The late great Ricardo Montalbán (above) once said that he believed all good villains do villainous things, but think that they are acting for the ‘right’ reasons. It was with this thought in mind – and others more frustrated – that I considered my meeting with Joseph Ratzinger; the then Pope Benedict XVI.
The minute you no longer feel unabashed, childlike joy as you crunch across a blanket of fresh snow, I say go ahead and drink a cup of crushed hemlock; because this world has nothing more to offer you. An old friend of mine once told me that the act tapped into my destructive nature and if I would only accept my inherent regressive character traits then shame alone would quicken a better Parlett. Even to this day I regret not striking him with the back of my glove and calling him a scoundrel. Continue reading Hard times on the High Street and A Tale of Two Sarahs→
And after a while – with my mother tearing out the hair I’m surprised didn’t fall of its own accord years ago, and my auntie and I playing good cop / bad cop to the duty Doctor’s idea of palliative care – my Nan is finally on morphine.
If it wasn’t for the wonderfully compassionate carers at the home, I’m pretty sure we’d be utterly lost.
There’s little point in ranting on here (he said, before ranting on.) We treat dying animals better than we do dying people. I haven’t yet met a person of faith to convince me that any of their holy books are worth the paper I wipe my arse with, but it seems that as wonderful as science is, technology is torture without morality.
I’m not talking about the morals some guy brings down a mountain, or whatever, but of the ideas and ideals we must take a firm hold of and shake when medicine prolongs the body, but not the mind. Continue reading A Full Life→
I read an interesting article the other day in which Stewart Lee raises a terrifying argument about Scottish Independence; a point summed up succinctly in the sub heading: The loss of 5.5 million Scots would mean 5.5 million fewer voices to say no to Cameron’s cronies. As you may know, there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs.
Now I was living in Glasgow last year and I voted for Alex Salmond’s SNP, thinking it a good thing as I’d recently walked up the Wallace Monument and had rekindled a healthy sense of colonial guilt; instead, it turns out I was shooting myself and every other red-blooded English liberal in the foot. Continue reading Magnetic Gandhi→
In Britain, welfare amounts to over 30% of overall public spending. If we ignore the bail outs – and we should, because £1.2 trillion could have built schools on the moon – then that’s the single largest area of public expenditure; a provision to guarantee a basic standard of living for all those in financial need.
The Welfare Reform Bill of 2011 was the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years. One element is the introduction of Universal Credit, a ‘streamlined’ replacement for six of the main means-tested benefits and tax credits that is said will ‘ensure work always pays.’
A fortnight ago, another change – the replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – was the reason hundreds of thousands of Twitter users were trending #spartacusreport, relating to Responsible Reform, a 37 page independent report into the alleged general awfulness of the DLA reforms. Continue reading Several Hundred Words About Money→