Friday, 30 November 2012

Political Discrimination

Last week in England a foster carer had 3 Eastern European children removed from her care, simply because she was a member of a certain political group that took a stance against immigration. The issue I want to go into here is not about immigration, or the particular party she was a member of, but whether or not we should have a right to stop someone from doing a particular job because that person is a member of a group that we don't agree with or support. 

In England it is well known that we have a lack of foster carers for ethnic minority children, and it is a bonus when foster carers have no problem raising a child regardless to their ethnic origin. Isn't that what it should be all about?

Is it in the best interest of the children for social services to be reluctant to place them in families that are of a different ethnicity to them. The result? It's much harder for black and mixed-race children to find foster families, and they are left to languish in a care system that is far from ideal. Is this really helping them?

On another angle, can you imagine being in a job for years and then all of a sudden your boss informs you that because you have voted or become a member of a certain political party then you must leave the business? 

I mean, many of us would have heard of the Klu Klux Klan, but let's pretend that you have worked side by side with the person for years and never had a problem communicating well with them until you found out who they support. Would you consider it fair for them to loose their job on account of this? Or does their politics have any impact at all on their competence for the job?  

Do the politics of the people your rub shoulders with, impact on your life?

Have you ever dis-owned your work colleague or friend just because they voted for the oppossition or a politcal party that you didn't agree with? And what made you change your view of them?

I'd really like to hear your views, opinions and comments on this.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Food Glorious Food!

Have you ever taken the time to find out exactly where your food comes from? Or do you just buy food based on the price, especially during this economic downturn? 

To be honest, I really can't afford to live off pure organic food on a daily basis. I'm not happy to see animals tortured, caged and tested on but I also have to seriously consider my pocket. Basic foodstuffs already cost way too much, in my eyes and I've got other bills to pay. 

What about all those pesticides they use on our fruit and veg? Which would you prefer - a large, sweet, juicy pear grown with chemical assistance, or a smaller sized, blemished one, but grown naturally? 

I'm hearing all these things about our foods. I mean, factory farming involves shoving a load of animals in a tight space without looking after them properly. Is it right that we tolerate animals being kept in bad desperate conditions, so long as we get fast, cheap food on our plates?

Ok, we keep going on about the starving children in Africa, but why not for a couple of years do intensive farming like mad to produce that food to feed those kids? Nothing wrong in feeding a starving child is there? I mean, it wouldn't be forever. Now, just because we are doing one thing, it doesn't mean we couldn't at the same time also implement long term organic farming.

It was rather alarming to find out I'd eaten GM food that has had it's natural DNA messed about with. In America for example, I've read that most of their vegetable oil is produced via GM crops. In Hawaii, roughly 80% of their fruit called papaya is GM. If for one minute you think about all the things we use vegetable oil for, it's quite daunting. 

Could it be in reality that the food we think is sustaining us is actually harming us? Sooner or later our natural bodies will begin to show signs of what we have been putting into it. Would our next generation think it was all 'worth it'? Something has to give. 

So, is the abuse of animals in order to feed us, morally justifiable?
Are organic foods really worth the price, and do they taste better?
Do you think GM foods are a risk we should take in order to feed the world?

I would love to hear your comments, views and opinions on this. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Bad Samaritans

The other day, whilst riding my bike in London I came across a surprising sight. A man had collapsed in the road with his head towards the oncoming cars and his legs extended towards the pavement. It was a bright day, cars and people were passing him by constantly yet no-one stopped. Disgusting. 

I backed up my bike, called an ambulance and tried to speak to the man on the floor until they arrived. Apparently, in London a couple days ago a similar scenario happened where a man collapsed (can't verify if the collapse was genuine or not) but still, nobody came to his aid. This took place at a busy, safe and well lit underground train station. People just continued on their journey, some even stepping over him. 

How were they to know if he was faking it or not? What threat could he have posed? What would they have risked just to ask this man if he was OK? 

During the Nazi era, hundreds of innocent people put their lives on the line by helping to hide Jews in order to stop them from being killed.  Most of you may remember the story of Ann Frank, who was hidden for many years under the protection of dutch citizens in occupied Holland. How about Oscar Schindler, who also protected many Jews during this time at a great personal risk. 

There are many more high profile examples from different places and periods in history where people risked everything just to help strangers. Today, we can't even break our stride for 2 mins to get help for someone, even with no risk involved! 

What would it take for you to stop and enquire if someone is lying on the floor or who has just collapsed? I can understand if you are on a dark street late at night in a dodgy neighbourhood but that doesn't stop you from calling the police/ambulance for help, does it?

