Sunday, 28 September 2008

Diana Watch

Well this is fun! A new game has been invented recently; it’s called “Bank Dominos”. The usual game of lining up dominos on their ends and then knocking them over is reasonably linear and therefore predictable, Bank Dominos, however is a little more abstract. One can fall over in America, say the Washington Mutual, and then one over here, I give you the Bradford and Bingley. Who knows when and where the next one will fall? International financed based fun anyone? The U.S. still hasn’t decided on its $700 billion bail out yet. Just to give some context to the size of this some of money, the war in Iraq has so far cost the U.S. tax payer $600 billion; this is an incredible amount of money. It has been an expensive 8 years for America from the party that offers you low taxes and smaller government with less interference, you know how to spend your money but not as well as President Bush does. The odd thing is that Republicans are against the bail out and are the ones holding it up, defying still President Bush, whilst the Democrats are sort of with him. Is anyone else slightly scared? You can see why they are arguing over this, treasury secretary Henry Paulson has inserted this little doozy into the proposed act, section 8 of the Paulson financial rescue plan states: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." If approved as originally proposed, the plan would grant the Secretary of the Treasury unprecedented powers, proofing his or her actions against congressional or judicial review. $700 million and he doesn’t want anyone to ask him how he spent it, someone has been learning from the Dick Cheny school of politics.

Back in Britain we have had people lining up to criticise Bankers and their dealings but, as two of the loudest voices came from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, let he who is without sin cast the first stone as it turned out the both the Anglican church and the Roman Catholic church have money in some of the massive hedge funds that have recently been short selling, oh dear. I believe last week I asked if anyone knew what hedge funds actually are (and soon, where, tee hee) but no one has come forward; surely one of you must know. Oh well Wikipedia it is then. Also, another reference to last weeks when I commented on David Cameron saying supportive things about bankers and today’s Observer was kind enough to report why this might be. It turns out that the Conservatives get massive donations from hedge fund managers. It seems that, despite the fact that we don’t know what they do, they make huge amounts of money and then give some of it to the Conservative party. If you give enough you get to be a member of a club called the Leaders Group and one of the perks, well I wouldn’t call it a perk but some might, are dinners at which David may appear, not in a puff of smoke I assume, I think he still uses a door like you and me, and chat. I assume that this is more likely at the dinners that take place at his house or is he sat upstairs in his bedroom like I used to be when my parents had friends round? Surely this is money for access and potential influence and that can’t be right. A nice man called Michael Hintze of CQS has given £662,500 and his company has shorted shares in Bradford and Bingley whilst two other men who run the investment firm Lansdowne, Paul Ruddock and David Craigen, who have given £210,000 and £50,000 respectively, were exposed last week as shorting shares in HBOS. So these are the people behind the Tory party, nothing has really changed.

Some awards,

The Award for Saving Me from Hollyoaks,

This goes to the returning Strictly Come Dancing, It Takes Two. Thank you so much to the BBC for putting this on at the same time as Hollyoaks as significant other would rather watch the lovely Claudia Wickleman than the worst program ever made. It is so bad that discovering that your significant other watches it is enough to make you reconsider the relationship.

The Award for Most Fun New Thing in Significant Others Life,

This goes to her new car, which is fantastic. It’s a Fiat 500 and it talks. Oh yes, talks. The car can respond to voice commands for dialling the phone, it’s great.


The Award for Most Fun I’ve had this Week,

This goes to the e-mail correspondence I had at the beginning of the week with a lady who has a fantastically right wing blog on Myspace. I found it on the most read bit and had a look and it was scary so I thought I would respond to one or two of her points, this lead to e-mails buzzing back and forth across the Atlantic and much fun was had, well by me anyway; I don’t think she was that impressed. By the way I think I won the discussion because she stopped replying first, I believe that’s how it works.

Have a fun week, I’m off to see Will Self tomorrow and that should be all sorts of fun.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Why Would You?

I feel that I have to ask this question, why? Why would you read these books?


Do people read them to feel better about their own lives or is it, well actually I can’t think of any other reason to read them. I believe this type of book has been described as emotional vomit and I think that’s good enough for me.


Go on, admit it. You are impressed by my fruit growing. This is my entire apple crop for the year, oh yes, just the one but it tasted so good.

If you are in London between now and the 1st of February, I think, go to the Tate Modern and go and see the Mark Rothko exhibition. Yes you will have to pay for it but it will be worth it, I promise you of that

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Diana Watch

So can you guess which one of us got up at 6:15 this morning and went to work only to discover that he was supposed to still be in bed? Yes, that would be me. I am a dufuss.
For a while this week I felt sorry for the employees of Lehman Brothers, to be honest I still do for the cleaners and other lowly staff, after they all lost their jobs at the beginning of the week but seeing the bankers interviewed on the news help to clear that up. They really are quite hateful people I’ll think you’ll agree. Any way the big news this week is that after 8 years of pretending to be the arch-capitalist George W Bush is a socialist, maybe even a communist, with his, effective, nationalisation of banks, mortgage companies and insurance companies. So America doesn’t yet have a decent health care system or properly funded education system but nationalising the banks is a cracking start. Sorry, what do you mean the jobs won’t be saved and only the risks are being taken on by the Government/ Tax payers leaving the executives of the companies, who all probably donated to the Republican Party, to make the profits? Oh, not so socialist then. In fact it is spectacularly hypocritical as this administration, and everyone before it since about 1965, follows the Chicago School of Economics which believes that the market is king and the Government should interfere in no ways. Reduced regulation and thank you to President Clinton for removing the laws that were introduced in about 1930 during the Great Depression that stopped Investment banks and your normal high street Banks being the same company, which separated risk, the consumer was less likely to be effected if a large investment bank got into trouble because none of their money would be involved, see how that works? Good idea if you ask me. Bill Clinton repealed that law and gradually banking restrictions have become increasingly lax and the same is true for the stock exchange. Short selling and insider trading are now usual, or at least they were before yet more Government interference. Interesting enough if the US government needs a loan or some help from the IMF or the World Bank they won’t get any because of the rules put in place by the US, now that’s irony. Late in the week the most offensive economic plan by any capitalist Government ever was being talked about. The government of the United States of America is going to buy all the bad debt that US companies have in order to get everything moving again. I’m sorry? Isn’t that the point of the economic system that you love so much that you want to force upon the rest of the world? Stock and shares CAN go down as well as up. That is the point. The risk is the point. But now it seems that there is no risk, as long as you are a super massive company, because you can fuck up in an enormous way because you invested in things that you didn’t understand, loose trillions of dollars but don’t worry because the government will now bail you out. Your hard earn tax dollars are paying for others peoples mistakes which are costing them nothing, not even their jobs. Really this should make you very mad indeed and should make sure you never vote Republican ever again and the Democrats should be sailing ahead in the polls but no, 3 point lead and silence from Obama. Bloody man, do you not want to win? Get on with it you stupid man, bring on your opinions. You are on course to loose. I’m going to stop now because it’s making my head hurt.
Just a quick reason not to vote for Sarah Palin, when she was mayor of Wasilla victims of rape and sexual assault had to pay for their own rape kits which cost between $300 to $1,200 a time. She calls herself a feminist you know. This woman clearly hates other woman and she must be stopped.

Ok, back to UK politics. Some people with in the Labour party are moving in to try and remove Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party. Ok, lets run through this slowly for them, Gordon Brown was not elected to be Prime Minister but we sort of let him off and let him get on with it but of you replace him you will definitely have to have an election and you will loose. It is that simple but if you wait there is every chance that the economy will improve and so will his, and your, ratings. I’m not saying that you will win the next election with Gordon as your leader but you will have a better chance. This is his chance, if he decides to take it, to reposition his party as a party of the people, for the people, to wrestle back some control of the city and banking, whilst David Cameron is saying, “We must not let the left use this as an excuse to wreck an important part of the British and world economy”, as he did on Wednesday in Berlin. Oh David, how you have misread how we all feel about this, even the Mail and the Express are calling for tighter regulation. No, no, you carry on my friend; you try and defend the bankers and traders. Go on; see who still wants to vote for you when the middle classes have lost the worth of their pensions. You defend them as the FSA launches an investigation in to trading that happened 2 minutes before HBOS and Lloyds announced their take over deal and made £193million profit and looks suspiciously like insider trading, go on, it will only be bankers and traders that vote for you.

Actually, my most important story of the week was on the BBC website and it reported a massive increase in thefts of fruit and vegetables from allotments. I thought I’d been a victim the other day but I then discovered a small pile of rabbit droppings and decided that was who had eaten my leafy veg, well that and the caterpillars.

Only one award this week,

The Award for Annoying Advert of the Week,

We have two winners for this, one for a product called Ambipure Puressence because it has the tag line “Fragrances that care”. I’m sorry, what?
And the second is the new Boots No.7 mascara advert with the very annoying, when not in Spooks, Keeley Hawes. It is annoying for 2 reasons, 1, the advert itself is very annoying and 2, the small print at the bottom of the screen, whilst going on about the length of the lashes the small print says, “Enhanced in post production”. So the advert is fake then?

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Crushing Disappointment of Everyday Life.

When I arrived home I had a little note from my postman, it seems I had a package that he wanted to deliver but it was too big for my letter box. What was contained within this exciting receptacle? Was it the American Music Club CD’s that I ordered? Was it the Belle and Sebastian Live at the BBC plus a goody bag that I ordered? Was it one of a number of exciting things that I was expecting to come by post? So, pacing around the house like a coiled spring, I waited for 5pm to arrive. At 5 minutes to 5 o’clock I started to tie my shoe laces, feet suitably protected from the pavement I braved outside. I brimmed with excitement during the 5 minute stroll to my local post office depot, what could it be, oh what could be? I arrived and handed my little card in, CD’s, please let it be CD’s. What was it you ask? I know you’re on the edge of your seats. For some reason British Gas had sent me 4 energy saving light bulbs. Can you imagine how very disappointed I was? I didn’t even need the light bulbs as all my light bulbs are energy saving anyway. I was crushed.

Just a quick mention of the Paralympics. How great was the Great Britain team? I’ll answer that question for you, really bloody great. They have ended up second in the medal table, 102 medals, with 42 of them being Gold. I haven’t covered it very much because I haven’t been able to watch very much of it. On the BBC they have been giving us 1hr of highlights a day. 1hr! For the Olympics it was hour after joy filled sporting hour but for the brilliant wheelchair basket ball 1hr of highlights. It’s not really good enough. I do hope that in 2012 we get a little more coverage.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Diana Watch

Hello to you all. Sorry it’s late again this week but I’ve spent the weekend in a very muddy field in north Dorset. I was at the End of the Road festival and a good time was had. It rained so much on Friday that I was on the edge of suggesting we came home, I know, wuss but it was very wet and I didn’t like it, that and the certain knowledge that I wouldn’t sleep. I get this strange festival paranoia which manifests it self with the certainty that I am going to die in my tent so I didn’t sleep well. As you might have noticed this didn’t happen so I am able to return to you my cyber chums to comment, mumble and moan about this week’s news. First up this week a Diana story, actually I can’t be bothered to talk about it but sufficed to say it was on the front of the Daily Express.
I have decided that I want to buy a bank and luckily there seems to be many of them for sale but I have my eye on the fourth-largest investment bank in the US, Lehman Brothers, or at least it was until it filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. This, of course, means that it going to be cheap. Significant other may be buying a new car but I’m going to buy a bank and as an early cost cutting measure I’m going to fire all the senior management, that is going to save a lot of money and save the jobs of those whose fault the failure of this bank wasn’t. Of course this won’t happen. The lower workers will now be jobless, the managers will get paid off with massive pay outs and will go on to other highly paid manager type jobs, despite being, quite clearly, really bad at it. Merrill Lynch is in trouble as well but that was sold to the Bank of America before I got to make an offer. Is this the slow ebbing away of the power of capitalism? Surely most people have noticed that the cause of most of the worlds financial problems right now are caused by capitalists and their greed, surely they have noticed that most western governments are beholden to the money men, and a very few women, and not the voters? Probably not if I’m honest. If the bailing out of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the US companies that underwrite 80% of the American mortgage market which is about $12 trillion or twice the entire GDP of the UK, hasn’t offended or upset people then nothing will. My point being that these are private companies whose profits are taken by only a few people but now that they are failing the Government, the lover of private business, has taken all the risk. It could cost the US taxpayer up to $25bn, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but no one seems to care that much.

On a different but related topic we have this week’s first award,

The Award for Missing the Bloody Point Whether By Not Understanding of Deliberately For Your Own Agenda,

A long award title but this goes to CBI director general Richard Lambert. The CBI has released a statement today that states “The UK may have entered a mild recession that will hopefully prove short lived”, fair enough you might think but wait until you hear who they blame. The reasons for this economic downturn are an upturn in world food prices and, wait for it, you! Yes, the Confederation of British Industry is blaming a reduction in consumer spending for the upcoming recession, not the banks that have lost trillions of dollars and now won’t lend to each other or us, oh no, it is our fault for not wanting to spend what little money we have left after our 120% mortgage from Northern Rock on important things like Glade plug-ins and Duck Fresh Disks, you selfish bastards.

The Award for Longest and Most Vague Criminal Charge,

To be honest I should have done this last week but I forgot and this means I’ve lost the link and therefore can’t remember the circumstances, sorry, but a man was arrested under terrorism legislation in the UK and was charged with “possession of an article in circumstances which give rise to the reasonable suspicion that possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism”.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Issues People, It's About Real Issues

It happens on both sides of the pond and today is a good example. We have the Conservative party complaining bitterly about, what could be interpreted, as Gordon Brown backing Barack Obama in a magazine article which is against some unwritten rule in British politics. What he actually said, if he penned the article at all, was that he admired some democrat policy ideas, but this has been seized on by the Tories as another stick with which to beat Gordon Brown. This is a spectacular non-story, a storm in a tea cup if you will. And the US presidential race brings us some incredibly short memories. Barack Obama said this,

He has been accused of sexism and smearing Sarah Palin, which he isn’t, it’s just an ugly phrase. But several months ago John McCain said this about a Hilary Clinton policy,

I think you will find that that is the same phrase, used in the same context.

Stop it! Discuss issues, point out failings and hypocrisies of the other person (and McCain and Palin are both guilty of this), it is politics after all but talk about thing that matter.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The Return of Bad Coffee

It has been a long time but it is back, this is the return of bad coffee. I know none of you will remember but it is an old thread about the poorest coffee I have ever tried. There is a chart but at the moment it only has 2 entries, they are Wetherspoons and TGI’s coffee, oh god they are awful but we now have a new entry. Yesterday we went to test drive a new Fiat 500, which was very nice, at the Bournemouth dealership but they asked us if we would like a tea or a coffee. Italian cars, Italian music playing, and the Fiat dealership playing on the Italian thing quite hard, what could possibly go wrong? Well, the cappuccino arrived. All looked good, good firm foam, pointless sprinkled coco powder on the top but when I tasted it it all went wrong. It wasn’t that it tasted bad; it just didn’t taste of anything at all. I am confused as to how this can happen, how can you create an inert coffee-like substance? I think this takes a certain degree of skill and dedication.
So the chart now looks like this,

1) TGI Fridays, just awful, not sure it was even coffee,
2) Wetherspoons, advertised as super cheap and you can see why it is,
3) Bournemouth’s Fiat Dealership, tasteless hot liquid.

Russell Brand at the MTV VMAs, too many letters if you ask me, was very funny, just have a quick look at this,

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Diana Watch

So will the world end on Wednesday? Well, no, no it won’t, despite what a number of stupid people may think but the Large Hadron Collider, which is buried under Switzerland, will be turned on for the first time. I know this makes me very geeky indeed but I am excited be the testing of the worlds largest ever physics experiment. The point of the largest machine ever created is to smash particles into each other at 99% of the speed of light, which is mind boggling fast, and to study the various bits and pieces that result from this explosion. The scientists are looking for all sorts of new and, so far, only theoretical things such as the Higgs Boson, which is the proposed mechanism by which particles acquire mass (I copied that from some where). The statistics of the collider are incredible, it is 17 miles long, the particles are accelerated to almost 300'000 km per second, they will be doing 11,000 laps of the loop per second, the resulting explosion will create 100,000 times more heat than the sun, it operating temperature is -271.25 C and it’s purpose is to recreate conditions 1/1000000th of a second after the big bang, which Sarah Palin doesn’t believe happened but more of that later. You get the point I think, it’s big and clever and most of us won’t understand what the significance of many of its findings will be but it is exciting.
So on to Palin woman. Nothing against her personally, except maybe the names she gave her children are a bit cruel, I give you Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig, see cruel. No, it’s the things she believes in and the things she doesn’t. She believes in banning books, she asked the librarian in what ever tiny town she was mayor of how she would feel about removing books that Palin didn’t or agree with and the librarian refused and was sacked, later reinstated following a massive public outcry (not as popular as many would have you believe), the Iraq war is God’s will and so is, even more oddly, a massive oil pipe line through Alaska, see this link for details and video evidence,3067,Palins-Church-May-Have-Shaped-Controversial-Worldview,Nico-Pitney-and-Sam-Stein-Huffington-Post. She is anti-abortion in all cases unless the mother’s life is threatened by the birth, so if you’re raped and get pregnant, sorry you’ve got to have it. If your child has a condition that means it will live for a very short time in incredibly pain, sorry you’ve got to have it, her “loving” god tells her so. She doesn’t believe in the big bang or evolution and wants creation taught in schools as if it was fact. She is anti-sex education and wants abstinence taught instead despite her own families experience on this subject. Lets just make that clear, she does want some sex education, i.e. the basic bits, what goes in where and how to stop getting pregnant but it’s probably best not to have it until your much older, oh no, she wants “DON’T HAVE SEX!” to be the children’s only lesson, despite overwhelming evidence that this approach does not reduce teenage pregnancy and in fact contributes to the massive increase to the problem in America where this teaching method is common. The UK has a shockingly high rate of teenage pregnancy, the highest in Europe in fact, but America’s is double that of the UK. She is pro gun which isn’t something that normal people should have a problem with. She hunts and it’s much easier with a rifle. Have you ever tried bringing a moose down with a pebble lobbed from your feeble arm? No? Don’t bother you won’t, the rifle will help. But why does the gun lobby think that people need machine guns? Hunting rifles fine, machine guns unnecessary, that’s all I’m saying.

Anyway, enough of that because she makes my blood boil and it’s not good for my health. I’ve had a lovely week, the highlights being seeing a double rainbow yesterday,

And Dorchester show today which was the muddiest thing I’ve ever been to.


Much fun was had. Hope you all have a nice week xx

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


It seems that OCD can strike any where at any time.


Yes, I know it is weird taking pictures in a public toilet but it’s funny and no one else was there so it didn’t look that bad.

Cindy McCain reminds me of someone and I’ve been trying to think who it was and then it came to me, it’s the alien lady from Mars Attacks,



Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Neutralise Jeremy Clarkson

Dear Everyone Who Calls Climate Change Global Warming,
Please stop it. This is a very simple plea from me to you. If you call climate change global warming you are over simplifying the problem and the doubters uses this as their standard joke, oh another rainy day thanks to global warming! Well no, that’s not how it works. The increased general temperature of the planet alters the usual weather patterns so your countries normal wind direction during a certain season is different from usual, that and increased moisture in the atmosphere and it rains most of the English summer. This is, as you would call it Global Warming, but this is misleading so stop it. It can become our way to distinguish ourselves from Jeremy Clarkson, well that and we have nice hair and dress quite well,

Yours Trying To Work Out How To Use Less Plastic,
Martyn xx