UKIP: Controversy Creates Votes?

 

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We all know that controversy creates cash. But does it get votes? The 2015 general election is quickly approaching and so my main focus this week is UKIP.

Yes the UK independence party. No matter where you stand in British politics you have an opinion about Nigel Farage and his team. I will even admit before the turn of this decade I voted for them, but before the angry mob congregates outside stately Hall manor let me explain.

Before their rise in popularity quite recently, UKIP had this thing about keeping our currency what it is. They were heavily opposed to the Euro and that is my reason for voting. In hindsight I chose wisely but the UK kept the Pound anyway (and boy look how that turned out on the mainland). So pitchforks and torches away, for now.

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Gotta love a decent angry mob

But for much of the country there is a rather strong divide. Some will support UKIP and others will absolutely hate them. Constantly there are headlines in the news, only yesterday was Nigel Farage apparently driven out of a pub by an angry mob of protesters (I can’t vouch how true that is). But never the less his party are in the news, again.

Some will even say UKIP are racists and that they are anti-immigration. They want to tighten the borders and make Britain great again.

The way I see it is more open minded to them. I still don’t know who I will be voting for come May but much like any country there are people from other places here. Britain is a country of a thousand cultures and nothing short of breaking human rights will change that. It’s too far gone and that isn’t a negative. Because these people come this country to work, to pay tax and contribute to society.

Does UKIP want to stop that?

There are many places in the UK where the people desperately want change. Many run down coastal towns that were once predominantly British are an example. Farage is running for Thanet, a coastal constituency. But now these places are feeling the squeeze of this country as a whole changing. If you don’t want your town to keep up with the times then it will only decay further.

Right now, unless any other UKIP parliamentary candidates get removed, will make some ground this coming election. But there aren’t enough run down coastal towns in the UK for them to get into Downing street. But I could be wrong,  I have been before.

This election is the hardest to call, ever. That’s because parties like UKIP are coming out into the spotlight. Unlike labour, conservative and liberal, UKIP are pretty bad at handling image (I might think twice about liberal). They are a young party compared. Time will tell whether or not Nigel’s controversy gang will surpass anything more than a daily mail web edition headline.

What do you think? Personally I know for sure I won’t be voting UKIP, but do you feel different? There are some people who are worried about UKIP, are you one of them?

(Keep it nice and friendly. Any angry or behaviour I deem unacceptable won’t be tolerated and your views won’t be published here, yes the Hall of information can be a dictatorship if need be)

You can hear my opinions in more detail in a podcast known as off the radar, go check out our latest series.

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Before he realized the angry mob was coming his way!

 

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The Eclipse 2015: Did you see it or was your view clouded?

I left my house this morning at a somewhat earlier time. Advised by a particular news website (not mentioning names) that when the eclipse happens there will be traffic pandemonium. Half 9 UK time is classed as sill the morning rush hour (yes people get up that late) and that was when this event had been predicted to happen.

Upon walking out into the fresh morning air I couldn’t help but look up to the grey murky low cloud base that covered everything above my chimney line.

Great start  (I did laugh initially like Muttley or even an Hyena)

I expected nothing less than the whole of Britain to be cloudy. In all honesty it’s the only weather we know can cope through without something going wrong. So off I went along my normal drive to work. That being the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory science research facility in Harwell Oxfordshire.

Still the clouds remained and the eclipse time loomed. Looking out of my minuscule 2nd floor workshop window, I could see people starting to gather. Again I looked up at the apparent clouds and that was when a speck of blue shone through.

The damn clouds were clearing. I trudged up the large mound towards the back of site with my boss. Taking out my piece of sh** phone I looked at the clock (my second best app) and then I looked up. There it was the crescent sun. A beaming smile in the sky. Just in time the clouds parted, I did expect the Simpsons theme to kick in at any moment. Ladies and Gentlemen, I saw it. Many others didnt, and the photographic evidence is here.

A decent photo imo! Happy eclipse day! Enjoy my ‘gallery’ below and thanks for actually reading this!

Wait for it...

Wait for it…

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Time to change: More like it’s about time we changed

Never before has society of the free world ever been so aware of mental health. We know so much more about the human brain that we used to but still there is a rather taboo stigmatism towards the whole subject.

If we look back some years, let’s say 1950. A time where cars were on the road (although fewer than today) but the concept has been left unchanged since. You fill up with fuel, you fight traffic, get new tyres, avoid costly maintenance bills and repeat. But recently the electric car has begun to emerge, we have hybrids and more people opt to cycle. Research and development is happening and the world is very much aware of the pollution most standard vehicle causes. People are beginning to think and want to do something about it.

The car is a luxury but the human mind isn’t. After years of medical research we can pretty much diagnose and tell when somebody’s mental health is not so good. But why is our approach so bad?

I don’t want to start a war between two perfectly viable contingents (that being the whole green issue vs mental health). But they seem to care about the long term effects of the planet and not what is happening now in society, that being the wrong perception of mental health. Whether that is depression or any other condition somebody has, back in 1950 you were locked away for the most treatable conditions.

Look how far that has come on.

