My Politics

So I’ve decided to do a 180 on the discussing my politics openly mindset. If people don’t want to follow me or subscribe to my content because of my political views, then frankly they weren’t a worthwhile interaction to begin with. By all means, challenge my views, I honestly welcome the discussion.

As a primer, every version of a political compass I’ve ever done has brought me out as a left-leaning Libertarian, or more specifically juuuuust left of centre. I point-blank don’t subscribe to any particular political ideology, because any party that claims to have all the answers is just wrong. I flip my vote almost every time I’m asked, because my feelings towards the given options shift constantly.

Freedom of Speech: Honestly, the American way is the best here. The government should not be able to take any action against any speech that does not directly incite violence. Not “cause harm” because of hurt feelings, not “imply” something shady. If a clear line of delineation cannot be drawn between the words and the actions, the government should have zero power to enforce any anti-speech laws. Equally, while it could well be seen as a red flag to investigate a person further, “hate speech” should still be considered under the purview of free speech until such time as it crosses the line as stated above. As for companies choosing not to employ or do business with someone for things they’ve said? That’s tougher. Certainly, someone should not be able to lose their job for saying something legal, but distasteful. Meanwhile without getting all big-government on the issue, there’s really no policing a business doing a background check, discovering that you’ve said something deemed to not fit with their “values”, and not hiring you. The free market at work there, I’m afraid, because words do still have consequences, even if it’s just in the social square and not the legal one.

Religion: I’m an Agnostic, edging towards outright Atheism. I firmly believe in protecting everyone’s ability to believe whatever they want to so long as these beliefs do not directly inflict harm on others (again, actual tangible harm, not hurt feelings), however I do not agree that ones’ belief in a higher power should give them any greater protections against criticism than those of the common man. I hold freedom from religion as fundamentally more important than the freedom of religion, but I do not on the whole feel these views are opposed. Bottom line, live your life, don’t preach to me, and don’t expect me to follow your tenants. Religions should also be taxed the same as any other business.

Crime and Punishment: Prison is, despite the prevailing belief today, about punishment for the crime, and justice for the wronged party. If a prison sentence is not for life, then there should also be a push towards rehabilitation, though I do feel that a three-strikes system (for similar crimes, not unrelated ones) should be in play to have the proverbial key thrown away. Murder should never equal less than twenty-five years in prison, good behaviour be damned, and no amount of financial crime should ever equal the loss of a life. The defence of ones’ home and hearth should never be a crime, and significant mitigating circumstances should be considered in the event of murder in obvious self-defence. With all that said, the death penalty has never been a comfortable subject for me. Yes, if someone is going to be in prison for the rest of their natural life, then there’s absolutely an argument for their death in favour of the cost of keeping them alive to never be rehabilitated. But, and it’s a big but, the legal system does not always get things right, and I feel like the possibility of a wrongful conviction (of which there are over a thousand every year in the UK alone) is too high to guarantee guilt worthy of death. And in addition, and not to take a moralistic approach, if you kill a killer, you’re keeping the number of killers in the world the same.

Equality: Under the law everyone should be equal. This includes the rich, the well-connected, and the famous. If the law is not enforced equally then what possible reason does the average person have to follow it, ever? Equal pay for equal work is a given, so long as the colleagues are of a comparable skill and experience level. There’s no need to be mealy-mouthed about it; you know what equal means. This of course raises a difficult question of how women are paid and their roles retained during maternity leave, but I think the risk of this to a business can be easily mitigated by having contracts in place that the new mother will stay with the business for the same amount of time as she took off as leave upon her return. However, I do think that the government should be topping up maternity leave costs for the business; it’s not as though the money for their replacement comes out of thin air, and if the business is required to pay both sets of wages, it only seems fair that the business not be the sole stakeholder in this. Indeed, this is the biggest genuine reason I see for why a business may wish to hire a man over a woman, unlike the falsehood of businesses paying women less than men, which once maternity leave is factored in is so far from the truth as to be an absurdity. It goes without saying, but legal equality should obviously extend to everyone regardless of age, race, sex, sexuality, or disability.

Abortion: Nobody should have to justify an abortion. They should not be lauded as a good thing, but they should be accepted as a necessity. To pop back to the religion conversation, nobody’s religion should inform the medical decisions of a different person entirely, and goddamn it, that includes their own children. This is fairly cut and dry, but there is one aspect of parenthood on this topic that intersects nicely with family law that bears mentioning. In the UK, an identified father is “on the hook” for child support regardless of whether they wanted the child or not. However, an expectant mother can abort her child without the consent of the father. I would propose a middle-ground. Excepting rape or incest, abortion should require the consent of both parents. In turn, either parent should be able to declare their wish at this point in time to be emancipated from the child after birth, forever. Contact later down the line would result in a requirement to pay up child support up to date or whatnot. Yes, this steps somewhat on the “my body, my choice” mindset (though we don’t seem to have this attitude when it comes to, say, mandated vaccines he says only a little bit sarcastically), but this strikes me as the only way to truly even the playing field regarding inequality in parental disputes.

Vaccines: Honestly I put the dig in the last paragraph for shock value. I’m not an anti-vaxxer, I think everyone in a civilised society should be fully vaccinated against everything pressing for the local population, and I think that parents who endanger their children by skirting this deserve to have their children taken from them. Now, I do feel that there should be some stay of execution in this, specifically regarding the quick turnaround of the Coronavirus vaccines and the lack of long-term information (again, I’ve had mine, and I’m terrified of needles), as this is the only logical rationale I can see for being “anti-vax”. However, this mindset of vaccination regardless of consent does step on my sensibilities in terms of government overreach. We don’t enforce the flu vaccine, but the reasoning behind this would be the same. Specifically I’m left feeling that while I don’t like it, I do accept a need to protect the most amount of people possible. I do however reserve the right to come down hard on mandates if and when this entire moral panic turns out to be a cash grab because of the contracts in place with the various vaccine companies.

LGBT+: And now we run the risk of a proper hate mob with pitchforks and everything. Let’s start from the top by reiterating that in terms of legal protections, everyone is equal in my eyes. I don’t care where you stick it, or get stuck with it, it’s none of my business. I do stand with the position that the T in LGBT doesn’t belong, as the rest are sexualities, while the T is a gender identity. Quiet reiteration: I don’t think this means it is any less important, I just feel it’s a many eggs, one basket kind of thing, like adding racial or religious elements to the Pride flag, for instance. I don’t get what Queer is, and given the vast differences in definitions I’ve been given over the years, I don’t think you guys do either. Pansexuality is an absurdity, since it’s already covered: there are two sexes (yes there are also intersex people), and Bisexuality covers that off cleanly. In fact, the only argument I see for Pansexuality (bearing in mind that this implies you are attracted to people rather than genders, as though the attraction to people isn’t an integral part of sexuality to begin with for literally everyone) is if you consider Trans-Men and Trans-Women as third and fourth genders, which I personally do not.

Gender Identity: Splitting it off as I said I would begin by pointing out that biological sex is a real thing, and when it comes to medicine and allocation of public resources, what matters is your sex, not your gender. For the purposes of being a government, the government should not need to know, or care, what your gender is beyond your Mr or Ms (Mrs, Miss, etc) on your passport. Your gender identity matters in an interpersonal sense. By all means, and please for the love of god don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, use the bathroom that best suits you. Ask people to call you whatever gender (within reason, Zees and Zers need not apply) you are comfortable with, just be understanding in that if you talk like a duck and act like a duck, people are likely going to assume you’re a duck! The vast majority of this applies both if you are trans or you identify as non-binary. Oh and gendered language? Get the hell of people’s cases. Our language is gendered because we are gendered. It’s wonderful that you may have chosen to step outside of that, but that is not the responsibility of everyone else. As with all things, I’ll always do my best to be respectful, but by the same token you are expected to make allowances for mistakes, however regular they may be (and in a more tongue in cheek manner, if I’m having to put more work in than you are in your transition, then we may have worked out why we’re having a problem).

War: Let’s maybe avoid it as best as we can? We’ve got enough shit going on without also chucking bombs at one another. And Nukes? Christ, yes, it was a great proof of concept but let’s just get to disposing of them all now. In fact…

Green Energy: Nuclear. Goddamn. Power. It’s safe, it’s clean. Everyone’s holding onto the fear from Chernobyl despite the fact that that many errors simply do not happen now. Unlike other green options like solar, tidal, geothermal, and wind, we wouldn’t need to reduce our energy consumption and it would still be an immense breath of fresh air for the planet. Once that’s squared away we can start getting rid of petrol and diesel cars and replacing them with electric. Global supply chain problems? Not anymore. Oh no, the Middle-Eastern oil barons will lose money and influence? So sad.

Social Safety Net: Socialised healthcare, obviously, is an immense good. Yes, as with everything else, a private option should be available, so long as in some form profits are partially garnished to help with the costs for the larger system. Equally, while limited taxation would be ideal, either an airtight jobseekers package or a UBI system should absolutely be in place. This has the benefit of forcing companies to pay a fair wage to even get potential workers through the door, or run the risk of going out of business. “Too expensive”? Bless. I guess the CEO won’t be taking their multi-million pound bonus this year, then. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the money is there, they just don’t want to share. Which leads me into:

Wages: Minimum wage is a given, but is less of a requirement if UBI exists, since an employee can make their own informed decision as to whether a particular job is worth their blood, sweat, and tears. What should be airtight, however, is that no CEO should be allowed to earn more than, say, one hundred times the salary of the lowest paid employee (including bonuses, don’t try and skirt around me). This one started as a bit of a meme, but I’ve come to genuinely believe it. There are for sure places I’ve gone more conservative as I’ve gotten older, but if there’s one thing I believe in my heart of hearts it’s that being a billionaire should be considered a moral failing. To exist in that level of wealth disparity when there are homeless people, or people who cannot feed their families or turn the heating on in winter on your doorstep, is nothing short of evil. I don’t care how many new technologies or charities Bezos or Musk contribute to, with the net worth of both in the region of two hundred billion at time of writing, they represent the worst excesses of humanity.

Government: Big government is demonstrably a bad thing. It’s sluggish and slow to act, and it does not fairly represent its people. This gets worse and worse when you get into the larger coalitions of governments like the EU and the UN, where they almost entirely cater purely to the whims of society’s “elites”. A government’s only responsibility should be to protect and safeguard its citizens and to administratively maintain public services (which should always have a free-market option to prevent rarely-mentioned state monopoly). And to wrap up, here’s an opinion that doesn’t fit anywhere else: I think political parties should be legally beholden to their manifesto. If a party promises to do a thing during their term and do not, none of those people should be able to hold public office again in any capacity, nor to sit on any board or committee for any business, even to the point of being recused from their own. The same should be true in the event of corruption, fraud, or embezzlement. Let’s just… hey, this is crazy, hold our politicians to the same kinds of laws and expectations we hold of literally every one of their constituents, no?

Well, there I am. That’s me. Hate away. Or discuss. Either is fine.

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