All entries for April 2005

April 12, 2005

Who To Vote For? Part 2

There are always more issues. Why can't the world run smoothly?

  • Immigration/Asylum
    Daughter of a white, English speaking immigrant. Worried about racism. Studies history. Passionate dislike of the Far Right. Wants to see Nick Griffin thrown into the lake at Lakeside for being a twat.

Oh boy…

This one is a minefield and a half and so relevant, only the other day the papers (some of them) were full of the UNHCRs request that Howard stop inflaming the situation over immigrants. He himself was crap at dealing with them when he was Home Secretary, so why does anyone give this man the time of day on this issue?

Because we're ill-informed. How many of the world's refugees does Britain take? For some reason many people here think it's somewhere in the region of 24%. Europe as a whole takes 3%. Misinformation spread by boderline racist tabloids has been stolen by the Tories, scared of the BNP stealing votes. When you pander to racists you have no credibilty. Labour may not be perfect but it's got to be better than the obnoxious Tory policies.

It's all bound up in other issues (aren't they all) but immigrants are needed and stopping them will hurt our economy more than we realise. I'm not advocating unlimited immigration but I think a sensible debate (unlikely) is needed to address the legitimate concerns. However as things stand all that's being addressed is the latent racism of the minorty in this country.

On this issue… Labour, Lib Dems, Monster Raving Loonies anyone except the Conservatives, the BNP and the other Right wing nutters.

  • Europe
    Pro-European but with reservations about how the EU is run. Likes the Euro.

Remember the good old days when this is what we argued about? I'm pro-European but I haven't alawys been. I used to be quite anti-Euro but I've decided I'd like it, maybe not now but soon, preferably after the teething problems are sorted. We can complain all we want about Europe but we can't affect it from the outside, better to be in and have a say. It's not really a major issue this time round but I would still like to say I would give an ear to any party prepared to reform the Common Agricultural Policy.

On this issue… Labour.

  • Transport
    Pro-public transport and car pooling. Anti-privatisation of services. Wants to see railways re-nationalised though isn't sure of the practicalities of this.

Oi, Blair, stop privatising stuff. Yeah, yeah, call it part-privatisation if you like, do I look stupid (don't answer that). Didn't the Tory cock-up of the trains teach you anything? Public transport should be publically owned and maintained to good standards not cheapest bidder levels. Labour want to centralise the trains. Good. If it wasn't such an expensive bugger I'd be all in favour of renationalisation but I think that will have to wait for now.

The Conseratives are apparently focusing on Labour's 'war against motorists'. You make it sound like a bad thing. We need fewer cars on the road. More people on buses, bikes and in car pools. If more people use them, there'll be more money and they'll improve. Basically loads of things the Lib Dems are promising.

On this issue… Lib Dems or anyone who will get Stagecoach to be helpful just for once.

  • Education
    State school educated, student at Warwick (natch). Thinks more should be done in state schools. Anti-top up fees. Not keen on these new academies and faith schools, though willing to give the reasonable ones the benefit of the doubt for now. Pro-sport in schools and thinks there should less assessment and obsession with league tables, and fewer exams for younger kids. Would have liked to have had Jamie Oliver as school cook. Doesn't think the exams are "getting easier". Thinks As Levels need reforming.

No top-up fees, we need a graduate tax based on income. And it should be retrospective. It smacks of hipocracy to see these grant recipients who got nice free degrees pontificating about top-up fees. The illiteracy problem needs sorting, the exams are clearly in need of reform, if only to stop the constant denigration of pupils achievements by the press and opposition (so my AAAAD at A level was achieved through easier exams Mr Daily Mail? Bite me, I'm smarter than you are). None of the parties are promising me enough in this area. The Lib Dems have some good ideas but there isn't quite enough there to convince me that they can achieve what they promise. Everyone else is flapping around as usual. Typical.

On this issue… Lib Dems but no one gets higher than a C grade here. Now where's your homework?

