Monday 26 March 2018

Gender pay equality.

Due to the fact that I have very little time for this blog I shall be brief, I may come back to the subject at a later date. Bashing straight in I have to say how can women expect the same money as men when men don't get the same as men. This of course depends on the occupation you are participating in, for example I rather expect a police constable be they male or female will be on the same pay structure and hopefully the same will apply to both sexes all the way to chief inspector.

My point about men not getting the same as men is based on the current argument that if you are in the same industry you should be paid the same male or female, but how can the man cleaning the toilets expect to be paid the same as the managing director, even if she's a woman.

Likewise with nursing and being a consultant brain surgeon, or a corporal and a field martial in the army, although all these examples are in the same profession none of those at the bottom of the pay structure could expect to be paid the same as those at the top. Could they?

Sadly it seems a shame to me that women are the ones who are making the fuss about the pay differential, however, where do we go with the argument of the trolley dollies on a plane and the captain actually flying the dam thing. Don't forget many of the trolley dollies nowadays are men who would no doubt be on the same wage as the women, as would the female pilots be on par with the male pilots.

The recent controversy with the two actors in The Crown, Matt Smith playing Prince Phillip and Claire Foy playing The Queen, where it was suggested they should be paid the same money as they were both playing the lead characters. All well and good except Matt Smith had a much higher profile due to his role as Dr Who, whilst Claire Foy was not as well known at the time.

The argument falls apart when it is suggested they should have the same money as they are both actors in the same film, great joy then for the lucky fellow who has three lines in the same film, who under normal criteria would be paid a relative pittance can look forward to a considerable increase in his earnings, after all he is also an actor doing the same job in the same film.

I see nothing wrong with the best in any field earning more money than those not as proficient, be it F1 driver, Premier League footballer, Olympic athlete, TV presenter and any other profession for that matter. There are many women in many professions who are the best or the most popular, Oprah Winfrey for example has managed to amass a considerable fortune on the back of her successful career in film and television, not because she was a woman but because she was the best and that's the way it should be.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

The wonders of the internet.

I have to admit that compared to the youth of today I am a complete Luddite where the internet and computer wizkiddery are concerned although I cannot conceive of a world without it, especially when I am attempting to compose one of my blogs.

If I am confused as to the spelling of a word, discombobulated for example, I can type the word and with any luck the spell checker will correct my spelling should I have it wrongly spelt. Likewise, should I be confused as to the meaning of the word discombobulated, I can type into the search bar, discombobulated definition and immediately I am no longer discombobulated as the meaning of the word is confused. Once one gets the hang of the internet it really can assist greatly with so many things.

Gone are the days when I uttered the sentence "why do I need a computer, I have a typewriter if I want to send a letter and I have a phone if I want to communicate with anyone." Oh, the joys of email, to send a letter over the airwaves, so to speak and to get an instant response.

I rather suspect it was the same elation experienced by the Victorians who had such a good postal service, at least in London, where one could send a letter in the morning asking one's maiden aunt to come to afternoon tea and get a reply in plenty of time to send one's butler to the market with ready money to purchase some cucumbers for the sandwiches.

As a research tool the internet is invaluable for I am able to find the exact passage from The Importance of being Earnest referred to above.

Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially.
LANE [gravely]: There were no cucumbers in the market this morning, sir. I went down twice.
ALGERNON: No cucumbers!
LANE: No, sir, not even for ready money. 

At this point I should offer a word of caution which may be of some use to the younger folk who use the internet, I am a fellow of advancing years and have therefore experienced a few things along the path of life which I have trod.

Do not and I repeat, DO NOT believe everything you may come across when surfing the net for there are scallywags and rascals about only too happy to deceive the unwary surfer. Take for example the recent jiggery pokery with regard to the election of the current President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump and let that be a lesson to you.

Friday 16 March 2018

Nothing's happened!

The more eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed I haven't blogged anything on this site for a few days and indeed you would be right, I have however been busy on my other blog called The Diary of a Country Bunpkin the link to which I shall add here, as I wouldn't want you to think I was shirking my responsibilities and sitting on my posterior doing nothing.

On my other blog I take part in the daily prompt whereby a word is suggested each day as the topic for you to write about and I have to admit that finding a topic is half the battle when writing. This would suggest that nothing of any significance has happened in the last couple of days, which is probably not true, for President Trump is always proclaiming something or another on a daily basis.

More recently we have had a chemical attack on British soil, where as many as five hundred people may eventually be effected, one policeman seems as if he may pull through and the Russian spy and his daughter are still fighting for their lives and yet it feels as if nothing has happened.

I rather suspect there must have been other earth shattering events recently but we have become so blasé  after a couple of days we have forgotten them, I can hardly recall anything of note.

Except, perhaps;

Seventeen students killed in American school shooting.

Russian spy and daughter poisoned and fighting for their lives.

Bridge collapses in USA many killed.

Mass exodus in Syria, many more dead.

American helicopter crash, four dead.

Investigation into the death of Russian businessman, Nikola Glushkov.

Iraqi teen found guilty of London tube bombing.

Egyptian student Marian Moustafa dead after attack in Nottingham by group of women.

Stephen Hawkings theoretical physicist dies.

That's right, as I said, nothings happened, nothing at all!

Friday 9 March 2018

Bentley drivers wanted.

My blog today is a tale of woe concerning the Bentley Drivers Club and the lack of younger fellows in our membership, which I think may be a common tale within classic car clubs. Whilst we have a fairly healthy membership, both from the medical and numbers point of view, one could always do with a few more and without putting too fine a point on it, eventually all the old members will have died, so replacements are always needed.

Should any of you younger chaps and by that I mean chaps and chapettes wish to step up to the plate and join the club, I can assure you that you will be most welcome. It is not even necessary to own a Bentley as was explained at our meeting last night by a friend of mine who had been coming to the club for the last twenty two years, originally in the Transit van he used for work. Obviously he must have put the Transit van to good use as he now comes to the club in either his 1992 Bentley Continental or his 1999 Bentley Continental T, both splendid motor cars.

Bentley history goes all the way back to 1919 when Bentley Motors Limited was formed by W,O,Bentley in Cricklewood, North London and is famous for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1924,1927,1928,1929,1930 and 2003, some achievement I think you will agree.

The following is a history of the Bentley Drivers Club taken from their website which tells the story of it's formation.

About The Club.

Keston Pelmore, whose initiative launched the Club, was an enthusiastic young owner of Vintage Bentleys, commencing with a rather tired 3 litre he purchased in 1933. Captivated by the experience of "REAL motoring such as I had never experienced before", Pelmore, embodying the all-consuming enthusiasm and exhilaration that Bentley motoring has engendered for more than 80 years, wanted to share this experience with likeminded fortunate individuals.
Having decided on his course of action, Pelmore had printed up a number of cards, headed 'Bentley Drivers Club', which he affixed to the windscreen of every Vintage Bentley he could find in the various car parks at Brooklands during the first meeting of the season in March 1936. The invitation was to the owner to contact the above if he was interested in the formation of such a Club, and was then invited to attend an inaugural meeting at his small bachelor flat in Sloane Avenue, London SW3.
So good was the response - 26 people turned up - it became necessary for a phone call to be made to the nearby Boltons Hotel in Earls Court Road, who agreed to provide a suitable private room in which the meeting could re-convene. A Committee was elected, and within a month, a run was organised to the Old Bell at Hurley in Berkshire which attracted no less than 31 Bentleys. Later that year, a 2 lap race on the Outer Circuit took place at Brooklands which attracted 14 entrants. Clearly, Keston Pelmore had successfully identified the need for a Club specifically for these iconic and inspirational motor cars.
The Club ended 1936 with 54 Members, which rose steadily to 110 by the outbreak of war in 1939. During that time, Woolf Barnato agreed to become President, and other notable Members included Dr JD Benjafield, Bertie Kensington-Moir, Frank Clement and WO Bentley himself, who always expressed surprise, but pleasure that the cars that he had created should continue to exercise such a hold over their owners. Sadly, the conflict brought Bentley activity to a complete halt, and the conflict took the lives of some of those pre-war pioneers, including Keston Pelmore.
The Bentley Drivers Club is a world wide organisation and I am in the Eastern Region of the UK which covers, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and London, North of the Thames.
Personally I go to the meeting at the King's Oak Hotel, Paul's Nursury Road, Waltham Abbey, Loughton, Esssex, IG10 4AE on the first wednesday of the month, 7.00pm for a 7.30pm sit down.
Now, the more canny of my readers may have noticed from the last sentence that I am endeavouring to steer any likely members to a specific location and I have to admit you would be right.  Those of us who meet at the King's Head would be only too happy to welcome new members should you wish to arrive in your vintage Bentley, your brand new Bentley or even your Transit van, an enthusiasm for the cars is more than enough.

Friday 2 March 2018

Rip off television packages.

Cast your mind back, those of you who are old enough to the days when there was only Her Majesty's, British Broadcasting Corporation who had the monopoly of wireless and television broadcasting. Men, for it was virtually 100% male in the early days, would read the news wearing dinner jackets and using nothing but received pronunciation.

The British Broadcasting Corporation, now commonly known as the BBC lost it's monopoly in 1955 when the Television Act of 1954 created the Independent Television Authority and put six Independent Television Network franchises out to tender.

The first of these to broadcast was Associated-Rediffusion, which had won the London franchise and started on the night of the 22nd of September 1955, at 7.15pm with a four minute trailer announcing "Commercial television is here!"

After the initial preamble  the evening kicked off with an hour of drama starring Sir John Gielgud and Alec Guiness, a variety show with Hughie Green and Harry Secombe, a boxing match and news broadcasts. Finally at the end of this scintillating evenings entertainment came a five minute religious programme called the Epilogue, followed by the playing of the National Anthem which brought the night to a close at 11pm. The playing of the National Anthem caused all of those watching to stand in due deference to Her Majesty the Queen which meant when the last few notes were ringing in our ears, we were ready to walk over to the television and switch it off and head to our beds.

Hard to believe in this day and age that the thing most people were interested in seeing was the adverts, which had never happened before on television, the first of which was an commercial for Gibbs SR toothpaste. The other wondrous thing about the commercials from a viewers perspective was the fact that this was the means with which the television channel was funded, one didn't have to purchase a package as we do today, it was free.

We have moved on from those days when television was transmitted in black and white, through to colour and HD and all sorts of stunning formats but the one constant has been the commercials, ever more of them on ever more channels bringing millions and millions of pounds into the coffers of the television companies.

I am rather forced therefore to wonder why when they are getting enormous revenue from the adverts do we have to pay to view the basic programmes and yet more if one has the audacity to want to watch anything special, although quite how football, for example can be termed as special, I have no idea. Personally I rather prefer the Formula One motor racing, but I'm dammed if I'm going to pay for it, I shall watch whatever I am given for free, as I'm not made of money and will use my money for the upkeep of my own small fleet of classic cars, rather than subsidise Formula One cars.

You may say I am an old codger and that this is the modern way and you would be right, the problem does indeed arise because I am an old codger, for in the days of the British Broadcasting Corporation, which made it's money from the licence fee and then by commercial television, who made their money from advertisements, we used to see the football and Formula One etc for nothing. Because I am an old codger I can remember these things.

Whilst not wishing to go back to the days of Alvar Lidell  reading the news in a dinner jacket, I shall forego buying a package and then adding a bundle for the football or films or Formula One and then perhaps the box set, as I don't have a fourteen foot long, stereo, HD super dooper television on which to watch it all. Although you can now watch hundreds of different channels from a multiplicity of suppliers I'm afraid to my mind the vast majority of it is absolute rubbish and I can't understand, nor want to listen to American.