Friday, 31 October 2008

Slay bells an' all

Ah yes, it's soon that time of year, when goodwill and happiness pervade every pore and people throw up due to excess.

But reading a couple of polls showing a general growth in people's need to deny others their freedom, decided on a quick poll. In keeping with the general bare boned sentiments of utter dislike and nastiness which is seemingly - despite the wealth of knowledge and interactions that abounds, ingrained within so many of our cores.

So the new poll which is anonymous, non-tracked and ends at 11.59pm on the 24th december, is purely a momentary plummet into the sinewy shadows of madness, apparently.

Barclays two fingers to the uk

Could it get any riper. One of the uk's biggest banks has decided it would far better ensure that its overpaid directors continue to get the biggest bonuses they can get away with, without a french style revolution by shareholders and remnants of the corporate battlefield.

On one hand they are more than happy to continue gouging and charging exorbitant rates for overdrafts, authorised or otherwise, and go cap in hand to overseas sovereign funds than allow any sort of control, however temporary placed upon them by the government and the taxpayers.

In light of this barclays, once more, shows what it really thinks about the uk and where it feels its best interest lays. Perhaps in the current climate those people who still have any slight twinges of consciousness left, should rise up and show this corporate coward what they think about its actions, and swap to another bank. Somewhere like the co-operative bank which is also one of the few excellent ethical banks out there.

[update 31st October 2008, 19:13]

Knew this was missing something. Now where's that bit of imagery...

Monday, 27 October 2008

End of year thoughts, part I

This might be a bit premature, with just over two months to go before the end of the western worlds end of year celebrations.  But with this year been such a roller coaster tsunami of epic proportions; I might as well start early, as by the end of the year there'll be so much to go through, all of this will be past its smell by date and to coin an overheard term well footed in its grave.

So here's a pre-emptive look-back boot at 2008 and early glimpse of 2009, in easy digestible bite sized instalments.

  1. Greed good universal altruism bad, according to a newly unearthed bankers bible found in the wreckage of a discarded filling cabinet atop the newly discovered office waste mountain.
  2. Our god is god.  There is no other god, and we'll kill any [put expletive group name of non-believers here] who say otherwise.
  3. New breakthrough in human cetacean communication means humanity, for the first time, is able to communicate on a like by like basis with dolphins.
  4. The HIV virus could have been around for 100 years.
  5. Pro-lifers call for the branding and salting of abortionists.  Always forgetting that nature/god is the biggest killer of the unborn via miscarriages, diseases etc., although if they miscarried that's obviously the work of [put name of any evil entity here])
  6. Gays are an abomination and blight on the planet.  UN supremo tells the world, 'the way the global population and resources are going we probably need more of them not less of them!'.
  7. South Africa lost a president and loony health minister.  Sadly, the replacement president is hours away from splitting the party and plunging the country into chaos.
  8. And continuing on in that part of the world.  Huggable mugabe looked as if he was back to his old tricks, but an unforeseen end of year heart-attack finishes him off, leaving his party in disarray, demoralised and without a heart.
  9. Surfers in californa say they'll strike if dolphins are given entry to the next mavericks annual surfing competition, citing unfair competition.
  10. The northern hemisphere's gripped in another calamity, as temperatures plummet, and already scandalous energy prices really go through the roof - pensioners take the streets but have to picked out of meter sized snow drifts by the newly formed homefront brigade.
  11. Bright lights of unknown origin in the night skies cause rioting in many parts of the world.  Religionists say it's the end of days and a sign of the apocalypse.  Secularists say, it's obviously little green/red/blue men and they're here to welcome us into galactic civilisation.  Cats look up, then get back to the important task of licking their bottoms.
  12. Just in.  Taleban have retaken most of afghanistan, give inhabitants of Kabul seven days to surrender; puts newly elected us president to the test.
  13. UK government has a day of mourning for the millions of dead pensioners.  Commissions a £15m commemorative statue for whitehall.
  14. Inline with the continuing brown legacy of hiving off good bits of the economy to the highest bidder, it's confirmed that great britain shall from 2020 be re-branded little china (gb division).
  15. In relation to the previous entry, it's also been announced that everywhere inbetween offa's dyke and the irish sea, or wi's dip, will be called new-kong-a-leeky; whilst everything north of hadrians wall [or the little wall of china] will be designated, a parking lot.  Haggisnest soup is the new spicy delicacy in upmarket chinese restaurants.

Who knows, with all that's happened so far they would all fit in perfectly.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Energy utilities

Perhaps when it comes down to it, it is me and I have missed all the news in relation to oil, energy, gas and electricity. Maybe my half asleep id has missed the huge onrush of ceo's from energy companies parading themselves before the nations press, spouting their concern for the hard-pressed consumer by cutting gas prices by 35-50% and electricity prices by 19-24% . And with immediate effect. I must have overlooked their concerned visages earnestly peering whilst their mouths trot through the latest prepared speech, that it's about either helping or investing; forgetting there are many out there living on a day by day basis, who find themselves having to choose between lighting, heating, or eating.

You can just imagine their voices crescendoing on, “with oil now more than half it's $146 value a year ago peak,” yes it even touched $68.57 for US light crude before closing slightly up. “We feel the time is right that our consumers are given a break and we're glad to announce a 5% cut in gas and 2% cut in electricity prices,” and just as people decide on how to react to such a statement, it's finished by, “which will take place on January 5th 2009.”

Has anyone heard or seen anything like that? Or is the deafening rush of silence, from the absent, off the field utility companies, the only answer needed?

We would like to believe that a brand new bunch of fat cat ceo's will be walking that gold plank of parting, but I somehow feel the public mob mentality for such a public drubbing has, with simmering largesse, snuffed itself out.


What we do have however, is ed miliband announcing that the government will increase their carbon reductions targets from 50% to 80% by 2050 - 42 years time.

If a day's a long time in politics, then 42 years must equate to the universal equivalent of four big bangs. A very long period of time where even the ideology of those holding the power stick will probably have been radically changed by unforeseen events and circumstances.

If they attempt to reach targets by slow-creep taxation, it will be those on the bottom and in the middle who will take the greatest hit – especially since two big polluting sectors (aviation and maritime), look like been strangely absent from the proceedings.

Alternatively the government could consider bringing in effective legislation ensuring that new builds or repairs to existing builds that require planning applications, incorporate some element of renewable's or energy efficiency within there design. Imagine, a whole new manufacturing sector could be opened up, then sold off before the next popping bubble. Not only for the manufacturing of wafer thin etaic cells, but new inspectors – just like the tax collectors of old – will incorporate the curbing of excessive emissions, clamping down with powers to immediately close a business down, to giving certificates to those households and businesses who effectively meet the required standards.

So government might bring its full weight down to bear on the energy companies, under the possibility of talks about legislation “if they don't play ball!” What the bloody heck does that mean? They need to remove their noses from the utilities brown stuff and work to ensure that those unfortunates stuck on prepayment meters don't pay an extra £200 above normal rates. When you consider that prepayment users are actually crediting companies for their usage as opposed to those on monthly or quarterly plans who pay in arrears, then no wonder they find the pp'ers a useful set of cows to milk and not to do anything to truly upset the cart.

A while ago marie-antoinette was made infamous for saying “let them eat cake!” This current government will be famous for so many things, but one of the worst will be their seeming attitude of, more money for heating? Don't they know its global warming out there?

The unfolding saga will probably come to nought but a grubby watery end.  As in 38 years time panic will be the order of the day, with the government attempting to ram-raid the law into enactment – to reach the target, or quietly bury it under the table.  Let's just hope that in 42 years time that table isn't floating off, somewhere down the thames!