Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Work.

….It’s been another rum old week.

I was sent on that fork lift training course at work. That should have been a skive and another skill gained.

Alas!

They are having an overhaul at work. The Assistant General Manager has (jumped/pushed?) left. The General Manager’s prospects don’t seem much brighter. They are having a massive crack down on mistakes made in the picks for the stores, and time off sick and accidents.

So instead of our on-site trainer taking us we had a crazed Jock!

He is re-testing all the current fork lift drivers in an attempt to weed out those that might be an accident risk, and being harsh on those being trained, ie, me!

Our on-site trainer gave the lads time to practice so they would be ready for the test, allegedly helped with the written part, and let one lad have ten attempts at the test until he passed it! Others have told me they failed and were told to go away and get their heads together then come back the next day.

Not so with the crazy Scot! He gave us two goes at each exercise, most of the course was spent in the canteen drinking coffee whilst he went for fags, Bollocking each mistake like you were in the army (instead of pointing out how to rectify the error)  no dummy run, straight in to the test.

I was well on top, I’d done the hard moves. I thought I had cracked it so I started to relax. I got myself into a challenging position, managed to get myself out of it, was dead chuffed, reversed out ready for my last move….’Park up and get off the truck’.

What? In my haste and relief I’d forgotten to retract the forks before I backed the truck up.

FAIL!

He was such a crap instructor I wasn’t that bothered. I’d already overcome the urge to beat the crap out of him after one of his screaming harangues, and after he’d threatened to cut me from the course I had started to get off the truck to go home. He stopped me, but I was ready to walk right then.

In the end I was just glad to have it over and done with, either way.

So that was less than fun.

Yesterday at work the new AGM came and asked me how I’d failed, I told him about relaxing and being forgetful, didn’t mention the crapness of the trainer as it would have sounded like sour grapes, he said that they would put me back in for it.

Then I saw the trainer again and he said that he’d told them to put me on a three day one to one course with the manager they are sending away to become a trainer.

Tesco’s opening a big warehouse has scared the crap out of them, it seems. HA!

Then I noticed that there was a missed call on my ‘phone. An event in itself as I don’t give out my number. I got home and tracked it down as the number for that agency driving job, the car transporter one.

I rang it this morning and the guy said he had been ringing around letting everyone know that he would have work for them in the next two to three weeks!

This is good news, but somewhat scary.

I have a full time, not too poorly paid job in the middle of a recession.

I quizzed him, and he reiterated that it was a full job, no experience necessary, with two weeks training given. All the things I need to hear really.

An agency guy’s word being only second to a politicians in veracity I am cautiously optimistic. Why would he be ringing me if he didn’t have work coming up?

The down side is; it would be a bit of a pay cut on basic pay, (but there are bonuses) I would possibly have to be away from home for five nights a week, possibly sleeping in my cab, and I have to risk losing my permanent job to take an agency one. And it’s based in Skelmersdale, thirty miles away.

The only other thing of note is my front tooth cap is coming loose so I’m going to have to go to the dentists. Hate going to the dentists! Can’t remember if that was the tooth that was shot out or the one that was nutted out. Either way, growing up was shite!

Buck.

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

At work some coffin-dodging bastard has switched to Gold. Allegedly all the best songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Actually all rock ‘n’ roll, and a few pop songs from the latter decades. Apparently there was no hippy era, no punk, no new wave British heavy metal, no gothic. Just saccharin 60’s and the odd inoffensive mainstream pop song.

Which brings me to my point, spleen vented.

They have played Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’ a few times. Each time I hear it I feel a bittersweet pain.

I am suffused with a nostalgic melancholy for a loss I can’t quite pinpoint.

It’s not the song, which I like in an off-hand way. It’s not exactly the time in my life when it was in the charts.

I  have been thinking about it. O.K., so I was getting drunk but I was still working full time and my standard of living, due to the above, was considerably poorer than now.

It seems to be some sort of product of the milieu, the zeitgeist and my own age of innocence.

Girls just want to have fun.

We were young, all the fun was new and thrilling (not the dependencies they would become) life was innocent and hopeful, and we were all just kids. Trying to live the dream of the day, which was to be totally ‘right-on’, (which later became ‘Politically Correct’ and a stick with which to beat the dream to death.)

