Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
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27 January, 2011

Has the Goverment already lost the plot?

It was never going to be good when Cameron got into power but for a few brief weeks we though that he would do what it takes to bring the country back from the brink, of course that hope is fading fast.

We should have know, I mean when raving mad Thatcher was in number 10 she sold most of the UK to the lowest bidder saying it was in the country's interest as she lined her pockets with millions, so why would we expect anything different from Cameron.

Today the news has been of brand new never flown aircraft being smashed up at the Governments direction. That's OK they only cost billions to build and millions to destroy what the hell.

Maybe there is no role for the Nimrod but even if that were true there must be a better way to use a plane, not smash it into scrap.

So far the list of achievements for Cameron is not looking good:-

Trying to sell off our forests.
Aircraft less aircraft carriers.
Smashed up new aircraft.
Trashing the NHS.
Destroying police forces.
Highest petrol prices on record.
Riots on the streets of London.
And on and on............

The final insult to injury however must go to Mervin King of the Bank of England as he delights in telling us that we can expect biggest squeeze on our finances for 80yrs.

Remember we are all in this together, well everyone other than politicians and bankers that is.

Yippee a Royal wedding!

Isn't it great news there is to be a Royal wedding, OK, its actually pretty crap boring news for most of us and I couldn't give a toss for so many reasons. But at least my other half is doing the take 3 days leave and get 11 off thing when the wedding is on.

Does anyone care who the guy marries and when, the Royal family are so detached from the real world and there is hardly a "United" Kingdom for them to rule over any more. Convert Buck House into flats for illegal immigrants and be done with it I say, or is that Treason or some such.

Still that said there is one country who are loving the wedding fever and that as usual is China. With such short notice they are having the 6year olds work flat out to make all the toot people buy, from cups and saucers, plates and mugs to the union flags, its all coming from china.
Even Royal Doulton and Wedgwood are made in the Far East now so they can't save the day for the UK either.

How did we ever get to this, a Royal wedding means lots of cash for China.

The other nagging question is why do people buy the toot. Its never going to be on Antiques Roadshow and unless your really sad its not something you put on the wall or in a display cabinet, it will be just too common.
That coupled with the fact that the £10 mug you buy, with a hand applied transfer, is worth £8 as soon as you buy it and resale value of 50pence if your lucky makes you wonder what the point is.

I have a Diana and Charles mug in the loft, mum bought one for each of us, its been in the loft ever since and will be there until I'm dead and someone chucks it out.
At a going rate of 99p plus £3 p&P its not even worth an Ebay listing.

22 January, 2011

All disabled people are poor too?

In town today I was gob-smacked that the car park charge has gone up by an astonishing 90pence for 4 hours, that's gone up by not to.

I am sure there is some lefty green tree hugging reason the council will give, they want us to use public transport probably, but until they provide buses that don't smell of piss and dead people, run more than once an hour and don't take 4 times as long to get anywhere, I will still drive in.

I digress.
At lunch time we sat in a noodle bar about 500m from the car park looking out onto the main road. It was then that it hit me. Opposite the restaurant on the main road is disabled parking only and these parking bays are free. Why?

I am quite happy that a genuine disabled person should park a little closer to the town than most but why for free. Note I say genuine because those I saw parking seemed to walk up the hill without obvious disability.

It must be that disabled people are poor people. But if that is the case how is it that most of the cars parked there are newer than ours, and I recall last week watching a woman making a real cock-up of parking in the disabled bays in a new 4x4. So disabled can't all be poor.

So its an offence to discriminate against someone because of disability but it is perfectly acceptable to discriminate financially against me and everyone else without a disabled parking sticker, to the tune of at least £4.20 a morning.

21 January, 2011

Will someone please fix the potholes PROPERLY!

As my other half drove to work yesterday in the newly fixed car the front wheel met one of the many potholes in the road and ended up with another huge dent. Luckily the tyre didn't blow and not being an alloy with a lot of carefully placed sledge hammer blows most of the dent came out.

But why do I bother to report potholes to the council when they only send out a man with a spadeful of tar which he stamps into the hole with his trainers knowing full well that his company will make a stonking great profit filling the same hole all year.

One pothole repair nearby lasted a mere 4 days before it had all come out again.
I suggested to the council that the best way to save money is to fix it properly once, rather than to bodge it 12 time each year but it seems to have no effect. I guess the department is either run but fuckwits or they get a back hander from the contractors, or both.

The Essex roads are falling apart and yet the council highways waste money week after week.
A lorry with a spadeful of tar fills one hole but ignore one 10m away because its not on the list, and remember the contractor makes far more when the council calls them out tomorrow for that one.

It really isn't rocket science, say it costs £100 to drive out and do one pothole, (its probably far more), they drive 40min get out lorry put tar into crumbling hole, stamp it in and off.
The repair lasts a maximum of 7 days takes a fortnight to get back to the top of the list and so it goes around. That's a whopping £1200+ for one pothole every year.

The other option, the lorry comes out, with a road drill, a roller and proper road mix. The repair cost £400 but is done for years. Then they move onto the next pothole 20m away and as they are already there it only cost £300. See council I've already saved £700 a year and I've only done two pothole!

PLEASE someone explain to the council this simple logic.
Because I'm pissed off with dented wheels and if I have to tell them again Ill bash it into them with my wheel fixing hammer.

17 January, 2011

New Headlight Bulb only £351

The day the car steering failed the headlight blew too, me being me and thinking that's a 5min job sorted through my box of car bulbs and found a new one.
Looking behind the headlight I saw a large rubber bung which to my mind had to come off, so off it came. But there was no way that I was going to remove the bulb so I resorted to the manual.

If you know what WTF means then you won't mind me using it, if you don't know then it means oh dear, "to replace the headlamp bulb first remove the front grill". That's not a good start. "remove the 3 three headlamp unit retaining bolts", looking even worse, "remove the headlight unit while pulling the bumper towards the centre to allow the unit to clear the edge of the bumper, do not pull the bumper more than 10mm" but it doesn't move it a cold day and cold plastic doesn't give at all.

It only took 20min to remove the headlight unit, but another 30 to replace it. I thought it was just me until I collected the car from the mechanic after the steering problem and mentioned the headlight. "that's nothing" he replied "the dealers manual for (and I forget the make) says changing the headlight bulb is an 80min job.
So hold on, the main agent here charges £95 an hour plus VAT, that's £151 without the bulb.

But that's not the worst of it, certain new gas headlamps are £200 for the actual bulb, but thankfully they are designed to last the life of the car, but unfortunately a lot don't or if the do the "bulb control unit" fails and its £220. Crikey!

So thanks to modern technology what used to be a 5 min job and cost about £1 could now be a £351 job taking 80minutes. No way, they can't be serious.

No wonder I see so many cars with only one headlight, no court in the land will ever fine that much for a duff headlight.

16 January, 2011

Fuel discounts for remote areas

Sometimes the government has good ideas and implements things that not only help MPs but ordinary people too. Granted this doesn't happen very often.
I mean if they were serious that "we are all in this together" why is it that 2000 people in one council are losing their jobs but you don't hear of any MPs being declared redundant.

I digress again. The latest great idea to help the common folk being muttered about is the idea of a discounted petrol scheme for people in places like "the Scottish Highlands, parts of Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England".
The idea is to help reduce the "burden of fuel costs for people in remote areas". That's nice for them isn't it. They deserve a break don't they, I mean all that countryside, peace and quite they have to put up with, they have a bad time don't they.

No wait, what the hell, how come people will be given a discount just because they happen to live in a nice quiet rural location. How will this work. Does Mr Rich get a nice discount so he can fill his 18mpg Range Rover at half the price I have to pay to fill my 40mpg Ford.

This must be one of the most crackpot schemes since the last crackpot idea they came up with, which was probably selling off the National Forests.

I am sure this will be done in such a way that the oil companies don't lose out, 20p a litre increase for the rest of us should safeguard profits.

Oh, and I have just declare my house a remote location.

Don't Buy a Ford Fiesta!

There was a time when Ford Motor Company made good cars, back in the days of the Cortina and the Mk1 and 2 Escorts. That was the time when a car drove towards and I could tell you what it was before I read the badge. Now so many are morphing into a standard shape it gets hard to tell them apart.

I used to like Ford cars, I had three different Escorts, including my boy racer red XR3i (for 13yrs) before I got tempted away with a couple of Vauxhalls.

Then 3 years ago when we needed to have two cars we got a Fiesta.
All was fine until 2weeks ago when as the other half drove out of the garage and off down the road I saw two puddles of red liquid on the garage floor. Dashing inside I grabbed the mobile and issued an immediate recall to base.

Upon closer inspection my fears worsened, I realised the liquid was viscous and obviously hydraulic fluid. Argh!!!

This is where the bad news began. Apparently Ford know that the steering racks on Fiestas are crap but lucky for them they mostly fail after warranty so they can tell customers to get lost.
Our Fiesta is 3yrs 6months old, the going rate to replace the defective rack is anything between £700 and £1300. Deep joy.

Not wanting to get stitched up by a main agent I got the AA to tow me or rather the car to a local garage. After various problems the new steering rack is fitted but here again Ford get another laugh.

Let me digress a few moments. I am buying my other half a new Laptop which was assembled in China Thursday was at Shanghai yesterday and will be here tomorrow.

Back to the car. Everything is in place and all that is needed is two small rubber O'rings from Ford. But wait, they know these steering racks fail, they know people have to replace them but they can't get the mechanic two O'rings in under 2 weeks.

Thanks a bloody lot Ford Motor Company, even if I did like the look of any of you current models rest assured I won't be buying any from you any more.

11 January, 2011

Points from the News

Its been a while since I covered points from the news so I thought I would take a quick look at a few of the UK headlines at the moment.

Freaky Scarecrow expecting.
The biggest news of the week on one Channel is that Victoria Beckham is expecting, oh joy a whole article regarding the fact they have 3 boys and will they have a girl.
I am not alone in not giving a sod what she has but I had a fantastic laugh as she tried to do her usual stupid stand for the cameras, hopping sideways with her left leg stuck out and making a face that would sour the milk instantly. The woman looks like a freaky scarecrow. How does someone with so little talent get in the news. Oh that's right her husband can kick a football. Shame he cant string a sentence together though.

New Planet Discovered
More amazing news, scientists have discovered another planet.
Its apparently a bloody long way off and with temperatures of 1000 degC unlikely to have life on it but its been described as a significant discovery. Other than to show what planet Earth will look like when the sun eventually expands what possible use is this discovery.
Of course we only have their word that it exists, its too far away for anyone else but their telescope to see, and if you were facing funding cuts due to a recession you would want some startling news to announce too. Wouldn't you.

Undercover Cop gives evidence for the defence
A metropolitan police officer who had been working undercover for several years to infiltrate a load of lefty green twits has decided that although the tax payer paid his wages to make sure that people breaking the law were prosecuted he would side with the tree huggers and refuse to give evidence for the prosecution.
That's jolly good of him, I hope he still feels on side with the great unwashed when the Met take his salary back and cancel his pension.

Demand a Pay rise
One or other of the union people made a fair comment this week when he said people must demand their pay rises this year. His reasoning is that if the people who caused the financial melt down are still getting massive bonuses why the hell should anyone who's done nothing wrong suffer. He has a good point.
So when its time for you to have a pay review this year remember to tell your boss that if he doesn't give you at least 6% you will go and work abroad.
That should do it!

08 January, 2011

NO ENTRY to National Forests

Its at times when the world is falling apart that it is nice to get away from it all, take a stroll along the beach or maybe go for a walk in one of England's forests. Ah yes the green and pleasant lands where you can forget the stress of everyday life.

If your idea of a relaxing time is to lose yourself in the forest with nothing but the trees and birds for company you might want to get out there quick. Our wonderful government is now selling off all the country's publicly owned forests. That's anything managed by the forestry commission I am told.

Its OK they tell us, although they are being sold off we will still have access to them, but we wont. One forest that included a visitors centre, car park and picnic area is now privately owned and the car park is gone the visitor centre shut and a steel fence stops all access.

Its good to know that the government stands to make £1.2billion from the sales of these forests, I am sure they will use it wisely, maybe bail out another bank so bonuses can be paid. Meanwhile the rest of us can enjoy the fact that we will no longer have to buy wellington boots for that walk in the forest.

Ironic when you consider their logo don't your think

07 January, 2011

One Law For The Rich ..........

Its that time of year again when the bastard rich bankers who trashed most of our financial systems get their massive bonuses simply for being, well, bastard bankers.

Despite the government (run by millionaires remember) telling the banks that they should not give these huge sums of money to people who are really crooks in suits the banks are ignoring any new rules and laws and paying out anyway.

It would not be so bad if banks actually looked after customers, maybe paid us a little interest on our money or lent someone money for a house, but oh no, they are only in it for themselves now.

The line rolled out time and again that "if we don't pay them they will leave and go abroad" is getting pretty thin. Where are these abroad job that these bankers will just walk into, even if they existed outside the deranged minds of the bankers themselves how many employers would want a new member who left his last employer "because he refused to pay me £10million bonus".

Its obscene that these bankers get paid at all after the mess they have put the rest of us into, and yet when anyone tried to curb this injustice its just laughed off and the money gets paid.

The idiom one law for the rich and another for the poor was never truer than when it come to the mega rich bankers who see themselves above any laws.

There is only once small consolation, as the roads fall apart and litter mounts up as councils run out of money the rich might too dent a wheel on the 4x4 in a pothole as they drive past thumbing their noses as the rest of us.
Bastards !

04 January, 2011

Am I the only one not nicking from Sainsburys?

There is a new Sainsburys said to be the biggest in the country which was I believe built especially to allow the Obese people to get through the isles to the cake counter faster, the previous store isles were only 6ft wide and restricted the access of at least two women I see there.

The new store has "Scan and Go", this allows you to scan each item as you put it into the trolley. Its a system I have used in other stores but here there is a slight difference. In other stores after shopping you hand the scanner to someone on the tills and then there is a chance the system will select you for a re-scan to ensure your not nicking too much.

With this new scan and go after shopping you put the scanner in its holder pay with your credit card and off you scarper.

Hold on, there are people I see in Sainsburys that I wouldn't trust with an empty bean can so I know darn well some of them will be scanning one bottle of Chardonnay and taking home 3 yet there is nothing to stop them.

You can even nick the good stuff, last week I went to the till with a bottle with a security tag on it and the woman said "I'll remove that for you" but didn't make any checks that I'd scanned it as she handed me the de-tagged bottle.

Am I the only one who isn't nicking like crazy from the store.

Are Sainsburys so gullible that they trust Mrs Slapper, in her lycra joggers and stained white t-shirt, to actually pay for the 5 bottles of Vodka in the trolley beside the ready meals and cream cakes.

There are so many scams you could pull with scan and go that they must be being carried out all the time. Yet it seems Sainsburys are quite happy to trust anyone with a Nectar card to pay for the shopping that they take home.

I feel left out if everyone else is getting their shopping for a fraction of the cost with scan and go, but no one told me how much I am allowed to nick, as an honest shopper I must be subsidising the nicking of others. That's just not on.

There must be a level of nicking that is expected on the scan and go which is being covered by profits so come on Sainsburys play the white man, tell the rest of us how much we can nick, I'm darned that I'm paying for Slapper's vodka every week!