Sunday, 22 November 2020

The Civil Service has a headache? The little darlings...

 Allegations of bullying are flying thick and fast. The Home Secretary is under threat. Well, let's look at that a bit more closely. Here we have a forceful woman Ms Patel who appears to be a straightforward thinking and talking lady. That's good. We should like a bit more of that with more people, especially in government. On the other side we have what is known as the 'Establishment'. Properly seen as a cosy, whiskey guzzling fraternity. Meaning an organisation of men and women, mostly over 50, who 'serve' the elected government of the day. In truth it is mostly the other way round. The elected government 'serves' the 'Establishment'. Despite the government's wonderful  words most will be simply be disregarded.

'We are banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030', take it from me that's not going to happen. It will be watered down, the date be put back etc etc. So, Ms Patel had a few 'strong' words with some people of that illustrious establishment?. Yes? So what! It happens all the time in businesses up and down the country. It takes a bit of 'push' to get the 'Establishment' in gear!

These people just do not want to work. The 'status quo' is their goal. Change is a dirty word.

It is no wonder Ms Patel said a few strong words. Well done! About time. I take it that the report by an 'Independent' Establishment mandarin is just another attempt to exercise their 'authority' over the elected. I am sure there will be more as I believe the government is contemplating 'shaking-up' the Civil Service (to give the Establishment their proper name). Carry on Ms Patel, please and do not stop calling a pig a pig!

 Ed 23/11/20

I read more and more about this so-called CS (Civil Service). Gold-plated pensions, fat salaries and 'working' from home when everybody else just has to take it or leave it. Most workers now are on starvation wages, and are hounded by every government department you can think of. It is beginning to sound like we're back in the Victorian era.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Men only or is it Women now?

 Not so long ago I read some article about chemicals in the environment. You know, man-made chemicals. Putting that together with a TV docu about 'Changing Man' you know where this is going. Men are disappearing from the face of the world. Not all just yet, I am still here and typing this but yes, it is quite remarkable to note how men behave today, generally speaking. Socially as well, men-only relationships are now common enough. I mean in a sexual way. Coupled with the more assertive trend of females, western society is changing fast.

Sometime in the past I recall reading an article about cloning, taking a human egg from a female and starting the cloning process. This is not new science, it has been done. Meaning that the clone is female of course. Men will not be needed. Ah, you will say that's impossible. Hmmm, is it? The end of the world as we know it. I hope women will be happier without men. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out or even think about trends. Trends in society. But yes, I do think that I am the last man on earth. Please form an orderly queue, girls.

You might have heard about something called 'Wagagata', the court case between two footballer's wives (we call WAGS in this country - standing for Wives and/or Girlfriend) . Pretty boring actually and a waste of money they could have given to 'Children in Need' this year. It shows in a picture in the 'Sun' newspaper the way women are already portrayed. Stern looking, a toy-dog under arm,mobile phone in hand just in case because we do not want to miss any WhatsApp messages do we? And the other hand holds the required coffee caffeinated drink. Oh yes and don't forget the shopping bag. Ridiculous? Must you ask? That's the new woman, no man needed. a Toy dog will do nicely, thank you. Just now wondering what the dog thinks of it all.

So, if that's the 'quality' or 'standard' of the world population to come then I think 'God' is a woman after all. 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Get back control Boris. Please and be quick about it.

 Well, what do you know. Civil war in the country's government? Who comes, who goes? You know, I am always surprised at how UK governments (yes, plural) cock-up things that matter. Hey Eton, what do you teach your rich upper-class kids today? I suppose cocking up becomes natural to such worthies because all they do is surfing the Web day in day out. Whatever, I had great hopes for Boris, here was a man with a bit of steel in his heart but no, the steel has descended into his lower legs making him torpid and slow. Is that what Covid does? The trouble in government is trusting advisers too much. It's time to assert control properly Boris. We voted for you, not for Cummings or for Cain. You decide, you rule.

The country needs you, it is under tremendous strain. Don't do what Trumpy baby has done and ignore it. Because if you do you will go down as THE worst PM we have had. And that is something, bearing in mind some others from the recent past. Sure, we're all human, we make mistakes, we dawdle in the face of adversity, we might even turn our backs. But if we do that we sure will be lost. So, man up Boris. Even the Red Wall in the north voted for you, we all saw something in you but please show it Boris. Do the work we are paying you for. Put our society in front, not on a back-foot!

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Election, what election? Oh that one...

 Blimey what's going on in America? That bastion of democracy? Accusations of shenanigans in the election process, the President threatening to stop the election count, armed hooligans on the street 'policing' the process. Good Lord, are we sure that it is America and not Russia?

Seriously this is worrying, the most powerful nation on earth falling apart like this. Vlad the Impaler must be laughing all the way to his new summer retreat in the Crimea peninsula. The Chinese are dusting off the Huawei mobile phone factories again. And what do the Brits worry about? Hmmm, now let's see Biden likes the EU, oh dear that's not good, the politicos are up in arms here. Biden, the new president, oh sure he will be at 78 the oldest one. Very likely then that he will not fulfil his term. Roll up the Vice-Prez. Great, a bit of sense finally.

Friends, forget America being a bastion of virtue, democracy and common sense. It never was and never will be. It is a country riven by race hatred, with grey suited politicians who are like the Mafia. A country that believes itself to be the only decent one on the planet. Every other needs to be put in its place down the pecking order. Do we really believe that the Americans like the UK? If you do, go see a doctor pronto, if you can and are not furloughed or in self-isolated solitude. Looking at the way this election has been, accusations et al, let's look at how we should 'clean-up' the process. If democracy is to survive and it's already half-way to being put into the waste bin, we need the political will to ensure it is a process that we can all abide by and honour the outcomes. Politicians should be very wary and if possible, ditch the use of social media. Look at the rubbish spouted by them, yes here as well.

Time to overhaul the process, otherwise democracy is finished and we will all have to speak Russian or possibly Mandarin! Or even perhaps Welsh? Oh dear, I'll get my coat.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Pop says the genie!

 Good Lord, what a mess. Every single person has a different idea how we should be . How we have to defeat Covid-19. Have different ideas how many have died, how many will die, how many are infected and how many will be infected. One newspaper's headlines are 'Dead rates are down! The TV News blares out, 'Dead rates are rising!'. The government says 'Lock-down', or rather the PM says it and everyone else queries whether he is sane. From where I am sitting I believe Covid is a nasty little virus. Much worse than flu. Simply because none of us humans have any antibodies whatsoever. So, this virus just has a field day, picks anyone it fancies. Kills those with reduced resistance due to underlying medical problems. It all just goes to show, mankind has been pretty well weakened. Having beer bellies doesn't help a lot either. Obesity or just being overweight another problem. Obviously the western world seems the worst affected. Our lifestyles just asking for us to be picked off. So, yes I think Boris is right, reduce the infection rate. So that those who need it can get a hospital bed. Well done Boris, don't listen to the Covidiots. We can sort out the bill later. The printing presses can carry on a while longer churning out the new-look notes!

