Archive for June, 2019

Blogpost 37: 26/06/19 – 7/6/2019

June 26, 2019

Other battle fronts 10/6/19
It’s right to commemorate the D-day landings and pay respect to the many, many young men sent to die on those beaches and to respect those, who, despite the carnage, continued to advance at peril to their own lives.
It’s also right, as another reader said, to recall the heroism of the Russian soldiers, many of whom were sent into battle unarmed.
Both those fronts have been well documented, with lots of footage of the conditions met.
But there were other battle fronts, which seem to have been forgotten, with scant record of the men fighting on those fronts.
After D-day, most of the film footage is from North of France and the race to Berlin.
There’s very little of the forces, who invaded the South of France, or Greece. The war in Italy seems to have stopped after the capture of Rome. There’s almost nothing of Burma and the Far East, although fighting, there, continued well past VE-day. In fact, although troops stayed in Germany well past the Armistice, there’s nothing about what they were doing apart from few standing guard at the Nuremburg trials. It’s as if these men were not worth note. In fact, all that was ever recorded of any of them, post-war, was their being given a suit and a travel warrant

Boris as PM 13/6/19
I have no problem with Boris walking into Number 10, because after he’s delivered on his promise to cut taxes for back bench MP’s (basic salary £79k comes within promised £80k raising of tax band) and he’s dumped on half of all voters over Brexit, there’ll be a vote of no confidence. The resulting GE will result in a Labour Government.American

Women’s FA 13/6/19
When I was young, male footballers were paid scandalously low rates, compared to the revenue raised, which mainly went into the bank accounts of the rich owners.
Public anger saw an ever increasing share of gate money going to the players.
Nowadays, Premier league players are paid ridiculously high sums but still only commensurate with their ability to draw in that revenue. Players in the lower leagues earn much more modest sums.
For the supporters of the US women’s team to claim their thrashing of the weaker Thai team entitles them to the same money as the men lacks intelligence.
They should step back and consider what effect their humiliation of a much weaker team may have on the growth of the sport, internationally.
The growing interest in countries, such as Thailand, could be stifled and the Women’s World Cup would have to survive off a limited pool of nations.
The way, to get fair pay, is to grow the Sport, not try to kill it off with triumphalism and over-excited demands

Water taps 15/6/19
Interesting to read that Sainsbury’s are to introduce fresh water stands. It caused me to remember when, in the 50’s, every park and major public area had big cast iron water fountains, where everyman and his dog could get a drink and then visit a free council maintained toilet. Most being elegant, well-lit Victorian structures. If it wasn’t for McDonalds and Wetherspoons, there’d be no facilities Nowadays. That’s progress!

published version  Water big difference
It was interesting to read that Sainsbury’s is to introduce fresh water stands in their cafes from this August (Mirror, June 15). I remember in the 1950s every park and major public area had big cast-iron water fountains, plus a free council-maintained toilet. There are hardly any free public facilities nowadays.

Women’s FA Cup 20/6/19
I wholeheartedly agree with the BBC commentators on the new penalty rule. It’s a stupid rule, which denies the whole point of having a live person in the goal.
What is the goalie supposed to do, stand there like a shop mannequin?
If , as was suggested, this rule had been trialled in a less crucial series of games, it would not have been imposed on as important a competition as this.
It definitely needs a re-think.
Maybe , allow one foot off the line, as the goalie adjusts to the likely shot

A need for tasers 21/6/19
When schools are fined for excluding thugs and told to keep order without any means of exerting control over them, it’s small wonder that when they leave school as young men and women, they have no fear, or respect for others trying to serve the Public. If teachers are wearing stab vests, it tells us that they need to be given more power to exclude unruly pupils and get on with teaching those, who are good members of Society.
Get them under control in school and maybe our police wouldn’t need to equipped with Tasers

Privatisation is theft 21/6/19
The News that some energy firms have gone bust with debts of £172Mn is more than just annoying.
It is another reason to condemn this Government’ s privatisation of anything and everything.
On a domestic level this is the equivalent of a housekeeper leaving your front door wide open, with a cashbox in full view. The Tories don’t just enable theft of our cash, they actively encourage it, especially with firms such as Carillion.

