Editorial – May 2015: X changes everything.

May 4, 2015 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

I have to confess that I wonder what they teach in schools these days when it comes to politics and the current apathy or lack of interest in it in my own country. Feeling very old now, in my day at school we had a subject called ‘Citizenship’ that we couldn’t get out of and which went through a lot of things, including politics, and how the country was run. If nothing else I had a fair grounding in how British laws were passed and all that malarkey and even had a top grade in it as part of my qualifications. Having a good memory was always useful. The main difference I learnt was that laws depended on which political party was in charge. As these laws also affect our lives and can be seen to happen, there is a need to have them to be fair to all and not just to those in a particular sector of society.

In many respects, politics is the housekeeping of any country. It allocates the funds raised from taxes to loans that are spent on everything from care to defence. Political parties are the choice of how the money is spread and how fair it is. It can’t be explained at its most basic level other than that.

Decisions can be manipulated by lobbying for particular choices in either direction but it is always the political party with the most votes that can dominate that choice. Having a fractionised vote means there will always be some sort of guesswork as to how choices are made when political parties have to work together in coalition but throwing out the mandates they were voted in for has demonstrated that you aren’t getting what was voted for. The original policies have to be maintained or at least explained properly to the public that something better NOT worse supersedes it to maintain any sort of confidence from the population. It becomes bad because some more, shall we say, odd choices come out that don’t necessarily benefit everyone in some way.

With a general election in the UK in a few days after this editorial, it would be remiss not to say something about it here because it does affect us. It’s also a lot easier to talk about my own country than general elections in other countries. By now, if you haven’t gotten into the electoral roll and have British citizenship, you can’t vote anyway and have to deal with the choices the collective rest of us make and have to live with for the next five years. If you have the vote but are still not sure what you’re going to do, the only thing I’m going to say is don’t waste or ruin you ballot paper. Being a ‘Don’t know’ in any poll means you either haven’t made your mind up, not prepared to say or think things are too complicated, out of your depth or just fed up with the whole process of the past six weeks. Now that is scary but probably explains why there is so much apathy when it comes to voting. As SF fans, we’re supposed to be intelligent thinkers so I hope you’re not amongst these people. You’ll never know what you’re going to get when you don’t make a choice and you could end up with some party in charge you wouldn’t want anyway. If you think all political parties are bad then go for the one that is least evil and be grateful that there isn’t a Darth Vader with his Force fingers around your throat.


A lot of countries have democracy but a significant few don’t as well. Although it’s unlikely that we’re ever likely to change the type of vote, there is a need to demonstrate that democracy works and by the collective will of the population, that’s you by the way, that those in charge can be replaced periodically. When you see countries that don’t have such an option, don’t you feel better here?

Democracy represents the act of change or rather the ability to get something changed. It should never be under-estimated by politicians, who should really be there to serve the population and not themselves. If ever there was a demonstration of collective choice, then democracy makes us live by good or bad decisions which does include ourselves. The hardest part is not to vote and ignore the community as a whole because, in the end, the only person you’re hurting is yourself.


Thank you, take care, good night and x always marks the spot of choice. Make it a good one.


Geoff Willmetts

editor: SFCrowsnest.org.uk


Before you cry disaster: If your laptop battery seems to only slowly charge, try unplugging the plug that goes into the laptop and blowing it free from dust. Don’t do it with the laptop socket itself as I doubt it would be that statically charged.


A Zen thought: Decisive decisions is a sign of good character. Good judgement shows thoughtful thinking.


A Zen thought: The spin of a coin really only gives two choices. It is rare to land on its edge.


A Zen thought: As writers, aren’t we supposed to know how to write, use grammar, etc?? To do otherwise would be like having a car and not knowing how to drive it.


NOTE: Although there are details below, please observe the bigger message elsewhere on site. I’m always recruiting reviewers!!! If you’re living in the UK, love books and feel a bit geeky then read the notes below. You might be what I’m looking for and I do train people up and it’s good for your writer’s CVs and books to feed your reading habit. As some of my team are discovering, they can also interview writers and write articles as well. You can do that without reviewing as well but reading and reviewing is a good discipline. We’re a good team to belong to.


Polls: We did have them for a time but the new version was causing a mess in WordPress so until a new version that doesn’t cause conflicts comes around, we’ll have to do without them but please use the answer option at the end of any material to express comments because we do read them.


For the record: For the odd query I have about being linked to media contacts. I do not have either a personal twitter or facebook account. There’s enough of me here to not outstay my welcome. I’m also puzzled why some people see SFC as a blog site when we’re not. We were in this format long before blogs. It’s getting to the point that people can’t tell the difference between blog and butter.


Beware Of Virus Attacks: December 2012, even though I hadn’t left an active link to my email address, it got solidly attacked and then blocked from everyone, including myself. By necessity, having a form of open contact to me comes as part of the editor’s job. I’m still seeking reviewers and new material so follow the paths through the website and go where no spam-bot dares. I’ve yet to see them write anything. Humans and aliens can apply, providing they live in the UK. Monsters need to prove they can read and write. We could do with some reviewers who like fantasy right now. Don’t be scared of the instructions, you’d be surprised how easy it is to learn. So, if you want to contact me, build these words into an email address: gfwillmetts at hotmail dot com  I won’t bite, especially as I’m hunting for fantasy reviewers right now. In fact, I’ll settle for any more willing reviewers who love to read. Did I say I was after reviewers?


Fancy being a reviewer and live in the UK?


Category: Culture

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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