Ed Lines – December 15, 2017

I DON’T know what all the fuss is about this ‘Bitcoin’ cryptocurrency that’s all the get-rich-quick rage right now. 

It’s certainly not new. When we were kids growing up down Sackville Street with an outside lavvy and a tin bath, we were always looking for bits of coin down the back of the sofa and the armchair, that had spilled from some unsuspecting visitor’s pocket.

Oh, the fun we had, hiding behind the same sofa with mum going “sssh!” when the rentman or the bloke from the Provident came collecting and things were even tighter than usual.

At least when you found tuppence or a tanner, it got you a bag of sherbert lemons from Mr Andrews’ shop, or an ice cream from the Crossley’s factory over North Road way. Pure joy.

The modern Bitcoin is apparently an alternative to sterling, the dollar, yen and even gold. It doesn’t exist in any visible form, you can’t buy a tube of Smarties with it despite what was a tenner’s worth now being ‘worth’ thousands, and I have yet to speak to, or read, a single financial expert who properly understands it.

Thanks, but I’ll stick to believing in Santa.

Ravensthorpe tip used to be on the end of our road. We scratted about down there as well, perhaps not quite expecting to find a leprechaun’s crock of gold, but to come across something of incredible value to our unspoiled young eyes – something like an old pram we could turn into a go-kart.

But we were fed, watered, clothed (new ‘Sunday best’ every Whitsuntide, even if mum had to get in deeper hock with the Provvy) and if someone had told us we were in dire poverty, we’d have scratched our heads (not nits for once) and wondered what the daft ha’porth was on about.

So what if Christmas was little more than a Beano annual, selection box and a few bits? When you don’t routinely get spoiled, that qualifies as special. As the worn out saying goes – and as with the cane that we used to get for misbehaving at school – “it did us no harm”.

Certainly that sparse 1960s upbringing lends itself to respecting the few bob you eventually accumulate. So no, I don’t care if £1,000 of mysterious Bitcoin today could be worth £10,000 this time next week. 

I know my luck. It would more likely be £1, which is why I prefer hard graft to a lottery ticket.

I work hard for my cash and if I can’t see it, count it and hide it (I prefer the bank actually – don’t get any clever ideas) then it’s an ‘I’m Out’ from this Dragon’s Den.

LIKE Bitcoin, poverty is all the rage right now, especially among the far left class warriors intent – and looking likely to succeed – in both ruining the UK economy and jackbooting democracy out of existence.

But poverty? Really? I haven’t a clue how many people in England still live in houses with no hot running water or outside toilets, but I’ll bet the entire UK total is lower than Dewsbury had in the 1960s.

A friend helped out at a food bank recently and intimated that half the people using it were on their mobile phones and overweight. Not so poverty stricken then.

“Real wages fall again” howled the BBC (who else?) on Wednesday with news that rising average pay of 2.3% was outstripped by an inflation rate of 3.1%.

Listen to those Jeremiahs and you could picture people flooding out of houses to join the queue for the food bank.

But this is what struck me – apparently that 3.1% inflation was largely swayed by rising airfares and computer games.

Now excuse me, but if you can afford to fly hither and thither, and park your fat arse on a sofa playing video games for hours on end, then ‘poverty-stricken’ doesn’t quite do it. Choosing between the Costa del Sol, new Call of Duty game, or a hot meal, is about lifestyle choice, not a place in the poorhouse.

Sure there’s poverty in this country – but barely in the sense the liberal idiots who have ruined it with their all-pervasive sense of self-entitlement and grievance pretend.

To them, if you can’t access the self-same luxuries of people who’ve actually grafted hard, then you’re a victim.

There’s a poverty of community, of family, of common sense and of appreciation that just sometimes, you’re allowed to take responsibility for the pathetic malaise you’ve sullenly sunk into.

So grow a pair and get a life – or wait until “Oooh Jer-re-my Cor-bynnn” robs the rich on your behalf.

Just don’t come crying to me when everyone ends up worse off – except Jezza and his friends. And even for them, it’ll be a pretty small tent to all cram into.

Happy Christmas.

I DON’T know what all the fuss is about down Devon way, where staff at Hyde Park Junior School were left red-faced after publishing a photo in their newsletter of four reindeer mating (see right) on the front of a Christmas jumper. 

I once went to Torquay in the height of summer and can confirm that the local youth get up to this kind of activity on a regular basis, although admittedly some look like they’ve actually left school.

But it’s all okay anyway – just explain to the kiddikins that these are either gay or transgender reindeer, exercising their  right to join in the festive fun. It’s educational, you fools!

Which brings us nicely to news that the number of transgender prisoners in England and Wales has increased 80% in 12 months. Not surprisingly about half of this lot were convicted sex offenders, who clearly thought it a novel way to make light of doing ‘hard’ time.

BREAKING news from an NHS survey finding that women are more unhappy than men at every stage of their lives until they reach the age of 85. Given that by then most of their blokes have popped their clogs, how is that news? And exactly how much money did the ‘skint’ NHS waste on this pointless exercise?

DEMOCRACY at work in Westminster then, with 11 Conservative MPs choosing their friends and business acquaintances in the EU over the will of the country.

They defied Brexit and helped humiliate the Government – not always a bad thing – as is their right, so let’s not jump up and down unnecessarily about that.

But democracy has many sides, so I certainly hope that activists in those 11 Conservative associations exercise their right to challenge the sitting MPs and hopefully get them kicked out.

And it is interesting that Labour’s Brexit backing MPs were all successfully cowed into toeing the line, probably in the knowledge that Corbyn and McDonnell’s Momentum thugs would waste no time hounding them out of office if they missed a single chance to embarrass Theresa May.

From both sides that, sadly, is the politics of today – where narrow self-interest and petty politicking is sacrificed every time over principle. 

HAPPY birthday to me. And no, even if you’re feeling particularly frivolous I really don’t want a calculator, much less an abacus.

I can count fine and dandy thank you very much. All the way to 43, which is how old I’ve decided I’m going to be for the next 12 months. 

The year after? Who knows? Maybe I’ll be 51, maybe I’ll be 38. Or 70. I’ll see how I feel. 

What do you mean, “that’s cheating? 

Listen, you can buy an old car with barely any miles on the clock that’s been cared for like a newborn puppy, or one that’s nearly new, but has done 100,000 miles and been driven like a dodgem.

So instead of being a human on a 58 plate (as in 1958) I’m giving myself a personalised reg. 

Well, I weigh less than I did when I was 43, have a better haircut (you call it bald, I call it fashionably short – it’s still better than a Bobby Charlton!) and I’m probably fitter now. Even my golf’s better. 

So if you lot want to get old and depressed, suit yourselves. ‘Young’ Locky might just go out tonight and get down with the kids…

PS: Talking of pressies there’s a new business opened up across the road, UK Wrestling, and they’re advertising birthday wrestling parties. 

So if you really want to treat this old dog, book a tag match for me and Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, plus Strictly pair Gemma Atkinson and Oti Mabuse … that would either take years off me, or finish the job completely – the latter especially if you make the mistake of inviting the wife.

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