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Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Animal escapes from zoo

I read in this morning's Telegraph that in San Francisco, a tiger escaped from the zoo and killed someone. My sympathies go to the victim's family, but it is the tiger I wish to discuss at this stage.

Damn those tigers, giving other members of the animal kingdom a bad name. Like the tiger, I am also an escaped animal, but upon leaving the zoo under my own steam, I employed a bit of common sense and laid low for a while. Maybe, for any other animals reading this blog, you might like to give common sense a go after escaping from the zoo, and not attack humans (not even if they are active members of the Liberal Democrats)?

Merry Monkeyin' Christmas....

What did my beloved readers get this season? Do let the Monkey with a Blue Rosette know if you had a good holiday. I say holiday, as I'm not allowed to mention Christmas; as you all know, I work at a directory enquiries call centre when not being political, and it fell to me to work the December 25 shift. Now I'd taken a few days off to go campaigning in Barmpotsby before the festive period, and then went on the booze cruise to Calais with the Barmpotsby Conservative Constituency Association. When I returned to work on 25 December, I became aware of the new company rules.

My boss had been monitoring one of my calls, and I had wished the caller a "Merry Christmas". I was pulled aside and warned that if I said it again, I would be up on a disciplinary, because of the new rules. "What new rules?" I said. The new rules that we weren't to mention Christmas to callers, in case we offended them if they were not Christian. How can we offend them? I asked. I know people of different religions who celebrate Christmas, not because of believing in Christ, but rather enjoying the holiday as a chance for love, caring, thinking of others and being with family. Ah, my boss said, but someone of a different religion might get offended and we don't want to take that risk.

I had been unaware of the rules. The only advise my boss could give regarding that was to ensure I remained in contact with work on my days to be aware of any updates. If we must insist on greeting them, we must use the politically neutral "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays". Blimey.

Later that day, when a caller was ringing in to get the Vodafone helpline to activate a new phone she'd received for Christmas, it slipped my mind and I wished the caller a "Happy Christmas". My boss overheard this, and now I'm on a warning after my disciplinary meeting today. This is political correctness gone mad, I said, but it didn't help. I am but a phone monkey in a call centre.

So, let me take this opportunity to advise one and all via my blog that I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS, whichever section of society you belong to, and whether or not you choose to celebrate Christmas.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Back from France

Ah, to be a monkey on the booze-cruise in France, what a weekend I've just had! A great time was had by all, and we all have enough beer and wine and spirits to last us a couple of days at least.

There were a few problems, not least of which with Vlad, our driver. His visa seemed to be a little out-of-date, but it was sorted in time for him to drive the bus back at nightfall. Not many photos, I'm afraid, but here's a couple of the ones I did take.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Forthcoming Events

I attended the EGM of the Barmpotsby Constituency Conservative Association in Yorkshire earlier this week, and there was some heated debate over the conduct of Johan, as previously mentioned, but the result of the meeting was that it should be left alone for now; we'll move forward.

I now have a couple of things to look forward to, not least of which is Christmas. Vlad, the nocturnal Romanian immigrant and my chum from Ludlow, will be driving the rented minibus for us through the night next weekend down to Dover so we can get the boat over to Calais, for the Barmpotsby Constituency booze cruise; nothing political about it, and probably against party rules, but we don't give a monkeys (except me, as THE monkey!), and it's just a good chance to have a nice day out with like-minded people to fuel up for Christmas.

Don't forget, campaign Saturdays are every Saturday (except next Saturday of course, because we'll be in France!), meeting at 10am outside the Ferret and Trouserleg in Upper Barmpotsby. Let's get another ten thousand leaflets out before the year ends!

Coming up at the end of January, I will also be attending a meeting in my capacity as PPC for Barmpotsby, a meeting to be held in Bristol, organised by Nick Webb; it's a bit of a trek from Barmpotsby, so I'll probably be getting the train down from Ludlow instead. It's a Conservative Future Election Discussion, to be chaired by the blogger John Moorcraft. I occasionally read his blog, but I have to say it's rather dry, especially now he seems to be doing an Iain Dale and just using his blog as an advertising vehicle, constantly harping on about his soon to be published book that he's written. No doubt it will be a good read though, so I can forgive him for that.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Gillian Gibbons - a clarification

Last weekend, in Barmpotsby, Yorkshire, one of my campaign team, Johan, made a comment about the case of the teacher Gillian Gibbons, who was jailed in Sudan for calling a teddy bear Mohammed. Whilst helping me canvassing, he spoke about the case and said to a voter on the doorstep: "It's the first time that anyone's ever called for the early release of a Scouser from prison."

This obviously did not go down well with either the voter, or myself, and overhearing this, I immediately reprimanded Johan. It furthermore did not go down well with the people of Barmpotsby, as the local press, the Barmpot Mercury got word and printed a less than complimentary article.

I would like to disassociate myself completely with Johan's comments, and will be doing so when I meet with the consituency association for an Emergency General Meeting next Tuesday. Johan has since resigned his membership of the party.