There comes a time when you realise that a bad debt is never going to be paid and the only options available are to either litigate or forget about it. Some work undertaken about a year ago resulted in a Mr Micawber situation of misery rather than happiness when the bastards didn`t cough up the dosh that they owed me for doing something that they were incapable of doing. The response from the debtors ranged from “Oh dear, it must be an accounting problem” to “payment in the next three working days” to “sod off”. I gave up and although bruised, put it down to experience. (more…)
July 5, 2015
June 13, 2015
Next Thursday, June 18th, is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and, coincidentally, the 31st anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave. Wellington`s victory will undoubtedly be commemorated with solemnity and pride but with very little mention of Field Marshal Blücher. Orgreave, on the other hand, is being commemorated with bucket loads of official whitewash.
In June 1984, at the height of the miner`s strike, the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham was subject to an NUM picket. It seems that some of the striking miners were playing football when mounted riot police launched a baton charge. The pickets tried to run away and as the re-grouped forces of Marshal Blücher were unlikely to appear over the horizon, the miners attempted to defend themselves. There were numerous injuries on both sides. (more…)
May 26, 2015
Cor blimey, strike a light, lawks a mercy you could knock me down with a feather Mary Poppins and no mistake. As we bask in the consolidation of traditional British values of not liking foreigners and poor people very much, imagine the horror and incredulity at discovering that the banks have been acting illegally again…and again…and again. I didn`t see that one coming and I am shocked – shocked I tell you – that one or maybe two bad apples have yet again besmirched the impeccable reputation of our entrepreneurial financial wealth creators. Never mind, no harm done, lessons have been learned and it`s time to draw a line and move on. No arrests have been made. (more…)
May 24, 2015
I was there less than two weeks ago; I saw the posters, understood what it was about and knew what the opinion polls were saying and heard the anecdotal opinions of the people I met. Yet on Saturday afternoon, as the result of the Irish Equal Marriage Referendum became clear, something utterly astonishing has taken place in Ireland. It is no exaggeration to say that the entire country has experienced a societal seismic shift overnight.
With a national turn-out of 60 per cent and with 62 per cent voting “Yes”, talk of a landslide is probably a bit of the blarney but the sands have shifted irrevocably and, to my mind at least, a Catholic State has become an Irish Nation. The figures demonstrate that a sizable majority of the population regardless of age, faith, ethnicity or gender who would never in a month of Sundays describe themselves as LGBT have voted for equality, compassion, respect and (wait for it) love as basic human rights extended to their fellow citizens. (more…)
January 26, 2015
”The grave`s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”
Andrew Marvell – To His Coy Mistress
So, farewell then Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Time`s winged chariot has crossed the deserts of vast eternity and finally arrived in Riyadh. The touching tributes and moving obituaries delivered by state media described him as a moderniser, a reformer, a moderate, a humanitarian and a champion of women`s rights. The state media in this case was the BBC and the Union Flag flew at half mast over the Palace of Westminster as a mark of respect to honour the life and cheque book of this great man. (more…)