Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
Remember DON'T PANIC! .

31 December, 2008

New Years Honours

It's that time of year again when well deserving people are recognised and given something for their efforts.
People like Lewis Hamilton, a person who has done so much for his own bank balance that he is too rich to stay in Britain. Or Chris Hoy, a man who rode a bike, and for doing sod all but riding a bike for years he becomes a Knight. Anyone who did nothing but ride a bike all day would become good at it too. Oh, and aren't Knights supposed to ride a trusty steeds not a bike.

Everyone, in the real world anyway, knows that the Queens Honours are senseless, and yet for some reason they still exist in this the 21st Century. It is impossible to see why someone gets an honour for making themselves rich. Previous honours have seen top bankers and people from finance being knighted, and yet this year has shown what a thieving incompetent lot they really are.

Some have been saying that it is because of Chris Hoy that so many people took up cycling this year, isn't it more likely because petrol hit £1.28 a litre.
While doctors, nurses, truck drivers, power station workers, water purification plant staff, refuse collectors and the millions more service industry staff continue to ensure this country functions it is hard to see how riding a bike or becoming a millionaire is worthy of an honour. Take away the guy who makes rubber and see how fast Hamilton or Hoy travel, but where are they in the honours.

The whole honours process is a farce, so maybe we should set up the people's honours. A list where people who make a difference are recognised, where Fred the dustman and Mrs Miggins the pie maker are realised for their worth in society, where the lad who works on the checkout is knighted rather than the fat cat owning the firm.

The world changed in 2008 when we saw that the rich are sometimes rich because they are crooked and the powerful are usually the most corrupt of all. Maybe in 2009 the small people who do the work can be crowned the heroes. Maybe.

The Old School

There are untold properties in the UK with names of The Old Post Office, The Old Station House, The Old Rectory and then one that maybe even more prolific The Old School House.
I mention this as after driving past a school yesterday, the damp looking portacabins with flaking paint on hardly shutting windows with the lifting felt of flat roofs and I wondered why all the Old School Houses were sold off.

Contrasting a portacabin with these old school houses and I know which building I would rather be educated in.

With the government selling off everything, if they ever sell off 10 Downing Street I wonder what it would be called.
The Old Fools House maybe.

16 December, 2008

As Safe as a Bank.

There was a time when I would be impressed if someone said that they were in banking and finance . Crikey I would think, here is a person who has done well in life and knows a thing or two about money.

I have friends in banking and I thought they were clever, probably had a few A'levels or maybe even a degree. Friends who's advice was trusted, views respected and hard work admired.
Today things are different, if I happen to meet these friends I will put my wallet into a zipped pocket and definitely won't give them the money to get a round while I pop to the smallest room.

Is it just me or is it worrying that Bank Manager is an occupation that allows the verification of a passport application.

It is bad enough that banks lent billions to people who can't pay it back, but we now hear that many banks, trusted with looking after our money, had invested it in a pyramid selling scam.
Not just a few pounds sent to a scam circulated on the Internet but billions of pounds sent to nonexistent investments. How can this possibly be, banking is not rocket science, all you to do is look after money. And to do that you simply have to check that where you put it is safe.

Readers of my blog will remember earlier this year that I offered to put your money into a plastic box and keep it safe in my garden. I have had very few takers but by crikey I bet Santander wish they had called me. Their 2 billion maybe a little damp but at least it would still there.

Maybe it is time to release armed robbers from prison and lock up the bankers, at least with a robbery you have a chance of holding onto some of your money.

14 December, 2008


I was at the gym the other day. One thing I can not avoid there, other than trying to keep pace with people about 20 years younger than me and regretting it the next day, is seeing the SKY news. It is always on one of the large screens Although I never hear it, because I am plugged into my MP3 player, I see the scrolling texts.

There is always a Breaking News story and on this occasion it was the Met Police shooting of the commuter, you know the one who's name seems to get longer each time it is reported.
SKY kept cutting to a police officer reading something then off to diagrams of a tube train then back the studio to see a big red "Breaking News" flash up followed by a police officer reading a statement and so on.

As often seems to be the case with SKY Breaking News is neither breaking or news, but more a recycled version of what you heard a week ago with a big red headline to make is seem more in interesting. I doubt there are many people in the country who don't know about the shooting they were talking about so the news could simply have said that the verdict was whatever it was and then moved onto something actually worth reporting. Yet they managed to fill at least an hour with information that is of no more use to most people than the woffling in these blogs.

Why does the news sensationalise the smallest thing into a feature length epic and assume that we have forgotten what they told us a week ago.

I was at the gym the other day. One thing I can not avoid there, other than trying to keep pace with people about 20 years younger than me and regretting it the next day, is seeing the SKY news. It is always on one of the large screens Although I never hear it, because I am plugged into my MP3 player, I see the scrolling texts.................................................................

12 December, 2008

Your fired! Please stay on and wreck the company.

We live in a world where one person can cause catastrophic damage to a company from the comfort of their own desk. Millions have the power to crash a firm from there computer terminal. For exactly that reason when someone is fired or being made redundant they will be escorted from the office the same day and put on gardening leave.

If you let an employee stay on in a disgruntled state why wouldn't they decide to exact revenge. But hold on one moment, we have one such employee, his name is Gordon Brown and he is doing exactly what has to be prevented in any company, he is trashing the place before he leaves.

There isn't a hope in hell that the "unelected" PM will get in at the next election, or if he does it will be another Labour scam, so what has he got to lose.
He is demented if he believes that he is really doing his best for the country. No one in their right mind thinks that what he is doing is right but anyone who speaks out against him risks losing their job, being arrested or maybe found dead on the edge of a field.

Remember Gordon is not only the man who told us that boom and bust was over but also the one, who just a few weeks ago, told us that Britain was well placed to ride out any recession. Just before we started on this ride down the plug hole.

Now jobs are going, the pound is sinking and my beer in Austria in a few weeks time will cost me a fiver.

Even the Germans are telling him he is wrong, his response in true Brown style is that everyone is wrong but him.

There must be someone who can escort this man from office, or does he get to trash the whole place before he leaves?

30 November, 2008

Please Check-in on time!

It is the time of year when millions of people head to buy a turkey and I go to the airport. I would say HUMBUG but I said it the other day and was met with a blank face, I then said "you know as in Scrooge" and was met with "who?", "A Christmas Carol", "Nope not a clue what your on about".

I used to turn up at the airport, check in the bags and walked through to airside for a cup of coffee. Not any more. The last time we flew at Christmas we got to the airport 3 hours before take off and still had to sprint to the gate after final call.

We were in a queue from the terminal doors to security, frustrating because airlines know exactly how many people will be passing through the airport on any given day. The trouble is the people on security are pissed off that they are not flying and have to grope up stranger all day so do their best to ensure you miss your flight, or at the very least have a totally awful time getting to it.

This year I want to get there early, so that when we join the queue from Great Dunmow to security we can still be sure of catching the plane. But, it seems, the airline has joined forces with security to make time at the airport hell.

The tickets say latest check-in 2 hours before departure, but hold on, the literature says "Check-in opens 2 hours before departure". Is it me?

I headed for the airlines website, forgetting that the same airline told me extra legroom seats can only be booked up to 7 days before the flight then when I try to book tell they can only be booked 3 days before the flight but there are none available by then.

The website was most helpful and recommends that I check-in 2 hours before departure. That will be the same time as the that check-in closes I guess.

I know very little about running an airport, but even I think checking in a plane load of people in less than a minute will be pushing it.
Still it is as likely as getting through security before take off on the weekend before Christmas I guess.

27 November, 2008

Woolworths, who needs it anyway?

Good old Gordon is at it again, not happy with buying a few banks and running up the national debt to a level never seen before, he is now saying that the government will do all it can to keep Woolworth open until Christmas.
He has definitely gone completely mad, or I suspect the truth is that he has not been into Woolworth recently.

I often go in to the local one, its an amazing experience that I urge everyone to try. I actually do it because you can cut through to the proper shops but I still marvel as I cut through.

The wonder is how such a large shop can sell nothing worth buying, even by accident.
As you walk into the local store at the moment there is rack after rack of totally useless plastic stuff. This stuff is in plastic packaging that is several times the size of the stuff.
The stuff appears to be lots of children's toys all no doubt made in China painted in toxic and or radioactive paints and guaranteed to fall apart within moments.

As I hurry through the next isles are that well known maker of everything quality JML. There is a tv playing something from JML, a special brush for cleaning a widget off a thingy or a gidget for mangling a worzel no doubt.

Then finally, after walking past a selection of gas lamp spares, there are the sweets. At the moment there are several tons, or if you must tonnes, of sweets and great deals that are only a few pounds more expensive than the Co-op. Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda .......

There was an advert , "thats the wonder of good old Woollies", the wonder has to be now why anyone, least of all a prime minister, would think it worth rescuing Woolworth.

Some things are worth saving and then there is Woolworth.

18 November, 2008

Tuck shops and how to avoid a financial crisis!

If, like me, you went to school in the days when it was OK to have a tuck shop in the school selling chocolate and crisps at break time you will probably remember your mates who never had any money.

Some mates were always on the scrounge with "lend us enough for some crisps mate". You got to know the friends who if you lent them 2 bob (10p) would give it back the next day and the others who saw it as more of a gift so you didn't lend to them and you warned other friends of the risky borrowers.

It was one of the good things that school taught in the days when a bag of fatty salty crisps did no more than give you the energy for an hours cross country in the rain.

But tuck shops are long gone and no one teaches people about identifying bad debtors.
All the bankers and traders, who have caused the financial crisis, are too young to have been at school when tuck shops were still allowed and have no idea that you don't lent to those who can not or will not pay it back.

We have the do gooders to blame, the people who banned tuck shops because they sold junk food because children no longer run it off because cross country is banned for health and safety reasons.

If we want to save the financial systems of the world re-open the tuck shops, before its too late!

17 November, 2008

Baby "P" and other Points of News

Have you wondered who decides what is news. If you read blogs then the author decides, but in the world of media who is it that decides all papers and news reports will be about the same thing. And once they get hold of a bit of news why do they go on , and on , and on about it.

The latest saturation of news must be this "baby P" story (see blog entry below).

Yes its sad, yes someone made a mistake but now we are into the "make sure they know it was not my fault" from everyone who thinks it was not their fault.
Surely I am not the only person who has moved on from this news and realises that some children will still be assaulted by their parents, some will inevitably end up in hospital and some will sadly die, but reading and hearing more and more about a case will not solve any problems, yet this is what the media do with every story.

They tell us every detail, so that we even know the inside leg measurement of the person who once emptied the bins of the person who made the trousers worn by a woman who walked past the house where the incident may have occurred 5 hours later.
Is there anything to be gained by this over the top investigation of everything, who has decided we want to know.

Baby P, and all over reported stories are great news for Gordon Brown, attention is diverted for a moment from the fact that he is still there and still wrecking the country, which brings me nicely onto the my next point from the news.

Gordon did cause the Problems!

Supporters of Gordon the Clown are saying what a fab job he is doing saving the economic planet and that as all the problems are global problems nothing is his fault.
OK that is fine, let us assume these are global problems and therefore the other side of the coin is that when things were going fantastically it was a global thing too, nothing to do with the man at No. 11 Downing St.

Come on Gordon you can't have it both ways.

13 November, 2008

Dead Baby - I'm sorry I can't help but laugh!

Now now, calm down, I know there can never be a time when the death of a child is a laughing matter. For those involved it is tragic but on this occasion I can't hold back a chortle.

Before you think me sick or uncaring (should I care) I will point out that it is not the death that has caused the smile but what has followed.

There has been a case where a baby had died and the authorities have said that the child can not be named but can only be know as "baby P". You can see where this is going, can't you.

I don't know why this has made such huge news but it has been debated in Parliament and is on the radio and in all the papers.
It first came to my attention when Gordon Brown and David Cameron were described as having a "heated exchange in the house about the circumstances surrounding baby pee". On come on please, you can't say that without a large proportion of the listeners stifling back a laugh.

We then have people reporting "that the council concerned should not be involved in the investigation into baby pee" and so it goes on.

Childish I may be, but if I had been in charge of finding one of 26 letters to attach to this case it as sure as hell would not have been "P".

Save the Planet, but only for profit!

They say that the truth will always prevail. Whoever "they" are it seems they are right again. This week one council has said that it will no longer re-cycle certain types of plastics because the value of them has gone down and it is no longer profitable.

Hold on there, I thought we were to believe that the point of re-cycling is that it saves the planet.

You have to wonder if this council is one that has been handing out £100 fines to anyone who dares to accidentally muddle up a plastic cup in with the landfill waste. If so how can they explain that its all going to landfill now.

It seems that we must all save the planet, give up plastic bags, and cut our CO2 but only if it makes someone a profit.

Now why am I not surprised.

28 October, 2008

Recession hits!

There is a saying that if you talk about something for long enough it will happen, well if there isn't a saying there should be.
The media have been rattling on about it for months and now can boast "you heard it first here, the country is in recession" great!

The question I can't find a proper answer to is what does a recession mean to the man in the street, and don't start with the PC "don't you mean person in the street" I remind you this is my blog and I don't do politically correct.

A recession means that employers can use the excuse to get rid of all the lazy sods they have wanted to ditch for years and the banks can decide that although they promised me a nice 5% on savings it will now become 2%, and I should consider myself lucky, don't I know their CEO is only having half a million bonus this Christmas and his pool heater is lowered to 29deg.

This recession, they tell us, will last until 2011 and will be worse than the recession in the 90's, remember that we are talking about the very same "experts" who didn't even see this mess coming yet now expect us to still listen to them.

I am losing my thread in this blog , I though I was going to write about the recession and how to survive it but instead I have wandered off track and found myself woffling insanely, although that will get me an interview as a presenter on radio 2 it doesn't keep readers interested in the blog.

Still my excuse is that I am sat at the computer wearing 3 pullovers and 2 pairs of socks in a room with a temperature just above freezing typing by the light of one 15w bulb, apparently it is what I have to do to survive a recession.

If my original saying is right all we need to do now is, repeat after me " there is no recession every thing is fine" now keep saying it.

16 October, 2008

FTSE slides on trade fears!

It is terrible times in the financial systems. The world is apparently falling apart, so much so that we need Gordon Brown to stick his underpants on over his trousers and rush into action as Flash Gordon.

With all these problems, that we are supposed to believe are causing the financial crisis, I have actually identified the real reason and can solve it easily.
The problem is that the people trading, and causing the crash, are all scared of everything.
Each day the news is "stock exchanges around the world fell today amid trader fears of" :- oil prices, banks, recession, spiders in the bath, rabid dogs.
Is there anything that traders are not scared of?
Are traders all over the world hiding behind the sofa as soon as Dr Who comes on, jumping out of their skins whenever someone says boo.

Find traders with a little courage for heavens sake, before the whole system collapses.

05 October, 2008

Cabinet Re-shuffle.

How does it work, why do they do it, it makes no sense at all. I am of course talking about the cabinet re-shuffles. There seems no rhyme or reason to them and so I decided the only way to under stand how they work is to do our own re-shuffle about the town and see what happens.

Here is the re-shuffle for the town to take place from Monday.

Mrs Marge Miggins is moved from running the pie shop, where she has worked for 25years, she is now senior dentist at the dental practice.

Dara Patel will therefor move from being the dentist to drive the bus, despite her protest that she has only ever ridden a pedal cycle I have every confidence that she will turn around the poor service we have been experiencing on our transport system

Barry Smith will move from driving the bus and becomes the butcher Daniel the butcher moving to take over the garage.

The final move in the town will of course be Jim from the garage who will take over the pie shop and from Monday we look forward to the new selections he can introduce.

Stupid blog, I hear you say, maybe remember Gordon Brown has done exactly this, appointing unqualified people to posts they know nothing about and tells us it will lead to better government.
Don't hold your breath.

30 September, 2008

Gordon Brown and the Sinking Ship - Political Sketch

The sea was calm with wonderful views of the stars in the night sky as the ship crossed the Ocean.

Captain Gordon Brown sat on the bridge, he was happy with the quiet waters and busy telling everyone how fantastic he was as captain.

"You should see the way I handle this ship, I am so fantastic I know everything about her I am a great captain" he laughed.
As usual the other officers on the ships bridge were humouring him, wary of his fierce temper and aware that the slightest thing would send him into a rage.

"Captain, you do realise that in these waters it would be a good idea to make the most of the calm sea and make up some time, and oh, your heading has put us off course by about a hundred miles you know?" said one of the junior officers, rather sheepishly.
"Nonsense" shouted Gordon "I know exactly what I am doing keep to this heading and speed and all your seas will be calm"
"Yes sir, but we are very close to the reef"
"Never you mind, I am Gordon, while I am in command everything is just fine"
Gordon drank another glass of wine and looked at his watch. "slow the engines and head another 4 degrees north" He commanded.
"Um, yes sir, but on that heading we will actually hit the reef" replied David, the 2nd in command.
"Sir, I think Gordon is either drunk or mad, I really don't think he knows what he is doing, I could do a better job as Captain than him" whispered one of the junior officers to David.
David was already worried, "Captain we must change course and increase speed, I think that your [moral] compass may be faulty." he said.
"Are you questioning me" Bellowed Gordon, "And I heard what that junior rating said, he is relieved of his duties"
Gordon poured another glass of wine.

An alarm sounded on the control panel. "We only have 3 metres depth of water under the ship, all engines stop" commanded David.
"Disregard that order, continue on this heading and at this speed" bellowed Captain Brown.
"The Captain is either drunk or incompetent, ignore him I am taking command of this ship" Said David
"You are doing no such thing, you are relieved of your duties too" shouted the Captain.

The sound of the ships hull tearing against the reef as she lurched to port caused an instant hush to fall over the entire crew. Water began to fill the ship as it listed rapidly.

"I am in command" shouted David "shut all forward hatches and start the pumps, we can save her if we act fast"

"This is no time for a novice to be in charge, this ship needs a captain with experience, with excellent vision who knows how to drive her, I am the best man for the job" Shouted Captain Gordon.

"Ill leave you to it then" smiled David as he headed for the lifeboats.

18 September, 2008

HBOS Lloyds and Financial Meltdown

Some how the banks have lost billions of pounds. I have been looking as I drive about but isn't laying anywhere obvious, I think that many billions would be easy to find.

There is now a problem that we can't know which bank to trust with our money or who is going to go under next. It has all been caused by greed and although a lot of us are losing money there are still plenty of people in the city who are making money by making others lose it. Don't expect me to explain that one but it is apparently going on.

As the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Universe says "DON'T PANIC" I have the solution for you.

Bury your money in my garden.
This is very simple and guarantees you won't lose any money, well probably not.
Go and draw out all your money and bring it to me. I will then put your money in to a Tupperware container, its OK they are waterproof, Ill then dig a hole in my garden and bury it. I will give you a receipt for the money. Problem solved.

If you need money you can call around and for a small fee I will dig up your box and give you whatever money you want from it.
If you have a lot of money and want me to I can lend some of your money to other people who have boxes but don't have enough money for something. They will then pay you back the money plus a little bit extra.

I only have a small garden but I have friends who will also let me put boxes in their gardens and will only charge me a small amount. They are also letting people bury boxes in their gardens so if you need to borrow some money and there isn't enough in my garden boxes they will lend me some from their boxes for a small fee.
Don't worry its all OK if I run out of money they will let me have money to pay you so you will never lose your money.
There is no reason to worry about your money once you have joined my scheme, I guarantee that at any time you need money I should have some here for you.

So, if you wish to use my facilities just drop me an email

09 September, 2008

Green Collar Workers.

Its the latest buzz word being thrown about by Gordon Brown and I admit I thought he had made it up.
Silly me, how could he make up something. He said that his government is going to create one million new "green collar" jobs. Oh please , that's so pathetic, we are to refer to people who work in "green" industries as green collar workers. Yawn, how can things get any more stupid, I am sure they will.

Will there be a sliding scale of green, a white with a tint of green for companies who are a little bit "green" through to dark green for people who build mud huts and forage for food.
The crazy save the planet greenies are still taking over. I could not get a carrier bag for my shopping from the co-op yesterday, do their workers now qualify as light green collar workers?

And what of the traditional blue collar jobs where manual labour is part of an eco friendly company, must they now become sludge brown collar workers.

07 September, 2008

Gobal Warming - Bring It On -Quick!

Its Sunday morning, I am sat in the conservatory watching it rain, again.
The long range forecast says that September will be dryer than average but a little below average temperature. This forecast was published on 27th August yet today's news is of floods and driving rain. I wonder if they should upgrade the Sinclair ZX81 they run the weather model on.

Since governments all over the world started telling us that the planet is warming and that the UK will become a desert it feels that it has not stopped raining for more than a week.
Don't get me wrong, when my carrots were in he ground I was happy for a little "carrot rain", the type that is gentle and drizzly, but now they are harvested I would be pleased to see the sun again.

"They" have got it wrong, the truth must surely be that pumping all that lovely CO2 into the atmosphere was producing proper summers and nice cold winters, now reducing it is just trashing everything. Go on prove I'm wrong, my theory is just as plausible as any government funded scientist who has to say CO2 is bad or lose his grant. Is it too much to ask that we go back to producing as much CO2 as we can for say just 6 months and see if the weather improves.

No one really believes that CO2 is making things worse so perhaps it will make it better if we produce more of it.

There could be a glitch in my plan we may only have until Wednesday. Scientists are starting up a machine next week which some say will create a black hole on Earth. I joke not, they seriously could destroy the world in a split second.
Its OK the chances of that happening as really small, probably as small as a 1 in 14million. Although if you wont the lottery this weekend you might want to worry, you won on the same odds.

Ill let you know Thursdays how the tests went.

03 September, 2008

Points from the news - School Reform

There is big news for anyone starting secondary school this week, they can look forward to an extra year. I know one teacher who must be over the moon that she has to put up with some people for an extra year.

The education minister, Ed Balls, explained the advantages of the reforms, but what he came out with was so garbled I don't think even he knew what he had implemented.

There are some obvious things that will change with pupils staying on in school the extra year but there are also some things that I bet Ed Balls has not thought of. Take for example the age to drive a car, oh yes its 17 isn't it. So that means that in about 6 years time a whole load of boy (and girl) racers will be heading through the school gates trying to beat the teachers to the parking places.

The one thing that might save teachers from car park battles each morning is that in 6 years time they won't be able to afford petrol so will no doubt be on a "school teachers bus", while, as the home office tells us there is going to be a huge crime wave, the pupils will all have petrol having driven off without paying.

The chances of pupils actually learning anything extra in the additional year are slim, but that won't matter, exams are in such a mess that most will probably be given their exam results when they start this week.

Educations, Education, Education, or as we say now, bit of an Ed Ball up ain't it.

25 August, 2008

Olympics 2012

Well that's it, the Olympics are over and now we are "counting down to 2012". Fantastic!

The prime minister is over the moon and all his advisers are rushing to him, "Gordon, Gordon, quick jump on the back of these people's success and make some speeches so people forget what a plonker you are".
So Gordon made a speech about how everyone is celebrating all the medals, there he goes again assuming he knows what people think.

I am not a fan of the Olympics, I mean just look at the hand over at the end. They have really set the tone, a bus and bloody Beckham. How was that supposed to represent London and the UK. Come on the local am-dram could have come up with something better.

Yes I know, It did one thing, it shows the world what they will be standing waiting for when they are trying to get to the 2012 games and all that was missing was "Rail Replacement Service" on the front.

I try to understand I really do, but what were all the people in London and Scotland actually celebrating with all there little Olympic flag waving and shouting.
I was walking through London on Sunday morning and there were people all over the place with bags full of plastic flags. What for? Maybe the truth is that they were found leaving night clubs and promised a free vodka if they went up the Mall and waved a flag.

Some of the paper headlines today are counting down to 2012. It is probably only me, but 2012 is 4 years away, and if you hype it up from now on by the time we get there it can only ever be an anti-climax, cant it?

21 August, 2008

UK Recession. Green your way into one.

The country, we are are told, is going into recession. The boom days are over and GDP and TCP or whatever it is they measure is falling. Growth is at a stand still and if we are not careful things will be as bad as they were the last time things were bad. Crikey!

I have the answer to why this is happening, I won't even charge the Government millions of pounds consultancy for this information, its here free.


Yes that's it, it is as simple as that and here are a few of the reasons why:-

1) "Don't throw things away if they can be repaired". This means people won't need to buy so many new things which means less demand for good which means less retail spending which mean less manufacturing needed therefore less jobs in retail and manufacturing and then less jobs in transport.

2) "Reduce your carbon footprint" This is obviously going to have a huge impact with less need to replace cars so the car industry will have to get smaller, less call for new heating systems so more manufacturing closing down, less call for everything using energy so in the medium term there will be less demand for oil so the oil industry can lay some people off too.

3) "Don't use plastic bags" That's a whole load of jobs down the pan in one swipe.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. The more "Green" you are the less you need, the less you need the fewer jobs, the fewer jobs the quicker we slide into recession.

The money people go on about the need to sustain growth in the economy. But continued growth forever is impossible. There is only so much stuff that people can ever need and once they have it all that's it, no more growth.

The only way to prevent a recession is to forget Green, forget the carbon footprint rubbish and go waste as must of everything as you can.

Its your choice, lots of trash, lots of CO2 or no job and recession.

19 August, 2008

Team GB Olympic Gold

I have done well, it has been on for over a week and this it the first time I have blogged about it. The Olympics, come on, they have to be one of the most pointless wastes of money ever.

There, I have said what millions of people in this country think.
Despite the media telling us how fab team GB are and that they have won more gold than the last time they won this many is there really any point to it all.

All we hear about is "come 2012" this will happen and that will happen. It has got so bad that commentators are almost saying "well yes you got a gold today, but what about 2012 do you think you will win there". No sorry, they are not almost saying it they actually are.

The hype and spin in order to make us forget that something over £9billion will be wasted in the UK for 2 weeks in 2012 is amazing. Yesterday a radio interview revealed that each Olympic competitor gets in the region of £100,000 a year from lottery grants and an undisclosed amount from the tax payer. Then today there is the headline that we need another £100million for training for 2012. No we don't, we need to spend some money on the country, rail, roads, hospitals, schools, policing.

Its nice saying here you are have loads of money to go learn how to sail, or ride a bike around in circles. In fact just spend the next 4 years riding a bike, but what boring people they must become.
They are not dedicated they are obsessive, no time to do anything because they have to train and train and train for a race in 2012. Unless your totally mental no one spends 4 years training for a ride around a track, or to wobble about on a gym horse.

Does the country gets better if some obsessive bunch of girls win a silver medal rowing a boat then cry about it, or some woman rides her horse "awfully well".
It will soon be over, then Gordon Brown will be there to accept the flame or something. That's will be nice for him, its a shame that both he and the awful Tessa Jowell stand about as much change of having a job by 2012 as the bunch of crying women stand of winning a gold.

There is one thing that will be carried on from theses game to 2012, you can bet that everything used at the 2012 games will also have printed on it "Made in China"

15 August, 2008

CO2 - The Scientist is not always right.

Regular readers will know my views on CO2 and global warming.
For anyone who is reading the blog for the first time its is basically this, the planet is warming, it has been since the ice age or else we would all be under ice, CO2 has diddly squat to do with it.

So there you have it, I believe in global warming, its obvious isn't it.
Well it seems not. A Mr Charles Williams tells me that I don't believe in global warming and, he says, he is a scientist.

The story is this, I wrote an article for a local mag about the cult calling themselves Transition Towns that are setting up all over the place. They are a group of Eco-warriors who are going to save the planet by moving us all into mud and rock huts and growing a few veg. For anyone who knows about transition towns and says "they are not a cult" I can only say go read the definition of cult.

My article told it as I see it and I am pleased to say a Mr Charles Williams decided to reply the following week.

Unfortunately for Charlie he is rather as his name suggests, a bit of a charlie, and has fallen for the Transition town mantra. He tells me that he believes we can save our town by growing a few veg and fruit that will make us more secure and robust against global warming and peak oil etc. yawn.
I am not sure where these "peak oil low CO2" people are going to get their drinking water, heat, light and sewage processing from but I wish them well living on potatoes and apples.

The thing with Charlie is this, he writes that I " clearly do not believe in global warming".
The problem is that he has never spoken to me, never met me and knows nothing about me. So where does he get his evidence that I don't believe in global warming.

The answer is simple, he is a scientist and like all the CO2 experts, he doesn't need evidence, he just makes it up.

03 August, 2008

Gordon Brown to Resign

Today in the news we hear that 3 of Gordon Brown's cabinet ministers have said he is the best man for the job. They have not however said what the job is, probably collecting trolleys in Tesco.

I have managed to get a copy of the phone call between Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, Harriet Harman and John Denham when they called to support him:-

"Hello Gordon its Alistair, and Harriet and John, how is the holiday going?"
"Hello you lot, its ok thanks, I keep bumping into those terrible members of the public but when we are back in the house its ok"
"Well we all hope you are having a really nice time, you deserve a good holiday you are such a brilliant person saving the country from the recession and being so fantastic at everything"
"Thank you, I know, I am doing it all for the hard working families"
"Yes we know and you are doing it really well, everyone is behind everything you do Gordon and we know you are just the perfect person for the job, your brilliant"
"Thank you all very much"
"Well enjoy the rest of your holiday Gordon and we can't wait to see you when you get back, lots of love, kissy kissy, hug"

Conversation then continued between the three "Well do you think he will keep us in the cabinet now" , "Yes I'm sure he will, especially as we wrote to the papers saying how good his is to" Do you think we should send him some chocolates" "Yes I think we should , and flowers for his wife" "Yes definitely flowers"
"It's a shame hes such a prat, do you think he will resign"
"I do hope so."

01 August, 2008

Point from the news - Gordon Brown should go.

I tried but I can not let this one go.
David Miliband has made some comments in the news this week, if you don't know what he said then I suggest you skip this blog entry and move on to carrier bags below. If you do know what he said I ask this. There are people in the Labour party who say he should be sacked for even suggesting that he might want to challenge Gordon the clown for leadership.

Hold on, how far is it from sacking someone for suggesting what we all know that Gordon is a moron to having him shot. This country used to be a democracy allowing free speech. If Miliband is sacked it looks like we are definitely a dictatorship.

If anyone dares to disagree with me Ill have your Internet disconnected!

28 July, 2008

Charging for carrier bags.

Just a thought to share with you.
This occurred to me when I went into a shop and the lady on the till said " would you like a carrier bag, while we are still allowed to offer you one free".

I of course replied, "Yes please, I need to help save the planet from having to burn off all that ethylene" then, as I loaded my shopping into the bag, I realised that when they do charge for plastic bags I have two options.

The first is to say thank you for the bag here is my 5pence, I see the bag has the store name on it I would therefore like £1 for advertising for you as I walk about with it.

The other option is to turn the bag inside out, thereby hiding the name.
Ill let you know how I get on.

26 July, 2008

Political Sketch- Gordon and the Bakery

Gordon sat in the shop, scribbling with a thick marker pen that he always used because his eyesight was bad and he could never read anything in Biro.
He had been running the shop for a year and knew everything was going fantastically. He had worked in the shop for 10 years, book keeping and helping out when the last owner, Tony, had been on holiday so he knew everything about the shop.
When he was keeping the books Gordon had got rid of everything that he knew a baker didn't need, he had sold off almost everything he had found in the store room, except an old cabinet in which he kept some old relics including a strange looking compass, then he had spent all the money on consultants to work out how to run the place. Now it was all his, he was the baker and owner of the United Krust.

"Morning Gordon" said Alistair as he walked in. "Have you sold any bread today?" Alistair was the book keeper for Gordon, although Gordon always told him what to write.
"Not yet" Gordon replied
"Have you sold any this week?" asked Alistair
"Not yet, but it doesn't' matter because I am busy baking bread for the hard working families" Gordon smirked
"Have you noticed that since you took over no one comes into the shop?" asked Alistair
"That doesn't matter, I won't be distracted by that, I am busy baking bread and won't be put off from this important task of running the bakery." Gordon answered, his face making a strange expression as it always did at the end of a sentence.
"But people don't like the bread you bake, you don't give them anything sustaining and every week it costs more" said Alistair sheepishly.
"It does not matter what the people like, I have a job to do baking for the hard working families" Gordon said
"You keep saying that, yet the hard working families keep going to David for their bread and cakes and everything else, so does everyone else for that matter, maybe if you baked for everyone that might help, there are lots of people out there not just your mythical hard working families" said Alistair
"I have listened to the people and I share their concerns, I know how they like their bread and I know that the bread I make is what they should eat" Said Gordon, beginning to lose his temper, as he always did when people challenged him.
"Gordon, you have to face it, the bread you make is not very good, it leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths and it costs a fortune, in fact it is terrible, even I can't eat it"
"I am making the best bread, I am the only person who knows what bread to make for the hard working families and I can't be distracted from my job of making bread for the hard working families" Gordon shouted, flinging the marker pen he had been using up in the air and making another blue mark on the ceiling.
"You said it twice again, stop saying that and calm down, I am only saying that perhaps you were better at keeping the books than you are making the bread, not everyone is good at baking" Alistair said walking slowly towards the door
"Oh get out Alistair, I wont have you telling me how to bake bread, I don't need anyone telling me about bread, I don't care if anyone is buying it, its the best bread available and as long as I know that I will bake bread, I am the owner of this shop not you" Gordon screamed
Alistair walked along the street and met his pal Jack. "Hi-Jack," He laughed, it always made him laugh saying it like that.
"Hi Al, how did you get on with Gordon is he listening to you today?" Asked Jack
"No, he still thinks he is doing a good job but other than Ruth and John no one is buying from him" said Alistair
"I know he really has made a muck up of that place since Tony left, maybe lots of people hated Tony but at least he knew how to run the place" said Jack
"I don't know what to do, unless a miracle happens the United Krust will be out of business soon or if not it will be in serious debt" said Alistair
"I have a plan" Said Jack.

22 July, 2008

Unemployment Benefit Reform

Sometimes I hear the news and think that I must have slipped back through time.
Yesterday this happened when the government announced that the unemployed will have to work for their money. This isn't new, is it?

These unemployed people are to be set to work picking up litter, cleaning off graffiti and other "community work" which could include grass cutting or looking after local parks.

Hold on, what about the people already employed picking up litter, cleaning the graffiti away and looking after the park, what is to become of them?

The solution is to make all the clean up squads and park keepers redundant therefore saving their pay of say £14,000 a year. The now unemployed litter collector can then sign on at the dole office where he (or she) will be told to go out and pick up litter for their dole say £9,000 a year. They will then realise that "hey my old job is still being done therefor I was made redundant illegally, trundle off to No Win No Fee and grab themselves a nice little £50.000 compensation.

One final though on this subject, with unemployment set to reach 2 million we need an awful lot more litter on the streets to keep the unemployed busy.
Once again a government plan is, RUBBISH.

15 July, 2008

Crime Reduction Plans

Today the Government has announced new measures to tackle youth crime.
Well actually they have announced measures that have been in place for years but as Gordon thinks we all have a memory as bad as his he has announced them again thinking we will all go "gosh isn't the Prime Minister fantastic". Actually no he is a bad tempered stupid idiot who made a mess of things as chancellor and some how still made it to become P.M. But this blog is not to talk about his lack of ability.

Years ago I was working in a department where everyone else loved management speak, I could not stand it and usually found myself asking "so why exactly are we running with a monkey firmly on our shoulders" and "why the hell do I need a helicopter view of anything".

The department, among other things, was involved in all sorts of youth crime initiatives and restorative justice. I am boring myself here, quick move on.

The point is that one afternoon when I was scribbling some really amazingly earth shattering report I got into a conversation about the latest youth crime and persuaded the others there that what we needed to do was produce a crime reduction action plan.

I got away with it for ages and all the management speakers were getting on board the idea and signing up for it and preparing a launch. yeah yeah whatever.
Anyway the point is that now the Government is about to launch its new youth crime reduction action plan.
And I expect that is exactly what it will be.
Crime Reduction Action Plan (C.R.A.P)

12 July, 2008

Knife Crime

I sit in the restaurant desperately trying to slice the meat as it slides around, the fork making that horrible noise as it grates against the enamel of the plate.
It is a battle, who will give up first. Will the pork chop give in under the pressure of the knife edge, or will I surrender and eat only the salad.

The waiter wanders over, "is everything OK sir?" he enquires and for some reason, without the slightest hesitation, I reply "yes, lovely thank you". Sweat now pouring off my forehead from the effort.
At last the knife tears off a small piece of the meat, enough when added to a piece of potato to make a reasonable mouthful. I eat revelling in the victory before starting the whole process again.

Yes there is a problem, not with the pork which is perfectly cooked and not in the least bit tough but the problem is the knife. How often do we struggled to eat even a thin and crispy pizza finding that the knife will not cut the bread and the whole thing just slides about the plate, and we end up trying to tear off pieces rather than cut them. It is a crime the state of restaurant knives in this country.

At last, help is at hand, Gordon Brown has promised to do whatever it takes to tackle the problem of knives in Briton. He has decided to do something useful, aware that some day he will be dealing with a knife slipped into his back and knowing that a sharp knife is easier to remove.

There is hope once more for the country. The stock exchange can collapse, the housing market get trashed and petrol become £10 a gallon . When the knife glides effortlessly through a prime steak with onions and English mustard let us raise a glass of the finest Australian Red, "to Gordon may the knife in his back be a sharp one".

10 July, 2008

Car Tax - 2009. Yes, I am still on about it.

Have you ever watched Parliament on the BBC?
No, you have better things to do with your time, although if you want a laught, or is that cry, it is as good as The Simpsons.

When The House was debating the new car tax I turned the TV on to watch.
It is scary too, for an hour there were a few members in the house while the Conservative spokesman went into great detail about how charging me a huge lump more tax for the car I bought in 2001 was not a good idea.
After the Labour spokes woman had her say they had a vote, a few shouted yes a few shouted no. The Speaker shouted "Division, clear the lobbies" then some while later after "lock the doors", "unlock" etc over 500 people had voted.
I worry, how do they know what to vote for having not heard any of the debate.

Today the news tells us how the Labour party are still saying it is going to save the planet by charging me an extra £100 for my car tax. Hold on, Carkson proved on Top Gear last week that a Toyota thing-a-me does less mpg than a BMW when driven at a reasonable speed, and my car does more mpg than the BMW.

And as for electic car saving the world, how are we going to cope with mile after mile of motorway covered in electric cars all waiting for he AA to turn up with an extension lead because the battery died 10 miles from the exit.

The loonie greenies have taken over politics and stopped anyone else from having a say. Nearly all M.P.s have had letters asking them to justify the new taxes but none saying they are a good idea, so how can 303 members vote in favour if they are representing us?
If I scrap my car the amount of carbon produced making me a new one means that I need to drive 100,000 miles in the lowest polluting car on the planet before the CO2 is balanced. That is about 30 years driving for me.
The latest idea that the Labour Party has is to offer people "cash to scrap older polluting cars". OK thanks, give me £8000 and I will go and buy a new car, I bet they are thinking more long the lines of fifty quid.
You can see that I am a peed off about all this but I still have one last gripe.

Please please please can we stop hearing about "gas guzzlers", we don't have gas in the UK it is PETROL.

09 July, 2008

Is there anyone who gets things right?

I moved house last year and there were a few problems informing organisations of the move. But as far as I was aware my bank was all sorted.

Some weeks ago a letter door dropped through the door, one via the Royal Mail re-direction, which in its self is funny because for 12 months very little has reached me on re-direction, not even the ones I sent to myself at the old address to test the system.

The letter was the house insurance, for where I live now! Um.
The major worry was that the house insurance is with the same people as the Mortgage and banking. Now before everyone starts telling me "you don't have to have your insurance with the mortgage company", I know, but it is actually the best price available, believe me I spent ages checking.

I phoned them and after 42 levels of press 1 for this 3 for that 6 for something else spoke to an advisor. I explained the problem, "Oh yes " she said, "the contact address is still your old address" , "I see, can you change it please and while you are about it I have several other things with you can you make sure that they are all correct please".
I heard the rattling of her fingers on the keyboard then, "yes everything is OK now they are all correct", "Good, thank you", "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" she asked, "Yes actually, (that caught her) I need to get a new cash card", "you need to go into the branch for that" "OK thank you, goodbye".

Three weeks later I went into the branch and spoke to the lady who stands in the middle of the place at a terminal. I told her what I needed "whats your post code?" I told her, "there is nothing with that, do you have your old card?" I handed it over, " Maybe it is under my old post code I offered, CM....... " Yes it is" .
I was just a little cross and explained why. Ten minutes later I left happy that my address was correct and that my new card would arrive "10 days before the new pin for security reasons". No I couldn't work that one out either, if they send the new card to the wrong address how does sending the PIN 10 later make it secure. Still they know best.

I have the card and PIN and thought all was well. Then I received a letter via the mail re-direction, you don't need me to say do you, your one step ahead of me aren't you. It also suddenly struck me that for the last 12 months I have not had a statement from the bank. Somewhere, either at my old address or more probably laying on a Royal Mail van floor, are my bank statements. That's nice and secure isn't it.

Deciding that writing, phoning and visiting the branch had obviously failed I send a complaint via the banks online secure message system. I got a lovely long reply today, you can hardly tell that is is written by selecting paragraphs from a list and adding my name at the top. The reply says how sorry they are that I have had problems and how they are so careful to get things right and it is so unusual that things like this go wrong.

Its signed "Kind regards Gaby Knight, Change of Name and Address Complaints Team " It might just be me, but does a company who gets things right usually have a specific team like that?

04 July, 2008

Holiday Costs.

Its that time of year when I look at how to ensure my carbon footprint doesn't shrink and consider where we will head for Christmas and into the new year.
Christmas in Portugal as is often the case so the next thing is where after that.

We had looked at skiing in Austria but in order to up the CO2 we need somewhere long-haul and as we can't get a suitable flight to OZ (see post on Virgin below) Canada might be an option.

OK, so I know its only 10 hours compared with the 23 to OZ but at least its a start to our 2009 footprint.

Then we came to looking at the brochures and web pages and realised that holiday firms and airlines don't always tell the truth.

I selected a hotel saw that the price is £650. I then worked though to the actual price I pay. Two people, 10 days, select the dates, select the airport and the final total. Struth !
Hold on 650 x2 equals how much ? This must be Nu-Labour maths.

Then I looked at the cost breakdown, it goes like this:-
Hotel £650, add "transport supplement" £95
"Adult supplement" £975 (because although they say they have 2 person rooms you can not book them so they charge you for only being 2 people in a 4 person room)
Add fuel supplement of £372, supliment?!! no its OK, Ill just go with whatever fuel the captain puts in the plane I don't need more than he does
ATOL protection £2 - that's a new one they used to include that.
Now something I can not fathom at all "variety club" £1 wot the ??????

We haven't even finished there, to leave Vancouver there is a local fee to pay of 15 Canadian dollars for something called airport improvement tax. Shhhhh, don't let Heathrow hear about that one.
I am sure there will also be driving to the airport tax, power to operate the luggage handling equipment supplement, asking the pointless security questions supplement, wear and tear to the departure lounge carpet tax and operating the BING BONG announcement charge.

I have an idea, the holiday company could put "holiday for 2 £3879" because amazingly that is what the £650 holiday really costs.

26 June, 2008

Wind Turbines / Inflation - Points from the News.

Some days there is nothing exciting in the news and other days it is just brimming over with so much that I can't drag myself away from it. Today is one of those nothing news days but I can not resist comment on two items that filled the non-news.

First is the fact that Gordon Clown had announced that the government intends to build 7000 new wind turbines by 2020. Now assuming he doesn't mean by twenty past 8pm he still has to go some. I recon that he needs to build 1.7 new turbines every day of the year. Now I am no expert but I kind of think that is going some and that a turbine probably takes longer than a day to build. Still that's why he is PM and I am still in the land of reality.

The second piece of new is that the governor of the Bank of England says that he is confident that inflation will fall to the government target of 2%. Yes I am sure it will, in the world of pixies and goblins but again just maybe he should stop sucking up to the government and get real too.

Virgin Atlantic Frequent Flyer

A few years ago I had a holiday and flew with Virgin Atlantic, in the days they still cared about people. As a result I joined their loyalty scheme which gives points for flying and also from a credit card with their name.

Over the last couple of years I have amassed a huge number of these points and so decided to use them to up my carbon footprint (see blog entries below) and go back to Australia on holiday.

In the past it was a simple call to Virgin to book the upgrade seat and pay for another but now things have changed. "sorry there are no upgrade seats available" , "you can try calling back each morning between 8-9 (sounds like the local doctors) or you can keep checking the web site". OK, not a problem, "when are seats likely to be available?" "You would have to phone and keep checking".

So I got on the website, for 5 hours I tried, every possible combination of dates over a 3 month period as far ahead as you are allowed to book. Each time I had to put in all the details, tick the box, have the website fail, retry, input the details, you get the idea.

They have a very few upgrade reward seats available but they wont let you use the 24 hour trip you have to do a 38 hour trip. There are plenty of other upgrade seats for people but not under the loyalty reward scheme. It seems the loyalty scheme is to keep you loyal to the brand, its a one way thing.
I can not imagine traveling for 38 hours, 14 of which are sat in an airport waiting for a connecting flight.

But this is not the worst of their loyalty scheme. They also give "Free Companion Flights". Wow excellent! Well no actually. I have "earned" 4 of these so far but not used any. You see to take a companion along free you have to buy an expensive ticket for yourself. Then if you do manage to find a reward companion seat available on the flight you want (Unlikely in itself) you have to pay the taxes and surcharges for the free companions. This amounts to a higher cost for the two seats than to buy 2 tickets on the same plane in the same class. Their answer on this is "yes that can sometimes be the case", well actually tell me when it isn't the case.
I posted a message on a website specifically for Virgin flyer's and got several people telling me that I was being "a bit off" for expecting to use my loyalty points on a flight I wanted and to be happy that they all know loads of people who have flown other places, not Australia, using their airmiles.

Yes the lady on the phone told me that I could easily get to New York.

09 June, 2008

CO2 Car Tax Rip Off

How would you like to pay your income tax based on a guess of how much the government think you will earn?
The new car tax rules mean that we will be paying our car tax based on a guess of how much CO2 our vehicles produce. Your car (if you have on) is given a value of grammes of CO2 per Kilometre and it is probably totally wrong.
My car says its CO2 is 202g/km but working it out over several tanks of petrol the worst case is 179g/km but because it says 202 I will be paying £300 for my car tax next year but it should be £205.

Here is how to work it out:- Divide 2.3 (a litre of petrol produces 2.3kg of CO2 or use 2.7 if you have a diesel car) by the number of kilometres you get from a litre of petrol. That figure will be the .xxx is the number of grammes you produce per km.

Now check your vehicle registration document and decide if the government is going to be ripping you off.

The new tax rates are here

02 June, 2008

Police Survey.

The results of a telephone survey on the views of teenager to policing has been published and apparently 73% of them are happy with policing in their area. The trouble with surveys is that they are usually worded to get the replied the organisation wants. But at least a survey such as this shows someone is happy with policing.
Here is a transcript of one of the telephone survey conversations:-

Ring ring, ring ring, ring , ring
"yeah wot"
"Good evening I am calling on behalf of a police survey and need to obtain the views of people between the ages of 17 and 20 on policing in their area, are you between 17 and 20"
"yeah corse"
"Are you prepared to answer some questions for me please"
"First how old are you"
"18 corse, I go ID and everyfing"
"In the last 12 months have you had any dealing with the police"
"Like corse" (That's a tick for yes)
"What was the encounter"
"No it wern't at a counter it was in the field like, one of them like pdsa not real cops with like the grey band on the hat not like the real ones, he come over when we was having a spliff and said like you got a knife and I said sure wot you gona do an he like said ok and just like went cos me and Sam was there" (That's a tick for yes)
"Ok thank you, did you feel that the police dealt with you fairly"
"Well like yea cos, he pissed off like we wanted" (That's a tick for yes happy)
"Thinking of only the last 12 months have you had any other dealing with the police)
"Yeah right, like cos I just wana speak to them all the time" (Tick for more than one dealing)
"When you spoke to them did they resolve the problem for you"
"What you mean"
"Were you happy when the police left"
"Yeah corse man, like everyone always cool when they leave" (Tick for happy with police action)
"Do you see police patrolling in you area"
"Like always, yea right" (Tick for patrols seen at least once a day)
"Do you know the name of your local neighbourhood officers"
"Yeah right" (Tick for know local officers)
"Do you know where the closest police station to your home is that is open 24 hours a day"
"Yeah right lime Im gona need that man" (Tick for yes)

And so it went on. Which shows that no matter what you think of the youth of today they are at least good at helping the police image when it comes to a survey.

26 May, 2008

Personal Carbon Credits

Despite being the most amazing hoax ever, saving the planet by reducing carbon continues to produce crack-pot ideas. The latest is by The Environmental Audit Committee in the UK. They are seriously suggesting that a scheme of personal carbon credits would "be more effective than taxes for cutting carbon emissions".

There is a word that a friend uses a lot, it is also to be found in the writings of a well know author and I think it perfectly describes the Environmental Audit Committee, Fuckwits.
The committee is not trying to save the Earth, they are living on another planet.

Let's assume that they actually think this idea could work, which frighteningly they do, how would it be administered. I assume that the rich with their huge houses, personal jets and holidays every other week will be given a massive amount of these new credits and the rest of us will get just enough to survive as long as we don't put the heating up in winter and never drive more than 5miles a week.
The committee suggests that "those who need more can buy more and those who use less can sell them" but overall there will be a fixed amount of carbon credits each year. That looks like a win for the rich yet again.

Apparently when we buy petrol, gas, electricity, flights, etc we will spend money and the new carbon credits. So there I am at the petrol pump, I have just put in £500 of petrol (about 10 litres by then) and I suddenly think "oh hell I am out of credits. No problem I wander around the forecourt waving some cash asking "anyone sell me some carbon credits", and hope dodgy Joe is there with his black market supply?
Just for a moment I will play along with there game and make a useful suggestion, when this scheme comes in this is what Carbon Credits might look like:

Or maybe this is more what they have in mind:-

21 May, 2008

New speed limits to save lives - Yeah Right!

Several years ago the government of the day, who we are still suffering under, introduced measures to save lives on the roads of the UK. The "initiative" would reduce fatal and serious injury accidents and locations would be "targeted" with speed cameras, road improvements etc.

Some years on and the number of fatal road crashes in not reducing, although because of the reduction in traffic police the number of injury accidents recorded by the police and Home Office has reduces. Strange but the number recorded by the hospitals has increased. Um.

Anyway, the point of this blog is not to look back on failure but to look forward to success.

This week the government has announced that it has an initiative to cut fatal and serious injury road accidents, yawn. The great idea this time is to have loads of 20mph speed limits all over the place. The good bit is that there won't be any new road humps it will all be done with signs and lots of average speed detection cameras. I smell a rat, this is not to save lives its all about fines and money.

The whole misguided idea on this is that at 30 mph so many people are killed when hit by a car, at 20mph it drops to less. Although they probably end up sat in a chair as a vegetable for the rest of their lives.

I have a better plan, instead of saying hit people at a slower speed with your car, lets get radical, don't bloody hit them at all.
You never know it might just work!

09 May, 2008

Rule Britannia - Well maybe not

There have been a couple of military parades this week that got me thinking and made me realise why Britain is such a soft touch for anyone who fancies coming here illegally.

The first was a military parade in London at which 3 fighter planes flew past, some say it was the entire RAF, and a load of men on horses went through the streets showing the might of the British Army.

The second was a parade in Russia showing their power to the word and saying "hey look not only do we have most of the worlds gas supplies but we also have quite a lot of tanks too".
So here you are British power
And then the Russian version

I know which country I'd go to as an illegal.

02 May, 2008

Car Tax

I have droned on before about Carbon and the con of "green taxes" but one of the latest attempts is just pure revenue grabbing.
You may have heard in the last budget that car tax is to go up huge amounts, maybe like many you though its OK it is for new cars, well oops sorry no, it is for all cars registered since March 2001. God only knows how they decided on that date but there you are.

So I for one will be looking at £300 next year for my car tax. But that's OK it will save the planet, wont it?

Well actually no. I do about 4000-5000 miles a year in my car which is very little compared to Ronny the rep who has a small car and does 60,000 miles a year but only has to pay £100 for his tax. But hold on one darn minute, he is producing tons more CO2 than me.
Next time the Chancellor decides to work out car tax groups maybe he will do it on the height of the driver. It makes as much sense.

Speed Limits

Have you had an accident in the last 3 years that was not your fault?

If so perhaps it was caused because you were distracted by the latest fad hitting the roads of the UK. Millions of unnecessary road signs. They are popping up everywhere and some are fantastically good at distracting you from the one important thing about driving. Watching what is happening on the road.

By far the worst of these new signs must be the LED speed limit signs. These solar powered signs register your speed then flash the speed limit at you. Maybe its me, but surely if you are going faster than the speed limit the last thing you need is something distracting you so that you don't see little Chavney running into the road ahead of you.

And the ones even worse are those that tell you "slow down" and give you your speed. Firstly your instinct is to look at this flashing sign the second is to look at your speedo to see that , yes, the sign is wrong.

I was driving in a queue of traffic through a 30 limit the other day. We were all about 75 feet apart (see what I have done there) and the front car was, according to the sign, doing 28, so was the next and the next, then suddenly "SLOW DOWN" 42 flashed on the sign. Interesting how I can do 42 in a line of cars doing 28. What is more worrying is that the technology is the same as used in speed detection for prosecutions.

On another road there are 3 metre square signs every few hundred metres saying "SLOW DOWN its 50 for a reason" with the 50 being a huge so speed limit sign. The signs say this to every motorist, even the one I was stuck behind doing 40. What is this mystical reason for it being 50. Probably to take away the pleasure of driving along another road, because as far as I could see it would have been just as safe for me to drive along the road at 60 or even 90 as 50. Or just maybe its so that the sign manufacturers can make a killing selling unnecessary road signs to the local councils.

Next time your out driving try to read and understand every road sign you pass. Don't miss any remember to act on the prohibitions and comprehend the informative ones, don't miss any of the little brown ones or the unnecessary reminders, check all the road markings and be aware of the date of the next boot sale.
But before you do make a note of this number 0800 884 0060. Its Claims Direct. I am guessing you will need it.

15 April, 2008

Teenager killed in Ecuador coach crash - So What?

It has been a lovely few spring days in England yet some papers are printing the "last email of " a girl killed in some crash while she was on holiday.
I know its a sad time for her family, but I never knew the girl, so excuse me if I don't so much as sniff back one tear. There is certainly no point publishing the last email she wrote to here parents, what possible use is it to me, to anyone. It was never meant to be published and reading it does nothing for anyone except her parents.

In the UK each week about 9,000 people pop their clogs. Yet papers decide that some deaths are more important than others, how do they do that and why.

Now and again you might know one of the 9000 so you can grieve a bit, miss them and do all the things one does when someone dies. But the papers seem to want us to grieve more and more deaths so why not grieve for them all. It means you have just over a minute to grieve for each.

OK, that's not realistic is it, the girl died in a crash so maybe just grieve for people killed in crashes and to make it easier lets just keep it to the UK . That's better you only have 9 a day to worry about so you can give each one at least 2 hours, hardly time to really revel in the grief but better than nothing and should give you time to read the "last email" from each one.

While on the subject of death, today I was driving when coming from the other direction was a funeral cortege being led at walking pace.

For some reason, I know not what, the people in front of me all slowed to walking pace too. Behind the funeral were hundreds of drivers being made to drive at 4mph because of someone most never knew. Yet the family of the dead person felt it was their right to make everyone slow down regardless. In the queue were lorries, vans, old and young people and presumably some of the queue had places they needed to be, maybe a doctor on his way to a patient, maybe even an ambulance driver or other emergency worker on their way to work. But that's OK they can sit in a mile long queue for someone they never met.

Have some respect for the dead you say. Oh please, get a life!

04 April, 2008

A pedophile on every street corner!

These days certain news papers seem to drum up mass support for anything they like by printing one word "pedophile".
If they want to shut down a web site, want their readers to hate someone or want to make the government back a new law, then they simply print the "P" word. Anyone who is against their idea should be stoned to death and is probably a pedophile.
It evokes such strength of feeling by its use that when the police can't solve a crime all they have to do is grab a computer from a suspect, upload a few images onto it and who cares if the person abducted anyone or not they are a pedophile what jury will fail to convict them.

You might remember a few years back, the readers of one of these papers attacked a pediatrician and drove her from her home. Well they are not used to words of more than 4 letters and it did look similar.

More and more people who may come into contact with children have to be "police checked". One pressure group suggested people working in shops near to schools need to be checked and a childminder I know had to have her mother checked because she sometimes helps if the children in her care go out in the car.

But hold on a second, there is one group of people that seems to have been overlooked.
Everyone who ever goes on holiday.
Imagine the horror, you have booked your holiday at Centre Parks and you head off there. On the way you should be safe the man in the Dartford Toll booth will be checked in case he smiles at any children in the back of cars. The man operating the tax disc check at the side of the road, he must surely be checked after all he has a camera in a public place. If you stop on the way then all the Mac Donald's staff, well they will obviously be checked because they hand out toys to small children. So if your lucky you get to Center Parks and your children have made it.

You book into your accommodation, the people on the desk will have been checked for sure. Then suddenly it hits you. There are other people staying here. Hundreds of them.
"Excuse me" you ask the lady on the desk, "Have you checked the police records of all the guests who might be in the pool, the entertainment hall, walking through the woods or sitting near the play area at the same time as my children".
You get a puzzled look, you take that as a no.
"Come on kids back in the car its far too dangerous here, we are going home"

27 March, 2008

Points from the News. Seal cull. French President.

There are two stories in the news today that are really good for a laugh.

The first is the visit to the UK by a rather mad president of France. If you could believe a word he says then it would be a really nice world. But you can't so it isn't. But yesterday he said something in his patronising speech in the UK that had me laughing as I worked out in the gym.
He said something along the lines of "the UK government was a shining example of democracy at work". Oh help. Demo-crazy (think french accent) maybe, but how can a government led by a simpleton 99% of the people in the country have never voted for, and who micro manages every aspect of life from the amount of salt you eat, the c.c. of your car engine to the number of glasses of wine you have a week ever be described as democracy.

The second set of things in the news that had me confused were two stories back to back. The first how all our plastic, especially bags (see below) is killing unfortunate birds and animals all over the planet. It went on to tell me that we have to ban plastic bags and disposable lighters, ever plastic tooth brushes can kill. Crikey! Then came the next piece of news, 250,000 seals are being killed for their fur, skin, oil etc. Maybe I am missing the point here, who decides that a bird is more important than a seal.

Either we keep our plastic or we stop killing seals. You can't have it both ways.

Save the planet. Why bother - Lets Trash it!

If another person says ECO to me I swear I will do something they will regret.

Everywhere you go people are on about ECO this and Green that. Why doesn't everyone just come clean with the fact they have found a new way to make money by saying ECO.
The trouble is no one will actually tell you the truth, and that is that there is nothing we can do that is going to save the planet. It is too late.

For example did you realise that there are underground coal fires burning in China and America that are giving off more CO2 than all the cars in the USA. Interesting isn't it and some of these have been burning over 40 years. Also forest fires around the world add millions of tonnes of CO2 every year and there is nothing that can be done about either of these things.

The point is as I have said before CO2 is not causing global warming. And any failed US presidential candidate who tells you otherwise is simply making it up.

So what can be done to save this mess. Nothing! That's right nothing, not a single thing that we tiny humans do will make a scrap of difference.
Depressed? Well don't be its great news. It means that we can have one last party and trash the planet big time. Like the rock bands who worked themselves up into a frenzy and smashed up the stage the only thing left for us to do is go out in style. It may take us a hundred years or so but if everyone works together we should be able to do it big time.

So sod the consequences, treat yourself to that petrol drinking car and take a few long haul flights. Leave the lights on when you go out and always use the tumble drier.

Go for it . You know you want to.

15 March, 2008

Council Tax Rip Off

Today my council tax bill arrived. It said it was posted to me on 25th Feb so its not bad that it arrived in only 19 days, the Royal Mail are getting better, but this blog is not about them.

My council tax has, like everything gone up way above the 2.4% we are expected to believe is the rate of inflation. In actual fact the bill says that I have to pay a staggering extra 5% this year to Essex Police, which is really taking the mickey as I live on the police free Island of Mersea. There was once a copper spotted on the island but he was apparently just lost.

Still this blog is not even about the total lack of policing it is about why we pay three councils for what must be the same service, or lack of.
My bill shows that I pay Essex County Council, Colchester Borough and then Mersea Town Council. But hold on one minute the other week when I phoned Colchester Borough the woman there went to great length to tell me that council tax is nothing to do with the services they provide ( or don't). I told her she was wrong and this bill proves it.

What the heck am I paying Essex County Council for that Colchester doesn't provide and there is no need at all for the Town Council who, as far as I can see, provide diddly squat for my money.

Here on Mersea Island we are about to have a Tesco store open, we already have a Spar and a Co-op so here is an idea. When you shop at Tesco remember to also go and pay for the items at the Co-op and the Spar. Well it makes about as much sense as paying three councils.

09 March, 2008


You can't help but notice that over the last few years more and more ways of keeping track of us have been springing up. For example, when you drive into Tesco's car park your number plate is read, when you drive along hundreds of roads the same thing happens and you can't walk anywhere these days without being on numerous CCTV systems.
Who is monitoring these fixed number plate readers and why.
If you so much as dare question all this surveillance you will eventually come upon someone telling you "If you have nothing to hide then what are you worried about".
I have commented on this before but recently I read an article in which the writer was quite adamant than any of us who thought we had a right to drive along a road and not be tracked, or to walk through the high street and not have someone follow us with a camera should be arrested because we must have something to hide.
This is a worrying trend and with people like this about there will be only one logical conclusion. There must be a camera in every room in every building throughout the UK. That includes your lounge, dining and bedrooms and yes of course one over your bath.
What, you don't like the idea of that. You obviously have something to hide then do you?