Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Female Only Carriage Idea

Typically just days after saying i agree with most things that Jeremy Corbyn says, he says something i disagree with, support fort all female carriages on public transport. 
On the face of it, the idea that lone female travellers can be made to feel safer by offering them a space of their own sounds a decent one but it does smell of prevention and not cure.
By providing female only carriages, the onus is put squarely on women to prevent the harassment they experience rather than treat the problem of men harassing women.
It is a relation to the depressing idea that women wearing a short skirt or drinking alcohol on a night out are somehow 'asking for it' and so any woman boarding a mixed-gender train carriage would end up being considered culpable if she is then assaulted.
The message seems to be aimed at women as 'don’t put yourself in a position to be assaulted', instead 'don't assault' where it should be aimed, at the men who do the assaulting.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Arresting Netanyahu

A petition calling on the UK government to arrest Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza when he arrives in London has garnered more than 80,000 signatures. But David Cameron’s government says they can't because Netanyahu has diplomatic immunity.   
The petition, posted on the UK government’s website, has already been signed by over 86,000 Brits and when it reaches 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament but the Government has stepped in already with a statement that reads: 'Under UK and international law, visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained'.
Although the Government won't do anything, i am sure that Mr Netanyahu will receive a warm and generous welcome from the British people, something along the lines of what George W Bush got when he last came here or Tony Blair receives whenever he steps out in public.
The petition is here.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Jeremy Corbyn Dilemma

It is a usually good thing that people have different thoughts on things although obviously if everyone shared my thoughts and ideals the World would be a much nicer place but unfortunately some people disagree with me so we have the train wreck of a right wing Government vandalising the country.
The Labour Party is set to declare its new leader and the very left-wing Jeremy Corbyn is placed to
pick up the mantle left by Ed Miliband and plonk his backside on the bench opposite David Cameron as the leader of the opposition. 
This does give me and people like me a predicament because i agree pretty much with everything Jeremy Corbyn stands for but i can't see him bringing across the voters who deserted the Labour Party at the last election.
With the SNP accounting for almost 50 former Labour seats in Scotland, Labour are going to have their work cut out to attract voters who went for UKIP or the Tories last time and Corbyn is too far from the centre to reel them in.
The predicament then is whether to vote for another candidate for the good and electionability of the Labour Party or vote for the one who most closely represents our views.
We can vote for Corbyn and stay true to our own values but see the Conservatives celebrating again in five years or go for Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper who tick less boxes on our values list but have a better chance of removing Cameron from number 10.
It should be a tough choice but the bottom line is we want to remove the Tories and we should vote for the one who give us the best chance of doing that and i'm afraid that isn't Corbyn so it's a case of wrinkling your nose while keeping your fingers crossed for a Yvette Cooper victory.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Less Perseid Meteors These Days?

This year was perfect meteor watching time with no moon polluting the sky so all that was required was to tilt the deckchair towards the W in the sky (Cassiopeia) and hope the clouds played nicely.    
Of the three premium nights, one had a thunderstorm of biblical proportions and one was just too cloudy to see anything but the main night of the 13th/14th August was crystal clear and we sat around until silly o'clock drinking hot chocolate and ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the shooting stars.
Maybe it is like most things as you get older, but i am sure that when i stood in a dark field decades ago there were more meteors streaming across the sky then there have been in recent years. 
Where it would be the promised two or three meteors a minutes we witnessed, there does seem to be longer gaps between the flashes in the sky these last few years.       
We were in the darkest place in England on the main night so it can't be blamed on increased light pollution as it was impossibly dark and the milky way was easily visible above our heads but something seems to have changed.
As the Swift-Tuttle comet has been making visits through our planets orbit for millenniums it could be that the remnant stream is drying up as the comet shrinks slightly every 130 years when it comes back to fly past the Sun or possibly the comets angle has changed slightly by interaction with Jupiter or some other planet and we are not quite in the stream anymore.
It could just be that it is exactly the same as previous years and it is my memory that has gone wonky and not the comet at all.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Wasps

Modern Man has been decorating the planet for just over 4000 years and in that time we have developed computers, space flight and television.
Wasps on the other hand have been around since the Jurassic period, 200 million years, and to my knowledge they have not invented anything so it is a fairly safe assumption that if they were going to chip in with any thing at all, they would have done it by now.
I can think of no other use for wasps who seem to exist just to bother us humans whenever we step outside the front door and as far as i can tell we could wipe them all out with no damage to the eco-system apart from a few less eaten nymphs on leaves.
As i seem to have spent the best part of this summer shrieking and flapping my arms around like a demented windmill, i would like to put forward a movement to the European Union, United Nations, NATO or who whoever controls these things that wasps should be eradicated from the face of the planet.
I propose leaving a few thousand opened cans of Dr Pepper on an uninhabitated Island and then firebombing it therefore ensuring that picnickers will no longer be troubled by the spiteful little buggers.
Of course, if they are about to announce a new mode of transport fuelled by cold fusion or a time machine we should reconsider but if not, break out the Dr Pepper.  

