Tag Archives: UK

A picture paints

Watching the news of late I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t add anything to the conversation, I won’t bother for the moment. Because reasons, okay? However, it’s occurred to me that I spend a good deal of time talking about my little deck garden but rarely take pictures, so here are a few for the edification of the general populace.

So let’s begin with the South aspect. Right to left beginning with the Lavender, Mint, Lemon tree plant Tea Rose, Geranium, Hosta, Berberis. Now from the back left to the front; Yew, Some form of variegated leaf thing Mrs S bought, a tussock of decorative grass, the Sage and Thyme, tucked down below another Lemon tree plant, up a bit to the Juniper and our other tea rose bush. The new rose at the back has about ten buds, but the older rose only three. The more observant will note a lemon tree plant snuggled between the Hosta, which has two stalks in the process of blossoming and the Berberis.
Note to self; make up a new batch of nectar for the Hummingbird feeder.

Right. So on to the Western railing where the discerning observer can look into the Fuchsia, three Lemon Tree plants which I raised from seed with me very own hands guv’nor, some Carnations, a dwarf Japonica and a decorative bamboo.
The brown box to the left is where we keep some rather straggly looking heather plants to fill a gap. Inside the box is a cushion which stayed dry all through the Winter. Which was a pleasant surprise, considering it was totally buried in snow for over two weeks.

So to the East wall where the barbecue lives. This is my experimental vegetable patch which is also home to the Sunflowers, Cannae Lilies and Lupins. Inset is a close up of our burgeoning Sunflower blossom. The more observant of you will notice a Strawberry plant, Habanero Pepper, Parsley, Kale, Radishes and even some Lettuce seedlings.

What else? Ah yes, the current state of play for my Grapefruit seedlings, three of which are doing fine, the fourth, well I don’t know what happened there. It started tiny and has continued to be so. No idea why. Such are the vagaries of growing things. It was the runt of the litter, but why it has stayed so is anybody’s guess.

In the outside world I see that the UK is still staggering around like a headless chicken because the politic’s don’t want to give up their sinecures. Not doing the value of the pound much good. The problem does not lie with BREXIT so much as the uncertainty of whether it will happen or not. Once that is resolved, matters can stabilise once more. My UK portfolio is taking a hit, but I’m hanging on to my Sterling investments to see what’s going to happen in October / November. What else? Justin Trudeau is still the most embarrassing leader in the world. The Chinese brushed him off at the G20 talks and all the silly clown can do is blather on about being a ‘feminist’. No wonder the rest of the world won’t take us seriously. We’re the only country in the world liable to disintegrate because the Western Provinces are sick of being abused by a bunch of effete urbanites. Plus ca chose, plus ca meme chose.

Well, the sun is shining. It’s Saturday and I’m off for a spin on the Mutt. See ya.

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Well done that man

So some Tories (Suspended) actually have balls. Well done Mr Field. Some whiny-arse protester crashes your private function and starts berating everyone over an imaginary ‘crisis’ and gets manhandled for their pains. Boo-freaking-hoo. These crazy morons who think it’s okay to create ructions and disrupt the personal lives of others should get a little of what they’re constantly giving out in return. These annoying little shits commonly use harassment and assault against anyone who disagrees with them because Mummy and Daddy didn’t do the hard work of disciplining their child age three, so now society at large has to deal with these emotional retards, these overgrown toddlers who can’t get past emotional age eleven. Maybe if a few get what they deserve the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with their narcissistic disruptions.

Sometimes I think Mott the Hoople had the only solution to these self centred shits who can’t show a little decorum and respect a democratic vote.

You wanted equal rights? Ah kiddies, you forget there’s equal wrongs too. Life taught me to never start a fight and (after learning the hard way one time) I never will, but finishing them is another matter.

On the subject of woman trouble, the possible next UK Prime Minister has just had some. Shouting and arguing was heard at the flat Boris Johnson shared with his notoriously green remainer girlfriend, not sure what for, but Bojo probably needs a new place of residence a.s.a.p. Having looked at the situation, frankly it’s better for the country if she was history, influences like that should be nowhere near the seat of UK power in the current climate and I’m sure Boris will find himself someone more amenable. Yes he’s a first class philandering dick from a sexual standpoint, but that doesn’t make him incompetent. All that bumbling amiable bluff and bluster is just a front. Whenever he’s been in a position of power he’s made a reasonable fist of things, unlike his successors. I might be reading this entirely wrong, but I do think he can deliver BREXIT and even possibly save the Tories from total electoral annihilation. Because if there is further delay, they will be toast at the ballot box.

Anyway, October 31st will be the proof and I will be in West London, possibly even mulling matters over in person with Tom Paine, a fellow blogger of long standing who writes The Last Ditch.

On the home front, the Mutt has developed an electrical fault which means the battery drains even when everything is switched off, so back to the shop it goes for a little electrical TLC. I think I know what the answer is, but I’ll leave it to the boys with spanners to confirm my suspicions.

The Deck garden has been too windy to sit out in, which is a shame as otherwise the weather has been quite nice and our new rose bush has a set of burgeoning blossoms which look like they will be adding another splash of colour to the mini-jungle outside our kitchen doors. Our two Sunflowers have passed the metre tall mark and one is already developing a flower head. Which is nice. The Lemon Tree plants are growing new leaves and an accident with a seed packet means the planter that was once graced by the pansies might have anything coming up. We shall see. Life has to have some adventure.

Oh what the hell, it’s the weekend. Mine’s a large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Mrs S will enjoy the odd Vodka and Tonic. We at least are civilised folk, well her more than me.

TTFN

One last item, serious props to Donald Trump for not doing the whole ‘Bomb, bomb Iran’ thing. Apparently he pulled back from retaliating for that shot down surveillance drone after asking “How many casualties?” and getting the answer “One hundred and fifty Mr President.” Which would have only escalated the problems in that area. Good. We could do with a whole lot less mindless military retaliation in this world. World wars are not much fun.

On the other hand, if the provocations keep on coming, then the gloves can come off, but not before.

Update: Re the Mutt. My beautiful big blue motorcycle has a duff battery. Which is kind of odd as I asked and paid for a brand new one to be fitted when I bought it. Has someone not been entirely honest with me? Enquiring minds would like to know. Then theres being deprived of riding time. Not impressed. Not impressed at all. Warranty, warranty, who’s got the warranty? Oh yes. Me.

This is cool

While the UK lamestream are doing hit pieces on free speech activists and someone who was once a comedian (Briefly, sometime around 14th November 1983 I believe) used their bully pulpit to make foul insult and then claimed that such crudity constituted a ‘joke’ (Not even close – jokes have to be funny), I thought I’d offer up this little bit of techno-fun as a form of mind bleach.

First saw this item on Rt.com under the headline “Humanoid robot gets tired of merciless bullying & pulls gun on meatbags” It’s actually by turns disturbing and hilarious.

How the parody was put together.

Now the current state of the art. April 2018 but still interesting and fun.

Now I’m off to check my inbox and get all my paying work related tasks out of the way. My Lemon tree plants, Carnations and Roses are doing well but I’m going to have to re-seed the Sweet William after their foul strangling by the now-executed pansies. Such is life.

As for the ‘apology’ for the “Throw battery acid over people you disagree with” meme. Not acceptable. It was bandwagon jumping of the most mean and petty kind. When a free speech activist does get battery acid thrown in their face, we’ll know who to blame, won’t we?

Just a bit of weather

While all the zombie peeps are getting up in arms about ‘saving the planet’ by taxing CO2, might I point out we’re getting another dump of late season snow up in the Rockies. It’s June FFS! I know the old saying goes “Ne’er cast a clout until May be out” but this is ridiculous. Or hasn’t Madame Tracey stepped out of Number Ten yet? She is taking an unconscionable time a-going. So casting any clout of any description or size before she’s gone will be highly premature. Come on girl, get your walking shoes on! Some of us are waiting, clout in hand, to cast it over our shoulder with gay abandon and we can’t do that unless May is out properly. I don’t know, some people just have no consideration.

While we were waiting I took Mrs S out on the back of the Mutt (For those who missed the memo it’s a big blue sports tourer) today for a forty kilometre spin out to Sooke for coffee and a snack before heading back to the barn. Nice and easy little eighty kilometre run. She’s getting more confident on the bends, remembering how to move with the bike, not fight the motion as she was originally doing, which gave me a few headaches, Nevertheless we got home safe and I could feel her relaxing all the way back. She wasn’t holding on so tightly or gripping my hips with her thighs so much.

Which made the ride a pleasant little saunter to catch the air before the rain paid us a visit. Which it has, although not as much as prophesied. Maybe it’s all heading over to the Rockies?

After the warmth of the last few days it has felt a little cooler today. Not enough to warrant adding another layer to my jacket (It’s one of those fancy three layer gore-tex mesh things) but quite refreshing. I really had forgotten how bloody wonderful it is to ride again. Although I’ve long maintained that riding a motorcycle is more real than driving a car. The best analogy I’ve ever come up with is that driving is like watching the match on a big screen TV, while riding is like being on the pitch and in the game itself. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like driving as well, but if given the choice of a sunny day out on the open road it will be Jacket, boots, gloves, helmet, and see ya later. I have been known to get quite carried away. Usually over a hundred miles away from where I started.

Anyway, milady needs new riding gloves as the lining on her twenty year old Belstaffs have begun to disintegrate, so a quick amble downtown is called for tomorrow. As it’s liable to be showery the Mutt will stay home covered and chained up in his kennel, while Thumper, our reliable little All Wheel Drive will ferry us through the traffic to a little store I know.

The Motorcycle diet

As my one remaining reader will know, I’m a biker. One who passed his motorcycle test three years before he took and passed his car test. I’ve ridden everything from a beat up Honda 175 to a full sized sports tourer, which is what I have at present. 1261 wonderful cc of genteel fun. It’s a big dog, currently securely chained up in the yard under cover. It gets plenty of exercise and gives me a fair bit too. Which is why I am currently losing weight quite rapidly.

The thing is about riding a motorcycle is that unlike driving a car or truck, it is a dynamic process. Every time you corner for example, your whole body has to be involved, in my case piloting a machine almost two and a half times my current body weight. There’s no power steering, no gadgets (Apart from heated handlebar grips), just bodyweight dynamically managing a heavyweight machine along uneven roads and some fairly tight uncambered bends.

The process of positioning your body correctly for a bend takes effort which is not unlike the philosophy behind ‘hot’ yoga. Even at relatively sedate speeds, shoulders set, knees cuddling the tank, it takes a a fair bit of energy to swoop, apparently effortlessly, through repeated bends. Then there’s the loss of body heat which means you can burn quite a few calories keeping up even within the space of a two hour ride. Think of it this way. What might be a warm day standing still can get decidedly chilly over sixty miles an hour, so even fairly well insulated you can burn up a whole heap of energy simply keeping warm, thus losing weight as your body goes through those calories like a blast furnace.

Add to that a fairly high protein, low carbohydrate way of life and weight loss is guaranteed. I call it ‘the motorcycle diet’. It works. At least for me.

Anything in the news? Not really, just the usual bunch of suspects getting bent out of shape over Trumps state visit to the UK. That idiot Sadiq Khan didn’t attend the state dinner, neither did Corbyn. Jesus H Christ on a moped! Are these people so devoid of intellect and statecraft that they shut themselves out of the party. While Liz and Trump were celebrating the alliance between the UK and the USA and deals were quietly being discussed, a bunch of incompetents were trying to virtue signal that because ‘orange man bad’ this somehow excused them being utterly atrocious at their jobs. Then the credulous morons who can’t be bothered to do their own research and see how well the USA is doing under Trump turn up en masse to complain. These would be the same people who ‘think’ that man made climate change is a physical threat to humanity despite the continual failure of their end of the world prophesies and that Socialism isn’t a bad idea despite a century of failure. Newsflash kiddies; if you believe what the bought and paid for media tell you, that ain’t ‘thinking’.

Oh well, I look at it this way. In order for a certain number of people to be of above average intelligence, there have to be a whole heap who are dumber than a bag of sponge rubber rocks. It’s a simple rule of averages. Like what we have taken to calling ‘Emotional Literacy’, like reading ages, some people only get as far as an emotional age of 11, others make 13, fewer still 17 and the very few emotional maturity.

Mrs S and I had a broad and in depth discussion on an associated topic last night. She came back from a conference at UVIC yesterday and we had an interesting exchange of views about childhood trauma and how it impacts people. “You control your impulses very well, Bill.” She observed. Yes, she knows I’m damaged goods, but I know precisely where and how I’m damaged and try to take a breath before simply reacting. It passes for wisdom sometimes. And that pertikular commodity, me deario’s, is where you finds it.

Is that the sun shining? So it is. Time to shed another pound of two.

A battle for Britain

I’ve finally bought a motorcycle. A big beautiful blue beast of a bike that is steady as a rock and handles beautifully. Heavy brute at rest, but once you’re moving it’s a complete delight. So I dug into my financial reserves last week and signed on the dotted line. While on the test ride I remembered reading a 1980’s advertising slogan about how motorcycling was the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Jesus this thing is a complete Spitfire! Fast, manoeuvrable and with a gorgeous rorty engine note when I open the throttle. I love it. On each sunny day throughout the summer, I intend to be out on the road annoying Greenies by increasing my carbon footprint whenever possible. Vroom! Although I will make one concession by watering our blooming deck garden before I leave the house. I shall be going out for a little while, I may be some time.

Excuse this posts titles hyperbole, but I can’t help feeling we are witnessing a battle, not merely for the soul of a nation, but also of an entire culture. A culture which has been economically empowering and successful across the world. A culture which has raised more people out of poverty and misery over the last fifty years than any other before it. A culture based on the simple concept of peaceful self-ownership. The focussed effort of the individual, not the clumsily directed efforts of a bumbling and clumsy state. This is the idea modern Britain was founded on. And it’s a great idea. Which is why the Americans took it on and refined it and so many people from all over the world want in. Even if they’re going to end up exploited if they don’t watch out. But that is part of the price you pay as a migrant. It’s why so many highly qualified people from overseas end up cleaning floors and working as taxi drivers to survive while they wait for their qualifications to be recognised.

As an expat, I must confess to being deeply torn. On a personal level, yes, I’ve left the old country and don’t miss it’s physical restrictions, the narrow crowded roads and suchlike, but that doesn’t mean I no longer care about the mess the political classes have created and still promulgate in the land of my birth. Which is why a new Battle of Britain is raging quietly across that sceptred isle. Until the EU elections when the voting public delivered a “Do the job you said you’d do” message via the BREXIT party. Yet despite the leave faction being seriously outgunned by the money available to the remainers, they’re still winning (Just). In spite of a propaganda ministry (BBC) bias that would have even Joseph Goebbels saying “Hang on you fellows, zat’s a bit extreme issn’t it?” Even dragging the front runner in the Tory party leadership contest into court for “Lying to the public” WTF! Boris Johnson is a politician FFS! If we put all the politicians who ‘lied’ in the dock for telling porkies it would be a very empty Houses of Parliament and House of Lords indeed.

This is nothing more or less than Adlertag, full fledged hostilities against anyone who would want to take the UK out of the EU. May the appeaser has failed and is all but gone, but there are still too many dithering, desperate politicians who are afraid of losing their seats and only making matters worse. All the talk of second referendums or cancelling article 50 is nothing more than cowardice. Because I think certain remainer MP’s are being threatened by their money men and the rest see the trough they have had their trotters in for far too long about to run dry.

This is a time when courage is called for against the forces of bureaucratic darkness. We know who the bad guys are. The empire builders and petty Napoleons of the EU Commission. The legions of lazy bureaucrats and coterie of pet academics who don’t want to see the money taps of taxpayer funded moolah turned off. The majority of Britain knows this, the Italians know it, the Hungarians, Austrians and Poles know it, as do a growing chorus of previously-ignored voices across mainland Europe. The peasants are finally revolting.

As for myself, I will be in London on the 31st October, raising a glass to my one-time fellow countrymen and women, looking forward to the D-Day when the EU as it is currently structured begins a rapid decline into the footnotes of History.

In the muddle of a jingle

Happy weekend everyone! It’s almost the end of May. Well it will be this June and not before time. On the domestic front our deck garden is starting to look a little crowded, in a colourful sort of way. My six Lemon plants are now living outside full time enjoying the fresh air, the Pansies are still going strong and I’ve recently picked my first radishes. Very nice they were too. Any fresher and we’d have had to put chastity belts on the Beetroot. Serves me right for planting French radishes.

Old gardening jokes aside, I’ve been watching the UK political scene and actually looking forward to the EU election results. Privately I think the powers that be in Europe have finally woken up and actually read the writing on the wall. Even if belatedly. People the world over are seeing the globalist threat for what it is, a naked attempt to strip them of even the most basic of civil liberties, like the right of ownership and freedom of expression then install a top down doctrine which has never worked.

I’ve seen this ugly political mechanism in operation and it is never anything but corrosive and destructive. Got to fall in line comrade, can’t get a job if you don’t pay your union subs. Strike when you’re told, can’t negotiate for yourself you know. What are you? Some kind of maverick? Sorry mate, shop steward can’t help you if you don’t do him a favour first. Been there, done that. The closed shops (Union only workers) of the late 1970’s were no fun to work in. I hated them because they dragged everyone down to the lowest common denominator and always gave unwarranted power to the equivalent of the playground sneak.

The good news is that the political pendulum is beginning the long swing back to some form of sanity and proper democratic representation. The bad news is that we’re not there yet and a lot can go wrong. When people once more have the courage and right to express what is merely an opinion without being harassed out of their jobs by activists or even arrested by the Police, then we should call this a win. But not until then. And even then with a weather eye out for the evil to rise again. The lesson here to the mainstream politicians is that sometimes you just have to do the job you were given to do. Never mind if your so-called clever mates don’t want you to do it. The job is the job. Deliver or be brought down.

Of course the remainers won’t be happy, but I have the feeling they never are anyway, so, a no score draw there I feel. However, once the path to BREXIT is more certain, business can plan and invest accordingly, the pound will regain its value and I look forward to seeing another tearstained departure on this side of the Atlantic as Trudeau too is shuffled off toward a richly deserved political obscurity, except as a footnote as Canada’s worst ever Prime Minister.

Having second thoughts

We are currently booked and paid for to visit London, UK in Autumn 2019. Nothing much, we’re going to spend a little quality time with ‘North’ (Younger stepdaughter) in the great metrollops and go do some sightseeing. Only the current Police crackdown, where they are doing the whole facial recognition fascist thing has me thinking twice. Arresting otherwise law abiding people for getting annoyed at being scanned without permission? That and they’re confiscating spoons for heavens sakes. I’ve just seen a triumphant tweet from London Police of a ‘deadly weapons cache’ that looks like the contents of my cutlery drawer before I had a clear out last year. I swear this picture of a ‘weapons cache’ had a butter knife and a spoon in it, FFS! All right, there was a fencing foil in amongst the edged kitchen tools on display, but that had a fencing button on the tip and might have put someone’s eye out if they were very, very unlucky / clumsy. I bet most of those other bits of metal weren’t all that sharp, rather like the arresting officers.

Jesus H Freaking Christ on a Velocipede! I used to be part of the UK law enforcement ‘community’ as a lowly bylaw enforcement officer, but right at present any trust of the UK Police on my part has been eroded to the point of nothingness. You can even be arrested for telling jokes for heavens sake! Or questioned for holding the ‘wrong’ opinions. After that some bozo in black will probably make an excuse to rummage through your kitchen drawers and try to make a case for terrorism. “All right chummy. Yore nicked! Slice your own bread do you? Right! You’re under arrest for conspiracy to make sandwiches.” Dear God alive. Does anyone understand how retarded that sort of behaviour makes them look? God knows what they’d make of my Sabatier and Sushi knife collection. Probably accuse me of a massive conspiracy to cook a casserole.

Honestly at this juncture I’m actually becoming more afraid of the UK Police than any criminal I might happen across and am inclined to avoid any uniformed presence like the plague, refusing to engage with them and crossing the streets where possible to avoid said uniformed presence.

This is why the current crop of party politicians have to go. They’re the ones behind the moral panics driving this idiocy. All of them. Tory. Labour. Lib Dem. Green. None of them have a clue. This is getting worse than the 60’s and 70’s and this extreme behaviour by the UK Police is liable to make things far, far worse than they already are.

I am seriously thinking about cancellation. Stuff ’em. I’m halfway inclined to spend my tourist dollars elsewhere.

On the plus side, my deck garden is looking well. The largest Lemon plant just crept over the twenty four inch marker. My Capsicum seedlings have been planted out and we should shortly have Sunflowers, Canna Lillies, Lupins and Delphiniums. A Blue rose has also been added to the collection. Once the rain stops I’ll be outside reading Montaigne’s essay on the delights of solitude.

Done and done

That’s it. I have the papers for my postal vote and will be casting ballots against both my old constituencies Tory incumbent and the Labour / Limp Dem / Green ‘opposition’ in future, in favour of either the BREXIT or UKIP candidate.

The UK will still be an EU member on 23-26 May 2019 and not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, so those are my voting intentions. Stick that in your polls and smoke it. Although not in a non-smoking area, which is most of the UK.

The mainstream UK political class have screwed over a large democratic vote, I’m talking Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens, so they all now richly deserve hammering after hammering at the ballot box. Not just the local elections but at every election. Remove the mandate, the access to power and privilege that the old guard of politicians (From all sides of Parliament) have so flagrantly abused by the only peaceful means possible. Time for the party to end. Call it a mandatectomy is you will.

Throw the bums out, as our colonial cousins would say.

Say it ain’t so

A song has been going through my head for the last day or so. A powerful tune written in the mid 70’s by Murray head. One which I have taken diabolical liberties with and altered salient lines which I hope retain the power and majesty of the original, but which I have adapted for an obvious purpose.

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe and we’ve got a right to know

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We’re sure they’re telling us lies Joe please tell us it ain’t so

They tell us that our heroes have played their best cards
And don’t know how to go on
We’re clinging to solemn promises we were made
But the honest days are gone

The country and democracy have fallen apart
The money has gotten scared
One mans words could hold the country together
But the truth is no-one cared

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We pinned our hopes on you Joe and they’re ruining our show

(Ooo Baby)
Don’t you think we’re gonna get burned
(Ooo Baby)
BREXIT’s gonna to get turned
We’re gonna get burned
We’re gonna get learned
We’re going to get turned
We’re going to get burned
We’re going to get burned
Ooo learn
Turn
Burned
Ooo burned
Yea…..

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe please tell us it ain’t so
Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We’re sure they’re telling us lies Joe and we’ve got a right to know

They tell us that our heroes have played their best cards
And don’t know how to go on
We’re clinging to solemn promises we were made
But the honest days are gone

The country and democracy have fallen apart
The money has gotten scared
One mans words could hold the country together
But the truth is no-one cared

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe and we’ve got a right to know

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
They keep on telling us lies Joe please tell us it ain’t so

Say
Say it ain’t so
Say it ain’t so
Cause we’ve got a right to know

We are, I feel, past the point of no return. Unless one side or the other backs down. Or the political left (Including half the current UK parliamentary Tory party) learn to behave like grown ups and do what they solemnly promised.

I wish this weren’t so. But it is. I leave you with the 1977 version of this poignant little number as sung by Roger Daltrey.

Apologies to Murray, but it’s such a great song.

This is precious

Excuse the Starship Troopers meme, but the UK Parliament has been discussing (For the last 9 months or so) a bill that would prevent ‘Internet trolls’ and similar persons of ‘suspect’ virtue from running for public office. Considering how many MP’s and suchlike engage in online behaviour that might be construed as trollish, such as throwing out insults at a sizeable demographic, might not be such a wonderful idea. The law of unforeseen consequences being ever present in politics.

What this does highlight, along with the rather vapid media attacks on the character of certain candidates over something they said three years ago, is that parts of the mainstream is afraid and rightly so. Indeed they have a great deal of power and influence to lose. Or at least suffer inconvenience.

When candidates can no longer be deselected by their local constituency party without the local selection committee being replaced, their preferences overridden by central office, this is yet another nail in the coffin of Parliamentary democracy and another step down the road to a new and uglier form of corporate style fascism. Considering the ‘hate speech’ laws currently enacted as a desperate attempt to quash wrongthink, I would say that without a robust and successful opposition, the UK is deeply screwed already. All because of weakness and fear on the part of the establishment.

Democrats in name only

There are a lot of people like this. Democrats in name only or DINO’s (Pronounced to rhyme with Rhino’s) They lose a democratic vote, or can’t win by the pre-agreed rules of the game, then get all precious and clutch their pearls when their guy loses. Or refuse to accept a democratic vote and get all bent out of shape when those who actually won cry “Foul!”.

There’s far too much of this from the political class. They have forgotten who they are supposed to serve. Perhaps they need reminding? Just in case it’s slipped their mind. You know how easy that is. Busy taking cheap shots at each other and virtue signalling, calling people names. Well, there’s just so much to do.

Now they’ve shifted the putative date for BREXIT to October 31st 2019. Well, well, well. I will actually be in London that day and look forward to whatever events unfold. Parliament Square anyone? This should make for a Halloween worthy of remembrance. Or bonfire night. I’m quite looking forward to seeing the fireworks first hand.

If the wife lets me.

Service guarantees citizenship.

WTF?!?

Well I never. The bunch of pantywaisters we call a government over here in the not so frozen north have issued a travel advisory for the UK. Canadians should be careful when over there because of the ‘threat of violence’ from pro Brexiteers. Against whom, might one enquire? Canadians? I don’t think so. They might laugh at us for having an embarrassing Prime Minister who is wetter than a Haddocks breakfast, but violence? Not unless a Canadian gets so passive-aggressive that the only way to shut them up is with a divine right. Or a moderately well struck left. Apparently us Brits are now seen as only second to Venezuela as a risk factor. See screenshot below.

I’ve long known that there are parts of various cities in jolly old blighty where one watches one’s P & Q’s carefully after the sun has gone down. Back in the day I might even have qualified as one of those ‘risk factors’. We could be a rowdy bunch, but normally pretty well-natured. Tourists were safe from our petty predations. However there are, shall we say, ‘heavily ethnic’ areas in London that anyone should avoid. Elder Sibling once spent a while living and working in such a suburb, and told hair raising tales of some of the knife fights that he saw outside of some of the local hostelries. That was in the seventies. My working experience of the smoke was in the late 90’s and early 00’s. Hells bells, my youngest stepdaughter lives and works in central London and she and her mates haven’t reported anything serious. On the whole I’d say Canadians are pretty safe if they mind their own business and manners.

Look my Canadian friends, you’re no more at risk of violence in the UK this year than last. My advice is to stand back, see the sights, take your pictures, spend your money, you’ll be fine. Leave your politics at home and just be a tourist.

In the meantime, our radishes and Grapefruit plants are potted out, the Lemon plants (Too small for trees, too big for seedlings) are doing fine. My herbs are sprouting and our tickets to and accommodation in London are paid for.

Update: as for the ‘threat of violence’ by pro-Brexiteers’? It’s hype, bullshit and complete bollocks. The demonstrators who flooded central London were mostly good humoured and easy going. How do i know this? Because there were only five arrests (Not sure what the offences were) and no real reports of violent disorder. Far less than a typical much smaller event by radical lefties. The Pro-Brexit protesters are less likely to riot because they consider themselves patriots, and see what they are doing as something positive. They’re marching for democracy because they are not the real threat. The real threat to democracy is the treason and political cowardice of remainer MP’s.

New growth

Spring arrived somewhat suddenly this year. Normally we simply ease very slowly out of BC’s habitual drizzle, but on the 18th temperatures went from night time temperatures of almost double digit sub zero to a more usual five Celsius. This came as a pleasant surprise as it meant Mrs S and I could take tea on the deck without being chilled to the bone. It’s been a long Winter here and I’m glad to see the warmer weather at last. Oh green, how I have missed thee.

Our modest deck garden improves. Latest acquisition were some dwarf Narcissi and Mrs S said she fancied some Pansies. Well, each to their own. Just to keep the meme theme going I added some Sweet William seeds to their pot after planting out a few corms and rhizomes with a few Delphinium and Lupin seeds, which should cheer things up in a couple of weeks time.

One thing I was delighted by and let’s face it, what with Theresa May cocking up BREXIT and Justine Trudeau cocking up Canada’s economy (Whatever happened to “The budget will balance itself”- yeah, right) we all need something to put a positive spin on the day; my two Avocado seeds have begun to sprout. Only tiny pinpricks of green, but definite signs of life. My previous attempts just sat there and rotted, however this time we have green, which is good. Then there’s the success story of my Grapefruit seeds. Five out of six are definitely developing roots and will be ready for potting out next week or the first full week of April. As for my Lemon Tree plants, six are doing well, having taken up residence in the sunniest part of the kitchen and the four I left outdoors over Winter aren’t actually dead. The root systems are still good, even if the above ground portions are looking kind of sorry for themselves. Like my Indonesian Lime, I was about to consign them to the recycle bin when I noticed that the root systems still looked good. I may need considerably bigger pots.

Then there’s the burgeoning vegetable trays. I bought a batch of seeds yesterday and have planted a few out to see how they do. It’s an eclectic mix of Kale, Broccoli, Spring Onions, Beetroot and Radishes. I’ve also added some tomato plants seeds, which I hope will do better now that I’m planting them earlier and deeper. Decided to try out some strawberry plants as well, so in they’ve gone. Results will be posted as new growth occurs.

Despite the poor political news and the virulent attacks on freedom of expression online, I’m feeling decidedly optimistic.

Lucky for me….

…I never signed up for one of those fancy tax shelter loan remuneration schemes when I was a contractor. Turns out that HMRC in the UK has begun a draconian enforcement of a law passed in 2017 which allows them to charge for taxes they say are owed as far back as twenty years ago. Even if the arrangements were considered legal up until 2017. The UK tax grubbers want their pound of flesh and they want it now. According to the FT HMRC even sent out letters telling fifty thousand people that they should go into debt to pay the back taxes (a.k.a. ‘The loan charge’) being demanded.

Although I’m not affected, this news has made me very angry. Chasing debts for a legal exemption up to twenty years old? During a time when these schemes were not legally proscribed? Who keeps tax records for twenty years outside of the corporate sphere? Judas Fucking Priest! The backdated legislation behind this is heartless, dishonest and unnecessarily draconian. Not to mention that those affected are Doctors, Nurses, IT Contractors and even Social Workers. Back dated and estimated tax bills of up to a hundred thousand pounds have been sent out to the affected. Bills they have to pay or go to jail for tax evasion. Even if they weren’t evading tax at the time, merely using a legal loophole. If found guilty of tax evasion, or bankruptcy, all these people will be, in the case of Doctors, Nurses and Social Workers, disbarred from their professions and forced to take jobs far below their competence to make even a modest living.

One suicide has been recorded so far. There will be more as people are asset stripped, their houses sold to pay the bills and pension funds drained. Thus creating yet more poor people who need to subsist off the public purse.

Let me explain my anger; back in the day when I was an independent contractor I paid my taxes (Income and corporation thank you). Employers and employees NI contributions too. Until IR35 came into force and I reluctantly rolled up what had been a very enjoyable way of life before going back to being a wage slave. Which I hated. Because there’s nothing quite like running your own life to your own timetable. You may end up working fifty to sixty plus hour weeks, but at least you know who you are working for. All your profits go to you. And I’ll tell you this, I loved being my own boss, even if it meant working four extra hours at the end of each week to see my finances and tax affairs were in apple pie order.

When you work for yourself there’s a sense of freedom you can’t get anywhere else, even when you’re working twice as hard as you would if you were an ordinary employee. The lack of office politics was also refreshing. There’s a pride in being an independent too. You might have had to work a crap contract occasionally, but at the end of the day it was a lot easier to quit and find new work than if you just had a job as a full time wage slave. Losing that feeling was the worst. HR had no hold over my life outside of what I did for a company. For example, they couldn’t fire me for having a wrong opinion or looking the wrong way at someone outside of work. Or even being falsely accused of doing so. Or the hundred other excuses HR can screw with your life outside of work. In short, I loved, and still do love being my own boss. Even when times are hard there’s nothing quite like it. And there are always hard times to endure. Self employed or not.

The only real problem I had with being my own boss was the petty jealousy of the employed. The whiny crab-bucket bitches who saw what you got paid but never understood that you often paid more tax than they did. You organised your own taxes, paid accountants and book-keepers, paid extra health and professional liability insurance, the rent on office space and all the hundreds of details the self employed individual or company director deals (Or employs people to deal) with as a matter of routine.

Despite this, some wage slaves are unhappy at not being free and hate the merest thought of anyone else being happy or even moderately prosperous. I see these small minded curtain-twitchers, who decry any form of legal tax avoidance as ‘tax dodging’ or ‘not paying your fair share’, as those who would cheer at an execution without realising that their feet are also on the steps of the scaffold. None of us knows when it is our time to be strung up by the tax man, we can only take precautions, knowing that our date with the tax inspector is only a twist of fate away. There will be no sympathy, because in the tax authorities eyes, none are virtuous. Now HMRC can go back over your affairs for the last twenty years? Clucking bell. This is a truly dangerous precedent.

The main issue is that UK tax law is now so complicated, with so many exemptions and even contradictions that it is hard, even for accountants and other financial professionals, to know what is ‘legal’ and what is not.

New Labour (Blair & Brown) started this tax snatching trend and Blue Labour (Cameron & May) continued it, slicing the economic pie ever smaller instead of encouraging the production of more for everyone. All I can offer is my heartfelt sympathy to their victims. There by the grace of God go we all.