Tag Archives: bigotgate

The Pope’s visit to The UK

I am disturbed by some of the aetheist led fervour around the Pope’s current visit. I don’t believe in God, any God, but I am tolerant of those that want to. I have seen the comfort that such beliefs bring and I have seen the injustice of extreme behaviour carried out in the name of a God. We all have history open to us if we want o look at it, but I will passionately defend until my last breath the right of those that want to believe if they want to.

I’m not blind, as I say, to some of the things that have been done in the name of religion, but all religions, as far as I can see, are founded on decent principles. Those who, like me, don’t share a belief in Gods and all the trappings of religion, but have chosen to attack the Papal visit with such vitriol are, in my opinion, no better than the religious bigots who have littered history with so much pain and blood.

The man is here, and his visit will bring pleasure and comfort to many of our fellow humans. Why try to spoil that?

[tweetmeme source="bowenjohnj"]

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election report 7 May 2010 #ge2010 #sswindon

As promised my final blog on the election.

The trip over to East Anglia yesterday yielded only Tory posters and signs again, and the run to Cheltenham this morning was enlivened by a solitary Labour sign to break up the Tory/Lib Dem monopoly.

The LibDems held Cheltenham as one would have expected, and both Swindon seats were Tory gains from Labour, so a belated poke in the eye for the boundary fiddles of earlier in the Labour term of government.

The overall result is a disappointment for me as I wanted a better turnout and a decisive result. I find it interesting that there is so much bile floating around from Labour quarters. You came second, get over it, you may still end up sort of governing the country.

In my early blogs on the election I made the point that none of the main parties had an attractive enough package (I couldn’t even remember the names of Cameron and Clegg until halfway down the page that day if you recall). The current government have destroyed the country so even a moderately positive alternative should have rolled them over and consigned them to the dustbin if history where they belong. But that didn’t happen.

Let’s face it, John Major’s Conservative government weren’t that bad, (OK there may have been a rotten apple or two, but the current government are riddled with them; they’ve made sleaze an art form), but that grinning goon Tony B Liar and his cronies demolished them, so how come DC couldn’t do the same to the disgraceful shower that they faced? They were just not good enough to get the voters out in sufficient numbers.

Labour have nothing to crow about, losing 20% odd of their MPs and a fair few ministers amongst them. The political map of the UK doesn’t show much red, and the English portion is largely blue, with the LibDems not doing too well either, despite all the ridiculous media hype about their leader.

A sad day for the UK, and that means all of us. Once again we can’t rely on our politicians so we’ll have to look to our business leaders to pull the country round despite the former groups failings. They will, given room to manoeuvre, and anyone who complains about their pay packets… I’ll leave it there.

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letters to the editor number 19 – initial thoughts


My attention has been drawn to the intials PM. Amongst other things, they appear to stand for:

a) Prime Minister
b) Puppet Master
c) Peter Mandelson

Am I alone in thinking that this is no coincidence? I think that we should be told.

Yours faihtfully
Worried of Wiltshire

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election report 29 April 2010 #ge2010

Well, that’s April done with. Less than a week to go now and I’ve posted my vote off today just in case I don’t get back in time to vote on Thursday.

I’ve not been out and about today other than a walk over to the pharmacy this afternoon and that yielded no sign of any posters or signs at all. It does seem very quiet in that respect this election, but I’m not sure why. Are the parties leaning more towards the media, internet and social networking?

As far as the latter goes, from what I’ve seen so far each tribe is shouting about itself. Some of what I read earlier about #bigotgate tends to suggest that there are Labour supporters that think GB had it right with his in car remarks, but then that doesn’t surprise me. Some of these people ought to look the word up in the dictionary and think about how they are behaving.

A pal has challenged me over my expression of sympathy for GB. Fair comment, but I meant it in the sense that many of us in leadership roles will have been caught out by something that we thought had been expressed in a private, and friendly, environment getting out to a wider audience. In case no-one has noticed we are all human and prone to cocking things up from time to time. Great leaders learn from mistakes more than from anything else and my sympathy was in terms of the isolated issue of the bloke relying on his henchpersons (doesn’t that beautifully illustrate what the idiot PC mafia have done to our language), but getting shafted because they all, including him, missed the microphone.

As a facilities manager I, like my colleagues, have handled loads of VIP visits, whether that be company people, celebs, politicos or royalty. The one thing that we are really good at is the details, having our people orgainised and having enough back up plans to cover everything that we can think of and a fair few that we can’t even imagine.It’s what we do day in, day out, so VIPs are fairly easy to slot in, regardless of how difficlut the individuals may be. In most cases the people themselves are fine, it’s the entourage (henchpersons) who are the problem and, as FMs, we’re well versed in working around them to make things a success regardless.

A big part of that is in watching people’s backs for them, and in doing so we don’t have any room for airs and graces or personal ego trips. We do what we have to and bask in the glory afterwards of nobody having even noticed that we were there or what we did. From watching the incident on TV my take on the GB team was that they had their minds on other things. When you are the point person you have to focus on your own job and rely on those around you to do theirs. Someone lost the plot. There have been other examples of live mics and making sure that GB had his taken off was a no-brainer, but it got missed, maybe because of the change of plan to bring in a tame vox pop, or so they thought.

To me the incident smacked of arrogance in more than one individual; the very sort of thing that we facilities managers jjust don’t have time for.

Anyway, I’ll stop typing now. Inadvertantly I’ve padded out this election report with an advert for FMs. Well deserved that may be, I shouldn’t really have included it here, but I’m not going to delete it all now.


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election report 29 April 2010 part two #ge2010

As promised this morning a quick update on election activity spotting on the Cheltenham trip. Despite being in and around the more working class areas over on the western side of town still no sign of Labour. LibDem probably just ahead of Tory in terms of signs running in and out of town, but the former vanish as soon as you get to the edge of town and the fields are home to Tory signs only.

I just Tweeted to suggest that Gordon’s first words tonight might be “Is this mic on?”. For me there is the issue of free speech at the heart of this and there is a supreme irony that makes me feel an idea for a Monday Musing from my alta ego coming on. If I can work it into 600 words I’ll publish on that blog and put a note here with a link.

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election report 29 April 2010 #ge2010

Following on from my Tweet last night after I’d heard the news I am still critical of him for having said what he did, albeit that the guy was amingst his personal team and should have had an element of slack in that environment.

The problem is that you have to be so careful about what you say these days. Once you’ve said it, no matter how private you might have thought the situation, it is said and could get out into the wide world. Take the Pope scandal at the FO. I can very much see a situation whereby discussion could have got out of hand over possible things for him to do, and I’m well aware of the black humour that can take over in these situations, but, however it happened, someone let it out into the public domain.

In GB’s case he was back in his car with close personal aides and should have been given some room to blow off. He’s in a pressure situation and amongst friends, but who allowed that mic to stay live long after it should have been switched off and taken off him?

For once I have an element of sympathy for the guy and I give him credit for the personal apology. Has it changed my mind on whether or not Labour get my vote? No, it hasn’t, and I would be disappointed with anyone who says it has changed their minds. The election is about bigger issues.

Intersting that the media are still waffling on about it being neck and neck in the polls when so many of the ones doing the rounds show a very different picture. Do they think that we’re that gullible? Yes they do, and, in many cases, unfortunately they’re probably right.

Off to the far side of Cheltenham today, so will be passing the usual forest of LibDem & Tory posters and signs there, but will be looking for evidence of anyone else having a presence over around the GCHQ side of town. Watch out for a report later.


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