You weren’t a man, woman, black, white, atheist, Muslim, whatever, you were all people, and it could all work out.

I’m getting choked up looking back on that.

‘So young, so dumb’, as a later songstress would say.

Sorry about that, I was trying to capture a feeling and explain it. Wendy objects strongly to me writing it, so if it was too much…, well, tough tits, we ain’t in the 80’s no more!

…..And, we’re back in the room. Senior moment over with.

What has been happening with your quest for a driving job? I hear you cry. Potentially good news, at last!

For months every job I’ve seen is either advertised as ‘must have extensive previous experience’ or it turns out to be a prerequisite when I have applied.

Out of nowhere, like the proverbial bus, three come along at once that state ‘previous experience preferred, but not essential’.

Woo-hoo!

I’ve applied for two of them, (the third was 20-50 hours, I need to be sure of more than 20 hours).

One of them is for a car transporter driver. Not great in many ways, I’d have to take a pay cut on my basic, might be away from home for a week at a time, and it’s at Ellsmere Port (about 25 miles away, so petrol money would be more). However, when I rang them (turns out it’s an agency fielding the contract) they said that the jobs were full at the mo, ring them back every fortnight on a Friday and they would get me in. No experience necessary as two weeks training given!

That will do me!

Gotta go, boss says it’s bed time.

Buck.

I refute it thus….

I refer, of course to Bishop Berkely’s philosophical argument that we can only be sure of the existence of matter as and when we perceive it. More commonly thought of as ‘matter doesn’t actually exist’ and Samuel Johnson’s legendary reply; kicking a rock and declaring ‘I refute it thus’.

A seconds reasoning shows it doesn’t actually refute it, but a clever and witty spontaneous reply, none the less.

Anyway, I’m here to refute, or at least argue.

I have started to follow Adam Baldwin (the American actor who plays Casey, a comedy fascist, in Chuck) and the links he posts are moving me to reply. Either he is keeping in character or Casey was type-casting.

Let us begin.

He posted a link to an article which had a cartoon of a stereotypical yank hick sat on the porch of his ser-then plantation house, whilst other white, suited types picked cotton in the field. The suits were labelled tax payers. The hick was saying something like ‘ we’ll look after you, provide you with health care’ etc. and it was entitled ‘about slavery’. The accompanying article said that Obama was good for at least making people decide between freedom and Socialism, or freedom and slavery.

Right, where do I start? The implied, if inverted, racial dig at the cotton picking blacks? The pejorative, closed question that states if you have any form of social conscience you have no freedom? No, lets start at the beginning; the slavery jibe. If it wasn’t for people with a social conscience there would still be slaves. Business is never going to say ‘tell you what, why don’t we enshrine your rights in law, ensure a minimum wage and your right to get a different job if this one is too shit.’

The slaves never have a voice and business will not cut it’s profits. It is up to the free and empathetic, those with a conscience, to stand up for those forced to live on their knees.

 

.

Here is the proof, from 1863. Some poor yank got the shit beat out of him

This is what business always wants, an expendable workforce bereft of rights.

Then there is the matter which seems to be causing this polemic disingenuous waffle, the matter of public health care. Thank (non-existent) god that I live in dear old Blighty, where the ideal of a national health service is at least an aspiration. To think that someone would kick up a fuss about the thought of the poor having a minimum safety net of health care! Capitalism in such a crude form, in a nation that professes to be Christian, is disgusting to me. Economic Darwinianism is a fallacy, one that invariably leads back to slavery. If all ‘men’ were ‘created’ equal, and on a level playing field, then perhaps one could ascribe lack of financial security to laziness, and promote health care Nazi-ism as a form of incentive.

As neither of the above pre-conditions are close to being fulfilled, the conclusion does not follow.

A chap with learning difficulties, born into a family of under-class dole wallahs, who is expected to leave school/ jail early and scam his life on benefits and crime is in no way equal to a really clever kid born into a middle class family who expect him/her to go to university and beyond.

The fact that kid A is not likely to amount to much in financial terms doesn’t mean his/her life is intrinsically worth less. Or to put it another way, as a guiltless baby do we let kid A die of an illness because his family have no money?

