Oh Dear!

I was in charge, a few years back now, of parts of the Mechanical & Electrical installation of a very large project named Broadgate in the City of London. The actual site was huge, as it spread all over the area which was the Liverpool Street Station, with three large office blocks actually built on top of ten railtracks over the station proper.

The project part which I am discussing was the installation of the pipes or conduits which were to carry large, bulky high voltage cables across eight of the rail tracks. A huge concrete slab had been built over the whole station; which acted as the basement for the building structure, and we had to supply the power from the roadside to the switchgear which was across eight of the tracks. The pipes, which were made of steel, were six inches in diameter, and the task was to sling some twelve parallel pipe sections at 900 across the eight tracks and platforms.

We had from midnight Friday, until five a.m. Monday morning to get a gang of contractors to accomplish the following:-

  • Erect a scaffold across all eight tracks and five platforms which would be safe and secure to carry all the workforce necessary to do the job.
  • Drill and fix two hundred support fastenings into stressed concrete panels which formed the base of the slab across the station.
  • Screw together, support, sling, fix and fasten all the pipework across all the platforms and double rail tracks which would carry the cables to the substation.
  • Test the structure with appropriate weights to ensure structural integrity.
  • Remove all the scaffolding, tools and equipment, and hand back the station to British Rail.

I, as the Manager for this particular sector of the works, worked out the method statement for the whole weekend, talked it through with the Contractor, and finally approved it.

The one thing which you should realise was that, to shut the whole Station down for a whole weekend was a big, big, big deal; there was a great deal of cost involved for British Rail, coaches would carry hundreds of passengers to and from a station down the line into the terminus area, lots of items were arranged, and nothing was going to go wrong!

In the world in which we live, I can just imagine the Gods up on Mount Olympus watching as we mere mortals made our plans, and reviewed our strategies, and silently laughing their socks off!

I live in the North-East of England, so I made tracks for the road north at four p.m. on the Friday; but before I left, I dropped my head around the contractor’s door, and just reminded him that I was expecting a clean run throughout the weekend. He nodded, and assured me that the team was on the ball!

I got back on site early on the Monday morning, checked on my paperwork, put my workboots and coat on, and trotted down on to the platforms to check on the progress of the job. Now, anyone who has ever walked on a railway station platform knows how long they are, so you can maybe picture me as I walked up the platform away from the old booking hall, aiming for the point where the pipes were to be fixed to the slab ceiling, which was some 130 yards up the platform. Wearing my hi-viz coat, helmet, boots; all dressed up for the party, I reached the actual spot where the cables were due to rise from the ground ducts and run across all eight rail tracks in the newly-installed pipes.

I looked up, and found, absolutely nothing. Nix, nada, zilch, zero! Just a blank slab some ten feet above me where there was supposed to be twelve runs of six-inch steel pipes! So I checked my positions, made absolutely sure I was in the right position, looked up again, and still saw absolutely nothing at all.

So I trundled slowly back down the platform, up the stairs and along the huge site until I got to the electrical contractor’s site office, walked in, sat down, accepted a coffee, then asked my buddy how the weekend had gone; and to my utter amazement, he grinned and replied that the whole job had gone off like clockwork. I gently asked if he was satisfied with the progress of the job, and once again he reassured me that everyone was delighted with the progress, as the station was actually handed back to British Rail some twenty minutes early!

So, not wanting to appear totally manic, I asked him if he would maybe drop back down to the platform with me, and talk me through the job as it had happened. So he put his hard-hat on, his coat, and off we trundled. Down on to the old booking hall, on to the platform, chatting all the while. We walked up the length, but then he stopped, pointed up and said, “There you is, Mike! Don’t they look wonderful?” And they did look pretty smart, all twelve six-inch steel pipes, correctly supported and clamped to the base of the slab, running all the way across the rail tracks and platforms.

I really hated to say the words which destroyed his morning, but I had to. “Paddy,” I murmured, “Paddy; yes, you’ve taken the entire weekend, yes, you handed the Station back twenty minutes ahead of time, but you have placed all twelve pipes some thirty yards short of the actual position as required on the drawings!”

Oh Dear!

Methinks Rudyard is quite relevant, sometimes!

It was not part of their blood, It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good, When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved, They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved, Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low. Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show, When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd. It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud, When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.

