Monday, 31 March 2014

The Death Penalty: Just simply immoral.

Killing any individual, for whatever reason, for is completely and utterly wrong. It doesn't matter if it's a "lawful" killing or an unlawful killing, the simple fact of taking someone else's life is totally despicable.

Rape, Murder and Arson are examples of heinous crimes committed day in day out throughout the world. Thousands of innocent people are deliberately killed weekly. But killing the perpetrators just definitely is not the answer in helping to prevent these crimes. Jail them for life (and by life, i mean life) if necessary. People argue against that idea by saying it costs far too much money to keep people behind bars for decades. I disagree for two reasons. Firstly, and fundamentally, a single human life is worth more than any amount of money. And secondly, the amount of money required to murder someone using the death penalty is still excruciatingly high. A report from the US has shown that the amount of money spent on the death penalty from 1978-2012 was in excess of $4 billion in California alone. The same report has reported that it cost $186 million for five executions in Maryland*. The "cost argument" is non existent. The real issue is morality.

The Death Penalty Information Centre in the US has produced figures that shows murder rates in "death penalty states" and in "non-death penalty states". Year on year from 1991 to 2011 the murder rate in "death penalty states" has been significantly higher than those in "non-death penalty states". The argument that the death penalty will prevent people from committing heinous crimes is also non existent.

For me, the idea of killing anyone for any reason is simply immoral.

People frequently ask me how I'd feel and what I'd do if someone murdered a member of my family. I'd feel exactly the same as everyone else. However, I wouldn't want the person dead. I'd hate the individual with a passion, but death? Not for me.

Comment with your opinions!

Thanks.

Note: It would be interesting to see how many British MPs actually agree with the death penalty.

*this info is from deathpenaltyinfo.org


Monday, 24 March 2014

Disabled man deemed as a scrounger after cutting his head on a bus i was on today.

"He just wants to claim some money!" and "He's fine, he's just pissed" were two slurs yelled towards me as i asked if a disabled man if he was okay as the bus came to a sharp stop earlier today.

The answer was no, he wasn't okay. But me, him, and his friend were the only three people on the bus to recognize that. It was on Gosforth High Street, just north of Newcastle, at around 3pm this afternoon when the car in front of our bus indicated late, meaning our bus had to break sharply. The man, who was visibly disabled, hit his head off a pole resulting in a cut above his left eye. But no one cared. Everyone dismissed his claims that he was hurt. I shouted "Are you okay?" to the man to which he carried on screaming in pain. Everyone else, including the bus driver, just carried on as normal whilst the disabled man was evidently in severe discomfort. 

The man had a walking stick and a quite unhealthy looking limp. His friend seemed rather drunk and had alcohol in his bag, but did however grab the attention of the bus driver after the incident. The bus driver stopped a few minutes down the road to see what had happened. Astonishingly, the bus driver argued with the disabled man saying "it wasn't my fault" (it wasn't, but that's beyond the point) and "I am going to ring the police for them to come and talk to you". The injured man asked the bus driver if he had a first aid kit to treat his wound. The bus driver replied with "here, here's a tissue" which he pulled out of his pocket, gave to the man's friend and then got back into his seat. I couldn't believe it. Everyone on the bus, apart from the injured man, his friend and myself were demonizing the disabled man because he cut his head open. 

So yeah, the woman behind me said to me "leave him, he's pissed and he's after a claim". That is sick. I can guarantee you that if the injured man happened to be a young student for example, she would have rushed over to help. Everyone would have done. But since this man was apparently "pissed" and was with a man carrying alcohol, the majority of people classed him as scum and unworthy of any help. 

When the man got off the bus, he politely asked the bus driver for his name and driver number. The bus driver replied with "can i have your name and home phone number please?", to which the injured man gave. The bus driver then refused to give his name and driver number to the injured man. The man then asked the whole bus to check their tickets to see what the driver's number was. At that stage, all i heard was "get off the bus, you're making us all late, we want to be home" from behind me and "just get off the bus man, that's all we want". That sparked anger in the mans face, who then shouted something offensive towards the people on the bus. I would have been angry too if i were him. Who wouldn't?

