Mushstools, Toadrooms And Faeries

Obviously, it's all down to Global Warming. We've been warned for many years now that the massive increases in average temperature that we have all noticed over the past years would encourage the migration of exotic species into our humdrum environment.

But where on earth have these come from?


And there's more - we even managed to photograph a real faery!


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It's Saturday Night And I'm Not At Home



Although it's actually "The Rolling Hills of the Borders".

You can't have too much Matt McGinn.


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ScottishPower Grab A Bit More

The posts with the highest viewing figures so far have been the ones regarding the means by which that famous Spanish company ScottishPower extracts extra money from its customers to pay for its chairman's well-deserved salary. If you missed them you can catch up here and here.

The trigger for those posts was the realisation by the folk at CATS (shiny new site) that SP had been extracting a little bit extra from their customers to pay for "government obligations".  At that time the supplement was 6%. Well they just got a bit greedier, as we can see below.


Retrieved from here on 30th August 2011.

The "obligations" part of the bill is not laid out in plain sight, but is amalgamated with VAT. Although the Standard Rate of VAT went up to 20% on 4th January, the rate applied to energy supplies remained unchanged at 5%. So the amount charged by SP for this highly dubious impost has increased from 6% to 7%.

SP quite rightly came in for a lot of critcism lately by being the first of the big power generators to raise its prices in the summer. For electricity the increase was 10%. This was because "Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have increased significantly since the end of last year...".

Really? Let's have a closer look.


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Psssttt! Wanna Buy A Vote?

The democratic process is precious. People have struggled, fought, indeed even died, in order that we may all be free to cast our votes for those who represent our interests in the Mother of Parliaments. Every five years or so (depending on the whim of the incumbent Prime Minister) the populace are allowed to make a mark on a piece of paper against the name of the person whom they think will do best for them.


This kind of voting is simple to operate, easy to understand, difficult to subvert and provides wonderful television on election night as the counts come in. The basic tenet of "one person, one vote" forms a very important part of our society. The vote is the prime symbol of our control over those who regulate our lives.

And I've just been given two more. Unasked, for free.


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Greed 6 - Sport 0

Imagine the scene - a packed stadium gazes intently down upon some of the most significant specimens of human perfection on the planet. They line up in this cauldron of sporting ferment and take their stations, preparing to expend an unimaginable amount of energy in an unbelievably rapid sprint down a perfectly prepared running track.

These eight demigods stretch into the blocks, crouch and place their fingers into the furthest forward position permissible by the rules. They flex their rearward legs as the starter raises his pistol and the expectant crowd falls into a breathless hush. 

Then Usain Bolt twitches and the race is over. A pall of extreme disappointment descends on the assembled atheltics fans as they are denied the spectacle of seeing the fastest man in history demonstrate once again just how much better than everyone else he is. The other runners take up their positions again and all run to the end of the track. Someone wins, but few really care any more.


So what's this to do with greed?


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