Iran threatened 21/6/19
why was an American drone within range of Iran’s missile defence?
Regardless of the dispute on whether, or not, it was in Iranian air-space, it is insulting to the intelligence of all on-lookers, for US officials to claim that this was an unprovoked attack.
Why is Trump even pretending to manufacture an excuse to attack Iran, when his advisors must be aware of how crass that pretence is to the rest of The World

Heatwave 25/6/19
I don’t know if there’s any governing going on whilst the Tories decide which numpty is to be dumped on us but if the threatened heat wave is going to be as bad, as is claimed wouldn’t it be advisable to begin cutting fire breaks and setting up water tanks in vulnerable regions during these heavy downpours?

Oyster cards 25/6/19
I’m pleased that Andy Burnham is considering regulating Greater Manchester buses.
It was suggested, soon after the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Merseyside were elected, that they would look into a joint Oyster card scheme for two regions. Wouldn’t this be a good time to get together and form a combined network for the two regions. Andy comes from Golborne, in Greater Manchester, which is halfway between the two regions on the East Lancs. Road. I’m sure he, as would many in the area, appreciate travel made as easy as it is in London.

published version  Such a fair bus move

I’m pleased that Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is considering
regulating bus services again.
It was suggested two years ago that there should be ajoint London-
style Oyster card scheme covering Greater Manchester and Merseyside
This would be a good time to launch it.
So many of us would appreciate travel made as easy as it is in London.

NED V JAP 26/6/19
The new ruling that it is a penalty, when a ball touches a defender’s arm, was made to look farcical in the Nederland v Japan game.
There was no way the Japanese defender could have done more to prevent the ball hitting her arm, yet this rule effectively gave the game to Holland.
This was despite Holland being made to look pedestrian compared to the skill and verve of the Japanese.
I can understand why the referee’s ability to judge intention, or lack of it, was taken away but now the aim of attackers will be to ignore the goalmouth (defended by a goalie) and aim at any hapless defender, who can’t get out of the way. Return judgement calls to the referee and the two linesmen (also referee’s) with power to yellow card further dissent.

Blogpost 36: 7/06/19 – 11/5/2019

June 7, 2019

Blogpost 36: 7/06/19 -11/5/2019

tv licence 11/5
My parents lived through the 20’s and neither could say the phrase “means test” without a note of disgust, so I’m naturally antipathetic towards such.
Either scrap the free TV licence, or force the rich luvvies, who say they’d prefer to forgo theirs, to accept them with good grace.
I, for one, would prefer not to beg for such consideration.
I would also feel concerned about the related form-filling and any disclosure of financial details, which the evermore commercial BBC could be tempted to merchandise.

special relationship 16/5
Major General Chris Ghika, as Deputy Commander of Coalition Forces, says there is no increased threat from Iran and I’m inclined to believe him, rather than whoever the United States Central Command is. I’m assuming that either United States Central Command keeps important information away from their Deputy Commander (really?), or we’re hearing the voice of one of Trump’s war-mongering buddies.
The really irksome aspect is that Penny Mordaunt has allowed this to go unchallenged. I guess she knows her place in this special relationship.

Brexit solution 19/5
The Brexit shambles has arisen, because of the Sovereignty of Parliament. I.e. the People voted, by a majority, to leave but a majority of MP’s didn’t want to.
MP’s are trying to find ways to overturn the EU referendum but putting the blame elsewhere, through a second people’s vote, a general election, or a compromise vote.
The only viable solution, to my mind, is a General Election, where candidates declare themselves, regardless of party, as Leave, or Remain.
When results come in, on polling night, they are recorded as such.
Whichever party, or coalition, appoints the P.M., his/her first duty, in the name of a Sovereign Parliament, would be to either revoke Article 50, or to inform Brussels that we were leaving on WTO rules.
Any M.P., who refused to honour the platform, on which they declared themselves, would be immediately barred from the Parliament.
(In the event of a tie, the Referendum result could stand).
After that is achieved, MP’s could get busy with catching up on the results of their 3 year sham

Hua Wei 21/5
It may be a good thing that Google has decided not to let Hua Wei have security upgrades to their Android platform.
It’s open nature makes it susceptible to malware.
Presumably, China, in its trade war with Trump, will create its own security patches, if it’s not already doing so.
Greater benefit could come from China developing its own software platform, less susceptible to hacking attacks. Competition between China and USA could have other benefits for the ordinary consumer.
For instance I’d be unlikely to be spammed with targeted advertising for Chinese brands of cereal etc.

