RIP Dora

On the morning of Saturday 13th May 2017 at 5:30 after fighting for life for most of the night my dear little cat Dora died.  She will be sadly missed.  Originally one of the two cats my late wife Carol bought to our marriage, she outlived her best friend Ally, and my own cat Badger who died last year.  When we had the three of them together we called them the three mouseketeers – “Arsehole”, “Porthole” and “Duffhole”. 

Dora was 17 years old and had a good life but her death was not so good. She died unable to walk, twitching uncontrollably, and struggling to breathe.  Just before she died she let out a cry of misery that sounded just like a young child.  I broke down and cried like a baby.  Dora was my last link to Carol who died last October and because of this Dora’s death had great significance for me.

Of the many pets that I have had that died (4 cats and 3 dogs) this was the only one who died at home and it was a difficult experience.  I stayed up with her all night stroking her and talking nonsense in what I hoped was a soothing voice, but all I saw was a tiny creature struggling for life and probably not even aware that I was there.  It was truly heartbreaking.  If her symptoms had started earlier in the day I would have taken her to the vet and had her painlessly euthanized. Watching her die slowly over several hours I wished I had the moral  strength to end her life myself, but I couldn’t do it.  She was fighting so hard I thought she had the right to keep trying.

Carol and I met late in life, she was my second wife, I was her first husband.   We had known each other on-line for several years as we both had joined a web design forum of which she was one of the experts and I was there to learn.

In 2005 the UK members of the forum decided to meet in real life and Carol and I fell in love. Dora was very wary of me at first because she was used to Carol who was quite small and quietly spoken and suddenly there was this big loud fat person disturbing her tranquillity.  It didn’t take long before she started to get used to me and maybe even like me a little bit.

In 2006 we bought a new home together and moved in with our three cats. On the vet’s advice we kept them indoors for 2 weeks then let them out into the garden.  Dora promptly absconded and lived wild for two years.  We searched for her, put ads in the paper, Carol built a website, and we put leaflets through every house in the area, but there was no sign of her.    

We were married in November 2006 and Dora was still missing, we thought we would never see her again.  Then one morning in 2008 as I was going out the door on my way to work Carol said “I wonder where Dora is or if she is still alive”.  I replied “don’t worry I have a feeling we will hear something today”.  Carol used to tell me that I said that every day, but I’m sure I didn’t, I like to think I was a bit psychic.  Anyway that afternoon we had a message from the Vet saying that they had Dora having just scanned her chip. She had been stealing food put out for hedgehogs and a kind lady had tempted her with more food and eventually caught her and took her to the vet.  We picked her up that evening, and she went to Carol straight away as though she had never left.

The vet had found an airgun pellet lodged up against her spine so she had to have an operation to remove it.  We surmised that some sadist or stupid boy had shot her soon after we first let her out and that in panic she had run off and couldn’t find her way home.  Then a few months later we found a lump under her arm and she had another successful operation to remove it.  After that the vet said we should check her regularly in case it came back.  I assumed that duty and from then onwards every time she asked to go out  I gave her a quick feel under the armpits before I opened the door.  This became so routine she eventually waited for me to do it assuming it was normal behaviour.  Luckily the breast cancer never came back.

The next big thing in little Dora’s life was in 2016 when Carol became ill and was hospitalised.  Carol was found to have lung cancer which had metastasised and the diagnosis was terminal.  This was a big shock to all of us including Dora who couldn’t understand why Carol hadn’t been around for a couple of months.  The sister at the ward Carol was in was kind enough to let me bring Dora in to see her, and Dora curled up on the bed with Carol and stayed with her for several hours.  The nurses all came in to make a fuss of Dora and this gave Carol a boost, so much so that after a few days Carol was allowed to come home.  Something that hadn’t seemed possible before because she was so ill.

Carol came home on a Monday and initially she was bright as a button, sitting up in bed and planning what TV to watch but in the evening she quickly deteriorated and I had to call in the district nurse and the on call doctor.  They told me this was the end stage and it was just a matter of hours.  She died later that night.

After Carol died Dora and I became closer probably because I was now officially her main food provider.  Dora’s presence helped to mitigate the absolute despair I felt at losing Carol and she became more cuddly and almost a lap cat which she had never been before.  I would often sit with her and say “it’s you and me against the world now Dora” and she would purr away as though in agreement.

Then on 11th April she didn’t come home.  I was worried that she was lost again and I spent the next two days searching the local area  and leafleting all my near neighbours.  Then the vet phoned, Dora had been found curled up in the corner of a gravel car park in the New Forest and bought in by a kind lady.  That car park is about a mile as the crow flies from our garden.  I spoke to the lady afterwards and she said that a little girl had told her that there was a cat that was asleep in the corner and had been there since the day before.  So Dora must have gone straight there and stayed.

After the vet had checked her out and put her on a drip to rehydrate her I went to pick her up and she behaved as though she didn’t know me.  The Vet advised me to keep her in for a few days then let her out gradually for short periods.  I did that allowing her supervised visits to the garden, but when I finally thought she was OK on her own she was gone again.

Luckily later that evening I had a call from one of my neighbours who had trapped her in their kitchen. I went straight over to collect her and she acted as though she didn’t know me again.  On the advice of the vet I decided that her future was now that of a house cat.  Dora didn’t seem to mind this arrangement and after three or four unsuccessful attempts to take her into the garden with a harness and lead, Dora decided that she didn’t want to go outside after all, running away when ever I showed her the harness.  

We had a few good days together like this then she started having seizures, and as I had never seen this before I was horrified and took her straight to the vet for a check up.  The vet said it was possibly a brain tumour or it could have been a form of dementia.  The only way to tell for sure was with a CT scan which was out of the question because of her age and frailty. Her heart was failing, and the general anaesthetic that was required would kill her.  So she was prescribed pain killers which I gave her in her cat milk every morning.  This seemed to help and I found that by watching her closely I could see the twitching that preceded her having a fit, and if at that point I picked her up and cuddled her stroking her back and speaking softly to her the fit never happened.  She seemed to understand this and would cry out if she had the symptoms and I was in another room so that I would come and calm her down.  This system worked well and for a long period she had no seizures.

Last Wednesday I noticed she seemed more lethargic and her belly appeared to be swollen, so on Thursday I took her into the vet and they examined her belly with an ultrasound scan and took a sample of the water from her belly with a syringe.  The water was clear so the diagnosis was that it was caused by her weak heart and not due to a cancer.  She had a diuretic injection and I had  diuretic liquid to give her twice a day and tablets for her heart condition.

Thursday night and Friday morning she was almost back to normal and I was hopeful that she would live a bit longer and in relative comfort but alas it was not to be.  Late on Friday evening she started having trouble walking and looked nervous and worried, she didn’t seem to know where she was and when I attempted to comfort her she tried to get away from me. This got worse and then she started to twitch uncontrollably. She just wanted to be on her own so I left her alone; checking up on her every few minutes.  I knew this was probably getting near the end but it was too late to take her to the vet by now so I sat up with her trying to sooth her and giving her water with a syringe because she was too weak to stand up and drink.  Then at 5:30 am she died and was at peace.

R I P

Carol  1948 to 2016

DoraDora  2000 to 2017

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Improving Your Baked Beans

I am somewhat of a connoisseur and a long time fan of the canned baked bean.  Over the years I have tried virtually every brand and variety available in the UK.  In my opinion the following facts are true:

  • The leading brands are not the tastiest by a long way.
  • Some of the supermarket own label products are excellent.
  • The sugar free/salt free products generally taste bland and are past redemption.  If you like flavour don’t buy these.

My advice is to always buy the supermarket own label or the budget brand, because even if these suffer from a thin sauce and/or a poor ratio of beans to sauce, they can usually be improved dramatically with the following simple procedure.  You will end up with a thicker and much tastier sauce. Please note  this trick also improves the flavour of the leading brands.

You will need olive oil and tomato purée.

  1. Firstly always cook your beans in a saucepan. 
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (or other oil if you prefer the flavour) to the saucepan  and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Empty the can of beans into the saucepan and stir well.
  4. Add tomato purée to taste – I usually add approx. 2 teaspoons full but add more or less according to your preference.
  5. Continue stirring the beans and reduce the heat so that they are simmering, not boiling.
  6. Leave for approx. 5 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.
  7. Taste the sauce and add more tomato purée if you need to, then stir well and serve.

