Sunday, May 18, 2008

'Journalists' possibly

Our journalist friends on the Metro paper (the free on the bus one) announce in a massive Iraq based headline ‘Girl of 8 used as suicide bomber’. Shocking stuff obviously. Then in paragraph 7 they let slip that the Americans ‘later gave the age of the girl as between 16 and 18’.

So following the same approach here's a couple of stories from me...

My mate Bob went out last weekend and ended up having sex with a 9 year old. Did I say 9? Sorry, I meant 18.

I had sex with a 100 year old woman. Did I say 100? No, actually she was 40. Something like that anyway. I was drinking 12 year old whiskey – or was it 6 months old?

Still, no point in spoiling a good headline eh?

Mind you, it wasn’t long ago that the Metro 'writer' was talking about ‘RAF jets’ bombing Germany in the 1940’s. Another interesting one…I expect they get paid more than me too.

Anyway, the point is that when reporting, details matter, accuracy matters. Don't let them get away with it!

Net Nannies

I’ve been reminded of net nannies (I don't know why, I just have, OK?). While working for Leeds City Council it became clear that some emails were being ‘delayed’ so somebody somewhere could check them out ‘for content’. The net result (top pun there) was that my fellow band members and ‘top mates’ generally would send me emails containing individual specially selected rude words to see what would be allowed. They would then follow this up with messages such as “‘wanker’ got through here no problem, did you get my ‘twat’”? In addition to that, legitimate emails wouldn’t get though because they mentioned ‘sex’ or ‘drugs’ or whatever. Being connected to the Youth Service was always going to be good on that score what with Drug Action Teams and anti teen sex projects and the like - I should say that I meant anti teen-sex and not anti-teen sex projects. I don’t want to imagine what one of those would be.

I ended up composing emails solely for the person whose responsibility it was to check them. I'd ask them who they were and what they thought they were doing, how it was justified and their qualifications for the job. I never got a reply, mind.

Small musing on 'going private'

I’ve just ‘gone private’ for me teeth. Paid for by the NHS actually, but it was off to the private hospital in Methley. They mainly do cosmetic surgery. Lots of scope for jokes there of course. I rather hoped I could play ‘spot the boob job’ in the waiting room. Thought I might 'pair up' the boob enlargements with the boob reductions. You know, get them chatting and see if they could do some sort of swap to save on materials.

There were adverts for open evenings where you could find out more about 'body shaping' and 'abdominoplasty' among other procedures. I thought dominos had been made of plastic for some time. Anyway, the place was kind of a cross between an NHS hospital and the Crossroads motel. Most people there were there for NHS dentistry it seems - more tattoos, beer bellies and footie shirts than they’re used to I guess. Mind you, there’s a limit on how posh a private hospital can be on the borders of Rothwell and Castleford – and I still had a long wait. I suppose they make the effort so the NHS patients don’t feel too uncomfortable. Here's an odd thought though - plastic surgery isn't really for posh people is it?

It's about time they worked out how to get people to grow new teeth if you ask me. Very old people occasionally grow one or two it would seem. They should cross them with Catholic embryos or something.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sat bleedin' sumas - would that be blood oranges?

This may seem a stupid question but what the hell has happened to Satsumas? I can’t remember the last time I had one that was anything like, well, a Satsuma. They’re not supposed to be rock hard, sour, round or with a navel bit on ‘em. They’re supposed to have loose skin, be sweet and …well, you get the picture. Come on Satsuma producers, get your act together.

Oh, and it was welcome back to the outside part of Leeds market for me this week when I bought some 'satsumas' at '8 for a pound'. Not only were there only 7 in the bag but they were nothing like the ones on the front of the stall either. And nothing like satsumas.

More corporate pals

I just made a bid on ebay. They congratulate me on being the first bidder - ‘hope you win’ they add. Nice of them, I really appreciate the personal touch, it gives me a tingly glow to think they're rooting for me in my attempted value for money purchasing behaviour.

However, I wondered if they intended to take any action to put this hope into practice. I emailed them to ask and they haven’t replied. I suspect that they don’t really care if I win or not. This is a crushing disappointment. Whey do they pretend to be my fwend?

My bank wants to be friends

I just got a new Terms and Conditions leaflet for my bank account. I’m ashamed to say I actually read some of it.

It says here ‘One of the great things about internet shopping is the extra time it gives you to enjoy life offline’.

My question is, is there a word for this kind of sick making matey approach to 'information'? And what could 'life off-line' mean? I don't want the NatWest bank to chat or give me their lifestyle opinions thank you very much.

Are you insured Madam?

Isn’t it strange how the insurance business is (or at least has been) seen as somehow ‘respectable’? The sort of industry mothers don’t mind their sons ‘going into’. Their income is often guaranteed by law – you have to take out insurance to protect your mortgage lender, you have to insure your car and so on. Yet if the insurance company decide they don’t want to pay your claim what happens? – They don’t pay your claim! They decide. If you have a dispute, who do you appeal to? – another person at the same company – if you’re lucky! This of course if after the ‘excess’ and the exclusions of anything that you might actually need insurance for – the whole ‘act of God’ thing.

A couple of examples:

I know some people whose plumbing is been eaten by mice, causing holes and leaks and well, a lot of damage (this is the plumbing in their house, not some 1984 nightmare scenario…) Just the kind of thing you’d want to claim on your house insurance you’d think. But oh no, the policy doesn’t include rodent damage! Does this include the rodents at the insurance company?

We recently bought holiday insurance. It seems that this was compulsory too. On this policy you had to pay extra to insure your belongings! Well, what the f*ck do you want holiday insurance for if its not to insure the stuff that you take with you? I had a quick look at the reams of ‘information’ that they give you. We’ll be quids in if I lose a limb it would seem, and I can cause upset abroad leading to costs of up to £5,000,000. But if someone nicks my bag, tough! Whole sections of the economy are based on this kind of fantasy world it would seem.

15% of your neighbours...

I’ve just been going through the local election results in Leeds. Small ‘hobby-horse’ type rant coming up…

If ‘New’ Labour continue to ignore the poor white people who feel like they’re not getting anywhere and no-one looks after their interests, then quite soon the BNP are going to start getting elected all over the place. I left Labour (probably for good) mainly over the ID card and civil liberties but also over them dumping the concept of ‘equality’ – oh, and arms, wars and, well all the rest of it. New Labour left the ‘working classes’ behind years ago and it seems that finally the working classes have begun to realise. If you combine this with the stifling of free speech so the BNP are forced (despite their own stupidity) to not say (for example) anything racist, it makes it much easier for them to pose as the party of the ‘white working class’ and the only people speaking up in those areas that never get the various ‘initiatives’, grants etc that are coming out of the ears of people in some areas of the city.

Wards like Chapel Allerton (the nice middle class green DMs brigade and the various black communities) gave the BNP about 3% of the vote. This is of course pretty good news. That 3% will be those not very attractive, not very bright, disappointed people who want someone to blame for their own personal failings. However, in Middleton it was nearly 40%. If I’m not mistaken the (proper, German) Nazis never got that percentage of the vote. I don’t believe that 40% of the voters in Middleton are racist scum. They’re people whose world has been collapsing for years. Some of them will suspect its due to ‘immigrants’ or whatever that they’re getting a bad deal. In fact it’s due to the disappearance from politics of the concepts of both equality and re-distribution of wealth. No-one even bothers to argue if multi-millionaires should pay more tax. ‘New Labour’ have been the Tory party for years but never properly admitted it and now it seems to me they’ve been caught out. I’ve said this before but I think the main rate of income tax in the 1970s was 33%. If it was that now how much would that raise for projects that could really improve the lives of people in places like Middleton? Think on eh?

So, there you go readers, ignore people for too long and they set the rottweiller on you.

Toodle Pip!

Doorbell Walks

Somebody stole our doorbell this week, or at least the bell-push bit. Still, I expect some local chav will be able to buy a tube of Evostik with the money. £1.49 from Wilkinson’s - so it could be a bit difficult making much of a profit. How else could a doorbell 'pushbit' disappear though? Teleported to a shower of frogs? Possibly.

Talking of Wilkinson’s – it suddenly struck me last time I was in there – they are in fact Woollys! – Apart from the colour scheme it’s like being in Woolworth’s ‘back in the day’.