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!
After some gentle pressure, I have been persuaded that, after fifteen years, I should replace the original image on my Home Page with a more up-to-date one. Can't see the difference myself. The new on is on the right, btw (chuckle)...........
Something else which hasn't changed (IMHO) in fifteen years, is my uncanny ability to achieve what can only be described as a monumental cock-up; because in replacing the photo on the Home Page, I've managed to delete just about everything else which was displayed there. So, ASAP (in the fullness of time), I will endeavour to replace the missing information.
Although I wouldn't go so far as to say that my natural inclination is to lean unquestionably to the right of the political spectrum, I can say with absolutely certainty that I have learnt to be extremely wary of those on the left. However, as the clock ticks down to tomorrow's general election, I have to admit that I can completely understand why people are being drawn towards Jeremy Corbyn. After all, on the surface, he seems to be a very honest and trustworthy man.
Scratch under the surface, however, and questions begin to emerge. For example, although he now claims to have abandoned his long-held beliefs, it's difficult to ignore his close association with members of the IRA and other terrorist organisations, his refusal to support the Trident nuclear deterrent system, and his reluctance to sanction arming some of the police force are characteristics which (IMHO) reveal someone whose honesty (has he really changed his mind?) may be open to question.
Turning, now, to the issue of trustworthiness, Mr. Corbyn's unabashed adultery with Diane Abbott was quite probably a contributory factor towards the end of one of his three marriages; and, the manner in which he is alleged to have bragged to colleagues about the affair was not the behaviour of someone I would like to see leading our country. However, looking across the pond, look at what they've got (chuckle).
Not for the first time, Monday's tragic event in Manchester raises the question of why some young people who were born and raised in The United Kingdom want to turn against the country which has afforded them far better futures (and in better circumstances) than they could experience in the countries which their ancestors decided to leave.
Although religious issues and recent military actions by "the west" towards Muslim countries (the Gulf wars, for example) are generally thought to be the motivating force behind their behaviour, my own suspicions are that the problems surfaced much longer ago than that. Furthermore, IMHO, they can be described in just three words, The British Empire.
As a Briton, it is easy to be proud of the influence this tiny little nation has had upon the world. On a personal level, for example, my paternal grandfather was involved in The Boer War, The Boxer Rebellion, and The First World War, my father served in the Second World War, and, although not strictly a conflict (but the casualties are turning out to be no less significant) I was on what has been described as the front line of The Cold War when I attended the British nuclear tests in the fifties. Putting all that aside, however, until missionaries started to enter the equation (more of that later), it is difficult to escape the impression that everything which the British did was done entirely for the benefit of Great Britain and often at the expense of the counties which were being 'civilised'.
So, on the issue of 'civilising', there can be little doubt that some of the features, both structural and administrational, which the British introduced have been hugely important for the development of those countries who became part of the British Empire. Less beneficial, some might argue with the benefit of hindsight, have been the contributions (no doubt well-intended) of the aforementioned missionaries. What's more, I would go so far to suggest that it may well have been the long-term effect of their efforts (i.e. to take away the religions of those they had subjugated and to force upon them a religion not of their own choosing) and those sentiments are at the heart of the agendas of those who support organisations such as ISIS.
Think about it.
It's not in my nature to be affected by such matters; but, for some reason, Monday night's tragic event has concentrated my mind more than usual.........
In 2005, I was actually in central London on the day of what has become known as the 7/7 terrorist incident. I had just delivered a new PSV vehicle to a coach operator in the coach park at Hyde Park when I was told of the attacks and, apart from an awareness of a collective sense of shock and horror which everyone was experiencing, my immediate personal response was to try to work out how to get home - bearing in mind the devastating effect the attack had upon the various transport systems. In the event, I found one of the few underground lines which was still operating and took a tube to Heathrow airport; from where I caught a Rail-Air coach to Woking and a taxi back to Guildford where I had left my car when I started my day's work.
One of the reasons I am mentioning that experience is to explain the fact that, having been so close to those attacks, I was able to see (and sense) the various effects - which ranged from mild indifference to something approaching panic - that event had on members of the public; and, on a more personal level, I have often speculated on the not unreasonable possibility that I may, months or years earlier, have actually delivered the bus which suffered the terrible effects of one of the terrorist's bombs.
