Friday, February 29, 2008

Cry god for Harry?

So Harry has been doing active duty, as his Uncle did before him.
Andy was an Exocet target and I recall he was shot at more than once or twice, including diverting at least one live missile.
Phil, also, served, got shot at and in his case fought the Nazis and saw action in the Pacific and Crete.
But royal duties aside one shortly expects the usual guff from the Lefty media.

Simple question: How many of those criticising have served and seen active duty?

Saying that - how many of our actual government have even done a day's honest work in their lives?
At least our unelected Monarchs have had experience of leading people (in this case at risk of life and limb) rather that through some grisly self promoted activity of think-tank wonkery or human rights lawyership.

Say what you like about a constitutional monarchy - at least he has the decency to do something considered old-fashioned by our current political class.


Good one Harry. You are now better fit to lead than the entire Labour government.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Les republiques du bananes

An interesting comment by a chum of mine regarding two of the more odious fruit based dictatorships. These two fellows - Castro and Chavez - who have systematically destroyed the economies and wealth of their countries, set up evil police states, oppressed freedoms and killed hundreds of thousands, are 'OK' because they 'stand up to America'.

In what way do they stand up to America? Agreed US involvement in Latin America is hardly covered in glory - but it was largely pitched against some pretty nasty regimes with ugly motives. Interestingly those who opposed the Right Wing juntas and dictatorships South of the Rio Grande are silent about the human rights abuses committed in the name of Marxism in the region.

Political and economic oppression, and brutal police statehood is OK - provided you say it is 'for the people' and 'Anti America'?

This is the good old geopolitics of East and West again. Except that the Brothers Castro and Chavez have missed a trick on the economics front.

Remember - the wall wasn't built around the Iron Curtain to keep us out - and everyone else has learned the truism about Socialism will always test itself to destruction.

The G-Spot

Ye gods, it has taken scientific research to find This out?

I would have happily helped, you know. Especially in the development of an 'inexpensive test'. It will be named the 'Nicodemus manoeuvre', and render a woman helpless with pleasure.
I have been perfecting it over the last few years and eargerly seek female volunteers to undergo the manipulation.

In my line of work, I seldom need more than this.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A blatant attempt to take complete control of space itself, for military purposes.

Life is now a Bond movie. Although, I think this was launched from a destroyer, which is even cooler than shooting it down from a 'plane.

Satellite shot down.

Small prize for placing the quote.

Now, I would walk five hundred miles!

Off to Jockland, where chaps wear skirts (I say!) soon with the Antipodean. Like any good tourist on holiday she will no doubt have a checklist of things to 'do'.

This has made me ponder: when does a 'Holiday' become 'Travelling'? Most of what the public call travelling - what Gap years, aimless over paid kiwis and the ubiqutous quoters of 'I Love Travelling' refer unto - I call Long Holidays.
In my mind 'travelling' = 'under one's own steam, intitiative and command'. Buying a ticket from Kiwiexpress overland special bus (Loo roll included) to me is an extended and somewhat dirty package holiday. Off the beaten track, interesting and a lot of fun, but a package tour, nonetheless.

Obviously if you strung a heap of these together, to build a unique voyage then it becomes somewhat more credible - but I feel the thrust of my argument remains. That is the difference between a fairground ride and an adventure. You can't buy tickets for real adventure.

If you disagree - consider this is what the very first concept of the package tour was.

Mr Thomas Cook invented it - his first one abroad in 1849 to Calais, so that the middle and working classes of Victorian England could experience his temperance excursions, (Modern eco tourism is a good comparison).
After that, they were sold as travelling adventures. particulalry in the Middle East.

Nowadays we look down on such things as nasty and cheap, and hold these trips for gappers and the like in some kind of higher esteem.
But remember, in the 1850s, A trip to Spain or Italy was as wild, exotic and far flung then, as these bundled trips over Central America or across the Serengheti might seem today.

It is worth considering, after all that the relief of Khartoum by sending troops up the Nile was done on ships rented from Thomas Cook. Napoleon's army was thrown out by Wellington - who was supplied by P+O.

Learn to navigate, learn the language, take a case of Lucky Strike, Johnny Walker and greenbacks (The language of border guard bribes everywhere) and sail, fly, ride drive yourself there. Ok, you may need to learn how to do those things - but I think that could be my point.
Slither your way about by your wits and charm as well, I say.

I think this could make me something of a snob.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I can't stand Radio 4 anymore

Humphries, Naughtie and Stourton openly drooling at the White Hhouse nominee race churns my stomach. We all know they had a picture of GB2 on their wall labelled 'hail to the thief', but they are taking the biscuit.

My bet is that Obama won't be the next Kennedy. More like the next Carter. Remember him?

Ticked all the boxes the lefties just loved.

Turned out to be the most useless president the colonies ever chose. Whether it was because he opposed 'Nam in the same way Obama opposed Iraq or because Gerald Ford really couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time - either way he romped home, trashed the US economy, faltered over SALT, wet his pants in front of Breshnev and caved in to Khomeini.

There was light at the end of this polictical tunnel. Politicoe, turned actor, turned the Great Communicator came in afterwards. Holding Maggie's hand (May her name be praised) they ended the cold war and turned the Atlantic alliance into the Global salvation it was under Churchill and Roosevelt.

It may take 10 years, but we may see an improvement.

Our Gang

I grew up in the 70's.
Now it wasn't all Life on Mars: spacehoppers, wombles, Slade on the radio and Cortinas the colour of Spangles.
It was a time of Britain's slide into economic obscurity as Keynsian governments bought votes by propping up dead industries. It was the Thatcher revolution which rescued us from this.
Thirty years on the world has changed.
Almost everyone bought into the idea of economic freedom. The nationalised industries are gone but we now face a sclerotic state as inefficient as 1978 - with votes being bought in Labour seats by nationalising a bank.
Naturally one wonders if it had been the bank of Guildford, if Labour would have gambled the cost of twenty aircraft carriers?

But this isn't why I felt moved today. After reading an article on the true winners of the Vietnam war 35 years on in the dear Speccie, I hear that Fidel has retired.

Naturally he has passed the power on unelected (sounds achingly familiar) to his brother.

But my mind cast back over walls falling and the missile threat vanishing to a poster my dad had.

It was called 'Our Gang'.

The photograph was of a football team posing with a ball.

The World XI.

The faces?

Ho Chi Minh
Papa Doc
Kim (Elder, of course)
Idi Amin

Nice to see that last of them on their way, eh?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from outta space

I have been away. Now of late, faced with dwindling audiences and the heady demands of the antipodean on my time I have been unable to publish much of late.

This is not good.

Much has come to pass, not in the least in real life, but with work, plus the other topics on which I usually write.

Of late it is normally yet another brush with failed plumbing or yet another descent into idiocy by my benighted lodger which prompts me to publish and be damned. However, I have to write more.
The subject and tone changes, of course.

There are plenty of better political bloggers out there. I cannot compete with the heavy weights for interesting comment. I know, I can be a stat-whore and put snappy politcal titles which get the random traffic up. I could cross post filth or witticisms to other blogs to drag the roving (bored) eye onto my pages.

But the point is - is it worth it?

Like so many - I have toyed with dropping the blog.

But, as I sit here high on night-nurse, and reeling from a java coffee enema I have decided a tack change is needed.


The blog gets personal.

Firstly, I shall be blogging about some of the characters with whom I share my time. Not just dear Old Donna-da-Lodga. There are rich seams of lunacy around me.

I can cast my bloodshot eyes at what I survey. Wipe my crusty nose, sniff back and turn my chemically addled thoughts to others, too.

So. If you are one of my associates, great. You will no doubt take the poetic licence necessary to inject a bit of humour into life in your stride and realise that I speak here as I would to your face. With ribald bantering humour.

Secondly, work.
Being desperately under utilised means more time to write drivel. I shall spill the beans on the corporate lunacy I see before me, and comment on the tales I hear which make me cringe from within the city too.

Thirdly, relationships.
The chances of the antipodean finding this place is pretty slim, unless Sigismund or the Scot tries to shit stir again, and through tortuous routes of chain emails find a way to send her a link - I can share my witticisms about her here. She shall not be named, but known by this monicker alone. As AA Gill speaks of the 'blonde', thus shall the antipodean be known.

All told, I feel the time has come for a change. Out with the old. Year zero. I need to airbrush a few bits out.

So - to the two or three regular readers about - stick with the change in editorial taste.

You might like it.

If you are new, welcome. Sit back, and share a glass with me as I drone on.

The cast of characters in this grisly tale shall be introduced as I go on. Funny stuff lies within.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Les Alpes or Bust

The hour is nigh.

At the wee hours of the morning I shall be loading the Alvis on to the boat train for Calais.

The horror of crossing the continent awaits.

Not only have I got the terrors of motorway services plumbing as they call it (Small-bore I call it) but the attentions of an over eager Gendarmerie hell bent on re-living De-Gaule's permanent denial of the Anglo-Saxon saviour hood of their nation - by trying to nab me for not obeying traffic laws more suited to a gauloise smoking peasant in a 2CV, than a lantern jawed chap about the continent in his souped-up motor.

How to speed my journey - or rather - how to minimise the horrors of having to stop?

The answer is to minimise wasted time mucking aorund at stops.

I have taken cues from my flying. In soaring, one is expected to endure 7+ hours solo in a cockpit whilst zippng about the clouds in the horsa.
Now, I reckon I will get about 7 hours endurance from a tank of fuel. I have a flask for weapons-grade coffee, and a non carb snack dispenser. But what if nature calls?

It works for pilots. It shall work for me.

I shall spare you the true horrors. Suffice to say, it is possible to have a widdle while flying a 'plane, it is therefore possible to have a safe, dry widdle when driving.

I will leave your imagination to work out the technicalities - but us glider pilots know how. Just as well I'm driving alone.

Still - I shall have 16 CDs of 'HMS Surprise' to listen to, a flask of coffee to consume and a tub of Foie-Gras to munch on. (Constipation under these circumstances is clearly to be applauded)
I even have a hundred old francs in gold, three pairs of silk stockings, a beret and a phrase book; lest I have to bail out somewhere over the Massif Centrale and make contact with the resistance.
Wish me luck, chaps. I shall let you know when I have arrived, buried my kit and started to shin up Schloss Adler.

PS: 'scuse typos. Spellcheck is down and it's nearly five.