Saturday, July 31, 2010

Preserving the past

I love history, granted it's not everyone's cup of tea, but something that fascinates me. I'm pretty much interested in everything, however it's mostly English history that fascinates and intrigues me, all the way back to the distant and occasionally not so distant past. Which is why I was delighted (for once) that Medway council decided to part with some of my cash and restore the Medway Queen.

BBC.
Medway Queen                                              
A paddle steamer famous for its exploits in saving more than 7,000 Allied troops during the Dunkirk evacuations of 1940 is to return to the River Medway.
Medway Council has secured £900,000 to bring back the Medway Queen from dockyards in Bristol next year.
The 1924 vessel made seven crossings, rescuing more than 7,000 men from the beaches of France.
Councillor Jane Chitty, cabinet member for economic growth, said the ship was part of Kent's naval heritage.
Restoration work on the ship's hull began in Bristol last April with money from a £1.86m Heritage Lottery Grant.
Medway Council applied to the European Regional Development Fund for a grant to complete the restoration and bring the ship home.
'Naval heritage'
The Heroes 2C project is being carried out in partnership with the Medway Queen Preservation Society and MidKent College.
Ahead of the ship's arrival, college students have been using their skills in woodwork and engineering to restore parts such as handrails and lamps.
During its final crossing in 1940, the Medway Queen was badly damaged and limped home on a single paddle.
The ship was refitted at Chatham Dockyard and served out the war as a training vessel.
It returned to paddle steaming on the Thames and Medway after the war and was decommissioned in 1963.
It's history projects like this that will help eventually to restore English pride in past achievements, not the watered down anti-English so called imperialistic history that socialist English hating teachers have foisted down on our kids today. History should be a wonderful subject enthusiastically taught to our kids showing (yes warts and all) where the people of this land came from, what they did and why we are.It's lack of this knowledge and ignorance of our roots that has enabled past governments to push through legislation against the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights as well as hand away sovereignty to a foreign oppressor.
If we lose our past, we lose our future.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Avoiding the elephant

Beer sales were up for the first time in 4 years hurrah! It's thought that the world cup and a warm summer has helped, according to a report in the Quarterly Beer Barometer.The problem being of course that beer sales only went up in Supermarkets, not in pubs, though the report doesn't focus on why that might be.

Cheer for beer, as World Cup and weather boosts beer sales
30.07.2010

• Total beer sales up 2.9 per cent
• First like-for-like quarterly rise for four years
• Pub beer sales down 6.3 per cent on last year, but up on first quarter
• Supermarket and off-licence beer sales increase by 13.7 per cent

Beer has enjoyed the first like-for-like quarterly increase in sales for four years, according to the latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer.
Beer sales in the second quarter were up by 2.9 per cent on last year; the first like-for-like quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2006.

More than 2.2 billion pints were sold during April to June, the best performance since the fourth quarter of 2008, with the World Cup providing a welcome boost. Beer sales were 625 million pints up on the first quarter and 63 million pints up on the same period in 2009.
Pub beer sales were down 6.3 per cent on the same period in 2009. However, sales were 166 million pints up on the first three months of 2010, the first rise since the second quarter of 2009. Almost 1.1 billion pints were sold in pubs during April to June compared with 923 million in January to March.
Sales in supermarkets and shops rose by 13.7 per cent in the second quarter. Year-on-year sales are also up by 4.4 per cent.
Year-on-year the beer market is down 1.4 per cent - a significant slowdown in the rate of decline and the best result since the second quarter of 2006.

With the Treasury currently conducting a Review of Alcohol Taxation the BBPA believes these pub beer sales figures make a compelling case for a sustained freeze in beer tax in order to help community pubs, which the coalition Government has pledged to support in the tax review.
You'll notice that no-one in the beer trade has mentioned the elephant in the room, they mention that a long term trend of people drinking at home, but they don't mention a major reason why. That reason is of course the practical banning of smokers from pubs and although it's possible in summer to enjoy a cigarette outside a lot of pubs, come the winter smokers simply wont bother, they'll buy their drinks in a supermarket and drink at home or invite friends around, after all why should they go somewhere they're obviously not wanted.
Personally I don't smoke myself, but it's never bothered me that other people I know do or did, though some ex smokers do find it to be a problem. No I've never been bothered by passive smoking and if the dept of health records are to be believed then I shouldn't be either, seems no-one has ever died because of it, though this might just be a case of litigation avoidance. Still it has been noticeable that pub sales are down since Labour lied about a partial ban and exemptions for certain places and decided to go the whole hog and turn a legal pastime into the equivalent of social pariahdom. It's costing them money too, tax revenues are down, though they have shifted their targets to drinkers and fatties, but again they'll lose revenue because of that too.
Perhaps one day we'll get a government that will leave us alone to do pretty much as we want so long as we're harming no-one else. I'm not going to hold my breath on it ever being a Lib/Lab/Con one though.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bigger does not mean better

There's speculation that by the year 2050 Britain will be the biggest country in the EU.

Telegraph.

Britain will be the biggest country in Europe by 2050, overtaking both France and Germany, according to official projections. 

Britain will see its population swell from today's 62.2 million to 77 million, an increase of 24 per cent.This will make it bigger than France, projected to be 70 million and Germany, which is predicted to have 71.5 million citizens. 
The forecasts come form the Population Reference Bureau, a US body which supplies data to governments and institutions around the world.
The predictions suggest that Britain will see its population increase over the next 40 years at a far faster rate than nearly every other European country. The extra 15 million equates to the combined populations of Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool being added to the total national population over the next two generations.
Britain's population has started to climb sharply in recent years. Last year the Office for National Statistics indicated that mothers had more children than at any time since 1973.
Immigrant mothers accounted for more than half of the increase in births, but the fertility rate among British-born women also rose sharply.
The Population Reference Bureau predicts that France's population, in contrast, will increase at half the rate, adding 7 million to its 63 million. While Germany will actually see its population fall sharply from 81.6 million to 71.5 million because of a lack of immigration, and a far lower birth rate than that in Britain. It already has the second oldest population in the world after Japan, with one in five of all Germans over the age of 65.
Europe, in total, will see its population dip from 739 million to 720 million, because of its low birth rate.

 Ok it's a crowded island and going to get fuller too, but will it still be a Britain we recognise? Or rather knowing where the increases are coming, will it be an England we recognise as the vast majority of the increase will be in England. Will we have jobs for them (I hope so, my pension depends on it) or will it be a case of an ever decreasing private sector paying out more and more to support an army of welfare junkies and an aged population? Of course the EU might not want us by then or we may have escaped before Cameron's army of Turks comes swarming across Europe looking for the pot of gold at the end of the Channel Tunnel. Or it could be the ultimate dystopia and nightmare of a failed state, not enough power (thanks Huhne) badly educated population, no industry to speak of, religious extremism, starvation Africa style and pariah status from the rest of the world who want to keep us out, or at bay.
Just about the only good news is that it doesn't look like the Moslem's will outbreed our home grown girls, at least not in the short term. But it probably wont be an England we'd care to live in, at least not as we see things now.
2050 is still a long way off. A lot can happen between now and then, but we do need to get some of our politicians to start thinking long term, not just up to the next general election. We need to decide what kind of society we want to have by 2050 and put measures into effect to see we get it. First and foremost, that will mean leaving the EU, second means restoring our manufacturing and trading ability, third get rid of environmentalists in the power generation and faux climate industry, fourth devolve power in the UK to a federation and devolve the federated states down to county levels for most decisions.
Easy enough I'd say.

