Facts vs. Truths

In the post I wrote yesterday, published earlier this morning, I countered the argument that feelings were less important than facts on the grounds that feelings are also facts, just on an intrapersonal scale. I recall an interview with British musician Steven Wilson published last week, prior to the release of his new album, in which he commented on the extremely-polarised opinions his new work would likely receive, and how we rarely frame those opinions as opinions. He had a point, and it got me thinking.

The way I see it, “facts” are defined as verifiable binaries, universally-perfect within its environment. As a programmer, I deal with such facts on a daily basis as computers can only “think” in binary. If I write a program to tell the computer that “a = 3″, and then ask it “does a = 3″, it will say “yes”. If I write a different program that tells it “a = 2.9295″, and then ask it the same question, it will say “no”. Whichever computer you run this program on, you will always get the same responses. Do the same with a sample of humans, and you’ll find a range of different responses: you won’t just get “yes” and “no”, you’ll likely also get answers such as “almost” and “not quite”. That’s because, as humans, we are not universally-perfect; we have a larger lexicon with which we can evaluate and respond, and emotions to guide us in doing so.

For example, ask a sample of humans “is a roughly equal to 3″, and you’ll find more yes and no answers depending on what we feel is an acceptable margin of error. Perfect precision is not in our nature.

These are what I define as “truths”: individually-derived binaries. Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions all fall under this banner. A truth cannot be verified since it exists only within its host, but neither facts nor truths are disputable. If I say “I feel hungry”, you cannot respond with “No you don’t” without looking like some kind of brain-washing totalitarian. The only way to disprove me would be to become me.

The issue is when truths are presented as facts, much with the “Catholocism Pure” blog I referred to yesterday. Facts may be more valuable than truths since they are not objective, but no truth can ever be more valuable than another. You may think that gender non-conformity is abominable, I think it’s inspirational. Is one view more virtuous or valuable than the other? No, and they never will be. The existence of intersex individuals makes it impossible to define male/female as a universally-perfect binary, so the statement that “you are either male or female” cannot be anything more than an independently-held truth. Same with the statement “you are what God made you” – my Christian friends would likely agree with that statement but, as an Agnostic Atheist, I disagree. If it was a fact, there would be no disagreement.

Truths are also transient. We replace our old truths with new truths every day as a result what we learn and what we experience. So instead of pretending our truths are superior to everybody else’s, let’s open a discussion instead and learn together.

That’s what comments sections are for!

Ideology, Feelings and a Catholic Blog

I saw a link on Facebook pointing to an article published by the American College of Pediatricians, entitled Gender Ideology Is Harming Children. The person who shared it on the group was seeking a discussion on its content; they had read it expecting the usual anti-trans diatribe, but found it more explicitly advising against gender-reassignment surgeries and treatments for young children. Fair enough – surgery and psychology are two separate disciplines.

Whilst looking a bit deeper into the subject, I came across this blog post that referenced the same article, seeing it as evidence of their anti-trans prejudices, corroborated by a professional medical body. I would have commented but, whenever I’ve written a counterpoint on a religiously-themed blog, it never gets past their censors – no matter how respecfully it was written. Some days, it’s good to have a blog of your own!

Except it was hard to tell just what their argument was, beyond mere stating examples and expressing astonishment at them.

In the first few paragraphs, they cite the case of Scottish mother Kerri McFayden who is allowing her child, assigned male at birth, to live as a girl. Besides claims that she is “promoting confused thinking”, what was it about McFayden’s case that they disagreed with and why? If the child’s happy, why does it even matter? Personally, if I’m confused by something, I do a bit of extra research or ask for help… from the seems of things, she’d already done both of those!

They then go on to repeat sections of a Time magazine article that promoted young people choosing their gender, remarking that they were choosing from “the 60+ options offered by Facebook” rather than remaining “as God made them”. Ironically, the ACP article they are using to back up their stance states that gender “is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.” – in other words, you can’t choose the biological sex you were born with – nobody can – but choosing one’s gender is down to personal expression; no different to choosing which football team to support. If you feel a sociological and psychological connection to West Bromwich Albion, perhaps out of local pride and how you like wearing blue and white stripes, you’re not going to listen to anyone saying “Your thinking is confused! You’re either Chelsea or Arsenal!”

