Tuesday, 28 April 2009

We Are All Going To Die!

Dear Sky News,
Calm the hell down. Oh and that goes for BBC News 24 as well. Whilst sat in the pub last night for the quiz the televisions were, us usual, turned to Sky News, “All gloom, All the time”. Your even handed handling of the public health nightmare that might be swine-flu is admirable. Your subtle use of graphics indicating “Worst Case Scenario” and giving us the figure of 780,000 deaths was lovely and was unlikely to help cause a panic.
My sister-in-law, who works in a DIY shop by the way, has been approached today by someone wanting to buy a mask to protect them against swine-flu. That's a paint fumes mask against a virus that isn't in England yet. Do you not yet understand the power that you have? To be honest, I think that you fully understand it and you enjoy wielding it, driving the news agenda and forcing the hand of others such as the government.
Are you going to report every “suspected” case of flu as “breaking news!” when it turns out to be a bloke with nothing more serious than a case of media induced hypochondria and a cold?
Whilst this can be a serious illness and lead to death (150 so far in Mexico), it can also be no more serious than normal flu (which does actually kill quite a lot of people per year anyway. Earlier this year GP's where allowed to use Tamiflu as per the pandemic plan because the normal seasonal outbreak was so bad.) Of all the people who have contracted the illness outside of Mexico, none have died. In the U.S. only 2 of them were even hospitalised.
So let us remember SARS and bird flu when I ask you all to calm down and report it sensibly and reasonably,

Yours, without a cold but significant other does, OMG! Do you think it might be swine flu? The media is saying that we are all going to die,

Martyn xx

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Diana Watch

“The good thing about Science Fiction is that no one lives in Hampstead”
J.G. Ballard

Whilst I’m typing this I am watching the London Marathon at the same time and feeling a little jealous. I wish I had that sort of motivation. I managed 10 miles a couple of weeks ago but really must try harder.

There isn’t much news this week except for the budget but there have been one or two other things.
All of the terror suspects who were arrested following the terror chief/photo incident of last week have been released with no charges whatsoever. Gordon Brown claimed that the police and security services had saved us from a massive terrorist incident. It seems that they might not of. In fact they may have saved us from….ummmmm…..nothing. Well, some immigration offences may have occurred as they have all been handed over to the Immigration Services so that they can be deported.
The problem here is not that MI5 are arresting people who they think might be terrorists and getting it wrong, it’s a hard job, I’ve seen Spooks. No, the problem is the wall to wall coverage in the newspapers and on the 24hr news channels. Oh and comments from our Prime Minister. They manage to give the impression, whether it is true or not, that people are arrested and realised because they are a bit foreign looking and are unlikely to have done anything terrorist related. The constant coverage that claims that they are terrorists and then the coverage of their release and the criticism of the authorities undermines peoples confidence in our security services and breeds the sort of disconnect that is then covered on the news, usually as some sort of vox pop interview, as proof of the divide between “Muslims” and the rest of us. You are not helping, stop it.

South Africa has re-elected the ANC as its ruling party but luckily without the 2/3rds majority needed to emend the constitution. So what has happened since the ANC took over 10 years ago? Well, they had a health minister who claimed that beetroot and garlic would cure HIV, the murder rate shot up and the number of people living on under 1$ a day has doubled. I am, of course, not claiming that things were better under white minority rule because it wasn’t but it is not now a land of milk and honey.

As you know in Britain we really dislike a benefit cheat. Our right wing press spends many a column inch demonising those who claim for things that they are not entitled to. However our press seem to ignore those who have left our country and have retired to other countries. They ignore them when they are talking about immigration to this country and they ignore them when it comes to benefit fraud. A report out this week from the Dept of Work and Pensions claimed that £69 million was being illegally claimed by Britons living overseas. That is a lot of money. Benefit fraud is estimated to stand at about £800 million per year and nearly 10% of it is committed by people living abroad. Lets be honest, these are probably not young people. Old people can be bad to.

I suppose that we should at least mention the budget. The thing that a number of the papers and TV news concentrated on was the rise in income tax to 50% for those earning £150,000 or more. That would be the top 1% of earners than, so not that many people effected. The interesting point that I only heard mentioned once was that this was only for cash income. The government have left open the tax loophole that allows people to take some of their wage in stocks and shares and for the they only get charged capital gains tax at 18% so a lot of them will get out of it. They are trying to close some other loopholes though.
David Cameron railed against this tax rise saying that it would be bad for Britain but when asked if he would scrap it he said that it “wouldn’t be a priority”. So really you quite like it then?
The fuel price escalator has returned which had annoyed a lot of people but the Government are trying to put people off of driving. When fuel prices shot up a while ago the amount of petrol that was purchased fell. People drove less and walked more. Surely that is what should be encouraged? Just me then?
What I thought was a remarkable scheme was also announced by Mr Darling during his mercifully short speech. It was a scheme to find anyone under 25 who has been unemployed for about a year a job or a place on a training scheme. Come on, this is an incredible idea if it works. During the fast recession of the Tory reign, there were 2 by the way; unemployment was a price worth paying and a generation of young people were abandoned by the government. And whilst we are at it, unemployment is currently at it’s highest since 1997, or since the last time that the Tories were in power.

What neither party is willing to admit is that we have no way of knowing what effect Government actions have on the economy. The argument will be, we did this and it all got better but the counter argument will be if you’d done this it would have got better more quickly. The problem is that you can not prove either argument. The likelihood is that if we did nothing the economy would get better in the end. We will have a recession about every 15 years. That seems to be how that system seems to work. Gordon Brown did not end boom and bust, in fact he had no effect on it at all and possibly helping it to become a little worse but all the arguments are hypothetical.

And now the weekly awards,

The Award for Piss Poor Film Trailer Making Sure That I Don’t Go and See It, Of the Week,

This goes to “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”. The trailer is awful and it must have been the easiest film to write. The entire plot is lifted directly from “Christmas Carol” and they’ve merely changed the situation. Lazy.

The Award for Silly Names of the Week,

Channel 4 have a series called “Embarrassing Bodies” which sometimes helps to enlighten people about various dysfunctions of their bodies. Last week they really pushed the boat out and some researcher must have spent a lot of time trying to find a spectacularly inappropriately named Doctor. Ladies and Gentleman I give you a gynaecologist called Dr Slack.

The Award for Policy Hiding/Public Misleading Euphemism of the Week,

On the Today program David Cameron was talking about education and he used the phrase “introducing new providers”. I’m sorry? What do you think that means? “introducing new providers”, oh I get it, he means privatisation. Oh that would make sense. Government has to cut back so get some private companies involved. The thing is, it doesn’t work. There was an unsurprising report a couple of weeks ago about council provided home care. This is provided, almost exclusively, by private companies. It seems that corners were being cut and the care wasn’t up to standard. Of course it wasn’t. Private companies have to make a profit, that is the bottom line. There is no other point to them.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Diana Watch

“I was handcuffed to a dwarf……………….., in leather shorts”.

“So… I have a demon?”, “No madam, you have oedema.”

It seems that for the second time I have been setting the news agenda. On the 28th of February last year I wrote a little blog (on Myspace) about the post office leaving a nice little present for me in the form of little red elastic bands on my door step. This week I have heard this story on 3 separate BBC news programs. I say news programs; one of them was BBC Breakfast so that doesn’t really count. It’s nice to know you matter.

At the end of last week 114 environmental were arrested at a primary school for allegedly planning to break in to a PowerStation in order to cause some disruption. It was claimed that they had “specialist equipment” by which they meant bolt cutters. The coverage on the 24hr news channels and on news websites was wall to wall. News vans and camera men camped outside the school despite the fact that no one was there anymore. Endless speculation about what they were planning and how they might have achieved this.
However they were all released without any charges. Try hearing that on the news. I had to search on the BBC website for this information. I know that this is less dramatic in televisual terms, less police vans, but it is important news. People being arrested on the suspicion that they might commit some criminal damage. A police spokesperson said that no one has the right to commit criminal damage but I feel that he needs some correction. Last year when another group of campaigners broke into a different power station and climb one of the chimneys in order to paint the word “Gordon” on it they were arrested. However, when their case was heard by a nice judge they were acquitted because he felt that their actions were justified in the face of global climate change and the power stations carbon emissions. Now, British law is set by precedent so if you are justified, a decision that can only be made by a judge, you can cause criminal damage to help make your point.

There have been a remarkable amount of surveys realised this week. Most surveys that make it into the news really aren’t proper surveys and they don’t really tell us anything interesting as they are mostly used for advertising. For instance a survey this week talked about music that people are choosing for funerals. Whilst we can chuckle at someone choosing “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC or “Disco Inferno” for a cremation (father in law had Jethro Tull and Leonard Cohen) it was really an advert for or to raise awareness of Co-operative funeral services. PR companies play an important role in what gets onto our news programs and into our papers. Surveys and science papers are pimped and sexed up in order to get them some coverage.
We have also leant that your average 30 year woman spends £240 per month on “looking good”, beauty products and getting a hair cut etc. This sort of money is the reason that we have so many meaningless beauty products adverts on the television of an evening. Total meaningless language is employed to sell you stuff in order to correct problems that you didn’t know you had but have just been told you had by some meaningless ad speak.
The no-shit-Sherlock survey of the week was one that stated that Britons are more “fearful” than they used to be. We have increased levels of anxiety and fear. No, really? Why do you think that might be? Do you think it might be because this item, when it was on the news, was sandwiched between police beatings at the G20 protests and tails of possible terrorism that never seems to occur?
Is it any wonder that people are a little more scared, we are constantly told that we should be scared. About everything. All the time. Under the Bush administration there would be a press conference, every so often, in which a man, who wouldn’t answer any questions, would wonder out and tell us that the terrorism threat level was being raised for a reason that he wouldn’t tell us. Fear has dominated politics since the end of the second world war/beginning of the cold war. Governments, with the collaboration of the press, have been trying to keep us in line by scaring us for a long time and now we wonder why people have raised levels of anxiety. Constantly being advertised at, you need these things in your life otherwise your life is worthless. You should be working longer hours so you can afford these things you don’t really need but are told that you want. Poor science reporting that tells you that everything will either give you cancer or cure your cancer, until next week when all the sides will change. Immunisations will give your child autism, despite there being no science to back this up. Has you child not reached these preset goals yet? Oh dear, maybe you should start to worry about them. Do you have money in a bank or a mortgage? Oh dear then your life is ruined. Is it any wonder we are anxious. I’ve had palpitations just typing this.

Dorset is about to turn yellow. The colour I mean not that there will be an epidemic of cowardice. It is spring and so the Oilseed Rape is about to flower. It is the most yellow flower you have ever seen and we grow acres and acres of it. If fact it is the 4th most cultivated plant in the country. The thing is it’s not really a food crop. It makes vegetable oil and this oil is used in the production of processed food but most of its uses are industrial. It is used as a biofuel, despite the fact that biofuels are rubbish and use up valuable food producing land and hydrogen fuel cells are the way forward, lubricants, surface coatings, cosmetics and plastics. All that land being used for things that don’t help that much. That is my point here, use land for growing food. There is a food shortage in some parts of the world, exacerbated by our pointless demand for biofuels, and we are growing things we can’t eat.

Now, after Countryfile there let’s do some awards,

Award for Most Literal Metaphor of the Week,

This goes to the advert for the Gillette Quattro for Ladies. The advert involves various ladies wondering past some standard plants or bushes and as they wonder past these BUSHES, the BUSHES change shape. They become slightly neater. Trimmed if you will. Do you see what they’ve done there? A trimmed bush metaphor. See, trimmed bush. Subtle I thought.

Award for Unsurprising Event of the Week.

