Thursday, 13 August 2009

The NHS may not be perfect but it is based on PRINCIPLE.

I put it to you, US conservatives, that your anger over Obama's healthcare proposals is a front. You are panicking because you are terrified things might actually change.

Writing a blog post is hardly leaping to action or changing the world, but I've been watching the healthcare debate in the US degenerate into mudslinging and lies, and now this article - bringing the NHS into it - has angered me a lot.

1) The NHS is nothing to do with American healthcare. Just because Obama wants everyone in America to have decent healthcare doesn't mean you need to crap your pants because it's "closer" to the NHS. If I built a two-storey house I would be "closer" to the moon, but I wouldn't be Neil f**king Armstong. Universal healthcare probably wouldn't work in the US and no-one, not even that big black bogeyman Obama, is asking for it.

2) Most of the shit you've heard about people dying on NHS waiting lists is, I suggest, from the 90s after years of under-investment by the Consverative Party (yes, they are the conservatie party in Britain, it's in the name). Labour investment over the last 12 years might have been inefficient but that doesn't mean it's been ineffective. The NHS works better now and people very rarely wait over a year for an operation.

3) "Rationing". Where does this word come from? We don't "ration" our healthcare. There aren't limitless resources, but we give everyone the same decent standard of care - not excellent, as in private hospitals for the rich, but certainly good - regardless of their ability to pay. We call it "free at the point of use" - the country is taxed to provide healthcare for all. And it's not just based on priciple for the hell of it - it actually works too.

4) Yes British people moan about the NHS, but there isn't a politician in the land who would suggest scrapping it, and not an electorate that would ever send one to Parliament.

5) While I'm sure there are lots of improvements that could be made, my only criticism of the NHS would be that more money (note, not less!) needs to be put into domestic care and ensuring patients are fed properly. I worked as a Domestic Service Assistant at Mid Essex Hospitals Trust and feeding a ward (or sometimes two) with hot food they they liked was virtually impossible (never mind the terrible pay). Elderly, disabled and mentally-handicapped patients often require extra time and attention to be fed properly, and in my view adding resources to this area would bring highly efficient results in improving patients' health.

That is all.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

NO LIES 11th and final chapter!

The last chapter of my book "No Lies" is now up on the internet free to read and download. Czioc has been captured by looters and taken to Rhajallington - but without new orders and the world dying, is there any point escaping? Answers and a BIG finale are here:
http://www.jezkemp.co.uk/nolies/chapter11.html

Have you enjoyed the book? Please let me know! A lot of my friends who bought real copies said they enjoyed it even more than "No Up" :) If you did like it, please please please do one or more of the following!

- Buy a real copy (because it's nice to own a real book) from http://www.lulu.com/jezkemp
- Tell your friends, there's "share" links on the site but you can simply copy the web link here, or even just tell your friends to google "jez kemp" and they'll find it :)
http://www.jezkemp.co.uk/nolies
- Donate some money via paypal (because it's awesome if you could spare a dollar/pound for a good free book)
[ send to info@jezkemp.co.uk ]
- Invite your friends to the facebook group (easy peasy!)
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22947316733

For all of you left hanging, open-mouthed, on the edge of your seats by the finale, fear not - the third and final part of the trilogy is coming later this year. NO NEVER will be released at the start of December 2009 :)

That's the end of another book, but I've got plenty of other stuff including music and short stories on the near horizon, so I'll catch you soon.
Cheers!

Jez



www.jezkemp.co.uk/nolies

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Amendment

My apologies - the moment Nick Griffin turns culture-saving-superhero is not in the Andrew Marr inteview at all, but actually at the end of this interview (which I think is a few years old) on BBC2's Newsnight:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOuYmkdms8w

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Part #1 - Where the politics of hate meets the conservation of cultures

I've seen a number of articles in various places over the last week which at first seem unrelated, but today suddenly seem to have a connection (however tenuous). This article has become so big that I've split it into 2 parts to make reading it more accessible.

