Monday, 28 January 2013

#OnlyAsiansWill - My Mother

The hash tag #OnlyAsiansWill is currently trending on Twitter and it is giving me loads of laughs. I identify with much that is being said. My mother is Indian and, sometimes, living in the gap of a culture clash between British culture and Indian culture makes my life interesting, varied and humorous.

Here are some of the Tweets I identify with:

1. #OnlyAsiansWill fill empty ice-cream tubs with curry. I just counted and we have three huge empty ice-cream tubs in the cupboard waiting to be filled.

2. #OnlyAsiansWill drive the whole family to the airport to either pick up or drop one family member off. Airport days in my family are the sort of days which loom large on the calendar. On that day everything centres around going to the airport. We have been known to fill the car to the brim to drop off a family member who was flying to Scotland. Yes!

3. #OnlyAsiansWill lecture their children for an hour but not ground them. I have never been grounded but I have been lectured many times. The answer is always, 'Yes, Mum'.

4. #OnlyAsiansWill save carrier bags and use them in bins as lining. We have Sainsbury's bags lying around everywhere and I occasionally dream in Orange.

5. #OnlyAsiansWill collapse in a heap and eat a plate of curry as consolation when you show them pictures that your English friends have put of themselves on Facebook and Instagram (short dresses and skirts, drinking alcohol).

#OnlyAsiansWill have oversized suitcases when they travel filled to the brim with presents for relatives. Once our oursized suitcase broke and we had to buy another which also broke.

Enjoy these jokes.


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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Keep Your Blinds Closed In Protest Against The Welfare Upratings Bill On 21 January


2013-01-20 20.40.25.jpg

The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill proposes that benefits should only be raised by 1% over the next three years. Tomorrow (21 January) the Bill will reach the Committee of the whole House, Report stage and get a third reading. Unless the ghost of William Beveridge descends on Parliament tomorrow it is a near certainty that the Bill will be voted through.

This does not stop me from launching my campaign 'To Keep Your Blinds Closed' tomorrow in protests against the injustices of this Bill.

George Osborne said: "It is unfair that a person leaves their home early in the morning and they pull the door behind them and they are going to do their job and they look at their next-door neighbour, the blinds are down and that family is living a life on benefits. That is unfair as well and we are going to tackle that as part of tackling this country's economic problems.'

I know from experience that if your neighbour has their blinds closed it does not mean that they are on welfare and lazy. My neighbour works night shifts and when I go to school in the morning his blinds are closed. Ironically, the family on benefits who live on the other side have their blinds up quite early. Please click on this link for more options on why blinds could be closed. How can blinds define the deserving from the undeserving and the strivers from the skivers? I detest the fact that an ordinary household item like blinds is being used to demonise people on welfare.

It is children and the disabled who will suffer from this politics of cruelty. According to The Children's Society, 11.6 million children will be affected by the 1% cap. As a specific example, a couple with two children, one earner who is a primary school teacher earning £600 per week will lose £424 a year by 2015. The Child Poverty Action Group states that the Up-Rating Bill will push 200, 000 more children into poverty. Accumulatively, the welfare cuts will push 1 MILLION more children into poverty by 2020.

People with disabilities already are suffering from having to go through work capability assessments (WCA) and having to face ATOS who have all the grace and sympathies of Scrooge before his transformation. According to a report, 3.6 million people claiming disability benefits will be worse off by £9 billion from 2010 to 2015. I am constantly saddened by stories of how disabled people are treated by ATOS and DWP and the closures of Remploy which took work away from the disabled.

The politics and wellbeing of children and the disabled who are the most vulnerable people in our society transcend the political games to cut the size of the state. 
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Thursday, 17 January 2013

£100,000 Fine for Playboy Over Children And Their Porn Sites

Playboy, the global keeper of bunny's with perfectly round tails, has been fined £100,000 by Ofcom for 'serious, repeated and reckless' failure to protect children from pornographic material on its websites. Playboy TV and Demand Adult, which are Playboy's websites, allowed anyone to access inappropriate videos and images without checking whether the persons were over 18 years of age.

In 2011 I dressed up as the Easter Bunny and joined a protest outside Playboy's new club in London on its' opening night. Since then I have read interviews given by the organisation about how it stands up for women's rights and believes that the bunny costume wearing women who work there are strong and powerful women. If you believe this you will also believe that the Easter Bunny is slowly waking itself up to spring into action in Spring.

My guess is that Playboy has not bothered to filter out below age viewers because the boys who view the sites will be their future customers. Playboy is investing in the future generation and this is really a disgraceful type of investment in the youth of today when crimes against girls and women is on the rise. Come on Playboy - where is your corporate responsibility towards children? 
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Monday, 14 January 2013

Why don't people trust politicians?

On the Andrew Marr show this week Ed Miliband was asked why people should trust Labour? This question, although it was addressed to the Labour leader, may as well have been addressed to all politicians. Low voter turnout partly happens because there is a trust problem.

The reason that people don't trust politicians is because politicians seem to speak a different language from the ordinary person.Politicians are not down to earth because they are too engulfed in the Westminster bubble. There is a disconnect between government policies and the effect on people's everyday lives. Take welfare, I know the welfare bill was too large but the welfare cuts are really hurting even the low income people now. It's not just the unemployed who are suffering. The government comes across as being heartless and ordinary people care about empathy and concern.

Even the way that PMQs is conducted is more about  point scoring and slagging off the opposition than talking about the issues at hand and asking questions that would benefit the public. Do you feel confident about Westminster MPs when you watch PMQ? I don't. It's all about making themselves look good so they can win the next election. Politicians forget the real reason that they are in politics - serving the public. Career politics should come second to this. Maybe I am just being idealistic but there is no getting away from the fact that trust is a huge problem for Westminster and if this carries on there will be another low voter turnout at the next election.


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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Statement on the vote for welfare benefits up-rating bill,


08 January 2013

'This bill will punish millions of children and families already struggling 
to make ends meet. 'Two-thirds of families affected – over six million – 

have children. As a result of today’s move, life will be harder for families from 

all walks of life, including 300,000 nurses and midwives, 150,000 primary 

school teachers and 40,000 members of the armed forces. 'Families already 

struggling to provide their children with food or a winter coat, or heat 

their homes are being pushed closer to the brink. 'Child poverty blights lives 

and is a scar on our society. Today’s ’hardship penalty’ punishes 

working families on low-incomes as well as those looking for work, 
paving the way to a rise in child poverty.
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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Is The Pope Right To Condemn Capitalism?




I was on 'The Big Questions' today at 10 am. The debate was about whether the Pope was right to condemn 'unregulated capitalism' in his New Year message. I was invited onto the programme to give my view.

In his message the Pope said: "Although the world is sadly marked by hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism..." 

Unregulated capitalism is a disastrous economic role model for children. It is a false state. I am 13 and I see children aspiring to be the 1% but they don't realise the effort it takes to get there. Children's lives are filled with excessive spending. When you are exposed to tales of money making and excessive spending it gives the impression that money grows on trees. Competition among the youth is about spending their parent's money and the latest fads and outdoing each other. Competition isn't about personal effort anymore. 

I have seen the change in other children as I have grown up. The invisible hand belongs to Mammon. Children have stopped trying. It is a 'who cares?' attitude among all the classes. The children of the super-rich know that they will inherit, the middle-class have a sense of entitlement and the working class think that no one cares anymore. A lack of aspiration is a commonality among all the classes. 

This is what happens when there is no causal link between the top of the economic scale and the bottom. We are starting to see extreme outcomes: the Foodbanks serving the hungry, suicide rates among the disabled growing and hate crime is on the rise. Unregulated capitalism offers short termism and false hope. It deprives sustainable self-ambition for children. 

Why can't an economic model of capitalism be treated as a developmental issue? Economic issues should be the basis for social justice. 
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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!


Photo: Hope that everyone had a great time. Heart shapee fireworks :-)   
Happy New Year everybody. 
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