Memo to the Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

Congratulations on the victory.  It must be a terrific feeling since no one expected it. I enjoyed the noble triumphant speeches, but now we should turn back to genuine politics.

Your victory means Boris and Theresa must wait a few more years. (I’ve always thought we should have a boxing match to decide the next leader.)  Anyway, the only enemies worth pondering are those in your own party who want the British people to vote to leave the EU in the referendum. If they start to go against the grain and vote against the government, life will be tough, especially since you can no longer blame the Lib Dems for your inaction on Europe. You’ll need to give out awkward jobs in government to keep them quiet – and very busy. If that fails you’ll have to send sack loads of money to the DUP in Ireland to buy their votes.  George is no doubt stashing some cash away just in case you need to build a few more motorways or hospitals in DUP constituencies.

Of course, like the City and the important businesses, you’re keen for us to stay in Europe.  After all you represent the pro-business party.  We need to start some behind the scenes effort to establish a couple of easily attainable negotiating aims with the Germans (no one else matters much, and thank goodness the VE celebrations are over).  Next you talk tough to the cameras and– hey presto! –a settlement is obtained. Hopefully that’ll persuade any anti-EU voters and newspapers that a huge victory has been won. That should make the referendum go the way you want.

The SNP hate you.  There’s no point in attempting to make them hate you less. Then again you shouldn’t wind them up. I wouldn’t advise a victory tour of Edinburgh.  The important point is that if you spend too much time talking about English votes on English laws, you will cement the split between England and Scotland, which is what the SNP want.  So be quiet, lay low on the matter, let sleeping dogs lie.

On a more positive note you no longer have to fret about your MPs defecting to UKIP. Everyone has seen it’s not a good career move. And besides, if the British people vote against staying in Europe, UKIP becomes irrelevant since their goal has been achieved. If the Brits vote to stay in Europe then UKIP have lost the argument. True, if the vote is close they may be a problem for Theresa or Boris next time round as UKIP try to do an SNP and fester on, but thanks to our first past the post system UKIP have probably reached their peak. Of course you must dismiss UKIP’s pleas for proportional representation. That’s for losers. FPTP guarantees a stable government- that’s what you tell the press. But really, what’s the point of holding command if you don’t pull up the ladder after you?

I heard old Douggie Carswell say in a talk early this year “if you vote Lib Dem you’ve got a problem.” It received a good chortle from the flock of malleable Wykehamists listening, but it wasn’t in good taste. He’s right of course, but manners makyth man and all that. From you, placid compassion towards the Lib Dems would be a respectable approach. Those voters in the centre you attracted this year might go back to them if you start being too unkind about their beliefs. Be nice to Nick.

And then there’s Labour. Ed Balls will probably resurface in the party as the shadow chancellor’s dog walker, or maybe as his wife’s secretary if he’s lucky. Don’t mock him. Toss money into the NHS. And then toss in some more. Just keep tossing. Have you considered experimenting with Boris in charge of the NHS? Don’t. After he’s finished being the Mayor of London, it’ll be safer to let him simply become PM.

Good job on avoiding those TV debates by the way- it paid off in the end, top foresight there!

The Dummy’s guide to the Ched Evans affair

The Facts

  1. In 2012 footballer Sheffield United player Ched Evans received a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman. He scored 35 goals in the 2011/12 season.
  1. A judge from the Appeal Court rejected Evans’ attempt to appeal. “I am not persuaded . . . that the fresh evidence… is such as to render the verdict of the jury unsafe”.
  1. He served half his sentence before being released in October 2014 on licence, and his lawyers are trying to mount an appeal.
  1. Club officials wanting to sign him have received death threats and an Oldham board member was told his daughter would be raped.
  1. Ched Evans says, “Whilst I continue to maintain my innocence… I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.”
  1. Poll on mirror.co.uk: Do you think Ched Evans should be allowed to return to football? 59% Yes. 41% No.

 

The Arguments

The Big Question:

Greg Dyke, FA Chairman – “Are people who go to prison entitled to rebuild their lives or aren’t they? Or is what they’ve done so bad because they’re in an industry where their image is important?”

