Monthly Archives: June 2007

“Au revoir! Auf wiedershen! Arrivederci!” What A Difference A Decade Makes

For a week now I have been trying to figure out how to begin my Tony-bye-bye. Ten years ago I was Labour – now I am not. Ten years ago I was optimistic about the future – now I am not. Ten years ago I really did believe ‘things would only get better’ – now…………

There are many out there (almost anyone) who will be more competent and eager than I to trot out the list of every promise made and not kept; every transgression committed. The habit of grinding someone into the dirt with the alacrity we so often demonstrate here when one has fallen can now continue and shift into high gear. However I would consider myself being untrue to my principles if I did not take this opportunity to thank Tony Blair for much/most of the past ten years. For whatever his ‘faults’ and mistakes he, at least initially, brought a wave of hope to a political climate that most sorely needed it. Yes he may not have accomplished what he set out to. Yes he will be held responsible for much that is wrong. But he did try and I for one, while understanding why he had to go, will miss him.

But ‘what now my love’…………

I am a new Conservative – no not due to Tony Blair as an individual but more down to recognizing the Labour Party as a group I was no longer willing to be associated with. In the main I began to find them ill-mannered, in the main ill-advised but most of all, in the main mind-bogglingly ill-equipped for the job. And now we have Gordon Brown. In my opinion: extremely ill-mannered. Often ill-advised and with what appears to be a stunning lack of interpersonal skills and an inability/disregard for opinions other than his own…….. ill-equipped for the job of Prime Minister.

There was a fascinating programme on television a few nights ago about a reporter trying to gain contact with Gordon Brown. Very telling that one of Brown’s minions said ‘I don’t even get to talk to him’. Put that together with Michael Portillo saying earlier that when he was the Shadow GB wouldn’t talk to him either. This repeatedly is the theme – a man who ignores others. Doesn’t bother to pay attention therefore unable to respond when called upon. Very insightful story came to light recently of Gordon Brown at a meeting in Europe where he said his piece then removed his headphones and did ‘busy work’ while everyone else spoke. When called upon to respond he was of course unable (as he hadn’t been listening) so he just repeated his original diatribe in answer – surprise, surprise his answers didn’t match their questions. It will be interesting days indeed now that Our Gordon has to move from the autonomy of his fiefdom into the no-holds barred arena. He might have been able to ignore folk before but those days are over.

Bring on a General Election!

*Morag shuffles off to make badges and posters. Just one problem, whose name shall we put on them…………

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Mediocrity For The Masses

……“It was not their irritating assumption of equality that annoyed Nicholai so much as their cultural confusions…they seemed to confuse standard of living with quality of life, equal opportunity with institutionalized mediocrity, bravery with courage, machismo with manhood, liberty with freedom, wordiness with articulation, fun with pleasure – in short, all of the misconceptions common to those who assume that justice implies equality for all, rather than equality for equals.” (Shibumi)

Am I the only person who feels this is an unerringly accurate portrayal of where our society is headed?

When I heard the new blah-blah that maybe children shouldn’t be raising their hands in class I went ballistic. Apparently some Bright Sparks/Nitwits have decided that if you’re too shy to raise your hand then you won’t get anywhere in life. Therefore we need to ‘fix it’ so that no one has to inconvenience themselves – after all we all know that in life if you sit indoors with the curtains drawn the world will come and beat down your door to entreat you to share whatever your pearls of wisdom are. For heaven’s sake!

Gordon’s crony Education Secretary Alan Johnson has said: “This practical report takes hands-on learning from the classroom about strategies that work, and gives that knowledge back to the front line. We need to make sure that no-one is left behind at any point — from the most gifted and talented children at the top of the class, to the quiet child who is well-practiced at hiding from the teacher’s gaze at the back of the class.”……… I was actually thinking of running a competition to find a more idiotic collection of sentences anywhere in this week’s news.

Life is not equal. We’re not all equal. Some of us are shy; some of us are backwards about coming forwards. But you’ve got to make a choice. You’ve got to learn that if you want to be noticed, acknowledged, create a role for yourself – you ‘raise your hand’. The concept of encouraging this kind of ‘nobody raise their hand’ nonsense is enough to ensure that Mr. Johnson must be relegated to the minor leagues. I don’t know who these people were developing their ‘strategies that work’ with but we should be about building confidence in our children and teaching them to be comfortable and proud of their abilities NOT encouraging them to hide behind the bookshelf because someone will come and find them. The world doesn’t work that way.

THERE’S NOWT AS QUEER AS FOLK

One of the things one realizes as the years go by is that anything the mind of man can conceive or believe can be realized. No matter how daft, how outrageous, silly and plainly pointless an activity could be, somewhere there are a group of folk indulging in it. That’s all well and good though until it involves my hard-earned money.

Today we find out that all the work we’ve done from the beginning of the year to now has pretty much gone to taxes. This is one of those bits of information that I could really have done without hearing.

Especially today when I found myself at the local chemist counting out pennies to pay for my NHS prescription. Usually I have no problem paying for my prescriptions (financially) – but somehow there seemed to be a temporary blip in the coffers. Though if I am honest my rage today was emotional more than financial.

A couple of days ago I came across an article saying that the NHS is now doing a booming trade in genitoplasty. Ladies are now getting bored with the normal run-of-the-mill plastic surgery i.e. breast augmentation, nosejobs etc, and their choices for surgery are now moving ever southward.

In 2005 the NHS performed over 800 of these operations which was double what it had been a few years before and the estimates are way higher now in 2007. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what this procedure is then I would suggest google ‘genitoplasty’ – even Miss Mindbender is a bit too ‘shy’ to discuss the intricacies of it here. Medical procedure? My posterior! The common reason that the NHS is accepting to grant this operation is ‘inability to ride a bicycle’, ‘inability to wear tight clothing’. Fill in your own response to this……………………… I’ll bet some of the pensioners who are being denied hip replacements will be thrilled to know that people are taking our hardearned money to ‘tidy themselves up’ so that they can ride bicycles and wear tight clothing. If you want to pay for such things yourself then who am I to stop you, but my money cannot, should not, be directed towards such procedures.

When I was sitting there today counting ‘six pound eighty one, six pound eighty two…’ I thought of where the money is going and it made me frustrated, angry and sad. I wish I had some words of wisdom or solace as I like to end on a happy note, but maybe I am finally running out of steam.

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