Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chief Constable Meredydd (6 points) Hughes ..AGAIN

I have just listened to Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes of South Yorkshire police on Newsnight trying to defend why there appears to be one law for the police and one law for the public when it comes to prosecuting the police for speeding offences.

There are cases around the country and one blatant one on his own patch where police officers have either refused to be identified or the police fail to identify the drivers of speeding police vehicles, thus they drop their own case against themselves. Does that smack of crookedness or what !! Wouldn't you like to handle your own speeding case in the same way ? It really beggars belief.

Don't forget that this man has thrown down the gauntlet to British drivers and arrogantly stated that they (the police) will pursue drivers who get off their speeding fines through a technicality. Now if I am not mistaken, what the police are doing here is more than just a technicality, it in fact sounds pretty suspect to me.

Despite Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes breathtaking arrogance, his bluster all through the interview with Gavin Essler was not at all convincing and I am sure that the listening public was not taken in by his lame excuses and well rehearsed rhetoric. He looked mightily uncomfortable from where I was standing.

Today, the case goes before the European Courts over the issue of divulging the drivers name in speeding cases and failure to do so means prosecution of the car owner. I hope that the court is sensible enough to find in favour of the British public and outlaw this odious practice of prosecuting someone by default who may not have committed any driving offence at all.

I would suggest that everyone who is not happy with the aforementioned abuse of power by the police supports a speed camera action group. I have linked to one you might find interesting and they fight hard to make the public aware of the injustices being heaped on the drivers of this country in the pursuance of revenue creation.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Global Warming

Here I am sitting in front of my computer on a Sunday morning at the end of September and the weather is just lovely. It's warm, although a bit cloudy, and everyone is out in tee shirts and shorts.
As part of my job is dealing with environmental issues I look at this and have pangs of conscience because actually I quite like the thought of having a climate here a few degrees warmer. Am I wrong to think that if it is inevitable we should be making provision to adjust to it or should we be going all out to change our lifestyle to such a degree that it makes us miserable.
Given that most people go abroad for their holidays for guaranteed sunshine, would it be bad for more people to holiday "at home" and not take so many "environmentally damaging" flights ?
What chance do we have to make a real impact on global warming without the major countries on the planet signing up for it ?
I have enjoyed this summer here in the U.K. and I wouldn't mind it developing into a nice mild Winter either.
So just a thought...should we enjoy the benefits from global warming or not? Does the thought make me a real villain ?
If there is anyone out there that would like to lecture me on selfishness and protecting our planet for future generations.. then please don't cause I know about that already, hence my pangs of conscience.
Anyway, I am off out now to enjoy this gorgeous sunshine. It's such a shame to stay in and miss it!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Abu Izzadeen (Trevor Brooks)

I was listening to Radio 4's Today programme on the way to work this morning when John Humphrys was interviewing Abu Izzadeen the heckler who shouted down John Reid when recently addressing a Muslim gathering.

What I heard from Jamaican origins Izzadeen made my blood run cold. He was ranting and raving about death to Blair, George Bush and just about anyone else who happened not to be Muslim.

As I have said before, I have many moderate Muslim friends and I can say unequivocally that HE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THEM or the majority of the Muslim community in this country who have worked so hard to embrace the very democracy and freedom that Izzadeen hates and detests so much.
I have linked to the BBC site so you can hear the interview for yourselves. Izzadeen wants Sharia law to rule in this country, he said so... but guess what.... I don't !!! I cannot forget the harrowing images on the T.V. a few years ago from Afghanistan when an Afghani secretly filmed the Taliban drive a truck into a packed football stadium with two women in the back. They took the women out of the truck made them kneel and shot them in the back of the head with a rifle. I still carry the shock of that thanks but no thanks..I would rather live in the cesspit of the West wouldn't you.
If you want to see where this guy really comes from just type his name into a search engine and you will get the full picture. Don't forget he said the 7/7 bombers were praiseworthy and he refused to condemn them or the 9/11 attacks.
It is therefore clear Izzadeen is not unknown to the authorities who have threatened to charge him before but do not appear to have delivered despite the threat to do so. Also, the Today programme omitted to tell us listeners the history of Izzadeen before the interview and this does leave a little questionmark as to why this was felt necessary.
Anyway, going back to the interview, If Izzadeen hates and detests our society so much, why doesn't he go and live in a Muslim country governed by sharia law? John Humphrys asked him this very question but of course there was no straight reply just a rant about us advocating mass deportation of all Muslims who disagree with our ways which is typical and not unexpected.
Today is a sad day for every moderate Muslim that Izzadeen insulted on several occasions during the interview. Do we really need people like him in this country spreading his evil bile and stirring up such hatred?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Richard Hammond

I was utterly shocked to hear of the tragic accident involving Richard "Hamster" Hammond. Richard is one of those guys who exudes joy and enthusiasm through the medium of T.V. In fact he always gave the impression he is a thoroughly nice member of the human race and I guess he is just that.
His team mates in Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and The Stig must be devastated as I presume they may have been there at the time of the crash. What Richard was doing driving a car (read machine) normally the domain of pilots at 300 m.p.h. I cannot hazard a guess at but thats for another time.

Richard, to you and your family, we offer our sincere best wishes and hope that you get well soon. We are all thinking of you at this time and praying for your speedy recovery.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sitges - Heaven or Hell

I just read in the newspaper about Michael Robien and his family who were viciously robbed by four masked East European bandits in their luxury home in Sitges nr Barcelona, Spain.
This brought back real memories for me cause just over two years ago I went to Sitges for a weeks holiday break at May time. Sitges is a nice middle class holiday resort with a nice gay scene and many Barcelonians who go there at weekends to escape from the city. There is an air of wealth and respectability about the place and I liked it I have to say as a holiday destination,... but there it ends very abruptly.
Whilst I was on the crowded beach I had my bag stolen from under my nose was about 3 inches from my head as I lay getting some rays from the sun. My wallet went, my digital camera, my Raymond Weil wristwatch and my Police sunglasses .Just over a £1,000 's worth and no one saw a thing, not a bloody thing. Yes, I was stupid to have that on the beach with me so no lectures please.
The hassle this caused me was unbelievable, calls to my Bank, calls to cancel my credit cards etc. and a two hour interview with the local police which was about as much use as a glass eye. They admitted it was probably stolen by a gang of East Europeans as many operated in the area and there was nothing they could do.
On top of this my traveling companion went out for some fresh air one night for a walk round the block and he was viciously beaten up, strangled unconscious, robbed of his jewelry and left on the beach. When I found him I managed to get him into the hotel and eventually I had to get the paramedics in and take him to hospital.
From the report in the newspaper about this current robbery , it took the police 55 minutes to get to the scene. Am I surprised? not a bit. The police admitted to me that there was little they could do to stop the influx of East European thieves into their resort and it seems now nearly three years later that still nothing has changed.
We, in this country are waiting for the doors to open once again for the inclusion of two more Eastern Bloc countries into the EU, Romania and Bulgaria. If reports are to be believed, apart from the economic strains an open door policy will cause , there is also the threat of around 45,000 undesirables making their way here too. Should we be worried about this? I leave this to you.
Judging from my experience of Sitges three years ago and the current predicament of the Robien family the future could be very fraught for us.
If it's a holiday you want though, my advice is to stay clear of Sitges as the law seems pretty sterile there. Not unless you go looking like a tramp and wearing your Timex watch, Boots sunglasses and no jewelry on display whatsoever. What a situation to find yourself in....... it would be better to stay at home.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tommy Lee's Rock Star

I have to confess I have been avidly watching another reality T.V. show.. Tommy Lee's Rock Star which is the search for the lead singer to front Tommy Lee, Jason Newstead and Gilbey Clarke's band Supernova.

There have been some stunning performances from both girls and boys but you know, it is a foregone conclusion that this band could never be fronted by a chick singer, even as good as Storm Large. One contender, Dilana was a mess pierced, tattooed and with a real attitude problem.
The House band are amazing and their Brazilian guitarist just delivered everytime with such power and panache..WOW!
So who will win now we are down to just five. Well, Lukas Rossi a small eccentic eyeshadow wearing Canadian with such an unbelievably powerful voice delivered a mindblowing snails pace version of Bon Jovi's Living On A Prayer with just keyboards in the background and him on guitar. It was awesome.
So Lukas for the part I guess.. well, as it's a re-run on our T.V. it's all over in the States now anyway ha ha. If you like Rock music you will like this series, the singing at times was fantastic even if the comments from the "stars" was a bit cliche'd at times... but then that's reality T.V. for you isn't it. Good luck Lukas.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wellington Monument

I have been up into the beautiful Blackdown Hills in Somerset recently and decided to visit the Wellington Monument which overlooks the town of Wellington and the Taunton Vale. The views are breathtaking but oh my..what have they done to the monument.
It looks flaming ghastly. It's surrounded by a high (about 12 foot) fence made of corrugated steel sheets and looks like something out of a scrap dealers yard. When you look through the makeshift door, (also made of steel sheets) it doesn't look like there is much going on so what are they doing there? Renovating it or what?
If they wanted to keep people out they could have at least put up a palisade type fence which you could see through and get a glimpse of the complete monument and the historic cannon. What a mess.. what are the National Trust doing? They should know better. What a disappointing trip for us.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria (Thumbs Down)

Well it had to happen didn't it ? I suppose there was no way in this world that ALW and that apology for Uriah Heep David Ian would let a little thing like the public ruin their chances of making mega bucks from their S.O.M. by choosing the wrong person for the role of Maria Von Trapp.
So, professional Emma Williams has already received a twelve month contract for the part, who the BBC spokesperson (who is this person anyway?) says will play back up to the winner of the reality show a couple times a week.
Emma Williams is known for playing the part of Truly Scrumptious in the West End version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and isn't it funny that ALW got Siobhan to sing that part with the kids from CCBB as one of her tasks ? Am I a cynic...maybe.
So, how it looks at the moment is this... the winner of the TV show will guarantee the attendance and make the show an initial success through bums on seats.Then at the end of the normal six month contract offered to the winner (normal?.. how come Williams has a twelve month one then?) ..oh yeah, then Williams will take over the full lead role. Does that stink or what ? Just a bit I would say if it is true that is. Doesn't it take the piss out of us the viewers of the T.V. programme ? Just a wee (excuse the pun) little bit too.
I have made a note in my diary to check up in six months time if the winner tonight is still in the lead role of the show. I have a hunch she just may not be.. but I hope I am wrong.
Thanks to blogger Music Man for the lead on this. Shall I watch the finale tonight ? My partner wants to but I feel like puking up in a bucket at the moment as I feel like I have been well and truly duped.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Chief Constable Meredydd (6 points) Hughes

I watched Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes on T.V. this morning spouting on about speed cameras. He was smug, self opinionated and his body language smacked of wanting to take on the motorists of this country head on.

He was, amongst the other utter bull, saying how him and his "expert" speed camera team are called upon to give evidence for the police in court proceedings brought by hard pressed motorists to challenge onerous and dubious speeding fines. He was so chuffed and couldn't contain his excitement to say "We have not lost one case in five years when we are called to give evidence". Unfortunately your smug school bully grin gives you away for the pariah you are. There surely will be a time when motorists take you on and wipe that smug grin off your face. I can't wait

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Burden Sisters - Inheritance Tax

Whilst I have every sympathy with the Burden sisters who are challenging the Inheritance Tax Laws of this country in Strasbourg today , I feel it really disingenuous of their lawyers to site the recent Civil Partnership Act as a comparison on which to challenge their case.
I totally disagree with Inheritance Tax as it stands (see my earlier blog article) but the Civil Partnership Law was hard fought by gay lobyists and won on the basis that same sex partners living together as a couple (in all sense married) have the right to leave their assets, insurances and pensions to each other as would any heterosexual married couple.
These two sisters are not living together as a "married" couple, how on earth could they be.They only share their lives within the same living space and with nothing more than a sisterly emotional tie. I can assure you it is not the same and anyone within a committed gay relationship will tell you that.
So, if the current Inheritance Tax Laws need to be changed , then so be it and I agree they do. but please do not denigrate the massively wonderful achievement of the Civil Partnership Law which came into force in this country on December 5th 2005 by jumping on the bandwaggon and associating it with this heartbreaking case being fought by these two elderly ladies.
Living together in sisterly love is not the same as a same sex Civil Partnership and never ever will be.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria (update Semi-Final)

Well folks we are now down to three ! It was surprising that Aiofe was one of them, along with Abbey who was strong vocally and is likely to be destined for a musical stage career, as are all of the girls who made the top eight or so. No doubt the exposure they have received on the old tele will stand them in good stead even though they may not get the part of Maria. So in that respect they are all winners aren't they.
It was good to hear from God himself (ALW) that Simona was auditioning for Evita this week. Fantastic news! You go and blow their socks off girl o.k. !!!! So we are left with Siobhan, Helena and Connie. Siobhan gave a cracking version of All that Jazz from Chicago.. she really vamped it up and looked stunning. However, two thirds of the panel weren't very complimentary about her performance except David Ian that is. Predictable?..well, is the Pope Catholic ? Personally I thought Siobhan was fantastic but what we must remember is that Zoe Tyler is only interested in vocal perfection, which may be at odds sometimes with what an audience wants, if you get my drift. I want to go and see a performance and maybe I am not experienced enough to judge whether every note is pitch perfect and maybe I really don't care.... reasonable comment ?
Helena ..well what can we say. She just came alive and she does have a beautiful voice. Her rendition of My Heart Will Go On was stunning and she has changed her look over the past couple weeks and comes over as looking the part of a conventional star with pizazz and charisma. Well done to you.
When it came to outing the final contender it was between Aiofe and Siobhan and ALW chose Siobhan for her voice over Aiofe. Siobhan looked so stunned she just did not react to the decision as one would expect... and there is the rub ! Siobhan has everything, stunning looks, perfect soprano voice and a lovely temperament...but ..and there is a big but..... she lacks the confidence and self belief you would expect. Will this be her downfall? I expect Zoe Tyler would have said something about this had she had the opportunity last night after the sing off. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the next week leading up to the final..Oh my god, all those tears.
Connie came through as usual but I thought her performance was a bit ordinary although the panel and ALW thought it was great.. then I am only potential audience material after all.
So here we are looking forward to the final next week.. Siobhan, for gods sake make that giant leap and believe in yourself baby ! What am I looking forward to.. well, I want John Barrowman to camp it up a bit and be a real queen, after all he is a member of the club. I want to see Zoe Tyler burst into tears at the end and show she is human after all and I want to see David Ian take a grand out of his pocket and rip it up into small pieces to show he is not just motivated by money after all.
Good luck everyone for next week.. Oh and to Zo's friend, enjoy your trip and wear your I Love Julie Andrews badge in the audience so I will recognise you ha ha ha.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Zara Phillips

Well done Zara Phillips in becoming World Champion 3 day eventer at the World Equestrian Games riding Toytown. 25 year old Zara, daughter of The Princess Royal already has European Champion under her belt so her achievement in landing the double has already surpassed her mother's and father's (Captain Mark Phillips) not inconsiderable achievements in 3 day eventing. Zara is now a prime contender for Sports Personality Of The Year which was awarded to her mother in 1971. This is a fabulous result for the Queens grand daughter and one that will be an inspiration for many young horse mad girls and boys around the country. It took exceptional hard work and guts to win well done to Zara and her behind the scene's team.

IKEA - Furniture Warehouse or Creche ?

We went to IKEA yesterday to buy a mirror. It was an unforgettable experience and one that we don't want to repeat too often. You see, it seems to me that IKEA is the place that mums and dads bring their bored and unruly kids so that they can run amok. All those little trainers covered in dirt climbing all over the leather furniture, over the nice clean bed linen. All those grubby little hands in amongst the kitchen ware, loads of stuff scattered over the floor where it was dropped in front of mum and dads eyes and who just walk off as if it was not their little darlings who threw it there. If you can't get the picture think of a household store version of TK MAXX.. o.k.

Having experienced this horrendous situation I think I would rather shop in John Lewis where you pay more for a quality item amongst more upmarket clientele. God knows what these kids will be like as teenagers, although we can guess can't we. Lack of manners, lack of respect for people and their property and lack of parental supervision leads to a potential ASBO. I will say no more.

There is a lot to be said for mail order isn't there.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria (Update)

Well folks we are now down to five budding Marias cause two were booted last night. Unfortunately, one was Simona who just could not get by the prejudice about her accent. She is a dedicated, hardworking and extremely talented actress and singer. Andrew Lloyd Webber said such nice things to her and pleaded with her to audition for Evita. Go for it girl, you deserve it.. YOU ARE A STAR ! Even the ice queen Zoe Tyler backed her up and said really positive things about her. Is the Ice Queen melting a little ? Also, the precocious little Leanne was booted as well, and for the right reasons. She was too young and showed it sometimes in her comments about the other players in this reality charade. I say charade because this is how it seems to be developing. There is no doubt that the girls are being manipulated by Andrew and co. so that they do not end up with the wrong person in the role. One by one the wrong un's are being outed and all under the premise that it is "You the public" who are choosing the right one for the role. If you believe that then you must need your head testing.
Back to the girls, I believe now that there are only three left who are suitable for the role. Aoife, Connie and Siobhan. The one who will get the role is certainly going to be Siobhan. The Producer letch David Ian is metaphorically in love with her for a start, and makes no bones about it. He is constantly talking about bums on seats and I am sure that he can hear the cash registers pinging. He is obsessed with money and sometimes it gets really boring. John Barrowman is the one who is planted on the panel to be enthusiastic, full of praise for their efforts and to give the feel good factor once they have been shredded by David Ian or Zoe Tyler. After all it is to a formula isn't it. John Barrowman loves every one of the girls and every one could be his Maria. Zoe Tyler, well this week she said some extraordinarily nice things about some of the girls but her compliment about Siobhan's voice was so overwhelming it has to sow the seed for success. As for Andrew Lloyd Webber, when Siobhan sung with the children his face just lit up and that said it all.
So there you have it Siobhan for Maria. Will I be right ? Time will tell. This programme has certainly buggered up my Saturday nights as we have to stay in now and see who is eliminated at 8.50 p.m. Oh, and if your reading this Simona.. believe it honey ...YOU ARE A STAR !!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Warrior Soul

This is a tribute to one of the most incredible bands ever.. Warrior Soul. Their lyrics are stunning, all about deprivation and anti establishment. This did not make them popular with the music industry and they found it difficult to establish a steady recording contract. They made a set of outstanding albums and the video I link to is from their first album Last Decade Dead Century. Their enigmatic singer Kory Clark was the worlds most angry man.. judge for yourself. Now gone from the music scene this band represents a great loss to the music industry . Kory Clark is still out there and probably still as angry.. but WOW his anger made for the most incredible poetic rock music. Gone but not forgotten............