So I’ve been busy, busy, busy as usual and have once again neglected by blog. Shame on me.
Over the last month or so a few things have happened, I had my hospital appointment about this illness I’ve been having and that also turned up inconclusive so I have no idea what’s going on. Some more appointments in the future, some more samples and maybe they’ll eventually figure it out. A friend of mine suggested another possibility to the list – Fibromyalgia, which led me to look into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I exhibit more or less all the symptoms of both of them, so that’s something to look into as well I suppose.
Last Thursday I went up to Newbury as part of work to work as staff at the Multiplay iSeries LAN-gaming event i39. It was pretty awesome and I am absolutely knackered now. While I was there I was mostly in charge of the food ordering system but I managed to get a few games of Teeworlds in. I’d discovered Teeworlds at the event and it is by far one of the most polished open-source games I have seen. It’s a sort of 2D Quake 3 with Kirby-style characters and grappling hooks. The atmosphere at the event was really great and there were some great things going on. I managed to end up on the main stage during the pub quiz, having Jesus chanted at me by a few hundred people – a bit of a step up from the random yobs yelling at me from cars It was all great fun though, even for me as someone who isn’t particularly a massive gamer. I think I might have gotten a little bored if I hadn’t been working a lot of the time though, purely because I’m not much of a gamer, though the various exhibitors had lots of cool things to do as well. Sadly I managed to miss out on most of the freebies since I was busy working during much of the giveaways.
I’ve also been trying to take a more active role in our democracy recently. Just know Dru and I watched the debate of the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Commons live on the BBC parliament website while simultaneously following and contributing to the online commentary on twitter. I was saddened to see that our representatives decided that representing us during an important debate on an issue that effects thousands of people wasn’t important enough to bother showing up for. At points, we only had 10 or so MPs debating in there out of the 600 odd we have to represent us as a country. Unsurprisingly, it’s been pushed through to 2nd reading. Some of the MPs at the debate actually knew what they were talking about and some made good, reasons arguments from the pro-DEB Bill and against movement about pushing it back till after the election because of concerns about being given time to understand it and debate it properly. Now it will have about an hour or so tomorrow before it reaches the final stages before becoming law as I understand it.
As part of trying to be more involved I’ve been writing to my MP and contacting my local candidates for the election about their position on things. I’ve had a disappointing number of responses on the whole, some form-letters that while generally positive are vague enough to not really to commit to any affirmative action and also some good responses, such as the one from my local Lib Dem candidate about whole-heartedly agreeing with and supporting the Power2010 pledge, which I think contains some very important policies for overhauling our political system.
I think half the problem with the way politics work at the moment is down to a combination of ignorance and apathy. A lot of people don’t feel represented or feel their voices are otherwise unheard and so don’t bother to join the debate at all. Some people feel that any choice is a bad one and so abstain entirely. I’ve decided that it’s mistake to act like that. Democracy relies on participation and it’s each and every one of ours responsibility to participate, not only to make our own voices heard, but to let those people that represent us know what we think. Our representatives can hardly represent us if they don’t know what we want and so we need to make ourselves heard by engaging with them. People are disillusioned with MPs and parties because they feel they only serve their own interests and that of lobbyists but if we don’t make them aware of their responsibilities to us and our opinions, they have no voices to listen to by which to form their policies other than the lobbyists and what not that are left the only ones speaking.
To owe it to ourselves and each other to make public opinion heard otherwise we only have ourselves to blame when politicians become the mouthpieces of lobbyists and specific, minority interests that don’t reflect the overall public opinion.