Archive for July, 2010

charity shop video’s

July 18, 2010

Charity shops are awash with video’s, some relatively recent.

TV is serial’s, news, sport and odd documentaries, mainly interspersed with repeats and old films.

It’ s often difficult to find any viewing other than these old films. I suggest that Charity shops do  bundles of  10 film video’s, randomly selected, and sell them for a mere £2, or similar; with a strong suggestion that they be donated back to the same shop. If the bundles are numbered, then customers can keep a check on which one’s they’ve recently had and Charity shops can check if their stock is going up or down.

I suspect that many households might donate old tapes that are cluttering up their homes ( those that we might want to watch again?) and just keep a stack of ten that only has to be “returned”, when they feel like it.

It might not work but then again?


July 18, 2010

Another placed advert/news item to tell us what Credit Checking Agencies (i.e. Experian) will charge us for seeing what they are saying about us.

I’d be happier about their £2 charge, if I felt that I could successfully sue them for possibly telling lies about me (or, as these sort of orgasnisations say, making a slight error in the details in my file).

Is there a “no charge, no fee” shyster out there that takes on such cases?

Sir David Richards

July 18, 2010

Reading Mark Austin’s column in The Sunday Mirror it seems that Sir David Richards has actually been appointed to his post  ( Chief of Defence Staff ) , on merit!

How oddly refreshing.

United Utilities banditry

July 18, 2010

Was the imposition of the Hose pipe ban, closely followed by the disclosure that numerous reservoirs, owned by United Utilities, were full and not being used, a ploy by United Utilities to put pressure on OFWAT to go back on their refusal to allow an increase in water charging?

United Utilities complain that the water in these reservoirs, which, by now, must be overflowing from recent storms, is too dirty.

What have they been doing with the billions of extra pounds that they have been collecting since privatisation.

On privatisation all debts were erased, the sale was funded by taxation, and subsequently prices were allowed to increase at a minimum of 4% above inflation, from the levies set under the old Council Rates system. This extra above-inflation price raising has been repeated, such that the present cost of water and sewage services to householders is significantly higher than in 1970, when first proposed by Ted Heath.

Since the implementation in the early 80’s, Water Companies have had decades of time and Billions of pounds to replace a crumbling Victorian  legacy, with an up-to-date service.

How dare they complain that the water in these reservoirs and its treatment is still not suitable for delivery to households?

World Cup foul play –2

July 18, 2010

Further to comments about referee-ing the World Cup, one issue that crops up is setting the tone for the referee-ing of the Competition.

One possibility is to use a pre-tournament, so competing teams can see the standards that will apply. This would only work if the standards set in the pre-tournament actually matched that of the full-on tournament. In the past the standards in the opening games have been harsher than in the later stages, in the belief that Footballers, their managers and fans were all too thick to notice.

As for the pre-tournament, we could have say eight worthy contenders compete in a knock-out competition to qualify for entry to the full-on competition. This would appeal to me in respect of the way that France were allowed to cheat Ireland out of a placing in the competition, before balls-ing up their own chances of winning. How far would Ireland have progressed?

World Cup foul play

July 18, 2010

A recent article in The Express told how a Primary School was banning football from the schoolyard because of the increase in dangerous fouling tactics being employed since the televising of The World Cup matches. Presumably with special reference to De Jong’s apparent attempt to kill Xabi Alonso.

The problem seems to be with the conflict between having a free running play of a contact sport and the stoppages caused by rebuking players.

My personal view is that referee’s first of all have a problem with the two card system, allowing  many minor niggling fouls/infringements to build up until the first yellow card has to be issued, in some cases for retaliatory attacks on the prime offenders e.g. Van Bommel. I propose that we change the law to make five Yellow cards = one Red card. If a ref felt it necessary, he could issue two or more yellow cards for the same incident. This would allow bureaucratically compulsory infringements, such as petulantly kicking the ball away to be put in a more correct perspective with crippling attacks, intended to maim. The ref could set the tone of the match, earlier on, without so much criticism from TV pundits.

A further aspect that I would like to see, which I think would be of use to the ref, is the increased use of the Video ref.

Apart of from calling on the video ref to adjudicate in incidents where play has already been stopped, the video ref could relay reports of running and off-the-ball incidents that he has not personally observed. The Ref could use that information to decide for himself, whether to take action at the next stoppage. This should not be a problem as he can, already, pull play back and defer delivery of yellow card warnings.

BBC Licence fee

July 18, 2010
The Director General of the BBC wants to keep The BBC Salary Structure confidential, so that he can compete with Commercial opposition, whilst a Labour Spokesman claims that cutting the BBC licence fee will damage its ability to perform its function.
What is the BBC’s function?
It’s not to produce quality programming. That ended ages ago, when they decided that they needed to compete with commercial TV by paying huge salaries for celebrities and by buying in programs. It ended when they decided to fill the airwaves with repeats. Even the news channel consists of 15 minute repeats, interspersed with sporadic film clips of trivial localised items.
Realistically the Licence fee persists, so that the Government can use the BBC for advertising/propaganda of issues that it wants placed in front of the Public.
I would welcome the complete abolition of the Licence fee, for the following reasons:
First. It is a fixed Tax (payment is enforceable by law) that affects the very low paid alone.
Second. It is not related to the quality of service received.
Third. Whilst personally opposed to the unrelenting privatisation of all State owned concerns, I fail to see why privatisation logic is not applicable to this Giant Money Pit.
Fourth. If the Government wishes to sell itself, or its propaganda, to the Public, it can do so via commercial companies. The cost could be partly met by reduced expenditure on enforcing payment of TV licence fees.
Fifth. Wimbledon, The Edinburgh tattoo and other special events are not services that need a BBC presence. These one-off annual events, beloved by some, boring to many, can be catered for by Pay-Per-View at a price that would accurately reflect the actual demand for them.
Last. I still have my VHS tape player, access to Charity shop VHS tapes and ability to stream individual sporting fixtures via broadband. I can tape commercial TV broadcasts (fast-forwarding over adverts and trailers, which are ear-blasting, anyway) and not worry about missing crucial scenes/moments, through opportunistic sales reps. I can also visit pubs/clubs to view any Popular sporting Event.
I do not need the BBC and its low-level service and I would have one less official ready to send me shot-in-the-dark threats.

We pay, you say

July 12, 2010


I recall, when a youth, sitting on my doorstep with some friends, watching a domestic.

Conflicting parties were dishing the dirt on each other in the hope of soliciting the sympathies of onlookers.

We were entertained by this but were aware that basically the bickering broke down to the fact that one party was inside the house and the other was out on the street.

Charles Kennedy’s presumed forthcoming attack on Nick Clegg and Labour’s attacks on Cameron appear in much the same light, except that we are paying their rents and living expenses.

Rent of £2 million house, for a Somali refugee, seems small beer in comparison.

local school closure issues

July 12, 2010

  Some schools,  maybe, should be re-built.

Others were being re-built, simply to build up the National Debt.

Some of our local elections were being fought on the issue of the enforced closure of local schools against the wishes of the electorate, simply so that National policy could be implemented.

Global Warming Cassandra’s

July 12, 2010

  A recent article on resomation, as a means of disposing of bodies, dragged in the “fact”  that cremation created 537 lb of Carbon Dioxide (from the gas used to burn the body).

It should have, at least given details of the Amount of Carbon Dioxide that would have to be created in producing the Potassium Hydroxide and then heating it.