I have done for just
over a week and I haven't really missed it. Ok, I had
the feeling I was missing something at the weekend (I
hadn't) and it would have been easier to arrange today's
meeting if I'd had access to my contacts but on the whole I
haven't needed it.
My new phone arrived
today and it's a lot better than the old one even if it is a
bit crappy by today's standards. As a result I've
taken my first selfie. This is it.
When did I get so
Boris has turned up
on PornHub. Look at the caption (apologies for the
I've been watching
some of the US comedy programs and it's interesting some of
the names they give him
A racist teapot
A shaved Orang
Utan with Owen Wilson's hair
potato in a too big suit
And my favourite
That's our next Prime
Minister they're talking about. He has enough friends
to get him on the ticket and he's still popular with the
Tory Party members. He'll walk it.
As I drove down the
hill towards work a couple of vehicles flashed me. I
stopped and got out of the car and had a look round to see
if I could see what was wrong. There was nothing
obvious, but then I spotted it.
I still had my
England flags on.
How could I? After a
performance like that?
The word I've heard
most is abject and in some ways it was. Inept is
probably a better word. We knew they'd got a long
throw in their toolkit, how did we defend against it?
We didn't. When Iceland went 2-0 up we were clueless.
And that second goal? Joe-bloody-Hart. I don't
care how good his hair is, he's had a shocker.
I watched the Spain
failure at work and came home in time to go up to the pub,
but I fell asleep with my tea on my lap. Glad I did.
I turned it off after an hour.
Out of Europe again.
Some facts and
figures from Brexit
48% in, 52% out.
S&P and Fitch
downgrade UK from AAA to AA
Pound hits new
FTSE 250 drops
11.4%, worst drop ever
surrenders £140bn in Brexit aftermath
All of these things
are genuinely sad, but the saddest stat is this:
In the last
two days, hate crime has risen by 57%
My friend Kevan was
60 last week. His sister and brother-in-law held a
birthday party for him. It was a barbeque.
Fortunately much of their garden is covered by a xx so the
deployment of a couple of hastily purchased tarpaulins meant
it still went ahead.
There have been a
number of times in the past year when though t Kev
wouldn't make sixty. He's oesophageal cancer which is
particularly nasty. He's had to had major surgery, but
during the chemo therapy he had a number of heart attacks
and wasn't expected to survive. These heart attacks
postponed the operation and suspended the chemo.
But he's made it to
I have a recurring
dream where I've been on holiday and not done everything I
wanted. I haven't even got time to pack. You
don't need a Technicolour Dreamcoat to guess what that
means. When I was younger I had so many ambitions but
cancer changed all that. My ambition came to be here
and just let it wash over me.
There have been many
times in the past year that I thought I wouldn't make sixty
and if Kev can do it, maybe, just maybe so can I.
I needed to get out
so I went to the cinema.
I've never been a big
fan if the X-Men comics and the films my opinion of the
films has suffered as a result. Having said that, the
first film was something of a revelation. It was the
first big budget effects laden super-hero movie. It
showed what could be done. Although not part of the
MCU, there would be no MCU without it.
The films all ahve
that sort of second class feel. X-Men 2 wasn't too bad
and the Wolverine films were a bit, well, dull (having said
that, this film really comes alive when Wolfie turns up).
First class was perfectly enjoyable and although a bit of a
mess Days of Future Past kept me interested.
Apocalypse ws in the same vein.
It's become de
rigueur to have great landmarks destroyed by your super
villains and this is no different. It also has the
same problem as the rest of the MCU that you know the good
guys are going to win. Brian Singer once challenged a
writer to write something he couldn't film for £1M a minute
and it's pushing this boundary that has made the films have
gone on they've become more and more spectacular, it is true
that the only limitation of the human imagination.
But we may have met
that limit. Superhero films seem to offer nothing new,
there's no new WOW!!! moments. But this film rolled
along nicely, was well paced and had coherent and consistent
story, even if I couldn't work out why whats-his-name didn't
say he was Magneto's sone and how many times can Magneto
change his bloody mind?
It's no surprise that
we're out of Europe.
I watched the first
hour of coverage and despite Farage appearing to concede (he
clearly had the London results and no other) I was convinced
we were out. I went to bed but couldn't sleep. I
woke up roughly every hour. It meant I was awake for
the Sunderland result and the Sheffield. Sheffield's
result was the death knell.
I genuinely believe
that most people didn't understand what they were voting
for. They saw it as some sort of rebellion against the
political classes. They were unhappy about something
and they wanted to vote against something.
The one thing they
could agree with was there are too many foreigners and were
not willing to accept the truth that there aren't.
This single issue got many people to the polls and rampant
xenophobia (I won't call it racism) won the day.
The press were almost
universally Brexit. The BBC's attempt at balance was
pitiful arguing they were being neutral but actually
following the press (the press preview was particularly
embarrassing). With 90% of MPs, politicians,
economists, business leaders and the rest of the world
pointing out how stupid Brexit was surely they should have
had 90% of the coverage. Constant references to
Project Fear when really it was Project Truth helped no-one.
The pound dropped 31%
on the news that we were out. Now we'll find of
whether it was Project Fear or not.
This was one of the
BBC banned episodes. They said they banned it because
of the scenes of sadism and torture but in reality it was
because it wasn't very good. I was once told, by
someone from the BBC that the BBC bought in batches of 25
which meant they had to drop four episodes over the run and
whole, they picked the weakest episodes.
The episode was
written by a fan and it shows. It has the that feeling
of wish fulfilment fantasy. Quiet pretty (but not
beautiful) girl who has no real friends saves Captain Kirk
and he fall in love with her. It's really a reissue of
The Cage, scientists from a doomed civilisation carry out an
experiment on the ships crew sending an attractive woman who
may be their civilisations only hope. Everything else
seems recycled too, you keep seeing props and bits from
other episodes. The minimalist set doesn't really
work, it looks cheap rather than alien. In fact, the
whole thing just feels cheap.
On the plus side, the
Vian masks are quite nice and there's more of Bones than
your standard episode, but not an episode I choose to watch
especially not if I'm feeling down.
Three incidents today
say a lot.
The leaders of
the car industry present a carefully reasoned argument
on why Brexit will devastate the industry. For
balance the news shows a North London Car Dealer saying
the equivalent "Bog Off Brussels".
The papers report
that the Queen asked her guests to give her three good
reasons for staying in Europe. They don't report
that every single person at the table did (and more).
50 if the top one
hundred companies show why Britain is doomed without the
EU. For balance the BBC has James Dyson saying we
should have faith in ourselves.
This was banned until
after the vote. It's fitting that it's my last post
Says it all really.
0-0 Bore (not really)
I put on an England
shirt (away 2002) and watched this match at home with a pile
of marking and a bottle of brandy. Guess which I did
How did we not win?
It was one of those
games where you could just see Slovakia scoring. They
were never in it but we just couldn't score. I've seen
Wednesday matches like this and I know how they end.
