My manifesto.

‘These politicians are all clowns’ we are told and yet I look at the party manifestos and see lots of good in the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and The Green Party. They would be a perfect three way coalition at the next election, benefiting everyone who needs it (I’ll forgive the Lib Dems with time, Nick Clegg has some good ideas but he did sell his soul to Thatcher’s Britain). Let’s face it the Tories represent the worst portion of society – the rich and the selfish. And it’s the selfish part of that description that sickens me.

As far as Tory policy goes it seems to me its – those that are already wealthy enough never to work again should get tax breaks that make them richer and make the poor worker ants (that’s you and me by the way) get poorer and more grateful just for having a low paid, zero hour contract job whilst removing the health safety net of those poor workers by privatising the NHS (by selling it to private firms that they have interests in or their mates do, signing deals that mean the poorly paid, taxed people fund the new long term contracts with private companies running the NHS, offered to poorer people for poorer services) and spitting in the faces of everyone and standing public and proud as they do it.

But what kind of country do we want? I don’t care about party politics, well I do when there is a general election but then I am forced to choose between groups of people, with an agenda that promise us what they think we want.

So rather than tell you who I’ll vote for, because I’m still teetering on undecided, I’ll tell you what the fuck I want. This is my manifesto, a voters manifesto, this is what a working class bloke in a working class area with a below himself job would ask of the next government:

I want changes to taxation that means that people earning 15,000 or less a year pays no income tax at all. We need a cost of living line drawn in the sand and I think that would do it. A person, living alone, could work on 15,000 a year – tax free and pay the bills. Is that too much to ask? 15k is fuck all compared to the salaries of the people who make the low paid pay tax and dance a merry dance for state help. It needs to be changed and it needs to be changed immediately.

Abolish inheritance tax completely. The person who just died has worked all of their lives to accumulate the wealth they have be it a quid or a million and it should go to their family and chosen beneficiaries. If a person has paid tax on the earnings, what is left is theirs. So when they die, it’s their families. They’ve done their bit by working hard and raising children who are now tax payers, and parents to future tax payers.

A 50% income tax rate on all people earning more than £100,000 a year, a 60% rate of income tax on people earning more than £1,000,000 a year and a 70% tax rate on people earning more than £5m a year and a fine of £1,000,000 for every £1000 kept illegally in offshore bank accounts on top of any criminal sentence for people hiding UK earnings from the treasury. A fine that never goes away and a lifetime of bankruptcy to avoid the creation of any future failing, puppet, money laundering companies.

A fine of £1bn for any corporation that has global turnover of more than £1bn a year that is found to be hiding or avoiding corporation tax. – We all know about the famous Google, Starbucks etc etc corporations that refuse to pay tax or move to Eire and set up a new head office. Well I believe that the threat of these companies leaving the UK and costing us jobs is very short term and another entity would move into their territory pretty damned quickly. “We’ll leave” I say “Fuck off” Let the dragons in the Dragons Den mop up 30% gross margin instead of your 70% gross margin on a captive market, fuck big business and its empty threats. Create a vacuum by leaving and that vacuum will be filled and benefit large, medium or smaller businesses on a national, regional or local level.

The legal writing of a national constitution for Britain that holds true, for ever, the right to human equality, dignity and the opposition of hatred along sexual, ethnic, religious and national lines.

A complete freedom of speech. You have a right to say what you want and hear what you don’t want to too. That’s freedom of speech.

A guarantee that the state will never re-impose the death penalty whether we are in or out of the European Union, we respect human dignity regardless of how long we have to lock it up.

A secular education system that teaches about all subjects including major religions but isn’t governed by any of them. And the outlaw of all faith schooling in the UK.

The individual freedom of religious belief or lack of them and that being a completely un-opposable freedom.

The freedom of anonymous internet usage where no one has committed or is suspected of a crime on or offline. No ones internet history should be collected or stored or used to sell them goods or services.

No more publicly funded or hosted nuclear missiles. In a NATO alliance we can rely on our allies.

An end to foreign wars where the perpetrator does not threaten our sovereignty or security as a state. We should only offer humanitarian assistance to innocent people who are involved in foreign wars and offer them refuge where it is needed.

