Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Inflated Opinions.

I just don't get it at all. We are told by the financial press, the Chancellor, the Prime Minister, the opposition, the Bank of England and our employers (lest they give us a decent pay rise) that inflation is about 2.5% at the moment. We are told to be prudent in our pay claims because if we're not inflation will rise. Those of us in the public sector are told to be particularly careful.
Now I know I may not be a student of economics, either micro or macro, but my water bill has gone up by 20% this year, gas and electricity has gone up by about 15-20%, filling my car up with petrol is about 10 quid more expensive than it was this time a year ago, bread costs 20p a loaf more than it did 9 months ago. Food on the whole is more expensive (as a result of the fuel rise) too. And inflation is still only 2.5%.
I would love to buy accommodation for Lily, Sybil and me but house prices have spiralled out of control to such an extent that after 25 years of work and a decent wage I can't afford to buy anything with more than one bedroom. Yet inflation, they tell us is only 2.5%. I ask this simple question. What do you base you analysis on? I know i am far worse off this year than I was last and I know I'm not the only one. The outlook is fairly bleak too. If I get a 2% pay rise I will count myself lucky (although not happy) yet petrol, gas, electricity and water will continue to go up above the mythical rate of inflation.
Some clever economist will probably come up with an equation to prove that inflation is only 2.5% but I will say this. The rate of inflation is not based on any reality I know. it may not effect the fat cats in the city (Barclay's Bank President Bob Diamond got a BONUS of 14.8 million quid this year) but the rest of us will be left scratching our heads at how they come up with the figures and and tightening our belts as the cost of living soars.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Walk Like An Egyptian.

An amazing thing happened today. It turned out to be one of the proudest moments of my life and it happened at a school assembly.

As soon readers will already know my partner Lily has a daughter called Sybil who is on the autistic spectrum. She attends the local primary school and very support from a care teaching assistant is doing really well. In the last four or five months she has really come on and is doing really good work at school. One of the big improvements that Sybs has made this year is that she now attends assemblies with the rest of her classmates. Until this year she found it very difficult as one thing she really doesn't like is the sound of children making a noise. Not easy for someone having to attend school every day. However she is finding it easier to tolerate noise and can now happily sit through whole assemblies joining in the singing (which she loves doing) with the rest of the children. Today though the day her class performed an assembly to their year and their parents. Lily asked me if I'd like to go and I jumped at the chance.

The assembly was all about the Ancient Egyptians and it was fantastic. I knew Sybs had a speaking part because Lily and I had helped her practice it quite a lot over the last few weeks. She had to thank everyone for coming at the very end of the performance and it meant that she had to walk to centre stage on her own and say "I hope you enjoyed our assembly, thank you for coming." What I hadn't expected though was when some of the girls in the class did a dance to 'Walk Like An and Sybil took part. She her dancing with her class mates and remembering all the moves was one of the most moving things I have ever seen. I hadn't expected my reaction at all. I love Sybs to bits but I hadn't really realised quite how much until her dance today. It was an amazing experience.

Afterwards loads of Mums and teachers came up to Lily to say how much they had loved seeing Sybil joining in and having such a good time. It was just as lovely to see Lily being so proud of her daughter.

Today was a very good day.


Sunday, March 16, 2008


I seem to be getting grumpier the older I get. Not with my friends and family you understand but with the world in general and the people who inhabit it and run it. I find myself shouting at the radio more and more when some idiot says something stupid, which I'm afraid to say is happening more and more. Whether it is the Daily Mail/Express brigade texting, emailing or ringing in to BBC Radio Five Live, or some of their ludicrous presenters saying inane things about tragic events, it doesn't seem to matter. It pisses me right off and I go into rant mode.

I'll give you an example. Someone has just lost their possessions and very probably their home in a natural disaster such as the floods we incurred recently. Inane presenter/'journalist' asks said person "How are you feeling" strangely the person on the end of the question doesn't say "Fuck me, I'm brilliant thanks. Losing my home was just what I have always dreamed of. It's opened up all kinds of opportunities for me for a start. I've always wanted to be on tele/radio and now I can look forward to a couple of days being interviewed by fuckwit presenters asking stupid questions on news programmes".

You get the picture. However, my grumpy old man syndrome doesn't end there. More and more things are winding me up. F'instance, why do people insist on walking on the right in corridors, on staircases in railway stations etc. When I last looked we drive on the left in the UK so it isn't a great leap to work out that we should walk on the same side. It is amazing the amount of people stroll along on the right and expect me to move!!!

And another thing whilst I'm here, British terrestrial TV is shite. Thankfully the obsession with fly on the wall TV is slowly waning but it has been replaced with either celebrity 'talent' shows or audition TV. I remember a time when if you wanted to go on a talent show (and thankfully I never did) you had to go to an audition and all the really bad people (as opposed to just the bad ones who made on to the show) were weeded out. Not any longer they're not. They are actually given air time. It has bred a whole host of people who just want to be famous regardless of the fact that they are being ridiculed. I can't watch this car crash TV and find it hard to understand why anyone would either want to be on it or watch it.

I believe there is an agenda to make people look stupid so that it attracts viewers. Television producers are going out of their way to find the really bad people so that overpaid nobodies can slag them off and make them feel bad in front of millions of people. Some might argue that people have a choice whether they go on these programmes or not, but I don't think that is the point. People always did enter things like this but they were not publicly humiliated if they failed miserably.

Programmes like 'Dragons Den' and the 'Apprentice' are make TV stars of people whose job it seems is to be rude and intolerant of others. On the one occasion I have had the misfortune to watch 'Dragons Den' I saw several people whose 'products' were so ridiculous that it beggared belief They were still allowed on though so some nasty businessman could rip them to shreds and tell them they were morons. Obviously they were chosen because they were crap and were going to get ripped apart and that is unacceptable. The press are always harping on about the youth of today having no respect for anyone or anything yet they champion TV programmes that perpetuate this kind of behaviour. You'll probably say that I have an off button and don't have to watch any of this. Well I do use it and I don't watch any of it. It is nasty and brain numbing and I'd rather do almost anything else.

Well that was strangely cathartic. I feel much better for getting that off my chest. I might even turn the telly on in a minute, or walk down a corridor or even turn on the radio...


Monday, March 10, 2008

I will return.

My blog has had to take a back seat for a while as I have been a tad busy of late. Work has been as mad as a mad thing lately and I'm also taking some exams for work too.

I haven't had the inclination or the inspiration to produce anything meaningful but I'm hoping to do something soon.

It will be good to get back to ranting about shit that pisses me off. pontificating on one of my favourite bands or posting lists of nonsense.

See ya all soon now.