So, to return to the nub of the point, are we nobler creatures if we look after the less fortunate or if we exploit them for our own pitiless gain?

That’s all I have to say about that.

Then he posted a link to an article which claimed that the data that suggests global warming is a fabrication.

I honestly can’t think why anyone would claim that.

I found myself like Mulder when Scully makes claims based on her belief in Catholicism. He is willing to consider any possibility, however far fetched and statistically unlikely, if it is grounded in the physical universe. Yet he is dismissive of her ‘faith’.

I found myself in the same boat over this. I don’t know all the evidence but have a blind belief in science and the scientists.

It is just incredible to me that the overwhelming scientific consensus (except, until recently in the States) should be made up. Why? To what end? What do all these disparate scientists gain from it?

There is obviously an answer to the inverse, why do the deniers deny? To what end? What do they gain from it?

Money.

There are reports from sources as diverse as holiday companies not being able to let the holiday makers off the boat at the pole (forget which one) for a walkabout because the ice had all melted, Alaskan houses subsiding because they were built on stilts onto the permafrost which has started to melt, polar bears becoming a nuisance around northern townships because they can’t find enough ice upon which to hunt, etc. On which note, I don’t think anyone who saw David Attenborough’s documentary with that poor polar bear swimming for miles because it had no ice upon which to hunt, then in desperation attacking a walrus (or sea lion) colony and getting battered, will soon forget it.

The point being, the evidence seems to be all around us, (freak weather everywhere, melting icecaps, etc) and the only ones who stand to lose by us combating it are the big polluters. i.e., big business. Back to my point about slavery, if we give the capitalists free rein everyone loses. They are never going to say, ‘if we cut our profits by half we could eradicate emissions.’

Take the legendary GM electric car scandal, up and running, ahead of it’s time, recalled and crushed with the patent sold to an oil consortium.

My point then is; there are massive interests in promulgating denial of global warming, there is no coherent scientific/ business gain from stating there is warming.

Go figure.

That’s it, rant over, blame Adam Baldwin.

Buck.

Give them the vote…

I was driving home from work today. It’s only a twenty minute drive whatever route you take. On the way home I prefer to take the longer route by the motorway which affords the illusion of haste. I pulled out of our works onto a single carriageway, behind a car with a huge boy-racer red stripe over it. It shot off, and I tootled after. The road became a dual carriageway after the next island, and I caught up with the boy racer who was staying in the inside lane. As I drew closer I considered overtaking, then fell back when the car swerved half into the outside lane, then just as precipitously pulled back in again. I gave the crash-waiting-to-happen a big gap. The same happened again.

The situation stabilised so I ventured an overtake. As I drew level it was a woman lighting her fag! She’d obviously been routing in her handbag.

A mere two islands later I still hadn’t made it to the motorway, but as I pulled across the island the car to my left drove straight out in front of me! I was standing on the brakes and sliding to a stop before I’d properly realised what was going on. The car pulling out in front of me stopped and I slid to a halt an inch or two from hitting it. I stared at the driver, a bit stunned at the stupidity, and it was a woman holding her hands up in a ‘sorry, can’t be helped’ sort of way! I mouthed ‘you stupid bitch’ but more incredulously than angrily.

I made it to the motorway and was chugging along minding my own business when I noticed the traffic was slowing ahead. Everyone was queueing to get into the outside lane, as a National Express coach was holding up the middle lane. This struck me as odd as they are usually barrelling along. As I got closer I saw it was being held up by an artic lorry. Now I know the lorry isn’t allowed in the outside lane, but I also know they are limited to 56mph, and this one was on and off his brakes.

As I in turn cleared the lorry there was a car, about five feet in front of this honking great lorry, doing an apparent speed of less than 56mph in the (which by this point had become) third lane, with two empty lanes to the left of it, being driven- obliviously-,  by, you guessed it, a woman with an older woman in the passenger seat!

Fuck me! It’s only a twenty minute drive and I saw three life threatening situations, all by women drivers!

OK, today was exceptional, I don’t normally see anything, or if I do it’s me doing it, but goddamn!

Unbelievable. Those who know me know I’m all for equality in every sphere and am a liberal that is always ready to see the other chaps point of view, holding no contentious beliefs (with the possible exception of the belief in the mass sterilisation of the religious, fascists, chavs and ugly people) but woman should stick to buses, and I don’t mean driving them.

Buck.

Nazi apologists!

I posted this on my blogger blog, (http://thegoodbuck.blogspot.com/) but I’ll post it here as well, as I’m not sure which one will win out.

There has been something of kerfuffle in these sceptred isles of late. A minority party of holocaust deniers, non-white deporters, and gay haters has been saying they are being unfairly portrayed as neo-nazis. In the interests of balance the BBC let their Fuhrer, sorry, leader, on to a political programme. Some thought this was implying a legitimacy to his views and granting a perceived equivalence to the mainstream political parties with whom he shared the panel.

Others laughed up their sleeves at the thought of him trying to rationalise the indefensible and relished the prospect of him exposing his views.

In fairness I have to say I didn’t watch it. I have pretty firm views when it comes to politics. Not necessarily on policies, but on principles. The point being; New Labour is too right wing for me, so I have no interest in anything the British National Party have to say.

That having been said, I did follow the story. Jon Snow (of Channel 4 news) said in his blog that the fuhrer was no match for the women on the panel. The impression I received was of a rout. Wendy’s brother and sister-in-law saw it and said he was reduced to incoherence.

All good and well. Job done, back to the normal run of politics, where the torturing, murdering, and war crimes are at least denied. And are done without thought to gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. Equal opportunities fascism. Admittedly some are more equal than others, but if they will go around living where there are oil reserves or being vaguely brown coloured on the underground they are asking for it, really.

Back to the plot. All was well re the openly fascist party.

Then I went into work this morning. I work in a warehouse. This means I am paid for how fast I work and how much I sweat, not for having an above room temperature I.Q., sadly it means all the people I work with are the same.

There was only one topic of conversation, the bloody B.N.P.!

These Sun reading, Sky watching, never questioning sorts were all saying what a good job the fuhrer had done! One chap was quoting him as saying " You’re saying I’m a nazi, but my grandad was in the R.A.F. in the war, Jack Straw’s grandad was in jail for refusing to fight."

As though that was a point scored. If we were voting for their grandads that might have been relevant. It also sidesteps the issue of his grandad being willing to die to fight a country that was espousing the views he now professes.

Later in the canteen they were still banging on about it, saying that foreigners have more rights than the English and somehow linking the BNP to a P.C. backlash. Quoting all those dubious stories the sensationalist right wing press like to ‘report’. Taking it as read that all Johhny foreigners come over here and are immediately given dole and council houses while native (the unspoken implication being: ‘white’)English are refused everything.

Telling them that the Home Office stamps on the economic migrant’s passport ‘no access to public funds’ cuts no ice with these people.

All the stupid things that the P.C. crew have done in their overzealous attempts to indoctrinate the young; blackboards having to be called chalkboards, some councils not putting up Christmas decorations because it might offend people of non-Christian faiths, etc, etc. All of these are demonstrations that the (again, ‘white’) native Englishman is not free in his own country. All of these things will go away if one votes for the BNP.

To say I was miffed is an understatement. While I’m as irritated by P.C. as the next MAN (tee hee)electing the BNP is using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. For a start you have to question the provenance of these stories, then you have to ask was that an isolated incident of a well-meaning tree-hugger losing the plot, then you have to explain that all the Eastern Europeans at our works are talking their own lingo amongst themselves as it’s easier for them, not as an insult to the native mono-glot Britain. Finally you have to teach tolerance and understanding of other peoples points of view, then shoot all the BNP.

So, that was my day at work.

Bloody depressing.

There is your answer BBC. Anyone with two brain-cells to rub together saw the fuhrer get ripped to bits and prove his views indefensible. The people who are his target audience, lacking the luxury of that second cell, thought he did a sterling job and see him as the great white hope. (You see what I did there?) The Sun is the best selling ‘newspaper’ in Britain, so the great unwashed are the majority.

Crap.

Buck.

