21 October 2011

Posted by DMC on 22 October 2011 in Diary |

The good Dr Michael arrived late afternoon rom Australia (just at the appropriate time to crack open a bottle of champagne! – when the sun sets over the yard arm) en route to Sweden. He’s just stayed the night but will be back in early November. He is very fortunate in that, like me, he never allows himself to worry about jetlag. When I was doing a lot of travelling in my business (three times round the world in two years) whenever time I arrived in a foreign country. I picked myself up as if it was a normal day even if I’d been travelling for 40 or 50 hours. Mick is the same, and in that regard I suppose we are extremely fortunate. I was prompted to think about this when I saw our dear 85-year-old Queen emerging from an aircraft in Australia yesterday having been in the air for 22 hours, looking as though she had left home, just, minutes before. That is, not to mention her husband the 91-year-old, Duke of Edinburgh. This was the Queens 18th.. visit to Australia since since she ascended to the throne. They are pretty amazing coupl

At last the Libyan rebels have finally caught Gaddafi, it smacks of the capture of Saddam Hussein, only this time, instead of hiding in a purpose made manhole under ground, Gaddafi, was found in a ventilation pipe with one of his sons. It seems that they dragged him out alive. shooting him in the leg while he was either in the ventilation pipe or immediately after he came out. Then the lynch mob mentality look over and he was shot several times but this time for real and he was killed. I suppose it’s a blessing in some ways, as it will avoid years of legal argument. had he been kept alive and taken to trial. Now we will see whether the new regime is any better than the old one. How many times in the past have we supported revolutionaries to get rid of a particular tyrant, giving them, a great deal of money, only to find some years later they were just as corrupt and tyronical as the last one. We will see. To my mind, we might well have to lend them some money to set up a proper administration and the economy moving again. But the big difference between Libya and the other countries we have helped in the past, is it’s immense oil wealth and its small population, only 6.4 million. On paper, every Libyan citizen could be relatively well off with free health schooling, etc and other matters that the rest of us have to pay for. All they really need is expertise then, when they are up and running again, they can repay us any money that we lent to them.

Another milestone was reached yesterday with the eviction of the Dale Farm gypsies (or so called travellers) after a 10 year legal battle with Basildon Council. Fortunately there was very little violence in the eviction except for the savage attacks on the police by the so-called supporters. It was interesting to see around 400 ‘travellers’ and their agitator supporters marching out and scarcely a caravan insight. It seems that they had moved most of them onto the legal site next door, presumably to avoid any damage to their property. “Where are you going to sleep tonight.”, asked one reporter, “I’ve no idea.”, was the plaintive reply. I know exactly where they will be sleeping where most of them have been sleeping for the last 10 years, in their own comfortable caravans.

We must not make a mistake or feeling sorry for these people who have cocked a snout at the law for so long. They have been far more fortunate than most other travellers who have been a evicted from illegal sites in the past. According to the television reporter they have been offered a site around 1 mile away, there were also offered housing, both of which were ‘culturally unacceptable’ (whatever that means). Add to that the disclosure on the Panorama television programme which explored a village in Ireland, where 80% of the houses are owned by some of these travellers and sympathy goes out the window.

So it apparently cost the good citizens of Basildon £22 million to get rid of them, not to mention the millions spent over the last 10 years on legal fees, but the travellers themselves were determined not to suffer any losses by removing their caravans temporarily to the legal site next door.

Talking of gypsies reminded me of a little Story.  Click  here and have a groan!





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