February 17, 2013

I'm Outta Here

Fret ye not.

It is merely a house move.

After almost four years on Blogger I am migrating to Wordpress.

It is all thanks to my good mate who set it all up for me. Last night we transferred all 1200 posts and nearly 20,000 comments successfully so we should be ready to rock and roll.

The new place can be found here so please adjust your blogrolls accordingly. I'll leave this site up for a wee while forever*. Just trying to figure out the Site Feed thingme to automate the whole process.

We hope you like the new gaff. If you have any suggestions-such as fancier furnishings and fittings-please let us know.

Finally we will be able to have a decent, uninterrupted conversation again as I will not moderate comments, apart from the first one.

Ahhh, just like the old days, eh?

See you there!


* Over at the New Ranty Barracks there is a complete list of all 1,200 posts and the comments that they generated. It is much easier to navigate than the archives here, so please have a look.

I have decided to switch comments off here (to save me checking two sites all the time) but you are more than welcome to comment at the new billet.

February 15, 2013

Trust And Respect?

Several things in the online papers today got me thinking about trust and respect. Both traits are usually earned, but are ascribed almost automatically to some professions.

I am learning, far too slowly, I admit, that it is far, far better to withhold both trust and respect until you are absolutely certain the person you think is respectable and trustworthy actually is. Even then, there are shocks and surprises.

Disappointment becomes a regular emotion as you start to wise up. New realities have to be created.

An example? I may have mentioned this before, but a couple of years ago I had to go to my GP for a regular blood test to see how my cholesterol was doing. I had had the blood sample taken by the nurse one week earlier, this visit was to determine how long I had left to live.

I am called (on time) to see Dr Fuckknuckle (not his real name, but it should be), and in I walk. He is already busy writing out a prescription. He "Good Morning's" me without looking up. I take a seat. "Bad news, old son", he says gravely, (he still hasn't looked at me), "You have a dodgy ticker. You are going to need this medication for the rest of your life".

"No, I don't have a dodgy ticker", says I.

"Yes. You do", he insists.

"Prove it", I retaliate.

"It's all here", he says, tapping the computer screen. Still without looking at me or the screen. I lean closer so I can read it.

"You have three problems there", I said.

"Oh yes? And what are those problems?", he asks. Finally looking up at me.

"Number one: I am not 84 years old. Number two: I am not Margaret Jane McDonald. Number three: I am male".

"Ah", says our shaman, "Wrong screen". He fiddles with the keyboard and my name pops up.

He glances at it briefly and says "Ah yes. That's right. You have diabetes". Out comes the prescription pad for some fresh activity, he scribbles furiously.

"No I don't", says I.

"Yes you do", he insists.

"Prove it", I insist right back.

"Consistently high blood sugar readings", he exclaims. "It's all here".

"Show me", I counter.

He looks, fiddles with the keyboard, mutters, then says, slightly triumphantly, "There!"

I look. "Is that it?", I ask. One high reading out of 8 tests over a ten year period?"

"Yup", he says.

I said, "One high reading is an anomaly. You need at least two consecutively high readings to even consider there is a problem. Test me now. If it's abnormal I'll take your damn pills, but I at least want to know you have it right".

He's looking a bit smug now, and he arranges for the practise nurse to give me 500ml of Lucozade to drink and tells me to bugger off for an hour. I come back to the surgery, give another blood sample and the wifey looks at the results. "All normal", she declares. I badly wanted to be the one to inform Dr Fuckknuckle but she won't let me. "He will be embarrassed", she says, "I'll tell him".

So I went home to let my wife spouse partner significant other know that I wasn't dying just yet.

A stupid story, I admit. But the bigger problem is this: How many Dr Fuckknuckles are out there? Dispensing serious medication to people too witless, or too in awe of doctors to actually ask "Are you right? Is your diagnosis correct?". And, given recent NHS outrages, we learn that they are killing us off. By the thousands.

The police are no different. Just the other day we were treated to pictures of a grinning cop who had killed a motorcyclist while she was chatting to her partner on a mobile phone. The biker just became victim number 1,464. These people all died at the hands of, in the company of, or just after coming into contact with....the police. Not one of them has faced charges over these wrongful deaths in the last ten years. We MOPs (members of the public, as they term us) are merely collateral damage in the ongoing war. We are obstacles in their way.

