Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Checkout my book!

My book, "The Phantom Scribbler of Old Lindfield" is published on Amazon/Kindle to download or borrow.  The link is:  http://amazon.com/dp/b00677b1p8
Good value for money!  Buy some for your friends!
Ivor thanks you....

Sunday, 17 June 2012

S and S - Steam and Soldiers

S and S – Steam and Soldiers

Reading the report about another “Re-enactment” involving actors in German SS uniforms, I find it amazing that the Heritage Railways keep getting involved in this.  The one reported on had an imitation Hermann Goering. 

This time, some bright spark had the idea of finding some Jewish locals and asking them if they wouldn't mind parading around with big yellow stars stuck to their back.  Perhaps they could take part in a little re-creation of mass murder.  Insensitive?  Just a little bit.

As a rail enthusiast, I know that many other enthusiasts are “rivet-counters”, i.e. fearsome in their persuit of accuracy.  Yet there are many instances of German uniforms being seen in these re-enactments, when the likes of Goering never set foot in Britain (Ribbentrop maybe, and not in uniform, but not Goering).  This always seems to upset people, especially when one railway had a “German spy” arrested and shot in front of visiting children.  Not quite the way spys were dealt with.  They are easier to "de-brief" when alive, you see.

If they want to create a wartime atmosphere, go ahead.  It’s good to recreate a period and show how the railways worked in wartime. Use actors in Army, Navy and Airforce uniforms, and Americans, that was accurate.  But not Germans.  They were only in the country in prisons, not on the trains.  

It’s simple:  No Axis, only Allies.  Rivet-counters unite!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

An Alternative CV

The Alternative CV

Having been made redundant three times in a row, I offer anyone in this situation an alternative CV, to be used as a skeleton document, which will ensure employment by the famous british management:

Hello, let me introduce myself, I am……………………..

I have experience with computers, I screw everything up, and never take a backup.  This saves the Company lots of money for diskettes/CDs/tapes.

I spend most of the day outside with the ashtray, smoking with my friends, and so require a high salary to pay for the fags.

You always know where I am, I am never at my desk, being in the loo having a wank, or chatting up the dollies in Accounts, or having a fag. Sometimes I am just at home in bed, hung-over from last night which is very thoughtful of me, since the one thing that really ballses up your computer systems is a pissed/hung-over I.T. bloke.

I am willing to work Flextime, as I like to arrive late in the morning because I am still bleary from the booze-up the previous night. It gives me time to get a couple of fixes in before getting to my desk.  I never take decisions until after lunchtime, it’s safer that way.

You can always find me at lunchtime, I am in the Pub.

I am pissed as a newt all afternoon, so though unable to answer the phone or do any technical work, I am casual and friendly – we call this “charisma”.

I demand a high salary to pay for my drugs habit, which contributes to my lack of driving licence – if you want me to work offsite, you will need to provide a car and driver - preferably upmarket car (e.g. Ferrari) and female driver, short skirt essential to promote the Company image.  This also makes other people think I am important.

British Management employs thousands of people like me – I am bound to fit in.  You will be lucky to recruit me for a couple of months, before I shove off for a better job. I am very considerate, and  only leave after you have sent me on a load of expensive courses.  I usually give no notice, just fail to turn in one day.  Make sure you forward my severance pay to the right Bank account.

I probably won’t sue your Company for unfair dismissal, unless you have made me do some work while I was there, or if your coffee was crap.

With my attitude to my work, I am bound to go onwards and upwards to a top management job, if only I can train myself in pure, undiluted incompetence.

That way, I can employ more people like me.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Hunts in the Country

Hunts in the Country!
Be very careful what you say – you may be misrepresented.
Regarding Fox Hunting, this is another excuse for rent-a-mob to get mobilised.
You see, these people just want a riot, but need some fragile justification for it.
Now, we all know about Fox Hunters – toffs, the lot of ‘em! Lots of noise and spectacle. Yeah, yeah, they say it’s all about control, not extermination of the fox, but not a bit of it. Observe: skin-tight pants, shiney black kinky boots, whips, and lots and lots of bouncing up and down. Do that in Soho, people will pay you for it. Couple of drinks before, some racey sex after, great fun! Foxhunters are getting their rocks off, and I don’t blame them. If I had the time and the money, so would I.
But please consider the numbers: according to a TV documentary by no less than Alan Wicker ??? donkey’s years ago, the hunters kill about 2,000 foxes per year: but farmers shoot around 40,000 to 60,000 per year: and motor car drivers kill 120,000 plus a year. The numbers are about the same, give or take a vixen or two, right now.
So if you really want to save the fox, stop driving about.
But that’s not practical, so what about the farmers? Well, they are the users and workers of the land that is the habitat of the fox, and owned (most likely) by the toffs that are the foxhunters (whatever they say).
What they do say, is to tell the farmers not to kill all of the foxes, so that they can go out and hunt. Justification again.
But, if you take away the hunters right to charge about the countryside, you also remove the implied restrictions on the farmers to kill the foxes any way they can, so you will end up with more foxes being killed. Yes, it’s paradoxical, but reality.
So save the fox: let them hunt.
The NewLabour waste-of-space hunting ban has had no noticable effect, and was just a smack-the-toff operation (they would probably do that in their own time, know what I mean?)
The recent attacks by urban foxes that have been reported are nothing to do with hunting bans or no bans. Consider: the fox would run along hedgerows, hunting for vole and rabbit. Hedgerows have been largely removed, and then the land set-aside under daft EEC regulations, so the whole countryside looks derelict, and the fox must go elsewhere. Birth of the urban fox! But no problem until recently. So what has changed?
Consider the urban fox: normally very timid, looking for food, finds food in towns; but now we have wheelie bins! Thanks for that, Veggie Benn! Which means that urban fox has to work harder and become more aggressive to get food. Result: urban fox attacks children!
The coalition government has and is doing a lot to unravel the maniacal legislations of the last thirteen years. The ineffective hunting ban should go too. And farmers should be encouraged to use the land to grow crops for local use, so that we reduce the dependence of transporting food by air all around the world.
Maybe, on environmental grounds, they could replant some hedgerows and get more life back into the countryside.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Media

