18 June 2016

"BREXIT" - Forward to the Past!!

The "Brexiteer" desire to leave the EU is a largely ENGLISH phenomenon, not shared by Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The glory days to which they aspire to return were BRITISH glory days, not ENGLISH glory days. But were they glory days? After we had defeated NAZI Germany which, as I recall, we didn't do alone, we became the "Sick Man of Europe". And the British Empire? That ended well, didn't it?! Now we are apparently the fifth largest economy in the world (and we achieved that as part of the EU).

When (if) we leave the EU, it's likely that Scotland will want to break away, and how long before Wales wants to follow suit? And across the Irish Sea, we will have once again returned to a controlled border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, reversing a major feature of the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Then, when major international companies have removed themselves, or no longer wish to set up shop here, you'll be so proud of your new pathetic little country, won't you?! And how glad you will be that it is now ruled by a realigned hard-right Conservative government under new management who will still have another four years to ruin the NHS, exploit working people, whilst pretending that ENGLAND on its own has huge influence, before you can wake up and think about getting rid of them (that in itself not being in any way guaranteed).

"But", say the Brexiteers, "At least you can throw out your own politicians if you don't like them". Ah, yes .. under a system by which the Government of the day is normally supported by about one third of the voters.

"But", say the Brexiteers, "We can trade with the rest of the world." Well, I'm sorry, but I had the distinct impression we did that anyway. Half the stuff in my house is Chinese for God's sake! And if I shop in Marks & Spencers for underwear or Christmas presents I find they are made in Egypt or India. We drive Fords and Chevrolets and Hyundais and Kias. Some of us stuff our faces with Swiss chocolate, and if I'm eating more healthily I'm eating vegetables from Kenya.

This whole Referendum thing is in itself alien to the way we govern ourselves anyway. The Prime Minister was running scared of UKIP and that nice Mr Farage, and so promised us we would be allowed to decide for ourselves this matter of great national importance. I thought that is what we elected our Government to do, backed by a professional Civil Service. Why don't we extend it to other importance stuff? How many aircraft carriers should we have? Oh, I don't know, I'll have a word with my hairdresser; he'll know. Should we allow unqualified teachers in our schools? Oh, I don't know, let's have a word with those guys hurling bricks at the French Police; they'll have an idea. And what should be our policy on the fishing industry? Oh, I don't know, but there's a guy down the pub who failed all his GCSEs, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the science of sustainable fish stocks.

But since we do have this Referendum, there are only a few days left for Brexiteers with suicidal thoughts to use their heads instead of their gut feelings, and step back from the edge of the cliff.

The EU is deeply flawed in many respects, but we should be in there, leading from the front, making things better. I'm proud of my country, and I want it to have influence, both outside of the EU and within the EU.

03 April 2016


Note: I wrote this a few years ago, but this is the first time it has been released into “Cyberspace”. I don’t think the passage of time has reduced its relevance.

You know how women are prone to the opinion that men have no idea what pain is because they have never experienced labour and childbirth?

My aim here is to dispel that notion.

According to American medical sources, 80% of kidney stone sufferers are men between the age of 20 and 50. I can confidently tell you, from personal experience, that the pain caused by the passage of kidney stones (crystals) is one of the most excruciating, and this is widely acknowledged.

One Christmas, during the early 1970s, I was suddenly doubled up with a kind of pain I had never before experienced. I am resisting the temptation to say it was indescribable because here I am actually trying to describe it. What about a well-aimed kick with a steel toe-capped boot to the testicles? Yes, I think that does it, and worse still the kicking doesn’t stop, with the pain spreading
across the lower abdomen.

After about an hour of this I was reduced to a whimpering wreck begging for a doctor. This was the day after Christmas - Boxing Day - a public holiday. We were in London at the time, staying with my wife’s mother. She rang the number for her GP’s surgery, and within half an hour I was being visited by an on-call doctor (for which I was both grateful and impressed in equal measure).

It didn’t take him long to conclude that I had stones or “gravel” in my urinary tract and dosed me with pethidine, soon after which I sailed away to another planet somewhere. On my return to semi-consciousness (and the bathroom) I found myself passing a fine collection of little jagged particles. The relief of being free from that pain was unbelievable, almost orgasmic.

On our return to our Yorkshire home I went to see my own GP who organised an immediate x-ray at Scarborough Hospital. There I was laid on an x-ray trolley, injected with a red dye, and strapped down so tightly that I could hardly breathe. The nurse was called away for something and I was stuck there, gasping for breath for what seemed an eternity. In the end I called out to a passing maintenance man to get help, soon after which an apologetic radiographer appeared and got the overhead gear working for my special portrait. At the end of the session it was established that my personal plumbing was now clear of obstructions.

But a few weeks later the pain returned. It was as bad, but less scary because I recognised it for what it was. I still had a few pethidine left and self-administered the correct dose and enjoyed another inter-galactic round trip, followed by a visit to the bathroom with predictable results. A second x-ray (this time without the torture session beforehand) established I was clear again. After that I made a conscious effort to increase my fluids intake and was not troubled again.

And so my message to those women who regale us about the pain of labour and childbirth is this: at least for your pain you get a living, breathing bundle of joy at the end of it.

All I got was a little pile of grit!

14 February 2016

I'm Starting a New Religion

Let me run a few ideas past you. Why don’t I start a new Religion? How easy would it be? Would it help if I grew a beard and looked a bit more imposing? OK – I’ve grown the beard. Now I’ve got to tell you about the dream I had the other night when I was visited by an Angel who declared himself to be a messenger; from God, no less. I bet you’ve never been visited by an Angel, so listen up!

He told me that I was to be the Apostle of God and he would be passing me messages about how we should all be running our lives. Right, now you are listening, aren’t you?! I mean, that’s impressive that I’m receiving messages from God the Creator. There can be little doubt that you are going to be believe me and start listening to what I have to say.

Apparently I don’t have to write any of these messages down; I can dictate them to someone else, and they can be passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, but it would be preferable if they could be finalised by not later than, say, 2321 or thereabouts, by which time a number of people will have had the time to expound some ideas on how they should be interpreted, after which the messages (and interpretations and traditions associated with them) will be committed to digital media, and accepted as the final Word of God for all eternity.

That sounds OK doesn’t it?

Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that I have a penchant for small girls and I intend to see to it that some of God’s messages make it clear that this is acceptable, even to the extent of marrying one and having sexual intercourse with her. I’m sure this is something you can quickly skate over in order to appreciate the greater good in everything else I have to say. In fact, to make it easier for those of you who are men, I’m giving you permission to have up to four wives, provided you accept that I can have as many as I want (because God said I can). Moreover, you’ll be effectively in complete charge of your wives, and if they misbehave, please feel free to beat them.

This seems a good time to mention that women, generally, are inferior to men, and in case of any disputes or wrongdoing, a woman’s word is worth only half that of a man.

In the unlikely event, gentlemen, that you are still feeling sexually frustrated, you have special dispensation to have sex with female slaves, or the wives of other nationalities you fight and conquer. I’m sorry, I had forgotten to mention that it’s OK to own slaves, and on the question of going to war against other people I’d also forgotten to mention that this is a useful way of ensuring that everyone else in the world accepts everything I’m being told by God. 

I’m sorry this sounds a bit dictatorial, but I also insist that if you speak not only against God, but against me as the receiver of His messages, this is Blasphemy in either or both cases.

Some of you may be wondering about rape, but this shouldn’t worry you unduly (unless you are a woman) since God gives you permission to insist on sexual relations with your wife (or wives) so, inside marriage, rape doesn’t really exist, does it? If she refuses you, she can consider herself cursed.

This isn’t to say that rape doesn’t exist outside marriage, because really you men are only entitled to sexual intercourse with however many wives you have, your female slaves, and the wives of those you conquer. Outside of those categories, however, you are in trouble, though not as much as might at first be thought since the woman’s accusatory words are only half the worth of your own words; so – enjoy!

One of God’s messages to me made it clear that there can be no compulsion in the acceptance of this Religion I’m giving you, and I expect that in the future a lot of people of other Faiths who achieve political power will feel obliged to keep on repeating that the Religion I’m giving you is a “Religion of Peace”, and it is a good idea for you to let them go on believing that. The thing is, some of those politicians will have neglected to read a message that appears much later on in the Series that states clearly you should fight all the unbelievers until or unless they accept the truths that I’m giving you.

As everyone knows, you should always obey the latest commandment, even if it contradicts an earlier one. This is called the Law of Abrogation.

I think it would help you in your compulsory duty to spread the word by force, to think of these unbelievers as pigs, dogs and apes. However, it’s OK to appear friendly towards them before you slaughter them, since much of war (and this is a holy war) is all about lies and deceit.

Finally I would instruct you to pray five times a day, making sure you wash yourselves first especially (you men) if you have been in contact with a woman (who is by definition unclean, especially during her menses). I admit these praying instructions don’t actually appear in the messages given to me by God, but it’s generally a good idea, don’t you think? So do it, but make sure you do not look upwards as you pray if you don’t want your eyes to pop out.

All earlier laws and scriptures handed down to other Faiths are hereby declared false, redundant or both.
- oOo –

APOLOGY: Soon after I wrote this, I was visited by another angel who whispered in my ear that my ideas are not new, and they had already been implemented about one and half thousand years ago.

Ah well, back to the drawing board.

©Lionel Beck – 14th February 2016

01 February 2016

21st Century Terminology in 20th Century Terms


Mr Droid's wife


One a day keeps the doctor away

Apple Mackintosh

A raincoat with fruit in the pockets


Person having a look around


Strap securing headgear in windy weather

Cell Phone

Prison telephone

Chrome Browser

Hard person having a look around


Outside lane of a motorway or expressway


In the space underneath the church


Optimum position for reading

Firefox Browser

Red-hot predator having a look around the hen house


Male sexual malfunction


See Username


Vivacious and jolly


The number 1 followed by 100 zeros (Googol)

Hard drive

Uphill in a 1930s Austin 7

Home Key

Key to the front door


Formerly known as a telegram


Location of a football when a goal is scored

Internet Explorer Browser
Someone looking for the football in the goal area


Isle of Sheppey


The guy you shoot when you don't like the message

Microsoft Access

A miniature doorway with a padded frame

Microsoft Excel

Tiny example of being best but only by a whisper

Microsoft Word

A single-syllable word, spoken softly

Mobile Phone

Cell Phone that's been released from prison


Very windy washday




Ordance Survey


Gloopy stuff


Very small-diameter shaft with a point at one end

Snipping Tool



Small bird drawing attention to itself


Communication between small birds


Given next to the font in church during baptism


A bit smelly


Something to let in the daylight

Windows Key

Device for locking a window

World Wide Web

Device for catching flies spun by an extraordinarily large spider


Rude & uncouth characters in Gulliver's Travels