Just four days

now until I leave for BrainShare on Saturday (or three days, depending on how you count it). I have finally got my suitcase out of the loft, I don’t know what it weighs, but I can’t imagine I have much scope in there to add to much more. I think my limit is 32 kilos, which sounds like a lot, but the case itself is a beast, so depending on how many clothes I throw in there, I may have to trade down.

I still can’t say I’m looking forward to removing my shoes and belt, taking my laptop out of my bag, being restricted to a small clear bag of liquids, giving the Masons handshake and all the rest through passport control, and I wonder if it’s really necessary. Like I saw someone say the other day, if someone is going to blow up a plane, they are going to do it anyway one way or another. Treating every passenger like a criminal first and foremost is not good practice. Quite apart from anything else, nothing has since been heard on the so called “liquid” bomb plot, least of all anyone being in court. From what I gather, planes are much sturdier than you might think, and to bring on down, you’d need to take your mix on board on a trolley, as you’d need so much. Oh, and the trolley dollys should be so kind as to give you the galley to prepare the device!

In the news, experienced and highly decorated former Army commanding officer Patrick Mercer MP is removed from David Cameron’s front line Tory team for expressing the view that some bone idle ethnic minority soldiers play the race card to excuse the fact they aren’t good officers. Mercer makes this remark off the record and it’s published. Cameron removes him as a racist even though he has promoted five black officers and they all claim he’s the best commander they ever served under. Let’s be clear Mr Cameron, in battle situations, we’re talking about life and death and being able to put your life in your team’s hands. What it isn’t is standing outside some posh drinking club at Oxford where you and your minted chums get bladdered, smash the place up and have a jolly good laugh. If you ask me, Patrick Mercer should be the leader of the Opposition, not David Cameron. There is someone I can vote for!

He’s not racist, and nor am I. My motto is to take people as you find them, but the steady erosion of free speech in the UK at the moment is not a healthy thing. One thing you might infer from all of this is that maybe (and I’m postulating here) the reason non-whites don’t get the plumb jobs they deserve is because the employers don’t want to worry about what baggage may be brought along in the event of a dispute. An allegation of racism against an employer means mud sticks, even if it isn’t true.

I’m all for the best man (or woman) for the job, regardless of the fact that they are white, black, Asian, Chinese, disabled or whatever. The playing field is not equal for anyone because employers remain terrified of being sued.

Oh one last thing, turns out energy saving bulbs (which EU ministers have voted for, in favour of phasing out standard bulbs – thanks for asking) are a bit of a con. They’re bad for your eyes, are not as energy efficient as they’re pitched, can’t be used in many cases where current lighting is and made of banned toxic materials! Stroll on!

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