Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

I recently heard the song “Land of Confusion” by Genesis for the first time in a long while. The lyrics really struck me more this time than they had previously – maybe it’s because in the last few days I’ve been blogging about how we need to be the ones who help change this world for the better.

Anyway, I decided to look into the lyrics a little bit more, and found the following quotes from Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford:

Phil Collins called it, “A political song about the mess we have landed in.”

Mike Rutherford called this “a kind of ’80s protest song,” adding that, “It’s about how we live in a very nice world, and what a mess we’re making of it. How it should be all so easy and it’s all so difficult”.

Here’s some of the lyrics from this song:

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.
Ooh superman where are you now
When everything’s gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.
This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

Now can you see why the lyrics of this song seems to strike a chord with me? So just as I’ve said in the last few days that we need to be God to the world, so this song remind me again of the desperate state this world and the people in it are in. The world really does need God, so help tell the world about God, so that we see this world change from a land of confusion to one full of love and compassion for one another.

Here’s the original Genesis video for Land of Confusion – The video uses puppets created by Peter Fluck and Roger Law, who had a satirical TV series called Spitting Image. In the video, puppets of the Genesis musicians are featured, as well as some well-known political figures from that time.

The wrong question

Posted: May 20, 2017 in communication, politics, words
Tags:

Do you think there is such a thing as asking someone the wrong question?

In this last week, I’ve heard interviews this week with a few politicians on the radio this week, while on my way to work. To be honest, when I’m driving I don’t really pay that much attention to what is being said on the radio, but some things just grab your attention, don’t they.

I’m sure we’ve all noticed that politicians are experts at not answering the question they are asked – They simply answer a question they weren’t asked and ignore the question they were asked. However during one of these interviews my attention was caught when the interviewer asked the politician a question, but instead of ‘answering’ the question in their usual manner by answering a different question, this politician told the interviewer that they had asked ‘the wrong question’!

How can someone say you’ve asked the ‘wrong question’, when it’s blatantly obvious that it’s only the ‘wrong question’ to the them, the interviewee, as they clearly didn’t want to answer the question they were asked.

As far as I’m concerned there is no ‘wrong question’, all questions are valid if someone asks them, so even if the interviewee doesn’t like a question, it still doesn’t mean it’s a ‘wrong’ question…it’s just a question that someone doesn’t want to be asked, or answer.

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, but today, as the title of this blog post suggests, it’s the 5th of my “associations” blogs all about places, i.e. cities, countries, towns etc. So instead of throwing words at you and responding with the first word that comes into your mind, today I’m going to throw names of places at you, and this time I want you to respond with whatever comes into your mind first about that place.

So here goes…cities

  1. South Africa
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Greece
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Birmingham
  6. Scarborough
  7. Cambridge
  8. Oxford
  9. Penzance
  10. Glenrothes

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Nelson Mandela
  2. Food!
  3. Hot
  4. Capital
  5. Spaghetti junction
  6. Holidays
  7. Family
  8. University
  9. End
  10. New town

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did you understand all my answers? Did any of your own answers surprise you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond to any of these words or place association games, with the first things that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state and our true feelings about a place.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

In the last little while I’ve noticed there are a number of things which many of us will put in the category of either “love them” or “hate them”. So today I thought I’d share with you some more of my love or hate things and see if you can guess which category they fall into for me:

  1. Snow
  2. Curry
  3. Exercise
  4. Flowers
  5. Party political broadcasts
  6. Hospitals
  7. Football
  8. Pepsi Max
  9. Toast
  10. Documentation

A bit of a mixed bag of things there isn’t it, but I wonder how many of them you correctly worked out that I love or hate, and how many we have in common…scroll down to find out my answers…

  1. Love
  2. Love
  3. Love
  4. Love
  5. Hate
  6. Hate
  7. Love
  8. Hate
  9. Love
  10. Hate

So there you go, how many of my answers matched yours?

“Love” and “hate” are two very strong and very different emotions and if we are honest with ourselves I think we will probably find that rather than “loving” or “hating” the items I listed above, we really just “like” or “strongly dislike” them – Does that sound about right?.

Today is the day the people of Scotland decide their future – Do we stay as part of the United Kingdom or do we become an independent country? Yes or No!

yes-no

It’s been said many times since the date of our independence election was decided, that this is probably the biggest single decision that we will make about their country in our lifetime. So isn’t it reasonable to expect that everyone eligible to vote in this election, takes their vote seriously, taking time to weigh-up both side of the argument, before coming to an informed decision?

That sounds good doesn’t it? Sadly though, particularly in these last few weeks, the campaign seems to have more about claims and counter-claims, highlighting untruths or misrepresentation of facts made by the other side. Personally I’d rather have heard facts, backed up with hard evidence, not supposition and claims that no-one seemed able or willing to back-up.

It’s also become very apparent that there are many supporters on each side of the argument who are completely behind their side, and will do or say just about anything to try and convince those who do not have the same beliefs as them. Unfortunately there have been instances of people being assaulted, abused or discriminated against because of their views, none of which is acceptable on any level – We live in a democratic country and therefore we each have the right to have, and express, our own opinions, and should be able to do so without fear of abuse or discrimination.

So voting day has finally arrived. I cast my vote earlier today, and while I will not share with you which way I voted as we vote in private polling booths for a reason, so my vote will remain private, I voted the way I thought will be best for the future of my country, the country in which I was born, and the country I have lived in all my life. Yes I may live to regret the way I voted, but for now, I truly believe the way I voted will provide the best possible future for me and future generations of Scots.

So as a nation, as Scots, and as members of the United Kingdom, we await the outcome of the most important vote about our nation. I simply hope that whatever Scotland has decided today, we all accept the decision with grace and understanding. There will be those who will obviously be disappointed, there will be those who are elated, but ultimately whatever the decision we have to live together, and we have to make the best of our decision, and try to make Scotland the best place possible for us all to live.

Whatever the outcome of today’s vote, whether Scotland is an independent country or remains part of the United Kingdom, I will still be Scottish and Scotland will still be my home!

scottish_flag_and_union_jack

 

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last few months, but today, as the title of this blog post suggests, it’s the 4th of my “associations” blogs all about places, i.e. cities, countries, towns etc. So instead of throwing words at you and responding with the first word that comes into your mind, today I’m going to throw names of places at you, and this time I want you to respond with whatever comes into your mind first about that place.

So here goes…cities

  1. Newcastle
  2. Chicago
  3. New York
  4. Gold Coast
  5. Amazon rain forest
  6. Stranraer
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Glasgow
  9. Hawaii
  10. Jersey

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Geordie
  2. Downpour
  3. 9/11
  4. Snorkelling
  5. Creepy-crawlies
  6. Mispronunciation
  7. Somewhere I want to visit
  8. Commonwealth games 2014
  9. Hawaii-five-O
  10. Bergerac

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did you understand all my answers? Did any of your own answers surprise you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond to any of these words or place association games, with the first things that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state and our true feelings about a place.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

He does not care about your political views. He does not care which political party you follow or support, if indeed you support any of them!

He does not care about building consensus or opening dialogue in a society where many views/opinions exist about politics and religion.

Instead, Jesus loves and welcomes everyone who seeks Him, because He is the epitome of love.

There are no sides in God’s kingdom, it is simply a place full of love, understanding, equality and eternal life. So we cannot claim Jesus is on our side in any political debates, however if we align our views with His, then we can claim to be on His side.

Do you claim to be on His side in all areas of your life?

Positive and NegativeYou cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln

Wise words from a wise man. I think the words are even more effective because it tells us what’s not possible, however part of me is saying that this makes the whole things very negative, when, if we are trying to improve the world and the people in it, should we not be looking for the positive and good in everything rather than accentuating the negative things in life.

Look for the positives in everyone, because there is a positive to be found in everyone if we look hard enough!

 

On the day when the biggest man in African history is laid to rest, what else could I possibly feature in my blog today?!

I am no expert in politics or African history, however I have lived my life during some of the highs and lows of Nelson Mandela‘s life. I wasn’t even born when Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage, but I remember very well in 1981 when Glasgow was  the first city to honour him by awarding him freeman of the city. Mandela was not allowed to leave his prison cell in South Africa to accept the award and this seemed to incite the worldwide calls to set Mandela free.

My Dad was always very knowledgeable about politics and I remember him telling me more about Mandela and how life was for blacks in South Africa in those days. Little did we know then that Mandela would later become the first elected black president of South Africa, and a world renowned and much respected leader who in his time here on earth changed his homeland for the better far more than many other politicians can ever hope to achieve in their lifetime.

Here is a quote from Mandela which I’m sure you’ve all read or heard before, but it’s one that I’ve contemplated so many times, simply because its truth:

 

nelson-mandela

 

Finally, here’s a song by Simple Mind which was one written to celebrate Mandela’s release from prison. It’s simply called Mandela Day. which seems just as appropriate to use today as the world says farewell to one of the most influential men of our era.

 

 

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela. You changed your country and the world for the better. Well done.

 

Today is all about options again – I’m going to give you two items at a time, and you have to choose which either best describes you or which you prefer:

  1. Celtic or Rangers
  2. Books or films
  3. Apple or Microsoft
  4. Cold/icy or snow
  5. Scotland – Better together or independent
  6. Tennis or cricket
  7. Plants or flowers
  8. Seaside or city
  9. Poirot or Miss Marple
  10. Book or reading device (e.g. Kindle)

A variety of questions, some about your personality, some about your preferences. Whatever your answers, together they define who you are.

In case you’re wondering here’s my answerslogo_your_preferences_final

  1. Rangers
  2. Books
  3. Apple
  4. Snow
  5. Scotland – Better together
  6. Tennis
  7. Flowers
  8. City
  9. Poirot
  10. Book or reading device (e.g. Kindle)