Feed the World

Listening to reports of corruption surrounding the world cup kicking off, or was it that Coe bloke’s gang or maybe both ? Who really cares in our troubled world ? When I was a kid you’d have had a proper kicking if you were called Sebastian.

Staggeringly huge amounts of money have been changing hands, makes you wonder just how much do you really need ?

Why wouldn’t one just take a good wedge and call it a day ? A nice round £10 mill’ should be enough for any one, even today. Don’t be too greedy.

Doesn’t surprise me. I think everyone has their price, be it cash or maybe a new liver, or both. The majority of us never get to try, chance our arm, live a little, live a lot with ten million.

Port of Spain, seat of FIFA corruption and money changing hands, allegedly. That’s one of he scariest places I’ve ever been, except perhaps Pakistan. That one’s for another day.

Port of Spain. I didn’t feel at risk being a tourist, despite being so bleedin’ obvious in my best Mambo shirt and wristwatch sunburn mark. Take your watch off so you look poor……. Who do we think we are fooling. Think I had every Mambo shirt ever printed in those days.

It wasn’t a tourist thing, everybody felt at risk. Police armed to the teeth, strap-on-leg dagger, hand grenades, machine gun. Like some crazy over zealous action man dressed by a kid in the ‘70’s, except these guys were for real.

For those of you that don’t know Action Man was a doll played with by boys – gripping hands, scar and a proper haircut, not the boys. Bloody weird looking back now.

The bars – in Port of Spain – had bar stools and tables concreted in to the floor. No hitting your mate over the head with one of them. The bar itself, encased in a steel cage, like a cashiers. Just sufficient gap to slide over a bottle of Banks below the mesh.

I went for a look around, not heeding the taxi driver’s very good advice to stay put. Bad idea. He actually said “If your still alive around 4.30 I’ll pick you up, and whatever you do don’t walk past that big old church up there..” Nice bloke.

It was baking hot.

The shopping centre was burning, looters having a field day with dogs and sticks and machetes. They didn’t bother anyone in the melee, just wanted electrical goods. Page to page murders and gruesome body part discoveries in the local rag, School girls disappearing. Government hangings. Not an easy read.

I boarded a brand spanking new inter-island hopping plane to get there. Some sort of angry buzzing propeller driven thing. Big signs at check-in “No hand guns or knives on this flight”

Glad we cleared that one up then. Like it was normal. They had to be put in the hold if you were carrying. Some comfort there I suppose. Strangely no mention of anything longer that a hand gun, like a shotgun or rifle. Probably just popped them in the overhead lockers.

Carried on walking and stepped over a body on the way to the docks. Schoolboy error. Docks are always a really dumb place to visit in a strange country when you are so obviously out of your depth. At least it was daylight.

I had a girlfriend (once) who used to insist on taking out a map as big as a tablecloth, just when you were obviously lost in some proper crummy locality.

The map would always be upside down and required lots of waving and flapping about. Might as well have a fucking roundel pinned to your chest.

I don’t generally get lost, as usually I don’t even where I am going so don’t know where I’m supposed to be at any given time, therefore can’t be lost – work that one out. Best way. Something interesting always turns up unless you have to leg it.

The art of map reading. Just about lost now – no more orientation. North at the top, which side is the moss growing on ? Where does the sun rise ? Old Indian tricks.

The locals play a lot of steel pans in that part of the world. Might be clever but it’s bloody irritating all the same. Abba’s greatest hits by pan. Goat racing too, loads of that.

So all these FA blokes sat in this smart hotel, counted their dosh out and then decided which country would host the World Cup. Easy decision at this point I guess. A no-brainer.

Outrageous, but happens the world over, even on our lovely shores, we are all in denial.

You cannot easily reverse 100 years of creeping bureaucracy. Parish Councils, Town Councils, County Councils, Metropolitan Boroughs. Duplication in quadruplicate. Jobs for the boys. Gross inefficiency and crass union meddling way beyond the original worthy ideological intent. Layers of administration, outrageously priced contracts, waste and corruption. Committees, sub-committees, Working Parties – that’s a laugh, surely misrepresentation there? The public spoon fed and coddled to the point where we don’t even have to tweak our own machine heads anymore.

Failed politicians squandering public money in County Halls across the land. Mayors, gold chains, chauffer driven civic vehicles. We even have a Sheriff. Career politicians craftily avoiding the real world for a lifetime. You can’t make much of a difference in just five years, unless you shoot somebody.

So now we have an Austerity Programme. Look to blame some Party or other. All inherited woes so they say. Liars. In reality it has been thirty + years of ever expanding easily available credit, artificial living and get-rich-quick monetary vehicles that are to blame. Inherent greed. Low-cost Endowment – remember that one ? Something–for–nothing. Yeah right. Who’s paying now ?

Share sell-offs, get rid of the public utilities, which just happen to belong to the Public. Make some quick money – Bit of repetition there, think I ‘ve covered that travesty before.

All greedily lapped up by Middle England and anyone else that could get a look in and a loan. You can’t blame folk, we all have our price, it’s just payback time now.

There can never be enough work or employment for the masses now. Perversely we’ve become incredibly more efficient with production and worldly goods. No more two year old rusty cars, cronky TV’s and crap fridges. Stuff lasts forever these days.

Anyone can source and buy a nickel plated Whitworth grub screw or a pickled gnats bollock off a bloke in Osaka, have it shipped sideways and pay for it with a click, delivered in two days for a dollar. I’ve been to Osaka, they are all small there. I went with Gorgeous George. Felt like the Attack of the Fifty Foot Women. You can’t get lost in a crowd and it’s seriously crowded everywhere.

They eat octopus balls, which are the Oriental equivalent of crab sticks, but the worst variety made from a crab’s arse. Taste awful. Crazy little bars as big as your Mam’s pantry. Awesome God-like Sumo wrestlers and amazing cartoon trains like Donald Duck on steroids and amphetamine.

It’s a shrinking world with far too many people. I don’t care where they’ve come from or where they are going. We live longer, retire later. Too many mouths to feed. No politician will discuss the problem. Soylent Green was a great film, maybe we should use some of those ideas….. solve a few mounting problems.

So if you’re a victim of Austerity and suddenly have a lot more time on your hands, practice your guitar but don’t eat your Grandad – for those who wonder what the fuck I’m banging on about watch the film, it’s the one with Charlton Heston …….