Archive for June, 2009

This is a test to speed up my blogging

Mainly I want to see how the formatting comes out as I am using a program to speed up the blog in Office 97. Yes, I have had to dual boot with Linux as I need too many Windows programs for my newspaper.

Ampers

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£25,000,000,000

Twenty-five billion pounds!

“Treasury figures show that welfare payments will exceed income tax receipts by almost £25 billion. Normally, income tax receipts comfortably cover the benefits bill.”

In 2008/09, gross income tax receipts were £152.5 billion. In the same year, social security benefits cost the Exchequer £150.1 billion.

In 2009/10, the Treasury is expecting to take in £140.5 billion in gross income tax receipts. Social security benefits are projected to be £164.7 billion.

The disparity between tax revenue and welfare costs was identified by Andrew Brough, a fund manager at Schroder Investment Management, who suggested that the amount of money spent on social protection could soon exceed that raised from both income tax and national insurance.

Something, somewhere, has to give. Or, in this case, stop!

Now read the rest of the article

Ampers

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Slow down of service

Greetings to my blogees,

As the days approach to my seventieth birthday (19th July) many readers will have noticed a slow-down of my blogs. No, this is nothing to do with nature’s way of telling me to slow down as I will tell you below.

I live in London N3 in an area known as Finchley. Fifteen years ago I lived in the next town called East Finchley where I started up a newspaper called The Archer and, although I left the area I follow its progress, and it is still a force as a community newspaper which pleases me immensely.

I am now starting a newspaper in Finchley, N3. We are calling it The Finchley Arrow with a strap line of “…straight to the point!”

If you click on the above link you will see where we have got to-date. At present our web address points to a Google Group but we have found a web builder who has offered to build our website for us. However, we still need a designer to design the actual pages.

Royal Mail have given me the number of letterboxes in the area, and showing a breakdown between the three sub-areas (N3 1xx, N3 2xx and N3 3xx) of both resident’s and businesses’ letterboxes. Although this will be an electronic newspaper, we still have to leaflet the area every three months. Our initial leaflet calls for helpers and will be delivered here next Friday. When I started The Archer I only sent out 1,000 leaflets and within six months had a team of fifty volunteers. Times are tougher nowadays but I am expecting at least fifty helpers within a few weeks of the delivery of our 10,000 leaflets.

Our first issue comes out at the end of the last week of September, so after that I hope to have more time for my blog. This doesn’t mean I won’t do at least one or two each week between now and then.

Also, after we have got the second or third issue out, I will refer to my notes and write an article of exactly how we all went about this. The idea being that others could follow suit and start community newspapers in their locations. It would be nice if they could keep the word Arrow in their name so we get some sort of brand recognition. The Barnet Arrow, The Streatham Arrow, The Richmond Arrow and so on. Each independently run, no royalties, just enough to carry some strength of brand advertising.

Ampers

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I haven’t washed my hair for longer than two years!

The following is from a London Evening Standard article and shows that Prince Harry is nearly as wise as I am”

Hair gets down and dirty
Alice Hart-Davis
10.05.09

Prince Harry hasn’t washed his hair for two years? Eeuw! Or is he just cleverer than the rest of us, with the perfect, credit-crunch, no-care hair-care solution?

It sounds revolting, and he’s not the only famous name who’s doing it, judging by recent pictures of Alice Dellal, Alexa Chung and the Geldof girls, who all look like they could do with a good wash and blow-dry. But skipping the shampoo isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.

“Sebum, the oil we secrete to lubricate our hair, is anti-viral and cleansing,” says Kensington hair maestro Valentino, who has had phases of not washing his hair for years on end (at the moment, he washes it around once every six weeks).

“When you wash your hair, you upset the natural pH [acid/alkaline balance] of the scalp and that has a knock-on effect on the whole body.”

You can read the whole article on this page.

Ampers.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/health/article-23685574-details/Hair%2Bgets%2Bdown%2Band%2Bdirty/article.do

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We should rethink our immigration strategy

We should treat immigrants like we treat our own university students–make them pay for our largess!

I have been trying to come up with a serious idea which our trendy lefties would find difficult to argue with. They will scream abuse, yes, but could they come up with a good argument against my plan that ordinary people would accept?

The plan must preserve life i.e. nobody should starve in our country whether they are prepared to work or not. And we should charge charities with looking after the claims, not our own government who can’t even boil an egg!

So, for the first five years, all immigrants will not be entitled to free hand-outs unless they are prepared to either work for it, or accept it as a financial loan.

This was my original idea but the flaw in it would be that the immigrant’s might never work and we could never get the money back, and they would continue to ride on the backs of others.

So I amended it and instead of five years, lowered it to three years and any work qualifying for this period would have to be work in a commercial company, not a false government made job.

So, until they have worked for three years in a commercial firm they would have to borrow the money.

However, once they had “borrowed” a certain amount, say two thousand pounds, they would have to work on a government sponsored plan cleaning streets, cleaning graffiti, or mending roads. 

As this is a government sponsored job, this work would not only not count for their three years, but would only pay the statutory minimum wage. When they have paid the two thousand back they could start again, looking for a proper job, but once they were in hock up to two thousand they would have to work on the government sponsored scheme again.

Nobody would starve, the shirkers would forever be in hock and forever working it off, so would probably go back home, the genuine asylum seekers would probably find work and become a part of the fabric of our society.

Another idea I had was to charge non-English speaking people 50p out of any allowance they were entitled to for (up to) each A4 page (one or two sides) of any official information if not in English. 

This would (a) give the immigrant added incentive to learn English and (b) make it economically worthwhile for us to print it in 60 languages.

Ampers

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Beans to cup coffee machines

My coffee machine gave up the ghost and, after I have told you of my problems, I will treat you to a wonderful story of an efficient British company who know what the Internet is all about and what people expect of a company selling on the Internet.

Three years ago I purchased a Gaggia ‘beans to cup’ coffee machine (£725) from Fenwicks of Brent Cross. I managed to negotiate them down to £575.

However, after a few weeks it went wrong and I had to package up this huge, and heavy, machine and return it to Gaggia’s UK depot. They flatly refused to exchange it, repaired it and sent it back. During the first year of guarantee it went wrong a further three times and each time Gaggia refused to replace it. Finally it worked OK but now, after three years, it has gone wrong again and I am so fed up with the company that I dumped it and looked for a replacement.

First of all I Googled for reviews of ‘beans to cup’ coffee machines and found a website called simply Coffee Machines . They advise but don’t actually sell the machines, although I suspect they may have some sort of deal with Amazon.

I looked through the manufacturers and decided on a De’Longhi. After going through the model numbers, I decided that the lowest priced machine which did everything I wanted was the ESAM5400 (£560).

Open letter to the Gaggia CEO:

Dear Sir,

I have just purchased a De’Longhi beans to cup machine. The reason your product wasn’t chosen was a logical one. i.e., I had bought one earlier and I have had a taste of the service your UK people offer. It may be good enough for your Italian customers but was found deplorable from an English point of view. I shall never purchase, or advise anyone to purchase, a Gaggia again.

Yours, not very sincerely,

Andrew Taylor.

I checked with John Lewis as I thought it would be convenient to take it back if it went wrong, but they only had two, one a cheaper model (£360) and another much more expensive at £860. Alas, they wouldn’t buy in the one I wanted as a one off.

I then checked Amazon and had a really pleasant surprise. They were selling this for £460, a hundred pounds cheaper. Great I thought, but I don’t like making a quick decision, so I searched the Internet and found a company in Devon called Paysan Limited who were selling this machine for £360. Wow I thought, this looks good, but being a wise seventy year old owl, I thought I would check them out by asking a question via email. Which I did. They actually rang up and put my mind at rest.

OK, I thought, they passed that hurdle so I’ll take a chance. After all £200 off seemed rather a lot from a £560 price, and also it was a hundred lower than Amazon. Maybe they charge a lot for delivery? No, delivery was free. Better and better I thought. Then I learned that they offer a two year warranty which pleased me no end, I can telly you!

So at 1:23 yesterday I placed the order (the PayPal invoice stated the time was 13:23:23) and was informed delivery would take up to five days. Reasonable, I thought, after all the delivery wasn’t an extra.

This morning I was rudely awakened by the DHL delivery van with my coffee machine. I certainly didn’t mind and anyway, the delivery guy was a fellow African and we share the same African sense of humour – and he is used to me taking deliveries in my dressing gown! But I was still amazed at such a quick service from Paysan!

Beans to cup machines are a little more complex to operate than ordinary household machines so it is worth reading the manual before even starting. There are things to do before making your first cup so don’t try any short cuts. It took us the best part of an hour to get acquainted with the machine, but after that the coffee came pouring out and was delicious. The next step is to acquaint ourselves with the cleaning as a lot of the insides need to be taken out and cleaned. A chore once a week or once a month depending on the make, but well worth it to keep the fantastic taste alive.

This machine can use coffee beans or ground coffee. You fill the water container, put the beans in the hopper one end and you are set to go. Once you have set it for your favourite settings, they are set until you change them so, to make a cup of coffee any-time, we just walk into the kitchen, put a cup underneath, press one button and by the time we get the milk out of the fridge, it is ready.

With ground coffee, just put a spoonful in the hopper and then follow the above.

We use both beans and ground coffee. Beans are used if we have a dinner party, but normally we use a very good strong ground coffee which we buy from I.K.E.A. (the furniture people) as they have a small supermarket by their checkout.

A 250 gram packet is £1.15. The nearest to that strength and quality in Tesco used to be £2.80 but it is probably more now.

When we want beans we usually go to the Algerian. They are, and have been in Old Compton Street since 1875. When I buy my coffee I describe the taste I am aiming at, they make up a blend which usually matches my request accurately.

If any reader would like to know more, my email address is somewhere in the right hand column.

Ampers

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Don’t be vague, ask for Hague

Yes, alas, I am old enough to remember the old Haig whisky adverts!

But this speech, by Hague, in parliament had me in stitches. Stand aside Jack Dee, stand aside Jasper Carrot, if William Hague turned his talents to being a stand-up comedian, you’d lose your position over night.

Make sure you are not holding a coffee, or anything with hot liquid in, and enjoy…

Ampers

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EU Elections, UK results

Eastern – Con 3, Ukip 2, Lib Dem 1, Lab 1
East Midlands – Con 2, Lab 1, Ukip 1, Lib Dem 1
London – Con 3, Lab 2, Lib Dems 1, Green 1, Ukip 1
North East – Lab 1, Con 1, Lib Dem 1
North West – Con 3, Lab 2, Ukip 1, Lib Dems 1, BNP 1
Northern Ireland – awaiting results
Scotland – SNP 2, Lab 2, Con 1, Lib Dems 1
South East – Con 4, Ukip 2, Lib Dem 2, Greens 1, Lab 1
South West – Con 3, Ukip 2, Lib Dems 1
West Midlands – Con 2, Ukip 2, Lab 1, Lib Dem 1
Yorkshire and the Humber – Con 2, Lab 1, Ukip 1, Lib Dem 1, BNP 1
Wales – Con 1, Lab 1, Plaid 1, Ukip 1

UKIP have managed to get 13 seats, without the “Kilroy-Silk” effect, which will be a great help to them in the forthcoming UK Election. There will be a chance of them getting an MP elected rather than the present one who “crossed the floor”.

BNP. Well what can I say! The anti-BNP rabble outside Manchester Town Hall actually put these bastards in a favourable light! And, alas, the rabble are just playing into Nick Griffin’s hand. I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if I learned that this rabble was secretly organised by Nick Griffin himself. After all, who else could organise such a disreputable rabble?

And Labour? I worry that after such a bloody nose, people will be satisfied, and come the General Election, forgive and forget. However, if we remember twhat happened to the Liberal Party under Lloyd George – when he was caught with his fingers in the till, it destroyed the Liberals completely. But people’s morals are not what they used to me, and the present British people may well forgive Labour for their thievery.

Ampers.

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Sunday results

Today sees the results of the Euro Elections. I foresee the Conservatives coming top, followed by the Liberal Democrats, and then the UK Independence Party, with Labour coming a poor fourth.

This is bad news, really bad news, if you want to see Gordon Brown out of the picture.

Be of no doubt that he will hang on. The Labour MPs who would like to see the back of him know, in their hearts, that this would mean a General Election and, if that happens now, they would lose their seats. Do not expect anything to happen from that corner.

The real reason why I consider such results as I mentioned above bad news is, in a years time, people’s anger will have subsided and the ordinary voter will consider they have given Labour a “bloody nose” and that will be that. It will be back to normal and the same dysfunctional group of morally thieving MPs will be back.

You mark my words!

Ampers

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Hi willað eow to gafole garas syllan, ættrynne ord, ond ealde swurd

(copied from Old Holborn’s blog)

(translation) They will to you [a] tribute of spears give, deadly points, and time-tested swords,

Thought shall be the harder, the heart the keener, courage the greater, as our strength lessens.
Here lies our leader all cut down, the valiant man in the dust;
always may he mourn who now thinks to turn away from this warplay.
I am old, I will not go away, but I plan to lie down by the side of my lord, by the man so dearly loved.

Earl Byrhtnoð —(Battle of Maldon)

Today is the 6th June 2009, the sixty fifth anniversary of D-Day, a Nation that loses its history loses its soul and existence.

The rewriting of History for the convenience of the ruling classes has gone on for centuries. The corruption of this Government was amply demonstrated to me on Election day, when I went to Sutton Hoo for the second time since it opened eight years ago. The site is administered by the National Trust, an organisation that I am a member of. I am sad to say that the National Trust is fast becoming a bland bureaucratic corporate machine so amply demonstrated by the recent programme about Sissinghurst.

As with most organisations it has succumbed to the world view of our temporary political masters. The twelve minute film on entry is an epic of discreet ‘messages’ from the 21st Century perspective. The film is ably translated in sign language by a member of an ethnic minority for the deaf, which gives an adequate summary of the story of the finds on the eve of war in 1939. However the end of this short film, it states baldly, that the Anglo-Saxons have ‘disappeared, absorbed into the British Nation’

I sat there open mouthed, have the Welsh disappeared, the Scots disappeared, Ulstermen ‘disappeared into the British Nation’. Do their historical sites say the same ?

As far as I am aware the English, have not disappeared, their language is now the Lingua Franca of most of the commercial world. English cultural life, its values and strengths and weaknesses are as relevant today as they were one thousand five years ago.

Sarkozy may give life to the myth that D-Day was a ‘Franco-Americain Affaire’ as does Hollywood in Saving Private Ryan. The truth as this generation, which is starting to pass, will tell you is different. More Poles landed on D-Day than Frenchmen, More British and Canadian troops landed on D-Day than Americans. The United Kingdom went to war to protect Poland- no other reason, five years later Poland was ‘given’ to the Soviet Union by the United States and the United Kingdom, only breaking free forty four years later.

I walked round the burial mounds above the Deben, wondering how we have come to the pass we have, that our own Government denies our own culture and is bent on teaching our children a gross perversion of the truth. I have seen children’s educational fims with a black father and son sitting down with a white working class father and son toasting the new Queen in 1953 in front of a TV. Culturally this could not have happened, yet it was presented as a cultural truth.

Coming back up the sady lanes through the woods that Raedwald’s people dragged his funeral boat up , I heard a low growl in the sky. The sound of a Merlin engine is instantly recognisable. Above me in the sunlight was a lone spitfire doing barrells and rolls, I assume in preparation for today’s memorial.

The spirit of the Old King Raedwald was still soaring over his land, and despite the politically correct elite attempting to rewrite History, the values and Liberty that was ingrained in the thousands of warriors that stormed ashore sixty five years ago is as valid today as it was when Earl Byrhtnoð defied the invader a thousand years ago.

We have not disappeared, the pygmies who unjustly rule this country however will soon disappear and be forgotten.

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The EU Elections

I have borrowed, in full, this blog from Old Holborn, but have made comments underneath as I differ, ever so slightly, from his conclusive action.

27 Unelected Commissioners. Tomorrow changes nothing

With a view to tomorrows EU sham elections, let me just remind our readers that the EU is headed by the EU Commission.

The EU Commission consists of 27 people, none of whom are elected by anyone. They are appointed and have the power to make and change laws that everyone in Europe must abide by.

Your vote tomorrow will not change this. You will still live under laws made by 27 unelected people in Brussels. If you do not obey them, you will still go to prison.

These 27 people control everything in Europe. What you eat, what you earn, where you live. Your taxes, your transport, your savings, your property, your career, your pension. Your very liberty is in the hands of 27 unelected commissioners.

They are a mixture of appointed communists, convicted criminals, nepotists, perverts, fraudsters, cronies, bankers, aristocracy, lawyers, censors, authoritarians and Fabians

If you choose to vote Labour, Conservative or LibDem tomorrow, you are voting for the Status Quo. Nothing will change. There will still be a huge layer of control over your life that you cannot change. I challenge any reader to show me where a single MEP has changed anything.

If you choose to vote at all (and many will not), then you can vote to keep things the same or you can vote to keep things the same.

Which is why I will not be part of this sham. I will not play their games when they pay no attention to the result. Not one of the unelected commissioners will lose their job because not one of them was ever elected. It will make no difference at all.

For that, we will need a revolution. And it will start with the Lisbon Treaty. Until the voices of 300 million people are listened to by a mere 27 unelected cronies, I refuse to partake in their Ba’athist elections.

The main part, where I differ, is that as many people as possible should attend the elections, if only to write on the ballet paper “Where are the names of the Commissioners?”

But I shan’t be doing that. I shall be voting for “The Jury Team” – I don’t care whether the independents on their team are for or against the EU. My objective of giving my vote to them is so they can gain strength of publicity for the General Election, when it comes, as the more independents in parliament, the lest control the main parties have over rigging any vote through the “party whip system”.

Ampers

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Margaret Thatcher

People either loved her, or hated her. I had met her on several occasions and she never came across as strident, the way the media portrayed her.

I had my own reasons for my dislike of her. She was in Heath’s cabinet when that traitor took us into what he since admitted he knew of as a political EU thus not only becoming our highest ranking traitor, but included all his cabinet who formed close ranks behind him. Then a little later, I believe it was Maastricht, she signed another treaty taking us even further in.

However, I did approve of her defeating the Unions. I am a journalist and know something that most of my readers aren’t aware of. The unions in Fleet Street had so much power that they forced the management to pay fictitious employees which the union divided up amongst their members. They were so brazen that they produced names for these fictitious workers such as M. Mouse, and D. Duck.

The other thing I approved of, was the closing down of our heavy industry. The way the Tiger economies of the Far East were growing it was apparent to those who took an interest in these matters that we could not compete on price with these countries, a fact that is very apparent now.

We have since diversified into high tech and our software programmers are the best in the world. After the Second World War, we tried to compete with the factories the Americans were so good at managing. We were not as competent but during this time the children of all our artisans and craftsmen flocked to the factories to earn “real” money so our expertise in these areas began to die out.

However, these people have been “born again” as programmers and other workers in high tech industries. America are better than us at manufacturing and selling boxed software, but when it comes to writing ”real time” software to be used in the fastest fighter jets, our programmers are excellent and some say “the best”. I have heard a rumour although cannot track it down, that the US Pentagon changed the law so they could be allowed to hire British programmers.

According to a new report from HSBC and The Future Laboratory what the UK has been known for since the industrial revolution is set to change, and fast.

Clair West writes (Fresh Thinking Business Editor) that, according to the research there will be a new-look UK with hot business hubs focusing on:

  • Robotics (Edinburgh, Birmingham, Essex, London, Manchester, Plymouth)

  • Biotech (York and Dundee)

  • Nanotech (Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle, Durham, Bristol, London)

  • Stem cell research (Edinburgh, London, Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester)

  • Nutraceuticals (Dundee/Southampton)

  • Renewable energies (London, Wales, Cornwall, Glasgow)

  • Cybernetics (Reading)

  • Gaming (Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow

The Labour government has one thing right; we need more university graduates for these disciplines. Where they are going wrong is, they should be scientific graduates, and not ones taking media studies or how to wear a condom!

We should stop dumbing down educational qualifications as, unless our children are taught properly in our governmental schools, all the top jobs will continue to go to those educated by private schools.

Ampers

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An amusing definition of politics and politicians

Politics. An interesting word. I decided to look up the meaning of this word.The meaning, from the website dictionary.com is as follows

pol·i·tics (pŏl’ĭ-tĭks)
n.
(used with a sing. Verb) The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
(used with a sing. or pl. verb) Intrigue or maneuvering within a political unit or group in order to gain control or power: Partisan politics is often an obstruction to good government. Office politics are often debilitating and counterproductive.

I then looked up poli and then tics and came across an interesting breakdown of this word. Poli isn’t actually listed with that spelling, but Poly, is listed as:

poly-
a combining form with the meanings “much, many” and, in chemistry, “polymeric,” used in the formation of compound words: polyandrous; polyculture; polyethylene.
Origin:

So far, so good. Now to get the true meaning of tics. OK we all have an idea, but the real meaning, from the Internet’s “free dictionary” is:

tick
n.
1. Any of numerous small bloodsucking parasitic arachnids of the family Ixodidae, many of which transmit febrile diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
2.Any of various usually wingless, louselike insects of the family Hippobosciddae that are parasitic on sheep, goats, and other animals.

So there you have it. Politics can have its more apt meaning which can be basically boiled down to “many parasitical blood-sucking creatures”. This may not be the best meaning for “politics” but it can certainly be applied to “politicians”

Is there anyone out there who can disagree with this in the light of the present news stories?

Ampers

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