Floaters are few, but the circus is for you (aka poetic titles are few and far between)

I rant… 

The general election campaign isn’t interesting to someone like me, who knows how he will vote…; I’m sure that you’re the same. I guess you are because anyone reading black text on a white background on a blog online is usually someone with enough intelligence to pull themselves away from the flashing colours of Candy Crush Saga or ‘betfrankdoublecash’arry.com whoaarrrr!!!!! HAVE IT!’ The whole thing is about as interesting as an episode of Prisoner Cell Block H dubbed into Japanese and shown on The Food Network Channel +1 at 4.30 in the morning. (Its 3.30 and I need a shit, fuck it, I’ll stay up and catch it later…)

All of the money that the parties waste on advertising, self promotion and TV broadcasts is designed simply for the floating voter, those that are undecided, but honestly – I don’t want to live in a democratic nation that could be decided by the few people who aint interested in politics most of the time and are drawn to the polls at the last minute to choose one of the freak shows based on the lies they spew at this particular time. Certainly marginal seats are won and lost based on adverts or calculated statements at the right time, that’s – well I suppose part of the system and its failure.

UKIP disagree with me of course. They’re relying on the undecided to show up and you can guarantee that a day or two before the election they will say something reckless or milk an unforeseen event to try and jemmy those undecided voters from their day to day lives and into the polling booths to make sure that ‘knee-jerk’ and his brother ‘reactionary’ have a final say in the outcome of the election.

The Conservatives know the game and aint interested in the floaters. They target the seats they can win and unfortunately, they will do so this election. They won’t go as far as UKIP in milking the socio-political-news situation on the day but will certainly dip a toe passively. And then try to paint their brothers by another mother (UKIP) as heinous, monstrous, ridiculous, Satans before attempting to climb into bed with them once the clock strikes 11pm and the ballot boxes are upturned for counting. That scenario is the worst one in my head. No one wants the Tories propped up by those UKIP twats. That would mean the end of public services and a total isolation of this country, by its upcoming deeds (EU exit) in Europe. If you think its bad now folks just you wait and see if that happens, fancy rolling that dice? To quote a ridiculous, racist of a Tory, ‘There will be rivers of blood running in the streets…’ and no one will clean up the blood because the public servants would be no more, replaced with Street Crew Plc, privately owned with a public contract, just sucking up the cash. And if you’re bleeding there will be no hospital place for you, not unless you want to credit card the bill and spend the rest of your life paying 20% interest on it (the ambulance is a taxi by the way, that you’ll foot the bill for too!)

Labour are still recovering from Old Labour that was er… New Labour. You know that Tory version of Labour. Yeah Labour had to go all Tory to win three elections in a row and our saviour from heaven, who walked on water… when it started raining and turned wine into water… at all of his PFI functions, turned out to be a Christian fundamentalist with a disregard for human life but a love of military intervention (Hallelujah, praise be to someone, somewhere, yeee haarr!) But you can’t call him all bad. Iraq is now the brightest beacon of freedom on Earth thanks to our intervention…. anyway. Labour are the only large party that could even begin to govern the country (minority rule of course) over the Tories. I’ve been a supporter of theirs most of my life and yet I don’t see them as an alternative choice. They are bought and paid for, unlike the Tories and big business, they are owned by unions and ideas from the 1940s that still apply, and they talk about often, but would never ever dare to reapply in the twenty first century. That is my disagreement with them. People need the socialism again, Labour. The floater loves the idea of some fucking socialism. I know Labour created the NHS, but you have to take it back and make it what it once was. Idle promises are not saving lives, ring fenced budgets do, more staff do, and HIGHER ring fenced budgets, in REAL TERMS need to be announced. Or are you going to fuck it all up? I just don’t know. Maybe the floaters do? This party was founded on values it no longer has because the spin and the personality has been allowed to replace honest values that you ‘stand for’, but are too scared to announce and follow through. Disappointing.

Floaters won’t vote Liberal Democrat. At the last election, all of the Lib Dem voters I know, voted Lib Dem to try and keep the Tories out. The rest is history. The Liberal Democrats have proven to be nothing more than whores who will ask for your vote based on what they say and then do anything to get a tiny piece of the cake of power regardless. I’d don’t trust them & wouldn’t vote for them whilst Nick Clegg was in charge of them. They didn’t water down their values, with governmental power, to have some influence – they threw them away which is extremely sad. At the last election, forty years of Liberal party (parties) hard work and hope was given away so that a few of them could hold seats of government and sell memoirs. Absolutely unforgivable and the vacuum in our hopes they’ve created with their untrustworthiness has seen a rise in the far right, their natural enemy. They had it all, the ideas, the policies, and then the entire ethos was flushed into liberal oblivion because one or two at the top of the movement saw a chance to make a few quid speaking after dinner when they were retired. I can’t shake my head in disgust enough without getting nauseous and vomiting as I fall to the ground unconscious and dizzy at their very existence, I nearly voted for them in 2010, I’d have felt physically sick for five years if I had. You let your party and its voters down Nick Clegg. You really did.

No floaters in the West Midlands going to vote Plaid or SNP, that’s for sure. But I can’t knock Wales and Scotland for wanting to get out of this mess. I’d vote for Black Country independence too. I’m sure we couldn’t fuck it up as bad as London given the opportunity to do the best for ourselves in a region we all know and love and understand. I do know that the floaters in those countries are already yours.

As for the Greens. You are my vote, and not at the same time, and only because of this: If I thought you could win this election I’d do it, I may still do it, but because you can’t I don’t want to waste my vote.

No wait, I might just waste my vote. And with this post I’m now floating myself.

But floating where?

I suppose I’ll find out on May the 7th.

Peace.

PS – Despite my rant, go and vote. It does make a difference. A cross in a box can change the world. My opinions are left leaning politically. I don’t care for personal wealth above what I need to eat and pay my bills. We are all in it together, but not like the Tories tell us. We should all look after each other and what we pay in tax should benefit us all. We can fight the machine one cross in a box at a time. This is the time. Float. Vote. Float and vote. But let your cross in the box be heard. But make your own mind up when you do.

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West Midlands Regional League (Premier League) – Results – 14th April– 18th April 2015.

A four-nil away day is good enough for any team anywhere, anytime, 3 points and consolidation for Bilston this weekend. We are staying up.

18th April 2015

Black Country Rangers 1 – 3 Gornal Athletic

Dudley Town 3 – 2 Bewdley Town

Ellesmere Rangers 3 – 1 W’Ton Sporting Community

Haughmond 3 – 3 W’Ton Casuals

Malvern Town 3 – 0 Pegasus Juniors

Smethwick Rangers 1 – 2 Shifnal Town

Sporting Khalsa 3 – 1 AFC Bridgnorth

Wednesfield 0 – 4 Bilston Town Community

Wellington Amateurs 1 – 0 Wellington

Willenhall Town 4 – 4 Cradley Town

15th April 2015

W’Ton Sporting Community 2 – 5 Dudley Sports

14th April 2015

Bewdley Town 1 – 1 Dudley Town

Pegasus Juniors 5 – 0 Bilston Town Community

Willenhall Town 1 – 3 W’Ton Casuals

wmrl bilston grass roots support banner

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.

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

wmrl bilston grass roots support banner

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.

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.