Blogging catch up

I’ve been off the radar for awhile, moving house, thought I would be time for a catch up.

Black and blue Friday
For a start there were those near riots where a lot of silly people, waited in the cold and rain for hours just for the opportunity to fight over a telly. I mean if you want to fight with some random stranger, just go a football derby match or take up rugby.

On the other hand if you really want a cheap TV, people do know you can get them over the internet? Or cheaper still, by going to an auction, either the online type or the real world alternative, or using charity shops. Of course there are risks to buy something at auction, the product may not be in the best of condition, particularly if its second hand. I’ve never been caught out, but then I’ve always checked out the goods prior to purchase or bought off reputable dealers. But I suspect a telly you’ve wrestled out of a scrum isn’t going to be in that much better condition either!

Needless too say the cops haven’t exactly been happy about this, having a go at the supermarkets for stirring up a hornets nest. But while the supermarkets do deserve some blame, I wonder if this is more a sign of how selfish and mercenary society is becoming. They say every society is two meals from revolution. I’d say we’re actually one I-Pod away.

Migrants cause traffic jams !?!
Nigel Farage has continued his policy of “dog whistle” politics, i.e. making racists comments, but in a coded way that doesn’t sound racist. His latest one is to blame being late for a meeting in Wales on migrants causing traffic jams :crazy: WTF?

“Foreign born” individuals (which captures both immigrants an a large number of naturalised British) represent only 13% of the population and while precise statistics aren’t available, as they tend to be on a lower income or younger they are a lot less likely to own a car than the remaining 87%. How can, at most 13% of the population (and probably more like 7-8% if we’re realistic) be responsible for traffic jams?

I mean I managed to get into a few horrendous jams recently, and they were often the result of an accident, or road works or in one case an accident at a section of road works. However I was big enough to accept that I was behind schedule due to improper planning, i.e. choosing the wrong route, not checking traffic reports before heading out. Perhaps Farage, not exactly known for being the brightest spark, should have done the same? Or taken the train or something?

As even UKIP’s founder has pointed out, the party is now little more than the domain of fruitcakes and closet racists and generally the sort of people who, unlike migrants, do represent a serious threat to this country.

Playing like Girls
Another thing Farage is famous for, aside from being a “dim witted racists” is that of a chauvinist. He’s recently been taking issue with women’s rights to breastfeed in public.

However recently a goal by Irish footballer Stephanie Roche was nominated for FIFA’s goal of the year. And if you watch the video you can see why. A couple more players like that, and Ireland could be in with a serious chance of winning something…..Of course Farage had his way, we’d probably go back to the days when women were banned from playing.

Russian drugs scandal
A less sporting story is that of a massive drugs scandal, which has been broken by the German media. If suggests that nearly all of Russia’s athletes at recent events have been systematically doping as part of an industrial scale doping system, of the sort we thought we’d seen the back of along with the collapse of the Warsaw pact. State officials it is claimed helped athletes dope as well as cover up any positive tests in return for a cut of their salary. Naturally this news must be hugely frustrating to athletes who were squeezed out of medal positions by these Russians athletes.

While the Russian’s deny everything (predictably), and of course given recent politics one has to question the timing of this story breaking. However the evidence produced by the Germans is certainly worrying, given that it includes actual confessions from several Russian athletes. Needless to say the IOC and IAAF are investigating. But given that they are both as corrupt as FIFA, I won’t hold my breath.

Of course, this is not to say that I believe that all Western athletes are as clean as glacier water. Indeed scandals such as the BALCO scandal, the Festina affair or Lance Armstrong, suggests that the only difference is that the Russians have been a bit more organised in how they conducted their doping.

I’ve long argued that the solution to these doping scandals is simple – return sports to the days of the amateur athlete, eliminating the financial motive to engage in doping.

Nice money if you can get it
The tabloids were fuming over the fact that building companies have recently been paying as much as £1000 a week for skilled brick layers and other tradesmen. The demand has been so great, they’ve been bringing in hordes of them from Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, they failed to ask the more crucial question, why?

Well the financial crisis led to mass unemployment in the building trade. Many of those who lost their jobs have, in the seven years since then, left the trade, retired or got a job doing something else. And the lack of opportunities has meant new apprentices haven’t been coming up the ranks since 2007. Hence, with the building industry now back in business again, companies are now seeing major labour shortages. Which is why they are being forced to look far and wide for skilled employees.

Its all well and good the tabloids pointing to the queues outside job centres and crying crocodile tears (given that they want to take away people’s benefits and have generally tried to argue that the unemployed are lazy). But unless you can find some way of uploading several years worth of skills and experience into their brains, there’s not much that can be done. They need the correct skills to match what the job market needs. Hence the need to promote skills and training, rather than the present Tory tactic of trying to push people into low paid jobs they are unsuited for, just to make the unemployment figures look better.

And restricting the movement of workers into the country won’t magically conjure up new jobs. It will simply mean companies leaving the UK to set up in countries where they can recruit more easily.

Nutcase boss
If you’re boss is a bit strict and bossy, well it could be worse. An executive in Korean Airlines is in trouble for throwing a tizzy over how she was served nuts on the plane by stewards (so you could say she literally went nuts! :##). She then made them knell and bow before here :crazy:, before ordering the plane back to the terminal (delaying the other few hundred people on the plane) so they could be put off the aircraft.

So next time you’re boss asks you do to a bit of photocopying, count yourself lucky!

Let it…not snow!
Its coming up on Christmas, carols and songs are being sung, many of which have titles such as “dreaming of a white Christmas” or “let it snow”. Only for a little snow to fall, alongside the threat of a big freeze to come, and everyone starts moaning about the inconvenience of a country blanketed in snow. Conclusion, people don’t know what they want.


5 thoughts on “Blogging catch up

    • I don’t mind it myself, in fact I went out hillwalking on the weekend to take advantage of it, but I suspect I’d feel differently if I drove more.

      Also, I’ll be flying back to Ireland at some point soon in a little turboprop commuter plane that’s not known to react particularly well to snow and ice.

      We can have the white Christmas, just not before I get home. I’ve seen planes, trains and automobiles!


  1. Nice to see you back :yes:
    I enjoyed this round up of the news. I even checked out a few of the links. That goal of the year was great!
    Hope the house move went well 😀


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