Blog Part 5: A New Beginning
Fear And Zipped Up Clothing In N5
The North London Derby looms for fans of Arsenal and Tottenham. Tension mounts. In the recent past it has been marred by abuse aimed at a certain player, who decided to defect between clubs. In a hands across the ocean move I have come up with a handy way for all players to avoid this unpleasantness in the future, and keep football as the anodyne love in that the authorities want. Next time your agent comes to you saying that another team are after you, and you’re unsure whether it’s a good move for you personally or professionally just follow this handy set of instructions.
1 Type the postcode of your current club’s ground into Google Maps.
3 Press Enter.
2 If you can see the ground of the team who are trying to sign you in the frame without having to zoom out, it’s probably a bad fucking idea to join them.
You’re welcome. Enjoy the game.
If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Er, Claim Jobseekers’?
*sigh* so Jamie Oliver has something to plug, and as usual sees fit to dispense his wit and wisdom on the world.
After inferring that having a big TV means you aren’t able to afford to eat healthily (which is cobblers since you can get a big TV from about 50 knicker in Cash Converters) he then chose to smear young indigenous kids, claiming that immigrants are tougher and harder working. The trouble with him is he thinks because he’s made a few quid he’s got a unique view on people, as if he’s the only person who’s had to hire staff before. Well sadly for him he’s wrong, and here’s why.
Way back in the mists of time, before Rupert Murdoch invented football in fact, I worked in fast food. Part of managing a store was hiring staff, and since I worked in the west end that meant that we got a lot of foreign workers applying, as well as young kids looking for a summer job or something to tide them over until something better came along. We were paying £2.33 an hour to start. Yeah.
I interviewed some absolutely amazing people, and the main thing I noticed was that the immigrants did indeed work harder and were more inclined to put in a lot of hard graft than the indigenous kids. There was a simple reason why. The kids thought it was a terrible job; the immigrants had no other options. They saw working in hot cramped, uncomfortable conditions as a way to get a bit of cash to provide for their wives and families, pay their rent, and as a springboard building a life and career in a new country. In short they had stuff to lose, and the kids didn’t. They generally lived at home, and had nothing to work for apart from money to go out or buy clothes. You know, like school leavers the world over have done forever. Crucially, you always knew they thought that the work was beneath them, so didn’t put it all in.
In contrast you’d talk to the immigrants, and hear startling tales. I worked alongside a Ghanaian doctor, whose credentials were worth nothing here so was forced to take any job he could to get by. He had plans though. His wife was working as well, and he eventually left to take a job as a paramedic. Another couple of Filipino guys came in together to apply, got hired, and then would amuse themselves showing us their scars from where they’d beaten (and in one case shot) in their previous role as bodyguards for visiting foreign workers. My favourite was a Iranian man who was a bit shifty about it but told us enough to know that he’d be straight out the back and away if any of the Ayatollah’s men ever came in for a chicken burger. He had a finger missing, from ‘questioning’ he said. He left one day and simply never returned. His replacement was a failed acid house dj. How do you fail at that, I thought. Then I worked with him……
Essentially what I’m saying is immigrants work harder and are tougher because they have to be, and if you’re paying minimum wage to a 17 year old kid who lives at home and are expecting them to bust a gut for you then you deserve everything you get. To be amazed there’s a different attitude among people from such different backgrounds is amazingly ignorant
Still, pukka eh?……
Dreadful Vote Halts Preparation
Poor old Callmedave Cameron. His big statesman moment has gone properly tits up. He’s been left as the first PM not to answer the call of the US since Wilson about Vietnam, except Harold didn’t want to go, and he really really did. And it’s all his own fault. When Syria kicked off over two years and 100,000 lives ago he didn’t give it any attention at all. He’s so stupid that he needed all his concentration to outwit Ed Miliband. There’s no shame in that. He’s a politician and as such in today’s world his principles are governed by what will either get him elected or keep him in power. Since it didn’t matter he ignored it. Then the gassing started, and talk of military strikes began.
Predictably, Diane Abbott announced she was against any action. My default position immediately aligned in the opposite corner (this policy has served me well down the years). Other things happened. Plays of Shipbuilding went up on Radio 6, Paddy Ashdown dusted off his Grave Statesman expression, again forgetting the fact that he’s never actually led any kind of military campaign as a politician ever, but was in the marines so we’d better listen to him. Obama conveniently forgot everything he’d ever said about Dubya and his hard on for war, and started to crank up his boys for another go, because it had worked so well before….
Immediately the front pages landed on Cameron’s strategists’ desks his PR machine went into attack mode. Churchillian soundbites were dusted off. Sadly they weren’t used. His newly minted piece of wisdom was that military action would definitely not be like a war in the middle east. He needs to buy an atlas and a thesaurus obviously, but apart from that he betrayed his preferred option; pile in, bomb a faraway place, keep a few titbits back for the memoirs and speaking tours. Lovely. Of course, he had to get Parliament to agree first, but, well, his hero Tony had never had a problem with that, so what could go wrong now…..?
At this point it needs to be made clear. Even if you think Cameron is a complete moron who is only where he is because of privilege and the old boy network he didn’t take the decision to call MPs back off their holidays without advice, and of course that advice was that once the jungle drums started to sound, and the Tories started spinning Syria as a job that had to be done he would easily win any vote. After all, there was no way Labour would vote against apart from the usual dogmatic fringe, as they were wary of being called appeasers by the Sun and the votes it might cost. And as it was a whipped vote his party and the Lib Dems would fall into line.
Sadly for him he isn’t Tony Blair.
We now live in a post Iraq world. We were lied to once, taken into a huge conflict on ropey evidence, and people haven’t forgotten. If we do end up going in people want to be sure when they support their sons and daughters going off to risk their lives. This time the opposition decided to do what they thought was the public will (and of course it was no coincidence that it was also politically expedient) and vote against. Thirty or so Tories also decided no rebel. Part of me thinks that it was a noble vote of conscience. Most of me thinks it’s because they think he’s a fucking wanker, and want a new leader before 2015 (I need to find out which of these Diane Abbott believes). Labour are of course ecstatic. They now see Cameron as holed below the waterline, and are no doubt making up nice soundbites to lob at him at the next PMQs. William Hague is looking at the next leader odds and keeping a straight bat.
The spin from the Tories is that anyone who voted against is no better than Chamberlain. No one cares frankly. Those kind of cheap jibes simply don’t work anymore. The reason people don’t want to be compared to Chamberlain isn’t because he appeased Hitler, it’s because he was WRONG to appease Hitler.
It’s important at this point to note that the gassing of kids and the murder and mayhem have started to slide off the back pages, as the College Green mafia start metaphorically eat themselves. If only they’d stop interviewing each other and asked the public if they were behind another war they might have made a few quid betting on the outcome of the vote……..