 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sting in the tail

In the next few years the government is going to waste more of our money give a £5000 subsidy on electric cars to promote a green lifestyle no doubt. In other words like most governments they are going to try and buck the market with probably the usual results of pouring good money after bad.

Telegraph.

Drivers are to get a subsidy of up to £5,000 towards the cost of electric and plug-in hybrids car under Government plans to promote “greener” motoring. 

The £43 million on offer will be enough to contribute towards for the purchase of 8,600 vehicles during the first 15 months of the scheme, which begins in January.
However with the technology still in its infancy, it was unclear how many models would qualify for the programme. 
According to the AA there are the three which currently qualify for the programme and all priced in the luxury car bracket.
The cheapest is the Nissan Leaf, which will cost £28,000 when it goes on sale. The Mitsubishi i-Miev carries a £38,000 price tag.
At the top end of the market there is the Tesla sports car, which sells for £92,000.
However the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said it expected a number of other models to come onto the market next year.
The grants are expected to be made available on a first come, first served basis and will be used to cut the price of the car when it is bought from the dealer.
Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, said the grant showed the Coalition’s determination to tackle climate change.
“We are sending a clear signal that Britain is open for business and that we are committed to greening our economy. This will ensure that the UK is a world leader in low emission vehicles.”
The scheme was also welcomed by Philip Edmund King, the AA’s president.
“This is excellent news and will be a fillip for manufacturers and consumers who are keen to see both further development of low or carbon-free emitting vehicles and for them to be more competitively priced in the market place.,” he said.
“The recent successful scrappage scheme showed just how effective a stimulus package like this can be,”
Ok, my views on climate change are well known to those who read this blog, in that climate changes, but if you think mankind is having an effect then you're deluding yourself. However I can sort of see the advantage of an electric car if you are just doing short trips and don't really expect to go boy racing, bit like an upgraded version of a mobility scooter so to speak. However the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages at the moment. Battery life is only 6 to 10 years or about 100,000 miles (it may improve) and they are damned expensive to replace, something that Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive owners are about to start experiencing very soon.where the cost of new batteries is more than the car is worth.
But in typical government style, what they give away in one hand, they take back with the other.


Telegraph.

Householders face a £300-a-year rise in their gas and electricity bills and significant cuts in how much energy they use if Britain is to “keep the lights on” and meet its climate change targets, the Government has said.

So they're encouraging you to buy electric and putting the prices up as well also in their "green" madness they are building 44,000 wind turbines and situating them in one of the worst storm areas in the North Sea complete with salt damage and very, very high maintenance costs. Something that the government clearly doesn't have a clue about.
Still, I don't suppose any of the government really care, it's unlikely to affect them at all, unless there's a revolution and we string them up, even then some of the rats will no doubt escape the sinking ship. I expect they'll all make a break for it when the lights eventually go out on a wind less day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Power to the people?

I suppose it's typical in a way that the party that did its utmost to politicise the police (Yes New Labour we're looking at you) objects to the public actually being given a chance to have some control over the police.

BBC.
The government's planned shake-up of policing in England and Wales is an "unnecessary, unwanted and expensive diversion", shadow home secretary Alan Johnson has said.
In a Commons statement on 26 July 2010, Home Secretary Theresa May claimed plans for electing police commissioners and replacing the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) with a national crime-fighting force represented "the most radical reforms to policing in at least 50 years".
But Mr Johnson described parts of the statement as "infantile drivel... probably written by some pimply nerd foisted upon her office by No 10".
He argued that the new proposals were a "triple whammy" for the police, attacking planned budget cuts and measures to restrict the use of DNA and CCTV.
Mr Johnson also asked how Mrs May would "safeguard the independence" of chief constables under the new system.
He told her: "There is a clear argument for enhancing and increasing the role and responsibility of local government so that local councillors have a clear mandate for holding the police to account.
"That is the route we should be taking rather than this unnecessary, unwanted and expensive diversion."
But Mrs May accused Labour of being "complacent" on law and order.
She told MPs: "The average police constable is spending only 14% of their time on the streets and 22% in filling forms."
Now whether or not this will have the effect that Theresa May thinks it will or not is moot. It has become apparent over the last 13 years that the police are not doing the job that most members of the public think they should be doing. Increasing use of intrusive legislation by the previous government has caused friction between the public and the police to the extent that even taking a photograph in public now carries a threat of arrest, harassment or confiscation of equipment and deletion of images, both illegal under current law but it has happened, even in my own town of Chatham. The police under the previous Labour government moved further away from policing by consent to becoming an arm of the state used to enforce the states dictates rather than uphold the law by way of the Peelian principles.
Will elected Chief Constables sort out the problem? I don't know, but it will certainly give the public an opportunity to kick the mealy mouthed, political phrase spouting chief constables selected for the posts by Labour. After all, a vote for me and I'll cut crime will work so much better than a vote for me to increase community cohesiveness, gender equality and multicultural inclusiveness. They will be judged by results, rather than politically correct box ticking and getting more police out doing stuff that the public can see will no doubt be a vote winner too, so long as they aren't harassing us with petty interferences such as grabbing cameras.
Johnson of course wants more political control of the police via local councils, which might be fine if some weren't so dogma ridden as to be untrustworthy to look after local people rather than spouting the party line.
So the May idea has potential, whether it works only time will tell, politicians are loathe to allow anything to slip their control so it might only be window dressing. It's certainly a better idea than Labours though, anyone looking at the career of Sir Ian Blair could tell you that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bad laws

Doesn't seem to matter which political party is in power when they call for swift repatriation of illegal immigrants, for all their good intentions (seemingly) they founder on the rock of the legal system.

Sky.

A Home Office policy allowing the speedy deportation of foreign nationals refused permission to remain in the UK has been declared unlawful.

