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Unraveling Travel n Ravel…

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As a blogger, I consider myself very fortunate, in that I’ve had the opportunity to work with or write about such a wide variety of other writers, artists, musicians and photographers, either by collaborating on the same project or by contributing some writing to a completely different blog.

Travel n Ravel is a new site from Australian blogger, writer, editor and seasoned traveller, Ian Cochrane, who I first met on the pages of Blogcatalog.com a couple of years ago.
It collects the work of bloggers from all walks of life and from all over the world, writing “most things even vaguely related to travel”, which makes for an eclectic mix of personal journals, travelogues and general musings with even the most tenuous links to the theme of travel (given the minimal amount of travelling I’ve done recently, I think I’ll be mostly included in that last category).
If you have learned anything about me during your perusal of my meandering ramblings, you’ll know that if nothing else, I like a challenge and find it difficult to say no to an invitation.

So when Ian invited me to contribute to his new platform, I jumped at the chance before I even thought about what I might write for him.

As I racked my brain over the weekend, it occurred to me that I didn’t necessarily have to write about me travelling somewhere, just travelling generally, at which point I had a flash of inspiration.
If our recent battle with the massed ranks of immigration officials and inept government visa departments wouldn’t come loosely under the “travel” heading, then I don’t know what would.

So it is my pleasure to present to you a link to my very first (official) contribution to the world of travel writing, ladies and gentlemen;

The Day America Came To Me.

 

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Not Going Away…

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It’s time once more to link up with Linda G Hill for her Stream of Consciousness Saturday thread and this week’s prompt is:

” “-ay.”  Find a word ending in “ay” and use it as the theme/subject of your post.”

{This post concerns our experiences with the appallingly administered and astonishingly badly organised UK Border Agency and is dedicated to Rhonda and Audrey, my wife and daughter. Please excuse the use of strong language, if you’ve ever had any dealings with government agencies, I’m sure you’ll understand}

Not going away.

The ones I love, from the USA,
Are with me now and they want to stay,
But the bureaucrats,
Are a bunch of twats,
Who only want families to pay.

The faceless people and officious tools,
Who tell you where to live or go to school,
Don’t give two shits,
If your life is in bits,
As long as you follow the rules.

They never stop with their power games,
Asking for documents and checking your names,
Not caring at all,
If your back’s to the wall,
And refusing to feel any shame.

Waiting and waiting, day after day,
Making us feel like we don’t have a say,
I’m telling you now,
Still strong and unbowed,
They will not take my family away.

#SoCS

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 

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The politics of duncing…

{For tenuously linked post soundtrack CLICK HERE}

“Bloody (insert generic racial stereotype here), coming over here, stealing our jobs, preying on the livelihood of the honest British workers…” goes the well worn diatribe, rolled out whenever a news story claims we’re about to be invaded by a hoard of recently emboldened foreign nationals, supposedly arriving on our shores to annex whole corners of the employment market.

Such is the voice of the people that some politicians claim to represent, whilst they simultaneously try to impose their views and prejudices on the masses, presumably following some sort of retrospective logic that allows them to believe they are supporting a perceived opinion they themselves generated.
And I suppose to a large extent, that’s their job.

As long as they conform to the same standards they would have us live by, that is.

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UKIP chief buffoon, Nigel Farage, has just launched a two-pronged hypocrisy campaign, centred on the issue of (mainly eastern European) immigrants that are apparently about to take England to the brink of economic collapse by flooding the country with cheap labour.

The hysteria-mongering that surrounded the arrival in the UK of Victor Spirescu and his non-existent companions (Victor was the only Romanian migrant to arrive at Luton airport on January 1st, to be met by a wall of press journalists and tv crews, there to witness the predicted invasion) was just the start of a concerted drive by Farage and his “I’m-not-a-racist-but…” cohorts to persuade us that our very way of life was under threat from an EU conspiracy.

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Hmm, is this a trick question?

Well it seems that UKIP’s sledgehammer tactics have had somewhat the reverse of the desired effect.
Having suffered unwanted press attention for several weeks subsequent to his arrival on new year’s day, resulting in him losing at least one job to date, and experiencing first-hand the English right wing “bullies”,  Victor has used his minor local celebrity status to help promote the pro EU Europeans Party.

As for Nasty Nigel himself, his insistence that the first choice of British jobs go to British workers backfired amusingly when he was asked by the BBC’s Nick Robinson why it was that Farage’s wife, (who is German) was employed as his assistant, at a salary of £25,000, paid by an EU allowance, instead of giving the job to a local worker.
Nige’s response that his efficient German wife was the only one who could do the job, what with the long unsociable hours and having to write up his notes and daily schedule late at night, didn’t do his cause many favours. He claimed that he didn’t know of anyone else who would have the stamina for the work involved.
Although the thought of taking dictation from Farage, as he flosses his teeth before bed in his Union Jack underpants, sighing sadly as he shaves off the shadow of a toothbrush moustache he’s left until last, it strikes me that it can’t be much of a loss to the British jobs market so we’ll allow him that small victory.

A slightly more high profile Doh! moment in UKIP’s recent catalogue of PR cock-ups directly involved their latest poster campaign, namely this one, featuring a beggar dressed in work clothes, accompanied by a pretty unambiguous anti-EU message:

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The only problem with this is that it was soon revealed that the part of the out of work British victim of European economic migration in the poster was in fact played by an Irish actor, and Ireland will still be able to trade freely with Europe, even if Nigel and his mates convince the rest of the UK to pull up the drawbridge.

In an extra twist, another news story from recent days, the Cornish being granted minority status, has spawned a parody of the UKIP poster.
Living as we do in neighboring Devon and visiting Cornwall as often as we do, I’ll refrain from any comment.

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Not all the stupidity, small-mindedness and ineptitude has been provided by UKIP this week though (well, not so far as we know so far) but Whitehall has had a little more egg on its collective face, due to the spiteful interjection of some wag on Wikipedia.

It has emerged that the page of the publicly-edited, inaccuracy-strewn online encyclopedia devoted to the Hillsborough football disaster has come under attack from a troll who has changed passages of the tribute page; “You’ll Never Walk Alone” for instance was changed to “You’ll Never Walk Again” and the “This Is Anfield” banner was altered to read “This Is A Shithole”, while the phrase “Blame Liverpool fans” was added to an entry on the tragedy that claimed 96 lives in 1989.
The editor responsible has not yet been tracked down, although that is apparently only a matter of time. What is known however, is that the IP address of the computer that made the edit originated in offices of Whitehall.
Not only that, it has since come to light that a large number of other malicious alterations to Wikipedia have been traced to government computers, several of them violently racist.

Many of the edits are of course simply mischievous, my own personal favourite being the one that changed the article for American, vomit-inducing-medical-saccharine-a-thon Grey’s Anatomy to describe the hit TV series as “overrated” and a “euphemism for an old mans netherregions”.

The voice of the people indeed…

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2014 in Blogging, Humour, News, Social comment, TV

 

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