Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Friday 31 July 2009

More Annoying News

Dora Akunyili, the Information Minister of Nigeria, announced today that the death of one Muhammed Yusuf, the leader of a group of Islamist tossers called Boko Haram was "The best thing that could have happened to Nigeria." The group apparently modelled itself on the appalling Taliban.

The appears to be some confusion concerning the death of Yusuf, but reading between the lines, one is inclined to suspect that the Nigerian Police shot him out of hand.

Whatever the exact circumstances, the "Human Rights Industry" has moved into top gear. A Daily Telegraph article includes the following:

"The killing of suspects in police custody, many of them allegedly shot while trying to flee, is a well-entrenched problem in Nigeria," said Eric Guttschuss of Human Rights Watch. "The fact that the police apprehended him is to be welcomed, but his death while in their custody suggests a total disregard for human rights and the rule of law."

Human Rights? Rubbish. Look Mr Guttschuss: this bloke was a gold-plated, fur-lined, ocean-going arsehole. Good riddance, and if I were half the man I would like to be, I would have gone down there and put a bullet in him myself.

To clarify, this bastard advocated Sharia Law ("human rights"!!) which is quite enough to justify his extermination in my view - quite apart from his other schemes.

Yes, I AM angry.

Until the next time

Sunday 26 July 2009

Isn't Nature Wonderful?

This time, no sarcasm or irony - I mean it.

This year I have been growing some fruit and vegetables and thanks to the very hard and long winter we had here, this year has proved to be excellent for growing things.

The other day I lifted the first of my potatoes. Amongst the haul was the splendid specimen pictured below.

I do not feel that any further comment from me is necessary...

Until the next time

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Double Standards Day

I'll begin with the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

Miss Sotomayor's story is akin to that of Miss Condoleeza Rice, a classic example of the American dream. From a very tough and poor background, she has risen high in the US judicial system, a tribute both to her hard work and dedication and to a society where such achievements are possible.

All well and good, but this does not in my view entitle her to spout rubbish. She said in 2001; "[A]wise Latina" with "richer life experiences" would reach a better decision in court than a white man." Now then suppose that I, who would be described in the US as a "white Caucasian male" were to opine that I, as said white male would reach better decisions than a black man? Imagine the row!

Double standard.

Next we have the tale of the rather unpleasant commercial supremo of Formula 1 motor racing Mr Bernie Ecclestone. Last week in an interview, Mr Ecclestone said he admired a dictatorial approach citing the example of Herr Adolf Hitler who, Mr Ecclestone said "got things done." The result of this politically inept statement was of course outrage despite the truth of the statement. As usual when political correctness raises its head, then truth of course has no relevance. Had Mr Ecclestone chosen Josef Stalin as his model I doubt that there would have been a fraction of the outrage - sadly - if any at all. Marshal Stalin certainly "got things done" and managed to murder many more people than did Herr Hitler - who incidentally was a great admirer of Stalin.

Double standard.

Finally I come to the British National Party, that recently won two seats in the European Parliament. I carry no torch for this shower which I consider to be rather repulsive on the whole.
Nevertheless, Mr Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP intends to challenge government attempts to exclude his party from various European Parliament activities. This article includes the following:

Under new guidelines, agreed by David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, Mr Griffin and Mr Brons will be isolated and kept at arms length from the world of officialdom and diplomatic socialising.

"Officials will not engage in any other contact with elected representatives of any nationality who represent extremist or racist views, unless specific permission has been granted to do so on a particular occasion," a government spokeswoman said.

The article also reports that unsurprisingly the two BNP MEPs were not invited to a champagne reception hosted by Baroness (Glenys) Kinnock, the wife of the famous windbag Neil (now Lord) Kinnock. Mr Griffin said he didn't care about this and described Baroness Kinnock as a "political prostitute" rather unparliamentary language but I had to smile. The Kinnocks have trousered a fortune thanks to their activities in Brussels.

