Tried, Tested and Recommended by Wonko:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Small World

Took Mrs Sane out for a meal last night to our favourite Italian restaurant, Osteria da Paolo in Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury was a bit manic because the Flower Show is in full swing and the restaurant was busier than usual but the service was great, as was the food (although it did take two attempts to get Mrs Sane a steak that wasn't still mooing).

After the meal we went and picked up a friend and met the ginger one in a pub.  Which is out of character for him.  Ahem.  Sadly, there was no music and the ladies wanted music so we went on a pub-with-music hunt.

We plumped for Ironbridge in the end which has changed a bit since my binge drinking youth.  I wouldn't recommend the White Hart - as soon as we'd got our drinks they rang the bell for last orders and wouldn't serve anybody once the bell was rung.  So not actually last orders, more sort of "surprise, we're closed".  Even more bizarrely for the 15-20 people sitting outside finishing their drinks, 10 minutes after calling "surprise we're closed" orders, they shut the door and switched the outside lights off, leaving everyone in the dark!

We strolled down the road to the Swan which had a live band on, even at 11pm and promised to stay open until 1am.  I never rated the Swan in my binge drinking days but we had a good laugh, even though I appeared to be the only sober person in Ironbridge.  We were standing next to a group of very drunk Londoners on a stag night.  One of them - a little asian guy - started chatting to me, asking me about the night life in Telford.  Then the groom introduced himself and it turns out he grew up in the same town as me and went to the same school (he was 10 years older than me so I didn't know him).  Not only that, but his sister is about to get married to my old geography teacher.  Small world.
[tags]Shrewsbury, Ironbridge[/tags]

Monday, September 04, 2006

No New Posts Here


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Ok, I've got to draw the line somewhere in updating this blog and it may as well be here.

Blogger is up and down like a whore's knickers and Wordpress is soooooo much easier to use and much, much faster as well!

I'm not deleting this blog - the pages are staying and I'll probably even link to them in the future but from now on I'll only post new stuff to the spangly new Wonko's World blog.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

If you don't like our flag go somewhere else

The Daily Mail has a letter today from 4 young muslims who want to change our flag because its Christian symbolism is offensive to them.

We British Muslim lads, born in England of Pakistani parents, are football fans and our team is Manchester united.

We’d like to support England at football and other sports, but we can’t because the flag is unacceptable to Muslims.

No Muslim home in our area displayed the England flag during the world cup. That flag represents Christianity: it’s the anti-Muslim flag of the Templars and the Crusaders.
The vast majority of Muslims and, we believe, Englishmen in general would support changing the flag from its present style to the three lions.

That would be a flag which all elements of the community would be willing to support.

We don’t wish to be ‘radicalized’ and we would never become terrorists, but the continual use of an anti-Islamic flag increases our sympathy for, and understanding of, our fellow Muslims who believe direct action is the only way to make our voices heard.

Samir, Said, Ahmed and Tariq, Manchester

Samir, Said, Ahmed and Tariq, let me just tell you in no uncertain terms that no, we don't want to change our flag because it offends your unreasonable and intolerant religion. Most English people don't want to see the Cross of St George replaced with the three lions of our national football team. If you can't support your national football team because the flag of your country is offensive to you then it's about time you went somewhere else. The crescent and star of Islam are offensive to me because they represent an anti-English, anti-western, anti-democracy, anti-women religion, the aim of which is to Islamify the whole world whether they want it or not.

Hat-tip: Armchair Activist

Friday, September 01, 2006

Council Baiting

I was a busy bee this afternoon trying to find out what work it is that the city region is going to be doing as nobody seems to have been able (or willing) to tell me before. First stop Telford & Wrekin Council.

Called T&W Council and the switchboard operator put me through to a bewildered Leisure Services person who then referred me to the PR office. The lady at the PR office told me that there are only two people at T&W Council that know enough about the city region to talk to me. I asked her why it was that not even council employees knew anything about this and why, if it is such a good thing, it is all being kept secret. She took offence at this and haughtily gave me her opinion that it wasn't a secret at all. I told her that I had been refused a copy of the proposal for the city region more than once, one occasion being a Freedom of Information Act request. She took my name and number and left a message for the man in the know to ring me because he is conveniently unavailable today.

Next on my list was the Standards Board for England to ask them if the Leader of the Council, Keith Austin, had a predetermined opinion and/or prejudicial interest when he recommended the cabinet vote in favour of the city region when he gets a job with them and had been quoted more than once in the Shropshire Star beforehand saying what a wonderful idea it is. They said there may be a case and invited me to submit a complaint.

The thought of this New Labour toad being hauled in front of the Standards Board kept me amused for all of 5 minutes so I decided to phone Birmingham City Council. I spoke to a North British gentleman called Sandy who I spoke to once a few months ago. He remembered who I was. We had a heated discussion in which he failed to explain why the councils in the West Midlands euroregion can't just co-operate without setting up yet another unelected regional government at the taxpayers expense, where and how the extra investment and benefits are coming from and why there is not going to be any referendum on the city region when even Telford's europhile Labour MP said that the people of Telford don't want regional government. He also explained that the reason people in the North East euroregion rejected their regional assembly in a referendum was because they were unelected, couldn't pass legislation and didn't have much power whereas the city region ... oh, there's no difference. He said that I should trust in the council leaders' decisions as they were doing what is best for the region. I suggested that they approved of it because it's Labour Party policy and it's a Labour council at which point he shouted that I couldn't say that to which I replied "I can and I just did" and that the Chief Exec of T&W Council is a card carrying member of the Labour Party. He got a bit wound up at this point and we weren't getting anywhere so I made one final stab and getting him to contradict himself by asking him to confirm that we won't be getting a say in the city region and that the consultation will be held once the decisions have all been made. He said I couldn't twist his words like that but confirmed that there wouldn't be a referendum so ... we aren't going to have a say?

MP in worry over jobs

The following is an excerpt from the newly-redesigned (and frankly appaling) Shropshire Star website on the city region.

MP in worry over jobs

Telford will be losing out on jobs and investment because its name has been left off the newly-planned West Midlands city region, it has been claimed. It was announced today that the proposed new strategic policy-making body will be called The Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country City region. Telford and Solihull councils are the only two to be ignored by the new title.

Today Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard said leaving Telford out of the title would mean it would not benefit from the same opportunities as the named areas. But bosses at Telford & Wrekin Council said the work and decisions of the body was much more important than the name.

This is all well and good Mark but I warned you a while ago that Telford was going to be shafted and did you listen? No, you wanted to wait and see what happened before you did anything. Well, I told you so and even now that you can see that Telford really is getting taken for a ride I bet you still do nothing about it.

City Region gets its name

The West Midlands City Region have officially got its name. It will be known as the Birmingham, Coverntry and Black Country City Region.

Where does this leave Telford and Solihul, the only two parts of the City Region that aren’t even mentioned in the name? Exactly where I said we would be - left out in the cold, a suburb of Birmingham.

Thanks Defra

Defra have created a wiki for an Environmental Contract. Wiki’s are a collaborative tool in which web users can contribute to the content and help build up a kind of online encyclopaedia. For an organisation, such as a government department, there is the option to restrict who can make changes to the wiki in question. Nobody appears to have told Defra this though and some enterprising individuals have been making some helpful changes.

This page obviously isn’t going to last long so, for posterities sake … click here.

Hat-tip: Devils Kitchen

Someone at Defra has reverted the pages back to their original state but the good news is that the old revisions are preserved by tagging ?revision=### where ### is a number from 139 downwards. For example:

Tony Won't Go

Traitor Blair has again refused to give a date for his departure. This time he has been asked to give a departure date at the Labour Stazi conference.

He’s been asked so many times by the electorate, the media, opposition MP’s and even his own cabinet when he’s going to resign - when will he take the hint?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Organ Donors

I nearly fell off my chair this morning when I heard on the news that the British government has changed the law so that relatives of people registered as organ donors will not be able to prevent doctors from using the dead person organs.

The reason I nearly fell of my chair was not because I was aghast at the interference of the state in yet another area of our lives but because, for the first time this year, I actually agree with something the British government has done.

I have been on the organ donor register since I got my first driving licence and it was an option on the form. My wife and family all know my wishes, the only concession is that my wife doesn't want them to have my eyes (ahhhh) but they can have everything else. The thing is, I have made the decision that when I die I would like my organs to be used to help someone else live if possible and nobody should be allowed to prevent doctors from respecting my wishes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Volunteers Wanted

Volunteers needed in the West Midlands euroregion to join a campaign against the West Midlands City Region and the rest of the unelected regional bureaucracy.

For more information, contact me.

Postman suspended for helping customers

A postman has been suspended and is being threatened with the sack for helping residents stop getting junk mail.

The postman was getting so many complaints about junk mail he made his own leaflets advising how to stop unaddressed junk from being delivered. After being inundated with requests the Royal Mail suspended the man and are now threatening to sack him.

I understand that a large proportion of the Royal Mail's income comes from delivering junk but it is anti-social and unwanted and the Royal Mail shouldn't rely so heavily on income from junk mail.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Adobe Flex

Has anyone tried Adobe Flex yet?

Flex is basically an XML-based language for creating rich Flash applications. The XML source is compiled, along with any ActionScript included in it, into a binary SWF file which can then be embedded into a web page.

The language is aimed at developers rather than designers and does away with the traditional timeline style of devloping Flash. I've downloaded the SDK and looked at some of the examples and it looks relatively simple to get to grips with. Hopefully this will see Flash used for something other than ripped-off trashy intro pages to 13 year old script kiddies' websites.

SNP call for the abolition of unfair fees ... for the English!

The SNP have called for the abolition of the discriminatory university fees regime in North Britain that forces English students studying north of the border paying up to £4k more than a North Briton or EU student for the same course.

The Labour and the Lib Dum controlled North British Parliament introduced the racist fees when their North British MP's imposed top-up fees on England against the will of MP's elected in England.

It's really quite depressing when you think that over half of the MP's in the British parliament are elected in English constituencies yet the only political party opposing anti-English discrimination (with the obvious exception of the English Democrats) is the SNP.