What in the world has happened to the mentality of people today? 
What do you expect would happen if you fell ill on the streets? 
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
If you have ever walked past a collapsed person, what was the reason why you didn't you stop?

I'd love to hear your views, comments and opinions on any of this. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Is Nothing Ever Your Fault?

There comes a point in life when I feel that people really need to take responsibility for who they are and what they have become. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, neither have I had the luxuries of life handed to me on a plate. I have had to fight for everything I wanted or needed and I have myself to blame for missed opportunities, and for digging my own pit at times. I have had to challenge and oppose the negatives in life in order to succeed or move forward and there were many times when absolutely nothing happened. Life was like a monopoly board, I didn't always know where I would land and how my life would be affected. But, although now, I may be somewhat content, I have definitely not achieved what I wanted to in life but rather been forced to go a completely different way.  

So why is it that some people who didn't achieve what they wanted to in life, blame it all upon their childhood experiences? It seems that all their failures, whether it be in employment, in business, in relationships, in education, and suchlike are always put down to the fact that they had a bad upbringing?

Is this really the case? If you have come from a very abusive, manipulating, controlling, Victorian style upbringing, would it be fair to say that right now the mess you are in, as an independent adult, is because you had a terrible childhood? Or should the fact that you made bad decisions and choices mean it’s your own damn fault? 

Let me be honest, some people like to play the victim. They have endless heart wrenching stories that would bring tears to your eyes and a key to your wallet. They take no responsibility for what they have become, or where they have ended up and attribute all their misfortunes and misadventures to mummy and daddy's fault. It's just amazing how many people in prison, on drugs, homeless etc, blame their background, but nobody seems to look at the fact that if you don't pay the rent but spend it on booze (alcohol), you will in no doubt become homeless, as an example of course. I'm not saying that there aren't any barriers in society. Far from it, but that does not take away the strong element of choice that individuals have in shaping their own future. 

How many times have we seen murderers, thieves and criminals of all kinds, both in real life and on TV crying, blaming everything on their tough background and actually expecting our sympathy!

Have I become so hardened to it all, that I've got my thoughts messed up and our past really does map out our actual future? This is a discussion I've been having recently. 

Would you say that your life has really turned out the way you planned it?
What is the reason why you didn't achieve your own dreams?
How much has your upbringing impacted on who you are and what you do in life today?

Would love to hear your views, ideas and/or opinions on this.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Could You Be a Prostitute?

There are many people on this earth who are single, married, in short or long term relationships or who have one-night-stands whenever they feel like it, but the common denominator is that the sex was consensual. Both parties were happy to oblige and happy to consent with no repercussions.

On the other hand, there are those that will do exactly the same as what I mentioned above, but will simply charge for their time. We call them prostitutes. Prostitution is mainly defined as someone who has sex for money. Simple.

So why do we stick a different label on it when it is still consensual sex, then?

You see, we all know that prostitutes exist, and every country has indirect forms of it, whether it be on the streets, brothels, night clubs, privately at home, massage palours or the escort industry, the list is endless so why the refusal to accept this as just a factor of life? 

Please note, that this is merely a discussion and I'm not here to promote or condone prostitution neither debate the legalities of it, I am also aware that there is another violent and coercive side to prostitution which is unacceptable. That's a different topic. 

Now, if a married woman is really not in the mood for intimacy and asks her husband for money as a kind of incentive for doing something she didn't want to (as an example, a bottle of Lambrini with the girls or a pair of Jimmy Choos shoes) when he wants sex - would you say she was a prostitute? But if that same husband was to go out and pay another woman for sex with the wife's consent, everyone would agree she was a prostitute. What if your partner had such a good intimate time that they decided to offer you a gift, are you then a prostitute? 

So, what's the difference and are we being coherent?

Supposing you had a one night stand and the person decides to leave you a gift or some money because they had such a good night, maybe you even fed them and provided the accommodation. Does accepting that money/gift make you a prostitute? Isn't that the same as what escorts do? They wine and dine and are paid for sex. 

My friend slept with a producer so that they could secure a part in a well known TV series. Would you say they were a prostitute?

People prostitute themselves for many reasons, not only for sex. Some use it as a way to get up the work ladder, to marry someone important, to get that important job etc. etc.  

What would you sell your body for?

In the Hollywood film 'Set It Off' one of the characters sleeps with a local hoodlum in order for her little brother to have an educational opportunity that will get him out of a ghetto situation. You may not want to believe this, but this type of thing happens every day. Is that prostitution?

Love to hear your thoughts, opinions or view on this.

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