Syrian Targets obscured: R.T.B.

Letter to my M.P.

Dear Roberta Blackman-Woods,

I write as the time; when the Prime Minister will be pushing for a decision from Parliament which allows him to authorise bombing attacks on ISIL bases and locations in Syria draws near. As you may recall, I  wrote to you in September last year on this very subject, as a Commons debate and vote was scheduled, but Cameron chickened-out because the SNP stated ‘en-bloc’, that they would vote against any such proposal, and as your then Leader was ambivalent, the votes suddenly were not there, so the vote was withdrawn.

We are now ever closer to a debate and vote on the subject of Syria, and Islamic State; and as a voter, as an Englishman, and as a firm supporter of the premise of ‘minding our own business’, I would urge you, once again, to vote against this insanity, and also to spread the word amongst your colleagues to vote against the authorisation of ISIL bombing. To vote against any warlike activity, for the very simple reason that once the bombs commence dropping, our Air Marshals, along with the senior Generals who together did such a stirling job of losing in Iraq and Afghanistan; will be pushing to enlarge the conflict to include invasion by British Army soldiers. They will be urging this because air activity, no matter how intense, must be followed by ‘Boots on the Ground’, and this would be a fatal mistake.

I am not often in accord with your Leader, but, on this particular subject, and in this particular example, he is correct. We should not involve ourselves in a Religious War, as the factions, which comprise Sunni, Shia, Alawite, along with all the rest of the Islamic garbage have trailed along for over ten-odd centuries, together with the feuds, fights and wars resulting from the Muslim faith. We have no dog in this fight, and we should say one thing, and one thing only; ‘If they cannot fight for their own lands, and their armies run away, perhaps their cause is not so just after all!’

Cameron still wants to unseat Assad, and remember that once the bombs fall, the orders can and will be altered to include Assad. Just check how well that idea worked in Libya!

Yours sincerely,

Mike Cunningham

So he did matter, but just to his mother!

I searched for a mention of nine-year old Chicago resident Tayshawn Lee’s murder on a couple of browsers, found one local American newspaper, along with one broadcaster: alongside a great number of commentary and blog sites: all of whom were specifically asking the same questions as I.

Where was the fury over this pointless death of small black boy? Where were the editorials demanding action; any action? Why did we not hear the White House commentariat loudly condemning the execution-style murder of this little BLACK boy? It is rather strange not to hear the strident tones of Al Sharpton, or the slimier syllables of Jesse Jackson condemning the shooting of this little boy! Not a whisper from Black Lives Matter; probably because, well, he was just a nine-year old kid, and he didn’t really count, because his killer was known to the locals, and they were all shit-scared of being accused of being a ‘grass’!

Could it simply be that the silence, the aversion to highlight this, one of the 418 killings this year in Chicago so far; is because the murderer is probably a Black gangster who wished to punish the father of Tayshawn Lee over a drug dispute, and not a POLICEMAN; Black or White?

America: where all the news that fits is printed, and the rest just gets swept under the large and ever-available rug of history.

Austerity? Do we really need it (or them)?

We are told of the real worries of the Police Forces (Not f’’@ing Services, you might note) of the United Kingdom regarding the proposed cuts to funding as discussed with the Treasury. We are warned of the perils of slicing the package too close to the bone. We are warned that ‘Terrorism’ may prevail if too many officers are cut from staff.

