Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Indications of a policy bankruptcy....

Listening to Today on Radio 4 this morning I found my blood pressure rising as an interview with our so-called Eductaion Secretary was interviewed. Instead of answering questions about his own Party's policy and spending plans he kept brushing the question aside and trying to tell the interviewer what the Conservatives would do - a twisted version of course, but typically misinformation and double speak from this bankrupt Party and their failed Socialist philosophy.

The sooner we kick them out of government and into a wilderness the better!

They have obviously launched an election campaign without actually calling an election. But what we are not hearing about is the tax increases they will be forced to impose after one. Nor are we hearing anything about how they propose to reform that den of iniquity called Parliament. Instead they have leaked the Royal Household's expenses - revealing coincidentally that the Queen and the Royals collectively cost us far less than the Parliamentary thieves and their hangers on. And of course, that old favourite, if you can't say anything about your own policy and plans - you present a twisted and misrepresented version of the oppositions.

Having lived in South Africa during the Nationalist years, this was the stock in trade of that Party and it is intensely annoying to find that Labour are every bit as bigoted and as bad. A remarkable thing about the Nationalist Party in SA was that they were, to a man, career politcians, the vast majority had never been or done anything else. So to hear Labour's motor mouths sounding off about the need for their "professional" expertise is a sick joke. They haven't any. Equally their attacks on the Conservative MP's who do have jobs outside Parliament is equally misplaced - at least those MP's have declared their interests and their incomes - and more importantly they bring to the House something no Labour W*nker can - practical experience of a work environment, workplace or business that is in the real world - not the Planet Westminster/Whitehall Labour's idiots inhabit.

Frankly I think it is high time we introduced a rule forbidding anyone from standing more than three terms as an MP. Let them taste the realities of the world they have created like the rest of us instead of being protected by the bomb-proof pensions and perks they currently enjoy. And the same rule shgould be introduced for the Whitehall W*nk*rs, those Senior Civil Servant Oligarchs who actuially run the country to their own advantage regardless of what the politicians think. They too should be removed after a maximum of ten years in post.

Labour is bankrupt politically, bust economically and can't tell the truth - in short it is a Party of thieves, ideologues, bureaucrats and careerists who have never done a meaningful days work in their lives and are terrified of finding themselves out on the street.

Monday, 29 June 2009

A promise of rain?

It has been a long hot and tiring day - again! The threat of storms has been looming all day, but now the big thunderheads have wandered off to somewhere else and we swelter still. And I got the first comment of "Well we better get used to it, we humans are heating up the planet ..."

He'll be out of hospital soon they tell me. And I'm not really rabid. But I'm not very patient with prats who go off half cocked and believe everything the Greenpeace liars push as "scientific truth" when even a little research turns up the information that their "carbon emissions" data is at least ten years out of date for most cars and even further adrift for modern power generation plants - especially nuclear. The fashion for blaming western "consumer society" for all the world's ills is nauseating in the extreme - especially as it is founded on the garbage that our "wealth" is somehow "stolen" from the Third World populations which are destroying rain forests and exterminating wildlife for their own food, fuel and internal use. If I hear one more time that this is "forced" on them by "MacDonald's" "cattle feeding" and "ranching" and "bio fuel" use of "food" I shall probably end up on a murder charge.

After all it was Greenpeace and Fiends of the Earth that pushed for "renewable" fuel sources ten years ago. Now the oil consuming societies are using them - suddenly we are "stealing food from the mouths of the poor to make bio fuel." They can't have it both ways - and some of us do remember what they push and get wrong, even if the majority of their foot soldiers are to damned naive and stupid to do so.

OK, so the heat is getting to me, I'm tired, I'm impatient and I have to work again tomorrow in a closed environment. Bah, Humbug! Let it rain!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Where did yesterday go?

