Diary Of An ADI

A Driving Instructor's Blog

I was in Asda the other night doing my weekly shop. It was about 6.30pm, and I remember thinking to myself that I was a bit early and would have to put up with an elevated number of other customers (and all that that entails).Macaulay Culkon from Futurama

True to form, the entrance area (from 5m inside the store to the same distance outside) was performing its usual function as a place for people with trolleys to walk into and then stop dead, preventing anyone else from coming in or going out. The outer entrance area  (Asda’s smoking garden) was filled with oiley, obese, and generally disgusting people chain smoking something they must have picked up after their dog had done its business. Naturally, it being a Friday, the pick-up/drop-off areas and parent/toddler bays, were full of Audis and 4x4s – each containing a swarthy, acne-ridden individual barely visible in the front bucket seat, cycling through endless dance tracks in an attempt to find the one most likely (in his dreams) of making everyone go “oooh! Look how cool he is” (in reality, everyone thinks “prick”).

Ordinarily, I would simply have wondered for a few minutes if the specimens in the Audis were actually in the car park for any reason other than to “be seen” – were they waiting for someone, for example? If so, were they going to be the first Audi driver in the history of the universe to be seen opening up the trunk and loading a pile of groceries into it? I might also have wondered where the smokers were going – were they waiting for an ashtray on wheels, driven by another chain-smoker, to pick them up and take them and their salad and baguettes back to the bricks and mortar ashtrays they live in? And so on.

Once inside, I’d probably have scowled at a few people as they blocked aisles or pushed trolleys around with no application whatsoever of the Supermarket HIghway Code. I’d almost certainly have wondered at the mentality of those who shop in Asda, and who are responsible for the presence of raw chickens placed next to the biscuits, fresh pizza on top of cases of Budweiser, empty crisp and snack packets on various shelves, and the sundry fresh and frozen items secreted in locations hundreds of metres away from where they should be. Had it been a particularly bad day, I’d undoubtedly have fumed at the number of children wearing “heelies” and running up and down in front of me. In fact, it was a bad day, because I had to contend with some 3 year-old brat on a bicycle as I walked towards the dairy aisle, a slightly older one swinging a trolley around in a circle in another, one jumping up and down in the beer aisle in front of two obese men (one of which I assume was her father), and – in the background the whole time I was there – a repeated, piercing scream from the spawn of some Earth Mother who probably thought that her kids should be seen and heard by everyone.

Then I saw this story on the BBC website. Kim Christofi owns a small cafe in Felixstowe, and she posted on her store’s Facebook page that she would step in if parents were “too scared to discipline their children”. She actually said it much better than that. Here is the actual Facebook text:

Can we make ourselves perfectly clear to all parents who are too scared to discipline their children about tantrum screaming. We will give you five lenient minutes to ask the child to stop screaming and then we will ask the child ourselves. If that means you too having a tantrum about our having to speak to your child and hurling threats about not returning – that’s really okay with us. We have a duty of care to the rest of our customers.

Absolutely spot on. But, as you can probably imagine, all the Brexit voters out there (yes, I’m assuming – but I’m probably right) didn’t like it one bit. As a result, Ms Christofi’s Facebook account has been inundated with trolls accusing her of being against autistic people, against disabled people in general, and all the other bad things that come at you from Facebook when you’re in the news.

Someone who goes by the name “Emma Watson” is a prime example of all that’s wrong with Facebook:

So the South Kiosk at Martello Park have had to close their Facebook page and I’m not sure she will have much business today or this summer.

This may have been a very silly error of judgement on her part, she obviously hadn’t thought this though or realised how vital things can go on Facebook.

It’s a shame she couldn’t just admit she made a mistake and apologise. Instead she made excuses and dug a deeper hole.
I’m not excusing any vile responses but I can imagine their wa…s some extremely upset parents out there that responded in the heat of the moment, but I’m not sure you can blame them really. I don’t however think it was those comments that put her out of business. She really did that herself. It was her post that did the damage and even if people couldn’t comment and that post was shared far and wide the outcome would have been the same.

I hope she takes this time to reflect on this situation.

I don’t think they have closed their page. And I think their business has gone through the roof, because there are many more people out there who support what she has said than there are who disagree. What has happened is that – as usual – those who disagree have the biggest mouths and the lowest intelligence, and the South Kiosk’s Facebook page has been trolled almost to death by people like Miss (sorry, Ms) Watson. I also notice that some media outlets have representatives who are hounding Ms Christofi on Facebook, using very offensive language and Sun-style analytics of every word Ms Christofi says. Some idiots are even referring to physical assault having taken place – I can see no reference anywhere for that.