The nurse who filmed her patients being “abused” and “neglected” for the BBC Panorama has been struck off the nursing register by the NMC for breaking patient confidentiality. You see she filmed them without getting permission first and that is the issue here. She filmed their faces as well and I can assure you that this is a no-no. When I was filming a drug round to show how inefficient the whole process can be, to be reviewed by nurses who worked on that ward, I was advised to avoid filming faces for this reason. Whilst permission was obtained before broadcast of this program it mostly came from the families of the patients, not the patients themselves because it was felt that some were unable to give informed consent. Now this is a whole other debate, informed consent is a very complicated subject. Personally I think that instead of filming the “abuse” and “neglect” it might have been an idea if she had done some work and sorted these patients out. A little simplistic maybe but a reasonable point I think. If you are the staff nurse looking after a group of patients, you are responsible for those patients care, no one else. You are accountable for your actions.
I have some sympathy for her point that there is a certain lack of caring within nursing staff and I have a little pet theory for why this might be amongst staff nurses. Do you want to hear it? Ok, I’m not going to wait for each of you to get back to me individually so I’ll tell you anyway. The reason is pay. The reason is the increase in nurses pay. It used to be that you only went into nursing because you wanted to look after people. It certainly wasn’t for the money. In the last 15 years, however, being a staff nurse has become quite well paid. The national average wage is roughly £25000; a newly qualified nurse can now get a starting wage of £24000. It is now a job that pays well. You are now not motivated by altruistic desire; there is now serious fiscal reward. It’s just a theory that most people will disagree with but consider it, that’s all I ask.

The Award for Trying To Ruining Many People’s Fun of the Week,

This goes to the Swedish authorities who have prosecuted the people responsible for the Pirate Bay file sharing website. I hadn’t heard of this website but the advertising for them has been excellent. The website is still up and running because the 4 gentleman are going to appeal their 1 year sentences. So in order to try and stop illegal downloading from file sharing sites, record companies have in fact done the opposite. They have created endless hours of free advertising for a website that not that many people had heard of, whilst not actually getting the website taken down. I think that went very well then. I’ve not used a file sharing site but I am now thinking about it. First the problem was bootlegging (a good documentary on radio4 last night about it) and then home taping was killing music. If you read the copyright agreement on the back of your CD it seems that you are not legally allowed to lend it to a friend. I believe that it is technically illegal to upload tunes to your Ipod (other mp3 players are available but they are not as good), although I think that a change in the law was suggested for that. Record companies really don’t understand the people who buy their products. They don’t like paying £12.99 for a CD in HMV that they can buy on-line for £7.99. That probably isn’t the way that illegal downloader’s justify what they do, they just want it for free. It is just much, wider spread, home taping that didn’t kill music in the end. That will be the record companies that want to shift product and not sell the records of artists.

I think that will do for now. My fingers are tired and it’s sunny outside. Hope you all have a nice week.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Diana Watch

Hello and happy Choc Fest. Shall we start with a question again? Again the same joke as we already have. Anyway, 2 people have resigned this week because of their own stupidity and my question is this, had anyone heard of either Damian McBride or Bob Quick before they lost their jobs? No? Me neither but that hasn’t stopped them dominating this week’s news.
Bob Quick felt he had to resign after he forgot to put a SECRET report back in its folder when he got out of his car and it was photographed by one of the press pack outside of Downing Street and published on the internet. The document in question referred to an anti-terror raid that then had to be bought forward by a few hours. Arrests were made, evidence was taken. No harm done but it seems that that was not enough for some and he had to go.
Did people really believe that the anti-terror operation was harmed in any way by the photograph of a bloke that no one had heard of, carrying a document that would have been really hard to read from the internet? Do Al- Qaeda do Google image searches on the hope that they might be able to blow up image and than a building? No, no they don’t. He made a mistake, give him a brake. He that is without sin, etc.
The other self-shooting comes from Damian McBride who, until yesterday, was a special adviser to Gordon Brown. A what now? What does he do? Or, at least, used to. It turns out that G.B. has loads of Special Advisers but only one who has a friend with poor internet security. Mr McBride sent an E-mail to his friend, the always scruffy, Derek Draper, married to Kate thingy form GMTV, you know was on Strictly and was rubbish, yes that’s right, her, vacuous, which contained made up stories about various members of the Conservative Party. That’s made up stories. MADE UP! Mr Draper’s E-mail account was hacked, presumably by someone who knew what they were looking for, and then the e-mail was sent around to various newspapers. Bye, bye Damian. Mr Draper was setting up a leftish leaning gossipy website to counter the many right-wing (for right-wing read Tory backed) blogs and websites and his friend sent him some made up stories for it. Childish, yes, resignable, not really. Neither of the gentlemen published these stories, it was only between themselves, a chuckle between friends. No one got hurt. What, however, is really offensive is the fake indignation from the Conservative Party. “oh how offensive this is”, “we must have an apology form Gordon Brown”, “We would never do anything like this”. Really? Then where do all the stories about Government ministers’ expense claims come from? The list of expenses is yet to be published yet the right wing press, your people, seem to have a story a day about them. Geoff Hoon, Alistair Darling, Jacque Smith, they have all had stories about them in the last week but no Tories? Are we to believe that is only those in power that take advantage of the system, for that is all it is, no one has done anything that breaks the rules.
And why are papers so obsessed with Minister expense accounts? Jealousy, that’s what I think. Newspaper expense account used to be legendary but recently they have been cut back a lot. No more can a 3 hour lunch be charged to the paper. It’s sad really.

Another question. When did Riot police start wearing balaclavas? Now the G20 protests took place on a quite pleasant day, the sun was out and the sky was blue, so they weren’t wearing the woolly head gear to keep their ears warm. What other reason could there be for keeping your face covered? Perhaps it’s the same reason as those bent on breaking stuff at a demo do, so they are not recognised. A worrying turn of events in a police officer I think you’ll agree. The anarchists knows that they are breaking the law so they cover their face, so why cover yours officer?
The problem the police have is that they immediately denied having any contact with the gentleman who died at the G20 protests without even pausing for breath. They wait to find out what had had happened, just a flat denial. Than there were some eyewitnesses who said they did and so their story changed and then there was some video footage of a policeman pushing the gentleman to the ground and their story changed again. Then a second piece of footage turned up which showed the masked officer using his baton on the gentleman legs and then pushing him to the ground. The story changed again. The Met police’s PR machine has managed to make it look like a cover up even if there wasn’t one. You have to be impressed by that sort of incompetence.

To some of you Choc Fest is known as Easter and it seems that is important to those of you who go to church, WHICH IS A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION YET YOU STILL FEEL THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE SPECIAL TREATMENT AND TEL THE REST OF US WHAT TO DO. Anyway the Church of England has been complaining about football being played on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday should be kept special etc. In principle I agree with them, shops should be shut and we should have one day off from the stresses of everyday life, but their argument is self defeating. The argument that they put forward was that families should be together on Easter Sunday and that is exactly what going to the football does for families, well some families. Fathers and Sons and Grandfathers and, rarely, sometimes ladies go to football. Yes, they do go and shout racist, homophobic and sexist things but they do as a family. Together. Much like church in that way. And yes they do exhibit certain behaviours so tribal (chanting, rhythmic clapping) that if they saw them on the Discovery Channel they would consider them backwards but they have fun as a family.

And so to the awards,

The Award for Missing The Point Headline of the Week,

This goes to the Sun who started the week with a Jade Goody funeral front page. The headline was “Leave Her In Peace”, the sub-headline was “Jacks Plea For Jade.” The newspaper in question then countered this perfectly reasonable request with a banner across the bottom of the page, “12 page funeral special”. Nice.

The Award For Extreme Crafting of the Week,

What newspapers and the TV media like to do following an earthquake is to take your mind of off the huge numbers of people who have died by drawing your attention to one or two stories of remarkable survival. “Don’t look at that huge pile of dead bodies it will make you sad, but here is a dog that survived under the rubble and only had to eat the leg of it’s dead master to do so”. Following the earthquake in Italy we have had, sadly, very few of these stories but one very old lady was pulled out from under her house after a couple of days under it and when asked how she passed the time she said “oh, I had my crochet.” Good work old lady, your current house is in pieces on top of you but your new house is definitely going to need doilies.

The Award for Creative Linking of Unrelated Stories of the Week,

A rear mention for the Daily Star (Britain’s cheapest newspaper you know) who masterfully weaved together two stories that seem so disparate that they really should have some sort of award, oh look, they have. First, take two seemingly unrelated stories, say, Sales at the Shops and alleged terrorism plots for which there have been arrests (1 person has since been released with no charge). Second, find an extremely obtuse way of linking them together. And then third a headline and you then have “Stuff The Bombers”. A story that is actually about the sales the high street shops will be putting on over Easter but you have framed it in such a way to make it look like that people are going out to spend in order to spite, or despite, a huge bomb that didn’t actually happen. Genius if you ask me.

