A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Hooptedoodle #37 - Paul McCartney's Bus Pass

Like radio stations the world over, the BBC puts on supposedly topical programmes in the late morning, so that listeners may phone in or text their views. I can see that this is a cheap way of constructing a programme, and has a sort of appeal in that any flapmouth in the country may have 30 seconds of exposure. It has to be a sign of advancing age that I find these programmes serve mostly to increase my blood pressure. I cannot find any upside at all, I'm sorry. They are not informative, they prove nothing, they do not even reflect mainstream views. The people who can be bothered to get in touch will normally be those who care deeply about the topic, often to the exclusion of all else, or else head cases - or so it seems. I find myself leaping to the radio, yet again, to change stations, muttering "Beam me up, Scotty..."

It worries me to find myself shouting at the radio, so I must stop listening to these shows. A couple of days ago, the hot topic was the money which our bankrupt, stupid nation could save by means-testing benefits for pensioners. The example which generated a lot of heat was that Paul McCartney, as a pensioner, is entitled to a free bus pass. What? Clearly Sir Paul is not short of a few quid, and not what you would call needy, but somehow nobody mentioned any of the following:

(1) Apart from the countless dollars he has earned for UK trade, how many zillions of pounds in taxes and earnings-related National Insurance has McCartney handed over during all these years, as the cost of being a paid-up citizen of the United Kingdom?

(2) Is he likely to actually use his bus pass? Have you ever seen him on the number 27? Apart from the overhead of the many levels of bureaucracy required to produce the pass itself, what is the real cost of occupying a seat on a service bus if he did? He would not be allowed on in the rush hour, for a start.

(3) If the UK can't afford to provide piddling benefits to people who have paid their way and are entitled to them, how can we afford complete fol-de-rols like the London Bloody Olympics?

As a footnote on the worthy subject of the Olympics, I wish to phone in my earnest and very reasonable view that anyone who obtains a knighthood for being involved in the schmooze industry which surrounds them, or who makes a private fortune out of ticket scams, should be executed by firing squad, live on the Lottery show on Saturday night TV. Their wealth may be redistributed appropriately.

I thank you.


  1. I stopped listening to the radio for very similar reasons. I do not read newspapers because it is all lies and I yell at the TV whenever I see a politician. Does this mean I am getting grumpy in my old age? (And do not get me started on the big Sports Day next year!).

  2. "should be executed by firing squad, live on the Lottery show on Saturday night TV"...in front of their families!!!!

    Now appologise and resign from whatever position you may hold, no joke there...clearly your real thoughts on the matter...blah...blah...can I be a Magistrate now please?

  3. Hugh - I thought you were a magistrate, honest! Their families don't have to switch on the telly, do they? (you can't say I have no feelings)

    The Games (imho) will cost us all an absolute fortune, will make our inability to finish construction projects on time a world joke, and will make a lot of money for a small number of the right chaps in the right counties. I'm all in favour of sport, and the dedicated people who take part in it, but The Games have nothing at all to do with sport. Similarly, the London Games have nothing at all to do with the rest of Britain.

  4. I'm with you on the rest of the UK thing, but after the debarcle (is that how you spell it?!) of the 'Dome', sorry - the O2 inc.corp., marina.dot.com I think they've pulled their fingers out on this one, most of it seems to have been finished and tested this season.

    Where I think it will fall down is in infrastructure, I can see six weeks of gridlock, late events and an extra day of finals after the closing ceremony!

    As to knighthoods and - obliquly - magistrates, I wish I was a magistrate; the European type with a gun and a book of go-to-jail chities. I've just been screwed ridged by a 3 Tribunal Judges and 2 CC Distric Judges, all defending a Baronet who decided he didn't have to pay me for two years gardening!!! DWP (DHSS as was) and HMRC Minimum Wage Officers just sat and watched while the Tax-payer picked up the Tab...as the Yanks would say; Go figure!