Sunday, 30 March 2014
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
BBC News today has announced that prisoners at Oakwood Prison in Wolverhampton are being paid to make unsolicited telephone calls, on behalf of insurance companies, to members of the public.
"They do not have access to private information such as addresses," the Ministry says, "and public security is not being compromised."
What about my right not to receive nuisance calls? That's being compromised but clearly the Ministry doesn't care about that!
I'm registered with the TPS yet I've had calls like this. Surely this means the Government is acting illegally?
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
I've just received an email asking me to shun Starbucks because they've refused to supply free coffee to soldiers in Iraq. Starbucks says it doesn't support the war. Actually I don't go to Starbucks anyway, I much prefer Costa, but I reckon their decision will rocket them up the popularity stakes - goodness knows they're seriously out of favour at the moment with their tax avoidance schemes and all. The sender of the email seems to think that everyone should know about this dastardly Starbuck decision. Well I'm sorry but I don't support the war either, nor any war that was initiated by a capitalist manoeuvre to protect investments. Atrocities go on in other countries where the west has no financial interest - we don't try and bomb them out of existence. How can anyone condone going half way across the world to slaughter other human beings? Tell me, I need to know. I'm not against the soldiers, they only act under orders, but we must remember that they signed up for the army lured by the possibility of combat and the acclaimed macho, heroic image. I know this isn't a politically correct view but come on, let's be truthful! Sgt Howard Wright probably initiated this circulating email because he's just pissed off that he can't get an endless supply of free coffee.
Friday, 5 October 2012
Is this for real? I’ve just had a glimpse into another world; a world I never knew existed. It’s a place where young girls are having conical implants because they think pointed breasts look more natural. A place where a twenty two year old man tells the world that he’s in love with the thirteen year old sister of his best friend, and a famous celebrity declares that her pot bellied pig is her soulmate. It’s a place where women proudly reveal their half naked bodies, pumped up and sucked out in all the right places. It probably makes them feel sexy to think a million British men are panting over their tits under the duvet. Well I guess it would! This is the world of The Sun. Don’t go thinking I usually read this sort of stuff. Oh goodness me, no! The Sun editorial team bought my patronage. I’m not proud of it but hey ho, a tenners worth of free groceries is . . . well, a tenners worth of free groceries! My total shop came to £67.67 and I was just about to pay when the cashier cancelled my card payment.
“Hang on a mo, ” she said as she fished under her till and with a flurry produced a copy of the infamous newspaper,
“If you buy this,” she says, “You’ll get £10 off your grocery bill.” Her smile is triumphant. I like the word ‘grocery’, she uses it as a euphemism for alcohol but I decline her offer. Nothing’s for free, there’s always a catch. She assures me there’s no catch and insists that I really want to buy this paper. She proceeds to open it at page 16 and rips out a voucher which she then waves under my nose.
“See,” she proclaims, “Your total is now £68.07 but I can take £10 off with this.”
OK, so I buy the paper and get my ‘groceries’ for £58.07. She offers to bin the newspaper but, as I’ve just paid 40p for it, I decide I should at least have a look. I can’t fault the reporters on their content; it’s all engrossing stuff. Why, I started reading it at 8am and didn’t finish until teatime. Will I be buying The Sun newspaper again? That’s a resounding ‘No’ but at least I’m now informed about what’s really going on in the world and I can return to my peaceful little bubble a whole lot wiser!
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Another one of those irritating “Remember the Good Old Days” emails arrived in my inbox this morning. Why do older people send these round? If you’re one of them, please let me know. Is it that they remind you of your idyllic, carefree childhood? Is there a lovely rosy glow round all your memories? Aren’t you the lucky one? All they do for me is poke sticks into old wounds. This latest one was particularly obtrusive, hence this post. One of the “good old things” about the “good old days” was (and I quote):
They threatened to keep children back a year if they failed the school year. . . And they did!
I was one of those failures. I started school a year earlier than I should have done – was that because I was “bright” or was it because I was the youngest of five children and my parents needed some peace? When I was six I developed a stammer, this made it difficult to communicate effectively with the teachers. The older I got, the more they punished me by verbal abuse, smacking and hitting with rulers and board dusters. My stammer must have irritated the hell out of them. In what should have been my final year at junior school I was plagued with stomach problems and undiagnosed depression so “they” in their wisdom, kept me back a year. All my friends went off to pastures new and I was left with thirty kids who I didn’t know, who teased me unceasingly about my stammer. By the way, being a failure, I went on to a secondary modern school where I flourished but didn’t have the opportunity to excel academically – we didn’t even have chemistry or physics teachers.
So let me say this to all those “oldies” who send these emails round. The Present is called the Present for good reason.
IT’S A GIFT. TREASURE IT; APPRECIATE IT; EMBRACE IT.
Yes there is more stress in the workplace. Yes people have the opportunity to indulge their greed, and yes there are many things that we could improve, but at least we now have the choice and the freedom to improve our lives and the lives of others. In the “good old days” power hungry people (assigned the role of petty tyrants) were free to exercise their power however they chose, often without discretion and often too without compassion; certainly without the common sense to understand the negative consequences of their “good old” rules.
So please, please, please, strike me off your “living in the past” distribution list. I prefer the here and now. Even with all its warts and its carbuncles, it’s a whole lot better than yesterday.
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
So, if you want to enter into the new age with optimism, courage and hope; can I suggest that you answer the call of spirit. Believe me, it’s knocking whether you hear it or not.