Having never suffered from any mental health issues I am outside looking in. But I have been mistreated and discriminated at some level. We all have. That’s a part of life and that’s what is happening to people with mental health issues. I have close friends who do suffer with depression, but I have found it’s handled better if you just talk about it. Even asking them about what they are going through helps.

It isn’t difficult to say something nice and if you haven’t got anything nice to say, treat people with a level of respect that you wished to be treated with. That shouldn’t be any different towards people who have mental health issues in any degree. They are people just like us.

The Hall of information is open to anyone and everyone, that includes people who thinks it’s time to change.

There is a campaign currently running for a better work capability assessment. Rethink Mental Illness, the National Autistic Society and Mind are all working in association with each other. Courts have ruled that the WCA is unfair and puts people with mental health issues, autism and learning disabilities at a ‘substantial disadvantage’. So check it out and help change happen.

You can treat and pioneer in medical care as much as possible. But my philosophy as of recent is simply to have the right attitude. If that changes then everything else will follow!

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Chappie : A story about a robot about humanity

In the future there will be robots…… You will probably get the rest as you have heard me many times ramble on about the first line of my book.  I was feeling a little anxious as I went into the cinema this past Friday to watch a new film called Chappie.

Anxious because my unpublished work deals with similar issues as seen in Chappie. Robots are centre stage and with me going into watch this film there was a hell of a lot at stake. My reason for this is because one day in the not too distant future I want to see my legacy of novels converted to the big screen. So anything robot related is representing the genre that my life’s work is under. But enough about my internal ramblings.

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From the very beginning Neil Blomkamp ( director of district 9) throws us into a world not that far away from ours. Johannesburg, South Africa. A place where crime is a big problem. So the police have started to draft in newly developed robots to deal with the gangs and violent goings on. Minutes in and we are treated to spectacular action.

Many of these police robots are involved and you know sometimes there’s that moment : ‘oh that’s a bit fake’. I’m not sure how they did it, whatever sorcery was involved worked. Because I was led to believe every robot I saw, engaging in combat was actually there.

The story continues to unfold and we are introduced to some well-known faces such as Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Dev Patel. But they were matched by some rather unknowns who to me stole the show. Our title character begins life as a police robot and takes on heavy damage early in the first action sequence. This runs in parallel with some swanky new software being developed by Patel pulling an all nighter on red bull.

This software allows a robot to simply be human in terms of emotion and feelings. He can learn and is influenced by the people around him and from what he is told. The ultimate theme and concept that is familiar in all robot stories. But this time they got it so damn right.

Chappie is born and the real story begins. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this film. There were nods to Robocop and many of the 80’s sci fi classics in terms of certain themes and sequences. As much as it felt like one of those classics this also felt like a modern day better version of these productions.

I wouldn’t be able to compare this film or story to anything ever done on screen. It’s a fantastic original piece and represents the robot genre immaculately. There were moments when I laughed out loud and times when I was truly moved. Mostly by this robot who was just trying to find his way in the world. The story to me was beautiful, I have only been quoted once to say that about Titanic. Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet falling in somewhat doomed love whilst one of the worst disasters in history unfolds around them. This is all heightened by that tragedy. It’s perfect and although chappie isn’t as much a Romeo and Juliet story it still gives the same effect.

Although the action was quite violent in places, it was suitable for what Neil Blomkamp was trying to tell us. This film wasn’t about robots in the end, it was about humanity and its ability to make you laugh and make you cry with every other emotion in between. But it takes for something not human to try and be human for us to see that. (yes read that last sentence twice and slowly)

I came away thinking what an exceptional film and story. One film that I do recommend you seeing because it may not make you laugh or move you but it will certainly get you in one way or another.

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The film had some great thought provoking moments much this one

 

Should I self-publish? What do you think?

I’ve been here before, again I’m at a point where letters are going out to literary agents and there’s this thought; ‘why am I doing this?’ Now to get my reasoning for this blog post straight. I am not looking for attention or pat on the back. Yes I know one day my train will set sail and all but what I need right now is constructive advice.

The self-help books have been read, the various forums looked at. Some of closest friends consulted but still there is no answer as to whether or not I should self-publish my first book Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. Everyone I go to is sitting beside me on the same side of the rather large castle wall. That castle being publication. There is nobody I know, that I could consult with a trustworthy decision or ounce of advice who is on the other side of that wall. Don’t get me wrong I take everyone’s advice on and I am thankful for that.

Now I know literary agents have to be selective and have got to choose the right project for them. They stick up various filters such as the want for a synopsis and a ‘standard’ cover letter. Why shouldn’t they, at the end of the day they only want the very best and they are in the position to want that.

But am I in that position also. Why should I choose the ‘traditional’ route. For all I know every agent that has ever looked at my book could think it’s a pile of shit. But that still doesn’t stop me because I know people are successful and have been successful for producing a lot less.

It does help to be talented at something in this world but it isn’t vital for success. Right now I don’t know, much like last year and when I opened the Hall of information. My idea now of self-publication is finding a relatively decent company/service whom I could pay to help me out. I am currently writing book 3 whilst book 1 is gathering dust. Wouldn’t it be better for me to build a readership by self-publishing?

I am fully open to suggestions. The floor is open for anyone to give me any constructive advice? Comments are welcome.