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30 July 2006

A Breath of Fresh Air

"America wasn’t founded as a theocracy; America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn’t bloody and barbaric. That’s why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state." - Rev. Gregory A Boyd, Pastor of Woodlands Hill Church, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. (July 2006)

Amen to that!!

29 July 2006

Political Correctness Lunacy

I want to encourage as many people as possible to rise up and rebel against the rising tide of "Political Correctness".

This morning I came across another example of it in - would you believe - my local baker's shop. Do you remember growing up in a world where there was a story about a Gingerbread Man who escaped from the oven and ran away? How many times have you baked, or eaten gingerbread men?

Oh my goodness! We can't be having that kind of thing nowadays can we?! It's offensive (to whom, I am not quite sure. Women? Why?) The North Yorkshire company that runs a chain of bakeries in my part of the world now sells - wait for it - "GINGER PERSONS"!

"A jam doughnut and a ginger person please". I don't think so!

I steadfastly refuse to accept the idea that one day some idiot with no brains can suddenly decide that a phrase or a word that we have used for generations will offend someone and we should therefore invent another word or phrase.

Please support my revolution by promising yourself that you will use whatever words or phrases you know to be correct, or those with which you are comfortable, and not words or phrases that some (to used a North of England word) barmpot has decided you must use.

27 July 2006

The Challenge

On the weekend of 16th September 2006, two men (one of them my friend John Baverstock) will attempt to travel from Sheffield to Land's End to John O'Groats then back to Sheffield - in 48 hours.

They will only have £40 for expenses, and allowed to use only train, bus, car, lorry, van, bike, legs.

By doing this they hope to raise £25,000 for St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield Childrens Hospital, and Cricket in the Community (Shiregreen Cricket Club).

You can help: sponsor the effort by estimating how long it will take to complete the trek. You could win a prize! If you are in business, you can sponsor the event, donate prizes or help pay for postage or T-shirts.

Contact JOHN BAVERSTOCK for more information and/or sponsorship forms.
E-mail John
Tel: +44 (0)114 242 2728.
Mobile: 07789 664 384.

Up against the Wal-Mart

I was pleased to read in my online copy of the New York Times that Chicago City Council has ordered large stores such as Wal-Mart to pay its employees a minimum of $10 per hour by 2010, and simultaneously astonished to learn that the Federal Statutory Minimum Wage has been kept at $5.15 per hour since 1997. That's only 60% of today's Statutory Minimum Wage in the UK, and the UK minimum wage is going to be increased again in October of this year to £5.05 (approx $8.50) per hour for people over 21. Britain's nine-year experience with the introduction of a National Minimum Wage has totally disproved the original assertion by Conservatives and the Business Community that it would close down businesses and lead to unemployment. The opposite has happened.

25 July 2006

Still between Iraq and a Hard Place

Three years after the illegal invasion of Iraq by the Bush/Blair Axis of Testosterone all we've got there is a bloody mess, and it is getting messier by the day. There is (belatedly) some kind of democratic government, but it appears to have little authority, and the population is gradually splitting into two warring groups - the Shias and the Sunnis - who seem content to continue blowing each other up as a kind of side-show to the other source of trouble, the "imported" terrorists who just want to create mayhem for the Iraqi government and the U.S./British forces.

Many Iraqis are scared to join the Police for fear of being assassinated. Sunnis and Shia communities are using their own militia to protect them. There is even talk by the Iraqi government about the need to divide Baghdad into two separated communites.

Why are we still there? Why are our servicemen and women being put at risk for no good reason? It's an utter disgrace and so far as I am concerned the UK government has lost all credibility and respect over joining this ridiculous American operation; and as far as I can see the American people are also having severe doubts about this Bush adventure. Of course, there are still some diehards whose level of debate on this issue seriously undermines their claim to be in possession of any IQ, such as one comment I saw on a website the other day which advocated "Bombing the hell out any country run by towel-heads". God protect us from that kind of mentality!

