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Showing posts from January, 2015

Fragments

The other day I rang the Autism Spectrum Service (the people that tested me) to make a complaint. I don't think the testing process was up to the job. Asking me to look through kids picture books or play with toys from a Christmas cracker or watch dodgy videos of people having a dinner party cannot be a proper test surely (it's something called ADOS apparently). 
What they are looking for is whether my results or behaviour, in respect of these situations, is consistent with the results given by people they know to have a positive diagnosis. So it's a bit like going to the doctor and being told on the basis of a stuffy nose and a headache that you have a cold. The doctor doesn't know for sure, he's making an educated (to a greater or lesser extent) guess. In an ideal world he would be able to sample your blood or DNA in some fashion and know for sure. This isn't how neurodiverse/ASD (again whatever you want to call it) conditions are diagnosed. All of this mean…

Death By Drawing

And now I will weigh in on the Charlie Hebdo situation.

It is a perverse world where freedom of expression, which is vital to the DNA of a functioning healthy society, allows people to choose oppression. I see a lot of women dressed in the accoutrements of Islam in Bristol, there is a sizeable Somali community from where they come. I have no problem with their background, but I do resent having to defend freedom when that freedom is wasted. If you choose oppression, by sublimating your will to that of a legendary figure who’s supposed edicts include gender tyranny then I will defend you, but I will not respect you for it.

It is a strange world where people can be so convinced of not just the existence of a figure from mythology but of the veracity of his commands and beliefs, which themselves are supposedly from a deity we cannot see, communicate with or interact with. The extremists would have me believe that their prophet existed, but that he was a conduit for a being so powerful he …

All Or Nothing

So the upcoming election leader debates.

Simple: EVERYONE whose name is on the ballot should be invited. That’s it.

I don’t care if you’re the BNP or the Greens - or even Al Qaeda. If you are on that ballot that means you are a legitimate option in what is supposedly a mature democracy. People can tick the box next to your name, even if you represent an odious view. Shouldn’t we hear those views? How can we ever learn what our ‘enemies’ believe if we don’t hear it - that’s oppression. That’s us being told what to think. In order to debate those who hold odious views we have to allow them to participate. Anything else is not freedom and i thought that’s what was supposed to be important?

Of course what’s really happening is obvious: Cameron wants the Greens to split the vote. He knows the Tories are unpopular, he knows he cannot win over the NHS and that austerity has spiralled out of control. So he wants to shore up his vote and have Farage be exposed by the Greens who are proving, des…

First the Worst


If ever you needed a ready and easy example of why privatisation should be avoided and indeed why capitalism should be avoided, then look no further than First. Simply the worst public transport provider imaginable. Their latest stunt beggars all belief, even for them this is a step way too far.

My local jobcentre is a bus journey away on a particular route that used to be provided, from about a decade ago (after a long absence), by council subsidy to a local coach operator. It was a popular service and remained so when First muscled in. Smelling blood in the manner of a shark they create their own route to cover that journey the side effect of which meant that the council had to withdraw because they aren’t allowed (so they tell me) to compete.

Fast forward a few years (First have only been running this route for about 2/3 years) and that route is being changed to use the motorway - completely cutting off the communities along that route toward it’s destination. That being the town…

New Year, Vote?

Happy new year! Crappy new year! Hopefully not. Hopefully we can evict these blue-tie wearing bastards from office this year. Unfortunately I fear the cost of doing so will be to replace them with red tie wearing bastards who, frankly, have been a complete let down over the last five years. Still, all things being equal (and why would you think they are), a Labour government will at least have two things in its favour: it will slow the rate of decline hopefully enough to give us some breathing room to mount a proper and effective campaign to dismantle this broken system. Secondly they won’t be Ian Duncan Smith. While Rachel Reeves is no saint and far from what we need, and despite her apparently claiming to be tougher than the Tories (though, to be fair, that was in relation to welfare spending), she isn’t as violently sadistic and cruel as him. Few could be. However I’m under no illusion that Labour will effect real change, just a slight delay in the inevitable goal of all parties in…