You're gonna need a very long cord

Electricity is the future, apparently. Only wind, water and solar driven electricity though, not that generated from coal / oil fired power stations or nuclear

This is because we believe in a religion called climate Change. A religion where CO2 is the Devil and some small Swedish pixie is God

In order to pay homage to the Climate Change God, our Government in its infinite wisdom has decided to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

The big problem is, Climate Change is a fantasy and the technology to replace petrol and diesel cars does not exist yet

Electricity? Nope. Wind and solar are so unreliable, we wouldn't be able to supply our current energy needs through only them. If we make every car electric, that's a huge amount of additional electricity we need to generate

Also, lithium batteries do not last for ever. I don't know how long they last in cars, but if the lifespan is about the average for such a battery, a great many people are going to have to start replacing them very shortly. Imagine buying a car where you have to replace the entire engine every 100k miles?

We do not yet have the technology to power our society with 'green energy' and we don't have the technology to make our entire transport needs electric either. The time for announcing bans on petrol, diesel, coal, oil and nuclear is a very long way away indeed. The correct time for this would be when new technology has been developed, proven and eventually taken over, when a ban would not be necessary anyway

World's first fully electric commercial aircraft takes flight in Canada
Company hails start of the ‘electric aviation age’ after 15-minute test flight in Vancouver

And now we're building electric planes. That's fine in itself, but to declare the start of the electric aviation age after a fifteen minute test flight of a small electric twin seater is just bananas

“This proves that commercial aviation in all-electric form can work,” said Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of Australian engineering firm magniX.
Not really. It proves you can do a fifteen minute flight in a small seaplane. But what's in store for actual flight times and distances that would be useful?

How much electricity does it take to fly a load of lithium batteries across the Atlantic? Can you fit that amount of electricity in those batteries or do you need to fit more? If you fit more, how much electricity does it take to fly those extra batteries across the Atlantic and can you fit it in those batteries?

I don't know, but reading the article, the technology, just like that for power generation and cars, is too far in it's infancy to be relied on

Which means it's probably time for the Government to announce a ban on jet flights

Richard Murphy - Idiot

Richard Murphy has the economic knowledge of a pigeon

One of the great myths of modern capitalism is that markets work. Moreover, they supposedly work on the way that economists like to think they do. The Conservative Party is built on that myth. So too is the American Dream.

Because he has the economic knowledge of a pigeon, he's obviously a socialist and spends all his time bleating on his socialist blog about how Capitalism is evil and doesn't work

Neither the English or American Governments believe that markets work, because they are always meddling in them. If they really thought the markets worked, they would leave them alone to, well, work. But they don't, they interfere in the markets at every little opportunity they can get. Very little happens in the world of business and economics that isn't regulated to some degree by the state

Murphy and his ilk love to say that real socialism has not yet been tried, even though it's plainly obvious to most pigeons that it's been tried and failed many times over, but one thing we can say with certainty, is that Free Market Capitalism has never been tried

When I studied economics at college, I learned the surprising fact that the economy that came the closest ever to being a free market, was Hong Kong. If I had to guess (and I think I did) I would have said America. And I would have been wrong

Since then, successive Governments the world over have tightened the reins on business and economics, slice by slice, taking us ever further away from that holy grail of the free market

The myth suggests that anyone can build a business from scratch, entering a market of their choice and end up, with hard work and determination, making a fortune.
This is not true. Modern capitalism has evolved to make sure that markets do not work.

The idea of Free Market Capitalism may indeed say anyone with a good idea and the determination to see it through can build a business and become a success, but as I've stated, we do not live in a free market. It's is not Capitalism that has evolved to make sure the markets don't work, it's Government

A free market requires low taxation, minimal regulation and minimal Government interference (preferably zero), but we have the highest taxation, most stringent regulation and most Government interference, ever in history. And it's probably the same for most countries

The markets may well be failing, but the cause is not Capitalism, it's Government. And idiots like Richard Murphy

It's not Mrs World

A Miss World contestant stripped of her title for being a mother has launched a human rights challenge against the “sexist, outdated” pageant.
Veronika Didusenko was disqualified from the competition, run by British businesswoman Julia Morley, for being a parent and a divorcee.
The 24-year-old model was crowned Miss Ukraine in 2018 and was set to appear at the Miss World final in China that year, but was barred over her personal life and had her £10,000 prize money taken away despite it being pledged to a charity.

It seems she didn't find the pageant sexist and outdated when she entered it and started winning stuff

Funny that she's changed her mind now...?

Even funnier that she's suing for her human right to enter this sexist and outdated event...

Strange girl

Just Do It!

Because the police bloody well won't

I'm a few days behind the times on this story as I'm busy. When I went on holiday, I gave my boss a full handover of what needed to be done while I was off. When I returned, he said, "Here are the things I didn't manage to do", and handed me the document back

So I've been busy

But partway through the post holiday blues and the mountain of paperwork, there was one small moment of joy as I watched the video of Extinction Rebellion protesters being dragged off the roof of a tube train and given a kicking

You've all seen the videos by now, but if not, they're here and here, amongst many other places

Don't get me wrong, the title of this post is not me advocating violence and calling for the public to start dragging protesters out the back and giving them a good hiding. What I do believe though, is that it's time the public did step in to put an end to this kind of nonsense

The police have been far too passive in their response to Extinction Rebellion and their ilk, disrupting the daily lives of ordinary people, so where the police cannot be counted on to do their job, the public should feel free to step up

Not to dish out punishment beatings, but where necessary, to remove protesters from trains, planes, runways and roads, so that people can continue about their business without interruption

After all, the original remit of the police was to support the public in the enforcement of law. Now they have a complete monopoly on law enforcement (and the use of force), but do not use it when it is needed

And who are these boneheads telling us we have to live in the dark ages in order to prevent an imaginary climate catastrophe?

The Daily Mail:
Another of the activists who climbed on top of a tube train this morning has been identified as a 36-year-old Buddhist.
Mark Ovland gave up his full-time Buddhist teacher training studies earlier this year to join XR as a 'full time protestor'.
This man was originally training full time to become a Buddhist teacher and now he is a full time protester. That means he's either financially independent or he's living off the taxpayer

My money is on him inheriting some money and never having had to work a day in his life; totally disconnected from the people he is dictating to. Life of Riley and too much time on his hands. I could be wrong

So it seems this stunt was a huge own goal and as a result, XR cancelled another planned demonstration at Gatwick Airport:

The Sun
The group's leaders have called off a planned protest at Gatiwck airport "in light of" today's Tube disruption.
In a group message on Telegram one leader wrote: "In light of this morning's events, we have considered further and it's felt best to postpone.
"For people who are already on their way, we can meet by Costa and discuss, but please don't wear any XR branding.
Read between the lines for the reason why they cancelled the protest - "Don't wear any XR branding". They are in fear of reprisals from the general public. Pity they cancelled it, I would have liked to have seen an incident similar to the tube, unfold at Gatwick Airport. It may have been the start of something. For now, we'll just have to see

Also: "We can meet by Costa and discuss". I hope nobody intends on actually going inside Costa and getting a brew. It would take a first order hypocrite to do such a thing

I once had a discussion with Longrider on his blog, regarding the right to protest. I can't find a link as it was a long time ago. Longriders position is that peaceful protest is a right and part of the freedom of speech. As he explains here, what XR are doing, intimidating, harassing and preventing people from going about their daily lives is not free speech nor peaceful protest. It's wrong and it should be stopped

I agree with the above, but only to a certain extent. If XR were simply walking down Trafalgar Square holding placards and singing songs, that would be defined as free speech and peaceful protest

I am not of the opinion that all peaceful protest, whatever the protesters are calling for, should be allowed

What if the protesters are calling for Communism in Britain, execution of smokers, segregation of blacks and whites etc? I believe that if people are protesting for something fundamentally at odds with life in a Western Democracy, they should be stopped

Why? An example: Incitement to violence is illegal. Communism is ultimately violence, so calling for Communism in my opinion, is incitement to violence. So is demanding we tax the rich, ban automobiles, ban meat, ban fossil fuels etc

Extinction Rebellion would definitely fall into that category, even if their protests were peaceful, which they are not. They want everyone to be hugely worse off in order to combat an imaginary problem that they have been hoodwinked into believing is real and imminent. And there is a real danger that people will take their stance as credible and join them. There is an even bigger danger that the Government will do the same, because what Government does not like taxes and controls?

Peaceful or not, I think these people are a danger to our way of life and should be moved on wherever they crop up, forcefully if necessary

What do you think?

Good Lord! They Never Stop! Part 2...

So I'm back from Corfu, which kinda sucks

We did what I said in my last post and turned up nice and early to Manchester airport in order to take advantage of the bar and smoking area for a while before we had to get on the plane. We actually took a little too much advantage, as I has a bit of a sway on by the time we boarded, but I hid it well

Once out the other side of the airport in Corfu though, smoking rules are thrown out the window. Well, for the main part at least. It seems that since our last visit, the Government has decided it wants to enforce the smoking ban and one or two (only one or two) bars are going along with it

There's a pool and games bar in Ipsos near where we stay, so we often spend some time in there playing pool. This time, they had made it non-smoking. We didn't realise until we had bought drinks and asked for an ashtray
There's no shortage of pool tables round there though, so after that drink, we moved on

There's a quite popular cocktail bar at the end of the strip, called 'Dirty Nellies'. It's supposed to be an Irish bar, but there's nothing Irish about it. People who walk in there, very often crawl out
Not being used to non-smoking bars in Corfu, we did the same thing; bought drinks and then asked for an ashtray
We were only there for five minutes though, before the gaffer opened the front shutters and said we could smoke

Bars are a bit weird over there because of the perpetually hot weather. The typical bar is shaped like a rectangle, viewed from the short edge and split into two squares. The square at the back is a solid structure with doors or shutters that can be closed across the whole front. The forward square is usually a frame style structure with a roof (permanent or can be rolled back), sides and an open front with plastic screens that can be rolled out in wet weather

The rear area is non-smoking and the front can be smoking or not, depending if the shutters are in place

Of course nearly every bar or restaurant completely ignores the smoking ban, shutters or not. There's one that has no roof on the outside area and we went in there to avoid a rainstorm. When I asked if we could smoke inside, the gaffer brought us an ashtray and said he wasn't sending us to smoke outside in this weather

Unfortunate as it may be that a place like Corfu is being affected by the smoking ban, those were the only three bars in the whole area that seemed to be moving in that direction. Every other place was still totally ignoring the ban

One barkeep we talked to explained that they have a two tier system of hefty fines for bars caught flouting the ban, followed by closure of the bar for a third transgression. He wasn't arsed though and we were smoking inside while having that conversation, so enforcement obviously still isn't much of an issue

The tourists seem to take full advantage of it too. I've been waiting for an English person to complain about smoking in a restaurant, but so far nobody has even batted an eyelid, from any nationality. Sometimes I avoid sitting next to certain people in restaurants if I think they look like anti-smokers, only to see them light up five minutes after we've sat down

One Greek chap actually told me off this time. We were in a bar that was quite busy. There were some locals, some British ex-pats and us four tourists and we were all playing darts. The temperature got a little high for me, so I went and stood on the other side of the big open window, where there was a little bit of a breeze

One chap spotted me from inside and started shouting, "Why you outside? What's the difference? You come and smoke inside!"

Once I had explained I was only outside to cool down, he was quite happy again. It seems there are still plenty of rebels on the island who are willing to tell the Government where they can shove their smoking ban

So after two weeks of relaxing in a civilised and carefree environment, where smokers and non-smokers mingle without issue, we came home and remembered why we choose to get out of England as often as we can:

Tobacco firms accused of using gimmicks to subvert plain packaging

It's getting tedious, it really is. The anti-smokers brought in a hideous piece of legislation that stripped legal companies of their intellectual property. They must have known that if these companies could do anything to mitigate the effects of that law, they would do so. So what naughtiness have they been getting up to now?
Tobacco companies have been accused of undermining plain packaging laws by introducing gimmicks that ensure their cigarettes stand out from rival products but do not breach regulations.
This should be good. How do you go about undermining such a comprehensive law?
Philip Morris International redesigned its premium Marlboro range, adding bevelled edges and a new “pro-seal” closing mechanism to packets, the researchers found. This made packs “appear more premium and recognisable compared to other brands”, the researchers claimed.

