97 days ago
I start with a big but false Greek holiday scare and a triumph on the nettle brewing front here at the Welsh hovel, followed by a snake scare at the same place. Then I look at takeovers and why the rabid right-wing press is so wrong to oppose them with an accompanying trip down memory lane with George Orwell and Jim Slater.
146 days ago
Sometimes it is what the BBC does say that marks it out as not fit for purpose. Think its wildly partial coverage of the Brexit debate or perhaps of its collective take a knee not to the idea of racial justice but to the extremist and corrupt BLM organisation, which even most black folk think racially divisive. But sometimes it is what it refuses to cover that makes the case to #defundthe BBC so clear cut. Did you know that there was a demonstration in London this weekend? You will not have done so if you watched the BBC.
151 days ago
I was siting there with two middle class, university & public school educated affluent lefties discussing why the working class was abandoning Labour. One, that being the Mrs, opined that it was because they liked voting for Toffs, that is to say Boris. This was a theory of one of her colleagues in the world of sociology. The other, daughter Olaf, did not dissent. Such is the state of denial among the British left.
177 days ago
Patsy is a real climate activist from Australia. My guess is that means she does not have a proper job. But in the tweet below, she explains the climate crisis. Last year, all that CO2 we emit caused a lack of rain and global warming so there were bushfires. Now that very same CO2 is causing too much rain so there are floods. Got it? Whatever the weather, man-made Co2 emissions and no other factor is to blame. You just cannot argue with the Ministry of Truth, can you?
192 days ago
The BBC is today celebrating a milestone in a renaming process at Liverpool University. In response to student demands, the building, a hall of residence, is no longer named after William Ewart Gladstone. Instead, it is to be named after someone “linked to the theme of racial equality and Liverpool”. I cannot wait and nominate the late George Floyd who once listened to a Beatles LP. But, whether fed by the students or just ignorant in its own way, the BBC cannot help itself in lying about the grand old man of Liberal politics with two doses of fake news.
209 days ago
I start the Mrs and George Orwell then with the podcast that went live today with me as the guest, not of Cheryl Cole or Princess Anne as was suggested, but of James Delingpole and it is – I think – very entertaining. Then to the final vindication of 2 big exposes from October 2019 HERE and HERE. these both show the failings of the FCA and I compare and contrast whistleblowing to the floor shitters with whistleblowing to the SEC which I did today re the fraud Zoetic International (ZOE)
239 days ago
Melania Trump is a woman who, fluently, speaks five languages more than most of the liberals from the English-speaking world who abuse her. Because of who she is married to, it is, apparently, acceptable to racially abuse her. Take actor Tim Matheson. Now that I have googled him, I do know who he is but all that you need to know is that he is just your normal common or garden Hollywood liberal millionaire celeb.
250 days ago
To we libertarians former Congressman Dr Ron Paul is our idol. The good doctor has campaigned against pointless US wars, for sound money and budget responsibility, against the Patriot Act and for free speech and to protect the constitution for years. In recent times he has questioned the efficacy of masks and lockdown but also suggested that the damage they cause to liberty and the economy is not worth it. He is a good guy. He is not inciting violence, he abhors it. He is a brave voice often castigated by his own Party, the Republicans, and one that should be heard. But facebook does not want that voice heard. Big tech is now deciding who can or cannot question Government but it is only libertarians and conservatives who it is muzzling.
257 days ago
UPDATED: What is happening in the UK right now is the biggest assault on our civil liberties in history and is causing the worst recession for 300 years. You may argue that in order to stop the spread of a disease where the average death is at 82.4 years, a year greater than UK life expectancy, such measures are justified. I support your right to do so. But I might counter that since all prior lockdowns failed to stop Covid, then why should this make any difference and that, in any way, the response is disproportionate and unwarranted. But big media does not want that debate to happen at all. The GroupThink of the media and political classes just must not be challenged.