Now look, I am a newsaholic, but it does get to be hard work sometimes. For example:
Why do the BBC have to have dancing banners all over their News bulletins? Just who is mad bannerman?
Then there are the Headlines: they have to play boompetty-boompetty music over it. BBC’s go "boomp de boomp-boomp, boomp de boomp-boomp", whereas Sky’s go "ding-a-ding a ling, ding-adin a ling". Can’t hear the actual words….
The BBC had a recent live interview with Vince Cable – but they squeezed his face into one-third of the screen while the other two-thirds showed street scenes for no reason whatsoever. As the same time, the traffic sounds from the street scenes were broadcast, so you could not clearly hear what Vince was saying. It almost made the whole thing pointless.
When someone is talking, they should put up the name all the time. Not "Chowdury Pangesenageysem Sivapathasundrem Dhuremeretnam, the Indian Minister for Micellaneous and other offshore entertainment affairs" for about a tenth of a second. This applies to documentaries too.
Why are Sky and BBC so shy about their presenters? Why do they not put up their names? You have only to clean your glasses to get a better picture, and you have missed the names. I firmly believe that the name of the speaker, both in News broadcasts and in Documentaries, should be displayed all the time they are speaking. And why have TWO people to read the news? Other news channels do not do this. Is it just to waste money? Or is is a tribute to Morecambe and Wise?
Some seem out of fashion – like the BBC’s excellent finance correspondent, Julia Ceasar – has her name become an embarrassment? It cannot be more of an embarrassment than dopey Declan Curry, surely? Sadly, Sky have got Liza "mmm..mm…mmm" Burke back, the most unintelligible weather presenter ever. And the BBC’s Tomaszzz Shafferwanker, who thinks Scotland is "nowheresville" is a pompous little tick. He did go up in my estimation when he did the rigid-digit salute to Simon McCoy, though.
They seem to need a "characature" – half the presenters have to have "camp-northern" accents, and any presenter doing anything at all to do with railways just must have a beard and a speech impediment.
At the beginning of the News (e.g. Meridian Tonight), they always pretend to small-talk to each other, with coreographed nods. So unprofessional. A bit like putting their pens away after News at Ten – they never used their pens in the broadcast anyway. Patronising.
At the end of the programs, they always squeeze the credits into a little column you cannot read, then have the babbler natter over the closing music. I am surprised the unions do not complain because you do not know who did what.
How do you get the job of the babbler? What do they do during the the programme? Are they paid for the whole time, and just get to babble at the end of each programme? Why the excruciating accent?
On-line votes show percentages for and against, but should show the number of votes received to give credibility. A vote with high percentages, but taken from only a few people is meaningless.
As for dumbing-down, surely Channel Five News takes the biscuit – instead of the old "Here is the News", we get "Hi! Ere’s woss goin’ on" from some soppy tart standing on a load of scafolding. Where’s the blokes with the bum cleavage?
Reports from Westminster inevitably come from the gardens just over the road, with all sorts of background noises. The sight of the Prime Minister (himself!) holding a mug of tea and umbrella, standing in pouring rain in Downing Street on 10th October sums it up. I felt quite sorry for him. Surely by now, with the dominance of the media, they would have set up some sort of press room at Downing Street, and a broadcast office at Westminister? A large room, divided up with soundproof partitions (so you can’t hear the Sky bloke whilst you are watching BBC, and vice-versa) would not be beyond the wit of the Authorities?
The BBC morning weather forecast always has to have poor Carol standing in the Blue Peter garden, shivering. She does show off some nice outfits, but unfortunately, we cannot get the message. As she is reading the forecast, we get ambulances going past, sirens on the go; the occasional helicopter or a road drill in the background. Don’t they have a studio for her? Or do they do it all outside just because they can?
And don’t get me started on the wobbly weather map! Just when you are trying to see what the weather will be in the South East, it wobbles about so you can only see Northern Ireland. By the time it’s back to Kent and Sussex, it has all changed to tomorrow’s weather. Just keep the damn thing still! When you are trying to read the temperature in London and convert it back to English (Farenheit) the map wobbles off, and you are looking at Aberystwith. Before they switch back to a full-country picture, they pull up a notice about the weather prospects for some obscure football match in the Highlands. And I do like the way the local weather presenter has to take just two steps towards the newsreader at the end of each news broadcast.
The BBC in particular boast that they have correspondents already in place all over the world "so when the story breaks, we are already there." We have just had a word from Malcolm Brabant, stationed somewhere in the Greek islands, (or was it the West Indies?) just in case anything newsworthy happens. Nice guy, Malcolm. Haven’t seen him for a couple of years, he’s just done 20 seconds or so work.
Just imagine Malcom’s day: awake about eleven o’clock, anything happening? No. Leisurely breakfast. Stroll out to town. Anybody about? No. Prop up a bar. Get the gossip. Anything going down? No. Check out the beach. Get plied for sex and drinkies by some dusky young local ladies. Anything to hear? No. Time for dinner in the local restaurant. Welcomed by the proprieter, who just loves the BBC (and especially its correspondent’s expense account). Any rumours in the restaurant? No. Ah, well, dinner… and so to bed, in anticipation of a repeat for tomorrow.
Can I get this job? BBC correspondent living on salary and full expenses somewhere very nice and quiet, nowhere near a war or anything. Full subsistence, Martinis etc. delivered by dusky maiden on a silver tray. I would be very grateful to the licence payer, honest I would. Please.
Pretty Please.
Just a few Specifics:
Good: BBC’s Newsreader Simon McCoy and weathermen Rob McElwee and Daniel Corbett; Finance both Evan Davies and Julia Ceaser, Politics Nick Robinson; Sky’s Newsreader Kay Burley; Politics Adam Bolton, Finance Michael Wilson; weather girls Hazel Murray and Jo Wheeler. Special mention for the remarkable Kaddy Lee-Preston on Meridian. Just an outstanding character, and you can hear her. You really can. But the Sandy Fan Club wants to know where Sandy Fleming has gone. One of the best.
Bad: BBC finance Declan Curry, Sky weather girl Liza mmmmm Burke, BBC weatherman Tomaszzz ("nowhersville") Shafferwanker. I was going to include Peter Sissons as the most obvious Mister Grumpy, but he’s retired, and having read his comments about working at the BBC, he has every right to be grumpy.
And is John ("only Gordon Brown can save us now") Sergeant employed as the resident pompous pratt? Now he has moved to ITV, he will most likely move off the telly altogether. Bring it on!
Best all rounder (especially bum): Fiona Bruce.
And as for the Moira Stuart debacle – she is the consumate professional, an obvious asset to the organization – so the BBC want rid of her. Says it all, really. Contrast with Angela Rippoff.
What about Radio? Some years ago, in Germany, we listened to a music programme on the Radio. Music. Nothing else but music. Contrast with UK, where we have to have disjointed scraps of music, never introduced properly by a Disk Jockey. Just what is the real function of a Disk Jockey? How would you describe a Disk Jockey? "Waste of space/time/money"? Yep, that’s about it. Overpaid egocentric waste of time to ruin good music. But the British Bullshit Company has to employ dozens of them, and pays them most of the National Debt (financed by US) and makes Gods of the silly buggers. Come on, BBC, get on the real planet. This is CRAP, and needs sorting. Lose the phobia about needle-time, they don’t have needles any more.
There is just one thing: although I am a newsaholic, I do wonder. I mean, how much of it is really relevant? I know it is very sad when some nutter blows themselves up in Afghanistan and kills thirty people in a market, but what can I do about it, before, during or after the event? It may be tragic, but it has no relevance to me.