Monday, 11 October 2010

Kid's Army

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP today urged the government to raise the recruitment age for Britain’s armed forces to 18.

The Early Day Motion, EDM 781, reads: "That this House notes that sixteen to eighteen year olds currently entering the armed forces commit themselves to a period of four years beyond their eighteenth birthday; notes that after a period of six months they are unable to leave as of right; notes that no other country in mainland Europe recruits at the age of sixteen; welcomes the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its report on children's rights that the UK adopt a plan of action for implementing the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the child; and urges the UK Government to implement the Joint Committee's recommendations and raise the age of recruitment to eighteen."

It occurs to me that, having left school, 16 year olds are faced with a crap job on minimum wage, unemployment (with the government now proposing to scrap certain benefits) or a so-called 'career' in the armed forces. Faced with this decision, and with the right to vote, many 16 year olds would surely vote for a party that would raise the NMW to a living wage, scrap tuition fees and introduce a citizen's income. Of course, they can't do this, as they are not trusted with a ballot paper and pencil till they are 18, but they can be trusted, it seems, with a gun. They can also be trusted with the task of creating and raising a child.

After two years in the armed forces they are 'brainwashed', in my opinion, to think that what they are doing is right and good, 'Dolce et Decorum', as it were. They're now not going to vote for a bunch of pansy pacifist politicians who are trying to get us off of oil like it's some kind of addiction.

16 = no job, no benefits, no cash for further education, no chance to vote for someone who offers you all this, a career in the Army.

18 = Indoctrination, a child to worry about, terrorists left, right and centre, a gun in your hand, the right to vote, three parties that 'Support the Troops', a bunch of hippies talking about climate change and human rights, or something.

One could even believe this has been arranged on purpose.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Stone of Praise.

Article in the Daily Fail: Stones of Praise

My response:

Every religion has it's misinterpretations, dark sides and extremists. Druidry was outlawed by the romans, persecuted by the Christians, revived by Phillip Ross-Nichols and now takes it's place alongside, not opposed to, all the other religions now practiced in it's homeland of Britain.

Druidry, as a recognised religion, can no longer be ridiculed (though I hope Frankie Boyle ignores this!), nor do we need an anti-Christian backlash to this terrible article by Ms. Philips.

What every religion has in common, including Atheism and Agnosticism, is the core message of compassion and wisdom. It's the 21st century, the Age of Aquarius, an age for spirituality and science to work together again, an age for us to respect our differences, celebrate our similarities and all work together through these difficult times.

Om, Shalom, Awen, Amen!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Religion and Politics

On the telly this morning was the question 'Should religion be kept out of politics?'

I would argue that this is indeed impossible. Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg are Atheists, this is going to affect their decisions whether they are conscious of it or not. Tony Blair was openly Christian, as is George Bush. Did this affect their decision to go to war? Was the claim of bringing stability to the middle east a smokescreen for a holy crusade against the infidels?

Every issue I take on is guided by my beliefs about morality, reality and the truths about the universe, and it was these beliefs that guided me to my chosen political affiliation. Hence the blank stares when I argue that, despite Ashford needing more houses (a view I'm not convinced of anyway) the land doesn't want to be built on, the trees don't want to be chopped down, they should be left alone for their own sake.

My belief is that all things have inherent value, and cannot and should not be judged only on their usefulness to humankind.

The point is that this is my belief and will guide my every move, word and thought so, as a representative of Ashford Green Party and 1014 voters I have a duty to be open about where my decisions and actions come from.

To 'take religion out of politics' would only cause politicians to hide what they believe, with a danger that Atheists would take over, effectively creating a theocracy that those of us with different beliefs will not be able to challenge. No faith should have total control, all should be considered and our representatives have a duty to be open about their beliefs, so we at least know where their moral compass is pointing.