Further down the article, they state: “We are told to consider all these identities as normal as we approach the new godless, genderless frontier of the future. Everything depends on feelings not facts.” How’s about this then….. [drum roll]…

Feelings ARE facts!

Well, they are – they’re just facts that exist on an individually internal level. As I write this, I’m feeling moderately hungry. FACT! I’m also feeling slight discomfort in my back from having sat in my chair for the past hour. FACT! I also feel like knocking down an ice-cold lager with my dinner tonight. FACT! As these facts relate to me and me only, I can’t support them with peer-reviewed evidence, nor can you claim they’re incorrect. How is that different from a biological male who says “I feel I’m a woman”?

All becomes clear towards the end: “We are dooming children like this to a life of hell on earth and, then, to one in eternity as well for their supreme revolt against God and nature”. If they are expressing themselves in a way that is natural to them, what exactly are they revolting against? Also, back on the subject of facts, where exactly does it state – as a proven hard fact, complete with empirical evidence – they will be forced into eternal torment for doing so? You feel that they will – that’s a fact – but what are the chances? The so-called “hell on earth” that they’d face is not so much because of their choices, but because of those who see it as their duty to invalidate those choices. If, as the ACP article states, gender is a psychological and socialogical concept, then you can hardly claim a centures-old book from the Middle East has absolute authority over gender: our knowledge of human psychology has become far more advanced in the centuries since. Our understanding of gender is relatively new, and whenever there’s new learning, there will always be resistance from those who adhere to the old learning. But, as through history, the old learning fades into obscure footnotes.

Besides, if being genderless is so heinous… what gender is God exactly?

The Curse of the Computer-Literate

I’m going to talk a little about a pet peeve of mine: a small collection of words that, whenever spoken in my presence, grits my teeth and rolls my eyes:

“You’re good with computers, … “

Note the punctuation. While those four words in and of themselves can be interpreted as a compliment, I’ve never actually heard anyone use them as a complete, self-contained sentence. The tone of voice in which it is often said implies that a question or a request will follow. Literally translated, it means “You’re good with computers, so I’m going to treat you like my personal IT help-desk and ask you a question that I hope you’ll give me the answer to in complete layman’s terms.

Now, if someone is genuinely stuck and I can help them, I always do – but the overwhelming majority of the time, they’ve assumed that because I have above-average computer-literacy, I know everything there is to know about computers.

I don’t – not even close.

Error messages on the iPad

I don’t own an iPad – or any other tablet device for that matter. Believe it or not, I have no need for one; therefore, I have no experience of error messages on that device.

Questions like this would often be followed with “do you know where I’d be able to find that information” which is akin to saying “I’d rather waste your time than use a search engine“.

Making YouTube videos

I don’t have a YouTube channel, and video capture/editing is not in my field of expertise, so chances are I know the same amount on the subject as the person asking the question. I also don’t know what kind of camera/microphone is needed, nor am I fluent in YouTube’s copyright policies.

Slow performance

I’ve had some instances where someone has bought a second-hand computer, and it’s not running as quickly as they’d expect it to. These are often the worst as the causes of slow performance are numerous, so I’d have to take a look at the machine in order to offer a diagnosis. This then gets misinterpreted as me actually requesting to see the computer in question. In some cases, I wind up sitting in front of their PC, with its owner standing behind me looking completely gormless, waiting for their computer to complete a ten-minute reboot. Failing that, they bring the base unit to me at home and hope I’ve got all of the necessary cables.

In one such case, the idiot in question bought a “Windows 7 PC”, thinking that alone was enough to make it a top performer – when I looked at it, it was a 10 year-old machine whose specification barely met the minimum requirements to run Windows 7. The rest of the conversation ran like a scene from This Is Spinal Tap:

“Didn’t you check the specifications before you bought it?”
“… but it’s Windows 7!”

A certain game doesn’t work

Back in the days of MS-DOS and Windows 3.1, I had a friend who, shall we say, bought a PC because I’d got one (or perhaps it was because I’d got a copy of Doom). Installing software at the time took a modicum of configuration and hardware knowledge, and I was forever having to help him out. I don’t think he ever really learned much about the computer his parents forked out £1,500 for and, in the end, I got fed up of him only calling me when he needed technical support.

A good price

I occasionally get asked what constitutes a good deal for a particular piece of hardware, or for a machine of a certain spec. I may be many things, but the Compare the Meerkat of computers? No. It usually end up doing their shopping-around for them.


