Archive for Politics – Page 2

You gotta know when to hold ’em

The last few days have seen fortune smile on me.  In addition to the Apple TV that I won on Thursday, Friday saw me winning a pair of tickets to see Michael Gambon in Krapp’s Last Tape, which is a play I really wanted to see but probably wouldn’t have gotten around to buying tickets for before it finishes in three weeks.  As if that wasn’t enough, I arrived home after work to find I’d received a pair of cinema tickets as well!

I’m tempted to buy a lottery ticket but if it’s true things come in threes, I’ve had my whack! That said, the plan is to head over to B&Q to get some shelves so if I remember I’ll pop into the petrol station and buy a lucky dip, chances are I’ll forget.  I’ve never really been tempted to become a hardcore lottery player.  I think deep down I’m with that section of society who just see it as a tax on the poor.  Not that middle class and upper class members of society don’t play the lottery, I just think more poor people do as they are the ones more desirous to leave their existing lives behind and are under the notion that a wheelbarrow full of cash will help them achieve it, hence they’ll spend more of their income on lottery tickets and scratch cards which the Government will tax. Read More→

Legal High In The Sky With Diamonds

If you live in the UK you will be well aware of the recent controversy a legal high known as Mephedrone which has a rather bizarre street name of meow meow or M-Cat.  The reason it’s such a topical discussion is due to the untimely demise of 2 teenagers from Scunthorpe who had taken it.

The first I heard of the deaths was via a news broadcast on the radio on Tuesday evening but by Wednesday morning the media was in a frenzy on how this legal high was killing people, very much like they whipped up a storm when ecstasy first started doing the rounds.  One thing puzzled me and now slightly annoys me.  On Tuesday night the news reports I listened to all stated that the boys had taken mephedrone, gone out to a club and consumed copious quantities of alcohol and also take Methadone.

Now, you don’t need to be a genius to know that mixing any drug is never a good idea but those three? For crying out loud, methadone is a heroin substitute, hardly the sort of thing you would expect a couple of teenagers to want to take to finish off, quite literally, their Monday night rave?  However by Wednesday morning I found very little mention of the methadone use, just that the mephedrone was considered a contributing factor in their deaths and their parents are widely quoted as saying they only took the mephedrone because it was sold as a legal high… So why did these good boys take methadone, a controlled prescription drug?

Following the subject on the news I listened carefully to the words used by police relating to arrests made in connection with the deaths.  The suspects who had been arrested were arrested for supplying a controlled drug.  That’s not mephedrone which is widely available online (tho it is illegal to sell it for human consumption), methadone however IS a controlled drug.  Could it be that the methadone had more of an impact on the death of the boys?  If I were a betting man, which I am, I’d say it was more a contributing factor than the mephedrone. Read More→

Who Are We? Jack Army: A Swansea Love Story

Yesterday I mentioned Spike Jonze’s gorgeous looking film I’m Here, a love story featuring 2 robots living in Los Angeles.  Spike, in addition to being a film writer, director and producer is also co-founder and creative director of the news and culture website VBS.TV, you may recall I mentioned their recent Vice Guide to Liberia.

VBS.TV have a new feature coming out on 12 February which is a love story of an altogether different kind.  Swansea Love Story is about the largely unreported heroin epidemic in South Wales. The film takes an intimate look at the lives of a gang of young addicts, their families and their surroundings. It also examines how unemployment, the breakdown of the family and the nature of love contribute to the dilemmas faced by a group of young people.

The film is co-directed and produced by Vice UK’s editor Andy Capper and Mike Leigh’s son, Leo and was filmed between Spring to Winter 2009 after Andy and Leo made contact with a gang of young addicts through the SANDS drugs agency.

Focussing on Amy & Cornelius, Lee & Leanne, Clint, Kristian and Wills; Andy and Leo following them around their daily lives as they struggle to get money to buy drugs, alcohol and for places to live. During the course of the film, characters get clean and relapse, they fall in and out of love and you get to meet their families and drugs workers.   You also get to meet their drug dealers as well as members of Swansea’s mining and docker community who talk about how the city has changed.  In place of industry there are bars, strip joints and cheap booze outlets and racial tension often spills over into public protest and violence.

Here’s a short trailer for the film which will be released over 6 days from 12 February 2010 only on VBS.TV

Death, Taxes and Light Relief…

Funny how it goes, for the past week or so I’ve been keen to blog but I just haven’t had time.  Very often it’s the other way about, lots of time no real idea what to say.  One of the reasons I’ve not had time this past week is also one of the reasons I often have too much time it’s a horrible, nasty three letter word T. A. X. somehow if I spell it out in capital letters my brain won’t register it’s meaning and send me scurrying to the corner of the room.

Like a lot of people here in the UK, I was in last minute panic mode because I had decided to leave doing my tax return until the last 10 days before the deadline for submission.  My brain knows that it would be so simple to just do all the paperwork at the end of each month so that submitting my return will be a breeze but does it listen to itself? Of course not!  So I had a marathon session with a years worth of receipts and bank statements and finally crunched the numbers, filed it on-line and bit the bullet and paid the tax man what I owed…ouch!  Anyway, I’ve decided I’m not going through all that again so it’s definitely going to be month by month from now on, I only have a few months left before it’s technically time to do it all again! Read More→

Sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not being imaginative enough to think up my own subject title.  I’d like to also take this opportunity to apologise for offending anyone in any of my earlier blog entries for things that I may have said that caused offence.  Oh fuck it! Who am I trying to kid?  I’m not sorry at all and quite frankly I’m getting more than a little pissed off every time I open a newspaper and find that someone is either complaining that no one is apologising or that people are clamouring to apologise for something or other. Read More→