Sunday, 28 August 2022

To all doglovers, not...

Just a short one as I am on a day trip. Sun yes and loads of people with dogs. By the looks of things there are more dogs than people on the planet! I am not a dog lover, in fact dislike them. Even during the lock-down period (a long two years) no dogs in my house. But looking around I can report that most dog owners have little regards for others despite rules that show where to let them run, defecate, urinate and try to get on the back of other dogs or my leg. The left over results are for others to step in. Lovely. Nice holiday memento. It is time the government, seeing it's enormous budget deficit, will impose a dog-tax. £1000 per annum. Plus a mandatory visit to a vet annually for a worming check. And a mandatory chip. Any dog checked without to be euthanised immediately. I hasten to add I am not the only man (a non-binary one) thinking like that. But there you go, I'll be back when I have cleaned my shoes!

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Is it that bad now in the UK?

Lurid headlines all over the papers. Girl of nine callously shot in her own home. Innocent caught by gunman. Our society has gone stark raving mad. Well, yes I suppose you could say that and then trust the newspapers to rack it up to the utmost. But looking at it a bit more objectively our society has been going down for some time now. It would be too easy just to blame the police in this country but they must be prepared to take the flack. Simply because they have scaled down quite considerably. More to the point, they have started to look at actions, words and exclamations of people that have nothing to do with crime! The other section, the politicians, they are the ones who have left this country to sink into the morass of indecision, prevarication, lies, self-interest, and that’s just for starters. We elect politicians not for their policies but for how they look or are dressed. Politicians who stand for representing us, no-one looks into their background, their educational standard, their personal behaviour. As a result we tend to get people that are not capable to carry the mantle of responsibility. What would-be politicians expect to do? A nice wage packet, sitting on green leather seats for a day or two? Shouting a few obscenities at some people who sit on the opposite seats? Sounds like a permanent holiday to me!

All in, you can easily see the state of our nation at present and the result is shown so horribly in Liverpool. It has nothing to do with racism, or LBGT+ but it has all to do with the general malaise in personal standards and behaviour across all strata of society. Drugs are openly available on the streets and despite glorious TV programmes showing the police tackling it, the reality shows differently.The very rich think nothing of awarding themselves or being awarded huge pay rises whilst the bottom of society may be lucky to get 50 pence an hour on the so-called national wage. A society where large companies have abandoned all pretense of being socially responsible and 24-7 working now common place paid for by the hour only. Glitzy advertising campaigns show a world which is only in their imagination, the reality is the opposite. A stark, grey world where Victorian standards seem to becoming more and more widespread. I suppose it won’t be long before our society will collapse completely and all of us will be throwing the slops out of the window onto to the street. 

Another problem that is basically ignored is that of unbridled, unchecked immigration. Despite wonderful verbal emanations from the aforementioned politicians and disregarding the feelings of the great silent majority in this country, immigration is continuing unabated and actually increasing at a phenomenal pace. No longer is it a few tens in a dinghy but hundreds every day! There is now a whole industry in France to ship as many as 100,000 annually and more if they could find enough boats. In the meantime the society immigrants wished to join is already far from the heavenly abode they were expecting. Welcome to the mishmash that is Britain today, hope you will be lucky to find a place to live and work and enough food.  

It all sounds so dreary and frankly it is but if we have time and the will, we can rectify the situation quite easily. We need a fresh look at our politics, the way we vote and simply decide how we want to live. It needs a consensus, we need all in Britain to sing from the same song-sheet in as far as how we want our society to be. Of course, there will be differences of opinion but surely we all want to live in peace and harmony? We need to establish simple but effective rules of behaviour, also effective actions if people misbehave. Fines and other punishments, jail and so on need to be reflecting the criminality. Well, let’s hope good sense prevails. Get on with it Liz or Rishi or who ever will follow the wild-haired tornado.

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Electric- Solar, wind, human emissions? Take your pick...

Innovation, innovation, innovation. Just saw a TV program called ‘Click’. On this occasion it highlighted the small companies in both the Netherlands and Sweden engaged in the development of electric boats, small fast cruisers that even hydroplaned! In Sweden even ferries! And the question I have is – What is happening in Britain? Once the powerhouse of the world? Is it perhaps something to do with government backing? Is money being made available for this type of research and development? Well, you answer that question, my perception is that precious little is done in the UK except arguing whether we are ‘its’, ‘binary’ or ‘pan sexual’. The development shown showed cars that were virtual solar panels! Obviously there is not a lot of sun in western Europe. But with so much greater need for charging the costs overall are also greatly reduced. And here comes my nasty brain – this is not what OUR UK government wants because of the also greatly reduced tax basis. The sun comes free and I’m certain that at this precise moment someone in government is already thinking – How can we tax sunlight. In the UK I have to mention it again, we are now concerned only with watching Twitter and Facebook to see what our neighbours are thinking of us. Our UK children spend inordinate time on phones and tablets to play the most stupid games you’ll ever see. Instead of having a look at how to make a brilliant chess move they are looking at Google Play Store for interesting items like World of Tank Battles or Bed Wars. Good question – Why don’t we ban Google? Or severely curtail it? Personally I have curtailed Google as much as possible, I use DuckDuck as search engine and change over every now and again to Startpage. Like when I was in the army it pays to be fleet on foot. Change frequently, don’t stay in the same place more than a minute. I use more than the two mentioned, obviously we need to be security conscious. 

But back to innovation – why do we not pay much attention to solar panels in the UK? I hear mealy-mouthed explanations such as being not very efficient, costly to make, costly to install, not making enough electricity. Yet other countries are forging ahead with much better solar cells, better manufacturing processes and as seen are now producing vehicles, cars, boats, ferries that run entirely on electricity. There are developments that work on road surfaces where lines are embedded, much like the idea of the Chinese mag-lev. Where magnets levitate the car, making friction virtually nil reducing costs again. (So less tax for the government, I think the Civil Service here has nightmares!). All in all, we are seemingly married to the idea that wind will do it all. We are plastering our hills, every spare bit of green with inefficient and very costly wind-turbines. Why? Because most in our government, MPs, ministers, Civil Service, all believe that wind-turbines provide employment across the board. This might be true but it is costly as well. In Holland, my old stamping land, most new build houses have solar panels. Factories all have more and more solar panels. They are not converting valuable farming land in panel monstrosities but still, there are plenty to go around. Britain? Ah, you see we are clever we believe in wind. IT blows all year round doesn’t it? No, you gormless minister, it doesn’t! For most of 2022 the wind was pretty poor in the UK. Except for the hurricanes coming out of various political orifices. And so we are in the doldrums (!) in more ways than one. Let’s hope good ol’ Liz will hoist up the trousers (sorry!) and take this country by the scruff of the neck. Sorry to say but despite promising, this was Boris’ greatest failure.

Friday, 19 August 2022

Bad news is bad news...

Day in – day out the information hurricane pours out the most depressing stuff. For myself I get really depressed listening to this continual tornado of bad news. Even the TV presenters or news readers make it worse by being incredibly argumentative in their questioning. I am of the opinion that they know very little of the subjects they talk about. The most knowledgeable persons are the weather people, at least they seem to have a good knowledge of what is going on with the weather! The rest and that includes the aggressive Nana better stay home and give us a complete rest and recover our mental health. In days past mental health was called being doolally (look up the meaning of that on Wikipedia). Lately we have to get used to returning to pre-Thatcher days when unions rule and strikes are called by Red Barons. Things have a habit of returning, don’t they? When I read up on my history books I can see pre-1939 days. When ordinary people are being driven into the claws of very aggressive minorities. Minorities that through use of social media continually chip at the fabric of society. Like in Germany, in the end due to false promises these minorities take power and then the good Lord save us all. But before the good Lord does this the world will have been virtually destroyed. Perhaps this is humanity’s fate. The inability to control unbridled aggression, greed, avarice and arrogance. We do not learn from our collective mistakes in the belief that next time things ‘will be different’. No, they won’t as Russia's invasion of the Ukraine shows. And worse, even after that has been ‘sorted out’, we will do the same thing time and time again. Even by looking at the national situation here today, what with the rumbling strikes. Strikes rarely solve the reasons why strikes were called for in the first place. For myself I cannot see any strike that solved the problem(s). The miner’s strike of the eighties (1984-85) is a case in point. The mines themselves were relatively well-run. But the strike was politically motivated and from my point of view had nothing to do with working conditions or relations. The result was the closure of almost all the mines in Wales and most in the northern coalfields. It might have inevitable anyway due to a growing scientific consensus about the reasons for global warming but the damage this strike caused to families and societies was immense and its rumblings are still felt in places like the Rhondda today!

I have begun to think that the plethora of bad news, or rather say, negative news is damaging society. We need to re-design the Web whether we like it or not. I don’t like saying it but it needs AI, properly designed AI to police the Internet. Simply because humanity cannot control itself. We need to stop this incessant reporting the ‘News’. It is bad enough to learn there is a war, sorry – military intervention- taking place. But do we need to know precisely where the rockets are fired from? Do we need to know or see the pictures of decimated human corpses and discuss in the goriest of detail who did what and why? If you like that sort of thing, just watch Dr Pimple Popper on TV. At least she does something that benefits humanity. And there is plenty of gore.

Thursday, 18 August 2022

A puzzling time isn't it?

From time to time I watch TV because my wife is married to Pointless. It is a rather interesting program as you need to find answers to questions that the panel of 100 people interviewed to answer such questions, had not mentioned. So, the four couples who stand need to find the lowest score, not the highest. If there was a question answered that gave a zero result £250 was added to the prize total. The end prize, if not won because the last couple standing does not find a zero point answer at that stage, will be increased by £1,000. If they find a zero point answer they will win the pot. Sometimes that can run to well in the thousands. Anyway, this is not what struck me as interesting. What is, is the knowledge displayed about subjects. It is funny but most younger people like to say ‘This was before my time’ and are reasonably well versed in music questions. But take History or Geographical questions, they invariably display complete ignorance. It does not show up well for secondary education in this country. From quite a number of quarters you hear about education standards being watered down. This might be true or not, I suspect it is but as a governor in a local school I also noticed that more time is spent on non-science subjects. Maths is not forgotten but I must ask, why in all honesty are they teaching Napier? Drawing a grid, placing numbers, and so by adding arrive at the answer after two hours? Well, maybe not two hours but you I hope, will see the point?

The other thing that bothers me is the bad quality of writing. I mean when looking at the calligraphy type as so wonderfully shown on documents of the past you won’t really see that in schools today. Today you are lucky if you can decipher what is written. Spelling is another failure post, probably the fault of Google’s spell checker or software like OpenOffice or Microsoft’s Word. On their own these programs do exactly what they say they do but our brains are not taxed and do not have to remember how to spell because the spellchecker will automatically correct you. In all of that, you must remember that our brains stay sharp through EXERCISING it. For myself I spend some time doing Crosswords and am a lover of Sudoku. Lovely Japanese girl that. No, not really, Sudoku is or can be a hard puzzle pending on how the numbers are set up and how many are set in the grid to start. Another very good brain tester is a simple card program like Patience. When you must recognise values and put them in order of their differing colours or suits. Another great activity is jigsaw puzzles. My tablet loads these in a jiffy and I can choose with how many pieces I will start. Obviously I must assume that we will have the time to do these games but surely we can? In the end it is all for one reason, keeping our brains active and healthy! And lastly, don’t forget we also need physical exercise. Buy a watch that keeps informing you how many steps you have taken. Funny I should say it but I have not got to the two-thousand steps a day yet!

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

A bit more fun about politics...

I have often wondered what makes people become a politician. Is it a wish to make our society better? Sure, it is what they profess to want. Is it because they have a hunger for power? They all would deny that. Is it because they want an easy life? They vehemently would deny that. Now I am certain, initially would be politicians are straightforward, honest and well-meaning persons. So, we may well ask – what happens after they have been elected? From where I am sitting it seems they lose their mettle pretty quickly. They get embroiled in party politics and so signs a death sentence to any ideas of improving society. For most MPs, I am sorry to say, their impact on the Westminster scene has been virtually nil. Unless they are sitting at the top-table (The Cabinet and related serving staff) we might as well just forget all about MPs and just save the money. Rather than 600+ crammed in a smallish chamber, have a sharply reduced number, no more than 100 and a cabinet of 10. I am certain that much more work can be done with a greatly reduced number of people. Because as we see today, there is a hell of a lot of talk but very little actual decision making.

The reason is there are far too many differences and opinions to overcome. In the States and here,  we have two party politics. Basically two largish parties continually vying for power. One might ask, why bother but it simply means one will get its hands on the purse strings. Do we smell opportunities for corruption here? Just so you know, I have not said that but nevertheless... In the end, the party in power is not so far removed from the other. Simply because the general needs of the nation requires a similar approach. Labour or the Democrats in the US tend to focus more on the ‘worker’ and some social issues and the Conservatives and Republicans focus somewhat more on business issues. This might be a bit too simplified but I do think generally to be correct but what do I know.

One of the things that bother me is the growing importance of social media and the impact it has on politics and political views. In the UK politicians avidly watch and take part in the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and related platforms. I look at them but do not partake. In Quora, a growing medium, the questions and answers will astound you. You get questions like – when we visit another galaxy will my grandchildren see the pictures? My answer would be – Of course they will, Andromeda is just next door, don’t forget your Polaroid! In the end if proper-meaning politicians see and read all that drivel and believe this has a bearing on how the nation feels and acts then you can easily see the doldrums we are in presently. When people start thinking Trumpy baby has their best interests at heart it is time to emigrate to Mars. Or take that trip to Andromeda. If people start believing our own Wonder Woman Liz Truss will save the nation from rising prices, well best to go back to sleep then. As for Rishi baby, chiseled jaw Rishi, he would be too busy squirreling his fortune back and fore to India to have much of a thought for us clodhoppers. We are merely required to pay up and shut up. 

Wow, and all this on a sunny and dry morning before I had my porridge which is all I can afford (a whole 1Kg bag in the local supermarket for less than £1.50). Unfortunately the local cows do not produce free milk. Like the funny Scots ( that’s them of the skirt wearing fraternity) I might have to change to use water and salt.

Monday, 15 August 2022

Anyone for politics? Sir Keir has the forms...

I have often wondered what makes people become a politician. Is it a wish to make our society better? Sure, it is what they profess to want. Is it because they have a hunger for power? They all would deny that. Is it because they want an easy life? Again, they vehemently would deny that. Now I am certain that initially would-be politicians are straightforward, honest and well-meaning persons. So, we may well ask – what happens after they have been elected? From where I am sitting it seems they lose their mettle pretty quickly. They get embroiled in party politics and so signs a death sentence to any ideas of improving society. Most MPs, I am sorry to say, their impact on the Westminster scene has been virtually nil. Unless they are sitting at the top-table (The Cabinet and related serving staff) we might as well just forget all about MPs and just save the money. The problem is as I said, party politics. The party has a strict set of whatever they think is important. All is MPs must follow the line as set whether they have better ideas or wish to disagree about the line.

The party heavies, the Whips (A Whip is an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. This means ensuring that members of the party vote according to the party platform, rather than according to their own individual ideology or the will of their donors or constituents. Whips are the party's "enforcers". Wikipedia), these individuals run a very taut line. Because how do you ‘pressurize’ well-meaning people in politics? Well, good question. It seems that in many cases a promise of advancement (meaning a lot more money) will do the trick or a promise of government looking at their idea or project. In other words it could be argued that it is close to corruption. The system of lobbying is another. Lobbyists also, although not in government, tend to ‘promise’ certain benefits. I am not in any way suggesting here that it is a case of ‘Loads-of-money-guvnor’ but still... the system has been shown in the past to be susceptible to nefarious practices. Again, it must be said, most lobbyists are 100% straight forward and work for the common good. We ought to ask, ought to demand, a sharp look at whether this system works in the 21st century. It is not good to be dewy-eyed about ‘democracy’ when it is clear that it messes up decision making and open to side-issues. In this day of the Internet there are simply too many organisations of almost any persuasion we can think of, able to heavily promote their views. 

What we see is governments ‘acting’ on said pressures in the belief it is what the population wants. Whilst in fact it is a belief held by a small but vociferous minority. Just look at the issues pertaining to the LBGT+ community, you could hardly argue that this is the majority view the general population hold dear. The general population just sighs and hold their heads. Or the very loud minority who protest about slavery and want ‘reparations’. Or even the younger people glueing themselves to roads believing it will stop global warming. At the same time leaving tons of rubbish in their wake. So, anyone for becoming a politician? No need for degrees, just say what you believe and be rest assured no-one will listen. Just have another glass of cheap champagne!

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Let's have a proper look at the situation...

You will have noticed that I continually mention the very poor calibre of UK politicians. In fact many times have I called them idiots. Obviously these are generic terms and it simply does not mean everyone is an idiot. But too many are. Too many are blinkered, just look at Labour and the ultra left plonkers called Momentum. Where have these come from? No, not the slums of Birmingham or Leeds or even Glasgow. These are middle-class youngsters mostly with a Mickey Mouse degree in Home Cooking or Vacuum Cleaning. Nice degrees actually at least you would have thought it keeps the house clean. But OK that’s the UK for you as it is today. Dumbed down completely. We have heads of secondary schools insisting to be called IT or a Non-Binary just so they can say they are WITH IT! Did I say idiots? Let’s have a look at why I term politicians idiots. First of all I believe the first past the post system is outdated. Let that rest for a moment because the UK is ultra-conservative and we must not change anything because we have always done it this way and it is sacrosanct!

Secondly we have been badly served by the likes of Tony Blair (Yes, Saddam has weapons of mass destruction), Gordon Brown (Don’t worry, I’ll borrow some more money), John Major (I like sex, Edwina), Ed Milliband (Oh God, help me), Theresa May (I like dancing, you know), Chris Huhne (Yes, I know all about power and know how to drive), Jeremy Corbyn (I’d like to learn Russian and Putin is a nice guy) amongst other alumni like William Hague. Every one probably tried but were stumped by our ‘Yes, nice words Sir (or Madam) but it’ll take years’. In the end they just sat down and gazed at the proverbial navel and did absolutely zilch. I have always thought why do we elect weak personages as PM when we need a Churchill? Someone with a backbone, someone yes like Boris but we got rid of him pronto because he showed too many weaknesses that the party bozos did not like. We must not forget that party leaders are woke. They look at Twitter all day long. But ordinary people do not use Twitter, only the London woke ultra lefties. You won’t believe some of the stuff they talk about. 

So, by looking at some of the above mentioned politicians you will immediately recognise that the UK is in serious trouble! One by one, you have to admit, are scared of making decisions and this is actual throughout society. The only guys I know that seem to be not afraid are those long-suffering military commanders. The First Sea Lord, the Chief of the General Staff. I feel sorry for them having to be listening and accepting these hare-brained ideas from politicians. All you hear is ‘Cut’, ‘Cut’, and more ‘Cut’! We see now where that has lead us. The Russian command has decided Britain can easily be taken because there are only 2 working frigates and one Carrier. The rest of the Navy are in the Channel escorting immigrants to Dover. Another wonderful Home Office idea. They call that repatriating except not to France but to Britain. It is too stupid for words but as I said – What can you expect from that mediocre lot?

Roll on the next election – but do we believe it will change things? Hmmm, I won’t be putting any bets on it.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Armageddon - Is it close?

 If there is any doubt in our minds about what is happening all around us then sit down quietly and close your eyes! First of all the so-called leaders of the nation, indeed of the world, have lost all credibility. No longer can they be trusted to look after their populations. They all and sundry just look after themselves. Next, looking at leaders of companies you will note the same thing. It is, 'I’m alright Jack, b*gger you’. When you look at power companies and their bosses you see exactly that. There is not a single attempt to resolve the crisis. No explanation as to why EXACTLY we have arrived at this situation. Except mealy-mouthed whispers of ‘Ah well, don’t worry your pretty little head and keep on spending otherwise the economy will collapse’. What?!! From where I am sitting the economy has already collapsed. When forecasts about the cost of power are showing charges of £5,000 per annum you can bet your bottom dollar that either someone high up has lost all sense of reality or their marbles or there is a concentrated effort to prepare us for the long-awaited doomsday! I can tell you now if that amount is true I am glad I’m not a policeman or even am in the military as there will be unrest the like of which we have not seen since the Romans left Britain!

Even the contenders to become Prime Minister of the UK have lost their sense of proportion. Ever more stupid assertions are spilling out of their mouths. If you ask me – Bring back Boris. Or let there be an army take-over. It would not solve any issues but at least it will shut up the woke ultra liberal elite. Look at Argentina, 40 years ago we had a little tussle with them, probably completely unnecessary except for grandiose ideas about who owns what and perceived colonialism. I noted a short report as to why militaristic governments such as the Russian, despite being the largest country on the planet need to continually aggravate and meddle in the affairs of neighbouring countries. Indeed, aggravate the whole world. 

A Quora reply to a pertinent question said this: 'The invasion of Ukraine obeys no logic, common sense, or any semblance of being designed by someone from this planet. It's an invasion from an upside-down, bizarre parallel dimension. It is the most self-sabotaging conflict of this century, possibly any conflict since WW1. It makes the invasion of Iraq look like a product of a geopolitical mastermind. Evil is evil - there's no way around it. But there's clever evil, and there's a gratuitous one. The invasion of Ukraine is pure drunken vandalism on a grandiose scale. It is the ultimate tragicomedy of Russian nationalistic authoritarianism. An idiotic worldview rooted in imperialism, paranoia, inferiority complex, and mania of greatness rolled into one. The invasion of Ukraine defines Russia in a way no Russian has articulated before'.

Could not have put it better myself. In the end it is just another manifestation of the grand malaise that has encompassed the world. It is all played out in full view of everyone, thanks to the Internet. It is to be hoped that we can solve the issues because if we cannot we will join the dinosaurs in the hereafter.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Where or what is Albania again?

So, of course we now know more yet again about this infernal problem called ‘immigration’. Nearly half of those who have paid thousands of pounds are of one nationality – Albanian! What do we know of that small country hidden away on the eastern side of the Mediterranean? Except from the recesses of my brain I recall it was quite the poor communist country suffering under a dictator of vile reputation, Hoxha. Or something like that. May I now say again and I have said it many times before – Most immigration is for economic reasons and so it is with all these young male Albanians. Does anyone understand the governments reluctance or inability to deal with this problem? I don’t. We even send in the Navy to actually help these people to land in Dover. God help us all. I have also mentioned that I am NOT against immigration, certainly not but I am against unbridled, uncontrolled immigration. Simply because there is no room for so many arrivals, no work, no housing. As a result many will become a national problem due to criminality. The Albanian idea of women is that they are to be seen but not heard. Dressed in black with a hood over the face. No body shape to be seen. An Albanian thinks when seeing an ankle that is the summit of sexiness. Dear, oh dear but that's the way it is in such countries and we should be OK with that. But here it is altogether different. It is fine by so-called ‘experts’ to talk about diversity, equality of the sexes, freedom, democracy and all of that, throwing off all shackles. Forgetting though that as with everything there are positive but also negative sides. How do you change the restrictive attitudes, even laws that people of Albania and also loads of other countries, Arabic and African live by? Especially when they move to a western country like Britain? You are asking for problems. 

Of course, not all arrivals are criminal but too many are and some will become because of the aforementioned, no work and no housing. We only have to remember the indescribable happenings in Rochdale and also other places yet unknown where men of Eastern origin procured underage girls for sex, indeed used them as prostitutes. They keep telling us there are no easy answers. Yes, there are – stop the uncontrolled immigration. If boats come send them back. Don’t worry about the French, they don’t know what they are doing at anytime. Stop this idiotic plan to send a few to Rwanda, it is plain crazy and I wonder what happened to the person who thought that one up. Probably sectioned in Broadmoor. No, it is high time that we put our collective thinking-caps on because we are just asking for problems, some of which we are already experiencing! Please will someone tell our MPs that their job is to look after the UK and the hard-working persons within. Not pontificating about whether Donald Trump is a nice guy or friends with Putin. Or whether it is OK to have a grope or two at the Christmas party!

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

What?!! £4,000 p/a - which joker said that?

Are we sure that this country is governed by sane people? Are we sure the power companies are governed by greedy pigs? Well, the news shows that is just the case. Reports that the price gap might easily go up to £4,000 per annum. Now, I can easily see that is just unattainable for the greater number of people in this country. The first thing I can see coming on is a revolution. Either a revolution or a very long number of strikes by almost every worker, blue or white collar and certainly the workers of industry. How do these power companies expect people on less than £10 per hour to pay that? It’s just pie in the sky! This sort of charge actually means that more people than ever will be on benefits. So, the cost to the Treasury is going to be phenomenal! I just cannot believe these idiots are serious. I am not a Labour voter, I am laissez-faire but I no longer think that is possible to be. Nationalise all power companies without compensation! Whilst the government will do that have a very good look at how managers are paid and drop those levels by 50%. We just cannot continue like this and to my mind we don’t need to either.

You might ask how did we ever arrive at this situation and don’t tell me it is because of the war, or Putin. It is because of gross mis-management, over-paying shareholders and grossly inflated salary levels and bonuses to top management. I am certain that these people do just not know how most of us have to live. As such although I am no Labour man but I will vote Labour for the first time in my life! The Conservatives quite obviously have lost their grip on the ship’s rudder and we are floating powerless in a choppy sea without any idea where we have to go. Well, goodbye Cons, it will be better to let Labour sink us completely at least it’ll be quick.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Computer joys!

As some might know I am a computer lover, particularly because I am also a Linux fan. I detest Windows and its money grabbing ideas. You remember – 'We will not go beyond Windows 10, it is the last O/S'. Ah, yes and so we now are forced to have Windows 11 and apparently by 2025 there might be Windows 12. I think it is deplorable! Linux in all its flavours (pick the one that suits you best) is free to use and does not cost a penny. Linux Mint is very Windows like but with much all Linux flavours, it helps if you are not afraid to learn how to operate the command line. It is not difficult, if I can do it, you certainly could as well! I build my own desktop but I have family eying it because its pretty powerful and they are becoming quite adept at using a computer of the calibre that the Universities use for research. Anyway, so I purchased a Mini! No, not the car, a mini-computer. 500Gb SSD storage, 16Gb memory and an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. How do they do it for the price I paid! Less than £400!

When it came it had Windows 11 already installed. So, I did not waste time to delete that and loaded Linux Mint 21. That sounds simple but what you have to do is make a bootable USB with an iso file. This can be downloaded from the Internet. Then the USB has to be made bootable. To do this you will use your still working Windows 11 or 10 system, and download a program called Rufus. Install that and copy your iso file onto your computer as well. Best is to see it on the desktop screen. Rufus will copy the iso file and expand that and make the USB bootable. Next you take the USB and put that in a suitable slot on the computer to be changed (in my case the Mini). It will when started probably tell you it cannot be done. The reason is that you also have to change the boot order. In most computers you get that by pressing F12 or Delete and the boot process will show up. Set the first choice available (there are about six possible choices) to boot from USB. Switch off and on again and now it will boot into the new Linux system. You will get the option to install the complete system or stay as you are. You obviously can do this on the one computer you copied the iso to as well. The process to follow is the same. Unfortunately there are computers, laptops in particular that have been ‘locked’ into Windows. You cannot change it. My laptop, an Acer, is like that. But I can  have two O/S’es, so I just ignore Windows and boot into Linux. It will take half of your available memory. You can check how much by using a program called GParted. A partition checking/altering software suite. The only thing I’ll be missing by using a Mini is you will have to purchase a DVD drive as there is no CD capability. The way I circumvent that is to copy all the relevant bits I need onto another non-bootable USB drive. There are other ways through linking two or more computers and sort out the network that way. But here everything works well, the Ryzen 7 processor is unbelievable. Good choice!

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Just who wins and who pays? Hmmm..

The problems just seem to keep on and stacking up. Price increases across the whole spectrum, the war in the Ukraine, the belligerence of China, global warming and plastic fouling of the global water systems. One of the problems that even myself can see clearly is the inability of politicians to even begin to solve these problems. Despite the lovely words we hear daily, precious little materialises. The Ukraine war is just such a talking shop – western politicians decry Russia but at the same time are looking for ways to continue using Russian gas and oil. The facts are simple, come this winter we will see a sharp diminishing of support for Ukraine. Here in Britain we support Ukraine fully, for the moment but just wait when the cold days are coming! Price increases and UK inflation are all the making of bad management by politicians and weak management. Management of the Bank of England. You don’t have to look far, just listen to the governor! He doesn’t seem to know whether inflation can be worked on or not! For such a highly paid person to make gaffes like that, is really inexcusable! The inability of government to control price rises in times of rapid inflation seems another economy failure akin to what Labour used to come up with. I would have thought the Conservatives were better than that! Gas and electricity prices have been left to the vagaries of the global market but at the same time the companies like Centrica and Shell have been actually coining it in! There should have been controls to monitor the real cost of acquisition, i.e the price per barrel versus what the companies charge. But who am I, I know nothing.... as Manuel of the comedy program Fawlty Towers used to say! And then we have the continuing pressure that China exerts in the Pacific because they feel that Taiwan belongs to them. Typical authoritarian politics and a demonstration of how democracies are put under pressure and thought to be weak! Just ask Putin what he thinks of the western democracies. Just like the Guardian newscast stated – it is a game of time and management of resources (incl logistics). Time because the longer it goes on the pressure on resources increase. In other words one will run out of projectiles making the opposition bolder and more likely to counter-attack. Also as already stated, Putin hopes that in time the west will lose its opposition and will want an end to the war by pressurising the Ukraine to cede land. From my perspective whatever will happen, nothing will favour Russia or China should they actually invade Taiwan. It looks pretty stupid, here are two rather large countries seemingly intent on acquiring more! In the case of Taiwan the price is not just land but the infrastructure and industrial capacity of Taiwan which is very big, might even surpass that of China itself! Russia is an anomaly, it is just a country that throws its badly managed might around. A despotic aim to rekindle the erstwhile Soviet Union lands and spheres of influence. What a shambles. So, let’s be absolutely correct here, we should NOT become victim to thoughts of giving in to such pressure. Because if the western democracies will do that, the outcome will be worse in ten years time or sooner and then indeed might we end up in a nuclear confrontation.

Friday, 5 August 2022

Quality government or a class of Dumbos?

What are we saying about our esteemed Governor of the Bank of England? Not so long ago he said that he could not control inflation. Did anyone get the impression that our ‘betters’ don’t know what they are talking about? For quite a few years I have had a go at the poor performances of MPs and you only have had to look at the present crop to sadly nod your head in agreement. Frankly, between you and me, it’s the same across the world. The latest applicant for the Dumbo prize is the Bank of England boss. Not so long ago he tearfully exclaimed in front of the nation’s TV audience that he could not control inflation. He more or less indicated that it wasn’t his job. Suddenly today he increased the interest levels to the highest levels since they were lowered in the early Noughties (Noughties=2000-2010). Once again he put on his ‘serious’ face and looked us all in the eye saying that he really understood the hardships it entailed. Do we believe he does? No Sir, we do not. We know you are alright with your half a million salary and million pound bonuses for doing a great job. For myself I am beginning to ask yet again – Where do we find these moronic people? I cannot believe they are all coming out of the Eton College of Perceived Intelligence? I might not be most intelligent dog on the block but I think from what I see and hear I could be a perfect dictator.

There is something rotten in our political set-up. Lies and subterfuge are too common. Half of politicians' time seems to be spent on TikTok or other social media channels checking what other politicians are saying about them. They ought to look more closely at how the general population feel. We are all struggling to make ends meet. The price of electric and gas are obscene. These are not really to do with Russia or with the war. There will be a bearing on some level but the real reason is the world-wide demand. Almost all countries are vying for oil and gas and other commodities as well. Again, I have said in the past – what do we expect with so many people on the planet? Britain has a fast-growing population alone, mostly due to immigration. Thousands come every year and increasing. We sometimes forget, and by we I mainly mean the woolly-headed woke liberal leftie nincompoops, immigrants need housing and being without jobs need quite a high level of benefits. Benefits that are paid out of taxation. Taxation that all working people pay. So, you can feel the stresses on those budgets already. Yet politicians obfuscate the issues and when directly asked avoid a proper answer or simply lie. I cannot see the situation changing fast so I put this here now – Politicians are guilty of killing us all! I hope that before too long we wake up and charge them accordingly.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

A Pelosi view of the world...

Sometimes you hear or read some nuggets of information that are 100% correct. One of those nuggets was uttered by Ms Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the US House of Reps), who said “ Today the world faces a choice, a choice between democratic and autocratic government”. Bang on Nancy. Please stand for Prime Minister in the UK next time Liz or Rishi make a gaffe. We change PMs at the whim of social media goons or the views of ultra left-wing woke libertarians. Sometimes we even bet on horses like Jeremy Corbyn and lost all our money! Although he never came on as PM, he nearly made it. The war in the Ukraine would have been a foregone conclusion as British soldiers would have been forced to fight with the Russians. I hasten to add, there might have been a revolution in the good old Home Counties, Scotland and Wales secede and Jersey declaring war on Britain and join France.

Perhaps it would be better not to speculate what could have been because we do too much of that already. Even so, Ms Nancy is worth listening to because she is absolutely right. The choice is a stark one. Just look around, look around the world, there are loads of countries still shackled by autocratic regimes and look how they behave. They generally have no problem at all at throwing about force to counter what they believe are external threats. Invisible external threats. Imaginary external threats. In no way am I expounding the virtues just of democratic nations. We only have to look at the US to see how that can be used but generally we do seem to need a nation that is prepared to expend trillions to police the world. 

Humans are just mammalian entities suffering from anxiety and worry about existence all the time. Continually looking over our shoulders is not such a funny thing, it makes you paranoid. Viz Russia and China. But it is more worrying to note how “our” western politicians and companies deal with autocratic regimes. Take Russia and China in particular. Chinese companies are everywhere, a big chunk of western companies’ profits come from trade with China. Even for myself I own a few Chinese mobiles and I must say they are good. So, why does China like to flex its military muscle over a smallish island with which it could trade very profitably indeed? Well, only God and Xi Ping will know. China and to some extent Russia are in the process of decimating the economic progress we enjoyed since the end of WW2. The question whether WW3 will end all of that is now paramount in all our minds. Humanity quite obviously has not moved on from its primal desires and fears. Pretty sad, huh?