It will not swiftly abate.

Through the chilled years ahead,

When Time shall count from the date That the Saxon began to hate.

Lies, blatant lies, and Statistics!

The last time I checked, there is, or rather there used to be, a Free Press in America. But now, after reading certain publications and certain recorded statements, I am not so sure any more. In Britain, we are used by now to the BBC, along with many of the newspapers, in their website pages and news bulletins, removing any hint of the possibility of the ethnic origin or religious make-up of, say, a rapist, a thief or a terrorist, except when the perpetrator is WHITE. They are referred to as ‘of Asian extraction’, or ‘Algerian-born British man’; etc., etc.. The fact that 99.99% are called Mohamed, or some variation on that particular paeadophile’s name, makes no difference. It remains unsaid and unacknowledged that they are Muslim.

But I still had high hopes for ‘the Land of the Free’. After all, you’ve got a bloody Constitution, written down and everything, which says Freedom of Speech is the freedom to speak without censorship or limitation.

So when a Buffalo newspaper describes a multiple drive-by shooting in a Black neighbourhood, it included a series of facts.

  • One of the dead victims was on probation and forbidden from being inside any establishment serving alcohol.
  • Two of the eight who were shot served state prison time on weapons or assault charges.
  • Five are convicted felons.
  • Six have been arrested by Buffalo police since 2008.

Various prominent Black citizens took it upon themselves to charge the newspaper editor with stirring up racial tension, as the shootings were presumed to be random.

But a deeper investigation of the records of the injured and dead discovered that:-

  • James Robbs Jr., 27, who served more than a year in prison for felony attempted assault, has a felony case pending after he was arrested July 2 with his father, James Sr., 49, for weapons and drug possession. Buffalo narcotics detectives raided a Schuele Street address and allegedly uncovered a loaded .38-caliber revolver, a rifle, marijuana, and crack cocaine residue, as well as scales and packaging material. Robbs was sentenced to prison in 2001 after he shot at another man but missed and shot an innocent bystander, a 51-year-old woman, in the ankle. Shortly after the shooting, an eyewitness led police to where Robbs was playing basketball.
  • Tillman Ward, 27, also has a felony case pending against him for weapons possession after authorities apprehended him at a July 6 traffic stop and discovered an indictment warrant accusing him of possessing a loaded firearm.
  • Tiffany Wilhite, 31, who was killed in the massacre outside City Grill, was serving a five-year sentence of probation for felony reckless endangerment in connection with a January 2009 fight outside a Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood bar where she used her Jeep Cherokee to run down four women, breaking one of the victim’s pelvis in four places.
  • Willie R. McCaa III, 26, who was also killed, had survived a March 2008 shooting outside an East Side store. He was scheduled for trial last week in State Supreme Court on charges he and another man robbed a man at gunpoint in May 2008 at Kensington Avenue and Godfrey Street.Demario L. Vass, 30, remains in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his head. Vass served five years’ probation for a felony drug conviction in August 2001. He was also arrested on misdemeanor drug charges in January 2008 for allegedly having marijuana as well as packaging and scales. The disposition of that case was unknown.
  • Shamar Davis, 30, served eight months in jail in 2004 after being convicted of felony attempted criminal possession of a weapon. Davis was caught with a 9mm gun during a New Year’s Day 2003 traffic stop shortly after police responded to the former Sensationz nightclub for a 4 a.m. shooting. Records show Davis has steered clear of trouble since then, however, except for a minor brush with the law in April 2006.
  • Shawn-Tia McNeil, who would be 28 today had she survived the attack, was sentenced to a conditional discharge for a 2002 misdemeanor assault. But, according to police records, she was arrested in November 2004 for an alleged felony assault with a baseball bat. The disposition of that case was not known.

A public meeting was held, and the News Editor was requested to attend. Many in the crowd expressed outrage that the police records of the shooting victims were reported at all. They called the report a gross departure from how The News traditionally treats crime victims and that it was disrespectful to the victims, their families and the African-American community.

Among statements made during the meeting were “”I feel that we were victimized twice,” said Cheryl Stevens, mother-in-law of Danyelle Mackin, one four victims who was killed in the shooting. Another made was “”What you did to us was you poured salt on the wounds that had not even healed. So, I’m asking — and this is for all the families — we want an apology,” added Stevens.

