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Everything posted by woolley

  1. Oh, do behave yourself! That is simply laughable! The old rule of the farther south you travel in the world, the greater the corruption (with the exception of the antipodes) still holds up remarkably well.
  2. It is indeed. Around £700 per additional year purchased buys you an extra £5.78 per week pension, so you'll break even well within 3 years and then it's all profit. You do have to make sure that you live that long, otherwise you'll be well brassed off having given (even more of) your hard earned to the Treasury for nothing. And yes, as has been said, nowadays the UK and IOM pensions are completely separate, so you have to claim them separately, but on the upside if you have the years paid up, you may well get a good deal more than under the old arrangements. You can purchase additional years, but you cannot purchase the same year in both jurisdictions. If you moved to the Island way back under the old fully reciprocal system, the year you moved and the year following it will have been remitted back to the UK, so your entitlement for those years will be in the UK and will not count towards your Manx pension. Latest govt release on general pension info: https://www.gov.im/media/1365128/msp5-april-2022.pdf
  3. I really would not bank on that.
  4. Well, obviously, the point is that the cost of annual benefits is not going to remain at 100 for ever. It is going to be far in excess of 200 if past projections are to be believed, and then the contingency balance comes into play.
  5. Liverpool FC..Has any team been so lucky ever.
  6. As of weekend just passed diesel 158.9 rising to 164.9 on island vs 174.9 lowest to over 180 in uk. Most in uk including supermarkets are 179.9. Seems odd filling up before leaving Island instead of before coming home, but it's been that way for months. Hell of a difference.
  7. They are wonderful and work very well indeed. In the age of the all embracing nanny state, it is refreshing to see a government initiative that requires people to think for themselves. No more traffic jams caused by traffic lights. Just approach slowly, have your wits about you and engage some courtesy in how you deal with other users. Almost all of the traffic lights on the Island could be done away with and replaced with unmarked junctions where nobody has priority. Full marks to whoever decided to do this. Anybody who cannot cope with an unmarked junction should not be driving.
  8. Biden's speech wasn't smart. It merely confirmed to Putin everything he always suspected in his paranoia about Western intentions. Even less smart was the White House later rowing back on it. Taken together the speech and the later mealy mouthed retraction, when translated into Putin's language, say: "We do really want you gone but we are frit." The worst of all possible impressions to give. It does make one wonder about the intelligence of those in high places.
  9. He just means he hasn't a clue what his wife's on about. That's normal for most of us. (Ah. I see the site just made me an "apprentice". Ain't that nice?)
  10. Yes, and thank you for a very thoughtful response at least. Your point about the Warsaw Pact was one uppermost in my mind when I referred to rewriting of history in the Guardian article. I would also state clearly that I am a firm believer in the NATO military alliance which actually has kept the peace in Europe for over 70 years, despite the claims of other organisations to the same accolade. However, to believe that we couldn't politically have encouraged and nurtured a better outcome in Russia from the demise of the Soviet Union is a curious myopia that seems rife on here. That the West played a shocking hand is quite obvious in hindsight. It was clear at the time to some. It's not even controversial now. Numerous posters somehow seem to have formed the view that I am excusing or acting as apologist for what Putin's Russia is doing in Ukraine, although I posted nothing of the kind. Not a bit of it. For the avoidance of doubt, I abhor Putin and his adventure, and this really is the whole crux of the matter. We sleepwalked into this. I am relating to a time when the future nature of the government of Russia was entirely up for grabs. It was a bright dawn for the country emerging from long dark decades of communist repression, and a new generation was looking West for a lead. The canvas was blank and Russian democrats were eager for help from outside in shaping and colouring it to build their new state. They didn't get it. And once again, this was at a time well before Putin's rise - the early to mid 1990s. Nobody was threatening anybody then. So if we had managed to encourage a different, better Russia, then Putin would not be president and all powerful today. Perhaps someone more like Navalny would be there instead leading a true democracy, and maybe even now, nobody would be threatening anybody. NATO could have maintained its 1997 borders. All would be calm. Maybe it's utopian, and perhaps it could not have been achieved, but it would have been nice to TRY, at least. Anyway, having made the point, that was all I wanted to contribute. I'm way past prolonged arguments on here.
  11. Of course he isn’t, and there is no excuse for the barbarism being played out by the present despotic regime all the way up to Putin. This doesn’t mean that the West is blameless in its whole approach to the geopolitical situation in Europe, however. We haven't exactly covered ourselves in glory. Having skimmed through this thread I am surprised that the lack of foresight by the US and NATO has not been raised and discussed. The fundamentals that have culminated in this situation go back decades. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, particularly in the early 90s, there were many signs of openness and democracy trying to take root in Russia. There was a nascent positive future there that the West could have latched on to and encouraged. People were looking for help, aid, assistance and advice having emerged from a 70 year repressive nightmare. In the event a promising hand was played very badly indeed, and Russia was effectively snubbed as irrelevant to the modern world and at the same time regarded with suspicion. Then, despite the West saying that NATO would not expand to the East, it did so anyway. Instead of embracing the fledgling post-Soviet Russia as an equal to be respected, at a time when nobody was threatening anybody, we parked tanks and missiles on their lawn. Had different decisions been made by the US and the West, might we have seen a different Russia emerge, with the likes of Putin and his unreconstructed KGB henchmen a million miles away from power, and consigned to the dustbin of history? This is an interesting piece. There's a certain amount of rewriting history involved, but I believe the thrust of it stands up. It really didn't have to turn out the way it looks today. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/28/nato-expansion-war-russia-ukraine
  12. Merry Christmas you all.
  13. woolley

    merry xmas

    Merry Christmas to you all.
  14. This is woolley’s final contribution on Manxforums which will come as a blessed relief to some, no doubt, and so, ladies and gentlemen, I crave your indulgence one last time. Considering that I’ve written so much here, I can’t even recall what it was that moved me sufficiently to sign up to MF in the first place. It’s all lost in the mists of time, but it was clearly the start of something that endured and became a part of my routine. All things, both nice and nasty, eventually come to an end. When I’d idly pondered in the past how I might conclude my MF tenure other than by falling off my perch, I long fancied that I’d simply stop posting and say nothing. I’ve noticed that the problem with this approach is that people then start speculating: “He’s got a lifetime ban.” (Still short odds on this one, I guess!) “I heard he’s had a stroke and is sitting in a home for the bewildered, even more gaga than before.” “Fred in the office says he knew him from the line dancing society. He’s dead.” Well, I don’t want any of that malarkey. At the same time, 26,837 posts while under severe provocation, yet maintaining a sunny disposition throughout is quite a haul. It’s exceeded only by Albert Tatlock, and he’s 112 years old and terminally grumpy as a result of the stress. That must be around a million words I put into this place. I charge a lot for that amount of content normally! After so much and so long, a valedictory post to mark the end is surely apposite, if only to put a nice hemline on the bottom and stop the raw material above from fraying, but what to include; how to sum up? The pithy one or two paragraph flounce has been employed in the past by those departing under a cloud after a run in with The Man, but I’m sure it must leave a flaccid feeling after the initial euphoria of hitting the submit button. Likewise, the fevered-browed, foul-mouthed invective filled rejoinder, damning to hell and back everyone who ever wronged you on the boards, in fact or in your imagination. Not really my style to eff and blind my way off the premises either. It gains you nothing. Instead, it occurred that it would feel more cathartic to reflect a little on my personal MF experience and share it with the group. In that vein, I took time to recall some of the great (and not so great) posters I’ve enjoyed reading or pitting my wits against over so many years. I hope it will jog the memories of others’ favourites to highlight in this entertaining thread too. My own short odyssey through MFspacetime then, begins with those who made me stop and think, like you, VinnieK, with your perennially sound reasoning. If anything good came out of the lockdown, at least it brought your return to these pages for our delectation. Or those who expanded my knowledge, epitomised by Chinahand, particularly on your personal experiences in China, and the stuff on space and the universe; always a source of fascination to me, and proof that there is something new to learn and marvel at each day, if only we will trouble ourselves to seek it out. I will still follow you, Chinahand, and I strongly recommend your posts to anyone who passes them by. Shame we never had Einstein here for he really was the man, but I suppose we did have a worthy understudy in Rog. Just as treasured are the ones that made me laugh out loud, like maduncleronnie with his hilarious laments. I cried laughing reading the heartrending tales of “our Sharon” and her serial sphincter expanding obsession with “the filthy Turks”, not to mention all of those “jousters – not real Manx fellers”. What a shame that ronnie is not still among us in these troubled times to make us smile. Woody was good at blending humour with his serious posts, but it wasn’t always picked up by the snowflakes who couldn’t tell the difference. Back up to date, I give you Stinky; I do appreciate your razor sharp wit and twisted sense of the ridiculous, Stinky. If the world were ending, I am sure your sideways take on it would have us guffawing even as we spiralled into oblivion. You would obviously spend your final hours here on MF. Wouldn’t you? Less inspiring, but just as memorable, have been the latter-day freak shows of the apparently barely sane that we gaped at, like Hillshepherd and Boredom. Notice the disturbing train of thought there, Stinky? Do be careful. The Encyclopaedia Roger Mexico - you give good value, invariably worth a read, full of information, lots of sound research all eloquently presented, and always right [1]. Speaking of “right”, the forum possesses none more so than our decent all round good egg, dear Quilpy; my friend and dependable staunch ally on here. We have supported each other for years and tried to rein each other in by PM whenever one of us has been in danger of climbing too far out of the trench and going over the top! So long, comrade, and keep dodging the bullets. Thinking warmly of Quilp also reminds me of the other extreme. Richard Britten was one that I crossed swords with more than most. A man so liberal, he made Lord Longford look authoritarian. As we find with liberals everywhere, he was only liberal provided you agreed with him, otherwise he could turn rather nasty and disagreeably vulgar…. I personally wouldn’t have banished him for good though. Why are we so short of females nowadays? Even long time mainstays like Bees don’t seem to be around so much anymore, and it’s such a great shame. I think I once, many years ago, mixed you up, Bees, with the lady who lost her knickers that fateful night on Marine Drive, and you were most aghast. Who was the commando lady? Was her name Kathy, perhaps? Still flying the ladies flag almost solo, thank goodness, is the redoubtable Gladys. I recently accused you of being an accountant and opined that the whole lot of them are bat shit crazy. You put me right in your trademark no-nonsense fashion, but we still had a laugh about it, which is what it should be about when all is said and done. I had hopes too for Potty Lisa who could be feisty, but she seems to have sunk without trace, if indeed Potty Lisa was actually female. Guess you never know nowadays, even if it wears a frock. Then there is always Manxy, who I find very, very nice indeed, and so polite, but oh, Manxy; those conspiracy theories! And still, Befuddled haunts me. A vision of her cast away tragically on some forlorn windswept rock in the North Atlantic occasionally invades my consciousness. Did she ever come home like Lassie? What has happened to Roxanne? She seems to have had a drastic makeover, but MF definitely needs more of the fairer sex around. You really can’t beat women, as I always say to the violent offenders’ rehabilitation group. My appreciation abounds too for our purveyors of interesting and helpful background information, particularly Wrighty who has come to the fore with his epidemiological work during the pandemic. Good show, Sir. You have the ability and bearing to convey the information and, just as importantly, the thinking behind it, quantitatively and qualitatively, so much better than the meagre politicians who are actually paid to do the job. You inspire confidence. And Derek, for years our resident MF Plod. I remember being gobsmacked on discovering that you posted info on here as part of the job, and not merely out of a sense of civic duty in your own time. It simply never occurred to me that posting on a forum could remotely be considered police work, or any kind of work, for that matter. Astonishing how novel concepts can shock you when you have lived for a long time. Now, just a few years later, we have “influencers” earning millions from social media. Vacuous world it is that can be influenced so readily. See you in Keys? I used to have some interesting and enjoyable exchanges with Mission about government, business and the economy etc. in the early days. What a wise poster he was. All now lost – nothing from him for 2 years, and precious little for a lot longer than that. Speaking of lost and wise, there are several lamented, although none so much as Lonan3. Up high in my MF hall of fame, because nobody is more missed here. MF was so much the poorer with his passing. Other thoughtful, debate stimulating commentators of note were Bladerunner and Lysenchuk. Remember them? Definitely more controversially, Notwell was also a good poster, widely baited because he rose to it too easily, wrongly maligned and then too easily banished in my opinion, which I know will not be unanimous. And what has become of my old sparring partner MonkeyBoy? He was adamant that we should tell the FS to FO and rely on the ingenuity of the Manx people alone. Idealistic, certainly; crackers, perhaps, but he believed it sincerely and expounded it vehemently. Like a latter day DeValera for Mann, he was. I never did find out from him what we were supposed to eat in his brave old world though. Somebody might have said he actually left his beloved Island which would be a supreme irony. I hope not. I often found Tarne had a different take on life too. I quite enjoyed reading him, but he seemed to offend a lot of people……… Even Lxxx seems to have gone awol. I like Dilligaf. Yes, actually, I believe you do look like you give one despite the name, and I’m convinced your heart is in the right place. Nine bans now is it? I can’t begin to understand how that happens. And DocFixit, Uhtred, Piebaps, Declan, Slinky – all are good value for a few minutes of my time any day. Or Pongo. You seem unique on here with your eternal, almost wearying optimism for the modern world, while apparently blind to its overpopulation and other immense problems. I sincerely hope you are right. Similarly, I don’t often agree with Helix, but you make your points well and argue persuasively and with civility, which counts for a lot in any company. One thing I could never normally be doing with was posters who don’t live on the Island. I mean, why would you post from afar with no connection to the place? But I do like to hear from old Ramsey spaniel worrier, GD4ELI, particularly on how spiffing things are in Switzerland or Cornwall, although again, regrettably, once a mainstay but not so much nowadays. Those are just a few who spring to mind that have regularly brightened my working days or the odd late night after the pub and will live long in the memory. There are many more I have appreciated. All of you, in fact; because the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts, and that has been the pull of the changing MF crowd that kept me looking in and belting the keyboard for so long. I reserved my last tribute, ironically, for The Corporal, as Quilpy acerbically and very appropriately nicknamed you. My long-time dogged adversary and stalker, none other than PK. True, we had a complicated interaction on here. I christened you my stalker because whenever I posted, day or night, you would be there immediately it seemed, with the pugnacious retort. A bit like Mrs. Doyle standing in the dark, tea tray in hand at the dead of night, on the off chance that Father Ted should happen into the parlour with a thirst in the small hours. Often you would go OTT with some inane Grauniad nonsense or other, and I would feel compelled to counter – and so it went on…, and on…. Despite what some may think, we both know that there really was never any real malice in it. Life’s too short and, in spite of myself, I do have a sneaking admiration for your sometimes self-effacing humour, which is definitely one of your stronger attributes. As in going to Ronaldsway got up all hazmat, looking like an astronaut, having paid EZY to reserve specific seats, only to find both the airport and the plane completely empty, but then being big enough to give a full report to us wolves waiting back here, so we could lap it up and wet ourselves laughing. Priceless stuff, and much kudos for that. You would, I hope, concur that, metaphorically speaking, rather than a pair of thugs kicking shit out of each other outside some nightclub where we might jeopardise the onlookers, we were more reminiscent of a couple of ageing pantomime dames with handbags drawn. Even The Teapot (yet another worthy poster despite the LFC affliction) thought that we were funny. And now in retrospect, in the denouement, what harm did we ever cause to anyone with our small skirmishes in the grand scheme of things? Not a lot that I can discern, aside from possibly a little mutual blood pressure escalation between ourselves. It wasn’t as though we were scribbling a moustache on the Mona Lisa considering the pedigree of the Theresa May thread and some of its past, shall we say “eccentric” contributors, was it? So crack on obsessing about “totally amoral, narcissistic serial philanderer and inveterate liar, Bozo and his Bungling Brexiteers” and “the UK alternative reality rabid right wing press, which is to say pretty much all of it”, though perhaps you might be advised to tone it down a bit. It might also go unanswered and unchallenged at times in future, but don’t run away with the idea that this means you are right! I shan’t lose sleep, but, seriously, I will look in from time to time to check for your return from “M(ythical)-Town” (LoL) very soon, safe and well. I shall continue to watch my favourite posters now and then, and I will join the legions who evidently enjoy lurking here but never engage. I wish continued success to MF, all contributors and everyone connected with its operation. Finally, let’s all give thanks for our huge good fortune, particularly right now, in being able to call this beautiful, safe Island our home. For all our niggles and complaints about the government and the travel on and off, the price of corned beef, whatever else or petty squabbles among ourselves, where else would we want to be right now, other than within this talented community, safe and sound here in wonderful Ellan Vannin? Well, that’s all folks; the end of my sojourn down MF memory lane, and also the height of it from the shaggy sheep. No more longwinded bollox from him. He’s off to relax now by leaping in a nice big trough of dip - so very little change at all really. Good health, Good fortune and Goodbye to you all from "the woolster". It’s been really, er,….. Real! [1] Well, usually. Except when you’re not. The complete version of woolley’s avatar picture including his more bashful partner’s MF debut. It was taken on a spectacular visit to the Isle of Harris in the depths of winter. • Manxforums is for the exchange of views, information and opinions in a friendly non-judgemental atmosphere.
  15. Well, John, it's your show and I respect your position as a moderator which I am sure must be a thankless task. It's your call who posts on here and what is beyond the pale. However, nobody appointed you as the infallible authority on current affairs, so strip away your position as moderator and I reckon with your second paragraph you are at least close to committing the same misdemeanor that you accuse PK and I of. It would have been a better look with just the 1st and 3rd paragraph. Threats of official sanction and insults do not sit well in the same post. I watch with astonishment some of the stuff on here many evenings between combatants that seems to pass with no comment from the moderators at all. The above exchange between myself and my good friend is for girls by comparison.
  16. Maybe memories of the Free Enterprise III are still too raw. There have been 6 Mona's Isles. Only 2 Manx Maids, which I think I'd plump for. Or perhaps "Howard Quayle" in honour of the Island's crisis leader.
  17. I see "Other" is in the lead in the naming poll at the moment. Bloody awful name for a boat.
  18. I wonder if there will be another fastcraft. It is nice to have the shorter crossing. That's the problem though. It's a "nice to have".
  19. That's no lifeboat. That's the passenger accommodation. Rest of it devoted to freight. Follow the money.
  20. Sounds like one of those old medium women that ran seances in the parlour.
  21. To be fair, you couldn't ask for higher levels of reliability than they've had out of the Ben for over 20 years. Major constraint has been the scant passenger facilities.
  22. I wouldn't bet against it being too big for Douglas.
  23. Yes, it is, but look who's using it. I think it's his family having a bit of sport with the old duffer. No they don't. You use it and that's about it.
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