Billy Makin Gets Political

Following on from the first article where Billy told us how Ivan Marks revealed the secret of catching bream, here he reveals the winning format for all bream matches and how the philosophy can transfer to canals. And after that he gets a little political and some might say controversial. But by definition, isn’t that what we want from our characters? And if you want to read more of Billy’s ramblings, scroll down to the bottom where you’ll find a link to his latest book on Amazon.


Apologies for losing yesterday’s posting – it was not my fault. I was horrified to discover that laptop computers come in both male and female formats – mine is of the female variety, and every month, she goes into her “I hate men” mode.

I discovered many years ago that golf clubs can also be of a dual sexual persuasion, and during periods of hormonal imbalance, I would be better off walking round the golf course with a cricket bat.
Back to the Masterclass.

I am now back on the peg 29 aquarium, and between my slipping the net under a series of slabs, Ivan continued to speak, and told about the ten bite rule.

” You only ever need ten bites to win a bream match anywhere in the country”, he said. “That works out at one bite every half hour”.

I thought about it for a couple of minutes before re-baiting and casting out again.

” If the shoal are settled, and feeding confidently, you should never miss a bite if your set up is right; you will also eliminate most of the line bites as the fish will no longer be nervously milling around”.

The quiver tip twitched. I twitched and reached for the rod. The stick once again rapped me on the knuckles.

Ivan continued with the masterclass, and slowly, the tip swung round and the rod began to follow it.

These bream were becoming a damned nuisance and were interrupting my concentration.

There would be many opportunities to catch bream in the future, but to receive a 2 hour lesson from the master was a once in a lifetime chance to skip many years of trial and error – imagine picking up a lifetime’s knowledge of bream fishing and possibly even moving on from there.

“It isn’t all about size 12’s hooks and double worm”, he said. “Sometimes you will have to fish a single maggot on a size 20’s, then it is even more important to take your time and make every bite count; confidence is the key – you have build up the fish’s confidence before you even think about catching them”.

For those of you who have been privileged enough to have watched Ivan in full cry among a bream shoal, I’m sure that you will agree, he could be bloody infuriating.

He would slip the net under a slab – drop his rod on the rest – light a fag, and turn around to talk to the gallery that always accompanied him, sometimes for up to 10 minutes.

This wasn’t Ivan simply being Ivan as we all thought. This was Ivan observing his 10 bite rule, he was resting his swim, after all, he only needed one bite every half hour.

I have moved on a few years and was sat on the Trent and Mersey canal somewhere in Stafford.

This was Dave Berrows’ country, and winning in this part of the world was as easy as falling off a log – you simply had to catch one more fish than Berrowsy.
Dave had drawn well in a noted gudgeon area and was odds on.

My swim wasn’t too good, but occasionally threw up an odd decent caster roach.

To my right, was a fishy little bush, and I fired an odd caster over for the first half hour as I scratched around for a few gudgeon. I then pushed over the long pole, and slipped the net under a decent roach.
Now was decision time.

How many of you would have pushed out the pole again? I suspect everyone – I didn’t – I had been to the master class. Throughout the entire match, I only pushed it across a dozen times.
I got my ten bites.

As for Dave Berrows? Massively over-rated – I had annihilated him by almost 2 ounces in his own back garden.

I believe that he went into therapy shortly after.

(Parts one to three of Makin’s Masterclass can be found HERE)

Philosophically Speaking (One)

I suppose that it was around 1950 that dad was sat in a confined, rather claustrophobic railway carriage on his way to Lancaster, for a long weekend’s fishing.

This was long before the railways had invented their weapon of mass destruction known as a British Rail sandwich, and their British Rail cup of tea that killed 99.9% of all household germs.
The carriage was pulled by a steam train, each compartment being totally enclosed, with no interconnecting corridors.

This of course presented problems if you were caught short; you either clenched your buttocks as tightly as possible, or you stuck your bottom out of the window, and splattered anyone unfortunate enough to be in range as the train sped by.

After a couple of stops, a chap climbed into dad’s carriage, and being the only 2 people there, they struck up a conversation, dad explaining that he was off to the Lancaster Canal for a weekend’s fishing, and the other chap explaining that he was off to Lancaster to kill a couple of people.

