Wednesday, 29 February 2012
I really love leap years! There's something about February 29th that has always fills my heart with joy...
Perhaps it could be that traditionally this is a day when women propose marriage to men? Is there something about this that just gives me a feelgood factor?
No. It's something else entirely...
When I was working, I was self employed and charged my clients either by the day or the hour. It was this that made me feel good.
I'd walk in to an office full of 'permies' who were getting paid annual salaries and take great delight in telling them that I was getting paid today and they weren't.
Think about it. If you get paid by the year, then this year you are getting the same pay for 366 days work that you get for 365.
Bet you wish you'd pulled a sickie now, don't you?
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
How many times did you hear little boys say that in the good old days?
Well, it seems the good old days are here again - because who needs a university degree when you can get £50,000 a year for a 35 hour weeks with 8 weeks annual leave thrown in for good measure?
My opinion of RMT leader, Bob Crowe, is about as low as a snakes belly - but you have to hand it to the guy! He's negotiated London Underground drivers a four year pay deal that sees the average train driver earning more than a newly qualified Chartered Accountant - and all without having to bother with all that faffing about with degrees and training (no pun intended!)...
So never mind the bankers' bonuses, fifty grand for driving a train is just plain bloody scandalous!
Monday, 27 February 2012
Whilst I was on holiday, I chanced to read an interesting article about the downturn in applications for University places. This, of course, is being blamed on the increased tuition fees - but then they would say that, wouldn't they?
Is it true? Well, I don't think so...
Statistics are used to point out that the decline in UK applications is more pronounced in England where the fees can be as much as £9,000. But then this is perfectly logical if you think about it. Given the opportunity to study elsewhere at the same standard for less, why would you choose England? It's plain common sense.
But whilst we're on the subject of common sense, let's ask the obvious question : Do you actually need a university degree in the first place? According to UCAS, 230,340 men and 309,731 women have applied for courses.That's still a staggering 540,000 applicants out of a total population of around 70 million. Multiply that by a three year course and we have about 1.62 million students in college which is around 2.3% of the population. Take out the old people and the babies and the percentage is even more frightening - and these are the decreased numbers...
The simple fact is that we have been brainwashed into thinking that the only way to succeed in live is to get a degree. This suits the politicians because the mantra of 'education, education, education' kept people off the dole queue. The trouble is it's only a temporary fix. Eventually the numbers drop out and the unemployment figures rise again. It's a fudge. Blame Tony Blair. He's the one who started it all.
What is certainly happening is that there is a huge decline in degrees which are seen to be of little practical value. People are being more discerning in their choices, and that's a good thing. At the end of the day, your degree in Geography isn't going to land you a top job, because it's not actually practical.
At the end of the day, it's no use moaning that the degree you got in the subject you liked doing won't get you the job you want. You have to choose the degree that fits your chosen career. It should come as no surprise that people intelligent enough to get to University are actually intelligent enough to have worked this out.
And if increasing the tuition fees has been a catalyst to this divine revelation, then I say they are a good thing...
Sunday, 26 February 2012
|A giant thumb Eric Pickles|
He wants immigrants to understand and appreciate the British way of life and to try and integrate more fully by, for example, learning our language. Now in principle I have no problem with this. If, for example, I went to live in France then I would make an effort to learn the language and try to understand the cultural differences between the French and ourselves. I don't want to convert bits of a foreign country into little England and I support the view that foreigners coming to the UK should behave in a similar manner.
However, Pickles goes on to say that he thinks that Christianity is a mainstay of our British way of life - something I would debate. He then goes on to say that free speech and freedom to worship are key to being British. Strange then that he also says he would take steps to ban demonstrations that challenge our values. Isn't that a bit hypcritical?
Naturally, non religious organisations are also up in arms.
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said Mr Pickles’ strategy would fuel sectarianism. 'While we agree that there should be some common values to live by - a shared language and respect for human rights - there cannot be a religious hierarchy that discounts the feelings of those who don’t share in that faith,' said Mr Sanderson.
'It is a recipe for conflict between communities that already eye each other with suspicion.
'We see all over the world that when religion is given power, conflict follows. We have managed to some extent to keep this kind of sectarianism out of our policy making; now Mr Pickles intends to restore it in a big way.'
Of course, we should remember that these are also the same people who went to court to ban prayers at council meetings.
I am not particularly religious, but I support your right to believe what you wish. What I do not support is the right to stuff your views down my throat or to force me to agree with you.
It seems to me that Pickles' policies are suggesting just that...
Saturday, 25 February 2012
When you have an 'I Hate My Job day' then I suggest you try this out :
On your way home from work, stop at your local pharmacy, go to the thermometer section and purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson... Be very sure you get this brand.
When you get home, lock your doors, draw the curtains and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed. Change into very comfortable clothing and sit in your favorite chair. Open the package and remove the thermometer. Now, carefully place it on a table or a surface so that it will not become chipped or broken.
Now the fun part begins.
Take out the literature from the box and read it carefully. You will notice that in small print there is a statement:
"Every Rectal Thermometer made by Johnson & Johnson is personally tested and then sanitized."
Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times, 'I am so glad I do not work in the thermometer quality control department at Johnson & Johnson.'
There is always someone out there whose job is an even bigger pain in the arse than yours...
(Hat tip to my friend Mike in Cornwall.)
Friday, 24 February 2012
Come with me on a trip to the world of the 5* breakfast buffet...
Picture if you will the sumptuous array of fresh fruits and pastries; the enticing aroma of freshly baked breads; the chilled bottle of Champagne and the pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice; the sunny side eggs and the crispy bacon sizzling on the sideboard. The tables are set with polished chrome cutlery and crisply ironed linen. Pure heaven!
Then in they come.
Him in his counterfeit blue Tommy Hilfiger shorts and flip flops, topped by a crumpled pink striped polo shirts and a cheap gold chain hanging around his fat neck. His faded tattoos compliment perfectly the prissy flowers etched around her chubby ankles and shown off by her pixie boots.
They turn sideways as they enter the room, being too wide to fit through the door any other way. She is a vision of loveliness in her cheap printed polyester smock, draped alluringly across her saggy stomach and matching tits, showing off her matching bra straps.
He staggers back from the buffet, his plate loaded to overflowing with bacon and eggs, sausages and thick chunks of french bread. The bread is pushed hastily aside and slavered with thick butter as the waitress pours his tea. Half a bottle of HP sauce is emptied over his food and mixed around until the consistency is of lumpy diarrhoea.
He picks up a chuck of bread, spreads it with brown concoction and stuffs it into his mouth while he prepares the next chunk. When it is ready, he stuffs that in as well, oblivious to the fact that the is still chewing the last mouthful. His cheeks bulge outwards to accommodate the overload. It all seems a bit hard to chew, so he softens it up with a swig of his tea so he can cram even more in.
Even his wife seems a little put off by the spectacle as she inspects the contents of his mouth while he speaks to her.
To complete the picture, a glob of egg yoke dribbles from the corner of his mouth and lands ignominiously on the fake logo of his polo shirt.
Unfortunately for me, my chair directly faces him and my appetite has suddenly disappeared. I wonder why?...
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Tower Hamlets Councillor Shelina Akhtar who represented Spitalfields and Banglatown, has been sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after she admitted three counts of failing to notify a change of circumstances with regards to housing benefits for a rented property.
She dishonestly claimed housing and council tax benefit on a rented property.
She ignored calls for her resignation and the council could do nothing to remove her until after sentencing - which has now taken place. She is, however, still there.
A spokeswoman for the Council said: "Due to the length of the custodial sentence Shelina Akhtar will be automatically disqualified from holding office as a councillor under section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972, but that disqualification does not take effect until the opportunity for appeal has expired which is 28 days after sentence."
Seems you cannot expect even thieves to behave honourably these days...
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Some people really get on my tits and Gabby Logan is quite frankly one of them.
Sat in an airport hotel with nothing better to do, I channel flicked around and landed on Room 101 - a programme which I used to watch reasonably regularly before they turned it into some kind of half-arsed pseudo panel show.
But I digress. Logan was extolling the wonder that is the 2012 Games and saying that anyone would didn't get really enthused and right behind the whole London Olympics thing was some kind of brainless whingeing shithead who should be consigned to burn forever in the fires of hell. Well fuck you, Gabby - not that I would with someone else's...
Apparently, the Olympics are not just about making money - which is probably just as well as it's extremely unlikely to do so anyway. We need to think about 'the legacy'.
New Labour's sporty bullshitters set characteristically unrealistic targets for this. For example, "1 million more people playing sport three or more times a week." Yeah, right. And providing new sports venues "to help tackle serious lifestyle related issues such as diabetes and childhood obesity". What a load of pretentious poppycock!
Seven years after we were handed this crock of shite, fewer people than ever are playing sports. One could argue that if we had sent the original budget - never mind the latest forecast - on protecting school playing fields then there might have been more likelihood of this happening.
And as for child obesity and diabetes, perhaps the Olympic sized arsehole that is Lord Coe would like to explain why the sponsors that will be splashed across our screens during this bun fest are none other than McDonalds and Coca Cola?
Still, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. If Fred Goodwin can be stripped of an honour for incompetence and wasting public money then perhaps we can look forward to the same thing happening to Coe?
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Obviously having bugger all better to with their time, insurers LV have commissioned a report into property ownership in Britain which has concluded - quel surprise - that very few people can afford to own or rent a property the size they want in the area they desire to live in.
FFS! What's new?!?
In the good old days before total grasp of reality was lost in this country, we all knew this without having to commission a report to tell us. And guess what? Nothing has really changed in the meantime apart from peoples' expectations.
Pre the credit crunch, people got engaged and saved up together with building society to get together a deposit. They then got a mortgage, bought a flat as a couple most likely situated in a cheaper area than their parents. Then they worked their way up the property ladder as their prospects improved and their jobs progressed. This was not something you did on your own with a single income.
That was then. Now we expect to be able to start out on our own in a four bedroom house living in the same street as our parents. After all, this is part of our inalienable human rights. Well that's all bollocks, because real life just isn't like that...
Apparently LV also says that many space starved parents are squashed into 2 bedroom houses which were perfect when they were a couple but now have no space for their three or so children. Well, not only is it socially irresponsible to breed large families in the modern era, but it's also economically irresponsible to breed children you can't afford to support as well.
My grandfather was the second youngest of nine children, but in those day large families were the norm due to poor contraception and high infant mortality. Eleven of them lived in a two bedroom terraced house with no bathroom and a shared outside toilet. Now that's hardship - and they were lucky.
Apparently the 'correct size home' is one where the parents have their own bedroom and only children under 10 have to share. I also read recently that a government minister went on record as saying that homelessness was now defined as children having to share a bedroom. What utter tosh!
The pipe dream is that the house I would like to live in has 5 bedrooms en suite, an indoor pool, a gym, snooker room, bar, indoor bowling alley, 5 acres of grounds, garages for at least three cars and a view over the Thames in Central London.
The difference is that I don't confuse the pipe dream with reality...
Monday, 20 February 2012
There's nothing quite like a bit of good old fashioned pretentious bullshit to get my piss boiling, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphors...
I have long been a fan of 'Pseuds Corner' in the Private Eye - although I don't read it these days since they nicked stuff my blog and refused to give me a by line - but this piece by Elisa Bray caught my eye (no pun intended).
The picture above shows a "one bedroom architectural installation in the shape of a small boat" perched on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's south bank. Apparently, the idea is to use the venue to host a series of "bedroom gigs" because this, it seems, "creates a different way of experiencing the music, adding ambiance and heightening the sense of occasion and often the acoustics - and ethereal quality lent to the performance by the creaking of old timber, shunted by the waves". FFS!
From the boat, performers are to use the "intimate surroundings of the boat" to "perform a different kind of show". Well certainly different, because "nobody will be actually attending the gigs - fans will have to watch the shows broadcast onto screens at the South Bank Centre or on-line". Apparently, the organisers are "looking for people who could be inspired by the space to shape what they did there". There is also "the opportunity to see artists perform in an intimate setting" and "the potential to shed new light on their music and to inspire new music".
One such artist, Imogen Heap, has apparently "an innovative approach to songwriting which is seeing her release each song from her upcoming album as she writes it".
Well, I'm a bit of a musical Philistine, so I asked my musical mate ChasC what he made of it all. He said "It's not that innovative an approach - I've been releasing my albums one track at a time as I wrote them for years. Just take a look at my blog."
And the boat on the roof? "Pretentious crap" he replied. "Seems to me it's just a way of getting an audience to pay more to watch someone playing live on TV. Perhaps I should put a camera in me shed and charge people to watch me tuning up?"
Nice idea, mate. Could be a money spinner...
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Sometimes, I just know that if there is a God up there looking down on us then he's just pissing himself laughing...
Last week's antics in the High Court about the opening prayers at Biddeford Council meetings really does take the biscuit. The action was brought by the Secular Society who objected to prayers being the opening item on the agenda because they "infringed the human rights of non-Christians" by forcing them to take place in what they rather disrespectfully described as "juju" - an unfortunate turn of phrase in the light of recent furore about racist remarks, I thought.
Amazingly, the judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, agreed and upheld the complaint so if the council carries on as it has since time immemorial it could now be held in contempt of court although, frankly, decisions like this are contemptuous.
Fast forward now to the BBC Breakfast program last Sunday mornng. The Beeb managed to get two hypocritical dogmatic bastards together to debate the issue, and an unsightly spectacle it was, too! On the one side, the representative of the Secular Society saying that his view was the only correct one and that this 'religious nonsense' shouldn't be forced on non-believers; on the other side a religious zealot saying that his view was the only correct one and that people shoud be forced to acknowledge Christ as the one true saviour.
Amazingly, neither side could grasp that by insisting the other be forced to accept their view they were being mutually hypocritical by effectively saying the same thing...
As you will know by now, I am not a believer. I do however defend to the death your right to believe whatever you like for your own personal consumption. I don't really care whether prayers are said at the start of meetings or not. If you don't want to join in, then just sit quietly whilst the others do their thing.
It's a great British tradition. It's called tolerance...
...which is why this action should never have been bought and why the judge was totally wrong not to dismiss it out of hand.
Saturday, 18 February 2012
Friday, 17 February 2012
Apparently, some Norf Lunnun blokes in a football team got beat by a load of wops.
Apparently, it was some sort of two game European competition thing and in the first leg, a team in Milan thrashed the useless buggers 4-0 as a result of which their manager, Arsehole Bender, has said that he thinks his team might get knocked out after losing the away match.
Judging by the knee jerk reactions from his contemporaries, he needs to be fired now 'cos this lot clearly need a new manager.
Apparently, one of their Belgian Lunnunners reckons that there's nuffin' to worry about and they can put it all right in the second leg. "It was a really bad result", he said. Bright buggers these Belgians! He went on to say "We need to give 100% in the second leg." No shit, Sherlock! Does that mean that for the paltry millions it cost to sign you, you don't normally give 100%? Anyway, it's a game of two 'arfs, innit?
Their Polish Lunnun goalkeeper reckons "We didn't have the best of games." Well, 4-0 would seem to confirm that. Arsehole reckons they were "caught by the balls over the top" which about says it all.
Perhaps Arsehole should consider getting a few British Lunnunners in his Norf Lunnun team 'cos his load of foreigners don't seem to be up to beating the other lots' foreigners.
So there you have it. The cuntsidered views of the players, the manager and pundits. Here's my considered view...
It's only a game and it doesn't matter - so who gives a fuck? Not me!
Thursday, 16 February 2012
Much has been said and written over the recent years about Britain's bonus culture, culminating in the unseemly row at RBS and the current round of bank results. Indeed, in popular parlance, a million quid is now referred to as a 'Hester'!
But bonuses don't just apply to the people at the top. The rot goes far deeper than that. I read with disgust that that pillar of the left wing, RMT's Bob Crow, has secured a bonus of up to £2,500 a head for his members who work at the Docklands Light Railway. "Why?" I hear you ask. "Is it performance related? Is it a profit share?" No. It's for not going on strike during the Olympics. Priceless, isn't it?
Elsewhere, the head of QueasyJet, Sir Stelios, is stamping down hard on his executives for alledgedly massaging the numbers to increase their bonuses. Stelios says 'No' and suggests that if they don't like it they are free to work somewhere else. Well said, Stelios...
But hang on a mo! Stelios and his family are the major shareholders in QueasyJet so how much will they be getting this year by way of dividends? Answer : about £72 million. Well it's easy to be hard nosed under those circumstances, isn't it?
And then there's the row going on over at Commerzbank . Apparently, when the bank took over Dresder Kleinwort, there was a £400 million bonus pot in the offing which would have paid some of their top people 1.5 Hesters apiece in exchange for getting their bank in such shite that it was taken over.
Martin Blessing, the new CEO, says he made it clear he never liked this when the bank was taken over and had decided that he isn't going to pay it. He says that the subsequent financial crash made it obvious that significant losses were brought about by excessive risk taking. He points out that the promise was made by the previous owners and that he has no obligation to honour it. That one's in court.
I somehow suspect that these stories just aren't going away any time soon...
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
My attention was caught by an interesting article by Dominic Lawson about the bullshit that is being spread about by Coe and his cronies over the supposed benefits to Britain of the forthcoming Olympic fiasco. Apparently, there a good, solid grounds for believing that there are no benefits. Indeed, the games will do more harm than good.
According to Tessa Jowell who was the poor sod originally handed this particular poison chalice, the £2.4bn we spend (now four times that, of course!) will bring a £2bn boost to tourism. Now the Greeks in 2004 and the Aussies in 2000 made similar assertion only to be proven totally wrong.
The MD of the Ozzie Tourism and Transport Forum observed that the legacy of the Sydney games was damn near a ghost town. He said "There's fewer tourists on Sydney 5 years after the games than before...Where the hell are you?!" He reckons it's because tourists were put off by hiked hotel prices and overcrowding whilst people who come to watch sport tend not to bother with tourist sights and theatres.
Sound familiar? Well, I reckon he's got a good point and London will go the same way.
Personally, I'm still trying to decide where to disappear to for two weeks so I can avoid it altogether...
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
These three words sum up exactly what is wrong with this country...
Once again we have allowed the foreign courts to overrule the decisions of the highest courts in this land by refusing to allow us to deport Abu Qatada back to Jordan where have has already been convicted of terrorist offenses.
Here's the statement of Peter Horn MP, who appears to be the one sane voice on this issue from our politcal establishment :
Shame on you all...
PS - I also agree with this bloke and this one
Monday, 13 February 2012
I don't envy these two. They are a perfectly nice, ordinary, sensible pair of 22 year olds who have just won £45 million on the Euro Lottery.
"Bet you wish it was you, really!" I hear you say. Well, believe it or not, I don't. I would love to win a couple of million on the lottery. But I really wouldn't want this much, and I'll tell you why.
If you win a couple of million quid these days, it makes a significant difference to your life but at the same time nobody really notices. You can have a nice house and car and not have to worry about much. It's nice and comfortable.
If you win £45 million it can wreck your life. This couple would like a nice house, but it probably won't be in their neighbourhood because they don't build them there. The Aston Martin is going to look a bit conspicuous next to their mates' motors in the pub car park.
And how will you tell who are your real friends and who likes you for your money?
Then there's children. Their family when they have one is going to need protection. Would you kidnap their baby for a million quid ransom? You know they can afford it. Do I want my wife driven around by a guard in case someone snatches her for the money and sends me her finger in the post?
No, I don't want to live behind a fence and have security staff taking my kids to school. I don't want to go and live with the other multimillionaires because they're not my sort of people. I don't want to be forced change who I am and how I live to accommodate my bank balance.
I genuinely wish this couple well and sincerely hope I'm wrong about the downsides, but I don't envy them one little bit...
Saturday, 11 February 2012
Friday, 10 February 2012
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Monday, 6 February 2012
Sunday, 5 February 2012
Whipkey, the pastor for three Roman Catholic churches — in Frederick, Mead and Erie — was stopped by Frederick police at 4:30 a.m. for allegedly walking down the street naked. He told police he had been jogging at the Frederick High School track and was walking home.
“I’m a heavy man and wearing clothing while running makes me sweat profusely,” Whipkey said, according to a police report. “I know what I did was wrong.”
In August, the Archdiocese of Denver announced that it had placed Whipkey on administrative leave.
The same day, a lawyer representing Whipkey said the priest deeply regretted any discomfort and embarrassment that the situation had caused Catholics in the archdiocese, his family or anyone else
Whipkey was found guilty and told he must register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to five years of probation and cannot have contact with any children younger than 18, even family members, after being convicted of indecent exposure after a five-hour trial.
The judge was apparently unimpressed by his defence that he had not deliberately exposed himself as 'he didn't expect anyone to be about at that hour of the morning'...