Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Stay or Leave – Will You STOP FLAPPING & Give Me FACTS, Please?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

I’m obviously not the only tired of the furore & posturing claims & counter-claims of the EU referendum, but am I the only one who’s more than a little disturbed that it seems to have been reduced to ranting at or blaming immigrants, i.e ‘bloody dirty foreigners’?

“Dirty bloody foreigners flooding our country (taking our jobs, drinking our beer)”
“Dirty bloody foreigners telling us what to do.”

I’m not saying immigration isn’t an issue – what I AM saying it isn’t THE issue.
There are concerns about trade, security, sovereignty, amongst others – staying or leaving has implications in so many areas.

People seem to have quickly (& rather conveniently) forgotten that in 2008, as a result of greed & hubris, and NOT immigrants, the banks took OUR money & went on a ‘crap shoot’. They lost. Big time.
House prices fell off a cliff, the national (& indeed, the global) economy very nearly followed. The government then used even more of OUR money to prop up the banks.
Government then proceeded on a slash & burn policy regarding spending cuts across the board; Housing, education, health, local authorities, emergency services and the military are now cutting services as their budgets are slashed.

Gen Sir Richard Shirraff, former Head of NATO was openly critical of the PM’s military defense cuts, as a direct result of the recession & banking crisis of 2008, earning him the threat of court marshall.

I myself, often (half-joke) that I have to work ’til I’m 102 for a pension that won’t even cover the cost of the postage to pay to write & complain about it.
I could go on about LIBOR………………….

“Dirty foreigners a strain on housing, the NHS”
Erm, weren’t we told (by experts) thew NHS is groaning under the ..erm.. weight of an obesity crisis due to swathes of the UK populace being overfed & underactive (or fat & lazy depending on how narrow-minded you are), as well as admissions due to or related to excessive alcohol consumption, rather than just ‘dirty bloody foreigners’ turning up & taking beds (presumably whilst waiting for a really expensive council house)?
“All this money we’re paying to the EU (ie ‘/dirty bloody foreigners’) could be better spent on housing & the NHS.”
Again, as a result of the crash of 2008 (not the ‘flood of dirty bloody foreigners’), one of the things that got hit was house building. Err …. & what about the those big multinational corporations with their labyrinthine tax avoidance practices? Recovering all that lovely cash BEFORE it gets to places like Panama could surprisingly be beneficial to the UK economy.

We’ll be overrun by terrorists, criminals (and possibly the French!!)
Errm, that’s what Interpol notices are for?
We already have (I hope) a very active & clued-up Boreder Control Force
Also, those of us with memories remember that (Northern) Irish Loalyist & Unionist paramilitary groups operated on UK & Irish mainlands for decades, With Birmingham, Brighton & Lord Mountbatten being a few heavily reported, high-profile targets.

What about all those Syrian immigrants?
Errm, don’t you mean refugees?
The UK (along with other EU heads of state), set about calling the issue a ‘migrant crisis’.
This label, rather conveniently allowed them to act as if it was someone else’s problem, or possibly play for time while they hoped it would go away.
It didn’t.
In fact it escalated so quickly, no-one was able to handle it, meaning everyone ended up being forced to do a deal with Turkey, on terms that no-one, not even the Turks really wanted. That said they still took the money.
If someone have the brass ones to look at it as a humanitarian problem, actually attempt to deal with the situation on the ground in Syria as well as the (labyrinthine) politics, the the politicians (clues in the name guys, that’s what you get paid for), might possibly have been better prepared.

The Remain camp can’t sit around looking smug though:
We’re also told that

Taxes will rise if we leave the EU – EVERYONE will live on bread & water!! (if they can afford it)
Here’s a novel idea – how about all those big multinational corporations pay little or bugger all tax actually pay what they damn well owe?
Or will the tax hikes not matter to those companies looking to avoid paying their fair share?
The UK Govt bravely got Google to pay £138m of their estimated £1.3 billion in tax (hurrah!)
The French govt (dirty bloody foreigners) took Google to task on their tax bill (~£1.38bn), effectively saying “pay up or do one – after we’ve sued the pants off you!”
They even went as far as to actually investigate this situation using real people to gather evidence

There are those saying leaving will plunge the UK into a recession the likes of which we’ve never seen; we’ll be selling body parts & our first born to pay for even basic needs.
Erm…were they asleep during 2007 & not wake up until last week?
Oh let’s not forget a number of companies & local authorities invested public money in Iceland (not in the EU) – then the bank involved tanked.

