Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sorry for the break

Sorry for the big silence. Christmas and all of that you know. Will be back in effect in the new year. Have a great time!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Biographies and Abba

I really like to read biographies of interesting people. As I'm heavily into music I especially like biographies of successful musicians and singers. I recently read one on Abba which was very good and led me to listen to their music again. Now Abba music to me usually means pleasant memories of sunny 1970s days - usually in the summer holidays. But listening to their songs again I was struck by how good the music actually is. The writing by Benny and Bjorn is excellent and the ladies' voices are fantastic! Go onto you tube and check out their videos which they seemed to be pioneers in in those days. Some really god stuff and some really good memories.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Amateur Transplants

Just a quick note to recommend this group to you. A friend sent me a link of their song which talks about what anaesthesiologists do for the hours that their patient is under and being operated on. It was hilarious!. Apparently it's a group of two doctors who sing parodies of popular tunes about medical issues. Check them out on You Tube.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cruelty and Unreasonableness

I feel really sorry for that teacher in Sudan. Basically this Brit teacher in Sudan has been locked up for blasphemy because she let her class cal the class teddy bear Mohamed. Now the kiddies wanted to call the teddy that name yet she is now in serious trouble.

I get so tired of things like this happening. Surely Muslims cannot be threatened by their own kind calling a teddy this name? And if it is blasphemous then surely those who are adherents to the religion (who would know the rules) should be culpable and not someone who isn't of that religion.

Seriously, perhaps non-Muslims need to stay very far from Muslim countries - could be hazardous to your health.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ian Smith

Ian Smith – the evil SOB who ruled Zimbabwe for many years and who refused to give any power to the black people who made up 95% of the population – has died. Take a look at this feature and then do a little research and read up on Zim’s history and his part in the misery.
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?storyID=9590


Here’s a story on him in the Independent http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article3179647.ece

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Affected by the news

You read about people killing themselves and their kids in the news but you never think it will affect you.

The other day I was shocked to read in the Gleaner that my cousin Carol did just that. To say I was astonished and very saddened is an understatement. She lived with us for about a year when I was a teenager. We didn't keep in touch after that so I don't claim to have known her well but from what I remember she was a pretty, quiet, shy girl.

I can imagine feeling terrible because your husband has betrayed you but what I can't get my head around is why kill the kids?

It's a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to her parents.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Ian Blair

I don't usually join in when people are asked to resign but here I agree. Ian Blair is in charge of the UK police and he presided over the situation that ended in an innocent man being shot multiple times in the head at close range after he was 'mistaken' for a terrorist. Read the following story for further details http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?storyID=9410

The key point in all of this is that the police murdered this man. They murdered him and lied about it. They initially released statements saying he was wearing a thick winter coat and that he ran when he was in the tube station. Neither was the case.

The police were looking for a suspected suicide bomber. They were told he lived at a certain address - where Jean Charles lived. They saw Jean Charles leave his home. Didn't stop him. They saw him walk to a nearby bus stop. Didn't stop him. They watched him get on a bus. Didn't stop him (remember the say they were sure he was a bomber with a bomb strapped to him.) Apparently he either got on or almost got onto another bus. If so they again didn't stop him. He went to a tube station and went inside. They didn't stop him. Only when he had got on the tube did they wrestle him to the ground and then shot him int he head multiple times.

If it was a case of 'mistakes' and they thought he was a bomber they have a blatant disregard for the British public as they let this supposed bomber with explosives on him get on a bus and the tube. This goes to prove that the police are incompetent, don't give a shit about the public, or they are murderers. No one wins with any of these scenarios.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jamaican working for NASA

A friend sent me the following. Have a read. Good to hear a Jamaican doing well in yet another area. How can we create a situation where this type of person can stay in Jamaica and succeed? Get rid of the high crime level I feel but how do we do that?

Anyway . . .

Jamaican heads NASA team on space station expansion project. When the "Discovery" space shuttle heads into space this month it will carry a special package 'gift-wrapped' by a Jamaican-born engineer and his team at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States.

Glenn Chin is NASA mission manager charged with delivering a Node 2 module called "Harmony" that will expand the docking area at the International Space Station to accommodate other space programs. Chin heads a multi-disciplined team of 30 to 40 engineers and technicians at NASA which is involved in the testing, integration and assembly processes that will make "Harmony" ready for launch inside "Discovery's" cargo bay on the morning of Oct. 23. Once installed at the space station, "Harmony" will serve as a port for space programs from China and a combined 13 European countries.

"Harmony is a module with six docking ports where modules can dock to make the station bigger," explained the 43-year-old Chin, who attended high schools in Jamaica and the U.S. and college at the University of Miami, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. "It's like a six entrance hallway that you can add rooms to...It's actually the gateway to the international partners." That "hallway" or central building block is 24 feet long and 15 feet wide. It weighs 31,500 pounds.

SIMPLE TASK - It was built in Italy, with fine-tuning at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Chin and his team are based. He was involved in the early design and construction of "Harmony" as part of a special team, which offered NASA insight into the project's progress. That required him to travel to Torino between 1998 and 2000. Other work assignments temporarily took Chin away from the "Harmony" project, but he would later return as mission manager. His task is simple: get "Harmony" ready for launch and make sure it works once it gets into space. But Chin is confident it will. Discovery's transportation of "Harmony" this month, also called "STS-120", is not the only mission Chin has been involved with at NASA. He has been in charge of 16, four of which he has seen through to their launch. However, despite acknowledging a familiarity with the procedures required for the task, Chin said the different types of "payload" he is required to deliver in proper working order keeps the challenge interesting. "It's pretty routine," he said. "The processes are pretty much the same. But the differences in hardware for each mission is unique. Each hardware is unique." So is his background.

Chin is one of a handful of Caribbean nationals working at the Kennedy Space Centre, which employs some 18,000 workers. He is proud of his heritage and credits his background for much of his success in the U.S. "That's huge for me," he said. "As a Jamaican I've always been a hard worker, persistent. When I came to the States I realized the opportunities here and went after it. "I have enough savvy to know you can reach for your dreams in this country." For the married father of a son, his dreams extend to outer space.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do You Have to be Tortured to be a Genius?

His Royal Highness and I were watching an programme on famous artists we like to watch the other day - this time it was about Van Gogh. At the beginning of the programme we hoped against hopes that he would have had a happy and fulfilling life. We hoped this because most of the artists featured on this programme seemed to have pretty awful lives.

This seemed to be the same situation with poets - and other so calle geniuses, which led us to the question in the heading.

I hope the answer isn't no - I've always fancied myself a genius - but I'm certainly not tortured - well only by the Galaxy bar in my larder!

Later

Monday, October 22, 2007

No Reason to be Sad re: Lewis Hamilton

In all that has happened, there is no reason to be sad about Lewis Hamilton's current position in Formula 1.


Yes, he didn't win the championship yesterday but when you think of what he has done in his rookie year - it is a great achievement.

I think it is a mistake for McLaren to be challenging Ferrari right now - if they were to win this challenge (which I doubt they will) it will be a bitter victory for Lewis.

On the news this morning a group of Alonzo supporters were quoted as saying they were glad Kimi won and not Lewis because as they put it, Lewis has been underhand in his dealings. Unbelievable - if anyone has been underhand in his dealings it is Alonzo.

The constant 'fight 'gainst' is amazing. You're forced to ask yourself if the problem isn't just that people are jealous because he has done so well was a rookie but fury that he has done so well as a BLACK rookie.

Peace.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Disgraceful Treatment of Ming Campbell

So those evil sods in and out of the Lib Dems have finally hounded Sir Ming to distraction enough that he resigned and sent a really pissed off letter to the media.

Ever since he became the leader of the Lib Dems the British public have been constantly bothering him and castigating him for being too old. He's in his 60s.

For heaven's sake, 60 odd isn't old, furthermore, 60 odd in politics certainly isn't old. The issue should have been was he effective and I thought he was.

Something is wrong with how politics runs - important issues that affect the populace take a backseat to how things (or people) appear. We will pay for this immaturity dearly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Legalise Drugs

There's a story in today's Independent where a leading policeman is calling for drugs to be legalised as the 'war on drugs' has failed magnificently.

I agree. The only thing that criminalising drugs does is to push up the price and have criminals manage it. After all this time it's obvious that people will continue to do drugs even if it is legal. There are other legal drugs and because they are legal they are more readily controlled. Legalising drugs isn't the same as saying doing drugs is OK - it's just a matter of reducing (note i say reducing - probably won't be able to eliminate) the criminal element. Then at lease people would be safer.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Disappointed at First but Determined to do Well in Brazil

So by now you would all know that Lewis didn't win on Sunday and he didn't win any points as he didn't finish the race.

Bad decision on the team's part - they should have called him in at least 1 lap earlier - his tyres had had it. But I guess they know this now full well in retrospect. I hope they have learned the lesson that no matter how skilled the driver, he can't overcome equipment that doesn't work.

Wish him all the best in two weeks time.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Please Lord, Let Lewis Hamilton Win the Title

Yes folks, tomorrow is the day and His Royal Highness and I will be getting up at 6:00 am to see the race. Can you imagine the foolishness of the past few days with the Toro Rosso team trying to cock up Lewis' chances by complaining that he was driving erratically behind the safety car in Japan last week?

Now come on! I watched that race and if he was driving erratically I sure as hell didn't see it and neither did the seasoned professionals who were commentating.

Arseholes supreme! Why dem a fight so hard 'gainst Lewis?

Well at least the chief battybwoy Alonzo seems to have finally conceded that his chances are slim. Hopefully he realises now that he should have been putting effort into his driving and not into putting Lewis down and trying to screw with him in various ways.

Lewis is good at what he does. He works hard and this pays off. Why can't the reaction of others be to step up their game in response? Because of two main points:

1) Lewis is a rookie and is so good it makes them look bad - to this I say the same as above, then step up your game.

2) The same as above but add into that the fact that he is a BLACK man and the reason for the madness makes even more sense.

Something those of us who are black and live in a white country have come to learn albeit slowly and with growing horror through a process of elimination: many white people become mad with rage when black people do exceedingly well and by comparison they (the white folk) look bad. This results in bizarre and out of proportion behaviour.

My prayers are with Lewis and I hope that he will be able to stay focused in spite of the dreadful behaviour of some people - and thankfully, it is only SOME.

More power my yout!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tavis Smiley and Important Info for Black People

Someone sent me the following today in an email. It's some information from Tavis Smiley and I thought it was so interesting it warranted being re-produced here. So here goes . . .

(Of course, I encourage people to look up 'facts' from the internet themselves and come to their own conclusions).

February 2007

A Word From Tavis Smiley
I don't know whether you all have seen the Black Think Tank that Tavis Smiley
hosts on C-SPAN every year, but it is powerful food for thought. Here are a few
of the things learned at the Black Think Tank this month.

Facts:

1. The first Americans or Native Americans going back to 13,000 BC were black! Look up the Folsom people who lived in Arizona.

2. One of the best reasons to stop our use of the term African American and say Black. A white person who was born in Africa, who moves to America is An African American and qualifies for financial aid, etc., but will get the jobs/pay privileges afforded to whites.

3. Look up the Slavery Law of 1665 (which stayed in effect until 1968) and the Maryland Doctrine of Exclusion (1638): both laws state that blacks must be excluded from the benefits afforded whites, and that blacks must remain non-competitive with whites, except in sports and entertainment.

4. Two white men: Bill Gates and Larry Elision, combined have more wealth than the combined wealth of all 36 million blacks in America
. Civil Rights did not change the economic landscape or the balance of power in America.

5. Asians received 80% of all government minority set aside contracts. Hello!!

6. Blacks eat more fish than whites by a 4 to 1 margin. For every dollar that whites spend on fish, blacks spend $9 on fish. Fish sold wholesale for $1 will retail at $2.50 - $3.00. Guess what business we should be in as Blacks?

7. There isn't any black owned national cable, or major network television stations. Cathy Hughes, the black woman who owns our only black owned radio stations, plans to sell to white owners after hearing the deal Bob Johnson received for selling BET. (Cathy Hughes is from OMAHA y'all!)

8. There are no black owned companies on the Wall Street Stock Exchange; where blacks own the majority or controlling interest of the stock.

9. Ninety-six percent (96%) of all black inmates are men.

10. Over the next two years 440,000 black inmates will be released from prison. The State has no place to put them as they re-enter society. A profitable business would be a Halfway house!

11. In 1860, 98% of all Blacks in America worked for White people. In 2001, 98% of all Blacks in America still work for white people.

12. In 1860, blacks in America had a combined net worth of one half of 1 percentage point. Guess what, in 2001, after Civil Rights, Jesse Jackson, Oprah, Shaq, NAACP, and Urban League, our combined net worth is half a percentage point.

13. For every dollar earned by a Jewish person, that dollar touches 12 to 18 Jewish hands before it leaves their community. For every dollar earned by a black person it leaves the community soon as he or she earns it.

14. The last week of April 2003 in Washington , DC black teenagers were arrested and booked for eating McDonalds on the metro subway. Cops cited recent 5-4 court decision as the permission to arrest law breakers even for minor offences.

15. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all hate crimes in America are against blacks.

16. After we get through being pleased that we have carpet in our office, a secretary, our name on the door and make six figures, we do not own anything.

17. What will happen if you miss 6 months of work without pay? All we've left for our children is debt not an inheritance. You cannot pass welfare or food stamps onto our kids as a nest egg! We are not even in the race.

18. By the way, the word 'race' hit the English language in the 16th century when Europeans held a contest to see who will win the race to gather the lost wealth through exploitation of blacks.

19. You must read Powernomics by Claude Anderson This is our blueprint to create wealth, not just have a job, but be a business owner, so you can hire people, be listed on the stock exchange, and develop businesses to meet our needs.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Save Walkerswood!

Just read a story about the trouble Walkerswood is in. Mercy! They can't let that company go under. It is a wonderful thing when you go into a major supermarket chain like Asda (owned by Wal Mart) or Tescos and Sainsbury's and you see the Walkerswood products.
I hope the financial people will be able to retain this Jamaican brand.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Multi-tasking

There's this ad on TV now - an ad for chocolate, where a woman greets her date at the door. She grabs his flowers, chucks them inside, kisses him, ruffles up his and her hair, says she had a lovely time and then slams the door in his face - to go and enjoy a bar of chocolate. The premise is that the chocolate is so good she can't be bothered with a date with a nice man.

Honestly, what a load of rubbish. What on earth is wrong with enjoying the man and the chocolate at the same time? In this girl's case as it was just a date she could eat the chocolate on the date. Us married ladies can be more inventive. My husband agrees most emphatically with me.

Young women these days - no initiative!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mandela is Alive & Bush is Officialy a Wanker

Read the following. http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070922/lead/lead3.html. I feel the less said about Bush's comment, the better. Suffice it to say, continue to be afraid, be vary afraid.

(Please hurry and come November 2008!)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fianancial Woes in the UK

A leading mortgage lender, Northern Rock is in trouble here and there has been a run on the bank. Apparently something like this hasn't happened for 100 years or so so it is big news. Northern Rock specialises in mortgages, but it does offer bank accounts and it is the holders of these accounts who are panicking.

But it's not as bad as people are thinking it is. It's a pity the average British consumer isn't particularly interested in financial issues and current affairs or they could have saved themselves a lot of worry.

Northern Rock asked the Bank of England for help and the Bank of England gave them an unlimited guarantee or something like that which basically says they they will shore them up to maintain the level of liquidity they need. Sadly this didn't stop the run. The bank is solvent - they still have substantial assets but none of this swayed the public.

Plus the insurance on deposits by law says that your first £2,000 is guaranteed and up to £30k more you get 90p out of each pound. This still wasn't enough.

It's likely that the bank will be bought by another - in that case things won't change for the worse for depositors.

So today, the Chancellor Alistair Darling said in plain English - we the government will guarantee every penny of your money. If you want to take it out you can - if you want to leave it you can.

Perhaps the message will get through now?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Breastfeeding

Check this story out. Apparently Facebook has taken some pictures off of a lady's account because they are considered obscene. The pictures are of her breastfeeding. There's a link to one in the story. http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/09/facebook-cracks.html?loc=interstitialskip

This is a common problem in the UK too (I think the lady is American). The majority of British women (and men probably) that I have encountered believe breastfeeding to be disgusting.

Indeed I remember one surreal evening when along with my mother and one of my sisters and a few other ladies we had a ladies evening at someone's house. One of the ladies piped up at one point in the evening and said that she believed breast feeding was disgusting and she couldn't believe anyone would want to do it - or words to that effect.

This mindset is more evidence of how people in the developed world have gone against so many things which are good and natural. And sadly I hear it is spreading to the so-called undeveloped world.

Did I mention that these ladies were Christian? In fact one was my then minister's wife and half (the 'breastfeeding is disgusting half' were wives of the church leadership).

I was livid even more so because these ladies were Christian and married to he church leadership - they had even more reason not to be idiots and not to be cursing God's gifts.

For this is what breastfeeding is - a gift from God. It is a natural way to feed our young. It is indisputably good for them - helps with their intelligence, protects them from disease among other benefits, it also helps mum to lose weight quickly. It also negates the need to use even more plastic (which is what is used in bottle milk paraphernalia).

How in God's green earth could this be considered disgusting?

It can be considered so because man has become perverse and lauds that which is wrong, immoral and unnatural and abhors that which is good, God given and natural. Think of it. Breastfeeding is natural - bottle feeding isn't yet these CHRISTIAN women call breastfeeding disgusting!

The world has come to believe a woman's breasts are SOLEY sexual objects. For the world this is not acceptable but understandable. But those of us in Christ need to do a whole lot better and not take up the things of the world.

For all - be honest with yourself and stop being so concerned with what other people think and start being concerned with the welfare of your kids. I am fully away that some women can't breastfeed and for them it has to be the bottle. But for the rest, if you decide not to at least have the decency not to deride those of us who choose to - especially if you call yourself a Christan and even more so if you call yourself a Christan and are married to church leadership.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Funny ad & Bruce

Check out this Cadbury's ad. It's fantastically funny. The link is in the attached story.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=481196&in_page_id=1773

So - Bruce is the PM now. MMM. Kind of torn. I am most definitely not labourite but the PNP has been failing dismally for quite a while now and Portia was a huge disappointment. Plus I've had a sneaking admiration for Bruce since he showed Seaga the finger. Hope he really is his own man and that he brings good things to the country - we don't want the One Don to be ruling from the background now.

Later.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Traipsing Around Old Buildings

It was Heritage Weekend or something like that in Leeds last weekend and as part of that the town hall held tours. His Royal Highness and I went on one and it was great. We started off by trekking up over 200 narrow spiral steps to get to the clock tower. nearly died - but it wasn't as bad as the stairs in Russel Street station in London. (A word to the wise - NEVER, EVER, take the stairs in that station - take the life even if you have to wait an eternity for it!).

Then we went into the main concert hall which is really beautiful with all the gilding, colourful decorations and the huge organ. We then moved into the only remaining courtroom - which was last used n the 90s and early in the century seemed to sentence a lot of kids. Lastly we went to visit the jail cells downstairs - the ones from the 1930s weren't too bad but the Victorian ones were dreadful and smelled terrible.

All in all it was good to be able to look at the old building up close. When we went up to the clock tower we were able to walk along the outside and look out over the city - wonderful view.

Apparently they are going to do these tours regularly now and charge a nominal fee - makes sense. It's good to be able to touch history.

In other news big up to Asafa - now lets see that spirit in races that count.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

UK Judge Calls for All Citizens & Visitors to the UK to be in DNA register

Yep - you read it correctly. Some judge here has said that every single person in the UK and anyone who visits the country should hand over their DNA to be kept in what is already the largest database of its kind in the world.

According to Channel 4 news tonight the national DNA database in the UK has 5% of the population's DNA in it - by comparison the USA has 0.05%

Even innocent people's DNA is kept here. The same news programme said that 2 in 5 black men's DNA is on record and 1 in 10 white men's is. The judge believes that to redress this imbalance everyone should give their DNA.

Some white people never cease to amaze me. A statistic such as the one above is the result of racism. And racism is the result of either ignorance meeting stupidity or evil. And the way to combat either is not for the perpetrators to be held to account for their unconscionable behaviour but for the entire society to fall in line in order to make the racism not stand out - according to the British.

This to my mind is an admission by white people that they acknowledge that the majority of them are racist. See my reasoning. If they weren't , when racism rears its ugly head in a situation like the DNA register for instance, wouldn't you think the response of non-racist white people would be to condemn their fellow white people who are racist in word and deed and demand and end to the behaviour? Sounds reasonable to me. Instead, what almost always happens is that these so called non-racist and 'tolerant' white people generally either say nothing or try to excuse white racists' behaviour and suggest measures that involve accommodating the racist behaviour (usually by non-whites putting up with it and being 'noble savages').

Too many years have passed for white people to still be racist at all much less to the extent they are. There is more than enough information available - most can't be bothered to access it. They get free education here in the UK and so many can't be arsed to actually plug in and access it (I have many teacher friends). There is untold wealth here (more than enough to educate them) - built on the back of hundreds of years of free labour and robbery of other country's resources. And black people have been around for many years - more than enough for white people to strike up relationships with us, talk to us and get to know us instead of spouting racist comments that have nothing to do with reality.

Friends there is nothing else black people can do. I want to cry sometimes when I remember the work of peopel such as Malcolm X and MLK. Trying to get inform white people in general and especially the racists is a waste of time. It is now up to them to look inside themselves - to finally rise up and join the civilised world and join the human race and start realising that a) they are in the minority in a global sense (Asians definitely have the majority) and b) behaving the way they often behave is disgusting and helpful to no-one in the long run.

Unfortunately I doubt that judge will come to this realisation any time soon. Hopefully the authorities will not agree with his proposal. But it must be mentioned that Channel 4 which usually has someone for and against a particular measure on its newscast this time had 2 people who were for it and the anchor John Snow seemed to be in agreement. Any guesses for what part of society all three cam from? Hint - there weren't any women there and they would all need to wear SPF 30 - not 15.

Later.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Four Months Left to the Year

I just realised the other day as I changed the calendar to September - that they year end is drawing nigh. Seemed just like yesterday . . . . and all that jazz. But seriously, a cliche though it is, it DOES seem like yesterday. Where has the time gone?

I've really got to get on and make the rest of the year count. Due to some personal difficulties I've just barely managed to survive and have just been existing. Now it's time to live damn it! I advise you all to do likewise.

Find something you love to do and as much as is possible - spend the majority of your time doing it or working toward achieving it.

In that vein . . . .

PS. I do hope that Asafa will amend his mindset and attitude for the next big meet. We were all incredibly disappointed that he pulled back in Osaka - but at the same time overjoyed by Veronica's performance. That 'I will push until the end' attitude is what Asafa needs to add to the wicked speed. God bless.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Criminal Activity in the Name of Animal Rights

The Guardian headline reads 'Animal rights group 'has contaminated Savlon' See here for the story http://www.guardian.co.uk/animalrights/story/0,,2159074,00.html

Yep, once again some irresponsible idiots have decided that harming people is justifiable in the name of 'protecting' animals.

Some arseholes have contaminated tubes of Savlon (so they say) in a protest aimed at the manufacturers of this antiseptic cream- who they claim are linked to an organisation that deals with animal testing.

These people disgust me. They should be thrown in jail for very long periods of time. Anyone that puts animal welfare above human welfare should be treated like the imbeciles they are.

No one says that you should mistreat animals - they are to be taken care of yes. And if testing on them can be avoided then avoid it. But for some things it cannot be and the price for discovering life saving drugs is sometimes using animals to test them on. Deal with it.

These clowns remind me of the idiots who were protesting near to Heathrow the other day - against them putting in a new runway which they say will contribute to global warming. First of all don't these people have jobs? They were there for days. They should have been arrested and thrown into jail too - they openly said they were squatting on someone's land to protest.

Again, we aren't idiots. We know there is global warming - we know it isn't good for us but finding ways to ameliorate the damage and ensure it doesn't get worse is done through research, dialogue and protesting about things in a sensible way. Some of these morons were maniacally screaming for the evil people who take flights regularly to stop. And for people to stop driving so much and take public transport. Yet you never see environmentalist fanatics protesting at the government's transport policy that says to take a train to London from Leeds will cost over £100 but to drive costs whatever it takes to full your tank (about £47 for a 1.8 litre family car).

The only thing they can protest about is the poor sod who presented with that choice, takes his car instead of the train. Evidently environmentalist protesters are all independently wealthy judging from the fact that they think the 100 quid train ticket is a viable option and judging from the fact they can bugger off for days at a time to 'protest.

Jackasses!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Heroes

Just come out of a bank holiday here in the UK and today was back to work - what fun! (not).

I've just recently started to watch Heroes - never paid it much attention until stumbling upon it one bored evening. Now I'm hooked. It's really a great storyline - and the type of thing that leaves you wondering what happens next. Trust me that doesn't happen much in UK TV. Here magazines will tell you the cliffhanger to a series months in advance! Crazy I think. It's the same with trailers for TV shows, the announcer basically tells you the plot - we've taken to muting the telly when they come on.

Sad really - there are a couple of really good, well produced TV shows done here - notably Spooks and Hustle but they are in the minority. SO we find ourselves watching US TV for the most part - CSI (all of them), Law and Order (all of them), Shark, House etc.

Well - I'm off to wait for tomorrow's episode of Heroes.

In other news - what the heck happened to Asafa?!!. His Royal Highness and I watched speechless. The pain however was greatly alleviated with Veronica's performance.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Glad to Hear . . .

Man, I was glad to hear that Dean didn't pound Jamaica as badly as expected. Not to say it isn't still bad - but glad it wasn't too bad anyway.

Not much on the news front here - the major issue is that Italian murderer who authorities (not the government mind - the judiciary) have decided it would be in breach of his human rights to be deported to Italy (where he was born and lived until her was three or so). SO he will be allowed to stay in the UK. I couldn't help but think of the many law abiding hardworking immigrants - especially Jamaican teachers who they tried to throw out of the country earlier on in the year - and sigh.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Black Heroes

All my prayers to loved ones in Jamaica - My loved ones are fine - hope yours are too.

Check out this excellent story in the Independent a few days ago. Tells you about notable black people - many of which I hadn't heard of - from Latin America. http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2872072.ece

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Alcohol Foolishness

Check out this story in today's Times. Basically this mother asks if it is right to serve alcohol to 14 year olds - gives the impression it isn't and then admits allowing her 14 year old son to get drunk in her own home!

Unbelievable! http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article2266099.ece

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Calls to Curb Underage Drinking

Check out this story in today's Guardian. (The story is doing the rounds of most of the dailies here). http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,,2148619,00.html

It's about the fact that a police chief is urging action on underage drinking. This folows on from the kiling of a dad who went to remonstrate with some youths outside his house who were vandalising his car.

There is a serious problem in the UK with alcohol and sadly most people here don't recognise that there is a problem. The aim for most Brits is to get drunk. It seems alien to them to treat alcohol as a component of a meal or an evening out - for them it's the main event. And especially so for young people. To get drunk is thought of as fun.

It makes for a pretty miserable evening if - like most people in the world you are normal and don't aim to get drunk every time you imbibe - you go out in the City Centre on the weekend. There are belligerent people and people throwing up all over the place. The vomit stains remain for ages unless it rains - it's truly disgusting.

Maybe with the call by the police chief and a few others that have been raised (throat cancer is also up) the British will finally see that their attitude to alcohol is dreadful and not helpful to themselves. We will see.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Not Enough Hours in the Day

My father! There's not enough hours in the day to do everything! Been on holiday last week and now I'm back - but I'm also studying. So excuse me for neglecting this blog - I will be back in effect tomorrow.

In the meantime - those of you in the UK - the X-Factor starts on Saturday (Simon Cowell's singing contest for all ages). I love the audition stage where the people are hilarious. Let the games begin.

I think Cowell is missing out on another revenue stream (not that he needs another one!). I personally would pay a few quid to be in the room when these people audition - just put me behind a two way mirror, give me sound and enough carpeted floor space to drop and roll. Hey, it's all clean fun!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tidbits from here and there

Ten most embarrassing moments on stage this year. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article2189373.ece?OTC-HPtoppuff&ATTR=beyonce. I know it’s terrible but some of this is very funny.

**

The Guardian and other papers are saying that apparently women prefer men with more feminine looks. Which women? Not the ones I know.

**

This story is about a man who was asleep in his bed at 6:10 one Tuesday morning. The thief breaks into his flat on the 4th floor and he wakes and confronts him. They argue and the thief falls from the window and is now critical. Guess who got arrested and could face life in prison? Yep – the homeowner. Read the story carefully – here in the UK if you chase a tief from yu yard and the tief gets injured YOU will be prosecuted. What kinda bad wud bad wud bad wud foolishness is this? I’m off now to thump something. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=474025&in_page_id=1770&ct=5

Later

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Music - Good Music

Have been reminiscing with His Royal Highness and a friend of his about good music. And we sound like our parents. You know, saying things like back in the day and they don't write them like that anymore. But you know what? They don't.

Songs from people like Oleta Adams, Randy Crawford, Professor Nuts, the Commodores, Marvin Gaye and a whole bunch of others I can't remember right now (Remember Expose in the 80s?)

Take a trip onto Youtube and do some random searches - they even have some great old Buju (but sadly no Lovinder - I was looking for the Light a Candle song the other day. If anyone knows where to find it let me know). You will definitely enjoy yourself.

Monday, July 30, 2007

No Shipping Costs

Check out this story in USA Today about Amazon . http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2007-07-29-amazon_N.htm It's about their website Prime and how they don't charge for shipping - a really interesting read.

Later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Soul II Soul is Back!

Yes folks - Soul II Soul is releasing a new single. It's been 25 years since their heyday and they're back in the studio - Jazzy B the founder and vocalist Caron Wheeler.

Take a look at the link for more details. http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/2007/07/25/soul-legends-are-back-89520-19517928/ Can't wait to hear the material.

Later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bad FLoods

Things are rough here in the UK. A few weeks ago there were bad floods here in Yorkshire - people died and some still haven't been able to go home.

Now in the south west there have been even worse floods and more are to come. The pictures on the news are terrible. Thousands of homes are without running water and electricity because the electricity plants have been flooded.

So far there has effectively been no summer in the UK this year - the weather is going crazy.

There's a lot of talk of whether or not it's because of climate change or not yada yada - whatever you believe it's pretty sure that massive weather change is here and we will have to adapt to deal with it or more people will die.

It was odd to see people lining up for hours to get handouts of drinking water - much like people have to do in other parts of the world that experience frequent natural disasters. Kind of makes us all one eh?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

U-Turn For Foreign Teachers

The British authorities have finally seen sense and done a U-turn on requiring foreign teachers to get UK qualifications after working here for four years.

It finally dawned on them that there would be a significant gap in schools - schools which desperately need teachers - if they followed through with this ridiculous requirement. But it is only a postponement. All foreign teachers have been given an amnesty until next September.

Again though, this smacks of 'not much thought being put into it.' At this point teachers have already been fired in anticipation of them being deported. In order for them to enroll in the necessary courses they would have to have an anticipation of being able to stay in the country. And what if the relevant courses had a sign up deadline of before the amnesty? By next September these teachers would still be in the same position.

Why oh why can't they admit their xenophobic or racist reasons for having this rule in the first place? As I have repeatedly said, if these teachers are performing - and all evidence so far says they are - and if they are allowed to teach for FOUR WHOLE YEARS on their own qualifications, CLEARLY there is no real need for them to get others in order to continue doing the good job they are already doing.

The authorities must stop the foolishness, stop impeding these teacher's (and by extension their students' - BRITISH students') progress and instead should help them as much as possible. If foreign teaching qualifications are substandard - then foreign teachers should either not be hired or at least not be allowed to teach on 'substandard' qualifications for FOUR years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Facebook and Immaculate

A school friend of mine from Immaculate sent me an invitation to join her on Facebook the other day and I have become hooked! It's really fun contacting old friends and checking out their pix etc. It's also very easy to use.

Along the same lines - I was reading my high school alumnae newsletter and it had a link for a website some old girls started. It has a lot of really good photos which brought back a lot of surprisingly good memories. Check it out. http://www.ichsalumnae.net/

When I was at Immaculate, I never thought it was really cool to be associated with the school as the feeling was that a lot of 'Cherry Gardens' people went there. and I most certainly didn't fit into that bracket. Add to that my sisters going to Queens (they refused point blank to even pick Immaculate as one of their choices!) and that explains my feelings. No doubt there were many snobs at school, but there were also a lot of girls (most of them really) who weren't and who were a lot of fun and good friends. It was nice to see some of them again.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Advertising and Race - The L'oreal Issue

Read this story in the guardian today. http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,,2120789,00.html. It's about the fact that Garnier - a part of L'Oreal made it pretty clear that they only wanted white girls to stand in stores and push their products. This was in France. Apparently racism in the work place happens a lot in France.

It reminds me of a time in Jamaica in the early 90s. I was at UWI and a part of the University Dramatic Arts Society (UDAS). A leading ad agency was doing an ad for a feminine hygiene product and they contacted UDAS for people. However, they outrightly said they only wanted 'brownin's' or light skinned people.

We couldn't believe it! Well that sealed their fate. We all decided that only the darkest skinned people would go to the shoot. Suffice it to say they weren't happy.

And now this almshouse is still happening. Thankfully the company involved has been penalised. They are appealing the decision - I wonder why?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

BBC Journalist Released

Today it was announced that the BBC journalist who had been held in Palestine for 16 weeks had been released. Lovely to hear some good news for a change.

In other matters . . .

His Royal Highness would like an SUV so we are doing the rounds. Test drove a Chevrolet Captiva today. It was a very nice ride and it didn't feel too big for me to drive. The outside looked god too but the interior was very disappointing - it looked cheap. Part of the deal is three years free service and it comes with a five year guarantee so that's good. It doesn't hold a candle to the Santa Fe though.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why a Live Liver Transplant Now in the UK - years after . . .?

Apparently live liver transplants have been taking place for the past 15 years.

However, in the UK, the first NHS live liver transplant took place this week.

Again, the first time chip and pin was introduced in the UK was last year or the year before. That is, before then you couldn't use plastic to buy something without signing for it - something that has been done in Jamaica for years.

Why on earth has it taken 15 years to do the liver transplant here on the NHS - a service most people use. I assume the qualification of saying 'on the NHS' means there might be a possibility it has been done here privately - but I wouldn't bet on it.

Globally, we must revisit ideas about who is truly advanced and who is not.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The muslim point of view

I guess by now you would have heard of the terror attacks - sucessful and unsucessful here in the UK.

A while back I mentioned the reaction of 'moderate' muslims or rather the lack of a response. Here's some reactions from muslims themselves.

http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/yasmin_alibhai_brown/article2727903.ece


http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2727899.ece

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If Moderate Muslims Exist They Need to Speak Up

Once again Muslims are being portrayed as idiotic, unthinking animals - and it's those of their own ranks who are doing it.

Imagine, an independent and democratic country, the UK decides it will give Salman Rushdie a knighthood and a bunch of Muslims decide this should not be done because they believe this man has insulted their religion. Therefore EVERYONE else in the world has to agree with them or be considered an enemy.

For goodness sake!

One jackass even said that it would be right for a suicide bomber to blow up Rushdie.

I am yet to hear any moderate Muslims speaking out against this idiocy.

This is why Muslims and Islam have such a terrible reputation because it seems as though the religion and the proponents of it are intolerant, stupid and backward.

The other major religion, Christianity has some backward attitudes attached to it (in terms of the role of women) but any Christian can tell you that the perception has come about because of people perverting the tenets of Christianity - and you can point to millions of Christians living their lives and not adhering to these or other distortions of their faith. Maybe there are millions of Muslims who do likewise and if this is so they need to step out and show themselves - prominently.

When the story comes to bump - some Muslim moderate will be dragged into the public arena to say that Islam is a faith of peace - that it believes in the equality of women etc. etc./ But if this is so why can't we see it?

If these fanatics are really on the fringe - why are they so prominent? The David Koreshs and the Jack Jones (who it was clear to see weren't true Christians but nutters) haven't spawned thousands of other Christians trying to kill themselves and others in the process. I know this did happen in Ireland for many years but it was only in Ireland - that country has its own unique painful history.

But why are Muslims behaving like ignorant barbarians in so many parts of the world - without a clear picture for the rest of us to see what it means to be a true Muslim? It's time to question whether or not this religion actually is one of peace or if the fanatics represent the true face of Islam - and if so steps need to be taken to secure free countries from the terribly negative effects.

The wussy British government hasn't made any stern comment on the Pakistani Religious minister's comments about the suicide bomber - because (according to channel 4 news) they want to keep Pakistan sweet in the fight against terror. This is wrong. You can't have people advocating killing someone because of their beliefs and stay quiet.

I congratulate Sir Rushdie and hope he stays alive.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Politricks

So Lisa Hanna is running for a constituency? I haven't delved very deep yet - just read some of the current stories so I haven't got the details of what happened when it happened. But it seems that she wasn't picked fairly to run for the seat in St. Ann and it also seems that people are pissed off that she should be running for a seat in an area that she doesn't live in and probably knows little about.

Sound like a right royal cock up. I'll read more and report back.

In other news Shonda Rimes has seemingly given in to pressure and 'not asked Isaiah Washington to come back' next season. All of this because he called one of his co-stars (the guy who plays George[?]) a faggott. This actor is gay and he took exception to the term as did many other people. In return Isaiah went to 'rehab' and apologised many times and hung out with some gay groups for awhile - but all seemed to be in vain. I'm pissed he's leaving - First of all he is the best looking man on the show (God know why people thing McDreamy looks good. I swear white women are blind!) And secondly I love his and Yang's relationship.

To have him effectively fired after all the apologies etc serves no purpose whatsoever. A really stupid move.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Recycling?

Here in the UK there has been much talk about how little we recycle. Most local councils provide green bins for recycling and some are planning to penalise households who throw too much rubbish away and don't recycle enough.

Now I recycle. All my recycling goes into that green bin which is collected once every fortnight (too infrequently for me - I fill the bin in three days). Then it dawned on me the other day.

Unless the council employs people to separate the recycling (and I doubt they do) that means my 'recycling' is going into the landfill. What hypocrites!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Messing Around With Your Means of Earning a Living

Messing Around With Your Means of Earning a Living. Something that many people in the UK seem to have an affinity for - even if it doesn't benefit them.

Case in point the situation with foreign teachers. The UK authorities will target countries like Jamaica and try and get teachers to come to their country to teach the kids that no British teacher in their right mind wants to teach. So these Jamaican teachers come over and teach these kids - and believe me - it's not a pleasant task. They face racial and physical abuse, kids who have no interest in learning, who indeed actually laud ignorance and scorn intelligence, and rampant indiscipline.

Now upon recruitment, these teachers' qualifications and experience is adequate. But here in the UK for some asinine reason, those qualifications and that experience 'disappears' at the end of four years. For after teaching for four years in the UK education system you have to pay for, take the time out to do and obtain what they call Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If not, you can no longer teach. Poof, livelihood gone. Also as this article in the Gleaner outlines http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070603/lead/lead3.html the information the UK authorities give about QTS is often inaccurate and obtaining it is not easy when you are working, much less when you are working in the worst schools, often under what they call 'special measures.' This means that on top of teaching and dealing with the crap I described above, you are assessed by the authorities CONSTANTLY. The stress is incredible.

Now you tell me why for the first four years a Jamaican teacher's qualifications are acceptable but after they are not? That makes any sense whatsoever to you?

This place is unbelievable! It's one of two things. They are screwing with foreign teacher's livelihoods - or feel that them coming to teach is some kind of activity that only benefits the foreign teacher - because they come to live in '1st world country' and therefore there must be a limit on the 'bounty,' or they have no care whatsoever for their own kids. For logic would state that if a Jamaican has to get British qualifications to teach here, therefore the Jamaican qualifications aren't any good, therefore letting them teach for four years based on these Jamaican qualifications is placing sub standard teachers in the UK system. Ergo British kids suffer.

The whole situation is ridiculous. Teaching qualifications do not expire - if that was the case then why do British trained teachers not have to gain some other form of qualification after fours years in order to keep on teaching?

The sad thing is that the UK DOES need teachers and by keeping up this almshouse all they are doing is shooting themselves in the foot - because let's be honest - the culture here is not one conducive to obtaining a great education - because of the British attitude. Taking out qualified ( and yes, Caribbean qualifications are top notch) teachers is just adding to the gross ignorance sweeping this country.

Really really stupid in my opinion.

And in the meantime, teachers who put up with incredibly terrible conditions, can no longer earn a living doing something valuable and something they love in spite of the lack of discipline and the dedication to remain ignorant that is the hallmark of so many British people.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why Will So Many English People Not Wash Their Hands After Using the Bathroom?

My goodness! You'd think it was elementary wouldn't you? But no.

Here's the scene.

I'm in the ladies at work in a cubicle doing my thing. I hear the 'lady' next to me finish, flush and emerge from the cubicle. The next sound? 'Bang!' as the door to the bathroom crashes closed, leaving our nasty germ spreading workmate on her way to spread disease.

What in God's name is wrong with these folks?

'Aah but surely,' you might say 'this happens elsewhere?' Well I have lived in two countries so my point of reference is based on them and the answer to that question is 'Hell No!!!'
I have never been in the bathroom in Jamaica and had that happen, NEVER. But here? It happens several times a day. And then there is wonder that such a thing as MSRA exists!

Another thing. Given that so many of the hygiene standards inflicted on the rest of the world originally came from here, why do they not use them themselves? You go to an eating establishment here people and the same person handling the food handles the money. It is disgusting! I went to a sandwich shop last summer and the lady scooped tuna onto the bread, picked all the vegetables up with her ungloved hand and put them onto the sandwich, wrapped it up and then proceeded to collect my money from me. And this happens almost everywhere I go in the UK.

Even the plastic wrapped things - I went into a leading bakery where I frequently used to get sandwiches and one day I saw that they made them on site - with no gloves!

Don't even get me started on a friend who worked in a chocolate factory where they were allowed to lick their fingers - and yes, you guessed it - they didn't wear gloves.

Good God. These places would go out of business back in JA. Not to mention the places here that have food out in the open on counters where people can spit over them.

NASTY PEOPLE! Wash unu hands after you go to the bathroom and if you handle money, don't handle the food! This is basic hygiene.

A fantastic exception to this? Big up to the baked potato man on Albion Place in Leeds, he and his mate wear gloves. They will keep the gloves on while they sort out your potato, peel one off to take the money and put it back on after. Praise be - there is somewhere safe to eat in the UK.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tax foolishness and a poor Angolan family

Councils are pushing ahead with their plans to put computer chips in people's bins - some already have I understand. The plan is still to charge people for tthe amount of rubbish they throw away - the argument being you will pay less if you recycle more.

Let me remind you again that each house in the UK has to pay Council tax - ours is £75 per month. This money is supposed to pay for local services such as the police, the fire department etc. and rubbish removal. Yet the government wants us to pay again to have rubbish removed!

The thing that amazes me is that English people just pay these ridiculous taxes, they don't protest - well not seriously. Why on earth should we pay twice for rubbish to be removed? That makes sense to you?

Also if there was any doubt about the level of racism in the UK the following story sadly removes it. Read this and see what I have been talking about. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/tm_headline=forced-out-by-race-hate-mob%26method=full%26objectid=19201083%26siteid=89520-name_page.htmlThis happened in Leeds in the 21st century! Mercifully a soupcon of progress lies in the fact that they were jailed.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Racists and Jackasses!

Hear the latest from the UK.

Recently there was a scandal when the Home Office was found to be lax in trying to deport foreign criminals. Part of the solution? To try and deport British people with 'foreign sounding names.'

Yes folks, that is exactly what is happening. Let me tell you the story I just heard on Channel Four News.

This guy was convicted of driving while disqualified and sent to jail. After he came out the authorities said they wanted to deport him. The only problem with this picture? He is British.

But this didn't matter to the authorities. In spite of the fellow producing his passport they still went ahead and drew up the paperwork to deport him. They accused him of having a forged passport. When he asked them where they planned to deport him to, they said Pakistan. The man's family were originally from India.

Now people, can you imagine. These bad wud racist idiots have taken a look at this guy, picked a country out of the hat based on how he looks (Pakistan) and decided to put him on a plane there never to return. And this is not just a 'little' incident. The people actually drew up the necessary paperwork! He is now suing as are many others who have had the same problem.

The same almshouse happened in another situation. There was a scandal with the way junior doctors were being hired (another looong story!). Suffice it to say that those with 'foreign sounding' names were refused interviews on the basis that they must be in the country unlawfully.

This place reveals itself to be more and more disgusting each day.

Will someone please give me some suggestions as to a better place to live where it is possible to prosper and not be shot!

Some contenders so far:

British Virgin Islands
St. Lucia
Dominica
St. Kitts Nevis
Bermuda
The Bahamas
Canada
The US
St. Vincent

Any other suggestions would be very welcome.


I AM SERIOUS!

Just read this wcked joke over at Mad Bull. Fantastic. Go and take a look people. It fits into my sentiments above.
http://www.madbull4.net/wordpress/

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Common Sense

Common sens is on an extended holiday in the UK. Two points.

A little girl of three was abducted from her bedroom while she and her family were on holiday in the Algarve (Portugal). Her parents left her and her two year old twin siblings in bed in their room alone while they went out to dinner at a restaurant 100 metres alone. (Don't ask!).

Anyway, they are questioning a guy about it and the press here have released the man's name and plastered it all over the place even though there is no evidence he had anything to do with it. Surely it would make sense to not report the man's name unless there's is solid evidence against him? The press here did the same thing a few months ago when there were killings of prostitutes in Essex. A man was questioned and they put his name in all the papers and a week later it turned out he wasn't the murderer, someone else was.

Secondly, Prince Harry is in the army. He was supposed to go to Iraq - really wanted to - but now can't because he will prove to be a serious threat as the insurgents will target him specially. Like duh! Why on God's green earth was his planned whereabouts publicised so much? If they'd said nothing except he has finished his training and is now operational in the army - he could have gone where he wanted.

Unbelievable - but then again sadly not eh?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shaquanda Cotton

(Get past the name people, this is serious)

Yes, google Shaquanda and find out more about her. I got her story from my uncle in an email. I like to check these things out before publicising them because you can get a lot of hoaxes on the net. But this seems to be legit, much to my distress.

The upshot is that this young schoolgirl when 15 shoved a hall monitor (58). Yes, this was wrong, yet she was sentenced to seven years in prison for it. This happened in Paris Texas, famous for it's rotten treatment of black people.


I'm to mad to talk much about it. Take a look for yourself. (I am still harbouring a hope that it isn't true. Let me know if you get any evidence to say it isn't). But if is is this just makes me sick.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A New Prime Minister

Well, Tony Blair has finally said when he will be leaving - in June. So now his heir apparent, Gordon Brown is doing the rounds as he has declared officially his desire to be leader of the party.

He says he will lead a listening government and that mistakes have been made with regards to the Iraq war.

We will see.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Earthquake in the UK

The longer I live in England the more it becomes like Jamaica! First gun and knife crime is on the up and hurricane like storms happen and now earthquakes.

There was an earthquake in Ken this morning (about 8a. UK time). It measured around 4 on the Richter scale and was large enough to cause structural damage to buildings. The pictures I've seen have bricks from walls and houses lying in the street.

I didn't think things like that happened here at all. Well you live and you learn. Hope they don't come up north.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Third World? Think Again

In many respects Jamaica is in no way undeveloped and the UK is very undeveloped.

I tried to borrow 1984 and The Memorandum by Vaclav Havel from my local library. Neither are there. Now fair enough on the Havel but 1984?

I wanted to re-read the Havel play because I had read it at high school - it had been in the school library. Can you imagine? Leeds central library outdone by a 'third world' high school library.

And also using your ATM card at the checkout without having to sign a slip. They've just started doing that here in the UK since last February when we've been doing that in JA for years.

I've come to learn that the definitions need to be ignored as broad brushes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Media Are Collossal Hypocrites

One short point to make this evening. Nearly all newspapers and news shows have been saying how terrible it is that the video of the evil nutter who shot up Virginia Tech has been shown - all said underneath a still from said video!

Puleeze!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Devil Wears Prada

I finally saw this movie last night. (I wait until movies are on cable before I see them - cheaper). I read the book ages ago and loved it - Miranda reminded me of many female bosses I have had over the years (marmee, make it stop!!!)

Whew, sorry about that - I try to forget these women.


Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the move was good even though they hollywoodized it in some respects. I really like Meryl Streep's performance - she was very good and she looks god with more weight on.


It's not often I see a 'nice' film - so often in the recent past I have been bitterly disappointed, which is why I no longer go to the cinema to pay £7 unless I am sure it will be good. Anyway, if you haven't watch this - even His Royal Highness liked it so it isn't a chick flick. Now I await Borat on cable . . .

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Only One Story or No News Today!

If you live in the UK today depending on your viewpoint there has only been one story or there has been no news at all.


ALL headlines (barring the eminently sensible Independent kiss kiss!) state that a man and a woman in a relationship have broken up.


Like I said - no news today.

See you tomorrow - perhaps then a man and a woman might go out to dinner? How terribly terribly exciting, what!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Racists Idiots again and a dancing Tyson.

http://business.guardian.co.uk/onamerica/story/0,,2056553,00.html

You see how the racist arsehole ( I know, I know, it’s a tautology) has been forced out of his job. When will these fools realise that being sorry you were caught is not the sames as being sorry for being an uncivilised animalistic jackass?

For those who aren’t familiar with the story, a US radio DJ by the name of Don Imus referred to the ladies on a basketball team (only two in the team were white) as ‘nappy headed hos. I’m sick of white people saying stuff like this and then saying sorry. Sorry my arse! If you didn’t mean it you wouldn’t have said it. Racist comments like that do not just slip off the tongue with no connection to the sayer’s heart. And they consistently bleat on and on that they aren’t racists, it was just a slip up. **** off to that I say!

As for the CBS executive, they are a million times over arseholes! Making it seem like they are making a principled stand when initially they did nothing, then when Al Sharpton tore them a new one they suspended the idiot Imus for two weeks. Only when the big bucks started to flush away down the toilet did they fire the man. An amoeba could tell that they are not concerned with ensuring their people are human and civilised – just with cash.
***
A headline from today’s Guardian (link to story here) http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2056819,00.html

Tyson to dance his way into Bollywood

My fada! What next?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Leo (Justin) Whyte Dead

Just read this story in the Gleaner http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070412/lead/lead6.html about the death of Justin Whyte. He used to be the entertainment editor at the Gleaner and for many years was the director of the Glenmuir Choir. I knew him - not well but because of my involvement in the music world in Ja.

Things seem to be escalating in Ja. I keep reading about more and more people being killed - in terrible ways - and more and more I am knowing the people. It is incredibly sad.

I pray that his family will be comforted. Same for Slow Poke.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No to Forced Fatherhood

Saw today that a lady who had taken her case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights lost.

The background is a woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She and her then partner had embryos made and frozen so that they could have kids after her treatment. Following her treatment the lady wad infertile and she and her boyfriend broke up. But she still wanted to have his child. He however didn't want to have kids with her as their relationship had ended.

A really sad time for her but I agree with the courts. You can't force someone to have a kid with you or at least you shouldn't be able to. I hope she comes to term with it. She's only 34 so she should be bale to adopt.

In other matters what a prekeh with the Man U Roma game tonight eh? First a big ole fight outside of Old Trafford and then a big dussing 7:3 to Manu U. Ouch!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Murder Seems to be on the Rise in the UK

I haven't researched any official figures, but lately there have been a lot of knife and gun murders in the UK. And sadly, the majority of them involve young black men as both perpetrator and victim. It's terrible. I wonder what is causing it? It's very disturbing and for the first time in six years I am a bit nervous about going to London (which is where the majority of these crimes happen).

The latest gun crime though involves white people. Some guy shot a pregnant woman over some feud apparently - read the story here http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,,2053217,00.html

I hope things don't go down the road of the US or Jamaica - God help us if they do.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bigging Up the Funk Brothers

Watched a documentary last night (or rather this morning, it was on after midnight) on BBC 4 about the Funk Brothers.

Now for those of you who don't know, the Funk Brothers were the house musicians at Motown during the golden years in Detroit. I also happen to be reading a biography of Diana Ross right now so they were relevant. I've read in many places that they were not credited on the tracks they played for because the powers that be didn't want rival labels to steal them so it was lovely to see them get some recognition.

As far as I know, these talented musicians played on all Motown tracks of that time and were responsible for a lot of great music. If the above is true it's a crying shame that their own people denied them the recognition they deserved. I hope the remaining guys (a few have died) are prospering now and will continue to be remembered!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hypocrisy about Slavery

Recently at a church service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the abolition of the slave trade, protester Toyin Agbetu disrupted the service stating that the Queen and the church should be ashamed.

There's been a lot of talk lately about the collective hand wringing and back patting of white Brits about this issue. There have been a lot of events around the abolition of the slave trade but the focus has been on people like Wilberforce. Almost nothing has been said about those brave black men and women like Nanny and Toussaint who fought against slavery.

Toyin's protest and his feelings on the subject speak to this fact. I agree with him. He maintains that nothing has been learned from the experience and instead of being ashamed of their part in it and instead of trying to learn from their mistakes and come to understand black people, white English people see themselves as superior beings because they were the first ones to abolish the slave trade.

Unbelievable! Slavery was abhorrent and saying it is a positive that the perpetrators of it abolished the trade (note not the practice) is as ridiculous as congratulating a killer who is in the process of strangling someone, for stopping mid strangle becaus eit's obvious the victim has no cash.

I see no reason whatsoever for congratulating any white person for ending either the slave trade or slavery. At the end of slavery those bastards actually compensated the plantation owners with vast sums of money and gave the former slaves nothing to start out in life. This immediately put black people at a major disadvantage and it is only through our own collective efforts that just over 100 years later we are where we are. White people were never concerned with the betterment of our kind in getting rid of slavery - it just started to be un-profitable with the advent of mechanisation and a change in economies.

I also have no doubt that there were many white people who believed it was wrong but this is not why it ended. It ended in spite of them.

Even today white people here in the UK haven't a clue as to the ramification of slavery - they have little knowledge of what even went on at the time. The only people who do know are those old enough to have seen Roots which was shown in the late 70s and has yet to be re-broadcast! Why? Because it isn't taught in school here.

I agree with Toyin's sentiment, expressed in an article I read (can't remember where, sorry, try googling him). He posits that white people collectively never did nor do they want now, equality for black people. Any progress has to come from ourselves - by creating our own wealth and institutions, by supporting those mainstream institutions that behave properly and in educating ourselves about the truth.

Check out the story from the BBC about what happened and like I said, google this guy - very interesting. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6523327.stm

Monday, April 02, 2007

I'm Back!!!

Yes, the show is over and I'm back. It was a great success - check out the pix and reviews at http://www.thelaos.com

Was reading the Ja papers and saw that story on the Rasta Miss Universe - wicked. Who would have thought it eh? As a woman who wears locks too (though not a rasta) it was good to see - and hers are rally pretty but that is not the point, I know, I know.

Check out the story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070331T180000-0500_121178_OBS_RASTAFARIANS_EMBRACE_FIRST_BEAUTY_QUEEN_.asp

Later.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sorry about the silence

Sorry about the silence, but as I'd mentioned I'm doing a musical - Ragtime this week. After it's over I should be back to posting as usual.

In the meantime I've been a bit out of things but I have noticed the news about the murder of the Pakistan manager in JA. It has been on the news a lot here in the UK with a lot of live feeds from Jamaica - usually talking to Mark Shields. The Brits like to feel comfortable and talking to one of their own does that I guess. Some people have been saying that the World Cup should have been canceled after the death but that seems rather silly doesn't it? If the rumours are true then carrying on would be the best thing to do eh?

Anyway I'm no authority on matters cricket - I'll leave these things to the likes of His Royal Highness.

So far the show is going OK but I miss the camaraderie you get from a bunch of Caribbean folk in a musical/theatrical situation. I was with the University Singers for six seasons and we used to have a lot of fun on and off the stage. It's not the same in the UK sadly.

Anyway - later.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SUVs and Mugabe

Went with His Royal Highness today to look at SUVs - we'll be changing our car in August as by then it will be three years old and in anticipation of little feet hopefully in 2008 - and to help transport family members now - we've decided to go for an SUV. Not very environmentally friendly I know . . .

Now HRH just loves the Audi Q7 but at 40 thousand pounds plus - I don't think so! So we went to look at a Hyundai Santa Fe - a 'steal' at 22 thousand for an 07 model. It was really nice!!. If you get a chance, go look at one. The three years is up in August - I'll tell you what it's like then if we still go for it.

On a completely different plane - things in Zimbabwe are going to hell in a hand basket eeeh? Something seems to be changing though and maybe there's a chance that Mugabe will be overthrown. It's a crying shame what he has become. He's never been a saint, but from my reading, and talking to Zimbabweans - he used to have the country's best interests at heart and was serious about keeping the wealth of the land for the black people and not the white folk to owned nearly everything. There's a lot of history behind some aspects of his attitude and actions - if you can, read the summary of the Lancaster House agreement which pertains to Zimbabwe's independence in the early 80s. It's very revealing. But he's lost his natural mind if he thinks that taking the farms from the white people in the way he did has helped his land. He needed a much better game plan and there is no excuse for causing the suffering of his own people and living in luxury for himself.

A former friend who is Zimbabwean posits that his second wife who is a lot younger than him and has a distinct taste for the high life - has contributed greatly to his terrible behaviour. Fair point to an extent- but that can't explain everything. Bottom line is he has lost the plot and needs to go. It will take generations to repair the financial chaos but I hope that the recent rumblings of discontent in areas you wouldn't expect (Southern African politicians) signal he beginning of the end of the misery.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cricket!

Boy from where I sit in cold h'englan the cricket looks very exciting. Now I am not a cricket person - my Dad used to play and won trophies and my husband (His Royal Highness, for it is he) watches but for the life of me I still can't understand the game and HRH won't explain - so I can't really enjoy it. Anyway, I really wish I had taken holiday now.

I am under pressure right now which is why I am posting less. I am a member of the Leeds Amateur Operatic Society and we are doing a production of Ragtime at the Grand Theatre starting March 27. So I am at rehearsal most evenings. For anyone who is in the environs, check out the show - it is great, even if I say so myself. Here's the link to the website http://www.thelaos.com

Later

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Black Cowboys and DB9s

Check out this photo story on some ‘urban cowboys’in the States. http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=4&subID=1237 A bunch of black guys in Philadelphia have taken over some disused buildings and are using them for stable sot house their ponies which they ride. Quite interesting really. By the way, I recommend this online paper, The First Post. It was established and run by journalists I believe.

In other news Ford is letting go of Aston Martin. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/transport/article1494980.ece Hope the DB range stays as wicked looking as it is.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Racism in the Army and Other Matters

Plenty of debate back on the Rock about whether or not the government should have spent billions on new stadia for the World Cup instead of spending it on the needy. Some commentators have said that the money was loaned to Jamaica only for the World Cup so it couldn’t have helped the poor anyway. Some say it is bad mindedness to complain about the expenditure and that having the competition in the region is a boon for all. Personally, I don’t think the poor will be any better off as a result of the World Cup. Opportunities to benefit from many things, including the knock on economic effects from such an event as the World Cup is sadly still in the purview of the wealthy.
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http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=1211
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1488774.ece

Check out these stories above about the Tory frontbencher who made comments about black people in the army. (Sigh) So many issues here that I am too weary to elaborate. As Linda Richman said on SNL, talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. Most white people are too dumb to treat people who don’t look like themselves, like human beings. Discuss.
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And in other news, Mr. Humphries from Are You Being Served (Aym Free!) has died. http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,2029031,00.html . Hard to believe that show was on 30 years ago.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Punishing Families

There's a story in today's Guardian about how Britain is seemingly penalising working mothers. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2026203,00.html

It is an interesting point. Apparently many women lose their jobs once they become pregnant. I've noticed that the British are the masters at squeezing people out of things by using roundabout yer legal ways and this is how pregnant women are squeezed out of their jobs even though on the face of it, you cannot fire a woman for being pregnant.

Like the article mentions, the birth rate in the UK is low. In order to maintain certain services there will have to be a certain number of people working over the next generation and as it stands there won't be unless they vastly increase immigration (another story) and get the birth rate up.

And in order to increase the birth rate they will have to make it easier both economically and time wise, for couples to have children. There is a terrible stigma attached to having kids if you are a professional woman. You can do it but to succeed at work you will have to be a lousy mother and neglect your kids. The other alternative is to not have kids, and more and more women are deciding to do that.

Some cultural changes need to happen fast if this situation is to be remedied. For a start, society has to be intelligent and begin to respect the job of raising kids properly and this job will have to be supported. Honestly, isn't the outcome obvious if we don't? More and more unruly, uneducated young people with no social skills.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Roosting Chickens

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6409435.stm
The chickens have come home to roost. Remember a while back I spoke of the outrageous sums that British GPs make? Well now, the NHS is losing money like crazy and the Chancellor has announced new civil service wage ‘increases’. They are getting between 2 and 3% when inflation is about 4%. At least the GPs are getting 0%. Poor things will now be suffering at a minimum of £70k er year! I feel it the most for the nurses though. This is slackness of the highest degree – they should at least get a raise in keeping with inflation! In short they are getting a pay cut! At least the government had the sense to raise the military salaries by about 9%. What they get paid to put their lives on the line is a sick joke. His Royal Highness says often and I agree, the UK is a third world country with a strong currency boy!

Big up to mi sistren Nicole who I knew from UWI. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/AllWoman/html/20070225T190000-0500_119646_OBS_NICOLE_SAMUELS_.asp
A genuinely nice girl. Glad to hear she’s found some new happiness. All the best!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Children Should Have A Healthy Curiosity About Sex but . . .

Read this really interesting article in The First Post today. Take a look. http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=1170.

Makes the very good case that sex, which is something that should be beautiful and a part of life and not the main purpose of it is being degraded in front of our kids. The writer is right - there needs to be a line drawn. The over sexualisation of all things is no good for anyone.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Spencers Taylor no longer with us

Earl Spencer, the gentleman who ran Spencer's tailor in Half Way Tree has died. I remember following my Dad to his store when he got his suits made.

Here's the link to the story. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070218T200000-0500_119350_OBS_WELL_KNOWN_TAILOR_EARL_SPENCER_IS_DEAD.asp

Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of Jamaican legends have died recently? Charles Hyatt, Neville Willoughby, Basil Buck . . .

Later.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gun Crime in the UK

Gun crime is becoming an increasingly serious problem here - and unfortunately it often seems to be perpetrated by young black men. Just watched a story on Channel Four news where they interviewed three black people - a community leader, the Vice Chair (?) of Trident, Claudia Webbe and the musician father, Blacker Dread, of a murdered boy.

On another note, an Estonian gang robbed a jewellery store in town Tuesday - when I went to lunch I passed the police tape and a whole lot of cops. Apparently this is the third time the store had been robbed - at gunpoint - in a year. No one was killed.

Thee is a stark difference here. The Estonian gang had held up this store 3 times and killed no one. A lot of black gangs have sought people out or in the commission of a robbery have killed people. Something is wrong.

I'm sure there are many layers of meaning and many reasons for this, but it isn't pretty and I don't like it at all. Some of the reasons for young black men using guns on the news report were, the usual suspects, TV and videos and absent fathers. But plenty of young people watch TV, videos and have absent fathers and they don't resort to shooting people in cold blood. I mean one young black guy walked into a christening and shot a woman while she was holding a baby! Something is seriously wrong man.

Check these links out for related stories
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article1388791.ece
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6363713.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/gun/Story/0,,2013805,00.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=436274&in_page_id=1770&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=NEWS&ct=5

Monday, February 12, 2007

Come on, Give Workers a Break!

There's been more talk locally about extending flexible working for all workers (instead of just those with kids). I saw a news report on BBC's breakfast show before I left for work (got a new job peeps! a permanent good paying one!). A guy from the small business association was complaining about the plans saying that flexible work hours will not be beneficial to small business owners. There was also a lady who was for it and she also owned a small business. Her view was that (a) the work force was changing, either businesses adapted or they lose and (b) flexible hours can benefit businesses, even small businesses.

I know the difficulties of running a small business. I've worked in many and my Dad has owned many. But it's time for even small business owners to start thinking differently. As was emphasised on the news report this morning, flexible hours can be requested, they don't have to be given if they don't fit into the business. But too often (as far as I have seen) bosses don't want to give employees the opportunity to work flexibly because it seems as though they are giving the employee some level of control of how they come and go - and for many old fashioned business people, this is not to be.

Many sorry business owners have a distinctly feudal attitude to their work force. And they are irrational - not bothering to even think how flexible hours will affect the business.

For most of my working life, my job has consisted of sitting in an office in front of a computer screen - rarely talking on the phone to others. Just dealing with my computer and shuffling papers around - doing non-essential (i.e. I'm not a policeman or doctor) jobs. Most of my friends have similar jobs. There is no reason why if it suits me to come in at 10 and leave at 6 why I or many of my friends cannot do so. It certainly won't hurt the businesses we work for. I have requested this work pattern and been granted it by one of my employers. But most won't entertain it at all.

One job I had I didn't deal with anyone from outside of the business, I was a technical writer and just wrote documents all day. This place had hours from 8:30 until 5:30 and they frowned on you even leaving the building for lunch. Given the nature of my job (they even gave me a laptop and a mobile, why I don't know) I requested to be able to work from home (quite a few others did). I was just turned down out of hand. Ridiculous.

The workplace has changed. And if you think about it you aren't productive in a predictable fashion for many jobs - there are times when things are busy and times when they aren't. Within reason I don't see why people cannot be allowed to work from home, even sometimes, and have flexible hours as long as they are in for core hours if they need to be.

People increasingly want to have a much better work life balance and if employers won't accede to this, then there'll just be more and more people doing their own thing. Hopefully when they then hire people they will be more flexible!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bring Back True Sexiness

Being 35 and His Royal Highness being 41, we are hardly up to speed with the latest in music videos so we make it a point to try and keep up by watching MTV etc for a little while each week.

It is painful.

Now I am by no means a prude but when I watch videos I am angered, disgusted and very turned off by what passes for sexiness.

The basic plot for a male artiste is said male dressed in various levels of bling, expensive cars, money being thrown about, expensive drinks and some scantily clad girls being shown from all kinds of nasty angles. Female artistes usually just restrict themselves to being the scantily clad young girl being filmed from terrible angles. And don’t even talk about lyrics. I particularly hate that Nelly Feurtado song ‘Promiscuous.’ It’s a crying shame, the tune and beat are fantastic but the lyric is terrible. I mean at one point she ask the guy if he’d still respect her the next day if he hit it (or words to that effect). It makes you wonder – do they know what promiscuous means? Couldn’t they have come up with another adjective?

I know young people watch this stuff ad nauseum and it seems that given a lack of attention from many parents nowadays ( particularly here in the ‘developed’ world, this is where they get their ideas of sexiness and interaction between men and women.

What about arousal? What about piquing your interest and holding you spellbound and drawing someone in and drawing out that orgasmic moment for a seemingly endless moment? When I watch modern videos and listen to a lot of modern songs they reduce that beautiful and erotic encounter between man and woman to a mechanical operation of plug slotting into hole. Come on man, this is crap – sexiness is a much more sophisticated thing than that. A lot of the shots used in these videos make me think of gynaecological examinations – usually we get an extended view of some woman’s front. Maybe this works for the guys but couldn’t something more sophisticated work too?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Madness in Many forms

The madness in JA continues. Apparently some gunmen shot the watchman at the NCB nursery – while the kids were there. Dem a get heartless beyond belief. Check out the story here http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070202T230000-0500_118691_OBS_KIDS_TRAUMATISED.asp

Meanwhile here in the UK the bird flu has arrived on a farm in Suffolk. They say there’s nothing to worry about, that it has been contained. We’ll see.

And on a lighter note, take a look at this story I read in USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-02-02-ladies-choice_x.htm The lady’s are in charge on this island off the coast of Africa and they do the proposing – by giving the man of their choice a bowl of fish they have prepared. Apparently the man cannot say no! What a eh!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Too expensive to Have Kids and Work

I don’t have any kids yet but when I do, living in the UK it seems I’ll have to choose between paying to have a job and staying home. There’s no such thing as a helper here and if you work you have to either send your kids to a day care centre or a child minder. According to today’s Guardian http://education.guardian.co.uk/earlyyears/story/0,,2001745,00.html , this can cost up to £152 per week for a child under two.

That’s £608 per month. Unless you earn a very decent salary this can make quite a dent in your earnings and remember that’s for one child. If you have two you’re most definitely screwed and will have to stay home. The modern world does not make it easy to have kids. More and more women are choosing not to have any because it is so incompatible with having a career. And we’re not talking rabid career women here, we’re talking about being able to do something stimulating apart from parenting – for some women this is necessary as is earning a salary. The funny thing is the papers here often talk about the difficulties having so few children will cause in the long term – not enough young people to contribute to the public purse over the next generation so that when we are all pensioners – there won’t be any money. Yet they don’t make it easier for people to have kids and earn a living? Doesn’t’ make any sense.

Porn, Blu-ray and HD DVD
Who do you think will win the Blu-ray vs HD DVD fight? My money is on the cheaper version – HD DVD myself. Apparently though, according to the online paper The First Post http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=2&subID=1383 who will win will be decided by the porn industry! This article claims that the porn industry decided the fight between VHS and Betamax in the 80s. Take a look at the story – quite interesting.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Polar Opposites Not Helpful

There was an interesting article on the BBC website today about class issues in the UK. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6303181.stm

I think I’ve mentioned earlier that there is a lot of backlash against people who speak correct English have aspirations and have money – they are taunted for being posh. It’s as if to have any credibility in the UK you have to aspire to little and be a member of the underclass. This all seems to be a backlash from a time years ago when there was a palpable discrimination against the working class.

When will mankind learn that jumping from one extreme to the polar opposite does nothing but maintain the status quo?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Proposals for Positive Change in the UK

The government has decreed that all areas of the curriculum include diversity issues in order to combat myopia and racism and promote ‘Britishness.’ The proposals are a knee jerk reaction to recent times where various British people have announced their racism to the world. In short the government is embarrassed and seem to think measures like this will solve the problem. It won’t.

The curriculum is already crowded. And kids have enough tests, so much so that the emphasis is on meeting targets and not educating kids. Therein lays the great problem. Kids and by extension adults in the UK are no longer educated very well. This in conjunction with what has morphed into a ‘lowest common denominator’ culture over the years contributes to ignorance which leads to racism. Education and culture needs to be tackled and in a particular way.

Also the foolishness that there is a positive common British culture or Britishness must be dispensed with. The papers always say that the hallmarks of ‘Britishness’ are tolerance and fair play etc. This is laughable and recent events on those two channel 4 programmes have shown that to the world.

I have searched myself and I find it hard to come up with positive attributes that sum up Britishness today. I’m not being anti-British but being honest. I may be wrong and if anyone can tell me some true positive British attributes please do. One thing is that yes, it is true that many British people are ‘tolerant’ but this just means they aren’t racist and accept people for who they are. Sorry but you are supposed to be this way, it’s not an attribute for which a group of people should be given special marks for is it? The negatives are really bad though and more importantly, harmful to the British people. They are things such as:

1) An unhealthy attitude towards alcohol
2) Unwillingness to discipline young people
3) Disrespect for older and elderly people
4) ‘Worship’ of sameness and distrust of individuality – everyone must be the same, anyone different is inferior and to be taunted. Unwillingness to stick out. (In order to win you have to by definition stick out.)
5) Lack of interest in current affairs and an unhealthy obsession with ‘celebrities’ i.e. 10th rate individuals who have become notorious, usually for doing nothing relating to talent.
6) Inability to make well thought out decisions and stick with them even if unpopular.
7) Xenophobia
8) General ignorance and un-inquiring minds.

Here’s my suggestions for positive change.

1) Cut out the whole heap of testing and let schools educate kids. Give educators and parents the authority to educate and discipline kids without fear of prosecution. Grow some damn common sense – anyone with a brain can tell the difference between discipline and abuse. Stop the foolishness!

2) Engender a culture whereby being smart is not looked down upon. His Royal Highness used to teach and was telling me one of his students encouraged a classmate to ‘just fail something and then they’ll leave you alone.’ This pretty much sums it up. In many cases here, being smart is seen as a negative. It’s time we British understood that many of our cultural attitudes and practices are counter productive to a progressive society. This attitude is one of them.

3) Amongst the adults, the idiotic attitude that speaking well, doing well and demanding the best of others is somehow anti-British must stop. Stop embracing losing at every thing, stop putting down the wealthy (unless the wealth is ill gotten) and stop accepting the grossly ignorant and debasing behaviour of many others – especially young people.

4) Drink responsibly. Eat before drinking, know your limits, drink chasers, stop thinking of getting drunk as the aim and start thinking of it as a signal you have over indulged.

5) Once the laws are sorted, discipline your kids. Be firm, make smart decisions and then stick to them like glue. Be immovable in a good way. Don’t let the blighters wear you down! With my parents (as with most Caribbean parents) ‘no’ meant ‘no!’ and you knew there was no hope of changing their minds on certain things. In other areas we were allowed to debate and reason out our case. A friend of mine was encouraged to debate with her father about whether or not she could do certain things. So if she wanted to go to a party for instance she would make sure her report card was good, do her chores etc. ask in good time, make sure her Dad knew where she was going and when she would come back etc. and she would often ‘win’ her case. This all helped encourage rational thought too. Also, enrol your kids in some sort of extra-curricular activity that will expand their minds and help improve social skills. Many Caribbean kids are sent to some music lessons or some sports activity outside of school. This is very beneficial. Many of my friends who were sent to piano lessons were able to parlay this skill into an income earner in later years too.

6) Respect your elders – they have often sacrificed and prepared the way for us. Plus they often have some really interesting stories to tell. And hopefully, you too will live long enough to be old. (This is a good thing).

7) Understand that each one of us are individuals. We are not all the same and this is a good thing. Quit ostracising people just because they are different. It is uncivilised and plain stupid. Ostracise people (if you must) for worthwhile reasons (like being a child molester or something bad) not for being themselves.

8) Take an interest in current affairs – they affect you and your loved ones. What Victoria Beckham wore to a movie premier will not take any cash off your council tax bill, so give it the attention it deserves in relation to rulings on council tax bills i.e. less attention. I’m not saying eschew all frivolous pursuits, but put things in perspective.

9) When a decision needs to be made, gather all relevant information, make an informed decision and make it decisively. Even miscalculating is better than inactivity. Stop waffling over things. If you waffle and don’t make decisions, life will make them for you and you may not like what life decides!

10) Let’s crawl out from our own arses - We are not better than people who come from other countries just because we are British. The world is full of people, most of whom by the way are Asian. I believe the UK is about 0.9% of the world population. Get some perspective and enjoy and learn from other cultures.

11) Enquire about things you encounter. If you know nothing about a particular subject or a particular set of people then shut up about them and stop spreading lies. Instead ‘google’ that subject and learn something. Then next time you open your mouth you will sound intelligent and be able to add something progressive to the discourse. Try omitting the following subjects from your conversations over the next month: drunkenness and alcohol; holidays; pets; DIY; celebrities. Acquire a thirst for knowing more and then go and find out more. If you have a question about the habits of someone of another culture or colour – ask them and don’t impose your own fiction on them and then repeat it to others.

There needs to be a common understanding of what the country wants and where it wants to go. And there needs to be a conscious decision to create the best possible future. With the existing culture and behaviour the country will slip further and further into disgraceful cultural squalor. In order for this to not happen there has to be a conscious decision to change.


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Big up to mi sistren Dr. Cathy Brown who wowed them at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at Half Moon Shopping Village this week. She’s a really nice girl and very talented – met her when I was in University Singers. From the pic in the Gleaner she’s looking good too – the mixture of medicine and music seems to agree with her!