Why double standards in this case? Simple: either you have democracy or you don't; I daresay that there is a variety of loonies and eccentrics who are members of the European Parliament - of course they are 'OK' because they are left wingers! The "great and the good" the so-called "liberal democratic consensus" cannot bear the fact that the electorate might choose to vote for individuals with whom they do not agree or of whom they disapprove, but of course they are always happy to say "we have a clear mandate" when it suits them. If the BNP is elected then its representatives should have access to all the things that are available to any other member of the parliament.

Until the next time.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

French News Nonsense II

In February last year, I included a piece here called French News Nonsense in which I criticised TF1 for its programmes and lambasted France 2's Television News for its trivial content.

Well last night I watched TF1's 8 O'Clock news; the principal news broadcast of the day.

It began with six minutes devoted to Michael Jackson; naturally I groaned at this and decided to make notes about the rest of the programme.

Things are not improving in the world of French TV - at least in my view. Here's how the emission ran:

After six minutes' worth of the late Michael:-

A piece about the fact that shops in France will be opening on Sundays, France being very laggardly in this regard.

Then a rather long report that I did not understand, but the accompanying video showed some people sawing up logs somewhere in France; hardly earth-shattering.

Another longish piece showing French pompiers (firemen) practising with a helicopter somewhere in the mountains.

This brought us almost up to half-time.

8:15: A two-minute report about restaurant inspections in Corsica
8:17: A few seconds showing Président Sarkozy meeting some blokes at the Elysée Palace
8:17: A minute or so about some mayor of a little place in Northern France who is a member of the right-wing Front Nationale
8:18: Some stuff about the new French social security pay, the RSA
8:19: A report about the death of a Trappist monk in Algeria with some French historical content
8:22: Three minutes, no less, about the Muslim riots in China
8:25: Half a minute (!) to cover President Obama's visit to Moscow to discuss amongst other things the new Start Treaty
8:25: Two and a half minutes about illegal immigration in Greece
8:27:30: Half a minute about Président Sarkozy meeting British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown at Evian and their preparation for the G8 summit
8:28 Two whole minutes about the death of some bloke who was connected with a football club in Marseille
8:30: A brief report on the Tour de France
8:30: A story about the appearance of Jeanne Moreau at Avignon; two minutes
8:32: Finally a report about a fashion show that lasted about a minute or so -

And that was your TF1 news programme for Monday, 6th July 2009.



I do not feel the need to comment further except to say that I cannot even watch tonight since TF1 and France 2 seem to have given themselves over entirely to covering Michael Jackson's obsequies!

Until the next time

Jacksonballs III

Luxurious: Image: Daily Telegraph

Well, it seems that I misunderstood the Telegraph's article to which I referred in my article last Saturday. Today the Jacksongraph says that Jackson's coffin cost £15,000, so I suppose they meant $25,000 in the previous piece.

Still an enormous waste of money - unless of course one is in the entertainment business!

Until the next time.

Saturday 4 July 2009

Jacksonballs II - A Question of Taste

London's Daily Telegraph, is it seems, continuing its trend - and no doubt fulfilling its editor's ambition - to becoming the most "dumbed-down" newspaper in Great Britain; it should rename itself The Daily Jacksongraph.

It is possible that in the paragraph above, I have maligned unfairly the current editor: perhaps he is required to act at the behest of the rather sinister owners, the strange Barclay twins. Nevertheless it would be something if they could make an effort to correct all the appalling typos (and poor grammar) that appear at least on the website.

Bizarre: The Barclay Twins. Picture source: This London

Yesterday the Telegraph reported that Jackson is to be buried in a "$25,0000" (sic) coffin. As this coffin, which rejoices in the name "Promethean," is made of bronze, gold-plated and lined with blue velvet to boot, I suppose that the price is $250,000.

The "Promethean" Coffin. Image: Daily Telegraph

This revolting extravagant display puts me in mind of two anecdotes.

First, following a visit to the home in Nashville of Ike and Tina Turner, a journalist was asked his opinion of the place. He replied "Incredible, I would not have thought it possible to spend three million dollars at Woolworths."

Second is a report I once read in a newspaper, of a man who left in his will £25 to "anyone who after my cremation, will deposit my ashes in the nearest convenient dustbin."

Now THAT was style.

Until the next time