Sorry to say it passed in a flurry of activity, though mosty of it was productive. UNexpectedly I was invited to partner the Vicar on a supper date which starts off at one house and ends up in another. It was great fun, with different table partners at each house and for each course. Some fascinating conversations along the way, some of which will require picking up again at some time.

The night was hot, humid and sleepless however, so my ministry duties this morning have been more or less on autopilot!

Friday, 26 June 2009

If it wasn't so funny ....

I really cannot resist sharing this as widely as possible. It says everything you need to know about the Labour voting masses that now regularly travel and ruin everyone else's holiday ....

Thomas Cook Holiday complaints
(Survey by Thomas Cook and ABTA)

"I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

"It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned."

"On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."

"We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a waterhole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".

A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she'd been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the "do not disturb" sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.

"The beach was too sandy."

"We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."

A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

"Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."

"We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five Euros (£3.50) from a street trader, only to find out they were fake."

"No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

"It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home."

"I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller."

"The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the accommodation' We're trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying here?"

"There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners."

"We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."

"It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

"I was bitten by a mosquito - no-one said they could bite."

"My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

As I said .....

Thursday, 25 June 2009

OK, so I'd like to be in charge .....

Right, I can't sort out the HTML Code from this test so here is a short version of the result without the fancy Graphs.....

Your true political self:
You are a

Social Conservative
(38% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Todays post won't post.....

I had a post ready to post this morning, a rather fun one, but as its a "Quiz" HTML it won't post. I keep getting an error message which says that certain "tags" are not closed and it won't allow me to post it, yet several other blogs have successfully posted this and I have copied and pasted exactly what it gave me on the original. I have tried several differrent things, but nothing seems acceptable, so there.

What was it? Well, it asked what kind of politician I am. It turns out that I am "Social Conservative; Economic Liberal" and it ends up with my being actually a Totalitarian.

No surprise there then. My default when faced by a committee who want to endlessly go round in circles and refuse to make a decision is to go - "You, do this!"

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Mister Speaker - reformer?

I note with interest, that the proclaimed intent to "reform parliament" seems to be losing impetus, or at least it seems to be being watered down. Not unexpectedly the focus is already on "getting the expenses sorted" and nothing more. No longer do we hear of any suggestion of reducing the number of the buggers, making them more accountable or even reforming the way they work.

And the new Speaker seems to have been elected precisely because he was the man the Tory Party, of which he is a member, didn't want him to be. Probably, it is suggested, because the Labour Louts realised they wouldn't get away with having three members of their party in a row as "Mister Speaker" and, if the reforming process stalls or goes wrong, they can now blame the Conservatives as one of theirs is the Speaker ....

What a way to run a country. What a reason for choosing Mister Speaker. Perhaps it really is time to do away with the lot of them.

Monday, 22 June 2009


I do love my human. Look what she's done for me:

She's built a path for me to pass by the gazebo. Before there was only grass and as this is a shady bit of the garden the grass was always struggling and soggy. Now there are these lovely wooden chips and even stepping stones for me. They are just the perfect size if I want to sit quietly for a few moments. The entrance is between a Heuchera micrantha and a Hosta. There are more hostas, ferns and even box on my way through. Once the plants have grown a bit more my path will be a lovely green tunnel with the leaves brushing against my fur as I walk through. I can then sit there hidden behind the leaves and ready to pounce on unsuspecting prey which would be stupid enough to walk by. Can't wait for the hot days of summer to come when I will be able to enjoy the coolness of new path!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

A step back in time to a musical treat

Last night sat through something I haven't experienced for at least 50 years - a silent movie! It was quite a time warp watching Lon Chaney in the 1923 film "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" accompanied by David Briggs on the Milton Organ.

David is regarded as the country's greatest exponent of improvisation on the organ - and he gave us a real treat! The Milton thundered, whispered, crooned and sang under his hands and feet as he watched the movie on a small screen at the console and created the appropriate accompaniment to the action on screen. An hour and three quarters later the final cords rolled around the building and the audience sat in appreciative silence for several seconds, then burst into well earned applause as the organist eased himself out of the organ loft.

