Monday, 29 June 2009

You may be richer than you think!

No – this is not some mad pyramid or dodgy, get rich quick scheme. Check your loose change ASAP.
The Royal Mint at Llantrisant, near Cardiff has produced a duff batch of 20p coins. The exciting news is that these coins are worth up to £50.
The faulty coins have no dates stamped on them. The dates should be on the Queen’s head side of the coin, but are missing.
This only applies to coins with the lion’s tail - NOT the Tudor Rose.

So get your purses, wallets, jars, and piggy banks out girls and boys, and start looking – oh, and don’t forget to look behind the sofa!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson RIP

Michael Jackson died yesterday afternoon from a suspected heart attack. Fans around the world have been left devastated by the news. Internet sites crashed as people went on-line to find out more. Michael Jackson attracted acclaim and controversy. The success of his musical career contrasted with his troubled personal life, and the allegations of paedophilia.
He was planning to stage fifty shows, in a come-back tour, and although he appeared to be fit, he must have been under considerable stress, given his much publicized financial problems. His endless skin whitening treatments and plastic surgery revealed a man who was unhappy in his own skin – literally. His close friend Uri Geller remarked on TV this morning that Michael Jackson was a very lonely man.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Cyber terrorist threat

According to Lord West, the security minister, we face the threat of cyber terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda, and others. Hackers could gain access to the computer technology underpinning our daily infrastructure and bring the country to a stand-still. Cyber hackers could sabotage our power and water supplies, ground aircraft, and cause total chaos in many other key areas that we take for granted. If these key areas were targeted simultaneously it could be catastrophic. Our reliance on computers has left us all in a very vulnerable position.
Lord West is looking to recruit former hackers to help counter this threat.
Let’s hope that they can protect us from the next potential wave of terror attacks.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Embarrassing Parents

Yes – parents are embarrassing.
In a poll of 2000 children at Chessington Zoo, twenty five percent of children admitted that they do not want to bee seen out with their parents. Fathers were seen as slightly more embarrassing than mothers, especially dads trying to dance (remember Minty Trebor?)

The top ten worst behaviours are:

1. Kissing them in front of friends.
2. Treating them like a child.
3. Telling them off.
4. Spit washing them.
5. Holding their hand.
6. Trying to disco dance.
7. Using baby/pet names.
8. Telling jokes.
9. Wearing un-cool clothes.
10. Singing.

My sister and I cringe when we go out with our mother. She is inclined to comment on people in a very loud voice (well within their earshot).She makes pointed remarks about their weight, lack of dress sense etc. It is a miracle no one has decked her so far for her forthright opinions.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Dodgy neighbours

It is always heartening to see ‘bad’ people having to atone for their misdemeanours. Craig Johnson formerly of Meaford Hall in Stone masterminded a £138 million scam which involved businesses illegally claiming back VAT on imported mobile phones, (which they had not paid tax on in the first place). Johnson laundered the money by buying luxury items, flashy cars, helicopters and mansions.
His neighbours reported that he would not disclose how he had made his money – now they know why!
Johnson has been ordered to pay back £26 million, or face a further ten years in jail.

Meaford Hall is now up for sale, so let’s hope Johnson’s ex-neighbours have more luck with the next owner of this Grade II listed stately home.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Who would you choose?

Today is the start of the election process for the speaker of the House of Commons. Ten candidates have been nominated. The position has a salary of £144,520 per annum, and accommodation thrown in. The process is already attracting controversy, with claims that Gordon Brown has been putting pressure on MPs to vote for his favourite, Margaret Beckett (She is currently accused of claiming £11, 000 for gardening expenses). Given the current feelings of the public towards MPs in general, the selection of speaker needs to be carried out fairly and honestly. Should the general public be asked to consider the merits of the candidates and asked to choose instead?

The only candidate I have met is Ann Widdecombe. She was the speaker at my daughter’s school speech day a few years ago. She seemed like a decent, straightforward, no-nonsense sort of person. She would be my choice for speaker.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Snouts in trough – the sequel

Following on from the tidal wave that started with Jacqui Smith’s porn videos the Metropolitan Police are finally considering a fraud investigation in the corridors of power - about time too. Members of the public would not have got away with dodgy claims and fiddling expenses, so why should MPs?
Over fifty MPs have claimed more for council tax than they were entitled too. Many have given the lame excuse that it was a ‘mistake’, but this does not wash with the public. Anyway, who wants to be governed by careless folks?
Speaking as ‘seriously cynical of Shropshire’, people who put themselves forward for positions of power and authority need to set a good example. How can the general public trust the people who claim to represent them, if they behave like a bunch of self-interested parasites.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Parliament – the day of reckoning

Today saw yet another politician ousted for fiddling expenses. Over the last six weeks we have seen politicians of all political parties fall like dominoes in the wake of the Daily Telegraph exposé. The list of MPs expenses is now available on the parliament web site – although certain expenses have been covered up.
These have been confusing and unprecedented times in politics, leaving the general public feeling confused and disenchanted with the revelations of the ‘snouts in the trough’ behaviour of many politicians. The rise of fringe parties is telling us that all is definitely not well, and serious and credible reform is needed, from people we can trust, (or is a trustworthy politician an oxymoron)

So - politicians, what are you going to do to restore your credibility?
What are you going to do about the problems in society?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Free booze

Here is a job opening that might appeal to students.
The market town of Wellington, in Shropshire, is looking to revive the ancient post of ale taster. This much sought after position originated in the fourteenth-century, and fizzled out in the 1840s. It was originally intended to ensure the local ales were of good quality.
The twenty-first century ale taster will be responsible for promoting local food and drink.
Unfortunately the post is an unpaid one, but the successful candidate will presumably be entitled to loads of free drinks.

The application details are on the link below – the closing date for applications is 13th July.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Male belly dancers

Bet you thought that belly dancing was just for girls – wrong.
Men have invaded this sacrosanct girlie enclave. The only problem is that it could cause unforeseen consequences when the teacher yells ‘stand on your balls!’ – ouch!!!!!

This is Jamil, he has sickeningly good hip shimmies.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Naked cyclists

What were you doing this week-end readers?

Hundreds of intrepid cyclists across Britain ditched their clothes and cycled naked through our major cities.

Was it the heat?
Was it summer madness?
Were they promoting nudism?

No, it was a desperate attempt by environmentalists to get people to take climate change seriously. It was also a peaceful protest against our dependency on oil, and the car culture.
On a serious note, cyclists are incredibly vulnerable in traffic, and their nakedness highlighted this fact.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

World nettle eating championship

It is amazing what people will do for a bit of fun. The world nettle eating championship took place in Dorset yesterday. The competition began in 1986 when two farmers had a dispute about who had the longest stinging nettles in his fields. Farmer Williams vowed to eat any nettle longer than his – and so this weird activity began.
Now people come from all over the world to take part in this annual event at the Bottle Inn.
The rules are quite simple – the winner is the person who has the most denuded two foot stalks at the end of an hour.
Beer is provided to help the vegetation slip down, and cheating is severely frowned on.

Is this masochistic nettle fest a new variant of self-harm?

I don’t feel brave enough to try this out in the name of research – but if any contestants see this blog posting, please feel free to tell us what nettle eating is really like - we are intrigued, and would love to know more about it.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Major Phil Packer

I burst into tears when I saw this brave man struggling to pull himself up a 3000ft mountain to raise money for Help for Heroes.
Major Phil Packer was seriously injured in a rocket attack in Basra, in February 2008, leaving him paraplegic. Despite losing the use of his legs he has completed the London marathon on crutches, rowed across the English Channel in fifteen hours and completed numerous other feats to raise money for injured servicemen.
He is quoted as saying ‘It is about making the most of a situation’. He is to be applauded.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Gordon Ramsay eats humble pie?

Gordon Ramsay caused a furore in Australia by insulting television journalist Tracy Grimshaw. Ramsay shocked his audience in Melbourne by waving a picture of a naked woman with multiple breasts and a pigs head, saying it was Tracy Grimshaw. He also stated she needed to see Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor, then inferred that she was a lesbian.
Ms. Grimshaw refuted this statement, adding that Ramsay must think that any woman who does not fancy him is a lesbian.
The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd became involved. He described Ramsay’s comments as reflecting ‘a new form of low life’. Australians have a reputation for being robust people, so Ramsay must have been seriously offensive.
Ramsay claimed he was just having a joke, and tried to wriggle out of this mess by saying he had not been well due to food poisoning.

After the publicity surrounding his infidelity, and the boil in the bag meals, the comment about food poisoning is worrying – was it from a meal he cooked himself?
If this is the case - is his cooking as unappealing as his comments?

Ramsay’s business is in trouble. This Neolithic football hooligan needs to clean up his act, and buy a dictionary to increase his vocabulary (the dictionary does not stop at ‘F’ Mr. Ramsay) – then he might stand a chance of salvaging his career and his reputation.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Mobile Phone Directory - an invasion of privacy?

Connectivity, the company running the 118800 service is launching a directory for mobile phones on June 18th. This means that people can potentially obtain anyone’s private mobile number. Connectivity state that they will call first to ask permission to release the number to a third party.
Most people only want friends and family to have their mobile numbers, and I can foresee that his new service could lead to problems. I used to work with victims of domestic violence and the last thing people need when they are trying to rebuild their lives is to be tracked down by a violent ex – partner, or be tormented by phone calls from Connectivity.
Similarly it could lead to employers abusing staff by contacting them on work related issues outside their normal contracted working hours. Doctors could be inundated by patients trying to ring them out of hours for various reasons.
Connectivity will make a lot of money out of this service, but does the general public want it?
It seems that this is being forced on people – like a lot of things that we have not had the chance to agree to.