Sunday, 30 August 2009

MSPs to debate independence bill

Is it not time we just got it over with? I mean, throughout the country and in every region. Should this union remain in place? Because until we have the referendum and can put whatever results behind us, dangerous and divisive people are going to continue to create upset and distrust among the peoples of these islands.

I am a unionist, but I'm also a great believer in democracy. It is right and proper that we all have a chance to decide on the future of the United Kingdom (not just individual regions making unilateral decisions whilst others don't get that chance).

My favourite quote from this article comes from an SNP spokesperson:

"He said Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's controversial decision to grant compassionate release to the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi showed nationalist ministers were capable of making big decisions."

Yes, a ringing endorsement of the SNP's credentials: either they can't stand allowing the justice system to serve the people of Scotland properly or they take orders from a British New Labour Government. Either way, they are wrong.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Population Nightmare

As the right wingers and Tories lament the "flood" of immigrants into this country causing our population to rise (something this figures actually show is slowing down) I lament something more fundamental.

Nobody cares about their children's quality of life. They just keep having children, making the population grow larger and larger which will only serve to make your children's lives worse and worse. Our descendants have ever increasing house prices, water shortages, and a deterioating natural world to look forward to in their future.

I don't believe in controlled population reduction. It stinks of totalitarianism. But we as a society must begin to face up the fact that we cannot continue to have so many children if we wish to improve the quality of life for the generations to come.

The great hope was that as countries become more developed the birth rate will fall, but today's news, along with recent research suggests that there is a point reached where developed nations start to increase their fertility rate at certain point of development.

We must begin to do SOMETHING to stem the tide, to ensure our children can grow up in a green and pleasant land, to fight for a world where there is plenty to go around.

As soon as you want to discuss the high population of this country, and of this world, you face accusations of Nazism, eugenics, genocide and other such preposterous things. But it's time we did face up to the fact... something has to be done.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Monday, 24 August 2009

Circumcision Is Child Abuse

We, as a society, are meant to love children. If I was to go and tear the nails off each of my child's fingers I'd be roundly condemned and imprisoned (and probably best I were for my own safety!). Female circumcision is roundly, and justly, condemned as an abusive practice. But male circumcision?? Oh that's ok, isn't it? Yeah, just dandy, especially in America.

Male circumcision has some benefits, and there is continuing talk of expanding it's use, such as here. It would seem circumcision helps reduce the risk of transmission of HIV from females to males. Well what I say to that is, why not go the whole hog? Cut off the penis entirely... then there will be zero risk that one day this boy might be a fucking idiot and be unsafe.

We can minimise the risk far more effectively through safe sex promotion. A condom's ability to counter the risk of disease (and not just HIV!) far exceeds circumcision. But no, let's abuse our male children, cut off a part of their body and absolutely do it before they have a choice. It's disgusting, disturbing and it's just as bad as the sort of stuff sick paedophiles do to children.

If a grown adult wants to get his foreskin removed, all power to him. If the child needs it for medical reasons, well that sucks but it's understandable. But to physically hurt our children just to stop them, possibly/maybe transmitting a disease is wrong. Are we saying that circumcising them means they can go out and have unsafe sex??? NO! Because it's not even close to being safe. It only reduces the chance and not by that much. So really, what the Hell is the point???

Don't even get me started on the fact it doesn't make an ounce of difference for gay guys, so they're penis' will have been brutalised for no reason whatsoever.

Normal For Norfolk says it much better here (NSFW!!! You have been warned but some good points among the penis pics)

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Women Good, Men Bad

I consider myself a true fanatic for gender equality. I was listening to a podcast the other day about the Eastern Front of the Second World War and they were yabbering on about how awful it was that the Soviets used women in front line combat duties. It got my blood boiling. They said it as if women should not be made to experience such things, whilst it was perfectly suitable for men to. I believe women should not be banned from any job in which they are able to complete the physical requirements of the tasks that need to be carried out (that's any job, by the way!). Women should be free to do whatever jobs they wish, as should men, as long as the individual is the best candidate for the role. Combat duty, firefighting, nursing or teaching. Whatever. Women are not shrinking violets, not wall flowers for men to get all mushy over and protect. They are equals.

But it pains me, absolutely makes me feel sick, when I have to sit and read an article which denigrates men to sexual deviants
whilst celebrating women's joyful appreciation of the male form.

When you compare an "event" of male strippers, to a seedy female strip club what do you think the results are going to be? What she absolutely ignores are the sort of places women frequent (mainly abroad) which are just as seedy as the men (just check out the trade for male escorts in Thailand with Western women). Her attempts to desexualise women seem more Victorian than honest. Has she not ever met a woman who is actually secure with her sexuality?

She should go to any place where they have a mixed crowd with male and female strippers on (such as The Church, an antipodean club) and there they shall find both men and women truly enjoying themselves, having a laugh and getting generally excited ala a Chippendales event.

This is not to say that those working in the stripping trade are not open to exploitation and abuse. Don't get me wrong. But we must stop making accusations against entire sexes based on little research, and prejudice.

When I've been to strip shows (yes, Dear Constant Reader, I've been to some!) I don't go because I want to sleep with the stripper. I go for a laugh, a good time and a bit of excitement. And I don't go alone!! And when a stripper tries to get me involved I go all shy and refuse. Isn't that what she says makes women so virtuous??

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Rodizio Rico, The O2, Greenwich

So, to celebrate my other half's return from Texas, we headed out for a meal at Rodizio Rico. Rodizio Rico is a Brazilian restaurant with 3 branches, one of which is just up the road at The O2.

In the interests of full disclosure, my other half and I are currently on a diet which is a mixture of the Evolution diet and the Paleo diet. This limits are options restaurant wise, but whilst in Dallas he had been eating at a Brazilian restaurant which is mostly meat and salads. Which is perfect for us so he thought he take me out to show me what I'd been missing.

Yesterday was, thankfully, a non-gig night at The O2 meaning it was much quieter than it would normally be. This meant the restaurant, which is rather brightly lit and plain, lacked the atmosphere I suspect it manages when it's busy. But to me that's not a problem, my loathing of most other people means a quiet night is a good night for me!

We began our dining by sampling the various salads from the salad bar. Plenty of choice there and they were all very lightly dressed (as opposed to most salad bar's I've ever encountered which seem to think the vegetables are there only to provide texture for a Thousand Islands-esqe sauce). Having satisfied our shoulder angels, we gave in to our shoulder devils and began tucking in to the meat. Seasoned eaters out there will already know that the way these sort of Brazilian restaurants work is based on a red light/green light system. You are given a beermat-like round piece of card with a green side and red side. When you want meat, you flip it to green and when a waiter comes past, with a cut of meat, he'll offer you some. When you want a break you flip it to red. Oh, did I mention that it's basically an all you can eat sort of affair? Happy times.

The meats were delicious! Jim was particularly taken with the Picanha cut of beef. I have to second his choice but was also feeling a little more adventurous. I tried chicken hearts which, I've discovered, are absolutely divine. Chewy, but very tasty.

The waiters were attentive, and the service speedy. No complaints to be had there, and there was one or two hotties which helped compensate for the fact I was on water all evening.

Recommended... on a non-gig night!

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Monday, 17 August 2009

Get Azerbaijan Out Of Eurovision

Just a little less than 20 years ago Armenia and Azerbaijan had a rather brutal little war which ended only in a ceasefire and created further territorial disputes. Since then relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense.

Fast forward to the latter part of the first decade of the 21st century and the end of the Cold War is becoming progressively more distant. The two republics are now part of one particularly unique European institution: The Eurovision Song Contest.

This year Azerbaijan gave Armenia a total of 0 points, meaning there were not enough votes for Armenia to make it into Azerbaijan's top 10 favourite songs from the contest. Despite this, it would seem the authorities there were not happy.

It has been revealed the authorities have gone through the voting records and have been "questioning" those who voted for their mortal enemy. I don't think there will be anything in the Eurovision rules regarding this. Mainly, I suspect, as no one thought any Government (yes even Belarus!) would be this paranoid about a song contest. But I think this goes against the very spirit of the contest and serves only to aid fuel to the neverending "political voting" fire.

I think the Eurovision authorities should act to protect the reputation of the contest as a way of bringing Europe together through music, and get Azerbaijan out!

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist


In the interests of "completeness" I foolishly decided not to take BrumPlum's advice and went ahead and watched Brüno.

I have to say, based solely on this movie and Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen movies are slightly more painful to watch than having a leg sawn off without anesthetic. No, that doesn't go far enough... it's more painful that having my leg sawn off without anesthetic whilst crows pick at my eyes. Yes, that is more akin to describing the feeling I get when watching Cohen in action.

I have to say I laughed a lot more during this movie than I did during Borat, but cringed more too. I failed to see the whole of the Ron Paul sequence as I had my hands over my eyes from the get go. Way too embarrassing for my liking.

Once again I just found the whole thing pointless. There are funnier people out there, being more offensive than Cohen (Hi, Sarah Silverman!) and plenty of people getting people to say the things they really mean (take a bow, Louis Theroux). Cohen's movies are without merit, they are unnecessary. Your needs can be satisfied far more directly elsewhere.

How on Earth did this movie make over a $100 million??? Trashy rubbish with some good laughs.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 16 August 2009


As promised I've begun my research into the world of Sacha Baron Cohen, as he is moving into the realms of Eurovision next.

Firstly, obviously, there was Ali G. He was a character I found utterly without an ounce of amusement in his body. I am simply not willing to watch any episodes of Ali G ever again.

Now we have Borat. I found this movie extremely difficult to watch and had to keep pausing it. I hate embarrassing situations and the character of Borat got himself into a lot of them. Cohen says he uses the character to explore others reactions, expose their true beliefs and have fun whilst doing so. Personally I think there are plenty of less offensive ways of doing that, and more amusing ways. I'm not saying some parts of Borat didn't make me laugh, they did. It's not a bad movie. But I think openly mocking real people, to their face, in a demeaning way is a step too far. Louis Theroux does what Cohen professes to with more humour, charm and efficiency. Do we really need Borat??? Nope.

Cohen's humour is puerile, which can sometimes be amusing, but an hour and half of it might be pushing it too far.

Next Bruno

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Friday, 14 August 2009

Medical Madness

There are sound arguments against a nationalised health service. I might think they are a little redundant given the success of some nationalised systems, but there are reasonable, honest challenges to the entire idea.

So why have some of the crazier right wing Americans decided to invent the concept of "death panels" (which basically actually exist in some private healthcare providers!!) and Fox News dragged on Daniel Hannan, a Tory MEP who doesn't agree with his parties stance on the NHS, to make an attack upon our NHS despite the American system NOT being the NHS and despite the NHS actually not being all that bad.

Why can't the Republicans, conservatives and others who oppose this new health care plan choose some reasonable people to represent them other than those who don't even know Stephen Hawking is British(and didn't turn out too badly!) and Sarah Palin who doesn't know much at all. I particular like her statement:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

We here in Britain have gone far further down the nationalised health care route than America WILL EVER go. Our children, our elderly and our disabled are treated BETTER than a healthy adult (for good reason!). We do not deny Down Syndrome children treatment because they may not be able to "contribute" to our society as much as others (and that is a pretty debatable position, as Palin says it's very subjective hence why we don't let Doctors do that!). Having a nationalised health service does not mean we live in a Communist state. We still have private healthcare too, my other half had his, botched, treatment for a tumour at a private hospital a few months ago.

Criticise, fight, do anything you want about these proposals but don't lie, distort or scaremonger. The issue is far too important than that.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Saturday, 8 August 2009


The whole swine flu thing really brought into perspective how people often fail to react to things sensibly. Swine flu could kill thousands upon thousands of people and it'd still not be at the same danger levels as poor sanitation, road deaths, heat and cold related preventable deaths and just about any disease you can name. But no one cares about all those people who die, usually needlessly, from all those things. No one is sitting there at home thinking "Jesus, 36 million people are going to die in the next year just from starving!!!!" 36 million. That sort of puts swine flu into perspective doesn't it?

Same thing applies to this story, even if it is on a much smaller scale. Your cat gets eaten by a python kept by a careless owner. What do the cat owners suggest (remember here I am a "mad cat man" who will usually side with a cat owner even against a saint!)? Let's ban all constrictors under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. What an idiotic suggestion! How many cats and dogs die each year from being eating by a constrictor??? Hmm... I'm guessing it's less than a dozen in this country. How many die from road accidents, how many cats are killed by dogs/foxes/insert practically any type of animal each year?

It drives me crazy. It really does. Do they understand the dramatic and awful affect our beloved cats have on the environment? If there is one animal in the pet trade that deserves to be banned for being a danger to other animals it is our friend the cat. Of course I'd never call for such a thing as I'm a total cat lover. But really, these owners need to get some perspective!

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act is a dangerous piece of legislation which has created this idea that some animals are bad and some are good. It lulls people into a false sense of security with dogs for instance which completely baffles me. A dog is a very dangerous animal indeed if the owner is an idiot. Banning more animals is not the answer. Banning irresponsible owners from keeping animals they have no good reason to be allowed to have is a better way of doing things... and applying that to all animals not just "exotics".

How many people died from attacks by animals last century on the DWA list before it became law and how many deaths were caused by "domestic" animals in that same time? I bet you it's the domestics who come out worse off even if the numbers were messed around with to make it a fair comparison.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Friday, 7 August 2009

Put Biggs Back

Notorious criminal Ronnie Biggs has been released from the custody of his prison guards on "compassionate grounds".

I think the following says just about everything I feel on the situation.

Peter Rayner, a former chief operating officer for British Rail who worked with Jack Mills - the train driver injured in the 1963 robbery, said: "One can't forget and one has to be clear that driver Mills... died as a result of injuries from criminals.

"Driver Mills was a man who stood against those criminals and said he wouldn't move his train with its valuable cargo.

"Driver Mills paid the penalty in that. So my feeling is one of concern that the perpetrators have been treated as folk heroes rather than the criminals that we on the railway believe them to be."

