Monday, 13 August 2012

Abide with Us




So there we have it after first seeing the Munich 1972 Olympics as a little Kid, then watching my fellow Hallamshire Harrier club mate win gold in Moscow, Ive always wondered what an Olympics In the UK would look and sound like, now I know, Bright and Loud.

Best Games ever? its obviously a subjective issue. I went to Sydney and that was certainly a benchmark and the template that London  2012 rightly used, after all unlike China we have nothing to prove. I also think the aftermath of Sydney and its rightful praise gave London the edge to beat Paris to 2012. London I think is Sydney 2000 on steroids.

Was it worth is? Well Proctor and Gamble spend I think about 2.9 billion dollars on Advertising per year. As a brand Britain, Brand UK advert I guess you can just about make the case financially that it is. London 2012 will be milked for many years to come one way and another.

So all  in all, after spending the best part of 7k on tickets, Hotels, Transport and food (I especially liked the Olive cart in the park) I had the time of my life. Sport is a big part of my life, it seems it is as well for the rest of us Sport mad Brits.

Can we do for Health and Education what we have done for sport over the past 15 years? I doubt it we will go back to our low level grumbling and standing in the line waiting to be served but all in all this slightly damp, often cloudy, broke but joyful place will always stand proud in hopeful expectation, and now and again our dreams will really come true and we will suprise eveyone once again when we excel when it matters.

We are forever being told about our "decline", rapid change and adaptation are not signs of decline, they are a sign that we are trying to come up with the answer, whatever that answer might be. In our case the answer seems to be nuns on rollerskates.


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Isles of Wonder


So 2 x £950 Tickets, was it worth it or should I have taken 2 weeks on the Med?

Off the bat, 8/10. And yes it was.

Danny Boyle is a brave man putting the Industrial revolution at the centre of the opening ceremony. I often take relatives epecailly the younger ones to Abbeydale Industrial hamlet and tell them the story of probably the most important revolution in all human histroy and all I get is "are we going to the pub next" Its dirty, loud and in large parts a depressing story of human suffering. To make it the centre piece of forging the olympic rings magnificently burning in the sky an Icon moment was not the safe route to go and I am forever in his debt for taking the risk and telling the story. I loved it. But then again I am the grandson of a Miner and Steelworker, from Sheffield. I might be a bit biased on this one.

I was well aware of the NHS inclusion in the show like everyone else. I saw David Milibands tweet about how some the Govt would not approve. I say Good of the Govt letting the artistic director get on with what he wanted to do, It did not work. It distracted from the chldrens stroy part of the show which was by itself magnificent. You should let the audience draw their own conclusions, Let the performance speak, you dont need to name check anything. Kids jumping about on hospital beds was more than good enough and fun enough.

As for this making the show "Leftwing", thats almost comical. Throughout the show an Oak tree stood towering over the whole event, you dont get much more of a "conservative" small "c" symbolism than that.

The Third part, the musical journey. Great music and shown off the sound and light system of the stadium to a tee. But the segmant to me got lost in too loose a theme. Nice try but forgetfull.

My favourite artistic part was "abide with me" a single vocalist and I think about thirty dancers in a stadium event of this scale, Very touching and tough act to pull off. They did, I am still swelling up thinking about it.

Then all the ritual and the couldren. I think at the last Olympic games they tried this with I seem to remember 4 parts and 1 got stuck. 180 plus petals for every nation. Senstational. In keeping with the industrial theme to the show. A brilliant piece of art and engineering. Rest of the world, you need to give us a call. showstopper.

So yes overall ticked most of the boxes and I think 2 outstanding centre peice moments that will live on. And a little bit of British chaos and humor thrown in let the world know we are not a nation of robots.

So where are the pictures then? I am beginning to think camera phones are the evil of our age. You go to these events and some people, the majority it seems spend three hours behind a lens. I left all that stuff at the hotel. I want to watch and take it all it. You cant do that if you are worrying about missing something.You are at the most photographed event on the planet let the pros do it for you. I for one am against digitizing my life, I suspect the people who worked in the factories of the Industrial revolution were against Industrializing theirs.  I will get the disc when it comes out, 3d of course.

I will be off around the park on Monday, up the orbit. Today is cycling. Tommorow the Eye. Next Saturday I am back to cheer on little Jess and Sunday the 100m final. 20 degrees and showers, Perfect sport weather.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Made In London 1997




Like everyone else ive gone through 1000s of articles ect on the crash. The more I look at it the more it seems to me that the whole thing has Made in London stamped all over it. Libor, AIG the list is endless. How did we become the wild west of finance?

You might have missed Adir Turner on Monday, he gave this gem "We were only to a small extent focused on the activities of investment banks. We only had about five people on Barclays and five people on RBS. At one stage we only had one person that was shared between Barclays and RBS."

Thanks to Alice and this great post

If we use ecology as a model, the world of finance is the ecosystem. First thing you look for are the keystone parts of the system, maybe a food source or an insect and animal. Then you look for the apex predator.

