Blog : Posts tagged with 'politicians'

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A Big Splash (Or, Films I’ve Never Seen, Part One)

In which we wonder what the film-makers were thinking


Every time I’ve been to the cinema recently, I’ve had to sit through a trailer for newly-released film Evan Almighty. And it makes me slightly uneasy. Because – if you’re lucky enough to have managed to avoid the thing – it’s a lighthearted family comedy based on the story of Noah And The Flood, from Genesis. God comes down to Earth, visits an innocent politician, and tells him to build an ark because he’s decided to do the whole flood thing again.

Read that again. It’s a lighthearted family comedy, where God comes down to visit a politician, because (going on what happened last time) he wants to warn him that everyone else on the planet is going to be killed in the biggest natural disaster you can imagine. Did anyone even think at all about this film before it was made? Did they get beyond “comedy, sequel, some Bible story that everyone vaguely remembers”?* To my mind, the idea of writing a comedy about God breaking the only promise he ever made to the whole of mankind,** and apparently planning to kill everyone on earth apart from an American politician, is a little … well, perverse.***

I assume – not having seen the film – that not everyone (apart from the blessed family) gets killed at the end. Surely no Hollywood studio is going to release a big summer comedy where everyone on earth apart from a handful of people dies at the end? Drama, maybe, but not comedy. All in all, it sounds like a bit of a mess. Does God turn out to be nice in the end? Does he say: “Aw, I was only kidding. I just wanted you to learn how to be a better person.” How many people are killed by the flood that I did spot in the trailer? I really don’t want to find out.

* Although most people forget the bit at the end where Noah gets drunk, and one of his sons is forever cursed for seeing his drunken father’s tadger.

** Because it – the promise that “I’m not going to kill you all ever again” – was made before the Tower of Babel incident, when God scrambles everyone’s brains and makes possible the Tourist Phrasebook – so, as everyone was rather samey, there wasn’t any one Chosen People. And he never does kill everyone all together again – after that, he limits himself to smiting one city at a time.

*** And not in the good way

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Money, money, money

In which we wonder how to pay for politics


The political news story of the week is all about money. Specifically, how should politicians be allowed to get theirs? Sir Hayden Phillips, who has been looking carefully, thinks political parties should receive more state funding. Which, really, means all of us paying for them.

That might seem like a bad idea. I, for one, don’t like politicians very much, and political parties even less – although I’m not sure how you can ever stop them forming, or if that would truly be a Good Thing. So you can understand why I wouldn’t want my money to be given to them, regardless of whether I believe in their dogmas or not.

On the other hand, though, what’s the alternative? If political parties are funded solely by their supporters, the richest party is the party of the rich. A huge, overbalanced proportion of this country’s wealth is in the hands of a tiny fraction of the people,* and that gives those people an enormous advantage when it comes to seeking political power. Restricting how much money they can raise is vital to prevent this. You can argue endlessly about how state funding should be distributed, what way is fairest, but you’re unlikely to come up with any system less representative than “give it to the people already with the most”.

* and it’s only getting worse

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End of the week

In which we dislike all politicians, and wonder what to give The Mother for her birthday


The week in summary: behind on blog posts, behind on reading, slightly up on real work.

When I came up with the post categories for this site, “Political” was in there from the start. From the start, I knew the position I’d be writing from: my political stance is that you can’t trust any of them.* It’s good to see that the latest political funding row bears that stance out. Or, it would be good, if none of these people had any power.** It’s slightly scary to think that some of them run the country.

Now that the sun’s out, it’s about time I started planning more holidays. Renewing my passport would probably be a good plan, too – but can anyone suggest places to go? Something else I could do with suggestions on: birthday presents for The Mother. Her birthday’s coming very soon, and I really have no idea what to get.

* Well, it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the most important part.

** The Tories don’t have much, of course, but you never know what might happen in the future.

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Democracy

In which we despise the authoritarian instinct


I’ve said it before, I’m sure, but I generally dislike pretty much all politicians. Some, though, I dislike more than others.

I particularly dislike it when people tell me that draconian and illiberal laws are necessary For Your Own Good. When people tell me that removing my right to freedom from arbitrary detention is really part of preserving my right to a greater, more nebulous freedom, which always remains mysteriously vague.

But what really disgusts me, is when people use innocent deaths, horrific deaths, deaths that deeply affected you and me, to push for ever-greater authoritarianism. No amount of detention without trial would have prevented the July attacks.

That’s just a few reasons why I smiled when I heard today’s news.

(and, incidentally, anyone who does think that we do need 90-day detention without trial “because of the victims” should read what Rachel from North London has to say about it)

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