Category Archives: media

Things the world can do without – pt 3

Wow it’s been over a year since I completed part 2 of this thread – sorry troops that’s retirement for you – it makes you blissfully unaware of anything that was once important ūüôā

Anyway mind now focussed, thanks to Scottish Power – grrr.

So, for now, this is the final part of this thread – clearly there are plenty more things that irk me – but there’s plenty of time for them…later ūüôā

Mosquitoes

As National Geographic succintly puts it:

Few animals on Earth evoke the antipathy that mosquitoes do. Their itchy, irritating bites and nearly ubiquitous presence can ruin a backyard barbecue or a hike in the woods. They have an uncanny ability to sense our murderous intentions, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before a fatal swat. And in our bedrooms, the persistent, whiny hum of their buzzing wings can wake the soundest of sleepers.

Oh yes indeedy, they are especially irritating!

I mean what positives do they actually offer – apparently food for other things – and basically that’s it.¬† They cost me money every year when I’m travelling no the continent – sprays, plug-in machines amongst a variety of strategies to avoid the little buggers nibbling me!¬† And if they do get through that just adds to the irritation – literally!

This just in!!!

According to a new study¬†published in the journal Acta Tropica, listening to electronic music — specifically dubstep, produced by U.S. artist Skrillex —¬†could protect against mosquito bites. The BBC reports:Sound is “crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals,” says a team of international scientists specializing in mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. They subjected adults of the species Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito, to electronic music to see whether it could work as a repellent. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, a track by Skrillex which features on his Grammy-award winning album of the same name, was chosen because of its mix of very high and very low frequencies.

“In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics [members of the same species] and hosts,” the scientists said. Female adult mosquitoes were “entertained” by the track and attacked hosts later and less often than those in a dubstep-free environment. Scientists said “the occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played.” The scientists also found that mosquitoes exposed to the song had sex “far less often” than mosquitoes without music. “The observation that such music can delay host attack, reduce blood feeding, and disrupt mating provides new avenues for the development of music-based personal protective and control measures against Aedes-borne diseases.”

Who would have thought it?¬† That’s my holiday soundtrack sorted!!

 

Whaling

Cetaceans are some of the world’s most intriguing animals. So unless they are historically part of your diet – I’m thinking the Innuits here (where there is no pork or lamb wandering around to be eaten) – let them be.¬† They are doing you no harm and indeed provide such joy.

…and even protecting us as the above example shows.¬† So Japan, Norway and the rest of you – just stop it – NOW!

 

Irish pubs

Just why?¬† You’re in the middle of somewhere fantastic like Lisbon and suddenly there it is, the green facade, the smell of stale beer and quite possibly the smell of a stale drinker comatose on the pavement.¬† Just NO!

The beer in Portugal is better, the wine is a far better bet so please don’t export this form of culture – phew never thought i’d have to use that word in this section!!

 

Pay for view TV

Bit political this one but how do you feel with a few players dominating the media space and therefore forcing what they want you to see on you?  Sky, Fox and the like are gobbling up everything you ever wanted to watch Рsport, news, entertainment and then dicing and slicing it to get their message across (Trump/Johnson) and ripping you off for the privilege.

From Wikipedia about Fox news viewers..

A study by the¬†Program on International Policy Attitudes¬†(PIPA) at the¬†University of Maryland¬†School of Public Affairs, as published in the Winter 03‚Äď04 issue of the¬†Political Science Quarterly,[62]¬†reported that poll-based findings[63]¬†indicated that viewers of Fox News Channel, the¬†Fox¬†network and local Fox affiliates, including New York and Los Angeles, were more likely than viewers of other news networks to hold three misperceptions:[62]

  • 67% of Fox News Channel viewers erroneously believed that the “U.S. has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein¬†was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization” (compared with 56% for CBS, 49% for NBC, 48% for CNN, 45% for ABC, 16% for NPR/PBS).
  • The erroneous belief that “The U.S. has found¬†Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq” was held by 33% of Fox News Channel viewers and only 23% of CBS viewers, 19% for ABC, 20% for NBC, 20% for CNN and 11% for NPR/PBS.
  • 35% of Fox News Channel viewers erroneously believed that “the majority of people [in the world]¬†favor the U.S. having gone to war” with Iraq (compared with 28% for CBS, 27% for ABC, 24% for CNN/HLN, 20% for NBC, 5% for NPR/PBS).

Old data I know but here’s a recent poll

I rest my case!

Give me the old BBC, properly funded, independent of government and allowed to “entertain” us all.

 

Scottish Power customer service/ Michael Ryan/Ryanair

I’ve grouped them together as they’re both crap – like really, really crap. Don’t believe me?¬† Well you have a couple of choices.¬† First off you can read my previous posts on the subject – this is the most popular post I’ve ever written (I’m still getting comments!) – I’m still working on one which is a real doosey!

… or check this out from – Which.

In 2019 they surveyed nearly 4,000 people about the customer service they‚Äôve received from 100 UK retailers, and discovered sharp differences between sectors. Airlines, telecoms and energy providers came out worst overall. Respondents rated how valued companies make them feel, how helpful and knowledgeable staff are and how well they handle complaints. Here’s the bottom two – ooh look!!

  • 99. Scottish Power – Scottish Power customers say they don‚Äôt feel valued ‚Äď a third described the energy company as ‚Äėarrogant‚Äô.
  • 100. Ryanair – Very poor at handling complaints and most likely to be described as ‚Äėgreedy‚Äô and ‚Äėsneaky‚Äô.

I rest my case.  Both organisations should simply be shut down, their senior management forbidden ever to work in a position of authority again Рend of!

 

Tattoos

Once again just why? I know it’s your body and your choice but I don’t get it – it doesn’t improve things as far as I’m concerned.

 

tatt

Tribal tattoos are ok – on tribes people, as it’s a cultural thing but not on Dave from round the corner though!!¬† Read up on their history, here’s an interesting article on the Sarawak (Borneo) tattoos, don’t just cover your arms in black ink!

I could go on but that’s enough for now!!

 

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!”

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 Рthey 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 Рinstantly!

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‚Äôs import data by Humane Society International and the Humane Society of United States. That‚Äôs 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 ūüôā

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 Рpronto!!

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

 

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:

‚ÄúAmerican Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.‚ÄĚ

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!!

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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď all frequently associated with racism ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄúBOLLOCKS TO BREXIT ‚ÄĚ campaign to stop the Brexit madness that has consumed the UK by:

I hate lawyers. Well some of them anyway and so should you.

Agreeing with Ian Hislop?¬† Blimey – I didn’t expect that would ever happen, I am getting old ūüė¶

I should say that I don’t hate all lawyers but there are a few types of lawyer that, frankly, the world could do without.¬† The first group are those who decide that they need to go into politics – 15% of all MPs were either barristers or solicitors.¬† This lot just need to go away now! Between them they’re responsible for the current Brexit mess we find ourselves in – and plenty of other messes as well!

This group is particularly irritating because they think they’re doing good when actually they are screwing things up for everybody except their rich friends!¬† Hateful, lying, toadies – the lot of them!!

The second group are those ambulance chasing Injury 4 You type of low-life shysters.¬† There is one TV advert that features a woman in a shopping centre who manages to slip and injure herself at the top of an escalator.¬† Hmmm if I remember correctly her view is obscured by a host of shopping bags she’s carrying.¬† I mean c’mon, really?¬† Are you suggesting that it’s the shopping centre’s fault?¬† That really does take the biscuit!

Here’s the google ad for one of these leeches:

Injury Lawyers UK. Specialists | Check How Much You Can Claim‚Äé

 Rating for russellworthsolicitors.co.uk: 4.8 Р159 reviews
Free Claim Assessment. Discover Your Rights Now. No Win No Fee. Call Us Today.
Check how much you can claim? Clearly there’s nothing like the Hippocratic Oath that lawyers have to observe. Weasels – the lot of them.¬† How their advertising meets the ASA standards – Legal, DECENT, Honest Truthful – I just don’t know.¬† There are loads of these kind, peddling their services to the weak and the vulnerable – those desperate for money.¬† They’re one of the reasons that your and my insurance premium has been rising over the past few years – their behaviour is encouraging spurious claims and that results in higher policy prices.
What they do for you?¬† What they do is for themselves – not for you.¬† They aren’t charities they’re out for a quick buck.¬† Avoid them like the plague….¬† They’re so heinous that the law had to be changed to stop them profiteering..
The Civil Liability Bill has officially received Royal Asset today (December 20) marking a reform of the way England and Wales addresses whiplash claims and the framework around which the personal injury discount rate is set. Its aim is to reduce the ‚Äúexcessive‚ÄĚ compensation claims impacting the NHS.
See I told you!!!
And now the third and final group that need to be eliminated – PPI claim insurance companies.

