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beowulf or onomatopeia?

By ATWadmin On October 6th, 2007 at 8:14 am

I think that I can state that the ‘Today’ is the pre-eminent political and current affairs programme in any spectrum of British broadcasting. Everyone who is, or wants to be anybody wants either to appear, or to be referred to on this programme. It’s presenters have gained an audience which is unprecedented for any programme, and because of this, regularly provide moments which generate paroxysms of annoyance or bliss amongst it’s listeners. "Why didn’t he ask that question?" or "Why did the interviewer let him/her/it off the hook so easily?" are just two of the infinite combinations which are generated regularily amongst it’s listeners! In amongs it’s many imitators, perhaps ‘Newsnight’ with Jeramy Paxman comes close in appeal, but ‘Today’ has very few competitors in either radio or television.

Which brings me to the point of this post. We listen to ‘Today’ because it is one of the very few programmes which even attempt to elicit answers from the political elite and the chattering classes, and it is certainly the only one which was given  access to Margaret Thatcher, a person whose dislike of the BBC was legendary. So why in heaven’s name are they splattering bloody poetry all over the airwaves? All this week, lettered lunacy has reigned, culminating with six minutes on the bleedin’ Duke of York’s alleged ten thousand men? We want to hear about things which matter, and what do they give us? Strophe, antistrophe and epode of the ode form! Alliteration ad infinitum! I despair!

 

donkeys led by donkeys!

By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 9:00 am

With the dismal prospect of a week without any postal delivery service now in effect, has anyone had a cold look at the future for the postal workers as they docilely march out of the sorting offices and stand shouting on the picket lines.

With Leighton and Crozier of Royal Mail attempting to run a profitable business, and offering a pay deal which they reckon they can afford, together with a negotiated removal of some 117 ‘Spanish’ or restrictive practices, they should be used to the intransigence and stupidity of the union representatives in their replies.

 The union leaders haven’t reminded their people that there is a new word in town, and that word is ‘Competition’. Foreign and domestic competitors are queuing up to grab and scrabble over the decaying corpse before it has even has a chance to have a decent burial, and the postmen don’t even know they exist!

I wonder if the union people have ever had a quick look at recent history, especially when it comes to strikes and their outcomes? Remember the print unions striking against Murdoch and his automated plant out in Wapping? The result. lots of strikers lost their jobs, but the industry survives and today is vibrant and alive!

cranes%203.jpgRemember the London dockworkers and their interminable disputes? The result is plain to see; acres of abandoned docks now full of flats, businesses and warehouses, and down the road, automated Tilbury is so busy you can’t get in!

Rember Scargill and his doomed Miners’ Strike? Not many coal mines left in Britain, when, with a reasonable attitude, some could have been rescued! 

Postal Union Leaders? More like ‘Last Stand’ suicide defenders!

 

THE BEST IN THE WORLD???

By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 8:08 am

undgr.gifOK – so who out here who regularly uses the London Underground thinks it is “the best in the world?”


Better than that in Paris? Better than New York? Really??


I have to say that I am surprised to read that a poll of world travellers by TripAdvisor reveals that people outside the UK believe that the capital’s transport system is one of the safest and most efficient public transport networks in the world. The Underground and the ever-cheerful London cabbie come in for particularly high praise. The findings may come as something of a shock to the city’s commuters, who among other things have had to deal with two days of Tube strikes earlier this summer and regular delays.


Whilst I quite like London’s cabbies – I find that the Underground is far too crowded, unreliable and ever since 7/7, a tad on the dangerous side. I know it is an engineering marvel, I know it was way ahead of its time. I still use it – but have to say that I prefer others such as that in Washington or Paris. 


Your view?

The Foreign Criminal Map Of England & Wales

By ATWadmin On October 4th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

795151-1070137-thumbnail.jpgIS this what the Left means by diversity?

NO SMOKING IN YOUR CAB!

By ATWadmin On October 3rd, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Did you see that a lorry driver has been fined £260 for smoking in his cab?

Leonard King is one of the first to fall foul of regulations that stop workers lighting up in business vehicles. His lorry, which carried a no smoking sign, was parked when a council dog warden spotted him puffing away. The official decided to take down the number plate when Mr King flicked his finished cigarette out of the window and drove off. The vehicle was traced to Rhyl, North Wales, where anti-smoking legislation was introduced in April, three months ahead of England. Work vehicles used by more than one person must be ‘smoke-free at all times’, according to the Department of Health. Only work vehicles used by a single driver are exempt. Mr King, a father of two, was issued with fixed penalties for smoking illegally in his cab and for littering.