Bevelled edges? What will these evil geniuses think of next? So was there anything else?


Nope. Bevelled edges are the only way that tobacco companies are apparently undermining plain packaging laws. If you ask me, if bevelled edges have the potential to undermine the plain packs laws, those laws must be bloody rubbish and not worth the effort

But wait, there is more. They're not just trying to undermine the packaging laws, they are also using words to confuse us
The report also pointed to the terms introduced by tobacco companies to describe the filters on their cigarettes, such as “advanced” or “firm”.
The researchers said previous studies suggested that such differentiating features “perpetuate the perceptions that some tobacco brand variants are less harmful than others

And colours too. Apparently
Tobacco companies have also responded to a ban on taste descriptions, such as “menthol” or “smooth”, by replacing them with names based on colour. Researchers said that banning terms such as “smooth” and “light” was meant to dispel the myth that certain types of cigarette are less dangerous, but that by teaching customers colour codes linked to the old descriptions, “misperceptions are likely to endure”.

Seriously, what the fuck goes through these peoples heads? You can't say a cigarette is menthol in case somebody thinks that means it's the secret to eternal youth, but you can't call it 'green' either? In case someone mistakes it for cheese and onion crisps? What?

The Labour MP Alex Cunningham, who was one of the key proponents of plain packaging laws, said: “No one should be surprised at the tobacco companies doing everything possible to protect their brands, undermine the law and grow their sales. Ministers must act to put an end to this practice.
Nobody should be surprised that the tobacco companies are doing what little they can to mitigate the effects of this hideous law. In the David and Goliath of industry versus tobacco control, the industry is going to come up with any little slingshot it can think of to redress the balance. The fact that these people are surprised just goes to show how stupid they are, but the fact that they think the Government should step in to outlaw bevelled edges or the word 'green', shows them up as total inept morons

So I get two weeks in the Corfu sun, living the life of the more tolerant and civilised people, but still have to come back to this nonsense. I did bring something of Corfu back with me though:

They might never stop, but I'm a patient man

Good Lord! They Never Stop!

I'm off on holiday on Thursday and I'm really looking forward to it. I damn well deserve this one, as does Mrs Bucko. It's been a busy year and we would both benefit from some time to relax and unwind

The one thing that bugs me about going on holiday is getting there. It's not just that I'm terrified of flying (seriously, I'm a big girls blouse in a plane), but the whole experience is one big, often quite stressful, waste of a day

We seem to have got the routine to a point where we can avoid all the stress and make the most of it though. The biggest trick avoiding airport stress is to turn up nice and early, dump your bags at the check in before the queue starts, do security before that backs up and then avail yourself of the bar facilities to kill the next couple of hours

We're smokers though and always fly from Manchester due to it's proximity to us. Manchester does not have the best facilities for smokers, but they do have a smoking area, so you can pop off for a fag as you please. We've flown from some airports (Or Manchester Terminal 3) which have no smoking facilities at all. In those cases, we turn up as late as possible, smoke ten fags on the car park, then enter the cattle market in full flow
Due to the fact that flying, even short distances, can use up the best part of a day, using an airport that does not cater for smokers does not simply mean you can't have a fag for a few hours, it affects the whole experience and turns a day that could easily be made to form part of the holiday, into a continuous nightmare you'd rather avoid

According to an article linked over at Simon Clarks place, airport smoking lounges are the next target of the anti-smokers. Apparently smoking should be completely eradicated from all airports, even though the smoking facilities that do currently exist are so controlled that there's no possibility of them ever affecting a non-smoker in any way

Of course, according to the anti-smoking busybodies:
To implement it wouldn’t be about ruining anyone’s fun or curtailing freedoms.
Of course it wouldn't. Because they're 'helping us'

Why It’s Time to Ban Smoking in Airports For Good

It isn't. It really isn't. Aside from maybe prisons, airports are one of the worst places to consider a smoking ban
Duty Free remains a haven for Big Tobacco and secondhand smoke still permeates many a terminal. Wouldn't we be better off banishing adverts, goods and cigarettes themselves?
I'm not sure why it's a haven for big tobacco. It's just another place where tobacco can be sold, like a supermarket and tobacco advertising is just as banned in UK airports as it is everywhere else in the UK and correct me if I'm wrong, but the same applies over Europe and America
I’ve always loved airports. The glittering sparkle of the tiles in Duty Free, the high-fidelity billboards, the travelators shifting you gradually, inevitably towards a happier place. They are the only environment where buying an egg and cress sandwich from an outlet provides a frisson of excitement. They can transform an otherwise egregiously early pint in a manufactured pub vibe from a sombre sight to an act of jubilant celebration.
These arseholes don't half come out with some shite. Getting through flying day is usually an exercise in mitigating everything that airports are and do. It's definitely not getting excited about spending in excess of five pounds on a mediocre sandwich or admiring the tiled floor on a duty free shop packed with other commuters just trying to get through the experience in their own way

The only thing that rings true in that paragraph is the pint in an over priced bar. But as a smoker, you always want a fag with your pint. Banning smoking would simply take away the one tiny pleasurable thing in the whole depressing debacle
But despite all of my wonderment, they suck. Amid the gleaming white concourses and day-glo donut stands, they can be under-regulated havens for Big Tobacco, where anachronistic advertising of cigarette companies often stand out, while shoppers are encouraged to purchase large hauls of cheap fags at Duty Free.
Obviously not a smoker, but this persons flying day is apparently ruined by the fact that Big Tobacco is not heavily regulated enough

It seems to me that if you go in the duty free section at Manchester, it's obvious that tobacco could not be more heavily regulated without an outright ban. You have to go into a tiny back room to even look at the tobacco. It's as though you're entering an old time porn shop and have to look both ways before you enter, just to make sure there's no-one in the vicinity who might recognise you. It's certainly not advertising and definitely not encouraging
It's not quite as bad in Europe. At least the fags are on the shelves and you can have a good browse through them before making your selection, but contrary to what the anti-smoking brain boxes will tell you, having fags on display is not advertising

