And Now the News: Nobody knows and nobody cares.

It’s hard to watch the news these days. With every story, I have one of the following reactions: 1. That doesn’t affect me. 2. I can’t affect that. 3. That story is absolutely relevant to my situation but tells me nothing I wasn’t already completely aware of; thank you for dissecting my problems without solving them. Or 4. This story is irrelevant.

That doesn’t affect me. You have to be careful when assessing how much a story affects you. News items are like plants; you see the burst of greenery on the surface, but you have no idea how the far or in what direction the tendrils of roots are spreading. Last summer, there was an unprecedented heatwave in western Canada. I was in England, where it was probably raining. I noted the story, gave a brief thought to climate change, and moved on. Fast forward a few months, and a packet of pasta is now 40% more expensive. It turns out Western Canada is a major producer of Durham Wheat, the main ingredient in most dried pasta. Didn’t see that one coming.

Boris Johnson’s double U-turn (Egg-turn? Doughnut?) on banning Conversion Therapy is another example. I support the Ban, and was disgusted with his initial U-turn to drop the Bill. When the backlash forced him to re-introduce the bill, I noted, again, BoJo’s weak spine and fear of people shouting at him. But there was more to the story. The new Bill banning Conversion Therapy does not apply to Trans people. On the surface, this does not affect to me, a middle-aged Straight woman. However, I am concerned, and we should all be frightened, by the notion of a Government deciding that some people will get the protection of the law, and some won’t. The idea there is and acceptable type of repression. Protection must be for everyone, or no one. Because at some point, some government may decide some part of you is unacceptable and must changed, or ignored by the protection of the law.

I can’t affect that. They are trying to draw a line under the partygate scandal. Fines have been issued to many downing street staff. £50 right out of their pockets. It’s amazing how even in punishing the civil servants and government officials they still manage to insult the British people, who faced fines over £1000 for violating lockdown rules. There should a least have been a scale of fines according to how big the violation of trust. £50 for the intern who really just happened to be there is ok, but the ETHICS CHIEF who supplied the Karaoke machine should perhaps face a much stiffer penalty. Sadly, I can’t do anything about this, except to note that this is who the Tories are. This is their true nature. All I can do is remember this when voting in the future.

The war in Ukraine continues, far longer than anyone anticipated; I think even the Ukrainians are surprised at how long they’ve held out. But they are up against a superpower with a lot of military might and very few scruples. Zelensky describes what’s happened in Bucha as a genocide. That’s on top of the Russian bombing of hospitals, schools, churches, mosques and buildings clearly marked as sheltering children. Again, there is nothing I can do to affect the situation. But it is important that we see it, know it, and most importantly, remember what is happening. We couldn’t save their lives, we can at least remember their deaths.

That story is absolutely relevant to my situation but tells me nothing I wasn’t already completely aware of; thank you for dissecting my problems without solving them. This applies to literally every story about the cost-of-living crisis. I know energy prices are going up; I know that because energy prices are up, so is the cost of transport. I know food prices are up, so the advice to buy economy brands doesn’t help because there are fewer economy brands and I was already buying them. The National Insurance increase will take a bigger bite out of my wages, but the government isn’t going to do anything about that. The only news I want to here about the Cost-of-living crisis is that the government is doing a Windfall tax on corporations and a wealth tax on the top 1%, which economists have shown will pay for a lot of the problems we’re facing without further squeezing the poorest (A group that continues to increase in size).

I don’t hate rich people (as a group, at least; there are specific rich people). I don’t think rich people are evil (again, specific ones). We need to tax the rich because they have the money and are hoarding it. We need to give money to poor people because they will spend it, thus stimulating the economy. We certainly need to stop shaking down people who have nothing left.

This Story is irrelevant. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. Every aspect of this story does not matter. Chris Rock’s joke was dumb, dated and most importantly, not funny. Will Smith’s response was over the top, and he suffered no consequences for it. The Oscars are also completely irrelevant; if the slap hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have known they were on.

So that’s the news round up; Wake me when something important happens.

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