Friday, May 31, 2019

The Big TT Rant

I'm not saying I'm old, because I'm not but I am old enough to remember the TT how it was as opposed to what is has become.  Growing up on the Isle of Man in a poor family where family holidays just didn't exist it was something we all looked forward to, a time when the island came alive for a couple of weeks!

In the 80/90/early 00's period I'm talking about the whole festival atmosphere was brilliant.  90% of our visitors were from either Ireland, Europe or further afield and the primary reason for coming was to WATCH the racing.  If you look at it overall they were here entirely for the racing, the piss up, tits and strippers, playing on bikes on the prom and if they were lucky getting sucked off by some skank on the beach.  That is what the TT was.  Yes there was the odd person who forgot what side of the road to ride on (there isn't a Manx person alive who doesn't know how to say keep left please in German), yes people still got killed but generally the whole thing was very friendly and like I say as long as the racing was good and/or the beer flowed everybody was happy.  Even the strippers.

But in the last 7-10 years it all seems to have changed.  It looks like a lot of groups of young lads from England now arrive thinking that they are here to "ride the TT".  Fuck knows where they've got that idea (ITV4, social media?) but they turn up fresh off the 4-5 pints on the boat ready to do a "lap".  Instead of being here for a week or more they rock up for a few days with some sort of mission of self destruction and fuck everybody else.  I don't need to guess at this shit.  Last year I was backwards and forwards on the boat a lot during TT and got to see it first hand.  I'm no prude, my own drink driving conviction tells you I can be a proper right dickhead.  But the total "we're here to go as fast as we can, cos we're in the TT" attitude was fucking amazing.  So much so that I told my daughter not to bother picking me up from the boat I'd get a taxi, no way would I want her on the roads when those bellends roll off the boat.  Sorry to say but this is what the TT has become to a lot of people.

What makes it even worse is the moaning from these same cunts.  "It's too expensive", "the mountain roads always shut", "there's too many speed limits", "my tent is wet", "I'm not coming again and your island will be ruined!!!!"  For one, expensive compared to what?  I'm sure as hell they've never been to any other major sporting event.  People were genuinely moaning about paying £100- £140 a night to hire a whole HOUSE (where you could sleep 4 people).  Really?  During the Grand National last year you wouldn't find a ROOM in Liverpool for less than £500 a night.  Some were over £2000.  Don't get me started on the Champions League games.  It was always cheaper to come back to the island and then travel back over a few days later.  The mountain road is always shut?  Yes it is, mostly because some (lets generalise here) wannabe cunt has ran off the road because in their head they are "in the TT".  You are supposed to be here to watch the racing, not make our roads a fucking death trap.  Wet tents, same for the last 100+ years, get over it.  You could have always stumped out for a home stay, you know where the Manx open their houses to complete strangers or even give them over completely, for as little as £100 a night.  You're not coming back and it will ruin us?  Really.  Are people that backwards that they've done zero research about a place before going on holiday.  Nobody even knows whether the TT makes the island any money.  They knows the basic costs alright, and they can have a guess at roughly how much it benefits a handful of people.  But there is the huge unknown of the lost business everybody else suffers.  The island is pretty much closed for business for 2 weeks.  We are an international finance centre. At best, if everything was to be perfect it may account for 1% of GDP, trust me mate you're not keeping that island going in the slightest! The money argument will go on as long as the TT but it's a safe bet that other than government overtime and a small group of businesses the rest of the island benefits shit all from the TT.  We host it out of good will and a legacy, tradition.  Without it our government fears becoming anonymous, like Jersey and Guernsey and for us Manx there is a pride in welcoming people to what is a stunningly beautiful island, plus we like getting pissed in the beer tent :)

