Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Next Dr Who

Doctor Who is banned in China because the government authorities don’t want to promote anything that could be seen as rewriting history which means that they won't care who become the 13th TARDIS driver.
Rumours abound that the next Timelord could be a female with Phoebe Waller-Bridge name coming up continually especially after the BBC's own show Newsnight saying that: 'Waller-Bridge had denied claims that she’s going to be the first female Doctor but then Joanna Lumley has already played the role for Comic Relief, so that would technically be true'.
Kris Marshall was the leading frontrunner for the role but the latest favourite is Broadchurch actress Jodie Whittaker but the BBC has said that the identity of the latest Doctor will be unveiled after the Wimbledon men’s singles final today.
Capaldi, who replaced Matt Smith in the role in 2013, will relinquish the role after this year’s Christmas special.
Exciting stuff unless your Chinese but as much as a female Doctor would be great, Kris Marshall would be perfect for the role so i guess i am just going to have to sit and watch Federer running around in his tight white shorts for a couple of hours before i find out.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Trump And May Show

What done for Tony Blair was his closeness to George W Bush and one of the things doing for Theresa May is her closeness to the man who overtook Bush as the worst US President in living memory, Donald Trump.
A pathological liar, the links to Russia are the latest in a long line of lies which he or his family dismiss as fake but have turned out to be true.
Within days the 'big nothing-burger', a harmless chat about adoption with a Russian official, went to a confirmed attempt by a foreign nation to undermine Hillary Clinton and American democracy in the 2016 election,  
Following the denials, along came Trump junior himself to release an email chain showing that in fact he took the meeting in anticipation of receiving dirt on his fathers rival on the explicit understanding that this was part of a Russian government effort to help the election of his father. 
Theresa May tied herself to Trump in the first week of his presidency, rushing to Washington to hold his hand and offer him the bauble of a state visit.
When Trump broke from the Paris agreement on climate change, May refused to sign, saying she would raise the subject with him at the G20 meeting only to admit afterwards that she had done no such thing.
When he was widely condemned for leaving his daughter in his G20 seat while he stepped out of a meeting, May, said that she thought it 'entirely reasonable'.
While derided as less than a joke and a liability to keen at arms length around the World, May continues to hitch her star to a President that was always likely to explode in her face.
Already weakened at home by a range of awful decisions, May manoeuvring herself so closely to such an embarrassment of an American President who quite rightly attracts such vitriol is baffling. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Military Life? Think Again

The Human Resources department of the British Army must have quite a tough time dreaming up recruitment ad's because 'come join us and kill people or get killed yourself' isn't that enticing a slogan so it comes up things like 'Travel the World', 'Learn a Trade' or their latest campaign which involves 'Belonging'.
The Army say the campaign is aimed at all backgrounds and certainly not specifically targeted at poorer people from deprived areas, but a leaked document on the This Is Belonging campaign spells out that the key audience is 16- to 24-year-old 'C2DEs', marketing speak for the poorest people from deprived areas.
Exploiting people who don’t have a lot else going for them and taking advantage of that lack of opportunity to fill the military ranks is sneaky but if they can't play on the romance, the glamour and the danger of going to war zones then they have very little else to go with.
The MOD said: 'We are proud of the opportunities serving in the armed forces affords young people that aren’t always available elsewhere, from basic literacy education and support for postgraduate degrees, to high-quality accredited training and unique employment prospects.'
So there you go young people, you aren't going to other countries to possibly die overthrowing leaders our leaders don't like, you are undertaking high quality accredited training which may come in very handy once they have picked up your legs from 200ft away from your body. 
I say to my students or anybody who even contemplates a life in the military, anything, anything at all would be a wiser or more acceptable employment choice and there are numerous cemeteries, hospitals and rehabilitation centers around our country with men and women who would agree and wish they had been told the same thing.
Worse, there are plenty of innocent victims in the same places in countries where our military have been sent in the recent past by our warmongering Government who would say the same thing.

Not Quite Dropping The F-Bomb

I'm not one to casually throw around swear words but maybe that's because i don't have a large enough vocabulary according to the snappily titled: 'Taboo Word Fluency and Knowledge of Slurs and General Pejoratives: Deconstructing the Poverty-of-Vocabulary Myth' from the academic pair of Kristin L.Jay and Timothy B.Jay. 
The report found: 'the ability to generate taboo language is not an index of overall language poverty, rather a voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities rather than a cover for their deficiencies.'
Smart arse academics trying to sound smart-arsey indeed but what it means is that swearing like a tourettes suffering sailor doesn’t mean you’re an oaf, it just means you have a large and colourful vocabulary.
If you don't want people to think you're an idiot, you should start preparing to step up the profanities but you can't go straight to dropping the F-Bomb in company so i would suggest one of the halfway swear words, kinda like a F-hand grenade.
The choices are between fecking, freaking, fricking or fugging so you email Tim or Kritin for example and say: 'You fricking academics don't have a frecking clue what you're talking about, dozy feckers' and you would be taking the first steps to having a large and colourful vocabulary and impressing a couple of scientists with your taboo word fluency.
I imagine they would feckin love that.

Brexit Looking Doubtful

I am still hopeful that at some point in the near future, the Government will look at the Brexit deal on offer, glance at the rapidly emptying coffers and announce that we won't be going through with Brexit after all because it is just too damn expensive and detrimental to the British economy. 
They could blather on about their priority being ensuring the British nation is not left without a pot to pee in then get back into bed with the EU and carry on as if nothing happened.
With the sums being worked out and the Leave campaigns promises being exposed as whopping great lies, their are murmurs that Britain could just not afford the drop of a third in the economy and are looking for a way to back out gracefully, probably via another referendum on the deal on offer where hopefully this time the idiots calling for Brexit are suitably sent to a corner.
A number of senior European figures have said Britain is welcome to change its mind on Brexit and with Theresa May's position looking perilously unsafe, things could very quickly all change.
My view is that we are struggling now, throwing Brexit into the mix and shaving as much as 33% off our already slumping finances is economic suicide and as our Government are elected to do the best thing for us, in this case the best thing would be to hold their hands up and say Brexit is unaffordable and being in charge of our own borders is very little reward for the Brexit slump which would make the last decade of austerity look like a party.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Austerity Hasn't Worked, So Why Persevere With It?

During the election campaign, the Conservatives often made the claim that austerity was working and was needed to bring down the debt.
The answer was they said that their strict measures would clear the debt by 2015 which was then pushed back to 2019 and has now been pushed back again to 2025.
Now austerity is back in the news because the Government are contemplating easing the measures after 7 years of cuts and closures so how much has the measures reduced the debt by?
In 2010, the Great British debt was £845 billion and after 7 years of cuts and austere measures, the debt now stands at £1.6 trillion at the end of July 2016.
So the question is in which way has the Government measures reduced the debt because whichever way you want to spin it, the debt has doubled.
The previous double act of David Cameron and George Osborne and then Theresa May made sure the debate was always about how only they could be trusted to balance the books, or live within our means as the phrase went, but now the cat is out the bag and the hardline austerity since 2010, where everything that could be cut was slashed to the bone, hasn't worked.
We found out the hard way that it was a terrible idea to cut police numbers during the terrorists attacks, the council cuts when the tower block went up in flames, devastating underfunding of the NHS when winter rolls around, closure of Homeless shelters when the city centres shop doorways fill up with the homeless and the 33% rise in suicides amongst benefit claimants who have had their benefits cut.
Austerity hasn't worked and it is hard to believe that the Government has only just worked that out now so we should be asking why was it persevered with and was the Government incompetent or just being ideologically malevolent?

And Then A Bit More Conflict

Don't know if it's just me but the World seems to be heading headlong into a war somewhere with so many countries either facing off with each other or actually already involved in a conflict already.
We can now add China and India pointing fingers at each other to the growing list of possible flashpoints after Chinese and Indian soldiers have been scuffling with each other over the border region of Doklam in Bhutan, which is claimed by China but is supported militarily by India.
America and North Korea, both run by morons, are making threats to annihilate each other and North Korea are pointing their missiles at South Korea and Japan who are buidling up their military around the Korean peninsular.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is threatening to do to Qatar what they are currently doing to Yemen only Qatar is backed with the military might of NATO member Turkey and Middle East powerhouse Iran.
The long running conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan show no sign of abating and it seems everyone and his dog is turning up in the shooting gallery that is Syria.
Libya is beset with conflict and the Turks and Kurds are shooting at each other and the Somalian civil war which began in the early 90s, is still going strong.
India and Pakistan's dispute over the Kashmir region flares up every now and then and Israel continues to kill Palestinians at will with Palestinians returning fire over the border wall and Russia and Chechnya duelling in the North Caucasus.
The obvious worry is that so many nuclear armed countries and some of the largest militaries are involved in squabbles along with some of the most hotheaded leaders of our time.      
If only we put as much effort into peace as we put into making war then the World would be such a better place but unfortunately we never seem to learn which is why national Defence budgets to design, build and buy weapons to kill as many people as possible far outweigh national Foreign Aid budgets to improve and save lives.
Humans, what a bunch of idiots.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Live From 1776

