Saturday, 25 June 2011

Marching to the bottom of the hill.....

The generals have said we will only be able to afford to bomb Libya for another three months, which must be a comfort to Gaddafi.They have given similar assurances to the Taliban.
Used we not to shoot traitors who passed vital information to the enemy? But we must not be unkind. They are fighting to the last job
Mind you,Sam Johnson and I are as one in our view of that earlier war in the Falklands Isles when we had bombs to spare.. He said of our invasion in 1771:
“... What have we acquired? What, but a bleak and gloomy solitude, an island, thrown aside from human use, stormy in winter, and barren in summer; an island, which not even the southern savages have dignified with habitation; where a garrison must be kept in a state that contemplates with envy the exiles of Siberia; of which the expense will be perpetual, and the use only occasional. “
My much more modest contribution was to point out we had used a navy we no longer owned, to occupy an island we had given to British Coalite, and to confirm the right to be British of a population whose passports we had withdrawn.
So I find it odd I should warm to the words of an admiral who marched into Number 10 dressed up like Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore ”to stiffen Mrs Thatcher’s resolve to recapture the islands”, whilst pretending she was Elizabeth I.
Now the sandy admiral warns we would not be able to mount a force further than the other side of the Channel. That is fine by me. We know we can beat the French, who even lost the French Revolution, and I am all in favour of a ban on exporting our forces.

We won’t be happy until we stop pretending we are still Great Britain and enjoy the reality being little England, shorn even, thank the Lord, of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We really must get out of the expensive habit of invasion. Look what it is costing the BBC to invade the North.
Alas, you cannot keep a bad idea down. The BBC borrowed £813m in a bond-deal to invade the North. Or, as they put it, ”finance a Broadcasting House redevelopment”. However you put it, they will have to pay it back with interest over the next 30 years. Or even longer. The renovation is already £20 million over budget and is running at least two years late, badgered by claims of lavish expenditure.
The BBC might not have had to borrow so much had it not sent 437 people to cover the Beijing Olympics – about 100 more than the number of British athletes taking part. Or spent £25,000 sending a remote-controlled model helicopter, equipped with a camera, flying over Broadcasting House for just two minutes. Part of a £3.9 million arts ‘celebration’ of the flagship. The BBC has also been criticised for spending millions on artwork - but you can’t keep a good overdraft down.
Or, as a BBC spokesman spun it: “The budget for the project was adjusted after the first phase of the redevelopment in 2006 to rebase the construction contract and incorporate changes in scope to accommodate new services like Arabic and Persian TV. The project is currently on schedule to be delivered within its approved budget.”
Relocation of the BBC’s regional headquarters includes the new £400 million base in Manchester and the £188 million construction of a new Scottish headquarters in Glasgow. The Salford base, which will house services such as Radio 5 Live and the sports department, involves the relocation of 1,500 staff from London.
Be prepared. The cost could spiral to £900 million.
Comfort is on hand. Caroline Thomson, the chief operating officer of the BBC has promised: “The days of mega-money are over. The BBC would never again sign contracts similar to the £18 million deal with Jonathan Ross.”
Except between themselves. Most of the suits in Mismanagement are paid far more than the Prime Minister.
And has anyone explained the reason for the move? It cannot be to bring jobs to the North. Departments are bringing their staffs up with them.


Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people not computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why when the stars are out they are visible but when the lights are out they are invisible.


In the U.S an enlghtened prison governor had an investigation of his prison population. Our M Poor as Ps are arguing about our prisoners. Perhaps they should read this:
" He found 75 percent [of the prisoners] were reading somewhere between the fourth- and sixth-grade levels. 90 percent never had a legal job. 90 percent were self-identified addicts. 80 percent were self-identified victims of sexual or physical violence as a child. 65 percent had been placed in a special-education class at some point. 75 percent were high school dropouts.


Tried the Dragon CD (see last week’s rant) on an old laptop and it worked perfectly. New laptop came with Norton anti spyware but as it was expiring I installed AVG. It found a tribe of nasties. I have a warranty with DELL on the laptop for a 4-year service. Tried all morning and got them at last at lunchtime. They said it will cost £65 to clean or £112 for a year. I said I have already paid but they said we are unable to find record of payment. Went to Dell Customer Support. Tried four times with no response. Rang AVG who sad it was a software error and they put me on to Virgin Digital Help. £100 a year. Bought in. They remotely accessed the computer, cleared some really heavy nasties and thoroughly examined the system. Took over an hour on remote control. Result bliss. And the charming young man who spent the afternoon in the innards of my computer was sitting at his desk – in the Philippines!
Summing up DELL isn’t the essence. Avoid. Their printers only take Dell cartridges so Dell can charge high prices for replacement cartridges.They also refuse to repay the costs of warranties
they don’t honour