Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Stuff and nonsense!

I accidentally find out stuff via Facebook that otherwise I would never come across. Here's an example. One of my former students, a very talented musician, posts all sorts of interesting musical stuff. Unfortunately she also posts a lot of nonsense because she "follows" Hello Magazine. And so today I discovered that someone called Tom Fletcher, a singer-songwriter for a group called McFly, and his wife Giovanna, who blogs for the magazine, have just produced their second child, another son. The first one, I found out, is called Buzz. And now Buzz has a small brother, Buddy. 

These are not names! Excuse me, but I have to say it! Buzz and Buddy are perfectly good nicknames but they cannot be considered to be proper names. Never in a month of Sundays! 

Here's another bit of nonsense. Not found out from my musical ex-student. A peer, Lord Richard, once chief of the Benefits Agency, thinks that pensioners should prove that they are contributing to society or have their pensions cut. "Older people who are not very old could be making a very useful contribution to civil society if they were given some incentive or recognition for doing so,” he told a committee of MPs. He feels that if it's okay to "incentivise" job seekers in this way, then it should be okay to do the same to those who have finished working all their lives and are now in receipt of a pension. In that way we are no longer a "negative burden on the state". 

Whoopee! That should help the unemployment figures no end! 

Lord Richard, by the way, retired at 53 and has a very large pension. Presumably pontificating in this way counts as contributing to society! 

And while we are at it, if that is how things ought to be, can someone work out a way for me to reclaim some of the National Insurance contributions I have paid over the years? I haven't seen my GP for years and years. I have not been to A&E for anything. For a short time while I was having children, I have to admit that I availed myself of the services of the state but apart from flu jabs, I simply have not made use of the local doctors' services in recent years. I am sure I have not had my money's worth. 

So please don't start messing around with my pension. I already pay tax on it and that's quite enough, thank you! 

Here's more. Prince William has been making a speech to British diplomats in which he spoke of the importance of international partnerships. This has been interpreted by media know-it-alls as this young man who might possibly one day be king coming out in favour of the EU. At the same time, actress Emma Thompson has said much more directly that she is in favour of staying in; she thinks we would be mad to leave. 

So that's all right then. We can stop worrying about Brexit!

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