Sunday, January 31, 2010

Choke points

There's a road, not far from where I live, it gets busy because it's the most direct route from one part of Medway to another, there are other ways around, but non so convenient. Traffic stays pretty steady on it, never gets jammed or queueing except if someone decides to do some work on it. The problem is, all the other services (gas, water, electricity) run under the road as well, so it's often being dug up for one reason or another, there's also some ice damage there as well as a new housing estate being built just off it. So all it takes is one temporary 3 way traffic light and chaos descends on the area and the queues go back along the road and cross another roundabout blocking traffic in all directions.
Politics is a little similar to this in that the effects of past decisions can have a knock on effect or cause issues that seem to go way beyond what would appear to be common sense. With Labour it's distribution of wealth and also to an extent devolution. Distribution of wealth seem to make sense to socialists because as they all know the rich get richer off the backs of the poor (that they are completely and utterly wrong makes no difference to them) What tends to happen is that the minute the socialists start to squeeze, the rich go elsewhere, businesses and employers close, skilled workers leave the country and the system collapses as the money runs out, happens in every case, every time, it's happening in Venezuela now, despite their oil wealth, it's also happening in the UK as Labour spend themselves into an election defeat by taxing the bejeezus out of everyone who is employed as well as those that run businesses and employ people. Socialism only works till someone else's money runs out, the failure to grasp that is their Achilles heel, they point to the Scandinavian countries as examples, without taking into account how their system works, yes they have high individual taxes, but they have low business taxes to help create the wealth, something that those of the left in the UK singularly fail to do.
The Tories choke point of note, is the EU, it divides them and may very well cost Ding Cameron the election as votes are siphoned off to other parties who don't have issues with the EU (they want out, plain and simple) however as the Tory EUphiles currently control the party leadership to the extent that they do, a debate, never mind a referendum on the EU is out of the question, mostly because they know we'll vote to leave and the EUphiles can't possibly have that, they know best, not us...
That's where some of the choke points lie in UK politics, there are others, sometimes time will overcome them, sometimes not. However it doesn't take much to bring them to a head, bit like the road I was talking about with a lot of people wondering why they do it and wishing it was properly resolved.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rats and sinking ships

Lot of MP's are going to resign/retire at the next general election 130 MPs of them have announced they are standing down - 83 from Labour, 35 Conservatives, seven Lib Dems, three independents (SNP) though why the SNP should be classified as independent is a bit of a mystery.

Former minister Doug Touhig has announced he is to leave the Commons, the third senior Labour MP to announce his retirement in the past week.

Touhig has been the MP for the Welsh seat of Islwyn since 1995 and served as PPS to Gordon Brown before joining the whip's office in 1999.
He later served as a minister in the Welsh Office and the MoD.
"I have been active in politics for over 45 years and had the privilege of serving for 35 years - 15 years as MP for Islwyn and 20 years before that on Gwent County Council," Touhig said in a statement.
"After 35 years I think it is time to move on.
"I am associated with a number of voluntary organisations and I hope to continue this work.
"I owe a great debt to the Labour Party and the people of Islwyn who have placed their confidence in me to represent them in Parliament."
John McFall, the respected chairman of the Commons Treasury committee, said on Thursday that "having reached normal retirement age, I see this as a natural time to move on and explore other areas of interest".
He is expected to be offered a seat in the Lords. McFall has been the MP for West Dunbartonshire since 1987.
Last week a government minister announced he is to stand down from the Commons and said the stress of parliamentary and government business was responsible for the breakdown of his marriage.
Ian Pearson has been MP for Dudley South since 1994 and is the economic secretary to the Treasury.
"Since I have been a minister, I have been spending four or five nights a week in London," he said in a letter to party activists in his constituency.
"The pressure of working in London for such long periods put an enormous strain on my marriage.
"Sadly, we have grown apart because of the time I have been spending away on parliamentary and government business in London and Northern Ireland when I was a minister there."
Pearson has since divorced.
In his letter he said he wants to find "a better balance between my working and personal life".
So far 130 MPs have announced they are standing down - 83 from Labour, 35 Conservatives, seven Lib Dems, three independents (Clare Short, Andrew Pelling and Derek Conway), Alex Salmond from the SNP and Plaid's Adam Price.
This is mostly getting out whilst the gettings good, it's been a long time since Parliament and politicians have been held in such low esteem, certainly in my lifetime, you've almost got to go back to the Napoleonic wars when the London Mob ruled the streets to find a time when politicians were more reviled.
A few are leaving because they've had enough, however a lot are of course leaving in disgrace over expenses. Their pride smarting over being caught with their fingers in the till (rules be damned, it was theft of the public purse pure and simple for a lot of them) They wont be missed, they'll soon be forgotten save if they ever stand again and their opponents happen to find out.
Some of the Labour MP's are probably leaving because they don't stand a chance of being re-elected either, I doubt they'd be missed too.

So what we'll have is a parliament with a lot of new members, hopefully a good few who wont toe the party line all the time either, perhaps they'll be able to inject some common sense back into the proceedings and return sovereignty back to Westminster where it belongs.

I wont hold my breath though.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A stilletto to the soul

There's a saying, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Yet I doubt that Gordon Brown really wanted this.

Tony Blair will campaign for a fourth Labour term at the general election, Peter Mandelson confirmed yesterday.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the business secretary said: "We want all the party's leadership – past and present – to be contributing to our electoral success.
"They know what is at stake for the country.
"Everyone will get stuck in. Everyone will campaign: Tony Blair, John Prescott, David Blunkett. We need the support of these well-known faces."
The comments will cause surprise and, in some cases, consternation on Labour benches.
Mr Blair has been outside of the political spotlight since leaving Downing Street, concentrating instead on his work as special envoy to the Middle East and his various lucrative private deals, predominantly for speaking arrangements.
Many Labour backbenchers will be irritated by Mr Blair's reappearance, but some Labour strategists believe he can help the party secure middle England voters who are turned off by Gordon Brown.
But Mr Blair has dominated the headlines this week, firstly through his appearance this Friday at the Iraq inquiry and then through his deal with hedge fund Lansdowne Partners.

Considering the anti-war demos against Blair at his appearance at the Iraq enquiry I personally believe (and so might Gordon) that this is the sort of help that he could well do without, the sort of help that will destroy Gordon Brown at the polls, which might just be Blair's and Mandelson's revenge on the coup that put Blair out of the PM's job.
There is a risk of course that Blair might just destroy Labour forever, they have massive debts, are seriously unpopular with many sections of the electorate, even their power bases in Scotland and the north look to be increasingly frail with the growth of nationalist sentiments. Then again this might just be exactly what Blair and Mandelson want and they can swan off after dropping their membership to do work for the EU or work as lobbyists for various influential groups leaving behind a destroyed party, riven by internal dissent, their sponsors looking for someone, anyone else to support and not finding anyone that can get them back into influence or power.

Blair campaigning for Labour may just be the stiletto to the heart and soul of the Labour movement for generations.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saying it like it is

It's always amusing to watch politicians tying themselves in knots, trying to say something without causing controversy over something which is controvesial and taken as common knowledge by society as a whole even if we're not allowed to talk about it.

