Tuesday, April 26, 2005

At last! Something sensible.

David Frost interviewed Michael Howard on Sunday. The issue of immigration came up (as it always does with the Tories) and it struck me that while Tory policy isn't as rascist as BNP policy there is an element of xenophobia. (I'm not the first person to say this but it is the first time I have formulated a coherent view as to why this is the case.) Michael Howard has always said that it isn't racist to have a debate about immigration - and I agree - but it certainly borders on racism when, as David Frost pointed out, (I'm not sure of the accuracy of this) the Conservative candidate for Enfield North links immigration to MRSA.

However, what really annoyed me and got me thinking was when David Frost asked if students from Iran and China (using his examples) are welcome to study in Britain. Michael Howard said that if they were bona fide students they would be welcome but would have to go back to their countries as soon as their degrees were over. At this point the question occurred to me "Would he say the same thing to a student from the USA, Canada or western Europe? Or even Japan? (Heads up to Australia and New Zealand.)" Probably not. Because those countries are rich and therefore don't fall under the Tories' (and perhaps not even the BNP's) anti- and limited-immigration radar. Another thing against the other 200 odd countries in world are that most of them aren't native English-speaking countries.

Monday, April 25, 2005

On bloggers and blogging

Personal bloggers are among the vainest people on the planet.

I thank you.

Oh deary deary me!

Bit of introspection going on today. It began with Nicola texting me and saying she couldn't come in - that left me in the lurch (not her fault though) and I ended up sitting in Cloisters eating by myself. It occured to me that before I started college I was shit-scared of sitting by myself in a canteen incase either a) I was ignored or b) I stuck out like a sore thumb. It doesn't bother me so much now, which begs the question: am I more of a loner than I was four years ago or am I more confident than I was then? I asked myself the question then: Do I like my own company? The answer was yes but that led to the question: Do I prefer my own company? The answer to that was no because I would have welcomed company in Cloisters.

I think there is more than one type of everything - nothing being simple. Take confidence for example. Do I have the confidence to sit in Cloisters and mutter away to myself? (This happened and a girl looked at me funny -quite embarassing.) Yes I do. But do I have the confidence to air my views in a tutorial unless I'm asked? No. The only time I have volunteered my own views in front of actual people is at a SWP meeting before easter about Sinn Fein's role in the peace process after the murder of Robert McCartney and the Northern Bank robbery.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


It's been a slow day. I have done pretty much nothing and there's been very little news. The main news has been about the pope's inauguration. He has called for "Christian Unity;" I'm unsure if this means better relations between Christian churches or all churches amalgamating into one. I did find an interesting article about the press in Africa warning that the church has to soften its stance on condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

I found yet another political test. This one told me I should vote Sinn Fein.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Darkly Muttering

Grumble, grumble... Crystal Palace... grrr!

The actor John Mills died today - he was 97. I could have sworn he was 103 a decade ago. Is that a bit disrespectful? Probably. Condolensces to the family.

I was looking at the
candidate list for all of Northern Ireland's constituencies today. Got mildly pissed off at the East Antrim list. The same old parties and there's nothing to get excited about. At least the Electoral Office has acknowledged Eamonn McCann in Foyle.

Firefox update: Has trouble downloading pdf documents.

Firefox Con?

What is it with Firefox? It's supposed to to be the best browser ever, so I switched to it and now I spend half my day waiting for pages to load. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But it can be slow. It's more user friendly than Internet Explorer though.