Thursday, 26 March 2009

Broken Britain - 6: DANIEL HANNAN, MEP - Speak for England, Daniel!

This man's speech has become an internet phenomenon. They were spoken in the European Parliament recently when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to visit.

He says the words that nearly everyone in this country feels at the moment but cannot articulate, and he uses plain and simple direct words.

- And look at Brown (an UNelected Prime Minister, let's not forget), with his rictus smile that Press people have told him works well on this case he sits there, doodling and smirking, doodling and smirking.

Brown is incapable of Listening. Not just listening to criticism, but LISTENING. And that is the fatal flaw that runs through him like the words in a stick of Blackpool rock.

Hannan deserves to be on the Conservatives Front Bench. Visit his own blog:

Speak for England, Daniel...

The Bratislava Hot Serenaders (with Henry de Winter): Herr Ober, zwei Mocca

Some light relief amidst today's gloom.

I totally LOVE this recording. From Bratislava (obviously!), they've been going since about 1982.

We need to see them live in Britain!

.....thank you YouTube for brightening my day.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

I STILL NEED YOUR VOTES…. (British Eccentric Awards) - a New URL means you can VOTE AGAIN!!!

I’ve been nominated as Great British Eccentric of the Year 2009 (I think it’s odd, but I accept the nomination….I shall probably lose out to some group or fan club or clique).

So, I really would appreciate it if you could get everyone you know to vote for me.

I’ve never considered myself an eccentric (the mere approaching me to accept a nomination is an act of extreme eccentricity in itself!) but I just wonder who conjured up my name in the first place!

But if you could get them to vote for me, Ray Frensham, that would be great!. Thank you.

The URL has now changed and those of you who already votes can STILL Vote AGAIN (even though the website may tell you otherwise!):-

Voting ends: Tuesday, 31st March.

I love you all!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Ever had one of those Days.....?

Aren't there just some days when this is the only response?

Remember the mantra: "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore" ... (although, I must admit, this is a tad somewhat of an overreaction).

Monday, 16 March 2009

Now this really IS Eccentric!…..

I need your help

Please vote for me.....

I’ve been nominated as Great British Eccentric of the Year 2009 (I think it’s odd, but I accept the nomination….I shall probably lose out to some group or fan club or clique).

So, I really would appreciate it if you could get everyone you know to vote for me.

I’ve never considered myself an eccentric (the mere approaching me to accept a nomination is an act of extreme eccentricity in itself!) but I just wonder who conjured up my name in the first place!

But if you could get them to vote (in the top right-hand corner) for Ray Frensham, that would be great!. Thank you.

The URL is:

Voting ends: Tuesday, 31st March.

And, as they used to say at the end of The Morecambe and Wise Show: I love you all!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Broken Britain - 5 :Citizens' Action - Peter Mandelson Gunged + a typical British scene today...

6th March 2009 - Leila Deen from the action group Plane Stupid (protesting about inexorable airport expansion in the UK) throws a cup of 'green custard' over Lord Peter Mandelson. It'll be in You have to chuckle...

...and something we see all too often on British streets these days... (at least when you see the end, you realise there is a God!)...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Constructive Apathy - a Lifestyle Philosophy

I have always felt that my true role in life was to be at the head of my own religious cult. Some set-up whereby lots of adoring people would pay me lots and lots of money just to turn up and…BE. I don't have to do anything, I don't have to say anything, just turn up and, well, ... BE.

Problem is, the only slight cloud on the horizon is the somewhat worrying tendency for such cults to end in a kind of casual mass suicide.

Another slight problem was…well…Me. If you don’t mind someone with a face like a full set of haemorrhoids and the personality of a used tea-bag, I’m your man. It’s like when a pal of mine googled me recently. “I didn’t realise, Ray,” he said, “you’re quite famous”.

I like that. ‘Quite’ famous. It’s a bit like being ‘almost interesting’.

What I needed was a concept that was good on the longevity stuff, wouldn’t involve me getting too energetic and was universally attractive and applicable to others.

So a good few years ago, I was sitting in the office of what was (then) laughing called a Production Company, sitting at my computer, and it staring blankly - but lovingly - back at me, contemplating the glorious Summer that was supposed to be happening out there beyond the window.

Someone passed me. “Bored, Ray?”, he said with that sort of Matt Damon smile that makes you want to put your fist in his face.

“This isn’t boredom,” I wittily riposted. “This is Constructive Apathy”.

And that’s when the light bulb when on in my brain. My ideal lifestyle philosophy, fully formed and complete and the instant panacea for the twenty-first century’s supposed surfeit of leisure time.

Suddenly my mind shot into second-gear. Visions of them turning up at massed rallies of the faithful, all of them desperate for me to raise an eyebrow or crack my lips into the merest hint of a smile, perhaps utter the odd word or two. I was in thrall to my own self. I almost started referring to me in the third person.

Pressed for a definition (and I would have to be pressed in extremis), I would say it was: The Science of watching Life pass you by. It is most surely a Science, for it can be replicated; and it is a state ideal for the writer with ample opportunity to write about life rather than actually live it.

I recalled something Jeffrey Archer (that worrying doyen of hyperactivity) once said about writing: “Every morning you face that blank sheet, and there are a thousand and more reasons for not writing, but only one for actually doing it; and every morning you have to find that one reason all over again”.

But why?, I thought. Cannot one spend such time reflecting positively on all of the reasons for Not doing something?

Believe me, dear follower, what I am launching here in this blog is the merest tip of my vast intellectual iceberg. It is no bogus, ill-constructed philosophy knocked together by some pathetic over-compensating loser.

Oh no. It is completely thought-through, a faith beyond post-post-Modernism whose time, I feel, has come.

It is not the comatose staring into space traditionally associated with serial television watching; it is more positive inaction, rather akin to that practised by our posthumously-anointed guru Sir Alec Guinness.

We have out own ready-made anthem in John Cage’s “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”, that battle-hymn to tranquillity and of life carrying on relentlessly outside. We have our own salute: not so much the gloved fist, more a casual shrug of the shoulders.

And although this may sound contradictory, we even have our own goals and ambitions. In my case, it is: Early Retirement. I would commend it…most particularly to Lord Archer, who might perhaps consider taking early retirement from life itself.

You see, Constructive Apathy gives you a chance to take control of yourself, to listen to what Life is saying to you - even if all it does say is: Does it Matter?

It offers one the opportunity to address the really pressing issues of our time like: how many beans make the perfect beanbag? what happens to the darkness when the light comes on?, and why did they build Windsor Castle so close to the airport?

Thus, I am saying to you all: get out of the rat-race, seize control of your destiny: join me and consider the cult of the half-closed eye. Remember, no problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from.

And at a time when City types are being released onto the unemployment market in lemming-like quantities, I can foresee the need for a lifestyle option that offers them a positive alternative. For I, who have been there, seen it, done it, bought the t-shirt, decided ‘No’ and walked away from it, offer it now to a waiting world.

So here shall I sit, winking knowingly back at my monitor screen, raise a glass in wait of 3rd September [National Procrastination Day in the USA], take another delicate sip if my Industrial Chardonnay and contemplate Constructive Apathy and my constant self-belief that the world owes me a living.

You know, over the years since I’ve been working on C.A., many of my friends have encouraged me to consider working this all up into a book. And I might just do that.

On second thoughts, I don’t think I’ll bother.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Broken Britain - 4: Citizens’ Action

Apparently there are Confidential documents circulating around Whitehall: contingency plans for dealing with what this government and the police expect to be a ‘Summer of Discontent’. It seems the middle-classes have awoken from their comatose state fed by endless TV repeats of Poirot or Midsomer Murders and are Ready to Rage.

Bravo! Bring it on.

For well over five years I’ve been predicting the uprising of what I call “Citizens’ Action” - the bringing-together of small single-interest groups united by that mantra from the movie Network: “We’re mad as Hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore”. Politicians, of course, would call it civil unrest.

I detected the first rumblings about ten years ago, when those distinguished and genteel ladies of the W.I. slow-handclapped Tony Blair whilst giving an overtly political speech at their conference, which specifically requested a non-political one.

Clap, clap, clap. The look on his face: baffled, bewildered, keep that smile up Tone - “hey, why you doing this? It’s only me, an ordinary kinda guy, you know?".

Clap, clap, clap. And this was the Women’s Institute - jam and Jerusalem, right down to their knitted cardies, wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose. But they gave our Tone a good hand-job.

After that emerged Fathers-4-Justice, the pent-up rage of certain fathers denied access to their own children. The jaunts of Spiderman clinging onto Tower Bridge or Batman on a ledge at Buck House or the purple-powdered condom thrown at Blair in the House of Commons may have seemed futile or silly, but It Got them the Publicity. This was (at last) taking Action into the hands of people.

The one conclusion I was forced to draw from all this was: does it have to come to a point where one has to publicly shame and embarrass people into accountability? Answer: sadly, YES!

Running in parallel to Fathers4Justice (time-wise) for a while was the rise and the rallies of the Countryside Alliance, ostensibly protesting about the foxhunting ban; but this was really the focus for a whole groundswell of discontent from those who did not live in the urban conurbations and felt neglected and ignored by Tony Blair’s shiny bright New Labour dream.

Still, at least it did lead to some jolly rioting on the streets of London and lots of photo-opportunities embarrassing the caring-sharing Government of the day. All those truncheons cracking against tweed-clad bones, the bleeding head wounds…not good.

Next, a couple of years ago, we had the blockading of the fuel depots by the farmers and lorry-drivers when it looked like an ‘unacceptable’ petrol rise was imminent. Panic at the pumps?, yes. Gridlock?, sure. But Gordon Brown, then-Chancellor, capitulated and didn’t raise the fuel duty that Autumn.

And just a few weeks ago we had more blockades, this time in Scotland. Workers chanting the words first coined by Brown himself “British jobs for British workers”. This is the mantra that will carry us through the Summer. These are the lies we live with in the UK.

Let’s face it: we mean nothing to the politicians. We are the shit caught between the cracks in their soles. They despise us and view us with contempt. They tell us “you have a powerful weapon in your vote” and “be thankful, we live in a democracy”.

Pure bollocks, of course. Do they see our sneers?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if some form of genuine Proportional Representation came into effect and suddenly everyone either refused to vote or ticked a box on the ballot paper ‘None of the Above’?; or voted en-masse for Anarchism, or for the BNP?

Now That would be a true democracy, however-much one disagreed with the result.

But in this genteel, crumbling country, where under Tony Blair "we are all middle-class now", we have Middle-Class Rage: “we’re mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”. Citizens’ Action….about bloody time!

It will be interesting to see if (when?) the Power workers come out on strike sometime during this coming year. Why? Because whenever this has happened in the past, normally the Government bring out the troops to cover.

But where are the troops this time? They’re in bloody Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere. Stitch that, Broon!

Let the jam-makers unite. Bring on the chaos!