rise in racism 23/5
Eva Simpson’s report on the launch of the book “Think like a White Man”, makes sad reading but I think the cause of the resurgence of racism doesn’t lie with the EU.
I think it lies with the lack of policing.
It was the passing of the Race Relations Act and its implementation that reduced active racism, not our joining the Common Market.
Britain, without efficient policing, has always been riotous.
It’s why Sir Robert Peel had to initiate the modern Police Force.

cursing Cameron 28/5
Although many commentators have pointed out that the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the EU elections is voters don’t want compromise solutions, the two main parties are still pushing their deals. It’s like watching a man with two broken legs trying to March uphill and turning to urge us to follow him.
The call for a second vote is only for a choice of abandoning the original vote, or accepting some other compromise deal. Most of our MP’s cursing Cameron, for giving us a democratic choice, doesn’t help their case.

woke people 28/5
There seem to be more and more “woke” people around. They warn us of Global Warming, Climate Change, ocean’s full of plastic, whales full of plastic, traffic fumes poisoning the air, disappearing species, wars, pestilence and famine. The endpoint is a call for us, meaning me, to do something about it. E.g. sending £3/month to diverse “charities”.
OK, they’ve done their bit, by calling my attention to it. I’m now doing my bit, by composing a concerned letter to this Newspaper about the lack of action. I may send off an email to my MP, or I may find out if there’s a protest somewhere that I can walk to and shout at passers-by. I suppose I could go down the beach and pick up plastic to put it in a waste bin. At least I’d be able to tell anyone who’d listen that I’m also a “woke” person.

car theft 28/5
Now thieves can more easily buy the gadgets to open and steal most modern cars, perhaps we’ll have to move to two stage authentication.. Fingerprint and facial recognition are proving far from fool-proof, so why not revert to car keys. They seemed to work quite well.

Apparently thieves can easily buy gadgets to open and steal most modern ‘keyless’ oars.
Fingerprint and facial recognition are proving far from foolproof, so why not simply revert to car keys?
They seemed to work well enough for many years, didn’t they?

bumbling Boris 30/5
It was David Cameron, who made Boris Johnson the official recipient of public funds and the unelected representative of those of us wishing to leave the EU.
Boris then used those public funds to paint the £350Mn figure on that bus, which has ever since been used as a stick to beat down the arguments for leaving the EU.
Assuming he intended to win the campaign, then his providing this weapon, for the Remain campaign, shows a lack of the forethought needed to lead the Nation.
If he’d put up the figure of £185Mn, claimed by Remainers, would voters have been any less swayed?

Collymore 4/6
In LFC’s case, I think Collymore is wrong about the owner joining the team on the pitch to enjoy LFC’s champions league triumph. Colly has to remember that this man rescued the club after the asset stripping depredations of Gillet and Hicks. Without his white knight role, we might still be languishing mid-table

I’d do it again

Blogpost 35: 10/05/19 – 23/04/19

June 7, 2019

Blogpost 35: 10/5/2019-23/04/19
party funding 23/4/19
If what Alexander Temerko is saying is true, about Tory donors giving their money to their favoured MP’s, instead of the National Party, then it should be welcomed and made compulsory for all political donations. If individual MP’s wish to then contribute to a central fund, then good. That would be far more democratic. The present set-up invites wealthy donors to buy privileged access and preferential treatment from those who control the Party funds. Ordinary MP’s are sidelined and those who voted for them are ignored. If individual MP’s are seen to be corrupted by lobbyists, then their constituency parties can deselect them.

gluten free 23/4/19
In her piece on hypothyroidism, Dr. Miriam Stoppard begins by telling us that auto-immune problems were on the rise and leads into the news that clinical trials on going Gluten-free were found to alleviate the effects of this condition. These reports always raise unanswered questions. For instance, what prompted these Gluten-free trials? Is it just some faddist giving worriers another restriction on what they should eat? More concerning is why are auto-immune problems on the increase and is anyone funding clinical trials to find out?

EU Elections 27/4/19
I doubt many of us know who our MEP is, or how they’ve voted, or what issues they voted on.
They do not impinge on our lives, nor are they reported on in the News.
I’m guessing that, thanks to the clamour about Farage and The Brexit Party, many normally, disinterested voters will see these EU elections as merely a chance to strike out at the EU and the main parties, over Brexit

crime and punishment 27/4/19
Youth clubs and such are a major component in cutting knife crime but the other major component, which is being ignored is the consequences of being caught.
As a kid, I was aware that I could have my collar felt for minor infringements.
It was impressed on us that arrests and prison could be a major block on job prospects and travelling abroad.
Now kids are taught that chances of getting caught are zero, especially if you are young, or wave a knife.
Cops no longer attend burglaries and if they did, you’d be unlikely to face prosecution and, if you did, you’d be unlikely to face prison and, if you did, you’d be paroled, i.e. freed to commit further crimes.
Youth clubs are in competition with drug dealers offering easy money to those facing food banks and zero-hours employment.
It’s carrot and stick, acting in reverse.

Published version

The cuts to youth services are a big part in the rise of knife crime, but  the other major component is the lack consequences of being caught.
As a kid, I was aware I could have my collar felt for minor infringements It was impressed on us that arrests and prison could be a major block to job prospects and travelling abroad.
Now kids’ chances of getting caught are minimal, and if they are it’s
often just a slap on the wrist.
In today’s world, youth clubs are in competition with drug dealers
offering easy money to those facing food banks and zero-hours work.

vote dealing 27/4/19
I can understand why Vince Cable would want other Remainer parties to stand down and give the Lib Dems a clear field in the Euro elections but I can equally understand why such as the Green Party would want to avoid surrendering their Leftish agenda to a Right wing party.
There might be a case for a system, whereby candidates could volunteer their votes to a second, or third party, in the event that they lose but voters would have to know beforehand, who their votes would go to rather than see them bargained off as happened under Nick Clegg.

smart phones 3/5/19
I have a GMS mobile. I press a button, it comes on.
It rings , I press a button and listen.
I did have a smart phone. I’d switch it on and 3 minutes later I could log in.
I’d then have a dozen updates, a demand by an app that it tidies up, whilst shoving adverts at me. I’d press an icon expecting one outcome, get an entirely different one and have to try and navigate to where I thought I was going from where I thought I’d been dumped.
I’m happy with my GMS but the World isn’t. I have to pay for data, which I don’t need.
Meanwhile, websites demand I give them a smartphone number for 2 stage authentication and/or download their app.
Banks are demanding that I go cashless with tap and pay, whilst shutting down ATM’s, bank branches and bank hours.
I pity the coming generation, who may find themselves cashless and homeless, just because someone hacked their smart phone.

reade thatcher 4/5/19
Thank Brian Reade for his brief summary of Margaret Thatcher. I’m sure he could fill a book with details of her hate for us and the mutual regard held by those who responded, to the Media’s mourning of her passing, with choruses of “Ding, Dong, the witch is dead”
What I can’t fathom is why so many still vote Conservative and hate The Welfare State.

Thank you, Brian Reade, for your summary of Margaret Thatcher 40
years after she came to power. What I can’t fathom is why so many still
vote Tory.

electric cars 9/5
Having used rechargeable batteries for my computer mouse, I am sadly aware of how quickly their performance deteriorates. I’ve given up on them and now stick to throw away ones.
We are moving fast towards electric cars but how reliable will their batteries be.
At least with liquid fuel cars, you can carry a spare can in the boot.
I think the Government needs to step back from their target of phasing out all fuelled cars and fund further research into biofuels.

powerless 10/5
I have no power in major issues.
Even the EU referendum shows that we have no real say in what decisions are made.
We can march and we can parade and we can get Politicians to huff and puff and bluster and say that they “hear” us.
They still ignore us.
So I’m puzzled by those who chide me with my alleged responsibility for donkey’s suffering in Spain, snow leopards heading for extinction, Tropical forests being replaced by palm oil plantations, climate change, Children being bombed in Yemen and Syria, food banks, a flaky PM and a useless Parliament.
What am I supposed to do? March into Parliament and seize the mace?

EUFA tickets 10/5
One thing’s for certain, no matter who wins, both major European football final matches will be held in England, next year.
Time for our Brexit negotiators to weigh in and maybe get some real concessions from EU leaders, who’ll no doubt expect “hospitality packages” for these events.