‚ÄėVULTURES‚Äô¬†‚ÄėAmbulance-chasing‚Äô PPI lawyers slammed by car finance expert for now hounding mis-sold PCP deals

Banks face ‚Äėshockwaves‚Äô with up to ¬£18bn in PPI payouts</<blockquote>
PPI has ‘turned portions of UK into fraudsters‘ – bank chief

Possibly the worst of the 3. And they are allowed to bombard us with their advertising, pleading with us not to miss out on up to ¬£7k.¬† They really shouldn’t allow it – but they do – on TV, on the radio…it’s everywhere.¬† Even though there are people out there who deserve the support of good lawyers to get their money back there are standards that should be applied and followed – by all parties!

Martin Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert website, said banks had lied to customers that certain types of insurance were compulsory, yet no banker had been¬†prosecuted¬†over the issue. ¬†He tweeted: ‚ÄėBank‚Äôs [SIC] PPI selling was a systemic, deliberate, scripted, protection racket to¬†missell¬†¬£30bn+ of insurance. ‚Äė

Lots of “No win no fee” claims out there but buyer beware.¬† Stories of claims companies wanting 40% of the payout are not unusual!¬† Like I said earlier – they aren’t in to help you – just to help themselves, and the worst thing about this is that as soon as this peak is over, we pass the deadline for claims, they’ll be gone, moving onto something else, some other group of people who think that a quick buck is their right.
These kinds of lawyers are simply not fit to bear the name lawyer.¬† They’re con men, disgusting low life who should be shunned by society – they’ve reached the level of disdain that we used to reserve for estate agents!!

Charity begins in central government

One of the annoying things about daytime TV is the number of charity adverts.¬† You can’t go a single ad break without at least one!¬† Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against charities, well scrub any that uses religion, but generally I think that being charitable is a wonderful thing.

But why is the focus for these charities to put the burden of supporting them onto the British public?¬† The answer is clear – it’s because the UK government has decided that they’d rather give large sums of money to their cronies in the private sector than provide a decent range of public services.

And frankly I think that is unacceptable.

It is, however, a complex issue

  • Since 2010 healthcare expenditures have declined, down to 7.1 percent GDP by 2020.
  • Nearly 12 million UK residents aged 65 years and over.
  • The government has increasingly pushed the burden on local authorities – here’s just one clause from the latest guidance they issued:

To ensure that the pressure on council tax is kept down, the net additional cost of all new burdens placed on local authorities (including parishes, police and fire and rescue authorities) by central Government must be assessed and fully and properly funded.

…and by properly funded they mean dumped onto you. Ensuring the pressure is kept down my arse.¬† The Conservatives are openly the party of “small government” – lower taxes – more money in your pocket!¬† Allegedly!!¬† However the statistics published each budget day seem to show that the people who end benefiting most from Tory policies are the better off…¬† Basically the people who least need to benefit!!

“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is an aphorism due to Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Just this morning (19/12/2018) it seems that the entire BBC Breakfast programme was based around the issue of Special Educational Needs – and that’s brilliant.¬† But the reason they’ve chosen to do that is because the investment in providing the service from central government simply isn’t good enough.¬† The current Tories in government would rather invest ¬£1.5bn in ensuring that a bunch of rapid racists and bigots in Northern Ireland would support them so they could form the government than paying¬†for 66,000 qualified registered nurses! And look where that got them – a total and utter waste of money.¬† Oh and guess what, the current shortfall in nurses means that the government has to pay another ¬£1.5bn on temporary staff.

..and to compound matters¬†the Brexit vote has also contributed to a growing recruitment crisis. Since the referendum there has been a 28% increase in the number of EU nurses leaving Britain, which could exacerbate the problem, said the report. Overseas applications for nursing roles has fallen by 87% in the past 12 months!¬† Didn’t I see something about the Chancellor allocating ¬£4.2bn for EU exit preparations…yesI damn well did!

These examples are just symptomatic of a policy of reducing, or rather minimising central government expenditure.

Look, I know we have an ageing population and health and pensions are time-bombs waiting to happen but making the old, the infirm and those who were just born that way suffer is wrong Рplain wrong.  Society has to do better and governments must take the lead.

I’m of complex politics – decidedly left wing – but I believe in a mixed economy. I don’t believe in privatising the NHS – healthcare should be free at the point of need, irrespective of how much money you have, but it could be run much leaner – less need for “management” and targets – more focus on doing stuff than measuring it or sitting in committees deciding on which policy to adopt – just keep people healthy!

I’m all in favour of nationalising the utility companies – I mean I’m sorry but HTF does Scottish Energy/Scottish Power survive – the worst customer service, the most unintelligent staff – and the railways and then doing some intelligent planning and putting some intelligent people in charge of running them and making sure that none of the contracts gets awarded to Tory cronies like Carillion.¬† ¬†(Apparently the government awards ¬£200bn worth of public contracts to private companies EVERY year!)

