Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Getting grilled

Bob Crow.

That's a name that should send shivers down your spine. He is the last bastion of old school unionism and probably responsible for bringing more people out on more strikes than anyone else in recent years. My heart sank when I see he has sorted out a deal with National Rail to keep the trains moving during the Olympics. Except the deal doesn't actually prevent Crow and his cronies from calling a strike if it suits them. Plus they're getting a fat pay rise, with no one to be sacked during the world's greatest festival of sport...but shock horror gasp, they can be suspended on full pay. It appears that after months of negotiation, Network Rail chief executive David Higgins has pulled his trousers down, bent over and allowed the unions to shaft him until he has a rectal prolapse, but insists on smiling about it. At RMT headquarters they'll be celebrating with the finest champagne for years to come. The inevitable consequence of this deal will be an ever more confident union willing to bring its members out at the drop of a hat (even the image of Crow getting his member out when someone drops their hat makes me squirm) knowing they hold the reigns. Pay increases like this are greedy and little better than the selfishness which we expect from City bankers. The only people who will suffer are rail travellers who have to fork out more and more from their reduced wallets. I'd like to give Crow a grilling about why he thinks this selfish greed is right when it harms many of the people who declare themselves 'working class'. But as it's been pointed out to me, you can't deny the man does his job very well. If only someone who's got a spine would stand up to him....before the next round of tube strikes.

And talking of grilling....

I'm a great fan of grilled food...The Cat's Mother prefers to fry the sausages and bake the fish in a sauce, but The Boy and I have grown up grilling our food. The Cat's Mother's response is always, "Well if you don't like it, then cook for yourself." And that seems a little unfair, as clearly my role is culinery strategy and hers is tactics. Its the division of labour and accepting your responsibilities I say....

As it happens, and in a shameless nod towards commercialism, I'd like you all to note that next week is National Get Grilling Week. I'd love to believe that this is a tradition firmly grounded in the ancient rite of boar hunting as practiced by our ancestors, but I suspect that isn't the case. It may be, but I'm not holding my breath. So the people that make George Foreman are sending us a grill, some food and some recipes for us to try next week. I used to have an electric grill, but in the clearing out of the kitchen in Brighton it joined the electric pancake maker in the skip. So it will be good to have a replacement...I used to cook all sorts of things on it; I wonder if I'll be able to cook an omelette on it liked I did the last one? I will report back on how much we've managed to turn into charcoal, which is no bad thing because in the fine weather we're having I like a good BBQ too.

Anyway, normal BBC-like service resumed tomorrow