Nom nom nom.

The bansturbators have moved on to the overweight. Smokers are now demonised right into the inner circles of Hell and booze has minimum pricing and horrible warnings and other controls already under way. Time to open the guns on the next target.

Tipped by Email – the Government can control what you eat.

For a more hysterical take but a more likely to be permanent link, try the Mail. Yahoo links tend to drop off the internet after a while.

The government can only control you if it owns you and it only owns you if it’s bought you. The only person it can buy you from is you.

That’s why, in my recent personal financial collapse, I turned to eBay and my stock of railway and other models rather than claim any benefits at all. There’s still a fair bit of stock in case of a recurrence and a gradual buildup of larger scale stuff too. None of it is so desperately important that I cannot part with it if needs must (except the 9Fs).

(Digression)

Incidentally, I came home from a 9-hour shift today to find a huge and immensely heavy box waiting for me. I nearly re-cracked my rib lifting it (I can still tell exactly where the crack is when I cough but no longer have to hug my chest when I feel a cough coming in case my ribcage bursts).

It came from a lunatic friend in Wales, one of the few I have kept in touch with since school. He is in salvage (legal, not melting down cenotaph stuff) and was in the right place when an old coalmine’s sidings were finally being redeveloped. I now have a railchair in cast iron, marked ‘GWR’, two guide wheels for signal cables and a single-line working token. This means nothing at all to most of you.

The railchair is the lump of cast iron that bolts to the sleepers  and holds the rails in line. It’s made to last. The old style semaphore signals (still in use in this backwater) were worked by cables from great big levers in the signal box. Not always in a straight line, so the cast wheels were needed to get the cables around corners and up the signal posts. I used to make working semaphore signals in N, when my eyes were young.

The token is a rough old key. Where there was only one track that was worked in both directions, the token made sure only one train was on the track at a time. If you didn’t have the token you didn’t proceed onto the line. Instead you waited for the train driver coming towards you to hand over the token at the junction where you were waiting.

I had told this old friend that I was moving up a scale. Since he is as mad as me, he assumed I was moving up to 1:1 scale so sent some parts. My accumulation of 1:1 parts is growing so one day…

(/Digression)

Right. Where was I?

If you have sold yourself to the State in return for free money and an easy life, you have also given the State total control over your life. If they don’t want you to buy smokes, booze or burgers they will give you a card that only works for carrots and lentils. There is no more point in you complaining than there is any point in your budgie complaining that you have started buying ‘value’ seed and sandpaper instead of the posh stuff. You will get what you are given. You are a pet. Bought and paid for, and it was you who sold you.

Demonise my smoking, I’ll grow it myself. Tell me I cannot buy booze and I’ll brew it myself. In both cases, plain packaging and graphic warnings will have no effect because none of it has any labels anyway.

I’m not on benefits. I can buy with cash, not State-permitted card. I work for the private sector in what can fairly be described as a shitty entry-level job. It pays the bills. It’s all I really need. Anything extra I can make with a few book sales or another clearout on eBay. There is tons of junk still here.

But there is something I want. I want to build an OO-gauge railway (I’d like EM but I am damned if I’m soldering well over 20 metres of track sleeper by sleeper, not counting sidings). It’s frivolous and unnecessary and appears to have no benefit but then that’s what I thought about my N gauge accumulation before I had the first price shock on eBay. It’s a bit like smoking. I do it because I like it.

To achieve this I need more than just ‘pay the bills’. Not much more. I plan to scratchbuild most of it anyway. I can get the chassis of defunct wagons cheap and put new ones on top. Once in a while I’ll start with bought wheels and do all the rest. It’s a lot of work.

So I will take all extra hours available. I have to rebuild a reserve so I can have spare to waste on toys. It is likely I will have to work 9-hour shifts five days a weeks for a short period. I don’t mind. The job is pleasant and mindless and does not follow me home and it helps me achieve what I want while teaching me new techniques. Even if I am forced to work with attractive young ladies.

This gives me a diametrically opposed attitude to many Mail commenters and all Trots everywhere.

They want legislation to make the food companies give them the food they are supposed to eat rather than the food they actually want to eat. They won’t like it when they get it. They do not want responsibility for their own lives.

