Saturday, 31 January 2009


A book published recently claimed that the true value of the old age pension had fallen by almost a half in the last thirty years and that the largest fall had occurred under this Labour government. I’m not surprised by this statement having campaigned against their policies since the 75p affair. I know that there as been a growth in private schemes during that time but all the evidence now points to them being inadequate to meet future demands. Except for the public sector which we has tax payers meet. The government had a commitment to re-introduce the wage index linking in I think 2012 but in the meantime pensions will continue to fall behind. We now have no guarantee that anything will be done because the way they have squandered our wealth we can never be treated fairly. The thinking that it’s OK to bail out a bank but not a pension fund demonstrates their arrogance against the sector of society that created the wealth after the wars pulled itself up by its boot straps and built a better society. Shame on Brown and Co who has so under valued our age group. We deserve better.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Nightmare on May Street.

Of the Teresa kind. Iron lady II was recently appointed by David Cameron has the shadow minister for Work & Pensions. This probably means she will hold that post when her lot get elected in X months time. She doesn’t come over has a caring person more a hard nose get on ye bike type of politician totally wrong for that job. I suppose Cameron is thinking, give it a women the softer gentler sex? Humbug. In my view she will have as much sympathy of the pensioner cause has a Black Window spider for her mate. Over the last 11yrs we have had a succession of centre left Tories purporting to be socialists as Work and Pensions Secretaries. The worst of these was of course Steven Timms. He then went to the Treasury and? Well do we need to say more?
There have been some dangerous precedence’s set recently that I’m sure the Tories have not missed. A radical plan to get people off benefits and back into “suitable” work (that is if they can find a job). This has caught on in Sandwell if the local letters page of our paper is to be believed. A lady of 65 and a man of 71 both of which suffer with severe asthma have been sent letters by Job Centre about returning to work. Can we see where this is going? Tories in office pensioners not working, the on yer bike mentality so why not get us all doing something to earn our pensions? Brilliant.
I could certainly work, designing logos, leaflets, newsletters, advertising material or writing bespoke poetry. My rates are extremely competitive and I promise a good quality product with excellent service. I could do voluntary work and I’m sure the Tory machine can think of lots of other stuff. I could even get really good at and loose a couple of sensitive memory sticks.
There are no clear policies from the Tories yet on how they will deal with us pensioners. So until then I’ll fear the worst and get on with the job of enjoying my retirement give or take the current humilities of getting old and with a bit of luck help to get rid of Brown to give Labour just an outside chance of remaining a viable political force.
Reminds me of a joke from a friend of mine who claimed his grandson was ashamed of him and his mates. When he enquired why, the youngster said “well you’re all out of work and on drugs” I see where he is coming from.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Bail out Britain

How does he sleep at night?
I’m sorry about the picture because in some respects I think it’s in very bad taste. It is in my opinion though a somewhat accurate portrayal of what our beleaguered PM has brought this country to. I hear that he is concerned that the country now see him has the minister for recession and he wants more of his cabinet colleagues to take responsibility. I’ll bet he does but I suspect they’ll carry on doing what they are doing and keep as low a profile as possible. Brown keeps on about a global solution to a global problem but I’m not convinced by any of his rhetoric these days. Many of the larger economies are acting unilaterally and to some extent so should we. Tuesday they announced yet another bail out this time for the motor industry (this is not a bail just targeted help). The 1Billion for developing green technology is long overdue (too little and to late) but the other measurers, to support credit to buy cars seems to me to be typical Brown bonkers thinking. Didn’t too much credit get us into this mess in the first place? I can understand investing in the future for manufacturing and cars being the leading edge of the work but not in this way. Jaguar and Rover are now owned by an Indian billionaire. He bought the company and his group manage it. We should not be bailing him out. Take the companies back into British hands if we must but no bail out. Our manufacturing industries should be leading the world and can, making environmentally friendly cars not the gas guzzling beasts they are encouraging us to buy on the new credit scheme. Leave the unsold cars alone eventually the market will decide to sell at good discounts and the pile will go away. All this bail out money will keep prices high. Wrong move wrong time. Invest in the manufacturing infrastructure and training and we will recover. We have a long history of innovation and entrepreneurial ability. I know I worked in the motor industry in the very bad times. A modern industry evolved with world class products. Gordon seems to have forgotten the theory of wealth creation: - provide a service or product that people want to buy, sell it at a price they are willing to pay and make a profit. What he is now trying to do flies in the face of wealth creation common sense.
The reason for the £ being under pressure is not so much a lack of confidence in Britain but a lack of confidence in our leader.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Deflation is good for us.

Pension increases are calculated on the rate of inflation in September each year. I’ve complained many times in the past that the inflation number used is a rip off because it is the lowest measure of inflation the government use in any of its statistics and does not reflect the inflation being felt by pensioners. This year though could see a phenomenon not seen before when we could have a deflationary situation in September. Now assuming scrooge Brown is still in power, (I sincerely hope not) his policy in the past has been to stick strictly to this number. Remember the 75 pence? Will this lot of closet Tories calling themselves Labour dare to try to reduce pensions? I hope so, because that will be the last straw. It should galvanise all the pension groups into taking action. I do hope I’m around to see it and active enough to take part. Even the National Pensioners Convention’s annual Lobby of Parliament might be a real force in Westminster for once.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Victim support.

Or in our case victim relief. My wife reminded me the other day how difficult things had been for us over the last few weeks and how much better it was that we could start to do things for ourselves again. Things that we had always taken for granted had become very difficult or impossible over that period. Changing a light bulb that required the removal of a light cover was totally out of the question. Small lifting and carrying jobs had become difficult as getting around was somewhat curtailed. I always used to smile at my Mum when I visited because she always left these chores until the last minute when I was leaving to ask me to do. I never minded of course but we always joked about it. Recently we have been doing the same thing. Any friends or family who came to visit ended up with a job. We tried to make sure they knew on arrival what we had in mind and for the most part it worked quite well. We called them the victims. You find out who your friends are when this happens and we have plenty.
A couple of week ends ago we wanted to erect a new Tit nesting box in the garden and I was determined I was going to do it. Getting on a small step ladder was a non starter so I ended up on a make shift step with the misses propping me up whilst I nailed this box to the shed. Time to do it all morning! Satisfaction rating, very high! Interest from the birds? Nil so far.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Holocaust Memorial Day

I went along yesterday to the ceremony at West Brom Memorial Garden. It was a solemn and poignant reminder of what went on. Lead by the Mayor of Sandwell it was just long enough to catch the essence of the evil that happened then and in other genocides across the globe. In Sandwell I think it’s the third year we have had a service of for this event. It seems to be a political event because a large proportion of the audience were Labour Councillors. I only saw one opposition member. I can’t help wondering why this should be. Is there some kind of petty argument going on within the council over staging this event or is it something more deeply felt by our opposition? We should never forget such evil but having said that I feel outraged at the way Israel has recently treated its neighbour. To me it’s a case of international bullying on a grand scale. Any sympathy I had with their cause is much diminished. It was strange to me that the fighting ended just hours before Barack Obama was sworn in. Could this be something to do with Bush’s legacy? I hope the new President will take a firmer line with Israel and work closely to get a solution. One is long overdue.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Big gas rip off continues.

