Well, I’ve discovered WordPress for my (new) BB*, so I suppose I better post something.

Quickly, I’ve got a couple of teething problems, first off, being the qwerty keyboard – I keep typing three “c”s or three “r”s (r is the 3 key), or similar. The optical trackpad (or whatever it’s called) annoys me occasionally, and what I already mentioned*.

Anyway, what I’m mainly writing about is the big political news of the week, and my tuppence-worth on the whole thing.

Yes! In this wonderful democracy of ours, we get out half-decade’s-worth sop to the idea that we have any say in what’s going on! It’s the General Election in a month! Yay!

When I was in my last year of secondary, my Modern Studies teacher got me interested in politics, and I’ve voted in each possible election since – including a postal vote in (I think) the European elections while I was at sea. I’ve voted in four different constituencies – Eilean Siar, Edinburgh and two in Glasgow – in a dozen (or so) local, Scottish, National and EUSSR elections.

Anyway, elections coming up. And for the first time in my voting life, I’m stumped. I don’t want to harp on about living in the back of beyond – it is my choice after all – but there’s so little point in voting here. For the past century or so** this constituency has swung between Labour and the SNP. It’s rather depressing really.

My reasons for not voting Labour should be abundantly clear.

The SNP have, in their Holyrood tenure, been only slightly less authoritarian than Labour in Westminster, and jump on any passing “BAN IT!!!!” bandwagon going past. Nae chance, pal.

If the Liberal Democrats could find it in their parliamentary party to be at all libertarian or even democratic, they would be a possibility, but they can’t, so they’re not, so it’s a pass on them too.

The Tories. Well, they’re not Tories any more, are they? Under the helmsmanship of the vapid Blair-alike Cameron they have entered a “who’s more Socialist” pissing contest with Labour.  They never even had an outside chance of representing Lewis, even before their candidate joined a spoof Facebook group calling for a new harbour for Achmore. A hamlet whose only claim to fame is that it’s the only village with no sea access on the whole Island. Foot out of your mouth now darling, and jog on, Blue Labour.

I am reserving judgement on the new Christian Independent candidate. I’ll make up my mind when he publicises his economic, social and environmental policies. I want to hope that he will be more to my taste than any of the others, but he previously stood for the Christian Party, and I’m not their biggest fan. I need to do more digging I feel.

So, I’m a true floating voter***. I’m in a position now that I will vote for the first independent candidate that can offer to fight for at least most of my requirements****.

A month of tedium to go, then.

*That’s BlackBerry for the uninitiated among you. Two big annoyances: StupidCapitalisation and no Flash compatibility. There’s bound to be more, but I’ve only had the thing for a week or so.
**Will update that when I get out of bed later today, and can bother looking it up.
***Not literally, unfortunately. I’m still looking for a job afloat.
****More on these soon.

Calling A Cab

Posted: 22-March-2010 in Speculation
Tags: ,

Byers is obviously a numptie, but so far, I haven’t seen anyone else make the connection: Hoon and Hewitt cack-handedly attempted a coup a couple of months ago. Now they’ve both been suspended (along with afore-mentioned numptie).

Far be it from me to jump to any cynical conclusions…

There have been a couple of questions asking why I haven’t posted a blog since mid-November.

Here are the reasons:

  1. Work takes up so much time.
  2. There has been too much to write  about.
  3. What has been going on, has been covered in a much more enlightening way by others than I ever could.
  4. Kittens. I have five kittens. They rock the casbah. Apart from their current gi problems.

I will endevour to add some kitten photos ASAP.

Picture unrelated. It was going to be Ed "what an unutterably vile turdburglar" Balls, but I couldn't bring myself to link to him.

I am but a humble semi-internet-illiterate moron, so I don’t know who 38degrees are as an organisation. However, I see from one of the myriad of blogs that I follow, that they support the BBC channels being threatened with cuts.

I hope that I am preaching to the converted when I say that the BBC are a bunch of  horribly biased, vilely-left-leaning bunch of anti-scientific, socialist, spongers.

I implore everyone who looks at this blog (few and far between – and probably well known to me – that you are**) to do something similar to what I have*** with the provided editable email thing:


**on the off-chance that you don’t know who I am, I’ve censored my name and email address.

***hopefully this pic will work as a hyperlink to the page.

In my current job I drive around in an an ancient van for the first half of the day. I have a functioning radio, so I’ve got something on in the background all the time. But as I have to get in and out constantly, I don’t want to have my phone or MP3 player broadcasting the entire time because that’s a waste of battery. This would be fine if I was anywhere, really, other than Lewis. Being up here means that I’m very, very limited in what radio station I can listen to. I’ve got Isles FM (aka The World’s Worst Radio Station), Radio Nan Gàidheal (I don’t understand Gaelic), Radio Scotland (just… naw), Radio 4 (daytime stuff is dire), Radio 3 (I can’t afford to crash because I’ve fallen asleep),  Radio 1 (I’m not constantly popping ecstasy, so it doesn’t appeal) and finally Radio 2 which is a decent compromise between inoffensive pop and slightly older stuff. It’s not perfect, but it will do.

