In or Out ? EU or not EU?

In or Out

To be honest, initially I started off as an "in" but that was purely based upon "it's what I know".  I then realised I had better do some research since whilst it may not affect me so much, it will affect my children and definitely my grandchildren (I'm not ancient, and only just on the right side of 50!).   The more I looked into things, the more I kept landing on the "out" side of the line. Don't get me wrong, being a European has it's benefits, but the downsides are beginning to outweigh them massively.  If we are outside of the control of the EU, it will be great to write our own laws again and not having to have them sanctioned by the EU.  The UK Government doesn't want to create laws allowing corporal punishment/hangings/death by torture. So don't worry, we'll still go along with the ethics of the EU.  But when we as a country want to ban prisoners from having the right to vote, we as a country will be able to make that decision.   When China attempts to undercut steel production with massive subsidies, we as the UK can apply taxes to offset the cheaper steel to make our own production competitive. The UK could once again control it's own rich fishing grounds without having to give access to mainland EU trawlers flouting all the rules without punishment.   My decision is based purely on returning some of the power we lost to to EU that were not defined in the agreement we signed up to in the first place. It's a massive decision, with so many areas that will affect each one of us personally. I'm not going to begin to tell anyone how to vote and why they should or shouldn't.  It is up to each and everyone of us to take the time to think on how it will affect them.  If you have children under the voting age, you'll be making the decision for them too.  I would encourage you to talk with any family members and again, don't tell them how to vote, just tell them to make sure they vote. 

In or Out

Feed2JS Closed


Many thanks to Alan Levine for creating Feed2JS many moons ago, but I’ve decided to remove access to the Feed2JS service installed on the domain.  I’ve contacted those users who had let me know they were using it and the site logs were showing only a few stragglers mainly on very old websites that hadn’t been updated in years.  If however by removing access I leave a blank spot on your site, please accept my apologies. Continue reading “Feed2JS Closed”

Corporation Tax – Carr / Barlow Saga

Carr_Barlow_TaxEarly on today, an image popped up on my Facebook timeline and whoosh, out came my goat. Both of those incidents really got my goat up back then and still do.  Guy Martin has “Brian the Monkey”, me, I have “Gordon the Goat”.
In fact it riled Gordon up so much so, I hadn’t updated this site in almost three years and rather than post this as a reply to the innocent person on Facebook and make it look like I was flaming them, I thought bugger it, I’m going to post it here.  Gordon was on a rampage!! Continue reading “Corporation Tax – Carr / Barlow Saga”

I’m back !!

Keep calm I'm back

I’ve finally gotten around to updating the website and hopefully, will find some time to post a bit more regular than I have been able to previously.Things have been a bit difficult over the past few years, but I am finally beginning to get things back under control. I won’t bore you with the details here, as I save those stories for another site of mine. (Which I must add, I’ve also updated too.  Things must be getting better if I’ve managed to find the time to update both sites !!). Continue reading “I’m back !!”

The passing of a true genius and a gentleman

This morning I learnt the sad news that Len Sassaman sadly passed away having taken his own life in an apparent suicide at his home in Leuven, Belgium.

Len was a major advocate for privacy and a great influence on some of my earlier work.  He leaves a great legacy but an even greater void in so many lives.  My thoughts go out to his wife Meredith (L. Patterson), may she have strength and courage through these difficult times.

Depression is the silent killer.

I’m coming to understand that "battle with depression" is sometimes very close in meaning to "battle with cancer."

@maryadydd 04 July 2011

Len Sassaman (1980-2011)

Yet more Pipex Woes

Yet another example of bad customer service from Pipex. Pipex, a once great UK ISP, now ruined by the ineptitude of Tiscali and TalkTalk. A great lesson on how to take a great company and run them into the ground.

failure-successTwo moans about Pipex in as many days.  They really are going for it in a big way of late.

When I raised a support request the other day, I used my Pipex account email address, i.e the one that has been associated with my account since day one of me being a customer with them. (usually of the form *** 
I noticed that I didn’t receive an auto-reply which was unusual, so out of interest, I sent a test message from another email account.
Funnily enough, it bounced. But not just any old bounce, but because of: Continue reading “Yet more Pipex Woes”

Warm As Toast

FireplaceFinally had the chimney swept after the hammering it took last year. Couldn’t book the chimney sweep until Friday last week, by which time all the snow had gone. But saying that, the warmest it reached over the weekend was 2.5deg.

