Sunday, 28 September 2008
If a supermarket chain becomes financially doddery, will Gordon flog off the Royal Air Force to realise the readies to nationalise tens of thousands of trolleys and chillers in order to prevent a catatastrophe in the food supply industry? What is the limit of McBroon's expansionism?
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
My head is spinning so I will write my key point now. The $700 billion will help the banks and bankers get back to making massive amounts of money for themselves. The people defaulting on their mortgages will see themselves made homeless. If all that money can be magicked up to help bankers, wouldn't it be fairer and more sensible to spend it at the other end of the economy to have necessary work done, to create better-paid jobs so that the present sub-prime mortgage defaulters can continue to pay their mortgages. They will stay in their homes, the sub-prime securities will gain some value and can then be bought and sold again and the banks will be able to write off their now somewhat reduced losses against greed and stupidity. Just a thought.
Monday, 22 September 2008
This is the text:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that the Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, The Rt Hon. The Lord Coe KBE, the Chairman of the British Olympics Association, The Rt Hon. The Lord Moynihan, and the Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell MP, will be jointly and severally responsible for any expenditure in excess of the budget for the London 2012 Olympics confirmed by The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell MP on 10 December 2007.
This petitition will encourage proper financial accountability and rigour for a major public project at a time of unprecedented global economic hardship for hard-working British families. The three key decision makers named in the petition will be incentivised to make prudent long term decisions with other people's money if their assets can be seized by Court Order to reduce any debts incurred.
If you agree to the above, please sign up to the petitition at:
I'd be grateful if you could copy this post on to your own blogs or forward it by email to friends who are British citizens or residents - alas foreigners do no qualify.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Now, I would normally make some jokes based on the books that J K Rowling wrote but as I've never read any nor seen a minute of the films made from them I will refrain on grounds of complete ignorance.
Instead , may I suggest that if I had £560 million and felt so passionately about child poverty I would use it to set up schemes to alleviate it myself in a similar way to Carnegie and Nuffield in previous centuries. Giving away a tiny fraction of one's wealth to assist the re-election of a political party with a proven track record of spending other people's money (including that of poor married parents and single people with better foresight and judgement) not very well is, I believe, a rather selfish action. But I'm not a half-billionaire so ignore me.
Friday, 19 September 2008
Say No to the Double Crossers!
Thursday, 18 September 2008
The Brown flood of rain has caused the edge between lawn and border to fill in with soil (not good for the mower blades) and get annoyingly ragged and weedy. As it's been dry for the past five days I took the opportunity to do this chore that I thought would take a morning at most. Unfortunately, I must have the estimating skills of an investment banker because I'm just two-thirds done. It's knackering work because I've had to transplant or pot up self-setters* as I work so I admire and envy Toby Buckland's excellent and effortless-looking demonstration available on iPlayer until Friday. (from 22:40). The good thing about gardening knackeredness is that it is compensated by the brilliant smell of the soil and the wonderful assortment of greens that one sees close up . It's a good job well done and the sight of so many earthworms in the friable soil that was once heavy clay proves that mulching with homemade compost in the Autumn is really worthwhile.
*The cheapest and strongest plants so no way do they go on the compost heap.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Here's a simple message to the thick-skulled self-interested mediocrities who are collecting their ministerial salaries and other perks in this country:
Give every honourably discharged Gurkha British citizenship. Give them the same pensions as their British oppos. They and their predecessors have served our Queen and Country since 1814 and have thereby earned the right and our thanks and respect. It dishonours you that these proud and noble soldiers have to protest and litigate for rights that certain Britophobic minorities whom you have cultivated assiduously take for granted.
Right. Get back to reversing the changes you introduced from 1997 onwards but discovered didn't actually work. There's no need to tell the truth because no-one expects that any more from your lot. Dismissed.
These picture links will help you understand. Good. Bad.
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
However, to be accurate, one should be aware that the deckchair facilities are in fact owned and managed by a separate company, Sidonia, under a public private financing partnership and that any requests for changes to the agreed seating arrangements would incur a substantial relocation fee. In addition, as Sidonia negotiated a thirty-five year increase only lease contract (with bonus payments for ensuring 95% of passengers who wanted to sit down could do so within a week) with the Titanic owners, rental payments would still be liable even though the deckchairs were two and a half miles under the North Atlantic. And we won't tell anyone about the missing deckchairs unless relatives of missing passengers who were sitting on them ask embarrassing questions in public.
Of course half the crew of the Titantic would always be on a compulsary diversity workshop and the other half would not have received health and safety training to operate the lifeboats (even if the company could afford to launch them - well if you wanted seaworthy lifeboats why didn't you sign up for the Saviorlife Platinum service?)