Although in no way to a degree which can compare with that of the friends and relatives of those affected, I feel strangely (if indirectly) connected to Monday's tragic event in Manchester. I'm not sure why; but it may be because, after I left school, my first job was in the city and, later, I would travel through the city centre on a regular basis when I was in the army. I also spent quite a few years driving in, out, and around the city as a bus and taxi driver in the sixties and the seventies. And the final connection is that, tragically, the first victim to be named was a pupil at the same college that my elder son attended before going to university.
Such a tragedy that such a terrible atrocity could have involved such young children.
Some time ago, during an ITV Xtra Factor show, one of the presenters, Rylan Clark-Neal (the one with the teeth) mentioned that he "loves a front door"; prompting Simon Cowell to remark with a snigger, "I thought you liked a back door." Now many would think that was an extremely offensive, homophobic, comment which, had it been made in private, would have been deplorable; but, to have been made on LIVE television, I think most would agree that Mr. Cowell should (at least) have been severely reprimanded. However, so far as I can tell, no action was taken; and, later, Mr. Clark Neal said that it was just "banter between friends". Well, as Mandy Rice Davies once famously said, "He would do; wouldn't he?" which, in this case is understandable because the sainted Mr. Cowell was his boss.
Now, the point I'm trying to make is that the aforementioned rather unfortunate incident hardly received any response from the mainstream press and media; which (IMHO) is a remarkable example of double standards when one considers the hullabalo which has occurred in response to what anyone familiar with Scottish humour and culture was a light-hearted comment (made off camera) by the Sunderland manager, David Moyes.
It is often said that pictures speak louder than words; so, let's see if these photos do justice to our recent visit to the magical Emerald Isle...........
Photos can be identified and enlarged by "clicking" on them.
I suspect that anyone who has chanced upon these blogs over recent years couldn't help but notice that, even though I admit to admiring many of the tenets upon which The Labour Party is based, I'm of the opinion that the greatest problem with socialism is socialists; and, in particular, the manner in which so many of them turn their back on their working-class principles once they have sampled the trappings associated with power. Think John Prescott; remember him? He's the one who spent a lifetime campaigning against The House of Lords and then accepted a peerage to appease his wife when she found out that he had been servicing his diary secretary.
Tony Blair, however, could never have been accused of being a socialist (IMHO). Influenced, to a large extent, by his working-class wife; and, also, by the subtle realisation that his privileged background and education would give him a distinct advantage over many of his colleagues if he chose to become a Labour MP - as opposed to a Tory - he soon found a place in the shadow cabinet in the early eighties.
As it happened, Neil Kinnock wasn't the only person who had been impressed with Mr. Blair's presentation skills. Film and theatre director Richard Eyre opined that "Blair had a very considerable skill as a performer"; and, it is with that point of view in mind that I turn my attention to yesterday's Chilcot Report; and, in particular, the vitriol which is being directed towards Mr. Blair.
In my view, those who criticise Mr. Blair seem to have lost sight of the fact that he is, arguably, the UK's finest actor since Laurence Olivier and the skill with which he presented the case in his own defence was a master-class which should become required study-matter for all would-be thespians of this generation and those to come. No wonder those silky skills have earned him a king's ransom; especially on the other side of the pond - according to the recent TV documentary, "The Blair Rich Project".
I've just caught a fleeting glimpse of a headline saying (something like), "The old and the uneducated won the vote to leave the EU"; and, it's probably right. So, since it could be said that I belong to both of those categories, I feel entitled to suggest to the young and the educated bourgeoisie of this nation that it serves them right for ignoring (and, to some extent) disrespecting the opinions of those they probably consider to be beneath themselves. In fact, they would do well to realise that the reason the likes of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump are so popular, these days, is that they have had the sense to take on board (and, some would say, take advantage of) what a large part of the population are thinking - but what the the so-called intelligentsia are unable, or unwilling, to face up to because of their infatuation with political correctness.