280 days ago
It is now more than thirty years since Michael Heseltine and a group of other traitors stabbed our greatest ever leader, Margaret Thatcher, in the back. I was on an underground train when the news came through. As it was heading out East to the great county of Essex, I kid you not that there were folks crying.
292 days ago
Of course Black Lives Matter. This is a mixed raced household so why would we think anything else? However, as I noted at the weekend, the Black Lives Matter movement has fallen from popular grace and is now overwhelmingly seen as increasing racial division by both white and BAME folks. As I noted then, there are those last redoubts who seek to hide inconvenient truths. The teaching unions and the school system is one redoubt. So too are the Marxist Madrassas, such as Manchester University. Also doing its bit is the National Trust. But the strongest supporter is, of course, the BBC.
295 days ago
Back in July polls showed that most folks supported Black Lives Matter. The few of us who pointed out that an organisation that wanted to defund Britain’s (unarmed) Police, end capitalism and the nuclear family and shut down jails while boycotting Israel was somewhat questionable, were dismissed by the liberal media elites as racist. They did not challenge the facts they simply smeared the sceptics. Those who dared to suggest that the late George Floyd was not exactly the heir to Mother Theresa were clearly alt-right freaks. The Premier League, BBC Presenters, Basketball England as well as the Metropolitan Police of Cressida Dick determined that we should all take a knee. But times have changed.
296 days ago
On Wednesday night, shortly before facing heroic Arron Banks in the High Court, fantasist journalist Carole Cadwalladr admitted she had no facts to justify her Orwell award winning fantasies that Bankski’s Russian pals did sordid business deals with him and then funded the Brexit campaign. But if you are a Guardian reading fantasist Carole still wants your money and so continues the charade
297 days ago
Last night the Guardian star journalist Carole Cadwalladr admitted to the High Court that she had no evidence at all that Russian money was channelled via Arron Banks to fund the Brexit campaign. She will be paying my pal Bankski £62,000 of costs today but that number will rise. Carole was awarded the Orwell prize by the Foundation of that name in 2018 for her Brexit work. Massive questions must now be asked. But this is 1984, I mean 2020, so will they be asked?
297 days ago
As I recounted in my non eulogy eulogy my father published around 20 books on subjects ranging from the Brontes, George Orwell, the philosophy of leisure, Greece old and new and the Vlachs. One of the highlights of the last weeks of his life was the first copy of his last book arriving in Shipston. That book is published today.
298 days ago
I am far from convinced that Donald Trump won enough real votes in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to swing the electoral college. US elections are always, to some extent, corrupt but right now I’d bet heavily on Joe Biden being the next President. However, there is a new poll out today which convinces me that an enormous fraud did take place and I will call as my first witness the late Mr George Orwell.
323 days ago
I have, in the past, viewed President Emmanuel Macron as a poseur in the mould of Tony Blair. He was, I thought, Europe’s equivalent to the ridiculous Justin Trudeau. His views on the rights of French fisherman to plunder British waters and his “helpful” interventions in the process of Brexit have not endeared the child husband to me. But maybe I was wrong.
359 days ago
Although term for Oxford University students does not start for a couple of weeks, daughter Olaf paid a visit yesterday to check out her accommodation for the second year and to meet up with pals who were already up. She reports back on a city which today would give George Orwell an idea for a sequel.
466 days ago
I predicted earlier today that the purging of statues and street names associated with figures from the past with slaving links, however tenuous, would soon see the great Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone in trouble. It did not take long for bedwetters at Liverpool University to decide that their Gladstone Hall needed renaming.
467 days ago
In stab City, the lawless moral cesspit that is the capital of Airstrip One, hapless Mayor Sadiq Khan has waded into the slavery row with predictable vigour.
939 days ago
The thread below is self explanatory. George Orwell would be proud of twitter. Greetings from Airstrip One...
1484 days ago
My father and I chat every day about urgent matters such as the GCSE's of my uber smug daughter Olaf and less critical matters such as how the world is going to pot. Being keen on history my father is a big supporter of General Lee statues noting that - unlike say George Washington - Lee opposed and hated slavery. He also opposed the secession of the South and agreed only to join its army as he wished to stand shoulder to shoulder with his fellow Virginians.
1490 days ago
So much for free speech and the left. A group of high school students were on a day out in Washington DC. one of the girls in the group was wearing a Donald Trump baseball cap and another a T shirt proclaiming her support for POTUS as you can see below. Then, after a hassle free day, they visited Howard University.
1585 days ago
That we have to pay for the Guardian's sister outlet, the BBC via a poll tax is bad enough. Its output is low grade and often biased. But now the BBC wants to get you fired if it does not like your views. Hey George Orwell you missed this one in 1984...
1847 days ago
The national Lotter promises the best odds ever says the Daily Mail, a statement that may or may not be true. With a little help from George Orwell writing in 1948, a book called 1984, I examine how the tax on the stupid that is the National Lottery is in overdrive today.
1860 days ago
The Government is set to allow the doubling of the price of buying a National Lottery ticket which the bigoted lefty Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror sees as another way of transferring cash from the hard working poor to the evil rich. Is there a more misguided man on Fleet Street than the loathsome Maguire?
1896 days ago
It has emerged that Welsh first Minister, socialist Carwyn Jones, spent £9,500 of taxpayers dosh flying on a private plane so that he could see Wales play England at the European Championships on June 16. Ordinary Welsh fans flew Easyjet or went Eurostar but, as is always the way with socialists, some are more equal than others. Carwyn has offered a snivelling excuse but even that is a piss poor one which just does not stand up.
2256 days ago
Once again I find myself at Free Speech & Liberty Pizza alongside foxy Beatrix from Budapest who tells me that she is a keen reader of George Orwell. She says all the right things. I bet you are all insanely jealous of me. I digress. In this podcast I discuss Tomco, New World Oil & Gas, Frontier Resources, Fitbug, Gable Holdings and Daniel Stewart where I hear bad things abut the cash burn.
2619 days ago
One of George Orwell’s amazing predictions back in 1948 – when he wrote 1984 – is how the plebs would be kept in a state of ignorant servility by pleasures such as the lottery. Malcolm Stacey described it yesterday HERE as a “voluntary tax.” Yes but it is a bad one none the less.
Malcolm is not a normal lottery player. He is intelligent and middle class with an above average income. Your average lottery player is less intelligent than the mean, working or benefits class and on a below average income.
Poor and stupid people volunteer to pay this tax.
2764 days ago
Once again the fascist bully boys of the Kent Police are stamping out on new media thought crime. This force has “form” when it comes to Orwellian oppression of thought crime but in Margate this week they have surpassed themselves.
In the sleepy seaside town there is a plan to build a new Tesco. As ever in such matters, opinion is divided. The plebs want cheap turkey twizzlers and jobs and so are in favour. The middle classes fear that the small stores where they pay over the odds for their sundried Tuscan tomatoes may be shut down and so are against. Such was the debate in my parents’ home town of Shipston last year where my deluded lefty father and step-mother were naturally wanting to screw the poor along with their fellow Guardian readers who, for once, stood firm alongside Nimby Tory Toffs. Sadly this unholy alliance prevailed and so the shops where they buy their quail has been saved while the folks on the Council Estates are deprived of both consumer choice and jobs. Chianti’s all round.
Over in Margate battle lines are similar
2995 days ago
Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.
Squealer, Animal Farm by George Orwell
In that spirit I bring you evidence of how those leading lights among those elected to serve us spent the weekend sitting in the best seats at Wimbledon at no cost to themselves.
My caption for this picture is
Miliband, Call Me Dave and that fat Scottish git saying “taxpayers, you do not imagine that we are in the best seats at Wimbledon at your expense because we like expensive freebies. In fact we all hate tennis and free drink. But supporting Andy Murray, it has been proved by scientists, makes us more able to deal with the deficit, problems in Syria, immigration and the EU. It is for your sake that we are here.”
If you have a better caption please post it in the comments section below.
Last week I asked you for your captions for this picture of five of those fine fellows that William Hague wishes to send guns to, assuming they are not back in Britain at the time beheading soldiers or blowing up buses.
2995 days ago
One of my ideas of purgatory is spending eternity driving around the centre of Athens trying to drop a hire car off on time. Amazingly I managed just that today with no problems. With a few hours to kill I asked the nice lady at Hertz where the British war graves were and she answered in a confident fashion. My father thinks his Uncle Francis is buried here although he was killed in North Africa and so off I wandered. It goes without saying that there were no War Graves at all where she sent me but that is another matter.
About half a mile along, in a decent part of Athens a man asked me for the time. I am a nice fellow so fished out my phone and said 4.01. He seemed terribly grateful and happy to meet an Englishman. His brother runs a Greek restaurant in London and please could he give me his address for a free meal.
I did not really want a free Greek meal in London and was rather more interested in the War Grave but he was insistent so I went along ruck sack over my shoulder and entered a small bar where there was one waitress, one young lady sitting reading a book and an Old Man. My old Man said “have a beer” and promptly disappeared. Have a seat said the waitress.
I reluctantly perched on a bar stool but assured her that I did not drink. At her insistence I agreed to have a diet Pepsi. At this point the young lady wandered over and in broken English tried to engage me in conversation.
3030 days ago
Recorded on the occasion of the first anniversary of this site, a day when it attracted a record 42,020 page impressions, this is a short message of thanks but also on one of my big themes of the past twelve months: free speech and the increasingly Orwellian nature of Britain
I start with the Downing Street affair and what it says about how the establishment want certain information kept within the political classes and the “bubble.” I do not care who shagged who but I care that “they all know” and are using taxpayers cash to stop “us” knowing. They will fail.
I move onto Secret Courts and the way the Police are used to clamp down on freedom of expression in Airstrip One.
Thank you for watching.
My weekly financial video postcard appears on Shareprophets.com here
3073 days ago
Richard Rhodes is the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cumbria. This waste of space piggy wiggy was claiming up to £385 a night in travel expenses, using a chauffeur to ferry him around for a social night out. Three of his staff felt unable to use official channels so dobbed him into the local paper.
Sleazy Rhodes initially claimed he needed the chauffeur for “personal safety”. Like hell he did. And so he has now agreed to repay £700, not to do it again and to publish his expense claims in full. In other words he admits that he was wrong. He was and is a sleazy pig. It is just that now he cannot act in that way.
But the Old Bill in Cumbria have now raided the local newspaper, threatened its editor with prosecution if he does not hand over emails and have arrested the three whistleblowers on suspicion of “misconduct in public office.” The actions of this Orwellian Police Force shows exactly why these three public spirited individuals were right to have no faith in internal whistleblowing procedures.
Anyone with half a brain cell would know that the whistleblowers have done a good thing and corrected a palpable wrong. Only a total fascist would try to bully the press in this way and stop good citizens from acting for the public good to rein in those who govern us.
Welcome to UK policing in 1984, I meant 2013.
3095 days ago
UKIP is running a poster at the moment “End EU Open Door Migration.” I disagree almost entirely with UKIP immigration policy as prohibition does not work and for many reasons I have explained numerous times. But the party has a right to express its view.
Deluded lefties always blather on about free speech and human rights to be heard, blah, blah, blah. Except when they disagree with what is being said. And so some deluded lefty tweeting as @binthecondems started complaining to the poster company - and getting others to do so – that the poster was racist.
The poster company is a giant enterprise but the bigger the corporation the more terror it has of being tarred as racist and so the lerfties claim that the poster has been pulled. @binthecondems is delighted and happily tweeting out about how UKIP is full of “bigots” “racists” and “Nazis.” The poster company says it may pull the poster, it is reviewing it.
This will be interesting.
Of course UKIP does not want this tweeter banned from expressing that (factually incorrect) view because it believes in free speech – that is the right of EVERYONE to be heard not just folks with whom you happen to agree. That more limited definition of free speech belongs firmly to the left.
3168 days ago
3178 days ago
The BBC may not be very good at stopping its staff from abusing kids but when it comes to things that really matter the national broadcaster ( cost to the grateful taxpayer £4 billion a year) is bang on the money. Just look at the way that it is stamping out the menace of bananas.
Glossy posters with a banana with a large red cross through it have appeared all over the grand new headquarters of the BBC. The reason: one member of staff will suffer an unpleasant (not fatal) allergic reaction if he or she comes into contact with these deadly fruit.
Surely it is not too much to ask this sensitive soul just not to go picking up bananas? Er no. Their minority rights (presumably that means the right to inspect the lunch boxes of colleagues) means that all the other space wasters (oops sorry I meant valued employees of the BBC) cannot now bring bananas into designated zones of the building. Perhaps as we used to have “smoking rooms” the BBC could set aside “banana rooms” where folks might indulge their cravings undisturbed.
There are no doubt going to be other BBC employees with allergies to wheat, bread, biscuits, apples, strawberries, dobbing in peadophile colleagues, etc. Will all of them be indulged in a similar fashion? Why not just go the whole Orwellian mile and ban all food from the BBC? Or better still ban all staff from the BBC and just close it down.
3205 days ago
Well here goes. My first e-book is live. You can now snap it up on Amazon or (better still) direct from the publishers, Harriman House. Letters from the Chestnut Tree Cafe (Thought crime in Britain and Greece, 1984 is finally here) is a collection of my best essays from the summer plus a sprinkling of a few other thoughts.
No doubt you all know where the Chestnut Tree Cafe is? It is in Airstrip One in Orwell’s 1984. I am a cynic about Government and deeply worried about free speech and Civil liberties issues. That seems to have been the theme of my writings but there is a good dash of Greek economic chaos, Tony Blair Jokes and much else besides.
I can’t say that it is a laugh a minute but those who have read it said there were enough jokes to keep them amused. You can snap up your e-copy at Harriman House HERE
3220 days ago
Alcohol awareness week is one of those dreadful waste of taxpayers’ money campaigns dreamt up by the nanny state to justify more money being pissed away by the nanny state to no great effect whatsoever. The facts are that alcohol consumption in the UK is about average by European standards and that we are, as a nation, drinking far less than we used to. On the other hand mentions of how much we are drinking in the press and at sleaze central Westminster have gone through the roof. Cue demands for an ever larger state to spend more money tackling the problem.
I am by nature, as Charles Kennedy once said of himself, a moderate drinker. I imbibe well under the recommended 21 units a week and probably do not drink at all for most days. But alcohol awareness week is different – it is my moral duty to have at least one unit a day. I almost forgot to do my duty on Saturday until I saw a late night tweet from the excellent Christopher Snowdon of the Velvet Glove Iron Fist blog reminding me that this annual farce ends tomorrow. A small glass of port and my duty is done.
For the raw data on what a total Nanny State waste of space this week is I refer you to an article by Snowdon HERE
THis is the sort of idiocy covered in my new e-book published yesterday on the increasingly authoritarian state of the UK today. It really is very funny and makes a good point or two. “Letters from the Chestnut Tree Cafe, Though crime in Britain and Greece, 1984 is finally here“ and can be ordered direct from publisher Harriman House HERE.
3221 days ago
I invite you to hold your nose and watch the BBC video below of Joyce Thacker, head of Rotherham’s Social Services defending the removal of three kids from loving foster parents because the parents belong to UKIP. Can anyone say that they are not appalled? This sour faced old bag should be sacked at once. She admits that the decision was made by her.
