December 31, 2012

A Million Thank You's...

Or if you have a burning need to be exact, 1,003,382 thank you's.

Over one million visitors since I kicked this thing off. I've had my ups and downs, but we are still here. Off into a brave new year where I anticipate....more of the same.

I intend to be a pain in the arse for that inane, inept, insane government for another 12 months. They fully deserve it. In the last 12 months they increased their "take" on my salary to a whopping 73% so I will do what I can, using fair means or foul, to redress that shameful situation.

I hope you do too.

They also produced 4,038 new bits of legislation in 2012. Just to fuck with your life a little bit more than Labour ever did. (Their very best efforts produced just 3,075 new laws in a single year).

Not quite as good as their efforts in 2011 which produced a jaw-dropping (and record-breaking) 4,116.

Which was up on 2010 (although they only started in May) with 3,969.

Only twice, since 1265, has the 4,000 barrier been breached. Both times by this coalition government. The same government that swore to "less interference" and famously, "small government".

Well, if that is their idea of less interference I'd hate to see them really go for it.

For one night only, fuck 'em.

I am going to party like it was, erm, 2012.

Happy New Year to all of my wonderful readers. Thank you so much for putting up with me, AND talking me out of quitting. Three times.

Very best wishes for 2013!!!

Yer old pal,

Capt James Susan Ranty (Ret'd).

December 28, 2012

UK Could Engineer EU Disintegration

The "UK needs the EU" argument has collapsed. If we leave, it all falls apart.

Today I read that we are given a 'warning' by arch-numpty, Herman von Rompuy.

In a staggering display of arrogance, he says that if we leave the EU we will be "....walking alone in the desert". Well, that suits me. And I suspect it will suit the country as well.

Forget the money for a moment. Forget the seemingly endless tranche of inane legislation flowing from Brussels onto our Rolls. Forget, even, the dubious legality surrounding our joining in the first place. Remember instead, that unelected dreamers in a big fancy building in Belgium-a non-country if ever there was one-tell us how to run our country. Remember that for almost 1,000 years we ran the place well enough on our own. It hasn't been beer and skittles all the way but pretty much since the first parliament in 1265 we have been in command of our own destiny. We made mistakes, sure. All nations did. The slave trade, along with tobacco, was paramount in the building of this nation, as it was the USA, and many other countries. Both are now vilified but arguably, we would still be a third world nation without them.

We did some good stuff too. Apart from democracy (I know, I know. It is a badly flawed concept but it is the 'least worse' system of government) we delivered fantastic engineering to parts of the world which would otherwise still be floundering badly. Railways, bridges, sanitation, roads, education, science and health were our combined gift to the world. Adventurers (some thinly disguised as such, I admit, as many were out to make their fortunes. Cecil John Rhodes being just one amongst many) traveled afar and found new plants and animals, minerals, new crops, and essential foods that Britain had an unending appetite for.

My point is that we were in charge. We helped to shape this brave new world. We had influence and we had power. Our leaders were well respected. Our armed forces the finest in the world. The Bank of England was one of the most respected establishments the world over. A cheque drawn on the BoE was like gold. Accepted by all. Our sovereignty was intact. Monarchs, a colourful lot, I'll grant you, were as respected as our politicians and our constabulary. Those were the days. I want them back.

What has changed? In 1971 we made a disastrous decision. Led by the traitor Heath, we were taken, blindly, into a union that should never have seen the light of day. Using hindsight, we can now clearly see that it was a continuation of those two failed German initiatives: to create a United States of Europe. The method altered, but still nevertheless employed force. Instead of using guns and bombs they just robbed us. Every month. The new weapon was called 'taxation'. They took our money and channeled it over the channel where it was (and is) channeled into vanity projects. It pays for the insane dreams of the unelected and unaccountable. Trillions of pounds have been wasted since the 1970's trying to bring 20-odd nations together in a hugely messy mass wedding. Divorce, the EU tells us, is not an option.

Look at what that limp dishrag, that political non-entity, von Rompuy says:

"In a major blow to the Prime Minister’s strategy, Herman Van Rompuy said the European Union would fall apart quickly if countries were allowed to pick and choose which powers they wanted to keep.

Mr Van Rompuy said he wanted Britain to stay in the EU, adding that the UK’s departure would ‘see a friend walk off into the desert’."


"Mr Van Rompuy said sweeping changes to the governance of the EU could even be brought in without a fresh treaty in order to avoid referendums in member states – leaving Mr Cameron with no leverage to demand concessions for Britain."

I don't know about you, but that reads like a threat to me: "Try to escape and we will change the rules to prevent you from escaping". Bloody marvelous.

Read the rest here: von Rompuy's nonsense

Be ashamed, as you read the words of Lightweight Clegg, and remember that his first duty is to our nation. Doesn't look like he knows that, from the words he chooses to use. This no-mark, thrust to the top by a party famous for never making decisions, insists that we remain in The Stupid Club. The same club that says we cannot manage our own affairs. A feat we pulled off for many centuries.  

The europhiles would have you believe that we need the EU. We do not. Dig deeper and have a close look at the figures. They need us more than we need them. This is nothing new. It's not a boast, either. It just is what it is. We have always enjoyed visiting our European pals, many of us relocate there. We had a healthy relationship. Now? It is difficult to look upon our Greek friends, our Spanish friends, our Italian friends or any of those newer member nations with fondness. They are costing us a fortune. Their inability to manage their finances impacts on every taxpayer in the UK. But, put that aside for a moment and imagine their distaste at being bullied and dictated to by von Rompuy and slimy Barroso. Some lawfully elected leaders were replaced with technocrats selected by Brussels. Not so much a democratic outfit by definition, more like a tyranny. And the longer we remain, the more we will be dictated to as well.

I say no.

I say how dare that political dwarf, and his Brotherhood of Conmen dictate anything to us?

I acknowledge that a succession of treasonous men and women in parliament, along with Mrs Windsor, gave the EU bigger and bigger chunks of our sovereignty but repatriation must commence immediately.

The experiment was a failure and we must declare an end to the project. 

I'd rather walk alone in the desert, thank you very much. 



December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

A happy and safe Season's Greetings to all my readers.

Lot's of songs to choose from but I am going with this one (again):

Very best wishes for 2013.

Let's see how much havoc we can cause.

Yer old mucker,

Captain James Mary Ranty (Ret'd).

December 22, 2012

The Guns Of Neverown

I have been thinking about guns lately. Mostly because of Newtown, but also because, like the Americans, we have an ancient right to arm and defend ourselves.

Hence the dodgy title.

We are permitted to own weapons " allowed by law"*. The last four words in the statement (originally giving Protestants the right to arm themselves, like already-armed Catholics) are the most important, and successive governments have all but removed our right to own a weapon. Although, shotgun licenses may be granted, rifles too, and under some rare circumstances, pistols. My problem with that is the "licensed" part. A license may or may not be granted, and it may or may not be revoked. And of course, because the license can be taken away on a whim, we never own the weapon. Not truly. Not as long as it is in someone's gift to take that "right" away. No real freedom there.

* "Subjects’ Arms. That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law." Link here: Bill of Rights 1688 which, by the way, has never been amended or repealed in whole or part.

This is purely anecdotal, but I have learnt that those most terrified of guns are the same people that have never been taught to use one, safely and responsibly. In the military I fired many shooty bangy things, and it was almost always a pleasure. Safety is a huge thing in the armed forces, and a negligent discharge (known as an ND), on the range or anywhere else, is frowned upon and punished harshly. My brother was fined £100 for an ND and his next promotion was delayed by a year.

Among the weapons I have fired are: the 7.62MM SLR (Self Loading Rifle), 9MM Browning pistol, Sterling SMG (Sub Machine Gun), 7.62MM LMG (Light Machine Gun), GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun), Blowpipe (I missed the target), and I lobbed a few hand grenades. I was also taught how to use PE4 (Plastic Explosives) and can still clearly recall where to place charges to bring down a tree (Route Denial), a bridge (for the same reason) or a medium sized building. I also stood within a couple of feet of a tactical nuclear weapon but they wouldn't let me play with that.

My time in the daft and barmy was in the eighties and while the weapons may have changed, handling techniques have not. Basic safety is still the most important lesson to be taught, and repeated, endlessly.

My point? Weapons are only as dangerous as the people using/abusing them. I was and am comfortable around weapons. I just don't like the business end. On my travels in Africa I have had more than one AK-47 shoved in my face and I almost always gently reach out, and with a finger, move the barrel away from my face. I meet with few problems when doing this. It is usually the police, usually in Nigeria, and they usually have no magazine fitted to the weapon and only rarely do the possess any rounds. (In fact, because the government doesn't pay them very often, it is more likely that they have sold the magazine and the 30 rounds to buy food for their families). Which is why they stick the gun in my face in the first place: they want a bribe. They never get anything from me, AK-47 or no AK-47. It is not my responsibility to pay them, and I tell them so.

But, I digress.

The Newtown massacre.

Is all as it seems? I doubt it very much. I don't even need to concoct a theory for this one. (Note: this does not mean I understand what went on).

Have a look at this: Official Story Spins Out Of Control

Thanks to Harbinger, who kindly sent me the link. If you want a different, but no less messy account of the shooting, please pop over to The Tap's Place for a selection of posts on Sandy Hook.

As the author in the first link says, in the early stages of an event, the media get many facts wrong and later correct them. Nothing unusual in that: things are moving fast and as we all know, what they don't know they will make up. Like I said, adjustments can be made later.

The problem here is with the officials. Their story does not add up at all.

To add (unnecessary) fuel to a blazing inferno, British newspapers do what they can to confuse and conflate.

Look at this from the Daily Mail: Trigger Happy Families

Trigger happy families? In not one case does a family (or family member) say that they just simply love shooting weapons. None of them. They have them for sporting or utilitarian reasons. They have them so that they can defend themselves. I can just picture hordes of tutting, outraged DM readers....

I have been to the USA many times. Mostly to southern states like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. You won't be surprised to learn that they are big fans of the bangy things. They are also (coincidentally?) more religious than the northern states. They can quote huge tracts of their Constitution verbatim, with no reference notes. They do not (all) register their weapons because that information is then held publicly. Any bad guy can simply peruse the records down at County Hall or in their local library, identify who has guns at home and who doesn't, tool up, and off they go on a burglary/killing/raping spree. Friends of mine are proud of their gun collections. I never yet saw a collection that included automatic weapons though. They mostly have a couple of pistols, a shotgun or two, and more often than not, sporting rifles.

We think that we have guns under control in the UK. After all, did we not legislate against them? Did we not, over several decades, disarm the public? Hand guns are banned. Rifles are (mostly) banned. Automatic weapons are banned. Gun crime never happens, right? Oh, yeah. Dunblane. Hungerford. Those armed robberies. The shootings in the drug-turf wars, using MAC-10's and TEC-9's. But just those.

Now, only the bad guys have guns. And the police. But I repeat myself.

There will come a time, I reckon, when you will look wistfully into the corner of your lounge or bedroom and wish that what you were looking at was a gunsafe. We live in a nasty world. Mostly, we need protection. Not just from those thieving gits that smash a window, creep around and steal all your stuff, but from the very people who have no desire for you to be able to once again carry a weapon, lawfully.

The government needs us to be unarmed.

And that is the most powerful reason I know of that makes me want a gun.


December 21, 2012

December 20, 2012

End Of The World Special

Getting jittery?

Take the edge off Doomsday with this collection of images.

This could almost make sense. If we had a man on the moon this week...

Ignore this one. They don't know what they are Tolkien about.

Barmen. What do they know.

Calendar for optimists?

Spanner. In works.

Too simple.

Not to mention all the other Armageddons....

Wear your shorts on Friday, and don't forget the sunscreen!.

Erm, just in case.


December 19, 2012


I've posted this before but it is worth repeating.

When you get to wondering about cancer rates on the rise, instead of looking at me and my harmless pack of Luckies, look instead for the trillions of radiation-laden dust particles in our atmosphere.

I get tired of the anti-smoker propaganda.

Check out this article as well: Nicotine-The-Zombie-Antidote


December 18, 2012

Stop! Thief!!

Raise a hue and cry, folks. There are thieves abroad.

Those with no sense of right or wrong, those who work in that moral-free zone in Westminster, those who have no idea how much damage they have already done, must be told to leave alone that which they did not create. They are about to take more of our rights away. These rights were paid for by the blood of your ancestors. Honour them now by fighting hard to retain what they fought so hard to gain. It is no less than they, and you, deserve.

This will take you less than five minutes. The work is already done. Just add their name, your name, and wing it southwards.

Cut, paste and send/email this letter to your MP. However useless they are, this letter must wake them up. Be polite. Be firm. Be persistent. If they do nothing, explain in no uncertain terms that not only have they lost your vote, but that you will actively campaign against them at every opportunity.

Then? Tell all your family and friends to do the same. Just for good measure, tell your enemies as well. It's just us now.

"Dear Member of Parliament

The Commission on a Bill of Rights was established in March 2011 to investigate creation of a UK Bill of Rights.  Seven of the nine Commission members believe that on balance there is strong argument for a UK Bill of Rights incorporating the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

We already have the 1689 Bill of Rights as a major part of our Constitutional Law which incorporates the Declaration of Rights 1689. 


Based on the Declaration on Rights,  the 1689 Bill of Rights was made by all the Estates of England which met in a convention. 

It was not made by a parliament.  So the UK Parliament cannot unmake it.

This major constitutional law has very effectively protected us for centuries and continues to give us all the protections we need.  Any new bill will be an attempt to subvert the Constitutional Laws already in place.  At this level of sedition,  that will be an act of High Treason against the Constitution,  the Monarch and the people of England.

Bear in mind that Britain is NOT part of the European Union :-

When he signed the European Communities Act in 1972,  Edward Heath knowingly and wilfully deceived and betrayed the British people into the hands of a foreign power.  THAT is High Treason.  His treasonous act failed to become binding because treason cannot do that.  His government immediately became an unlawful assembly because a treasonous government is not lawful. 

No parliament can bind a successor.  Each successive government was free to reverse Heath’s treachery.  None did, however.  Instead,  each following Parliament has deliberately continued Heath’s treasonous pretence that Britain had signed up to the EU.  Each parliament since Heath’s therefore,  has been treasonous  -  thus an unlawful assembly.

No law or other binding obligation can result from treason or action of an unlawful assembly.  British law therefore,  stands as it was before the 1972 Act.

Britain is thus not part of the EU as all Treaties (and all statutes since 1972) are null and void.  As a consequence,  the European Convention on Human Rights has no influence upon Britain. 

Britain already has the fully extant 1689 Bill of Rights.  It is forever.  Anybody who seeks to replace it will as explained above,  be guilty of High Treason  -  whose penalty is imprisonment for life (meaning life) or,  if the people so decide,  death by hanging which is the current lawful tariff for High Treason.

I am well aware of the Parliamentary Protocol.  However this matter is of national importance,  far more serious than any constituency issue.  It is an MP’s sworn duty and paid responsibility to work for the nation's good (only) and in its interest.  Neither of these are served by creation of a new Bill of Rights to subvert the existing and fully adequate 1689 Bill of Rights.  The British people are evermore widely aware of the above.  It has also been sent to every newspaper in the country.

Your name,  address and email"

Read it until it sinks in. Stop them before they harm us further.

Please, and thank you.


Dear Prime Minister

We now insist that you take these tablets and do what the country demands of you.

Get us out of the EU.

Go to it.


(And 56% of the UK).

Stand Up To Bullies

And stand up for yourself.

Know thyself, in 60 seconds:

Just to pad out this post, here are a few random images:

A poke at the feminists.....

A poke at the religious....

A poke at the doomsdayers.....

A poke at those who refuse to dig deeper....


December 17, 2012


The Newtown shootings were tragic. I do not wish to underestimate the pain the parents and relatives are in right now. It is hard to be unmoved by the images of the little ones who have been snuffed out just as their lives were beginning.

But we should never forget which organisations kill with impunity, and get away with it. Most of whom, incidentally, ensured that their citizens had no weapons with which to defend themselves and their communities.

A reminder?

Extra-judicial killings-old school.

Around one million dead or maimed but he talked to God first.

Fully booked for speaking engagements.

God told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

So that's alright then.

And I could go on to list dozens of "leaders" who are responsible for wiping out millions more. I'm certain you can provide your own examples.

Speaking personally, I'd much rather there was a gun, or guns, in my home. In the event that a nutter wanders down my street shooting indiscriminately there will be at least one person able to stop him/her in their tracks.

EDIT: Compare and contrast


December 14, 2012

If Only....


Yes, yes, yes!!!

Friday Funnies

Another short selection of images to amuse or enrage you.

I asked gran to get me a onesie. This is what she sent.


Imagine the big bird is Cameron. The bird being fed is the EU.

The bird underfoot?

That's us, that is.

Eeh, 21st Century problems, eh?

TEOTWAWKI: an alternative view.

At least MPs/MoD/NHS personnel never left the 1956 version on trains.....

I feel less secure with each new camera installation.

Sinister, is it not?

This weeks shocking news from Bilton in Warwickshire.

Have a great weekend.


December 13, 2012


I have been banging on about the UK exiting The Stupid Club for quite some time now.

The legality of our joining in the first place is in serious doubt. On the day she signed that Bill and turned it into law, Mrs Windsor violated her Coronation Oath and reneged on her vow to protect the UK from "foreign usurpers and prelates". The government of the day, and all MPs who ever a) voted "Aye" to an EU statute having validity here or b) did not rise up in rebellion, colluded with her. These are facts. No conspiracy needed. It is what it is.

It was not a simple mistake made by the traitor Heath and his supporters. It was no less than treason. And treason remains the most serious offence we have on the Rolls. This also, is a fact.

Our Glorious Leader (PBUH), the Shiny-Domed One, is floundering badly. His brief is to protect the bastard Union at all costs. So sayeth the Whitehall mandarins. He has to do as he is told by the faceless, the invisible, the unelected, the unaccountable ones, for the unelected, unaccountable ones in Brussels.

As the nation clamours for an in/out referendum, his reasons for us to remain in The Stupid Club become ever more tenuous.

His latest waffle?

Look here: Find some better arguments

As you know, I have just returned from Switzerland. I have been there several times in the past. I have also been to Norway a few times so I think I am qualified to tell you what life is like in those two independent nations.

Switzerland is a happy place, Norway is slightly less happy. The Swiss have good control of their borders and Norway less so. Both countries are clean, and the infrastructure works well. Road, rail and air links are good. Switzerland has low taxation, and Norway has low taxation. If I were resident in Switzerland I would pay around 8%, and in Norway a maximum of 24.55%. Both beat the crap out of paying 73% here in the UK.

Cameron says if we left the EU, we would "become just like Switzerland".

I say "Bring it on".


Imagine living in a country where the government could not make any major decisions without the blessing of the people it represents?

Imagine a country so well organised that no-one is shocked when more than 5mm of snow falls, and teams swing into action to keep the roads, the railways and the airports running normally?

Imagine controlled immigration?

Imagine paying a fair amount of tax on your earnings?

Imagine low crime?

Imagine decent schools?

Imagine good, clean, efficient hospitals?

Imagine NOT going to war, legally or illegally, with brown people at the drop of a hat?

Imagine wanting to do national service, and keeping your weapon at home in preparation to defend you and your community should the need arise?

Imagine the wealth of the nation being spent on things YOU want?

Imagine tons of money put aside to cope with natural disasters?

Imagine, and this is the toughest one, imagine that your elected MP does NOT borrow money from your unborn grand-children to pay for the stupidity of bankers?

These things, and many more, are taken as a given by Swiss nationals.

Would we like to be another Switzerland, Mr Cameron?

Too fucking right.


December 10, 2012

Nine More Reasons To Despise The EU

My thanks to commenter Paris Claims for these images.

They are deeply disturbing. For millions of reasons.

Here are (some) MEP's earning their 12,000 euros per month.

A near empty building.

And those missing still get 12,000 a month.

Having a snooze.

12,000 a month.

Reading her newspapers.

12,000 a month.

Having forty winks.

12,000 a month.

Reading her novel.

12,000 a month.

Having a nap.

12,000 a month.

Personal correspondence.

12,000 a month.

Reading his magazine.

12,000 a month.

Reading his porn.

12,000 a month.

And remember, these are just the stupid ones. Stupid enough to get caught, that is.

The clever ones simply don't turn up and they still get their 12,000 a month.

Still want to pay for The Stupid Club?


December 09, 2012

Back In The Saddle

That was a bloody long way to go for a free meal.

Traveling out wasn't too bad. Every flight was late departing but that is the norm. I struggle to remember the last flight I took that did leave on time.

Traveling home yesterday was dogged with delays. It started badly when the hotel driver was late, and when we did leave the hotel he had to spend 5 minutes deicing the car. We got to the train station with two minutes to spare, only to then see that our train had been cancelled. I was heading to Zurich with two of my new colleagues, a Swiss guy, and a guy from Vienna. They seemed very relaxed about the whole thing so I relaxed as well. There wasn't anything I could do about it anyway.

My flight was scheduled to leave Zurich at 11:50 but I arrived at the airport at 11:35. I tried to check in using a terminal but it spat out a ticket saying "You are too late to check in for this flight, go to the check in desk". I did, and the girly seemed quite put out. Apparently the cancelled train was my fault entirely. Anyhoo, she checked me in, issued my boarding passes for the two flights. She said I had to run to the gate. I never run for buses, trains or planes. There is always another one.

I arrived at the gate to discover that the flight has been delayed by 40 minutes. Surely Miss Grumpy Knickers knew this? My decision not to run like an idiot was vindicated.

Taking off late meant that my connection at Schiphol was in doubt, but I took the time to have a smoke before finding the gate. It didn't help that the Zurich flight parked at a gate so far away from the next gate. I got to that gate to discover that the flight was delayed by 30 minutes. So I buggered off for another smoke.

Luckily the roads were nice and black and the temperature was almost tropical. 7 degrees! It beat the minus 8 or 9 in the alps hands down.

On the upside, I thoroughly enjoyed the party and made some new friends. I think I am going to enjoy working with them, and for my new company.

Need some pictures to brighten up a dreary day?

No problem. I nicked this lot just for you.

Big news day. Obviously.

Weather reports. How they should be written.

Children. They are the very favourite food of camels.

Sprouts. Not this grocers favourite food. At all.

Bad enough dying once in a fireball. But twice?

Obligatory cat picture.

Nativity for the 21st Century?

Makes about as much sense as the traditional bollocks*

*according to Pope Benny, that is.

Let's see what next week brings us.

If last week was anything to go by, it will be yet more insanity coupled with stupidity surrounded by ineptitude.

Par for the course then.

Be well, despite the lunacy.


December 05, 2012

Let's Go To War

It's time.

It's time to fight back.

Successive governments have wasted your hard earned cash with breath-taking irresponsibility. The quangos, the NGO's, the fake charities, foreign aid, HS2, the Jubilympics, their own salaries and their outrageous expense fiddling.

They wage war on the little guys while leaving Starbux, Amazon, Google and their party donor Phillip Green alone. Among those companies over £15 billion is owed but they are too tough to take on so it's the likes of you and me that are targetted.

No more.

A war party is being raised.

Look here: A Call To Arms

As reported here just three days ago, this greedy government is stealing 73% of the money YOU earn to give to the idle, to the feckless, to African warlords and now, another £1.5 billion is to be given to third world nations in some green energy wet-dream. It is a fantasy. A fantasy that they think makes them look good on the world stage. Screw the world stage. I need the money I earn to care for me and mine. When I am adequately satisfied with my own financial well-being, I will widen my gaze to my immediate community, then my shire, and then my country.

This government, like all governments before it (since taxation began) rapidly forget the source of the money. Remember: they own NOTHING. They earn NOTHING. They have NO ASSETS. They produce NOTHING.

We are the source. We own EVERYTHING. We earn EVERYTHING. All of the nations assets BELONG TO US. We produce EVERYTHING.

Never forget that.

Now then. Who is up for a bit of tactical earnings withholding?

I know I am.

We have to send a clear message that stealing 73% of our earnings is insane. Even if we reversed that to us paying out 27% it would still, in my opinion, be 17% too much.

We have to end the insanity and the only way we can do that is to withhold our money where possible. We have to be smarter than them and let's face it, that is not an impossible task.

At the risk of repeating myself, if we stop paying, they will stop spending wasting and they will finally understand that people power is something they cannot ignore.

Man up and fight back, FFS.


I'm Off

To a works Christmas do.

In Switzerland.

Seriously. I am not yet on the payroll but they want me at their Christmas bash. So I am going. (They may also want me to attend their bash in Stuttgart on the 17th as well).

I leave at stupid o'clock on Thursday morning, take a flight to Amsterdam, then on to Zurich, then a three hour train ride to a sleepy little village in the alps. On Friday I meet with my new boss for lunch, get a swift tour of the facilities and then back to the hotel for the shindig.

 Looks nice.

 It has a "Fumoir" as well. So I will be fumoiring. Like a chimley.

I leave at dark o'clock on Saturday for my noon flight from Zurich and I will get back home at five-ish on Saturday. That's a lot of effort for a piss up, but you know me: dedicated.

A wee message to the climate-changers: fuck you.


December 02, 2012

Taking Stock

I do this regularly, but this is the first time I have done it here.

It makes sense, sometimes, to have a look at where you came from, where you are now, and where you are headed. The last bit is the hardest.

I was born in 1962. By 1966 my family was in South Africa. I later learnt that this was the worst time (to be black) in S.A but I was a child and had no clue at the time. It was normal to me that white kids went to this school and black kids went to that school. During our 11 years in Africa I went to 13 different schools. Most of those were segregated by sex as well as race. My dad was a pipe fitter and worked in construction. Every time a site was completed, we moved on. New town for all, new school for us kids, and a new site for dad. We averaged about 9 months in any city or town. For most of my school life I was the newbie.

Regrets? None.

I got to see a bit of the world and it gave me a taste for more. We returned to the UK in 1977 where I did my last year at school, started an apprenticeship (as an Industrial Sewing Machine mechanic) but quit two years in to go into the caring profession. I worked for a year in a home for disabled servicemen and applied for a job as a Registered Mental Nurse. I surprised myself by getting the highest marks out of 40 entrants that year. I also applied to join the army at the same time and promised myself that I would take the first firm offer. The army "won" by four days. Either way, (I rationalised my decision), I was going to be working with nutters. I was right.

My 7 years in the army were a blast. I had more laughs than any man has a right to, and I made some fantastic friends. Many of whom I am still in contact with today via various forums.

When I left the army I spent 6 months installing mobile phones into cars. Although I wasn't too good at this, I did see that my then employer was doing a shit job. I used my final salary cheque (around £2000) to launch my own firm with 2 or 3 friends. By the end of year 3 I had made a million. The downside was that I was reinvesting every penny back into the business. I worked 14-18 hours a day and took only enough salary to pay our bills. Being self-employed is not as glamorous as some people may think.

Then, a mini-recession in 1989 caused me to shut down the business and declare bankruptcy. I went out of business owing £28K but I was owed around £65K by debtors. I raised six high court actions and won every single one of them. Despite the wins, I did not receive a single penny. By this time I had moved my family to Scotland where personal bankruptcy lasts three years. Every month I kicked in several hundred pounds to pay off my debts. Those that owed me money paid me fuck all.

I started working offshore (when I had been discharged from my bankruptcy) and the money flowed in. I missed my kids growing up as I was away in some weird part of the world for the next 11 years. In 2000 I tried my hand at sales and business development and I was (am) surprisingly good at it. I am one of very, very few people who will go anywhere in the world to do this job, but particularly Africa, where a lot of guys just don't want to go. This (usually) means 3rd world nations where security can be compromised at the drop of a hat. I like to think I have a modicum of common sense and this, combined with my military experience, has kept me out of trouble for the last 20 years. I have had a couple of close shaves and once evaded kidnap by just 30 seconds in Warri, Nigeria. The poor fucker that got snatched was held captive for 94 days and has never returned to West Africa.

As a satellite technician I was very happy. Satellite systems do not have an ego, they do not have politics, and they do not have personalities. They either work, or they don't, and I had a knack for making the unworking ones work. People are nowhere near as simple, but I do okay. I am a sociable man and like to blend in to whatever society I arrive in. I read the local papers, and I study the local politics. I surprise the hell out of Nigerians, Ghanaians, Cameroonians, the Congolese, Namibians, Tanzanians and South Africans with my local knowledge. It doesn't take long to get up to speed. I also try to learn a bit of each local language. I find it helps.

Next year (on 2nd January) I will start work for a new company. Unlike my present employer, they have decided that 40 years of African experience makes me the expert. They have given me carte blanche to do what I have to do to make them a success on the continent. It will mean that I can add to my growing list of countries visited (80 so far) and they will benefit from giving me a long leash. I have discovered that I bring home more bacon if I am left to do it my way.

All of the above is to bring you (eventually) to my point: the more freedom a person has, the better they will perform. I have seen this to be true countless times. Allow people to take responsibility and they will, more often than not, rise to the occasion.

But, having worked very hard, at great personal sacrifice, I spend more and more time being angry. Mostly at successive governments who care not one jot for me. Not as long as I keep giving them growing chunks of my salary.


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73% of my earnings are stolen from me every year. Does that seem fair to anyone? (Apart from fucking lefties, that is).

I have clawed my way up only to "voluntarily" hand over nearly two thirds of my sweat equity to an inept shower of arseholes 600 miles south of me. They waste my money (and yours) with unimagined skill. And what do we do about it? Nothing, mostly.

We presume that they have the right to help themselves. They do not.

Over the last five or six years I have said no. I have asked them to prove that I owe them any damned money and guess what? They cannot answer. They can only take what I want to give. If I say no, they write me a few snotty letters but they go away, empty-handed, eventually.

If they did not take 73% of my money I would be able to provide for all of my family's needs, and I would even be able to give money to certain charities. (Ones I knew weren't pissing the money away on themselves). Instead, as I race towards retirement (I know it's 15 years away but time sort of speeds up) I already know that having paid into the national pension scheme for over 32 years, I am unlikely to get what I need to feed, house and clothe me and my wife in our dotage. Had more of my salary been retained by me I would have been able to save much more for the rainy days to come.

So if you come here and read that I am moaning about money given by the government to Rwandan warlords, or for Indian space programmes, or to Brazilian diversity clinics, you will understand why.

BUT, I have my health. I have two wonderful sons and one wonderful wife. I have a great home, and I have no debts, apart from my mortgage. I wanted to write that I earn a decent wage, but most of it goes to wasteful politicians. I take nothing from the state. Which is why I resent "donating" such a huge amount to them. I noticed, over the years, that when I have £XXX coming in, to keep everyone happy, I make sure that we spend just under £XXX. It is a simple concept. I wonder, almost hourly, why the government doesn't get that. I also wonder if we all tried to keep more of our money, they would have less to waste. They would learn, the hard way, that if £XXX is all they have, then £XXX is all they can spend.

I want them to leave me alone. I am responsible for me and mine. If I make a mistake, I do not go running to the state to find out who is to blame, I look in a mirror. I eat, drink and smoke whatever I want. If I get ill, so be it. I have chipped in enough to be hospitalised and cared for for 20 years. But I don't. Despite their advice, I keep remarkably well. Like I said, I rely on them for nothing, even though I have paid for it dozens of times over.

I don't want to be watched by 5 million CCTV's. I don't want them reading my emails. I don't want them listening to, and transcribing, all of my phone calls. I certainly do not want to be spied on by drones, and that, my friends, is an all-too-real probability. Keep an eye on your airspace.

I don't want to be a European Citizen. I don't want any of my money funding such tomfoolery. I do not want to be subject to law conjured up by idiots in Brussels and Strasbourg, Christ knows, our lot in the HoC shit out enough legislation for 25 countries. Every year.

In summary, my life, and the lives of those I love, is in pretty good shape. Not because of the state, but despite them.

But our lives could be so much better.

And, since we only get the one life, isn't it worth being an awkward fucker while striving for that better life?