watchtower demands…

September 30, 2006

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When the bough breaks, and the last straw hits the camel’s back; when I finally find myself at the top of a watchtower with an automatic weapon and a list of demands, one of them will be this:

The directors of First Scotrail will be waylaid in their cars, preferably on their way to important meetings, but on their way home will do.

They will be made to drive to the foot of my vantage point and wait by their cars.

Then they’ll be made to wait a bit longer.

They’ll be able to read a newspaper, eat an overpriced sandwich or drink a cup of mud masquerading as coffee, if they like. (Any toilet facilities will be closed or in a state of soul crushing, stomach turning disrepair).

They might even choose to exchange frustrated shrugs in a spirit of false enforced camaraderie but there will be nobody present willing or able to help them get on their way.

I will shoot out the tyres and windscreens of their cars, forcing them to walk to their destinations, or find alternative modes of transport at short notice.

No compensation or explanation will be offered but as they purvey the wreckage, and contemplate the hassle, I will address them through my megaphone.
Calmly and politely, in a mildly condescending but ultimately emotionless tone of voice, I will tell them, ‘I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause’.

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timewasters anonymous…

September 25, 2006

Either I’m more even more transparent and credulous than I thought or this ‘flash’ based mind reader game is quite clever- (or both).


Greener than thou…

September 20, 2006

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I’m delighted to see that one of the world’s leading arms manufacturers is developing a new line in ‘green’ weapons.

Director of corporate social responsibility at BAE systems- surely an oxymoron if ever there was one- said,
“Weapons are going to be used and when they are, we try to make them as safe for the user as possible, to limit the collateral damage and to impact as little as possible on the environment”.

I’m not sure whether it’s just users of weapons that should be the objects of concern here, although it’s nice to know that they’re concerned about the landscape that the recipients of these developments will be wheeling themselves around.

Grenades made of biodegradable plastic and quieter warheads, “to reduce noise pollution” should surely be welcomed. The last thing we want to do is exacerbate anyone’s post-traumatic stress syndrome by making them listen to noisy warheads.

In these troubling times, BAE should be lauded for such forward thinking policies, and I’m sure that those who’ve enjoyed the hospitality of the torturers they’ve been funding will be delighted with their new spending patterns.

They should also consider refrigerated wheelie bins around defunct minefields- these would not only warn civilians of their presence but would be a useful depository for spare parts should be anyone hapless enough to wonder in.

Still, they’re heading in the right direction. After all, the landscape has to be sufficiently pleasant for people to want to fight over it. How else are they going to ensure a steady supply of customers in future generations?

Whilst I’m on the subject of eye-watering hypocrisy, I’ll take a moment to mention BP’s current advertising campaign. Telling us to buy into their ‘targetneutral’ campaign and warning us about our ‘carbon footprints’.

All of their U.K delivery trucks are now ‘carbon neutral’ thanks to this ‘not for profit’ scheme. Great, thanks. But WHAT are they delivering, for a tonne of profit? (About $25billion annually, notwithstanding some problems relating to a sketchy safety record).

I’m the first to admit that I’m no angel when it comes to environmental matters. I will, therefore, put up with the odd admonition from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and genuinely eco-friendly people- although probably not from i-pod toting, Glastonbury pseudo-hippies whose Yak hair coats were jetted over here at planet raping expense.

As for a lecture from British fucking Petroleum- I don’t think so.

The proportion of their immense wealth that these companies are putting into anything sustainable beyond their bank balance (about 5.7% for BP, 1.1% for Shell) makes me think they must know something I don’t about where this is heading.

Maybe we should just pave the world and be done with it. But this mob playing the ‘green’ card is like the school bully eating all of your sweets and then telling you that you shouldn’t eat sweets because they rot your teeth.


multitasking disasters of our time

September 15, 2006

It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had but trying to write a chapter outline in between applying coats of floor varnish isn’t really working out for me.

I’m off to fall asleep in the library. Then I’m going to try to solve some complex mathematical problems whilst sniffing glue.


1,2,3…ahhh….

September 14, 2006

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So Gordon Brown has insisted that Tony Blair is his friend and always will be. This is particularly heartwarming- and just in time. The electorate was maybe starting to feel like a confused child, wondering where to turn in a messy divorce battle.

I’m glad to hear about this Labour love-in. Maybe they can get on with running the country.

Still, they shouldn’t feel bereft of conflict. We’ve still got a couple of wars on the go in Afghanistan and Iraq.


I know every wedding is unique but…

September 14, 2006

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I notice that the tale of a Sudanese man forced to ‘marry’ a goat is amongst the most e-mailed stories from the BBC news website.

I’m not sure what this says about BBC web users- at best that they have a ribald sense of humour and too much time on their hands.

Certainly the village elders here seem to have displayed Solomon-like wisdom and I think the ‘groom’ got off lightly- financially, at least.

I’m sure the 15,000 dinars ($50) he had to pay as a ‘dowry’ was alot of money but it pales into insignificance compared to the budget for most of the weddings I’ve attended as either a guest, caterer or band member, some of which dwarf the average European space programme.


re-re-branding

September 13, 2006

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Education Secretary Alan Johnson, as well showing an admirable grip of timekeeping by admitting that, “last week was not our finest hour”, has joined the chorus for unity by suggesting a “distilling” of New and Old Labour into ‘Real Labour’.

This might be problematic for many politicians, given that ‘Real Labour’ could also be taken to mean actual, or hard, work. (They’d have to think twice about those free holidays courtesy of American tycoons, ageing fifth-rate pop stars and news presenters).
Nevertheless, I think he’s onto something. Maybe they should go the whole hog.

I’d suggest:
‘Diet Labour’- all the rhetoric but none of the policies. (A good one for the anti-obesity vote).

Or ‘Labour Max’- Now with added drama.

Or even ‘Classic Labour’- although I fear the packaging might be a bit too red for the current market.