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Sunday, May 29, 2011


there are somethings in life which come as no shock.
we know bears shit in the woods.
we know the pope is catholic.
and we now know that sepp blatter is innocent.

no surprise there then.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


in a new low in laziness - even for me - i decided to order a pizza online.
why? i had no cash and i couldn't be bothered to go out.
i like the pizzas that rocket pizza do.
i order online by a company called hungryhouse.
all is well and good.
although i live in a flat i am still hungry.
order is placed.
confirmation is received.
i sit back and play on the computer a bit more.
pop out to get the paper and some pop (not a long journey - i live above a newsagents).
i wait.
i am hungry.
i wait.
i am hungry.
i wait.
i am still hungry.
i wait.
even hungrier.
i phone them.
ooops they had the order - they just hadn't done anything with it.
be twenty minutes.
it wasn't.
it arrived.
i scoffed.
i am at bursting point.

the idea of being able to place an online order is a nice one.
a little like the big society - great idea, just doesn't seem to work in practice.

next time i want a pizza i am just going to call them.

Friday, May 27, 2011


i am super-pooped.
lot on my mind.
lot of things to do.
need to make lists, need to make plans.
too tired right now, too tired to go to the bog.
sleep that is about all i can do, maybe i will read a page or two of the new james bond book while the chorus of drunks drone on.
interesting dreams for me tonight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


we've been shown photos of cameron and obama dishing out the grub at one of those 'look at us we are just like you' photo-oppurtunities so beloved of politicians.
as nice as the food might have been i am betting it wasn't as gorgeous as the most recent treat i discovered at the local supermarket. i have to admit that i am a man of limited likes when it comes to food. i am not adventurous. i know what i like and i stick to it. if i could i would have extra large deep pan veggie pizza every night, and follow that by a cream cake, coffee and a few cans of fizzy pop. a little slice of heaven.
now i can add to that with the recent discover of the custard and jam pastry horn. delicious, delightful, divine.
true very fattening - but i can blame my wobbliness on any number of things that have nothing to do with me eating too much and too much of the wrong things.

so remember custard and jam pastry horn - awesomeness.


obama addressed the british parliament today - the bbc described how the house fell silent when he began to speak, as if won over by his aura as opposed to them just being polite.

during his speech obama said: "we are the nations most willing to stand up for the values of tolerance and self-determination that lead to peace and dignity."
these are wonderful words.
words to live by.
words to be proud of.
yet somehow they don't ring true - they are tarnished by their frequent misuse and the way they are often ignored. that is why there is often confusion about how the two governments want or do. libya is a somewhere they believe they can go, but burma or zimbabwe are not.
add in the implict claim that democracy is the best system in the world, and it is 'our' democracy that is the model that others should adopt (yeah it gave us dubya for two terms and looks to be supporting david cameron: proof positive that it may not be such a good system.
no thought is given to the fact that some people want to live under a monachy, or a theocracy, or under military rule or any other system. no, we assume that they want to, and that they must, live under 'our' version of democracy.
perhaps the lead that obama and cameron need to give the world is an extended period of non-interference with other countries.
it would be a novel foreign policy.
it won't happen - because regardless of the noble words most of the west's foreign policy is not about promoting equality but about securing economic or military advantage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


i don't drink.
i have little tolerance for drunks.
i live near a costcutters although that is handy for the emergency can of pop there are times when it is the bane of my life.
the local drunks love the costcutter - it carries a lot of cheap booze, most of which is better suited to stripping paint from the hulls of ocean liner's than being imbied. the local booze hounds don't care.
i also live quite close to a small green. in summer it would be nice ot go and sit in it and read a book and relax. it is home to the boozers. as i have never sat out in the sun to read a book the fact they are there doesn't bother.
summer nights mean they can stay out longer.
means they can drink for longer.

so for the last few hours i have had several of them arguing about who should have been able to eat the chicken and chips - this became a debate about respect and integrity. it was a very loud debate about respct and integrity. whatever harm booze does it obviously gives people strong loud voices.
as with so many drunken debates violence was bubbling away.
nothing happned - it rarely does - but once the respect and integrity card has been played you have to move on to the 'i'll deck you' phase where each person claims to be able to knock the other one out quciker, harder and better than the others. this is followed by the 'my mate' phase where the losers of the 'i'll deck you' talk about how they know someone who is better and who will knock out the winner of the 'decking' phase if they were to call on them.
about now comes the sobbing moment when one of them will talk about something that happened to them years ago (or even minutes) which justifies their current attitude or actions.

