31 December 2008
Living with Mexican electricity
We lost the electricity at around 9.00pm on Monday so have now been just over 24 hours without power. My computer is battery powered and a charge is good for just over two hours, but I still need candles so that I can see the keyboard. Barring a miracle a fair sized chunk of my district will be in this situation until next week, which is going to make New Year's Eve a pain for those families that haven't already made their arrangements.
What do I mean by arrangements? Well, there are three power lines that come into this area and two of them are down. Some dickhead decided to draw that much power that it blew a transformer and replacing one of those things is not a five minute job. However, two cables down still means that one cable is working so those people who have a basic knowledge of electricity are already running long and potentially lethal cables from their homes to the one remaining power line that is operational.
For the rest it really is a matter of make do and mend. A bloke who owns a small shop on the corner of my street lives about 500 yards away in a house that has power. So he rigged up the world's longest extension lead that runs from his house, via God knows how many trees and lamp-posts, to his shop. Thus he can plug some lamps into the cable, so at least he has lights, but the lead is too thin to power his ice cream fridge.
As for us, I drove over to the local Walmart and bought a thick 100 foot extension lead. The house next door is owned by one of the wife's tribe so the plug end of the cable was thrown over the wall and connected to their supply - obviously that house has power. The cable then enters our house though a window and reaches our fridge which it powers. I have connected a lamp to it and a short extension lead also runs from it to power a TV in a bedroom. When this post has been readied for publication I will charge the computer from this, our one line to civilisation.
Mexico - when I think about my life here I don't know whether to laugh or cry. . .
Update: The power returned at about 4.00pm.
On the unintentional delights of a book review
I haven't been blogging as much as usual over the past few days. I suppose that you, gentle punter, thought that the festive season was to blame, but actually it was Anthea, my latest little sex toy. I was giving her a kiss the other day and the little darling got so carried away that she crossed her legs - fair did my neck in it did. Anyway, blame Anthea for my lack of posts.
Enough of this merry banter - let's change the subject completely. Exactly three years ago today Neil Clark, who is a great and good man, earned a few bob by churning out 1,500 words or so in the form of a review of two related books. He wasn't impressed with either of the works, but the review which can be read here is not exactly a hatchet job on either of them. Before anyone clicks on over there to read the piece, it is important that punters both gentle and base are reminded of the date when it first appeared. Yeah, New Year's fucking Eve, which means that no bugger was going to read it, given the normal scheme of things.
However, people did read it and they are reading it today all because Gimlet Kamm, who was one of the authors, decided to throw a wobbler and thus gave the piece enough publicity to keep it going for years to come. So now when folk think about the short-arsed little fucker that is Gimlet Kamm they remember how risible he made himself over a review that would have vanished had he not had his great wank all over it.
There are lessons in this tale of woe for all of us as I am sure you will agree. However your friendly old Exile hasn't the time to consider them fully as there is a little girl named Anthea who needs to be taught how to deep throat and then to swallow every single drop. . .
30 December 2008
What is Israel's Gaza strategy?
First the Israelis tried to remove the Hamas government in Gaza by a policy of slowly starving the 1.5 million people who live in the territory. For instance, last month just 137 lorries were allowed through the Israeli checkpoints, a policy that one Israeli spokesman called putting the Gazans "on a diet".
Realising that this may not work, as indeed it hasn't, the Israelis began planning a military attack against the Gaza Strip about six months ago. Now that is a long time to plan things, and what it means is that if things do go pear shaped as they did in Southern Lebanon two years ago, then political fallout will be far greater than it was then. In 2006 Israel had the excuses that the operation was planned on the hoof and that the well trained Lebanese guerrillas had plenty of territory in which to manoeuvre. None of those excuses will wash in Gaza so Israel basically has to emerge as the clear and undisputed victor in this round of conflict. If Hamas survives in power and can continue lobbing the odd crude, home-made rocket into Israel, then most people will probably conclude that the Palestinians have emerged as the winner on points.
How might that play out? If the Palestinians can continue to absorb the terror raids by putting up such obvious signs of resistence as the continued launching of rockets then the Israelis will probably have to send their ground troops into the Gaza Strip. The question then becomes how well have the Palestinians in Gaza learned the lessons of Lebanon and Iraq? The Lebanese showed that a well trained militia, fighting on its home soil, could hold off a western style army. Iraq for its part showed that a combination of roadside bombs and rocket propelled grenades can send any number of westerners home in body bags. If the Palestinians have learned the lessons of thsoe two conflicts and have managed to turn the military wing of Hamas into something approaching what the Lebanese managed, then Gaza City could become the Golgotha of the Israeli army.
29 December 2008
Fighting the censors: score one for the blogs
We are all familiar with the way in which the laws are used to silence dissent via the courts, but did you know that an injunction can be taken out which forbids mention of itself?
Guido Fawkes has become a victim of such a gagging attempt by Zac Goldsmith and Jemima Khan, his sister. Jemima is pictured on the left, without her brown paper bag but flashing her well trimmed bush for the cameras, and the injunction aims at preventing mention of Zac's shagging proclivities. However, the order is also supposed to prevent mention of its own existence - it is a kind of double gag if you like.
Guido has a good set of balls and seems to enjoy a ruck so he has not only ignored the injunction but the actual paperwork has been uploaded to Wikileaks where we can all savour it at our leisure. What this means is that Goldsmith has now received more publicity of the unwelcome kind than he would had he not tried to do over Guido in the first place.
Of course the whole point of legislation like this is not to intimidate the Guido's of this world. The aim is to loosen the bowels of those less willing to go up to the line. Sadly, that means most of the people in Britain.
26 December 2008
What shall we do about hunting with dogs? Nothing!
Boxing Day is hunting day in England - just as is has been for centuries. In theory the Hunting Act of 2005 should have put paid to the tradition, but as this Telegraph piece gloatingly reports, the act was so badly worded that a coach and horses can be driven through its various clauses.
My introduction to the world of hunting came in about 1983 when I was out canvassing in that year's general election. A door was opened by a tattooed man in his early 30s who announced that he was not voting Labour because of the party's policy on hunting. I remember making some general comment about rich bastards and their dogs and telling him not to worry about a bit of shooting on the Pennines. At that point he introduced me to his two lurchers and I was reminded of just how many people keep hunting dogs in the Lancashire mill towns.
Today Nu-Labour has the worst of both worlds. The rich carry on their hunting traditions and the working class who either don't give a stuff about the activity or thoroughly enjoy turning their muts loose to disembowel bunnies are further alienated from the party.
Would it not make more sense for socialists to argue that the issue isn't hunting, the issue is the number of rich bastards who are consuming far too many resources without producing anything by way of return? The way to deal with all rich bastards whether they ride horses or not is via punitive levels of taxation and inflation. The fact that our people keep dogs and hunt with them is neither here nor there - long may they continue with their harmless pastime.
25 December 2008
Fireworks are illegal in Mexico City because of the contamination that they leave in their wake, but they are on sale at just about every street corner throughout the city at holiday times. They are made in highly illegal factories that often double as family homes. Occasionally someone makes an error with the mixture and the whole damned street ends up becoming another statistic.
Contacting Father Christmas the Mexican way
Children all over the world will have written to Father Christmas tonight in the hope of getting their heart's desires delivered whilst they sleep. The tradition in Mexico is usually for gifts to be delivered on the night of the 5th/6th January, which is when the Three Kings arrived to leave their gifts for the Christ Child, but this house resolutely follows the English custom and toys arrive tonight - even though I am actually the only English person around.
That said the compromise was that Christmas Dinner gets eaten tonight, which is a custom that I loath. On the other hand we do tend to eat before midnight, unlike everyone else and the bill of fare is pretty much 100% British: turkey, roast spuds, Christmas pud imported from England and beer from the same country. There is a limit to the amount of foreign crap that any white man can take when all is said and done. . .
This year is the first occasion that my eldest son has been old enough to glug a pint along with his dad, which has made Christmas rather a special one for me this time around.
24 December 2008
Laura Zuñiga: Miss Drug International
Late on Monday the Mexican army nabbed Laura Zuñiga (23), the reigning Miss Sinaloa, at a military checkpoint just outside Guadalajara, Jalisco. Along with her the authorities grabbed seven goons, enough weaponry to start a small war and $52,000 in U.S. dollars.
At first it was thought that the lady was travelling with a drug dealer's crew, as it is well known in Mexico that the major dealers all enjoy having young, lithesome beauty queens around to keep their knobs well polished. Quite what the girls see in the pot-bellied, middle-aged, multi-millionaires is unclear, but nevertheless the attraction is clearly there.
Not that Miss Zuñiga has anything to do with anything like that, since she has explained that the money was to pay for a shopping trip in Bolivia and Colombia. The guns and the goons? Well you know how dangerous the streets are these days, don't you? Especially in Mexico where you can't trust anyone.
With luck all this will be over soon as luscious Laura is due to represent Mexico in the Miss International competition next year.
Model 271 brogues: the shoes to throw
Ramazan Baydan, proprietor of the Bayden Shoe Company of Turkey, holds up a model 271 brogue as thrown by Muntadhar al-Zaidi at America's one and only chimp the other day. The shoes sell for about £25 wholesale and the company is planning to rename them as Bush Shoes for sale to the western market.
As things stand the company has received 300,000 orders for the model 271 brogues this week alone and has been forced to take on a 100 new workers to help it meet the surge in demand.
5-January-2009: Do me a favour? Click this link and go and vote for Neil Clark's Blog in the Weblog Awards. A computer can vote once every day so please vote early and vote often for Neil Clark's Blog until the voting ends on Tuesday, the 13th January, at 10.00pm GMT.
22 December 2008
Meet Stephanie, a spicy Chinese takeaway
Doing over your boyfriend is not a good idea, especially when he has a 28 minute sex tape that shows you hoovering his cock then him bending you over Barker Bagshawe style for a doggie fashion knobbing.
Someone should have mentioned that to the little takeaway dish pictured on the left as it would have saved her from a lot of the grief that is about to come her way.
All we know about her is that she is called Stephanie, and she speaks with an American accent. The video was shot over a weekend while the couple were on holiday, and as soon as they returned home the bloke found out that madam had been engaged in some extra-curricular knob polishing. Hence he put the epic on-line as an act of revenge.
The video only went live on the 18th of this month, so Stephanie may not even know that she is becoming famous.
OK folks, the only other thing we know about this little darling is that she looks a scorcher when she's a-comin'. . .
Anyone got any more information about her?
21 December 2008
Zimbabwean Christmas Appeal
As Zimbabwe slides into the abyss, giving money to the Independent on Sunday's Christmas appeal is nowhere near as exciting as calling for an invasion of the country, but it is more likely to actually do some good.
As you can see from the video, there is a new life-saver around called Plumpynut, which is a fortified peanut butter that has been developed by the French and which seems to work wonders.
If you can afford it, please donate a few quid to help youngsters like Nobel and his siblings, or Thandi and her mother.
Come on - it's Christmas time.
19 December 2008
Sock and Awe
Well, that didn't take long did it? Click here to go and play Sock and Awe. Geddit? Sock and Awe?
Anyone for Sarah Palin Radio?
|Remember Sarah Palin? How can anyone forget the girl who provided so many blue veiners to so many - as well as cheap hits to bloggers all over the world?|
As predicted right here, she is preparing herself for 2012, and now has her own radio station. OK, it only broadcasts for an hour a week, but it comes to you via a libertarian internet radio outfit so Sarah looks to be positioning herself as the small government candidate next time around.
SarahPalinRadio.com is run by an organisation called TeamSarah.org, "a coalition of women dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process." At least that's what the web site says.
It's hard to believe that the next election is four long years away. . .
18 December 2008
Muntander al-Zeidi: the effects of just one shoe
As at least 35 senior Iraqi figures are arrested on suspicion of plotting a coup, the celebrated shoe chucker, Muntander al-Zeidi, is inspiring his compatriots all across the country to continue treating the occupiers with the contempt that they deserve. Fallujah, the city that was virtually destroyed earlier in the war, saw a demonstration in support of Zeidi, which the Americans opened fire on.
Will Iraq start to spiral out of imperialism's grasp once again? We can only hope.
16 December 2008
Joan, the latest stripping stewardess
Cocks to automatic because we have yet another stripping stewardess to drool over. This air hostess is called Joan, and here she is looking very prim and proper in her Hong Kong Air uniform. Trust me when I say that without the uniform she looks anything but prim and proper. You don't believe me? Just click the photo to watch the proof emerge - along with Joan.
We don't know much about her, other than someone posted 120 photos of her on the web in July of this year. Sadly those photos were quickly deleted but not before one website managed to grab 31 of them.
Joan isn't in the same category as Stephanie, but in her own way she is a delight, especially for the admirer of the smaller titted female. Want to see her fully nude? Just click the photo to the right.
Cocks to manual!
Nu-Labour allows locals to rot & foreigners to take the jobs
Since 2001 about 1.3 million new jobs have been created in Britain, but the vast majority of those jobs went to foreigners, with roughly forty percent going to Eastern Europeans alone. Not only that but the number of British people in employment fell by 62,000 over the period. Even the Tories have started taunting Nu-Labour, with Dominic Grieve claiming: "This is yet more evidence that completely undermines Gordon Brown's unwise proclamation that he would deliver British jobs for British workers."
It does not take a genius to figure out what has happened over the past few years. The employers want to keep wages down and production up; thus to maintain their profit levels. Management filth, whose role it is to ensure that for their masters, know that the only way that a decent British working man is going to work like a dog is if someone is waving a big stick over his head.
Keeping an army of foremen, under-managers and other assorted human cockroaches on the payroll isn't cheap, so bringing in the Eastern Europeans makes a lot of sense. After all, they sat on their arses when socialism died, thus proving that they have no balls for the ruck, so minimum wage and the odd kick up the arse from time to time is all that is needed to keep them on their toes.
What is the solution to this? The solution is political: restore to the unions the powers that they enjoyed until the 1980s, get Britain out of the European Union, and tax the shit out of those creatures who did so well out of the Blatcherite period. Then re-industrialise.
The problem is that policies like this will not be propounded until Nu-Labour has been seriously stuffed at the polls - so bring on the next election!
15 December 2008
Harry's Place smear machine in action again
"Owen Hatherley is the New Statesman's Dilpazier Aslam," ran the Harry's Place headline. As soon as anyone with a good memory saw that it was obvious that the smear machine was cranking itself up for action. For those of you who have bad memories, Dilpazier Aslam was a trainee journalist at the Guardian who lost his job as a result of a barrage of attacks that were orchestrated by a certain Scott Burgess, the unsuccessful applicant for Aslam's post. The method of attack was Aslam's membership of a small political party which had not been noted on his biography. By choosing that headline, Harry's Place was letting its bovine readership know that the hunt was on to try and get someone else sacked on similar grounds.
Hatherley had written a favourable review of The Liberal Defence of Murder, a work that HP finds intolerable and for that he had to be punished. On the basis of no evidence whatsoever, HP decided that since Hatherley had written for Socialist Worker, and since the book's author, Richard Seymour, was a party member, it followed that Hatherley was under orders to write a favourable view of Seymour's work. Since he had not mentioned his party affiliation he was as guilty as poor Dilpazier Aslam of something or other.
You could almost smell the jizm as the HP Saucers wanked themselves over the top and prepared for battle. There was only one slight problem: Owen Hatherley is not a party member and never has been. As I write these lines, some pretty ferocious backtracking has taken place and David T. sat up until at least 1.00am London time churning out post after post so that his embarrassing error would vanish from the front page. Dear, dear me.
The problem is that between the Aslam Affair in 2005 and today there have been any number of attempts by Harry's Place and its hangers on to cost people their jobs. Neil Clark came under attack from both HP and Gimlet Kamm and the fact that he managed to fend off both mongish crews is neither here nor there. As this piece shows, it was a traumatic time for both him and his wife - who also came in for the HP smear machine's attentions.
Other journalists who have earned the wrath of these maggots include Seamus Milne of the Guardian and the Independent's Johann Hari. As with Neil Clark the attacks always come via their work - the attempt being to undermine public confidence in what they write as journalists.
Then of course there have been the attacks on academics as Jenna Delich can testify as she felt the full weight of the smear machine just this August. During that month your friendly old Exile supported HP on freedom of speech grounds. Now that same friendly old Exile has to grin and accept Richard Seymour's quite justifiable taunt that:
Some websites foolishly extended their 'solidarity' to these corrupt and unscrupulous opponents of free speech. I hope that after this episode it will be obvious even to them that Harry's Place deserves no comradeship, especially from those who might themselves be the targets of such an attack if the occasion arose.The kicker is in those final few words. HP will turn on anyone, even those who thought that they were the site's friends if that is in the greater good. The greater good in this case involves cheering on every mindless act of doomed agression that Washington and London can think up.
Fuck 'em - they are on their own from now on in as far as I am concerned.
14 December 2008
Chimp ducks shoes
This is both amazing and seriously funny. The Chimp went to Baghdad and an Iraqi journalist through his shoes at him.
For some reason the soles of the shoes are considered insulting in the Arab world, so here is one fellow who has just become a hero to several million of his compatriots.
13 December 2008
Killers of Jean Charles de Menezez walk free
The death squad that pumped seven bullets into the head of Jean Charles de Menezez can breath a sigh of relief. The coroner's jury brought in an open verdict and in spite of all the huffing and puffing from the press that probably means an end to the matter. The lawyers for the Menezez family have promised to seek a judicial review of the coroner's decision to order the jury not to bring in a verdict of unlawful killing, but that is just playing into the state's hands.
It is pretty clear that the only way the coroner could get even an open verdict was by playing some pretty fast moves that involved keeping the jury in the dark about the withdrawal of the de Menezez family and their lawyers from the proceedings. Had they known about that then it is possible that they would have been emboldened to stick two fingers up to the farce and brought in an unlawful killing verdict on the principle of fuck that for a laugh.
As things stand the state will drag out further proceedings for as long as possible in the hope that people will start to forget. The death squad has already started an expensive PR game to try and reassure the public that everything is fine, and we can soon expect to start hearing soothing noises about how lessons have been learned from this tragedy.
All very different in Greece, isn't it? There the filth killed a 15 year old youth and all hell broke loose on the streets. It is quite likely that the Greek rulers didn't want to dump their servants any more than the British do, but at the end of the day a servant is a servant and if the peasants are in revolt, then it is best to throw one or two to the wolves. Thus the Greek filth is in custody, whilst the two British examples are walking around getting patted on the back by their mates.
What a difference a riot makes.
12 December 2008
Irish told to vote again on Lisbon Treaty
Keep 'em voting until they get it right - that's the way the European Union operates. As we reported in September, the federasts were not going to take Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty lying down and that was why they smeared the Irish as thick micks who were in the pay of the CIA.
Now the Irish are to have another vote and this time it is expected that they will get it right. Don't these thick bogtrotters realise that their job is merely to give consent to agreements that have already been reached by their betters? They are not supposed to challenge anything that comes out of Brussels.
Let's just hope that the Irish give another two-fingered salute to the EU and let's hope that this starts the unravelling of the whole loathsome edifice.
11 December 2008
James Purnell & another Labour failure
It is highly likely that the only thing that James Purnell has ever had to worry about as a youngster was if the captain of boats was planning to bugger him after he had finished putting the cane across Jim's bare arse at public school. Purnell is privileged filth, born to privileged filth; the type of creature that socialism was created to bury, but which has now taken over the Labour Party.
Certainly it is unlikely that young Jim ever had to worry about living on about sixty quid a week, which is the going rate for a single unemployed person. As the Nu-Labour regime's Works and Pensions Secretary it may even have seemed like quite a jape to come up with a policy that could be presented as screwing over the unemployed. Even wittier was his decision to hand this task over to a merchant banker who cheerfully admitted that he hadn't the first clue how to begin, but who managed to come up with a report in the record breaking time of three weeks. Said report basically argued that what the north needs is a bit of stick to encourage the population to go out and get a job.
Earth to Jim: the reason why people spend years on benefit in the former industrial areas is that they are former industrial areas. All the fucking jobs were taken away as part of Thatcher's war on the working class. Bring those jobs back, the unskilled and semi-skilled industrial jobs, and people will flock to take them up. You could even kill two birds with one stone by concentrating on jobs for men. If you got the fellows back to work then the women would look for employed men as husbands and providers, rather than relying on the state as they do now.
However to do that would involve going up against one of Nu-Labour's prime core consituencies, the social workers, council officers and other assorted lower middle class riff-raff. Far better, thinks our Jim, to pretend that this new policy marks any kind of break with that of the past. It doesn't because it can't. Forcing single mothers to attend a few meaningless interviews a year may play well with the scumbag vote that Nu-Labour gets such a blue-veiner over, but it won't get folk back to work because the bastard jobs don't exist.
10 December 2008
Living with inbred primitives
Watch the CCTV footage from northern Mexico. The guy charges into the jewellery shop and starts killing everyone in there. Then the idiot slips and his mate comes in and picks him up. Finally a third member of the gang remembers that clumsy boy had left his AK-47 behind and has to return for it. Twenty-three seconds, four dead and the gang escaped.
In any civilised country these murderous clowns would have been put down or put away years ago, but the point about a third world shithole is that it is so third rate - so the cops are even more bovine than the robbers.
However, not to worry because an investigation will have taken place. Lots of forms will have been filled in, and all involved will congratulate each other on a job well done. Everything will have been done exactly according to procedure, and the fact that people are dead and more will die in the future is actually nobody's fault.
Aren't you pleased that you don't live in a third world shithole?
09 December 2008
Time to think again about Joe Stalin?
08 December 2008
British government may be getting ready to run the printing presses
Martin Meenagh has been considering government economic policy and makes two points that should be enough to slacken a few sphincters.
The first is that the government now has the power to seize bank accounts that have been dormant for 15 years or more. However, as Martin also points out, what this act does is establish the principle that governments can seize accounts, and that means that they can then move on to just about any other deposit. The second is something that Guido Fawkes has also clued in on: namely that the Bank of England no longer needs to announce how many notes it prints.
Martin reckons that this is part and parcel of a "last ditch effort to print money to fight deflation on a global scale". However, your friendly old Exile is dubious about the global bit if only because that many institutions are buying dollars at the moment that the USA may get by on that basis alone. So much debt is denominated in dollars and so much of it is being called in that the rest of the world is having to buy dollars just for that end - and that helps Washington avoid this nuclear option.
However, as part of a British strategy too stave off meltdown the wheeze looks an odds-on cert. The Bank of England would print money like buggery and use it to buy back their own debt. That would have the political effect of making people believe that government borrowing was not as high as the Tories claim - rather a good point to be able to make in the run-up to an election. The ability to grab funds from bank accounts would be brought into play as a backup funding reserve.
Will it work? This writer reckons that it will, probably, but he also thinks that the USA will be involved as well. The simple truth is, folks, that we are in uncharted waters so tossing a coin is as good a way as any of predicting the outcome of this little wheeze.
How bad will it be for individuals and families? Let's be honest about this - if you are able to follow the three golden rules that I set out here, then all this will pass you by. I am not saying that you won't take a hit, and I am not saying that things won't get bumpy, but if you have lived within your means then you will survive.
If you haven't, and if you tried to finance a lifestyle with credit, then you are going to be fucked.
Why aggression can never be justified: the contortions of John Sentamu
Dr John Sentamu, then Bishop of Birmingham, and now Archbishop of York, was one of the critics of the war against Iraq. Indeed, he took the sensible view that "The Iraqis needed liberating but the best liberation is always from within not from without," in a BBC interview a year after the aggression began.
Now he is arguing for exactly the same type of aggression to be used against Zimbabwe that he opposed when used on Iraq. In this case he has argued that an invasion of Zimbabwe would be justified because Tanzania ousted Uganda's Idi Amin in 1979 on the basis that Amin was "a tyrant". Ergo, an invasion of Zimbabwe would be justified on the very same gounds.
However this is just bollocks of the highest order, because the simple fact is that Uganda attacked Tanzania and annexed the province of Kagera. Tanzania went to war to liberate her territory from the invader - and then went on to administer a severe stuffing to the Ugandans on their own turf. As a result of that war the Amin regime fell, but that collapse came about because of a war that Amin had started, not because the Tanzanians suddenly objected to living next door to a very bad man.
It is strange that on the one hand Archbishop Sentamu opposed the war against Iraq, a war that was based on a tissue of lies, and now he seeks to use exactly the same dodgy techniques to encourage a similar aggression against Zimbabwe.
07 December 2008
Watching a middle class vanish
The middle class are defined, at least by me, as those people who don't have the balls to be workers nor the brass to be gaffers. That is the reason why they are screaming that the recession is something that we all need to worry about - the cowardly little maggots want people to take to the streets on their behalf. Hopefully there will be only two chances of that happening: a dog's chance and no fucking chance. Let's just hope that all of our people will have the common sense to realise that this is not our fight. If that does happen, then we might just get a re-run of the Mexican Crisis of 1994-95 and be able to sit back and watch as a whole class vanishes down the toilet.
I gave you a few tips on how to survive an economic meltdown a couple of months ago, that was based on my experiences during that period, but now let's look at what happened when the middle class were left with their arses hanging out the window, all alone and afraid.
When the peso tanked all those years ago the new middle class that had been created by the easy credit and overvalued peso started to howl just as their counterparts in Britain are doing right now. They set up a pressure group called el Barzon to speak for them, and the very name of that body tells you just how weak they were to begin with.
A barzon is the yoke that is used to fix two oxen together for ploughing or whatever. Those pathetic little cockroaches couldn't even see themselves as a force in their own right: only as the yolk that held together the two mighty powers that are labour and capital. Well, they were in for a very big shock when they found out that neither team gave a shit about them.
That was made clear to all and sundry one fine day in early 1995 when this gang of life's little losers decided to march down Reforma, the main drag that cuts central Mexico City into two and where most of the embassies are located.
Very rarely will the police go into action against political demonstrators. The assumption is that if some group can mobilise a few thousand people then that group will have some powerful friends somewhere in government. Best to leave them alone and try and reroute the traffic as best they can, is the way that the police mind works.
However, that day the riot police went into action with gusto, and there was a great wailing and smashing of teeth. I saw one woman smashed over the head with a club and watched as she staggered out of the march with blood streaming down her face. She could barely see where she was walking and held her hands out in front of her, and expensive clutch handbag in one paw.
That was when someone from the crowd that was watching all this darted forward, grabbed the little slag's bag, and then had it away on his toes, bag and all.
Nobody tried to stop him because nobody in that crowd gave a shit about the creatures who were getting battered by the cops. The cops for their part had been given the wink to beat seven colours of shit out of the marchers.
What did the Barzon crowd do afterwards? They did sweet fuck all. They knew that they were on their own and they didn't have either the balls or the numbers to take things to the next level. As I said, the middle class lack the balls to be workers and the brass to be bosses.
The workers watched all this with indifference and only got worked up when their supplies of subsidised tortillas, beans and rice failed to arrive at the distribution points. On the odd occasions that this happened, then arses did sting in the bureaucracy as nobody fucks with the Mexican working class in that way.
As for the bosses, they switched over to a dollar economy for the duration of the crisis, or weathered the storm at their homes in France, Spain or the USA. They didn't care any more than my wife's lot did. Not our conflict.
The middle class. The new Mexican middle class that was created out of a few years of cheap credit vanished as if it had never been.
06 December 2008
Barack Obama is not full of shit
Ever fancied having a little statue of Barack Obama having a shit? Well, now for just €14.00 you can. Or how about Gordon Brown or even The Pope? Proof positive that these people are not full of shit as each statue has a good sized turd behind it.
These shitters, or caganers, form a traditional part of the Catalan nativity and are usually placed in the corner of the crib. Originally the statue would be peasant figure, but now they cover the full range of political, sporting and religious personalities.
Cheers: Daily Telegraph
05 December 2008
This depression is actually very entertaining
I don't know why they call it a depression because I'm not depressed at all when I look at the latest economic figures. House prices fell by 2.6% during November alone, and if that wasn't enough to bring a smile to anyone's lips then the thought that December looks set to be even better should have folk slapping their sides with mirth in a getting the news about the Brighton Bomb sort of way.
There is really only one thing that we should wonder about as we watch the middle class being reduced to the level that we have existed at for almost three long decades: how much will their wives and daughters charge to suck cock?
04 December 2008
The credit crunch in Putney, London
I was walking through Putney last Friday evening at about 8.00pm on my way to the Railway Inn, a rather decent swill shop. On the very corner of Upper Richmond Road and Putney High Street there stands a Foxton's Estate Agency, an establishment that for some reason has always struck me as representing Blatcherite aspirational values at their most loathsome.
Inside the shop, but clearly visible from the street, a young man was sat behind his computer screen. That at a time, remember, when most men his age should be thinking about the beer that they will pore down their necks and the talent that they hope to pull that Friday evening.
The bloke who was with me gave me a nudge and started to laugh. I did the same and the two of us stood in the street laughing our heads off at some wazzock half our age who was wasting good supping and pulling time.
The little maggot was scared, of course. Scared for his job as everything crashes around him. He looked up and saw us chortling at his discomfort, then he returned to his screen, and didn't say a word.
If he reads this - or any of his ilk pass this way - then the news is that the beer was bladder-filling good and the talent was firm of buttock and heavy of breast.
It is going to be a hard recession for the former middle class.
Teaching English Abroad, Part Two
If you are thinking about teaching English abroad, then the first thing that you need to know is that this particular sea is full of sharks, so don't just pack a bag and head off somewhere. Get the contract before you leave the UK and make sure that it is with a reputable outfit.
The two biggest are the British Council and International House. Both of them offer contracts that include your flight to and from the country where you will work and a pretty decent salary package. If hired by either of them then you will only remain in a country for a maximum of three years before they relocate you elsewhere.
If for whatever reason you decide that you quite like the country then you go on what is called a local contract. Trust me, you won't like those contracts. Unlike the one that you have had for three years, this one will just pay you an hourly rate - and the hourly rate is going to be very low indeed. Expect about a tenner an hour if you are lucky. You won't get any benefits, not even sickness or holiday pay. When you work you get paid, but when you don't then you get nothing. That's how local contracts work, and now you know why most people agree to move around every 36 months.
I am afraid to say that most English schools operate along those lines, pretty much all the time in the third world. Unlike the British Council and International House, they are run by dodgy businessmen who want to make as much money as they can, and as quickly as they can. Their profit margin is increased by a seemingly endless supply of young, idiotic graduates who want to live in a particular country for a year of so. Hardly any of them have either a teaching qualification or work permit and they are quite happy to live four or five to a room and earn a couple of quid an hour.
Given that this is not your aim - because I like to think that my readers are not complete idiots - then if you want to teach English abroad, get yourself a recognised qualification and arrange your contract with a legitimate body before you leave the UK.
And if you end up in Mexico, drop me a line and let's go and have a pint.
03 December 2008
Feeling bored? Shit on the likes of Gimlet, says the Exile
"A reader has kindly sent me," starts a spurt by Gimlet Kamm, which then goes on to make much of a supposed typo in a Morning Star piece by Neil Clark.
