my local paper doesn’t want me to tell you the truth

March 13, 2017

Perhaps that’s a naughty headline really, however all my comments seem to be moderated away to a dark place at the moment due to “other”.

http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/new_vision_for_ipswich_cornhill_brings_sculpture_and_water_feature_to_site_1_4925751

The sheer, stunning coincidence that two major big money investments in Ipswich are revealed within a couple of days of each other, and an election just around the corner on 4th May. Hopefully the people of Ipswich can see past the hyperbole and spin to which we are being subjected. My mind is spinning as to the possibilities of the next few days. Will the Borough discover the goose that lays golden eggs? Ben Gummer will probably announce he’s found a field filled with magical unicorns (likely to lie across all the proposed routes of the northern bypass), and the Anglia LEP will suddenly spot that East Anglia is more than just Norwich. Admittedly they are all fantasies – particularly the last one – but this is the sort of nonsense that we as a town have put up with for years. Do you recall that this very paper declared on the day that the logo changed they would hold our local representatives to task over nonsense like this? This is our money. These are people who are responsible to us, and yet they fritter away millions of pounds on pretty drawings and press conferences, then plead poverty every March when the Council Tax bills come in. Maybe Mr Gummer can help his local constituents out in his role as Paymaster General by clearly explaining how his government can justify the massive rises in business tax which are more of a threat to a town like Ipswich and its surrounding villages, than not having some concrete statues on the Cornhill. I’d like to read that in the Star. Perhaps they could send Paul Geater to ask the important questions? Remember who it is that is wasting your money in these times of supposed austerity, and kick them out in May. I have the greatest of respect for Roger Fern as Mayor, but I welcome the announcement that Sarah Barber will soon be taking over. I have no particular political preference for, but my hope is that someone young and enthusiastic can help drag this town into the light and make local government see sense. Ipswich is not capable of competing with Cambridge, Norwich, or even Bury. Once the  idea that we can is out of everyone’s minds and we can develop to become our own centre for shopping and socialising, we can start to shine. Ipswich has been disregarded by the County Council for years and pie-in-the-sky plans for public spaces like this don’t help, especially when it seems like it was handed out to someone’s friends to design.

When growing up I was often told to “keep it simple, stupid”. What Ipswich needs to do is to follow this oft ignored mantra. If you want to attract people into the centre of the town, soften it. Ipswich is a town with more parkland per head than anywhere else in the country, so why is there no greenery in the town centre? All I can see here is concrete which will rapidly become outdated and look tired. Simplify it, soften the area, make it pleasant to sit in and for people to admire Ipswich’s historic architecture. As people have commented, add trees, add shrubs, add benches so people can take time. Keep it simple, keep it manageable, make it pleasant. If you put up concrete “celebratory columns” that people can drunkenly attempt to climb then people will drunkenly attempt to climb it (and if they can’t climb it then they will use it when they are ‘caught short’ in between visits to pubs). Maybe I could get behind the scheme if one of these concrete lumps had a neon sign on it that spelled “The Mill” and pieces fell off it in the lightest of winds? Sure, flatten the area so that it can be used for outside performance, art, theatre, or small concerts, but don’t waste a further £3m on something that will need to be constantly checked up on and repaired. Think Arras Place, but with actual parking restrictions. We can all remember what the thugs of this town decided to do some of the Pigs Gone Wild statues, this would be a playground for them. And forget about putting the market there. We can’t have the area smelling of that fish stall and covered in the filth that market day brings. Ipswich is a mediaeval town and its roads are narrow. How about some ‘outside the box’ thinking and setting up an indoor market somewhere? If only we had a giant, mainly empty department store in town with plenty of room for its current occupants and more small, independent retailers who could do with some town centre exposure in a shared area. It could come with easy access for pick ups, parking and deliveries, and would drive people to an end of the town that needs reviving? If only…

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dear edf

March 7, 2011

Fuck you and your fixed daily charge. WHAT THE FUCK?!

Fuck you and your letter that arrived today, (I paraphrase) “from March 2 we will be putting the prices up ahahahaha”. It’s MARCH THE FUCKING SEVENTH YOU CUNTS.

Fuck you and your “the price of buying electricity and gas has been going up”. No it hasn’t.

Oh. And did I mention… Fuck you.


the internet – still spazzy

March 3, 2011

Friday’s coming, folks, and that can mean only one thing. A trip to London Town to Tallulah Rendall‘s album launch.

For this, I required a number of things:

  1. A ticket for the event (done)
  2. Somewhere to kip (done)
  3. A ticket for the train (done)
  4. Trendy album-launch-style duds  (done. I shall be attending in my best polyester slacks, acrylic shirt and clogs).

My experience purchasing a ticket for the train gave me pause for thought last night. I chose my trains and selected the Buy Now button, at which point I was instructed to set up an account.

Here are some FACTS for you, National Express East Anglia:

Fact 1 – You can’t effficiently/correctly/properly run a train service which involves the simple forward propulsion of a vehicle invented in 1829 down two parallel tracks.

Fact 2 – There are naughty hackers out there who would very much like to have my personal details from anywhere they can get them.

Considering FACT 1 and FACT 2, why would I trust my personal address and personal credit card details to your website? Why do I need to create an account on your website to purchase a ticket? What’s wrong with a “I don’t want to set up an account, here are my details, let’s checkout now” button.