For Evans playing again..

Harry Redknapp, QPR Manager – “Once you’ve done your time you’ve done your time.”

Dan Hodges, The Telegraph – “It is the law that has to deal justice to Evans. Not the mob…we cannot substitute our penal system for a Twitter feed.”

Professional Footballers’ Association – “We do not agree that society should impose different rules for footballers which go beyond the position of law.”

Richard Garside,  Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies – “He was found guilty and a prison sentence was his punishment, not unemployment.”

Eric Hall, ex-football agent – “The guy has been to prison, served his sentence and now they want to give him another punishment? You can’t stop the man from working.”

Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph – “Ched Evans’s victim, her identity cruelly unmasked by his supporters, is effectively on the run…I find that deplorable – but so are those who seek to force Evans on to a medieval ducking stool because he insists on protesting his innocence.”

Against him playing :

David Cameron, Prime Minister – “[Clubs must] weigh the decision very carefully [because of] the position of footballers as role models.”

Ed Miliband, Labour Party Leader – “He hasn’t shown remorse and I wouldn’t take him on.”

Sarah GreenEnd Violence Against Women Coalition – “We are appalled by any football club which signs an unrepentant convicted rapist.”

Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner – “Ched Evans’s lack of remorse and failure to acknowledge his offence means it is simply inappropriate for him to be on a football pitch presenting himself as some kind of role model.”

Jessica Ennis-Hill, Olympic Gold Medal winner – “I believe being a role model to young people is a huge honour and those in positions of influence in communities should respect the role they play in young people’s lives.”

Henry Winter, The Telegraph “He is not the victim. She is.”

Football Sponsors – Neil Joy, the chief executive of Oldham, who considered signing Evans, said that their sponsors were going to pull out of the club, and “Proceeding could have placed significant financial pressure on the club”.

Oddly, some footballers have served time and carried on playing… 

Joey Barton: In 2007 he was seen on CCTV punching a man. He served two months of a six-month sentence.

Marlon King: In 2009 he was sentenced to 18 months in jail for groping a woman and then breaking her nose. After serving his time, he was signed by Coventry City and won their Player of the Year. At the moment he is serving an 18-month sentence for dangerous driving.

Lee Hughes: In 2004 the ex-West Brom striker was given a six-year sentence for causing fatalities through dangerous driving. Hughes signed with Oldham and scored 25 goals in 55 games.

 

Overview:

People have differing and strong opinions, and there is a lot to be said for both perspectives.   We need to respect the law, and, as Libby Purves wrote in the Independent, “We don’t execute or exile, so rehabilitation is at the core of our penal system”. Yet rehabilitation does require an acceptance that what has happened is wrong. Perhaps the torrent of abuse against Evans will only cease when more people believe his regret for the distress caused by the situation on the woman is genuine but realise that an apology for rape would be hypocritical since he maintains that he is innocent. If that happens sponsors might stop hindering his return. Of course, if an appeal succeeds, he will play again, although it will be at least a year before any decision is taken. The final question is who will prevail, the law or the people?

‘Three Parent Babies’

Britain is on the way to becoming the first country where it could be legal to create ‘three person babies’, as the media has branded them. As ever politicians and members of the public have brought up the same arguments that always seem to emerge when there is a development in the field of trying to help parents have healthy children. People have strong opinions on the topic. On the BBC website a comment was left by the user justiceoneday, who wrote, “Those who support this madness are bought and paid for degenerates…”

However the doctors who have pioneered the technique will potentially save many lives as it prevents babies inheriting hereditary diseases by replacing the mitochondria of the mother’s egg.

Mitochondria are found in a cell outside of the nucleus. They make the energy on which our bodies run. There are 37 genes inside them, and the amount of DNA they carry is so small it is almost insignificant. In the nucleus itself, there is all the essential genetic material that has come from both parents. It contains more than 20,000 genes. When mitochondria are compared to the nucleus, it can easily be seen that it is the nucleus, not the mitochondria, which contains virtually everything that will be affecting the physical appearance of the baby as well as the baby’s mind.