The Award for Finding Another Reason That The Finance Industry is Evil, of the Week,

This belongs to a fact that I learnt this week. Within the finance industry it is usual for Woman to be paid at least 50% less than Men for doing the same job. It is still usual for this to happen. Despite it being illegal to do so. Gives you a warm feeling inside, doesn’t it? Oh no, wait, that’s a urine infection.

The Award for Not Understanding Why Things Work In Other Countries But Not Here,

I’m I the only person who finds Alistair Darlings eyebrows sinister? Anyway, he gets this award for a plan that is supposed to appear in the budget. The plan to which I refer is the £2000 scrapage plan. For those not aware of the plan, it is basically a plan to give us £2000 to scrap our crappy car and buy a new one. A nice, green one at that. This plan has worked very well in Germany at helping their car industry so we want to try it here. The difference between the German version of the plan and ours is that the Teutonic version stated that the car bought had to be a German one. Can you see the problem yet? We don’t have a car industry. We make cars for other people. Germans have VW and BMW and Mercedes. We have Aston Martin and Landrover, not really affordable, even with £2000 off. The German plan therefore supports the German companies and the profits stay in Germany, within tax avoidance boundaries obviously, but the British plan will see the profits spreading out across the world. It turns out that we are a generous people after all.

Hope you all have a nice week. The Express had an article on Friday or Saturday entitled “Why does it always rain”, well it’s bloody lovely here and has been for several days so sod off and stop trying to depress people.

Friday, 10 April 2009

For Real?

I know it’s lazy blogging to just link to something on Youtube but this is comedy genius. I got the link form Ben Goldacre’s Twitter feed and I’m still not sure if this bloke is for real (I sound like I’m in The Wire, for shizzle) or whether he is the finest comedy actor of his generation. The good news (non –jesus related that is) is he has a channel on Youtube so you can watch many of his musings, the evolution one is very good, and laugh yourselves silly. Look upon this as my Chocolate festival (you may know it as Easter) gift to you.
Without further ado I give you……………………


Sunday, 5 April 2009

Diana Watch

Shall we start with a question? Ha ha, we already have. Anyway, does anyone else feel a little sorry for Home Secretary Jacqui Smith? I mean, her husband ordered the porn and she put the expenses claim for her broadband/TV package as normal knowing nothing. It really wasn’t her fault at all. The outrage in the press was nothing unexpected but bits of it were quite funny and some downright surreal. The Mail got a mother of 2 (like Ms Smith, do you see what they’ve done there?) to right an article about what woman think of porn. I assume that it was just her opinion rather than a balanced article in which some woman said that actually they found it a little arousing. The Express amused me the most. This is mostly because they completely ignored the fact that he might have downloaded the porn from a website that was owned by the owner of the Express and The Star (officially Britain’s cheapest newspaper, in so many ways) renowned tax avoider Richard Desmond. Nothing but outrage from them despite the fact that it only came to £10. I would like to point out to the husband of Jacqui Smith that you can get it for free on the internet. No cost for downloading Raw Meat 6, which I believe to be you movie of choice.