I’m sorry but this is surreal. Here is a man, on his own, in a parked lorry, choosing to smoke in it. What’s the problem? Surely this is a matter of personal liberty being stubbed out by the health fascists!

DIANA-GATE

By ATWadmin On October 3rd, 2007 at 12:11 pm

diana.jpgI don’t know what you think BUT I wish that the late Princess Diana could be allowed to just rest in peace with the freakshow media circus.  I read that intimate details of Princess Diana’s life will be heard at the inquest into her death, but evidence of pregnancy may never be known, a judge has said. Lord Justice Scott Baker said scientific evidence might not be able to demonstrate either way that she was pregnant when she died in a car crash. What has this to do with anything? She is dead. It’s the past. How painful to those who loved her to have this continually flogged by the media to boost their sales. Al Fayed’s wild allegations are distasteful and I don’t see why there has to be ANOTHER inquest. But just think of all those media headlines…

you take’s your pick!

By ATWadmin On October 3rd, 2007 at 10:00 am

When it comes to statues, I veer towards the true heroes and heroines of our land. whether it be Lady Thatcher, the Prime Minister who changed our land from a fool’s paradise into a decent place to live; my own boyhood hero whose likeness is illuminated by the words, "Jackie Milburn, a Footballer and a Gentleman", Lord Nelson, the Admiral who could rightly be said to have saved our Nation, or the pugnacious figure of Sir Winston Churchill, the individual whose personal impact on the British political and global scene still casts tremors down the annals of history.

I dismiss as sheer irrelevancies the luvvies’ favourites, the statue of the terrorist Mandela or the grotesque image set upon the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, but I really would like to view the people’s true favourite, in a prominent position outside Downing Street, for example; just to remind our Gordon of the truth "Remember that you too are but human!"

signs of the times

By ATWadmin On October 3rd, 2007 at 7:52 am

When one sees the plethora of signs telling the reader to do this, or more often ‘don’t do that’; the ones which really annoy me are those which attempt to spread the instruction further than the legislation allows.

When you see  a sign in the entrance of a hospital stating that smoking is not allowed "On the Street’ adjacent to the entrance, you must accept that the health fascists have spread their web further than ever, despite the actual fact that, as the street and the adjoining pavement form the public highway, the hospital has no jurisdiction on any area past their own physical boundaries, and they are just putting the sign up because they feel able to!

 When I see signs such as this:-
 795151-1067498-thumbnail.jpg 

 

 

 

or this:-

795151-1067500-thumbnail.jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 or even this:-

 signs%205.jpg 

 

 

 I don’t really mind, but the one sign I really want to see displayed all over this once-proud country, would be a local version of this!

 

Memo To Police: Know Your Role

By ATWadmin On October 2nd, 2007 at 4:53 pm

From England Expects we hear of yet more outrageous impertinence from Bournemouth last week, where the Labour Party conference was taking place:

A LUNCHTIME pint at their local pub took a more sinister turn on Wednesday when two disabled men found themselves at the centre of a police search operation. Bob Hamlen, 47, and Michael Burbidge, 31, were stunned when they were surrounded by uniformed officers as they sat on a bench outside the Westcliff Tavern in West Cliff Road, Bournemouth.

The pub patio area overlooks the security checkpoint at the entrance to the Highcliff Marriott Hotel where top-ranking politicians are staying during this week’s Labour party conference.

What did the police do to Bob Hamlen and Michael Burbidge?

"It was so over the top, there were about eight officers around us asking questions which was very frightening. "We told them we lived round the corner and this was our local pub. But, while an armed officer pointed his gun at us from the other side of the street, they made us empty our pockets and put all our possessions on the table. Then they checked all our credit cards and documents.

"I was carrying my disabled bus pass but it didn’t make any difference. I needed to go to the toilet and an officer went with me in case I escaped. After radioing through the information, they asked us to accompany them, in separate police cars, to the police station.

So what did Bob and Michael do to bring this down upon themselves? It must have been serious!

"They said the reason I was being taken to the police station was because I had been seen passing a white envelope.

"But all I did was take my post out of my jacket pocket and open an electricity bill.

Outrageous, eh? Well, it gets better:

"On Michael’s stop and search form they said they wanted to speak to him, under the Terrorism Act, because he had been looking at a police officer.

So what happens to you in Britain, in 2007, if you look at a police officer?

Bob, who has lived in the area for seven years, said: "Once at the police station we were taken to separate rooms and questioned for about 45 minutes.

"Then officers went with us to our flat and searched it before returning us to the pub. We feel violated and want an apology from the police."

So two Englishman, in England, were surrounded, searched, had a gun aimed at them, taken and held in a police station and had their homes invaded and searched – because one man opened an electricity bill and his mate looked at the police. Well done liberals, socialists and commies. You have the big state, big government country you always yearned for. This, inevitably, is what happens when the state believes it is above the people. You were warned but you thought you knew better.

All that’s left is for you to either defend it or admit that you were wrong and apologise.

Failing the Citizenship Test

By ATWadmin On September 30th, 2007 at 12:41 am

In The Times, I read that one of the government’s shiny new citizenship tests for immigrants was administered to a hundred people – an official from English Heritage among them – in a London pub, and that not one of them managed to gain the 75% score necessary to pass. Having seen the questions, which The Times helpfully reproduces, I can quite see why – some of them look bloody hard!

So, does this test, and, more specifically, the abject failure of the pubgoers who attempted it, mean that "Britishness" does not exist, or that those immigrants who take such tests – two thirds of whom pass – are in fact much more British than the natives will ever be? No doubt some on the left would like to think so. However, I would suggest that the reason that so many people failed the tests is that they bear no relationship to what it is to be British. Indeed, looking at the questions, I can see only seven which have any real place in such a test (numbers 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 16, and, at a push, 24). Of those only question 9 ("What type of constitution does the UK have?") is of essential importance in understanding our culture or history. As for the remaining seventeen questions: they are merely a set of random general knowledge questions, the answers to which could easily be learnt in a few days by anyone possessed of even the meanest intellect.

Certainly the questions contain absolutely no reference to any major events in British history; the events that gave birth to the nation as it is today are passed over in silence. There is no reference to King Alfred, to the Battle of Hastings, to Magna Carta, the Peasants’ Revolt, the Hundred Years’ War, the War of the Roses, the Reformation, the defeat of the Armada (not even to the role of the Turks!), the Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, John Wilkes, the development of the Empire, the Napoleonic Wars, the Great Reform Act, Catholic, Jewish, or female emancipation, or either world war. However there are three questions on the history of immigration to the UK (possibly in an attempt to promote the myth that "we are a nation of immigrants"?), as well as this one:

When was the first census carried out in the United Kingdom? A 1785 B 1801 C 1851 D 1912

Now, censuses may be important, but I hardly think that the date of the institution of the first one is a matter of vital importance. Knowing it might help you to win a pub quiz, but it won’t give you any real understanding of British history. The same goes for the following question:

What year did women in the UK gain the right to divorce their husband? A 1810 B 1857 C 1901 D 1945

While British history is largely turned into a matter of immigration and quiz questions, British culture fares far worse. Insofar as it is covered at all, that coverage consists of questions like the following:

How might you stop young people playing tricks on you at Hallowe’en? A Call the police B Give them some money C Give them sweets or chocolate D Hide from them

Now, my first objection is that the options exclude my personal choice, "give ’em a clip round the ear". Beyond that, however, I would point out that Hallowe’en, at least in its present form, is not a British cultural event at all, but an American one, imported into this country in the 1980s. One might as well include questions about The Simpsons, or Hollywood.

But, more important still, is the fact that, while questions about Hallowe’en and Mother’s Day are left in, British literature, art, music, and philosophy is entirely excluded. There is no Shakespeare, no Fielding, no Dickens, no Hogarth, Constable, Turner, or Millais, no Byron or Wordsworth, no Elgar, and no Locke, Hume, or Burke. And as for our national religion – the only question on that is one about the number of Catholics in the UK.

I have listed a number of areas which I believe that citizenship tests should cover. If the test were reorientated around these areas, would we see an improvement in the results achieved by our pubgoers? Possibly not. But we could at least be sure that those immigrants who did pass the test had passed because they had some real knowledge of our history and culture, rather than because they had memorised a set of unrelated and largely irrelevant facts.