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BallaDoc last won the day on October 23 2019

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  1. Only £10,000, which is a bargain https://www.gov.im/categories/working-in-the-isle-of-man/public-appointments/ oh wait, that's just the relocation package
  2. http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=56295&headline=Wanted: Someone to lead health and care transformation in the Isle of Man&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2020#readComments "Now recruitment has begun for an independent non-executive chair for Manx Care. He or she will be responsible for ensuring transformed health and social care services are delivered for the people of the island." Well, actually, no. I grappled with this paragraph at some length while trying to figure out what was wrong with this picture. The whole point of being a non-executive chair is that you are not responsible for delivering anything. That job falls to the executive members of the organisation, or specifically in this case, the executive members of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of Manx Care. I'm not clear who if anyone has been appointed to this post - maybe it has not been filled yet - but the Chief Executive Officer of Manx Care should not of course be confused with the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Health and Social Care, who is Kathryn Magson who lives in Hertfordshire. The responsibility of the non-executive chair is to chair the Board and persuade them to do stuff, not to actually do anything yourself. Here is the job description, closing date 12 July 2020: https://www.gov.im/media/1369448/non-executive-chair-manx-care-applicant-pack-v11.pdf The successful applicant needs to have many outstanding qualities, including "Have a keen focus on the future, encouraging innovation and support change...Ability to think strategically, understand complex issues and make decisions...Experienced in challenging behaviours, attitudes and culture which present a barrier to improvement of services in a collaborative manner...Analytical, critical thinking and pragmatic approach to addressing complex financial issues and strategic business delivery." Yep, that sounds like me. I might just bung in an application.
  3. https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/20/prince-harry-backs-move-ban-england-rugby-fans-singing-swing-low-sweet-chariot-12880663/ Apparently the Sussexes are now campaigning to ban the singing of "Swing low, sweet chariot" at rugby matches because of its association with slavery. Is it just me, or is this anti-slavery hysteria getting a bit out of hand? "Swing low" belongs to the musical genre known as "Negro spirituals", it is a longstanding musical genre and includes such well known songs as "Swanee River", "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen" and "Michael row the boat ashore". Are they all going to be banned now, because that would be the logical next step? And let's not even mention the Rolling Stones and "Brown Sugar"...
  4. I once played "There'll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover" on my accordion to a packed audience in a long stay geriatric ward on the Isle of Wight. That was possibly my best ever gig, but unfortunately my musical career went downhill after that, and I ended up here.
  5. This was one of the first books I learned to read when I was about six years old. There you are, we oldies are all coming out of the woodpile now. I mean woodwork.
  6. Thoughtcrime. Thinking socially incorrect thoughts. Going outside the "Overton Window". If we continue down this road we could reach the point where self appointed thought police trawl Twitter and Facebook posts for signs of incorrect thinking and denounce the thinkers to their employers or the authorities, resulting in them losing their jobs. Oh, wait...
  7. Here's an interesting little titbit gleaned from the Wikipedia entry for Horatio Nelson, one of England's most revered naval heroes and he whose effigy sits atop Nelson's Column in Trafalgar square: "While Nelson was in the Caribbean, he developed an affinity with the slave owners there. He believed that the islands' economies relied heavily on the Atlantic slave trade and attempted to use his influence to thwart the abolitionist movement in Britain.[60] He was a friend of Simon Taylor, a Jamaican slave owner; Nelson later responded to a request from Taylor to intervene in the public debate, by writing in 1805 that while he had a tongue, he would, "launch my voice against the damnable and cursed doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies". I'm not particularly commenting for or against any earlier comments; just reinforcing my original observation that in the 18th and 19th centuries, much of British society - politicians, merchants, aristocrats, factory workers and war heroes alike - was up to its neck in the slave trade, because that was the social convention of the time. Against that background, it's easy to see why Colston's activities would be considered acceptable, or at least unremarkable, for a very long time. Like it or not, he is a part of our history.
  8. Women who have difficult labours often end up giving birth by Caesarian section. However, some women have complained that the word "Caesarian" has negative connotations, as Julius Caesar's campaigns in Gaul resulted in widespread looting, burning, pillaging, raping and the enslavement of conquered Gallic tribal peoples. Therefore, so as not to offend people's sensibilities, it has been decided to rename the Caesarian section the "Fluffy section".
  9. Isn't that something called...er...democracy?
  10. It's a valid point about taking down the memorials of Jimmy Saville, but I think there's one significant point of difference between Saville and Colson, which is that what Saville did was abhorrent during his lifetime, but what Colson did was considered acceptable at the time by society in general, and what he did was not really any different from what thousands of other people were doing. The mind-set of those days was that black people were objects rather than people, to be bought, transported, put to work and sold like any other object or like a farm animal. They didn't see any contradiction, for example, between working black people to death on plantations, then using the profit from that to build almshouses so that poor white people could end their days comfortably. Of course we know now that it was wrong, but who are we to judge the people of 300 years ago by the morals of our time?
  11. Just wondering what people think about the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol. Colston was a slave trader who amassed an enormous fortune from the slave trade in the 17th century, but gave a large portion of it away to found almshouses, schools, hospitals, churches and other philanthropic causes. A statue was erected to him in Bristol in 1895, but was defaced, pulled down and thrown into the harbour by protesters last week. Some people would say "good riddance, the statue should have been removed long ago because it's offensive to black people" which would be a valid point of view, but one which I am a little uneasy about. The fact is, just about everyone in Britain was up to their eyeballs in the slave trade in the 16th-19th centuries, from the aristocrats who built stately homes and endowed local schools, hospitals and churches, to the Lancashire cotton mill workers who processed slave-produced cotton. Those were the morals of those times. Are we going to purge all memorials which have anything to do with the slave trade? because that is going to be an awful lot of memorials.
  12. He was evidently a wise old git as well as a nice old git
  13. Speaking with my gardening hat on, the "last frost date" is very important because frost can wipe out tender seedlings, but whether frost occurs, and on what date, varies a lot depending which part of the island you are in (even for such a small island). For example, as far as I recall we had no frost in Ramsey this year, but that is probably because in town, a lot of the daytime heat is soaked up by buildings, roads and pavements and then radiated out again at night, evening out the temperature. However, at my allotment 2 miles outside Ramsey, we had a whopper of a frost on 14th May this year, so hard that it froze the water in my hosepipe and wiped out a row of French beans which I had foolishly left uncovered.
  14. Almost but not quite right there, because there are shades of difference between the various sectors of the finance industry. I concede that the insurance industry produces an important and useful product (people need to insure their houses and cars) and to a limited extent the stock market does too (enables price discovery and sends market signals indicating which businesses are doing well and which need to go to the wall). But "high frequency trading", where computers buy and sell stocks in nanoseconds based mainly on whether other computers are buying or selling the same stocks, is a typical example of a financial activity of no value: it does not create any useful market signals, it causes instability in the markets and it simply rewards those with the fastest computers and the cleverest algorithms.
  15. It seems to me that the e-gaming industry is qualitatively different from other activities in a rather fundamental way. For example, fishermen produce a catch of fish. Farmers produce crops. Dandara produces homes. The tourism industry produces racing events like the TT, and fills hotels and restaurants with people. Entertainers put on performances at the Gaiety and the Villa Marina. In all of those cases you can point to something being created, even if it is somewhat intangible like a race or a piece of performance art. But what is produced by the e-gaming industry is so intangible that I am having difficulty seeing it. It seems, as I said, to consist mainly of moving money from one bank account to another, with little or nothing of value being created in the process.
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