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03 October 2010 @ 11:26 pm
David Cameron... Fuck Off Back to Eaton  
I've been to my first ever protest! It was against the Con-Dem government's cuts in public services (unis, schools, hospitals, benefits, playgrounds, community centres and so on.) I almost didn't make it though, the other day I got soaked to the bone and felt rough when I woke up this morning at half six. I had set my alarm for then because I had to be at uni at 8 to get the bus up to Birmingham. So, I woke up, blinked, and somehow mid-blink I fell asleep because when I opened my eyes, what I thought was one second later, was over an hour later and it was 7:40.

I managed to text the guy who was organising our coach and found out that we weren't leaving at 8, we were meeting up at 8 so I managed to run down, limping a fair bit because yesterday morning I stepped on a broken drinks bottle and a bit of glass stabbed into my heel. Unfortunatly I left the house in three minutes flat and grabbed the first clean top I found, not realising that it was a blue one. Epic face palm!

Whilst waiting for the bus I had my first asthma attack of the day, the bus ride there was pretty uneventful and after a few hours we made it and stood through the pre-march talks where I had another couple of asthma attacks due to a) I wasn't well to begin with, b) it was raining the entire time and c) loads of people were smoking and cigarette smoke is my worst trigger and as we were all in a tight huddle I couldn't get away from the smoke.

Then we started marching and I had an absolute blast. I have been raised since birth to hate the Tories. My grandfather was a miner and his father was a miner so Thatcher is the ultimate swear word in my family. Both my parents were die-hard socialists in their day, my dad still is a socialist, my mum is but to a lesser extent. My sister doesn't give a fuck about politics and declared she wanted "anyone but Labour" to win.

Despite the rain there were over 7000 people there, quite a lot backed out because a) it was a Sunday and b) it was raining but I learnt a whole bunch of chants from the simple "David Cameron... fuck off back to Eaton" and "Tory Scum, out of Brum", though I put it to the people I was with that when they do come out of Birmingham they'll be back down to London with us haha. There was only one violent one, to the tune of that Clemantine song that went "Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, stick the Tories on the top, put the Lib Dems in the middle and we'll burn the fucking lot" and the most complicated probably was "Private companies do not run public services just for fun, bull shit, come off it, they want to make a profit!"

I had a few more asthma attacks on route and at this point I was spiraling, each one I have means it's easier to have the next one, which means it's easier to have the next one and so on. At one point I had a very bad one and the police took me out of the march and sat me down with Cherry, who I met today and is cool and one of the police men went "what's your friend's name" to her and she paniced and went "I don't know, I can't remember" which made me laugh.

Back at my flat now though and I think I might join the Socialist Worker's Party; I used to be Lib Dem but I don't think I could ever vote for them again after the stabbed all of their supporters in their backs with this coalition. The only problem is when there isn't any SWP candidates standing where I can vote, then I'll just vote Labour and Red Ed, who isn't that red but that's besides the point, he's redder than the rest of them lol.

All in all, a brilliant day out, one of the best I've had!
 
 
 
apple_pathways: Patriotism: doing it wrongapple_pathways on October 3rd, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
I love reading stories from people in countries who can say things like "I think I might join the Socialist Worker's Party" without fear of being outcast from society. ♥

Good for you for getting involved, and sorry to hear about your frequent asthma attacks trying to cockblock your political activism. :/
audiopineapple: Sherlock: Lestrade (Pixels)audiopineapple on October 3rd, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Is socialism still looked down on in the USA? That makes me sad :(

I was meant to go to an anti-BNP rally last year (if you haven't heard of the BNP they're the most right-wing party in Britain, exceptionally racist and one of their people said that it isn't possible for a woman to be raped because women enjoy sex and said it was the same as force-feeding a woman chocolate cake, because we like chocolate cake as a gender) but I was ill that time so I wasn't going to miss my second chance to protest something!

It wasn't just the socialists today, which was awesome; it was the socialists, communists, regular left-of-centres, anarchists, tonnes of unions, random students, disability rights groups, anti-war groups, various community groups... everyone just pulled together today, regardless of political beliefs :D
apple_pathways: Patriotism: doing it wrongapple_pathways on October 3rd, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
The US has a major hard-on for capitalism, and yeah: "socialist" is still a dirty word.

Of course, attitudes aren't the same across the country, and there are places where you could claim to be the reincarnation of Chairman Mao and no one would blink an eye, but for most of the country: you could face very real discrimination for calling yourself a socialist.

