Sunday, 30 December 2012

Arise, Sir Shylock

The head of the FSA at the time the recent recession started is to be knighted for 'services to the financial industry'.

Let's hope the Queen's hand slips with that heavy sword so that she can do her bit for 'services to the penniless consumer'.

Former City regulator knighted http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20858164

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Guns Don't Kill People, Stupid Americans With Guns Kill People With Their Guns

What happened at that school in America was just awful, unthinkable.

However, this is just silly.

Off duty soldiers and police are standing guard over schools in case another madman goes on a murderous rampage.

This is essentially shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, killed the farmer and his family, gone on a six-state car chase and then shot itself in the head, all broadcast live for the American public to enjoy over their TV dinners.

Now, we're sure the Americans will have thought of this already, but just in case the idea slipped through the net in all of that paperwork that the American government has to wade through, what if they were to just stop letting stupid dangerous people have guns?

I know, I know. They must have thought of it already. After all, the Americans do have the right to bear arms to defend themselves. It says so in the constitution. A document that was written in the times of the 'Wild West', when the West was, well, wild. And dangerous.

However, saying that people should be allowed guns now because it says so in the constitution is like saying that Americans should not be allowed on Facebook because it doesn't say anything about it in the constitution. Of course, Americans should not be allowed on Facebook, but that's a different matter.

Now, what they might argue is that every time a mad gunman goes on a rampage it proves that they should be allowed guns to defend themselves against such crazed lunatics. Because you can't really predict if someone is buying a gun to shoot raccoons, or if they're buying a gun to murder innocent children. So it's best to err on the side of caution and let anyone have one. Although of course it's giving them guns in the first place that makes them dangerous.

Let's face it, there are a lot of people in America, and so it stands to reason that there are a lot of stupid people in America. But stupid dangerous people? Well, they were just plain stupid until someone decided that it would be a good idea for them to have guns. Now they're stupid and dangerous.

Great. I'm just glad the Atlantic is so wide.


Addendum: It's now 2016 and there have been at least 91 school shootings since 'Sandy Hook' which prompted this article. Hooray for the vigil. Obviously without all those soldiers guarding America's schools for the past 4 years, the death toll would have been much higher. Because they can't have just hung around for a few days, got bored and gone home, can they? I mean, they made a pledge to protect the nation's children. Aren't they still there? No?

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Some Jokes.... If You Can Call Them That

I thought of two jokes this morning that you might like.

Cinderella has been made a government regulator. She has been given sweeping powers.


My house is heroic. It was last decorated during the war.



As David Cameron would say, LOL.

Making an Impression

I went to an interview recently. At the end, they asked me if I had any questions. I said,

"Yes. What is your first impression of me?"

The interviewer replied,

"Erm.... It's too early to tell"


Did I miss the point of a first impression?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Free Press?

Lord Leveson has recommended regulation of the press.

The press are up in arms.

According to a bald man on the telly, 'we' fought long and hard for freedom of speech and we can't sacrifice that.

Isn't that like saying that our free will must not be controlled by the government?

Hmm.. That's a nice new flat panel telly in Currys. I don't want to pay for it though. We fought long and hard for free will in this Country! Someone died in a war to make this a free country! Property is theft! etc. etc.

Freedom of speech isn't the problem.

The problem is what certain journalists use that freedom to say.

And yes, they should be regulated.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Curious goings-on in Belize

John McAfee, the founder of the anti-virus software company of the same name, is on the run in Belize after the local police found his neighbour shot dead.

John has gone into hiding, using various disguises including a tramp and a German tourist, continuing to blog about his daily adventures while on the run with his 20 year old girlfriend (he's 67) and spying on his own house into to keep tabs on the police, who is convinced are trying to frame him.

http://www.whoismcafee.com/

Well, it makes interesting reading. At the time of one police raid, when he apparently ran out naked holding a gun, he was living with a 17 year old girl.

He says that he loves lots of people but doesn't care if they love him or not as long as they're honest.

Hmm....

He says, "If I am captured, this blog will continue. I have pre-written enough material to keep this blog alive for at least a year. In addition, the administrator, Chad, will continue to monitor comments. He will administer the reward and post any information received. In truth my continued involvement from this point is irrelevant."

Some would say that they feel the same way about his involvement up to this point, too.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Politics 1, Democracy 0

In the UK, we're about to have elections for local Police Commissioners. The government have responded to all the fuss about the influence over the police by political parties, for example in the recent News of the World scandal where the police failed to investigate some serious crimes and politicians were somehow involved, along with pool parties and flirty text messages. But there was absolutely no connection between any of those events.

Anyway, at the moment, each police force is overseen by a committee of 17 people, drawn from the local community, social services and so on. They debate policy and standards and the odd number means that there's never a hung vote.

The government, in the interests of maintaining the integrity of the police and the non-interference of political parties, are replacing this committee of 17 good people with a committee of... 1.

One police commissioner will have the power to hire and fire Chief Constables, amongst other important things.

Now, to keep it all fair and above board, anyone can stand for election as a commissioner. Anyone with £5,000 to spend on the deposit, that is.

But oh, hang on, what's this? If you're a serving MP, as in a Member of Parliament, as in a serving party political politician, you only have to pay £500. Which you don't really have to pay, your party pays it for you.

OK, so a politician pays £500 and an ordinary pillar of the local community pays £5,000.

On top of that, the government has levelled the playing field by limiting how much the candidates can spend on advertising. £100,000.

£100,000.

That's quite a lot of money for an independent candidate to spend on advertising, isn't it?

But a drop in the ocean for a main political party.

I say we vote to get rid of democracy. It's all a con anyway.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

I'm a MP... Get The Whip Out Of Me!

Nadine Dorries is to join some other people you've never heard of in the jungle on Sunday.

Apparently, she isn't doing it to pursue a media career. She's using it as a platform for her political views and will be sharing her policies on various issues of interest to her constituents.

We think that Nadine obviously has never seen the show, because that's not quite how it works. The only things that the contestants get to share their views on are kangaroo's vital organs, cockroaches and each others' personal hygiene habits.

The Conservative party has never been short of controversy. Their response to Nadine's TV appearance was to "withdraw the whip".

Now come on, seriously, that sounds like exactly the kind of perverted act that the Conservatives are more usually in the news for!

Friday, 2 November 2012

OCD?

Apparently, Carex hand wash "works in seconds"

That's convenient, because that's exactly how long it takes me to wash my hands...


Britain's Got Mobiles!

Yes, we have finally joined the 21st century and gone mobile blogging mad. You can now expect up to 3% more rubbish on the Internet than ever before.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How Clean is Your Jungle?

ITV's teaser ads promise that I'm a Celebrity is returning soon..

Why does it seem so long since the last series?

Well, obviously because they had to allow enough time for a new bunch of feckless square-eyed hopefuls to become famous enough to qualify as celebrities. Because let's face it, if your career wasn't in the toilet, why would you bother?


Fag Ash Lil

Gary Barlow, pop's fresh faced little boy band crooner turned bad boy Simon Cowell wannabee, recently accused fellow X-Factor judge Talisa of having 'Fag ash breath'.

Honestly, with her looks, talent and intellect, her breath should really be the least of her worries...


Sunday, 21 October 2012

15 Minutes of Lame

Jamie Oliver's latest party political broadcast for the labour party.... we mean TV cookery show... promises to show you how to cook great meals in just 15 minutes.

Apparently, it's "in your face" cooking.

Well, where else would I be putting it?



Tuesday, 17 July 2012

This is NOT the Official Blog of the Olympics

The media coverage of the upcoming Olympics has vexed us greatly. First, we see a number of large companies jumping on the advertising bandwagon. We have Lloyds TSB, the official bank of the Olympics and McDonalds, the official Restaurant of the Olympics. That's 'restaurant' in only the most literal sense of the word; a place where you can sit down and eat. I suppose that makes the pavement outside the local kebab shop a 'restaurant'. And also a 'toilet'. We have Panasonic, the official television of the Olympics and Coca-Cola, the official drink of the Olympics. We even have Harvest Morn, the official breakfast bar of the Olympics (they're like little slices of chipboard) and Proctor and Gamble, the official soap manufacturer of the Olympics. Although in P&G's case, their soap is probably more nutritious than McDonald's sludgeburgers.

Does this mean that the athletes from the competing nations will be living off a feast of chipboard, burgers and fizzy pop for the period of the games?

No. It means that you, the average people of Britain and the World will only be permitted to eat and drink crap while you are inside the Olympic area. Which is everywhere.

The British government has even passed a law that protects the use of the Olympic logo. Good old trademark law wasn't enough, we had to have a brand new law protecting the advertising revenues of the Olympic organisers. Rapists and child molesters are walking the streets, looking through your bedroom windows and photographing your children through the school gates because the government was too busy passing a law to satisfy McDonald's marketing department to look at all the other, low priority laws that need their attention. Sorry, I was channelling the spirit of the Daily Mail for a moment there.

However, bear in mind that this law is absolutely fine, the government says (on Radio 4's Today this morning) because no-one has been sent to prison yet. It's not an infringement of our rights to prohibit us from showing our support for the Olympics in any way that we bloody well want unless we buy the officially endorsed flags, face paints and assorted crap that will festoon every car, house and small child up and down the country because no-one has actually been prosecuted yet. Well that's OK then. The government's QUANGO, LOCOG, is responsible for policing any infringements of the Olympic committee's intellectual property. The alternative title of this blog post is therefore "You've been Quango'd".

Would you believe that a butcher who had arranged sausages in his shop window in the shape of the Olympic rings was told to remove them? The reason being that he was not a sponsor of the Olympics and was therefore using the logo illegally. Hang on - maybe he was advertising Olympic Airlines who have the same logo? No, his was not the official sausage of the Olympic games. AS IF ANYONE WOULD THINK IT WAS!!!

Which is more likely; I buy some sausages purely because I am influenced by the Olympic logo in my desperate need to give more money to multinational crap merchants, or a local retailer shows his support and inspires his community to do likewise?

LOCOG has published a list of words which must not be used. Olympic, Games, 2012, Gold, Silver, Bronze, to name but a few. Now let's be reasonable. I don't want to see illegal fly pitchers outside the Olympic village selling genuine 100 carat gold replica Olympic medals. That's quite reasonable. But why is the Olympics special? Why should the Olympics get any more protection than any other trademark? And why are we paying through the nose for it? Oh yes, because the Olympics will bring jobs to Britain. Such as jobs for security guards. Which the Army and Police end up taking over, costing.... US! Again! 

If the people of Britain want to show our support for the Olympics, we can do it the good old fashioned British way, by BUYING the fine products of the sponsors of the games, by BUYING the Olympic torch that those sponsors BOUGHT to give away as prizes and sales incentives, by BUYING tickets to the games, by BUYING the overpriced unhealthy crap that is sold within the Olympic areas, by PAYING FOR the right to park a boat in the sea off the Dorset coast because the council have erected concrete barriers so people can't stand on the beach and watch the sailing for free instead of PAYING to get into the Olympic area.

I tell you what, there's no way we're hosting it next year...


Monday, 25 June 2012

The Death of Democracy

It's not often that we get serious here, preferring to rant about the antics of TV has-beens or wannabees, however, we note that the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has started a petition to prevent the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer, a 24 year old British student who created a website, TVShack.net, which provided links to sites where people could download films.

According to the 'Stop the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer to the USA' petition:

O'Dwyer is not a US citizen, he's lived in the UK all his life, his site was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US. America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil.

Now then, here's the problem. O'Dwyer did not infringe copyright, he merely provided links to copyrighted content. If there was a stall on your local market selling fake Rolex watches and counterfeit DVDs then you'd be prosecuted for knowing where it was. In George Orwell's '1984', that's called a Thought Crime.

Democracy is based on, amongst other things, the fundamental principles of freedom of information and freedom of speech. We have the right to know what our government is up to, and we have the right to disagree with it. The Yanks bang on about democracy, but what they want is conditional democracy; freedom on the condition that we only do and say things that they like and which earn their corporations lots of money.

If the US media industry wants to protect its profits, it needs to attack the people who are making illegal copies of films and music in the first place. Except it can't, because they're everywhere. I might be one of these cyber-criminals. You might. You might have downloaded some music, or copied a CD to listen to in the car, or copied a DVD for a friend. Or you might be the ringleader of an International counterfeit DVD operation. But no-one knows. So the Yanks take the easy route; attack the people they can find, no matter how loosely connected to the problem they may be, and bully them. They figure that if they cut off the communication channels, the supply will stop. Just like their policy on drugs. And guns. And alcohol. Let's face it, the American's aren't really in the best place to lecture the world on moral principles, are they?

So the threat to democracy is this: When you punish criminals by shooting the messenger, you don't stop crime, you just create a police state. Do you want to live in a world where you can be arrested just for knowing where you can buy a stolen car stereo? Where you can go to jail just for telling someone where they can get cheap DVDs?

On BBC Radio 4 this morning, they were talking about England's predictable exit from the football competition, lamenting the expertise of other countries' national teams in kicking the ball around. Last week, an expert on the subject said that it's inevitable that England won't make it very far in the competition because we're not actually very good at football, even though we like to think we are. We don't only hope to win, we expect it, and when we fail, we go and kick the rival fans' heads in as mark of our indignation. But why is this? Well, go to any village in Spain, Mexico, Italy and so on, and what are the kids doing in the streets? Playing football, doing tricks with the ball, becoming as adept at handling the ball as a baby penguin becomes at flying through water. Visit any English town or village and what do you see the kids doing? Rapping, skateboarding and hanging' with their homies and honeez.

Sadly, we are closer to America, culturally, than we are to Europe. It's no wonder, America is our adolescent child, growing up at last and trying to break free from our traditions. And like a middle aged parent trying to 'get with the kids' by pretending to like rap music and crap food, we actually give a damn what the American courts want us to do.

Sign the petition and play your part in protecting true democracy.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Well Done Ricky

Ricky Martin, the famous Latino singing wrestler, has won The Apprentice.

We would have placed a bet on him to win, but you can't bet on The Apprentice because it was won 6 months ago. But why did Ricky win? Let's probe the finalists:

Tom: A risk taker. Whether it's enormous (and very badly painted) pictures or investments, he likes to gamble with other peoples' money. When Lord Sugar said that he had never risked other peoples' money, what he was really saying was that he didn't want Tom gambling HIS money. Nick tried to sway him by saying that it would be a tremendously exciting business. "Electrifying" was the word. Buying and selling wine to greedy rich people? Electrifying?

Jade: No costs in her business plan! Clearly no head for business. A good saleswoman? Maybe, if you can survive her annoying. grating voice. But good sales people aka 'canon fodder' are ten a Euro. She was the hanger-on in the final, the contestant who got there, not through merit, but by keeping a low profile and being insufficiently bad to have been selected out thus far.

Nick: An incredibly complex business model, technically, which can be replicated easily by anyone else and which tries to squeeze margin out of the supermarket business. As if! Supermarkets give away margin?Supermarkets use their pet celebrity chefs to come up with recipes to drive sales. You can already order complete cook-it-yourself dinner parties, and you can already get your meals for a week delivered to make sure you stick to your diet. An interesting idea, but not unique and not a money maker in itself. And how did his platform cope with what I've already got in my cupboard? Oh, I get everything out of my fridge and type it in to his website. I give up, we'll have a takeaway instead.

Ricky: Strangely, Lord Sugar said last year that he doesn't like service businesses and he's never had one. But this year, all four plans were for service businesses. So Lord Sugar didn't choose which was the best plan, he chose who he could most easily mould into his own image, who was most open to learn, probably the least arrogant and was the safest bet. We're not convinced that Ricky will be running a recruitment business, it's more likely that LS will have him doing something else. There are already niche recruiters. Every failed salesman who isn't a sales trainer is a recruitment consultant. They are ten a Drachma. Maybe he thinks that sticking his name on a recruitment company will make it a winner. Well, has it worked for James Caan? Not really. Do you travel by Virgin trains just because they're connected to Richard Branson? Of course not. Do you buy curry sauce just because it's got Loyd Grossman's face on it? No. Although to be honest, that's more to do with the salmonella or e.coli or whatever it was, and the fact that his korma sauce looks like baby vomit.

Last year's winner, Tom, isn't running the business he pitched; ergonomic office chairs and a service to improve workplace productivity. Instead, Al did exactly what we predicted, he bought his way into Tom's existing product, the curved nail file. He stole all of Tom's years of hard work in getting the product to market and stuck his wrinkly face all over it. As he said to the girl who made the hand cream in her kitchen, he's not exactly a walking advert for the beauty market.

One odd thing, though. In the after-show-show, You're Hired, they showed a compilation of clips of Ricky's wayward eyebrows. But not once did they pick up on his other odd habit of twitching like a pigeon. Either he's not comfortable in a shirt or Lord Sugar is training him to peck at competitors.

Bad Language

The English language is falling into disrepair.

In restaurants, it seems to have become the norm for us to be referred to as "guys". We are not guys. We are sir and madam. One of us may be, at a stretch, a guy. The other is quite clearly not.

It very much annoys me when someone calls me "yourself". "Can I get anything else for yourself?" Yourself? Don't you mean you? Can I get anything else for you?

And most annoyingly, these two are often combined... "Can I get anything else for yourselves guys?"

I've also seen professionals, including solicitors who you'd think would speak English, say that they'll "revert" to me. How can someone revert to me? Am I their natural form? Are they only temporarily someone else, and at midnight they'll revert to me? They mean reply.

Anyway, here's another one, in a contract from a very, very large contract management company.

The contract says:

The Supplier shall submit its invoices in accordance with the payment plan set out in each Order, in the absence of which it shall submit an invoice on the completion of the Services.

We sought clarification on this, so their contract manager said:

"I am not sure I understand what you are asking, please can you digress a bit more."

I certainly could. Lord knows, I can digress for England. But I don't see how that's going to help her to understand the contract.

I'm afraid that I can't even imagine what she actually means to say.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Two Minute Warning


What, do they have Alzheimer's as well?


And if you want to spend your spare time chasing after buses, visit raceforlife.org

Loose Change is for Losers

We're surrounded by self help experts who try to convince us that we have to change. We must work smarter, not harder. We must move with the times. We must adapt or die.

Well, I've seen my fair share of change and it looks pretty harrowing to me.

They say that a change is a good as a rest.

Ergo, a rest is as good as a change!

So the next time someone says you have to change, have a rest instead.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Is that a Berm in your Pants?

The American secret services have foiled another dastardly plot to blow up an airliner. Yes, those evil foreigners will stop at anything to attack the great American way of life. And if you watch Man v Food, they can keep it. I mean, bacon on a doughnut????????

Yes, the CIA have stopped a suicide bomber with a BOMB IN HIS UNDERPANTS.

Sound familiar?


Readers of Viz magazine will recognise the suicide bomber as none other than Johnny Fartpants, the young man who always has a commotion in his underwear.

Apparently, a similar plot was foiled last year when a suicide bomber's underpant bomb failed to explode, causing a small fire which other passengers put out.

We don't think that's what happened.

We think that an American tourist, laden with bacon doughnuts and an entire pig in hot barbecue sauce accidentally lit his own fart while trying to get his seatbelt around his enormous girth.

Come on, an underpant bomb? Which do YOU think is the more plausible explanation?

BRITAIN'S Got Talent

Apparently, there has been some consternation in the press about the number of foreign contestants in this year's BGT. We would like add our two-penneth.

We think that the two male dancers from America are really super, Cascade from France are outstanding and we even kind of like the Latvian comedian. Although the German with the gold wings is seriously misguided.

We have absolutely nothing against them.

In fact, we think that Simon Cowell should branch out. Latvia's Got Talent has real potential. A stand up comedian, a woman who can peel a sack of potatoes in three minutes flat with only her ears, and a man with an unnatural relationship with goats. It could even win the ratings war with the big hitters, 'I'm an Asylum Seeker, Get Me Out Of Here!', 'You've Been Framed by the Secret Police' and 'Who Wants to be a Multi-Billionaire' (runaway inflation, you see).

And therein is the problem. BGT was envisaged as a showcase for undiscovered British talent. It is not a showcase for world talent. What happens if a Frenchy wins it? Does that mean the French are more talented than the Brits? The best of our homegrown talent has to be imported?

So we think that BGT should be restricted to British acts. Not out of any jingoistic, right wing, narrow minded stupidity but because BGT exists to showcase British talent. Simple as.

Same as we wouldn't expect to see Northerners on TOWIE.

And we would love to see Europe's Got Talent next year, and perhaps even Earth's Got Talent the year after.

Although once that gains popularity, the Martians will want a look in.


The Beautiful Apprentice

This year's Apprentice follows the same format as last year; the winner becomes Lord Sucre's business partner. Maybe he ran out of jobs at Amstrad to give the winners, or maybe he thought that a business deal was a better way to stop them all leaving after a year and starting up their own businesses.

The problem with this format is that it skews the firing process. Lord Sugar isn't firing who deserves to be fired, he is firing the person he least wants as a business partner.

Take the most recent episode of the TV game show (don't forget, it is just a game show) where the hapless contestants had to buy tat from a big warehouse and then flog it to clueless punters from Essex at huge profit margins.

In the firing line were Jade, Azhar and Tom. Well, Tom shouldn't have been there at all but Jade was scraping the barrel because, as she herself admitted, the failure of the task was her fault. She wasted too much time choosing sites, left not enough time to buy stock and consequently had no plan for buying stock. It all went downhill from there, rapidly.

Jade was far and away the looserest member of the team because she had no plan other than 'buy stuff and sell it'. At one point, she actually said that her strategy was to "win the task". That's an outcome, luv, not a strategy. A strategy means 'what's your plan to get there?'. She didn't have one.

Azhar was berated for repeatedly asking Jade for a strategy. But he wouldn't have had to ask if she'd had one!!!

But LS fired him because he didn't like the look of him. Fair enough, he was a bit of a whinger, but which is easiest to learn; a bit more positivity when dealing with people, or the fundamental ability to make sound business decisions?

This year's Apprentice ain't a business game show, it's a beauty parade.

We predict that the winner will be the person with the business plan that involves working with children and opening a boutique.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Daaaad..... Stop it you're embarrassing us

We haven't bothered commenting on BBC's X Factor imitation, The Voice.

Why? Because it's the equivalent of your Dad running the disco at your 16th birthday party.

And you're through to the next round... Oh, no you're not...

The judges on Britain's Got Talent distinctly say to the contestants... "you've got four yeses, you're through to the live round..."

But wait. You're not actually through to the live round at all. You're through to the round where the judges sit in a room and decide if they like a photo of you or not.

Hardly fair, but it is ITV. The contestants should think themselves lucky they don't have to phone a premium rate phone number to hear the judges' decision.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

If your Sat Nav told you to jump off a cliff, would you?

Sadly, the answer appears to be "yes".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17268463

If a stern woman tells me to drive across a field, I must obey.

I don't know. I went to the school of motoring where they teach you to actually look out of the windscreen in order to figure out where you're going.

The sat nav, or as Jeremy Kyle's guest would say, sat nap, says that this alley way is a road, therefore my lorry must be able to fit. Oh, all seeing, all knowing sat nav, direct me oh wise one.

Idiots.

Poor, Poor Man

According to the BBC:
Russia's presidential elections were "clearly skewed" in favour of the winner, Vladimir Putin, monitors with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) have said.

Preliminary results showed that Mr Putin, who is currently prime minister, won more than 63% of votes.

There have been widespread claims of fraud and vote violations, and the OSCE said the result was "never in doubt".

OSCE official Tiny Kox, said "some instances of illegal activites were observed"

Erm.... Tiny Kox? What were his parents thinking?

But wait...

From Wikipedia:
"Martinus Josephus Maria (Tiny) Kox (born May 6, 1953 in Zeelst) is a Dutch politician."

Yes, Tiny is short for Martinus. It's not his parents' fault after all. He chose the name himself.

Who says the Dutch don't have a sense of humour?

Monday, 5 March 2012

They've Used Your Money to Buy You a Painting


The BBC has reported on a wonderful use of public money recently.

"A celebrated Titian masterpiece, saved for the nation after a £50m public fundraising appeal, is to go on show in Norfolk."

"It is considered to be one of his finest works because of its ambitious scale, its unity of colour and subject matter and its historical importance."

"It was bought for £50m by the National Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland with contributions from the Scottish Government, National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, The Art Fund and the public."

Wow. £50 Million. That's a lot of happy meals. And from whom did we manage to purchase this artistic miracle? A private collector. No doubt some billionaire in the South of France or maybe some Yank had it hanging in his toilet.

No.

"On Friday, the sister painting to Diana and Actaeon - Diana and Callisto - was purchased for the nation after a £45m ($71.7m) deal was agreed with owner the Duke of Sutherland."

WHOAH!!!!!

The DUKE of Sutherland? So he would be a member of the Royal family, right? So that makes the painting public property. Because enough of our taxes already go to pay for the Royal family to ponce around eating swans and opening new motorways and having their photos taken with children in hospitals. £50 Million of public money, that's YOUR MONEY has gone right into the pocket of the DUKE of Sutherland who as a member of the Royal family sits on a whole pile of expensive stuff that he inherited FROM US the people of this land.

The Queen will be selling London Bridge to Boris Johnson next.

Get it off your chest!

Got something you'd like to rant about? Can't be bothered to write your own blog? Maybe you've thought about taking surveys so that you can have your say about stuff. Maybe you'd even like to submit spurious survey responses saying that yes, thank you, your cat does like cheese and if Harrods opened a convenience store in your town then of course you'd shop there. If you do, click on this long winded link and register your details. It may or may not result in you receiving a lifetime supply of junk email but who knows? Take a chance, live a little.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Support Rotary International and Eradicate Polio

A quite incredible news item on the BBC on Monday this week.

Rotary International support a program to immunise children against life threatening diseases such as Polio, and their latest effort supplied the vaccine, which you may remember having yourself on a sugar lump, to 170 Million children.

170 Million. That's about 4 times the population of Britain.

And over what period of time do you think they delivered those 170 Million vaccines?

In the last ten years? The last year maybe?

No.

They achieved that staggering feat last weekend.

So give them your support. We think they've earned it.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Everyday is Like Sunday...

Yes, Megalomaniacs International, we mean News Corp, have announced the launch of an all new, brand new, standing up for the little people, not at all tarred with the same brush and with all new, honest, privacy respecting, not celebrity harrassing journalistic staff (but only because they've all been arrested) sunday newspaper - The Sun on Sunday.

But hang on, we thought The News of the World was the Sun on Sunday. Same crap. Same reader's offers. Same style. Same logo. Same soft porn twaddle.

No, no, no, no, no. It's a totally different newspaper. A sister paper. Not the same paper at all. Not owned by the same people, not employing the same journalists, not in the same offices. Totally different. As different as chalk and.... erm.... chalk. One paper is printed Monday through Saturday, the other on Sunday. How much more different could they be?!

So in their never ending crusade against the business fat cats and celebrities who abuse positions of power, we presume that the first feature article in the Sun on Sunday will be about Rupert Murdoch?

The BBC thoughtfully played an interview with Murdoch from the 1970s where he was asked if he enjoyed the power of owning a newspaper. He said yes, of course he enjoyed the power, power to decide what people know about, what they read, how they vote. He said that newspapers can also do great harm by hiding information from people.

Hmmmm....


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Sea Lion Attacked by Rabid Singer

You're going to love this.

According to the BBC...
 Pop star Shakira has described how a sea lion "tried to bite" her as she took a picture on her mobile phone. During a holiday in Cape Town the singer wrote about how the animal "got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury". 
This actually isn't surprising at all. The sea lion was obviously enraged at more paparazzi infringing its privacy. It had recently discovered that its phone was one of those hacked by the reporters from Daily Mirror that Piers Morgan knew nothing about. A story about an intimate threesome encounter with a couple of manatees was all over the front page and the sea lion had to resign his job as a football coach. The headline was "Mana-tease!"
She said: "My brother 'Super Tony' jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast." Shakira and her brother suffered "scratches" from rocks "while trying to protect ourselves". 
 They'll be suing the rocks next.
 In a blog post on her Facebook page titled "Special report: Attacked by a sea lion", the Colombian singer included a photo of a minor cut sustained on her hand. "Everyone there screamed, including me. I was paralyzed by fear and couldn't move."
Imagine how the poor sea lion felt!
Shakira, currently visiting South Africa, explained that she thought the animal had become confused. "I believe what happened is that it confused the shiny reflection of the BlackBerry I was taking these pics [sic] with, with some sort of fish," she wrote. "It probably thought I was teasing it with food and then taking it away from it." 
 It's an easy mistake. I tried to order an iPhone with chips and mushy peas the other day. Imagine my embarrassment when the woman in the shop told me that the iPhone only comes with curry sauce!

Captain Morgan's Rum Do

We recently delighted you with an account of Piers Morgan's fabricated ramblings, sorry we mean testimony, to the Leveson enquiry. He said that he couldn't reveal his sources when asked to say who had played him one of Heather Mills' voicemails.

The barrister suggested that he'd be very happy to get Heather Mills down to testify as to whether she gave permission for Morgan to listen to her voicemails. Morgan responded by saying that if people wanted to keep things private then they shouldn't talk about them. So if you're stupid enough to put personal information in a voicemail or email then you're fair game and it's your own fault.

The BBC confirms that, "The former wife of Sir Paul McCartney has denied authorising former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan to access her voicemail messages."

Can we expect to see Piers dragged back across the Atlantic to face perjury charges? Of course not. Because we have to remember all the good that newspapers do too. Like keeping tramps warm.

Greecing the Wheels of the International Economy

The sugar daddies of the European Union have been discussing the problems in the Greek economy again.
According to the BBC:

"The Greek people have been pushed to the limit by austerity measures demanded by the EU and IMF, public order minister Christos Papoutsis says.

He said Greeks had made "superhuman" efforts, and "can't take any more"."

What's that? The Greek people can't take any more? We think they'd be only too happy to take more! That's what got them into this mess in the first place!

"Right, children. You've spent all your pocket money so the only solution is to give you some more, but you must promise to spend it more carefully next time."

"We will!"

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Don't Get These Two Mixed Up...

Gary Glitter is back in the news after launching himself into cyberspace with a Twitter account so that he can tell all his many followers (such as the police and angry parents) what he's up to these days. Of course, he was just kidding around. Again. It was in fact a hoax, or as the author "Ben" described it, a "social experiment". Like if you took Ben's keyboard and inserted it sideways up his backside, that would be a "human machine interface experiment".

However, we couldn't help but notice a very worrying similarity between Paul Michael Gadd and another pop icon, Nik Kershaw. So this isn't our usual mockery but instead a valuable warning to any passport officials on the look out for a shifty balding man with a grey beard and "pop star" as the occupation on his passport.

We reckon that Glitter's plan is to try to sneak back into the country under the pseudonym N.Kershaw at one of the many 80s revival music festivals. He'll sneak in the back way, come on stage with a guitar, sing "I won't let your son go down on me" and then slip out quietly while everyone's waiting for an encore, stopping briefly at the creche to see if there are any lost children that need collecting.

 So please, if you happen to work at passport control, be vigilant.


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Cameron on the Ball

Well, in a bid to placate angry voters still reeling from the outrageous salaries and bonuses awarded to the very CEOs that got us into this mess, David Cameron has announced that he's going to make shareholders responsible for voting on CEO's pay.

Brilliant.

So in a bid to wrestle control from the grip of greedy corporations, he has put it into the hands of... greedy corporations.

Who are the shareholders in these companies? Is it people like you and me who go along to the AGMs with our sandwiches and flasks?

No.

The votes will be controlled by the institutional shareholders; fund managers, investment banks etc.

One of the big problems with the way our economy works is that corporate strategy isn't driven by customers or the environment. It's driven by institutional shareholders who want to make a quick profit on their shares. And the problem with that is that they get to call the shots with the CEOs. So now they're going to control CEOs' pay. Hmm... will that make the problem better or worse, do you think?

Ah well, we all knew when we voted Conservative that they will always favour the needs of the market economy. Can't say we weren't warned.