Newest Review: ... have any brothers and sisters? Yes I have one younger sister. Cat or Dog sort of person? I love Dogs we have an adorable chocolate lab. ... more
Very Lazy Current Debates
Member Name: jillmurphy
Date: 19/06/04, updated on 19/06/04 (185 review reads)
Advantages: You get to be lazy., You get a say.
Disadvantages: I don't see any!
I thought we might all like to play lazy debating. So here are a few issues for you to think about - and write about. By filling this in, we get to distil our views into just one paragraph. I rather like this idea, because I am a lazy opinionator, who doesn't like to plan or research, but just likes to type as the mood takes her. I have lots of strong opinions on current debates, but I'm just too lazy to sit and properly structure an entire piece on any of them. A few gut reactions in one paragraph is a format that suits me fine. So, here goes?
● Do you believe in life after death?
No. Don't ask me why I don't, or to rationalise it. I have a conviction that is all. No, I don't.
● Should smoking be banned in public places?
No. It is reasonable to ban it in the workplace. One should not be required to spend seven or eight hours per day in a potentially toxic atmosphere. Pubs, clubs and restaurants must make their own decisions as to what is the most profitable position to take with regard to smoking. We can choose which establishments to patronise, whether we are, or are not, smokers. Otherwise, are we going to ban polluting cars and lorries? Polluting factories? You cannot start and stop with smoking. Clean air is precious, granted, but let us not pretend that smoking is the only thing fucking up our lungs.
● Is capital punishment wrong?
Yes. It is so wrong. There are all the usual arguments against it. There is always the possibility of executing an innocent person. As a deterrent it does not work (the murder rate is higher in the US states with capital punishment than without). The system inevitably skews in favour of the rich and educated and you end up executing the poor, the black, the illiterate. I agree with all of these ar
guments. More important than any of the "practical" reasons though, is the moral argument. State-sanctioned killing is wrong. The penal system should not have retribution and revenge at its heart. It should have safety, rehabilitation and reconciliation at its heart if we, as a people, can ever hope to move on. I realise that it is not possible to rehabilitate everyone, but to kill in return for a killing is not the answer. Every time we execute a person in the name of the state, we lose another tiny piece of our humanity and we will never get it back. Capital punishment demeans us all.
● Should cannabis be legalised?
Without doubt, yes, it should be legalised. So should all other drugs. Let's legalise it, tax it and control it. Let's stop all that money being made without a penny paid in tax. Let's clean up and licence the supply. Let's protect children from evil men. Let's lose the guns and the violence. Most of the problems surrounding drug use are made infinitely worse by the fact that they are illegal. Let's reduce the stigma of being a junkie too, and provide proper, working programs for the casualties.
● Is beauty only skin deep?
If you believe this, then you are a sadly limited person living a sadly limited existence.
● Do animals have rights?
They have the right not to suffer abuse at the hands of human beings, yes. They have the right not to be farmed industrially so that we can have cheap food on our plates, yes. But I am not an anti-vivesectionist, or a vegetarian. I wouldn't buy a lipstick that had been tested on animals, but I would take a medicine that had. I don't buy factory-farmed meat, but I eat omnivorously.
● Does Britain still need a monarchy?
I don't care! I don't particular
ly want a presidential head of state, but I would like to see our lot riding around on bicycles like they do on the continent. They are boring, spoiled people, living boring, spoiled lives and who actually expect the rest of us to swallow the gumph that arriving at a hospital wing in a limousine and cutting a ribbon or two is "living a life of public service". I think lollipop ladies are more deserving of payments from the Civil List. In the end, though, I just don't really care about these dull, indulged people. (Prince Charles gets half a brownie point for his environmentalism though!)
● Should fox hunting be banned in England and Wales?