Mitochondrial diseases are only inherited through the maternal route in an egg. They are rare disabilities passed down and usually mean those affected live very short lives. If a woman carries mitochondria that cause these diseases she is likely to pass them to her children. But if you exchange her mitochondria with healthy mitochondria then the bad gene line will end and future generations of children will be healthy.

Therefore the ground-breaking technique the Government is planning to allow to happen is centred on replacing a mother’s disease-bearing mitochondria with that of a healthy woman’s. To perform the method, IVF must first be completed. The father’s sperm is injected or mixed with the mother’s egg, and only when fertilisation has occurred can the scientists suck out the pro-nuclei of the two parents and inject it into a donor egg with healthy mitochondria. Pro-nuclei are the nuclei of a sperm or egg cell during fertilisation. This replacement would mean that the baby would have mitochondria that are not defective. The baby would then have most of its DNA and genes from two parents and only 37 genes from the donor.

The question is does that amount to having three parents or is it simply alike to a baby having two parents and a donated heart, or a kidney transplant? The doctors at Newcastle University who are at the forefront of the research into the process believe that it is just like “changing a battery”, and they prefer the method not being called the making of “three parent babies”.

People opposed to it though say “mitochondrial replacement” should not be allowed for religious reasons because God doesn’t want us to interfere with nature. Perhaps they have forgotten that in the Bible in the parable of the talents Jesus says we should use our talents to achieve more in life and help people.

Others say there are already enough unwanted children in this world waiting to be adopted so why go through this process when the parents can just foster a child? Parents who can’t have children are said to be being selfish wanting children with their own genes so they are like them, rather than adopting children with some one else’s? But in a modern world where scientific advances mean they could have their own children without passing on defects which could shorten their lives, why shouldn’t they? We would all still be living in caves if the human race weren’t allowed to invent and progress.

Some people even argue that it’s fine to be born with disabilities and those who are born with them deserve respect, and of course they do. But this is about children who are not being born at all because they parents don’t want to give their children the burden of being born ill. It’s not like the abortion debate where people who are against abortion say you may be killing an unborn child. This is about allowing children to be born healthy who otherwise would not be born at all.

The first ever baby created using IVF was born in the UK, near Bristol more than thirty years ago. If Britain can’t still lead the way in fertility techniques then the best doctors may go abroad to work. If Britain doesn’t change the law and allow this technique to go ahead, another country will.

We have one more problem though and that’s politics. The Government has said with a bit more research it is planning to bring in draft laws which should lead to it occurring, and so helping at least ten couples a year to have healthy babies. But with the General Election coming up next year, and a lot of MP’s from all the parties opposed, will the government go ahead with its plans? Or will it decide the subject is too controversial and decide not to risk an argument in case it loses them votes?

They shouldn’t let politics get in the way. The Government should have the courage to do it for the sake of parents who are affected and to encourage scientific research in this country.

High-profile people like Angelina Jolie have acted on genetic knowledge. She has had her breasts removed because she carries the BRAC2 gene that makes her susceptible to breast cancer.

Everyone will face similar worries as genetic information becomes more readily available but they’ll discover that their knowledge gives them the power to take control of their life.

Some people believe that techniques such as IVF and the ‘three parent baby’ method are wrong, and they would accuse doctors of meddling with nature. They’re only meddling with nature to the same extent as someone who takes an antibiotic. Do these people think we should go back to the days where diseases like tuberculosis killed millions of people every year? Should we not operate on a person’s broken leg because that would be an interference to the natural system? To call it the ‘Three Parent Baby’ process is wrong, but the method itself is right way to go. Genetic knowledge means we can take our future into our own hands.