The movie itself showed its age in the acting and dramatic captions. It is pure Victorian Melodrama in all respects, distressed maidens, dastardly villains, noble heroes and a caste of thousands. Some scenes were so hilariously improbable it was worth watching the film without the accompaniment just for them. My successor as Church Warden and I agreed that, on the evidence of the movie, what we need as a security system on the Abbey is a couple of vats of molten lead and the odd hunchback ready to tip the contents over any malcontents attempting to break and enter.

The musical accompaniment made the evening, I simply can't remember an occasion when I could simply sit through a non-stop performance of this calibre. All the more remarkable because it was entirely unscored. What a shame it wasn't recorded, but that, in itself, would rob it of the spontaneity, the key to the real joy of this performance.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Iranian outburst

I'm not at all sure what to make of the Iranian "Supreme Leader's" Friday sermon. Up to now I had thought that the US government and the UK collection of apparatchiks had been remarkably sensible and kept their message to Iran simple - basically, "Your problem - please try to resolve it peacefully". But listening to the Ayatollah I got the impression that we were massing tanks, planes and troops on the border of Iran and were all set to stage the Third World War to overthrow their "Revolutionary Democracy". I did a quick check to see if I'd missed something, but no, we aren't engaged in making threats, or in whipping up support for a mass invasion, so now you have to ask, what is he on about?

I confess that I am left with the overwhelming feeling that the present government is desperately looking for a whipping boy, someone they can blame for the mess they have got themselves into and the mess they have made of their country's economy. The US would have been an obvious "enemy" given relations between the two since 1979, but I really can't understand why the UK came in for such venom. Have we refused the Ayatollah or one of his minions a visa lately? Or seized his bank account? That might explain it, but nothing else does.

I can't escape the feeling that the present regime in Iran is afraid of losing power and are prepared to do anything and everything to hold onto it. For thirty years now they have been trading on what nasty people the west are, particularly the US, "The Great Satan" as some Mullahs refer to it. Classically the resort of any dictator is to "invent" an external "enemy" or try to provoke one, preferably of course, one weaker than oneself. That way, if it does come to war, you have a good chance of a satisfactory "victory", so the Iranian determination to play the biggest game in town has to be tied into an attempt to play off the NATO partners against the former Soviet Bloc defence league - a very dangerous game indeed. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an Arabic saying, but it is not complete, the missing words are, "Until I am strong enough to dispose of him." The art of politics in a nutshell.

Something else you very quickly learn in Iran is that what is said publically may not be what is said in private. Everything revolves on trust and that is a society that has very little of that. Secret police informers are everywhere, one businessman there told me that at least half his staff "work for the government" - his problem was, he didn't know which half! There is a schizophrenia to everything, privately the people are open and friendly, especially the Parthian part of the nation, publically they go through all the motions and display all the devotion and ritual necessary to convince the Ayatollahs that they are obedient and doing as they are told.

Equally interesting is the fact that the Ayatollah Khomenei was dead set against the religious leaders being directly involved in politics and only took on that role himself when the politicians proved to be so corrupt they were going to destroy everything the people wanted. Now it would appear that his successors have not only forgotten that lesson, but want to hold onto power at all cost. The old man is probably not very pleased with the result of their refusal to follow his lead.

Who knows what the outcome of this debacle will be? I certainly don't and it is very worrying when you hear people telling the media that they were told the outcome of the election at midday on the day of the election when some polling stations closed - "Because Mister Armedinejad has won." The Ayatollah says 40 million people voted , 24 million for Armejinedad, but apparently this doesn't tally up with the number of votes supposedly cast or with the known voting preferences in some constituencies where Mister Armejinedad has no or little support. No wonder the electorate are angry. And no wonder the "Revolutionary Council" are worried.

