Monday, August 30, 2010

Nikki Sinclaire MEP: Let the People Decide

Nikki Sinclaire seems to be the only MEP actually doing anything worthwhile, indeed actually doing anything other than creaming in the cash! As well as actually fighting on behalf of her West Midlands constituents she is also running a high profile campaign calling for a referendum on our membership of the EU. You can visit the website at Have Your Say.

As the party conference season approaches she will be taking her campaign to the conference fringe of the serious parties, Labour in Manchester and the Tories in Birmingham. She will also be at the UKIP conference and the Lib Dems.

I think I'll be joining her team for some fun in Manchester!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fat Fighters on the NHS

Last week I had an exchange of banter with my old mate Steve Allison. He believed in the abolition of the seatbelt law, but advocated the charging of costs to resulting accident victims if they ended up in hospital. I disagreed with making them pay for treatment and we agreed to disagree.

Steve has now been elected to UKIP's National Executive Committee. I'm sure some much needed commonsense will make a difference. But I can't help wondering what happens if, as is highly likely, the experience drives him to some kind of mental breakdown. As it's self inflicted would he be happy to pay for treatment I wonder? Only kidding, congratulations Steve and good luck.

There are various areas where I completely agree with the principle of not providing free treatment on the NHS. One such area was highlighted in the media this week, fat people. I'm no skinny beanpole by any stretch of the imagination, but I paid good money on great food and wine to get the size I am, not obese but definitely over weight. If I now decide I need to lose weight I will lose the weight, as I gained the weight, by my own effort and not expect you, the taxpayer, to foot the bill. Fatties should get a grip and find some willpower, the NHS wasn't founded to pander to your weakness but to help people in genuine medical need.

I am, even as an ex smoker, sick of the way that smokers continue to be oppressed and bullied. However, why the hell should the NHS spend money on 'smoking cessation services' as they call them? If somebody wants to give up smoking then use your willpower and stop, as you will if you really want to. I don't see why our taxes should be squandered on people too weak to do what I presume they must want to do if they contact their local 'NHS cessation service'. Wimps!

Then there is your 'gender realignment' treatment. Of course they use these euphemisms to mask what is really involved. If Arthur one day wakes up, and decides he wants to be Martha instead, then fine, that's his/her prerogative. But don't expect to have your widget lopped off out of my taxes, go private, or privates! And before anybody, usually with a vested interest, whines about not having treatment leading to psychiatric problems that cost the NHS much needed resources, that argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny considering the years and years of physical and mental treatment of transexuals as they change sex.

Any cosmetic treatment should be only available privately and not on the NHS. Of the two other issues that concern me specifically, abortion as a contraception and the very existence of the NHS itself, I will be gassing off about both in the coming days and weeks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gammer and His Familiars

There used to be a great old Victorian pub in Openshaw, Manchester called the Gransmoor. It is now no more, another victim of exorbitant taxes, the smoking ban and cheap supermarket booze. But in the late 70s, like so many pubs in Manchester and elsewhere, the place was a venue for local bands. It was here, around 1977, slightly underage, I discovered Gammer, later incarnated as Gammer and His Familiars. I last saw him at the Band on the Wall in about 1980.

Here he is in 1982:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

David Cameron's Big Society

Any authoritarian regime depends on the populace bullying itself. Look at the old DDR where, after the collapse of communism, some people discovered from the Stasi files that their spouses had only married them to spy on them for the state.

Things aren't that bad here yet, but in Consett, Co Durham locals are copping speeding drivers themselves and reporting them to the police. The police then send them a nasty letter.

I've always believed that Cameron's Big Society will just pass power to the small minded, local busybodies, rather than abolishing much of our ridiculous legisation. This proves the point.

Full story.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Manchester Jewish Museum

We were in Manchester today wondering what to do in the afternoon. Some time ago I visited the Manchester Jewish Museum , I was doing some research on the British Union of Fascists, who were very well supported in the Cheetham Hill and the Salford areas. The Jewish Museum has some wonderful audio work with interviews of Jewish people who arrived, or whose parents arrived, at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. So we went to visit.

Admission is less than a fiver and we expected to pass an hour wandering around the former synagogue. In the end we were there nearer three hours and enjoyed every minute. The volunteer guides were extremely helpful and well informed, and the exhibitions and displays vividly portray the life of Jewish migrants in one of Manchester's poorest areas. The stories of many of the immigrants and their rags to riches stories were inspiring and in many cases humbling. Anybody with even a passing interest in history must visit this museum, it really is inspiring.

Financing a museum is a constant struggle and the Manchester Jewish Museum is no exception, they need all the help they can get so visits by paying customers are crucial. If you can't visit I'm sure they would appreciate donations.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Legalising Drugs

Like armed forces personnel who open up about underfunding as they retire, Sir Ian Gilmour waited until retiring as President of the Royal College of Physicians to suggest that prohibition of drugs isn't working. He also suggested that an element of legalisation may prove more effective on a range of levels. But at least he's done it.

Now the government prove, once again, how stupid they are by threatening to refuse benefits for junkies who refuse treatment. So, are they more likely to say "oh, go on then I'll go cold turkey"? Or are they more likely to go and hold up the local corner shop to finance their next fix?

It doesn't take a genius to answer that one does it?


It's that time of year when we see what a mess successive governments have made of our education system. The only reason there is such competition for university places is because necessary qualifications are being given away.

Last year I remember seeing a lad who had got four top grades at 'A' Level. After his exams he had gone to India for a few months helping in a school in his father's birthplace. They were still doing the internationally recognised GCEs rather than GCSEs. He was amazed at the difference in standards and admitted that he would have struggled to even pass his exams if he had taken them in India, let alone get top grades. That said it all really.

Years ago, when they got rid of selective education, the politicians laid the foundation for today's educational mess. I've never yet been convinced by a supporter of comprehensivre education that it is good or successful, it is based on the most small minded and spiteful class warfare of socialism. 'We are all equal, we are all the same and we will impose that belief when educating the young' sums up comprehensive education.

I went to grammar school, my wife went to a comprehensive. I was given a good start, my wife has got on in life despite her education. I was fortunate being a Catholic in that our schools in Manchester became comprehensive years after the others and we still had the 11+ untl 1976. There was a great social mix at my grammar school, probably as near representative of the populace at large as you could find. At my wife's comprehensive they were virtually all kids from the surrounding council estate with a high level of unemployed parents and an atmosphere of failure and despair.

At my wife's comprehensive only a handful of children went into the sixth form. At my grammar only a handful didn't go on to sixth form and only a handful didn't go on to higher education. Having said that those few places were filled by lads from secondary moderns who had achieved academically at 'O' Level despite having failed their 11+. The system didn't confine 11+ failures to the bin, it nurtured them in a way that suited their particular talents. I know plenty of lads who failed the 11+ but went on to develop hugely successful businesses or developed academically later in life and then went on to university or college as mature students.

What we now see is university being 'comprehensivised'. Even our radical coalition government wants to stop so many people from 'better backgrounds' getting into unversity to make places free for people from 'poorer backgrounds'. Why not just have them selected on merit, whatever the social make-up that produces?

What comprehensive education has done is ensured that the middle clsses have a better chance than those in poorer areas. On sink estates the parents don't care, the councillors are often ill educated and don't care which is why so many parents are desperate to move to 'better' areas so that their kids have the chance of a decent education.

What next? Manchester United forced to take kids into their academy who can barely kick a ball in the interests of fairness? The Halle Orchestra having to take me on as a saxophonist to prove they are not elitist? No, that's stupid. So why do it in education?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Robert Palmer

A classic from the 1980s:

Go on then, one more:

100 Days of Coalition Crap

So we've had a new government for 100 days. Big deal!

Clegg's authoritarian attitude to the smoking ban illustrates what a bunch of statist, patronising pinko liberals minced into government when the Coalition was cobbled together to satisfy the egos of Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and company. OK the smoking ban isn't the most important single issue, but Clegg inviting the public to suggest laws that are to be scrapped, but qualifying it with a refusal to even consider reforming the smoking ban, shows what stinking hypocrites those in government really are. And mugs are falling for it.

What really has struck me in the last 100 days is the demise of the Liberal Democrats. They are losing members at an alarming rate and are getting hammered in council by-elections such as Bilston North Ward in Wolverhampton, where they even came in behind UKIP and their vote dropped over 10% on the last electon.

But Simon Hughes is now obviously jockeying for the post of post-coalition leader with his call for Lib Dem backbenchers to have a veto over govenment policy. Hughes isn't daft and can see the end of Nick Clegg in the not too distant future. When the Coalition collapses the Liberal Democrats will be left with a rump and Hughes will be the ideal leader for the type of activist that will be still milling around come that time.

