What had been a bout of flu then went on to become a nasty spell of pneumonia, which coupled with two broken ribs, put paid to any entries on this blog. However, now back to business.
28th December 2011
And here is a humourous song I sing and texted. The melody will be well known to most of you. I suggest it expresses the situation most of us are in right now. It is available as a download:
This letter was communicated to me by a Colonel Iqbal, a good many years ago now, he of blessed memory. The writer asks whether what was done 140 years ago in Sind, Pakistan, can still be done now, or at least then when the letter was written. It can yet be done now, notwithstanding that times have changed. There is no will on the part of the Pakistani authorities, no will and no ability to effect change.
KIDNAPPED IN SOHO
Further to this post made some time ago, matters are progressing slowly – but they are progressing.
The 30 years anniversary of the Falklands war is coming up and the natives in Argentina are becoming understandably restive and have refused to allow Falkland registered ships access into their ports. In this they have been joined by the other members of Mercosur, the South American trading bloc, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, so this matter has to be taken seriously.
But what of Argentina’s claim to the Malvinas? The country was not even involved in the early stages of the jostle for power over the Falklands. That was between the colonial powers the Dutch, the French, the Spanish and the English. In 1840 Britain established supremacy in the islands and has held it ever since. So why this renewed interest on the part of Argentina in gaining sovereignty over the Malvinas? It has in part to do with the loss of face suffered nationally by losing the 1982 war, which will never disappear. However, I suspect a more pressing reason is the exploration for oil which is now going on off-shore. All attempts by Argentina to claim the Falkland Island should in my opinion be resisted, as long as the inhabitants wish to remain under British sovereignty.
Where would this all end? We have seen enough strife in central and eastern Europe, with countries succeeding and forming smaller countries, many from the former Yugoslavia. So many of these have not seen a happy ending to their new establishment, indeed, far from it.
One can translate this onto the on-going dispute between Spain and Great Britain over Gibraltar. Or perhaps we should go back another century or two and demand Calais back from the French? Or what about much of France, come to that. Should we see the reestablishment of the 12th century Angevin empire? There would less than half of the present day France left. What about German claims to Danzig, or the lands in the East taken by both the Soviet Union and Poland? It would be never ending. The above is of course fanciful, but maintaining our right to sovereignty over the Falklands is not and it should continue to be exercised.
I am becoming increasingly amused by the proliferation on the internet of what I call wikilectuals, especially in the social media, on sites such as Facebook.
Why is it people no longer have the courage to express an opinion? Perhaps it is because they never had the ability to express one. I see interminable links to other peoples’ sites, who in turn have taken information from those of yet others… and on and on it goes.
Has no one anything original to say any longer? Has no one the courage to voice their own thoughts and opinions?
And then of course the activists of both the far left and the far right seem to abound. To be fair the far right less so than the far left. And yet, I hate using these terms, they are rather outmoded, indeed absurd nowadays. The radical left and the radical right have more in common with one another than either of them might at first imagine. Express an opinion to a left wing writer which is contra to his/her view and it evokes a veritable hysterical reaction. “STOP, how can you voice such views?” , as if they have the monopoly on published opinion. It is quite farcical.
I have recently made the experience, somewhat belatedly I fear, that the radical left has, as one knows, a lot to say, conning interminably with their unoriginal offerings. But that is all they do, they talk, talk, talk ad nausam. They are not people of action – perhaps we should be grateful for that at least.
Being used to bendy buses from travel on the continent I was rather pleased that they were introduced in London. But no, our intrepid mayor Boris Johnson is reintroducing the Route Master buses. What a shame. Bendy buses were so much more convenient. OK, they could not traverse all the routes because of their wide turning circle, but they coped well enough. Then there is the matter of fare evasion, but quite frankly few inspectors inspect fares on London buses or indeed the London underground in any case, so that I do not see that this can be trotted out as an excuse.
There is a wonderful program on BBC Radio 4 called Book of the week which goes out at 00.30 hrs. This week they have given excerpts from the Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth. We have had a spate of programs and pieces on etymology of recent, but this is by far the best.
