Friday, 29 April 2011


You can't get away from that marriage and I make no apologies for referring to it myself because I think marriage is important. Consequently, I am happy to recycle a blog I originally posted on 13 July 2009.

Steve: I see that the Tories don't approve of giving cohabiting couples the same rights as married couples.

Dave: Is that right?

Steve: Yeah, they also want to make divorce harder.

Dave: Well, that's no bad thing.

Steve: You don't think so?

Dave: No, well divorce is painful and expensive, look at Brian.

Steve: He should never have married her in the first place. He was never home, that's why Sarah started to look elsewhere.

Dave: I suppose they should have lived together.

Steve: The amount of time Brian spent on the road you wouldn't have known that they were living together.

There is a short pause while both reflect on Brian's recent history.

Dave: Steve?

Steve: Yes?

Dave: You approve of cohabiting couples getting the same rights as married ones, yeah?

Steve: Yeah.

Dave: Well how do you know when two people are cohabiting, then?

Steve: They live together.

Dave: Pete and Sandy live together but they aren't cohabiting.

Steve: Given the fact that Sandy is a lesbian everybody knows that they aren't cohabiting.

Dave: So the difference between just living together and cohabiting is whether their friends know that they are cohabiting or not.

Steve: I guess so.

Dave: But what about Mark and that Susan, she started off as a flat mate and they ended up getting married. What if they had just moved into the same bedroom in the same flat? When would they have stopped being flat mates and become a couple?

Steve: Well, they started going out last November.

Dave: Should they have got married rights last November, then?

Steve: Well not until they had been going out for a while.

Dave: So, when then.

Steve: You remember at that Karaoke evening at The Bull when Mark announced the fact that they were engaged?

Dave: Yeah.

Steve: Well, people who want to cohabit should go through a similar sort of announcement so that everybody knows what they intend to do.

Dave: You mean announce your intention in front of a group of peers, friends and relatives.

Steve: Yeah.

Dave: But the authorities don't know that you have done that. They will need to record it somewhere so that everybody can tell from which date the rights begin.

Steve: Well, there could be a person who you went to and told and the rights would start from the date that you told this official person.

Dave: So it would make sense to invite your mates and family along to this telling the official so that it became a sort of celebration of your getting together?

Steve: Yes!

Dave: So, let's put that all together. If cohabiting couples want to get the same rights as married couples then they need to invite a few friends, peers and relatives to a special place where they stand up and tell an official person that they intend to spend the rest of their life as a cohabiting couple.

Steve: That's right! It's a good idea isn't it?

Dave: Steve, you plonker, you have just re-invented marriage!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Weasel Words

You will recall that just under a year ago I blogged about the word deficit being used as if it was the word debt. Well, another word is being abused. The word is re-structured as in ‘Greece is considering re-structuring its debt.’ Whenever you hear this sentence you should mentally change it to ‘Greece is considering defaulting on its debt’, for this is what is meant. Quite why this euphemism is being used I do not know.

Incidentally, if you were in a situation where you had accumulated a large debt, a debt so large that you could no longer afford the interest payments, would you consider it wise to solve the problem by taking on more debts? Of course not, but as far as I can see this is exactly the approach that has been taken by Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Given this illogical approach it would seem to be only a matter of time before all three countries eventually succumb to the inevitable re-structuring of defaulting on their debt. What happens then to the billions of pounds that we have given to European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism?