Tag Archives: election

A Slow Start

I won’t say I’ve wasted my morning, but I’m trying to limit my time at the computer and so far I’ve spent a whole morning answering comments and visiting the blogs of people who have visited mine. Although It’s not a waste as such, because I’ve had some interesting reading, it’s not the creative time I had planned.

So, 12.54 and a leisurely morning  has been had. We had porridge with fruit and home made bread (Julia fired up the bread maker yesterday) with marmalade. I have visited London, Maine, New York, East Yorkshire and various indeterminate locations where I have read posts on current events, crime, American politics (which neatly connects the first two) , writing, being happy, and digging for old ruins (which reminds me, I haven’t checked in on Tootlepedal and Derrick yet). They are both so prolific that it is difficult keeping up with them.

Based on yesterday, when I watched TV, read and lost three lots on eBay, I want to write a post now before making soup from last night’s stew and settling down to finish Out of Time. Click the link and support laurie Graves, your local author. Well, maybe not geographically local, but she’s local on WP – just a button press away.

Not quite sure what to say next as I’m all out of creativity. I do have some material on American politics, but it’s probably not fair to find humour in a situation that saw five people killed in an argument about something that doesn’t really matter. It’s politics, to a large extent nothing done by politicians affects us much at home. We might pay a bit more tax, or have a bit less money to spend but we aren’t going to wake up in the morning living in a tent, unlike a lot of people in the Middle East. Even if an election was rigged, is it worth five lives? George W Bush managed to get in on a disputed election and nobody got killed then.

He went on, I see, to win both the highest and one of the lowest Presidential approval ratings ever recorded. That’s proof that you can’t please all the people all of the time.



An End to Alliteration

I missed my self-imposed deadline last night – it was just past midnight when I posted. Only about seventeen minutes past, but enough to make a difference.

We’ve decided to leave the seals today, as we’re still waiting for a call from the builder and the current weather isn’t looking good. Maybe next week…

The rain is back and the temperature is rising. This is good news for those of us who live on a windy ridge but less good for people who live in low-lying places.

Generally, the world is a miserable place, and the UK is particularly bad at the moment because we are in the middle of an election and everyone on TV seems to be talking down the NHS. At the moment the fashion seems to be for bringing students into discussions about workloads on their work placements. I’m not sure students are the best people to comment on workloads.

Having worked in agriculture and been self-employed for many years I have a slightly different view on pay and hours compared to many of the people who come on TV.

I don’t want to come over like a Yorkshireman here, but  I used to work six days a week and don’t think it damaged me.

Yesterday I read an interesting piece in the paper. It’s by Jane Garvey, a presenter with the BBC. It is about the gender pay gap at the BBC. The headlines of the case make juicy reading, with men paid a fortune and women lagging far behind. However, it’s not the full story. For one thing, the full pay is not always disclosed, as they do other things on the side. For another, as was mentioned by a male presenter at the time, he was paid more than his female counterpart because he did more work, including working on Saturday and Sunday doing the football reporting.

Anyway, she is paid about £150,000 a year according to various reports, something she fails to mention in her writing. Her contention is that by being paid less than her male counterparts she is having to lead a lesser lifestyle both now and in retirement. You can’t argue with that.

However, let’s look at it another way.

She’s paid £150,000 a year, which puts her in the top few percent of people in the country, and she earns it sitting in front of a microphone.

Many people, including me, would love to be paid £150,000 a year. In fact I’d love to be paid £70,000, which is officially rich. Or even the median pay of £25,000.

Julia would merely like to work somewhere warm with running water and electricity.

I’m not sure if the gender pay gap is the main problem we have here.

(And yes, there are people all over the world who would like running water and electricity, so I ought to be counting my blessings, not whining.)

Sorry Tootlepedal – it’s a flawed, fatal failure of a non-alliterative title today. I did think about doing a post about an egregious example of an egg salad, but I didn’t have enough to say.




Going into Politics

In the UK anyone can stand for Parliament providing they meet certain criteria. Details are available here. You also need to put up a deposit of £500, which will be returned if you obtain 5% of the votes.

I am over 18 (by a considerable margin), a UK citizen and neither in prison or unlawfully at large, so I’m good to go. There are a few other stipulations but, as far as I can see, nothing to say you have to be sane or intelligent.  Anyone who has observed Parliament over the years will not be surprised by this.

We have a fine tradition of joke candidates in the UK, mainly from the Monster Raving Loony Party, who have been about longer than some of the more serious parties. We also had Mr Fish Finger this year, and Lord Buckethead made another appearence.

Of course, the Americans do this sort of thing much better – the one time they had a joke candidate they elected him President.

So, with Donald Trump as my inspiration, I am seriously thinking of going into politics.

Now all I need are some policies. I’m sure I can rely on my readers to come up with some, but here are three to start.

Appoint a Minister for Books 

You know it makes sense. The world would be a better place with more books. There are many things you can do with books apart from reading them. You can build roads with them, you can use them in craft projects or you can let your imagination run riot.

Personally I would translate books and drop copies into world troublespots. After an intensive course of Paddington or Wind in the Willows I can’t see anyone feeling like committing acts of violence.

Legalise Drugs

According to a paper I’ve just been reading, if you legalise drugs you could raise £3.4 billion to £6.4 billion per annum, even after setting up and running Offdrug to supervise things.

There may be a problem persuading people that we ought to legalise drugs, and I appreciate it will be a hard sell, but just think what £3 billion will do for the NHS.

As another benefit, if we make drugs legal it’s likely that teenagers will stop taking them as it won’t upset their parents.

Regularise the legal position regarding longbows

Since the twelfth century there have been laws on providing weapons to defend the realm (Assize of Arms 1181), and laws to enforce the pracice of archery continued until at least 1541 when King Henry VIII passed  An Act for the Maintenance of Artillery, and debarring unlawful Games.

It would appear from the Internet that there is some doubt as to whether this has ever been repealed, so just to be on the safe side I would reinstate the old laws and have everyone between the ages of 14 and 60 providing their own bows and practicing for at least two hours a week. That’s everyone including women, as we have moved on from the days when only men were included.

In days of spiralling military costs and increasing wars this will allow us to provide a cost-effective Territorial Army for the 21st century.

Bearing in mind the words of Albert Einstein (“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”) we will, with a nation of trained archers, be well-placed to repel the post-apocalyptic monkey army or take over the remaining world.

Let’s be honest, how many political parties are planning for World War 4? Most of them are just stocking up for WW3.

As a final point, the York by-law allowing people to kill Scots carrying bows and arrows, will definitely be repealed. Unless they decide to leave the Union, in which case we may need a referendum to bring it back.




Shakespeare, St George and the Calcutta Light Horse

I have now managed 102 consecutive days of posting. It’s an example of habit taking over. You sometimes hear about it when athletes are interviewed on TV when the interviewer refers to dedication in training and the athlete responds that it’s just about establishing a habit.

That much is true: training is just a habit. However, I’m not trying to make it sound easy. The habit bit is easy, but simply turning up for training doesn’t guarantee success. That is where the dedication comes in. And the luck, the talent, the work ethic, the…

As I’ve said before, quantity is no guarantee of quality. It also means that I’ve resorted to posting at five past midnight just to ensure that I’m credited with a post for that day. It has also led to me writing things in advance and, as mentioned here, posting by accident. That was a simple button pushing error.

Here, I wrote a post and automatically pushed the button, which means I posted several times yesterday. If I’d pushed the button 15 minutes later it would have been OK, but I ended up posting just before midnight, so I posted three times yesterday and need something for today.

It’s St George’s Day today, and if Labour win the election it will be a public holiday, as will St David’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and St Andrew’s Day. That’s March 1st, March 17th, April 23rd and November 30th. I don’t know about you but I really don’t need days off in March and November. As for 23rd April, we already have Easter, which moves, May Day and Late Spring Bank Holiday  (which used to be Whitsun). That would be three Bank Holidays in 5 weeks. Well, it would be in England and Wales, it’s different in other parts of the UK.

Even more confusingly, whilst re-enacting the Battle of Dunbar, I found out that Haddington in Scotland also follows some English holidays.

It’s also the 99th Anniversary of the Zeebrugge Raid. It wasn’t necessarily a great strategic success, but it’s a good story. The Hundred Year’s War didn’t end particularly well but we still have Henry V.

There are some interesting sidelights on the raid. It was, for instance, the last time a VC Ballot was held. The VC is unique amongst British decorations in that if a unit performed in a particularly valorous manner the participants are allowed to vote on who they think should be awarded a VC. That way you limit the number given out, and they go to people who really deserve them.

One of the casualties of the raid was Wing Commander Frank Brock of the fireworks family. Amongst other things he invented the machinery to produce the smokescreen for the raid.

Another participant was Bill Grice. He lied about his age to join the Royal Navy and was Mentioned in Despatches for his part in the raid. Thirty years later took part in another daring raid with the Calcutta Light Horse. This link has more details – there’s a bit of a proofing issue with this article but it’s better than some of the others out there. The man who took his glass eye out before the action started was called Bill Manners. When volunteering he’d asked if the glass eye would be a problem. Grice said it hadn’t been a problem for Nelson…

There were no decorations for the 1943 raid, though Grice was played by David Niven in The Sea Wolves.

I’m already running on, and haven’t even started on Shakespeare’s Birthday or the likely consequences of having a public holiday on St George’s Day. I’ll have to cover them on another day.