Monthly Archives: May 2015

The frustration of a broken computer

For months I had a problem with my computer because it was continually switching off. The first time I took it for repairs I was without it for a week.When the computer came back I had to start all over again. However, the problem was not totally fixed. The computer was shutting down but it was still running. In other words I could do nothing because there was no connection to the keyboard mouse and monitor. I endured this issue for several months until the blue screen of death struck.

As it turned out, during the time that the computer was in for a refurbishment I was kept busy with appointments and looking after my grandchildren.  Yesterday it was the grand-daughters again which meant a long day and a trip to Sydney. I am not complaining because I got to play with the girls.

The frustration right now is that I have to rebuild my subscription list on Feed demon. This is going to take time.

My computer is back and I am now ready to go!!

The political landscape in the U.K.

First of all, it is a relief to know that the British Labour Party will not be returned to power because David Cameron, and the Conservative Party succeeded although the British Press wanted the Tories to fail. The win means that the Conservative Party can rule in its own right and does not need a coalition partner. This is the best result since the John Major win last century.

However, this is not the reason that I am writing this piece. My reason for writing is that I find it somewhat confusing that people who should know better bring up that the UKIP got a national vote of more than 12% but only 1 seat, whereas the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) ends up with something like 56 seats with a smaller percentage vote.

There are some differences between the Australian system and that of the British system, but where they are similar is in constituencies. A big difference is that in the UK there is a first past the post system and in Australia we have both a compulsory system as well as one where all votes are counted until the preferences are exhausted. On the national level in Australia we have to number all the squares, in NSW we only have to number one square.

Of course the above does nothing to help understand why the SNP gets more seats in the Parliament than the UKIP. The reason for the difference is in fact parochial. Scotland is allocated 59 seats in the UK parliament with seats also going to Wales, Britain (the majority of seats) and Northern Ireland. All of the Northern Ireland seats go to a party that has some kind of alliance to the Socialists of one kind or another. Even Sinn Fein comes under this category, as does the Alliance Party. In Scotland you had the Scottish Labour Party as distinct from the British Labour Party, although they are united, as well as the Scottish Nationalist Party.

A good comparison would be that between Scotland and Tasmania or Scotland and South Australia. At the Senate level, Tasmania is over-represented and this means that Tasmania has a lot of influence in the Australian Senate (most of us think that they have too much influence!!). Scotland has a small population like that of both South Australia and Tasmania. The percentage of the vote going to the SNP is only representative of the vote for the SNP in Scotland. They got no vote in the rest of England. The UKIP on the other hand was vying for a place in the Parliament in Great Britain rather than in Scotland, they had to vie for seats in a lot of constituencies if they were to have any chance of winning through on a lot of seats. The 12% vote that they obtained was a vote in only the constituencies where they put up candidates, and where they came in second place.

Any other voting or electoral system is still no guarantee that the UKIP would have more members in the Parliament than the current 1 member. The UKIP have to work harder to get more people interested in following them to the point of voting for them when it really counts in elections.

Indonesia executes drug smugglers

Two Australian men were among those who were executed by Indonesia this week. Of the others, there was one from Brazil who was schizophrenic and did not even know that he was to be executed.

I am not necessarily against the death penalty, at least in the most horrific of circumstances. I  certainly believe that someone like the backpacker murderer should have been sentenced to death. However, when it comes to two men managing to rehabilitate themselves I feel a little differently. That rehabilitation should have been recognized by the Indonesian president the Joke Widodo.

Yet this is not what is on my mind regarding these executions. I think what is really on my mind is the manner in which the executions were carried out, as well as the fact that Christians were singled out for execution. It bothers me that the posts to which the prisoners were to be tied were in fact crucifixes. The men who were executed had their arms stretched out, just like Jesus had his arms stretched out on a cross.  It seems to me that the crosses used for the executions were symbolic in some way.

Indonesia is a Muslim nation. One of the two men, Andrew Chan became a Christian pastor during his time in the Bali jail where he had been held. The other man, Mayuran Sukamaran became an artist and completed a fine arts degree. He was helping other prisoners with art classes. Chan on the other hand was leading prisoners in prayer and Bible study. It is this last piece of information that might have sealed Chan’s fate, because in a Muslim country it is not permitted to preach Christianity, let alone convert to being Christian.

Sukamaran and Chan had spent 10 years helping other prisoners turn their lives around. It is very sad that this fact did not see them get clemency. It is as if Widodo was in a hurry to execute these Christian prisoners not just because they were drug smugglers who had been caught, but because they were also Christian. If what I am thinking is verified in the future, then I will know for certain that Indonesia continues to pose a threat to Australia’s existence as a Christian nation.

To my mind those executions should not have been carried out, especially when the prisoners had turned their lives around to the point that they were helping Indonesian prisoners to reform.

I note here that Widodo proved himself to be a hypocrite because he was busy asking for mercy for Indonesian prisoners whilst at the same time remaining hard of heart against those Australian men.