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Monday, October 29, 2012


apple have been in the news quite a bit recently.

poor mapping tool.
iphone 5 not being a big new game changer (it's a phone for fuck sake what to do people want it to do?)
ipad (the new one that is 3 but isn't numbered) about to be replaced by a new ipad that is the 4th one but will be called ipad 3 - go figure.
the mini ipad.
the hoohah about labour issues in its chinese factories (because all the other tech companies are using labour that is paid western living wages (but regardless of the stories of the long hours and low pay that chinese workers get the conservatives are saying british workers and companies need to be more like the chinese - yet it takes 'plebgate' to wake people up to the fact that the tories are not singing from the same hymn sheet as the rest of us).
not paying full taxes in the uk.

now they are changing their management team. shaking it up.
one of the reasons that they are doing this is because of their disappointing 4th quarter profits.
their numbers fell short of what analysts were expecting - given that most financial analysts just guess and constantly prove that all they do is pick numbers from a hat this shouldn't be surprising. yet people seem to take what they say as gospel.

remember most of the western world is in recession.
remember apple products are generally at a premium price.

apples 4th quarter profits were: $8.2bn (£5bn). yes that is right five billion pound. five fucking billion pound.
that is a disappointing £5bn.
to be honest with you i wouldn't get out of bed for £5bn a quarter.
just what planet are people on when that is a disappointing amount of profit to be making.

in that 4th quarter they just managed to shift 14 million ipads and even that wasn't what the analysts were expecting (or wanting). so that was disappointing.

it maybe that (and here i might be a tad cynical) that the so called exert analysts are calling it disappointing because they read the numbers wrong and have given their investors false and over inflated information with which to buy stock on. meaning that while apple have turned in pretty good numbers for most people living in the real world - for those living in the financial world they are 'disappointing'.


if you are unemployed and claiming child benefits it is a terrible thing. such benefits lure and keep the unemployed in the dreaded benefits trap. child benefits are a block to aspiration.

if you are earning over £40,000 a year and your child benefit is cut this is seen to be a bad thing because it stops people from wanting to work. for these above average income earners receiving child benefit is a spur to aspiration.

quite how conservative politicians and thank tankers (or as they are known to the wider population: wankers) square these two ideas is beyond the ken of mortal man.
all that matters is one is an attack on the proles - and that is fine. the other makes sure that they and their mates are fine.

tory values - you know they work (against the majority).

Sunday, October 28, 2012


i have a confession to make. it might shock you. so sit down before you go any further.
i did not know i did not suspect that jimmy was a kiddie fiddler.
judging from the numerous people who have come forward to say that they knew it or had deep suspicions about jimmy’s taste in young flesh i think i must have been the only person who had no idea.

if i had been one of those famous people who worked in the entertainment industry who had seen or had heard rumours about jimmy playing with underage children and had done nothing about it in the intervening years i can categorically state now that i would not be coming forward to say anything. if anyone asked me about it i would calmly state:  ‘no. it has all come as a bit of a shock to me to be honest.’
because the simple fact is what mr. savile is supposed to have gotten up to is vile and horrific and i would hate to have anyone think that i could have used my influence to have stopped it from happening by raising my concerns. each of those personalities who come forward now with their “i had my suspicions’ or ‘i heard rumours’ has to shoulder a degree of responsibility for any molestation that took place after they had their suspicions or had heard the rumours.

they may try to fob it off with talk of jimmy savilie’s powerful position in the media, considering that jimmy savile hasn’t been a ‘star’ for years this doesn’t wash.

as bad as the speak no evil personalities are it looks as if various organs of the press also knew about jimmy’s predilections but chose not to say anything at the time or in the years after. after all it is not like the paper’s have ever smeared a celebrity in the name of the public interest. obviously the rumours concerning jimmy savile were not enough to investigate.
i wonder do the various editors feel culpable. probably not.

still we all know who is to blame: the bbc. yes: the bbc is to blame.
not the people who kept quiet. not the news media who did nothing. the bbc is to blame.

