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Grumpy Owl

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Everything posted by Grumpy Owl

  1. Maybe near a record temperature for this time of year, but it is interesting how they 'spin' high temps now.
  2. There are a number of good well-meaning community projects out there. Unfortunately it seems it has become far too easy to set up some kind of 'project' and then receive funding from the council. The above community group, is that not something they could fund themselves? I don't really see what benefit to the wider community or the city that brings? When councils complain about being 'underfunded' and demand more money so such projects can receive taxpayers money, that's when you realise its all a great gravy-train that individuals can leech off.
  3. Maybe, I don't know for sure. I know that Mr Street has stated that 'certain major projects' being undertaken by BCC will end up being supported/funded by the WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority), which is just another unelected agenda-promoting bureaucratic quango. Yes, I found that curious, but now we can see the 'corporate takeover' of Birmingham is nearing completion. The buildings and offices that BCC have helped pay towards being developed and built, can now be sold off 'on the cheap'. Correct. BCC spent enormous amounts of money for 'the Games', with the expectation that it would see further huge amounts of investment in the city. But it's all private investment, and taxpayers don't get any benefits and neither did the Council in the end.
  4. I previously posted about a 'coup' earlier this year where the Labour party 'sacked' their council leader and replaced them with an 'appointed' chosen one. I also wrote about this on my own website: https://thegrumpyowl.co.uk/2023/05/21/democracy-dies-in-birmingham-the-technocracy-is-here/ Following the news a couple of weeks ago that the city council was "effectively bankrupt", it was announced today that a team of 'independent' commissioners have been handed powers by Michael Gove to effectively control the city council for the next five years. Commissioners handed power over Birmingham City Council for five years from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/commissioners-handed-power-over-birmingham-27746072 My emphasis in bold. It's not obvious to many, but what is clearly happening here is a fore taster of what is to come for other local authorities across the country. These 'outside experts' are hand picked cronies. Appointed, not elected. Just more Common Purpose stooges, vultures circling around a dying corpse, waiting to pick off the 'best bits'. The council owns a huge number of valuable assets. These commissioners will help to facilitate selling off of assets in order to help 'balance the books'. And no doubt sold off 'below market value', so that greedy developers and investors can either add to their own extensive portfolios of assets (or 'wealth'), or 'flip' them to return a huge profit. The city council may own these assets on paper, but in reality they belong to the citizens and residents of this city. Just so the council can pay off some of its enormous debts, racked up by reckless spending on endless vanity projects that only seem to benefit a minority of residents, or the private companies contracted to carry out the works. Birmingham City Council has been Labour controlled since 2012. Many people have been quick to 'blame the Tories' for failing to properly fund local authorities. While others have gleefully blamed Labour for their track record of being incapable of utilising budgets correctly, preferring to just 'spend spend spend' like there's no tomorrow. Labour and Tories are just as bad as each other. Arguing between the two is a fruitless exercise and a massive distraction from the deeper issues at play.
  5. Since I was a kid, I've always been partial to beef burgers. To be fair, to this day I still swear that Iceland's own brand beef quarter pounders are far superior to the likes of Birds Eyes, which are overpriced and just shrivel up to nothing. They may not be as cheap as they used to be, but Iceland's burgers piss all over McDonalds and Burger King any day.
  6. Watching a rerun of a celebrity edition of the BBC "Pointless" game show this afternoon, I was a bit taken aback when David Icke came up as an answer... It was an old one, I think it was from around 2011. Anyway the subject of this round was "Davids", the contestants were shown 6 'facts' about people called David. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of 'Pointless', 100 people are asked the same questions, and contestants have to work out which was the least popular answer. The fact for which 'David Icke' was the answer was "Claimed to be the son of god in a TV interview". Quite amazingly out of the 100 people surveyed, only 22 knew it was David Icke. To be honest, I have no idea who actually ever gets surveyed by the researchers of this programme, only 85 people knew that David Cameron was the British Prime Minister (obviously at the time of recording) Is it the case that over the years, David Icke has really 'dwindled' from public perception that much?
