JellyBaby's Blog

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

I’ve been able to vote for a few years now but I’ve never actually bothered to. I do actually feel guilty about this. After all, many suffragettes died to get us women the vote and I know I’m very lucky to live in a country where we actually get to choose our leaders. But the simple fact of the matter is that politics confuses and bores me. It seems to me that parties make all sorts of wonderful promises in the run up to an election which never become reality – and anyway, I’d much rather settle down and watch Neighbours rather than Question Time. It occured to me recently that the only knowledge I have about politics comes from reading the odd copy of The Sun and watching Mock The Week, which hasn’t exactly given me a very good education in the workings of the government.

Recently, however, I sat down with a cuppa and Company and read three very informative interviews, done by girls my age, with the leaders of the main parties here in Britain, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg. In amongst questions about where they buy their clothes and what movies they’ve recently watched were intelligent ones on their manifestos and in particular, how they’re going to help people like me if they come into power.

From getting on the housing ladder to tackling student finance, these interviews showed me that it’s essential for anyone who can to vote as politics affect us all. Just looking back over my blog I see that I’ve written about welsh language law, immigration, and global warming in amongst my ramblings about Glee and the X Factor. I always considered politics to be a load of old men in suits; thanks to Company and their excellent articles on how important it is to have an interest I see that politics plays a part in every aspect of my day to day life.

The price of petrol; public transport; wages; bank charges; education and more – all are affected by the government, therefore it is essential that we vote for whoever we believe will give us the best deal for the next four or five years.

I can’t say that I’m going to swap my tabloids for the Times, or American Idol for BBC Parliament, but on election day, I will be marking my ballot and feeling grateful that I have that chance. The opportunity to vote is more precious than we can imagine, so use it!

The assembly government has published a proposed new law on the Welsh government.

These new laws would place duties on certain firms to provide services in Welsh. Firms in areas such as gas, electricity and telecoms could face fines if they refuse to provide a Welsh language service.

The measure would also give Welsh official language status.

It’s about time too, I say. Non-Welsh speakers may not realise but a number of Welsh people just aren’t comfortable having to do all their business in English and surely it’s common sense that if you’re in Wales you should be able to do your business in Welsh if you want.

However there have been concerns that the new measures don’t cover the private sector. Shops, for example, won’t be required to provide a Welsh service. The assembly doesn’t have the power. It’s a shame because shops are a major part of our day to day lives and it would be nice to see the Welsh language become more mainstream.

Still, it’s progress and it’s good to see action being taken to ensure that whether you’re more comfortable speaking Welsh or English, at least you’re able to make that choice in more ways.

The Sun launched a fresh attack on Gordon Brown last weekend after he sent a mistake-filled letter to the mother of a dead soldier.

In the handwritten note to Jacqui Janes, he misspelled her name as Mrs JAMES and made numerous spelling errors. The Sun are now using this letter to criticise the prime minister, calling him disrespectful and accusing him of not caring for our armed forces.

But the Sun seem to have misjudged public mood on this matter. Most people seem to think that this is all a fuss about nothing, and I have to agree.

I feel the utmost sympathy to Mrs Janes but I cannot criticise Gordon Brown simply because he’s got bad handwriting.

Brown is blind in one eye and partially sighted in another after a childhood rugby accident, so it’s no wonder that his handwriting may not be the completely legible. I’m sure he’s been told that on numerous occasions but he still makes the effort to sit down and write to every family of those killed in the war effort. This should be commended. After all, if he chose to type his letter or got an assistant to write it he would be criticised just as much, so this seems like a battle he can never win. It’s also important to remember that handwriting is not an example of how clever or competent someone is. Some of the cleverest people I know have handwriting that is nothing more than a scrawl and Einstein was reportedly dyslexic – he may have had a hard time spelling certain words but he is still one of the world’s most famous and respected scientists. As for getting Mrs Janes’ name wrong, I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose and didn’t mean any disrespect.

The Sun need to stop this mindless Brown-bashing. He faces enough criticism on a daily basis without the tabloids making up controversy where there is none.