After an hour the best I could hope for was a 0-0 draw but
the commentator said "They're not going to leave it until
the 92nd minute are they?" and I was reassured but spent the
rest of the match shouting "Somebody score!" and watched
through my fingers.
minutes I went and did some displacement exercises
but it did nothing for my nerves.
thought how good it was that I still care enough to
be nervous even if I am sat on my own in my pants
and England shirt with bottle of brandy. Maybe
it was the bottle of brandy.
second place and a match on a Monday night in Nice.
Definitely going to the pub for that one.
Also, in one
of the ad breaks I saw an Trailer for Star Trek
Beyond. I didn't think it was the best use of
their marketing budget. In the Venn Diagram of
people who like football and people who like Star
Trek, I'm the little red shirted bit in the middle.
People who know
nothing about statistics have pointed out that a large
number of celebrities have died aged 27. The list
includes Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix,
Janis Joplin, The Doors' Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Jade
And now Anton Yelchin.
Anton first came to
my attention in a short report of his audition for the role of Chekov. After the interview, the casting director had
started taking Yelchin round the lot asking him to say
nuclear vessels to everyone he met. He said he had no
idea why everyone he met smiled or laughed but he knew he'd
got the job.
And he did a good
job. Faults in the role were in its writing, not in
his performance and he was a happy addition to the crew. He
died a month before Beyond comes out which I'm sure will be
Yesterday, I made a
I bought two
In itself, that's not
a major error, but what I did with the cucumber after was.
When I was a lot
younger we used to go to Grandma's on a Saturday for tea.
She used to always do a tin of sockaye (salmon) and a tin of
chunks (tuna). If she'd been to Castle Market that day
my Granddad would dress a crab (this does not involve little
crustacean dresses). The night before she would fill a
a bowl with vinegar and add sliced cucumber and onion.
So when I found
myself with I surfeit of vinegar I reached for the pickle
It was scrummy.
But it gave me almost
I tried everything.
My drug of choice in this situations is Alka Seltzer but
that just made me burp. Gaviscon and Rennie's didn't
help, nor did Ranitadine. In the end I suffered for 24
Was it price worth
about a flag at half mast that is almost infinity sad.
It's a simple simple of some one losing the one thing that
can never be replaced. Life.
When I got back from
the match I put the news channel on. I was expecting
more Europe and perhaps something of England and Wales.
What I got was far sadder. I'd never heard of Jo Cox
and know nothing about her but I came very close to shedding
a tear watching the news that night.
But it's not
just the senseless murder of a caring young mother
that makes me want to weep, but what it symbolises,
what it means.
It's like we've got
the worst of the eighties back. I see football
hooligans on my TV, hear open racism on the streets and from
the mouths of world leaders and MPs being murdered in
the streets, I see Tory government hammering the poor and
looking at how this has been covered in the press, a
press that has done much to invoke this return to
Fuller, producer of NuTrek posted this after the
This tournament has
sort of passed me by.
Ok, so I've got a
flag on the car but gone are the days when I would be in the
pub two hours early in appropriate garb, meeting with mates
and revelling in the eager anticipation. Today I
managed to get off work early and made my solitary way to
the pub. When I got there the pub was quiet so I found
myself a seat and got myself a pint. I wasn't feeling
too well. I suddenly realised I hadn't eaten and that
the groggy feeling was something close to a hypo.
And then it happened.
There was about tens
minutes left to go and I started to feel like the old days.
There was that wonderful feeling of anticipation. I
was just wanting the match to start and wanting it over and
wanting us to win. The dear started go down easily and
I started to talk to people around me. I've not
blogged about the first match (I'd only seen highlights) but
for me Kane was the major disappointment, otherwise we
dominated and with another striker (Vardy maybe?)
would have been three or four up.
When Wales scored
there was that odd feeling of desolation, that we'd been
cheated, that some how they didn't deserve it. When we
scored I was up out of my seat. It was like the old
Then it was over, and
I was a bloke in the pub on his own, feeling a bit
under the weather.
I need to be better
organised for Monday.
There are many words
I overuse and one of them is Provenance.
defines this as
“A record of
ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a
guide to authenticity or quality.”
But I would go
further and say this extends to concepts as well as art or
antiquity. It leads people to say an opinion is true they
have some sort of evidence that shows their nonsense to be
And this is what
I’ve written before
about how there seems to be an increase in racism, sexism
and homophobia and I believe that the big names in the
outside world are giving people provenance for that hate.
When Trump says
Mexicans are rapists he gives US bigots provenance. When
ISIS preaches homophobia it gives a nutter with a gun
provenance. When Boris tells us to be frightened of
migration it gives an elderly woman calling a frightened
child a “Wog Baby” provenance (and yes, I saw that happen).
And so on and so on.
Perhaps we’ve had the
Golden Age, an age when politicians realised that what they
said gave others provenance and that was a dangerous thing,
but perhaps that was a shell game and people have seen
While ever entities
like Trump or ISIS or Brexit give people provenance for
their petty hatreds, we’re never going to have true
America has had its
biggest mass shooting ever. Ever.
50 People are dead
because of one nutter with a gun.
wasn’t a terrorist. He was nutter with a gun
2. When are
the Yanks going to get the message about guns? I know
“Guns don’t kill people, rappers do” (thanks GLC) but if
they hadn’t got guns in the first place then killing
people would be a bit harder
3. This is
a homophobic attack, pure and simple. ISIS giving it
provenance doesn’t change that fact.
This last one
worries me most. The US seems to think hatred on
grounds of sexual alignment is a thing of the past. “We
let them get married, for God’s sake, what more do they
I don’t know, I’m not
part of community that seems to be reviled by governments
and religions. But I can make a guess.
· They want
to be respected by the world as a whole
· They want
not have to live in fear.
· They want
the greatest gun slaying of any community on US soil to be
recognised what it is a hate fuelled attack on them
Hadn’t we left all
this back in the 90s?
I used to know a
couple of hard core football hooligans, the type of people
who met up with other nutters before a match for a ruck, but
they gave it up. Partially because they had other things to
do, partially because they’d got married and had kids but
ultimately because there was no-one left to fight.
And this is where the
Russians come in.
With their jingoism,
their macho stereotypes, their need to prove themselvesand
their newly discovered freedom to travel they are
presenting themselves as a ready-made foe, willing to get
And boy, are they
And folks back home
seem to be behind them, with Russian officials tweeting
,"Nothing wrong with fans fighting", "Keep up the good
work", "Are the Russians not worthy of respect for their
fearlessness?" and most frighteningly "at the very least,
they gave a kicking to citizens of a country that is, both
historically and geopolitically, Russia's greatest enemy".
One last thing, A
quick message to the Brits out there, stop hanging out the
flags. I know they’re a way of identifying yourself to
friendly fans but they’re also identifying you to the less
friendly. And they’re a desirable trophy. Which fan
wouldn’t want proof that they gave a kicking to citizens of
a country that is, both historically and geopolitically,
Russia's greatest enemy?
Odds on Bet
It was part of a
family tradition to put a couple of quid (pence originally)
on the outcome of a vote just after having voted. There was
a little bookies behind Tommy Spacie’s just up from the
Methodist’s where we voted and we’d have a pint in the
Woodthorpe then bet.
The Woodthorpe, Tommy
Spacie and the little bookies have all gone, but in any
election keep an eye on the odds. I’ve been looking at the
odds of a Brexit. This is from Belfair’s website
“It has been a
dramatic few days in Betfair's Brexit market, with the price
of 'Leave' plummeting from around 3/1 (25% chance) to 6/4
(40% chance) and 'Remain - a solid 1/3 favourite (78%
chance) last week - out to 4/6 (a 60% chance).”
So as far as the
money is concerned, there’s still a greater chance of us
staying than going, but that chance has plummeted.
Betting is always a
sign of people putting their money where their mouth is. It
looks like they’re starting to move their mouths.
Ayria et al
I actually missed the
England match. I went to a gig.
There were two
The first was Sid
3.1. They looked like extras from Mad Max and played a
shouty industrial metal that they were very good at. If
they’re a local band, I’ll look out for them.
The came Inertia, who
we saw with Ayria last year. They seem to have picked up a
guitarist since then and moved away from the synths and
laptops. It was still OK, but not quite as effective.
Ayria as the poppier end of goth and appearance wise that’s
definitely true, Jennifer having gone a bit Lady Gaga. The
cyberpunk pigtails are gone as is the black lace and the nu
rock boots to be replaced by cute black dress with
skellingtons on, long straight white hair and red lipstick.
The music was still the same tho’. Catchy tunes but a
fantastic industrial backing that can’t help but drag you
in. And he performance is faultless. She is
clearly a very experienced performer.
Two last points, it
was long gig and bloody hot and airless. Thus wasn’t
fantastic when I was feeling a bit off (I had the unsquits).
Also when I got home, I found I’d recorded the news instead
of the match.
So It Starts
I'm a connoisseur of
opening ceremonies so I know that football doesn't have
opening ceremonies as such. There's two main reasons
for this. Firstly there are many venues at which the
matches are taking place. To bring the teams in to the
central ground has all kinds of problems. Secondly,
the first match taking place straight after on the same
pitch that thousands of dancers will have jumped up and down
on but some players would have to play a game straight
So it was with some
surprise that I spotted there was to be opening ceremony for
the European Cup.
The pitch damage
problem was solved by having some sort of mat over it and
using only dozens of dancers instead of thousands. It
looked pretty thin. Although they were clearly
choreographed and doing the same dance, it didn't always
look like it and there was a lack of precision in what they
were doing. The setting of a traditional French
disco (eh?) made it look like a bad engagement party.
The costumes flipped
between weird and bland. There were half a dozen women
dressed as lips, another six with 3D tutus (One couldn't get
it on so it was round her neck) and another six as candy
floss holding lollipops (eh?).
I know it's some
years ago now but the French used to be very parochial about
their language, there was no evidence of it in this
performance. The songs were performed in English as
were the sudden outbursts from the aging bloke with
headphones in the huge testicle in the middle of the pitch.
The highlight of the
show was when a huge phallus grew out of the ball in the
middle of the pitch. It turned out to be the Eiffel
Noble attempt, but
Bring on the footy.
Our Kind of Traitor
I remember reading
Le Carre books fall
into three categories, the trade craft (Smiley et al), the
old hand broght back in (the Beebs Night Manager was
excellent) or the innocent caught up in a nasty world (like
It was typical Le
Carre. Great premise, fantastic first 100-150 pages the
petered out with a bit of a miserable ending. In
some ways, the film is far better paced, the meeting with
Dima is nicely random and and there's not too much emphasis
The end of the film
is different from the book, it a far tidier and much closer
to a happy ending. This lack of severity is a failing.
It might leave audiences happier but damages the drama.
The performances were
generally good but the characters are far too nice.
There shuld have been some sort of conflict between the
Teacher and his wife (they both go along with it too easy).
It's as if there's too much narrative to fit into a couple
of hours so there's not time for characters. And
no-one seems to know what to do with Damian Lewis.
He's fine actor but was he right for this role. And
him as James Bond? Probably not.
The British are
particularly good at making drama out of John Le Carre, we
instinctively understand the world he's created.
Tinker Tailor is still one of the gretaest pieces of
television ever made and stands up to re-watching today and
although this is well made and entertaining, it feels like
Le Carre Light.
I've started going to
Ever since the last
dose of cancer I've been lacking in energy (the diabetes
might be part of it) largely because my endocrine system is
all over the shop and the repeated chemo has aged my body
(apparently I'm 135). One of the things that's might
help is exercise so I've got a three month gym membership
and someone to help me with what I need to do.
Yesterday I did
twenty five minutes o the treadmill, five on the rowing
machine and ten on a bike. The gym is fairly empty
when I go so I don't feel embarrassed by lack of stamina nor
the urge to compete with those around me. I'm stsrting
to feel I culd cope with an hour a week of this and some
swimming. Keeping an eye on my diet might help too.
But the main thing
I've noticed is the sheer boredom of it all. I don't
even walk to the bus stop without listening to music.
I always carry a crossword so I've got something to do on
the bus and origami paper so that I've got something to do
if I'm on my own. Fifteen minutes on a treadmill
listening to the piped music (eta sleep rave repeat, thanks
Norman) is something of an anathema.
Next time, I'll take
a tablet, the digital type, not the metformin.
As well as their
scaremongering on immigration the Brexit side are making
lots of promises on what they're going to use the fictitious
£385M a day.
But my question is
this. How are they going to get all these "reforms"
The EU (in particular
Germany) do not want us to leave but are saying nothing
about it for fear that the Brexit campaign will say "Typical
of bloody Europe, interfering in our business" I think this
is a poor tactic. In post Trump politics, they're
going to say it anyway. If we leave they're going to
be unhappy with us and they'r going to want revenge.
You can forget any type of trade agreement let alone one
that works in our favour.
Whole the Tories
might have a slight majority in the House, The Brexit Camp
is a long way off. They seem to think that if they win
the referendum then everyone will have to do what they say.
They have to think of how their own disloyalty to the party
is likely to be repaid by the majority.
They might to stand
men with guns on the White Cliffs of Dover but Parliament is
never going to stand for it.
On another note, in
the last week I have the words "Nig-Nog", "Wog" and "Jigaboo"
in reference to the members of the BAME community.
The last referendum
in this country was in 1982.
Wink of an Eye
The idea of super
accelerated humans crops up in most of the SF TV series' at
some time. It falls into two categories. Either
the time frame is that of the real world observer or the
time frame is the world of the accelerated human.
Wink of the Eye falls
into both categories and this is the failure in it's story
telling. Not only does the real world cast freeze
when we see Kirk talking to Deela, so do the accelerated
humans when the story continues on the bridge.
For instance, when the time it takes Spock to work out what
is going on and play the tape Kirk made would have taken
months if not years in the Scalosian time frame.
I spotted this as a
small child and clearly have never gotten over it.
This was written by
Lee Cronin who was actually Gene L Coon (the L was for Lee
but I don't know where the Cronin came from). If Gene
Roddenberry was the father of Star Trek then other Gene was
it's nanny, having much more to do with the feel of the
show, the day to day running and many unaccredited
re-writes. He had left Trek after the second season
mainly as a result of over work and the fact that he didn't
really get on with the Great Bird of the Galaxy (a line he
wrote). It is often stated he wasn't Roddenberry's
first choice as line producer.
I've been looking for
my review of Alice in Wonderland but can't find it. I
remember I hated it. I also remember being incensed
that the creature was called a Jabberwocky (that's an
adjective). I also remember I liked some of the CGI.
As much as I hated
the first one I hated this more.
There are some good
technical bits. The CGI animals are very cute (even if
they are wrong for the story) but the CGI backgrounds are
the kind of thing you see on TV. The story bears no
resemblance to the original but this is not the issue.
If it hadn't been called Alice Through the Looking Glass
(the book is called "Through the Looking Glass and what
Alice Found There") and it might as well not have been, this
would still have been a poor film.
The performances are
too theatrical, it comes across as some sort of post-modern
pantomime with no idea what a pantomime is all about.
But it's the script
that fails worst. There are many clever intricate
stories about time travel but this stream of consciousness
rubbish isn't one of them. The dialogue switches
between what the writer considers to be Victorian English,
21st century American and something else unidentifiable but
puerile. Historical perspective seems to have come
from watching TV and don't get me started on it's feminist
There again what can
you expect from someone who can't tell a noun from an
I've never understood
boxing. Two blokes beating the crap out of each other
for money. We call it sport. Apparently.
And it's produced
some charmers. Tyson (cannibal rapist), Tyson Fury
(sexist homophobe), and Rocky Balboa (Scientologist) to name just three.
Unsurprising when your job is to hurt someone.
But Ali was
There was just
something about him. A showman, a skilled practitioner
and a star. The whole world knew who he was.
Boxing was huge was I was younger. Satellite TV didn't
exist so all the fights were there for anyone to watch and
Boxing was the contest of the 60's. And at the centre
of these gladatorial contests was Cassius Clay, Mohammed
Ali. When he told you he was the greatest, you knew it
Seeing him at the
London Olympics was almost painfully sad. A shambling
wreck who didn't appear to know where he was or what he was
doing. You couldn't help feel that he was being
exploited for what he once was.
It's not how anyone
wants to remember him. So here is with Parky
I've just got back
from the UCU conference
I intended to keep a
conference diary (as I did in the old NUT days, but to be
honest, not enough happened, so it becomes a single post.
Got to hotel and they
gave me a room that someone else had. I walked in on a
naked man and all I could manage was to say "Carry on".
They then gave me the worst pizza I've ever had. Went
to new delegates reception and then on to main one.
Drank loads. Sat in bar on my own.
First day of
business. Seems to have shot by with nothing
contentious. Totally failed to interact with anyone.
Went to Fringe meeting on casualisation. Sat in bar on
That's just the FE thing. After the same person had
proposed five consecutive motions I went for a coffee and so
missed the only interesting bit of the day. Apparently
some of the motions are unsuccessfully veiled complaints
about specific incidents. In a bizarre incident one
official said that he was the man referred to in the motion.
The proposer then named him and he stormed off. when I
came back business was suspended until he calmed down.
It was the diner on Thursday. Which was nice.
Sat in bar on my own.
Conference didn't get
through all of the business and we finished late.
Journey home took three hours.
The problem with this
conference was I knew no-one there and I no longer have the
ability to force myself on people. I had no-one to sit
with and no-one to discuss things with either.
This meant I never felt involved or engaged. It's all
a sign that I'm changing, and not necessarily for the best.
What do points mean?
Well, if the answer
is prizes, then the prize is entry to dear old Blighty.
Australia seems to be
coming up in my posts a lot recently. But according
Brexit, that's what we're going to have an Aussie style
points based immigration system. It looks like they've
accepted the Remain argument that we need immigration but
there's good immigration and bad immigration.
When I posted about "Bommerang Poms" the other day I wasn't
mentioning the fact that Australia is opening up its
migration policy because they need people to come into the
country. And this is the argument that the Remain camp
They might convince
the more jingoistic population that you can't trust
foreigners, but what makes them think they'll convince
Parliament? There's about 80 rebel Eurosceptics in the
Tory Government and that's not enough to get anything
And this is the
problem with the Brexitters. They think if they
win the exit vote then they'll get what they want when it
comes to anything and everything else. This includes
the rest of their own party, British laws and negotiations
with America, Europe and the rest of the world.
They need to think
A Hologram for the
This was one of those
films I sort of saw by accident. I just went to the
cinema see whatever was on. Three things were
starting, and this was the one that I thought might be
coming to the end of its run.
And it was quite
Tom Hanks is always
amiable enough and the supporting cast was convincing
enough, especially Alexander Black as Yousef. He
looked as if I'd seen him somewhere before, but according to
IMDB he's been in nothing else. Literally. The
picture of Saudi Arabia (beautifully photographed) also
seemed convincing. By that, I mean it's people, the
countryside is Morocco apparently.
The film feels like
an older man's wish fulfilment fantasy. Life is a
little bit shit (tell me about it), but move to a beautiful
country, meet a beautiful woman who loves you and everything
turns out fine. I looked it up. Dave Eggers was
42 when he wrote the book. if that was his fantasy,
then he's sadder than I am. I hope there's happy
endings for us both.
And the film?
Not a bad way to
spend a couple of hours.
I've been thinking
about the quality of TV in the UK.
Both sides of the
political divide say the BBC is biased. I personally
think the BBC is biased unconsciously to the right by
ancestry (most of the managers are Oxbridge) and biased to
left as conscious over compensation.
But after the news
that Boomerang Poms are leaving Oz because the telly is
rubbish, I've been thinking about the quality. Some
questions have been raised regarding whether the BBC should
compete with the ITV over viewers. Of course they
should. There's many reasons why, but for me the most
important is it keeps up the quality. They don't need
to really, we'd watch any garbage put in front of us.
I watch too much
telly, I really do. Much of what I watch is on in the
background, it's like I'm not on my own in my house, but
other stuff I sit on the sofa and watch. In some way
it keeps me anaesthetised. I don't go out and do
things, I don't participate. I am that couch
But sometimes I think
that might be why the BBC is so good. It stops the
population looking too deeply at things. It's our
bread and circuses. Never mind religion, telly is the
opium of the masses.
I need to get out
I was looking at my
phone to see if I'd taken any pictures of the weekend and as
usual I hadn't, apart from the couple below. It's sad
that I'd only taken pictures of things tat had annoyed me,
so here are some of the little annoyances of the day.
First was the coach
on the way down. I'd tried to arrange seats with a pub
coach and was waiting to see if a couple could have arranged
another coach. I jumped and booked with national
express and then found out the pubs had got extra coaches.
Accidents on the M1 meant the journey took five hours and we
worried whether we would get there on time. Because
the driver had been on the road for over four hours we had
to take a 45 minute break. Still, we made it on time.
The first picture
is of a Policeman who spent the entire match texting.
Someone asked him if he should he doing that.
"Oh, yes," he replied
I'd been worried
about where the seats were, but they were fine. A bit
further back than I would like but bang on the half way
line. The problem was the two knobheads who wouldn't
I get standing up at
matches. I love leaping out of my seat when we score,
Everyone stands up whe something happens. And when we
But I don't do it for
a full match. I don't do it when no-one else is doing
it. I don't do it when some asks me to sit down.
One of the Northern
comedians does a skit on the difference between English in
the south and north. He says that Londoners don't use
the word "knobhead", which is odd because there's so many of
them down there.
Seems like we took a
couple with us.
Migrants were in the
news again today, but not the migrants you might think.
Apparently thousands of migrants who left the UK for
Australia and New Zealand have found their way home to the
UK, even if we are still in the EU.
There are lots of
reasons apparently. Apparently Oz isn't as friendly
many people imagine. English qualifications and
experiences mean little there so migrants find themselves in
low level jobs compared to what they had at home. The
average Oz working week is over 40 hours. Transport
links are rubbish, both private and public. Traffic
queues are everywhere. Oddly, this is often given as
the reason for Australians being so unsociable. If you
can't get anywhere to meet up, you just don't. Or
perhaps they just don't like Poms.
Two other reasons are
linked to TV. Some people get their picture of Oz from
Neighbours or Home and Away (I didn't realise Channel 5 was
that popular). Unfortunately, real life is nothing
like Summer Bay or Ramsey Street. The second reason is
Aussie TV is rubbish by all accounts and the "Boomerang Poms"
as they're called, can't wait to get back to British TV.
It's one of those
dichotomies that often gets me. The number of
Brexitters banging on about how special Brittain is then two
minutes later keep going on about how this countries going
to the dogs and how'd they emigrate of they could.
Make your mind up.
I guess the other
the other Sheltinack's jupleberry shrub is
always a more mauvey shade of pinky russet.
It Wasn't To Be.
Before the match I
said we'd either win by three or four or lose 1-0.
Sadly, it was the
I wonder if they were
just a little overawed by it all. I know I was.
Wembley is just huge and the sight of 40,000 fans in blue
and white was awe inspiring. Whatever it was we just
weren't up to it. We needed the team that played
against Brighton a home, instead we got the team that played
against them away. I think Barry Bannon has a lot to
do with it. If he has a great game then we have a
great game and yesterday he didn't have a great day.
His passing was either short and safe, unimpressive or just
plain poor. Westwood kept us in it, but even he
couldn't stop that shot.
We've had a great
season and yesterday's match shouldn't take that away from
us. If anyone had said at the start of the season we
would have made the playoff finals I just wouldn't have
believed them and whatever else I have to say about
yesterday, it was a great day out. Chansiri said
promotion in two years and maybe next year will be by the
automatic route. It would have been so nice to go up.
But it just wasn't to
I was surprised not
to see the Trek trailer when I went to see Captain America.
The first Trek
trailer was almost universally derided, but I couldn't work
out why. It looked fine to me, a good mix of humour,
action and characters ("Well, isn't that just typical?").
There seems to be something about Trekkies that seems to
make them incredibly negative about anything that doesn't
contain William Shatner. I used to be a big fan of the
TrekMovie website, but of late I get so fed up with the
naysayers both regarding the new film and the new series, I
can't be bothered to read it. What must Paramount
think of the franchise if its own fans aren't willing to
give it a chance? You'd never her a Star Wars fan
putting down a film.
The new trailer has
got a lot better reception. It was first shown at a
Fan Event which also had a tribute to Leonard Nimoy as well
as more footage from the film. This too was well
Whatever anyone else
thinks, I'm looking forward to it.
Captain America Civil
This has a lot of
things in common with the Batman movie. Firstly it
sets superhero against superhero, but my main complaint
about Batman was it wasn't a Batman film, it was a Superman
film featuring Batman. This isn't a Captain America
film, it's an Avengers film featuring Cap. OK, so Hulk
and Thor aren't in it, but Iron Man has the most screen
And this is a pity.
Captain America has always been my favourite of the MCU
films. They have charm, an unforced humour and Chris
Evans presents a likeable and approachable Cap. They
also have some of the best fight sequences and less of a
reliance on CGI for them. Most of this present here
but heavily diluted. Also, there's a couple of times
where the CGI actors are unconvincing, especially Black
I'm not that familiar
with Iron Man, but hasn't it always been part of his back
story that his parents were murdered. If this is the
case, why is he angry with Cap (who says he didn't know who
This isn't a bad
film. It's well paced (if a bit over long)
I was hoping to see
the Trek trailer on the big screen, but it wasn't there.
I went to the Army
I was brought up
right next door to it and it must be forty years since I
last stepped inside. This time I went in
legally, taking a group of students as part of an outreach
cum recruiting program. The Army intended to reduce
its numbers to 82,000 regulars and increase its Territorial
Army 30,000. The regualr army has been reduced (who
wants to stay in the army these days?) and the reserve has
failed to reach it's target recruitmet (who wants to join
the army these days?).
It was a great day
for the students. They did PT, looked at Kit and they
stripped and fired guns, and like the man says, there's
something about guns. Some of hem were frighteningly good at
shooting. Whatever else they made of it, they enjoyed
it. If you're reading this and you're a teacher it's
worth getting in touch with the army.
At the end of the
session they were asked if they wanted to sign up to another
taster. They were told they would be paid for it, but
few signed up. Investigation showed that the most
interested students were either not from commonwealth
countries or too young.
This was on a day
that a group of generals said Europe was Bad. Someone
needs to tell them the war is over. Or perhaps they
want to start that third one David Cameron wasn't talking
I miss my Dad.
Every time Wednesday win I just wish he could see it.
I'm going through a bad patch at the moment, I feel ill and
random acts of my own stupidity are just making life hard
for me. It's times like this this that I need him.
I want so much to believe that he's sat up there watching
all this but I know he isn't. Death is Death.
Driving home the
other day I found myself thinking how good it would be to
tell my Dad all about Wednesday the next time I saw him and
it hit me more than ever that I wasn't going to see him ever
Often when I'm
feeling down I say to myself I want to go home, even when I
am home. I wonder if because some part of my mind
thinks home is where my Dad is. And he's not here.
I no I'm wallowing in
self pity, but self pity is all I have.
I can't write this,
it's not as cathartic as I thought it would be.
It's a good job
no-one reads this.
The National Museum
Last week we went to
the National Museum of Computing.
According to its
mission statement The National Museum of Computing is
dedicated to collecting and restoring historic computer
systems. Two particular machine are of note. The
first is the Colossus , the machine that won the war by
decoding German message. This is a replica with many
original parts. The second is the WITCH which is the
oldest surviving complete computer. It was used to do
the calculates for the first nuclear power stations.
The two machines I
recalled with some fondness were the bits from LEO. I
have a vague memory that the met office has the rest of it.
When it was the biggest computer in the world, it's owners,
Lyons, the tea factory, used to let the Met Office play with
it (for a small fee). The other was multi million
pound (in its day) Cray that they were using as a bench.
The thing that
impressed me most was disc space. They had a 36" disc
which they compared to an SD card which had more memory.
Pity they didn't have micro SD card. The fact that
something as small as child's thumbnail holds 32Gb is still
stunning to me.
Seeing paper tape
reminded me that when we disposing of the paper tape we used
to play a game where we would see how many times you wrap
the Office in it before MoD police threatened to shoot you.
Turns out it's three.
They also had a suite
of BBC micros for people to practice typing in programs just
like the old days.
I suppose it's
because it's a museum, but there wasn't much in the way of
new tech. I sort of expected to see an Oculus Prime,
perhaps a Google glass, but
Voting for Christmas
I wasn't going to
comment on Europe but when Gove says shit like this I have
Turks (about 16% of the population), that's five Birminghams
apparently, are coming here if we stay out of Europe.
I was going to say no-one can possibly believe that's true.
Even if the rules change, we don't have veto, quotas are
dropped none of them go else where and so on and son...it's
just not believable.
Elsewhere the Brexit
campaign has been blatantly lying about the veto. Any
European country has the right t veto the entry of a new
country to the community. They do. It's a fact.
If they're not lying, they're incompetent, but at the end of
the day they want Brexit so much they're willing to believe
anything that supports their argument no matter what the
If Cameron or any of
the remain campaign would have made a campaign had made a
claim like that it would have been ca;;ed scaremongering.
I used to have an a
grudging semi-respect for Michael Gove. I thought he
was an ideologue and although I disagreed with everything he
had to say I thought he had a some sort of perverted honesty
and honour. His claim that 5,000,00 Turks will enter
the country shows he has neither. He's a
narcissistic Grammer School yob with nothing to say, but
will say it anyway.
God help us if he
becomes Prime Minister.
episode contains American television's first inter-racial
kiss. OK, so their have to be modifiers, it's white
male and black female, it was Prime Time on a major network,
not in a soap or comedy or part of a movie and featuring
fictional characters but it's still a monumental moment in
both Trek and US TV history.
all this in mind It's hard to see why questions were asked
about it in the senate. The controversy breaks into
right who didn't think a white man should kiss a black woman
left, who didn't understand that Kirk's mind was being
controlled and questioned why he was pulling away for
kissing a beautiful black girl
was one of the BBC's "banned" episodes. Many people
claimed it was because it contained the Kiss. A BBC
statement said it was due to "sadistic" elements in the
plot, but I remember meeting someone from the BBc at a
con who said it was because the episode just wsn't very
good. They're right. This is Shatner's OTT
acting at its worst (or maybe best?) and at time the episode
is hard to watch.
Incidentally, I looked at Memory Alpha before writing this
and found it has been rendered unusable by a ridiculous
level of advertising. Web 2.0, eh?
weekend we went to Consett for a holiday, not something a
lot of people can say.
It was our spring
time Lad's Weekend and we went to County Durham because
Budge was working up there. We usually stay in a
caravan but this time it was a hostel which, although
comfortable enough ws as close to a caravan as a permanent
structure as you can get.
Consett had enough
pubs for us to live with and there were a couple of bands
worth seeing in them. Our plans to go to Durham fell
apart when our taxi company let us down, but to be honest I
was happy to stay in Consett
The most notable
thing about the weekend was our journey back. Because
of roadworks and an accident on the A1 we decided to head
west to get round it. We knew things were going wrong
when we saw Blackpool tower. It took five hours to get
In September we're
going to Skeggy.
I'd nearly forgotten
about Eurovision but it came up at work today so here goes.
I had a few friends
round to watch it. It used be a Kirby tradition that
we made weird cocktails and get slaughtered on Eurovision
night. Perhaps it's because we're getting older but
the getting slaughtered bit didn't seem to happen. I
also seemed to find that I do actually like whiskey.
That's good, because I've got loads of it. For some
reason, we did get through a complete bottle of gin.
The contest isn't as
much fun as it used to be because most of the nutters get
voted out during the semis. This year's specials were
the naked man singing to wolf and woman whose armpits burst
spontaneously into flames (honestly)
The UK duo were
rubbish. The song was rubbish, the lyrics seemed like
they were written by someone with English as a second
language and the music just seemed like it was Grde C GCSE
music project. Joe and Jake were amiable enough, but
amiable is not going to win it. After the judegs
voting we were about half way but after the public vote gave
us nul-points we were third from last. I like the way
the voting was handled though.
I often say that
Eurovision isn't political, it's more dependant on migrant
communities and the fact that we in Britain don' take it
seriously but can't say that this time. Ukraines
victory which was called "Russians are Bastards" cruised to
victory on a tide of anti-(homophobic)-Putin feeling.
Oh well, perhaps next
I see from my notes
that on the first lesson of the new year I was teaching DNS
to my level 2 students. It's not an easy concept so I spent
most of the double lesson going through it. By the end
of the session everyone who was there could explain how the
internet works. I have not covered this again until I
am revising for the exam. Anyone who had decided to
take an extended holiday (and there were a few) missed this
and will be unable to answer exam questions on the topic.
Worse still, they won't know what DNS means. And
what's the point of being on a course if you don't learn
Personally, I'm happy
to let students take holiday in term time providing they
don't do it too often and catch up what they've missed but
I've still got targets to meet. Teachers are judged by
their success rates and if they don't make their targets
then they're up a certain creek paddling backwards. No
government is ever going to let teachers be in their words
"unaccountable" and their solution is to legislate to ensure
students are in school.
But finally, what's
the point of my teaching if there's no-one there to learn.
I watched this in the
Foxwood. Kuttsy brought Barrie and Al (who I haven't seen
for years) and the anticipation was painful.
I really don't know
what to say. This why we watch football. In 90
minutes there was every emotion known to man and then some.
Tears and laughter, sobs and screams.
That first fifteen
minutes. How did we hang on? But we did.
If our defence is that good, who s going to beat us.
Then they scored. The we scored. OMG.
I set of to the pub
with the intention of having a couple of pints, but by the
end of the first half I'd had four. There was no
I remember when we
got to the league cup final in '92. The second leg of
the semi was at Hillsborough. After 80 minutes we were
4-1 up on aggregate. I looked at the Kop and suddenly
realised that no-one thought we were going to win.
Tonight was different. The introduction of Hutchinson
and the second half performance mean we just knew, after 60
minutes, we just knew.
What am I going to do
for 12 days? Nothing else maters than the play
off and the belief we can do it. OMG. Better get
Wish my Dad was here.
So Liz is 90.
seemed to involve horses, Ant and Dec and being vaguely rude
about the Chinese.
And was she rude to
the Chinese? She called them impolite in sympathising
with one of her trusted employees. That's nothing
compared to what Cameron said about the Nigerians, Goldsmith
said about Sadiq Kahn or Donald Trump says about anyone.
What actually got me
about the incident was how alert and articulate the Queen
was. Not many 90 year olds have that level, well,
awareness. She talked clearly and chattily and seemed
far more relaxed than she seemed in the past. And it's
the press coverage that fascinates me.
The press seem to be
giving the Royals a hard time. Kate and Wills are lazy
scroungers and Invictus Games and 90th birthdays don't seem
to have the coverage in the popular press they once would
have. Despite the Sun headline the press seems to
think that the royals are pro Europe and that makes them
First I'm defending Cameron and now I'm defending Madge.
What is the referendum doing to me? At least I'm not
Friday night was something special.
Barry had to queue
for two and a half hours to get a ticket. It was worth
We met in town and
drank beer and ate chicken wings. We caught the tram
and got a seat. The tram was full but had the closest
we got to homophobic chanting in the entire night. A
group of fans (I don't know if the were Seagulls or Owls)
were chanting "Does your boyfriend know your straight?".
Football fans have a weird sense of humour.
The walk from the
tram to the ground just felt special because it was. The ground was full
but we still managed to get a Bovril.
The game. Oh
We were on top from
start to finish. They had no answers and we had them
Wednesday fans have
always bounced but tonight was different. They bounced
showing the lights from their phones and the ground became a
city of tiny lights. The players actually stopped
playing just to absorb the sheer joy. It was
I still don't really
get Foristieri didn't score a goal, but Lee and Hooper did.
Wish my Dad had seen
Bring on Monday.
A few years ago I attended
a training session fro a new course we were about to
implement. The course was based around continuous
practical assessment and as the morning went on the
participants realised it would be very simple for centres to
cheat. One of the participants pointed this out and
asked what procedures were in place to stop us doing this we
were told there were none. Why? we asked.
"Because we trust
your professional integrity," we were told.
Any exams rely on our
professional integrity. The SATs papers will have been
in schools for days if not weeks. Anyone could have
opened a package and worked out the answers (it's for seven
year olds FFS) and passed them on to the kids. But we
don't. We have professional integrity.
So if you think it's
a "rogue teacher" who leaked the tests, you're wrong.
I'd look at the security on your website first before
anything more serious gets leaked.
Shock Horror -
Politician Tells Truth
2010 Gordon Brown got caught on microphone describing a
voter he had just spoken to in Rochdale as a "bigoted
woman". The voter was sixty-five years old and had
challenged Mr Brown on immigration and crime. From
what she said, she'll be voting for a Brexit.
At the time I was
stunned that he could make such crass and insensitive
comments whether he knew the microphone was on or not.
He was Prime Minister and he should be above all that.
Cameron was talking
to the Queen about the forthcoming corruption summit.
"We've got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt
countries coming to Britain... Nigeria and Afghanistan,
possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world," he
Apart from the fact
that he said "fantastically" like I would say I've had a
fantastically good pint, apart from the fact Nigeria is
cleaning up its act, apart from the fact we're pretty
corrupt ourselves and apart from the fact that a couple of
years ago I would have been incensed that a senior
politician could make such crass and insensitive comments
whether he knew the microphone was on or not, I just don't
We live in a world
where the next leader of the US calls his neighbours
rapists, wants to shag his own daughter and thinks all
Moslems are terrorists , calling a few corrupt governments
corrupt hardly raises an eyebrow.
I woke up this
morning and put the news on, as is my wont.
There on the screen
was what was clearly CCTV footage. There was a man
shouting Alahu Akbar and and a wierdly small explosion near
him. I guessed that he'd decided not to detonate and
thrown the detonator away from him. I guessed that it
must have happened yesterday because they had clearly had
time to edit the footage and wondered why I hadn't seen it
on the midnight headlines which I tend to watch before
turning the lights out.
Then I turned the
Turned out it was an
exercise and the controversy was whether the "terrorist"
should be shouting Alahu Akbar or not.
Of course he should.
But it did get me
thinking. Perhaps we should create an imaginary
terrorist group just for the purposes of these exercises.
I would suggest something like NSTO, the Non-Specific
Terrorist Organisation. We could call it NESTO.
It's members would dress up in weasel costumes and speak a
made up language called Nestoran which would consist only of
consonants apart from the letters j, x and z which would
become new vowels to fill in the gaps.
Then I wouldn't
need to turn the sound up.
I may have
The Tholian Web
As a kid this episode meant a lot to me.
The only other episode that uses special effects alone to
create a complete world is The Corbomite Manoeuvre.
The first Star Trek poster mag had the Enterprise ensnared
by the Tholian's web and was on my bedroom wall for years (I
suddenly wonder where it is I won't have thrown it away).
It has some great moments of
Trek history. Kirk's final tape, his funeral, the
creation of the Interphase and the Tholians. The first
Star Trek Role Playing game is based around this episode.
It s the first and only episode to contain a space
suit. All the regulars are in it and all of them have
something to do.
But despite all this, it is
atypical third series episode. The pacing is wrong.
The science fiction is pronounced but the characters don't
really interact with it. Although the effects are
brill, this is still essentially a bottle episode.
Possibly my favourite episode
of season 3, but that says a lot.
Incidentally, in Japan this
episode was called "The crisis of Captain Kirk, Who Was
Thrown into Different-Dimensional Space"
Well I've looked and
I can't find anywhere Cameron said that Brexit will mean a
third world war. OK, he said that leaving Europe
could seriously effect our ability to defend ourselves (NSS),
but but nothing about us going to war. God, it feels
weird defending David Cameron from a selective media.
Having said all this
some people seem to relish the prospect of war. I got
into a drunken conversation with some friends with
depressing outcomes. I can't remember it word for word
but this is the gist.
"I'm voting for out.
That'll stop all these immigrants."
"It's the German's
making us take 'em all."
"Duh. I thought
you knew about these things."
"Ok. Don't you
think we'll just become a dumping ground for the rest of the
world? Do you think the French are not going let
everybody just go straight through? Do you honestly think
the rest of Europe will say, 'Britain's gone so we'll have
to stop sending them immigrants?"
"They'll have to."
not doing a fantastic job at the moment, but at least
they're trying. They'll just open up the tunnel."
"We'll send the SAS
into the tunnel."
"And that's going to
"They'll stop when
we've shot a few."
"The rest of the
world will not let us get away with it."
"Then the rest of the
world will see what the British Army can do."
Today was the first
day of summer. How do I know? It was the last
Football Heaven of the season.
During the season FH
is an important part of my day. I cook every night, it
marks the transition between Dave Kirby education
professional and Dave Kirby amiable pisshead. During
the winter I cook and eat listening to football heaven.
When Wednesday have won I enjoy people ring in and saying
how good we are and when we lose I enjy shouting at the
idiots how want another managerial casualty.
But this year has
been different. Most days it's been good news and
no-one, but no-one wants Carlos to go. There's also
been a very guilty pleasure in listening to the Blades
ringing in to moan (especially Brian the Blade). And
if you think that's crass, then you don't understand
football or local rivalries.
And also, the season
isn't over. We've got the playoffs to look forward to
and I'm sure there'll be a FH special when United finally
So what do I listen
to in the summer?
I tend to eat later
and I become an Archers Addict.
So another season
Our position in the
league fixed and Carlos makes ten (yes, 10) changes to the
team that beat Cardiff. This was their chance to show
Carlos they were worth a place in his team, but reports from
the match seem to suggest no-one took that chance. I
worked with someone who played football for Leicester
(actually, I've just remembered it was Leicester he played
for. I wonder what he makes of their success?).
He got his big chance in the last game of the season and
grabbed it with both hands. He could never understand
how anyone could progress in professional sport if they
didn't give 100% every match.
Having said all that,
we only lost 2-1.
Of course it doesn't
actually end this year, at least two more games, probably
three. It was nice that Carlos can rest player but you
have to wonder if this loses some of the momentum.
Still, the squad system has worked well for Carlos and we
have to trust him.
Bring on Brighton.
had to queue for two and a half hours for tickets.
The campaign for
London Mayor has sort of passed me by so I didn't realise
what a nasty a little campaign Tory Golden Boy Zac Goldsmith
has been running.
I'd never heard of
the concept of Dog Whistle politics but looking at some of
the letters sent to to members of different communities,
neither have the Tory Party. Khan constantly used
terms like Their
clumsy attempts at manipulation are just that, clumsy.
And some of the
things that have been said have been worthy of Donald Trump.
Some examples from Cameron, May and Johnson:
“Labour lackey who
speaks alongside extremists. A man who has said Britain’s
foreign policy is to blame for the terrorist threat.”
"He is calling
Islamophobia to prevent legitimate questions being asked.
They are about his willingness to share platforms with
people who want to ‘drown every Israeli Jew in the sea’.
It’s about his having employed someone who believed the Lee
Rigby murder was fabricated It’s about his career before
being an MP, coaching people in how to sue the police. He is
hiding behind Britain’s Muslims in order to avoid having the
spotlight pointed at him.”
“Sadiq Khan has
shared platforms, to put it at its mildest, with some pretty
dodgy people with some pretty repellent views”.
“He is unsafe to run London at a time
when we face a significant threat of terrorism, because of
his history of defending extremists”
“In Islam and the Labour party there is
a struggle going on, and in both cases Khan – whatever his
real views – is pandering to the extremists. I don’t want
him running our capital.”
What concerns me most
is I haven't heard anything about this blatant aggressive
racism by the the leaders of the Tory party, yet I know all
about the problems Labour have with it's pro-Palestinian
arm. What action is Cameron taking against the
Islamaphobic nutters in his own party? None. How
often has he been door stepped by reporters on the issue?
Not at all.
Bt the people of
London saw through all this and voted for Khan anyway.
Perhaps we won't vote
to leave Europe after all.
For the World Is
Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
This is a typical
third series episode. It's a bit of a mish-mash but
generally ok. It's nice to see Bones taking centre
stage but the fact that Kirk can't even be bothered to talk
this computer to death show a lack of creativity that can be
seen elsewhere around this time.
It's another episode
where the technologies could have a lasting effect on the
Federation but is never mentioned again.
Although I'm sure
I've read that this episode was re-written several times,
including by Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones) and David Gerrold
(Trouble with Tribbles) he episode is credited to Rik
Vollaertis which I though was a made up name (he is only
credited with this episode). A bit of research shows
him to be a real person named Henricus
Wilhelm Vollaerts who worked on a wide variety of programs
but frequently providing a single script. He worked
most on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which says a lot.
This episode is quite
effects heavy but they're all recycled from other episodes
(mainly Paradise Syndrome) but the remastering re-does most
of it. The asteroid itself starts to look like a real
asteroid and the remastered Enterprise has never looked
I haven't really
written much other than this blog for the last few months,
but now I'm writing again.
And I'm loving it.
I finally remembered
why I write. It's because I enjoy meeting the
characters. I can control them. It's not
like reading or watching TV or going to the movies where I
drop in on these old friends and see what their doing.
Don't get me wrong, I like that too (I'm re-watching Columbo
and Trek a lot at the moment) but writing is more
interactive. I can have arguments with my created
friends without upsetting them and they always behave in a
consistent way. They're my imaginary friends and I can
call on them any time especially when none of my other
friends are available.
So Father Raphael,
Father Joseph and Speaker-to-Animals have called round for a
And we're having a
So plucky little
Leicester have done it, Premiership champions.
How have they done
it? I don't know. 4-4-2? Efficient vs
Possession football? Team Spirit? Who knows?
If I had to make a choice, I would chose the latter.
Teams are professional these days to the point of
soullessness. Teams of pampered millionaires who
always have manager to blame when things go wrong. I would
question the quality of the rest of the league. I've
not seen much of the premiership, but what I have seen
hadn't seemed as good as previous years.
Vardy has got to a big part of it. The footage of the
party at his house seems to suggest a team that plays
together and, well, plays together.
It's also been nice
to see a couple of people have been mentioning Nigel
Pearson's contribution. I always thought he'd be the
next Wednesday manager, but I've got to say Carlos has been
But the the big thing
about the premiership this year is it gives everyone hope.
If Leicester can do it, then why can't we? And maybe,
just maybe, the mighty Sheffield Wednesday could be up there
I didn't get to the
snooker again this year because I left it too late.
I have, however,
watched far too much of it on TV.
The problem has been
that I've been feeling particularly under the weather and
it's just been far too easy to lay on the bed feeling sorry
for myself and while watching snooker.
But it's been poor
fayre. The big names and flair players got knocked out
early and too many of the games were one-sided. A
cynic would say Steve Davis' retirement and the
announcement that snooker is in Sheffield for at least ten
years were just to enliven a tournament that ws in danger of
becoming stale. Selby's performance in the final did nothing
to enhance snookers popularity. He ground out a
victory and effectively bullied Ding out of the
One high point was
Rack Pack. It was one of those true stories that the
BBC does very well. Well cast, well written and well
played with humour and pathos it was a little gem.
It's on iPlayer until the end of the year.
Next year, I'll book
It's hard to say how
good this was.
I've been saying for
sometime that Hooper needs to score and we need to play well
for an entire match.
It worries me when we
start well and don't score, these are the matches we lose,
but today in the second half we only seemed to become
stronger and there was an inevitable feeling about the win.
Hooper has apparently
been a very expectant father and once his wife gave birth it
seemed the shackles were off. A superb strike against
the woodwork in the first half was followed by a better
follow up for the first and that little dink for the third.
Genius. I'd give him the second. The work he put
in keeping the ball in play, regaining his feet after being
pulled to the ground (penalty!), his ball in. OK, it
took a deflection but it was going in anyway.
Cardiff weren't much
of an opposition in fact they looked like they were playing
for a draw. According to one of the forums (fora?)
they had expected Wednesday to play for the draw so their
game plan was to to start by sizing us up, make sure they
didn't have any defensive slip ups, build slowly until they
were going all out.
It didn't work. We
didn't give a chance to have any say on the game at all.
If we play like this
for the next three matches then were going to be playing in
the Premiership next year.
One slight grumble.
I wasn't feeling well enough to properly celebrate the
Two cats have found
their way into the media.
One is Bella, the cat
so vicious the Postie won't deliver to her house, but it's
this picture that gets me.
The other thing was Keanu.
It's parody of the Keanu Reeves film John Wick where the
eponymous Wick hunts down and kills gang members who kill
his dog. Here, the kitten is kidnapped as a Gangsta
Pet. Here's the trailer. I challenge you not to
go "Aaaaaaah!" every time the kitten appears.
Here's a bit more.
Wait for the hat to twitch. Aaaaaaaah.