Sunday, April 11, 2010

Attack helicopter and the NEETs.

The photo above shows an Apache Longbow attack helicopter which flew over my house. I entertained the hope that it was on a Chav hunting expedition, but this unfortunately turned out not to be the case. The Apaches are based in Woolwich Barracks, formerly home of the Royal Artillery. I think the one I saw had been down to Chatham to the Royal Engineers base for a service, and it was heading on its' way home.

I see that both the local and general elections are now imminent; unlike some of the blogs that I link to, I am keeping the Maggot Sandwich completely apolitical. My personal view is that with a few notable exceptions, most people involved in politics are self aggrandising selfish scumbags with the moral compass of Robert Maxwell. My personal view is that the desire to become a politician is a personality defect; anyone who wishes to become a politician should be disqualified from doing so. I think that it should be a fixed term duty a bit like jury service, where random members of society do the dirty deed for a finite time, before handing over to some other poor unfortunate.

A case in point is that of prospective local councillor Mick Singh of Upper Belvedere. He's been found guilty of supplying alcohol and fireworks to children on multiple occasions from his newsagent shop in Nuxley Road, as was reported in the News Shopper this week. Not the kind of person I would want running the local area. He's either incompetent or a crook, or a mix of both. A typical politician in other words. You can read more about his morally questionable exploits here. The story was further covered by the Bexley Times:
FIVE premises, including one owned by a prospective Tory councillor, have lost their licences after being caught selling alcohol to children. Jarnail 'Mick' Singh, who is standing in the Belvedere ward elections, and his wife Pritpal had their licence for Newscentre, in Nuxley Road, suspended by Bexley council for three months as of last Monday. Last Wednesday the council revealled it had torn up three more licences last week whilst the Erith Co-op had tougher condition imposed upon it. Action was taken following a joint operation by the council and Bexley Police aimed at tackling under age sales. Chief Inspector Steve Murrant said: "I am disappointed." A licensing sub-committee heard how Mr Singh failed a police test-purchase last December by a 15-year-old boy.
I fail to see the reference to Erith Co-Op - we have not had one for years. It closed within a couple of months of Morrison's opening, back in 1999. Maybe they are referring to another store?

Kids travelling free on Greater London buses. We have former comrade Ken of the People's Socialist Republic of Londonistan to blame for this poorly considered and divisive decision, and mop headed  faux upper class twit Boris Johnson for not having repealed or modified the decision. What happens now is that the little gits flag down the bus, travel one or two stops then jump off - usually after having scratched graffiti on the windows, rubbed dog poo on the seats - or, as in the past,  worse . Why should those people who have paid their hard earned cash, or pensioners with travel passes have to put up with the verminous little scrotes who should be walking or cycling, as they seem to get very little exercise other than causing vandalism and other mayhem, taking up seats and standing space? To their credit, I have witnessed a few bus drivers deliberately not stopping for groups of teenage pond life; after all, what is the point when he won't be taking any money and chances are they will damage the bus or hassle the other passengers anyway? Reintroduce travel warrants for kids who genuinely have to travel to distant schools (and only valid for journeys on that specific bus route during term time) and make it clear that any abuse of the privilege will result in the removal of the warrant, and the full cost being charged to the parent(s).

As the weather has finally begun to improve, I have noticed a dramatic increase in people cycling on the pavement in and around Erith. Most seem either unaware or don't care that this is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £500. It is especially problematic on the narrow pavements near some of the main roads, as there is precious little space for pedestrians in the first place. I also notice that the unlicenced quad bikes have been got out of mothballs and are once again being driven furiously around the area by the local pond life. As mentioned last year, the slightest increase in ambient temperature causes Erith's NEETS* to shed their tracksuits and T-shirts in order to display their scrawny, pale bodies, commonly adorned with tattooes exhibiting varying degrees of tackiness.

* - NEET - Not in Employment, Education or Training.

McDonald's in Erith

Quelle Surprise - McDonald's have got a recommendation from Weight Watchers for some of their products. You could not make it up. On the one or two occasions a year I visit the chain, I usually have the Filet of Fish. - one of the meals included in the Weight Watchers approved list. The fish is fine (they use sustainable Alaskan pollack, rather than cod or hoki nowadays), the tartare sauce is fine, but what is it with the bread rolls that McDonald's use?  They are far too sweet and incredibly soft. I have discovered that they use high fructose corn sugar, which is particularly bad for you. You may notice from the photograph above (courtesy of Google Street View) that Erith is home to both A McDonald's and a KFC drive through. We have no "real" restaurants at all in the town, not even a curry house, just a selection of takeaways of varying quality. Personally I would love to see a Nando's in the town, but I don't see it happening any time soon. A branch is apparently opening soon in Woolwich, but that is still a bus ride away.

Have you noticed that the Teasmade seems to have disappeared from Britain's bedrooms? I recall as a child, my grandparents on my Dad's side of the family were keen users, and awoke every morning to a fresh cuppa brewed by their bedside Teasmade. I wonder what caused the demise of the somewhat curious electrical hybrid alarm clock / boiler. A device I could not think of being conceived in any country except Britain.

Erith Riverside Festival is back in June, after a years' hiatus. If the last one is anything to go by, it should be a great day out. You can see my photos of the 2008 event by clicking here.

Unfortunately I missed the Bexley Beer Festival through a combination of factors, which was a double pity as the weather was much nicer than has been the case for the last two years, when it has rained heavily.

This weeks' main video is the second, extended trailer for the forthcoming movie of The A-Team.  It is a reboot of the original story from the classic 80's TV series, beginning with Lt Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck and Sgt. Bosco Albert "BA" Baracus being imprisoned for a crime that they did not commit. The promptly break out of a high security stockade, and with the help of Captain H.M "Howlin' Mad" Murdoch they go on the run on the Los Angeles underground.

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