A Conservative MP's comments suggesting a possible link between "imported" views and rape have been criticised.
Monmouth MP David Davies said the upbringing should be investigated of Balal Khan, 14, of Stoke-on-Trent, who raped and robbed a woman.
Politicians in other parties and an academic attacked the MP's comments, although he stressed that they were not related to Islamic or racial issues.
The Tory party said his comments did not reflect its views "in any way".
After Khan admitted the offences and was sent to a young offenders institution for three years, Mr Davies said some communities had "imported backward, medieval and barbaric" views about women.
Well I suspect we all know which imported, backward, medieval, barbaric community he's talking about, certainly the righteous do.
Heaven Crawley, director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University, told BBC Radio Wales: "I think it's very dangerous for a politician to make that kind of connection between rape and clearly totally unacceptable behaviour and the use of the words 'imported, backward and barbaric attitudes' because of the implication that comes with that."
Odd how the I word is omitted though.
Saleem Kidwai of the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association said he believed anyone "with a bit of common sense" could see what the MP was implying.
Mr Kidwai said: "He's covering himself, you know, by saying that, oh, he's not referring to any ethnic community... it's obvious! Who is 'imported'?"
Well I suspect we all know who.
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said, "I am appalled at this Conservative MP's indiscriminate attack on whole communities in our tolerant society.
"This sort of inflammatory language from a leading Welsh Tory does nothing to help hardworking people in difficult times. We are trying to get along together the best we can - David Davies should be ashamed of himself."
Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central said: "To make the suggestion that certain religions or communities are more prone to raping women because of their attitudes is very dangerous and I am disappointed that a Member of Parliament would make that connection with seemingly little evidence to back it up."
Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Member Nerys Evans said violence against women knew no racial, religious or class boundaries.
She said the comments "do nothing to help the cause of victims of violence against women and serve only to reinforce racist stereotypes. These are incredibly irresponsible and inflammatory comments."
Hain calls our society tolerant? Well I suppose it is as even mild criticism brings a shitstorm of official disapproval if it's aimed at any minority group, or women, though criticise white working class males and you're probably on a winner.

I suppose we could look at the evidence against the imported, backward, medieval, barbaric community.

101 lashes for rape victim. Not this country, but definite indication of the mindset.

Grooming. Yes definitely a problem here.

Honour killings. Issues here too.

Rape. here too.

Rape again. Abroad, but again indicative of a mindset problem where you need 4 witnesses to prove a rape and a womans testimony is worth only 1/4 of a mans.

Yep I think there's definitely evidence for suggesting some males of the imported backward, medieval, barbaric community have a problem with women's rights and their status in a modern tolerant society.

Not all men, but there's definitely a problem here needing highlighting and not brushing under the carpet nor should we be so blind as to deny that abuse nor rape against women happens in all parts of society, however trying your best to deny that a certain imported, backward, medieval, barbaric community doesn't have a problem because the problem is written into their holy book is to bury your head in the sand.

Nor does it excuse you either.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The utter failure of New Labour

♫ Things can only get better ♪ That was the song that heralded in the reign of New Labour, the Blairite dream team, the leftist militant tendency consigned to the ashes of history, a brand new day dawning and freedom from the corruption and sleaze of the Major government.

 What we actually got was this.

Record peacetime debt.
Record peacetime deficit.
The first facist MEP elected to the European Parliament.
UK drops from 7th to 24th in international maths and literacy rankings.
100 new taxes on the middle class.
Council taxes double for the middle classes.
Council tax revaluation if Labour are voted back in.
4,300 petty new laws.
Authoritarian police state oppressing legitimate protest, photography and law abiding citizens.
Doubled the length of tax law and created a mass of new regulations.
Sold the UK's gold reserves at the bottom of the market.
Ripped up a system of financial regulation proven over 300 years; 10 years later the UK has 5 Failed banks.
Destroyed the best private pension provision in europe, taking £100bn from prudent pensioners.
Destroyed more of the UK's manufacturing sector than Thatcher.
Politicisation of the police, the civil service, education.

Falling productivity in public sector despite 48% real-terms increase in spending.
Overseen the rise of the unaccountable, unsackable, feather-bedded bureaucrat, taking control over every aspect of people's lives.
New GP contract increased average pay to £100,000.
Most GPs refuse to provide care during evenings and weekends.
Arrest of an opposition MP for doing his job.
House prices unaffordable for workers on average salaries.
Soaring knife and violent crime in our cities.
Debasement of politics, endless re-announcements of the same policy, cash for peerages, lies, spin and deceit.
200+ service personal killed.
First non-jury Crown court trials.
Abolished century old practises of Parliament; House of Lords, Life Peers, Lord Chancellor's department, Lord Chancellor deminished

3 million immigrants invited into the UK to take 81% of all new jobs created.
1 million young people unemployed.
Jacqui Smith.
Foot and mouth crisis (twice)
Farm payments
Tax credits
Afghanistan war
Iraq war
Under funded ill-equipped Forces
Privatised large parts of defence establishment for short term gain
Home Office failures
Uncontrolled immigration (am I a racist for mentioning immigration, dear me)
NHS in tatters
School standards at the lowest ever
Thousands of knee jerk badly written laws
Rampant EU fraud
EU ignoring its own people
EU referendum promise reneged
Northern Rock
Lost data – child benefit and dvlc
Cash for Honours
Single families
Economy in complete tatters
First time buyers taken out of market
Rich and poor divide becoming bigger
Plenty of tax rises – both direct and indirect
Uncontrolled private sector
Crime out of control
Young deaths
Guns on our streets
Quangos controlling parliament
Populist catholicism

H/T 13th Spitfire

We also got this.
Thanks to Labour, it is now illegal to swim in the wreck of the Titanic or to sell game birds killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day – eventualities overlooked by previous governments.
Labour has made 4,289 activities illegal since the 1997 election, at a rate of about one a day – twice the speed with which the previous Conservative government created crimes.
Gordon Brown was the worst offender, with his government inventing 33 new crimes a month. Tony Blair's administration made 27 new offences each month.
Some of the more inventive crimes dreamt up by Labour include "disturbing a pack of eggs when directed not to by an authorised officer" and reporting the door of a merchant ship to be closed and locked when it isn't.
Labour also introduced laws against activities which would already have been covered by previous legislation – such as "causing a nuclear explosion."
Liberal Democrat home office spokesman Chris Huhne, who brought the figures to light, will criticise the government's administrative binge in a speech tonight.
He will say Labour has spent 12 years "suffering from the most acute and prolonged bout of legislative diarrhoea", calling the rate of 69 new Home Affairs Bills in 12 years "staggering".
And now we have this.

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider now than 40 years ago, a government-commissioned report says.
"Deep-seated and systemic differences" remain between men and women and minority groups in pay and employment, the National Equality Panel found.
It said in areas such as neighbourhood renewal, taxes and education, policy action was needed to limit inequality.
The issues raised would need "sustained and focused action", Equalities Minister Harriet Harman said.
"But for the sake of the right of every individual to reach their full potential, for the sake of a strong and meritocratic economy and to achieve a peaceful and cohesive society, that is the challenge that must be met," she added.
Not just a fail, this is an epic fail, social mobility has ground to a halt because of Labours attempts to stifle any form of individuality or excellence. It's the classic socialist trap of doing away with first class travel only for everyone to have to travel second class. Never in UK history has so much damage to society been done in such a short space of time by so few to so many.
It will take decades to repair the mess they've left assuming we can do it at all, our kids and their kids will be paying off the interest on the national debt, even assuming we are coming out of a recession (hah!) it wont be enough, they've taxed us into penury, ruined our international credit rating and printed money to keep on paying out for their profligacy despite being warned of the dangers of runaway inflation.

Well ♫ Things can only get better ♪ because they are (hopefully) on their way out, though to believe some Tory blogs the fact that people like me who (may) vote UKIP might just let them back in again. To which my answer is if Ding offered the majority of the people in the UK something they wanted, they'd vote for him, as it is he's not, they're not and so might lose, tough really but that's they way popularity competitions (aka democracy) work, as it is they both look the same from a distance so people might just stick with the devil they know, or vote for someone different and independent offering them what they want.

Look out for the Albion Alliance logo on any PPC's literature and vote for them, they'll get us out of the EU and that will take us down the road of making England free again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Preaching to the converted.

Oh dear Lord, where to start.

Labour Grassroots are winning the Web War.

Labour grassroots activists are helping the Government win the web war, according to research into the party's influence on Twitter.

The political parties are competing to make the most of the internet as they hope it could help them reach younger voters at low cost.
Tweetminster, which offers a political 'newswire' of Twitter messages, has analysed the posts made by politicians, candidates and supporters over the past year.
It found the Labour Party "dominates" in most areas - its MPs and candidates are more active, are more frequently mentioned by other users and tend to have more readers.
In the last year, Labour MPs have sent 38,759 tweets, compared to the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives who sent 7,031 and 2,083 respectively.
 They really don't get it at all, Twitter is mass texting and it only goes to those that are interested in what you have to say either from a positive or negative slant. It doesn't go outside a minority of people, it doesn't reach the electorate (save only party activists) and it doesn't change anyone's mind. In effect it's just an incestuous little world closed off to the majority of the public who have been turned off politics by the antics of politicians over the last 40 years or so.
Those that do twitter tend to be more interested in the sayings of Steven Fry than say Kerry McCarthy. Even when it comes to political presence on the web the Alexa rankings show a different story altogether.

Alexa the web info company traffic rank:
LABOUR: 191,116
LIB DEMS: 3,920,234
UKIP: 239,152
GREEN PARTY: 2,875,251
BNP: 3,244,133

If anyone's winning the Web War it's the English Democrats. At least if you follow web traffic, the reality as with Twitter is somewhat different.
The political parties will just have to face the fact that it's only activists that take any notice of twitter, the same is true for blogs, even social networking sites. Until politics is made palatable for all the electorate, when all feel they are included, then political debate is mostly just preaching to the choir, it doesn't reach the congregation because they've all gone home disgusted at what politics has become.

The only way this will change is if politicians give the people what they want instead of what they think we want. Get us out of the EU, educate our kids properly without the social engineering, look after our elderly, make the NHS efficient and quick, remove the excess fat from the public purse and ASK US WHAT WE WANT AND GIVE IT TOO US!!!!!


Monday, January 25, 2010

English Heroes #5

An occasional series recording Englishmen, women and children who have done great things for themselves or others and reflected well on the country of their birth.

Step forward Charlie Simpson aged 7.

A seven-year-old boy has raised more than £50,000 for survivors of the Haitian earthquake in one day after seeing images of children being pulled alive from the rubble.
Charlie Simpson set out to raise £500 for the Unicef Haiti Appeal by riding his bike five miles around his local park. Instead his efforts inspired hundreds of people online.
Charlie, from Fulham, West London, said: “I just think it was quite sad when I saw the pictures on the TV.” He asked his mother, Leonora, to help to create a sponsorship form that they put on the internet. Mrs Simpson said: “What started off as a little cycle round the park with his dad has turned into something a lot bigger than that and we can’t believe it. I am extremely proud of our Charlie.”
She said that when her son saw the images on television he “burst into tears”. “Then we had about a chat about the things he could do, and how he could go about it.”
His JustGiving page is here. Should you want to contribute.

Now I know I have said that charity begins at home, however I do believe that what people do with their money is up to them and certainly not up to the government of any stripe. So what Charlie did was both amazing and constructive and will help the Haitians to recover from the tragic events in their country.

Well done that (young) man.

Bloody cheek..........................and well done.

Now as an Englishman my attitude towards France is complex, somewhat along the lines of nice place shame about the French, that's the traditional view anyway, it's of course a lot more complex than that, mostly the French I've found are charming, helpful and if they can't speak much English then at least prepared to meet me halfway in my mangled attempts to speak their language.
This amused me immensely though, not only for the cheek of it, but because compared to the UK it actually makes a lot of sense.


French Claim To Be English For Games Cash 

Council bosses in northern France have secured their latest Olympic contract by claiming to be the part of southern England the British have forgotten.Officials in Pas-de-Calais, in northeast France, are trying to rebrand the area in a bid to cash in on London 2012.
Pas-de-Calais recently signed a contract with the boxing, wrestling, judo and athletics teams of Chad to hold training camps in the region ahead of 2012.
The canoe and kayak teams of Uzbekistan and Senegal had already agreed to train in Pas-de-Calais ahead of the London Olympics.
Civic leader Dominque Dupilet told Sky News: "I consider that we are the south of England, and because we're the south of England it's normal that we would associate ourselves with this extraordinary event."
Referring to Paris' failed bid to stage the 2012 Games, Dupilet said: "Don't tell anyone, but I always thought London was better for us.
"My colleague was telling me to write a condolence card when Paris lost, but I was busy hoisting up the British flag."
Tourism bosses are launching a website in the next few weeks, which will offer advice to local hoteliers on how to cater for international tourists.
Pierre Nouchi, who owns a hotel in the area, said: "Visitors will be able to benefit from the quality of our region, the quality of the French way of life, and they're scarcely two hours from London.
"These days, if you're going from one area of London to another it takes that time anyway, what with the public transport. Here you have the quality and it's less expensive."
The idea of a Frenchman passing himself off as English may seem tongue-in-cheek, but officials here are taking the project seriously.
Now Calais itself just happens to be the last part of France held by England (Not Britain) it was given away as part of Bloody Queen Mary's dowry to Philip of Spain, then she died, we had that whole Armada thingy and we never got round to getting it back.
So, cleverly and for all the right reasons the good citizens of Calais have decided because of the Eurotunnel thing, cheap booze, better lifestyle to cash in on the Olympics and you know, I can't seem to find myself blaming them, it's a brilliant idea. They're less than 2 hours from the Olympic international stadium by train, they can get there easier than most Brits I expect, certainly any outside of London.

So, if Calais wants to be an English town albeit for a short while, well, welcome back and I'll see you soon as my last stocks of cheap booze are just about out now and I'll need some more and I'm not going to pay British prices for it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sitting in silence

There are times you run across stories and wonder if they've been made up, or if it's just the editorial slant, bit like the BBC never bigging the Tories up. However, whichever way I look at this I have to wonder if the political leaders have lost their marbles or their balls.

News of the World.

GORDON Brown's live TV showdown with David Cameron could go ahead with the studio audience sitting in SILENCE.

The two leaders are demanding a BAN on questions from the floor for fear of being ambushed by rival party members.
And fed-up telly chiefs may be forced to agree to the dumb idea - after weeks of wrangling over which voters will be let in to watch the historic General Elect-sh-h-h-ion face-off.
It would mean the audience being denied the chance to quiz the men who are running for power. Or even applaud when they make a good point.
The PM wants the audience packed with almost twice as many Labour supporters as Tories, to reflect his Commons majority.
But furious Mr Cameron is insisting there should be more of his followers as he is well ahead in the polls.
Broadcasters fear the wrangling could derail Britain's first TV leaders' debate.
Now setting aside the NotW tendency for aggravated molehill aggrandising, this story does not reflect well on either of the two leaders, they come across as a pair of prima donnas , I mean afraid that a plant in the audience might throw an awkward question? Wanting more of your supporters in the audience because it reflects the commons? No applause for making a good point?
The whole point of this "debate" was to allow the leaders to have their say and face questions from their employers (that would be you and I in theory) instead what we have is a set of calculated fear driven motivations to avoid looking bad whilst making your opponent look bad/unrepresentative. They seem to forget that this is a PUBLIC debate, not a Parliamentary point scoring exercise like Prime Ministers questions. The public want to be involved, that was the whole point, we can ask awkward questions, we don't tolerate waffle, we can come out with get to the point and stop avoiding the issue. We can even call them a liar to their face and force them to defend themselves unprotected by parliamentary protocol.

I honestly don't know why they agreed to this, bearing in mind that they don't like giving a straight answer to any question, it's not like they ever wanted to face us just in case we show them up for the petty scheming liars they most assuredly are.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ok, it's a problem, so what are you going to do about it?

Ding was on about broken Britain the other day, he was in my neck of the woods too in Gillingham, didn't get to know about it either until too late, then again we're not on speaking terms really, more on him ignoring what I want and me ranting at his cast iron personality problems.

