The Answer To The World’s Problems! ALL OF THEM!!

Well, that’s a bold claim, I hear you cry, or is this just another clickbait title to entice me to read on. Okay, it may be a bold statement and a little tongue-in-cheek, but I believe the basic premise of my idea is sound in principle.

My idea to solve the world’s problems – abolish MONEY!!!! That’s right, you read that correctly, abolish money. But that’s crazy! What will we do instead, how will we mange! The world will descend into anarchy and madness as everyone will go on a massive looting rampage.

Before you dismiss my idea, let me try to rationalise it by analysing some of the main “problems” that blight our world, but first, exactly what are these problems, or at least what are the main categories these problems fall into –

  • Famine and hunger
  • Poverty
  • Disease and inadequate healthcare
  • War and conflict

And now, what are the main contributing factors that cause and help to perpetuate these problems –

  • Famine and hunger
    • Lack of investment and funding by governments to maintain and sustain food production, from farming through to the manufacture and distribution of food.
  • Poverty
    • Lack of investment and funding into social welfare issues, including providing a basic level of education for everyone to ensure a more level “playing field”.
  • Disease and inadequate healthcare
    • Lack of investment and funding into providing a basic level of hygiene and health care for everyone regardless of your social or geographical position.
  • War and conflict
    • Countries, groups or individuals looking to seize control of exterior territories or resources, either in the guise of defence, or beneficial gain.

How is abolishing money going to help I hear you cry, Surely the answer is to throw more money at these problems as that is the obvious fix. If that were true, then why isn’t this being done. Hardly a week goes by without some celeb appearing on our TVs from a war-torn, famine-stricken backdrop, imploring us to send some more money. And we do. Millions are raised, aid is sent, and yet the following year we get asked for even more money and then the following year for more still. The reason being, food, medication, clothing etc. all costs money and once the coffers are empty, there is no more aid. Remove money from the equation and we can provide as much food and medication as is required.

But I can hear the general outcry now, “Well, if I’m not getting paid, then I’m not working!”. Or alternatively, “Well, if everything is free, then I’m having it all and I’m just going to sit back, relax and enjoy it!”

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t work that way. If you want tech, TV and the latest fashions, we are still going to need people to make them. If you want food, then people will still need to work on farms and in factories in order to produce it all. These jobs will still need to be fulfilled as well as roles such as teachers, doctors, nurses, police officers, fire-fighters etc. We will still need people to work in factories and offices in order to manufacture and produce the things that we need and want. We will need to come together as a community, or rather a collection of communities and ensure that the jobs that need doing are done. If you want a new tablet, TV, or designer pair of shoes, you will need to ensure that you are making your contribution to society. That doesn’t mean that you will now have to work for Apple making iPads (other tablets are available), but you will need to ensure that you are contributing in some measurable way. If your skill is in education, then you will be required to teach. If caring for the sick is your vocation, then you will be a nurse or doctor. You get the idea.

Think of the benefit of not working for money because you must. Instead of doing a job that affords you to be able to pay your bills, you can do a job that you truly enjoy. How many of us would rather deliver the post, drive a bus, or work outside with our hands, rather than sit in front of a flickering screen doing meaningless tasks for ten hours a day. Instead, we can lead fulfilling lives, enjoying our work, knowing that we have contributed to our society. Worrying about paying bills, saving for trinkets and hollow rewards and just generally getting by will become things of the past. I truly believe that our values will change and rather than judging people by their jobs and possessions we will start to place an importance on their contributions to society. More importantly, we will start to enjoy our work and in turn take pride in our jobs as we will be doing something that we want to do as opposed to doing something we have to do.

However, I am not naive, and I understand that every solution brings its own problems. This will be a huge undertaking and it will need policing by the general population to ensure that everyone is contributing fairly. It will also require each communal group as well as society in general to ensure that no one individual or group is benefiting more than others. The usual yardstick for measuring power and wealth is money, so with this element removed, society will start to re-evaluate how it views groups and individuals.

Do I think this idealistic plan is achievable? Who knows? Probably not! But what is the alternative, carry on as we are, forever staggering on towards the abyss. The amount of money in the world is arguably more than it has ever been, but the number of people that share this wealth is smaller than ever before and getter smaller by the day. A handful of companies now turn over in excess of a trillion dollars a year each, whilst billions of people go without and struggle on a daily basis.

We are no longer staggering towards the abyss, but instead we are galloping headlong towards it. Grasping for the dollar bill that is dangling from a thread just beyond our grasp. We are told to try a bit harder, to reach a bit further to want it a bit more, but deep down we know it will always be just beyond the stretch of our fingertips.

So, do I think that abolishing money is achievable. I genuinely do as I believe that the majority of people want to do the right thing. They want to help their fellow man and see their communities flourish and grow. If they didn’t, these charities wouldn’t raise millions each time there was a new campaign to raise money for a worthy cause. How many times on TV do we see a community come together to help a family in need decorate or renovate their homes. I have faith in people’s compassion and kindness.

So, do I really think that abolishing money is the answer.

I’m really not sure – but I’m willing to give it a try. After all, when you have nothing, what have you got to lose.

Election Talk Again – Who Foots The Bill?

With the country being in disarray and the cost of living crisis being the hot topic of the moment, every politician is being asked how the policies on their manifestoes are going to be funded. Growth seems to be the answer for one or two of the parties, whilst this is a great idea in theory, it is a bit like telling your mortgage provider that your next payments are coming from your imminent lottery win! Good luck with that.

With this in mind, it gave me a chance to regurgitate another one of my older posts. Originally titled, Once Jesters Now Kings, it was my response to a news story of the time commenting on the high salaries of certain BBC presenters and personalities. Reading through the post again, I still believe that the basic premise is relevant and would provide a viable alternative to raise much needed funds for public services…

I’m sure that everyone has noticed the slight kafuffle in the news concerning the salaries of a number of BBC employees. Whilst I agree with what seems to be the overwhelming opinion that these salaries seem to be completely out of step compared to the average wage of your general BBC viewer, especially when it is said viewers that are funding these pay packets, my concern comes from a slightly different direction.

Let’s step back a few years to an age when entertainment came in a slightly more basic format. Back to a time when what was considered to be entertainment was watching someone dressed in bright coloured clothing, perhaps juggling or walking on their hands.  Jesters in favour were rewarded with scraps of food, a place to sleep and maybe the odd coin or two if their antics and stories were funny enough. Jesters, or fools as they were commonly called, were considered to be no more than servants and were treated accordingly.

Fast forward a few hundred years and entertainment and more importantly, entertainers, are now viewed in a completely different light. Some are now the earning elite and command vastly inflated salaries for what appears to be the most perfunctory of roles. Whilst you could argue that newsreaders and the like perform a vital role bringing us the latest news and current affairs, does this really justify six and seven figure salaries. Especially when you consider that the average annual salary in the UK is approximately £26K. Basically, the lowest paid are helping to pay the wages of the top 1% of earners – that sounds fair! To look at it another way, if you were to relieve the top BBC earner of their salary, you would be able to give 440 nurses a £5K per annum pay rise.

And then it dawned on me. There is a solution to this problem. Are these people going to relinquish their salaries and take a huge pay cut? Of course not. Instead, what we should do, is re-categorise everyone’s job based on its usefulness and contribution to the rest of society. For example, jobs such as nurses, police officers, firefighters, teachers etc., would be seen as vital as their contribution is immense. As a result, these jobs would score relatively low. On the other hand, jobs such as actors, film stars, pop musicians, footballers (other sports are currently available) would be scored highly as their contribution to society would be seen to be comparatively low. Should the scoring system not be the other way around, I hear you cry! No, no, no. The reason being, the lower score a job carries, the lower tax that that person has to pay. Conversely, the higher the score, the higher the tax. Imagine an actor earning several millions for making a single movie paying 70 or 80% income tax, or a football player earning £500K per week paying a similar amount. All of a sudden, we would be in a position to lower the tax for everyone employed in one of these more “vital” roles, maybe even to the point that certain roles would actually be tax exempt. Writing off the income tax bill for a nurse is almost the equivalent of awarding them a 25% par rise.

I understand that there would be a huge resistance to such a scheme, but only from those top earners that are in that top 1% category. It would be down to the rest of us to ensure that the scheme was adhered to and people were accountable for what they owed. Incentive schemes could be set up, whereby discounts were applied for people that willingly “gave up” a percentage of their earnings. So, the footballer earning £500K per week could be liable for a £350K income tax bill, or alternatively they could “surrender” £250K of their salary into a government pot that then went to help fund health care, education, the police force etc.

On the other side of the coin, perhaps it would help encourage more people into jobs that were once seen as vocational rather than a career path to higher earnings. Am I being idealistic as well as unrealistic. Probably, but something has to be done to try and address the balance. And when all is said and done, if I were that footballer whose £500K per week was slashed to a mere £250K, could I survive. Possibly. It would be a struggle, but I’d give it a go!!

Election Time Again!

With election time almost upon us again, I thought this would be a relevant time to regurgitate an earlier post. As tactical voting is a hot topic of discussion with many media outlets currently, I thought this issue would be worth re-sharing…

Well, it’s that time again and we are beset with election fever; when I say fever, I mean more of a slight temperature and that scratchy feeling you get in the back of your throat. Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be some typical rant berating one party in favour of another, but rather my view of the political “scene” as an overview. I know, I know, never discuss religion or politics, but how are we ever going to change things unless we engage in some form of meaningful dialogue.

I was flicking, or should I say, scrolling through some news stories on the internet the other day and saw a headline tearing into a certain soap actress for admitting that she had never voted in an election. The particular site that I was on didn’t seem particularly interested in covering the serious issues of the topic, but instead seemed more interested in the frills and frippery and so concerned itself on whether the actors outfit was de rigueur or not. I realised that the report didn’t give a reason as to why this particular actor hadn’t voted before, but it made me realise that there have been elections where I too have failed to register my mark in the necessary box. Now before you start lambasting me for not upholding my democratic right and pointing out that we have fought for our liberty in order to exercise this right. let me explain. Posed with the question, would you like to be stabbed in the face, or shot in the chest, I sincerely hope that your answer is, none of the above please. At this juncture, I would like to thank and apologise in equal measure to Rufus Hound, as I have stolen/paraphrased this question from some of his material – and damn funny it was too! (his material, not my question)!

The origin of the above material to one side, it does pose a very interesting question and that is, why should we feel compelled to vote, especially if we are left feeling as though we are picking the lesser of two evils (or many evils as is case in many constituencies). Surely this opinion is backed up when you consider just how many, or to put it more accurately, just how few people turn out to the ballot stations come election time. Whilst I don’t recall the exact figure, I believe that less than 40% of the electorate turned out for the last election and even those people couldn’t decide a definite majority. Surely with around a quarter of the electorate forming the “majority”, the result should be deemed null and void. I won’t labour the point (forgive the pun!), as many discussions have been had on this subject, but surely isn’t it time we had a “None of the Above” option on our ballot cards and we can then see what the real majority want. Then and only then can you truly berate myself, aforementioned soap actors and other abstainers for not exercising their constitutional rights.

That’s all well and good, I hear you cry, but what do we do if the none-of-the-above-ers achieve the majority. I should also make the distinction that “none of the above” isn’t the same as “I don’t know”. In my opinion, the “I don’t know” faction are people that the politicians have failed to engage in politics, rather than people that have weighed up all the options and have made a conscious decision that none of the political parties available to them are able to steer the country in the direction that they see fit. In my opinion, if the majority of the electorate tick, “none of the above” on their ballot papers, then the election should be suspended. The main parties involved should be given an opportunity to go away and re-group, even elect a new leader if needs be, within a pre-determined time span. You would hope that any necessary action taken would be driven by the actual numbers counted at the polling stations. If a particular party spectacularly under-performs in certain constituencies, hopefully this will then force them to make the necessary changes in order to win the voters on-side. Who knows, perhaps it will force the main political parties to draw-up manifestoes based on what the electorate wants as opposed to want they think we want to hear.

Idealistic and fanciful – maybe; impractical and unworkable – perhaps, but what’s the alternative, a constant round of being lied to and mis-represented. Surely, isn’t it worth a little bit of extra pain and hard work in order to get a government that is genuinely looking out for the well being of the majority, or in other words, a truer democracy than we have now.

So Brother and Sisters, when election day comes, join with me and demand a better future with a brighter outlook and vote for…….None of the Above!!!

Back From The Dead!

Okay, so I am not literally back from the dead, that really would be something to write about! It just feels like it, certainly in terms of my absence from posting on my site, as it has been almost three years now! And lets face it, there has certainly been plenty to comment about. Brexit, deathly pandemics, world leaders that make the Three Stooges look like the Brains Trust and not to mention the economic melt-down of the free world. Whatever next, war in Europe! Oh yeah, there’s that as well.

All in all, it has been quite a crappy time and it doesn’t look like getting better any time soon. Oh well, there is always emigrating to Mars to look forward to (and by that I mean the chocolate factory in Slough of course!!).

For those of you that have read any of my content here, you will know that I have opinions on such things and I’m not afraid to share them. I like to think that I apply a little common sense and rationale to my “solutions”, even if some of them are a little tongue in cheek. As we seem to be hurtling towards the abyss with Armageddon lurking like the grim reaper, the onus seems to be put more and more on the populace to sort things out. I have had a lot of thoughts on things such as climate change, pollution, economic disparity, social inequality and technology’s hand in the downturn of our society and over the weeks I will tackle each one individually.

Next week, I am hoping to start with a fairly small, innocuous topic – IT’S TIME TO ABOLISH MONEY!!!

A little ambitious and unworkable? Maybe not! Not so much down with capitalism, more, let’s see an end to consumerism.

Thanks as always for reading so far, and stay tuned for my thoughts on how abolishing money could instantly solve many of our current problems!

Don’t Ask for Whom The Bell Tolls. It Tolls For The BBC.

A while ago, the news channels ran a feature about the salaries that were being paid by the BBC. At the time, they were highlighting the disparity between what men were being paid, versus what women were receiving. I was more interested in the disparity between what “entertainers” were being paid, compared to the incomes of the rest of us mere mortals.

You can read my thoughts about the subject here.

Lo and behold and the topic is being revisited. This time though, the issue is in connection to the over-75’s being made to pay for their TV licenses. Understandably, there is an outcry as public feeling is very strong. After all, didn’t a very wise man once say, a society can be judged by how it looks after its children and the elderly.

General opinion is such that most people are advising the over-75’s to refuse to pay for their licenses. After all, the courts are unlikely to lock-up thousands and thousands of pensioners. A noble sentiment, but a tad scarier in practice. Especially if you are the one that is facing possible imprisonment. In actuality, there is a much simpler solution. Please bear with me.

We live in an age where the way we used to watch television has changed radically. No longer do we have to plan ahead, schedule watching our favourite programs and then wait days for them to come on. Only to miss half of the program, because we have forgotten that it is actually on! No, everything now is on demand. We pay to stream programs live onto our screens. And not just TV screens either. We watch TV on laptops, our tablets and our smartphones. No longer are we constrained to hunker down in the room that contains our telly in order to watch our preferred programs. Now we can pretty much watch them anywhere that we receive a WiFi signal.

So the answer then I hear you cry! We should all write to the BBC and give them notice of the cessation of our payment of the license fee. We should instruct them that we no longer wish to receive their signal as we have other means by which to watch TV. This way, it won’t just be the over-75’s that are refusing to pay the license fee, but all of us, and with a legitimate reason. We are not just refusing to pay, we have also given notice that we no longer wish to receive their service.

It would ring the death knell for the BBC. Overnight they would be crippled and their incoming revenue would be turned off like a tap. In turn, this would force them to re-think the whole way they are funded. But this would mean advertising on the BBC! Never! Sacrilege! Not necessarily, there are other ways. Fairer ways that would mean that those that can afford it would pay and not those that deserve to be looked after in the autumn of their life.

But that, as they say, is another story. One to which I may have inferred to earlier on!

The Cloud. The Sky Darkens.

I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day concerning my previous post, The Cloud. Virtual Computing Or Pie In The Sky. From their point of view, the cloud was a great idea. It gave them the opportunity to access their information from anywhere, plus, they could store huge amounts of data without having to go and buy expensive storage devices.

Point taken, you can’t argue with that. However, it’s important to understand just why the “cloud” was developed in the first place. In the good-old-days, IT companies used to manufacture hardware and this was the mainstay of their business. They weren’t too bothered about operating systems and software as this was someone else’s concern. Plus, all of the big “meaty” computers, such as mainframe and Unix based servers had their own operating environments. However, as PC’s that were once deemed as being for home use only, became faster and more reliable, companies started to turn to these instead.

As a result, computer server manufacturers started to see a squeeze on their margins. What were once their cash-cows, were now turning into money losers. As a result, the manufacturers turned to other avenues in order to generate revenue. They started to work closely with software integrators as well as develop their own in-house software. Maintenance and service plans were pushed with gusto. They soon started to realise that getting their customers to subscribe to products and services was the way forward.

The hardware became the loss-leader. The device to get a stranglehold on their customers in order to get them to sign up to an endless stream of products that were vital to the running of their everyday business. Software licenses, maintenance plans, disaster recovery services, asset management programs, etc., etc. The list goes on. If only they didn’t have to manufacture hardware at all! Genius!!

And so the cloud was born. One manufacturer in particular built huge data centres capable of housing and storing massive amounts of data. The investment was huge; millions and millions of dollars, but it didn’t matter. They were manufacturing the hardware anyway. The difference was, they would only have to do it the once. They could then sell “virtual computing” to their customers. All a company would need would be terminals on desks and a decent internet connection. You were then good to go.

What’s the problem then, I hear you ask. It’s the commercial world that are paying for these data-centres and we get to reap the benefits. Not quite. What happens when the data centres fill up, or it starts costing too much money to maintain them. Someone will have to pay. Imagine, all of your music, your films, your treasured photographs, not to mention your important data, all held remotely. Someone has the power to pull the plug on all your “stuff”, and guess what. It’s not you! If you get asked to pay, you’re not going to have too much of a choice.

If you think this won’t happen, then you’re wrong. It already is. There are a number of photo hosting sites that have scrapped their free option, or are at least looking at massively restricting how many photos you can store before you have to pay. You know how it works. Once one company gets away with it, they’ll all be doing it.

So, if your happy to keep your head in the clouds, then fine. Me, I keep everything backed up on hard drives, flash drives and USB sticks. I even have a ton of photos saved on DVD’s. Remember them!

The Cloud. Virtual Computing or Pie In The Sky.

You used to get asked, “Have you saved your work?” That’s changed to, “Have you backed up to the cloud?” As you know, it’s important to save your work, you don’t want to lose everything. But are saving and backing up to the cloud the same thing?

You would be forgiven for thinking they were. Until you actually start to consider what the “cloud” actually is. “Duh! Do you think I’m stupid”, I hear you cry. “The cloud is just a remote, virtual computer that allows you to log into your data from wherever you have internet access”.

Yeah, that’s kind of right, but there’s more to it than that. “There always is with you”, I hear you sigh! For those of you that have read some of my previous ramblings, you may have guessed that I am involved with the world that is the Technology of everything Information based. I have basically sold IT to the world for over twenty years and have seen many things come and go.

A while back, when the cloud was still in its infancy, I was asked to attend a meeting where my customer was being sold the concept of migrating everything they did onto the cloud. In that meeting, I sat and listened as we were told that the cloud was the future. Companies would no longer need to be tied into lengthy and expensive contracts in order to maintain their IT infrastructure. No more complicated maintenance plans. No more worrying about whether you had the right level of software, or whether you had applied the latest patch. All of this was taken care of for you. And, at the fraction of the cost of doing it all in-house. It sounded just too good to be true. It was.

I was sceptical. Whilst initially, there did seem to be cost savings, I was worried about the loss of control. Currently, if my customer’s system went down, they had a contract in place to ensure that had a workable solution within a given period of time. The cost of this service was fixed and if the provider tried to raise that cost, my customer could shop around for a better deal elsewhere. After much research, I advised my customer against going the cloud route. I felt for them, it wasn’t the right solution. The information they held and the customers they dealt with were too sensitive in my opinion. What do I know though? They chose to migrate everything to the cloud.

