Image via sci.esa.int and 300 million miles
There is a lot of fun to be had when filling in the equal opportunities monitoring section of an application form or a questionnaire. Unless required for the official census, details of age, gender and ethnicity are completely irrelevant and a little intrusive. Rather than ensuring diversity in any survey or in recruitment, the pigeon-hole questions are more of a marketing tool to identify a particular demographic.
Being a white, middle-aged English man who is a bit dim, a true and accurate description of my social status might lump me in with the sub-group that displays a disturbing obsession with the Farage creature and the Daily Mail. It is tempting, therefore, to complete this bit of the form erroneously just for a laugh. Pretending to be female wouldn`t really work but the ethnicity tick boxes provide endless equal opportunities for mischief. Ticking “other” and then adding Inuit or Amazonian Yawanawa or Ubangian Baka might just cheer up the poor soul tasked with doing the analysis. These days, however, in an atmosphere of toxic nationalism, I tend to tick “other” and then describe my ethnicity as either “Celtic” or, more often, as “European”. There`s more japes to be had in tick boxes regarding faith. (more…)
Sometimes, usually in the wee small hours I feel a little bit sad when I consider what this country has become. This self-indulgent melancholy is almost certainly fuelled by a glass or two of something nice and listening to Elgar played loud on headphones so as not to disturb the neighbours. Having dismissed BBC News as utter tosh, perusing other more reputable online news providers only adds to the feeling of being swamped by dejection.
Upon discovering that Vince Cable is to send a polite letter to bankers asking them nicely if they might like to consider, if at all possible, to think about not pillaging the national finances for personal gain, the increase in gloom became inversely proportional to the amount of single malt in the bottle. The bankers who brought about the collapse of the global economy through naked, reckless greed and have escaped scot free must be quaking in their boots at the prospect of being swamped by a polite letter from Vince Cable. It seems Vince needs time to develop Post Offices into branch banking which is a bit of a shame as Vince knowingly undersold the Royal Mail with the express intent of financial gain for overseas hedge funds and a bloke who just happens to be George Osborne`s best man. I sometimes become a little bit miffed when I consider what this country has become. (more…)
There is nothing even remotely funny about contagious diseases and Ebola in West Africa is just about as serious as things can get. It is so serious that western governments are now urgently deploying military personnel to fight the deadly virus. Cuba, it seems, are sending doctors.
Ebola is not funny; it was not funny last week or last month or back in December or even further back in 1976 when the virus began spreading in Sudan and Zaire. Similarly, it did not raise many laughs in 2007 when it killed more than 400 in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Only medical statisticians can tell us when an outbreak becomes an epidemic and when an epidemic becomes a pandemic but, according to some western governments and the feral media that supports them, we are now facing the end of the world. (more…)
The polling places have closed, the ballots have been cast and the votes are being counted. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day but I have a bottle of Lagavulin, a huge bag of Twiglets and the day off tomorrow. By breakfast time, both the Union and I are likely to be wasted.
Shakespeare knew a thing or two about politics and statehood but even his fertile imagination could not have conjured up such an incredible plot. If MacDuff were to ask “stands Scotland where it did?” the answer would be “no”, or possibly “yes”. For the first time, Scotland`s fate has been decided by the pencil rather than the sword and the biggest loser regardless of the vote will be David Cameron. (more…)