Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Is Shirley Williams Actually Tony Lloyd MP In Drag?

Has anybody ever seen Baroness Shirley Williams and Tony Lloyd, MP for Manchester Central, in the same room? Or have they ever been recorded as being in the House of Commons and House of Lords at the same time?

I ask because I have a habit, if I'm bored, of looking at people and trying to see if they have a double. Well today Prime Minister's Questions was particularly boring, then up popped Tony Lloyd MP. Now I'm not being nasty, I've debated with him and he supports Manchester United, he struck me as a decent chap for a Labour MP, but I swear he dons a frock and becomes Shirley Williams. Have a look:

Baroness Shirley Williams?
Tony Lloyd MP?

Focus-Hocus Pocus

The sixties was the bizarre decade in my view, where too many musicians thought they were changing the world and contributing to 'the revolution'. In the same way that every Scouser claims to have been to school with one of the Beatles, every social commentator seems to think that the whole of the UK lived through a haze of pot smoke in Afghan coats listening to Jimi Hendrix in the sixties. In reality the best sellers in the charts in the '60s were Rolf Harris and Englebert Humperdinck.

So I think the '70s were quite refreshing. Yes, you had prog-rock which was pretty self-indulgent at times, but you had the pyre entrtainment too of glam-rock and bands like Sweet, T Rex, Sparks and many others. The '70s also saw the emergence of the greats like Roxy Music and, thankfully, punk rock.

But the joy of the 1970s was that it  was a decade that didn't take itself anywhere near as seriously as the 1960s had. A fine example of that being Dutch band Focus:

Then, for the lads who remember watching Gammer at The Gransmoor on Ashton Old Road, Openshaw here is Gammer with his very own version from about ten years ago:

The Hatefulness of Socialists

Time to burn the red flag.
Every now and then the last of the dinosaurs wander from under their boulders and remind us that they are not quite extinct, yet. Today it is a fine example of that tired old species Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite. He is truly a blast from the past.

I have absolutely no truck with the Olympics. I think it's a crass, immoral waste of money. I have no objection to the games in principle, but I object to the amount of money wasted on pampering VIPs for years to bribe them into allowing us to waste millions hosting the games. I object to the millions being spent on top hotels, limousines and all the other trappings before, during and after the games on VIPs. I object to the millions being spent on facilities when we already have perfectly adequate facilities, albeit they may need some updating, in various parts of the country. But we have them here in the summer so let's make the most of it.

But Len McCluskey doesn't think that way. No, the old dinosaur socialist from Unite is hoping that the games will be used by malcontents and misfits to strike and indulge themselves in civil disobedience. Typical 'I'm alright Jack' attitude of trade union leaders. What always amazes me is how socialists are so obsessed with money. They invariably want more money for themselves, check out how much your average trade union leader is on, and are obsessed with how much more than themselves others earn. Those caring NHS staff have been quick to strike recently. Those caring public sector workers, who claim to have turned their backs on a fortune in the private sector to earn less by serving the public, have been quick to strike recently. Now McCluskey wants to wreck the Olympics, and the image of the UK. Me, me, me socialists in all thir glory.

No sooner are the socialist wasters from Occupy swept from the streets of London than they are threatening to 'occupy' McDonald's in protest at Workfare, a government job experience scheme. If I ran McDonald's I'd be tempted to pull out of the UK. They seem to bear the brunt every time a Trot or Marxist malcontent wants to use some of his dole money to travel to a protest. It's either because their farming methods destroy the rainforests, their burgers cause brain damage, now because they are part of a government work experience scheme. In reality they hate capitalism and the United States of America, so they pour their hatred and bile at McDonald's, but haven't got the bottle to be open about it. McDonald's won't pull out because the public show, by about a million to one, that they support McDonald's over Occupy, thus illustrating that Occupy are self-indulgent misfits obsessed with their outdated political views who care nothing for real people.

It would be nice in future if decent people, when they saw misfits 'occupying' a business, went in and 'helped them' to leave so that staff and customers could continue with their business without being bullied.  People power!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So, Farewell Then Occupy London

How good to amble down the old apples and pears this morning to see the rent-a-mob outside St Paul's in London being moved on. Well done the powers that be, at last! Only wonder why it took so long to clear the muck off the streets, isn't that what Londoners pay their taxes for?

