Sunday, 13 June 2010

Diana Watch

If the subject line of an E-mail is “REGARDS” and then claims to be from a bank, am I right to assume that it is phishing?
 It continues “Dear Friend, Compliment of the day to you my name is Garry Loopy finance manager Bank of Scotland, I am contacting you to seek your partnership in a pending business project which i have here in my hand and ready to be executed without hitches,
Please if you are interested do respond back to me via email:”.
 I’m right, phishing.
 Most people just use the “Report Phishing” button on their e-mail, others however take things a little further, Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Thank you to my friend Matthew Coffin for that website, he’s a Doctor you know, yes that’s right, Dr Coffin. What? It’s not funny. He’s a fine GP.

I was pretty sure that pretty much all the world was aware that Elton John is gay. I was certain that if I travelled to the deepest parts of the Amazon jungle and played the locals a clip of “Rocket Man” two things would happen, 1, they would immediately worship me as a God for being able to summon up music from nowhere and 2, they would say that the bloke singing it definitely likes men.
 It seems, however, that my completely reasonable assumption may have been wrong (that is not a phrase that I type lightly.) It is possible that confirmed and committed homophobe Rush Limbaugh might not be aware of Elton’s gayness.
 Rush has got married for the, oh fuck knows, 23rd time or something and there was some entertainment. It is rumoured that he paid the lover of show tunes and promoter of civil partnerships about $1million to play at the wedding.
 For some reason I am thinking that the weddings invites stated a very clear dress code, everyone was asked to wear white, including the hood.
 To be honest I was surprised by Rush's choice of star turn at his wedding but I was really very disappointed with Elton's decision to do it (I’m sure my chastisement will sting him). It has become quite clear to me that Elton will sell out everything he believes in for money. Who cares what the paranoid, conspiracy toting bigot says as long as he has the cash.

 Some of the British press have been accusing the Obama administration of anti-British rhetoric, which I have to say I haven't noticed, I have just seen people who want to get a private company to clear up the mess they have made, but how have these papers dealt with this perceived attack on this green and pleasant Isle?  Why, with anti-Obama rhetoric that's how,


It is the grown up thing to do.
Although it does seem that BP may have done the decent thing and may have decided to with hold their dividend at least this time whilst they try and clear up the massive mess they have made.

Ok, so it might be possible for the fox attacks twins story to be true but what was fantastic was the beyond parody was the response of a local counsellor who was on the lunch time news on radio4 saying how he plans to deal with the fox “problem” and the huge amount of pictures in urban gardens that newspapers where able to print. One even went with “Is this the fox that attacked to children?” I don’t know right wing tabloid newspaper; the thing with foxes is they all look the same to me.
 Now, according to an expert in urban wildlife who was on the Today program he had only heard of 2 cases of foxes attacking children in their own homes, 1 of these turned out to be a German Shepard dog and the other was a cat.
I’m not saying that it didn’t happen exactly as the mother said it did, after all the children were admitted to hospital with some blood on them, I’m just saying that the calls for culling and the turning of the urban fox into a bigger threat to our way of life then the Taliban may have been a little tiny bit of an over reaction.
 To be honest the Press’ reaction to this story was beyond parody simply because it has already been parodied in The Simpsons. It was in an episode in which a bear wondered into Springfield for the first time ever, resulting in moral panic and the introduction of a bear tax to pay for the bear patrols. It may have been the first outing for the “Won’t somebody please think of the children” line, although I’m sure there is a Simpsons geek who will correct me on that.
 Oh and while we are talking about animals being picked on for just being themselves can I draw you attention to the Pod Delusion player just there on the left of the screen because it has a piece from me about the proposed cull of badgers in Wales, it’s quite good. Although since my piece went out the Badger Trust has decided to appeal the decision of the High Court and the Welsh Assembly has postponed the cull.

Is it time for some awards now? I think it is,

The Award for Short-Termism of the Worst Short,

Financial speaking Britain is in a little bit of a hole. We don’t have very much money to spend on nice things like hospitals and social services because some bankers ruined the economy (that doesn’t get mentioned as often as it should, we had to bail them out and they caused a recession, it’s their fault) and some cuts need to be made.
 We could spend less money on the NHS but that wouldn’t be very popular despite the fact that saving could be made be closing some services and merging others which would increase the quality of the service  but we can’t be bothered to explain that clearly to the voters and we just give in to whoever shouts the loudest. How about the Army? Merging it with the other services? Best not, that might be seen as not supporting our boys. Well can anyone think of a group that, despite the fact that they are really important to the long term prosperity of our country, no one likes? How about students? Brilliant!
 In an interview with the Guardian, David Willetts said that the cost of hundreds of thousands of students' degree courses was a "burden on the taxpayer that had to be tackled".Educating young people is a burden! Are we to assume that looking after the sick and elderly will become a burden!
 Ok, I’ll calm down a bit. I admit that there are some problems with further education. Some might say that the huge numbers of courses that are available, some of which are not the most intellectually challenging subjects you could imagine might be one of those problems and the slightly arbitrary Labour pledge to get 50% of young people into universities may have placed some extra strain on the system without an increased level of funding to match the rise in students number might be another, but to describe future Nurses, Doctors, Engineers, Designers, Teachers, Scientists etc as a burden? How else does Mr Willets think we are going to make money as a country unless we have the people to design and build products of the future?
 I know that it is easy to mock a Tory but it does seem that Mr Willets only wants rich people going to university. The paying of tuition fees is, in my opinion, wrong. If you get a decent degree and then a decent job you will pay more tax in the long run. You are paying back what you have taken from the state. Ok, some will not get great jobs and will not pay that much tax but is that a reason to make their lives even worse by starting their working careers with large debts?
 Well they only have to pay back their student loans when they start earning over £15,000 a year, is the return argument. That really isn’t a lot of money; it is £1,250 per month. I used to earn this, just, before tax, when I worked fulltime as Nursing Auxiliary, a job that required no qualifications at all, let alone a degree.
 He also suggested a free market on tuition fees with all Universities charging what they liked. This would, of course, mean that the best places would charge more so that only the very wealth could realistically go to say Oxford or Cambridge (some would say it is like that now) and the lesser places would charge, well umm, less, thus creating a 2 tier education system.
 It didn’t take them long before they started proposing policies that were aimed at helping the rich. There are some other stupid ideas such as, from the BBC Website, “the idea of students studying for a degree at any university in England, with lectures and classes being held at their local further education college or other institute.” Who is going to teach these lectures? As most colleges are full, where are the lessons going to take place? Oh it's just silly, really silly.

The Award for Services to Making Me Jump Up and Down A Bit,

Supergrass are to split up. They played their last show in the UK on Friday. I have had a soft spot for Supergrass since their first single “Caught by the Fuzz” and have loved them ever since. Bye Bye Supergrass, I will miss your excellent 3 minute pop soongs.

The Award for Best Football Related But Not World Cup Related Song,

Oh and for those who really don’t like football but do want to see the rather pompous way that it is reported on/advertise mocked a bit, here is some Mitchell and Webb,

Things that didn’t make it in this week,

Hydrogen fuel cell cars come to Britain, at last.

26 years after the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal vented poisonous cyanide gas into the air which killed an estimated 15,000 people (some estimates are considerable higher) and effected a further 500,000, 7 Indian Managers were found guilty of culpable homicide due to negligence. They have been sentenced to 2 years in prison.
 This has caused outrage in India and around the world. None of the US managers who worked for the company at the time were in court.

I hope you all have a lovely week. Try not to work to hard; it’s not good for you.

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