Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Muggers do it for the kicks!

Stop the press! The Economic and Social Research Council decided to commission a study and they’ve found out that many muggers commit the crime “just for the kick” of committing the crime.

Did you hear the one about the government using common sense to work anything out? Two minutes and I’ll commission a report to find out if they did or not…

Of course people are doing these things just for the kicks. If you walk round the streets of Glasgow you’ll find a number of individuals sporting the “Glasgow smile”, in other words someone’s kindly cut a smile into their face. I firmly believe that the majority of these crimes are done just for the hell of it or because someone was a bit pissed and looked at someone else the wrong way.

I was having a look over the BBC have your say pages (which I do frequent from time to time). There have been plenty of suggestions from the general public. These include bringing back national service, tougher sentences, stopping benefits, reform the criminal justice bill and public flogging!

I think these are all fair points but as much as I would love to see the stocks brought back to the city centres, I think we have to face a few facts….

There is a problem!

I know this seems like a simple one but much like a reforming alcoholic, the powers that be have to acknowledge that there is a problem and this seems to be something that they are reluctant to do. Now I understand why they don’t, if your job was on the line would you start saying that your department or company was completely in the wrong and you wanted to just start again?

The public know there’s a problem, we don’t want to have to get more alarms and street cameras. If we keep going this way, woollies will be selling back to school stab vests.

Now note that i’m not attacking Labour. It’s not that I think they’re doing a fine job, I just think that the whole system and approach is wrong. In truth I think our democratic system is wrong but that’s something for another day.

The government doesn’t care by it’s very nature, it’s not their fault, it’s just the system…

We’re not tough enough!

It’s a fact that we’re just not tough enough. The complexities of the system that we’ve created have tied us up in so much red tape that parents can’t restrain their children for fear of assault charges and people don’t report crimes because they know nothing will happen. There are people walking the street who have committed literally hundreds of burglaries, yet if we found them in our house and belted them we’d be the one’s in jail?

Our justice system is too confused between punishment, rehabilitation, reform and human rights. A classic case is that of the drug addicts who received an out of court settlement from the government when they were forced to go cold turkey.

People should have more faith in the justice system more importantly everyone should know where the line is drawn. Social services, parole departments and prosecution services are all tied up. All this does is cost us more money whilst we lose what little faith we have in the system.

You get nowhere just treating symptoms!

Tougher sentences are one thing but at the end of the day it’s just really about an improved common sense approach to the whole problem. Labour’s idea was the ASBO. Well guys, here’s some free advice that you won’t have to commission me to give; it’s just not going to work!

Did anyone think for a second that because someone’s been given an ASBO they’ll think, “hang on a second, I don’t want to be anti-social!”. Of course not, they’re anti-social in the first place because they’ve got very little to look forward to, even less to lose and the only role models in their lives are anti-social people. It’s not rocket science…

What we need is a fundamental approach to solving the problem and I think that begins with kids themselves. I know I’m fortunate in my life to have turned out (kind of) alright but I also know that when I was a teenager there was nothing to do, so I hung about, smoked and skated and even then the council refused to build any skating facilities.

Now I know Adolf Hitler’s hardly the saint of the century but when it came to sorting the kids out, he knew how to get them organised and focused. I guess it kind of goes back to people suggesting bringing back national service. I think we need a new Hitler youth idea with a bit less of the Hitler megalomanic tendencies.

So I know it’s going to sound like a way out there radical idea but why don’t we have a revised school system that supports the kids in everything they do? And I know that it’s going to sound way round the bend but why don’t we have the schools open beyond four in the afternoon? So if kids just want somewhere to hang out, play football or even (god forbid) do more study, they have somewhere to do it. Also if we formalised processes and incentivised kids for doing things like hip hop classes, or even graffiti art classes, providing money and training for more teachers and social role models to help them out, would the maybe not feel so anti-social?

At least if we did take this approach, it means that by having more contact with the problem families, we’d be able to spot the problems quicker and maybe even stop them from mugging, killing or even spitting at us.

Shucks, it’s just an idea I commissioned myself to do. I know you’d all rather spend the money on £20 billion trident nuclear submarine programs or more effort into punting £1 billion worth of arms to Africa. Do you not? But you voted for it, didn’t you??

Why don't we stop the rot...?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Music Review

Here we go, short sharp and to the point!

Would seriously recommend the Babyshambles The Blinding EP torrent. It’s great, was never a great fan of Junkie Pete but I think his heart’s in the right place. You also don’t have to feel bad by downloading the Babyshambles The Blinding EP torrent because you’ll only be giving him more money to spend on drugs if you do ;o)

Klaxons Myths of the Near Future torrent, would take a listen at this too. Went to see them at the Arches in Glasgow not too long ago and they were pretty good. I do remember that night for Datarock (Datarock Torrent) though who just blew me away live.

Of the rest coming up over the next couple of months –

Looking forward to…

The Good The Bad and the Queen Torrent - The Good The Bad and the Queen
The View - Hats Off To The Buskers Torrent
Bloc Party - Weekend in the City Torrent
The Bravery - The Sun and the Moon Torrent
Kings of Leon - Becuase of the Times Torrent

Could do without hearing…

Norah Jones - Not Too Late Torrent
Korn - MTV Unplugged Torrent
Joss Stone Torrent – Any Torrent by Joss Stone
Garbage - Absolute Garbage Torrent (Obviously the title says it all!)

Hot Topics, Hot Topics, Hot Topics

Was just sitting here thinking "I wonder what the web's interested in at the moment". So I went on a wonder, is it solving the worlds problems? Is it turmoil in the middle east? Is it even Christmas shopping? No, think again. It's Rennee Zellweger dating Bruce Willis! Is Rennee Zellweger going out with Bruce Willis really that interesting?? Anyway, here's the complete list for you....

1. Renee Zellweger Dating Bruce Willis?
2. Saddam Hussein Trial resumes
3. BCS USC passes Michigan and moves up to #2
4. Bird flu South Korea's first outbreak in 3 years
5. Traffic 31.7 million drivers this Thanksgiving
6. New England Patriots Beat Bears 17-13
7. Indianapolis Colts 45-21 victory over Eagles
8. NFL Manning reaches 3,000th completions
9. New York Giants Third straight lost
10. Britney Spears Hits LA clubs with Paris Hilton
11. Chicago Bears At 9-2 after loss to Patriots

Must admit I thought that Britney Spears and Paris Hitlon Nude would be getting more hits but it shows what I know....

Time to kill? Will It Blend?

Ever wondered if you can blend golf balls? Get on this site and check it out. I wouldn't mind getting one of these blenders to tell you the truth, mine's shite!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Movie Reviews

I'm going to start adding some movie reviews to the site from today. I'm not going to go into great depth with them as I usually just need to know if they are worth watching or not so i'll try to be as concise as possible.

Obviously my opinion's not going to be the same as yours so if you think i'm well off the mark just let me know and we can argue about it.


id cards

I’ve been reading into the id cards debate of lately and to tell you the truth, I’m stumped! I really don’t get why people get their knickers in such a twist about id cards and population database. When is it ever not going to be an advantage to know who all live in our country and what they are up to??

I carry about my driver’s license at the moment so I don’t really see what the big deal is about carrying another card about with me. Surely it goes without saying that if someone is up to no good in the streets, we should expect to be able to easily identify them? Imagine the about of our money that is spent each day chasing the details of tonnes of people who have been stopped in the streets without id?

Years from now we’ll have a national DNA database with samples taken at birth. This is just common sense. Put it this way, I don’t have a criminal record at the moment so if I decided to indiscriminately rape someone the DNA found at the scene of the crime would be no good unless something else pointed the investigation in my direction. If there were a DNA database, the police would be knocking my door that day.

This doesn’t just go for serious crimes, how many break-ins and car thefts could be solved this way. Simple common sense!

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been looking into this debate. Once site in particular which you’re welcome to have a look over for yourself here sets out the argument against the use of id cards. As I said, have a look over it yourself but the main points against it seem to be

1. It’ll mean that there will be a large database containing details about everyone.
2. Different government departments will be able to cross reference data.
3. It won’t stop terrorism.
4. Biometrics won’t work because some people are missing an eye?!
5. The government won’t be able to administer the project properly.
6. It’s too expensive.
7. They will “provide a pretext for those in authority—public or private—to question individuals who stand out for reasons of personal appearance or demeanour.”

And my favourite…

8. You could end up becoming some sort of Sandra Bullock “non-person” if you’re wiped from the database!

I think that just a quick glance over these and you’re thinking that there really isn’t a good case against them? Just going over some of these….

1. I think the large database with details about everyone is the main objective, why is this such a bad thing?
2. Surely information passing freely between government departments should be an objective of the government? How many tragedies have taken place because social services didn’t pass on appropriate information to the police service (Fred West murders).
3. It might not but surely it’s more protection than nothing at all.
4. I’m sure that if someone’s eye is missing, we can put this information in the database to use and alternative means of information.
5. This point I would maybe agree with but if it’s a good idea in principal, why shouldn’t be try it. We’ll get it right eventually.
6. So are nuclear weapons but we still seem to have them…
7. I don’t see how identity cards are going to make it more likely besides if the police aren’t stopping and questioning those of odd personal appearance or demeanour; they’re not doing their job?
8. Talk about scare mongering!

In the end, it just seems to me that people are saying that this is a bad idea “just because it is..”. At the end of the day if you’d asked people in the street 20 years ago if they were for cameras on every street corner watching their every move, of course they wouldn’t like it and they’d think it was a big brother nation. In practice though, it’s now wide spread and many streets have been made a lot safer because of it. Id cards aren’t a nice idea but at the end of the day it’s just a natural progression that is common sense whether we like the idea or not.

Paulo Nutini

Have been listening to "These Streets" by Paolo Nutini. Pretty good album, nice moody easy listening stuff for the winter. Not a massive fan of these guitar wielding solo dudes that are popping up in the charts.

Some good tunes on the album include Jenny Don't be Hasty, New Shoes is just class and Alloyway Grove is a good foot tapping number.....!

So if you're looking for a good torrent i'd go out and buy These Streets by Paolo Nutini ;o)

Mr X - Typical

Had arranged to meet Mr X at the weekend there. We were meeting up in Runcorn at a friend's place for the weekend. When I got there I was informed that good old X had missing his train in London and was then subsequently delayed for a further hour at Crewe. This is typical behaviour.

Having said that, he did manage to stay event free for the rest of the weekend....

Friday, November 24, 2006

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 3

A couple of tit bits from the animal kingdom that you can impress or bore your mates with!!

i) The common goldfish is the only animal in the whole animal kingdom that can see both infra-red and ultra-violet.


ii) A duck's quack doesn't echo. Don't ask me why?

Mr X goes to a party

Sorry for not continuing the Mr. X stories when I said I would but here goes….

My good friend Mr. X was telling me this one not to long ago. It started out on a Friday night that was much like any other. Mr X however had a party to go to with some of his work colleagues. Just for some background information our good friend keeps a position of high stature in one of the UK’s largest insurance firms.

Anyway, as the party they were all going to was quite near his boss’ house, X decided that he’d take his car over to his boss’s, dump it there and then proceed on foot to the party.

So, he goes to the party and has a few drinks with his work mates, then a few more and so on…

Our friend’s story then jumped to 4 a.m. and he’s walking home. Now he was a long way and it’s getting a big wet as well so he sticks his hand out in the hope that a taxi will stop for him. After half an hour or so a car stop for him and he jumps in and explains to the guy where he lives. Now I believe that Mr X thought this guy to be of Greek decent but he’d obviously had a few jars by that point so I guess we’ll never know for sure.

After half an hour in the car they eventually wound up back at Mr X’s flat. They pull up outside and X asks the driver how much he owes him for the ride. At this point the taxi driver explains to X that he is in fact not a taxi driver and had just picked him up because “he liked the look of him”….

Now I’d just like to take this opportunity to warn all piss heads out there that if you go hailing lifts from strangers at four in the morning in the greater London area, there is probably a good chance that the person who picks you up might well want to bum you!

Anyway, I must stress that the guy wasn’t forcing it on X. He was just suggesting that they go upstairs and exchange body fluids in lea of the taxi payment. Needless to say this kinda freaked X out and he threw the guy a tenner and ran upstairs to the safety of his flat.

It was about ten when he woke up the next morning and no doubt the details of the taxi ride home slowly came back to him over the course of a few minutes. He still had his jacket on in bed and as he got up he put his hand in his pocket and grabbed his glasses case.

Now as he grabbed his glasses case, it became apparent to him that something was not quite right. Our Mr X only wears his glasses whilst he’s driving and as we’d mentioned earlier, he’d dropped the car off outside his boss’s house earlier in the evening. At this point he does however realise that there is a 100% chance that he had in fact been back to the car at some point during the night.

Once he’s up and about his first instinct is to go back to his boss’s house and get his car. So he goes over there only to find that it’s no longer where he left it. Deciding that calling the police might not be the best idea, he sets off to try and find it.

After looking around for the best part of the day, he decided to start looking around other streets away from his route home. At about five o’clock that night he comes to a grass embankment, with a car parked up it. Needless to say, the door is wide open but everything seems to be intact.

Obviously pretty happy that he’s found his car X then goes to jump in and as he goes to do this he notices some sick on the door and window and it then turns out that the whole door compartment is filled with the stuff. He took the car home and as you can probably imagine you’d probably be shitting it at this point about who had seen him driving off the previous night.

God only knows how he did it but it turns out that nobody saw him and he honestly doesn’t remember any of the drive home.

So in short kids there are some lessons to be learned. If you plan on getting horrendously drunk, give someone else your keys and book a taxi. You don’t want to end up getting bummed, or worse still jailed and then bummed!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Environment – Let’s Face the Truth

I wasn’t planning to write about the environment today but it seems to be the government and media’s latest distraction. Yes, the government, media and some mob sitting on top of easyjet’s headquarters have all had a meeting (they didn’t invite us!), they’ve had a vote and decided that the impending environmental disaster is, wait for it…….OUR FAULT!!!

Yes, did you forget to switch the tv off standby last night? Did you leave your car running whilst waiting for the kids this morning? Did you want to go for a cheap weekend break? Then it seems that it’s your fault that the polar icecaps are melting and loads of dolphins, whales and other cute creatures are dying. Hope you’re feeling guilty!

OK guys, calm down and stop crying because it’s not really your fault. The environment’s a mess and it is a global problem but is it really our fault? If we stick an extra tenner on short haul flights is that going to solve everything? Of course it isn’t.

I’m not saying that these “plane stupid” guys are…er, well it is a rather unfortunate name. Anyway, I do believe their heart is in the right place and obviously their main aim today was to raise the profile of this issue so I guess they’ve succeeded. In fact, there’s some nice information if you have a look at their site, in particular “10 reasons to ground the plane”.

Although I don’t question their motives, I do question their methods. At the end of the day a stunt like this is going to get the issue on the beeb and clock up a few more hits for their website. In fact, with some well placed ads they could’ve earned a few quid for the cause today….

What today’s action won’t do is the following:

i) It won’t stop the expansion of airports

ii) It won’t stop the air travel being the immediate future of passenger travel.

iii) It won’t convince the public to join the cause.

Most importantly though, it’s not going to save the environment!

I’m sorry guys but this sort of thing is pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this kind of action doesn’t get results. I honestly think that the “father’s 4 justice campaign” has raised the profile of this issue and in time it will be properly addressed. This type of action doesn’t just work for anything. It’s all about progress. When Emily Davison threw herself in front Anmer it was an act that broke big enough hole in the dyke to ensure that no one could hold back the force of change. Unfortunately, where this issue is concerned, it’s not something that the public are going to warm to in their droves. That is what makes it different from the ending of apartheid or the start of female suffrage.

I agree that we should be making a plan to save the planet what I don't think we should be doing is fooling ourselves! I think recycling is a good idea but just collecting rubbish every second week is a daft way to force people into it, of course rubbish is just going to pile up outside people's houses. Why not provide more recycling facilities, maybe even incentivise recycling with money off shopping? Imagine you took everything to Tesco and they gave you a voucher for money off your shopping, how cool would that be? Where there is stupidity, bring common sense....

As economic, political and practical barriers to travel are broken down I quite honestly increasing the cost of flying is really the answer. If you think for a second that businesses are going to start sending people to Europe by train because of increased flight taxes, you need locked up.

More people are going to need to fly in the future, demand is going to increase; that's a fact that there's no getting around. The problem with regard to flying is that we have to fly more whilst polluting less. The only way we can do that is by driving technology forward to provide a solution. Encouraging that is a whole problem in itself.

The solution to the environment issue is quite clear; it's how to implement it that's the difficult part. For starters there has to be a clear commitment by every government on the planet to reducing emissions, recycling, stopping the destruction of animal habitats. If everyone doesn't sign up, it won't work. That means if China and the USA don't get involved now, there's no hope of doing anything. It's that simple. The way to get these guys together is to bring Europe together and speak to the rest of the world with one voice on this issue. Strong leadership, a single voice and less bureaucracy is quite frankly our only hope.

Poorer nations and individuals within these nations need to be given incentives to not pollute the planet or cut down trees. Telling a poor man with no fuel to cook food that he can’t cut down a tree because it’s illegal is surely ludicrous and ultimately a death warrant for the world we live in.

I know it sounds like a big ask but it’s the only way to go. If we can’t come together as a planet, it’s all over. No sitting on top of Easyjet HQ is going to stop that. Let’s accept the needs of the planet, draw up a plan and ruthlessly enforce it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Famous Mr X - An Introduction

As you will have noticed so far, i'm not really wanting to do posts like "I did this" and "I did that..." type posts. I don't write a diary and even if I did, I wouldn't let you c*nts anywhere near it!

What I am going to introduce in order to break up my rather strict political and fact of the day driven agenda is a few personal stories that come from one particular source, Mr X!

Mr X is a close associate of mine who is one of these people who just seems to attract, how can I put it? Comic situations? He just seems to get into things that you really couldn’t engineer if you tried. I’ve known him since we were knee high to a grass hopper and he’s really one in a million.

Anyway, I’ll stick the first story up sometime this week….

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 2

Do you know your Bhoys from your Toffees??

As you may already know, most football ("soccer" if you're from across the paddling pool) teams have a nickname. So the two above refer to the Glasgow Celtic and the Liverpool Evertonians (I'd love it if some yank used that one!)

Anyway, if you want to impress your friends or look cultured, two you should learn are....

Nerazzurri - This means the "Black and Blues" and is the nickname of Inter Milan.
Rossoneri - This is the "Red and Blacks" and is the nickname of Milan.

Oh yeh, and whilst we're in Italy you should also know that the National team are known as "The Azzuri" or "The Blues"!

Use the knowledge well !!

UK youths 'among worst in Europe'

They needed to commission a study to find this out???!!! I could've told them for bugger all!!!

The part that i find the funniest is that we've commissioned the study, we've confirmed our worst fears, what are we going to do about it? Bugger all is the answer! I think the main problem is that our current government doesn't have the kind of powers to stop the rot in this country.

I love the term "Ned", it's a Scottish term that was around to describe these individuals long before the word "Chav" came into pop culture. If you need a run down of what a ned is have a look in good old wikipedia.

Now the problem that the government currently faces is that neds make up a very large proportion of the population (in fact a study into just how big a proportion would be an idea!) so the problem is that they either have to:

i) Turn neds away from ned behaviour.
ii) Reduce the number of neds in the country.

Now these are two very different approaches to the problem. The first is a utopian solution that is simply impossible, yet it seems to be the favoured solution of the government. I think we'd have more of a chance of convincing lions of the benefits of vegetarianism than getting this bunch to change their ways. Without getting right into the age-old "nature vs. nurture debate" I do believe that if a Nedism is probably 90% nurture and 10% nature.

The second solution is the practical way to approach the problem. Now, I'm not suggesting that we all grab a gun, jump on a horse and start rounding up neds. What i am saying is that you need a license to have a gun, own a dog, sell drink, drive a car, to travel to other countries. But, any f**cker can have kids? It just doesn't make sense.

I remember being a kid and listening in School as the teachers spoke in disgust of how you required a license in China if you wanted to have a kid. Is this such an outlandish backward idea? I think the main argument against this has always been that it's a violation of our human rights to have children will nilly. Obviously I think that human rights are important, but surely we're letting the lunatics take over the asylum here! I don't see how showing a greater responsibility for the people that we bring into world is somehow infringing on human rights?

I'm sure there will be some who will compare this view to some Nazi vision of a master race but it's just actually common sense. If you're not fit enough to be a parent, then why should you be allowed to be a parent?

One case I've previously read involved a kid who didn't know his father and his mother was a drug addict. He was raised in a series of children's homes and eventually when he was seventeen he went out and stabbed another kid, a student who was just minding his own business. The parents of the child who died have never recovered and the kid who stabbed him was sent down for murder and sent to a psychiatric ward for ten years.

I'm not going to go into great detail on the rehabilitation subject as I'll no doubt tackle it at some other point. What I will categorically say right now is that although society does have a responsibility to all parties concerned, a responsible society would have prevented the situation from arising in the first place. The most practical way of doing this would have been to not allow the junkie and the man with no name to bring a kid into the world and if they did they should have never have been allowed to raise him.

It sounds harsh, it sounds radical but it's a new way and I think it's just plain common sense...

If we did adopt this approach, i'm pretty sure that we could start doing something about binge drinking, anti social behaviour and other such problems. Don't blame the kids, blame the parents.

Britain - A Surveillance Society

OK, big brother is watching you! I must admit though, i'm a bit more worried about a nation that watches big brother...

It does spark a wider debate about monitoring people at work and shopping habits but to tell you the truth I don't see what the big deal is. Surely if you're working hard, it would be nice if your work knew about it? Are the objections all from a bunch of skiving gits who don't do anything at work all day? Who know's, maybe we'd finally find out what half the public sector do all day apart from drink tea, pointless meetings and write pointless documents?

There's no doubt that there are some extremely practical uses for them, after all who could forget seeing Jamie Bulger being led away by his two murders, or the London bombers at Luton station heading for their London targets. To tell you the truth I can't think of any point where they've had a negative effect on my life as yet, so what's the big deal?

I suppose there is a rational fear that if every move is monitored and our biometric data is stored on our passports or identity card, we will just end up pawns of the government and multinational businesses who will be able to control us as they wish. OK, in an Orwellian sense I suppose it is maybe something that we should be aware of but if we're not doing anything wrong, why should we fear such things. After all, I hate to be a kill joy but Winston was breaking the laws of the society that he was part of and that is why he was arrested. It wasn't the telescreen's fault, it was a dodgy government and dodgy laws that let to Winston's downfall.

I think identity cards and CCTV cameras are a good idea. In fact, i'll even go as far as saying there should be a national DNA register that is attached to our birth certificates. This is just common sense and only an idiot, anarchist or criminal would disagree. Imagine the clean up rate in rape cases where the attacker is unidentifed? A quick look in the DNA register and we'd have the culprit, even standard burglary cases that never get solved could see a better clean up rate using this system.

OK, if you're a low radar law breaker and you like the odd joint, or you'd like to go faster in your car, you're never going to like this sort of thing. But overall it just makes sense, what's the point in becoming some sort of Cyborg-Luddite?

Anyway, i'm all for keeping checks on business and government where possible (should i maybe say "if" possible?) but lets not go smashing the telescreens....!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Male Pill

Now, this is a funny one. I remember that there had been talk of this for a while and to tell you the truth, I quite like the idea. This week scientists have completed “100% effective trials” with no apparent side effects.

I passed a news stand today and noticed the headline “Would you trust your man to take the pill?”. Now I see what the headline is getting at, we’re not exactly the best at this sort of thing. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a course of antibiotics in my life? Having said that, my girlfriend can probably be a bit forgetful as well, we all can! You only have to walk down any inner city street to see that she’s not the only one who’s been forgetting…

I guess that women are going to have to be a bit weary of drunken blokes saying “trust me, I’m on the pill” but at the end of the day whether the reason is trying not to catch some genital endangering disease or getting pregnant, contraception is a pretty selfish thing. I would take a male pill or wear a prophylactic (I love that word!) mainly because I don’t want to have kids or my dick drop off and believe it or not ladies I have a lot of friends who also don’t want any unexpected kids or their dicks unexpectedly (or expectedly for that matter…) falling off so they act responsibly.

I think the final reason that it’ll be a good idea is because if it has fewer side effects than the female version then surely us guys should be taking it. Anyway I’m sure we’ll see in time what happens but I reckon even for some selfish reasons it’ll end up pretty popular.