Saturday, 17 March 2012


I admit I love conspiracy theories. I still don't think Diana was killed in a car accident. Don't care what anyone says, it's a cover up. Big problem, big cover up. And establishment is always behind it. I have no faith in establishment, any establishment any more. Like trees that are rotten to the core but look healthy from the outside, the establishment is being shown in it's true colours. In part thanks to the internet which is bypassing the lies of these once respected and revered establishments like some underground virus. I know it sounds all X Files but I trust my instinct more these days and I don't believe a word any politician and business leader says. They may start out with good intentions and sound values, but they get corrupted and they lose perspective, purpose and courage.

So I was eager to watch a new film based on the Titanic. The Titanic sunk 100 years ago, but conspiracy theory has it that it wasn't the Titanic but the Olympic it's sister ship that sailed off on 12th April. On 15th the ship went down and 1507 people lost their lives. There is a lot of very convincing evidence but watch the film to see for yourself. The film 'Titanic - The Shocking Truth (a Barrie Kiel production of an Andrew Newton Film) simply outlines why the Olympic went out, a ship that had recently sustained severe damage, had been patched up and was to be 'damaged' for insurance purposes. No lives were meant to be lost but the plan went wrong. Thousands died needlessly but the story of the largest ship in the world sinking, the unsinkable sinking, has made many people very rich, authors, directors, actors, and the owners of the White Line company who were allegedly in collusion with the government of the time in a cover up of monumental proportions.

There's a line in the film which has stuck in my mind - 'it is a sad day for Britain when the government is dictated to by greedy and ruthless businessmen.' This was allegedly said by the then Prime Minister Lord Asquith. He says this about the company JP Morgan who could potentially have crippled the country or at least held it to ransom (to understand why, watch the film). 100 years on how ironic is it, that Britain is still being dictated to by greedy and ruthless businessmen who still happen to be bankers. And eery that we're holding the 'Olympics' here this year too.... And strangely and coincidentally, there seems to be a lot of other cruise liners that have been damaged this year...although of course, they were all accidents. All of them. And none were for insurance purposes.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


So Sir Mervyn King thinks bankers are delusional, hugely arrogant, with an overwhelming sense of entitlement, believing themselves exempt from laws which others should live by. Yup, those I have met, lived with, listened to, yup, I would say that was about right. I am sure Sir Meryn is not totally self deprecating, but as a senior banker himself, who must have known some mega egos in his time, dealing with politicians and the like, his inside knowledge and understanding of city people must be exquisitely accurate. I have always found he talks sense and I shall read his interview in the Times with interest. He always seems surprised the British public have not been more enraged by City behaviour - I think the reality is that if more of us mixed with them, we would be but thankfully they do tend to keep within a bubble amongst their own kind.

My ex, senior in RBS, only the other day told me the politicians should leave the banks well alone to do what they do. (he works in the bit of RBS that makes money he tells me). The point is the politicians did this and look what happened. He didn't wince at the irony when he said it. Of course all this 'tangible' hatred Sir Mervyn talks about towards the City is useless unless the structure of the establishment changes and the government has failed to do this. They have not been able or willing to separate the risk taking element from the mortgage bit, probably because, like some honey fungus, the two are intricably interlinked and it would be far too painful to do so. Or perhaps because like some honey fungus (it spreads far and wide underground for those who aren't gardeners amongst you) the city and the politicians are intricably interlinked. Personally I have always hoped there would be a house of cards effect and they all go down, because I suspect there are an awful lot of conversations going a long the lines of 'if I go down, you go down with me' amongst the media, the police, the city, the establishment.

There must be some way the public can work around the banks, other than using the likes of, and circumvent the banking system just as we try to do those who work in it in our social lives.

However, what is concerns me most is that bankers, the ones who have made serious money (as in unimaginable undeserved amounts of money) are leaving the business or have left already with their pensions and pay offs. They may be doing something worthy or worthwhile. I think the guys from Innocent and Ocado are ex bankers and I admit I stopped using their service when I realized they were. I didn't want them to make more money out of me. Some of them have even entered the world of spirituality and healing. Mmm. That's a difficult one. I should imagine it's difficult to sell soul once you have sold your own but then again, perhaps that's how it seemed to work in banking.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


There I was on the M25, stuck in a XX mile tail back because a car overturned blocking both lanes and a lot of the A3. I was due to be at the WI in Kent, Green Street, near Dartford. I was so looking forward to it. A chance to share what I know and hopefully sell some books (please!!) but every route I took was blocked with other clever drivers finding the alternative routes, and the alternative routes to the alternative routes and in one case the alternative to the alternative to the get the gist. I arrived then couldn't find it and went round in circles trying to find a village hall. I stopped to ask directions. Twice. They directed me to two village halls. Just the wrong ones. And then I did what I never do. I gave up and went home. I never give up and I was furious with myself. I emailed the following day to explain I would return and apologised and they kindly understood but aa i drove round in circles realising I had driven all those miles, got a hire car and had to get it back by a certain time, had paid a lot in petrol and that I was doing this for love and not for the money, and that my bank didn't 'get' love just money, I thought, sometimes it is worth going the extra mile for and sometimes it isn't. I'll do it another day, in the summer and I'll take the train.

And sometimes going for the extra mile is worth it. I had supper with my ex. This is a landmark. I think we had one back in 2006, Im not sure. Could have been 2002. Not sure it will be repeated again for numerous reasons (my ex is the sort of person who would sting himself to death to forgo the pleasure of stinging others which might go some way to explain it). But it was a landmark given we have been divorced for well over ten years. I enjoyed it. We attended our son's parent evening which went very well. He's worked hard. We are both proud of him. The ex took the credit for his geography result so the geography teacher promotly thanked him for doing so well which I thought was very sweet of her. And I got the credit for his english comprehension not being so good, coz I'm the writer.... whatever. Our son is a Renaissance man they tell us.

I suggested we have supper afterwards. it was fine. We talked holidays and about our son. We used to have some very good and lovely times but that was when I did everything he waned before I got free will. The ex showed no expression, not even when we were talking very poignant stuff, so it was a bit like having a conversation with an opaque window.And then he suggested he give me a book on how to bring up children which I think even he realised was stupid rather than patronising. I think he was trying to be patronising but as there was no expression on his face (literally) when he was talking to me I can't tell for sure. And that he had read in this book that there is no such thing as natural talent and it's all down to hard work. It may have been a tactic to convince our son that he needs to work harder but he said it when he wasn't there so perhaps he genuinely believes it. (or that I should wok harder or he has no natural talent and he should work harder?) Or perhaps it's a subliminal message that we should work harder on our relationship as it doesn't come naturally. Whatever, I think it's bollocks. And secretly I think so does he. He didn't give me the book. When the bill came he looked at it and at me and said 'I shall pay for this yes?" to which I said yes please and thank you and smiled. This is a man who has The Fat Duck on speed dial. But it is strangely reassuring to know somethings don't change.

That evening our son realised he had left some important files at his father's that he needed the following morning. His father kindly came over very early the following morning which was very good of him. I thanked him and told him I had enjoyed the evening - which I had. Even the bit about the hard work book. He didn't respond. He said nothing. I will keep trying. He doesn't smile very much. I don't think it's just at me. I don't think he smiles easily. Perhaps it's the girlfriend. I think she gave him the book. But I will not give up. Windows, even opague ones crack evenutally... It's worth going the extra mile in some cases.

Saturday, 3 March 2012


I do not make a good spectator. I tend to be as interested in the theatre of the spectators as well as the theatre of the players and that's not the point. But I am very enthusiastic where sport is concerned - any sport but especially team games. And tend to be extremely vocal. I find it unnatural to not shout and cheer while watching sport. A bit like not wanting to dance when you hear wonderful music. My son is mortally embarassed when I watch his matches as I am one of those parents who screams my head off and sort of kicks the ball for him. I once watched at centre court Wimbledon for the semi final and shouted so much (something no one does at Wimbledon unless they let the real fans in and not just the corporate fat cats) that a man moved his son away from my cries of 'ace! ace!. But I am not one to sit quietly and watch anything actually. However I fit in with a football crowd and feel strangely at home. It is one place where their language is even riper than my own. And they shout louder than me, or as loud as me. And the songs they sing. So clever, so colorful, so rude. They should put them up for Eurovision, we would win. As for the game I sort of understand the off side rule only because my son plays the game. I haven't been to a football match since I was twenty. I think it was Gillingham against someone else, not sure who. Today I visited QPR at Loftus Road which I didn't know was literally a stone's throw from BBC TV Centre. Care of Air Asia (the owner of Air Asia also owns QPR) I watched the club draw against Everton. QPR played very well although the guy behind me (who was given a colorful commentary on which player should do with the ball, or where he should put it, had different views but I'd like to see him run up and down that pitch for an hour and a half. I thought they were amazing. What else? There was a squirrel on the pitch for 20 mins of the game which kept chasing the players which was briliant (mainly up QPR end). I thought he was the mascot but no, at half time two blokes dressed as a tiger and a bear came on kicking balls into a goal for charity (I think). Two parrots also made a fly past. I sat next to a football reporter called Matt who gave me the inside track on a few football nobility. Alex Ferguson is an amazing man, but I'm sure a lot of you knew that already. That's not just opinion, that's fact. I'm not a sports reporter but Matt is and he says so. Who won wasn't as important as the entertainment value. But as far as entertainment goes, everyone on and off the pitch was a winner today.