once every aspect of the chicken and chips argument had been aired, countered, weighed up and judged they decided to go through it all again. loudly.

now they are discussing parenthood.
i am shuddering at the thought.

street theatre at its best.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


it may seem odd, but i do like the idea of 'the big society'. david camerson is right to promote it, he is right to bang his chest about it. it is a big idea, it is a powerful idea.
there is nothing new with the idea - we all get misty eyed with ideas of community and social responsibility.
what makes cameron's 'big society' such a 'big' idea is that it is closely tied to his political philosophy of vastly shrinking the state. in the hands of cameron and the conservatives 'the big society' is just another way of going back the the paternalistic attitudes of the victorians (the dukes know best...)
most of us know that when cameron talks of the 'big society' he also means 'big cuts in public spending' - still it will be alright as there are always going to be a few nice rich people who will fund a local library or two; a few nice old biddies who will run it (and perhaps we will give a stipend to a few of the local urchins to keep the place clean).
see you already love the idea.
schools, hospitals, doctors, social workers, police everything and anything can be turned over to the big society (or big business if you need competition).

it is because we can all see behind the curtain that 'the big society' idea hasn't gained the traction mr. cameron had hoped it would, perhaps we are not as easily lead by toffs as some of them say we are?
the various relaunches of 'the big society' are about as successful and believable as a promise from nick clegg.
so spare a thought for mr. cameron has his latest push on the idea has hit a snag as his 'big society' tsar, lord wei of shoreditch, has decided to stand down and do his own thing. ooops.
tessa jowell, a member of the shadow cabinet, has said that once again the big society has descended into farce.
perhaps a little harsh and perhaps a little unfair.
but it can't be denied that at the moment the big society is comedy gold.

Monday, May 23, 2011


not sure what i am more surprised by - that the olympic ticketing ballot has gone so horribly wrong: people who went through the official 2012 site, still don't know what tickets they have. while other sites are offering tickets to events on a first come first served basis.
i guess the only people who know they have tickets are the 2 million or so who are getting them from the 'olympic family'. so seb knows where he is sitting. that makes it a-ok in my book.

or maybe it is the relaunch (did it ever take off) of the big society. david cameron is out and about trying to persuade us all to give more of our time and our money to charity. to make it easier for us we will soon be able to give charitable donations at the cashpoint or via mobile phone.
of course this seems to ignore that for a large chunk of us money is, as the song says, too tight to mention. while time isn't all that easy to give as more and more have to work longer hours or travel longer to work.
so david - here is an idea don't try to sell the big society to the little people, sell it to those whose bonuses are more than most of us earn in a year or three. ask them to give up the newest car and donate to charity; ask them to write a cheque to the local good cause. after all we are all in it together.
even better why not ask those companies who go out of their way to dodge tax to actually pay their taxes so that the money is there in the first place to make sure that the good works can continue.
after all we are all in it together.
or was that just a cynical soundbite?
oh silly me of course it was.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


they say you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.
so spare a thought for poor old david cameron. there is mr. cameron (or 'call me dave' as littlejohn likes to refer to him) trying so hard to show us all that the conservative party is a changed animal - no longer is it the nasty party, no longer is it the party of the rich, no longer is it the party of big business. now it is the party for us all - just look at it all big society, localism - hey they even love the national health service.
the conservatives have changed.
they are the caring party - look at mr. cameron out and about without a tie. there he is with his jacket off and his sleeves rolled up - just like us ordinary people.

just when you think you have sold the lie up pops mr. cameron's uncle to declare:
"‘the thing is, and the labour party underestimate it, but if you ask the working classes who they want to lead them, they prefer to be led by a duke."
of course we do.

david cameron is probably squirming that it has been said so publicly and by someone so close to him. the tory party are never going to say anything like this - probably becuase they know it isn't true, besides it is not in the conservatives dna to ask - they just assume that they are the right people to lead, it is their right to lead.
remember that when george osborn begins his attacks on trade unions, there will be lots of talk about the freedom of choice all of which is just a way to hide the fact that the one choice they don't want is that of workers to choose to improve their lot.

remember doff those caps.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


oh ryan you naughty naughty boy.
i may have confessed that i have little interest for celebrity gossip and scandal. i realise that we live in a society where the peccadillos of vaguely famous people rate more highly than news, where knowing that footballer 'g' is seeing minor celeb 't' is seen to be in the national interest (for national interest read sales figures). we seem to revel in celebrity misfortune - perhaps we believe it makes them more like us (or us like them).
i don't know.
mostly i don't care.
all the fuss and bother over this latest super-injunction has meant, ironically, that it is quite hard not to know who is at the centre of it all.
twitteratti have taken it upon themselves to 'fight' for the freedom of speech, ignoring the irony of the web allowing such freedom fighters to remain anonymous. in the end this isn't wikileaks this is just a bloke who has been a naughty boy and will have to deal with the consequences with his family. it isn't our business. it doesn't change our world. we haven't learnt anything new: people cheat - wow revelation.

actually i take that back if it wasn't for his dick i would never have learnt about the 'streisand effect'.
so thanks for that ryan.

