Monday, February 28, 2011

Religious Freedom?

Good news. I am blogging for a second time today.  Bad news.  I may appear to be “one of those people.”

According to the BBC, a Christian couple have been refused the right to foster a child because of their views on homosexuality.  I am not in favour of this decision and think that there are some questions which need to be answered:

- Would a Muslim couple be similarly banned?

- Are prospective foster parents allowed to harbour any of their own views or opinions?  Or is this another example of the Henry Ford – “you can have any view you like so long as it’s mine” - school of tolerance and freedom?

- Resources are scarce and I have seen numerous adverts for foster care recently, suggesting that new carers are desperately needed.  So why are we wasting time and money taking someone to court and banning them from fulfilling a much needed role?

I hope that the smug idiot who imposed his or her own views in this manner enjoys their self-righteous feeling of being “caring” and “tolerant.”

More strike banter

So, it seems as though Arriva Trains Wales’ drivers have decided to enjoy a long weekend at the beginning of half-term

On the face of things, the fact that they (allegedly) get paid less than train drivers elsewhere may not seem that fair, and the remark by Peter Leppard (ATW Operations Director) was probably a bit stupid.  But let’s be realistic about this.  M. Nelson’s comment on this site makes for good reading – “surely a Checkout Operator at Sainsbury's does not have the right to Strike because the are paid less that an equally trained one at Tescos.”

And whilst we’re thinking about pay discrepancies, should I get upset because those living in London get paid more than me?  I’ve not heard of anyone boycotting their local pub because beer in Wales is cheaper.

Furthermore, whilst ASLEF’s members enjoy their holiday, the entire rail network in Wales is crippled, causing misery for thousands of hard-working people. 

So either you can take the view that Arriva is a private company, and go with Mr Nelson.  Or you can take the view that the railway is an essential service.  In which case, train drivers – like NHS staff – should not be allowed to strike.

At the end of the day, even in the recession, there are other Train Driver vacancies available elsewhere at this very moment.  So Arriva’s drivers are afforded more choice than most, and should either move or shut up.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Baby Gag


Reading that was probably a healthier solution to my feelings of hunger than going out and buying some food.

Sour Grapes?

So it seems as though one can read almost any BBC Article these days and come across the phrase “Labour leader Ed Miliband criticised the government…”

Come on, Mr Miliband – show yourself worthy of being credible opposition and offer some positive alternatives for once.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Save water, drink beer

Or something.  Can someone please tell me why, when there is a need to cut spending, money is being wasted on a ‘Daylight Saving Bill’?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

That’s me in the corner…

The BBC News Page this morning has an interesting article about the forthcoming census.  As a Christian, I have to say that I support the basic principle of the British Humanist Association’s Census Campaign (even if I disagree with some of the underlying motives).

It’s about time that we got people to think honestly about their faith.  The Church of England suggested to the BBC that “Christianity is a religion that people identify with, regardless of their level of church-going,” but I am left wondering exactly what this form of Christianity is.

My gut feel is that the religion a lot of people identify with is one which vaguely hopes in a God and an afterlife, and has something to do with ‘being good.’  Identifying oneself as a ‘Christian’ in this case is a way of affirming oneself as a ‘good person.’  I think that most people feel that they are ‘good,’ and for some, ticking the Christian box on the census adds a sense of authenticity.

Personally, I am reminded of one of Jesus’ parables, as recorded by Luke

In my experience, a lot of people are ignorant of what it really means to be a Christian.  It’s a shame that the Church has not always stood up for itself, and it should be encouraged to do so.  In the meantime, although I support many of the policies the BHA appears to stand against, I remain hopeful that the poster campaign will encourage people to think about faith for themselves, and make an effort to understand what being a Christian is all about.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every silver lining has a cloud

As Nessa might say, “I won’t lie to you.”  Having connections in the airline industry does have some perks, for which I am very grateful.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  But, what goes up must come down – or something – and much as I would love to win a pair of tickets for the “Highest Stand-Up Gig In The World,” said connections probably make me ineligible to enter the draw.  Sad times.

Still, if you do win a pair of tickets to hear Dara O’Brien, Jack Whitehall and Jon Richardson at several thousand feet above Britain, I am willing to be your hot date to share the moment with.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Would you buy a used plane from this man?

Being a bit of a closet plane geek, I enjoyed reading about the launch of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. As the BBC article implies, this is not a whole new aeroplane, but an evolution of a type which has been around since the 1960s. "Features of the Intercontinental include new wings, a new tail, a sharper nose, state-of-the-art engines and a new cockpit." - but it's still a 747.

If you were actually at the launch, depicted in this video, however, you may have come away with a very different impression.  The woman suggests that not only is it a completely new aircraft, but a new aircraft which will change the world. Really? Will it get me to Australia in an hour? Will it get me across the Atlantic for a pound? Will it reverse the effects of deforestation?

No, I thought not.  And the airlines seem to agree, because only two of them have placed an order.

Then there's the guy in the video.  One can only assume that he's trying to sell the plane to women because rather than giving us some details he just goes on about the colour.  The irony is, of course, that the airlines specify their own colour schemes, but can you imagine what would happen if airlines placed orders for planes “because the colour is nice”?  Even I could make an aeroplane someone would buy.

I know that marketing will always involve some over-embellishment, but why do companies like Boeing employ folk to chat such blatant rubbish?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fancy Parking?

Look at this – two posts in one day.  Please control your excitement.  It’s a combination of needing a distraction from some work on logistics and a realisation that if I am going to have a blog then I need to write something for people to read.  I am not sure which is winning at the moment…

Anyway, I have just seen a link on Facebook to this site: Fancy Parking.  I am not sure whether it is tongue-in-cheek but it seems to be a collection of photographs of cars which have been reversed in to a parking space.  Gee.  How on Earth do they do it?

Pest Control

I am very much enjoying listening to Tim’s Thursday Afternoon Show on MeridianFM and I have just heard an advert which amused me.  It went something like this:

“Fed up with waiting around for the big companies who never turn up? Then call Kent & Sussex Pest Control!”

Presumably Kent & Sussex Pest Control only want your call if you are waiting for someone to deal with a pest problem.  But it does sound as though I could call them to deal with CityLink.  CityLink (which really ought to have an ‘h’ in it…) are so bad that I invariably encounter problems when waiting for a delivery from a company who use them as a courier.  Pest Control might just be the solution.