Last month, Mr Straw said Biggs should not be granted parole as he remained "wholly unrepentant" about his involvement in the 1963 robbery of a mail train. BBC News

Ronnie Biggs was a thief, a thug and a coward for fleeing from justice. He returned to this country only to seek medical treatment, not to say sorry. That makes me doubly sick.

Next they will be letting Dennis Nilsen have porn in his cell.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

"Muhammad was a prophet who understood nothing about football"

Unless you find the idea of someone not knowing a lot about football offensive, how on Earth can that phrase upset you? Any reasonable person will see it as a bit of a joke, but of course not the Muslim breed of woo-meisters.

So not only has German football club FC Schalke 04 received angry emails from fundie muppets because of their rather non-risque football chant but has to put up with this:

Police in Gelsenkirchen, in the industrial Ruhr region of western Germany, say they are taking the Muslim complaints very seriously.

The head of Germany's Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, said his council would not call for a ban on the anthem, but would like "an explanation of its background".

WHAT??? Grrrr... this is blasphemy, but it's not offensive to sane people. Blasphemy should never be illegal (don't get me started on our own stupid laws...) or open to a police investigation or demands from some unelected special interest group for "an explanation of its background". Why don't you do some research and find out yourself? I'm sure it's not a state secret for Christ's sake!! Oops... more blasphemy.

Worse, what if it was offensive? Is offending someone, as opposed to threatening them, illegal now? Can I no longer mock Scientologists for being silly, silly people? Hmph...

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Just Be Honest!!

I've been angling before, hard not to go fishing when I was born in a town surrounded by lakes and moved to one by the seaside! It's a pleasant sport and one I think should be encouraged as it is an excellent way to be close to nature and learn about local wildlife.

Angling is not a harmless sport though, of course. It's less harmful then fox hunting or pigeon shooting, sure, but fish aren't unfeeling machines and there is always going be stress and pain caused by being caught on a line. Anyone who has ever kept any sort of fish knows they are aware of things. But I don't think it is enough stress or pain to warrant banning angling (whereas as I disagree with hunting for sport [as opposed to hunting for sport AND food, eat what you catch and I have no problem]). However I think it is rather disingenuous for anglers to say things like:

We get knocked by the anti-anglers who say that fish feel pain, and I believe some university bods have proved that some fish do feel pain, but until you sit me down next to a carp and it says to me ' I feel immense pain', then it's an open-ended question. BBC News

What unscientific bullshit. Come on guys! Either have the strength to stand up and say "I don't believe the, admittedly small amount of, distress to the fish outweighs the pleasure of the sport" or stop angling. Don't try and make yourselves feel better by being downright stupid.

One thing that set me against fox hunting completely was the fact the fox hunters seemed desperate to back up fox hunting with ludicrous claims (and downright lies like "We'll have to put all our dogs down if it's banned" LIES!!!! ) when if they'd just said "It's a great laugh" and been honest I'd have a bit more respect for them. Still would have thought they were heartless bastards (if one is to hunt an animal they should do so honourably not from the back of a horse whilst your dogs rip it apart) but I'd at least think they had some balls.

I just hope the anglers don't go the same way. There are plenty of responsible anglers, whose love of fishing means many natural habitats are being better protected so they can continue to enjoy their pastime. This is positive stuff, let's pray they don't ruin it by deluding themselves that their sport is in any way "virtuous" and harmless to the fish. Fishing might be good for fish overall but for an individual fish? Weigh it up. What's better for an individual fish: be caught or be left alone? It's not difficult.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Monday, 3 August 2009

Sasha Boren Cohen And Eurovision

I hated Ali G with such an intense passion (growing up at school in the age of the words "batty man" was not a pleasant experience Mr G) so I've never bothered to watch Borat or Bruno. But I suppose now he's doing a film on Eurovision, it's time I did as otherwise I won't be able to express outrage. So think of this as a hold page for a very near future rant against this tosh. Hold that thought.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

A Change Will Do Me Good

I've rebranded one of my other blogs, my original in fact, to become just my personal journal. That means this blog will be picking up the slack and all those topics that once found their home there (movie reviews, Eurovision, rants, etc) will be finding their home here. This is no longer a politics blog, it's my eclectic blog.

Normal service will not be resuming. :p

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Sarah Palin: FAIL

How can anyone defend Sarah Palin? She tries to espouse Christian values on one side and on the other she defends greedy corporations, has a child who has a child out of wedlock and is now getting a divorce after she decided to give up the responsibilities of being Governor of Alaska (despite have stood for election to that office and reasonably being expected to carry out her duties until the next election).

Now there's nothing wrong with getting a divorce or having a child out of wedlock. I live with a divorcee and I am that child so who am I to judge? Well I'm someone who says if you espouse the values of a certain religion you better live by them or you have no right to judge others according to that religion! Grr...

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist