Sunday, 5 June 2011


It appears that John Major backs Mr Cameron’s intention to increase foreign aid. The ex-prime minister has endorsed the government’s announcements regarding the increase in funds going to North Africa and the Middle East. He says that our involvement in this should make us proud. What tosh, Mr Major. I’m the first to back helping people who, for all the inadequacies of funding in the UK, are a thousand times worse off than we are, because of the unhappy accident of being born in a region with an horrific climate, dangerous animals, geological faults, etc. And of course I see the advantage of helping to fund a move to democracy in the Arab-Spring countries. I’ve been to some of them. The people are warm and welcoming, friendly, fun.... and downtrodden. But why is it that one of the poorest countries in the West is paying the biggest proportion of its GDP towards this? And why are we still helping to fund countries which, it could be said, would more appropriately be sending funds to us. Go back to your cricket, John, and stop interfering.

The Daily Telegraph did a fine job of outing the thieving and the benefit cheating that was going on in the palace of Westminster. Whilst keeping a watchful eye on these people (because I’m sure that the minute the heat is off they will be at it again), it might be an idea for the paper to turn its investigative expertise to Brussels where it appears that members of the European Commission feel free to live like emperors at our expense. Trips to exotic locations. lavish dinners, gifts for guest speakers including jewellery from Tiffany’s.... and Kate Ashton, if you please, demanding a private jet so that she can pretend to be important. No, it has to stop. Only by ridiculing the situation in a reasonably serious paper, is anyone likely to take notice. (So butt out Daily Mail.)

One of the things I look forward to all week is Radio 4’s “News Quiz” (Friday 6.30 pm/Saturday 12.30 pm), so it was with some amusement that I noticed that it had made the front page of the Mail this week. It appears (I haven’t heard this week’s programme yet) that the show’s host, Sandi Toksvig, who is Danish, made a joke, approved by BBC management, which made use of “the most offensive word in the English language”. (Needless to say that in the recounting of the tale the Mail found it necessary to give the details of this offensive word not once, but twice.) She said that “the Tories put the “n” in the word “cuts”. So Sandi didn’t actually SAY this offensive word (which, after all is only a word). She actually (and this is good for a foreigner) made a very typically English seaside postcard reference. Kenneth Horn was doing it in the 50’s and Carry On was doing it in the 60s. It was Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill’s stock in trade. If she had actually said it, it would have been different... Still the story should sell a few papers to people who are dying to be shocked but too seldom have the pleasure of it. There are old people worried about whether their care home is going to close, Mail. Worry your pretty little heads about that. The Daily Mail: the paper that put “R” into “donkey”.

Talking of which, I’ve never thought it was a good idea to privatize services which should be run as public services. It never works properly. Buses are now run for the good of shareholders who wouldn’t be seen dead on one, and who, therefore, don’t give a damn about how badly they are run, as long as the dosh keeps rolling in. Care of the elderly is not a profitable business. Brits don’t want to look after their own elderly, unlike the southern Europeans who are shocked at the way we push them off into homes. But we also don’t want it to cost us a fortune. So why have all the costs PLUS a margin on top for profit? Rather like the banks, although for different reasons, we cannot allow these companies to fail, so once again we will end up taking their losses and covering their donkeys (with “r”s). When will we ever learn?


  1. I can't help feeling that Mr. Major was right to leave his banking career for politics. He supports Mr. Cameron who is borrowing money on our account in order to give it away in what is called "aid". This is not a charitable work. Charity is what you do with your own money, not money confiscated from tax payers.

    Mr. Cameron is also giving wads and wads of it away in so-called loans to prop up the euro but there is so little likelihood of its ever being repaid that it might as well be included in "aid".

    The late Professor Bauer of the LSE said that aid was a transfer of wealth from many relatively poor taxpayers in rich countries to far fewer extremely rich people in poor countries.

    Some of our money even built a Ferris wheel in a park in Afghanistan for the local ladies to disport themselves, presumably eating their candy floss through their burkas. I kid you not!

  2. What a lot of commonsense!

    And spot on with regard to the Mail's manufactured rage over the News Quiz joke. What I don't understand is the equally splenetic pasting the issue is taking at Biased BBC..

  3. Completely agree Mr S... and I know you kid me not!!

  4. Hello Time traveller...Welcome to Munguin's Republic and thank you for the compliment.

    I haven't seen (and can't find) the Biased BBC stuff. Can you send me a link, please.

    The Mail is quite funny about it though. As usual it is appealing to people whose main objective in life is to have deep lines on their top lip... from which (in conjuction with the bottom lip) the words "disgusting", "outrage" and "utter disgrace" are never far....Oh dear, did I say "bottom" there?

  5. So why have all the costs PLUS a margin on top for profit?
    You've given us the answer to that yourself - it's more honest than pretending there's no self-interested piggy politicians with lots of self-interested 'public service' chums fleecing off half the funds as overheads and expenses!

  6. Scap the tv tax:
    I’m wondering why you felt the need to use the word twice, particularly when you describe the BBC as potty mouthed.

    Sandi Toksvig did not use the word; she implied it. The way she did it, it was funny. The way you did it was gratuitous; that is why I took your post down but defend Sandi’s write to say what she said.

    In the benefit of fairness, however, I put up the rest of your post.:

    Scrap the tv tax said...
    I doubt if the lefty BBC would allow one of their afternoon quiz show contestants to call Obama or Mandela a c***. Or any of their cherished ones for that matter.
    As long as it's the nasty Tories who are the butt of a filthy word then that's ok with them.
    It's a disgrace that we have to pay £146 a year on pain of prison for this potty mouthed channel. I don't see how calling a whole political party c**** is informing or entertaining the public.
    June 05, 2011 7:16 PM

    I have no doubt that they would allow a person like Obama (what’s wrong with him?) or Mandela (what’s wrong with him?) to be maligned, although I can’t iomagine anyone much wanting to do that to Mandela.

    The truth is that the ‘News Quiz’, much like ‘Have I got news for you?’ on BBC 2, is a satirical comedy show. I’ve heard ST and guests rip the hell out of Labour; ST has a regular go at the drip Milipede; and as for Clegg and his bunch of two faced turncoats, they are the butt of everyone’s humour. I’ve heard the show take the mick out of the SNP, the Welsh in general, Americans (including Obama), Icelanders, the French..... and even the Danes. And what she says about the murdering war criminal who is a Labour man, or the morose moron with a tendency to throw Nokias....

    No one has picked out the nasty Tories to be particularly unpleasant to. Although because they are the government; and the government tends to be more in the news than the opposition, because it is them that are doing things, and most of what they are doing is unpleasant unless you happen to be royal or very rich, or both, the Tories may be getting the worst of it at the moment.
    I can absolutely assure you that going back 15 years to when Barry Took chaired the show and I fell about laughing at it, it was the same situation
    I object to paying a tv licence for programming which is not designed for my country. Largely the BBC is the EBC, with a small and rather condescending nod to the Celtic fringe here and there. But I’m certainly not going to get upset if someone as funny as Sandi Toksvig calls Alex Salmond or Annabel Goldie names. Grow up.

  7. Thanks CH.

    What a load of garbage. I wodner who it is that thinks Sandi Toksvig is not funny.

    I don't know anyone who doesn't fall about laughing at her.

    She is regularly rude about Scots, and the Scottish government, and I still fall about...

  8. Well, I expect we are going to ahve to take over Southern Cross's homes. I hope we don't end up doing some deal with the greedy morons so that they get to keep money out of it.

    I've heard that some of these homes have whittled down the food costs to less than £2.00 per person per day.

    After all there is a constant stream of customers; it doesn't matter if they die early from malnutrition.

    Sometimes I wonder about the human race, I really do.

    I just hope that having gone bust, some of these owners end up in nasty horrid, urine smelling homes themselves, being left to watch daytime tv, and wet their pants. And with only £1.80 worth of food a day.

  9. Scrap the tv taxJune 05, 2011 11:59 pm


    Sorry I didn't mean to offend. I was just trying to confirm my suspicions that blogs are really full of fart and piss. Happy to sneer at the Daily Mail for trying to defend the right to decency yet banning naughty words themselves. Quite sad. But fully predictable.
    Apologies again.

  10. STTT:

    You didn't offend.

    As I said, the art in this kind of humour is to tease, to hint. Innuendo is the name of the game. People have been doing it for yars since Engish seaside postcards and probably before.

    ST did that; you did not.

    I'm not offended. It would have been great if you'd found a way to make it subtile. But you didn't.

    Don't fool yourself that the Daily Mail ever fights for decency. That is just laughable. They print anything that makes money. They fight for profit...

    Your apology was unnecessary but appreciated none the less. :)

  11. Quite sickening CH.

    This is the kind of advice he will be getting. The man is clearly an incompetent. But then looking at the list of policies that have been u-turned upon, and ditched, it's hardly surprising.

    The trouble is that none of these people would go near a Southern Cross home without a gas mask and sterile gloves.

  12. You forgot Mr Major’s greatest “achievement”; the privatisation of the railways! Don’t you remember how the Tories promised us all that services would be “better” with some healthy competition, and that the same thing would drive fares “down”, while at the same time “reducing” the need for subsidy. In actual fact the service stinks and is even worse than under British Rail, the fares are the most complex and highest in Europe while the subsidies they need as a sweeter are higher than BR ever got! That is the cuckoo, pie-in-the-sky logic of privatisation of public services.

  13. I've never understood why that word is supposed to be the most offensive in the English language. Is it because it refers to a woman's private parts? And so are a woman's privates more offensive than a man's? A throwback to when men put women on a pedastal as the weaker sex? Or are women trying to garner all the outrage at any derogatory reference to themselves? Either way its all codswallop its just a word!

  14. Yep, Munguin. The railways, the worst in Europe, are cherry on the cake for the Tories. They make a fortune beyond the dreams of avarice for their new owners, are ruinously expensive and getting more so by the day, both in terms of customer fares and in terms of the £5 billion or so that is given to them from OUR money every year to pay for the massive bonuses. This in comparison to the £1 billion that they cost the taxpayer when Major was getting bent out of shape about them.

    And for that they are dirty, uncomfortable, running over dubious rails, slow, badly insulated, miles out of date, unreliable, staffed by underpaid, undertrained, sometimes rude, sometime officious staff who wish they were somewhere else. What a joy!

  15. Aye strange that, Munguin. I've never understood that we reserve these words, referring to sexual activity, which most people find enjoyable, as the worst insults that can be thrown at people. What a weird language or weird people who use it...


    This, Scrap the TV Tax, is the Daily Mail promoting decency.


  17. A word in favour of East Midlands Trains (Derby to St Pancras)
    I use the service once or twice a month on my pilgrimages to the Westminster Palace of Varieties and I have to say that the standard of the trains, on board service and timekeeping is incomparably better than British Rail.

    In the latter days, BR trains were usually dirty inside and out and frequently late and more than occasionally broken down. However I think that may have been partly due to investment starvation in the run up to privatisation.

    The structure of "franchises" and so on is potty but partly dictated by the EU requirement that the ownership of the track must be separate from companies which run the trains.

    I would have preferred a return to the old railway companies. My maternal grandfather was quite senior in the old LMS (London Midland & Scottish). On nationalisation he was put in charge of rolling stock for the Midland Region of British Railways (why did they amputate the "ways" I wonder?). However, the national controller was on old Great Western man and pinched all his best carriages for its successor, the BR Western Region. Employees used to say that GWR stood for God's Wonderful Railway!

  18. LOL Mr S.

    That's the first ever praise for a British railway company. Imagine anyone calling any of the train companies now "wonderful".

    I suspect that railways can work, either privately owned (some of the Swiss ones... no, all of the Swiss ones, are fabulous) or as a state run company. SNCF are simply wonderful, clean, the food is great and they are almost always on time.

    I went to Bradford from Dundee (to see a Pet Clark concert, why else) a couple of years ago and I had to change 4 times (6 trains overall).

    Only one of these 6 trains was on time, and because they were not all the same company, it meant a nightmare journey, fighting to get seats on trains that had not been booked. At one stage I was told I would have to pay the full fare for that part of the journey, which was £180 (one way).

    Just as well the concert was fabulous and the company great too (Mr TMG) because otherwise I would have killed someone...

    I always think that services should be for passengers' convenience, not for profit. Major sold this because he said they would be more efficient and less expensive. But that turned out not to be true at all. They are not efficient, and they cost 5 times what they used to cost. It seems train bosses like big bonuses, despite being entirely unable to run a railway. Methinks Major was either stupid or a liar.

    I agree that it would have been better to have the old style railways, like your granddad worked for. Alas Brussels stopped that in its tracks it seems (I didn’t know that).

    It really seems that the English are superb at organising things, but the foreigners keep on poking their snouts in and messing it up.

    We should probably leave immediately. I wonder if when we have our referendum about leaving this rotten union, you guys should persuade Eton Boy to arrange a referendum about coming out of that rotten union? ;¬) What d’ya think?

    I certainly beome more and more convinced that Scotland alone would provide us with lives like Norwegians have (after all we have all the same advantages, and we are hardly MUCH stupider than Norwegians). And you guys would get on brilliantly, perhaps like the Germans. After all you're not any stupider than the Germans.

    Let's ask the Eton Toff, shall we?

    Guess what the answer will be...