Thursday, 20 May 2010
The Tories want a new one but the LibDems want to scrap it - hence the reason for the argument.
A new one will cost £20 billion (at least). I don’t think we should get a new one – what is the point - we haven’t used the old one yet.
We have had Trident for 20 years and all it has done it traipse up and down the Atlantic and Pacific. It might as well have been carrying office furniture for all the use we have had out of it.
Why don’t we just tell everyone we are buying a new one, but not bother? We could tell everyone that our new nuclear defence was so top of the range it can’t be detected by any existing radar methods. The Americans have been doing that for years.
At the start of the credit crunch, someone calculated everyone in the country owed £40,000 (I don’t know how they came up with that number, because I am sure I haven’t spent anything like that amount) if that figure is correct, then I reckon that my suggestion to save £20 billion should cover what I owe.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Has he gone mad? We should be introducing new laws not removing old ones! For example how about making it illegal:
- to talk on mobile phones when you are being served in a shop – it is so rude
- for children between the ages of 13 and 17 to talk
- for Katie Price to have anymore ‘reality’ shows on ITV2
- to wear brown shoes with black trousers
- for gentlemen to wear trousers with turn-ups, (unless they are Clive Dunn or went through the Second World War then it should be permissible).
Looking at his proposal again he says ‘unnecessary laws’. What are unnecessary laws? For example, I have never robbed a bank nor have I any intentions ever to do so – it sounds too difficult and anyway none of the banks have any money.
So for me having a law that says ‘you must not rob a bank’ is totally unnecessary. So does it mean the government is going to repeal this law for some people, like me, and keep it in place for others who look like they might be planning to rob a bank? It sounds very complicated.
And then there is murder, I have never murdered anyone and don’t plan to, but hang on I have watched a couple of episodes of the Jeremy Kyle show and I have seen a few people that really shouldn’t be walking around, so on second thoughts we had better keep that law!
He also says ‘all’ unnecessary laws. That seems quite an undertaking. For example there is a law that says you are not permitted to herd sheep down Northumberland Street in Newcastle (can you herd sheep? Should that be ‘Sheppard sheep’?). Anyway there is a law that forbids you from doing it. I have lived in Newcastle for over 50 years and I have never seen a sheep on Northumberland Street, nor have I ever seen anyone at the Haymarket with a load of sheep that they intend to march down Newcastle’s main shopping street. So since having the law has never caused anyone any inconvenience, repealing this law would seem to be a waste of time.
My conclusion on Nick’s proposals therefore is that his ‘Reform Act’ will be very complicated or pointless. Word of advice Nick – save yourself a load of grief and don’t bother.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
I have acquired two new doors on my new walls. It is quite exciting and I am dying to open the doors and see where they lead. I just have to wait until there is no one in the office before I can go and investigate. But as I share an office with four thousand other people, that might take some time.
I say I have acquired two new doors; actually I seem to have acquired two and one eighth of a door.
My new wall goes around a corner so there is one door down the side and another door on the wall facing me. But just along from this door there is an eighth of a door with another wall jutting out at right angles to the door – leaving just one eight of the door visible and use able. I wouldn’t mind if it was the bit of the door that had the handle on, but is doesn’t. I have no idea how I am supposed to get in the room. I assume they are going to pull down this other bit of wall (with a further door) that has just been built – but who knows.
There is still no news on the Coffee Kart – now to be known as the Coffee Trolley (see previous blog). I had thought it might be in place by now – not that I drink coffee and I wouldn’t buy if from a Kart anyway – but I am intrigued to find out what they will be selling. I have high hopes of an apricot Danish for an occasional High Holiday treat, but I shall wait and see.
Now if only I knew someone that likes re organisation and office moves type stuff ...
Monday, 17 May 2010
Sunday, 16 May 2010
When Hillary met our last Foreign Secretary - David Milband - it was reported that she found David, 'vibrant, vital, attractive and smart'.
Apparently she didn't say she found William Hague 'vibrant, vital, attractive and smart'.
Five years is a long time in the pop world - with a bit of luck by the time she decides to bring her massive ego, sorry talent, back to our attention we will have forgotten all about her.
Friday, 14 May 2010
My item on The Definite Article has produced much comment and hilarity (mainly at my expense of course) so much so that I think I have decided to adopt this nomenclature.
But there are rules, you knew there would be:
- We need to drop the ‘W’, bit - I think ‘the David W’ although rather grand sounding, is rather affected, (and we can’t have that);
- There will be no insertions of adjectives, nouns, pronouns, vulgarisms or any other form of speech between ‘the’ and ‘David’ - a simple ‘I need to run past the David‘, or ‘we need to invite the David to the meeting‘, will suffice;
- ‘the’ should not be capitalised, but ‘David’ should always be capitalised, unless I am the subject a text message, then for simplicity sake ‘the david’ is quite permissible
I notice when tax cuts are announced for the rich, (cutting the top rate of income tax) it is ’to stimulate enterprise and reward hard work‘, but when the tax cuts are for the poor (raising the amount before you start to pay income tax) it is ‘a tax handout’. How can raising the tax threshold be a handout? It is to stop people paying in not a measure of people taking out!
Also the Tory press have quickly become fed up with saying LibDems, I notice they refer to the Liberal\Conservative coalition. It is also playing quite well as anything popular they can describe as a Tory initiative or policy but anything unpopular they can say it is being forced on the government by the Liberals. It is a lot of fun, the press can play this one for years.
Bets are already being taken on when Teresa May will be forced to quit the Home Office, that’s a bit mean, she has only just started and she does wear nice shoes. But since you ask, my money is on her being gone before she has done two years.
I had only planned to blog on political subjects during the election campaign, but it has been such fun and with such a great result (from a blog material perspective) that I think I might continue to comment on the occasional story.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
With the assembled press pack seated in a congregation before them it looked a bit like a Civil Ceremony I attended last year.
The matching suits and demeanour of the happy couple just added to the overall effect.
It was all quite jolly, but the one in the blue tie looked a bit stern and the one in the yellow tie did sparkle a lot more than the one in the blue tie. I think the one in the blue tie will get a bit fed up with the one in the yellow tie sparkling all the time.
Also I think the one on the blue tie has been used to being the trim one with the one in the red tie being the chubby one. Now I think the one in the yellow tie is the trim one and the one in the blue tie is the chubby one. I think the one in the blue tie is going to get fed up with that as well.
Now we have David Milliband running to be leader of the Red ties. I think he will get it because he looks like the ones in the yellow and blue ties. But he is better looking than the one in the blue tie and marginally better looking than the one in the yellow tie (if a bit geeky) so I think the one in the blue tie will get even more fed up with that.
We have been in touch with the chicken coop no facilities management but they have refused permission to open any windows.
I have put in an order for some oxygen cylinders, but this has been turned down on the basis that up to now no actual chickens have died due to lack of oxygen.
I am also worried about Deep Vein Thrombosis as the effort to get out of your seat and fight your way through all the chickens and chairs around you puts you off making the effort to move around. I wonder if I should order some of those special socks you get on aircraft?
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
- When selecting handkerchiefs, choose a variety of colours and designs that you enjoy, rather than buying ones made from the same fabric as your tie;
- Don't let your monograms show and only leave about one inch to peak out of the pocket for the best effect.
Although this might be true, perhaps in a work situation it might put people off and make me seem somewhat unapproachable - and we can't have that.
I have concluded that it would be best if we drop the definite article.
Now about the missing letters of my surname …
For all you need to know about definite articles
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
While the Tories and the LibDems were putting the final touches to their coalition, they just assumed Brown would wait until they were ready and on cue go to the Queen to resign. Mandleson had other ideas and Gordon just resigned anyway, leaving Cameron to go to the Queen without getting final agreement from Clegg.
I can just imagine the fury. But it was funny!
I did notice that Gordon and Sarah left Downing Street to go to Buckingham Palace with their two children. But when they left the Queen, John and Fraser had disappeared, did they have to hand them in when he resigned?
I think the meeting between Sovereign and Prime Minister might have been a bit tense as apparently the Queen was furious.
She had already changed into her dressing gown and had just sat down to watch EastEnders when she got a text from Gordon to say he was on his way round. She text back to say she wasn’t in, but Gordon text again to say he could see her curtains were open and had just seen Philip putting the milk bottles out. There was nothing for it, all the Queen could do was put her recorder on for EastEnders. She was even more livid later on when she found out the BBC had cancelled tonight’s episode altogether and it wasn’t even on BBC3 at 10 o’clock.
Next up it was Cameron to see the Queen to become her 12th Prime Minister, I am no Royalist but it is an achievement to think her first Prime Minister was Winston Churchill, and she is still there as Head of State.
This was all narrated by David Dimbleby of course - who else. But he did make one statement that I thought might be a bit dubious. He said The President of the US, the French President as well as the German Chancellor will be making calls straight away to congratulate Cameron on being made Prime Minister. I doubt Angela Merkel is in any hurry to speak to David Cameron, she can’t stand him and refused to speak to him a few months ago when he was on a visit to Germany. Fully understandable in the circumstances. Cameron might live to regret his poor choice of allies in Europe.
Best of luck Cameron - we are all going to need it. Now the hard work begins.
This is just so much froth. We don’t vote for Prime Ministers, we vote for a party that most closely represents our political views, so if for example, I was a Conservative supporter but hated the sight of David Cameron I would probably still vote Tory as it’s the policy\party that matters not the leader. So having an ‘unelected’ leader that becomes Prime Minister doesn’t really matter as far as I’m concerned.
Also the Tories seem to have forgotten that they have had a go at this in the recent past. They didn’t seem to mind throwing Thatcher out into the street in tears and put John Major into number 10 without calling a general election to allow the people to decide.
Mind you if they had known Major was having a ‘liaison dangereuse’ with Edwina Currie at the time they might not have picked him, but that is a whole different story and one for which I wish I had been blogging at the time of it’s revelation!
There is some good news, as at the foot of the signs there is a reminder that we are allowed to go to the first and second floors so we can work until 20:00. Thank goodness for that.
But now I'm confused, if we all go upstairs to work for a further two hours - wont the first and second floors be full of the people that normally work on those floors?
Monday, 10 May 2010
Nick Clegg is no fan of Gordon’s and I’m sure he would do him no favours so this must be an attempt to make Cameron sweat it out.
He is certainly making Cameron work for his Premiership - if he gets it.
Nice one Nick! You don’t know a Peter Mandleson do you?
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Outside the building we have some water, not sure where it is because I have never seen any. But apparently we have ducks, and it being spring we now have ducklings. I don't know where they are living but I know of an MP that has a duck house going spare.
On Sunday it was the Green Dorothy that lost out - I presume the Dorothy role is a speaking part so after seeing her talk to Graham Norton I think I know why she lost.
It's been quite a challenge for the media, having to produce 24\7 news when nothing is happening. At one point I saw Nick Robinson (BBC) saying over and over again, 'there is no news'. Then of course continuing on to tell us what wasn't happening.
Couple of observations amongst all the things that are not happening.
Michael Gove (Conservative), was interviewed saying he would give up his cabinet seat if it meant being able to do a deal with the LibDems. This is quite big of him since firstly he doesn't have a cabinet seat and secondly David Cameron has already said he isn't going to get one.
I don't think the Libdems should get too hung up about having cabinet seats. If they get policy sorted out, to a large degree cabinet positions are irrelevant. After all Thatcher never took much notice of her cabinet and Blair wasn't over fond of meeting with them either.
But a word of advice for Nick Clegg - the man of the moment. Please throw away that awful grey shirt you wear on Sundays to look casual. It drains all your colour and it doesn't fit.
Saturday, 8 May 2010
I told him I had, and he picked up his mobile and rang someone. I thought 'oh no not more complications'. He told the person on the phone to bring the cuff links. A little later one of his colleagues appeared from the basement with my cuff links.
I thought did he really phone someone in another part of the shop just to save him making a journey downstairs? Just how far away is the basement from the shop floor!
How can there be any disgruntled MPs? It is barely 48 hours since all the MPs were touting for our votes and telling us how hard they were going to work and how much they were going to do for us all. The election is over for five minutes and already they are disgruntled. It does not bode well for the future!
Friday, 7 May 2010
I won’t go into the detail of the excitement of the night, there will be others much more qualified to do so and even as I write I am sure the millions of words about the election are being constructed right across the media.
But I can’t resist jotting down a few thoughts on the events of Election Day and night.
The leader of UKIP got the election off to a flying start – pity about the sudden landing.
I saw some Tory politician or other discussing hung Parliaments and moaning about the processes and procedures that might follow an inconclusive election result and how they might allow Gordon Brown to remain as Prime Minister. Can I just stop you there, ‘these processes and procedures’ you are moaning about have a name. It is called the British Constitution and the Queen’s prerogative, and I suggest if you don’t like it then perhaps seeking election to be a Member of Parliament is not a suitable career choice, so why not go away and do something else.
Talking of the Queen, she has let it be known that - she won’t be seeing any politicians until this afternoon at the earliest, thank you very much. Very sensible I am sure she has much better things to do in Windsor than to sit around Buckingham Palace all afternoon waiting for politicians to make their minds up about whether they are going to call or not.
But it has given me an idea – I think on Tuesday when I am back down in Leeds, I should let it be known that I won’t be seeing anyone until at least 14:00!
And while I am on the subject of sweeping dismissive statements, I saw some pundit or other on the BBC (Vernon someone or other, grey hair insipid purple tie) state that ‘quite right that there are too many public sector jobs in the North of England’.
Well there might be rather fewer public sector jobs in the North of England if the Tories hadn’t decimated traditional industries in the North in the 80s and if subsequent Governments hadn’t relocated 'expensive Civil Service jobs' from London to cheaper regional locations.
There was a bit of a shock in the Conservative win for Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park. I was really surprised at the outcome. What on earth was he wearing; they looked like brown corduroy trousers. You would think with three hundred thousand million pounds in the bank he could have found something a bit more suitable to wear. You would never see their Jemima in corduroy. But he is the best looking MP.
George Osborne was allowed out as the results started to come in. He gave a massive pronouncement on how the government had lost the election and it was a disgrace that Brown was trying to cling to power. Only issue was he was basing his response on only one result and it was a Labour win! I am not sure George should really be let out on his own.
And it is goodbye to Jackie Smith who lost out to the Conservatives at Redditch. I never thought she was a good choice for Home Secretary – what sort of a name for the Home Secretary is Jackie! At long last we can also say goodbye to that hair-do, for goodness sakes now you have some time on your hands go to a proper hairdressers and get a decent cut. There is no need to go around looking like you are wearing a motor bike helmet. And since you are going, can we have our bath plug back.
The markets don’t want a hung parliament, because they don’t like them, it makes them nervous. They don’t like uncertainty, because it makes them nervous. They don’t like labour governments because they make them nervous. Everything makes the markets nervous. They want strong decisive governments (as long as the decisions governments take make life easier for the markets of course). It was the markets that got us in this mess in the first place, so if they don’t like hung parliaments they can go and get lost. If we have voted for a hung parliament, that is what they are getting so get used to it and sort yourself out.
Good result for the Caroline Lucas of the Green party becoming their first MP at Brighton Pavillion. Nasty outfit she had on though, looked like something from 'War on Want'. If you ever want to lose the 'make do and mend' Green image you might want to invest in a tailored suit.
Looking at the result it seems we have done a very British thing, three main parties up for election and the prize of office that only one can win – we have decided that they should all lose!
The LibDms will probably have to accept that there is a ceiling to their support and around 60 seats in parliament is it. What that means for ambitious career politicians I don’t know, but maybe LibDems will have to accept there is a limit to how far you can go in the party.
For the Conservatives, this really should have been a walk in the park after 13 years of Labour, the worst economic situation for 60 years and a Prime Minister no one likes. They should have had 400 plus seats, not scrabbling over trying to get to 300. Time will tell, but this could put a lot of pressure on Cameron and push an even more right wing agenda – great idea sure to get you elected!
Although Labour has lost by any way you measure it, fewer seats, fewer votes, there is a view that says, actually despite everything Gordon Brown is still Prime Minister (at time of writing). You can’t help wonder if he has a wry smile on his face. He is probably skipping round number 10, polishing tables and straightening ornaments whistling. The longer he can drag this out the more uncomfortable it will be for Cameron with his right wing baying for blood.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Get to those Polls!
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
I came back to work after the holiday weekend and I think one of the walls of my development room is missing. I distinctly remember my room having four walls when I left; the room now only has three walls.
Then there is the floor carpet tiles outside of the room – Thirty four of them have been removed – no explanation as to why or when we will get them back.
Now if there was a hastily constructed dog kennel with fitted carpet in the car park, then there might be some reason to it. But there isn’t so please can I have my wall and tiles back!
There has been a lot of talk in this election campaign about the possibility of a hung parliament. There is usually some such talk during an election, but I cannot remember so much discussion in the past. It is all very interesting and amusing in some respects, who will do what with who, but I am getting a bit fed up with David Cameron telling us off all the time and saying we mustn’t vote for a hung parliament.
Lets just get this right – there is no option on any ballot paper saying ‘Hung Parliament’ voting for a hung parliament is not an option. I shall vote for who I like and if the voting system produces such a result, then so be it. Cameron can get as cross as he likes, but he is the only one that has said he would not change the system, so if the system produces a result he doesn’t like, then that is something he will have to live with!
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
… Simon was absolutely right about those young lads wanting to be the next boy band and quoting Westlife as their role models.
It was bad enough having to put up with Westlife at the time without a group of young teens trying to re-create them. Half of them were barely born when Westlife first came out. They should be coming up with something new.
It would be like me going on Britain’s Got Talent and saying my role models were Alma Cogan and Englebert Humperdink. (Just for the record - they are not my heroes!)
Monday, 3 May 2010
I have taken an active interest in every election campaign since 1974 (I was just too young to vote in the two elections that year), but I cant remember an election period as interesting and full of surprises as this one. I think for the first time, the expected result is not clear in my mind. With perhaps the exception of 1992 when everyone expected Labour to get it.
I don’t think there is much doubt that Cameron will win with the most seats, but whether he will get an overall majority remains to be seen.
Some of the highlights
The Leader’s Debates must be the surprise of the election. They must have been Cameron’s idea, I cant believe Gordon would have volunteered for these televised debates. Cameron’s mistake was to underestimate the potential appeal of Nick Clegg. I am sure the LibDems considered irrelevant and the Tories focus would have been on how to make the best of a clash with the Prime Minister. That proved to be a massive mistake. Clegg outshone both of the other two (ok not difficult in the case of Brown, but Cameron is supposed to be and expert in these situations). Cameron must have been thinking ‘oh why did I agree to let the LibDems join in!’). Cameron pulled it back in the end, but it was a long hard fight. The leader’s Debates weren’t quite the walk in the park he had expected.
For the press to, the debates have robbed the newspapers of their usual role in setting the agenda for the campaign, making them rather redundant as we watched one debate and waited a week for the next one.
The genie is out of the bottle now, so I guess we will be seeing these set piece debates as a normal part of elections from now on.
What does all this new interest in LibDems mean, in the end, probably not a lot. My suspicion is they are stacking up votes in their traditional strong areas so the increase in support will probably not produce a significant increase in seats.
Where are all the others?
For the campaign we have seen an awful lot of Brown, Cameron and Clegg, but where is everyone else? Where is our future Chancellor, (Osborne - although Cameron might have a surprise there and we might yet see Ken back at the Exchequer), where is our current Chancellor for that matter? Where are the other cabinet and shadow cabinet ministers?
To be fair Clegg has been dragging Cable around with him, well he was at the start, we don’t see so much of him after the debates. We have seen a bit of Labour’s team now and then including Mandelson (not sure, is he in the cabinet or not?) But for the Tories it is a one man band - tell me anytime you have seen a potential new minister on TV!
And of course there was Rochdale - if ever there was a day when you thought ‘I should have stayed in bed’, it was the day Gordon went to Rochdale!
Is for a Conservative win and Labour second in seats, but Labour potentially third in numbers of votes. LibDems to be third in numbers of seats. Unless Cameron wins by a significant majority, it must be seen as a failure for the Tories - they can have had no better circumstances to go into an election - the worst economic situation for 60 years, boredom with 13 years of Labour government, and it has to be said - Gordon Brown as the opposition.
With two days to go - its time to make up your mind. I have already voted.
Conservative - 35%
Labour - 28%
LibDems - 27%
Dig out those polling cards and vote!
Who wins - you decide
To keep up with EastEnders, they decided to put more episodes on each week, so now it is on all the time and keeps moving around. For a time it was on Sunday nights, then they said they were going to put ‘proper drama’ on ITV1 on Sundays so Coronation Street was banished to the weekday schedules. Now I notice it is back on again on Sundays. Is this temporary or a permanent change. Worst of all they took it off on Wednesday nights for football. In principle I don’t mind it being moved for football, but I would have preferred to keep it on Wednesday but put it on later, or earlier. Coronation Street on a Thursday just doesn’t seem right. Bet Lynch would be turning in her grave - well she would if she was dead.
It must be playing havoc with the script writers as occasionally they refer to the specific date in a story line (like bank holiday episodes, where everyone spends all day in the Rovers instead of just all evening).
The result of all this chaos is I never know when it is on, so hardly ever watch it. Not the best marketing strategy I have ever seen!
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Now you know me, I am not one to make an issue of tiny points that are of no consequence to anyone, but I really cant let this pass.
Just what exactly is a Kart? There is a perfectly good word already in normal usage which I think the creator of this ‘Kart’ is searching for, but the word they are looking for is not ‘Kart‘.
A cart is a heavy open wagon usually having two wheels and drawn by an animal. I am making an assumption here and there wont be an assortment of donkeys in the office foyer (…hold that thought).
So I think what we will be having is a ‘handcart’ - a wheeled vehicle that can be pushed by a person; may have one or two or four wheels.
But whatever we are having - there is no letter ‘k’ capitalised or otherwise!
In case you missed it, on last night’s show a couple of Susan Boyle ‘look alikes’ were on BGT singing I Know Him So Well (Elaine Paige\Barbara Dickson).
One of them clearly couldn’t sing so the panel told it straight ‘you can’t sing’. Then they split the friends up and told the one that could sing a bit to have a go on her own.
The girls cried but the one that could sing a bit carried on through her tears. Then the judges told her she was no good either.
It was just cruel really, but the funniest thing I have seen on TV for ages.