What I probably find most unpleasant about this smelly rabble is how patronising and smug they are. But isn't that a sure sign of a person being a socialist? They know best and we are mere cretins who have yet to realise that they know best what is good for us.

Most of us don't need a mong with a ponytail, or a scruffy Marxist in a poncho to tell us that the bankers cocked up. Tell us something new! The way to change it is to get stuck into a serious political party, buy a few shares and get to shareholders meetings or start your own bank. Turning an historic part of London into a dirty slum is nothing but attention seeking and ego massaging.

Good riddance!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Morrissey/The Smiths-I Want The One I Cant Have!

I often think of the opening lines to this classsic Smiths number, especially in relation to somebody I've suffered these last few weeks:

"On the day that your mentality, decides to try, and catch up with your biology". It's better than being happy in the haze of a drunken hour I suppose.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring, Port Wine And Sheer Terror!

This week I've been in my first play since I played Mazeppa, a magpie in The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew circa 1975 at Xaverian College, Manchester.  I think I did drama for a year when the new drama studio at school opened just to see what it was all about. This week I'm playing Rafe, the family patriarch in Spring and Port Wine at the Grand Theatre in Lancaster.

In recent years I've been working as a TV walk on/extra and have sat in bars on soaps, stood by graves in dramas and had the good fortune to spend a few hours in a council office with Timothy West, a great actor and a true gentleman. I've seen close up many great actors at work and it's a privilege to be able to see them doing great work. Then I got wondering what real acting, rather than standing around in a crowd or sitting in the background with a pint, is all about. So I auditioned for the role of Rafe in November with the Lancaster Footlights.

I set off for the audition feeling quite excited. By the time I got to the theatre, a splendid Victorian building well worth a visit and a Saturday tour if there isn't a show, I was wondering what the hell I was doing. At my age did I need this feeling of fear? But the audition went well and I got the part. I love new experiences and am prepared to give anything a go, this was certainly something different for me. The next thing was to get learning the lines. It's been painful but most of the lines eventually stuck, thanks to my beloved who has spent hours helping me and probably knows the lines as well as the cast by now.
Grand Theatre, Lancaster

If you don't know the play it is set in the late '50s early '60s as we moved into the 'modern era'. A daughter refuses to eat her herring at tea time and it leads to a conflict that moves the family into the modern era. In a nutshell!

The action centres around Rafe who transforms from a basically good but uptight Victorian style father, due to his childhood of poverty, to an understanding and open father by the end. It has some wonderful comic moments that we didn't appreciate in rehearsals, but have gone down very well with the audiences. We can all see why comedians must love their work, it is such a buzz when your line gets a laugh.

We've had huge ups and downs and at times we wondered if our production would actually get on stage. In a cast of eight two of us have never done this before, one hasn't since school, I guess about ten years ago, and a week before opening we lost a son, 'Harold' from the cast. But here we are with our last of five performances this afternooon at 2-30pm.

If you have ever wondered about trying am-dram then go for it. I've had nights when I've woken up with cold sweats in sheer terror. I've had days when I've thrown the script across the room because a simple line like 'I never intended her to have to eat it' just wouldn't stick. I've had days I've resented having to leave a lovely warm home to go to a rehearsal room above a pub, especially when it included missing my football. I've been thoroughly embarassed on stage at rehearsals when my mind has gone blank.

But I am so glad I've done it. Even today, our last performance, I'll be getting the butterflies when the thirty minute call comes over the speaker into the dressing room. I'll be backstage with sweaty palms as the buzz of the audience dies down and the curtain goes up. I'll be praying as I walk on stage as I can't remember the first line. Then bang, it's there and we're off. At least I hope so.

The big fear is that every performance is a new experience. We all do things slightly differently in each performance, the audience reacts differently at each performance. The fears you had on the first night are there every night. It's so easy to see why actors get into routines that they will not break, if the first night goes well, just getting through it maybe, you want to try and do everything the same the next night, including driving to the theatre by the same route, same parking space and so on.

We opened on Tuesday night (21 Feb) and ten days earlier I had sworn that I would never do anything quite as challenging, or at times terrifying as this ever again. Today I'm wondering what the next one I go for will be.

At 2-30pm spare a thought. There will be a group of people in Lancaster, in various stages of nerves, about to go on stage for the last time in this production of Spring and Port Wine. But then again, soon after five we will be leaving the dressing rooms at the end for the last time to go and have several drinks and a jolly good feed.