3221 days ago
Whether Rotherham Social Services is run by incredibly stupid folks or human beings created by genetically modifying former members of the Stasi with Guardian reader genes does not matter – either is a scandal. The case of the UKIP foster parents marks another sad landmark in the death of free England.
By way of background I have never been to Rotherham but I gather that this grim Northern town has suffered far more than its fair share of child abuse scandals. And so you would have thought that finding a pair of responsible foster parents would be a dream for its hard pressed social services department. Step forward an un-named couple in their late 50s who live in a neat detached house in a village in South Yorkshire. The husband was a Royal Navy reservist for more than 30 years and works with disabled people, while his wife is a qualified nursery nurse.
These are socially caring folk who for seven years have taken in kids of all races and been praised for being fantastic foster parents. Their record of work and service should provide the poor kids with role models and stability. They have had an exemplary record over 12 placements.
Until the other week they were looking after three kids, a baby girl, a boy and an older girl, who were all from an ethnic minority and a troubled family background. The three thrived. The baby put on weight and the older girl even began calling them “mum and dad”.
But then the Stasi arrived and said that they had received an anonymous tip-off that they were members of Ukip.
3222 days ago
I shall be celebrating alcohol awareness week with a few glasses of red tonight as my first e-book is now available for pre-order.
Buy it today and it should be despatched within 10 days of not sooner ready for you read on your kindle or computer. Normally priced at £5 you can pick it up for just £4.25 HERE.
The book is the best of this blog between its launch and the end of October with the odd extra joke chucked in for free. One of the proof-readers described it as a “very humorous look at our Orwellian world”. I guess that is what it is meant to be.
3229 days ago
Final proofs of my first e-book of the Autumn are flying electronically between myself and my publisher Stephen Eckett tonight. Viagra man and Contra man are rushing to get this book to market. Except that Contra man reckons that the title is misleading. Indeed it is. So Viagra man is about to be bobbited.
The new working title is
Letters from the Chestnut Tree Cafe
(Thoughtcrime in Britain and Greece – 2012 is the new 1984)
We cannot keep changing titles as publication is imminent. Any thoughts on the proposed re-branding?
3233 days ago
Kent Police have arrested a man for posting a picture of a burning poppy on twitter. This is fascism. It is not what folks died to protect in World War Two. It is not justifiable and if Kent Police wish to arrest me as well for calling them Fascists I shall be at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1r 5BX on Wednesday at noon. I shall see you then.
The Fascists, sorry Kent Police force, released an official statement saying that the man, from Aylesham, was detained on Sunday night on suspicion of making malicious telecommunications and that he was in custody awaiting interview.
You will note that burning a poppy, though distasteful, is not illegal.
3242 days ago
Dennis MacShane MP has now been found guilty of submitting fabricated expenses allowing him to steal thousands of pounds from the taxpayer. He was suspended from the House of Commons for a year but says that he has now taken the honourable step of resigning as an MP as well. Cobblers. I am reminded of chapter ten of Animal Farm by George Orwell when the pigs start to walk on two legs. No longer is it “four legs good, two legs bad.”
3244 days ago
Almost everyone outside Moscow agrees that the jailing of the incredibly untalented Russian all girl punk band Pussy Riot for producing music (I use the term loosely) that attacked President Putin and the Orthodox Church was wrong. No arguments there. But arguably back here in Airstrip One we are guilty of the same sort of behaviour. I refer to Trenton Oldfield, the Aussie born dickhead who swam in from of the eights to disrupt the 158th Oxford Cambridge boat race. I do not agree with what he did but a six month jail sentence raises alarming issues.
Oldfield was protesting against elitism. Having read his political views I disagree with almost all of them. He is a moronic middle class lefty and he deserves to be punished for an idiotic act. But six months?
