Friday, 27 August 2010


Thank you to all the UKIP members who voted for me for the NEC. My first meeting is on September 2nd. Full result will follow tomorrow, but here are the seven first places.

Steve Allison 2275
George Curtis 1849
Hugh Williams 1748
Jill Seymour 1696
Mick McGough 1604
Elizabeth Burton 1548
Julia Reid 1491

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I love this Doctor!

I love this Doctor!

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it...don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So steak is nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable product.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"


For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do. And:

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats
and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Judge people as people

Some comment are being made on the UKIP Members Forum about the age of the NEC Candidates and the need for a “younger” NEC. The youngest candidate is 40 and the oldest 73 (although two of the lady candidates have not given their ages, preferring to say OAP and Retired) giving an average age of 57. So as a mere 50 year old there are 9 candidates younger than me, 1 the same age and 26 older than me.

Quite frankly the sort of ageist comments I as reading on the UKIP Members Forum make me ashamed to be a member! If the comments were based on race or sex then there would be uproar! Why is it acceptable to dismiss someone on the grounds of their Age but not race or sex!

I know a few 40 year olds who are ready for their pipe and slippers and some 80 year olds who could give people 30 years younger a run for their money! My father for example was born in 1932 so that obviously make him well past it. If anyone would care to look at my Facebook page on my “Ground Source Heat Pump Project” you could see photographs of him driving a bulldozer! Hardly ready for his box yet!

I just did a quick calculation on the average length of UKIP Membership and it comes out at just over 6 years. The shortest membership before standing for the NEC is less than 6 months and the four of the candidates have been UKIP Members over 15 years. I come in right on the average, just over 6 years. On this comparison there are 20 candidates who joined the party after me, 2 at the same time and 14 with longer service than me! So does that mean anything? Looking at age against length of membership shows no significant correlation. The candidate who joined less than 6 months ago is only 54 and there are candidates in their 40’s and 50’s who have been members more than 10 years.

Of course there is a definite need for new blood and fresh ideas, but the benefits of experience shouldn’t be ignored. I remember when I was Head Of Elections I was constantly bombarded with helpful suggestions from new members, all painfully keen and determined to get their country back. Balancing this energy and determination without letting them slam head first into a reality check was always difficult. The standard idea was usually to do with newspaper advertising! “Lets take out full page adds in all the National Newspapers! That will let people know we are here!” Why did they assume no-one in UKIP had ever thought of that? I used to say “Great Idea let’s do it. I know some very good designers and copy writers who could put some ideas together. The cost for a full page in The Times is about £25,000. Will you give me the cheque now or should I just get their advertising people to invoice you?”

The other “idea” was to get on the TV more! Totally brilliant, why hadn’t anyone thought of that before! It’s so simple. The reality there is that you get on the TV through years of hard work, networking, and building relationships. You don’t get on by ringing the producer of Question Time and shouting at them! Which was what some new members have actually done and which has set back years of small gains in a few minutes! All political parties, pressure groups, Z list Celebrities and people looking for publicity for their cause want to be on the TV! You have to make yourself attractive to them so that they come and ask you to be on their program, you can’t do that by calling them names and reporting them to their bosses for bias when they don’t agree with you!

Anyway, that’s off the point. Regardless of how long someone has been a member it is patronizing in the extreme to dismiss people on the basis of their age. It is just as well I’m banned from the Members Forum for the duration of the NEC Election because I would really be letting rip! People who can be so casually ageist make me sick. They are the sort of pathetic, small minded and closed minded, bigots that UKIP can do without. Judge people as people, not by some meaningless criteria like their date of birth!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Get some help! Please

I had a good chuckle today when a “newsletter” came through my door supposedly giving the real story of me and my time as a Councillor for St.Hilda Ward and urging people not to vote for me. Didn't the author realise the elections were months ago? Where had they been since May?