Break a leg!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Abortion-The Silent Holocaust

Since 1967 millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered in abortion clinics in the UK. Many of us, especially those with a disability, should thank God every day that we were conceived before the 1967 Abortion Act. Having said that my parents are far too humane to have ever considered abortion, they respect human life.

The negative effects of years of pinko liberal policies are all around us. Despite undeniable evidence that they are misguided at best, and that their policies have led to social and moral decay, they continue in their smug arrogance that they know best. Of course the more their policies wreak havoc the more jobs they create in social services departments, counselling, therapy organisations and other refuges for the politically correct to make a living from the mess they have created. More teenage pregnancies? Start telling even younger children about the joys of sex! More drunks to counsel and preach at about the dangers of drink? Let's liberalise the licensing laws!

The evil of abortion has been with us for decades now and millions of unborn children have been slaughtered. Apart from the clear moral repulsion of abortion, who knows that the man or woman who would have found the cure for cancer wasn't one of those? Would a great man like Stephen Hawking have survived if his illness could have been detected in the womb? Would Winston Churchill have survived if his speech impediment had been detected before birth and abortion had been an option? Does that sound extreme? Remember Joanna Jepson.

When you think it can't get any worse we now find out that doctors, in private clinics and an NHS hospital in Manchester, have been carrying out abortions if the baby is the 'wrong' sex! You can read about 'female infanticide' here.

If you would like information about the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children please visit here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Big Question

There are some great walks around where I live, ideal for getting out and stretching the legs during the day, especially when you work from home as I have most of my life. But I have one question that try as I might I can't answer, and the problem seems to be getting worse.

Why, oh why do so many dog owners clean up after their dogs, put the mess in a little plastic bag then hang it from the branches of a small tree or a bush?

Cleaning up means either sticking the muck in a bin, or taking it home to dispose of. Please stop dangling it on hedgerows.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

 Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
Whereas Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross, Lent recalls the events leading up to and including Jesus' crucifixion by Rome. This is believed to have taken place in Roman occupied Jerusalem.

The Christian churches that observe Lent in the 21st century use it as a time for prayer and penance. Only a small number of people today fast for the whole of Lent, although some maintain the practice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It is more common these days for believers to surrender a particular vice such as favourite foods or smoking. Whatever the sacrifice it is a reflection of Jesus' deprivation in the wilderness and a test of self-discipline.

40 is a significant number in Jewish-Christian scripture:

In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain.

The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God.

Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.

Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry.

Most Christians regard Jesus' time in the wilderness as the key event for the duration of Lent.
Lent is an old English word meaning 'lengthen'. Lent is observed in spring, when the days begin to get longer.

Purple is the symbolic colour used in some churches throughout Lent, for drapes and altar frontals.
Purple is used for two reasons: firstly because it is associated with mourning and so anticipates the pain and suffering of the crucifixion, and secondly because purple is the colour associated with royalty, and celebrates Christ's resurrection and sovereignty.

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Police State-Banning Protest

Councillor Kieran Quinn
I've been involved in politics long enough to know that most political groups or parties attract more than their fair share of nutters and outright lunatics, some harmless others not so. Bloody hell, we had the two biggest nutters in the world as Prime Ministers from 1997 to 2010, bombing countries they took a dislike to and wrecking our economy, so we have an idea about lunatics.

On Saturday the English Defence League are planning a demonstration in Hyde, Greater  Manchester after two white youths were attacked by a gang of Asian youths. I don't know enough about the EDL to support or oppose them, what I do know is that we are supposed to live in a democracy where there is freedom of speech and expression, and that includes groups or individuals whose views we may find abhorrent. Not in Hyde it seems, where the council and the Greater Manchester Police, yet again, are doing everything they can to ban the demo.

Tameside council leader Kieran Quinn is quoted as saying:

"Hyde is a diverse and peaceful community and we don't welcome outsiders coming in whose only intention is to incite hatred. We are not against peaceful protest, but people need to understand this is about a hate-filled group wishing to come to Hyde to share that hate and try and incite hatred, and we will not support that regardless of what group that comes from."

I have to say I haven't seen the EDL close up but what I have seen on TV is that whenever the EDL demonstrate against Muslim extremism, which they claim is their purpose, the violence has invariably been caused by their opponents, the Unite Against Fascism rent-a-mob of assorted hate filled Trots, Marxists and Che Guevara lovers. I have seen UAF and Occupy close up, and both are pretty hate filled and potentiually violent.

Now if demos and marches are to be banned because some jumped up councillor doesn't like the sound of the group, then we are in deep doodies. Remember Quinn represents a party whose government was responsible for bombing the crap out of Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone and God knows where else. I'd call the actions of Blair and Brown a darn sight more hateful than waving a placard in Hyde against Al Quaeda and their pals.

Then when demos and marches are banned as a threat to public order, as happens, I can't help thinking that the door is wide open for any group to cause violence when their oppponents are on the streets and hey presto, you get your opponents banned. It is only a small jump from that to imagine the state using agent provocateurs for the same purpose.

If a perfectly legal organisation, be that the EDL the Socialist Workers Party or any other group wants to march or demonstrate, it is up to the powers that be, whether that is jumped up councillors like Quinn or Greater Manchester Police, to do all they can to ensure they can do it safely. They should not try to ban them because they don't agree with them. This is not yet a totalitarian state.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dory Previn RIP

I was sad to hear of the death of Dory Previn at 86. I honestly didn't realise she was that age. There was a time, a few years ago now, when I played her music a lot and I still enjoy putting one of her CDs on every now and then, especially her Mythical Kings and Iguanas album.

Her obituary in the Telegraph Online.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nanny State Induced Paranoia

One of my first posts a few years back was about a government TV advert in the run up to Christmas warning us not to undercook our turkeys as we could kill our families. Just what you need to build a happy Christmas atmosphere. It didn't apply to us anyway as we were having goose. A fine example of the nanny state in all its glory.

Currently there is a ridiculous state sponsored NHS advert warning us that we could be dying of bowel cancer if our 'poo' is a bit dodgy. Yes, nanny even calls it 'poo', as if preaching to a nation full of three year olds. I assume it is aimed at adults as all the sorrowful looking faces in the advert of the people who have been told their 'poo' indicates terminal illness are pretty old.

Yesterday I accompanied somebody to the local hospital. It involved spending a lot of time sat in the out-patients waiting room. If you ever have to spend time in a hospital waiting room please do not read the notices on the walls. Stare at the floor or ceiling or bury your face in a 1999 copy of National Geographic that you'll find on a formica table. The notices could quite easily induce a frightening level of paranoia.

To give you a flavour I saw Vera Duckworth on one poster informing me to be careful if I get out of breath when walking, it's probably not age or lack of fitness, it's probably emphysema. Another warned me that if my pee has changed colour, or I'm peeing more than usual, I probably have bladder cancer. There was another regarding my pee that warned I might have prostate cancer. At least the ones warning me I might have bowel cancer used the words 'stool' and 'faeces'  rather than 'poo'. I was also invited to an information session on drug and alcohol abuse, warning me that if I drink more than so many units of alcohol a week I'm probably dying of cirrhosis. Yet another warned me that if I have a pint then drive I will kill a child.

The problem is that the nanny state behaving like this doesn't exactly put patients at ease when they sit reading all this just before seeing a doctor, especially when they are pretty nervous in the first place. Strangely there wasn't a notice about paranoia or hypochondria.

I couldn't help wondering how much all this crap costs. Money that could be spent cutting waiting lists or, in our case, just getting the local NHS Trust up to an acceptable standard as it is currently 'in crisis'.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scousers And The Police State

Whatever they do, no matter how unpleasant and nasty, the people of Liverpool manage to claim victimhood and spend the next few decades wallowing in a vat of sloppy self-pity. Luis Suarez is found guilty of racially abusing an opponent and the Liverpool team and their manager appear at the next game wearing t-shirts proclaiming him to be the victim. How very Scouse!

On Saturday Suarez proved himself to be a Uruguayan who easily adapts to his adopted culture by refusing to shake hands with his victim,  Patrice Evra, despite Evra's civilised attempt to put the whole affair behind them. Suarez, once again claiming victim status. Did that famous whinger Dalglish condemn his player? No, he said any ill feeling at Saturday's game was nothing to do with Suarez. Both have since apologised as the non-Scouse owners of Liverpool FC, a couple of Americans, are obviously much more civilised and are thoroughly ashamed of the whole business. But is apologising because you are forced to really an apology? At least Evra can be grateful that Suarez didn't bite him on the face, which he did to an opponent when he played in Holland for Ajax.

Subversive-ban it!
So it's a mess. Then on Saturday up pops Greater Manchester plod in their size 12s to really prove what a mess we are in. A popular, and very enjoyable Manchester United fanzine, Red Issue, carried an image of a Ku Klux Klan style pointed hat with Suarez  Is Innocent, LFC on it. Football fans wind each other up, that's part of the fun. But plod decided some poor little Scouser might just possibly find said image offensive, so the magazines were confiscated and some people in posession of them were refused entry to the ground. Sellers were threatened with arrest.

I find The Guardian newspaper offensive with it's politically correct whining pap. Will Greater Manchester Police close it down? I find much of what the BBC broadcasts patronisingly offensive. Will GMP close the BBC down?  In fact on the grounds of 'might cause offence' just about every publication, TV programme, radio broadcast could offend some poor soul somewhere. Farewell satire. Farewell biting news programmes. Should they all be either closed by the police or maybe we should just bring in state censorship, you know like they have in Cuba, China and other totalitarian, freedom destroying dictatorships.

If you think the actions of the police on Saturday are nothing, it was only a little magazine produced by football fans, then you should be very worried. If they can do that to Red Issue, what will the next one be? It could be a magazine that you read.

Remember, with possibly offending somebody now bringing you to the attention of the police you need to be very careful. If I open the door for you and you don't acknowledge it I find it offensive and might just dial 999. Tell me a joke about a fat bald man and I might possibly take offence and dial 999. I find the Scouse accent deeply offensive. Actually......

Maybe GMP have actually saved us from another few decades of Scousers weeping and wailing and wallowing in self-pity because of offence caused by that image, or the fact that they could have been offended! But I doubt it, something else will happen soon to have them in an emotional state again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels

Time to lighten up, it all got a bit heavy over the NSS and Bideford Town Council, but in a healthy way I think. Thank you to all contributors.

Summer 1980 saw Dexy's Midnight Runners burst onto the scene with the classic album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels. I've just been tramping the Lune Valley on a much longer walk than I'd planned, thanks to taking a wrong turn, and I couldn't get There, There My Dear, one of the tracks on the album, out of my head. So I thought I'd share it and see if anybody else finds it as addictive.

The album must have been one of the strongest debut albums and in the early '80s Dexy's were one of the best live bands I saw. Having said that there were a fair few great live bands around and I might say that about another band in the not too distant.

But here it is:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Christianity Under Attack-Again!

In a country where every quirk, weird cultural blip and sexual perversion seems to be protected by equality laws Christianity is the last bastion of the undefended. Those fascists at the National Secular Society are at it again. They are obviously terrified, for some reason, of Christianity and are using perverse human rights legislation to try and oppress it. This time they have turned their bullying venom on that bastion of evil, wicked superstition masquerading as an element of our democracy, Bideford Town Council.

Breaching Human Rights!
A big, soft lardy arsed bastard called Clive Bone finds the saying of a prayer before council meetings so deeply offensive that he went running off to the National Secular Society sobbing and weeping, no doubt with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. What a great, oversized poof!

Of course the High Court agrees with the NSS that prayers are an 'inappropriate ritual that breach articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights'. I used to think that human rights were about important issues, like not buying and selling people, or massacring people by the million, or fighting for peoples' religious freedom, not about stopping a quick Our Father or Hail Mary before a meeting. That's a thought, remember the days when we actually fought for people in totalitarian states to have religious freedom? Well now, we are the oppressed under our glorious, enlightened liberal democracy. It seems that prayers are also illegal under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972.

I've an easy solution for a prick like Bone, don't say the prayer if you don't believe. If I was in a meeting that was preceeded by muslim prayers, I would just sit there quietly and not join in. But I would respect the rights of the others in attendance to say whatever prayers they see fit. Shame that fascists like Bone and the NSS don't have any tolerance of things that they do not believe in.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Leaving the European Union

While the Eurofanatics continue, at best, to behave like ostriches, at worst like Hitler in the last days in the bunker, others are taking a cool and considered approach to the collapse of the Euro and the eventual disappearance of the EU in its current incarnation.

One such is non-attached member of the European Parliament Trevor Colman. Whilst I know MEPs will actually achieve nothing in helping us gain independence from the EU, most of the honest ones accept themselves that they have no power thankfully, at least Trevor is using his position, as does Nikki Sinclaire MEP, to expose the truth about the EU from the inside.

Trevor has produced an excellent film on the expensive con that is the European Union and I urge you to watch it by clicking on this link to his website.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Flowers of Manchester by Eric Winter

One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
Eight great football stalwarts conceded victory,
Eight men who will never play again who met destruction there,
The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester

Matt Busby's boys were flying, returning from Belgrade,
This great United family, all masters of their trade,
The Pilot of the aircraft, the skipper Captain Thain,
Three times they tried to take off and twice turned back again.

The third time down the runaway disaster followed close,
There was a slush upon that runaway and the aircraft never rose,
It ploughed into the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned.
And eight of the team were killed as the blazing wreckage burned.

Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor who were capped for England's side.
And Ireland's Billy Whelan and England's Geoff Bent died,
Mark Jones and Eddie Colman, and David Pegg also,
They all lost their lives as it ploughed on through the snow.

Big Duncan he went too, with an injury to his frame,
And Ireland's brave Jack Blanchflower will never play again,
The great Sir Matt Busby lay there, the father of his team
Three long months passed by before he walked again.

The trainer, coach and secretary, and a member of the crew,
Also eight sporting journalists who with United flew,
and one of them Big Swifty, who we'll ne'er forget,
the finest English 'keeper that ever graced the net.

Oh, England's finest football team its record truly great,
its proud successes mocked by a cruel turn of fate.
Eight men will never play again, who met destruction there,
the flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester

Rest In Peace

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Humourless Socialist Pillocks!

Sheffield, not exactly the jewel in England's crown.
One of the things I dislike most about socialists is their complete lack of humour and complete and utter self-absorption. Two particular pillocks stick out this week. Let me mention them.

The first is David Blunkett, a senior figure in Blair's government, which says it all I suppose. This particular prat has been upset the last couple of days and called on Scotland Yard to apologise to the people of Sheffield. I didn't realise the Metropolitan Police had been speeding up the M1 to attach electrodes to the testicles of Yorkshiremen and beat them around the kidneys with rubber truncheons. If only!

No, far worse, Blunkett was upset that hackers have found a secret tape of a Scotland Yard officer telling an FBI agent that: "Sheffield isn't exactly the jewel in England's crown". My God, there must be mass suicides all over the place! If you've ever been to Sheffield I'm sure you will agree that the Scotland Yard officer was being very restrained in his description. I'd describe it as a shithole, but I'm a Lancastrian.

The offending figure, obviously not a female MP.
Then there's the pillock, sorry MP, for Stretford and Urmston, Kate Green. She objected to a Commons bar serving a guest ale called 'Top Totty'. She objected in the chamber and within an hour it had been removed from the bar. I think she objected because the figure on the pump plate is a voluptuous, scantily clad woman, albeit a drawing of a voluptuous, scantily clad woman. Whereas Kate Green is an ugly looking old dog. Well, aren't most feminists?

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Falkland Islands

History is a subject I love but there are times when we have to look at a situation and say that history is largely irrelevant. The Falkland Islands fall into that category. Yes, posession has changed hands at times in the last few centuries, but there is now a clear Falklands culture and population. It is up to the population of the Falklands to decide their future, not the United Kingdom and most definitely not Argentina.

We visited Argentina in 1991 and had a fantastic time. The people are generous and hospitable and the country is beautiful.

Despite reports before we travelled into Argentina, a wonderful train journey from La Paz in Bolivia, we experienced absolutely no anti-English sentiment and we travelled extensively for about three weeks.

At the border there were signs declaring 'Las Malvinas' to be Argentinian, as there were on the side of some buildings in the docks of Buenos Aires, but that was it. We even met an ex-soldier who had been captured in the Falklands. He still couldn't understand why his government had invaded and had nothing but admiration for our armed forces.

Seeing the so-called demonstrators on the streets of Buenos Aires I couldn't help thinking that they looked like a small group of misfits playing to the camera, probably at the behest of the media desperate to ramp up interest in the story. Indeed a friend who has a son currently working in Buenos Aires supported my view.

By and large the population seem to be more interested in finding out the true evils of recent Argentine dictators than marching into Port Stanley again. I'm sure the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo would rather find out what happened to their loved ones under Argentine military dictators than see more young Argentinians sent to their deaths over a group of islands over 300 miles away.

As ever these bouts of love for the Falklands shown by the Argentine government have more to do with government greed than democracy. The easy answer to any disputes such as this, or the current situation in Scotland, is to let the people decide, not governments through power crazed politicians. It's quite simple really.