So Tata has sold the Scunthorpe steelworks (along with other sites) to Greybull Capital for the princely sum of £1. Did they not heed my sage like advice? Are they mad or am I completely wrong in thinking that this is just an exercise in futility? The first thing I have to say about this deal is that it hasn’t been finalised. Some media reports state that the deal won’t be signed for weeks. A lot can happen in that time and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. Don’t be shocked if the deal changes dramatically or even totally unravels before pen is set to paper. The details about this deal are in seriously short supply. One “detail” that[…]

There has been much comment of late that the NHS is already a 7 day a week service and the Nasty Tories just don’t know what they’re talking about with all their plans to make doctors work 27 hours a day and 8 days a week. If anything, I feel like the issue has been turned into a Monty Python sketch where a group of crusty northern types exaggerate the privations of their youth for comedic effect. So what? I was recently enjoying the dubious pleasure of visiting an NHS hospital on a Saturday morning (germs, germs), I had taken a family member in for a scan, when I overheard a very interesting telephone conversation. Now I could only hear[…]

With all that’s going on in the world (and I suspect that a certain David Cameron’s financial affairs have driven steel from the top of the news agenda) this story from The Scunthorpe Telegraph might just have gone unnoticed outside of North Lincolnshire. It’s reported that Greybull Capital (whose website seems to consist of a single page – wouldn’t you find that a little odd? I do.) are asking for a 3% pay cut from the Scunthorpe steel workers to aid them in their attempt to buy Scunthorpe’s last remaining steelworks. I find this a bit weird. A steelworks is an industrial behemoth in terms of size and required funding. There’s nothing small about these places and that includes the running[…]

Tonight’s news coverage is dominated by the announcement that Tata is looking to sell its UK steel making operations. Am I the only one who isn’t surprised by this? Ever since I moved to North Lincolnshire, nearly two decades ago, I’ve been hearing bad things about the future of Scunthorpe’s steelworks. How its future was under threat from cheap foreign imports. How the town of Scunthorpe was dependent on steel jobs. How the local area would die if the steelworks closed. Not to mention the huge hole in the pension scheme that would need a billion pound plaster to heal. None of this sounded good then or now. Yet Tata think they can sell this business off to somebody else.[…]

In the spirit of the petition created to ban Donald Trump from our hallowed shores…… I’d like to start a petition to ban people from entering the UK (or to have those currently resident removed) that hold views/beliefs that I don’t agree with. 1. Religionists of all kinds – they poison the minds of children and the easily lead, stir up hatred and have retarded the development of the human race. Plus, their attitudes towards human population growth put the survival of us all at risk. 2. Dictators, tyrants and other oppressive national leaders. So that’s no more visits to the UK by the leaders of China, Saudi Arabia, Burma, UAE, Qatar, EU bureaucrats, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia, Syria etc[…]

My MP asked constituents to send him their views on the vote to bomb Syria. Here’s what I sent him… Dear Andrew Percy IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh – whatever we call them – are neither fools nor something as simplistic as a politically focused terrorist group. They are an organisation dedicated to the overthrow of all that we hold dear and I fear that the proposed use of air attacks on IS locations in Syria is just what IS wants. No matter how advanced our weapons, no matter how skilled our service personnel, war always leads to collateral damage. That’s such a neat phrase for the spreading of death and destruction amongst the majority of innocent inhabitants of Syria. Men,[…]

David Cameron is apparently set on trying to enhance the UK’s reputation in the eyes of a key ally (the USA) by joining the “Let’s bomb Syria” party. Is that really a good reason to spend millions of pounds, risk the lives of our service personnel and, probably, kill a number of innocent Syrians? I don’t think so. The Prime Minister wants to join the international Bomb-a-thon to supposedly appease the Yanks – they probably think we aren’t doing our bit when it comes to indiscriminate bombing – and to protect us from the threat of IS. This can, according to Dave, be done by dropping lots of expensive ordnance on dusty Syrian towns that are reputed to be boltholes of the[…]

Well it’s happened. A Russian fighter jet has been shot down by Turkey. This was an international incident just waiting to happen. The Russians are obviously more than slightly pissed. Putin will be feeling just a little under pressure and in need of some sort of face saving gesture. The problem is that any face saving gesture might just be seen as an attack on Turkey and, please remember, Turkey is a member of NATO. And an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all NATO members. Whoops. This whole situation is like a 1980s think tank’s scenario for World War III. A messy terrorist/civil war in a Middle-eastern country, a NATO country’s airspace being invaded by Russian[…]

There’s an old saying ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’. A certain Mr Karl Andree might be currently reflecting on this sound piece of advice right now. And, frankly, he should. Mr Andree, a long time resident in that paradise of liberal freedoms (Saudi Arabia), decided to transport homemade vino in his car. He would have been perfectly aware of the draconian anti booze laws in Saudi Arabia but he still committed what is a crime in that country. So, fast forward, he’s completed his year long jail sentence (and, yes, I think that’s crazy) and now faces the pleasure of 300 odd lashes. Something not likely to improve the health of the average 74 year old guy. Cue[…]

I feel that we’re standing on the edge of a precipice, on the verge of a disaster. Russia is flexing its political wings and finding that there is nobody willing to clip them. Vague threats of sanctions, and the withdrawal of a UK royal from the Sochi Paralympics, are hardly likely to leave Mr Putin suffering many sleepless nights. So Russia stands ready to annex the Ukraine while an impotent world looks on. The question I have to ask is: “Will Russia be satisfied with absorbing the Ukraine or is the Russian bear looking for other countries to consume?” If Putin succeeds in adding the Ukraine to his personal empire then I suspect he might look westward for further conquests.