All that may be true, but given that, in the Metropolitan force alone, there are the following staff:-

Director of Information 

Director of Resources

Director of Human Resources

Director of Public Affairs

Director of Legal Services

Strategic HR Director

Director of HR Operations

Director of Leadership Development

Director of Logistical Services

Director of Catering Services

Director of Transport Services

Business Partnerships Director

Business Services Director

Strategic HR Director (2)

Strategic HR Director (3)

Programme & Information Manager

Director of Property Services

Director of Finance Services

Director of Strategy & Improvement Department

Director of Procurement Services

Director of Asset Management

Director of Construction

Director of Facilities Management

Director of Resilience & Compliance Group

Director of Commercial Operations

Director of Exchequer Services

Director of Business Development, Core Finance & Special Projects

Director of Business Support

Director of Business Strategy

Director of Business Performance

Director of Category Management

Director of Supply Chain Management

Head of Service Delivery

Head of Security, Standards & Architecture

Head of Business Systems & Integration

Head of Business Services & IT Training

Deputy Director of Information

Head of Technology

Deputy Director of Public Affairs

Assistant Director (Olympics)

Assistant Director (Head of Internal Communication)

Assistant Director (Chief Press Officer)

Director of Business Development

Director of Diversity and Citizen Focus

Director of Business Support

Director of Forensics

Head of Business Services (Human Resources)

Head of Business Services(Finance and Resources)

Director of Business Services
Don’t forget that each of these Directors and Department heads will have their own little desk empire to defend against budget attacks, on the basis, known worldwide of ‘More is Better’ ; but it must be asked, how many of these desk-bound clowns soak up the cash which should go to front-line policing?

1.2 %

That statistic, that insignificant percentage, is one which will become very, very important in all our lives this winter.

Consider our island nation and its needs. We depend upon just one thing, one commodity, to survive, to live, to keep warm, to run our industries, to power the millions of computers which chart our lives, to cook our foods, to clean and distribute the very water without which we could not survive: we need Electricity. True, gas, oil, petrol, diesel, are all necessary for modern life, but without the ‘spark’ of electricity: nothing else will sustain our very civilisation. Without mains and Grid electricity, we couldn’t even charge the electric cars the ‘greenies’ are so fond of. Over the years, we have built a Grid, a distribution system which was second to none, and then the POLITICIANS began to bring it down. They believed THE GARBAGE which is the Carbon  Threat and Climate Change, they brought in the Climate Change Act, which brings billions in extra costs onto the backs of consumers with absolutely no effect on the real atmosphere at all, they signed up without demur to the ludicrous European Union dictats on so-called damaging emissions; and what, we must ask ourselves, has been the result?

Coal-fired power stations have been systematically starved of maintenance and money, and because they now cost a lot to refurbish, the shareholders don’t want to throw good money after bad, and they will be closing faster than the EU wishes. The Teeside Power Station, which my own daughter helped complete and commission less than twenty years ago was demolished a year ago by the French GDF Suez people on the grounds it could not compete. BOLLOCKS! I knew that station, it was bright and shiny and super efficient, but because it had been sold to a bunch of foreigners, they decided that a perfectly good station should be demolished! Due to the scheming and duplicitous behaviour of British politicians of all hues, we have not commenced the necessary build of ordinary thermal power stations, burning either gas or oil, never mind nuclear ones, instead going for the GREEN Garbage of so-called renewables, which: if wind turbine, can only generate when the wind is blowing, but not too strongly, otherwise they cut out or, if solar, only generate during daylight hours, or hydro; of which there are very few large plants anywhere, as we don’t have a huge supply of mountains and valleys with rivers running down which to dam for power.

So, with a huge subsidy firmly in sight and on target, the so-called Green suppliers, the wind-farmers with their huge whining wind turbines, are fitting hundreds of small (2 MW Megawatt) diesel-powered generators, as Short Term Operating Reserve, and the National Grid is able to use these mini-power stations easily as they are able to switch on, commence running and contribute to the Grid reserve in minutes if required. I know how these things work, I have commissioned and run dozens of diesel generators over the years, they are tricky to build, but once commissioned and maintained correctly, will give good service for years. But the truly ludicrous thing about these STOR stations is that they completely go against the whole ethos of the allegedly ‘Renewables’ idea, in that the STOR generators burn lots of diesel, which produces lots of Carbon Dioxide, which is allegedly so very bad for the planet, but so very, very good for the shareholders of the huge companies installing them, because of the huge £400 millions subsidy FROM THE TAXPAYER to have these mini stations available, JUST IN CASE!

