James Miller


Friday, September 30, 2005


Harrassment in the Office

Twenty years ago, I worked in an office of about fifteen people, with very much a balance of the sexes. It was a happy place and we all got on very well.

One day, one of the girls, read out a list of offences of an office pest given in an unfair dismissal case, that was reported in the Sun.

There was laughter all round, as nearly ever offence happened in our office.

The difference was that we all joked and made fun of each other and nobody meant or took any offence. We knew the limits and if anybody had exceeded them, everybody would have censured the offender.

It would be sad if such a happy place couldn’t be created today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Kids on Anti-Depressants

I was often mildly depressed as a child and it wasn’t always the happiest time for me.

This mild depression got worse in my early fifties. I also felt lethargic and started to suffer from other problems, such as migraines, stomach upsets, bad skin and severe dandruff. Nothing too bad and I put it down to getting older.

Then two years ago, I was diagnosed as a coeliac, which means I’m allergic to wheat and barley.

What a change in my life! I just wish that I’d been diagnosed all those years ago.

Remember that according to EU statistics, that one in a hundred of us, could have coeliac disease.

So how many of these kids on anti-depressants have been tested?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Fuel Protests

Silly aren't they!

As I have said many times before, fuel prices should be much higher.

Compared to about thirty years ago, fuel costs twenty times more, beer thirty times and house about forty.

So we should actually direct our protests at the cost of houses.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005



I get back from holiday and they're at it again!

Everybody blames everybody else, but one of the reasons that they fight is that Ulster is one of the dullest places on earth. They're also very little work to do and prices are on the whole higher than in the rest of the UK.

So fighting is a cheap and worthwhile pursuit. Especially when you're locked into such silly things as marching to annoy the other side.

But these problems would not happen at all if the province was on a sound economic footing. That can't happen whilst we subsidise it and the Irish really don't want anything to do with it, because of the bigots on both side. They'd much prefer it was our problem than their's!

So what should we do?

1. Impose an extra tax on the province because of all the damage and trouble they cause.

2. Ban all marches.

3. Bring out all British troops.

4. Give them complete home rule and let the civil war start.

5. Banish Ian Paisley and any others who spit the vomit of hatred to St. Helena or preferably Rockall.

6. Give it to the Irish.

7. Put a wall round it and use it as a prison for anybody Tony Blair doesn't like.

Take your pick!

None will work until the province has lots of jobs and whilst they fight they won't get those. Especially, as any business setup in Ulster has much higher costs than say Oldham, Bradford, Paisley, Swansea or Yarmouth or any other place in the UK.

Nothing changes! And nothing will!

Monday, September 12, 2005



Just got back from Ancona after a weekend in the sun.

There wasn't much sun but Ancona was a surprise. The guidebooks have it as rather short on anything to look at, but they have made the best of it, with good maps and proper signposting. A lot of towns could do no worse than follow Ancona.

I'd recommend it for a visit.

We stayed at the Hotel Emilia a few miles to the south. A very pleasant hotel in a superb setting, with excellent food. Celia felt it had one of the best and cleanest hotel pools she'd ever used.

From my point of view, they also offered gluten-free food. Pasta included!

Monday, September 05, 2005


Petrol Prices

Am I alone in welcoming all of these rises in petrol prices?



I’ve worked at home since 1972. In that time, I’ve created two world class businesses and now with the Internet, I’m after a third.

Commuters are stupid.


Downloading Music

Downloading is fine and I’d always pay for it.

But what is interesting is that some companies like Time-Warner are very reluctant to publish their back catalogue. I’m a very old fan of Dory Previn and her United Artists songs of the 70s are easily available on CD. But the Time Warner stuff isn’t.

The corollary is that the Time Warner albums are always being downloaded illegally, whereas the United Artists recordings are generally bought or downloaded legally.

So is a lot of the fault with some record companies?


The Last Test

Jones the Swing is possibly injured and should not play if there is any chance he can't play a full part.

But who plays instead?

Tremlett is raw and untested.

Anderson was good and may be coming back to his best.

But Collingwood is the man.

Australia have proved that their batting is week and the substitution of Collingwood for Jones in that department may not be too much of a reduction.

Collingwood is a fine batsman and he would be adding a new dimension to England. He would increase by perhaps fifty or so runs the size of the likely total. And if the Oval pitch is a batsman's paradise, and he comes in with 400 on the board, he'd turn a good total into a match-winning one.

He's also a very good fielder.

So it much be Collingwood.


Guns in New Orleans

Or America for that matter!

We've had the tsunami and lots of other disasters in recent years, but what sets the disaster and subsequent chaos in New Orleans apart from everything else, is the use of guns to go looting and shoot anybody who happened to be in the way.

America will not sort out its problems until it abolishes the death penalty, cuts down gun ownership, respects the environment and pays the right price to defend itself from natural disasters.

Why should it abolish the death penalty? Because it gives message that life is cheap. To see people fight cancer and other diseases with such courage, tells me that they don't think life is cheap.

So why should America?

Sunday, September 04, 2005


New Orleans and Baghdad

On Monday this week, we had two disasters; hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the death of around a thousand Shia pilgrims in Baghdad.

Perhaps now nearly a week on we can see that America has truly lost the plot compared to the rest of the world. Those with cars in New Orleans left the poor blacks and the eldery to their fate in the city. In Baghdad Sunnis who supposedly never even talk to the Shia did their best to help and in the Sunni stronghold of Falluja three hundred men went to give blood.

The main reaction in New Orleans was to order shoot to kill for looters. Imagine what would have happened to the government, if they ordered that in the UK. They would have had to resign.

But Bush didn't do that!

Like Nero he carried on enjoying himself.

America should hang its head in shame.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Golden Panda - An Obituary

Golden Panda was born on the 25th May 1985 and was not a particularly classy racehorse.

But she will always be remembered for her win at Nottingham on the 8th August 1988. 8888! And she was named after a Chinese restaurant. As the price was 12-1, the bookies in Mildenhall were cleaned out by the local Chinese! Luckily for bookmakers not too many realised the connection!

She was with us all her life since she left the Duke of Marlborough's stud to go into training and in the last couple of years she started to get Cushings disease and quite arthritic. So the end was not unexpected.

But it was sad as she wasn't that old for a horse.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


What Is The North For?

If the north is so good, why does it need so much subsidy compared to London, the South East and East Anglia.

Remember that with the exception of Sage, there is no truly successful high-tech company in the North, that has been started in the last few years.