Welcome to the column that promises not to give you all that ho,ho,ho from Santa Bates bollox! As a life long fully paid up scrooge, I can only reaffirm that its all a big over commercialised yawn, that happens to mark a point close to the end of another year of man’s sorry survival....Bah, humbug !!!
Anyway after all the financial ups and downs of 2009, at least hang loose for a while dear reader, and enjoy a few days away from the regular tedium of life.
If you can manage to do that without exposing yourself to the media obsession with the climate change debate, the Iraq war enquiry, or how many “birdies” Tiger Woods has scored (off the course,)... then so much the better!
Now far be it from me to become a commentator on such international events, but like anyone, I reckon I’m entitled to an opinion.
So, when will people realise that the climate change debate is not about an “inconvenient truth,” but more about convenient lies from our politicians. Why don’t they just treat us like adults, and admit they don’t have clue what will happen to temperatures in the next millennium. But, that its not financially smart to pump zillions of tons of oil from the earths core, refine it, transport it, then piss it into the sky, whilst we all drive around (mainly alone) in a means of transport weighing a couple of tons, and getting held to ransom by a bunch of Arab Sheiks!
Then there’s the farcical Iraq war enquiry in the UK. Anyone with half a brain already knows that Blair and Bush cosied up over tea and scones on the White House lawn, and decided that the world would be a better place without a trio of psychopathic despots like Saddam and his two evil deranged sons. Only people interested in political point scoring really give a crap whether there were WMD’s or not. And we will never know for sure anyway, unless we dig up every square inch of Iraqi desert!
As for Tiger Woods, the poor boy has succumbed to the temptation of having beautiful women throw themselves at him, and deluded himself into believing that they actually wanted him, and not the chance to make themselves rich and famous, by spilling the beans to the media.
But for sure, its gonna take the world’s greatest golfer quite a while to dig himself out of the bunker he has landed himself in this time.
Has anyone else received an e.mail from Her Majesties Inland Revenue in the UK? Advising them that they are due a tax rebate, and all they have to do is “click here”, and a couple of grand will soon be coming their way... Oh, how nice and just before Christmas too! Well let me tell you, that the last time I paid tax in good old Blighty, you could go to the tithe barn with a sack of oats and a suckling pig under your arm, and bargain with the Paymaster. So let’s say I was a little sceptical to read the following message:
“Tax Refund Notification
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 1,860.50 GBP. Please submit the tax refund request and allow 6-9 days in order to process it. Click Here to submit you (sic) tax refund request.”
My suspicion was reinforced by a couple of spelling and grammar mistakes, but there again, literacy is said to be at a very low ebb in the UK.
So, if you get one of these ever more common and bloody annoying scam mails with an authentic looking Inland Revenue header, just hit the delete button right away!
Now, I know that the ed. (PF) and Elena Pipó, his counterpart at Gaceta Nautica have agreed that its OK to disagree, on certain things. In fact Elena herself said just a while back that ; “Everyone knows there can be no debate without disagreement” - unquote.
So I guess that gives me license to express my dissension on an article in December’s GN, by Juan Poyatos Oliver. In this he holds forth on what he believes is an all pervading black underground marine service economy, which has blighted the local large yacht market. He talks of hordes of what he describes as; “Itinerant travelling gypsies, mainly English, who speak hardly a word of Spanish.”
He claims that our marinas are full of these slick talking characters, flogging their wares to superyachts from brightly painted vans, like a an army of yachtie barrow boys from London’s East End. And he says they are all doing so without being properly registered, or contributing anything at all to the Spanish economy.
As Sr. Poyatos was until earlier this year, President of ADN, the Mediterranean Yachtsman’s Association, I would have expected him to present a more balanced view on such a matter.
What an incredible insult this is to the vast numbers of foreign owned Spanish registered marine service companies....Yes, Spanish Companies Sr.Poyatos!
Many of them have been here for two, three or more decades, paid all their dues, created local employment, and been a major factor in creating the enviable marine services infrastructure that exists today in Mallorca!
Now I know that rogue operators exist, they do in every country of the world, but they’re not all English, any more than they’re not all black, or all white etc. etc.
And tarring everyone with the same heavily biased smelly brush is just not an accurate, fair or helpful view to present on our industry!
Have a good one...Bates!
Please click below for the Norma Stitts column:
Well with Christmas just about slap bang upon us there’s one thing for sure, we can’t complain about the weather this winter…well at least not so far, with some wonderful warm sunny days its been hard to imagine frost, snow and gale force winds. Long may it continue I say. ‘Course the by product of this “Indian” summer has meant yours truly has managed to side step the question of the old New Years resolution palaver! I expect like many of you, top of my hit parade has got to be shifting the odd kilo or six….yes I’m still passing the mirror at the speed of light for obvious reasons, or perhaps this year I’m going to say “sod it” cuddly is good!!
Flipping Nora, here we go again or should I say there goes the banking community stripping out the jolly old lollipop again as it struggles to survive. Sheer greed is seeing RSB bankers threatening to quit en masse if the Government vetoes bonus payments approved by directors. This latest Whitehall Farce was revealed by Sky; City Minister Lord Myners estimates that senior executives and estimators will earn at least £5bn between them in salary and bonuses. He has apparently written to shareholders asking them what they will…..snort….do to stop what he calls unjustified levels of remuneration. It’s a bit like the secret of the black magic box really, depends of course on how much the shareholders are held to ransom.
Accidents happen as we all know and very often there is no way to avoid them; however, isn’t it scary to read that in the first seven months of this year 28 young children were treated for injuries caused by hair straighteners (and these were just the ones attended to at the Glasgow Royal Hospital for Sick children). Many of the youngsters were seriously hurt with 11% of those injured needing skin grafts. Did you know that temperatures of these hair aids can reach a staggering 230C or 446F, doesn’t bear thinking of how the kiddies felt.
On a completely different note, you know how you get one of those “the lights are on but no one’s in moments” well I was tickled pink by the headline “Smoking skunk raises the risk of psychosis” Expecting to belly laugh at some smelly animal antic sporting a paisley smoking jacket, I was, stand on me re-educated in super quick time amongst a hoot of guffaws (aren’t some people rude!) to the precise meaning of “Skunk”
And finally, householders in the UK can sleep easier in their beds knowing that a leading water company is working beyond the call of customer duty in generating renewable energy by saving a massive £15 million pounds last year…How did they achieve this remarkable feat? Thames Water said they were flushed with success by generating renewable power from the poo produced by 13.6 million customers.... and on this note;
It just remains to be said have a wonderful, peaceful and happy Christmas, and may the coming New Year bring you everything you wish yourselves.