Moody’s! Moody’s! Who the fuck are Moody’s?

Poor old George Osborne. As well as being a TTT (total tory tosser), now he’s lost the UK’s AAA credit rating. (Oh, and by the way BBC, it is the UK’s credit rating, not just Britain’s! I know you’d prefer us to sit on our fleg and fuck off, but…)

Anyhow, it would seem that some bunch of unelected, unaccountable so-called ‘analysts’ have decided that we don’t match up to their stringent and unbiassed economic criteria to be considered as AAA-worthy. So, to misquote ‘Living without Alice’, who the fuck are these folk?

Moody’s are a US company whose striking performances include failing to anticipate the US housing market collapse. They are also funded by Wall Street firms and, hey, guess what, along with those other bastions of fiscal rectitude Standard and Poors and Fitch Ratings, they admitted to a US Senate hearing on Aptil 24th, 2010 that they had  ‘…suppressed internal concerns about the securities they rated due to pressure from the banks that paid their fees.’ ( A report from Duke University, Keenan Institute for Ethics, states that ‘With the advent of the subprime mortgage crisis, it became apparent that CRAs [Credit Ratings Agencies], particularly Moody’s, had inflated the credit worthiness of some of the riskier assets they rated.’ (, p. 7)

I know I rant on about the evils of international capital, but here’s a bunch of mercenaries whose only allegiance is to making money, talking down the economy of a country. So if the Bank of England decides to hike interest rates to appease these wankers, it’s your mortgage going up, your bank changes soaring – not theirs. And, hey, if certain stocks and futures appreciate and they make money on the back of it, are they going to feel guilty?

This is the problem with international capitalism. It ensures that the billions who live on the planet are irrelevant. The ones who matter are perhaps no more than a few thousand of the sort of people who would drive down house prices and lower the tone of the neighbourhood if they moved into your district. (Happily, they won’t, because they don’t associate with impecunious scum like you and me!).

So the shysters, spivs and crooks – sorry, market traders and analysts – who ensure that you pay top dollar for every and any commodity you can name, and all of those you can’t, get mink in their Maseratis, while you and I can only dream of having a full tank in the Mini. That’s the free market for you. These wankers decide where the exchange rate goes – and right now the pound in your pocket is going downhill against the dollar and the Euro. Is the pound’s worth of gold in the Bank of England (the few kilos that Gordon Brown didn’t flog off at the bottom of the market) any smaller than it was last week? Does it cost any more to get a barrel of oil out of the ground? Er… no! In short, if things were let to progress without the intervention of these parasites, the 99% would be far better off. But then that would make the 1% very unhappy, and the likes of wee George  can’t have that, can he?

Us lot are never going to be free of the malign influence of the Moody’s of the world until we decide to take back the world and tell these irrelevant money-grubbers to go suck a diseased donkey’s dick – and die! But that presupposes that folk are going to vote out all of those Torys and Tory lookalikes (Noo Labour, US Republicans and Democrats etc., Liberal somethingorothers) and vote in politicians who are interested in  the welfare of their fellow citizens and not in lining their own pockets and egos and those of their friends in the rest of the 1%. Where do we find such selfless folk? And even if we could, are we likely to vote them in? In the UK less than 50% vote…Apathy rul..ah, who gives a fuck.

Oh well! Come the revolution and the next load of fat cats take over…


Just another shitty day in cloud-cuckoo land

   Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder if it’s just you or has the world gone totally insane – or, rather, more totally insane than ever? I do.

   So, when I saw that the head of RBS is to get a bonus of nearly £800K, I was rather wondering what it was for.  Then I discovered that he’s going to be getting it for his work in 2010. And that’s when the feeling of alternate reality kicked in. In 2010, the bank of which he was in charge had folk diddling with the LIBOR to boost income. As a result, RBS has been just been fined shedloads of money. Now, if Mr. Hester knew what was going on, he should be having his collar well and truly felt.  But it seems clear that he didn’t. In this case, why is he still in post, let alone being showered with shekels? Either he’s a thief who should be inside, or he’s incompetent and should be sacked.  Or am I, once again, showing my total lack of understanding of how capitalism and banking work?

   More unreality when hearing of the last words of a Holocaust survivor who died in Stafford hospital – ‘I had friends in Auschwitz. Here I have none.’. What in the name of a good and merciful God has happened there? And isn’t it fascinating that not one single member of staff at any level has been charged with some offence, any offence? It just seems that there is far more fuss over the fact that you can put £5 each way on your Findus Lasagne than over such a grotesque betrayal of the vulnerable and sick.

   When Thatcher started to dismantle the NHS, it was evident that the profit culture was going to trump patient care. And if you ever wanted one simple reason why privatisation of the NHS is not only wrong, but truly wicked, Stafford is it.  But again, so long as the fat cats can cream off  large salaries and companies can make their profits, who really gives a shit about one old lady?

