Saturday, 24 January 2009

BBC & DEC Appeal

The decision by the BBC not to air the DEC appeal to raise funds for the people of Gaza is beyond comprehension.

The 'explanation' from the BBC is absurd in my opinion.

Here's an extract:

"This is because Gaza remains a major ongoing news story, in which humanitarian issues - the suffering and distress of civilians and combatants on both sides of the conflict, the debate about who is responsible for causing it and what should be done about it - are both at the heart of the story and contentious." Mark Thompson, BBC

I have highlighted one phrase, because I think we all know one thing for sure. The thousands of innocent children who are hungry, injured and traumatised because of this attack on Gaza are certainly not responsible for it. They are waiting for the humanitarian aid that will ease some of their suffering.

When it comes to delivering humanitarian aid, the charities involved to do not judge the rights and wrongs of the situation they are presented with. They alleviate suffering wherever they find it, whoever has caused it. They respond humanely to people in the most tragic of circumstances. By refusing to show the DEC appeal, it is the BBC that shows bias - by politicising an appeal which is purely and simply about helping people in desperate need.

On the campaign trail

After a day out campaigning in Cumbernauld today, I am posting a photograph of me campaigning in....Kilsyth!

Last Saturday, we took to the streets of Kilsyth to hand out 'warm winter' leaflets I put together with information on how to get help to pay those ever-increasing fuel bills. It was so COLD. As I stood shivering while talking to a 90 year old lady about what she may be entitled to, the irony was not lost on her. She said I should take my own advice on staying warm!

Also in the picture is my other half, Jamie, and local SNP activist Claire Fyvie (who was also our by-election candidate in the Kilsyth ward last year). It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since that by-election!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

We went to see Slumdog Millionaire earlier in the week. Don't click here if you are planning to see it.

I personally think the marketing of this film is slightly bizarre, because all the adverts I have seen describe it as a 'feel good' film. Well, it certainly didn't make me feel good. While watching it, I felt ashamed to be part of the human race because of the unspeakable things we do to each other.

It's not like I'm not aware of how bad the world can be - I work for a human rights organisation and spend a part of each day reading about the terrible things that people do to other human beings. But when they are brought to life in such a stark way, it still shocks.

I suspected that the plot of Slumdog Millionaire may be darker than advertised, but I was taken aback at how shocking some scenes were. I don't want to give away anything here, just in case anyone reading plans to go see it.

And despite my description, I think people should absolutely see this film. It was an amazing film. The acting - especially from the young boys - is fantastic. The story is quite clever, with various twists and turns. Plus, it really hits you hard and makes you reflect on your own life, and on the state of the world around you.

Take some tissues for the tears, but go see this film.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

destiNation - Europe!

The latest issue of destiNation has now been published, and this month has a European flavour - with three of the SNP's candidates for the European Parliament elections in June writing articles for the pro-independence website.

Ian Hudghton MEP (SNP President), Anne McLaughlin (AKA Indygal) and Dr Duncan Ross (SNP National Secretary) have all written for this month's destiNation on EU-related topics.

There are also articles from destiNation regulars - Stephen Bowman, Patrick Grady and Jamie Hepburn.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Happy New Year?

It's about time I posted my first message of 2009, and said 'Happy New Year!' to you all.

Although, I have actually been quite hesitant about saying HAPPY New Year to people, mainly because of the economic gloom that is taking hold. The year ahead will no doubt be tough for a lot of people, and there is a lot of unease and uncertainty in the air.

It's all people are talking about - on the news, sitting on the train, in queues in the supermarket...

Anyway, I didn't swing by to be miserable - just to check in and to wish everyone all the best for 2009.

I'll be back soon, hopefully with something more coherent and interesting to say. You never know, it could happen one of these days ;o)