And what about those sportsmen some of us stick on a pedestal? Lance Armstrong, anyone? Now we have Oscar Pistorious charged with blowing away his girlfriend. I know, I know, we must let justice take its course but it is not looking good for the lad.

Celebs? The guy off Corrie, Michael Le Vell, was today charged with 19 counts of kiddy fiddling and one charge of rape. And slimey old Jimmy Savile, self-styled King of Fingering? If even one tenth of the accusations are true he was a very sick individual. Yet both of these people were looked up to and trusted and respected.

My own village copper, the same man I gave tea and biscuits to during a neighbour dispute, is awaiting court over his possession of 1,000 indecent images of children. He seemed like a nice, family man. I had to gently ask him to piss off when he showed up to get involved in the dispute. I explained to him the difference between civil and criminal law. I maintained that the dispute was civil, but, as he explained, he was a lodge brother of my neighbour, and he had to act. "Sure," I said, "But before you do anything unlawful, go and talk to your duty solicitor". He came back an hour later to let me know that the fracas had fuck all to do with him. Off he trotted. I assume (now) that it was to get back to his child porn stash.

Sorry for the ramble.

The point, if there is one at all, might be this: trust no-one. Especially if they have any 'authority'. They will lie. They will make mistakes. They will ride rough-shod over you. And they will be wrong. A lot of the time, they will be just plain wrong.

Hang on to that respect as well. Give it out very carefully. Be mean with it.

Because they don't trust or respect you. At all.


February 13, 2013

Debt And Taxes

I found this over at Inquiring Minds and I thought it was worth sharing.

UK government debt is around one and a half trillion if you take into
account unfunded pensions, PFI schemes
and all the other off balance sheet debts.
Private debt just about matches this if you take into account
mortgages, credit cards and overdrafts. (USA debt is 14 trillion.)
Now try to get your head round a trillion.

Perhaps this helps.

1 million seconds = 12 days
1 billion seconds = 31 years
1 trillion seconds = 31,000 years
(note: – the British billion is now the same as the American billion -
a mere thousand million, not a million million)

The next time you hear a politician casually talk about ‘a billion pounds’, stop and think about it. 
Ask yourself – are they spending YOUR tax money as you want?
These facts help put that ‘billion’ in perspective.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion Pounds ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at the rate our government is spending
even more than it can raise from…

Stamp Duty
Tobacco Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Income Tax

Council Tax
Unemployment Tax
Fishing Licence Tax
Petrol/Diesel Tax
Inheritance Tax (tax on top of tax)
Alcohol Tax
Marriage Licence Tax
Property Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Vehicle Licence Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Only one – income tax – existed 100 years ago (at a maximum of 10%)

Our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.
The industrial revolution was beginning to feed mouths and fill pockets.
Public spending was a mere 25% of GDP.
We coped with debts of £600 million resulting largely from the Napoleonic Wars.
We had the largest middle class in the world.
Mum stayed home to raise her children.
Dad was allowed to discipline his children.
A criminal’s life was uncomfortable.
The sun never set on the British Empire.

And now look at us today – trapped in the EU and governed by inexperienced pygmies.
How and why did this change happen?
The answer is equally mind-boggling and appalling, because we are to blame.
We have re-learned an old hard lesson :
people attracted to power are fundamentally unsuited to hold it.
Ask yourself: do senior politicians today believe in acting in the best interests of the people who elected them?
Self-evident answer: No.  Self-interest and political survival come first.


Not my work, so if there are any factual mistakes, don't be kicking my arse.


February 12, 2013

Mixed Bag

All sorts of shite going on at the moment so I thought I'd just do a potpourri. A 'news stew' if you prefer.


The Vicar of Christ has resigned. Yip-de-fucking-doo.

There was provision for it in his contract so can they just get on with the whole conclavey thing, elect some old fart to run The Greatest Paedo Show On Earth, light a fag in the Sistine Chapel, and then we can all get on with life. Except that between now, and the lighting of said fag, it will be rammed into our brains for weeks and weeks and weeks....

HINT:  If you don't want to go through all this 'uncertainty for the Church' again, try electing someone under 50 for a change.

It may be a black dude (Shock! Horror!) as part of some wanky plan to seem progressive. You want to be progressive? Endorse condoms and we can reduce the prevalence of AIDS in the world. Or, and this is blue-sky stuff, actually agree to and promulgate the notion that abortion is none of your fucking business, and the decision remains the sole responsibility of the women who need them, for a whole raft of reasons.

And while you're at it, have a root around in the catacombs and print those 66 missing Books of the bible. I'd really like to see what they contain.

Lastly, it's make yer fucking mind up time: if Roman Catholics priests are supposed to be anti-homosexual celibates, why are they continually fiddling with little lads?

Not that Pope Benny did anything about it.

A tad hypocritical, no?

Call Me Unpopular.

Poor Dave. Mere moments after returning from the EU waving a bit of paper saying "We got a reduction!" (it turns out we got no such thing), and insisting on driving through a non-manifestoed Bill to allow gays to marry (for the record, I don't care who marries who, as long as both are willing) his popularity, particularly amongst women, drops faster than requests for Lance Armstrong to deliver motivational speeches. Here, in full technicolour, we have a man who could have saved us all from the prospect of suffering another inept Labour government for quite some time, virtually ensuring that they will get back in power in 2015. If the polls are to be believed, but I suspect they aren't.


At the risk of sounding unpopular, so fucking what? Did anyone die? Did anyone even get sick? I admit that it is all a bit ropey, and somehow, Al Qaeda, or the Mafia, or Jimmy Savile is to blame, but FFS, horse-meat is quite tasty. So much for all those chefs and their spectacular taste-buds, eh? The fuckers don't know what they are eating and they are the professionals, so how the hell are we supposed to know? Next up: fish fingers contain no fish and are made entirely of panda meat. Gird your loins for the outrage-fest that will be visited upon us.

Mass Deletion.

My only bit of good news.

As most of you know, I spend an unhealthy amount of time at the UK Gov legislation site. I stumbled across a piece of primary legislation for 2013 in which they are repealing dozens of old laws. Sadly, none of them matter a fuck to most of us, containing, as they do, some real beauties like this:

Kenmare Junction Railway (Abandonment) Act 1890 (53 & 54 Vict. c.xlviii)

Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland Act 1891 (54 & 55 Vict. c.xli)

And a personal favourite: National Insurance Surcharge Act 1976 (c.85)

Need the link? Here you go:  Statute Law Repeal

Not that the repeal of the NI Surcharge Act is especially thrilling, given that the Coagulation has introduced 299 tax hikes since they discovered the public tit never runs dry. Total tax take in 2009/2010 was an eye-watering 513 billion quid and is set to rise to a ball-breaking 671 billion in 2015/2016. Our tax laws now weigh more than Cyril Smith. (Younger readers might want to google the fat kiddie-fiddling freak to better understand the comparison although I am sure you will get the gist).

Apologies for not responding to all the great (and not so great) comments lately. I am running around like fly with blue arse. A pathetic excuse, but there it is.

Be well,


February 07, 2013

Generation Meh

Ever hear that old joke: what's the difference between ignorance and apathy?

Answer: I don't know and I don't care.

There is nothing funny about apathy.

Apathy, combined with decades of programming, got us into this mess in the first place. And please, none of that British "Stiff upper lip" stuff. Being stoic in hard times is one thing, but rolling over completely, on everything?

This has to change. We need to learn how to complain. Loudly. And often.

Don't people care about being tracked by freaks in GCHQ all day long?

Don't people care about being watched by overweight civilians on a host of screens every day?

Don't people care about being robbed blind by their own government?

Don't people care about being hoodwinked lied to over our entry into the EU?

Don't people care about being lied to, almost constantly, by Alex Salmond and his indy wet-dream?

Don't people care about being forced (by the govt) to give their hard-earned money to charities they wouldn't normally support?

Don't people care about being stiffed by energy companies because some twat at the Environmental Department says we must reduce our carbon footprint?

Don't people care about those 1,200 patients killed by the NHS in Mid-Staffordshire?

Don't people care about being treated like cash-cows by incompetent MPs?

Don't people care about being subjected to a two-tier law system?

I guess not.

Because if they did, we would have burnt the House of Commons to the ground a long time ago.

Welcome to Generation Meh.