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Politicising Celebdom

Taylor Swift. One time emerging country music star, youngest ever artist signed by Sony/ATV and now somewhat teeny bopperish chart singer. I'm not much of a fan of her music, as it isn't really in my comfort zone, but what i do like about her, is her politics

What politics?

That's just it, I don't know. And that's what I like. I really can't stand the modern need for celebrities of music and television, stage and screen, to constantly tell us what we should be thinking about this and that politico-economic issue, of which they have very little actual knowledge

It's got to a point where you can't hear the music or see the performance, through the ever increasing fog of virtue signalling, that every one of the insufferable buggers seems to engage in on a daily basis

Trent Reznor calls out Taylor Swift for not speaking out about Trump

Ok, first off, who the dickens is Trent Reznor?

The Nine Inch Nails frontman...

Oh. So who the dickens are Nine Inch Nails. *Googles them*

Ahh. A has been, probably never was, 'rock' band. Oh well

Trent Reznor has called out Taylor Swift and stars like her for not speaking out about Donald Trump.

Swift is famously silent on most political issues. She shared a photo of herself in line to vote ahead of the 2016 US election but has never revealed who she voted for or spoken out against a politician

And my respect for Taylor Swift has just gone up a notch. Even if she is secretly a Trump hater, at least she keeps her politics separate from her music career and her fanbase

Speaking to the New York Times, the Nine Inch Nails frontman explained why he feels it is necessary for stars to speak out on political issues. “I was doing press with somebody in the mid-90s and they made an argument that stayed with me: that I have influence, and that it’s my job to call out whatever needs to be called out, because there are people who feel the same way, but need someone to articulate it.”

You couldn't be more wrong fellah. Yes, you do have influence, but it certainly is not your job to 'call out' people you don't like. Your opinions are just that, opinions. And they are worth no more than any other peoples opinions

The only influence you have comes from the fact that some impressionable people tend to emulate the famous, but you do not have a responsibility to use your influence to affect peoples political points of view, any more than you have a responsibility not to smoke in front of young fans in case they copy you

Of course you are free to spout your political views to anyone who will listen, however that does not mean that everyone should do it and it certainly doesn't make Taylor Swift wrong for not doing it

So what if Ms Swift were to heed your words and start to speak out about Trump as you think she should? What if she 'spoke out' to her fans about Trump and said that she thinks he's a wonderful President, the best thing since sliced bread? Would that be ok with you?

Would it bollocks, because Mr Reznor does not just want people like Taylor Swift to speak out, he wants them to speak the accepted narrative among the lefty world of showbiz, that Trump is a very bad man

Continuing to explain he thought it was a lot easier to “keep your mouth shut and let it go” in the past, Reznor added: “You don’t hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world, and top-tier, needle-moving cultural youth because they are concerned about their brand, their demographic and their success and career and whatnot.”

Which is exactly why she entered showbiz in the first place. You don't move to Nashville Tennessee at 14 to start a music career, with the eventual goal of being able to rubbish some President that it's trendy not to like. You do that to become famous and sell your music to as wide an audience as possible, along with obtaining all the trappings that success comes with

Being a successful artist involves a lot of 'concern about your demographic, success, career and whatnot' and very little about your political affiliations. He is calling Taylor Swift for concentrating on her music and wanting to sell albums, which is what he and his band should be concentrating more on rather than complaining that the current President isn't a socialist

Reznor also gave his views on Trump’s actions in office, saying what he is doing is “concerning and infuriating.” “It’s not the conservative agenda, it’s not a question of religious preference, it’s not a question of should government be big or small,” he said.
“I don’t have any problem with those topics. But the disregard for decency and truth and civility is what’s really disheartening. It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch.”

These celebrity Trump haters are very good at sweeping generalisations, but never ever seem to quote examples of the times when Trump has acted in the way they accuse him of acting. Could it be there are none?

So why now. Why has the frontman of a hasbeen band decided it's time to have a little pop at Taylor Swift for not joining the anti-Trump train?

Nine Inch Nails are set to release a new six-song album [...] later this week

And there it is. Free publicity for an album launch. How shallow

I suggest that when Taylor Swift is ready to launch her next album, she go to the New York Times and tell Trent Reznor to kiss her arse. With bells on

It's so hard to care...

...when you're sunning yourself on a balcony in the hot weather of Corfu

Which I am

I've had a little spurt of blogging lately, but things are going back to normal for a while, as I'm on holiday. I'm not going to care about anything that normally grips my shit and I'm certainly not going to bother writing about it

And unfortunately there's still plenty of it about. I found a paper in the airport, but a story about Jamie Oliver raised my blood pressure, so I just did the crossword instead

I also went on Twitter for a bit this morning. That was a mistake too

So I'm just going to avoid any news of England for the rest of my holiday and enjoy myself

For any of you who have had a bad day, here's a picture of the moon, courtesy of Mrs Bucko


Got wood?

Then they came for the wood burners

The Government earned plaudits from the green lobby yesterday for its new plan to crack down on the craze for wood-burning stoves

There's so much wrong with that sentence, it's almost impossible to know where to begin

Firstly, I had no idea the Government had announced a new plan to crack down on wood burners. I was either asleep, or they did it quietly
There's always something they want to crack down on; some extra detail of our lives where they think they are not yet interfering enough. And these people are supposed to be Conservatives. It's as though they care nothing about the general population they are supposed to serve, all they want is 'plaudits from the green lobby', or some such rubbish

So why wood burners? Ours save a fortune in fuel and weren't we told that wood burners are more environmentally friendly?

As the Mail reported on its front page, the stoves chuck out lethal pollution, particularly from wet wood, and contribute to thousands of early deaths from lung and heart disease

Yeah, well the Mail will report any old press release they are given, without bothering to check if it's complete bollocks. I wonder if these thousands of early deaths are the same type of early deaths caused by second hand smoke, bacon or sugar? IE, deaths that are calculated on a spreadsheet that throws out the numbers it is supposed to, rather than actual physical deaths of actual physical people caused by actual things.

There's so many thousands of early deaths these days, it's surprising we live in a time when life expectancy is higher than it's ever been. How's that possible?

But hang on! One reason Britain burns more wood than it has done for decades [...] is that only recently, the Government and the greens told us burning wood to heat our homes was the best thing we could do for the environment.
Wood is ‘sustainable’, we were told. It gives off less CO2 than any other heating. It will help us save the planet and meet CO2 reduction targets under the Climate Change Act.
As a result of these persuasive arguments, about 1.5 million British homes have wood-burning stoves and 200,000 more are sold every year.

Good Lord! So the Government tells us to heat our homes by burning wood and gets it's 'plaudits from the green lobby'. Shortly after, the green lobby change its mind and the Government cracks down on people heating their homes with wood, gaining them some more 'plaudits from the green lobby'

If we could heat our homes with fucking 'plaudits from the green lobby', energy would be almost free.

The Government must just love getting 'plaudits from the green lobby' and the sugar lobby and the tobacco lobby and the salt lobby and the fucking bacon and sausage lobby

It's not like they care about anything else, they just wait to be told what to do next by another lobby, and then bend over. We're ruled by a bunch of small children who care nothing about doing what's right, but just covet affection and approval from single issue groups who are mostly funded by the Government anyway

Not so long ago we were all told that diesel fuel is more environmentally friendly than petrol, so like dutiful little citizens, many people went out and bought diesel cars. Now the Government wants to penalise those people who bought diesel cars when they were told to, because as it turns out, the green lobby have changed their minds once again and diesels are now the Anti-Christ

They even reckon they can get away with banning all internal combustion engines by 2040, even though the technology is not yet in place to replace them, and with constant Government interference in the market, is never likely to be

All no doubt, for more 'plaudits from the green lobby'

I have a diesel pick up truck. Not because I was told to buy diesel, but because the truck kicks arse and just happens to have a diesel engine. When I do replace it, I won't pick a truck that runs on petrol, diesel, wood or bloody plaudits from the green lobby, just because the Government has a new bug up it's arse about something. I'll pick the vehicle I like and buy it. Because even if I wanted to be a dutiful little citizen and buy what I'm told to buy, how the hell would I know if the goal posts are going to change in a few months

If the Government doesn't know what it wants from one month to the next, how are we supposed to take it's advice on anything?

