It Was Social Media Wot Won it… Or so They Said!

It was social media that would decide the election- or so they said.

The traditional right wing newspaper and other media are losing their power to the force of the new media online- is what they told us.

And yet, when the election came round the hopes and dreams of all the right wing media came joyously (for them) true.

#Milifandom was a hit!

The #GreenSurge was huge!

Where did all those hashtag users go when it came down to cold, hard crosses in the box on election day?

If we analyse Twitter- as more people than there are hashtags seem to do- we can see that some of the biggest Social Media trends have all favoured Labour or other smaller parties such as the Greens.

One of the biggest Twitter trends this year have been the double-whammy of #CameronMustGo and #GetCameronOut which dwarfed even Beyonce in sheer volume.

In response there was a meagre trend for the #Cameronettes – which it has to be said is one of the creepiest trends in the world, as surely only someone with a penchant for the type of sado-masochism that can only be delivered from the most expensive of private schools (a sort of 50 shades of boys’ shower-rooms) would use this hashtag!

If we look at the traffic we clearly see that the tories were absolutely pummelled in the social media war:


And yet here we are- the other side of May 7th with a majority Tory Government.

However this happened, as I am sure that there are innumerable reasons one thing is for sure- social media did next to nothing.

But why. Well there are a few reasons:

1. People don’t go on social media to make their voting decisions
You can make as many witty hashtags as you want but the only people listening to them are the people who already agree with you. Those who don’t, but are interested in politics will either unfollow you, block you, or laugh at you. So in short political hashtags have zero impact in changing people’s minds.

2. The majority of voters don’t use social media much
The majority of voters are old, and rich and have no need for tweeting or writing statuses or keeping up to date with the latest trends and how people are using them. Until all the young voters show out in force the oldsters will win out every time. If you could vote with an app or by pushing the red button (or green button if you’re so inclined) on your remote then elections would go in a seriously different way!

3. Old people still get their opinions from Newspapers
People are so sucked in by the media that the Sun were able to run a pro-SNP front page in Scotland and an anti-SNP front page in England on the SAME day, and clearly people were OK with that?!
Old people don’t use Twitter, they certainly don’t go there to get their opinions but they do read papers and they STILL have a huge impact on people’s opinions. Until we get a change in media coverage in this country the right wing parties will always do well.

Having criticised social media, it can be a force for good. Although it doesn’t change minds, it galvanises people, and brings them together. You can be a force for good with social media if you want, and you should.

You might not get people to change what mama and papa taught them but you might get your charities heard, you might get people to petition and give up their time for a cause that they believe in and you might make a real difference.

So use social media and wield its mighty power! There’s no point swinging it at the giant shields of ingrained belief- this will only be deflected right back at you. Instead, find the weak points, and the soft spots and attack, prevail and change the world for the better!


The Sub-Text of the Sun’s 10 reasons John Major was the best Prime Minister

This week The Sun has written a blog giving the 10 reasons why John Major was the best PM. Here we provide the sub-text of that list:

1. He was a Tory
2. He was a Conservative
3. He was right wing
4. He was a Tory
5. He never did anything that significantly damaged the profitability of the Sun newspaper
6. He looked pretty good in a blue tie
7. He was a Tory
8. He wasn’t Labour
9. He was ruddy good at cricket
10. Did we mention he was a Tory?

A picture of the most beautiful man ever

I do usually put links up to the original articles mentioned/ alluded to during my blogs, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put a link up to this one and give the chance of even slightly increasing their readership!

The word belief should never be used in a religious context- A Socratic dialogue


Blaise Pascal: “What have you been up to, Bertie?”
Bertrand Russell: “Oh you know, mainly logical mathematics and stuff, you Blaisey?”
Blaise: “Why, it’s Sunday morning I have been in my house of worship, praising the God above for all of his work!”
Bertrand: “Like ebola and mass hunger in Africa?”
Blaise: “No Bertie, this is not God’s will but he has given us the tools to help us overcome these scourges. And, I believe that those who die, so long as they believe in God, will be saved, so it all happens for a greater good!”
Bertrand: “If I may ask, Blaise, Why do you believe in God?”
Blaise: “I just do, and I am of the opinion that I should believe because if I’m wrong…”
Bertrand: “For once, Blaise, can you stop banging your ‘wager’ drum! But that’s not why I ask the question.”
Blaise: “Well, as I…

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Britain’s Got Talent- Election Edition

Ant or Dec: Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of Britain’s Got Talent where, this week, all of our contestants are currently standing as the leader of a political party. All the contestants are hoping to be able to show their act in front of the Queen who will allow them to form a government. But first, they have to be voted through by Mr Cowell and then in the finals by you the British Public, in the GBT General Election 2015. So let’s go straight to the action now.

