Archive for July, 2012

It seems that food corporations are becoming concerned at the price of meat. It is heading toward becoming a luxury item again. Of course that will effectively mean less money for the retailer because fewer people will buy. Governments and the UN are also concerned. How on earth will we be able to feed ourselves?

Insects are the answer apparently. Apparently a new name has been invented, mini livestock. Aw please, a cockroach by any other name …

There are millions of people in the world who manage to live perfectly happy fulfilling worthwhile lives contributing to society and the economy who are vegetarian. If people want to eat meat and it costs lots then they will have to pay. Insects are famine food. Do the food giants believe that the world will want to survive on Beetle burger and slug salami (OK not an insect I know but you get the idea) Spider Sausage etc. Permaculture and organics can lead the world out of food poverty. If money from the UN or governments / big business was invested in teaching and setting up Permaculture sites to educate the masses there would be abundant food gardens accross the planet, even in currently arid regions.

Of course the big food industries would no longer be making money. Instead of sitting at a desk manipulating prices, growing fat and poor health on the labour of poorly paid agricultural workers, CEO’s could actually get out and work. Not so much money, but a healthier, more honest lifestyle awaits.

So come on, leave the insects alone. We do not need to kill creatures to survive in this world, the plants can do it for us. Who knows, if we stop killing animals and insects, we might stop killing each other.


Fredom of speech is, or ought to be, a right to be enjoyed by citizens of the world. I know that this is not the case but it is how it should be. In the UK we are generally lucky. I may have petty squabbles with those who lord over me, but I am at no real risk of imprisonment or worse for saying something they disagree with.

In Russia it seems, this is not the case. The politically incorrectly named Pussy Riots remain in custody following a protest which involved singing songs in a cathedral which contained profane language. Apparently the women were protesting at the Orthodox Churches support of Putin. Their crime, the profanity and approaching too close to the alter.

The Kremlin seem to have interceded and prevented the women obtaining bail.

So while the Oligarchs bleed the country dry, organised gangs pedal drugs and prostitution, the state seeks to exert it’s undue influence over a trial involving three young women. But that’s OK because it’s a democracy isn’t it? They had an election after the constitution had been changed by Putin’s chums to allow him back in office.

Here is a link to the article I read;

Of course Putin is one of the people blocking any assistance, through the UN, to the people of Syria. Surely it is time the UN changed it’s voting protocol, one nation one vote. No veto and work off a straight majority.

Oh dear, politics again.

It has just been drawn to my attention that the Pigpen is not allowed to express ANY views that may be considered political in any sense. Apparently I am in breach of statute and several disciplinary codes if I so do. I quote in full from the superintendents association article;

‘As a regular user of Twitter and a former Head of Professional Standards, I have become increasingly concerned with comments from a number of serving police officers, whether anonymous or clearly identifiable, expressing through tweets or blogs what could be perceived as either ‘political’ views or comments that ‘cross the line’ in terms of the what is expected of a police officer.

We live in a democratic society of which free speech is at the heart, however police officers are fully aware of the fact that they have certain restrictions on their private lives, indeed this is one of the things that makes us unique in terms of our professional role. These restrictions are laid out in Schedule 1 of Police Regulations 2003 but I wonder how many officers have ever really looked at them or thought about what they really mean. Here is an excerpt:

“A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics.”

For the most part, this is not usually a major issue for officers, however because ‘politics’ here is not restricted to party politics but means politics in its widest sense, some officers could be at risk. The increased use of social media combined with the current debate around police cuts, policing reform and in particular Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) is presenting opportunities for officers to offer their views in a very public forum.  On some occasions, those views include ‘political’ views or views about current Government policies, which could potentially be in breach of Schedule 1.  This situation is likely to get more difficult for officers as the interest in the elections for local PCCs increases over coming months. I think it’s timely, therefore, for officers to be reminded of Police Regulations and to bear them in mind when commenting on political policies or the views of PCCs.  

In addition to the above scenario is the fact that two of the Standards of Professional Behaviour for police officers as outlined in the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 set positive standards of expectation in terms of conduct when dealing with others, and both of these can relate directly to the use of social media:

  • Police officers act with self control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy
  • Police officers act with fairness and impartiality

It is inevitable that many police officers feel frustrated and angry about the changes that are happening to the service and their own pay and conditions at the present time, but does this ever justify breaching these standards? I don’t believe that it does. One of the statements that police officers are often heard saying is that they are professionals. On 99% of occasions I believe they are, however some of the conduct I see via social media sites does not give that impression, and if that’s how I feel, then what impression is it giving the public?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a great fan of the use of social media in policing, providing it is used professionally, and I don’t want to stop police officers from expressing their views and feelings. This blog isn’t about threatening officers with the full force of regulations, it is simply about reminding officers to do the right thing. Have your say, but please don’t let yourself or the service down by doing so in an unprofessional manner. Be professional, play within the rules and you will play safe. ‘

So, it seems that a literal reading of this piece of state sponsored propaganda means that I cannot comment on anything to do with Government, Politics, decisions made affecting me directly and the greater British public indirectly. I cannot respond to comments made to others on those topics. Indeed it seems that the only safe subject for me to write about in future is the state of the weather once that topic has been vetted by the powers that be.

I have just realised that this post is in breach of the regulations, … I canm hear footsteps drawing nearer and n

Which in my view is a good thing. Imagine a world where everyone thought the same and there was never any difference of opinion. Progress would cease and a state of general inertia would exist.

It is my view that common ground can be found in ideas from disparate people even if not all of the ideas are acceptable. I have recently seen this post whilst I cannot accept of endorse gangs of state sponsored assasins, which is where this post starts, it does seem to me that to reduce Military spending and use the savings for job creation and social spending would be wonderful. Perhaps the ‘Defence’ spending should be just that. Remove the offensive portion of spending and just have defensive capability.

This will never work because Posh Dave and his mates will lose money and sleep worrying about the ‘reds under the beds’ or whatever group they choose to be afraid of today. I have found comfort and solace even among ‘enemies’ or former foes.  In the UK the Sun berates the Germans appearing to believe that the Germans are still, along with Russia and homosexuals, the enemy incapable of good and are in every regard, evil. Back in the ’70’s I lived in Germany, travelling over a large area of that great country courtesy of HM armed forces. My experiences were universally positive. My observation, for what it’s worth is that the ‘Hun’ is so similar to your average Brit that the only difference is the way we speak.

It’s the same with the Irish, I served there, it was unpleasant. The people were, in large part, no different to you dear reader, or I. Fear, certainly, was prevalent. I did however speak to both Catholic and Protestant. Each would have chartachters who wanted to kill me, but equally and more importantly, each community had good people trying to live life respectably, educate their children and to stop the bloody violence.

No nation on earth is ‘bad’, just as no nation is ‘good’. Nations are made up of individuals. Individuals have free will. I do not believe that any government should try to impose its will on any other government / people. Indeed, looking at the shambles in the UK I don’t think governments are qualified to tell their own people what to do. As for sending squads of hooded men, highly trained, into different nations to kill leaders with whom the base country disagrees sounds a bit like 1984. Friends and enemies changing with each election and history being rewritten.

I do not agree with Mugabe, the man appears, from our news, to be evil. But there is the problem. How independent and neutral is the media?  Probably not at all. Murdoch’s empire certainly isn’t

There is a series of video from a group called The Urban Farming Guys, social change in action well worth a look and giving support. Think local impact .. flobal to mis quote the green movement.


Enough of the rant already, it’s too hot.

Greetings to the world. Another strange and less unhappy / moody / grumpy blog from the pig pen this morning. Well, let’s face it, the sun shines on the patch of our green and pleasant land and the birds sing from outside my window. Who could be glum?

I am trying, in my own inept way to give The One a tutorial on WordPress, that’s a laugh too as I don’t really know what I am doing myself.
In fact the day is so nice so I am off to the great outdoors now, I may even take a photo for later.

The naivety of leaders

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Heartwarming. In the parallel universe that is No. 10 Mr Cameron (and doubtless the cohort of posh mates) believe that the Olympics will demonstrate to the world that Britain can deliver.


Has he missed the news. Apparently in the far flung Northern parts of these United Kingdoms no-one is entirely sure which flag should represent North Korea and which should represent the South.  It seems that our Scottish brothers displayed the wrong flag causing hilarity, embarrassment or a self righteous thought so, depending on your point of view.


The incident was, of course neither planned nor wished for but, however great the games are, however brilliant the organisation is from now on this one incident will be remembered. I maging the scene on Question of Sport.


‘In 2012 during the London Olympics, which athlete caused a storm by running the marathon in a pink tutu and clowns shoes?’


‘Um 2012, oh yes that’s the one were the North Koreans walked out because the wrong flag was shown.’


Or am I being too cynical. If Posh Dave keeps bigging up the Olympics, neither Britain, nor any other country, would be able to live up to the expectation. Additionally, being old fashioned, I don’t want my politicians to be my mate, look good all the time, have an opinion on everything from the best flag design to the latest contestant on Britain has no talent. I like my politicians best when they couldn’t care about how they look but can debate sensibly on the ECONOMY, (that’s to do with money Dave, how people can afford to live) and other political issues.


Heard a programme on Radio 4 the other day, or an excerpt therefrom. An Englishman living in Scotland had started believing that Scotland couldn’t survive without the English. However, having lived there he realised that the politicians look and sound like their constituents, have the same concerns and live in the same world. They encounter the same problems as the rest of us and try to find solutions. How refreshing would that be.


Shoot the spin doctors, loose the image consultants and learn how to think about the issues that confront modern society. Then stand for Parliament. As an aside, why do we stand for Parliament as opposed to the American’s who run for office.

Pickles return

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Pickle has, since her return Chez Nous, been working extremely hard. Of course that is not paid, remunerative employment, but on her submission to Camberwell College of Arts.


She has been successful in her submission and was called for an interview last Monday. The call provoked a mild panic of preparation as she really felt that her work would not be up to snuff. However, when she attended the interview she felt that the decision had been made before she got there, she went through a series of questions and had her sketchbooks reviewed and various drawings critiqued. She almost missed the course leader say well we’d love to have you, tell me have your read ….


A slow dawning of what had been said, she had to check. She has been given a place to undertake her MA at this fine educational establishment.


Pickle has also landed a job (paid this time) fundraising for charity, so everything in the garden seems to be rosie as I type.


Pickle has a special friend, a nice lad who is planning to embark on a photography MA so who knows, maybe some of his expertise will rub off on yours truly and I might be able to take a decent snap at some point in the future.


The sun in the UK has taken a strange turn, for the last few days we have been subjected to an uncommon heat searing our flesh from a clear blue sky. You could be forgiven for thinking summer has arrived.