News breaking from Philadelphia, the thirteen American colonies have declared themselves independent and have named themselves the United States of America. 
Let's go straight over to Lucy in 1776, what are you hearing Lucy?
Thanks George, i'm here on the lawn of the Pennsylvania State House and plantation owner, early slave labour adopter and inventor of the swivel chair Thomas Jefferson has just read out a declaration where the thirteen states are no longer under British Rule and have declared themselves an independent nation.
A group calling themselves the Founding Fathers are speaking and although it isn't easy to hear from my position, Jefferson's opening line of 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' bought a few raised eyebrows from the slaves who were listening from the cotton fields alongside us. 
Safe to assume that Slave Traders Robert Morris and Carter Braxton kept their heads down when that bit was written and looking at the morbidly obese Benjamin Franklin, fair to say his girth is equal to three men.
Let's see if we can get a comment from Benjamin Rush who famously said with the right treatment, blacks could be cured and made white, Mr Rush, as a slave owner will you now be freeing your slaves to enable them to take up the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?
Seems Mr Rush isn't keen to speak to us and the only bit i caught was that last word 'Off' he shouted.
It is unsubstantiated that William Whipple, Francis Lightfoot Lee and John Adams wanted a clause inserted to make another unalienable right the right to marry their own relatives, all three men already being wed to their cousins, but more on that later as we watch chaotic scenes as the Founding Fathers try to unfurl the new American flag only to discover that Benjamin Franklin has several chicken legs and half a boar wrapped up in it. A snack for later probably.
So back to you in the studio on this momentous Day when America declares itself independent and we witness the birth of a new country, Benjamin Franklin's latest chin and 200 years of making fun of the way they say Aluminium and refuse to use the letter U in words.   
Thanks Lucy, now the weather...

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The King Is Back

Don't know if it is me getting older or Hollywood is to blame but i seem to be visiting the cinema less and less each year and looking at the list of upcoming films this year the cinema seat will be safe from my backside again this year until at least September when Stephen King's 'IT' arrives.
It would be fair to say that i fell out of love with Stephen King and his novels a few years ago, the decade between the 1998 and the late 2008 was a slog even for a keen King fan like myself but thankfully the King is back and 11/22/63 was a s good a King novel and anything he put out in his heyday.  
Luckily through the lean years we had the King adaptations on our TV screens and films in the cinema and 2017 sees four adaptations to feast upon, the Dark Tower, IT, The Mist and Castle Rock TV Series which is a mash up of Stephen King characters.
Boom times are here for Stephen King then and although there is a fair amount of snobbery about King books from literary types, you don't get to have such a long list of books and TV adaptations without being a great story teller and King, despite his wobble which followed his accident, has been at the top of that list since the mid 70s when he threw his book Carrie at us.
To many King is a Horror writer but those of us who have been what he calls 'constant readers', he is so much more and has an impressive body of work that means generations to come will be able to understand just why he may not be the best writer of our generation but is overwhelmingly the most popular.

How The X Factor Works

Seems you can't turn on the TV without seeing a show trying hard to 'discover' the next singing sensation and despite 13 years of X Factor not discovering one, okay possibly Leona Lewis, they still keep going and Simon Cowell and his gang are about to hit our screens again every Saturday and Sunday evening for the next five months.  
Luckily we know what songs we can expect to hear from this series of wannabe pop stars because luckily, they always sing the same ones so the top tune sang across all the Singing Talent shows according to Vulture Lists is 'I Have Nothing' by Whitney Houston.
Then is it 'Feeling Good' by Nina Simone, 'Piece of My Heart' by Janis Joplin, 'Alone' by Heart and 'Don’t Let the Sun Go Down Me' by Elton John.
Always amazes me how nobody seems to have cottoned on to how these shows are actually run and the manipulation of the voting system is glaringly obvious so the winner is always who they want it to be.
The shows production staff get to study the public's weekly voting patterns in detail and hence know exactly the levels of popularity that each contestant is enjoying.
When the presenter reads out the voting results each week and says 'in no particular order' there are plenty of production staff sitting there thinking 'we know the order'.
The nation thinks anybody could win, but from day one they know who's a hero and who's a zero and if A would be more of a money spinner than B but B is more popular then they can edit against B, give B a poor song and hand A a real stormer or give the 'standing applause' and gushing comments to A and give the 'bad week' or 'hope you survive this week' speech to B and if all else fails, it's the bottom two and the judges get to remove one from the competition and you can rest assured they know who to get rid of or if the 'public vote' will return the singer they want which gives the impression that it was the people making the premium rate phone calls who did it. 
After the first few weeks they can see who is leading the pack but they don't want us to know that they know because then it stops any semblance of it being a competition and people stop phoning in and Simon Cowell's bank balance takes a hit and he doesn't want that.  
The only time it is a real competition is the final but by then they have manipulated it so the one they want to win has the best chance of taking home the title, the contract and the chance to become forgotten before we break out the chocolate for the Easter weekend.
Of course knowing all this takes away the fun now you know when someone gets handed 'Angels' and a standing ovation from the judges while another gets to sing 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool' and told it wasn't their best performance exactly what's going on behind the scenes.

Happy Birthday To You Canada

Happy Birthday Canada, 150 today and one of the few countries on the Planet that nobody seems to have a bad word against.
The annual seal slaughter is a black mark against your otherwise good name but leaving that to one side you are Globally well liked and considered America's more well behaved little brother.
Canada is the second largest country, has a great looking flag, dress their police force in a blindingly bright red uniform, share a Queen with us Brits and play ice-hockey but otherwise it's mostly known for not being very well known.
The election of the very engaging Justin Trudeau in 2015, has improved the Canadian image abroad which was previously a bit safe and boring but he has taken to the global stage to talk climate change, welcoming 30,000 Syrian refugees and refusing to buckle under the President of their noisy, less well behaved neighbour.
Most of us over here think of the average Canadian as a slimmer, better looking American without the gun fetish but Canada is not a force in the affairs of the World as its size suggests it should be but things do seem to be shaking up there in the top half of the North American continent.
It is a good thing that Canadians don't turn on the TV to see an angry mob burning the Canadian flag and calling for the death of their Prime Minister but they need to become more engaged in World politics.
If it could just stop hacking seal cubs to death and pretending it isn't for the fur it would almost be the perfect country but it is still a constant reminder to America that if it hadn't chucked our tea in the river and gone warmongering mental all those years ago, Canada is the country that America could have been.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Does Brexit Still Mean Brexit?

EU Ambassadors have started to review whether the UK will reverse its Brexit decision in light of the election result, with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggesting the UK might realise at some point that 'it made a mistake'.
I still hold a little hope that the Government will wise up to what we are throwing away and realise that it will be far too detrimental to the country and our finances and call the whole thing off but that is not the signs that i am seeing.
At least the Hard Brexit option which the Conservatives were bizarrely proudly trumpeting before they suffered humiliation at the voting booth has died down but they are still saying we will be leaving the single market and the customs union come what may although the figures of what this act of economic suicide will cost the country.
We still have 18 months of negotiations to go, not sure why they triggered Article 50 in March only to waste 3 months of the 24 and start start negotiating in June but the whole Brexit thing has been a shambles from the start.
We can hope it won't happen, but i fear that it probably will and we will regret it immediately and within the decade be crawling back asking to rejoin the club because our finances will quickly show what an monumental act of stupidity the 52% has foisted upon us.

Not Ready For Mars Missions

After far too long, Space is sexy again with a regular supply of Space related stories with Japan announcing today that they plan to build a space station in the Moons orbit by 2030.
The announcement comes as China and India are planning ambitious space programmes with both looking to land probes on Mars while the USA are planning to send astronauts to Mars by 2033.
While all eyes seemed to be swiveled towards Mars, overlooking the Moon seems a fundamental error.
We have a ready made practice site 4 days travel away where we can perfect building bases and living on an alien planet before looking further afield.
Mars is 240 million miles and a 6 month each way trip away but we haven't been back to the Moon since 1972 which i find a major disappointment especially as we seem to be making the jump straight to colonising Mars.
There is no Space race this time so there is no need to nations to compete with each other to send an astronaut to plant a flag in the Martian soil, we can all join up and do it together by first colonising the Moon.
Rather a case of running before we can walk and by making a second home on the moon, and building a space station in orbit around it, this could be one of the first of many stop-offs because that is what we will need as we venture further out into the Solar System, stop off points.
A trip to Mars is six months out and for all out technology, the human body is unable to handle the lack of gravity as we see from those returning from the International Space Station who are greeted by Gravity and a hospital worth of medical services.
All which makes the talk about manned Mars Missions far fetched until science develops a way to travel faster then we can currently to shorten the trip, develop some form of artificial gravity aboard the rockets or we create a string of fully equipped regular stopping off points and that's where we should be looking.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Sausage 'Puff Dog' Roll

US grocery chain Trader Joe’s have announced a 'genius new invention' which they have called 'puff dogs' and are sausages inside puff pastry.
Probably not such genius to anyone who has walked past a Gregg's over the last few decades and seen a window full of them but Trader Joe’s say their puff dogs are a twist on the classic on the hot dog and instead of bread rolls, they have used sausage wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
Of course it is nothing like the good old British sausage roll which is flaky puff pastry wrapped around a sausage so it isn't as if Trader Joe has nicked our idea, given it another name and called it a genius new invention.
They have even included a users guide on how to eat the sausage roll puff dog which they advise can be eaten on their own but they recommend dipping them in your favourite condiments.
As a vegetarian i swerve the whole eating sausage roll thing but from what i can gather, the proper way to eat them is to bite off the top and then flap your arms around as it burns your vocal chords so lets see if Americans pick up on this time honoured tradition also.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Smells Like Space To Me

As astronaut Tim Peake continues his tour around schools and colleges, he has answered a question that has never occurred to me but obviously did to the 8 year old that asked it, what does Space smell like?
The UK astronaut likened it to metallic burning type aroma like hot metal, welding fumes and barbecue but nailed it down as like 'burning sausages on a charcoal grill'.
There you go then, next time you get accused of burning the sausages at the summer barbecue, say you are recreating the smell of the Cosmos and call them Space Sausages.

