Thursday, 31 January 2013

Swapshop

For many more years than most of you realise, our society has been changing. The Britain and the British portrayed in war-time films – the plucky underdog fighting for survival yet never resorting to foul play – is long gone. The jolly bonhomie when times were tough, now replaced by a truly repellent internecine social warfare, all the while applauded by the useful idiots of The Left as ‘progress’ or ‘equality’ or worst of all ‘diversity’. 

Bizarrely, under the class system Britain, with its home-grown, natural diversity, was a more cohesive whole than anything the socialist’s oppressive dream will ever realise. You object to wholesale importation of cheap foreign labour and they call you a racist. Declaim the generations blighted by welfare dependency and they call you a bigot. Fly the flag and they denounce you as a Little Englander. Oh yes, the ‘progressives’ have learned Dr Goebbels’ lesson well.

So well, in fact, that a young, ill-educated couple even appeared on television unabashed, to claim that making them work for a living would be unfair. With an alarming lack of awareness of the irony, Danny said, “We can't be scroungers because the Government wouldn't give us the money or pay towards our living expenses if we didn't need it.” And just over the temporal horizon is the spectre of untold thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians who will be given unfettered access to the same imagined limitless pot of money.

We only have the one cake; how thin can we slice it before absolutely nobody is satisfied with their share?

Thankfully, I have the answer and it is so simple I wonder that government wasn’t able to think it up themselves. The couple of scroungers obviously appeared on This Morning because they were unable to get tickets for Jeremy Kyle – being on the telly is, like, the dream, innit? The Bulgars and Roma are desperate to get into Britain. So why not make everybody happy? Everybody that matters, at any rate.

Our island is a sinking ship and to fit any more in the lifeboat we have to ditch the dead weight; one in, one out. I present to you my new gameshow, Noel’s Multicultural Swapshop. To earn a place on the show you either need to be outside the UK and have a job to come to or else be living here entirely on out-of-work benefits. In each round a potential migrant worker is pitted against a doley, drafted in by lottery, in tasks based on the old Japanese game show, Endurance. Typical rounds could be to see how much weight you can hang off your scrotum, naked in a deep-freeze. Or how far up your anus you can insert a ‘leggy’ carrot without crying.

If the doley wins, he gets to stay in Britain, come off benefits, take the job and lump it. If the potential immigrant wins he gets the job and the doley has to swap places with him; if you ain’t got a job, you may as well live on welfare in Romania. With a donkey. In a shed. It’s truly a win-win-win situation. Britain wins at every round, a job gets filled and trash gets converted or transported, no more council houses need to be built and the population doesn’t treble overnight. 

Please God... Anything but a job! 

Now I’ve solved that problem I’m thinking of tacking this here Islamist Sharia-zone vigilante business. If they don’t want white people to enter their self-declared mini Islamic states we should help them out. Build walls round their ghettoes. Really high, solid walls and lock them in until they shut the fuck up. (I nicked that idea off the most prominent European Socialist organisation of the last century.)

Do have a lovely day. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Ikea Safari

So, the hunt was on. My quarry, the reclusive BORAT shelving system. It was dark outside and the wind was increasing. Cold rain poured from January skies and one major obstacle interposed itself between me and my prey - the M62. Has there ever been a time when there were not roadworks around Morley? I shivered, pulled up my collar and soldiered on.

Inside, the usual jungle noises were to be heard - the shrill calls of children run wild, the grunts of press-ganged fathers and the occasional "Oh for fuck's sake!" escaping under a woman's breath. And so, girding my loins, my quest began in earnest. I searched the aisles full of GRUNDSPLÅT, perused the selections of ØRZBISSKITs and stealthily negotiated the serried ranks of BAZTAAD bookcases, trying to avoid all the CLINTS. Still no sign of my elusive shelves.

Ikea is a form of torture for the half of the human race for whom shopping is never any kind of therapy. And Ikea's version must run a close second to waterboarding. Oh those fucking fiddly pencils! My, those crappy paper tape measures and what's with those long bloody item codes? You have to know the shortcuts to avoid having to walk through every section but - and here's the rub - the only way to gain that knowledge is to go to the store more often! 

Aha! I spy the objects of my desire. So, all I have to do now is take down the number, go to the warehouse and... wait... BORAT is sodding modular! I have to order uprights, brackets and shelves as separate items. And they're stored in separate aisles. I write down the handy twenty-seven-digit Dewey-decimals and set off for the shelves. After four hours I realise I've seen that sofa before; I've been going round in circles; so much for the impromptu short-cuts. I retrace my steps and dutifully follow the arrows this time until I'm rewarded and step through into a wondrous glade of treasures.

My senses are assaulted by the glitter and gleam of a thousand shining things I will never, ever need. My nose picks up the scent of candles - definitely not that way - on, on, past the soap dishes, the champagne flutes and the cutlery that can never work. On past the ridiculous rugs and throws, the knobs and handles and gadgets. Running on empty, my growling stomach warning I may starve here, I finally reach a wide clearing with tall stacks of silent, gloomy shelves. Ikea's very own Mordor.

Aisle 24, location 16. There are my brackets. I need 24 and they are all individually packaged. Bugger I forgot to get a trolley. Five minutes later, aisle 20, location 27 and I have the shelves. Now on to aisle 21. Where is aisle 21? These are all even numbers, what the f... Oh, over there. Aisle 21, location 37... is empty. Nooooooooooo! My cry echoes through the hall... I have to start over.


This all looks pretty straightforward...

So, mission accomplished, I finally have all the bits to build my shelves. I have the bits, the space, the time... now, where in hell did I put that drill?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Moving Affair

So, moving house. Most people do it after careful planning; drawing up lists, touring estate agents, checking out facilities and all that. In my case, no need, I’d done all that some seven years ago when I bought what was intended to be a staging post house, while I looked for a ‘proper’ one to actually live in. I bought a nice cheap two-bedroomed affair, boxed up and stored a load of stuff and moved in, fully intending to buy again within the year, then do up the first and rent it out. 

But life’s not like that, is it? After a stint away, where I had to rent because you may have noticed the difficulty in getting a mortgage since 2008, I've moved back in. With everything. It’s a bleeding nightmare. Because my tenants were, it transpires, useless morons, they let the back fence and gate fall into disrepair, so I've had to temporarily barricade it up. And because of the same cluelessness they managed to bust the lock on my large lock-up shed, so I've had to break in, then replace the lock, but as the door is damaged (their doing, not mine) it’s not as secure as it used to be. Oh, it’s also full of their trash, of course, which I can’t easily get rid of now… because I had to barricade up the back gate. 

So, my enormous stash of tools is in the only obvious place left – piled up in the kitchen. And as I've moved from a three-bed back into a two-bed and in an effort to keep down costs I haven’t rented storage, I now live surrounded by boxes. Boxes of books, boxes of tools, boxes of man-toys and it wouldn't surprise me to discover boxes of boxes. Upstairs, the big bedroom is my new office. Naturally, in order to make space to assemble a necessarily large bookcase in there I had to move all the boxes of books out to the other bedroom, which is almost entirely filled by my bed. 

