Society

People, politics, tech, money, sport, work and entertainment all intertwine to make up today’s ever-changing, crazy, delightful and frustrating society. The majority of my second-hand-views are about life within our society and, with a left-of-centre stance, there’s bound to be something here that gets your goat. When it does, buy a bundle of tibs, donate one to my charity of choice, Stay Close to Neve, and get it off your chest with a retort – better out than in. Have fun, be good and keep at ‘em.

brrrmmm, brrrmmm

There’s nothing quite like a new car. The smell of the leather seats and the feel of an untouched steering wheel. Crisp, precise controls and fresh carpets. Lovely. Last year, British households borrowed over £30bn to upgrade their car and sales of new motors surged to a twelve-year high. The US love them even more and their total auto loan now tops $1trn. Ten years ago consumers were bingeing on credit card debt and look where that got us. Have we now merely dropped the ‘d’ and is a credit car crash just around the bend?

a walk on the wild side

Cards on the table, in the naughtiness stakes I make Teresa May appear a bit of a tear-away. Running through a forbidden wheatfield and crushing the corn, at the risk of being rumbled by an irate farmer and made to clean out the pigsty? Jog-on, boys, I’m off home to study for my O’levels. Even though I’ve only just turned ten years of age.

dance, dance, wherever you may be

Not so very long ago, and before they turned on themselves, it was the Tories who felt most threatened by UKIP. To such an extent that many believe it was the risk of Conservative MPs following Douglas Cardwell’s defection lead that persuaded Dave to call the fateful EU referendum. Thankfully, following Carswell’s subsequent refusal to claim a £650,000 parliamentary subsidy for UKIP and to actively lobby for Farage’s longed-for knighthood, that relationship lasted no longer than a celebrity marriage.

bang. you’re dead

In the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting the most perverse certainty is that gun sales in Las Vegas & Nevada will now be going through the roof. This has been the US public’s response to each and every mass-shooting in recent history, from Columbine’s High School to Orlando’s night club via Aurora’s cinema, and there’s no reason to expect it to change any time soon.

location, location, location

Living in the same two-up/two-down for almost twenty five years you’ll get the picture that I’m not particularly motivated by property. I can honestly say I don’t care how many bathrooms or bedrooms I have as I can only be in one at a time. However, I have to admit that when researching the earlier ‘wind & p*ss’ article I was fascinated by Trump’s Xanadu, Mar-a-Lago, as it appears to have enjoyed a whole life of its own, and one equally enthralling as its current owner.

full of wind & p*ss

It goes without saying that we all usually have an natural allegiance to both the place in which we grew-up and the place we live. Personally, I won’t hear a bad word said against central Lancashire but, by the same token, I’ve spent twice as long in the beautiful south and have no intention of leaving anytime soon.

the hardline according to tfl

Calm down, dear. Uber is not going to lose its licence to operate in the capital. Sadiq Khan’s acceptance of the company’s open apology, agreement that it could try harder in the future and request that all parties make themselves available for immediate conversations, has all but waived Transport for London’s initial hard-line stance. It’s my understanding that the company will be allowed to operate during the appeal process and it will make a new, and continuous, application thereafter. Phew.

she shoots. she scores

Germany goes to the polls this weekend and it will surprise no-one that Angela Merkel will be returned for a fourth term. And why should it be any different? Theirs is the largest, wealthiest, most powerful, politically stable and downright happy country in Europe, if not further afield. Furthermore, Merkel herself has anchored her image as a safe pair of hands, reliable, competent, unassuming yet tried and tested; dare I say ‘strong & stable’!

on your bike!

At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, cycling makes you healthy. It’s exactly how healthy it makes you that is surprising. Just imagine the impact on their stock price if Glaxo Smith Kline developed a wonder drug that significantly slashed our chances of developing cancer and heart disease, of massively reducing our likelihood of dying early by over 40%, helped us stay slim and warded-off the probability of type two diabetes and the early onset of dementia. But before you hit ‘buy’ on GSK that miracle pill already exists and yep, it’s cycling.

the blockbuster that is bitcoin

The rollercoaster ride for bitcoin investors continues unabated as they’ve seen its value recently fall by 40% from a high of $5000 to below £3000. The tumble came after Beijing-based Chinese authorities ordered a halt to trading in the crypto-currency amid fears that the increasing numbers of traders and investors could spark wider problems within traditional markets. Never one to miss an opportunity to put the knife in was Jamie Dimon, CEO of the largest US bank, JP Morgan, who immediately described the currency as ‘a fraud, a bubble, and the emperor with no clothes’. Way to go, Jamie, especially as bitcoin was devised directly as a result of Jamie’s actions.