Monday, 20 May 2013
Are we going to get a vote on the EU in the lifetime of this government? Are we hell as like!..
Nigel Lawson - the chancellor who took us into the exchange rate mechanism - says he has changed his mind on Europe and supports the call for an in/out vote. He recognises that Cameron hasn't a snow ball in hell's chance of renegotiating a better deal for the UK.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says his country wants Britain to remain in the EU, but warns that the country cannot expect to choose its level of involvement. "Cherry-picking is not an option," he warns.
Nigel Farage, the clear winner amongst all the parties in the recent local elections, agrees. Farage says the "rest of Europe is not listening to Cameron's ideas about a new flexible treaty" and I am forced to agree with him.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warns that leaving the EU would be dangerous for both Britain and Europe, but says the rules of the game cannot be changed half way through. He warned that Britain could not simply change the terms: "Imagine Europe is a football club. You join the football club, but once you are in, you cannot say, 'let's play rugby'."
Mr Fabius said that he had told British businessmen recently that if Britain wants to leave Europe, France would "roll out the red carpet for you."
And what of Nick Clegg? Well he is, of course, the main stumbling block to Cameron not getting a referendum vote through the house because Clegg is as pro-Europe as they come. This, as it happens, is very convenient for the PM because it gives him a way out. As long as he can blame Clegg, then he's off the hook.
Do we believe Cameron will give us the referendum he promises after the 2015 election if he wins? Well, I for one would remind him that this is the same referendum he promissed us in the 2010 election.
"Ah," he will say. "But you didn't give us a majority and we are in a coalition!" Handy, that.
In my opinion, if you want a vote on the EU then the way to get one is clear. Vote UKIP in the 2014 Euro elections and send a clear signal that enough is enough. Then watch 'em squirm...
Sunday, 19 May 2013
I think my views on this subject are probably fairly well known by now if you are a regular reader of this blog.
This is Paul Lamb. Paul was severely injured in a car accident in 1990. He has no function in his limbs apart from a little movement in his right hand. He is carrying on the fight for the right to be assisted in taking his own life when he decides he can no longer carry on. His case went to the Court of Appeal earlier this week.
The legal battle was championed by the late Tony Nicklinson and he is being supported by Tony's widow and another man known only as 'Martin'
Paul Lamb says he has been in pain for 23 years, needs 24-hour care and his life consists of "being fed and watered". He told the BBC his "relentless" pain levels could leave him screaming and result in him having to be "knocked out".
"It is horrendous. It is just like I've been maybe crossing a road, and a bus just smacked me at speed. Sometimes, when my mind's not so strong... people and friends around me have noticed my face can get distorted. And that's the pain on it.
I get help with feeding, bringing me drinks, helping me blow my nose. Everything that you take for granted. I can't even scratch my own face if it itches."
He said he wanted to die "when I decide that I'm ready, when I'm in no fit state to carry on".
You might think that Paul is depressed and not in his right mind. None of it! He's a rational thinking human being who finds himself in the position of finding life undignified and intolerable. He's thinking of others who find themselves in the same position and who want to die at a time of their choosing.
But, of course, the good people in church this morning will have none of it because only God has the right to decide if you live or die.
These people would put an animal down if it was suffering in this manner, but not a human. Even when that human is making the decision for his or herself.
I wonder if their views would be any different if they found themselves in that wheelchair in stead of Paul?
Saturday, 18 May 2013
FFS! Anyone who knows anything about the way AC electricity works will know that you can't store it. You use it or waste it. Simple as that.
So why the fuck are we sticking these monstrous bird mincers all over every strip of available land and open sea that we have? It's crap!
Firstly, they only work when the wind blows, so provided that there's a sudden gust of wind just as the adverts come on in the middle of Coronation Street and we all pop out to stick the kettle on, then we'll be fine.
But what if it doesn't work out like that. Well, secondly you can't just switch off a coal or gas fired power station. It's not the way they work. So if you have a surplus of electricity that's being pumped out by yer bird mincers you have to compensate by shutting down other sources of power generation. And the only ones you can do that with are hydro (turn off the tap) and nuclear (insert control rods to slow reactor).
That's right. The only sources you can turn off to make room for your nice green renewable energy source are other nice green renewable energy sources.
So apart from the fact that there's lots of money to made from all this bullshit, why the fuck are we sticking them up in the first place?
Anyway, on the other side of the coin, W is also for...wine. So don't worry about global warming, just pour yourself another glass of vino...
Friday, 17 May 2013
...that is the question.
It's a strange thing, isn't it? Gratuities, I mean. And it's something that the British can't ever seem to get comfortable with.
We inherited this strange practice from the Americans, of course and to be honest America is a place I have visited in the past but also a place that I have no particular hankering to return to. Don't know why; I just don't like the place and maybe this practice is a part of the culture that turns me off?
To Americans tipping is a way of life. You tip everyone for everything and if you don't tip then they're not shy in pointing it out to you. Brits aren't like that. We tip either because we really feel we ought to, or are embarrassed if everyone around us tips and we don't or - and this in my opinion is the only occasion on which it is justified - because we have received exceptional service.
Nothing annoys me more than when I get handed a credit card terminal displaying the message "Would you like to add a gratuity?" This really pisses me off because if I want to leave a tip then I give cash to the person who served me not a percentage to the house. I always answer 'No'.
On cruise boats, they are more subtle. "We will automatically add $10 per person per day to your account. This is optional and you may us to vary or remove it." This is tipping by default and embarrassment. Bordering on demanding money with menaces in my book. Do you really want to be seen as the tightwad who asks for it to be removed? Well, yes as it happens - and it doesn't bother me in the least.
I remember well one cruise I went on where they practiced this. I asked no less than 4 times for it to be removed during the course of the holiday. Each time there was a different excuse. In the end, I stood in the queue on the last day to pay the bill and insisted they remove it.
The bloke behind me told me I was a 'tight fisted sod' so I quietly told him to go and fuck himself. In my experience these people dish it out but have no idea how to deal with someone who throws it right back at them.
At the end of the day, whether you tip or not is up to you but from a personal point of view I can only say that I worked for myself for over 20 years...
...and no bugger ever gave me a tip.
Thursday, 16 May 2013
This week sees yet another piece of complete bullshit emerging from the Fourth Reich...
Having crippled the poor countries like Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain using the WMD known as 'the Euro', the Reich has now come up with a plan to bring the wealthier countries under the jackboot. It wants to move all the unemployed people from the poorer countries to the wealthier ones so they can be unemployed and claim benefits there instead.
This complete lunacy comes from none other than EU Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor who said ‘The free movement of workers is a key principle of the EU’s single market. With much higher levels of unemployment in some member states than others at the moment, it is all the more important to make it easier for those who want to work in another EU country to be able to do so.’
David Cameron came straight out and said 'No way, mate! You can fuck right off!' (Actually he didn't, but he bloody well should have done.)
Tory MP Philip Hollobone said: ‘The European Commission has shown once again how out of touch it is with popular opinion in this country. It seems the Commission now thinks one of its responsibilities is to share round Europe unemployment between member states'
I don't think I can improve on that without using expletives...