remembering St John Fisher and the monstrous King Henry VIII

Posted in humbug alert, opinion on June 22nd, 2011 by george

On this day in 1535, the great John Fisher was beheaded at Tower Hill in London. He shares this feast day with his friend and fellow martyr, Thomas More.  They both forfeited their human lives for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII’s claim to be Supreme Head of the Church in England and for upholding the Catholic Church‘s dogma of papal primacy.

Henry VIII is often popularly viewed as a lovable rogue, a champion of wine, women and song. In fact he was a monster, who set a precedent for the sort of self centred greedy bastards who have been running this country ever since. Marrying 6 times, he pioneered a complete disregard for the sanctity of marriage.

Central to his Reformation manoeuvres was the dissolution of the monasteries, who until then had provided for the impoverished in the form of land for them to cultivate and live on. This land was taken away and given to his cronies, creating a new landed gentry beholden to the crown. It is claimed that a fifth of England’s landed wealth was redistributed in this way. Suddenly there were tens of thousands of dispossessed poor with nowhere to go, and no means of support.

Henry had created a new underclass. This alienated much of the population outside London and led to a northern uprising, the Pilgrimage of Grace comprising some 30,000 rebels. Their leader Robert Aske was arrested, charged with treason, and executed along with some 200 of the rebels. This put an end to the disturbances.

How was such a fiend allowed to wield such absolute power? To this day the English are accomplished at murmuring and complaining, but have little enthusiasm for revolutionary action. So the prevailing bullies go about their nasty business, encouraging the population to drink up and forget about it. Cheers mate…..

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vying for position

Posted in humbug alert, opinion, rants on May 7th, 2010 by george

UK Election synopsis….government closes up shop and for weeks and at great expense, professional liars bombard us with empty promises, at the end of which a bamboozled nation is unable to decide conclusively, probably because the choices are so poor…the result leaves the state more bankrupt than ever, with no honest men able to effectively steer us toward something better, leaving ordinary British people more angry, confused, frustrated and miserable than ever….can we learn anything from this fiasco?….probably not….we have been perpetuating the same crock of s#*t for so long we dont know where else to turn…
in a  nation driven to drink a long time ago, the winners are probably the pubs, who will be busier than ever, filled with those drowning their sorrows, and those who have washed their hands of the whole sorry charade….

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vote with your heart

Posted in humbug alert, opinion, rants on April 30th, 2010 by george

Poor old UK. Whatever happened to us? What used to be a haven of soft edges, a little run down and shabby, like your favourite old armchair, has evolved over 30 years into a shiny, brittle, trashy landscape of concrete and glass and plastic. Where benign eccentrics once lived quiet, extraordinary lives of their own devising; there now predominates an army of media junkies wondering who they are and what they are supposed to do next.

I hold Margaret Thatcher and every jackass that followed responsible. Now in 2010 a fresh but frighteningly similar bunch of goons are asking that we elect them into power. They speak blithely of ‘change’ and ‘the common good’ and ‘a brighter future’ in tones that wouldn’t convince an 8 year old. In fact all they can honestly promise is that the will more or less perpetuate the stagnant, diseased behemoth their predecessors so cynically threw together.

They keep insisting that a vote for anyone other than one of them(the 3 main parties) is a wasted vote. Can we wake up now please? What’s on offer is a media-savvy slew of snake oil salesmen. Its all about what you are being seen to be rather than what you are. Who are they? They barely know themselves. All they are qualified to do is appear at ease among TV people and journalists. The real world? I don’t think so. You wouldn’t want Jonathan Ross to run the country would you?

The only thing worse than voting for one of them is not voting. Make a little effort. Its not too late to go out and form a personal opinion about one of the alternative party candidates. You will probably find that you like them much better. They probably wont win this time round. But every vote the same old greedy bastards don’t get is a nail in their coffin. They have to go. Lets make it sooner rather than later.

Dont be afraid. Vote with your heart.

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whats in a hoody?

Posted in how about?, humbug alert, rants on November 22nd, 2009 by george

sunday am hoodyLast night I listened to my 57 yr old brother, and my 17 yr old daughter, bemoaning the armies of hoody wearing youths who prowl our urban landscape, terrorising the innocent. They even referred to them as ‘hoodies’.

This has to be the last word in senseless, prejudiced generalisation. The hoody is a very practical, affordable, modern garment. Large numbers of teenage boys wear them. Some of these boys find themselves going through an antisocial phase. Duh! Teenage boys have found it hard to stomach society ever since there’s been a society. Does this mean that anyone who wears a hoody should be treated as a dangerous criminal? Most of these ‘disaffected youth’ also wear trousers, have teeth, and sleep with their eyes closed. Are these characteristics we should view with more suspicion? Read more »

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just say no

Posted in how about?, humbug alert, journal on November 14th, 2009 by george

santaLast night I spent the evening watching the tube. November 13, and already TV ads are working their dreadful sorcery. An endless list of gift options and food and drink items for the feast, now a mere 6 weeks away, are paraded before hapless viewers.

Why does this still affect me? Its not that I want to rush out and buy all this crap, but rather that I feel guilty because I don’t want to. The arch winks and sly grins of a high sheen cast of glamour cats and kittens, would have me give in to their blandishments and START SPENDING MONEY!! Read more »

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statistics, the first cousins of lies

Posted in humbug alert, opinion on November 7th, 2009 by george

policing cambridgeThis little magazine dropped through my letterbox the other day. Its purpose is to summarise police work in the area over the past year. All very commendable, but I take issue with one claim made in an artice entitled, ‘Life on the street’. In it, PC Christian Dicks states that, “The average homeless person in Cambridge can make £400 a week by begging.” He goes on to say, “In London I’m told its more like £1000.”

I cant help wondering where PC Dicks gleaned this information. My guess is it is the result of an exaggerated account of a particularly good day. Perhaps, a few days before Xmas, someone wound up with £73 one evening. He or she was probably far from average. Most likely they were playing seasonal music. Excited by their success, they bragged about it to fellow beggars & buskers, rounding their earnings up to £80 in the process. In this new polished version of reality, our braggart puts in a 5 day week and earns £400. And hey presto, in the giddy world of statistics, £400 becomes average earnings. Read more »

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cleaning & gardening

Posted in humbug alert, rants on October 13th, 2009 by george

french maidgardenAsked in May to review expenses by Downing Street, Sir Thomas Legg, a former civil servant, has applied new limits to categories like gardening (£1,000 a year) and cleaning (£2,000 a year). Both Gordon Brown, and Nick Clegg have made public their intentions to pay back money claimed for these activities.

Every household in the country would like the services of a cleaner and a gardener. Most of us either pay for these out of our pockets, or do without and do the work ourselves. Yet taxpayers are expected to fork out so Gordon Brown and company can keep the heirlooms dusted and their herbacious borders looking trim? In their second homes? Read more »

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confused.com to the rescue

Posted in humbug alert on October 7th, 2009 by george

logoMy daughter turned 17 on Monday. So, after a bracing cup of cowboy coffee, I finally made the phone call I had been dreading. I wanted to know how much it would cost to insure my daughter to drive my car. Am I nuts? Read more »

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the tax office is away from its desk spending your money

Posted in humbug alert, rants on October 6th, 2009 by george

logo hm rev & customsHere is a sorry tale of modern day ineptitude.

My twin sons in New York bought their younger brother in England a birthday present. In good faith they mailed it to him at our home address. A considerable amount of time passed, after which we received a letter from Parcelforce Worldwide, informing us that HM Revenue & Customs had raised(?) a VAT charge of £18.44 on my son’s parcel. To this Parcelforce had added a Clearance Fee of £8. Delivery of the parcel was subject(?) to payment of charges totalling £26.44.

And so, a 14 year old boy must save up most of his pocket money for 3 weeks in order to receive his birthday present? Read more »

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scraps from the high table dont make it

Posted in humbug alert, opinion, rants on October 5th, 2009 by george

I was browsing comments after watching this moving video clip. Most were full of praise and wonder. One stood out in opposition. The writer claimed global warming was a hoax, suggested the speech and video were part of a sinister political exercise, and most disturbingly, claimed the USA was ‘the most generous nation in the world’.

Quite how he thought that dubious fact countered what the young girl had said is beyond me. But it highlights a flaw in so many of our good intentions. We are confusing donating with sharing. They are not the same. Read more »

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