“Striking” Kids and the Refreshingly Unapologetic Shamima Begum

This working week (11-15 February 2019) started much the same way the previous when had ended; fresh from Gucci withdrawing and apologising for a “blackface” jumper (sweater, pullover) it was then the turn of Katy Perry to apologise and withdraw some shoes that looked like blackface, there was also a “whiteface” version but who keeps score these days.

This followed on from complete idiots who thought that old pictures of miners from down the pits, dirty with soot, stood in a pub having a beer was another example of blackface.

This had been parodied before and now satire has become real opinions, granted held by morons but actual thought out, put into print opinions either way.

Sooner or later they’ll come after Predator…

 

To counter the constant need to apologise to the offence mob and bow before their puckered, perfumed anuses the story of Shamima Begum came back to light again.

Aged 15, she’d fucked off to Syria to become a brood mare for ISIS, taking some mates with her.  Her dad blamed everyone the police, social services, her school but, like a plot point in the film Four Lions, it turned out rather than leave her alone he liked to take her with him when he went along to his flag-burning, terror-espousing meetings of the now proscribed Al-Muhajiroun group.

Four years later, ISIS (or Daesh if you prefer) are in the treat, the squalor is a bit too much for poor Shamima, as now being heavily pregnant she has decided she wants to return to the UK, lest she lose a third child to hunger and neglect.

She is unrepentant, being fair to her, if she did show contrition for her actions I still doubt she’d find much forgiveness but not apologising is still finding forgiveness for her actions from some quarters.

Given that half of the suspected 400+ that went from the UK to Syria to fight for ISIS have returned without much problem, she shouldn’t really have done an interview with The Times and then could have just sneaked back in unchallenged like so many other psychopaths have done.

The only excuse I can see for her being allowed back to the UK is that she is a UK citizen and therefore legally and morally that is the only position, there is no other argument that can be made for her return.  Her gender, her religion and most specifically her age at the time of her departure are all just soft bigotry of low expectations.

And given that kids 15 year and younger were blown up in Manchester 2 years ago by those following the same ideology, it would be for the best if our security stepped up its efforts to stop returnees.

Nor is it comparable to child grooming gangs all over the UK, which apparently we can now talk about and admit happens.

Which brings us to today (Friday 15th) and school kids “striking” from school to protest about climate change, or if you prefer; some soft parents allowed their offspring to do a bunk (wag, play hooky) on a nice, sunny Friday to do nothing much but wave a few placards and sing a few songs under the disillusion that they were doing something useful and democratic.

More than likely they were given lifts to and from wherever they were protesting, so at least the safety of your sprogs comes before the climate when it actually has a real and tangible impact on your life.

But these 15 years-olds, these kids haven’t been brainwashed by a cult (maybe because they are white perhaps, or not Muslim, who knows) and therefore we should pay attention to them.

The curse of intersectionality, that treats individual groups as one homogeneous blob.

The world is indeed fucked but it won’t be the climate that kills it.

 

Thanks for reading.

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Spoons Workers Against Brexit – a Ha Ha Ha

I’m not going to link to them, you can search for them, they are quite easy to find, as are most of the #FBPE squealers.

A few points I will stress from the start

  1. Politics is indeed best kept out of business
  2. I respect all those who work at Wetherspoons and at pubs and clubs and bars in general.

To take my 2nd point first, I have worked in pubs; it can be hard and thankless (like most jobs) but it doesn’t take much skill to do.  Indeed it takes skill to do correctly, to enhance a customer’s experience but that is down to the individual and no amount of training can infer common sense within people.

Point one; I’m not one to boycott businesses that have different political outlooks to myself, I have a few I do out of whimsy (never once given McDonald’s my money, avoid Coke products) but it is nothing but a relic of my youth with no real morals attached to it (love me a Burger King, love me a Pepsi), plus you try and completely avoid buying anything Nestle don’t own.

But given the political climate we live in today, it is not without notice that there is a complete lack of irony of those that generally object to the politics of a person or business and the fact that they are anti-democratic losers.

But let us look at the demands from SWAB:

1. Withdraw all pro-Brexit propaganda from our workplace. This means that we will no longer be marked down for refusing to distribute beer mats, leaflets, magazines or menus that promote Martin’s politics.

2. Pay us a Living Wage. That means a £9 hourly rate outside London, and £10.55 in London.

3. Trade union recognition, granting the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union negotiating powers over our pay and pay and working conditions.

 

Points 1 to 3 can quite easily be covered in the simple request, go and look for another fucking job.  You work in a low skilled job that does not merit a “Living Wage” especially considering that most of those in this group will probably be under 25 and are no where near worth £9 an hour given the current scale of age dependent National Minimum Wage payments.

You have signed a contract, either honour that contract or go somewhere else and if you can’t then may I suggest going and getting a better education and qualifications so you can go somewhere that pays better and gives you better job satisfaction.

“Be the change you want to be in the world”*

Or as the kids say these days

Learn To Code

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*Which was not said by the racist, nationalist, nappy wearing religious nut job sectarian, also known as Gandhi.

The CAMRA Festival Cask-Keg Craft Quandary

Subtitle – A Real Problem (Answer: No, that was just a pun which I felt was too sloppy for the title but I don’t like waste, as trite as it is).

 

So the month of January 2019 saw me visit the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival and, as very usual, the Bent & Bongs Beer Bash

So I still hold that Bent & Bongs is not really a CAMRA festival.  It started with the local Round Table(s), moved on to Bent & Bongs Charitable Trust and whereas it has always had help in every aspect from local CAMRA branches (Wigan, mainly), it doesn’t really push itself as a CAMRA do.

Now Bent & Bongs has always had 3 stalls; right back from my attending at the much missed Formby Hall, which were casks ales, ciders & perries and foreign beers (sometimes with bottles).  2019 saw the introduction of “Craft Corner” where by 10 beers were presented by Keg (and the were keg, not CAMRA “real ale approved” KeyKeg).

Still, having visited the Manchester version from when it was the “Winter Ales” version and then when it moved to the velodrome and almost killed people with the amount of walking required, the set up has been fairly similar, up until the move to GMex (or Manchester Central if you must).

During this rather move the beer scene has evolved (or in-vovled) and so CAMRA, wishing to not miss a trick developed a way of getting Keg (any keg style) into their festival but for sake of brevity (set-up), this year, with the exception of the brewery bars and Irish Bar, the keg were kept in the “Keg & KeyKeg Bar” – note the distinction even here, they should really add Dolium just for the fuck of it too.

Anyway, it was only on the final day of Bent & Bongs I noted the clear distinction between Cask and Craft.

Not anyone’s fault, the terms aren’t mutually exclusive.  Same with real ale, keg, keykeg, or whatever material the cask is made out of.

Or for that matter is the cask it pump or gravity.

But you can only field the “what’s the difference between cask and craft?” question so many times, trying not to notice the glazed look in the eyes of the asker, not from beer but from your own overly long, if technically correct answer, before you just say…

Craft (beer), in the UK, it’s a marketing term.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

My non-Usual Drinking History…So Far

As I make my way through yet another Bent & Bongs Beer Bash a wave of nostalgia hit me that I feel best to recount, perhaps to realign this blog briefly into a less political state.

I started drinking at around 13 on the fields near mine and my mates houses (parents houses obviously).  Back then it started on stupidly strong stuff like Kestrel Super and Ice Dragon cider, the former of which should never really be drank by anyone with functioning taste buds so as a starting point it could poison your idea of beer from the very start.

We were away from the public, actually quite quiet and respectable of our surroundings.  It took me a long summer of finding the right cans before I first got drunk; two cans of Strongbow did the trick back then, my mates were may ahead having spent each weekend seemingly trying to increase their tolerance a can at a time.

That I’m still mates with most of them, or rather they are still mates with me, highlights that the only evolution on that scale has been that we now go out drinking together in the pub, or around each others houses (our actually own houses because we’re all sensible and grown up and have responsibilities now).

We moved into drinking in pubs at around 16-17, after all there is only a certain amount of time your growing body can get used to drinking alcohol while playing football.

I’m tempted to suggest that my pub experience started in the 2nd wave of keg beer.  After Red Barrel and Double Diamond, I drank up in the Smooth Flow era.  A time of a seemingly Irish beer invasion, where it wasn’t just Guinness of off but Murphy’s, Beamish (red and black), Kilkenny and Caffrey’s, which back then started out at 4.8%.  This went along side Boddington’s launching a “Gold” version, while you could also get Thwaites Smooth, Tetley’s Smooth, John Smith’s Smooth and the personally missed Calder’s Cream Ale.

Can drinking was awash with cans with “widgets” in them; for an authentic creamy pub head in your own home, or in the case of Carling Premier, then need to mop the floor each time one was opened.

I honestly don’t recall much, if any cask at all, nothing of note anyway, that phase only entered my life when I went to university in Bradford.  A place of Flowers IPA for £1 a pint, or the premium offering of Directors (when it didn’t just taste of syrup).

Bradford had the Biko Bar, at the time it was sold as “the only student bar in the Good Beer Guide” – they regularly served cask Moorhouses’ Witches Brew (again before it tasted of syrup) and Younger’s No. 3.

Fun smoking fact about the Biko Bar; it had a no smoking section that was on a raised platform to the rest of the pub.  The pub was basically a rectangle, the platform near the windows and opposite the door, so naturally all the smoke from the rest of the pub went over the non-smoking area and out through the windows. Genius idea.

In fact back then they did a pub quiz on a Sunday, where once a team name was called “What kind of crap pub has a no smoking section” – how times change.

A pub near my halls called The Shearbridge (now a curry house I believe) had regular beer festivals and always sold Skull Splitter and Dogs Bollocks as part of them.

This brings us up to starting going to beer festivals (Bent & Bongs I’d been aware of since my dad started going from its inception) and the fact that I still didn’t really care what I drink, style wise.  Back then it was – oh what’s this 14% beer, Sam-something-or-other.

I write this piece because I’ve realised only necessity has made me “have” a preferred drink. Cans as a kid was lager or cider.  Pubs at the beginning was generally lager, sometimes Guinness.  Cost as a student meant it was Flowers or some random lager.

Going into pubs now, with the choice far more varied than it was, I still don’t have a drink, I’ve never got to hear the bar tender ask “the usual” and I’m wondering if anyone does any more.

Though I think I’m just happy that my usual is the places I go and the people I go with.

 

Thanks for reading.

Jamelia, Soylent Green and the Deatherendum

 

Deatherendum

I bumped into this link earlier today and by the time I’ve come to write this piece the website now has a massive apology about offence and has pulled it M.O.

What it did, in very, very poor statistical data was compare how many “old people” died against how my “young people” were registering to vote and then constructed the ratio of when the losers/remain vote would be in the majority.

Because obviously all old people vote leave and all young people vote remain and people never change their minds.

This came in a week that had seen a woman with no discernible talent, desperately trying to keep herself in the public eye so she can afford to home school here children, say that anyone over 75 shouldn’t be given the vote as they won’t be around to live through what they voted for…

One of the many, many funny things about the Brexit vote is how the picture is somehow painted (well, it isn’t somehow, it is just blatant media bias) that Remain voters were the nice people and Leave voters were the nasty ones.

But that belies the very obvious truth; that sore losers, the poor wretched people who can’t handle democracy when it gives a result they disagree with (see also UK General Election 2105, standard twitter response “I don’t know any Tories, how did they win?”), apart from smearing everything with one big brush, do also like to dwell on the death of those that hold opposing views.

They hide behind “but its just statistics” but it isn’t statistics; and even if it were, it is terrible maths for which they should go back to school to relearn, what it is is naked fascism.

But fascism of the good kind, the kind that can be broadcast, the kind that doesn’t get people in a tizz about it or cause the police the need to investigate.

If I’m honest the website made me chuckle; out of the sickness of it and that someone had the urge to even make it, gallows humour if you will and, of course Jamelia can have all the opinions she wants and can speak them wherever and whenever she likes; well, obviously in the UK…for now.

And this won’t ever end.  The jealous bitterness of the Remain side, the side that lost, will fester and fester and if somehow (again not somehow, just a complete ignorance of the electorate) the UK stays in the European Union they will cheer, the will cheer that democracy failed and won’t even contemplate the implications.

How very, very sad.

Thanks for reading.

 

P.S. – I believe on the 21st of January the very same EU will meet again to discuss Article 13 (and 11) of their Copyright directives.  This would effectively make every link in this article, the link to Youtube and the picture at the start of this piece liable for deletion.  The implications for the whole internet within the EU are at stake, please contact your MEP to urge them to vote down this nonsense.

Track Brew Co Tap Room – Quick Review

I’ve always had a soft spot for Track Brew Co of Manchester.

When I first went to the brewery and talked to the people there, they stated that they fined their beers (possibly not now) which I thought was honest and, given the unnecessary hatred craft people have for finings, a bit of a revelation.

There was also while I attended a beer festival in Leeds, the first brewery to DM me via twitter and as a fledgling beer blogger I felt that I’d “arrived,” it was the little things back then, when things were bright and new and even innocent.

So I was quite happy to hear that they were opening their own tap-room.

64 Chapeltown Street Manchester M1 2WQ.

The third floor of Crusader Mill.

Given that I’d walked from The Smithfield (and Crown & Kettle) and was coming from an unfamiliar and unplanned route I was happy that I stumbled upon it so easily and that it was well enough signposted (within the mill complex) when I got there.

Built into an area that struck me as a modern and posh version of back-to-back housing for the easily impressed, after what was about a mile of walking I was then faced with the interminable hike up narrow, short-spaced stairs.

Still, I knew that while there would be no cask (and Track cask is rather good), their keg can be just as rewarding.

The floor was reached, the smell of street food hit my nostrils and the warm heat and sound of a fair few people all gassing away greeted my senses.

The drink area was fairly bright, a bit industrial-chic but pleasant and it is a mill so to be expected.  Seating was very much long tables, like a beer hall.

I walked over to the bar it was wooden, naturally, and the list of beers was clearly written as was the pricing.

I studied the list and made my choice.

 

I then saw “THIS IS A CASHLESS VENUE”

 

I went to another pub.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

“Pub Bans Dictionary Definitions”

 

Daily Mirror Link

Daily Mail Link

Well, no one comes out of this covered in glory.  So here let me rail against these idiots and let my own prejudices shine.

Ms Wershbale, a mother-of-one, had gone last Sunday with her girlfriend to play board games at the pub where she has been a regular for three years.

Pubs are for drinking, maybe some darts, dominoes, billiards and a bit of shove ha’penny but if you want to pretend you’re still a child, play you’re board games with your kid(s), at home.

On the same day Mr Johnson – the pub goer Ms Wershbale had offended – took to Twitter to talk about his distress. He wrote: ‘When you’re trying to relax in your fave pub and there is a TERF [trans exclusionary radical feminist] wearing an anti-trans T-shirt… it’s disgusting and I’m so upset by it.’

Grassing wimp.

The manager of Five Clouds Tom Lewis said Ms Wershbale is not permanently barred but she must ‘have a discussion with staff so she understands the situation’ before she is allowed back in.

Tom lad, use this opportunity to mansplain wisely, it is the only time those liberal twats in the beer world will make an exception, when you are defending a lesser minority against a slightly greater minority – please consult you victim-hood flowchart for all other occasions when this can be used.

I look forward to a debate between Wershbale and Jan at Marble (purveyor of rules like this) – maybe make it part of Manchester Beer Week 2019, a logical step from the unnecessary use of identity politics that were so prevalent in the 2018 saga.  There is a title for this epic clash just ready and waiting.

Also; Five Clouds is a bar, not a pub, I’ve been a half dozen time, a nice place, not the best in Macc but at least it has, good staff, limited exposed brickwork, no industrial-chic and doesn’t look like an Ikea catalogue vomited the furnishings.

——————

Lets cut to the chase.  Ms Wershbale hasn’t been “banned for wearing a t-shirt” – she has been barred for being an antagonistic twat.

Christ, when I was in college I borrowed my mates Cradle of Filth t-shirt just to wind-up my biology teacher who’d already banned numerous t-shirts I’d worn.  I was 17, I hated Cradle of Filth (I still do, or rather I just don’t get them) and I was being a dick.

 

 

This is where we are at with political discourse, it has been reduced to the level of teenage name calling.

Dictionary definitions are wonderful when used for causes and labels you wish to attach (incorrectly) to people; how many times do people you don’t agree with have to be called fascist before that word loses all meaning?  Facts don’t care about your feelings.  Deal with it.

Likewise, when it comes to the mantra “private businesses can set there own rules” – again this only applies when it suits a narrative.

All this against a back drop of words, a lack of maturity, running to a safe space to claim victim points and general wazzock behaviour.

I still get pissed off with the amount of signs pubs and bars have to carry by order of their licenses

  • no drugs
  • no smoking (or vaping)
  • are you 25?
  • please leave quietly
  • line cleaning
  • PRS music approval
  • Numerous posters for up coming events

Not only are you bombarded with information that in most cases is entirely irrelevant to your enjoyment of a beer, in some establishments we now have to see prominent virtual signals to, as if it were necessary, let us know the victualler is as far away from being a Nazi as is possible.

Well, their interpretation of a Nazi.

And if you don’t agree with their way of thinking…

 

Thanks for reading.