bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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  • My Life and Times

    I was born in 1939 BC. That's 'Before Computers'. Luckily I survived the following events in my life, such as World War II, The London Blitz, Rationing, and worst of all... Archbishop Temple's School.

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    During the mid 1950s I was enjoying Rock 'n' Roll and being a first generation teenager, when suddenly, just like Elvis, I found myself in uniform during 'The Cold War'...and then

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    I became 'a family'. Which meant that I sort of missed the 'swinging sixties', but still managed to look a complete prat in the 70s, just like everyone else.

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    During the 'Thatcher Years' I lost my hair and a lot of people lost a good deal more. My career fluctuated to say the least as I was demoted, promoted, fired and hired a number of times, but still I managed to stagger on into a welcome retirement and to celebrate 54 years of happy marriage.
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Archive for the ‘political’ Category

Barbed wire ain’t the answer !

Posted by Big John on August 30, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I get the impression that many people in this country, including the media, do not know the difference between a refugee and an immigrant.

So, what is the difference ? .. Well, a refugee is someone who is forced to leave his homeland and seek asylum in another country, and an immigrant is someone who just chooses to resettle in another country.

It is strange that many of us do not understand this, for we have seen both landing on our shores for hundreds of years, such as the Huguenots escaping persecution in France, the Jews fleeing the Russian pogroms, and later the Nazis, the Ugandan Asians kicked out by Idi Amin, the Irish and the West Indians looking for work and a better life: and although they were not always welcomed, and the ‘multicultural society’ proved not to be such a great idea, in general, our country has benefitted from the gradual influx of both refugees and immigrants.

Now we see hundreds drowning in the Mediterranean and dying in the backs of traffickers’ trucks as tens of thousands of Syrians, Eritreans and other nationalities flee war and seek safety within the European Union who’s members seem to have little idea of how to handle the situation. I know that it is a far from simple task, but surely they should be making a collective effort to stem the flow by setting up ‘safe havens’ where these people can be ‘processed’ rather than allowing them automatic entry into the EU which leads to the chaos which we have seen recently in some parts of Europe.

The Germans, to their credit, are taking in 800,000 refugees. It makes you question, knowing our past history, …

… what we should be doing ?

Posted in political, rant | 3 Comments »

It’s what kids do !

Posted by Big John on July 21, 2015

I see that the toadies at Buckingham Palace got it all arse about face last week when they released their stories about Willy the brave part-time air ambulance co-pilot and “hero” Harry, saviour of the Rhino, as these PR stunts are usually brought into play after ‘the shit hits the fan’ about some ‘royal’ misbehaving, not before: and who looks like they were in trouble this time ? Well, non other than ‘er Maj’ herself.

Now, I never thought that I would see myself defending (reluctantly) the sour old sovereign, but, although it is well known that Uncle David (Later Edward VIII) and many members of the aristocracy were fans of the Führer, I doubt very much that a seven year old pampered English princess was about to run off and join the Nazi ‘Bund Deutscher Mädel’.

Yes, she was just seven, playing in the garden with her parents. It was only 1933, and not many people knew the truth about the Nazis plans. In fact, to many, Hitler was just a funny little man with a toothbrush moustache and hair hanging over one eye (remember Charlie Chaplin).

It was all a very long time ago, but I can still remember my young friends  coming out of the cinema after Saturdays’ children’s movie matinee shouting .. “Put your hand up if you want to play Hopalong Cassidy or Robin Hood !”

Perhaps Uncle David had a premonition and shouted .. “Put your hand up if you want to play …

… Kings and Queens !”

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political, rant | 3 Comments »

“It’s all Greek to me”.

Posted by Big John on July 16, 2015

Aah ! .. Greece .. The birthplace of democracy, home to Aristophanes and, of course Homer. Land of, what were once, friendly smiling people who served some pretty boring food and lousy wine in quaint tavernas.

Here is a photo taken in such a place …

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… No, it wasn’t taken today, and it’s not some sweaty Greek bloke who has just heard that his country is now owned and run by Führer Frau Merkel and her faithful followers across the European Reich Union.

It’s me, and it was taken more than thirty years ago on the island of Corfu, as I was wondering if that was a black olive on top of the taramasalata, or …

… did it just move ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 5 Comments »

A monumental mistake !

Posted by Big John on May 16, 2015

Two items in the recent news caught my attention. One is that the nasty nutters of the Islamic State have advanced to the gates of ancient Palmyra, raising fears that the Syrian world heritage site could face destruction of the kind the jihadis have already wreaked in Iraq.

The other item informs us that around 700 people left this country to join the ranks of Islamic State in Syria, and that half of them have been allowed to return to our shores (remember “Return ticket not valid ?”) to join the hundreds of radicalised young Muslims who can’t wait to destroy our entire nation: and I fear that they are likely to do far more serious damage than just take their sledgehammers to the Elgin Marbles, or their bulldozers …

… to Stonehenge !

Posted in political, rant, religion | 1 Comment »

“Don’t vote, it only encourages them”. Billy Connolly.