I also burn wood. I don't have proper all singing and dancing wood burners, just two open fires, one small and one large, that are great for heating. I get broken pallets from work as a completely free source of fuel and once the fire is going, they don't even give off any visible smoke

Which means I can ride this one out like the rest of them, continue to do what I'm already doing and have another WTAF! moment when the Government decides to tell us that wood burners are actually the future, but now we can't use washing up liquid, because it gets into the water supply and cleans all the fish in Asian rivers

You know I'm right

Kingdom in the News Again

Less than one month after this, Kingdom Environmental Services are back in the local papers with more negative publicity

A COUNCIL has backed down after one of its litter police issued a fine to a cigarette butt dropper on private land despite the owner telling them to keep off

It seems the council have given Kingdom 'powers'  to issue fines on private property, unless the owners specifically tell them they cannot

That's an implied right to enter your private land and issue fines to people who are presumably your customers. No wonder some people are telling them to get stuffed

When I worked in the pubs, folk used to drop fag ends in the beer gardens all the time. It wasn't something we would have encouraged, but as they were customers, we wouldn't make an issue of it, just clean up after them

I could imagine the reaction from the customers if council enforcers came into the beer garden and started issuing fines. It would certainly be bad publicity for the business owners

Angela Collinson from Darwen was spotted dumping her fag end on the ground at the M65 Junction Four Blackburn services by an officer of Kingdom Environmental Enforcement Services .
He issued her a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice, angering her fiance Mick Riley who contacted site owners the Extra MSA Group.
It replied that the company had previously informed Blackburn with Darwen Council, who employed Kingdom to tackle littering in October, to keep off their property.

So Kingdom have already been told to stay off the property at the services, yet they were sitting there in a car waiting to fine smokers

Earlier this month it was revealed the overwhelming majority of littering fines (4,000) issued by Kingdom were for dropping cigarette ends. 

 Heh! I take credit for that

"My partner was smoking outside my car and stupidly dropped her cigarette end on the ground.
"When I was reversing, a red Vauxhall stopped behind me.
"A man got out and informed us that we were being fined for litter dropping

I'm not sure what to make of that. If an unmarked vehicle tried to stop me leaving a car park, it would not likely succeed.

"I emailed Extra and they said that it was their land and have previously told the council not to operate on their property and do not endorse it to issue fines on their property.
"When challenged, the council backed down and revoked the fine

 "When challenged"

How many people have been wrongfully fined for dropping litter in these premises?" 

Indeed. People should not be dropping litter in the first place, but what we have here is an unscrupulous company who only target smokers, hiding in cars on premises they have been told to keep off, in the hopes of issuing a fine and getting away with it

To me, that behaviour in a free society, is a lot more serious than dropping a fag butt

Blackburn with Darwen Council Environment boss Cllr Jim Smith said: "The officer made a mistake.I apologise to the couple but hope Miss Collinson will dispose of her cigarette butts properly in future." 

Cllr Smith does not have a bad word to say about Kingdom, as hiring them was his baby. He's not replied to any of my emails on the subject and he lied in the article about Kingdom targeting smokers, by saying most people were in favour of what they are doing, when they clearly aren't

So he made a half arsed apology to the woman who was fined, while at the same time speaking about her as though she were a naughty child, and then he had this to say about the company that chose to exercise their property rights and tell Kingdom to stay away:

Cllr Smith said:"Extra MSA cannot tip in and out of the council's services. If someone fly-tips a load on rubbish on their property in future, the company will have to clear it up as they have asked us to keep off their land."

That is just childish in the extreme. MSA have not told the council to keep off their land, they've told a heavy handed, bullying private contractor to stay off their land. I'm sure they still expect the council to carry out any activity for which they are paying
And I'm sure that MSA is very pleased to know, that sending the cigarette gestapo to fine your customers on your property, is a council 'service' they are offering

This childish response from Cllr Jim Smith says all we need to know about the man

And his beloved Kingdom Environmental Services

Tobacco Control Whack-A-Moles

Why do I call them Whack-A-Moles? Because every time you bash one down, another immediately pops up

Case in point:

New Jersey Beach Smoking Ban Bill Introduced Again

Tobacco control really is just a fraudulent racket. 'Again', means the bill has been defeated before, but up pops another Whack-A-Mole, and it's introduced again

Yet another bill—at least the second of this year—has been introduced that will try to ban smoking at all public beaches in New Jersey.
It's not even a second attempt, maybe with major alterations, that would require it's re-introduction, it's 'Yet another bill'

Last week, S.2534 was introduced and passed by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. The bill will extend a current beach smoking ban bill to include all public beaches. In 2016, a beach smoking ban was passed, but it only covered state-owned public beaches. Then-governor Chris Christie vetoed language that would have banned smoking at public city and county beaches.

Since then, multiple bills have tried—and failed—to extend the beach smoking ban.
Multiple bills. These people are relentless. Every time they face defeat, they just pop back up and try again, until they wear down the opposition

And what happens when they finally win? How many bills will be introduced to repeal the smoking ban?

