Democracy by default

I was pondering this: Surely having a local M.P (in other words, a democratic representative) ‘representing you’ happens by default whether or not I vote or voted for him/her in particular? So we have democracy by default regardless……Hmm…..


Internet Eyes All Over The Place: We’re watching you

Fed up with all those CCTV devices around the place doing no good? Well the idea of this website is to make use of these unmanned rectangular boxes, useless at preventing crime, by streaming them live over the internet for bored and time-abundant narks to spy on shop fronts and businesses for crime. People have to register with the website hosting this ‘service’ and can earn back some cash for earning points for honest reporting of a crime. Oh dear, I can see many problems with this scheme, but two of them stem from a bored enui:

1. Wasting time: dishonest reporting and ignoring actual incidents, yeah you gain no points and will soon be barred from the service (if that’s the right word) but never underestimate the deviousness of the bored and indirect mind.
2. Cheating to earn points, and money: this would depend on location and the number of ‘alerts’ you are allowed but multiplied by x amount of people it could be an amusing problem, but, could it be possible to get some accomplices to go round to whatever your watching, masked-up and spray graffiti, they run away never to be seen again, except on some ‘comedy’ TV, and you ‘honestly’ report it and gain points and get to compete in a shoot-out for best nark and win money. Yea, I think so, and it would make TV fodder, to.

Finally though I’m left with the dystopian picture of a disenfranchised people autonomously clicking ALERT all day every day, alone in their box-like cells while all around them society disintegrates. Oh well, what’s the saying? “We’re all in this together”!

Dwain Chambers & Our Vindictive Culture

I ‘m no fan of Dwain Chambers or athletics but I was disappointed to hear that he has lost his legal action against the BOA by-law which bans convicted drug users (spent conviction or not) from competing at the Olympics. Anything that annoys the arrogant BOA, the pompous BBC Sport and cretins like the Tory toss-pot Sebastian Coe is good in my book. It’s a shame because their vindictive attitude only creates more vindictiveness.

I’m not interested in debating the intricacies of the ‘drug offence’ here, that’s boring, and it’s not relevant to what I want to talk about: the vindictive nature of our culture. Maybe I expect too much from sports people, be they professionals, fans or media, and maybe I am swimming against the tide of society on this, but whatever happened to forgiveness and redemption? Have they ever thought that a vindictive attitude facilitates cheating? After all, what helps “getting ahead” more than a desire to punish irrevocably? What’s more some of these Solomonian ex-athletes are committed, practicing Christians, obviously they seemed to have mislaid one of the fundamental tenants of Christianity, forgiveness. On second thoughts, they’re only acting in the same way as all religious groups, hypocritically and obfuscatory.

Ultimately though it is the self-perpetuating nature produced by too much emphasis on retribution that disturbs me most: I’m feeling quite unforgiving of those I’m criticising now and I will have to fight the impulse to be uncharitable towards them in the future, especially if any of them – perish the thought – were to fall foul of some rule or other themselves. Worse, the vindictive attitude spreads throughout society and soon everybody is guilty, real or otherwise, and suspicion rules the day. In any case, what goes around comes around.