I do not want to have to supply you with my title, first name, surname, telephone number, email address, email address again, password, password again, postcode-and-then-click-on-the-appropriate-address-for-the-postcode-in-this-annoying-pop-up-window (all the houses in my street have the same frickin’ postcode). And if I don’t want to have to do that, why in God’s name would I want to tick a box to tell you and your “approved third parties” not to spam my email account? Oh, and don’t play that “You didn’t fill in a field quite right” game and untick the Do Not Spam Me box, just in case I don’t notice what you’ve done. If you do this, you are not a business with which I wish to be associated. With.

By the way, who approved these third parties? Because I know that I didn’t. Could you send me the list and I’ll decide whether they should be approved or not? I suspect I am more choosy than your marketing gurus:

Guru 1: Like, they get on a train, so they must want to hear from Reader’s Digest!
Guru 2: And Kay’s catalogue!
Guru 1: And they must need a new phone contract!
Guru 2: And a new laptop!
Guru 1: And those fake scratch cards!
Guru 2: And information about coach journeys!
Guru 1: And conservatories!
Guru 2: And comfortable polyester slacks!
Alf boredofjam: Wait! Fuck it, I’m signing up.

But seriously, all I’m asking is that you let me buy my tickets, simply and easily, preferably without the hassle of account creation. I bought the cheapest tickets I could get hold of, I am not going to be a big revenue earner for you. Take my details for this transaction, verify my card, sell me my tickets and then ditch my information.

Please, internet people, let me live my life simply. If I’m making a one-off, quick purchase, then that is what it should be: Quick. I don’t have the time or the patience to be told that “Username boredofjam is taken, how about wkerjndvn_22 instead?”

I. Just. Want. My. Stuff.

Now excuse me whilst I go lay down somewhere dark and have a good cry. But first I’d better buy some tissues. Now where’re my Tescos log in details?


airlines willing to risk your life in exchange for your cash

April 18, 2010

It comes as no surprise to a cynical old fert like me that after only five days of there not being an aeroplane in the skies, the main operators have got itchy shareholders.

Despite all of the initial blah from them about how they weren’t going to put planes up in the air whilst there was the chance a piece of microscopic silica could get into the engine of a plane, it seems that despite there being no let up in Eyjafjallajoekull’s* output, and the now legendary ‘ash cloud’ still being very much lodged over the UK, it is perfectly safe to send planes up in the air.

These are planes carrying you, your relatives, your pets, your stuff.

These are planes being sent up in the sky by people on the ground in safe little offices, who just need to keep the board happy and the shareholders paid well. After all, that champagne reception later this year when the financial results are announced isn’t going to pay for itself, is it?

It’s amazing how all the fluffy PR goes out of the window when big companies start to lose money due to an “act of god”.

I wonder whether they have sympathy for the people whose travel insurance isn’t going to compensate them? I wonder how soon the “desperate” and “cash strapped” air travel industry goes to the government and asks for money to help them out?

You know what I say? I say fuck ’em. Them, and the insurance companies who would rather see people stranded or not be able to to take their vacations because of this problem.

Hopefully they’ll get theirs soon enough. You know, just like how we showed those dreadful bankers who took all that risk with money and bankrupted the country… oh, wait a minute.

*Now known as Volcano Anagram


different episode i guess

April 4, 2010

I watched the first episode of Doctor Who last night. So did IO9. Except they appear to have watched a totally different episode to the one I watched.

1. Matt Smith is not yet the Doctor. His interpretation – for this episode at least – was flimsy, but obviously it requires some time for him to bed down into it. Unlike David Tennant who spent most of his first episode in bed.
2. The story was excellent. A proper story-teller’s tale. And it didn’t involve wheelie bins eating people. This means, by default, without even trying, it was far better that RTD’s opener, “Rose”.
3. Amy’s Aunt knew the Doctor’s face because Amy has been drawing him and building little versions of him all her life. Pay attention.
4. Yer new version of the theme is just wrong.

That’ll do.

PS. Oh yes, apart from the bit which went against everything this British Institution stands for, and had The Doctor say “Who’s da maaaan?” Fuck off Moffat. The Yanks can sort themselves out for that kind of twat language if they want it. I know it was a joke and I know The Doctor said he’d never say it again, but in the entire world of acting, I’ve never seen a line said with less enthusiasm by an actor. And I’ve been to a lot of local amateur dramatics shows.


happy easter

April 1, 2010

PIPEX!

April 1, 2010

Dear Pipex

I’ve previously mentioned how awful you are when things go wrong.

Your inability to collect money from my bank account. Your lack of customer service, including your tendency to blame the customer for your mistakes. And your inability to consider that if one goes to pipex.co.uk, one is not necessarily looking for a business broadband solution. Where is your goddamn home broadband homepage?

I’ll tell you where: It’s offline. It’s down. It’s unreachable through all the browsers. Even Internet Explorer 8, which according to Microsoft can do everything in 8 seconds or less. Or am I missing something from their current round of propaganda?

All I want is my internet back or some way to find out when it might be back. Your message about there being a flood in Paddington (in London) is about as much use to me (in Ipswich) as children’s safety officer in the Vatican. The 7 minutes of hanging on the telephone last night whilst a computer told me “Your call will be answered shortly, Dave” did nothing for my opinion of you, my blood pressure, or my phone when I threw it across the room.

But hey, for fifteen quid a month for all the internet I could possibly eat, OK.

Fuck you. Now let’s snuggle.