Former PM John Major warned of the possible recession as a result of leaving the EU; right… when his party was in power & there was a massive recession during the 80’s/90’s (he seemed to forget that)

Staying in the EU means workers rights are protected
Maybe, but wasn’t the UK ahead of the curve on this or at least, UK law already guarantees workers on a level equivalent or better than EU legislation?
In any case, at the moment, I think there’s a few junior doctors that may take issue on this point.
Oh, plus there a few people that (used to?) work for BHS that may not see eye to eye on this, especially after seeing Sir Phillip Greene trying to explain the sudden hole in the store’s balance sheet AND pension funds.
And may I also say, this will not be a comfort to those in TATA steel? Well, in fact the steel industry as a whole due to cheap imports, EU legislation, & heavy foreign subsidies. Oh, and the fact that the Government essentially had to be shamed into intervening.
(To be fair, the steel industry apparently is a huge loss-leader, but if it goes under , the UK could potentially be the only major military power without it’s own steel-producing capacity).

Stay in the EU & we can benefit from better bargaining positions on trade agreements
An argument that also seems to be made for the case if we leave the EU.
Leaving the EU means we’ll be unable to maintain effective security & border controls!!!!
(“Dirty Foreiners flooding our country!!!!!!!”)
Again, if companies paid their fair share, there may be a case for employing more staff that could be effectively deployed.
Anyways, not to worry, whilst everyone’s been complaining about those ‘dirty bloody foreigners’, the Government have managed to get the Investigatory Bill passed through the Commons early in June this year. This now means they have unprecedented powers to hoover up personal details, phone records, emails, internet histories (amongst other things – you name it, they’ll track it or spy on it) on anyone AND everyone (potentially).
That should sort it.
Of course there’ll be a period of adjustment & uncertainty as with any major event or move.
This referendum should be a chance to look at issues that could help the country & all it’s citizens move forward, rather than an excuse to justify near-sighted, casual bigotry or outright racism.
How will I vote? I don’t even tell my wife about my voting – that’s the great thing about democracy; my ballot is my business.


Note: I did email this to the Have Your Say email address at the BBC website.

I’ve noticed that had a few typos – they probl’y thought I was a nutter…

Oh well…………………..

For My Wife…………….

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Funny how a piece of work you make so long ago seems to resonate with some people.
One of my last uploads ‘Heart & Soul (To My Dearest Wife)’, was an old mix CD I put together for The Wife years ago.

Recently she’s been having a bit of a tough time, so in my bumbling, male way, I did what I know best – uploaded it as a musical love letter.
I’ve had some really positive responses – Thank You.
I’ve told The Wife – she says thank you too.
All I will say is things are slowly looking brighter

Heart & Soul: To My (Dearest) Wife by Alph on Mixcloud

*yawn*, Hello? You still there?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last post!

Sorry if it seems I’ve been asleep or negleting you; it’s just been a bit hectic; honest!

Let’s see what’s been going on:

  • I survived Eurovision!!
  • For me, this involved earplugs & Twitter; others may have used copious quantities of alcohol – this is a risky strategy, given the capacity for drunken tweets.
  • Did BPM this year – again; this time ran into some old friends from home….yes!!Had at least a couple of issues sorting through stuff on Mixcloud, but found some old faces-cool.
  • I’ve yet to post stuff up on Mixcloud – my PC’s played up & just got it back. I ned to do a re-install (d’oh!), but have backed everything up (YES!)

Should really try to get sorted, but you know, it’s good to be back….

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

40 years ago, hip hop was born in a house party in the Bronx by a Jamaican with a monster sounds system.

20 years ago today, this very day, strange noises were emanating from a small basement bar in Wolverhampton. I can’t believe it was THAT long ago. From a small night in the West Midlands to a regular fixture in people’s calendar from all over.

Tim, the Original Gang of 4 kind of made history; we all did.

Started as an idea during the Acid Jazz thing in the 90’s, but providing an alternative, expanding vision to that trend.

20 Years Ago Today: Stump Juice (5-11-93 Pt 1) by Alph on Mixcloud

I struggled to find a way to mark this occasion. No recording exists of that night, unfortunately – it was fantastic.

I did find a recording, the earliest I could f ind, made 2 months after we opened.

I’d dedicate this to everyone, the crowd, guest DJs ,our regulars, everyone who worked there – you all made it unique & special.

Hopefully, over the months, I’ll find more stuff from, the archive…………..

Protecting you culture – and your ‘brand’

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Hi, I’m back from a well-earned break. There’s so much to to at the moment that blogging has gone on the back burner for quite a while.

Before I left I was working on this – based on a trawl thru the BBC which unearthed this surprising item about the Masi people looking to protect their culture from exploitation by applying principles of Intellectual Property.

There’s always,in my opinion, a case for people to have a little respect or at least properly acknowledge the role other cultures if they’ve been an inspiration.

There are many ways certain individuals or companies have made money off the images of other cultures for commercial gain, banking of the notion of being exotic somehow being ‘cool’ or fashionable. Unfortunately, these appropriations, taken out of their cultural context actually mean little & could be seen as demeaning or disrespectful.

The full article can be read here