Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Giving the gold away… (Rail)

I have just read the news that air-sea rescue services in the UK have been contracted out. Apart from the apparent lunacy of sub-contracting yet another service, this news is accompanied by the revelation that the said contract has been awarded to an American company.

Further details reveal that the new helicopters to be used during the contract will be built in the UK (in Yoevil), but the ownership is in the USA, so, any profits will go to America.

And it's yet another example of the UK governments constant short-termist policies. And when I say government I don't just mean Mr Cameron's lot. No, I include Brown, Blair and Major in the indictment. Thatcher knew what she was doing when she destroyed British industry, the rest of those that followed that I have just mentioned have either not been clever enough, visionary enough or only interested in their 5 year terms to not worry too much about the state of British industry in years to come.

Also, it has to be said and in fairness to those mentioned earlier I suppose, that for a while it did seem that there was something in the notion that Britain would be able to earn a bob or two by maintaining service industries.

Trouble is, an awful lot of those have gone abroad to the lowest bidder... Sorry, highest bidder!

And now it's air-sea rescue. With the armed services being pared back to the barest of bones, they are no longer in any fit state to afford new helicopters or assign staff to fly them, so it's all being privatised.

The American thing really grates with this correspondent. There's nothing left in UK now. Trains are built and bought from Spain, Germany, Japan and USA. Rail operators are Dutch and German. Our motor manufacturers are owned by Germans and Indians.

All the money, all the profit is going out of the country. Can any one in government please explain to me how we are ever again going to make any money here in the UK?

Don't know if any of you ever watch Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portilo? It really is a very good TV program and takes us into some of Britains past. A past where whole towns and cities grew and prospered by manufacturing goods that were exported around the world.

We now live in an age where those same goods are imported. It's a sad truth, but Britain doesn't work anymore because it can't. And awarding yet more contracts overseas does not improve that situation at all.

BBC News: Bristow Group to take over UK search and rescue from RAF...

Friday, 22 March 2013

Record of the Week

Caught Wheel
by Your Twenties

Sometimes there are those tracks your hear, are very impressed, entranced and that tune stays with you -- in your head and heart -- from that moment forward. Well, this is one such tune.

The Marc Riley played this bands' 'Billionaires' earlier in the week and, while a worthy contender for RoTW all it did was remind me of this offering and I now can't stop playing it on the turntable of my mind.

It has all the indie charm you need and the video just sums-up the whole affair. It doesn't go on too long and, when its finished it needs a repeat play so you can hear that chorus again and this time join in.

Another track that would get six stars if iTunes allowed it.

Download now from Amazon...
Download now from iTunes...

Friday, 15 March 2013

Record of the Week

The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
by David Bowie

Now, I was going to choose another track from the long-awaited or surprise return (depending on your view) album from Bowie, but this is the one that has wormed its way into my head and that I find myself playing over in my mind.

And now I've seen the video, I'm glad this is my choice as its quite an impressive and engaging little movie, don't you think?

As for the track, well, along with the rest of the LP its very assured... (c'mon -- this IS David Bowie I hear you cry!) but it is! A beautifully crafted piece of rock, pop & roll with catchy hooks and delightful refrains.

The viewing of the video now makes sense of the hint at 'Theres A Ghost In My House' being in there as well. Clever stuff used in a smart way.

A great track from a wonderful album that's been on repeat play most of the week on one device or another here at NotJust Towers.

Buy the CD from Amazon...
Download now from iTunes...

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Record of the Week

Midnight in Moscow
by Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen

On hearing the sad news of the passing of Kenny Ball today, our dear notjustmum played this as a tribute. We both remarked that this was a sound we grew up with and, as they were regular guests on the Morcambe & Wise shows on BBC tv, a sight very familiar to us.

My dad was a trad jazz man... Chris Barber in particular... but Kenny Ball would do and he was a regular on the radio and telly throughout the 60s and well into the 70s.

A hit for Kenny and the boys in 1961, but sounding as fresh today as it ever did. A great foot-tapping, dance inducing tune guaranteed to put a smile on your face and will have you singing or whistling it all day long.

Buy Greatest Hits CD from Amazon...
Download now from iTunes...
Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen web site...