Goodbye Margaret, and good riddance

I wish Margaret Thatcher a long and unpleasant death. I don’t care about her reputation as Ronnie Reagan’s buddy, she was a harsh leader who enriched her friends in the south east of Britain at the expense of the rest of the country. Her awful legacy is still being felt in the greed and dishonesty that marks British wealth and upper management.

From today’s Guardian: “The first [effect] is what changed in the temper of Britain and the British. What happened at the hands of this woman’s indifference to sentiment and good sense in the early 1980s brought unnecessary calamity to the lives of several million people who lost their jobs. It led to riots that nobody needed. More insidiously, it fathered a mood of tolerated harshness. Materialistic individualism was blessed as a virtue, the driver of national success. Everything was justified as long as it made money – and this, too, is still with us.”

(My words:) The beneficiaries of this were the City men (and women) who drive Jags and live in the wealthy suburbs and hate the working class. Money and the pursuit of it overrules all else. That’s still the case. The criminally bad management and naked greed that led to the 2008/9 UK bank failures is evidence of this, and it’s still going on! Tax avoidance is regarded as top fashion.

[The Guardian] “[Under her leadership] … the sense of community evaporated. There turned out to be no such thing as society, at least in the sense we used to understand it. Whether pushing each other off the road, barging past social rivals, beating up rival soccer fans, or idolising wealth as the only measure of virtue, Brits became more unpleasant to be with. This regrettable transformation was blessed by a leader who probably did not know it was happening because she didn’t care if it happened or not. But it did, and the consequences seem impossible to reverse.”

“But on the subject of Europe, Thatcher became a contradictory figure. She led Britain further into Europe, while talking us further out. Endeavouring to persuade the British into an attitude of hostility to the group with which she spent 11 years deepening their connection must take a high place in any catalogue of anti-statesmanship. This, too, we still live with.”

(My words:) Cameron and his elitist, Eton/Oxford, anti-society, anti-welfare government are still defying Europe, still being obstinate, still throwing stones under the horses’ hooves, still being perfidious Albion. They idolised Margaret Thatcher.

“… Thatcher was a naturally, perhaps incurably, divisive figure. It was part of her conspicuous virtue, her indifference to familiar political conventions. It came to a head over her most egregious policy failure, Europe. She lost seven cabinet ministers on the Europe question, a record that permeated the party for years afterwards. It still does.”

In my personal opinion, she was a cruel, callous harridan, bent on having her own way, regardless of the effect on people’s lives. As someone said today, she cared nothing for Scotland for example, and the result is that Scotland hated her, and even 30 years later, is probably going to leave the union. Go for it, I say.

Have a nice death, Maggie. Good riddance.

PS: from The Guardian again: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/1990/nov/23/past.conservatives

People are saying, “She won the Falklands War.” Bullshit! She caused the deaths of a hundred or more (more! it was 255) British servicemen and 649 Argentinians. It made her into a heroine, but the cost in human lives! It’s all very well to cheer and wave flags, but if you’ve lost a husband, father or son, see how you feel about war. And if you’re left grievously wounded, crippled, mentally damaged or disfigured for life, you can thank Maggie.

John Howard is in the same mould. The 2003 Iraq war was illegal! He committed Australian troops to a war which was never sanctioned by the UN, without any reference to cabinet, any debate in Parliament or any discussion with the Australian people. It was a futile war based on spurious information, simply so Howard could show he was a good buddy to Bush Junior. It caused the deaths of a hundred thousand or more Iraqis and is still doing so. The situation in Iraq is worse now than before he took us there. In my opinion, he is a war criminal.

A good start

Image

The drying court. I'd be using this area more, 
if only I could find the key to the roller door 
to access it from the garage. The previous owners told me
they'd never opened it. I'm not surprised; 
the key lock is at ground level.
Who designed that?!

Aaaagh. I’m writing this sitting at my solid desk, sitting on my office chair with my desktop (tower) PC at last. I’ve decided to use the front room shown on the plan as “Home Theatre” as my computer room. Thick carpet, morning sun, near the front door – and plenty of room left for a lounge or settee: it’s fine. And I’m getting 300KB/s wireless internet speed, probably since I can see the phone antenna tower about 500m away across Marmion Avenue.  I plan to get land-line phone and internet asap. At last.

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I got about three boxes and four plastic bags unpacked today. It might seem trivial, but I haven’t got places to put “stuff” yet, apart from the walk-in robes. (I did get my big computer set up and working – that took some time.) It meant I stayed “home”. No need to go out and spend money. The heat is a big factor. I’m developing a big list, though.

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The more I use the kitchen, the more I think, “This is crap.” All the cupboard space is either too high or too low. The microwave oven is supposed to go into a recess at knee level. No thank you. So it occupies the limited bench space. The sink is deep, meaning I have to lean forward and down. Where to put things is not that obvious. There’s a lot of wasted space. My old kitchen was more efficient than this.

I’ll give it time, but I may spend some money and effort on a new arrangement. I’ll post some pics soon.

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I’ve realised today that what I thought was wallpaper in the main bedroom and bathroom is not. It’s a paint technique. It’s a beige base coat, followed by a deliberate slapdash extra coat of a deeper tan colour, giving a gold effect with broad brush strokes. It’s quite attractive, so I’m fine with it, but if I decide I want a different scheme, it’ll be easy to paint over it.

In the two guest bedrooms, though, it definitely is wallpaper and I like it! It’s subtle and fits the room, giving a “feel” to both rooms. I’ll be keeping it.

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The more I go outside, the more I feel how harsh the ground treatment feels. The quartz stone chips and the gravel cover all the soil except the meagre lawn, both front, side and back. There are no weeds, of course, but there’s no way I’d walk out there in bare feet. I think I’m going to bag it all up for removal at some stage. I want soft lawn, or some other arrangement even if it takes mowing or line trimming.

Similarly, there’s an olive tree growing in the NE back corner, right where I’ll want to put a spa or some other water device. It’s about 2m tall at the moment, so I’d better decide soon. It looks very healthy, so if anyone wants an olive tree … take it away.

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The metal sheeting I had removed from the side of the garage turned out to be double walled alloy sheeting with a layer of foam insulation between, grey on one side and white on the other. It’s designed to interlock together and should be worth something to sell. These are ~1m by ~4m (car length plus) sheets, all intact. Keith thinks he’ll have a buyer.

It means my garage is open on the east side at the moment, if anyone decided to hop over the fence. But it’s brush panel fencing and Baz reckons it’s a thief deterrent. Too difficult to get over. I reckon to get some steel mesh panels and clip the top line off, leaving spikes, and put it up against the fence as a creeper panel and thief deterrent!

Similarly, I think I’ll use steel mesh to enclose the side of the garage, then cover it with acrylic sheeting to keep the weather out. With a doorway, of course.

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Which reminds me, I must take out insurance. Good articles in The West yesterday – cheap insurance is false economy. Noted.

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Lotsa kids around here. Kids in the back lane, walking their dogs. Kids on skate boards thundering down the footpath at the front, even skipping up my steps. It’s OK.

Rubbish collection was this morning, Tuesday, and they took both bins – general waste and recycling. That means the smell of baby poo – disposable nappies is gone. Thank goodness!

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I mentioned all the trouble I’ve been having getting the laptop to boot. I have a USB wireless plug for a mouse. Removing that seems to have fixed the boot problem. Huh! Plug it in after startup and it works fine. Grrr.