Not a lot going on atmospherically at the Castle this morn, just a whimsy of warm stuff, no wet stuff, even less windy stuff and lots of cloudy stuff.
Still stunned over the cost of a new “toof”, I could sell the old bod, and I reckon that might raise abaht 50p.
Trouble is brewing, the Work and Pensions Secretary also known as the Irritable Bowel Twins is fighting “ludicrous” European rules that mean the winter fuel payment must be made to an estimated 440,000 British pensioners living abroad.
Knob head Smith announced yesterday that he intended to introduce a new “temperature” test to prevent pensioners receiving the benefit if they live in warm countries and do not need extra money to spend on winter fuel.
However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed that the new temperature rule would also apply to pensioners in Britain.
Apparently this would see the elderly in milder areas of the south of England lose the benefit, while those in colder parts of Europe continue to receive it. The reform could also mean that pensioners living in Labour-supporting parts of Scotland and northern England keep the payment, while those in the southern Tory heartlands lose out.
The average low January temperature in Portsmouth is 41.4F (5.2C), warmer than Madrid, which has an average low of 37.4F (3C).
Mr Duncan Smith yesterday promised to “protect taxpayers’ money and bring in temperature criteria”. DWP officials said the details had not been finalised.
David Cameron has promised not to cut pensioners’ benefits during this parliament.
Yet another Piss Poor Policy...
South London Healthcare Trust, which runs three hospitals in the capital, was put in the hands of special administrator Matthew Kershaw last month because it was losing more than £1 million a week.
On Thursday, Mr Kershaw announced that he had invited providers of NHS-funded care - including both NHS organisations and private companies - to submit expressions of interest.
That could mean firms including Virgin Care, Serco and Circle bidding for the contract to run the trust, which has a turnover of £424 million.
Mr Kershaw wrote that he was “seeking to identify any parties who may be interested in being part of one or more of the solutions”.
That indicates different services could be hived off to be run by different providers.
I see that the Piss Poor Policies Millionaires Club Coalition’s plan to privatise the NHS is going well....
Aerofex has spent the best part of four years perfecting its 'hover bike' and its latest offering can hover up to 15ft in the air, reaching speeds of 30mph.
The craft is steered by the rider leaning from side to side - just like a motorcycle - in a style reminiscent of the speeder bikes from "Return of the Jedi".
In a statement accompanying the video, the company explains the latest test model has technology to keep dust and debris away from the pilot, which had been a problem with rotored vehicles in the past.
The company plans to use the technology to develop unmanned aerial vehicles that can be used to patrol borders where there are no roads.
Seen it all before, it’s called a hovercraft.....
Nepali daily Annapurna Post said Mohamed Salmo Miya chased the snake, which bit him in his rice paddy on Tuesday caught it and bit it until it died.
"I could have killed it with a stick but bit it with my teeth instead because I was angry," the 55-year-old Miya, who lives in a village some 200 km (125 miles) southeast of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, was quoted by the daily as saying.
The snake, called "goman" in Nepal, is also known as the Common Cobra.
Police official Niraj Shahi said the man, who was being treated at a village health post and was not in danger of dying, would not be charged with killing the snake because the reptile was not among snake species listed as endangered in Nepal.
Oh well, at least that’s his lunch sorted out.
A Norwegian art gallery lost a Rembrandt etching worth up to $8,600 in the mail after trying to save money on courier and insurance costs, the gallery's chief said on Thursday.
The Soli Brug Gallery in Greaaker, about 80 kilometres south of Oslo, purchased a copy of Rembrandt's 'Lieven Willemsz, van Coppenol, Writing-Master' made in around 1658 from a British dealer, only to have it lost in the Norwegian postal system
"Using a courier or special insurance is quite expensive so we have used regular mail until now," Ole Derje, the gallery's chairman said.
"It is worth around 40,000 to 50,000 crowns ($6,900-$8,600) and the postal service is offering us compensation of 500-1,000 crowns."
Could have been worse, they could have used Parcel Force....
A young hippo chased away from his herd at a South African game reserve has found a refreshing place to relax: the lodge's swimming pool. Now it's stuck there.
The young hippopotamus plopped into the pool on Tuesday at the Monate Conservation Lodge north of Johannesburg. The pool is big enough for the hippo to swim but its eight feet deep with no steps and "there's no way he can come out," lodge manager Ruby Ferreira told The Associated Press on Thursday.
A game capture team will sedate the hippo and lift it out of the pool with a crane, said MuIsabel Wentzel of South Africa's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Much of the water has already been drained to make the extraction easier. A veterinarian will be present during operation hippo extraction today.
Staff have been feeding the hippo. Ferreira said it's been noticeably relaxed with no other hippos fighting it for dominance, though the water in the pool has been getting mucky with hippo poop. The pool will be entirely drained before the hippo is lifted out.
Oh well that’s dinner sorted out then.....
That’s it: I’m orf to try out a Maser
And today’s thought:
Not entitled to a winter fuel allowance.