Then I needed some tools some of which, as it happens, I’d left down in Birmingham for the final dismantling of the remaining stuff this week. But I knew where my set of Allen keys was. It was in the kitchen… in a toolbox underneath all the other toolboxes, the tottering pile of which I dismantled to find them. Bookshelf done, boxes unpacked, I then cleared some more boxes from the living room, re-cluttering the temporarily cleared office floor, but at least I’d now made enough space in the living room for my recliner armchair to actually recline once more. 

Hmm, what next? I had a brainwave. I’ll mount the bedroom telly on the bedroom wall and pop the digital aerial in the loft to feed it. That's two more things not on the floor. Yay, go me! I’ll need a ladder. Oh yes, behind the pile of tools in the kitchen. My drill was just handy but, calamity, no drill bits (obviously they’re in Birmingham) but just maybe… After twenty minutes of rooting through bloody toolboxes and with no joy I’m suddenly inspired. Of course! I may have a bit in another drill box – I have many drills – and they are just handily here, in the kitchen… underneath all those other boxes. 

Ladder, drill, drill bit, up in the loft I go. Ah, now I could use a torch. Where’s the torch [pantomime chorus] “It’s in the kitchen!” [louder] “Underneath the toolboxes!” Oh, how I chuckled under my breath. 

So, we’re getting there. I have all basic amenities to hand. In each room I can just about do the thing that room is designed for and bit by bit, as I move stuff around, I get to collapse another box and make a just little bit more space. And now that I've made that space I’m off back to Brum today to clean down the house I’m leaving and bring back another van load of shit to clutter up my world. 

Now, where did I put that Radio Times?

I feel a little like Mr Trebus, but I’m getting there. It’s been a moving experience.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape*

Well, keen readers may have noticed my absence over the last few days. The even keener may have discerned that a move was afoot and ee by ‘eck, I’m at t’ foot of our stairs now, because I find myself back in God’s own country. Well, the god-forsaken bit of it at any rate. Leeds has had such bad press lately, what with the late, jolly Sir Jim’s shenanigans and all but, never fear, I’m in the good bit; posh, like. Armley, where Alan Bennett grew up. In fact I’m just the other side of the Tong Road from little Alan’s mam and dad’s old house and I can see their church from my back window.

Now, having heard a lot of frankly disparaging comments about the inhabitants of this Eden I decided to venture out and see for myself and my, what an eye opener. Austerity, my arse - far from the besieged pit of poverty I expected I was struck by just how easy it is to place a bet, or help a charity, or buy ready-made hot food along Town Street. It’s a minor miracle; you can buy Chinese pizza, Asian pizza, Turkish pizza and as many varieties of kebab, fried chicken or burgers as you could possibly wish. 

The locals must be pretty prosperous, because half the aforementioned charity shops are boarded up. I can only imagine this is because the charities are no longer in need. Oh my, what you can’t buy in Armley is surely not worth having! Many shops make great trade and thrive whilst selling everything for less than a pound! And every single house has a satellite dish; truly a wonder of the modern age. 

Of course, they are friendly folk too. One night-time street vendor regaled me with a cheery refrain in what I imagine to be the local dialect. I reproduce it here from memory: " ’Eroin, get yer ‘eroin ‘ere! Get smacked out yer ‘ead for a fiver! ‘Appy pills! Get y’r’ecs-tee-see fr’m me. Ee appen thou’s reet, chips, mushy peas an' all, tha knows…" and something, I think, about ferrets… there was an ‘F’ in it,anyway. 

I pressed a shiny pound coin into his hand, thanked him politely and went on my way, chuckling. He carried on hailing me in his guttural vernacular as I progressed along the street. I have no idea what he said but he seemed a sound enough fellow. 

What a wonderful life they have here. Unlike post code LS13, which has one of the country's highest burglary rate, I am safely here in LS12. It is so safe in fact, that it’s not unusual to see children as young as eight happily playing in the streets at midnight. The taxi drivers provide a useful after-hours vending service, dispensing small packets at the roadside in darkened cul-de-sacs. And if you want further evidence of the affluence of the area, you can regularly hear helicopters overhead in the early hours of the morning, no doubt dropping off the wealthier residents after a night on the town. 

Of course, now it’s morning it is quiet and tranquil. I am sure that is because everybody around here has risen at the crack of dawn to go to work, although there is a curious phenomenon at play. At around nine-thirty every morning I hear televisions being switched on either side of me. I can’t quite hear what programme they are watching but it does involve a lot of shouting. 

Cheery locals throw an impromptu street party to 
welcome me and my car to the neighbourhood!

Anyway, it is full light and I must be away to continue my exploration. I intend to peruse the famous Tong road – see if I can’t track down a nice cup of tea and one of Alan Bennett’s famed fondant fancies.

(*The title is from a long-ago song penned by one of Yorkshire's finest, Bill Nelson.)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Snow Joke!

So, the big speech has come and gone and the pundits have had their say. Blogs have been published, Twitter has been beside itself and no doubt Owen Jones has blocked thousands more from following his account. I haven't yet seen Polly Toynbee's champagne-fuelled contribution to what she likes to consider rational debate but regardless of all that we now have a job to do.

Of course, no two parties can agree exactly who must do what or exactly when it must be done to prevent the potentially catastrophic consequences of getting it wrong on the day, but all are agreed that now is the time to act. It will take time, it will absorb resources and it will take an army. An army of pressed men to create another army. An army of... snowmen!

Yes, to assist with flood defences the Environment Agency has suggested that snow and ice compacted into snowmen might melt more slowly and help prevent thousands of homes being flooded during the big thaw. (No, seriously, click the link and read it for yourself.)

You will die for your country... very slowly.

In other news, once the thaw is complete, Britain's mighty fleet of wind turbines will be driven in reverse to counter the mad March winds, all journeys will be officially designated north to south (being downhill it will help save on fuel in order to cover the cost of running the turbines) and the wearing of Cor Blimey Trousers will be banned to end the decades-old demonising of noble dustbin men everywhere.

(I'm moving house this week. If you could all click on the 'donate' button below and chip in a few quid to help me with diesel, tyre wear and tear, Road Tax, Council Tax, Value Added Tax, Tax-tax, food and shit, that would be lovely!) 

Go on - click on it... there's more!


"Donate" not "doughnut" you nugget!

Spare a few coppers for an old ex-matelot?

Nah, don't be daft. I'm moving to Leeds where, I'm told, you can get everything for free 'off of' The Social in return for hiding one of your younger relatives in an old divan base for a week. Alternatively, you can have free cosmetic surgery (below), allowing you to blend in, which also has the advantage of dissuading anybody in the Benefits Office from asking you any sensitive questions, such as, "What is the name of your father?"

