Bernard Manning was buried this week and with him went an institution. I had been to see Bernard a few times at the Embassy club in Manchester and I always had a great time. To me he was one of the funniest comedians I ever saw. I never thought of him as racist or anything else that society should not tolerate. He was just a very funny man who teased each and every race and often regional variations the same. Due to my almost Liverpool accent I am often called many names when ever I go to Manchester. “Scouse twat” and “watch your hubcaps” being some of the more polite joshing I endure when I venture into those parts. Does it bother me? No and nor should it. Bernard’s demise was bought about by the PC fascists.
The same people who told us we could not have golliwogs on our jam jars anymore and that it’s offensive to say “blackboard”, it now has to be chalkboard. The same people who have told some sections of the civil service that they cannot have family pictures on their desks in case it upsets same sex couples who cant have any. Oh dear, how sad that some people should have such thin skin and no shoulders at all but I am willing to bet they have very deep pockets for putting compensation due to hurt feelings and the like into.
Not content with telling us what we can and cannot say in a country with supposedly “Free speech” they are now hell bent on telling us what we can do. At 6am tomorrow morning (July 1st 2007) it will be illegal to smoke in any public building regardless of whether the people who own the building mind or not. Many bingo halls, pubs and clubs and some theatres will be affected drastically and if the Government say they won’t then please take a look at how many licensed premises in Scotland are shutting down because it is no longer financially viable to stay open. Indeed so hell bent are they on enforcing these rules a whole army of enforcers has been created to over see the operation and ensure no one is having a crafty drag in the toilets or behind the bike sheds. I don’t have much sympathy for non smokers; it’s not a health issue for me. I fiercely object to them getting for nothing something that has costs me a fortune in tax and VAT. For that I suppose I should be grateful to the Lilly livered, panty waisted, pinko commie sons of bachelors for ensuring no one is going to get any more of the smoke I have paid a fortune in taxes for, free of charge ever again. I just wish it was voluntary and people who wanted to have smoke free establishments could do so if they wish and those who did not could also do the same. Free choice has gone the same way as free speech. It won’t be long before we have the dreaded thought police; George Orwell was perhaps right after all. It’s the end of an era.
At around 11-00pm on the day of the big hole, a large wagon turned up outside my house and a couple of large workmen asked me where the hole to be filled in was. I pointed to the hole and they scratched their heads, drew a large intake of breath in the manner that only tradesmen and workman can and asked what my neighbours were like. I told them the neighbours were great and asked them if they would like a cup of tea. Both faces lit up and within a matter of minutes a crane from the wagon hauled a wheel barrow and other assorted implements of construction/destruction onto the pavement.
A flurry of almost noiseless activity of taking away the spoil left by their predecessors was finished off by filling in the remaining hole with rocks and infill. This was followed by starting up a “whacker” plate which consists of a diesel engine attached to a large hammer type thingy that flattens or “whacks” everything flat. It did make a bit of noise which is why they asked me what my neighbours were like. Finally a large solid plastic plate like affair was thrown over the hole and they departed saying it was now safe to wheel anything over the plate and that some one would come around next week to concrete the hole permanently. Hopefully very soon there will be no big hole.
There are some signs that the entire population of tadpoles has not been wiped out by the chemical attack on my pond. I found a “froglet” this morning happily jumping up and down in the flower beds nearby the pond. I am praying he grows to be big and fat and has a healthy appetite for slugs and snails. In short this plucky little guy is a survivor.