Everything and nothing. Read it, shrug your shoulders and move on.

Saturday, May 27

HBS

Had some massive developments regarding the HBS malarky recently.

The letter I sent on TLs request to HBS has made it's way further up the chain (And also into the local press who I sent a letter to after an article in the Shitizen about Labour offering a coalition with the previously ruling Lib-Dems, on condition in part, of scrapping the council contract with HBS) and is starting to have an affect.

I'd recieved a letter from some bod in HR a few weeks ago saying they'd recieved it and an investigation was to begin, and also heard from B at work, that staff were having one-on-one interviews with this same bod as well as HBS press officers arriving in the office asking TL if she knew why they were getting calls from local media or who was responsible.

The local Labour leader emailed me last week asking if he could share the email i'd sent him (A duplicate of the letter sent to the local press) with one of his colleagues, to which I agreed and, although i've heard or read anything from the press about my letter, i'm sure it must be having some effect considering what is taking place.

In fact i'm certain it is. Today I recieved a letter from the same HR bod inviting me to a meeting with the partnership director and herself on 5th June.

After my instinctive reaction to dismiss the invitation through sheer fright at having to be in that situation had flashed past, the gorgeous C made some fantastic points in helping me see why this is a perfect chance to stand up and be counted. Not just for myself and being able to pay back the HBS bastards that had made me sick, but also for TL, B and everyone else in that team who are still working under those incompetents.

I have a wonderful opportunity to let them know what they did to me, forcing me out of a job and slipping onto anti-depressants, while not being in a position where they have any power over me. C is right when she says I don't work for them anymore, that I can attend this meeting in me jeans if I want and that HBS must be getting concerned. The balance of power might even be in my favour.

I've felt that before with them and ended up losing. but this time is different. They're coming to me which means they've got the explaining to do and I don't have to worry that i'm employed by them. I'm gonna take this opportunity and come out feeling good after it.

You never know, maybe the shit is right up them and they'll pay me off with an 'undisclosed figure' to not speak to the press anymore or something. I'd fucking love it if they did but let's not let get too excited eh, let's just gather up as much shit as possible to screw those worthless managers over.

Friday, May 26

After nine years of incompetent management, illegal wars and constant blaming of the Tories for their ills, Labour are doomed if the latest ICM/Guardian polls are to be believed.

Even staging a coup and installing the great white hope of Gordon Brown would lead more voters into voting Tory.

Doomed.

Why working to 68 doen't bother me

Now that the Government has upped the State retirement age from 65 to 68, it's worth looking forward to see if the change will bring the sky down upon my head as some tabloids are squealing.
Well, with grandparents still in rude health in their eighties and parents approaching their sixties who don't look or act much different to what they did in their forties, barring accident or injury the chances are my innings will get close to the ton.
Added to that genetic inheritance is the lifestyle that has assimilated the five portions of fruit & veg, 8 glasses of water and minimum of thirty minutes exercise a day (Not to mention the cutbacks in puffing and pissing my health and wealth all up the wall) which certainly won't hamper my odds of racking up a good score.
So i'm not likely to pass this mortal coil within a few years of retirement, which is what was expected of the great majority of us when the state pension was introduced, and won't be on my last legs age and health-wise by 68, but what about financially and socially?
Firstly, I believe that the goalposts have shifted from my parents generation to mine (As theirs had from their parents) and that it just won't be possible to attain the same as them in retirement. Somewhat gutting but hey ho, you have to cut your cloth accordingly and forget any similar dreams of retiring on three-quarters of your final salary at 55 or whatever.
Not that such a dream is as prevelant in my generation as my parents though, possibly because we're not cramming our working lives in so tightly and so manically while praying for the day when we get time for ourselves. We're fitting some of those retirement plans in during our working lives by virtue of having more time and opportunities through having children later in life (If at all), by having flexibility within our careers and by travel being much easier & cheaper.
While financially it may be different & difficult for a generation raised on easy credit and easy debt yet excluded from the safety deposit box of the housing market, however there may be positive unintended consequences derived from that which would be quite un-English but could be quite healthy for society.
There are already rather a lot of Timothys still living at home through financial constraints, so there is a distinct possibilty that the trend will expand to pull all the generations of the family in under one large roof, with the result that the family wealth is shared, communities are re-established and ageing parents aren't fobbed off into expensive nursing homes.
So by the age of 68 when I can retire (If indeed I want to) i'll be looking forward to another decade or two of good health, having already lived a good life full of fun & experiences, and surrounded by those who matter the most.
All that would be needed to nicely round it off would be England winning the World Cup during my lifetime...

