#EURef The European Union stops wars. We can fix the rest.

  • 6th Century: Really wish these Romans would stop telling us what to do.
  • 7th Century: Wars.
  • 8th Century: Wars.
  • 9th Century: Wars.
  • 10th Century: Wars.
  • 11th Century: Wars.
  • 12th Century: Wars.
  • 13th Century: Wars.
  • 14th Century: Wars.
  • 15th Century: Wars.
  • 16th Century: Wars.
  • 17th Century: Wars.
  • 18th Century: Wars.
  • 19th Century: Wars.
  • 20th Century: Wars.
  • 21st Century: Heated debates about bananas.

The continent of Europe has not experienced this length of peace and prosperity since the fall of the Roman Empire, another useful example of European integration and (forced) cooperation. On Thursday 23rd June 2016 the UK will vote either to remain in or leave the European Union.

Not everything is right about the European Union. But, much like our United Kingdom there is nothing about the European experiment that can’t be fixed from the inside, rather than throwing a hissy-fit and running out.

I’ll be voting yes in the referendum.



You should really go vote tomorrow

Slide1If you like how Northern Ireland is being run you should confirm as much by supporting the executive parties so they can continue doing what they have been doing. The same people will continue to govern in much the same way they always have.

Expecting anything else is insanity.

If you don’t agree with how Northern Ireland is being governed, then, you should consider voting for parties outside the executive. As Plato said not voting doesn’t change anything. In fact it cements the status quo. So show up on Thursday 5 May 2016, or, at every least stop complaining that nothing ever changes.

There are plenty of smaller parties and more than a few independent candidates not associated with any party.

You do have a choice.


15: The War of 1812

Not so much the war itself, but the outcome is what I have issues with.

The War of 1812 was fought between the newly established United Stages of America and what was left of British North America after they rebelled (basically Canada).

Having successfully left the British Empire the Americans got a bit overly confident and decided that while the UK was fighting the Napoleonic wars in Europe they could use the opportunity to make the Canadian provinces join their republic.

The Americans made two fatal errors.

  • One was underestimating the abilities of the few British solderers who remained in North America, and two was the Canadians themselves and their commitment to remaining in the Empire.
  • They also didn’t take into account Napoleon’s ultimate defeat and a missive influx of British troops across the Atlantic when the war in Europe ended.

Ultimately neither side in the end was really invested in a war at all. The British were happy with a bit of revenge and after dining in it they torched The White House and most of the important buildings in Washington. Rather than reassert His Majesties Rule over the former American Colonies, they just packed up and headed back to the soon-to-be Great White North.

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84: The Curse of Sweden (AKA Ikea)

So many bends, and dead ends. None of the paths around the store go in a straight line, none of them. There is simply no way to walk quickly to where you need to go. The paths are too narrow, so little space to walk in such a big building. What were they thinking.

Then there is the other shoppers, ‘the others’ walk so slowly but because of the bends and narrow paths you can’t get round them. Then there’s the prams and trolleys boxing you in, until your just another drone mindlessly opening empty drawers in the pre-built examples.

The inhumanity of it all.

But damn they make good flat pack furniture.

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10: Torture

Really didn’t think I’d have to write this one so soon. But as it turns out that this one is a real issue.

Torture is wrong. There’s no grey area. It’s just plain wrong. The process is unreliable and as the report by the US Senate stated, the information could have acquired information faster and more effectively without resorting to torture.

Rejecting torture isn’t just abstaining from using it, but also standing against it and the perpetrators of it. It’s for us to send the message that we don’t accept the use of torture and anyone that wants to work with us must live up to the same standards.

Because torture is wrong.

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19: House Buying

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

These words sum up fairly succinctly my experience of buying property.

First stage is finding a house you like. It involves getting yourself motivated to trawl through property websites and then make contact with sellers to arrange viewings. Photos rarely do anything justice, but estate agents have a way of taking photographs which don’t do the awfulness of a property justice. You’d expect a jar full of cigarette butts from the door to be disposed of before someone comes to view – that isn’t the case.

Second stage: When you get through all the checkboxes, finding somewhere you like, in a area you don’t expect to get killed to death. You can then move onto making an offer. This bit involves a fair bit of mind reading on all parts to come to an agreed price. Best bet is to find someone who knows what they’re doing (Dad) and let them take the lead.

Third stage: Pay for it. This is where we descend into the real depths and encounter Mortgage lenders. They are an odd bunch. I’d recommend finding a good independent mortgage advisor who can take care of things. You give them a pile of documents to confirm your identity, that you have some sort of deposit, that you have a job that isn’t going to give you the sack.

Fourth stage: If you thought the Mortgage lenders were bad, now the lawyers get involved. Get a good one you trust, and hope that the sellers too have got someone who knows what they are doing. Also, it should be noted that when buying an apartment things can get incredibly complicated between land fees, owner ship of management companies and shared amenities.

Fifth stage: everyone confirms they are happy. documents are signed, and you can sigh with relief.

Four months later you might be moved in and set-up. Chances are something will have gone wrong during the process and you’ll be back to stage one.

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6: Onions

I don’t like onions.

Cooked, raw, fried, ringed, red, tobacco. It’s all bad. While predominately a texture thing for me the taste of onions unaccompanied is not good.

Onions are commonly chopped and used as an ingredient in various hearty warm dishes, and may also be used as a main ingredient in their own right, for example in French onion soup or onion chutney. While the soup or stew might be processed in such a way that the onions get disseminated through the rest of the ingredients, other onion induced foods like chutney keep them very much in plain sight, smell and taste.

I really don’t enjoy other vegetables either. They are also on my list. But Onions deserve a special place to highlight just how much I’d rather they wearn’t about.

It should also be noted there is a special place in hell for pickled onions.

I don’t like onions at all.

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