Vladimir Putin- he has to go

Born in October, 1952, Vladimir Putin is now 61. In 1999 he had his first Premiership as Prime Minster of Russia, when Boris Yelstin was President. In that same year, Yelstin made a shock announcement of his immediate resignation. His wish was that Vladimir Putin would be the acting President until elections in March 2000. His thoughts were honoured and from 1999-2000, Putin acted as President of Russia. In the 2000 elections he gained the votes of the Russian people, and became President. His first Presidential term lasted four years (2000-2004). He was re-elected and served his second Presidential term until 2008. Due to the constitutional laws of Russia, he was not eligible to be elected for a third term as President. Instead he decided to run for Prime Minister, but in his remaining days as President, it is said he shifted most powers of the President to the Prime Minister. So, he changed governmental title, and yet his powers on a political scale were still the same. As it happened during this term he was the Chairman of United Russia –a political party- too. At the end of his second Premiership in 2012 he tried for a third Presidential term, and surprisingly enough, was duly elected. Of course before leaving the job of Prime Minister, he restored all power to the President, and extended, rather controversially, the set term of the President from four to six years. In the election for President in 2012 he won 63.6% of the vote and despite members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) talking of “procedural irregularities” in the voting system, the results stood. He has now completed almost four years of the six year term.

 

The knowledge of the most powerful people in Russia that Putin was corrupt was hardly an affair they seemed to care about. An example of this exploitation was the development of a medical supplies business that took large donations from the oligarchs of the Yelstin age which were supposed to provide Russian hospitals with supplies. Ben Judah, who is the author of ‘Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love With Vladimir Putin’, interviewed Putin’s once business partner in this same business.   This businessman revealed that 35% of the donations were taken to be allegedly pumped back into the Russian economy through further investment. The ex-partner went on to disclose that by 2005 the trust had collected over $200 million. A portion of this money funded the building of the Black Sea palace of Vladimir Putin. However the Kremlin rejects all of these facts most strongly.

 

Putin is a powerful man- that much is evident. Yet this power balances on one skill that he uses abundantly: his skill of financially elevating his followers to gain more support, and to curb their wealth through freezing their assets and the like in order to discipline them and keep them under his authority. Although so far effective, it is easy to see the instability of his power, of the way he runs the country, and undeniably, the instability of the welfare of the Russian economy.

 

Vladimir Putin has continued to violate international laws. In 2014 soldiers marked with no national identity wearing Russian-made clothing were reported to be appearing within Crimea. Without a shot fired they took control of the central parliamentary building in Crimea. By February an election was held and 83% of the public of Crimea alone voted to join the Russian Federation. The merging of Crimea and Russia has not been recognised by one-hundred states in the UN since the annexation did not comply with Ukrainian law which clearly declares that for any part of Ukraine to gain independence from the country, the whole of Ukraine must vote and the majority of voters must agree to the exit.

 

Vladimir Putin‘s Russia are furthermore funding pro-Moscow separatists fighting in East Ukraine, supplying both military training, arms, and no doubt strategic advice. Now, a Russian missile given to rebels by the very country which produced it, fired from a Russian missile launcher which was filmed as it was smuggled back to Russia in the cover of darkness, has shot down a commercial aeroplane, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, on which there were 283 passengers and 15 members of staff. Not only was it the horror of the tragedy that has angered the world. Not only is it the loss of 295 innocent citizens from across the globe. Investigators have now been denied access to the site of the crash. Evidence has been destroyed by these pro-Russian separatists. The dead have been disrespected and kept from their families, placed in a train with an unknown destination. And still Russia denies any involvement. President Putin has not just violated international law; he has cast aside the dignity and the honour of murdered and guiltless civilians. Does he have no moral sense?

 

If Putin still has his political wits about him, for his sake as well as Russia’s on terms of business and trade, he will step down consensually. If however he is steadfast in his political arrogance- being unable to lose a fight so to speak- his actions will lead to the demise of Russia as a world power, as well as his own demise as the people of his nation realise the catastrophic effects of his rule. Their demise can be easily controlled by the rest of the world. As Avi Tiomkin wrote in a guest post on Forbes.com “his [Putin’s] downfall is inevitable and President Obama’s sanctions policy … is the prudent and effective policy to employ.”

 

The only problem is that Russia does have leverage in Europe. Due to Putin’s push for more investment in the energy business in his first Premiership as Prime Minister, the state owns 50.01% of the shares in the energy super-power that is Gazprom. They supply most of Europe with oil and gas. It means that whenever a debt is left unpaid, the energy supply can be turned off for that particular area by none other than President Putin, and of course in an effort to show off his power, he has performed this act a number of times, with the country on the receiving ends of blackouts and power failures being Ukraine.

