Friday, 6 May 2005

Friday fillibuster

Well now – wasn’t that exciting? We stayed up a bit later last night but the Exit Polls had taken some of the suspense out of things. All in all, a better result for the opposition than I had expected; it looked as if the idea of protest voting was not widely followed or did not have the effect that was forecast. B Liar says that he has listened and learned. I think he started listening just at 10 pm last night when he heard the Exit Poll forecasts. What he has learned is surely the Barnum Theory – you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but not all people all the time. Howard has just announced his forthcoming resignation. This based upon his age in four years time and what he feels is his failure to deliver a Tory victory. The age bit I can understand. He surely has nothing to be ashamed of in what he has done in – what – 18 months since he replaced that man whose name – and face – I have forgotten. I think that Howard, emboldened by what he did achieve, would be a telling opponent for B Liar who will have to start out a new government with a 60’ish majority. That 60 is about the same number as those on his side of the house who are permanent rebels.

My abstention from voting here did not have any significant effect. The Lib-Dem bloke had a 6,000’ish majority. Had I voted as my genes, it would have been 5,999’ish. Following my brain would have pushed him up to 6,001. Big deal!

The only result that really annoyed me was the Galloway result in Befnel Grean. He overturned a B Liar babe who had the advantage of an immigrant-sounding name, was black and female. If only there had been a bit of a dark side to her sexuality, a minor disability and she liked whale songs. That would have made her a cert. Galloway fought his usual bullshine campaign. All he has done is split the unity of the Muslim community. Once he can get his feet back in the trough of parliamentary money, he’ll be off on his old reiver-like ways.

Oh yes, one other moan. B Liar has just confirmed that he has been to Buck House and that “the Queen” had invited him to blah blah blah. Why is it that when I went to Buck House it was to see “Her Majesty The Queen”? His New Arbeit ways may be OK for him and Briefcase Mouth, but he should still respect the conventions.

Last night’s Bremner and the 2 Johns was keenly awaited by us two. It is not just the make up and voices we like but the actual content is also good. I thought he was weak last night and that the two Johns were even better than usual. Their dinner party thread just gets better and better every time they appear.

That is the end of the election news.

As light relief from the past week or so, I have been paying more attention to blogs from the far side of the pond with a few from other foreign parts. Depression is a major thread in many that I read. This set me off down the road, ‘does blogging make you depressed or are depressed people prone to blogging?’ I suppose that the neutral setting of a room, a computer and a readable result is the latest adaptation to the sort of therapy led by psychiatrists. The thought about blogging and depression went into my assessment when I started on how many postings there are where – mostly – women are very frank about their sex life and dreams. Do sex maniac’s blog or does blog make you randy? I go back to the days when the f*** word was only very rarely heard even in all male company. As for the c*** expression, it was never heard and one came across it only when written on lavatory walls. My service days exposed me to a very wide sexual vocabulary and flexible rules of grammar where f*** and c*** were concerned, (e.g. ‘this f-ing thing is f-ing f-ed), but I am still a little shocked when they turn up quite regularly in the blog of someone whose work elsewhere suggests that they could well express themselves without going into these basic terms. They seem to be universal even in the school playground. I do not consider myself a prude – dirty joke anyone? – but I am sad when a wonderful language such as ours is more and more reduced to such crudity.

That’s it for now – I must f*** off for my dinner..

Thursday's Thread

I’ve had this hanging about in my ‘copy’ file for some while but have finally decided to use it. Here's the announcement of the new Pope, as the newspapers reported it:

The Mirror:

The Express:
Whilst a million British Catholics are turned down for the job, this man slipped from country to country and now lives in luxury at their expense.

Daily Mail:

The Guardian:
Inside: Paul Carr on how Bloggers influenced the cardinals.

The Sun:
Inside! Send them home; look at that ugly slapper; burn them, etc.

News of the World:
Red-robed reporter in shock security expose


PR Week
Man in wanky glasses slams chimney system

Richmond and Twickenham Times
'Council did not consult us' claim residents of posh street.

Lynn News (King's Lynn):
North Lynn couple once holidayed in Austria, which is quite near Germany, where he came from…

Feel a lot better having got that off my chest.

When push came to shove this morning, I decided not to add my ‘X’ to the hordes of other already placed. The guy I was going to support will win anyway it is such a foregone conclusion. It is such a lovely day I do not want to spoil it by engaging in political matters.

My experiences and knowledge gained as a member of the brutal and licentious soldiery are ideal for commenting on five-times-a-nighter Blair/B Liar. What is that all about anyway? I suspect that the sachel-faced QC was inspired by Mrs. Bush’ recent speech and feels required to follow suit just as Tone has to trail George. I would rather share a bed with a Pomeranian dog; that is just for starters. What I would prefer to her after the fifth symphony is beyond my imagination. I must not go on with this – it could get very crude.

Despite the lack of real interest, I’m planning on staying up past normal cocoa and cookies time tonight just to see what happens. I saw El Portillo get the push live last time and his face was wonderful to watch. Maybe that fool Killjoy-Spwek will get his result before the Sandy Man comes. I will surely watch Bremner and the 2 Johns.

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Wednesday witterings

So, tomorrow is the Big Day. The country will choose it’s fate for the next four years or so. Whilst I have some tingle in my thumbs reference a Tory victory I cannot think it will come off. There seems to be a great lassitude amongst the electorate. Some say this will benefit Howard but it is the sort of maths that I gave up bothering with a very long while ago. It may be true that the pool of electors is so satisfied with the general overall position that they cannot be bothered to become involved on any single issue. Whilst I presently intend to vote, the actual deed will depend on what I feel tomorrow morning. My vote will not make any difference either way and I no longer have those high principles that say I should just because I can.

I’ve been working on the photographs I took whilst on holiday. Funny thing is that there seem to be none that is significantly different or superior to any I already have. Reasonable I suppose – I still have the same camera, range of lenses and digital settings as last time we were in the West and my eye and sense of composition are now so old as to be atrophied. I may use the latest to do some training or experimentation in PhotoShop but I cannot see them going anywhere else. They are almost Islamic in their exclusion of any representation of the human form so no question of them being record photos – ‘That’s what I looked like in 2005’ sort of thing. The negatives and slides I have from late 50s onwards might repay a little bit of modern technology being used.

There has been a posting on a Northern Ireland 4M that I look at about the internal security incidents since 1969. Reading through these I see many in which I was involved as an investigator and the précis on the 4M drags me off down the memory trail. I am able to add post-scripts to some and that is nice – the work paid off. There are others where we knew who and what but were unable to reach out and lift those responsible. Overall, is the awareness of just how much a waste of effort it all was. The military solution was denied us and, in the end, it all came down to bargaining and negotiation with guys in suits sitting in Adam buildings with coffee in fine china cups. My regret is that the men and women who died to put those cups on the table really died in vain. The smarmy politicos could have sold the pass much earlier.

Tuesday, 3 May 2005

Tuesday Twaddle

Two Scottish academics, who spent two years analysing the behaviour of people who neglect both themselves and their homes, say such eccentric individuals should be allowed to live as they like so long as it does not affect anyone else. The research team, from the universities of Stirling and Dundee, estimate that as many as 100,000 people in the UK live in extreme squalor.
But rather than dismiss individuals who appear on TV programmes such as Life of Grime or How Clean is Your House as dysfunctional, the study claims many people are content to live this way. The research also found that any well-intentioned attempts to force them to clean up could do more harm than good.
Professor William Lauder, of the University of Dundee, said: "Self-neglect is a big problem - more common than elderly abuse or neglect.”These people are often portrayed as having a mental illness, but we found that in around 50 per cent of cases, people want to live like that. These days we have an obsession with cleanliness and living in a disinfected environment. We are terrified of dirt. But people should be left to live the way they choose, providing they are not harming themselves or others."

Well, bully for them say I. However, there is the question of what happens when these free-thinkers come out from their hovels and move about in the community I inhabit. Am I to sit on a bus seat recently contaminated with the crotchless tights of an incontinent and uncaring self-neglecter? I see this as just another manifestation of the modern idea that everyone has the right to determine their own standards – crime, language, dress, morals and all those other boring things that go to make up civilisation rather than culture. Maybe it is just a Scottish Thing.
I go back to the days when no tramp would be allowed into a pub or onto public transport. Action to stop them so doing was not necessary – they knew that they were out of order. No one in the bar or on the train would regard themselves as being discriminatory. Another arm of ‘modern’ thinking seems to be an urge to confess to wrong doing in events that happened many years ago. Deserters and others shot at dawn for military offences in World War 1, what we did to the Zulus, use of the cavalry at Peterloo – the list is endless. T Blair/B Liar mentions at least one a day. The events happened in tune with the time – deserters knew they were likely to be shot, Zulus knew it was kill or be killed in a military confrontation, magistrates read the Riot Act at Peterloo. Will there come a time when I will be called upon to apologise for the death of a nation by carbon pollution because I drove a two litre car?
I see the American girl Englander is now on trial for her actions at Abu Gharieb prison. Seems strange that junior ranks in the Army are being charged and given stiff sentences whilst little has happened to the senior and middle ranking officers. I see her especially as much a victim as an offender. She appears to be the sort of girl whose morals were no better than they had to be at that time and place. As such, she would be a natural for anyone who wanted to add something to their dodgy photographs. In real terms, what does it add that she is portrayed with a dog leash on one of the prisoners? It is nothing more than proof that for a very brief spell one man was humiliated in this manner – long enough for a photograph to be taken. In the context of what was doubtless going on in the establishment, it was something very minor. I am not normally a supporter of the view that taking glamour photographs of nude females is exploitation but I do see Englander as in such a situation. She’s obviously not all that bright and may not have known that what she was doing was so very wrong anyway. It will all come out in the wash anyway – she is plea-bargained up to the eyes.
My dog showed more of her brains this morning. She hunts birds in the park. They generally hop along a bit but when she gets close they fly into one or other of the big bushes that are too twiggy for her to get into. This morning, she spotted a big blackbird near to a bush. Instead of doing a point and then stalk she nipped into the bush and crept right up to the bird. She then dashed out in a very successful ambush. I will now have problems with her wanting to hive up at every bush we pass.
I was amused to read this report:
But on Saturday night, Laura Bush set a new standard. After interrupting her husband and telling him to sit down, she did a stand-up routine that included what was probably the first public joke told in earshot of a president that involved him and a horse's phallus.
Mrs. Bush called her husband Mr. Excitement for going to bed by 9 o'clock and turning her into a "desperate housewife." She said that Lynne Cheney's Secret Service code name became Dollar Bill after they both went to Chippendales Noting that Andover and Yale did not have "real strong ranching programs," she said Mr. Bush had started his ranching career by trying to milk a horse - a male horse.
Her timing had the audience howling, and the edgier lines had them gasping. Jokes about pent-up sexual frustration from a prim librarian? With her born-again husband sitting there and enjoying it? And cameras recording it for Republican preachers who are determined to get sex out of schools and off television?

I’ve been impressed by her back-up performances in the past. Even more so when set against those of that frog-mouth desperado that accompanies Blair/B Liar. From this my fractured mind went onto the election carpet-baggers. There seems to have been very little debate on what I call ‘women’s issues’. Abortion, nursery/crèche facilities, employment opportunities – where were they? Even some form of proportional representation in the government – nada. Maybe it is the almost universal boredom with the whole process that has killed off any debate. If so, seems a shame given what the Suffragette Movement went through to get them enfranchised. Death on the racecourse, forced feeding, Cat & Mouse Act, police brutality. In it’s way, as significant as the work and results of the Freedom Riders in America. Oh well girls, maybe another time eh?

Monday, 2 May 2005

Rest day

I’m giving the creative side of my brain a bit of a rest today – as in Monty Python ‘Ooh doctor, my brain hurts’. Instead I’ve garnered these things from what is wandering about the internet. I like that word garnered; must see if I can get it in a bit more.

What follows is a list of different occupations. You must select at least five of them. You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select five of the items as it was passed to you). Of the five you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. Then pass it on to three other bloggers.

Here's that list:
If I could be a scientist... If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician... If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter... If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary... If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect... If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist... If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete... If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper... If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer... If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider... If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper... If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host... If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge... If I could be a Jedi...If I could be a mob boss...
If I could be a backup singer...If I could be a CEO...
If I could be a movie reviewer... If I could be a monkey's uncle...

If I could be a monkey's uncle
This phrase, to greet something with derision, emerged after Darwin published The Origin of Species. His theory, that humans evolved from and were therefore related to apes, was considered so laughably absurd at the time that 'I'm a monkey's uncle' became a popular reference both to rubbish his ideas and convey incredulity.

Proctologist Exam
A man went into the proctologist's office for his first exam. The doctor told him to have a seat in the examination room and that he would be with him in just a few minutes.