According to Neil in both the printed and on-line versions the German definitive article "die" is rendered correctly, and his error in writing it "de" only crops up in the reposted version on his blog. I don't have access to the printed version of the paper and the electronic one is available by payment only, but I am inclined to wonder if Neil would be so daft as to lie about something that any number of Gimlet's stooges can check?
The point is that Gimlet, the short-arsed little fucker himself, claimed that some "reader had kindly sent" him the story from the Star, but if Neil's version is correct then it can only be that the error was picked up on Neil's blog. That could mean that Gimlet is a secret reader - and we have caught him out in a porkie!
It's a small point about a small fucker, but it is worth making as cheap laughs are always worth having.
Teaching English Abroad, Part One
If you are worried about a recession, one way to get by is to become an expat and leave rainy, depressed England behind for a spell working abroad. Very well, I hear the cynics amongst you say, but doesn't an expat need to be highly skilled?
Not necessarily, replies your friendly old Exile, who does know a thing or two about living abroad. Have you ever considered taking a CELTA?
The CELTA is the Certificate in Teaching English to Adults, and it is offered at literally hundreds of sites throughout the UK. It is the premier English teaching qualification on offer, probably because the certificate itself is marked University of Cambridge. There are other qualifications on offer, but none carries the CELTA brand recognition.
The course usually lasts four weeks full time and it cannot be broken down into modules, so if you start it then you must finish it in one chunk. It is an expensive course to take, with an average cost of about £1,250, but if you want to work abroad then it is a price worth paying.
Entry requirements are fairly standard - you just need to have been educated up to A-Level, but obviously a degree is preferred by many institutions. The lower age limit for entry to a CELTA course is usually 20, but some centres will take you at 18 - you need to ask around.
Finally, if you do your certificate at any of the International House centres that are dotted around the country, then they will guarantee you a job abroad upon successful completion of the course.
Coming up next: some of the pitfalls that you may face teaching English abroad.
02 December 2008
Getting by: keeping chickens
It seems that keeping livestock has suddenly become fashionable in the UK, so let's look at the pros and cons of keeping chickens, since they are the most fashionable form of livestock around.
Contrary to all the hype, keeping one or two chickens is not going to give you more than one or two eggs a week, unless you happen to be very lucky. Now you are going to need a coop for them to sleep and lay their eggs in, and a run for them to scamper about in during the day. Given that Britain now has a largish population of urban foxes, you need to make sure that this area is thoroughly protected from those creatures.
Before you go any further, you really need to do a cost-benefit analysis at this point. How much is the coop and run going to cost? Sure, you can buy one ready made, but that is going to set you back somewhere in the region of £600 if you buy this top of the range version. Given the cost of eggs in your local supermarket, how many centuries would it take before you had recouped an investment like that?
If you are determined to have an expensive structure in your garden, it might make sense to wait until Jeremy and Jennifer have got bored with theirs and have put it for sale. In the meantime get to work repairing an old shed to serve as your coop and surround it with a cage of chicken wire to keep the foxes and cats at bay.
If you live in a house with a back yard, is the old toilet still standing? If it is then all you need to do is remove the throne and block up the hole with cement. Replace the door with something that doesn't have a gap at the bottom and then put in a bar that runs from wall to wall for the chickens to roost on. Hey presto you have a chicken coop. So long as you were around during the day then they could have the run of the yard. However, if you are out, then it might be an idea to enclose part of the yard with chicken wire, just in case a feral cat fancies lunch.
In Mexico the urban population who live in flats often keep a couple of bantam chickens on a window ledge. The husband will knock up a wooden platform which will have a small coop on it and the chickens get the run of the rest of the ledge during the day. They usually have a cord attached to one leg to stop them vanishing off somewhere.
So what is the advice here? Basically to save some brass by keeping chickens for their eggs. To do that you have to keep your initial outlay down to a minimum. The more work you can do yourself when it comes to constructing your coop and run the better.
Then enjoy your home laid eggs.
01 December 2008
Mexico City's video humour
Neither of these two videos are mine, but they are going the rounds and I thought that I would include them as examples of Mexican humour.
What's Mexico City like? Even when sober it's loud and in your face and doesn't give a stuff if you complain. A bit like this blog, come the think about it.
This video has been passed around Mexico City by e-mail many times but it still has everyone who sees it rolling in the aisles.
It's about what happens when a bloke from Tepito goes on holiday in Kenya. To understand the humour you need to know that Tepito is a thieves' den in Mexico City that has been a law unto itself for centuries.