Friendly locals welcome me to my new home.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Shirts & Skins

Well, there’s plenty of huffing and puffing about ‘Yerp’ this week, for today’s the day the Tory propaganda machine begins its four-year campaign to lie and spin and scare the Bejasus out of an electorate which, while it has no idea how food gets to its table, or how the muggle magic of mobile telephony could possibly work, nevertheless holds, each one of them, a precious vote in its otherwise insignificant, tiny hand.

Many a mickle makes a muckle and Europhiles everywhere are happy to get their hands mucky in this dirtiest and shabbiest of all tricks. For, while all the time double-speaking about democracy, they plot to deliver the citizens of the United Kingdom, shackled and hamstrung into tyranny. Our laws, our economy, our very history is intended to be bought and owned and altered by an unelected secretariat who will answer to nobody as they wreck millions of lives, while pulling the strings of The Press to spread happy lies. 

For his part, Cameron thinks he just has to do enough to scare the shit out of everybody and they'll vote for the devil they think they know. Buoyed up on lovely Labour welfare for decades and not yet seeing any of the supposed cuts that are resulting in a massive increase in public spending, the average Joe will only know he was quite well off for a while and now he risks losing the lot. 

But losing the lot of what? I imagine a civilised and prosperous country has wide, clean city vistas of tree-lined boulevards, where throngs of contented folk gambol in easy harmony as they go about their pain-free lives. They work in safe, clean environments and return to modern, happy homes where they relax by indulging in whatever leisure pursuit suits their mood and later retire to live long, restful days in the dappled rural sunshine. 

I struggle to see where ethnic gangs, roaming our filthy back streets, fit comfortably into this picture. I don’t see a happy country having overcrowded mono-cultural ghettoes in between sub-cultural slums, where pregnant teenagers and verminous illiterate young men choose drug and dole dependency over dignity and purpose. In my imaginings, worthwhile people don’t seek amusement in violently abusing the emergency services they fraudulently call to their aid. 

Either version of Britain comes at a cost, but who’s going to pay for it? You gotta pick a pocket or two, so you have to have some pockets to pick. And those whose pockets are worth a dip are wise to events and eager to have a say in the manner of their ransacking. David Cameron is going to spout off today, in his much-vaunted and leaked speech, that he doesn't want Britain to leave ‘Yerp’ but that he wants a renegotiation of our relationship. 

Well, that’s just not good enough for a huge proportion of working UK citizens and it’s time to pick sides. Shirts or skins? We’ll play shirts; big, bright, Union Flag shirts, on our side of the English Channel. The rest can wear whatever multicultural skins they want, but they can stay on the continent. 

Back off, Barroso!

When we eventually secede from the European Union (if it doesn't happen now, or in four years, it will happen, possibly by bloody means at some time in the future) we can still have a relationship with Europe. They can be our poor neighbour. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

All for One and All for Me!

When I was a lad my dad voted Labour. Why? Because, in his words, he was a labourer and therefore he genuinely believed this party must represent him. But what I saw on the news every night was a country gripped by strike fever. Union shop stewards cracked whips and everybody downed tools on the merest whim. They went on strike over the length of tea breaks, the unfair expectations of business owners demanding quality output, attendance and some actual work and on many points of Marxist principle involving what they saw as the duties of enterprise towards its most expensive yet often most defective component.

Companies were hamstrung by over-manning, under-skilling, demarcation, working to rule and the ever-present threat of a crippling walk out because some useless oxygen thief had been dismissed on legitimate grounds but without months of union-led negotiations, time wasting obfuscation and campaigns at national level. Dad was never in a union and the Labour Party has never done a single thing to his benefit in any way whatsoever, yet some bizarre tribal loyalty kept him voting for them until he finally stopped bothering several decades ago. Now, of course, he wouldn't have to worry about who to vote for because in the popular phrase, it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in. 

Possibly nothing better illustrates this than the current prevarication over our relationship with the European Union. As the electorate overwhelmingly insists it wants a say, every political faction is doing its level best to deny that option. As a significant proportion of the population has deep concerns over the membership foisted upon us 40 years ago, so every way we turn we are denied the right to express those concerns. 

Vote Labour or Lib-Dem and Europe will prevail. The Conservatives have already embarked upon a five-year war of words to batter the voters into delivering the pre-ordained consensus, should they get re-elected – it’s easy making a promise you’re unlikely to have to make good on. And if you vote for the only party which openly demands a yes/no, in/out referendum it is almost certain that Labour will gain a majority in 2015. (No wonder Ed Miliband hasn't got any policies – he simply doesn't need any.) 

So, where does that leave us? The European Union is a vast, Socialist enterprise which drives down education and behavioural standards and employment opportunities for its poorest, keeps the middle classes onside by effectively enslaving them to a life on kick-backs and seeks to pay for it all by punitive taxation of those who can most easily up-sticks and leave. It is a crackpot model, it’s unsustainable and it will result in armed conflict at local, national and international level at some point. I doubt very much that Mr Obummer will want to wade in to help sort out the mess he seems so keen on provoking. So what’s to do? 

Given that all modern world governments seem hell-bent on some version of the socialist model, where the numbers of undeserving are increased at the expense of the worthy there seems to be only one sensible option. Look after number one; I'm alright, Jack; every man for himself. I'm unhappy enough about giving up my hard-earned to British social parasites; I'm buggered if I'm going to be buggered for the benefit of a bunch of Bulgarians as well.

Mine! All mine!

Starting now I'm reducing my taxable income by any legal means possible, giving nothing to charity ever again, hoarding my resources and hiding whatever I can. I shall aim to move to where multiculturalism is still pointed at and derided and I plan to consume only what I need, eking out what little I do have for the benefit of me and mine alone... and those with the outstretched hands can go fuck themselves!  

Friday, 18 January 2013

Terror in the snow!

The Met office has downgraded its predictions for climate change. I wonder if big government will take heed and downgrade their plans to bankrupt us by tilting at this particular windmill? I doubt it, but lest I not survive this fearful wintry onslaught I leave you with what may be my last words on Earth. 

Battsby’s Diary. The final entry? 

So, here I am, hunkered down, snug as a bugger in a rug. But that can’t last. The snowflakes gently batter at my fortress perimeter and cloak the earth in deadly white. Deadly? Oh yes. For as long as I have fuel and food I am fortunate, yet it will only last for so long. Then I will surely starve. 

The doom-mongers foresaw this great disaster. Global warming/cooling climate change seasonal variation is upon us. I haven’t seen snow like this for years a year and I don’t know how we will cope. There’s always the telly, I suppose. And the Internet. For while they survive and there is power, there is also hope. 

It has been snowing for three weeks days hours now and I am feeling the stirrings of mania. In my crazed state I cannot trust myself. I could do anything. I may light a log fire shortly... and maybe take a warming cup, a hot toddy. Perhaps I could rustle up some lunch? I could also finish reading my book. So much to do, so little time. This is hell. 

What to do, what to do? The blizzard continues its remorseless onslaught and the blanket of blanc lies fully three two metres feet centimetres on the ground. What gods have we angered? What have we done to offend Gaia so? And what is that noise? A strange ringing in my head. I dimly remember such a noise... 

The horror!

Right, well, that was Jim on the phone. He called from his refuge and seeks my assistance post-haste. I have written down his location and must attend. This is an emergency and my needs must come second to helping my fellow man. Jim informs me he is at a place known as The King’s Head and that it is my round. 

I must go out now... I may be some time.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Edtelligent Design

I listened in amusement/amazement - take your pick - as Radio 4’s Today programme aired an interview with Ed Miliband this morning. Wow! What a vague and vacuous clown he is! He droned on and on in his ‘Edenoidal’ imitation of Tony Blair’s ‘man of the people’ act, glottal stopping and H-dropping like he was a right geezer, innit? But ultimately it was a car crash and he was crucified; nailed to the altar of Labour’s Blank Sheet manifesto. 

He has nothing to say and few ways to say it. Yesterday in Prime Minister’s Questions he berated the PM for the conservatives constant dithering over Europe. Today in the interview, when asked for Labour’s stance, he couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t answer the question but pretended, to himself as much as anybody, that he had. 

So what IS Labour planning to do? About anything? How will they convince anybody but the incurably gullible that they are not the same old tax-and-spend, fiscally bankrupt party of old? “Aha!” you say “they’ve published a pamphlet!” And indeed they have. I’ve read it, so you don’t have to and herewith I present my summary and translation. (I may have rearranged some of the words.) 

Labour needs to broker new and durable alliances across civil society, developing its digital communications and initiating and sustaining campaigns that build up its capacity for electoral success” And “The traditional phrases were solidarity and fraternity but neither work well for the changes in our country” 

We need to do some back room deals, put some shit on YouTube, pretend we’ve changed but ultimately say the same old thing with longer words. 

We need to listen deeply, not just to the things we want to hear but to what we find difficult to hear. And we need to respond to people’s concerns by creating public debates that engage with the issues. In the process we will define One Nation Labour and the political life of the country.” 

We still don’t have any actual policy – all we've got is a working title. 

If we are to be effective we will need two vital ingredients: people’s energy and their enterprise. Out of these will grow new initiatives, a sense of hope and a belief that Labour can make real change for the better in people’s lives.” 

We haven’t got a clue what to do. Please will you tell us? 

So, just what is One Nation Labour, Ed? 

First, it is a politics that is both radical and conservative. Second, it is the practice of a democratic politics of the common good. Third, the politics of the common good is governed by reciprocity. Fourth, it is a politics of being together” 

You don’t really know then? A bit like the Big Society? 

The One Nation Conservative tradition has been a powerful national force. It gave many people meaning, value and a sense of belonging by respecting their place in the hierarchical order of property and status… The politics of the common good negotiates the distribution of power in society and the economy with the aim of making sure that no one interest or group dominates over others” 

We even nicked our working title off the Tories! 

It all comes down to what you want to believe. Evolution is forever challenged by a hotchpotch of other beliefs – a simple, elegant, demonstrable process versus a whole series of complex, contrived and contradictory theses requiring mental contortionism or blind faith to sustain. It’s pretty much the same thing in politics: 

Capitalism is the simple, elegant, if sometimes brutal, way in which the human animal interacts. You have something I want? I need to give you something that you want. Capitalism sorts out the hierarchy pretty much on merit grounds without sentiment and with little fuss. Socialism, on the other hand is the Biblical strand of political theory. It needs enormously complex instruments to redistribute wealth to some bizarre ideal based on a faith that true human nature rarely recognises and frequently circumvents. The power is not in the hands of those who can, but in the hands of those who can talk. 

Remember: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, manage . Those who can’t manage, become politicians. Those who can’t handle politics, become Marxist theorists. 

Labour attempts to redesign humanity in its own image

All Capitalism needs to make it work is people and natural resources. Socialism needs a complicated web of non-producers, theorists and schemers, pulling strings and constantly meddling with detail dictated by an omnipotent intelligent designer – you really sure you’re up to that, Ed?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Things that go bump in the night.

HMVs troubles were hardly startling news. From its heyday when The Gramophone Company took on the name His Master’s Voice from the painting of Nipper, the first canine music critic, the music business has changed and HMV, like all the others, has had to adapt to survive. From cylinders to discs, to LPs and 45s, compact discs, the explosion of digital indie studios and now the Internet, free downloads and all the other pressures on a traditional business model.

It’s one thing to continually develop your product range – not everybody is content with fish and chips so most chippies also sell inedible burgers (with or without horse meat) and life-threatening kebabs as well, or lose out to competitors who do. But the day they make downloadable chips is the day that every fast food outlet will have to invest in something slicker than stuffing annoying leaflets through letterboxes. It’s digital, maaan! 

But HMV’s passing is not a tragedy, it’s a simple fact of High Street life. Big names don’t necessarily last forever. Woolworths, Allders, Comet… the list goes on and will continue to go on. And more importantly it has virtually nothing to do with whatever government is in power. It’s not as if they relied on defence contracts or provided social services. It’s not personal, it’s just business. 

Twitter, of course was lit up by the steady outpourings of grief and mourning for lost gift vouchers and unwanted presents. But as always Twitter is hardly the place to go for in-depth market analysis. It’s more a place where people go to complain that real life isn’t like it ought to be. It’s the Guvmint’s fault. It’s the fault of another company who played a better game. Maybe Twitterverse malcontents would prefer the world to be like this: 

Have an idea that you’d like to run your own business but, because of a lack of imagination, choose to ‘invent’ something that already exists and has a thriving, but near-saturated market. Your entrepreneurial spin? Set up shop in a deprived area where rents are cheap but nobody can afford to buy the stock. Appeal to some local EU-financed small business ‘initiative’ for funding, citing that evil capitalist forces are refusing to lend for idealistic reasons. Be awarded an annual, renewable investment grant but instead of using it for development – too tedious - simply live off it instead. 

Become a tireless campaigner for more investment for local business and saying “Boo” to the corporate bullies. Close your shop and take a job at the People’s Collective as a People’s Champion, fighting the corner of failing business everywhere and lobby for yet more EU funding for shattered dreams. Tell yourself every day that the purpose of business is not to make a profit but to provide services for real people, local people “your people”. 


‘Work’ your way to the top of the wriggling maggot pile of corrupt officialdom, all the while using your credentials as a former successful business owner, until you retire to the sunlit uplands of Euro Mountain, utterly convinced for the rest of your days that you were a force for good and laughing, as the last Sony Centre closes down. 

(PS: That’s Socialism my friend. You may already be doing it without even knowing.)

STOP PRESS: Blockbusters, the video rental store, has gone into receivership today. Same problem really; if you can get streaming video over the internet where's the market for disc and tape?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Migration Watch

As the snows descend it's only a matter of a few short months before the spring thaws, we can leave our hibernation bunkers and welcome the return of many native and alien species from their over-winter locations. But as ever, we must guard against the cuckoo and its ilk. 