In May I gave the coalition two years before it collapsed. I would now say that it is more likely to collapse around May 2011, if not earlier.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Taking the Piss out of the President

This really is a good one:

Mumps Bridge, Oldham

Today is a sad day. In the interests of 'urban regeneration' Mumps Bridge is being demolished. The name of the bridge and nearby station produce a wry smile in many, but the message on the bridge is the best thing about it.

For years when I was a lot younger I used to cycle in the Pennines, and often used to cycle into Oldham under Mumps Bridge. It just won't be the same after today not being welcomed by Seaton to 'Oldham, home of the tubular bandage'.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Idiots and Nitwits!

This country looks increasingly beyond help. It is full of nobheads and titheads. Yet again Jeremy Clarkson is being used as a scapegoat.

It seems that Clarkson overturned a Reliant Robin a couple of times on Top Gear. Then some bloke had his Reliant Robin turned over a couple of times on his driveway. Immediately the bloke is in the press blaming Clarkson for his beloved three wheeler being turned over. Bollocks!!

Did Clarkson turn the three wheeler over? An easy thing to do by the way. No he didn't. Did Clarkson tell them to do it? To the best of my knowledge, no he didn't. Blame the jokers who did it, not poor old Clarkson.

What next? If I go out and slaughter a load of old people do I expect Harold Shipman to be blamed because I saw a programme about his activities? Do I blame watching The Sweeney for robbing a bank or kicking a villain in the nuts? No, course not, and Clarkson isn't to blame for a gang of jokers turning over a Reliant Robin.

Then I heard a complete prick on Radio 2 blaming us, the populace, for the latest tour company going bust. Obvious really, if we didn't want cheap holidays they wouldn't cut costs and end up broke. Twisted sodding logic that.

So if enough of us demand cheap Rolls Royces will they cut the prices, then a bit more, then a bit more until they go bust. No you dickhead, they won't. Instead we buy Reliant Robins. If you can't afford a month on Mustique you go to sodding Pontins in Filey for a week.

I'm sure a high proportioon of people in this country have their brains surgically removed at birth.

Have a Great Really Free Weekend

Here's a bit of John Otway and Wild Willy Barratt from Whistle Test about 33 years ago:

Pure class!

Mission Statements, Straplines and Similar Bollocks

For years I have found the idea of mission statements and straplines a waste of time, often bizarre and frequently downright corny and stupid.

Take Lancashire County Council for example. As you drive into the county you are greeted with signs proclaiming 'Lancashire-A Place Where Everybody Matters'. Oh aye. Does that include the wife beater, the rapist, the paedophile, the mugger, the murderer, the bank robber and all the other undesirables? Thought not. So you see, the welcome sign is pure bollocks.

Schools are great at this waste of time, effort and money. Signs proclaiming 'Most Improved School' merely tell me that you were crap last year, and maybe all the other schools were so good that any improvement you managed would have been more than the better schools' improvement, so you are probably still a shite school.

Take this bullshit mission statement from Easyjet:

“To provide our customers with safe, good value, point-to-point air services. To effect and to offer a consistent and reliable product and fares appealing to leisure and business markets on a range of European routes. To achieve this we will develop our people and establish lasting relationships with our suppliers.”

However much you fill your mission statement with impenetrable jargon and buzzwords it should still read: "We want to make as much money as possible". Yes even in schools and hospitals because ultimately they are all in it to pay the bills.

But one of the most unusual developments in bullshit in recent years has to be the overuse of the word 'solutions'. I'm tired of the number of businesses I see nowadays that include that word in their title. Computer solutions, logistics solutions and so on. If I contact somebody to sell me a computer it isn't a problem for which I need a 'solution', I'm just buying a computer. If I want to send a parcel to China, it's not a logistics problem needing a 'solution', it's a wish to send a parcel.

The daftest one I've seen recently was Fred Smith: 'Plumbing Solutions'. Whatever happened to Fred Smith: Fixin' 'Effin' Leaks'?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Smokers? Evil Bastards!

I used to have a friend who had a bit of an interest in conspiracy theories, not the completely loony David Icke style, slightly more credible, but still conspiracy theories. One of his more interesting ones was about the venemous assault on smokers, this was in the 1980s before the smoking ban.

His theory was that the increased incidence of cancer had been concerning governments for a long time, they were desperate to find the cause. Eventually they found a link, so his theory went, and the evil cause of many forms of cancer were petro-chemicals. That was that then.

But no, the governmnent then looked at what it could do. The petro-chemical industry, as well as being crucial to our existence, was extremely powerful. The government was scared it couldn't win a battle to clean that particular industry up. So what could they do?