But back, as we should go, to that 1.2% of actual spinning reserve. This is the smallest amount ever reported by the National Grid to be able to overcome extra demands, such as that made by a long cold winter. I and my wife are both pensioners, and as we like our home warmed; we know it is expensive, but that is what this Tory Government, along with the Labour bunch of thieving clowns have lumbered the taxpayer with, due to the Climate Change bills, the huge subsidies paid for wind turbines which do not generate any power, the solar panels which switch off as the sun goes down, and all the other ‘renewables’ rubbish which clogs the landscape. We do not have any reserves to speak of, and when the lights and heaters commence ‘black-out’, we all know who exactly to blame!

p.s. I write the Posts the way I wish, I will colour the texts any way I wish, inclusive of Sky-blue Pink; and if the reader does not like it, he needn’t bother reading it!

An Apple a day……

I watch a fair bit of television, both fiction and documentaries; some good, some rubbish: but for the first time ever, I heard a character expound a very singular truth. The man was railing at the state of the world, with celebrities who just did not deserve their standing. He said, “Everybody looked up to Steve Jobs, and his miracle company Apple, but just think about this small but significant fact; Jobs and Apple made, and make, superbly designed computers, phones and tablets, but they were, and are, assembled under sweated labour conditions by Chinese kids, who worked under what amounted to slave labour conditions. The vast amounts of cash generated by these sales are funnelled through devious tax avoidance schemes to places like the Cayman Islands which places all that cash firmly outside the American tax man.  Great role model was our Steve, what with buying his way to the front of the queue to grab himself a liver transplant for a reported fee of ten million dollars. Pity the transplant was wasted upon a waster!

But will we see Nigel in Westminster?

I watched the full ‘Leave’ video as posted on the Guido Fawkes website, and my daughter commented, rather shrewdly, that he is a good politician, and a great speaker, but he just doesn’t have the backing, as a Party, to make a difference. The ‘Leave or Remain’ Referendum is a case in point; UKIP as a part of a ‘Leave’ Coalition, has a place; but as a wider Party within the United Kingdom?

I would love to see a change in voting patterns, but the British voter has too many entrenched ideals and attitudes to swerve away from their inbuilt prejudices; prejudices which have been built over generations, to allow a Fourth Party, and one which is perceived, wrongly in my own considered viewpoint, as of the dreaded ‘Far-Right’ persuasion into the bargain; to emerge as anything more than a minor irritant upon the face of British politics.

There is too much cash from big business, on the side of the Tories, and there is too much cash from the big Unions, supporting even Corbyn’s Labour Party stragglers, to even allow UKIP to gain anything past a minor foothold in the body politic which is Westminster. I would love to see change, but I see it as possible only within the lifetime of my grandchildren.

Why now, and never before?

I show a scanned sector of today’s Sunday Times:-


Now I can understand the imperative: ‘We must be seen to be strong, to do something; we must show we are willing to kill!’; but the query must and should be posed; ‘Why are politicians keen to have the rifles and Heckler&Koch carbines fired now, and why not when the IRA was busy killing British soldiers on the streets of Belfast, when IRA/SinnFein were planning the murders of British subjects whose only crime was that they worshipped a different form of a Christian God? ‘

Just think of that last sentence, if you will. The alleged Catholic leaders of a Catholic terrorist army planned to mutilate, maim and kill Church of England Protestants because they were simply Protestants, and Loyalists. Sounds just like the Muslim Ideal to me!

My brother served, as an ordinary Army squaddie, on the streets, cess-pits and shit-holes which formed the majority of the Catholic areas of Belfast. His friend were shot in front of him, his mate was killed as he walked behind my brother; but, before a single round was fired in reply to the murderous sniper fire, a yellow card had to be shown, a DISCUSSION was imperative with higher ranked officers, safe and snug behind their barbed wire and concrete walls in their fortified base areas, and THEN  a warning shot had to be fired OVER THE TARGET AREA.