It was minus –8deg on the outside thermometer when I woke this morning, so I quickly got the fire going.  Crumpet, marshmellows and a few chestnuts tonight for supper methinks.

Letter to Home Office – November 10th 2010

Dear Sirs,
I would very much like to show my concern over the current extradition laws, especially with respect to the current state of affairs with the US. Current legislation appears to give a very lopsided difference between the requirements of the UK versus the US in the conditions that are required in
order for extradition to take place. Whilst I realise that this is due to differences between UK and US laws, I would still expect UK citizens to be protected by UK laws at all times.

In abolishing the need for evidence when extraditing to most countries in the world, this has removed the safety net once afforded to UK citizens in that they will always obtain a ‘fair trial’. How is it that the US because of it’s Constitution has a provision that any country requesting the extradition of a persons or people must have evidence of the crime committed by the person being extradited?  All other European and Commonwealth countries signed up to a similar treaty did so on the understanding that we all played by the same rule book. 

For the UK to extradite someone from the US they only need establish ‘probable cause’ of which the US constitution’s fourth amendment has defined as “information sufficient to warrant a prudent person’s belief that the wanted individual had committed a crime”  

  • Whilst it may be impossible for us to create a law that is compliant with both UK law and the US Constitution, all I ask is that they UK Government should introduce the forum bar with respect to extradition.
  • The Home secretary should be given the powers to halt extradition to the US if they feel that their is a lack of evidence. Reasonable cause is not justification enough for people or persons to be extradited to the US.
  • The same should be applied to the European Arrest Warrant.  The UK Government should protect it’s citizens by ensuring that the trial they receive in any Foreign country is at least of equivalent standard to that of which they would expect within the UK.
  • UK citizens have a right to be protected by their UK Government at all times.
  • When a crime is mainly committed in the UK, that person should be tried here.  It is my personal belief that this provides a simple solution to the problem where the victims of
    the crime or the scenes of crime are spread around one or more countries.  If the crime was committed upon UK soil, it should be tried upon UK soil under UK laws. 
  • The US-UK treaty is most definitely unbalanced for the reasons I have previously mentioned above.
  • Requesting countries must provide sufficient evidence in order to prove an allegation. If such allegations are terrorism related for example, the UK already has systems in place to help protect UK citizens and those should be afforded to foreign countries by applying UK law.

Many thanks for allowing me the opportunity to express my views on this matter and I look forward to following the outcome of this review.

Lastly, I would like to add that Home Secretary needs to clearly state that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the USA until this “Review” has been completed any changes passed in to Law by the UK Government.

The family of Gary McKinnon are being subjected to pressures and events tantamount to torture in not knowing the fate that is to be bestowed upon Gary.

This must be addressed immediately!

National Television Control / National TV Control – Scam

I just received a weird telephone call from someone claiming to be from the National Television Control centre.He stated by saying “Good day, I’m calling from the National Television Control Centre and we have had reports of bad reception in your area. Can you confirm if your reception is working?”.

National Television Control Centre Scam I just received a weird telephone call from someone claiming to be from the National Television Control centre. The caller ID had been blocked so I couldn’t verify the number from which the call originated, but from his accent, I would guess they could be based in India.
He stated by saying “Good day, I’m calling from the National Television Control Centre and we have had reports of bad reception in your area. Can you confirm if your reception is working?”.
When I challenged him he became defensive and would not reveal any other details and eventually hung up.
(When I asked for details about the National Television Control Centre, i.e. who owned it, who run it, where it was based, he just became flustered and didn’t answer).

I have heard of a similar scam to do with Sky customers, but the caller never mentioned Sky, merely if my reception was fine.
Sky have put some information about a similar ‘scam’ on their own website (Sky Protect)

National TV Centre ScamIn my case, it appears that they are cold calling UK numbers rather than targeting Sky customers with the aim of finding any customers who are currently experiencing problems.
The scammers then apparently try to “help you resolve” the problem by offering to contact Sky support on your behalf. At no time however do they mention that you will be billed by them for this support.

Just be warned that there is no such organisation as the National Television Control Centre, at least not in the UK. If you receive such a call, do not reveal any personal information.
If they do claim to be from Sky, or working on behalf of Sky, ask them for your contact number, account number, or the type of receiver you have been supplied. I can assure you that they won’t be able to answer and will give you some waffle as to why they can’t supply that information.