Its very well known in this true science as opposed to financial modelling and Economics that removing or changing one of these two things (keystone and Apex) you can fundamentally alter the ecosystem maybe even kill it. Generally chaos reigns.

With this in mind historians of the future might well put the whole Crash down to one thing, and it might look like this

In May 1997, in the UK a major hub in the global financial ecosystem, a new government took the apex predator out of the eco system. They replaced a Wolf (BoE) with a sheep (FSA) disaster followed

I am not saying there would not have been a recession, winter must follow summer, and sometimes you get wet summers and mild winters. But this crash is over and above anything else.

The more I look at this the more I am coming to the conclusion that the FSA did not just fuck up the UK system, but also buggered the whole world. The removal of the Bank of England's regulatory powers over banks. Powers developed over many centuries through trial and error as the worlds first central bank, not perfect, no animal is, but an financial Apex predator if ever there was one.

One animal might live its entire life in one part of the ecosystem but its effects will especially if its a keystone or apex predator run through the whole system.

This of course fits into the timeline as the Eastern savings glut was beginning to show up and as the dotcom bubble was inflating. *And I cant for the life of me see any data to suggest that there was any problems in the UK system prior to this date.

Friday, 13 July 2012

NHS Envy of the World

I came to this madness thru Jackart, I too left a comment.

"My wife is Australian and trained to be a midwife and nurse in Australia.
She has worked across the world. Mideast, Germany, Japan. United States as well as Oz. We came back to the UK in 1998 and within a year gave up on being a midwife here in the UK. I think you will find there is still a shortage of midwifes at the present time.
The simple problem with the NHS is that it is too big, Just like the banks it becomes a creature of its vested interests as I have observed in these comments.
The NHS is a poor system, it was set up for the soldiers who returned from WW2 without much real change when society changed numerous times since then.
If you really want your children to live in a nation with good health care provision, I have to warn you the clock is ticking and like the banks a failure in one part of the system will lead to the failure of the whole system. PFi Could well be the trigger. The UK Govt is insolvent and will probably remain so for many decades to come. Health care will not escape that fact.
My family has of course NHS cover but we do also have private health cover, just today ive jumped a big long queue to get treatment for my foot which if left untreated would result in not just pain and discomfort but loss of earnings.
I urge you to put aside your observations about the US system and have a good look at the German system. You purchase a health insurance premium annually and if you cannot afford the premium the state will purchase one on your behalf. This is not a inhuman system. There are many different hospitals both state, private and mutual. You learn as a result of the cost of health care to take your own health a lot more seriously.
Obamas new system is much more German than it is UK NHS.
No one is criticising the staff of the NHS, but the system also lets them down too. Tolerating incompetence and bad practice in bureaucratic stasis, acting as a sort of corporate antiseptic. As it did with my late mother, whos experience was a little like this.
Doctors missing notes, instead of one doctor having one set of notes directly accountable to the fee payer. Its in Insurance Companies interest to keep you well dont you know?
My Gran in her 90s sits at home wondering how unfair it is that she survived cancer and lives on and her daughter is now just a photo on the Mantlepiece. She was diagnosed and treated in Australia, my mother was treated here. Both the very same cancer.
NHS envy of the world? Idealistic Nonsense.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Leveson Inquiry Ends

..Well the public hearings at least, I have always wondered why Andrew Neil does not have any honour's to his name. It is a testament to the crass state of the British Political landscape that he never entered parliament and served us all to the best of his ability.

Here is the final word on Leveson written by Andrew Neil

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Not What We Wish To Hear


Shamelessly nicked from Guido

Matthew Parris explains why we’re in the state we’re in…
“We have been living beyond our means. We have been paying ourselves more than our efforts were earning. We sought political leaders who would assure us that the good times would never end and that the centuries of boom and bust were over; and we voted for those who offered that assurance. We sought credit for which we had no security and we gave our business to the banks that advertised it. We wanted higher exam grades for our children and were rewarded with politicians prepared to supply them by lowering exam standards. We wanted free and better health care and demanded chancellors who paid for it without putting up our taxes. We wanted salacious stories in our newspapers and bought the papers that broke the rules to provide them. And now we whimper and snarl at MPs, bankers and journalists. Fair enough, my friends, but, you know, we really are all in this together.”

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Great Tidings





Ye much pleasure in the Manor of Shefeld at sunset yesterday. Our gracious Majesty this year on her 60th year of kindly rule, sent forth her Knights of the flame through our lords lands much to the celebration of our people.

Many came from miles around, Bradfeld and Waleswoods to be bear witness on the common grounds of Hillsborough as the flame made its way to the seat of the lord of the manor. Women, children and good men all left their fields and labours to fest. Much good ale was consumed.

The spring rains stopped and the sun shone forth, a great harvest we will be reaping this autumn as our soil is nourished by the will of God. Mushrooms are already being gathered from the woods and forests; joy is always felt on the consumption.

It is said the flame came from near the holy lands, some say it comes from heathen lands who worship many false gods. Lord Coe late of the manor assures us by taking the flame himself that this flame is pure, it is said he borewitness the birth of the flame himself. The house of the Virgin Mary is but 3days riding he told.

News reached us that the flame passing through Bernesai but 2 hours riding had blessed us with a miracle as a once lame boy walked for the first time and rose himself to carry the flame aloft. It is reported that this was meet with the weeping of joy by his kin. Darfelds Village scribe sent the news.

As children played on the fayre many games of climbing, chasing and singing, some men observed that some Spanish knights were too carrying the flame, this caused some disquiet. Or not the strong and loyal men of the manor good enough? It is said that our Queen questions our loyalty sometimes as the legend of Robin of Loxley, a good man of the Manor still holds the imagination of the Queen and her Lords. Our dispute was with the King John and his unjust rule, all disputes are now at an end and written in Magna Carta and kept for all to read and see at the Almighty Gods house in Lincoln, where the flame is carried today. We do concern ourselves that the knights of Europe have designs on our lands and remain on our guard, and all keep this in mind as we forge and sharpen the greatest swords of the kingdom. It is also said in whispers that ourQueens own men are clipping the coins to save their fellow knights from debtor’s jail and impoverishing us all as the cost.

The flame is an invitation to compete in a great games on Hackney fields, Our Queen herself is said to attend and we are to send our strongest to vanquish in good nature the many knights and Princes from all over Europe and it is said Africa. We have resolved to send also two of our Women folk to compete in the great games, they are of good family and stock and will amuse her majesty that woman too can fight like menfolk. They will surely say unto themselves that if the women are this strong the men must be the greatest of fighting men. We will remain in our manor making swords and sheaf's. Our ale is better here in the North of the Kingdom, but we do admire and envy the Hops of Kent which always gets the greatest of prices at the market.

Today the flame left at dawn. It will be carried in our neighbours manor of Donne ceaster by the very greatest and noblest of knights in all Englande. If he was of sound body he would surly carry the heaviest of swords into completion. A man and sword so strong that they would surely fell a 100 mighty Oaks of Sherwood forest in one morn, and after good ale and a small pottage do the same in the afternoon.


God Save The Queen,
Shefeld
in the year of our lord, two thousand and twelve. June 26.




Thursday, 21 June 2012

Offshore Banking Business

I wonder if Dick Murphy used to be in this band in 1979? A lifetime in entertainment surley he deserves some sort of award.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Freeloading With George Soros

Dont get me wrong, There us a awful lot of truth in Mr Soros speech this weekend that seems to have lite up the internet. The problem with it is that Mr Soros could if he had understood Karl Poppers ideas a little better could have made it 20 years ago.

Of course the whole thing is a bubble, just as folks freeloaded money off their houses values in the housing bubble, whole countries were freeloading on the perceived values behind the EUro. Unearned wealth is never a healthy thing be it for householders or States.

The facts are that ERM falsified the EUro in the conception that was followed from the Maastricht Treaty. No need for the passage of time to see this fulfilled and the terrible consequences for all the people of the world not just EUrope. Its there in the history books and in the Economic text books. Not to do so knowing this is morally unacceptable, we did not have Imperfect knowledge on the issue, we had a body of evidence. Poppers whole life work was about trying to prove that there was nothing inevitable about history.

Mr Soros points to EUropes moral mission to unite and stop war and as he puts it became a “fantastic object” of which Mr Soros was and is one of its chief protagonists and propagandaists. Thus he admits in not so many words that he fell for "ideology" over known knowledge. And this same man he is forever telling us he was a personal student of Karl Poppers and suggests he is Poppers heir? I dont think so Mr Soros.

 And then there is the small matter of democracy of which current state Mr Soros says thus, "I expect that the Greek public will be sufficiently frightened by the prospect of expulsion from the European Union that it will give a narrow majority of seats to a coalition that is ready to abide by the current agreement" For someone apparently championing the idea of democracy around the world, he is ok with it being debased in such ways as a tool to frighten people?

Another reason we are in this state with this bastard idea of a currency is democratic will. From democracy comes consent, from consent comes law and order, from law and order come rights and responsibilities. A social compact that is also the foundation of the Fiat currency we use as trust for markets and goods. Where was any of that in the conception of the EUro?

Karl Popper would have recognized design flaws in the democratic deficit even if he had missed the economic ones with the EUro. Once again Soros was blinded by Ideology.

So yes a very good speech, Mr Soros is skillfully covering his own tracks and his own big mistakes. He deserve no acolade or applause for that, He is one of the guilty men. As for Karl Poppers very precious ideas, they are currenly in the safe custody of Mr Nicholas Taleb, thankfully.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Suicide Forest Documentry

One of the strangest places in the world! Not for the faint hearted

Saturday, 19 May 2012

GoodFellas...Funny How?

Today I will be mostly watching Football, eating and watching Goodfellas, pizza and movie. Not to mention the beer! Maybe its because I am a man, but I love days like this. Who needs the sun?

Is this the greatest movie ever? or is it The Unforgiven, I still cant make my mind up.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Have No Fear

So how would you like the trip to the Costas in a pilot-less plane?

Quite a saving getting shut of all those highly paid pilots...I sense a Ryanair publicity campaign coming up.

Link Here