Search This Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2012


oh not more ranting about bonuses pat! haven't we heard enough.
well yes.
well no.
this isn't about the rbs bonus as such - though it is nice to see that sir philip hampton has forgone his £1.4 million of shares. sir philip is chairman of rbs and on the their renumeration committee.

no this mini rant has been sparked by a letter in the guardian from dave way of marks sattin recruitment.

mr. way is upset about the current wave of hostility towards the payment of bonuses. he goes on the describe the call for those in the financial services to give up their bonuses as 'a worrying sign'.
mr. way goes on to argue that to deny people the rewards for their work will drive talent out of the uk.

now when i was working my reward for good work was my continued employment, a hoped for pay rise and just maybe a bonus. the bonus was never guaranteed.

as a reminder this is the definition of bonus
1 an unsought or unexpected extra benefit.
2 a seasonal gratuity to employees beyond their normal pay.

in the world that mr. way inhabits it seems that getting £1.2 million a year salary for doing your job isn't reward enough, you also have to have a very large bonus. not a bonus of 10% or even 20%, nope your bonus has to be much larger than that say 75% or more percent.

i don't believe that people begrudge those in high powered jobs a fair reward, we might wonder what it is that they do to get their million pounds or more salaries but we understand that you have to pay to get the right people for the job.
in fact most of us agree with mr. way to the extent that people should be rewarded. where we part company is the expected high bonuses that seem now to be seen as entitlements.

what is interesting is the argument of paying good money and good bonuses appears to stop when it comes to regular employees.

meanwhile cameron and clegg have put a pay freeze on state employees, regardless of how good, or important, a job they do.

need i remind you that we are all in it together?
i didn't think so.

Friday, January 27, 2012


i am not normally one for celebrity gossip.
there are two reasons for this - most of the celebs that covered mean diddly squat to me and on the rare occasion when someone i like, admire or respect is in the news i generally skip over it because quite often the reason i like, admire and respect them has little to do with them as people.
i suppose i don't want my heroes tarnished.

but there are times when i can't help it and i cave in and read a bit of gossip.

i can only confess that my interest in demi moore is two-fold she is a bit of a hottie and she has a bruce willis connection.

the bbc are carrying a story about the 911 call that a friend of demi moore made when she collapsed after 'smoking something'.

in the uk at the moment there is leveson inquiry going on about the press invasion of privacy into the lives, mostly of, celebs (and if we are honest people didn't give a toss about it until the milly dowler revelations). their complaints stem around the amount of personal, and often private, information that the press prints.
can't say i blame them - just because you have made a tv series or have appeared in a movie i doesn't mean that the public have a right to know what the results of your last medical check-up were.

imagine what poor old demi must be going through.
not only does everyone know she has had to go to hospital but the public also get to hear the 911 call. why? what good does it do.

then i thought what a geat business idea.
a best of celebrity 911 calls - all your faves on one cd - tiger, mel, demi and many others.
it will be a christmas hit.
k-tel where are you when i need you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


if i am honest i have no problems with stephen hester, chief of the royal bank of scotland (rbs), getting his close on £1 million pound bonus. the bonus is going to be paid in shares, so at least that gives him a bit of an incentive to do well by rbs, though you might of thought his £1.2 million a year salary would have done the trick.

the reason i don't have a problem with it is that we knew these bonuses were coming and we knew nothing was going to stop them.
the coalition might have made noises about how they were going to change this bonus culture and bring restraint - all their action seems to be little more than asking that businesses explain why they have given the bonus, give more power to the remuneraton committees to veto bonuses and pay and more transparency.
pretty much confirming that the condems talk the talk but their bark is bigger than their bite.

so let's look at why mr. hester will get his bonus. oh it is the usual if they didn't give it to him they feared he would resign and maybe some of the other board members might do to.
oh dear?
i'd call their bluff. tell them they are free to go.
ask yourself this: how many £1.2 million jobs are there? how many of them are looking for someone? then ask this: how many people are in £900,000 jobs who are looking to step up? or my old favourite - get someone from a cheaper country (if it works for all those other jobs - it will work for these jobs).
but the bluff isn't going to get called so we will never know.
(this isn't the frist time rbs have 'revolted' over bonuses, maybe it is a tactic they have learnt from the unions).

how about the remuneration committee? the chair of rbs' committee is sir philip hampton, he is also the chairman of rbs and is involved in the united kingdom financial investment ltd, which was set up to oversee the government's stake in the banks it had subsidised.
no conflict of interest there. at all.
sir philip on taking the role at rbs, famously said that his senior people were not worth the money they were getting paid. it seems he has changed his mind.

