A Victorian afternoon

Taking advantage of our new domiciles proximity to the provincial capital, Mrs S and I took the bus downtown to have a pootle around and a few drinkies without the necessity of putting hands anywhere near a steering wheel.

Around one of the clock, having bought birthday presents to try and heal a rift with sister in law, Mrs S saw a jewellery store on Government Street and bade me wait outside in the sunshine, which I did, just settling down on a bench to peoplewatch from behind sunglasses and generally chill. While I was amiably ensconced on a bench, from down the street came a steady drumbeat. Thump, thump, thum-thum-thump. At first I thought it was a busker. There were guitarists, violinists, so hey, why not a drummer? The only thing was this sound kept getting closer. At length I caught sight of a small phalanx of marchers, about a hundred or so coming up the street, holding a banner in front, a good portion of which was obscured by two marchers, one a well built girl consulting her phone, and the other a stripy hi-viz jacket wearing body. The sign read, at least from my angle ‘TWALK’.

“Oh that’s interesting” thought I in my innocent reverie. “Must be a march to raise funds for breast cancer perhaps?” At this point a guy in a black T-shirt and faded jeans, to my minor annoyance, stood on the bench I was sitting on, as did his girlfriend. I glanced around at the banner again. Still the girl in front on her iPhone or whatever, blocking out my line of sight. The marchers were chanting something I wasn’t paying really attention to. Hell, I’ve seen enough demo’s and tend to zone them out. My major concern is always to get where I’m going and let the marchers get wherever the hell they’re going.

As the front of the march drew level with where I was sitting, Mrs S arrived and said into my ear with a grin. “I bet you didn’t expect to see that today, Bill?” I stood up and turned around to take a look. Too right, several of the female marchers were sans brassieres. Letting it all hang out so to speak, or in several cases letting their exposed nipples wobble fearsomely on a ‘Slutwalk’. Holding banners proclaiming their opposition to being raped or otherwise sexually molested. None of which has changed my mind from my previous post on this subject. While I am in full accord with the view that how a girl dresses does not automatically entitle every red blooded male to haul her off down a dark alley for some non-consensual sexual activity, I still think that three years on from one Ontario Cops original remark, still to be harping on about it is a bit obsessive-compulsive to say the least. Especially as a number of the marchers weren’t exactly, how can I put this gently, (Ducks behind keyboard and hides) that likely to attract the kind of sexual misconduct they were protesting against. As I whispered into Mrs S’s ear as the marchers passed us; “Now I know why the brassiere was invented.”

As I swung my gaze around, the guy who’d stood on the bench next to me gave me a nudge and made some remark about the procession. Tell you the truth I wasn’t really listening, I’d just caught sight of the bar I’d been looking for. Mrs S and I went into the pub to lay the dust on our tongues with a couple of nice beers. The marchers carried on up the street.

Jail the parents!

So says a journalist in the Barclay Brothers Beano. Apparently two parents in East Anglia are to be hauled up before the beak for allowing their child to reach fifteen stone. It is worth noting that the original article in the Wail says that the boys father is twenty stone and out of work. Apple not falling very far from tree, methinks.

A more reasoned discussion has been carried out here on debatewise but the principle of state intervention to cut costs for the ‘wonderful’ NHS should be asking the greater question. Which National Health Service? Oh, you know, the ‘wonderful’ NHS where patients can be neglected by nursing staff whose focus is more on paperwork than actual care, and where the elderly can die a nice, lonely but tidy death in a hospital bed from dehydration and starvation in their own urine and faeces, that sort of thing. Don’t believe me? Start here.

The greater questions should be; how does the family benefit from being prosecuted and their child being put in ‘care’? How much money do these court and care processes take away from the UK’s ‘wonderful’ NHS? Let’s do some joined up thinking here. Police manpower, cost of lawyers and court time, costs of appeal, fines, jail time for being unable to pay fines. All on the public purse because the parents in question are not exactly high earners. Criminal records further damaging their prospects of employment, thus keeping parents out of the tax contributing workforce (If there were suitable work to be had). That’s even without factoring in the costs of God alone knows how many social workers. The cost of long term ‘care’ (Meals, facilities, security) with all the fees for a swath of behavioural interventionist consultants whose services are not exactly free.

What the screaming interventionists don’t seem to understand is that all of these things don’t come cheap. If your principal goal is to save the NHS money, even a fairly cursory analysis demonstrates that intervention of this kidney isn’t really the right way to go about it.

One is left with the thought that on balance it will probably prove more economic to treat the child for any conditions that crop up when they actually do, not trying to second guess what conditions will arise because it’s not unknown for the fat kid at fifteen to discover girls, or get so hacked off with being ill that he spends a couple of years getting into shape off his own bat, living to a ripe old age. Either that or the young man will die young, thus actually cutting the long term treatment bill. No prosecutions required.

Think of the savings to the ‘wonderful’ NHS.

Hi-ho. Lovely sunny day here in BC and the weekend beckons. Done with unpacking and am thoroughly enjoying being able to walk to the nearest pub. Now there’s a thought

That Queens speech thingy

Just finished moving in to our new Victorian domicile. I like this place. Should have moved earlier.

Took a break from unpacking and a wander over to the Barclay Brothers Beano for a meander down the latest list of legislative disasters as given by our Liz. The bill that caught my eye, and for a moment my breath, was the proposed bill which will give HMRC the power to demand money up front if they even suspect you are squirrelling some dosh away for a rainy day. Not only does the UK tax man already have the power to raid bank accounts at will, allowing them to asset strip people without power or influence down to their last five grand, but those rapacious tax gatherers will shortly be able to do it without due process. Only suspicion of wrongdoing, never mind the evidence. All it may take is a simple denunciation from one of those despicably cretinous cunt-stooges like UKUNCUT (May they burn forever in all the hells humanity can imagine), and any assets, personal or company, on which tax may already have been paid will magically disappear from bank accounts up and down the UK. Probably from a lot of expatriates who may well find themselves fighting a legal battle they no longer have the wherewithal to afford, or the air fare back to fight their corner. Having been well and truly sheared without any evidence of wrongdoing or contestable legal proceedings. Precedent, sets, dangerous, a, this (This cliché was purchased from Canadian Tire in flat pack format – some reassembly may be required). In spades. Even if the Chancellor says the affected will get their money back with interest ‘if they win’. Big ‘if’ there, chunky.

You know, as a keen student of history I’ve always wondered how come the Germans, who I’ve always found in person very civilised and cultured people, came to fall under the spell of the worst amoral Jackbooted fascist rob dogs in history. A piece in that jigsaw just fell into place.

An idle thought…

Whilst out at one of the many coffee shops in town the other day, I ran into an old work buddy from a previous job. We shook hands like the friends we are, and had a general chat about this and that. How were things at the old place, catching up with the gossip. Usual stuff. Then Nick (Not his real name) tried, as he always does, to switch the conversation round to his favourite topic. Specifically my lack of faith in ‘climate scientists’ (Well actually only a minority of them, really). To which I simply did what I always try to do, smile in a sort of pitying way and try to keep the conversation light.

Now Nick is a dyed in the wool lefty. Lovely bloke, but totally wrapped up in his own little collectivist world view. Despite this I think he’s a decent sort and actually enjoy listening to him talk. At least for no more than fifteen minutes at a time. After that, I tend to imitate an old school tabloid journalist, make an excuse and then leave. Well, it’s frowned on over here to mock the mentally challenged in public. We’re supposed to embrace inclusiveness. Although this is sometimes quite an effort.

As he was going on about people being ‘deniers’ and how their blinkered thinking was dooming the planet, while my brain was idly spinning its wheels waiting for him to stop, the thought occurred to me that all these causes Nick gets aerated over are about making other people rich. How talking up ‘Climate Change’ will ‘save the climate’ – maybe in one of those new ‘climate savings accounts. which are really more about raising taxes and buying political influence than actually doing anything constructive. Massive subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy projects which go to line the pockets of people who don’t really need more money from the people who do. Which is kind of ironic, because Nick’s what we used to call in my early college days, an ‘action socialist’. He likes to talk in an impassioned way about how ‘the people’ in a collectivist sense, need leadership from people like his heroes. Even when it is gently pointed out to him that I’m one of ‘the people’ and can make my own mind up on things thank you very much, because despite all the drama queen like prognostications, planet Earth isn’t doomed at all. The current era, compared with others, is decidedly benign, and despite the prospect of a chillier century to come (according to certain Astrophysicists) unlikely to cause the end of the world. Well, unless someone blinked and missed a large rogue asteroid heading our way, in which case I stand corrected, or rather vaporised. What can I say. Life, enjoy it while you can.

Sometimes when I listen to Nick, it’s like hearing the White Queen from Alice through the looking glass declaiming that she likes to imagine six impossible things before breakfast. Yet I know him to be a humane and generally decent individual who I actually like. Funny that. What he actually does is embrace a series of ‘talking points’ which he has been told will make the world a ‘better’ place. Who for is not a question anyone seems to be asking. Especially him.

My idle thought is this; who really benefits from these talking points? Certainly not the ordinary person in the street. All we seem to end up getting is the bill or the shaft. Maybe it’s something like rich Hedge fund Managers who are getting rich off say, short selling the gas retail market or trading in carbon credits? Which are games for the super rich who can afford to employ people to prime useful idiots looking for a noble cause like Nick. Alternatively the social ‘theorists’ who have decided that only they know what’s good for the world, and that anyone else, well, they’re just collateral damage.

I swear, if David Suzuki was caught on an ice floe, red to the elbows, with a blood dripping club in his hands and pile of fluffy corpses in a sack at his feet, Nick would make up some excuse about helping the First Nations protect the poor Polar Bears from a virulent Seal pup carried disease induced by man made CO2 emissions. Perhaps if Al Gore was caught buggering Penguins in his private pool at one of his beachfront properties (How’s that for a sea level rise, huh?), or say if Barack Hussein Obama was found to be deliberately ordering drone strikes on Red Crescent (The Islamic version of the Red Cross) hospitals, Nick would spin an elegant excuse, made up on the spot, to excuse the slaughter of innocents by his heroes. Not that these things are likely, but the idea raises an ironic smile.

As an aside, rumours are circulating that drone strikes are being ordered a bit too readily and have killed about two hundred children to date. I heard a radio interview about three weeks ago with a man who claimed to have been a drone operator that children were considered ‘legitimate collateral damage’ and even ‘targets’ in the ‘War on Terror’. Which is rather like trying to win hearts and minds by hitting people over the head with bricks. It’s worth noting that although the program started during Bush’s time, most of the drone strikes in question appear to have happened upon the current incumbents watch. But you can’t convince people like Nick that this is happening. He’ll just claim it’s all a racist plot to destabilise a man who was given a Nobel Peace Prize simply for being elected. Which I always thought was a bit strange. Even Nelson Mandela, a far worthier man, didn’t get one until later in his career. Personally I think Colin Powell should have run for office to become the USA’s first non-white president, at least he has experience of command and organisation. Then again I heard Powell didn’t go for the nomination because he has more brains and integrity than most aspirants.

Not that this matters to the vociferous people like Nick who appear to believe in fluffy pink unicorns and pixie dust. With which I have no objection by the way. Same as I have no objection to people who collect garden gnomes and treat their lawn ornaments like real people. Just don’t expect the rest of the world to, or pay for your obsessions, okay? Unfortunately people of Nick’s mindset don’t see things that way. Like so many collectivists before them, they do not really care about most people. Just their own preferred group. The rest of us will be, like Pol Pot’s victims, just casualties in the collectivists race to their utopia.

Taking the piss

Taking a break from packing the kitchen, I popped over to the Barclay Brothers Beano for a chuckle, and came across this story. Apparently the EU has spent two hundred million on its Ukrainian ambitions without checking its pockets or down the sofa of waste for loose change. Now it’s got the begging bowl out to the UK for an extra three point eight billion quids. Ostensibly for ‘youth and employment’, or maybe old politicians and unemployment. Blood and sand.

The expansionist bureaucratic monster that is the European Union needs to be told to fuck off in very short order. Permanently.

Back to packing.

Excuse the number of updates, but my subconscious was spluttering with incredulity more than I was.

The Purple Gang

Interesting watching the European Election results coming in yesterday afternoon Pacific time. I was haunting a Barclay Brothers Beano comment thread and monitoring the BBC and Guardian coverage. One thing struck me, as the humiliation of the big three political parties went on, there was a distinct lag in communications between polling stations and media outlets. Even though announcements had been made almost half an hour previously. Sometimes by as much as forty five minutes.

The sequence would go like this; an activist would post results on a comment thread, then half an hour later the Beeb would trundle around to waffling the poll result, and they did waffle. Odd that. Almost as though they had to consult. Some ‘live’ coverage, eh? The Groan was almost an hour behind at one point. As for the Tellytubbygraph, enough said.

Anyway, nice to see Big Nige and the purple gang dishing out political hurt to the mainstream parties. Unfortunately I don’t think they’ll be able to do much, as on 1st November 2014, legislation comes into effect devolving yet another tranche of UK Government to EU level. Control of borders, immigration and a few other juicy items to name but a few. However, the ‘message has been sent’ and according to old Slaphead, received and understood. The French sent a similar message to their wannabe Euro overlords.

What the new legislation means is there will be more of England sold by the pound. Or should that be to the European project? Time for some Genesis methinks.

Cream crackered

Totally tired today for some reason. Worn out, shagged, knackered like I’ve been burning the candles at both ends with a flamethrower. A heavily sedated slug has more energy than I do at present. It’s not as though I’ve been eating or drinking to excess. I haven’t. Modest exercise, lots of vitamins and vegetables. Sunshine and early mornings. Hmm. Maybe that’s my problem, too healthy, with excess blood in my alcohol stream. Have to do something about that.

Almost done with the packing for Friday’s house move. Then twenty four hours without Interweb and then back up and running. Afterwards I may just sleep.

Interesting…..

During a break from packing the office this morning, I was looking around for some blow by blow coverage of the European Elections and came across this gem of a quote in the dear old Grauniad. Even though the full results won’t be out until Sunday.

An internal Liberal Democrat document reveals that the party is braced for a complete wipeout in the European parliamentary elections.

As voters go to the polls for the European elections across the UK and local elections in England and Northern Ireland, senior party figures have been briefed to say that a failure to win any seats in the European parliament should be “expected” at this stage in the electoral cycle for a governing party.

ORLY? (Sound of muffled laughter all the way from British Columbia).

Little boxes

We’re getting all boxed up for the move. The house is an absolute tip. Where did all this junk come from? We’ve only been in this suite three years. Where did that come from? I don’t remember buying it. These are the questions you ask when rummaging through your drawers for the stuff you want to keep. Never mind. Tomorrow the office gets wrapped up and steam cleaned before we close it up. The whole idea being to reduce our living space gradually down to three rooms until we walk out and hand over the keys, leaving a clean place and our damage deposit intact.

While we’re packing we’re half watching the UK Euro MEP elections and hoping like hell the big three political parties get a bloody good scare thrown into them. Let’s face it, Labour, Tories and the Limp Dems have been taking the electorate for granted for far too long and deserve a good fright. Maybe even kicking out of power altogether. There’s hardly a wet fag paper to stick between them, the only difference being that the Tories are marginally less incompetent than Labour. Hell, they all got their PPE Degrees at the same universities anyway, so it’s scarcely any wonder.

The Barclay Brothers Beano and all the other broadsheets of late have been populated with anti underdog hit pieces, but it’s the comment threads that are the most telling. You can tell the trollsters are worried that their cushy little sinecures are at risk and the penny is only just dropping that the best way to recover votes is not to tell Mrs & Mrs Public that they’re a bunch of morons. Mr & Mrs Public don’t like that, and have been saying so. With the occasional bit of moral support from the expat community.

If challenged on this point with a threat to vote for Nige and the Purple Gang, the big three will tell you there’s no room for a fourth major political party. Ooh no, they say, there’s no need to vote for anyone else, vote for us again you suckers and we’ll promise you the moon. You won’t get it of course. No way you peasants. No referendums, no choices and you can jolly well put up with what we decide to take off you. We’ve been to Uni and know better than you of the great unwashed. By the way, we’re putting taxes up again. Got to save the world from you lot. How will we fund our Business class travel otherwise?

You know what? From what I hear and see, I think Slaphead, Minutely Bland and Clogg are genuinely frightened. Trouser fillingly so. You know what else? I really do hope they get the scare they so richly deserve. They know the mob are threatening to storm the ballot boxes and the metaphorical tumbrils look like rolling. Maybe. I genuinely want to believe there’ll be a change, but my natural English bred cynicism won’t let me.

Not that it will make any odds to the EU. Nige and Co have been taking the piss out of Brasso and Van Nonentity for several years now and little has changed in the Euro Parliament. Apart from the EU trying to expand into Russia itself. Which will all end in tears as the last three attempts did. The Russki’s have done a deal to sell gas to the Chinese (as predicted), and India, the other regional Superpower in the making, will no doubt follow. Then when the Ukraine and Europe is freezing in the dark there will be another long retreat from Moscow. Canada will get its pipeline to sell oil to the other side of the Pacific despite all the machinations from US and EU funded pressure groups, and the great decline of the West will continue. No Nukes required.

Talk about predictable. At least we’ll be warmer in Victoria.

Herding cats for fun and profit, an observation

Well, it’s decided. We’re moving to Victoria at the end of the month. Basically because Mrs S wants to be closer to the action. Victoria being a much less snoozeworthy place than Nanaimo. Better bars, Cafes and restaurants, and here’s the kicker, all within walking distance. Even a modestly decent Tandoori restaurant. No need to worry about driving and getting pulled by the cops if you’ve had a glass or two over the odds. So we’re getting ready to pack up and shift all our worldly goods.

Apropos of sweet bugger all, I was doing a quick run through my blogroll this morning and I was particularly struck by how much victimhood is at the root cause of so many societal problems. Tears before bedtime because some TV celebrity (allegedly, which he didn’t) used a word so often used as a self reference by a certain racial sub group. A man arrested for publicly quoting a speech by a long dead politician. Another man denounced like some Soviet era dissident for saying the same word in private to his girlfiend (Not a typo). A local radio DJ in the UK fired for playing the ‘Unauthorised’ version of ‘the Sun has got his hat on‘ instead of the less safe ‘Abdul Abulbul Amir‘. People harping on about, and demanding money with menaces over an institution that was rightly abolished in the civilised world over two centuries ago. From the descendants of the very people and institutions who spilt their own blood in its abolition no less. Call that gratitude? On the whole, I’d say not. Come on guys, victimhood should have a sell by date. I’m pretty sure one of my ancestors was hanged for sheep stealing back in the 1700′s, and a few more were kicked out of their tenancies during the great medieval sheep clearances. Do I go crawling with begging bowl in hand about injustices done to my forbears? No, I’ve got more important things to do. The next generation needs support. Sights to see, bills to pay. The institutions and people that did the harm are long in their graves, and it’s high time the serial whiners built a bridge and got over it.

The world seems to be filled with infantile offence takers looking for some kind of redress for every imagined slight. From an alleged ‘grope’ forty years ago seen as an excuse for stripping a charity of its funding to complaints of a word beginning with ‘R’ used to shut people with an opposing viewpoint up. The cure for which was mooted by one well known actor saying Stop talking about it. As far as skin tones and cultures are concerned we should be building bridges, not burning them. We are all human. All blood is red. All else is biological adaptation to local conditions. Failure to adapt and integrate is a matter of personal choice, and should not be actionable, nor used as an excuse to knock a 91 year old veteran anti apartheid campaigner off his bicycle. Or declare a war.

Honestly, one would have to be mad to try and make sense of it all. Listening to all these complainants and trying to mollify them for the sake of a quiet life rather sounds like herding cats for fun and profit. I’m often moved to wonder where the grown ups are to give these habitual complainants a soundly slapped bottom and tell them to go off and do something a little more positive with their lives. Instead all we hear is “Waah! Nasty man is being howwind to me! Stop him Mommy, stop him!” I say this as someone who was, as part of his daily round, routinely verbally abused and occasionally threatened with physical assault by a terminally petulant public, then found that the very people he relied upon for backup suffering unexpected catastrophic spinal failure. Not to mention those paid to look after his workaday interests being as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot. Boy, was that an education. I used to bitch about it, but seek compensation? Being forced to wear unsuitable footwear which caused real physical pain and injury might have been cause, but really? I chose, like so many of my contemporaries, to pick up and move on.

My view? Perhaps all these offence takers should be arrested and charged with theft, because that’s exactly what they’re doing. Stealing offence, time and also personal liberty from others with their self absorbed thin skinned whingeing. The problem with offence seekers is that they don’t actually want to fix anything when their pet peeves are given credence, they just want money, and the petty minded sense of power a grovelling public apology brings. Which is poor compensation for the inferiority complexes which spawn these complaints, complexes which only intensive psychotherapy can rid them of. If they could only be bothered to try.

/rant

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have my own particular cats to herd, but not from this company.

Or this one;

Expatriate expostulations from Canada

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