23 July 2006

Hot News - Blog Entry Changes Weather

Soon after I had posted yesterday's entry concerning the unrelenting heat and generally arid conditions my part of country received two prolonged drenchings accompanied by displays of lightning and thunder. This surfeit of H2O from the heavens not only washed out the neighbour's proposed barbecue to which we had been invited, but also amply demonstrated that one of my downpipes was seriously blocked and in need of urgent attention, requiring complete dismantling to remove the blockage. I did the job between the two electrical storms, just in time for the second storm to put the system to the test - which I am pleased to say it passed.

I read today that the Chief Constable of the North Wales Police maintains a Blog, from which it transpires that his favourite way of "taking a day off" is to get back into uniform again and go to a particular stretch of highway to spend the day doing speed checks on vehicles. How sad is that?!

21 July 2006

A Colourful Life

The relentless heat continues.

We are in the 30s celsius.

My lawns are brown, which makes me blue.

Some water companies (not Yorkshire Water so far) have banned garden hosepipes and car washing, whilst notwithstanding obscene profits they are losing a third of their water through leakage. This makes me see red.

A few bits of the UK had some rain yesterday, which makes me green with envy.

It's a colourful life, and our next Prime Minister is probably going to be Brown.

The schools broke up for summer today, and so I've completed my last school minibus run for six weeks. One girl wished me a happy holiday, and said "Thanks for taking me this year". That made me feel like all the colours of the rainbow.

19 July 2006

Yo, Blair!

"Yo, Blair! How are ya doing?" ...
... Thus the leader of the most powerful nation on earth greets the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the G8 summit in St Petersburg the other day. Blair has come across to Bush's place at the dinner table to exchange thoughts on the grim battle being waged between Israel and the Hizbollah based in Lebanon. A key microphone had not been switched off so it was possible to hear some of the high-level debate between these two world leaders (and between Bush's chomping of bread rolls). Bush says (someone) is "sweet", and Blair replies he is "honey". Blair offers to go to the region and prepare the way for a visit by Condoleeza Rice, and Bush responds by saying "What they need to do is get Syria make Hizbollah stop doing all that shit".
It's good to know that our future is safe in the hands of these two intellectual giants.

18 July 2006

Second Chance

This bright sunny morning will be made even brighter by the presence of my four-year old grandson on one of his regular half-day visits to us whilst his mother is at work. It never fails to remind me what a privilege and blessing it is to be a grandparent. It is a second chance at "parenting", a chance to make up for all the mistakes you made the first time round.

16 July 2006

Sick Society

Last week a vicar was told to resign as a primary school governor and have nothing further to do with the school. Why? Because at a school prize giving ceremony after presenting a little girl with a certificate for outstanding work in mathematics he gave her a kiss on the cheek.

What have we come to when a universally recognised form of greeting or affection is turned into a criminal act? The complaint against the vicar was made by the girl's mother. This stupid, stupid woman - who clearly is unfit to be a mother - saw this as some kind of assault on her child.

The Police and the Church Authorities investigated and concluded there was no case to answer, but nevertheless advised the vicar to sever all connections with the school. This makes me incandescent with rage. For God's sake, this action took place in front of a hall full of people, not in the potting shed behind the vicarage. I'm sick of the brainless 'thought police', the 'PC brigade', the sad idiots who see paedophilia wherever they look.

14 July 2006


Israel's response to the capture of three of their soldiers has been totally disproportionate - as usual. Surely this called for a Special Forces operation and/or negotiation, not the indiscrimate punishment of Lebanon and the Palestinian people; the killing and maiming of women and children. The UK for many many years suffered terrorist attacks from the I.R.A., causing mayhem, death and destruction in London and other major cities. These murderers operated out of both the UK province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Did the UK respond by bombing the hell out Dublin? No, because that would have been disproportionate and wholly unfair. Israel's current strategy will lead to nowhere except wider and worse conflict - the fast track towards turning the clock back twenty years. The U.S.A. will not - as usual - condemn Israel.

10 July 2006

World Cup Football Final - The French Connection

Although England were long gone from the tournament, I had to watch the final between France and Italy. I was (sort of) rooting for France because I thought it would it make a great weekend for them after winning the Womens' singles at Wimbledon. But in the final 10 minutes of Extra Time - with a 1 - 1 score - French team captain Zinadine Zidane did something quite extraordinary; he ran past the Italian Materazzi, then turned to face him and head-butted him in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Neither player, incidentally, was in possession of the ball. Deservedly, Zidane got the Red Card and was sent off. From that point on I thought the French deserved to lose. They did - during a penalty shoot-out which decided the game in favour of the Italy. Zidane claims Materazzi made some offensive comment about him, but won't say what. Even if he did, was that the correct response, with the World Cup about to be decided, not to mention this was to be Zidane's last ever game, after a long and distinguished football career. What a way to end it.

07 July 2006


Today is the first anniversary of the London bombings in which a group of terrorist bastards blew themselves up on tube trains and a bus, killing over 50 innocent people and injuring many more.

It is a sober reminder that the Bush/Blair Axis of Testosterone has not made the world a safer place.

05 July 2006

Pathetic Politicans

Is it any wonder that fewer and fewer people are bothering to turn out for elections? All they get for their trouble is a bunch of self-serving characters, some of whom rise to the giddy heights of local, national and international “leadership” apparently without the necessary skills in leadership, judgement, or an appreciation of history.

Their effectiveness can be seen on our own doorstep and on the world stage. Here’s an example of the dumbness on our own doorstep: in 1997 Tony Blair’s new Labour government promised us an Integrated Transport Policy. In 2006 we now have train companies raising fares as a means of preventing overcrowding, and trains also seems to work in a different universe to that of the buses. The other week I sat inside a long-distance bus at Malton Bus Station as it awaited the due departure time. Malton Bus Station is opposite the train station. A train from York pulled into the station; as it set off again, so did our bus. Then, as we proceeded down the road, a train from Scarborough also arrived; all this within the space of about three minutes, and yet neither bus nor trains were destined to exchange passengers. So where’s the integrated transport, Mr Blair? You’ve had nine years to show us your policy in action.

On the world stage our puny politicians learn nothing from previous experience. The Korean War was supposed to halt the advance of Communism. It didn’t - and we still have a Communist North Korea that is more dangerous now than ever before. The Vietnam War was supposed to halt the advance of Communism. It didn’t - a so-called civilised democracy unleashed chemical warfare on an unprecedented scale and after thousands of Vietnamese and American deaths and casualties the USA was driven into a humiliating defeat and their seriously scarred war veterans returned home to a less than enthusiastic welcome.

Following the disgusting “9/11” attack on the “Twin Towers”, instead of instituting an intelligent program of seriously undermining the foundations of “Al Quaeda” the Bush regime felt it had to show the American people that something readily identifiable (like a country) should be bombed - and so the Afghanistan adventure began. In 2006 the elected Afghan President has no control outside the confines of NATO protection, and the Taliban are back in force. Heroin production from the poppy fields is on the increase, and street prices for heroin are at an all-time low. British soldiers are now in the Helmand Province, supposedly in a non-combatant role - a role that appears to involve a lot of military casualties and deaths! So, what’s been achieved? Bugger all.

Then the Bush regime (with Tony Blair’s willing involvement, to his everlasting shame) decided that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a threat to us all. Not many of us (non-politicians) felt this to be the case, and any fool knew that Iraq had nothing to do with the “9/11” incident or “Al Quaeda”. Far from the world being a safer place as a result of our joint attack and occupation, the world is now a more dangerous place. Thousands more Iraqis, Americans, British and other nationals have died or been injured, and now “Al Quaeda” is definitely involved in Iraq. So, what’s been achieved? Bugger all.

When are these power-crazed and corrupt politicians going to realise that it’s about time they stopped stomping around the world and throwing their weight around? It’s time they tried something more constructive.

Telling the truth would be a good start.I feel better now. (I think.)