Election Special: Charity begins with Central Government

D P GumbyYou may have noticed that as we get closer to Christmas there are more and more charity ads on our television screens.  I’m sure they realise the time for giving applies to them too!  There’s also wall to wall coverage of the general election, where politicians pontificate, avoid answering the questions or just plain lie…  My mail currently mirrors this!!

You know…. it doesn’t feel very charitable, nor Christmassy.

I believe those in positions of authority need to think of the bigger picture but compassionately, not their own self-interest, and so I’d argue that charity begins with central government.

So, rather than spending 60, 80 or 100, or how many billion it is on the HS2 project to get people to Birmingham 20-minutes quicker why not support the research that is required into combating cancer and other life limiting diseases?

And after centuries of exploiting colonial countries and their inhabitants, setting artificial geographic borders that lead to tribal and religious wars across the world that have resulted in a refugee crisis, why not use foreign aid to seek to change things for good?

I’d rather those less fortunate than me got it. I don’t need a slightly faster journey time to the Midlands and no, it still won’t make business move there – surely the future is online meetings anyway??  All it’s going to do is screw up the countryside (I can show you pictures now!) and feather the pockets of the major contractors.

I’d like research into life limiting diseases fully funded by Central Government, not by charitable contributions or big pharma, so we benefit – not them.

I’d like foreign aid to be targeted at those in need not at sweetening potential trade deals.

I’d like my taxes to be used to provide a better infrastructure for the country – just check out the closest European countries, drive their roads, ride on their public transport…

I’d like our schools and our NHS funded properly. And can we please get rid of the quangos and bodies that supposedly set standards yet basically change their views with just a gentle breeze and are in all honesty just there to provide jobs for the boys, for those who aren’t good enough to do the real jobs!

Lord Digby-Jones said some years ago that if you sacked 25% of the civil service nobody would notice a change.  Let’s cut beaurocray, red tape, ineffective and inefficient decision bodies.

I’d like rates cut so our high streets can be given a new lease of life.

I’d like the companies who are profiting from interest charges on student loans to be forced to repay that interest – it wasn’t part of the original deal!!  And just look at all the property that’s being developed for student accommodation – yeah and look at how much they charge!!!

Like D P Gumby put it so elegantly “it makes me so mad!”

Jurgen drops the “F bomb”

It was 10 past 10 on the 7th of May 2019, the Liverpool manager looks down at his wristwatch and then says…

“The boys are f***ing giants…. If you have to fine me, fine me. I’m not native so I don’t have better words for it,”

He’d just watched, as had I, his Liverpool team knock Barcelona, lauded by many as the best team in the world, out of the Champion’s League.  But it was more than that. Liverpool had been beaten 3-0 in Barcelona the week before and most, if not all, of the pundits thought the team was on a hiding to nothing.  I’ll be honest I felt Jurgen might have been right the day before the game when he said that they would try to win the game but if they didn’t they would “fail beautifully” – but how wrong we all were.

I still haven’t seen the first half, I was at a Parish Council meeting where people seemed to be taking an age to say something when a few words would have sufficed.  I’d kept informed about the scoreline via my phone and before the second half began I gave my apologies and left.  I’m so glad I did!  What a game!  I could try to describe it but why bother when Jonathan Liew in the Independent has already crafted a superb tribute to an amazing game.

An Anfield miracle transcribed from the pages of pure fantasy @jonathanliew independent.co.uk/sport/football…

All I can tell you is that when the final whistle blew I left to my feet, my arms raised to the sky and let out a bellowed “Yesss!!!”.  I was literally shaking, my heart racing – it was incredibly difficult to type WhatsApp messages to my son and my partner. As expected my son is instantly asking if we can go to Madrid.  He’d wanted tickets to last night’s game but the only one’s I could find were into 4 figures!  Madrid tickets are apparently twice as much, and more, and frankly I cannot imagine that the atmosphere in Madrid will be anywhere near as amazing as it was last night at Anfield.  I’m fortunate enough to have seen a number of matches there (not as many as I’d like – but that’s the problem with a popular team and a shoddy ticketing system) and even Saturday afternoon games with the crowd singing create a magical atmosphere – so I can only imagine what last night was like to actually be there – in the stadium…

Click the image below to watch the team and crowd singing “You’ll never walk alone”

So when, after the game Jurgen drops the “F bomb” I’m with Gary Lineker who, on BT Sport, refused to apologise for it being broadcast.

