These are some of my beliefs – what does that make me?

I welcome all views on this blog and like an argument or two. Only by talking things through with people who think differently can you gain other perspectives. That challenges our own views, forces one to think and helps one keep an open mind.

For myself I don’t label myself in any corner but seem to have a tendency towards left-wing philosophy. That comes from my strong belief in fairness, tolerance and justice. But I temper that with a strong belief in individuality, free speech (apart from hate speech and incitement to violence) and democracy (in one form or another).

I believe that a civilised system required excellent education, health care and social services; that there should be safety nets for the unfortunate and a compassionate structure to society.

I believe in an outward society and a global perspective. I am not in favour of free markets or huge inequality. Trickle down is a con. Tax cuts for the rich is immoral. I want bridges, not walls.

I want a global approach to deal with the most pressing issue of all – the protection of nature and conservation of species. I want central regulation of pollution and ecological destruction. I want universal human rights and a universal approach to taxation. I want a progressive taxation system and an end to war, poverty and nations.

On a national level I want nationalisation of essential services – NHS, Education, Transport, Energy, Police, Army, Prisons and Post. I don’t want these institutions being run for profit for the rich.

I want high taxation and excellent public services and quality of life – like I have experienced in Scandinavia. I support democratic socialism as providing a more equal society with a great quality of life for all people.

Yes I can see the dangers of  a global regulation system but I believe we can build in safeguards to prevent dictatorships and corruption. Only a global system can address global issues such as the multinationals (which I believe are running roughshod over the world playing one country off against another), tax evasion, starvation, drought. climate change, war, mass migration, ecological disaster, overpopulation, deforestation, overfishing, pollution and poverty. It seems imperative to me that these are addressed.

I believe we have the means to provide all people with a good standard of life and it is not right for a tiny number to live in ridiculous opulence while half the world starves. That is immoral.

I am a tolerant Antitheist who believes all religion is manmade, divisive, the cause of trouble, and a poor, ambiguous way of establishing morals. We have far better ways of establishing a clear morality than by reference to archaic writings from thousands of years ago laced with abhorrent cultural baggage. But I believe faith is a personal thing and shouldn’t be imposed.

I strongly oppose fascism, racism, white supremacy and misogyny.

I put my faith in the idealism of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

I believe in One People – One Planet.

I also believe that if something hasn’t worked in the past that means you have to try harder, do it better and keep on until you get it right. We learn from mistakes.

I do not align myself with any political party or movement but I broadly support Corbyn and, to a lesser extent, the Democrats.

I think Brexit is an absolute disaster and Trump is even worse.

I am an optimistic idealist with pragmatic, problem solving skills.

I’ll live with whatever that makes me and listen to any argument that anybody wishes to put forward. I like to clarify my own thinking and have been known to change my mind.

18 thoughts on “These are some of my beliefs – what does that make me?

  1. Required Education=Mandatory Schooling…requires an arbiter to decide what is forced to be learned…Fascism
    Not in favor of free markets=not in favor of individuals to engage in voluntary transactions of goods, services, labor…Fascism
    Article 29, section 3 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights: “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations“…An unelected, arbitrary, global entity that purports to setting the rules…Fascism
    Lots of warm and fuzzy beliefs here that lean autocratic.

    1. Jack – you certainly see fascism everywhere. But I don’t at all.
      I was a secondary Headteacher in the UK in a State School. We had a great balanced curriculum that was geared towards child centred education, broad and balanced provision, creativity and thinking and questioning. Nothing at all like fascism. Now kids being taught at home by parents who are fundamentalists or extreme political thinkers – there’s fascism at work, there’s indoctrination and child abuse.
      I am not in favour of a free market in which the rich and powerful have privilege and effectively control everybody else. That is fascism.
      The UN is not perfect by any means. I accept that. It certainly needs to be democratic and accountable to prevent the type of corruption and misuse of power we see in national governments including the UK and USA. But its charter of Human Rights is probably the best document produced by man and an ideal to work towards. It is the only international body that has any chance of dealing with the global issues I listed and if they are not dealt with then we are all in trouble and so is nature. The UN is certainly not a fascist organisation. At present it is not functioning well and is largely a tool of powerful countries. I believe it requires overhauling and putting right.

      1. Should parents who aren’t “fundamentalists” or “extreme political thinkers” have the option to entertain an alternative to State mandated schooling? Who gets to make that moral judgment?
        Obviously, the “free market” you describe is not a free market.
        I don’t see the UN as much more than a P.R. firm at this point…however, the sister organizations, World Bank and IMF, have a history of slimy deals, corruption and coercion.

      2. Jack – you highlight a difficult issue. Personally I do not like home education. It opens up children to abuse. A good State school provides a wide curriculum and a great informal curriculum. I like education to be properly organised, monitored and overseen with a detailed set of rules. Children educated at home often miss out on all manner of social interactions.
        I do not like free markets.
        At this present time the UN is not too effective. It is too slow and ponderous. But at least it is there and it does have some impact.
        I’m not sure any institution is free of sleaze. The challenge is to create a system that is democratic, highly accountable and open. I think that can be done.

    1. Hi Colette – good to hear from you.
      I’d be interested to hear what it is that you don’t agree with and why!
      It seems to me that the only functions of a blog like this is complete wholehearted communication, honest talking and full and honest exchange of ideas.

      1. Well, I am not a Corbynite, although I like my own Labour MP whom I find to be conscientious and similar minded to me. Corbyn is a communist.

        I don’t think that history has proved that nationalising services has made them particularly good. Rather, it seems to encourage mediocrity.

        And I do not see Brexit as a ‘disaster’ (although Trump definitely is).
        Most people think (are indoctrinated into believing) that Brexit is about immigration. It isn’t (although admittedly we do need to keep our immigration in line with what we can reasonable provide in housing, infrastructure and services). Most people that I know support Brexit are increasingly concerned about the power of the EU. Brussels oversees what is fast becoming an economic and political stranglehold over its member states. The vote to bring into force, a European Army right after Britain invoked article 50, (a move Britain always opposed) is proof of the power that the EU wants to exert. The European Union has never been and was never intended as a free trade pact for exchange of goods and services. It is a political force that plays on the arena of superpower control. Nothing has ever come out of those scenarios that is good. Indeed, Civilisation collapse seems to be the only end result of such forces.

        You did ask!

      2. You might not like Russell Brand, but he is smarter than most people estimate. He interviewed Jacques Peretti recently on the ‘Terrifying Truth of Corporate Power,’ and I think a few people might find it rather eye opening. I actually already knew much of what is said here…

      3. Thanks for that Colette. I appreciate you taking the trouble. It is always good to hear what people think.
        I don’t think Corbyn is a communist though – more a committed socialist I believe. I like his policies very much.
        I also agree that nationalised services have not always worked as well as they might. I believe there are a number of reasons for this – all of which can be easily put right:
        a. They were underfunded
        b. They were resistant to change and too conservative
        c. They did not use modern management systems to set targets and motivate staff
        I don’t have a problem with the EU having more power. It is a natural consequence. I do have problems with its lack of democracy and right-wing orientation. It is in need of an overhaul. But, to me, it is certainly the lesser of two evils. I think leaving will reduce our power and leave us a lot poorer. As for immigration and refugees – I’ve got mixed feelings on that and will do a post on it shortly.
        Again – thanks for expressing your views.

      4. I do think Russell is a bit of a prat but you are right, he is intelligent and I enjoyed reading his book – Revolution.
        Thanks for putting the link up. It’s good.

  2. Very interesting and thought provoking. Brave to say how you feel as people will always be ready to put you in a certain group. Usually to demonise and tell you that you are wrong. I have some similar beliefs. Great changes need to take place but I do not think they are likely to occur. We are a very passive society and as such fear to stand up and make change occur. We may get different leaders who say things in a different way but no real change actually happens. A Spartan was once asked about the slaves they have and the conflict of the ideas of what freedom is. He replied that the weak suffer what they must. I think that this still applies and is unlikely to change.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. You are welcome. Kind of you to say. I don’t mind hearing from opposing views. Only by talking honestly can we all understand each other and appreciate why we think the way we do so I don’t think there is anything to lose by talking honestly.
      You are right in that things do not change much. But I do think there are clear differences and it does make tangible improvements.

  3. I think socialism is a good thing and I abhor its extreme form – communism. Nationalization can work well when care is taken when hiring directors + a watchdog to keep these industries/companies on their toes. A world government might be fraught with danger, but I think humanity needs it more now than ever before. The real danger is allowing these powerful multinationals to continue to set the agenda that ignores climate change and staggering gap between the rich and the poor. I believe that a universal guaranteed income would put an end to poverty and homelessness. Good post, Opher!

  4. It all sounds so perfect Opher, but it will never happen. Colette is so right, and you and I have argued over Brexit and you always seem to believe that those, myself included, only voted for Brexit because of all the Immigrants allowed in, wanting stricter Border controls, (nothing wrong with that). That is not the truth, take a look at Cornwall, the Fishing industry ruined by the EU – all those whose livelihood depends on the fish they catch have been so badly treated by the EU, all the fish they have had to throw back because of damn stupid EU rules. I am glad we are out of the EU, Merkel is going to the Polls again before Christmas, she cared about all the immigrants didn’t she!! She is now offering them money to go home, and she boasted in no uncertain terms how she made sure Germany got all the Doctors/Lawyers/Teachers etc while the rest of Europe – UK/Ireland/Greece etc got “the shit”. Thats the EU!! As for Corbyn, please Opher are you the only one that does not accept he is a Communist, like that dangerous MacDonnell.

    You mentioned the NHS, I sat for over an hour in a Hospital Ward today having Infusion, as I looked around on one side I had an alcoholic whose hands were shaking so badly and heavy smoker, who left the ward to go and have a smoke, and probably a drink – he stunk. he was being treated so well but you could see he was just wasting NHS money. He asked for coffees, mince pie and jelly with icecream and he got it, the NHS is not there to pamper these people. When I would go to my Heart Failure clinic, there were patients there with serious heart problems, still smoking. Women have breast implants on the NHS. I had to have scans a few weeks ago, they lied to me about them, my own Doctor now suddenly left, the internal I had was done by a trainee, I was so annoyed. I was told the scans were for my left leg, I had nothing wrong with my left leg, (I asked why was I having a scan for my leg?) my Doctor had told me it was regarding my left kidney. In fact it was not for any of that. I had to see a Consultant Oncologist, shocked to hear the scan showed a tumour and thats why I was seeing the Consultant urgently, I knew nothing about that, the Consultant was annoyed and wrote to the Practice that I had not been told the truth. Imagine my shock when I was told the word “Cancer”, because it looked like that I was told. They did a biopsy and I waited well over a week for the result, benign thank God. But the Consultant wanted to do “an emergency op” for something else that was not causing any problems to me, I said NO. Colchester Hospital where I would have to go is fourth in the Country for “the worst hospitals”, millions has been spent on improving the buildings, money wasted. I have as well, much to my shock, been told by another Consultant I have Chronic left kidney failure, my own Dr only told me I was not drinking enough water. oh not because of all the drugs I have been told I need to take but because I would take “Nurofen” tablets now and again for my Osteoarthritis pain. The NHS is wasting money, far too many who use the NHS are wasting the money. What we need is to have Insurance to pay for our treatment, stop the amount of tax (those that pay tax), that we have taken from us for the NHS let us pay for what we need. You would then see the “wasters disappear. I am on so many drugs, far too many I don’t pay for my prescriptions because I have life threatening illnesses, and I am grateful for that and the treatment I am having, but I don’t think all the drugs that cost so much are necessary. I have a Cousin who retired from Nursing some time ago, she started Nursing aged 18, she is the same age as me, when she retired (as a Sister) she told me the ones who wasted most of the NHS money was the staff! The British Taxpayers are pouring money into the NHS and it still is not enough, Nationalising the NHS will not work. The NHS must rid themselves of all those that are just wasting their time and our money, if they had to pay it would end.

    I enjoyed reading all you had to say. Sorry I have prattled on too much.

    1. Wow Anna. You have been through the mill haven’t you. I’m glad that it was benign. That’s good news.
      But we really do not want to go down the line of privatisation like America where the rich get treatment and the poor don’t. It costs five times the amount there. I’ve experienced it and it’s terrible.

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