Fast forward a few years and I receive a panic call from my customer. They are having terrible problems accessing their systems and it has brought their whole company to a halt. It gets worse though. On contacting the company who now host their systems, they are told that they are experiencing “financial problems” and in order for my customer to have their systems turned back on, they would have to pay a fee. This was quite a considerable sum of money. Of course, my customer refused and they informed the relevant authorities.

Apparently the hosting company were in dire straits and in order to try and raise some cash in order to buy their way out of trouble, they had held a number of their customers to ransom. Eventually, the hosting company were prosecuted, the directors were heavily fined and the company was dissolved. The problem is, the impact that this had on my customer was huge. They did finally get their systems turned back on, but it took days. The loss of business that it caused them, almost took my customer down as well.

It could have been worse though. Worse! How could it possibly be worse though, I hear you cry. Well, the hosting company could have said nothing and just closed up and my customer would have lost everything. And it wouldn’t have just been my customer, it would have been countless other companies as well. Maybe even yours, or the company that you work for.

So, the next time you are backing up to the cloud, or flicking through all the pictures that you have stored remotely, just ask yourself this. Are you really happy to have someone else look after all of your data and personal details? But, more importantly, do you have the ransom money to pay when it all goes wrong!?

Now You See Me!

My phone keeps pinging me a message that my photos on my iCloud account cannot be accessed. Well that’s just fine, as I don’t want them to be accessed. And anyway, I don’t keep any photos in the cloud.

I remember years ago, when a certain smartphone producer announced that their phones would be able to “recognise” faces when taking photos. We were told that this would be help us to take better pictures and it would eliminate blurry images, not to mention the dreaded red-eye. On the whole, most people accepted this and thought it was a good idea. I was left scratching my head. Why would I want my phone to recognise faces, when I was perfectly able to achieve this task for myself. After all, I have been doing this all my life. My brain is programmed to recognise human faces and most importantly, I have one myself!

Then came face recognition software. Now, instead of coming under the close scrutiny of a border guard at the airport, we were asked instead to stare into a small camera. We would wait until some unknown entity decided whether we were a renowned international terrorist, or just an everyday citizen jetting off for a two-week holiday in Magaluf. I must be the former, as I’ve never even considered going to Magaluf!

Next, we learn that face recognition software has progressed to such an extent, that they are planning to roll it out in the retail industry. Not only will it be able to identify potential shoplifters, it will be able to recognise repeat shoppers and thereby predict that persons shopping habits and preferences. We are also told that this software will recognise us to such an accurate degree, it will be able to greet us personally on entering the shop. “Good morning Mr Smith and how are you toady?” Sound like some scary science-fiction movie. It does to me!

I recently had my profile locked on a well known social media site, because I refused to upload a photo of myself. Not a great problem, as I rarely use the site anyway. I did however contact them to say that I valued my privacy and I didn’t want “strangers” seeing who I was. They replied, reassuring me that it was fine, the photo wouldn’t be visible to all and sundry and it was only for their own security profile. I did point out that they were the very sort of stranger that I didn’t want seeing my picture. They failed to respond and my profile remains locked. Oh, well!

My point? I don’t want my image stored on various databases for other people to make assumptions and decisions about what I may, or may not do. Leaving aside the conspiracy theories that these images are being stored for nefarious reasons, it is conceivable that someone at some point could misuse people’s photographs. As accurate as they claim the software to be, it still can’t identify between twins. It can’t take into account someone’s face being partially blocked by a hat or a scarf and it still has problems with fixing points on a moving image. You also have to consider that there are only a certain number of face “types” and you can start to appreciate how easy it will be for mistakes to be made.

So, are we being watched? Probably. Is someone gathering as many images on everyone as possible? Quite possibly. Is it for the good of the population as a whole? Of course it’s not! No. As far as I’m concerned, the word-wide-web will just have to get along without any photos of yours truly. There is not a single image of me on the internet anywhere and that is how I intend it to remain. Anyway, no one would want to look at my photo. It would scare small children and curdle milk at twenty paces!

Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say

It seems that whatever we say these days seems to offend someone. Everything and everyone has been identified and labelled and that is what they must be referred to as.

What about freedom of speech though? Didn’t somebody once say, that for speech to be truly free, someone will end up taking offence. That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but we don’t want to encourage hate-speak. Hate-speak, just what is that? It sounds like something straight out of a George Orwell novel. Yet another label to bend and guide what we do and don’t say.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that we should put up with extreme opinions, just because it is free speech. The incitement of hatred and violence is never justified in the pursuit of voicing an opinion. But surely, the censorship of such opinions lies in our hands and not in the politicians and the policy setters.

If somebody is spouting off about some nonsense, just walk away. Don’t read that blog, or post. Delete that email, or article. Starve these things of the publicity they crave and they will quickly fade away. Instead, support the things you believe in and that mirror your own opinions.

After all, they are only words. How many times have we heard a comedian tell a joke that is “politically incorrect”, (don’t you just hate that term!), only to be told, “it’s all right, that person, is Jewish/black/disabled”, (delete as applicable). Does that make it okay though? If a person in a wheelchair tells a joke about someone with no legs, should we laugh? Of course we should! They’re a comedian and they’ll sell more tickets if we all laugh at their jokes! On a serious note though, surely it’s down to the intent. We know that the words they use are not meant to offend and that is the key.

If someone were to call you thick, I hope that you would be offended. However, if a waiter asked you if you wanted a thick steak, you wouldn’t think anything of it. It’s all down to the word’s intention.

So, in conclusion, should there be absolute freedom of speech. Of course there should! But the caveat should be, we should choose our words carefully and we should mean every one of them. We should also be prepared to suffer the consequences of them. Certain figures in history have done just this and have gone on to make an enormous difference. People like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela chose their words very carefully. They stood by them and in the end, hopefully, the will surely make a difference.

As the saying goes, talk is cheap, but speech should be truly free.

The Mastaba House. A Gratuitous Plug.

A close family member has recently written a book and after much persuasion and cajoling, they have decided to publish it. I had made the decision not to push or advertise any products on my blog, but decided to make an exception with this one. Well, it is family! I’ve cut and pasted the “blurb” about the story-line, but if you click on the image to the right, this will take you straight to the amazon store.

“At a séance, Danny receives a curious message. Just three words. Car. Red. Fire. Danny dismisses it as nonsense. After all, his car is silver. The following morning whilst out running, Danny passes a small forest beyond a gate. In a clearing he can see a brick building, no larger than a garden shed. It looks completely out of place, so Danny climbs the gate to investigate.

An alarm rings and Danny wakes in his bed. His running clothes lie unworn and it is clear that Danny hasn’t left his room. It must have been a dream, albeit, an extremely realistic one. Danny’s day continues to unravel. At work, his pass won’t allow him access and he is unable to log into his computer. As he tries to rectify the issues, he is told that his details are no longer on the company database. Later on, his bank and credit cards are refused and he is told that he doesn’t hold an account with the bank. He feels as though his life is slowly being erased. When his car won’t start, he calls his friend for a lift. They are involved in a terrible accident and whilst Danny and his friend escape, the car explodes and through the flames, Danny thinks he sees someone. The car is red.

Danny confides in his best friend Jackie and she insists on seeing the forest. They discover that the building does exist and after some research they learn that it’s called Mastaba House and is owned by the secretive Genesis Foundation. When Jackie suddenly disappears, Danny is convinced that all of these events are intertwined. As he sets out to find his friend, Danny is approached by Derek Stevens. Claiming to have seen Jackie, the mysterious old man tells Danny that he used to work for The Genesis Foundation and that he can help.

As the two men search for Jackie, Danny learns that he has a secret. An artefact left by a distant relative may hold the key to everything that is going on. Will Danny find his friend and in doing so, learn the secret hidden deep below Mastaba House. Or will The Genesis Foundation beat him to it. “

Please take a look, you can even download and read it for free for a limited period of time. And if you like it, leave a comment. I know it will be greatly appreciated.