The origin, or purported origin, of any number of words has been investigated, and there have been so many quirky, funny and curious explanations given. One that caught my ear was the origin of the word testify. It was suggested that this came from the ancient Roman habit of men holding their testicles with their right hand when giving evidence in court; this was to exclude women and eunuchs from giving evidence. The King James Bible, rather predictably, rendered this as them holding their thighs, although the original Hebrew version stated they held their soft parts. Needless to say I am relieved this habit has not continued to the present day.
STANDARD AND POOR’S
The ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has just announced that it has relegated the Liberal Democrat Party to junk status. Given that it is now infested only by misguided lefties and pinkies and readers of the Guardian, there seems little purpose in its continuance.
EARLY SIGNS OF DEMENTIA
What signs should I look for?
Dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. The symptoms include:
- memory loss, such as remembering past events much more easily than recent ones
- problems thinking or reasoning, or finding it hard to follow conversations or TV programmes
- feeling anxious, depressed or angry about memory loss, or feeling confused, even when in a familiar environment
It occurs to me the entire Tory front bench is showing signs of Dementia.
AND HERE IS NEXT YEAR’S NEWS:
29th July 2012.
The Dutch Government, notwithstanding its being a signatory to the new treaty agreed in December 2011 regulating the amount of debt it is permitted to carry as a percentage of GDP, has significantly exceeded the limit set. German troops are poised on the Dutch border set to invade Holland and remain in occupation until the Dutch fall in line with terms agreed under the treaty.
1st January 2012
Oh dear, oh dear, one of my favourite teams is in a bit of bother. It may be irreligious to say it, but I have been tempted for some time now; I think Sir Alex Ferguson should consider retiring. His heart does not seem to be in it as it used to be. He surely must lack that hunger for success – after all, he’s done it all. He also does not sound or look too well.
THE ARAB LEAGUE
Both the Arab League and Syria are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. There was obviously pressure from inter alia Saudi Arabia and Egypt to have observers in Syria, in the hope that they can achieve an end to the violence and even stabilize the regime there. But this could never succeed. The Syrian government could not have given in to demands made, it would spell their demise, which in due course will be heralded in any event. But the Arab League don’t come cleanly out of this. Who will give them credence, and who will want them involved on a similar occasion, of which I suspect there will be more.
DAVID CAMERON’S POPULARITY
New opinion polls show David Cameron on a personal basis as more popular than either of the two other party leaders. Well… that’s no masterpiece. He is being congratulated in this by any number of Tory hacks and politicians. He is more popular by default,that is all. And yet I am reminded of the early years of Blair, when all fawned over him, even those in the City; more fools they. Let us not forget that Cameron is, in his own words, the heir to Blair. I for one will never let him forget that. No, no, for me Cameron is an appalling politician and prime minister, who reacts to situations, he does not create them or take a decisive lead. He is but a pawn of circumstance. I’m right – you will see.
AFGHANISTAN OIL EXPLORATION
I read that the Chinese have been granted a license to explore for oil in Afghanistan. This should be of some concern to the USA and its oil companies, as indeed others around the world. The Chinese more or less kept themselves out of this conflict and have come out with a clean nose. It seems now that they may become the main beneficiary of trade links with the ‘new’ Afghanistan. That was the right way to play it – for them at least. That’s not what the USA envisaged when they occupied the country and gave it the American dream – or should one say nightmare. That, coupled with their increased activity in other parts of the world, especially Africa, as far as obtaining access to raw materials in concerned, need be of great concern in even the short term.
3rd January 2012
NORTH KOREA – This Pantomime
I would like to think this is the worst case of orchestrated mass hysteria on record. But then, professional mourners are nothing. They have appeared in many civilisations and cultures, going back to biblical times. North Korea has taken the whole concept to a new level.
These mourners were for the most part I suspect paid, an extra ration of rice here, a litre of oil there. But give them time. I am confident they will not wish to be paid when they rejoice with the same gusto at the new regime’s downfall, and implode it will be in due course. Its days are numbered.
One of the most ludicrous comments made about Kim Jung-Il, amongst almost everything attributed to him, was that he never defecated. Well, it would not do for a near God-like creature to defecate, would it. But that is something I almost believe. After all, he was so full of shit.
COME DINE WITH ME et al
Dumbed down TV programs proliferate more than ever at present. Whether it is Come Dine With Me, one of the most disgusting programs ever devised by semi-literates for semi literates, or the new celebrity Big Brother,which is threatening to host Frankie Cocozza, who gives slime bags a bad name, it can’t get any worse. Or can it? One is intent on shocking the viewer, but the viewer is becoming enure to what he has seen for many years now. Where will we end up, with Japanese style television? Perhaps we should reinstate Roman plebian type games, where we can throw, not Christians of course, but members of ethnic minorities to the lions – or members of the Lib-Dem party come to that. Don’t knock the idea. Until you have tried it and seen the ratings, don’t knock it!
But it is once again BBC Radio 5 that is lowering the niveau overall. I used to refer to the BBC as the Bimbo Broadcasting Corporation, but to be fair there appear to less bimbos about there at present. Or maybe they are just keeping their heads down, I’m not sure. But the standard of productions at Radio 5 is for the most part abysmal and incredibly amateurish. This, coupled with a number of presenters who would not have got a job as a road sweeper for Hackney Council – and that’s saying something – it is mind boggling! My pet dislikes are Steve Nolan and the Nigerian presenter on Up All Night. Whether one is a fan of BBC Radio 4 or not, at least they are a professional broadcaster.There is something to be said for revoking the BBC’s charter in due course.
5th January 2012
THE COUNCIL FROM HELL – South Kesteven District Council (SKDC)
It’s a while since I wrote about these people. It’s not that they haven’t had anything newsworthy to report since then, so let’s make a start with this little piece. This Environmental Health Department of this council.
Some years ago Environmental Health were quasi autonomous. Then they were merged with the District Council. This is a case for regret, as their actions since then have become less and less independent. I have had cause over the years to report noise pollution to them, but they have been less than impartial in tackling the issues reported; but that is history, for the time being.
For some years I have been faced with an inordinate amount of noise coming from a number of pubs in Bourne, where I live. The worst offender is the Firkin Ale, a refuge, in my opinion, for some of the less salubrious members of the community. Be that as it may, the police have raided this establishment on at least two occasions looking for under-age drinkers and drug dealers.
My main concern is the inordinate amount of noise coming from this pub, especially during Friday and Saturday nights. Worse still they have a licence for live music, heaven knows why, as the pub was a former cafe, not designed to be a pub, and lacking all sound-proofing that would ameliorate the lot of neighbours. Drunks cavorting on the pavement and in the street are also a hazard for traffic down a busy main road. Perhaps once we have had a serious accident action will be taken.
Live music nights will find drinkers on the pavement drinking – which makes a nonsense of the alcohol free zone plaque put up by the council some years ago, and which is opposite the pub. The doors are often left open, especially in hot weather. This means that the noise coming out of this place is intolerable and can be heard some 100 yards and more down the road.
Yet nothing is being done to prevent this. The councillors are fully aware of the problems of noise pollution presented by this pub, and indeed others, but they do nothing. Indeed, at least one councillor to my knowledge drinks from time to time there on the nights in question.
I have reported this in the past. With many councils Environmental Health Officers can be called out to investigate. Not with this council, as they have amply demonstrated in the past. This is not the only pub causing a nuisance and I will write the others up in due course.
Some years ago it was incredibly difficult to find a dentist in many parts of the UK who would treat one under the NHS. That situation has improved, largely because dentists can now earn an incredible amount of money, many coming in from overseas to do so. They are of course not in the same league as GPs, whose salaries and earning potential were increased to perverse levels by the previous Labour Government. I am with a dentist in Stamford. I am not happy with that dentist. In fact, I am most unhappy with that dentist.
I shall be changing and going back to my dentist in London.
I have been with this dentist for two years and in that time no x-ray was done of my teeth. On the last occasion I saw a hygienist. She spent 5 minutes doing a peremptory and unsatisfactory clean-up of my teeth. With my previous dentist I had three 20 minutes sessions, she not just cleaning my teeth but giving invaluable advise about dental hygiene. On an earlier visit to this dentist I was given an anaesthetic. It did not take , nor did a subsequent top-up. Quite frankly I let the man get on with putting in a filling.
My treatment is covered by the NHS. It occurs to me that a hygienist can make a lot of money by doing her job poorly, in little time. Similarly, an anaesthetic given in a low dose can also be charged full whack to the NHS. Food for thought.