Sunday, 29 March 2015
Saturday, 28 March 2015
Friday, 27 March 2015
This is why I avoid travelling to America where everybody expects a tip for doing the most simple task and often for just going through the motions. It's possibly also why I like New Zealand where such practices are positively discouraged.
But here we are on a posh train travelling half way across Africa. This is a rare trip for us where we are being 'advised' as to the expected level of 'totally discretionary' gratuity to be handed over at the end of the trip. $10-$20 per person per day is the recommended amount and we've been on here for 14 days so you do the math...
Apparently an envelope will be left in our suite 'for our convenience'. How thoughtful!
But for the Conspicuous Tipper such things are manna from heaven. At the breakfast he appears with the aforementioned envelope prominently displayed on the table next to his full English. And just look how thickly stuffed it is! Wow! What a generous and wealthy man he must be.
And here comes another Conspicuous Tipper, this time with the envelope protruding from his shirt pocket for all to admire.
So here's my tip for tips, so to speak :
(1) Use small bills. $1 bills are the bill of choice here. It makes the envelope look ever so thick without costing you a fortune.
(2) If you really don't think the service was up to much, then either use toilet paper to bulk out the envelope or stick to your guns and don't give a tip. Just make sure you have secured your bags first.
But there is an option 3. Once on a cruise in the Baltic we were presented with several colour coded envelopes for the dreaded gratuity and a line of people with their hands out waiting to receive them as we got off.
I was particularly unimpressed with 'Il Spitooni' as we had labelled the Somelier - a man with a gold cup on a chain around his neck who, as far as I could see, did bugger all. As we got off I smiled sincerely, shook him firmly by the hand, and handed him the appropriately coloured envelope. "I think you'll find that this adequately rewards the service you have given us" I announced.
I would have loved to see his face when he opened the envelope and read the note inside. It said "You've done sod all, so that's what I've given you."
At which point one reflects as to what the Conspicuous Tipper put in his envelope...
(Dioclese is in Malta escaping the weather and election...)
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Seems Lord Prezza has been opening his big fat mouth and sticking his foot in it - which makes a change from just stuffing food in it, I suppose...
Prezza reckons that Britain is to blame for radicalising young Muslims into joining ISIS. The former deputy prime minister said the country should 'face up to the fact' that it had somehow pushed already devout youngsters into the throngs of extremism. He added if he was a young Muslim in Britain today, he too 'could be radicalised' because of 'injustice' in Gaza and US drone strikes in Syria.
Personally, I find it staggering that a former high ranking government official and now a hypocritical incumbent on the Labour benches in the Lords could have such a distorted and simplistic understanding of world affairs and international politics.
He was also quick to condemn Tony Blair's entry into the war in Iraq - totally neglecting to mention that he was a senior member of the cabinet at the time and unlike Jack Straw decided that it wan't enough of a matter of principle to resign as a result.
Stick another pie in your gob, Prezza. At least it will stop you talking bullshit for a while...
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Here we go again! As the election progresses and in the interest of telling the whole story about political bias and the 'Let's get UKIP' campaign, I was interested to hear Nigel Farage being interviewed on Sky News over the weekend...
I was particularly interested in his riposte to Gillian Joseph who was trying to ram home the misfortunes experienced by some of his candidates over the last week. There was MEP and prospective Parliamentary candidate Janice Atkinson who stood down after one of her staff was caught trying to defraud expenses. Then there was Stephen Howd, prospective MP for Scunthorpe, suspended pending a probe into a workplace “incident”. And Jonathan Stanley quit as a candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale, claiming there was “open racism and sanctimonious bullying” inside UKIP.
Farage has had better weeks and you will notice that although I support UKIP and will be voting for them in May, I am not holding back in naming and shaming these individuals. But Farage had a point in his response that the media in general are quick to expose UKIP's scandals, but very slow to comment on the other parties when they hit problems.
This week we heard about Afzal Amin's scandalous behaviour, but what about Tory peer Lord Green and his tax dodging or the Rifkind cash for access row? And whilst we're at it that involved Jack Straw as well. Disappeared from the media rather quickly didn't it? And there's also a rumour going around at the moment of a major sex scandal involving prominent politicians which, if you believe the usual conspiracy theorists, is being suppressed until after the election.
I've not got over the David Laws scandal in the LibDems either. The bugger was kicked out and then brought back in through the back door after we'd forgotten all about it. That's the real scandal, not kicking him out in the first place.
No, they've all got skeletons on the cupboard, but I'm inclined to go with Farage when he says we don't get to hear about them - or at least not as promptly, prominently and repeatedly as we do about UKIP.
The powers that be manipulating the media? Shurely not...