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Wednesday, November 30, 2011


and what have we learnt from the mr. osborne's autumn statement?
we learnt that they have no idea what they are talking about.
by 'they' i mean all the experts, and not just mr. osborne. they all pretend like economics is somehow scientific, yet pretty much each week they change their views on what is going to be happening in the next year or month.

even the welcome news that mr. osborne and his chums are going to pump £5bn into the economy for 'shovel-ready' projects is tempered by the idea that he wants to get a further £20bn from british institutions.
this would be a little like he was expecting the private sector to step up and employ all the people he was going to make unemployed. we knew then it wouldn't happen and we can pretty much guess that the £20bn isn't going to be forthcoming.

look at the OECD or the ratings agencys and tell me that they are not making it up as they go along. it is a bloke on the roof licking his finger and hoping to get a message from the wind.

they just don't know what they are talking about.

Monday, November 28, 2011


those who have been regular readers of my outpourings will have realised that i am not a big fan of christmas.
i am not a fan.
i am pretty much the grinch, but without the change of heart.
i hate the forced jolity of it all.
i hate the sappy music that invades everything.
most of all i hate the rampant commercialism of it.

so imagine how much i like watching tv ads that just bascially tell you to 'buy, buy, buy and buy some more.'

that is until i saw the lttlewoods christmas 2011 ad. i love the fact it just tells you straight - buy lots and put it on credit, while at the same time puncturing the dreams of little kids.


40 seconds of capitalism - the new true spirit of the christmas season.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


it was recently announced that addidas are going to launch a £1 pair of trainers in india.
this begs the question why do their trainers cost so much in the rest of the world.

one can only imagine that the plan is to use the £1 trainer as a loss leader to break into the vast indian market with the hope that as large working class population start to earn more money they will stick with addidas as the brand to have so that as the price of the trainers steadily rises until they start making a profit.
a long term stategy, with the potential to lose a lot of money at the start and a long time to get back into profit.

so i come back to my original question why can't they provide cheaper trainers in the uk?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


i love art.
there are few things in this world that i like better than wandering around a gallery stroking my chin and pontificating (to myself) about the meaning of life and art. i'll gaze upon the art and allow myself to wonder at the majesty of artistic creation.
true there are times when as i look at a piece of art it is all i can do to hold back the guffaws of laughter at something that looks as if it has been thrown together during the advert break in x-factor.
and there lies the beauty of art, because it is in the eye of the beholder. one man's work of genius is another man's scratching on tracing paper.

the national gallery is one of the finest places to go and see art. so much to love, so much to enjoy.

right now they have 'leonardo: painter at the court of milan' on. it is what is called a 'blockbuster' show, which means a lot of people want to go. it also means that if you go you get to see the works on display in pretty crushed conditions as people huddle around the art, shuffle slowly along from one piece to another piece. there is no time to cogitate on the artist's work because someone is impatient to get to where you are standing.

the standard ticket price is £16. if you can get it. the bbc reports that tickets are selling for up to £400 on ebay and other such sites.

the national gallery has responded by saying that such 'resold' tickets would be cancelled and no money refunded (i guess if you have splurged £400 for a ticket - getting £16 is an additional kick in the teeth).
according to the national gallery such practice is against their terms and conditions.
i have never understood this.
look i am no fan of touts - but if people are prepared to pay very much over the odds for the ticket then that is their choice.
it is not like the national couldn't do something about the demand. the show runs until february 2012 and it looks as if it is going to be a big seller throughout that period. so rather than bemoan that tickets are being sold at a profit why not take a leaf out of the bank of england's book and print more tickets.
hold on pat you have just said the place is crowded.
i know i did. i know.
so how do i square that circle. easy peasey lemon squeezy.
open the gallery earlier and keep it open longer. those extra hour slots you charge more for the ticket prices to pay for the overtime. if people are prepared to pay £400 then they will pay £20 or £25.
not only that but think of the additional merchandise moved - books, posters, magnets, postcards and the all important gifts - because as we all know christmas is here and christmas is a time of rampant comsumerism.

so trustees and managers of the national gallery i give you a solution to your ticket problem and a way to make even more money.

no need to thank me - just send me a couple of free tickets.

Monday, November 21, 2011


there are times when i wonder why people bother writing reports, why they spend so much time investigating something in order to come to their conclusions.

now it could just be the way these things are covered in the media that gives the impression that it was a lot of work for no real purpose.
you can see it in all the obesity reports - none of them seem to say that the reason so many of us are fat is that we eat too much and do too little. pretty simple. i should get a grant for that.
or a recent church of england study found out that for most of the people who worked in the financial sector money was their main motivation.
no. fucking. shit.

so it comes as no surprise that the high pay commission has 'revealed'that pay and bonuses for top bosses are seen to 'out of control' by most peope.
no. fucking. shit.

in the last 30 years average pay has gone from approximately £6,500 to £26,000 per year. an increase of 300%.
in the same time the increase of top executives has risen by 4,000%. nice work if you can get it.
(which begs the question why not outsource the executives - i am pretty sure that for every well paid suit in a london office i can find you someone in india who could do the job at a quarter of the price and just as well and can do it from their bedroom on the internet. it is a global world after all. except it will never happen).

there are some recommendations such as a pay ratio between those at the top and those at the bottom, that employees should be on the remuneration committees, simplifying executive pay, publishing details of executive pay.

none of them will happen.

this christmas and new year we will have the usual hand-wringing over bonuses to various people. we will gasp at the numbers some people will get. we will complain about some of the figures they get. it will be raised in the media, debated in the media.
the usual arguments of 'if you want the best you have to pay the best' will be trotted out, when patently we don't seem to have the best - because if they were that good then we wouldn't be in the shitty position we are in now.

still i am sure someone somewhere has a report that explains just why so many of these people are worth so much for doing so badly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


i have started running again.
boy does it hurt.
i go out in the early morning. it is dark and it is cold. so why do i go out then?
no one to see me suffering.
oh how i wish that were the case. my run takes me between a couple of mosques - so the faithful get to see me as i plod along. it must be a joy to them to see someone huffing and puffing down the street.
then there is the guy who is already in the park doing his stretches for his run. i have yet to see him run, i am sure that is because he doesn't want to show me up. it wouldn't be hard.
then there are there are the park wardens - don't get to see them too often - just often enough to remind me that there is someone out there watching.
let's not forget those hardy souls who are making their way to work at 7am - all looking bright and bushy tailed while i am doubled over gasping for more air while sweat pools on the ground below me.
i also get to say hello to the one or two early drunks who are getting a start on their daily intake of booze.

why have i started running again?
need to lose some of that weight i have put on from eating too many doughnuts.
not sure it is working, though i do remember that lovely sign that appeared in gyms 'no pain, no gain'.
well i have the pain.
waiting to see the gain (or the gut loss in my case).

Thursday, November 17, 2011


say what you will about silvio berlusconi (and there are a lot of people who will have a lot to say about him now he is no longer in power and exempt from the courts)but you have to admire a man who has been thrown out of office, faces a number of charges who uses his first week of not being the prime minister to release his latest album of love songs.
while silvio has had a career as a cruise ship crooner he will not be singing the songs. he has just penned them. inbetween matters of state, bedroom antics and a financial crisis that has rocked the free world he had written 11 love songs for the album. good for him.

british politicians must look at their european counterparts and wish that attitudes at home were so relaxed.
think of poor old boris accused of not being able to run london because in his spare time (note the word spare) he wrote a book. various labour politicians accusing him of not spending enough time on london - i guess when ken is in power he will not sleep. at all.
or the various chaps who have been undone by a bit of hanky panky.
they must all look to the continent and sigh 'why couldn't it be like that here.'

i wonder what that says about us?
nosy busybodies i think it says.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


i may have mentioned this before.
i may have confessed this before.
even so i think it can stand to be said again. i love liz jones.
there i have said it. it is out in the open.
i love liz jones. see i said it again. (i won't say it five times as who knows what i might conjure up).

liz (aaaah) writes a column in the daily mail.

the daily mail is an odious read that plays on the petty hates and fears of much of the population. it is a paper that isn't afraid to ignore the facts in order to have a sensational headline.
while liz faces competition from the likes of mad mel, pious peter and wanker littlejohn she stands head and shoulders over them.
liz is a colossus of the written word.

with all of that said i have to admit that i am not even sure that liz is a real person.
i would like to think that every word she writes comes from the heart. her love of animals, her love of fashion, her anorexia, her self-absorbtion, her adventures in retailland. all of it is enthralling and entertaining.

however there is just a hint, just a suggestion that liz is made up. that liz jones is sitting back laughing at her readership for believing anything she writes.

regardless of that i love liz. and i don't mind admitting it.

