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Nov. 13th, 2008

easter

A Bakers Dozen of reasons why this is all crazy.......

I assume that the age if consent, the school leaving age, the legal drinking age, the cinema rating system and the age at which you can marry and vote are all going to be lowered to 13: Really, the government have to. They have no choice really. That is, after all, the inference from the decision that a 13 year old has a right to decide whether they live or die. If it can be allowed for this 13 year old to decide on this decision then really the others just pale into insignificance don't they?

God know what this decision is going to have on the average household: "Time for bed it's two a m"
"No. I'm thirteen for gods sake and anyway I want to stay up and watch Debbie Does Dallas"*

It is crazy really. It takes away parental responsibility surely. Should it not be the parents who have the right to decide in this case? After all, the government continue to espouse that its the parents responsibility to know where their fifteen year olds are at night. And yet, on the other hand they stand by the decision for a thirteen year old to decide whether they live or die. Can you imagine the girl in question have a word in her mothers ear saying "Look before I pop off I wonder if I might just have a few drinks in the local pub and bring a guy home for a one night stand" Mum would have to say "No, because your not old enough". I know that the subject is not one to ridicule, and I certainly would not want to be in the parents place. But if I was I feel it would be down to me to make the decision. Or are we saying that parental responsibility really does now stop when they are thirteen. If it does think I might just have a few more. By the time they are thirteen I could have them out working forty hours a week  and I would have a happy retirement living off their earnings as I assume I would still be responsible for their pocket money.



A dangerous decision in my opinion and one that every thirteen year old is going to latch on to I'll be bound.


* sorry this is the only porn film I know other than Deep Throat and I thought that was in bad taste!
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Nov. 12th, 2008

easter

Hindsight is a wonderful thing....Foresight is even more wonderful.....

I remember that six years ago I had an argument with the then head of Leeds Mentoring. So much of an argument indeed that I almost got sacked from the school I was working in. I had the temerity to criticise the multi-agency approach to care of children. I argued that all it would do is essentially ensure that nobody would take responsibility. I also suggested that as a model it was imperfect because it is simply impossible to get all the professionals involved around the same table at the same time. A fact shown a week or so later when I attended a case conference on an abused child that was attended by me and a social worker with apologies from eight other people. Sadly, the case of "Child P" echoes some of the arguments I eluded to six years ago. I was also shouted down at a conference for Every Child Matters when I said that although the philosophy was OK putting it into practice could not be possible without addressing both the issue of multi-agency working and the matter of protection of the workers when actually putting in their suspicions of child abuse. Again, it is clear from what I heard on the radio today that social workers still cannot simply report a suspected case of abuse without "hard evidence". If we are serious about protection of children, and as a society I do not think we are, then this would not be the case. There should be no need to resort to the precautionary principle that protects the parents rather than the child.

I guess the question here is what would be your reaction if you had been accused and were innocent. Simply, I would think that it is a necessary means to an end. The end in this case saving the life of a seventeen month old baby and the sixty other children who die at the hands of their parents every year in the UK. It seems OK to assume that every man with a camera is a paedophile, but not that any parent will deliberately hurt their child. Or that anybody who smokes is bad for children and cannot be a parent.

A council has stopped people becoming potential parents simply because they smoke. They argue that the danger of passive smoking means that under their duty of care they cannot allow children to be subjected to passive smoking. Now I do not want to go into the debate about passive smoking. However, if the council fell that this is the correct way then surely they should be taking any child of a smoker into care. It stands to reason doesn't it? They have made a stance but failed to follow through the consequences of that decision. Of course it is ridiculous to say that parents who smoke put their children in danger. It is akin to saying that car drivers should not be parents in case they are in an accident.