When the man sat down in the examination room, he noticed that there were three items on a stand next to the doctor's desk: a tube of K-Y jelly, a rubber glove, and a beer.

When the doctor came in, the man said, "Look Doc, this is my first exam. I know what the K-Y is for, and I know what the glove is for, but what's the beer for?"

At that instant, the doctor became noticeably outraged and stormed over to the door. The doc flung the door open and yelled to his nurse, "Dammit, nurse! I said a butt light!"

Actually, I find this a subject best referred to as a joke. I had it done once digitally and once as part of a barium enema when they introduced something the size of the nozzle on a fireman’s hose. I had hoped the enema would turn me into a singer like Elton John but it was not to be.

If I could be a bonnie pirate
My pirate name is Bloody John Bonney. Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!
There was meant to be a bit of html here but it didn't want to work. To misquote that lovely lady Nigella Lawson - 'Life is too busy to stuff html' Actually, I'm not sure it was Nigella but the thought of her pleases me immensly so I'll stick with it now.

If I could be a painter
I would tend more towards the Picasso end of the spectrum rather than a pictorialist. I can use the digital camera for that sort of thing. With a quick squirt of Photoshop, the result would be exactly what I saw – which may differ from what was there.

If I could be a Jedi
Well, actually I am. At the time of the last National Census, there was a drive to get the Jedi religion added to the list of beliefs already on the form by adding it as a write-in. Such was the response that we came about fourth on the list of faiths. I was one of them. If ever I have to go onto Social Services for a hand-out, I’ll demand a light sabre as something necessary to practise my religion.

Spent quite a bit of today wandering about just looking at what was going on in the fields. All the green that is going to come is here now. I spent fully half an hour watching lambs playing. Favourite game seemed to be King of The Castle where they see who can stay on top of a bit of raised ground the longest whilst the others try and push them off. Someone has somehow garnered (good) a whole load of logs alongside a river. However, there is no sign of any cut-down plantation or tyre tracks of whatever got the logs from there to the side of the road. Even managed - with the binos - to watch a farm type replay the plot of Run Rabbit Run. I suppose that is another definition of retired - being able to do this sort of thing.

Almost there

So, here we are at the last Sunday before the big election. Next week-end, we will have all the pundits writing why they got ir right – or wrong. Future scenario will be sketched out. Accusations will fly. And then, brothers and sisters, we will have our newspapers back to deal sensibly with what comes into their maw. Or will we? Those who may have got things wrong regarding their interpretation of pre-Election trends will have lost some of my respect. Not that there was a lot to start with. I have correspondents that I trust, correspondents whose work I check elsewhere and then there are those who do not get past a cornflake-impregnated snort and dismissal.

The main interest this week seems to be on Howard’s ideas about immigration. His theme “It is not racist to talk about immigration” doubtless scans well in the higher echelons of his party. It would not be published otherwise. I give him respect for trying to get such a debate going but he was on a loser from the start. Even the apparently well-moderated discussions I have seen on serious TV descend into vitriolic yah-boo within a very short while. The – let us for now call them immigrants already here – have extreme views. The entrenched Ancient Brits continuously rerun the ‘too many already’ endless tape. The question of ‘why asylum here and not somewhere else nearer their homeland’ is replayed ad-nausea.

Opinions are so polarised and embedded that there seems no way that this topic can be debated with any likely compromise or settlement. My theory is that the basic root cause is the distribution of the immigrants already here. Anyone from my neck of the woods where apparent immigrants are rare will not understand the fear – yes, it is fear – of an Ancient Brit from, say, Brixton or Leicester where it is the AB that is in a very insignificant minority. Reports claim that Blair/B Liar intends to bring back the sperm donor into his cabinet as some sort of enforcer. This might not be a bad thing – he may have inadvertently shown his colours when he spoke of immigrants ‘swamping’ the country. For myself, I favour a quota system where eligibility is determined on JFK’s criteria of ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country’

Obviously the seaweed that is at the heart of the nation’s weather forecasting computers was somehow sabotaged. What was said to be a sunny holiday period gave us many cms. of rain today. I hope those who had things organised as open air events had good insurance. They got it right yesterday though. I drove over the tops to the Farmers’ Market at Haddington and it was just perfect. Today has been an orgy of venison with vegetables grown in proper muck. Our recent meat intake has finally balanced out the fish we consumed whilst on our holiday. And, of course, with such meat one has to drink red wine……………