The only blight on the 5 hours or so that I’m driving up to lunchtime, is the incomparable nincompoop that is Jeremy Vine. Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce beforehand are like having a bath in warm treacle. Then the lunchtime discussion comes on and it I want to crash  into the nearest wall. Every day, as soon as he comes on, I start changing channels to see if I can find anything, anywhere, worth listening to, and, every day when I get back to the show – having failed – some moron somewhere is making a point that is just mind-bogglingly stupid. Every day I think, I’ll remember that and write something about it when I get home for lunch, and every day I come home and look at pictures of kittens.

However, this morning I got up early enough to spend a little time on the laptop before work, and caught sight of the big apologies story going round, and later heard the first snatch of the debate or phone-in discussion on the radio, before, unfortunately, changing to radio one. My mind is still bleeding. Anyway, Kevin Rudd and Gordon Brown are apologising for the sins of the past. Not, in either case for their own sins or even their respective governments’ sins. They are apologising for previous government’s mistakes. It is therefore entirely futile, empty and meaningless. You cannot apologise for a mistake someone else made in the past. You can, however, express your sorrow and sympathy. In fact, many of the people affected and shipped off to Australia are still living and do deserve our sympathy for what was, undeniably, horrible treatment. I believe these people should gain some sort of compensation for their treatment, and should have all possible help in contacting any remaining relatives over here.

But, I say again: we cannot apologise. Brown – if indeed the man is capable of emotion – can say he is saddened and sorry that this happened, but as Longrider said in the first (but by no means only post) I read today:

This practise ended forty years ago. How old was Gordon Brown then? Was he in government? The answers being that he was a teenager when this finished and he was not in government. Therefore, he has no right to apologise and neither has Kevin Rudd as neither of them was involved in the offence. An apology, to mean anything at all, must be proffered by the person or people who caused the original harm. You cannot apologise by proxy. To do so is empty gesturing.

In the Telegraph, Ed “Dumpling-faced Gurning Moron” Balls says of Brown’s planned apology, that

the government was talking to the victims’ organisation to work out how to frame the apology

The whole thing is getting emptier and emptier as the whole saga unfolds. If, for example I stole someone’s car and then asked the owner to sit down with me and help me write out a sorry note to explain how sorry I was that I had stolen his car, I have no doubt he would think it a rather empty gesture. But it’s even hollower that. In a comparable hypothetical situation, my cousin stole someone’s car and then several years later, when my (hypothetical – don’t send any sympathy, all my cousins are fine) cousin had died, then I went and asked the owner to sit down and help me to write a note of apology on behalf of someone from whom no recompense is possibly forthcoming. That’s how useless this apology is.

Also, to ring true, an apology should be, at least in part, spontaneous. Not mumbled through in a monotone by a humourless, expressionless Cyclops.

Oh, and as a final aside, it turns out the Prime Minister thinks that

“the time is now right” for the UK government to apologise for the “misguided policies” of previous governments

nothing to do with wanting to look good just before a general election then? Of course not, that’s just me being cynical.

And no mention of apologising, even in the most hollow, empty way for the “misguided policies” of the current government, for the misguided handling of… well… nigh-on everything.

Woo! Free stuff!

Posted: 16-November-2009 in Life Information
Tags: , , ,

I got a free book today.

So can you. Well, not today but you can order it from that link.

I’ll review it when I get the time.

muzzle flash

A friend’s link on facebook brought me to this story earlier today. An ex-soldier is facing prison for five years for being a good, upstanding member of the community. The story, for those who can’t be bothered following the link is that some guy found a sawn-off shotgun, with ammo, in his garden, phoned the police and handed it in. Where he was arrested for having an gun. And taken to court. And found guilty. And now faces five years for possession. Did I mention the minimum sentence? Five years. That is FIVE YEARS. That’s two years more than you get for raping a toddler. That’s four and a half years more than you get for dumping a body and leaving a guy for dead.

Following the discussion thread on OH’s blog on the topic I came across this gem, where almost the exact opposite happened, 15 miles away in South London. Again, the story is mind-bogglingly stupid – another guy finds a loaded revolver and cash in a bag, phones the police and is told to carry it two miles to the station. I’m really surprised Mr. Leary wasn’t arrested when he took the gun to the police.

I was going to insert a rant here about how stupid it is not to have legal guns in society, but it all just seems like an exercise in banging my head against a brick wall.