Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Secret wars and unknown heroes

I heard on the 0630 news that a soldier, killed in 1972, has now been afforded the great honour of having his statue placed in his old Regimental HQ. Talaiasi Labalaba was a mighty Fijian warrior serving this country in the Special Air Service Regiment. He was killed in action at what is now known as the Battle of Mirbat and received a posthumous Mention in Dispatches (MID) which, if you read the full story of his action, is unbelievable and to this day rankles those who know the story. Below is a quote from one of his comrades who fought with him that day and who, eight years later, would take part in the storming of the Iranian Embassy in London to end the six day seige: He was a bear of a man. Just to see him walk down the street was enough for most people, but when he was fully tooled-up he was the original Rambo. He would never surrender. He just didn't know the word `surrender`. He would give his life for his comrades. Same with Sek (Takavesi). They wanted to give Laba the VC for his actions at Mirbat but because the war was a secret in 1972 they said a VC awarded to a Fijian would be headlines in every newspaper in the UK. So to keep the war a secret, all they gave him was MID. You can get that for walking up the Falls Road. The guy deserved a VC for what he did. Fijians continue to serve in the British Army.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Its only words but, like the previous post, there's many a true one spoken....

I've been awake since 3am. I finished work late last night and got home about 11.45pm and went straight to bed (well I did brush my teeth and wash - just my hands and face and.... perhaps....but no). Mrs Hogday had done a 12 hour duty and had been crashed out for a couple of hours, so I crept quietly in beside her and was kipping furiously within minutes. I must have been away with the fairies for an hour, when suddenly they all turned into roguish elves and my dozy world started to go pear-shaped. I was gently roused to near consciousness by a soft, repetitive sound in the back of my mind. Well it started soft (and in the back of my mind) but as the back of my mind worked with it, the gentle sound became louder and more shrill until it was rejected from the back of the mind and moved up to the front. All that was left for me to do was open my eyes and face the reality that I was awake. It was a car alarm. But not just any old car alarm, it was a car alarm fitted in the car of my next door neighbour and, as our house is a barn conversion with the sleeping quarters on the ground floor, it was also right outside the bedroom window. To add to the tension of the situation, the neighbours house is situated so that none of their bedroom windows overlook the driveway - QED - they can't hear a thing. So there I am, awake with a wheeeoo wheeeoo wheeeoo on the other side of the double glazed french doors. Thankfully, Mrs Hogday slept on. She was zonked out from a real slog of a day and I was dreading her waking up. Suddenly it all went quiet. Had the neighbour blipped his infrared blipper or had the thing re-set itself? I didn't care. It had stopped. I went back to sleep.....until it woke me again an hour later and an hour after than. By 3.30 am I was all ready to go round and beat his door down, but I was that knackered I just dozed. Our discrete, gentle alarm radio went off at 6am and I was up like a shot and doing brekky in bed for the two of us. Thankfully, Mrs HD had missed all the racket. Now, we had this trouble a while ago on several separate occasions, including their house alarm, and got a sort of wet-wank apology of sorts. Funny how some people, even those who really want to, just have no idea of how to say `sorry`. So this time I thought I would strike while the iron was hot and drop a notice of intent through the front door. There are two versions and I will allow you to share them both with me: Version 1 : Dear Robert and Ruth, we must inform you that, once again, your car alarm activated for no good reason overnight. Having just spoken to Mrs HD, it started about 9.30pm and then continued intermittently until about 3.15am. We know it didn't go off after that because Hogday didn't get back to sleep after that one. We must assume that you don't hear it, either that or you ignore it and hope it will re-set and stay re-set, but take it from us it doesn't. Please will you take immediate steps to rectify the situation as it doesn't leave us in a good frame of mind to start a day's work. P.S. To stress how it left us feeling, Hogday was within an ace of banging on your door at 3am. You were saved by the final re-set. Sincerely etc Version 2 !WARNING! If you blanch at seriously naughty words, do not proceed beyond this point - I reiterate, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Hello Sleepyheads, it's ten past fucking 4 and I am wide a' fucking wake thanks to your nancy-boy French poofs car and it's psychotic piss-useless alarm. How many times have your alarms fucked up in the past year? Now compare this figure to how many times your French poofs car or your ticky tacky mansion has been broken into. Can't remember? Well I'll tell you. To the former question, too many to mention. To the latter, fucking none, fucking zip, fucking zeeeero. Surely you haven't forgotten the last 3 conversations we had about this very, very anti-social interference to our otherwise relatively bearable life as your long suffering neighbours. We put up with your loud, poncey privately educated bratlets Rupert, Reggie and fucking Fiona and their endless ranting. We're even used to that rancid cheesy dumbarse Stepford wife smile of Mrs Airhead-where's-my-nail-varnish as she reverses out whilst nattering moronically on her mobile fucking phone to her over-arsed, over-tanned, spandex clad bleach blonde, fake Gucci-bagged, over foundationed, crimson-lipped ugly-bitch friend in her pointless 4x4 Nissan Sasquatch. It's the fucking alarms going off for no discernable reason that makes me want to ring your pencil neck and shove your pointless wailing alarm systems up your arse about 6 inches past your pyloric sphincter. Have a nice day, cnuts, because you've fucked ours sideways. Yours sincerely, The Hogdays. Two songs accompany these letters. I hope you enjoy both of them as they say so much. Can you match them to the letters? And which one got posted through the door?

