Notepad on Life

September 18, 2014

Where madness crashes into sanity – Mark Levin and stinkin’ San Diego cabs

Filed under: Radio — - @ 6:20 am
Tags: , ,
Round about the 1hr 46m 20sec mark of this broadcast, the Ranter’s Ranter Mark Levin picks up on a story from San Diego, in which the city fathers have ordered cab drivers to attend to their personal hygiene with greater vigilance, after a swathe of complaints about smelly taxis.

Surprise, surprise; some drivers have tried to turn this into a racial prejudice issue. Mr Levin proceeds to – as I believe Americans put it – ‘rip them a new one’…

This man is my hero.

September 9, 2014

Referendum threat? Hell, even our unwritten constitution is up for grabs…

Filed under: politics,Royals,Uncategorized — - @ 10:57 pm
Tags: ,

So let me get this straight: Prince Charles voices concerns on any aspect of British society and is routinely slapped down by pompous Westminster windbags, who insist on strict observance of the British tradition that the Royal Family stays out of politics.

A referendum on Scottish independence threatens the powerbase of our political parties, on the other hand, and suddenly the Queen speaking out in support of the Union, “could make all the difference”, in the eyes of those same grandees.

Number One – that politicians believe the populace can be so easily swayed in opinions that they have had months to come to, shows yet again how little they really think of us.

Number Two – I can’t think of a better way for the Monarchy to assure its survival for at least another 50 years, than if a letter from the Palace to Parliament – “Her Majesty asks me to inform you that this proposal may be placed where the sun doesn’t shine” – were somehow leaked to the media.

September 6, 2014

One size does NOT fit all, business people: use your brain…

Filed under: business,Travel — - @ 12:11 pm
Tags: ,
Just had an accommodation confirmation email from This is what happens when you run your business to a strict template, divorced from human touches like common sense and proportionality:

“It’s time to get excited about your trip to Motherwell!”

Really? I’m tempted to book a room in Chernobyl just to see if this lunacy gets any worse.

And before any Motherwellians grumble, I would have laughed just as much had the reference been to my home town, which is neither Malibu, Sydney, nor Gstaad.

September 2, 2014

A message to politicians everywhere

Filed under: politics — - @ 6:12 am

“A lot of [Republicans] who are running are just like the Democrats. They put the finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.

“Stop worrying so much about what the press is going to say about you…if those people aren’t saying bad things about you, you probably aren’t doing anything.”Ben Carson

August 27, 2014

Rotherham child abuse scandal – we’ll never tame the culprits until we crucify their accomplice

Filed under: Kids,Law and order — - @ 11:09 pm

If you believe that the measure of a country is how it tends for its most vulnerable members, then you may consider yourself tragically spoilt for choice when trying to identify the money quote in yesterday’s appalling revelations concerning Rotherham’s betrayal of its children.

  • “Around 1,400 children were sexually exploited in one town over a 16-year period”
  • “…in more than a third of these cases the youngsters were already known to agencies”
  • “…children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally-violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone”
  • “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated”
  • “…girls as young as 11 had been raped by large numbers of men.”
  • “…no council officers will face disciplinary action”

Allow me, however, to suggest this as the successful candidate:

 ‘The report said: “By far the majority of perpetrators were described as ‘Asian’ by victims.”

But, she said, councillors seemed to think is [sic] was a one-off problem which they hoped would go away and “several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist”.

She said: “Others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”‘

I don’t know where the authorities are when it comes to bringing the perpetrators of these wicked deeds to justice but I do know that we have their chief accomplice in custody for questioning.

Almost one and a half thousand children violated and with heaven knows how many of them, there is a case to answer that political correctness ran interference for the culprit, with harsh reality playing second fiddle to a party line that decrees not even child-rape trumps racism on a scale of improper conduct.

If this is true, how many Britons would honestly be surprised? This kind of rigid, terrified group-think has begun to typify our nation the way that cricket once did.

At the risk of going all Thomas Jefferson, I think it is high time we declared some truths of our own to be self-evident.

That telling the truth is not hate speech.

That reality is not to be tucked away in the shadows for fear of upsetting someone’s la-la land narrative, but is to be brought out into the brightest light and assessed and acted upon in a way that is right, objective, and grown-up.

That when a child is in imminent danger of being sexually traumatised, leftist niceties rank some way below the price of eggs on a list of related priorities.

And that if you really want to further racial cohesion, you might like to placate a whole lot of British Sikhs and Hindus by spelling out precisely what you mean by ‘Asian’. I understand it’s something of a bugbear.

It’s a long road back for Rotherham but if yesterday’s events finally see the cult of PC take its first tentative steps in a long walk off a short plank, some good may yet come of this wretched tale.

Last week, I read how a compatriot of mine may have sawn the head off an American journalist, and I thought it would be a long time before I felt so embarrassed to be British.

Turns out it was seven days.

August 21, 2014

James Alexander Gordon – Reality 0 Over-Reaction 5

Filed under: Journalism,Nostalgia,Sport — - @ 6:20 am
Tags: ,

James Alexander Gordon was, by all accounts, a popular man.

He read out the football results on the radio every Saturday afternoon for 40 years, in a gentle, soothing Scottish accent that drew us all in and had us all trying to predict a game’s outcome based on wherever his intonation seemed to be leading us.

It’s safe to say that whoever reads the football results from now on, two generations of British football fans will forever hear them in Gordon’s voice.

And now he’s dead.

There you have it: an obituary that might be rather sparse but which nevertheless covers all the pertinent details. We’re not talking the composer of heart-rending symphonies here, after all, or mourning the first man on Mars.

We’re talking football results. Read from a script that he didn’t even have to memorise. Talk to Gordon’s family and friends and they can probably each recall 10 things that spring more readily to mind about him than his Saturday job.

A point apparently lost on the Daily Telegraph this week, as it declared that the “Scot’s lilting tones and perfect delivery elevated the classified football results from the mundane into an art form”.

Oh please.

“To do something seemingly so simple so expertly, time after time, and to make so many people feel happy and safe while you did it: what a beautiful contribution to our national life.”

You’re sounding dangerously like a luvvie, Alan Tyers. Oh, hang on a minute…

“Several years ago, I wrote and performed a pilot for a radio comedy sketch show about football.”


“It went to a swift and deserved demise on the BBC Commissioning killing floor…”

Right. Shame the Telegraph’s sports editor isn’t quite as discerning.

I don’t know what prompts this modern tendency to over-inflate people’s achievements beyond what they actually amount to, but it is maudlin, cloying and fast becoming something of a national malaise.

August 19, 2014

Struggling to crack athletics dress code

Filed under: Appearance,Sport — - @ 1:59 pm
Tags: ,

Full of admiration as I am for the achievements of British athletes at last week’s European Championships, one thing troubles me.

Is there something I’m not getting about aerodynamics and the female body?

Some consequence of physics that decrees that while it’s okay for male athletes to perform in full length shirts and shorts extending half-way down the thigh, women can only perform to their best if sporting 12 inches of bare midriff and glorified bikini pants?

I hope there is a technical answer to this question, because if not, it begs another one.

In a society that normally clamps down hard on the objectification of women, how come athletics is getting a free pass?

August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

Filed under: Cinema,foreign,TV — - @ 8:59 pm
Tags: , ,

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Not sure it would have done his state of mind much good to see so many people basing their social media tributes on Mork & Mindy clips. Did you people stop watching him in 1980 or something?

My own abiding memories of one of the most inventive comic minds I ever saw are set out below [Salty language alert]. Not sure his manic ‘stand-up’ style will have been everyone’s cup of tea but for me he stands right up there with the best comedians/comic actors of all time.

And if this is indeed what underlies his final act, what on earth do we make of genuine depression? A talent that seemed so fulfilled and well-rewarded, a man who was not just admired but liked by so many, a man with children. And it still wasn’t enough. “People think they want flash cars, big houses and money,” a former boss of mine once suggested to me, “but they don’t. Even if they don’t realise it, what they really want is peace.”

Someone reviewing the autobiography of fellow-depressive and ex-footballer Ian Redford – who was found dead at 53 earlier this year – wrote “That he suddenly found life unliveable exemplifies the mercilessness of depression”. ‘Merciless’ does seem an apt label.





August 4, 2014

Jews arrested for singing Jewish songs…at Auschwitz

Filed under: foreign,politics,Religion — - @ 9:21 am
Tags: ,
That sign

Auschwitz (Photo credit: decafinata)

I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on here but then I read this:

Danny Feigen, a student at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi in Jerusalem and member of Rabbi Ostroff’s group, witnessed a guard ask, “would you sing in the British museum?”

…and it all became depressingly clear. Rules is rules.

I see that the Auschwitz Press Office has clarified the situation in comments at the link, in much the way I anticipated but if they can’t see the PR disaster they have on their hands, particularly at this sensitive time, then it may not just be their security staff who could use a little ‘sensitivity training’.

Put it this way, were I running a Jobsworth of the Year ballot, I might be tempted to declare a winner at this point.


July 31, 2014

Ken Clarke – out of Government, sadly not out of earshot

Filed under: politics — - @ 6:25 am
English: Ken Clarke

English: Ken Clarke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Drivel of this magnitude will hopefully become less common now that Ken Clarke has been shunted into the sidings of British politics but the old windbag sadly seems to insist on going down fighting:

“David Cameron is “taking a gamble” on the future of the UK by allowing the referendum on Scottish independence, a Tory Party heavyweight has said.

Ken Clarke, who first became a Tory minister in 1972 when Cameron was six, has criticised the September 18 poll to decide whether to end the UK in its current form, saying the issue is too important for a one-day vote.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Clarke said: “Referenda are always a gamble.”

“To have big complicated questions decided by one vote on one day is not as good as a continuous process of parliamentary debate,” the long-term minister said.”

Ken, the one-day thing only refers to the act of voting. The people of Scotland have had months, if not years to mull over what they feel is best for their country. Your ‘snap-judgement’ analogy just doesn’t make sense.

Your belief that the views of the Great Unwashed are a poor second to “a continuous process of parliamentary debate” (ie endless fudging of a discussion that goes nowhere and takes forever to do so) on the other hand, fits perfectly with a chronic Europhile, for whom the idea of referenda – ordinary people …gulp… actually getting a say – is probably like sunlight to a vampire.

As the comedian Bill Cosby once observed, there’s nothing worse than someone  who says goodbye and then doesn’t leave. Don’t be that man, Mr Clarke. You’re done.

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