I eat whatever I feel like and believe everyone else should be free to do so too. 34-inch trousers are loose on me. My life is mine and is not for sale.

Time for a pork pie…

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68 thoughts on “Nom nom nom.

  1. “‘This report contains exactly the sort of bright, forward-thinking and radical ideas…”
    Straight out of The Thick Of It.
    The first day that I heard about local authorities taking control of ‘public health’ I just knew that they would use it to enhance their control freakery and mentioned it on one or two blogs, sadly not at my own place.
    The only surprise is the speed of its proposed introduction and that it was a Tory council that came first. Perhaps it is a pre-emptive black op, Westminster coming up strong in order to wise up the electorate as to what is possible if they don’t act.
    On the other hand perhaps monthly drugs test for council tenants might not be a bad idea.

    Like you Leggy I am immune since I have never sold myself to The Council.

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  2. XX Proposals for town halls to promote healthy lifestyles added that shops should be given cash from council taxpayers to stock more fruit and vegetables. XX

    THAT is so PURE Soviet/DDR!!

    “WE say you need plastic sandals in December, so THAT is what we will make and what the shops will sell!”

    Some of those shops STILL have the plastic sandals in the window display in parts of the backwoods in the old East!

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    • So they take the cash from residents and use it to stock the shops with fruit and veg that the residents can’t buy because they have paid so much tax in order to stock the shops….

      The solution will be, as always, more tax.

      These socialists really are incredibly dim, aren’t they?

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      • That as well. But I was thinking more along the lines of what I heard in my local Paky shop in Boghall (Bathgate).

        “Why don’t you have more fruit and veg?”

        “Because every time I stock up on it, I have to throw two thirds of it away, beecause no bastard is interested in BUYING it!”

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        • My wife always buys loads of what she calls” fresh vegetables” when she goes to Asda. She then trhows most of it out after a week because we won’t eat them either…My comment that it would be more economic to come home with it, unpack it and put it straight on the compost heap, bypassing the fridge, is not well received.

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          • I buy frozen veg. That way I only use what I intend to eat that day. Fresh stuff seems to only come in packs now, and I suspect many people throw a lot of it away because it’s more than they can use before it goes off. That’s marketing ;)

            Tinned veg keeps for ages too. And it’s in brine, well, until salt gets banned.

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  3. Hmmmm….1:1 scale train….Does this mean that we can soon count on travelling on the Leggy Express with nubile wenches bringing ciggies and drink around on the journey.
    If so, sign me up.
    On a (marginally) more serious note, I’m going to be planting the Tobacco seeds near my Cherry tree in the new place, if I can get honey from the local bee wallah, I may try my hand at some mead; do you think the flavour would be detectable? That would be a way to get the Righteous, who could suspect …..

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    • Might be better termed the Legless Express ;) Except it won’t be an express because wherever we go, we’ll be in no hurry.

      I wouldn’t plant the seeds directly in the ground. A sharp late frost will kill them and a warm wet spring will mean the slugs will mince them. Best grow them in pots on a windowsill to start with, plant them out when they are at least six inches tall and when there’s no danger of frost. You’ll have more seeds than you need so try both ways.

      Rose put up a recipe for mead once. I haven’t tried it yet.

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  4. You can buy ready made track in em guage these days. Poinrs come in kits although they are easy to make using em guage society plans. Emgs also give detailed plans on loco and stock conversion. Try ir!

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    • That makes a difference. I plan a lot of running line and not too many sidings, so if I can get EM flexi track then we’re in business.

      There is also the matter of ‘Leopold’, a 1/72nd scale German railgun, which is still boxed around here somewhere. Never could run it because it’s properly to scale so it’s not OO gauge.

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  5. I agree one should try to avoid selling one’s soul to the state.

    Early social housing such as built by Mr Peabody and Octavia Wassername included what we would now call “mentoring” of the customers. Instead of paying a market rent they were expected to develop social norms such as clearing up after themselves and looking after their children properly. I don’t see any moral reason why the state should not put some requirements on the recipients of my tax money.

    You can’t be truly free when someone else is picking up the tab. That is where the modern welfare state has gone wrong, IMHO.

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    • XX such as clearing up after themselves and looking after their children properly.XX

      Must admit, I thought they DID.