Spending £1.5 Billion

Since 2008, the economic crash and resulting austerity measures has been a great cover for the Government to do what it wants and with an ideological right wing Conservative Government in power since 2010, they really have made hay while the austerity sun shined.
Every cut has been ushered in with the mantra that it is all about cutting the deficit and making sure that 'we live within our means' but that has all fallen apart as the Government shuffle £1.5 billion towards the DUP in order to guarantee their backing and the those crucial 10 seats in Parliament which gives them a wafer thin majority.
While the Labour Party plans before the election were ridiculed as unaffordable and would mean taxes having to go up to fund them, i wonder what Labour was proposing and the Conservatives dismissed which would have cost less than the £1.5 billion bribe to buy the DUP.

Nationalising the Royal Mail would have cost £0.8bn, but would mean tax rises to pay for it so said the Tories.
Nursery Access for all children came with a bill of £0.3 billion but was weaved away as unaffordable by Theresa May.
Those 10,000 extra police officers came with a price tag of £0.3 billion but the Conservatives said too expensive.
Restoring bursaries for nursing students would cost £0.6 billion but the coffers were bare so said the Treasury.
Increase State Pension for lowest earners, £0.3bn but waved away as not an option in thes times of austerity.

Any one of these policies, or a combination of some the smaller ones, could have been paid for rather than make a shabby deal with the DUP but i'm sure it won't stop the Conservatives repeating the same old line about reducing the deficit, living within our means or reducing the deficit, delete as applicable.
Seems there is always money available for wars and propping up a crumbling Government.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Who Is The Lunatic Nazi?

North Korea have followed up their assertion that Donald Trump is a lunatic by likening him to Adolf Hitler.
The comparison is of course absurd, people liked Adolf Hitler when he first came to power and nobody liked Donald Trump when he took over so that falls at the first hurdle but let's persevere with the North Korean Thread.
Both blames a specific group of immigrants for all their problems, Trumps has his Muslims and Mexicans to Hitlers Jews, they both replaced the top tier of Government to install friendly faces and appealed to the common lowest denominator in society.
Throw in that he used to keep a copy of Hitler's speeches by his bed and the North Korean link between one of history's most notorious monsters and Adolf Hitler is almost complete. 
No Brits wanted to see Adolf or Trump land here also but the last piece in the jigsaw is the genital deformation, Hitler only had one testicle and Trump has a tiny penis and there you have it, conclusive proof that Trump is the new Hitler and the North Korean leader has the lunatic American President's number.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Looking Again At Labours Privatisation Plans

If you think that the twists and turns of British politics has turned its last twist then you could be in for a surprise as Theresa May still has to get her ‘Queen’s Speech’ programme for government through the Commons and if she fails to do that then the leader of the next-largest party would get a chance to become Prime Minister, in this case Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party.
As we may yet have a Labour Party ruling over us it is worth looking at their manifesto just in case and the stand out pledge for me is to nationalise large swathes of what the Conservatives sold off.
For me, privatisation has been one of the great pups sold to the public because to be frank, it just doesn't work.
Nobody can argue that since they went private the rail, utility, mail or water industries have been more efficient, generated investment, lowered costs or saved jobs.
What actually happened is large scale redundancies, prices sky-rocketed and the previous British companies are largely in the hands of a small group of international investors who pay themselves billions in dividend payouts and as we found out recently, tax free.
The promised benefits of market competition have never materialised as the energy companies colluded to rise prices ensuring consumers are shafted whichever way they turn.
Under Labours plan, they would transfer ownership and responsibility for our utilities to publicly-owned bodies bringing utilities back into public hands and putting the massive profits directly into Government coffers and bringing down household bills.
Privatisation has been the exact opposite of what the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron promised us and the Conservatives are eyeing up the NHS, the jewel in the state run crown, and if anybody believes that having a company running our Health Service for a profit will improve standards or keep it free to use, then they should cast an eye across the Atlantic to
America and ask themselves why would would we want to replace the NHS with a system of Health care where the ability to pay for treatment is the first question asked.
The privatisation experiment has failed as it is blatantly obvious that it increase costs and lowers the quality of services because it is impossible for the private sector to deliver the same service for less and still make a profit and making a profit is the bottom line for businesses.

Why Bad News Sells

Why does the News only show negative things is a question i have been asked a few times and my usual response is to shrug and waffle something about bad news sells.
Until know i had no real basis but science has come to the rescue and The London School of Economics and Political Science has done the research and found that newspaper and magazine sales increase by approximately 30% when the cover is negative rather than positive.
Of course editors know this, the 'if it bleeds, it leads' mantra is commonplace but as the boffins at LSEPS explain, there is a reason why we are drawn to the negative. 
The conclusion they have reached is that it all comes down to what us humans decide to pay attention to and it is evolutionary advantageous to heed negative information as the potential costs of negative information far outweigh the potential benefits of positive information therefore the brain is predisposed towards focusing on negative information.
News content is predominantly negative because humans tend to be more attentive to negative information and as long as that continues the lead stories on newspaper front pages and the lead stories on broadcast media will always be a negative one to grab the readers or viewers attention.
Thanks science, you came good yet again.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Win-Win

Prince Harry says that nobody in the royal household wants to be the next king or queen, but will carry on out of public duty.
Lucy says feel free to bugger off then Harry and take the rest of your family with you. 
In an interview about the his life and the future of the monarchy, the Queens grandson of the Queen said there is no one in the Royal Family who would like to inherit the throne.
As well as public duty, the £36.1m per year the Government hands over to the Royals is a great sweetener but if the Royals want to step aside, i'm sure Britain would manage perfectly well without them, we could even take it in turns to live in one of the Palaces and drive around in a carriage waving at people every couple of days.
They don't want to do it, we don't much care about them doing it so send in a removal van, pack the lot of them off to somewhere out the way and we have an extra £36 million each year to put into our national piggy bank. Everyone's a winner!

Studying Uranus

NASA have announced a mission to study the atmosphere of Uranus and rather predictably the sniggering has begun and headlines about probing Uranus are abound.
As a serious and grown up blog, there won't be any of that here so let us put to one side the schoolkid humour and take a good, long look at Uranus and how important it is to study the gas that emanates from Uranus.
NASA have outlined four possible missions to see what is coming out from Uranus and the rings around Uranus including one which includes dropping a probe into the Planets atmosphere to measure gas and heavy elements.
Scientists wants to probe deeper into Uranus than ever before, previously only taking pictures of the giant as they passed by and revealing it to be both larger and more noxious than expected.
As anyone can see Uranus come into view on any given night, it is about time we reached out to it and fully experienced Uranus and expanded what we know about the unnatural size of Uranus,  the Earth, and all of its people, could fit inside Uranus 63 times over.
As Uranus is very gassy, scientists are not expecting to find life there, nothing could live in the toxic fumes that come from Uranus and it is not a place humans could go to, nobody wants to explore Uranus, so we won't be sending men to have look closer at it.
So let's have a long, hard look at, probe and take some close-up pictures of Uranus and explore one of the mysteries of our universe, and stick a large flag in Uranus.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Non-Islamic Terror

The right wing mouthpieces who usually spit their venom following a terror attack seemed to have gone quiet since the last terror attack was by one of their own.
They were very quick to rant and rave about Islamic terror, some spewing forth while bodies were still being removed, but Nigel Farage, Katie Hopkins and the orange racist in America usually so quick to log into his twitter account, have all decided to give this one a miss which is a shame as they are the ones who have done so much to drive the Islamophobia that resulted in a dozen of them being driven into outside a North London mosque.
It is reported that attacks on mosques or Muslim centres take place less than once every fortnight in the UK and there has been a five-fold rise in reporting of Islamophobic crimes following the Manchester attack and a two-fold rise after the London Bridge atrocity.
The obvious question to ask is are we Brits doing enough to root out extremism in our communities as we ask of the Muslim community after every terror attack and if we hear someone spouting extreme right wing views, should we be reporting them as potential terrorists or is that only done if they are brown skinned and wear a beard?

