Sunday, 30 May 2010

A blurred week...

Monochrome adventures, mazes that lead to nowhere, a set of objects, one more bizarre than the last - it can only be a Zelda Game!

That was the reason why I packed up video games original. I have an addictive personality.

However, I will keep you updated on my progress on Zelda. Currently on Level 5!

(Update: Finished a week later - I rule Hyrule! (except this particular adventure was set on Koholint)

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Feeling a bit busy

Get playlist, organise auditions, figure out how to fix a BBQ.

If this does not pay off, then I will eat my Game Boy!

Blog posts are going to be a bit thin for the next couple of weeks...

Friday, 28 May 2010

Happy Days - I found my Gameboy!

Look what I found when clearing up my attic...



Yes, that's right, my GAMEBOY! Black and White, monochrome, old skool, something like 18 or 19 years old! And still working - amazing. Plug in some batteries and off I go. And guess what was the first game I started playing 'again'...

Zelda! I rule...


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Hay Fever

I have been dribbling from both noses today.

How pathetic.

Anyway, popped my first pill of the year with regards to Hay Fever.

I think I need a holiday. Only in Europe do I get this much allergy.

Yuck!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tips from the South London Driving School (1)

While driving, if you decide to hit and run, make sure you do not have a personalised number plate.

And running, on foot, towards Camberwell is not going to help you either.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I am in my Thirties (now)

Wow.

I am thirty.

Finally reached it.

The beginning of the fourth decade of my life.

A lot more sober than when I began my 3rd decade.

A lot more guarded, but to be honest, I have less to worry about and more to revel in.

A little bit more experienced? A little bit calmer.

Shockingly, a lot fitter...

And after spending 24 hours awake, I have had enough of the hallucinations. I will spend my 30th, asleep!

Monday, 24 May 2010

I am in my Twenties (still)

Ah the Twenties. The most optimistic decade of a man's existence now comes rapidly to an end. I only have divorce, despair and death to look forward to, such is my understanding of this tumultuous milestone in my so-called life.

I have spent the bet part of two years worrying about trying to achieve before I am thirty. The fact is that the best thing I have done is kept myself alive and my ass clean in the intervening years.

The decade started off optimistically enough. I had changed my course in life, felt invincible and was enjoying myself to the full. Over the years I experienced many things, some good and some bad, that left no permanent damage to my health. Yes, I drank a lot over the first half of the decade, smoked like a chimney and dabbled in some minor drugs. So did the rest of the population. Then I stopped, suddenly, and became an aesthetic teetotaler. My diet changed from meat heavy to more fish. I began to chill out a bit more as well. I got into fights, I fell in love, I fell out of love, I mucked about with prostitutes and porn, was deceptive and honest. I was brave and at times incredibly foolish with my emotions. But in many ways I am exactly the same as ten years ago.

I have more money in my pocket, but such is my personality, it never remains there for long. Like water in a desert, my finances have a tendency to evaporate from my fingers. But I work hard for my cash, and one thing I can proudly say is that I do not steal. My pennies have always been honest.

I have experienced the bad. At the beginning of my twenties my friend died. Added to that, my father's death in my teens and far too much time was spent contemplating my final destination rather than looking forward to life. But this has also steeled me into trying to make something out of my life. I do try, hard, but usually in the wrong direction. I need to find a rich and influential family member, but they are few and far between.

I have traveled. A hell of a lot. I have seen war zones and beauty, reconnected with my family and my roots. I myself have nearly died in the middle of the desert - take my advice, water is the key to life! I have seen things that few of my contemporaries have seen, touched places, that even fewer locals have dared to go. I am adventurous, and really on a shoestring I have gone to some crazy places. I have slept on the tops of temples, been shelled at a market place and ridden trucks through mountain tops. I have bantered with border guards, dined with the destitute and sat on ships crossing the seas. In all, my travels are probably the most successful part of my twenties.

I am filming. Note that this is not in the past tense. Despite the setbacks and the knockdowns, there is still a belief inside of me that is burning bright. A belief that what I am doing is correct, despite logic, the naysayers and anything else that humanity throws at me. I do not know what will be the eventual outcome of this journey. Needless to say, I am still walking this path, and this has become a very busy period with regards to my life behind the lens.

And so, I look back at my twenties and wave goodbye to the third decade of my life on this planet. Assuming I live to sixty, I have got thirty more years to make something grand out of my life. It is a precious thing, a gift, and it is so hard to capture. But much of it is for the moment as well. I have enjoyed the journey, but I am also impatient to reach some sort of a destination as well. Destiny/Fate/God/I/Life has/have not allowed me to do so just yet. These are exciting and interesting times.

So goodbye Mr. Twenty year old. It has been one fun ride. And yes, I have grown up slightly, but ironically, I still feel more childlike than when I first entered this phase of my life. Maybe a little wisdom has been implanted into me during these intervening years. But I am relieved to have finally reached this particular point in my life. Less worry can be spent on trying to run to a timescale and more energy can be expended into making something a little more beautiful. Grand ideals, perhaps. But like the billions of humans that have come before me and the billions that will come after me, along with the billions that currently inhabit Earth right now - I want this life to mean something. But will I ever discover what this meaning is meant to be? A question for the ages, or just for the next decade...

Sunday, 23 May 2010

On the film set - again



Yesterday was kind of like a warm-up for what will happen next month. A brief shoot for a competition, and this time I was IN FRONT of the camera, not behind it! And, once again, it is easy to be an actor!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Water Bottle - R.I.P.




It is only two years old and has served me well, but yesterday the cap slipped off as I cycled along the river. Then my tyre punctured. Which, was a good thing, as it forced me to go the the bike shop to actually get my gears repaired. I have been cycling on only one gear for the past month now.

Now that summer is here in all its glory (for one week) a shiny new water bottle is going to be on the top of my shopping list!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Help! Filming...

I wanted to do a blog post about the South Circular, but that has to be delayed - it has become a bit of a filming time, and that means business is abound!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

London's Olympic Mascot

Well, it is an event designed by a committee,

London's Olympic Mascot.

Oh dear, here comes Itchy and Scratchy...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Your life path...

This is an interesting link:

Ari Gill's Life Path.

To quote from this 'horoscope' description of one of the two lead actors from CWP:

'...Ari...has got a fine mind...an analytical thinker...intimacy is difficult for Ari, because he guards his inner world like a mother lion guards her cubs...Ari should guard against...shutting out the love of others and keeping him from experiencing the true joy of friendship and closeness....'

Bulls**t - someone just copied my description of the character of Jay!

After so long, why have I decided to revisit CWP? Well, do not confuse a lack of internet output with a killing off of the project. CWP is far from dead, and I have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. A hell of a lot.

Some of this work has not paid off, but some has. I am under no illusions that there is so much more to do. But (and herein lies the rub) some things may come to fruition.



Will be keeping you all updated ;)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Rush

Up, breakfast, shower, drive, shop, tube, meet, tube, work, bed.

timetable for madness?

Monday, 17 May 2010

A visit to Tottenham Marches

It is not often that I venture north of the Thames, much less this far north into my home city. Such is the psychological and cultural divide that the River Thames has on me. But, on meeting up with a friend who I have not seen in ages, this is where I ended up - on the River Lee in Tottenham...



Like my first visit to the Parkland Walk last year, this is one of those accidental stumbles that I have encountered in this fair city. And like the Parkland Walk, this is going to be a place that I will return to in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future as I look for another part of the city to explore in depth!



A very brief, wikipedieaed history. The Tottenham Marshes is an area of the River Lee that also forms part of the Lee Valley walk, a green ribbon that follows this important tributary of the Thames right the way through London. Something of a surprise to find in an area more known for housing estates, the Tottenham Marshes is a tranquil zone of fun, well loved buy the local community that is just waiting to be explored by someone like me. A great cafe sits by the canalside and if you feel like scampi, this is the place to come!

I will be returning here one day. But for now, here is something to whet my appetite...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

It's a wonderful day for Plov...

I will be in the kitchen today, recalling some of my most evocative travels in the shape of a Kazaan!



Results to be announced soon...

Saturday, 15 May 2010

iTunes is crap - again!

Ah, iTunes, the bane of my life.

Now on version 9.1.1. It is crap, bug ridden, and all the rest of it.

To all those who have a Mac, if you have not switched it on in the last six months, than remember NOT to upgrade from iTunes 8.xx. Why, because iTunes 9.whatever is S**T!

On my old Mac, I am still running iTunes 7.whatever, and it runs great. On my new one, I have the latest, souped up version, which is ridden with another major flaw.

Let me turn the clock back. When iTunes 9 came out, we lost the usefulness of the green button.

Now we have a new problem. iTUnes gets stuck.

Let me explain, yet again. You pop on iTunes, then do your work, say type out a blog post. You then go to make a cup of tea. While your kettle is boiling, the screensaver comes on.

You come back, and reactivate your computer to go back to typing or whatever you were doing. You press the back button on iTunes, and lo and behold, the app us jammed! You can no longer shuffle back to that great tune by Aqua that you missed on while making that cup of tea!

So, a warning to all the Apple fanboys out there. Do not download any version of iTunes 9. Stick with your older version. They may not look as pretty, but THEY WORK!

And Apple, we love the fact that iTunes is free. But iTunes 9 is akin to me going over to a tramp in winter and giving him a cashmere cardigan as an upgrade to a jacket. Bloody useless! How many more bugs are going to come out of this filthy upgrade?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Crossings of the River Thames 30: Canary Wharf – Rotherhithe Ferry

It has been a long time since I have travelled on a ferry. Far too long. But such is the lushness of the River Thames and the bizarreness of London's waterfront history, that ferries are in fact a very good way of crossing the River in this part of the city. And so, I as I follow the Thames, downstream through the centre of the city, I come to crossing point number 30, the Canary Wharf-Rotherhithe Ferry.



There is not a lot of history to be found online about this ferry, but as ever in London, the crossing itself is a very interesting way to cross the river. As befits a ferry service, this is a remanent of the once many ferries that would have crossed the River Thames in days of old. And so, while the surroundings itself are quite modern (in addition to the ferry service itself probably being a modern incarnation) it carries on the tradition of waterman that have plied their trade on the River. This is still a well used waterway, and one that carries a great many goods and in recent years, increasing numbers of commuters through London itself.

But the Canary Wharf-Rotherhithe Ferry is a ferry in the traditional sense of the word. A boat service linking two opposite sides of the River, and in the case of London, this is the most expensive way for a pedestrian to cross the Thames. At £3.20 for a standard single ticket (cheaper if you have an oyster), this makes the other nearby options of using the Jubilee Line an absolute bargain. But as always with Ferries, it is an extremely fun way to cross the river, and surprisingly nippy, despite the coarse winds that frequent this part of London.

I started in Canary Wharf, symbol of London's financial prowess and depending on how tits up our economy goes, could become a symbol of Britain's fiscal failure. For now however, money still pours out of here to the privileged few that shunt off their ill gotten gains to tax havens worldwide. Taking a punt on African debt, or wanting to see how some child slum dweller's nimble fingers are going to increase your portfolio? This is the place where it matter. If you want to actually feel how powerless and worthless you life is, then take a walk in the shadow of Britain's tallest building, a HQ of sorts for the current world order...



From here it is only a few steps to the wharf on the Thames. Off to the booth and buy your ticket. Then wait for the ferry. It runs fairly frequently towards the other side of the river, and so the wait is a pleasant one. If you're lucky you can take a brief stroll around the pier to see the panorama of the rest of the city, and even take a photo...



But onto the ferry itself. It may not look much from the outside, but this is a mighty beast of the River. The Thames is a tricky waterway to navigate. It is busy enough that other boats are regularly plying the waters. Plus it is tidal, and the fact that you are in the middle of an urban area (with Health and Safety breathing own your neck) means that the men and women who work the river are skilled in the positions of responsibility.



As I have mentioned on many of these riverine posts, this is an odd crossing. And this one is no different. Although its primary purpose is to transport the guests of the hotel in Rotherhithe to the business quarter in Canary Wharf, it is a service that is open to the general public. This means that to actually access the piers, on either side of the river, you have to pass on privately owned land. This is the only case in London where a landowner, in theory, could restrict your ability to freely cross the Thames. Now of course, such a restriction could be challenged in the courts, but for now, revel in the fact that the big boys allow us humble plebs to cross the Thames with impunity!

The ferry crossing itself is over very quickly. In a couple of minutes, you are whisked across the Thames, in relative style and cushioned from the elements. Or if you feel adventurous, you can feel the slight salty tang on your lips and brave the outdoor world of the ferry!



On the south bank, it is a quick walk through the hotel lobby and car park to the street outside in Rotherhithe. A very pretty part of the city, one where the mix of modernity has blended in smoothly with the history of the area. Rotherhithe is a fascinating part of the world to visit and will surely feature on one of my Londonesque travels to be conjured up this summer.

But for reference sakes, if you are on the South Bank looking to head north of the river, it can be tricky to find the pier, so this is what to look out for when on the street:



Yep, just head through into the car park and you will find your way into the hotel lobby where you can take the ferry back towards the East End. As for me, my journey to visit all of London's river crossings continues downstream to my eventual target. Three more crossings are left to visit in London, unbelievable that the end is in sight for this grand project. Join me next month as I bring you some subterranean tales as I cross the River Thames...

Getting there and Away:

On the northbank, the nearest tube is actually Westferry station on the Docklands Light Railway (not Canary Wharf) which is a five minute walk from the pier. Bus routes 135, 277 (24 hours), D3, D7, D8 and N550 (night time only) pass by Canary Wharf pier itself.

On the southbank, the sole form of transport is bus route C10 which stops outside the Hilton Docklands.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Film News

With the mad dash of film making upon me, it is becoming very busy in the world of Babarouge...will keep you all updated!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

History or just another day at the Trough?

Well,m it was a peaceful few days, but unfortunately, the politicians have put aside their differences (I wear a blue stripe, you wear a yellow one) for the Greater Good of the country (and their pockets). So instead of bickering, and shuffling around in fast cars around Westminster, we have a government. The first coalition since WWII! That means back to claiming expenses for gardeners, tea cosies and duck houses amongst other things. Well, it was a peaceful few days. Roll on the next Hung Parliament!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Cash flows

Today i going to be an expensive day.

In fact, this week is truly expensive.

May is not a month to save money.

Damn.

And I was doing so well beforehand...

Best intentions, but who cares.

I should enjoy it!

But how can I?

Maybe I need a credit card.

0% transfer on balances.

Every night in the pub.

Or maybe I need to get a better job.

Oh yes, that laughable path of 'working your way to the top'.

Or maybe I should just be related to someone who has already made it?

Mmm, oh well, it is going to be an expensive month!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Wandering in Wandsworth...

Just a random blog spot for today:



When I was in Wandsworth, I went for a wander...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Shaking up of Politics

The first thing that is going to happen, whoever is in power is going to be tackling the deficit. In fact, that is going to take up so much of the new government's time, that there will little else they can do.

The second is going to be political reform. The MP's expenses, Lobbygate plus general dissatisfaction with First Past the Post, plus a House of Lords that is an acronym means that some sort of political reform is going to be needed. I do like the current system of electing MP's, in that it gives us, the people a local link to Parliament, and can allow us to elect independents on strong local issues. But it is very hard to get rid of an MP that is found to be corrupt if he or she wants to stay, plus there are a lot of votes that do not get recognised. PR has its advantages too, along with its disadvantages. All types of democracy are a compromise, but it is quite clear that the current system leaves some room for imagination. Whatever the oucome, there needs to be some change. Too many of us voters are left very disappointed with the current state of affairs, unable to properly express ourselves.

The farce with the voting times also leaves much to be desired. We have become a 24 hour society, yet our electoral syste has not caught up with that. The fact that people were denied a right to vote makes us look Zimbabwean in competence.

So, whether we are going to have a minority Tory administration or a strong coalition, I hope these guys listen to us and go ahead with some kind of reform, not just another enquiry. But a reform that actually means something to us, the masters of the politicians...

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Hung Parliament Begin...

I'm shocked.

I got what I wanted.

A Hung Parliament.

A bit too many Con seats for my liking, and surprisingly fewer Lib Dem seats, but overall, I'm chuffed!

Learn to work together. You people need to earn our trust...

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Result?

I probably won't stay up to see all the results from the election, but I am thankful that I was able to vote despite my sarcastic tone in yesterday's post.

I love democracy, I just hate the politicians and the political class. But, the biggest story of this election is the turnout and the subsequent cock-up of people not being able to vote. Admittedly, in my polling station, I was surprised by how busy it was. I took my ballot papers and went into the booth. When I turned around, some 30 seconds later, half a dozen people were queuing up for the papers. But look elsewhere, some people were not as lucky as me. They were unable to vote, even though they wished to do so - and we call the UK a sophisticated democracy. The disgrace is that the police were called to chase away voters!

If there is any evidence that we are heading to a totalitarian state, this is it. In a way, a Tory win will do one good thing - cut police numbers...

Thursday, 6 May 2010

How to Vote then, personal thoughts on the whole f**k up

Register with your local council. The disadvantage of this is that you are then forced to pay Council Tax, but once every so often you get to mark an 'X' in a box like some indentured labourer signing a contract for his servitude in some far flung colony (that will be another story, another day).

Next, walk to your local Polling Booth. Our last PM had a great rep for this photo op. Mine is not as elegant, but this is where I get to go to cast my 'X'.



Hop inside and smile at the scowling volunteer who will scratch your name off from the register. At this point, if you have already posted off your vote, then do not worry as electoral fraud is only limited to the mickey mouse elections such as the Houses of Parliament.

You will get given a sheet of paper or if there are two elections going on that day (say for your local council as well as the great stinking house of crap on the Thames) you will get two sheets of paper.

On this sheet are a bunch of names that you do not recognise and a box, where you mark an 'X' to the person who you despise the least.

What you really want to do is write something like WANKERS on your ballot paper, but that means your vote is not counted. Of course, there is no box which allows you to vote for 'None of the Above', so if you want to protest at the system without finding yourself at our Iranian inspired Anti-Terror Legislation, then this is the only chance you get.

Go back home, or to work and wait 24 hours. After that, these little pieces of papers are counted, filtered and tumble dried until one politician is elected to receive public funds in order to fatten their own wallets.

---

The last five years have been hilarious. First, our great leader told us that he was comforted by God in his invasion of Iraq. Next, he increased the time that you, me or any other decent person could spend in jail because they did not agree with his God. Next, we had a coronation whereby a new leader was shoved in. He decided to bail out his buddies in the banks and drag our country into the kind of debts that, if they are lucky, my children may be able to pay off.

So I look forward to the next five years. Probably a new leader, flush with cash from Belize. Instead of ID Cards, there will be some new pet project to line his buddies pockets. Probably the privatisation of the NHS to someone or something.

I give up. I hate the lot of them. Bastards. Oh and instead of a terror suspect, I will probably become an Internet suspect or something over the next five years of ruling comedy. It would be funny, if only they did not filch so much money from us...

I do appreciate the fact that I am able to vote. Not so much because there is a great list of candidates to choose from, but because there is a fundamental freedom in this country, despite the best efforts of politicians everywhere to take away those freedoms during the course of my lifetime. Basically I can spout what I want about those idiots and not worry about going to jail. Of course, if I mention something like 'Osama Bin Laden gives great Head', I will probably find the Anti-Terror squad on my doorstep, but that is a different matter...

None of the political parties have answered what I want to know about the economy, the real pressing subject, during the entire course of this election. Therefore, I am casting my vote in ignorance of what is going to effect me the most – my wallet. Instead, I am casting my vote based on personality and fringe issues such as what colour should they paint the local town hall. Such has been the cult of personality that all our political classes projects to us, thinking that we are an ignorant mass of tax payers. It is a wonder that any of us bother to turn out and cast that 'X'...