A High Court judge ruled that the policy meant people were being given "little or no notice" of removal and deprived of access to justice.
There is a general Home Office practice of giving those facing deportation 72 hours notice of removal directions.
The legal challenge was triggered by an "exceptions policy", introduced by the Government in March 2007 and widened in January this year.
It created categories in which an individual could be given little or no notice.
The decision was a victory for Medical Justice, which provides independent medical and legal advice to detainees in immigration removal centres.
Dinah Rose QC, appearing in court for Medical Justice, said UK Border Agency officers had used the policy to swoop late at night and escort people to flights leaving only a few hours later.
Distressed individuals were deprived of the chance to speak to a lawyer and, if so advised, launch last-ditch challenges against removal.
Home Office lawyers argued at a hearing at London's High Court last month that the exceptions policy was "sufficiently flexible" to ensure there were no human rights breaches.
They said detainees were given as much notice as possible and safeguards had been put in place.
But Mr Justice Silber has now rejected the Home Office case.
He said the new policy failed to ensure that those who received reduced periods of notice were able to obtain legal advice before they were removed.
The judge declared: "The policy is unlawful and must be quashed."
The Home Office has said it is "disappointed" with the decision, and will be appealing it.
Now whilst in general I'm in favour of an open borders policy, with the proviso that those who come here get nothing until they have paid into the system for at least 4 to 5 years (housing, medical, unemployment etc.) until we do get such a system then anyone who turns up illegally gets thrown out immediately after 1 appeal. We can set skill levels and job vacancies for legal immigrants (assuming we leave the EU) but you turn up expecting a meal ticket and free house then sorry no, go back to where you came from or France whichever is closest. Personally I'm of the opinion that until the system is totally shaken up you cannot get an entry visa to the UK in the UK nor be able to claim asylum in the UK, it has to be done in the country you come from or the next one along, no entry visa = no entry and off on the next plane home. Until the law is changed however you get situations like the above where do-gooders try to play the system to keep their pets in the country and supposedly safe from harm. The country is full, there aren't enough jobs to go around and those of us who pay tax are getting a little tired of supporting those who have contributed nothing to the UK.
It's time to end this human rights farce, leave the EU and repudiate any U.N treaties on refugees that allow lawyers to block deportation. Charity begins at home, not with asylum seekers no matter how endangered they are, though I'm prepared to make exceptions for those with valuable skills.

 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A good day to be an Englishman #6

Considering our utter failure in the football I as an Englishman have had to look far and wide in our wonderful land to find a "sporting" hero worthy of praise.

Step forward Dean Gould 45 of Felixstowe, Suffolk holder of the world record in beer mat flipping.

Telegraph.
Dean Gould 45, flipped and caught 35 beer mats with two fingers whilst blindfolded - more than doubling the previous best of 16.
He also set a new 'speed flipping' record with 800 successful flips in just 41.06 seconds. 
The third record involved catching 108 mats after dropping them from his elbow, beating the old 'snatch' record of 107.
Mr Gould, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, adds the three records to his previous tally of 13 Guinness World Record entries, which include licking and sticking 235 stamps to envelopes in five minutes.
He also holds the record for catching an incredible 341 one penny coins from his elbow and eating 113 sweetcorn kernels with a cocktail stick in three minutes.
Speaking of his latest feat, he said: ''It was great to break three records and a really good event.
''It was a wonderful atmosphere in the pub and people really enjoyed the day.''
The world record attempts were carried out to celebrate the start of Proud of Pubs Week 2010 at the Wiremill, in Lingfield, Surrey - which is The Publican magazine's Pub of the Year - last week.
So not only is he damned good at it, he can do it blindfolded too! Well done Dean Gould, an Englishman to be proud of with an amazing talent in a very eccentric "sporting" area.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

May the force be with you..............soon

I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later, but it seems as if Darth Vader is now a bank robber.

Express.

MAN DRESSED AS DARTH VADER RAIDS BANK

Story Image
A CCTV image of the armed robber dressed as the baddie from Star Wars
STAFF and customers were amused when a man dressed as Darth Vader strolled into a bank. One even joked with the Star Wars villain – until he pulled out a handgun and demanded cash, screaming: “This is not a joke.”
The six-foot robber, wearing a Darth Vader mask, cloak and, incongruously, camouflage trousers, robbed the bank in Long Island, New York, on Thursday.
After stuffing an undisclosed amount of cash in a bag he fled, punching a customer who tried to stop him.
 

Police released CCTV images of the phantom menace yesterday, but admit they have a difficult task as he wore his mask throughout the robbery.


Not funny for the bank or the customers of course, but this is one of the reasons why entry to those who conceal their faces is a must for certain buildings and facilities, religious reasons be damned. Not that religion has a lot to do with face concealment, more a case of  look I'm more holier than you and I reject your society. Still if people want to dress like that, that's up to them, but they also have to accept that certain places should have the right to say unless you show your face you will not be permitted entry.

Size apparently does matter...

I'm often amazed at some of the things judges fall for when they hear from barristers or solicitors in the courtroom, but this is a new one.

Express.
A PINT-SIZED thug has escaped jail amid fears he could be bullied.
Andrew Watson – who is just 4ft 11in – waded in to a mob attack on an innocent man he wrongly believed had assaulted a female friend.
Last night, victim campaigners reacted with horror that he was not imprisoned.

Watson twice kicked his victim in a melee in which the man was knocked to the ground and had £50 stolen from his wallet.
Watson, 26, denied the attack in Darlington, Co Durham, in July last year – but after learning there was CCTV footage, he claimed to have been trying to help the man.
But at Teesside Crown Court he admitted taking part. Lawyer Peter Sabiston told Judge Peter Bowers his client, a building site supervisor, was “fearful of custody and not the normal fear one sees from defendants”.
“He is only 4ft 11in and suffers bullying in the best of environments, let alone in a custodial setting,” he added.
Watson, of Shildon, Co Durham, was given 10 months in jail suspended for 18 months, ordered to do 150 hours’ work unpaid, pay £500 costs and £500 compensation and wear a curfew tag for four months.
Lyn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder And Aggression, said: “I’ve heard it all now – this is the weakest excuse not to send someone to prison. He wasn’t too short to beat somebody up. If we can’t trust judges to have common sense, then who can we trust?”
So, he's not too small to go into a melee and attack an innocent man, but apparently he is too small to go to prison in case he gets bullied. Clearly the judge hasn't heard of "short arse syndrome" it's an affliction seen in the vertically challenged whereby they make up for their lack of height by being totally over the top aggressive in the face of any situation. It's sort of akin to what car drivers do when they suddenly turn highly territorial when driving yet appear mild when not. Now Watson may fear being bullied, however that's no excuse not to be sent to prison for assault, clearly he has never heard of the maxim, "hate the time, don't do the crime" Yes there are financial penalties for him, however he'll be able to lead a fairly normal life, tagged or not, be able to drink, go places with few effects other than in the evening with his liberty.
In short (pun intended) he's gotten away with it and opened the door to any other shortarse who gets into a fight to use his excuse as theirs.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Own goal

The establishment "Righteous" simply can't seem to help themselves, mortified by the progress of the BNP and its assumption of privileges that they see as only being for the "Righteous" simply because the awful proles voted for them during the EU elections, they've looked for a way to ban them or stop them in their tracks. Problem being of course is that the BNP are very good at playing the victim card.

