Thursday, 23 December 2010

The game of #Ninjatweet Supreme performance art no less.

Now we all know ninjas dont hang about.

Nor do tweets in a new way of tweeting called #ninjatweet

This is fun. It can be done by ANYONE

Tag your tweet with #ninjatweet Post it, and count to 15 slowly. Then Delete it.

If this works as I think it will, Then #ninjatweet will TREND, and no one will find the Tweets. How AWESOMELY ARTISTIC is that?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

This News In re: Tenancy Frauds

Shapps tackles tenancy fraud

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has launched another crackdown on tenancy fraud, focusing on tenants who unlawfully sublet their council or housing association home. This builds upon the crackdown launched by the previous government in March, and through guidance issued by DCLG in November 2009.
Echoing his predecessor John Healey, Mr Shapps said:
"Tenancy fraud costs this country billions of pounds, but it's not just the money that's wasted The Housing Waiting list has doubled and tenancy fraud means that tens of thousands of people who could otherwise be housed are losing out because of cheats. We cannot afford to ignore this problem."
The current Minister's initiative is supported by the National Fraud Authority and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), who have published a new guide to tackling the problem, which costs the public purse nearly £1 billion per year. Key recommendations in the report include:
  • provision of specialist investigation teams
  • increased prevention activity
  • effective data sharing.
The CIH's Chief Executive Sarah Webb said:
"Unlawful subletting and occupation of scarce affordable housing is worse than theft and means that some families are missing out on a decent, affordable home and all that this can bring. The new recommendations will give local authorities practical guidance to support them to clamp down on these unlawful practices."
...From Latest Edition of Housemark News.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cabbagegate : Have things changed?

I watched a Possible schism in the coalition, leading to a so far false hope of dissolution of the unjust Government and Yet "magicians" 1)changed responsibilities around 2)kept an inept and indiscreet bumbling politician in a career position and 3)Squashed the whole thing - so far.

So I have doubts that anyone understands the word Integrity any more.

Who was their emergency media advisor? Murdoch?

Well We have a Newspaper proven as having Lied.
Free adverts on the BBC for "The Target" that Murdoch's Corporation is after.

All thanks to a whistleblower who shall not be named by anyone.
Oh and a Reporter that will be dining off this for days.

The wind will blow, no doubt, and chaff will disappear.

I'm thinking that a bunch of cabbages would be a better proposition to run this country. Oh, wait - there *is* a bunch of cabbages running the country.

Shall we look to revolution, and PUBLICALY DEMANDED dissolution of Government?

Oh I forgot - we dont do that here.

Then, to top it all, I discovered that the reason for the Big Bloopers was a couple of reporters, pretending to approach on the basis of the compulsory spending review.

I seem to misunderstand. Or do I?
Is there a "responsibility" with empowerment?
Is there "the done thing" for the common good?
And actually WHAT is Government anyway? There seems to be a floating definition at the moment.

What "common good" is there in Hiding ineptitude whilst at same time its on public display? Or am I living in a void that wont let me see that today made sense?

It was a shambles, a declaration to all that this coalition is NOT good for this country. OH yeah. Give a Young Blood Tory the power over Massive corporations manipulation of public opinion by giving his Dept the job to decide on aquisitions in media. Yeah Makes sense in no way shape or form.

This could go into a huge Diatribe of Unrest, and maybe I should stop this free run of speech - before Murdoch shuts me up too.

If this makes no sense. Then I have actually joined the whole club of ridiculousness. Which, in a humble opinion I hold, I havent, or dont remember, joining.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Invitation for features and articles


I want to invite people to have their own things on this blog, articles, features, creations and comments in 2011

So any of my twitter followers can dm me with links to articles/ give me email address. Then I can link in with return contacts, and get stuff and edit it and put it on THE VIRTUAL GHERKIN.

Lets make The Virtual Gherkin MASSIVE.

It already, with no promotion gets 2500 views a month.

I love you all.


Snow and Non-snow


Oh, its snowed again. Oh it has Oh yes, it has snowed.

Above : Last time it snowed. Snow covered roofs, at least it shows their loft insulation is working. 

And so: The Side of The Graveyard - today

Non Snow

Is it eerie that I do take quite a few pics of things in the Graveyard?
Here's one that I've been told could win awards.

Its called: They Stand In Line...

A Christmas Card For All!


Love and Best Wishes from Jules

Friday, 17 December 2010

Quite rough, but this is a You Tube Video I found

The Ramones - Judy Is a Punk 1974
Part of History:
I was 7 when this was made. But inspirational music surrounded me most of my life.

Vampire Weekend

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Localisation Bill - Social Housing Complaints

Housing News....

The Local Government Ombudsman is to lose complaints about the provision and management of social housing to a cross-sector housing ombudsman.

The Localism Bill , published on Monday, is to end the system of two separate ombudsmen handling social housing complaints in England.

The DCLG says that a single Ombudsman specialising in complaints about social housing will ensure consistency, and provide a common route of redress for all social housing tenants. If there is an overlap with the responsibilities of the Local Government Ombudsman, they may carry out a joint investigation.

The Bill also introduces a new "democratic filter" for complaints - the Ombudsman will not be able to investigate until a written referral is made by an MP, local councillor or a designated tenant panel.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

OUTRAGE - Disabled? AND assaulted?

We do this, now? We kettle kids, brain damage 20 year olds, and drag people out of wheelchairs? Oh, okay then.

James Moran saw this. I did too.
This is appalling shit, and I need this recorded here on The Virtual Gherkin, so people can see it.

Thanks to  @BarnabyEdwards: Footage of the police using 'reasonable force' to drag a disabled student from his wheelchair:

This has happened too often , and now there must be a stop to this.

Video footage of a protester apparently being dragged from his wheelchair by police and pulled across a street has emerged amid claims the police used disproportionate force in dealing with student demonstrators last week.
Jody McIntyre says he was the victim of unprovoked action by the police who appear to pull him from his wheelchair.
The Metropolitan police have responded to the video and released the following statement:
"In connection with the incident shown on you tube of a tuition fees protestor in a wheelchair, the Met Police confirm the man involved Jody McIntyre has not launched an official complaint. The issue has been referred by the Met Police to Directorate of Professional Standards - The Met Police will contact Jody McIntyre directly."
The BBC cannot verify they authenticity of this footage

Click to see this outrage...

It's quite staggering. "But did you try to MURDER the police with your wheelchair?? DID YOU?? Righto, just checking"

Monday, 13 December 2010

Councillors, Schools professionals. Answer needed.

On Monday 13th December 2010,  said:
If I put down for first choice school one that is just outside catchment area so only very small chance (basically if it's undersubscribed which is unlikely) of B getting in, but second choice is one that is in (but only just) area, presuming he doesn't get first choice (as it's unlikely but hey worth a shot), will my second choice be treated as a first choice then wrt third choice? As I would have assumed so BUT have heard rumours it does not work that way? Third choice is very "best of a bad job" - am I better not putting a third choice at all? And if I don't, what would then happen if school a and school b *both* come back as no? Some equivalent of clearing? Or would he just be allocated one?

Is there anyone can answer this perplexing question? 
IF SO CAN YOU TWEET @rosycottage                                         THANK YOU! 

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Confusion, Violence and Anger

There has to be a line drawn somewhere.
Every protest being hijacked by certainly aggressive violent attendees.
Broken Windows, Fires, Fire Extinguisher from a roof- amongst the things that have so far happened.
Stuff being lobbed at police officers.
And the response to this is kettling, and police violence.
Now How is a threat assessed? Is it assessed on a pre-emptive level -act first to avoid a percieved outcome?
And is the action taken in any training manual?

Both sides are to blame at some level.

But I post here a BBC article, contributed to by and centering around a scared 17yr old girl.

Rachel Bergan from Barnsley is 17 and looking to her future.
University might well be a part of that future so Rachel and some of her friends made their way to London on 9 December to join the student protests over planned increases to tuition fees.
In spite of an agreement to leave the demonstration if it turned violent, Rachel found herself at the centre of clashes between protestors and police.
'It was awful'
Still shaken up, with tremors in her voice, Rachel told BBC Radio Sheffield how she and her friends tried to leave when the protest turned violent.
In angry scenes, protesters battled with police in Parliament Square. Hundreds were contained on Westminster Bridge for a time by officers.
There were angry clashes as protesters - some throwing missiles - fought to break through police lines.
Rachel and her friends found themselves caught between the violence and police.
"We were right at the front. There was a huge crowd behind us so we were pushed forward. There was nothing we could do about it.
"They [the police] saw us coming towards them, these teenage girls who wanted to go home.
"They didn't show any mercy whatsoever. They threw around my friends who were just 17 year old slim girls. They were beating my friends with batons.
"They didn't show any sympathy in their voice and I didn't see anything in their eyes.
"It was awful. I've never experienced anything like it."
Trying to find a way out Rachel got on the phone to her mother, Anne, back in Barnsley to ask for advice. It was a disturbing call for Anne to receive:
Bench on fire in Parliament Square
Protestors burn wooden benches in Parliament Square
"She was crying down the phone, I could hear girls screaming and crying in the background. It was the most horrible, scary thing I've heard, I just don't know how they got through it."
Anne said she called the Metropolitan Police to ask them what to do:
"They said to go to the front line and tell the policemen that they wanted to come home and to plead their case which was the worst advice they could have given her.
"I passed this advice on and they did go to the front line."
'I don't want to go through that again'
According to Rachel, after begging in tears to be let out, she and her friends got through one police line but were then halted by another.
"We were traumatised at this point. We were crying. We'd been hit by police for just wanting to go home. We were begging to, please, just let us go home. They showed no mercy whatsoever.
"Then we got pushed forward a second time and as we were going forward we were saying 'please don't hurt us, just don't hurt us, we want to go home'.
"I managed to break away. I was pushed into a ditch by a police officer and when I tried to get out of the ditch he pushed me back in.
"I turned around to see a group of my friends on the floor getting beaten by police officers.
"I received a text later from a friend who didn't manage to escape, saying that he was thrown to the floor by the neck. He was beaten on the floor by three police officers until he was throwing up blood and when that happened they just threw him aside and didn't give him any medical attention and went on to the next one.
"These were just innocent people who wanted to go home."
Superintendent Julia Pendry from the Metropolitan Police said officers had come under sustained attack and condemned "acts of wanton vandalism, wanton violence" by protesters.
Scotland Yard said 12 officers and 43 protesters were injured and 34 people were arrested.
Broken fences
A statue of Winston Churchill overlooks fences broken in the demonstration
Now safely back at home with her family, Rachel is still opposed to the tuition fees increase and wants her views heard but she is uncertain whether she would join another protest.
"I don't want to go through that again. I didn't plan on getting into any violence at all but the police trapped us within the violence. We couldn't get out.
"There were fires all over the place. Obviously, the longer they were kept in there, the more worked up people were getting.
"If you saw your daughter or your best friend on the floor, getting beaten by a man, twice her size who had armour on, wouldn't you get enraged?
"Even in the police, in the government, who has the right to do that to another human being?"

So, to close - where is any cessation to this lunacy?
Can people see ANY benefit? any results? 
And I'm not tory, dont get me wrong... I'm just appalled at stuff I'm seeing and hearing.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Ask me anything

Urgent Case. Please support it.

Blogged here at the request of

The Orwellian Present – Never Mind the Future.

‘Just off the coast of Autonomy, across the Bay of Good Intentions, lies the fog shrouded Isle of Best Interests’.
If you have arrived at this blog today looked for cheer and sympathy for your woes – snow bound, central heating boiler broken down, redundancy imminent, then I am sorry for you – but you would be better off elsewhere.
My post today concerns a young man who needs our help and support. (editorial note: this is from Anna Raccoon blog)
Stephen Neary is a 20 year old man with Autism trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare.
It is a story that should be trumpeted from the front page of every main stream newspaper – but it won’t be. They will keep silent.
Autism is a ‘broad’ word, describing a wide spectrum of conditions with defining characteristics involving a difficulty in communicating with other people, and a restricted range of activities and interests. It can range from the mild to the profound. It is most definitely NOT a mental illness.
Some of those on the milder end of the Autistic spectrum are able to operate in ‘our’ world with relative ease, by choosing occupations such as computer programming where the ability to concentrate on repetitive tasks and not to be distracted by idle chatter is highly prized – almost certainly the software that allows you to read this post involved people who might be diagnosed as ‘Autistic’ – many of our greatest composers and artistes have been autistic so it is a mistake to see the condition as an entirely negative attribute.
Some autistic individuals suffer from an inability to empathise – to see their actions as other ‘might’ see them. They only see their own factual intention in those actions.
It follows, therefore, that those with autism find it easier to function in a familiar environment, where those who surround them can take an understanding view of their actions and utterances.
Stephen lived in such an environment, with his single parent Father, Mark Neary. One story will serve to illustrate the value of Mark’s long expertise in understanding Stephen’s unique thought process.
Together they watched an episode of Mr Bean, where Mr Bean put the Christmas Turkey on his head. They both laughed. Stephen likes to see his Father laugh. He promptly disappeared to the kitchen, and his Father figured out his probable pattern of thinking just in time to prevent the family’s freshly roasted Christmas Turkey being forced over his head….Stephen certainly couldn’t live alone without support.
Finding himself in a situation where others ‘misconstrue’ his actions makes Stephen agitated and frustrated, for he can’t express himself or understand that there might be more than one interpretation of his actions.
One cold winter’s day, Stephen’s father succumbed to the flu. Genuine flu – you don’t suffer from ‘Man Flu’ when you are a full time single parent carer. He rang his local authority’s respite centre, where Stephen had been once before, to ask if they could look after him for three days.  They could.
At the end of that first day in respite, despite the fact that Stephen had been there many times before, the staff felt themselves ‘unable to cope with Stephen’. He was aware that his Father was ill and upset at being separated from him. The respite centre transferred him to the ominously named ‘Positive Behaviour Unit’.
Now the Positive Behaviour Unit is a mighty politically correct place. Tap someone on the shoulder to attract their attention, and they don’t think ‘that is how Stephen has always attracted my attention since he was a child’ – they say – ‘he touched me, that is an assault’ and promptly record it in their daily log…..
When Stephen’s Father went to collect him after three days, they had logged many such ‘assaults’ – and announced that they were retaining Stephen for ‘assessment’. No! His Father couldn’t take him home.
There is no danger of Stephen being ‘sectioned’ under the Mental Health Act, for Autism is not a mental illness and not covered by that Act.
However, there is another, newer piece of legislation which does cover those who ‘may be at risk of harming themselves’. It is known in shorthand as DOLs. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. It applies to hospitals and care homes and describes the circumstances under which they can – not ‘lock someone up’, for that is the province of the Mental Health Act – but turn the key in the lock and not give that key to someone ‘in their best interests’……it is a fine piece of legalese that may leave you baffled.
The ‘best interests’ requirement:
(1) The relevant person meets the best interests requirement if all of the following conditions are met.
(2)The first condition is that the relevant person is, or is to be, a detained resident.
(3)The second condition is that it is in the best interests of the relevant person for him to be a detained resident.
(4)The third condition is that, in order to prevent harm to the relevant person, it is necessary for him to be a detained resident.
(5)The fourth condition is that it is a proportionate response to—(a)the likelihood of the relevant person suffering harm, and(b)the seriousness of that harm, for him to be a detained resident.
It certainly left Stephen baffled, for he could no more get through that locked door than if he had been ‘locked up’ under the Mental Health Act.
The longer they kept Stephen behind that locked door, away from his Father, the more upset he became, the more people he tapped on the shoulder to ask when he might be allowed home again…..eventually the ‘Positive Behaviour Unit’ had logged 306 such incidents over a seven month period, and decided that Stephen’s behaviour was ‘so challenging’ that he could never be allowed to return home.
Despite the fact that by this time the unhappy Stephen had been assessed as ‘extremely challenging’ – too ‘dangerous’ to be returned to his Fathers care, Stephen, unattended by these ‘professional behaviour managers’  managed to slip out of the Unit, in his pyjamas, and attempted to return home. During the course of this futile flight, he met up with a Vicar – and according to one report, removed his glasses ‘aggressively’. The authorities are unable to even name the Vicar, far less file a report from him.
Now comes the interesting bit – thank-you for reading this far!
Whilst Stephen lived happily at home, he had the support of professional carers from the ‘Trinity Noir’ company. Stephen’s father was very happy with the level of support and had no complaints. The Local Authority footed the bill, as is their legal duty. Changing Stephen’s diagnosis from “autism, severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour”, to “extreme challenging behaviour, learning difficulties and possible autistic spectrum disorder” may seem hair splitting to my readers, but on such finite definitions rest the liability to pay for Stephen.
The new diagnosis could shift the responsibility for care onto the NHS Primary Care Trust…..the current suggestion is that Stephen is ‘sent to a care home in Wales’, many miles from his home in London, who will ‘assess the reasons behind his behaviour’ – I would think most of my readers will have figured out for themselves by now the reasons for his behaviour. He wants to go home! His Father wants him to go home!
Those of you with a modicum of legal knowledge will be saying ‘but surely he can get legal representation and go before the mental health tribunal – I’ve read about cases like that?’
No, he can’t, he has no access to the Mental Heath Tribunal – Autism isn’t a mental illness. This action isn’t being taken under the Mental Health Act – it is being taken under the Mental Capacity Act. Under the MCA he only has access to a ‘Best Interests Assessor’ – who is appointed on a consultancy basis, and paid, by…..the Local Authority.
He can be deprived of his liberty for up to a year, which period can be renewed indefinitely, for the purpose of ‘assessing’ him – see above – being sent to Wales to ‘assess’ why he is unhappy at being locked up.
The only Court to which he has access – purely for ‘appeal’ purposes, is our old friend, the secretive Court of Protection. Assuming that Stephen can figure out how to make an application to the Court and represent himself….
As it happens, the Local Authority have already done that, not on Stephen’s behalf, but on their own behalf. They wish to have a full ‘Welfare Deputyship’ so that there will be no awkward parent demanding the return of their child – and his support package. It will be their decision where he lives.
Remember, Stephen only went into respite care for three days, that was last December. Almost a year ago to the day.
His distress at being parted from his Father has been treated as ‘challenging behaviour’. His attempts to escape have been treated as ‘a risk to himself and others’, including his Father. (The risk to others is no part of the Mental Capacity Act!)
After next week, no one will be able to write of Stephen’s case. It will vanish behind the stone walls of the Court of Protection. Just one more file.
You can help by giving this case as much publicity as possible over the next few days.
You can sign the petition demanding he be returned to his family. (Currently 2,286 signatures).
You can write of Stephen’s case on your own blog.
If you still have time to spare, might I suggest that you write to whichever Daily Newspaper you read and ask them why their pages are full of tittle tattle from illegally released diplomatic cables – and yet they can never find the space to illustrate true injustices happening to a British citizen right under their noses?

The Sword Of Damocles

Do You feel That You Have The Sword Of Damocles Hanging Over You...

This translation of Cicero's Tusculan disputations 5.61 was made by Gavin Betts.

Indeed this Tyrant[Dionysius II of Syracuse] himself gave his judgment as to how fortunate he was. For when one of his flatterers, Damocles, mentioned in conversation the wealth of Dionysius, the majesty of his rule, the abundance of his possessions, the magnificence of the royal palace and denied that there had ever been anyone more fortunate, he said,

 'So, Damocles, since this life delights you, do you wish to taste it yourself and make trial of my fortune?' 

When Damocles said that he desired this, Dionysius gave orders that the man be placed on a golden couch covered with a most beautiful woven rug, embroidered with splendid works; he adorned many sideboards with chased silver and gold; then he gave orders that chosen boys of outstanding beauty should stand by his table and that they, watching for a sign from Damocles, should attentively wait on him; there were unguents and garlands; perfumes were burning; tables were piled up with the most select foods. 

Damocles seemed to himself fortunate.

In the middle of this luxury Dionysius ordered that a shining sword, fastened from the ceiling by a horse-hair, be let down so that it hung over the neck of that fortunate man. And so he looked neither at those handsome waiters nor the wonderful silver work, nor did he stretch his hand to the table. Now the very wreaths slipped off. 

Finally he begged the tyrant that he should be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be fortunate.

Do Sports Drinks Work? Really?

I Dont Like squirrels, but I found this little gem, and its quite funny. And Very Clever! 


And so now the war is definitely on.

Resilient little primeval bastards - Dog Fleas.

Many people say Dogs get them ALL the time, Mine hasnt seemed to get them very much AT ALL over the time I've had him. But this year three cases - and three wars against the blighters.

Have circumstances changed? Where did they come from? Is it MY fault? All goes through my mind.

I think possibly the scruffy git who lives next door with a rottweiller may have something to do with it.
I see it scratching often (the dog), and the communal hall is scattered with black hairs constantly, and rarely cleaned by said neighbour. The dog's been there a couple of years. And the scruffiness (neighbour) has increased this year... a direct correlation?

I do endeavour to clean it (the hallway). Its not MY sole responsibility, and cleaning products aren't always cheap. I shall at some point before Monday assault the communal hallway, but it wont be maintained by next door, as he appears not to give a toss.

So saying,  I've treated my flat and If  I assault the hallway, and His flat isnt done (which it wont be) then I'm fighting a constant war against the incursion of these awful but tiny creatures - if , as I suspect, they originate from there.

I dont eat Elephants they are too big, if you get me, and so do I just think Ah well, And slot this pesky regular treatment of place into some sort of schedule?

These musings arent easy to write. At one point I'm livid, on the other point there's all the practical considerations of "doing the job" of dealing with the problem.

Being brutally honest here, Dogs get fleas. Maktub.<----(it is written)

And is all this rant just an exercise in futile machinations and imaginings?

In any case- The War Is On.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Australian Healthcare???


The phone rings and the lady of the house answers,


"Mrs. Sanders, please."


"Mrs. Sanders, this is Doctor Jones at Saint Agnes Laboratory.
When your husband's doctor sent his biopsy to the lab last week, a biopsy from another Mr. Sanders arrived as well...
We are now uncertain which one belongs to your husband.
Frankly, either way the results are not too good."

"What do you mean?" Mrs. Sanders asks nervously.

"Well, one of the specimens tested positive for Alzheimer's and the other one tested positive for HIV.
We can't tell which is which."

"That's dreadful! Can you do the test again?" questioned Mrs.Sanders.

"Normally we can, but MEDICARE will only pay for these expensive tests once."

"Well, what am I supposed to do now?"

"The MEDICARE Helpdesk recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town.

If he finds his way home, don't fuck him

Le Chanteur de Rue Marseille (video - street singer)

Dont Giftwrap XMAS for Criminals

This was requested by me for a community newsletter via their press office. It has already been in print

Written Greater Manchester Police:


Officers are asking people to follow a few simple crime prevention tips during the Christmas and New Year holiday season. A large pile of presents under the Christmas tree may look exciting, but it also acts as a magnet for burglars. Darker nights provide extra opportunities for thieves and a pile of presents left on display may add an extra incentive to would-be thieves. The Crime reduction advisor Judith Hackney said: “People can avoid advertising valuables by not putting presents under the tree or alternately putting the tree up in a room that cannot easily be seen from the street.  “Remember your house is a shop window to a thief. Don’t encourage window-shopping.”  And  “Other precautions that can help reduce the chances of becoming a target are keeping doors and windows locked, using burglar alarms and making homes look occupied by leaving a low energy light bulb on. If people are going away for Christmas they should ask a trusted neighbour to draw the curtains and remove post.”
While out celebrating people can help ensure that they stay safe and don’t leave themselves vulnerable to being a victim of crime. Officers are advising people to pace their drinks, stick with friends and plan how they are getting home after a night out either by arranging a lift home with friends or using a licensed taxi.
Crime prevention tips:
Lock doors and windows and set burglar alarms if you have one.
Make sure house and car keys are kept out of sight.
Never leave items of value such as laptops and mobile phones on view, and avoid being seen carrying one - conceal them in another bag.
Remember to make your home look and sound occupied, use timers for lights and radios.
Remember to shred bank statements etc.
Protect mobile phones and electrical items by registering them free of charge visit