It started this morning with, as usual I'm afraid, a BBC news article "Debunking A Youtube Hit". This article explained and revealed several "facts" and figures claimed in the Youtube video "Muslim Demographics", which in a nutshell proclaims doom for "Christendom" (i.e. white Europe) because of mass Islamic immigration. I think anyone using the word "Chistendom" in this day and age should be shot, never mind listened to, but it's had 10 million views which shows some people on the planet are paying attention - even if it's just a tiny minority spread across the world (the video is clearly aimed at Americans, and stupid gullible ones at that) watching it repeatedly.

Quite separately, I was then looking up videos of political correspondent Andrew Marr with big arms from the show Dead Ringers. (This is in relation to a song I'm writing about Andrew Marr and Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr which I won't go into right now.) Under "related videos" was British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin's interview on the Andrew Marr Show. I can hear all you liberals gnashing your teeth already - here it is:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvtqk2E_LwE


If you're still reading and haven't smashed your computer in rage yet, there are several interesting points I thought while watching this. Most notable was the almost tender moment when Nick Griffin turned David Attenborough: the BNP's policies are apparently about preserving the British ethnicity. It doesn't matter what bizarre ingredients have made up the British "ethnicity" (Gallic, Norman, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian) - it is now one of many many different ethnicities that make up the world, and the real enemies are the globalisationalists who want us all to mix and become a single coffee-coloured race.

Bizarrely, he strikes a very modern chord. Preserving endangered cultures has been a popular liberal concept from Greenpeace to academic anthropologists; meanwhile it has become a big issue in South America and even government policy in Brazil and Bolivia (where leftist president Evo Morales is an indian himself).

At the same time, languages are dying out too. It was recently Maori Language Week in New Zealand, and this article in the Dominion Post raised not only the apparent fragility of Te Reo ("the word" in Maori, meaning Maori language), while this other DP article reminds us of the endangered nature of a huge variety of Aboriginal languages. (I think this probably carries more weight, due to the vast number of Aboriginal languages and severe lack of people in comparison to Maori people having one language which has grown much over the last few decades.)

This is all very commendable; it takes a new kind of thinking to see languages, cultures and ethnicities like endangered animals, and yet they are just as at risk. However, there are limits to this way of thinking, and the BNP have the wrong, nasty end of this stick altogether.

The BNP have apparently dropped their scary repatriation policies for people not "ethnically British" (e.g. 'dear 4th generation Indian, here is some money to go "back" to India, even though you've never been there, because we think you belong there').

However, even if this is true, which I doubt, the original stem core of these policies still remains: the absolutist link between culture and ethnicity.

Even a thousand years ago, this concept was defunct. People have moved faster than ethnicities have changed for a very, very long time; invasions and population movements means most ethnicities, especially those in Britain, have links with their country just a few hundred years. Most important of all is the fact that human beings are adaptable creatures of their environment; if you raised a Japanese baby in France, the adult is French by habit, belief, custom.

Cultures are not tied to ethnicity.

AMENDMENT: Please see blog post "Amendment" above regarding the video with Nick Griffin.

Part 2 coming at an undisclosed-but-soon date!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

How do you pronounce a semi-colon?

I was listening to the radio today, and several times I heard an advert about an athlete presenting a seminar called:

"The Ability To Endure The Human Spirit"

I wonder what it is about the human spirit that is so tiresome?
Okay grammar jokes are for geeks, but it made me laugh. (In my head.)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

UK gig and NZ radio

Ahoy thar

Just a quick blog to let you cool cats (and dogs) know about a couple of events I've got coming up:

Wellington Access Radio
I'm appearing on Terry's Songwriters Show on Wellington Access Radio at 9:45am on Wed 26th August, which you can listen to from www.accessradio.org.nz or 783 AM on real radio for you local listeners. I'll be spinning some of my recorded tunes and playing some songs from the forthcoming album, so tune in early to make sure you catch it :)

UK time: 10:45pm Tues 25th August
NZ time: 9:45am, Wed 26th August

UK gig
I am popping back to the UK briefly in a few weeks, and have been graciously given a slot playing at Shakey's Chelmsford Rocks Out night at The Fleece, Chelmsford. It's on Saturday 3rd October, keep your eyes on the myspace for more details.

That's all for now!