The opening of trading markets with every free and fair nation on Earth. Iran or Cuba are only a threat because we are told they are. Give them a chance to prove or disprove the rumours against them.

The encouragement of liberty and human dignity in all nations on Earth. The forcibly imposed democracy by the West offers nothing but hatred based on the methods we use; peaceful, supportive methods of freedom work better.

The reduction of use of fossil fuels and the increasing use of recycling of all non perishable refuse. Solar and wind power to be legally required in all industrial and domestic situations where they are viable.

Heavy marketing and promotion of all of our home grown talent and business interests where they can offer help be it industrial, medicinal, scientific, technological or sporting.

A reduction in corporation tax on companies turning over £2m a year or less and an increase on companies turning over £10m, £50m, £100m in incremental steps to reflect their wealth and capability to support the society that made them that money.

I could go on,

I am an opinionated ass hole,

But the system could do more and what I’m trying to say is, read the manifestos of the parties before you vote in May. You can call them bullshit artists and say they don’t mean it but the manifesto is what we’ll judge them on. And they will have to live or die by what they say, regardless of what the papers print.

We’ll all know, and we’ll all know who to trust too. I stand by my pledges that are mere hopes.

Peace.

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West Midlands Regional League (Premier League) – Results – 6th April– 11th April 2015.

Bilston managed to grab all three points and a clean sheet in their away trip at Bewdley Town. Champions Sporting Khalsa burst through the 100 points barrier with victory at Black Country Rangers with only a relegation dog fight left to entertain the West Midlands (Regional) League hardcore for the rest of the season. Wednesfield look to be in free fall, losing this past week seven-nil at Wellington and four-nil at Bridgnorth. But all of the bottom seven teams are still in a scramble for points to guarantee their Premier Division status.

11th April 2015

Bewdley Town 0 – 1 Bilston Town Community

Black Country Rangers 0 – 3 Sporting Khalsa

Ellesmere Rangers 2 – 2 W’Ton Casuals

Gornal Athletic 1 – 0 Shifnal Town

Haughmond 2 – 2 Dudley Sports

Shawbury United 0 – 5 Dudley Town

Smethwick Rangers 2 – 4 Cradley Town

W’Ton Sporting Community 0 – 1 Malvern Town

Wellington Amateurs 0 – 3 Pegasus Juniors

Wellington 7 – 0 Wednesfield

8th April 2015

Bewdley Town 3 – 2 Willenhall Town

Haughmond 5 – 0 Black Country Rangers

7th April 2015

AFC Bridgnorth 4 – 0 Wednesfield

Shifnal Town 1 – 2 Pegasus Juniors

Wellington Amateurs 2 – 2 Shawbury United

6th April 2015

Black Country Rangers 2 – 1 Dudley Sports

12-april2015-wmrl prem division

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April & a calm time in the growing season.

The greenhouse is clean, the tubs and planters are ready, the bamboo canes are in place, the compost is friable and the mineral dust is mixed, the seeds are all sprouting and the weeding is largely done, a pile of rubbish is ready to burn, the plan is drawn out, the hard work is already done.

When the clocks go forward you know all that traipsing around in the twilight in the rain preparing for a fingers crossed bank holiday Monday of sunshine was worth it. It’s great to grow and great to be so far ahead at such an early time of year. It means that popping plants out of seed tray modules into already prepared earth is all I need to do in the coming few weeks and months. Then it’s just watering and waiting with the odd tying up of a tomato plant, bean or pea vine. Its fantastic and I love it and here we are again, it’s the best time of the year for me by far. The days are getting longer, warmer and dryer and the wildlife is showing its face. Bees and butterflies are out, a few pesky wasps too (which you want in your garden, you just don’t want the nests) birds are laying eggs and weirdly this year I’ve had a few visits from newts but I have no idea why. I don’t have a pond or any standing water and I’m pretty sure my neighbours don’t either, but they eat the slugs and are more than welcome. Everything’s looking fresh and clean and tidy and hopeful on the growing front.

And Wolves grabbed the points today too, points that they had already lost and won and drawn in yet another topsy-turvy, and unusually defensively untidy performance. This season has surpassed anyone’s expectations. Kenny Jackett has proven to be a diamond so far, long may it continue. If we do get promotion this season it’ll be a miracle and would make next season a mountain to climb, but we can worry about that if and when. Mr Morgan needs to put his hand in his pocket regardless of the outcome of this season and back a manager that has proven his abilities on a relative shoe-string. The short term future looks good up the Molineux for sure which is great given where we might have been if last season hadn’t turned out so well. Now all I need to do is find someone to go with me to the play off final should we make it.

Peace.

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The Midlands League System

As part of my ongoing research into Bilston Town FC I have been looking tonight at the league system in which they play and what route the club would have upwards in the non league football pyramid. It would of course take a lot of money spent on the ground and on players to see them rise to the heights of the conference divisions but as a former member of the Southern League I feel its OK to dream and speculate on a return to that league at some time in the future be it ten years or fifty years from now. I know I’m just a Euro-millions win away from becoming Bilston Abramovich. I’d do it just for the hell of it, I’d be the only football club owner on Earth that knew as much about his clubs history on purchase that’s for sure, but I digress.

They are just two promotions from the Southern League which I didn’t realise until tonight. Given the mighty fall the club had in 2001 from finishing third in the Southern League Western Division to where they ended up was brutal but the rebirth of the club under the current administration that has lead them to where they are today – well two jumps upwards doesn’t sound so unachievable long term. Of course at this level of football, FA requirements are as important as winning games and if your ground or facilities are deemed inadequate 40 wins in the league are meaningless. It seems harsh to me, but that’s the way it seems to go. But when I think back to the Southern League games that Bilston played in all of those years ago the ground hasn’t really changed that much, if anything its cleaner and tidier, but it probably wouldn’t be allowed to progress to that level without some red tape to deal with.

I see a lot of potential at Bilston, the club certainly have the right ideas. Local leagues, youth leagues, community awareness, friendly atmosphere and a damned fine history. Let us not forget that the club has twice appeared in the proper rounds of the FA Cup, I haven’t done the research (yet) but I reckon they are the most successful club on that front currently playing in the West Midlands Regional League. More successful than nearly all of the clubs in the WMRL regardless. I know Willenhall got to the FA Vase final in 1981 and that is some achievement but I still think competing with professional teams in the FA Cup trumps playing teams that are of your standing in the league system in a Wembley final, but I am extremely biased. Bilston certainly have the most comprehensive wikipedia page of any WMRL club but again that’s down to my obsessive compulsiveness, and pride in every honour and statistic I uncover.

When I look at the league system though I do wonder what it’s all about. What politics is involved and who is making the decisions. The WMRL is a feeder to the Midland League premiership and both leagues remain separate but run in tandem side by side. I feel there has to be a better way. A club like Bilston should be competing in the Midlands but are currently a long way away from the Midland league, but there are a lot of teams in that league that Bilston would also compete with and beat. It would make more sense to restructure the two leagues as one with a separate or lower division for reserve and second teams that currently may compete as part of the same two tier league system. It seems silly to have two competing leagues at such a level where money is tight and attendances are relatively small. The most competitive and most attended league for the Midlands would surely be one where the best teams are all able to play in one division or be in a position to promote themselves into a Midlands “super/premier league”. I’d love to see a restructuring of the WMRL and the Midland League to incorporate all teams from both leagues into divisions that were more successful and competitive for the clubs involved, to the benefit of those clubs and the benefit of the league as a whole; to see a growth in interest and attendances. I know, from speaking to people in and around non league and local league football, that having two leagues in the same region cheapens them both. Only one can be seen as the legitimate entity representing the region, or both can be seen as less than relevant “because you can always go and watch that other league round the corner and up the road.” I truly believe that the current system could be changed for the benefit of regional football and the clubs that are involved. The region could then be proud of its unity and its football where all of the regions best teams compete together in a single Premier league that offers something to the punter – who may just come and see more than the odd game, and come every week. It would also make the first and second divisions more entertaining for clubs at that level and the clubs fans. ‘No more 8-0 defeats, we’re all pretty much the same, we’re all competitive, we can all dream in August of finishing top of the pile.’ Maybe I’m wrong, I often am, but at this level of football it seems almost retarded to have competing leagues in a small region when it bottle-necks the pyramid and limits the best teams in either league of progressing upwards and also stifles attendances at local derbies that never happen as teams will simply never meet each other. That robs the fans that would turn out to see it and it robs the clubs of much needed income from larger attendances.