Monday, November 14, 2011


so here i am back on the post work scrapheap.

i am not keen on being here. there are few upsides to being out of work (regardless of what the 'daily mail' or 'the sun' have to say on the matter). it does mean i have more time to read the books i have and i have time to see art shows. it also means i don't have money to spend on tat (that said i don't have money to spend on good suff either).

one of the reasons that there are various 'occupy' protests around the world is that for all the talk about people should get jobs the simple truth of the matter is that there are not that many jobs out there.

it is all rather depressing.

the gloom isn't lifted by a recent report that says that private businesses are not employing staff in the numbers that david cameron and george osborne had claimed they would (look we all knew they were chatting shit - but hey they weren't teh ones who were going to suffer).
what makes it even worse is that ever initiative about employment is aimed at the 16-25s, as if they are the only ones who can't find a job.
as if that wasn't enough in an economic landscape where the retirement age gets older and older there have been moves by the coalition to get down on the red tape that business has to deal with and part of that is making it easier for them to sack people without cause - a move that is aimed at the overs 50s.

so the picture is bleak.
it is time that the government started looking to see what they are going to do to help employment, for all, in this country.

what they will do is talk nice about it, sound like they are really upset for those of us who can't find work but really the likes of cameron and osborne couldn't give two monkey's ball sacks about the unemployed - as far as they are concerned it is not their problem it is our fault.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


they are conducting an experiment to study the conditions at the earth’s core. the id24 beam will use x-ray beams to subject iron and other materials to extraordinary temperatures and pressures. this will give and insight to the mysterious processes going on at the earth’s core.
laboratory experiments are needed because the earth’s core some 1900 miles below sea level will never be reached by scientists – even though there are still attempts to drill through the earth’s outermost layer, the crust.
yet for many the answer is a simple one – the hollow earth.
there is david innes’ pellucidar where dinosaurs still roam and where the primitive human’s are controlled by the mahars, flying reptiles with dangerous psychic powers. don’t worry though david innes and his pal abner perry soon sort that out.
david icke’s vision of the hollow earth, well if not hollow that there are vast regions inside it where highly developed civilisations live and these are, of course, ancient societies. icke cites jules verne as someone who knew a thing or two about the hollow earth and that reptiles are the main enemies that the explorers of verne’s ‘journey to the centre of the earth’ have to face.
mmm those pesky reptiles again.
nor will the x-ray experiment find admiral byrd’s ‘land of everlasting mystery’ (he discovered in 1947, don’t worry all evidence of his find has been suppressed which is why you don’t know it), nor the inner earth ufo’s that ray palmer believes are there.
it is a shame this x-ray experiment isn’t going to find a hollow earth with lost societies, because if it did then it would mean we could send the contestants and judges of the x-factor there and i would never have to hear from them or about them again.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


why is it suddenly the fashion for bands to tour 'their album'?
don't get me wrong i like metallica's 'black album' it has some very fine songs on it - but do i want them to tour it and play it in it's entirity? nope.
did i prefer dio when he did his greatest hits gig or when he did the 'holy diver' album from start to finish? you bet it was the greatest hits.
sure there are some bands i would want to hear the whole album played from start to finish - but they are prog bands and concept albums. or they are live albums - when i went to see thin lizzy on the live and dangerous tour; that was what i wanted to hear. the same with the tubes on the 'what do you want from live', but when i saw them do 'remote control' i wanted the best bits from that - plus the stuff from the other albums.

other bands - tour your new album, play the best songs from that and the best songs from your back catalogue. keep the fans happy. don't just come here and go i can't be arsed to think of a set listing so we are going to do our album in well fell swoop.


yesterday we commemorated armistice day, a start to a weekend where we honour those who have given their lives for their country.
one of the reasons we commemorate this is because we see the battles of the world wars as being about our freedoms.
so it is ironic that theresa may has banned ‘muslims against crusades’. i can’t say i have any love for this organisation or its leader anjem choudary, who uses the very freedoms of the country to campaign to remove those freedoms (you have to love irony). they have been banned because they glorify terrorism. mr. choudary has form in this area as mrs. may says they are ‘simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names.’ so really what is the point of proscribing them again?
it is believed they will lie low for a few months and come back under another name with the same idea. in the ten years of the law against glorification of terrorism only 15 have been convicted of related offences.
if they really are a threat then bang them up inside, the only people who will shed a tear are their lawyers and it will be tears of joy at the fees they will be getting.
if you are not prepared to imprison them – don’t ban them. let them have they day in the sun, let them burn poppies, let them make their claims. for a democracy to work, for it to be vibrant it has to be able to cope with views it doesn’t like, arguments have to be made and won. you can’t ban an idea or an emotion.
in the same way that the english defence league and the british national party should be allowed to campaign and have their say so should muslims against crusades – because if their claims and their arguments cannot be refuted then what does that say.
if their voices are not allowed to be heard what does that say about democracy?
and what does that say about the sacrifices we are honouring this weekend?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


want want want pat that’s all you ever do (to misquote a bad line from a bad movie), and it is true i do seem to be an inexhaustible well of want.

sometime the want is based on need.
so at the moment i want a new laptop (apple of course) because my old one has given up the ghost and gone to the great ram in the sky. now i could settle for a cheap and cheerful windows based laptop or i could go on as i am without one as it is sometimes nice to go out and not be connected to the web or playing on a computer.