now that the story has broken all those celebrity silent witnesses can’t shut up and the news media who ignored the story for so long can’t stop reporting it now.  yet more often than not the reporting takes the form of how rotten the bbc is and how the bbc has to be investigated for its failings. none of them are asking for inquiries to be held into why they did nothing with the information.
far be it for me to say that the savile case is manna from heaven for the various media companies because they are not fans of the bbc and in a perfect world the bbc would be gone. the same goes for the tory politicians who are raising a stink about the bbc – they don’t like the beeb and they would be happy to see it disappear.

what are the chances that they will all be as gung ho when it comes to dealing with the suspected child abuse that is being linked to mrs. thatcher’s conservative government? i doubt it.

the real shame of it all is that many victims of jimmy savile have been forgotten as this becomes a witch hunt against the bbc and a way for several celebrities to make sure they are getting lots of publicity.
the victims have suffered once at the hands of a sexual predator and now they are being sidelined while others follow an agenda that has little to do with justice. looking like the victims are going to get screwed over a second time.


the rallying cry of the con/dems is that we are all in it together.
it is all about strivers and doers.

nowhere is this better demonstrated when it comes to people paying their way. the bad people on benefits taking money for nothing – those terrible shirkers, they need to be named, shamed and punished. i mean what are they doing having kids? or living in houses? the cheek of it. (it doesn’t matter that an awful lot of people claiming benefits are working).
too many of them expect something for nothing, believing they are entitled to handouts.

mind you over in the world of corporate finances it looks like one or two very large companies are not paying their way. they are playing the system to make sure that they pay as little tax as possible. for shame! not so much outrage from the political class, not even indignation. just a resigned shrug of the shoulders and a wry smile ‘those pesky wealth creators they are just kidders’.

playing the system is fine if you are starbucks (we haven’t made a profit in the uk for years…) or ebay, or amazon, or apple or anyone of a number of companies you get to slide by that tax payment.
you happen to be out of work and on jobseekers well you are just scum of the earth.

then it struck me that the whole reason the con/dems are so keen on cutting benefits to as many people as possible (as long as they are already poor to start with) is that the money saved on paying the benefits makes up the shortfall from those tax shirking companies.

see we are all in it together – so those on benefits who are having to make hard choices between food and bills can rest easy now because they can bask in the warm glow of knowing that they are helping big companies cut down on their tax bills.

caring compassionate conservatism at work.


you may remember that i am not a fan of x-mas.
the months long spending frenzy leaves me cold.

one of the sure signs that x-mas period is upon us can be seen by the increasing numbers of certain types of books that are published.
oh look here is a raft load of cooking books. don't own one. doubt i will ever use one.
check out the plethora of biographies of sort of famous people who haven't really done much with their lives. the numbers of these books only matched by the numbers of truly unfunny comedy books - all guaranteed to have you scratching your head wonder what the joke is?

these are the books that the ebook was designed for: no trees needed to be sacrificed in order that be published. i am sure there are one or two interesting books among them, but who wants to dip their toes into the reeking sewer of smug celebs and punchline free jokes?

talking of books that defy all reason but still get published there seem to have been at least four james patterson books published in the last month. who is buying this stuff - he is easily one of the worst authors i have ever read (ok i haven't read jeffery arher or jackie collins so there is a chance i am doing mr. patterson a disservice; i doubt it).
whoever it is who is buying his books just stop. think of the environment. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


halloween has never really played a big part in my life.
never did trick or treating – it was always something that was for american kids. you would see it on tv shows and films. it was foreign and exotic.

for me and my mates it was guy fawkes night.
bonfires and fireworks.
more importantly it meant ‘penny for the guy’. we would make up our ‘guy’, old clothes stuffed with paper and even older clothes and a cardboard mask, a sign over its head and we were set. if we could find a pram then we would wheel the guy up and down the street harassing passing adults to give us a penny (or more) for the guy.
our ill gotten gains would be turned into bangers, catherine wheels and sparklers.

as guy fawkes night drew closer we would get more excited. fireworks! fireworks!
all the kids loved fireworks.
back then it wasn’t a case of going to the local park and watching a large display – no it was what your parents did for you in the back garden. i was lucky, because my parents ran a pub there was a large yard to use and lots of people who would come along with fireworks to watch them all go up in smoke. in a corner there would be a bonfire.
it was a magical night.
once our fireworks had fizzed, whooshed, sizzled and banged we would stay out to watch other people’s fireworks exploding in the sky.

i still love fireworks.
guy fawkes night has just become fireworks night and mostly it is a civic affair that is at once spectacular and slightly disappointing.

over recent years halloween has begun to replace guy fawkes night – a british tradition being pushed to one side by another slice of american consumerism. there are many reasons why this has happened. i would wager the main one can be seen on the shelves of my local sainsbuy’s.

recently diwali, the indian festival of lights, fell on november 5th and my local sainsbury’s had their fireworks all marked up for diwali – anything to boost sales. this year’s fireworks in sainsbury’s is a smaller unit than the one they have erected to sell diwali sweets.
yet walked a few yards down to the aisle where they rack their toys and you will see tat upon tat of themed halloween gifts. scary lights, spooky lights, ghoulish lights. there are things to wear, things to carry, things to eat. things in the shapes of ghosts, ghoulies, demons, witches and cats. things that make scary noises.
mostly things that make lots of money for sainsbury’s.
halloween has taken off because a lot of commercial outlets have seen it as being a great way to make a lot of money for themselves. money they can’t make on a simple fireworks night.
kids pester power is easier to ignore when the treats are locked in glass cases and cost a small fortune. much hard to resist when they are cheap and on the shelves for the kids to touch and pick up.

yes i admit that some of that tat appeals to me. the big kid in me wants the thing that has spinning lights in it, or the bouncing ghost ball, or the mad cat toy.
just keep me away from the halloween candy.

remember remember the fifth of november
gunpowder, treason and plot.
i see no reason why gunpowder, treason
should ever be forgot...

oh except for the dosh that makes the tills chime in shops up and down the land.


jeremy clarkson has described twitter as a libel free zone, and by extension it could be argued that all of social media is the same.
twitter does seem to bring the worst out in people.
some people just go on there to insult and stalk others others go and hunt down people who have dared to criticise them and have their followers 'bully' them (the fact that they are rich, successful and famous doesn't seem to be enough).

so i would like to combine the two and say clarkson is a cunt.
no really he is.

oh sorry i didn't mean that.
it was a joke. ha ha.
(right i have covered those bases).

Friday, October 26, 2012


they say there are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes.

we all know how wrong that statement is.

why just recently we have had one of the more modern certainties of life kick in.
winter is here and the energy companies are increasing their prices. again. like they did last year at winter and like they will do next year. the same excuses are trotted out the increasing wholesale costs or the government’s drive to make the energy companies more efficient. this means prices have to go up in order that their profits go up.

so much for competition and efficiencies – instead of one large profitable company under the control of the state we have six large energy companies are highly profitable and socially suspect.
funny enough a few days back the daily telegraph had a piece in it about how it is time to stop bashing business (though to be honest i thought the only people who were fair game were those in the financial services: you know the ones who got us into this mess).

angelaknight, chief executive of energy uk, said “the energy industry has a big role to play in powering the economy,” (a clever pun) and that “profit is a good thing not a bad thing” she continues to say that the high level of criticism was damaging energy providers.
ironically this was said before most of the price hikes had been announced by the energy companies.
she is right profit is normally a good thing; it isn’t when all you are doing is putting up the price of your basic service. it is not like the energy companies aren’t aware of the issues surrounding wholesale costs or the medium term fragility of supply, it appears it is easier for them to hike the prices up, trouser the profit and pass the blame on to others than for them to do what any responsible business would do: invest.

it isn’t that people don’t like business – it is just we are aware that in some cases they will, as regular as clockwork, trot out the same excuses and with the same results of hikes in prices for a service that doesn’t get better. we also know that when people like ms knight talk about powering the economy and generating (see i can do it too) profits they are not concerned about how that benefits the average person in the street – they are only interested in how it affects their shareholders and potential future shareholders.

meanwhile we will just have to grin and bear this new regular certainty of annual prices accompanied by the spin of people who would just be as happy telling you it is raining outside as they piss on your head.