Phew, What A Scorcher

Climate change deniers will say that it's all fake news made up by China to gain industrial advantages but it has been, apparently, quite warm out in Britain this week.
Monday was Britain’s hottest day of the year, and temperatures reached the dizzy heights of 33C today and more of the same is expected for tomorrow by Wednesday with nighttime temperatures only dropping back to the average for the June daytime.
Brits are not known for their ability to cope in this kind of weather and i make no secret that i hate it but while some are telling us they are having a brilliant time, we know the real truth.
They are sweaty, grumpy through lack of sleep and those shoulders are a little too red to be comfortable but although they won't admit it, we all know they are struggling also.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Not A Good Time For Theresa May

It's hard to feel any sympathy for someone as cold hearted as Theresa May so let's not even try but enjoy the fact that she has had a torrid time of things recently. 
In the space of a few short months she has lost her Commons majority and is now battling for political survival and had to deal with two terrorist attacks and within days of a disappointing election result, the Prime Minister has been accused of a lack of humanity in her response to the Grenfell Tower inferno when she refused to meet residents.
To launch an election campaign while on course for a landslide win and end up with less seats then you began with is a poor show, then the two terror attacks which saw her record on reducing police numbers ruthlessly attacked.
This was quickly followed by her visit to the Grenfell Tower where she only met emergency services and not victims or those made homeless and even die hard Tory and May defender Michael Portillo turned on her citing a 'lack of humanity'.
She still has to tie up a deal with the DUP, start Brexit negotiations and get her much delayed Queen's Speech though Parliament.
As she has done so much to blight the lives of her citizens with her vicious austerity cuts, this is a good time to revel in Theresa May having the boot of Karma giving her backside a good kicking.

Blame For Grenfell Tower Fire

After the shock of the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire comes the anger and quite rightly, fingers are being primed to be pointed at someone but who exactly the buck stops with is still being debated.
The culprit appears to be the cladding on the outside of the building which was not fire resistant and actually eased the fire around the building.
The building firm who installed the cladding, the Kensington and Chelsea council who are in charge of the area and signed off on the job, the Government who cut local authority expenditure, the Fire Services who advised residents stay in their properties or the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) who managed the building.
The investigation will settle any claims of who to blame but someone somewhere messed up horrifically and should be held responsible for what's looking to be a devastating three figure death toll.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Reasons To Be Cheerful

All in all things have been pretty grim recently and after watching the news for a few days you would be excused for thinking everything is going to hell in a handcart but you can either refuse to watch the news anymore and ignore all the war, death and stupid people doing stupid things or take a step back and spend a few moments pondering just the good things we have.
There isn't anything we can do about Donald Trump, Brexit, ISIS, Theresa May or Syria and the media only reports the bad things, the great things in life we have to search out for ourselves, things that make you smile or lift your heart even if only temporarily, things which in my list would be:

Picnics in the park, colourful flowers, baby animals, proper orange juice, football, swearing parrots, Guns N Roses music, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Christmas, slippers, the Moon, David Boreanz, Paris, Marx Brothers, Cheese, Devon, meteor showers, Hotel California song, Kevin Bacon, Stephen King novels, the ending of the 1812 Overture, thunder storms, smartphones, random acts of kindness, Latte, singing in the shower, Christmas Trees, Dr Who, Dave TV Channel, It's a Wonderful Life film, Birthdays, chocolate, summer rain, Arsenal, puppies and kittens, Sweden, fresh crisp bed sheets, snow, my husband, Pirates of the Caribbean films, Morgan Freeman voice overs, fluffy clouds, 1970s photographs, Monty Python, winning on a scratch card, A Christmas Carol, laughing babies, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Michael J Fox, 11/22/36 book, raspberry ripple ice cream, your song on the radio, holidays from work, cream soda and a real fire on cold winter evenings.

When you think about it there are many more things lift us up then bring us down but yes the World can be a harsh, cold and vile place and it does seem to be run by people who really couldn't give a monkeys about the rest of us but as someone almost sang once, when you're feeling sad, simply remember your favorite things and then you won't feel so bad.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Quoting The DUP

In case you been stuck in a cave since Thursday, the abridged version of the last four days is that Theresa May's gamble didn't pay off and she ended up with a hung parliament and has drafted the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with their 10 seats into Government to make up the 326 seats needed to make a Government.
It is fair to say that the religious DUP have some controversial views including not believing in climate change, evolution, not supporting abortion, same-sex marriage or even gay adoption.
But don't let me tell you, let's get it straight from the horses mouth with some recent quotes from the party the Conservatives are cuddling up to: 

On Creationism: 'My view on the earth is that it's a young earth. My view is it was created in 4000 BC'. 2007
On Evolution: 'Certainly not, and there are plenty of other people in this society who don't believe it either'. 2007
On blood donations: 'Someone who has sex with somebody in Africa should be excluded from giving blood'. 2012
On their female leader, Arlene Foster: 'Her most important job is wife, mother and daughter'. 2016
On same-sex marriage: 'I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious' 2005
On LGBT people: 'I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong'. 2005
On gays: 'It wasn’t my wife who determined that homosexuality was an abomination, it was the Almighty' 2008.
On gays (again): 'I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality'. 2008
On women: 'I stand by my faith and the word of God that man was created in the image of God and that woman was created from the rib of Adam to be his helpmate and companion'. 2008
On gay adoption: 'We are moving mountains to facilitate immorality and to bring the rights of lesbians above all others in this country'. 2008
On gay adoption: 'The facts show that certainly you don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship, that a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected in a non-stable marriage'. 2015
On Abortion: 'I would not want abortion to be as freely available here in Northern Ireland as it is in England'. 2016
On Climate Change: 'I don’t care about Co2 emissions to be quite truthful. I still think climate change is a man made con'. 2005

Hmmm, I guess if you are being picky you could point a few things there which may make them unfit to rule over us as part of Government.

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

The plan was Donald Trump gets turfed out of office well before he is due to visit the UK and the invite stupidly handed down from Theresa May gets null and void and America gets a grown up in charge and the streets of the UK avoid being flooded by protesters against the orange face racist.
Now after the election and Theresa May desperately clinging onto power with the aid of the religious nutjobs of the DUP, the last thing she wants is a reminder of that hand holding session at the White House but it seems that Trump may pull out anyway in the wake of his tweet over recent terror attack and his withdrawal from tjhe Paris Climate Agreement.   
It is reported that the man who admitted he paid no income tax and admitted to sexually assaulting women called Prime Minister Theresa May to say he did not want to visit until he had support from the British public which is as good as saying he won't ever be popping over.
It is unknown what Theresa May replied but a Downing Street spokesman said: 'We aren't going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations' although there is a very good chance that she may be booted out of office before him as even her own party are manoeuvring to oust her after he awful election showing.
It could be that she is such a disaster that Trump doesn't want to be seen with her which would suit everyone all round as we don't want him here, he doesn't want to come here, she doesn't want to be seen with him and he doesn't want to be seen with her so let's call the whole thing off and we can keep our placards dry for the demonstrations against next round of Tory austerity cuts and Trump can go visit about the only country where he will he will be welcome, Russia.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Who Are The DUP?

With the Conservatives scrambling around looking to make deals to stay in power, the spotlight has fallen on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) but what do we know about this party set to rule over us and drawn from the protestant side of Northern Ireland’s political spectrum?
What we do know is that they are a deeply religious group far to the right of the Conservatives and the bright, hot light of attention is throwing up some undesirable quotes from the party which should give the Tories pause for thought for exactly who they are now cuddling up to.
The party is the creation of Reverend Ian Paisley who was heavily involved in a campaign against Catholicism and homosexuality and fiercely opposed gay rights, routinely preached against homosexuality and the party picketed gay rights events even after it was decriminalized in Northern Ireland in 1982.
Northern Ireland is the only remaining part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal after the DUP used a controversial veto mechanism to block any change to legislation. 
The party has been the largest in Northern Ireland since 2007 and one of the ten seats belongs to Paisley's son, Ian Jr, who shared his view that he was 'repulsed by gay and lesbianism.'
Another seat is Peter Robinson who said that he 'wouldn't trust Muslims' and backed a pastor who labelled Islam 'satanic' while the education minister said he believed that the earth is 4000 years old and wanted creationism tought with equal weighting as evolution in schools.
Other quotes include homosexuality being labelled as worse than the sexual abuse of children and they hold a policy against abortion and campaign strongly against any extension of abortion rights to the country in line with their deeply rooted religious beliefs.
Hard to believe that it could be that the Conservative may not be the nastiest party in the coalition except on Sundays when the DUP refuse to work, it being the Sabbath and all that.

June Not The End Of May

In wonderful understatement, Theresa May admits the election did not go to plan and boy, did it ever.
The thinking, i presume, was that she would call the election early while Labour was in disarray and her majority of 12 would grow to anything between 80-120 and she would spend the next five years doing as she pleased.
Turned out Labour got their act together and she was an inept as it was possible to be and she not only lost her majority but is now in such a weak position that she is only able to make the numbers work by doing a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party in a coalition, and the DUP will demand a high price for their seats, and even then she will have to run as a minority Government at the whim of any rebellious minister who disagrees with her when she tries to pass any new laws. 
All in all, the can't fail gamble blew up in her face but as much as Labour are celebrating, we still face the prospect of another five years of Conservative rule, although one which will be much easier to defeat in the Commons.
My theory that the reason she went for the election three years early was because she knows what is coming with the Brexit negotiations coming to a head in 2019 and the inevitable tanking of the economy and upheaval which would not play particularly well in the election in 2020.
Can't blame her for being opportunistic, she saw a chance and went for it, but that it failed so miserably means the next five years of her Government, if it doesn't implode before, is going to be a tough slog and even tougher when the Brexit deal is sorted.
The silver lining is the rise of Labour and the demise of UKIP, a stain that hopefully has been washed away, but the Government can't paint this as anything other that a massive exercise in Government self-harm and Theresa May is in a far, far weaker position for the next 5 years than she would have been for the next 3 years if she had settled for what she had.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Still Undecided? What About One Of These?

The British can't take anything seriously, even the matter of electing a Government so on the ballot paper alongside the serious parties are tucked away some lesser parties who will be battling for your X.
The Monster Raving Loony Party, motto 'vote for insanity, you know it makes sense' is standing in Maidenhead and has policies which include introducing a 99p coin and pledges to cut letters from the alphabet.
Next up is Lord Buckethead, who is tempting voters with a policy of free sweets for children and bulldozing Birmingham to make way for an intergalactic spaceport.
Mr Fish Finger main pledges include free fishing rods for students, free fish for NHS workers, unrestricted fish migration and with a nod towards Brexit, has pledged to remove all foreign fish from our fish fingers if he wins on June 8.
Aidan Powlesland says he will dedicate £100 million to the construction of an interstellar colony ship but the Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog main declaration is that they will join the UK to Africa.
The policy of the Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality, include increasing the statutory retirement age to beyond death, finding a cure for Zombie bites and granting the undead the same rights as the living while the Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party manifesto advocates reducing the school leaving age to nine and the annexation of France.
Under UK election law, any candidate running in a constituency election must pay a £500 deposit, which they receive back if they gather over 5% of the vote share so i think whoever gets the £500's from failed candidates will be quids in on Friday morning. 

Avoiding The Difficult Conversations Over Terrorism

It is widely reported that 6% of mosques in the UK are Saudi funded and preach the brutal ideology of Wahabbism which under pain of flogging, prohibits performing or listening to music, dancing, television programs (unless religious), smoking, gambling, chess, playing cards, drawing human or animal figures, acting in a play, writing fiction, sending of flowers, the travelling or working outside the home by a woman without their husband's permission, forbids the driving of motor vehicles by
women, fraternisation with non-Muslims is discouraged.
Wahhabism was identified by the European Parliament as the main source of global terrorism and literature in the Saudi funded mosques have revealed alarming literature distributed by agencies linked to the Saudi Government which states that homosexuals should be burnt, stoned or thrown from mountains or tall buildings and those who changed their religion or committed adultery should
experience the same fate.
An investigation into the foreign funded mosques which support jihadi groups has now been shelved due to the contents being 'very sensitive'.
A decision around the future of the report will be taken 'after the election by the next government' a Home Office spokesman said.
Theresa May may have said enough is enough and there has been 'far too much tolerance of extremism' although that appears to be unless it proves politically sensitive to our largest arms buyer.
All her tough words crumble away if she puts economic benefit by burying a report that points to a main causes of terrorism in the UK above avoid upsetting extreme hardliners who are actively funding violent extremism in the UK.
She said she would be having some 'difficult conversations' after the third terror attack in as many months, but it seems the conversations won't be with the Saudis.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Younger Generation's Time To Shine

The claim that you never see a poor bookkeeper is mainly true because when they offer their odds, they study everything to come up with the final figures so they don't take a hiding and have to pay out too much.
The good or bad news, depending on your view, is that all the bookies are confident that the Conservatives will win the electoral day, despite almost all the latest betting coming in for Labour.
Theresa May is a steady odds on 1-4 to win but the odds on Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister have halved to 6-1 after the Labour manifesto was well received by the electorate, and lots of young voters registering with the express intention of backing him.
The reason why bookies haven’t cut Corbyn’s odds to reflect the number of bets they are getting on him is that they don’t think the younger generation will turn out to vote. 
So, as we come to the dog days of the 2017 UK Election, the future of the country could come down to the younger generation.
It’s down to you, for the past six weeks i have listened and heard how the students and under 25's have baulked at the right wing, ideological standing of the present Government, the vicious austerity cuts, the tax cuts for the rich and the growing inequality, the increased tution fees, the removal of EMA and Student Disability Allowances, the cold hearted stopping of benefits from the very people they were designed to help. The nauseous foreign policy and cutbacks in services that make us unsafer, the explosion of food banks and the heartbreaking sight of homeless on our streets all in the 5th largest economy in the World.
All the signs are that the polls have tightened so all now depends on turnout and this Thursday, it really is you who can shape the country that you will be living in and whether you want to live in one that sees nurses wages cut so they are forced into foodbanks and every shop front comes with a homeless person while anyone earning over £100k has a reduction in tax or one where we use our great wealth to improve things for everyone.
It really is down to you now to turn your words into actions and change the alarming direction that we are heading and ten minutes of your time on Thursday is all it will take to make your next 60 years much more comfortable.

Heart Or Head

When Theresa May announced the snap election six weeks ago she was 21 points ahead in the polls and my fear was that the whole thing would be a procession to another five years of vicious and ideological Conservative austerity cuts.
What nobody expected was for Jeremy Corbyn to play a blinder and May to have a stinker which sees the polls having the the Labour Party close to within touching distance of the sitting Prime Minister. 
All polls have seen the 21 point lead shrivel to anything to 0 and 9 but as my heart says Jeremy Corbyn, my brain says Theresa May will remain in situ and we will wake up on Friday morning with a slightly stronger Conservative Party lording over us. 
Google Trends, which has so often been right in its predictions, has no such concerns as it is predicting a big win for Labour.
This election has so many variables to make it almost impossible to call, including Brexit, the three terror attacks, the collapse of UKIP, tactical voting and the attacks on the pensions of the typical grey Tory vote and the turn out of the younger vote which seemed to disappear for the Brexit vote.
Another factor is the weather with the weather forecast for it to be rainy and windy on Thursday which is yet another consideration.  
As much as i hope i am wrong, i do feel Google has this one upside down and Labour is starting from too far back to overhaul the Conservatives but then i said Brexit and Trump would never happen so what do i know.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Playing Politics With Terrorism

Yet another minute silence for the victims of a terror attack is planned, this time the seven dead from last nights attack in London which saw three men ram pedestrians on London Bridge before launching stabbing rampage through bars and restaurants until short dead by armed police.
Theresa May’s 'enough is enough' speech this morning struck a more resolute tone than the one after the Manchester atrocity but what she said was as vauge as it was potentially frightening.
Indeed, the terror attacks do need to be stopped but the double of a knee-jerk reaction coupled with the final days of a general election campaign is not the atmosphere to be making such huge decisions on national security.
The blame was put squarely on 'far too much tolerance of Islamic extremism' and the Internet which would require 'difficult conversations' as she put it.
The worry part of her speech are the lines the Prime Minister said where she would 'increase prison terms for terrorism offences, even relatively minor ones' and 'action was needed in the UK as well as overseas'.
A form of Internet regulation seems to be the direction of travel which is a concern but it is the prison terms for terrorism that should get us worried. Terrorism, without a clear distinction of the term, covers a wide area and we all remember the elderly man heckling the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw over the Iraq War being held under the Terrorism Act not that long ago.
That Theresa May seemed fit to include the rider, 'even minor offences', in her speech should get is pondering just what she classes as terrorism.
Would demonstrators fall under the distinction, or anyone protesting against another ill-fated and badly thought out war which beings me to the last point of exactly what she means by action in the UK and overseas.
That the Islamic Extremism can be traced back directly to the Bush and Blair era and their atrocious actions after 9/11 seems to be overlooked, the idea that British foreign policy is reverberating on British soil is not even considered so if by action overseas she means to get us even more entrenched in Syria or another country in the Middle East then someone should be making the point loud
and long to her that it is exactly that which has got us to where we are today. 
This is not the right time to be making rash decisions which could be seen as playing politics and an opportunity to prop up a Government which has seen it's support collapse over the last few weeks.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Celebrity Endorsements UK Election 2017

If you wanted advice on whether the 4-3-3 formation is better than 3-5-2 then Joey Barton is probably the man to ask but he wouldn't be the first choice to turn to if you needed assurance on what the tax rate should be for higher earners or if large-scale nationalisation of the rail system would benefit the economy but nevertheless he feels it is his duty to wade into the election campaign and tell us that Labour is the way to vote.
It is not just the batting midfielder wagging a finger at us, there is a host of celebrity endorsements for all sides joining the debate who are assuming that voters give a toss what they think about fiscal policy.
As the Conservative Party star has waned, so has their famous supporters with only a handful coming out this time around to demand that we follow their lead in the shape of Jim Davidson, Katie Hopkins and Alan Sugar.
The Labour Party though has a growing list of celebrities sprinkling stardust over events with names breaking cover to support the Socialist including Lily Allen, Danny Baker, Joey Barton, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Alan Davies, Brian May, Ade Edmondson, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Elton, Charlotte Church, Eddie Izzard, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Vanessa Redgrave.
The Liberal Democrats have not been been blessed with well known names this time around with only John Cleese and Richard Dawkins cheering for them while the poor old Greens only have fashion designer Vivienne Westwood in their corner.
If you are still undecided on who to cast your vote to, we still have a week to go which is plenty of time to discover which way this years winner of Britain's Got Talent is going to vote before we make up our minds.

UK Press Nailing Their Colours To The Mast

All things considered, Theresa May has had a stinker of an election campaign, her personal ratings have fallen through the floor and her party have blown an unassailable lead in the polls in what they assumed would be a gentle jog through to another five years in the seat of power.
What they were not expecting was for Jeremy Corbyn to have become strong in his television appearances or for Theresa May to be quite so bad.
What hasn't changed is the endorsement of the Press and all newspapers with the exception of the Independent and the i, have pinned their colours to the mast so which rag is cheering for Corbyn are mad for May and lauding the Lib Dems.
Firmly in the red corner and imploring their readers to check the box for Corbyn are The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Daily Mirror, Morning Star, Socialist Worker, The New Worker and Weekly Worker.
On the blue side of the fence urging their readers to vote for the Conservatives to carry on carrying on we find The Financial Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Spectator.
Tim Farron's Liberal Democrat Party have the solitary backing of The Economist showing just how far their star have fallen.
So there you have it, the newspapers have spoken and no surprises as each of them have fallen along their own ideological lines and each will accentuate the positives and play down the negatives in an attempt to sway opinion to get their chosen candidate elected which means for the next week, with the exception of the i and independent, the press will not be a reliable source for forming a well rounded decision on the best person to run the country through to 2022.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Trump Mulling Over Trashing The Earth

Donald Trump is expected to abandon the Paris accord, in line with his comments during the presidential campaign that  global warming is a conspiracy by the Chinese.
It is quite mind numbing that despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the world’s climate is changing, there are people who still refuse to accept it and even more bewildering that one of them happens to be the president of the United States, the second-leading emitter of greenhouse gases, after China.
Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell who would suffer most under an agreement to reduce carbon emissions say the United States should abide by the deal, pointing out that a withdrawal would leave the US in the company of Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris accord.
With his reputation already tarnished around the World, and by associations America's, if Trump does announce a withdrawal then it would deepen a steadily growing rift with US allies in Europe and elsewhere.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker stressed a withdrawal would take years, saying: 'The Americans can't just leave the climate protection agreement. Mr Trump believes that because he doesn't know the details'.
With the Russia probe growing ever closer to his door, Donald Trump is not expected to be President for the full term but he could do so much damage before he is dragged out the White House.
He gave his daughter the credit for urging him to bomb Syria, and as she is a supposed environmentalist, let's see if she has as much sway with her father on the most important issue that we face.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Corbyn's Foreign Policy And UK Terror Attacks Question

The question the Labour Party is posing is did our recent foreign policy, wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, lead to the terrorist attacks we have seen across Europe?
The Government, who voted for all the above wars, doesn't agree but then they have an election to win and in an attempt to deflect any sniff of controversy they could be in anyway complicit, have set out to vilify Jeremy Corbyn for even suggesting that our actions abroad have had such awful consequences at home such as we saw in Manchester.
Leading the charge is Foreign Secretary Boris
Johnson who said that it was monstrous that anybody should subtract from the fundamental responsibility of those individuals who committed this atrocity'.
Mr Johnson is now being reminded that he wrote in the Spectator one week after the London bombings in 2007 that the Iraq war sharpened the resentments felt by such people in this country and the Iraq war helped to potentiate that poison.
In 2015, as home secretary, Theresa May, was openly criticised at the Police Federation conference by a former Manchester police officer, Inspector Damian O’Reilly, who said that police cuts was risking national security, an accusation May dismissed as 'scaremongering'.
If the Government are desperately twisting to avoid any link between what they voted for and what has happened since, we have the  unclassified reports to look back on to see what was being said at the time by people who analyse these things.
The intelligence and security committee, in its 2003 report, International terrorism: War With Iraq, assessed that: 'The threat from Al Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly, reflecting intensified anti-US/anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.
The Defence Academy for the Ministry of Defence concluded that: 'The war in Iraq has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world. Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaeda has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.
Ex-MI5 boss, Eliza Manningham-Buller told the Iraq Enquiry that MI5 had asked for a doubling of the MI5 budget in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion to counter the increase in UK terrorism: 'It increased the terrorist threat by convincing more people that Osama Bin Laden's claim that Islam was under attack was correct. Our involvement in Iraq spurred some young British Muslims to turn to terror.
Another former MI5 chief, Stella Rimmington said: 'If what we're looking at is groups of disaffected young men born in this country who turn to terrorism, then I think to ignore the effect of the war in Iraq is misleading'.
Australia's Office of National Assessments said: 'A key judgement is that Iraq has been clearly used as a recruiting tool for terrorist groups around the globe with the number of jihadis steadily increasing'.
Reporting on the 7/7 terror attacks in London, foreign-affairs think tank, Chatham House, reported: 'There is no doubt that the situation over Iraq gave a boost to the al-Qaeda network's propaganda, recruitment and fundraising'.
Peter Bergen, a US national security analyst, said: 'Our study shows that the Iraq conflict has greatly increased the spread of the al-Qaeda ideological virus, as shown by a rising number of terrorist attacks in the past three years from London to Kabul, and from Madrid to the Red Sea
Tony Blair, the junior member in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, admitted in 2015 of the terror attacks sweeping Europe that: 'Of course, you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015'.
It would appear that most of Britain's security, defence and diplomatic community readily accept that an increased terror threat inside the UK followed our military intervention in Muslim countries, a fact borne out by the terrorist themselves.
Isis propaganda channels frequently publish graphic images claiming to show dead and injured civilians, particularly children, after alleged air strikes by the US-led coalition and call on followers around the world to avenge their deaths with terror attacks.
One of the 7/7 killers taped himself stating that they were killing their fellow citizens because Western governments 'continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world'.
Two months ago, a British-born Muslim convert murdered four people with a car on Westminster Bridge, then got out and stabbed a policeman to death. Just minutes before his killing spree he declared via WhatsApp that he was acting in revenge against Western wars in the Mideast with Isis claiming responsibility for the attack in a statement claiming it aimed to terrorise: 'infidels in
response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims'.
So to answer the original question: Has our foreign policy heightened the threat of UK terrorism?
If you listen to the Government desperate to avoid an iota of blame in an election battle, then no but if you listen to the intelligence community of the major nations of the World, it's a resounding yes.
Jeremy Corbyn's question is therefore perfectly legitimate to be asked.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Conservatives Faltering

Google Trends has a pretty decent record at predicting who is going to win elections and the latest results are showing Theresa May could well be looking up the phone numbers of removal firms on June 9th.
The Conservatives have had a bad week with the announcement of the Dementia Tax, the removal of the triple lock on State Pensions, cutting the winter fuel allowance and a general rise in income tax, all which mostly hit their core voters, the elderly.
With a poll showing that their once commanding 19 point leave is down to 9 points, and Theresa May being roundly blamed for her Governments cuts to policing which allowed the Manchester Attacks to happen, what once looked like a march to an election win is now looking quite shaky.
Jeremy Corbyn for his part is playing a blinder, his arguments are starting to cut through and his handling of the questions posed by the excellent Andrew Neil midweek, the same interviewer that Theresa May stumbled over so badly, have raised expectations that Labour could cause a shock.
Still a long way to go and the media have redoubled their efforts to portray Corbyn as a Marxist so it could all change but things are certainly looking tighter than most of us, Theresa May especially, expected.

UKIP Fighting Rickets

All this time we thought UKIP was a nasty little party of racists but their manifesto has made it clear why they want to ban the burqa and it turns out it's all because of potential vitamin deficiency.
The party, which has long advocated a burqa ban, said that: 'Clothing that hides identity, puts up barriers to communication, limits employment opportunities, hides evidence of domestic abuse and prevents intake of essential Vitamin D from sunlight'.
The statement unsurprisingly prompted the question that don't all clothes prevent vitamin D intake?
Not one to be bogged down in logic, the UKIP leader, Paul Nuttal, said that the burqa ban is: 'more important than it has ever been', assumingly referring to the few days of sunshine we receive in this rainy country but disappointingly ignoring altogether if they were moving towards a  pro-nudist stance where all vitamin D blocking material, or clothes as they are also known, are banned.
So if you want a party that is fighting rickets and the causes of rickets, you know where to put your cross next month.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Trump's European Vacation

Donald Trump finally managed to drag his enlarged body and ego across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe where us snotty Europeans waited for him to do or say something stupid.
While it is fair to say he was in a situation where our expectations were not that high, he was relatively restrained but there was some highlights where we could point and laugh at the idiot abroad.
Before he set foot in Europe, he was in Israel where a press statement announced that Mr Trump's would be looking to: 'promote the possibility of a lasting peach', which could have been a typo, could be Trump really, really likes fruit.
If he was actually after lasting peace rather than peach, he didn't try that hard as he signed a contract to flog $110bn worth of arms to one of the worst regimes on the planets, Saudi Arabia.
Then it was on to the NATO summit where he said that anyone not spending 2% of their GDP on defence owed money to those who did which prompted a word in his orange ear that it isn't how things work.
Then there was the physical push on the prime minister of Montenegro as he jostled to get in the front row of the NATO leaders photo. The Montenegrin President, Mr Markovic, said the push was 'natural for Mr Trump' which was diplomatic speak for Trump is a jerk who acted like a jerk so what did you expect.
France's new President Emmanuel Macron did us all proud by appearing to walk up to Trump at the photo shoot, veering off course at the last moment to leave Trump's paw hanging and shaking everyone else's hand first before going to Trump and receiving on of those weird jerky handshake things he does.
My highlight was when he met Pope Francis, not enough that his wife and daughter decided to dress up like something from the Addams Family, but the Pope, who has made no secret that he dislikes Trump, made it even more obvious by keeping his sulky glum face on during his visit. 
There is no truth to the rumours that Trump had asked for a private sitting to confess his sins and the Pope replied that he was only there for 24 hours.
Melania Trump, when she wasn't looking like Morticia, had quite a good trip, first swatting away her husbands hand twice when he went to hold hers and then spending much of her time with sick children, making arts and crafts while her husband was pushing old Montenegrin men around.
All in all, for anyone else his trip would have been a disaster but as the bar is set so very low for the American President, and he was kept away from the media and was briefed to just read out what someone else had written for him (and they managed to keep him away from Twitter) so disasters were kept to a minimum. 
Him and his creepy daughter who seems to go everywhere with him are probably going back to America thinking everything went quite smooth and we are watching him go agreeing that he is a moron, but as he is flying back into a storm of new allegations about his links to Russia, things may not be smooth for long.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Space Aggressors?

Governments sometimes withhold information to avoid a panic in the general population so if for example they had information that aliens were planning to invade planet Earth they would quietly go about developing a strategy to combat the threat.
If, lets say, this hypothetical situation was imminent, they would probably already be training special forces in secret locations in space warfare and give them a silly, macho name like Space Aggressors or something.
Of course the Government, let's say the American Government to pick one, would be keen to keep something like that out of the media to stop people from looking at the sky and searching for a horde of rampant Alpha Centurions.        
Anyway, in a hush-hush document there is a secret location near the Colorado's Rocky Mountains where teams called the '26th Space Aggressors Squadron' and '527th Space Aggressor Squadron' are training for 'conflict in a space environment'.
This follows a new department being created, the National Space Defence Centre, as part of the Multinational Space Collaboration effort.
Just a coincidence i'm sure.

How To Scare Brits

The Government have raised the terror threat level but we're British and we can't be scared until the threat level is raised to something that really makes up feel really threatened, and the Brits have been quick to share what really scares us.
The top day-to-day fears that cause a deep down, very British, panic are: 

Someone makes you a tea but it's the wrong colour
The words 'Is this seat taken'?
You notice the person in front of you in the 12 Items or Less queue clearly has 13 items.
Hearing 'Let's go round the room and say one thing about yourselves'
A colleague asks if they can use your mug
When a waiter asks if everything is OK and the meal wasn't
Someone getting your name wrong too many times and for too long for you to correct them
When you see somebody dip a knife coated with toast crumbs back into the butter
Someone constantly texting with their keyboard clicks still on
When someone opens the door for you a few foot away so you have to do that awkward jog
When the person behind you in the supermarket doesn't put a 'next customer' sign between your shopping and theirs
'God Save The Queen' keeps playing after the first verse
A stranger trying to engage you in conversation which isn't about the weather
When the waitress says: 'We only have ginger biscuits left i'm afraid'
The TV announcer saying: 'And now a film starring Hugh Grant'

We better hope ISIS never discover the secret to scaring Brits is to leave toast crumbs in the butter, hide all the supermarket next customer signs or make us talk about ourselves in a group.

Explaining The Manchester Terror Attack To Children

Sadly, we have had far too many minute silences these last few years, the latest one being for the 22 deaths in Manchester following a suicide attack on a concert attended in the main by teenagers.
Although it is devastating to see the all victims of any terror attacks, it stings that little bit more if the photo staring out from the newspaper or TV screen is that of a child. 
As the Manchester Arena was packed with thousands of children and young people when a suicide bomber detonated his device, we will be seeing more of them over the coming days along with the picture of Salman Abedi who caused all the death and devastation in some sorely misguided religious fervour.
As the majority of victims were children, and as our media has been full of the tales of the terror that night, parents have been dealing with the obvious questions from their children of why it happened and the unenviable situation of having to explain terror attacks to children.
Advice from the NSPCC is to not turn off the news to try and shield them, things that happen in the news will be talked about in the playground and it is better that your child is armed with the real information rather than depending on the Chinese whispers of their school friends.
Explain simply what has happened but offer reassurance too, remind them that there are many more good people than bad people and most importantly that they are safe and the likelihood of being caught up in an event like this is so, so small, you can't even do the sums to calculate the risk.
The saddest thing about all this is that 22 dead bodies a day is about the average for countries like Iraq and Syria but they don't get a fraction of the news time or the silent 60 seconds of contemplation that they do in the UK, France or Belgium.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Wondering About Tabby's Star

In a galaxy, far, far away is a weird star called KIC 8462852 which has been confusing astronomers for decades and has decided to be weird again and has sent Astronomers scrambling to point their telescopes it's way.
The stars and planets act in a perfectly predictable fashion so there has been much head scratching as to why KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby's Star, changes brightness significantly and at irregular intervals.
Now there is another significant dimming dimming of the star 1,275 light years away in the Cygnus Constellation and the usual suspects such as a planet passing in front the star has been dismissed as this would not cause such a significant change in brightness, and it would be more predictable.
Other suggestions include a large, immensely dense cloud of dust and debris around the star or it is recovering having been hit by a planet and another theory suggests a swarm of comets may be responsible.
The whispered suggestion is that an alien mega structure has been built around the star to harvest its energy, something which is referred to as a Dyson Sphere, named after the man who put it forward as a theory in the 1960's as a way for future generations to power the Earth by partly enclosing the Sun with colossal solar panels.
It is a scary thought that if it does turn out to be an alien mega structure, and as were seeing how it was 1,275 years ago, while they had the intelligence and scientific know how to build a mega structure in Space, the 8th Century humans were inventing horseshoes and believed that a solar eclipse was the Sun being attacked by an evil demon.
Heaven help us if they ever discover us.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Poor Donald Trump

You have to feel for the poor old American President, Donald Trump, who has stated that: 'No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly'.
Nelson Mandela may differ and it is good to see the Roman Emperor, Valerian, who was disposed, used as a footstool before being made to drink molten gold and his skin removed and stuffed full of straw getting a mention.
To my knowledge Trump hasn't been used as furniture nor a gold receptacle or even a human scarecrow although i'm sure with his considerable girth he would make a decent beanbag.
He does seem to have a chip on his shoulder that the media are out to get him but why they have a problem with the racist tax dodger and self-confessed sex molester is anyone's guess.
So he has told a few lies, colluded and handed over top secret material to the Russians and is prone to a bit of exaggeration but it's time he got a break, after all, it can't be easy having all that power but having to look at that tiny penis every time he visits the gents and sleeping in beds drenched in Russian prostitutes urine.
I say keep your pecker up Donald, it's not as if you will have to put up with it for much longer, that impeachment will come before Christmas tops. 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

FA Clamping Down On Diving

Being British, we tend to overlook the British footballers who dive around like a spawning salmon to gain a penalty and blame the foreigners for it but whoever does it, the Football Association has announced that footballers who dive will face a two-match retrospective ban from the start of next season.
About time because diving has become a plague in the game and what some call an art in winning a penalty' is, to the rest of the world, blatant cheating.
No team would like to top a poll of the Leagues biggest cheaters but someone has top the list and according to a Daily Mirror study of which team have spent the most time conning the referee by rolling around like they have been shot by a cannon when they step into the penalty area, it's Chelsea who can put the award for biggest conmen next to the Premier League Title in their trophy cabinet. 
Chelsea are the Premier League team who have been involved in the most diving incidents since 2012/13 with Sunderland runners up and then Southampton, Tottenham, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Liverpool, Swansea, Manchester City and then Stoke.
Diving does not seem to have helped Sunderland but as an Arsenal fan, whose team is nowhere near the top 10 of the biggest cheaters, maybe throwing themselves to the ground like a big girls blouse in the style of Dele Alli or Diego Costa would help them climb above the fifth place that beckons this year.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Labour Nationalisation Policy

If the leaking of the Labour Party manifesto was supposed to embarrass the Labour Party, it spectacularly backfired as the plans to renationalise the rail, water and utility companies went down surprisingly well with the public. 
During the 80s and 90s, the Conservative Party went on a privatisation spree with the mantra that market competition in the private sector was a more efficient way to provide services provided by the Government and allows for a better price and service for us.
In practise, however, it increased costs, lowered the quality of services and led to rising unemployment because the simple logic tells us that it is impossible for the private sector to deliver the same service for less and still make a profit.
Private companies exist to make a profit for their investors even if they are providing a service to the public, and the only way to increase profit is to reduce the money they pay out (wages) or increase the money they bring in (prices), both of which comes at a huge cost, financial and personal, to the public.
A recent example was the great sell off of the Royal Mail which made a profit of £403 million for the Government in 2013, while in 2014 the profit went directly into someones bank account instead.
A week after the privatisation went through, the new owners announced the price of stamps would rise as 'the price didn't go up last year' proving they couldn't do the same job with the same number of people at the same price.
The mantra remains that Privatisation will bring down price and increase service but in reality the service falls through the floor and the price goes up. Take a look at your next electric, water, gas, phone bill or train ticket and that will testify that it doesn't bring greater efficiency, benefits to the customer,  bring the best prices for the consumer nor improve the service.  
Essentially, it denies the Government much needed tens of billions in tough times so there you go, that's why Labour's nationalisation plans have struck a chord with the country.

World Becoming More Vegetarian

Adolf Hitler, it is often said, was a vegetarian. He wasn't of course but the link between refusing to eat a cheeseburger and killing millions under the banner of Fascism is well known, albeit mostly in the minds of the sort of person who tuck into sausages with bits of minced eye and cow anus included for that extra protein.   
I like to point out that while Hitler, Stalin, Attila the Hun, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, George W Bush, Ivan the Terrible, Bin Laden, Donald Trump and Genghis Khan where all meat eaters, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Aristotle, Diogenes, Plato, Pythagoras, Socrates and Voltaire were all vegetarians.
Make of that what you will but apart from the moral and health implications of eating meat while the methane produced by the cattle is destroying the planet, things could be on the change because sales of meat free options have bloomed by 1,500% in the past year, according to a survey by online supermarket Ocado.
A third of the population identify themselves as 'flexitarian', meaning they are cutting down on their meat consumption and the demand for meat-free meals is soaring with an increase in sales of vegetarian meals up £17.2 million over the past year.
All great news for the planet, people's colons and the unslaughtered animals but most importantly we are moving away from a World of less beef and pork eating Hitler's, Genghis Khan's and Idi Amin's and heading towards one with more vegetable munching Da Vinci's, Gandhi's and Plato's.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Trump Impeachment: Coming Soon

It seems that Donald Trump, bored of not being an idiot for a few days, crammed as much idiocy into a few days to make up for it so what has the small handed tax dodger been up to recently to get even his own side groaning at him and demanding that he be forcibly removed. 
A quick recap shows in the space of a few days, he sacked the FBI guy leading an investigation into his dubious Russian links after he declined an invitation to drop an investigation into his friend and now former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, who resigned over undisclosed contact with a Russian diplomat.
Then the next day the President hosted Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and handed over information so highly classified that the US hadn’t shared it with its closest allies.
Countries that provide the highly sensitive information are said to be unhappy that intelligence they provided for only the eyes of a select few has been handed over to a country widely labelled as hostile with one European foreign minister stating they will re-evaluate the process of forwarding on sensitive information to the President.
With the sounds of him being in 'impeachment territory' ringing in his ears, the actions of Trump should be examined. 
The first explanation is that he is hiding himself in plain sight with the idea that people will think even he would not be that blatantly stupid if he was concerned about his Russian links coming to the surface, therefore he has nothing to hide.
The other view is that he is even more barn shakingly stupid and arrogant than previously thought.
I know which side of the argument my money would be on and as the evidence for impeachment grows stronger, America might start looking a bit more sane again, just change the nuclear codes before you drag him out first please.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Duh, Obviously

Fresh from the pages of 'Tell us something we didn't know', scientists have announced that Atheists are more intelligent than religious people according to dozens of studies.
Duh you may say but let's allow the scientists from the University of Rochester and the Northeastern University to explain why they think people who believe in a cloud man who made us from dirt are dullards. 
The thinking is that as people get exposed to new ideas and influences, they tend to lose their beliefs or get more religious during this time and the more intelligent are more likely to resist pressure to conform to religious pressure and eschew religion altogether.
Later in life, more intelligent people are more likely to get and stay married which makes them less reliant on the attachment that the function of religion provides. More intelligent people are also more likely to have higher level jobs and spend more time in school, which leads to higher self-esteem and encourages control of personal beliefs according to the study.
In the study, which was a combination of the results of 63 other scientific studies, the more intelligent members of the sample retained lower religiosity scores, relative to the general population.
There you have it, if you want to have as a meeting of minds about anything more intelligent than which end of a banana you should peel from, ask them first if they are a regular Church goer.

Cyberattack: Tough Times Ahead

Europol says it was fortunate that Friday's cyberattack which hit 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries happened when it did and people were logging off for the weekend but are warning that the attacks could pick up pace again on Monday as employees log back on again Monday.
The NHS has been widely hit in the UK by the ransomware cyberattack with files encrypted or locked with a threat to delete or expose the files publicly if the ransom of £230 is not paid by a certain time.
Up to 100 counties have been affected by the latest ransomware attack with tens of thousands of computers thought to be affected worldwide, the largest attack of its kind ever recorded.
Cybersecurity experts agree the threat from Ransomware is growing at an alarming rate with McAfee Labs saying ransomware cases grew 80% in 2016.
San Francisco's light rail system was one recent high-profile victim when it was held to ransom in November 2016, with ticket machines taken down and the city forced to open the gates and let passengers travel for free.
As we become more and more connected, and reliant on computers, this could be a taste of things to come and experts are already calling it a cyber-apocalypse, especially if the virus reaches the banking sector or even worse the military on hot the heels after discovering that the US nuclear arsenal is controlled by 1970s computers with floppy disks and the UK’s Trident nuclear program
operates on Windows XP, which has been at the centre of the global ransomware outbreak and which Microsoft stopped supporting and issuing security patches for in 2014.
'We could be in for a tough week' so say the experts, but even more frightening, this could be the start of a very tough era in a increasingly connected world.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

What Now Mr President?

Donald Trump, never being the sharpest knife in the drawer, has found himself painted into a corner with his actions against North Korea who have taken his threats against them making further missile tests and promptly ignored them.
Now that they have test fired a new and improved missile despite America's threats of military action, we are looking at Trump and asking 'Now What?'
If he thought that his bluster about possible military action was going to kowtow Pyongyang into ceasing their quest for more powerful weapons then he was way off the mark, if anything it has acted as a spur to their activities.
In a statement, the White House said Pyongyang has been: 'a flagrant menace for far too long' and is calling for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea.
That's the problem with going in too hard too quick, you have nowhere left to go but to carry through your threats and the certainty of hundreds of thousands of deaths or back down and look weak.
Buoyed by his action of lobbing a bunch of cruise missiles at Syria, Trump went in hard and high on North Korea, expecting them to back down and didn't expect them to stick two fingers up at him.
Now they have tweaked the American Presidents nose and asked him what he is going to do about it.
Even Trump, with his childlike grasp of reality, must realise that his actions have managed to turn a concern into a potential catastrophe.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Who Likes UK At Eurovision

It's Eurovision time again, and the UK Entry is called 'Never Give Up On You' which is ironic as that is exactly what the UK has done to Europe so if we are going to avoid the dreaded nul points scenario at the end of the night, we will be looking at the few friends we have left in Euroland to throw us a few points. 
As the Eurovision began in 1957, we have a long run of data available to work out which of our European brothers and sisters we can depend on to avoid the embarrassment of ending the evening on the right hand side of the board when the gongs are handed out.
Over the last 60 years the country that has given the UK the most points and our new best friends are Luxembourg, which has averaged a touch under five points per contest which is even more impressive when you consider they stopped taking part since 1993 so that's five points we are down already.
Luxembourg is closely followed by Malta and then Ireland, which is widely seen as our best Eurovision friend then Austria, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey and Portugal.
At the bottom end, the country that has snubbed the UK the most consistently is Montenegro, which has failed to give the UK a single point in the competition.
The other countries who have annually poo-pooed us Brits are Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia and clearly, those are the countries that we should be withholding our Euro love from when it comes to sprinkle around the points.
We know who our friends are and if we don't win it will be because of Brexit/Jealousy/They Hate Us/Politics/Bloc Voting (delete as applicable) and not because we have entered yet another duff song.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Answering The 'Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?' Question

The Bible says that the 'Keys to Heaven Also Open the Gates of Hell' which is an awful security system but then the big guy didn't do a bang up job on the rest of things either.
While being interviewed in Ireland during 2015, Stephen Fry was asked what he would say to the man with such a slipshod attitude towards security, or God as he is also known, if he had a chance.
'I’d say Bone cancer in children, what’s that about?’ How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault' Fry replied. 'It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain'?  
Quite right Mr Fry you may say but hang about because the Church have fired back that God isn't to blame, we are.
'It is obvious that there is suffering in the world, but God is not to blame. Whose fault is it then? Quite simply, it is our fault. The world is broken because of our sin. Most people fail to factor this into the equation. We are all sinners. It is our rebellion [Adam and Eve eating the Apple] that broke God’s creation and brought suffering into the world'.
So there you have it, all the bad things happen because the first couple annoyed a man in the clouds by being enticed into eating an apple by a talking snake, what's so hard to understand about that Stephen Fry. Sheesh.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Revision Tips From Ancient Greece

Exam season is upon us and manic revision is under way and any edge that can be gained is worth considering and researchers may have found a way to eek out those few extra exam points which could make all the difference. 
A study found that pupils working in a room with the aroma of rosemary, achieved 5% to 7% better results in memory tests.
According to history books, Ancient Greek students knew this and wore rosemary garlands in exams and in the tests carried out by Northumbria University in a room with and without the aroma of rosemary, students exposed to rosemary had on average an improvement of 5% to 7% in results.
Another often used memory aid is to read difficult or important bits in a funny accent, this makes it stick out in your mind from all the other bits that you are trying to cram into your memory and use mnemonic's for those tricky to remember lists such as 'My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles' for the planets or 'No Plan Like Yours To Study History Wisely' for the Royal
Houses of Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor.
Whatever works for you but throw in a few rosemary Josticks when you are learning can't hurt.