Archive for the ‘whingey book’ Category

Blog post 16. 29/10/17

November 4, 2017

Letter to Daily Mirror 11/10/17

Anyone who has watched shows such as “It was alright in the 70’s” will have seen that older men being overly familiar with young women was accepted as part of the texture of life, back then: Indeed, in your article on Sabrina, it was seen to be the basis of her career.

The History of Weinstein can be traced back to that era but mores have changed and no-one told him. The fact that he was never rebuked would have reinforced his behaviour.

That the decades of young women, who came under his eyes, never made a fuss is understandable but similar cases will continue until women are able to report such issues.

Whistle-blowing to official bodies won’t work, because they will require the victims to bear witness, without even the certainty of a conviction, or protection of what was under threat.

I would suggest that, what is needed, is a group of more powerful sympathetic women to set up a well publicised independent body.
Such a body could set up stings to obtain solid evidence to catch enough culprits, as to make them think twice before repeating their behaviour.

Better to deter them, than try to pick up the pieces, after the event.
—————-
Letter to Daily Mirror 14/10/17

If meteorite takes out your prize petunia’s.
If you find a dead dog outside your house.
If you are a young girl alone in an unknown part of town and can’t find your way home.
If you are old and infirm and can’t find your TV remote.
There are thousands of reasons why someone might want a little help but don’t know who to turn to.
Even with a telephone directory to hand, you could still be stuck.
It’s understandable why desperate people may dial 999.
Constant berating of the General Public by self-righteous officialdom may make good newspaper copy but it is unhelpful and unlikely to stop further calls from those in distress.
The whole idea of 999 was that it was an easy to remember number, which could be used by people who might be in an emotional state.
It’s a great idea and if we had politicians, who weren’t intent on saving pennies, whilst squandering £ Billions, we’d expand it.
How difficult, or expensive, would it be to have a second line of operators to take calls?
They’d direct first response to police, fire, ambulance or to volunteer services e.g. Citizens Advice, Samaritans, Local Government Association, crank caller prosecutions, or whatever.
Instead of Bureaucrats in uniform using “crank calls” as a cliche deflection of criticism, we’d have Government serving its function and a more content populace.
———–
Letter to Daily Mirror 14/10/17
I don’t often find cause for dispute with Brian Reade but popular ignorance of Hitler’s role in WWII is an indictment of Maggie’s National Curriculum, not the Nation’s intelligence.
Anyone, sufficiently intelligent to actively take part in the EU referendum and work out how to get to the polling station, or fill in a postal vote, is capable of forming a worthwhile opinion.
In this case, it seems the majority of intelligent opinion decided that the other 27 countries were not capable of acting in our best interests. An opinion seemingly borne out by their antagonistic negotiating of our withdrawal from the EU.
———————
Letter to Daily Mirror 17/10/17
I’m not surprised that the Post Office, which Vince Cable sold cheaply to his friends in the City, is doling out £500,000 to those shareholders, each day
The amount of advertising, which I’m forced to empty out of my letterbox and transfer to my recycling bin, is ridiculous.
I know it’s not all from the Post Office but if Politicians are so keen to appear to be Green, why don’t they make such advertising illegal?
It’s annoying; it’s wasteful and it’s a cost on Councils having to dispose of it.
————-

Letter to Daily Mirror 17/10/17
The intention of raising the age of exemption from paying National Insurance is being put across as a Tory gimmick to make younger voters think they are being wooed.
However, National Insurance was brought in to finance the NHS, pensions etc. and this measure looks more like the first stage in their previously announced intention of obliterating the last vestiges of our Welfare State.
———————

