Monthly Archives: October 2013

Thursday 31st October 2013.

Almost springlike again this morning and, after a visit, yesterday, to the dentist, for a (successful!) ‘sharpening’ job, all is set for a good traditional Christmas with, possibly, a few of those humorous Reindeer Steaks as expensively advertised by a well-known supermarket. Not forgetting a jar or two of 60% sugar Jam, a thing those governmental want to regulate to 50%, and anything else I bloody-well fancy!
Mind you, with the power-sapping eu on one side and an Internet full of canny bloggers on the other, those governmental can’t do much, (other than check Jam perhaps) that’s remotely interesting any more, without someone whingeing and moaning.
Sadly, here, amid a lifetimes detritus in the spare-room – luckily not a qualifier for Bedroom-Tax – the keyboard must be abandoned shortly and spanners taken-up.
While out taking the picture(s) this morning something was creaking. I’m reasonably certain that it was the bike mechanism and not the energy-providing propulsion unit – moi! And so a bit of simple maintenance will be done. Viz: Re-greasing the bottom-bracket. (Nothing to do with financial expenses for the rank and file at, say, a political meeting.)
Locally, at a website denoted by the initials f and b, a few folk have set-up a page apparently devoted to securing independence for our town, Radcliffe, from another, Bury. The argument is that Bury, now the smaller but financially ‘controlling’ town, has, over the years, financed the expansion of Bury at the expense of a financially forgotten, but, at one time, much larger Radcliffe (and Pilkington). After 30 years or more of living and working within Radcliffe I cannot disagree with this argument. It is, nowadays, simply too plain to see.
Recessions know no fiscal boundaries. Yet, while Radcliffe’s commercial centre stagnates somewhat, Bury, from a commercial point of view, has continually re-generated and, to an extent, expanded.
Thus folk have, as said, set-up an Internet page entitled: Radcliffe Independence Party. Yes, the initials are a smile-inducing ‘R.I.P.’, but, I’m reminded of a Bury Times headline, many years ago, when a letter-writing reader was complaining about the lack of local, social amenities or something. At the time council-workers, including cemetery staff, were on strike. The headline read: Bury, you’re dead!

Wednesday 30th October 2013.

Bright sunshine again early-on and, interestingly, in the news, is the story of bicycle sales being more than car sales across Europe. I couldn’t determine if this meant new units but, if it did, a cheap car may cost say £7,000.00p in the UK and a cheap bike may cost say £200.00p. So the money side of things is understandable perhaps – at first glance. Sadly, in the UK, most of these apparently frugal purchasers will probably buy a car and a bike and then scratch their heads as to why they’re still skint!
Those governmental are having a pop at the Energy Companies via their energy and climate change gang. One Energy Company has made profits of £1,700,000,000.00p and natch those governmental are more than a touch peeved. Not that they’re remotely bothered about the size of our bills. What bothers them is jealousy! At one time all this luverly cash would have gone straight into governmental coffers! Now a batch of high-rollers take a cut first – and then umpteen Private investors – then come the serious wedges for old Hector and the vat man. After all this, as a bit of a sideline, we customer peasants get a therm or two of gas to keep the daubed wattle dry.
To cap it all (?) the story of all this, in the Wail, ended-up being no more than an advert for a) a comparison website, and, b) some related energy outfit. And a video of it was preceded by a gas company advert! (And I thought energy-bills were to pay for energy! Silly me!)
The hs2 malarkey carries-on shunting from being a great idea to a crazy one depending on whom you read. The latest pro tripe suggests that for every £ invested ‘we’ll’ get back £2.30p. (Actually down, from £2.50p, last week!) If this is correct it’ll be a first. No public transport system has ever paid its way. I’m told too, by a person that does it, that the present Manchester to London two and a half hour journey by train, costs £12.50p approx. (Not sure if this is a return fare – it could be but don’t bank on it.) I mean, what do you want? For more speed but probably more cash, go by plane.
I can though, even as a pensioner that will probably never use hs2, see the egotistical lure of a train that those pro are convinced will shatter even light-speed! Had we a land-mass equivalent to say North America, Asia, or Africa, we’d probably already have one. But we’re in the UK – a tiny island that would require any high-speed train-driver, heading from London at a dreamland Mach 10 (say), put his brakes-on at Brummage, in order to stop the bloody thing before it shot the buffers at Manchester and carried-on regardless, under sheer inertia, to plop, still flying, into the highland seas off the northern coast of Scotland.
In reality, the whingeing and moaning of myriad folk living adjacent to and wishing to hitch a ride along any high-speed route, will doubtless result in multi-station appeasement in return for their votes, trashed homes, shops, businesses and wind-farms. Hs2 drivers will thus have to stop, and then start, at every frigging lamp-post (station) along the route, making the journey slower than it would be on a bicycle.
Hence, possibly, the recent bicycle purchase figures mentioned above. (QED)
Cost? Irrelevant. Taxes will never come down whatever they don’t do.

Tuesday 29th October 2013.

It was springlike this morning with just a spot or two of rain amid bright, warm, sunshine here in the north. And then, upon returning, there are quite a few laughs about in the news.
Strong winds have, apparently, blown a wind-turbine over! Shocking! (But electrifyingly funny!)
As ever one public body hauls another over the coals – oops! perhaps that should read ‘renewables’! – as the public accounts gang have a go at the hmrc gang for not getting enough tax in. Good grief, how many times, what’s collected never has or will cover the cost of collecting it. And much of what is collected is given, or frittered, away – oft by one gang hauling another – these gangs aren’t cheap!
Not to mention the fact that such gangs got us into the eu. Whose ‘laws’ actually protect those accused of ‘tax avoidance’…deficits are made of this. So first, Margaret, getting-out of the eu is best. To do that you could join another gang. They’re called ukip. They’re easy to find via Google – they’re literally stars on Youtube!
Nearby techies inform me that, toward the end of November, the new Linux Mint version will be out. (Petra). With it will be an all new, slimmed-down (no Gnome) Cinnamon that promises to be even faster than before. The drive here has several operating systems and desktops stored that have, from time to time, been ‘tested’ and these will be off-loaded to give Petra and the new Cinnamon a clear run so to speak. Linux stuff is Open Source – free in other words and is hugely popular. Mint is a breath of fresh-air to those careful with their cash and a thorn in the side to those that ever wish to part us from it forcibly!

Monday 28th October 2013.

Heavy rain and strong winds at the moment around here, which are probably to do with the storms that are bad over the south of England today. Strangely, the local river level isn’t too bad – yet.
In the ‘news’ today is the apparently £billions-saving notion that, instead of a new hs2 route being ploughed through our green and pleasant land, the route of ye olde Central Railway could be re-used as, well, to be honest, it’s still sort of, there.
Amazing isn’t it? They closed railways in the sixties as they were costing us – tax-payers – a fortune and just left the old rail routes as they were. No tidying-up or anything. They just left them. And it’s not impossible to re-use the routes, with new hardware etc., for trains that’ll go much faster…well, they hope they’ll go much faster. Mind you, such trains will cost a packet that we haven’t got so why not go the whole hog and just do-up a few olde steamers? There’s a few relics at Bury I believe, all ready for a re-furb. Mind you, they’ll need coal. Tons of it. Mmm…tricky. But you could open a few olde coal-mines – there were a few around Radcliffe – Ladyshore I think. Trucking all that coal to Bury though, over local roads full of potholes. Not good eh? Well, there is ye olde canal…and there’s a barge still at the wharf. And I’ve seen horses somewhere around…
But, just think how much all this would cost. And then think of the daily-rising hs2 guesstimates.
No contest eh?
Mind you, this is how it was all done the first time, in the 1800’s. Then it was all ‘Private’ and thus cost-effective. It was all closed by the ‘public’, (luckily?) who just left it, so much of it is still there. Like the Central Line route.
Those governmental are having a pop at the beeb for what they call ‘bias’. The licence fee may not be quite as easy to get hold of (by the beeb) in the future if this ‘bias’ isn’t curtailed. (Yeah, right. But you never know.)
Well, if you ‘curtailed’ it (the funding!) by about a third you could probably get rails and steamers onto the old Central Line for that – they got the old Severn Line up and running for a few £grand for heavens sake. (channel 4 prog. last night.)
But, what’s in it for the old beeb eh?
Well, the Central Line runs from London to Manchester so they’d be able to commute to their new studios far easier eh? If the worst came to the worst and there were beeb job-cuts, a few of them might get something on the railways…or at the coal-mines, or at the steel-works, or on the canal, or at a stables, or a farrier’s, or building bridges, or homes for the workers.
Oooh! Some hard work there all right. Yes. But surely better than a namby-pamby governmental ‘job-scheme’ eh?

