No Smoke Without...

December

Christine Lagarde, aka Marge Simpson, was found guilty in France of negligence, whilst she was Sarkozy’s Finance Minister in 2008. She was spared a prison sentence and criminal record. She now joins august IMF company. Her two immediate predecessors left as head of the IMF under a cloud; Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned accused of sexual assault and Rodrigo Rato is currently being charged of misusing funds when he was boss of a Spanish bank.

And your starter for ten is... What's the point of the IMF?

 

RIP

Henry Heimlich, and many other people died in 2016 but no one laid flowers outside Henry's house, nor did legions of grief stricken fans pour their hearts out on TV.

Zika

Zika transmission by mosquitoes has now been reported in 75 countries.

Chilcot: "Blair drank Bush's Kool-Aid"

June

It took seven years and ten million pounds to produce a two and a half million word report into the Iraq War. Well done to Sir John Chilcot for revealing how hopeless the intelligence community and the MOD is, and how hopeless the politicians are. However, all we really wanted to know was who killed Dr David Kelly?

United Nations Organisation: RIP

The failure of the UN to bring peace to Syria should be enough to convince most people that the Organisation is just a talking shop, an amazing time and money wasting enterprise. However, the Organisation's peace keeping inaction in South Sudan this year is surely proof that the UN is hopeless and should be disbanded.

In February, peacekeepers from Ethiopia, India and Rwanda stood by as government soldiers attacked a Protection of Civilians site in the northern town of Malakal, killing at least 30 civilians. Months later, the UN admitted to peacekeeper “inaction, abandonment of post and refusal to engage” during the Malakal attack. In July, UN peace keepers surpassed themselves as they hid in their compound while government troops rampaged through a hotel complex, one Km away, killing, raping and torturing.

Ken Livingstone

April

“disgusting Nazi apologist”

....that's how MP John Mann described Ken, after Ken said Adolf Hitler was a Zionist before he went mad. Ken was suspended from the Labour Party.

Shami Chakrabarti

April

On being asked to inquire into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party Shami decided to join the Party.

September

Shami was created a life peer as Baroness Chakrabarti, of Kennington in the London Borough of Lambeth. This was a parting gift from Dave, suggested by Jeremy Corbyn.

Maria Sharapova

April

Having failed a drug test in the Australian Open, Sharapova was suspended from playing, all her sponsors ran away - this cost her a lot of money.

December

Sharapova faced Monica Puig, the Olympic Champion, in Puerto Rico for an invitation match. This marked Sharapova's return to top flight tennis, she lost!

 

 

Leadsom Brexit

July

Andrea Leadsom, the only Tory competing with Theresa May for the leadership after Mr Cameron ran away from the damage his referendum has brought about, has decided to stand down from the leadership contest. This is probably a good thing because no one had a clue who she was. May will take over as Prime Minister on Wednesday the 13th.

4G Mobile coverage

December

The UK was ranked only 54th in the world in terms of coverage. Jordan and Romania were both ranked above Britain.

Man Overboard.... Ship o' Fools loses its captain!

June

Following the leave result in the EU referendum, Captain Dave threw himself overboard. A note was later found detailing the Captain's parting thoughts. Unfortunately, the note contained no clarity just the ramblings of a weak and feeble minded silly person. Lacking clarity, the other fools decided to hold an election for a new Captain.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Blast-It

2009 Review

2010 Review

2011 Review

2012 Review

2013 Review

2014 Review

2015 Review

2016 Review

2017 Review

Don't forget

In 2017 Hull will be the cultural city of the known universe.

And....

If you were expecting the Tory government to stick to its promise to introduce a higher cap on care costs in 2016, it's been put off until 2020. But Norman Lamb says it's not likely to happen - ever! And Norman knows.

 

RIP UKIP

Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage resigned again. Diane James became the leader but only lasted 18 days. Steven Woolf looked set to replace Diane but someone knocked him out, literally and this seemed to dent his confidence. Paul Nuttall stepped in to fill the void. Mr Farage is hopeful that Trump will find a role for him, e.g. glove puppet?

August

Ban the Burkini

Riviera resorts, including Nice and Cannes, banned the burkini. However, the French courts ruled that the ban was illegal. This forced the fascists back to the beer halls, seeking a new anti-terrorist strategy. François Fillion and Marine le Pen, promised a nationwide ban on the burkini. Meanwhile, in Germany, the AfD, and the Freedom Party in Austria are calling for a ban on everything, except burning books.

May

LGBT progress?

The Italian parliament recognised gay couples when it voted to allow same sex civil unions. Not exactly 21st century but certainly more enlightened than North Carolina, that introduced the "bathroom law" in March, designed to require transgender people to use toilets in schools and state government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates.

Terrorist Attacks

2016 saw several terror attacks, in France, Belgium and Germany.

Suicide bombers killed 32 people on March 22 at Brussels airport and a metro station.

A Tunisian-born Frenchman ploughed a lorry into crowds of families at a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice on July 14, slaughtering 86 people. 

In December, a Tunisian rammed a lorry into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.

