24 Oct 2014

The politics of ignorance

Today's headline-grabbing burst of Newspeak centered around the annual EU budget adjustment that sees the UK having to stump up a staggering £1.7bn by the end of the month, or Barroso's sending the boys round. This announcement sees the majority of the nation howling in rage in typical knee-jerk fashion at the unjust nature of the out of control EU monster.

But...hang on a minute. This is an annual adjustment, which means it happens every year...yes, really. In some years past we have received refunds, just as in some years we have made payments. Barroso, being a seasoned Brussels apparatchik has made the public announcement of this frankly staggering amount that our Treasury must have known about for months for one reason and one reason only - David Dipshit Cameron. A man who continues to dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole, and a man who conversely is the only serious threat from the UK to the Brussels status quo.

There is a by-election coming up that the Tories are desperate not to lose to the beer'n'fags myopic little Englanders (and they're the liberal wing) who constitute UKIP. By announcing that the UK must pay £1.7bn yesterday, or Liz will find her favourite horse's head where Phil The Greek should be in her bed, Barroso is feeding on the knee-jerk reactions that the majority of the UK are prone to in these situations, thereby making the Tories chances of winning that seat much less than they otherwise would have been. Not that it's difficult, but the Eton chancer has more than met his match in Barroso, for sure.

Now, I do not consider myself particularly intelligent, but the second I heard this headline on BBC Breakfast I thought there must be more to this than meets the eye. Ten minutes of research will confirm that in the past we've had refunds from the annual adjustment. You didn't see Camerong wringing his hands in liberal guilt and suggesting we give our refund to Spain or Greece, who obviously needed it more, did you? Obviously, spending ten minutes on the internet finding out what lies behind the headline before mouthing off in the manner of an ignoramus is too much for most people.

Yes, the amount is way too much when you consider it amounts to a fifth of our entire net annual contribution. Its esoteric calculation, that includes estimates of the amount made in our black economy, is yet another example of the excessive and blundering bureaucracy at the heart of EU being its main failing point, but the principal behind it is right, the richer nations should support those not doing so well. Trying to square that with giving France and Germany rebates takes more than a bit of swallowing it has to be said. Why not scrap all this adjustment nonsense and have fixed budgets?

The way the BBC reported this on tonight's Six'O'Clock News was a tad disappointing. They got it right up to the point where they explained the UK's annual EU contribution, which, if I remember correctly was £8.3bn. The logical thing to have followed that with was "...and Germany contributes £xbn, and France £xbn". Instead, the £8.3bn is left hanging there in the minds of the wilfully ignorant like a maniacally grinning bile magnet. Fail.

I'm not finished yet, oh no. The reason we have to make this extra payment is because, relative to all the other economies in the EU, we are growing at a much faster rate. All well and good, but I don't feel any better off now than I did six years ago, how about you?

Of course the only reason our economy is doing so well on paper is down to growing employment rates that are almost exclusively the result of Multinat Corp Inc (based in Luxembourg, thereby getting away with paying no tax on their profits here, natch) being able to employ vast numbers at minimum wage rates. This is what makes the UK so attractive to immigrants, not just from outside the EU, but from within it as well. To a lot of these people, these shit jobs at shit wages represent a nirvana that their home countries cannot supply.

Immigration per sé is not the problem, although you would have to be a Guardian-reading Tarquin or Jemina living in splendid Brit-only white-only isolation in the Cotswolds not to have noticed that the sheer numbers coming in have got out of hand. No, the problem is that since THAT BLOODY WOMAN successive governments of both colours have continued at a pace with the deregulation she started in 1979 to the point where it is for all intents and purposes irreversible. Wages are suppressed to the bare minimum and unions have become an irrelevance with absolutely no power to stop the continual draining of money and resources from the general population to the elite. This laissez-faire attitude towards the control of capitalism's excesses and the resultant boom in poorly paid jobs is what attracts the immigrants from their poverty stricken countries of origin, and who can blame them?

As for "they come over here and live off benefits they've not contributed to", well, that too is an almighty red herring of convenience for the right wing. Again, ten minutes of research will tell you that the amount of immigrants fraudulently claiming benefits is a tiny proportion of the whole.

As I said, I do not consider myself brain-dazzlingly intelligent, so if I can do the research if only to confirm what my political instincts tell me anyway, why can't anyone else?

Now, time to put another cat picture up. Have a nice weekend.
Roger McNasty

17 May 2014


Mornin' peeps...

eBay, despite being weighted far too much in favour of the buyer is nonetheless very useful for gettring rid of accumulated clutter. Just lately I've sold a keyboard, a guitar amp, a hi-fi amp, and a CD player. As these are all bulky items they were all listed as "Collection Only", and all four items were duly picked up from chez moi by the buyers. One guy even came all the way down from Cheshire!

It seems however, that people who read books are not capable of assimilating the simple instruction "COLLECTION ONLY" - now stated in capitals for extra clarity. B and I are decluttering some of our book collection. I am selling the Game of Thrones box set (7 blockbusters in a box), and B is selling the True Blood box set plus 6 other True Blood books, some hardback, as a job lot.

Again, as these are bulky items they are clearly marked "COLLECTION ONLY". That has probably sunk in by now, eh? The other instruction to note is "cash on collection only, please". The other day I get an email from eBay telling me I had sold the GoT box set...Woohoo!...briefly. The buyer had ignored my instruction to pay cash on collection and paid by Paypal, and I am more than slightly perturbed that the buyer resides in West Lothian, Scotland. 

The next day she sends me this delightful message "hello, i ordered the game of thrones book box set and didnt realise it was a pick-up from northhampton, there is no way i can ever pick the books up, so i would like my money back please" (sic, a lot). Note the indignant tone, as if it's my fault she didn't read the instructions properly, or indeed, at all. Of course, I wanted to reply along the lines of "Yes, of course I will refund your money, no problem. Next time open your bloody eyes and read the fucking instructions, ya daft bint", and I did...but omitting the last sentence, diplomat that I am.

After that I re-listed the Got sale and amended the other sale currently running with "COLLECTION ONLY" now in the sale heading as well as in the instructions. This morning I get this priceless piece of stupidity in my eBay inbox "Are you sending to Estonia? If yes, then how much will it cost? And from Estonia I can pay for the goods only with paypal". I am still composing my reply...does anyone know how long donkeys have to stay in quarantine at customs in this country? He can send the cart on by FedEx, no problem.

By the way if any of you fine folk are interested, here are those two auctions. Send me a message and I'll take them off eBay, and, don't forget YOU HAVE TO COME AND GET THEM... :)

Game of Thrones books

True Blood books


It would be remiss of me to exclude myself from the stupid-o-meter, and I will now lay myself open to ritual humiliation. Most of you will know that B has gone through treatment for a serious illness, and now all is well as she is well down the road to recovery. The two of us need a break, so I headed off to Expedia and booked a week in Jersey, just the ticket. The only direct flight from Birmingham leaves at daft-o-o'clock in the morning so I took the more civilised option that leaves in the afternoon. This one flies to Jersey via Guernsey. In the flight details I notice that the turnaround in Guernsey is only 15 minutes.

Sez me to B "How on earth are we supposed to get off one plane, collect our luggage, and get on another in 15 bloody minutes?"... 

In the yoof vernacular that is a massive fail, is it not? Have no fear, I did award myself fuckwit of the day for that one!

I can't find me slippers, I think they must be in the fridge...see ya

5 Apr 2014

Chicken Hammock

I'm only posting this here in order to blow the cobwebs off Brouhaha, a blog that is in danger of ossifying I've neglected it so much...

Bugbears of Modern Life #12: The Delivery Window

You know the kind of thing: "Thank you for ordering our Orgone Accumulator from us here at The General Synod. It will be delivered by our couriers, Surly Truckers Ltd. Now please choose a delivery window 8am-12noon, 12noon-4pm, 4pm-8pm" so you have to hang around for the allotted 4 hours waiting for the thing to turn up. As we live in Warehouse Central, that usually means right at the beginning or end of the window.

Last week I ordered a new mobile phone from that nice Indian company, Virgin Mobile. The usual message about delivery, but get this; have you ever come across a delivery window that runs from 7am to 9pm? That's not a window, it's a bleedin' yawning chasm. Donning my never far away Victor Meldrew persona, I'm straight on the phone to Mumbai. Yes, I know it won't do any good, but it might make me feel better.

Having torn "Julie" off a strip for the ludicrous time gulf offered by Satnav Dichotomy Ltd, she attempted to placate me with "Well, they will send you a text before delivery", which is something I suppose. It's not her fault, so I apologise for being an arse and hang up.

They better not send me a text at 6:45am, I'm thinking, and this morning I do get a text, but at a far more civilised 8:07am. The text said "Your goods have been dispatched"...can you guess what's coming?..."they will be with you before 9pm".

The Trip to Italy was rather good. Loads of self-referential humour, but Coogan and Brydon carry it off brilliantly. Particularly liked the Michael Caine impression competition, and the Batman pisstake.

While we're on telly, it's all a bit shit really. I probably spend half the time I did a couple of years ago watching The Box. Daftest thing I'm watching at the moment is an ultra convoluted Norwegian suspense drama by the name of Mammon, on More 4, another channel with "4" in its name getting into Scandi-dramas. Why is it that so much stuff is coming out of that strangely wonderful part of the world? I suppose when it goes dark for most of the winter, you either have sex or write, and industrial strength contraception aside, as there doesn't seem to be a Scandinavian population explosion, it must be the keyboard tapping that takes up their time. Or seal punching.

Tomorrow sees my team's biggest game of the season. Win it and we are in the driving seat for 4th place in the Premiership and qualification for the preliminary rounds of the Champions' League. I added that apostrophe, being a grammar nerd, admittedly one who seems incapable of spotting his own mishtakes.

As Everton have a habit of bottling big games, most annoyingly against their lovable neighbours, I very much doubt we will win, aside from the more logical footballing factors, which I will not bore you with here.  Of course, you're not allowed to put such heresy into words on fan sites, they accuse you of being negative rather than the pragmatic beastie that you are. They wouldn't understand "pragmatic" anyway. In the few months I've been a member of the Everton Facebook group I've quickly learned to dumb down my language, as my first posts saw accusations of "poncey words", and of me being a "posh cunt". I should realise by now that showing that you actually paid attention in class is a heinous crime in this fuckwitted country of ours. These same dumbasses think that having "belief" and "faith" is enough to outplay a team that spend more on haircare products than we do on wages.

Even if we did win, and by a series of miracles thereafter eventually finish 4th, you can guarantee that "The Shite" as they are affectionately known, would steal our thunder (again) by winning the bloody thing. We'd never hear the last of it. Come on, Citeh!

Haha...the word "blog" is not in blogger's spellchecker!

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