Saturday, 31 March 2012

A Day of Fools

What's in a name? April Fool's Day. All Fool's Day. Says it all, really. There is a multi-national tradition of taking the piss, especially in Britain. And if there's one thing which used to characterise the quintessentially British character it was effortless self-deprecation; a trait that seems to be fast dying out and as the politicos learned last week, if you can't take it you shouldn't dish it out. Who's the fool now? The jury's still out.

See, to see a twat you have to be a twat. To pull off a prank you need to be a cockspank (at some time in your life). And if there's one thing worse than being the butt of a joke it's being just a butt. A big fat horse's arse.

As George W Bush famously said "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." (go on, click the link - it's solid gold!)

Everybody, young and old, shallow or profound, lowly or high and mighty can get in on the act. Drop your guard and go with the flow, Joe. Call it therapy

So, don't get upset off if you got caught out - don't get mad, get even... and you've got all year to plan your revenge!

"You have to larf dontcha?"

Happy April Fool's day!

A long time in politics

Wow, what a week it's been and what a sorry reflection on the 'grate' British public.

  • Last summer's riots were blamed on anybody but the rioters themselves.
  • The Tories got caught in a Blairesque cash-for-favours affair.
  • Francis Maude idiotically scared stupid sheeple into panic buying fuel, causing utter chaos.
  • In the absence of any real policy the opposition counter-attack on George Osborne's budget amounted to nothing more of substance than pasties. 
  • Then, when their attention was focused on being photographed in pie shops, Bradfordistan voted in their very own artificial Ayatollah in the form of preening narcissist 'Gorgeous' George Galloway, sycophant to Islamic tyrants the world over.
  • And to cap it all, a fool in York sets herself on fire by decanting petrol while cooking on gas.

How in the world will we spot the spoofs, come April First?

Well, all this confirms what I've long suspected. You, the British public, in common with people the globe over, are basically quite, quite stupid. (Not the ones reading this, obviously) You put showboating before logic; you vote for personality rather than ability and you will probably jump to the rhythmic click of my fingers and the hypnotic tone of my voice if I feed you enough of the right kind of chocolate biscuits.

"How many biscuits?" you incisively ask, "And how much chocolate?" you demand to know. And, of course, now I've got you. While Newsnight debates the level of sugary, biscuity bribe that will get your vote, I've had my henchmen peek into your shallow souls and count up your worth. We'll be having your principles melted down for our gain even as the chocolate melts in your mouth. That's politics.

Gosh, how cynical, you gasp. Do I really see the human race, populated almost entirely by slack-jawed, entitlement-focused, undeserving yokels?

Yes. Yes I do. I said so, right from the start: It all started here.[link to first ever Batsby blog]

Now, be off with you, peasants, while I get on with my reign... and my weekend. (PS: Have a nice day!)

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Sultan of Swing

As the week ends forget pastygate. And you might want to consider stockpiling petrol for an entirely different reason, for a new threat to the nation’s sanity has emerged. ‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway is the new Ayatollah of Bradfordistan, once a proud, northern mill town, now a burgeoning suburb of Karachi.

Galloway said, 'By the grace of God we have won the most sensational victory in British political history'. The madness of King George knows no bounds and no doubt fatwahs and favours will soon be issuing forth as he sits in Gadaffi-like splendour, eating dates in his big tent in Bradford’s Green Square. He may even invite his arch enemy Tony Blair for a photo opportunity. For George has cast off his sins and adopted the one true faith, the faith turned to by many another beleaguered pugilist. George has adopted the faith of ‘hismam’, righteous self-worship in the name of publicity.

The former Marxist, communist, head-the-ball and out-and-out swivel-eyed lunatic has benefited – according to the losing Labour faction – from a drop in support for the conservatives. It’s not their week, I know, but even I can’t imagine a former Conservative supporter switching sides to an unconvincing, cat-imitating, Big Brother reject. No, there has to be another reason for the high apparent reversal of voter apathy.

Maybe George’s kitty-cat tongue has had a workout licking all those stamps for the not-at-all-suspiciously large postal ballot? And who was that agile, yet stocky, burka-clad figure seen dashing from booth to booth in a last minute voting frenzy; one photographic ID, yet thousands of identities? (It’s a local custom) 

We may never know, but one thing is for certain. Bradford is no longer a British city that has simply lost its identity. It will forever be known as a city that has lost its mind and gone stark, staring mad. Respect? George Galloway? My arse!

But the government must look to their laurels. The entirely avoidable disasters of the last week are nothing compared to this travesty. One thing's for sure - if this can happen, anything can happen. Remember, every household in the land now has a can of petrol standing by. Man the barricades, the infidel is at the gates.

PS: For every ethnic, religious or historical inaccuracy in this article I offer no apology whatsoever. It's my blog and I can write what I like for comic effect. 
PPS: So there.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

A New R-Ed Dawn

"By golly, Edward, we've done it!" cried the millipede
"For fuck's sake Ed, don't call me 'Edward'. The servants might hear and it would ruin our credibility" scolded OtherEd.
"No, you're right, darling" breathed Milly, "but we must make hay while the sun shines!"
"The forecast is turning cold, you know" warned OtherEd, "we don't have long."
"But, after pastygate, petrolgate and, er... the other one..."
"That's it! Stampgate! We've got them on the run! Victory is ours, surely?" rejoiced Milly

"Yes! We'll stamp the Bullingdon boys into the very ground they own..." OtherEd rubbed his hands together,. "We'll force their privileged snouts into the very troughs they gorge from. We'll string them up, stick their heads on pikes... there'll be toff blood running through the sewers! Millionaires' blood!"

"I say, Edward, don't you think that's going a bit too far?" said an anxious Milly. "After all, it was only a pasty and it's not as if we have any credible alternatives to offer, is it?"
"Oh, right," said OtherEd.
"Well, er... aren't we millionaires as well?" asked Milly?
"Well, yes, but..." blustered OtherEd, "we're, well we are a different type of millionaire altogether." And for good measure he repeated, "Altogether. And we're all in it together!"

And he said it with such belief that Milly melted and grasped his hand.
"Oh, Eddie..."
"Don't call me Eddie!"
"Oh, Ed. Do you think it's finally our time?" asked the blushing Milly
"Yes, darling," said OtherEd, tenderly, "It's a whole new dawn." He paused a moment, took a bite of his foie gras toast, dashed back the rest of his champagne, then struck a dramatic, triumphant pose against the rising sun, framed in the mullioned windows, "A new, red dawn!"

"Er..." queried Milly, "What do they say about a red sky in the morning?"


So, after all the misplaced fun of PastyGate yesterday - polices really should be run past think tanks of comedians before being announced -  it's time to repair our damaged chuckling ribs and have a look at the alternative.

Yes George Osborne and Shiny Dave were guilty of some dreadful PR cock-ups, allowing well-aimed jocularity at a poorly thought-out attempt to close a VAT loophole to completely smother anything good about the budget. Who gives a flying fuck, really, about when or whether the PM has ever eaten a pasty? But here's why they should be laughing inside.