So the Black so-called Community not only wants and requires all knowledge of the colour of the dead not to be reported, it also wants an apology from the Editor for stating the truth, which was the colourful and lengthy criminal records of those same victims.
General population in America is   White………..80%    Black and Hispanic………………15%

The prison population in America is White…..33%          Black and Hispanic………………61%.

Sanctuary Seekers All.


Not too many British people recognise or can actually translate or place the German word ‘Kindertransport’. It sadly came into being in 1938, with the British Government’s ruling on the allowed immigration of German Jewish children onto British shores. The initial appeal for the migration of 10,000 Jewish children into the then ‘Palestine’was ignored, but heavy pressure brought by influential Opposition as well as Government supporters brought about a House debate, and a change of policy.

The rules were strict, harsh and never-to-be-deviated-from. The children, who eventually came from Germany, the old Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Austria and other German-annexed lands, were to travel without any relative, small children were simply to be given to an older child to be looked after, were allowed only a small suitcase each, and the clothes which they wore! A bounty of £50 was charged by by the British Government, who had insisted that only private individuals and charities would take care of the children upon arrival, with no official activity, approval or cost to the taxpayer to be invoked.

They came in their hundreds, and then in their thousands; as the Continental Jewish families began to realise that Hitler and his Germany had little time for Jews, and life was rapidly becoming intolerable, especially after the horrors of Kristallnacht spread like a fast cancer across a Germany which was all too accommodating to the anti-semitic calls of a rabid Nazi Party and their armed stooges.

They arrived by air, they stumbled across the quays of Harwich, they arrived blinking at Liverpool Street Station, the last ship carrying the Kindertransport children left the Netherlands on May 14 1940. Some 99.9% of the parents and families of those Ten Thousand ‘Kindertransported’ children perished in the ovens of the Nazi Death Machine; that same Machine which of course was never known about, never revealed, and never-ever discussed by a totally innocent German population.

This is what the term ‘refugee’ is! This is what was meant when ‘asylum’ was given!

The figures in the statue represent a small group of five ‘Kindertransport’, blinking in the sunlight as they arrived at Liverpool Street Station.

You can also tell of the manner in which this simple tribute, sculpted by Frank Meisler, himself one of the ‘Kindertransports’ is looked upon by the inhabitants and passers-by by the litter and garbage which is so casually dumped upon the base of a tribute such as this!

X-posted from A Tangled Web

If They Build It, It Will Break!

The post quote comes, modified of course, from Which Movie? Prizes and Points are available!

Couple of posts previous, I asked if the Commonwealth Games was in doubt, and for lack of a picture, I posted the demolition of the old Yankee Stadium.

But the picture of the collapsed footbridge adjacent to the actual site of the games is much, much worse. From initial reports, as well as an examination of photos available, the problem seems to have been caused by a ripple failure of the cable clamping devices which supported the actual walkway from the arched structure. If any one of the anchors to the cable supports collapse, extra weight is then distributed to the remainder of the cables, anchors etc. If they are designed, built and installed correctly, those cables should withstand the extra force, but if they have been built to a price, and not a quality, then the Games has inherited a huge problem.

News reports coming in as I write indicate further problems, with a section of the suspended ceiling in theWeight Lifting’ hall falling directly on the the sport area.

Earlier reports indicated problems with the track and field events, I wonder if there will be many National Teams heading Delhi-wards, or will there be a massive, world-wide attack of bad backs, strained groins and pulled muscles?

No Thunder, No Hellfire, No Brimstone!

So, the Leader of 1.1 billion Catholics has visited this country on the first Papal State visit ever, and, goodness gracious me, the skies have not erupted in anger. As the ‘Enemy in Scarlet’, the ‘Romish man from hell’ came on a combined State and pastoral visit, what we saw was an elderly gentleman, a German who spoke only slightly-accented English, a Vicar of Christ who met with his counterparts in religion from Anglican, Jewish, Methodist and many others in perfect harmony. His meeting with our Queen did not shake the very ground, nor should it, because it was the Head of one Church and State meeting the Head of another Church and State. Elizabeth Windsor has met many, many leaders in her time on the throne, and the one thing which is certain is that she had no qualms about her meeting with Pope Benedict, the 256th man who has held that august title since St. Peter.

His drive through Edinburgh was greeted warmly, and his reception at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow was beyond reproach. There were not many empty seats, as had been prophesied, there weren’t as many at that mass as when John Paul came a’calling, but Benedict is not John Paul, and makes no claim to be.

The Pope met with four thousand children in Twickenham, and the only scandal resulted from cars being given tickets for being overtime parked. He travelled to London, met with politicians and came away unsullied. He also delivered a speech which told this present Government that they should allow conscience a freedom which was crushed under Labour, especially in the fields of adoption. He conducted a joint service with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and once more the skies did not shudder with lightning of the damned!

The service at Westminster Cathedral, as with the service in Birmingham, came and went with many accepting that a huge amount of organisation had achieved a visit which, while not exactly like clockwork, came up with a good facsimile. I watched part of the service televised from Birmingham and watched as some 90,000 Catholics greeted the leader of their Faith with respect, warmth and admiration. I don’t know about the reaction of the very small children who were held up to the small, white-clad man in the Popemobile so he might bless them, but I reckon we’ll put that one aside.

We also learned that he had met with five of the many victims of abuse, perpetrated by both priests and nuns, and apologised for their trauma, their fear and their injury. We also heard that he expressed his deep sorrow for the unspeakable crimes suffered by those abused by the Catholic priests.

He will leave Great Britain this evening, secure in the knowledge that those who protested were allowed to protest, as is their right under the law. He will leave this Nation a little wiser, having penetrated just a little beneath the brittle outer shell of Official Britain, to find that many ordinary people like the present Vicar of Rome, and despair of the loud mouths who shout, chant and howl their hatred into the distance!

The only quote I shall remember is from one who recalled the last time a Pope came to Britain, and a certain Dr. Ian Paisley was shouting out his bile whilst waving his bible; but the gentle John Paul 2nd smiled, and blessed him anyway!

It’s That Bastard Who Cut Me Up, Get His Number!

One of the fundamental bases of the British Judicial system is the right to a jury trial. If the local tearaway, or junior (junior in terms of years , not in depths of knowledge) criminal is hauled up before the local Magistrates, he can either accept the Bench as his place of trial, or he may elect for a Jury trial in a Crown Court. If the accused reckons he stands a better chance of convincing a Jury rather than a magistrate, fair enough; the trouble being that if he has put the Judicial system to a fair amount of trouble, he then stands a much greater chance of being clobbered by that same system if found guilty. But, and it is a big ‘But’, the accused always has the right to choose his method of trial, and some may argue that a panel of twelve ordinary people may have a better and more less-jaundiced look at the evidence than perhaps a Magistrate who sees the same old stuff day in and out.

Now there are many things which can go wrong with a jury trial, including a very-well prepared and vocal Defence Counsel who, by virtue of intense scrutiny and questioning, demolishes the statements of people who are witnesses, and are, after all, only other members of the public. True, that does not happen very often, but it does happen. There are many other arguments against Juries, but the mind of man has yet to derive a better alternative, so we should live with it! So perhaps the Crown Prosecution Service ought perhaps to think again when they rejoice at the first Non-Jury trial in some four hundred years, which actually resembled the Star Chamber of that ill-starred monarch, King Charles 1st! I accept that there were special circumstances, such as persistent jury ‘nobbling’ as well as a tendency for bail to be allowed a little too easily, but I do not accept the arguments for continuing the Judge alone sitting on any case, no matter how high the potential that a criminal gets off if a Jury trial is undertaken. The Accused should always see his accuser, and the Jury represents us, and the Crown, as his accuser. They should see and watch the demeanour of the accused, and he should be allowed to see his accusers in Court.

Which is why I am so disturbed to read of this practice, which apparently is being ‘trialled’ in Sussex. They are asking ‘concerned’ members of the driving public to report, online and totally anonymously, incidents of bad or dangerous driving, possible driving while under the influence. Worthing Borough Council have decided to get people to ‘inform’ on road users who, on Page 5, in Vibe’s own wonderfully grammatic style, those who insist on getting right up your bumper, still use their mobile phones while driving, not wearing seat belts, are really annoying and dangerous to others. You can report these types of behaviours and others like speeding, under age drivers, drink or drug driving.