In the meantime all the rest of us can do is pray for the people of Iran, for the large Christian, Druse, Kurd and Zoroastrian communities and especially for the many Muslims who, like the rest of us, just want a system which allows them the freedom to make their own choices and to live quietly and without fear. Only the Iranians themselves can solve this - perhaps with a little divine intervention.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Iranian election protests

Predictably I suppose, the Iranian government seems to be trying to blame the US, the West and the UK in general for the unrest on their streets. Sensibly, the western leaders are staying out of the debate, a pity the same can't be said of the usual bleeding heart brigade who can't seem to keep their mouths shut even when they know that opening them won't help the very people they claim to be trying to help.

I confess to being worried about my friends in Iran, my "boys" in the fire service in Teheran who will be finding themselves caught between two fires, the hardline religious militias on the one hand and the angry crowds on the other. The one will see them was interfering and the other will see them as representing a hated regime. Having been in that position, I do not envy them and I am really afraid of the consequences for them.

This is something the Iranian people have to resolve for themselves, how much longer they intend to live under the tyranny of the "Revolutionary Council" and the current President and his cronies - for this is really the problem; the corruption is endemic and starts with a "jobs for friends and family" culture that Mister Armedinejad has exploited to the full - is a question only they can answer.

In the meantime I will be praying for the safety of my friends, Parvis, Mahommed, Nasir, Reza, Dovood, Kazim and Mohammed.


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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Limerick Church

On my visit to Limerick I was shown this late Victorian Church, no prizes for guessing which branch of Christianity it is. The decoration is a glorious mix predominantly influenced by the Romantics or possibly the Art Nouveau school judging by the depiction in one of the chapels of a local priest obviously renowned for his saintly devotions. Unfortunately there was no explanation of who he was to hand and my host couldn't tell me either.

The depiction of the apparently beatified saint is the sort that, when I was a child, gave me a distaste for heaven as it seemed to be filled with impossibly holy people and promised to be deadly dull - and besides who wanted to play a harp? I dare say that the majority of the saints depicted in this manner would be appalled and possibly even angry. It certainly put me in mind of the early Victorian depiction of my beloved St Patrick as a shepherd in impossible clean tunic, neatly arranged hair and the sort of pained look that goes with severe indigestion or possibly the inability to get rid of the detritis of the digestive process. What is it about the depiction of the pious that most artists seem to lose their subjects humanity and their very real sense of being anchored in the world and involved in the daily grind that attends living in it.

Oh well, that's my gripe over with, the church itself was beautiful and obviously well cared for, with many people pausing in their day to simply drop by and light a candle or say a prayer. A holy place I'm thinking.

Missing post

Tried to post last night, but for some reason couldn't get a response from Blogger, so, being extremely tired, and for once showing some sense - gave up.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sorting old discs

Sorting out some old diskettes looking for "lost" documents, I found this picture of HMS Hood, taken on her 1924 "World Cruise" in company with HMS Repulse and a number of Light Cruisers. The days when we actually had a Fleet and the First Sea Lord didn't have remind the Cabinet Ministers that one ship cannot be in three places at the same time. This picture was taken apparently in Sydney Harbour, though I suspect it may have been just after she left the Heads.

HMS Repulse was, like the Hood, a Battlecruiser, lightly armoured, bigger than most battleships and much faster, they were supposed to be able to outshoot anything smaller and outrun anything more powerful. Both were to be destroyed in battles they were not designed to fight - largely the fault of a Parliament that was too parsimonious to spend the money needed to modernise them and a Civil Service that refused to allow them to be taken out of service for it to happen. An early example of too few ships being required to perform too many tasks.

But, in those far off days of the World Cruise of 1924 both ship's were new, full of confidence and regarded as the most powerful in the world - a fallacy even then.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Looking within

Just having returned from an interview with the Director of Ordinands I feel a bit exposed. One thing exploring ordination does - especially this late in life - is force you to look deep within yourself and ask questions you probably didn't want to. It's a bit cathartic, yet it is also very interesting and, in my case, a challenge.

