Mostly Bollogs, I'm afraid

But occasionally, a glimmer of truth.
If you find one, please let me know.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


This is in response to @LesyleyAlmost on Twitter, who asked

" You wouldn't deny assistance to your neighbours, would you?"

The neighbours in this case are the Irish, and the assistance is a huge loan.

The answer is this:

If my neighbour had spunked any money he might have had on a horse called the Euro in the 3.45 at Lisbon Treaty, and then expected ME to borrow money off someone else to help dig him out of the shit, then "No".

Thursday, 9 December 2010


A Twit for whom I have a secret admiration quoth today

"Sad state of affairs when people are willing to protest about what affects them directly but not those people who are really vulnerable."

Yes, it is. It really is.

People are egocentric. All people. It is ingrained in the human psyche and will never change. Yes, you get the odd Mother Thresa and Dalai Lama. And Pope. Every know and again someone gets an "Epiphany" (wrong word, but everyone knows what it means). The Road to Damascus moment.

A lot of people I know give to charities. So do I. As an when.

There is a movement called "Labour" who see the world as unfair. Where there is still a class system. Where there is inequality. Where people "have not".

When things get tough, and the poorest suffer, in times such as those in which we now live, people gravitate towards the caring, sharing promises.

Everybody should have, according to their needs, from each, according to their abilities. That's the maxim.

That means that my kids can go without their piano lessons and their singing lessons. I will give that to the pot. The pot can then pay for somebody else's kids to have their lessons.

I shall get rid of my car. I don't need a car that big. I'll sell it, probably worth £6K now. I'll buy a really small one. Probably cost me £5K. I can put that change in the pot. Then the pot can pay for someone else to have a car. Or a house for a month.

Then I will give up cider. I'll put that money in the pot. The pot can pay for someone to have a new hip, so they don't have to go without stuff and pay for it themselves.

Next, I shall give up buying myself anything, like clothes. I can wear clothes for lots of years before they are so full of holes I have to use them to wash the small car I now have. All that money can go into a pot, and it can pay for people to retire earlier, and have money, so they can pay for clothes, and cars, and cider and music lessons for their grandchildren.

I shall feel better.

Now, I can't see a hole in this argument.

Can you?

Off I go then.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Slightly too long for a tweet, not really long enough for a blog.

Look. There are two sorts of students. One sort who want to do some bloody work and get some sort of useful qualification. The other sort, who want to wank about for three years and for some godforsaken reason think that not only do they have a right to do so whilst I pay for them, but also that they will magically find a job as the CEO of Google with a degree in toenail-cutting.


Now, the first group. You stand over there. OK?

The second group, you stand over there. Look hard at the first group. Look hard at them, because any minute they are going to realise that the reason why they're going to have to pay a shitload of money is that there isn't enough to go round.

First group. Ready? Off you go.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


There. You can make your own Christmas Card now.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Before I am shot down in flames, let me say that I wish Paul J Chambers every success and more in his quest to shake off the ridiculous conviction for threatening to blow Robin Hood airport sky high.

I've never been an accountant. I know some people who have though, and, when pressed, they will tell of the training they've been given. It involves things like checking numbers to make sure that no bad deeds are being done, that things are on target, that boxes are ticked. It's a little more complicated than that, but not much.

None of them, so far as I can tell, have had any real training in the development and deployment of any quantities of plastic explosive, timers, triggers, remote detonation devices or the like. Apparently it isn't part of the job description.

Now, I know how to make a sizeable bomb. I also have enough equipment right here to design and develop a device which COULD blow Robin Hood airport sky high. I don't have the inclination to make such a thing at the moment, and I have a real problem with maiming and killing innocent people. I don't know Paul personally but he seems a good sort, so I'm pretty sure he doesn't have the inclination or the motive, either.

Sometimes I get cross. It's a by-product of living in a world that has changed so much since I was a lad, where we built our own bikes out of stuff we got from the landfill site, and played around on building sites and stuff. Where we built our first piano from a couple of scrapped broken ones because we didn't have loads of money. Where I got a box of wood and a saw for one of my birthdays and was chuffed to bits. I still have the saw, which as I remember was the first thing I ever got brand new. Where we made our own fireworks out of weedkiller and sugar, and where Plod came round to check whether I'd really bought that amount of weedkiller for my Dad, or whether I was up to no good. Which I was. Where I got a bollocking. Often.

When I get cross I tend to say what I think. I try not to upset people, apart from those who desperately need it. I have been known to utter such garbage as "Bloody Luton needs blowing up and rebuilding", for instance. I doubt if I could work round the logistics of actually blowing it up, in its entirety. Perhaps I need to try harder.

Anyway, the upshot is that Paul Chambers probably couldn't blow up a banger at a bonfire party. Most people wouldn't have a clue.

Therefore, what he said was bollocks and had no stature in intent nor in ability. Therefore none in law. For the spirit of the law, as any fule or skoolboy kno, is what it's all about.

I read yesterday that the next appeal would involve a "high-flying barrister". That means that some fancy overpaid fancy-dressed chap will be wordsmithing and trying to beat the judiciary with words and cleverness and trickery and the minutiae of the law.

And THAT, chaps, is wrong, so very wrong. That means that, regardless of the outcome of the appeal (and I hope beyond hope that Paul is acquitted and that the previous two judges, the security man, the Plod and the CPS all eat shit), the law has already won.

This case should be revisited at the highest level and this travesty of justice reversed immediately. And Paul should be compensated. Not by the public coffers, by the endless collection of idiots involved, any ONE of whom could have stopped this before it started.

Friday, 12 November 2010


I'm not a lawyer.

One reason is that I'm thick. The main one is that it would bore me rigid.

Here is some law, interpretation, and common sense.

You are reading this. You chose to.

Paul Chambers tweeted something which no sensible person would have found threatening nor menacing.

I didn't see it. I wasn't following him. Bet you didn't either.

An anal security chap from East Midlands Airport who was on his day off spotted it. Because he looked for it. That is so sad. He then alerted the Plod, presumably because he was a small-minded little cunt, and the rest is history.

I tweet, and blog. What I'm typing now is between me and me until I press this button. However, these characters are going through my LAN, onto my router, up to my SP and from there into the ether. Google is watching as I type, because autosave is on.

This is on a public network. You won't read this until I want you to.

I just typed something. It was grossly offensive and menacing. Google saw it. They should have called Plod. They haven't, have they?

Because it's between me and me. But they can see it. GCHQ (hello!) can see it.

I selected that bit and just deleted it. Google still have it. GCHQ still have it.

It was REALLY offensive. And menacing as fuck. It involved a famous public building, a dildo filled with semtex and a black one-legged lesbian muslim nun in a wheelchair. Something for everyone, right there.

Did you see it? You should have done. Those electrons were all over the internet, right there.

If you read this, you chose to. If you read what I tweet, you choose to, or you choose to read what other people might retweet, from me.

If you like, you can search Twitter, Google or what the hell you like for news about airports, bombs, carnage, anything.

It's up to you.

It is not public. Public is the telly doing it right in between Strictly and the X-factor. And, FFS, they are exempt from this fucking stupid, badly thought-out law.

Incidentally, the judge in this case (see Daily Mash for details) could have put right the life of an innocent victim of gross misuse of yet another one of the Blair fiascos. But she didn't. And for that, I sincerely hope she is ashamed. Very, very ashamed of herself. I couldn't sleep at night if I had ruined someone's life on a point of principle viz., it's the LAW and it's MINE and I can DO WHAT I WANT, which is exactly what she did.

Now, can one of you decent bloggers please come up with something?


Monday, 8 November 2010


I'm not sure why I'm writing this.

I don't like horror films and stuff, not at all. I thought the Exorcist was quite funny, and Shaun of the Dead, but I don't like proper scary stuff.

Just that someone twat, or is it tweeted? On the subject of paperwork. "Returns". Forms. Lots of them, red tape, bullshit, so the STATE can determine how much they can bleed you for. It isn't the STATE. It's the chosen troughers.

It reminded me. Some wag had posted something on Twitter recently about an Iranian who, because of Sharia law, had been sentenced to cross-amputation without anaesthetic. That's one leg, and the opposite arm. And like a berk I clicked on the link and got halfway through before I realised I shouldn't be reading it.

The bit that did my head was where he was "invited" into a room lined with polythene sheeting. There were beardy ragheads present, like high priests. Sharpening saws and stuff. Nightmare fodder.

I got as far as "make it quick", which is apparently what he said to the cunts, sorry, priests. Following which, I will leave to your imagination.

Luckily I live in Britain, where the only carnage the "law" inflicts on you is to spend what could be productive time filling in forms, acting as an unpaid administrator and/or tax collector. So it can go into the bottomless pit that they call society.  You can change that by paying some accountant/solicitor/other who will milk you instead.

I wouldn't let someone cut my hand/foot/leg/dick off without a proper fight. Really. Sheep, lamb, hung.

And I'm not going to give my hard-earned to them either, on the same basis.

That is all.

Oh, by the way, turns out that the amputee was innocent. "Whoops" doesn't really cut it, does it?

I *am* allowed to say "raghead", am I not?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


This is just plain daft. Bombs, from Yemen with love.

The news claims that the FBI/CIA/MI6/Plod are examining these bombs. Knobwits with quite posh accents are interviewed. They don't know when the bombs were going to go off, nor where. Nor why, it seems.

And then the startling revelation that these bombs are built into toner cartridges.

I am not a bomber. Nor am I in the spooks. But I know.

And now, toner cartridges have entered that long list of things even more dangerous than cigarettes. UPS and Fedex are no longer trusted in Yemen.

Why does MI6 stand for Ministry of Intelligence?

I presume I am not the only one who knows when are where these were supposed to go off, how they would be detonated, why they were in toner cartridges?

Or am I the clever one? I don't think so.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I have been avidly watching the "CUTS".

I have worked for smaller companies, such as one which turned over around £10m p.a., where the IT hardware budget was £3k. Yes, a year. You can buy a heck of a lot with that. We never needed to go over budget, and that included supplies such as laser toners.

I have worked for medium-sized companies. Ones whose turnover was around £100m p.a. In those, the IT hardware budget was more than ten times that of the smaller ones. A heck of a lot more. In the order of £3m. Because you HAD to have "servers" (a server in this context is a PC, for those who think they know differently). You had to have dual redundant PSUs and RAID and all sorts of other cock which mainly didn't work. And spares. And they HAD to come from huge companies, because they did, that's all. And of course they had to be at least 64-bit because 64 is bigger than 32. Even though most programs only ran on 32-bit and ran slower on 64, because they did. And all IT hardware last for two years and then it goes bang. It does.

I have worked for huge companies. Billions of pounds. £xbn. The IT hardware budget in these companies would pay for a decent-sized battleship plus crew and well-stocked bar. Really.

So, what's the analogy? Well, this. Everything I'm hearing has the word "cost" in it.

Here are some examples:

  • A battleship costs £x
  • A mobility scooter costs £x
  • It costs £x to house a family of four
  • It costs £x to bring up a child
  • It costs £x to provide a bowl of rice to an African goat
That sort of cost.

And here is what is so, so wrong.

It doesn't. It costs what you are prepared to pay. If a submarine, you know, a common or garden one, that can carry a Trident, costs £23,000,000,000, that's what it costs. If company X makes such a submarine, and nobody else really does that sort of submarine, someone will pay that. Especially if it isn't their money.

But in a smaller company, someone, such as I, will ask "how much?". And it will then cost a lot less. A LOT.

So, peoples, NO. I would love to take the piss and charge what I like. But I can't, because I don't sell to idiots. If I tried it on, I would be dumped, and someone else would jump in.

Wake up. That is all.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Remember the olde pubbe song, "Old King Cole"?

Fiddly-diddly-dee, diddly-dee, went the fiddlers?

Here's one, just from my timeline on Twitter. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always rely on Paul's support.

Let us have a grant, have a grant, say the scientists;
Money for a house, for a house, say the homeless;
Money for my child, for my child, say the parents;
Let me smoke indoors, smoke indoors, say the smokers;
Let me shoot a fox, shoot a fox, say the hunters;
Let me learn for nowt, learn for nowt, say the students;
Give me great big ships, great big ships, say the Navy;
What about the planes, 'bout the planes, say the Air Force;
Give it all to us, all to us, say the EU;
Spunk it up the wall, up the wall, say the Quangos;
We've had the lot, had the lot, say the bankers;
Claim what I want, what I want, say the troughers.

And the refrain ...

                   let me raise more tax, raise more tax, says the gov'ment.

Feel free to add your own. It might catch on.

Know what I think? You can all fuck off. Earn it. Just earn it. I have to. And you're not having mine. Not unless I think you deserve it.

Monday, 11 October 2010


A Twitster yesterday twoth that she had, unaided and unabetted by any male, successfully assembled a piece of flatpack furniture.

Git that I am, I casually mentioned that my nine year-old girl makes these. Sometimes with a bit of help from her eleven year-old sister, very occasionally with a bit of guidance from me.

But I think that anything creative is a good thing. Especially trying to decipher the pictures which are meant to be the equivalent of multi-lingual instructions on the cheap. Trying to line up the mis-drilled holes. Wondering why there is at least one screw/bolt/dowel left over.

The Twitster in question was my MP, Ms @LouiseBagshawe. She writes books. Not books I'd read - they're called chicklit. Sort of girly books. Like Sparkles. I don't know what book-writers get paid, but I should imagine that they get more than the girl who works behind the till in the One-Stop. I expect, though I don't know, that Ms Bagshawe, MP, could afford to get a bed from a posh shop and get it delivered. And probably get someone to make it up for here every day as well.

I disagree with nearly everything Louise says. She's a staunch supporter of the smoking ban, she must have voted for continued carnage in Afghanistan, as she wasn't one of the ten who voted against, she's a feminist ... I like feminists, actually, I think they're cute.

Ms Bagshawe went to Oxford Uni, so she's probably posh/lucky/well-orf. I've spoken to her though, and she doesn't sound that posh to me, she sounds quite normal, and quite nice too. I think she's got her head screwed on and her heart's in the right place.

And she's made flatpack furniture. That tells me a lot. That tells me she's real. And I'm proud of her (but don't tell her, obv).

You know what I'd REALLY like to see? Remember the programme "The Generation Game" where the contestants had to do some silly task, demonstrated to them first by an "expert"? I'd like to see Cambo, Cleggy, Miliballs et al assemble an Ikea chest of drawers.

Because I don't think they'd get past opening the box.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Look up Spiv on t'internetz. Google it. It will tell all.

Then I'll tell you what one is, and why Vince doesn't want one.

A Spiv is not someone who doesn't work. A spiv is someone who works bloody hard, actually. DelBoy Trotter would be a Spiv. Private Walker in "Dad's Army" was one.

What they do is to see market opportunities that for some reason or another other people fail to exploit. That may be because they're seen to be immoral (such as selling Jew's teeth), because they're illegal (such as selling cannabis), because they're not available (such as selling parachute silk in the war) or simply because you didn't think of it first.

Vince describes bankers as Spivs. Maybe so. But they're not. The reason is that the common factor with all Spivs is that they don't "engage with society", which is a polite way of saying that they may deal mainly in cash and therefore may not declare everything that changes hands to Messrs Revenue and Customs.

And why, the fuck, should they, I ask in all seriousness?

If I have a job, and I earn a pound, the government gets some. They may get as much as 50p. I then have a window cleaner, because I don't like heights. And he charges me money. If he charges me a pound, I have to pay him two of the pounds I earned, leaving me fuckall, and the government gets another (as much as) 50p. The window cleaner now has 50p, I have the square root of jack shit, and the government has £1.50. Explain why that's right. Go on.

So, ladies and gentlemen, become a Spiv. You know it makes sense.

NOW do you see why Vince doesn't like them? Because the don't pay his wages.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


I'm trying to explain to someone how non-preemptive multitasking operating systems work.

Windows used to be one. It is now, apparently, preemptive, and if you believe that you believe most things.

What it means is that the whole issue is run by the System, and when the System feels like it, it hands over "control" to a specific function to do a small and insiginficant job, and expects control to be returned to it immediately after that task has finished.

A preemptive one differs in that whilst the specific function is still mid-operation, the System can grab control back and go off and do something else.

It's quite simple.

Oddly, this also describes the System which we call the State.

Every now and again, when it's all gone tits-up, it needs re-booting.

It's the only way.

Thursday, 16 September 2010


There are somewhere near 60,000,000 people in Britain, so I'm told. Might be more, might be less.

Huge number, isn't it? If you got 60m penny chews and laid them end-to-end, they'd stretch across 75,000 cricket pitches and cost £600,000. That's a statistic. It's there to put things into perspective.

The government is responsible for these 60m people. It's a huge job. Or is it?

Even if you could put all the information about each person inside a penny chew, think of the room it would take up?

Er, actually, you can. And quite quickly too. And it's not the size of a penny chew, it's teeny-weeny.

I have a system here, which I wrote when I was pissed 12 years ago. It puts the equivalent of all the information necessary to know about a person onto a thing called a database round about 10 times a second.

In fact, it puts it onto two simultaneously. Maintaining referential integrity and creating logs for recovery purposes, if anyone knows WTF that means.

It could quite easily put it onto 10 or 100 if it wanted to, but we were a bit skint at the time.

This database thingy runs on things called computers. One of them is 12 years old. The other packed up once so is only 8 years old. Neither cost more than £200.

See all these statistics?

Here's another one. If I put all the information about everybody on these things at the same rate as I do now, it would take 69 days, or 10 weeks, to get all the information on.

And it wouldn't even get warm. The only reason I do this about ten times a second is that I haven't got enough decent information more often than that. It would work much faster. And still not get warm.

And it would cope with dozens of people accessing it simultaneously which is all that's required. And given something worth more than £200 and a bit of airconditioning it could do considerably better than that.

There's a thing called Twitter. It has a few more than 60m users. And some of the noisy sods are plastering it with information at an obscene input rate. Bizarrely, it manages to tell anyone who's interested what these people have said, too.

Now, Mr Government, particularly Mr HMRC, which band of muppets built the piece of shit that still doesn't work? How much did it cost? Anyone looked carefully at the procurement officer's new garden shed/swimming pool/mansion on Venus?

I think we should be told. Or let me do it. I'll do it for a new barbeque and a holiday in Portugal. In a month.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Well, I remember 1966. Like it was yesterday. "They think it's all over ..."

The last time we (the English) won the World Cup. I could name the team. One great midfielder, a Mr Nobby Stiles, is selling his World Cup medal. He's not doing it because he's skint, he's doing it because he's concerned that when he dies things may not go according to plan and his kids won't get equity.

I would like to see that medal kept by Nobby.

Is there some way we could club together and buy the medal, so Nobby keeps it until his death? Perhaps it could go to a Museum where people could see it, afterwards. Then everything is hunky dory.

Perhaps someone, someone quintessentially English, with a heck of a lot of followers, and possibly a footie fan, such as Stephen Fry, could set up a PayPal for the cash. If the goal (excuse the pun) was realised, and the medal not bought, then perhaps the money could go to charity. I'm not good on charities, perhaps someone else could look at that. Maybe the Bobby Moore foundation.

What do we reckon, girls?


Here's an idea.

Empty your own bin. I do, because I have to. We don't get a collection. I put everything in a bag and take it to the tip. Well, half a dozen bags, because I'm anally retentive when it comes to rubbish.

Cans (lots of them). Bottles (quite a few). Cardboard. Paper. Plastic. Sundry recyclables. Rubbish (not very much).

Takes seconds. The tip is on the way to somewhere. Most tips are.