I never buy my tobacco in the UK because of the extortionate taxes, but I never use duty free either. I can't be arsed with that nonsense while waiting for a plane, I just buy all my stash in a local shop when we get to our destination
At this point you may be thinking, “are you serious?!”. Calling for more regulation might seem like yet another nanny state intrusion into the fading patience of smokers who already struggle to make it through long-haul flight and security queues.
I'm not thinking that, as I know damn well that you are serious and you are about to try any justify your stupid proposal with some seriously demented double think. What I'm actually thinking is how it's becoming harder and harder to keep to my pacifist nature; how if I actually met you face to face, I would more than likely do the unthinkable and drop a sock on yours
As recently as July, Atlanta City Council voted for a total smoking ban that will extend to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as of January 2, 2020. (Pub quiz point: that’s the busiest airport in the world.)
*Crosses Atlanta off list of possible destinations for next USA visit*
But yes, even this is not enough. Research in 2017 found that of the 50 busiest airports in the world, fewer than half prohibited smoking in all indoor areas.
Fewer than half? Oh the humanity! We could actually say though, almost half of the 50 busiest airports provide no facilities for smokers and need to improve
And even airports which are smoke-free indoors can harbour second hand smoke (SHS) in their outdoor spaces, especially if these places are partially enclosed. Designated smoking areas positioned just outside terminal buildings can fall foul to microclimates where cigarette smoke lingers in the air.
And so the batshittery begins. Second hand smoke now lingers in the open air and causes harm to people who pass by. It almost magic, isn't it
A study of US airports published in February 2019 concluded that “Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in the airport setting represents a significant public health hazard”.
I'm not even going to bother looking that one up, it will be total junk, just like the rest of them. Early studies in second hand smoke, before the days of free money for tobacco control, proved that SHS is totally harmless. Since tobacco activism migrated from being a part time hobby for bored housewives and became a global industry shitting taxpayers money, it's now a significant public health hazard. You know that any study using such language can be safely ignored
Another potential issue is the drift of cigarette smoke indoors into the main terminal area, though studies on this are scant.
I'm sure you can get a grant for one. As long as you agree to prove it's a 'Significant Public Health Hazard'
The jury also remains out on whether this is the case (or not) for indoor smoking lounges, which could leak air pollution into the main terminal space. The case has been made that they do, which seems likely, though not definite.
But don't let that stop you.
A 2012 report from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention found air pollution levels outside smoking areas was five times higher than in smoke-free airports, according to the American Nonsmokers Rights Association.
What did the America Smokers Rights Association have to say?
What is clear is that smoking lounges are considered by many to be undesirable places to spend time, even for smokers. “They're incredibly gross,” says Liv, who describes her smoking as ritualistic and tied to alcohol consumption. “Your entire being smells like cigarettes if you go into them. I usually feel very sorry for the people who need to use them.”
Absolute tosh. It all depends on where you go and how well they are maintained. I can only think of one I've been in that was pretty unpleasant (Frankfurt), the rest have been fine. Clean, well ventilated and in the one I went to in Nashville, free coffee
If a smoking room is unpleasant, it's because it isn't being looked after. Taking it away completely will not make any smokers feel better about the situation
George appreciates the lounges’ drawbacks but feels it’s not up to him to infringe on others’ ability to use them. “They definitely remove the glamour of smoking,” he says. “They stress me out but who am I to take away peoples’ free will to do that to themselves?”. Yas is more blunt: “They are gross!”
I speak to Ros, who shares his disdain. “I used one in Poland coming home from Poznań and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever been in,” she tells me. “Never again. It was so, so small, like a hotbox, with ghostly figures crammed in next to one another in silence wreathed in fumes. So depressing, so servile, that we would put our bodies through that in the name of nicotine.”
So improve the facilities. You're not making a good argument for a ban here, only better smoking lounges
It seems that many people these days view smoking lounges as a sad testament to the desperation of addiction, but not everyone shares this tone.
I certainly don't. I view them as giving smokers the opportunity to enjoy something they like doing in an otherwise stressful surrounding. Unfortunately sometimes, at the cost of a little of their dignity, as smokers are no longer allowed to have anything nice
“Smokers, unfortunately, your days of carefree travel are numbered, but there are still large airports that happily support your nicotine habit,” reads an article on the website of Skyscanner, a leading fare aggregator that is used by 60 million people every month. “Smokers are welcome” reads the website for Zurich Airport, which boasts of 22 “special, modern” lounges.
Good. So what you're saying is that airports should modernise? Of course not, you simply hate the fact that others are quite happy to tolerate something which you personally despise, even if it doesn't interfere in your life in any way
Duty-free sales run counter to the tax hikes governments introduce to try and discourage smoking, fuelling the harmful idea that travelling should be an exceptional time when it comes to smoking.
I'm not sure on the law here, but are Governments actually allowed to tax products sold airside in airports, or is that classed as international territory? As far as the prices go, you're often not spending any less than buying your tobacco locally, particularly when travelling in Europe, as you still have to pay the local tax
Britain’s biggest airport shopping chain put duty-free cigarettes in cordoned off areas in 2013 in anticipation of an oncoming total ban, but that ban has never materialised. It’s not too late.
Wasn't that for the display ban? Which did materialise
To implement it wouldn’t be about ruining anyone’s fun or curtailing freedoms.
Yes it absolutely would, you total cretin. that's exactly what it would be about
Cigarette addiction still exists and can’t be ignored, but we need to be supporting smokers to quit, not incentivising them to buy cheaper packs of cigarettes.
Ruining flying day would definitely not be any way to 'support me to quit'. Duty free does not incentivise me to buy cheaper fags, UK taxes do. You're full of shit and saying that you're doing this for the good of the poor addicted smokers who need your help, just shows you up for the total authoritarian shit you are
Ultimately, we should look at our futures and ask which side of the glass we’d like to stand: outside where the air is cleaner, or inside the smoking lounges of old.
Stand wherever the fuck you want, just don't try to dictate where I'm allowed to stand
If we work together we can take that step. Then, finally, we can get on with our holidays.
'We', obviously doesn't include people who like to smoke