As the elections were several weeks ago; the document’s contents are so outrageous; its claims so laughable; and its "facts" so totally wrong I did consider it might be a very bad (but quite costly to print I would think) joke. However, when I read it a bit closer I realized the anonymous publication is so filled with bitterness and bile that I really think the author has some sort of mental heath problem. I did wonder why the document wasn't written in crayon, after all anything sharp can be dangerous in the hands of people who write rubbish like this!

I don’t normally respond to anonymous attacks, if someone hasn’t got the balls to put their name on this sort of tripe then they are not worth bothering with, BUT, in this case I am so concerned that the author is seriously deranged that I am worried about their state of mind and I must respond by urging them to seek professional help immediately!

The author obviously no longer operates on the same time line as the rest of us, hence the references to an election several weeks ago, and anyone carrying around such a twisted world view, as evidenced by the opinions in the document, is either not taking their medication or needs to review the dose they are on. They are seriously in danger of losing touch with any slight vestige of reality that they may still able to recognise.

Please don’t just let your bitterness continue to twist your soul and eat you away. You are obviously a big fan of the late Pat Price but that can be addressed by counselling and therapy. You should contact your doctor as soon as you can!

Don't ignore the signs! You need help!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

UKIP Leadership and Smoking in public places!

There is a debate currently under way on the UKIP Members Forum regarding the future leadership of UKIP. As a candidate for the NEC I am banned from contributing until after the elections, (a stupid decision in my opinion that shows UKIP to be still in denial about the internet) so even though in several postings I am being mentioned by name I cannot respond! Frank exchange of views? What’s that?

A couple of the posters are definitely not fans of mine and I suppose that by now I should know it’s a waste of time trying to argue with people who have made up their minds. From a posting of over 700 words one person has homed in on the 15 words that deal with his obsession! He's ignored everything else I've said! So, for avoidance of any doubt on my position I will state very clearly my views on smoking:

I think smoking is a nasty habit, but if people want to do it in the privacy of their own homes then that is their choice. However, I don’t want to be made to breathe in their second hand smoke so in my opinion smoking should be banned in any public place, including walking down the street.

According to my fan on the forum;

“this draconian move would totally alienate us from working class voters!”

Quite interesting assumptions here that it’s only working class people who smoke? Actually the person who posted that does appear from some of his other postings to be a bit of a class warrior and it wouldn’t surprise me if somewhere in his personal baggage was a huge chip on the shoulder. There we are, now I’m making assumptions on some flimsy evidence!

Another poster waded in with;

”If he wants to ban smoking in the street then forget him. Will end up just portrayed as another fruit bat from the fruit bat party. We need a leader who knows what the public want, not just push their own crazy ideas.”

He is also making assumptions. How does he know the public want to smoke in the streets? Research I’ve seen shows that people DON’T want smoking in the streets. Many people I speak to think UKIP is the fruit bat party because of its support for smokers! Of course this is one of those no-win situations. The smokers are fighting to protect their human rights to smoke and the anti-smokers fighting for their human rights not to breathe in polluted air.

The fruit bat comment is I think either supposed to be funny or just an insult? What’s wrong with fruit bats anyway?

I haven’t been able to engage in open debate on these points, due to the forum posting ban, but I wonder what the position of these individuals is about the Burka? Should it be banned in public places? Or is it just the “right” to smoke that should be enshrined in civic liberties?

The whole thread is actually pointless because I have no desire to become Leader of UKIP.

A more thankless task I couldn’t imagine! Even if I did want the job I couldn’t afford it. The post is unpaid and you have to cover your own expenses. Anyone without access to a considerable private income, a very good pension or an MEP’s salary and allowances would find it impossible to do the job. I consider myself to be reasonably comfortably off, due to my own hard work, some good investment decisions over the past 20 years (and a wife who has her own business!), but I’m not in the income bracket that allows me to become leader of UKIP, thank goodness!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Reduce the number of councillors

I would like to support Stuart Drummond’s call for a reduction in the number of Councillors. It is high time that some useless, dead wood was cut in the civic centre.