 

Europe will have to vote. Step down and let Russia continue its violation of international law in invading and taking control of Crimea and letting pro-Moscow separatists (with decidedly non-Ukrainian accents[1]) tamper with evidence of flight MH17 as well as continue to fight the Ukrainian government, or boycott Russia. Seclude them from the global market, from international sporting competitions, and from any sort of travel whatsoever. Let the people of Russia and the oligarchs who will lose money due to said boycotting overthrow him.

 

And it is not only the violation of law. By annexing Crimea and showing off its military prestige, Russia has intimidated both Europe and the USA. We know Putin is already adamant that his fighting force is the best in the world through his words: “Nobody should have any illusion about the possibility of gaining military superiority over Russia. We will never allow this to happen.”[2] But in the eyes of the rest of the world, there are powers still greater than Russia, such as the USA and Europe. And yet with advances in training and the gaining of weapons, Russia may pose a very real threat to the countries of the world in the years to come.

 

Avi Tiomkin went on to write in the aforementioned article, “…we can expect power struggles within the Russian elite… At that point, the ruling elite will conclude that Putin is … no longer an asset, but has become a major liability. … Russian opposition parties … will expect support [from the West]. This is when we may see a ‘Russian Spring.’”

 

The world must show President Putin and his Russian people that actions such as theirs will never go unnoticed, will never be permitted, and that the world is willing to go to great measure to end the destruction and terror caused by a man who has bullied the people of the world during his reign of dismay.

 

If Putin continues with his unethical politics which lead to unimaginable atrocities, a conflict will take place whether it is physical or based purely on policies and a sort of siege warfare. This will be a conflict which will be seen as a turning point in history, the most prevalent struggle since the culmination of the Cold War.

 

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2014/07/18/now-that-putin-is-clearly-a-mass-murderer-its-time-for-the-western-press-to-stop-protecting-him/

[2] http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2014/02/28/ukraine-is-putins-great-test/

