Happy New Year – I Think

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe New Year.

I ended 2008 by being told by my bank that I was dead yet again.  I am beginning to wonder if they know something I don’t.  Although I have to say if this is being dead I feeling pretty good on it!

Well only three days in and 2009 looks as if it is going to be busy and I will be spending more of my time working from my place in France rather than the UK.  I have been toying with the idea of moving full time for the last 18 months, and although I have still not made the decision to totally up sticks there are a number of things pushing me in this direction

First and foremost I like France and the French and how they do things, plus the French don’t keep telling me I have died, which is reassuring.

Every month we do at least two days field and weapons training and we do this in France over there because we cannot do it here.  As it happens we have quite a few jobs on the go  in Europe at the moment and quite a bit in France itself so it is just seems easier to be there from that point of view

Last but by no means not least, I understand my own country and countrymen less and less and do not like what I see or hear anymore.

I am not saying things in France are perfect- especially with the exchange rate as it is, but from the time I have spent there they are a little more realistic and in touch with what is what.

To be fair a lot of the fault in not being in tune with modern life in Britain is down to me and having spent such long periods away so that I have been out of touch plus I am getting older.  Things have moved on and I haven’t.  The over riding thing is that we as a nation seem to have lost grip on reality, what is important and right and wrong.  The other day hundreds of people were being bombed in Gaza and the leading news article was some footballer being arrested for assault.

I know I am not alone in some of these views but I hear everyone blaming foreigners for the woes of the country, but it is us who have allowed this to happen not them, we have to accept responsibility for our actions or inactions.

Actually I don’t because I haven’t been here, but you lot do!

Somebody does something wrong and they don’t take responsibility for their actions, instead they look to blame somebody else or for technicality to get them off.

I will give you a couple of examples.

If your football team losses or your budgie dies everyone is devastated.  Hiroshima was devastated not Mrs Jones over Bluey.

All to often we hear that somebody goes out for the night and leaves their  small children unattended and something bad happens to one or all of the kids. We all know that those adults have abandoned those kids and have failed them and broken the law.  It is terrible thing when these incident occur, and surely such things should be investigated in the same impartial way no matter who you are, but that is just not the case, because in our country these incidents are treated very differently depending on who or what you are.

For the family on benefits,  the boys in blue are onto them like a rash.  Mum and dad or  boyfriends get nicked sent to court and banged up and made to pay the price for their wrong doing.  In any event the other kids if there are any get taken straight into care, job done.  However for the Middle class professional family it is very different, the parents don’t get nicked or the kids whisked into care.  The family might immediately appoint a professional spokesperson , are supported by all sorts of people, maybe even the home secretary, launch an expensive appeal get the public to give them loads of money, get to see the pope (I have to say the pontif has never been much help on any of the jobs we have done) light candles etc.

So why is it your fault and an offensive to abandon your kids if you are unemployed and down the pub getting pissed but not if you are earning 100K + and eating at a fancy restaurant and and getting wazzed on Chateau du Chateaulay?

I dunno.

Recently a bloke was filmed getting a whack from a police officer whilst being arrested.  I don’t want to comment on the rights or wrongs of the officers actions, but the alleged victim of this bwutal assault by Mr Plod was a soldier who had recently returned from Afghanistan.  He said that whilst being arrested and getting said slap he “feared for his life”.

What?  He feared for his life whilst getting a bit of slap from Mr Plod!  Sorry son, but do my a favour,  if that made you fear for your life, you need to rethink your choice of job.  I don’t suppose it has occurred to this donkey that maybe if he hadn’t been pissed, gobby and a right pain in the arse in the first place he wouldn’t have got a slap.  I am not condoning police violence but having dealt with lots of soldiers who have fallen foul of the law when on leave I have to side with the police.  If they weren’t tucked up dealing with knob heads they could be doing other more useful things like sorting out bent MPs who were leaking documents to journalists- just my little joke.

On New Years Day I was invited to a lunch/ buffet organized by my brother in law – dead sisters husband.   He is a bit of a gullible drip in my book, a typical business lacy, jobs worth. I understand he speaks highly of me as well.  Actually we get on OK most of the time because we are such different personalities.

Anyway, the food was good and there was an interesting mix of people there, but there was a knot of fifty somethings bemoaning “Gordons” Birtain and the nanny state and the fact that the health and safety brigade and Johnny foreigner were ruining life for all and sundry.  One of the most vocal people was a rather overweight lady stuffing her face with nosh and getting well stuck into the G&T who had her left leg in plaster.

The conversation eventually got round to what she had done to her leg.  It transpired she had been on a team building week  to some, place in Welsh Wales and had fallen whilst abseiling or climbing.  She immediately told the group that she was suing because certain Health and safety procedures had not been followed.

The assembled grey hairs gave a a chorus of ” good for you”

I have to be honest and say that having looked at her I wouldn’t have let he slide up and down on my rope and asked what had gone wrong.  I was expecting to hear that there was an issue over bad kit, poor instruction or something like that.  No, apparently it was on a technicality, in that there was supposed to be some notice or some such thing on display and each participant should have had a leaflet saying X, Y and Z.  It really had nothing what so ever to do with the actual event.  I asked what actually happened and it emerged that this woman was just too fat and unfit to abseil 20 feet down a rope- I was right then.

When pushed- by me that is, not off the cliff -she actually said that one of the instructors had said he didn’t think she should do it.  He even had the audacity to say she was too overweight and not fit enough. So guess what? Her legal team are also suing him for “attempting to discriminate against her and in doing so making inappropriate, offensive and disparaging remarks of a highly personal nature which caused her distress” even though he was clearly right!

Distress I would have given her distress.

I couldn’t quite get to grips and thought I must have missed something with all this and actually had to ask her “He told you he didn’t think you should do it because it could be dangerous and yet you ignored his advice, did it anyway, got hurt and now think it is his fault because there wasn’t some sign up somewhere”  she thought for a moment and then said “Yes I suppose you could put it that way” The group nodded and then a grey haired trendy said “bloody cheek, what was he thinking of, who did he think he was”  “yah yah” went the assembled croup of middle aged dick heads, they could not see that she was in the wrong not the instructor.

Now then, You know sometime you wan to say one thing and another comes out, for example you might want to say “Typical Manchester weather” but instead it comes out as “Tickle my arse with a feather” well I thought I was going to say ” I am so sorry to hear of your misfortune madam and I wish you a speedy recovery and all the success in you litigation”, but instead it came out as “Sadly it’s probably due to your fat arse breaking your fall that you only hurt your leg and didn’t break your piss taking neck”.

The group were aghast and the trendy bloke said “How dare you, could you be any more abusive and offensive?”

“Oh yes he could ” chipped in  L who had just joined the group and was guidig me away gently by the arm”without any problem at all”

I was thinking of making a move towards home anyway.

Wherever that is.

Bonne annèe

5 Responses to “Happy New Year – I Think”

  1. jh says:

    Happy New Year Norm.

    I have to say understand you loud and clear. I dont watch the news any more it gets me so cross and just when you think it cannot get worse it does.

  2. dl says:

    … and a Happy New Year to you too, UN.

    I must say I agree with everything you’ve said here, about our distorted and inconsistent priorities, and also about the culture of litigation etc etc. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Don’t get me started…

    Like you, we also love France. Trying now to see if we can find a way to travel there, later in the year, with our new household guests, who currently have no documentation whatsoever to their names. It would be nice, but I fear it may be a step beyond what we can make happen.

    But, lovely though France is, I’m not sure it’s a better place to live than good ol’ Blighty. If we get a bit tied up with red tape here, over there you’d be trussed up like a turkey with it!

    Best wishes, as ever,

  3. Sally says:

    I love France…

    My bank seems to think that I am dead or some such on frequent occasions too…

    Happy New Year Norm!

  4. havingmycake says:

    I shall be chuckling at L’s comments for the rest of the afternoon. But you’re right about the ‘blame anyone else’ culture and the B List Celeb news factor. It’s quite astonishing. I dont buy a daily paper any more. Even The Times has succumbed.

  5. Uncle says:

    Sorry to one and all for not being in touch, but I have had a busier start to the New year than I had intended.

    JH & Cake – I have to read the papers and keep up to date, but I can tell you it is not out of choice and the quality of the news and article is just appalling.

    DL – I have to say I agree with you that the UK has a lot going for it. it is easy to be depressed by the media into thinking it is the worst place on Earth and the only country with problems.

    We all know there is no such thing as the perfect place to live, it is yourself you take with you!

    I have not made a definitive decision yet, but for the next few months at least I will be working primarily from France, simply because due to the nature of the jobs and training schedule we are running it is easier. I can tell you one thing though it has been bloody freezing.

    Sally – Happy New year to you. I take my hat off to you taking on your two guests. I have often looked at kids in the places we have been “employed” and think if they live what the hell happens to them and what kind of life is in store for them. I don’t dwell on it because it does you no good and if it gets to you, well you let your guard down and end up dead PDQ.

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