David Cameron has said the teenage boys torture case in South Yorkshire must be considered as part of what was "going wrong" in society.
The Tory leader insisted that such cases could not be treated as individual and unrelated to the wider world.
Speaking at a community centre in Kent, Mr Cameron said: "We have had rising violent crime and I think it's wrong to say that each of these incidents come along and somehow there is no connection to what is going wrong in the rest of our society."
Mr Cameron, who was launching the latest chapter of the Opposition's draft manifesto, acknowledged that the problems went back decades.
He cited the cases of Jamie Bulger, Baby Peter, Damilola Taylor, Garry Newlove and Ben Kinsella, as well as the Edlington torture incident.
He said: "On each occasion, are we just going to say this is an individual case?
"That there aren't any links to what is going wrong in our wider society, in terms of family breakdown, in terms of drug and alcohol abuse, in terms of violent videos, in terms of many of the things that were going wrong in that particular family?
"I think we should ask these questions."
He said the issue had to be addressed responsibly and he was not trying to blame any particular party or government.
"This has been going on for decades," he said.
"But do we have a problem in Britain with violent crime?
"Do we have a problem with some aspects of what's going on in childhood? Do we have a problem with our care system?
"Yes, we do."
He went on to say there had been "incident after incident since 2004" and suggested that not enough had been done quickly enough.
"So, I think it's right to raise it in a responsible way and it's right to have this debate."
 Well he's right to raise the debate, though if he even dares to come out with a typical "Lessons have/will be learned" comment he'd better beware.
I suspect we're all pretty much aware that there's a problem with the underclass that has been created by successive governments in the name of either profit or social engineering. Families rather than being a constant tend to be far more fluid, which isn't to say that there aren't very good single parents out there who bring up their kids to be respectful and honest, because there are. No the problem lies to an extent with the creation of a society where there is nothing for these kids to aim for, education has been both devalued and put out of reach for these kids, there's nothing practical for those whose skills don't lie in academic pursuits, they then discover that many jobs need a degree to even get your foot on the short list so they give up. They also learn that there are few consequences of when they do break the rules, least ways not until they do something extreme as in the cases of  Jamie Bulger, Baby Peter, Damilola Taylor, Garry Newlove, Ben Kinsella and the Edlington's. Then all of a sudden the book is thrown at them and the various pressure groups come out of the woodwork and blame the parents/society/the government etc.
When I grew up, there were youth organisations all over the place, voluntary affairs mostly run by people who cared enough to get involved. These have all gradually withered on the vine, the final straw was the CRB checks needed just to get close to working with kids, though the malaise had set in years ago. Now if there was something for the youths of today to get involved with in the evenings, or even at school that took them out of their general society, taught them a few skills, a bit of self respect and discipline then it might be a start. Not that I'm advocating any Hitler Youth organisation, just that it should be easy to set these things up without the state interfering in every aspect from insurance to paedo checks. Another thing to do that would help would be the removal of no win no fee legislation which again has hamstrung youth groups as well as councils and businesses, yes gross negligence should be legislated for, but trips and spills? You could also start by totally removing state control from education, bring in streaming, same sex schools (because boys learn at differing rates to girls) get men involved at primary level education.

Most of all give our kids a sense of pride, an aim and a focus, teach them honour and respect, right and wrong and give them a future, jobs, security and a belief that a life spent doing nothing is no life at all.
It will take generations, it's likely to be heartbreaking at times, but it's worth doing.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Well if they're not here...

4 years ago I worked in a sausage and pie making factory near Tunbridge Wells, it was quite an experience, very hard work but rewarding and it also introduced me to a phenomenon that had passed me by in previous jobs, that of Polish migrant workers.
They were very hard workers too, almost universally cheerful and keen to work all the hours God sends because the money they were getting was so much better than they could earn at home. So they shared as many to a flat as they could get in, lived cheaply and sent a lot of money home. Because they were (mostly) Roman Catholics they also didn't have the hangups over touching pig products (pork would be stretching it a bit, lets just say that in a sausage you get what you pay for) that certain other religious groups might have, nor did they seem to be keen suicide bombers either (just saying).
So when Phil Woolas the Immigration Minister claimed only half of them remained in the UK from the 1.5 million that came across I was a bit surprised as I still run into groups of them on a regular basis doing agency work where I work.
Turns out however that for all the claims of Phil Woolas, if they are leaving, they aren't going home.

A Polish expert on migration says claims that half of all Polish immigrants to Britain have returned home are not true.
The Migration Policy Institute had said 1.5m people from new EU states, mostly Poles, had come to the UK since 2004 and that more than half had now left.
Immigration minister Phil Woolas said only about 700,000 remained.
But Prof Krystyna Iglicka, of Warsaw's Centre for International Affairs, said Poland saw no evidence of this.
"We do not see them here," she said of the reported returned immigrants.
Prof Iglicka told the BBC's Today programme that Polish research indicated the contrary. Official estimates for Poles working abroad rose consistently until 2008, when they fell only very slightly.
"From our side this is not true," she said. "We do not see them here; we do not see them in any other different countries."
Prof Iglicka also cited real figures for the numbers of the returning Poles who had registered at their local labour offices.
She said they would have to do this to transfer any benefits earned abroad, or to claim benefit in Poland. The figures for 2008 were just 22,000 for the whole country.
Prof Iglicka's own estimate is that about a million Polish migrants are still in Britain.

I wonder how many migrants remain migrants either, a lot have married UK citizens and naturalised too, might it just be that a Labour Minister is fudging the truth to try and justify his parties claims that they have immigration under control?
As I've pointed out though, the Poles aren't the problem, we could certainly do with more migrants of their stripe, they fit in well and integrate, something the other 90% od migrants seem to have a problem with. Yes, that's right, the Poles for all the publicity only made up 10% of migrants to the UK
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said Mr Woolas's estimate was "in the right ball park" but the focus on Poles was a "distraction from the wider challenges of mass immigration".
"East Europeans as a whole - A8s - account for only 10% of the total foreign-born population of the UK," he said.
 We could do with more Poles here, we could do with any immigrants who are prepared to work hard, pay their way and integrate with our society. The problems we have is that successive governments have fallen for the myth of multiculturalism, whereby immigrants have been allowed not to integrate and become increasingly isolated from mainstream society. That which divides us cannot unite us and in the end fractures society to the point that the BNP can make headway in politics.

Personally I hope the Poles choose to stay.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Surprise, Surprise

When a UK government announces a big spending programme, you can almost bet easy money on it that it will either be an existing programme sexed up to look new with a few bells and whistles tagged on, or it will run late and/or be over budget.


A programme to refurbish nearly two million council homes will cost more than twice the original budget and take eight years longer than planned, the public spending watchdog says today.
The National Audit Office says that the Government has missed its target to finish the programme to repair all social homes in poor condition by 2010. The initial budget of £19billion has been vastly overspent, with the total cost expected to hit £37billion by April next year, it says.
By last November 1.4million homes had been upgraded under the Decent Homes initiative out of the more than 1.6million originally needing work. By the end of this year only 92 per cent of the programme will be finished but the homes needing repair will have increased since 1997.
This would leave more than 300,000 homes still in a state of disrepair, with some not being refurbished till 2018-19. Part of the reason for the delay is Gordon Brown’s decision to pump £3billion into council house building at the end of 2008.
After a Treasury decision that most of the cash should come from existing Whitehall programmes. The Communities Department agreed to release £150million from the Decent Homes programme.
So, twice as much and 8 years overrun, not only that but they had to nab the cash from other programmes too probably making them less efficient and slower.
For the life of me I cannot remember ever a government programme that's actually cost less and was completed early, I'm sure at some stage there must have been one, I just can't seem to recall one in recent years, nor in the historical past either.
Part of the problem is (I believe) that those negotiating the contracts don't have a clue about what is needed or required for those contracts, having no business experience. The other is of course the politicians and their need to announce big new soundbite policies without looking at the whole picture, assuming they even want too.
Politicians clearly feel the need for good publicity, the pressure of losing popularity as a parliament goes on makes them look for anything at all that will make them look good in the publics eyes, even when it comes back to haunt them later, which in most cases it does.

Just once it would be nice to get a government that knows what its doing, knows when to do something, knows how to do something and knows the true cost of doing something instead of making up policy and projects on the fly and the say so of the Prime Minister.
I'm not holding my breath on the off chance of the Tories being any better either, they can't be any worse though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting back what's yours.

Now I've occasionally railed against politicians for putting themselves first, for adopting a one rule for us, another rule for you mentality. They have privileges that we don't, get subsidies that we don't, get away with stuff that we wouldn't (it was in the rules you know) So I'd expect them to have a great deal more influence over the police and what they do with DNA, particularly their own.


A Tory MP has revealed how he had to fight a two-year battle to have his DNA removed from the national database after being questioned following the suspected murder of a distant uncle.

Greg Hands gave a DNA sample and fingerprints to police in 2007 after 80-year-old Les Ince was found with a 14-inch barbecue skewer in his neck, suffering injuries from which he later died.
Police visited Mr Hands at the House of Parliament as part of a sweep of family members, even though, he said he had never visited his uncle's home in Walsall, West Midlands.
An inquest last year ended with an open verdict after police accepted it could have been a freak accident.
But despite constant requests to have his DNA removed, Mr Hands continually failed to confirm his profile had been deleted. He was finally told in a written parliamentary answer last summer that his profile was no longer on the database.
Speaking of his battle to have his DNA removed, Mr Hands said: "You could hardly get someone further away from this 'crime' than me and yet it took considerable effort in using means not available to most people."
Mr Hands was appearing before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, which is examining the use of DNA and the national database in the wake of a national debate on the retention of innocent people on the system.
It took him 2 years and he had access to means not available to you or I. The police hold the DNA of thousands of innocent people as a "Just in case" insurance policy for future crime prevention, in other words they think we're all suspects. Now there are those out there who adopt the attitude of if they've done nothing wrong then you've nothing to fear, though the number of cases that come out do show that many innocent people have something to fear after all.
There should be no way that the DNA of innocent people is held by the police, they are innocent after all and the DNA is theirs, to an extent it is them. 1 million innocent people are estimated to be in the database, it might even be more now and still the police refuse to remove the innocent from it, because it just might help in future cases. This is morally wrong, it is not the role of the police to do this, by all means use every resource available to solve crimes, but you return to the owner that which is his/hers after the crime is resolved or in the case of DNA if the owner is proven innocent or not involved in the crime committed.
Only police states think that all people are suspects, last I looked the UK wasn't a police state, though it's possible we're sleepwalking in that direction (save for a few bloggers howling in the enclosing darkness) But your rights to avoid being hounded by the state are being eroded on a daily basis all in the name of security, combating terrorism and often sheer bloody mindedness of politicians desperate to appear to be doing something about crime. Labor themselves have done more damage to civil liberties than any party in the last 13 years and it rather looks like the Tories will be pretty much the same. It's becoming increasingly obvious that our political leadership does not trust the UK public one bit, and that includes our EU overweasels too.

One day we'll be free, Romania proved the point that sooner or later all political systems end if they aren't prepared to change to what the people want. it's only a matter of time before the UK does, for better or worse, but that's a matter for the people and at the moment they're quite cosy, sleepwalking into authoritarianism, (fluffy coated, UK version) Be interesting times, if or when they wake up and join us in the real world.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Leave us alone!

It seems those who we allow to run the country in our name are getting uppity again, looking for ways to control the masses that (in theory at least) are the masters, rather than the ruled. As ever they go for what they think is an easy target, alcohol, after all it worked on tobacco as thousands of smokers huddled outside public buildings now can attest.

"All-you-can-drink" promotions could be banned and compulsory identity checks introduced under government proposals to crack down on alcohol abuse.
If the plans for England and Wales are approved, bars will also not be able to hold speed-drinking competitions.
Retailers or publicans in breach of the code could be fined or jailed.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said there was a "duty to act". The Tories said they would give councils more powers to tackle "problem" bars and clubs.
It is estimated that alcohol abuse kills 40,000 people in England and Wales every year, with the annual cost of drink-related crime and disorder in the UK as a whole put at between £8bn and £13bn.
If the government's proposals receive parliamentary approval, they will form a new mandatory code for retailers.
The key points of the parties' proposals are:

  • Bar staff and retailers required to demand proof of age of anyone who looks under 18

  • Ban "irresponsible" promotions such as all-you-can-drink offers and speed-drinking contests and ensure free tap water available

  • Pubs having to make small measures of beers, wines and spirits available

  • Giving councils the power to charge levy on premises causing problems late at night, including off-licences open after 10.30pm and pubs open after midnight

  • Duty increase on problem drinks, such as some very strong beers or alcopops

  • Permanently shutting down pubs which repeatedly break the rules

  • The Liberal Democrats have already outlined policies to curb excessive drinking, including stopping "irresponsible" promotions by setting a minimum price for alcohol
    The party also advocates a "one-strike-and-you're-out" policy, where shops would be fined and lose their licence the first time they are caught selling alcohol to children.
    You'll notice that it's all the major parties in England and Wales, even in Scotland the SNP are turning bansturbationist (I think I just invented that word... perhaps not)
    What is it with politicians thinking they can tell us what to do? Why do they think that forcing us to become interchangeable clones is in some way a good thing? I'm just waiting for the food police to spring into being fairly soon, it's in it's gestation stage with Defra I'm certain. It would be nice for a politician or rather a political leader to turn around and say "I'm sorry but telling people what they can and can't do themselves is not the business of the government," but I'm not about to hold my breath on that one, not least until the people start to get really narked about what the government is really up too.

    Why can't they just leave us alone, let us enjoy our drinks, even our other vices, tax them by all means if you really must and arrest those who can't resist the urge to get violent or abusive with others (not themselves) instead of making the law abiding majority pay for the sins of the few through the nose.

    Lib/Lab/Con.................authoritarian to the core and determined to go the way of the dinosaurs, simply by not giving us what we want and trying to stop us enjoying the few vices that have been left legal by their mendacious "we know best" attitude.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Humour, it's in your genes

    Humour is a funny thing (did you catch what I just did there) one persons joke can lead to huge belly laughs, mild grins, disgust or complete incomprehension.

    So I looked at this and wondered...
    British humor linked to genetics

    LONDON, March 11 (UPI) -- Sarcasm and self-depreciation, hallmarks of British humor that don't always travel well, may be linked to genetics, a researcher said.
    Rod Martin, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, said television shows such as "Fawlty Towers" and "The Office," show people in Britain enjoy cruel or dark humor more than people from other countries, The Daily Telegraph reported.
    Martin and his research team surveyed 2,000 pairs of twins in Britain and 500 pairs of twins in North America.
    "The British may have a greater tolerance for a wide range of expressions of humor," Martin said. "In the North American version of 'The Office,' the lead character is much less insensitive and intolerant than in the original UK version."
    I mean, how does that prove anything about genetics? Wouldn't it be more likely due to culture?

    If you wanted to prove it was genetics, you'd have to take people of British decent in other countries and show that they had the same sense of humour.
    It certainly does help to understand certain cultural things to be able to 'get' certain aspects of humour in different countries.

    Even so, British humour isn't even the most miserable and cruel either, there are plenty of other countries where it is even more so.

    Still, it's just a bit of crazyness and humour I believe is subjective, not genetic, still it did make me smile.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Putting a cap on it

    Immigration, immigrants, multiculturalism, all subjects able to generate the heat of discussion, disagreement and more often these days outright anger.

    Conservative leader David Cameron has proposed limiting the net number of people who are able to live and work in Britain to the "tens of thousands" a year.
    He predicted the population would rise to 70 million and put a strain on resources.
    But John Denham has said the Government does not support the idea as applicants with something to contribute should get the chance to come to Britain.
    "Suppose the first person after the cap was an international heart specialist?" the Communities Secretary told Sunday Live with Adam Boulton.
    "We don't think population is going to go to 70 million, so there is a bit of a straw man there," he said.
    "We have got tight immigration control - the points-based system that is now in place means that people can only come here if what they are going to give to this country is something we need."
    Mr Denham also said progress been made in the fight against racial prejudice and suggested are now more disadvantaged on the basis of their social class.
    The most discriminated people in Britain may not be non-white, he said.
    I have to disagree partially with both, though I suspect Cameron is closer to what we really need. What we do need if we are to have one is a cap on unskilled workers, there are plenty enough jobs in the UK at an unskilled level that we don't need more foreign workers, no matter how hard they are prepared to work at jobs that UK workers wont touch. There are cures via the benefits system to force our workshy unskilled to do, should we so desire. There should however be no cap on the skilled workers we need, indeed these are the people who should be fast tracked into our country and our system, if we need them then we should get them.
    Personally though, I'm not too bothered who comes here, or rather I wouldn't be if there was no benefits other than having to work for them. You come here, you want to work that's fine, however unless you've contributed to the system (via tax, NI) for more than 5 years, you don't get jobseekers, you don't get free health, you don't get housed, you don't get anything unless you pay for it, the system would be that simple. Those that are prepared to work hard would be welcomed with open arms, those that don't will soon go elsewhere, where the pickings are easier.

    Bit naive? Perhaps, but something needs to be done, I just don't think its immigration, I think it's the benefits they get for simply getting here.

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    Lets have a bit of charity at home

    It's a terrible tragedy in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world devastated by an earthquake that might have killed/will kill up to 100,000 people perhaps more. International aid is pouring in with volunteers from the UK (and other countries) and up to £2 million pledged in donations to help so far.

    And yet, last year 36,700 people died in England and Wales from what's euphemistically called excess winter mortality (I don't have the figures for Scotland, but I suspect it's statistically similar), in fact since 2004 over 142000 people have died mostly from the cold, from fuel poverty caused by the green energy levy, from lack of a decent pension caused by Labours raid on the pensions system when they came to power. This is a national scandal, but it doesn't really get the publicity, old people don't really figure highly on the victimhood charts unless of course they have been mugged and get their pictures in the paper.

    I'm not by the way saying that we shouldn't help the Haitians, it's not for me to tell people how they should spend their charitable giving, but I can try at least to hold the government to account and try in my small way to keep it in the public eye though goodness knows how many will read this (I could find out, but I honestly don't care)
    I don't know what the figures for excess winter mortality in 2009/10 will be, winter isn't over yet, but I'd be willing to bet money that it will approach the current Haitian figures of about 50,000. 36,700 people last winter, yet the government carries on with its plans to produce expensive, useless (when the wind doesn't blow) energy supplies, our elderly will be reduced to living in a single room, heated by candles, living off toast, dying by thousands, proud people who've usually worked all their lives, have never asked the state for anything and don't want to ask their families (assuming they have any) for help in case they become a burden to them all because of government policies that are ill thought out, scientifically unsound and shamefully brushed under the counter because they happen here and not abroad. Yet politicians themselves will get golden handshakes and index linked pensions, so I guess it's a case of I'm all right Jack and sod the rest of you and please excuse me whilst I have the duck house repaired at your expense.

    So, no lets not forget Haiti and the tragedy there, but lets also put it into perspective too and remember that people in the UK are dying not from an unforeseen disaster, but by deliberate government policy that has left them in fuel poverty and in danger of dying of the cold. There's your real tragedy.

    Update: Mummylonglegs puts it oh so better than I did.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    That'll be the global warming then?

    Climate change is not weather etc?


    The CairnGorm Mountain ski centre in the Highlands will be closed for the day - because of too much snow.
    After a two-day blizzard, the operators have had to bring in huge caterpillar vehicles and snow blowers to try to clear the approach road and the slopes.
    Colin Matthew, operations manager at the centre near Aviemore, said roads were blocked by 15ft snow drifts.
    He said parts of the funicular railway track up the mountain and the ski-tows had been covered by snow.
    Mr Matthew said: "It has blocked our access roads with about 15ft of snow and further up the mountain the drifting has buried our funicular railway track in about 10 places, and the tunnel mouth, and some of our ski-tow towers are just sticking out of the snow."
    Clear the roads
    He said a major clearing operation needed to take place before it could be opened to the public.
    "We had to contract in huge 17-tonne caterpillar earth-movers," Mr Matthew added.
    "They have spent two days now working about 18 hours a day trying to clear the roads.
    "We have got a single-track road up to our car park and we have to get snow-blowers in to widen the roads and make it two-way traffic before we get the public up."
    The CairnGorm Mountain has been enjoying a bumper winter.
    It has had its best Christmas holiday season in 14 years, with more than 8,000 skiers and snowboarders using its runs over a four-day period following Christmas Day.
     Like many others I'm wondering when enough weather actually becomes climate. It's mildly amusing watching the warmists bringing up evidence of this that and the other with various areas being warmer (oddly enough not that many) and telling us mankind is still to blame. However, I do get the feeling it's only the hardcore greenies now, those that have an interest in bringing down civilisation (aka socialists) and setting up their own communitarian dystopia with a small elite bossing around the downtrodden masses.
    I expect climate will slowly fade into the background over the next year as politicians of all stripes drop it quietly from their agenda as the public mood finally catches up with them.
    Unfortunately it wont be before the next general election so you can expect Jonah and Ding (Dave is not Gordon)  to keep rubbing our noses in their green environmental policies, until they realise we're not listening.

    Still most of the snows gone from Kent though not all, I'm looking forward to the next batch, should be fun.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Domestic stuff

    The shower failed to work today, one of the elements appears to have burned out and tripped a secondary thermal fuse (non resettable please send your shower away for repair, gits) and irritated the heck out of me as I had to replace the whole unit.
    Normally I try to go like for like or even manufacturer for manufacturer, at least the general stuff will work the same way.
    No such luck this time, Gainsborough showers don't appear to be stocked by B&Q, Homebase or even Argos who are in easy reach of me, so it's Triton shower time.
    1)  Drive out to DIY suppliers, pick up half price shower, things looking ok, so far.
    2) Triton showers allow water plumbing from the top which is good news, bad news is it's the left side as opposed to the right, so, new hole in ceiling required.
    3) Decided to fit chromed pipe too, makes it look professional, discovered that moving pipe to new hole required the shortening of the supply pipe, no 15mm olives in the house, out to plumbing suppliers I go (again) 10 olives at 18p each later I'm heading home (again).
    4) Drilling tiles is an absolute nightmare, but careful use of electrical tape stops drill slippage so I'm on a roll now.
    5) Plumbing in, no leaks, ceiling looks awful.
    6) Electrics in, tripped RCD unit for some reason, my good Lady on pc at time, not a happy Lady.
    7) All powered up, but rotary switch on wrong, thought it would only go one way, I was wrong.
    8) It, works, it works, I am a hero again!
    9) Ye gods tidying up is no fun at all, but a jobs not done properly till it's looking like you've never been there (or the cleaners have been in) Repaired ceiling too.
    10) Forgot the lagging in the loft is fibreglass (ouch)

    All done, never again, at least till the next time.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    This will cost

    Just been out for a drive up to a place called Capstone Country Park to walk the dog.

    It's a lovely place and very popular with all sorts of people not just dog walkers. We had a great time and I do feel very relaxed and life is pretty good.

    However, one of the things I did notice was the state of the roads, it's not the snow, that can and will clear eventually, it's the potholes and ruts caused by water getting into cracks, freezing, expanding and breaking up the road surface. I didn't have to travel too far and it was fairly obvious that the roads are in a bad state compared to a month ago.
    None of the roads are A roads, that means that it will be up to Medway council to repair them and I suspect they'll have their work cut out for them, it's also going to be expensive too so I guess (har de har) that my council tax is going to go up by quite a bit (as usual/again). Still at least in this case I can see what happens, how quickly they get too it and exactly what if anything they do about it.
    Give me something to do as at least in this case I'll be able to see promises turned into action and I can send off letters (emails) of complaint to my council too. Well eventually, at the moment I'm just enjoying the snow.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    If we ban them, will we still keep an eye on them?

    So Islam4UK are to be banned for holding extremist views.

    The Islamist group Islam4UK, which planned a march through Wootton Bassett, and its "parent" organisation, al-Muhajiroun, will be banned under new legislation outlawing the "glorification" of terrorism, Alan Johnson announced today.
    The order, which will come into effect on Thursday, will make it a criminal offence to be a member of either of the groups, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
    "I have today laid an order which will proscribe al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK, and a number of the other names the organisation goes by," Johnson said. Other names are Call to Submission, Islamic Path and London School of Sharia. The group is already proscribed under two other names – al-Ghurabaa and the Saved Sect or the Saviour Sect.
    Johnson said that proscription was "a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism", adding that it was "not a course we take lightly".
    The decision, based on months of monitoring the output of websites and comments by senior figures, will have to be endorsed by parliament. Al-Muhajiroun was founded by Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary, and has been operating in Britain since the mid-1980s.
    All well and good, but I suspect they'll just found another group and so on ad infinitum, what they really need is their citizenship revoked and carted off to Shariastan where they can live the life they so desire at their own expense. That however is the authoritarian in me speaking, the libertarian in me says let them believe what they want so long as they don't affect me and mine, problem being that they do and they support those who want to do me and mine a great deal of harm, they're unlikely to persuade me to follow their lunatic version of Islam either, certainly not by the violence they support.
    Another group that Mr Johnson should also be looking at is the UAF, they too support violent protest and believe in silencing any and all dissent of alternative views albeit coached in terms of fascism, something whose methods they fully support despite their opposition to the supporters thereof.

    However I doubt that Mr Johnson will do any such thing, the UAF are the governments brownshirts and they have a measure of control over them, something they'd lost with Islam4UK, which I suspect is the real reason for the ban.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    A Nation Once Again

    H/T Scunnert Nation

    Strange bedfellows

    I have a lot of time for Frank Field (Labour MP) he's one of the few Labour MP's who actually favour an English Parliament rather than brushing the whole matter under the rug and opting for regionalism so beloved of the generic Labourista clones who inhabit the party for the simple reason that it will allow them (so they think) to keep some sort of power in various regions rather than losing it as a whole.

    Frank Field, one of Labour's most high-profile MPs, provoked his party today by appearing alongside David Cameron at an election event.
    The socially conservative MP for Birkenhead, a persistent thorn in the side of Gordon Brown, indicated he was not defecting to the Conservatives. But he risked an internal party rift when he said that "more of the same" would not end poverty.
    His appearance, at a Demos think-tank event, will be a fresh blow for Labour morale.
    Mr Field agreed to attend at the invitation of Demos, which today launched a year-long investigation into the subject of character. One of the Labour MP's longstanding interests is the role of parents in forming their children's personalities.
    Both he and Mr Cameron agree that politicians should give more attention to helping parents bring up children because this is an important way of helping their prospects later in life. 
    Politics makes for strange bedfellows and whilst I can see that Frank Field would have a lot in common with Cameron and the the Demos study, he will probably have a lot less time for some of the other stuff Cameron is coming up with. For one thing Mr Field is far more an EUsceptic than Cameron has proven to be, he favours full devolution for the UK in a federal system, he's totally in favour of family values as opposed to what Labour have cultivated in state sanctioned family values, he's also very much a true Englishman as opposed to one of Cameron's "sour little Englanders"

    Still knowing Frank Field, he probably reckons Cameron is the lesser of two evils and went for the opportunity of sticking the knife into Gordon Brown, don't blame him, but it's still odd company to keep for one of the good guys. He'd probably make a better leader of the Conservatives than Cameron as well.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    ♫ Anything you can do ♪

    Seems to be the way of UK politics, one party comes up with an idea and the other parties immediately comment that they will do it better/harder/quicker and that it was their idea in the first place, stolen, borrowed and you shouldn't believe what the other parties say as they're all liars.

    Playground politics and they all do it and they can't seem to help themselves. Even when they try to keep a lid on their plans they're accused of not having any.

    Conservative leader David Cameron has said his party will "go further" than Labour in cutting the UK's £178bn budget deficit, if they win power.
    The government has pledged to halve Britain's deficit over four years, but Mr Cameron told the BBC: "We need to make more progress more quickly."
    But he accepted that plans outlined by the Tories so far were "not enough" to balance the books.
    The government says Conservative plans risk "choking off" the recovery.
    The main parties have clashed on tax and spending as they seek to set the agenda in the build-up to the general election - widely expected to be held in May.
    Interchangeable idiocy, government says one thing, opposition spokesman (same clone different tie) says the same but adds terms such as taking it further.
    I'm coming to the conclusion that the system isn't the problem and that it would work fine if it wasn't infested by politicians, then again I look at the bloated bureaucracy that's built up in Westminster and think well that will have to go as well. We don't need politicians giving off soundbites as to what they are going to do, we just want them to either get on with it or in this case never have started us down the path that lead us here. The less power they have to interfere with the economy, education etc, the better, these should be left to either market forces or the people themselves at a local level, as we usually know what we want or need. Government should be limited to what's actually necessary at a national level, some degree of diplomacy, defence transport infrastructure, power and perhaps a degree of national standards. Other parties such as LPUK have thought it through far better than I.
    The reason that people are turned off politics is mostly because they can't affect what's going on around them and politicians themselves who have made sure all power is in the hands of the state and their servants.
    This cycle needs to be broken before the UK can move on, because the current system isn't working and the people are losing faith in it.

    Saturday, January 9, 2010

    Go easy on the gritting?

    Temperatures down to -20 in places, snow up to 10 to 20 inches in places a government who has been propagandising global warming climate change to local councils and so have started to panic as the winter bites in and they run out of grit for the roads. So instead of buying more grit or releasing the funding to buy more what do they do......

    Roughly 5 inches of snow at castle QM today

    The government sought to avert a grit crisis yesterday by asking councils and highways chiefs to cut usage by at least a quarter, amid indications that Britain faces a serious road salt shortage by the end of next week.
    According to one estimate in Whitehall, local authorities and the Highways Agency are getting through 60,000 tonnes of salt per day – double the usual rate for a serious cold snap. Daily salt production cannot keep up, running at 15,000 tonnes per day with a stockpile of 320,000 tonnes of salt left until supplies arrive from Spain on 22 January, and the US on 28 January.
    Under that scenario, and with more heavy snow expected over the weekend, salt stocks would reach a critical state by Friday without a 25% cut in grit distribution.
    The AA said that it had written to the Department for Transport and the Local Government Association two months ago to warn salt supplies could not cope with a repeat of last February's big freeze, when the response of local authorities was heavily criticised. "This cold snap is longer than forecast but we did have warnings last February," said Edmund King, AA president.
     Yes, they tell the councils to use a quarter less grit instead. So increasing the likelihood of people being trapped in, running out of food, increasing accidents on the roads a slowdown of deliveries to supermarkets and traders.
    They were warned last year that there might be a problem, but followed the path of enviroloon dogma to its natural conclusion of pretending that winters wouldn't happen anymore and that snow would become a rarity all the while taxing us to the hilt to pay for economic mismanagement and lunatic power schemes such as windfarms.

    They also plan to nab (without compensation) grit supplies from competent councils who stored enough (mostly Tory) to hand over to gullible spendthrift (though not on grit) councils who have run out (mostly Labour)

    This is madness and there's bugger all we can do about it as the damage is already done, we wont have any more grit till the end of the month!

    Incompetence thy name is Labour!

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Stoking the flames of rebellion

    Well after yesterdays excitement (for a given value of excitement) I'm back at work and back in routine, bit chilly, but hey that's warehouse and wagon loading for you (they have the doors open all the time, I don't load wagons)

    Elsewhere our meddling MP's when they can tear themselves away from lining their pockets and/or being arrested have turned their sights on the drinkers of the land, not so much the criminal drinkers, but all drinkers as our MP's know a good tax raking scam when they see one.

    MPs have called for a fundamental overhaul of government policy to curb excessive drinking.
    A minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol, to curb excessive drinking in England, could save over 3,000 lives a year, the Health Select Committee said.
    Its scathing report accused ministers of paying more attention to the drinks industry's views than health experts.
    It is estimated alcohol abuse in England and Wales kills 40,000 people and costs the economy £55bn every year.
    The report also called for a rise in duty on spirits and white cider, mandatory health warnings on labels, and stricter regulation of alcohol advertising and promotion.
    The Scottish government has welcomed a call for minimum alcohol pricing made by a House of Commons committee.
    Westminster's health committee made the recommendation after claiming the drinks industry held more power over policy than health experts.
    The SNP government wants to bring in minimum pricing in Scotland, but is being blocked by opposition parties.
    Scottish ministers said the committee's call had provided influential support for their stance on alcohol.
    The recommendation came in a report published by the cross-party Commons health select committee, chaired by Labour MP Kevin Barron.
     These are the people with subsidised bars and restaurants too (subsidised by us) and it's following the same pattern as the jihad against smokers too if a bit more accelerated. It's much easier for the MP's to go after a law abiding majority and make them pay than actually deal with a problem caused by a few as well as deal with the underlying reasons behind the binge drinking culture (despair at no future but death and taxes, so why not drown your sorrows and forget about the crap politicians have got us in too).
    One of these days they'll push too far, if they haven't already, they seem to have a knack for getting the backs up of just about everyone save their own prejudiced pets.
    People just want to be left alone, they want politicians to make sure we have power, bins emptied, roads repaired and that the country can stave off an attack from outside (the basics in other words). They don't want politicians to set up laws about what's good for them, they don't mind politicians telling us what's good for them (mostly) but they really don't like meddlers, we'll tolerate a teetotaller, but we don't like it when a teetotaller tells us we can't have a drink because it's bad for us.
    Politicians would do well to remember that most problems resolve themselves over time and that doing nothing is actually the hardest job in politics. In this instance they should mind their own and do nothing because if you keep pushing, sooner or later we'll push back.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010


    Can't get to work today, not exactly snowed in, but I can't get my car up the hill at the end of my street because it's a skidpan and the bottom end is closed off to stop a rat run onto a small industrial estate.
    Someone has nicked the salt bins that were at the top and bottom of the hill and a car crashed into a lamppost, then almost hit another car trying to come down the hill when I was trying to get up it.
    I know residential areas aren't priorities for gritting, but it would have been nice. It would have been nice to have some salt bins too (with salt) but the gits that nicked them have put paid to that.
    Fortunately my boss is understanding, he managed to get cover for me and I'll ring him later to let him know if I can get out of the street for tomorrow. I hate doing this, I know it wasn't my fault (I suppose I could have parked elsewhere, but I didn't) but someone else has been inconvenienced by me and my working ethics make me uncomfortable doing it to them.

    It's snowing even as I write this, doesn't look good for tomorrow, still it is pretty to look at.

    Update: I finally managed to get out of the street at 14:30, thanks to a very civic minded pensioner digging away at the ice and snow and clearing a way for me. I finally returned to help the guy clear away the top (trickiest) part of the hill so his Mrs could escape too. Salt turned up off a wagon about 15:30 (ish Thanks to John Ward and his contacts on Medway Council) and we got those who wanted out of the street out in time for dusk when it started to freeze again.

    This is the car of the poor guy who hit the lamppost, it's an 09 Jag, I would have wept myself, now I'm just considering buying a 4 x 4 for next year.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    A waste of time and effort

    So, Gordon Brown's to be challenged. Hewitt and Hoon have decided that Labour stand a better chance without him than with him.
    They may be right, for a short period of time, a new leader could see a boost in the polls, particularly if he/she calls an immediate general election should they succeed.

    However what's right for Labour is not right for the country, they've robbed us blind, forced us into political correctness blind alleys, lead us into foreign wars, wrecked the economy, watched us, monitored us, took away our freedoms, sold us down the river to the EU, sold off our gold (cheap) wrecked the best pension scheme in Europe, lied, stole, supported the thugs of the UAF, denied the English democracy that they allow Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The list goes on and on.

    New Labour, new leader, no future.

    That said I'll be glad when Brown goes, I was just hoping for the pseudo socialists to be destroyed along with the Labour party alongside him. If Labour survive for a 4th term (still unlikely under new management), I don't think it will be a long one, the economy plus their scorched earth policies will haunt any future UK government and I'm fairly sure that it will take far more than any Labour government has ever offered to repair the damage of 1997 - 2010 for the above reasons.

    This is clearly a last throw of the die for Labour, it's becoming a choice between losing and being annihilated. I don't blame Hewitt and Hoon for doing it, I just wish they hadn't bothered, Labours day is done, they need to be killed off quickly and not believe they have a future prospect anywhere in the UK.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    More interference.

    What is it with idiot politicians and the urge to meddle in education? Actually, that's a rhetorical question, I already know the answer to it. The reason UK politicians meddle so much in education is at part down to the fact that its an area the EU does not legislate (so our politicians can) and also where they can start to indoctrinate the young into thinking "their" way.
    Yet all they've done is burdened good teachers and schools down with idiotic Britishness, sex education and now savings education.

    Children aged five will be given compulsory lessons on managing their finances from next year as part of a range of new measures for primary schools.
    Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families has disclosed details of the new programme, which starts with lessons on how to save money in a piggy bank.
    Mr Balls is also expected to announce a £50m fund for schools to intervene with extra lessons if six or seven-year-olds fall behind with basic Maths or English.
    In a joint pledge with Gordon Brown to be unveiled on Monday, he will promise that, from September, schools will provide small group tuition or one-to-one help for “those furthest behind”.
    He will also urge primary schools to teach at least one foreign language from September – a year ahead of the current deadline.
    Lessons about current and savings accounts and how to budget will be compulsory from all school pupils from September 2011 as part of a new personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum.
    Between the age of five and seven, they could be taught to identify different coins and notes, and how to save money.
    From seven to 11, youngsters could learn about managing bank and savings accounts, and how to budget.
     Now bearing in mind that the UK has the lowest basic literacy rates for school leavers in Europe (and pretty much all the civilised world) You'd think that the education minister would be trying like hell to clear away the clutter that clogs up a schools curriculum as well as ridding the red tape that slows down progress by testing and recording everything the kids and teachers do.
    But no, he keeps on adding the politically correct and/or stuff he thinks will win votes off parents.

    Back to basics got a bit of a bad name under the Major government (for good reasons) but with schools, that's exactly what's needed. Infants should concentrate on the 3 r's and a program of streaming introduced so that if you can't read, write or do basic maths, then you can't progress to the next year.
    Concentrate on the basics, then focus on teaching kids how to learn and research data and skills. Science, history and geography as well as a second language could then be introduced to a generation of kids who can find stuff out if they need to know or are simply just curious.

    My greatest fear is that politicians, particularly those driven by dogma don't want a generation prepared to question what's actually going on or that is smart enough to find out either.

    Hence the dumbing down and the overburdening of schools to the point where they can't teach anything well.


    Monday, January 4, 2010

    I just hope this is possible

    Many years ago my son was diagnosed with leukaemia, it wasn't a pleasant time for him as he had to go through chemotherapy and spent almost 6 months in hospital plus a further 2 years on and off being treated for various illnesses as his immune system was devastated by the drugs he had to take to kill it off. There were other side effects too, the stress of one parent or another always being in hospital along side him destroyed the marriage, still, we made good friends there too yet also had to witness the death of many of their children and the misery it wrought on their lives.
    We however were lucky my son is fine now, been in remission over 10 years, though it changed my life forever, still I have no regrets now on that part.

    A vaccine for leukaemia is about to be tested on human patients for the first time, in a breakthrough which could offer hope to thousands.
    British researchers have developed a treatment that can be used to stop the disease returning after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant.
    Eventually it is hoped the drug, which activates the body's own immune system against the leukaemia, could be used to treat other types of cancers.
    The first patients will be treated in the New Year as part of a small clinical trial at King's College London.
    The patients in the trial have the form known as Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), the most common form in adults. Even with aggressive treatment half would usually find the disease returns.
    The idea behind cancer 'vaccines" is not necessarily to prevent the disease. Instead, once a patient has been diagnosed, the 'vaccine' programmes the immune system to hunt down cancer cells and destroy them.
    The vaccine then prompts the immune system to recognise leukaemia cells if they return which prevents a relapse of the disease.
    The vaccine is created by removing cells from the patient's blood and manipulating them in the laboratory.
    The cells are given two genes which act as flags to help identify the leukaemia. It effectively focuses and boosts the immune system's ability to seek out and destroy cancer cells.
    This is an incredible breakthrough and a truly brilliant achievement, it will give hope to many and may even lead to more treatments and a far higher rate of recovery. With this treatment lives will no longer be disrupted and destroyed, parents will no longer have to grieve missing children. These doctors are offering hope to so many people and I wish them well and good luck with the trials.