31st December 2013
Reading about this Piranha attack in Argentina, which left a number of people injured, reminded me of my pet Piranha Pedro. OK, I guess I can call him a pet because he is stuffed. But what choppers he’s got!
NEW YEAR’S HONOUR’S LIST
It’s the time for many to grumble about who received and who did not receive an honour in the list just published. Personally, I find it all a nonsense. Yes, I can become irritated by the fact that the gynecologist who delivered Frederick was knighted and be delighted that David Beckham wasn’t. But why don’t some of these people become inverted snobs and join the much more exclusive list of those who refused such honours. We have John Cleese and J B Priestley, who both refused Peerages, and a good number who declined knighthoods, such as Alan Bennett, David Bowie, Francis Crick, E M Forster, Stephen Hawking, Harold Pinter, George Bernard Shaw, to name but a few.
Consider that several centuries ago, especially in the 14th century knighthood was not desired by a great many. It was an onerous thing to be a knight. You became in effect part of the governmental executive in your county, sitting on commissions and juries, for example. Most knights by then were happy to enjoy their land without having to offer military service to the crown or other nobles. In any event scutage had been introduced in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) which meant you paid an amount of money in lieu of doing military service yourself, money with which mercenaries could be hired by the crown. If you held land to the value of £20 per year in King Edward I’s reign (increased from £10), you could be distrained upon to become a knight. Perhaps onerous duties should be imposed on those who now become knights, or are awarded other such honours.
UNUSUAL PLACE NAMES
Here a small selection of some weird and sometimes naughty place names around the world. A full list can be found on Wiki, for example:
BATMAN: A city in Turkey, whose former mayor threatened to sue Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros for the use of their name in the Batman films.
BELL END: A village in Worcestershire, England.
BORING: A place in Maryland, USA.
BUTT HOLE ROAD: A former street in the town of Conisbrough, Yorkshire, England.
CHRISTMAS PIE: A hamlet in Surrey, England.
CONDOM: A commune in South-Western France.
DULL: A village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
FUCKING: A town in Austria.
GOGOGOGO: A town and commune in Madagascar.
HELL: A community in the US state of Michigan; apparently it is only 294 miles from a place called PARADISE.
INTERCOURSE: A place in Pennsylvania.
KNOB LICK: A place in the US state of Missouri.
MIDDELFART: A town in Denmark.
NAMELESS: A place in Tennessee.
NORTH PIDDLE: A town in Worcestershire,. England.
NO NAME: A place in Colorado.
PITY ME: A village in Durham, England.
RECTUM: A hamlet in the municipality of Wierden, Netherlands.
TWATT: A small settlement in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.
WANK: A small hamlet in Bavaria (of course).
WANKER’S CORNER: A village in the US state of Oregon.
29th December 2013
UKIP – WHAT LIES AHEAD
Nigel Farage’s statement that we should admit some 500 or so Syrian refugees is a calculated piece of electioneering. Whether that is his true belief or not, it was said to garder votes in the Euro elections in a few months time. The bulk of the core vote of UKLIP will not share this view. It was said to appeal to wavering voters and those who have not made up their mind which way to vote and do not wish to be seen to be voting for a party with racist views. Indeed, a recent DVD sent out by the party tries to dissuade people of this view. Of course, UKIP are not racist in any way, but they are perceived to be such by many people.
UKIP are, and always have been – a party for the protest vote, as much as they would like to deny this. Long seen as a one-issue party, they have evolved over the past two years and have on the whole put forward some coherent policies in a diversity of areas. They recognize, at long last, that it is immigration that is the issue foremost in people’s minds, a subject many in politics have found delicate to approach. Why? I am confident it is not in most people’s minds, and it requires politicians who will call a spade a spade and tackle the issue head on.
UKIP are tipped to win the most seats in the Euro elections; that may well be. But have they become the party many will vote for in elections which few take seriously and indeed where the turn-out is so very low, and not the party they can vote for in a general election, where they believe their vote may be wasted. We shall see.