Hurry up and wait

I’ve calmed down after my last impotent rant. When I returned to the Independent’s story later on the problem had been cleared and there were several cynical and informed replies posted. The story is getting out, and people are aware that want to be aware. If one chooses to subscribe to the evil Murdoch’s promulgation pawns that is a choice. Less of a choice when you consider how many local radio stations all cut to Sky for their news updates, and the unadulterated propaganda that is Sky telly. Enough!

Was it one of those ‘use this word in a sentence’ deliberate misunderstandings on the word ‘horticulture’ that ran: you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.

Not independently valid on any level when you break it down, but if you accept that reality is objective, its interpretation subjective, and its reporting selective, it follows that a person who fails to question probably just wants a simple answer.

As they say of being a biker ‘if I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.’

Not you, imagined and implicitly clever reader, but the Sun reading herd. Not even that broad a category, Sun believing herd.

Anywho, believe it or not I have actually calmed down. All the above was just a way of saying that I probably won’t be writing up my manifesto piecemeal, defining myself by what I oppose. People believe what they want. The evidence that informs my views is equally available to all. To think that only I can extrapolate the truth is verging on megalomania, and is at best patronising. You are all spared. Do your own thinking and don’t blame me when you get it wrong! (Joke!)

Over myself now.

Now we’ve thrashed that one out lets move on.

Potentially good news about my driving, I went in to see the HR chick yet again on Friday (the latest date when everything would be resolved, obviously it wasn’t, again!) but this time the main woman wasn’t there so her minion said she’d go and see her. I waited a few minutes then out came the site manager. I ignored him, thinking he was about his business and it wouldn’t relate to mine. He came up to me, sat me down, and had a five minute chat with me. Perhaps I should mention in passing that the perception is that he is more than just the site manager (although that is at the top of the food chain as far as everyone on site is concerned), the feeling is that he is a troubleshooter. Sent to sort out sites, then move on. He is, it’s felt, a company hit-man.

Since he took over there have been lots of changes (such as we de-kit lads being chucked out of our department and Eastern European agency lads being given our jobs). So when I say he was talking to me, I mean a chap with some clout.

He said he was still looking into it, trying to find out why, if Warehouse-to-wheels was a success, it wasn’t an ongoing concern. If it was not a success what was wrong with it, etc.

He explained that Iceland own the fleet of trucks, but DHL (for whom we work) insure them. That because they are high street stores to which we deliver, the access is often torturous, across car-parks, and into tight yards. He asked how I saw it proceeding. I said that I would like to go out with a driver, me driving, him watching, for a week until I got my confidence up and learned the job.

He said he would get back to me on Wednesday, with an answer, but in principle how would I feel about night trunking? (Working nights, obviously, picking up a trailer from our big, wagon-friendly yard, driving along one or two major roads, with hardly any traffic on them, straight onto the motorway then the same again at the destination. Drop that trailer off, pick up another, then drive home.) I said that would be ideal.

All of which implies that he has been taking an interest, no just stringing me along. He’s talked to the transport manager, got an assessment of the difficulties a new driver would face and how to minimise them. This could be for real. He also said that as he would be sending me out with a driver for a week that would cost him £400 wages, how would I feel about staying on my current pay rate until I’d made that back? YES, goddammit! Give me the truck keys and lets go!

So now we wait, again. Hopefully Wednesday will be the day.

I’ll be sure to post whatever the outcome, for now I have to get ready for work.

Later,

Buck.

In the land of the blind…

…the one-eyed Buck is king.

I was angered into nearly changing the direction of my blog this week.

I never used to watch the news when I was young out of rampant apathy, then I became political as I grew older and watched with a critical, analytic eye. Recently, however I have become so disillusioned that I have been too saddened to watch. Everything is either too trivial and inane to be of any but the most superficial of interest or too predictably cynical and evil.

Everything I watch or read just confirms my world view. Even the knee-jerk idiot-fodder only shows what those in influence want the great (!) unwashed to think. In other words, they confirm my world view by denying it.

Which is pre-amble to my point, that out of boredom the other day I clicked on the ‘news; heading on my Firefox browser jobby. There upon I saw an article about ‘NATO’ bombing two of it’s own petrol tankers in Afghanistan, killing 90 people. There was no immediate link to The Independent (the quality paper for the tree-hugging, free-thinking, Lib-Dem voting, yoghurt-knitting, sandal-wearing, elbow-patched, be-blazered, beardy-weirdy) so I clicked on The Times article.

According to their trite propaganda piece the evil Johnny Foreigner scum had stolen two tankers, one of which got stuck. They were then spotted by a ‘NATO’ ‘plane that radioed back to base confirming that all ninety people surrounding the tankers were terrorists, so was given the green light to bomb the hell out of them. The local villagers who claimed to have spotted the stuck tanker and had their relatives rush to get free hand-outs off the hi-jackers were all seriously bereaved, but patently liars and terrorists to man, woman and child. And even if there were a few civilians present, the hi-jackers had started a fire-fight amongst themselves (at the exact moment the got the shit blown out of them by that ‘NATO’ ‘plane presumably) and probably caused the explosion themselves, an official ‘source’ claimed.

Not being completely stupid, I filled in the comments page. I urged an enquiring mind. I noted that the first rule of authority in cases of error is obfuscation. That in the instance of the police murder of Charles De Menezes, the media was immediately informed that the suspect was wearing a heavy winter coat in summer, that he had wires protruding from it, that uniformed armed police officers shouted ‘Stop! Police!’

This was allowed to sink into the herd consciousness, only to be found out to be total lies years later.

(As it turns out eye witnesses saw him stroll onto a tube in normal attire when a bunch of men in civvies ran on to the train, threw him to the floor and put eight rounds through his head. The jury wasn’t even allowed to return a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’ and had to leave it as an open verdict. Justice in a country without the death penalty.)The bit in brackets is my rage filled digression, I didn’t put that in my comment.

Then I questioned the statement that there were ninety insurgents around the tankers. How many men can they fit in those cabs? I also questioned the validity of their alleged ‘official’ source. I picked up recently that the election could only be held in some of the regions of Afghanistan because the other areas were in insurgents’ control. So the people were allowed to have free and open elections anywhere where they would vote for the puppet government. Kind of takes a shine off the concept of democracy, and therefore the merit of any ‘elected’ official. Then there’s the matter of the small- arms firefight. A military unit, capable of planning and executing a hi-jacking of two military intended tankers that then breaks with discipline and starts shooting at each other. And the clincher, at the exact moment the NATO ‘plane bombs them!  I concluded by saying that it is a sad old world, but try not to make it sadder by believing everything you’re told unquestioningly.

I clicked the ‘post’ button and it said "your comment will go to a moderator for consideration before posting."

Did they post it, whole or edited? They did not! Every comment was saying things like "our enemy is stupid, starting a firefight, bet we get blamed for it".

Then I remembered the evil swine Murdoch owns the Times now. I thought somehow the noble newsmen of the Times would rise above such a partisan owner and continue to make sure the truth set us free. No, in a word.

I wrote another comment, just for the attention of the moderator really, saying ‘do you only post comments from idiots? I know this is just the Sun with pretensions, but I thought you still had standards.’

That was not posted either.

*wipes froth from mouth, takes deep breath*

I then had an issue trying to post on the thrice blessed Independents’ page! I was not a happy bunny.

My thinking was, to maybe start applying my cynical and questioning mind to the stories that caught my attention and starting to write up on those.

I do seem to spot a subtext quicker than the average bear (he says immodestly). For instance, I was well ahead of the game when it came to Maggie making deals with the (Provisional) IRA to end the war/ conflict. Nobody else seemed to think it odd that bombers who had been found guilty because they had semtex traces on their hands were released on technicalities, or that those they couldn’t release were caught on video breaking out of jail while the prison guards held back eager German Shepherd dogs to allow them to escape. Or indeed that Maggie, the career politician, recognised them as ‘soldiers’ or an ‘army’ instead of terrorists in a speech. I added all these facts together and saw the bigger picture. A year or two later, under the leadership of John Major, a ceasefire was announced. The preconditions had been met.

I may start writing the truth as I see it, or at least questioning the lies. If I do, I’ll preface each one with (News) in the subject/ title box. This will allow any who are as jaded as I to avoid them.

It would give me more to write about though. Endlessly fascinating as my life is () I feel there must be more I could write about!

‘Nuff for now,

Buck.

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