Saturday, 25 April 2015

Immigrant Biscuit Bowel Banks


Had cause to nip down to Screwfix yesterday and came away with one of their catalogues. While leafing through I alighted on a tool called a biscuit jointer. I haven't the vaguest idea what it does, but I'm curiously attracted to buying one.

Bowel cancer screening test came back negative, so that's a relief. I say a relief, but before I got the letter about the test I'd never worried about bowel cancer anyway. It was the test that got me scared!

Right - here's my immigration policy:
  1. If you're in any way religious, you must convert to a religion acceptable to the British. Some wishy-washy form of Protestantism is preferred - the ones where they're not really sure if God even exists and have more than a few doubts about Jesus. Certainly one that's not a threat to society. Buddhism is fine, atheism is preferred.
  2. You can't live in ethnic ghettos where you'll be cooking all manner of filthy, foreign muck and doing strange things which make Brits uncomfortable, like working hard - you have to assimilate ASAP. Resistance is futile.
  3. You have to dress like the average Brit. Depending on age and social class, that can be jogging pants, Hipster or comedy toff like Nigel Farage. The fact Brits never conformed to the dress code of your country when it was forcibly taken over by them is immaterial.
  4. Absolutely no Scots or Welsh if they decide to go independent. Actually, no Scots or Welsh, period.
HSBC is threatening to move its head office out of the UK. Perhaps they should set up in Afghanistan, or Uganda - their economies are virtually immune to further destruction. If we allow banks to use the threats of an exit to dictate government policy on bank regulation and taxation, perhaps we should just kick the buggers out anyway. They were the cause of the global crash, after all (except if you're a Conservative, in which case it was solely down to Labour).


Friday, 24 April 2015

Supermarket Politics


Having already watched Miliband Minor, we watched 3, back-to-back Leader Interviews on iPlayer last night; Farage, Cameron and Clegg. 

Farage: 

  • Talks a good talk - an adept political operator and manipulator.
  • Knows exactly what he has said previously, as he can guarantee that whatever he utters will be scrutinised and taken out of context. Constantly had to correct Davis.
  • Attacked Evan Davis as being part of the liberal metropolitan elite - i.e. the BBC - which he is. Davis' trousers were far too short, by the way.
  • Unfortunately, he is UKIP and personifies them - it's a one man party. Without him the party is dead in the water, as the rest seem to be loose canons or fringe nutters.
Cameron:
  • We were waiting for and counting the number of; "Mess we inherited," statements. There were two, and one; "Inherited an out of control welfare system."
  • Came across as statesmanlike, reasonable and wanting to build on success.
  • Davis didn't really seem to be able to rattle him about anything.
Clegg:
  • Explained why his party reneged on tuition fees, which I have always thought was a reasonable excuse - they were in a coalition as the minor party, not as the major party. They were destined to be forced to dump some of their policies. The fact that with only 9% of the seats they managed to sustain 3/4 of their major policies was a minor miracle.
  • Reasonable and seeking the centre ground.
  • The minute I saw him speaking fluent Dutch in a clip, that did it for me - coming over here and taking all our political jobs....
It seems UK politics has gone from the classic Tesco / Sainsbury battle to now having to include Aldi and Lidl as forces to be reckoned with.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

React-o-nothing Smells


Another moan! Don't know why I never noticed this before, but the new react-o-lite specs, that I paid an arm and a leg for, are totally useless in the car, unless I'm driving with the top down. Seems glass filters out the UV rays which initiate the colour change.

It's funny how we react to smells. Yesterday I was driving into Chipping Sodbury with the roof of the car off and caught the faintest whiff of suntan lotion. Immediately I was mentally transported to the Southport outdoor pool in the late 60s on a hot summer's day with "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap playing on the transistor radio.



As a friend of mine said yesterday about the Mediterranean migrant problem and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism: "If we'd left all these tin-pot dictators in place, we wouldn't be in this mess; they at least kept some order." He has a very valid point.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Steps


I'm increasingly seeing posts from devices that people use to measure how far they've run or how far they've walked during the day. Please - desist - I'm not even vaguely interested in your perambulatory habits! Why do you feel the need to tell the world how many steps you've taken in walking round the block? It's as interesting as the contents of your larder.

Actually, I just found out I can hide such posts. But still, it beats me why people would actually want to post such trivia, unless perhaps they're not even aware that their device is sending these posts to Facebook as an advert for the device.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Jimmy Krankie Make-Over


Nicola Sturgeon has undergone a massive transformation since taking the reins of the SNP! This was brought home to me when I saw her on the news last night, waving a copy of the SNP manifesto which had a picture of her on the cover. The picture was of a dumpy Jimmy Krankie, which was dramatically at odds with the svelte figure holding the manifesto. The SNP image gurus have worked wonders on her - and she must have put in a lot of effort too.

Watched Miliband Minor being interviewed by Evan Davis last night. Davis is an excellent interviewer and had Miliband on the ropes over just about every issue. It reminded me of the Monty Python Inquisition sketch - "NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!". In Davis' case, it was every aspect of the policy spectrum where the Tories seem to have made improvements in the last 5 years, and he kept adding to them when Miliband had to concede improvements. Miliband's only argument was that Britain deserved better. Better? Better than an expanding economy, rising employment, improvements in education, etc, etc.?

I hear Farage wants the BBC's licence fee cut by two thirds. I wonder why? Seems his calculation was made on the back of a fag packet by dint of it being a guess, which makes the rest of his budget plans a bit suspect too.

Is the political stalemate a reflection of the fact that there's not that much of an ideological difference between the parties, or is it because the electorate has changed and there is a much larger middle class with fewer at the extremes of poverty and wealth? I'd go for the latter with the parties reflecting that.

Now I consider myself reasonably well informed - I keep up with technology (just) and dabble with the Facebook and am an avid reader of and listener to the news - yet I'm constantly asking Hay who the hell various personages invited on TV programmes as special guests are. Even Hay is blissfully unaware of exactly what these internationally famous celebrities are known for. Last night it was a chap called Josh Groban - not a clue!





Monday, 20 April 2015

Dog Walking Polish Washing Machines


Dog walking. What's that all about? So you buy a dog, but hire someone else to walk it for you because you're either too busy or can't be bothered. Not much point in having the damned thing then and it's just a tick on your list of middle-class lifestyle items.

There used to be a factory called Parnall's just down the road in Yate. They made aircraft in the early 20th century and diversified into white goods, such as washing machines. Saw a photo of one of their washing machines from the 50s (earlier than the one in the photo below), which was as basic as could be. I wondered whether there is a niche in the market for cheap, basic washing machines like the ones of old - no fancy programmers and things, just a damned good wash. All the washing machine manufacturers now are competing on functionality that's not really required when you're on a tight budget, such as a student or someone on benefits.

A Parnell's washing machine from the 60s

Went to get the car filled up at Tesco yesterday and the bloke behind the till was running two tills simultaneously. As one customer was typing in his or her PIN, he dashed to the other till to start an entry. Fast and furious and no queue, despite a busy forecourt. Naturally, he was Asian.

Talking of immigrants, I head from a friend about his experience with his discount shop: 

"UK can be a strange place to do business these days.  We opened a discount food shop three years ago; a convenient outlet for us to sell short-date and out-of-date stock. 

"Sales are significantly down over the last four weeks for no apparent reason. One of my staff mentioned it to the landlady of the pub next door, ironically named the Welcome Stranger. She said…”Oh, we are all boycotting that because it is owned by Poles.” Girl on the till is a Slovak, but that’s as close to Eastern European ownership as it gets. 

"Same people probably go to the Indian or Chinese take away for their Saturday night blow out, and don’t think anything about it."

The boycotters are probably UKIP voters with a fixation on borders and nothing else.


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Preserving the Union for Holland & Barrett


Overheard while listening to Sex and the Church, by Diarmud MacColloch:

Professor Diarmud MacCulloch: "In 1525 Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, an ex nun."

Hay: "How can you be an ex nun?"

Chairman: "It's a bit like being an ex parrot."

Here's a thought - if we all voted SNP (assuming all candidates in all constituencies strategically declared themselves for the SNP) would we preserve the Union by simply transferring parliament to Scotland? Personally I couldn't give a toss where Parliament sits.

The answer is probably no, as Sturgeon wants N.Sea oil for herself and the Scots, and no-one else, and would still engineer a split to gain that. The SNP portrays itself as centre left, but if you think about it, it's actually right wing, as it wants to keep what it earns from N.Sea oil and to hell with the rest of the Union, which has been in existence for over 300 years. That sounds very hard right to me.

Saw an advert from Holland and Barrett last night that is meant for people who are trying to lose weight but is aimed at the gullible. It was packets of rice, pasta and noodles - admittedly small packets - but those are precisely the foods overweight people need to steer clear of. I have a better idea - just sell them empty packets of rice, pasta and noodles, or simply ignore Holland and Barrett completely if you want to lose weight.


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Argy Bargy in Middlemarch


I hear Argentina is getting uppity about the Falklands oil activities. That'll be Fray Bentos pies off the menu for a while then, along with the closure of all the Gaucho steak houses.

It seems Walter White didn't die in Breaking Bad - he moved to Iraq and became a fugitive general.


I'm currently reading Middlemarch by George Elliot. I say reading, but I mean trying to read. My reading habits are sporadic - I'll pick up a book, read a few pages and then be distracted by something, returning after a few minutes or hours. It's hard to do that with Middlemarch, unlike the Barchester Chronicles. People keep appearing and disappearing, and I tend to lose track of who they are and where they fit into Middlemarch, which makes the whole book somewhat confusing.

Anyway, I was reading a passage and came across the word 'dear', as in 'expensive', and it struck me that this is a word we no longer hear used. My parents would use it all the time, as would I, but I've not heard it used as an expression for expensiveness in a very long time, Even saying it seems strange now; "That's a dear item."

I find parts of Middlemarch vacuously tedious and tend to skim some paragraphs, which in itself probably assists me greatly in losing the plot from time to tome (later - a typo, but apt) and struggling to figure out who is who.

I may do something a bit naughty and suggest to Hay that her book club read it.

Was watching people on the street in the Forest of Dean being interviewed by a local TV reporter and being asked how they will vote, and why. Not one of them could articulate why they would be voting for their selected party, or recall a single policy, except for the UKIP voter who said; "Probably immigration." The Forest of Dean must have one of the lowest immigration stats for the entire UK. These people just don't have a clue, but that's democracy; we allow the ill informed to select a government.


Friday, 17 April 2015

The Official Visit


We were watching The Super Vet (Noel Fitzpatrick) last night on telly and seeing the pet owners prompted a thought.

I remember that whenever my father went to the doctor, the dentist or to take one of our animals to the vet, he would dress in his best suit and it was treated like a business meeting. That just doesn't happen anymore. It was only in his last few years of his life that he didn't bother to donning a suit and tie to go shopping at the local supermarket.


I suppose it came from wearing a uniform for most of his life, but there again, I wore one for a good period of my life, yet I dress like a dosser when visiting the doctor or the dentist.

You may notice a slight discrepancy in the uniform jacket my father is wearing and the colour of the trousers. It was one of my weddings and he'd brought The Wrong Trousers. He was totally distraught, as he couldn't just nip home and get the right ones - they were 200 miles away in Southport. The decision was taken to do just one publicity shot in "uniform" and then wear the normal business suit he'd driven up in for the wedding itself.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

The 3rd Way


I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool Tory, nor a dyed-in-the-wool Socialist - I'm slightly to the left of centre with occasional leanings to the right. However, I'm certainly not a fan of Red Ed, nor particularly Dave the Toff.

If the choice for a coalition side kick is UKIP, Green or LibDem, then it's the LibDems for me. They at least are somewhere in the middle, rather than at the ends of the political spectrum. Plus Steve Webb has been a fantastic representative (not that you'll be even vaguely interested in my voting intentions, but I thought I'd ram my worthless opinions down your throat anyway).

I spotted the Tory candidate canvassing in town the other day. He looked no more that 18.



Same goes for the Labour child.


Now age should not be a barrier, but surely some experience of life (and at least a mortgage) should be an essential qualification?