  • Pensions/Families/Equal Rights

I feel like these don't affect me. I know they do but it's so hard to get passionate about them at my age. Sorry, politics is a big matter and I can't cover it all without some issues getting left behind. In general more pension (achievable through cough higher taxes cough some method) and more paternity leave and provisions to proctect the jobs of parents who take it. And equality please. But that's a whole other argument for which there is not time here.

On these issues… I'll admit, on the first two I haven't read enough to judge, but on equality anyone but the Tories who are getting too Righty for my liking.

  • Constitutional Reform

Here's an idea. The second chamber, i.e. the new House Of Lords, now that it's being purged of its anachronisms, sorry, hereditary peers, should be chosen on election day. By Proportional Representation. But with the additional option of voting for specific independents. There could be a register you can join and people can vote for you by name or for a party which then picks its people. Sure it won't be a simple process but it could work.

  • Northern Ireland

After the events of the end of last year where a perfect chance to end it all was blown away (pardon the phrasing) by the Unionists refusal to back down in any way, I am really quite exasperated by the lot of them. Sinn Fein have to condemn the IRA when they do illegal stuff which can't even be qualified as 'struggling against the British oppressor', the Ulster Unionists have to try and reach out to the Catholics and calm the more hystrerical Unionists, the SDP has to get vocal and Ian Paisely should just fuck off right now and stop being a twat. I really dislike that man.

As for the Westminster parties… Labour or Lib Dems, the Tories don't know how to deal with the Northern Irish situation and never have done.

Coming soon... more ranting!


Who To Vote For? Part 1

Oh joy [sarcasm] a general election is called and the campaigning 'starts', as if it hasn't been going on for months anyway. Unfortunately this is bringing all my latent political tendencies to the surface. Why oh why can't I have the sweet indifference of my 18 year old brother who, if he votes at all, will vote Labour in a safe Tory seat purely because his mother (my mother…) will tell him to. I don't want to care but I do. I'm the one whose ability to go off on one about politics brought about the football team's tour ban on discussing politics.

So who to vote for? This is not an easy question in the slightest. I guess the only way is to look at the issues and these have been helpfully (mmm) soundbited (new verb) into the following categories:

  • Health
  • Crime
  • Tax/Economy
  • Immigration/Asylum
  • Europe
  • Transport
  • Education
  • Pensions/Families/Equal Rights
  • Constitutional Reform
  • Northern Ireland
  • War On Terror/Iraq
  • Local Issues

I'm not going to blog them all in detail but I think if I put down my thoughts on each here then I can get across why I will vote the way I will (probably) vote.

In the name of vested interest and all that, this is who you're dealing with.

Holly Cruise, 20.

  • Health
    Owes life to NHS after severe illness at birth. Mother recently successfully treated in hospital. Shortsighted, on perscription drugs for migraines and needs chiropractic stuff to correct problem with legs. Also prone to getting horribly mangled whilst playing football.

Ok, so choice is apparently the word here. Labour are promising you will be able to choose between several hospitals for treatment and the Tories are planning to allow more public money to be spent on private healthcare.

Mmm, surely I'm not the only person to wonder if maybe instead of offering choice the parties should consider the possiblity of making all hospitals good? I have no desire to see any more public money going to the private sector as the outsourcing of auxiliary services has done quite a lot of damage to the NHS. I think at heart I am too much of a fan of the NHS to ever go with Tories on this. They want rid of it, there are no two ways about it. The problem here is we don't spend enough on it, in Europe they spend way more of their GDP on healthcare than we do. But then again that would require tax rises and, as we all know, this country is far too selfish to consider that.

I've always been a Lib Dem over health. They are the only ones to consistantly tell me what I want to hear. They think this choice obsession is silly and I can only agree.

As an aside I don't think MRSA should be such an election issue. It has developed through our whingy culture where everyone wants antibiotics for everything. You've got a cold! Stay in bed for three days with Tricia on the TV. Ok, so cleaner conditions in hospitals will help the issue but these have been outsourced the lowest bidder (oh yeah, that's gonna be quality) and so we suffer.

On this issue then… Lib Dem

  • Crime
    Never suffered crime personally but knows people who have.