So the good residents of Worthing are all qualified to state, categorically, that Driver A is below the legal age limit, whilst Driver B is driving under the influence of either drink or drugs, WITHOUT having any further information, legal training or guidance in the Law! Driver C can be reported for ‘dangerous driving’ while Driver D is driving without documentation!

The last time I read about things like that, our good friend Erich Honnekker was running the German Democratic Republic, and his buddy Erich Mielke was running the STASI.

One Down, Plenty Left.

In another of the truly tiresome and totally unnecessary legal cases which litter this once-green and pleasant land of ours, Mr. Justice Ousely threw out an appeal against removal from the UK of a woman from Zimbabwe. She has been in Britain since 2002, but only claimed asylum some six years later. Her appeal was denied on the grounds that, as she had admitted to being party and part of the criminal gangs who had dispossessed farmers, and had further admitted to beating victims whilst their homes burned, ‘inflicting enough pain to get them to run away’. It makes a pleasant change to report the actions of a High Court judge who has come to a sensible conclusion, based upon fact, and not allowing any of the ‘EU-centred ‘Yooman Rites’ drivel to sway his judgement.

But there is a deeper malaise within this judgment, pleasant though it is. This court case is but one of thousands which have dragged on through courts, tribunals and cases up and down this land, all fuelled by the totally ridiculous attitude of the Labour Party by throwing fuel on the fire by the giving of ‘further effect’ to the European Convention on Human Rights within the Human rights act of 1998. The judges, chairmen and other Labour party apparatchiks grabbed this useless legislation, with the result that we cannot throw scum like this woman out without a lengthy legal process, as we also cannot deport the Afghani terror hijackers because that deportation may interfere with their rights! No-one asked about the rights of the pilot who had a gun pointed at his head.

I don’t care if the scum who hijacked the plane were supposedly fleeing from the Taliban, We should have put them on the same aircraft and sent the criminals back to Kabul! We have enough criminals in Britain already, including some within the Northern Ireland Assembly, to want to keep nine more plus, of course, their innumerable children, wives, concubines and other sexual partners!

The astounding statement that we do not have any idea how many bogus asylum seekers there are has been made long ago, and the feeble attempts by our Border Agency to remove some are catalogued elsewhere, but the problem remains as long as we keep any legal net around either the UN Refugee rubbish, outdated by some fifty years, or the whole farrago of the EU Human rights rubbish. Yes, I am all for Human rights, but not at the expense of either strong border controls or a population which is being slowly excluded from access to justice, because Justice is busy elsewhere!

Kill, Or Be Killed!

The golden eagle is truly a marvellous creation, and a living tribute to the only law which counts in Nature; the Law of Survival.

To even see one of these superb killing machines in flight, or even more spectacular, to have a similar bird-of-prey alight on your arm, is one of the greatest thrills I have experienced.

But there is a clash, these days, between these magnificent creatures such as the eagle, the kestrel or the hen harrier, and the land managers who run huge areas of land to raise and market gamebirds for shooting parties.

Seems as though the RSPB has got the idea that the landowners should be punished if gamekeepers or others trap or poison the birds of prey which are using their managed flocks as a kind of ready-use locker, with no charge for entry!

Now I’m all in favour of the laws of the land being observed, but most of these birds are only now being re-introduced to the skies of Britain after being extinct for nearly a century.

So who is correct, some conservation project to bring back a kestrel or an eagle, or the people who are working hard to run an industry?

“390,000 Jedis There Are”

The National Census is coming ever nearer, and I wish that I could argue like this!

I detest the very idea of a census, and intend to either leaving everything blank, or fill up every space with loads of rubbish. The idea of claiming membership of an invented religion such as the Jedi appeals, but unfortunately it has already been appropriated by NutCases Anonymous.

I do not honestly know why a Government nominally known as partly Tory has not abolished the very idea of a census, although accepting that any Labour government salivates at the very notion of listing everyone, and placing them in their little socialistic boxes. With the advent of computerisation, the listing is of course ever easier, as long as the software doesn’t contain a built-in virus, and the operating system hasn’t been compromised by an American hacker looking for evidence of life in Westminster.

Yes.S.S., I’ve Won; But….

As I am not requiring anonymity at any stage, I would first of all like to state that winning this extremely large amount of money will change my life completely. I have been a loyal follower and of course buyer of Lottery tickets for years, and apart from the usual miserly ten or five pounds set apart by months, I have won absolutely nothing of any significance up to the present date. So, as I plan to buy a large bungalow up here in Durham, with another sited strategically down South to facilitate extremely regular Grandad visits, you can expect a rush of enjoyment to colour any and all postings both on my own site as well as here on ATW.

I will not be buying a motor cruiser or a yacht, as I can always hire one when needed. My transportation needs will be filled by an Audi R8 for my own use, with either a Range Rover de luxe edition or an uprated Volvo XC90 for family travel, as I need to carry a wheelchair for my wife’s use. I’m thinking about buying a Mini-Cooper for going to the shops, as the Audi is just a little bit ‘in their face’, and I don’t want to upset the locals.

I will of course be selecting only the best of audio hi-fi equipment for my wife and myself, as music is one of our lasting loves. There is a query there of course, in the choice of systems. whether to go for a solid-state amplifier system, or one based on valve equipment, but I am sure to make the correct decision. I anticipate spending double whatever is required, as of course we shall have two homes to completely furnish.

As ever, there is only one, no, not a problem; those such as I prefer to call it a challenge. I have been advised of my enormous good fortune by the Payments Director of Camelot Plc (GB) as winner in the Best Voluntary and Charity Project Category, and will be issued with a Star prize of 1,750,000.00GBP  and a Gold Member Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon wrist watch worth$1.3 million.

The challenge is that I’ve mislaid all the documentation on my charity, and despite looking through at least three files, cannot locate anything. Suggestions please?

X-posted from a Tangled Web

St. Jude Is Heard At Last!

I note that Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton, has called for job-sharing to be introduced within the House where she now works. Now I will honestly admit that, very shorty after she arrived at Westminster, I posted on the one call which dearest Caroline made for a little honesty and openness within the Trafigura episode, where Trafigura, an international slime company, attempted to hush up the very fact that they had an injunction placed upon the Guardian. But this is a different call, in a very different context.

So will the British public welcome the job-sharing idea? I dunno’, especially when we also get offers like this!

There’s a lot going on!

According to Nielsen, Google is still the most popular Search Engine. In America,  from where the statistics were obtained, some 64.2% of searches were from the ubiquitous Googleplex-sourced computer Massive, and I for one believe them.

There is a saying, prevalent in the South, Georgia, Alabama, places like that if newspapers are to be believed, which goes something along the lines of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” which is self-explanatory to all but the totally dense, or the arrogant semi-geniuses who run Google.

The usage and use of Google were so simple that even I could learn quickly to adapt my tired old mind; you simply typed in the search terms, words or ideas you wished to research, hit ‘enter’, and within fractions of a second, you were presented with thousands if not millions of possibilities. You then ran your eyes down the first page or two of lists, chose whatever, if it wasn’t relevant or complete, you tried again. As the Meerkat said; Simples!

But lo, behold, and Shazam! Google, in their infinite wisdom, have placed Google Instant as the default main page. They state that their computers can now predict what you are searching for before you finish typing, and their resulting searches come flooding on to your screen before you even complete your search.

Big Deal! I am just fed up with people fixing something which isn’t f***ing broken!

Leave me be, or I will migrate to Scroogle, Bloody Bing, or even worse Yahoo!

Just A Coincidence?

In my copy of today’s Telegraph, there is a commentary about the late Cardinal Newman, whose beatification is being celebrated by Pope Gregory during his visit to Great Britain. It is an  respectful piece of writing by a journalist who specialises in matters religious, and is, therefore, given pride of place on the pages of that publication.

But I wonder if the advertising people who, of course, help fund the production and profit base of that august publication had perhaps both sets of fingers crossed when they wrapped an advert for the insurance potential of a credit card around that commentary?

It is not often that one reads a commentary on a highly-significant religious figure not only adjacent to, but wrapped around by an advert which utilises, but of course does not print-out,  the well-known phrase “S***t Happens”!  Shades of the Foreign Office perhaps?


I am pleased, nay, delighted, to be confirmed as ‘Extraordinary’by no less a personage than His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

I do admit to be slightly puzzled to be given this title, but there again I have always known that I am extraordinary! Am I remarkably handsome in feature? Do I stand out from the crowd? Of course I do. I am, and always have been, an individual; separate from all but my family, my nearest and dearest. I am extraordinary in that I have been completely and utterly faithful to the love of my life, my wife of nearly forty-three years of marriage. I am extraordinary in that I am utterly and completely proud of my three adult children and my two wonderful grandsons. I am proud of my achievements in my work, having been responsible for quite a number of Engineering projects brought to a safe conclusion and completion. I have also been extraordinarily lucky in that I have found a certain gift as a writer, with several books written, as well as one published..

I honestly admit not to be as extraordinary as to talk to vegetables, not to know everything about everything, not to know what a woman is thinking at any time of the day or night. I also admit not to be as extraordinary as to utter simplistic diatribes on everything under the sun, based upon an accident of birth, and not on absorbed or gained knowledge. I also admit not being extraordinarily vain enough to marry one woman while keeping a life-long affair with another!

In the end, really, we are all extraordinary, especially if we all do not subscribe to everything which is pushed by that same Prince Charles, who is old enough to really know better!

Yes, But….

I know than many regard him as a one-call fraud; I accept that in his present guise as a UKIP MEP he will never get the audience he should have; I again know that he was badly injured in a plane crash the day of the election, and has been warned to take things easy: BUT how I wish he had beaten that rotten fraud Bercow, and was able to take a seat in Her Majesty’s House as an M.P.!

Why, because despite all his many failings, at least he speaks the truth as he sees it, and he has never been scared to raise his voice in protest against the things he considers repulsive and anti-democratic.

Readers , I give you the one, the only, the irrepressible Nigel Farage!

White Noise?

Normally. I place or give no attention whatsoever to the muck-raking of the tabloid press, who is or is not sleeping with whom, whether they are homosexual or not, how much are they earning, how much is the divorce settlement; and on and on, infinitum. Unfortunately, I may be in a minority, as the newspapers sell like hot-cakes, or ice-creams, dependent on the season of course. The so-called Celebrity culture, with the endless photos of young, and sometimes not-so-young women along with their male paramours, all of whom seem to be earning truly obscene amounts of money usually makes me wish for a period of Trappist silence with an ache which is almost real!

Do we really, really need to know, to be blunt, who is sh***ing whom? It is, unfortunately, a fact of this instant news cycle life of ours that the same technology which slides the video of a middle–aged woman throwing a cat into a wheelie bin will also display the strained and tearful face of a young woman who has been betrayed by the idiot she married on some half-million front pages, as well as the website of that same newspaper. The same young woman who has proved herself to be a caring and warm human being as she tries to bring her disabled sister some cheer in an uncaring world.

The only thing that that particular young woman has to be ashamed about is the fact that she dated and married the footballing genius with an IQ in single figures. She just couldn’t see the pile-up coming down the motorway! But the editors place her photo on every page, because they know it will sell, because we are, in the majority, a prurient nation.

But my question is this. Was the fact that that same footballer slept with some vapid-faced whore the subject of a super-injunction? Were those same editors prevented from publishing all the salacious, slimy details by a High Court injunction worded so that the editors could not even mention that the injunction existed?

I am not arguing that our Judicial system is perfect, but I do expect the Law to be observed, in that the only secrets which should be prevented or banned from publication are those which concern National Security! The only secrets which are barred from the newspapers of our nation should not be related to sponsorship of some muscled clown, or his or her marketability!


Before, during, and after the Battle of Britain, vast amounts of badly-needed metals, industrial production, training and men were marshalled into one arm of our military services, one very distant from the fighters of that Battle, but no less vital. It was of course Bomber Command. That Command who took the war to the European skies, to give to the Germans just a taste of what those same Germans were dishing out to British civilians in towns and cities all over our Country.

They attacked industrial, military targets; the bombers flew against the towns and cities of Nazi Germany because we were at war! Total war! As Air Chief Marshal ‘Bomber’ Harris stated, “The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind!”

The building of a Memorial to those brave souls who flew against the Germans is long overdue. Our fliers were fighting as part of a strategy of the Enemy’s Unconditional Surrender, and if and when asked to stay, hold or cancel that Memorial’s construction and completion, Boris’s reply should consist of two words; and those words should be “**** Off!”

Our Stern Alarums Chang’d To Merry Meetings,

Anything that President Obama asked for, he got; but that was in the times before the American People started seeing that there wasn’t much substance on the teleprompters, and there wasn’t much substance in the man using those plexiglass screens. In the polls prior to the Mid-Terms, the incumbent, together with his Party, are looking decidedly shifty; and when Middle America starts having a good, hard look at what it placed inside their White House those two short years ago, methinks the present inhabitants of both the House and the Senate should start reviewing their pension plans.

When Obama produced yet another ‘Big Spending’ package, worth some $fifty billion, along with yet another ‘Bank’ from which it would be doled out to beaming voters, you could almost see the Democratic supporters cringe away from those who, quite reasonably, were asking, “Where is the money coming from?” His previous give-away of money which did not exist didn’t spur the economy, so how on earth does this ‘Community Organiser’, whose greatest victories in the South Chicago area were  the expansion of a city summer-job program for South Side teenagers and the removal of asbestos from one of the area’s oldest housing projects just ‘know’ that he is right, and everyone else is wrong?

Not many of the Party’s people in either Senate or House are listening; they are all campaigning, and hoping that the voters have been looking the other way. They are not interested in this particular snake-oil salesman, and his quick-fix, and if he thinks the Republicans might smile upon his gimmicks, he’s been snorting even more coke than he did in his student days!

Not Such A Slow Boat After All!

I bought a replacement steam iron yesterday. No ‘biggie’, the old one was tired, intermittently faulty, and although I once would have opened the damn thing up and repaired it, my eyes just aren’t what they used to be!

So I trotted along, well, actually walked, but you get the picture; to the nearby Retail Park and into one of the enormous sheds, which sells everything from Irons to Stoves, via Computers and Cameras. But it was so difficult! Not the location within the store; or the choice, from over thirty models on show. The difficulty came when the choice was not according to cost, because I never ‘buy cheap’, I never buy on price alone; because I have always believed you get exactly what you pay for, but from the difficulty in sorting out any make or model which did not bear the dreaded slogan ‘Made in China’.

The erosion of choice is, to my own simple way of thinking, one of the true examples of our Continent’s decline and inability to compete within the global marketplace.

I eventually bought a German-branded steam iron, made in Spain it is true, but at least it is backed by a brand name which I trust, because I happen to know and appreciate their standards of design and manufacture in other areas of expertise.

Many might shrug and ask, ‘Whats his point’? Well, I’ll tell you. This is not, by any means, the first time I, or many others, have warned on the threat of China! If a few more people thought and acted as I, there might be a few more factories within Europe, and even within England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, churning out ‘things’, which are now made so cheaply and industriously within the People’s Republic of China. If more people thought as I, we might not be seeing this port developed so quickly, as opposed to areas of our own country which stagnate and moulder into disrepair and unemployment!

I Think That I Shall Never See

A poem lovely as a tree

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day And lifts her leafy arms to pray,

A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair

Upon whose blossom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems were made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.

Especially if you get it cut back every twenty-five years!

I Think We Should Be Told…

It is, after all, an honest question.

Channel Four screened yet another documentary the other night, this one was all about slavery in the UK. As I didn’t watch it, having some paint which needed drying, I cannot comment upon the filmed contents, but I know someone who did watch it, and, unfortunately, Tweeted, or twittered, or whatever, about her instant dislike for the words and story of the female who was the centre of the Documentary.

Apparently, the young Somalian woman was complaining about the restrictions on her liberty when employed as a ‘domestic servant’, namely being always on call, no time off, restricted to house, etc. It was, apparently, a terrible existence, restricted to watching ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Emmerdale’, with absolutely no allowance for ‘Match of the Day’ at all! But, as usual, I digress!

The ‘Tweeted’ comment emanated from Cambridge-educated Rihana Mohamed, who very unwisely stated on her computer that “:‘Oh this is so self-righteous. ‘That b****y maid needs a good slap. Some ppl [sic] here have no idea what it’s like having servants.

‘I’m sorry but being on call 24/7 and not having a day off for months and not being allowed to leave the house DOESN’T make you a slave.’

The same Miss Mohamed who is from Sri Lanka, works as a strategic change management consultant at Brent Council in north London, an ethnically diverse area, was also quoted as stating, ”

‘Damn right they should get up and make what you want. That’s their job.

‘We never let out female servants for their own safety.’

My question is, quite simply, “What exactly does a ‘ strategic change management consultant’ do or produce; how strategic is the ‘change’, and most importantly, what strategy is being utilised?”