3247 days ago
I am indebted to a the Pride’s Purge blog for a story from South Wales which should strike a chill in your heart if you give two hoots about free speech and civil liberties. It is the sort of thing that Orwell might have written about as a warning. But that the increasingly authoritarian British state would have taken as a blueprint.
I start with Pride’s short article.
3259 days ago
The Metropolitan Police is once again making itself a laughing stock with its latest edict – Policeman should not have visible tattoos. Does a copper become less effective at fighting crime if he has a Cross of St George or West Ham logo on his neck? No. So why is the Met wasting its time on this rubbish?
3265 days ago
Some welfare scrounging criminal moron wore a T-shirt “one less pig – perfect justice” celebrating the recent murder of two policewomen. The “B” side of his T-shirt noted “Kill a cop for fun.co.uk.” He is a vile scumbag. He is beneath contempt. I do not agree with his opinions for a second. But he is now in jail for 8 months (4 months relating to his T-shirt design, the rest to an earlier offence). This is all wrong. It is Orwellian and frightening.
3286 days ago
No new laws have been passed in Parliament but the law has changed says Nick Clegg to allow the State to dictate how you and your partner behave in a relationship. You can now face criminal charges for stopping your wife/partner/husband from opening a bank account or stopper her/him seeing friends and family – this is a crime known as “coercive control.” It has been welcomed by the usual bunch of big state losers in the Labour party, the BBC etc but it is actually very sinister.
For a start it has not actually been brought into being as a result of legislative change.
3297 days ago
I sense that I am a bit off the pace here but I have only just twigged that David Cameron is attempting to pass the most illiberal piece of legislation in British history. Indeed, The Communications Data Bill is the sort of fascist measure that East Germany’s Stasi would have found of great interest.
3297 days ago
I noted upon my return to Airstrip One, the obsession of Network Rail with bossy signs. But there are also the pointless ones that litter the stations, as if they breed like some genetically modified rabbit. And thus walking into a mainline station in London I am informed by a specially erected sign “There have been 13 accidents on this escalator in the past 3 months.” Unlucky for some I guess.
But how do you define an accident?
3302 days ago
As the true financial cost of the great circus starts to sink in, you will hear more and more about the “legacy” benefits of the games. These gains will be intangible so impossible to actually quantify but do not ask awkward questions, Big Brother says there are great legacies and so pay attention and agree. One of those legacies was meant to be that our kids would become so enthused by the top notch sport that they would all take up regular exercise and so become a lot faster, fitter, etc, etc, etc.
Oh dear. According to a report in today’s Daily Mail
3302 days ago
As we all know the wicked Tories are bashing the public sector with savage cuts in spending and a pay freeze for all staff. Well actually public spending is increasing in real and absolute terms but let us pretend for a second that the Government does actually want to control the deficit and that the Labour party/Trades Unions are not bare faced liars. I digress.
Back to the pay freeze. Well it appears that what has been frozen is not pay itself but the scales of pay that are used. And so a 5 a day co-ordinator working as an outreach worker for disabled lesbians
3303 days ago
When I was at prep school the grades ( with + or minus signs afterwards) started with E for Excellent and with no E stars because the tests were tough enough that very few achieved an E and there was thus no difference to differentiate between the elite because they were just that. Then there was G (Good), S (Satisfactory) and finally NS (Not satisfactory). If you scored an S you knew that you were not going to win any prizes, that you could do better but that you were in no immediate danger of being demoted (we did have streams at my school).
I see that in assessing schools, the watchdog Ofsted employs a similar system. And that 6,000 schools have been assessed in their most recent appraisal as S for Satisfactory. Except that Ofsted now says that Satisfactory actually means not satisfactory
3335 days ago
Albeit with a delay, I pick up on the news that back in Airstrip One the old bill have knicked some 17 year old saddo from Dorset for tweeting to Tom Daley ( a flop for Britain in the men’s synchronised 10 metre diving) that he had “let his father down.” Daley’s old man died of cancer last year.
