By Kathy Martin…
Written November 2014
When we first arrived here we had to complete many bureaucratic procedures to get our residency permits etc.
While waiting for various procedures to be completed we would often go to a Turkish Cypriot run bar and cafe. Like many middle-aged men I have gained a “beer-belly”, and, once the waiters got to know us fairly well they asked me why I had it, as most Muslims don’t drink and therefore don’t suffer from this condition.
I dug out the “medical” section of our phrase book and, proudly patting my belly, announced “gebeyim”! As this means “I am pregnant”, it caused great merriment among the staff as well as the Turkish-speaking customers, who were within earshot! We were always welcomed there, but after that occasion we were treated with greater respect and hilarity whenever we visited! Sadly, another owner and manager have since taken over the cafe/bar and it is now a “European style” fast food establishment, which we no longer visit.
I want to share a paraphrased script of part of a film that we saw recently. The scenario was that two nations had been at political and territorial loggerheads for generations, but were now trying to negotiate a “peace plan” under the chairmanship of a disinterested third party.
After a long period of listening to each side say to the other “if we do that, how can we trust you to comply because 50 years ago you didn’t”
Finally the chairman firmly stated that “I am sick of your petty bickering, as a compromise does not necessarily please either side, but if it presents to only workable solution to the problem, then it must be implemented”!
Because the chairman took control and focussed the delegates, an agreement was reached!
Are you listening, North and South Cyprus leaders and, (especially) the United Nations? (found this very relevant with current events January 2017)
Regarding European Union politics, I understand that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has told the British Prime Minister, David Cameron that he cannot introduce restrictions on the number of immigrants from other EU countries into the UK. In order to do this he, well Britain, would have to leave the European Union as the free movement of labour within the EU is a “sacred rule”!
Leaving aside the question of whether the majority of the British electorate want Britain to be in the European Union, I don’t think that Mr Cameron wants to limit “working” immigrants. No doubt brain surgeons, rocket scientists etc will be welcome, but he is trying to limit the number of non-working immigrants who will put an immediate strain on the British Treasury, health, education and housing systems.
I would like to ask Mr Cameron, or any of his legal and economic experts, to clarify an anomaly that has sprung to my twisted little brain.
Why does he, along with the rest of the political leaders in the EU think that Britain is in the European Union while the British currency is the pound? The European Union currency is, whatever its flaws, the Euro.
Imagine the harrumphing in the English parliament if, when the pound, shilling and penny (£.s.d) currency was decimalised in 1971 to the pound and (new) penny if one of the counties had said that, (while remaining in England), it was going to retain the “old” currency!
Indeed, it was only recently that Scotland; during its attempt for independence by breaking away from “Great Britain”, which was formed by the Act of Union in 1707, was told that it would be unable to retain the “pound” as a currency unit, if it wasn’t part of “Great” Britain.
Therefore, by reverse logic, surely Britain cannot be regarded as a member of the European Union until it accepts the Euro as the currency unit!
Just a thought!
While on the subject of Britain and anomalies when compared with Europe, Britain’s linear measures are (or certainly were) in “miles” and the volumetric measures are in “pints”, while the rest of Europe uses metric measures.
According to the popular press (from memory) one of the reasons is that “kilo” would confuse both shoppers and shopkeepers alike, especially the elderly people. That may be so, or simply scaremongering because I don’t remember hearing of anyone, young or old, asking for “half a kilo of spaghetti” and taking home half a kilometre (500 metres or 546.81 yards) of it!
The above goes to show that whenever any currency or measurement of any system changes there will always be the elderly or mentally challenged who may find it difficult to come to terms with visualising the new systems.
Today, (27th November 2014), in the Rochester and Strood parliamentary constituency in the UK a by-election is taking place. Nothing remarkable about this event you may say, and I would tend to agree with you.
EXCEPT, I believe that the Prime Minister, Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, has pleaded with non-Tory voters (Labour, Greens and Lib-Dems etc) to vote for the Conservative candidate, purely and simply to prevent the United Kingdom Party (Ukip) candidate being voted into parliament!
Wow, Mr Cameron, you claim to have been educated at Eton, but you must have attended the same school for democracy that Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe went to!
In other words, you don’t care who gets into parliament providing, of course, to feather your personal nest and boost your time in power, that it is a member of your own party!
A few weeks ago I rambled about why, in a democracy, parliamentary “whips” are needed to try to ensure that members “toe the party line”, which may not necessarily be the same as the wants of the majority of the members constituents.
Here is concrete evidence that you, Mr Prime Minister; personally, are prepared to put your own selfish interests over the possible, indeed probable, wishes of the electorate!
With this attitude towards democracy, how can you justify both the verbal and physical assaults that you and the British armed forces made on “undemocratic” leaders such as Colonel Gaddafi of Libya?
While on the subject of Ukip, the likely winners of the Rochester & Strood by-election aren’t these the same people that you called “swivel-eyed loons” not so very long ago? Even so if many people (even in a by-election) are prepared to vote for Ukip, then isn’t it time that you and your cabinet must take stock and alter the Conservative Party policies to be in line with the wishes of the majority of the electorate? Or are you really so arrogant and out of touch with the common people?
Another “dodgy” situation that has gone on in dear old Blighty was the possible, or even likely, re-signing (that is re-instatement, not departure!) of the convicted rapist, Ched Evans, recently released from prison, back into Sheffield United Football Club. However, bowing before “politically correct” pressure, Sheffield United F.C. has told him that he cannot return to his “old” club.
Before continuing with this part of my ramble, I want to make it very plain that I totally abhor the crime of rape. To a rape victim the crime is (logically) worse than murder! After all, a murder victim, however brutally murdered has no further feelings after the act. While a rape victim has memories and mental trauma for the rest of her (or his!) life.
For the information of readers who were, (like myself until a few days ago), blissfully unaware of this event, Mr Evans was convicted of raping a woman in 2011.
My ramble continues on the (in my view) very shaky “moral high-ground” that the hundred thousand or so people who signed a petition against his re-instatement are on. Whether he is innocent (as Mr Evans claims) or guilty of this offence, legally, he has both “committed the crime and done the time.”
As such, he should have been allowed to return to normal life. Both the victim and the criminal had consumed quantities of alcohol before the offence, and, therefore, the judgement of either or both parties would have been impaired before the event. Nevertheless a “mad” few minutes should not blight a person’s career until the grave.
However, I would certainly support any move to prevent or even allow the disgraced bankers who caused the still ongoing worldwide financial “crash” and crisis from having or returning to normal life!
After all, their cold and calculated greedy actions caused the savings income of common people (like me) to be “raped and pillaged”!
Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles
These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum”