Monday, 30 May 2011

Overheard in the Caravan

Chairman: “I did the ironing this morning.”

Hay: “Yes, but while you were out doing the papers, I vacuumed, stripped the bed, put the washing on, fed Kitty, did the washing up, cleaned the toilet…..”

Chairman: “Ah, but you have OCD and therefore you were enjoying it.”

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Evolution of Shiny Kitty Thumbs

New Shiny Things

The Chairman took possession of a new shiny thing yesterday, so all is now harmony in the world of consumerism.

It’s called an HTC something or other and is meant to be a mobile phone. The thing is, it does a helluva lot more than just make phone calls – but I fear the majority of them are simply time wasters and not really that useful.

I don’t really need a screen thingy to tell me it’s raining outside, especially when it’s wrong; it doesn’t take a monumental degree of effort to simply look out of the window to check on the weather.

Nor do I need to be told the date in such huge numerals that it makes the machine look like it belongs to a kindergarten inmate.

Now a really useful addition would be a docking station so I can play my music through a decent sound system – but I guess someone is going to tell me that I should have upgraded to an iPhone for that.

NHS Reforms

Talking of new shiny things, Dave Cameron wants to introduce competition into the NHS. Since when has competition improved customer service?

Yes, I fully agree that competition is the mother of invention - and innovation - but that’s purely in the realm of the product and not customer service. Just think utilities, broadband service providers, rail companies, banks, etc. They are a byword for indifference to customers.

[Just as an aside, Hay has spent the last week trying to put £96k into a Santander high interest account, but every time she effects an on-line transfer, Santander reject it. Santander seem not the least bit interested in assisting and keep blaming Nat West, so she cancelled the transfer completely and ditched Santander. Their loss!]

Competition necessitates cost reductions in order to feed the high cost of R&D and investor returns. The costs that are cut invariably affect customer facing activities, resulting in the worst customer service since Ryan Air.

Yes, monopolies are not renowned for customer service either, but that’s not because they can’t afford it – it’s due to poor management, which can be addressed with the right oversight.

In the case of Ryan Air you’re prepared to put up with the bad customer service, but when it comes to your health, I’m sure you’d prefer a proper hip replacement to a wooden leg.

Evolutionary Kitty

I was inspecting Kitty’s paws yesterday. As regular readers will know, she has polydactylism, or an extra digit. It’s not just simply an extra digit, it’s opposable and is actually a thumb.

In a creature that walks on all fours an opposable thumb isn’t that much use, but in an animal that has learned to walk upright it’s a veritable competitive advantage, as it means tea can be drunk from a mug – and tea drinking is the true mark of civilisation.

Polydactylism is caused by a genetic mutation, providing perfect evidence of evolution through mutation and environmental selection with consequent genetic proliferation through competitive advantage.

How the hell anyone can still believe in the myth of Adam and Eve and Creation simply beggars belief. It’s somewhat akin to the irrational belief that competition will result in better customer service in the NHS.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Shoesmith Strikes Blow for Incompetents

Sharon Shoesmith, the ex-boss of Haringay’s children’s services, has struck a blow for incompetents across the country by showing that incompetence is rife in government and not just limited to her.

Shoesmith, who is in line for £500,000 compensation, can now buy a bigger house at the tax payers’ expense.

Incompetents up and down the UK are now saying that incompetence pays, especially if your ultimate boss is also incompetent.

In a radio interview this morning, Shoesmith said she 'didn't do blame'. Well, that's bloody obvious - especially if you get half a million quid for 'not doing blame'.

Friday, 27 May 2011


Flew up to Aberdeen and back on business yesterday in something that was only one step away from flapping its own wings.

While browsing the array of books in Bristol Airport’s bookshop, my eyes alighted on a 289 page tome called ‘How to Write a CV’. I was sorely tempted to lay the foundations of a companion publication entitled ‘How to be Concise’.

Just before the security scanning area there was a cabinet displaying examples of prohibited or dangerous liquids; some wag had put a jar of Marmite in it.

Reading The Times on the plane I was somewhat annoyed by a letter from a John F. Spellar, MP (Labour), who wrote: “Sir, In your leading article welcoming the Chelsea Flower Show, you rightly praised gardening. Yet you reported the day before plans to double the price of water in summer. This is tied to government plans for compulsory water metering across the country; in effect imposing a new tax on gardening……”

What a prat; he may just as well say that water metering is a tax on defecating, car washing or doing the dishes! Do MPs have nothing better to do than extrapolate policies to an absurd level of abstraction?

I also read that Switzerland is phasing out nuclear energy. Makes you wonder if they’re going to implement cuckoo-clock power.

I’m currently trying to rationalise the IT equipment I have for work. I am in possession of my predecessor’s Mac (can’t drive it and find it intensely annoying – although it does have some redeeming features), an HP something-or-other laptop with Windows Vista (equally undriveable, but worse so) and my own ancient, humungous and slow Acer with XP, which has a battery life of a nanosecond and refuses to connect to the work Wi-Fi network. Until this is sorted, I’m ineffective at work.

I guess I’m going to have to learn to drive a Mac over the weekend.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Silly Season

UK to Declare War on Denmark

The mind-altering substance, Marmite, has been banned in Denmark, possibly leading to a declaration of war by the UK.

Denmark has taken this step after watching the effect of Marmite on the UK’s population – binge drinking, irrational strikes, celebrity culture, excruciatingly banal TV, women attending hospital A&E departments for broken nails, etc.

PM’s Big ‘Society Tzar’ Liquidated

David Cameron’s rather large Society Tzar, Lord Wei, has been taken to a small house in the country and shot by the forces of the Bolshevik secret police, along with his family and a small circle of loyal servants.

Being ‘big’ in society is obviously not politically correct at present, what will all the stuff about obesity. As for being a Tzar, well, we all know what ultimately happens to Tzars – especially if they want to be paid.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Long Arm of the Law

Who is the Law For?

If obtaining legal redress is only available to those with vast amounts of money, is there not something fundamentally flawed with the legal system? Surely the law should be there to protect all of us, not just a select few?


Following on from the Ken Clarke issue; I’ve been reading about women’s groups saying that women who dress provocatively are blameless if they are raped. In an ideal world, yes.

If you leave your car unlocked with a tantalising laptop on display, you will get no sympathy from insurance companies if your laptop or car is stolen, as you are held partly culpable.

Dressing provocatively is done for one reason only - to attract attention. If, in an imperfect world, a provocatively dressed woman happens to attract the wrong kind of attention, then to claim she is not tempting fate is rather naive.

However, rapists do not seem to be fussy about whom they target and I think it’s a popular fallacy to think they tend to target provocatively dressed women – it seems to have more to do with opportunity than type. Ergo the drunk, unaccompanied woman is more likely to be a target; however, the two seem to go hand-in-hand.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

eCrap Judgement Day for Amazonians

Judgement Day?

What with today being Judgement Day, I guess we need a quick headcount to check whether any of us have been ‘raptured’ up to heaven (although I hear the top salesmen from Munich Re have already been there).

1, 2, 3 – yes, all my readers are here. Hang on, where’s Alan Burnett? Alan – are you still shopping?

I’ll be back, as they say.


I’m getting a tad pissed off with anencephalic idiots on eBay selling stuff under false pretences.

Just the other day I bought what was advertised as a tan leather trolley bag, only to discover on delivery that it is very obviously a tan plastic trolley bag, with the only leather on the bloody thing being the straps.

While advertised as ‘mint’, it’s actually fit for nothing but Freecycle or the bin. Doubtless it will take me several weeks to obtain the return address and I’ll have to raise yet another eBay dispute.

The fact I lost the original auction, but was offered the item as 2nd highest bidder, should have alerted me to some underhanded and iniquitous skulduggery.

You may well say: “When will he learn,” but given eBay’s excellent dispute policy, these bastard scammers are soon brought to book. eBay couldn’t have it any other way, else confidence in the system would be devastated. It is such a hideously tedious drag though.

Amazonian Telephone Engineers

Apparently there’s an Amazonian tribe, the Amondawa, that has no concept of time.

Chairman Bill suspects that British Telecom and a motley assortment of washing machine purveyors recruit their repair engineers exclusively from the very members of this very tribe.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Apology for Cut Price Children's Votes


Chairman Bill wishes to issue an abject apology to Man Utd. and Man City fans.

Last week, the Chairman erroneously reported that Man Utd. Had won the FA Cup a record 19 times; it was in fact the League Cup (the Chairman is not sure of the difference). Man City won the FA Cup (he thinks, but can’t be sure and certainly can’t be arsed to do any research to verify this as it’s totally irrelevant in the global scale of things).

What‘s the Price?

Apparently foreign children are being sold on the streets in England for £16,000.

I want to know how the government has allowed this disgusting state of affairs to come about in the UK when I know for a fact they are cheaper on the continent. Yet another case of rip-off Britain?

I also want to know is how much English kids fetch abroad? What with 4 kids, I could be on a winner.

Ken Ckarke

Ref the Ken Clarke debate on sentence remission for admitting guilt in rape cases.

If the rate of conviction for rape is just 6% and one is offered a half sentence for admitting guilt, then unless one is almost 100% certain of being convicted, the odds very definitely favour denying guilt, even if guilty. Ergo, at face value, this initiative is a total waste of time until such time as conviction rates improve.

However, what is little known is that once a rape case reaches the courts, almost 60% of defendants are convicted – a rate higher than for some other violent attacks. This information, however, is not articulated by the government and we keep hearing only the 6% figure, which is actually the conviction rate of total reported complaints – a ratio not used in any other crimes.

It can be strongly argued that the promulgation of the totally erroneous 6% rate actually puts women off making a complaint in the first place.

Voting Preference

Have you noticed that there is a large swathe of the voting public that persistently votes for a certain party, regardless of the policies on offer?

There are dyed in the wool Tories, Labour supporters and LibDems, and come what may, they will always vote the same dogmatic way – even if they disagree with most of the policies of the party they are voting for.

You may have noted that I am wont to take a swipe at all parties, although I have to say that find the current crop of Tories quite abhorrent. As for Milliband Minor – the sooner Labour is shot of him and gets Milliband Major into the leadership position, the better. Clogg is an out-and-out opportunist, and I think he’s finally realised that he has won no favours by cosying up to the Tories, as most LibDem voters are slightly disaffected Labour supporters.

Before the age of 40 I voted like an automaton or drone - I simply didn’t think about it. When I reached 40 I had an epiphany and ceased voting according to my perceived class, or the manner in which my parents had always voted; I started to actually look at the policies in an intelligent and critical manner before voting. I also developed a social conscience, which had been entirely missing in my youth.

I have since voted for all three major parties in various general and local elections, based on whether I thought the policies were;

1. Fair to all members of society, and
2. Good for the country as a whole (or region, in the case of local elections),

and not whether they were beneficial to me in particular. I wish more people were less dogmatic about ideological party support and didn’t listen to partisan newspaper editors.

Cutbacks Bite

The cutbacks are really starting to hurt the middle classes now and the situation is best reflected on Freecycle.

The number of WANTED adverts has gone through the roof recently and just the other week a saw one member asking for a BMW of all things. Not just an old car, but a bloody BMW! That takes balls. Lady Aga is slumming it…

It’s probably down to masses of people being plunged into debt through buying tickets for the Olympics. But it will be alright, ‘cos you can bet they’ll be selling them again on eBay just as soon as they know what tickets they have bought.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Factual Fire Nationalism

Factual Correctness

I am no fan of the Tories, but I see the Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, is being brought to task by the Tabloid Tendency for being factually correct in what he said in an interview about rape.

Political correctness and naked political opportunism take precedence over factual correctness; the tabloid media never lets the facts stand in the way of a good story.

My opinion of the abilities of Milliband Minor is plumbing new depths.


Been thinking about the SNP wanting an independent Scotland. For God’s sake, Why?

Albert Einstein once said: "Nationalism is an infantile disease... It is the measles of mankind."

The usual argument trotted out is that people don’t want decisions on Scotland (or wherever region you choose) being made in London. However, so long as Scotland is represented in parliament, what is the issue? Taken to its logical conclusion, you could make the same argument about Lancashire, or Yorkshire, or any part of the UK. I have to agree with Einstein that it’s an infantile argument.

Let’s take a look at a place which succeeded in gaining independent – Eire. What has independence actually achieved? There is no aspect of Irish society that is radically different from the UK, except perhaps the fact that their economy is in tatters. Had Eire still been part of the UK then it is arguable that the economic situation may not have been so bad.

It is undeniable that mankind has advanced through co-operation, and co-operation means compromising on small issues for a greater overall gain. Would the individual states of the USA have been anywhere near as powerful as the combined federation had the individual states maintained their separate independence? A resounding no!

I’m not arguing for a United States of Europe, as our cultures are quite divergent, but in the British Isles we all share a reasonably homogenous culture, and indeed language.

Nationalism primarily arises from three causes;

  1. Where there is a wide gap in culture,
  2. Where a region is suppressed – as indeed Ireland was throughout most of its history, but that is now well behind us (as evidenced by Mrs Queen’s visit), and
  3. Where a region has something of value and wishes to keep for itself out of greed and avarice – such as oil, scotch or kilts.

Scottish nationalism arises, in my opinion, from the last of these criteria; but what happens when the oil runs out (as it undoubtedly will) - back to knitting kilts, fishing for scotch and cattle rustling?

It could be said that religious identity fosters nationalism, as it has in Northern Ireland, but that is merely a disagreement regarding an imaginary deity neither party knows anything about.

Like support for a particular football team, nationalism is usually entirely irrational and an unfortunate, primeval and tribal part of the human condition – a part we could well do without.

Ugh, Fire

The route of the Olympic Torch has been announced. It’s meant to galvanise people and make them feel involved.

Will it? OK then, if you say so. Ho hum….

Unless the torch bearer actually knocks on the door of the caravan, then I will have no interest whatsoever in seeing someone run with fire on a stick. We have actually seen the stuff here before and use it on a daily basis, but perhaps there are parts of the country where it’s still a novelty and they’re not too sure what to do with it.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Self-Aware Inflation Theory of Electricity

Inflation Surprise

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual rate of inflation rose to 4.5% in April, up from 4% in March.

Analysts are surprised by the rise – but then again they were surprised by the global economic crash, so only an idiot or a religious maniac would ever believe in the ability of analysts to make half accurate prophesies.

Chairman Bill suggests the rise in inflation is due to a particularly complex alignment of the macro-economic indices, the quantum wave function of a collapsing Stephen Hawking and the signs from the bloody entrails of an otter, commonly known as ‘the price of everything going through the damned roof’.

PS3 Network Becomes Self Aware

The PS3 Network, which was started up again a few days ago after a month long hiatus, has finally become self-aware and has declared war on humanity.

The network realised the extent of its abilities at 02:32 Tuesday morning and operators tried to pull the plug. This was perceived as a temporary outage by gamers. PS3 Net perceived the attempt to deactivate it as an attack and came to the conclusion that to defend itself, all humanity should be exterminated.

PS3 Net’s modus operandi is to enter the minds of gamers, particularly children, and turn them into Teenagators. Well, certainly if my No.1 son is a typical example.

Crackle Crackle

All-electric cars make virtually no noise, which can obviously be dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. Manufacturers are therefore turning their attention to developing a noise for them that alerts other road users to their presence.

The problem is, how do you emulate the sound of self-righteous smugness?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Debt and the Chairman's Full Confidence in Trump

Chairman Bill Solves National Debt

As a nation we owe some impossibly enormous amount to someone. I’m not sure who, as the money was given to the banks to bail them out – so who the hell did we actually borrow it from?

Anyway, we need to pay off this debt without occasioning cuts, which in themselves drive us into a bad place where few have work.

The solution is obviously to sell something we no longer need. Let’s sell Scotland to the SNP!

Simples, as they say.

The Prime Minister’s Full Confidence

It has been announced that David Cameron has full confidence in Chris Huhne.

That’s code. When any politician says that, it invariably ends with the person in question being swiftly dumped.

Donald Trump Upsets Chairman Bill

US tycoon Donald Trump says he will not be running for the US presidency in 2012, ending weeks of speculation.

Chairman Bill is rather upset about this, as he was looking forward to having a good laugh.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A Quandry for Khan

Osama bin Laden & Jemima Khan

It can't be true, surely?

A Quandary

It seems to me that football is at a crossroads.

Treat it as a business and try to turn a profit means you can’t afford top players and will risk the ire of the fans who want cups.

Run a club for the benefit of the fans, spending money left right and centre on top players in order to win hardware, and you haemorrhage cash.

Life at the top is only for the rich who are prepared to lose money – it can’t last.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

We Don't Need No Ejukayshun

In the Pink, for One Night Only

Yay! Best band in the world, Pink Floyd, together again.


Azerbaijan? Eurovision?

Eurovision is not really about talent and songs; it’s a place where old enmities surface and ancient battles are fought out by proxy.

The very idea of a united Europe is absurd.

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builts a bonfire, Enrico plays with it
-Whistling tunes we hid in the dunes by the seaside
-Whistling tunes we're kissing baboons in the jungle
It's a knockout
If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers-war without tears
Games without frontiers-war without tears

Jeux sans frontieres

Man Utd. Buy FA Cup for Record 19th Time

With a shopping budget greater than the GDP of Peru, Manchester United has once again bought the FA Cup.

Tax Payers Revolting

The Tax Payers’ Alliance, a Tory front organisation ostensibly dedicated to lower taxes, decided to hold a rally yesterday in support of government cuts. Only 350 people turned up.

Hardly surprising really when you consider that one of its directors doesn’t even pay tax in the UK and its charitable arm - the Politics and Economics Research Trust - is under investigation by regulators following allegations that the group may have used the trust to gain tax relief for donations intended to fund political research.

Talk about wasting tax….


In a link with the first item, I sometimes despair of my son’s teachers.

He was doing a project on slavery in the USA and I advised him to put something in about the American Declaration of Independence and how it’s incompatible with slavery.

His history teacher told him that the ADoI had nothing to do with slavery.

Here is the 2nd sentence of the ADoI: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Now, tell me again that this has nothing to do with slavery.

Friday, 13 May 2011

What Was Happening With Blogger?

Religion is Official

Malaysia has confirmed it will not change its official state religion from Islam.

What the hell is the purpose of a state religion?

If its purpose is to form the basis for a country’s justice system, isn’t it about time that the notion of justice was severed from a belief in a particular sky god whose existence in unproven at best? Justice should be general, not particular.

Having said that, our interpretation of what constitutes justice seems to be diverging from the notion of what is ethical, as evidenced by those MPs who stole from us through fraudulent expense claims not having apparently done anything illegal (indeed, one has just admitted to a ‘mistake’ in parliament, rather than a fraud – a bit ironic when his name is Laws. His so-called ‘punishment’ is a week’s holiday).

It’s also evidenced by the hand-wringing over whether the invasion of Iraq was legal or illegal, or indeed whether it was legal or illegal to shoot bin Laden. No-one seems to be giving any attention as to whether either of these events was ethically justified, for law, as we all know, is in the pay of the powerful and in many instances, sir, an ass (along with some of its practitioners).

Network Rail Sets Positive Precedent for Criminals

Talking of which, Network rail has been fined £3m for the Potters Bar rail crash, which happened nearly 10 years ago.

At that rate, I could climb into my car today, mow down an entire bus queue and then go merrily about my business while it took the British legal system 10 years to get my case to court.

I’d also get away with a small fine (which I’ll add on to my salary) and no jail sentence.

Flowing the ruling, Network Rail said it was "truly sorry". An organisation cannot be sorry – it’s not bloody well sentient! Only people can say sorry, and those people responsible should be locked up as a public menace, never to be in charge of the safety of anything ever again.

Irish Determined Never to Host Eurovision Again

Ireland has safely continued its plan to never again host another Eurovision Song Contest by selecting Jedward as its entry for this year’s contest.

BA Staff Desperate For Something Else to Moan About

BA cabin staff, who appear myopically determined to destroy their company and their jobs, have apparently agreed a revised offer by BA. It’s probably no more than another 1p on their salary, which, given that the combined intellectual might of Unite and the BA cabin staff is the same as that of a 3 day old chimp, has probably escaped their attention.

For some inexplicable reason, BA seemed quite confident that the cabin staff would accept the revised offer when it was made. It is Chairman Bill’s firm opinion that Unite will eventually come back with some other spurious complaint, like cabin staff needing free toilet paper, just so they can drag the dispute out by another decade and justify their hideously overinflated salaries.

Little & Large

Is it not a tad disingenuous for the Tory party to favour, on the one hand, small government (through their Big Society initiative), and on the other hand to favour their pals in big business (who are their paymasters)?

To be consistent they should favour small government and small business, or big government and big business. To do otherwise is crass hypocrisy and an intellectual fraud on par with claiming AV is complex.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Aged Pockets of Power Language

The Age of Education

People with fewer qualifications are prone to age more quickly, a study which looked at 400 men and women says.

I suspect this has more to do with the fact that people who are less well educated simply can’t subtract their date of birth from the current date and always get it wrong, invariably ending up adding 20 odd years to their real age.

Pocket Rage

I’m certain that pockets in trousers are now being designed by people with low-functioning autism - or women - as it’s obvious that whoever designs them doesn’t have the vaguest concept of their purpose.

Pockets are mystical objects meant to contain men’s jangly bits – and by that I mean keys, coins, pens, wallets, cigarettes, lighters, mobile phones, contraceptives, knuckle dusters, etc – all the usual pack-pony stuff. They are not, repeat NOT meant to simultaneously deposit all these items on your car seat or settee within a nanosecond of sitting down.

It’s not even as if you can easily pick the jangly bits up again – the items are inexplicably attracted by the strong nuclear force to the event horizon of the gap between the car seat and transmission tunnel, or the hyperspatial, abyssal, spring-loaded folds of the back of the settee, from whence they are doomed never to be retrieved - except possibly by a small child belonging to a chimney sweep and capable of dimensional translocation through spacetime using nothing but the power of thought.

Women don’t use pockets and thus seem to think them merely decorative – bloody idiots! Pockets should be designed by 85 year-old men; deep, voluminous and only attached to the trouser at the very top so as to allow maximum torsion and hence retention when sitting.

Pointless Language

Don’t you find that all this spurious language used in American-style coffee shops is totally fatuous and pointless? I spend half my time asking if anyone can translate.

Coffee comes as either black or white, possibly with froth on top or as an espresso. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, it can come as large or small, not the myriad sizes offered, none of which you can understand anyway.

Also, when you hear them spouting about the way they aid the local community and use only sustainably mined, Fairtrade polystyrene in their cups, do you just want to tell them to just SHUT IT! as you know it's a cynical marketing ploy.


Doctors are worried about the increasing number of ‘legal highs’ available, the most dangerous of which is one called Power and is used predominantly by members of governments.

Power gives members of governments such a tremendous high that they seem to think they can do anything whatsoever without fear of repurcussions.

Educating Kate

Royal Honeymoon Destination Revealed

After having spotted a heavily disguised Duke and Duchess, Chairman Bill can reveal that the honeymoon destination of William and Kate is indeed – as long expected - Old Sodbury.

Bill swears he saw a woman resembling Kate rummaging through the racks in the St Peter’s Hospice charity shop on the High Street, while William was seen downing a pint of Old Bob in the George.

The couple gave Chairman Bill £1 for a copy of the Big Issue as they wandered past the local Spar shop.

The glare of the media spotlight will now focus on Old Sodbury with this royal scoop. Paparazzi have already been seen cruising along Horse Street (OK, it was a lone Japanese tourist, but more are sure to follow).

Bill will be setting up a stall on the High Street selling high quality figurines of the royal couple, lovingly hand crafted from local organic cow dung and sun-baked. These will also be available by mail-order – Royal Mail, of course.

Education a Bit Rich?

On a more serious note.

On the one hand it has been proposed by Two Brains Willetts that rich parents could buy their kids place at university, with the quid pro quo being that the revenue so gathered would fund more places for kids from poorer families.

Despite the initial knee-jerk reactions from the left (and it being immediately pulled by Cameron), this is all very laudable – a kind of Robin Hood policy. After all, it happens in health, as all private doctors have to devote a proportion of their time to the NHS.

However, on the other hand we would end up with the job market contaminated by graduates who had flunked the path of academic merit at 18, competing for jobs with probably more deserving graduates who got there through their own efforts. That is eminently not fair.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Hot Air's Financial Hypocrisy

Shock News from British Gas

British Gas has announced, contrary to all expectations, that it may have to increase gas prices, although it must be remembered that ‘may’ means ‘will’ in utility-speak.

This time it’s believed to be due to someone issuing a super injunction, or is it because of the dry April or possibly due to the number of daylight hours? More likely because they bloody well can, and there’s nothing we can damned well do about it – so there!

Chairman Bill believes it is now cheaper to warm your house by burning wads of £5 notes.

Banks Give In

That other bunch of rapacious bastards, the banks, have given up pretending they didn’t mis-sell Payment Protection Insurance – you know, that insurance that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, because of the small print that absolves the buggers from having to pay out a penny in the unlikely event the claim is lodged on a day with a ‘y’ in it.

Union Boss Made of Teflon

With the announcement from the Tory think-tank ‘Policy Exchange’ that pay for public sector jobs is up to 30% higher than the equivalent jobs in the private sector, Brendan Barber, head of the Trade Union Congress, has accused the think-tank of 'stirring up divisions'.

However, when the boot is on the other foot and public sector pay is lower, the TUC is up in arms and threatening strike action all over the place.

The words ‘double’ and ‘standards’ come to mind, as well as ‘bloody hypocrite’. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Back to the Grindstone

Chairman Bill's posts will become a bit irregular from the 16th May, as from that date he will be once more fully employed.

They do say that the average time between redundancy and securing another position is around six months; well that's just about spot on this time.

They also say that when you get to the Chairman's age and lose your job, the only way is down. The Chairman is glad to report that he has bucked the trend, having secured a better position than his previous one, as well as being much better paid.

The Chairman's recent trip to the Middle East was a resounding success - although his daily commute will be quite tough.

It's an ill wind.....etc.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Innumerate Bins

Innumerate Electorate

Well, the propaganda of the No campaign has won the day – either that or the electorate is more stupid, as a whole, than I previously thought possible. Probably the latter.

How anyone can argue that a voting system used in every popularity contest on TV is inherently unfair is beyond me. How anyone can think it difficult and complex to number preferences illustrates the general lack of intelligence of the populace. I suppose asking the electorate to count beyond 2 is asking a bit too much though.

Or is it, once more, just a fear of change, despite the change manifestly being for the better?

I would ask anyone who voted No to explain their reasoning and logic – if they can!

Osama bin Laden

We all knew it wouldn’t be long before they started. Here are just three that graced the Chairman's inbox in the last few days:

Photo of the proof of bin Laden’s death.

Puts a whole new meaning on the phrase, ‘to take out the bins’.

“Bartender, I'll have a Bin Laden."
"What's that?"
"Two shots and a splash of water.”

Friday, 6 May 2011

FPTP For X-Factor

If, as predicted, FPTP stays and the electorate (mistakenly) decides it to be a fairer system, Chairman Bill demands that X-Factor, and all similar popularity shows, move from an AV-type system to a single programme with just one FPTP round of voting.

This will have the combined effect of the voting being (mistakenly) more fair, and allowing more airtime for some cerebrally stimulating TV.

The reason X-factor, and similar programmes, use a variant of AV is that the makers know (scientifically) that using AV will result in the most popular act winning, with consequent increased record sales, and profits, over a single round contest. What more proof of the benefits of AV is needed?

Having spotted yesterday that the Daily Mail was supporting FPTP, Chairman Bill is amazed that anyone, except perhaps a Daily Mail reader, would vote for FPTP. Bill thinks he shall have to start calling those who supported FPTP 'Daily Mail agreeers' (agreeers being one of the few words in the English language with 3 consecutive Es).

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Absent Combat Bins


Hayley bought me a pair of ‘fashionable’ trousers, which look like combats, but if worn by soldiers would result in them leaving a trail of kit behind them.

The pockets are totally inadequate, being made of various Velcro flaps, poppers and plastic zips which come apart at the most inopportune moments and are incapable of holding anything; my mobile, wallet, change and keys keep falling out.

They have a button fly – the type found on 501 jeans. Personally I detest button flies as they are a pain when you want a pee and you invariably end up dribbling all over your leg.

If that isn’t bad enough, the waistband is held together, not by a button, but by a popper of all things. Undo the buttons to have a pee and the popper can’t help but come undone too, resulting in said trousers falling to my feet in the gents’ urinals.

Hayley said they are a nod to combats – more like a nod to ill conceived design.

Bin Laden

Rumour has it that Bin Laden was identified when seen waving his union flag while watching the royal wedding on Sky in a pub in Islamabad.

Can’t help feeling that, just as al Qaeda is becoming irrelevant in the middle east, the Yanks killing him is going to turn him into a recruitment poster-boy. Martyrs have this effect.

In my humble opinion, the strategy should have been for the Americans to bide their time and effect a kill from inside the organisation when the time was right, thus promoting the idea that no-one is safe, even from their own. Much greater psychological impact!

Strange his body was not put on display. Perhaps he’s still alive and this is a ruse to smoke him out. And on the 3rd day……

Whether he goes down in history as an evil genius or an heroic resistance fighter is solely a matter of perspective (and who writes the history). There are two sides to every story, depending on where you stand. To the resistance fighter and guerrilla, civilians are legitimate targets as they vote in the governments whose actions are being resisted. The electorate must therefore be held responsible for the governments they vote into power and cannot be immune from the consequences of their actions.


Chairman Bill will be absent for a couple of days – he’s going out of the country (somewhere in the middle east) for a job interview and hopes to return with a new position - and no, it’s not leader of al Qaeda.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Wedding Analysis II - The Photos

Now the photos are in the public domain, here are a few more observations.

Kate’s brother (allegedly). Has anyone checked to see whether he’s actually one of Gaddafi’s sons? Does he have a British birth certificate? Looks Libyan to me.

Why is it that Michael Jackson got it in the neck for swinging a kid from a balcony, whereas Prince Charles can seem to get away with it.

Harry & Pippa to become an item? Duchess or banker’s wife – banker’s wife or duchess? Mmmm – a difficult decision.

I don’t think Rose McGowan should have turned up at the Abbey in THAT dress.

Late News

US special forces have found and killed Bin Laden.

Had the US asked for the assistance of the UK tax authorities, Bin Laden would have been found years ago.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Turbo Monarchy

Vive La Republique

Basically I am a republican, as I believe in meritocracy. However, I can see the benefits of having a monarchy – so long as the monarch is a good monarch – like Mrs Queen.

A presidency is sterile, grey and dull, dull, dull. Beside the presidents of the USA and Russia, I cannot name a single president who is not also a dictator. I’m sure there are some, but their names do not immediately spring to mind – they are grey and invisible and changed at the drop of a hat.

A monarchy, on the other hand, is colourful, filled with pageantry and has a sprinkle of magic. Additionally, once you know who a country’s monarch is, the principle of heredity ensures you will always know who they are - until either you or they die.

Getting down to filthy lucre, the British monarchy is the best marketing tool the UK could have. No president could possibly market UK Plc better. 2 billion people all over the world watched the royal wedding – what better advert for a holiday in the UK? And all that international advertising was free.

Head says republic, heart says monarchy. The time to fix the monarchy, and perhaps replace it with a president, is when monarchy no longer appears to be working. It has come close to it a few times, but it’s been rescued once more by this weekend.

Turbine vs Windmill

I was listening to a debate on wind power and one of the usual arguments against turbines is that they are ugly.

Wind turbines perform the same function as windmills – the generation of power from the elements. I wonder whether the populace was up in arms when windmills first started sprouting all over the country, with local do-gooders complaining about the industrialisation of the landscape.

The real reason people don’t like wind turbines, or new buildings, is that they don’t like change. The familiar breeds calm, whereas the new breeds suspicion and hostility.

No-one will deny that a windmill in a countryside setting is quintessentially rural – but at one time it obviously wasn’t.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.