I do so hope that when a British rifle is aimed at one of these MUSLIM scum, the holder has the simple guts to aim for ‘full body mass’, as I was taught to do; so as to ensure that the bastard goes down; and STAYS DOWN!

Are you with Carlile, or are you for a little freedom?

Very recently, I wrote a letter to my local newspapers, and I reproduce this below:-

NO doubt your readers are comforted that the Tory Government, and its army of state snoopers, is planning to exert an ever-widening blanket over our use of e-mail, social media and internet sites under the term ‘antiterrorist legislation measures (Echo, Nov 5).

There can be no doubt that the ever-increasing army of so-called ‘migrants’ flooding through our ever-porous borders, along with the home-grown mob; will contain a fair proportion of Islamic sympathisers who are ever ready to plot against the inhabitants of the country which has given them sanctuary.

So the Home Secretary is proposing legislation to give those ‘snoopers’ from GCHQ or the security services ever wider powers to find out their plans.

But, because they must be seen to be ‘even-handed’, as well as ‘unbiased’, they must be able to view all of this nation’s subjects online activities, instead of concentrating on the most obvious targets, namely the Muslim population.

No doubt there are many law-abiding members of that Islamic community, but it must be remembered that the vast, if not the overwhelming majority of deadly terror murders and attacks are committed by Muslim fanatics of one type or another.

But it is not just the scope of these ‘anti-terror laws’ alone which gives me pause, but the inclusion of council officials who will be able to snoop on your internet access, as well as your phone and e-mail usage.

I will admit that the very thought of yet another bunch of local politicians gaining access to my private life does not comfort me. I mean, would you be happy if you knew that ‘Simple Simon’ was checking on your digital life; or that a council official whose earlier claim to fame was his employment as a security guard was casting his beady eyes over your private life and correspondence?

GCHQ and MI6; fair enough. Durham County Council? A definite step too far.

Mike Cunningham, Durham

My question, therefore, is, do you agree with me, or do you follow the Noble Lord Carlile?

And why are you ‘shocked’?

So what did you bloody expect? You allowed huge numbers of Muslims, adherents of a violent religion, believers in the power of their f@@cking bastardised religion, to flock to Western countries, without any attempt to bring them to Western values.

You give them freedom to challenge our Law, to subvert and to pervert the values which have sustained our civilisations, you allow the preachers of hate to prosper, to send their filthy ideals into the minds of more receptive muslims, you challenge anyone who states the clear truth, that the Muslim invasion is nothing more than the first tendrils of the onslaught which has been viewed in the bloody chaos of Paris yesterday evening.

You bring the killers in, you allow the festering hordes to plot, to arm and to plan; they do exactly what they promise, and then; you express ‘Shock and Horror’ as the injured lie bleeding, the sirens caterwaul, and the dead lie slumped amongst the carnage, the blood, and the empty AK47 cartridges as they lie scattered as they fell from the automatic rifles, wielded by the fanatics who were welcomed in by the POLITICIANS who are now strangely silent.

Shock? Those who facilitated this invasion of Fifth Columnists should be stood alongside the killers who deserve not to live any more!

and its our bloody ball!

A couple of decades back, the world chuckled at ‘The Mouse that roared’, a film made in 1959, starring Peter Sellers in three roles; about a tiny European Principality named Grand Fenwick. The Fenwick government, facing bankruptcy as its only export, a Pinot White, cannot compete with an American knock-off copy, and no longer sells at all. The Grand Fenwick Prime Minister (Peter Sellers) decides to wage war on the United States, certain of their swift loss, and being equally certain of America’s largesse towards those it vanquishes. Unfortunately, the Fenwick Task Force, which comprises the Field Marshal (Sellers again), three men-at-arms and twenty longbowmen, arrive in New York when the whole city is involved in a practice air-raid exercise, and everyone is underground. The Fenwickians capture a ‘super-bomb’, declare the War won, and go back home. Oh, and the Field-Marshal gets the girl as well. It was a gentle, funny film, made on an undemanding budget; which poked fun at superpower politics and diplomacy. It didn’t take itself too seriously, and was a surprising success.