Cowell: Hello contestant; tell us your name and where you come from.

Dave: Hello. My name is Dave and I’m from Westminster

Cowell: And what will you be doing for us today?

Dave: Well, today I will be demonstrating the innumerable benefits of a Tory Long Term Economic Plan.

Cowell: OK, well take it away.

(Dave frantically scribbles on a white board for a few minutes before presenting his work to a smattering of applause)

Cowell: OK David. Well the first thing that I have got to say is we were looking to see something new and exciting, but instead you come here with the same act that you’ve been peddling for the last five years and it’s just not going to be the kind of thing that the British public are going to vote for. Plus, you forgot to carry the remainder in your division which leads to your plan only supporting the middle class and above while ignoring the needs of those who cannot work. So it’s a no from me. NEXT!

(Dave tramps off stage, with a new man coming on)

Cowell: Hello, can you introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from.

Nick: Hi my name’s Nick and I’m from Westminster.

Cowell: And what will you be doing today.

Nick: Well today I am going to be running head first at that wall that has tuition fees written on it, before doing the sharpest U-turn known to man.

Cowell: Sounds exciting, let’s see it.

(Nick runs at the wall and does a huge U-turn at the last second, but in turning he trips over and falls on the floor).

Cowell: Right, Nice well I have to say the act sounded good, but you tripped yourself up and landed flat on your face which just isn’t god enough so it’s a no from me. NEXT! What’s your name and where do you come from?

Nige: Hi, my name is Nige and I am from just outside Westminster.

Cowell: And what is your act today?

Nige: I’m going to drink ten pints in a minute well laughing brashly and smoking a cigar.

Cowell: OK, well this sounds like something many of the British public will be interested with so good luck.

(Nige proceeds with his act, swilling beer, smoking, and giving lots of great banter)

Nige: (Swaying) Hic! I’m done!

Cowell: Well I have to say that it’s a good act, but when I look at you know you don’t really seem fit to stand, and so we can’t really put you in front of the Queen. It’s a no from me. NEXT! A double act? Can you introduce yourselves?

Ed: Hi my name’s Ed and I’m from Westminster.

Nikki: And my name is Nikki and I’m from the beautiful, perfect land of Scotland! For our act today, I will be putting Ed inside my pocket.

Ed: I know what you’re going to say Simon; can we win this thing. Hell yes we can!

Cowell: Well I that’s not a question I asked, nor was I planning to, but anyway can we see your act?

(A huge struggle is heard on stage amid shouts of ‘Come on ya wee bastard! And eventually Ed is seen inside Nikki’s pocket)

Cowell: Well it’s an interesting act, but I have to say it was pretty easy because you had such a small man. Plus, I think that this would look quite embarrassing in front of the Queen, so I’m afraid it’s a no.

Ant or Dec: So there you have it ladies and gentleman, none of our acts have reached the final as Mr Cowell has judged them all to be below the standards we expect. What happens now is anyone’s guess. Thank you and good night!

TV Review: ‘Utah Fires’

A new TV show is coming out of Utah with a format which many are hailing as brilliantly innovative.
It combines America’s love of guns, love of excessive violence, love of gambling and love of murderous justice all in to one half hour slot with the new Governor-acclaimed ‘Utah Fires’.

With the re-instatement of firing squads* less than a day old, TV companies have been quick to identify how to make their own capital out of this capital punishment. Each week families up and down the nation will be regaled with a chilling story of how someone has ended up on death row. It is hoped that this will really stir up some hate for the soon to be deceased.

All this hating should hopefully get you in the mood for the main event. At the end of the programme you will get to watch the firing squad live; all in glorious Hi-Def and even 3D! Plus, you have the chance to bet on which gunman actually fresh the killer shot. That’s right; as most gunmen have blanks with only one shooter firing an actual bullet, you at home get to place bets on which gunman that will be. So while they shoot you win; and you will know almost instantly as the whole thing will be re-shown in super slo-mo so you can see for yourselves which barrel the fateful bullet came from!

Some lefty, liberal critics are saying that this programme glorifies state-sanctioned violence which breeds feelings antipathy towards a hypocritical government who uses murder to vindicate murder, which represents Old Testament ‘eye for an eye’ vengeance which even Jesus was against; himself famously saying “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Most people are rightly ignoring Jesus and his band of hippy critics, as this is all just a bit of wholesome Saturday night fun for all the family.
Everyone knows that the statistics about countries, including the US, with corporate and capital punishment also have some of the highest rates of violent crimes and murder. But most smart people know that these statistics were made up by the anti-NRA lobbyists who are trying to destroy our civil liberties! Disgusting!
So I hope like us, you will all be tuning in to ‘Utah Fires’ this Saturday at 6pm Eastern; it promises to get off with a real BANG!
Disclaimer: This TV show is currently fake.
Disclaimer 2: If a similarly formatted TV show comes out in the future, let me know as I surely have intellectual rights here!
* For those who don’t know; Utah has actually re-instated firing squads- really- that’s not a joke!

Jackanory with George Osborne and the 2015 Budget

Welcome to Jackanory- the programme where you get to hear wild fantasy stories from the land of make believe!
Our story teller this week is George Osborne.

Hello children! I’d like to tell you all about the make believe place called ‘The Britain I see in my Head’!

In the Britain I see in my Head everyone is fantastically happy. There are a little men who count beans and these little bean counting men have the power to figure out that everyone is fantastically happy just my looking at beans; it’s amazing!

Also In the Britain I see in my Head there is no inequality; there are no classes; everyone has the same amount of money, and this lack of inequality is brilliant and that helps to make everyone fantastically happy.

In the real world you have nasty things like food banks, zero hours contracts, child poverty and huge levels of homelessness with one in six homelessness being ex-service people. Not so In the Britain I see in my Head. Everyone’s just super great and swell. All the little kids are just fine and well fed which is brilliant. Everyone has a job where they work really hard and that makes them happy. And at the end of the day after work they get to keep all the money they earn because there is no tax, or barely any anyway which is brilliant!

And everyone is happy, and no one is ever sad, and the moral of the story is that the conservative party are just totally scrummy! The End!

The Veil of Ignorance- Taking a Philosophical Approach to Green Politics

Central to the political stance of the Green Party of England and Wales is the statement:

“Conventional political and economic policies are destroying the very foundations of the wellbeing of humans and other animals. Our culture is in the grip of a value system and a way of understanding the world which is fundamentally flawed”*

This translates in to such things as increased taxation on the highest earners, abolition of the use non-dom status, the closing of of tax loopholes to significantly decrease the number of tax loopholes which can be exploited for personal gain.

Typical responses for why people should not vote Green is that this will mean increased taxation for many, when other parties understand that they have worked hard for their money so the should keep it.

But a ‘thought experiment’ (taking an idea and imagining its consequence if it were real life) helps to illustrate why the Green Party is the best vote for social justice. The thought experiment is known as ‘The Veil of Ignorance’ originally proposed by John Rawls**, and as it is explained try to imagine the consequences and how you might act.

Imagine yourself a ghost or a soul getting ready to inhabit a body, in a new world, with many other souls, who all want the best life for themselves. In this state you know nothing about the body you will inhabit; your natural abilities, your position in society; your sex, race, nationality, or your mental or physical abilities (or disabilities). You may inhabit the body of the least advantaged person in society, but your knowledge over what body is behind a veil of ignorance. Not knowing what the lottery of life will give you how will you choose to arrange society? What do you think you would want to make sure was in place to ensure you had the best possible chances in life, irrespective of your start?

For me, this perfectly summarises how so many Green policies are born.

Equality does not mean treating everybody the same; it means identifying the differences between people and trying to level the playing field. For the Green Party this means providing adequate and decent council housing, it means looking after the planet so that we leave it in the way that we would want to give to our children, or our loved one’s children.

There are costs to some in this kind of society, where freedom and fairness are in direct conflict; the fairness of some will be at the cost of the freedom of others.

we cannot and should not deny this! We proudly say that we aim for a fair society, and for the common good; we aim to build the world that the person behind the veil of ignorance would choose, because that is the one that is fair and just and gives as many as possible the opportunity to live a good life and maximises the wellbeing of humans.

* You can see the full basis of the Green Party philosophy here:
** There is a good Wikipedia piece on The Veil of Ignorance here: