Archive for October, 2013

@DrBrianMay @QueenExtrava @OIQFC Not the way to treat your fan base.

October 31, 2013

 

My wife came home early, last night, from the “Queen Extravaganza” at the O2Academy in Liverpool.

MIGHTILY  UPSET.

She had prevailed on a friend to join her, having first checked that the show tickets were for 7:00 p.m., which assuming a 2 hour show (as gleaned from reviews), meant that they would be able to catch the 9:40 train back to Wigan. If it was to be later, then the only transport available would be The railways coach service at 11:30 p.m.,  getting home, on a working day at 1:00 a.m.

She arrived at the door before 7:00, to join the queue, which included older people, people on sticks and people in wheelchairs.

On entering, she found that there was no seating, except on the floor.

Worse the show was not due to start until 9:00 p.m. and they would not be allowed to re-enter, if they went away, until later.

Now, if you are young and wearing jeans, this might seem quite acceptable, but when you are of mature years (contemporaries of the members of Queen) and dressed for an evening at an EXTRAVAGANZA, you find a two hour wait, sitting on a cold floor with only “house” drinks available, a bit disagreeable.

In fact it smacks a trifle of the practices employed by a SOHO clip joint.

Obviously my wife and her friend were none too pleased at the time and money wasted and the implied deceit.

They will view future Official Queen promotions and QFC newsletters with a very jaundiced eye.

If these ventures are genuinely sponsored, promoted and/or officially approved by Queen, then they need to take more care of their fan base, by checking out that it is clear what is on offer.

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@David_Cameron I’ m going to do my damnedest to keep drawing my pension for as long as I can, despite your best efforts.

October 29, 2013

I resent that my Royal Mail has been sold off to foreign scavengers.
I resent that its profits mainly come from spamming me.
I resent that I have to shred spam that can be used to steal my identity.
I resent the fact that I have to have a special wheelie bin to put all the spam in. I resent having to have another wheelie bin, for that spam, stuck in front of my house, spoiling the aspect, which was part of its attraction, when I bought it.
I can’t do much about the tons of spam from Virgin and Sky, which promises me untold benefits for pennies and delivers considerably over-priced dross.
I can’t do much about the hand-delivered fliers from the myriad of fast food outlets, which I don’t use.
I can’t do much about the Spamming war between the supermarkets but I can do something about the Shylocks, who want access to my bank account.
I specifically refer to the pre-approved applications, which I regularly receive.
Credit cards, health insurance (more frequent now that the bulk of the NHS has been privatised), loans sharks, pension plans, (more frequent now that the politicians have plundered the N.I. fund), funeral and home care plans (more frequent now that the old are to be worked/frozen/starved to death with a bastardised, privatised care home service).
These usually have pre-paid reply envelopes.
Even if they’re not pre-paid, I return their garbage (my personal details deleted) with a sense of minor triumph, having foiled the identity thieves, having not had to add to my recycling chores, whilst adding to theirs, and made the Royal Mail use its resources, even if only a miniscule amount.
Other than finishing Guy Fawkes job, I can’t see what else I can do except keep taking my Statins and posting on my blog.

# Occupy The loss of Family values has been the key to destroying Social cohesion.

October 21, 2013

I recall a TV program named “Bread”.

It was about a Liverpool family consisting of a devout R.C. mother, four brothers, a sister and a come-day-go-day father. Although the children were all obviously of the same father, their personalities suggested otherwise.

The thing that kept them all together, apart from the strong personality of the Mother, was the family bond.

As the Mother often said “the family that prays together, stays together” ; although, sometimes substituting alternatives to the word “prays”. T

he importance was the the staying together.

This could be variously put as “blood is thicker than water”; “All for one and one for all”; “we’re all in the same boat”; “united we stand, divided we fall”; “It’s us against them”;”If we don’t stick together, we’ll hang separately” and “we’re all in it together”.

The last is the odd one out, because it was spoken by David Cameron. The other’s, spoken by a plebian, is acknowledgement of a hard learned lesson of civilised society.

To the common man/woman, it’s an acknowledgement that we will come across many instances where we will think “there, but for the Grace of God go I”.

It’s even enshrined in most religions as some variation of “do unto other’s, as you would have them do unto you.”

It’s an acknowledgement that when misfortune strikes, we need to be able to rely on others to support us.

It’s an acknowledgement that when attacked, our only chance is to guard each other’s back.

It’s the reason why whole Nations have embraced Various modern religions.

It’s why Socialism grew out of a reaction against harsh and autocratic rulers.

It’s why The Occupy movement has sprang up, globally, in opposition to the excesses of a new Globalist doctrine, grown out of the death of Communism.

In Britain, politicians have often tried to exploit sense of unity, by calling on The Dunkirk spirit.

The only problem is that “them and us” have a different perspective on this Dunkirk Spirit.

For us, it was individuals trying to assist friends and family, or their friends and family, in a time of great need.

For them, it was organising The People to protect their assets (soldiers counting as consumable assets).

This was exemplified for me by an anecdote from the TV series “The World at War”, in which Churchill was said to have visited The East End, after a bombing, to speechify to those digging out survivors.  He called out to them the message “we can stick it out” and received the reply ” not we, Mister. You’re safely out of this” .

Abrupt but truthful, as Churchill, being “important” had something better to shelter under than a piece of corrugated iron. Another example, often expressed to me by my father, in reference to Tory politicians was the old, so old refrain:

“The World does not owe us a living. We can not go on paying ourselves so much, You must tighten your belts” (circa 1958)” .

The shift from “We” to “You” .

For them, particularly the Tory them, “We are all in it together” is typical of this . “We” means “you”. It’s why the Titanic didn’t have lifeboats for those travelling steerage. It’s why I(?)PSA will award MP’s an 11% pay-rise, while telling the elderly poor that they have had their pensions stolen and they must work until they drop (preferably sooner, rather than later).

I didn’t mean to drop down into a tirade against the Greed of our rulers.

It actually started with an attempt to denote how plebian values grew out of the family unit and the values it inculcates. Since the Seventies, the family unit has been attacked and encouraged to break down.

It has been encouraged by promotion of two admirable concepts:  Female emancipation and protection of children.

Female equality should logically have been strongest just after the War, when Women had been doing men’s jobs.

My contention (having lived through that period) is that having failed to reduce wages by importing cheap Labour fom the West Indies and exploiting Ugandan refugee’s, feminism was belatedly encouraged to displace men from the workforce, with women, who traditionally worked for less.

Women were encouraged to become the breadwinner in the family, in the name of equality.

The equality -of pay- still hasn’t arrived for most women, but men have lost their role as breadwinner and family provider. In fact, with child maintenance legislation, an admirable social concept, in some cases, father’s have become superfluous, for many women.

This is along with the need for marriage and the traditional family unit.

Unfortunately it has led to many children now being solely dependent on a single non-working mother, living on  maintenance payments; or benefits, where the father is unemployed.

The protection of children grew out of concerns about the abuse of children in some parts of the World, where child slavery, genital mutilation and under-age marriage were deemed to be shameful. (This was also back in the 80’s ).

Looking at Today’s headlines, it’s obvious that The U.N not only missed its target but these practices have spread to the “Civilised” West.

What “The Year of The Child” did achieve was Childline and the ending of caning in school’s.

Again commendable, in many ways, but it also led to children being taught that they had rights and to be vocal in claiming them.

If a parent beats a child then we should step in and protect them.

Correct.

But my newspaper tells on one page of tiny children being beaten to death, after years of, what is, effectively, torture.

The facing page tells me of a parent fined for not being able too persuade their child to attend school, or another parent being put on a register, because they were found to have slapped a misbehaving child, causing a reddening of the skin, whilst ib Public, in a shop.

If an adult attempts intimacy with a child, then they should be censured.

Correct.

But I read on one page of my newspaper about a teacher being sacked and put on a register for trying to restrain a misbehaving youth, whilst the opposite page is a detailed account of a parish priest protected by his superiors for decades, or someone like Jimmy Saville, likewise protected by BBC executives.

We have, since the 80’s, a generation of adults, where a significant portion of people have grown up believing that they have no responsibility to others. They have not had the benefit of a sense of belonging to a family, least of all the family of man.

They have grown up believing that they are owed a living and that other’s should pander to their wishes, as their mother and the State have done.

They believe that no-one has the right to restrain them, not their father’s, their teacher’s, or the Police.

It’s not too late to change this but it’s not in the interests of our political master’s to heal this, because individuals are easier to deal with than those united in a common cause and the knowledge that they can rely on the person standing by their shoulder.

We need to find a way to educate our political master’s, even if it’s only ny constantly nagging them.

@Ed_Miliband @David_Cameron A Winter of Discontent

October 19, 2013

This is a letter to the daily express but it’d be nice if our political leader’s thought a bit about the plight of the people, whom they like to pretend to represent.

