Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Wednesday 20/05/09

Not sure of the wisdom of this Twitter thing – it’s more like Twatter. I’ve still not ascertained the full cost. I realise that to update Twitter via mobile phone costs you an SMS, which is usually included in your airtime plan, but I can’t find any clear info on the cost of receiving Tweets from other users via one’s mobile. It can’t be free and some bugger must pay, so my conclusion is that the receiver somehow foots the bill to receive mobile Tweets, as the option is under the receiver’s control. I await confirmation from any Twitter addicts out there, if they’ve got the time between Tweets.

Found one Robert Plant on Twitter and I’m now a dedicated follower of his Tweets, although he seems to have gone quiet of late though. Here’s a Tweety sample before he went off-air a couple of years ago:

11:53 AM Jul 9th, 2007 from web: Way down inside! Woman!

11:46 PM Jul 7th, 2007 from web: Oooooooooh, no no no no no! Ow, ow, ow! Yea, yea, yea! Ahuh, ahuh! Ay, ay, ay!

2:42 AM Jul 6th, 2007 from web: Keepitcoolinbaby! Keepitcoolinbaby!

11:37 PM Jul 1st, 2007 from web: Na, na, na-na-na na. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na...

2:26 PM Jun 30th, 2007 from web: I said she won’t be true, no. Yeah no.

3:53 AM Jun 28th, 2007 from web: Hey baby! Whoa baby! Pretty baby! MOVALUDUHMOVINOW!

4:44 AM Jun 26th, 2007 from web: Hahh-yeah, ah-yeah, ah-yeah, ah-yeah....

4:42 PM Jun 24th, 2007 from web: Oooooooooooooooooh...oooh-ih-oooh-ih-oooh...and it makes me wonder!

1:42 AM Jun 24th, 2007 from web: Babybabybabybabybabybaby...! Whoahhh!

12:13 PM Jun 23rd, 2007 from web: Ooooooooh...Mama!!!

Puerile, I know, but funny.

They changed a server somewhere in our work IT network on Monday in order to improve the speed of internet access. Murphy’s Law kicked in and it’s now slowed to a crawl and is about as much use as a Braille speedometer. It wouldn’t surprise me if the extra bandwidth they gave us was immediately snaffled though shoving more users from elsewhere in the organisation onto our brand new circuit.

The Sri Lankan government says it has ‘liberated’ the northeast of the island from the Tamil Tigers. Now if the people of the northeast of the island unanimously happen to want a separate homeland and comprise a separate ethnic group who have been fighting the government for the last 60 years in order to achieve that aim, then surely the government walking in and taking over is an occupation, not a liberation. To call the government takeover a liberation is akin to saying Soviet Russia liberated Czechoslovakia and Hungary, or China liberated Tibet.

The Met Office here in the UK is predicting a summer heat wave, so I guess that means a cold, damp summer for all. If, by some quirk of quantum mechanical vacuum fluctuations, a hot day does appear, it certainly won’t be pleasant living in a tin box. It was bad enough when I lived on the boat, reaching 35 degrees C inside the boat while it was hovering around 28 degrees outside. A caravan with only a few windows that open will be much worse.

Here’s a thought. On the day I was born, a day lasted a lifetime. The next day lasted half my lifetime. On the 25th September of this year, a day will last 1/20,000th of my lifetime. My, doesn’t time fly? I wonder how many of the people born on that fateful day in 1955 that saw me enter into the world are still alive, as a percentage.

On Monday the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling that troops serving abroad are protected by the Human Rights Act. It’s all becoming a bit absurd when a field commander may have to consult a lawyer before committing troops to an engagement. Next we’ll hear that Health & Safety legislation will apply too. We’ll have the 1st Health & Safety Brigade (Clipboard Battalion) going in as the first wave of an attack in order to do a risk assessment of the battlefield and produce a report – in triplicate. Woe betide anyone who actually shoots an enemy soldier; they’ll be up before the H&S Executive for endangering someone with live ammunition, and possibly the International Court of Human Rights for contravening the right to life if they manage to kill their enemy.

You can imagine it now: “Can’t let you out there sir. It’s the foxholes you see - bloody trip hazard. As for bayonets, can’t allow them either – you could have someone’s eye out. Have the snipers been issued with ear defenders and high-visibility protective clothing yet, sir? Now, I need to talk to you about these flame throwers – indiscriminate use of fire is forbidden under article 3, subsection IIIa – you’ll need to apply for a license from the council and have the Fire Brigade on stand-by. I also should alert you to the mortar shells – strictly speaking they come under the fireworks regulations; more than my job’s worth to let you use them in a battlefield situation where there’s people about - might injure someone.”

I can see the situation arising where a field commander is flung in jail for sending troops to almost certain death in an engagement (but still winning the battle), and also for hesitating due to said legislation and getting them killed by losing the initiative and being over-run due to legislation-induced dithering.

Well, it seems House of Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, has fallen on his Black Rod. He cites unity as the reason, not total ineffectuality and crass hubris.

Another Speaker, Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, was voted out in 1780 following an expenses scandal – the king’s expenses. In 1777, when presenting the bill for the increase of the civil list to the king, he told George III that, "Parliament has not only granted to your majesty a large present supply, but also a very great additional revenue; great beyond example; great beyond your majesty's highest expense." After the general election of 1780, the prime minister, Lord North, and his followers declined to support the re-election of Norton, alleging that his health was not equal to the duties of the office, and he was defeated when the voting took place.

Another Speaker who was forced out was Sir John Trevor. In 1685 he was appointed Master of the Rolls and speaker of the House of Commons by James II. As Speaker he was memorable for being severely cross-eyed - the affliction being so confusing to members of the House that they were frequently uncertain as to which of them had "caught the Speaker's eye", and would try to speak out of turn. Being partisan to James II he was deprived of his office on the accession of William III. In 1690, however, he once again returned to parliament as Speaker, but on 7 March 1695 he was found guilty of accepting a bribe of 1,000 guineas from the City of London to aid the passage of the Orphans' Bill through the house. He was expelled from the Commons, a move which he initially resisted on the ground of ill-health.

I wonder whether ex-Speaker Martin will get a peerage along with his £1.4m pension pot; it’ll be a travesty if he does. I hear he’s already announced changes to the expenses system for mortgages – one hopes he’ll at the very least limit claims to an amount equal to the mortgage itself, rather than multiples of it. The practice of claiming for bogus mortgages should also stop. The only problem is that tightening up the rules may force many MPs to become MEPs and decamp to the European Parliament, where embezzlement is still permissible.

Saw a headline in the newspapers when getting petrol this morning – ‘New Order to run UK’. It’s a bit much when the powers that be allow a post-punk electronica dance band to govern the country. I suppose their 1983 album, Power, Corruption & Lies is what sealed the deal. One wonders whether the House of Lords will be renamed the Joy Division.


  1. Obi wan Brown is a twitter fan so I hear. I must admit the thought of reading his tweets has put me off. Am I being a bit of a twit?!

  2. Lovely: Brown's Twitters? Deep joy!

  3. Twitter drove me seems like such a waste of time...such dead space...maybe i'm wrong?

  4. Burn the heretic!

    I reserve judgment for the moment.

  5. Well, if we are going to have a warm summer it better bloody well hurry up. I am freezing here. Oh and I know it is ridiculous for Americans to use the word bloody but for the life of me I couldn't think of a better word.

  6. Kat: Watch out for tomorrow's post. A certain word may be miniterpreted by Americans.

  7. Hello,

    You can only receive updates from twitter by text if you are with Vodafone although you can send updates to twitter by text from any operator for the usual text fee. Unless you are with Vodafone, then it is free to text twitter with the texts not even being deducted from your free text bundle. Both the free recieving and sending are subject to fair usage policies.

    Hope that helps, if not drop me a tweet to @kerrymg on twitter...:)

  8. Kerry: Many thanks for the tips.

  9. No time to read the post today so just read some of the comments. Are you going to talk about bumming a fag tomorrow ?
    Much love from moi.