It would probably surprise a lot of my former colleagues to learn that I am rather shy and lack self confidence, not something that one admits too readily. It takes quite an effort to stand up to preach, pray or lead public worship on my part. And now I stand exposed, probably for the better.

Add to this the concern I am currently feeling for my "Iranian Boys" - my fire fighter friends - currently caught in the machinations now engulfing their country as the Ayatollah Faction plays the political game and pulls the strings. All wars ultimately are caused not by religion, but by the overweening ambition of a few men or women in positions of power which they abuse to the detriment of the lives of thousands if not millions.

But now, I have a piece of work to write before I go to bed, or at least to start before retiring.

So bon nuit dear reader.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Limerick views

My visit to Limerick left little time to explore, but I did manage to get one afternoon of sightseeing in. The city is the third largest in the Republic of Ireland and it has much to offer the visitor. I'll hopefully be going back again in October and may get a chance to see a bit more then. The pictures here show the city as seen from King John's Castle looking west along the River Shannon and the Gatehouse of the Castle from the courtyard.

The castle is a "Keepless" castle built in the reaign of King John which means simply that the towers and Gatehouses were it's redoubts unlike the earlier Norman castles which had a central "Keep" or stronghold guarded by a curtain wall. This castle has seen its fair share of war, falling in 1691 to the army of William III (William of Orange) having also been beseiged and taken by Cromwell's forces some fifty years earlier. On both occassions the defenders suffered badly, though the Royalist forces of William III were a lot less vengeful in victory than Cromwell had been.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Tumbling Bumble Bee

Surprise, surprise - the weather today permitted Mausi to go outside and actually start doing some work in her garden. But Mausi couldn't pass her foxgloves, which this year are in blossom for the first time, without taking a photograph of the delicate beauties.

Just as Mausi was taking photographs a busy bumble bee came by and tumbled in and out of the blossom. Watching it Mausi wondered if bumble bees ever get air-sick. She almost expected it coming out of the next blossom retching...

As Mausi's camera has a gimmick allowing her to take videos she tried it out at once. The result can be watched below....

Friday, 12 June 2009

Home again

It's been a long week, though in good company. Still it is hard work to teach from 0900 to 1700 every day with a group of senior people to keep amused. The week went very well all things considered and I have made a few new friends I hope in the process.

Limerick is lovely, though its history is quite bloody. Some photos will appear soon.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

A quiet day

Today is Corpus Christi or 'Fronleichnam' as it is called in Germany. In Germany it is
a public holiday for those Federal States where the Roman Catholics outnumber the Protestants. So Mausi was looking forward to an afternoon in the garden, pottering about and doing some quiet tasks like weeding that flowerbed she's been working on for some time but never seems to find the time to get it finished. But adverse weather conditions (low temperature, gusty winds and a never ending succession of showers) defeated her original plans. So she's spent most of the day reading, trying out a few things on her computer and going over some photographs she had taken during her Easter vacation whereby she came across this squirrel. It is surely one of the biggest Mausi has ever seen. Obviously it is thriving on the left-overs from the tourists at Bodiam Castle where it lives. Mausi showed this picture to her mother who at first glance even mistook it for a rabbit. For her excuse it must be remembered that we do not have grey squirrels in Germany - ours are the red ones and they are certainly of a much slender build. Looking at this photograph again today Mausi was remembered of a visit to Davos in Switzerland many years ago. The visit took place in winter time and one afternoon Mausi followed a path up the mountain, trying to find out how far up above the valley she could get in her not entirely suitable boots. Walking through the woods like many other tourists she was suddenly "attacked" by a bunch of the biggest dark brown squirrels she had ever seen. Of course, all the tourists, especially the children, found them cute and willingly gave up everything eatable they happened to have upon them. But if you weren't quick enough, the little buggers would climb up your trousers and yank titbits from your fingers or even ransack your trouser and coat pockets! Obviously they had given up hibernating and were doing extremely well out of the humans!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

How time flies....

