Blog #009 – The Iron Throne

Hey Tim,

I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while. The problem is, I’m not a huge fan of expressing opinion on the internet. But hey, sometimes you gotta have a voice right?

So I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like to say something that’s been said before. I believe that adding to an already widespread opinion doesn’t really help the world. Supporting the lesser supported opinions helps create dialogue maintains a balance. The worst thing is when you begin to believe that there is only one way.

Britain had a general election where we had a hung parliament. So we’ve now got a coalition between the DUP and the Conservatives. I am not exactly happy about this, but neither am I entirely distraught. There’s a lot of opinions surrounding this and I’m going to get lost if I try and list them all, so let’s just stick to the main opinion I hold about all British politics and think back to the last general election I had.

As my friends often like to remind me, I was having trouble deciding between the Green Party and UKIP. I voted Liberal Democrat. Here’s why:

First off, I like the Green Party for it’s environmental concerns. Their influence in parliament would be appreciated. Even if they didn’t have a majority, just a section that would influence decisions to put pressure on the idea that we need to help the Earth. It’s just nice. They’re nice. I agree with them because the idea is friendliness and everything being nice, not necessarily realistic, but nice.

UKIP was garnering a lot of support. I mean, it ended up having a third of the total votes in the election (yet only got one MP? That’s another thing, but we’ll get to that). If you didn’t want to vote Labour or Conservative, then you could vote UKIP because the possibility of them getting into power was incredibly high. They didn’t, but it was close.

So these two options stem from two different ideologies, but their purpose was the same – they were alternative. I didn’t want to vote Labour nor Conservative. The biggest thing that has driven me away from the two major political parties is the fact that they are the major political parties.

They are the widespread opinions.

The worst thing is when you begin to believe that they are the only way.

If things had worked out for the best in my opinion, I would have hoped for a hung parliament again back in 2015. UKIP would have taken votes from Labour and Conservative, and we would have had another coalition (but with much less support for all the parties) for another year running. That, in my opinion, would have been great – the government party system would destabilise, people would begin to believe that alternative parties how power, and we would perhaps move towards a Swedish system with five major parties, or something to that affect. More than two, anyhow, and we’d have more choice. We wouldn’t be restricted to our two-party loyalist shitty politics now, where a vote for Labour is a vote against Conservative and vice versa. Where each side has it’s own set of ‘loyalist’ who would die fighting for their ‘king’.

But this doesn’t explain why I chose Liberal-Democrat. You may think it’s because it’s slap bang in the middle between my other two choices. Sadly, it’s not as simple as that, but it’s still pretty damn simple. In the end, why do I want destabilisation? Why do I want to move away from a two-party system? Why would I prefer non-partisan politics?

I just want to be fairly represented.

I just want to know that there is someone in parliament who feels the same way as me and is fighting on the issues I care about, because that’s the core to democracy. That’s what politics is meant to be about. We get caught up in the fucking game of who wins, that we forget what the actual point of voting is for.

A core value and principle that I have stuck to in life is ‘be the change you want to see’. I may not fight to spread my beliefs, but I fight to hold them. That is just as hard a fight.

So I looked up the politicians who were standing in my area, and I researched them. I looked through their manifestos. I took a look at who they were, what they stood for, what they were all about, and I voted for the person who I felt represented me the best.

I don’t remember who it was. Isn’t that sad?

Now I suppose you might be wondering who I voted for this year? And I’ll tell you that it doesn’t matter. I’ll keep that to myself. But I hope that I made my points clear in how I vote and intend to vote. Perhaps I’ll write more about politics in the future, but it’s really not my forte. I have a lot of opinion about it…

…it just makes me sad.

Yours politically,

PS I do like fictional politics – I need to give that a literary go


Blog #008 – Video Killed the Radio Star

Hi Tim,

So I was on the radio again after not being on for pretty much a year. Student radio that is, not national broadcast style because, although that would be awesome, I don’t think the world is ready for my content and personality. But yes, I was live on RaW1251AM for a good twenty minutes, I think.

Sorry, I think that should be ‘RAW’. Name change.

It was a good time as it reminded me of the fun of radio. The excitement of saying things live and out loud that could be heard by tens, nay, hundreds of avid listeners! Sometimes, it’s like having a conversation with friends in a pub that causes you to laugh out loud, so loud that a few patrons turn their heads to see what might have caused such a tremendous outburst, but instead of that conversation being limited to the three or two participants, you’re sharing it’s content with everyone in pub so they can laugh a long.

It’s a little egotistical now that I think about it.

But then there’s the structure that comes with such shows. It’s just like the commentaries you find on YouTube except there’s no visual content – the audio content has to make do for both which can be pretty tricky. These are the speech and chat shows that litter Student Radio and they can be attributed to being basically “live podcasts”.

Then there are the music shows, those graceful and good natured folk who present and talk about genres of music; some that you’ll have heard of and some you’ll have never of dreamed of. Those are talented folk who can make you enthusiastic about something you’ve not been enthusiastic for, who can link two pieces of music perfectly and help you discover interests you didn’t realise you had. I discovered a lot of music I liked whilst in RaW, it was helpful for that – you just attract a large amount of people who love music and share a dream of sharing it with the world.

But then you’ve the discussion shows. Hard to pull off – you need a strong presenter to keep a discussion going and keep it fair. Keep it interesting. Keep it current. Anyone who excels in creating these shows, you know can excel in doing so in the industry. After all, students are one of the loudest demographics when it comes to debate and the moral compass, so trying to deal with a room of them is a challenge. Especially if dealing with a controversial subject. Of course, these shows tend to be no good if they end up being nod-alongs or “circlejerks” (pardon the term) – that does no good.

In the end, you constantly have a stream of different and varied people, with different and varied aspirations for a show on the radio. They might want to show-case their fondest interests, make a name for themself on campus, spark debates, advertise their work, or even if its just for the fun of it. I loved that we provided an hour to pretty much everyone who wanted the chance, and I loved supporting those people. I loved meeting those people, and whilst I didn’t share an excitement in the medium, I share the excitement in the message. The power of it all.

So today, I was on a show for twenty minutes doing an on-air pub quiz. It was good fun, I loved every second of it, and it reminds me exactly what I miss of my time in university. I’m glad I took the opportunity to be involved when I did.

Good time indeed.

Yours reminiscently,

PS Maybe in the future I’ll make a radio station. Guess I need to start raising some money.