29 April 2010

The Third Debate

If you've not decided how to vote yet, please make your decision on the issues, not who looks best in a debate.

Good government is more than style.

28 April 2010

A quick thought on immigration

There's more than one reason that people from Africa want to come to Britain.

Man insults woman when he thinks no-one is listening

It's fair to say that Gordon Brown's off-mic comment today was a gaffe of the first order.

It's worth pointing out, though, that few people haven't done that sort of thing at some point. They're not just politicians.

17 April 2010

Well, there goes my prediction model...

I've been doing a spreadsheet predicting the results of every seat in the upcoming election. The basic model assumed a swing from Labour to the Tories of about 6%, bigger in the marginals.

Looks like I might have to rip up my prediction if the polls held.

Clegg won that debate on Thursday. Cameron came second and Brown third, but neither did too badly. The thing is, ten million people at least have now had an exposure to Clegg they wouldn't otherwise have had.

The large boost to the Lib Dems in the polls is going to put a lot of attention on them now- especially from the more right-wing tabloids who want a Tory government.

However, I think at least some of this increase in support, possibly half, will hold.

It's going to be a very interesting May.

13 April 2010

"Big Society"

Or "compassionate conservatism" under another name. Just ask the Americans how eight years of that felt.

Electing police chiefs isn't a good idea.

11 April 2010

Reason to Vote Labour #2

Party Political Broadcast

Do you really think that cutting public sector jobs now will help the recovery? If we're going to make people unemployed, they ought to have jobs they can go to.

Otherwise, they'll just end up on the dole, not helping us recover.

10 April 2010

Comment moderation is back on

I don't appreciate being insulted- the offending comment has been deleted.

If you're going to criticise my world view (which said post completely distorted), please be civil about it.

04 April 2010

Happy Easter!

So on the third day, Jesus rose again. The apostles didn't believe it initially. Thomas needed to see proof.

A man triumphing over death is something awesome in itself. However, through this act, Jesus opened the way for us to follow. On the last day, we will be all be raised and those of us who follow Jesus will get our eternal reward. It will be frightening for those alive beforehand, but it will be worth it.

Happy Easter!

03 April 2010

Holy Week 6: Dead and Buried

So, Jesus was dead. In fact, they stabbed him with a sword just to make sure. A Jewish leader kindly let Jesus be buried in his family tomb- I don't know where he would have been buried otherwise, but I doubt it would be pleasant.

The tomb was sealed and two soldiers were placed on guard. A fully healthy man would have had difficulty getting out, let alone a dead one.

But the stone would be removed. Clearly you're not dealing with any ordinary man.

Jesus: fully human and fully divine. Omnipotent, omniscient and now, in the Holy Spirit, omnipresent.

There's more awesome to come.

02 April 2010

Holy Week 5: Good Friday

Good Friday's name seems like a bit of a misnomer. How can Jesus' death be good?

He was convicted of stirring up rebellion in a show trial. In fact, it wasn't even that- it was done "in camera" at night and with a bunch of bribed witnesses.

Then he was subjected to the most agonising form of execution imaginable, a humiliating barbaric punishment that often took days to kill its victims. The Roman Empire did not allow it be used on Roman citizens (a status held by a minority of Roman people, although Paul held it).

Jesus died in three hours, but those hours would be agonising to watch (especially for his mother), let alone actually experience.

However, it wasn't the action, but the result. Jesus opened the way to heaven for us sinners. Only the shedding of blood could ensure forgiveness in Jewish tradition- and God's son was the ultimate blood price.

That's why we call this Friday "Good".

01 April 2010

Holy Week 4: A Final Meal and a Final Night

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day when we remember the Last Supper.

Jesus and his disciples were having the traditional Passover meal, remembering another awesome moment of God, the rescuing of the Israelites from Egypt long previously. Then Jesus said "Take eat, this is my body".

Jesus was symbolising the fact that he was about to become a human and divine sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. This was very much his last meal before the horror of the following day.

Now, I was a Doctor Who fan before it was cool. Russell T Davies may be an atheist, but he's worked a fair number of religious metaphors into his scripts.

One scene you may well remember (in fact, you almost certainly do if you watch the show) is that scene from "The End of Time". The Time Lords have vanished and Wilf is stuck in the radiation booth. The Doctor realises that the only way he is going to stop Wilf getting a lethal dose of radiation is to go in there and take it himself.

Now, the Tenth Doctor rather likes being the Tenth Doctor and doesn't want to die. He gives an anguished, angry speech, then he sacrifices himself.

The Garden of Gethsemane is basically what was recreated (it's happened more than once in this show). Jesus, a man who makes the Guardians and the Time Lords look like Paul Daniels, wasn't happy about what he was about to go through.

But he did it. For all us poor Wilfs.