Well slap my thigh and call me a woolly minded liberal but wouldn't it better if we didn't stick absolutely everyone in jail. Just a suggestion.

Typically the Conservatives think this is a good idea and as we've all seen the government isn't adverse to nice bouts of tabloid pleasing sensationalism by on-the-spot fines and all that. But does it work? Does it hell!

Root causes citziens, root causes. Why is there crime? Why do people rob? Why is there more violent crime? More drug gangs? No one wants to answer these questions and therefore we are hurting milions of victims and criminals by turning a blind eye and hoping incarceration is the key. Most of the time it isn't, it's just a learning ground for petty criminals to become real problems. Although they aren't perfect I do think ASBOs are, in theory, a good idea, giving troublemakers a chance to avoid the devastation of jail without making the victims feel like nothing is being done.

Quick message to Labour and Tories- Leave cannabis as class C. I do not use it myself but it's hardly a major danger to society. Making it class B won't stop those who will use it, it'll merely criminalise a, usually young, generation who will be harmed for life by having a criminal record. Make it legal. Publish health warnings (I have the same feelings about E and mushrooms and no I haven't taken those either). It's apparently losing it 'coolness' since it was downgraded. Illegality can be enticing for kids.

On this issue… as things stand Labour although they have to stop listening to the Sun and the Daily Mail.

  • Tax/Economy
    Doesn't earn enough money to pay tax though the Inland Revenue need reminding of this from time to time. Would like to believe in resonsible capitalism but doesn't think there are many of those in existance. Socialist tendencies would prefer higher tax bands for the rich.

People complain about stealth taxes but if we accepted a fairer form of income tax then we wouldn't have so many. But the dream of a 50% band for the highest earners is, no doubt, in vain, such is the selfish nature of society (damn you, 1980s). No one, and I mean no one, needs 47087589 sports cars, 43782849 luxury villas and 2391191 gold Cartier watches. But we all need a health service, a police force and the like. If only people would realise that this has to be paid for.

Gordon Brown is a good Chancellor (and would make a good PM, hint hint) and I wouldn't want to hand over power to Letwin and his secret, hidden, Flight-y public spending cuts. This is what the Tories are, cutters. And I won't have it. Ok, so everyone else is planning cuts, but theirs are less biting and seem to involve more restructuring rather than simply cutting money and cutting taxes. We are quite lightly taxed in comparison with much of Europe and I think that's fine. I may not pay tax at the moment (apart from NI contributions) but I'll be happy to when I have to.

On this issue… Labour, I just don't feel the Lib Dems have enough grasp of the economics yet, though I would prefer more direct tax on those who can afford it (though getting them to pay and not hide all their money offshore would be a bitch).

Coming soon, asylum, Northern Ireland, terrorism and cheese.

I'll blog a funny when I can bring myself to laugh.


April 09, 2005

Friday Night

I don't normally blog about my nights out and the boring minutae of such events but last night was even more surreal than usual so I'm having my moment of dull personal blogging. Feel free to skip this.

I must first qualify all of this by informing you citizens that at 4.30pm yesterday I was sent home from work for being incoherent and acting weirdly. I then broke my promise to get some sleep...

Everyone in Leam student community will, at some time, have been on a bus with everyone else. Hence when you get on a bus and see someone you recognise chances are they are not some romantic conquest you'd rather forget or that scary busker who only sings covers of the Kinks, but another fee paying drone on the wheel of ed-oo-kay-shun. So naturally when I got on the bus last night and saw a vaguely familiar looking girl, I didn't wonder too much. After all she was wearing a Warwick Boat Club jacket, looked about my age and was heading towards campus so naturally I assumed student. It never occurred to me until afterwards that Warwick Boat Club does not necessarily mean Warwick University Boat Club.

Anyway we flickered with vague recognition and went back to what we were doing, me listening to my mp3, her chatting to a bloke. Then I got a text. For some reason my phone spent all of yesterday refusing to take calls from Niamh and sending her phone calls straight to answer machine meaning I got 4328781 texts from my answerphone asking me to save it from her high-pitched exclamations of joy, pain, humour, ennui and calm (Niamh has one tone of voice- HYPER!?!).