What is it that our press dislike about protesting? Is it because it is a thing that the French do and therefore it is a thing that we shouldn’t? Like cooking descent food and making good wine? And parenting our children properly? (See today’s Observer for more info on that) Whatever it is, our press don’t like it, even if they have been complaining about the very things that people are to protest about. I am, of course, talking about the G20 meeting related protests in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. The problem that the protesters had was that the problem of the world economic meltdown
is so vast and it’s causes so wide ranging that it is hard to mobilise the people behind you because, angry as they are, they don’t understand why. So you have people protesting about this and that and no real cohesion. Not like the million or so who marched against the war in Iraq and where completely
ignored. They had a single cause and no one important listened. Now you
have 5 or 6 thousand people campaigning for roughly 5 or 6 thousand
different reasons and no one important will listen but GMTV viewers will think
that they are terrorists due to some deeply floored reporting by that programme.
They started their piece with a brief outline of what they expected to happen, times that the protests would start etc, but these were only guides, you know what anarchists are like. They then started to broadcast precisely what the Mat police wanted them to say, such as making sure that everyone understood that everyone who was protesting was a violent criminal bent on the destruction of the capital. They then covered the very amusing advice given to bankers by the police. They were advised by the authorities to dress down for work, those of them that still had jobs that is, obviously, so that they didn’t look too much like bankers and, therefore, wouldn’t be targeted by protestors. I assumed that they would still go to work in a very large bank building whilst carrying a lunch box, looking slightly smug, which would give them away slightly. GMTV then followed this piece, with no way of explanation, with a piece on threats to President Obama’s life by interviewing a counter terrorism expert. Do you see how they have expertly mixed 2 completely separate stories and combined them in too one incorrect one?
The BBC really weren’t much better with their describing of everyone as either “Anti-capitalists” or “Green Protestors” thus ignoring the fact many there where just trying to protest their upset at the lack of accountability for ruining the world’s economy.
The fact that it all passed off rather tamely did seem to annoy the 24hr news channels as they had trailed wanton (is that the correct spelling or just Chinese food) destruction for 2 days and it didn’t happen. Some windows got smashed at the RBS building and they were all terribly disapproving of this, ignoring the fact that they have made RBS and its ex-chairman public enemy No.1. At one point a BBC reporter on the scene was heard to say, “it’s all getting a bit ugly now!” and behind him were several gormless people waving in the direction of the camera. Hardly the Poll Tax riots.
At the end of the G20 summit there was a photo call for all those involved in not really getting on top of the problem but it didn’t include the Canadian Prime Minister. Why not you may ask? Had his radical plans for global finance reform so outraged his fellow conference attendees that they had thrown him out? No, he’d gone for a pee and they didn’t wait for him. That’s just rude if you ask me.

See how much shorter the new version of this is. No rambling from me, oh no, and I’ve had beer.

Some awards now I think,

The Award for Worst Hair Cut of the Week,

This goes to this bloke who we saw in the pub on Monday whilst failing to win the quiz.


A mullet so bad that even my camera could not focus on it.

The Award for Outstanding Old Person Activity of the Week,

A 97 year old man from Dorset has become the oldest Britain to do a parachute jump. This is a story I have kept away from my Nana as I don’t want her getting ideas, what with her hip and all. George Moyse of
Bournemouth starred himself to another man, I assume that they had met before and jumped out of a plane together. A whole lot braver than me, I can tell you.

The Award for First Ducklings of the Year,

This goes to these ducklings that I saw on Tuesday. It really is spring.


The Award for Proving That New Buildings Can Be Both Practical and Pretty, of the Week,

This goes to Dorchester’s new health centre with is a fine looking building.


I would also like to give these really dull flats that have just been finished an award too but a very different one.


The Award for Proving that the Government Exists For Businesses and Not The People of the Week,

This week a Building Society collapsed. It is the Dunfermline Building Society and it’s financial problems were caused by some bad investments and a poor business plan, sound familiar, but did the Government bail it out like it did with all the banks and their shareholders? No, no they didn’t. They let it fold and the good bits were bought by another building society. A cynic might say that the Government didn’t step in because the shareholders of the Dunfermline were the people who invested in it and they don’t have the ear of the Government and paid lobbyists, unlike the Banks who do. That would be a very cynical person indeed though. Hello, my name is Martyn and I am that cynic.

Good news for the BMX loving, skateboarding youth of Dorchester, the skate park is nearly finished. I’m of to buy a BMX and break my ankle. Hope you all have a good week.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Guerrilla Gardening

Finally I have started. It was only small and not a lot of people will see it but I don’t care, you have to start some where.
I have finally done my first but of Guerrilla Gardening. Across the road from me is a car park with a sad looking tree in it and a small amount of ground around it. Before the development there were 2 lovely flowering cherry trees which looking beautiful in the spring but they cut them down, bastards.

Only a small amount of equipment needed,


A fork, some compost, and some plants.


Sad looking,


A bit of digging,



Ok, so it’s not the finest garden in the entire world but it’s a start.