30 July 2010

Tories to privatise entire Benefits System....

Ian Duncan Smith plans the end the culture of "worklessness" by privatising the entire welfare & benefits system. Earlier sponsors wanting to take over the system are Heinz with a reintroduction of soup kitchens and the Hertfordshire Hunt who see the unemployed as replacement for the lack of foxes in their area.

One idea put forward by Virgin is to use the unemployed to replace broadband to homes in rural areas. This would see a chain of of runners delivering 'e-mails' by hand. It appears this is twice as faster as Virgins current connection

David Cameron is backing the new scheme and has suggested many useful ways in which people on benefits could usefully help society he added "Traffic Cones Direct are extremely interested in supporting this venture as they see dressing benefit scroungers in bright orange dayglow jackets and lining then up along motorways as a cheaper alternative to cones"

28 July 2010

Cuts or No cuts that is the Question not How deep

Just as the unlikely coalition of conservatives & liberals are about to plunge the country into the valley of a thousand cuts, I thought it was time to look at possibilities other than losing jobs, markets and decreasing peoples standards of living. Is there any alternatives? The government would have us believe not, and of course it's all labours fault , they spent too much when they were in power . Agreed the country has a massive debt, £156 billion:currently standing at around 40 % of GDP Horrific isn't it ? well yes, but not when you remember that the country owed far more in 1945, around 200% of GDP and then we embarked on the largest construction program the country has ever seen. House building and infra reconstruction created jobs, income and wealth leading to the "Never had it so Good " era of Harold McMillan. So the question I ask is not where to cut and how to to cut but why cut at all ?

The fact that the 1945 Labour government were not re-elected even though they increased their vote was in fact my main reason for wanting a fairer voting system. Now however, although I would love to see more power in the hands of smaller parties, eg Greens.The abdication of morals and realignment of principle that the Lib-Dem party has undergone makes me wary. If all PR will bring is a clamour for power at any cost why should we believe any of them?It would be too much to ask them to campaign honestly:"I think that more schools should be built, but if the Tories get in we will support their plan to abolish schools altogether"or perhaps "We believe in low taxes, but if Labour have the majority we'll support an massive hike in income tax & VAT"

One thing I never want to see is a Lib-Dem government, just as their predecessors the Whigs were absorbed into the other parties, so Nick Clegg has consigned his party to the dustbin of history, I'm sure the people of Sheffield will welcome him with open arms when he goes back there.It is a shame, because Liberal Party history is littered with good leaders and good deeds, much social improvement in the country was brought about by liberal philanthropists and their political endeavour. They cannot survive on history, the electorate will remember then as the U-turn party of British Politics , unlike the children I see playing on the common who wait to see which way the wind is blowing before they launch their kites, the liberals float theirs high in the sky and then proceed to pull it back rapidly in the opposite direction.

So if it means giving any power however small to the Lib-Dems I'll vote against AV in the May referendum. We may have a flawed system but at least its straightforward and upfront , no smokeless rooms behind closed doors with dirty dealing and jobs for the boys. Credit must however be given to Nick Clegg for he must be an accomplished yoga expert to bent over backwards so far in an effort to please & grab power.

23 July 2010

How Green is My City

Coventry is a very green city: grass thrives in the gutters alongside the plastic bottles and vomit. Moss and mould adorn the decaying buildings left to rot by the council. Trees are cut and fashioned into weird naked statues with arms outstretched to the grey skies.Traffic is congested in crazy one way systems behind a hundred buses belching out toxic fumes - Incidental how does a tourist know what the exact fare is? - There's the graffiti and picturesque fly posters that adore the walls and of course the flashing blue lights that shoot up and down tower blocks in the city centre telling you what the weather will be like. Well worth a visit.! (Don’t the council realise the weather is available free on teletext.)

The heart of the city, Broadgate used to have green area where one could sit and rest, now it's concrete and paving slabs in keeping with the rest of city, and metal benches ...very comfy. It is of course meant to be pedestrianised (apart from buses) signs prohibit all but them entering Broadgate during the day,unfortunately no one appears to take any notice, which in a way is good because otherwise you wouldn't be able to get anywhere. - On the subject of signs and road furniture, the council appear to have bought a job lot of traffic lights & signs and seem hell-bent on using them all at once. There are several examples of multiple traffic light junctions not in sync and contradictory road signs . "No left Turn" "No Right Turn" - Sorry Coventry Council I have yet to adapt my car to fly !

There is one grand approach to the city which is both beautiful and green, from the Kenilworth side; that despite previous unsuccessful attempts by the council to remove the trees in a road widening scheme. Indeed approaching the city from the Kenilworth road is a pleasant experience, you drive the signs (Here we go again) that proclaims Coventry - Home of Coventry University. Well, I never - Coventry Uni is based in Coventry, I always thought it was in Liverpool or perhaps Manchester. Why not Coventry - the home of Lady Godiva or the London Black Cab, Dame Ellen Terry or The Specials. Do the council have an aversion to history ? The main problem is the lack of identity.The council appear to demolish anything older than ten years in the name of progress, thus losing any link with the past. Coventry did have a very colourful history. It grew up in the Middle Ages and even as recent as 30 years ago, there was a host of medieval shops and houses teetering over the pavement. Most of them had gone now. Either moved brick-by-brick, like some gigantic 3D puzzle, to a ‘touristy’ part of town; or even more curious, packed away in crates deep in the vaults below the Council House. Such is progress. To be fair most of the centre of town was destroyed by Hitler's bombs, but what he left standing the Council finished off. It's the just the sort of place to visit to if your doctor gives you six months to live – It would seem like six years!

Many other towns and cities manage to merge the old historic buildings with new exciting ones, Nottingham & York are but two examples. In Coventry the emphasis appears to be on reducing parkland,replacing perfectly good buildings with ugly ones, and leaving old historic monuments to rot. Money is spent on redeveloping the same areas time and again but always producing something that is no better than it was before. How about an overall plan, a blueprint that recognises a city consists of its people and they need somewhere time to sit rest, reflect and recuperate from the bussle and stress of city life.

Coventry was once a proud place, the most important in the area. It grew into a smart modern city. We have had an unchanged council for many years, have they become complacent? Are they still in charge or have they turned over the asylum to the lunatics, although they might conceivably do a better job. Where’s the soul? where’s the life? and where’s the sense in paying these people to run our city. Just to finish off and so as not to be accused of just knocking down without rebuilding, here's a couple of ideas that that might help reduce traffic congestion and free up the city centre:
1.All buses should go to the Bus Station - There's a radical suggestion. There would have to be of course a shoppers bus for the elderly & disabled doing a circular tour of the centre, free and paid for by the traders.
2.Road congestion is caused by the connecting roads to the Ring Road, that flows pretty well , even though it acts as a restrictive collar around the centre its here now and we must put up with it. On several sides of the city are two connecting roads: Holyhead , Allesley Old rd Walsgrave, Binley & Stoney Stanton, Foleshill couldn't they be made one way into town Holhead road in Allesley Old rd out. Just an idea but no doubt we'll still be sitting in our cars breathing in exhaust fumes in 20 years time!

19 July 2010

Saturday Night Out

   A recent survey was carried out to discover exactly what the average woman carries in her handbag . Now I've yet to meet an average woman and the article doesn't explain what they mean by 'average'; average height , average age , average intelligence. Of course all this means is that some university research boffin has obtained a grant to research and survey all this vitally important rubbish. 
   What the survey fails to disclose is why those super magic bags that all women own, you know the ones that look small but are in fact bottomless contain all things known to man (and woman for that matter.) Hair-bands, rubber-bands, and economy size hair spray, safety pins, Band-Aid, bandages, brushes for hair, teeth and nails, a small metal disc with bits of wire sticking out (don’t ask!), shampoo, soap, lipstick and lace. A spare pair of tights in case they have an accident and a spare pair of knickers in case they don’t. A mobile phone with no credit left on it (what's the point ?) and a mirror, must not forget the mirror, ever! because there is nothing worse that a woman pulling down my driving mirror to apply several layers of red gloss to her lips because she has left her mirror at home. The above list is by no means a comprehensive one but it does go someway to explain the age-old question of women go to the loo in teams of at least two. They have to carry out an inventory of each other bags on a periodic basis to ensure they are not letting the sisterhood down.
  Quite apart from the Dr Who time capsule that woman carry about, there are a small proportion of the fairer sex that fill my cab with an overpowering stench of Kylie D'Amour or Essence of Essex Girl. I suggest that the university boffins could research a more appropriate perfume for use in a modern era,perhaps "Vomit in the Gutter" or "Kebab & Cider" Better still they could invent an intravenous drip for vodka shots & alco-pops which would would save them the bother of going out in the first place, they could just lie in the gutter and cut out the middle man . I am considering fitting  an electronic arm to the cab to deposit said individuals directly to their destination, it would save them falling out of the car once the door is opened - the blood can be so hard to clean off in the morning.

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