      I am sure I remember something about similar, and “anti social” behaviour in my contract, when we lived in a council place there.

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      • Of course, make a complaintr abot wee Chav Mc Chavish breaking windows, dealing drugs, or whatever, and the “rules of evidence” were so, that it was virtually impossible to get the council to act, due to lack of proof.

        A lw, or a rule, is only as good as the enforcement of it, AND THE PUNISHMENT!

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        • Because as soon as the state is running the show everything grinds to a halt. The landlord is also the taxpayer is also the social conscience of the nation, so nobody can be kicked out for smashing the place up or not paying the rent or abusing the kids because if they are kicked out they will be homeless and it will be the state’s responsibility to house them.

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          • Thing is, it happens with private housing associations as well.

            “De-centralisation”…. THAT means NO one can find the bastard that is actualy RESPONSIBLE for dealing with your complaint!

            The same here, by the way.

            ALWAYS “Not our office” you need to contact…. Hamburg, or, Dresden….or.

            Get in touch with them, they “do not know who is responsible, try München…. and so on.

            So in the end, nothing gets done, and wee Chav Mc Chavish has free reign, and WORSE! The bastard KNOWS that!!!

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    • Any landlord can put conditions on the use of the property they rent. They can specify no pets, no smoking, (although the law won’t let them actually have total control over what they have paid for. Some groups are unbannable). Fair enough, if a landlord doesn’t want a smoker like me in his property, I won’t be paying him any rent. He’s shaved his potential market by 20% but it’s his choice.

      It’s perfectly reasonable for any landlord, private or public, to expect tenants to keep the property in good order. It’s not so reasonable for the private landlord to expect the tenant to live as directed because the tenant is paying the landlord. In the case of benefits, the landlord is paying the tenant.

      Sure, those on benefits paying nominal council tax and rent for their council houses will argue ‘but we pay rent!’

      No you don’t. Your benefits pay rent. You pay rent back to the people who gave you the money in the first place, and they got the money by taking it by force from people who actually earned it. If you are on benefits, you are owned. Bought and paid for. They can do what they like with you. They can impose a system that will not let you buy booze, burgers or smokes and while I would not personally support such horrible control over other people, there is diddly squat you can do about it. Argue and you lose your benefits.

      It might come to pass that those who have enjoyed a life of workshy indolence will finally come to realise what it has really cost them. When that happens, I bet they don’t blame the socialists who did it to them.

      They’ll blame the people who were forced to fund it all.

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      • What’s meant by benefits, though. Is it Child benefit, Tax credits, Housing benefit, CT benefit, Unemployment benefit, State Pension etc. Would it have included, in old days, Mortgage tax relief (a ‘benefit’ most do not see as a benefit) ins. tax relief, the list of ‘benefits’ is endless. And what next? will they increase Council Tax for the ‘feckless’ but not for the ‘healthy’ whether on ‘benefit’ or not.

        “I’m not unemployed or on benefits so it doesn’t effect me” Ha! one way or another, we’re all in the hat.

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        • XX “I’m not unemployed or on benefits so it doesn’t effect me” Ha! one way or another, we’re all in the hat.XX

          No. But you pay council tax. And waht when they ban binmen from taking away rubbish that contains fag ends or beer bottles?

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          • That’s what I’m saying. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the definition of ‘benefits’. It goes fairly deep. It’s more than just the unemployed. Even people working receive benefits. Anybody in receipt of any ‘concession’, tax relief or whatever, will be regarded as a ‘benefit’ recipient. Are they to be included? You bet your life they will be. A few years ago with the talk of ID cards, I could see them having to be swiped in pubs before being served, registering and controlling your intake of alcohol. “Sorry, Sir, you’ve had your allotted intake today, more than my job’s worth to serve you any more”. and the cowards on the green benches would put the responsibility for deciding on to your Doctor, not themselves.

            I really do feel that revolution is not far away but I’ve no idea what form it will take. All because the highly intelligent proles rolled over thinking that tobacco was an isolated thing. What wankers and they probably still can’t see it.

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            • It could be argued that the tax allowance is a ‘benefit’. Eventually they could adjust your tax code to take account of whether you are living as directed. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s already on the table.