You have now improved the flavour and thickened the sauce.

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Andrex TV Advertising

Is it just me or does anyone else find those Andrex TV Ads excruciatingly cringe worthy.  I mean the ones where kids ask adults “how clean do you feel after a dump” (or words to that effect) .  They are really scraping the bottom with this one.  Every time I see this I resolve never to buy Andrex again (after all it’s not necessary when the Daily mail is still available).

This attempt at juvenile humour is just not funny and I feel so sorry for the adult actors involved who are obviously uncomfortable with trying to find this question funny and can’t quite bring themselves to look convincing.  The children come across as annoying little brats that have never been taught how to behave. Whoever came up with the script for this pile of excrement and whoever from Andrex agreed it must have a screw loose.

Bring back the puppies.

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Trump Muslim Controversy

I must apologise to President Trump, I was misled by a typo.  What I should have correctly reported is that senior GOP members are saying openly that Trump is a Shite President.

Apologies to Mr Trump and the Muslim community.

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US President Shiite Muslim

An astonishing development in US politics as some senior members of the GOP are openly describing new USA President Donald Trump as a Shiite President.   The Donald is thought to have had a sudden conversion after reading tweets and other social media content from various Muslim clerics.  A high level republican source said that this means his ban on visitors from Muslim countries entering the USA is now “dead in the water”.

More will follow…

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I’m Back

I didn't go anywhereStaggeringly it is nearly 7 years since my last post, and I hang my head in shame. I wanted to do this more regularly, I really did, but I always seemed to have something more important to do.  Real life has a habit of frustrating good intentions.

Anyhow I’m back and I intend to blog more regularly now so please bear with me until I get up to speed.

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The Breakdown of Society

 

I have pondered recently upon the way our society is slowly crumbling, the evidence is everywhere:

  • The lower crime rate which is an illusion caused by the fact that fewer people report a crime nowadays because they know it won’t be taken seriously.
  • Low levels of numeracy and literacy in school leavers.
  • The rise of the underclass. Their offspring are evident in groups around every corner shop drinking cheap cider and intimidating the older customers.
  • A disturbing lack of manners and a selfishness which is apparent in people of all ages. How many times have you had people entering a shop push in front of you as you are leaving, they have no idea how they should behave.
  • The large minority of imbeciles who seem to hero worship a murdering thug like Raoul Moat, a pathetic mental case who they only know of because of the extraordinary level of publicity throughout the media.
  • The false mourning; I call it “Diana syndrome” where total strangers leave tawdry bunches of petrol station flowers and cheap soft toys with soppy messages outside the houses where murders have taken place or near the scene of a fatal motor accident. There is nowhere more typical of this phenomenon than the village of Woolton Basset (aka Ghoul Town) where people who never knew them shed false tears for soldiers killed in action, and throw cheap bunches of half dead flowers still in their cellophane wrapper onto the bonnet and roof of each passing hearse.

If you put all these things together you get the distinct impression that we are rapidly going down the plughole, with very little time left to escape our collective doom. This is my take on the root causes of the situation:

1. Texting and “txt spk”
Relaxation of the rules of grammar and spelling into this form of patois has had a corrosive effect on the ability of the people that use it. This slack and equivocal method of communication is already migrating into email and some online fora and message boards. It restricts the vocabulary of the user to a few very common words that can easily be shortened. The richness of our language is curtailed as users communicate in a simplified English that has no depth and no beauty.

2. Social networking websites
These “social networking” sites are places where people who have very little to say (and nothing at all that is interesting) can get together and bore each other senseless.

It is the internet dumbed down so that the dull and witless can cobble together their very own “web page” and fill it full of pictures of themselves when they are the worse for drink, showing parts of their body that should remain hidden or urinating in the street.

This overkill of minutiae is great if you really care that dismal old Stephen Fry has just “pee spotted his pants” with excitement, but I don’t see the point or the pleasure in revealing your mundane everyday activities to a lot of followers or imaginary friends.

