Tag Archives: lies

Politics Is Ugly: Can We Change It?

I don’t often, if ever, get political on my blog, but I am political.
I am a big fighter for human justice, fairness and compassion,
and the way the world is lead is important to me.

Politics is Ugly - Lies and Deceit – We Need Change - The Last Krystallos
I don’t want this post to be about my political leanings.
We all have them and in this world, at least where I live, we are free to air them. I realise not all parts of the world have this freedom, and I am very grateful that I live with political freedom. Our views, our opinions and our politics are our own and we are allowed them.

Politics is getting very ugly.

Some of you, who are much better historians than me, will point out that politics has always been ugly. That it’s always been full of lies, deceit, ambition, and corruption. You’re probably right. But with the advent of social media, we are perpetuating it ourselves. I’ve been accused of sharing social media posts, memes, and articles without checking the facts, and years ago I did, until I began checking facts before reposting. I try not to post anything, except my opinion, unless I’ve checked facts first, though I will post others’ opinions, because I am allowed to do that too.

union jack, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Brexit was ugly. Brexit (the UK Referendum on whether to leave the European Union) was perpetuated with lies no matter which side of the argument you were on. It was undercut with lies, xenophobia, name-calling, and scare-mongering on both sides. The party leadership contests are the same, and don’t get me started on the American Presidential election.

This post isn’t about my politics, but I do want to discuss the ugliness of politics. PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) in the British Parliament is ugly, always has been. They laugh, bully, put each other down, and generally act like they are on a school playground, or in a farmyard, though these analogies are very unfair to both children and farm animals. PMQs is game playing, on both sides. It’s like Good Cop Bad Cop. It’s about half an hour on a Wednesday when the Prime Minister answers MP’s questions in the House of Commons. But it’s hostile.

If you know me well, you will know my political leanings. I don’t hide them, and recently on Twitter I shared the following two tweets when Theresa May our new PM took her first PMQ session:

I got a lot of agreement and some opposition, that’s cool, it’s my opinion after all. On the 13th July, I listened to Theresa May’s speech outside number 10 Downing Street with interest. She had just become our new Prime Minister and her speech was very good. She spoke about poverty, welfare, people, and the struggles we go through every day. She, according to her speech, knew exactly what state the country was in and vowed to change it and help us. Within days her Cabinet was reshuffled and familiar faces we’d hoped to see gone were there, and our faith was diminishing. And, yes, how you feel will be akin to your political leaning. I’m allowed mine.

Theresa-May-Jeremy-Corbyn-PMQs

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn Photo Source

So PMQs was the first time to see her in action. And this is where I saw the true ugliness of politics. Every question was blocked by posturing, jibes, name-calling – and yes, politics does not change. The people do, the actions don’t.

But what shocked me most was the media bias.

It was reported, gleefully, that Theresa May had wiped the floor with her opponent. Now regardless of your politics, if I’d seen this the other way round I’d have been just as shocked. It’s not that she’s Tory, but that her body language (leaning forward to intimidate), her tone (aggressive), her words (demeaning, bullying, and cruel personal insults), and her expression (calculated revulsion and sneers) spoke volumes.

Since when is someone considered strong because they can insult someone better than someone else?

Since when has great leadership consisted of putting down the opposition?  

The media reporting was and has been very biased towards one party. Maybe this has a great deal to do with Rupert Murdoch owning the media brands we listen to or read. But the media bias has been so strong lately that it needs looking into and changing. The BBC is supposed to be unbiased, but is it?

These two reports: BBC admit intentionally damaging Corbyn leadership with contrived live resignation, and the Independent’s Our report found that 75% of press coverage misrepresents Jeremy Corbyn – we can’t ignore media bias anymore, show just how much damage is being done in the name of the media. Whether you like Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn or not, you can’t help notice the media portray him as a loser. I watched the interview with Andrew Marr recently, and found a calm, well-spoken politician who put across a strong vision for Britain, but the media don’t show that in general. He is spoken of as unelectable, yet the people have voted in their droves for him.

I’d like to see both leaders taken seriously, and both leaders to take their responsibilities seriously too. I felt that Corbyn had nothing to say during Brexit, maybe he didn’t, but maybe it was just unreported. I also commented during Brexit that the Liberal Democrats had been conspicuously absent. But when I spoke to a Lib Dem supporter, he assured me that Tim Farron had been at many rallies, spoken well and was well-versed in his opposition to Brexit, but I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him on British media. On the other hand, UKIP was totally over-represented considering they have less members of parliament than the Lib Dems (UKIP: 1, Lib Dems: 8). The Greens and UKIP have one member of parliament each, yet, who did you see more of during Brexit?

Fair reporting is one thing I’d like to see.

The other is less lies, I’d like to see no lies, but that is probably both unlikely and impossible!  The lies during Brexit were breath-taking in their arrogance, but I won’t go into that, done and dusted.

I am seeing the same thing in American politics, and fear the same outcome in their Presidential Election. Outright lies, xenophobia, and scare-mongering.  The fear of having Donald Trump become President of the United States, outweighs my fear over leaving the EU one hundred fold, despite the problems leaving the EU is bringing. Our pound is unstable, and has lost a lot of ground against foreign currency, this means something to me as I send my son money in Canada, and where £50 would have given him $100, it now only gives $85. That’s a big loss when every penny counts. Food prices here are rising and we have yet to see where trade goes. Hopefully as a country we can make the best of it. But Donald Trump? I’m on the Nope Train with that one.

The reporting in the US is diabolical and much of the electioneering is about honesty or dishonesty. This chart shows how damaging the reporting is. From my newsfeeds and the media I’ve seen surrounding Trump and Clinton (and incidentally, Obama, who I’ve had great respect for) both are seen as unethical and dishonest. I’ve even seen Hillary Clinton bandied about as being criminal. This article Lying Liars Who Lie: 2016 Edition, (ignore the religious tones if that’s not your thing the sentiment is still the same) points out that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Jeb Bush, are some of the most honest politicians around. Then you can take a look Donald Trump’s results…

Sometimes I wonder at people.

  • Edited on 26th July 2016 (day before posting): Having just watched Michelle Obama’s DNC (Democratic National Convention) speech, I feel things can change. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, it’s her interest and passion we need to change how politics work. Ignore who she supported if you’re not with Hillary Clinton, but notice how Michelle speaks, how she offers truth and facts with passion and without putting down the opposition with a cruel personal attack. That’s how I want my politics. 

“When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: when they go low, we go high.” – Michelle Obama DNC Speech 2016

Michelle Obama DNC speech 2016

Michelle Obama DNC Speech 2016 Photo taken from You Tube video

This post was not written to further my political views, but to show much I wish politics could change.

There is no strength in bullying, intimidating, or invalidating the opposition.
There is no honour in lying to the public.
There is no humanity in deceit.
So why do we fall for it and could it ever change?

Can politics and the media surrounding it ever become honest and not corrupt?

*Note on comments: everyone is allowed a valid opinion, but if any comments are deemed attacking, aggressive, or inciting they will be removed or unapproved. Don’t feed the trolls.  

 

Blues Buster: Home…

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

Dust motes swirled and danced in the ray of sunshine that flooded the bedroom, and Eli gazed at Aoife’s tumbling dark hair as she stood by the window. The sun glinted and bounced off the silver hairbrush she swept through her curls. His chest rose and fell with a heavy sigh and he relaxed back upon the white cotton pillows. The sheet she clutched slipped a little as she tugged at a stray tangle, and Eli imagined it dropping away from her shoulders altogether. The corner of his mouth twitched in a lazy smile and he wondered what she looked at every morning through the window.

“What d’you see out there, angel?” he asked lacing his fingers behind his head.

Her arm paused, mid-stroke and high in the air then she put the brush down. She pulled the sheet up and rested her hand against the window pane. “Trees, as green as the Emerald Isle, tall woods, stretching back as far as you can see…mountains, huge, snow-capped mountains…” she paused, her hand still flat on the glass, “and lakes,” she added, “up in the mountains. Rivers…blue ribbons of rivers and waterfalls cascading down – can’t you hear them? The water rolling and gushing, icy and cold…”

Eli grinned, his eyes still fixed on her bare back, her spine disappearing into the loose white sheet. Her lies filled the room as the air-con’s chill spread goose-bumps across his skin. He could hear Monday morning traffic, hurrying and bustling through the city streets, and the only green was bright traffic light go. Tower-blocks filled the view as far as the eye could see and the distant mountain ranges had been disguised by a film of smog for as long as he could recall.

“Waterfalls cascading…” she continued, “down to…” Her voice caught and her hand trailed down the glass, leaving an imprint that faded as quickly as her words.

She turned, slowly, the sheet bunched about her body, and her eyes met his. He drowned in her clear blue depths, and his own breath caught in his throat.

“Waterfalls…” she repeated, her yearning eyes filling with unshed tears. “Cascading down to the ocean… To the salt water, the sea, to waves crashing upon beaches and wind dancing atop the foam.”

She stared straight into his heart, salty tears slipping silently down her cheeks.

Conflict battered his soul, as compassion and desire fought to surface. His base passions won and he beckoned her to the bed. “Come, sweetheart, come…” He patted the bed beside him. “One day, my darling, one day I’ll take you back… One day we’ll run away from the city together, we’ll own a cabin in the woods, and we’ll follow the river down to the ocean… One day you’ll swim again in the sea.” He gazed at her, as her white fingers clutched tightly to the sheet about her body. She sat lightly on the bed and he rubbed her shoulders leaning in close to kiss her neck. He whispered as he feathered tiny kisses across her shoulder and down her arm. “One day, angel, but until then you’re mine, and until then we’ll play together…”

He pulled her down onto the bed and gently stripped away her sheet. He ignored her wet cheeks and the way her eyes glazed over as he caressed his prize.

Her expressionless eyes remained open as she slipped away to a far, far ocean and his promises faded, lost and buried in the same place as her pelt.

(584 Words)

My Blues Buster as prompted by ‘Home in the Woods’ by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons. There’ll be more tales to read if you pop over to The Tsuruoka Files