I also mow a grass verge for an older lady. I do this because if it gets scruffy people park on it, and fuck it up. The council mow it using a stupid machine, about every few months, and don't do it well. So I spend about ten minutes a week doing it properly, with a lawn mower with a roller, and a strimmer. It's a work of art. It's shamed many others in the road to doing theirs, and a couple of old'uns have asked me to do theirs too, and bung me the odd bottle of wine (which I don't need, but how can I refuse?).

Just saying. Because it will be worth it when he bin men turn up, and the vergemowers. Just for the looks on their faces. Take pics.

And they might think about striking, but then, of course, they might not.

I know what you're thinking. What about when the tip operatives decide to strike and close the tip? Simples! Just take your rubbish to the council offices and leave it there. Or to the police station. Give them something to do. Or find your local Labour candidate's house and put them, carefully and neatly, in his garden.

Just a thought.

Pre-emptive strike

Will we ever have a gay or minority ethnic Prime Minister?

Liam Rhodes (@LiamRhodes on Twitter) will be writing today on this subject. I suspect he has an agenda. I, on the other hand, being a 6' caucasian male with no disabilities apart from a healthy mistrust of the State, do not.

I don't care. The last two Prime Ministers we had were warmongering media whores, one of whom was quite clever and had more than half of the country fooled for nearly ten years (that didn't include me), the other being a phone-chucking megalomaniac who was ceritifiably insane, which was, luckily for all of us, the downfall of Fabian Labour.

At the moment we have half a Prime Minister who's an old Etonian. I don't care which school he went to. The other half of the Prime Minister had the other half over a barrel and, again luckily for us, didn't go with the phone-chucker. So things could be worse.

Unfortunately, the Etonian, apart from having his strings pulled by the other half and concentrating his efforts on AV/PR and fixed-term Parliaments, none of which I care about, is distracted from running the country properly because of his infatuation with Big Society and determination to rob any bank account that he reckons belongs to the state, so that makes him Not Much Better. His banker and friend from Eton, Mr Osborne, is intent on reducing the deficit (which needs doing), so that gives the Labour Drones something to moan about. Which is nice. I look forward to seeing if there is actually anything, anything at all, that the state does for me, and which I might miss if it disappears. Such as having the grass verge mown.

This is the trouble, though, with having Prime Ministers who have a single-issue fixation, like Big Society.

"Right, Marv, you prattler. Get to the point!" I hear you both cry.

"Here is the point." I answer, eagerly.

I don't give a fig whether the Prime Minister is gay, black, green, catholic or a lesbian muslim nun in a wheelchair. I really don't. Some of my best friends are lesbian muslim nuns in wheelchairs.

But what I do know is this: if someone who is overtly gay, black, green, muslim, catholic or comes from Venus, they will always have that issue at the front of their minds. And they will spend a lot of time fighting for it, overtly or covertly.

That is NOT what the country needs, nor what the country wants.

Over to you, Liam.

Monday, 13 September 2010


MPs are moaning about IPSA. I can see why. I have a better idea; it is fair, and based on the private sector model, which works.

This is how it operates.

MPs do work, and in the course of their work they have to buy stuff. Being good MPs, they have credit cards because they are worthy. Most things can be bought using these credit cards.

When they buy things, they put on a form, electronically, what they bought and why they think they should have it paid for by the firm.

If the expense is small, like a stamp, for instance, or perhaps a phone call, it is ratified by a couple of their immediate bosses, these being the people who voted for them. So if it is less than (say) £1, only half a dozen people need do this.

If it is a significant expense, say £10, then perhaps twenty people need to vote for it.

If it is a HUGE expense, say £100, then perhaps a hundred or so constituents need to decide that it is justifiable.

In the case of stupid claims, say for a duck house, removal of wisteria, coffee in a place such as Starbucks, or Christmas cards, MPs would have to find a load of people who were either certifiably insane or very misguided, which would be unlikely so, sadly, they would have to pay out of their own pockets, much like the rest of us do.

I have spent quite a lot of time working out this new system which I believe to be right and proper, fair, and just.

I hope you like it.

Let me change your mind

My mind is mostly made up.

However, thanks to my ability to listen to other people, and the fact that my mind is more open than most, and that I still believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, it changes. Now and again. I have a couple of favourite twits whose views are somewhat opposed to mine and every now and again they tweet something which makes me sit up and listen.

I won't embarrass them by saying who they are. I suspect they know.

I think it's important that people are receptive to other people's ideas and opinions. Parliament is supposed to be a place where our representatives, that is the MPs we voted in, listen to other MPs in debates. Once those MPs have said their pieces, our MP votes either for the motion being debated, or against it, or abstains because he doesn't care either way, or because he doesn't understand. Or because he hasn't bothered to turn up.

Am I about right so far? I suspect that this is supposed to be the way it works.

But it DOESN'T work like that. They have whips and stuff, and direct MPs to vote the way they want them to. This is when I like rebels, ones who have the courage to vote against the party line. People like the famous Dennis Skinner, beast of Bolsover, whose party I despise but whose tenacity I admire.

I have been in Portcullis House, a building opposite the Houses of Parliament. I saw some people there, people whom I would have cheerfully shot, but since I don't agree with humiliating people in public, I left the elephant gun at home. I'm not sure what I was doing there, in an MPs office, when he was not my MP and was (and still is) a Labour one. Subsequently I have discovered that he is one of the biggest troughers, too.

Anyway, I was sitting there yawning whilst my colleague was gabbling away to this chap, and I was watching the telly, which was more interesting. I don't know if it was CCTV or the BBC, I suspect the former. The sound was off, so I had no idea what was being debated. There seemed to be very few people in the chamber, which was odd as there are supposed to be about 650 of them, somewhere.

And then a bell went. A bell like a very olde-fashioned doorbell. And on the screen, a little picture of a bell appeared. "Bollocks," thought I. Fire. Still, that means we can do a runner, and I can have a fag, and it's beer time. But no. The bell meant that there was a vote, and they needed some numbers. I don't know who works the bell, whether it's a party bell or a Parliament bell or whether it's on a timer so it goes off every hour or something so the proletariat think they're getting value for money. But up we get, and are politely told to bugger off, which suited me. We made our way downstairs, my mate still gabbling on to the anonymous MP, to the tunnel. The tunnel goes from Portcullis House to the Houses of Parliament, but we didn't go through the tunnel, we left the building and made our way to the nearest pub, which is what I'm best at.

Mr MP explained that the bell meant that it was time to vote. Whilst the debate was going on, he never once looked at the telly so, even if he COULD lip-read (which I expect he can because all MPs have super powers), he had NO IDEA what the debaters had said.

So then he voted. To get the numbers up.

Someone who knows lots about how Parliament works will now explain to me what this is all about. Won't they?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Superstring theory, P-Branes, and God.

I couldn't think of anything to write about, so I chose something dull and pointless. And, incidentally, something about which I know next to nothing.

A few years ago, Dr Prof (Emiritus) Stephen Hawking dictated a book called "A Brief History of Time". Not a bad book at all. Went into some stuff about cosmology. Easy stuff, that everyone could understand. Black holes and exciting things like that. Event horizons. Remarkable drawings of toruses (tori?) and where light goes when space bends.

At the end of the book, Hawking indicates that there is some sort of God, who was/is/will be responsible for the Big Bang, when a great big pile of not much turned into an even bigger pile of hydrogen, which got very hot, and turned itself into helium, then argon, neon, nitrogen, oxygen, berylium, strontium 90, uranium, McDonald's Big Mac and Fries, Nectar Points and, eventually, people.

Every schoolboy knows that the universe is expanding, and that the further away you get from the middle (I don't understand this bit, for I don't know exactly where the middle is) the faster it expands. Everybody knows, also, that the speed of light is the only constant, and that the outside bits of the universe are expanding approximately twice as fast as that. Which is clearly cobblers.

So, I can understand this. Even the guitarist from Queen can. Jolly fun.

But, near the end of the this book, Hawking goes into explaining string theory. This, in itself, is not too difficult to understand. But in order for "what the fuck is happening" to fit the theory, it needs a bit more embellishment. Superstring theory. P-Branes. Vibrating wotsits that have to purr around a good half-dozen dimensions to work at all, and in at least 26 to work properly.

Fair enough, I say. At this point, I sort of give up. I can work in dimensions, in the same way as I can work with the imaginary number i, even though it isn't a real thingy.

The last sentence of this book finishes: "we will know the mind of God".

No, we won't, Stevie Boy. No. I knew that at the time. But NOW, Mr Hawking has come up with another theory, which is based entirely on the last theory, except that he has got a huge hole in it.

Now, a chap called Ptolemy, who was a famous mathematician and astronomer in Greece (or wherever he was from, I don't do research), a few thousand years ago, worked out that all the planets, and the sun, went round the earth. Fair. He was standing on the earth, and we are egocentric. If you're not, let me know, and I'll explain why you're wrong.

He spent a lot of time outside doing plotting of where the planets were, relative to him, and found that they were not entirely in proper orbits. Proper being where he would've liked them to be. So he invented all sorts of constants and bodges and kludges to put them right. He was hailed a hero.

Hawking, and all of the clever chaps, would like everything to fit into their model. They would have liked to have a GUT (Grand Unified Theory) of everything, explaining why everything does what everything does. But it doesn't go like that. It DOES, however, if you invent dimensions, and try to shove the results into those frameworks. It DOES.

So, sadly, the latest theory has been born. Trust me, there will be another one in my lifetime. If not many more. When the observed data won't fit, the boundaries will change, another squiggle will be invented, and Yay! It will all fit again.

Look. It is what it is. I don't need to know any more. And you clever bods probably don't know very much more than me in the grand scheme of things.

What we DON'T need, at this cycle in the development of "I've got a God and he's better than your one so we're going to start a fucking WAR" humanity, is someone like you agreeing with the prick Dawkins and starting yet ANOTHER bloody spate of man-against-man stupidity.

So I won't be buying your new book.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Stay with me here, you'll be thinking you're reading the wrong blog.