The other day British Gas announced a reduction of 10% in its general tariff. On the face of it this sounds like good news. But let’s just have a look at what happened last year. They increased their charges by 35% using the excuse that wholesale gas prices were the major problem and because energy prices were linked the price of oil, the increase was absolutely necessary. Oil at that time was $140 a barrel, today oil is trading around $40 and the wholesale price as fallen well below the 10%. So, to me the energy company is ripping me off. What I ask is the regulator doing and indeed the minister. I get quite bored when they use the same old rhetoric about free market forces and how they are trying to help the most vulnerable. We are in a severe recession and the energy companies can play a leading role in helping families and industries affected by this but they will not do it by this kind of hand rubbing with glee “we’re gona make a bundle” philosophy they are currently adopting. They know of course that whatever obscene profit they report the government will never consider a windfall tax on it. Time for a change I think on energy regulation.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Hell Plates

I was feeling a little below par yesterday and the legs were just a bit wobbly so I decided it might be a good opportunity to try out the new chair. We were going to meet my brother and his wife at a garden centre and I knew that the area was flat and there would be propulsive help if required. In terms of manoeuvrability I did really well. The speed over car park was slow and rather hard going but once in the store I quickly got the hang of it. I mentioned in an earlier post how people ignored my wife when she was in her chair and low and behold it happened to me today. I was trying on carpet slippers (pensioners wear these things out) when I asked if they had a particular style in a size not on the rack. The assistant ignored me spoke to my wife who was standing behind me, went to fetch what she had, gave them to the misses and left as though I had some sort of communicable disease. I’m thinking “hello there, the legs might be a bit dodgy today but there’s nothing wrong with my brain”. I never bought any. It was bit of a gamble with some of the isles because they have not carefully thought out whether a wheel chair could get around the store and it took quite a bit of manoeuvring to get around. I never hit anything or anybody for that matter but I think I’m going to have to get a horn or bell fitted because people just don’t see wheel chairs. I might get myself a cap with a slogan which says something like “I’m in a chair but I’m still human, please don’t ignore me” That needs a bit of work.
Using a chair was not fun and something I’ll only be doing as a very last resort.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Bob’ new chair

A friend loaned me a wheel chair, just in case this wretched disease gets any worse and I need more assistance. The chair needed a bit of a spruce up and I decided to add my own touch of creativity by introducing an advertising feature on the side panels. I haven’t yet needed to use it but it will make, I guess, for a bit of interest if I ever need to. I can remember some years ago my wife was wheel chair bound for about 6 months and I did most of the pushing. Interesting how people perceived her in the chair. Almost always they addressed me and completely ignored her. We made the best of it and I had a great wheeze when shopping because I would hurry her past items I didn’t want to view. She soon caught on to that. I was extremely please when the chair was abandoned. It did wonders for my fitness though. I can remember pushing her up the hill form our house to the doctor. When we got there I was so out of breath I needed the treatment more than she did. I soon recovered and got used to the task, it was never a chore for me.
Note the advertising feature. Anybody wanting to advertise I’ll do some really competitive rates.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Gordon’s Chair

A couple of days ago I commented on “What to spend my sixty quid on” and on how my wife had decided she wanted a new executive chair so that she could paint in comfort. Since then the chair has become known in the BBCB household as Gordon’s chair. Here she is enjoying her sixty quid, painting and posing for the camera. I still haven’t decided what to spend mine on. The heating bill is still the favourite.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

£300, 000000,000000

When you look at the number of noughts it’s a staggering amount of money to bail out a couple of banks just for a loan guarantee service. I recon if packs of £10 notes were used you could build a tower higher than Big Ben just for this bail out. What I can’t understand is the attitude of the government to the managers of these banks particularly RBS & HBOS for their irresponsible attitude. The actions I believe are probably criminally culpable on the part of the directors and should be dealt with by the criminal justice system. Some have lost their jobs and reputation (tough) others for the moment are still in post. For me this is just the same as say a drugs baron who is caught. Once tried and convicted their assets are stripped. We need to see some asset stripping of the bank moguls who got us into this mess. I’ll feel a lot happier about my taxes being used when I can see the perpetrators being suitably dealt with. What is annoying me is when some of these are interviewed on TV, you would think that nothing had happened and all is well. It’s another Gordon “it’s not my fault honest guv” attitude.
Well it is their fault and they need to be dealt with.
I think that quite possibly there is also a case against bundling Brown but I guess his Parliamentary Privilege would cover his actions.
I watched PMQs today and I have to say I was disappointed in much of his response and for that matter Cameron’s apparent lack of understanding. Two questions in particular worry me 1) he would not meet with the MP who asked him to meet with himself and Age Concern over pensioners’ problems and 2) he would not reconsider the absence of England in the bid for European money which bids have successfully achieved for N Ireland Scotland and Wales. I want to know WHY? It is part of what I see as his English phobia. It’s OK this side of any border. Well Sorry Gordon it aint, where are You?

