Thursday, July 20

The hum of city life

It’s that time of year: wrapped bales stockpiled for winter feed in the corners of neighbouring fields, Gudgeon stacking cut wood – ash and beech. Sheep, cattle and horses in every direction…the sound of tractors, quad bikes and chainsaws.

Wednesday, July 19

Black holes

This morning’s communique from our local authority gives notice of a reorganisation and a corresponding tax rise. I’m led to believe there’s an appetite for cost cutting through consolidating neighbouring councils but that everyone wants more services and is anxious to pay for it. As with Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax, I’m obviously on the wrong side of history.

Tuesday, July 18

Labour MP says pork scratchings are evil

Labour MP claims Black Country flag is ‘racist’ and should be scrapped.

Why do only fools and horses work?

“A family on £14k/year has fully 75 percent of the net income of the £70k family? Even if housing benefit is disregarded, the family on minimum wage still has 50 percent of the net income of the £70k family, despite earning only a fifth as much. The reason for the anomaly is that any increase in income results in a lower tax credit payment which is then countered by increased housing benefit. This interaction means that the increasing gross earnings from £20k to £60k only increases net income by £7k – only £130 extra per week despite trebling your gross salary. Why would a company offer their staff a pay rise when the staff themselves will see little benefit? Why would an employee seek to move to a higher-paying job? Why would an employee increase their productivity? Why is home ownership declining? There is also the matter of fairness to taxpayers. The family earning £70k will pay the same total amount through taxation as the family earning £14k receive in benefits.”

Men just don’t want to do girly things, and visa versa.

Adverts which encourage gender stereotypes like women cleaning up after their family, or men failing to do housework, face being banned under strict new watchdog rules. The Advertising Standards Authority found there was evidence to support stronger rules on the basis that harmful stereotypes can restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, young people and adults. Meanwhile an Audit Scotland report confirms that male students continue to snub female-dominated courses such as nursing and health care despite tough new gender quotas designed to balance up Scottish colleges. The number of women enrolling in social work courses has risen to 97 per cent while their representation in health grew to 87 per cent in defiance of Government targets to increase male allocations. Only marginal progress has been made in attracting women to engineering and transport with men accounting for 84 per cent and 92 per cent of students respectively.

Monday, July 17

In July he prepares to fly

Among the countless fledged birds in the yard we’ve a juvenile cuckoo. Don’t know in whose nest it was raised but, compared to the rest of the flock, it’s one big...

The Faux Countryside

“She (Melissa Kite) is in the green belt, and the green belt is crowded and fraught and terrified that it is about to be eaten up by London. Further, its inhabitants are increasingly the same bad-tempered, moaning, sociopathic middle-class tossers that one finds in the capital. People who have got the hell out to avoid being the victims of an acid attack, or a jihadi stabbing, or an LGBTQI workshop. But they still want quick and ready access to London. In other words, it IS London, in all but name. And that will change too – soon there will be no green belt at all, it will just be London.” (Rod Liddle)

Full of Politicians’ Promises

Today being the annual visit from the man that empties our septic tank.

The Silly Season begins

Parliament and MSM are continuing to sell the line that Brexit’s a busted flush. Apparently we’ve changed our mind, and if they say it often enough it will become so. It was never really about immigration, they say, a chastened Brussels will provide sufficient cosmetic assurances to satisfy the plebs. Then with no little irony they decry the state of play in Turkey, Erdo─čan’s crackdown on dissidents, journalists and human rights activists, as part of last year’s failed coup attempt.

Sunday, July 16

How progressive Democrats hunt pigs in Texas

“Well, we do it at night, with pistols. Everybody wearing cutoffs and tennis shoes. We’ll set the dogs loose, and when they start baying we come running. Now, the dogs will go after the pig’s nuts, so the pig will back up against a tree to protect himself. So then you just take your pistol and pop him in the eye.” I appreciate it’s a long read, but remember what we used to say: what happens in America usually happens here a decade or so later.