Tag Archives: fail

BBC News – UK economy suffers 0.5% contraction

But Chancellor George Osborne said the government would not change its austerity programme.

“These are obviously disappointing numbers, but the ONS has made it very clear that the fall in GDP was driven by the terrible weather in December,” he said in a statement.

“There is no question of changing a fiscal plan that has established international credibility on the back of one very cold month. That would plunge Britain back into a financial crisis. We will not be blown off course by bad weather.”

We’ll see.

Oh dear

Bungling council bosses in Dover posted a beautiful picture of the iconic White Cliffs on their site.

The only problem was it was the wrong cliffs!

Dover Town Council has now been forced to admit the cliffs pictured on its website weren’t Dover’s.

You really couldn’t make it up. Loving the comments below the story, by the way.

Here’s how I would go about researching a suitable photo for this project. Go to Flickr.com, type “white cliffs of dover” in the search field, find a photo that fits the bill and contact the photographer about whether it can be used or not. Or do the same with almost any stock photography web site.

What sort of amateurs did Dover Town Council engage for their web site?

This is new?


The Beeb appears to be taking the attitude the Russian military’s idea of using inflatable decoys is a new one. Any student of military history knows that inflatable military decoys, including inflatable tanks and on right through to entire decoy towns and airfields, is not a new idea at all.

I’m disappointed the BBC hasn’t bothered to show this story in its historical context. Incidentally, I am sure that other news outlets have also failed to show the historical context. 

Cars. Who’d ’ave ’em? Addendum

Well, we’ve retrieved the Vectra from the menders. It runs, badly. It needs to warm up before you go anywhere, otherwise it stalls when you put it in gear (it’s an auto).

We’re now left with what to do about it. It’s too expensive to repair. Should we spend money on investigative work in case there’s a case to be made? Or should we just let it rust away on the drive. Perhaps some kind scrap dealer will take pity on us and take it away leaving some cash in its place.

So, cars are definitely a raw nerve at the moment.


One of these would do the trick, I think. Just a bit of sanding and varnishing to do every now and then.

Cars. Who’d ’ave ’em?

We own two cars. My personal transport is Italian, red, and is made by a company whose name begins with F. It’s a Fiat Seicento Sporting. The other car is was screwed together by someone at Luton or Liverpool, and has a Vauxhall badge glued to it.

Now, I’ve been a Vauxhall fan for years. My first car was a Vauxhall – a 1978 Chevette, to be precise. Over the years, I’ve owned a Mk 2 Astra, and a succession of Carltons. Most have been reliable transport, all have been used when purchased, and all have been virtually driven to destruction by me.

That run of Vauxhall ownership has come to an abrupt end with a 1999 model Vectra estate. Oh, it’s comfy, has a good service history, one owner, fairly average mileage and so on. For such a nose-heavy car, it was pretty sprightly when you wanted it to be. We could live with the aircon being busted, and the fact we had to replace the radio unit because the keycode had been lost. Then the car began to dislike starting. Then the engine management light came on. In the past couple of months it’s spent more time being mended than on the road.

Today we learned the engine management chip had been fried. On investigation, I also learn this is a very common problem with this particular unit. It’s also a very expensive thing to fix.

So, I’ve fallen out of love with Vauxhalls. I don’t care that they had a bad patch around when our car was in production. I don’t care that the current cars are very good. I refuse to buy another Vauxhall.

Of course, we still have a crippled pile of junk we will have to try and get rid of. It’ll probably limp along for a while. Perhaps we can sell it, but more likely we’ll scrap it. It seems as if filling the tank with petrol doubles the car’s value.

All in all, 2010 has turned out to be an expensive year for cars in this household. The search is on for something that will potentially replace both cars, but I am very distrustful of any modern car, purely because they are so stuffed with electronics you have to rely on experts to fix them. Anything more than changing a lightbulb, and you need a computerised diagnostics system just to see what the car thinks is wrong.


Oh for the good old days when you could change the plugs and points on your drive on a Sunday morning. Oh for a simpler motoring experience.

Lloyds TSB fail

Recently, a friend suffered a break-in. His camera gear was stolen, but he was insured so it was all going to be okay in the end.

Only it turns out that it’s not going to be okay in the end. According to his insurers he is a professional photographer, even though he hasn’t made any income from his hobby at all.

So, quite rightly, he’s a bit annoyed at being mucked around by his insurers, and is now getting on their case. Lloyds TSB Fail is just the start, I suspect.

I am taking this as due warning. I plan on becoming pro at some point, but I will definitely be acquiring pro level gear over the coming years. I suspect I had better ensure either the house insurers know and cover such equipment, or I get separate pro insurance in place — even if I don’t make a living from my photography.

I almost forgot: what makes this worse is the company in question was bailed out by the tax payer after the financial crisis hit. We taxpayers own most of Lloyds TSB shares as a part-nationalised company. People, whatever you do, don’t have any dealings with the shysters. It’s not worth the pain.