Monday, 19 January 2009

A bit of adveritsing?

I thought I might try something a little different, so I guess this post goes under the barking mad tag. I hate driving behind another car with one of those stickers in the back window. You the ones:- baby on board or little princess. or little person or in my case grumpy old goat. I wonder what do I care? and why are they telling me it's their business. I'm not going to be more careful as I get near the vehicle I don't want to hit it up the butt anyway. I thought I might do a little advertising for the blog with this little masterpiece stuck to the rear window. Wada ya think? I got the idea when a friend lent me a wheel chair just in case this wretched disease of mine gets any worse and I have to succumb. Along the side were two plain metal strips so I designed an advertising board offering advertising in this space; competitive rates. I must admit to being very near to using a chair a couple of times in the last few weeks but hopefully that will not be a necessity. In the meantime I have two bright yellow adverts posted to the side designed in a similar way to this but with tel No and email address for enquiries. I think the idea might catch on with hospitals and clinics where wheel chairs are loaned out. The wife thinks I've finally flipped. I really should get a propa job eh?

What to spend my sixty quid on?

As you all know dear Gordon gave us pensioners a New Year bonus of sixty quid apiece to boost the economy and help us out during these hard time. A one off sixty don’t cut it for me but better than nowt I suppose. The wife who has become quite a talented artist since retiring decided she wanted a new executive swivel chair and some art materials. She wants to be comfortable when she paints. I wonder if her style will change. That blew her bonus and to some extent boosted our local economy. The question is what am I going to do with mine? Gordon would have us go borrow (if we can get credit) add to the bonus and go enjoy. To me that is bonkers economics at this time. I think I might take off a jumper tweak the gas up a degree or two and put it towards the gas and lecky bills because it don’t look as though we are going to get any relief from the energy companies despite the wholesale price of gas falling. On the plus side though petrol is coming down but sadly I’m not using the car much these days.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Credit crunch too

Would you buy a used car from this man?
I thought not either. In my earlier post “Credit crunch” I complained about Gordon’s handling of the economy and how I would not trust him with my vote at a future election unless his attitude and policies towards pensioner groups with concerns where changed. With my analogy of the motorway pile up where was Cameron and his little truck in this crash? Well he certainly didn’t make to many noises about the speed they were travelling and he hasn’t made to much sense in how we get out of the subsequent mess. I can remember well the last two recessions under his mob (the nasty party) who were telling us it was good to have 1 million on the dole and get on yer bike. So not to impressed by their past history. I have to stress though that during the last recessions I prospered because I saw the need for new skills acquired them and was able to sell my skills and experience at a good price. In the first of these, when my kids were very young I had three jobs for a short period to make ends meet. At that time I felt that labour did genuinely want to return to full employment. I have concerns that the Tories would continue with their old ways and they have not come out with any genuine pensioner friendly policies to date.
Later I will write a similar piece on the Liberals but in terms of real future leadership unless Labour get their act into gear the future looks grim.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Credit Crunch

Would you buy a used car from this man?

I thought not, but in few months he is going to ask for our support at a general election claiming he is the best person to se us through this crisis. Whether the election is this spring or next year it will be the same plea. Well I don’t think so.
I liken the credit crunch to a motorway pile up in fog. Little Georgie Bush is driving his Juggernaut full of toxic debt and failed policies as fast as he can ignoring all the warning signs “fog ahead” dear old Gordon is driving is tanker just behind as close as he can get. Laden with failed bank regulations no credit controls and tons of debt. He can smell Bush’s exhaust fumes. These two are of course followed by half the western world in their heavy trucks all blasting along in convoy when! Whoops little Georgie has to swerve to miss a mini containing some of the little folk his failed policies are about to destroy. When wallop he collides so does Gordon and the rest. Now who is to blame for this crunch? I know lets let the Insurance companies try to sort it out. In the meantime Gordon in typical dishonourable style blames everyone else. Meanwhile on the side of the international motorway Lorries from across the globe continue to implode causing the misery that is life for so many nowadays. Oh dear Gordon your day of reckoning will come. He now has three pensioner lobby groups severely disgruntled at his treatment of them, the Pension Protection Fund, Financial Assistance Scheme and now the Equitable Life group. On top of that all pensioners now realise how he has been ripping us of year in year out with our inflation rises. Add to all this the resentment now being felt by all those poor folk being made redundant and all the business failures.

We sure have a big mess on this motorway.

Friday, 16 January 2009

To little to late, AGAIN

Yesterday the government announced it was going to compensate only the worst affected by the Equitable Life pensions scandal. It is going to make ex-gratia payments to those policy holders. I find this quite incredible but in line with it’s meanness towards pensioners today. They failed to fully support pensioners who were bailed out by the Pension Protection Fund PPF and by those who pensions were supported by the Financial Assistance Scheme FAS. They (the government) have bailed out banks, given assurances of 100% protection for savings and are spending billions propping up other failing industries. Pensioners though are being left to suffer. These failures were of no fault of ours and we should all receive the same level of compensation afforded other bail outs. So come on you lot get your heads out of the sand and your fingers out your arses and give all those pensioners loosing out under these schemes a full and equitable compensation package. We deserve it. I bet if it was an MPs pension that was effected in this way there would be an outrage, but because it’s a few thousand pensioners the policy seems to be, Oh fob em off give a little sweetener and they’ll go away. I suppose we will eventually because we will die but not I hope before we can register our protest at the ballot box. There are literally thousands of us who are affected by these schemes and who feel hard done by by Brown & Co. How can bailing out a bank be different to bailing out a failed pension scheme? Present government policy is not good enough.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Credit where it’s due

My regular readers will know I am not slow in criticising our local authority when they get it wrong and in the instances where they have been miserly towards us older folk.
Recently because of my illness I have been having difficulty with some of the more basic aspects of living. Getting up off a chair and the loo has become more difficult. Putting my shoes on and getting up and down stairs and into the shower has been uncomfortable. My wife realised I needed some help with these activities and contacted Sandwell Adult Services initially to find out where to buy an extended shoe horn. They were extremely helpful, put a shoe horn in the post and then sent a lady out to asses what my needs were. They have since fitted rails in my bath a hand rail at the bottom of my stairs and supplied me with two toilet frames to assist my exits from the loo a new hand rail on the stairs will be fitted in a few days as will extensions to the legs on my settee. But the really good news is that it is all free. I never expected that. The quality of goods supplied is excellent and they are all brand new, although the service is known as the loan service. We are doing something right. Well done Sandwell.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


The letters columns are always a good read in our local evening paper. Usually you will get one or more pensioners bemoaning our lot but last week one evening we had three excellent letters on issues that concern pensioners.
Although I do not necessarily agree with all the sentiments raised much of it I empathise with.
“Picking on pensioners” related to the major differences between public and private sector schemes and how much worse of private sector pensioners are. The writer made the point that the average public sector pension this year was £17091 whereas the private sector weighed in with a miserable £1086.
All of the schemes covered by the PPF were of course private sector schemes which were dismal by any standards but with inflation this scheme is now being steadily eroded. Will any of the political parties take this on board? Well not so far but surely someone in government must realise how badly these people are being affected. Well done to the union reps who negotiated the inflation proof deals for public sector but sooner or later these anomalies must be sorted out.
The piece on veteran drivers makes the point that most of us have been driving quite safely for perhaps forty plus years and because we are retired we take our time in getting to where we want to go. The government however now seem hell bent on getting us off the road just because we have reached a certain age. I have felt for some time that this was one of the worst ageist governments of all time and this attack on pensioners is just another in the continued war against pensioners. If we still have our faculties are fit and able to drive safely what indeed as age got to do with it. We as kids when we passed our tests saw the driving licence as a privilege and did not abuse it by going out driving to fast and crashing our cars. Most of us knew that if we did that we would not get another. The majority of us have displayed a responsible attitude to car ownership and driving for our forty plus years behind the wheel. I will know when it is time to give up and I’ll make that decision I don’t need to be wet nursed by our government to get me off the road. I think if they pursue this policy along with the other miserable decisions they have made towards pensioners it will be the final straw for many older traditional labour voters myself included.
Finally “don’t pay into a pension” is relevant to those private sector schemes that do not pay much but take the recipient above the threshold for pension credit. Because of the advantages of getting council tax, dental and optical benefits denied the rest of us.
Many more pensioners are becoming more vocal on issues that affect us. I think this is a good thing. It is particularly sad that most labour politicians think they are doing a wonderful job in respect to us. Sadly the Tories and Lib Dems are of similar mind.
Perhaps it’s time to launch the “Grey Party”

O got my sixty quid today, thanks Gord

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Does anyone know how these cold weather payments work? I’m reading that the West Midlands is one of the parts of the country where the temperature as been below freezing for 9days in a row and this triggers off cold weather payments for pensioners. Well I’m a pensioner living in the West Mids freezing my nuts off. So how do I claim my cold weather payments or is this another of Gordon’s sneaky schemes where only those on pension credit gets them? Or is it so badly publicised and the form so complicated you need a degree in law to understand it? Does anyone know anyone who has actually received a cold weather payment? I’ll just go and put another jumper on. I’m starting to look like the Michelin Man.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Brown V Cameron

For the most out of touch award? I have been warming to Cameron over the last few weeks partly because of the barmy way Brown has been operating in respect to the reduction in VAT which is in my view totally crackers and a complete waste of money. Bigger reductions were being offered at the point of sale because of the competitive forces in the market place and I disagree with him borrowing so much money to continue what I see as a continuation of the policies that got us into this mess in the first place. He is now claiming he has a plan to create 100000 new jobs but don’t we need ten times that amount to stand still in this slump? (am I allowed to say that word?) Cameron comes out with a couple of equally potty policy initiatives. He would abolish tax on saving for all those people on standard rate tax. With savings earning nothing these days you would have to be pretty well off to be paying tax on savings. So this little scheme is a non starter. He then went on to say pensioners would be given an extra £2k personal allowance. This would only help those better off pensioners who are presumably Tory voters. On the plus side for David he is thinking about better off pensioners bless him, I always feel to get Brown to mention pensioners is almost like pulling teeth he loathes us.
The government have majority share holdings in national savings and I think four banks surely they could come up with a series of high interest accounts that would help savers. Cameron’s initiatives are not going to do it.
Are well I’ll sit back now and wait for the next thrilling instalment of “mirror mirror on the wall who is barmiest of them all”. Not much of a choice for us voters though is it Barmy Brown or Crazy Cameron.
At a time like this we need some real leadership where is that going to come from?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Black Country Gob

The following comment was received from fellow Black Country blogger Gobby over at Black Country Gob. I thought it worth publishing in full :-
I just wanted to say Hi and to let you know whats been going on over at Black country Gob. Well back in November we had a visit from those nice hackers which caused severe damage to our database resulting in the loss of our site and over 850,000 page views. :(What did we do, well like true black country folk we stood up and fought and set up a brand new bigger and better forum. :)Although we lost the member list we have managed to get over 250 members back with us and almost 5000, posts since our launch in December.The site is now full of discussions,jokes,quizzzes,competitions,local history,and of course Black country Genealogy.Our Black country images section now has over 600 photos in it and is pretty impresive.Of course yourself and your readers are all welcome to pop in and say hi.Our new address ( you could update the link too now ;) )is simply See you soon and hope your feeling better now Bob.
All the Best Gobby

Gobby! thanks for the new link I have updated my links, good to have you back up and running.

Monday, 5 January 2009


I was alarmed by a comment received on my last post “Labour shoots itself in the foot again. An ex Councillor was concerned that someone in her road was depositing used dirty nappies in the green recycling bin and if this practice occurs they have to send the whole load to land fill. I’m quite frankly appalled. The literature that came out at the time the scheme was introduced was very clear about what we could and could not dispose of via recycling so if this practise is happening it must be stopped. I’m not sure of the facts here but I will attempt to find out if it is true that whole load goes to land fill. For this to be general knowledge someone must have been made aware of what was going on. I wonder if this is a case for the enforcement officer? Not a pleasant duty to have to track down the culprit but the sooner they are named and shamed the better. They are either incredibly thick or downright malicious. I wonder of there are other cases of how the scheme is being misused?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Labour shoots itself in the foot again

Our local freebie newspaper had a story and picture this week concerning how well we had done locally with recycling of cans bottles and cardboard. Because we had been the highest contributor on the old scheme we had been chosen to pilot the new green bin scheme. The scheme has been in operation for about six months and of course very well subscribed to. Nothing wrong with that and well done us. Except the picture was of cabinet member responsible for rubbish Cll. Mahboob the head of green bin service and a couple of operatives. No mention of our labour councillor and his efforts to get our area selected as the pilot. If I was councillor Hosell I would feel like putting Cll. Mahboob in one of his wheelie bins and dumping him in Smethwick. This isn’t the first time something like this as happened but I do think it is wrong of cabinet members forgetting local councillors when they get photo ops like this. Time to start becoming team players.

Saturday, 3 January 2009


Fellow Sandwell blogger Bob Piper did a piece the other day on the New Years honours list. Sorry Sir Robert you didn’t get one.
During our local election campaign I made it one of the priorities for our ward. As you would expect once again dear old Newton was completely overlooked. In fact West Bromwich seems to have been ignored unless the local paper missed someone in their report. It’s all very well giving honours to celebs and sports personalities but what about the real people? I’m thinking of people like blind Dave Heely and his mate Malcolm Carr who ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents and raised half a million quid for guide dogs. The lady who is a stroke sufferer who has run our local stroke club for twenty five years and the guy who is leading the campaign to save our Park. I’m not sure how this gong system works but I suspect our MPs have a big part to play in making the nominations. So why did these people get overlooked? Dave Heely was just as high a publicity item as the Olympic swimmers or cyclists and just as good an athlete. So come on whoever is responsible for making these nominations let’s hear it for West Brom & Newton.

Friday, 2 January 2009

A New Year message for my MP

Well to all Labour MPs I suppose


Because my message is quite terse,
I thought I’d add a little verse.
At the curry house you hatch your scheme,
get rid of Tone was the general theme.
Tony quits in a blaze of glory,
along comes Gordon, that’s another story.
He dithers and dallies can’t make up his mind,
an election date is hard to find.
Plague and pestilence across the land,
Gordon insists it’s his last stand.
I’m the one to get you out of this mess,
England becomes the land of distress.
Banks and businesses all going bust,
Gordon insists I’m the one you can trust.
He borrows money like it’s gone out of fashion,
Cries to the nation I lead with a passion.
So dear Gordon there’s something you should know,
For the good of the nation it’s time to go.
Back to the curry house Tom, oh yes please,
before he brings the nation to its knees.

You know it makes sense.