Let’s just clarify some things:

  • Ms Christofi wrote a comment about screaming kids in her café
  • she did not – at any time – identify them as autistic, disabled, or anything else
  • there is absolutely nothing else to add – that’s all she did/didn’t say

Unfortunately, some imbecile (and it’s hard to point the finger at one in particular) decided that an autistic kid screaming at the top of its lungs in a public area is somehow different to a normal one doing it, and is therefore totally acceptable.  People like Emma Watson have orgasms over things like this. Ms Christofi’s most recent comment on the subject is:

For the last time, If you are bringing your children up to the kiosk then YOU need to keep them under control. If YOUR child is damaging MY business then I will take action.

Again, she is absolutely spot on.

If I go to the cinema to watch a film, I don’t expect to have anyone sitting next to me (or even to be within earshot) who is going to be screaming and running around, be it a kid or an adult. And it would make no difference if I subsequently discovered that the screamer was autistic – because if they were, and if they can’t keep quiet and still, then they shouldn’t be there. Exactly the same applies if I go to a restaurant or a cafe, or most other public venues.

Some morons are saying that tantrums are part of a child’s development, and ignoring them is one way of dealing with it. Actually, any decent parent would have done their job well enough by “ignoring” tantrums at home, so that public displays were rare. I didn’t do it when I was a kid because I knew I’d get a clip round the ear. Instead, public tantrums like these are the norm – the culmination of a me-me-me scenario being played out, where the kid has been spoiled again and again, but still wants more.

And far too many rubbish parents seem willing to label it as “autism”.

But let’s just close by saying again that Ms Christofi never mentioned autism. She only commented on badly-behaved children.


Note: Autism exists. The problem is that the symptoms of true autism overlap significantly with simple bad behaviour and poor upbringing. That ineffectual parents should latch on to autism as an excuse for their failings is perhaps understandable.

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Sam Allardyce - England Manager

All the best with the new England job, Sam.

Just be bloody careful and look after yourself after your heart scare a while back.

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Australia has approached Britain for post-Brexit free trade deal talks. As you might imagine, all the little Brexiters have taken time off from nailing Union Jacks to their houses and learning naughty new words to say to immigrants, and added their input.Australian Road

Reality check:

  • Australia is the 12th/13th largest economy in the world
  • its GDP is half that of the UK
  • more than 60% of its exports currently go to non-EU (and non-UK) countries
  • Australia could already export to Britain if it wanted to
  • Britain could already import from Australia if it wanted to
  • both of the above already happen
  • a free trade deal created explicitly as a result of Brexit would require lower import duties to be applied to make it worthwhile, which would cost the UK economy money
  • well, it would cost the economy money if we were likely to import anything like enough of anything we actually wanted from Australia
  • all the stuff we really need is either in the EU, or in countries who trade heavily with the EU
  • the UK doesn’t produce anything which other countries can’t get cheaper from elsewhere (except for kitsch like Cornish pasties and Devon Toffee)
  • the EU is a little over 20 miles away from the UK, and is connected by road/rail – it takes about half an hour to get there, and costs a few hundred GBP in fuel per lorry at the most
  • Australia is almost 9,500 miles away – it takes at least a full day to get there by air (at a fuel cost of about £5,000-£10,000 per hour), or a month by sea (using thousands of gallons of low grade diesel per hour, and emitting more pollution than several million cars)
  • the average Brexiter probably needs it explaining to them that these costs to the UK of importing stuff apply equally to the Aussies if they import from us (notwithstanding the plummeting value of the GBP)

No disrespect to Australia, but a trade deal with them would have a symbolic meaning only. It would be a “Brexit deal”. And let’s not forget the old saying about all your eggs in one basket – if we started to rely on Aussie imports, they’d be calling the shots against a country only a few per cent of its exports went to.

Cutting loose economically from Europe and turning to Australia would be about the same as cutting off your leg, sending it to Sydney, and expecting to still be able to play football!

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According to this article, the price of wholesale gas has jumped after Centrica (who own British Gas) said it was closing a storage facility this winter. The facility holds about 70% of the UK’s gas supply.Gas ring on cooker

And guess where the alternative storage is? The UK will be:

…reliant on storage on the European mainland

Anyone out there who voted for Brexit will probably need that explaining to them. You see, the “European mainland” is the very thing they voted to leave.