Eventually they had the idea of creating a scapegoat in order to placate the population at large, who were increasingly concerned at cancer levels. Hey presto, the government decided to hammer the tobacco industry instead.

The second strand to his theory was that the government, in attacking smoking and the tobacco industry, would use it to assess the power of propaganda in a free and democratic society. Which is what got me onto this post today.

As for the first part of his theory I doubt it very much, although I do think there has been exaggeration of the effects of smoking, especially passive smoking. Wherever you have a new ideology you get the zealots who go to the far extremes.

What got me mulling this over again was seeing this week, for the first time, the government's latest propaganda attack on Britain's last, legally oppressed and officially villified minority, the smokers. If you haven't seen it the goverment commissars are not happy with just banning smoking and forcing people outside buildings for a drag, oh no, that isn't nearly enough. They are now ordering you to smoke seven miles (or was it seven paces?) from the building you have just been kicked out of. You see, the smoke may just seep through the bricks, or waft through an open window thus killing the occupants.

The propaganda element of this theory has worked incredibly well. In fact that element could have seen off smoking but Blair, the great dictator, just had to prove he was boss and brought in the ban. But what effect has the propaganda had?

Two personal examples prove the success of the propaganda. We have friends who still smoke, I gave up about three years ago as did my beloved. But when our friends come for a meal they insist on going out onto our balcony for a fag. We insist that we are not the tedious ex-smokers who claim to need the smell of smoke surgically removing and have to burn the curtains and redecorate the house when they've gone. But they have been conditioned not to smoke indoors any more. Although the power of numerous bottles of Cahors often reverses the effect of the propaganda by about 2-00am!

The second example is a chap a few doors down who, even in the blizzards last winter, could be seen shivering on his doorstep, less than seven yards from his home admittedy, no longer allowed by himself or whoever, to smoke in the comfort of his own home. I can't help wishing he would find some backbone and sit in the comfort of his armchair, with a nice glass of single malt, drawing on a Marlboro or Benson and Hedges.

So I finish with the view that not only has the propaganda about tobacco worked wonderfully well, but it has also shown what a nation of intolerant, self-obsessed wimps we have become, ready to ask how high when the state tells us to jump rather than sticking two fingers up in the great old English tradition.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Speeding Motorists all Middle Class!

Yesterday I blogged about an article claiming that all the English are prejudiced, today it's an article claiming that speeding motorists are all middle class. Who could be making such a ridiculous statement I hear you ask? Well, it's none other than the outgoing, thankfully, chief constable of Cambridgeshire police, a certain Julie Spence. I must say she does look like a right old battleaxe in the photograph with this article.

She claims that it is speeding motorists, and parents parking badly outside schools, that are of most concern to the populace of Cambridgeshire. Well, in that case, Cambridgeshire is the place to live. No murders it seems, unless you live in Soham of course, but that doesn't count in her pea-sized mind obviously as a speeding Ford Mondeo wasn't involved, just a homicidal maniac.

Just to prove her complete idiocy the following quote is from the article:

“Speeding is middle-class anti-social behaviour,” she says. “People think we should be able to get away with it. They wouldn’t tolerate lawbreaking by somebody else but they do it themselves without thinking.

“It all seems OK until something tragic happens, like their child dies because of a road traffic accident.”

Well then here's a thought Julie. A true deterrent would be warning motorists that if they speed, and get caught, their first born will be thrown under a speeding car as punishment. I'm sure that would work you pathetic old hag!

Most people who drive, I would say well over 95%, have been guilty of speeding, probably on a regular basis, but have never been involved in an accident as a result, let alone killed a child. Emotive language such as that does absolutely nothing to deter the rational human who often does 80mph on the motorway or 35mph in a 30mph zone.It is bad driving that causes accidents usually, rather than speed, or even the child running out into the road. But the anti-motorist obsessives could never accept the child being guilty of causing the accident, it must have been the motorist. That emotive 'child killer' argument is now verging on immoral.

What drew me to this wretched woman's interview, is her blanket swipe at the middle class, as if good working class people never speed. What absolute nonsense. These blanket attacks on the middle class wouldn' be tolerated if they were about other groups, such as ethnic minorities, gays, religious groups. Well certain religious groups, and unles your name is Dawkins. If you made a statement such as, 'black people have big nostrils' (see my post yesterday) the self-righteous liberals would be down on you like a ton of bricks. But it's OK to attack the whole of a particular class it seems, at least if they are middle or upper. Then the police wonder why we are losing faith in them and we increasingly see them as the enemy.By the way, I think I am probably working class, so it is not self-interest that is driving me.