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      • If you’re a landlord, they stopped giving you the housing benefit direct years ago, and gave it to some feckless tenant who skipped the rent and did a moonlight flit, or the other one who after watching too many makeover programmes decided to rip all the skirting boards off before she fucked off? Then the fuckers at HMRC decide to whack you with a £5000 bill for “unearned income”, WTF is “unearned income”, the place was paid off by my late dad and is source of income for my mother, FUCK OFF

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  6. What a pity this blog wasn’t around twenty odd years ago when the mechanical signalboxes I used to work were being demolished around my ears, I could have let you have loads of stuff. I acquired a fair bit myself but gradually reduced it over the years, although I still have a few odds and ends, most prized being probably a wooden signalbox nameboard.
    Good luck with the new railway.

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    • I have a photo of me in one in Girvan from many years ago. I was allowed to pull a lever! Oh, and both the signalman and myself could smoke in there and nobody minded. Oddly enough, nobody died either.

      There are still semaphore signals and a proper signal box here. Time moves slowly this far north. If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of banjos and the hiss of stills…

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      • :-) I was allowed to have a go at the levers at New Brighton station (Merseyrail) signal box once. BASTRDLY things! You need arms like a black smith, IF you do not have “the knack”.

        (Was called a “Tea speck”. Every beat has a few. No copper can do a whole shift without at least ONE tea speck! :-))))

        Well…. not when the police were still POLICE, and NOT an enforcement group for the westminster diktature)

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        • Yep it’s mostly technique, although by sods law the worst levers were nearly always the ones that controlled equipment near the box.

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          • The thing you really had to watch was the back locks – which prevent levers being put back incorrectly and freeing the lock for conflicting moves. If you shoved the lever back too strongly it would catch on the lock spring out and hammer you right in the bollocks, not nice.

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  7. I vaguely remember as a child in a Glasgow council house that they used to come and inspect the house every so often and that to get in to the better areas you had to be in employment and have references. That was before many people bought houses of course but once the areas and quality of tenants deteriorated the only way to live in the area you wanted you had little choice but to buy and no one with any ambition wanted to live in a council house as all the decent ones were bought as soon as they were available to buy.

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  8. I know what all those things are, old chum! Not sure why you are so sold on the 9F: it looks nice but, well, that’s it. One of these days I will send you the drawings I made of the 1950s Southern Railway (nationalisation didn’t happen…) nuclear powered 2-8-2 with three cylinders (like the Gresley-Bulleid P2 – you will know what that is – with 6ft-9″ driving wheels and a fully-coupled 10-wheeled tender (water only, 30 tons) articulated under the cab to the engine. The lead engine would have been uumbered under Bulleid’s system, “11D1″.. No coal…engine weight 166 tons…estimated speed 160 mph on the level with fourteen-on.

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    • Nuclear powered, do you mean similar to the nuclear power for aircraft the U.S. were experimenting with in the fifties and in reality were L.F.T.R.’s?

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      • I was at the time, when I designed them in the 70s, thinking of a PWR about the size of a large garden shed, that would fit in the space occupied by the large firebox of a slightly enlarged P2.

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  9. You should claim whatever benefits you can – just don’t get dependent on them. You’ve paid enough taxes of various types to be entitled to them. We don’t chose to live under this system, but we have to, so pick up what you can from it when you can.

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    • That would not be impossible to build in most scales, it would take a bit of butchery but it could be done. The close-coupled tender could be tough to get round most model railway turns, but then the joint could be spring-loaded so it would stretch on the outer side of the curve.

      Even the 9F had problems with the smaller Hornby radius curves. The Hornby model has the motor in the tender, the engine wheels are free-running. This led to the ridiculous sight of the valve gear locking on curves with no reduction in engine speed until the tender had pushed it back onto straight tracks. That was when I only had 8-foot by 4-foot to play with. I’d never consider OO in that space again.

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  12. Nom means a woman’s breast in Thai (it also means milk) so I thought you’d gone all daily mail for a minute.

    I live in Thailand and I can grow my own backy (and coffee!) and the snakes eat the slugs and the Thais eat the snakes. A virtuous circle!

    You ought to think of relocating Leggy, you are just the kind of person who’d thrive here and with your PHD they’d worship you and throw money and toothsome dusky maidens at your feet.

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