I agree that the comment was tasteless. But on what grounds was the saddo knicked and let off with a caution? That he had hurt Daley’s feelings? That he had shown a lack of taste? Well if this is the case might the old bill launch a dawn raid on the small number of folk who under numerous aliases post comments demanding my complete ruin on the ADVFN/iii Bulletin boards? Hoping for someone’s demise is tasteless and I might claim that my feelings were hurt. Tell no lies: sometimes they are.
Before the Old Bill gets ready to launch that Dawn Raid ( and of course they would not bother because I am not a celeb and the laws on these sort of things – well there are not actually any laws but the ones the Police create by using an incredible interpretation of laws meant to tackle real issues – are only for celebs), I am kidding. I cannot see that any actual crime has been committed by the saddo. When a country gets to the state where you can be knicked and cautioned just because the authorities deem what you say to be tasteless if not illegal, or because they just do not like what you said, it is time to get very worried indeed.
3335 days ago
I realise that it is unpatriotic to criticise the great circus but I once again find myself feeling both angry and vindicated by two facets of Olympic emptiness today, and I am not discussing Mark Cavendish’s medal haul here.
First up as I sat digesting a meal of heart and liver (grilled, small portion but I had a meat craving) I found myself watching the Olympics swimming. I have previously written that you would have had to pay me vast sums to go to watch these races and that view has not changed. While I marvel at the athleticism of the competitors, swimming is right up there with watching paint dry as a spectator sport. But when the TV cameras occasionally panned out to the wider crowd (an error for which they will not doubt be punished by Boris) there seemed to be a very large number of empty seats. Forgive my cynicism but were we not told several days ago that there would be no more empty seats?
Big Brother says everyone loves the games. Big Brother says there will be no empty seats. Okay, I get it. As it happens my room number is 101 and so, in Orwellian style, I am prepared to accept that there are no empty seats and there never were any empty seats
3352 days ago
I am sure that some of you are gripped by the impending Olympics. Perhaps you are turning out to watch some fat school kid carry the torch past your house, or carrying your own fake torch in a local celebration. The Government media machine tells us that we are all being swept up by a wave of enthusiasm so helping bring us together as communities and as a nation. Count me out. The whole event offends me in almost every conceivable way. I know that I am not entirely alone in my way of thinking. One person whose thoughts are always interesting and almost always correct (a reverse Polly Toynbee) expressed their strong views on this matter to me yesterday. So that makes two of us. I am sure that whatever the spinmeisters of City Hall and Whitehall say, there must be more.
For what it is worth, when the Government spin machine keeps on repeating that the whole nation is gripped by Olympic fever, my instinct is to assume that it is not.
3354 days ago
At the top of my blog there is my photo gallery of heroes and among them is George Orwell. The simple view of his works is that they are a warning against the evils of totalitarianism. But life is not that simple. I do not pretend that Britain is a totalitarian state although the appetite of the State to invade matters of personal choice and to infringe on all of our civil liberties has increased remarkably in the past few years. A clear secondary theme in Orwell is the increasing detachment of the political elite from the rest of us. And that process can happen in a liberal democracy like Britain just as it did in Stalin’s Russia.
And so that brings me to the news that BT is taking 4 leading MPs on an all expenses jolly to the men’s 100 metres final at the Olympics. The MPs huff and puff and say they have slaved away for 5 years monitoring the games and so they need to trot along to see it in action so that they can serve the nation properly. Yeah right.
3380 days ago
No, no ,no not one for the taxman and one for us! Just a day on two sets of books at the restaurant. First up is my library. The most valuable books are stored safely elsewhere but I still have well over a thousand books picked up over the years which are now being housed downstairs at the Real Man Pizza Company on Clerkenwell Road. If you have a spare afternoon and fancy a read over a coffee or just a book to digest as you digest a chocolate pizza – you now know where to go.