Dad wasn’t too happy. He was trapped in an enclosed carriage with a homicidal maniac, and the only escape was through an open window, as the ground below flew past at around 50 mile an hour.

I guess that I would be in my mid-teens when dad told me the story of his close encounter with the man who probably killed more people than any man in British history. Even Doctor Harold Shipman struggled to barely reach half the number.

The homicidal maniac was called Albert Pierrepoint, and he was indeed off to Lancaster prison in order to kill 2 murderers.

Uncle Albert was Britain’s hangman, and in an illustrious career, stretching from 1934 to 1956, was responsible for making some 400 men and women a couple of inches taller by stretching their necks.
You notice that I said men AND women. We did indeed hang women in those days, probably under the pretense of equal rights for feminists, although I cannot recall reading anywhere that Emily Pankhurst and her suffragette movement ever demanded the right to be hung.

As this is a philosophy column, I must naturally move on to the morality aspect, which of course closely relates to the biblically prescribed revenge of ‘EYE FOR AN EYE’.

There just seems to be something morally repulsive about hanging a woman – strangling them yes, the temptation is often difficult to resist.

The last woman to be hung in Britain was Ruth Ellis, in July, 1955. Ruth murdered her lover, David Blakely, who was reputedly a serial abuser ‘Uncle Albert’ delivered the coup de grace.
I would guess that in this day and age, Ruth would have received no more than a suspended sentence, and would be feted by an increasingly vocal left-wing feminist movement.
If so, where would these Social Justice Warriors stand on Myra Hindley?

In the early 1960s, Myra, and her lover Ian Brady, tortured and killed children, and then buried their bodies on Saddleworth Moor.
All murders are not equal.

There are degrees of cruelty, violence, and perversion that should always be taken into account when passing sentence.

The murder committed by Ruth Ellis, in NO way compares to the evil acts of Hindley.

Both Hindley and Brady were arrested in 1965 capital punishment being abolished in the same year. As always, timing is everything, and in this case, it was too bloody soon!
Uncle Albert should have been brought out of retirement.

Incidentally, Annie, a good friend of mine, looked after Hindley in prison for the last 12 years of her life. No one mourned when she died.

Albert Pierrepoint retired in1956, but not before he carried out the most infamous of all his executions, and one that is still argued over to this day.

The date was the 2nd of November in 1952, and 2 young men called Christopher Craig and Derek Bentley were disturbed whilst committing a burglary.

Bentley was grabbed by a policeman, who then called on Craig to, ‘Hand over the gun’

Bentley looked at Craig and said, ‘Let him have it.’

Craig shot the policeman in the head, killing him instantly.

Now, where do you stand on this?

The defence argued that Bentley meant, ‘Let him have the gun’, and the prosecution argued that he meant shoot him.

The jury believed the prosecution, and Albert Pierrepoint was once again called on to demonstrate his skills.

Why the controversy then?

Craig, the one who shot the policeman, was only 16, and too young to be hung. He was released from prison 10 years later.

Bentley, a semi retarded illiterate, who had a mental age of 11, was 18 years old, and was hung, even though he never had a gun, and was unaware that Craig was armed.
Murder, and murder by association, i.e. in this case, being there, was a capital offence, but only applied to people who were 18 and older.

I would guess that the majority of people no longer believe in capital punishment, especially when applied to cases like those of Ruth Ellis and Derek Bentley.

Are you sure? – Are you really sure?

Remember what I said earlier, all murders are not equal.

Should Saddam Hussain have been sentenced to life in prison and not hanging, after all, he only killed and tortured a few hundred thousand of his own people? Hitler was far worse, he was responsible for the deaths of 60 million.

What if it was your daughter, grand-daughter, or wife that was raped and brutally murdered?

What if the Manchester suicide bomber had simply planted the device, walked away, and then been captured?

Perhaps your principles would be tested to their limit. I know what I would do, but I’m not going to say.

The thought of choking on one’s own testicles is disgusting, and has no right to appear in a philosophical column such as this, so I remain strictly neutral

Philosophically Speaking (Two)

A few years ago, as I sat in my Tenerife villa, I picked up the TV remote, and considered hurling it through the TV screen.

A couple of years later, I wished that I had done, as thieves broke into the villa and nicked it!

The cause of my anger was almost certainly felt by everyone in Briton, and still touches a raw nerve to this day whenever I think about it.

Marching in perfect unity, were a battalion of British soldiers, heads held high, pride bursting out of their pristine, immaculate uniforms.

This was their town, the home of their military headquarters, and had been throughout two world wars. It would not be fair to describe the battalion as elite. All of Britain’s regiments are elite.
Their ranks were depleted.

After a tour of Afghanistan, they had suffered casualties. Many of them had been wounded, and some of them had returned in body bags.

Standing on the pavement, as the battalion proudly marched by, were a large group of Muslims, dressed in traditional Muslim clothing, carrying placards, and hurling abuse at the young soldiers.
At the time, how I wished to be there. I would now be writing this column from a prison cell.

What the hell were British soldiers doing in Afghanistan anyway, other than to allow Tony Blair to play poodle to George W Bush’s rottweiler?

Americ’s involvement was no more than a retaliatory smoke screen for their incompetence in ignoring a series of intelligence warnings about 9/11.

Who gave a damn about an Al Quada terrorist training camp in a backward 3rd world country, where men’s sexual deviances rarely included women, and often have 4 legs. The whole cesspit of a country had never been free from war for over 250 years, and having sent the Russian invaders packing with their tails between the legs, they then set about the British and Americans using military equipment supplied by America.

Is anyone surprised at that?

Pause awhile and think about it ——- should the police have stood idly by that day, as brave British troops, many of whom had lost friends in the Eastern shithole, marched proudly by, heads held high, only to be subjected to a torrent of Islamic abuse?

Were these bearded, brain-washed Muslims brave men?

After all, the troops carried rifles, stuck on the end of which was a gleaming piece of sharpened steel known as a bayonet.

For some of us, the temptation to shove the bayonet up a Muslim arse would have been irresistible, and reflects well on the discipline of the British soldier.

Well, on reflection, once the anger had subsided, I came to the conclusion that the police and the troops acted correctly.

We live in a democracy, where freedom of speech is sacrosanct, as is the freedom to demonstrate our views and disapprovals. Just because we disagree with some bearded muppet with an extremely low IQ, and a perverted sense of morality, does not give us the right to censor him.

Far from being a bad thing, the Muslim inspired demonstration was in fact most welcome. It gave the British people a taste of things to come â an insight into the mind-controlling influence that a cradle to grave ideology can have on an easily manipulated, low intelligence, race of people.

I will substantiate the above comment, particularly the low intelligence part next time.

It was shortly after the above incident, as I was watching the news (same TV, before the thieves nicked it), that the footage of a major earthquake in the Middle East was being broadcast.

As is often the case in these natural disasters, the Israelis were there to help, and were just in the process of rescuing a bearded Muslim man who had been trapped under a pile of concrete for a couple of days.

The man, covered in blood, then started reciting the Quran, and praising Allah (Allahu Akbar) for rescuing him.

Lying under the rubble, smashed to smithereens, were his wife and 3 young children, and he was thanking Allah for saving him.

Allah didn’t save him, the Israelis did.

Allah had created the earthquake.

Allah had tried to kill him.

Allah had just killed his entire family.

Allahu Akbar my arse.

For the life of me, I cannot imagine anyone, other than a brain-addled, brain- washed, brain-dead, religiously indoctrinated idiot, thanking their God for killing their entire family.
They must be some form of sub-species, and I really do not want them inhabiting my world.

Fishing and TesticlesSo there you are. If you want to read more pearls of Makin’s wisdom here’s a great opportunity. Billy was a legendary canal angler before he launched Makin’s Fisheries, virtually inventing the model for modern commercial fisheries. He’s currently running a bar in Thailand of all places but that has given him the time to write and publish a book called Fishing and Testicles. Obviously with a title like that you’re not going to learn how to tie a grinner knot but it will definitely leave you grinning from ear to ear and it’s exceptionally good value for just a tenner. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get him to contribute more like this on an occasional basis.