Letter to Daily Mirror 29/10/17
When I visited Marakesh, on holiday, I noticed that streets were bordered by orange trees.
I don’t know if they were free to harvest but it struck me that no-one in this desert country needed to die of thirst, or hunger.
It occurs to me, in these days of food banks, that it seems mean not to copy this civility.
In some ways it would be like H.F-W’s urban guerilla gardening but not so demanding of resources.
We have lots of open land near Wigan, with many, new, tree-lined roads.
Some of these trees bear edible cherries, presumably to feed the wild life, but why not plant more.
Add in walnuts, edible peaches, almonds, hazel nuts, medlars, apples etc.
Verges could bear strawberries, ramsons.
Wild patches could be planted with currants and raspberries. These are easily propagated fruits, for those inclined to help.
Some patches would, no doubt, revert to bramble and nettle, through neglect, but many would be adopted by volunteer groups and some plants, such as rhubarb, can easily outcompete the weeds.
The best thing is that the cost would be minimal and if done in quantity, it’d defeat the spoilers: A lesson learned through the wholesale planting of daffodils.
When Councils first laid out such roadside displays, they were raided by door to door peddlers. Nowadays this is no longer profitable.
I believe this could be true for wayside foods sources and could ease life for many.

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Sent to Daily Mirror 24/9/17. plan to retire by 55, because that’s when they’ll try to get rid of you

October 8, 2017

The senior firemen, involved in teagate, obviously don’t get the reason why it happened.
As one said, if they get a final written warning and something happens in the next 12 to 18 months, then they could face dismissal.
The clue is in their age group.
These are men, who will begin to succumb to the effects of age on their muscles and faculties.
How do you get rid of men, who are entering their 50’s, without the Union having to step in and demand cash for forced early retirement?
The tried and tested method in the 80’s was enhanced redundancies.
Now it’s creating a paper trail of official warnings: much cheaper.

Poor Lib Dems: lost a moralist leader and seem to have got an amoralist one

September 19, 2017

#bbcdp Most remoaners just say 17.4 Mn of us morons.
@vincecable is saying we’re worse.
He called us #Brexit fundamentalists, implying we’re on par with Jihadi’s and KKK Christians i.e.religious fanatics.
He also called for “Remoaner” politicians to come together to have an “adult” conversation on how to overturn #Brexit. The implication is that no pro-brexit politician is grown-up enough to be taken seriously.
He must have worked hard to find new ways to sneer and smear by such semantically worded phrasing.

 

@vincecable, who sold the P.O. to his mates in a Fire-Sale, is reared up on his hind legs (pretending that he wasn’t a Tory fellow traveller) claiming to be their Arch-foe and spouting Corbynist policies as if he originated them.

@daily_politics ..@DailyMirror survey says 2/3 don’t want a second #EUref. Most want quick #Brexit

September 7, 2017

The Daily Mirror’s survey raises the point that voters were given insufficient information on the EU referendum to enable them to make valid choices and, then, it proceeds to give us hard facts from its survey.
The problem is that the way it’s presented actually misinforms.
For instance, we’re told that 66.6%, of those voting remain, and 12.8% of those voting leave, want a second referendum.
Anyone who has watched “8 out of 10 cats does Countdown” can see the abysmal Math ability of non-specialists.
It is highly likely that too many Daily Mirror readers would read these hard facts as:
(66.6 + 12.8 =) 79.4% want a second EU referendum.
If the Daily Mirror were truly concerned about voters being given enough information to make sound choices, then it would provide the simple analysis,below.

The vote in the EU referendum was51.9% leave 48.1% remain

66.6% of 48.1% = 32.0% remainers
& 12.8% of 51.9% = 6.6% leavers
—————–> 38.6% wanted a second vote

check the complementary figures

(100-66.6=) 33.4% of 48.1% = 16.1% remainers
& (100-12.8=) 87.2% of 51.9% = 45.3% leavers
—————–> 61.4% don’t want a second vote

It shows that if their survey were applied to the way votes had been cast, the correct conclusion is very different, from the one that readers might infer.
Only about one third of the people, whom they had surveyed, wanted a second referendum.
Twice as many didn’t want another referendum.
This is the hypocrisy of The Media in its presentation of “facts”

And a little warning for Keir Starmer.