Labour's five point plan.

Maybe I wandered into a parallel universe where the clouds are made of candy floss, all the houses constructed from gingerbread and the trees a-fruit with money and honey?

This is, apparently, the much-vaunted five-point plan that The Mr Ed show reckons will... will, what, exactly? (My italics)

1. Stop the Government’s raid on pensioners and block its £40,000 tax cut to 14,000 millionaires (hyperbole)
2. End rail rip-offs by capping fares increases on every route (which attempt will achieve the square root of fuck-all)
3. Force the energy firms to cut gas and electricity bills for 4 million over-75s (How? They're private companies.)
4. Stop excessive fees charged by banks and low cost airlines (already achieved by shopping around)
5. Defend working families from the raid on their tax credits by reversing the Government’s pension tax break for those earning over £150,000. (more hyperbole)

Apart from the disingenuousness of it all, where's the working out? No marks unless you show the working - any fule kno' that. For a start, how? How are you planning to do any of this? (Of course, as the Eds will never get the opportunity to govern, thank goodness, it's all just bluster... but it's still crap bluster) Where's the money coming from? You'll not get a penny from the bankers; they're too crafty to ever pay up and employ the same expensive financial expertise as many Labour MPs do, to avoid taxation.

For a second, is that all you've got? You're never going to placate Red Len[in] McCluskey with his dreams of Molotov mayhem and the country at a standstill because he's mired in the gory, glory days of Scargill's communist dream. We don't make stuff, Len, we don't exploit workers and nobody is dying of consumption any more. (I know, it's a shame. eh?)

And for a third, how will any of those measures produce the prosperity and jobs you keep going on about? How? Go on... tell me HOW?

But listen, you pseudo-lefty twonks, you have a zero chance of election and a sitting duck government, punch-drunk from its own blows. Don't you realise you can say anything you want without risking the seriously difficult possibility of having to make it come true? So why didn't you aim for the skies?

Here, in a surprising - yet tactically sound - apparent volte-face, I, the Great Batsby present to you the five points you could have made... if only for the sake of arousing a bit of a debate... or an exasperated chuckle.

Labour's NEW Five Point Plan

1. Everybody will get a free car. A magic jet car. That runs on air. For ever.
2. Ageing will be frozen at fifty. From now one nobody gets older than fifty. But that's okay because...
3. You can all retire at forty, to a life of leisure and luxury for the rest of your days.
4. Under Labour EVERYBODY will get a degree. It comes in the post at age 25, at which point you will get the job of your dreams.
5. This time next year, Rodney, we'll ALL be millionaires.

This plan has the major advantage that it is just as likely Labour will be asked to come good on these pledges as the other ones, but it gives everybody the warm glow of either false hope or a hearty belly laugh.

Labour. The party that doesn't know what the fuck it stands for!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The VAT in the Hat

Today, for the hard of thinking... I bring you a story in pictures! For those hard of 'picturing' there's a text-only version here: LINK

Vat in the hat - Text Only version

The sun was out shining, all bright in the sky and I wondered why George had put VAT on my pie. So I sat there with Sally and asked her outright, why the pasty was VAT-ed but a sandwich all right

“But a sandwich is COLD” said Sally with scorn and your pasty is heated. She looked quite forlorn. Because Sally had seen what Georgie had not, that a pasty made cold could also be hot.

She got out a Ginster’s, on which VAT she’d paid not and popped it on full until piping hot. So I said, "Fine, but other than that is it fair to load food with the cost of the VAT?"

And then something went BUMP! How that bump made us jump! We looked! Then we saw him step in on the mat! It was cheery young Georgie complete with a hat. We looked and we saw him.

The twat with the VAT! 

Crime and punishment

I'm sorry. Apparently it was my fault after all. Of course it was; how remiss of me not have realised. And how carelessly I managed to forget about those half a million families. Poor loves; while I was busy taking care of my own needs, I completely forgot that not everybody is as fortunate as me. I am such a lucky, lucky bastard.

Lucky to be born into a society where work was considered virtuous, good behaviour rewarded and bad behaviour punished. Fortunate to live in a country populated by my peers where you were expected to knuckle down to it, stay out of trouble and pay your way. And just in case you were tempted to stray from that path, stark were the calamities that befell the errant. We used to have a stick as well as carrots and everybody knew the rules, which were applied more or less evenly. (Before anybody plays the privilege card, you've always been able to buy your way out of trouble, by one means or another.)

But, the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel say it is all the fault of the society of which I am a part. Apparently - and you'll forgive me for never recognising this before - we (that's you and me) have failed those families whose spawn engaged in what can only be described as blatant criminality. Who knew that taking away the sticks and laying out a trail of delicious, juicy carrots would have lead to this? Well, belatedly, even the beardie-weirdie archbishop of canterbury says "Fixation with gay rights, feminism and separate racial identities is threatening to “fragment” British society" The same report says, "He also attacked a culture of dependence on welfare handouts, which he said was harmful to society," No shit, Sherlock? 

If even the Archbishop of Hippy-Dippy Heaven-in-Devon thinks it's wrong, surely the message is getting through?

Not really. Yesterday a teenager, Liam Stacey, who exercised his right to free expression was jailed for doing just that. What he tweeted was offensive, no doubt, but you'll hear sentiments of that nature expressed freely in any pub in the land and in all directions. Can you really be guilty of a criminal offence for having an offensive thought and then drunkenly broadcasting it? In an earlier time he would have been sent to his room to sober up and think about what he had done, but no. Today his 'hate crime' is so heinous that his university is likely to kick him off course. Maybe he'll be able to get a job at McDonald's?

Perhaps we should just impose an opinion tax and be done with it? Oh, no, because that would restrict the freedoms of the hate preachers who we support out of the public purse to directly arouse enmity and threaten our way of life. We have to support them, apparently, because how could they ever get a job with an attitude like that?

Of course I'm in favour of both corporal and capital punishment. I’ve never shirked from saying so. But yesterday, Daniel Knowles @dlknowles  thoughtfully tweeted: "This short film, about capital punishment in Iran, shows why vengeance should play no part in justice:" And he's right. Society should not apply justice as a form of vengeance.

Just, well, as a form of justice.

Is it justice - for society - to waste ever more resources trying to placate those who wilfully refuse to abide by the standards set by the majority? Not the high and mighty of government or church, but the ordinary working voters who expect a return from their labours. This country can not afford to ignore those 500,000 families any more. Isn't it time we sought them out and started applying some very hard sticks? Of course, we can offer carrots - education, responsibility, etc - but ultimately those who cross the line must be stamped on hard.

And it's dead easy to identify them. Anybody appearing on Jeremy Kyle's execrable freak show. Anybody trawling the streets with hoods up and gloves on in summer. Anybody turning up to court in a track suit… ad-infinitum.You know who you are!

And the best bit of this rant? It isn't party political. Whether your loyalties lie on the left or the right, you know I'm spot-on about this. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury agrees with me and he's not even sure about the existence of God!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Taxing times

Well I've read a lot of stuff over the last two days regarding the so-called "cash-for-access" affair, like it's any sort of news. One side calls out names, the other side replies, "Yo' momma!". Then the newspapers get in on it and, of course, it's a free-for-all which has the delightful effect of utterly obscuring right and wrong whilst simultaneously polarising opinion further. 'The Left' gleefully points and shouts, "same old Tories", 'The Right' starts naming Labour millionaires and counter attacks with "cash for honours". And of course, just as one columnist argues for the status quomore or less, another argues for public funding.

Amid the din the losers are always the same losers. The people paying for the party, whichever party they believe in; the tax payer. Income tax, national insurance, corporation and capital gains taxes. Import taxes, export taxes, road fund licence, VAT, stamp duties,  television licence, council tax... Then there's the tax you pay on income you've earned from savings and investments (if you can afford to save) from money you've already paid tax on and even when you're dead there are numerous ways the exchequer can get its hands on your dosh. If you die with no net worth then your ultimate tax rate was 100% as every penny has gone back into circulation.

We pay public servants out of taxation and then take back some of that pay... as tax. We pay tax on purchases of goods by those same departments. We tax private sector workers to pay pensions, then tax those same pensions. And the state employs extra people to collect the taxes from people paid by the state, which includes themselves. And on top of all that the treasury takes in tax from every possible source, then hands it back to the very same people as tax credits, child benefits, etc, and employs still more people to work out how much goes where. And it's all Napoleon's fault.

So, what went wrong? Why do we pay so much frigging tax? The first question, surely, has to be, if it's not for fighting Napoleon, what is it all for?

"From each according to his ability," plagiarised Marx, "to each according to his needs." A laudable sentiment, you might think, coming from a time when peasants were starving (although the soundbite was an alteration of an earlier call for rewards to be commensurate with effort). This seems to have transmuted into "You work your balls off, because you can - and we can make you - while he sits on his arse because he feels like it."

Instead of thinking "what can we spend all these taxes on?" governments should be thinking,"Is Napoleon still out there and can't we cut back a bit?" When 'need' covers such things as TV subscriptions, the classification of obesity as a disability and broadband for all, something radical has to change. And, yes, we're neatly back to population control.

Given that a large part of the tax take is spent paying people to pay it back to people who gave it in the first place. And that large government departments spend fortunes on themselves, their advisers and their advisers' advisers. And a large part of government time seems to be spent on justifying how they got the cash, where it's gone and why, isn't the solution obvious? The tax burden can reduced across the board by reducing the part of the population most responsible for wasting it.

So, a call to arms against a sea of troubles. Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Yes, my loyal subjects, in the United Dingdom there will be no need for big government. The cull begins in Westminster!

Follow me! I'll be right behind you!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sartre was right!

People on prescription drugs. People on illegal drugs. People on religion. People peddling so-called new-age claptrap. People peddling old-age claptrap. Believers in ghosts. Believers in spirits. Believers in some form of universal truth. Believers that all men are created equal? All deranged.

The young are helpless and naive and the old often appear gullible. Wisdom may come with age, but it also needs a bit of practice as well. Those who have relied on others throughout their lives are hardly likely to suddenly acquire oracle-like insight as their minds descend into the nightmare of dementia.

But, young or old, the continued existence of absurd beliefs in provable untruths is astonishing unless you also see human nature for what it really is. Opportunistic, simplistic and fundamentally selfish. Tribally we may form associations and alliances for life but our apparent altruism is often revealed to be based on self-interest or just blind instinct. So, much for the milk of human kindness.

There are many kind souls, yes, but their moderate voices get drowned out amidst the clamour for attention of the multitudes who refuse to display any sense of personal responsibility. And the rest of us are treading water, waiting for the day the floods recede... not any day soon it appears.

So, while we're all really busy - making money, taking money, being deluded, being feeble, being kind, being stupid - the idiot political classes engage in their own set of delusional behaviours. David Cameron is implicated in - gosh - party fund-raising, while the Labour lot feign apoplexy as if cash-for-questions never happened. The government increase taxation and decrease spending and the opposition attack that strategy before saying they would do the same. Meanwhile a lefty idiot tweets that she rejoiced on believing Margaret Thatcher had died and we righty idiots get all pompous about it. Yes, the country is in dire economic straits, by all accounts, but people still have plenty of time to spread dirt and gossip.

Despite all that you might want - or even need - to believe in, the truth is much more simple. There IS no big conspiracy. There IS no right way to govern. There IS no single set of magic measures to make it all better. But one thing's for certain, if you sit around waiting for somebody else to sort out your life you're gonna end up with one mighty sore arse.

You could save yourselves a bit of time with this:

Sunday, 25 March 2012

10,000 and counting...

I added a page views counter - not that it's a competition, you understand!

I don't know who all of my readers are but I'm guessing some of them, at least, are regulars. Yes, I know, it's difficult to switch off those subscriptions isn't it? (Mwuhahaha!) So, that 10,000 page views (by the way, I don't count my own views, just in case you're suspicious!) at around 100 per day probably only really represents about thirty regular readers. Given the low number of comments, however, I wonder how many visits are from people who have clicked on a link and then said "Oh no, not this again!"

So, go on, add a comment if you agree, disagree, or just want to prove to me that you're a real person and not a referrer 'bot! One day, maybe we'll all be bots. Maybe, one day, all journalism will be on the blog... written by socio-political automatons who do all the work while we get to reap the rewards.

I hope so. Then I might finally get my flying car.

Until that day you'll just have to put up with my moaning!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Too busy to blog...

Too much to do today and too much to write about. It's no use Left and Right trying to talk to each other. They are not speaking the same language. The Conservatives speak in well-enunciated English, the Left speak in tongues, or some such babble. They can't help it; it's because being right is, well, correct - as the name implies - and being left is like being a brainwashed captive of some peculiar religious cult.

So, I summarised yesterday's debate in the form of a cartoon.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Foul! Ref!

Like drunken fans watching the football in a crowded pub, jostling for a view, proffering their views, the press, the public and the politicians were all watching different games yesterday. And as usual the post-match discussion went into extra time with some confusion as to who had won, or indeed lost..

"We wuz robbed!" declared the ageing defender, Vince Cable, "The game should have favoured the older ones, but we all got left out at the back."

"I wouldn't have played the four-five formation." commented brutish mid-fielder Balls, "I'd have gone five-five, catch them off guard, then hit them with a counter-attack where it hurts." he explained. "Then kick 'em in the bollocks!" he added, unnecessarily, as the interview was already over. Adenoidal Ed, the away team coach, had nothing to of value to contribute to his familiar, repetitive whine.

England Manager, Shiny Dave "charisma" Cameron said, "The lads done good and we come away wiv a point each, so, you know... like..." He ended in characteristic, enigmatic fashion, leaving it to others to provide cover for a lacklustre performance.

Team captain, Georgie "boy" Osborne summed up the game*, "Well, like, it was a great game, like, you know. And , er... it was all, like neck and neck for the first fifteen minutes, then, you know, we hit our stride, like... and from then on it was, you know, 45% for the next half hour... When the final whistle come, like, we wusn't sure where the score was and all... There was that, er own goal and everyt'ink, so in the final analysis the lads done good and we'll have to wait for the, erm, er.. next round, like," he concluded. "Innit."

(*Works best if you imagine he's using Steven Gerrard's voice!)

Following a protracted discussion after appeals were raised, the game was declared a draw, with both sides claiming the moral victory.

 How much on a packet of fags? Bugger!

Don't ask me what to make of it - I was at work all bloody day! For what it's worth, just like every budget there has ever been there, there is little room for anything other than tinkering at the margins and the outcome for almost everybody will be genuinely insignificant. (We all have income ups and downs and can control our spending to suit.) Yet, all we'll hear about for the next year will be the fourteen people who can genuinely claim to have been denied a livelihood because they represent an incalculably small and statistically negligible demographic whose circumstances were impossible to factor into the national accounts.

Next topic, please!?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Black Wednesday

With apologies to Lewis Carroll, I done a pome!

T'was Wedders, and the slimy coves
Did tax and gamble with my pay.
All flimsy were the proffered oaths,
Not to give it all away. 

"Beware the Treasury, my son!
The jaws that bite, the clause that catch!
Beware the Osborne bird, and shun
The furious Moneysnatch!" 

With ill intent he counts his take 
And gives it to the harpie who, 
Without a care how much I make, 
Breeds fifteen children in a shoe. 

Calloo callay it’s Budget Day 
And all my money's gone away. 
Now, by law, the gov’ment will 
Take my dosh to pay their bills 

Fee fi fo fum... 
There goes the home of an English man.

(With thanks to Messrs Brown and Co, for spending all my fucking dough!)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Wace Wiots

Oh, don’t you just love a news article with the ‘R’ word in it? The second you deploy ‘that word’ you know the world is going to tie itself in knots to try and avoid being that word! It is fucking hilarious. The whole equality and diversity industry sings “ker-ching” in unison every time a national newspaper drops the R-bomb.

Of course, I’m not allowed to use the word itself here because there are factions who see its written form as ‘that thing’ in itself, so I’m going to write about it without using the actual label. I’m not sure it’s possible, but in the true spirit of freedom of speech (unless you’re a white English* male) equality (unless you’re a white, English male) and openness (unless you’re… etc) I’m going to give it a go.

The article in question is THIS in which it is revealed that white, middle-class teachers find it difficult to achieve the levels of egalitarianism now enshrined in law. If a single pupil ever grows up to become a minorities commissioner those teachers will be haunted –slaves to social justice as they are – for the rest of their lives, believing they are to blame.

For my part, I think this report is a vicious, bigoted and yes, "R" attack on the teachers, stating, as it does, that the majority of primary school teachers are “white, monolingual, middle-class woman who were taught by people similar to them”. If that isn’t ethnic stereotyping, I don't know what it is, with its expectation of outcome based entirely on their origins.

The same ‘experts’ who came up with this self-evident, yet apparently unpalatable truth are calling on the government to legislate for “equality classes” in teacher training courses, in a bid to reflect the “growing diversity” of British schools.

Bollocks. Equality classes will help to increase perceived differences because white English kids will be treated as second-class citizens (oh, the irony) and grow up to resent the preferential treatment that will be doled out to anybody other than them in the same way that the naughty kids get all the teaching attention and resources thrown at them. There will be more of this sort of nonsense.

Yet again it is somehow up to government to take action. When will our society get off its lardy-arsed haunches, roll up its sleeves and do something for itself? Why does everybody seem to think it is the government’s responsibility to attend to the wellbeing and happiness of every individual on a personal basis? Bring everybody up to behave themselves and socially responsibility and equality will follow. And yes, some will become richer and more successful than others, but it is certainly not the job of government to bind you up with apron strings and insulate you for life from life itself.

Last night I made the claim that ‘child poverty’ was a socially engineered phrase used to play on people’s sympathy and apply pressure on the government (there it is again) to eradicate it. Naturally I was attacked for that view by people with a blinkered belief that it exists. There is no such thing in Britain, but there are kids who are badly brought up, just as there are kids who are abused because of their differences – ethnicity, background, disability and in the extreme - hair colour.

So, I'm setting up an appeal to help all of the disadvantaged of our society, whatever their needs. Please send donations - preferably cash - to this appeal. Once I have raised enough, I promise to do absolutely nothing at all about this complete non-problem, but I will thank you from the heart of my bottom and from my retirement island in the Bahamas, for your gullibility.

Blimey a whole blog on racism without mentioning the word racism. Oh…

(*Scots, Irish & Welsh are fine they can’t be racist responsible as they are a persecuted minority. Many of them are, however, ginger.)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tilly_E (on request)

Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl called @Tilly_E. She loved to skip and sing and plait her hair and play with the flowers and chase butterflies up and down the Dingly Dell, all day long in the summer sunshine. "Hello, Mr horse!" she would cry out to Dobbin, the mighty Shire. "Hello, Mrs Moo-cow!" she would sing to Ermintrude, who provided milk for her tea, and "Thank you!" she would say to the little chucky hen who made the eggs for breakfast. All was happy and bright, down on the farm

Then, one day she went to the big city and heard about S. E. (I'll have to spell out the last bit) EX and things were never the same again. She wrote about it, she talked about it and sometimes she even displayed pictures about it and this made her very giggly and very popular. She thought of nothing else, all day long and told everybody who would listen, how much she wanted some.

She prayed every night for some and she even sent requests to Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, but sex came there none. Until one day, quite unannounced, a burly man cast a shadow across her doorstep. "Is it about the sex?" she asked, excitedly, "do you have something for me?"

"That I have, ma'am" replied the burly one, "where do you want it?"

"Ooooh!" squealed Tilly_E "Over here please!"

She shut her eyes tightly and held her breath. She heard the man, his breathing laboured, make his way to her. As he leaned over her she felt his hot breath on her cheek; he smelled of sweat and toil and she squirmed in her seat in anticipation. A heavy thump, a breath of air and suddenly he was gone. Tilly opened her eyes and looked in disbelief at the dirty object in front of her chair. "Bollocks!" she exclaimed, under her breath.

Sex, Tilly... it's what rich people get their coal delivered in.


If anybody's wondering why I haven't been a-tweeting this evening, it's because Twitter appears to be fucked.

That is all.

Actually, that's not quite all. I tried to get back aboard the Twitter express but it's all out of puff. So, I'm still here (sort of) but, you'll be glad to hear, unable to sustain any two-way comms. So, Ill bid you a fond farewell and maybe catch you tomorrow. I might squeeze another blog out in the meantime... *strains*...

I did! It's here.

Accident of birth

I happen to have been born beautiful. But it's okay, I'm going down to the Ministry of Equality to have my features fixed so that they don't give me any form of unfair advantage. Shame, because I was hoping to make £1,000 a night as a high-class hooker, but that would be an insult to the £20 blow-job brasses down Station Rd. Mind you, I'm in their league in comparison to the oh-so-perfect, "I won't get out of bed for less than thirty grand" super models. Like what did they ever do to look like that?

But, hey! Solidarność, and all; we should all strive for equality these days, right?

I have a friend, Tarquin and he is sooooo unlucky. Poor lamb can't even get a job. I know! And it's so mean because he's, like, woah! He's so creative and he's in this band, right? And they are way better than those X-Factor losers any day. The only thing he's got going for him is, like, his trust fund, you know? He's worth more than a premier league footballer, any day. And anyway, what do they do to earn so much? It's just not fair.

No, it isn't. Life isn't fair and it's never going to be that way. The entirety of life on earth is, itself, a freakish accident. Do you reckon the cosmos could accidentally organise egalitarianism any better than a committee could design a camel?

Equality isn't even measurable. How can you compare eight hours at a coal face with eight hours in a call centre? Or eight of Wayne Rooney's hours against those of a delivery driver? What about the other benefits of your type of work? How does the camaraderie of interdependent physical workmates stack up against the lonely solitude of a day-trader? Or the frisson of excitement earned by a performer against the fizzling out of a long night shift? How do you cost out job satisfaction? Does a fluffer on a porn set merit the same wage as a runner on Corrie?

So, like it or not, society has come up with a way of measuring worth and - you're not going to like it - it's based entirely on looks, talent, likeability, need and luck far more than it is based on the tricky notion of 'merit'. Merit sounds great, it really does. And it would be a brilliant yardstick if we all looked the same, thought the same and had the same needs. But that's pie in the sky-pixie fantasy; it's hippy dreaming and it's the language of it-ain't-never-gonna-happen-so-get-used-to-it.

No, damn us, we have 'aspirations' which steer us in ways we don't really understand. We espouse causes in youth that repel us in later life and we are utterly partisan when it comes to family, friends, sport, fashion, entertainment and culture. In short, the Left's ideals are simply unworkable and people will earn what human society allows them to earn. But, on the other hand, the Right's pragmatic approach would inevitably lead to more death, as the weak fall by the wayside and, apparently, that's supposed to be a bad thing. (Be patient with me; I'm learning this stuff as I go along.)

So, the Right's job is to pull in the direction of economic progress and the Left's job is to pull back and with luck the knot in the middle of that rope stays more or less in the same place. Trouble is, it's been edging too far to the left of late - into hippy-dippy, magic money tree territory - and it now needs an extra, rightie nudge to bring it back to the wobbly centre ground where nobody is really happy with what they've got yet not enough people are so desperately unhappy that they go around shooting people.

As to what the Liberals bring to the game, nobody has yet managed to figure that out..

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Madding Crowd

If you want an example of how irrational mobs can be, or of the effects of peer pressure on the unthinking masses, you need look no further than ‘the big non-event’ of yesterday as the multitudes offered prayers and good wishes for the recovery of Fabrice Muamba, a young man they do not know, will never meet and who has probably already earned more than they will in a lifetime. (Where did ‘soak the rich’ go, all of a sudden?)

To make matters worse, several people attracted opprobrium on social networks, in some cases extending to death threats, for voicing their lack of concern. Okay, I suppose it’s never clever to say you hope somebody dies, but to have outrage directed at you for saying you just don’t care is utterly ridiculous.

At around 124,000 heart attacks per year (from British Heart foundation 2010 Stats), the lucky Mr Muamba is the only one I heard about yesterday. Lucky? Of course, he had his in front of a crowd with full medical support available. I wonder how many lonely bodies will be discovered in empty houses over the next few days?

But that’s the problem with a mob. (Hitler and Scargill both exploited crowd psychology.) They cease to behave as individuals and adopt a single, thoughtless mind. Like drunks in a brawl they convince themselves that whatever they are baying about is now the single most important issue facing mankind. It’s not. Whatever it is, it’s never that. They use words like ‘solidarity’, whereas ‘brainwashing’ is far more accurate. Crowds never exercise reason; in fact they always demonstrate the loss of it.

Take the student march yesterday – yes there actually was some other news – a rabble roused by rhetoric; children protesting about things they really don’t understand. Student walkout? Who would notice? A good illustration, however, of how youthful vigour is wasted on the young. Education, kiddies, just as with other public sector services, has to earn its place. If you get funding for an extended childhood, how many others will have their lives cut shorter by lack of medical care?

It’s the perennial budgetary balancing act and Labour’s apparent faith in somehow, magicking up money from thin air to pay for nationalised dependency is nothing other than opportunity politics, playing to an unthinking crowd and relying on mob mentality to bellow out the slogans.

When I was a kid, I didn’t get the Superman logo – I couldn’t see the big, red ‘S’ and instead tried to make sense of the yellow bits. Somebody had spent time and effort in creating that symbol and here I was, unable to recognise what it represented.

The Super Mum logo

I'm like that about a lot of things, I don’t accept them at face value, so I spend time working them out – and usually I find I actually missed nothing important. Maybe that’s why I rarely empathise with a crowd. Maybe that’s why I despise the huddled masses, with their hands ever out for succour and their voices raised, using words they don’t know the meaning of.

What’s keeping you enslaved, masses, is not The State, but your own state of sleepwalking helplessness. So, it’s time to wake up, stand on your own two feet and stop seeking the largesse of others. Tie your own shoe laces, brothers and sisters. Stand together and stand tall. Repeat after me, “We are all individuals! We are all equally worthless!” Now, piss off out of it and be nice to your mothers.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The cost of kindness

In the spirit of being the bloody nice bloke I really am, I've just been over the road to sort out a little electrical job. All free, gratis and for nothing, naturally, because that is what neighbours do. Before anybody starts getting ideas, I am not a charity and it's only because I accidentally answered my front door, expecting a delivery, that any of this happened. I'm just not good at saying 'no', which is yet another, damned good reason to avoid any contact with you needy humans. (Plus, you don't need to shit on your own doorstep - who knows who they know?)

It was about eleven in the morning, the heating was full on, despite being practically tee-shirt weather, the 'lady of the house was still in a dressing gown and the kids were all sitting round the telly. (I took no pleasure at all in turning off the power.) When I say 'all' in reference to the kids, I only mean all that were there. It turns out there are six sprogs altogether. I don't know how they afford it. Or, rather, I don't know how they would be able to afford it if they had to pay for them. But of course, it's you and I, the taxpayers who pick up the tab.

And yes, it was all there. Enormous flat-screen telly, all manner of X-boy-play-game-station-thingies, Blu-Ray, huge leather suite, range cooker, computers in every room. Not bad for an occasional cash-in-hand roofer. Couldn't work full-time, of course, otherwise they'd be too tired to have stand-up rows in the street at three in the morning on a bi-weekly basis. Bless.

To be fair, they are not horrible people, as such and I suppose it's not their fault that they exist and subsist in the way they do. But it is somebody's fault and people who serve no useful purpose should simply not exist in a responsible, civilised society.

Actually, they did offer to pay me, but I am a genuinely decent cove and graciously declined. Besides, I worked out I'd have to work longer hours at my own job in order to pay enough tax to cover the costs. I reckon £20 in their pockets probably represents at least a couple of hundred out of ours, by the time you've paid for the bloated excesses of all involved in the game of stealing from the not-rich in order to give to the not-poor.

Of course, to be liable for two hundred squids-worth of tax I'd have to earn a grand - at basic rate. Jesus, I'm glad I didn't accept anything - it would have cost me a fortune!

Meet the neighbours

Friday, 16 March 2012

Twitter Buggers

So, earlier today I received an unsolicited tweet from a cyclist. I’d followed him because, well, he’s a cyclist and i own a bike or three. I don’t recall actually having any form of intercourse with him, but I’d read his blog and all that good Twitter community stuff you do and I’m not certain, but the fact that he replied to me kind of implies that he must have followed me back, at least for a while.

Well, I’ve been having a touch of the Twitterbugs of late and noticed that, quite frequently, I appear to have ‘unfollowed’ somebody without any intent on my part and I know that others have experienced the same thing. It’s a recognised issue with the site and leads to much furrowing of brows and wringing of hands. Followers are a bit like pets and it’s always a bugger when you have to start sticking flyers on lampposts.

Twitter seems to be quite even-handed about its auto-unfollow ‘feature’ because recently my account has been operating a nightclub bouncer policy of one-in, one-out. That is, as I steadily gain followers (yes, I know, some people are so naïve and easily pleased!) nonetheless my total rises at a much slower rate. Typically I get four or five on board and lose three over the side over a couple of days.

Obviously, you lose followers all the time; Twitter’s a funny old place, brimming with those on the lookout for a good bit of offence-taking and it doesn’t take a lot of provocation to flick that switch. I’m sure there are some Tweeters who’s entire raison d’etre is outrage – often on behalf of unknown others. But when they leave it’s usually with a flounce and a pout and announced to the Twitterverse with a flourish and a well-placed and witty 'fuck off!'.

Anyway, this morning, quite early, I tweeted to nobody in particular about the seeming randomness of the unfollow actions. Pretty quickly my ex-pet cyclist hit me with a terse [quote] “There is nothing random about people unfollowing you.” No squabble, no follow-up (pun intended), no ‘gotcha’. Thinking I might have misinterpreted a jolly jape – oh what wags we are on Twitter - I asked if I’d done/said anything to upset him and quick as a flash he came back with… no reply.

If he had ever followed me he was following me no longer. (I say, ‘he’ he could be a granny in Kilmarnock for all I know!) Anyway, I couldn’t help myself. Given that he had unfollowed me and therefore was no longer my bestest buddy and all that, I felt I could finally say something I’d held back for fear of causing umbrage. The penis (again, pun intended) mightier than the sword indeed. I alerted him to a spelling mistake on his profile. Oh, sweet victory

And although I never heard from 'Karl' again, I know s/he read my tweet because that profile is now all spelled-up, proper like. By the way, I’m still following; That’ll teach her as she cycles home to Kilmarnock!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

They seek him here...

The problem with The Scarlet Pimpernel is nobody expects The Scarlet Pimpernel...  

Oh, wait. Wrong historical farce. I’ll come in again.

They seek him here, they seek him there, they seek him… you get the picture. I was asked yesterday why I hide behind a pseudonym. Am I afraid of being revealed? Why anonymity? I say, why not? Ask Reg Dwight, Roy Harold Scherer Jr. Marion Morrison and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite. 

My inquisitor declared that hiding behind a pseudonym was common amongst right-wing tweeters. I say there’s a conspiracy theory lurking within every personal agenda and I’m sure, if I bothered to look, I’d find exactly the same phenomenon amongst left-wing tweeters. (Or just tweeters in general.) But I can’t be bothered to look because, in the main, I’d rather chat to people I can have a rational exchange with.

And there’s your problem, right there, mate. Yeah, wot it is, right, it’s like, we’ve already, like, decided, innit? There is little point in a Left arguing with a Right as both are ideologically opposed. As open-minded as I believe I am, there are some left-wing beliefs that leave me gape-mawed in astonishment. There’s as much chance of finding agreement between Muslims and Jews, or between chimps and wombats.

Which brings us back to Batsby. Once upon a time, many years ago, I adopted the forum name of ‘dingbat’. It wasn’t sinister – everybody had forum names. I used it to register on the multitude of sites which require a user name and I set up a similarly anonymous email address to deal with any spam. On one such site, the name dingbat was already taken, so I ended up with Batsby, from which, as I lived in West Yorkshire at the time, my pen-name of Bryan Battersby not so much evolved as ‘arrived’.

For the record, I rarely use my real name online, I don’t own any loyalty cards and I pay for my shopping in cash; I have no interest in telling Tesco how to target me. I use different email addresses for different types of interaction and I don’t answer the door or the phone to cold-callers. I have nothing to hide, but neither have I anything to gain from standing naked in public.

I don’t believe that spy satellites follow my every move and I don’t really own a tinfoil hat, although the Bacofoil is near at hand, just in case. I write what I believe – or what I think is funny or entertaining - you are free to agree, reject, applaud, ignore or block me (like Billy Bragg just did). There is no point in busting a gut to hate me or the people I find agreeable company. (Incidentally, I loathe extremists at all points of the compass.)

But, in the interest of transparency I’m going to finally come clean. I’m not actually a balding, greying, middle-aged loser… I am, in fact, a fourteen-year-old girl called J’anice Beaver, hoping to lure in balding, greying middle-aged losers for fun and frolics. And cash.

Skype me!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Hulk Hoseban

It’s mid March, we’ve had a dry winter and already there’s a hosepipe ban in some regions. For fuck’s sake, there are barren, desert locations, where it hasn’t rained for generations, with better water management. I imagine a colony on the planet Mercury would cope immeasurably better than Britain. And even the horrors of Hades don't extend to not being able to water your geraniums.

When I write ‘Britain’ I do of course exclude Caledonia, whose internationally renowned wateriness is second only to standing under Niagara Falls for ten minutes every day... twice. They say Scotland has two kinds of weather – ‘raining’ and ‘about to rain’. This is somewhat unfair and untrue: I once visited Scotland and it never rained at all. (It was a Monday. 1976)

Asking people to save water by thinking about it and being sensible and abstemious – shower, rather than bath, turn off taps, stop washing your kids tee-shirt every bloody time he takes it off, etc – is about as effective as asking people to only spend what money they actually have; to save for a rainy day (okay, bad example). Nobody thinks they are part of the problem. 

And of course, people will ignore a hosepipe ban the way they ignore any rules if they think they won’t get caught and nobody will get hurt. If imposing bans was an effective course of action then we could have simply banned crime, sickness, thickness and Socialism and our Albion would indeed be a green and pleasant land, albeit with some dry, brown patches.

But here in the United Dingdom we take rules seriously and to that end I shall immediately desist from bathing, flush once a day, save up my pee for the garden, wear my underpants for two days (two days more than usual, that is), never wash the car or the windows (like I ever do either!), drink only cold drinks - all that wasted steam - and save up my bitter tears for desalination and re-absorption/seasoning later.

Oh yes, I’m doing my bit all right; come this summer's traditional riot season it certainly won’t be my fault if the police water cannon runs dry.  

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Da-doo-dah Code

So, I had an interesting Twitter conversation last night with one of the few left-leaning coves who follow me. (I’m surprised I don’t have many more – oh well…) He is on a mission to convert me – gawd bless him – from my right-thinking view of the world and embrace his compassionate and bountiful vision of the left. He’s a genuinely nice guy; I’m sure he means well. But…

Among his arguments are that I am “just a tool of the rich”, a “cheerleader for the very people that are raping you” and “one of the cattle”. Well at least he agrees with me about the last one. People are very much like cattle – a few bulls, a lot of cud-chewing cows and plenty of short-lived juvenile bullocks. (That’s steers to my American readers – oh yes I have some… Okay, I have one.)

My guardian angel firmly believes that the right-wing elite operates some darkly cynical mechanik to keep the masses down - not educating them, deliberately creating a welfare-dependent underclass for the tax-payers to despise (although I’m not sure how that helps the cause of either side) and controlling the media to spread its poison.

But, you see, that’s far too complicated, just like religion. It requires an enormous effort of faith to maintain a belief in something that presents no actual evidence. Of course, maybe it’s me that’s wrong, but you’d have to convince me that my wielding of Occam’s razor has been wildly off-target.

Let’s take a couple of points.

Under-educating the masses – I see forty-plus years of removing the rigour of basic education, largely pushed through by the overwhelmingly left-wing teaching unions, leaving students incapable of learning effectively. Being cruel by trying to be kind and yet, despite all that, some still manage to get off their arses and succeed.

Welfare dependency –By removing the stigma of not paying your way in society, the left made it acceptable to sponge off others - and look how quickly the unemployable took to it. Something for nothing? Who wouldn’t want some of that?

Media manipulation – Rupert Murdoch doesn’t actually control the world. Leftists just think he does because The Guardian and countless other branches of the left-wing propaganda machine tell them so on a daily basis. And of course the most pervasive medium of them all – the BBC – is largely regarded by those on the right as a left-wing tool. It’s prurience, not politics, that sells ‘news’.

If the conspiracy theory of right-wing overlords manipulating and controlling on such a colossal scale were true it would require an effort of coercion only hitherto seen in closed, despotic countries or cults. But these days we have the Internet and nobody gets away with anything for long without some little put-out snot-nose blabbing to all the world about how unfair it all is. Boo-fucking-hoo.

Winners and losers, that’s what it all comes down to. Simple as. The winners want to hang on to what they’ve fought for. The losers want it for themselves. Anybody ascribing anything other than selfishness to human motives in general is deluding themselves that we transcend nature itself merely by being the great ape, Homo Sapiens

Humans are resourceful and opportunistic and make a living however they can. If the state lets them scrounge, they will scrounge. If the NHS offers wider and wider treatments for more and more nebulous imagined ailments, people will develop those ailments. And if an opportunity arises to make billions out of the hard work of those who will work for subsistence wages, both sides still make a living, however uneven. I just do not see the hand of conspiracy in any of this; like I say, too complicated for mere humans.

So, it comes down to what you want to believe. Do you go for the possibility that hard work and thrift will reward you in the end and that anything is possible – the politics of hope? Or do you go for the low-hanging fruit of egalitarian, re-distributed wealth – the politics of envy?

The rhetoric on both sides is appealing at times and it’s the interplay between the two that broadly maintains the status quo. I could go on for days on this theme, but as far as the electorate’s position goes, I can think of no better simile than Indecisive Dave from The Fast Show:

Monday, 12 March 2012

Ring a Ring o' Roses

For my sins I'm a trainer of supposedly already qualified electricians. Next time you have any electrical work done, ask your sparky about ring final circuits. For starters he'll probably call them 'ring mains' to which you can react in alarm and say, "Surely you don't mean the 11,000 Volt supply to the local substations?" (That will unsettle him straight away.) Next, he won't be able to put into the correct order the words "ring", "final" and "circuit", transposing the first two, principally  because it's a phrase he really doesn't understand.

And do you want more to worry about? Okay, here goes: he won't be able to justify why he prefers a ring to the much simpler radial configuration. He will never have read - nor will he truly understand - the single regulation that allows their use provided certain conventions are observed. And finally, even if he is one of the small percentage who know how to test the circuit, he won't be able to explain what is fundamentally wrong with the procedure. (For the record it's only the UK and some former dependencies that install ring circuits as standard in domestic properties.)

It's not for nothing that a popular joke amongst electricians is, "Red to red, black to black... blue to bits!"

"What?" you will exclaim in horror "That level of incompetence is a potential killer!" You will, no doubt, go on to opine that, "If I was that bad at my job I'd be fired!" What the f...? Why's he writing about this now? Where's the political stuff, the pejorative condemnation of the human race? Well, calm down, it's coming right up.

You see, I'm not singling out electricians, it's the same for plumbers, builders, bus drivers, accountants, opticians, tax officials, doctors, lawyers, software engineers, hardware engineers, designers of every persuasion. It's true of law-makers, politicians, economists, churchmen, policemen, pilots, warriors and even, yes even the government. Especially the government... every government that has ever existed. My theme today is the general, all-pervading incompetence of most people and one of the biggest problems is that the incompetent are usually blissfully unaware of their ineptitude. In every branch of human endeavour the vast majority operate at well below 'average'.

The article linked to (above) attributes to Bertrand Russell the quote that, “the trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

And yet we sort of get away with it; we muddle through. One of the good things, I suppose, is that we cover for each other and sweep a lot of fucked-up stuff under the carpet, but is that good enough? In the tough times we currently face it strikes me that if we could just raise our game a little we'll be through the worst so much more quickly. Because it turns out the cure for unconscious incompetence is to face up to it and take steps to improve our own abilities.

Take the NHS for instance; instead of bitching about whose fault it is maybe everybody involved, from politicos down, should just take a minute to look in the mirror.

I started out talking about electricians and rings: some sources (almost certainly incorrect - incompetent historians, perhaps?) associate the children's rhyme Ring-a-Ring o' Roses with the Great Plague, the Black Death. Well, if we don't get with the programme and educate our way out of incompetence we might just all fall down.

This cartoon is for John. (B6 7BU)
(Read the caption again... properly this time! )

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Life's a Drag

Life has a habit of getting in the way of whatever it is you feel you're supposed to be doing. Don't you just hate that? Lately, for me, life has been full of work; not the kind of work that fills your days and makes you content, but the kind of uphill trudge that makes you long for retirement. Or death. Whichever comes first (and at times either option seemed equally attractive).

I have a ‘friend’ who’s been having trouble getting it up lately, so I said I’d give him a hand. Well, as with so many things it was simple, really. We worked up a bit of a sweat with the preliminaries as I checked out his package. It was quite small at first, but once he got it out I could see what a handful it was going to be. Anyway, I watched while he had a go and I could see the problem straight away. Mindful of how huge and unwieldy it was, he’d been yanking away far too vigorously and that’s never going to get you anywhere. So, with my help and a couple of gentle tugs we had it all the way up and he went off like a good ‘un with a big smile on his face.

To relieve the stress and soothe the fevered brow, I like to toss myself off as often as I can. If the weather is nice I will go to a local beauty spot, whip it out, get it up, turn into the wind and gently toss myself off in full view of the gathered crowd. Oh yes, sometimes there’s an audience. Just as with dogging, there are only certain places you can do it without being chased off by angry landowners or gawped at by roving bands of rowdy ramblers.

But once you’re up it’s fine and on a good day you can stay up for hours. Sometimes you’ll be up until the setting sun brings you back to terra firma, where you’ll often get a full video debrief of your activities. You do have to be careful you don’t get sunburn though – it’s not normal to be exposed for such long periods.

So, yesterday I got it out at the Long Mynd in Shropshire. It was pretty stiff, but I managed to handle it and tossed myself off for over an hour. It was pretty intense – slowly pushing forward then slipping back, occasionally trying a new position or a different grip (your arms do get tired after a long one) all the way up to the climax, when I embarrassed myself and made a horrible mess. 

It’s a shame when you get dragged like a rag doll after a perfectly good landing. Still, you can’t win ‘em all. So I picked myself up, dusted myself down, packed up my paraglider and went home for a well-earned wank. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Solar Senility

The Ides of March are almost upon us. Beware.Waking in a cold sweat I stop breathing and listen. I swear I can hear them climbing the walls, crawling over the roof. Legions of slithering milibands and other creatures, who would harry and harm a man. I pull the blankets closer and begin my new morning routine, visualising my stores and counting the hours before I have to go out for supplies.

I listened to the wireless again yesterday. There are reports of suffering from all over the country; helpless people crying out for deliverance. Some are having to do without their chauffeurs and nannies, or having to keep their car for a third year. Some are even being asked to work for their living. It's terrifying. I radioed out for help, "Can you hear me, motherfucker?" I asked. No reply.

Nope, no good. I reckon it's the solar flares. I've been cooped up in here for days now. It's so long since I heard or saw another human and now I'm running out of soup. I like soup. Soup is good. It protects you from all manner of things... but now I'm running out.

The horror.

For all I know, civilisation is on the brink, or over it. I had a power cut the other night and strange, alien noises started up outside my window. An unholy clamour of sirens, alarms... the dying howls of long neglected sentinels. They persisted for a while but then they stopped. It's silent out there now, but I dare not look to see if the danger has passed. To do that I'd have to scratch a hole in the black paint on my windows and then 'they' would be able to look in. For all I know they are listening right now... I'm glad I'm not paranoid.

It's time to act. I need to get away before it's too late. I need more soup. I'm going to leave the safety of my blankets, put on my hat and venture outside.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Go on. Hate me...

Oh, I adore Melanie Phillips. Really, I do. She is like the living embodiment of my ideal woman... 'cept, maybe, I wouldn't. (Soz Mel, you know how it is, right?)

Ever since, as a very young boy, I used to go to the Council Offices to collect what was then called 'Family Allowance', I have railed against the sheer, unmitigated stupidity of paying unfit people to breed. Well, I am posi-lutely, abos-tively 100% behind Ms Phillips' unarguable thesis that this is a payment that benefits nobody.

Cut child benefit. Cut it absolutely and cut it now.

If you can't afford children then - by every rational measure - you shouldn't have them. If you create children for whom you can create no future, you are a selfish monster . How dare you blackmail me into supporting them?

I have nothing more to add - you can't argue against the truth.

Birthday boy.

Fuck off... it's my birthday.

What do you want? Blood, already?

Move along now. There's nothing to see here...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Too Cool for Skool

I teach, sort of. I get paid to talk to people. I do it all day long, with a few, very short breaks for breath and sanity. When I'm not being paid I feel cheated if people try to strike up a conversation for free. I wonder if I can get a taxi-meter that I could wear? Worth a thought.

 I get home on a Friday night and think to myself - bliss, quiet... now if only the neighbours would shut the fuck up. And I turn on the telly, or listen to the news, or go online (where I can pretend to conviviality) and much of what I see is people attempting to engage one another by discussing what's 'cool'.

Somebody tweeted at around six o'clock on Sunday morning, asking if anybody had been up all night, thus proving themselves 'cool' (it was pretty chilly, I'll admit) or whether they, like the tweet-author ('twauther') had simply got up early on a weekend, which apparently made them sad and old. It made me think about the whole farcical business of being cool  - I hope it's something you grow out of, although I confess I never really grew into it.

Staying up all night isn't so much cool as stupid and drunk - but we've all done it. We've all been young and stupid and gullible. I never 'got' The Smiths, but some fans were so credulous as to believe sticking a gladioli up your arse was 'cool' for a while. Afghan coats, Bay City Roller trouser-ettes, smoking, believing that caffeine and added marketing will give you wings - they're all just daft ways of spending money to feed the pressure of peers.

I have felt the pull, but found the gravity of the in-crowd too weak to attract me for long. I'm happy in my own little orbit. Independence is truly cool but you humans don't seem to like that at all. You are attracted to the individual, the rebel, then spend your time slavishly copying said renegade until you all look exactly the same. Didn't that ever strike you as odd?

I reckon you try for cool because beautiful is unattainable - we're all essentially ugly. Have you ever properly looked at real people? The ones in the street, the ones in your street? Ugly, ugly, ugly. I don't find people in general attractive at all and our ideals are so far removed from truth as to be virtually unrepresented in real life. Men in particular are turned on by cartoonish exaggerated features. Even I go a bit gaga for Jessica Rabbit yet tits like that would be abhorrent formless, flobbery  bags of fluid in real life. I shudder at the very thought.

But wait, you say (I know you so well) MY beloved is beautiful. Of course he/she is; they're not wrong when they talk about chemistry. There are also numerous references to the intoxication of love; of love as a drug. So, putting two together (see what I did) I've solved the mystery of the game of love - it's the coolest drug on the planet, the drug at the heart of cool; the one you most want to be addicted to.

Love - helping a fundamentally ugly species 
procreate since the dawn of time.