Monday, 18 April 2011

Afghan insurgents employed by Group 4 Security.

Typical Norfolk Villagers Go About Their Business - 2011
It's true! According to the Royal British Legion magazine 'Legion' (Mar/Apr 2011), the British Army has built a replica Afghan village in Norfolk  in order to train troops in a realistic environment. (They could have saved some money of course, and just deployed to Hounslow).

This village is so realistic it even has genuine Afghan insurgents - supplied by Group 4 Security! Honestly, I am not making this up.

This is brilliant. Group 4 have been coming in for a bit of stick here in Brussels, but this one really takes the biscuit.

Things have moved on a wee bit from my day, when troops were sent to Sherwood Forest to prepare for operations in Rhodesia. Lets just hope that when we pull out of Afghanistan in 2014 we leave behind us something a bit more like the real world, and a lot less like Zimbabwe . But you know what? I am not all that optimistic.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Belgians can't drive properly: Police approve!

This morning, whilst crossing the 5 lane chaos that is Rue Belliard, just outside the parliament, I and my fellow pedestrians had a narrow escape when a taxi came hurtling through a red light and over the crossing. This is far from being my first near death experience on a pedestrian crossing in Brussels.

Belgians, generally, are appalling drivers. Belgian taxi drivers, however, make Italian drivers look good. They are rude, ignorant, dangerous, and they don't give a flying f*ck for other road users. They are totally reliant on GPS systems that they are too stupid to use properly, and they overcharge shamelessly. Change is something that has to be demanded with menace. I once got into a cab with a driver who took me for about 20 minutes in what turned out to be the wrong direction, before he stopped the cab and called a friend for directions.

Now I learn that BelgaPlod are actually incentivising bad driving. The Brussels police have announced that from now on they are only going to prosecute speeding drivers if they are going really really fast.

Belgium already has a disproportionately high accident rate, partly due to the appalling state of its third world roads, and partly due to the stupidity of the average Belgian driver. Once on a pedestrian crossing in a shopping street I was almost hit by a van. His head was tipped back, and he appeared to driving one-handed while he tipped the contents of a crisp packet down his neck. He was totally unaware of the red light he was jumping, or the pedestrians he narrowly missed. This is normal behaviour on the roads of Brussels.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Iceland Votes No! We pay... as usual.

 Icelanders have voted to reject proposals to repay something like 4 billion quid that they owe us and the Dutch. Well, isn't that a great example of democracy in action? I may have a vote on whether or not to pay my phone bill next month, and taking into account the Icelandic result, I am expecting a landslide "No" vote.

"The Icelandic nation has been put in a terrible situation," Reykjavik voter Helgi Sigurdsson has told the Associated Press news agency. "It has two choices - both are bad." 

Well, how about a third option? How about giving Britain it's money back? 

The tragedy is that in a desperate bid to renage on their obligations, Icelanders will now push to join the EU asap, and pass the debt to Europe's taxpayers. What's good for the Irish, Greeks, and Portugese, is surely good enough for Helgi Sigurdsson. As for that cod they bravely fought us for in the 1970s? They can kiss that goodbye. The Spanish will sterilise their fishing grounds inside of a decade. Then, I guess, they will want compensation. Bloody parasites!