Posted by Big John on April 23, 2015

I’ll be glad when this bloody election is over, as I’ve had enough of lying, self-serving, hypocritical politicians showing off their wives and kids (not to mention their kitchens), walking about in hard hats, talking with school kids, rolling up their sleeves when visiting hospitals and all the rest of the nauseating behaviour which they think will win votes.

Now, in the middle of this political pantomime, our Dave, not missing a trick, has turned his attention to the terrible happenings in the Mediterranean where hundreds, if not thousands, of desperate people are drowning as they attempt to flee the chaos in Libya and elsewhere in Africa.

In a recent speech, our excuse for a prime minister said that .. “crucially we’ve got to do more to deal with the problems in the countries from which these people are coming and we’ve got to crack down on the terrible people traffickers and people smugglers who are at the heart of this problem“.

I can only assume that his tiny brain has forgotten the fact that these ‘problems‘ have come about as a result of him and his mates destabilising the region by naively rushing in to give military assistance and support to every band of so-called ‘freedom fighters’ in the Middle East, without, it would appear, having a clue about the likely outcome of such reckless actions.

Meanwhile, back at home, the forecast is for a ‘hung parliament’: and I must say that when I look at the gang of shysters who sit on those green benches at Westminster, the word ‘hanging’ …

often springs to mind !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »

Return ticket not valid !

Posted by Big John on April 7, 2015

As a young man I worked alongside a veteran who’s ideals and courage I greatly respected, for, a few years before, he had left this country to fight in a foreign war. That war was the ‘Spanish Civil War’ and he had been a volunteer in the ‘International Brigade’ fighting against Franco’s fascists. When he returned to the UK his left wing political convictions did not threaten my life or that of any other British citizen. In fact many leading politicians where on hand to welcome these Republican volunteers back to this country when that war ended.

Now we have a situation where many young men and women are leaving these shores to fight in another foreign war: and some of our naïve politicians and others are concerned about them, and would like to see them return safely to their British homes.

If this is not insanity, then I don’t know what is, because the difference between my old workmate and his comrades and these jihadists, is that they were no threat to the people of this country; whereas these poor misguided religious fanatics most definitely are, as they would like nothing better than to bring mayhem to our streets, as they will have been trained so to do, as part of their desire to wipe all those of us who do not believe as they do, off the face of the earth.

OK ! .. So if they are that keen to live under the black flag of the ‘Islamic State’, or ‘Daesh’ as it is known in the Middle East, and are happy with Sharia law etc. I say, let them go, but ensure that they never return …

… “In sha’Allah” !

Posted in nostalgia, political, rant, religion | 3 Comments »

Here we go again. – Part Eleven

Posted by Big John on March 28, 2015

Just when I thought that I had learned a little bit about the almighty mess that is the Middle East, with all of it’s blood thirsty tribal loonies and Arabic speaking arseholes shouting “Allāhu Akbar” as they fire their Kalashnikovs into the air, before they get on with the serious work of killing each other: and just when I have learned to call ‘ISIS’ the ‘Islamic State’, along comes a new mob of religious rebels who want to take over Yemen (and who knows what else ?). They are the ‘Houthi’ and are Shia Muslims.

Now the ‘happy go lucky’ Saudi Arabians and their Sunni mates are a bit pissed off to say the least, and even ISIS, Oops ! I mean the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda want to kick the Houthi’s arse, or more likely, well let’s just say, do what all good jihadis so love to do in the name of a peace loving religion.

The leader of the powerful Shia Hezbollah militia mocked the Saudi-led offensive, calling the Saudis .. “lazy losers” .. which is strange as I believe that President Obama is backing the Saudis, which again, is confusing me because the USA has been on better terms with Iran recently, and that Shia state is said to be the power behind the Houthi rebels.

I think that I should stop now, because it’s only likely to get even more confusing, but I would just like to say that, of course, the UK government has offered to support Saudi Arabia … and 

… Brent oil prices spiked 6% to $58 a barrel !

Posted in humour, political, rant, religion | 1 Comment »

Russian ‘bears’ in the air !

Posted by Big John on February 23, 2015

During the late 1950’s I spent many nights sitting in front of a radar screen in an underground bunker on the south coast of England half listening for the big red telephone to ring, which would mean that … “THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING” ! … but it never rang and they never came !

Now, if you believe the ‘let’s scare the shit out of them’ stories in some of our newspapers, they could be on their way again ! .. and all because a couple of ‘ancient’ Russian bombers have been seen flying near Cornwall and a Russian warship has been sailing up the English Channel.

My all night vigils took place at the height of ‘The Cold War’, and I have to wonder what would have happened if the Soviet generals had known that all (well, almost all) that stood between them and southern Britain was a nineteen year old airman who was trying to stay awake by reading a movie magazine, drinking tea, eating a cheese sandwich, listening to the radio and using the military telephone lines to connect his fellow national servicemen, on duty at the edge of the ‘Iron Curtain’, to their girlfriends and families back home: whilst the other members of his ‘watch’ were catching up on their sleep or playing cards in the canteen.

So, don’t worry ! .. for however much our armed forces have been depleted, if they didn’t come then …

… they ain’t coming now !

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political | 5 Comments »

 
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