A week or so ago, I needed to get a printed circuit board made. It's too complicated for me to do myself, and it's four-sided so I wouldn't know where to start.

I was recommended a firm called PCB-Pool (God know why they're called that) who could do the job quite cheaply, as long as I don't mind waiting about a week.

I took matey's advice, and now I understand why he recommended them.

A chap rang me to ask a couple of questions, and it was a good job he did.

Within a day, I was sent a .PDF file showing me the masks, as generated by them.

A couple of days later, I was sent Tin Strip pictures.

Another couple of days, and I received UV curing photographs, then Surface Finish.

And now I have a tracking number for the delivery, which is now in the depot in Cork awaiting its next movement to England, and thence to me!

"Right, Marvo, very interesting," I hear you say, "and your point is?"

And here is my point.

I like information. I don't NEED to know what is happening with my board. I don't need to know what they're doing today, or whether they've even started it. But I LIKE to know. It's INTERESTING. It won't get here any quicker, but it's like when you boil the kettle. The little light goes on (if you have a little light). After a short while, you hear the noise of the bubbles rising from the element. If you have a transparent kettle, you see the bubbles too. Shortly afterwards., the noise changes to the big bubbly noise of nearly boiling, and then you can have your tea/coffee/gravy. A watched kettle DOES boil.

If I'm waiting for a train, and the sign says 12.42 when the train was due at 12.36, it's 6 minutes late. I can work that out. The train might come soon. It might not. It might be cancelled, or it might have fallen off the track, or the driver might have driven the wrong way and it might be in Birmingham. And I am now seriously disgruntled. However, if the sign says 12.42, and the 12.36 is expected at 12.57, then although I am slightly pissed off that I'm not halfway to London by now, I don't really mind because I know it's coming and I've only got 14 minutes left (yes, I know you think it's 15 minutes, but it ticked over to 12.43 while I was typing that bit).

See what I mean? It might only be me. I doubt it, because I wouldn't have thought that the PCB people did this JUST for me. I don't think that East Midlands Trains put that system in just for me, nor do I think they did it for their own benefit. My suspicion is that there was another reason. Customer Service. Look after people. Tell them what's going on.

Because if you DON'T do that, then people will go somewhere else for their service. To someone who DOES tell them what's going on. Someone who treats them as they should be treated. Someone who realises that we are the customer, and we need to be looked after. Need INFORMATION.

Don't we, The Coalition? Because if we don't get it, we might just go somewhere else for our service.

Monday, 6 September 2010


I have been reading history books. Some of them are deadly dull but there are some exciting bits.

I like the stories, for that's what they often are, about when the underdogs decided they'd had enough.

Oddly, when this has happened in the past, people have been pecked at, slowly but surely. The powers-that-be, or should it be the powers-that-were, had niggled away for a long time until there was nothing left but for the poor old blighters to cry "ENOUGH".

And in most cases, the oligarchy, the inbred cousin-shagging double-dealing troughsnouters thought they were all safe and cosy in their beds.

Nero. He fiddled. It's not clear whether he was playing the violin or himself. Or perhaps someone else? But Rome burned.

Marie Antoinette. Laissez-les manger brioche, she cried. Let them eat a rich, eggy bread. Or cake. Didn't matter much, the peasants, revolting as they were, lopped off her head.

Kerensky. What do you mean, who? You thought it was Tsar Nick, didn't you? Nope. Kerensky, leader of the Provo Government of Russia. The plebs, again, got the hump and, shouting "Aux armes, citoyens!" (I don't know any Russian), stormed the Winter Palace.

And every time the poor victims thought they could sleep soundly in their beds. Because they had the power, the money, the army. But at the end of the day, it just doesn't cut it.

Mr Bliar said of the pending shoe-chucking party at Waterstones that "The police are wonderful - they'll do anything we ask them".

In American history, when the Lone Ranger was all of sudden surrounded by Indians, he turned to his faithful friend Tonto, and pleaded "What are we going to do now?"

Tonto replied "What do you mean 'we', white man?"

I think some of us have had enough. And I think there are very many more of us than our esteemed oligarchy think.

Lock your doors, won't you?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Failed your GCSEs?

Think about becoming a roofer, plumber, block paver, electrician, mechanic, landscape gardener, locksmith, tyre fitter, window cleaner ...

No, I'm not taking the piss.

I'm an engineer. I don't do much engineering now - I deal with plant (big noisy plant, not wisteria) and make the electronic things and computery things work.I invent stuff to make things work better, faster, cheaper. And I refuse to do things which take away jobs. So I'm not rich, nor posh. I like my job.

I'm in this job because I failed exams, mightily and with flying colours. I am crap at them. I taught myself English properly after I left school. Same with maths. I started in the seventies working shifts while all my mates went to Uni. I was well-off. I drank a lot, and still do. I ate Chinese and Indian takeaways. I still do.

I will have a go at anything. Most people won't. They need those tradesmen.

And here is where I think the problem is.

You're at a "do". Someone asks you what you do. You say "I'm an electrician." They say "Oh." You say "I'm a doctor." They say "Wow! Really? You must be dead clever."

I have respect for all those tradesmen up there. I bloody KNOW how hard it is to do these things, especially when there's a curve ball in the way. Most people SHOULD know how to wire up a light. Should. They don't. I do. But I also know when someone thinks they can bang a couple of lights under their kitchen cupboards, that some poor sod has to get a switch set into a wall, chase away at least the plaster and probably some brickwork, which will have a concrete lintel in it, plus some water pipes, then have to lift the upstairs carpet, floorboards, drill or chase out beams, route the cables behind the units, put in false bottoms, make good, replace plaster and redecorate ... it's a BASTARD. It's skilled. Most people won't even think about doing it. If they tried they'd fuck it up.

So. Failed some GCSEs? Not Uni material? Nor am I. Look at some proper stuff. Real work. See if you can get an apprenticeship. Work for what someone can afford to pay you, get into tech (that's college, not Uni, and you learn better stuff there, not a load of theoretical bollocks). And if they ask you to make the tea, make the tea. Until you can make tea properly. And watch the pro work. You'll learn. And yes, the guvnor WILL send you down to the wholesalers to ask for "a long weight". And a tin of elbow grease, and a pack of skyhooks.

And when you become a sparky, a plumber, a welder, you say "Actually, I'm an electrician/plumber/welder/whatever". With pride. because you can fucking DO something. Something useful. And the graduate suit will NEED you. And you just wait until you get your own apprentice.

You'll be doing the job in your sleep. And people will be amazed at your skill.

Remember this little gem ...

Chap goes for a job in Homebase. Undermanager says "here's a broom, sweep the warehouse floor." Chap answers "Actually, I'm a graduate." Undermanager says "Sorry, didn't realise. Here, give it to me, I'll show you how."

Monday, 23 August 2010


Seems like there's a lot of pisstaking going on of the Peacecamp-stylee #climatecamp

I quite liked the idea of peace camps. They were a demonstration against war.

War is gay. War sucks donkey balls. War has no place in civilised society.

Peace camps were cool, once. The general idea of them was to sit around with like-minded hippies, playing Bob Dylan songs, badly (as that's the way Dylan always played them), on guitars, in the key of G (because that's an easy one), and go "1, 2, 3 what are we fighting for?" and get your tits out (if you're a hippie chick and not a hippy guy).

That's fact. I've been to more than one. Great fun. Sadly, the same people who tend to go to these things are also the people who tend to want to save the cow, so you have to eat falafel (which is shite) in pitta bread (which is shite) and you are perpetually hungry and so desperate for meat you'd eat a McDonald's burger.

Anyway, I doubt whether they ever did any good. Iraq happened. Afghanistan happened, to name but two.

But if you're of that persuasion and you really think it'll do any good, then good luck to you. I have long since given up on public opinion having ANY effect at all on what governments decide to do or not do.

But if there is any possibility, however remote, that any of this action really can make a difference, however small, may I suggest something?

Carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, climate change. The evidence for any of these being interlinked in any way at all is scant at best. Any schoolboy can work out that burning millions of tons of coal isn't a great idea, for it pollutes the atmosphere with black muck. Look at any Victorian building in London that hasn't been cleaned for a while for a demonstration. Any schoolboy can work out that driving around cities in huge cars, vans and lorries isn't a great idea, for it pollutes the atmosphere with grey muck. Look at any building in London that hasn't been cleaned for a while for a demonstration.

So have a go at China. Any of the up-and-coming countries whose turn it is to rape the planet in the same way as the Noble Briton has done for the last few hundred years.

Nobody else is worth having a pop at. Nobody else is close. And China, sad to say, isn't listening.

But, rather than giving up, think about this. There may or may not be climate change. If there is, it may or may not be a natural cyclic effect. If it isn't, it may or may not be caused by emissions from cars, vans, trucks, factories. It may even be primarily caused by having too many CO2-emitting lifeforms (that's people) living in too small a space.

If you want to save the planet, folks, you need to cause a major attitude shift. In people. It's been tried before.

Here are some of the organisation who have tried it before. You may have heard of some of them. Many have been discredited as being monster raving loonies, or a festering barrel of bad stuff. Most of them did it for real, right reasons. Some indubitably did not.

  • The Church of England
  • The Roman Catholic Church
  • Christian Aid
  • Band Aid
  • The Labour Party
  • The Green Party
  • Amnesty International
  • Greenpeace
Heard of them? Why do you think you can make any difference at all?

Now, start again. Sod your falafel. Sod your pitta. Sod your paper plates, plastic knives and forks, your fifteen cubic metres of litter.

Address the real problem. Those who speak on your behalf (right), those who promised some sort of change (right), those who are supposed to be running the show. Those who perpetrate war. Those whose insidious mechanism infiltrates everything and harbours criminals, such as policemen who beat up and kill newspaper vendors (where did that story go?)

And, above all, take the time to tell me why I'm wrong. Comments below ...

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


T-Mobile, the mobile service provider, have got a hole in their procedure you could drive a bus through.

It's what we in the trade call a "Catch-22", whereby the left hand not only doesn't know what the right hand's doing, but also doesn't know what it's doing itself.

T-Mobile provide a dongle data service for people like me, who neither have nor want a telephone line. That means we can tweet and surf in the comfort of our own shed/boat/bubble.

It's reasonable at £15 a month. It's slow, but that's because I have a crap signal. I don't care. It works.

When you run out of credit, it handily redirects you to the page where you can top up. That's good. You can pull out your credit card or debit card and bung some money into their account, and you're back online again straight away.

"Right, Marvo," I hear you say "so what are you complaining about now?"

I'll tell you. I put in my card details, and my secret number, and my pin. I select the "Pay T-Mobile some of my hard-earned money" option. And then, because I bank with Messrs LloydsTSB, I get a box up asking me to confirm that I am me. I know that I am me, and it is a fairly stupid system they have, whereby a frame appears on my internets page, asking for my password.

And guess what? Because that frame is directed to LloydsTSB,, and not to T-Mobile, they block it.

Idiots. THINK.

BTW, I have credited my account. I sent it a text message with the last four digits of my card (which Lloyds haven't verified), the amount I want to pay (which nobody has confirmed) and the security number on the back of the card (which anyone could have seen).

Well done, T.

Now, please sort it out. Perhaps you'd like to comment in the box below?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Society, Big

I was going to do Big Society today. I'm not. Many bloggers have blogged it, mostly badly to my mind, but that Bastard Old Holborn has done it well. I have to doff my cap. And the bastard's got a good picture on it.

Read it, I implore you.

You have? Excellent. You're supposed to do good things. Of course you are. You already do? Even better.

While you do this, the elected governments continue to show their utter contempt for you. NOTHING you do will matter to them. Here is some contempt.

Old Holborn's penultimate paragraph tells you what to do.

Do it.

Or continue to tweet, blog, go back to your house and garden, your barbecues, your kids, and let the governments laugh at you while they continue driving your country further and further down the road to the global finance-driven monster.

I'm not going to bang on about NWO (New World Order), because I think it's paranoiac. But it's there. Call it the banks. Call it the EU. Call it the Fabians. Call it whatever you like, you're in it. And you can get out.

So, as Yoda would say, do not think about it. Do, or do not.

It's your choice.

Incidentally, I'd really like to know whether you intend to do, or do not. And why. Or why not.

Please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


I don't normally do pictures, because I like words. There is a picture in this one. It is evidence.

A Mr Alasdair Campbell, Spin Doctor for New Labour, aka the Fabians, is disingenuous. I realise that I am inviting a libel action for this, but honestly, I don't care, I think it is more important that people know that the man largely responsible for the rise (and hopefully, fall) of the social engineering experiment, or dead donkey raffle, known as New Labour, and the subsequent enrichment, financially and socially, of its instigators Blair, Brown and Mandelson, realise what a mindjob has been done on them. Even if only for the sake of my kids, and yours. Let it never happen again.

Mr Campbell, Spin Doctor (look "Spin Doctor" up on Wiki, it tells all of the techniques) has been instrumental in brainwashing, fiddling facts and figures, and possibly more. You probably all knew that. I certainly did. I let it go. My friend Pam recently did a piece (sittinginthesky, same blogspot) which made him bite. Until then, I couldn't be bothered. Another friend, Carolyn, recently prompted me to ask him, as a man of great following, to retweet something which I felt strongly about. Yet another friend, Lochnagar, had already asked him.

Sadly, our Campbell couldn't find, or work, the retweet knob. You can see below that this is the case.

Sometimes, a picture paints a few words, you know. Read it from the bottom up. It's not very far.

I'd like to ask anyone else with experience of chap whether they had an opinion. Unfortunately, David Kelly wasn't available for comment.

Any legal beagles are welcome to contact me, simply reply below and I'll contact you forthwith. 


There will be four (4) people in the whole of the world who have any idea of what the title means, and I’m not sure about at least three (3) of them.

Toller Porcorum is a mixture of Olde-Anglo-Saxon toller, meaning valley, and latin porcorum being the genitive (plural) of pig. According to the internet, so it must be true, the Toller is the old name of the river which flows through the village of Toller Porcorum, which has since been named the river Hooke, but my friend Rosalind Buttered-Crumpet informs me that it means “valley” and so “valley” it is.

So I spent the weekend in the valley of the pigs.

“Are there pigs?” I enquired.

“Not a one.” retorted Rosalind, authoritatively.

One does not argue with Rosalind.  An acclaimed (and bronzed, she told me not to omit) erstwhile writer of many things not limited to cordon-gendarme cookery, she knows. Had she not made the decision to spend time in the real world, in a Felicity Kendal stylee, she would be a rather good blog writer.

Anyway, we had spent some considerable time discussing the merits of the American (mis)use of words such as “leverage” as a verb, management-speak and its uselessness and, more importantly, the word “like” as a hesitation mark. Like, er, like, um, ah. And the general concensus is that it had close to zero value in any context apart from that of its original meaning, for instance when introducing a simile. But more than simile, it introduced a smile. And a conundrum, as you will see.

Sunday brought us to a publick house known as the Spyway, a smugglers pub in Askerswell. I can recommend this pub on a nice day as there is an ample garden with attractive water feature and, if you ask, you can get an ashtray too. Inside if wet is not so attractive an option as the bar is small. Cosy is a word which would also describe it adequately, but small is more accurate.

Into the second pint, mid-discussion into the colouring of the bee orchid (don’t ask), the young lady-in-waiting approached our table and interjected “Excuse me, did you order like haddock?”

Conversation stopped. “Like haddock? No, not us.”

She left, bearing what was presumably like haddock, to seek those who ordered it, leaving us to work out how “order like haddock” should be punctuated.

I have since tried going into the shop to order some Marlboro, like haddock. It is not easy, you have to mouth the words in a haddocky way, as haddock (so far as I can gather) can not, or will not, speak. You can’t point like a haddock, as haddock’s extremities are designed for navigating the salty depths, not for pointing. It is like being paralysed in a foreign country whose language you know not wot. Of. I assume that you can’t order like haddock, you can only really order like a human.

I have tried Joe’s Fish Restaurant. “Have you anything like Haddock?” I asked. Apparently there is nothing like haddock, although obviously cod would be more like haddock than, say, cottage pie. So I assume that there is nothing that, technically, is like haddock, and conclude that the young lady must have meant “Did you order, like, er, um, haddock?”

My message to young (and old, alike) is this:

“Like”. It is a versatile word, being a noun, verb, adjective, preposition, conjunction, adverb, even a verbal auxiliary and not least a suffix, in the case of haddock-like.

It is not a substitute for er, em, like, arrrgh.

And my message to those lovely people who explain from positions of apparent authority that it doesn’t matter if we spell properly, use our native language properly, and pick up junk American langauge faster than we can build a new McDonalds is this:

Yes, it bloody well does. Like.


So, the dead donkey raffle's on again, is it?

RaceOnline2012, aka some bird who cobbled up a website for cheap late holidays, now the god of the internet and all things digital, advising H M Government (don't get me started) on why it is a basic human right to have the internets?

Have I got it about right?

Oh, good.

In "my" office, the airconditioned shed I cling on to while I offer some sort of service to this sack of shit that struggles to maintain health and safety as a religion whilst decimating the share price on a daily basis, I have access to broadband. This mainly because I conned them years ago into having it, unpoliced, so the people in the ivory towers can see what's going on. I can therefore throw porn into the ether at a guaranteed 8 million bits a second, yay!

In my "home", the non-airconditioned shed in which I eat and sleep, I don't have broadband. I don't have a telephone. I can't have a telephone. I have an iPhone, which slowly gleans information from the ether and pops it up onto my screen, so I can wang away with my thumbs and give my opinion on things that I think matter. That's why I like Twitter, when it works. I also have a huge laptop thing which I use as a DVD player, so I don't need a TV licence, and so I can't watch the H M Government Propaganda Channel even if I want to. And, trust me, I don't. I have bought a dongle which I attach to this laptop via a long cable, and put onto the roof of the shed inside an upturned saucepan, which will get me something like 48 thousand bits per second on a good and clear night. That's means I can also be a Twit there, using all of my fingers.

Sometimes I can access blogs. I can access mine, because I haven't filled it full of pictures and videos. I can't access some that I would sometimes like to access, although with the dongle there's a cunning thing that skips most of the pictures, so that's nice. I can't watch youtube videos, so please stop posting links to them unless they're obviously links to videos, eh?

I had my iPhone bought for me, by a customer, to do a job on. I paid for my dongle. I can have access by the day, week, month. My choice.

The government CAN'T give me broadband, even if I want it, which I don't. And I don't want to pay for anyone else's, thanks.

There are three reasons why anyone would need broadband. There is NO need for it for email.

These three reasons are:

  • to surf porn
  • to research things for work or school
  • to bring down a government
Obviously, the first one is very important. The second is even more so, but then there's access at work or school already. 

And, thanks to Twitter, I can make my small contribution to the third, possible the most important, at 48kbps quite nicely, thanks.

Bye, Ms Martha Lane Fox. Get a proper job..

Monday, 12 July 2010


In the last glorious 24 hours I have seen it all.

My mate has had his car keyed. Probably because he parked where someone else thought they should be able to park.

I have been sent a copy of an email "politely" asking for people to ensure that they don't park opposite someone's drive.

I have been told "I get priority to park here" because I live nearest this bit of road.

What the fuck is it with people?

No, Old Holborn, I'm not a communist. I'm very, very far from being one.

But I'll tell you what. If I had a house with a piece of parkable kerb outside it, or a bit of river suitable for mooring a boat, I would get some signs printed that said "please feel free to park here" and put them up for all to see.

FFS. What IS the big deal with wanting to own stuff? Wanting people not to be able to use it, even though the owner doesn't use it himself? Wanting to make their plot just that little bit bigger?