i can well imagine how hard it must have been for sir philip to come to the decision to pay the bonus.
sir phil: 'stevie we've a bit of a problem with your bonus'.
steve: 'really?' (concerned look on his face).
sir phil: (long pause, big smile) 'gotcha' (big laughs) ' you should have seen your face.'

in the end until the government grows a pair the subsidised banks will always use the threat of resignation in order to push through their bonuses. so there you have the 'reason' for the bonus (call it the best man for the job gambit).
when it comes to the remuneration committees because this is very much an old boys network people from one committee might be making decisions on people who might make judgements on them so it unlikely that they are going to be too stringent in case it comes back to bite them when it is their turn (call it the you scratch my back and i'll scratch yours strategy).

transparency means very little. we know they are getting their bonuses, we know they are getting their salaries. they could publish even more detail - but in the end all the information in the world means nothing if you can't actually do anything with it to bring about change.

the royal bank of scotland has shown it isn't going to change.
the united kingdom financial investment ltd hasn't changed it.
the con/dems seem unwilling to change it.

words are cheap, which is lucky as the bonuses are quite rich.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


i like a bit of porn. i make no !ahem! bones about it. the reason i mention this is that is that the los angeles porn industry is being hit with a new law that means that male performers will have to wear condoms.
for many this is a victory for health and safety for those involved in the industry, anything that cuts down on the transmission of aids or other sexually transmitted diseases is a good thing. right?

not so. a few have complained. ron jeremy, a porn legend, says that it will remove the element of fantasy for the viewers. others say that some performers prefer not to cover up. while some say that it will be the end of the porn industry as no one will buy condon based porn and they will just turn to imported porn. of course as this is only, for the time being, going to be the law in los angeles it is likely that porn companies will just move to other parts of the usa - after all it is not like they need large studios to shoot the latest instalment of 'anal carnage' or 'facial wipe off'.

the porn industry says the fact that all its performers have to be tested for disease every thirty days is a sufficient safeguard.

(if you are squeamish skip this next paragraph - old bloke talking about having sex. you have been warned).
scroll down to where you see there @@@@@@@@@@@@ for normal service.

back in the day when i was sexually active (and by active i mean a once a week shag with the ex) condoms were always involved. i was happy to 'suit up', as it were, which suited the ex, she didn't like using the pill. there were a couple of occasions when the reliance on condoms caught me short and unlike baden-powell i was not prepared which meant a lot of hanky panky at night and a serious case of blue balls in the morning.
just to spice things up we even got a variety pack of condoms - while it seemed like a good idea at the time, it turned out to be a disaster: the ones that weren't uncomfortable just made us laugh.
only once did we have a moment of condom failure and that was more to do with dilly dallying after the event. it lead to a couple of worrisome weeks. all was well.

(old bloke has stopped talking about his sex life).

i suppose the point i am trying to make with my little journey down memory lane is that using a condom in sex is hardly the buzz kill that the los angeles porn industry is trying to make it out to be.
contrary to ron jeremy's argument i don't think that seeing a bloke with a condom in a movie is going to take away from the 'fantasy' of it - that comes from the fact that the porn stars are all sexual acrobats who can fuck in positions that only trained yogi can get into, that they move effortlessly from one position to another in a ballet of porn. add to that they go on for longer and recover quicker than the rest of us can dream of and i thnk you have the fantasy part of it just there. a bit of rubber isn't going to change that.

however what a bit of rubber might do is send an important message out to all those who are sexually active that it isn't wrong to wear a condom. that wearing a rubber doesn't make you any less of a stud.

if that message is picked up on then the law passed in los angeles may just do more to cut down on stds/aids than all the guff that government and ngo educational programmes produce.

for that reason alone i say more rubber porn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


i don't consult my daily horroscope.
i am wary of what the met office tells us.
i take bus and train timetables with a pinch of salt.
i don't trust bookies with their odds.

when it comes to predictions the experts are no better than making a choice based of the roll of a dice or the flip of a coin.

the international monetary fund (imf) has downgraded its global growth forecase from 4% to 3.25%. the coalition government do not see this as a worry as it jibes with what their, sorry the independent, office of budget responsibility (obr) has to say about growth.
the obr like the imf have changed, several times their short and medium term forecasts.

the imf, who if memory serves me once praised the coalition's austerity programme, are calling for, some, governments not to cut so deep or so quickly.

changing the tune seems to be the order of the economic day.

we are expected to care what ratings agencies like standard and poors or moodys say even though they happily gave triple a ratings to institutions who were dealing in toxic debt.

if i didn't know better i would say it is like economists have minds like goldfish.

here is my idea next time the imf (or any global financial institution) wants to announce their revised figures we'll wheel out bruce forsth to go 'higher? lower?'

the mayans have more chance of bein right than the international monetary fund.

perhaps imf stands for intellectually mendacious forecasts?

