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!

Fly tipping – worth bringing the death penalty back for it?

Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. The courts have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, including imprisonment, substantial fines of up to £50,000 orders to pay costs and an order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.

Sounds pretty serious to me, and having seen so many examples of on my daily commute I can sympathise with those whose lives are affected by it.  It’s an insidious crime, done in the dark, when no-one is around to witness it.  The people who do it are the lowest forms of life, they can be grouped along with child molesters and self-serving politicians.   As some might say “hanging’s too good for them!”

Yet so many people seem to be getting away with it – the statistics from Defra are astonishing:

  • For the 2017/18 year, local authorities in England dealt with just under 1 million (998,000) fly-tipping incidents, a slight decrease of 1% from the 1,011,000 reported in 2016/17.
  • Two thirds (66%) of fly-tips involved household waste. Total incidents involving household waste decreased by 4% from 2016/17.
  • As in the last few years, the most common size category for fly-tipping incidents in 2017/18 was equivalent to a ‘small van load’ (33% of total incidents), followed by the equivalent of a ‘car boot or less’ (28%).
  • In 2017/18 34,000 or 4% of total incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger, which is similar to 2016/17. For these large fly-tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2017/18 was £12.2 million, compared with £9.9 million in 2016/17. This increase was driven by an increase in the number of incidents in the largest size category of ‘significant/multi loads’.
  • Local authorities carried out 494,000 enforcement actions in 2017/18, an increase of 18,000 actions (4%) from 2016/17.
  • The number of fixed penalty notices issued has continued to increase, up 20% to 69,000 from 2016/17 and up 91% on 2015/16. This is the second most common enforcement action (after investigations), and accounted for 14% of all enforcement actions in 2017/18.

So over half of the reported incidences of fly tipping, that’s 528,000, were done by people like you or me and white van men.  Basically, people who were too lazy to go to the council tip!  You lazy bastards, it’s actually free to dispose of most household refuse at the tip!

Enforcement cost councils £16.9 million in 2016-17. This was on top of the £57.7m spent cleaning up fly-tipped rubbish.  Add to that the money reportedly spent by members of the Country Landowners Association, on cleaning up rubbish dumped on their land, said to between £100m and £150m a year, and you have a serious, and expensive problem.  Unsurprisingly they’ve come up with a 5 point plan to improve things:

  1. Impose and enforce penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime
  2. Enforce fines for home and business owners whose waste is found in fly-tipped locations
  3. Appoint a national ‘Fly-Tipping Tsar’
  4. Develop new ways to clear up and support victims
  5. Promote education and working in partnership

A noble attempt but frankly I’d still recommend hanging!

The Guardian posted a series of readers’ photos of “surreal” fly tipping in London…

And it isn’t just a British phenomenon, in New Zealand a graffiti-strewn and derelict bungalow appeared on an area that had recently been cleared for a new retail centre in Takanini, to the south of Auckland!

Closer to home, in Italy, according to Wikipedia, the Triangle of death in Campania, is Europe’s “largest illegal waste dump”. The area, which encompasses Italian municipalities Acerra, Marigliano, and Nola, experiences illegal waste disposal practices by the Camorra such as unauthorized burying of toxic waste under places frequented by humans.  Frequent fires at dumping sites and illegal waste fires have resulted in contamination of the air and drinking water.  And this raises a second issue driving this practice – fly-tipping has become a source of income for criminal gangs – here in the UK, as well in Italy.

So, what can be done about it?  Well for starters I hope that all the offenders in the videos that can be found on this BBC website were punished, if nothing else for the lame excuses they came up with!

Well one thing I’d recommend is to undertake some DNA analysis of the waste itself, swab the sofa, or the ties of bin bags, or the handles of the drawers and doors, I’d bet a few DNA profiles that could be checked with the National DNA Database would be found, and then maybe a few less criminals could be locked up, or hung, whatever!

Equally analysis of the contents of bin bags can lead to identifying whose waste it is – just think of the amount of junk mail (that you just bin) that either has your address or even better your name and address on it…you’re with me, I can feel it 🙂

However the greatest improvement can be made by standardising recycling and waste management – across the nation. Just telling people in one area what they can and can’t recycle, via some dull piece of local authority marketing, isn’t going to hack it.  It needs concerted centralised action – I mean Jeez, the bins are different colours in different areas – for those of you who want to know what you can recycle, and where check this link out!!  The rest of you, I suggest you start writing to your MP, start lobbying them and get the major waste companies involved too.

And stop trying to charge small businesses for taking their waste to council tips – encourage them to come to you – in the long ride it’ll save money!  Just make it as simple as possible and then the system will work better, and we’ll all benefit.  It’s either that of bring back the death penalty…

My phone, it’s just like banging on rocks!