I do know the BNP! I listen to/watch A LOT of British media, and so have at least a basic grasp of UK politics. (Though most of my knowledge comes from comedy programs like "Mock the Week" and "Have I Got News For You", which may not be the most reliable sources!)
audiopineapple: Doctor Who: 11 (Woah)audiopineapple on October 3rd, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
Crikey, over here, after the war and until the late 90s it was pretty much you were conservative or socialist. Before that the norms were liberal or conservative and after, centre or conservative.

Sorry if I offended you, I have no idea if most people outside the UK have heard of them so erred on the side of caution. I find HIGNFY, whilst funny, to be quite biased but Mock the Week is about as unbiased as you can get, they'll take the piss out of anyone which is why I adore that program so much lol.
apple_pathways: Patriotism: doing it wrongapple_pathways on October 3rd, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
People in the US will claim to be either liberal or conservative, but in most cases

No, of course I'm not offended! I didn't mean to come off as snippy. Though I'm a bit of a political junkie (I tend to follow politics the way most people follow celebrities), I can't claim to be as well informed of the political systems of other countries as I am of the UK and US. If you asked me to name the major political parties of, say: Australia, I couldn't do it!

Which way would you say the bias leans on HIGNFY? Being American, most of your media just seems incredibly liberal to me (which is why I like it so much! Other than being hilarious, that is...)
audiopineapple: Merlin: Gwen (Flowers)audiopineapple on October 3rd, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
I love politics as well *high fives you* I find it absolutly fascinating and nothing gets my goat like people who are apathetic about it. People who don't want to vote because they've researched it and hate all the candidates in their area I'm fine with but those who just don't bother >.< Esspecially women, it's been less than 100 years since we got the vote, people died horribly to give us this privalege and a lot of women in my generation tend to just go 'nah, not bothered about politics.'

I don't know much about other countries, I know a bit about what's going on in Europe at the moment, with their riots and general strikes. The unions are talking about possibly getting one going here soon.

It didn't used to be biased but my main issue is Ian Hislop. He used to be funny and take the piss out of all parties but recently he has become so obsessively right that it's hard to watch. This is his magazine he runs called Private Eye: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Eye#Criticism_and_controversy which seems quite Tory centred now when it was more unbiased in the past.
apple_pathways: Patriotism: doing it wrongapple_pathways on October 4th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Even if you hate all the candidates (as I usually do), you should still vote! I wish I knew the study, but I learned in a class on government that just the act of voting, regardless of who you vote for, has an influence on how government functions. i.e. If they know people are paying attention, they're less likely to try shit. Or something. (I should be a pundit, right? :-)~

I keep abreast of the big news stories in politics, but I don't know a lot about the inner workings of the various political systems of other countries. I may know what type of government they have and who their head of state is, but not the countries major parties, etc.

You see, I never noticed a bias from Ian Hislop, but then compared to conservative opinions in the US, he's pretty liberal (if that makes sense). Since everything skews to the right in the US, it's hard to translate terms like "liberal" and "conservative" into American. In the US, I'm considered a radical liberal, but in many European countries, I'd be considered a moderate!
audiopineapple: Doctor Who: Master (funny)audiopineapple on October 4th, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
I agree, but it annoys me less than the apathy and, to a slight extent, I could understand it,

I studied politics in college but I stopped paying much attention to it for a while, I'm getting back into it though, I've missed it.

It's more left-bashing than it is right-promoting, esspecially after the last election but I haven't watched it for a while so he might have toned down again.

I don't know if you ever saw these but they are funny, the first was on election night and the second one was after:

1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85RXPnXDkrc&p=C0A8EC54A270C471&playnext=1&index=16
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KkE-ATikaE&p=C0A8EC54A270C471&index=18&playnext=2
sherrilina: Arthur/Morgana 3 (Merlin)sherrilina on October 3rd, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
Heh, you could say that..."Socialist" is one of the smears the right wing keeps trying to brand Obama with...*sigh*
audiopineapple: Life on Mars: Gene (Alone)audiopineapple on October 3rd, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
I've played that google guessing game before where you type and see what comes up as suggestions - if you type 'is Obama' it goes:

muslim
anti-british
a free mason
the antichrist
a good president
american
a christian
related to bush
jewish
a socialist

*rolls eyes at some of those, esspecially #4*
apple_pathways: Rally to Restore Sanityapple_pathways on October 4th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Is Obama...Jewish? Really? That's a new one!
sherrilina: Dean Smilie (Supernatural)sherrilina on October 3rd, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh god that has totally happened to me before, the accidentally falling back asleep thing! One of my great fears when I'm waking up by myself for something important...:O

And hee, glad you had a nice time despite all the asthma attacks! How far away is Brum anyway? You're in (or from?) Nottingham, right? When I flew to London last week this girl waiting on line with me from my plane at customs was going to be doing a grad program there!

Did you know there's an LJ comm devoted to squeeing over DC, or "Cammycakes" as they call him?
audiopineapple: Doctor Who: Donna (Nightmare)audiopineapple on October 3rd, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
It's only happened to me a couple of times but I think I've missed things before because of it :(

I am nowhere near Nottingham, I'm originally from Norfolk :p At the moment I'm in Kingston so it was around 135 miles each way.

Cammycakes - I shouldn't eat my tea and read that at the same time, I want to be sick now lol.
sherrilina: Arthur/Chicken (Merlin)sherrilina on October 3rd, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
OMG my bad, different flister!

And just watched Merlin...GAWAIN! <33333
audiopineapple: Merlin: Gwen/Morgana (Fangirls)audiopineapple on October 3rd, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
np haha!

Gawain was so awesome! Where the fuck was Morgana though? >.
sherrilina: Arthur/Morgana 3 (Merlin)sherrilina on October 4th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
LOL IDEK, practicing her smirk in the mirror? *rolleyes* Such BS, it's just like "The Once and Future Queen"....I mean, really? Not even one lines, not even a minute of footage? I don't think any other character gets that treatment, I mean, I could be wrong, but as far as I recall Gwen always has at least one line...or she does at least always in any Morgana-focused episode. *sigh* The writers need to learn to spread the love among ALL of the characters, including, le gasp, BOTH FEMALES! And I think there should be a rule that Sir Leon only gets significant screentime if both girls do, because WTF they're allegedly leads and he's a recurring, but you wouldn't know it sometimes.../rant

Oh wait, maybe Morgana was sulking because yet again a new hot guy hits on Gwen, whereas poor Morgana only has sleazebags who don't actually mean it hit on her (Valiant and Alvarr--not counting Arthur in the beginning before the relationship retcon)...:( Someone said "Maybe that's the real reason that drove Morgana to become evil...she is prettier and she is the equivalent of a princess, yet no one ever pays her any attention, as busy as they are in trying to win over her maid!" and I wonder, lol...
(Deleted comment)
audiopineapple: Merlin: Merlin/Morgana (paper)audiopineapple on October 4th, 2010 11:14 am (UTC)
The main jist of the protest was about how public services are being cut, for instance, disability benefits for people that will never physically or mentally be capable of working, instead of the government tackling tax cheats, which costs billions and billions of pounds each year. If the government put effort into that, which they won't because of a lot of tax cheats are from the same social standings as the politicans themselves, then there wouldn't need to be cuts to services for people who actually need them.

It was mainly organised by the 'Right To Work' campaigners, and various political groups tagged along. They're campaiging for more work for both people born in Britain and migrant workers.

The biggest focus was that the public are being forced, literally, to pay for the banker's screw ups when the bankers already have their bonuses back and the top bosses earn millions and millions each year.
Forgotten memoriesblue_emotion on October 4th, 2010 12:15 pm (UTC)
The main jist of the protest was about how public services are being cut, for instance, disability benefits for people that will never physically or mentally be capable of working, instead of the government tackling tax cheats, which costs billions and billions of pounds each year.

Amen to this! I'm really worried about this right now. I recently spent a year fighting the system to prove I was disabled,I thought now I'd finally proven my health status I'd be allowed some peace to recuperate from the harrowing ordeal that is disability application in this country, but now it seems not :( I don't know what they think I'm going to live on if they cut the benfit, magic beans obviously!It's not like people chose to be too ill to work!
audiopineapple: Merlin: Morgana (Fighting)audiopineapple on October 4th, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
It is disgraceful, one of the speakers before the protest was a disability rights activist and it did remind me of you and what you've been through :(

What the government are trying to do is turn us all against each other, to say "cut those benefits instead of funding in schools," or "cut investing in hospitals instead of benefits" or "cut investing in universities instead of community centres" so that we are divided and easier to pick off.