The extra speed limits?  This is where we are at.  As long as the TT continues to attract people who think they are here to test their skills on open roads then it's only going to get worse for extra restrictions.  At some point there will be a speed limit put on the mountain road.  At the same time I imagine there will no longer be the justification of making it 1 way.  Funnily enough when it's 2 way the rest of the year we manage just fine without daily destruction.  The same as for all the other parts where limits only come in for TT and only in recent years.  Hmm, it almost coincides with the  explosion of "we're here to do the TT" fuckwits?  Maybe at that point the "we're not coming again" gang will actually fucking stop coming and free up the boats for the people who used to come for a couple of weeks to WATCH the racing?  Hopefully.  Then all we need is burnouts on the prom and the strippers back and we can get back to a proper TT. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fuck The Fuck Off

Paid a salary of a quarter of a million!  Paid roughly £100,000 more than their UK equivalents!  Get the fuck out of here

Having had to deal with the local experts, or as I like to call them, Average Joe Bloggs Who Have An "Interest" In Whatever Specialty and then having spent months in the UK with my sick relative (having finally convinced the locals they were so far out of their depth it wasn't funny) dealing with people who actually know what they are doing I have no words for the anger I feel after reading that report.  I'm going to forward it on to a couple of the consultants across who dealt with my relative just for shits and giggles.  They openly laughed whenever the Isle of Man was mentioned.  The bumbling, time wasting, amateur hour consultants over here dragged it out for over a month, meaning that by the time he went away he was pretty much on a road to nowhere.  A man that walked in to A&E and who was clearly getting "much" worse with every day wasted whilst they played at being experts. All the time the family were left to rant and rave about how this clearly wasn't anything they were telling us.

I don't actually blame the hospital over here at all, the care he got from the nursing staff was good, excellent at times, even the health service as a whole when they were notified of how things were going south rapidly were very fair in their response.  I just resent I was the one that had to tell them whilst the so called "experts" swanned around like they owned the place, "reviewing it next week".  Fuck the fuck off.

As a certain member of this blog would say, let Google come in and take it over as an experiment, there is no way we it could possibly get worse or we get less value for money out of these consultants.

Disclaimer - Some consultants at Nobles are alright, nothing to justify those salaries in my opinion but alright.   

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Isle of Man Cruises?

Another classic backwards Isle of Man example.  There is "talk" of us getting a deep water berth so that we can attract more cruise visitors.

Once again the crabs fly out with their "it's all bullshit", "the island is crap", "there is nothing to do here", "we don't want change" bollocks.

I've been on a lot of cruises over the last 10 years or so, a lot.  More than I'd ever have really wanted to!  In life I try to judge things on first hand experience and luckily in this case I've got quite a bit.  So on European cruises you generally get 2 types of customer.  First of all the classic Brit/European.  The cruise is seen as a chance for an all inclusive summer holiday where they can get dressed up, buy a lot of booze on board yet never have far to stumble back to their bed.  If they have a family there is cheap baby sitting and kids entertainment chucked in.  We want nice weather.  When it comes to getting off the ship unless it is something they desperately want to see they will wander around the local area, perhaps buy some cheap tat then get back on the ship for lunch to save them having to spend any money on food.  Of course there are exceptions but this is pretty average and covers younger families all the way up to your classic pensioners.  On the smaller ships that visit the island this is the majority of what we get, just take a look in Strand Street on a cruise day and you'll spot them from a mile off.  Generally you don't make money off these people, the cruise lines do, the places they visit don't.

The second type of guest on European cruises is the American family on their major European vacation.  They are here to see Europe, history and have absolutely no bones about signing up for EVERY excursion going.  The weather doesn't matter, nor does travel times or little else for that matter.  They want to see historical shit no matter the cost.  They also want to buy stuff in Europe, cos you know it's from Europe.  They want local food, even if it's just a Walls choc ice in Rome (yes really).  We were once on a tour in Turkey with a group of Americans with Royal Caribbean.  It was supposed to be a historical tour of Ephesus but on the way it stopped at a leather jacket factory.  We all watched the presentation, the other couple of Brits left, the Americans who we were good friends with by then continued to empty the factory shop.  Between the 40-50 of them they must have bought at least that number of jackets, the cheapest of which was £500, some were over £2000!  They were buying them up as presents for family back home, the same jacket in multiple colours, it was brilliant to watch how excited the Turks were. No doubt you could have bought the same jacket from a local shop in town for £50.  We have been on countless tours with those types of cruise guest who get hyper at looking at a few rocks, wet themselves over a "genuine" castle, any castle. We've done the 6 hour tour to look at the thing in the middle of nowhere that turns out to be a grass mound and seen the excited reactions whilst we look on dumb struck thinking "WTF we have dozens of these back home".  In another instance I remember an American woman asking for a shops wifi so that she could use her online banking to transfer money in to her checking account cos she just had to "buy one of these for everybody back home".  It is the cruise lines and how they market a "stop" that creates the frenzy, they can turn nothing in to a must see, once on board a cruise ship you are bombarded with it.

Then because we've raved so much about how "back home" compares to where we are a few have even came to the island to see for themselves, and to a person they have absolutely loved the place!  If for one minute you think there isn't enough history, local culinary delights and unique attributes here to surpass a LOT (as in the vast majority) of European cruise destinations then you need to get out and explore your own island more.

But here comes the big BUT.  There are certain things that need to be right.  Make no mistake about it Douglas is a shit hole, a great big steaming turd of a shit hole.  As a bare minimum you expect to get off a cruise ship somewhere that is clean to walk around, I just took a walk around town this morning and there is fresh dog shit on just about every pavement away from the main street.  There are loads of rough cruise ports, run down, crap looking but always clean.  It's either that or you transfer everybody out of there ASAP, which to be honest wouldn't be a bad idea with Douglas.  The other thing is customer service, not just the meet and greet but in general.  We've found that they don't mind paying a premium but they expect the customer service to be friendly and polite.  They want to be appreciated and not treated like a cow ready for milking, or in the case of a lot of our local shops and services like an inconvenience.  If there is one thing that will get a place a bad reputation and shitty feedback on the end of cruise survey it's the attitude of the locals.  But again we have been places far worse than the Isle of Man so it could easily be resolved.

I also think that the whole £50 million back in 5 years is nonsense.  Lots of tender destinations do very well, it's not the tender process as a whole that is bad but the reliability.  Of course as a cruise guest it's much better to be able to dock because you can get off quicker but on every cruise we've ever been on those booked on excursions have priority to tender.  In other words your big spenders will always be able to get ashore first.  By berthing you are mostly enabling the "quick wander around and a bit of tat" an easier route off and a quicker route back on for their lunch.  And reliability is where we have the next big problem with the Isle of Man and why I suspect they want the deep water berth?  Our weather is fucking shit.  It's not the tender process, it's the "not" tender days when it's too rough to get anybody ashore.  I'm sure if you look back we get more than our fare share of them!  That's what really pisses cruise guests off and for some it's enough to hold a black mark against a place and the cruise line itself.  How do you get around that?  One option is to look at what they are doing with a deep water berth however there is NO WAY IN HELL that the government should be looking to spend that money.  The private sector absolutely has to get involved and then costs hammered down to the bare minimum.   I wouldn't trust our government to manage anything on that sort of scale, history tells you that the "yes men" with lovely ties in the civil service are fucking experts in spending other peoples money at the whim of a consultant without any notion of what's coming down the line.  Could it work?  If they can attract the right type of cruise guests and costs are controlled then yes, probably.  The island really does have a huge amount to offer but you need to get those that are happy to spend here to make it work.

The other much cheaper option is to take advantage of the fact we are a small island and that most of the time one side is going to be sheltered.  I'd look in to the feasibility of  having 2 or more tender landing locations, one on the east coast and one on the west.  Depending on the weather on the day depends on where you land.  Believe it or not the actual infrastructure for establishing a security area is all pretty mobile anyway and it's just a case of having a landing platform available in 2 locations.  Doesn't even have to be permanent.  The island is so small that it's hardly going to make any difference in terms of excursion timings and that type of thing.  As an added bonus on some days you're going to get people landing away from Douglas!  This isn't a new idea, we've been to plenty of locations where you berth but due to the weather, other shipping etc etc you don't find out which berth you're at until you wake up.  I can't see any reason why that couldn't work here?

At the end of the day you are more likely to attract the bigger ships carrying the sort of people who are likely to spend more money (cough American  cough) if you can give the cruise line at least the expectation that they will be able to get people ashore for the day.  Once ashore the Isle of Man has loads to offer that history hungry, local product hunting cruise guest and with a better attitude towards our own unique history and culture there isn't any reason why we couldn't cash my opinion.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Isle of Man Gets A Regulated Short Term Loan Provider And Facebook Explodes

The Isle of Man is a backwards little place, sorry but it is. I've lived here all my life, love the place, but I'm well traveled and in simple terms backwards is the only way to describe it. Don't believe me then just try and change something or do something new and see what happens? There is a reason why Manx Crabs is such a well known saying.

 Here's a quick example, one which has got on my tits over the last couple of weeks. Bearing in mind the number of dodgy, grey area tax dodging, profit from gambling, money laundering companies we have over here we've only recently got one of those pay day loan companies, high interest low amounts to get you to your next pay packet. 99.9% of us will NEVER need to use such a company. We can go to the bank, use a credit card, borrow money from family, or if you plan in advance join the recently setup credit union, all of which are much much better ways of borrowing money. If I needed to borrow money today I literally have a dozen options. However for the other .1% they're fucked. In the past on the island (like many other places) their ONLY option was to borrow from the local Fat Tony. Some "hard as nailz" cunt on the estate/recently moved off the estate that will hold that leverage over you and your family for forever and a day. They just love young mothers!! Of course this would never happen on the lovely safe, idyllic Isle of Man...yeah right! Seen it plenty of times first hand growing up at a time when people really didn't have the cash floating about they do now. So to an average well balanced human being what is better, Fat Tony or the regulated company charging an interest rate that is set in law? Anywhere else you'd see it as a necessary evil, shit but you understand people live different lives, on the Isle of Man they see it as the work of the devil! And when I say they I mean the upset middle class left wing fuckwits which seem to take over everything Facebook to do with the Isle of Man. Seriously on every advert I've seen there is an assortment of "scum", "should be in prison", "preying on the vulnerable" etc etc comments. Really? The people running Pogo Loans must have way more patience than me (either that or there is a much bigger market here than you'd think..kerrrrching), I'd have given up on using social media to advertise on the island a long time ago. In fact with some of the shit going their way I think I'd be inclined to say bollocks to the Isle of Man altogether.

 It's much better for the liberal avengers* that this stuff goes on away from social media so that they don't have to tell everybody who will listen how disgusting everything different from them is. And that in a sentence just about sums up the Isle of Man.

 * many of whom seem to work in the e-gaming/tax dodging industry

Friday, December 09, 2016

Ever Wondered What It Would Be Like If You Never Met Your Other Half?

I have.  It's a thought that jumps in to my mind every now and then, usually when I'm pissed off about something trivial.  I like to imagine a couple of Karate world championships, kickboxing titles, sunny beaches and an endless stream of hot chicks.  Cos, you know, that's what I was all about back in the day.

Whilst in reality with a total lack of any discipline or self control when it comes to alcohol and an OCD for doing stupid, pointless shit with computers I would have either ended up dead in a gutter or a penniless loner locked away wasting my life on something like this:-

Was a close call.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Visited Guernsey For The First Time

Heard that it was very similar to the Isle of Man.  I suppose other than a few minor things like being clean, having nice roads, all the shop owners being helpful and friendly, reasonable prices, everybody being able to speak English, a void of boarded up shops and did I mention how clean and well kept the place was very similar.

I'm assuming they spent some of their tax haven money on infrastructure instead of the government funding a massive job creation scheme for their "mates".

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Bookmakers Bitching About Leicester Winning The League?

Massive pay out...blah blah blah

Somebody should ask them how much they MADE in the bets that were lost on people backing the other 19 teams to win the Premier League. You know the teams that were massively backed by huge numbers of loyal supporters?  The Liverpool fans who every year is their year?  The book size for outright Premier League winner is fucking enormous!  I would be amazed if any significant bookmaker lost a single penny on Leicester winning the league.

Sometimes I think that mainstream media understands fuck all about fuck all, yet people just soak it all up.