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Aliens and Us

I love Science Fiction and I love space. Naturally that means anything on the TV with the word 'Star' in in, pretty much becomes compulsory viewing for me. I really enjoy a flick at the cinema that ventures into the realm of possibilities beyond my current time span.

I would love to meet aliens. Either them invading Earth, them coming to visit or the very unlikely event of being part of a human expedition beyond the stars. A hundred years ago, it would not have been conceivable to fly across the oceans in the way we do, let alone depend on satellites orbiting the Earth far above our heads, but it is a part of the modern world. Yet, despite all the hoopla, we are no closer to realistically crossing the vast distances between the stars in any meaningful time scale. The Voyager probe has only just begun to leave the Solar System, over thirty years ago, and as the most far flung man-made object ever, it is only some 15 LIGHT HOURS away from Earth. For reference sakes, Proxima Centurai is over four LIGHT YEARS away. Clearly, we have a long way to go before we get Far Beyond the Stars...

But there is one more way to search for the proverbial E.T. Via light, or more accurately, Radio Waves. Our presence of Earth has been detectable before the Space Age really took off. Our Radio and Television broadcasts as well as our use of Radar has meant that we have been leaking information into space for a very long time.

And maybe some other alien race has been doing this too, hence (about umpteen years too late) I downloaded the SETI@home project in order to help with the search for intelligent alien life. Again, space is very big, it is very unlikely that we will find something at random in the sky. Even if SETI does find something, we humans will probably dismiss it as a glitch in the matrix. Remember, we have only broadcasting out into space for eighty years, and who knows whether we will continue to do so? As I saw on The Sky at Night, with digital television becoming a reality, we are actually loosing one form of our outward broadcast into space. Plus we are assuming that someone out there is listening to us.

Still, nothing like feeling community spirited, and taking part in some grand but ultimately futile project.

But let me get back to the alien thing. There has to be life on other planets. I think it is only a matter of time before we find evidence to support this. I do believe that in my lifetime, we will find life on other worlds. Nothing spectacular, probably bugs and fungi. But nonetheless, there is a distinct possibility that this will happen. And if we do find life, however simple, then it shows that life can independently evolve where the conditions are right to do so. And that will lead to another question, what really lies beyond the stars...

I am taking part in a minute way to search for E.T. In all seriousness, I think it is ridiculous to believe that we are the only life in the Universe. For me, such ideas equate to the European belief 500 odd years ago that the Sun revolved around the Earth. We are living on just one of many rocks that hurtle through space. Eventually, our telescopes will get better, we will be able to see further and in more detail. And who knows. Maybe one day, we could all be texting some alien chick who lives just round the stellar corner...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Oh Yes it is an election (7) - The Placard

Despite the twittering, the newsfeeds and the blogging, you could eaisly miss the fact that we are in a cmpagin for a General Election if it as not for one thing. The amount of Placards dotting the landscape.

For some awful reason, I had to leave the confines of London today. And as I was driving, the placards were a mixture of Lib Dems and Tory but with far more Lib Dem placards in the suburbs of the city. But as soon as I hit the greenbelt, the landscape was bathed in blue and an urge to 'vote for change'.

Mmm, I guess this election will not be decided in the shires then...

Monday, 3 May 2010

Oh yes it is an election (6) - A look back at Labour

Thing Could only get Better...

Thirteen years ago, Blair won a landslide victory that propelled the Labour Party into governance. It has been an interesting few years, and we as a public have got so used to spin and image that it now forms the very fabric of our baseless society. For who needs to work if you can look like a pin up model with a glass of sparkling chardonnay in your hand while the cameras snap your pic?

So the good things that Labour has done while in power (and I am assuming that they will loose the election on May 6th):

The Freedom of Information Act (and the preceding Data Protection Act). Good in theory, bit sluggish in practice. While I still think the government hides a hell of a lot of its matters, there is a lot in there that means we have a (slightly) more transparent understanding of what happens in the corridors of power.

Constitutional Reform. Despite the stop/start nature of reform, overall, it can be said that Devolution has been a good thing. From my own perspective, it has given Londoners a lot more accountability when coming to control local services. Just look at how we did not get snowed in this year, as Boris was determined to keep the city moving! However, there is still along way to go as is evidenced by the recent Parliamentary Scandals.

Northern Ireland. A lot of credit also has to go to John Major too, but the days of the IRA bringing London to a standstill are thankfully a distant memory.

The National Minimum Wage (plus the subsequent laws on Holiday time). When I started working, I was lucky enough to work for an employer that actually paid something half decent. £3.39/hour seems paltry now, but it was a king's wages compared to the £2.50/hr that many of my contemporaries were getting in 1996. Plus I was working Sundays, which meant more pay. But exploitation in legitimate jobs was rife. Today, that no longer seems the case, and even McDonalds has to adhere to minimum levels of pay and holidays.

But, oh yes, there is always a but, where did Labour go wrong?

Money. Like everyone else, its MP's were as bad as anyone else when it came to the trough. The phrase whiter than white haunts his party as scandal after scandal has ripped it apart.

Constitutional Reform. What it started, it did not finish. An Upper Chamber that isaccessible through bribes and a lower chamber that does not fully represent the electorate. I almost feel Russian in our democratic ways.

War. This is the big one. A lot of people are pissed off with this. Iraq was illegal. An oil war, pure and simple. And then there is Afghanistan. Even if the initial results from Afghanistan in the ousting of (the CIA created) Taliban was a good thing, our continuing prescience in a country that does not want us there is something that makes a lot of people uneasy. And do not forget the shredding of our civil liberties that has been linked to these wars.

Money. This time, our money. We are broke. We did not save during the good times and now we are screwed as an economy. We are going to get tax rises and public sector cuts. Life is going to get very tough over the next few years. And I am still betting on a new recession to hit us. Once Labour leaves government, this will (unfortunately) be their legacy after 13 years. Labour did not do a bad job, they were not a terrible government, and there was some real progression under their tutelage. But unfortunately, any government that has been in power for this long is tired of doing things. Overall verdict: Things did get a little bit better, then got a little bit worse...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Oh Yes it is an Election (5) - Who will win it?

The Tories. A working majority. I predict 20 seats in their favour.

Not that I want them to. Not that I do not want them to. But I still stick to my prediction that I made at the beginning of this awful campaign.

I would still like to see a Hung Parliament. But the rest of the country does not. Instead the scaremongering will be believed, and yes, the Tories would have finally bought their way back into power.

We do need a change of government, and more importantly we need a change in the way that the government works. The talk of being able to dump your MP via the first past the post system is crap - how does Margret Moran et al still draw their wages if the First Past the Post System works.

For me, that is going to be the greatest tragedy of this election. No matter who gets in, we are screwed economically. But the wasted chance to change a rotten electoral system will be something that we as a nation will be kicking ourselves for years to come...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Thought Crime - Poetic Justice

Let me be blunt. Tony Blair was an evil bastard. There is no two ways about it. I hope that fucker goes to hell.

I do not think Gordon is the devil incarnate. In fact, he is not a bad man, just not a very good Prime Minister. Yes, the #bigotedwoman was a cock up, which I think has overshadowed what has been a very dull campaign. And I would feel sorry for him, as all he has been guilty of is Thought Crime. But guess what, it was his government that introduced Thought Crime into Law.

Let me give an example. If I type into this blog something like: 'I love Osama Bin Laden', all the tax money that I give will be used on millions of tiny little e-bots controlled by MI5, and the MET Police will be screaming down to my place to drag me out in the middle of the night and lock me in a cell indefinitely for the safety of the public. Cal it poetic justice, but I was quite happy to see Uncle Gordon get slaughtered due to his part in supporting Anti-Terror legislation.

The Anti-Terror Act will not get reversed no matter who gets into power, we are stuck with it. Of all of Labour's legacies, this is the one that has stained them the most over the past 13 years. And no matter who we vote for, the government will always get in...