  7. I remember that story, Iceland's quarter pounders haven't tasted as good since then... Joking aside, I think it was the case that the beef burgers were still mostly beef, but horse meat was being used to 'fill them out', presumably as it was much cheaper. For as long as I have been buying them, Iceland have always promoted their beef burgers as being made with 100% British beef, so it was never clear how this had been allowed to happen.
  8. It is my opinion that the people who have aggressive dogs for 'protection' are usually up to no good themselves. Just an example: Life in Quinton block where resident fears: 'Will I get shot or stabbed?' from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/life-quinton-block-resident-fears-27721979 A dog trained to be aggressive in this case is there to protect the property and prevent other lowlifes getting the cannabis plants. And it's not hard to work out what the gun was for.
  9. It would be interesting to know how much this hydrogen combustion engine costs, and how much it costs to install. Compared to the cost of a brand new zero-emission van obviously. I see many companies, especially delivery companies like Royal Mail, DPD, and DHL, racing to replace their van fleet with brand new electric vans. Which must be costing a pretty packet, as well as resulting in an excess amount of decent condition diesel vans flooding the second hand market. Nobody thinks about the 'waste'. Hopefully it is more cost-effective to 'retrofit' a 3-4 year old diesel van with a hydrogen engine.
  10. I'm sure that did use to be the case, people in the UK did have to have a 'dog licence'. Not sure when that was dropped though.
  11. I'm pretty sure you could train a Jack Russell or a Chihuaha to be aggressive and attack people if you really wanted. In my opinion, dogs are only as bad as their owners. Let us not forget that the vast majority of dogs in Britain are trained and reared to be harmless. Maybe the onus should be placed more on the dog owner. If you own a dog, you should be held responsible for its actions. If your dog attacks and kills someone, then you should be held responsible. Charge dog owners for manslaughter. It's the same logic that should be applied for people with feral kids. You raised them that way, take some responsibility. Amazingly, we're all so open to having dangerous dogs 'put down' if they're a danger and menace to others, strange how we treat animal life so differently.
  12. It certainly makes for some very grim reading. If the allegations are true, which I don't deny that they would be, then again my question is why this clearly co-ordinated media hit piece on Brand has been timed to happen exactly today? These people have had years to make their complaints or to go to the police to press charges. I did find this bit 'curious': It would be interesting to learn if Brand has ever spoken out against Jimmy Savile.
  13. OK thanks for clarifying. My understanding is that the UK government and energy providers are promoting 'air source' heat pumps in lieu of 'ground source'. Ground source sounds in theory 'better' than air source, but I remain sceptical. If your property sits on a large amount of land then ground source might be feasible, but for many people living in large cities/towns then it isn't going to be. I wrote about a Taxpayer Alliance report on my website last year: https://thegrumpyowl.co.uk/2022/04/16/heat-pumps-the-future-of-home-heating-is-the-cost-worth-it/ As these require electricity to operate, I can't see these being particularly effective at heating a home when it is really cold outside.
  14. It's not just Labour controlled councils. But its the Labour councils, such as Birmingham, that are quick to blame the Conservatives for 'underfunding' them. It just becomes more political mudslinging, where one party blames the other for their failings. It doesn't matter which party has 'political control' of the council - the councillors and their leader are not really in control of things. They may make proposals for policy changes, and cast votes to make decisions. But they are ultimately beholden to the 'paid' unelected civil service that sits behind the scenes, the people supposedly responsible for carrying out the wishes of the council, but are ultimately just pushing and promoting other peoples' agendas. While the councillors and cabinet members bear a level of responsibility for what has happened in Birmingham, the political wrangling just becomes a distraction for what has really gone wrong. The blame must be directed towards the paid unelected chief executive and the other highly-paid unelected managers and directors. Common Purpose stooges. Local government is a great way to siphon off public taxpayers money into the hands of private companies/individuals. (Even better if you can convince that authority to shell out £19m on an Oracle IT accounting database that doesn't work - and then needs a further £100m to 'fix' it!) Award contract tenders to your best mates, even if they are not 'best value for money'. Set up bogus/dubious charities/organisations and apply for funding for projects that do nothing or very little. (Apart from promote "the message"). The biggest irony for this Labour-controlled council in Birmingham is that their main financial downfall is the result of actions taken by Tony Blair's Labour government, and the unions taking full advantage. One positive to takeaway from this is that with a halt on any new spending, while the council is effectively bankrupt, the below is unlikely to happen any time soon. Brummies urged to cut out meat to tackle climate emergency from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/brummies-urged-cut-out-meat-27708376
  15. It's always interesting when the mainstream media 'drip feed' stories out like this. And then suddenly its all across EVERY news site at almost exactly the same time. Almost like it's all pre-planned or 'scheduled'. By 9pm, there'll probably be no need to actually watch the programme if this stream of articles continues. I agree with @legion, it's certainly just theatre, and very reminiscent of #metoo. Why wait until now to make accusations against Brand if the events happened years ago? This documentary has been specially scheduled for today, there's got to be something significant about the timing of this.
  16. Another article states "Brand said he had been approached by letter and email by a tv show and newspaper both putting allegations, which he did not detail, to him." So he's aware of what the allegations are. But true, he may not have wanted to say anything about them at this time. It does smack of a 'stitch-up', the timing of this is curious though.
  17. Russell Brand removed from agency websites after facing 'serious' allegations from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/russell-brand-removed-agency-websites-27727692 I've made it clear here before that I'm no fan of Russell Brand, and I do find him quite suspicious, probably some 'controlled-opposition' or pied piper. I suppose us 'plebs' will have to wait until this 'special' Dispatches documentary airs to find out what these supposed 'serious allegations' are. But clearly others are 'in the know', and it speaks volumes that these PR/talent agencies have already 'cancelled' him before this documentary is shown to the public. In my opinion, if Brand is a 'real deal', instead of just refuting the 'allegations', why not pre-empt the media and explain what the allegations are?
  18. I'm genuinely curious as I don't know anyone who has one of these. How much did it cost and how much does it cost to run? How have you found it?
  19. Interesting read from the BBC: Chinese electric cars will reduce UK emissions but what about rivals here? from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66820791 The key telling point is kept right until the end: While Faisal Islam doesn't answer this question, we all know here that everything that is happening is planned years in advance, and that China is just as on board with "the agenda" as the western nations are.
  20. My thoughts exactly. The dogs aren't the problem, its the way they're reared and treated which makes them act like this. When I was a little boy, my mum used to take me with her to go see a friend, who had a huge Alsatian / German Shepherd. Absolutely soft as shit, wouldn't hurt anyone. The dog would let me sit with her in her kennel. Loved kids. If she saw children walking past the front fence, she'd go bouncing down to the gate - well the kids would run off terrified but the dog only wanted to play with them! It is my opinion that many people have these 'bullys' or other kinds of similar dogs not as 'loveable family pets', but as guard dogs, or some kind of 'status symbol', trained to behave the way they do in order to 'intimidate' people. Cowardly 'hardmen' who hide behind a 'nasty' dog.
  21. It was just a 'temporary distraction' trick, just some 'filler' until the 'next big story' came along.
  22. As I mentioned earlier, if you can't afford to upgrade to meet EPC standards, your only option will be to sell below market-value to 'cash buyers' or via auction. The 'cash buyers' will be cash-rich investors, either wealthy landlords or private companies such as housing associations/trusts, who will either be able to pay to have the property upgraded, or find loopholes and exemptions to get around legislation - think 'exempt housing' or accommodation for migrants/refugees. We fast head back into the feudal mediaeval times where 'robber barons' owned all property and 'allowed' the peasants to live in them in exchange for 'tribute' or labour.
  23. Were you present when the EPC inspection was carried out? Did the surveyor ask you any questions? I'd definitely challenge this if I were you.
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