Subsequently the government is to bring in tougher contract terms for outsourcers following Carillion’s collapse Рor closing the stable door after the horse has bolted as we call that!

Frankly I think that charity should be nationalised and most definitely secularised. We have an overseas aid budget which is functionally designed, not to aid those in most need but, to smooth the path for the Tories rich friends to do deals with 3rd world countries so they can fill their pockets with even more money!

Since 1980 BBC Children in Need has raised over £1bn, Comic Relief has raised over £1bn.   The generosity of the British public is amazing, and legendary Рbut think what could be done with the £56bn that HS2 is currently forecast to cost Рone estimate actually puts it nearer to £80bn.

Just think how many people we could help – here and abroad – if our government used our money better….

Seems I’m not the only person thinking aloing these lines…

Just done some sums. ¬£4,200,000,000 would pay for 146,000 band 5 nurses for a year. Or, it would pay for 138,000 police officers for a year. Or we could have 146,000 newly qualified teachers. Oh, the things we could spend ¬£4.2 billion on. Instead we’re spending it on brexit.

Today we are allocating £2 billion of funding to help departments prepare for #Brexit. The Treasury has provided more than £4.2 billion for Brexit preparations since 2016. gov.uk/government/new…

And more to the point I wouldn’t have to watch those bloody annoying ads for charities, here and abroad, scrabbling for money, money that that is being wasted by government who are simply abrogating the issue – forcing us to pick up the baton for solving problems that can only be solved through government intervention.

Matt Johnson of The The said it right back in his song The Heartland in 2006

This is the land, where nothing changes,
the land of red buses & blue blooded babies,
This is the place, where pensioners are raped,

& the hearts are being cut, from the welfare state,
Let the poor drink the milk, while the rich eat the honey,
Let the bums count their blessings, while they count the money

Read more: The The РHeartland Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Is GDPR turning us all into sheep?

I dunno bout you but I’m getting extremely p’d off by all the changes that GDPR has introduced to make our lives better.

The¬†purpose¬†of the¬†GDPR¬†is to provide a set of standardised data protection laws across all the member countries. This should make it easier for EU citizens to understand how their data is being used, and also raise any complaints, even if they are not in the country where its located.”

That’s what the Privacy Trust says. Well guys you have actually done the opposite.¬† It used to really easy to block cookies and stop people using your data – but now you get things like this appearing – and yes, this from the Privacy Trust’s own website!

We use cookies to see how many people use our site, and which parts are the most popular. Can we continue to use cookies? You can say NO and it won’t have a major impact on how you view our site.

More informationYes

Do you see that we aren’t being offered a yes/no option we’re actually being offered a say yes or we’ll make you spend more time than previously needed to block us?¬† Where’s the NO option?¬† Answer there isn’t one!

Clicking the More information link takes you here –¬†https://www.privacytrust.com/about/privacy.html and I defy you to tell me where the NO option is.¬† I have contacted them and they say they’ll be back in touch within 3 days – I’ll update this post if/when they do ūüôā

And of course if you decide you want to block their irritating cookies you’ll get the same damn irritating messages every time you try to view the content they’re pushing out –¬† believe me, I reckon a number of websites out there will be looking at dropping visitor figures and not thinking positive thoughts about the law makers!¬† I’ve already blocked plenty!

In addition to (if that wasn’t bad enough!) these extremely irritating cookie/data messages there’s the whole issue of GDPR causing the EU individual’s view of the world to become more insular.

Have you not noticed that a number of your favourites information sources are now displaying messages along these lines – this one’s from Lee Enterprises – they¬†publish 46 daily newspapers across 21 US states:

“451: Unavailable for legal reasons

We recognise you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore cannot grant you access at this time. For any issues, e-mail us at support@qctimes.com or call us at 563 383 2200”

I’ve lost count of the number of hyperlinks that appear in my daily Google alerts about subjects related to my day job that end up with something like that – or they just hang – a blank white screen like the LA Times …great – I’m lovin’ it – NOT!¬† So, how long is “temporarily unavailable”?¬† I think we should be told, lest we turn into an insular little country with a jaundiced view of the world – a sort of small USA!

And it’s the combination of the measures that GDPR has inflicted on us web browsers that fills me with dread.¬† From memory it was Oscar Wilde who famously stated that “The law is an ass!” Well clearly he wasn’t wrong.

I’m of the view that all this nanny-state nonsense is reducing out ability to think for ourselves, and naturally that’s not a good thing in an era where we need all the thinking we can get to sort out the real problems facing our very existence e.g. the people making these laws as well as the Trumpster himself.

Or are you all just sheep?