Archive for the 'Evil Overlord' Category

Bloody Useless Council

Monday, March 4th, 2019

Against my better judgement, I’ve become more active on Facebook. Under a pseudonym. I’ve got drawn into local groups, and there’s a predictable theme in many of them, something that reminds me of an old Alexei Sayle joke that I can’t find a Youtube clip for.

I’ve been using this toilet for 6 weeks and no-one from the council has been round to flush it for me.

The theme is largely “it is all the council’s fault”, where “it” could be anything from bus price rises, homeless and beggars, crime rates, to empty shops, to anything fucking else, to be honest.

I’m all for taking Walsall Council to task, but let’s be realistic here. People imagine that the council is rolling in cash from “all our council tax” (oh, apart from the proportion of that spent in overseas aid, apparently, despite that being proved as bollocks from the accounts), people think the council can approve or deny planning based on a whim, and that they control rent and business rates.

So then. Here we go:

1) Buses. Buses are run by private companies. National Express, mostly, round here, with a few others- notably Arriva in Staffordshire. They set the fares, and buy, maintain and run the vehicles. The bus stops are maintained by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

2) Homeless People. There’s no council housing. Thatcher sold it off, and councils haven’t been able to build houses for years; the only social housing gets built by housing associations. You can thank the Conservative government’s austerity measures and the bedroom tax for the fact that social housing is in short supply and expensive, and for the cutting of social care too,so the council’s powers are very limited. As to taking over empty buildings- as they don’t own them (see below), why should they take them over? If you owned a empty office lock, would you want it taken over and used as a shelter, or would you want the opportunity to rent it at a market rent?

3) Empty Shops. Shops shut down because there’s not enough money being spent to sustain them, plain and simple. The reason that you don’t have enough shops, or the wrong sort of shops (fast food, charity shops, pound shops etc etc), or no shops at all is called capitalism and market forces; if there’s not enough money coming in, then they can’t pay the rent and rates and their staff. (see 4 below) The shops that do survive survive precisely because people use them, enabling them to make money. You might want a nice focaccia bread and olive shop in Park Street, but unless it stands a chance of making money (hint: it doesn’t), then you’ve got fuck all chance of that. Retail is in decline and changing everywhere. There’s fewer butchers and bakers because we all buy from the supermarket; there’s fewer record shops because of Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify; the list goes on.

4) Rent and Business Rates.

The council should cut the rents and rates so shops could afford it.

The council do not own most of the shops. They do own the Saddler’s Centre (and they will in all likelihood be criticised for buying it, in the future, when the shops are all empty), but that’s about all. The majority of shops are owned (and therefore have rent set) by property investment firms like London & Cambridge. Business rates are set by Central Government, so no chance there, either. Also:

They built all those new shops at [location] and they’re all empty. Waste of council money.

Whoever built it, it sure wasn’t the council.

5) Begging. Again, the cuts in social care, the reduction in addiction support programs, and the basic all-round selfishness of our society means that some poor fuckers have nowhere else to turn. It’s funny how the people most offended by this are so often a close intersection with the bastards that voted for it.

6) Planning.

They shouldn’t allow planning permission for [x] because there’s too many of [x] and [optionally] I don’t like [x].

Typically, X will be a fast-food outlet or a takeaway.

Thankfully, councils don’t have the power to refuse planning on the basis that you don’t like something.

They granted planning for [y] and that ruined [z]

[y] might be an out-of-town shopping centre, for example.

Since national government reduced council’s powers on planning, they couldn’t refuse a reasonable request, so the developer of [y], if he’s clever, can just do it. All that troublesome red tape that we got rid of, see? Red Tape. That stuff that stops people doing exactly what the fuck they like, regardless off the impact on others? Better off rid of it.

I’ve not done an Evil Overlord post for a while. Evil Overlord 22: people who mindlessly blame the council for stuff they aren’t responsible for get to man the phones there for a few months.

It feels wrong to be be defending Walsall MBC, but I just wish people would get their facts straight and perhaps just think.

Travel Agents and Insurance

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

As I hinted at below, I need to whinge about travel agents and insurance.

I’ll start by being fair: the agents refunded our money, but not until after a lot of hassle and stress and hard work form my very nice neigbour Helen.

I’ll lay out the facts: Two Belgian commuter trains crashed. This casued chaos, includung to the eurostar service:

Screengrab from Eurostar site, 17-02-2010

You may like to note that paragraph:

We therefore strongly advise travellers between the UK and Brussel (sic) to cancel or postpone their journey

I called our travel insurance co, and they suggested that there may be a way to claim for the accomodation- Eurostar were refunding travel costs.

Their story changed the next day. Apparently, this counts as ‘disinclination to travel’ which is not covered.

I’m frankly shocked, though not that surprised, that when the Foreign Office refers to Eurostar’s advice, which is not to travel, that the insurance company say we must travel, then if we suffer a 12 hour plus delay or cannot reach the destination they will pay.

Strikes me as irresponsible, and double standards- we choose not to place ourselves in a risky situation they choose to not pay out. Still, that’s insurance for you, the fetid bastards.

Evil Overlord
21: An eternal rainy Sunday in Bracknell, with all of the pubs shut and no TV and cinema for the insurance industry.

Slow and Shite

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Well, nearly 2 years after the event, I have the payout for compensation and my excess from the Fabia getting bent.

Blimey, the legal profession are a bunch of cunts aren’t they?

Their legal wrangling, stalling, and trying to maximise their own costs has meant that it’s taken a long time and a few hours of my time in court to get my cash- and the payout was less than one of the other party’s insurance company’s offers.

Evil Overlord
20: The legal profession will be forced to sit in a sealed room and drown in each other’s bullshit.

“Macs Just Work”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Heh. Here I am again, picking on the Macintosh. Guaranteed to provoke a response from The Bumpkin for a start, and maybe Bob will join in too, as he uses a Mac.

But wait. There’s a twist to this one. There will be a brief swipe at the Mac.. but only that as per usual, the GUI isn’t good enough once you dig delow the surface- it’s fine for it’s target audience, but hides things- and lets face it, Windoze is no innocent there, is it, and compounds it by not having had a decent command line for years too.

No, I’m going to have a good go at consultancy companies (sorry again Andy), you’re excused from the rant), which is like shooting fish in a barrel to be honest, and my old favourites, Symantec (the fuckers).

***Warning: LONG geek content follows***



Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Remember the days of comment spam on blogs?

I’ve just discovered some cock-end jizzmop spammer has been all over my Gallery. The Fecker.

Evil Overlord 18: Ten minutes with me and a blowtorch in a locked room for spammers.

Bodily Function Hour

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to have this rant for some time. Is it just me, or are the miscellaneous bodily function adverts getting really rather wearing?

There’s the various women who need a big shit digestive transit, illustrating said point by filling their handbag with food, and fixing said problem by drinking yoghurt-based snake oil.

There’s the plethora of “women’s products”, featuring blue water and “happy periods”. I can’t say it seems like a happy event, even from my obviously limited view, and I fail to see how product X will alter that.

Then, and here’s the best, there’s the “little shit kid who is either sitting on the shitter or declaring to all and sundry that he wants to, in order to drop a great big shit digestive transit “poo” with the handy scent of some brand of air freshner.

Lesser offenders: The bear that literally does shit in the woods, and then uses Charmin afterwards, then advertises the fact in Times Square.

One particular ad break a couple of years ago saw my Friday evening disturbed by the whole fucking medley in one break. Charning. Went nicely with my tea, that one. Nom Nom Nom.

Fuck off, the lot of you. I do not wish to know. Especially the little snot-nosed, shitty-arsed brat. Isn’t there someone else you could annoy?

Evil Overlord 17: At eternity in a pool of digestive transit for the media tossers that thought up the above.

Patronising shite

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Is it patronising shit day or something?

So far tonight we’ve endured a very long load of patronising shite about lowering our CO2 emissions by unplugging our mobile phone chargers (etc) (while large companies and shops carry on pumping heat into the atmosphere regardless), patronising shite about not letting your kids drink bleach, and patronising shite about all the dangers posed by the festive period. All within about an hour. Fuck Off. In the nicest possible way.

Whatever happened to natural selection? This is why we have a nation of idiots.

Evil overlord 16: The removal of crap like this so the stupid can kill themselves and their offspring.

Scotland: Days 4 & 5

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

John O Groats is less bad than publicized, as is Wick. Dunnet Head is cool. The A99 (noted for it’s casualty rate!) and A9 are bleak but fun ( the A99 provides some real hairpins and climbs/descents), and Dunrobin Castle is incredible. When I am world leader, this will be my Highland Evil Lair.


Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Well, thank you El Reg for supplying me with a link to the Twat-O-Tron which randomly regurgitates quotations from spEak You’re bRanes, a collection of the illiterate, mindless outpouring of effluent that is the BBC “Have Your Say” site. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This is precisely why free speech is a bad thing.

Evil Overlord 15: the removal of the right of free speech from drooling retards.

Transport User’s Forum

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

As I promised I would here I attended the public meeting at Walsall’s council house.