Somewhere, local football in the Midlands, has decided to shoot itself in the foot. And as all clubs struggle to pay the bills and stay afloat, and scratch their heads and wonder why; it’s a god damned shame. Politics and self interest, as ever, I’m sure, is to blame.

Up the Steelmen!

2014-15.

2014-15.

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West Midlands Regional League (Premier League) – Results – 31st March – 4th April 2015.

The season is drawing towards conclusion with the bottom of the table more exciting than the top. Bilston, languish in mid table with another poor result at Wellington, Sporting Khalsa march on, of course, but the bottom five continue to compete. Wednesfield are looking doomed but the remainder are still battling for survival. It’ll go to the wire for sure. This weeks results are as follows:

4th April 2015

Black Country Rangers 2-2 W’Ton Sporting Community

Dudley Town 3-1 Wellington Amateurs

Gornal Athletic 0-3 Sporting Khalsa

Malvern Town 3-1 Shawbury United

Pegasus Juniors 2-3 Willenhall Town

Smethwick Rangers 1-2 Ellesmere Rangers

W’Ton Casuals 4-1 AFC Bridgnorth

Wellington 5-0 Bilston Town Community

1st April 2015

Cradley Town 5-1 Shifnal Town

Smethwick Rangers 2-4 AFC Bridgnorth

W’Ton Sporting Community 1-2 Ellesmere Rangers

31st March 2015

Black Country Rangers 0-1 Haughmond

Wellington Amateurs 3-1 Wednesfield

lge

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Charity Football Match at Bilston Town FC in May in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

charity game at Bilston FC

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And they say romance is dead.

I’ve been laughing today about a character that showed up in a local Asda store one fine afternoon. The story isn’t mine, it comes to me second hand and so it will have slight inaccuracies but the gist of it is all here.

A friend of mine was queuing at the fag counter when he overheard a guy in the queue talking to an assumed friend of his. He was holding a couple of those pre-made triangular sandwiches, you know ham and cheese, tuna and mayo, the £1.50 kinda deal and was talking about the classy birds that he picked up from bridge club or darts night or some other function at his local pub in Darlaston to take back home to chuck one up them before casting them back out into the night (some might say based on his description of the women and his treatment of them they could well have been accepting cash from him) and he actually held up the sandwiches and cheekily said, to justify what a Casanova he was, that he “Always cuts them a sandwich for afterwards!”

Derek Yr 2

Oh you old smoothie! First, I doubt that after they’ve had Derek’s mate slide one up them for forty seconds they are gagging for a cheese ploughman’s, and secondly, oh God of all that is carnal and sexually fulfilling, you haven’t cut them a sandwich at all. In fact, I’d say your use of the term “cut them a sandwich” suggests you remove the packaging and plate them up in the fridge. Class act buddy. How on Earth have you made it to your mid forties without being lassoed, you clearly are husband/keeper material?

Always Cut em a Sandwich

See, Alec Baldwin gets it!

But it does teach us all a lesson in romancing the ladies. They love nothing more than to be wined, in the Frying Pan with a Bacardi and Babycham, and dined, crumbs in bed and all. I suppose it takes all sorts and I shouldn’t judge too harshly but we aint half had a good chuckle at this story over the months.

We’ve now given him a name, Brian. Because it’s fascinating, you know – ‘The Life of Brian.’ His character and back story gets more detailed by the day. And now he has a theme tune too…

Most birds round here I’ve had,

I really am a lad,

With me they never open their purse!

When they’re chewing on my gristle,

I don’t grumble, king of carnal,

And shortly I know they’ll be very impressed….

I… Always cut ‘em a sandwich after sex

~whistles~

But the world is a richer place, I feel, for these kinds of odd-bod characters and I wanted to share it here with wordpress so its a moment that can live on forever.

Peace.

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