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The Bitch asks: What’s in YOUR Attic?

government pardon
by lisby1

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

It may soon be time to raid the attic. Do you still have the catapults you had as a child? How about the wooden swords with which you were Robin Hood? Still got the metal dustbin lid? You might be needing them soon.

It seems that despite us being crucified by all the extra taxation we have to suffer today, there is not going to be enough money to support the brave lads and lasses in our armed forces. The Commons Defence Committee reckons the present demands on the MoD’s equipment budget are so great it might be impossible for them to cope even should they scale down or delay orders.

Things we may be losing to divert this crisis include: the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers, and FRES – the Army’s Future Rapid Effects System, the new and much needed armoured vehicles. Also likely to be affected: the Nimrod MRA4 (desperately needed as there have been times lately when only one current Nimrod could fly, and that only by cannibalising the others), along with the Astute class submarine and the Type 45 destroyer – both essential to replace some of our out of date fleet, and key players in the future defence of this country.

Do you think Gordon Brown’s idea of a new Civil Defence, where unpaid members of the public can “do their duty”, might be as a result of any of this? The way things are going, never mind the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan where instead of food parcels we may soon be sending our troops wooden swords and dustbin lids, our home defence will be relying on a Dad’s Army.

With the National Health Service, our transport system, education, policing, and so many other things in such a terrible state today, falling apart around this government, where is all our taxpayers’ money going? As the population grows, and more people pay taxes, then the infrastructure already there and working should be costing us less and less to maintain even though the demands on it may increase proportionately – the very last thing it should be doing is finding it is unable to cope. Everything should automatically and quite expectedly be becoming better and better, but it is not. So that can only be as the result of some very bad management – and as it is the government that has increasingly controlled all these things for the past ten ten years or so, who but it can be blamed?

The ruination of this country – and it is now ruined – has come purely as a result of all this government encouraged control culture we have today, that born on the back of, and on the strength of, the politically correct brigade, warned about by so many, but suffered by the majority to whom as long as they were on that credit spree which camouflaged the true state of the economy, nothing else mattered. We now spend untold amounts of money – billions of pounds when it is all added up – on paying people to find new ways to control people, and then to do just that. There is practically nothing one can do today bar breathe (and one wonders how long before they get to that one!) which doesn’t require a whole load of bureaucratic idiots to first be consulted and then paid handsomely.

Everything is going wrong now simply because the machinery of government has become far too heavy for the public to bear. If you’ll pardon the expression: we have too many Chiefs, and not enough Indians!

Look at all the people and departments we have today who, after four hundred years, are attempting to stop the nation smoking tobacco. Think of what they are costing us. Consider too the amount, millions and millions of pounds, spent on the media advertising – and yet tobacco sales have hardly been dented. Could not all that money been better spent?

When one of our chief medical advisers has publicly stated: “a smoker still has to be extremely unlucky to contract cancer,” why are we doing it? Only because the figures add up on paper to some bureaucratic idiot. An idiot who doesn’t realise that at our end of days we all have to die of something. As we get to that time and our bodies are no longer able to sustain us, if we don’t smoke and die of cancer then we shall simply die of something else. It is a story that many pet owners could tell you – when the animals time has come it is put down because of respiratory, liver, kidney or any one of many other fatal conditions. If we were to only consider the number of cases where people have contracted lung cancer at an early age and died, as we should be, then smoking causing death falls a very long way down the list of things that kill us.

The nutcases are now talking of it becoming law that cigarettes must not be seen to be on sale at a tobacconists. It is ridiculous! Whilst little Johnny must be deterred from buying a packet of cigarettes at all costs in case he should become addicted to smoking and die in his old age from it, he can freely wander up and down aisle after aisle in any supermarket surrounded by cheap alcohol, all on show with its blatant cut-price advertising, and be tempted by something which could make him drunk enough to go out and kill someone that very same day. And that actually happens now – quite regularly! Haven’t we got our priorities wrong here?

Whilst no child should ever be encouraged to take up smoking, and all children should be educated about its dangers – along with those of many other pastimes, it does not require all the mass hysteria we are seeing today. There is undoubtedly an ulterior motive at work here.

When we read today that children’s cough mixtures are to be removed from sale, the public becomes alarmed. But millions upon millions of these remedies are bought every year and in the overwhelming majority of cases they do what they are supposed to and no harm befalls anyone. There have been only 5 “suspected” toddlers deaths from cough mixtures in the past 14 years – in percentage terms your eyes would fail you trying to count all the noughts after the decimal dot! – far more toddlers die in traffic accidents, so should we close down all our roads and ban vehicles?

An alarmed public is an easier public to convince and control. This is all about spin, and convincing people the government is looking after their interests. It is not. If it really wanted to do that then it would call for a General Election tomorrow!

But then, of course, un-elected many of the government’s politicians would lose out on all those perks we are only just hearing about!

“The Bitch!” 27/03/08.

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not usually specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.

The Bitch and The Terminators! UK News Review

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

It all starts off this week with a tale of two Scots. Strangely they might soon both be sharing the same nickname: The Terminator. Missed dearly since he left Noel Edmond’s “Deal or No Deal” programme this week, after his turn came and he sensibly dealt for £23,500 (I believe), is Alasdair (surname unknown to me) who earned the nickname for destroying many a person’s game by exposing a big one – if you’ll pardon the expression! Pictured on the right, he has been a breath of fresh air I’ve enjoyed catching glimpses of in the afternoons over the past few weeks. Sweeties, he could expose anything to me – to my mind that definitely warrants a breakfast! Shut-up! I can have my dreams! I guess this is where all those who get the syndicated-without-the-pictures version of this column now rush to click the link that should appear below for the genuine article to see if we agree on cute. Go for it! You won’t be disappointed!

Our second Scot, and would be terminator, is the SNP MP Angus MacNeil. Named the best Scot at Westminster in the Scottish Politician of the Year awards, and also earning the accolade of inquisitor of the year by the Spectator magazine, it was he who was responsible for resurrecting the 1925 anti-corruption Act which has led to the Metropolitan Police investigating the present cash-for-honours allegations. To be fair to Angus he too is pictured here (on the left), however possibly being not so fair, he would need to find his own morning cuppa – I wouldn’t be there!

Screaming at us from the news and political programmes on radio and television, and from most of the the newspapers, is the news that Tony Blair is likely to be interviewed under caution about the cash for peerages matter, for it is he and only he as Prime Minister who is responsible for producing the names of those to be elevated. Today Scotland Yard has revealed there have been “major developments” in the investigation; major developments which John Yates, the assistant commissioner in charge of the inquiry, is reported as saying are “not in the public domain”, despite all the recent apparent leakages.

Our Mr MacNeil has recently told BBC Radio Scotland in an interview that he believes the Prime Minister will be questioned before St Andrew’s Day, which falls on November 30th. Saint Andrew, if you didn’t already know, is the Patron Saint of Scotland. That’s a little ironic, isn’t it? We’re told the police hope to be able to forward a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in January 2007. And that’s where if this whole case is going to be dropped and swept under the carpet, it will be.

Despite all the rejoicing on the forums, I really would be surprised to see a serving prime minister of this country being tried in a court of law and possibly (depending, of course, on the actual charges) facing, if convicted, incarceration. Cash-for-honours, if proven, would be a terrible thing; a loathsome corruption – but it pars into insignificance alongside the Iraqi war and a few other things, and already Tony seems to have got away with them, although perhaps not quite scot free! (Scot free: fits well but has nothing to do with Scotland – see http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-sco1.htm)

Several people have written in to the Scotsman with their comments. Two I particularly found amusing were: “If Blair does end up in the slammer I’m sure it will be an education, education and an education for him,” and: “A pretty boy like Tony is going to have a tough time in the slammer.” It’s nice to be loved, isn’t it? You can enjoy the Scotsman and read more from here: http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=1702142006

You might by now be wondering: why would I be surprised to see Tony Blair charged following this inquiry? Well, despite sometimes loving surprises, I’ve never yet seen one where the man in question was ever nailed for doing anything wrong. We may see it as wrong – fully know in our minds it is totally wrong – but he has always excused his actions by “taking full responsibility” (whatever that means, because nothing further ever becomes of it!) and by saying he did what he believed to be right; what he really thought was in the country’s best interest. And where you and I could never expect to be excused any misdemeanour by employing those words, they seem to work well for a person in charge of the country.

Should Tony say, and no doubt truly believe, that it was right to reward those people who put their hands in their pockets to support his New Labour’s almighty crusade to save the country and the world, and he did it all off his own back because of his fervent belief that such noble people should be rewarded for all their care and concern, and it happened without any underhand “deals” being done – or proven – then what grounds are there for a prosecution? Somehow I can’t see any person with one of these dubious peerages putting their hand up in a court of law and saying: “Okay, Guv – it’s a fair cop, I bought me peerage!”, can you?

I think we shall be hearing of “misguidance”, “technicalities”, and “ill-advised” in the new year, perhaps coupled with “a lack of evidence”. What’s new?

Moving on, did you see a a man has been jailed following a “web rage” attack? Paul Gibbons traced the whereabouts of John Jones after they exchanged insults in a chatroom. Armed with a pickaxe handle, and accompanied by a man with a machete, he knocked on John’s front door. Mr Jones answered the door with a knife in his hand, but in the affray that followed he was disarmed and had his neck cut. Paul Gibbons was jailed for two-and-a half years for unlawful wounding.

Jonathan Green, the defence lawyer, said Mr Jones gave the impression that he was the innocent victim in the confrontation, but his web blog didn’t back that up. He warned against the misconception that anything said in chatrooms was anonymous, and said that such a belief led to things being written which people would not normally dream of writing.

That’s certainly something for all those middle-aged heterosexual men getting off tonight by pretending to be a lesbian in a lesbian chatroom to consider as they make their advances on another member – one who could just as easily be like themselves: fat, fifty, and far from being female!

Finally, before I go, I’ve just received news that the Blackpool Pride 2007 Fundraising CDs are being released tonight, firstly at the Mardi Gras nightclub in Blackpool. Soon to be available everywhere, the details will appear on the Blackpool Pride website later tomorrow: http://www.prideblackpool.com. I’ve already heard a couple of the tracks, liked them, and will be off to get my copy over the weekend. I guess the emergence of the CDs means the calendars will be appearing shortly too.

Oh dear! I remember the calendar for this year. It was good, but there was one month when the dog wouldn’t walk past it without turning to bark at the picture. Once the month had ended, I tore off the page and gave it to him. I can’t tell you on here what he did with it. Hmm…

See you next week…

“The Bitch!” 17/11/06.

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.

The Bitch Battles for Britain!

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

According to our Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, the controversial Olympic 2012 logo is here to stay. She admits it has not been well received, but claims it is adaptable. Adaptable? Adaptable? To what? Has that woman no shame? Pardon the terminology here but there really is no other way of putting it: for all to see the logo is quite plainly a symbolic picture of a woman giving a bloke a blow-job. It is now constantly referred to as such by so many people to have become a worldwide joke. We really shouldn’t be contemplating using it. Who wants to represent their country under some graphics that would be more at home as a logo for a porn channel? Get real!

£400,000 spent on a pornographic logo? Scrap it! Demand our money back! Should we not be able to get it, it doesn’t matter – when put alongside all the other money this government has wasted over ten years it fades into total insignificance.

I suggest running a competition in our schools to come up with a decent logo, and then using that as the basis for a professional one to be made as a replacement. We’ve thrown away £400,000 – let’s not throw away any little pride we might still have left as a country after all the disasters of this government! The logo should not be here to stay – anyone with a little common sense can see that – so what point is there in trying to defend it? Is there a reason – something we don’t know about? I hope not. If Tessa Jowell can’t see that this disgusting monstrosity is thoroughly inappropriate, then perhaps she shouldn’t be here to stay either!

As we started with a joke, we may as well continue on with another one. Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister, reckons Britain remains committed to defending the Falkland Islands. And here I’ll bet: “With what?” was in your mind before you read it!

Twenty-five years ago our armed forces did an admirable job in liberating a people who wanted to stay British. Nevertheless, it should not be seen as the war to end all wars over the disputed territory – in Buenos Aires the rumblings are audible once again. Nobody suspects another invasion, but who knows? We didn’t expect the last one!

Our Mr Ingram insists that Britain still has the power to repel any invasion of the islands, despite our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess then he must be banking on a very slow invasion, should it ever happen. I mean, the last thing I read said it could take anything up to two years to get our fleet (what’s left of it!) out of mothballs and serviceable – and then we’ve got to make all the catapults etc. for the Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Girl Guides that no doubt we’d have to call upon to do the job. When recently we couldn’t find enough soldiers to man a few Green Goddess fire engines, who else could we send? The relatively small number of aircraft and less than 2,000 soldiers that were left at RAF Mount Pleasant as a deterrent could do little more than hold off an invasion until reinforcements were sent, were any aggressor to be formidable and determined. But what reinforcements have we at hand to quickly send there?

Last time – that was 1982 following the invasion – in a war that lasted 74 days it took three British nuclear attack submarines, 20 warships, 8 amphibious ships, and 40 logistics ships from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Merchant Navy along with a force of 15,000 men, including a landing force of about 7,000 Royal Marines and soldiers, to liberate the islands. Along with 34 aircraft, we lost some well known and much loved ships: HMS Sheffield, HMS Ardent, HMS Antelope, HMS Coventry, SS Atlantic Conveyor, and RFA Sir Galahad. 258 of our people died, and many more suffered terrible wounds and disfigurements.

Two of the aircraft essential to the campaign were the old workhorses: the Hercules and the Nimrod. They are (incredibly) still in service and, although they have both been updated, only recently we have heard that the Hercules has become very suspect for safety – and apparently we can only have one Nimrod in the air at times in Iraq because all the others are being cannibalised to keep it going. Does our Armed Forces Minister know any of this?

Were our armed forces not subjected to all the crippling and relentless defence expenditure cuts, we would indeed be able to defend the Falklands without compromising any other commitments we might have – but today, I have serious reservations. Many would argue we are already way beyond our safe capabilities, and they could back up that argument by citing all the shortages in essential equipment and supplies we constantly hear about. Body armour shouldn’t have to be shared by our troops. Aircraft shouldn’t have to be cannibalised, only to still run on a wing and a prayer. Weapons and equipment should be “tried and tested reliable” before being issued to our soldiers on active duty.

Those brave people that fight our battles – in reality normally the government’s battles! – and who may be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice should not be left wanting – not ever. Not for their equipment, and certainly not for their own hospitals – another hot potato! To hell with the cost, I say. What price are we putting on these young people’s lives? We owe them everything they need to do the job as safely and as efficiently as is possible, and it should always be there ready for them. The fact that a ship, a tank, a plane, or several thousand pieces of body armour – whatever – haven’t been needed in earnest for several years should never be an excuse to cut the budget.

The task of improving the capabilities of our armed forces, and of updating their equipment to the very latest technologically available, should be ongoing. The amount of failures we are now hearing about in a war zone (official or not, what else can you call Iraq?) on a daily basis – just in battle tanks and reconnaissance vehicles alone almost 450 failings in the six months up to the end of last October, with at least another eight incidents so serious they could have proved fatal for the personnel – suggests this updating has not been happening.

Our armed forces should always be ready and able to defend this country and its interests at a moment’s notice. It is the first job of the government to see it is so, and I would argue they are not doing a very good job. War by appointment simply doesn’t happen in the twenty-first century! I’m pretty darn sure, “Excuse us, Buenos Aires. Could you make it another time? We seem to be a bit bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq at the moment, but I’m sure we’ll find something we can get to work soon and be able to oblige you,” wouldn’t do us a lot of good were they to believe this was an opportune time to try again.

Of course, Argentina is unlikely to have a go, we’re on quite good terms with them and all this argument has been purely hypothetical – but for a reason. Nobody knows exactly where the next lot of trouble might kick-off in the world – and big style too. But if it were to affect this country or our interests, would we be ready for it and able to cope? I find I’m not confident we could – and I bl**dy well should be! To resist cutting our defence expenditure year on year does in no way show us as an aggressive nation, it merely shows that we are prudent and wish to keep our insurance policy fully paid up. That policy is now very seriously in arrears, and we really ought to be doing something about putting that right.

For all my gay friends thinking of Argentina for a package or an adventure holiday, you might like to check out this website: http://www.hadrianus.com.ar/inicio.htm. It has a lot to offer.

See you next week…

“The Bitch!” 15/06/07.

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.

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An Englishman’s Home… The Bitch!

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

It seems that what the police cannot manage to do for a reasonable wage plus a pension and all the perks, the public may soon be expected to do for nothing. We’re told civilian volunteers could yet be asked to patrol the streets of their crime-ridden estates for themselves, keep a watch on the activities of suspects (most likely to be the dangerous gangs of teenage hoodlums – that’ll be fun! Where does Health & Safety stand on this one?), and even go so far as to check the tax discs on their friends’ and neighbours’ parked cars.

There is never a dull moment with New Labour, is there? We have already been conned into sorting out our own refuse – with all the prospects of paying for the service twice fast looming on the horizon too! – and now whilst we will still be paying for our streets to be patrolled by the police, they actually want us to get out there and do the job for ourselves. It puts a whole new meaning to: “the land of the free”, doesn’t it?

No! No, don’t! Please don’t! After reading that I had to start on my medicine early. I’m quite giggly now – something to do with the lack of tonic, I suspect. A nation of alcoholics? I’m not surprised, are you? We shall just have to have a quick joke here to take our minds off all this stupidity. Question: What do the Poles do in Poland? Answer: Hold up the telephone wires. Question: What do the Poles do in England? Answer: Hold up the housing queues. No, no – it’s not racial – it’s perfectly alright. Really, it is. Michal Garapich, a social anthropologist at Roehampton University wants the British people to make jokes about the Polish people in order to help them to blend into UK society. I am only doing my bit for them.

Michal, a Pole himself, has told the Polish media that his countrymen needed to lighten up – that they were far too sensitive. An obviously important man, he reckons how the Polish people react to being the butt of English humour would be the real test as to whether or not they were actually integrating in Britain. He says: “If the Poles can learn anything from the British, it’s not to take themselves too seriously.” Really? Well, I am sure we are only too happy to oblige the man, aren’t we? Serious? No, of course we’re not!

Thankfully I was not born a Catholic otherwise that might have been a Hail Mary at least a dozen times and…

I see Ken Jones, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, tells us the country urgently needs to wake up to the epidemic of binge-drinking among teenagers and the misery it causes. Citing police data which shows that up to 50% of the kids are getting it from their parents (the alcohol, I believe. At least, I hope so!) he has rebuked both them and the drinks industry. “Why is it we have got ourselves into a position where lager is being sold cheaper than water? Why is it we have got huge entertainment and drinks companies marketing alcohol to children?” he questioned.

Er, pardon me, but I think the country woke up to all this a very long time ago – at least those still alive and able to; those who had not yet been slain by the drunken young hooligans that terrorise our streets. But it is nice to see the police are, at last, beginning to acknowledge the true scale of the problem, isn’t it? Now all we have to do is to convince the government. They, apparently, are looking to make extensive cuts in police manpower – whilst we are all screaming that we do not have enough police now to maintain law and order. Isn’t the very fact they need us to patrol our own streets enough evidence of this? I know our standard of education has plummeted dramatically these past ten years, but in government circles too? I think I need another sip – and to Hell with the tonic!

Do you know, I am beginning to wonder if some government snoop has been in here, actually within the Royal Mews, and taken my tonic away for testing? I mean: it was only last October that under pressure Gordon Brown was forced to admit somehow we had arrived at the State having 266 powers they could use to enter our homes and premises without permission. He promised then to crack down on such laws that infringed our privacy – however obviously not before another 13 powers became law, which are only now currently making their way through Parliament. I wonder if I should offer them their own set of keys? It might save having to have a new front door fitted, mightn’t it? Have you seen those things they bash them in with?

In the best New Labour tradition of: “an Englishman’s home is a Whitehall thoroughfare” a new quango, the Homes and Communities Agency, has been set up to enter and survey any home without the owner’s permission to assist in the compulsory purchase of it. These State Officials will also be able to break into our cars should they suspect we are evading our road taxes – it must be something to do with the education thing again, I guess they simply cannot read the tax discs in the cars’ windows! – and if we are unwilling or unable to pay those penalising new refuse bin taxes and fines, they will soon be able to bring the bailiffs inside as well. Hmm… I must remember to leave a couple of teabags and a few biscuits out for them, just in case. Well, you never know – they might treat me more favourably! Though I do hope they remember to turn off the lights when they leave, electric is so expensive these days, isn’t it?

Never mind! The government tell us we shall be staying at the forefront of space technology, and we may even be launching our own manned missions. That will be dependent on the British National Space Centre, which co-ordinates the UK’s civil space activities. They are to consider the costs and benefits of manned missions against the existing strengths the UK has in robotic exploration – like, I suppose they mean, the British Beagle 2 that went missing as it landed on Christmas Day 2003. Ah, if only they hadn’t skimped on the batteries. They should have known: you can never buy a battery on Christmas Day, not even on Mars!

Ooh, I say! This gin is rather potent. Does it show? Soldiering on as I must: I think it will be an excellent idea for us to send someone into space – especially if we are allowed to name the person. I nominate Gordon Brown. Can we send lots of people? I nominate the whole government – send them to Mars. They should be happy enough there. After all, it is the Red Planet.

Labouring on: the government’s own figures published in the House of Commons library last week show that more than 2.2 million British children are currently growing up in households which are dependent on state benefits. That is one-in-five of all children, with the problem being much worse in some inner-city areas. You know, those places where we have to suffer a lot of that drunken behaviour and the kids go around in stupefied gangs killing one another, and sometimes us too. I guess when they are not out mugging for the money to buy their drink – the parents are only acquiring it for the youngsters – it will be us, the taxpayers, who are really paying for it and all the misery we have to suffer. Who said the British spirit had gone? It is still there – only now most of it is in the gutter.

Now, back in my old stamping ground Chief Inspector Dicks (I love it!), speaking on crime, has been reported as saying: “Nationally Swindon is one of the safest places to live. Thankfully knife crime in Swindon is a rare event and nowhere near as common as in larger areas.” And then somebody kindly worked out the knife crime figures for us. Based purely on the crimes that the police know about, possibly about half of all those committed, a person faces being stabbed in Swindon every two and a half days.

I guess whoever it is must be getting a bit peeved by now! Sorry! It’s just the medicine kicking in.

In this “one of the safest places to live” in Britain we find that violent crime has risen by 16% in the past two years alone. The police suggest robbery was the motive for one third of the attacks, with another 31% being put down to “disorder”. The remainder is anybody’s guess, but with a young father, Carl James of Park South, being horrifically stabbed to death and more than 1,930 other victims facing violence (143 with knives, and 1 with a samurai sword) in this “safe” town last year, we can only wonder what the odds are of a person’s safety in any town not so safe as this one.

Where the police have failed, is the government really expecting volunteers from the general public to make a difference? I suspect the only difference we may see is far more corpses on our streets. I nominate the Home Office’s adviser on policing, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, for the “Idiot of the Year Award”. It is he who has said it is not necessary for us to have so many police officers, suggesting that many of their jobs could be carried out by civilians instead. Yeah, right! But who is to be employed to carry out all those carrying out these tasks – in their body bags?

“Land of Soaps All Gory…” Sorry, you’ll just have to sing amongst yourselves until next week – it’s all too much for me. I’m off to find another bottle, if those government snoops have left me one!

“The Bitch!” 14/02/08.

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not usually specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.

OFFICIAL – Breaking Dawn Teaser Trailer Preview CASTING ******11.18.11******* So I heard Aldo Quintino is not going to play Nahuel :'( they cast JD pardon for Nahuel.. But Aldo Quintino will always be my Nahuel 🙂 He is exactly how i pictured him Team Nahuel

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The Bitch, WikiLeaks, and the Playground Bully!

Article by Michael Knell

Well Darlings,

It has been a bad week for the UK, but of late: what’s new? The FIFA result, where only one other country voted for us, came as no surprise to me. It was never going to be about football, just like now the Eurovision Song Contest is never about the singer or the song. Today it is all about what some people think of others, and the benefits they gain by doing so.

To add to our misery, and as proof of how poor our education system has become, we have the case of a teacher sending an email containing fourteen spelling and grammatical errors to a parent, ironically only days after the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, said more emphasis needed to be placed on good spelling and grammar. We have had the WikiLeaks damning our politicians of both main persuasions, and revealing just about what everyone really thinks of everyone else. Perhaps inflicting the most pain is what the world and its partner think about the quality and usefulness of British troops. President Hamid Karzai, Afghan officials, and the US commander of NATO troops suggesting our boys and girls were “not up to the task” of securing the southern province of Helmand, and that the job would be better given to the US, really smarts! In my mind, it only adds weight to the question: what the hell are we doing there?

A lot is made of ‘diplomacy’, but I’ve never been a great fan of it. If you’ll pardon the expressions in this overly politically correct age, I prefer to put my cards on the table, and call a spade a spade. I don’t find buttering up to others, and telling countless untruths, just so a meeting may be called a success and everyone is able to smile for the official photograph, of any use whatsoever. All it does is hide the wounds, leaving them to fester away unnoticed by the public eye.

With WikiLeaks revealing what others truly think of us, perhaps it would be a good time to re-evaluate who really are our friends and allies, and make some radical changes. Sadly, those we can depend on won’t number many today. For far too long, under ‘the special relationship’, we have jumped every time the US has asked, but why? What are we getting out of this arrangement? A few cheap bombs that we dare not use, perhaps? Or is it simply a hope of being safe by standing next to the playground bully? To my mind, this relationship is too one-sided. Did the US jump for us when the Falkland Islands were invaded, and British lives threatened? No, I didn’t see any feet leave the ground! And recent comments by Hillary Clinton tell me nothing has changed – the US wouldn’t help us were it to happen again! Did France, a nation we shall be relying on to assist us in our defence for the foreseeable future, come to our aid then in our hour of need? No, they backed the other side, and made a great deal of noise about doing so!

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the people of the US or France, the two examples of many I could have used here, I like the people – it is just that I don’t always trust, or believe in, the policies of their governments. The Suez crisis should have taught the UK everything it needed to know about its capabilities, and friendship, but it wasn’t listening. It still had the victory bells of World War II ringing in its ears, and they were so loud it couldn’t hear: half the world believed Audie Murphy had won the war, and he was a Yank! Maybe they were right, because we couldn’t have done it alone, but was the US really fighting for us and our freedoms? No, sadly it wasn’t, not until it realised its own freedoms would be under threat if we fell.

Standing next to the playground bully does not serve this country well. We need to find another role in the world!

The Bitch!

About the Author

“The Bitch!”, a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not usually specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.

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