Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Ok, so now we know what Apple has been doing in its labs for the last twelve months. Whereas the trend in technology since about 1950 has been towards miniaturisation, Apple has gone the other way and taken its svelte Touch product and grown it by about 600%. Step forward the “iPad”. Very original name, guys. Dom Jolly and his comedy mobile obviously had a huge influence on the design.

Re-launching a product that his company already produces for a cheaper price and in a much handier size, Apple supremo Steve Jobs claims his new toy is the third way between a mobile phone and a laptop. Which it certainly is for Apple, as it will cost a third more than any comparable device on the market.

Jobs described netbook PCs as “cheap laptops”, unlike the iPad which is a “very expensive iPod”. Just goes to show, if you put a fruit-based logo on a product and prefix its name with an “i” you can convince the world to open its wallet faster than a sprinter on steroids. Or in other words, put two things together that no-one has ever done before, and some schmuck is sure to buy it, in this case "i" and a tablet computer.

Wish I’d bought Apple shares in 1993…

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Recession is in recession

So, it’s over. The recession that has officially lasted 18 months (but has in reality been around for about 3 years) is now at an end. Last quarter saw a 0.1% growth in the UK economy.

0.1% growth? The only things I see growing are my council tax bill, utilities bills, fuel bills and shopping bills. So yes, some corporations are raking it in and "growing".

But me? My salary is unchanged. I still have to pay ever increasing bills. On top of that, the government keeps coming up with ever more inventive ways of increasing taxes and duties to pay back the £178bn of debt it has created and to fund £900bn of civil service pensions, not to mention Jacqui Smith's husband's porn habit.

Doubtless Brown and Darling will wobble on about how they have successfully steered us through the murky financial waters and that the Promised Land is now on the horizon. The fact that we shouldn’t have gone through the waters in the first place and shouldn’t have stayed in them for so long will soon be forgotten in a blizzard of good news spun out by this discredited government.

A statistical growth means nothing, especially an insignificant one of a tenth of a single percentage point. The country will not start to feel more confident until there is a change of Prime Minister, either from the incumbent party or preferably from a different one.

Good Service

“There is a good service operating on all London Underground lines”. This is an announcement I hear about ten times a day on the tube.

No there isn’t. There is a normal service operating. What LU means is that there aren’t any leaves on the line, snow or striking tube drivers. No trains have hit scaffolding at Aldgate. No-one has pulled a passenger emergency alarm at Baker Street. None of the customers have decided to use a Circle Line train as a one-way ticket to heaven (or hell).

A good service would be one where trains arrive every minute, there is always a free seat, there are no rabid, ranting lunatics in the same carriage and where there isn’t a chav playing crap music through the tinny speaker of their mobile phone.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


I was under the impression that the colossal amount of money that I pay in council tax was used in part to pay for streets to be cleaned. Apparently not. As this government dreams up ever more fanciful ways to extract tax, MPs are now proposing that chewing gum, sweets and fast food be levied with additional duty in order to fund the cleaning up of the resultant litter.

This is typical New Labour thinking: rather than tackle the underlying problem, which is that there are elements of society who think that it is acceptable to drop litter on the street, let’s slap a tax on the affected products and dress it up as a solution. This also means that the Neanderthals who are prone to throwing rubbish onto the streets will have even less of a worry, because some government-employed minion will come along and clean up the mess.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Flippin’ Marvellous

News just in that after several inquiries and the expenditure of a few million pounds on reports, the proposals to revamp the MPs expenses system will be watered down to the point where almost no changes will be made whatsoever.

This includes the practice of being able to “flip” between their main constituency home and their rented accommodation in London, which means that duck houses and expensive plasma tellies will still be paid for at our expense. Also, MPs will be able to keep any profits from selling a taxpayer-funded second home. And Jacqui Smith’s husband will be able to pull his plonker to his heart’s content, safe in the knowledge that it won’t be costing him a penny.

So much for MPs listening to the electorate’s concerns. Their day of reckoning is coming soon.