No Future

July

Teenage gunman, David Ali Sonboly, 18, armed with a Glock and 300 bullets killed nine people and shut down the whole of Munich. Sonboly killed himself after the attack. Meanwhile, here in Great Britain our politicians are keen to spend vast fortunes on Trident replacement submarines. The purpose of spending billions of pounds on our nuclear deterrent is to secure our way of life, now and in the future.

 

 

The Jungle

October

The squalid Calais “Jungle”, which at its peak was home to around 10,000 migrants most of whom were hoping to sneak into the UK, was finally shut down in late October. The residents were moved to new reception centres dotted across France.

 

British Home Stores: RIP

August

Sir Philip Green owned BHS for 15 years before selling it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015. Chappell said he would bring £60m to the business to turn things around. Instead of putting money in he took money out of the business. The upshot, in August all BHS’s 164 UK stores closed, 11,000 jobs were lost, leaving a pension deficit of £571m.

Silly MPs spent an afternoon in parliament talking of removing Green’s knighthood, provided by Tony Blair in 2006. No mention was made of Lord Grabiner QC, Green’s the non-executive chairman, in place to add some veneer to his activities. No mention was made of removing Grabafee’s peerage. No mention was made of the failures of HMRC, Goldman Sachs, and PwC; they all knew or should have known what was going on at BHS.

Afterthought

Someone needs to investigate the pension pots in Acadia's other companies?

Turkish Coup

July

A coup in Turkey turned out to be a damp squib. President Erdogan tried to flee his country but no one wanted to entertain him. Bizarrely the plotters in their tanks conceded defeat to people throwing stones. Erdogan has since sacked and arrested everyone in the country - just to be confident that he gets all the plotters. We here at Blast It suspect that Erdogan engineered the coup so that he could eliminate all opposition.

 

Blast It Home

 

Annual Review 2016

Word of the year

Post-truth:an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. (Oxford Dictionary)

Designating post-trust as word of the year sums up the silliness we are struggling to live with in the 21st century.

The History Man

Syria

AssadBashed al-Assad is a mental defective, perhaps 'red lines' Barry Obama might make amends for his abject failure as a world leader by now dispatching Bruce Willis to 'take out' Assad before everyone in Syria is dead.

"According to an April 2016 UN estimate, the death toll among Syrian Government forces, opposition forces, and civilians had reached 400,000. As of January 2016, approximately 13.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, with 6.5 million people displaced internally, and an additional 4.8 million Syrian refugees, making the Syrian situation the largest humanitarian crisis worldwide." Source: CIA Factbook

It's worth noting that the CIA Factbook does not mention the Russians and Vlad the Impaler's ambitions to bring stability back to Assad's Syria by bombing hospitals and killing all the nation's children. Following the UN's April dead-people estimate, Russia has added another 5000 since they entered the conflict in September 2015.

 

US Election

November

Donald Trump won the presidential election. Now the world is waiting and watching, who knows what will happen once he is in charge. The American public obviously preferred a clown to a liar. Let's face it, they have had a Marvin Gaye impersonator in charge for eight years and before that an idiot. Americans know that the large corporations decide what happens in America, the politics is just window dressing.

Barry Obama says the Russians were behind the Trump victory, he says they hacked the Democrats computers and made sensitive double-dealing material available to the public. Barry also said he will deal with the Russians, blah blah blah...

Update: December

Barry has sent 35 Russian diplomats home for hacking Democrat computers. Putin responded by doing nothing.

 

EU referendum result 52% to 48%

June

Here in the UK the big moment from 2016 was the June Referendum over whether we should stay in or leave the European Union. The nation decided leaving was the preferred option - that was not supposed to happen. Especially after the government had wasted £9m on leaflets promoting the benefits of remaining in the EU. Mr Cameron had made many mistakes whilst playing leader but history will record that calling this referendum was his biggest mistake. His 'one nation' reforms and the very silly Big Society nonsense will be buried by the ramifications of the Brexit vote. To wit, one very divided nation. The LibDems stepped up as the voice of the losing 48%, Labour seemed not to have a view either way and the Tories were split down the middle

Having a made mess of things Cameron resigned and just like his buddy George, sacked by Mrs May, he's now on the world lecture circuit. In a recent highly paid chat he described the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's election in the US as a "movement of unhappiness" and attempted to make it seem as if these events were evidence of an imminent populist uprising.

Historic child sex abuse inquiry

Summary: On the 7th July, 2014 the government set up an inquiry into the way public bodies investigated and handled child sex abuse claims. Baroness Butler-Sloss was chosen to chair the inquiry. Butler-Sloss lasted seven days before standing down. Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf took up the chair. She lasted until October 2014. Home Secretary Therasa May closed down the inquiry and reestablished it with New Zealand high court judge Dame Lowell Goddard in charge but she had a problem putting in a full week. She too stood down in August 2016. Professor Alexis Jay, who led the Rotherham abuse inquiry, was appointed the new chairwoman. The inquiry hit the buffers, lawyers started to resign and survivor groups let it be known they were unhappy with Jay. Shirley Oaks Survivors Association pulled out in November 2016.

December: Every former resident of the Shirley Oaks network of children's homes in south London is to receive compensation for being at risk of abuse dating back decades. Lambeth Council is set to pay tens of millions of pounds to people whether or not they were abused at Shirley Oaks.

Southern Health Deaths

January

An NHS England report, published last month, found that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust had failed to investigate hundreds of deaths over a four-year period. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the trust's failings as "totally and utterly unacceptable". Really Jeremy, and what have you done about it, apart from nothing. Chair of the trust Mike Petter said at a meeting no-one would resign over the issues but the trust has apologised for failings.

The families of the dead want the leadership of the trust to resign or be sacked by regulators. But they must know that they will just be reemployed elsewhere in the labyrinth of NHS England and continue to do damage elsewhere.

Many of the deaths that occurred were not investigated and when they the were, the quality of investigation was shoddy. Mr Hunt presided over the whole period covered by the Report, April 2011 to June 2015; he perhaps should consider his own failures.

The chief executive of Southern Health, Katrina Percy, said she would not be resigning.

August

Katrina Percy did resign from her £180,000 a year chief executive role. She kept her salary, they gave her a new job 'providing strategic advice on the transformation of local health services'.

October

Percy was asked to leave the Trust and received £190,000 in get lost money. Another example of 21st century silliness, rewarding tragic failure.

Dopey Russians

July

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the cheating Russians can't take part in the Rio Olympics next month. Who cares? The Olympics is generally a complete waste of time and only ever determines who can sell the most Cola. Update: IOC passed the buck to individual athletics associations to decide on whether to allow Russians to take part.

Stepford Wives

July

Melania Trump

At the Republican convention Donald Trump introduced his wife to make an inspirational speech, one written for Michelle Obama 8 years ago as it turned out. All the Republicans present were too stupid to notice the theft. Oddly though, no one noticed that Melania Trump bore an uncanny resemblance to an extra from the Stepford Wives - all very curious?

 

No one likes Corbyn

June

The majority of Labour MPs put in a vote of no confidence in their leader Jeremy Corbyn. Angela Eagle has now decided to stand against JC. Would that be the same Angela who thought the Iraq War was a good idea and who abstained on the Welfare Reform Bill and voted for ID cards and an increase in tuition fees - an odd form of Socialism. Update: Angela decided not to stand against Jeremy, someone called Owen Smith did that - the world wondered who Owen Smith was? Another Update: Corbyn won the contest with Smith in September, taking 61% of the votes - Smith vanished from the public gaze but Internet trolls continue to threaten his life - such as it is?

 

morganWould you let this woman educate your children?

June

The results from the KS2 tests are in.... 50 % of children failed to meet the necessary standard in reading, riting and rithmatic. Nicky Morgan described this as a "good start".

Update: stop worrying, Theresa May has replaced her with Justine Greening. Nicky just had to go because she made some very silly promises that would never be kept, like making all schools become academies and ensuring that England comes in 5th place in the PISA tests by 2020.

Pass the plastic sword: The Director of flooding resigns

January

levelsEnvironment Agency chairman Sir Philip Dilley has resigned from his £100,000 three day a week job, it was all too much for him. He was apparently pushed over the edge by the media, they failed to understand his need to spend time at his home in Barbados, the birthplace of his wife. No, wait a moment, his wife was born in Jamaica, 300 miles distant. So, why did he tell his critics that she was from Barbados. Could this lie have been part of a less than believable cover story for his 'couldn't less attitude' about a bit of flooding up north. Defenders of Dilley tell us that his role was to provide policy and strategy for the Agency, not mopping up, that's what the Chief Executive is for.

Now, what we would like to know is exactly what great innovations Dilley has put in place between the flooding of the Somerset Levels and the flooding in Cumbria? Is it not about time that Defra, or the Environment Secretary, or David Cameron recognised that Dilley's post was an expensive and unnecessary non-job. The solution is surely to put the next holder of the position on a zero hours contract.

 

Odd goings on at the FCA

January

On the last day of the year a funny turn of events transpired down at the Financial Conduct Authority, their review into banking culture has been dropped. This will mean that there will be no report on whether the banks have learnt from the mess they made of our economy prior to 2008. Currently, no one seems able to explain honestly what's going on with FCA. We know that back in July George Osborne sacked the FCA boss. Martin Wheatley, head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stepped down a year early after learning his contract would not be renewed.

The problem with Martin was that he actually did the job he was paid to do. He told the banking community that he would 'shoot first' and worry about the detail later. Basically, he was standing in the way of business as usual, i.e. pre-2008 and needed to be got rid of. At that time dim George, the bankers chum, was said to be searching for a token toad to return the FCA into a sleeping watchdog once again. Well, six months on and the FCA is still rudderless and having it strings pulled by George's Treasury chumps. There's a real opportunity for Labour to gain the moral high ground here but perhaps they will be too pre-occupied with silly Simon Danczuk's fall from grace. Here at Blast It we think that Simon was trying to oust Chilcot from first place in this year's Silly Person Award?