Come on over, the sun’s out, the water’s warm, and there’s a Piña Colada waiting for you on the beach.

As many of you know, Ampers’ Rants has moved to and we will be living there from now on. At the same time, I decided to register my own name for the Ampers’ Rants website. This way, if we decide to move again, you won’t have to worry as this link will always find us.

However, we are also on Twitter, and you can find us hanging out at AmpersUK there.

I have enjoyed our friendship and it will be a pity to lose touch with you, especially as many of you seem to come from all over the world (96 countries at the time of moving) – when you come to London, hop on an 82 bus and ask to be put off at ‘Ampers Towers’, it’s a huge building, you can’t miss it.


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Ampers’s Rants have decided to move.

Please note our new address. There will be no more posts here.

If you have added your name to be notified, you can also add your address at the new website:

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England won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest – The UK lost.

The United Kingdom (they came 11th) may have lost the contest but England were the real winners.

43 countries voted, and 41 of those voted in English not French.

France, of course, voted in French, and the Belgian representative was a Walloon (a French speaking Belgian) so naturally did as well, but no one else did.

Out of the twenty-five groups singing, 21 sang in English, three sang in their home language (Serbia, Spain, and even the French singer sang in his home language which was Corsican). Those adept at mental arithmetic will notice I have missed one out. This was the Greek entry and this was sung half in English and half in Greek.

Without wishing to denigrate France, a country I love and visit often – especially Paris where I worked between 1959 and 1962) surely there is a case now to drop French from the languages required to host the show, making it just English and the language of the host country? This would be fairer to the people in the country who are hosting the show.

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Children – should they have ‘rights’? – A compelling answer to this question…

Mirna is an educational psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools, amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother, loves art, the ocean and children.


I have been writing on the effects of divorce for the last couple of letters and would like to conclude with this short but powerful voice for the rights of children to be respected when a family is going through a divorce.

I found this at Children in the Middle-and added thoughts I found important for children going through a divorce. It really succinctly encapsulate the essence of going through a “good” divorce.

Children of Divorce’s Bill of Rights

  1. Recognize that we love and need both parents.
  2. Don’t turn us into messengers. Mom and Dad should talk to each other directly.
  3. Don’t say bad things about our other parent.
  4. Don’t grill us about what is going on at our other parent’s home.
  5. Don’t ask us to take sides.
  6. Don’t make us feel like we’re being disloyal to you if we enjoy being with our other parent.
  7. If you have something angry to say to our other parent, don’t say it around us.
  8. We do not want to be used as weapons against the other parent.
  9. Do not bribe us or give us gift because of your guilt or revenge. More than anything we need your time, patience and attention.

If parents who are divorcing could follow these guidelines – they can ensure to go through the separation with less trauma and more secure children. 

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but they make a lot of sense to me.

I would wager that the many parents we read about who kill their children rather than let their spouse have them have not followed these rules. God, but they must really hate. Yes, I know they must be unbalanced, but why and how did they get that way?


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I watched this and didn’t know whether it was exciting or frightening – you decide!

Sony showed this to attendees at their Annual Shareholder’s meeting in 2009 but I have only just come across it and think it needs a wider audience.

The frightening thing is when they talk about first year and third year students…

Tell us what frightened or excited you below in the comments!


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Which is best for Britain? A monarchy or a republic? You decide!

The following is part of an article from the Adam Smith Institute and you can read the rest of the article here.

Camden Council has effectively banned a street party planned by republicans to coincide with the royal wedding. This is a shame, since those opposed to the monarchic principle should be allowed to express their views. It is not as if they were trying to occupy part of a public space in perpetuity; it was just a day’s party they planned.

It does highlight the debate between those who support our constitutional monarchy and those who favour replacing it by a republic with an elected head of state. To those of a libertarian bent, what matters is not how democratic or representative is either form of government, but how friendly they are to liberty.

On an empirical level, constitutional monarchies have been quite friendly to liberty. A monarch who inherits the office feels no popular mandate to impose their views on everyone else. They did not have to claw their way to the top, but simply inherited it, and are conscious of the limitations this implies.

Our constitutional monarch occupies the top slots, not only as head of state, but as head of the armed forces and the judiciary. As such, they deny these posts to ambitious self-seekers who might wish to use them to promote an agenda. A monarch who simply inherits the position can act as a focus for the nation more easily than someone elected as head of state via partisan politics.

Many, if not most, of the theoretical arguments would win the case against a head of state who came from a family that had emerged by the blood and chance of history to occupy that position from birth alone. Yet in practice the record of modern constitutional monarchies has been a good one for tolerance, for the rights of dissenting minorities to do their own thing, and for upholding the rule of law and the rights of free speech.

The bit that convinces me, hands down, is the passage I have highlighted above, in red. It makes good sense to me as we all know what partisan politics have done for our country since the second world war.

Politicians are, on the whole, hated more than estate agents, and certainly more than bankers. The right question to ask here, is a simple “why?”

It is because they are self-seeking, and on the whole, in it for the power or the money. Certainly not for the peoples of these islands.



Lest we forget – Ishinomaki – Black Water

A short documentary film about Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture one of the hardest hit areas of the 11th March 2011 tsunami.

This documentary deals with the city, the people and relief efforts completed by individuals living in Tokyo to send relief supplies to a center for disabled people in Ishinomaki.

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One 71 year old that leaves our politicians standing – a man to be greatly admired.

Colour and excitement returned to the City yesterday as Glencore announced a former French foreign legionnaire, Algerian war veteran, author, explorer and financier as its new chairman.

Photo of Simon Murray CBE

Simon Murray CBE (via Vodafone)

Simon Murray (pictured) will be tasked with leading the firm’s up-to $11bn (£6.7bn) float, valuing it at about $60bn, the details of which were confirmed yesterday.

The move heralded a return to the days when interesting and complex characters, rather than faceless executives, ran the City.

Earlier this week, Murray said: “This is very exciting, but you are talking to someone who has been chased by a leopard. You are talking to someone who has been shot at with a machine gun and missed.”

Murray, whose tales of derring-do include carrying two severed heads in his backpack during his time in the French Foreign Legion, was born in Leicester in central England. As a teenager in 1960 he joined the Foreign Legion on a whim, going on to fight for five years in Algeria. He later wrote a bestseller, “Legionnaire”, about his time in north Africa.

It was made into a film in 2002.

Educated at Bedford School, one of England’s oldest public schools, Murray was turned down by the British Army before signing up with the Foreign Legion.

“I think perhaps I was just a young buck without much confidence in himself setting an extreme challenge to see if he could hack it in a man’s world,” he says in his book.

He has since run a 240km race in the Moroccan desert, climbed Mount Everest and become the oldest man to walk unsupported to the South Pole. Glencore unveiled its blockbuster initial public offering (IPO) to the market yesterday, following months of speculation.

According to Wikipedia, he has been awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by H.M. The Queen, and the Order of Merit of the French Republic and is a “Chevalier de La Legion d’Honneur”. He holds an Honorary Degree in law, from Bath University and attended the (SEP) Stanford Executive Programme in the US.  He also trekked to the South Pole in his sixties.

Murray married long-time sweetheart, the former Jennifer Mather, with whom he has three children. Jennifer Murray was the first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter.

What a family

Read the full article in the City A.M. newspaper.


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