more often want is just based on want.
sure i want that hasselblad digital medium format camera that will be well over the £10000 mark. it is also true that i would happily settle for the nikon d3x that is a snip at just over £5k. i am pretty sure that neither of them will improve my photography – that isn’t how want works. want just means wanting it – not needing it.

i am stone broke at the moment. i am not sure when i will have spare cash to squander on fripperies, it doesn’t stop me looking and it doesn’t stop me going ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’ when i see things i want (want not need). i will still look at books – even though i have a very large pile of unread books. nor does that explain why i would quite like an ipad or a kindle – i have books to read i don’t need more, but i do want more. there is always another book to add to the pile.
want. want. want.

oddly i need new clothes – but i don’t want to have to go buy them.
i need an iron – but i don’t want to get one.

even odder i have discovered that as i have even less money to play with now i seem to want more and more. it is as if i know
i can’t have things so i must want even more things. it is perverse. (part of this i think is driven by the fact that having something is most of it – sure i intend to read that book i bought or watch that dvd i have bought or.. well you get the picture, but the moment i have it i am thinking about the next thing to want and the just got thing isn’t as shiny anymore).

what has brought on this wave of self revelation?
well because i have seen this from lego – and i do want it. i have no skill when it comes to building these things, i have little patience for things that involve fiddly bits and i am pretty sure that no matter how hard i tried i would lose a bit in the mess that is my flat. that said: i want.

serioulsy just how fantastic is that?

on the other hand despite the fact that i am not really a football fan. nor does it matter that the last time i bought a replica football jersey it was david seaman’s horrid multi-coloured dash affair, and then it was for someone else (and he still hasn’t had it). in fact the only replica’s i have are basketball jersery’s and one baseball top (a sport that to this day i don’t understand the attraction of). that all said i would have been tempted by a team gb football top. a one off olympic team. oh yes please. until i saw it. and then it became a want not.

not only is it over priced – but it has a design on it that even rugby league would laugh out loud at and throw back in the faces of those who offered it to them. (i am not sure if it is one of stella's creations or not - but no one comes out of it looking good).
a better view of how truly awful it is can be found here and you can also browse the amazing amount of olympic tat there is - if they sell most of this stuff then they will be heading for a profit.

so just want is beaten - probably just like team gb.

Monday, November 07, 2011


funny thing about the coalition they are all for involvement. they are all for people power.
over there you have eric pickles bleating on about localism.
there is david cameron chuntering on over the big society, you remember that?
nick clegg might be saying something but no one cares and no one trusts him.

so when people do decide that they want to get involved it seems odd that the coalition then spend a lot of time trying to find ways to stop them.

the st. paul's protest is met with - let's find ways to stop you from having your permanent sit-in - after all it just dirties the place. it would have nothing to do with the fact that it keeps the protest active and in the media spotlight.

now the police are letting marchers on the school fees protest know that they might face baton rounds (rubber bullets), not that there hasn't been widespread condemnation of their use by american police when they have been used in some of their 'occupy' protests.
the 'threat' that they might use such tactics is guaranteed to ensure that some chancer will have a go at the police in order to spark a confrontation.

the cynic in me just thinks that this is all just getting ready for when the shit really does hit the fan.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


november has barely begun and already i have been assailed by christmas ads.
fuck off marks and spencer with your 'when you wish upon a star' ad.
fuck off tesco with your double points on several items around the store ad.

soon there will be piped christmas music in all the shops - isn't shopping hell enough without that?

oh well it just means i have longer to be a grinch.

Friday, November 04, 2011


trust is a funny thing.
it is a hard thing to earn and it is very easy to lose.
nick clegg says that the government will "not balance the books on the backs of the poor".
problem is i don't believe him?
do you?
didn't think so.

he is saying this beause there is talk that state benefits will not rise in line with inflation (well september's inflation rate - with this the government are moved to find new ways of measuring inflation, but when it comes to putting up the fares well hey we will stick with the high numbers).
the government is worried how people might react to the rise in this age of austerity and current low wage rises.
to be honest they are more worried how the daily mail and the sun will react.

as for clegg i hate to tell him but the vat rise has hit the poorest hardest. increases in energy costs have hit the poorest hardest. increases in transport costs have hit the poorest hardest.

nick the poor are already suffering.

we just don't believe a word you have to say.


the chief executive of lloyds,antonio horta-osorio, has been given a leave of abscence from work due to ill-health. maybe it is stress.
oh dear. poor him.
oddly if he had been a public sector employess he would be accused of being a shirker.
the bbc talk about how in the financial sector that working 60 plus hours is not unusual (i feel so sorry for them) and maybe that is why the financial services screwed up so badly because everyone was too tired to think straight.

i have another theory as to why mr horta-osorio has gone home to rest. he is not suffering from stress.
he is suffering from a guilty conscience.

(well we can hope).