Tell me, dear reader, what’s your opinion on the following?

  • Have smartphones killed the art of conversation?
  • Watching television will give you square eyes
  • A room without books is like a body without a soul.

…are you sitting there, harrumphing away, muttering things along the lines of..” the kids today, pah!”  Or are you like me typing away at your keyboard thinking – these are about as accurate as Bill Gates (allegedly) saying that “640K ought to be enough [memory] for anybody” or William Orton, president of the Western Union Telegraph Company saying in 1876 “What use could this company make of an electrical toy?” when offered the patent for the telephone.

I’ve written before about my love for technology – when it works – and equally I’m not a creationist!  The world is a constantly changing place – climate (yes Donald, it is!), culture, technology, language – as they say the only constant is change!  I love that.  Everyday there’s something new to discover, something new to experience, to learn and to enjoy.  To me these 3 sentences are all about sticking your head in the sand, like and Emu, and living in the past, a rosy coloured past where everything was wonderful and live was just…better.

Bollocks, it wasn’t better – it was different.

The first sentence is one of the most popular statements you see/hear from older people about how the children of today spent their lives in a digital world, not communicating with each other.

Wrong!!  Today’s youth communicate far more and with far more people that has previously been possible.

OK, I know that not all of it is good but to say they aren’t communicating is just silly – they’re just communicating in different ways than their parents did, and their grandparents before them!

The second sentence, or fallacy, to give it a more useful name has been around for years – well since the television (for my younger readers that’s the big screen in the living room that you stream Netflix on) became popular and widely available in the 1960’s.

This paragraph, from “Clare” writing on the Smallpiece Trusts website, sums the situation perfectly.

This was one of the usual threats used by mother when I was a child. I never believed her, really, but I did sit a little further back from the screen every time she said it. Then when I became a mother, I decided that my daughter would never watch television. She’d only eat organic green food (while sitting nicely at the table, obvs), never ever lay eyes on a tablet and never see a mobile phone. Judging by the way my daughter chatters away into the remote control and the face she made when she first tasted broccoli (below), I can safely say I’m losing a few of these battles.

Once again we see the parent/child

 

The third sentence is a quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived 106 BC – 43 BC. A Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer who vainly tried to uphold republican principles in the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic. His writings include books of rhetoric, orations, philosophical and political treatises, and letters. He is remembered in modern times as the greatest Roman orator and the innovator of what became known as Ciceronian rhetoric…and in his day it was spot on.

And even then he was ahead of his times.

In Europe (I say that even though our politicians and lunatic right are trying to make us leave…) we had to wait for a millenium before Gutenberg revolutionised printing so the masses could get access to the written word…which, interestingly is now the name of a web based foundation enabling free, online, access to thousands of books!  The technology simply didn’t exist, there weren’t that many libraries around and few of the population could have actually read a book anyway.

Think about this, cuneiform writing was only developed around 3,000BC and if we take things back even further the first cave painting are thought to be only 40,000 years old or so (there are a number of places where they have been found Spain, Indonesia, and Borneo).  When people first starting to use spoken language to communicate with each would have been much earlier but we, obviously, don’t have any proof of when that started!!

Suffice it so that at some point in time, way back in history (before flares were fashionable, obviously!), banging on rocks or banging rocks on something else would have been a means of communicating with other like minded individuals. To them the idea of writing might have been a real WTF moment – “how did they do that, wow, that’s really cool”, or perhaps it would have been a “don’t do that, your fingers will drop off and your wrists go all floppy” reaction.

This is really all about attitudes to new technology and the best summation of that I can think of comes from a book – yes a book that was printed and you could, like, pick it up and it had pages which you’d be told off for folding down the corner of to remember how far you’d got! – called Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore – yes children you can still buy it on Amazon, although there is a Kindle version, oh and an Audible one as well 🙂

It was all about selling new technology and it grouped people and markets into stages of technology adoption – hey even silver surfers get social media these days!  The 5 types/stages of adoption are as follows – from fastest to slowest:

  • Innovators – these are the people who think stuff up, who break new ground, adopt new ways of doing things. The love the technology pure and simple – even if it isn’t that practical yet.
  • Early Adopters – these are the people who see what the innovators have come up with a go wow I want it.  Not only that they tend to evangelise of the benefits of the change, rather than technology/process itself.
  • Early Majority – this lot need to know that it works, maybe some one they know already has it and says it’s really good. They like reviews – they’re the Tripadvisor generation.
  • Late Majority – this lot are only prepared to adopt something when it’s been around quite a while, it’s really easy to get it and the price has probably dropped significantly.
  • Laggards (also known as Luddites) – this bunch either aren’t interested in what’s new or are actually afraid of it.  A lot of the statements you read about the harm that new stuff can cause is from fear – from a lack of understanding, from ignorance.

So that’s why you get so many different attitudes to technology, and anything that’s new in fact, and phones and the way they are used is just the latest form of communication.  Much of that communication is in digital form and uses social media, and if you thought that 20 million people watching a TV programme in the UK was large, check out the user bases below – data from Statista:

Taking Facebook as an example, of that total of over 2.2 billion users more than 1 billion are using their mobile phones to communicate. and well over half of all Google search is now conducted on mobile devices.

So are young people spending too long on their phones?

No, the mobile device/phone is the portal to the world wide web, to knowledge, to entertainment – the communication channel of choice – just like those rocks were millenia ago.

..but you do have to wonder what comes next…will Virtual Reality still have a “social” means of communication or will people become more insular – we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Embarrassed? You should be!

Of course this is a Brexit post – how could it not be after the omnishambles of the past 2 years, culminating in a media frenzy about something we all knew was going to happen weeks before it finally DID happen!

Yeah right – you should be embarrassed, in fact we should ALL be embarrassed for allowing this f*kcfest to happen.

  • David Cameron – the weak one who started this off because he couldn’t hack it and couldn’t manage the right wing of his party.
    • It was supposed to be the springboard for a smooth and successful referendum campaign. In reality, David Cameron’s EU renegotiation was a great miscalculation that helped pave the way for voters to reject EU membership. Most significantly, the much-anticipated deal failed to sway members of his own Cabinet, while also highlighting the EU’s inflexibility on the free movement of people principle. Rather than create the momentum for a comfortable victory, the renegotiation storyline petered out as the official pro-EU campaign got stuck repeating messages about economic doom after Brexit.
    • And believe it or not Cameron still isn’t prepared to take his share of the blame!
  • The multitude of politicians who lied to the electorate about what they were supposed to be voting for, and then continued to do so during the 2 years they wasted not coming up with a solution – not to mention wasting a lot of money at the same time!
    • “Had we acted decisively on Day 1, we would have known where we stood and instead of frittering away the past 18 months negotiating with a hidebound hegemony we could have put all our energies into negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).”
    • “Brexit preparations have considerably increased the number of civil servants.  For Defra, Home Office and HMRC, Brexit will effectively reverse the reductions in the size of the civil service since 2010. In fact, half of the money spent on Brexit so far has gone on new staff.”
  • The media that allowed this to go on without challenging these shysters.
  • And anyone out there who voted for Brexit – basically we’re talking about the racists in the country – plain and simple – you’re racists!
    • People voted to leave EU because they feared immigration

Fundamentally this is why YOU need to be embarrassed – because you’re a racist (if you voted to leave)!

Oh, sorry – you don’t think you’re a racist?

Well have a read of this article from thecreative.cafe called 10 signs you’re a racist.  Well, how many of those apply to you?

Furthermore a survey for the Guardian, published in December 2018, including 1,000 people from minority ethnic backgrounds (out of a total of 3,000 people) found they were consistently more likely to have faced negative everyday experiences – all frequently associated with racism – than white people in a comparison poll. The survey asked people to consider their response to a series of scenarios:

  • Being overlooked in a job application process or for promotion at work in a manner that felt unfair
  • Being mistaken for a member of staff in a restaurant, shop or hotel etc
  • Being refused entrance or asked to leave a restaurant, bar or club for no good reason
  • Someone at work, university or school treating me differently because of my clothing, hairstyle or general appearance
  • A stranger being abusive or rude to me in public

In every instance BAME people were more likely to have suffered from these than white respondents.

Our organs of state are institutionally racist – hey, the claim that policing practice in the UK is institutionally racist was widely accepted after the Macpherson Report at the end of last century.  BTW, parliament has just launched an inquiry to see how things have changed in the past 20 years, yeah right, I think the current farrago (I said farrago not arsehole!) shows we don’t really need that new inquiry, we could answer the question now – not very much!

This whole Brexit shenanigans seems to be a fantastic missed opportunity and a damning indictment on our politicians and indeed, the British public.

There’s nothing wrong with renegotiating a trade deal, or a political alignment – things change, needs and wants change – but surely at the centre there needs to be some acceptance of mutual beneficiality, of trying to co-exist with our neighbours.  After all there are 7 billion people on this planet – we’re only 60 million of them – why do we consider that we’re right (all the damn time)?

We should all be embarrassed of where we currently are and we should try and do something about it!

You can support the “BOLLOCKS TO BREXIT ” campaign to stop the Brexit madness that has consumed the UK by: