Quote of the day :
Hardly inspirational, but given the weather and the chancellor’s statement dominating the news, I have chosen this quote:
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.
~ Robert Frost
Pic of the day :
Given all the flooding ahead, I’ve gone with drains picture I had, waterpipe maintenance in Widnes, Cheshire, circa 1982
Tube of the day :
Really not my taste, but seasonal, I guess. In 2004, Band Aid 20 started a four week spot at No.1 on the UK singles chart with a new version of ‘Do They Know Itâ€™s Christmas?’
On this day…
Born today :
- Entreneur, visionary and cartoonist, Walt Disney
- Singer and pianist, Little Richard (Richard Penniman)
- General, George Custer
- Actor, Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle)
- Singer and songwriter, J.J. Cale
- Singer, Jose Carreras
- Psychiatrist, Milton H. Erickson
- Olympic Ski jumper, Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards
- Snooker player, Ronnie O’Sullivan
- Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, Sonny Boy Williamson (1899)
(His songs were covered by a great many bands, including Led Zep, Van Morrison, The Who, Aerosmith, Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore and Dr Feelgood)
- Actress, Amy Acker (Perhaps best know as Fred in Angel or, more recently, as Root in Person of Interest)
Also on this day in history
Something to recall next time you are stuck in Spaghetti junction, or realise you just missed your turn-off and the next one is 50 miles north: In 1958 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan opened the Preston bypass in Lancashire, Now part of the M6 and M55, it was Britain’s the first stretch of motorway.
At the same time, but in telephony, 1958 also saw STD inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she speaks to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.
Following the death of his brother, Carloman, Charlemagne became sole king of the Franks (771)
London auctioneer’s Christie’s hold their first sale. Even in 1766 old tat had value
In music, 1987 saw Belinda Carlisle reach No.1 in the US singles chart with : ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ :
Five years later and 1992, this time in the UK singles charts Whitney Houston started a 10 week run with the song : ‘I Will Always Love You’, taken from the Bodyguard soundtrack.
The following year, 1993 in music, if it can be called that, Mr Blobby reached number one in the UK charts! I will make a point of adding that I am not looking on youtube for Mr Blobby for y’all!
Trending at this moment:
Ignoring fads, most of the trends today, particularly in the UK are focused on George Osbourne’s Autumn Statement and on the storms sweeping across country and particularly battering the east coast. Nothing like that here near Liverpool, but it’s still dark, wet and windy enough to flatten the big tree the council put up in the town centre.
Returning to the chancellor’s statement for a moment, like pretty much all political statement, it can be summed up as:
‘We need to hammer the austerity more, (by we, I mean you lot). It’s not our fault (actually, Geerge…) it’s the other parties (it’s never ‘them’, whichever ‘them’ is in power) but the banking fiasco (the same guys we are in bed with now and who gave themselves an average £1.6 million salary) is still a noose around our necks. But not to worry, we have the perfect solution (No, NOT reduce our own inflation busting rises, perks and gilt pensions, silly person) – you can work until you are 70. This saves us paying out £500 billion in pensions (with money we doesn’t have because we bailed the banks out, then let half of Europe into the country for priority health care, benefits and accommodation. It’s their civil rights, you see).
Without my jaded perspective, one probably shared by 85% of the country at the moment, here’s a few bullet points I look from the BBC and elsewhere. It is interesting to note that while the various papers etc (Mirror, BBC, Telegraph, so forth) have their own leanings and agenda, they are all vaguely sing the same tune today – and it’s not a Christmas carol. Or it is and it’s once where Ebenezer tells Marley to go forth, instead of seeing the light. (Not that he could afford the candles or the electricity bill to turn on said lights, being a pensioner).
On Twitter, I left it only while I went for my tea, by the time I finished another 540 results were added to the #AS2013 hashtag
The key announcements include:
- Plans for the pension age to
keep track with life expectancy
(The closer you are to retiring, the longer you have to work before you can. Moving goal post and all that. Whilst those in their 40’s will feel it hardest, apparently, the teenagers and 20-somethings that are safe in their youth will look back on this day in 50 or 60 years and curse)
- Car tax discs to be scrapped and replaced by electronic vehicle excise duty system
(In other words, renamed and increased)
- Next year’s planned 2p a litre fuel tax rise scrapped
(We’ll rise it by stealth instead, worked fine for Gordon Brown)
- A major crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance aims to recoup Â£9bn over five years
(By going hard-core on individuals and small businesses, rather than our banking buddies and multi-national conglomerates who actually do owe the money but we are in bed with so deep we turn a blind eye)
The Spectator has a full text of his statement. You only have to read the first few lines to see the rhetoric for what it is.
Going back to the worst Arctic storms in 60 years hitting the UK, The Daily Mail has a great story covering it, with some stunning images, like the one I’ve copied below by North News and Pictures , showing a heck of a splash engulfing Whitehaven harbour on the Cumbrian coastline. If it’s that bad around Merseyside and Cumbria, the northeast must be having a bad time of it!
In Scotland all trains are cancelled, while across the worst affected areas of the UK, thousands of families are being evacuated before the worst of it hits, with widespread flooding expected. Even south in London they have closed the Thames barrier, just in case.