Heaven Help Us

I really do not understand what on earth is going on. Why are we having this referendum? Heaven help us if the end vote is for out. Boris Johnson seems to believe the stories he made up when he was a journalist in Brussels. And yes, it is well known they were untrue, but that didn’t stop an audience who wanted to despise the EU from lapping them up.
Boris at the Elephant
I can’t understand why some of the same people who declared we were Better Together when it came to the referendum in Scotland, should somehow think we’d be better turning our backs on the rest of the EU to go it alone. I’ve left it too late to emigrate. It’s not long until I get my Freedom Pass, and the prospect of spending the last decades of my life in a country which defines itself by hostility to outsiders and deep suspicion of ‘foreigners’ despite being one of the most invaded and diverse places in the world does not bring a smile to my face. Continue reading

Budget Blues

Can I just start this post by saying that I hate George Osborne and all that he represents? Thanks.

And that David Cameron.

I’d explain, but it’d make me depressed.

Maybe tomorrow. But just in case you are wondering, here’s a hint.

It was budget day today. Millionaires can sleep happy knowing their children will not pay inheritance tax on the first £100,000. After all they’ve earned it.

If your family does not have a million pounds in the bank, expect your meagre assets to be taken into account when your eligibility for any welfare benefit is assessed.

Those offspring of wealthy families have already probably benefited from the family millions. They may have attended fee-paying schools, where although there are question marks about the quality of the teaching being better than in their state counterparts, the classes are undoubtedly smaller, and the facilities usually better. At those same schools they will have made contacts that can be beneficial to them for the rest of their days. Not for nothing do we talk about the old school tie. They will have a sense of entitlement. I have a few friends who went through the public school system. Lovely people all, but their sense of having a right to things always amazes me. They also have a sense of being right; of knowing, in a way us state-educated folk cannot really know.

If you met me, I don’t doubt you’d think me as middle class as they come.
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In Praise of The Grauniad

There are lots of good reasons for reading The Guardian newspaper. The typos are legendary, earning it the nickname of The Grauniad, and I was quite disappointed not to bag any in yesterday’s edition. Still, I have the notice I read in an estate agent’s window in Castlewellan advertising a property for sale with ‘oil fried central heating’ to keep me going.
It’s a serious paper with a light touch, and today I snorted and chortled through the bits of yesterday’s news I hadn’t got around to by bedtime last night. If you had told me at breakfast that a story about debt collectors would have made me smile, I’d have shaken my head, but this firm is far away from the heavies with baseball bats intimidating people who have nothing and no means of repayment. I like their style. Click here and see for yourself.
I don’t know if Simon Hoggart is on twitter, but he sounds as though he’d love hashtagging. Here are some ideas from his readers for place names in songs: I’m in the Mood for Danzig, Sexual Ealing, Clissold Park of Mine. I love Simon Hoggart and hope he goes on writing into his nineties. Like some other good people he has appeared on, and also for a while chaired, The News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig, the current chair, was telling a story about the late Alan Coren, one time editor of Punch and a News Quiz regular. For his birthday she paid for him to have golf lessons. The gift wasn’t a success. “Those bunkers,” he said, “no wonder Hitler died in one.” Continue reading