The Daily Mirror survey says that 45.6% of those they surveyed supported Labour’s delayed withdrawal from the EU.                That’s slightly less than those who voted to Remain (48.1%).
Put another way, the 51.9% who voted to leave has risen to 54.4%, who don’t want the delayed withdrawal, which Keir and the old guard hope will kill off Brexit.

Scientists and Epidemiologists use statistics but that doesn’t mean Epidemiologists are Scientists

June 11, 2017

“Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”

10 left-handers and 10 right-handers play “heads or tails”.
Left-handers win 60% of games.
Players say Left-handers have been lucky.
Scientists say there is no proven link.
Statisticians say there is a 0.2 correlation between being left-handed and the ability to foresee the toss of a coin.
Epidemiologists will publish paper claiming that evidence indicates that Left-handers may have degree of prescience.
Newspapers will report the paper with the headline “Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”.
On the basis of the report the Epidemiologists are appointed by Minister of Education to design courses to promote Left-handedness amongst school-children.

#brexit @leave.eu I filched this from the fuller-money newsletter. Shows what the money men think of the EU

May 3, 2017
On a baking hot day in July 2015 Greece’s radical-Left Syriza government won a spectacular mandate to defy the austerity regime of the EU-IMF Troika.

Against all expectations, 61pc of the Greek people voted in a referendum to reject the Carthaginian terms of their latest bail-out deal, a scorched-earth ‘Memorandum’ described by a young French economy minister named Emmanuel Macron as a “modern day version of the Versailles Treaty”.

It seemed as if the long-running showdown between Athens and the EU authorities had reached an explosive juncture. Markets were braced for the ejection of Greece from the euro in short order. Monetary union was on the verge of break-up.

Yet the rebel victory instantly and inexplicably metamorphosed into surrender, and with it died the final hopes of the European Left. Premier Alexis Tsipras stunned his own people and the world by announcing that there would be no rupture with the Troika after all, and furthermore that he would join hands with the conservative cadres of Greece’s ancien regime.

The extraordinary developments are recounted by Yanis Varoufakis in his deeply unsettling account, ‘Adults In The Room, My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment’, published in extracts in the Telegraph. What the former finance minister reveals is that leaders of the Syriza government were seriously worried about dark forces in the shadows. They were frightened.

Vested interests with huge sums at stake – within Greece, and implicitly across the eurozone – were prepared to defend the existing financial order by any means necessary. The prime minister feared a military coup.

His warnings to Mr Varoufakis in soul-searching talks that night certainly raise eyebrows, all vividly narrated in a subchapter entitled ‘the overthrowing of a people’.

The final days of the referendum were surreal. Unbeknownst to the Greek people, Alexis Tsipras had called the snap-vote expecting to lose. Most of the Syriza leaders did not campaign. What they wanted was an “emergency exit”, calculating that a respectable defeat would give them a way out after boxing themselves into a corner.

But humiliated and long-suffering Greeks instead seized on the chance to express their defiance, rising to a “gigantic celebration of freedom from fear” in the final intoxicating rally at Syntagma Square.

And:

As the scale of the victory became clear on election day Mr Varoufakis penned a triumphant piece. “In 1967, foreign powers, in cahoots with local stooges, used tanks to overthrow Greek democracy. In 2015 foreign powers tried to do the same by using the banks. But they came up against an insanely brave people who refused to submit to fear.”

He then went to join the victory party at the prime minister’s Maximos Mansion, only to discover that the betrayal of the vote was already under way. “As I walked in, Maximos felt as cold as a morgue, as joyful as a cemetery. The ministers and functionaries I encountered looked numb, uncomfortable in my presence, as if they had just suffered a major electoral defeat,” he said.