   As someone who has eaten horse – with a fine pepper sauce – and enjoyed it, I’m slightly bemused by the angst. Of course it’s sad that the faller in the 2.30 at Lingfield has ended up as a burger. Yes, you should know precisely what’s in what you’re eating. A given. And yes, it’s highly likely that crooks are making money out of the whole fraud. But isn’t it interesting that at least a proportion of our food is so processed and generally fucked about with that people can’t tell the difference between horsemeat and beef?

   And then there’s the ‘fleg’ protest. I regularly pass the Alliance Party office on the Upper N’Ards road, and see five or six fleggistas under the beady eyes of five or six peelers (with associated landrovers). So to ensure the maintenance of a non-existant British way of life we have to take peelers off the job of dealing with criminals, policing traffic, helping little old ladies across the road and whatever Archbishop Baggott allows them to do.  And do these same fleggistas realise that if Norn Iron were to float off into the Atlantic and sink, the noise of the cheers of the ‘real’ British would burst God’s eardrums? Reality has yet to dawn!

 Yus! Reality can really be a two-edged wotdyamacallit or something.

Peanuts and a red wine cooler…

I drink too much! When I’m doing serious work, it’s mainly tea – sometimes coffee. But I don’t do coffee the way I used to, because since my doctor told me that I needed to lose weight, I’ve stopped using sugar. And coffee without sugar is flavoured like what I imagine the contents of a slurry tank would taste. So I use sweeteners, which make it just about tolerable. Tea with sweeteners, no problem. Good strong Belfast tea can over come any abuse. But coffee?  Nah, it’s too prima donna. So just for occasional.

   Joyless anti-tobacco Nazis won’t understand, but one of life’s genuine pleasures – one of the true blessings of a merciful and beneficent deity – is to wake in the morning to a pipe and a cup of strong, sugar-sweet coffee. The day becomes light and pickled in sunlight, dappled with good humour, whatever the weather. Starting like this puts a spring in the step, in the thought processes and in one’s kindly regard for most of the human race (there will always be exceptions!!). A blessed nicotine hit at the end of the day to ease the coming of sleep ensures sweet dreams and tranquility.

   But I stopped smoking a number of years ago. It had become a choice between breathing and smoking. The former won out  – just about. And as my tastebuds came out of stasis, and I rediscovered just how anti-social is an evening on Guinness and pickled eggs and how farting in bed can be a near-death experience, I needed a substitute. Since pubs should smell and taste of the last decade of tobacco smoke mingled with the ghosts of many beers spilled on a tired carpet and a general mix of body odour and cheap perfume, I don’t really go any more. If I want to inhale antiseptic, I’ll open a celebratory bottle of Dettol, or else have a coronary and get into a ward for incorrigibles.  So I drink at home, sometimes solitary like now, oft-times in the fine company of herself.

   Now, I don’t drink when I’m doing serious work – the work that pays that sheepshagging bunch of thieving, motherfucking tossers, otherwise known as the holders of my mortgage.  No, I stay sober for that. So it’s primarily tea. Coffee at 11am and 3pm because that’s a rhythym of life dictating that my DNA still stays in a logically twisted spiral. It’s when I can escape into the slightly disorientated realms of my mind and not have to think sensibly (like now), that the blessings of ethanol kick in.

   But it’s a funny thing. Since I stopped smoking, my weight has ballooned.  I have a beer-gut like I’d eaten not just a football, but half of the first-division team kicking it as well. So when I drink, I need to be crafty.  The fat monster lurks behind every dish of duck with plum sauce. Bacon sarnies aren’t exactly geared to reducing the waistline to its original 36″. WARNING – if any of you use the s**** word, you can go shag a roll of barbed wire.  So there! High protein, reasonably low fat, suggestive of the pub without having to be there! There is, of course, only one answer.  Peanuts.

      But what to drink and stay relatively in touch with reality? Fizzy beer (even if it’s the golden nectar?), nah! Spirits? Occasionally, but not for real. Them’s for getting pissed! I’m not a wine snob – in fact, I know sod all really, other than what I like. And if I’m working for a few hours, more than a trayful of successive glasses tends to blur reality just that little bit too much. A bit like a painter finding his hand slipping and smearing part of the canvas.  My daughter had the answer. Mind you, I nearly killed her for it.

   On one special occasion when we were drinking en famille, she ordered a glass of wine and a bottle of fizzy saccharine and water and mixed the two. Since it was a quite good (inasmuch as I can judge) claret, I shouted at her. Philistine. Destroyer of…Then again, I thought, she is American, after all. So I apologised and tried it. Not bad, not… actually quite nice or even…OK, and we all hate the French, really. Surrendering frogs who eat monkeys or…something like that. Anyhow…

   So six years later, here I am with a glass of bog-basic house red half-and-half with cheap diet (no sugar, honest guv) lemonade and a bowl of salted peanuts. And I’m getting ready to write epic, searing prose to make Dante’s Inferno look like a limp-wristed barbeque and….

  Ah well, fuck it. I’ll just lie down until I’m not in danger of…..