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Bands Made In Heaven And Hell

So there was God and i sitting on his cloud and pondering what to get Jesus for his birthday. The little nipper has got everything he could ever want when suddenly the big guy hits upon the idea of bringing together the finest dead musicians in heaven for a Happy Birthday Jesus concert.
God being a bit on the lazy side (he doesn't do Sunday's), delegated it to me to set off and track down the best dead musicians for a five piece band.
I don't know many dead drummers, apart from The Who's Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin's John Bonham so i was about to plump for one of them until i remember the great drumming on 'Wipe Out' by the Safari's. Luckily for us although not so much for him, Ron Wilson died of a brain aneurysm in the 80s so i hand him the sticks and plonk him down behind the drum kit.
The bass player was a choice of another dead 'The Who' musician, John Entwistle or Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy. Lynott it is then.
Rhythm guitar was handed to Joe Strummer and lead to Jimi Hendrix with a warning to not do any of that weird feedback crap or he is out. And put that joint out hippy.
Frontman is a toughie. The ultimate in cool Kurt Cobain or the ultimate showman Freddie Mercury. Freddie gets the nod.
So my final line up for the best band made up of famous dead musical types is:
Ron Wilson (Drums), Phil Lynott (Bass), Joe Strummer (Rhythm Guitar), Jimi Hendirx (lead Guitar) and Freddie Mercury (Vocals).
First up on the playlist, "Sympathy for the Devil", that should go down a storm up here.
When he heard about the gig old Beelzebub himself sidled up to me and said: "You know that scene at the very beginning of Nightmare Before Christmas, the one where Pumpkin Jack comes back to his Halloween World after a successful nights Halloweening and they have a concert". I replied that i was aware of it.
"That's what we need here" he stated, leaning forward from his fiery throne and handing me an order to round up the best musicians presently residing in Hell for a Halloween Night Concert.
Never one to turn down a man armed with a pitchfork and horns, i set about getting together the best band from not so nice dead musicians.
Bass guitar was easy, girlfriend murderer Sid Vicious. Luckily he was on his way to Michael Jackson's house and Jackson was more than happy to join the band as lead singer.
Finding a drummer was proving difficult, especially as hammer wielding mother killer Jim Gordon was still alive but there was only one man to hand the lead guitar to, Lead Belly. Never a man to talk to his relatives when he could shove a knife in them instead.
Still leaves me struggling to find a drummer so i guess i will have to fit a drum machine until a notorious drummer turns up down there.
First song up, Knocking on Heavens Door. Old Nick will love that. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

You're Fired

It's never easy sacking anyone but sometimes there is just too many people and not enough money to go around so the only option is to let someone go.
As we know, the global economy has run out of money so there are just too many countries and not enough money but which country should we wag the 'you're fired' finger at?
Maybe we can discuss it over a cup of tea (Chinese invention) coffee (Ethiopian invention) or a coke (American invention). Beer (Syria) and wine (Georgia) will also be made available.
If every country can send a representative and put forward a case as to what they have given that has benefited mankind, we can get rid of the one that has offered the least.
Those that can't get here by bicycle (German), car (German), plane (American) boat (Egyptian) train (British) or hot air balloon (French) can possibly link up via the computer (British) or telephone (British).
As we are waiting, maybe we can listen to a CD (Dutch/Japanese), read a book (China), listen to the radio (Serbian/American) watch a film (French), play a video game (American) or watch some TV (British) although i will have to get some batteries (Italian) for the remote control (American).
I have printed (China) the criteria onto paper (China) so we can sift through the evidence of who has not been pulling their weight when it comes to making our time here more bearable.
I would like to do it democratically (Greek) but i think out of the major G20 countries, there are two countries that stand out as not really having contributed much if anything.
Further investigation shows that Canada gave us the foghorn, gas mask, trivial pursuit, insulin, pacemaker and the Wonderbra which are all very important so i'm afraid that the decision has been made.
Unfortunately giving us the didgeridoo, dual flush toilet, a stick that comes back to you when you throw it and Rolf Harris just doesn't cut it so Australia, please empty your desk and form an orderly queue and make your way to the exit. Thank you for the...well... not much to be honest. You're fired.
Are they gone? Good, never liked them, always whinging about something. Right, who has the fireworks (China) and champagne (English)?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

When I Become The USA President

When i grow up i'm going to become the President of The United States of America and boy will there be some changes when i have my Barbie slippers under the Oval Office desk.
First up, the only thing the cold dead hands will be grasping would be thin air as guns would be licensed and the licence would have to be renewed annually and be set at an exorbitant price and so would the ammunition, i would tax it to high heaven so yes, you are welcome to own a gun but you will have to sell your first born to pay for it.
With that settled i would then ban that American tradition that drives me nuts of applauding after every sentence when someone is speaking. The amount of times i have given up listening to someone speak because the audience are so moved by the oration that they burst into applause whenever a full stop looms up in the conversation. Just let the man finish and then you can clap until your hands bleed for cripes sake. 
Then there is the 'have a nice day' thing which would be gone, gone, gone. While it is perfectly polite, it's just so fake. I imagine myself saying 'well i was going to have a crap day but you have gone and ruined that now, because of you i'm going to have to have a nice day, damn you shop assistant'. Anyone heard to utter the HAND farewell will be legally banned from dealing with customers for a month or until they learn that being so bloody cheerful first thing in the morning when all i am thinking about it how i can make sure my day is going to be crap is unacceptable.
With less Americans being shot, less clapping and no more nice days being said, it would be put to the vote that Hollywood can only make films with either George Clooney, Johnny Depp, David Boreanaz or Brad Pitt in them.
Possibly Kevin Bacon and Steve Martin but definitely not Jim Carey unless he promises not to pull silly faces in them. They also legally have to start remaking Buffy and Angel again with the original cast. I would also reduce the ridiculous amount of advertisement breaks in the TV shows, that must drive you guys crackers especially as i use the advert breaks to make a cuppa, i would wear my kettle out within a week after being there.
Finally, with my popularity blooming and the America voters hoping the law can be changed so i can serve a third term, i would hit them with the letter U being put back into words. Partly because it makes my spellchecker which keeps reverting to American English go into meltdown but mainly because IT'S A VOWEL.
Then, as i am in the death throws of my Presidency and before i leave to live out my time on a ranch in Montana, i would declare those idiotic people who turn up to Evangelist shows and wave their hands about and contribute to the speakers bulging bank balance mentally unsafe and unable to operate heavy machinery until they promise to stop being so silly.
That's my manifesto America, vote for me and never be told to have a nice day ever again. You know it makes sense.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Welcome To England

England, where those feet in ancient time walked upon England's green and pleasant land according to William Blake but the only feet here over the next few weeks will be guests visiting our shores for the 2012 Olympics.
Just as Frenchman wear striped shirts and berets and Germans exist on a diet of beer and sausage, what can our visitors expect from the English and are the stereotypes even close? Allow me to give you a heads up on us English so you are prepared.
The most obvious one is that we drink tea by the gallon and that's true. I am drinking one now as i type this actually so expect to see us with a mug or a cup and saucer under our nose at all times.
The second obvious one is we apologise all the time and that's another true one but sorry doesn't always mean sorry when we say it. It could mean i apologise for spilling you tea but it could mean could you repeat that or then again it could also mean i don't have a clue what you are talking about which leads us to number three, slang language.
The English have a perfectly good language but we do tend to use other words to mean something so for example a dog is a phone, Alan is knickers and plates are your feet. Don't worry, you will pick it up.
England is driven by class from the snobs to the chavs. If you have a big flash car you may think you will be applauded for working hard to afford such a delightful machine but not here, you will be called a flash git and someone will try and nick your wheels the second you stop at a traffic light.
Do mention the Second World War, we won that one so ignore the 'don't mention the War' mantra, mention it at every opportunity because we do.
There is usually confusion about what is Britain and what is England with most foreign people considering it the same thing. It isn't but it really annoys the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish and that's not a bad thing.
Finally you will see a lot of flags around, the English St George Cross and the Union Flag which you may think is very patriotic but in fairness, we have just not taken them down from the Queen's Jubilee.
So basically, to integrate yourself with the English while you are here, drink lots of tea and throw your empty cups at anyone in a big car while talking about the War and how much your plates ache and you will be fine

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Where Was That F**cking Place Again?

Not for the first time, it seems us English speakers have upset the Austrians, or rather one city in particular.
It seems we have been snickering, amongst other things, at their town name, the gloriously named City of F*CKING.
The Major of F*CKING has been ranting about English-speaking tourists acting out their village's name beneath the sign at the entrance to the town.
First up to defend us as usual is the Germans, with the top knob in the Town of W*NK saying that the F*CKING Major has got it wrong and he should be grabbing the opportunity with both hands as they do in W*NK.
'We have so many visitors coming to W*nk' he explained, 'In summer visitors can take hikes up W**k Mountain, or take it easy in the four seater W*nk cable car that goes all the way to the peak.'
Local tourism chiefs say they realised that their name was a goldmine when it came to attracting English-speaking visitors and sell plenty of W*NK postcards, W*NK sweets and ornaments to show their friends and family of the time they came to W*NK.
A favourite is the photographer who for a small fee will take your picture beside the 'Welcome to W*nk signs.'
The F*CKING Major is not taking the advice of the W*NK's though and is determined to crack down on disrespectful visitors by installing CCTV to deter tourists from lewd behaviour beside their roadsigns.
'We don't find it funny and just want to be left alone' he grumbled so remember that next time you are in central Europe, you are more than welcome to W*NK but make sure you stop before F*CKING.