When the smoking ban came into force just over a year ago I did write here that next would be drink. It seems that this is now the case after Keith Vaz called for government interference into the price of alcohol and the banning of so called "happy hours". So much for a free economy you might argue. But so much for my freedom to access this free economy. It seems that I will have to pay the price for the minority once again. The minority in this case who cannot drink sensibly. Yes we have a drink culture in the UK, but pricing measures will make no difference whatsoever to those people anyway. Indeed, as you get more social security if you are registered alcoholic, I guess more will register as an alcoholic. Might even do so myself to enable me to get a weekly bottle of wine. I mean, seems to me that I am one of those the government are after. A regular drinker! So, I am a smoker and a drinker. Suddenly I feel that all that is wrong with society is my fault. I have managed to avoid the smoke police, but now I have the drink police on my back. Still with the multi-agency approach they will never catch me

Nov. 5th, 2008

easter

Hopefully..............

Do yourself a little favour: Get a recording of the Obama victory speech. Store it. And if you ever think that all hope is gone play it.

It was a fine speech. Uplifting with a sense that there may be real change globally. The thing that impressed me about the speech was not the rhetoric of victory but the honesty. It is not as he rightly admitted all going to be plain sailing and that there will be many false starts but I think America now as a president who is of the people and one of the people.

There is hope after all. How much hope we'll know in about four years time I guess.

Nov. 3rd, 2008

easter

If McCain wins the election pass me the gun...............

If McCain happens to win the US Election tomorrow then quite simply he has sold his soul to the devil and the four horsemen of the apocalypse will be saddling up. Either that or the electorate have a been in their bonnet about him being black. That really is the only issue I can see for anything other that a win for Obama. And then everything will be hunky dory and the world will be a better and safer place to live. Actually it will not, because lets be honest here politics do not make a difference any more. Have a think about that. I did hear an argument once that we needed politics otherwise there would be nothing but chaos. But haven't we got that already? The world is in a chaotic state and will remain so whoever the American President is. I wonder what would happen if nobody voted tomorrow, if that was followed by a no vote at the next general election in the UK. What would happen? Would the world suddenly stop turning? No the vast majority would still get up in the morning and not see one iota of difference in their lives. Indeed, it probably would not even make the front page of some of the papers. We would still be more interested in what Brittney is doing or which X Factor star has been voted off. A sad state of affairs but nonetheless true. I wonder if Satanists vote. Frankly, they have nobody to vote for. I have been listening to the debates and each candidate has indicated one way or another they have "God on their side". This bit I simply cannot fathom, being a non-believer and all. If the candidates have so much faith that it is God who decides the election then every voter should be blindfolded and have to mark the ballot paper. Then God really would be deciding. But it will not be God it will be the people and surely American people cannot be that stupid to vote for a Bush clone. Can they? Well when somebody says Obama is too thin to be president then you really do wonder.

Oct. 27th, 2008

easter

It's not about the music........

As you know I love music: It's one of the reasons why I photograph it. Not for the glamour, because there isn't any really. Or the money, because there isn't any. But simply for the passion. And I come across people who play the music with the same passion. Like last week when I met a couple of rather famous people: well famous in the facts that one had written with Sir Paul McCartney and one who who had had a song written about him by Noel Gallagher of Oasis. I also met Jon Power of Cast, who was an assuming lovely guy. They had one thing in common. They were doing the music not for the kudos but for the pure passion of doing the music. Which brings me to the X Factor.

Before I get started on it by the way: Please do not buy the record they have produced for the poppy appeal. Buy a poppy instead. Anyway, there I was over for tea at mums with her and Adam. Both are fans of the programme. But let's be honest here they are only doing it for one thing and one thing alone. It is not the passion for music but the passion for celebrity and money. Simple as. If they had the passion they would be in clubs on Saturday night singing, sometime literally for their supper. Add to this that there is no outstanding talent there this year: I know they keep saying that the favourite to win (I've forgotten her name but Adam votes for her every week) is "unique". But she isn't really. To find out unique she is take a listen to Chairlift or Fiest. So yes, stop watching X Factor on a Saturday. Go out and find some real music will you? Because in reality the X Factor is fixed anyway.

My friend Leanne, who will be recording in New York in January and a star this time next year, went on the X Factor when she was fifteen. You will no doubt have seen the crowds turning up for auditions on the programme. However, not all of them get to actually do an audition. Leanne did not. She did not even get a chance to sing. In other words the people on X Factor are screened long before they get to see the judges. Seems a "story" or lack of a singing voice are more likely to get you to the judges rather than having talent because frankly Leanne can sing the pants off of any of the X Factor finalists and indeed, last years winner what's-her-name or was it a what's-his-name? I forget. Like I have forgotten 99.9 per cent of anybody who has ever appeared on the programme. Will Young I remember, but he seems to have done it is own way rather than the superficial way of whoever wins this year and spoils Christmas.
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Oct. 24th, 2008

easter

Adam Has No Health and Safety Policy..........

I wonder about health and safety: Not in the sense of looking after myself but in terms of the ridiculous rules they now impinge on our everyday lives. And let's be honest here since the increase of legislation we have become neither more safe or healthier it would seem. I went to the top of a car park yesterday. Well I was going to go to the top of a car park yesterday to take some shots of the ever changing Leeds skyline only to be told I could not unless I produced a PPL certificate for safety reasons. I thought that this was stupid because actually it was a place where a year or so ago a woman threw herself from the top of. Seems that you can go up there to do that bit not take pictures. You see what I mean by ridiculous? But the thing that really annoys me about Health and Safety, apart from the fact that all Health and Safety policies state the bleedin' obvious, is that it completely assumes that people no longer have any common sense whatsoever.

Maybe they are right because when it comes to taking pictures it seems nobody has any common sense. Adam and I were taking some stock pictures in town last week only to be told by a traffic warden to stop because we were breaking the law: we were not as it was a public place. But he wanted to know the ins and outs of what were doing. It inevitably and sadly then moved onto a darker subjects when he asked if we would "take pictures of kids". We knew what he meant by that, he knew what he meant by that. We have a camera, we are male and therefore we must be paedophiles. It reminded me that we have simply moved on from the 1970s argument brought forth by extremist feminists that "all men are rapists". It is just the sexual demeanour that as changed. But what really annoys me about this is it goes against that everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Seems this does not apply to men. All men it would seem are judged by the 95000 paedophiles in the UK. If I could be bothered I would work that out as a percentage chance of meeting one in the UK. But as the figure is minuscule I shall not bother. We did tell the parking attendant the law but that did not stop us being followed by two police on bikes for the rest of the time we were in town.

Anyway: Have a few pictures.....

A Year Ago Today.....Collapse )

Oct. 19th, 2008

easter

Pornographic Abbey

I think I should stop posting on CraigList you know. I keep getting calls asking if I do pornography. I don't but maybe I should it would be money spinning. Except it wouldn't be actually as the only "payment" I seem to be offered is to have my way with girlfriend/wife/husband/boyfriend after I have photographed them being ravaged or taken to "ecstacyland" (as one said) by friend/actor or whomever turns up. But then again I did get a booking for my services as a Boudoir photography.

This is becoming popular in the UK and I have hauled myself up on the bandwagon. Imported from America it is a tasteful nude/implied nude picture taken as a gift for that somebody special. It's not as easy as it sounds for either photographer or client. The subjects usually have no model experience and despite what you may have heard elsewhere the UK still flinch when somebody takes their clothes off. But it is becoming one of the booming outlets for photographers. Indeed more important now as people are now less inclined to get married where a photographer can make quite a bit of money and an area I am moving into more seriously next year. I have taken my first booking today for 2009. Let's hope the credit crunch is over by then otherwise less people will get married.