These same people are the ones who will moan at society if society doesn't mow their grass verge. If they were own-verge-mowers, I might sort of begin to partially understand. But I don't. These people are also the people who moan because someone within their field of vision (aka if they crouch on top of the wardrobe and crane their necks round) has a compost bin which is not exactly the same colour as their house/bush/concrete path. These are the same people who will fill their dustbin to overflowing, leave it outside on the road four days before the collection is due, then start to leave carrier bags round it full of plastic wrappings and veg peelings so the rats will come at night and strew them all down the street.

Someone, please, what is it with people?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I am harping on, I know.

I could easily point at a nasty page with a picture of a stoning. I won't. I don't want you to lose sleep.

I will describe one, as nicely as I can.

Stoning is a barbaric torture, intended to result in a slow, very painful, helpless death.

It is still used as a punishment in some countries, notably those countries whose laws are based on religious fervour. I'm not going to try to debate the rights and wrongs of these religious loonies, all I will say is that the "offences" that the stonee has to commit are not even illegal in most civilised countries. It's not as though they've done something heinous, such as lit up a tab in a pub. Stoning can be prescribed for merely making a decision to be married to someone of the opposite sex and forgetting to tell one's parents first.

It's not my business. I am truly glad I wasn't born in one of these shitholes. I'm not sure I'm over the moon about having been born in this one, but at least most of the barbarism has gone. You have to do something truly bad here to incur the wrath of Satan, such as failing to do your tax return on time. Pretty much everything else gets you a slapped wrist or a week of planting roundabouts, including paedophilia, rape and murder.

A lady named Ashianti is now incarcerated in an Iranian jail, awaiting her stoning. To her, this isn't just something happening a long way away. This is going to happen to her. Just to let you know how she must be feeling, and how her children must be feeling, this is what a stoning is.

If you're a man, you are buried to the waist in sand. That's because that's pretty much what they have available, sand. You are then faced with a bunch of beardy bastards who for some inexplicable reason, to me anyway, think that the Great Allah (PBUH) is going to be most mightily chuffed if they can manage to clock the victim in the face or chest with a nice sharp rock. So they bellow, and pray to the Almighty, and rock chuck. If the victim is lucky enough to get himself free before too much damage is inflicted, his sentence is commuted to prison, instead. Not too bad?

If you are unlucky enough to have been born a woman, and have committed the disgusting and most heinous crime of adultery (that's where you snog another bloke, or woman, possibly because you've found that the husband who you didn't ask to marry anyway has turned out to be a twat), you are in deep shit. Or deep sand. Because you're a woman, you have tits. It is not on, under the law of Allah (PBUH) for the stoner to see the tits of the stonee, so it is decreed (possibly by the Great Allah (PBUH) Himself), that you are to be buried up to the neck.

And trust me, the fervour, the misguided loyalty, that these beardy bastards have when there's a WOMAN involved go far, far beyond the wildest imaginings of someone born and bred in a cushy English village.

So, especially you ladies. Imagine. Buried up to the neck in sand. You CAN'T get out. You CAN'T. All you can hope is that one of the beardy bastards manages to hit you a cracker and knock you out first blow. If not,  then I'm afraid that you're in for a bad time. It starts at sunrise and stops at sunset, then starts again tomorrow. And tomorrow. Until you die. Sharp rocks. In your eyes. At your nose. Your cheekbones. Ripping the flesh from your face, so the flies and birds can peck at your flesh. And you can't move. You can't escape. You can do nothing, your family can do nothing. You can only scream and sob. You can hear your children wail for you. And you can see the hatred in the eyes of the beardy bastards who are doing this to you - your fellow "humans".

The gates of Hell apparently have a legend above: "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here".

That's fuck all.

Now, sign this and draw attention to it, in whatever way you can.

Enjoy your day.

Monday, 5 July 2010


I am so excited about one of my birthday presents that I have to write about it. So if either of my regular readers is expecting the usual booze-fuelled rant, I'm sorry to disappoint. Please feel free to bugger off and wait until something upsets me, whence I shall continue to scrawl the usual stuff.

Meanwhile, this one is about my awesome pasta machine. It is an Imperial. It is super-shiny and the best therapy I've come across in a long time.

I had some tip-top ravioli recently in a restaurant in Belgium. I didn't realise that ravioli could be tip-top, as my usual experience is some sort of baby food wrapped in gunge which, when boiling water is added, produces the wrappy equivalent of a pot noodle. So I set out to make my own.

Pasta is flour and eggs. Being the educated kind of chap I am, I didn't know this. I thought it grew on trees. The flour is supposed to be "00" grade (superfine), which I used, because it is expensive, organic, and I don't know any better. To make pasta one mixes the flour and the eggs (or egg, as one egg is enough to make a sheet of pasta suitable for a tarpaulin for the centre court at Wimbledon), into a dough, or mess, then squidges it between the hands, knees or boomps-a-daisy until bored. This is the first part of the therapy. It has the added advantage that if one's fingernails have become grimy, owing to just having done an engine oil change for instance, all of this residue is easily absorbed by the dough. For those who wish to copy this "recipe", 6 good old British ounces of flour is about right for one large egg. Free range.

Once the dough is homogenous, it is left to "rest". I don't understand why it needs to rest - I'm the one who's been doing all this kneading, not the bloody dough, but apparently it is important.

At this point, it is wise to drink some cider and smoke a couple of Marlboro Reds, and sit in the sun.

Next, take the brand new shiny Imperial pasta machine from its box. Find a table to which to screw it down - it doesn't damage the table top, only the bottom. Plug in the handle. At this point, make a decision about what you're going to fill this ravioli with, because once you start making the pasta it is like glue, and will stick like shit to a blanket to itself, the table, you, the floor, the dog or anything else with which it comes into contact.

I chose prawn and onion, because that has a certain ring to it, and because Waitrose (my shop of choice, no chavs) had some on special offer. But you can fill it with anything, it doesn't have to be minced up baby food. I suspect that even veg would work (veggies please note my contribution to vegginess there).

So, the filling.

  • 1 packet of prawns, indonesian, uncooked, on offer (200g, I think)
  • 3 bunches of spring onions, the small kind
  • plenty of garlic
  • big chilli (not a raging hot one, one of those long red jobs)
  • a big lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • light oil such as sunflower or rape
  • cider
Put some oil in a frying pan and heat it up. Finely chop a pile of garlic (I think I used 6 cloves) and fry until pretty overdone, dark brown. Add salt and a bit of pepper. Chop the spring onions into smallish bits and add them, frying gently until the whole place smells like a Chinese restaurant. Split the chilli lengthwise into four pieces, scrape off the seeds, chop it finely. Add it to the mixture and fry for a few more minutes. Turn it off.

Wash the prawns several times, then drain them. Cut them into smallish pieces and put them on a plate, squeeze the juice of a lemon over them and leave them for as long as it takes to drink another pint of cider. They will cook themselves in the lemon juice. When the cider is finished, drain the prawns, add them to the frying pan and heat the whole lot through for maybe five minutes. The juice of the prawns will cause the mixture to become a bit gooey, which is good. Let it cool, while you drink a cider.

Take the dough you made earlier. This is the next part of the therapy. Feed it a lump at a time into the pasta machine, set to its widest-apart setting. It is tricky at first but then becomes simple as you realise what you were doing wrong. Each time you feed the lump, fold it over and re-feed it. Do this about ten times. When you have processed all of the dough, set the machine to the next narrowest setting, feed the dough through once. Repeat until you are at the narrowest setting. The sheets will now be wafer-thin and pretty unmanageable, so you have to get on with it.

Take a piece of baking parchment. Cut out two pieces of pasta (for that is now what it is) about four inches square. Put one square on the parchment. Plonk a big spoonful of the stuff from the pan onto the middle of one square. Put the other square on top and pinch the edges together so it looks like ravioli from the shop but much bigger. Repeat until there is no more mixture left. I ended up with nine ravioli. Throw the rest of the pasta into the bin.

Cover this up with cling film and have another pint of cider.

You now need to make a sauce, because that's what people do with pasta. I eventually made a mushroom, white wine, onion and tomato sauce. Only because that's what it ended up as, though. It went like this:
  • 1 tin of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 handful dark mushrooms (chestnut)
  • 1 handful white mushrooms (button)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 glass crap white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • big lump of butter
  • some oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cider
  • Marlboro Red
Skin the dark mushrooms. Take the stalks off both sorts, and chop them up well. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add mushrooms. Drink cider, have a couple of Marlboro. Once it has all gone a bit dry, take it out and put it on a plate. Heat some oil in the pan with salt, chop up the onion, fry until soft. Put the mushrooms back in with it, heat through, add pepper. Tip in the tin of tomatoes, turn down low, have another cider.

Everything is now ready. You will realise by now that you won't be able to eat all of this, so you will need to find a volunteer to help with this. Neighbours can be useful here; failing that go to the pub and find someone who hasn't eaten yet.

When you're ready, boil up a lot of water in a huge saucepan, add the ravioli, one at a time (because if you sling the whole lot in, they'll stick together). While continuing to boil, heat up the sauce. After about three minutes, take out the ravioli carefully and arrange on a plate. Tip the sauce over the top.

Serve with cider.

Ed, you cation.

I was at a party yesterday. At the party were ten people. Of these, three are contributors to society, if you include me. Two, including me, are in engineering. The remaining odd man out works for a council, and will probably continue to do so as they have been shedding jobs for quite some time and he remains incumbent.

Of the assembled party, seven are in "education".

These include a professor, a doctor, a dean, a middle state-school teacher, a development director in a posh "public" school, an undergraduate student at (a proper) University and a chap who works deep in the Department for Education. That's the one that Ed Balls has just finishing ballsing.

All of the people are anyone-but-New-Labour types.

All of the education types fervently hope that Ed Balls gets the Labour leadership job. This is because they know that this would mean that Labour have absolutely NO chance of ever getting back into power.

This makes me happy.

What makes me even happier is that the chap who works deep in the Department for Education is shortly going to be outed. He knows why. It is because he has become seriously well-off at the expense of the taxpayer for the last ten years or so, whilst achieving absolutely nothing. He is guilty about this but to try to admonish his guilt has promised to furnish a ghost writer, me, with some tremendously scary stories about what actually goes on, down there deep in the Department.

I am SO looking forward to it.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


I have a marvellous idea for the government to make loads of cash without affecting the vast majority of people.

It is like a tax, but it's voluntary. And it's very progressive.

It also closes a loophole.

Don't tell them, they'll love this.

These facts are all made up, but were true last time I knew. I haven't bothered to research them since.

The DVLA, those fine upstanding wastes of space body of men who police Vehicle Excise Duty, sell "cherished" number plates. This means that they basically reserve any combination of numbers and letters on which they can make a bit of extra cash. In the olden days it was all numbers between 1 and 100. Now it is various combinations which can spell a word or a name. B16 XXX is a fine example. It's meant to look like BIG.

They charge £250 each for you to to have these. Fair enough. Your choice.

If they increased the charge to £1000 I reckon they'd make four times as much. If you're stupid enough to pay £250 to have a plate on your car that the Plod will easily remember, then you're stupid enough to pay a grand.

The loophole? I know someone who has bought a crap moped. He's put a really neat plate on it (I won't say what). When he dies, his nephew will inherit the moped, value £20. The tax on the plate, worth about £25,000, won't attract inheritance duty or anything. Sneaky? Yup.

And for those who really can't afford the extra £750 to show that you're cool, trendy and special? Simply get some paint, a brush and a stencil. Write "I am a twat" across your boot and bonnet. Same effect.


Tuesday, 29 June 2010


This is about me, the NHS, and contributions.

It is also about fairness, waste and outright piss-taking.

I have paid into the coffers of several of our esteemed governments enough money to have 78 triple bypass ops and resurface the M1 between Preston and Luton. At the rate our esteemed governments have managed to bureaucratise these alleged services, I estimate that the same money could have an ingrowing toenail painted with iodine and get one of those signs that tell policemen where they are on the motorway, but that's by-the-by, and will never change as long as sheep keep mindlessly and obligingly handing their hard-earned over to the state. I suspect the remaining money goes to a secret research facility to develop new forms of Velcro, or something.

I like the NHS. I like what it provides, free healthcare at the point of delivery. I like the way it is funded, so people who are genuinely unable to afford to stay healthy win, and people who earn shitloads have to pay some of it towards that before they buy their yacht in the Mediterranean. I think it's a good thing.

There are bits I don't like. These include A&E departments funded by the public-at-large treating the following:

  • Stupid tarts who've fallen off their high heels
  • Weekend sportstwats who've done stupid things
  • Stomach pumping for stupid people who have been experimenting with alcopops
  • People who have colds and flu and are too stupid to stay in bed
Stupidity can be addressed variously by insurance (can you get high-heel insurance?) and education, or by making these people wait for days on end to be treated. It should happen.

I occasionally suffer from an allergy which needs antibiotic treatment. It comes from certain plants (the allergy, not the antibiotic) and I try to avoid them. I don't always succeed. Flucloxacillin isn't very expensive anyway, and I decided I would pay for it privately when I do manage to get these bloody infections caused by the prickles from this ever-increasing range of flora. I suspect if I got it on prescription it would be more expensive anyway.

My mum suffers from Parkinson's. I first thought that it meant that I'd find her going round interviewing people, but actually it's quite unpleasant and makes one shake and one's legs ache. She is getting treatment for this but it's only every few months. There are drugs. None seem to work very well. 

My dad has had a couple of heart attacks, he takes half an aspirin a day which he pays for himself, and tries not to cut himself because that gets messy.

My daughter gets hay fever. Living next door to a huge rape field doesn't help, but I buy her Piriton from the chemist so she's fine.

If someone is so poor they can't afford these things, and they need them, they will get them on prescription, free, such is the NHS. In Scotland, if they are millionaires, they will get them free, and I will have paid for them. That is complete and utter bollocks and largely down to the last government being Scottish, I suspect.

So far, no contention, is there? If you're disagreeing already you're probably Ellie Gellard or a lost cause, or both.

Shit happens. One day I might get cancer. My daughter did, and she didn't even drink or smoke. She died, having spent her last very short time in hospital being "treated" by radiation and foul chemical concoctions which weren't ever going to help, and which cost a fortune, and being "looked after" by mainly hooded figures having virtually no command of English, and with HUGE attitude problems. She ended her life in a hospice, a charity, and died peacefully in her sleep, God rest her soul.

And now, people get old. Very old. The NHS keeps them alive, because human life is sacred. 

I am all for saving life, if it's possible. I've been in these hospitals and nursing homes. These are not people, they're cabbages. They are not sacred. They shit on the floor, they piss in their beds. They are being kept alive by unnatural means. They are costing a fortune.

Many of these people have invested their cash, over the years, usually in "property". That's safe, because there are rules saying it is. Therefore I, and you, hand over what we earn to fund these people's miserable existences, in which they don't care whether they get visitors because they don't even know who they are, and the "property" increases in value so their offspring, cats, etc., reap the benefits of it.

I would love someone to explain to me why this is a Good Thing. Please?

I would sell their assets. Or let them go. They don't care either way. They don't even know.

Monday, 21 June 2010


Teacher is asking the class what their fathers do for a living, as it was Father's Day yesterday.

It's Johnny's turn.

"My dad's a rent boy in a gay bar. He dances on a pole, sucks off the punters and sometimes, if the money's right, he takes it up the arse."

Teacher is dumbfounded, takes Johnny to one side.

"Johnny, is that really true about your dad?"

"No, miss. I made it up. He plays football for England but I was too embarrassed to say."

Thursday, 17 June 2010


Hardly worth a blog, this. But it's longer than Twitter will let me tweet.

A granny has been jailed for FIVE FRIGGIN' YEARS because she had a gun. She kept it under the mattress. She should have handed it in.

So far as I can see, the extenuating circumstances here are that she could have sought permission from Scottish ministers to keep it, though it would be unlikely that they would have given such permission. And it was a memento of her father - about all that she had left to remind her of him.

It was a 1927 Browning 7.65 which, had she tried to use it, may well have blown her hand off. And she had no ammo for it.

Here is the horseshit part ...

Under laws introduced in the wake of the Dunblane shooting massacre, the offence carries a minimum five-year jail sentence unless a judge is satisfied there are "exceptional circumstances". 

My mate lives in Dunblane, it's a nice town. It has a very sad memorial to the victims of the Dunblane massacre, you should see it if you haven't already. It's in the churchyard.

The nutjob responsible for the Dunblane massacre had a gun licence. So did the nutjob that did Carlisle.

That is all.


This might upset either or both of my readers. If it does, then I humbly ask the offended party or parties to rethink their role in life, and to summarily fuck off, because I don't care.


To put this in perspective, I didn't go. This was mainly because I'm thick, but on reflection I was bloody lucky. I was hankering after a place in a good university to do tonmeistry. I passed the instrumental auditions and such like, then failed the technical 'A' levels with flying colours, adding a couple of 'O' levels to my meagre total.

Most of my mates at school went to either Uni or Tech, depending on their chosen career path. I missed them for about twenty minutes but then realised that about the only thing I had in common with most of them is that we both went to school.

So I got a job, as monkey boy, and worked my way up. It was shift work so we got a good wedge in return for our efforts, and it was a small company so it was relatively easy to wriggle ones way to the middle grounds and more cash.

Everyone was encouraged to go to University if they were in a grammar school, which I was. I didn't realise at the time that my school was shit, that the English teacher was a ratbag and the headmaster was a ponce. I found that out later, and taught myself English properly.

Nowadays, a lot of people go to Uni, which devalues it. I have some experience of it from the outside, in various guises, and I have a solution to a problem which I think would make England a better and more productive place, were it to be implemented.

Here are my few stories.

Two of my daughters went to Uni. One because she is a nurse and to keep her job and gain the promotion she wanted meant having to have a degree, so she put herself through Uni whilst working shifts on a hospital ICU. Fair play, she's a fighter. She got top marks. The other has just finished and is awaiting her results, hoping for a 2:1. She might get it. She knows it won't help her much, and she spent three years on the piss, something she became very good at. My only son got a degree in Computer Science and maths and now works as a consultant in London. Good for him.

Friends of mine have a son who has spent the last couple of years at a "good" Uni doing geography. He is now going to take the path into one of the big wastes of space accountancy practices which I won't name, PwC, and will then be offered out to clients with more money than sense, such as governments, as a "consultant". He, too, spent the last few years on the piss and partly in the local casualty department of a hospital because he can't handle his ale.

A couple of years ago, we took on a graduate in electronic engineering from Queens, Belfast, which allegedly is not too shabby a place. He had an honours in EE, and we set him to work. Because of the placement, his tutors were involved and on the first review he showed them the circuit he had made. The tutor's question was "Jesus, you haven't plugged that in, have you?" and I realised that we had been sold a pup. We got rid of him, and not too soon either, as he was an activist pillock who spent most of his time working out his entitlement and moaning about smoking.

I am told, mostly by modern luvvies, that finishing a Uni course demonstrates an ability to learn. It also sets one up for life as one has to fend for oneself, do washing, ironing and such like.

And to this I say "Bollocks".

I have seen Uni courses in things I know about. They are pathetic. You don't have to spend weeks in New York to get a degree in geography. It will still be there when you leave. Also, it features in films, which you can buy or borrow, and watch. And you can get books about it. I read one once, which is why I've never been to New York.

And a good way to learn how to fend for yourself is to move out of your parents' house. Simples.

So here is my plan. Have Uni, which teaches basic things about a subject. Go on a course in a subject having at least some relevance to the career you have in mind. And do some work. What that means is sitting in a room without a stacking HiFi system, with books and the Internet, and get up in the morning (that's the thing that happens when the sun comes up), and learn stuff, and go to bed sober.

Should take about six months, unless you're going to be a doctor, and they tend to work hard anyway.  That way, you won't have a debt, and you'll be of some value.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Everything in this post may be wrong.

In the usual way I post this bollocks because I believe it to be right. If it isn't, then no doubt one or both of my readers will post something to that effect, or offer me a penis extension or wonderful, new and exciting investment opportunity. I don't censor anything.

It's about Lord Saville, the IRA, and the British Army.

The reason I'm writing it is because I think some people don't really understand what's happened. Those people might well include me. But it seems that some are up in arms about the IRA receiving an apology from our Prime Minister, David Cameron.

This is how I see it.

Northern Ireland is somewhere I've neither visited nor want to visit. It's full of Irishmen with quite distinct accents. I've met some of them. Some are quite nice, some are quite nasty, and that could be said of almost anywhere, even the office in which I'm sitting, typing this.

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Some people there would like it not to be. They are Catholics. There are other people there who want to be British. They are protestants. They share a religion, although the former have an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope as well as some of the other traits of Python's Spanish Inquisition, including fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency.

Sadly, because The United Kingdom doesn't tend to let go of anything it previously stole, the Catholics were on a hiding to nothing. Nobody listened to them. So they decided to go the way of violence, as so often happens in these cases (see Twin Towers for details).

It was partly (and a large part, to boot) the fault of the United Kingdom, as they don't listen, they don't negotiate, and they tend to get all big boy about it. That makes things worse. Because the Catholics don't have their own huge army and matching budget and tanks and stuff, the only choice left open to them was to become covert pains-in-the-arse and, to that end, they formed the Irish Republican Army, or IRA. Secret people, in scary balaclavas, they devised plans to terrorise the United Kingdom. Their trademark was the "kneecapping", a horrendous torture involving a Black and Decker hammer drill (cheaper than a tank and uses less fuel) and masonry bit, applied to the victims knee which would not only be extremely painful but would also cause him (or her, they're not fussy) to walk with a pronounced and painful limp.

To combat this, the brave United Kingdom deployed a bagload of troops, fully kitted out, to the streets of Northern Ireland.

Alongside the IRA an organisation known as Sinn Fein grew. This was the "Political Wing" of the IRA, basically run by some pretty horrible scumbags including Gerry Adams, Martin McGuiness and possibly someone called Gerry Mandering, but I'm not sure about that one. Because it would be unseemly for a bloke to turn up to chat to the Northern Ireland Secretary wearing a balaclava and packing a Black and Decker, these scumbags instead wore suits and claimed that they supported the cause and not the violence. Bollocks they didn't.

Now, on Sunday Bloody Sunday, sometime in 1972 (I remember it well though through a haze of Newcastle Brown and Number 6) a demonstration took place. The demonstration was a march of "freedom" by Catholics - nothing wrong with that.

Some members of the Parachute Regiment (Paras) were on hand to see fair play and to route the march somewhere safer than the route intended by the Catholics. They were armed, to the teeth, which in the circumstances was pretty sensible.

These Paras are "well 'ard". They are trained to jump out of aeroplanes and land in some hostile places to sort out shit on behalf of the government. Most of them are Scottish, many of them are thugs, and I have had dealings with them. If I wanted to start a fight I wouldn't choose them to start it against. But, alongside the bravery, these Paras are basically "lads". And they are not out for the sunshine, they're expecting trouble, because that's why they're there.

The shit hit the fan when some pratt started shooting. The pratt in question may or may not have shot at the Paras. He may have done it for a laugh, but very likely he did it to start off the trouble. I've heard a machine-gun. It's a noisy bloody thing, it doesn't sound like it does in the films. And these Paras would have shat themselves when it went off. They may or may not have shot at the gunman. At the end of the day they shot several people, innocent people, unarmed people. Shit happens. If you don't want to get hurt, then don't tempt fate. I wasn't there, but I can imagine what it was like, having been in some pretty nasty scrapes. People like Cold Steel Rain will tell more about this, he will know exactly what it was like.

The people who died can't be brought back. It was a cock-up, and it shouldn't have happened. Since then, relatives and friends of the victims have tried to get what they call "justice". What they really wanted was to nail someone in the Paras, but that's not going to happen. What they were actually yelling yesterday was "innocent". We never thought they were guilty. Nobody did.

And Cameron apologised on behalf of the government, to the victims, their relatives and friends. He did NOT apologise to the IRA - had he done so, I'd be inclined to shoot him myself.

So everybody's as happy as they can be, especially Lord Wotsit who has made himself a tidy living out of producing 5000 pages that nobody will ever read, and spent the fat end of 200 million quid in the process.

There is one unanswered question, though. Who was the pratt with the machine gun? I, and many others, would dearly love to know.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


I'm not a solicitor. I'm actually not very good at much, but I'm quite good at quite a variety of things. A jack of all trades, I suppose, a master of none. I know people who know loads more than I about many things.

But I'm a good guesser. I'm usually right.

Here is a guess.

If I had a Big Pile Of Gold Stuff, which I was looking after for my brother while he was on holiday, and I bunged it on eBay while he was gone and spunked the spoils on beer, my brother would be cross.

He would probably beat me up, as he does, and then he'd probably call the Old Bill. Then I would go through the legal system and doubtless be detained at Her Maj's pleasure (she gets her pleasure in strange ways).

But hold! Whilst in the company or Messrs Plod, and in the course of their investigations they decided I was no ordinary crook, but rather a certifiable loony, I would likely be referred to the clutches of the more sinister psychiatric Plod for a good going over.

I have a strong suspicion, and a lawyer would know more, that in the event that I were certified Uncle Loony (which is more than likely), the transaction in which I had engaged might well be summarily declared null and void and the chap to whom I eBayed the gold would probably be forced to sell it back to me at the price for which he bought it. I don't know. I would hope this to be the case.

Now, who DID Gordon sell that gold to? Anybody know?



I think I might be a racist. Read this, both of you, and decide.

My girl needs a passport. This is because she's going to another country, in the EU, and although anyone else in the EU can just wander across the borders by bus, car, train or bicycle, we Eurobritons can't. The EU sucks donkey balls; we are not European (I'm certainly not, anyway), but since we pay squillions of pounds to build big shiny motorways in Spain while our piss-poor donkey tracks remain full of potholes big enough to knock our wheels off, we must be European. Either that or it's a scam, but that's another blog.

My girl already has a passport. She is young, so the picture on her current issue is of a toddler. She now has new photographs, taken by a photographer, because she is a girl, and girls like a nice picture on their passports. So I spoiled her. It was only a few quid.

The Post Office (I think they're still called that) has a service known as "check and send", whereby they will make a cursory inspection of your passport application, then send it off, so you can rest easily in the sure and certain knowledge that the passport gestapo will be issuing your lovely new passport in time for your holiday in the sun.

We have a Post Office. It is a Post Office with shop, which sells newspapers, magazines and plastic shite. More on this later. But, being a Post Office, it offers the "check and send" passport service.

"Hello, nice lady behind the counter, I would like to make use of your passport cursory inspection service, please."

Nice lady behind the counter takes paperwork, looks at it, ticks some boxes. Then the photographs are out.

"Hm," nice lady hums, "I'm not sure about the photographs."

"Bollocks," I mutter.

"I'll have to ask Raj," nice lady continues.

"Bollocks," I mutter again.

Out comes Raj. Raj is the stereotypical O my goodness yes Indian gentleman. I have no problem with O my goodness sterotypical Indian gentlemen, unless they prove to me that I should. Raj proceeds to offer such proof.

"The photograph, my goodness yes, it has the hair on the face, in the eye," he starts, "and it is too far away."

"Bollocks," I mutter, loudly this time. And this time it is not a comment, it is a statement.

"Begging your pardons," interjects Raj, unhelpfully, "I am not being able to authorise the photograph."

At this point I realise that I have a huge problem. Or, at least, one of us does.

You see, my family has been English since 1066. I know this for a fact. Before that we might well have been French but now we are to all intents and purposes English. And I speak English, and I can read English quite well. And, despite the last shithole of a government wishing us all to stay locked in our houses and working for the State so we can buy another motorway in Greece, we are actually entitled to travel to other countries and then be allowed back in to good old Blighty again. And, to that end, I took the trouble to research the draconian rules that the passport politzei now implement with respect to photographs.

The photographs I had taken of small girl are quite good, and they are a true likeness of her. Difficult to stop her grinning, as she always grins. And her hair is quite long, and falls all over the place. But it isn't covering her eyes, for that would invalidate the application. And her head, from chin to crown, measures 30mm on the photograph. I know this, because I measured it with a ruler. So the application is valid. I know, because I can read.

So, dear Raj, fuck off. Fuck RIGHT off. It is not up to you to "authorise" anything. It is up to you to do your fucking job, as a Post Office licensee, or whatever someone in charge of a Post Office is. If you want to bring back plastic shite from your cousin in fucking Mumbai or whatever you call the godforsaken call centre these days, then carry on. I don't have to buy it. But you're supposed to be running a Post Office. You're too short and too offensive to be a policeman, and too thick to do much else, so feel free to run a Post Office.

But, Raj, please do NOT, ever, presume to try to tell ME that I am incapable of understanding my own fucking language. Per-lease.

Am I a racist? If I am a racist because of this, then there is something wholly wrong with someone's definition of racism. And I can live with that.

But truly, I would like to know.


Just been onto the "printable" gov site to get the lowdown on photos.

"Head coverings for religious or medical grounds are acceptable".


Update 2:

Just been to the proper Post Office. There is nobody there who sounds like Raj or looks like Raj. There is an English-speaking girl who glanced at all my stuff (paperwork, you know) and stamped it, took the money, sent it off. No problemo, as they say in Greece.

Next step is to get the passport, then I will go to Raj with same, plus a tape recorder and a camera. After that I will be seeking whoever is responsible for Post Offices and those that run them.