Monday, January 23, 2012


i may have mentioned this before but i don't like michael gove. i really don't. i was a little shocked to discover that i have a book by him, as yet unread.

the government is doing that 'let's get down with the kids' thing and are trying to use social media to spice up politics.
they have asked twitter users to submit questions that can be put to michael gove when he faces a forthcoming select committee.
graham stuart mp says, "this is a good way of breaking down the seemingly vast gap between the governed and the governing,".
he might be right, though it could also be argued that if members of parliament did their jobs properly and spent time in their constituencies then there wouldn't be a vast gap.

it has been successful with a poitive response to the request. however it must be said that this is a pretty self-selecting group of people - people who are already interested and are following politics on twitter to start with.
the gap between the governing and those who are not interested or already involved it seems will remain the same.

in the end it doesn't really matter what the response is the questions that will actually be asked will be chosen by the committee staff and the mps sitting on it.
it would have been better if the questions were just chosen at random and see what mr. gove made of them.

because of this i have not bothered to send in my question which was: "dear mr. gove have you modelled yourself on the demonic ventriloquist dummy, fats, from the movie magic."

to be honest the only thing that could make mr. gove any more scary would be to discover that he is a secret mime.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


there is a part of me that believes that iain duncan smith is trying to do the right thing.
there is also a part of me that agrees with the broad concept of a benefit cap.

and yet despite that and despite iain duncan smith's claims to the contrary i can't help but feel that the cap is just a way to punish those who are unfortunate enough to be unemployed.

he talks about how people are 'trapped' by benefits - he says there are people in parts of London paying more than £100,000 a year in rent "which no-one on a regular income could possibly afford".
i would take a guess here and say that the numbers who are 'trapped' this way are very few and that to use this as an example is lazy.
(without facts it is hard to know what the circumstances of these 'people' are - does he mean rent or does he mean mortgage repayments? if it is about mortgages then it is quite possible that the people involved could afford to live this way before they moved on to benefits. if it is rent it is highly doubtful that anyone was paying that sort of rent when they were working and that the rent they are now paying is more down to the greed of the landlord than the inhabitants).

while it isn't to be considered a punishment the argument's core is this - on benefits you don't want to work, in order to get you to work we will cut your benefits.
if that isn't a stick (punishment) i am not sure what is.

of course while all this benefit capping is taking place there is still no concept of where the jobs are going to come from. so does the person who can no longer afford to live in their home thanks to the caps - move somewhere else? to a part of the country where the rents are cheaper? where it is quite likely that there are no jobs?
maybe it is just a plan to ghetto the unemployed outside of the thriving cities - out of sight out of mind?

the idea of rent control seems not to be one that the coalition is going to consider and why should they - after all if someone is making money from the misery of the poor that is a sign that capitalism is working.

it has been argued that the savings of this cap is not that much (in over all terms) and that we are paying out more in benefits to the very wealthy than are going to be saved by this cap.
if this is the case - then it makes sense to means test the rich, again something that won't happen - make the poor jump through hoops to get something meanwhile let people like vince cable keep his heating allowance.

as i say i am not against a cap in principle - but i am against something that appears to have the sole purpose of punishing those worse off.
that said it is the tory way after all.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


newt gingrich. why?
looking like he is going to become the next republican candidate for the presidency.
the one positive of that is that it should mean that barack obama will get a second term. the downside of that is that barack obama will get a second term - hey the man doesn't like the english, i can return the favour.

oddly both are good outcomes for the british government - now we can move away from the 'special relationship', especially where it relates to anything to do with the military. we can stop being a nuclear power - think of the money that would save and that could be used elsewhere.
the empire has gone.
time to move on.
let the usa's new friends back them up when they want to go off and play the world's policeman. we don't get any thanks when we do it and we can't afford it.

so whoever becomes the president - now might be the time to stop being so keen to sup at the usa's table.

Friday, January 20, 2012


it is nice of boris to tell us that londoners are lazy and worhshy.
perhaps he should be doing more to show londoners where the jobs are? maybe he should be making sure that the jobs have a living wage to them?

oh well at least it means ken has something else to fight boris on rather than the london transport fares.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


you may have noticed that i am a bit of a sap when it comes to apple products - i just want their computers, laptops and ipads.
i love them.
i can't afford them, but i love them.

there i was having a coffee and a couple were out together but on their interconnectedness devices of choice.
she had an ipad, with external keyboard and mouse.
just get yourself a sodding laptop if you are going to want to be tippy tapping on a keyboard.

(also have you noticed that there is an ipad/anypad/kindle reading position - it isn't comfortable or natural but it lets eveveryone around you know you have one).


i am broke. that means cutting down on the luxuries.
i am an addicted: i need fizzy syrupy drinks. i am hooked on coca-cola (which probably isn't a selling point for them).
but needs must and i have downgraded in order to keep the habit going.

now i am down to buying a 2 litre bottle of sainsbury's basic cola "simple natural colours and flavours, still plenty of pop" goes the description.
i am the equivalent of the local drunk in the park with a large bottle of rotgut cider.

still it is cheap and it does a job.
it was 18p a bottle (that gives you an idea of the quality)in the middle of last year. it is now 25p a bottle.
preying on the needy and the hooked.

ho hum it looks like i may have to move onto tesco's basic cola at 20p a bottle.

the downward spiral.

Monday, January 16, 2012


i never wanted the olympics in london.
why? i can hear you asking. the simple reason is i believe all major global sporting events should be played in different time zones so you have to make an effort to watch them.
it was only when it became london against paris that i changed my mind.
of course i have reason to dislike the whole thing as it cost me my job and the buggers never employed me. (what me bitter)?

anyway that was then.
this is now.
just over 190 days until the games start.
from what i can make out they have got pretty much all the stadia built on time. which alone deserves a big round of applause, but in this day and age that isn't what we want to do, what we want to do is find some reason to bitch and moan.

the stories that have popped up recently about the london oylmpics have included the problem with traffic. this may be a big problem with the 'olympic route' being designed to ferry olympic officials from plush central london hotels to the games in the east end of london (quite why the organisers have to stay in the centre of london is anyone's guess; the answer is probably to do with being smug self-important bastards).
one of the problems of the route is that they are not going to test it out until very close to the opening ceremony so it won't give drivers much time to get used to it.
i would say catch the 25 bus to the games but thanks to boris there is less capacity on them. still there is a nice tube station right on the doorstep of the games and a couple more within walking distance.

the two stories that i have chuckled over today have been the one about pollution. apparently london's pollution is the worst in europe and that will have an adverse effect on the athletes.
some of them may not have the performances they expect and this, they can now claim, will be down to the pollution.
i wouldn't mind if no other sport ever took place in london - it is not like there are several professional football, rugby and cricket teams in the capital. it is not like there are athletic meets taking place throughout the capital. let's forget that the london marathon takes place, or for that matter the triathlon events.
it must be that they are expecting olympic sized special weather.
given that weather forecasters are about as accurate and economic forecasters perhaps we will take their concerns with a pinch of salt.

not to be outdone there is a report that mass gathering risks disease spreading. not only that but there are problems when it comes to dealing and controlling large numbers of people. this is news how?
common sense really.
it also seems a bit redundant bringing this up now. it is not as if this is the first large scale global sporting event ever to happen nor is it the first large scale gathering of people.
crikey we have even had such large scale events in london, if you can believe that!

whatever your opinion on the olympics is the games are almost upon us why not just enjoy them for what they are, at least for now.
remember we still have 190 days, or so, for bob crow to spoil them with talks of strikes and such like.

i'm even prepared to forgive boris, in advance, for mugging it up and taking credit for the whole thing.
i think that is mighty generous of me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


one of the controversies over the 'the iron lady' was the portrayal of thatcher's dementia. i have no idea if it was an accurate picture of dementia, i do know that i did find myself feeling somewhat sorry for the old dear and i never thought i would say that.

jonathan aitken has revealed (because like all good tories he keeps secrets) that at a dinner party mrs thatcher did not know that david cameron was the prime minister. for aitken this is an example of how bad her dementia is.

personally i think she is just embarrassed by the preening toff and prefers to ignore him.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


two pretty ladies chatting to each other. they had both been talking about why they were not going out on a saturday evening and that lead them on to a discussion about friends and men. one of them mentioned she had recently made a new male friend. it was nothing sexual but they got on well with each other, lots to talk about. he was witty and intelligent. he was also older than she was. this all led up to this quote:
"he's 55. i can take him anywhere."

it made me smile.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


"we want to keep prices as low as possible for our customers. household budgets are stretched, and we are doing everything we can to help our customers keep their bills down.." so said ian peters of british gas.

and they have indeed reduced their electricity prices by 5%, effective immediately.
however don't forget that they increased prices in august by 16%, not to mention that gas prices also rose by 18% in the same month.
so even with today's cut british gas are still ahead of the game.

other suppliers are reducing the prices of both electricity and gas.
british gas say that they are not dropping the price of gas because the long term trend of the wholesale price of gas is upward. other suppliers don't seem to agree to this and say that the future wholesale price is cheaper now than it was so as they buy so far in advance they will be lowering the costs.

the costs are coming down (but probably not below the price rises of last year) when the worst of the winter has passed. just how amazing is that?

and here is a bet i will make with you right here and right now. the price of gas and electricity will rise this year sometime in august or september to take immediate effect - not in a couple of months (as is happening with some of the price drops) in order to get the prices in place for the winter.
don't ask me how i know.

any takers?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


take a bow 'the evening standard'. london's free evening paper has been running a campaign and gathering a fund to help what it calls 'the dispossessed'.
the reason why it is shouting about it on it's front page is that it is about to hand out £1.25 million in grants to grass-root charities fighting inequality. so far the paper has raised and doled out something like £3 million. pretty impressive.

also pretty depressing when you (just to take an example)that this is football's january transfer window and that some players will be bought and sold for much more than that - and several of them will see their wages top that amount.

david cameron likes it because 'the dispossessed campaign has stirred london's conscience and will have a big impact in helping people to climb their way out of poverty.'
for cameron it jibes with his 'big society' no state people are doing it for themselves malarkey.

boris johnson says of it 'i am grateful to the eveing standard for again highlighting the poverty and deprivation that shame this city while giving every londoner the chance to help remedy the situation.'

it is almost like they can't do anything - except both of them can. for instance they could both campaign for a living wage, obviously they won't because that will upset their mates in business who will complain 'we can't afford that...after all we have had to put up director's pay by 49% without any appreciable improvement in our businesses'. (do you remember the old adage 'pay peanuts and you get monkey's' what should be the eqivalent? 'pay the best get the least worst'. answers on a postcard please).

in boris' case it is even more sanctimonious as he has just presided over a transport fare hike that hits the lowest paid worst. (ken livingstone has already made the fares as the main plank of his mayoral campaign - but he could also add in simplifying the zones and charges - is there really a need for as many zones as there are and various prices that go with them? he could also add in targeted help for the poorest).

a doff of the cap to 'the evening standard'.
a big rasberry to cameron and johnson.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


according to the times george osborne, the chancellor, is going to take over the planning to ensure that scotland remains part of the united kingdom.
oh well.

goodbye scotland.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


there is a level of madness within the capitalist system. it is part of its nature. it is this madness that socialists hate. what is even madder is the business media.

a sunday evening in my favourite coffee shop, a cup of joe and the sunday times.
a report that tesco's is abot to announce its worst christmas in decades.
really? no shit.

before we forget let's just remember that we are in the midst of a financial crisis. unemployment is rising. the cost of living is rising. so what does that mean?
well even i can see that means there is less money to go around. less money means less stuff being bought. simple really, unless of course you happen to be a financial journalist in which case the lack of spending seems to be a mystery and any decline in spending is seen as a major surprise.

tesco's market share has dropped from 29.3% ro 28.9% in the uk.
tesco's worldwide made a record profit of £3.8 billion last year and looks set to overtake that this year.
overall tesco isn't in a poor state. yet still the analysts carp.

why do they carp? because they feel tesco may not be to expand in the uk much more. no shit. i have three tesco metro stores within a 5 minute walk of where i live, so the only way they expand around here is to start having a display in people's houses.

clive black an analyst of share capital says "we expect tesco to be the industry laggard". i am not a betting man but i reckon tesco will still be top dog.

(interestingly while looking for some information for this blog i came across a piece in the guardian, so hardly secret, that reports that tesco had just reported its 4th quarter of declining sales so the current story of the worst christmas seems even more of a non-story).

Saturday, January 07, 2012


nikon have annonced their new top of the range camera the d4 is soon to be released.
i want one.
the chances of me ever owning one are on a par with my chances of become mayor of london (mmm hold on i just need to beat boris and ken - all i need to do is promise to keep fares down and ... darn what else).

still it might mean the other high end camera's in nikon's range drop down to more realistic prices.

look nikon - i love your stuff (even more than i love apple's stuff)so feel free to send me a d4 to play with. just look at my photos i need all the help i can get.

Friday, January 06, 2012


david cameron seems to have taken on board some of the concerns of the average person in the street at the escalating scale of wage rises that those at the top get and how, often, it is not related to success.

he is promising to clamp down on it.
i suspect that it is no more than empty words.

this time next year we will all still be complaining that the heads of large corporations are still trousering more money than they can spend while their staff have to make do with no pay rises at all (because well the economic situation is still bad).

however let's hope that this is one promise david cameron makes good on.
not holding my breath mind you.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


it is as hard to get worked up about dianne abbott’s, labour mp for hackney, ‘white people’ comment as it was to get outraged by aiden burley, tory mp, being in the same room as some friends giving a nazi salute.
regardless of the circumstances – abbot trying to have a nuanced discussion on twitter, burley at a stag do – what both show is that being an mp isn’t a guarantee of common sense or political sense, and that people are likely to do stupid things and in today’s 24-hour constant coverage of everything that anyone remotely known does being instantly newsworthy both become something larger than they are.
we’ll dismiss burley – if only because david cameron took swift action removing him as a parliamentary private secretary and ordering a fuller investigation.
ed miliband, leader of the labour party (in case you had forgotten) very swiftly ordered abbott to apologise. which she did claiming it was taken out of context, though quite how you expect context in 140 characters is something of a mystery to me. (as an aside has ‘out of context’ replaced ‘doing research’ as the get out of jail card of choice?)
the problem with diane abbott’s tweet is her anti-racist stance. her somewhat sweeping generalisation may point to an underlying dislike she has for white people – in general of course as i am sure some of her best friends are … well you get the picture. or it may just highlight how difficult it is to discuss certain topics without falling into verbal traps, after all would there have been a problem if she had said ‘ruling class’ or even ‘british ruling class’ (after all that is who she really meant). perhaps the episode goes to show that on twitter you shouldn’t try for complex ideas.
of course the twitterstorm that followed threw up lots of interesting viewpoints and highlighted that while twitter is useful and fun – it is still not a great gauge of right or wrong, the citizen journalist is often just as wrong or as biased as the media they often decry.
should dianne abbott lose her job? no. does it undermine her when she speaks about racism? just a little bit.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


winter has been very mild, well at least in my part of london.
i am not complaining - with no heating not having to shiver for days on end under several duvets is a small blessing.
yet i miss a real winter.
so tonight i have enjoyed the sounds of rain lashing at my windows. the howl of the wind. the angry rustle of the trees.

winter sounds so much better than any other season.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


today was the anniversary of the siege of sidney street.
latvian anarchists taking potshots at churchill, causing the army to come to my street partly to deal with the anarchists and also to deal with the three hundred thousand or so people who came along to watch.

peter the painter (london's most famous latvian - not that there is a long list of famous latvians) has a tower block named after him. this caused a few people to wonder what on earth the council were doing. we'll know they have gone off their trollies when we have a 'ripper rise'.




both from the wonderful british pathe site.

Monday, January 02, 2012


the annual tradition of public transport fares rising has come to pass. funny i remember how we were told that public transport being in the hands of private companies would bring in more competition and the usual combination of efficency and lower prices. oh we wish.
for some the prices rises are as high as 11%
for some the tube has become a luxury, leaving the bus as the only method of transport to get to work.

don't worry though david cameron has told us that he 'gets it' that it is hard and that many of us are worrying about finding work and paying the bills. he 'gets it'.
he gets it to the extent that he knows that some schools are not working hard enough to educate their charges, he understands that some hospitals are not clean enough, he understands that the police are not catching enough criminals.
don't worry he 'gets it'.

that is why there will be cuts in services.

see it all adds up.
sort of.

Sunday, January 01, 2012



welcome to 2012.
it can only be better than 2011. can't it?
it has to be better than 2011. it can't be worse, can it?

anyway make of it what you will, i am sure the mayans were wrong though i will need to check david icke on that - he must be hopeful as he has a new book out. that's a good sign whichever way you look it it.