So I decided to call her back. And the second I opened my gob the girl on the bus stared at me.

Hang up. She stops talking to the bloke and looks at me before asking me a question I get sometimes; "You play football, don't you?". I can't lie. "Yes, I do". Then the conversation went weird.

Her "Yes, I remember, we beat you." They beat us? Who? Warwick Boat Club? I have no recollection of ever playing a bunch of pirates. She continues, "It was 11–2".
Me "Huh? You beat us… sounds about right, but who are you?"
Her "Oxford seconds."

Aha. Yeah, they beat us. It was 11–0, not 11–2. I told her her memory was more generous than her team. In fact I then realised how I knew her, she was the winger who put a goal in direct from a corner. Now I know it's a small world. And I realised Warwick Boat Club was the boat club from Warwick town (remember that place?).

So we had a chat about football. Hopefully she'll email me the photos from the game that the Oxford girls took. But it was weird, I managed to get wonderfully complimented and insulted (in a funny way) during this conversation.

Compliment "I know you lost 11–0, but we still thoughht you were a good keeper, you might be good enough to play for our firsts".
Well damn, if only I'd got into Oxford. Or even tried. Lazy Cruise.
Hilarious Insult (though it's not really insulting)
Me "Hang on, you didn't speak to me until you heard me on the phone. You didn't recognise me until you heard my voice, did you?"
Her "I wasn't sure until I heard your voice but I'd remember that. You were quite loud when we played you. We all thought you had Tourettes."

For the record I don't but every one of my mates who I have related this story to pissed themselves with laughter at that statement. Possibly because it's almost true.

So there you go, that was my evening as a sporting superstar, getting recognised in public. And all that remains to be said is this…

Carter, you may have lost your blog (bad thing) but you still played 'Atomic' last night and that's my favourite Blondie song. I didn't even request it but I still got a shout out. And you played the Buzzcocks. And the Undertones. That was very cool. But best of all was when you played 'YMCA' for all the delegates from the YMCA conference Warwick is hosting. Bet they loved that.

April 08, 2005

Bloggers On Holiday

When I get bored I doodle. This is a doodle that went further than expected. Apologies if you're not there but it is based on the five blogs I was on immediately before I got bored of the internet and started drawing…

April 05, 2005

See My Fanclub? That's Your Parents

Some skills I have which really can't go on the CV.

Looking Busy
Yeah, I'm working. Course I am. I am clearly staring intently at something, the first major sign of concentration. And I'm wearing glasses. Everyone knows defective eyes come on the same gene as the Really Hard Worker gene. And look, I didn't hear you call my name (possibly because I'm called Holly not Oi You). So I was so wrapped up in my work that it was too much even for you to drag me away first time.

What do you mean it looks like Spider Solitaire to you? Weirdo!

Pub Quiz Brain
No I can't remember your name. I've only been introduced to you 43781975 times so it hasn't sunk in yet. And no, I have no idea what his phone number is. He told me three times and wrote it down but I can't recall it. Or where the paper is. And what do you mean 'was I drinking last night?' I have no idea. I can't remember what I did this morning never mind a whole sleep ago.

The capital of Ecuador? Quito. Shortest reigning English monarch? Lady Jane Grey (nine days). Who won the 1938 World Cup? Italy.

I'd remember the other stuff but look at all the important information I am storing. Honestly, some people.

Car Theft
Look, I just so happen to know how to break into and steal a car. Of course I've never done so. I just know alright? Don't ask, it's a long story. I'm serious, it's just something I know. Where did I find out? Oh here and there? Nowhere serious. Yeah? Ok, it's just trivia for my Pub Quiz Brain. Right? Alright, so just leave it.

Karoshi
Japanese word meaning 'death from overwork' you say? Work a seven day week you say? No overtime you say? Start with a twelve hour day you say? Why can't I just say no.

Collapses in tired heap

Parental Fan Club
"Why hello Mr and Mrs [insert name of friend here], I'm Holly, I'm [insert name of friend here]'s friend."

Mere minutes later aforementioned parents are mine, lured into my world of self depracting charm, intellectual (but not too intellectual) one liners and references to things they find interesting ("Dutch football? Ah my cousin is married to a Dutchman who supports Willem II. Yes they are a bit crap compared to your team").

Stand up straight but not too tall. Fiddle with my glasses because people who wear glasses are calm, measured individuals who don't encourage people's children to get wasted, fall over and generally act the fool.

See that putty in my hand? That's your parents, that is.


April 04, 2005

Slumming It

Just to recap, I've had a crap week but the sheer volume of crap things that have happened/I have done and am now regretting is such that I am mentally incapable of giving each individual reason the time and attention it needs to really chew away at my soul. Therefore I have become incapable of worrying. Like when you're in a bread factory and you smell all the bread and after a while you can't smell it anymore because it's overwhelming. So I'm actually quite chuffed. Why?

Cos I'm slumming it!

Yeah!

Reason no.3 to be annoyed was that on Friday my wallet went missing in a suspected pickpocketing that I can't actually prove. So technically it wasd 'lost', though all this means is I can't get a free new Union/Uni card.

But here is what I lost:

  • 3 bank cards. I don't normally carry this many but it was rent day so money had to be shifted around like some intriguing Swiss banker in some international heist novel.
  • My student card and buspass. Mmm, hence why I'm already down £15 having bought a new one today. And I was doing so well with not having lost it/eaten it/washed it in my trousers.
  • Driver's license. I will never see that again. The picture on it is surely of someone else.
  • £10. Now I'll never be able to afford British Sea Power's new album.
  • Rock climbing card. Haven't seen since summer anyway.
  • The wallet itself. I liked that wallet.

So I'm slumming it. Already £50 in debt to other (lovely) people, I've been ignoring my excessive impulses. No amazon.co.uk slurges. No tubs of expensive icecream. No limousines into work. No Dolce and Gabbana tea towels. I've had to let Jeeves go!

But it's strangely fun. I think I can see now why my brother lives beyond his means all the time. Will I get enough money for the busfare home and a toasty to ease my grumbling stomach? Can a toasty give enough energy to fuel a 10 mile walk to Leam?

I've already had to mend my broken shoes with the last of the house cellotape. When all three of my belts snapped simultaneously a minute later I was forced to improvise using the most stubborn, sticky substance I could find which turned out to be marmalade (non-bitty). I knew then that everything was against me, but I was winning. When the battery died in Boz's camera and deprived me of my planned evening of taking photos of the skirting boards in the house, I got all nineteenth century and drew the bastards.

So far in the cold dark night, after I was unable to pay the coin-operated electricity meter, I have found distraction by lighting a small candle and translating Kant's 'Critique Of Pure Reason' into chav. I hope this way to educate the masses, or at least confound them. Tonight I may finish in which case I will reward myself with a biro.

So if your troubles are too numerous to numerate, and your angst too angular to accentuate, don't despair. Enjoy the subtle decadence of having no money. No need to conform because you can't afford to. Each off your knee in front of the TV (whilst imaging you paid for the electricity to watch it). Don't shut the door when you go to the toilet (no lights so no one can see anyway). Don't tidy away your socks from the kitchen table.

Slumming it citizens. It means I'm better than you…


April 03, 2005

The Three People

This is for three people, each of whom knows who they are…

The First Person
You whinge at me and I whinge at you, and then we both apologise even though we don't need to. I don't think it would be the same without our little melodramas played out constantly in each other's ear. The only reason we do is because we know each other well enough to know that we don't mind. For all those things you do which I would do myself and for all those things I would never do in a million years.

So you're worried about your future. Don't. Just don't go too far away or I will have to hunt you down with a spoon. If the worst comes to the worst we'll be perennial students forever. You don't eat very much and I don't drink very much so we can afford the rent between us, and we can find ways to pay our fees, I know we can, even if we do have to sell your body.

Just stop trying to give your laptop a drink, ok? They don't like water.

The Second Person
Yeah, it's funny how our lives run concurrently like little disasters. I never thought I'd actually meet someone who could match me, gripe for gripe. Ok, you've got the slightly better excuse of being a nice guy, a gentleman, whereas I'm just a gobby slob with no common sense, but we self deprecate together so well. Trust me, things will get better and if you need someone to live with, pay the rent and clatter round your house at 3am form insomnia then I may need a home in the future.

Get your arse back here soon so we can argue about Radiohead some more.

The Third Person
How ironic that it took something so unexpected, and perfectly poised to ruin everything, to finally get us to open up. It's always been an unspoken agreement, I felt, that we would do anything for each other. Sadly until now I guess we've both been too stubborn to say it. I know you would stop if I was hurt by this but I'm not. I'm being myself as usual, unpredictable and moody. Sound familiar? I think the difference between us is that you don't try to hide your feelings when they are negative, I do. This is why I self destruct so quietly.

Tonight was the way things should be and will be. I've been an arse recently and I can see that, everyone can. But I know you understand why. I know you don't care and just want me to be happy. Things don't always happen as we expect them to.

And yes I am a hypocrit. But I won't listen to anyone but myself. Give me time. And just do things the way you think is right. It's the only way we can all win.

This entry is not designed to mean anything to those who aren't mentioned in it. Maybe I'll blog a funny soon. For now, I'm blogging what I've said because it needs to be recorded and accessible. Everyone deserves to be able to see the truth written down once in a while.


April 02, 2005

Today I Have Mostly Been…

… stalking Casey Leaver

Mwhahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

It's 3am, I'm in the kitchen on my own, the Bee Gees calender is looking at me funny and I'm wearing two pairs of trousers. My life could not possibly be more intense.


April 01, 2005

Lies All Lies I Tell You… Except The Bit About Prison

Follow-up to Coming Soon… from Hollyzone

The Fortress Of Reason And Impossible Logic?

I think I've managed to surpass my usual levels of inane crap with that one…

Don't drop the soap, don't drop the soap.

Hollyzone is back in business.


Coming Soon…

I was gonna write some huge, big sentimental entry to celebrate reaching 100 Zones but the actual 100th entry was one of the Prague diary ones, so bang goes that idea.

What I am going to do is announce a few changes to this blog, changes which have been a long time coming. These will come into effect tomorrow and I hope will revolutionise the way this blog is read, received and appreciated. It may not be to everyone's liking but trust me, you'll be getting used to it soon enough. And what are those changes?

  • It's no longer Hollyzone. Frankly that was never a good name, it was just a temporary name I came up with for a temporary email address about 3782507502 years ago which, unfortunately, stuck. And it was a temporary name for this blog which I never got round to changing. Now I will. As of tomorrow you will be reading The Fortress Of Reason And Impossible Logic. Catchy, huh?

  • No one cares about the football. I know that, you know that. I think the easiest thing is to get rid of all the footballing stuff and not mention it again. Seriously, who cares if I froze my arse off at Leicester Uni or Tyburn Aztecs? Also by freeing up this space I will reduce the number of blog entries I have which means I can celebrate having 100 zones fortresses of reason and impossible logic on the actual 100th entry. Woohoo!

  • More pictures of me. Let's face it, there really aren't enough and people have been crying out for them.

  • I will be declassifying a lot of private entries. Many of these refer to my time in prison where I sat my As Levels in 2002. These entries were written as therapy and as an attempt to make myself feel better about my reign of terror as Queen of the Showers. I still can't drop the soap without telling someone else to pick it up, something which happens even when, these days particularly, I shower alone. It will also explain why I occasionally go dead eyed and utter the words "You wouldn't know, you've never killed a man" with such authenticity.

  • I will be changing the colour scheme of my blog to 'glassdog' (go and look at it on your blog appearance page).

  • I will save time typing my entries by usin txt spk & abbrv wrds. U av bin warnd.

  • And finally I will blog every day, consistantly, without fail, without stopping, no matter whether I have something to say or not.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to The Fortress Of Reason And Impossible Logic. I hope you enjoy your stay.


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