Saturday, May 20

Eurovision aftermath

C here, after half a bottle of Vodka and D totally ecstatic about the Finns winning Eurovision, im just still totally dumbstruck and still laughing, ( still in shock) that he was right in thinking they would win. No comment!!

Eurovision 2

Terry Wogan shut the f**k up!!!!!!!

Eurovision

This is how we scored the songs in the eurovision song contest...

Song number /10

1 - 9/10
2 - 3/10
3 - 5/10
4 - 7/10
5 - 8/10
6 - 2/10
7 - 7/10
8 - 8/10
9 - 6/10
10 - 4/10
11 - 4/10
12 - 8/10
13 - 6/10
14 - 8/10
15 - cannot vote for own nationality!
16 - 5/10
17 - 8/10
18 - 5/10
19 - 4/10
20 - 1/10
21 - 7/10
22 - 6/10
23 - 6/10
24 - 7/10

D loved the Latvian and Finnish songs (no comment!!)

Thursday, May 18

Oh No! Big Brother is back!

Big Brother has started again on C4.

Fuck!

We wasted our lives last summer watching this bloody show (And the Celebrity version later in the year) and all the attendant shows like BBLB and Big Brothers Big Mouth, even though we hated ourselves for not being able to break the addiction.

Never fear, for this year there is the small matter of the World Cup.

Sorry Big Brother, you're relegated.

Although the fake 'mad' man Pete has already drawn my hatred upon him.

The McCartneys to split

Comment is Free, but is it any good?

No, not the responses to the articles written by the 'professionals' (Although one professional columnist has apparently had enough with some of the responses) but the actual articles themselves.

Today has seen two absolutely appalling articles (Both centred on football) publsihed on the site by the Guardian. One is a laughable rant against Arsenal by a woman with no knowledge whatsoever of the subject, while the other is an ignorant, offensive and downright racist attack on anyone who supports England.

Both contributors should never be allowed to write for the site again but, even worse, is the fact that the writer of the racist piece is an Assistant Editor for Comment is Free! I wonder whether racism, focused on the art of seeing racism in everything and anything, is institutionalised within the Guardian. Either way the writer, Joseph Harker, should be fired.

Read the comments below the two pieces and see how many Guardian readers you can find who agree with the ignorant shite passing as comment from thee two idiots...

Wednesday, May 17

Weighing the waste II

Gone a bit mad on the landfill waste this week...

Week 2

Landfill waste = 9.8 kg
Recycling waste = 4.1 kg
Compost waste = 1.5 kg

Week 1

Landfill waste = 6.7 kg
Recycling waste = 3.2 kg
Compost waste = 1.5 kg

Tuesday, May 16

Time to bring this back



Number of offenders freed without being considered for deportation = 1,023

Number of serious offenders - defined as armed robbery and worse - freed without being considered for deportation (Charles Clarke's figures) = 79

Number of serious offenders - defined as armed robbery and worse - freed without being considered for deportation (Latest figures) = 179

Number of fresh crimes committed by the freed 179 = 57

Number of those crimes involving violence or a sexual element. = 19

Number convicted of the "most serious offences" - murder, manslaughter, rape or child sex offences = 35

Number of freed criminals actually deported = 20

New Labours chances of being re-elected = 0


Friday, May 12

Public turning against Labour

Well they have been for quite a while now, regardless of all the ministerial disasters over the past few weeks and the humbling local election results, but there was a nice example of it on Question Time last night where a few Labour activists stated they would refuse to vote for the party again while Blair was still in charge.

Hazel Blears, Labour Chairman, had a new one ripped as well. Good.

Thursday, May 11

The Apprentice

Last night saw the conclusion of The Apprentice and former check-out girl Michelle Dewberry winning the opportunity to work for Sir Alan Sugar .

There have been plenty of snotty comments regarding the show from those who find business and profit-making an unseamly occupation or the brutality of the, "You're Fired!" method a bad way to manage, but they all miss one of the underlying positives to come from this great show.

Namely, showing would be entrepeneurs and everyone in general that it can be quite easy to make money. The apprentices had to go out into areas of business they had no or little experience of and work hard to sell....yet they invariably came back to Sir Alan's boardroom with a profit.

