Archive for April, 2012

Politicians: Lying bastards because they HAVE to be

“Disgruntled, disillusioned and disengaged” – that’s the UK population’s attitude to politics, according to a survey published today.

No surprises there. Even the most moronic UK citizen has begun to notice that whomever we elect, nothing changes. We get the same attitudes, the same assumptions and the same basic policies regardless who’s in power. It’s a phenomenon that began in about 1986 and has gathered steam ever since.

Reflecting on this today, I wondered what a different politics would look like: an honest politics.

God knows, I’m no fan of politicians, but I do sympathise with their basic dilemma: If they told us the truth about the state of our nation, and what they intend to do, we’d never elect them. When they don’t (because they can’t), we accuse them of lying and become ‘disillusioned, disgruntled”…. etc.

You’re going to be poorer and pay more tax – much more tax

Here’s the ‘truth’ manifesto for any politician standing for election in the UK today:

  • We’re going to tax the hell out of you. No choice, pal: the government’s bust.
  • You’re gonna see a shit load of colleagues, friends and family lose their jobs. If you’re ‘lucky’ enough to keep yours, you’ll be paying for them – cos the state can’t afford to.
  • See above. The welfare benefits you’ve taken for granted all these years are on the way out. Enjoy what’s left of ’em while you can.
  • Your costs are gonna soar. Fuel, basic foodstuffs, you name it… it’s all getting pricier.
  • It’s very likely that you’ll die in poverty: Pensions are utterly fucked and getting more fucked as people live longer. Plus any savings you’ve put away are going to be destroyed by inflation. Why? Because inflation’s the least painful option for reducing our debt mountain. In the end, it’s the only possible ‘solution’.
  • The ‘end of the recession’ is a fairy tale to keep your spirits up. There won’t be an ‘end’ to this recession: it’s the beginning of the end of western dominance. To compete with the emerging economies, we’re going to have to permanently pare back our expectations and our living standards. Deal with it.
  • Your children are going to be significantly poorer than you. Deal with that, too.

Not a vote-winner, is it? But it’s the truth.

Remember that next time you’re slagging off a politician for being a slimy, lying sonofabitch. All he did, when you elected him, was tell you what you want to hear.

Posted on 25th April 2012
Under: Rants | 3 Comments »

Onion sets are away

onion setsI always find this effect vaguely amusing. As onion sets start to sprout, the outer skin often detaches itself and ends up sitting on the new shoot like a bishop’s mitre.

The onions are loving the deluge; this time last year I was frantically watering them – daily – to ensure they rooted. This year they’re drowning.

PS Many thanks to all for kind words in response to last post. I’ve pulled myself together and will try not to moan so much…

PPS Looks like a good year to test my theory about downy mildew on onions. I reckon cold, damp weather in early season is the cause. So 2012 should be a bumper mildew year.


Posted on 23rd April 2012
Under: Alliums | 6 Comments »

Heavy metal in the head

Unhappiness is tricky, isn’t it?

I mean, you never know quite what to do with it. Do you whinge endlessly about the cause(s), hoping for some miraculous catharsis through repetitio ad nauseam? Do you become angry and bitter, insulting and hurting everyone around you, perhaps expecting the same result? Do you recklessly change significant things in your life – home, relationships, career – hoping to leave the cause(s) far behind in what recovering addicts call a ‘geographical’?

Or do you bottle it up, fit a tight stopper, watch it progressively kill all the joy in your life as its pressurised poison seeps out into everything you love… and wait to die of bowel cancer and/or heart disease in 5-15 years (my personal favourite)?

Like all human beings from time to time, I’m wrestling with this old problem again. Don’t get me wrong: I have no serious reason to be unhappy. Nobody’s died. I have food and a roof over my head. My problems are trivial.

But unhappiness doesn’t scale particularly well. When it’s living in your head, it’s like having an Icelandic heavy rock band practising in your attic 24/7. The noise can’t be ignored. It can’t be put into perspective.

No matter that the rockers will be gone by Tuesday, or that they could be using three amplifiers, not one. Misery is unresponsive to comparative analysis. It only exists at level 10 out of 10. Or, more usually, 11 out of 10.

The ‘solution’ – find the root problem and fix it – is always the same. But getting there is always so very, very hard. It usually involves doing things that are courageous, difficult and/or painful to oneself and others. Sacrifice is often involved.

I guess I’ll get there. Wherever ‘there’ turns out to be, this time.

In the meantime: Sorry for lack of gardening updates.

Posted on 19th April 2012
Under: Rants | 16 Comments »

Strawberries are go!

Strawberry runnes They came in the post Friday pm (variety: Cambridge Favourite), so today I hoiked ’em in. God knows if I’ve done it right. Never even seen a bare-root strawberry before. I just buried the roots and left the crown above the soil, then gave them a good watering.

This will work… right?

Onion setsIn other news, the onion sets are now planted as well (click the thumbnail to enlarge). I had to water them in, incredibly. The ground is so dry – already – that clouds of dust fly up the moment you put a spade in.

God knows what it will be like come July. But obviously, being me, I fear the worst.

Posted on 1st April 2012
Under: Alliums, Fruit | 15 Comments »