Not one

It always comes down to this

East Lancashire boroughs in top ten WORST in country for child tooth decay

Oh noes! The kids in East Lancashire all have rotten teeth.

Well, not necessarily. It sounds a scary headline and it's probably because whatever press release the Lancashire Telegraph is quoting, was designed to be scary

You see, if you are going to rank anything in order of best to worst, someone has got to be in the top ten worst. There's no escaping it

Data for 2017 shows Pendle has the highest percentage of children with decayed, missing or filled teeth in the country at 49.4 per cent.
While Burnley ‘s figure is 46.5 per cent, Hyndburn’s is 45.8 per cent and Blackburn with Darwen has a child tooth decay rate of 42.6 per cent.
It means that East Lancashire’s boroughs have rates of about double the national average of 23.3 per cent. 

Ok, so as percentages, those figures do sound pretty bad

The figures, branded a ‘tragedy’, were revealed in Public Health England’s latest Child Oral Health Survey.

Not that bad. There's always one, isn't there? A 'Tragedy', is an aeroplane falling out of the sky, not a few kids with bad teeth

But do we really believe those figures?

I don't. I don't have any figures to the contrary, that I can point to, but going off the way 'Public Health' figures are often recorded these days, I don't see any reason to believe these

Childhood obesity figures are hugely inflated due to the often debunked BMI measurements which they insist on using and also by lumping overweight people in with obese people
Smoking related illnesses are inflated by taking illnesses 'linked' to smoking and extrapolating them population wide
Alcohol harm is inflated by lowering the recommended number of units to what the average person might consume with Sunday tea

So why should we believe these? Anyway, I digress

But Blackburn with Darwen has seen a significant drop in the number of children with rotting teeth in the past decade. 
 Then that's a good thing yes? Nothing to see here?

Hyndburn’s health chief Cllr Munsif Dad said [...]
“I think it’s also about raising awareness to parents of the importance of keeping their child’s teeth healthy by eating less sugar food and drinks.
Indeed. So there really is nothing to see here. Tooth decay levels have been falling a long time and we can keep this up through education and parental responsibility
Yes?

Of course not. The Public Health Whack-A-Moles are popping up

Dominic Harrison, director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said sugar consumption can have a 'devastating effect' on dental health.
He said: "It is vital that we send a message about the damage that is being done to the health of our children and young people; let children be free to choose their food but stop promoting sugar products through advertising and sports sponsorship in a way that makes their choices anything but ‘free’."
Dominic Harrison is one of the biggest Public Health Whack-A-Moles in our borough, and he pops up whenever there's a chance to attack freedom of choice and free enterprise

I've consumed sugar all my life, as have most people, and we've managed to do it without a 'devastating affect' on our dental health. Why? Because we were brought up to brush our teeth properly

"Let children be free to choose their food!? What the hell is he on about. One of the basic principles of good parenting, is that parents make choices for their children, as by definition, children aren't old enough to make those choices themselves, particularly when it comes to food

How many of you as a child, said that when you grew up, you would eat nothing but cake? No, Dominic, that is the polar opposite of parental responsibility. Parents should be choosing their children's food. And making them brush their teeth properly

"Stop promoting sugar products through advertising and sponsorship". Why? Children have no money. Parents have money and parents make purchasing choices. It doesn't matter what food is advertised on the telly or at the football ground. Children cannot just go out and buy it, as the parents control all the cash. Parents should be buying the food. And choosing what the children eat. And making them brush their teeth properly

And advertising removes free choice does it? Maybe you are to dumb to make your own purchasing choices, but don't tar the rest of us with your own idiocy

And there's more pop-up pillocks to go, yet

Mick Armstrong, chairman of dentist trade union the British Dental Association, described it as a ‘tragedy’ that a child’s oral health is still determined by their postcode and their parents’ incomes. 

Tragedy
This one is blaming poverty. There's no poverty in this country that means parents can't afford a quid for a toothbrush and toothpaste and teach their kid how to use them

And children's oral health is not determined by their postcode, it's determined by their parents doing the right thing and making them brush their teeth or being lazy arses and not bothering
I've had a postcode all my life and like others, it hasn't affected my oral health

He said: “We should not accept that a child raised in Pendle will enter primary school with twenty times the levels of decay as one born in the Surrey home of the health secretary.” 
I can only assume that he means the Health Secretary visits every house in Surrey in the evenings and makes children brush their teeth? I can think of no other reason for mentioning that

Can you?