Talking of mice, and minnows, and small-minded men, I wonder what the other EU leaders think of the totality and reach of the ‘Cameron Demands’. I mean to say; here we are, the very birthplace of modern dictatorship (sorry, democracy), and we cannot even list a set of DEMANDS which the British people would back wholeheartedly. Its as though the whole letter was written by a scriptwriter fashioned as a PG Wodehouse clone; with its timid ‘requests’ and’ ‘sorry to mention the very idea, but..’ and ‘I venture that it just might be possible, given a fair wind, and no-one farting in the back row..’! Dear God, we use to run a third of the world! Have we become a clone of Grand Fenwick, without the booze which warmed?

The EU needs us, needs our bloody money, they need our fish, they need our military muscle, or rather what’s left of it. We should be telling them straight, ‘Give us what we want; give us back our borders, give us control over our Law, give us our rebate back; don’t f*ck around, buy a round’. We should be acting like the bully on the block, demanding what is ours by right, before all these bloody treaties and other bits of European bullshit were let in by the likes and lies of Heath. Because if we don’t get what we want, we’ll slice the anchor chain, and set sail for calmer waters in the free trade areas of the world; and bollocks to Brussels!

Hands up: don’t shoot!

I have three grandsons, two are seven years old, and the third small boy is four. I only see them all together at Christmas, my #2 son living locally; but my eldest son lives south of London: but they are all so dear to my heart. Three individual souls, blossoming, blooming; noisy, contentious, open, joyous, giggling; all the adverbs which rejoice in the living and in the extensions of my own flesh and blood. The trust which is given without thinking as their small hands slip into mine makes me realise just how lucky I am, to be a Grandpa: to swing a small wiry, tough body up in the air, and watch him smile in complete trust; in the knowledge that he is loved, and protected: as all three are.

ajeremyThis feeling is not now available to Chris Few, the white father of Jeremy Mardis; as Mr. Few lies, critically injured in hospital. He won’t be able to hold his son, or to swing him in his arms; he will not see his young son grow to manhood, because his son was killed by five bullets fired at point-blank range as he sat buckled into his front car seat, at the same time as Chris Few was seriously injured by two black police officers working as city marshals in part-time second jobs. Chris Few was unarmed, and his hands were raised as these two black officers pumped a total of eighteen rounds into Chris Few’s vehicle, leaving a total of thirteen bullets not aimed at the defenceless body of Jeremy Mardis; Chris Few’s young son.

“We are saddened by the loss of Jeremy Mardis,” Marksville police chief Elster Smith Jr said, speaking on behalf of the city and his police department during an earlier press conference, on Thursday. “I am a father of four, and I realize what this family is going through. We will get to the bottom of it.”

on the second Sunday in November,

In common with most of my generation, who can personally remember living through the effects of the Second World War, though being a child at the time, I did not fully comprehend the reasons why my Dad was not living with us all the time; serving as he did within the old R.E.M.E.; I did understand that things were different. Memories still retained of my Mum and my brothers and I going to sleep on two mattresses laid side by side, under the problematic cover of a home-built indoor air-raid shelter in our front room in Newcastle on Tyne. I believe I remember the sounds of the Ack-Ack guns as they sent their shells skywards; but don’t remember any sounds of enemy bombers. Memories of the comfort brought to my mother and grandmother by a visit from my uncle in soldier’s uniform, on what was to be his last leave home before D-Day, and then dying in a ‘friendly-fire’ strike in Normandy. I remember the fleeting visits of my Dad on short leaves, in the last year of the War. I remember the ceremonial raising of the barrage balloon which helped protect the Scotswood Road armament factories.

In small villages, in minor towns and great cities alike, the War Memorials bloom crimson every November. Those 68,000 memorials; small, large, simple, extravagant, built and laid out in their grave and somber glory to remember the literal thousands who died in the ‘mincing machines’ of Ypres, Verdun, the Somme and all along the hundreds of miles of trenches of France and Belgium, from the killing-fields of Gallipoli to the heat of Iraq and the steam of East Africa. Also recalled were the thousands who died at sea; or in the air in those primitive yet deadly aircraft which carried the newly-invented airborne war to the enemy. The Memorials were built for that Remembrance, as so many of those who died were simply either buried hastily, lost in the mud or buried and the records forgotten. They are a sacred reminder that we went to War twice in thirty years against the same Nation, We declared War in 1914 firstly in accord with treaties which tied us to a certain course of action, and secondly to defeat an arrogant Teutonic nation which believed that it had the authority to rule, to annex and to invade.

We went to War again in 1939 after the British Establishment appeasers had been defeated, after the Nazi invasion of Poland was seen for what it was; yet another attempt to see the Hitler dream of ‘lebensraum’ without any response from a World which was tired of War, and didn’t really want to know! When those level tones of Neville Chamberlain, a decent man caught between the delusion of treating with a lying and deceitful Nazi Germany, the appeasers who claimed Hitler’s was a ‘good’ dictatorship, and the knowledge that Churchill, the ‘warmonger’ had been right all along: were finally heard stating the words he hated to have to say ‘I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.’: we should have made the extra spaces ready on those silent Memorials; because, over the next six years those spaces were surely filled.

The main memories of their sacrifice run through those two great conflicts, with subsequent efforts to add to the total of dead paling into insignificance against the millions who died in World Wars One & Two; but do not let the numbers deflect from the truth, we went to war for the right reasons. Our military leaders did not perform with distinction, as our soldiers, sailors and air force did, for those leaders were of a generation blinkered by out-dated training and a mind-set which favoured cavalry; but the very ideals why we fought was perhaps stated best by remembering the ideals of Winston Spencer Churchill in his writing ‘In War: Resolution; In Defeat: Defiance; In Victory: Magnanimity’.

The Second World War found us greatly unready in many areas, but, owing to the high ideals of a few scientists, designers and military people, aided by the foresight of that same Churchill mentioned previously, we had radar, we had the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy was sufficient to the task, and of course, we had Bletchley Park. King George the Sixth during his first War broadcast, when he said of Hitler’s Germany and its actions: “‘Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right” We made many mistakes; we, as a nation, lost a portion of the flower of yet another generation during this second conflict, but we were ready, and, with the support of our Empire and Commonwealth Allies, with the whole-hearted backing of the British people: together with the unbelievable luck of gaining the United States of America as a willing and genuine Ally after the unbelievably stupid Japanese attack on America’s fleet at Pearl Harbour, we went forwards, alongside the strangest of allies in Soviet Russia; despite many failures and set-backs, to final victory in Europe and in the Pacific.

The spaces on those early memorials quickly filled up, but not one died in the cause of a search for ‘Lebensraum’, but rather to defend those who were attacked. We only found out the ultimate evil which gestated in the entrails of Nazi Germany when the extermination camps were overrun: it was only then we found out that the sacrifice of so many men and women in Great Britain’s crusade against Hitler’s Germany was, and had been, so necessary.

The other conflicts where, in later years, we fought against the passage of times and politics, where we tried to keep sway over peoples whom were ready to rule themselves. Again, we made mistakes, but, we left. Some of the nations created have done well, others resiled into despotism. The latter conflicts; Iraq * 2, Afghanistan, should never have happened, but they did, and we left British blood in both dusty, savage lands who did not wish us welcome, and did not cheer us on our departure.

We built an Empire on a position that we knew better how things should be run in countries a hundred times as large as Britain, we fought against a French despot in Napoleon, we made nations, we sent forth a legal system which is still regarded as one of the best; but, today, we still regard with awe the volunteers who flocked to the Standard at the call.

May they rest, in Peace!

never send to know for whom the bells tolls;

When a leper walked abroad, in a town or a village, in both mediaeval times and much closer to the present day, they carried a bell. Some believe that the bell’s ring was to warn those in the leper’s path that the dread disease was near, and to evacuate from the carrier’s path. Others propose that because leprosy affects the speech centres just as much as the scabrous lumps and hideous disfigurements, the bell rings were used to state that the leper wished either service or help, and the appropriate prophylactic measures be adopted; such as a the breaking of a used plate or cup, or a mask over the mouth and nose. Whether the bell was for warning or as a signal for help, most believe that the systems evolved from religious leaders who, driven by compassion for their fellow man, organised the bell as a device to bring the sufferer into even a limited contact with their worried but sympathetic neighbours.

So when the Sierra Leone and EU leaders announced, to both a reverse count-down at the stroke of midnight along with the no-doubt usual ululations from the native population, the news that Sierra Leone was Ebola free, there weren’t many comments thanking Great Britain’s massive contribution to that happy state. From the arrival of RFA Argus with Army and Marines on board, the total of over 800 military and medical people have built six complete hospital treatment-centres, staffed them, treated all who were brought from the bush, villages and towns alike with precision, care and efficiency, and saved an entire Nation from disaster. And the thanks we get? Not one sentence from any local politician mentioning the sacrifice, the bravery, the devotion to duty of the British military medical teams, the helicopter crews and the maintenance teams aboard RFA Argus who, together, broke the epidemic, trained the locals from base zero, and delivered a Nation from a disease with a death rate approaching eighty percent.

And as we were talking about lepers and warnings, I propose that when ‘Nurse Pauline Cafferkey’ is eventually released from the London hospital where she is at present recovering from Ebola generated meningitis, and returns to Scotland, she is forced to wear a big bell around her stupid silly neck; so as to warn anyone within a hundred yards that a really thick, self-promoting clown is in the immediate vicinity!

World business still slowing down

I quote the following news stories to emphasise my concerns; all from one commercial blogsite.

  • Hapag Lloyd stock market floatation very disappointing results.
  • Maersk (leading shipping and cargo company) lays 4,000 workers off, and lays up new container ship, and cancels six more huge containership orders.
  • Maersk shipping profits tumble by a half.
  • Norway’s oil income slumps to lowest total in six years.
  • The price of iron ore drops a further ten percent, slowing exports from Australia’s major export port by a further nine percent from September’s total.
  • Hornbeck Offshore has a total service vessel fleet of 59 Offshore Service Vessels, but has laid up 30 OSV’s so far, with the possibility of more going quiet.
  • Shanghai Container Port’s quarterly net profits were down 18.3% for the same period last year.

All these news stories come from one corner of the global business of the world, but it is an important part; shipping, ships, oils and cargo containerships.

Should we be stocking up on tinned goods, and bulk-buying candles?

And are you entitled to buy this knife?

The location:- A local DIY super-store, well stocked with just about everything needed for the handyman around the house.

The time:-…..The present day.

The participants:-…..Myself, the would-be shopper: and a young female shop assistant.

The occasion: the scanning of a Stanley knife, which comes complete with three extra blades.

As the knife pack was scanned, an alarm sounded, the warning red light commenced flashing, and a notice leaps up on to the screen, saying, ‘Please wait for a Store Colleague to verify status!’

Enter the tall young shop assistant shop assistant, who was now identified as ‘The Colleague’.

She sees the knife pack, still in my hands, and asks, with a completely straight face, “Can you confirm that you are over the age of 21?”

Big Daddy

My reply; which caused another elderly gent to curl up in smothered hysterics; “Just!”