Jingle Jangle

Horror! Drama! Extreme emotion! This just in: Amazon have withdrawn from sale a 'bad taste' halloween costume that made the wearer look quite a lot like Britain's-best-known-baby-botherer Sir James 'Jimmy' Saville. Bad taste indeed..

Apparently, according to a representative of one of the seemingly fucking endless succession of 'never-rattled-a-tin-because-the government-gives-us-stacks' charities that comment on such matters has announced that

"Nobody wants to remember Savile’s horrible face, particularly his many victims"

Really? Really? Wow. Who knew?

Amazon won't give a tiny rat's arse about this; they've got a free mention for "doing the right thing", and they've probably reduced their overall product range by, what, mmmm, 0.001%? For fucks' sake.

The real winners in all of this are - as so often - the thick, idle journo's: this is an absolute fucking godsend on a quiet Monday, ain't it?

In fact, you know what? CF is willing to bet that for every 'saddened' Jingle-Jangle-Jimmy victim who has been upset by this stupid costume, there are at least ten lazy provincial hacks who have been absolutely delighted to have an easy story gifted to them, without having to get off their spotty arses...

What year is it?

What the actual fuck?
CF doesn't watch a lot of television - life's far too short. But on this particular evening, CF found himself lounging in front of the box.

Suddenly, in the midst of some grotesque American crap, an advert came on. For Kinder eggs. You know, a small piece of greasy chocolate surrounding a collection of random choke-a-child plastic pieces?

But now there's more; now there are two types of eggs to chose from. According to Kinder (with CF's italics) :

"The different coloured eggs will allow parents to choose an egg with the most relevant toy inside for their child. The first limited edition eggs will contain Fashion Dolls in pink eggs for creative play and Sprinty Cars in blue eggs, to fuel the imagination"

Now, as (formerly) regular readers know, CF ain't no whinging social engineer, but hey, really?

Pink for girls? Blue for boys? "Fashion Dolls" for girls, "Sprinty cars" for boys?

What the actual fuck? What year is it?


Lest we forget..

CF, alongside many other more talented and energetic writers, spent much of the years up to 2010 blogging about how fucking angry the useless, spineless, spinning, lying Labour "government" made him.

But, hey, time heals all wounds, doesn't it? Well .. no. It shouldn't. And thankfully, Sean Thomas (writing for the Daily Torygraph, but don't hold that against him) has written this most excellent piece - ".. The Worst Government Ever.." - describing those horrendous years.

Read the whole thing, multiple times, before ever considering supporting, or even fucking acknowledging the existence of, that bunch of utter imbeciles. But, if you want to get good 'n' apoplectic without even clicking a mouse button, scan the extracts from the piece, below. And nod, sadly, as you recall the truth in each one.


.. without warning, without consulting, without even asking our permission – allowed the biggest mass immigration into the United Kingdom in our nation’s history: three million people, possibly more than entered these islands in the preceding 1,000 years combined

On health:
1,200 died in Mid-Staffordshire Hospital alone, that’s more than died in Mid-Staffordshire during the Black Death.

..  give away half our precious rebate .. at a cost to you and me of £9 billion so far .. in return they got precisely nothing, unless you count a chortling, after-dinner promise from Jacques Chirac, that he’d make Tony Blair President of the EU, which he didn’t.

The economy:
Labour presided over the slowest growth in 50 years, they produced the fastest decline in British manufacturing since manufacturing began, they left us mired in the longest recession since the war, they bequeathed maybe the largest deficit in peacetime history, 

Foreign policy:
Iraq .. Afghanistan .. 100,000-300,000 killed, 2 million refugees, the humiliation of the British army, the grotesqueness that was Alastair Campbell, and the complete destruction of any trust in what any government will ever say about going to war in the future

.. sending our schoolkids plummeting down the international PISA education rankings .. English youngsters are amongst the worst educated in the western world .. the only young people with an education inferior to their grandparents.

There've been other bad governments and leaders..
..but none of them equal New Labour’s magnificent record, right across the board, for wretched, lying, blundering, poisonous, catastrophic ineptitude.

Well put, that man. Jeez, no wonder we were all so fucking angry back then. And we should be even angrier - and fucking terrified - at the prospect of Labour coming back to power in a few short months from now. Say it ain't so...

The definition of insanity : #helptobuy all over again

It was Albert Einstein who pointed out the definition of Insanity:
" .. doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Remember what our good friends in 'merica did? When American Presidents aren't jizzing all over plump interns, or invading countries with oil underneath them, they're busy wondering how best to help the needy. Yeah: to help the needy remember who to vote for.

Good 'ol boy Bill Clinton concluded that the one way of doing this was to get banks to lending more money to people to buy homes. Why? Because those people wanted more money to buy homes. They wanted to buy a place of their own, rather than renting. And if a potential voter wants something ..

Historically, banks tended to only lend to people who they thought would pay it back, on time and in full.

However, with a bit of pressure, a bit of coercion, and a lot of bribery ("do this for us, and we'll do all the dirty things you love, Banks"), Bill and his administration decided to persuade the banks to spunk dollars over everyone's dresses.

Jimmy Carter had already passed the exciting-sounding 'Community Reinvestment Act, title VIII of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977, 91 Stat. 1147, 12 U.S.C. § 2901' in 1977. And it spoke to the banks, saying "Hey there, Banks. Y'all better stop refusing to lend money to people just because y'all think they might not be able to pay it back".

So all Bill needed to so was to ".. reduce the cost and compliance burden" for the act. In other words, to whip out the few tiny safeguards it had, coat it liberally in oil so it could slip past anything, and let it go.

The banks knew when they were on to a good, profitable thang, so lend, lend, lend, they did. And then offset their risks by bundling up and reselling the 'subprime' loans to other banks. And then used the money they raised doing that to lend to more wannabe homebuyers, just to keep Bill smilin'.

And didn't it all work out brilliantly? Remember?

Well, no, of course it fucking didn't. The people who couldn't pay back the loans, didn't pay back the loans. Turned out that 'subprime' was a polite way of saying 'fucking hopeless'. Which meant the bundled loans were pretty much worthless - they were never comin' home. Which meant that suddenly the banks had a fuck of a lot less money than they'd pretended. Which meant we were all in the shit. And still are, for fucks' sake..

So, Dave 'n' George, we're all hugely excited to see how your shiny new #helptobuy scheme pans out. What a lovely, fresh idea - to coerce the banks to lend more money to people, so they can buy a lovely house.

What could possibly go wrong?

Corporate Hippies

So, once again it comes around, the almost-annual Glastonbury ticket shambles: music-lovers, hippies of all ages and well-stocked drug dealers all converge on the internet in a frenzied attempt to hand over hundreds of pounds to a cunning farmer and his family.

This totally unexpected (yeah, right) demand causes the systems vending the tickets to collapse immediately. You know, just like Amazon and Ebay do every day, when people try to buy things from them.

All around the country, people frantically refresh and redial, only to be met by blank screens and hold music. The tension is upped by Twitter messages announcing that a third, then two thirds, of the fucking tickets are already gone. "Quick sheep, hit refresh faster! Faster!"

The proceedings are finally brought to a close by pretendy-hippie Emily Eavis, chirpily telling the frantic, helpless, largely ticketless masses, that she's very pleased to have sold out in record time, and that..

"..we genuinely try to make the ticket system as fair as it can be.."

What the fuck? How's that work, Emily? How is it fair?

Is it 'fair' that the ticket sales monopoly is given to one company, one website, so that we can't choose to go with the fastest, most responsive, easiest to use? Or even with one who can keep their website running for more than a few minutes?

Is it 'fair' that a chunk of tickets were allocated to a coach company to bundle with wildly overpriced coach seats, useful only to those able to get their tent and all their luggage to a coach station in the middle of a large town?

Is it 'fair' that people are allowed to buy tickets for other people - any other people - so all the Facebook monkeys can enter into reciprocal purchase agreements with complete fucking strangers, even in other countries, getting multiple bites at the same cherry? 

Not really, is it?

And then the hideous icing on the putrid cake? SEE tickets' - the sole ticket provider in this rigged election - posting on Facebook and Twitter a sarcastic little response to all those who'd had the temerity to criticise their websites fucking woeful performance. This after the first half hour was a write-off, and the next hour was a total fucking shambles of timed-out connections and "page unavailable"s :

"And thanks again for all the advice. Never knew we had so many IT consultants following us" 

Yeah? Fuck you, SEE tickets. You didn't invest in sufficient capacity because you didn't need to. No matter how slowly things ran, how many times people got timed-out or lost their sessions, you were always going to sell all the tickets, because you had a monopoly on them. So you were always going to get your hands on the whole of your slice of an abso-fucking-lutely massive pie, weren't you?

Is any of this fair, Emily? Is it fuck.

UPDATE: Apparently, its going to be Fleetwood Mac, Daft Punk and Depeche Mode headlining. Phew; none of the above matters after all...

Jeez, how the fuck does this all work? It's been years..

Everything's fucking infuriating again. Time to restart?

Is there any appetite? Or is the telly enough these days?