Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Katherine Goldberg

Katherine Goldberg has been charged with sexual assault and fined £1500 with 80 hours of community service for groping a male air steward.

Where did she touch him?
On the South Africa to London night flight. You can read more about it here

Now these 'usually the other way round' type stories are always popular in the press and generally trigger loads of comments such as:

"She should be jailed. If she'd been a man, she er- he would have been sent down for years etc"

The trouble is, it isn't the same. It might not be PC to say it but it is true. When a man gropes a woman, it must often seem threatening and frightening  to her because of his greater physical strength and the unconscious worry of what he could do to her if she resists his advances. It's right that this should be punished by the law. 

However, a woman groping a man is simply not a physical threat. 

All I can say is that if I'd been the steward I would have been straight under the complimentary flight blanket and sod all the miserable passengers pressing their buzzers to pester me for another cushion or a glass of water for their screaming brat.

Oh and 'Alcohol induced illusion' is definitely an excuse to remember.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Well lots of schools and hospitals will be closed on Wednesday and our borders will be even less secure than usual. (Although it's hard to imagine how). Battle lines appear to be drawn.

Public sector viewpoint: "It's not fair- they are changing our terms and conditions and taking money away from us."

Private sector viewpoint: "I'd give my right arm for that pension deal they're rejecting"

There will probably be some mention of "bankers", "bailouts" and possibly even Mrs Thatcher.

The Sunday Times

Last week in the Sunday Times there was an article on page 19 which discusses the concept of a 'Space Elevator', which "could use gravity to hold it in orbit".

Well thank God they don't waste money on a Science Editor.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Youth Unemployment

The Government today announced a £1 billion package to help reduce unemployment in the 16-24 age range, which is generally seen as a consequence of the recession.

Whilst the economy was growing strongly between 2001 and 2007, what do you think happened to the unemployment figure for this age group?

It rose by 200 000.

It isn't just recession that puts employers off taking on young British workers. It's the huge amount of hassle involved in employing them. The red tape and bureaucratic nightmare of employment laws introduced over the last 15 years, combined with a growing feeling amongst employers that too many of our school leavers have simply not been prepared for the world of work.

Neither our present Government nor the previous one is likely to admit this however.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Don't do it.

I would just like to warn readers who may be considering injecting cement into their buttocks that it is probably not such a good idea.

Talking Plate

The NHS, like the rest of the Public Sector, is perfectly happy to cut important services, whilst throwing away money on any nonsense daft enough to entertain senior managers over morning coffee.

Here's the latest example- a talking plate which, for a mere £1500 it will tell chubbers to stop eating so fast.

Great. Those of you who might require Physio for a bad back will just have to wait another month.

I contacted the NHS offering to record a tape of my own cheery admonishments such as: "Step away from the plate"  and  "Slow down you fat lump, it'll still be there in a few moments time!" which could be played as background music at mealtimes for about £1495 less, but I only received an 'out of office'  reply saying that their working hours were 9.30 am to 2.30pm. (It was just before Noon at the time.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prince Henry's School Strike

Have corrected the embarrassing oceans mix up in the previous post, which lends weight to the theory that if I hadn't been in charge of the navigation, they would have had it wrapped up by mid September.

Anyway, up in Otley, staff at Prince Henry's School are on strike because their school is converting to an academy. The teachers are concerned that their pay and conditions might change, whereas Janet Sheriff the Head, says that they have no need to worry and the school has absolutely no intention of changing them.

Now in my experience words don't mean a great deal, so if Ms Sheriff is telling the truth then why not put this in writing and offer the teachers a contract, worded along the lines of: 

"We, the body tasked to run Prince Henry's Academy, undertake always to employ teachers under the same pay and conditions as Leeds City Council do. We further undertake not to pass control of the academy to any group not honouring the above guarantee"

Right, that's that sorted out, so you can all move away from the charcoal brassieres and get back to work.
(By the way, you might wish to get a solicitor to draw up that contract as my legal abilities are on a par with my knowledge of Geography). Oh and if any reader has contacts at the school, perhaps they could pass on this suggestion to Ms Sheriff- her reply would be interesting...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back in the UK

Well, I'm back in the UK, driving Mrs C up the wall by going on about how great America is etc and moaning about the British weather. Basically it was an amazing event- Chris and Steve ran 3100 miles from San Francisco to New York in 79 days. That's about it really.

They began here in San Francisco, running out of the Pacific at 5pm on August 17th...

And finished here at 6pm on November 5th with a dip in the Atlantic off Coney Island, New York

Chris' wife Julia and I did all the logistics- making sure the backup vehicle was always where it should be, booking motels, buying food, guiding them on the tricky bits of the route, organising interviews and basically making sure that all they had to do was run. (They had it easy if you ask me).

I also did most of their blog here (which enabled me to avoid being in any of the photos).

More than any other picture, the one below (taken in Nevada on Highway 6 between Tonopah and Ely) sums up the whole escapade best in my opinion. It's first thing in the morning on a stretch of road that continues for 160 miles with no shops, garages, towns, farms or rivers. Both of them know perfectly well that the desert scenery will look exactly the same in 10 hours time when they finish the day. The only difference will be that their shadows will point in the opposite direction and they will be extremely hot, tired, thirsty and sore. They will also be well aware that they have to do it all again tomorrow.

The whole event was about overcoming adversity and these two encountered the lot- heat, altitude, humidity, cold, rain and sleet. Not all on the same day though- wimps.