3.Rap
Please don’t call it Rap Music. It isn’t. It is rhythmic doggerel. Rap was invented so that people with very little talent and no inclination to learn how to play an instrument or sing properly can become superstars. The banal lyrics are performed quickly (so you can’t hear how utterly crass and boring they are) and always spoken in a cod ghetto accent. This misogynistic, pro criminal, pro gun culture, pro knife carrying claptrap has contributed to promoting violence and gangs worldwide.

4.Reality TV
Simon Cowell and his ilk are driving standards down so that the great unwashed can pretend that they have talents and abilities that they really don’t, because they haven’t worked for them. Our “celebrities” now are people who are no more talented than anyone else. It is no coincidence that most of these “superstars” created by TV shows don’t stay at the top for long; they have not served their apprenticeship, played at small clubs all over the country and learned their trade. They don’t have the experience to succeed long term.

Public participation “reality” shows like big brother and wife swap where members of the public are encouraged to humiliate themselves encourage us to be cruel and over judgemental of our fellow humans.

5.Political correctness
At one extreme the lack of any deterrent to bad behaviour at school (since the ending of corporal punishment) has fostered a culture where the children’s so called “rights” and the fear of making any physical contact lest they be accused of touching the child improperly, has made a generation of teachers impotent and ineffective. At the other extreme the rise of the health and safety brigade has badly effected productivity and led to ridiculous and risible instructions on products like the peanut packets that have “warning may contain nuts” printed on them. This fear of taking any slight risk and the fear of potential legal action if you don’t strictly follow these draconian rules mean that (for instance) most window cleaners now don’t use ladders and “clean” our upstairs windows from ground level using a telescopic brush and water. I could give many more examples but life’s too short.

6.Computer Games
The popular shoot and kill computer games are teaching a generation to react swiftly and violently to any challenge to their perceived authority and rights. The lack of consequence in these games (when you are “killed” you just reset) embeds a false feeling of invulnerability into their psyche.

7.Religion, Faith and Spirituality
All of these things were invented by mankind basically to make themselves feel better and be less afraid of the dark. We should have outgrown this nonsense by now, because it is all nonsense – we are born, we live then we die there is nothing else. We are all just a piece of meat with thoughts and emotions controlled by electrical impulses and chemical changes. There is no big father figure in the sky who knows us all personally, looks after us and loves us in return for us meeting up once a week and singing a couple of songs in his praise. How ridiculous does that sound? Really; Enid Blighton’s Noddy, who paid for his milk by letting the milkman nod his head a couple of times was more credible.

There is a great mass of people who believe all this tosh, and live their lives according to stuff written hundreds of years ago by primitive tribesmen who had none of the advantages that we have and had no inkling of how big the world is, our place in the universe or how intelligent life evolved. They should be pitied not vilified, but society should not conspire to teach this nonsense in schools and there should be no state involvement in religion at all.

These factors have combined to produce a sizeable minority who think they know everything but in fact know very little. They know their rights but have no concept of their responsibilities, they demand respect but have done nothing to earn it. “Are you dissing me?”

These people are now starting to have children and are no doubt bringing them up in an even more haphazard way than their own parents did. To any unbiased observer it is pretty much obvious that the next generation is going to end up even more “intellectually challenged” than the last. We are heading towards a lowest common denominator society where excellence is unrecognised as it slowly drowns in a great sea of mediocrity.

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England Football Special – Vote Now

New website twatboy.com gives you the opportunity to nominate and vote for candidates for the prestigious Twat Boy of the Month award.  Previous winners include David Cameron and Graham Norton, but the current poll is devoted to our brave overpaid boys in the England football team.  The “Spud faced Nipper” aka Mr W Rooney is the current leader so if you think it should be Robert Green, John Terry or Capello, you’ll need to get in quick and vote.

I voted for John Terry mainly because of his Twatish new haircut, but don’t let me influence you, what do I know?

There is a link to the site in my blogroll on the right hand side.

Remember if you don’t vote you shouldn’t complain about the outcome.   In a way it is just like the general election except the candidates are even less impressive.

 

 

Unfortunately twatboy.com has been withdrawn due to possible copyright infringement so the link to the site has been removed.

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Donkey’s Predictions For 2010

    Highlights From Old Donkey’s Almanac

The Internet
The web will degenerate into a vile soup of twitter / facebook type sites where everybody talks in txt spk and consequently no one understands each other. Computers will cease to be the main interface with all this rubbish, and the mobile phone will be favoured because it is so much easier to say nothing much on a smaller device.