Sunday 27th October 2013.

Almost summery early-on this morning but the rain is moving in at the moment.
There’s a fun story or two in the news but, being Sunday, it’s just old stuff re-hashed a bit. That nice Mr. Balls now says that labour, if elected, will ditch hs2 even if it’s started and ‘green levy’ (real) costs are, as billing-companies initially incorporate them into our invoices, becoming apparent – even to head-in-the-sand politicians. Money has little value with these governmental folk hasn’t it? But to tax and spend by the £billion, even £trillion, will have an effect on an ego!
One of the latest governmental ‘crises’ is home insulation it seems. Nowadays those governmental are harping-on about loft and cavity-wall insulation etc. The loft idea is good (tons of it in ours) but the wall bit, well, I’m not sure. A clear, dry, airy wall cavity was always thought best when a house-wall was built. (Air is a good insulator) But, hey-ho, who am I? The problem is of course that for years we’ve been indoctrinated with all the ‘Global-Warming’ claptrap and thus home insulation was (possibly?) deemed superfluous! Before all that a single, two-foot-high, raging fire of half a sack of best Nutty-Slack coal in a nice, homely hearth, obviated all need of insulation and damp didn’t stand a chance. Not to mention that most of our (now expensive to sort and shift!) ‘household-refuse’ also went up in smoke as a stand-by fuel source. Now we have to ‘buy’ gas from, as far as I can determine, just one supplier. Surely that’s the real problem. Nothing regulates (Gas?) ‘Price’ better than (real) competition. Ask any two local Market-Traders selling those cheap ciggie-lighters from market-stalls.
If you can find two traders, or any stalls, or even markets, that is!

Saturday 26th October 2013.

Misty drizzle this morning but, yesterday, rain and hail fell, in the afternoon, whilst a certain unicyclist was out a’riding. He’d have been drier cycling in the canal rather than beside it.
A laugh or two this morning as those ‘self-employed’ high-‘earners’ at the beeb may have to lose their tax – friendly ‘company’ status and become paye staff. Mmmm…now that’s expensive. For them and the beeb. 40% plus ni percentages…they could of course become properly self-employed – and advertise for work (on ITV?) – as all the other self-employed companies and people do.
This one’s a Classic: The biggest pension-fund in the country is the university superannuation sca…scheme. A financial check of the company’s accounts – which are university-staff pension-funds – by a Private money-man, revealed that a possible £7,000,000,000.00p plus ‘black-hole’ is actually over £10,000,000,000.00p. Mmmmm…All these clever people and still a financial black-hole!
And those governmental suggesting that a £200 levy (tax) on folk coming into the UK would simply be offering, ‘the best travel insurance for ‘health tourists!’ a top surgeon has said. Once again the ‘public’ hasn’t a bloody clue!
But, as ever, the beleaguered and plundered ‘Private’ is holding its own with a teeny-weeny hike in general trade-levels. This is ok and normal in the (early part of the) run-up to Christmas. January, February and possibly March are usually doldrum months, after the Chrissy splurge, so an upturn in trade figures then would really be good.
Unemployment is (possibly) down a bit too, so watch-out for Carney shoving-up interest-rates, as he said he might, if that continues.

Friday 25th October 2013.

More rain this morning as ‘bad’ weather is forecast for most of the UK.
But, time for a giggle as the dear old lib-dem mep’s actually vote for an increase in next year’s eu spending – they want to help the eu blow E142,000,000,000.00c. Over the next seven years the spend will be about E900,000,000,000.00c. All the other UK mep’s voted against any increase but don’t let that snippet sway you – all of any ‘spend’ money is borrowed.
And that nice Mr. Clegg has said that green levies on fuel bills can be ‘rolled-back’ as Mr. Cameron suggests, but the money must then be raised by higher general taxes. Oh dear. I mean, why bother even saying it?
Strangely, the company that actually prints bank-notes has issued a ‘profits-warning’ recently. The poor dears can’t, it seems, make ends meet – despite having plenty of work! (?) Mmm…Money-making has never been so hard perhaps, or, are they taxed out of existence? (Surely they could…you know…knock-out a few extra on the side…)
On the local front heavy rain is raising river Irwell levels nicely – it’s about three or four feet up at the moment, but not, as yet anywhere near last year’s high of a foot below the Lattice Bridge, over which runs the Metrolink.
The picture above, Warth Weir, was taken this morning and the Archimedes Screw, beside it, was churning well with all that water.
Nearby farm-lanes are not good for bikes at the moment due to Hawthorn hedge cutting. Several roads, due to heavy rain and blocked drainage grids, have large puddles stretching from kerbs across lanes. Mudguards, on the bike, are a help, but the puddles often hide large potholes, so take care.

