Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reality Check...

I have avoided it but there has been another reality programme called Hell's Kitchen on British tv where so called celebrities(minor)and some whose careers have been quiet for sometime come back and try to reserect their careers as, it does appear to work.

Of course the tv companies pick some contestants they know will be loved by the public, some that are a little controversial and then a couple that are diamatically opposed and light the blue touch paper, step back and watch the reaction of those taking part and the audience.

Its not nice and it can be argued that anyone who oversteps a mark(whatever that happens to be)the difficulty is that each case is different. Some are really crucified and others are tolerated.

They are seen doing or saying something in front of millions of people, it can be edited and replayed over and over again, reported upon by the press and read by people who never saw the event but believe the incident as written in the papers.

In this case a comedian made some observations about another contestant and used a term that is considered offensive. Some terms go over my head even though I consider myself reasonably worldy wise.

A term was used by the celebrity chef in charge of the kitchen a few days ago and complaints went in from viewers(not many)and suspecting it may offend, a kind of apology was made. I know now that term is not acceptable but I did not even know of it's existance. Being ignorant of the term is that any excuse? I cannot sit there with a dictionery checking out all the words and there meanings change. The word was Pikey. It has some connection to Gypsies or Travelling folk and is seen as a derogatory term. I should say by some in the travelling community as I heard a few days later some say that there are worst words used within that part of society for those who give the whole of them a bad name.

If I had said it before now, would it be right to have a go at me(not that I have ever said the word)If we were to take offence at everything possible where would it stop? What if every complaint was upheld, it's not workable.

People are offensive often without realising(and I suspect even the most caring and politically correct amongst us)make mistakes. But when do we go too far or when have those offended been over sensitive?

Recently I saw someone who had a disfigurement. Possibly a burns victim. Two people sat down on a seat next to me.

They were not teenagers, they were in uniform(possibly security)they were probably aged 40+ actually, I'd say younger than me and yet what was said wasn't nice. Should I have said something? Maybe. If I had, would it change anything? The person being discussed was not aware. I might've been physically or verbally abused. What was said was not aimed at me or said for me to hear, in effect I was eavesdropping. Between them, it was acceptable so they know how they each feel and how far to go.

What it says to me is that there are people who could find themselves in trouble by expressing an opinion or view especially in a public arena such as on a tv programme(perhaps they deserve to be attacked in some cases)but today it's an onslaught that never seems to give up and then there are probably many more opinions expressed in private and no matter how many laws are passed, the Human race will always be predjuiced. And they because it's said privately will get away with it. How far do we go to stamp out what is probably a part of what makes us who we are?

What about genuine people who said something without realising the effect or trouble what they say will cause. Here to some extent you have time to think about what is going down on paper but in a live situation you are thinking on your feet.

I often go over what I write to try and think of all the different way my words may be analyzed or interpreted so I am fair and try to see another view or opinion to my own. But in the end it has to be my own or I may pose a question that I have no answer for just to make myself think and hopefully anyone reading this.

The important thing is tolerance I guess and in some cases if you feel different, that has to be respected too, you live your life to your own rules. Sometimes, official rules made to protect rights can actually infringe on the rights of those who perhaps feel differently. I'm not sure that I can point to a particular event or incident but the feeling of many I think would be that we have gone too far and now by trying to protect everyone we've created larger problems.

In many cases what may be seen as outdated views and opinions die out naturally as new generations take over. People born in one generation will probably hold different views to those born in another but every generation will have some that hold different opinions to the majority(or as the majority is believed to be)and in time things do change. The Human race progresses and changes just as our language continues to change and grow. Not always for the better.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Roughly two months into our new MP's reign and nothing much has appeared in the local press(if it has I've missed it)Maybe, the work really starts when Parliament returns from it's Summer Recess. Has he the quality that will see him elevated as many MP's have been from the North East of England and Scotland?

Maybe, it is better to have an MP that is not in the inner circle, that maybe after over a decade of our representative being the Prime Minister and having been seen all over the world sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes not so and courting the media just a little too much it would be a welcome change. It means local matters will become important again.

What news have I heard associated with our MP in the first few months of his appointment. The town centre continues to be mentioned. I've seen a photo of him supporting some kind of environmental scheme.

Another story has appeared concerning the supermarket Tesco's which opened a large branch here. It revolves around the fact that there is a wind powered turbine standing beside the store and some questions raised as to whether it was erected without planning permission from the local Borough Council.

I seem to remember the story continues to suggest that back dated planning permission may be requested/has been. And for some reason our MP has written to the boss of Tesco's over some suggestion that information has been hard to obtain. Memory does not remind me if this was prompted by a constituent who had been to the MP's surgery and brought up concerns.

I'll admit to not being a lover of wind farms at the best of times and I question in many cases if they really are a viable answer to the energy problems. But I suppose you have to try to find some kind of renewable power.

I have stood near the thing and found not a whisper of wind on my face and yet it spins around really fast. It also does seem to be the strangest shape in comparison to those I have seen in recent years around the world. But have to assume it is being powered by the wind.

The big story though is that, within weeks of the local election taking place...our Government has announced that there are going to be nine unitary councils across England and they will all be operational sometime in 2008. So practically overnight, without little discussion or the chance for any of us to make our views known, various district and borough councils are to disappear and will be no more.

OK it is different to a proposed regional assembly idea that was thrown our way only a few years ago(the area despite having many famous politicians and public figures travelling to the North East)trying to persuade the population to say "Yes" It was an overwhelming defeat for the Government and those supporting the proposal, as the vote was a definite "No!"