A hobby Mausi took up as a student at University is collecting native bonsai, or rather turning native trees into bonsai plants. This is down by keeping them in a small flower pot and pruning treetop and roots each year. The leaves automatically become smaller over the first years until the tree reaches a sort of equilibrium. Mausi never used any wires to bend the trees into some exotic shape. In Mausi's opinion that would make the trees look unnatural.

The photo on the right shows the first tree Mausi started with - a maple tree that can be relied upon to show the most impressive red leaves in autumn. It has suffered quite a bit from last winter's very low temperatures. The top has grown out of shape and quite bald lower down. But Mausi is confident it can be coaxed back into proportion. It's total height is about 60 cm, although it is more than 25 years old.

The tree on the left is a chestnut, almost as old as the maple. It is especially suited for turning it into a bonsai as it is a very slow growing species. Mausi is only a bit disappointed that it has never blossomed in all those years. Wouldn't it be great if it could be brought to grow bonsai chestnuts as well?

Nevermind, Mausi has become quite attached to it all the same. The advantage of turning native trees into bonsais is that they show no difficulties at all surviving in winter. They stay out in the garden all the year round and are always fascinating to watch when they burst into leaves again in spring time.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Hunting Phantoms

Last year German police was hunting a phantom, a woman that was supposed to have committed a long list of crimes, among them several murders, burglaries etc. Her DNA had been recovered from crime scenes from various places in Germany. After several months it transpired that the problem lay in the cotton buds that had been used to recover the DNA samples from the crime scenes. Although the cotton were specified as ultra pure and suitable for sampling DNA, cotton buds from several batches had been contaminated. One worker had obviously touched them during the manufacturing process and it was her DNA that had apparently been recovered from the different crime scenes. Another aspect that became obvious was that of course no real DNA had been sampled at all at the crime scenes as the DNA had been on the cotton buds right from the beginning. Therefore police had to rethink their sample taking techniques. Just rubbing your cotton buds on surfaces at the crime scene in the hope to catch some DNA is simply not good enough. Sampling trace evidence is a tricky business.

But it does not need trace analysis to hunt a phantom as the Irish police found out these days. Irish police was trying to track down a Polish motorist who had committed dozens of speeding and parking offences across Ireland while continuing to elude the courts. Under the name of Prawo Jazdy he had left a trail of multiple identities and vehicles in the Police's database. Then someone had the good idea of taking a closer look at "Prawo Jazdy". Far from being a name it turned out to be Polish for driving licence"....

Monday, 8 June 2009

Don't you love early mornings?

Mausi does, especially at this time of the year. Mausi has to get up almost with the sun, which is a drawback, but - looking out of the bathroom window - is then greeted by one of the three does who visit the fields next to Mausi's house regularly and will also bring their young ones with them later in the year. They are always fun to watch although shy.

Having taken a shower and dressed the first thing Mausi does is take a look around her garden. At this time of the year there is a clear blue sky, the morning is pleasantly cool and promises a day that may be warm but not burning hot as it will be in the height of summer.

The air is sweet and lovely to breathe and Mausi goes in search of new blossoms that are likely to have opened by the time she comes home from work again.

Mausi has a small apple tree in a pot in her garden which was absolutely covered in blossoms this year. Unfortunately not many insects were around at that time of the year to help with the pollination business. Mausi keeps her fingers crossed that at least some apples will develop all the same.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Hast du einen Opa, schick' ihn nach Europa...

If you have a Grandfather send him to the European Parliament! A famous quote from the beginnings of the European Parliament. Fortunately, we've come a long way since. If you look at the candidates that are standing up for the elections this time - at least in Germany - they are no longer long-term politicians sent to Brussels by their parties where they can do the least damage. Quite a number are of younger age (says a best ager) and Mausi gets the impression they are increasingly warming to the idea of a united Europe.

And it is not anymore that Brussels is as far away from all of us as it seems. Legislation from Brussels affects each of us in our daily life. The European Parliament has been gaining power over the years and it is the only European institution that is democratically elected. So we really should make use of our right to vote for our Parliament.

Sadly polls for the European Parliament are traditionally low and often depend to quite a certain extent on the weather. As elections in Germany are always on a Sunday, good weather means people are more likely to stop at a polling station while take a stroll with the family in the afternoon or on their way back from church. Today it is raining in Germany and estimates are that the poll will be around 40% as in 2004. Another thing is, of course, that people are losing confidence in the politicians' ability to really solve any kind of problem. People's voting behaviour in the European elections always reflects the actual political drama in the respective countries. In Germany, with the next elections coming up at the end of this year, politicians are falling over themselves spending the taxpayers' money in an effort to counter the aftermath of the global economical crisis and to save workplaces. All they seem to achieve, though, is doctoring the symptoms without getting to the root of the problem.

Anyhow, Mausi hopes that many Europeans will exercise their privilege to vote today so that the European Parliament will one day really speak for the majority of the European citizens.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Remembering the fallen

D-Day marks the beginning of the end of World War 2. It also marks the start of a campaign which cost an enormous number of lives on both sides as the Allied troops fought their way ashore to begin the task of freeing Europe from the poisonous grasp of Hitler and his evil henchmen. Few could suspect that it would also mark the start of a slow creep toward socialism, the very thing that the so-called Fascist regimes were a response too.

Our present socialist Masters would dearly like to sweep all this under the carpet. They loathe the military and all that the military stand for. They whinge and whine about the cost of our defence and would far rather see it wasted on turning us into a communist state - after all they spent the last sixty years telling us what a paradise the Soviet system had created. Until it was all exposed as a sham of course. After an embarrassing expose in the middle of all the other embarrassment this bunch of socialist troughers have created, the absence of an invitation to the Queen to send a representative was exposed by President Obama's attendance with the French President in tow. We would have been represented at the 65th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, not by our Head of State, but by that closet Communist and totally unelectable troll who infests Number 10. At the last minute said troll realised the gaff he had created - and now he will 'accompany' the Prince of Wales who will represent the Queen.

Why the embarrassment? Because Labour (Nu or Old) "forgot" to ask Her Majesty to send someone to France for this occassion and had already decided they weren't going to mark it at all. Until the Service organisations got hold of it and our European partners expressed surprise. So our Head of State will be represented by a man we don't want there, a man who, if he had his way, would close down our Navy, Army and Airforce and steer us straight into a soviet style "paradise", no doubt run by himself and his cronies in perpetuity.

I sincerely hope that everyone else on this island makes their feelings known to Labour and their treasonous hangers-on and joins me in marking this occassion with flags and a mark of remembrance and thanks for those who did go ashore that day, some of whom are still there.

A minute of silence please at 0600.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Good bye Gordon the Brown?

The government seems to be suffering a spate of resignations from the Cabinet and several are now calling, albeit soto voce, for Gordon Brown to go. The election last night has seen a meltdown in the Labour vote, mind you, this is probably due to the fact that a lot of voters in the UK simply do not vote in European or Local elections. They don't see any point, Strasbourg is just another "club" with expensive tastes frequently involved in passing laws which impact of us in the UK adversely and to the advantage of everyone except us after Whitehall have finished looking after their interests and its too remote anyway - and local elections authorities are just paper tigers, with no real powers, doing the bidding of the Whitehall W*nk*rs.

The interesting thing is the parade of Labour Ministers and spokespersons (Since 1997 and Blair you can't say Spokeman!)who are lining up to tell us that their bad showing and all the country's ills are the fault of the Conservatives - or that throwing this incompetent shower of Labour luvvies into the Thames will somehow make the whole country fall apart. A sure sign that they are out of ideas, out of luck and utterly beyond redemption.