The loss of power supplies to many people in the South of the country, due to the recent bad weather, has shown how shambolic the response by the energy suppliers affected has been. A loss of supplies is nothing new and must be expected from time to time when the weather is so inclement, but the response to this, where some are still cut of six days after the event, is worrying. This is compounded by David Cameron offering nothing but platitudes to those affected. The man really should keep his mouth shut – at all times preferably.
I am no great fan of this woman, but the verdict in the recent trial surprises me.
Although she has admitted infrequent cocaine use, we were told no prosecution was envisaged, although that has been superseded by the police stating they will investigate this matter. Any illegal substances will one trusts have been removed from the premises. A wink is as good as a nudge. But this is not the issue. I believe the trial was badly handled by the judge presiding over it. Whether she took cocaine or not was not the issue, it was the alleged theft by her employees of a couple of hundred thousand pounds, and I am astonished that they were found not guilty.
The latest wheeze for these people is : Get certified if you want to see your website world ranking. You certainly would have to be certified to subscribe to this bunch of cowboys.
It has been said by many that the abuse of children and young adolescents in Rochdale is but the tip of the iceberg; I believe that to be true. Little was done by the local authority and the poilice to investigate this matter at the time. Why? Because these crimes and others like them were committed by immigrant communities for the most part, largely Pakistani. Any action taken against them would have had the tag racism attached to it. But for many young Pakistanis the girls involved were but white kaffur meat.
This man is no less an idiot than ours. He suggests that the international community has lost confidence in the USA over the Snowdon revelations. They have, but a long time ago. To remedy this he is considering having the billions of records relating to phone calls that have been monitored and/or tracked to be stored in private hands. How on earth that is to raise confidence beggars belief; not would even any purported destruction of these records raise confidence in the US, for the simply reason that no one would believe they had been destroyed. After all, if Snowdon could download what he did on a few memory sticks, who knows who else has done the same or may yet do so. The situation is irredeemable.
MOBILE PHONE PROVIDERS
If you are looking for good service from a mobile provider, then don’t go to the Three shop in the Queensgate shopping centre in Peterborough.
A TRADE DEAL IN OUR TIMES
I expected a similar headline in the British media on Cameron’s return from China, a headline trumpeting the success of a trade deal in our time, but it didn’t happen; in any event it would have been just as worthless as the scrap of paper Neville Chamberlain obtained from Adolf Hitler in 1939. This fool who masquerades as our prime minister, together with his circus, returned recently from China. Why does he embarrass this country so? It is in order to get headlines, positive spin, that attempt to make him appear something he is not – a successful leader of this country; leadership and Cameron are an oximoron.
In any case, this is not the way to rustle up business in China, or anywhere else for that matter. The Chinese take our Del Boy with rather a pinch of ground Rhinocirous tusk. Cameron could not even resist mentioning human rights issues, even if this is aimed at our media and, no doubt, to placate Nick… I forget his name.
We have little to offer the Chinese if the truth be known. The much vaunted financial service sector is nothing but a gaming club, and yes, the Chinese do love gambling. I have no doubt they will have their own financial sector established very rapidly, and it will eclipse ours. Service Industries have a precarious base to them, especially where they are so heavily reliant upon IT technology, as the City of London is, and I have every confidence it will disappear in a blink of an eyelid.
What Cameron is doing is pawning our country to the Chinese. It is something I don’t welcome.
OF ANCHORITES AND ANCHORESSES
I found a reference to an anchoress in the mid 14th century not hitherto recorded, at least as far as I can see. She lived in a cell built against the wall of a medieval city of London church, which was destroyed in the great fire of London in 1666. You have to be very dedicated, or have little going for you (if I may be uncharitable) to live out the rest of your life walled up in such a cell, or perhaps just a loner. There was a window through which food could be passed and waste taken out, and no doubt spiritual advice given to those who sought it. At least within the monastic life you had company, here you were on your own. Mind you, I can think of a few people I wish would take up this type of solitary existence.
This song could have been written about David Cameron, or indeed other politicians since the Beatles first recorded it.
He’s a real nowhere man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to….
These revolting people need to be sent back post-haste, wherever it is they have come from. They have nothing to seek in this country.