Monday, July 30, 2012

The Snug at Carnforth Station

Haven't blogged much recently as I've been grafting to get The Snug micropub ready for opening on Wednesday 1st August. Why not visit after Wednesday, or visit the blog now to find out a little more.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Tesco Olympics

The only benefit I can see from the Olympics is that our commissars have decided that if we buy alcohol before 10-00am and after 4-00pm on a Sunday we won't actually die and the world won't crash into the sun. So after watching Wiggo and Cav do us proud in Paree I decided that I would treat Mrs B and yours truly to a nice bottle of wine tonight.

So at 5-15pm I took advantage of our new found freedom and hit my local Tesco. But they'd forgotten to change their cash tills and were unable to sell alcohol after 4-00pm after all. Maybe a greater power telling us that we could indeed die if we buy wine after 4-00pm on Sunday. But as I went to Bargain Booze and got a better deal anyway, I doubt it. Unless of course the first sip kills us both. In which case the nanny state has severely let us down.

I certainly hope that the performance of our athletes is superior to that of Tesco.

The Archers

I have a guilty secret, please forgive me. I listen to The Archers Omnibus on BBC Radio 4 on a Sunday morning. I go out for newspapers, leave one with my beloved the other I take to Mass. I sit in the car for 15 minutes before Mass listening to Aled Jones and usually scan the sport section and read Rod Liddle. After Mass I go home, start the bacon and we settle down with brekkie, the papers and The Archers. But no more, I've had enough.

I grew up in Gorton, Manchester and I thank God every day when I listen in to daily life in Ambridge that I grew up in an inner city area rather than in the countryside. I had such an innocent childhood compared to rural Ambridge which is littered with illegitimate children, broken marriages, racism, violence, murder, arson and fraudsters going to jail. Not to mention the local landowner falling to his death from his own roof and one brother running off with the other brother's girlfriend and baby.

Anybody who has made a few bob seems to be shady at best, downright corrupt at worst. The local vicar married a Hindu but his first wife's mother-in-law, a Christian from the Carribean, was adamantly against the relationship, intolerant Christian you see.  The most loving, and currently enduring relationship, is the gay one, of course.

Of course the BBC claim that the show reflects life, which is what drama is all about supposedly. Bullshit! It represents life through the eyes of a white, pinko liberal, middle class nobhead from Islington. You know the kind I mean, the one who bangs on about race all the time and sees racism in everything. I think I have a wide cross  section of friends, with a wide variety of views, but the only ones who bang on about race to a tedious degree are the lefties. Droning on, and on and on all the time. And they usually look shocked if challenged and piously tell you that it isn't all that long ago that every house in the country had obligatory 'no blacks, Irish or dogs' notices in the windows. They are the kind of brainwashed people who are trying to brainwash us through The Archers and the TV soaps.

Drama doesn't actually have to represent life, as evidenced by The Archers which currently represents a jaundiced and cynical politically correct loathing of all that Britain represents and stands for rather than anything like real life. Life isn't really like it is in Ambridge thankfully. I happen to enjoy drama that is idealised and uplifting, it doesn't always have to make you feel like slashing your wrists or throwing the radio off the balcony.

So today I turned The Archers off and will not be listening in future. The drama of real life is much more uplifting and enjoyable.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Independent Libertarian Network!

I had my cornflakes this morning watching TV news, big mistake that. Some prat was banging on again about people drinking too much and how alcohol companies should be banned from advertising at sporting events. When will pillocks like that realise that it is their constant hectoring and nannying that drives people to drink. Thankfully I don't have a hangover this morning.

But Mrs B and I were reassured about our drinking habits when said 'expert' cited forgetting to collect the kids from school as a sign of a severe alcohol problem. That has never happened to either of us  so our drinking must be fine and well under control.

So my advice is, like us, don't have kids.

On a more serious note Gavin Webb, a fine chap I met when I was chairman of the Libertarian Party, has started a new political party, the Independent Libertarian Network. If you are sick of the ever encroaching police state then click on the link and take a look. You know you should.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Right Bunch of Bankers!

I had a raging row with my bank yesterday, not the first time and doubtless not the last. It got me wondering why the big bankers get such huge bonuses.

I've had jobs where staff are appraised annually and the size of your annual wage rise depends on performance. But why do people working with money, not just bankers but traders and the like, think it entitles them to huge bundles of cash as a thank you for getting off their arses and doing what they get paid for in the first place?

If it's success being rewarded then what should successful pie makers get if they are successful? 500,000 cheese and onion pies?

What about car makers? A few thousand new cars?

Should successful estate agents get a few nice houses as a bonus?

What about urinal salesmen?

A successful distillery worker could get a few thousand bottles of whisky.

A successful pop star could get a few million DVDs as a bonus.

A high achieving bottled water salesman could maybe receive a small lake in the Lake District or a spring in the Pennines.

Just a thought.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Who's the Real Racist?

John Terry has always struck me as being one of the more uncouth people in a severely uncouth business, professional football. Bear in mind this is a game where Graham Le Saux was hounded by other footballers for his alleged homosexuality. He wasn't homosexual as it happens, but they labelled him that because he reads The Guardian.

So the recent court case came as no surprise. Well that's not strictly true, I was surprised that the case ever went to court, but wasn't surprised that Terry was the accused. It turns out that the accuser, Anton Ferdinand, is every bit as uncouth and unpleasant as Terry. So why was I surprised it ended up in court?

Children use anything that is different about somebody to insult them if they fall out. In other circumstances children are frighteningly blunt in their innocence. For example if somebody with glasses upsets a child he is likely to be attacked and called "speccy four eyes". A child who sees a fat person is likely to innocently ask why they have such a big belly. A parental nightmare but done in innocence, if highly embarassing for said parents.

As children develop and mature they gain some sensitivity and desist from using those differences to attack people. Having said that, in a rage many grown ups still do it, but to a lesser extent. Hence Lancastrians and Yorkshiremen, especially at cricket games, will hurl abuse at each other based on place of birth. Football fans will abuse people from the south or the north, or for being Mancunians or Scousers. They will attack opponents who are overweight, who have had an extra-marital affair and so on. But in most reasonable people it is lighthearted at worst and never used to seriously insult and hurt an individual.

The problem with footballers is that many of them have not grown up and developed into mature, reasonable people. John Terry calling Ferdinand a black c#*t is case in point. If Terry had used his height, size of his waist, colour of his hair or whatever nothing would have been said. But it was the colour of his skin that was used to lash out. It wasn't a sinister racist incident, it was an emotionally, and educationally underdeveloped, pampered brat trying to hurt somebody.

This morning Rio Ferdinand is in the headlines. If you don't know he is the brother of Anton Ferdinand and when he's not playing football for ludicrous amounts of cash seems to be on Twitter or seeking something racist to get angry about. So why is Ferdinand Sr in the news today?

Well, Ashley Cole gave evidence at the Terry court case and declared that in his view Terry, his team mate, was not racist. Ashley Cole is black and was married to Cheryl Cole, the alleged singer. Somebody on Twitter tweeted:

"Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their choc ice. Then again he's always been a sellout. Shame on him."

To which Rio Ferdinand replied:

" I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!"

Another footballer proving that in that world you don't have to be very bright, or emotionally mature, to make a fortune. Bear in mind Cole has been Terry's team mate for quite a few years and probably knows him better than many of his own family. Why would anybody, especially a black man, sit there in court and declare that in his opinion  a man is not racist if he actually, to his knowledge is? 

In my  opinion what Ferdinand said, and the original Tweeter tweeted, is much more sinister and unpleasant than what the clown John Terry said. The reference to choc ice means that in their opinion Cole is black on the outside, white on the inside. Cole is clearly being attacked for not backing the black player in the case last week. I would hope the sell out reference isn't to Cole marrying a white woman.

Who is the real racist, Rio Ferdinand or John Terry? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday, Time For Lou Reed-Families

Yesterday I rattled on about dodgy chavs and their offspring. Today it's time for Lou Reed to put real emotion into a song about the pressure on kids in middle class families. He had a rough childhood being a bit of a rebel when he was expected to be nicely conformist. I reckon this song is autobiographical, as is Kill Your Sons, which is also much darker.

For my money The Bells is one one of Lou's finest albums, and Families one of the strongest tracks on it. Well worth a listen:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Cult of the Chav Child

Loving parents.
There has been a change in the attitudes to children in this country in recent years I think, much of it the attitude of parents to children. One of the negatives of foreign travel is that parents see kids in cafes  in France and elsewhere and want the same here so they can take little Tristran and Natasha everywhere with them. Problem is that British pubs are not the same as French cafes. That's one change.

Too many of our kids are obese partly because mummy and daddy now drive them everywhere, including the 200yds to the school gate.

If you or me are stupid enough to park on a yellow line or God forbid a zig zag zone outside a school, we are likely to be lynched by a mob of yellow bimbettes with 'Croydon facelifts' screaming about you endangering the lives of their little darlings. But if the little darlings need dropping within 5yds of school said bimbettes have no qualms about pulling up on those same zigzags, with no indication, swinging their doors wide open then ducking into their 4x4s to unstrap their little prince or princess.

In the meantime, while they lean in, seemingly unstrapping them from a seat every bit as secure as a seat on a space shuttle, their ample backsides stick into the road causing a jam. Dare toot or suggest they let you pass and you're likely to get a flurry of hand gestures, backed up with the kind of foul mouthed abuse that would make Frank Gallagher blush. 

Today I went to a local supermarket. Unfortunately there is an entrance to the local school in the far corner of the car park. Parents seem to use it as a challenge to motorists, rushing out from between parked cars holding their offspring and glaring at you, an evil driver, as if daring you to come anywhere near their little brats.

This morning, as I was crawling towards a parking space, a woman jumped out from between parked cars pushing her two kids in front of her, seemingly as human shields. I was only doing 5mph, half the limit, but still had to slam the brakes on and just missed them. She glared at me, gave me a middle finger and mouthed an obscenity, quite possibly screamed it but I had a John Cale CD on very loud. I just sat there, feeling sorry for the children she had spawned and wondering what bastards they were likely to be when they grew up with her as a role model. God knows what the dad is like, if the kids even know him.

It was then that the realisation of the change in attitudes to kids really struck me. It's not that so many of the current and recent generations of parents love children any more than previous generations did, oh no, it's that they seem to hate anybody else, child or adult, in their unhealthy obsession with their own offspring. It also helps explain last year's riots, too many parents today seem to have the kind of shallow love for their kids that they have for their latest electronic gadget.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I'm feeling a little unsettled at the moment about the nature of democracy. I'm not sure whether I just don't understand what democracy actually is, or whether my idea of democracy has changed over the last however many decades.

I know there isn't a simple definition of democracy, and that some of the most horrendously barbaric dictatorships in history have called themselves 'democracies', usually 'people's democratic republic' or similar. I also know that our idea of democracy in action differs from many countries in the world who we would regard as 'democratic'. It isn't simple is it?

So to a large degree this week, with the Lib Dems attempting to hijack the word 'democracy' to justify a botched attempt at reforming the House of Lords, the nature of democracy seems to have become defined by voting. I'm not sure about this. If we had a vote on whether to slaughter the first born in every household, and 51% voted in favour, is that democracy in action so get on with it? If our unelected monarch said: "Whoa, one's not keen on that idea, I refuse to sign the act." Would that be an unelected head of state subverting democracy?

In rexcent years there has been a proliferation in the number of elected posts in public life. Many cities now have elected mayors. I don't know why, I don't see the point. Do elected mayors make our system more democratic? I don't see how when they seem to be nothing more than an expensive add-on to already elected, and very costly city councillors.

Our cities have police authorities made up of people from a range of bodies and elected councils. They are accountable to the populace. So why do we need costly elected police commissioners? I honestly don't see the point. Especially when commissioners, like elected mayors just seem to be washed up politicians jumping on a shiny, new, very well funded gravy train.

Are supporters of this move to ever more elected public officials really saying that prior to these innovations there was a huge democratic deficit? There obviously wasn't, as I've explained above.

If Clegg and Cameron are so convinced that the ballot box is the root to true democracy then how can they justify not having a rteferendum on the European Union? A referendum on the death penalty? If an unelected House of Lords is undemocratic why is only electing 80% of it democratic? Why do we have an unelected head of state? Are Clegg and Cameron closet republicans or are they just being intellectually inconsistant? Or are they being intellectually dishonest?

I'll be perfectly honest, I don't see plonking a X on a ballot paper every five years as being the be all and end all of democracy. Not when our politicians then ignore us, and what they promised in their manifestos, and foist a bastard government like this on us. Then proceed to ignore what we want until they next have to tempt us to vote for them by publishing manifestos full of even more lies.

So what's the alternative? I'll have to think about that. But would an unelected leader/government that actually listened to what the populace wants, a kind of benign dictatorship, be any less democratic than our current revolving dictatorship?

Monday, July 09, 2012

Lib Dems-Fiddling While Rome Burns

A typical Lib Dem, representing another planet!
Those political whores, the Liberal Democrats, are at it again. I must have missed the mass rallies, petitions and highly visible internet and traditional media campaigns calling for reform of the House of Lords. Maybe I've been dozing these last few months. Or maybe the Lib Dems are just proving, once again, how completely out of touch with the real world they really are.

The country is in the shit financially. We have armed police taking people hostage on the M6 because somebody on a Megabus is smoking a dodgy pretend fag. We have the state plonking anti-missile weaponry atop blocks of flats in East London because of the Olympics. We have the Olympics, a vulgur multi-billion pound joke, costing the country a fortune when we are in financial shit. We have terrorists staying at our expense at Her Majesty's Pleasure because we can't deport them in case somebody in their own country is nasty to them. We have our armed forces being cut to a level that makes them all but ineffectual. And the Lib Dems want to waste time and money reforming the House of Lords.

No wonder they'll be wiped out at the next general election. If I had any faith in Cameron's pathetic joke of a Tory Party I'd hope they would dump the Lib Dems and take their chances as a minority government. But I see little between them, so a Tory government standing alone would probably wreak as much havoc as this bastard coalition.

Come to think of it I hope the Tories get wiped out at the next election too. I've decided on numerous occasions to abstain from voting, but always changed my mind, held my nose and put a X on a ballot paper. But no more. Never again am I prepared to vote for the least bad option. As there is not a single credible libertarian leaning party in the country I will not be voting in future in any national or local elections.

A plague on all their houses.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Dying on the Vine-John Cale

I had to drive my beloved to work this morning and listened to John Cale's CD The Island Years in my old van. That got me thinking of some of his more modern stuff and I found this on YouTube when I got home. Hope you enjoy it:

Wimp Nation and the Police State

What a shambles this country really is. Yesterday hundreds of thousands of pounds was wasted on a full scale anti-terror raid on a bus on the M6 motorway. It turns out somebody was smoking an artificial cigarette. Thank God it wasn't a real one or some macho, anti-terror robocop would have probably slotted the poor bastard. Full story here.

Sadly the more the state arms it's operatives, the more danger the rest of us are in. Personally I'd rather take my chances than have my head blown off in my local because somebody's having a sneaky fag in the bog.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Eric Sykes

Sad to hear of the death today of Eric Sykes. I remember as a schoolboy in the very early seventies watching Sykes, starring Eric Sykes, the wonderful Hattie Jacques, Derek Guyler as "Corky" the local bobby and many, many more. Wonderful television comedy, up there with Dad's Army, Steptoe and Son and 'Til Death Us Do Part.

Another great Lancastrian comedian leaves the stage:

Democracy: Referenda and Elections

There is much talk about a referendum on our membership of the European, as well as on reform of the House of Lords. There have been whole tomes written about both these issues, so I won't waffle on too much.

I don't want an elected House of Lords and I don't want a referendum on our relationshiup with the European Union. There it is. This is a blog, my personal ramblings on current events, so I don't have to go into page after page of justification complete with references to the works of Bagehot, Mill, ancient Greeks or anybody else. But I will try and justify my position a little.

I blogged last week (here) about the House of Lords and the Lib Dems' typical botched reform proposal.  Let's face it, if the Lib Dems want it it's probably a bad idea. But the libertarian movement seems to be generally of the view that a true democracy doesn't have unelected politicians lording over us, they should be elected. My slightly tongue in cheek response is: "So you want 650 more paragons of virtue and democracy like we have elected to the House of Commons?"

Does putting a tick in a box every five years, or fifteen years in elections to the House of Lords if the Lib Dems get their way, really define democracy? Is democracy really electing a bastard government, such as this coalition government, that then tears up most of the member parties' manifestos and does what it wants because it has cobbled together an unholy majority?

Personally I see nothing wrong with a fully functioning upper house, complete with unelected members, performing a scrutiny role to keep a check on the lower house. It is crucial that party politics plays as little a role in the upper house as possible, and that it is filled with people of wisdom, experience and specialist knowledge from a wide variety of backgrounds. In a word, unelected.

Of course Blair couldn't stand the thought of unbridled power and set about castrating the House of Lords. Clegg now appears to be the heir to Blair. Why doesn't Clegg tell us what he thinks of an unelected head of state? Because it may not be very popular I reckon.

Throughout the country we have hundreds, possibly thousands of unelected councillors on town and parish councils, unelected because the communities they claim to serve have so little enthusiasm for them that there are rarely enough interested people to hold contested elections. Surely they too should be abolished as not only undemocratic/unelected, but quite evidently rejected by the people?

Oh yes, don't forget, Hitler was elected.

I have also rambled on before about the question of a referendum on the European Union. As there isn't a credible political party campaigning against our continued membership of the European Union, a referendum is obviously quite appealing. But is it such a good idea, bearing in mind we live in a representative democracy? I don't think so.

We currently have one of our more Europhile governments, indeed a government that has already ensured that we were not given a referendum on the EU when the issue was debated in the House of Commons.

The Tories have done more than anybody else over the last fifty years to take us  ever deeper into the EU. When bolstered by the Lib Dems why would they threaten our future participation in the European project by offering a referendum? So campaigning for a referendum under the present circumstances is largely a waste of time and resources. Better use the time and resources campaigning on the serious issues around our membership of the undemocratic EU.

If we were given a straight in/out referendum would there be a majority voting for the out option? I very much doubt it, especially under the current economic circumstances. People are naturally conservative and the image painted by an effective pro-EU campaign would be that leaving the EU would be like setting out to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat in the worst storms the world has ever seen. Would you want to risk that?

More likely the government would set the question to be put to us. Then they could have some real fun with the wording. It could be as absurd as: "Do you agree that the UK should turn its back on our largest trading partner in favour of isolation in the global trading markets"?  Well, that might be a little too blatant, but I think it makes the point.

Then if we did vote to get out, wouldn't they just have another referendum like they do whenever they lose a vote?

Monday, July 02, 2012

David Smith and the Moors Murderers

I only found out today that David Smith died on May 5th, his obituary appearing in the Daily Telegraph on 30 June. Smith was the brother-in-law of Myra Hindley, married to her sister Maureen. He witnessed the murder of Edward Evans and, along with Maureen,  blew the whistle on Hindley and Brady.

Like many who grew up in Gorton it is strangely surreal, even now, reading about those events back in the 1960s. I was only five or six when Hindley and Brady were caught, but we lived two or three doors from Millward's Chemicals where the pair worked and met.

My dad used to deliver the mail to Millward's and used to chat to the blonde receptionist he handed the mail to, Myra Hindley. Hindley and Brady used to drink in the Haxby pub, just over the road from our house. Hindley was even having instruction in the Catholic faith at my old church Sacred Heart, where my Aunty Kath and Uncle George were married around 1965.

Years later a friend of my dad's told me how he delivered the mail in West Gorton in the late 60s, early 70s and used to hear Winnie Johnson out on the streets calling for her son, Keith Bennett, believed to be one of their victims whose body has never been found. Before she died Hindley never tried to ease the pain for Winnie Johnson and even now Brady refuses to say whether or not Keith was a victim or not. Winnie Johnson's agony is even now being prolonged by the evil Brady.

Smith and his wife lived in Hattersley in October 1965, in a block of flats behind the house where Hindley and Brady lived and were finally caught. My grandparents lived down the road, on the same sprawling council overspill estate in the foothills of the Pennines housing whole Mancunian communities exiled from their terraced homes in Gorton, Ardwick, Beswick and elsewhere when the bureaucrats decided their homes were to be demolished.

If Smith hadn't phoned the police in the early hours in October 1965, who knows how many other young children would have been murdered by Hindley and Brady? But there was a still a mood of retribution in Hattersley when the true nature of the Moors Murders came to light and my grandparents witnessed the abuse that Smith became a victim of as the media covered the events during and after the trial. In the eyes of many, although innocent, Smith was judged guilty by association and eventually was forced to leave the area.

Unlike Hindley and Brady, Smith was guilty of nothing more than naivety and of being easily led. He had no peace in his life, we can only pray that he now finds the peace he deserves.