As Cromwell told the Members of the Regicidal Parliament whose utter incometence and self interest was threatening his Presbyterian Utopia with collapse - "For too long you have despoiled this house! In the Name of God - GO!"

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Election fever.....

Went to vote in the Euro Election early this morning and found myself confronted by a ballot paper that was around eighteen inches (OK, for the EU's sake - 500mm) in length. Several of the parties listed I have never heard of or even have the faintest idea what they are standing for/on/against. Anyway, I made my cross on that one and on a separate ballot for the County Council.

Frankly, I don't much care who wins what - as long as NuLabour/Old Labour Gordon Brown and the rest of them are kicked into the long grass and never allowed back.

The news from the government isn't good - for them at any rate - their defence of the monumental mess they have made over the last twelve years is to claim "it will be much worse if you let the Tories rule again." Difficult to see how. And as for Lord Mandelson, the original sleaze artist in this government of Sleaze Artists, evading questions and constantly blaming the Tories for what he and his Party have ruined, well, the Anglo-Saxon for "Take French Leave" springs to mind.

Interestingly, the ballot paper today appeared to have been arranged in Alphabetical order. No problem with that except that the BNP is top of the list. Speaking of which, the campaign to brand this party as "Fascist" and from several quarters to outlaw membership of it by police, firemen, etc., is almost enough to persuade me to vote for them. I haven't, so relax, but the right to freedom of speech and expression means that however much I disagree with anything they say or stand for - I must allow it to be said. Sadly a principle that Gordon and the Labour Party have forgotten or decided it only applies to those things they approve of.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Thought for the day

The Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is world famous for his fairy tales - including The Tinderbox, The Little Mermaid, The Red Shoes, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes and The Snow Queen, but his plays, novels, poems and travel books are unknown outside Denmark . Like Joseph Stalin, he was the son of a cobbler and a washerwoman.

Quote for the day:

“Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers.” HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Dungeon Masters ....

Is not something I have ever played and probably never will, but justr occassionally something pops out of something like that and I liked this quote -

Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup…

My kind of dragon. As another poster on the forum in which I found that one says -

“Si non calorem tolerare potetas, non draconem titillas!!”

Which looks like good advice to me.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Have you ever wondered ....

There is a lot of fun to be had if you have a smattering of Latin and can translate some of the mottos you encounter on coats of arms, particularly the more recent ones. I was reminded of this when someone asked recently what the motto of Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft meant. I had to admit that I had never actually looked at it so I had to go digging and found -

Draco dormiens nunquam titilandus.

Well, I only did Latin at school for six months and have regretted not doing it for longer ever since. So out came the dictionary (Latin/English) and a few other reference books. I could, of course, have Googled it, but my way was more challenging. Anyway it translates as -

Never tickle a sleeping dragon.

Which put me in mind of my old school motto which was the subject of endless speculation -

Palma virtuti. which, as boys, we were told meant the "Palms to the virtuous" or "Palm of virtue" neither of which seemed particularly inspiring, so it was refreshing to hear a speech to a reunion some years after I had finished school by the then holder of the title from which the school took its name that it was actually a dig at the first Earl by the College of Heralds and was translated by the family as "The virtuous Palmer".

Some of the funnier ones of course come from Pratchett's Discworld novels and my favourite is the arms of the Watch which reads -

Fabricate diem, Punc

There is probably no need to translate that! But if there is, think, Dirty Harry.

Then there is the Unseen University, modelled on Oxbridge of course, and whose motto is -

Nunc id vides; Nunc ne vides

It even looks like the Oxford University emblem. Except for the motto.....

But my personal favourite was the one adopted unofficially by my officers and men at our very busy fire station, one which covered a huge area packed with industrial plants and hazards and low end social housing - and I mean low end.

Sumus semper in excretum, sed alta variat.

Summed us up rather well I thought, and nothing much has changed since.