Lunatics Running The Asylum

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 5th November 2010



There are so many occasions on which I would like to make comment on my Blog but I would be fearful of being so outspoken.

I promised myself that I would stop getting worked up about matters over which I have no control and can do nothing, but I saw Red today – Why!

Don’t usually go shopping on a Saturday but needed a few items – like 5 – and the queues were horrendous with people laying in food for a siege! So, short of waiting 10 – 15 minutes I was forced to use one of their damned ‘Self check out machines’ and they have been proliferating like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. A couple of months ago there was only one bank of 4 now there are 3 banks of 4 Self checkouts.

Now where is the sense – other than greedy profit making supermarkets – in putting people out of employment and bringing in more and more machines. It’s just like Call Centres – and don’t get me going on that one – I have yet to meet any one who has a good word to say about them.

So tell me why in these difficult times when the Government is telling people to get off their backsides and find jobs, they are allowing more and more companies to ‘Outsource’ abroad – taking jobs away from the UK and allowing Businesses to cut down on staff. (And of course it is the tax payer who suffers because it is their tax which will go towards the benefit bill of the redundant staff) It is all about PROFIT and   just think of the way the Lobbyists twist the arms of politicians. Time and time again one can trace motivation right back down to Money.


Before my son went to University, he worked for a summer packing tomatoes.  Most of the workers were Eastern European - they were bussed down to the plant and worked a full day. They were then bussed back to London where they did a night shift in kitchens washing up.  Apparently they 'dossed down' for a few hours sleep and then the grind re-commenced.  I don't know if they were paid less than Europeans but they certainly had Gang Masters taking a large cut of their pay.   At least they were working but, of course, taking jobs away from British workers who very often don't want them because they get more on the 'dole'.  Locally, I've met a couple of very personable young ladies in both Sainsbury's and Waitrose. Both were unmarried and had a child but both wanted to better themselves. This was made virtually impossible.  If they went up the Payment ladder, their benefit was reduced.  One young lady desperately wanted to do a Beautician's Course but if she worked extra hours, she lost benefit and was taxed more so it wasn't worth her while.  Talk about killing 'ambition' and self reliance.

Talking of which, I think most politicians are totally out of touch with the ‘Real World’ – for a start their salaries (although less than they would earn in Industry we are constantly told – would industry employ many of them!) are way above the average earnings of most of the workers in this country. And look at their pensions – gold plated. (I have worked all my life since I was seventeen and a half, and am still working – my state pension is small because I have had to be self-employed within my chosen Industry so there was no Occupational Pension - my private pension was with The Equitable and it wasn’t huge. Yes, I can when I am lucky top up my earnings with more work which I enjoy but my basic pensions add up to less than I would get on the new level of housing benefit. And I am not alone. ( It makes me mad to see the handouts to huge families who have no intention of working and yet so many of the elderly who fought for this country are either too proud to ask for help or cannot wade through the endless form filling.)

I would be the first person to put my hand in my pocket to help the genuinely disabled and the genuinely unemployed but successive governments (and particularly the last Labour Government) have built a culture of Welfare Dependency to the extent that to many it is a way of life.
Our politicians encourage teenage pregnancy by handing out all kinds of welfare – just think about the poor offspring who will predominantly be raised in a culture of dependency with no work ethic.

And many who would like to work are being priced out of the market by cheap oversees labour or cost cutting devices like the Self Serve tills in Sainsburys. Of course, I realise that people have to make a profit but why use fewer staff when there is already so much unemployment – surely there are other ways around the problem. Besides I like dealing with people and wouldn’t dream of ordering my shopping on line.

So Mr. Cameron from where are the jobs going to come.

I’m on a roll so just a couple of words. How can anyone consider giving prisoners a Vote. They have forfeited that right by acting against the laws of the country. And as for that Hook Handed Cleric being allowed to keep his British Citizenship – MAD. He probably married to get Citizenship – has a very large family living off benefit, appears to hate the people and the country which has given him succour, preaches sedition and hate against us and we can’t even ship him off to America.

(Filming in Turkey recently, I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with an 'ordinary' Muslim family in a hill village in the mountains behind Antalya. For 'ordinary' read 'poor' although they were blessed with the things which really count - a loving extended family, a sense of fun and kindness. I took my shoes off before entering their home (would do the same in Japan and from a health point of view it makes sense to take off the shoes which have trodden pavements and trodden in heaven knows what) We conversed through an interpreter and had many a laugh and a jolly afternoon. Take the politicians out of the equation and I reckon most ordinary people in the world would get on)

And yet on the other hand that poor man with Asperges is still facing extradition. I do firmly believe that he wasn’t intending any harm. Frankly the Pentagon should give him a reward for exposing the weaknesses in their system.

And as for ‘Yuman Rites!’ mad, mad, mad.  I understand that after the last War, a treaty was signed which would supposedly erase forever the kind of madness which evolved with Hitler - the genocide etc.  But the current 'Yuman Rites' are a travesty of what I'm sure the original treaty was meant to convey.

I could go on and on but what’s the point – nothing will change. The politicians will keep their noses in the trough and will be led by those self same noses by the powerful lobbyists.

(All right, one last word. I believe I am a person with a great deal of commonsense (apart from my dealings with the opposite sex!). Many many years ago I was invited to a Social Function given by a powerful Tory supporter (won’t tell you by whom or what it was). I was and always have been an admirer of Margaret Thatcher – she didn’t get everything right and got a lot wrong but she did put this country back on the straight and narrow.
However they say ‘Power corrupts and all power corrupts absolutely’ not that Mrs. Thatcher was corrupt – far from it – but I do genuinely think she’d stopped listening to others. At this function, full of the Party faithful, I had the temerity to question some of the actions of the Party. I might as well have rung a bell saying ‘Leper’ – they all dropped away from me like flies on brown sticky paper – WHY – I had dared to question!!!!!

Politicians tend to surround themselves with Yes Men and Yes Women who seek their own advancement. I believe that politicians go into politics with altruistic motives but Power corrupts them – and I’m using the term corrupt in a loose sense. In the past, most people who went in to Politics had already established themselves in Careers – Today it would seem that Politics is a Career Option in itself. What do the Oxbridge elite from moneyed backgrounds know about ordinary everyday people and their lives? It reminds me of what I’m sure is the apocryphal story about Marie Antoinette – on hearing that the people had no bread and were starving, she is reputed to have replied ‘Let them eat cake!’

I truly believe that those of us who are now in our 60’s experienced the very best that this once great country had to offer. There was a Work Ethic, Shame, Honour and Self-reliance and you had the children you felt you could afford - a family was your responsibility not that of the State.

(Incidentally so much of what is handed out today as Necessary Items, would have been regarded as luxuries when I was a child being brought up in a house with no hot and cold, an outside lavatory, no phone, no TV and no car. But we were well fed, created our own entertainment and were able to play out of doors. It was a completely different world and to my way of thinking - a better one. People cared for each other, helped each other and were far more principled than they are today. But then MONEY was not their God. They'd come through a war where survival was uppermost and simply to still be alive was a gift.)

So to go back to where I started – and this is only the tip of the iceberg but I do have other things to do with my time – the Lunatics are running the Asylum or if you like The Clowns are running the Circus.

And Dorian please don’t correct my grammar – I’ve written this in great haste and with passion – so must get on with life.

Au revoir, Jan


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