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Criminal Damage

A lady I know slightly, knows I used to be Old Bill and wanted to tell me a story today. She from a respectable family. This is her tale. Her daughter went out recently for her 18th birthday. Her, the boyfriend and their chums all had a jolly good time. Out they came from their celebrations for the walk home when the birthday girl spied a Mini. She loves Mini's and wants one as soon as she can afford. She asks a friend to take her picture posing by this Mini. Boyfriend puts his arm around her and they sit on the bonnet. Unbeknown to them (I am told) it is dented. The picture is then posted on a networking website and a friend of a friend of an acquaintance recognises the Mini, knows the owner and tells him `Hey, I think I know who may have dented your bonnet`. Police are informed and an officer is on the case. Acting on information he soon arrests the boyfriend who, after 4 hrs in custody, is released on bail. He telephones the girlfriend and tells her what's happened. She is `mortified` that the car was damaged . She tells her parents and then contacts the officer in the case, at the local station (no mean feat in itself, if you've tried contacting an officer in your case) stating she didn't realise she'd caused damage and wishes to make good and cover any costs. Parents are furious with daughter and her reckless behaviour and fully concur with her contacting the police and fully support her desire to make good. PC X promptly sends round a van and two colleagues and they are invited in. Parents are expecting daughter to be interviewed there and then and so are taken aback when she is arrested and conveyed to the police station. 3 hours later she too is released after having been processed for criminal damage, photographed, fingerprinted and her DNA taken for adding to the national database. Much crying and gnashing of teeth, tearing of clothes and bitter regret at her careless revelling follows. Parents are now distraught that daughter and boyfriend have a criminal record and very upset that they did not have the opportunity to apologise profusely to the victim and to make good the damage done. They are not impressed with the police for treating their daughter and the boyfriend in this way, believing that they have been criminalised for an act of carelessness under circumstances where they, as parents, were absolutely furious with their daughter and where everyone concerned wanted to apologise and make good what had happened to the poor chaps Mini. There are a million stories in the Naked City. This was one of them. There but for the grace of good went I. As I typed this I received word (amazing these satellite phones) that my nephew has been injured in Afghanistan after only 4 days. Although I know more, I cannot say so at the moment. Puts a perspective on a family's worries about a careless daughter, doesn't it. Not very exciting was it? But at least I wrote something today.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Liar Liar

Gen Dannatt:`I asked you for more troops`. Gonzo: " Oh no you didn't, and I even told Bob "Bollox" Ainsworth* to ask what was needed". (and we know what he was told) Well who do you believe? *....and in case some of our allies don't know who our Minister of Defence is...well this is who he was, courtesy of a cut and paste from WikiP. Don't worry about the bit about possibly joining the International Marxists - he didn't inhale. I particularly like his quote, in bold italics, below. Fills me with shock and awe: He first became active in politics as a trade unionist at the Jaguar Cars plant in Coventry[1] where he worked and served in many union capacities, including as Branch President (in what was later to become part of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union). At this time he attended "a couple" of International Marxist Group meetings before deciding not to pursue an interest in the group.[2] In 1984, he was elected to Coventry City Council, became Chair of the Finance Committee,[3] and was deputy leader of the ruling Labour group. He was also Constituency Labour Party Chairman.[4]

On 5 June 2009, he was appointed to the cabinet by Gordon Brown as Secretary of State for Defence,[6] in what was considered by some to be "a surprise choice".[7][8] As Defence Secretary, Ainsworth declared in July 2009 that "the government should have offered more support to British troops at the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,"[9] a comment that provoked former Chief of Defence Staff General Lord Guthrie to accuse Ainsworth of not understanding "leadership in war".[10] At the Labour Party Conference in Brighton in 2009, Ainsworth stated that sending reinforcements to Afghanistan may not be possible because of a lack of necessary military resources. He said, "Before I agree to any increase in troop numbers I must be sure that the balance of risk is acceptable by evaluating the capacity of the supply chain to properly equip the increased force."

Well, to paraphrase the old saying; `you can take the shop steward out of the car factory.......`

Monday, 5 October 2009

Found at last! - a new Attorney General

Worth waiting for it to load up fully.

Replacements

My Nephew and his Regiment have, this very day, set foot in Afghanistan. 1st Bn Coldstream Guards Walk carefully lads. Weapon clean, function checked, eyes open. You're in our thoughts.

One to start the week

My honourable nature means that I hereby declare this short anecdote as not being my own work. GEOGRAPHY OF A WOMAN Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa - half discovered, half wild, fertile and naturally beautiful! Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe - well-developed and open to trade, especially for something of real value. Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain - very hot, relaxed, and convinced of her own beauty.. Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece - gently aging, but still a warm and desirable place to visit. Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain, with a glorious and all-conquering past.
Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel - has been through war, doesn't make the same mistakes twice, and takes care of business. Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada - cool, self-preserving, but open to meeting new people. After 70, she becomes Tibet - wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages..... an adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge. THE GEOGRAPHY OF A MAN Between 1 and 80, a man is like Iran - ruled by nuts.