Sunday, July 13, 2008

The wobbling white triangle of terror


ZIMBABWE IS crisis. Iraq is still a mess. Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Our roads system is approaching gridlock. Our filthy hospitals are killing patients. Most school-leavers can’t read or write. House prices have collapsed. The economy is in meltdown. Banks are being propped up by state money. And what does Wee Gordie Broon do? He breaks off from an 18-course banquet in Japan to give us a lecture on the evils of throwing away some three-day-old Brussels sprouts.

It really does beggar belief. The poor bloke has lost the plot to the extent that you wouldn’t be surprised to see the men in white coats sneaking up to the door of Number 10 with a straightjacket.

He was even at it again the next day, insisting that all cars in Britain should be battery-powered by 2020. And even more offensively, smirked that this revolution would be brought about by the pain of rising fuel prices. Has he really thought this through? This is, after all, a man who doesn’t drive and doesn’t even have a licence.

According to a list of electric cars in the Daily Telegraph – and in The Sun, which had scaled down its UFO coverage for the day – the average range of an electric car is between 40 and 60 miles. Well I don’t know about you, but that would get me to work but not get me back again. I’d be condemned to living in a Travelodge on a distant dual-carriageway, a bit like Alan Partridge but without the Big Plate.

And another thing. As Top Gear and the great man Clarkson recently proved, some electric cars produce more carbon emissions and are less economical than some modern diesels. And finally, what about people who live in the countryside? They need their cars just to get through everyday life. Public transport is a joke: my village gets two buses a week.

So it’s alright for some smug townie to gloat over rising fuel prices, but out here it’s a very serious matter. Take away my motor and I’m going to really struggle to get to the next virgin sacrifice, I tell you.

NOW I’M second to no-one in my demands that the defence budget should be more than adequate to keep our soldiers, sailors and pilots as safe as is possible, particularly when they’re off fighting silly wars on behalf of silly politicians.

So you would think that I would be pleased that we’d just signed up for two new aircraft carriers at a cost of a mere £4 billion. (We’ll set aside the fact that we can’t afford the planes to use them. After all, better to be safe than sorry and you never know when the Germans are likely to get stroppy again. You might also think that this money might be better spent on army vehicles which offer more protection that a Citroen 2CV to roadside bombs, but that’s another matter.)

So well done, our Scottish Prime Minister, and our Scottish Chancellor, and our part-time Scottish Defence Secretary, for awarding these job-preserving contracts to shipyards in … err … Scotland. True, some work will go to Barrow-in-Furness (John Hutton, Labour) and some to Portsmouth (Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Labour), but the bulk of the work will stay north of the border. How expedient.

WHILE WE’RE
talking about political expedience, can anyone explain to me the government’s cowardly ducking of the undoubtedly uncomfortable decision to cull badgers to stem the spread of bovine TB?

Now anyone who has ever seen badgers at play in the late evening will acknowledge their ‘teddy bear’ factor, but sometimes hard decisions have to be taken.

While steeling myself for a full-on assault from the bunny-huggers, I will rehearse the facts as we know them: a parliamentary select committee has recommended a cull; the government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir David King, has recommended a cull; so why did Hilary Benn (the alarmingly vegetarian Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) choose to ignore this advice?

A cynic would suggest that this Labour administration receives funding from animal rights groups and, given its precipitous financial situation, is loath to lose that support. Furthermore, one might reasonably expect Labour votes to be thin on the ground in rural England come the next election, while a flicker of hope might still remain amongst badger-loving urban voters who view the countryside through rose-tinted blinkers, rather than as Tennyson’s “red in tooth and claw” environment.

This is not an X Factor for cuddly animals; this is about the livelihoods of thousands of dairy farmers who have already seen almost 20,000 cattle slaughtered in the past year alone. It might be a difficult decision, it might upset nature lovers; but isn’t that what our MPs are there for? Cheap popularity contests should always come second to doing what is obviously right. Sadly, they clearly don’t.

TO THE dreaded country show at the weekend. Now as you’ll see from the above, I like wildlife as much as the next man, but I have to admit that if I never see another flapping falcon failing to return on cue to its mouse-waving master, then it won’t be too soon.

And then they bring on the Royal Corps of Signals White Helmets motorcycle team. If someone could explain to me how a pyramid of white-helmeted berks perched on motorbikes fits into the training of the modern army then I’d be much obliged. Perhaps it strikes mortal fear into the fuzzie-wuzzies when this fragile assembly of semaphore-flagging clerks comes wobbling across the plains of Kandahar. I somehow doubt it.

28 Comments:

Blogger Seaman Staines said...

Ahhhhh! Back to your old self Bazza - taking a swipe at the great Scottish nation, if it hadn't been for these fellows you would be missing out on a few things:
Sir William Arrol (1839–1913), bridge builder
Alexander Bain (1818–1903), fax machine
John Logie Baird (1888–1946), television
Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922), telephone, National Geographic, Hydrofoil
Henry Bell (1767–1830), ran Europe's first commercially successful steamboat
James Braid (1795–1860), hypnosis
James Chalmers (1782–1853), adhesive postage stamp
Sir Dugald Clark (aka Clerk), (1854–1932), first two stroke cycle engine (the Clark cycle)
Robert Davidson (1804–1894), first electric locomotive
James Dewar (1842–1923), inventor of the Thermos flask and co-developer of cordite
William Dickson (1860–1935), motion picture camera and the world's first film
John Boyd Dunlop (1840–1921), the modern rubber tyre
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881–1955), isolated Penicillin from the fungus Penicillium notatum
James Harrison (1816–1893), pioneer in mechanical refrigeration
James Bowman Lindsay (1799–1862), inventor of the constant electric light bulb
Charles Macintosh (1766–1843), patented waterproofing
Kirkpatrick MacMillan (1813–1878), the bicycle
John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836), modern road construction
Sir Robert McAlpine (Concrete Bob), (1847–1934), road builder
Patrick Miller, steamboat pioneer
William Murdoch (1754–1839), pioneer of gas lighting
James Nasmyth (1808–1890), Steam Hammer
Robert Stirling Newall (1812–1889), engineer, improved wire rope and submarine cable laying.
John Shepherd-Barron (born 1925), inventor of the Automatic Teller Machine
William Symington (1764–1831), engineer, built the first practical steam boat
Thomas Telford (1757–1834) architect, civil engineer, bridge designer
Robert William Thomson (1822–1873)
Sir Robert Watson-Watt (1893-1973), Developed Radar
James Watt (1736–1819), engineer, significantly improved the steam engine
James Young Simpson (1811–1870), introduced chloroform into surgery

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Edward Jockhammer said...

Looking at this long and really useful, list the only thing I can deduce is that the Sweaties, more than anyone else, are responsible for global warming.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Seaman Staines said...

Edward Jockhammer???? Did we not give you a severe kicking at Bannockburn in 1314? Global warming won't affect me much, its always cold up here anyway.

3:58 AM  
Anonymous John Bull said...

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" - Dr.Samuel Johnson.

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seaman,

You fogot to add that copper wire was also invented by the Scots.
Two of them, in fact, fighting over a penny.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wee Gordie - Tough on bovine TB, not tough on the causes of bovine TB.

And is seaman staines seriously suggesting bridges didnt exist before the birth of Sir Will Arrol? You left Rab C Nesbitt (1952- present) off your list. Didn't he invent the deep fried Mars Bar?

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed Mr Bull, but the good Doctor was defining Scoundrels not Patriots. (Still a good read though).
Zanu Arbeit still has not explained how getting 6 instead of the promised 12 Type 45 destroyers to escort the carriers will work though. Imagine if the NHS was forced to operate in the same manner as the Fleet! Promise 6 Hospitals, close 18 and then build 3!
TTFN

12:05 PM  
Anonymous John Bullocks said...

"The noblest prospect which a Scotsman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England" - Dr.Samuel Johnson

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alexander Graham Bell merely filed the patent for the telephone. He got the idea from Antonio Meucci

4:37 PM  
Blogger Thud said...

I'm in america for a couple of months and depite the locals moaning i'm paying 2 quid a gallon and driving like a bastard!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Butcher cumberland-sausage said...

You forgot to mention another thing our canny Jockoe prime minister did.

Eight new nuclear power stations and not one to be sited north of the border lest it upset the skirted bunny huggers.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Seaman Staines said...

Arrrrrr me hearties, I would not want a nuclear power station next to me, stick them where the area is populated by the English.
For so long as one hundred men remain alive,
we shall never under any conditions submit to the
domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches
or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which
no good man will consent to lose but with his life.

THE DECLARATION OF ARBROATH, 1320

12:56 AM  
Blogger arescee said...

Struggling to find great English inventions here!
However, is there any truth in this rumour that it was an Englishman (Thomas Crapper, no less)that invented the toilet seat?
And that a year later one of we Scots stopped laughing for long enough to put the hole in it for him?
Tee - Hee

1:14 AM  
Anonymous jock strapless said...

No McNumbnutz. Thomas Crapper improved upon the flush toilet. The toilet seat was used for centuries before he came along. At least it was in England where men do not have the convenience of wearing a frock and no undies and so simply cannot squat over the heather.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Seaman Staines said...

Come on shipmates, you are having a dig at caber tossing Scotsmen in kilts when you all do that Morris dancing nonsense. There can be no argument that a muscular man throwing a 120 pound, 19 foot caber is preferable to wee faggots, strangely clad leaping into the air, waving handkerchiefs and sticks, with bells jingling from their clothing.
It must be the most girly looking thing to be classed as a "English Icon".

3:47 AM  
Anonymous phil macrevice said...

There's something supremely ironic about a cross dressing celt expressing a homophobic opinion.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Seaman Staines said...

The women love it, more than can be said for your pansy Morris faggots.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Ungentlemanly Conduct said...

Don't forget it was a Scotsman who built the Grand Canyon, after he dropped a thrupenny bit into a rabbit hole.

Personally I think the only good badgers are those that died to produce my shaving brush.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous ben doon said...

Och aye we Scotch men with our huge cabers are the greetest tossers in the world, aye.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shiver me timbers - you are all still mamby, pansy, poofy Morris dancers. I'll wager Ungentlemanly Conduct and Ben Doon sit down to take a piss.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Ben Doon said...

Och nae. Like every befrocked Scotchman I piss while lying down (usually in the gutter or in a shop doorway somewheer).

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Credit where it is due: Seaman is correct in riduculing Morris dancers - they are an embaressement and should really be shot. I was also impressed with the list of Scottish fellows - must have taken quite a while to type this out, presumably whilst standing around waiting to scrounge some more benefits.
TTFN

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Benny Fitz-Crounger said...

Had you not noticed though from that list that all the really worthwhile Scotsmen are long since dead?

The modern version is pretty damn useless and it's no wonder they don't really want independence as that would mean they might actually have to work for a living like the rest of us.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Nazibilly said...

"Tolerance is a great British virtue so let's not waste any of it on wogs".

12:10 AM  
Blogger Seaman Staines said...

I take it that you hold Liverpool up as an example of hard working English fellows.
Scouser walks into the D.S.S. and says :-
"I've just been offered a Blow Job, If I take it will it affect my benefit claim?"

1:22 AM  
Anonymous I. MacHunt said...

Scousers are mainly of Irish origin with the same problems as the rest of the Celtic fringe - scrounging, whinging, alcoholic wastrels.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Seaman Staines said...

Splice the mainbrace, as the sun is over the yardarm I might as well have a wee swally. Good of all those spoofy English chaps to pay for my benefits so that I don't have to work. So less playing about on the work's P.C. and get some graft done.

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wake up, Bazza.
Mr Broon is playing with a silver machine gun in a white helicopter.
Meanwhile, you are excoriating Jockstraps.
Just a hint, white choppers are usually unarmed UN kit.

6:11 PM  

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