As another one of the speakers said, the government, esspecially the Tories have no idea what it's like for ordinary people; to go to an ordinary school or uni, to use the NHS, to have to live on benefits, be it jsa, diability or housing. It seems to me like they think it's perfectly fine cutting all these things because they don't realise just how essential they are. Welfare is what made Britain great in my opinion and, yes, there are parts of it that don't work brilliantly, such as upper bosses in the NHS ordering thousands of pounds of sculptures instead of drugs or the few people that do cheat the system (miniscule compared to tax cheats) but the way to fix it isn't with a great big bloody axe! It's almost like we're going back in time to "care for some, not for all" instead of the other way around.

Sadly though, I think a lot of people do think people who are ill choose not to work. I haven't had physical diability experiance in my family but my mum worked from the moment she left school until she had her mental breakdown eight years ago. She wants nothing more than to be able to work again but she's still too fragile to handle it and probably will never be able to again. She doesn't get benefits because my dad works and she doesn't want to apply but if she wasn't with him then she would have to and I'd want to punch people in the face if they said she should pull herself up by her bootstraps and get back to work.

I hope things stay okay for you and you get some peace though *hugs*
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous) on October 6th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Not neccesarily those in government, but some business people who 'contribute' a lot of money to political parties or to campaign funds and get preferential treatment (or a look the other way) as a result.

By migrant workers I mean those who have legally come over to the UK and have work visas, rather than those who are here illegally.

I know there was a person last year (or earlier this year, I'm not sure) who talked to an American presenter and said how the NHS was absolutly terrible but I am a huge fan of it. My nephew Nicholas was born three months early and was in hospital for a long time, the bill to take care of him will have probably run into the thousands because he was on a ventilator as his lungs were too small for him to breath and it would break my heart to think that he might have not got the care, or my sister have been in debt for decades if we didn't have the NHS. He's three years old now and is doing well though, wonderufl little lad :)
audiopineappleaudiopineapple on October 6th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
That was me in the comment, for some reason firefox logged me out of all the sites I go to 0_0
sherrilina: Arthur/Morgana 3 (Merlin)sherrilina on October 4th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
Well there are more than one kinds of "government waste" though--personally I see that term as more applying to pork (little gifts for personal districts) and all the needless excess military spending (such as 15% of the overall budget on outdated weapons systems to fight the Soviet Union, and entity that no longer exists, and keeping nearly deserted military bases open and operational, etc), and say miring the country in unnecessary and extremely costly wars that continue to cost billions and billions for years and years, rather than things like health care and education that actually help people and do good. True, there is some waste involved (which is for instance one thing that the new health care reform tries to solve--when it says it will cut Medicare expenses, it means it will be cutting unnecessary waste/making things more efficient, not that it will cut benefits), but overall it is not money wasted, but very important (at least to me, as I consider human dignity and advancement to be important).

Plus unchecked laissez faire free market capitalism is what got us into this whole mess in the first place--free market capitalism is good, but only with proper regulation and oversight. Because making sound and stable economic decisions is not necessarily in one's moneymaking interests in an unregulated one...cutting corners means more money usually.
(Deleted comment)
sherrilina: Boo You Whore Luci (SN)sherrilina on November 1st, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I almost forgot about this...

Are you serious? Health Care Reform is not going to lower the cost of health care in the US.

The only *objective* source on this, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), says that the Affordable Care Act WILL lower health care premiums relative to what they would be without it. The Medicare Part D program and Federal Employee Health Benefit Program both show that competition such as that created by the new Health Exchanges will lower premiums. So will some of the new ways of paying that are being tested for Medicare.

For that matter, Medicare has not lowered the cost of healthcare either. Doctors have been dropping their Medicare patients because they aren't getting their money for them.

The bill WILL reduce Medicare spending. The cuts in Medicare payments to private insurance companies have already started next year, and yet the premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries under those Medicare Advantage plans are actually down an average of 1%. The CBO said that the terms of the law itself, not future promised cuts, save half a billion in Medicare spending. It is pretty ironic that Republicans always claim that the problem is that we spend too much, and yet when spending on doctors or HMOs or hospitals is cut, they scream. *rolleyes* They even complain about the competitive bidding demonstration for Durable Medical Equipment that is saving</em> Medicare money. If some doctors drop out, there are still plenty who take Medicare patients. Why pay more than we need to in order to attract enough to provide access to physician services?

Our Defense budget is the real thing the Federal Government should be worried about because it deals with National Defense and Public safety, securing the border, and making sure we enforce our already in place Federal Immigration laws. I'd rather the government spend money on defense than force its citizens to buy health insurance. No one should force you to buy anything let alone the federal government.

Sorry, but it's a fact that there is more waste in the Defense budget than anywhere else. Yes, we need defense and to worry about security, but there is still such a thing as going overboard in spending--to use an apt analogy, technically all humans need clothes to wear, we would freeze without them, but we don't need closets full of clothes that we will never wear, and some of which won't even fit us anyway, and some of which are especially overpriced--this is, by definition, waste, and this is what is happening right now in our defense budget.

However, Bush's Defense Secretary Robert Gates has proposed sensible cuts. Right now, our Defense Department is more effective than it has been. More Al Quaida have been killed in Drone strikes under Obama than in 7 years under Bush.

sherrilina: Arthur/Morgana 3 (Merlin)sherrilina on November 1st, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Part 2
It was too long, so...

You totally ripped that from the MSM. Regulation and oversight was what got us into the Housing crisis and bubble in the first place, not capitalism! If you want me to go further, it was the Democrats' plan for "Affordable Housing" and the subprime mortgage debacle that really took the cake. Any good businessman knows that you don't lend money to someone who can't pay it back. I'm not an Econ-major, but I know that if you spend more money than you take in, you won't get a profit or return on your investment. You can also look at California, New York, and even my home state Illinois. Our state budget has not been balanced on time since Blago first got elected in 2002. We're also not even paying our bills but that's beside the point.

Actually I didn't get it from MSN, although I know that what you say there does happen to be a myth that Fox News was perpetuating! ;). Yes, banks lent irresponsibly, but it was not because of Democratic initiatives, it was in order to supply more mortgages to bundle in the new instruments they were making a killing selling as Derivatives. They were getting rich selling them, and lowered standards to have more to sell. The banks themselves accepted lies, not out of a responsibility to some Federal law that would never require that, but out of pure *greed* and to feed speculators who had run out of other things in which to invest.

Are you trying to say that all businessmen are crooks? Again, you are demonizing Wall Street and other entrepreneurs, lumping them in with those who do cut corners on their taxes (i.e. Timothy Geithner, John Kerry, Chris Dodd).

Good points on Geitner and Dodd (though Kerry did not such thing), but the fact is that Wall Street behaved irresponsibly because they *knew* (and were right) that the good old government would bail out their asses. Hence, they get all the upside of reckless risk if it pays off, and none of the downside if it goes sour as it did here. The TARP program that right wingers love to criticize not only succeeded in saving the financial industry (as the stimulus bill staved off a Depression and created 3.5 million jobs), but allowed Wall St. to go back to making record profits and bonuses. Their thanks? Attacking the government that saved them. Though we spend 700 Billion on TARP, at this point we have been paid back with interest on all but 29 billion and still might come out ahead.

Even this recently passed HCR, almost 2/3rds of Americans want that law repealed. No one wants it anywhere.

That is because they do not understand it or know what is in it. (The Republican campaign of lies and fear-mongering about it has been quite effective, after all). When polled on its actual provisions, it is popular, which is why the GOP included them in its "Pledge" document. Watch this to actually learn about the law, rather than Fox News:

http://healthreform.kff.org/the-animation.aspx

The law is as "incremental" as it could be and still cover all Americans. It borrows heavily from GOP ideas. Repeal will not be popular once people actually see its full benefits. And the fact is that our current system before it is simply *not* sustainable, with health care costs rising uncontrollably especially as more and more people become uninsured and the hospitals pass off their expenses to the insurance companies who in turn raise premiums (whether you like it or not, you are ALREADY paying for the uninsured, but in an inefficient manner)--if the costs keep rising employers aren't going to be able to provide health insurance forever, and that whole system will be kaput and more and more people will be screwed over.

Edited at 2010-11-01 08:45 pm (UTC)
julia (。◕‿◕。)paenteom on October 4th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
I habe absolutely no idea how the British goverment works and who that is, but it sounds as if they're starting what's going on here at the moment.
Less money for schools and all.
I don't get why they're complaining about the lack of qualified people on the one hand, and the other they pull stuff like this.

Whoa. Your asthma sounds waaay worse then mine. >>