Funny thing the credit crunch and the financial meltdown. I wonder where the government found the billions to bail the banks out. And does it mean that bank managers are now public servants or that I am a share holder as no doubt the money has come from my taxes. Maybe I should now pop into a bank and ask for some office space seeing I am officially one of its owners. Pity Abbey was not in the mix as I am still having problems with them. I am refusing to pay off the amount I am above my overdraft (about £200) as this is purely from charges for going over my overdraft limit because they paid out money to a company from a card that I cancelled 18 months ago (see previous entries). Do they listen though? Apparently not because the request to pay for the excess comes from a different office and I have to explain it to them that it is their fault and..... well it just goes on and on. Which maybe colours my thinking in terms of the bail out of the banks: Frankly, I would have let them go out of business like they did in Sweden or like any other business that got into financial trouble. Or have the government set a precedent now and if green grocers suddenly start having financial trouble will the government take the taxes of its people to bail them out? Capitalism eh? Just can't trust it can you? Bit like Abbey!
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Oct. 14th, 2008

easter

Pick A Colour, Any Colour For the T**ts.........

I was out photographing a young band last night. An emo band called Broken Summer. It was spoiled though by what can only be described as a blight on society: I wandered outside during the sound check to find one of their fans being pushed around by three chavs for no other reason than he looked different. Now I've been doing a few gigs lately that have been arranged for the Sophie Lancaster Memorial ( a young girl set about and killed because she was a goth). So, I intervened and the little shits turned on me. This admittedly allowed the young lad to go back inside and he had the sense to get help. The cowards became less brave all of a sudden when a rather large sound engineer friend came out. Indeed, two ran off leaving the one who had been saying he was going to teach me a lesson was suddenly left by his self. Me and the sound engineer laughed at him and asked him how hard he was now. The sound engineer moved towards him and he ran off too. Really hard guys as you can tell. But the point is that the three would have happily continued to verbally abuse, threaten or worse had there not been any intervention. I did ask them before the sound engineer arrived what gave them the right to be like they were: Not a question I expected an answer too, and none was forthcoming. Indeed I already knew the answer, which is, none.

I am though getting heartily fed up of people like this. And I have a plan for them. We should not send these types to prison. We should paint them yellow. I am serious. Paint them yellow to look like a character out of The Simpsons. The results would be terrific for the majority of decent people. Firstly, we would be able to identify them easily. And because we could we would feel safer somehow. We would be able to avoid them. And we could implement a curfew much more easily. Anybody yellow out after say 7pm would be rounded up by the yellow police. Consequently the streets would be much safer at night. Now an idea was spouted a while ago to put these people in orange suits. This was shelved for two reasons. The orange suits would, it was argued, become a badge of honour - not my word as these people have not an ounce of it. And the second argument against it was that it would infringe human rights. This always annoys me. what about the human rights of the people they attack or abuse? Whilst I agree the orange suit could be an aspiration for some painting them yellow would not be. Or maybe glow in the dark florescent yellow, or pink. Just think of the advantages of this. Of course I guess they could cover themselves up but the identification process would be quick and simple: And you would think about being a little shit a bit more knowing that you would be yellow (or whatever colour) for a number of years.

Or we could hope that being yellow would make them ideal fodder for Aliens to come and whisk them away....

UFO Over Leeds - Exclusive Picture Below The CutCollapse )

Oct. 9th, 2008

easter

Credit Crunch 1: Prima Donnas 0 (after extra time)

Apparently if the money given to banks to "save" them does not work then the UK will go bankrupt. I'm not sure what this means in all honesty. I'm sure we will be told when it happens. I do know that it will be an increase in poverty that's for sure. So, with some surprise, I am in agreement with David Cameron, the Conservative leader (and lets be honest probably the next prime minister, though rather him than me) that the CEO and Senior Executives of the banks that have been saved should not get a penny in bonuses. To be frank I wouldn't even pay them their salaries. I mean they are simply not worth it are they? Bit like me doing a wedding and saying I got three hundred awful pictures and one good one. And boy are you going to pay for that good one.

I suppose if we do go bankrupt we could rob all the Premiership footballers. I used to love football. I mean really love football. It was to all intents and purposes my mistress. I would have done anything for my mistress. Sold the family silver if it meant seeing her. I once did thieve for my mistress - there is no other word for it - but it was worth it seven times over. More in fact as it was the greatest game I had ever seen when Leeds United beat Southampton seven goals to nil. Thing is the team that played in that game were on, or pretty near to, the same wage that the thousands who turned up to idolise them were on. Bit now? Well lets be honest here nobody, unless they can save your life, is worth £140,000 per week. And its even more galling when they hold out for an extra £5000 per week or they will find a football club who will pay that extra £5000 a week. Can you imagine how many people will be pulled from poverty on that "extra" that they want. So, all this has put me off of football. With a bit of luck the country will go bankrupt and take these overpaid prima donnas with them.

Apologies for the spelling mistakes: I blame it on a lovely bottle of red bought by a friend for my birthday
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Oct. 8th, 2008

easter

I Might Be in Greece with The Family...........

Thanks for all the positive responses to my homecoming entry. I thought I would follow up on the same sort of theme with my views on television. I simply watch very little on TV now. So little that I am not going to have a television in my new flat. I am going to become televisionless. After all I only really watch one programme at the moment. That is actually sit down and not move for an hour. I actually prefer the radio now. Now I know that this will really annoy the hell out the TV Licence people as I already have a letter waiting at the new flat from them asking when, as the new occupier, I am going to pay for a new TV Licence. Not sure whether I shall just let it ride along until I get the final warning in a couple of months. I might even then invite them around to see that I am actually one of the .1 per cent of the population that does not have a TV. Not that I would have to let them in apparently. They could, so I am told, bring a policeman around to ask to be let in. I might let them in then on the proviso that when they do not find a television I expect to paid some compensation for all the hassle. They cannot even argue that I have the equipment to receive television as the place does not have an outside ariel. The question is I guess is do I have to pay for the radio? Better check on that.

The only programme I shall watch, and will have to pop into mums to watch it is The Family currently being shown on Channel 4. It is one of those programmes that you either love or hate. It seems to me that there is no middle ground here. The basic premise is that for four months cameras recorded everything that went on in the house of a family. Now this might sound as dull as watching paint dry. However, there is quite a strong narrative in the programmes. Mainly due I think to excellent editing of the material. But it is the normality of everyday family life that is so fascinating. And I am frequently reminded of The Simpsons as I watch it. This may well show you how good The Simpsons is at reflecting what family life is like. Whilst reality programmes are so far removed from reality as to be more like controlled fantasy The Family is real reality television.

I noticed two things on radio today, which I think would have probably washed over me if I had seen it on TV. Both sort of interlinked. The first is Germany issuing a European Arrest Warrant for an Australian who denies the holocaust ever happened. The issue is not what he believes bit the fact that he is to be arrested for something that is not a crime in this country. Now that is dangerous. It means that I could be arrested if I mentioned that the Greeks are horrible as it is a crime to be xenophobic in Greece. The Greeks could ask for me to be arrested in the UK and sent to Greece where I would have to wait in a jail for 18 months to see if there was a case to answer. And if there was another 18 months whilst it came to trail. I'm sure that I could get this knocked the final ten year sentence if I was found guilty. In essence though think before you speak it would seem as there is no free speech in this country any more if this extradition is allowed as whatever you say somewhere, someone will find offence and ask for you to be taken to some part of Europe to answer for your utterances. And as it now legal to listen in Big Brother is really watching you. Just wait until the clock strikes thirteen.

It seems that the clock as already done that for a policeman in Manchester who has been sacked for wearing a BNP badge two years ago whilst off duty. I abhor the racist policy of the BNP. However, they are a legitimate political party. And when you get the sack for supporting a particular political party then we really are skating on thin ice when it comes to freedom in this country. Apart from the assumptions being made here because of a badge (I mean I have one on a jacket saying "Porn Star". It does not mean I am one.), there is the question of being allowed to support whatever political party you wish without fear of prejudice. Moreover, there was not a shred of evidence that the policeman in question did let his political allegiance influence the way that he worked. I have said it before, and I shall say it again. We are become a controlled people. The thought police are already here people. So what what you say and watch what you think. And if you don't here from me for three years I'll be in Greece.
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