When the Brent Geese depart our shores and the swallows return to bring joy to our skies, spare a thought for those areas invaded by the Canada Goose. This native of a foreign land has settled, without invitation, here in Britain blighting many regions with its heavy-handed and domineering presence. They move onto recreational ground, displacing and out-breeding other species, leaving nothing but shit and destruction wherever they go. 

Such a problem is the influx of foreign species into an environment not prepared for them that in 2008 the NNSS – the Non-Native Species Secretariat was set up. The secretariat is vigilant against the arrival of such dangerous and malevolent imports as the Chinese Mitten Crab, the evil Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum, about which Genesis warned so very long ago) and the Siberian Chipmunk. Not to mention the Ruddy Duck! (Orville, that is. I hate that duck.)

So mercilessly do such marauders as the Japanese Knotweed take over and destroy our property that our home-grown parasites are helpless against its advance. For such reasons we vigorously control the influx of alien pests from outside Britain, from Africa’s killer algae through Mexico’s Colorado Beetle to the voracious American Mink. So why should we not extend the same cautious attitude to the top predator of our planet?

On the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Eric Pickles was pressed to estimate how many Romanian and Bulgarian non-native types were expected to arrive in 2014, when our border controls become utterly ineffective. He couldn’t put a number on it because nobody knows. But what is widely known is the general public attitude, expressed here by the eponymous people's newspaper. None

Billy Bunter could, however, declare that even before the inevitable happens we already have a shortage of housing that will be made even worse, as new migrants, who will have been well-briefed as to their rights, displace many of our native species from the social housing lists. Tell us something we didn't know! 

The 1883 poem "The New Colossus" on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty may state "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." But that was another century and a very different, empty continent, crying out for hands to work the land and make fortunes from its vast, untapped resources. Our land is not vast and its resources are already under strain. Even more immigration is a slap in the face of all those settled here who can’t find jobs. It will serve as a constant depressor of wages and foment yet more and more crime and exploitation, more civil unrest and insurrection. 

Fuck Right Off!

We should have a statue not of liberty but of incarceration and our Statue of Captivity should be engraved – “Fuck off home, where you belong. We don’t want you here.” Racist? If that’s what you’re calling survival these days, I’ll take it.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The Ascent of None

On Sunday morning Nicky Campbell (isn’t he a bit old to still be called Nicky?) hosted the BBC talk show The Big Questions, this week’s question being “Is it time for all religions to accept evolution as fact?” I love this show because it manages to gather together in one place a plethora of beliefs as wide and outlandish as you’ll find in any multicultural inner city school… except these are adults!

Shakespeare’s seven ages of man kicks off with the mewling and puking infant, followed by the whining schoolboy and then the sighing lover, but he misses out the bit where you open your eyes and make your own mind up. Except, does he? Because too many people drag into adulthood unquestioned beliefs that rely entirely on blind faith. 

The assembled audience and participants were drawn from the whole range of religious beliefs in the UK, by which of course I mean mostly Islam – it is the BBC after all – and every single one of them was utterly unprepared to accept what any of the few scientists had to say about the hot topic of evolution, even those scientists who also professed a religious leaning. 

Science doesn't have all the answers – in particular it can’t answer “Why?” but religion has exactly no answers. Not a single one. I have no particular axe to grind, but religion has all the provable credibility of astrology, phrenology, homeopathy and ‘crystals’. It may provide comfort in times of despair and it may provide a soothing hub for the cohesion of many communities, but where science requires evidence, religious belief requires only blind, unquestioning faith. 

In that respect, religion and left wing politics have much in common. Brooking no argument, the articles of that faith say that left is God and right is Satan. That being caring and happy and clappy for rainbow-coloured ‘fairness’ will heal the sick and feed the poor; that, somehow, there will always be enough money to pay for all that compassion, so lacking in the legions of hell – or The Tory Party as they call it. 

And yet, despite many otherwise intelligent people being drawn to it, the policies of the left rely entirely on sufficient numbers on the right remaining to earn the money and be repeatedly plundered in the name of fairness. The doctrine says that the harder you labour the more Labour must take from you; that the less likely you are to need ‘social’ services the more you should pay to provide them. Socialism can only really work where everybody believes and if everybody believes what use will we have for evolution?

As always, I try and find a suitable picture to illustrate my theme. I can only ascribe the happy coincidence of the appearance of this tweet by Ricky Gervais on my timeline this morning to divine providence!


The European Union debate is another which revolves around constantly reciting the dogma that to leave would be a disaster but, just as with all faiths, no objective rationale is ever raised, no bottom line audited. The truth is, nobody knows. Another truth is that staying in means we will forever be enslaved to the high altar of a socialist federal dream, with no opportunity to explore our ages of man beyond the dreamy, blinded lover.

Maybe science will one day find its God Particle; the thing that, once and for all, proves the existence of a higher being. Until then I'll continue to question, continue to disbelieve and wear my scepticism on my sleeve.

(And if you're still not convinced of the Messianic monstrosity that is the EU, take a long look at this document on the 1975 Referendum Stitch-up , which pretty much sums up how I've always perceived it to be.)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Blow me!

Well, what could be better in the week where Labour brandished a blank sheet, policy-free manifesto once again and exposed their desperation by clinging onto their most sacred principle of taxation based on envy, than to end on a happy note?

Can't pay your tax bill? Fear not because hope comes from the country of Labour's true affiliations. A broke Siberian sex shop owner has settled up with bailiffs working for the Russian taxman in the hard [snork] currency of two blow-up dolls in partial payment of his tax and pension contributions. I can't help but wonder if they said "Dad'il do!"

Of course - barter! What better way to settle those debts than by payment in kind? You could pay the piper with, er pipes and the ferryman with... no, that's not gonna work. How about I rewire your house and you install my central heating? What do you mean, they're not worth the same; looks about the same to me... And what if you don't have anything of value to me? No good, for instance, the butcher paying a vegetarian decorator in meat.

What we need is a method of accruing some token representing the value of our labours. Some form of, for want of a better word, currency. That way you wouldn't have to rely on a tit-for-tat arrangement, like the Siberian fella and then - I'm warming to my theme now - you could, like, swap your tokens for my goods or services and vice versa.

But how do we decide who gets how many tokens? I dunno, I guess it would depend on how many hours you work and how rare your skills are - just throwing some ideas in the mix now. So, for instance, a doctor saving lives would obviously get more tokens per hour than somebody digging holes; anybody can dig a hole.

There you go. Sorted. I can't for the life of me think why nobody thought of this before.

Come and get it Mr. Taxman!

Of course,it will never happen, but when Labour get back in, for no other reason than that the electorate has no imagination and little courage, at least we will all be able to pay our taxes in turnips.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Malice in Blunderland

Everybody metaphorically lives next door to Alice. Her story is considered one of the best examples of the literary nonsense and fantasy genres. But nonsense and fantasy notwithstanding, Alice gets used as an allegory for our world all the time. Today’s scribbles mark no departure from this honourable, if slightly hokey, tradition.

We all know the story: Alice follows the White Rabbit down a hole and finds herself in a hall with many locked doors. She finds a key to a door too small for her, but through it she wants to go. So, without reading any of the warnings she downs the contents of a bottle labelled DRINK ME. Then, of course, she’s too small to reach the key which is on the table. So, with exactly the same careless abandon for her physical or mental well-being  she consumes a cake labelled EAT ME, causing her to grow enough to hit her head on the ceiling. 

In our little allegory, Alice is, of course, the electorate – not sure quite what she wants but ready to swallow any quick fix without regard for future consequences. 

In social psychology Cognitive Dissonance is a term used to describe the feeling of discomfort when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting beliefs, values or emotional reactions. Thus, “We must reduce the national debt.” and “We must borrow more money to increase the welfare budget.” OR “In the forty years we've been in the EU nobody has ever given us a straight answer as to why we should be in it at all.” and “Richard Branson says it would be terrible [for him] if we left.” 

Another area of social psychology much beloved, particularly by American administrations, is the field of Mind Control (also known as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, thought control, or thought reform) whereby a group or individual is persuaded to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of that person or group, much as in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where Doublethink describes the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. This is the opposite of cognitive dissonance – in the end you learn to love Big Brother. 

We should all learn to automatically distrust that which we can’t evaluate from our own direct experience. Lazy, handed down, accepted family beliefs are not a sound basis for decision-making - we should all become cognitive dissidents! 

As the prospect of a referendum on Britain’s role in the EU began to gather momentum I warned that the inertia brigade would begin campaigning, just as they did in 1974-5,to not rock the boat. Not content with the loaded dice of the CBI and Richard Branson, they have this time wheeled out the big hitters. Barack Obama's assistant European secretary, Philip Gordon, who has all the same credibility problems as ‘progressives’ everywhere is wading into the melee and declaring that the UK must stay very much on message and in the EU. 

My hackles are up already. Firstly what the very fuck has it to do with the USA, who recognise the ‘special relationship’ only when it has an advantage for them? Secondly, what the very fuck has it to do with the USA, who recognise the ‘special relationship’ only when it … you get the picture. 

Instead of going with the big guns bullshit, which means nothing to you, you should be asking yourselves whether you have ever actually experienced anything positive as a direct result of involvement in the EU. If you think, for instance that being ruled from Brussels and Strasbourg in return for the odd underfunded ‘Youth Project’ is a good thing then you can elect to support, with good conscience a course of action recommended by the nation that gave us some of history’s biggest shysters and con men (PT Barnum, Frank Abagnale, Lehman Brothers) and such honest politicians as Richard Nixon and Slick Willie Clinton. 

OR you could recall every rotten headline, every example of EU profligacy with your money and every example of the intrusion of European edicts on the lives of UK citizens and make up your own mind. Your own government don’t believe that after forty years you have a firm enough grasp of the EU to make up your mind. So David Cameron is now talking not of an imminent referendum, but of delaying any possible vote another FIVE years until 2018, in the hope that Greece and Spain and Portugal and France finally recover and you will forget that for the last five years we have had just six days to save the Euro.

Cabinet Meetings in the EUSSR

And if that wasn't crazy enough, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, today begins a stint as a radio co-host on LBC 97.3FM in an attempt to 'connect with the views of electorate'. If it wasn't for the fact that the whole damned world has gone stark, staring bonkers, you would have to be Mad as a Hatter to believe it.

Read this before you go. Then forget EVERYTHING 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Metric, my Arse!

"Morning, squire! I'll have half a brace of a quart of milk, if you don't mind,  a stone of spuds and a cubit of those sausages, thank you very much." Oh, happy days, when we Brits could speak in metric tongues and diddle the foreigners out of a tanner in change before they'd even noticed we'd weighed out only fourteen ounces to the pound.

Of course, the younger reader - anybody under, say forty - would struggle to compute in avoirdupois, given the egregious invasion of the decimal system, with its inhuman adherence to the base of ten. Pah! In the nineteen fifties any child could add tuppence, three farthings to half a crown and work out how many ha'penny chews he could nick from the tuck shop and still have change from a bob... as I recall. (The answer is, obviously, half a chain.)

But it's so much easier now, they say? Is it? Because, curiously, half of our current metric system is still in Imperial units. Hold on (you're thinking) metric is kilograms and millimetres and stuff isn't it? Well, no, because 'metric' really means 'pertaining to measurement', so any system of weights and measure is, by definition, a metric system and ours - as with many other countries - is a mixture of old and new, casual and legally enshrined. (And, in any case we can't base all of our quantities on the metre - from which 'The Metric System' derives its name - because we also have to deal in other quantities, such as mass.)

The whole 'Metric Martyrs' debacle was a travesty brought about by local government jobsworths inventing regulations and restrictions that never existed. So, it makes complete sense that Michael Gove now wants to re-acquaint pupils with those Imperial values that have remained with us all these years. Lest it sound regressive, consider that our standard unit of distance is the mile, we still give fuel consumption in miles per gallon and everybody knows how high six-feet is. 0.568261 of a litre of bitter, anybody?

Cue the gnashing of teeth of hard-pressed teachers, struggling to get today's students to deal with simple multiples of ten and the louder voices of their elected union representatives making a mountain out of a molehill. For, despite the pleas of Lord Howe to go all the way into the Système International d'Unités it is a fact that our world is built from human-derived units such as feet and inches and not from "the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second." And besides, any schoolboy from 1948 could tell you that there are three thousand four hundred and twenty eight molehills in a standard mountain.

Proof that a £ is always worth more than a €

So gather in the sheaves, sort 'em into bushels and let's gargle a gallon of grog in celebration of our pints, gills and scruples. Lets's walk a league or two, pacing out our land in feet and furlongs, rods, poles and perches. Let's embrace the glorious heritage of measurements arising from what actual people do or did to earn their crust and let's say Imperial without any cringing fawning apologies to the great-great grandparents of today's grievance professional. Give 'em an inch and they'll take a metre!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Do What?

People don't like being told what to do, as Labour's Andy Burnham found out the other day when his reasonable suggestion that we should be concerned about nationwide obesity turned very quickly into Frostygate. In 1981, after the Brixton riots, when Norman Tebbit said "I grew up in the '30s with an unemployed father. He didn't riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking 'til he found it." this anecdote was seen as a direct suggestion to the unemployed of that day. They didn't take kindly to it.

Eat like this, live like this, don't do that. Be like her, don't be like him, don't drink, don't smoke and sit up straight. Work hard and stay out of trouble. Don't drive too fast, you can't park there, disperse, desist and don't put THAT in with the whites! Even Frosties come with serving suggestions. Watch out - the coffee's hot, beware - it's slippery out there... and wrap up warm - you'll catch your death.

The world is full of rules to keep us fit and well and happy and busy. The Nanny State they call it and boy, do we object to being nagged and prodded and cajoled and adjured, like those distant teenage days when in response to our listlessness a helpful parent would suggest we did any one of the things that we would normally do without prompting but today sounds, like "soooo boooriiiing" in our ennui-soaked pubescent lethargy.

So, yeah! Butt out, government! Who are you to tell us what to do with our lives? Away with your rules and your laws and your la-di-dah lifestyle suggestions. We're not teenagers any more! And shut the door on the way out! Ha ha, good riddance!

Now what? If there's one thing that people hate more than being told what to do it's not being told what to do. What's good, what's bad, what's acceptable? How many units? You boil an egg for how long? But where do I park? Is it safe? Is it good? Well I didn't know - nobody told me!

Please sir, may I have some rules?
I just don't know what to do any more!

Your average human is a helpless animal, dependent on raw instinct to survive, dependent on the herd to thrive. So, unless you're one of the very few top dogs out there, who make their own rules, plough their own furrow and stand on their own two feet, you're stuck with it. Today Labour, the party of the workers, will vote to protect benefits against inflation, but they won't have to pay for that; you will. 

They have the numbers to bring that about because too many of you were happy enough to accept their rules in office. Benefits were extended too far, to too many because as long as they told you it was affordable, you never thought to question it. So what do you really want? If it's not independence and self determination then do as your told, stop grizzling and hope against hope that what you get doesn't end up being bad for you.

STOP PRESS: Update at 1917 GMT: The government won. It's a step on the way


Monday, 7 January 2013

Cage aux Fury

So, Call me Dave is talking tough on terrorist suspects', deportation and appeal. "Deport first, ask questions later" screams this Daily Mail headline. Obviously he has no chance but he's trying to make some electoral inroads to back up previous out-of-office claims that he was going to sort out this sort of nonsense.

Nonsense? Of course, with Abu Qatada's safety costing us a £3billion per minute and literally tens of millions [estimated figures] of foreign criminals roaming the streets in slavering, rabid, skull-crushing, granny eating mobs of personified hatred, it is an utter nonsense that we can't drive this garbage from our shores. The problem, according to the article is that "Strasbourg has taken a hard-line on removing anybody to a country where torture or ill-treatment takes place."

Well then, the solution is in our own hands. We're too bloody soft. And of course - you know me so well - I have a neat and obvious and cost-effective solution. Let's round up the fuckers and house them all in one big cage - plenty of room in the middle of Hyde Park - open to the weather and open, also, to spectators. Then we'll have the satisfaction of not only knowing where they all are, we'll be able to see justice in action.

Even better, it will become a tourist attraction and provide small-scale employment opportunities for vendors selling sticks and stones and pork scratchings to chuck at them at feeding time. It will be horrible in there! It will be inhuman. And it will be exactly what they deserve.

Go on, son, lob a scratching at 'im. They love it!

And don't you worry about the plight of all those poor human rights lawyers currently fighting for the right of these undesirables to remain in the United Kingdom. Get this right and they'll all decamp to Strasbourg and Jordan and Saudi Arabia where they will tirelessly line their pockets fighting for their deportation.

No need to thank me. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Tea, my dear?

Having stumbled upon this marvellous little essay by George Orwell, eulogising tea, I have today switched from bag to leaf and found an epiphany in the splendour of an occasional ritual.

Most mornings are a blur of joyless activity. Wake up, get up, shit, shower and shave, defrost the car, drive to work, open up and make do with an instant coffee before kick off. But recently I have rediscovered the joy of a more leisurely morning cuppa beforehand and what better time to indulge than on Sunday morning. Tea and a quiet rant at the morning papers. Chin-chin.

And, you know, Orwell's right. (He thought he was left, but much of his writing warns of what could happen when Socialism holds sway - and wasn't he just bang on?) Tea does make you feel a better man - more civilised  less European and more, shall we say, British. So, hurrah for all that! (And yes, I am aware of the slight, hidden Graves reference there - dead erudite, me.)

Of course, not everybody likes a good and manly strong tea in the Orwell style. Imagine my horror to be confronted by the following version of events:

Toast and Tea - a Southern Interpretation

Yes, in the view of my tormentor tea should be at least fifty percent milk and toast should be barely distinguishable from the original bread. I mean, what's the point?

Shoot me now.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Children - a Ponzi scheme?

The argument for child benefit - that we need to produce a future generation of tax payers - is bunk. Which I will proceed to de-bunk. Don't even attempt to introduce a counter view. I am 100% correct in this case and there is no room for argument. The country is so far up shit creek right now that the last thing we need are more mewling, puking, helpless dependents sucking up even more resources in an endless quest to pretend that life on earth is not a veil of tears.

You see, in an effort to make everybody happy and fluffy and lovely we have to invent ever greater controls to curb the undercurrent of unpleasant opportunism that lies at the very core of humanity. It's the drive that helped us survive and once upon a time the procreative part of that drive was necessary  as new members of a true community would balance the loss of experience at the top with vitality and vigour at the bottom. Also, high infant mortality rates meant that over-breeding was essential; but in-bred redundancy is a genetic imperative we can no longer afford.

Trouble is nowadays, not only do we not lose enough of the little fuckers early, we keep children dependent until their mid-twenties by extending their aimless education and kidding them they're all university material. Then they can't find jobs anyway, so they go back to sponge off the very parents we helped to incentivise in the first place. Then they get bored and end up, inevitably, becoming parents themselves and remove themselves, sometimes permanently, from the jobs market. Where's the point in that?

Child Benefit is a type of failed Ponzi Scheme that pretends to reward its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. Or; invest in kids now and they'll repay that investment as taxpayers in the future. That model may have been viable in 1945, but it's nonsense now.

A Ponzi scheme entices new investors by offering higher returns than other activities, such as low-grade work. Perpetuation of the returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going. Or, the more sprogs you pop out the more we need to take from current taxpayers to continue to encourage the unworthy to squeeze out yet more sprogs.

People will breed anyway, whatever measures are taken to prevent it - I favour something in the water - but actually paying for the product is utterly ridiculous. Remove Child Benefit altogether. It won't stop the underclass from duffing-up, but it might slow them down a bit.

For fuck's sake STOP Sprogging up!

And as for the argument that we'll need those kids to run the country when we're too old and sick and stupid to do it ourselves, have you looked around lately? Who drives the buses, cleans the offices, works the fields and wipes the arses in hospital? Who makes up the bulk of doctors, dentists and opticians in most cities? The previous government showed that when you can't get your own kids to do menial work you can easily import that labour. Then their kids will go on to take the decent jobs as well.

So don't try to tell me there is any need to pay people to breed. As a Twitter playmate tweeted earlier - stop all child benefit... nine months from now. Have a nice weekend and wear a condom!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Owen Moans

Well today - delicious irony - Owen "The boy wonder" Jones is having a pop at the Labour opposition and Ed Balls' latest attempt to rephrase Tory plans as his own.


Well, Owen, as it was your lot who got us here in the first place with unrestricted immigration driving down real wages and 'progressive' education driving down standards and welfare handouts liberally scattered to all and sundry to try to hide the truth, is it any wonder we now need some hard medicine to treat the British Disease? 

Of course OJ wasn't around in the 1970s to see the origin of that particular phrase, but I bet he'll be around for a few years more, dashing around on his white charger with his self-ordained defender of the downtrodden banner, sewn by his mum, striking fear into the hearts of baby-eating Tories and Labour politicians alike.



Don't you just love it when they turn on their own? I'm patiently waiting for the day in the the not-too-distant, dumbed-down future where Owen Jones' brand of schoolboy socialism is rated as searing political insight and he has become the epitome of the venerated grand old man of letters to a generation of lost souls... then one day he loses his rag at their indolence and helplessness and refers to a waiter or a barman as a workshy pleb. I live for that day. :o)


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Who works for who - a mother's tale...

Right, I'm going to come clean. I live entirely off the state[1]. It's not my fault; I was born into it and I know no other way of life. I'm more to be pitied than scorned. In fact I should be applauded for my selfless sacrifice to the greater good. And I'm just about fed up with all you bloody baby-eating Capitalists looking down at me and my kind. Why? I'll sodding tell you why.

You, who are lucky enough to have jobs, go out to work and enjoy the benefits of companionship, variety and the reward of not only earning a living which makes you feel good in yourself, but also getting to decide how you spend it. Oh how I envy you the right to choose to work overtime if you need some extra cash, because all I can do is to pop out another sprog, or sell some skunk, or deal in counterfeit fags and booze... or flog knocked off gear on eBay, or boot sales, etc... I once resorted to working cash in hand for an afternoon; imagine how wretched that made me feel? Oh, my flesh crawls at the memory, 

But in a way we’re in the same boat, you and me; all in this crisis together. You work for uncaring bosses and I am enslaved forever to the cruel yoke of the state, who begrudge me food and shelter... and Sky and Council Tax and Child Benefit and JSA and DLA and free prescriptions and stuff. We should join forces and get them rich bastards who decide how much they pay you, because if we can force them to pay you more, then you can pay more in taxes and I can have more kids. Obviously, it’s better that I have the kids because then they won’t be tempted to go out to work like your lot do feeding the profits of the vicious, nasty, fat cats at the top. 

I was offered a job once, but they wanted me in at, like nine o’clock in the morning – every morning, for goodness’ sake. I mean, that’s inhuman! It was even worse for my mate, Paul! And then, after that horror, you hear about those tax cuts for the super-rich. Bastards! Not content with only giving away most of all they earn they want to keep even MORE of their wages for themselves. Selfish, selfish bastards; it’s just not fair. How will we all cope unless they pay our fair share? 

I'll give you an example of how difficult it is for us right now. My neighbour recently got a 56” plasma on the insurance payout, after he arranged for me to nick his old 48” off him while he was out at the boozer. But because you nasty bastards didn't give me a sense of propriety or a set of decent values I now find I'm consumed with envy for his new set. But when I nick that one, I bet the fucker just claims for an even bigger one. You can see the trap I'm in. It’s a vicious cycle of deprivation and need [2]

You of course, are not compelled to give in to such cravings, the way I've been programmed, so you'll only get the telly you can afford to buy and you'll learn to be happy with it. You don’t realise just how lucky you are, you unthinking capitalist lackey, you. 

And don’t think you can pull a fast one and quit working. Oh no, there's only so much to go around and the benefits ain't for the likes of you, with your dirty capitalist work ethic. Why, we’re doing you a favour LETTING you work and in return we let you keep some of your wages. Those nasty Tories want us to be more like you; you know, standing on our own two feet, contributing to society and all that. Well fuck ‘em. Why would I do that when I already decide what I let you keep? In effect, you work for me! [3] 

Back to work, bitches!

So, don’t just sit there, I'm feeling all broody and ready to squeeze out another mouth to feed. Look lively; there’s work to be done.

Notes:
1. Fuck off! It's a literary cipher. I'm a rabid, frothing capitalist loon... just like all normal people.
2. I'm still joking; don't hate me
3. I know! They actually bloody think like this!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Writers' Block


One of the nice things about blogging almost daily is that it’s harder to run out of material than you might think; something always turns up. I’ve been awake since 0400 today. I just couldn’t sleep for fear I had hurt the delicate bloom that is Leftieconomist David Blanchflower. Or, to put it another way, what a great start to the New Year – blocked by another high profile Leftie twonk!

Our little spat – I’m pretty sure he started the spitting – was over a difference in opinion as to what constituted a deserving welfare recipient, with DB happy to toe the party line “From each according to his ability to work his bollocks off  – to each according to his greed.” (I’m pretty sure I’ve got that right) while I prefer to observe the reality that some people will happily sponge off others until they’re stopped.

How can you defend the cost of benefits when headlines like “Benefits rising twice as fast as salaries” appear on such a regular basis? Naturally a sensitive soul like Danny (as he likes to be known on Twitter) will attack the source but it simply cannot be that everything the Daily Mail publishes is intended as a hate piece against the noble Chavs of which Owen Jones speaks so highly (Oh yeah, he’s blocked me too.) in the same way that even The Guardian occasionally publishes something that is less than oleaginous about wind power.

In my experience ‘The Left’ are quick to block. Free speech for all, they say, while rarely extending the privilege to those whose opinions don’t accord with their world view. A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest, so I can fully understand the urge and I have blocked a couple of snarling Rottweilers myself, but people like Blanchflower need to win over people like me, otherwise the discussion goes nowhere and blocking is hardly the most effective tactic if he actually welcomes debate.

Just because my actual experience of real people doesn’t match his academic musings doesn’t make my viewpoint any less valid. If he wants to give a voice to those who would live off the state then he must also pay heed to those of us who pay for the state – especially when he himself has pulled off the confidence trick of making a more than decent living by presenting himself as an expert. Much like Owen Jones and ‘Doctor’ Eoin Clarke (Of course he's blocked me!) these experts are effectively talking heads for hire, expounding their views – for fees – but rarely being held accountable for their inaccuracies. Accountable in any meaningful way that is – right or wrong, they still seem to pocket the cash.

Strings of qualifications and public appointments eventually assume their own tenuous credibility but it’s a dodgy expert who actually believes his own publicity and shamans and charlatans abound in the world of money; public or private. You’d think an occasional brush with reality would be welcomed. But financial experts are very much like ultra long range weather forecasters, predicting the outcome for decades ahead when they can’t tell you what next Tuesday will be like. Hang on, let me have a go: it’s going to be wet and cold in winter 2023, then dryer and warmer in the summer. Prove me wrong.

An economist doing what he does best.

So, grow up all you economists and admit you’re only guessing – or do the lefty thing and block away, just like Billy Bragg. Yup, that’s right, blocked by Bragg. I’m gutted.