keresaspa: (Cartman)
Hell, even I think I've been away too often recently. The joys of growing up in a warzone, I suppose. And let it be known too that the following load of old rambling nonsense should have been published yesterday but my internet provider decided to give me a day of no service just to remind me who the boss is. Thanks as ever Virgin Media, I would denounce you as vermin but recent events have drawn me closer to that class of creature. Intrigued? Didn't think so but read on anyway, it's good for chilblains.

Read more... )
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I cock an eye to the Morning Star every now and then, even though it's hardly perfect. On English issues it's generally on the money with its analysis and it does fairly well with the international scene but when it comes to the Celtic fringe it's usually wanting. The soft unionist stance they took with regards to Scottish independence (the logic seemingly being "why should the Jocks get to escape the Tories when we don't?") seemed at odds with the rest of their rhetoric whilst when it comes to this dump they same to slavishly trot out the Sinn Fein line, regardless of how much that party seems to lurch to the right. Heck, were The Hibernian still around it would probably be available in every SF "advice centre" these days.

Seven months ago Martin McGuinness appeared in the pages of the aforementioned paper to announce that he wouldn't abandon the vulnerable. Yesterday he did just that, bowing down to Theresa Villiers and accepting the deep and invasive cuts that the Tory government government has already rent on Britain. At a time when poverty and unemployment are on the rise, McGuinness happily signs off on deep cuts to welfare and tax credits, plunging more and more people into deeper and deeper poverty. Still, it'll have no impact on him and his coterie of stooges, whose big money from the Stormont gravy train is now protected for another few years. With the local health service at breaking point and crisis being declared on a weekly basis he happily signs off on big NHS cuts and public sectors redundancies. None of which will apply to the nepotism factory that is Stormont, where money will continue to be blown on "special advisers", whose only expertise appears to be possessing the same DNA as Assembly members. Meanwhile the so-called republican has also signed off on increased spending on police activity against dissidents who, as Martin claims, are a disgrace to the ideology and should be joining him by showing their republicanism through praising the British queen, upholding and celebrating the British soldiers who butchered our people and participating in an arm of the British government and delivering the demands of the Conservatives.

Don't get me wrong, all five parties are as culpable for this but Sinn Fein's crime is the greatest. The Unionist duo make no bones about being right-wing, the Alliance are the local arm of the cuts-happy Liberal Democrats and the SDLP have been trotting out the "business before people" line for so long that their name is a complete joke but Sinn Fein, when it suits them, still claim to be of the Left and indeed down south are campaigning for election on the very basis that they are democratic socialist. Yet in the North they have once again crapped on the very working classes that elected them in the first place and have delivered them to further and deeper crushing poverty just so as they could protect their own interests. Hell this current "fresh start" is actually a much worse deal than the already egregious Stormont House Agreement that McGuinness rejected recently. How this cretin has lasted so long is beyond reason.

Let's face it, the Assembly has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish, a bloated, toothless talking shop in which a bunch of completely powerless children can spend hours squabbling over flowers and street names but who, when it comes to the crunch, defer to their masters in Westminster at all times. That I personally voted no to the Good Friday Agreement is cold comfort because all of us are now reaping the thorns of that particular surrender. Resistance is the only option, although it has been made all the harder by the headlong rush that McGuinness and that great Pontius Pilate Gerry Adams made to disarm and castrate the IRA, leaving behind only a poorly armed and informer-riddled dissident rump.

In his classic 1978 psychological study of National Front members Fascists (excellent book, horrendously unimaginative title) Michael Billig demonstrates the tendency of one of the NF members he interviewed to what he describes as "meaning-shift". The man in question talks consistently about his support for voluntarily repatriation but when asked to describe what he means unequivocally endorses compulsory repatriation and yet refuses to alter his language, despite clearly stating that participation in the scheme would be mandatory. The phenomenon of meaning-shift has become an increasing part of the mainstream in recent years, where we have "volunteers" who are forced to work for nothing under threat of the withdrawal of social security or we’re told how we're all in austerity together where "all" actually means just those with very little money to begin with. So let it be the same here now as a bleak future looms for us all, apart from the folks on the hill who have pulled up the drawbridge and ensured that, like their Westminster masters, when they say "we're all in this together", they mean all apart from them and the big companies they have chosen to favour. Dark times all round and Irish republicanism as an ideology is on life support right now. I await the rank hypocrisy of the Easter Rising commemorations next year not so much with bated breath but with an air of morose resignation.

And of course there's one other major reason why McGuinness has been so prepared to sell out his supposed principles for thirty pieces of silver and why right-thinking people should detest the slimy bastard with every fibre of their being, but were I to get into that this load of old toot would most likely be closed down and my sorry arse hauled off to Maghaberry. Frankly I Should Hope Every Reader Maybe Already kNows.
keresaspa: (Colonel Blink)
When you actually think about it, the riddle of the Sphinx was pretty obvious really. It makes you wonder what sort of hicks must have lived in Thebes that so many of them died due to that and they made Oedipus king for something that simple. There again, perhaps the sight of a giant winged lion with a woman's face and boobs swooping down asking them about what walks on three at night scrambled their brains, who can say?

Perhaps the Thebans would feel at home amongst the UKIP-voting helots that are coming to dominate Britain these days. From the party that told us the National Front was left of centre in the late 70s* we now have secret plans to destroy the NHS from their oleaginous leader. Given that a lot of their voters are working class people, quite possibly with long-term illnesses, such information should be an anathema to them but unfortunately it will be ignored yet again. The stubborn idiocy of the lumpenproletariat who seem determined to vote in these chancers will not be altered by appeals to logic and indeed UKIP could announce that all people who earn less than £50,000 a year are to be executed and they would still vote for them. After all a lot of these people are the same ones who voted National Front and BNP in the past so sense is not something we can expect from them.

Nevertheless as somebody who suffers from a condition that needs regular treatment and which is not caused by anything I've done I am up in arms at the thought of these thick English oiks forcing me and my kind into crippling debt in order to avoid being poisoned by our own blood. That people who could never afford long-term treatments are fast becoming the backbone of this hateful party is the real tragedy. New IRA - get us away from these bastards whilst there's still time. Heck, I'm coming to the bit where even Ulster nationalism is seeming a more attractive prospect than life under a UKIP coalition.

* Sample quotes from the NF in the late 70s include: "The National Front completely opposes majority rule in Rhodesia and supports the present position of the White Rhodesians" (Britain: World Power or Pauper State?) and "The NF advocates the repeal of the Race Relations Act on the grounds that it is an infringement of our traditional rights of free free speech and free association and that it treats immigrants as a privileged class" (National Front Statement of Policy)

This was also a time when John Tyndall was Chairman of the NF, a man whose earlier words include: "The Greater Britain Movement will uphold, and preach, pure National Socialism" (National Socialist Movement internal bulletin, 1964). "Only those of British and kindred Aryan blood should be members of the nation....The removal of the Jews from Britain must be a cardinal aim of the new order" (Official Programme of the Greater Britain Movement). Tyndall's personal organ Spearhead continued to give vent to his biological racism and rabid anti-Semitism throughout the 1970s and beyond. Not to mention the fact that Spearhead was edited by Richard Verrall in the late 70s who, as well as serving as NF Deputy Chairman at the time, also wrote a bunch of pseudo-academic claptrap comparing "negros" to orang-utans biologically and denying the Holocaust (Verrall, under the name of Richard E. Harwood, was author of the historical revisionist "classic" Did Six Million Really Die? in 1974). So the UKIP definition of "left-of-centre" is legalising racism, apartheid, Holocaust denial and comparing Black people to monkeys? Still, you'll vote for them anyway, won't you?
keresaspa: (Cartman)
Out of the blue yesterday I received a phone call informing me that my annual (give or take) appointment with the liver specialist was to happen today. Ordinarily such things involve a significant amount of fannying around but not this time, just a single day's notice. As I've previously said I'm not a fan of this annual load of silly shenanigans and I inevitably come away with the feeling that a day has been wasted.