That's a lesson that we should all take note of, especially in a long-standing trading nation like Britain, and even act upon. If the apprentices could go out, create and sell calendars for example, then what is there to stop the rest of us from doing so. Ok we're not going to create multi-million pound businesses overnight from a standing start, no one does, but we can certainly create the foundations of one and hopefully have a lot of enjoyment in doing so.

I think The Apprentice (And the first series shown last year) also show us that business isn't a closed shop, prices are up for negotiation and if you have a good product, or can convince others you have, then you'll be given the opportunity somewhere to sell it and make a profit.

Another of the positive messages to emerge from the show is that those with management and/or consultant backgrounds are quite often full of shit, making it up as they go along and utterly clueless. If The Apprentice in anyway goes toward knocking down the high and influential pedestal that such 'professions' have built for themselves, then i'm sure Sir Alan and many others would be more than pleased.

Ebay and car boot sales have already led thedacs to make our first forays into the world of commerce and come out with a profit (Not to mention a great sense of accomplishment and enjoyment), now we need to build upon the lessons observed from The Apprentice and see if we can actually create something to sell and make a profit on.

Wednesday, May 10

Drowning



Haha drown evil slugs, drown!

Serves them right for trying to eat my vegetables.

I chose Newcastle Brown Ale to get them so hammered they drowned.

Tuesday, May 9

Weighing the waste



Bin bags. Great eh?

Anyway, since D is turning into a bit of a sad bastard and has far too much time on his hands, he's taken to weighing the waste we put out for collection.

The pink sack is full of waste for recycling and the black bags are for landfill.

Milton Keynes Councilare trying their utmost to cut down on waste for landfill due to the Government slapping a fine of £150 per tonne of landfill waste over a certain set limit. Whether the Government have taken into consideration the fact that Milton Keynes is expanding rapidly and adjusted the limits accordingly is another matter. They don't provide funding for the Council on up to dte population figures so it's unlikely.

The all important figures:

Recycling 3.2 kg
Landfill 6.7 kg

Waste that we put out for composting probably amounts, at the lower estimate, to 1.5 kg.

Not bad, but could be better.

Monday, May 8

England squad for World Cup announced



Does anything stand out as anything particuarly controversial in this selection?

Well yeah, just a few. for varying reasons though..

Theo Walcott

An outstanding prospect he may be, but the 17 year-old hasn't even played a single minute of the Premiership, let alone European or tournament level football. That may work to his advantage and he'll burst onto the biggest stage of all to announce his presence as a new superstar of football. It worked for others like Michael Owen in '98....except he already had plenty of first-team experience for Liverpool. Odds are the inclusion of Walcott into the squad during the tournament will amount to nothing more than watching from the sidelines, although the opportunity is there if injuries and the like open the way into the team for him. What does Sven say?

"I decided to take Theo this morning," Eriksson explained. "I am taking 23 players so I thought why not gamble with one of them? I know it is a gamble but he is a big talent. Pace in football is worth a lot. I'm excited by him, I can't wait to work with him." Maybe it's not logic, but sometimes things work out very well."

Fair enough I suppose.

Aaron Lennon

Sven says, "He has pace, he beats people and he's a good crosser. In the last two or three months he's really started to play good football. I've had good reports about him. He's in very good shape."

The Tottenham midfielder has seized his chance at the club this season and probably deserves his place in the squad, although it would have been advantageous to have seen Lennon in an international to see how readily (Or not) he would take to the bigger stage.

If anyone has the ability to make a mark at the World Cup from a completely standing start, then Lennon seems to have the most in his favour, followed by Stewart Downing, who has at least been capped for England previously and is due to play in this week's UEFA Cup final.

But onto the most controversial selection of all...

Owen Hargreaves

He's absolutely shit! How he has managed to gain the number of England caps he has is beyond the understanding of most England fans. Must be something Sven see's in the Bayern player, as past experience tells the fan that Hargreaves, although full of running, doesn't appear to contribute much. Not even in that understated Makalale way of shielding the defence. Hargreaves just tends to run around a lot aimlessly. It probably doesn't help that Sven likes to use him as an all-purpose utility player to bring on when England are chasing a lead, as anyone but the Swede could tell you hargreaves won't score or create chances.

Baffling.

Looks like England will be playing for one-nil victories all the way up until the final, when wonderboy Rooney may be fit enough to make an appearance.

1 hour & 45 minutes

That's how long it took to go and sign a bit of paper today.

Hardly surprising when you're reliant on the buses to get you to and from this bit of paper.

Nor when his bit of paper is at the dole office.

Friday, May 5

The BNP (Again)

I think what is most concerning regarding the growth in electoral support for the BNP is that it's coming at a time when Britain is enjoying a decade of economic growth and general prosperity.

Support for the far-Right usually grows when times are hard and unemployment is rife (The high percentage that Le Pen gained in the French Presidential elections while the country suffered from high unemployment is a recent example) so a rather large question mark hangs over the support for the BNP.

It's possible that people have simply become more racist, or that they simply don't care anymore (In much the same way that being branded an Anti-Semite is losing it's authority). It's possible too that concerns over the largest influx of immigrants in history is genuinely causing friction and tensions, or it's possible that the tabloid attacks on immigrants are influencing the way people vote.

Either way, it's a (Slight) cause for concern that during a period when the economy has been stable and beneficial to most, many former Labour voters have felt the need to vote for the BNP.

Charles Clarke gets the sack

Charles Clarke has been sacked during the Cabinet reshuffle.


Following on from last nights drubbing at the polls for New Labour, it wasn't a great surprise that this happened to deflect attention away from the result, nor was the fact that Labour will cling onto power in the face of overwhelming evidence that one of their own is incompetent.

About time really that Clarke went considering the disaster he has oversen at the Home Office.

Thursday, May 4

Lovely weather


Since it was such a lush day and the hottest of the year so far, it was the perfect time to push the tumble dryer aside, save some money on electricity, stop pumping out carbon and get the washing out into the fresh air. Perfect weather for it.

Perfect excuse to brighten up all this boring text too...

Local elections

Today is the day when local elections take place across England and apparently voter turnout is up on previous local elections due to the lovely weather.

I'm scum because I didn't vote. Never got round to registering you see, although I did try, but the online form was just bollocks and kept assuming I was foreign or summat. There was a one sheet printable version (That i've used previously whenever updating the Electoral Register Officer at the Council of a change of address) but er.....I never got round to posting it. Ho hum.

Anyway, it's more important for me to get a job at the mo and funnily enough there is one at the Council I rather like the look of. I took the opportunity offered on the job advert (Waste Statistics Officer) to call the department for an 'informal enquiry' but just got through to an answerphone.

Suppose everyone there was doing their civic duty and manning the polling stations. Council workers eh...any excuse to bunk off.

Little Steve gets England job

Little Steve McClaren has only gone and landed himself the England job.

Like most England fans, ny reaction is....FFS!

Well to be fair to the boring bastard, let's see if he can lead Boro to victory in the UEFA Cup final and show that he can win a major trophy and a European one at that (And remember he would be the first Englishman for donkeys years to do so).

If he can, then it's only fair to give him a chance. If not, then we'll carry on howling in anguish.

Wednesday, May 3

Charles Clarke

green.tv

Heard about this new internet tv station called green.tv so thought i'd have a look. It's a bit worthy (As most 'green' things usually are) but it's also an exciting concept in reality, especially since it draws in corporate sponsors and contributors. While that may appall some who believe corporations and big business are an evil force upon this world, I can't help thinking that it's going to be corporations, rather than Governments, that enable the public masses to achieve their growing aims when it comes to all things green.

Have a look, the 'Grocery Store Wars' film is very good and in fact they're all well made. Wonder if they'll be taking on films made by amateurs in the public realm? Maybe thedacs can give a tour of all the green/energy saving changes they've made to their lives and home...

Sign on

Had to sign on today to claim my JobSeekers Allowance. Took all of 10 minutes (Plus the half hour sitting around of course) and was completed with the air of worthlessness and despair that thickens the air in every Job Centre.

I feel like shit.

Tuesday, May 2

HBS one more time

For now anyway...

Recieved a call from my TL, my former boss while I was working at HBS. See previous posts on subject

It seems that M, one of the other administrators there, has handed in her notice (Even though she hasn't found another job yet) because she too has been made ill by the piss poor managment of MK Councils private service provider partner. M had been signed off sick by her GP but has finally cracked.

This is an addition to B taking back his acceptance of a new contract because it was crap (P/T and having to take on all the work MKP throw at the deptartment).

Anyway, TL wanted me to do her and the team a favour which i'm more than happy to do.

The other administrator, R, has moved into another role affiliated with DC Admin (Our dept) which will leave the council and HBS with no-one except TL herself to validate any planning applications that come in. That's over 2000 per year and on top of all her other duties...impossible.

Now apparently, HBS management have been playing dumb as to why the dept they are managing is falling apart with key staff leaving . TL has asked me to write a letter (I didn't bother with a resignation letter as I was on a contract) detailing why I left, stating all the issues that I had with HBS, to let them know that they are directly responsible for myself and M leaving.

I'm more than happy to do this, in fact I should have done it earlier but I guess now it will have more immpact what with M leaving.

It will have even more impact when I talk to the press about the meltdown of council services presided over by their private partner :)

Beshenivsky II

Beshenivsky link denied by Home Office

Israel/Palestine and the BBC

No evidence of 'systematic' bias within the BBC's reporting of the conflict (Although individual correspondents aren't let off) according to an independent report commisioned by...the BBC.

The Corporation have however, been scalded for not using the word 'terrorism' in accordance with terrorist acts by the reports chairman, Sir Quentin Thomas.

Probably the most interesting part of the report regarding bias, is the fact that this independent panel noted stronger evidence of pro-Israeli coverage by the BBC.

Not sure how well that fits with all those who claim the BBC is anti-Israel. Mind you, the report was commissioned by the BBC itself so...

Story here

Beshenivsky killer may be one of freed 1023

An investigation is looking into whether one of murdered PC Sharon Beshenivsky's killers was part of the 1,023 criminals released by the Home Office when they should have been considered for deportation.

If they find out that Mustaf Jamma was up for deporatation then Home Secretary Charles Clarke will be sacked.

About time too. The release of these criminals when they should have been deported was reason enough for his expulsion from the Cabinet, let alone if one of them was responsible for the murder of a Police Officer.

We have growth in the vege patch



D- Think they're potato's. Can't remember what I planted where though so it will be a bit of a lottery until everything grows a bit more and they can be identified by a gardening idiot like me.

C reckons slugs and snails will become a bit of a problem now (After seeing a vege with chomped leaves) so i'll have to take a bit of advice from my Dad's book and get some beer-filled pots buried into the soil and drown the bastards.

Can Sven show any tactical nous?

Probably not.

With it looking increasingly likely over the weekend that Wayne Rooney will not be fit in time for the FIFA World Cup after breaking his metatarsal against Chelsea, and the wailing of England fans subsiding as the news sinks in, thoughts must now turn to how England can re-jig the starting 11 to the maximum effect.

We'll never be able to re-jig it enough to compensate for the loss of the unique Rooney, but Sven must show that he has some tactical ability as a manager to create a formation that brings out the best in the rest of the team.

First of all, it must be said that the England starting line-up (Even without Rooney) are a very strong outfit individually. Starting at the back, Paul Robinson is a solid, effective keeper and in a cup tournament that ability not to make calamitous mistakes is a distinct advantage. The starting back-line is very strong, with Cole one of the best left-backs in the world and Neville an extremely effective and experienced head on the right. The centre-back positions are an area where England have true strength ion depth. Terry is a certainty and an excellent, resolute defender who will fling himself at any ball or boot for the cause. Ferdinand, his probable partner, is renowned for being a classy defender while Campbell has been Englands most consistently excellent player at major tournaments.

In midfield, Gerrard is simply one of the best midfielders in the world, Lampard was voted second best player in the world and both have the ability to score regularly from midfield. Beckham on the right owes England a big tournament and Joe Cole on the left will bring an ability to beat the opposition one on one and score goals.

Up front, if Owen can gain his fitness then England still have one of the best goal scoring machines on the planet.

The problems come with the lack of strength in depth regarding the squad. Most of the England squad players are unproven at international level. Crouch is a great player to throw on if Plan A isn't working, as he can change a game just by his ability to hold the ball up and link play with some deft touches.

Problem is though, that with Rooney injured Plan A has gone completely out of the window before a ball is kicked.

The pressure is now on Sven to show that he can deliver a different formation to utilise the best of these players. With Gerrard and Lampard able to score regularly from midfield, the obvious choice is to set them free from defensive duties in the central midfield by bringing in Carrick and let them rampage forward whenever they can to support the sole striker. Unfortunately, Sven hasn't yet been able to do that and may choose one over the other .

Football 365 have a good mini-analysis on what Sven should, and will, do.

The BBC have a nice little Pick Your Own Team page too.

JobCentre staff strike

A two-day strike by JobCentre staff is beginning today.

Great, I have my first appointment with them tomorrow.