Saturday, April 28, 2012

It Was Like Man City v Man United

What a great day at Chorley watching FC United win 2 0 to reach the Northern Premier League play-off final. A few pints, reds everywhere, the atmosphere created by the FC fans was immense. It was like watching United play City at Maine Road in the '70s and '80s.

Back then, as now, United fans massively outnumbered City fans in Manchester, so much so that when we played City at Maine Road we never got enough tickets. So a few thousand United fans would buy them from City, who rarely sold all theirs, meaning the hour or so before the game saw a steady stream of United fans being escorted by police into the United section.

It wasn't a few thousand today, but a few hundred of us bought tickets for the Chorley part of the ground but were allowed into the United section by kindly stewards, it really took me back to my youth.

What a fantastic day. Just hope my vocal chords recover for the final next week at Bradford Park Avenue.

To get a flavour of today, click on here to see the photographs.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday, Time For Leonard Cohen

Words used to describe Leonard Cohen:


I think this clip from his 2008 tour shows why the word cool just about sums up the chap:

Motorway Madness (Mithered In Scotland)

If you want to be mithered and nagged in the style of a Les Dawson mother-in-law joke, then drive up the M74 to Glasgow. What a pain in the arse!

Every matrix sign is used to hector you, and there seems to be one every few miles. I know they have a soviet style, nanny state, cradle to grave, devolved government but bloody hell, the hectoring and mithering on the motorways signs would put me off ever considering moving to Scotland, let alone the prospect of being patronised by a twat like Alex Salmond.

Between Cumbria and Glasgow I was mithered by matrix signs above the motorway telling me to fasten my seat belt, check my tyre pressures and keep my windscreen clean. Presumably not at the same time and not while driving. I was told to respect the driving conditions, not to drink and drive and to allow faster vehicles to overtake safely. There were more commands given me but I can't remember them, and thankfully none told me to make a note of these orders as I passed them.

What seems obvious to me is that the more seconds a motorist spends looking at signs on the road the more chance he will drive into another vehicle or drive off the road, meaning disaster. A good metaphor for mithering, interfering government really.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

David Morris, MP or Poodle for Morecambe and Lunesdale?

I've always believed that 'consultation' is a process that is easily abused. Yes, it's important for people in certain positions to consult so they get a clear idea what colleagues, customers or voters feel about a particular issue. But then they have to make their own decisions. If you consult there will inevitably be a group of people, sometimes a majority of people, whose views are disregarded. That's a fact, and many of them won't be pleased.

What I can't abide is management using 'consultation' to shirk their responsibilities. If a manager on £50,000 a year wants to consult staff on £15,000 a year in order to make a management decision, then that manager should offer part of his salary to the staff as a bonus. Yes the manager should be aware of the feeling of colleagues on a given issue, but a good manager should always be aware of that. What I'm talking about is the style of management where everyday decisions are regularly made following 'formal periods of consultation'. It is too often a way for a poor, indecisive manager to try and make the least unpopular decision and I've seen far too many managers hide behind 'consultation' when the decision is proved a bad one.

So to Members of Parliament. I would expect an MP to be in touch with public opinion and take it into account when making decisions. But there are times when an MP should make his own decision and, if it doesn't coincide with public opinion, he should then get out to his electorate and explain why he made that decision. Come the next election he will then be re-elected or not based on his actions.

The problem I have is that I have a wet Tory MP, David Morris Morecambe and Lunesdale Constituency, who I fear is an ambitious 'Yes Man'. He seems to be the kind of MP who would rather sit back, see what the prevailing opinion is, then go along with it, especially if that's what his party leader also thinks. Whereas I would prefer an MP who actually had some beliefs of his own. If my MP is just going to sit back and decide which way to vote on issues when he sees the result of a consultation process, then why not just have a referendum, it would be cheaper? In this day and age we could vote online, via our mobiles or any other secure means. Let's face it we do most of our banking online these days and if it's secure enough for that it's secure enough for voting.

Last week I emailed my MP to find out his opinion on 'same sex marriage'. Below is my question exactly as I sent it to him:

I voted for you at the last election and would like to know your position on the government’s wish to redefine marriage. I would especially like to know whether you would vote for or against same sex marriage given the opportunity.
On an issue such as this I would expect my MP to have some sort of an opinion, that's one thing. But my problem is that  he began his response with the following:

Thank you for contacting me about redefining marriage. I understand that equal civil marriage is a contentious issue and have considered the points you raise carefully.
Forgive me but I didn't raise any points for him to consider carefully. He then went rattling on about the Tory manifesto and what Dave Cameron has said. He then banged on about a consultation process and, after several paragraphs of bluster, concluded with:
I will be reviewing the outcome of the consultation closely before coming to my own conclusions on this issue.
Fair enough, the point of debate and consultation is to listen to all views but surely on an issue such as this an elected politician should start from a position of conviction? If he'd replied that he was inclined to vote yes but was prepared to listen to all sides I could respect that. But he doesn't seem to have a view, for or against, and is just waiting to see what public opnion dictates he should do.

If Morris had actually answered my question, and I disagreed with him, I would have replied and asked him to reconsider his position. I would not decide to withdraw future support for an MP if I disgreeed with him on this issue.

However, in view of his response, or the response of one of his staff, I will certainly not be voting for Morris next time round. Indeed, I didn't vote for him from any conviction in 2010, it was more to get Labour out and there was no credible party to vote for. But I'd rather have an MP than one of Cameron's poodles.

It didn't help that he went against public opinion last year and voted against giving us a referendum on membership of the European Union. Wonder how he squares that circle?

Speaking of that won't it be strange if we end up with a referendum on reforming the House of Lords because it so constitutionally significant, but membership of the European Union isn't regarded as significant enough to give us one?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marlene Dietrich-Lili Marleen, English and German

Some time ago I lost my Marlene Dietrich CD and really must buy a replacement. This song, first in English live in Paris secondly in German, needs no introduction, the lady herself does that.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Immorality of English Football-Northwich Victoria

It really is amazing to hear people proclaim top flight English football to be the best league in the world. No it isn't. It is the most hyped and self-promoted league in the world and shows how gullible human beings are, and what crap they will absorb if you get your marketing right. English football is a greedy, money fuelled, morally bankrupt shambles run by morally bankrupt imbeciles like Sir Dave Richards.

Of course if you are only interested in how wealthy your club is, or how much money your club owner has, and are happy to have some money grubbing spiv empty your bank account to pay for your ticket then watch a posing chav diving and cheating to try and win a trophy, kissing his badge before clearing off to earn even more money in Russia, where the club is bankrolled by a Russian oligarch who has robbed his country of its natural resources, then I suggest you 'look away now', this post will not interest you.

Glasgow Rangers are in deep shit, Portsmouth are in deep shit, Port Vale are in deep shit. Manchester United have a debt in the region of £500m after the Glazers bought the club, which was then debt free, and dumped their borrowing onto the club. Incidentally, £500m was the combined national debt of Bolivia and Honduras that was wiped out by the Inter-American Development Bank in 2007. I gave up my season ticket and walked away from Old Trafford, like thousands of others, in 2005 to support FC United of Manchester. The Glazers wouldn't pay off my debts, so I'm not busting a gut to pay off theirs.

The latest club to hit the skids is Northwich Victoria, who FC United play on Saturday. Northwich have a proud history which you can find out more about on their official website. They were founded in 1874 but due to years of appalling management, both at the club and within the Football Association, they could soon be gone, finished, kaput. You can read the gory details on the Northwich Guardian website.

If you happen to be a smug football fan who thinks Northwich are only a non-league club, and that it couldn't happen to your club just remember that Glasgow Rangers fans thought that when they were in the UEA cup final in 2008 and Portsmouth fans thought that when they won the FA Cup in 2008. Where are they now?

That's why on Saturday, when FC United play Northwich Victoria at Gigg Lane, I will be joining the Vics fans in protesting at the mess that people have made of their club. We should be playing a game that will help decide which clubs go into the Northern Premier League play-offs. Instead Vics have been told that due to mismanagement they will not be eligible for the play-offs, instead they will be relegated after Saturday's game and one team will be in the play-offs knowing they are there because of the misfortune, off the field, of another club. Details of the protest can be found here.

To find out more, or to join the Northwich fans in their campaign visit The Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Transport Hell

I love to travel, in fact according to something called an 'app' (I think) on Facebook I've visited something like 47 countries in total. Having said that I also enjoy travelling within the UK, if Alex Salmond still allows us to refer to it as the UK. While I appreciate a certain level of comfort I'm not really arsed about sumptuous luxury. For example I drive an old Citroen Dispatch van. But I'm growing to despise public transport and the British road system.

Yesterday I went to Lancaster on the train. It was over 30 minutes late, and it was only a 9 minute journey. That journey cost me £3.10 single, it would have been 10p more return. If only my van used 8 gallons of fuel to London but only a pint to get home.

On Monday I went to Manchester for a family lunch, hence the train in the reasonable expectation of consuming alcohol. By the way, if you're looking for a wonderful lunchtime venue, or dinner for that matter, I can recommend Brown's Bar and Brasserie on York Street, wonderful. Anyway, all three trains I got were late. The first train I got on was so jam packed full that the RSPCA would have done an SAS style raid to release us if we'd been animals. It was so bad that they opened first class up to us lot with the promise of 'compensating' first class passengers. I presume the compensation will be for the psychological harm caused by having to travel with smelly plebs, with bad breath and body odour from standard class.

Yesterday I had to drive my beloved to Manchester to visit her poorly mother. At least no trains to delay us. Instead we had those bloody annoying matrix signs slowing us down to 50 there and back because of an 'incident'. On both occasions we all dutifully slowed down and crawled for about 25 miles before the signs miraculously cleared, leaving us guessing what the 'incident' had been. It's happened before when the signs have shown a lane closure. So we all slow down to a crawl getting out of the lane indicated to find no lane closure at all.

We also had to face delays because of the pillocks who sit in the middle lane (lane 2) causing huge tailbacks as they effectively reduce the motorway system to two lanes. They even sit in lane 3 for mile after mile near Preston where there are 4 lanes! If you are a prat who does that please tell me why because I lie awake at night trying to work it out. Just in case you are one of those but don't let me know please allow me to just say: "You're a bleeding arsehole, read the Highway Code or piss off and stop using the motorways you bloody cretin!"

Then you get to Manchester to find an ever increasing number of stupid bloody traffic lights seemingly set so that when the ones you have stopped at go green, it triggers the lights a quarter of mile ahead to go onto red just as you approach. Then you turn off the main road thinking that's it and you hit speed humps that seem designed to balls up your suspension. Then, for no obvious reason, you hit a sodding chicane which means that you have to stop because the driver coming your way has right of way, but it's not obvious why the hell the chicane is there in the first place.

Around where I live they have recently dropped all the speed limits, again for no apparent reason. Of course it coincides with a proliferation of mobile police speed traps, or Filth, as I refer to them. Funny that isn't it?  It's happening in Manchester too and no doubt elsewhere in the country.

In Manchester I firmly belive the powers that be are intentionally screwing up the traffic system to punish the populace for having the good sense to vote against the introduction of a further road tax, also known as congestion charge. For the rest of the country I think it's just the powers that be, whether it be local or national government or the train companies, getting a huge sadistic thrill from making life more and more difficult for us and seeing how far they can push us until we finally rise up in revolt so that they can send in the riot police to shoot us all.

Actually, by then it'll probably be PCSOs they'll send in, so we'll be able to revolt without fear of effective restraint.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bigotry At The BBC

Last night I had the misfortune to watch a BBC documentary about the 1970s, well 1970 to 1972 in this first part of a four parter. I will not be watching parts two, three and four.

I can't think offhand of any other business that so loathes its own customers and paymasters as the BBC. Last night's documentary portrayed the English as backward simpletons, obsessed with status whereas foreigners were portrayed as hard working sophisticates. For example it showed a clip of seemingly affluent German shoppers and marvelled that in the early seventies Germany was so successful that most people had bank accounts. Well forgive me, but my parents had bank accounts too in the 60s and 70s. Yes, a postman and his school secretary wife in England with a bank account!

The BBC even managed to sneer at people in the early seventies for buying their own homes. Of course it was just a status symbol, because we are obsessed with class and status in this country aren't we? In reality all the people I know who have bought their own homes did so because rent is dead money and at the end of twenty five years, or whatever, you have nothing to show for it and pay rent until you die. But of course that doesn't fit with the BBC's small minded, patronising view of its funders.

The only time the presenter showed any kind of admiration was when it came to the miners' strike. Oh my, he entered the hall of the NUM HQ in Barnsley, walls draped with workers' banners, and talked in hushed tones, obviously in awe within this great cathedral of the working classes. Typifies the BBC nicely.

Of course holidays popped up and it explained how British people went to Benidorm because you could buy pie and chips, fish and chips and English beer. The British aren't interested in foreign culture you see, not like those broadminded and cultured Europeans. What the 'historian' making this simplistic tripe didn't mention, as the screen was filled with film of bars in Benidorm, was that for every British bar/restaurant you saw there was also a German bar/restaurant advertising German beer, bratwurst and schnitzel. But that doesn't fit with the BBC's lazy stereotype of us English primitives does it?

Yet again, I went to Spain with may parents as a little lad in 1968 and remember eating paella and other Spanish food but never a steak and kidney pie. Indeed we sampled Spanish culture in such an extreme way that we even went to a bullfight. Admittedly we left after the first bull was slaughtered, my mum and sister in tears. I'll be honest here, I now enjoy a bullfight but if I didn't I wouldn't campaign against bullfighting, it's not up to us foreigners to tell the Spanish what to do. Although I do hope they've stopped dropping donkeys from church towers.

I always laugh at the politically correct hatred of places like Benidorm. Personally I'm not a lover of pie and chips when I'm abroad, but I don't have a problem with people who prefer to go away for a holiday in the sun and prefer to eat and drink what they would at home. Each to his own in my view, but the politically correct seem to think those who don't like paella and calamare are cultural peasants.

Then comes the strange contradiction. The politically correct love places like Rusholme in Manchester and Brick Lane in London. They love Chinatown in Manchester and London. To be consistent surely the politically correct should be disgusted that all these immigrants come here and turn whole tracts of our cities into alien places. Surely they should start eating steak and kidney pie washed down with pints of bitter.

But I suppose as far as the politically correct, British loathing BBC is concerned it's anything to have a pop. This documentary was lazy, stereotypical and added nothing to any real debate about the cultural or political events of the early seventies. Oh for the day the BBC is got rid of.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nico In Manchester

I can't believe I found the following on t'interweb and thank you to whoever put it on YouTube.

This was an amazing night at the Library Theatre in Manchester and it's hard to think it was nearly thirty years ago. It was the first time I saw John Cooper Clarke too, he supported Nico a few times, maybe while she was living in Manchester. I've since seen him with The Fall and on his own at The Roby, in North London, now demolished sadly. He told me some corking funnies outside that night that I doubt he has ever told on stage. In fact I've added a bit of John Cooper Clarke after Nico. Happy memories:

Police-The Final Insult

South Yorkshire Police have shown their utter contempt for the public by threatening to take bobbies off the beat and replace them with PCSOs. Let's be honest, these ideas are always approved at the top of government before 'being floated' and show what contempt the police and government hold the populace in. If it happens in South Yorkshire it will soon be happening elsewhere, that's how our masters work things.

The public have been demanding more bobbies on the beat for years and years. So now our masters want to withdraw beat bobbies completely. If that isn't showing contempt I don't know what is. As for PCSOs I wouldn't ask one for directions to a car park let alone trust one on the beat. What next, replace the riot police with PCSOs?

And I don't accept all this bull about spending cuts when £50,000 of lottery money is being wasted in Burnley on:

A PROJECT looking at the history of the LGBT movement in Burnley....
From the Lancashire Telegraph.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mink DeVille

I always think the seventies was the decade that didn't take itself too seriously. There was glam rock and all kinds of weird and wonderful super groups recording tracks so long they took up the whole side of an album. There were concept  albums and album covers that were so incredibly artistic you could buy the album for the cover, even if you couldn't stand the music.

But that decade also produced some really cool bands and Mink DeVille had to be one of the coolest. Sadly Willy DeVille is no longer with us, but his music lives on. Famous primarily for the wonderful Spanish Stroll here is my favourite Mink DeVille track, Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl:


My beloved and I rarely drink in pubs these days, certainly we don't use any local pubs regularly. Easter weekend we went to the Prince of Wales in Foxfield for a wonderful pint of real ale and an hour in a traditional, cosy pub environment. Yes, I'd rather drive 35 miles for one decent pint, in a real pub than walk five minutes to my local pubs.

Until recently I blamed the smoking ban and cheap supermarket drink for the closure of pubs, but there's another reason. Too many pubs are crap. Landlords/pub companies need to take a good hard look at what they provide, it's not good in the overwhelming majority of cases, and when they blame smoking and supermarkets for pub closures they are being lazy.

Carnforth, with a population of nearly 6,000 doesn't have a single pub in the current CAMRA Real Ale Guide. There are three pubs we wouldn't step foot in. You walk in and your ears are assaulted by noise from gaming machines, loud jukeboxes or commentary from the football game on the giant screens, often simultaneously.

There was another pub that we would occasionally use if we wanted to eat, but their food is now so expensive we don't bother any more. Would you pay nearly £10 for burger and chips in a pub? And the design is such, most tables laid for food, that you don't feel comfortable just having a drink and no food. We used to occasionally sit in the lounge bar of a local hotel, but a TV screen has gone up in there now showing non-stop pop videos. So we stay in or have a special trip to a real pub a few miles away.

I liken pub closures to church closures. They change and attendances drop. But instead of looking at the changes being the reason for the fall in use they decide to modernise a little more. Attendances drop again, so they modernise a bit more. And so it goes, then they start closing.

But in the last few years a revolution has begun. Perhaps 'revolution' is not quite the word, it's more a 'rebirth'. I first came across this development in a newspaper article a couple of months ago, I read about micropubs. Micropubs are small, intimate places that sell good quality real ale, mostly from the growing number of microbreweries around the UK. They also sell quality cider, wine and soft drinks. No spirits, no strong German lager and certainly no 'shots'.

No booming music, no huge TV screens and no gaming machines. But there is a collection of traditional games, maybe chess, backgammon, dominoes, darts and cards. Newspapers and magazines to read, maybe a few books to borrow or a good beer guide to leaf through and conversation. One micropub even makes customers pay into a charity pot if your mobile rings.

They are what pubs used to be and they seem to be bucking the trend and actually booming while so many other pubs are closing. Currently I'm aware of The Butchers Arms, The Just Reproach, The Bake and Alehouse, The Conqueror in Kent, The Rat Race Alehouse in Hartlepool and Just Beer Micropub in Newark. Thankfully I'm aware of several more due to open during this year.

 I've visited The Rat Race and Just Beer and they are everything they claim to be. Cosy, friendly and serving some of the finest ale I've sampled. I can't wait to do a tour of the Kent micropubs, especially The Butchers Arms, the original micropub and the smallest pub in the UK .

Until there's a micropub less than a hundred miles away I'll just have to envy the lucky drinkers who have a local micropub and trust to my CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Envy, Hatred And Patriotism

I find it increasingly difficult to be a patriot. As this government, like the last shower, increase their suppression of freedoms and liberties they slowly kill off some of the most important things that made people proud to be British.

At the same time this government, like the last lot, are happy to bomb foreign countries they take a dislike to, or whose governments are being attacked by nutters who turn out to be the kind of islamic nutters they are taking away our freedoms and liberties to supposedly protect us from.

But worst of all there is a small minded hatred creeping into peoples' attitudes in this country that I find deeply unpleasant. Yes the bankers cocked up, but nothing like on the scale of the last Labour government who took the national coffers from being in balance to being over £170 billion in debt. Ironically those spewing forth the most venom about bankers probably cough up a small fortune in replica football shirts, season tickets and Sky TV subscriptions to enable footballers to be paid up to £250,000 a week.

I suppose after 13 or so years of Labour telling people they have a right to anything they want, it is inevitable that we have a degree of envy and hatred towards people who have succeeded that makes us sound like a nation of small minded, petulent school kids.

I read an article this week about an actor who went to Eton. He's had to fight for parts and recognition because of prejudice against his background. If he'd been treated that way because he went to a bog standard comprehensive on a sink estate there would have been a national outcry and a campaign to support him. It seems that to the politically correct/socialist nutters hatred and bigotry isn't always wrong.

This weekend we had a nutter disrupting the boat race because he dislikes elitism. I suppose if, God forbid, he has children he would be happy for them to be taught by teachers with no qualifications. If he supports a football team I assume he will be happy for the manager of his team to select a fat bald 52 year old to play centre forward. When he needs an operation will he be happy to have an untrained surgeon in the interests of 'equality'?

Increasingly I hear the venom of individuals and trade unions. This week the thoroughly unpleasant and self seeking National Union of Teachers have been banging on for even more pay and even better conditions. Interestingly I've heard teachers over the decades defending their long holidays with the weak defence that they spend most of their holidays training up and planning for the next term. This week I heard an NUT leader defending their six week summer holiday claiming that they need it because their job is so stressful. Bull! Stress is being sent by a Labour government to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq. Stress is going into a burning building to save people. Stress is driving an ambulance to the scene of a multi car pile up. Stress is trying to stop violent thugs from burning and looting shops.

Sadly we have ceased being a nation of shopkeepers and increasingly appear to have become a nation of small minded, success hating losers who expect something for nothing.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection: Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in security and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday

O Jesus, Who by reason of Thy burning love for us
hast willed to be crucified
and to shed Thy Most Precious Blood
for the redemption and salvation of our souls,
look down upon us here gathered together
in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion and Death,
fully trusting in Thy mercy;
cleanse us from sin by Thy grace,
sanctify our toil,
give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our
daily bread,
sweeten our sufferings,
bless our families,
and to the nations so sorely afflicted,
grant Thy peace,
which is the only true peace,
so that by obeying Thy commandments
we may come at last to the glory of heaven.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli-A Denial!

As Manchester City Football Club go into collective meltdown super-brat Balotelli is in the brown stuff again, this time for allegedly visiting 'an old lady' who previously 'looked after' Wayne Rooney. I'm assuming she isn't a nanny.

One report today carries a representative of Balotelli's claiming it was "a brief encounter". I would like to make it clear that I have never knowingly mentioned Balotelli in connection to this, or any other of his stupid antics, during his stay in Manchester on this blog.  `

Blog Plug-eChurch Blog

This week is the third anniversary of the launch of Stuart's eChurch Blog. That's why I've decided to make Stuart's blog the first of what will be a regular feature, my very own Blog Plug featuring other blogs that I read and enjoy.

Stuart's blog description carries the following quote from Acts: "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth". He proudly blogs as " a Christian with a penchant for blogging current events through the prism of faith". Stuart is on the journey to join the rest of us in the Roman Catholic Church and his blog often challenges in a refreshing, lively but authoritative way.

I first met Stuart in Wetminster Cathedral last year before the first ever gathering of the Guild of Catholic Bloggers (Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma). Below is Stuart's post from yesterday about his three years blogging:

eChurch Blog Third Blogiversary

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog three years ago on 4th April 2009.

This blog has changed dramatically since its inception, due to the fact that I’ve changed.

From hard-core Evangelical beginnings, I now find myself on the road to Rome, which along with Dale Aquist, I view as a glorious defeat.

As an Evangelical Protestant I used to hold to a Catholic conspiracy theory; now I realise that many Catholics on the Internet hold to a Catholic conspiracy theory, but that’s a story, for another time.

Some time ago I stopped classifying myself as a ‘Christian Blogger’ and changed to a ‘blogger who happens to be Christian’. I feel far more comfortable with this definition for obvious reasons.

Traffic remains steady and very healthy for a niche blog such as this one; although, conversation has been fairly quiet in recent months. Like everything this tends to boom and slump.

The fact that traffic has remained steady has pleased me, as I post far less nowadays, but do try to infuse more thought and opinion and what have you.

I’d like at this point to particularly thank Goy and Tim for always making such valued contributions and sending me links. And special thanks go to Simian, who has been commenting since the very beginning, when this blog was black in colour and in mood.

And of course thanks to everybody else that’s contributed.

In terms of thanking other bloggers, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I currently have 567 blogs in my feeds. But you know who you are and the part you’ve played in the changes I’ve undergone due to your posts.

I will admit that over the last few weeks I’ve been again going through one of those phases in which it’s rather hard to blog, as everything appears a little dull and repetitive. Same old arguments and battles; different day.

I’m never quite sure if everything is objectively boring, or if it’s more reflective of my state of mind. I suspect the latter, and we’ve been here before, when I wrote a boring blog post about being bored.

But I’m sure this will pass, as it has done so in days gone by.

Thank you so much for reading this blog.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Police State?

I admit that on many occasions I have raged about the police state we are living in. Actually, I think we are living in more of a 'special constable state' at the moment. For a true police state you need to have completely infantilised the population, and we are only halfway there.

Socialism/political correctness infantilises the populace. Take the old Soviet Union. The state did everything for the poplulace, the citizens didn't have to think for themselves. Indeed those that did think for themselves ended up in labour camps or worse. They didn't have to choose a car, or a fridge, they joined the queue for a state provided one, usually after waiting a few years because there were constant shortages. When the communists went the suicide rate rocketed, people weren't used to having to think for themselves and make decisions about their own lives.

What we have in this country is socialism lite. People are told that the assorted anti-terror legislation brought in over the last few years is for their own good, and they believe it. They attack those of a libertarian persuasion for being scare mongers. Until that is, an old boy is arrested at a Labour conference for heckling, or a young lad or a businessman faces deportation to the US as the legislation is abused and used for other than terrorist offences. Then people ask what can be done after ignoring the warnings because it's uncomfortable to face the truth. So many genuine, decent people give up on politics because banging your head against a brick wall is no fun. A further consequence of people's apathy towards genuine people in politics is that politics is left to the unscrupulous or plain greedy and malign.

Now the US government/security services can restrict peoples' air travel to and from third party states. I will not travel to the US anyway because I am not prepared to be treated like a criminal with ever more intrusive and humiliating security checks.

We are watched virtually everywhere we go by ever more intrusive CCTV cameras and are told that it's for our own good. It's virtually impossible to work in the charity world any more, where I spent nearly twenty five years of my working life, without state approval via a police check. You can't get a licence to serve alcohol without having a police check. Most volunteering roles now require a police check. The list gets longer by the day it seems.

Soon the government will give itself power to snoop on our emails and internet activity. Imagine if you had to place a copy of every letter you ever wrote with a government agency just in case they wanted to check what you had written at some future date. Imagine if you had to leave a copy of every magazine or book you read, every film or TV programme you watched similarly. Take away the 'electronic' and what we are talking is the kind of state intrusion that the Soviets, the Nazis, the North Koreans and every other totalitarian regime imposed on their people.

Secret trials are in the news today. Little Nicky Clegg is arguing against Kenneth Clarke's proposals but little Nicky will just roll over and allow it, poodles are good at rolling over to have their tummies tickled and let's face it, that's all the Tories are doing giving him the pointless job of Deputy Prime Minister in a government that nobody voted for. Yet another policy u-turn by Cameron after claiming he would restore our freedoms and liberties stolen or eroded by the Blair/Brown axis between 1997 and 2010.

Sadly there is no alternative to three tired old parties at the moment. I've been searching for years and found most parties full of madmen, led by sociopathic egomaniacs or plain greedy bastards in it for money, especially when the European Union gravy train is involved. So I can only think that we, as individuals, have to lobby MPs of whatever party and get involved with worthwhile pressure groups. Below is a list of those that I support and believe do a great job:

Big Brother Watch


Libertarian Alliance

Society for Individual Freedom

If we don't start doing something now it won't be long until we have the lost the freedom to make any kind of protest.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Nick Cave-The Weeping Song

I'm planning to research some fine ale and some fantastic pubs in Kent next week, what an arduous piece of research that will be!!!

On the long drive down there I'll be listening to some fine music such as this:

Monday, April 02, 2012

God Bless The Falkland Islands

It seems like yesterday but it was thirty years ago that the military dictator of Argentina, General Galtieri, sent his troops to invade the Falkland Islands.

We can only thank God that we had a government then, with Mrs Thatcher at the helm, that was prepared to fight for freedom and democracy.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to all who fought for the freedom of the Falklands, especially those who gave their lives or were wounded.

The one thing that should be sounded out loud and clear today, as well as every other day, is that it is up to the Falkland Islanders themselves, not our government or the Argentine government, to decide their future.