Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Gurkhas. As a regiment within the British Army they have been absolutely superlative. Having - for generations - fought and died alongside our own troops, these doughty warriors have never, ever let us down. In WW2 they buried 32000 of their dead out of 250000 who served. They were awarded 2734 bravery awards from 1939 to 1945. They have been the loyalest of our loyal friends. They deserve our respect and gratitude in full measure.
Now, in a country where illegal immigration is rife, a paltry 4000 Gurkha ex-servicemen would like to settle here. In a country that is more or less open to more or less anybody these 4000 would represent a drop in the multi-cultural ocean.
Our Government say no.
If honour was measurable our Government would score zero.
Although I loathed Margaret Thatcher*, she did, at least, understand Britain's place within the history of our planet. Brown and his minions have not got a clue.
They will lose this one.
Ayo Gorkhali
* I live in the North-East. I am a teacher. Of course I loathe Thatcher.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another Enemy Within

Like many in the UK, I have been shocked at the tactics of our Police in recent weeks and months. It is nothing new, of course. Blair Peach, Jimmy Kelly & Liddel Towers come to mind from a generation ago. Jean Charles de Menezes is a more recent addition, but the memory is fading. Ian Tomlinson is the latest.
I have the utmost respect for our Police. I think that 99% of them do a wonderful job.
Unfortunately, 99% is nowhere near good enough.
The problem is that the police see us, the public, as the enemy. In the recent demonstations the protestors were not seen by the Police as enemies of the state, not voices raised in protest but their actual enemy. That really is scary. If the Police see us as their enemy then we are being forced to see them as our enemy.
That is certainly not what I want.
But it might be what the Police want.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

That was wonderful Darling...

Well done Darling (as the actress...).
If Cameron & Co. can't get elected after that budget and the crescendo of catastrophe that is daily engulfing the Puritan Kakistocracy then they don't deserve House room*.
Darling & Brown have made Labour (Old Labour as it turns out) completely unelectable.
Like every other Labour government we have ever had, they will leave us absolutely bankrupt.
Bring on the General Election.

* Or even second house room

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What if?

My previous rant might have given the impression that I am not a die-hard supporter of our Prime Minister. Good. I'm not. I was, however, much more of a Blair fan and I often tumble "what if?" scenarios around my head about his days in No.10.
What if, for example, he had had a more public-acceptable wife. Cherie was a cross to bear and so much of his time and energy was diverted in managing the damage that surrounded her.
Then there's the big "what if?". Brown and his gang. For years they whinged away in the background claiming that nasty Tony had told them that they could have the nice house soon. For the last two years of Blair's time in office all we heard was Blair-Brown-Rift. It was pointless, damaging, divisive and created massive uncertainty. Blair made his mistakes and had several blind spots but I am left wondering what he would have been like, and how we would remember him, if Brown had not been stabbing him in the back on a daily basis. In a cruel application of symmetry, Brown's premiership has been - from the word go - pointless, damaging, divisive and it has created massive uncertainty.
C'est la vie.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saying Sorry

Gordon Brown is famously reluctant to say "sorry". What seems to be the hardest word comes from the Old English "sarig" meaning "distressed; full of sorrow". So it all becomes clear. GB (great initials for a PM of the UK I always think) isn't actually distressed or full of sorrow. My guess is that he will not be any more additionally sorry when his darling Darling reads out his budget this week. Brown has a "moral compass", he claims. This guides him towards right; away from wrong. His "moral compass" is severely affected by moral magnetic storms at present. Our entire democratic system stinks, from PM to MP. He has allowed those we laughingly call "honourable members" to wreck the trust we once had in our parliament. His government is mired in fiddles, fraud, spin, rumour, lies and deceit. Everyone else is to blame, you may have noticed. Never him. Sadly, although this worked with Blair, it doesn't with Brown. He will, I am sure, resort to diffusing the impact of Darling's budget by spreading the blame around as usual. Global situation and Tory legacy (wearing thin after 12 long years). You can guarantee that none of the blame for any of the mess we are in will be due to anything he has done. That's why he doesn't say sorry.
He isn't.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I have just spent a wonderful day looking around two of Northumberland's finest castles: Warkworth and Dunstanburgh. We also took time to stand outside and ogle Bamburgh and Alnwick castles. Warkworth nestles within a pretty village and is a compact example of mediaeval engineering. Dustanburgh dominates a piece of high ground a mile north of Craster. Both are breathtaking in so many ways: the scenery, their longevity, their scale and their history. If I had to pick a favourite it would be Dunstanburgh. Although heavily ruined, the location is peerless and the size is impressive. Warkworth would fit into a small corner. Bamburgh? My least favourite. The best thing about it is the nearby beach. Alnwick? Still the home of the Duke of Northumberland and run by him for as a commercial venture. Tawdry.
Completely coincidentally, I was a staff member of Dunstanburgh House in my last school.
Biased? Surely not.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Heirs to the Throne

I know it is all being done to take our minds off the mess we are in, but the whole problem of "who becomes monarch" is so farcical that it is funny.
We are led to believe that it will remove discrimination if the eldest prince or princess becomes monarch rather than the eldest male heir. What utter tripe. It does nothing to stop the discrimination against those who are not the eldest (male or female). What if the second in line was a complete star, but the heir was a complete wassock? I think a much better plan would be to have an elected King/Queen. When the reigning monarch dies we should have a speedy referendum to elect the next monarch. Just the "first-rankers"; children of the deceased monarch. So, when QE2 dies (which will never happen, trust me), all of us Brit Cits get a ballot paper saying, effectively, Charles? Anne? Andrew? Edward?
This gets round all the discrimination issues and we end up with a popular monarch.
Not a bad idea for a republican, I think.

Richard Timney

Our famously incorruptible Home Secretary (my tongue has just burst through my cheek) apparently pays for her husband's porn with taxpayers' money. Richard Timney; that's hubby's name.
Quite honestly, I'm on his side all the way.
Firstly, he is married (or "partnered" at least) to Jacqui Smith. I haven't seen her on but that is surely an oversight. The man needs something to take his mind of his predicament. Imagine waking up in the morning next to her. Cruel; that's what it is.
Secondly (and my major reason for being such a fan of his) the great British public can now spell Timney. As a member of this expatriate Irish clan I have spent all my life spelling my name only to have it misspelled anyway. It has been written in a hundred different variants. I have tried spelling slowly: t.i.m.n.e.y. I have tried Tango India Mike November Echo Yankee. I have tried "it's an anagram of ENMITY" to people who were seriously getting up my nose. All have failed.
But no more. Richard, the onanistic husband of one of our greatest national treasures has ensured that Timney is spelled correctly.
Richard Timney: with my free right hand I salute you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

China Trip #5: Coffee in my Room

Empty contents of Nescafe coffee sachet into my cup.
Repeat; my coffee needs to be strong tonight.
Empty contents of Nescafe Coffeemate into cup.
Empty sweetener into coffee.
Add hot water.
Stir, Drink,

China Trip #4: So Similar So Different

Hong Kong and now Guangzhou are (to western eyes) quite surreal places. HK is like NYC except all of it is like Manhattan. The population density in HK is through the roof, but there is very little of the dirt one associates with big western cities. No litter. No dog crap (no dogs). Strange names of businesses in English and Cantonese. Ferries that look like they will sink at any time. Guangzhou is more "Chinese" (if that word means anything in this context) and much less the finished product. Opulence and poverty side by side.
A little girl, four years old maybe, followed me for some way with her hand out asking for money. I only had my credit card and a bloody big lump in my throat.