Monday, June 20, 2005

Kareoke

I've got an interesting gig coming up. Mike Stewart is running a kareoke night at a Goodbarns Yard this Sunday. He asked me to come along and sing. Fuck that! I don't do kareoke. I did once under duress and sang "On the Trail of the lonesome pine" that massive rock hit by Laurel and Hardy. It got a laugh. So this led to a discussion and an idea. We mix kareoke with live music. It's new, it's innovative, it's different. So the idea is I'm going to turn up with my trusty Ovation and bash out a few numbers in between the Britney wannabees and the Frank Sinatra wistfuls singing "My way". Ineveitably there will be soneone singing "Lady in red" which is the bane of my life. I've lost count of the times someone has come up to me (drunk) and said "Do you do 'Lady in Red'?" and by coincedence I've also lost count of the times I've said "Fuck off!"
I'll be by myself again. Del can't do that night due to the fact he's booked already to play somewhere else. That'll be "The Whistle stop" at Tallington then.

Meanwhile as I was writing this the phone rang. A neighbour of mine had just been attacked outside her home by (so she described) a Pakistani. I dropped everything and ran round. She was OK but badly shaken by the experience. We debated calling the police but she couldn't think to describe him other than he was of an asian appearence. He was long gone. He was after her handbag. To her credit she stood up to him and gave as good as she got and he ran away when a couple appeared walking down the road.

Meanwhile in lovely Peterborough we have a park next to the river. The site of The Peterborough Festival in two weeks time. Contractors were due to start building marquis and fences today, well they were except the park has been invaded by Gypsies. There are caravans all over the park. The contractor will not start work until the Gypsies leave fearing for the safety of their equipment. The council have asked them to leave but they have point blank refused to go. Now they are twiddling their thumbs wondering what to do. A court order to make them leave takes a week. Time is running out for the festival. You may have noticed in the papers that Gypsies for the second time have taken over a cricket ground. Thus depriving the local community of an ammenity. Del can not agree with me on this one. He advocates understanding and integration and political correctness but as he has a high powered job in the government he HAS to think like that. Whereas most of the people I talk to advocate sending in the S.A.S. A full strike force. Bombs, missiles pick axe handles etc to reclaim our ammenities. God that makes me sound very right wing, which I'm not. I would be the last person to pick up arms. But it does annoy the fuck out of me that they are able to play the system with impunity. To take advantage of the law. They have rights. Del will agree with me on that. But they know they have so many days from when they are asked to leave and they use those days, leaving just before the court order comes into force.

Political correctness sometimes seems a joke. Common sense is taken out of our hands. Someone is accountable for everything. If you trip over a lose paving stone you can sue the council if the paving stone is so many millimetres above the rest. Previously they would tell you to look where you're walking. hey I tripped over a tree root in the woods. Who can I sue? Oh yeah that'll be the forestry commision then. They should make the trees grow roots in a European standard pattern. I'm exaggerating of course. All these laws are there to protect us. To save us from unscrupulous people who are out to maim and kill us through their inaction or laxity. To make people accountable for anything they do. So of course people take advantage of that. It's never anyones fault if they have a mishap it's always someone elses fault, and they are going to pay for it.

Meanwhile my friend Chris ( a pawn broker) has been fined £5000 for not registering for the Al Quieda (spelling?) legislation. Apparently he must register and have a folder containing all the transactions he's entered into that exceed £10,000. Because they MIGHT be terrorists laundering money. Not only that but in each of his outlets he must have a fully trained officer in charge of such dealings. This new directive has been in force for three years now. He didn't know anything about it. He had a letter a year ago about it and thought it was a joke. Well you would, wouldn't you? So he told them he wasn't paying the fine citing Tony Blairs Concord ammendment that said Customs and Excise could not be heavy handed. They dropped the fine to £500. He still wont pay. It's in arbitration now. It's a joke. Honest people trying to make a living are being penalised, left right and centre. Try starting your own business and see if I'm right. There is always someone who wants money out of you for nothing. We can't even play the radio in our shop without the Peforming Rights Society wanting a royalty from it. My father when he worked here used to listen to the Archers while he worked fixing stuff. The performing rights society stopped him being able to listen to the radio whilst at work because the public could hear it. For Chrissakes radio is free. Everyone listens to the radio and you don't need a licence. So why can't he listen to the radio while he fixes shavers? If we employed anyone who wasn't family we would have to employ all sorts of safety measures. We have to have a emergency exit sign over the door in case of fire. There's only one door. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that if there's a fire you get out the door you came in. So we don't employ anyone who isn't family. We have people working WITH us. They are self employed. They pay us for the work we give them. So far the government doesn't mind if we kill our own through neglect.
Job specification. You don't do what's not specified in your job. I was inspired a few years ago by a Japanese guy who was head of Panasonic UK. he wouldn't have any of that. His motto was "you do what has to be done". When I met the managing Director of Panasonic UK he was dressed in blue overalls and he was picking up rubbish around the factory. He was leading by example. A great man. Small in stature but huge in my eyes.

My father has a story of a broken window when he was Warrant Officer in charge of Princess Marys Hospital RAF Halton. He called out the glazier. The glazier informed him that he couldn't do the job because it was a wooden framed window. So it needed a carpenter. The carpenter was called and he removed the broken glass but couldn't replace the glass because it was a glaziers job. So the glazier was called back. He replaced the glass. Then he couldn't repaint the window because it was a painters job. So a painter was called. This is what your taxes are paying for. Beurocracy gone mad. It's insane. Where is common sense? Everyone protecting their own arses. No one capable or willing to take responsibility for anything without insurance. I didn't fuck up. It was someone elses fault. The buck stops here. Meanwhile it's costing us dear.
Where does the buck stop? Think about it.

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