Fracking in Balcombe

They may be protecting their land, but are they just undermining Britain as a global power?
On Thursday 25th July, 2013, a group of protesters held up a lorry carrying a generator to a potential fracking drill site in Balcombe. Test drilling was due to start on the 27th. The lorry’s air brake was reportedly cut, and soon the police arrived, who originally said that they would use force to remove the protesters if necessary. After seven hours however, the police told protesters that the lorry would be leaving, and that no more drilling equipment was going to be brought to the site on that day.
There have been photographs in the newspapers that show lines of young children blocking the road, holding signs such as “Frack off” and “Don’t frack our future.” Some of the children can’t be older than five years old. Unless these 5 years olds are all geniuses and know everything there is to know about fracking, a passer-by might think that the protesters were exploiting the fact that their children look sweet and innocent, and trying to squeeze out the support of the public nationwide by making them sympathetic to the children, and therefore the cause.
The definition of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, on http://www.dictionary.com, is “a process in which fractures in rocks below the earth’s surface are opened and widened by injecting chemicals and liquids at high pressure: used especially to extract natural gas or oil”. To keep the fractures open, sand and grit is pumped into them, and the trapped gas flows out through a pump, and back up to the surface.
Protesters claim that the process pollutes surrounding rivers, the air, and causes earthquakes, and they have reasons to believe this. In 2011, in Blackpool there were a series of tremors of a magnitude of 2.3, thought to be caused by the recent fracking there. The scare caused a ban on fracking to be put in place in 2011, but in late 2012 it was lifted when research proved that fracking had no more effect on the area’s seismic activity than a person jumping off a ladder. Durham University’s Energy Institute, led by Richard Davies, wrote in a study that only 3 earthquakes have ever occurred due to fracking, and that they were rare. Mr Davies also said himself that “the fractures don’t travel more than a few hundred metres so the chances of [groundwater] contamination from fracking are really very remote indeed.”
In the next 50 years, it is proven that we will face an energy crisis. However, gas reserves in the last 20 years have also been proven to have increased by as much as 70%. If we are going to face this crisis, we need to look at all our options, and then look at the consequences of going with a particular one. If we have all this gas, we should use it. In the long term, it might help prevent this energy crisis for at least another century, even if it does damage some parts of the countryside. Even though it may not be “the perfect English village” as some home owners want it to be, Balcombe will have sacrificed a part of their town for the greater good. They will be aiding their country and the world in a time of need. Of course we still have renewable energy such as solar and hydroelectric power, but when one looks at the amount of energy made, and the money put into building windmills, for example, one finds that it just isn’t worth it economically. Companies still want to make money after all.
Energy also brings power. Power to the country, which in the future, Britain could use. Our status as a global power is fading away, and in the future, the countries will all the energy, such as Russia, China, America, and Saudi Arabia, will be the ones with all the power. Recently, for example, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, amongst other countries. He did this because he was in a row with some energy companies, who were not paying for the gas that Russia was supplying them with. So overnight, Putin simply turned the gas tap off, plunging Europe into darkness. It was a show of power. Britain even felt it when there was a scare that energy prices would suddenly increase massively. Saudi Arabia has a large percentage of the world’s remaining oil reserves on their own land, and suddenly the geopolitics of it all start to really matter. Relations with the Middle East and the West, for example, are not great.
Balcombe is a town of about 7,000 homes. Not all residents support the protesters, and so the number of people who are against Cuadrilla and the potential fracking site is relatively low. The total number of protesters is around 100. According to The Times newspaper, less than 30 of the protesters were from Balcombe itself. Such a small number of people cannot halt the whole process of testing for gas and oil deposits can they? Some protesters may not even understand what fracking actually is. Lilias Cheyne, a 60 year old retired teacher, said, “…it is a social event. I don’t know a lot about fracking but I have an instinctive feeling that it is not good.” Some are only there because they want to have a chat with other friends who are also there. Yet in a poll taken by the Balcombe Parish Council, which closed on 10th September last year, 82% of the parish thought that the council should oppose fracking. The top reason for this, as the poll showed, was because they feared increased traffic activity in the area, and the second was the fear of the pollution of water supplies. As they say on their website, Cuadrilla is an independent British energy company, who drilled in Blackpool, and wants to test for gas in Balcombe. Cuadrilla has the right, for the moment, to drill in Balcombe, since they obtained a drilling permit from the Environment Agency. If they are to keep their permit, they cannot treat Balcombe as they might treat a drilling site in the middle of an American desert. They must, and will if they are clever, take environmental safety into account. Many people worry that they will cut corners, and so damage the countryside. Cuadrilla released a statement in which it said that safety measures would be put in place, including the regular testing of water samples for harmful substances and abnormal levels of minerals at five different locations around Balcombe, amongst other measures. The other measures, and some of the results, can be found at http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Interim-Pre-Drill-Environmental-Monitoring-Report-31-07-13.pdf. If the village is really going to be convinced that fracking will not harm the environment however, the government must agree to monitor Cuadrilla’s progress. The company also said, in another statement, that vehicles driving to and from the drilling site would only be allowed to drive at a certain speed, and that during the school run, no vehicles would be allowed to drive.
The opinions of so few shouldn’t matter in a struggle for cheaper energy ahead of an energy crisis, and political power on a global scale, especially as many of the protesters are not even entitled to an opinion in my view, because they may know little about the matter which they are protesting against, as the retired teacher and protester Lilias Cheyne proved.
Britain is already a diminishing global power and we don’t want to be ruled in the future by the countries that have all the energy, such as Russia and the USA. We want to be one of the powerful countries. People accused the police of using too much force against protesters. I don’t think it was too much, even if they did bring in dog handlers, yet perhaps before we arrest them all, we should educate them on what they are fighting against, and then if they continue to be a nuisance, force could be used. When the protesters are aware of all the facts, perhaps this whole affair will cease to be such a problem for the police, for Cuadrilla, and for the government.

