The GOS gets lots of emails from readers, often with some very cogent points to make. Most are too short to make a whole Grumpy Page, so he has selected a few and put them together. He's also incuded a couple of choice items from his Guest Book, for those idle sods who can't be arsed to read it themselves …
Can we get one thing straight, Britain? If you murder, rape etc. you forfeit your human rights. These abusers of humanity have better accommodation and facilities at our expense than most British service personnel in Afghanistan, Bosnia and wherever else Bush's Ferret wants to send them. Life MUST mean life not 15 years and time off for good behaviour.
The GOS says: Which brings us neatly to the release of Ken Barrett, the murderer of Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989. That Barrett is guilty is not in doubt - he was secretly filmed talking about his role in the murder. In 2004 he received a life sentence and was told that he would serve at least 22 years. In fact he's been released by the Sentence Review Commission under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement after only three years.
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain opposed his release, but the Sentence Review Commission said that he no longer had any connection with paramilitary groups (well, he's been in prison in England for three years, mostly in solitary confinement, so he wouldn't, would he?) and therefore posed no danger to the public.
You couldn't make it up, could you?
… and this from P*** V**********
I don't know about you, but I've always thought that the rules applying to N.Ireland are different from the rules applying to the rest of the U.K. Mr. Tony Blair might want you to think that his 'Good Friday Agreement' simply swept away hundreds of years of sectarian violence 'at a stroke', but it ignored the inbred malevolence between the factions and the fact that without the violence, the 'men of violence' would have no place in their society and simply become unemployed/unemployable, whereas before they had power and respect within their communities.
Of course, the so-called 'agreement' also ignored the fact that a significant infra-structure of ordinary crime, such as bank robbery and drug dealing, had blossomed under the guise of republicanism or loyalty to the crown, and this is never going to disappear, any more than the end to prohibition in the USA made the gangs who came to prominence under that legislation just go away.
Why do our politicians never look at history for clues as to how their badly-thought-out schemes might work in reality? My wife has family in the South of Ireland and they are amazed at the leniency with which these thugs have been treated.
By the way, did you notice how the Home Office have said that the reason there are so many serious offenders in 'open' prisons is because the more secure ones are 'bulging at the seams'? Bulging, presumably, with OAP's who can't or won't pay unreasonable Council Tax Bills, drivers caught driving whilst disqualified or who have named the wrong person on their speeding NiP's when required to self-incriminate or be fined for not doing so, and others who refuse to pay fines for stupid and minor matters.
From B*** T***
After nearly 40 years working in the construction industry, paying taxes and generally getting 'bled dry' at every turn, I had suddenly to give up work due to ill-health. I visited the local 'Benefits' Agency in anticipation of some form-filling and some 'payback' for all the years I have spent contributing to the system.
I was asked three questions -
1. Them: "Do you have a partner?" Me: "Yes"
2. Them: "Does your partner work?" Me: "Yes"
3. Them: "Does your partner work full-time?" Me: "Yes"
4. Them: "As your partner works full-time you are entitled to nothing".
They didn't even want to know what my partner earns. Unfortunately she isn't an executive that did a crap job running a company and got booted out with a miserable multi-million pound golden handshake. Eventually I was awarded Incapacity Benefit and nothing else. I still have to pay for my prescriptions, eye-tests/spectacles and my 'other 'arf', bless her, has scrimped and scraped together £200 so that I could have essential dental work done.
Still, am I bitter and twisted? What do you think?
From Father Jack
Normally I would avoid this subject as it tends to raise my already high blood pressure just a bit ….
Water comes from the sky, a gift from whoever you believe is "up there". I reside at one end of an historic monument created by the "Iron Duke" (and thousands of poor navvies). It is 23 miles long and stretches from the town of Rye in the west, to Hythe in the east, making a natural boundary for the Romney and Walland marshes. I speak, of course, of the Royal Military Canal. This canal and associated drainage ditches help to keep all the reclaimed lands of Romney Marsh from serious flooding, along with the small villages thereon. Unfortunately as the level of the canal rises, there has to be a mechanism to stop the overflow of the canal. What, I hear you ask, happens to all that lovely water? It gets pumped out to sea via sluice gates built in Victorian times for just this purpose!
When a representative of the local Wasting Water Company was asked on local TV why this, he stood looking, if you will pardon the expression, "out of his depth" finally muttering in a small voice "Well, we don't have anywhere to put it".
The GOS says: There's only one answer for the water companies when they start imposing hosepipe bans etc. "We'll stop wasting water if you do too!"
The Liberal Democrats hope to change Britain's car-buying habits by imposing up to £2,000 a year Road Tax on large luxury cars and people carriers. The party's environmental spokeswanker Chris Huhne said it was vital "to use green taxes as a lever in order to make our behaviour sustainable". He insisted the increase would not lead to motorists retaining dilapidated cars instead of replacing them. "The idea is not to encourage people to go on driving 'rust-buckets'" he said.
Charles H. says:
I fear the country is definitely going mad. I see Lib Dems want to charge £2000 road tax in the mistaken idea that it will reduce pollution. All it will do is force more people into hardship and poverty, and will also lead to an increase in the number of untaxed vehicles and vehicle cloning (as is happening now to avoid congestion charge and crippling parking fines). Where do these loonies come from?
On Fifth Gear (Channel 5 Mondays) a young lad bought a car for £30 and had insurance quotes from £3000 to £5000. No wonder there are so many un-insured cars on the road.
Norwich Union have a satellite box that fits under the bonnet to charge you per mile. This would have made his quote a bit cheaper but he couldn't go out at night. Crazy. The satellite boxes are unfortunately going to be compulsory if Alasdair Darling's replacement gets his way - more ripoffs! Paying for the privilege of driving your own car. Funny though - GPS aerials can break off and get stuck in the car wash!
The GOS says: That's right, it just come off in me 'and, guv! Could happen to anyone. And it will. It's definitely going to happen to me.
With their heads firmly up their fundaments, the airy-fairy wishy-washy useless Lib-Dems evidently haven't noticed just how much money these monster luxury cars cost. Is someone who can afford to splash out £115,000 for a new Bentley going to worry about £2,000 car tax? On the other hand people like me, a pensioner who lives in the country and therefore can't live without a car, will have to carry on driving the same old rust-bucket (actually, I love my rust-bucket. It's twenty years old, has done 200,000 miles, has never let me down and still runs like a sewing machine. If you send me a cheque for fifty squids I'll let you into the secret).
From B*** T****
My missus reckons I was born moaning, but then, weren't we all? Mmm....what can I moan about now? I'll have a look out the window, there's bound to be something to wind me up. Well, I'm looking out the window, and you know what? That bloody window cleaner's missed the corners again.
The GOS says: I don't know about your missus, B***, but what Mrs.GOS doesn't seem to appreciate is that being grumpy is actually rather enjoyable …
From Big Grumpy Scot
Try typing "Kilmarnock web cams" in your search engine, and you can get a direct feed to three web cams filming people going about their daily business in the heart of the town. Excuse me, East Ayrshire bloody Council, but isn't it illegal to stream this live onto the internet without asking people's permission first? George Orwell was right. Big Brother is definitely watching us!
The GOS says: Not to mention the rest of the world. Haven't I heard recently that they reckon the average Briton is filmed up to 300 times a day? I've taken to wearing a hoodie.
I suggest that everyone who reads this should use the East Ayrshire website's contact page to send them a very rude message. You don't have to give anything but your name, so they won't know whether you live in Kilmarnock or not. I've already sent mine.
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