2012 May

Tuesday 29th: I used to describe myself as a political refugee from the Orwellian experiment that is the EU. Now, thanks to Mr Clarke, the UK ‘Justice’ Secretary, I can now proudly describe myself a “frenzied eurosceptic”.

Sunday 27th: I am struck today by the thought that some are born with natural talents and choose not to use them.  Meanwhile many build careers on no, or little, God-given (or random chance for the atheists) talents but hard work and dedication see them through or at least give them the opportunity to affect other peoples’ lives.

Saturday 26th: It is a rare day or night I would rather not be at sea but last night was one of them. I feel sorry for anyone caught South of Tasmania overnight. ‘Drachmageddon’ and ‘Grexit’ seem to have entered the European lexicon in the last month. What a pity politicians cannot put the interests of their own citizens ahead of anyone else’s. Had they done so throughout Europe it is doubtful the EU and later the Euro would have got much beyond the borders of France.

Friday 25th: Tomorrow is ‘Sorry’ Day in Australia, saying sorry to the ‘stolen generation’ and mistreatment of our aboriginal community.  Its all well and good to be genuinely ‘sorry’ for things we couldn’t affect but when will it be time to move on and make sure all today’s Australians are batting on the same wicket?  For everyone to be able to have the same opportunities to be the best they can be, or indeed the worst, if that is their choice? Once that rolled wicket is the same for all it will be time to stop saying sorry and treat all Aussies as equals, only giving a leg-up to those who really need it, not those whose skin or ethnicity suggests they should still be patronised by the majority who arrived on or after 26 January 1788.   

Thursday 24th: Yet another Greek Prime Minister’s analysis of the EURO crisis is that it is at a “critical crossroads”. More like Greece is on a Euro roundabout experiencing slow-roll phenomena while desperately seeking the best exit. I’ve got to hand it to ABC National Radio. ‘Natasha’ may not know the difference between a row and a road when it comes to bespoke tailors on Savile Row, London but they are damn quick with their apology – well done ABC!

Wednesday 23rd: When Autumn sets in isn’t it great to sit in front of a fire while pondering the farce that is global warming and the Aussie Carbon Tax?

Tom's Fire


As Simon Jenkins in the UK Guardian points out its not just Oz thats barking up the wrong tree: “the government wants to commit a staggering £100bn to wind farm subsidies over the next decade, almost all to rich landowners. Northamptonshire, with England’s most planned wind farms per acre (and least wind), will probably have turbines visible from horizon to horizon. Will this really so impress China and India as to persuade them to change their emissions policies? It is like a primitive tribe burning its wives and treasure to awe an enemy into submission.”

Monday 21st: I have little residual respect for the BBC after a lifetime of  witnessing the bias tumour growing within the UK’s ‘national’ broadcaster. However, Andrew ‘Super Injunction’ Marr’s documentary series for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is so far, after the first two episodes, reminiscent of the very best of the BBC.

Sunday 20th: Do you think your body is yours to do what you want with? Think again! Religions tell you suicide is a sin, governments tell you not to smoke, drink alcohol or eat fast food. They meanwhile will take tax off you from doing all of the above while waging a war on illegal substances you may wish to ingest of your own free will. All of this pales though if you think that when you die the government will happily leave your corpse alone. Try ensuring that your body will avoid the idignities of a future post-mortem if your death is suspicious or sudden…  Come on, you didn’t really think that vessel that carries your brain around really belongs to you did you?

Friday 18th: This week the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles all visited Burnley Football Club.  What a great, if unconnected, reward for the Chairman of the club, Barry Kilby. Barry is about to step aside after more than a decade at the helm of one of the football league’s founder members.  I and many thousands of Clarets fans around the world will wish him well.  During a time when football club owners are often vilified (some with good reason) he has brought nothing but honour to his home town and club through his leadership and dedication not to mention deep pockets. I hope he will soon be recognised for his services to football and the wider community.

Tuesday 15th: A former police officer in the UK is suing the police because he lost his counter-terrorism security clearance, was effectively unemployable and thus forced to resign.  A Bangladeshi born Muslim and a British citizen, there were apparently concerns for national security over his service. Disaffection of course is not solely the monopoly of ethnic or religious groups.  Very few societies, I can only think of Japan, are homogenous and independent enough to avoid security implications from ‘new’ citizens like this and even they are not immune to disaffected home grown terrorists.  As a first generation Aussie in a country of immigrants I would be perfectly happy for a law to be passed which required only third or older generations of Australians  to fill sensitive government and security related positions. However, with a Prime Minister born in Wales actively subverting our economy I doubt that’s ever going to happen.  If Britain were independent of Europe of course, it could pass laws along those lines, but imagine the howls of anguish from the civil libertarians like the head of Britain’s Amnesty International who doesn’t think Abu Qatada should be shipped off to Jordan.

Monday 14th: Blackburn Rovers and now Bolton Wanderers are relegated from the English Premier League, oh happy days!  American sports fans may need to consult a dictionary to check out the meaning of ‘relegation’. Meanwhile in a topsy-turvy world Manchester City’s title cost almost a billion pounds of Middle Eastern money.

Saturday 12th: The human world is by any definition multicultural. That different cultures have chosen when and how to interact with other cultures whether peacefully, for economic advantage or by conquest is also a reflection of humanity’s essentially tribal character. When politicians, many of whom seem despised by those they represent, enforce the introduction of alien cultures into their societies and promote the ‘benefits’ of the  subsequent melting pot under the mantra of multiculturalism they become worthy only of a bit part in an Orwellian novel.

Friday 11th: An unsolicited e-mail invites me to lunch. There is ‘no such thing as a free lunch’ . However, to be invited to pay for the privilege of listening to a ‘British Battleaxe’ is beyond the pail. Christine Hamilton’s career as a minor celebrity began with her indomitable defence of her apparently indefensible husband, a Member of the UK Parliament  who was accused and  later found guilty of accepting cash for questions.  Mrs Hamilton has shown tremendous and admirable loyalty and now her husband is on the national executive committee of the UK Independence Party. The Hamilton pantomime rolls on but would be too much for me to swallow at any meal.

Thursday 11th: Still on the subject of generations and their differences, I found myself cloud gazing today. There is much more interesting fluffy stuffup there than that associated with navel gazing. Watching the clouds whizz overhead it was interesting to note the slower sedate  speed of the higher clouds compared with the hustle and bustle much lower down. Such is the headlong unthinking flight of youth compared with the sager, considered movement of the more mature. Yet the higher clouds are consistently thinner than those lower down. Whilst this may be analogous to hirsute developments of age in humans it certainly couldn’t be applied to the girth around the waistline!

Monday 7th: Its a sobering thought that if populations decline we’ll have even more stuff than we know what to do with, including housing. Take inter-generational family mobility –  a posh description for kids growing up and leaving home. In the old (not necessarily good) days, three generations would exist under the same roof and things would be recycled through the generations, not left behind by the younger generation leaving home who buy new.  There is not much sadder than old folk holding on to all their kid’s unwanted clobber and I have witnessed this from both ends of a generation.

Sunday 6th: Isn’t coincidence often spooky? The number of times that this has occurred to me makes me think some things are not simply coincidence. Of course there is a rational counter-argument but nevertheless I still think there is more to coincidence than the rational can explain.

Friday 4th: I HATE RAIN! Yes, I know without it we’ll all die and I love a drink of water but I simply hate rain. I am a weather refugee from the UK where the rain is often a dreach mist which soaks into every pore almost surreptitiously and people rarely see the sun for days at a time. At least in Australia when it rains, it pours! However, three solid days is enough to being going on with, thank you.

Thursday 3rd: Why is it that those of us in the ‘lucky country’ are often overcharged when trying to by online for the privilege. I am not talking postage rates here.  LEGO.com want to charge an American customer $119 and an Australian customer $169 for the same item, an almost 50% markup – isn’t that racist? While I am at it, why is the same item $219 from an Aussie retailer when sales tax (GST) is only 10%? Doesn’t the Australian Government care that its citizens are being scammed?

Wednesday 2nd: As Frank Sinatra once sang: “It’s very nice to go trav’ling But it’s oh so nice to come home” and I can particulary identify with the lines from the last verse – “light the home fires, get my slippers”.