Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bread and Circuses-UK 2015

There comes a time when great civilisations come to an end, and I doubt it's ever pretty for those involved. It feels ever more like our civilisation is crumbling, maybe it deserves to and certainly the politically correct left are hellbent on hastening our demise as has always been their aim.

For me the rot set in during the 1960s. That decade bred an attitude of self, self, self. An attitude of I want so I will have and sod the consequences for society. That blighted decade led directly to abortion on demand. It led to the breakdown of the traditional family. It led to the kind of welfare system that pays people to claim rather than work, and for women to breed with or without a husband knowing that the state (the rest of us) will pick up the bill.

We now live in a society where a man can decide he's a woman and have the operation, estimated cost £30,000 and the rest of us pay the bill. The NHS in crisis? Well stop spending money on that kind of thing and other vanity treatments. If they really want to mutilate their bodies in that way then let them pay to have it done privately. I have no problem if that's what they want to do with their bodies but don't expect me to regard them as women any more than I would regard a man on all fours trolling around barking to have suddenly become a dog.

These people on the fringe plead tolerance and acceptance of their lifestyle choices, but God help anybody who dissents then you find that their belief in freedom and tolerance suddenly evaporates. Witness Germaine Greer last week facing the wrath of the politically correct Stasi for daring to question aspects of transsexuality. Cardiff University appears to harbour groups of students dedicated to killing free speech and policing thought, which is no surprise to many people who have long believed our education system to be nothing more than a brainwashing factory controlled by the politically correct to promote their own agenda and crush anybody daring to think differently.

Then you look at the TV schedules and it is quite shocking. In centuries gone by people who were different from the norm were paraded around the streets for the entertainment of the general populace, John Merrick, the Elephant Man being one. On April 1st the mentally ill were released from Bedlam for the day to be goaded and ridiculed by the general populace. This kind of thing was ended years ago, or so I thought.

But no, our TV schedules are full of it. There are programmes about the ugliest people dating each other. The fattest people looking for friendship and love. The tiniest most deformed people trying to find partners. These programmes are not informative or educational, they are modern day freak shows. Animals are no longer allowed to perform in most circuses but we can parade humans on TV for the general populace to gawp at and get some strange kind of pleasure from.

I began this post blaming the me, me, me decade of the '60s with it's so called liberation challenging of the norms of society. What it actually did was lead to people wanting to do whatever they wanted while abrogating personal responsibility. Screw up? Somebody else will pick up the pieces and pay for it. Help your neighbour and your wider community? No, let the local council or the state do that, but as long as I vote for a party that will promise to help the poor and needy I can get a nice warm glow without getting my hands dirty.

Most of my working life I worked for medical charities. From the mid 1980s the level of volunteer involvement became ever smaller. Volunteer recruitment became ever more difficult. We are now seeing the results of the attitude that defined the 1960s. Peoples' answer to any problem today, ironically most prevalent amongst the politically correct in my experience, is not to roll up their sleeves and help but to call for the state to deal with it. That means the government, the politicians those same people they claim to loathe and ultimately the poor old tax payer. Because what they don't seem to understand is that government doesn't have a big money tree, we pay for them to swan around splashing the cash to get a few extra votes and to make the politically feel a warm, smug glow of self satisfaction.m

The bread and circuses have anaesthetised the populace to reality and they can't or won't see the wider picture. Pretty soon it will be too late and they'll ask how it was allowed to happen. Maybe if they wake up now and look around they will actually see for themselves before it's too late.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Refugees? What Refugees?

We are now back in Blighty after a seventeen day jaunt by train through France, Italy, Austria and Germany and quite a break it's been. Where to start?

Train travel is fantastic, especially the decadence of a splendid meal in the dining car then going back to your cabin to find the beds have been made up with lovely fresh linen sheets. Incredibly it doesn't break the bank and you don't have the completely over the top security crap to suffer that they put you through at airports. So we took Eurostar to Paris then an overnighter to Venice. A day in Venice then the pleasant train ride to Rome where we had an apartment for nine nights.

We attended a General Audience with Pope Francis in Rome, visited as many historic sites as we could fit in and managed a day trip to Naples to visit Pompeii. Wonderful country and Rome is a very special city.

From Rome we took the sleeper to Vienna, this was last Thursday (8th October). There was a crisis at Terminii station in Rome but we finally got the train. The fun started when we got to Vienna on the Friday morning.

We'd been warned about travelling by train to Munich (our next destination) and Vienna by friends before we left. We had kept abreast with the news but our friends had reliable contacts, especially in Munich and warned us that the situation was worse than suggested by the British media. We decided to take our chances as there was still nearly three weeks until we got to Vienna and Munich. The three weeks had passed and there we were.

We arrived last Friday in Vienna to find the Hauptbahnof teeming with migrants, over 95% of whom were young men in their twenties, some maybe early thirties. The atmosphere was quite threatening and outside the station, as at the Westbahnof in Vienna, there were police vans and ambulances. We are not inexperienced or particularly nervous travellers, in 1990/91 we travelled overland through Central and South America including Bogota, Colombia at the height of the drug cartels. But this was a new experience, and it was in Europe.

On Sunday we checked our tickets to Munich for the following day and found that we didn't have reserved seats, so we went to Westbahnof tickets in hand. Passing by police, ambulances and gangs of young migrants we went straight to the information stand to be told that our train to Munich the next day had been cancelled. That train hadn't run for three weeks as the border at Salzburg had been closed because of the migrant crisis.

When we got over the shock we were told that we could swap our tickets for tickets to a small town in Bavaria called Plattling and then would take a local train to Munich. It meant that we only got into Munich around 8 00pm and we would sacrifice our afternoon in Munich but at least we would be able to get back on track for our early departure on the Monday to Paris.

So on Monday we turned up at the station and boarded the train. There were still hundreds of migrants, police and so on around the station but we got into our seats and suddenly the carriage filled, just before departure with migrants. At a guess our carriage, with around 120 seats, had around 100 migrants in it. The train departed heading to Germany where we would cross the border at Passau.

We arrived at Passau to hear a voice coming down the train asking for passports. We got ours out ready for inspection. We then heard people being ordered off the train. When we looked back down the carriage the polizei were ejecting migrants without passports or ID cards from the train. Of those in our carriage the only people with Syrian passports were a family of four. All the others that we heard claimed to be Syrian but when challenged had no papers and admitted not being Syrian when pressed, they came from a whole range of countries except Syria.

The train eventually left Passau and a full train was virtually empty. Looking out of the window we saw hundreds of illegal immigrants being herded onto buses outside the station. As in Vienna over 90% of them were young males.

We've never really been beach holiday/sun worshipping people, each to his own, but this was a new experience we really didn't expect. Yes we knew there had been trouble at many stations in central and eastern Europe which is where we feared there may have been problems. But it seems the problems with migrants at Munich have been pretty well sorted after the border closure. We can only think that our route (Hamburg the ultimate destination) is now being used to funnel the migrants to Passau, presumably to be given asylum or to be repatriated.

The Hungarian government claims that up to 30,000 migrants were repelled on its southern border this last weekend. This not a refugee crisis, this is a migrant crisis brought about by the megalomaniac German Chancellor. She precipitated this crisis by opening German borders to all Syrians and dropping the necessary checks and regulations to speed up the process. That is why potentially millions are flooding into Europe overland, without any identification but claiming to be Syrian. As we saw for ourselves the overwhelming majority are neither Syrian nor refugees.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Rome, Pope and Curry

Tomorrow we attend our General Audience in St Peter's Square with Pope Francis. Well it it wouldn't be a be a Papal Audience without Pope Francis would it?

We got our tickets about 4 45 this afternoon and it was the usual Italian style debacle. Last week we checked and were told exactly where we had to go to collect our tickets, between 3 00 and 5 00 today. On our way to the Vatican the buses went awry, so we jumped in a taxi, which are an absolute life saver in Rome. He got us there in good time.

But when we went to where we had been told to collect them we were told no, we had to go to the exact opposite point in St Peter's Square. Cue fight through thousands across the square and a search for our queue. Ask numerous people, in uniform, where you need to be and you get numerous answers. That's Rome/Italy. We finally found our queue and have our tickets. Another early start for a 7 00am bus to get us there for 8 00am, the Papal Audience is at 10 00am.

One thing we have learned this time in Rome is to take nothing for granted. If somebody says your bus leaves from point A check, because the next person might inform you that it leaves from point B.

All the guides claim you can buy bus/underground day tickets from newsagents and tobacconists. We tried the newsagent and was told to try the tobacconist, who told us try the local metro station, a ten minute walk away.

We tried to watch Lazio football club on Sunday night. You couldn't buy tickets at the 75,000 seat Olympic Stadium, we had to go to a corner shop in a back street that passed as the Lazio club shop. To describe the system as chaotic would be generous. Hundreds of people left after waiting for nearly an hour realising that we would probably only get in to buy tickets well into the second half of the game. An utter shambles.

Don't waste your time visiting the tourist information offices in Rome. We have visited three. They have no information, treat you with absolute disdain and, in one case we stood there for five minutes while she had a chat with her pal and just ignored us.

The service in the bars and restaurants is excellent, which is most important. Live in Rome? I would end up slaughtering people, but it's still a first class place to visit. But only if you possess copious amounts of patience.

Tonight we had a fantastic curry at the New Delhi Indian near Termini station. Fantastic, a week of pizza and pasta does have you craving something with spice.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Football In Rome-SS Lazio

What an utter, pathetic, imbecilic shambles trying to get to watch Lazio was today. Yes, I don't like them, they play in the same colours as Manchester's less successful and less well supported club but eh, it's Rome so let's try it.

En route to the stadium a couple of lads told us how they had serious trouble in Rome getting tickets. Seems .....

Do you know, I'm now losing the will to live recounting this tedious tale, so suffice to say that Lazio are shite at selling tickets, and let's face it bums on seats is what it should be about, so we pissed off and had a nice meal and a few drinks instead.

Our only worse experience is Rome's tourist information offices. They are staffed by sullen miserabilists who treat you like a piece of dross wafting in from the street and immediately you ask a question refer you elsewhere.

Apart from that it's great.

We're off to Naples for the day tomorrow.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

More On Rome

Rome is a fantastic place, an absolute must see, but be careful where you eat. On our first full day here I had food poisoning, not enough to be rushed off for treatment but enough to make the sightseeing a little uncomfortable.

My advice is avoid the really cheap cafes/restaurants, they are cheap for a reason. If a main course is a tenner be careful, if paying 6 Euros more means you avoid food poisoning it's money well spent. I'm not sure where I copped it but it was one of three places. In the third place I saw asterisks by most of the dishes. When I looked at the bottom of the page they were all frozen meals. That is probably why similar dishes look identical in all the cheap cafes/restaurants, they're all at it.

But don't be put off, there is some fantastic food around but remember, saving a couple of quid could be dangerous.

Friday, October 02, 2015


Been in Rome since Tuesday night and here are a few observations.

If the pelican crossing is on red it means you are in very serious danger if you cross the road. If it is on green it means you are in really serious danger if you cross the road.

If a policeman in white shirt and helmet is in the road peeping his whistle and stopping the traffic, before gesturing you to cross, you are still in really serious danger as the minute he turns his back the traffic accelerates on anyway.

The quaint traffic is just one of the reasons why Rome is such a great city.