Yes. Y'know? what I find so offensive about fox-hunting are the rituals in it all. People being blooded, shouting "tally ho", wearing ridiculously expensive hunting pinks, toasting each other at the outset. Ewwww. It's so um? redolent of posh people taking the piss when and where they like because they're posh, isn't it? Having spent the last year changing from being a townie, to being a country-dweller, I've had to revise my prejudice somewhat. Hunting provides a livelihood in areas where the local economy would suffer terribly without it. However, I can't see why these people need to rip apart foxes. Why can't they ride to hounds in drag-hunting, for example? Farmers need to protect and control their farms. I eat rabbits shot by farmers regularly. But there has to be a less offensive way to control foxes than riding to hounds and getting off on tearing them to tiny pieces.
● Should Britain join the Euro?
Gah. I hate this debate. I can't stand all that parochial, insular Britain is defined by having the Queen's head on a coin stuff. In the end, I don't think the quality of l
ife of the average Brit will alter that much whether we join or don't join. We'll just all carry on as we were, really. We might see some benefits, but they will be balanced by some disadvantages. It's much of a muchness to me. If it all boils down to a choice between remaining European or moving further statewards then I would choose Europe over the US every single time. But I'm not a fan of the EU. It's a nasty, cheating, abusive trade association that shits all over people who don't belong to it.
● Should all fire arms be banned for private use?
Yes! If you don't need a gun for your job then you don't need a gun. Full stop. No one ? except farmers with shotguns and the like - should be able to keep a gun at home. And particularly not a hand gun.
● What is your opinion on legal prostitution?
Gosh, well I guess yes, get it off the streets. Provide the working women with some legal protection. Try to control teen prostitution through licensing. Take power away from abusive pimps. Let's have health screening for prostitute and client alike. Get people in the sex industry paying tax at last. Anyone earning money should be contributing to the exchequer! What would happen to those poor women ? and there would always be some, wouldn't there? ? who couldn't get a licence though, for whatever reason? Would they be pushed even further into a deep and seedy underground? If prostitution were legalised, I'd be worrying about those women. On balance though, I say yes, legalise it.
● Are we living in rip off Britain?
I don't really understand what this question really means. What's a rip-off? We're living in a rich country and our standard of living is far better than many, many other cou
ntries. Food is cheaper than it's ever been. We own more than we ever have. Why are we not satisfied with this relative prosperity? If the question is asking whether I think duties on items such as tobacco and alcohol have now passed the point at which a law becomes unenforceable, then I think yes, they have. If you're asking whether I think various industries are unfairly price-fixing such items as music CDs, film DVDs and software, then I think yes, they are and the greedy fools deserve to be pirated.
● What is your opinion on pornography?
Most of it is um? crap! I'm as ready for a bit of erotica as the next person, but it's never erotic, is it? Ugly people with fake bits panting away don't really float my boat, I'm afraid. It's all so um? lowest common denominator, isn't it? If they made some upmarket porn, I might use it. But if it was upmarket, would it still be porn?! My mother has a theory and it goes something like this: for porn to be attractive to you, you need to think it's naughty in some way, else it won't do anything for you. Well, I don't see anything naughty in it at all. If you like porn, you're welcome to use it. So perhaps that's why I remain remarkably cheap thrill-free. I'm too liberal for my own [sweaty] good! Ho hum. I guess I'll live. Provided all parties are of age and consenting, then it's fine by me.
● Is genetically modified food right?
Well, there is some fine rhetoric associated with it, isn't there? With GM crops we could feed the world, sustain the starving. And, even better, we could do it all without compromising our own greedy lifestyles here in the rich countries. I think most people would agree that this is an attractive proposition. I do not know eno
ugh about genetic science to really make informed comment. However, when I see the grasping hands of the big corporations and brands all over what's happening, I begin to wonder. Monsanto and people like that were saying the same things about DDT and other such post-proved poisons decades ago, weren't they? If I thought that profit was being put where it belongs, behind safety, I might approve of GM technology. But I don't think this is so, and I shan't be putting myself forward as part of a possibly Frankenstein experiment, thankee. No GM for me.
There. Finished. How did I do?! Why don't you have a go?