New Labour, New Danger. 1997 – 2009, what have they done?

24 February 09

Before you read this, please note that I am not affiliated to any political party and have voted differently in the two general elections I have voted in.

The following are listed in Labour’s 1997 Election Manifesto. Basic promises either not kept or ballsed up.

Though it appears that they forgot to include “ignore the banking system to enable a return to the ‘boom and bust’ days of the late 1980’s”.

The myth that the solution to every problem is increased spending has been comprehensively dispelled under the Conservatives. Spending has risen. But more spending has brought neither greater fairness nor less poverty. Quite the reverse – our society is more divided than it has been for generations. The level of public spending is no longer the best measure of the effectiveness of government action in the public interest. It is what money is actually spent on that counts more than how much money is spent.

The national debt has doubled under John Major. The public finances remain weak. A new Labour government will give immediate high priority to seeing how public money can be better used.

New Labour will be wise spenders, not big spenders.

Save to invest is our approach, not tax and spend.

New Labour will establish a new trust on tax with the British people.

Our long-term objective is a lower starting rate of income tax of ten pence in the pound.

We will examine the interaction of the tax and benefits systems so that they can be streamlined and modernised.

We will enforce the ‘golden rule’ of public spending – over the economic cycle, we will only borrow to invest and not to fund current expenditure.

We will ensure that – over the economic cycle – public debt as a proportion of national income is at a stable and prudent level.

Small business: We will cut unnecessary red tape.

We will be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime Police on the beat not pushing paper.

Crackdown on petty crimes and neighbourhood disorder Protect the basic state pension and promote secure second pensions.

We will reject the boom and bust policies which caused the collapse of the housing market. (ha! – ed)

We will reform party funding to end sleaze.

12 years on, they’ve done well haven’t they?




No snow, a buyer for Honda(?) and a weekend off for Liverpool

13 February 09

Hello. Hope things are good, whoever’s reading this. I’m not bad, thanks for asking.

I’m feeling very lethargic today. Got quite a bit to do at work but am taking 10 minutes from my image manipulation tasks to give a bit of time to the blog, which has been more than neglected for too long.

It looks like we might go a day without it snowing for once! Off out for a meal at Pennine Manor tonight so hope it doesn’t snow, it’s quite high up and I don’t fancy the drive there and back if we’re knee deep in snow. There was still around 6 inches everywhere at lower levels at the weekend.

There’s supposedly a new MS Windows coming out this summer, Windows 7. I might buy it if it’s any good but I might not as everything I need still runs fine on XP. I don’t know. I’d use Ubuntu again if it ran the games I wanted it to. I’d buy a Mac again if it ran the games I wanted it to (and wasn’t so outrageously expensive for what you get). Looks like I’m stuck with Microsoft.

Rumour has it that Honda F1 have found a buyer. I hope so. They will use Mercedes engines, have Jenson Button and Bruno Senna in the driving seats and have got 5 sponsors (unlike Honda’s 1, namely Honda). No idea who’s bought them out but I hope it’s someone committed to the sport. They’ll acheive bugger all this season though, it’s too late to do anything special for 2009.

F.A. Cup 5th round weekend this weekend. United have Derby, Liverpool have… erm… oh, that’s right, a weekend off.

Anyway, I’ll get back to writing some proper opinionated nonsense at some point soon, I promise.


Scolari Sacked by Chelsea

9 February 09

Breaking Sports News:

Phil Scolari has been sacked by Chelsea.

Can’t really believe it myself. I was just thinking at lunchtime how they’re on their 4th manager since Roman Abramovich came in. Not the behaviour of a team who were supposed to dominate European football for years to come.

I’ve no idea who’s going to come in to replace him. No-one’s standing out immediately.

Any ideas?

Work, holiday, computer, football, car and darts. Hello again!

6 February 09

It’s been ages, sorry!

An brief update for you:

Started a new job the day I my redundancy kicked in Web Design working in Cleckheaton for a promotional merchandise firm. Been there for 1ΒΌ years now. Most of the time it’s been pretty good but this week’s been a shocker.

I’ve been on another cold January holiday, this time to Dent in Cumbria. The brewery there makes some lovely stuff. Especially ‘Aviator’.

I’ve upgraded my home computer. Now running an AMD Phenom X4 9550. It’s a lot quicker than the last one and it doesn’t turn itself off after half an hour every time I use it.

We won the league! And the European Cup!

I’ve got a new car! It’s a Ford Fiesta 05 reg.

Still playing darts, we’re 2nd in the league with 1 match left. We’ll finish second.

Anyway, I’ll leave a proper message at some point.


Joblessness, Christmas & 25 feet of snow

14 November 07
Hello there.

I was made redundant a week or so ago given two weeks notice followed by a payment of two weeks wages. The company just hasn’t got the money to keep me on after the fire – mostly down to the fact that the building wasn’t insured.

I’ve been job hunting and doing my portfolio for the past week and have an interview tomorrow in Cleckheaton, between Huddersfield and Leeds. It’s closer than Bradford and it’s more money as well so you never know, it could all be a blessing in disguise!

I was offered a job in West London as well for some reason. A bloke phones me up, chatted for a while, asked when I was able to start then told me the job was about 250 miles drive away. Thanks! He sounded more disappointed than me though for some strange reason.

Anyway, back to my normal ramblings. I can’t really remember what I’ve already written about on here and can’t be bothered looking. Erm, it’s Christmas soon! That will do. I’m off down south for Christmas with Emma to stay with my Mum and Dad for a couple of days. There’s going to be 9 of us this year – the most I ever remember is 6 I think so it will be a bit different. Looking forward to it.

Yes that’s snow 400 yards from where we’re staying. Not a lot you may think – but this photo was taken in late March. Hmmm…
Me and Emma have booked a holiday to the Lake District. You might say ‘how lovely, the lake district’s a beautiful place’. Hopefully it will be even more beautiful covered in snow as we’re going in the third week in January. We must be mad! Looking forward to that too.

So there’s hopefully a new job, Christmas and a holiday. Things are looking up!

Darts update:
It was the pairs knockout last week. Me and my team-mate Mick (who used to work with my Dad down south, coincidentally) got through one round but lost in the decider. I didn’t really play all that well but wasn’t awful either. Got a normal league match tonight so the stats will come back after that.

Keep well,


I’ve just remembered something

3 November 07

First of all, Arsenal 2 – 2 United – fair result I suppose. I’m happy with that. Listening to Leeds – Carlisle now. Come on Carlisle!

Right, a couple of years ago I worked for a company called AQA, answering questions that people had texted to the company for their researchers to answer. There was a question thrown my way which asked:

“Who will win the F1 championship this season and the next”.

I answered:

“Fernando Alonso will win this season and Kimi Raikkonen will win next season in a Ferrari”.

Now, not to blow my own trumpet or anything (well, ok, I am) I think that’s pretty impressive! Raikkonen didn’t even drive for Ferrari at the time so I predicted that too.

Aren’t I clever?!! πŸ™‚

Next year Raikkonen again. Get down the bookies.

Longer note coming up next week, excited? No? Oh well πŸ˜‰

Darts Update:
I’m considerably better at predicting F1 champions than I am at playing darts at the moment, I lost 2-0 again. Crap!

Position: 4
My Result: 2-0 loss
Team Result: 4-1 loss

My total (exc. pairs): 8 legs for, 5 against (4 wins, 2 losses)
Team total: 16 legs for, 14 against (4 wins, 2 losses)

When I win, the team do, hmmm…


Me banging on about F1 again amongst other things…

25 October 07
So Kimi Raikkonen’s the World Driver’s Champion, for a week or so anyway. I know rules are rules – they’ve got to be followed and punishments dished out to those who break the rules. For those who don’t know what I’m on about, I’ll fill you in.

The final race of the F1 season was on Sunday. After qualifying, Massa (Ferrari) was on pole. he had no chance of winning the title. Hamilton (McLaren) was 2nd, leading the championship by 4 points over Alonso (McLaren), who lined up 4th. In between them was Raikkonen (Ferrari) who was 7 points behind Hamilton.

Kimi Raikkonen
The race started and Raikkonen & Alonso overtook Hamilton. Hamilton then ran wide a couple of corners later and dropped down to 7th or so. Then he had a gearbox problem which dropped him down to 18th, I think. He then fought his way back up through the field and finished 7th. Alonso was 3rd and Raikkonen won. This meant that Raikkonen won the championship by 1 point over both Alonso and Hamilton, with Hamilton coming 2nd overall due to having one more 2nd place throughout the course of the season.

With the race over, and Raikkonen crowned champion, I went to set up my fish tank. Later that evening, I was looking on my WAP on my phone and read that BMW Sauber & Williams may be disqualified due to the fuel in their car being 2 – 3Β°C lower than the ‘ambient temperature’ of the track. The stewards met and after a 3 hour discussion decided that the result would stand.

This lower temperature would give the cars a 5bhp or so power boost and also allow them to fill the car with fuel marginally faster (and a margin in F1 is measured in .001’s of a second). In other words, to disqualify them from the race would mean that the punishment didn’t fit the crime. There’s absolutely no indication that this was deliberate and according to a second agency responsible for measuring the temperature, it was within the 10Β°C limit allowed.

Of course, as is their right, McLaren decided to appeal this ruling as a promotion of 3 places would have given Hamilton the title. Hamilton himself says that he doesn’t want to win the title in this way. Alonso goes as far as to say it would be an embarrassment to the sport (but he would, wouldn’t he?!!).

So no-one can celebrate properly until the courts have dragged this one out. It’s bloody stupid. Why can’t McLaren just accept the original ruling. I’m not saying that just as someone who’s not the biggest fan of McLaren, I’d be saying the same if a Man Utd player was sent off and Fergie decided to appeal. Just accept it and move on for God’s sake.

Raikkonen deserves to win the title. All the headlines should be for him. Instead, the Lewis Hamilton show rolls on even when the season is over. It’s not his fault but people are going to go off him if his team don’t stop using him as a puppet all the time. I’ve not been a fan for a while, as you may have noticed, but he’s a brilliant driver and deserves better than what he’s getting. As does Alonso.

Here’s something for you; When Ayrton Senna died and David Coulthard was put in his place at Williams, I liked him. He went to McLaren and lost every aspect that was good about his personality. He goes to Red Bull and he’s great again. Mika Hakkinen was a fantastic driver. At McLaren he was a boring bastard. He leaves, goes to race in DTM in Germany and he’s a laugh again. McLaren saps the life out of F1. The corporate, must-win image is valuable to them and they have great respect throughout, but they are just so unlikeable. They are the Peter Ebdon of F1.

On a final F1 note for the season (until they announce that McLaren’s appeal has failed, I hope), well done Kimi Raikkonen. The best man won.

Anyone watch the Everton v Liverpool game at the weekend? It was a cracker wasn’t it! Great save from Phil Neville – a save like that deserves to have the resulting penalty saved as well πŸ™‚

The fish tank is set up and should be ready to go on Sunday, I hope. It looks good. Once the fish have moved in and unpacked I’ll take some photos.

A kitten. Awwww, how sweet etc.
We had a load of kittens in the shop this week. They’ve all gone now I think. I said to Emma that there was one left over so they just let it go to fend for itself. It’s not true of course but you should’ve seen the look on her face! Sorry darlin πŸ™‚

Sorry to have banged on so much about the F1. You wont believe quite how much I’ve decided to leave out so be grateful!

If you want another long read, I thoroughly suggest this. It’s all about global customs and what you should and, more importantly, shouldn’t do in certain countries. It made me laugh, I hope it does for you too.


Darts update:
Truly bloody awful yesterday. I lost 2-0 in my singles and I was put into the doubles game as well and lost 2-0 in that as well! Hope it’s just a one off. Team lost 3-2 as well, our first of the season, so not a great night really.

Position: 2
My Result: 2-0 loss
Team Result: 3-2 loss
Pairs: 2-0 loss

My total (exc. pairs): 8 legs for, 3 against (4 wins, 1 losses)
Team total: 15 legs for, 10 against (4 wins, 1 losses)