Those are just a mere handful. I’ve had some call me for help when they’ve fallen prey to a call from “Microsoft”, some who bought expensive anti-virus software because an internet pop-up told them their PC was infested, and even had one request to install Windows on a computer that I suspected had been stolen. He wanted to sell off this PC for profit, but little did he know, the machine in question was built back in 1984, and only worked in monochrome. It was worth scrap value at best.

But worst of all is when you’ve been unable to help them – for whatever valid reason – and they say…

“I thought you were good with computers?”

 

Two Months Later…

In the months since I last posted here, I’ve drafted several posts and never actually concluded them. I’ve been reading up on, and learning about, the “generational dynamic”, so most of these posts were taking pot-shots at the more vocally-conservative among us, who ironically lambast the “millennials” for “self-publicising on social media” yet don’t realise that, in doing so, they’re also guilty of exactly the same thing.

Time and energy has also been a factor – something rather major happened at work a month ago, and it’s been quite a rollercoaster since, involving several days of repetitive data entry. It had to be done, and it may seem like “easy work”, but when you’re motivated and stimulated by creative and project-based work, it’s harder than it seems.

I have achieved a couple of things in the past two months though.

Firstly, I survived a family baptism service held at my former church. I was getting quite anxious about it, knowing that as a former member of the church, I couldn’t just blend in as an anonymous attendee. I did get hugged a couple of times from people whose names I’d completely forgotten. I was also hoping to avoid one of the more ultra-evangelical members and, fortunately, was spared the inquestition. I did detect a few glares though when I didn’t stand up and join in with the songs. How dare I!

I also got the chance to go out in my kilt yesterday, when we went for a family meal. I’d worked out a better way of ironing the damn thing, and with sporadic moments of clear weather, I went for it. I almost chickened out, but was glad I didn’t. I wasn’t conscious of any reactions, even when I was ordering at the bar in full sight of many patrons. I break up for two weeks this Friday, and I’m sure more opportunities will present themselves!

Summer in the Office Part 2: All You Need Is Cash!

The weekend just gone was, without fear of contradiction, scorching. My sister-in-law invited us all round for a barbecue, and it was lovely being able to sit outside in the fresh air, drinking a cold beer straight from the fridge (although in the heat, the cold beer turned into what the Czechs call a tepid goat in no time at all). I’d love to be able to do the same in my own back garden, but it’s an overgrown mess. Tidying it up has been on my to-do list for ages, but getting around to it is not as easy as it sounds, in light of other priorities. Still, we all had fun in someone else’s garden, the kids pelting us (well, me) with water balloons!

I’m back in the office now, and today is even hotter than yesterday. Once again my mind turns to how uncomfortable it is. The ladies in the office have re-arranged their wardrobes and brought out all their lighter and brighter stuff to the front, and there aren’t many in the office without sandals on their feet. They look smart, but also seasonal. The rest of us have just ditched the long shirt sleeves – it’s fine if we stay in the air-conditioned office, but some of us don’t like being cooped up for hours on end.

I had a look online to see if there were any alternatives that kept within the ‘smart’ ethos but without re-using the same garb we’re in throughout the autumn and winter. The response I got was, in summary: you can’t change what you wear, but you can change what it’s made of. Instead of cotton and polyester, go for cotton-linen blends, natural fibres etc. and have everything tailored to fit perfectly. One site advised to wear an “undershirt” to absorb any sweat – how exactly will adding layers help?

I got the impression that, for men, office wear is about affluence. If what you wear looks expensive, you convey the impression that you are well-paid, ergo you must be successful, competent, professional and many more adjectives. Hence the emphasis on tailored clothing. Meeting a customer wearing genuine “George at Asda”, the sweat seeping through the cotton fibres of your shirt, conveys the complete opposite.

One source said it’s also about the effort you put in: the knots you have to tie, the buttons you have to fasten, the colours you must coordinate and so on. By taking time to “look the part”, you convey much respect to the other party as you deem them worthy of your time and effort.

On the contrary, one page, written by someone who has managed several successful on-line businesses, opined that the impression they get from your appearance lasts only until you open your mouth. I’d also argue that for a woman to express the same attitudes and achieve the same impression takes significantly less expense or effort: a smart and well-fitting dress, off the rack of a high-street retailer, won’t set them back several hundreds of pounds, doesn’t involve tying knots, and as it’s all in one piece, comes already colour-coordinated.

I guess that, when it comes to the modern workplace, the attitudes towards women’s dress codes are still comparatively young; men’s office wear, along with its attributions, has been seemingly set in stone since the French Revolution. Attitudes are changing, albeit very slowly (ties are no longer obligatory in my office), but I do believe there needs to be major reform in this area to redefine what is “acceptable”.

It’s not the 19th century any more!

The Dark Side of the Vinyl Revival

As well as being a bit of a music junkie, I’m something of a vinyl junkie too – have been since my mid-teens. I find myself enjoying the music more if I invest time and care into it; digital downloads and streaming feels cheap to me, and even the mighty CD can sometimes feel a bit too convenient. Vinyl, to me, represents a more authentic way of approaching music, and its limitations make the music sound softer on the ear compared to the full-on assault you find with some CDs. I’m not going to get into a whole “Vinyl vs. Digital” debate – I just experience more emotional connections to vinyl records than I do to other formats.

Sales of vinyl records have been on the up in the past decade, and it’s great that more people – particularly young people – are seeing its qualities for themselves. There is, unfortunately, a dark side to this revival.

On Friday, my wife received an e-mail promoting HMV’s “vinyl week”, stating that they’d be selling some exclusive, limited edition records in-store the following day. They wouldn’t be made available on-line, they were strictly one per customer, and you couldn’t phone and make reservations – it was strictly first-come-first-served. Two of them were by Steven Wilson‘s former band: Porcupine Tree. I’ve been listening to them a lot recently whilst waiting patiently for Wilson’s forthcoming fifth solo album. Their first and second albums were being re-issued on blue and purple vinyl respectively, with no more than 1,000 copies pressed of each. On Saturday morning, I ventured to my local HMV store, half an hour before opening time, and waited outside. Fortunately, none of the people in the queue in-front of me were avid Steve Wilson/Porcupine Tree fans so, with a little push-and-shove, I was able to grab the two LPs, pay and leave within 3 minutes. I was back home by 10am.

Out of curiosity, I had a look for the two LPs on eBay when I got home. Within an hour of HMV stores opening, copies of each album were put on sale at double or triple the retail price. Some that emerged later were business sellers who had scored two or three copies of them – no doubt accompanied by a friend in order to get around the one-per-customer restriction. This practice is perfectly legal – once you’ve purchased something, you are legally entitled to resell it – but what annoys me about it is how it exploits the fans who wanted the albums but weren’t so lucky. I especially feel sorry for those who, like me, were waiting in the queue outside their local HMV, only to leave disappointed; pipped-to-the-post by someone with no other interest than a quick profit.

The same is true for Record Store Day – I love the spirit of the event and how the exclusive releases draw people towards their local record stores, but the exploitation and profiteering from certain individuals ruins it. If anything, this practice is even more abhorrent on Record Store Day, given that the queues form a lot earlier and grow to some considerable length. I’ve only ever bought one Record Store Day exclusive, a recording of three Steve Reich pieces performed by the LSO Percussion Ensemble, but that wouldn’t have been as high on a tout’s hit-list as, say, something by David Bowie or Prince.

My two LPs have both been opened, cleaned, played and enjoyed. I know that I’ve knocked a fair bit off their future value by removing the shrink-wrap, but I don’t see them as an investment: the music contained within them is worth far more to me.

Fan Culture

Every day, I try and listen to at least some music – my aim is an hour a day on average which, during weekdays, I manage quite comfortably. I’ve been an avid music listener ever since I was about 4 or 5 years old, and my tastes have evolved and expanded during that time. I still listen to a-ha, Nik Kershaw and The Alan Parsons Project on occasion, but the plethora of children’s novelty albums I had back then have long since been binned.

Up until a few years ago, I was frequently getting quite frustrated by so-called “fan culture”. In the early 90’s, I couldn’t quite understand what drew so many people, girls mainly, to New Kids on the Block. A few years later, when Take That emerged with pretty-much the same kind of thing, I learned that it didn’t really matter whether the music had any lasting relevance as long as the core demographic were at an emotional crossroads and had lots of disposable income: the deeper you tapped into their emotions, the more you could squeeze out of them through merchandise. Every single seemed to go straight in at No. 1, even though it offered nothing exclusive at the time. What gives?!

I also didn’t understand why people were so invested in something so temporary – NKotB went from mega-stars to has-beens in just a few years and, once their successors hit their peak, the powers-that-be would divide them up too and profit further from fan loyalty through multiple solo albums. Why sell one album to a loyal fan-base when you can sell three or four simultaneously?

What I failed to understand was how everything new was instantly “fantastic” or “the bestest thing ever”. Why were they letting their excitement cloud their critical thinking?

Up until recently, I’d failed to recognise that I too was guilty of all of that – and I had been less than 15 years ago.

In 2004, Marillion released their new album, Marbles. I’d gotten in on the then-obligatory crowd-funding campaign and had just received the album in its exclusive special edition. I’d hailed it a masterpiece on the first play through. I bought the T-shirt, the mug, every variation of the two singles released from it… the works! I’d even joined the fan club. I drove my then-girlfriend (now wife) absolutely mad with it all. I felt my excitement was justified on the grounds that Marillion were not some fly-by-night Boy Band, but a misunderstood group that invested in their art, unfairly dismissed as a relic from the mid-1980’s.

Unlike the way Boy Bands are marketed, there were no other bands to distract me and move on to. When their next album, Somewhere Else came out three years later, my expectations were sky-high. When I heard it, everything crashed – it was like they’d abandoned everything that made Marbles a masterpiece and took too much from the more sombre and inwardly-looking style of Radiohead. I was quite angry with them for doing so, and it would be 8 years before I bought another one of their albums.

But in hindsight, I was being extremely impatient and immature. I was overcompensating for all the annoyance I’d caused my wife by rubbishing the new album on the basis of one, casual listen. I’m now the proud owner of Somewhere Else on double-vinyl and, listening to it today, I can’t see what was so bad about it – it’s best qualities are very subtle and needs a lot more active listening up-front than Marbles did.

I’ve now eased off and become more tolerant – I certainly don’t get annoyed whenever I see cardboard cut-outs of Bieber or One Direction in every other shop window. On the Marillion front: their latest album, FEAR, was the best album I’d heard from them since the mid-1990’s…

… but this time, I didn’t annoy my wife with it!

Election Anxiety

I’ve not been giving much attention to this blog of late – mostly down to being quite busy at home and at work, so I’ve not really done anything. I’m also going through some rather rapid emotional swings in regards to today’s General Election. There is so much riding on it and, while I’ve tried to avoid reading too much into the polls, the thought of the Tories increasing their majority fills me with dread and uncertainty for so many reasons.

On the flip side, when I follow the campaign of my local Labour candidate, and hearing testimonies from young and first-time voters excited by and engaged with the Labour manifesto, my mood swings completely the other way. A strong turnout, especially amongst people my age and younger, could change everything; my wife and I will be on the edge of our sofa as the exit poll is broadcast at 10pm.

Jeremy Corbyn, and my local candidate Andrew Hammond, have poured everything they can into this election and, policies aside, I applaud them both just for running very positive campaigns. No smears, no muck-slinging and no cheap point-scoring – that’s how political campaigning should be.

I so hope that when I wake up on Friday morning, there is cause for celebration.

Summer in the Office

Throughout the course of the day, this post has gone in and out of draft. I was going to put it on hold for a more cathartic rant, expressing exasperation and disbelief (possibly some anger too) towards various groups of people in the aftermath of the recent arseholery in Manchester (I’m not going to use the ‘t’ word – I’d rather just call it for what it is). It was enough just to write it and leave it unpublished, giving me the opportunity to scream into a soundproof bucket so-to-speak, but it’s too soon to be putting something like that online – I’m not Katie Hopkins!

Back to the originally-intended post!

Every year, around this time, I have a moan about how inflexible office wear is for men. We’ve now had three days in a row where I’ve not taken my coat on my lunchtime amble into Atherstone – three days of near-constant sunshine is almost unheard-of in the Midlands. In fact, today I’ve not brought my coat at all – all of the essentials that normally get stuffed in my pocket are now carried in a Rough Trade carrier bag (bit hipster I know, but they’re a lot stronger than the typical supermarket carrier bags). Even if I douse myself in antiperspirant, my clothes are almost stuck to me when I get back from my walk.

We’ve got the windows open in the office (which get closed very quickly when the wind changes and the stench of the nearby horse paddocks wafts in), and they’ve not turned the AC on yet. It’s warm! I’m drinking several litres of water each day to stay hydrated, which just seems to race through me like Nigel Mansell in his prime.

Most of the ladies in the office have re-arranged their wardrobes to match the current climate, but we’re not allowed the same luxury: we’re still in the same shirt-and-trousers garb we’re in all winter. Yes, we can go for a short-sleeved shirt, but having slightly cooler arms isn’t all that adequate. There needs to be some flexibility without changing the rules too much – especially for those who aren’t customer-facing.

Here’s my ideas:

  1. Allow un-tucked shirts. I know it doesn’t look as “smart”, but neither does an employee whose sweat is seeping through the fabric of his shirt, basting him like a chicken in a roasting bag. I’ve got something of a beer-belly, and tucking in my shirt just accentuates it anyway.
  2. Ditch the tie. It’s optional where I work, but not so for some places. I’ve never been a fan of the tie – particularly the way it resembles a shackle and chain worn around the neck – but when worn with a shirt in the summer, it just acts like a seal and further restricts the cool air reaching the torso.
  3. Allow linen shirts. They may look crumpled, but they’re a lot cooler (in both appearance and temperature) than the regular, boring office shirts.
  4. Allow smart sandals. Quite a few of the ladies have opted for footwear made of just a few strips of leather, so why can’t we? We’re not talking flip-flops or beach sandals – more like the Birkenstock style. Forcing our feet into socks and leather brogues makes our feet a bacteria breeding ground. Imagine that! While you’re trying to impress a potential customer and secure their business, millions of microscopic organisms on your feet are causing a stink!

If that’s too much, I do have a couple of other ideas that don’t involve dress-code changes. They’re bound to go down well with your employees.

  1. Al fresco working. Most pubs now have free Wi-Fi for customers, enabling them to work from the beer garden – just make sure to tell the bar staff your employees are on soft drinks only until 5pm. It’ll be good for the pub trade too – too many of them are closing and becoming “local” supermarkets these days.
  2. Free ice-cream. Are your employees struggling to keep cool? Are they becoming demoralised in their discomfort? Easy solution: free ice-cream! Send a trolley round filled with ice-cold treats, and they’ll soon perk up and return to peak productivity.

Mine’s a cider refresher!

My thoughts on the so-called “Dementia Tax”

There are a million and one reasons why, in the forthcoming General Election, I will NOT be voting Conservative, but the so-called “Dementia Tax” is one of them. It probably won’t affect me in the short- or long-term, but what it could mean for those who are affected fills me with disgust.

Picture this:

All your life, you’ve worked hard. You’ve earned a living, bought your own home and raised a family. Throughout your working life, you’ve never skimped on paying your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions, and you’ve never required any state support. You’re comfortable in the knowledge that everything you’ve worked for will be passed down to your children.

You visit the doctor one morning, and you’re shocked to hear that you have an age-related condition that, over the years, will significantly reduce your independence. At some point in the near future, you will need around-the-clock care. It would be nice to think that, for all your contributions to the state, the state will reciprocate by looking after you so as not to burden your children.

However, in the 2017 General Election, the Conservatives won; implementing their social care scheme that takes all of your assets into account in order to pay for the care you need. All the money you paid in to that so-called National INSURANCE scheme throughout your decades in work doesn’t count for anything. Your assets are going to be stripped down to the last £100k, so that nice nest egg you were going to bequeath to your children is now mostly going to the State.

Except it doesn’t really go to the State, does it?

Under Tory ideology, the people who are going to be charged with your care are not public servants at all – they work for a private company who now manage the social care provision in your area. As such, they’re motivated more by profit than by service. The quality of care you receive can only be described as “acceptable” – you get the essentials, but your quality of life is rather lacking… and you’re paying for it! Some retirement, eh?

Everything you worked for in the knowledge that your children would benefit from it has now ended up on the bottom line of a profit and loss report, divvied up between the shareholders and the Chief Executive’s fat annual bonus. Or, worse still, siphoned to an off-shore tax haven. You didn’t ask to get ill, and you certainly didn’t choose to – yet you and your family are being punished heavily because of it while complete strangers are rolling in the fruits of your labour.

I don’t know about you, but I find that to be quite the kick-in-the-teeth – a means of asset-stripping the elderly, and funnelling it into corporate profits. It’s disgusting behaviour.

But the good thing is, it hasn’t happened yet. It can be stopped, and I’m going to do my part in stopping it:

I’m voting Labour!