Saturday, 28 July 2007 crass email update

Recently I got a crass and offensive email from (making light of the flooding and the bad weather) I wrote and complained and have had no reply. I sent it to ASA, and today I got a letter saying they are passing it onto the Independent Advertising Standards Authority Council. I will keep you informed of any further developments.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007


The post below won't update: It should say Son of THE Manse. But blogger has glitch and is showing an old version. I know my typing is poor but I do try.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Various Rants

Son of a preacher man.

Gordon Brown has made mention himself of and not countered references to by others of being “a son of the Manse”. For those who don’t know a “Manse” is Northern/Scottish name for vicarage, usually referring to the non-conformist side of church I believe. He’s being using it to back up his claims to be a stout, trustworthy, honest and blameless. I am only raising this because there has been some talk about bloggers talking beyond the area of expertise, well without going into too many details let’s say I’ve lived in Manse or too. So I am in ideal place to discuss this issue.

Wasn’t it Wellington who said “Jesus was born in stable; it didn’t make him an ass”
Just because you are raised in the church it doesn’t guarantee your moral superiority. In fact coming into too close a contact with organised religion can be a sullying experience at the best times.

Also of all the forms of Christianity in the world, is the austere Scottish the form we want to all follow. I not slandering Gordon’s dad but in my experience elderly church men aren’t always the most liberal types. Presumably Gordon is not claiming this part of his inheritance. Nor is this Manse background the most rock and roll, lots of stewed tea, dry sarnies, long joyless services, ping pong and Missionary collections for the kids, church meetings and committees for the adults is the sort of life Gordon wants for us all.?

Lastly I take my text for today from the Gospel according to St Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien of Cricklewood. In her sermon on Atlantic records she explains in full how trustworthy the “Son of preacher man” can be, after which we will pass round the collection plate.

Billy Ray was a preacher's son
And when his daddy would visit he'd come along
When they gathered around and started talkin'
That's when Billy would take me walkin'
Out through the back yard we'd go walkin'
Then he'd look into my eyes
Lord knows, to my surprise

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was

Bein' good isn't always easy
No matter how hard I try
When he started sweet-talkin' to me
He'd come'n tell me "Everything is all right"
He'd kiss and tell me "Everything is all right"
Can I get away again tonight?

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was (yes he was)

How well I remember
The look that was in his eyes
Stealin' kisses from me on the sly
Takin' time to make time
Tellin' me that he's all mine
Learnin' from each other's knowin'
Lookin' to see how much we've grown and

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, oh yes he was

(The only one who could ever reach me)
He was the sweet-talkin' son of a preacher man
(The only boy who could ever teach me)
Was the son of a preacher man

(The only one who could ever reach me)
Was the sweet-talkin' son of a preacher man

Going Underground
On the subject Gordon Biblical background is he prepared to make reparations, (the bibles full of such stuff) for the tube PFI fiasco. The single fundamental lie about the PFI scheme was that it moved the risk for new development from the public to private sector. And yet virtually every scheme that has failed has been bailed out by US the Tax payers. The Metronet case is no different. The deep scam in all this is that PFI companies claimed because they where taking the risk they should get paid more than say a public sector company and so they where. In fact they went to the banks and said “look give us a low rate because if it goes belly up the government will bail you out”. This has been the case and so companies have got loads of public cash and low rates on their borrowings, they then go broke and the directors pocket our cash.
The solution Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and all Labour ministers should be surcharged for wasting public money, the share holders should be surcharged too and we should buy back the infrastructure at the price we sold it. And issues bonds against the land to build stations which are nice to sit on, hospitals that aren’t hell holes (like the new Homerton) and schools that are good places to learn rather than plaster board creaky sheds.

Houses of the Holier than thou
Also this week Gordon has been talking about housing. Well done its important issue, more so in my opinion than even health and schools. One thing he and his ministers have avoided and haven’t heard them pressed on was how they are going to sell lower houses prices to the house price obsessed nation.
I thought it was disingenuous of Brown as economist to talk about ways of increasing the supply of housing without mention the effect on the wider market. As we are all free marketers now surely we won’t mind that if supply is no longer outstripping demand that prices will go down. It is the great untalked about issues even quite liberal people love that their house is worth thousands more each year. No one will admit that is all being paid for by the people at the bottom, first time buyers and renters who are funding the high prices. Gordon brown will be out of a job if he ever really did anything to affect the price of semis in Crouch end. It seems Polly Toynbee (I wrote this on Sunday evening) had the same Idea as me doh!

Over the Top
Seen on the BBC Radio 2 website
“Chris Evans
Our 21st Century Samuel Pepys spills forth on his blog.”

BBC Hyperbole reaches new heights, I know Old Sam’s Diary involves a lot of day to day stuff much like Mr Evan’s but he did experience Britain’s last revolution, the execution of a monarch and the reform of the Royal Navy. Chris’ talents however don’t stretch much further than playing "Mr Blue Sky" by ELO every other day and pretending to be excited about it being Friday.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Too much Charity

Can you sponsor me?
Have sponsorship events gone too far?

Let me set out my stall I think charitable giving is a good thing. People should be free to give their money to whatever cause they choose? I am always impressed with the huge sums people raise. My only observation is, are the events getting a bit too elaborate?

In the olden days you did a sponsored spells and got penny per word you got right or similar. I also remember trudging round a polluted lake in Stoke on Trent once to raise some cash and more recently we powered our way down the Thames to win the Great River Race last year. If we are honest the rowing was the main thing and the charity bit was an added bonus (at least as far as I’m concerned)

My main problem with sponsored events is, why should I care if you do all this running etc? If a friend asks for sponsorship and it’s an appropriate charity (I’ve never refused yet) I give them a donation and wish them well. I never give a price per lap etc. I’m also happy to see their sweaty race pictures but my giving isn’t dependent on them finishing.

Which brings to the item that started this all:
I got a request to sponsor an acquaintance for a cancer charity. The guy in question is doing a triathlon for very personal reasons and I wish him every success but just look at what he’s doing (see below). I hope he completes it all, but isn’t this Herculean task a little out of kilter with me bunging him a few quid. I mean if you want to cycle along the Great Wall of China do so, but do you need to justify it by being sponsored? Lastly I must stress that I’m not slagging off the people involved, it just seems that we have got into a strange potlatch with these things which may be getting out of balance.

I think if you can afford it, a direct debit (direct from the charity to cut out the chuggers) claiming the tax back is the best way to give, that and by volunteering your time. So why not go off and sign up for one now, maybe a lesser know one who needs the money or maybe a local one you can have some direct involvement in.

Here’s the event is it excessive? I’m not sure. But good luck to them.
The Swim - The English Channel
The Cycle - The day after the swim – Dover, Crawley, Bath, Gloucester, Cardiff, Worcester, Sale, Penrith, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Doncaster, Northampton and finally finishing at Twickenham in London (10 days. Total miles = 1120! Cycling 100 - 120 miles a day)
The Run - London to Paris - 262miles in 10 days

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

How to improve public transport

I have't owned a car for almost 20years. I could afford one but choose for various reasons, cost, the environment, not liking driving, living in Londonnot to. So in effect public transport is my car. So I am keen for it to improve, not only to make my life better but also to encourage car users to use it. Here's some ideas prompted by a train journey to brum.
1. We all know the usual gripes about people on buses etc ie playing music on phones and eating horrible smelling food. (how does this happen a Chinese smells lush when you are eating it, but on the crowded 353 it turns your stomach) so these need to go.
2, On trains loose the annoying announcements.
3. On virgin trains can we loose the joint window blinds. Yesterday an annoying bloke in front took it upon himself to plunge us all into the darkness without asking, he then pushed the blind up and down as we went into cuttings etc and it got darker. I appraised him of this annoyance and he then tried to claim the blind was doing it by its self! so Mr Branston loose the blinds.
4. After i spent £100 on ticket could the train companies please check it at least once.
5. 4 or 5 times recently the train companies I have been travelling with haven't put the seat reservation so what happens, the train pulls in 2 minutes before it due to depart (another annoying trend) and 300 people have to fight for seats.
6.More trains the way the government set up of rail, encourages the train companies to lease fewer trains so we get over crowding. The 6.30am commuter train yesterday from New Cross was so crowded people had to force themselves onto it. Weekends are no better.
7. why didn't my oyster work in Brum. Oyster should be countrywide on all transport, including the merseyferry and those cliff lifts at Scarborough.
8. close Bagelmania horrible bread dreadful coffee.
9. open WH Smiths to competition it's rubbish.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Braying while Hull Floods

Poste on my other blog: I normally keep my rants to my other blog this made me so mad I've double posted!Bill Hicks was right " all advertising people should kill themselves" we all get spam my crap mobile compant insists on sending me texts to download rubish like Mika videos but earlier today I got one of the most crass bits of spam ever.Those nice multi millionaires at last minute dot com and their braying gimps in marketing sent me this. the subject line was "severe weather warning" and the email attachment opens with a picture of someone sheltering from a storm on a sea front. The charming strap line "will the last person out of the country turn the lights out!" tee hee can you seem what they've done those little post modern scamps, BRITAIN HAS HAD THE WORST FLOODING IN YEARS 30,000 PEOPLE IN HULL HAVE HAD THEIRE HOMES RUINED BUT THE 12 YEAR OLD GITS AT LASTMINUTE WANT US TO BLOW OUT CREDIT CARDS ON SOME CRAPPY CITY BREAKS IN SHANG HAI TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL! there is no pit of hell low enough for these people ( I know i know,the real hell is saved for tyrants etc).You'd think low cost hoilday merchants the day after Live Earth would keep their heads down but no ! I'm going to email them to complain and also to advertsing standards council or similar

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Wrting on the wall : slight return

Can Bloggers complain about graffiti i.e. random words displayed in public areas it’s a mute point except this page isn’t stuck in the middle of the high st, you have choose to visit it (in this case not in great numbers) and if it was really offensive it can removed with a click of mouse. I am also not keen on censorship.
Which brings a round to Bansky. I’ve long had a dislike for him stemming from a great dislike for graffiti in general. The Guardian art critic lays it out a lot better than me and nails a few things I have not had time to crystallise.
Firstly he’s not very good his images are momentarily amusing or diverting but offer little from a lengthy viewing ( anyone who comes back with a load of post modern “that’s the point” sub 6th form cultural studies nonsense can kiss my Derridda). Many of them have little going for them beyond than you use to get from those jokey posters they sold in Woolies .
He’s not as edgy as he likes to think, his books are probably published by some subsidiary of Murdoch or Sony. Once you take their shilling your statements are compromised.
Lastly he is the justification for all the other tagers, graphers and window scratchers who de face our communities. If you like graffiti you have simple option you can pay some youth to tag you bed room, or your front windows, or have some hoody scratch the windows of your car or better still your glasses so you can stare at it all day. All the fawning adulation of Banksy and his ilk mean the poor parts of town will continue to be covered in this crap for years to come. If graffiti was really positive and enhanced an area wouldn’t Hampstead or Blackheath be covered in it? So can we have less of this showy shallow bad adman’s artist please?