This made me think a lot. The disabled man was deemed as a scrounger, a fake and worthless by the majority of passengers on the bus. The bus driver did not help at all. The driver took down a lady's details so she could be a witness if it went any further. 

I really hope this was a one off, and things like this don't happen on a regular basis. Disabled, white, black, homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, rich, poor, working class, upper class - no matter who it was, he should have been looked after. Stereotypes like this have no place in society, especially ones aimed towards the most vulnerable.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The current state of NUFC: In less than 500 words.

Life as a Newcastle supporter would be much better if we had Freddie Shepherd back. I can't actually believe I've just said that, but you know what? It's true.

I never thought I'd see the day when a Football Club chairman/owner didn't aspire to be in Europe or compete with the best in the league. Instead, he'd rather sit in a mid table position, above the bottom three and below the top seven. The recent dip in form is music to Ashley's ears. You can see the £££ signs flashing in his eyes.

Masses and masses of Newcastle fans were elated when they heard the news that Joe Kinnear had been sacked. Why? It means absolutely nothing. Firstly, Kinnear did nothing. Secondly, and more importantly, this sacking was just a stunt by Ashley to try and keep the fans happy. Every single move this man makes is a con. 

Moving on to Pardew, I really don't like him as a manager or a man. But that's not the point. He's just a puppet controlled by Ashley. Everything Ashley says, Pardew delivers. It wouldn't make a difference at all if he was to be sacked. The problem with Newcastle is not the manager, but the owner. It's pointless sacking Pardew. The replacement would just be another puppet controlled by Ashley the Authoritarian. 

Authoritarian you may wonder? Banning local journalists to a press conference in October last year was Hitleresque. It was totally unacceptable. Propaganda you may say, well, I would.

If you're thinking "he's balanced the books, that's the priority", then I couldn't disagree with you more. Look at Manchester United and Barcelona. They are in debt, huge debt. Will they ever fold or go into administration. No. So next time we're getting beat 3-0 against Sunderland, just think, is this really great because we are "financially stable"?

So Mike, apart from everything else you're doing a fabulous job. I mean teaming up with Wonga was a great move. It is a really nice company, who aren't loan sharks or anything and who don't prey on the most vulnerable. Can you smell the sarcasm?

I just don't know when the NUFC fans are going to realise what has happened here and do something about it. I really don't want to know what's going to happen next. But hey, Mike, selling our best player a couple of days before the biggest game of the season was extremely wise.

I could honestly go on and on for days.. 


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Fascism. Racism. No place in football.


You can not be a Fascist without being a Racist. So when i heard the quote "I'm not racist, i'm a Fascist", i didn't quite understand what Paolo Di Canio meant. I'm not quite sure if Di Canio understands what Fascism is. But then again, why would he have a full back tattoo of one of the most infamous Fascist leaders in history if he doesn't understand the concept? You cannot be a Fascist one day and then the next turn into to someone unaffiliated with politics. Doesn't work like that.

The sad thing about this whole story is that Di Canio is actually extremely likeable. If he wasn't a Fascist, i'd really like him.  But since he has publicly admitted being a Fascist and also did the extreme Right-Wing Salute in front of Thousands of Lazio* supporters, he has lost all my respect.

People say "we shouldn't cross politics and football". Well that's absolute nonsense. Does that mean we should just let Racists, Fascists, Sexists etc.. operate in the game? No we shouldn't AT ALL. Remember the campaign "Show Racism The Red Card"? That was set up in order to kick racism out of football. Paolo Di Canio is a Racist. Work out the equation.

By the way, the only reason i am writing this blog about Di Canio now is because i didn't actually realise he was a self-confessed Fascist when he was at Swindon. It only came to my attention (and everyone elses) when he came to SAFC. It's not me being bias, i just don't like racism and fascism.

I was at the NUFC vs SAFC game today and the best team won by an absolute mile. Newcastle were horrific. A tiny, tiny minority of both sets of fans were a disgrace, not everyone (remember that!). After the game, a handful of NUFC fans were rather anti-social in the streets and during the game lit flares were thrown into the NUFC crowd by the away supporters. That's dangerous and too far.