“I’ve been asked to apologise on behalf – But I’m not going to. He’s perfectly entitled to say that. He can get away with that, it’s after the watershed. Well done Jürgen.”

…and well done Gary Lineker!

We are Liverpool – this means more.

#YNWA

 

Yes I’m still here – unlike the FSS (thankfully!)

Yep relax, I’m still here, still ready to vent my anger and frustrations at poor service – as well as handing out congratulations to those that do good – sad there are so few!!  In these times of political chaos, increased racism and a sense of general malaise I will aim to be a beacon of clarity and incisiveness 🙂

Since we last communicated I have successfully retired from full time employment.  This allows me to speak more freely on certain topics – such as the state of the forensics market.  Which to be fair has had some good news after some senior policemen finally had the bottle to stand up to the Home Office and say enough is enough.  This was followed by the main forensic science providers also weighing in to say “hang on this is a joke — you expect everything but want to pay next to nothing”.  Thankfully the Home Office has seen sense – well they had been financially maintaining the smallest of the 3 for some months now – and prices had been increased.

At the same time wtf is “transforming forensics”?  Answer – a complete waste of time and money.  You have to see their “vision” to believe it. Hey, I worked in marketing for more than 30 years, the last 15 in the forensic market and I can tell you – it’s b*ll*ocks.  A mass of words on a diagram that looks like a small child came up with it, and a powerpoint presentation that is full on hyperbole, buzzwords and has absolutely no substance whatsoever – £30m to get this far?  Waste a waste of money!

I’ve switched off so well that I hadn’t even noticed this recent article in the media warning that the forewnswic labs are near collapse… ”

Fears raised about miscarriages of justice and unsolved crimes

Well we know that the smallest of the 3 labs has been in a financial mess for some months now bu the larger 2 are much better positioned.  But as per normal we get hysterical headlines – “miscarriages of justice”?  Why? The labs are all working to quality standards – which the police are trying tor not to catch up on, and unsolved crimes is down to the police not investigating them e.g. burglaries or by not submitting some evidence because they don’t have the budget to do that.

In reality this article should be about how the government has cut police budgets by 30%+ and has forced a procurement system on the market where quality is no longer as important as price – low price!  People the FSS has gone, it wasn’t fit for purpose so ffs get over that and stop claiming that a decline in standards has followed that – no it hasn’t.  Standards have risen dramatically – just not in the police force labs.  This market can only support 3 major providers (which clearly is what the government wants) if the police have the budget to pay a fair price.

Finally why are the journalists who are reporting on this so poorly informed – or are they just lazy!

 

Oh well done parliament – anything Trump can do, you can better (worse!!)!

I’m sure I’m not the only one having trouble keeping up with the level of incompetence and focus on personal power that seems to be driving the Brexit debate into the depths of despair!

It really is a joke and yes, we really are a laughing stock.  The latest debacle on last Monday evening when a series of propositions were supposed to enable progress to be made, under parliament’s control (as opposed to Theresa’s that is) produced sod all – well apart that is from a lot of additional media coverage for a host of losers – sorry MPs!

Even better they managed to reject 4 of them again – on the following Monday evening.

What is it with this lot?  We know that the majority of them are #Remainers (and so they bloody ought to be – as should any sane human being FFS!) but even so why can’t they just agree on something so we can get on with it, and remove all this uncertainty?

..and Theresa is thinking of having a 4th attempt..has the world gone stark raving mad?

So in the best interests of everyone here’s one last poll – please vote – although what were those famous quotes about voting?

  • “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill
  • “Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they’re ratified into law.”
    ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,
  • “I have an idea about voting, how about on every ballot we include “None of the above”. People may laugh at that, but what that is, it is a vote of no confidence in your government and I’m willing to bet that in some elections, ‘None of the Above’ would win. Imagine if you won the election but lost to ‘None of the Above’. Wouldn’t that make you re-think your positions?”
    ― Jesse Ventura
  • “Free citizens of the United Kingdom can apparently vote for clowns, but not vote (dressed) as them.”
    ― Eddie Mair, A Good Face for Radio: Confessions of a Radio Head
  • “If voting changed anything, it would be made illegal.”― Robert S. Borden
  • “…they say if you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected.”
    ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

OK that’s enough – just vote!!

Aegon and the Great British Pension Robbery


Aegon
expects you to have read its terms and conditions.  In fact if you haven’t read their terms and conditions they’ll refuse to enrol you into their schemes.  Now we all know that people don’t usually read the t’s and c’s – we all just tick the box – especially as companies don’t make their t’s and c’s user friendly – they’re usually full of legalese and cross referenced – I’m sure that corporate lawyers can understand them but – you and I – the people who are supposed to be protected by them – can’t!

I recently tried to combine my workplace pensions (my company decided it would be a good thing – for them – to change the pension a few years ago) and on my second telephone call (plus emails btw) I was asked had I read the terms and conditions.  I was informed that they ran to 180 pages – I kid you not – I asked her to repeat this figure several times – and because I said obviously I hadn’t read them she refused to do what I had requested – so I’m moving my money elsewhere – to hell with them.

Now I have already identified that the wording of these terms and conditions will be painful for the average human being to read AND then understand what they mean to him or her so here is a list of books – yes that’s right whole books – some of them classics which are under 200 pages….

Here’s just a few of them, how about:

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I’m sure a lot of us will have read one of more of these books – but just how long did it take, did you have to go back and re-read bits, did you understand what was going on whilst you were reading a passage or did you have to look elsewhere before you could fully understand it?

…and these were primarily for entertainment, your pension and future life wouldn’t be impacted if you failed to grasp the subtle meaning of a phrase here and there…

I’m going to try and find the document/s that make up this 180 pages and post them here for your enjoyment.  But in the meantime here are some short stories to keep you going…

Here’s just a few of their documents they expect you to have read.

…and there are loads – and of course every so often they update them – it is beyond the wit of man to keep up with them – but of course that’s exactly what they want!

I shall return to this topic once I have completed my download task!!

Watch this space!!

Things the world can do without – part 2

Profiteering

Disproportionately large or grossly unfair profit, generated often through manipulation of prices, abuse of dominant position, or by exploiting a bad or unusual situation such as temporary scarcity. There is usually no governmental control over profiteering unless it involves illegal means or the government can be arsed to sort it as it benefits their cronies!!

Think about the privatisation of power supply – I mean how has that benefits us, the masses?  Answer not one iota!  You’ve got the likes of Scottish Power and their friends constantly claiming that costs need to rise (presumably so they can pay their own bonuses) yet the service that you and I receive is appalling.

Apple is another company that has promoted profiteering – and sadly the rest of the mobile industry has caught on – I mean when you can buy a touchscreen 15″ laptop with shed-loads of memory (RAM and ROM) and a whole host of components and that massive screen for around £300 – why does a phone have to cost £1,500?  Simple – so Tim Apple can sit on a $285Bn cashpile – that’s why!

 

 

Donald Trump aka f**kwit!

Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Nov. 8, 2016. He has been a real estate developer, entrepreneur and host of the NBC reality show, “The Apprentice.”  Trump’s statements were awarded PolitiFact’s 2015 and 2017 Lie of the Year.

Born and raised in New York City, Trump is married to Melania Trump, a former model from Slovenia. Trump has five children and eight grandchildren. Three of his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, serve as executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.

Basically he’s a self-publicist and a liar!  Here are some of his lies…

He claims to know more about almost anything than anyone else and that he is an extremely (perhaps the most) successful businessman ever…really?

Well here are some of his business failures:

  • Trump Airlines
  • Trump beverages
  • Trump the game
  • Trump casinos
  • Trump magazine
  • Trump mortgage
  • Trump travel site
  • Trumpnet
  • Trump University

Yeah basically he’s the son of a successful businessman who is pissing his father’s inheritance up against the wall – and sadly forcing us to watch.

Putin’s calendars

One month, there’s Vladimir Putin topless in the woods with a gun. On the next page, he’s fishing in a white button-down shirt and trousers. No, they’re not pictures from the Russian president’s eHarmony page.

They’re from a calendar devoted to pictures of Putin that make him look strong, yet likeable. P-lease!

Enough of this fake fandom – this is an odious individual with a personal image complex.  We do not need to see images of Vlad topless (unless he’s missing his head that is) nor on horseback, nor cuddling leopards, holding up gigantic fish or even petting fluffy (but sufficiently manly large) dogs!

And of course it’s only going to get worse.. Those man-boobs are going to sag further, the bingo wings will develop and the comb-over will slide further and further back.  Vlad it’s not going to look pretty so just stop it please.  you know it makes sense!

Brussel Sprouts

“19 things you didn’t know about Brussel Sprouts”, yep somebody (Olivia Parker) actually wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph on that very subject – and some of them defy belief – powering Christmas trees ffs??

I can tell you a number of things about sprouts – they are, most definitely, the spawn of the devil, not only do they smell disgusting when being cooked they taste disgusting too.  Any recipe which includes sprouts as one of the ingredients like Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Chestnuts will ruin those other ingredients – instantly!

Frequently sprouts are boiled to the consistency of Ulva Lactuca – otherwise known as Sea Lettuce – it’s an algae and frankly pretty gelatinous once cooked.

They’re now an integral part of Christmas – though lord knows why – some have suggested that it appears to be a case of timing. Not only is sprout season slap bang in the middle of Christmas, but the modern roast dinner was invented around the same time that sprouts were first imported to a large scale.

Either way they’re disgusting and we don’t need them – I’ll get my vitamin C from an orange every time!

 

Trophy Hunters & Poachers

Trophy hunters, those who kill animals for recreation rather than out of necessity, imported more than 1.26 million trophies to the U.S. in the decade from 2005 through 2014, according to an analysis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s import data by Humane Society International and the Humane Society of United States. That’s an average of 126,000 trophy imports a year, or 345 a day!  And that’s disgusting!

I’m delighted to see that there’s a Facebook page dedicated to publicising the morons who think that killing animals for sport is perfectly acceptable thing to do!

Poachers are doing the same thing put this time for money, think of all the elephants and rhinos that are systematically slaughtered for some ludicrous alternative therapy or for the vanity of many around the world.

An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, leaving only 400,000 remaining. An insatiable lust for ivory products in the Asian market makes the illegal ivory trade extremely profitable, and has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of African elephants.

In just a decade, more than 7,912 African rhinos have been lost to poaching.

Enough is enough people!

Middle lane dawdlers

The British really do have some appalling diseases and this is one of their worst, an almost pathological fear of being in the inside lane on a motorway.

New fixed penalties were intended to reduce the number of people lane hogging and carrying out other acts of careless driving on UK motorways, but it’s still prevalent today.

With the number of traffic police falling, it’s increasingly difficult for police to fine lane hoggers, and it’s not something that can be monitored using cameras in the same way speeding can.

Education, rather than punishment, is a more viable way of reducing the number of lane hoggers in the long term.

The Government has announced motorway lessons for learner drivers will be an option from 2018, but they will not be mandatory. If learner drivers were given practical lessons in lane discipline, this would help reduce the number of lane hoggers.

Wasps

Not the rugby club, nor even the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants but the annoying stingey, stripey things that appear to serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever.  Wasps aren’t just annoying – if you are unlucky, you might end up with a sharp reminder that wasps, like their close relatives the honeybee, pack a powerful sting. That combination of nuisance and pain makes wasps many people’s least favourite animals.

Unlike bees, the vast majority of wasps play no role in pollination – at all – however according to scientists from University College London (UCL) and the University of Gloucestershire a world without wasps would be a world with a very much larger number of insect pests on our crops and gardens!

Apparently the social wasps that irritate us sooo much consume 14 million kilograms of insect prey across the summer!  Hmm I’m still not convinced that I think there’s a better way!!

Right – that’s enough for part 2.  In part three we’ll finally get to topics such as whaling, Irish pubs, Scottish Power, tattoos and yes, RyanAir!!

 

 

Things the world can do without – part 1

This is in no particular order – other than that’s the order I wrote them down in initially – I was having a coffee at Wisley – the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens in surrey when the idea/s came to mind.  This list is definitely not exhaustive – I’m sure more will come to mind as I’m writing it – and yes maybe it is cathartic – so ignore what some people might say – when it is done it is sorted, packaged and filed away – and the world is once again a pinker and fluffier place 🙂

So let’s get stuck right in:

Nigel Farage

Let’s be honest – what a twat!  A lying, self publicist who slags things on one hand whilst trousering their dollars with the other.  Like Boris Johnson (see later) he shifts his position with the wind.  He’ll spin a story, bend the truth, hide the evidence and generally slither around like the odious piece of human excrement he resembles.

One of these days the media is going to realise that he’s a clown, and deny him the air of publicity he thrives on.  Go on Nigel bugger off – for good!

Christopher Chope

Like Farage before him this man also smells of shit.  But this one is actually worse. This insane individual who believes that he is really helping by blocking the sort of legislation that needs to get through Parliament asap because there is some itty-bitty technical misspelling or something needs to be de-selected as a matter or urgency.

He claimed £136,992 in parliamentary expenses in 2007-8.

He helped to lead backbench support for the motion calling for a referendum to leave the European Union.

He voted against the legislation for same-sex marriage in 2013.

He voted against requiring all companies with more than 250 employees to declare the gap in pay between the average male and average female salaries.

He objected to the second reading of the Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill.

He blocked the passage of a private member’s bill that would have made upskirting a specific offence.

He objected to a bill which would have amended the Children Act 1989 in order to increase the protective power of courts over girls at risk of female genital mutiliation.

He really is a self-centred nasty, mean minded individual.  We need him out of our lives – pronto!!

Chris Grayling

This one is more dangerous as he has more power (unbelievably).  He’s held any number of high level government posts – yep at Ministerial level.  but there’s one thing that marks his tenure at each of these and that’s his complete incompetence.  He really is a fuckwit!

The list of his cock-ups is legendary, Owen Jones, writing in the Guardian sets them out far better than I could 🙂

The following is a direct lift from his wikipedia page:

He published a number of books as well as working for the BBC and Channel 4 before going into politics. A member of the Social Democratic Party until 1988, he then joined the Conservatives. First elected to Parliament in the 2001 general election for Epsom and Ewell, he was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet of David Cameron in 2005 as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.

From 2007 he became the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and in 2009 he was appointed Shadow Home Secretary. Following the 2010 general election and the formation of the Coalition Government, Grayling was made the Minister of State for Employment.

In September 2012, he was appointed to the UK Cabinet as the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice from 2012 to 2015. He was the first non-lawyer to have served as Lord Chancellor for at least 440 years. He was the Leader of the House of Commons and the Lord President of the Council between 2015 and 2016.

I’m flabbergasted….how can this happen?

Momentum

Momentum describes itself as a new kind of politics.  Really?  Seems pretty Stalinist to me – with its attempts to erase any form of alternative viewpoint than Saint Jeremy’s anaemic view of the world.  Hmm what it has actually done is to polarise things. So rather than build momentum behind getting rid of the Tories and installing a decent Labour government it has alienated a large chunk of the centre Labour vote.  so much so that even this ludicrously incompetent Tory government is still ahead in the pools after all the crap they’ve dumped on the British public- it really beggars belief!

Infuriatingly Saint Jeremy has contributed to this by basking in their fawning glory and refusing to have any sensible opinions of his own!!  Twat!

Momentum isn’t all bad – getting everyone eligible to vote on the list is a good thing, as is opposing the Tories per se but they’ve just gone about a lot of things the wrong way.  We don’t need them.

Racism

I’m sorry but I really really don’t understand why the colour of a person’s skin should make any difference what so ever.  People are people – some are nice, and some are nasty, some are funny – some aren’t, some are criminals – some aren’t. In fact it clearly isn’t just the “colour” of your skin it’s the “shade” of the colour of your skin.

This is getting ludicrous.

I’m white and I’ve experienced racism and it isn’t good – but that was a single occasion and it was over fast.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to experience it – day in, day out.  But focus on the core issue not some spurious argument based on tribal differences.

 

Religion

Where do I start? Look I get it, some people need a “religion” to enable them to make sense (or rather abrogate any intelligent thought on the matter) of their place in the universe. It’s a scary thing to try and get your head round the ultimate question – no not that one – the other one “Why am I here?”

But if we were to say, outside of any religious connotations, that we had an imaginary friend, who spoke to us we’d be carted off to the funny farm or dosed up with chemicals to manage the medical diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Worse than that the people who claim to be “holier than thou” are actually a bunch of money grabbing, misogynisitic, paedophiles!!

You might argue that Buddhism is a nicer religion but it’s still based on beliefs which cannot be proven scientifically – so I’d argue it’s just safer to steer clear of them – all of them!!  They just cause too much trouble.

Anyone who voted for Brexit!

You are all complete idiots.  see definition of idiots

  • noun: very stupid person, or alternatively fool, jerk, moron, nitwit, stupid, twit, blockhead, bonehead, cretin, dimwit, dork, dumbbell, dunce, ignoramus, imbecile, kook, muttonhead, nincompoop, ninny, pinhead, simpleton, tomfool, out to lunch.

 

In part 2 read what I think about topics such as profiteering, Donald Trump, Putin’s calendars, trophy hunters and RyanAir – amongst others 🙂

 

Is colourism a form of racism?

Colourism is a form of discrimination against dark-skinned people in favour of those with lighter skin from the same race.  I’m glad that it isn’t just me who finds this story, well, frankly ludicrous!

“It can lead to a lack of representation in film, TV and fashion, particularly in Hollywood and Bollywood, as well as discrimination at work or on dating sites, and even to serious health problems from skin bleaching creams.”

Hang on your article is all about people not being black enough – so this is a spurious inclusion – stick to the point!!

This isn’t a new argument – I remember being in Jamaica in the 1980’s and it was obvious at that point in time that the darker your skin colour the more “authentic” you were! The logical extension of this is that “white” actors can’t play other European roles – well clearly not southern European roles – unless of course they get a suntan…after all if it’s just a case of skin colour…

But if it’s an argument about “race” how granular does that argument go? To the level of tribe? If so then most of these colour nay-sayers are going to have to reconsider their perspective – just because you’re black doesn’t mean you’re all part of the same race/tribe…

How far do you want to take this?

Does this mean that two people who happen to be of different skin colours – or even just different shades of the same colour can’t marry each other as racial purity is what’s important? Bollocks – that would have precluded my first wife’s parents (both Jamaican) from marrying and indeed from she and I marrying – I’m white by the way!

Does this mean we aren’t allowed to change a story-line because it’s no longer an exact representation of the original story? Bang goes the Oscar for adapted screenplay!  C’mon people get real, the furore around this story is missing the point!

There are plenty of issues where discrimination of the basis of skin colour is a serious problem employment, housing, social care – focus on those and let actors – ACT!!

Alternatively Mr Will Smith – don’t black up as Mr Pie suggests – just get a tan – yes it really works.

Bravo Mr Bezos

Ok for starters, let me say upfront, that playing away from home when in a relationship is not a good thing. It’s often symptomatic of a relationship that is already broken. However in this particular instance the are others issues, issues that impact on many more people that take priority over any moral indignation.

I’m referring to the recent public admissions of infidelity by the head honcho of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.

in this instance AMI, the publishers of the National Enquirer, had managed to get hold of some intimate texts and “dick-picks” that the Mr Bezos and his paramore had been sending to each other. AMI has been trying to use these to blackmail Bezos into stopping an investigation into how the tabloid obtained text messages exposing his extra-marital affair.

Federal investigators and legitimate media have of course suspected and proved that Mr. Pecker has used the Enquirer and AMI for political reasons. And yet AMI keeps claiming otherwise:

“American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.”

Of course, legitimate media have been challenging that assertion for a long time.

AMI threatened to publish the pictures and the texts thereby embarrassing Mr Bezos into stopping this investigation.

However, rather than capitulate to the blackmail, Mr Bezos decided to go public about it and has published the specific details of what AMI have actually said, including the detailed descriptions of the texts and images!

Well done Mr Bezos, in this instance – even though some might argue that being one of the richest men in the world he has an ego similar to that of Vladimir Putin and the idea of people seeing him as some kind of Lothario, at his age, might just give him a semi!!!

But well done anyway for exposing the extortion, the corruption and the hypocrisy that exists in Trump’s America.

But not so much well done in the infidelity bit!!

KickStopper and IndieNoNo

What a fantastic idea it was – to crowdfund the development of cool new tech, new gadgets and stuff that the mainstream manufacturers thought too risky.  And what a shame that it has developed into a den of iniquity, of unfulfilled promises and downright lies from those running the campaigns.

According to their own stats Kickstarter claims over 150,000 successful campaigns raising over $4bn – that’s non too shabby.  But hold on just a cotton pickin’ minute – just because the campaign is successfully funded doesn’t mean it will ever deliver on its promise. A CNNMoney examination of the top 50 most-funded projects on Kickstarter found, way back in 2012, that 84% missed their target delivery dates -and that’s just the top 50.

How many of those 150k+ “successful” campaigns ever delivered anything?  Hmm, difficult finding any statistics – I wonder why?  Thankfully there are enough examples of campaigns that have been investigated to highlight the level of criminality that is going on – I particularly like this exposé from March 2018!

Indiegogo has raised over $1.3Bn from 800,000 campaigns.

Indiegogo is a less stringent alternative to the more successful Kickstarter and as such, its failure rate was always doomed to be high. Founded in 2008, the crowdfunding site has had its ups and downs. Guttulus, the Marketing Internet cat lists the top 17 failures and boy oh boy some of them are really big!!  I’ve got a 50% success rate with them:

Just put it on to take a call or hear music on your phone or PC. No earphones required!  I’ve backed them as the product is really innovative.  It certainly delivered what it promised – except that my head doesn’t seem top generate any bass, so the sounds comes across as tinny.  However if you copy their video of a guy pressing the cap against his car then yep, that works – some serious weight of sound!
With Kickstarter I’ve backed 5 projects – with varying success:
Wearable Input Device that lets you control anything. Gesture control, text transmission, payment, and more! Well in reality it was too flaky to actually be usable – but from memory it did turn up when expected – so that’s a positive!!
Exploding kittens by Elan Lee
This is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.  Truly surreal, arrived as promised and does what it says on the tin (box!) – brilliant!
Sowatch by Farasha LLC
The world’s first autonomous smartwatch that tracks cardiovascular health, blood pressure and customizes your workouts !  A mega rip off.  Still, after keeping people waiting for 3 years, I still don’t have the item.  Not really sure if it will ever arrive and not sure what it might actually deliver in terms of usefulness – as after all it’s now 3 years out of date.
Amabrush is the first toothbrush, that cleans all your teeth at once in just 10 seconds!  Allegedly!  Some people have received products and the reviews are rather mixed, so I’m not holding my breath about this one either.
A new innovation in the way you shower; luxurious experience and superior cleansing…  Well this actually arrived – approximately a year late.  And it meets some of what it claims.  It does use a lot less water..which means that the showering experience is pretty crap, it’s turned my power shower into a trickle.  So I’ve removed it….
So looking at my experience here I’d say I’ve had a success rate of 1 in 7 – Exploding Kittens.  Everything else has either not turned up or just hasn’t met the hype.  And sadly for anyone out there who is looking for backing to fund their innovative project these people have screwed it for you I’m afraid.  I know that there’s a higher rate of failure in technology start ups but judging by what I’ve seen on these 2 crowdfunding platforms there’s a higher level of fraudsters and get rich quick merchants – that’s a shame as it will make many more people than me look at what they’re investing in more carefully and at the same time tarnish the reputation of these crowdfunding platforms to the point where they no longer provide a viable route to market for some of the brightest thinkers of our time.  Sad but true!