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 26 October 2012

Characters in Books

The title above may in future be modified to read "Characters in Books I" thereby denoting the existence of a series.  However I do not wish to claim any degree of prescience in this regard since there is always the possibility of boredom - in the worst case self boredom which is indeed, the very worst kind; the writer knows...

These days I spend probably 80 - 90% of my waking hours reading; the escape is very necessary and indeed makes existence bearable.  I make no claims as to any talent for literary criticism, so if my points are lightweight, well you know the reasons; and after all didn't someone once say that "A critic is someone with no ideas of his own and the ability to express them?"

Very well, with that out of the way I'll turn to my first character.  This fellow may be found in several of the novels in Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time series.  We meet him first at school (modeled on Eton) where we are perhaps struck by a kind of languid elegance (typical in fact of the Etonian manner in this writer's experience) and a ready and elegant though rather ruthless wit.  

As the years pass he becomes a selfish drunk (though nearly always witty) - a bit of a "victim" perhaps, and finally a "dry" casualty.  When in sympathetic mood, I feel a sense of waste and indeed pity, but the character strains my sympathies a little too much; he IS selfish undoubtedly. I have had experience of living in close association with hopeless drunks (not here in England in case anyone is wondering) and believe me there is nothing more boring than a drunk.

The character's name is Charles Stringham and he was the favourite in the Dance series of my ex-girlfriend ("ex" that is in her eyes). Ironic when I reflect on it that she should select a selfish drunk; must be the wit wot done it.

I think I'll order up a bottle of Champagne.

Until the next time.

Thursday 25 October 2012

The Age of The Common Man

Those whose hearts are warmed by the subject of the title of this post might do well to reflect on the ubiquity of repellent "celebrities," thirty-second attention spans and cheap soi-disant "culture" that this age has brought us.

At least I can say quite honestly that I always found the late Jimmy Savile to be profoundly annoying, coarse and vulgar, despite his well-documented charitable efforts.

The late Evelyn Waugh once said that the world ended in 1939.  He was probably quite right; certainly my late father thought so.

Until the next time

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Metaphor Problems

It is, I suppose, hardly surprising that the market for new cars in Europe is in poor shape. With Germany having to support failing economies in southern Europe to a lesser or greater extent, and with 25% unemployment in Spain and so on, the purchase of a new car is not likely to be top of the list for many people.

Late last month there was a report by the BBC about the prevailing gloom amongst the motor-manufacturers that included this splendid statement from Sergio Marchionne, FIAT's boss:  

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat Auto agrees. "The European car market is a disaster," he says.
"It has plunged off a precipice that doesn't seem to have bottomed out yet. The prospects are anything but rosy,"
There was once some correspondence in The Times about mixed metaphors that included a superb example where a professor accused another of "Propping up the scaffolding of a collapsing hypothesis with a red herring."  Marchonne's statement runs this one quite close I think.

Until the next time

Monday 22 October 2012

More Blood Pressure Trouble

If you do not have a blood pressure problem, take a look at the bearded buffoons (albeit dangerous ones) pictured in this BBC news item.

Despite some of my rather robust views often expressed hereabouts, I do subscribe to the principle of a fair trial, rules of evidence etc., but I wish sometimes that there were a better way of ridding my country of vermin such as these.

Note that yet again the stupid BBC accords these lunatics the courtesy of "Mr"...

Are these people British subjects I wonder?  I do so hope not. It would be wonderful if they could be thrown out and returned to whatever horrible "stan' claims their perverted sympathies, and there carry on their stupid jihad.

Until the next time

Thursday 18 October 2012

Too Good To Hide

In response to my last post about Malala and Avaaz I received the following quote as a comment:

Ricky Gervais said today " Dear Religion, this week I safely dropped a man from space while you shot a little girl in the head for wanting to go to school. Yours, Science. 

I simply do not have the words to say how much I sympathise with this; it is superb.  Thank you Mr O'nonymous.

Until the next time

Malala & Avaaz

Avaaz is running a petition in support of Malala Yousafzai's  campaign for female education in Pakistan.  You will recall no doubt that Malala is the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the brave holy warriors of the Taliban.  Contemplating them makes it almost worthwhile believing in Hell.

Here's the link; apparently if 1,000,000 signatures are obtained, Gordon Brown will go to Pakistan to present the petition in person to the Pakistani president and media.

Yes, I agree that that is not a particularly inspiring thought (GB I mean) but at least it will be one in the eye for the Sharia Shits.

As I write this, nearly 423,000 have signed.

Until the next time

Wednesday 17 October 2012


With the UK economy in very poor shape, with the problem of Israel having to be restrained from vapourising parts Of Iran, with the on-going disaster in Syria, with the threatened collapse of the Euro or at least the Greek economy etc., etc., how is it that the prime minister has time to involve himself in a stupid football match where some ball-kicker has upset another ball-kicker?

Abject nonsense: this is not work for a prime minister.

Until the next time.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Big Brother Again

Looking back through this blog just now, I was surprised how long it has been since I ranted about "Big Brother."  Here are some links to earlier posts:

As regulars here will know, I am horrified by the ever-expanding size of GOVERNMENT.  There is far too much of it as far as I am concerned and indeed tho' it claims to be "democratic" of course it is nothing of the sort (although "democracy" has never appealed very much to me - reasons supplied on request).  My father used to say that there is only democracy at the moment one writes an X against the name of one's chosen candidate; after that forget it for five years. He was damn' right.

Returning to the theme mentioned above, I see that the great nosey-parker bill project is still alive.  This is profoundly depressing, given the innumerable examples of secret material being found on second-hand cameras, lap-tops and so on.  And the government is to be trusted with all our personal stuff? Ha-ha.

With any luck I shall be dead before I shall have to think twice about writing about enjoying smoking - the buggers would come down on me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

Until the next time

Tuesday 9 October 2012


By the title above I am referring (again) to the Taliban those oh-so-moral-and-holy campaigning BASTARDS (praise be the holy name).

It is announced today that these brave men have shot and wounded a 14-year-old girl, Malala Yousafzai for the grievous "offence" of campaigning for education for females - and of being "anti-Taliban"; how curious.  Courageous Malala has said that she "dreamed of a country where education would prevail."  Fat chance with those vermin around.

No doubt they can produce a page in their so-called holy book to justify their appalling action. 

If that's their god, I'll choose Hell.

No on second thoughts, please nice USA, send the barbarians a present - a Hellfire missile.

Yes I know this took place in Pakistan, supposedly an ally of the U.S., but it seems that parts of the country are outside government control.

Until the next time


I suppose most of us at one time or the other have contemplated ending it all, there are even references to this (for the heartbroken) in Anthony Trollope's fine novels.

However if this method were the only one available, I'm sure that most would be deterred...

Until the next time

Friday 5 October 2012

At Last

Whilst I am not holding my breath, it seems that finally, after vast and unnecessary expenditure of taxpayers' money, the repulsive Abu Hamza is to become no longer our problem: he is to be a problem for the U.S.A. which I suspect will most likely deal with him fairly expeditiously.

However I would not be surprised to discover that Hamza will find the funds to employ some super-expensive American lawyers who will attempt to delay matters; if so, I hope not for too long.

Afterthought:  It is said that Hamza has described the UK as a "toilet"; well, well, now he'll have to expand his vocabulary I think once he sees the inside of an American "Supermax" prison.

Until the next time

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Serious Matters in the Middle-East

The news that Turkey, exasperated by the Syrian army firing into its territory has, for the first time responded in kind, will quite obviously have set alarm bells ringing around all the NATO countries.

Turkey has a large, powerful army; Bashar al-Assad would I think, be very unwise to permit further provocations.

And since the famously secular Turkish Army (carrying on the traditions of Ataturk) would perhaps not entirely find an opportunity to demonstrate its might to its current Islamic masters  unwelcome, al-Assad should be doubly cautious. 

The fact that I think that al-Assad should disappear up his own bottom is another matter of course.

Until the next time

And Again

Two more examples of the BBC's profoundly annoying courtesy to the unworthy.

First, according the courtesy of "Mr" to the implausibly-named murderer Docherty-Puncheon (one would like to say that one couldn't make it up, but I suppose he did) and second, the same is extended to one Bridger currently being grilled in connexion with the tragic disappearance of little April Jones.

Could it be that the BBC is terrified that in witholding the courtesy, so-called "human rights" might be infringed?

In this day and age, I shouldn't be at all surprised.

Until the next time

Pathetic - and Very Funny

I have just discovered that we now have a government department that rejoices in the name - wait for it as I can hardly type for laughing - Department of Energy and Climate Change. (The italics are mine of course).

Dear God!  perhaps said dept will, by means of new policies, reverse climate change?

They'll have a fair bit of work to do, given that the climate has been changing for the last 10 billion years or so (unless of course you are one of those sadly-deluded "creationists"  who believe that the earth - the centre of everything of course (!) was created in six days - in which case substitute 6000 years for the 10 billion...).  I read in the Wikipedia piece on the subject of Creationism that a mere 25% of the population of Turkey believe in the theory of evolution; poor Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) must be spinning in his grave.

Until the next time

Tuesday 2 October 2012

A Word about Abu Hamza

It really is too, too sick-making to feel obliged to write about this repulsive vermin, but duty calls.

Today the BBC reports that said vermin's health is deteriorating.

A likely story, and as likely to be as true as that of the murderer who, on Gadaffi's orders bombed the aircraft that crashed in Scotland killing all on board and as true as that of Ernest Saunders, one of the conspiritors behind the Guinness share scandal, who alleged dementia and was subsequently as fit as a flea.

I don't believe it and neither should anyone in this country with the power to eject this turbulent nuisance into the hands of the Americans who a) are likely to take a more robust view and b) are endeavouring to clear up a mess that as usual, we and the Europeans are incapable of doing.

Until the next time