This mad woman should visit any inner city area, especially after dark, and see the number of working class kids speeding and doing handbrake turns, often in other peoples' cars, yes thieves as well as speeders. Where I grew up in Manchester it is almost a spectator sport, and not a middle class person about.

So, good riddance to Julie and let's hope the nutter in North Wales, Richard Brunstrom follows her soon.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

We, the English, are Racists!

I read the Sunday Times, but don't know for how much longer; it's fast becoming yet another of the things that makes me very angry. Today it was the turn of patronising pinko liberal nerd David James Smith in an article entitled 'England's Green and Prejudiced Land'. The biggest pile of self-obsessed politically correct bollocks I've read in a very long time.

You see Mr Smith is maried to a black woman, and sees racism in everything, especially when he moves from Fulham to Lewes in Sussex. The fact that two women in Lewes told his wife there was no racism in Lewes was evidence of their truly remarkable ignorance, according to Smith, because racism is obviously everywhere in England.

According to Smith the fact that there are are so few other black people in Lewes is evidence that the place is racist. As is the fact that his wife was greeted in the street by people she didn't know, proof that she stood out because she was black. Well, she would stick out, as I probably would on the streets of Nairobi. Whereas I would see that as the locals being friendly, Smith wants it to be racist, because he decided that England,especially Lewes it seems, is racist, and went out to prove himself right.

But the worst act of vile, evil racism was a young child saying that his son, of mixed race, had big nostrils. What an evil racist child he must be to say that. Actually I think the child was just being a child, honest to the point of brutality. You see children tell it as it is, absolutely straight. When a 'grown up' can misconstrue that as 'racist' I think it says more about Smith and his ilk than it does about the child or the level of racism in England.

But the most evil thing about his time in Lewes was having to live next door to a 'neo-Nazi'. Some time after he had moved he found that the first next door neighbour he had in Lewes was a BNP member. Did the man do wicked things to Smith and his family? Did he send them threats or throw bricks through their windows? No, he was a bit quiet and surly. Smith only found out he was BNP when their membership list was leaked on the internet, a long, long time after he and his family had moved.

But what really pissed me off was this line:

Lewes is a genteel town for liberals and libertarians on the edge of the South Downs.......

I am Chairman of the Libertarian Party, have many libertarian friends, and have yet to find a single libertarian to be racist. So why does Smith use that line in his ignorant and bigoted article smearing us all, you, me and every other Englishman, as prejudiced I wonder?

Of course racism exists, but articles such as this one merely anger those of us who oppose racists as well as opposing those who see racism around every corner, where it doesn't actually exist. Sadly, Mr Smith and his kind fuel the BNP.

Mr Smith is the true bigot, riddled with prejudice and self-obsession.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sack the Bastards!

The Co-op claim that the staff in this story, who refused to serve a squaddie in their Croydon store, were acting on their own and that it wasn't company policy. So the cashier, and the store manager were, presumably still are, clueless morons.

I've never liked the Co-op and will not be using their stores in future, until I read that the two morons in Croydon have been sacked.

Monday, August 02, 2010

This World Really Is Mad!

I hate DIY with a vengeance but, every now and then, my excuse to my beloved that I don't want to deprive a skilled worker of his livelihood doesn't pass muster and I just have to get on with it. This weekend was one such occasion, so I bought an electric screw driver.

All you have to do is stick one of two bits into it, like a drill, charge it up for six hours and off you go. Hours of fun. But no, this one came with three pages of instructions, a bit excessive I thought. But then I saw the seven pages of health and safety warnings. Yes, seven pages. But I suppose there are people out there who may decide to use it on their teeth or for scratching their testicles.

Coincidentally, nothing to do with incorrect use of electric screw driver on any part of my anatomy, I had to call into the doctor's surgery today. In the waiting room I saw a notice asking anybody wanting a chaperone when they see the doctor to speak to the receptionist. A sodding chaperone!

I can only conclude that it is for people who are terrified that they are going to be 'tampered with' if the doctor has to lay a finger on them, especially on their intimate parts. What a nation of mard arses we've become. Pretty soon we will need to have a third party present at every consultation, to protect the doctor against claims of sexual abuse, or just plain physical abuse.

What a mad, mad world.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lloyd Cole

Been working in Clitheroe most of the weekend, but for some reason kept thinking about times gone by, like seeing Lloyd Cole at the Apollo, Ardwick in about 1982. He is so underrated: