Monday, 31 January 2011

History does repeat itself

I'm not sure who said it but there is a saying that goes something like.."He that does not learn the lessons of history is destined to repeat them".
As I've said before, its my belief that the war waged in Afghanistan is morally wrong. It is a war that can never be 'won'. The history of the last 200 years of Afghanistan proves this. If you require further evidence look no further than the Russian experience in that country.

I note today that the 'Allies' in Afghanistan have implemented a policy of raising all buildings in Sangine Provence with the intention of destroying/unearthing 'IED's'. All buildings includes houses, schools & Mosques. The inhabitants of the villages were interviewed by the BBC & they felt alienated, anti allies, depressed & confused by this policy. In reality this practice will drive the inhabitants into the arms of the Taliban.

I am reminded of a war which ended in the 1970's-Vietnam. In this war a similar policy/practice was carried out when 'Agent Orange' was dropped remorselessly on the rain forests & land in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong a hiding place.
We all know people how that war ended up, &. the number of lives it claimed both amongst the native population of Vietnam & amongst the American & allied troops.

My heart cries when I watch news programmes like the one I saw this evening. Weeps for a generation that will be scarred, families that will be left without a son or daughter (both in the west & in Afghanistan) & for a country being raped & ravaged by the rich barons of the west.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Another poem I enjoyed today.

I make no apology for posting poetry people, and today I'd like to share one of Henry Longfellow's poems with you.

Longfellow was one of the great American poets- (by far the greatest in my opinion was Walt Whitman who's work I would commend to you)-who lived between 1807-1882. He had a sad adult life, both of his wives dying tragically.

Anyhow, I post this poem because its -2*c here in Kings Heath & it feels like snow!


Out of the bosom of the Air,

Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,

Over the woodlands brown and bare

Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent and soft and slow

Descends the snow.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, 28 January 2011

Stalin is alive & well......

And living in Carlisle.
He is y'know..... I heard it as much on BBC Radio 4 news this evening.

It goes like this: Carlisle City Council has sent an E-Mail to all its employees forbidding them to chat to each other in works time. Instead they have been told to 'clock off' (for which they won't get paid) when they want to talk to a workmate. The Council have said that their employees spend too much time talking about "pets, babies or the weather".
They have also said that those workers who take 'cigarette breaks' should also 'clock off' for the duration of their smoke. Now this I do agree with I have to say, but why not just limit the number of smoking breaks a smoker has? Give employee a bit of personal responsibility.

Personally, I blame that bastard David Cameron for this act of despotism-pay freezes, redundancies, massive reductions in the financial amounts Councils receive from Central Government.
Which leads me to my next rant: The news also announced that there has been an increase in the number of thefts of central heating oil from homes in rural areas. Home owners have been apparently been advised by Police to (wait for it...) put a padlock on their central heating oil tanks!!.... Holy Mother of God!!
Thieves also this week stole £50k worth of copper from old steam engines at the base of the Severn Valley Railway as well as £2k worth from the trams based at the Black Country Museum. Anarchy is breaking out I fear.

Again I believe that the architect of this lawlessness is Cameron ablly asisted by his ex public school chancellor George Osborne.
It was they who slashed (nationally) Police budgets. E.G. West Midlands Police has stopped recuiting & has apparently made 100K police (inc backroom staff) redundant.

Yes people, Josef Stalin is alive & living in Carlisle.

PS> Bring it on the people of Egypt!! Those who wish to see the end of despotic regimes & Police States I applaud you!

2011 seems to be becoming the year of revolutions.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A rant from a tired

I went shopping in the supermarket straight from work today & I don't know if it was because I was tired or what but I was unable to find the flour that I use to make my bread. I found it eventually in the isle entitled' Home baking'. Bloody hell have you gotta be a member of Mensa to shop these days?

But I've come up with a solution. Sample: I believe that all the isles in supermarkets should be arranged in alphabetical order. Easy eh?

And another thing .I'm sick to the back teeth of being told that I should do this & that by organisations that I have payed bloody hard earned money for. I'm thinking here of my recent plane flight to Belfast. WE were told pre take off to pay attention to the air steward as he/she explained how to put on the life jacket, that we had to read the in flight safety card. Sod off!! I don't want to! (I didn't) Its my choice. Same as when I go on the train~: They tell you over the loudspeaker to "make sure that you take all your bags & suitcases with you when you leave the train". But what if I DON'T WANT TO TAKE MY CASE WITH ME? Suppose I want to leave my case on the train? Its MY case & I'll do what the hell I want with it!! Sod off!

I'm through moaning...for now...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Andy Gray

The man is a sexist prat.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Street Art In Belfast

I was in Belfast this weekend with Kate visiting her 94yr old mom. We took her for a push in the wheelchair around the backstreets of Ardoyne where she brought up 8 kids alone-her husband having died of a heart attack.

The old lady loved the time out despite the freezing weather & when we returned to her supported accommodation she was aglow with her memories. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience to be sure.

Whilst out I took some photographs of the street art painted on the gable end of the terraced houses in the Republican area that is Ardoyne. They are truly beautiful & illustrate a period of Northern Irish history that was ( & still is to some extent )painful, brutal, destructive & bloody. But nevertheless triumphant, as Ulster no longer has an army of occupation on its streets.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

What are the Chinese doing??

I feel particularly angry this evening.
I love my food, I love fish (except shellfish which don't love me).
This evening I have seen television footage of the Chinese industry of Shark fin fishing. The Chinese apparently are massively overfishing sharks for their fins. They apparently catch & kill all species of sharks including the very rare Hammerhead shark solely for their fins which are then sold at a massive price for Shark Fin soup.

The sharks have their fins cut off whist still alive & suffer great, great pain during the murder.

How can we expect the Chinese nation to grant their citizens rights when they cannot & do not grant animals rights?
Barbaric totally barbaric.
And I am very upset.

Women Priests v Anglican Bishops

This week the Roman Catholic Church (of whom I am a practicing member) ordained at least 3 ex Anglican bishops as Roman Catholic priests. These bishops left the Anglican Church when the Church synod voted in favor of women priests (vicars).

Whilst I applaud the Anglican Church for their bold & equitable decision, I have to say that I disagree with the RC Church ordaining the 'defectors' as priests.

As far as I'm concerned the RC's Church recent ordinations clearly displays its attitude towards women-bigotted & archaic- especially when the Church announced that these new priests would be be accommodated in a 'special section'.

And so I ask you guys.....what does it tell you about the RC's attitude towards women? I wonder what the Church thinks our founder (J.C.) says about this?

It ain't right Pope Benedict It ain't right. I do not agree with these ordinations.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Bankers Bonus the latest......

I hear that the chief executive of Barclay's Bank-Bob Diamond- has awarded himself/been awarded a bonus of £8,000,000.
i ask how can this be in any way justified when today the Chief Constable of Birmingham announced that due to Government cutbacks Birmingham (the UK's second city), will in the next 12 months, have 1,000 fewer policeman on its streets. The City cannot afford to protect its citizen, safeguard its vulnerable & weak, whilst Mr Bob Diamond no doubt will continue to reside in the lap of luxury prostituting himself at his clients expense.

Mr. Diamond is awarded a bonus of £8,000,000 while down your street (if you live in the UK) nurses have had to suffer a pay freeze for the last 3 years & will have to suffer another freeze for the next year at least. To add insult to injury nurses have had ALL incremental pay rises frozen for the past 3 years & next year also.

Take a look outside your window fellow Brummies:
What do you see??
Piles of black bin liners with garbage spilling out? Recycling boxes laden with soggy newspapers, broke glass & empty cans?? The garbage collectors have had their £400 PA bonus taken away from them by the City Council......meant while Mr Diamond gets his bonus of....£8,000,000.

This is morally unjustified.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Ice and Fire

Ice and Fire
My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal'd with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.
Edmund Spenser

Saturday, 8 January 2011

David Chaytor & MP's expenses

As you might well expect people I have an opinion on the above named former member of Parliament for Bury North & on the whole issue of MP's expenses.

Its my belief that David Chayter is a fraudster-simple as that. Not content with earning a basic Member of Parliament's salary of £64,766, & expenses he then spends £22,000 on buying a property then claiming it necessary for his Parliamentary duties. Now this isn't as bad as a colleague of his who spent a few thousand quid on a duck house for his pet ducks but the morality of what David Chayter did is wrong.

However, in fairness to the man he did admit his guilt when caught out & subsequently resigned his seat (though in court he initially did not I believe). I do believe that he has been made the "whipping boy" of the public school ridden, upper class judicial system of the UK by being given a custodial prison sentence. 18 months is a light sentence but the mans future life is now in tatters. I don't believe that he should be locked up for his crime, he should pay it back-every penny & do community service with those many people less fortunate than himself.

When I was working full time in the NHS we allowed 39 pence per mile for mileage for the privilege of using our own car in the pursuit of work-ie going to doctors surgeries or to patients houses. We we also allowed £52 pa to cover 'wear & tear' of our vehicles. We had to fill in a accurate account of the journeys we made to the nearest mile each month.

If anyone were stupid enough to claim an extra mile or two & was discovered he/she would almost certainly risk losing their job, risk being struck off the nursing register as well as risking criminal prosecution.

Yet here we have 'respected' educated people falsely claiming thousands of pounds. A great number of them have gotten away with defrauding us-the very people who gave them the responsibility of representing us in Parliament. there appears to be one law for us-the working men/women, & another for the those who rule us.
Surely the salaries that MP's earn is far in excess of what living in today's society requires. OK so they need to live near the Palace of Westminster whilst Parliament is in session but why can't they either rent or buy a small flat/bedsit for the purpose? And why aren't the system of expenses checked to last penny? Everyone elses claims on the state are.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

I gotta share this...

I'm in seventh heaven people.

I generally try to subscribe to the OBE philosophy of life.
Not The Order of the British Empire (that's a laf!)- that outdated medal awarded by Lizzie to celebrities nominated by the Government, but 'Orgasm's, Beer & Eating'- not always necessarily in that particular order though.

This evening I have cooked that old Irish classic dish (& I don't mean Dana though she was/is tasty enough)) -Bacon & Cabbage. This I will served with mashed spuds mixed with chopped Scallions & drizzled with melted butter.

Holy Mother of God!! It tastes fantastic! What more could anyone want?? save the Chocolate biscuit cake I have made for pudding.

I await the homecoming of Katie with whom I will share these gastronomic delights.

W. B. Yeats. 'A Prayer For Old Age'

God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;

From all that makes a wise old man
That can be praised of all;
O what am I that I should not seem
For the song's sake a fool?

I pray -- for word is out
And prayer comes round again --
That I may seem, though I die old,
A foolish, passionate man.

me, the BBC,the local cats & the garbagemen....

I think on reflection that the late great Andy Warhol got his timing a wee bit wrong when he said that "In the future...everyone will be famous for 15 minutes..." Cos in Woolley's case it was just about 15 bloody seconds thanks to the Governments mouthpiece -AKA the BBC.
Now wot the hell am I on about?? Stick with me people & if you're sitting comfortably I'll begin....

You may, or may not know that here in Birmingham the binmen are on strike. This has resulted in piles of black plastic bin liners full of household trash lining our streets for the past 4 weeks.....wonderful! En route to post a letter yesterday I espied this fellow with a rather swanky camera & a fluffy mike at the end of our street. " Would you mind answering a few questions about the garbageman's strike?" he politely asks. "I would be delighted" I retort thinking that this would my chance to both have a rant across the airways, & to achieve Mr Warhol's belief relating to the 15 minutes of fame!
The poor camerman thus fell victim to me giving what I believe to be a composed, though I think a caustic rant about the local council & the amount I pay in Council Tax, & what I actually think of the rubbish on the streets etc whilst at the same time speaking of my support for our brothers the binmen in their struggle for justice.
I was with him for about 15 minutes!!
BUT...when my interview was aired on the BBC I was only on for barely 15 seconds!!
I was robbed gov'nor!! My place in history restrained by the mouthpiece of David (I'm alright jack!) Cameron's Government i.e. the BBC.
But its not all bad news.
The local felines are having great sport ripping open the rubbish bags & nibbling at any tasty tit bits they find. I saw one lucky ginger tom on Sunday dragging the cadaver of a Christmas turkey across the street! He gave me & the wife a sneering grimace as if to say "sod off mate this is MINE go & find yer own bag!"
But guess what??? They came & cleared our street last teatime!! The bin men, not the lucky ginger tom & his mates.
And me??? I'm applying for my 'Equity' card! Yesss......
Mr Spielberg....I'm available.