Once he has completed his anger management course, John Prescott would be a suitable candidate for the post previously held by Roland Freisler in Germany between 1942-45. Any MP found guilty of crimes against Nulabor would be defended at their subsequent trial by the Deputy Party Leader, Harriet Harman, to ensure the sentence passed by the court would be a fair deterrent to any other conspirators. With a 100% conviction rate the scheme may be extended to non-Party members for serious crimes like failing to carry a voluntary ID or thinking the EU, windmills, carbon trading and uneconomic recycling are wrong.
Now is the time for the enemies of the Arbeiterpartei to be smashed like mobiles against the skirting board.
Monday, 15 September 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
The existence of the brown hole may explain why the Universe has stopped expanding for the first time since Big Bang.
Asked to comment on the phenonema, the British Prime Minister stated that he had looked through the telescope, had seen nothing and was getting on with the job that hard working British families, pensioners expected him to do at a time of high fuel and food prices prices and and and and and and and ......
* So called because theorists postulate that whereas black holes may have an exit into another universe, once anything is swallowed by a brown hole it's in the shit for good.
Two soundbites from the debate, as we now call them, resonate across the decades to call Gordon Brown's brief and unsuccessful premiership to an end with the same impact they had on that of Neville Chamberlain's.
"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" Leo Amery MP
"It is not a question of who are the Prime Minister's friends. It is a far bigger issue. … He has appealed for sacrifice. The nation is prepared for every sacrifice so long as it has leadership. … I say solemnly that the Prime Minister should give an example of sacrifice because there is nothing which can contribute more to victory in this war than that he should sacrifice the seals of office." David Lloyd George MP
Sometimes it takes more courage to retire than to stay. Why doesn't Gordon Brown read a few of his books and do the decent thing?
Friday, 12 September 2008
Image copyright Martin Grieve, 21 December 2007, from the FOTW Flags Of The World website at http://flagspot.net/flags/
Certainly a better way to pass the time than sudoku and daytime television.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Kim Jong-il (elected)
Gordon Brown (unelected)
Or was it done by a well-meaning mobile-dodging minion without his knowledge? "Oh no, you fool, why did you send him that one of a grey teddy bear in a hospital bed?" "Do I have to do everything, dumkopf!"
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
And an awful lot of people are square pegs in round holes, wasting much effort and potential happiness in an attempt to beat the moronic bell-curve staff performance appraisal assessment. They are bright and capable, know how to use the photocopier and don't fall off swivel chairs very often. But they are doing jobs they hate simply because of the mortgage and the fact they needn't heat the house while they are at work.
Digressing, using a staff assessment system that expects that 10% of staff are unsatisfactory simply indicates that HR and management are close to 100% useless at recruiting the right people for the right jobs and ensuring they are properly trained and motivated.
Now everybody can think of jobs that need to be done to improve the country and make people feel safer, happier and healthier. My proposal is that suggestion boxes are set up all over the country and a website established to allow people to send in their ideas for work that needs doing. After six months the suggestions could be examined and refined into business plans. Civil Servants would then be offered the opportunity to transfer from their present posts to do the tasks identified. They would work in association with local champions to ensure that demand and inspiration was always grass-roots driven.
The idea needs additional work regarding transitional arrangements and funding etc but a rule of thumb is that most things can be achieved with eager people knowing they are helping others.
As this is a creative idea I won't publish negative criticism until we've thought of plenty of ideas how to put the plan into practice. No need to get too detailed - that's what Civil Servants are for!
Only when we can see the big picture will I begin to investigate the concept logically.
Oh and anyone who says that we have too many civil servants and that they don't work hard will be ignored and instructed to ponder on the first class brains of the private sector banking and finance industries begging for public handouts after blowing their clients' money on punts that hen parties at the dogs wouldn't consider. Remember that the IT data losses have mostly been down to private-sector contractors. Finally, the civil service implements what the politicians decide. And who lobbies and funds the political parties? Private companies wanting influence.
I can't wait for the Horizon programme about the results although I predict that a new, very small particle will be discovered to upset all the carefully crafted theories. It will be dubbed the miliband because it came out of nowhere and is both useless and annoying.
But when the first schedule of experiments are completed I bags the collider to test on a large scale something I and my mates last attempted some 35 or so years ago. The Dinky or Corgi collision experiment was great when we slammed cars into each other head on in the playground. But a million mile an hour closing speed would produce brilliant telly with all the bits flying off - and repeating the exercise with Airfix kits dowsed with flaming lighter fuel is BAFTA worthy- beat that Top Gear.
Did I grow up? Probably not, but I had more fun than those kids who never played with their toys and kept the boxes in mint condition (boxes of all sorts were cannibalised to make garages, space-stations or whatever ) to be sold for silly sums at auction.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
I'm sorry to inform you that your petition has been rejected. Your petition was classed as being in the following categories:
* Wording that is impossible to understand
Further information: Your title should be a clear call for action, preferably starting with a verb, and not a name or statement. If you wish to edit and resubmit your petition, please follow the following link:
You have four weeks in which to do this, after which your petition will appear in the list of rejected petitions.