A 2:15 appointment was chosen by them and so inevitably I was seen just after three. My previous consultant has transparently moved on to bigger and better things (good riddance, he's a little tosser anyway) and so as a result I was told that I have been shifted to my third consultant since being diagnosed with haemochromatosis. Equally inevitably when they finally deigned to see me I didn't even get the consultant, but rather one of his stooges. I'm notorious for looking rather older than my years but this boy could easily have passed for my son. Call me old fashioned but I find it hard to take medical types seriously when they look generations younger than me, never mind years. My rewards for a hike up the Falls Road and over an hour's wait? The information that iron and booze are bad for haemochromatosis and that I'm overweight. Great to know, son as I never could have figured out that a condition in which you overload iron and which can damage you liver might be aggravated by iron and alcohol whilst I've lived in a state of blindness for my whole life and therefore have no idea what body shape I have. Mr Consultant, whose name I've forgotten already, didn't even put in the standard token appearance this time and the end of meeting blood tests were scrapped, to be done on Friday when I have my regular venesection anyway. On top of that the kid had the notion that he was witty (which he wasn't; Paul Sinha has nothing to fear over his "funniest MD" crown) and had that irritating young person vocal tic of starting nearly every sentence with the word "so" despite it's total irrelevance to what was to follow.

At a time when the NHS in Northern Ireland is supposedly falling apart due to lack of funding I really don't know why they persist with these annual appointments for people like me who have haemochromatosis but are otherwise unaffected. After all the nurses measure my vital signs when they're blood letting me and could easily alert the big cheese if anything goes tits-up, rather than making me sit about like a spare one for ages just to be told the bleeding obvious. Yup, waste of a day as ever.
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
Well, today's podiatry appointment was a lot of fun. That is, if you take pleasure from what amounted to a 25 minute argument with an arrogant, self-satisfied, pass-remarkable old cow punctuated with the occasional angry silence to be fun. Which I don't. The first time I saw her I had let her away with her frankly loathsome attitude, today I adopted a deliberately surly and defensive approach but her reaction to both versions of me was the same - total cowdom. I'm normally a tolerant individual who tries to co-exist with those I'm forced to come into contact with but frankly my feet could fall off and I still wouldn't countenance seeing that bitch again. And after all that her solution was more pissing insoles. All that fuss for something I could have bought in Poundworld.

In terms of the worst shower of scum I've met in my dealings with the NHS she definitely comes in second. She's still some distance behind chest pain clinic guy (who told me that I was either on the verge of a heart attack or had suffered one recently only to finally send an underling to mention in passing that my problem was muscle strain two hours later) but she's overtaken the awful physiotherapist I saw once to move into second place. The NHS is a wonderful concept but they do seem determined to hire a shower of total bastards.

I'll see that one in Hell, quite frankly.
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
It has been a rather dodgy start to this new year all things considered. Well, on the plus side it began decently with a rare win for Donegal Celtic over Glenavon on New Year's Day, albeit with the hassle of a Sunday service on the buses meaning that the whole thing took a lot longer than it should have. Still, I mustn't grumble about that as DC are now a whole four points clear of the automatic relegation place and Distillery (so far) show no signs of a Lazarus comeback.

Since then it has been a bit of a duffer. My right foot continues to get worse with little miss physio (well, she's actually about six feet tall) as much as saying at my last appointment that because her one idea for treating the problem wasn't working she is ready to throw the towel in and discharge me to grin and bear the pain. I suggested acupuncture (yes, I have to come up with the solutions even though she's the one with the training) but it turns out that she doesn't know how to do, the physio who cured me with it in 2009 has disappeared and the only one left who knows how to do it is on an extended absence. It's a pity they don't bother funding the NHS but I suppose at least we have Cromac Street in Irish, the Armagh Planetarium in Ulster-Scots and the Titanic visitors centre so who needs health provisions?

Today meanwhile was the latest in my hateful return to fortnightly venesections and it was the biggest screw-up since the days when junior doctors were doing them. My left arm stopped flowing despite the nurse wiggling the needle about in my vein umpteen times (it didn't work but at least I got to experience a lot of pain and discomfort) so they swapped over to my right arm where, about two thirds of the way through, the needle fell out and a crimson tide issued forth saturating the whole place in my precious lifeblood. Were it not for my insistence that enough was enough I suspect a third vein would have been tapped but in the end I was allowed to limp away, safe in the knowledge that the whole thing would have to be done again in two weeks.

On top of all that the bloody loyalist bastard protesters are blocking the streets again over their arserag flags and some idiot has left the celestial heating switched on so as early January is having horribly sticky temperatures reminiscent of May. 2013, get your bloody act together.
keresaspa: (Tijuana toad)
Once again conflagration has broken out in Northern Ireland. Let the Assembly conspire with their masters in Westminster to dismantle the welfare state, punish the poor, wipe out the DLA that supports the ex-paramilitaries and slowly but surely kill off the NHS and the boys will happily sit on their hands (a criticism equally relevant to both sides, admittedly). But pass a law saying the symbol of one side should not fly permanently over the council chambers of the capital and once again the loyalist hordes come out in force, channelling the spirit of Ulster Day, the Ulster Workers Council and the Ulster Clubs by bringing intimidation, violence and disruption to all until their intransigent demands are met. I mean it's not as if the council has voted to hoist the starry plough from the City Hall but still the usual fascist response ensues as the working class Protestant hordes, stoked on by their upper middle class master in the Unionist parties, take to the streets to bully their way to what they want. Where but Northern Ireland would people take to the streets and attack political offices for something so bloody conformist as flying the union flag? Other countries get their "springs" we get an uprising in favour of hierarchy and dominance with a section of the working class unleashing violence in order that they might now their place a little bit more.

Of course the RUC will never go against their own, no matter what they call themselves these days. In England peaceful protesters with genuine grievances are treated like dirt, corralled like cattle and baton charged into a bloody pulp whilst if the Fenians went around smashing up buildings and attacking the filth the plastic bullets would be out quicker than you can say "Robert Hamill" but loyalist mobs are, as usual, free to do what they please when they please. Meanwhile the response of homophobic young earth creationist and hospital closer-in-chief Edwin Poots? Punish the violence by giving them their precious butcher's apron flying from Stormont too. Christ, if he worked for free his wages would be too high! If all those Egyptian protesters still haven't worked out that the difference between dictatorship and democracy is that in the latter you get to pick which inept, corrupt, power-hungry idiots get to order you about then let them look to Poots for confirmation.

In the interest of balance however I will give a rare bit of credit to Peter Robinson for at least attempting to offer a moderate, reasoned response. However I noticed he stopped short of condemning it, no doubt mindful of the votes he'll be seeking in East Belfast in 2015. Good to see that Hilary Clinton has condemned the violence though. Yup, nothing better than some bigshot American breezing in to pat us on the head and tell us how we should all get along with one hand, whilst giving a thumbs up to Israeli genocide with the other. Bugger off home, Hil, you're input is not needed and you've had your run in the pity job that Obama gifted you after wiping the floor with you in the Democratic primaries.

I must admit my sympathy for the Alliance is limited in this issue. They have followed the lonely path of well-heeled moderation previously followed by the Ulster Liberal Party and the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland but, as Humpty-Dumpty so succinctly demonstrated, when you spend all your time sitting in the fence (or wall in the Eggman's case) you will eventually have a great fall. Naomi Long might be seeking to portray herself as a great heroine but, whether by choice or not, she owes her seat in Westminster to the UVF as, without the endorsement of Stephen Matthews at the last election she would still be parking her ample rump on the cold benches of the City Hall rather than the plush loungers of the Palaces of Westminster. Matthews could just as easily have roused his supporters and stooges on the Newtownards Road, Sydenham, Dundonald and the rest to vote for Trevor Ringland or David Vance in order to force Robbo out but he anointed Long and obviously in return it was expected that she and her party would play ball. They haven't and so the special relationship is over. David Ford's decision to leave Marian Price to her fate means that the Alliance have already made republicanism their enemy so by falling foul of the loyalists they have painted themselves into a corner. But them's the breaks. They've been as complicit in the cuts-happy cosiness of the Assembly as anybody else so sorry about your damn luck.

So, plus ça change really as some silly little concession is made, loyalists react like mindless animals and bugger all is done to stop them. It would be funny if the whole thing wasn't so depressingly interminable.
keresaspa: (Ray Meagher)
Judging by the explosion of pain on the sole of my foot near my heel it looks like plantar fasciitis has made a comeback, only this time in my right foot rather than my left as was the case in 2009. Of course I know exactly what will fix it and that is a few sessions of acupuncture but this place being the bureaucracy it is I can't just make a physiotherapy appointment off my own bat but rather have to go through my bloody GP and wait months before being seen, by which time it might have cleared up on its own (or become so unbearable as to render me disabled). I suppose I could go to accident and emergency and claim to have broken my foot in order to speed the whole process up but knowing those morons they would probably diagnose it as rabies or something. Even then I face the likelihood that a physio would be loathe to try acupuncture and will instead saddle me with weeks of that useless ultrasound crap which alleviates foot pain about as much as vinegar on a paper cut. As much as I like the concept of the NHS why do they feel the need to surround it in so much bloody red tape? It would almost be worth going to one of those strange Chinese medicine shops that offers acupuncture, herbal teas, crank baldness cures, copper rings to go round fegs and kokeshi dolls just to avoid the whole fuss. Too dear for my blood though.

As if I don't have to spend enough time in hospitals without this being visited on my head again. Oy vey!
keresaspa: (Signor Rossi)
The good: I switched on the much maligned (by me, anyroad) Football League Show last night more in forlorn hope than anticipation and what did I find? The execrable Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and her bloody "emalisntexts" slot conspicuous by its absence and not even a word from Manish Boy that "Lizzie will be back next week". So finally somebody at the BBC has listened me. Yup, I'm taking all the credit for this even though the reality is that nobody from Auntie even knows I exist. Now send Mark Clemmit packing and make Leroy Rosenior first choice pundit ahead of Steve Claridge and we might actually have a good programme on our hands.

The bad: Woke up today with a sudden unseasonably sore throat incorporating blood. Not nice. Knowing my luck I'll be needing my tonsils out at a time when the NHS no longer bothers removing them.

The ugly: Ooh didn't think this far ahead. There is no ugly section. Will this do? He used to be in the Workers Revolutionary Party you know!
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I received an interesting leaflet through the door today trumpeting the delights of a forthcoming "Shared Neighbourhood Week" in Ballynafeigh (a vague district of Belfast which I may or not live in depending on where one draws the borders). Shared neighbourhood is the supposed reason for this but the events on offer do little to live up to this claim. For the most part it consists of tea dances, family fun days (anything that has the word "fun" in its title is invariably anything but in my experience) and the like, all fairly neutral in their own way. However three promised events are a talk on Unionism and the Irish language, a tour of the Ballynafeigh Orange Hall incorporating some of everybody's sectarian favourites from the Apprentice Boys band and an Ulster Day celebration. So we get some Unionist wittering on about how the Irish language should actually belong to his lot as well as the Ulster-Scots fantasy dialect (a topic that the so partisan it hurts BBC Northern Ireland have covered ad nauseam), a quick run-through of "Could you go a chicken supper Bobby Sands" from the lodge that mocked the victims of the Sean Graham massacre and then a celebration of the day that led to the formation of the UVF. Certainly plenty of shared community experiences there – both unionists and loyalists can enjoy that little lot. Shared - this doesn't sound a million miles away from the Loyalist Day of Culture that ended with Belfast Deputy Mayor sitting in his robes of office watching as Johnny Adair's C Company blasted off their machine guns back in 2000. It's not even as if I am isolating things as there are no equivalents from the Fenian side, presumably for some arbitrary reason that the Lower Ormeau is on the other side of the river and therefore does not qualify as part of the mythical Ballynafeigh. Very disappointing Ballynafeigh Community Development Association.

Meanwhile I see that £30 million has been blown to demonstrate that there was no collusion in the killing of Billy Wright. Money well spent there! As if the British government would have colluded in killing a loyalist anyway considering how long they spent arming and training the gits. Good riddance to bad rubbish - if there's one thing I hate it is large eared men with forearm tattoos wearing goatee beards! Besides as long as his old mate William "Squeezebox" McCrea is still around the fire of the LVF can continue to burn. A bit like "King Rat" in Hell really. Meanwhile I await the Assembly announcing plans to abolish the NHS in Northern Ireland in order to spend ten billion on a fountain commemorating Lenny Murphy. You have to laugh or else you'd cry.
keresaspa: (Maurice Bishop)
For some reason it is being presented as a triumph but I must admit to feeling quite uncomfortable with the recent revelation that the Royal College of Nursing has dropped its opposition to "assisted death" (possibly the most sinister euphemism this side of "friendly fire"). Support for this is apparently quite high and I must admit that some of the arguments are fairly compelling, notably the "dignity in death" business (although in fairness, I can't think of any other argument in its favour). Still, not for the first time in my life I'm afraid I find myself out of step with the majority opinion on this one.

Perhaps I have just been listening to too much Linton Kwesi Johnson recently and am starting to buy into his paranoia about a creeping fascism in Britain but this looks suspiciously like it to me. It seems odd that this has come about at a time when we are hearing nothing but stories about NHS postcode lotteries and people being refused life-saving drugs because trusts can't afford to buy them. What can rectify that - why a National Death Service of course. I know that legalised euthanasia is coming and personally I dread the day that it does. Yes the initial intention will be to reserve it only for those for whom death is inevitable but how long is that likely to last? How long before we see people with very serious but potentially operable diseases put to death as a cost-cutting measure because they don't have the money to afford their own treatment? How long before we hear "you've got a touch of the old winter coals but unfortunately amoxicillin is too expensive these days, given that NHS funding is now set at £1000 a decade so we're going to have to require you to submit to 'voluntary' euthanasia"? Sure, I'm being flippant but once this inevitable law is passed another group of people are licensed to deal out death and all this coming at a time when human life is continually cheapened in this most decadent of societies. Considering the number of people around who are prepared to overdose on grief when a Diana Spencer or a Michael Jackson dies yet who will happily leave their elderly relatives to survive below the bread line I also dread the use of emotional blackmail and the dreaded "burden" word to force people into this. In theory a dignified death is a good thing but in practice euthanasia would be treated as a readymade way of dealing with overpopulation at most ten years after the introduction of this scheme. So forgive me if I am sounding paranoid about all this but the thought of another state-sponsored agency of death to join the armed forces and the police sends a chills me to the bone.

But enough of this life and death - let's have some football instead. Ah, but it sounds good to say that. Yup, the season actually did start today, although it will have passed most by as it was only the Scottish Challenge Cup, a competition I thought I personally had seen the last of. Still the Thistle did well to progress in what is probably their best hope of winning anything this year. And let's be fair you can't ask for a better result than a penalties win over Montrose after being saved by an own goal. This season is going to stink worse than a blind dog with the trots that had boiled eggs and turbot for breakfast! Still on the positive side...nope, not a thing.
keresaspa: (Finlayson)
Good Lord but does acupuncture ever feel weird! So far it does seem to have made the foot feel a little better and with a bit of luck that will increase on Monday when I go back for a second dose. The fact that it's all on the NHS and so isn't costing me a bean makes it so much the better. So fingers crossed it continues to help as I am getting reet tired of this foot pain and the needles in the leg made my muscle jump which is apparently a god thing. Progress at last, however small.

Elsewhere I see the old Crisitano Ronaldo to Real Madrid rumours are back, except this time it looks like it might actually happen. I know some might decry the loss of this player to the English game but to my mind I hope it happens. This petulant, diving, pouting, overrated, dirty tackling bitch is a disgrace to watch sometimes and I'll be glad to be able to watch a match without him being treated like some messianic hero just because he is better than Darren Fletcher and Park-Ji Sung. Admittedly he is a fair player sometimes but he brings too much negativity along with his talent so on yer bike, son. Besides for £80 million (and there is no way that he is worth £36 million more than Zinedine Zidane even if it is eight years later) Man United can buy four or five quality players or maybe even clear some of that massive debt and even better perhaps somebody a bit different will win the league for a change next season.
keresaspa: (Colonel Blink)
Bloody e-bay drama with some bashi-bazouk opening a dispute because my payments take a while to clear and take even longer when the dreaded bank holidays interlope on proceedings. I mean all it takes is a bit of common sense, some patience and, if you really can't wait, a simple e-mail asking what's keeping the payment. Running off to Miss and telling on the bad boy who has actually done nothing outside the rules is beyond childish and the sign of a duff seller in my book. But of course in situations like this one has to bite one's tongue somewhat lest the petulant little tosser takes the money and runs because big bad boy didn't take kindly to being fingered when he had done nowt. This is why online shopping, whilst it has a place, will never replace the real world completely.

Anyway, back to my favourite (he said ironically) place tomorrow as I am booked in for the rest of those liver tests at the Doctors early in the morning (afternoons being an alien concept to the medical profession apparently). Now I was informed that a urine sample was needed but despite this I was not offered one of the plastic sterilised things to do it in. I am now faced with a dilemma - either take a Monty in a juice bottle this evening and risk it being contaminated by residue of the original content or the bottle being made of an odd type of plastic or else go tomorrow without a sample and just pish in the proper receptacle there but risk facing the wrath of some NHS jobsworth for being in breach of some silly little made-up rule about not being allowed to strain the potatoes on the premises. This is my first widdle sample that has not been provided there and then so if any of you know the correct procedure here do let me know as I am completely in the dark.

Well, I reckon that's enough talk about bodily functions for now as I am fast running out of euphemisms for wee-wee. Bye for now.
keresaspa: (Seagull)
Tuckered out today, folks! I needed (yet another) doctor's appointment to deal with a touch of mouth bleeding and said appointment was made for half three. Suddenly, at not long after half nine, they rang to say the good doctor could not be arsed working this afternoon and my appointment was now for ten. Now, the surgery is a good 15 minutes from my house if you hurry and I was still in bed at this point (and indeed had only been properly asleep for about an hour as for some reason I couldn't get off last night) so that gave me less than 15 minutes to get up and get a wash before practically running down the road, with breakfast sacrificed. To make matters worse two separate boot laces snapped as I was trying to get ready and I was left with no option but to wear a pair of shoes that I blame for the fascist foot thing. A gel heel thing that was supposed to relieve some of the pain proved to be very much in chocolate fireguard territory but somehow I made it on time...only to be left sitting for fifteen minutes. Why make an appointment for ten if you have no intention of seeing me at ten?! By this point I was a complete zombie and the appointment was a bit of a waste really - I was given some mouthwash thing for bleeding gums but I can remember little of the appointment itself apart from not being able to remember most of what I was there for. I appreciate that GPs are overworked but is it too much to ask to be given reasonable notice of an appointment, particularly in a situation where you have not suggested at any point that your problem is an emergency one? I'm perfectly pleased to be seen on the day I look for an appointment but giving me little more than 20 minutes warning is just taking the piss. Quite frankly I would rather have waited a couple of days to be seen rather than have to do a Flash routine to an appointment that I was never likely to be compos mentis for anyway. A trip into town afterwards was probably not a good idea either. Sheesh, where's my condemned sign?!

But enough about that. I must say that new thing in the sidebar that tells me where people reading this are from (as stolen from [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks) is rather nifty. I have no idea why I seem to be attracting comparatively high levels of readership from the north-east of the United States, particularly given my critical leanings towards good ol' Uncle Sam, but it's nice to know that somebody is reading this dross. Similarly, until now I had never even heard of Heerhugowaard but a very good day to whichever resident of said North Frisian city passed this way. It really is a small world.

Well, that's enough for now. If you'll excuse me I must go off and collapse into bed.
keresaspa: (Dare to Believe)
Last week when I saw that Albion's next fixture was against Middlesbrough I felt that it was definitely winnable. They are, after all, a club in free-fall with a manager in Gareth Southgate who increasingly looks so bewildered that he must spend most of his time trying to make sense of the garbled ramblings of his brother Troy1 So, I was reasonably optimistic going into the match but I certainly didn't think that it would turn out to be a 3-0 win. Sweet as a moose! Chris Brunt may have a horribly annoying voice, the sort that people from the outskirts of Belfast invariably have and may be cursed with an unfortunate name that lends itself too readily to rhyming slang but he has had a decent run this season and took his deflected goal well. Robert Koren played a blinder and probably deserved to be credited with two goals for his blinding performance. Meanwhile Marc-Antoine Fortune looks as awkward as an Erp in the Sandy Row Rangers Supporters Club but if he is going to get in the way of balls and deflect them into the net then he'll do for me. In all great stuff and, even though we are still bottom today, my optimism has increased immensely as it is only goal difference keeping us in the relegation zone. A tip of the hat to Tony Mowbray for turning things around - keep this up and I'll forgive that daft comment you made earlier in the season.

Elsewhere I see that the Tories are plumbing the depths by bringing Ken Clarke back. As Tories go I have always found Clarke fairly tolerable as an individual with his booze-sodden, tobacco-smoking manner. One always suspects that he might have a slight smell of stale piss emanating from his slacks2 but there is something mildly endearing about his pot-bellied ways. However as a politician he has a track record of failure and bringing him back smacks more than a little of desperation. In these days of credit crunch and Barack Obama being appointed King of the World (or so you would think from the reaction to his win) it has become a bit unclear what the Tories actually do and I for one cannot see how bringing back the man who introduced the "internal market" to the NHS will improve that. Still, at least it gives them something to do, the little poppets.

Anyway, that's all from me for today so goodbye for now.

1 And before any lawyers come snooping let it be know that I am fully aware that failed penalty taker Gareth and failed musician and politician Troy are in no way connected.

2 And further to avoiding a lawsuit I would like to make it clear that I am sure that Kenneth Clarke QC MP is a most fragrant individual.
keresaspa: (Georgi Dimitrov)
How smart are you?
Am-I-Dumb.com - Intelligence Test

I'm dead smart me. I can spell hard words like "hello" and count up to 16. Rather too US-centric for my liking mind. I no more know the distance from Seattle to New York than the average American would know the distance from Belfast to Derry.

Anyway, enough of that. Gareth Southgate has been in the news over this whole nurses' fund malarkey. I'm in tow minds about this, to be honest. Footballers are overpaid compared to nurses, no question. It does seem a decent way to begin to redress the balance and it is true that one day's salary would make no difference to most Premiership players. On the other hand the whole stunt did have a severe case of the chuggers about it and he has a point about it bordering on blackmail. Alongside this footballers are not the only horrendously overpaid people in Britain. Why not pester all those ghastly 'celebs' who get money chucked at them for doing nothing. At least footballers have a talent, unlike most of the idiots who fill up the TV schedules. Also Noreena Hertz (whom I have to admit I found irritating in the extremes) seems to be missing the point. Footballers are paid too much because the system has allowed them to be so. It's not their fault and if the situations were reversed would nurses hand money over to footballers? I think not. Affecting a massive, dare I say revolutionary, change to the system is the way to fix the inequality, not pestering Jamie Carragher. Surely the focus of attention should be on the government, who after all run the NHS, and who have pumped their funds into wasteful trusts and managers rather than the nurses. It's up to them to improve conditions for nurses, not Linvoy Primus or Paul Konchesky. Sod it, I'm with Southgate on this. As long as stunts like this bail nurses out then it abrogates responsibility from the government who should tackle this problem. In a way, I suppose, it has therefore achieved its aims by drawing attention to the problem but it's still not up to some economist (who is no doubt well off herself) to start laying down the law.

Anyway, enough for today. I have a few things to clear up and then I must run so see you all again as and when.
keresaspa: (Lucy Liu)
So, it's finally been announced that Blair is buggering off. Actually, it's hard to believe (and shows clearly the limitations of so-called democracy) that such a thoroughly unpleasant individual has managed to last so long. He talks about his legacy but it's difficult to see it being any more than a series of failures. Leaving aside the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, making Britain the lap dogs of one of the most hated American governments in history and following a foreign policy that has justified terrorism he has lurched from one balls-up to the next. The Millennium Dome, money pumped into the NHS only to be wasted on managers and trusts, student fees and the end of grants, running roughshod over people's rights in the name of 'the war on terror', the pointless waste of money that is the Olympics and ban after ban after ban coupled with providing less and less, meaning that the purpose of government now seems to be "we'll tell you what to do more often in return for less from us". On top of this he fostered a climate where incompetence, corruption and downright crapness are no bars to a place in the Cabinet, with sleazy bastards like Mandelson, Blunkett, Prescott and Jowell given chance upon chance when they should have been put out to pasture years ago. He cracks on to be a statesman but apart from his wars all I can remember him for is constantly baiting Iran, supporting Israel whilst they blew the shit out of Lebanon and snubbing Hugo Chavez on his visit to Britain because his master Bush doesn't like him. Instead of involving himself more closely with Europe in an attempt to get away from a world of one superpower he has perpetuated the uncertainty and violence of American hegemony by effectively placing himself at Bush's disposal, even to the extent where he has copied the little creep's walk and getting his initial in his forehead like the mark of the Beast. Devolution is trumpeted as his big thing, but until it starts delivering long term benefits then it is just something that has happened rather than an achievement. As for ‘the new Northern Ireland’, tell that to the immigrants who are getting 1950s levels of abuse, coupled with intimidation and violence. Let's not forget that he inflicted ten years of that horrid, money-grabbing wife of his on us. And he's a dud root who smells of onions.

OK, realistically, Gordon Brown is not going to be very different. He might talk the socialism talk from time to time but I don't anticipate any major changes in his government, other than a couple of new faces whom I'm sure I will soon learn to hate as much as Prescott and John Reid. Still, for the time being a date finally being placed on the fall of Anthony B. Liar is a cause for celebration.

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