Ross Clark’s piece on the energy crisis, that we face, is infuriating.
How can politician’s create such a fouled up situation.
The worst part is that it is, purely, a political problem.
A political problem arising out of one semi-popular and two unpopular credo’s:
Those of cutting Carbon Dioxide from fossil fuels, remaining in the EU (thus, subject to the dictates of Foreign powers) and privatisation.
Ed, George and David, all have Oxford degrees in philosophy, politics and economics.
Perhaps they should all demand their course fee’s back, because they don’t seem to understand the most important lesson in politics, which is that you should lead the people to where they want to go.
Even Machiavelli advised this.
In this present situation, they can’t renege on their privatisation policy, because their political funding and the whole of their understanding of Economics Theory is too closely tied in to it.
Whilst reneging on their Carbon policy will cause them great difficulty, in terms of political wriggling, the postponement of the closure of coal-fired power stations can be defended as a “temporary measure” .
This postponement of the closure of coal-fired power stations would even help in negotiations, within the EU, where a show of independence, would be a welcome change to the present posturing. The German’s and French might not like such defiance but they would accept it as a political necessity.
In terms of domestic politics, failure to postpone these closure’s will mean power cuts and public censure of the kind last seen during the Winter of Discontent; only this time they’ll only have themselves to blame, they won’t be able to blame the Unions.

@Ed_Miliband What did the teachers’ strike action achieve?

October 18, 2013

When the miner’s went on strike, the first time, they did so in Winter and forced Maggie to cave in to their demands.

The second time, under Scargill, they waited until she had huge stockpiles of coal and struck in Summer.

With the aid of the chief constable, who later set up the Hillsborough fiasco, she had the police fight running battles with the miner’s (some say that their ranks were infiltrated by professional agitators, though it wasn’t clear whether they were British or Russian paid). Unsurprisingly she won and Scargill retired in comfort.

She then took on the teacher’s; a very soft target.

She passed legislation to shackle them and became a Tory saint, who had beaten the Unions.

She tightened up her victory by tying the Police to a no-strike deal and introducing legislation that would put Union leaders in prison, unless they obeyed severe limitations on strike action.

This legislation was used recently to enable a snap sale of the Royal Mail, before the workforce could legally organise a token strike.

Union’s seem to be totally castrated by laws, which New Labour never acted against.

Union chief’s seem to be totally in bed with the Government.

Witness the latest teacher strike.
First, it isn’t a Strike, because they are back at work. They took a planned day off to demonstrate.

It was a minor inconvenience to working parents, such as female journalists and teachers, who had plenty of time to make alternative arrangements for their offspring to be looked after.

Second, like all teacher action, it took place at the beginning of the academic year, when lessons could be juggled to ensure that exam classes could catch up.

Teacher action never takes place in the Summer, when it’s a race to ensure pupils are fully geared up to collect the bits of paper that they need to try to enter the dwindling workforce.

Pupils had a day off.
They didn’t “suffer”.

Additionally; the politician’s weren’t really disappointed, by the teacher’s action. They were delighted.

If teacher’s really wanted to force the Government’s hand, they’d have a two week strike just before the main GCSE and GCE exams.
Government knows that that is no more likely to happen than nurses or doctor’s holding a two week strike over Xmas (forcing MP’s to fly back from the Caribbean).
The vocational work forces don’t have effective strikes, because they, unlike their political master’s, care about people.

@guardiannews Are the spook’s really entitled to be concerned about Snowden’s?

October 14, 2013

Reference the Spooks argument against Snowden I.e. that the revelation of their techniques aids the enemy.

I’ve just watched a program about the taping of conversations between German Officers at Trent House in WWII.

The program ended with the revelation that in order to keep this technique secret (i.e. bugging prisoners accomodation !!!), they did not release the evidence, which they had gathered, to the Nuremberg war crimes commission.

Consequently none of the perpetrators, under their surveillance stood trial.

Military intelligence, they call it.

What is the point of their activities if it is effectively nullified by their need to keep them secret.

We’re no better off than if they hadn’t existed.

@TheGreenParty It would be nice to see a catalogue compiled, of low tech sources of energy.

October 13, 2013

It would be nice to see a catalogue compiled, of low tech sources of energy.
At present, there are a lot of resources being neglected.
Some eco-friendly house building has exploited the use of running water to keep them above freezing, including black roofs with trickled water (under glass) taking up Sun’s heat to warm the house interior.

The Chief Engineer at the, then, Central Electricity generating Board, told me how he warmed his house by exploiting a small stream in his garden. Because of the anomalous behaviour of water, near the freezing point, there is always running water, at 4 C, under the ice. Add in the fact that friction inside a pipe causes the warmer (faster) water molecules to pass along the axial centre of the pipe. By collecting the water from a tube placed co-axially, inside a longer tube, lying on the stream bed, he was able to keep the temperature of his house above freezing in quite severely cold weather.

At present there is a lot of low level nuclear waste being buried in landfills, often having to be vitrified (expensive) to reduce leaching into ground water. Yet we have buoys, whose lights are powered by such low level radiation heating a thermopile. Surely such basic technology could be more widely exploited.

Pre-industrial we had water-wheels and windmills. Time to start building modern versions.

Humans have two vascular systems, whereby the movement of our muscles pushes fluid around our bodies. What about a third one, in/under our clothing to power a generator to charge a battery for the ubiqitous mobile phone.

There was a fad for kids to have lights in the heels of their shoes pwered by their walking. Further exploitation of this idea might be looked at.

And what about a low tech re-cycling catalogue:

Cover reservoirs with white floats to reduce evaporation.

Dump cars in the sea, where they will form the basis of coral reef’s and release iron to encourage plankton growth (researched in Californis but could work here).
Grind  up tyres to incorporate into road and playground tarmac to give greater traction and reduce road rumble (wasted energy)
There must be a myriad such bits of knowledge out there that need to be collated, foe when someone asks “what cab we do with this?”

Currency is a State’s IOU’s. Money is the medium of exchange, based on Energy.

October 1, 2013

Money is a fiction created as an exchange medium. The problem is that within a Country, we need to think in terms of currency rather than Money, which is a term best used when talking in Global terms.
Within a country, Currency is printed by the State. If it prints more Currency, then this is not a big problem in a closed economy. It’s just a form of taxation, where The State is obtaining more Goods and Services, without making any contribution. Everyone feels richer and saves more, with those nearest the teat, getting richer earlier.

The problem arises, when Goods and Services have to be obtained from other Countries, when the Laws of Supply and Demand come into play.
The most important international commodity is energy. In our non-slave economy, this is usually translated in terms of barrels of Oil, which is why all recent conflicts have tended to centre on those nations which have it.
Money is to a large extent based on the supply of energy.
Some countries have lots of oil (Saudi Arabia), some have lots of Gas (USA since it started exploiting fracking), some have lots slaves (China and the sub-continent), some have lots of nuclear (Japan & France), some have lots of Sun (Saudi Arabia), some have lots of HEP (Norway) etc., etc.
Most have a modest amount of some variations of these.
The richest countries are those which can supply energy to others, either in terms of exporting the energy, or exporting Goods and services produced from that energy.
This is where the concept of Money arises and hence the concept of National Debt.
When we had The Steam Age, we (UK) were top dog, because we had coal and Iron and were able to exploit them.
When Oil was discovered in Texas, The USA achieved ascendancy and strengthened its position by exploiting Nuclear energy. Saudi Arabia was then found to have 60% of the World’s reserves of Oil and has been struggling to achieve ascendancy. China is now about to flex its muscle, based mainly on a subservient and exploited populace, but bolstered by its rapidly increasing exploitation of Coal and Shale Gas reserves.
Long term, China will likely out-muscle the USA.
Fracking is the big game changer at the moment, although, if we ever get fusion power, then the game changes again.
(It’s politically interesting to note that Israel is reported to have large, offshore, shale gas deposits, which would provide more energy than Saudi Arabia’s Oil field’s).
Essentially, if a Nation is energy sufficient, then it can it can balance its import and exports and print as much currency as it wishes. it’s only fear would be invasion.
If it is deficient in energy but can trade up its products, by trading on its skills (Swiss banking, uK trading and insurance etc) then it can emulate a country, which is energy sufficient but only until its markets are lost to competition. Such a country is treading water and if it prints too much money, it could soon find itself facing a nasty Economic shock, when it loses its trading position. (Most of Western Europe)
A nation, with excess energy but lacking the political stability to get the best value for it, will become impoverished and find its resources being raped (the basis of much of the West’s (led by the USA) foreign policy.
This was to be the fate of Russia, after the fall of Communism, but the political elite soon became a new hardline, hardnose Government, which prevented this.
China watched what happened in Russia and, having the same political background, its political leaders are gearing up to compete and using their wealth (of energy) to buy up the resources of those nations, with corrupt Governments. Not just in Africa but in Europe, where the attempt to shore up the Euro-zone (i.e. artificially inflate the value of an overprinted currency) has led to them borrowing money (an energy exchange medium, not a currency) from China and paying with State assets (privatisation).
Long term, the only evidence of this will be more Chinese tourists, around the World and their public figures becoming seen as the new 1%.

Cassandra moment
Western Europe will sink back into Victorian slums. North and S.America will become politically alike. Africa will become a farm for China, except the desert regions, which will be exploited for Solar Energy, to process Africa’s mineral wealth.
Australia will become a holiday home for the (Chinese) 1%.
I imagine that our grandchildren will all be speaking Mandarin.