Friday, May 20, 2011


it is funny how people can surprise you.
i am not a fan of andrew lloyd-weber, which isn't to say i don't like some of the things he has done.
i remember a terrible period when 'phantom of the opera' was released. i was in the middle of my master's degree; the usual stress between me and the girlfriend; flat was flooded and i was trying to write a paper on something to do with anthony giddens and the theoretical underpinnings of modes of production. so while the girlfriend and the kid slept i was in the kitchen trying to write this paper. the kettle was rarely off the gas oven, the coffee strong and hot. from the front room was the dull hum of the dehumidifier the council had given us to dry out the soaked room and from the radio in the kitchen the pleasing tones of radio 2 (chosen because the reception was clear). the witching hour had come and gone and i was now in the deep dark night. too much coffee and too little sleep. some odd light operatic show was on - the two presenters would talk a little and then burst into song and once the duet had finished they would be back to chit and chat. they were not helping me get my head around transitional forms of capitalism, the agency of change and the superstructure.
as if i were not suffering the dueting presenters moved into 'phantom of the opera' mode.
they talked about it, they played some of it, they talked about it some more, played some more of it and they may have even sung a song from it.
i wouldn't know - i was delirious at the time. i was trying to deide if weber and parsons would have been lloyd-weber fans and whether or not marx, althussar and giddens would have laughed him off of the radio.
my paper was shit.
my performance in class was such that i am still embarrassed by it today.

a few months later i was on the train to coventry to see my girlfriend while she was doing her masters at warwick university. i was going up for the weekend. i was knackered from a long week at work (ah the days of overtime - the money it brought in). some bastard on the train had his discman with him and decided to play 'phantom of the opera' very loudly and very often. i hated him.
i tried to sleep through it.
i may have done. i think i still have nightmares about it.
it turned out to be a very very shit weekend (but that is a tale for another night).

fast forward to the times of the con/dems.
in a way to get us all to be happy (because david cameron is very keen to make sure we are all happy) the con/dems decided to cut funding to varios art councils and groups (not necessarily a bad thing - again a debate for another night) but it seems an odd thing to do when you want people to be happy and to have access to culture.
but we are all in it together so we all have to have cuts together and besides the rich can still afford the opera so there is nothing to worry about.

some big names of the cultural world have stepped forward to complain about the cuts they have said that the government should maintain spending on the arts. most of these noble complainers are successful in their own fields. none of them short of a few bob or two and none of them seem to have anything to say other than: 'no cuts'.

stepforward andrew lloyd-weber.
now andrew isn't short of a few million, he has often featured on the sunday times' 'rich list'.
recently he sold a picasso painting and he has turned over the proceeds from the sale to his arts foundation. so some cultural organisatons in the uk will benefit from some of the £32 million pounds he has raised.
if ever david cameron wanted something that shows his 'big society' in a good light then andrew lloyd-weber is a perfect example. perhaps a few of the moaners can take a leaf out of his book?

so doff a cap to andrew lloyd-weber who has put his money where his mouth is.
it is a gesture that makes up for 'phantom of the opera'.
only just mind you; only just.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


have a bloated feeling.
think i need a very big dump.
just thought i would share.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


i had no strong feelings about the current spate of injunctions and super-injunctions which allow the rich to, possibly, gag the press when it comes to revelations of their indescretions.
true the whole thing is lopsided in that the weaker of the two parties (normally the woman) is left out in the open and unable to defend herself. 
the reason i had no strong feelings about it all was simply because i don't care if some celebrity is sticking his dick where the sun don't shine while lying to his wife. it is none of my business what the son of the former leader of the british union of fascists gets up to in privacy of his spare time (i might be envious, but that is a different matter altogether).
no matter how you slice and dice it the only reason some of these revelations are in the 'public interest' is because the public have learnt to love salicious gossip masquerading as news.
the public believes it own celebrity and there must have the right to know everything about them. the press encourage this; their justification being that the public has a right to know what these public figures get up because they are famous and that somehow or another makes you a role model of some sort. thus when you have tarnished your image then you have to suffer the slings and arrows.
frankly just let them get on with the extra marital shagging or the visits to the local whore. who really cares? not i.
why do i say that?
mostly because these are people who, in the main, i wouldn't want to be a role model to any children (or adults), they become 'role models' because the press want something to beat them over the head with. we can't just be happy with whatever it is that makes them celebrities - we have to be able to tear them down.