There are 48 Councillors and just reducing this number to 47 could save almost £100,000 a year. How could this comparatively huge saving be achieved from only a reduction of one councillor? Well remember the Mayor is also a Councillor! His basic allowance is the equivalent of over a dozen ordinary Councillors.

Getting rid of 12 ordinary Councillors, who represent the individual wards and town residents, is one option. Getting rid of one Mayor is another. Both will save about the same amount of money.

Of course Stuart is very keen to reduce OTHER councillors but not so keen to see himself get the chop! However I suppose that’s life. When a business is in trouble you rarely hear a highly paid Manager explaining that times are hard so his job is under threat, oh no, its always a dozen minimum wage workers from the shop floor that have to go so the manager can stay!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

This is an unusual paragraph

This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing was wrong with it.. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd... But if you Work at it a bit, you might find out.. Try to do so without any coaching!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Tall Ships 2015 or Libraries 2011?

The Tall Ships have sailed away the Mayor and Cabinet are desperate to get them back again. This is nothing to do with putting Hartlepool on the map, generating millions of pounds (mostly for traders who came into town for the 4 days and then left, taking the money with them) or for the undoubted good time the majority of those attending enjoyed.

The real reason, in my opinion, is there are only so many pictures of the Mayor pushing a brush and “clean sweep” stories that even the Hartlepool Mail will print. This means the Mayor needs something to talk about for the next few years. A big party like Tall Ships also provides a perfect distraction to keep resident’s attention away from the sad state of the town’s finances!

Given the choice of Tall Ships again in 2015 or branch libraries around the town, what would be the decision?

Northgate Branch Library on the Headland for 5 years or the Tall Ships for 4 days?

Just the salary alone of the Council's latest employee, the Tall Ships Manager (now a permanent employee of the council not just on a fixed term contract till the race was over) would keep the library open. This is the point the cheerleaders for Tall Ships are missing. No-one has said it wasn't a great event and very enjoyable, however it wasn't Free despite what the publicity claimed. It was free to attend but it cost Hartlepool Council £millions to host! When they talk about another few £million for Tall Ships in 2015 what about Libraries, public sector jobs or other council services under threat in 2011?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

England win world cup

I met a fairy who gave me one wish. "I want to live forever" I replied. "Sorry" she said "it too general, I can only grant wished for something specific." I thought about if for a while and then said "OK then. I want to live until the next time England win the world cup".

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

What is the exact nature of the coalition?

One of my favourite websites,, was asking this question and gave four possible answers!

1) Lipstick on a pig: a hard-line Conservative government with some Lib Dem detox;

2) An exceptional response to exceptional times, where getting the economy back on track is the sole priority of two right-thinking parties;

3) A true fusion of Lib Dem and Conservative aims to produce something that is better than the sum of the parts; or

4) A left-wing Conservative conspiracy with the Lib Dems against the right wing of the Conservatives?

What do I think? Well I am very tempted by (4) but I couldn't find a suitable image to go with that one so I'll have to settle for he picture below........

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

UKIP Friends Of Israel

Despite the ban on campaigning for the NEC and being blocked from the Members' Forum I have been having some interesting e-mail exchanges on various points regarding UKIP and my views on where the party is going. One member I've been exchanging views with made the blanket statement he would not vote for anyone who has an MEP as their proposer, seconder or as one of their assentors. Obviously as someone with an MEP as a Proposer and 4 others as Assentors I will not be receiving a vote from this individual.

This member seemed to regard anyone with an MEP on their list as one of the enemy within and obviously a former Tory intent on holding the party back. The suggestion was made that members of UKIP with left wing leanings, former Labour Party members, etc should form a group to push a more left wing, socially fair, agenda. I actually think we should all just be members of UKIP and not Former Tory-UKIP or Former Labour-UKIP. The labels don't help in my opinion.

My background is Old Labour but with a dash of paternalistic Tory, I believe 100% in equality of opportunity but don't believe you can impose equality of achievement. A government should protect its people from exploitation but cannot protect people from their own stupidity; the line unfortunately sometimes gets very blurred. I'm very much a libertarian when it comes to freedom of choice but very much against freedoms that impact on other people. I would allow anything between consenting adults in their own homes but am in favour of the smoking ban in all public places, including the streets. I would remove speed cameras but would have life with hard labour for any driver who killed someone through reckless or dangerous driving, maybe make them diffuse road side bombs in Afghanistan?

Some of those ideas make me quite far to the right; others make me a libertarian, others left wing! The labels are meaningless these days.

The basic principle to which all members of UKIP subscribe is that we don't want to be in the EU, after that we splinter dramatically! I support a confederate system and believe a single world government is actually an inevitable and possibly a desirable thing BUT only as an overall co-ordination body, not a sovereign body handing down laws to be obeyed.

So, I’m not a supporter of special interest groups of any kind. I think they are divisive, elitists and quite often populated by people who know they are right and everyone else is wrong. For example, I object very strongly to the "UKIP Friends of Israel" Group. Not that I have any issues with Israel and anyone who wants to be a friend to that country. I do however object to the attachment to the “friends of Israel” the name of another organisation of which I am a member, i.e. UKIP.

In fact I object so strongly I'm thinking of forming a "UKIP Friends of Palestine" just to make the point, or how about "UKIP Friends of the IRA" or UKIP Friends of Mugabee? At what point do you decide someone or something is worth the tag “UKIP Friends of……”

UKIP shouldn’t endorse any special interest group of any kind. We should be totally inclusive. If I want to be a friend of Israel then I’m perfectly at liberty to be one, I shouldn’t however presume to have the name of UKIP tacked onto my group.

Monday, 9 August 2010

A bit of a sore back!

One of the results of installing the pipework for my ground source heat pump has been a sore back brought on by overdoing the shovelling and spreading of sand bedding for the coils in the base of the trenches. The mild sounding "sore back" actually describes a condition that has been going on now for nearly three weeks and at more than one point saw me actually crying with the pain. So much so that I was even taking pain killers that Sandra had left over after her hysterectomy! A trip to the Chiropractor provided some relief and I'm going to the Osteopath on Wednesday to see if he can help. Unfortunately the only cure appears to be time and even though the thought of spending a month laid flat on my back sounds very enticing I just don't have the time to do it.

My inquisitive nature and access to google search has enabled me to find out a bit more about back problems. Lower back problems are very common in the UK and were regarded as just one of those things we would all probably suffer from at some time in our lives. The problem is so widespread as to not even be regarded as an illness needing treatment. In any year around seventeen million people in Britain experience back pain or lower backache and the UK government spends two thousand million pounds on paying benefits to people with backache and the UK National Health Service spends another five hundred million pounds on their treatment.

Now I'm going to lay on the floor and stretch a bit! Ah the pain! but I'm a man so I'll just suffer in silence, stoic and uncomplainingly!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Amazing Traffic Flow

We were planning on avoiding the Headland for the 4 day Tall Ships visit but the ban on cars entering the Headland means its actually easier to get in and out that it is on a normal day. Went to my parent's for lunch and got my normal parking spot, no problem. I have seen the Headland itself busier on a normal carnival day. The only hold up was a couple of minutes for double parked taxis on Northgate, but then taxis stop like that any time not just for Tall Ships.

Definitely loads more people today but still hard to see how there are 250,000 (PLUS) the route in from the A19/Sheraton Flyover was clear all the way, takes longer on a normal Sunday, lots of pedestrians on the short stretch from gate 10 to Central Park but the parking area itself was easily less than a third full. I watched people coming in/out via gate 10 and numbers over a 15 minute period were less than 100 at around 2.00pm. The stewards with their little clickers were working overtime and I saw one visitor who was counted in and then went back to help carry a buggy over the rough strip and was counted in again by the same Steward!

I was impressed with Rovers Rugby Club initiative, they must have creamed a fair bit off the main park and ride sites! At least that money will stay in Hartlepool!

Tall Ships Huge Sucess

I decided I couldn't just leave town. It's like watching a car crash, you know you shouldn't, you know people are getting hurt but you just have to watch anyway!

The Tall Ships was always going to be a success, not even the incompetence of Hartlepool Council could totally screw it up. I believe you should always aim high but you should also be realistic. The problem was always going to be making it live up to its vastly overblown hype!

At one point there were 120 ships predicted, then over 100, then up to 100 and now actually around 60 turned up! The local economy was going to benefit by £50,000,0000 then £20,000,000 then £16,000,000, ultimately who knows but I did see an awful lot of out of town burger vans, German sausage and Paella stalls! Its like the Headland Carnival, every year it brings money onto the headland, the vast majority of which leaves town when the travelling fair moves on.

The 1,000,000 visitors was always a massive exaggeration, and I know people who are not coming because they are expecting huge crowds and so are staying away. The traffic control measures are hugely over the top, I even saw Hartlepool congestion warning on the M62 near Hull last week! and the yellow lines are a comedy classic.

However, the general public in Hartlepool will never find out exactly what it cost and what benefits it did bring to the town since the Council PR Machine will bury the truth under layers of hyperbole and spin.

To use an analogy that the football supporter can understand I think the Hartlepool Tall Ships will be like a report of a match that England won 1-0. Yes it was a win and we got the 3 points. The Headline "England Win" is true and accurate and if you leave it there then you are probably very happy. However if you read the report you discover the opposition were down to 9 men, England missed 5 open goals and the star player injured himself tripping over his own lose boot lace and will be out for the rest of the tournament. The win is still a win but the performance of the team was abysmal and the result should have been 5-0 or even 6-0, something that will be extremely important at the end of the qualifying stages when goal difference might be the thing that will keep England off the top of the Group!

Saturday, 7 August 2010


There have been a couple of questions on the UKIP Members Forum which I would like to answer but of course NEC Candidates are banned from posting so I can't respond. However, on the subject of disappointment regarding NEC candidate ages and there being no candidate under 40 years old!

I think that is a problem not only with UKIP's NEC but with other areas of UKIP as well. When I was a young lad in my 30's I was too busy earning a living, paying my mortgage and bringing up my family to consider membership of anything like the UKIP NEC. I didn't have the time to take a day off work every month or the spare cash to travel to London for meetings. I left the Hartlepool Rotary Club because it was a Monday lunchtime club and while it was very pleasant to spend three hours over lunch it wasn't something I could do every week.

The need to have both the time and the money to participate in things like UKIP NEC is the reason why its membership is restricted to those who are either retired, have a private income or who are MEPs (anyone else receiving any income from UKIP being disqualified from standing but of course allowed to participate as non-voting members). This is why UKIP is run by such a small group, it’s the people with the time and the money to be able to afford to do so. These same people also control the purse strings when it comes to employment opportunities within UKIP!

These are reasons why I support the move to hold NEC Meetings at the weekends. To allow working people to put they forward as candidates. I was also quite taken with the idea of moving the NEC around the country but the practicalities make that difficult and I’m sad to say that the road, rail and air travel infastructure in the UK mean that London really is the only place to hold this type of meeting.

Look at the Leadership candidates, the same criteria, either retired, have a private income or who are MEPs or with a seat in the House of Lords, no-one else can afford to do it. Its the same with Party Chairman, and this is no reflection on Paul who I think is excellent but who I don't think should be Party Chairman, his primary role should be using the tag "MEP" in the political arena, not sorting out party administration, however only those people who can afford to do any of these jobs (Leaders, Chairman, NEC) can go for them. So UKIP can never have people in posts by virtue of ability, the key criteria is can they afford to do the job and on that basis you will very rarely have anyone under 30 with the financial security to afford to do it and if they were able to then if they had any political ambition they would be in the Tories (or Labour) where their money would buy them a safe seat in Parliament!

Friday, 6 August 2010