Politics
There will be a general election in the UK and the results will not mirror the polls.

The turnout at the general election will be so poor that the new government will contact Simon Cowell to organise a television celebrity politics program and telephone voting.

A new general election is called for later in the year. In an interesting twist the three main parties are eliminated from the contest in the early stages. One of the leaders becomes abusive to the judging panel and has to be taken away by security staff. The other two become tearful and start weeping, one of them pleads “let me do the speech again, I know I can do it” All three judges give the thumbs down sign and he is lead gibbering away. All three leaders are interviewed by (minor UK celebrities) Ant and Dec and they vow to come back next time with a new act and win it.

In the series final the Scottish Nationalists win by a considerable margin over the far right BNP and the anti Europe party UKIP. The Scotts Nat leader moves in to No 10 Downing street and after consultation with his party declares that they no longer wish for independence, but since they now rule the UK there will be a new bill later in the year to extend the Scottish border down to the south coast and rename the UK “Scotland”. Trousers will be banned and everyone, male and female will have to affiliate themselves to a clan and wear the tartan in the form of a kilt. Haggis and deep fried Mars Bars will become mandatory in Fish and chip shops and takeaways across the country. This is part of a plan to reduce the life expectancy to that of Glasgow so that the country will have less to pay out in old age pensions and thereby solve the outstanding national debt in a much shorter time scale than would otherwise have been possible.

Prison Reform
The Isle of Wight will be evacuated and turned into an inmate controlled penal colony (similar to the movie escape to New York). All the empty old prisons will be converted to hostels to house the rising number of unemployed homeless people. The prison warders will be re-employed as Hostel Wardens with similar powers to those they previously enjoyed but slightly fewer opportunities to give someone a good beating.

Celebrities
Some famous people will die, others will get married, have a civil partnership and/or adopt some poor unfortunate little orphan from a third world country.

Technology
3D TV will become more popular but a Japanese manufacturer and a Korean company both announce that they are perfecting a 3d/Holographic display that will give you lifelike images at full size projected into your room. Both of these new services will be interactive, using the “hard light” holographic system invented on “Star Trek” so that the viewer can touch and communicate with characters. Unfortunately the two systems are incompatible and neither manufacturer will back down so the market is put on hold as no one wants to commit the $20,000 for a set until they work out which one is the betamax.

UFOs
A flying saucer will be publicly caught by the US Military when its invisibility shield is deactivated by vandals pointing their laser pen lights at an aircraft cockpit as the flying saucer accidentally crosses the laser beam. To everyone’s surprise the occupants are not from another planet they are human time travellers from after the next ice age. They explain that they have been observing us for years so that they can analyse where we went wrong in our attempts to control the climate. Apparently the man made global warming was the only thing stopping the ice age from happening, and as soon as we stopped using fossil fuels the glaciers took out most of the temperate zones.

The House of Windsor
A prominent member of the royal family will unexpectedly die in very unusual circumstances.

More Technology
A breakthrough will be made in producing electricity by cheap-to-make cold fusion generators. At last the electric car is a viable option. Road traffic accidents and deaths start to escalate as pedestrians cannot hear the cars coming. The government decides that all electric cars should be fitted with a new loudspeaker and amplifiers system continuously playing the new Scottish National Anthem “Donald where’s your trousers”.

Around the World
Celery will be declared an illegal substance in Uzbekistan, possession of Celery and Cottage Cheese at the same time will become a capital offence.

Show Business
Beth Ditto will join the Cheeky Girls and they will have a number one hit with an old Rolf Harris number. Beth will also become romantically involved with a minor member of the Royal family. Unfortunately it will all end in tears.

Conspiracy Theories
There will be a major revelation regarding the involvement of a certain fugitive bearded terrorist in the assassination of JFK, Princess Di and several other prominent figures from recent history.

The Environment
As the glaciers start to melt information regarding the last period of global warming starts to appear. Evidence that Intelligent Dinosaurs had a vibrant civilisation and invented the internal combustion engine millions of years ago is seen as proof that the people at the top of the food chain are always causing global warming.

The World of Sport
Southampton FC will be promoted into the championship where they will play against south coast rivals Portsmouth who will be relegated from the premiership.

England will win the world cup beating surprise finalist USA by 1 goal in an exciting match.

David Beckham will be knighted.

The World of  Television
Reality TV program “Big Brother” will be pulled from the schedule halfway through the series when the producers realise that in spite of the incredible free publicity from the gutter press nobody can be bothered to actually watch it.

Health Matters
New research will indicate that exercise is bad for you and that chocolate, doughnuts and ice cream are health foods.

Religion
There will be a major scandal towards the end of the year when a leak from area 51 reveals that the captured UFO Time travellers have unequivocal proof that in the early 35th century the remains of what can only be the supreme being will be discovered floating in deep space behind the Coal Sack nebula.  This information, dragged out of them by waterboarding and other unpleasant activities, also confirms that the deity had been dead for several million years.  The world will be appalled that the US military had tried to surpress this information because it didn’t fit in with what they had already decided to believe.

The organised religions will all protest about this except the Roman Catholics who are strangely silent.  On the last day of the year the pope announces that they have known this for centuries and that it doesn’t matter because “Nobody takes this stuff seriously anyway”.

International Show Business
The Australian spin off talent show “Australia’s got talent” will be won by an aboriginal gentlemen who has an original act juggling live cats.

Remember -You heard it all here first!

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The World’s Gone Mad (Again)

          At Least The UK’s Gone Mad

A friend in the USA sent me this link to a Daily mail article. His email was titled “Say it ain’t So”.

Sharia Law Legally Binding In The UK

Sadly it is completely true. However the perpetrators of this gross inequality say it is only entered into on a voluntary basis by consenting Muslims who agree that the decision of the unelected, unqualified, half assed stone age cleric will be legally binding.

Sounds harmless, and they point out that a similar arrangement already exists for orthodox Jews.

I think this is the thin end of the wedge, what happens in 2 or 3 generations when due to their rising birth rate and the falling birth rate of the rest of the UK population they are the majority?

I don’t see why:
1) Any religion is given any weight in law. It is all crap invented for people of simple minds.
2) Why we jealously guard the “rights” of people who want to live by a code of conduct that would have been considered barbaric in the middle ages.

If ever I am in power, I will rescind the legal and charitable status of all religious groups (including the bloody Christians). I will do it gradually so that they don’t rise up on one of their silly bloody jihads or crusades.

I would also make it illegal for schools to teach any religious faith whatsoever and replace the lesson slot with the subject of “personal moral responsibility”. Instead of teaching them that “Thou shalt not kill” because God commands you not to, I would teach them why it is wrong to kill and what the implications are for the survival of the species if we all start killing each other.

I would make sure that no religious group has any relevance in law nor any influence on government.

I would ban any advertising and self promotion by religious groups. God TV etc would be gone. Let them try and increase their membership by word of mouth. Their congregations would dwindle in weeks.

I would impose a tax on places of worship which would be introduced as a variant of the business rates and would increase by small amounts every year. I would call this the “Idiots Tax”.

It would be illegal to give anyone the right to teach creationism or the ludicrously labelled “Intelligent Design” in schools. Let them preach the crap in their churches to their dwindling band of oddball supporters, don’t indoctrinate our children with this risible nonsense. I heard a BBC radio program recently where some redneck, God-Bothering students were saying that because they believe this they have the right to be taught it! What a ridiculous argument, if I believe that the moon is made of green cheese and Elvis lives there with Adolf Hilter and Marylin Munroe do I also have that right?

Getting back to the original point, it is a difficult situation because the silent majority who are appalled at this dare not make any public objections for fear of being called a racist and attacked by the “right-on” politically correct brigade. These people preach “multiculturalism” by which they mean that we, the indigineous population must go out of our way to immerse ourselves in the so called “culture” of these primitive people. If like me you are happy to let anyone live in this country so long as they contribute to society but you don’t particularly want to get to know them, their way of life or their beliefs you are considered to be a trouble maker and a potential racist.

I’ve just read through this; it could be the start of a new political movement. My dad always said I would be Prime Minister one day, perhaps it’s not too late.

Vote Donkey! You know it makes sense.

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