I’m extremely lucky to have friends all over the world. Many of whom I’ve met in what we call ‘real life’.
Others sadly are not in a position to meet up and hang out.
This is because they don’t live in what is termed, the ‘civilised’ West.
Thanks to the internet, social media and a shed load of tools, we can now meet people from countries and cultures, that have been until very recently an exotic mystery to us. And I’m sure us to them.
It turns out we’re really very much the same. No matter what our respective governments and (most) main stream media would like us to think.
What is different is the systems we live under. Do we call them governments or regimes? It depends on the country we’re talking about and who is doing the talking.
Here in the increasingly authoritarian UK we tend to hear talk of democracy and the ‘Mother of Parliaments’.
How very ironic. The ‘Mother of Parliaments’ has managed to get into such a state that we are now trying to reverse a two child cap on tax credits and the hideous ‘rape clause’. A clause we are told is there to ‘protect’ mothers who conceive by rape. The ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ is indeed out-doing any wicked step mother that fiction has ever conjured up.
I told one of my friends, Milad, in one of those mysterious exotic countries about this latest ‘progress’. He lives in a country our UK Government would not refer to as a free and fair democracy (mind you, nor would he), Iran.
His response floored me “What the fuck? Gearing up to be another Afghanistan?”
I suggested that on May 4th (the local council elections in Scotland), I should stand outside the polling station (at a respectable distance), with a printed version of the form women will need to fill out for a third or subsequent child in order to clam tax credits for said child.
His response came through the web as a warning to us all.
“I like the way ya can print stuff and distribute them and not get arrested. Take care and nurture that democracy.”