*LAZIO: at the time they'd never had a black player in years. Also, accused their rivals (Roma) of being "Team of blacks followed by Jews". Di Canio's friends have branded him as a "True Fascist" and someone who has had a "huge impact" on football hooliganism with his political ideas. (ITV)

FACTS ON FASCISM

Fascism:  "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of nationalism and racism."

Racism: "Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief"

Mussolini (Di Canio has a full back tattoo of this man) - Believed to have killed over a quarter of a million people. 

Hilter - Believed to have killed over 12 million people.

Franco - Over 30,000 people.


To conclude, this isn't an attack on SAFC. It's an attack on racism and fascism. If Paolo Di Canio actually apologised for his previous comments (also, tell us what he meant) and explained his tattoo to us all, i may change my views on him.

Liam Lavery.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The "Youth of today"..

Does anyone else get annoyed when people use this phrase? Or is it just me?

The "Youth of today" is a phrase which people tend to use nowadays when talking about how anti-social young people are. It is a broad concept which seems to class every single young person as being thuggish, a criminal or once again, anti-social. Moreover, I can now confirm that a very high majority of young people living in the UK today are law abiding people, who do not cause any trouble whatsoever in communities. 

In my opinion, there's three fundamental problems negatively impacting young people in the UK. They are:


  • Government cuts.
  • Dead communities.
  • Lack of opportunities. 
If you take the first bullet point for example, the government are directly shattering young people lives. I genuinely believe that this government don't care (literally) about young people. Take a look at these bullet points. They have done the following (so far): 

  • Tuition fees x3,
  • School Sport Partnerships abolished,
  • SureStart abolished,
  • Aim Higher abolished,
  • Connexions abolished,
  • EMA abolished,
  • Less appretinceships,
  • Less jobs,
  • + More

The above is plain and simply an attack on young people. This is happening whilst David Cameron is giving a tax cut to millionaires in the next few weeks or so. That's how it works these days, millionaires and bankers receive more money (billions) and then there's young people who get hit hard by all these cuts. What can we do? The "youth of today" eh. So lazy. (Yes, that was sarcasm).

There's currently just under 1 million young people unemployed in the UK. This is the highest it has been since records began. Things really aren't getting better for us young people. 1 in 5 are out of work. This needs to be 0 in 5. I know it's easy to say that, but it is extremely important. I suspect that the people who use this term "youth of today", believe that young people are lacking in motivation and don't want to work. There's no jobs. That's the truth. 

Moving swiftly on, there's absolutely nothing to do for young people in the town of Ashington. And i mean nothing. There's parks, fields, a leisure centre, a sports complex and, erm, err.... that's about it. There's nowhere young people can socialise without getting branded as "anti-social". If there's a group of young people walking around the streets, they're classed as being "bad" people. What do people expect? Do people expect these young people to just stay at home and not leave the house? There's nowhere to go! Ashington needs to give young people facilities, areas to socialise and opportunities in general. 

I'm sure if you replace the word "Ashington" with the name of your town in the paragraph above it will be exactly the same situation. 

I hear the term "drinking on the streets" quite regularly, and a fair few young people do this in Ashington. Although people may see this as bad for the community for many reasons, it is inevitable and will not be stopped unless there's more opportunities for young people in the community. You can't complain if there's no alternative. Personally, I could imagine that "drinking in the streets" is good banter. If it's a problem, give young people things to do!

To finish, young people are exactly the same as every other group of people. We aren't aliens. We contribute to society, we are the future of society and we're an important part of society. We need represented more. So if you've used/use the phrase "youth of today" in a negative sense, think about it again please!

Comment with what you think about young people!


PS: I'm a candidate for Ashington Town Council in the College ward (Ashington). I'll do my best to help young people if i'm voted in! #VoteLiamLavery on May 2nd!














Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Do we need the Royal Family?

Do we really need the Royal Family? Please do comment with what you think.

Here's what i think in a few words..


This is a very interesting debate. There's many arguments both for and against. The problem i have with the monarchy is a moral issue. They receive everything for free. ANYTHING they want. Then there's people in the street who can't afford a meal or clothes. There's homeless people lying out in the freezing cold winter, without any shelter. It's the height of unfairness. 

I have no problem with with the individuals. It's the system and the positions. They can't help being born into the positions, but it is 2013, not 1313. The Queen has absolutely no power in the UK today. People will say "she passes laws". She really doesn't. The monarch hasn't stopped a law passing since the 18th century, and it will never happen again. But that's her job? She's the head of state, she's meant to make important decisions. She doesn't though. So in my point of view, she's irrelevant. 

Tourism. Lots and lots of people say the monarchy is needed for tourism and the economy. That's NOT what it's there for. It's there for political reasons. I think the UK would work better with a semi-presidential system, like France. More democracy, more accountability. It would work. The regime needs modernised. It's really out of touch with the UK society.

The UK cannot be classed as a democracy when we've got a hereditary monarch in place. In theory (not in practice), the Queen has the most power in the UK out of anyone, yet no one elected her to be in that position. That is morally incorrect in my opinion. The population of a nation should decide who their leader is. I want a say in who leads me. Why can't i lead them?

I'm completely aware that the Queen and her family do lots of valuable work throughout the Commonwealth and the world. The work the Royal Family does is well respected. The Queen is probably a lovely woman. Along with her family. As i said earlier,  I have no problem with them. We could elect someone who would be more in touch with poorer people, a person who is liked by the majority of the UK population. Someone who has more involvement?

An elected President alongside a Prime Minister. A good idea?

What do you think?



Monday, 11 March 2013

He is human..

Mr Barton is probably one of the most controversial footballers of all time, but is he really as bad as what people make him out to be?

When you mention his name to someone who has no idea about football, they say "AHH, is that the one who put a cigar out in someones eye?", "AHH, is that the one who's brother murdered someone?" or even "AHH, that scumbag". If that's the reply i get when i say his name, i reply with a simple "no". Here's some small paragraphs for you to think about..

If you look at Mr Barton's life, you'll see that he's done some absolutely despicable things. But, who hasn't? Think about it, have you ever done something you regret? Something you wish never happened? If you're thinking no, then you're lying. What would you do if those "despicable things" were published on the front page of every single newspaper in the UK? I'm sure you'd be upset, i'm sure you'd think "I am human, i do make mistakes".

Mr Barton, in my opinion, is an easy target. If he receives a red card it's as though he's murdered someone; If he gets two footed, he dived; If he swears at the referee, he will receive a red card. An 8 game ban for kneeing someone. Really? Can someone please remind me what LS got for being a racist on the pitch? Honestly, it's as though the world is against him. Is it honestly deserved?

Don't get me wrong, my opinions on Mr Barton change from time to time. I used to love the bloke. He then moved to London and thought he was a Philosopher from the Enlightenment and thought he was a member of The Smiths. The riots he causes on twitter are brilliant. Why do people bite? They still do it. From the wrong "your" to "Beliebers" going berserk.

Some would say that Mr Barton is an inspiration to certain groups of people or "he's a changed man". He was once an alcohol lover, a keen fighter and just a troublemaker in general. But look at him now? He hasn't caused bother in a long, long time. Can people who were in a similar condition look at him and think, "I can make that change too"? Think about it, it's interesting.

Do you know someone who has won a fight? Do you know someone who winds many people up? Do you know someone who expresses their opinions freely? Do you know someone who lives their life the way they want to? You will do. That's exactly what Mr Barton is. Just because he's famous and well known it doesn't mean he's worse. Does it? "He's supposed to be a role model" - Look at the previous paragraph.

I like Joey Barton. I'm not saying i like everything he's done, but i like him as a man. He's changed from the "thug" stereotype, he's fighting campaigns for Hillsborough, he say's what he thinks (some i completely disagree with), and he's just a normal bloke (Definitely not a member of The Smiths or a Philosopher from the Enlightenment).

Take a step back from the all the hatred towards him, and see if you agree with me. Even if it's a tiny bit.

PS: I know for a fact that just about everyone who reads this will disagree with my opinion, but hey, i am entitled to my opinion. Please comment with your opinions too, i'm sure you agree with some of the things i say. (ish)