Only he and his wife Danae were wearing jeans, once de rigueur in Syriza circles. “Sitting there, I began noticing things about the people around me that had previously escaped me. The men resembled accountants. The women were dressed as if for a state gala,” he said. They were like the pigs on two legs, drinking with men, glimpsed through the window in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Mr Varoufakis told the prime minister that it was his duty to honour the referendum, that he should seize on the thundering expression of popular will to escalate Greece’s war of resistance, and to present the ECB and Berlin with a stark choice. It was wasted breath. The decision to accept what he calls “unconditional surrender” had already been taken, and a new finance minister willing to go along with this volte face had already been picked.

David Fuller’s view

The EU has been a costly mistake since the launch of the single currency in 1999, without a Federal State to deal with the inevitable inequities between individual states (formerly independent countries) which would arise.  EU bureaucrats knew that they did not have the votes for a Federal Union.  Nevertheless, they undermined democracies in the region and also their economic prosperity by launching the Euro in an environment which several centuries of previous history showed was bound to fail.

Subsequently, unofficially centralised governance within the EU resembles a left-wing mafia rather than a healthy democracy.  That is what Prime Minister Theresa May faces, despite her best efforts to sincerely promote an agreement in the mutual interests of both a departing UK and also the EU. Fortunately, she now realises this, as do a sufficient proportion of the UK electorate to give her a significant majority.  That may not influence the EU but it will help the UK to first deal with turbulence following a hasty exit from the EU before fulfilling its potential in the global economy.

Big campaign on mobile phones won’t last. There’s more cuts on the way.

March 7, 2017

Letter ( a bit ranty) to the Daily Mirror, editted.

27/1/2017
Raising the fines for motorists using a mobile phone won’t work.
Many consider it essential to their employment and that being caught is an acceptable risk.
The only way to change their behaviour is to increase the frequency of being caught.
This means more cops (LOL), some new technology, or access to phone records.
The last would have to be coupled with CCTV along Motorways etc.
The real problem is that it would be another intrusion into privacy and would probably be handled by someone like G4S.
Personally I can’t see it being stopped, especially as pressure on prisons is likely to make killing someone, whilst driving and phoning, is likely to incur a smaller fine.

#The only way to change the behaviour of mobile users is to increase the possibility of being caught. This means more police, new technology and access to mobile phone records.
Personally, I can’t see it being stopped.

It is immoral that we are helpless to prevent the party in power from deceitfully & deliberately reversing a manifesto pledge e.g. #NHS

March 7, 2017

This was a letter to the Daily Mirror , published but with a hard edit

22/2/17
With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe
in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

some TV producers need to tune down the “atmosphere” and let us hear the dialogue

March 7, 2017

A letter to the Daily Mirror with minimal editting
22/2/17
Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TV’s.
I don’t believe this is the case.
As someone with poor hearing, I use radio headphones to listen to TV.
More often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts, the “atmosphere” is tuned out.
The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well give up and go for a pie.

WON’T LISTEN TO EXCUSE
#Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TVs (Mirror, February 22). I don’t believe this.
As someone with poor hearing I use radio headphones to listen to the TV and more often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts it is tuned out. The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well go for a pie.

Various blogs 6

January 11, 2017

11/1/17
Why do the rail operators want to get rid of guards?
The likeliest answer is to save money for improved share dividends.
The unlikeliest answer is that savings will go to improved facilities, or fare cuts.

The service to the public is reduced and made yet more impersonal.
The Public also loses, because of reduced tax revenue and an increase in benefits payments to the now unemployed guards.

It is in the interests of the Government to increase employment, so why are they not supporting the strikers against the money-grubbing of the operators?

As always, Tories are pennywise and pound foolish, blinded by the dogma of keeping the peasants in line and toadying to the money men.