Even so, we really need to look at our lifestyles. I don't want to be a 'party-pooper' but we are just asking for it. We are so reducing our resistance to disease that anything coming around in the near future might just have the same effect as Covid-19 or worse. Moreover we cannot always rely on scientists making up vaccines at a whim. It takes time to do. So, watch it people, there is a genie about. Can pop out of the bottle at any one time!

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Thinking about....thinking

 It's a great thing, just to be able to think. Think about the situation us humans face today and to think about what our role in the universe actually is. Obviously the situation today does not seem so brilliant, what with the virus et al, but I think it is quite normal. It simply is the way things move. All life has one rule it lives by. Do anything to stay alive! Procreate as much as you can. However, even that brings problems. Because it means only the fittest will succeed and the not so fit might succumb to diseases as they are not as strong, virile, healthy or whatever. Procreation, sex in the vernacular, will ensure offspring but again too many will reduce the food supply and space for existence. Too many of a species will, as has been shown over and over, lead to extinction. Good, we have got that out of the way.

So, what is our role in the universe then, you may ask? Good question, if we look at life itself, the way it has progressed from a small clump of atoms to us with our thinking capability, we might conclude it is about progressing to a form that might understand the how and why! Why there is a universe at all, or even why there could be multiple universes. Even better, to think about whether size means anything. We think of ourselves as big, living in a big universe of which we cannot see the end but is that true? The smallest thing we can think of is a quark. It is interesting to think of a quark as a universe. It all depends on what size really means. But yes, we are just a result of a progression and there may well be many more. Humans must understand the rules of life, not our rules but the rules of nature. Or if you will if you are religious, the rules of God. All faiths have rules, for instance like the Ten Commandments, these are a way of living that will ensure an harmonious existence.

Because let's face it, all of us know what will happen if there is not enough food, not enough space to live, no opportunities to expand. When humans have become so numerous that there is no further space for anything else. It is then that we will know we had it all wrong.

Let's ensure that time will never come.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Coming to Britain? Easy? Not really....

 First of all we must have great pity on those who wanted to come to a land they thought to be a safe haven, the UK. Unfortunately they fell into the hands of unscrupulous criminals who told them that they had a boat which would take them across the Channel. For a few thousand pounds it would be theirs. That it was a ticket to horror and for some an early death, no-one in power seems to be worried about. Except of course for all the mealy-mouthed platitudes we have heard so many times. 'We must take grip, we must get the criminals, we must stop the boats'. The French, lovely people as they are, 'No, it's not our problem, it's yours', attitude does help a lot to control the issue. It never occurs to those we have voted into power where the real problem rises. It is simply the inequality we see all around in the world today. When you live in a sand desert and have to cope with a seemingly never-ending draught, and then see on the only antique TV in the mud house village the excesses of our so-called Western world then what would you want to do? This is how desperate these unfortunates who try their best to escape, are. Their deaths are not holding back the hundreds if not thousands who will given the chance do the very same thing. Politicians seem to live in a rose-tinted world, rose petals strewn wherever they tread. Uttering words they looked up in some dictionary but mostly meaningless drivel. In the UK we are masters at that. Etonesque (meaning people who where educated in one of the private jails, sorry schools) caricatures of the human race who feel it is their God-given right to govern. We, the plebs, are just here to bother them and constantly need to be put in their places. I suppose it's not much different across the water. Politicians and their allies the aristocrats, talk a lot about change, but that is exactly what they DO NOT want. Change would be their demise. Just all talk and no action, it has always been so. It is the bane of the world, politicians. And until we do something about it, changing the system, it will stay as it is. Costly and useless.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Before opening mouth, please engage brain beforehand...

 It is quite fun to read some of the lesser articles in newspapers. Yesterday there occurred a report about the UK archbishops and bishops who sit in the House of Lords (I think) making a comment about Brexit. What!? How dare they! Well, at least that seemed to be the general trend of replies to the bishops’ statement. Personally I have always wanted the Church hierarchy to be more vociferous about political matters. Because mostly they are silent. Obviously as humans they must have an opinion but mostly do not express them. So, where is this going then? I favour Brexit, not because I do not like Europe, as a previous Dutchman I do! But I abhor the oversized, extremely costly bureaucracy in Brussels. Besides all of that, the plans and rules coming from there need a psychiatrist’s look to see whether they came out of the madhouse. As such I do not mind other people having an opposite view but this furore is made by the upper echelon of a national institution, moreover an institution that should promote good living, environmental control, proper sharing of foods and resources amongst other human requirements. Brexit is a different item on the agenda. Why? Because it was voted for by a majority of the British people. We abide by voting results. Instead of raging against the established government(s) for failing to ensure an adequate sharing of resources, opportunities, employment and a host of other pressing matters, the Church has decided now that Brexit is the most important item on the agenda. No, Brexit is an item that has already been decided. The only thing left is to ensure our leaving will do the least harm to our population. We should not forget there are two sides here, Europe as well will want to do the same so we need compromises. The Church must not forget that! Just to indicate that Brexit should be cancelled is simply ridiculous. Although I applaud the hierarchy opening mouth, they should have engaged brain before that. Amen!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Educational woes, it's a disgrace...

 Having been in educational circles for some time now, although I have never been a teacher (thank the Lord) I have become aware that there are almost insurmountable problems. First of all the political interferences, secondly the pressures generated by that interference or shall we say bad decision making, and thirdly underfunding. When I say underfunding I really mean that too much is paid to the wrong people and consequently budgets set by the aforementioned politicians are not sufficient to repair or build new schools. Building new schools in the UK is basically non-existent. Certainly in Wales where old draughty Victorian calamities are still around and have to be used because politicians are paid huge salaries and empire building is alive and well but there is no money to look properly after all our children.

Another linked problem is that of parental support. That sounds bad but it basically means that again through political bad decision making and policies we have landed into a situation where parenting can no longer be as effective as once it was. Our society now is reliant on lower salaries (minimum wage) and a twenty-four hour, seven days a week time scale. As a result children do no longer have the parental support and help they need to learn. This tends to cross over to following generations, in other words it is a downward spiral.

So, altogether huge pressures are put upon educators, teachers, to increase standards, which because of lack of support outside schools, is very hard if not impossible to achieve. Just look at the number of teachers leaving their posts. That in turn gets NQT’s (Newly Qualified Teachers) into schools quicker than it would be normally but also means lower standards of professional technical ability. It is really a circle of continuing mediocrity. Sad but it might change when politicians will stop making education one of the marks by which they themselves are judged. And frankly from where I am sitting the judge will have to say “Go to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200". In fact I would add, go home and try something else like keeping chickens.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Wales bans the English, Scots and Irish. Wow!