Gun Laws in America…

I am sure that you all know about…

I am sure that you all know about the ‘Boston Bombings’. Now, I’m a tad confused. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was left as the only surviving suspect for the bombings after his brother -his partner in crime- died having been critically injured during a shootout with the police, at around 1a.m. on 19/4/13. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured at around 8.45 p.m. on the same day, the nineteenth. After his capture had been officially announced, crowds of people came out of their homes, and rejoiced, with many shouting, in unison, ‘USA! USA! USA!’

This is the part that confuses me.

The American government had previously announced who the suspects were, and what nationality they were. It was known that they were brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Dzhokhar is American- he has American citizenship. His brother, Tamerlan, had a green card which meant that he was not an American citizen but he still had the right to work and live in America on a permanent basis. He was waiting to obtain citizenship. The only reason he did not have it, was because he had once been charged with domestic violence, so his citizenship was delayed. Yet he was accepted as part of American society- he had a wife, he was a keen boxer, some reports even say that he wished to represent America in boxing competitions worldwide. These people are not foreign terrorists. They are American terrorists. So why do people go out onto the streets and cry, USA! USA!USA!’ ? Some Americans might claim that just because Dzhokhar had citizenship, it does not mean that he is a true American. Yet American society is a society of immigrants. It is made up of Irish Americans, Polish Americans, Hispanic Americans, the list goes on. The fact is that they are all AMERICAN! To say that Dzhokhar, who is of Chechen descent, was not American would mean that you believed that President Barak Obama, who is of African descent, was not American.

So do people shout, USA! USA! USA!’ , because they do not properly understand the situation; or is it because they feel so helpless and scared, having gone through the experiences of the last week or so, they feel that they have a need to cling on to something, anything, so they cling onto their country: The United States of America?

 

I or Me? … Me or I?

This morning I heard a person near me say something terrible: “Me and James are going to watch T.V.”

I almost felt like grabbing the speaker by the collar and shouting into his face, ‘No you fool!’ Perhaps I should have; alas, I did not. Yet the speaker has made me feel obliged to write this post.

Today, we live in a society that ‘cannot speak proper’. People get their grammar wrong on a regular basis. So we, the remaining few that care how we sound, need to stand up gor our views. Today I am going to discuss only when to use ‘I’, and when to use ‘me’. I do not mind the way in which people pronounce words, unless the pronunciation is obviously completely wrong, for everyone has a different accent. Anyway, back to the subject of this post.

We use the pronoun ‘I’, when it is the subject of the sentence, the person doing the verb. We use the pronoun ‘me’, when it is the object of the sentence, the person to whom the verb is being done.

Examples:

Tom and I went to the park. (Tom and I are the subject of the sentence, and the verb.)

The train almost hit Tom and me. (Here, it is the object of the sentence and verb.)

A good way to test whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’, is to block out the other person in the sentence:

Tom and me went to the park. If we block out the other person, we arrive at:
Tom and me went to the park → Me went to the park.
If we say this over in our head, we can easily see that this is wrong.
So, we must use ‘I’: I went to the park. Then we replace the other person in the sentence, and hey presto: Tom and I went to the park. CORRECT!!!

If you want any more practice, I found a wonderful exercise where one decides whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ in a sentence. Just click here– a new tab/window will open and the exercise will appear… as if by magic.

So I hope now that you can go out and teach the world how to speak properly!

Please Comment

How can this blog ever hope to become known across the globe, if nobody leaves their comments? So, I implore you to leave comments, in which you broadcast your opinion on everything and anything! Please!!!!

Finally, followers!

Yes! We must celebrate! There are real people out there who are following my posts. Awesome. I reckon that it’s a good enough excuse as any to hold a party. Nowadays, anything goes. People are holding parties for no reason, such as ‘I bought a new pair of cufflinks’, and ‘I’ve dyed my hair blue’. Now I have nothing wrong with parties, but could the hosts at least find better reason to hold one, or in fact, they could just tell the truth- why can people not just say that they just felt like holding a party, and cut the rubbish excuses?

You know what would be really great? If someone could comment, and write their views, now that would be fabulous.