Oh, and don’t expect to read about this in The Sun or Daily Mail just yet. It will only become noteworthy to them later in the year when gas prices go up, at which time Europe will be directly blamed for the problem.

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I’m running out of post titles for all this. I can’t just keep writing “you couldn’t make it up”, but… no, you really couldn’t. According to this BBC article, farmers are facing “anxiety” over Brexit and the distinct possibility of their EU subsidies being axed.Harvest time

Well, excuse me, but farmers – certainly those that I have observed, and I have observed many – were approximately 100% in favour of Brexit (and that estimate might be a little on the low side). Those huge “LEAVE” hoardings in their fields was a tiny bit of a giveaway.

So, I can’t help thinking of a line from Lou Reed’s song, Perfect Day:

You’re going to reap just what you sow

And now, it’s harvest time!

Another thing I notice a lot when I’m driving around is the number of vans or construction sites with labels or signs declaring that EU funding paid for it.Say bye-bye to EU funding

In the case of the vans – white, of course – I wonder how the owners think they’ll manage without continued EU funding? Better still, how they’ll survive if they have to give it back? I mean, I’m sure that funding is paid out prospectively rather than retrospectively, so it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to discover that some companies might have to refund all or part of it. Likewise, some start ups who were expecting funding might not now get it.

But, hey! Just throw another immigrant on the barbie and wheel the Union Jack up the garden flagpole, eh? After all, everything’s going to be “all right”, isn’t it? The Sun and Daily Mail say so.

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I saw a headline in The Sun yesterday, which reads:

Bank of England holds off on interest rate cut and sends pound soaring

They used this graphic to illustrate the phenomenon:

The Sun's deliberately misleading graphicYou have to bear in mind that The Sun is ultra right-wing, and was ultra pro-brexit. It spent the entire time leading up to the referendum twisting information, printing stories about immigrants and crime, and defaming anyone who aired pro-EU sentiments.

Please allow me to show you a factual graph representing GBP versus USD over recent weeks using real financial data sources.Value of GBP against USD up to 16 July 2016

The high point on the left is the pre-referendum price (over $1.483 to the £). The end of the graph marks the price at the end of trading on yesterday (the dotted line indicates $1.317 to the £).

Key points to note are as follows:

  • the £ is currently $0.166 lower than it was before the referendum
  • the current value of the £ is a direct result of the referendum outcome
  • the £ is currently down 11.2% from its pre-referendum value
  • its lowest point was 13% below the pre-referendum value
  • it is currently up about 1.8% from its lowest value
  • it hasn’t “soared”

If you look carefully, The Sun’s graphic is similar to the real financial data-based one – but not identical. There is a double peak centred around the 12th and 14th of this month, but there is certainly no level plateau around the 9th and 10th. And there is nowhere near as much fluctuation (fluctuation occurs over a day, but the daily figure quoted is the closing price). However, they have purposely only quoted data that makes the graph look good – like this:Actual financial data purposely selected to look better than they are

This is just the end data on the larger graph I showed above. It seems to tell a completely different story, doesn’t it? And look what happens if you squeeze it – here’s the same part of the graph, but made narrower:The same misleading data, just squashed together

It really does look like it is “soaring” – but it is identical to the one above as far as the numbers are concerned.

This is the kind of manipulation The Sun excels at, and which it uses to control the minds of most of its readers. It’s one of the main reasons why we ended up with such a stupidly wrong referendum result – it’s what you get when you allow stupid people to vote on things they don’t understand, and allow dishonest people to advise them.

Forex has commented:

British Pound Likely to Head Higher before it Drops

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You have to remember that the EU Referendum result to leave was apparently… D.E.M.O.C.R.A.T.I.C. This is seen as adequate justification for not holding a 2nd referendum, or annulling the first on the grounds that it is wrong and stupid.

Now, for those who don’t know – and that pretty much includes all 51.8% of the population who voted to leave – the definition of the word “democracy” is as follows:

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

While we’re on that subject, it’s worth noting that Theresa May recently became Prime Minister by default. She was not elected – either by her party, or by the people. She was simply the last one standing after all the other runners had effectively succumbed to various doping scandals and political assassinations by their competitors.Theresa May announces new Cabinet

Over the last three weeks, Britain has gone from being half admired and half hated by the rest of the world, to becoming a laughing stock that the world pities. Our new PM is obviously keeping the momentum going as she announces her new cabinet. Best joke of all has got to be Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary (I also hear that rattlesnakes make good pets, and that black ink is good for removing stains on delicate white fabric). BoJo runs Prince Phillip a close second when it comes to having a mouth that isn’t always fully engaged with the part of his brain which takes other peoples’ feelings into consideration (Prince Phillip’s is never engaged, of course).

The ratio of male and female cabinet members has changed slightly. These days, your sex apparently governs your prowess in politics and pretty much everything else (although if Mother Nature messed up and handed out the wrong hardware, you get double points), so it isn’t too hard to work out which way the scales have tilted.

What is interesting is that only three members of the new cabinet were “leave” campaigners (that’s what makes BoJo as Foreign Secretary such a paradox). All the others campaigned to stay. Immediately after the referendum, everyone was saying that the new cabinet had to be mostly brexiteers. Go figure that one.

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Here you go. As I said yesterday, the government’s response to the petition for holding a 2nd referendum is not a closing argument – as the likes of the BBC claimed.The petition WILL be debated - in spite of what the BBC and others said yesterday

The petition – which has more than 4.1 million signatures – will be debated in Parliament on 5 September 2016.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will prevent/deter Theresa May from invoking Article 50 before then, and that further negative economic events will occur to bolster the argument against this idiotic decision to leave the EU. The full text of the confirmation email reads:

Dear xxxxxxx

You recently signed the petition “EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum”:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

The Petitions Committee has decided to schedule a House of Commons debate on this petition. The debate will take place on 5 September at 4.30pm in Westminster Hall, the second debating chamber of the House of Commons. The debate will be opened by Ian Blackford MP.

The Committee has decided that the huge number of people signing this petition means that it should be debated by MPs. The Petitions Committee would like to make clear that, in scheduling this debate, they are not supporting the call for a second referendum. The debate will allow MPs to put forward a range of views on behalf of their constituents. At the end of the debate, a Government Minister will respond to the points raised.

A debate in Westminster Hall does not have the power to change the law, and won’t end with the House of Commons deciding whether or not to have a second referendum. Moreover, the petition – which was opened on 25 May, well before the referendum – calls for the referendum rules to be changed. It is now too late for the rules to be changed retrospectively. It will be up to the Government to decide whether it wants to start the process of agreeing a new law for a second referendum.

The Petitions Committee is a cross-party group of MPs. It is independent from Government. You can find out more about the Committee on its website: http://www.parliament.uk/petitions-committee/role

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

Let’s all pray that somehow – somewhere along this road – common sense will prevail and the government will reverse the decision made by halfwits who shouldn’t be allowed to vote on Big Brother evictions, let alone on something as important as this.

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It just continues to get better and better. They keep repeating that Brexit was “democratically decided” and we must therefore continue to run to the precipice – which is clearly signposted in front of us – at full speed, and all jump off together. Even those of us with IQs greater than that of frog spawn.Walking off the Brexit cliff

The media continues to report confusingly in its pathetic attempts to remain “unbiased”, this time with a story that Boeing has signed a £3 billion deal for nine aeroplanes to be built in the UK. I don’t think for one moment that the BBC is naive enough to believe that this whole deal was begun and concluded following Brexit voting. But they’re definitely devious enough to know that that’s precisely what its readers will think when they read that story.

The simple fact is that it was too late for Boeing to pull out of the deal, that’s all. And while it is good for British industry (Lossiemouth is in Scotland, so it may not be British for much longer), the deal does not mean that Brexit will lead to more of the same. In fact, the BBC’s glib report refers to £4.6 trillion of new aircraft being needed between now and 2035 – completely overlooking the fact that what has happened during the last two weeks is likely to be chickenfeed compared to what happens over the next 20 years as a result of those two weeks. And that really is naive.

Asia, for example, is not going to go ahead with ordering over 15,000 new aircraft from the UK (or what will be left of it when Scotland leaves) because it will cost them more. I mean, come on. No one is stupid enough to pay 10-20% more to the UK for what they could get from the EU or elsewhere. And then, of course, there will be the extra costs on the UK side now that GBP is worth less.

The BBC is also at its sneaky games with the value of the £. On it’s Business Live page – and in a sub-headline on the main BBC News homepage – it announced that “Sterling Moves Higher”.BBC Business Live

Naturally, all the little Brexiters would have been sitting there going “See! Everything’s OK. Let’s go and roast an immigrant for supper!”

In actual fact, this is what the £ did today.GBP vs USD - 11 July 2016

The move was by less than 1 US cent at the time they were rattling on about it (and it’s barely 1 cent even now). Anyone else can see that a) it fell off a cliff when the EU Referendum result was announced, b) it has remained off that cliff, and c) it is slipping lower and lower down the cliff.

Putting some numbers to it, it has risen by about 0.75% in the last two days. Four days ago it fell by 2%. On the day of the referendum result, it fell by 8%. Compared to the pre-referendum result price, it is currently 12.5% lower. And the BBC is trying to make this sound good?

Of course, the referendum result has torn the government apart. But that is completely irrelevant as far as many are concerned, because… FANFARE, followed by the Choir of the Heavenly Host… we will have a WOMAN prime minister.

Actually, Theresa May is merely PM by default – she wasn’t voted in, nor did she win any sort of competition for the leadership. It’s just that various dirty tricks (much of it amplified by the media) ensured that everyone else pretty much had to throw in the towel to avoid some petty scandal or another. Personally, I see it as very bad news, because if Cameron had hung around until later in the year the negative effects of Brexit would have become ever more apparent, making the result of the referendum even more nonsensical than it obviously was in the first place. My worry is that she’ll trigger Article 50 sooner rather than later.

I mentioned in an earlier article how they keep going on about the referendum result being “democratic” – so with a small majority (many of whom don’t work for a living and blame the fact on immigrants) favouring the suicide pact known as Brexit, the rest of us who do work are being expected to have big smiles on our faces as we see our livelihoods cast into the abyss. This is all the more amusing when one considers the almost complete absence of democracy involved in promoting Theresa May to PM (and denigrating the rest), and the refusal by the government (so far) to acknowledge the validity of over 4.1 million signatures asking for a 2nd referendum.

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The petition to hold a second referendum on EU membership has so far attracted over 4,100,000 signatures. Let me put that in words to emphasise the number – over four million one hundred thousand.Click to visit petition site

It runs until the end of November, and any petition which gets more than 100,000 signatures is considered for a Parliamentary debate. Even the most highly supported petitions rarely get more than a few hundred thousand signatures. This one outstrips all of them by a long way. A very long way.

There was a government response over the weekend, widely reported in the media. Here is the response in full:

The European Union Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015, receiving overwhelming support from Parliament. The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.

The EU Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015. The Act was scrutinised and debated in Parliament during its passage and agreed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Act set out the terms under which the referendum would take place, including provisions for setting the date, franchise and the question that would appear on the ballot paper. The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.

As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House of Commons on 27 June, the referendum was one of the biggest democratic exercises in British history with over 33 million people having their say. The Prime Minister and Government have been clear that this was a once in a generation vote and, as the Prime Minister has said, the decision must be respected. We must now prepare for the process to exit the EU and the Government is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The media is behaving as if this is the end of it, when in fact all that has happened is that the government has restated its original position. Let’s face it, after having repeatedly quoted Cameron – who it represents after all – in categorically stating there would not be another referendum, the FCO was hardly likely to do a complete U-turn and say there would be one after all.

At the bottom of the email, there is this non-FCO text:

This petition has over 100,000 signatures. The Petitions Committee will consider it for a debate. They can also gather further evidence and press the government for action.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government.

So, all that has really happened is that the government has dug in its heels as the scales of public opinion have continued to swing heavily – to the tune of 4.1 million signatures and counting – against it. The biased media has not seen fit to clarify this, in an attempt to prevent any opposition to Brexit gaining ground.

There’s a certain irony in the origins of the petition. Apparently, William Oliver Healey set it up when he expected the outcome of the referendum to be a narrow vote to remain in the EU. The petition argues quite logically that a tiny majority wanting to stay would be unfair on a slightly smaller number wanting to leave. At that point, it had 22 signatures.

Now, I’m sure Mr Healey would agree that if 51.9% of the population voting to stay would have been unfair on the 48.1% voting to leave (if it had gone that way), then it is equally unfair now given that the result was the other way round. Actually, I’m pretty sure Mr Healey doesn’t agree with that at all, and he must have choked on his muesli when he got up on 24 June and saw the result. However, he probably choked on it a lot more in the two weeks since, as he couldn’t have foreseen that his petition would subsequently have been taken over by almost 200,000 times more people than had agreed with him prior to the referendum.

Cameron has f___ed this country up big time with his idiotic referendum. By refusing to try and rectify the wholly wrong result – a result which which he, along with William Oliver Healey, didn’t expect in his wildest dreams – he is f___ing it up even more.

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