Thursday 24th October 2013.

A misty start to the day today but at least the rain held-off. It was cold too and so, as with the news, energy costs and ‘keeping warm’ are still hot topics.
That nice Mr. Cameron is after losing some or all of the ‘green’ aspects of taxation applied to energy bills. Of course, by the time anything is actually done it’ll probably be a future mid-summer, and the last thing folk will be bothered about will be heating bills. And by then pensioners will have had their annual ‘rise’. Calculated by that special inflation index invented for the purpose. (I’m not sure if things like energy price rises are included in this, governmental-friendly, index calculator!)
Locally Bury council are set to ‘do up’ a few bits of Radcliffe around Christmas time. The Indoor (flea) Market is to be re-covered and windows fitted. (?) And another supermarket is planned for somewhere close-by. The bus-station is being moved. Again. Will it all help? Who knows. Asda is only yards away from all this, so where would you shop on a wet, windy, northern day? Bus to rainy high-streets and a rather sparse flea-market, or shop-online and get it all delivered?
Mmm…not much of a contest eh?

Wednesday 23rd October 2013.

Heavy rain this morning but a few spots of fun in the news.
That nice Mr. Hall at the beeb has another 11 (yes eleven!?) jobs despite his beeb (tax-payer) £450,000.00p basic funding. He reckons beeb folk should have ‘outside jobs’, just to see what they’re like. No wonder we’ve got a dole queue.
And one-time prime-minister (failed)(miserably) and Spitting Image star Mr. Major, reckons that a ‘windfall tax’ on energy company ‘profits’ would really help the folk struggling with bills. Can someone tell him where those energy companies would get the cash to pay the said windfall tax…
A tv presenter has sent a cheque to that nice Hector The Inspector at the hmrc yet folk there say they didn’t get it…anyway, after a bit of a malarkey the cheque did turn-up and all is okay. But, strangely, I read that the lady presenter works for the beeb and Sky. Tv work must be light – I’m knackered after going-out for a pic or two and then writing a few words here – I couldn’t handle two jobs. Unless there wasn’t much to either…as for eleven…
Around fifty applicants applied for the ‘position’ of Witch at Wookey Hole Caves complex. Anna Dixon of Glastonbury got the £50,000.00p per year job which isn’t public-sector! Amazing!!! Well done!
The picture, above, is of the local river Irwell at Warth on the Radcliffe/Bury border. Recent heavy rain has raised the river water level by over three feet already.

Tuesday 22nd October 2013.

Rain this morning while out but a few fun items in the ‘news’ are there to compensate…
Apparently ‘health tourists’ are costing us £2,000,000,000.00p per year according to a governmental report. Not good for what was always ‘sold’, to electorates, as a ‘free’ service eh? (Mind you, one such possible customer’s attempt at forging a drug prescription was thwarted because he couldn’t spell Viagra.)
So perhaps being wary of the ‘no cost upfront’ deal, for the new edf nuclear plant, is on the cards. ‘Too good to be true’ often is.
Meanwhile that nice Mr. Clegg is still banging-on about pensioners ‘giving-up benefits’, like tv licences and bus-passes, while his tax-payer funded benefit is increased by 11% per annum! But, hey ho, there’s over 38,000 ‘new’ millionaires this year. (All that nice tax for re-distributing!) Hopefully one or two will be pensioner tv fans that travel by bus!
What would be nice is an optional tv licence. And not just for pensioners. Good for the beeb too. A rude awakening perhaps, but good.
Mmm…governmental borrowing was £1,000,000,000.00p less this September compared to September last year. Borrowing was £11,100,000,000.00p this September. And I always thought that a nought meant ‘nothing’!