Your petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to: 'Ensure that the Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, The Rt Hon. The Lord Coe KBE, the Chairman of the British Olympics Association, The Rt Hon. The Lord Moynihan, and the Minister for the Olympics and Paralympics, The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell MP, will be jointly and severally responsible for any monies in excess of the public expenditure budget for the London 2012 Olympics confirmed by The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell MP on 10 December 2007.'
This petitition will encourage proper financial accountability and rigour for a major public project at a time of unprecedented global economic hardship for hard-working British families. The three key decision makers named in the petition will be incentivised to make prudent long term decisions with other people's money.
-- the ePetitions team
Impossible to understand or the Establishment standing firm to prevent their own kind being surcharged for overspending the little people's money?
Despite beating the unlovely Spaniard Nadal (get some sleeves, por favor) the uber unnlovely Andrew Murray lost most convincingly against the ever sportsmanlike Roger Federer. Well done Roger, five-in-a-row winner of the US Open Men's Singles Championships.
Isn't there an old poker saying that one should always stake high when one has weak cards?
I believe the hard knocks I have experienced in my life have made me better qualified to propagate clematis. Tomorrow I'm taking lavatera cuttings. Like Gordon Brown I'm getting on with the job. But I've got sixteen young clematis plants thriving and he's got Ed Balls and David Miliband. Two words pal: compost heap.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
As an aside to the second story, a week or so after 7/7 it was decided to hold a practice evacuation of the JobCentre in case a similar thing was tried again -as it was on 21/7. At a meeting of volunteer floor wardens I ventured the suggestion that the public should be advised that the evacuation was an exercise in case, as I phrased it, some of our neanderthal customers took it upon themselves to bring down extract from the building any bmes wearing rucksacks in a selfless action of misplaced courage. Subsequently the Building Manager informed me that another member had staff had taken exception to the term neanderthal, that she had never heard of but assumed it referred to muslims or south asians. To prevent a formal complaint being lodged I would have to apologise in person to all staff present at the meeting who might have been offended. Let's say I was shocked, stunned and utterly demoralised. I didn't want to work with ****ing idiots for colleagues. So if there are any neanderthals reading this, may I say that I respect, value and celebrate your community and the way it adds diversity to Britain. Needless to say, the day after 21/7, the Met got over-excited and shot Mr de Menezes seven times in the head on the tube. If only the unfortunate Brazilian had learned the phrase beloved by management "watch your back" he too would be as safe as those responsible.
1 Vulcan pilots and co-pilots were trained to fly the aircraft to their targets on instruments with blinds pulled down on the small cabin windows to protect their eyesight from nuclear flash. In case the flash zapped their eyes, aircrew were provided with pirate eyepatches to protect one eye. If needed, the patch was swapped to the damaged eye and the sortie continued. In addition, it was assumed that the Vulcans' stations would be wiped out by Soviet attack (to counter which rapid take offs from dispersed bases were frequently practiced) and so target radius was extended because nuclear missions would be one way. But the best evidence of the crews' courage and dedication was the willingness of the backseat navigators to fly without ejection seats, having to rely on the pilots letting them bail out before they banged out. At low level this arrangement placed a huge ethical dilemma on the pilots. But the Treasury was happy with the cost-cutting design.
2 To provide Vulcans with a stand-off attack capability before Blue Steel and Skybolt missiles were available it was suggested that Folland Gnat fighters armed with tactical nuclear bombs were fitted, one underneath each wing on the Skybolt pylons and a third recessed in the converted bombay. The Gnats would not have been used as McDonnell Goblin-like parasite fighters but their pilots would have had similar chances of returning home.
3 To enable Vulcans to withstand a Soviet attack on their bases and runways, a project was sketched to fit ten rocket engines into the bombbay to allow aircraft mounted on vertical launch platforms to zoom up and away like missiles with delta wings. Conventional Vulcan take-offs appeared to be nearly vertical to spectators anyway so it's a pity this idea was never tested out and filmed (but without a crew). The noise would have been amazing.
If you have other stories about Vulcans or the other V-Bombers please let me know.
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
We Midlanders remember the farce of the England national football stadium project when local councils were encouraged to spend money developing a design next to the NEC and Birmingham International airport and station. Unknown to all except the FA and MinSport, it had already been decided to build the new stadium at centrally placed Wembley in North London.
Can I be excused games please and read in the library instead?
*Update: football will be played at stadiums throughout the UK except NI despite the fact that there will be no Team Yuk playing - all the little boys have to have their own teams.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
(photo snatched from Guido Fawkes with thanks)
Research has found that about 500,000 Monopoly sets are sold in the UK every year. They each contain £15,140. That is a total of £7.57 billion of untaxed income. A one-off 20% windfall tax would yield the Exchequer some £1.514 billion to pay for additional government spending at this time of global economic difficulties for the UK. Just remember the last time you played Monopoly - did the banker need all the money? Remember, paper money is all about trust. So long as you trust a seller to accept it you will accept it yourself.