Giving Billions to those behind HS2, whilst saving a few million by severely cutting hospital beds

5/1/17
Has Defence Minister Harriet Baldwin latched onto a new form of Laser?
Back when President Reagan hit on his own Star Wars defence systems, they quickly realised that shiny metal missiles reflect light.
They also move incredibly fast, making them hard to target.
I’m sure the Pentagon spent a lot more than £30 million trying to overcome these problems but they had to concede defeat, as did the Russians, who invested in a ground based Maser.
Swapping one Americanism for another, I expect that Harriet Baldwin will find herself not ahead of the curve but behind the eight ball.
30/12/16
Whilst focus is rightly on “Anna” in the Secret Slave case, it disturbing that the story of the other women in the house is being ignored.
The original report says that these other women colluded in keeping “Anna” enslaved, because they were also subject to intimidation and beatings.
Why are they not also being defended?
Why is there not talk of taking action to prevent their abuse?
Socialism is about treating everyone equally.
This has led to the creed of respecting cultural diversity but in doing so, we have committed ourselves to protecting behaviours, which have legitimised the actions of “Malik” and other’s like him.
Such men could never be described as Socialist, Christian, or, I presume, Islamic.

28/12/16
The Tory plan to demand photo ID is annoying in a number of ways.
Initially, because it’s smacks of an attempt to, once more, enforce the national ID card.
It is also resonant of the way that many poorer voters (mostly black) in the Southern States of America have been denied a vote, because of the cost and the bureaucratic hurdles put in place.
Then there’s the core issue of the validity of photo ID as a means of security.
The two photo’s of the Tunisian assassin, recently shown throughout the Media, are so different that I wonder if they are the same man.
Such photo’s are, often, so unlike the person presenting them that few photo ID’s are given more than a passing glance.
Apparently, the Tunisian assassin found it easy to procure three legitimate (?) passports in different names.
They are neither secure, nor feasible, when dealing with even local elections, which often rely on volunteers working in adverse, makeshift conditions.

17/12/16
A 101 yr old paedophile, sent to prison, was reported to show no remorse.
It strikes me that he may have shown gratitude.
What other person of that age can be guaranteed immediate access to medical aid, should he need it.
Free heating, regular hot meals and constant care.
Outside prison, he would have to fend for himself, risk losing his home and while away many hours in solitude.
It’s another Wonderful Life story for Brian Reade

14/12/16

This was from Twitter. Nothing on TV.
It’s the sort of thing that is more relevant (to those affected) than who’s won Strictly, or X-factor.
http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/traffic-information-services/highways-england-post-incident-bulletin/january-2016-post-incident-bulletins/december-2016-post-incident-bulletins/m6-closure-northbound-lancashire-monday-12-tuesday-13-december-2016/

14/12/16

The report on the lives of the children in North Korea is so depressing and so hard to deal with.
As individuals we can do nothing and we look to politicians to act on our behalf.
The UN seems totally incapable of anything other than passing votes condemning such regimes. Although in this case a demand of all nations to totally ostracise North Korea and expulsion of its representatives might have an effect.
There will be calls for further action but what?
For instance, Paddy Ashdown has called for action on Aleppo but I fail to see how a few more bombs in that region of The World helps.
Nothing will change in these places, in India’s sweatshops, Brazil’s favela’s, China’s industrialised regions, Africa’s desert regions etc. until politicians slough off their reliance on the rich and end exploitation of the vulnerable.
We won’t see it in our lifetimes and we won’t even see it in our own country whilst we have a political system that can cut taxes on the rich and care services to the poor.
Happy Xmas, to all
11/12/16
Sunday morning BBC1; I’m watching Fern Briton telling Michael Gove that homework is counterproductive and I’m loving it.
As a teacher, I was compelled to set homework, whether, or not, it was helpful.
I was compelled to mark, grade and record it in a particular way and then punish pupils for not completing it, regardless of their ability, home circumstances, or any other consideration.
Consequent discipline problems, alienation and disaffection made attempts to interest pupils in my subject grow less possible, even amongst pupils with an aptitude for it.
Before Blunkett set down rules on homework, I could set homework when and where it would help.
Some homeworks would merely need a tick of approval, some would need chasing, some would need detailed examination but it was as I judged suitable for each pupil.
It would be nice if politicians could lose interest in Education and left school’s, teacher’s, parent’s and those with an investment in it, to get on with it.