Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the category “Good Stuff”

Light Relief

A little topical humour to hopefully cheer us up amid all the gloom.

The hair cut
One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door..

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The cop is happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The professor is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen different books, such as ‘How to Improve Your Business’ and ‘Becoming More Successful.’

Then, a Member of Parliament comes in for a haircut , and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The Member of Parliament is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.  (but not of course Hazel Blears – she’s far too nice don’t you think?).

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Just Fun

Isn’t it great when in these times of gloom and doom you come across something that is just for fun. So, sit back and enjoy the following.

Stand By Me

This video just has to be the most heart warming global lift of the centuary so far at least.

Click Here Download, sit back and enjoy.

Jade Goody Grand Slam

The death of Jade Goody is front page news and is even the lead item on the BBC web site today. Of course I’m sorry that a mother has died of cancer at a very young age and I am pleased that she raised awareness of cervical cancer resulting in many young women going for tests which may save lives.

_45589930_goodyb282_bbcJust pause for a moment though. Just why has she such a high profile? To be honest I had to do a little easy research to find out, as she has been nothing but an irritating news link for a very long time. Apparently Jade shot to fame and yes, fortune, by being a contestant on ‘Big Brother’ a ridiculous voyeuristic TV programme. Yes, I have seen it, or at least about ten minutes of it before changing channel. Her claim to fame was her almost complete lack of general knowledge and that’s it! Exhibiting a failed education and making a virtue out of ignorance, millions apparently made her into a celebrity. What the hell does that say about the kind of society that we live in?

In the same weekend that Jade died, Ireland won the Five Nations Championship with a Grand Slam for the first time since 1948. Ireland, in the case of Rugby, means all of Ireland, north and south working together. images2Particularly given the recent murders in Northern Ireland threatening the long awaited but still fragile peace building process, this amazing event should surely have been news item number one rather than pushed well down the news rankings.

Heartening

I’m not going to bang on about the BBC’s disgraceful decision to refuse the DEC’s request to broadcast an appeal for donations to help the injured and homeless victims of war in Gaza. Nor will I comment on the Mark Thomson, Director General of the BBC, blog with his pathetic reasoning.

I will though sound the trumpets and bang the drums for the vast majority of licence fee payers who posted comments condemning the BBC stance, as well as government ministers, the Charity Commissioners and many others. Not forgetting of course Tony Benn’s brilliant interview on Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Most people do care so let’s take heart from this and who knows, maybe the appeal will generate even more cash as a result of this lamentable stance.

As an after thought I think there is a strong case for the licence fee payers to elect the BBC directors.

Time to Come Home

At least five more deaths of our troops in Afghanistan since I last wrote on this matter. Five more wasted young lives along with even more injured, some of whom will require care for the rest of their lives.

The financial cost of this hopeless invasion is crippling and the human cost is incalculable. The government says that we are fighting terrorists who would otherwise be in the UK causing havoc. Even if this were completely true and nothing to do with pipelines across Afghanistan, already it is said that trainee terrorists are moving into Pakistan and Somalia where it is easier for them to set up camp. What is the West going to do now then? Invade Pakistan, invade Somalia? Then where? Atrocities have so far been committed here by largely ‘home grown’ terrorists so is the government going to create Martial Law here?

Bring our troops home now and save who knows how many young lives. This ‘war’ is actually an invasion of a foreign country and the so called ‘insurgents’ are in reality fighting for their country against the invaders. Surely we would do the same if the situation were reversed. The government in Kabul is nothing  but a puppet of the US and is corrupt from top to bottom. No, I wouldn’t like to see the Taliban back in full control but it is their country and we should keep our noses out. It took many hundreds of years to arrive at our democratic and freedom loving society, they too need time to develop. Let’s not forget that our democratic and freedom loving society created Guantanamo Bay, an acceptance of torture and in the UK’s case, allowing US planes to refuel en route with prisoners being taken for torture.

Bring our troops home, cancel the aircraft carrier order, concentrate our resources purely on a defensive force and we will be richer, pose no threat and therefore be safer.

Economic Boost

Well, it’s coming up to Christmas so let’s have a little bit of cheer amidst all the gloom and economic despondency.

The Pound has fallen in value to almost equal the Euro and in the current recession this is a definite advantage. Our exports will be cheaper for the buyers thereby creating more work for us or at the very least, preventing the closure of some companies. Holidays abroad will be considerably more expensive and so encourage many of us to holiday in the UK and so keep the money within our own economy. Additionally, a holiday in the UK will be very attractive to foreigners and provide yet another boost.

Of course, as the global downturn turns up in a year or so, we will be at a slight disadvantage to start with but let’s not worry about that for now, it’ll spoil this little bit of cheer.

A Sign of The Times

On a slightly lighter note amidst all the gloom and doom.

A motor cruiser named ‘Mr Greedy’ got into trouble and ended up on the rocks in the Channel Islands, which of course are well known tax havens for bankers, financiers and those not willing to pay their proper contribution to society. See.

Housing, it’s not all bad news.

House prices continue to fall in the UK with London showing it’s first fall in over eight years. Bad news if you’ve bought a house expecting it to increase in value, above the rate of inflation, indefinitely. If though, you bought a house to be your home to live in, which is what they are really for, what difference does it make? If you need to move then the cost of the house you wish to buy will also have gone down by approximately the same percentage rate as yours. If the current financial crisis continues and it looks set to do so for a year or two at least, then house prices may stabilise at a sensible and sustainable level. It’s not likely, unfortunately, that the current government will accept my suggestion and nationalise all land (see).

Perhaps and I won’t hold my breath, regulations will be brought in requiring a hefty deposit to be put down when buying a home and a limit on lending of say, three times annual income. In the case of a couple buying, based on the highest single earner only, thus removing the financial block on having babies. These regulations would have the added benefit of keeping prices on a more even keel.

The talks currently still under way in the USA, as to how to prop up the banks with how many $billions are going to do little for mortgaged to the hilt buyers in the US and in the wider world. ‘Trickle down’ has never worked as we all know too well after the Thatcher years. How about at least some of these now almost countless billions going to the mortgage payers who are in trouble, by way of installment interest relief. It would help them and help the wider economy and if the greedy bankers could possibly learn the lesson it would help to stabilise the banks as well.

Oh well, dream on.

The Cern Collider

So, the day has arrived when the Cern Collider is switched on and particles start to get up to speed before being smashed together in an experiment to learn more, much more, about the origin and make up of our universe.

Many voices have been raised criticising the expense but it is only through experimentation that we as a specie advance our knowledge and nearly always there are benefits to be accrued from scientific research. Experience shows however that often, along with the benefits, come detriments. If new knowledge can be used for power/military purposes then it will be. That of course is not an argument to curtail pure scientific research but an argument for greater control of political leaders by the people.

One other thing did concern me though. In an interview last week on the ‘Today Programme’ one of the scientists involved (his name escapes me as I’d just woken up!) said that there was only the remotest possibility of creating a Black Hole and such a hole would be very small and nothing to worry about. Surely before embarking on this endevour there should be an absolute certainty that nothing, absolutely nothing, could go wrong.

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