illegal for a French citizen to let these people into their home for a meal or a wash, and they are regularly rounded up (violently, if No Borders are not there with their camcorders), 'Processed', then kicked out on the street, minus any shelter they may have accrued. The few that are deported are sent back to Greece, where they simply start the westward journey again.

Why do they not just 'go back home'? Because there are wars going on in their countries, funded by, among others, the U.S. and the U.K. The only options are to leave, kill or die.

Rights of asylum (The Dublin Convention) state that they must claim asylum in the first safe country they come to, so why do they not try that? Because the first so-called safe countries they come to are Greece or Italy, where they are locked away in a detention centre, up to 150 people per room, for two years, violently treated, then kicked out and told to "go home", whereupon they inevitably turn West, for France and Britain. Some have been stuck in this loop for years.

With winter approaching an appeal for clothing, blankets, sleeping bags or anything else has been put out, and anyone wishing to donate can call 07534 008 380

There is also a march from Folkestone Station @ 12:25 to the new Centre for General Intelligence Sharing on Immigration on Saturday 28th November.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

War Ensemble.

A few years ago I was in a relationship with a young lady who had two sons, a two year old and a seven year old, Matthew. Inevitably a lot of time was spent on the playstation 2. So I'm sitting there watching Matthew battle his way through "Call of Duty" (the debate on the ethics of letting a 7 year old play a war game can wait till I've got to the point!) when the young warrior, as the next level was loading, turned round with a philosophers look and said "War's not really fun, though, is it uncle Steve?" My heart nearly broke. "No, Matthew, it's cold, boring, frightening and pointless." Such compassion from one so young!! Such insight!!

The next level loaded and the warrior was off blasting virtual Nazis again.

This year, if I can find one, I will be wearing a white poppy. The Royal British Legion does a wonderful job, but the message I wish to send with the white poppy is: "honour the sacrifice they made but, please, never again." I hope Matthew never truly knows the horrors of war, but many children are not as fortunate. And, yes, I understand that millions gave their lives so that he and myself didn't have to, and I wish this to continue and spread around the world.

"No matter what country
Under the sun
You can't mete justice
From the barrel of a gun"
The Levellers

At 11 O'clock on Wednesday 11th November my unit in the factory will be completely silent.

Remember the dead on the 11th November, but do not forget the living and, please, never again.


Monday, 2 November 2009

More drugs, nurse!

So David Nutt has been sacked for telling the truth!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Letter to YourAshford re: Rail Services

The reduction of rail services between Ashford and Brighton (yourashford oct 21), or anywhere else for that matter, is frankly ridiculous. It can only have a detrimental effect on domestic tourism in both Ashford and Brighton, and Mr Duncan is correct to point out it will also encourage more people to drive. This comes at a time when people should be encouraged to use public transport in order to cut down on pollution and relieve the strain on our already overburdened roads.

We have, in Britain, the most expensive and, quite possibly, the worst rail service in Europe, with services getting cut while fares go up. The entire rail service needs to be brought back into public ownership so it becomes a service again, instead of a business putting profits before everything else. Privatisation of public services is not in the public interest, and I would encourage people to keep this in mind at the next general election, as privatisation of the postal service is exactly what the Conservatives have in mind.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The BNP on TV.

We live in a country of free speech and that means free speech for everyone!! As an animal rights campaigner I am counted among the USA's No.1 domestic terrorists. As a pacifist vegetarian devoted to peace, tolerance and, above all, non-violence, I am considered more dangerous than Al Qaeda! They (whoever 'THEY' are!) want to shut me up. I will stand against them at every turn, but neither I nor anyone else can defend my right to freedom of speech without defending everyone elses' as well.

Once we let 'THEM' start bringing in laws that restrict anyones' freedom everyone is at risk: fascism used against fascists is still fascism and, once the BNP are circumscribed, guess who's next!!

We all value our freedom, but Fear is what truly restricts it, and acting through fear of anothers' freedom is what will trap us in our own cages, our 'prison without walls'.

The hour of abuse Mr Griffin suffered was a classic case of people attacking the symptom instead of the cause. He does represent us in the European parliament, and he was voted in democratically, but that is just a symptom of the civil unrest caused by successive Labour and Conservative governments.

However, the idea that the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh have been here since the ice-age 17,000 years ago is just rubbish. The only people who might be able to claim that are possibly the Welsh and Cornish. The Irish invaded from Spain, the Scots from Ireland and the last wave was the English, from Denmark, only 1,500 years ago!! We are all immigrants, and we are all descended from one tribe of Africans who went to India and populated the rest of the world from there. But all this happened a long time ago, and 1948, the last time Mr. Griffin says that Britain was truly "British" (whatever that means) was also a long time ago. The Blacks and Asians are here because, from 1948 onwards, they helped us rebuild our country, and how do we thank them?

Racism has no place in 21st century Britain, so let's give the poor, ignorant souls still dragging their knuckles out of the 80's their time to say what they want, while we still have the freedom to ignore them. There are far too many ethnic minorities and enlightened individuals eligible to vote for this small band of barbarians to pose any real threat, anyway.

We must live in the present, with a nod to the past, and an eye on the future.