it is safe to say i am no lover of celebrity (that of course will change when i am rich and famous). nor did i care much about the injnctions.
so what has changed i can hear you ask?
simple i head read that jeremy clarkson was for super injunctions and that swunf me around. it was bad enough being on the side of the tories during the av debate there is just no way i am going to appear on the same side as clarkson.

so i am now against injunctions and super injunctions being used to hide the fact that someone rich and famous did nothing very wrong, did something that most people do or have done. it is wrong to cheat on your wife or girlfriend but if they do it should be no one else's business.
it appears the rumours of mr. clarkson cheating on his wife are no more than that.
my advice to clarkson is: save the money: spend it wisely  and next time keep your dick in your trousers. then no one has to worry.

Monday, May 16, 2011


a simple word. a simple idea.

most people want consistency in their lives.

when i was being a step-parent one of the things i quickly learnt was that you had to be consistent with the kid. you couldn’t tell him not to do something one day and allow him to do it the next day. that just creates confusion and it creates problems.

consistency is important in when it comes to debate and thought. it isn’t that change is bad it is to be taken seriously there has to be a reason for the change. anything else is flip flopping which means you might as well be a liberal democrat.

logic isn’t my forte yet i try to keep as much as possible straight when i argue, perhaps i should give lessons to the nick clegg?

there i was reading an article about wind farms in wales. the author makes an impassioned argument against these mechanistic monstrosities on the gorgeous welsh landscape. as a bit of a diversion her argument is also a perfect example of why localism isn’t the great powerful social movement that cameron and co believe because all it really leads to is a series of non in my backyardism.

right back to the argument: on the one hand the author claims that wind farms are no good because when they produce excess electricity it is too much for the national grid to absorb. later the author claims when talking to an engineer working on the wind farm turbines they revealed that each one would just generate enough power for one light bulb per house in the local city. so from overpowering the national grid to just doing a light bulb – something not right in the state of denmark methinks.

or take alex salmond he has said that if scotland was independent then he is not adverse to sharing their military facilities with its neighbours (well they would be empty otherwise as you can bet that if independence became even a sniffing reality that various ships, subs and planes would be relocated in double quick time). only he goes on to say that an independent nation has to have an independent foreign policy and that scotland would not have agreed to the illegal war in iraq. oh well those two positions hold well together, though i am prepared to give mr. salmond the benefit of the doubt being deliberately contradictory.

but then he is a politician so that is alright.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


i am not a fan of the uk independence party, and i have no love of their leader nigel farage. yet they are a legitimate political party who go out and campaign to get votes (though i do find it ironic that they have a voice only because they have representation in europe where their elected members get paid to sit in a parliament they want abolished).
however i hate the taxpayer's alliance - those arch, and somewhat shadowy, right-wingers who purport to speak for all taxpayers, when really all they are doing is speaking for the very rich and very powerful who are already doing all they can not to pay tax. quite why their rent-a-quote outfit gets any coverage on sensible news platforms is beyond me, but they do.
(as an aside both nigel farage and matthew sinclair, of the taxpayer's alliance, look like they could be characters from the simpsons.)

you may not have heard of it, but both uk independence party and the taxpayer's alliance were involved in a march and demonstration in support of the con/dems programme of spending cuts.
a bbc correspondent (one of the evils of the world as far as the taxpayer's alliance is concerned) said it is not often you hear people chanting 'we want more cuts' (unless of course it is outside a plastic surgeon's clinic - that bit was me and not the bbc).
lots of placards proclaiming "stop spending money we don't have" and even a banner that said 'taxes = slaves' (of course we won't see the taxpayer's alliance or ukip out supporting a living wage because companies would prefer to pay as little as possible thus making them economic slaves).
the news camera panned across the gathered throng trying to capture them all in one panoramic shot. it wasn't hard. what was hard was trying to disguise the gaps that allowed you to see bored pedestrians walking by and wondering what was going on.
the support that this demonstration got was counted in the low hundreds. some of the more lunatic speakers at hyde park probably get more each sunday to listen to them.

don't let the poor turnout bother you, it didn't bother mr. sinclair - because those few hundred represented the normally silent majority.
oh that is ok then.

i am guessing that the stop the cuts organisers could claim exactly the same thing- only more so.

i know which side i am on and it is not the chinless wonders of messrs sinclair and farage.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


the shard is going to be a very impressive and very impossing building on the south bank of the thames. not only will it be london's tallest building but it will be the tallest in the european union.
the developers are keen to make sure that they give back to the local economy. so they are going to make sure that some 150 jobs go to the residents of southwark.

when the shard is fully occupied it will be home to upto 12,000 workers.
still take heart a 150 of them will be local.

Friday, May 13, 2011


today it was announced by the institue of fiscal studies that household incomes may return to the levels of 2004 (which for me would be an improvement), which in case you are wondering means they are going to decline.
earlier in the week we heard that for those who reside on the sunday times rich list there was a recovery in their earnings and holdings.

the rich get richer and the poor gets poorer.
was ever thus.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


i was at a talk given by ken livingstone the other night. ostensibly it was about art, mostly it was about how ken was a nice chap and should be mayor of london, and nothing wrong with that. it was the first time that i have seen ken live - he is a comfortable public speaker who gets his point across very well and knows how to keep an audience listening. there is a nice level of self-deprecating humour mixed in the serious political message.
as with most of these sorts of 'self-interested' meetings there is a level of bollocks (to use a word ken is fond of) spoken. so you have the argument that art should not be elitist - but everyone was quick to deride the music/tv of simon cowell or the movies of large hollywood studios. or that artists are there to challenge and, if needs be offend, though not if that challenge/offensive is towards a group that needs to be 'protected'. art should be free of control or censorship but should be funded by the state (not by big corporations because they are bad, they are very bad, no in fact they are scum - until they start buying my work).
the contradictions didn't seem to bother people there.

mr. livingstone was making a point about access to art and ethnic miniorities he did it in terms of economic prosperit/security. his wider point was that when we are comfortable and secure we are more likely to be progressive in our outlook. when we are trying to make ends meet we just concentrate on the necessities (it is only when we have nothing to lose that we become revolutionary). so he went on because the black community is very poor art is not high on the list of priorities. i guess it depends on how you define art (and mr. livingstone had a very wide definition), but it is true go to any major art gallery in london and the proportion of ethnic faces you see is small. go to the smaller commercial galleries and seeing an ethnic gallery goer is rarer than seeing a decent piece of work by bob and roberta smith.
yet poverty can't be held up as the cause as the national gallery, the national portrait gallery, tate modern and tate britain are free to enter and there are enough works in them all to keep people busy for quite awhile.
it may just be that some people depending on their age or cultural background are just not interested in gallery art. or it may just be that they are not aware that this stuff is there and it is free to them to go and view.

mr. livingstone said he was keen to keep museums and galleries in london free to enter. yay him.
yet there was an animator in the audience who wanted to know what ken was going to do for their animation company. the question i wanted to ask was: why should anyone do anything to help your company? most of us who work in the more mundane world of offices don't get subsidies to do the things we like - so i am not sure that just because you can't make an adequate living (though the expensive blinged branded jeans the questioner was wearing implied they were not short of a bob or two) doing the job you have decided is arty enough for you that you should be able to dip into the public purse.
subsidy is good if a mass of people can appreciate or enjoy the benefits of it.
subsidy is a waste of money if it just means a minority group gets to enjoy a minority interest art form while the rest of us scratch our heads and look on.

on the one hand we hear about the democratisation of creativity due to the internet - we can all be singers, dancers, actors, directors, artists now - the web frees us. on the other hand we are still being told that it only matters when it is in the 'defined' space for it.
the problem is artists want to be 'different' from the rest of us - they are elitists because only they have the vision to turn the squiggles or blurred images into art, when the rest of us do it is is just doodling or taking snaps. at the same time artists want to be of the people - they want us to accept that they speak to us through shared emotions and experiences that really we are the same just they have found a way to express what we all feel.
like any club the creative world wants to exlude the mass - it develops its own language and if you do not understand that language you are not part of the fraternity. woe betide anyone who just happens to say something along the lines of 'i don't know much about art but i know what i like' because it isn't about what you like it is about using polysyllabic words and dense concepts to explain why it is worthy of attention.

yet none of this was why i started writing this - it has been one long digression.
one of ken's techniques is to appear to be one of the people. we are just alike me and him.
he was keen to piont out that politics was not exciting, that is was really just a series of long dull meetings going over the minutia of plans. how we all giggled to discover that politicians had to do mundane work like the rest of us.
ken: just like us.
ken who has a pedestrian life: just like you and i.

except he undercut it a little by his regular references to his trips to shanghai and beijing as guest of the chinese government.
or how he had just finished his autobiography. something very few of us will ever do.
or how his autobiography had been offered up in a bidding war. something that is going to happen to even fewer of us (though rumour has it that the 'good english society' is getting a fund together in pay jay to stop writing a hobbit's journal).

still ken is a good speaker, isn't a tory and isn't boris so he should be the next mayor of london and you can sign up for his campaign website here. go on you know it makes sense.

