Like other in the recent past, I have been concerned with the growing number of what have become, in effect, spin-off Facebook pages from the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association. For example, a couple of mornings ago, the first four posts I viewed were absolutely identical; but under the guise of four different user-names. Now, seriously, what is the point of that; bearing in mind, as used to be the case in the increasingly distant past, pretty well every post or comment appeared (as they should do, IMHO) in the official page of the association? Furthermore, apart from Fallout whose aims and ambitions are obvious and necessary, I can't help wondering what motives have prompted others who have created these pages to do so; and at the risk of ruffling a few feathers, I also can't help wondering how many of them have given sufficient consideration to the effect their actions are having.
I don't expect it to become headline news (and it isn't); but some of the more observant in the on-line nuclear community may have noticed that I resigned from however many FB pages there are right now (too many IMHO); and, within twenty-four hours, rejoined them all again. Accordingly, perhaps an explanation might be appropriate; and here it is..........
Putting aside my belief that there are far too many FB pages than are necessary; (two or three are quite enough - providing an option of two for veterans and one for descendants), the issue which finally persuaded me to leave was a growing belief that many of the posts in recent times would be more at home in the glossy pages of women's weekly magazines or in the Letter Pages of certain Sunday newspapers. Put in simple terms, there are far too many of what I understand are known as motivational posts; which, by the way, are certainly not written or composed by the FB members; but mass-produced by the aforementioned publishers and, more importantly, entirely unnecessary and inappropriate for FB pages intended (primarily) for miltary veterans.
A further factor which has caused me concern is my impression that many of these posts are sometimes becoming personal; thus contributing (often deliberately IMHO) towards the worrying divisions which are developing amongst some of those associated with the British nuclear test communities. Those responsible should ask themselves what they are hoping to achieve and whether those objectives are in the best interests of veterans and their descendants.
Finally, I fully understand that some of those who contribute these sort of comments are actually also FB Friends of myself. Indeed, it was the realisattion of this paradox which persuaded me to rejoin the pages (if you can't beat them, join them - as they used to say). So, if my remarks have offended anyone, I suggest they refer to the producers of the motivational stuff to which I have referred; and seek comfort and inspiration from their messages. Good Luck.
People should not be surprised that MPs have completely ignored the wishes of their constituents by advancing their own personal points of view; which, by the way, are completely at odds with the result of the 2016 EU referendum. Sadly, this isn't the first time they have behaved in this fashion. For example, I'm old enough to remember when parliament voted to abolish capital punishment at a time when the vast majority of the general public disagreed with their decision. Similarly, Tony Bliar and his crooked cronies took the country into an illegal war despite massive public demonstrations against it. It seems that members of parliament think that they are always right and their constituents are wrong. I hope voters will closely examine the voting record of their prospective candidates if and when the next g; despite what their constituents might thinkeneral election is called. #brexit
Despite being disappointed and rather surprised by the refusal of some of my Facebook 'friends' to accept the result of the EU referendum, I am far less surprised by the current behaviour of MPs.
In saying that, I should explain that my own decision to support the vote to leave was significantly influenced by the fact that I found it much easier to believe the opinions of prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs than those of the majority of MPs (on both sides of the argument).
So, turning to today's extraordinary circumstances, it is of absolutely no surprise to me that the prospect of ''parliament taking control'' has been achieved; because, despite their repeated, disgraceful, and disingenuous so-called determination to ''honour the wishes of the Great British public'', the plain and simple fact of the matter is that MPs have never accepted the result of the referendum and, instead, have ignored the wishes of their constituents by surreptitiously creating a situation where they have stolen the initiative from the public in order to establish their own personal agendas.
Shame on them.
About 15 years ago, I managed to track down the five surviving men (we were boys really) with whom I shared a tent for a year during the British nuclear tests at Christmas Island, in the fifties. In the meantime, despite the effects ageing and declining health, we've had a couple of reunions; and, to help us celebrate those occasions, The London Eye and The London DUKW Tour Company were both extremely generous in giving us complimentary tickets.
Later this year, the 60th. anniversary of the final nuclear test at Christmas Island will occur in September; and I have been wondering about how (and if) I could arrange what could well be the last reunion for our little group; and, at the same time, celebrate what will be an extremely special occasion.
In making those preparations, in an attempt to make the reunion truly memorable, I contacted The Shard Quarter (as they like to be known) to enquire if they would consider matching the charitable example set by the aforementioned London attractions and offer what will most likely be fewer than a handful of elderly veterans complimentary access to their facility.
Sadly, they declined.
Like most people of my generation (born prior to WW2), I was raised in a relatively religious environment; Sunday school as a child, church choir, church wedding, church babtisms, and so on. However, as time passed by, it has seemed to me that more and more of the world's conflicts are being fought in the name of one religion, or another. So, as a comparative ''outsider'', nowadays, could anyone explain to me the logic in the expression, ''Happy Easter''? OK, I realise he was supposed to ''rise again'' after a couple of days; but, IMHO, there's very little to be happy about the demise of Jesus Christ and the manner in which it was conducted. #justsaying
In the sixties and seventies, possibly encouraged by a delusional impression that they won the Second World War almost single-handedly, many Americans (usually tourists) often gave the impression to other nations that the USA was a country of big-headed, load-mouthed, boors.
As time passed, however, probably because international travel became more readily available to less-wealthy (but better-educated) citizens; and influenced, perhaps, by a post 9/11 realisation that they were not quite as popular as they may have imagined, there were (IMHO) encouraging signs that the national psyche might be becoming more mature.
Obviously, this is a personal opinion; but, it seems to me that policies and principles (or lack of them) espoused by the current POTUS are quite deliberately designed to appeal to the elements described in the opening paragraph of this Blog; and I wonder if I'm alone in finding that rather alarming.
When penalties or free kicks are awarded because the officials were conned, the cheating players who deceive the officials should be retrospectively punished in the same way that yellow or red cards are rescinded on the basis of TV replays. #associationfootball
Not wishing to cause offence unnecessarily, I have to confess that there was a time (when I was manager of Guildford Bus Station), when I was not at all enamoured with Bus Nuts (as some PSV drivers called them) or Bus Enthusiasts as they would, probably, prefer to call themselves. The main reason for this, by the way, was that some of them would clear the Travel Office shelves of time-tables almost as soon as they had been filled; thus depriving genuine travellers of the service. That really annoyed me. There was one, in particular, who would visit every Saturday to take six copies of every route; and, in so doing, taking an eternity to count them all out before stuffing them into his shopping bag. Heaven knows where he stored them all in the residential home where he lived.
With the benefit of hindsight, I suppose it should have been obvious really; but, it came as something of a surprise, recently, to discover that some my former colleagues were also Bus Enthusiasts; and had been so all their lives. This, no doubt, explains why they chose to enter the industry; however, since I didn't come into that category, I'm intrigued to know if there are any other non-Bus Nuts - and how it came about.
But, first, here's my story........
Soon after I came out of the army, in 1959, I had a hankering to become driving instructor; and, over the next year, I had two or three interviews; but was unsuccessful. Eventually, one of the driving school owners, in what seemed to me to be an attempt to let me down gently, explained, "Well, I might have been able to employ you if you had an HGV license, for example."
Anyway, as it happened, I was walking past the Head Office of The North Western Road Car Company, a few days later, when I saw a blackboard saying (something like) "Drivers wanted. Let us teach you to become a bus driver." ...........and thereafter, I could turn up at the garage at around 9.00 am or 2.00 pm, on any day, and at no expense to myself - and along with two or three others - we would drive around Cheshire and north Derbyshire to our hearts content in a Bristol single-decker (below left) .
Obviously, having driven all sorts of lorries (and amphibious vehicles) in the army, I felt quite comfortable. So, the company put me in for a driving test; and, having passed - in a Leyland double-decker (above right), they offered me a job as a driver. It was a simple as that. In those days (1961), there was nothing to stop someone putting the pink pass-slip in their pocket and walking away from the company; however, I accepted the job offer and stayed with North Western until the autumn and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
Before leaving, however, I had taken the pecaution of visiting the aforementioned driving school owner to show him my recently acquired, "some sort of driving qualification" and, after a long pause, he shook my hand and offered to teach me to become a driving instructor. A year or so later, I had opened a new office for the school for him and, some time after that, the owner hinted that he wanted to retire; so, my father very honourably offered to buy the new "branch". However (somewhat naively) the owner refused; so, I left and started my own school; later become one of the first MOT Registered Instructors in the UK.
Although, I became involved in some other businesses during the next thirty years, I always took the precaution of offering to do part-time work for local coach operators (thus keeping my PSV license); finally, returning to full-time driving in 1989 with London & Country.
Putting aside the fact that he seems unwilling to accept the fact that he lost the general election by a considerable margin; and unlike most of his predecessors, failed to do the honourable thing and resign as party leader; now (as if that wasn't enough), failing to accept that he and his opinions have absolutely no influence at all, Jeremy Cobyn has the gall to invite himself to meet the EU's leader on Brexit negotiations in Brussels. What (as Del Boy might say) a plonker!