 So, it is still a funny world. My country, Wales has decided to ban all English, Scots or Irish people from coming if they themselves live in what is now known as Covid-19 hotspots. Well, think about it, how does the virus spread? Yes, through people! So, in the first place to ban people is seemingly not a bad idea. But it is not all people who behave like idiots, as they seem to do in city centres. Some of the pictures in newspapers this morning displays behaviour which is akin to idiocy. What is it with humans? So, yes if I had been the First Minister, I would ban ALL people coming from the rest of the UK. I could be persuaded to change it to all UNDER-35 aged being banned. It is these that seem to be the problem looking at the pics. Barely dressed with a pint in one hand and a ‘hunk’ at the other. Mind you, hunks today are not as hunky as they used to be. The chemicals in drinking water today, are reducing 'hunkiness' to some extent. Whatever. But the point is this, if we want to reduce or even eradicate the virus if at all possible, we need to abide by medical advice. If we lose trust in such advice we might as well order our coffins now. I stay with the advice and reduce my going-out to zero for the time being, get my groceries delivered and use Whatsapp if I need to speak to someone or other. Also use Microsoft Teams, or even better JITSI Meet, for my work or courses I follow. Most of my friends and acquaintances do the same. But then we are no longer below the 35 mark and use our brains. 

NB There is no such word as 'hunkiness', I made it up but you will understand. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Have you woken up yet? Or are just 'woke?

 There are plenty of people who dislike Piers Morgan, ITV’s Morning News presenter/host. I am not one of them. I like his straight forward way, calling a pig a pig and not think it might be a dog. I also for 100% back his stance against the so-called liberal ultra-lefties or should that be ultra-liberal lefties, as his article in the Sun newspaper shows. It is about time that someone in the public view takes a stand against this totally idiotic world view. A view where you can no longer say ‘Black’ or ‘White’, when you have to forget the history of the nation, indeed the history of the world in exchange for some woolly concocted cr*p ideology. ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, another who has started to worry about this ‘woke’ ideology, questioning the ‘being offended’ culture. All we read or hear now is about people being ‘offended’ and climbing into the pen to spout their ‘woke’ opinions. Is this the new British disease? When top politicians are afraid to call a dog a dog? We should ask what the purpose of all that is?

There is a feeling in my bones that tells me that being ‘woke’ is not just about being offended. It is about power! It is just another way to exercise power to move the world into a direction only they want. But what sort of world would that be? Well, there are quite a number of books, stories, films that show what it would be like. When wives, husbands, sorry ‘partners’, tell on each other. When you have to walk on one side of the street if you were allowed out at all. Do I see here the beginning of a concerted effort that is pretty akin to a socialist totalitarian state? Is this a backdoor to just that and we don’t see it? Well, Flintoff and Piers are seeing it and so do I. It is about time that the ‘silent’ majority stops being silent and tell these ‘woke’ plonkers to sling their hook! Blimey, OK I am basically a non-original Brit but I love the idioms! I could have said ‘abandon’ but no, I like the stronger vernacular too much. Well, there it is, as some would say ‘It is what it is’ but no, it is not . When a Canadian PM wants the word ‘mankind’ banned, we really have to wake up!

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Students and drugs, a nasty alliance...

You just won’t think that sensible young people who are at university can believe that taking drugs is good for you. It can make you dance all night. Indeed it can, you can dance all night to your grave. It is beyond belief that humans, with the brain capacity they have, have this self-destruct button. An article in a national newspaper said, probably in response to the drug deaths in the north-east, that there is a celebrity cult taking drugs like cocaine believing they actually ‘help’ society. Taking coke that is from ‘sustainable sources’. Anyone who takes drugs and I don’t care who they are, have a nut loose in their brains. If you take drugs you are an absolute nutter and don’t deserve to go to university, or perform music or occupy a position in public service. Taking drugs means you are an airhead and cannot be trusted , even with granny’s crockery.

I have heard all the usual stuff, alcohol and tobacco are drugs as well. They sure are and can be just as devastating. Ask an alcoholic or someone who just cannot break the smoking habit? Yes, I have the occasional beer, I can’t stand wine, gives me a headache. Smoke? No, I don’t. It is quite simple, drugs just ruin lives.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Policy making on the hoof? Of course, they're the best...

 What is bl**dy wrong with the world today? You may ask. Politicians. Even Bojo, Boris Johnson our PM has succumbed to making policy on the hoof. Whilst taking a bath he thought ‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a wind turbine in this water? I’m the only one in here, plenty of room. I know, let’s build them all around the coast. That’ll do it’! Boris, once a blustering and inspiring chap seems to now have found the ‘dictator’ syndrome. Yes, we do need more ‘green’ energy, we need more of good, sound policy making though! Look at the ‘science’, wind turbines do not make a heck of a lot of energy. Find out what the national daily demand in kilowatts is and equate that with the average daily generated power from each turbine. I won’t bore you with maths here but apparently to generate what Boris proposed (or thought of in his bath) 30-40 gigawatts you would need to plaster the coastal waters with thousands more wind turbines. Would they supply the nation’s needs? Are you joking? They only would, if they flew hard all 24/7,  still only supply at the most 10-15%! Not a very good policy then, is it Bojo? Please get into the bath quick and think up another policy. I know a few I had in the bath last night. If you’re interested make me Home Secretary and I will tell you how to solve the immigrants’ crisis. It will involve invading France but hey we are leaving the EU anyway? We have the best Navy and the best soldiers haven’t we? Well, I listened to the Defence Secretary who said something about being the best in the world. OK then, let’s go!

Friday, 2 October 2020

Do I feel guilty? Hmmm...


Having been born in the Netherlands I have been asked whether I am sorry about its past. I think the enquirer was referring to its slavery past. Yes, Holland as well as Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium were all engaged in this terrible trade and activity.

But let’s get one thing straight, I cannot change the past and nor can anyone else today. So, personally I do not feel guilty in any way or shape. I make no apology, for those times were different. In fact, especially in the UK there are castles, big mansions and estates that are entirely built from proceeds of slavery, one way or another. The wealth of some of our and other European families, even today, is attributable to slavery. But you cannot blame the present for the errors and mistakes of the past. BLM the acronym states Black Lives Matter, try to destroy everything possible that in one way or another was linked to slavery. Well, in that case please start dismantling the National Trust. Have a revolution in some European countries and throw out the royals and aristocrats. Frankly the whole thing is ludicrous. I am pretty sure that bending a knee or so is interesting but pretty useless. All across the world people are starting to take up positions of ‘This is us, anyone else is not us’. A dangerous state of affairs. It brings up the idea that some are better than others and can be dismissed as of no account. Precisely what slavery was about. The past is history. We learn from history, it is no good denying it ever happened or blaming humanity today for the wrongs of the past. We do not need to dismiss the Empire, it happened. The Empire is no more, we should adapt and ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past!

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Extinction event, again?


It is rather strange that everyone I talk to (corona virus rules abided by) says the national lock-down benefitted nature, birds have been singing quieter as there were very few cars on the road, no planes in the sky except for some cargo ones and cleaner air. But now everyone is talking about getting back to ‘normal’! Whatever normal really means. I take it to be taking the car for shopping even to the shop a few metres away, to take Spanish holidays for a drink or twenty on the beach and a fumble if you can remember what your equipment is for, just for a start. There is a saying in the Dutch language ‘Na mij de zondvloed’. Freely translated ‘After me, the deluge’. But what is the meaning? Simply this ‘Do whatever I want, devil may care’. It is attributed to Madame de Pompadour, the lover of King Louis XV of France.

The meaning is quite clear, I am OK, you can worry about it when I’m gone. I do what I want to do, thank you and goodbye. Or words to that effect.

This ‘devil-may-care’ attitude was shown beautifully on a window placard ‘We need help, we need beer’ shown on a university campus (BBC News report). You may wonder about the standard of today’s students. You might now begin to believe that the human race is pretty well doomed. I am not joking, just observing the trends. Watching an excellent programme on Freesat Channel 175 (Smithsonian) about the extinctions that have occurred on the planet and the reasons for these happening you would have picked up that carbon-dioxide and sulphuric acid rain were the main culprits. The Permian one (250+ million years ago) was possibly caused by enormous volcanic activity in Siberia. The Cretaceous one that killed off the dinosaurs around 66 million years ago had similar results but was caused by an enormous asteroid impact in today’s Mexico. The programme finished by stating that the rise today in the levels of carbon-dioxide due to human activity is beginning to look like another extinction event. 

The problem with the gas is that it ‘binds’ oxygen which then becomes unusable for breathing. As a result CO2 is poisonous to human beings. However it is needed by plant growth, trees and such. Another rising gas level is that of nitrous oxide. The internal combustion engines and jet engines produce this gas, it now makes up some 8% of greenhouse gas emission. Compared with 86% for CO2 is seems tiny but overall it makes a severe impact. Methane as well, produced by cattle and rotting vegetation brings some 10% to the greenhouse gas emissions. Not a pretty picture then and surely it is most important to start looking at ways to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases coupled with how we can and should work with nature to bring a proper balance that will benefit all life. Rather than thinking it will be for others to do, just bring me beer!

Saturday, 26 September 2020

A nice new app to check for a virus?

 What does anyone think about the NHS’ attempt to trace people that have been in contact or the neighbourhood with Covid-19? This is the much hyped app now promoted heavily in newspapers and about everywhere else. Sounds good? In principle – yes. Anything that helps combating a virus must be good. But as with so many other things to the good side there is a possible bad side. The app apparently works with Bluetooth. I don’t want to be the bad guy here but Bluetooth is NOT a particularly safe bit of technology. It basically works with a signal that can be picked up with comparable equipment like other mobile phones. I use Bluetooth to enable my mobile to work with an electronic church organ playing hymns from a list stored on the phone. It works great. Afterwards I switch off Bluetooth as the signal could be picked up by other phones. Just like this Covid app works. Because for the Covid app to be effective the Bluetooth signal has to be on at all times. Anyone with the right scanning equipment can then interfere with the phone. Now this will all be denied, no, it will not do this or that and so on and on but the facts are that Bluetooth works with a signal that is detectable. That’s how it works and that is how this app will have to work. So, will I use this app? Please guess?

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

More Whitty doom, die,die,die!

Blimey Dr Doom (aka Prof Whitty) and a sidekick Sir Patrick were at it again last night. We are all going to die, die, die. Covid will get us all, 50,000 infections a day. The world will explode. Fish too will get it. Don’t get stung by a wasp people, you will get the virus and turn into a queen bee.

It is about time we are having to really look at this. First of all get rid of these advisers. I have said before, advisers to government, in fact all advisers, only have one track, their own. If Dr Doom gets out of bed on the wrong foot, we are all going to die, die, die! By the look on his face he might be already dead. He's not a zombie, is he? 

I have to say there are other programs I have seen that sound a more realistic note. Something of the order of that the virus is here to stay for the long run. That there is really no point in locking down everything because yes, it will slow the transmission but the virus is just still around. Like flu it will adapt, it will mutate. So, the answer is multi-varied. First of all, it is just to take care. Don’t meet people at the drop of a hat. Keep some distance. Wash your hands often. Use a handkerchief or preferable, use tissues. Dispose of properly. Personal hygiene is pretty important, even in more normal times. Then if you want to go out to a pub don’t all huddle together like a herd of buffalo. Keep some distance, sit down if at all possible. Same for restaurants. The thing is that one way or another we have to acquire resistance, herd immunity is impossible as the virus will change like flu. So, development of a vaccine will need to be done, perhaps every year. 

All in all, we will have to learn to live with this virus, and possibly others in the future. But what will not help is to lock-down everything as soon as the infection rate goes up, and it will go up, it is inevitable. So, government people get your thinking caps on and get something done that makes sense. Stop listening to doomsday advisers and get some sound strategy going.Most of all take this opportunity to have a good look at how society needs to change because as said this disease is not going anytime soon and possibly more to come in the future. It seems we are leaving ourselves open because of lifestyles, the way we use the planet. This is a good time to look at it and make some plans. Perhaps someone like Boris might ask Dr Doom to begin to think!

Edit 27/9/2020

In one of my more lucid moments and in hindsight I must give some, if not a lot, of credit to Dr Doom (Dr Whitty). Why? Because basically I have been on the same track! He is talking about the impact of the corona virus on behalf of a government that has no clue what needs to be done and me talking about the impact of human beings on the planet. Funny though it may be, these are intertwined really. OK, so the good Doctor does not really get on with the good looks but at least he needs listening to. Because as he indicates (if you are listening properly) if we do not abide by simple rules the punishment is a possible swipe from the virus. In other words we might be ill or worse, die.

So I think I should put the record straight because he is right.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Whitty(less) comparisons...


There is a lot of talk about Sweden and their approach to the Covid calamity. As a matter of fact over there they seem to have just said 'Covid? What Covid'. Well, that might be a bit flippant but yes, they have taken a softly, softly approach. But it is all very well to compare ourselves with Sweden and with their approach to lockdown.

Their population numbers just below 11 million! With our 66 million strong pretty overcrowded nation we stand a far greater chance to spread a virus, any virus, far more quickly than ice-cold Sweden would. Besides the country is mostly trees. From that 11 million most live in the southern part, the rest is virtually empty. So, it makes one think whether we are on the right track with these comparisons and scare tactics of the likes of prof. Whitty. If this virus is not going to go away, in fact like flu will stay as an unwelcome guest forever, we should get working fast and produce the vaccines needed. Never mind the political messages about which country has the only working one, let's do it properly.

Friday, 18 September 2020

How can we stop the clock?

It is quite remarkable but that most people still have not gathered that life as we knew it has basically finished. To me it seems that a line has been crossed. That is to say, humans have outlived their welcome. Sounds a bit on the dark side isn’t it? But just look around at what is happening. Our nest fouling continues unabated, despite some minor alterations like producing more natural electrical power and reducing plastic bags for use in the weekly shopping, plastic is still the scourge of our seas and oceans.

Our western lifestyles also, thousands of people huddled together in poorly maintained cities, working 24/7 and we are amazed that a simple disease like Covid has had such an impact?

Humans have had and still are making such an impact on the natural environment no other animal ever did or even managed to get close to. Looking at populations generally it shows that when a certain number has been reached the available food gets less and that will weaken the population of the animal resulting in disease and collapse of the genus. This might not yet be the standard at which humans have arrived but we certainly are close to it.

It is somewhat laughable to read and see the contortions of us trying to get back to what we term ‘normal’. Normal life that is to say, driving billions of cars belching out the very gases that in the end will kill us all. Flying to far flung lands just to sit on a bit of sand, drinking enough alcohol to forget why we are there in the first place but not forgetting our basest instincts. Even to the point it is performed in public. Sun, sand, sea and sex but not necessarily in that order. Building over ever more arable land to house those that are escaping the sun baked waste lands to the south.

Indeed, life has changed. The clock has reached 5 seconds before midnight. The question is can we stop the clock?

Edited: same day

And now to make matters more interesting we are on a lockdown – again. It seems there are still people who do not care a sh*t. Having a nice time when others cannot even get out of the house. Why is the government trying so hard to please everyone? You cannot, it can never work, you cannot please everyone. If you want to get rid of this crummy virus and that seems impossible then we will have to get used to much more stringent measures. Watch this!

Edited:  20/9/20

The TV report programme 'Countryfile' had an interesting bit about diseases. Moreover diseases that could jump over from animals to humans. Not mentioned in a medical way but as part of the reduction of testing centres in the UK. Diseases like BSE, Bovid TB and others like Covid, swine flu etc that also can target humans are becoming more prevalent. BSE has again reared its ugly head in Scotland and presumably in other places as well. The facts are simple as I have mentioned before, if you give a disease the opportunity to spread and resistance is low or worse the disease itself has become immune to antibiotics or such then we will be in the front of the firing line. As Covid-19 has shown.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Is the BBC wasting your licence money? No, really?


According to the daily newspaper(s) the BBC has re-instated the licence fee for the over-75’s and today it was revealed how much the ‘stars’ receive in salaries. It is quite astounding to learn they have had increases in many cases. So, let’s get a bit real here. Take Zoe Ball. Who is she? A lady with a mouth. Not particularly a classic beauty but OK. She now will earn nearly 1million pounds net. But for what? For being a mediocre Radio 2 host/DJ. Good Lord no wonder the over-75’s have to pay up. On top of all that it is not a particularly good Radio show either. Then we have Graham Norton, not a bad sort of guy, he thinks he is a bit of a comedian mind but there you go, earns also close to a million. There are more just read today’s Sun newspaper. Frankly I despair, working out the wage bill of the BBC which is nearly impossible but I think it has to be close to a billion! Gary Lineker, you would not believe this, earns close to £2million! Yes, for an hour once a week! That’s about £39,000 per hour. I am sure he makes the taxman pretty happy. But this is ludicrous? That sort of stuff he talks you can hear in my local pub for free! Get real BBC and re-instate the free licences for the over-75’s pronto! And have a look at your pay centre BBC, there must be something wrong with your computers.

Is our youth concerned? Hmmm...

It is funny really when you read the UK newspapers. Most have a responsible political view but some seem to be more concerned with how well one performs in bed. Or have an excessive view on the young people. In the Sun newspaper you get the idea that the youngsters are only interested in getting drunk as quick as possible or are dance mad. Well, yes I like a party too but that tends to be sitting on a sofa, talking about the latest Covid spike whilst holding a glass of lukewarm lager. I can’t stand ale believing it to be akin to liquid emanations from horses. Even so there are some pressing world problems that need solving quickly, very quickly. One of them is the human pressures on nature, wildlife in particular. You don’t have to be a beer-bellied pub crawler with a brain the size of an ant to know that wildlife in the UKand the world is under severe pressure due to housebuilding, traffic and general human interferences. There are plenty reports to show what’s going on but does the general population, in particular our young people, care? I’m not so sure. Most of us are just about concerned with the weekly groceries and how to get to work in the car as quickly as possible. It is simple people, there are too many humans. There are people who believe all this is the result of the Chinese being guilty of trying to curtail the number of humans on the planet. There was no accident, this Covid is all just engineered and ‘accidentally’ released. Oei, oh dear that might put the cat amongst the pigeons. Just wondering what good ‘ol American pres thinks about it. Whatever, but the problem is still around. Just in the UK there are over 66million people, you can work out how that equates with the number of persons per square mile. You’ll be astounded. Bearing in mind also that humans do not really live equally over the land. Therefore there are areas grossly over-populated and others are just hosting sheep. We need to re-think our raison-de-être, and that pretty quickly. So, less getting plastered young people and start thinking about how you want to live with nature uppermost in mind. The world, come what may, will be yours in twenty years time. You might hopefully make a better job of it than the 'oldies' of today have done.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

How to multiply? Make your mind up...

From an educational point of view I have wondered many times why so-called ‘experts’ keep changing either the curriculum or ways of working. For instance in my time multiplications were simple, you put the multiplicand up top and the multiplier below. Like this: 1234x64. Simple? 
Of course it is. Working from right to left, take 4x4=16, put the 6 under the last column and remember the 1 to carried over. Next multiply 4 by 3=12, put the 2 to the left of the 6 but there was a carry so 2 becomes 3. Next, multiply 4 by 2=8, put the 9 left of the 3, (don’t forget there was a carry (1)). Next multiply 4 by 1=4. Put the 4 to the left of the 9. So now the first row shows 4936. Do the same for the next row, but before that as you are working in the order of tens (10) you have to put a zero under the 6 first of all. Then 6x4=24 put the 4 under the 3 and carry 2. Now 6x3=18 plus the carry is 20 put the zero under the 9 and carry is again 2. Now 6x2=12 plus carry of 2=14 put the 4 under the 4 and carry is 1. Lastly 6x1=6 plus carry=7. Put the 7. 
So the answer is after adding up: 4,936+74,040=  78,976.

 Obviously you will have to know your tables. Fortunately some schools still teach them. Try it. 
But now there is a wonderful method called Napier. Multiplying a two-digit number with another two-digit number would require a 2 by 2 by grid if you wanted to multiply 26 x 15 or a 3 by 2 grid if you wanted to use 658 x 46. 
So a 2x2 grid is simply 4 boxes - 2 under another 2. The second step is to draw a diagonal in each box from top-right to bottom-left. The diagonal line separates the tens and the units. Always write the tens above the diagonal line in each box. Now by multiplying 26x15 you would start with the tens values so 2x1, you would put a zero in the top left box upper diagonal and a 2 in the same box bottom diagonal. You have to put a zero because there are no tens values to carry by multiplying 2x1. Now multiply 6x1 to fill the right top box. That would be 6 so a 0 in the top right box upper diagonal ( no tens value) and a 6 in the bottom diagonal. Now do the same way to fill the bottom boxes. That would be 2x5 and 6x5. After you have completed the grid, add the columns along the diagonals, starting at the bottom-right diagonal. You might have to carry over a value if over ten, from one diagonal to the next. So you start with 0 then 0+3+6 =9 and lastly 1+2+0=3, and the last diagonal is a zero, so can be dismissed. Therefore the answer is 390. Interesting method but in my opinion slow and easy to make mistakes if you get the sequence wrong. But to be fair it works. For me multiplication is knowing your tables. Not forgetting 'carries' and working from right to left as shown in the first example.  

Covid yet again a thorn in our sides...

Well, the government is coming up yet with another rule - you must wear a mask in every shop you visit. Sounds easy isn't it? Yet in my local area and the shop next door no-one wore a mask. And as of this morning getting my newspapers some still did not and a marshal was as elusive as the Yeti in the Himalayas. Obviously the rule came first and then everyone will start thinking about how it has to be enforced. Besides all of that would you want to be a marshal, a local one? I don’t. I can hear it now, this bl**dy idiot fined me £1000 I’m going get him. Watch me! 

It should be quite obvious by now that rules are made up on the hoof. In one way I can understand it because it is not just about getting the virus, it is the results to jobs and the economy. So I suppose it was always going to be like walking a tightrope. But even so one should expecta government to know what it is doing, and that with one mind. Not hear a dozen or so different opinions on what needs to be done and the loudest voice wins. So Boris get a grip and start wearing the iron gloves.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Where are the aliens?


The question and Answer software called ‘Quora’ had some quite interesting debate about aliens. I am bowled over by how many, and some are quite educated, believe in aliens. Particularly that they have been here and not just that, are still here and doing great intelligent things like making crop circles. I have to be honest here and say that yes there are aliens except we will never see or hear them. As probability will tell you that with trillions of galaxies, having billions of stars the likelihood of other life is near to 100%. The problem is that life such as ours on Earth needs to move but in such a way as is possible on Earth. That is to say, a gravity of 1, oxygen to breathe and food of a kind that is digestible. The next thing to consider is movement, meaning star travel. It is pretty clear that life such as on Earth is not really around in our solar system. We might find some microbes but that’s about it. The distances between the star systems even in our local space area, are so vast and would take hundreds of years to get somewhere. There is no return. Even contact via radio, laser or whatever radiological type will be hampered by these distances. Besides we, humanity that is, have only sent out signals since about the latter part of the 19th century. These signals have not travelled far yet. So any 'local' aliens have not heard of us yet. Then again someone will say, what about alien visits because they probably have technology far in advance of ours. Humanity is not very advanced on the scale of intelligent life. But forgetting that, why would an alien super techno race visit us? Literally no reason at all, we have absolutely nothing to excite such super beings. The only thing I could comprehend they would need to replenish is ‘water’. Yes, water because all life seems to need that first and foremost. So, there you go, no aliens, no visits, we are alone in our solar system. But keep looking, at least there is some employment for Prof Brian Cox.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

It is a funny world...


Whatever you might think about the Covid virus scourge. It is not that it is a particularly deadly one, except if we are weak and have underlying medical problems. As a result most young people and that is those between 20 and 35, think that they are not bothered. Have a song and a dance, take some drug or other, chat unintelligible words, have a swig of one or two alcoholic drinks. Yes, it is a great time. Except grandma and grandpa are either dead or dying or in the best scenario lay in a hospital bed trying to catch their breath. It is a funny world. Then we have a brilliant government with their finger on the pulse, knowing exactly what needs to be done. We don’t hear or see the PM unless we read something in the national newspapers about what he said. And what he says is mostly ’Get the kids to school’.

He hailed Britain’s big return to work and school. Ah well, he had to say something, wouldn’t you say? Then poor Rishi is turning over in bed during all these sleepless nights thinking up solutions about how to pay back two trillion pounds of debt. Anyone thought how much interest we pay on that debt? Yep, at 1% that would be £20billion annually, wasted money. Only making the bankers and investors richer. I am assuming of course that the interest is lower, at least I hope so! But the annual interest is quite a whopping amount. Even at 0.1% it would still be billions.

There is a lot of rumbling in the papers about increasing taxes. 5p a litre on petrol, more on diesel, then 9% NIC for the self-employed to be 12%, and I think VAT might rise to 24%. But I say this, how do you think these extraordinary costs that we have incurred thanks to Covid are going to be repaid? Have a guess! Yes, you Tom, your neighbour Dick and me, Harry.

In the meantime the richer echelon in our great (!) Britain are getting richer and government including local government fat-cats stay fat. As I said, it is a funny world.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Feminism or Masculism or even Chauvinism, yeah I know...

 As a big fan of the books by Clive Cussler, although today he writes together with other people including his son, Dirk Cussler, I bought his last book 'Celtic Empire'. Basically a story about a female take-over of world politics and power. Based on an Egyptian princess Meritaten, eldest daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten escaping Egypt for Ireland. It is a rather interesting concoction of 'what-ifs' about the disease called cholera and a mutated form of it. But the underlying trend is the power grab by a firm headed by a woman and her daughters through chemical means. Dispersing a chemical throughout the world making women bearing female children only.

That is an interesting angle indeed. You know I have thought for some time that males are becoming more and more feminine. Whether that displays through homosexuality or characteristics particularly such as dress, behaviour or body I leave for others to discuss. Obviously this does not happen all across the board but nevertheless it seems to me being noticeable. Asking why I can only surmise it might have something to do with the increase of oestrogen in drinking water. It is said that in London the drinking water you take has already passed seven times through another person. That will include women who take oral contraception containing oestrogen.

An ‘Independent’ newspaper report (20 January 2009) says this:

The rise in male infertility and the decline in human sperm counts could be linked with chemicals in the environment known as anti-androgens” says The Independent. The newspaper says that these types of chemicals “are able to stop testosterone working” and could be affecting development of men’s reproductive organs".

The article does not put blame anywhere but even so it is quite revealing as it says further:

"The feminisation of male fish in UK rivers is thought to be related to the female hormone oestrogen and related chemicals in the water, which come from human and animal excretion. However, it is not known whether anti-androgens (chemicals that interfere with male hormones) also have an effect".

I must say though that I have no problem with feminisation or whatever you would call it. Although it is probably not a bad thing to counteract the overtly macho images portrayed by some power hungry men, just look at some US presidents. So, interesting book and an interesting report. Looking at society and humans all around, may I say ‘Hello, perhaps we should wake up and smell the roses’.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Legal system a joke? Rather...

Just came back from a very nice holiday in this country. Who wants to go to Spain? I don’t. Not when we have splendid beaches such as at Amroth, Pendine and Tenby. So having returned now and feeling all refreshed and hyped up ready to face the virus I am reading the same old stuff in our wonderful newspapers and listening to the newly voted ‘woke’ liberal-leftie BBC. But one thing bothers me and that is the legal system in this country, Well, certainly as it is at the present. Take those three young idiots, Bowers, Cole and Long. Who caused the death of a policeman when racing away from a crime. No matter how you look at it, they killed a policeman on duty. That is not something you should be smirking about. Then on top when caught they just could not see what they had done wrong. They killed someone by their actions, that is plain murder, not manslaughter. The difference here is that they KNEW what they were doing. These three need to be put away until they are 50 years of age. Thank you legal system for spending such a lot of money on yourselves. The legal aid is a joke system to keep fat lawyers and ‘woke’ judges accustomed to their daily bottles of wine and whisky. Change it please, do us all a favour!

Well, I can always dream on but didn’t we vote in a new government to change all of that? Or as has been happening so often in the past when voted-in all promises were swiftly forgotten? I still feel good, it is a strange time though. Not so good for a newly elected government that was or rather still is, finding its feet. Let me ask a question – is Covid-19 a manufactured virus? Adapted from the common cold/flu virus? Just asking as it is pretty rare for a virus to suddenly pop-up out of nowhere without living organisms having encountered it or even having a modicum of resistance! Yep, just asking. I am a distrustful sort of person and I do not believe any ‘expert’ nor any ‘government’ official, minister or otherwise as history has shown without any doubt these people do not speak the truth but are expert at hiding it!

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Why use artificial intelligence to make simple decisions?

 It is true, I can be as critical about almost anything as anyone else! But I also think we have to have a sense of proportion. Take the present furore about the examinations. A levels in particular. God only knows what the GcsE’s will bring but let that be for now. First of all we should ask – why? Why let AI decide who will pass and who will not? This was trying to establish AI (Artificial Intelligence) into fields where human intelligence and knowledge would be better suited. Frankly AI will never be as intuitive as a human being’s thought processes. It is true though that AI can go through billions and even trillions of possibilities but those are all something that has occurred before. Also it can correlate those occasions with the results it brought, good or bad. But that is NOT intelligence, it is just stating that if you do THIS then THAT is the likely outcome. Again, it is not intelligence. We have to go out from the view that every human being is unique. Every human being can and lots do, change attitude, change views, for good or bad. That is life. Perhaps this is a simple view but just think about it. AI is like a straight-jacket, it can never be more than what is put into it. You can have a giant computer that holds all the texts, books, documents ever written, it might even come up with another book but it all would be just a re-hash of what is already around. Could a computer come up with the Table of Elements? I would think not. Not unless you would put in the chemical analysis rules etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love computers, they are and should make all our lives easier and more productive but so far that hasn’t really happened. As this farce about examinations has shown. Think of this, take out all human endeavour, all thought, all learning and leave it to computers. Would we be happier? Well, in the end the choice is still a human choice. But for how long?

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Boris, are we boiling or what !

 Oi Boris, just a little note, I hope you read a very short report about the highest recorded temperature on Earth? Just so you know, it was 54.4 degrees Celsius! Mind you it was in Death Valley, USA. Apparently it is true and not fake news. Bit worrying that, innit? Death Valley a bit of an appropriate name, don’t you think? Nothing stirring there. I am writing this because your valued co-workers don’t take too much notice of what’s going on. I know you have been ill but this bit of news needs you to take a grip and have a very serious thought about why. I give you some ideas, is the sun getting hotter? Not really, this year was aphelion year (the Earth being furthest away from the sun). It seems the sun is not getting hotter. Is Jupiter, the nearest great gas giant going nova? No, it is not. It does not seem that external occurrences are at fault here. Is there an enormous number of volcanic outbursts? Hmm, difficult one this, there are some, Hawaii for instance and there have been a few in the past. So, there has been a lot of CO2 and other gases but again nothing of the extraordinary. There are just two other big things, population numbers, cars and planes. Yes Boris, jet engines and the internal combustion engine. The engines throw out a lot of nasty stuff, well you’d better ask some boffins who have measured all of that and I think you will be astounded about the amounts that end up in the atmosphere. So, to put you in the picture, all these gases have a nasty tendency to trap heat. We are producing billions of tonnes of these every year. So what about population increases? Yes, nearly 8 billion of us now and 10 billion expected around mid century! The problem Boris here is that a lot of land is needed to properly feed all of us and that’s not around. I hope that Eton Primary taught you that the Earth’s land area is only 29%? Of course the Dutch made some of that and if you let them have a go they might even dry the North Sea but don’t worry about that as you will have enough problems with water when all the ice has melted. Indeed some of the land is not even capable of growing food. From that 29% you’ll have to take away the deserts, forests and mountains, some 50%! No wonder there are a lot of immigrants! Well, there it is, the reasons for this extraordinary temperature, what will it be next year? Could you live in such heat? Don’t answer that one, I already know it.

Thanks for reading, looking forward to some action!

NB Sorry this note it is a bit longer than intended, I got a bit hot under the collar!

Monday, 17 August 2020

Thanks to Covid, we have an opportunity...

It is remarkable really what a medical calamity can do to a society. Take this virus, Covid-19, it is virulent on that there is no doubt but every winter we have had the influenza (flu) virus taking some number of thousands to the heavenly abode. Beside all of that we might ask a question about whether our medical moguls and in particular the various Health quangos were convinced that pandemics are not possible in the 21st century? That microbes ask for permission to attack us? That viruses are a thing of the past? Moreover our past and present governments have been constantly amiss in setting up and controlling good organisations to lead medical research and effective Area Health Boards. Our governments tend to be saddled with people, all with degrees mind, but devoid of common sense. To sit in Parliament seems to be altering the human brain. Erstwhile active and brilliant minds suddenly go into a sort of morose state, panic attacks are common place setting-off the U-Turn syndrome.

This state of mind can easily be noted because it manifests itself by a lot of paper-waving and shouting unintelligible words into empty space. It also gets noted by a sudden acquired ‘knowledge’ of finance, by uttering words like ‘balancing the books’, and ‘ controlling expenditure’ all without knowing what they really mean or entail. Yes, a sad state of affairs when a virus shows up the shortcomings of a nation’s public governance and indeed the ‘quality’ of its governors. So I think we should all thank Covid-19 for giving us the opportunity to have a very hard look at the way we are governed, the way we spend our money, the way we ‘pay’ for work, and the way we want our society to be. Do we take responsibility for this planet or do we not? And if we do then let’s do it properly! Beginning with our nation!

Saturday, 15 August 2020

The way of a virus is rather interesting...

 It is rather interesting to be able to read reports in a few languages. I read Quora both in English, Dutch and German. The Dutch website had a question about Covid-19 having undergone a mutation (already). Obviously most would know that a virus constantly copies itself and during that process which takes place in the host cells (like human cells) ‘mistakes’ can and do occur. It has been noted that one mutation in the virus amino acid D614 has mutated to G614. Now I am not a chemist or a researcher in that field but it is said that the virus is and has become more virulent. See also Tracking Changes in SARS-CoV-2 Spike: Evidence that D614G Increases Infectivity of the COVID-19 Virus. It is rather interesting and follows what I said in other posts – there will always be viruses. They will mutate, and we will fall foul of them. Some will kill, mainly because the host has no resistance and is already weak. Some will only have a mild inconvenience, like a snotty nose or something like that. But we will get the virus. A lot is said about herd immunity. Of course but that too will not last because the mutated viruses need another vaccine to be developed. Just look at what is done with the flu virus and the annual vaccination gallop! It is good though to keep up our own defences, stay healthy, don’t eat too much sugar or salt. Take enough exercise. I know it is difficult, these burgers taste so nice, don’t they. And I am partial to a nice cake, give me a whipped cream eclair any time day or night. But if I want to be a bit older, just to see the grandchildren getting married then hey presto, I am not letting the Titanic sink!

I am so happy!

Just for your information – This morning I was very lucky indeed to be one of the first to receive the new Russian version of the Covid-19 vaccine named SputnikAce6. Up to now everything is going well, no side effects or secondarioski Я так рада, что получила эту вакцину, и не могу отблагодарить своего друга Влада!

Влад Цепеш

Ed - adapted from my son's web-site in good ol' Dutchland.

High-flyers landing on very hard ground....


It must be obvious now, the government does not trust teachers to make the right choices! The constant interference in educational matters is quite something to behold. However you look at it the government, well at least the Ministry for Education and its high flying supremo, Gavin the Magnificent, thinks that teachers tend to overrate their pupils to make themselves look good. OK, that might be the case in some instances but in the main, from where I am sitting as a school governor, that is far from the truth. So, now the high flying supremo has landed, not just nicely on a runway but crashed down on very rocky ground and is now trying to climb out of the wreckage. We might well ask why are governments so insistent on running education? On top of it we should also ask where is the Civil Service in all of this? It will not take away that ministers are holding the can, e.g are responsible but surely it is time to look at the role of the CS! To have this many calamities, the government is already walking on wobbly legs. Time for Boris to put all this behind him and start again. Stop listening to ‘experts’, in my working life I found that ‘experts’ have only one string on their bow. And sing a tune that tends to overbear any and all others. Get some people who are looking to the society we have and want to improve it and moreover take the planet seriously. No need for specialists in top government, it asks for trouble.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Power corrupting? Or a way to riches?


Genoeg is genoeg: het is tijd om hier een einde aan te maken; het is tijd voor deze politici (allemaal, geen uitzonderingen) om de macht en Libanon in één keer te verlaten. Niemand wil ze nog als leider omdat ze allemaal incompetent, egoïstisch, gewetenloze leugenaars zijn.

The above excerpt in the Dutch language is part of a Quora report about Lebanon and the explosion in Beirut. It says about corrupt politicians who knew the danger but did not do anything for years. It says that they must cede power at once because of their incompetence, egotism and lies.

Well, it is a damning article written by a Lebanese man about the standard of public figures. We might well ask, why are politicians so reviled? Is there a grain of truth in such allegations?

We all know the proverb about how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?

I suppose it is true because I remember the furore about one of our MPs charging the public purse (on his expense sheet) for a duckpond in his castle garden. And there have been quite a number of MPs who charged for second homes (which is allowed) but either rented it out or let their family members live in it free! So yes, when in power and therefore easy access to money and influence the case can be made that some will fail. The problem with politicians is that they want to be seen to please everybody. So lying becomes second nature. To say to a constituent, 'no I cannot do that or this is impossible' would, it is thought, harm re-election.

Many politicians, existing and future seem to forget what it is about. It is about servicing the community, the country and its standing. Proper financial control, proper division of resources and good infrastructure so all benefit. It is certainly not about personal advancement or enrichment. And one of the most difficult thing for a politician, learn the ability to say no but in a kind and responsible manner with explanations as to why it is No and not Yes. On top of that we, the great unwashed should not expect that politicians can make our lives easy. That after all is in our own hands. Difficult to understand? Ask the Lebanese what they think!

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Live normal? Or more normal...


Puleeese give us a break! Army general (Major General to be precise) Jones is hauled before a military panel. Why? Oh he romped with a married woman. On top of that a lieutenant-colonel has accused him of bullying. I wonder why. Just asking a question here, is the Army pussyfooting around nowadays? Do we now need to see adverts, join the Army but only if you do not have sex, keep your mouth shut, don’t swear and you read girlie magazines. This ‘woke’ Britain is getting silly.

The whole society we know is changing and that is because we pander to idiots, we listen to all sorts of drivel. Why? Because it is the only thing we hear because the silent ‘normal’ majority stays silent. Just read the stuff on Facebook or Twitter. I am not sure whether younger people, the 20’s-35’s are fit to lead this nation or indeed any nation. From where I am sitting I see a changing world. Simply because it is always changing but now accelerating. Most of us cannot cope with change. For instance Corona-19 virus is not really an extra-ordinary thing. I am sure it or something like it has been around for a lot longer than these last few months. What’s more there any thousands more viruses just waiting in the wings. Again this is normal. What is not normal is how we react, how we are leaving ourselves open to disease. Why? Overcrowding because people congregate in larger and larger cities. On top of that a heck of a lot are pretty unhygienic.

Take the wet markets in China, look at South America and places in Asia like India, Afghanistan just to name a few. Pretty all  Egyptians live in Cairo, even in cemeteries! Now you begin to understand why we are as we are today. So far that’s the negative side of things. Are there plus points perhaps? Well, of course, we are fast moving into a society run on electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. Apparently even for planes! That by the way will still heat up the atmosphere because that’s what energy, all energy does. But there will be less carbon and therefore less containing the sun’s heat. On top of that we just have to become used to less. Less travel, less consuming everything we lay our hands on. Less land degradation. Not easy, humans are creatures of habit and habits are difficult to break. It will be fun I told my grandson, he looked at me with a scowl on his face.

Ed 15/8/2020

The general has been cleared, good. Now back to normal. But remember some marriages do break down, so deal with it in a responsible manner. There will be no right or wrong. But be strong enough to say, sorry it no longer works and split evenly. And above all remember the rights of any children. They need both parents whether separated or not.

Friday, 7 August 2020

Covid-19 Physical changes?


Seeing a picture in a national newspaper and on the web as well of our esteemed Prime Minister I just wondered what an attack of Covid-19 really does to the body?  Ah well, it's how I normally look getting out of bed early in the morning.

(Picture from a TV satirical program – Spitting Image. Reported in the Sun Newspaper 7/8/2020)