Monday, May 09, 2011


was too hot today.
it will get worse.
i will suffer. i will moan. i will be miserable.

oh nothing new there then.


the confederation of british industry says that britain's growth will be patchy and slow, but hey growth is growth. (they have revised their figures down from 1.8 to 1.7% growth, once again proving that economics is pretty much a guessing game.)
house prices have fallen.
centrica, owners of british gas, are warning that fuel prices will rise meaning they will be putting up the price of energy (again).
policy exchange, a right wing think tank, are on about the gap between public sector and private sector pay. they imply it is a bad thing that the public sector get paid more than the private sector - odd how they don't say that minimum wage is bad or that the money that ceo's pay themselves is too much for what they do. much easier to blame stuff on the public sector.

still it is not all bad.
it is not all doom and gloom.
there is a ray of sunshine out there for us all to latch onto.
according to the sunday times' rich list for 2011 it appears that for the richest in britain funds are booming and it is like they never had the recession (so they won't be too worried about the increase in the cost of gas). it just proves the old saw: money goes to money.
like i say this is a good thing.
according to the mantra of the camerons and osbornes of the world that the rich have become even rich is a benefit to the rest of us because as they spend money we all benefit. i is the trickle down effect. to be honest i am still waiting for my cut of the sale of hyde park 1 (the most expensive flat in london) though i am sure when it arrives it will be a life changer for me. also if the rich have gotten richer it probably means they are not actually spending money they are keeping it to themselves - sort of like the banks.
so don't worry about rising prices or squeezed wages - just thank your lucky stars that there are a few very rich people out there who might trickle some of their wealth to you.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


they say a week is a long time in politics.

sometimes you hear people say 'what a difference a day makes'.
for nick clegg and the liberal democrats the sands of time are running out.

we know it.
they know it.
nick knows it.
so what do they do?

on the one hand you have vince cable calling the conservative party a bunch of names - but saying that the coalition has to go on, only now it will be with a more business style relationship.
too late vince.

on the other hand nick clegg has decided that the liberal democrats are the ones to protect the national health service. really?
today he was telling us that 'no bill is better than a bad bill'; that he wants to protect the nhs, he wants an evolution not a disruptive revolution. perhaps nick clegg really does mean what he says, but like vince it is all too little and it is all too late.

here is a question for you nick (i know nick reads this - he needs something to brighten up his miserable days - imagine what it must be like to go into the office each day knowing that no one really likes you or trusts you and that you get all the blame for everything), sorry i digressed there. back on track.
here is a question for you nick: what is suddenly so different about the proposed nhs changes that this week you are a staunch defender of the nhs faith, when last week you weren't saying much about it?
is the answer that you got so trounced in the local elections you are trying to show that you are not the tory lapdogs and that this is your attempt to show that liberal democrats are still a party worth voting for?
or is the answer that you really do believe in the national health service?

nick i would give you the benefit of the doubt - but really all this posturing about you standing up for the nhs, you weren't doing it a week ago, this is just you playing politics with the health of the population.
come what may i doubt you will do the one thing that could make a difference, now that you have tasted power you are not going to give it up too easily. shame it looks like that if you want to keep it you will have to become a conservative.
oh you pretty much are one now.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


it seems the more we know the more we worry.
it seems that the point of most health research is to throw a bit of a scare into people.
i know i do not have a healthly lifestyle, but at least i can justify it by claiming that i have an addictive personality (which isn't to say that when people get a hit of pat that they have o come back for more the next day, just that i am easily addicted to stuff, luckily for me i am not adventurous so i seem to be addicted to coffee, cola and chocolate... oh and pizza, doughnuts and cream cakes).
yet even if i had a healthy lifestyle reading about what causes this or that, or leads to one thing or another would be enough to make you wrap yourself in cotton wool and never leave the flat.
the question of a stroke never occurred to me and so never played part of those modern worries we all have. then i saw the result of some research (which is never quite as comprehensive as it should be before being quoted all over the place).
the ten greatest risk factors for a stroke are:

coffee - well i am truly screwed on this one.

vigorous exercise - phew saved here, although i had planned to go out running again, now maybe not.
nose blowing - this has to be  worry during winter, perhaps i should go back to cuffing the snot like i did when i was a kid.
sex - these days chance would be a fine thing - does wanking count?
straining to defecate - now this does worry me, there are few pleasures that are free that mach a good squeeze when you are on the bog.
drinking cola - luckily it is not as high a risk as drinking coffee as i seem to drink more cola.
being startled - just need to stop reading this sort of research.
being angry - can't see how i can stop being angry when cameron and his camerloons are in power.

just got to hope i never have a combination going on at the same time - like drinking a pot of coffee while i have a cold and watching gove and hague explain their latest policies on the tv when something bangs against a window.
no more reading the newspapers when i am having a shit either - who knows what might happen.

Friday, May 06, 2011

no to av.
no to liberal democrats.
no to nick clegg.

poor old nick from hero to zero. from the kingmaker to hanging on by the skin of his teeth.
find it in your heart to feel sorry for nick, he is sitting there crying in the dark and wailing "why? why? why?"

Thursday, May 05, 2011


i thought i was cynical, but there are times when even i have to bow my head and acknowledge that compared to some i am a bundle of happy fluffy joy.

5live was trying to get some interest into the av debate this morning.
they asked one of their callers how they were going to vote. the reply was that they were not going to vote, it was a waste of time, nothing changes. the presenter made some attempts to question this line of thought only to be met with: "if voting was effective then the ruling elite would have banned it a long time ago".

compared to that i am just in the foothills of the mountains of cynicism.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


don't forget to get out there and vote.
some of you have local elections to wade through.
i just have the almost interesting yes/no on the alternative voting system.

nick clegg is for it.
i am against it.
in this you can all say 'i agree with pat'.

the one thing the av debate has done is once again give free publicity to the british national party. it is odd how we only really hear about the danger of the bnp when elections come around and then it isn't to debate the ideas (misconceptions) they have but to scare monger that a vote for them might lead to the end of western civilization.
no surprise that the whole alternative vote debate seems to have been couched in terms that elevate the bnp to the status of a serious political party (oh how the greens must wish that they were discussed in such a manner).
so those who are for av say that such a system prevents the chances of the rise of parties such as the bnp - ignoring the fact that their two members of the european parliament are there because of proportional representation, while the houses of commons are free from the bnp.
those who are for first past the post claim that under their system the chances of the bnp winning power are slight to impossible (not that they will stop casting the bnp in the role of the monster under the bed each time an election comes around) but even worse if you go to an av system you give the votes of parties such as the bnp even more say in how the country is run. how? well not only do their votes count for their main choice but because the bnp will never get into power their second (and perhaps third) choices are counted. oh no they have gotten more bites of the cherry than voters of the mainstream parties. terrible.

trust good old nick clegg to want his cake and eat it: "nick griffin knows that av will make it harder for extremist parties to win because they cannot get the support of a majority of their constituents." (i can't find where i copied this from - so who knows this might just be a bad dream).
nick c was talking in the context of why nick g was supporting 'first past the post' (just like the tory party and those horrid radicals the communist party).
so the bnp are for the first past the post system because in mr. clegg's words they canno get the support of the majority of their constituents. yup i am following that.

stop reading this - go and vote.
you know it makes sense.


the years hasn't started off as well as it should have.
for a start there has only been the one steven seagal movie (well direct to dvd release) so far this year. that is wrong. ever since appearing in the less than fun 'machete' seagal hasn't been delivering the goods. that is just bad news bears.
i could put up with that if the chirpy cockeny chappy that is danny dyer was appearing on the shelves of the dvd racks around the country - he seems to have gone from banging out a film every two weeks (every one a gem) to nothing for the first four months of the year. danny danny danny what are you doing to us - we need to see you, we need to have more movies where you play that chirpy cheeky cockney chappy while you have the look that says 'i am so much better than this'
with just one seagal and no dyer the world is not a happy place.

and it is moments like these that the bbc was invented.
it is moments like these when the bbc strides forth and sets the evils of the world to the swords and radiates joy, happiness and good will to all in teleland.
praise bbc3.
hoist bbc3 on your shoulders and carry it around town, sing out in wonder at the magnificence of bbc3.
why? is that what you ask?
such a small word for such a big thing.
i will tell you why.
'two pints of lager and a packet of crisps' is back on bbc3 - crude, lewd, smutty jokes a go go. fart and knob gags running rampant. what more do you need.
'two pints of lager' is what the funny bone was designed for.

the world is a brighter place now it is back.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


i confess i am quite excited about the fact i have ordered some olympic event tickets. it is pretty much a once in a lifetime happening (unlike getting a job working for the london olympics which turned out to be a you-won't-hear-from-us-at-all-ever experience).
even the bollocks spoken by officials of the london olympic committee about how some events can't have as many common people at them as others because they have to worry about 'the olympic family'.
nor do the moans from those who complain that they were not told that the olympic ticketing site would stay open for an hour longer on deadline night - if like me you are going to leave it till the very last hour then you only have yourself to blame it is not like you didn't have six weeks in whic to load your order for your tickets - take away from the glow of the chance that i might be off to see an olympic event sometime next year.

ok i am a tad irked by the fact that there is a handling charge on the tickets - which seems to just be there for the sake of it as it remains £6 regardless of me getting 1 or 100 tickets.
ok i am a bit annoyed to hear that there may be a second round of ticket sales because some events won't have sold out. while i am not against this because i want the olympics to be a success and i want as many people as possible to have the chance to share in the excitement. what gets my goat is that these events will be the minor events, they won't be the big events, the ones everyone knows about - the athletics, the cycling, the swimming, the diving and such like - oh no those ones will be full to the brim with people and in fact people will be turned away from those events as there will be more applicants than there are tickets. of course one of the reasons why this will be the case is that 'the olympic family' will be busy sitting its fat arses on the seats. when really what they should be doing is going to the lesser events to show their support of the sickly cousins of 'the olympic family' and freeing up more seats for the common people to see the events that they want to see.
it just won't happen because 'the olympic family' is all about being at the top table.

what has really lit the furious fire under my bottom is the email i received today from the olympics. it contained the following words of wisdom:
"please ensure you have sufficient funds available on your visa card to cover the total cost of your application between 10 may and 10 june 2011. please be aware that your application may be withdrawn if you do not have sufficient funds available.

the latest date by which you will be told whether you have been allocated tickets is 24 june 2011."
i get that i should have money in my account to cover the cost of the tickets - that is not a problem (well i hope not).
i get that if i don't have the money i don't get the tickets.
i even understand that because visa is a sponsor of the olympics that they are the only card you can use.
i am not sure why they have to have a month window in which they need to take the money from me - i am sure with a bit of work and organisation they have that down to a much smaller window.
what really yanks my crank is that the implication is that sometime between the 10th of may and the 10th of june money will be debited from my acccount to cover the tickets i have ordered. however i may not know what tickets i have gotten until june 24th!
so what can i expect to happen?
that the full amount is deducted from my account between may and june 10th. only to discover a few weeks later that i don't have all the tickets i ordered and my account is being credited?
that only the money for the tickets i am getting is being debited but i have to wait a few weeks for confirmation.
is it just a scam to transfer money from lots of accounts in order to make some money on the interest before they 'sell' us the tickets.

frankly if you are taking money out of my account then you should be able to tell me what you have taken it for on the day you are taking it - not a week or two later.
not very good work from seb coe and co.

wouldn't surprise me if i didn't get a ticket at all now.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


let me be upfront here i have no love, respect or regard for colonel muammar gaddafi.
the cynic in me can't help but feel the current conflict in libya has been brought on by the oppurtunism of several leaders who have low ratings at home and the need for oil, both easily hidden behind the 'concern' for the welfare of the libyan people.

recently a bomb strike has supposedly killed one of gaddafi's sons. the news of this death has caused crowds of libyans to target various foreign missions in the country.
now this could be read as support for gaddafi - in which case our support for the rebels/ insrugents/ provisional government (call them what you will) is a little bit misplaced.
or it could be read that our interference in an internal matter is creating support for gaddafi when there was none.

now slice and dice it any which way you want to but united nations resolution 1973 and the mission creep that has gone along with it is war by a different name.
we are bombing libya, we are talking about arming the rebels/insurgents/ provisional government we are telling colonel gaddafi to take a hike and don't look back.

yet for all of that the moment we decide to expel the libyan ambassador comes when our foreign mission there is ranshacked by crowds of angry libyans (ok they may have been 'encouraged'). why? simply because william hague, the foreign secretary, has said that the gaddafi regime had failed in its duty to protect it.
this would be the regime we are currently bombing.
this would be the regime we are saying does not have the legitimate will of its people.
this would be the regime that we are saying has no future.

only in the world of politics could someone say that and keep a straight face.
who would have thought that william hague would have be cast in the role of the straight man... (no i didn't mean it like that).