Then, a proposal came around to try and put all the local housing stock run by the council under some kind of private scheme that would take over the repair and rents. Again, this went to a vote of the local people, the vote went the same way...the Tennant's wanted their land lord to continue to be the local borough council.

And then just a few months back the population was asked to vote for whether they wanted a unitary Council running things and the vote came out in favour leaving things as they were. The public spoke...the result was "No" again. But within weeks of the result it has been announced the idea will happen. So what was the point of voting?

And though slightly different another form has come around asking if Tennant's want their houses to be under the Unitary Council's care(when it takes over) or another sort of scheme. So again, the previous ballot and result means nothing. As I write this I cannot say what is the best idea.

If all these local councils are being wound up...what happens to all the councillors and officials that were just voted in less than a few months ago in local elections? I guess it will mean another election and they will have to stand for office again and this time be answerable to the County Council.

Local government has to be seen to run smoothly and it just can't stop, but you could understand if the local machine that is being wound up asked "Why bother?"

You'll remember my earlier entries regarding the slow progress of the town centre being completed and the state of some of the existing buildings that will remain standing(and those that were due to be demolished) It seemed as soon as the newer part of the town was completed everything came to a standstill and the rest of the plans became tied up in red tape.

We had promises from local council officials in flyers at the time of local election suggesting things were moving along(those particular council officials were voted out)by the local townsfolk. But would there have been any difference, as now we know that the Borough Council is being wound down? And by the time the development begins again the Council won't be there and therefore this may have to be taken over by the unitary body.

A newly elected Independent councillor has looked into matters and his findings were published in the local free sheet and the changes will be quite some time away. At best we may at least see the Health Centre and Town library relocated temporally. Which would be an improvement of some kind.

But I guess once more the townsfolk are in limbo as far this goes. And the area will be affected by the changes countywide, so for good or bad it won't be just our town that will be affected. Like anyone I have no idea if this idea is good or bad because it's never been tried. Perhaps it will take so long to for this to be known, I'll be so old I won't care or may not be around.

Update:The teletext service of ITV is carrying a story today that a neighbouring council Easington is launching a legal challenge regarding the abolishment of their council under the Government's plans and it's expected that other councils threatened with extinction will join them.

If this happens I suspect other councils nationwide will watch with interest.

BBC Pirate Radio Essex Is No More...

Well, here we are approx three weeks since Pirate Radio Essex went off air and I think I can say its still missed. And having returned to what I had before, of course there are quality programmes still on British radio and many of those are on the BBC but I have to search for them and that actually means looking for programmes often out of the area that I live. Often I find myself unhappy by what I see as a decline in quality. We have more choice and some have managed to say "Look at these stations offering music that is being neglected by mainstream radio" but I still stand by my view that a lot of it is aimed at the below 35 age group and even teenagers and those in their twenties.

I hate using age as the criteria for radio listening. I know those in the media feel they have to grab the young so they get the radio habit but many find radio at a point in their lives and will get the habit. I want an easy listening station that plays "Easy" listening and by that I mean music before 1980(and more music from the 1960's and even as far back as the 1920's)not just music from the charts but hear music that has been forgotten about and different styles, instrumental and vocalised.

Of course you have to nurture new music but broadcasters these days seem to want to disgard what has gone before.

Even as an oldies station(even allowing for the fact that the listeners enjoyed the dj's and their "Banter")it was obvious that they played music that has not been heard for years, not just the same "Hits" and it has been said that oldies stations that play this kind of music could learn from their approach. It could be a rumour but a dj that has been in the business for approx 40+ years and worked in Pirate Radio, Commercial Radio and now the BBC went along with an idea of how they could be improved and it came to nothing.

If/when I go broadband*(I hope soon)I already know that some of these dj's who were on Pirate Radio Essex are being heard across the whole of the South Coast of the UK via the BBC and I will be tuning in too either live or on listen again.

One of my friends, North Star in the States tuned in as Pirate Radio was new to him and I suspect he was not alive when it happened "For Real" and he also discovered lots of music that was new and he is now listening to these experienced broadcasters.

In fact I suspect he hears most of his radio from the UK so we must still be doing something right.

We did well all round in that other friends who leave comments here Angelic, Curmy, North Star, Raisins, Mango and myself all managed to get a few mentions throughout the week. I never thought that years after the Pirate Radio stations on the ships were closed or even at the time they were on air we'd all be getting a mention from various radio greats including Johnnie Walker, Roger Day, Dave Cash, Emperor Rosko and Tom Edwards. Sometimes, we used our "Real names" other times it had to be the identities we are known as on the web. Perhaps that made us stand out(but of course sometimes we did not know a real name to use ;-)

It's early days and things can change but though the response is large around the world, there are no plans for another event like this in 2008.

Here's a couple of links to some photo's of the event that you may like to look over.**

Pirate BBC Essex

Offshore Echo's

Pirate BBC Essex with Ian Damon

*This may depend on my finances, if things stay as they are...no problem. If not it comes down to seeing what I have to spend and whether I have to cut back in some areas. This is out of my hands. I worry about whether such changes could see me being affected regarding staying online and being able to continue to keep my interest of using a computer going. Also allowing that in time you need to be able change or replace items that have become worn out.

I guess we should not look too far ahead as often in the end things do work out. Time will tell.

**Some of you who frequent other places that I do on the net will have seen these images before.