BBC.
BNP leader Nick Griffin has been denied entry to a Buckingham Palace garden party over claims he "overtly" used his invitation for political purposes.
A spokesman said his behaviour had "increased the security threat and the potential discomfort" to other guests.
But Mr Griffin, who had been invited to the event along with all the UK's Euro MPs, told BBC News the ban was an "absolute scandal".
The anti-immigration party's other MEP, Andrew Brons, is attending the party.
Before the ban was imposed Mr Griffin, an MEP for North West England, described the Buckingham Palace invitation on the BNP website as a "highly symbolic breakthrough" for the party and e-mailed supporters asking for questions they would like him to ask the Queen.
Mr Griffin also appeared on GMTV to talk about his invitation to the garden party.
Well, they've been a bit more crafty about this one than they usually have, by banning Griffin and letting the nonentity in, shows a talent for political assassination  far more subtle than the usual "Righteous" hobnails. But, it wont work, Griffin is too polarising, those who were glad to see him banned aren't open to reason anyway, as far as they are concerned anything to do with the BNP, normal rules do not apply. That this reflects badly on them matters not one whit, hypocrisy is just another word to be shrugged off so long as they get their way. Those who wanted to see him go, aren't too surprised, we know what the "Righteous" are like, we might not like Griffin or the BNP, but we know fair play when we see it and we know we'll never see it with the BNP, which only garners them more support elsewhere.
So once again instead of ignoring them, the establishment scores another own goal when dealing with the BNP, just like they did on Question Time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tilting at windmills

A lot of people like me like to buy stuff online, it's cheaper (usually) and you can often track down stuff that is simply impossible to find in the local high street. What a lot of people don't realise is that the safe and secure credit transfers weren't invented by the banks or shops, they were actually invented by the sex industry to get customers to pay for access to their sites. One of the things the internet is responsible for is the massive increase and access to porn in peoples lives, not all of us look at it, but at times it is unavoidable and most adults (and teens too) are aware at least that it's out there. Some aspects of it are illegal to watch and do, but these sites are often enough in countries that have different standards and/or don't care what their ISP's get up too.
Which is why Labour's Geraint Davies MP for Swansea West is wasting his time along with 40 other MP's who want to fine pre paid debit card user companies if their users access child pornography.

BBC.
Credit and debit card companies should face fines if their products are used to buy child pornography on the internet, an MP has said.
Raising the issue in Parliament, Labour's Geraint Davies said he wanted an end to anonymity for pre-paid credit cards used to pay to download images.
Card firms such as Visa and Mastercard had shown "no appetite" to deal with the matter and MPs "must act", he said.
Visa said it did not allow any of its cards to be used for such a purpose.
Mr Davies put the case for new controls on the use of pre-paid cards in a Ten minute rule Motion - a type of motion designed to highlight an issue which rarely has a realistic chance of becoming law.
New threat
Pre-paid cards could be bought for £100 at shops and service stations, he told fellow MPs.
The buyers remained anonymous, he said, and could simply use the card to access the "growing" number of sites showing indecent images of children.
He said it was "the new route for users is to hide their identity".
"All the buyer has to do is put in a name and address - say Donald Duck and Buckingham Palace - and away he goes."
Citing firms such as Visa and Mastercard, he said pre-paid cards were also being used by children to buy knives and alcohol.
'Money involved'
While action had been taken to stop credit and debit cards being used in this way, he said "this horse had now bolted" as offenders were now using pre-paid cards.
People buying a pre-paid card should have to provide proof of identity such as passport or driving licence details, he argued.
In addition, he said credit card companies should be liable for penalties when their cards were used to download abusive images.
Now I doubt this foolish MP will be successful, the government has got far too much to do without getting involved with private members bills. However it does expose the kneejerk sort of reaction prevalent in many MP's who have to be seen to be doing something, even if it means closing down a legitimate credit transaction process for everyone, not just the few who abuse it. I have a pre-paid credit card myself, I often load it up for my booze cruises to France and I use it to occasionally surprise my good Lady with presents and trips away, as there is no paper trail or statement to spoil the surprise. Yet because some idiot MP sees a self promoting (for the cheeldren!!) moment without giving adequate pause for the entire ramifications of what he's doing there's a possibility that the debit card companies will decide that this is a service they aren't prepared to offer just in case one of their customers lands them with massive fines. It really isn't the business of a debit card company to check for criminal tendencies on the part of its customers other than in the very narrow field of credit rating, after all what control have they over what there customers use the cards for? Yet Geraint Davies is using the usual sledgehammer and nut approach to dealing with a problem, he's prepared for no-one to have a card (though he may not see it that way) rather than a crime be committed. Julia, Obo and Mark Wadsworth also have their take on the matter too.
What it boils down too other than another Labour attack on peoples freedom is that there is always a way around these things be it pre paid credit cards, pay pal or whatever is next on the market. This industry wants your money, it will find a way to get your money, it recognises that you may wish to be anonymous about handing it over and so will find a means to do this without the "Madame Fifi's house of pain" appearing in bold on your statement. Geraint Davies is wasting his time, he's wasting Parliaments time too on an approach that simply will not work, the only good thing to come out of this is that we'll have the names of about 40 bansturbating, authoritarian feckwits to keep an eye on in the future.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The right to protest

A lot has been said about the removal of the "Peace Village" on parliament square and the view of human rights and the right to protest. Well I don't have any problem with the right to protest, so long as you accept my right to ignore said protest. However, if said protest involves squatting on land that isn't yours for an indefinite period then the rules change. You want to go away and come back every day fine, you want to live there while you protest, then sorry, no you don't especially if you vandalise and wreck the land around your squat.

Parliament Square used to look a bit like this...


Neat and tidy and only the silly old man Brian Haw and his employment avoiding protest at the front to the square (It must be employment avoiding as anyone else would have their benefits cut by now, so he can't be looking for work) Then came the peace village which took over the whole green and proceeded to live there and use it as a public toilet. Eventually the Mayor had them removed much to their disgust, however what they left behind was this...


Notice the difference?
Now as I said, everyone has the right to protest, however this looks suspiciously like criminal damage and vandalism. The grass might grow back, but somehow I doubt it, more likely it will have to be re-turfed and the costs met by the people of London, rather than the squatters.
I know where I'd like the bill to be sent, however the soap dodgers protesting there are unlikely to have the means to pay, they just wanted to live for free whilst protesting about Afghanistan, which is fine, but as far as I'm concerned you can do that by travelling from your digs/home in the morning and going back at night, even arrange shifts for a round the clock vigil. What you don't get to do is live at and wreck the place you're protesting at, that's why you had to go, not because you were embarrassing the government, but because you were vandals.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tax surcharges, or making motorists the equivalent of sex offenders.

It's a well known fact that the previous government looked upon motorists as a cash cow to be milked by the system by any means possible, including the infamous Victims Surcharge scheme to help fund more rape crisis centre, which was added on to existing fines for what the government saw as a worthy cause, but left motorists wondering "why me?" Well it seems as if the coalition also love the scheme...

Telegraph.
The Coalition Government is looking at how to expand the Victims Surcharge scheme to help fund more rape crisis centres.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed last year the £15 charge, currently added to fines handed out by the courts to help fund services for victims, was to be extended to on-the-spot fines and fixed penalties. 
That paved the way for millions of people, including speeding drivers, to be liable as well.
But the new Government is now reviewing the scheme further, including increasing the charge or spreading it to more offences.
Sources in the courts fear it could be doubled to £30.
For a motorist, that would mean paying half again on top of the standard £60 speeding fine.
Critics said support for victims of rape was to be welcomed but warned the move effectively placed motorists who park in the wrong place in the same category as sex offenders.
The Victim's Surcharge was introduced in April 2007 and has so far raised around £21 million, including £1.2 million for rape crisis centres.
Those figures would be dwarfed if the charge is doubled and extended to millions of people who Around three million drivers are given tickets for speeding each year and more than 200,000 on the spot fines are issued annually.
The Ministry of Justice has announced it wants to develop the scheme to fund rape crisis centres.
So not only are they after more money for pet projects, they are determined to get motorists to pay for help centres for crimes they haven't committed. I could just about understand it if the fines were going towards improving roads, improving road safety or driver training centres, but rape crisis centres? Surely this should be the in the remit and punishment of sexual offenders, not motorists. Again, this is lazy government, you see a problem and you go straight to the nearest cash cow to milk more resources to pay for a solution. Again it's using the normally law abiding (for these are civil not criminal laws) to pay for something the government itself should be providing and if necessary funding it by grabbing the assets of sexual predators.

If they are going to levy a surcharge, then it should go towards the victims of road accidents, not rapists, it's simply not right.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Out of touch #2

They still don't get it, but by God they are determined to ram anthropomorphic caused global warming climate change down our throats despite its poisoned chalice reputation. They really do think we're stupid and that flash gimmicks will help change peoples minds.

Sky.

Ministers hope a new Google Earth map can help banish public scepticism and confusion over the potential effects of climate change.

The map shows how different areas of the world would be altered by
 a 4C average rise in global temperatures.
The map shows the effects of a 4C rise in global temperatures

The interactive graphic shows how different areas of the world would be altered by a 4C average rise in global temperatures.
It suggests forest fires, drought and water shortages will be much more common by the end of the century if greenhouse gases are not curbed.
Like other Google Maps, users can drag their way around the globe to see which parts of the world could suffer most.
Climate Change Minister Greg Barker MP told Sky News: "This is really accessible and a high impact way to take on board some quite complex information.
"This brings it all together at a time when of course some people are baffled by the science."
Last week the Muir Russell report into hacked emails between scientists at the University of East Anglia cleared them of manipulating data but called for climate change researchers be more open with their work to promote rigorous debate and openness.
Anyone who's studied a little about global warming climate change will tell you that for twelve years there has been a rise 0.10C, in other words, no significant measurable temperature rise and whilst it is possible that a 40C rise is possible, it's very very unlikely as many of the more sceptical honest scientists believe the Earth to be in a cooling cycle and that temperatures globally are more likely to fall than rise.
Again it seems that politicians, scientists and believers in the global warming religion are prepared to stoop to scare tactics in their increasingly desperate attempts to make us follow them into the abyss and take up a low tech medieval culture with a 90% cull of the human populace (the 10% left would be politicians, scientists and believers, natch)
Still the advantage I suppose is that the more they scream the more people check out their lies, rather than fall for them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Out of touch

Jug Lugs (aka His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Great Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Chief Grand Commander of the Order of Logohu, Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty) Has had another tilt at climate skeptics again.

Telegraph.

The Prince of Wales has accused climate change sceptics of using 'pseudo science' and 'intimidation' to stop the world from addressing catastrophic global warming. 

He likened the failure to combat rising temperatures across the world to playing "Russian Roulette with the future of our children".
But instead of acting, the Prince said more and more people are listening to the "siren voices" of climate change sceptics who argue that the theory of man-made global warming is simply a "sinister attempt to undermine the capitalist system". 
"It has been profoundly depressing to witness the way the so-called climate sceptics are, apparently, able to intimidate all sorts of people from adopting the precautionary measures necessary to avert environmental collapse," he said.
"For too long we have treated the planet like a perpetual cash machine which doles out money without there ever being any need to check the bank-balance. But now, finally, the money is running out."
Recent scandals have damaged the reputation of climate science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was forced to apologise after mistakenly claiming the Himalyan glaciers could melt by 2035.
And scientists at the University of East Anglia were accused of exaggering the extent of global temperature rise.
Although , the so-called 'climategate' saga coupled with the coldest winter in the UK for 30 years has led to a drop in the number of Britons who now believe global warming is caused by humans.
A recent survey showed 70 per cent of people in the UK now believe climate change is man made compared with 90 per cent five years ago.
Addressing hundreds of business leaders at St James's Palace, the Prince said scepticism is "on the rise" and called on the private sector to not only cut carbon emissions but persuade the public to take man made global warming seriously.
In this as on so many things Charley Boy is wrong, the evidence has been mounting for years that the alarmists have exaggerated their claim and tilted the peer review  system to be totally in their favour. Yes the the British researchers were cleared of dishonesty, but the suspicion was of a whitewash as the guy doing the investigation was known to be in the governments pocket and the government is obsessed with climate change as it see it as yet another way to milk the taxpayer for money. So for the reasons detailed in the tale as well as those above scepticism is on the rise and with damned good reason and I doubt that Charley Boy or business leaders will ever be able to now persuade the public that somehow the climate religionists are not trying to rip us off and send us back to a medieval economy. It boils down to this, do I believe the IPCC and the people at the core of the warmist religion whom I know for a fact have lied to us and attempted to deceive us, or do I believe a small but growing band of scientists and bloggers who have taken it upon themselves to chip away at the house of cards set up by the warmists and expose their lies. Personally, I tend to mistrust liars, particularly when they are utterly unrepentant about doing so, because if they can do it over the data needed to surmise what's actually happening to the planet, then they will take us down a path we don't need to go down, now or ever. They are tainted goods, even if they were now to release evidence supporting their theories (for that is all they are) many will doubt and assume they are telling porkies. This is why Charley Boy is pissing into the wind, we simply don't believe him and his fellow religionists, after all this is a guy who uses a private jet to carry him and Horse Face (aka Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland) in true hypocritical style from London to the Highlands of Scotland as well as occasionally having food from his "green" Duchy transferred up to the highlands by Range Rover instead of using local produce.
With Charles as with a lot of the higher levels of the warmist religion, it's far more often a case of do as I say rather than do as I do.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The true cost of socialism revealed

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today released a study revealing that the public purse after Labour's disastrous rule will be faced with £4.84 trillion of liabilities compared with the current public sector net debt figure of £903bn. This effectively means that labours 13 year regime will end up costing the taxpayers (and by this I mean the real tax payers, not the public sector which I already fund and who simply give some back) into the next generation and beyond. They may just have crippled any hope of an economic recovery for a very long time.


Telegraph.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a study revealing that the public purse could be faced with £4.84 trillion of liabilities compared with the current public sector net debt figure of £903bn.
David Hobbs of the ONS described the public sector balance sheet as an “open-ended concept” as he outlined liabilities that are considered to be “off-balance sheet” or not covered in official debt measures. 
The Government’s stakes in RBS and Lloyds Banking Group could add another £1 trillion to £1.5 trillion, the ONS said, the largest potential liability.
Meanwhile, unfunded public service pension obligations could account for a further £770bn to £1.2 trillion, while unfunded state pension schemes amounted to between £1.17 trillion and £1.35 trillion.
“For transparency, it is important for a broad range of information on public sector liabilities, obligations and contingencies to be made readily available, whether or not included within balance sheets,” Mr Hobbs said.
The report also highlighted a potential £200bn of off-balance sheet obligations from private finance initiative schemes, and £40bn in nuclear decommissioning liabilities.
Hr Hobbs also set out a further £500bn miscellaneous grouping of guarantees and contingent obligations, some of which “are more likely to materialise than others”.
The total in liabilities and obligations came to £3.68 trillion to £4.84 trillion. 
Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency, earlier this week kept Britain’s debt rating on negative watch, saying it had concerns about the forecasts laid out by George Osborne, the Chancellor. 
There are still people out there who are now blaming the Tories for cancelling school rebuilds, public service unions planning strike action over possible job losses.The man behind the fiasco meanwhile is missing in action, currently writing his memoirs and going to the zoo for a party. He's only turned up at Parliament for 2 days, yet got paid for the 68 days it's been running, no doubt his constituents are pleased about that, though they'd be daft enough to vote for a donkey with a red rosette given the opportunity.
I'm no economic expert, so I don't know how we'll get out of this one, but I suspect if we do it will be horrendous and will be painful and destructive to lives and incomes, particularly the public sector as it's one of the few areas the government can go wholesale on, though I expect taxes will rise in certain areas too. A few good tax cuts on business might work, particularly if we can attract them here to employ people. After all, what they don't pay in rates, the employees pay in income tax as well as spending power. Still if the socialists thought the last budget was bad, watch this space, it's going to get a lot worse before it might get better. Hopefully the coalition will keep rubbing Labours faces in the mess they made, the last thing this country needs is socialism or a Labour government.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We have our reasons

According to a report only 38% of us would intervene if we saw a bunch of teens wrecking a bus shelter as opposed to 52% of our European cousins. The only real surprise is that 38% of us would, still I suppose it depends on the area you live in. Mostly this is a direct result of socio-liberal meddling with the social ties in the UK where they've effectively disengaged the police from being seen as our friends, have given kids far more rights than adults, have emasculated the male half of the population with crb checks and the suspicion that we're all sexual predators/paedophiles.

Telegraph.

People are less willing to intervene in anti-social behaviour than anywhere else in Europe, according to a former Downing Street strategist.
Ben Rogers, the author, blames changes to the character of the population for the apathy amid fears they are “loosening social ties". 
He suggests changes in the make-up of local populations and society, such as the impact of large inflows of migrants and more households now having both the men and women going out to work.
The study also warns the "spread of liberal or permissive" norms has left people unsure whether they can confront or admonish their neighbours or their neighbour's children.
It calls for an army of civilians, such as milkmen and pub landlords, to be trained to intervene and confront anti-social behaviour.
The report, for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA), said Britain has the most serious problems of anti-social behaviour than any of it’s main European neighbours.
But 62 per cent of Britons say they would not intervene to stop a group of teenagers smashing up a bus stop, compared with 48 per cent across western Europe.
Only three in ten people would feel confident to intervene compared with six in ten in Germany.
The author Ben Rogers, a former team leader in the Downing Street Strategy Unit, points to a number of causes, including fewer local “authority figures” such as milkmen or postal workers and therefore fewer who are willing to intervene on the street.
But Mr Rogers, now an associate fellow at the think tanks the Institute for public Policy Research and Demos, added: “Changes to the character of local resident populations, more women going out to work and greater diversity and churn may have resulted in a loosening of social ties and expectations.”
A perception that the system is weighted against those who take a stand and in favour of offenders was also a factor, he said.
In 2008, Louise Casey, the then Government's anti-social behaviour adviser, said that Britain had become a "walk-on-by'' society where law-abiding citizens were unwilling to help victims of violent crime because of fears they would either be attacked themselves or face arrest.
The report, The Woolwich Model. Can citizens tackle anti-social behaviour?, said the UK was “seen to have the most serious problem with anti-social behaviour” among six main European countries and three quarters of people blame 14 to 25-year-olds.
Britain is also said to have the highest rates of drunkenness and violence among young people.
Mr Rogers suggested public workers such as caretakers, park keepers, milkmen and postmen could be trained to confront low-level yobbery and even learn restraint techniques.
He likened the move to the large number of people who have basic first aid skills that can be used at any point if needed.
Mr Rogers said: “We argue that community training will build up a culture of intervention beyond the police and equip citizens and public servants more generally.
“If we’re to tackle anti-social behaviour then communities need to be given the confidence that they can solve their own problems without always resorting to state-led interventions.”
This is a direct result of discriminatory legislation which removed the right to admonish anyone from doing wrong, the old clip across the ear by an adult rule. Save now any adult admonishing a yob will either be ignored, or set upon themselves as well as being subject to a campaign of terror by the feral mobs we've created. The law has tilted too far in favour of those who wish to cause trouble and many now live in fear because the police/councils wont do anything about it and if they do.......well they're usually on their own. 
Unless the police and the authorities are given the power to rigorously deal with troublemakers in communities as well as back up those who make a stand then nothing will get done. However as these feral scum seem to know their rights far better than most it will be difficult unless we rid ourselves of human rights legislation, rights should be for the law abiding, criminal behaviour should be recognised as breaking the social compact and the law should come down like a ton of bricks on those who break it, particularly when it impacts on people directly. Effectively disarming the population hasn't helped either, many have come to rely on the state for protection only to discover the state has its own agenda and its own priorities.
So our society will remain broken despite the feeble attempts by Ben Rogers to get more people involved. Unless and until people feel safe knowing they'll get back up if dealing with the ferals then they'll continue ignoring the ferals behaviour, if I remonstrate with a bunch of teens destroying a bus shelter and have to physically defend myself, then I don't want to be the one ending up in court. It really is as simple as that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pandering

I read somewhere that Moslem's make up about 5% of the population (and seemingly cause over 95% of headlines about intolerance) And again they are in the news because some do gooders in the Stoke-on-Trent City Council have produced an 11 page document advising schools that as Ramadan is about to happen then "special" allowances will have to be made for Moslem children over this period. OK fair enough, however the "special" allowances don't just affect Moslem children, oh no, that would be far too simple, they affect all children, Moslem or not.

BBC.
Swimming lessons in some Staffordshire schools should stop during Ramadan to ensure Muslim pupils "do not swallow water", a council has suggested.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has issued an 11-page Ramadan guide for schools to help pupils who may be fasting when the school year starts in September.
It said swimming was acceptable to Muslims but posed a high risk of swallowing water that may break a fast.
Islam requires Muslims to fast from dawn until dusk for one month per year.
'Not disadvantaged'This year's Ramadan is expected to begin on or around 11 August and finish 30 days afterwards.
The council guide states: "Schools with a significant number of Muslim pupils should try to avoid scheduling swimming lessons during Ramadan to remove unnecessary barriers to full participation."
It also suggests re-scheduling sex education classes during the holy lunar month, as Muslim followers who have reached puberty are required to avoid sexual thoughts during this period.
Because of the religious requirement for Muslims to avoid eating during sunlight hours, some pupils get up before dawn to eat with their families.
Schools have been advised this can disrupt pupils' sleeping patterns and it suggests examinations could be re-scheduled to reflect their lower levels of concentration.
The council said the document, produced by its Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, was based on information from the Muslim Council of Great Britain, an umbrella organisation that claims to represent up to 500 Muslim groups in the UK.
"The overriding consideration should be that children do not feel disadvantaged in school activities because of their religious observance," the council added.
So in order to be fair to a minority, the majority must suffer, but as they aren't Moslem's that clearly doesn't matter one whit. If they choose to disadvantage themselves because of their religion, that is their choice, it should not affect any other pupil, if they fail exams because of religious observance, well tough, their choice again.
The BNP do rather well in Stoke, can't imagine why can you?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bureaucratic Idiocy

Anyone who has had the misfortune to travel on the West Coast Main Line knows just how crowded the trains are, they also know just how bad the line and multiple stops are compared to the East Coast Main Line, which is by far the better route. That the ECML suffers from a lack of finance and investment is more down to just how bad the WCML is rather than any deliberate attempt to starve it of funds. Still you'd think that when a new set of trains comes along that can carry 7000 more passengers on the WCML that they'd be introduced as soon as possible to help with the overcrowding.

Express.
NEW trains for a heavily overcrowded line are being put in the sidings until 2012 by bureaucrats.
The four Pendolinos will provide an extra 7,000 seats on what long-suffering ­commuters dub the “sardine line”, the West Coast Main Line between London, the North-west and Scotland.
The first train will be ready to roll by July next year at the latest but travellers will have to wait another nine months to ride on it. This is because the Department for Transport doesn’t want the ­Pendolinos used until the line’s new franchise is awarded in April 2012.
Virgin Trains, which has been ­running the West Coast franchise since 1997 and will bid to keep it, wants to use the ­Pendolinos the minute they become available. It believes they are being sidelined in case Virgin loses the ­franchise.
A Virgin spokesman said: “We would prefer to have trains for customers to use. But the likelihood of them actually being available during the stewardship of our franchise I believe to be very small.”
The DfT’s decision was branded “ludicrous” by rail expert ­Professor Jon Shaw of the University of Plymouth. He said: “It would be ironic indeed if on the one hand the DfT is cancelling new rolling stock orders and on the other hand refusing to put into service rolling stock which is already built.”
The West Coast Main Line is one of the busiest in the country. Last year it ­carried 69,972 passengers per day.
Chris Dale, of transport users’ group TravelWatch NorthWest, said the service was close to saturation point and “desperately in need” of the new trains. He said: “They are being built so why can’t they be used? They won’t cost more to be run than the ones being run now.”
So, because the franchise runs out in 2012, they wont run the trains till then, so the new operator will have new rolling stock and make a good impression I presume.
Still the ultimate bureaucratic quote follows.
A DfT spokesman said the April 2012 deadline was “something we agreed in the schedule so we’re sticking to the schedule”.
Yes, to hell with long suffering passengers, lets stick to the schedule and keep the trains sitting in a siding until we're ready. This simply wouldn't happen if the rail industry were totally privatised, the companies would buy the stock and have it available the minute it arrived. Recently I visited Swindon where the Great Western Railways were based and had a huge train building plant, now sadly closed and is a museum/retail park. They built trains from scratch and now those skills are lost, we buy rolling stock from Italy/France/Germany. Nationalisation after the war has proved to be a disaster for much of British industry, proving to be the death knell of so many industries as costs rose without savings or modernisation until the country could no longer afford to keep them.
Britain used to take in raw materials from all over the world and make things, we had entrepreneurs and go getters. We have lost so much of that spirit now and I doubt it will return any time soon, labour costs are simply too high to make things cheaply here and the necessary skills to do the high tech stuff are being lost by a poor education system which puts diversity and sexual awareness ahead of maths and English.
Still sooner or later the system will break down and some sort of revolution will occur which will remove the blight of political correctness and multiculturalism as well as tolerance from society. It might not be a pleasant society, but it will at least build and do things again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

English Heroes #8

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 Alice Hipkiss ( Age 6) her family and the medical team at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Six-year-old Alice Hipkiss is now a picture of health but she has lived for for more than seven months with an artificial heart pumping blood around her body to keep her alive. 

She lived with the device, called a Berlin Heart, for 228 days - longer than anyone else in Britain.
Alice had been ill almost since birth.The left side of her heart did not work properly, meaning she would eventually need a transplant. 
It was thought, however, that she would be too weak to have articial heart device fitted. But her parents Liz and David, Hopkiss, of Yarnton in Oxfordshire, refused to give up on her.
The machine was eventually fitted, to keep her alive by taking up the work of her dangerously weakened heart, while she grew strong enough to have a full heart transplant.
Shortly after the transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in central London, she suffered another setback when she developed cancer due to the strong drugs she was taking. But she beat the cancer and is now enjoying a normal life.
Her father David said she is his 'dancing princess'.
"I pinch myself every day. We have been through high and lows and we have come through," he said.
They are eternally grateful to the family who allowed their child's heart to be donated.
Mr Hopkiss, who is chief executive of a pharmceutical technology company in Oxford, said: "We wouldn't be here without the wonderful gift of a family who we will never know. We think about them every day“, he said.
Whilst there a some out there who may not think Alice particularly heroic, nonetheless, she triumphed in adversary, and is an example of the very best that an English hospital can do.
Alice Hipkiss, this blog salutes you and wishes you long life and happiness.
This blog also salutes the medical team at Great Ormond Street Hospital who kept a little girl alive despite all the odds against her.

 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Doing my bit for climate change

Well, having experienced the coldest winter since the last coldest winter (yonks ago) and having struggled to get my car out of the street in the snow I have decided to do my bit for global warming climate change. My old car is being traded in for a (used) Hyundai Santa Fé  4 x 4. (not the one showing, but close)
Hopefully this little beauty will help warm up the planet and hold off the ensuing ice age that is nearly upon us, at least according to those of us who grew up in the 70's when such a possibility was being discussed.
Yes it's big, but it's still only a 2 litre engine and only 38,000 on the clock, though it's electric everything inside including air con (very necessary at the minute) auto-cruise and heated seats and mirrors, plus a 10 cd auto changer for those long trips to drive the enviroloons wild, pretty much a top of the range model. Bit expensive on the car tax, but 1 year warranty, 6 months tax and an MOT thrown in, plus my old car as part ex.
Even better, Lady QM loves it too. Hopefully we'll be able to pick it up next Friday.

As for the trip to London, yet another all clear, so happiness all round.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Parish Notice

Blogging will be light to non-existent for the next couple of days, I have to make my bi-annual trip into London today to see my doc about my ex cancer plus my car is still acting up in the mornings. I think I'll enjoy the trip and sell the car, but that takes time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Well that's a novel use of the NHS

There are some things you see when you trawl various news items to see if there's anything worth blogging about that cause you to wonder.

BBC.
A "big budget" pornographic film was shot in a London hospital when it hired out one of its wards to a film company.
The movie generated "substantial income" for the hospital, Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt said.
Ms Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, was speaking during a House of Commons debate on improving transparency in government accounting, on Monday.
NHS Kensington and Chelsea said the filming occurred before 2002 when the primary care trust (PCT) formed.
"When I was director of Kensington and Chelsea Council, I discovered that one of our local hospitals was hiring out one of its closed - but fully-equipped - wards to a film company to use as a film set," Ms Mordaunt said.
"To add insult to injury, the movie was a pornographic one.
"Although I cannot claim to have seen the final picture - as I understand, these things are no longer claimable on parliamentary expenses - it was a big-budget affair and generated substantial income for the hospital."
"But apart from cheering up a few of the in-patients, it cannot be said to be contributing to the objectives of the primary care trust."
NHS Kensington and Chelsea said: "We can confirm this incident occurred some time prior to 2002 under a predecessor organisation's management and prior to the formation of PCTs."
OK it's not exactly what you expect to find when looking in a "Your NHS" leaflet, but as the ward was closed and the income generated was substantial and no patients were hurt in the filming of said movie (or animals or children possibly). Hospitals are always scratting around for cash, someone has to keep the Doctors and Nurses pay packets full when the rest of the budget has to go towards keeping the administration team monitoring diversity and correlating all the forms they make you fill in.
So, I can't really see what all the fuss is about other than some MP having a bitch about societies declining morals, no it cannot be said to be directly contributing to the objectives of the primary care trust, but it made the hospital money which could have contributed to the objectives of the primary care trust had the primary care trust existed at the time, which it didn't.
Now I know some people have a problem with porn, however it isn't suddenly going to go away because some people disapprove, so if hospitals or other public service buildings are offered a lot of cash to film in their premises, then I really don't see what the problem is, so long as the filming doesn't interfere with the primary function of the hospital. No doubt if it had been a spy film or an action adventure Ms Mordaunt would have no objection, but because it's porn and therefore exploitative we have a hypocritical "think of the cheeldren" moment and faux outrage that a hospital is used for a porn film, though any trip through the darker parts of the internet would have shown you that doctors and nurses have a fascination effect in porn. (I'm told) and indeed in adult "fun" too no matter the circumstances. You can even go to a fancy dress shop and hire a naughty nurse outfit should you so desire, though they do tend to look better on women ;-)
So, this whole thing passed the libertarian test of harming no-one, but as we all know most politicians are about control, not libertarianism.

Still as Guido points out, porn in government can still bring down the high and mighty.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Minor inconveniences and irritations

There are some days it just doesn't pay to be me, last night I worked a 12 hour nightshift, wasn't a bad shift as these things go, but by the end of it you just want to go home and sleep and that's where the problems started. The damned car wouldn't start, oh yes it would turn over, but I had a pesky engine management system light flashing. Nothing wrong with the car, just a "safety" issue caused by a minor electrical fault (dodgy fuse connector) meaning the injection system control wasn't working. Took a very nice RAC guy and his computer 5 mins to track it down, but it was still 2 hours later that I finally set off for home. On the way I called at a garage to stick a bit of fuel in the car to cover me coming into work tonight on a wing and a prayer + diesel fumes and discovered that the money in my wallet wasn't legal tender anymore.
Seems if you're lucky enough to have £20 notes in your purse/wallet/under your mattress/in a biscuit tin, you should check that you haven't got any of the old style notes as they ceased to be legal tender on 1st July.  Fortunately I had a credit card, unfortunately it's one that I couldn't remember the pin for as I usually only use it for online shopping. So a frantic phone call to Lady QM ensued and a queue behind both me and my car gathered in the usual patient English style. Fortunately my good lady has a better memory than I do, or at least knew where to look for the details, though she didn't appreciate being woken up herself, still, it got sorted. I also went to the cash machine at the garage and changed the pin to one I tend to use for everything, it's only as secure in the detail that I only know it now, but I really can't be arsed to learn 5 or 6 different pins anymore, I'll take my chances.
Later on after a less than usual sleep I headed down to the bank/building society, with various £20's from around the cookie jars in Castle QM only to discover that it's at their discretion whether or not they change them I was given a form to send them to the Bank of England to be changed. I'm afraid lack of sleep and stress over the car overcame me and the red mist descended and I demanded to see the manager in preparation to closing my account, this seemed to do the trick and apparently they decided to use their discretion, but shouldn't have to lose it just to get them to do their job, yes I know about discretion, but I've been banking there for nigh on 9 years, longer if you add on the times as a customer at another branch.
As it is, I'm sitting here fuming at jobsworths, the car and the fact I still have another 11 hours to go before I go home.
Still at least I'm not out of pocket and I got my moneys worth out of the RAC.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Going Digital

In 2015 the UK goes digital on the airwaves, problem being of course that no-one is really ready for it, particularly motorists. Most people know about the change to tv's a lot of people have bought digital tv's or use Sky/Virgin to get their signals anyway. However in 2015 the fm/am radio signals will be switched off and unless you have a digital radio receiver you wont be able to get any radio channels at all. This will be a particular problem for motorists, though there are plans to have all new cars from 2013 fitted with digital radio's. For the rest of us, well we'll have to shell out for either a new radio, not as easy as it could be as many cars use a propriety style to match the interior as Ford do, so a new radio would look out of place. Or you have to buy an adaptor that fits onto the windscreem bit like a sat nav assembly.
Even then your problems are just beginning. You're out of pocket and you discover that picking up a digital signal in a car is tricky as the network is patchy to say the least, you move around, you lose the signal, even moving a few metres, never mind a few miles.
This was of course a Labour idea, they planned to sell off the fm frequencies to telecom companies and so have landed the new government with a problem, something I doubt they'll do anything about, it'll be one of those done and dusted things that Labour used as part of their scorched earth strategy. Oh yes and the new transmitters required? Guess who pays for many of them out of the license fee, yep, that would be us, stiffed with the bill for Labour's plans again.

I foresee the rise of pirate radio again.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's ok, he's English not Scottish ;-)

Scotsman Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon yesterday in the Semi's 6-4 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 to Rafael Nadal. However there was some good news for Scottish sports fans in that the Daily Mirror has unearthed the fact that Murray is actually English, so national pride can be restored and the entire incident of his defeat explained away at least until the next time he looks like he might win something.

Mirror.

Flower of England! Finally revealed... Andy Murray ancestral roots

Andy Murray may support "anyone but England" in the football but new research reveals his roots lie south of the border.
As the Scots tennis ace powered into the Wimbledon semi-final, genealogy experts traced his roots to England.
Website TheGenealogist.co.uk has discovered Andy's maternal grandmother was born to English parents from York and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
One Englishman already supporting Murray was Sir Michael Caine, who watched his centre court victory with Ben Stiller and his wife Christine.
Murray, 23, screamed with delight after finishing off Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a four-set match.
And he said last night winning his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon would be "extra special". But he warned: "I'm a long, long way from doing that.
I'm sure all Scots are now relieved and can go about their business with a sense of national pride restored with another "Anyone But England" moment in their lives. ;-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Catching on

It's finally starting to come out into the open just how much the EU (and the UK) is going to be hit by the rip off that is global warming climate change, not that the warmist camps have given up the ghost yet of course.

Telegraph.

The EU's response to global warming is a costly mistake

Europe's 20/20/20 policy will cost billions of pounds, but yield only tiny results, writes Bjorn Lomborg .

European leaders have a lot to deal with. The financial crisis has prompted several national stimulus packages and a joint effort to keep Greece afloat, while the EU is in danger of being outstripped by other economies that are growing faster, producing more efficiently and at lower costs.
One bright spot is that politicians remain committed to responding to global warming. Unfortunately, their plans do not withstand scrutiny. New research shows that the EU's "20/20/20" policy, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 (and ensure 20 per cent renewable energy), will cost hundreds of billions of euros but yield only tiny benefits. The UK alone will be hit to the tune of an annual 35 billion euros (£28 billion).
As a cost-benefit analysis by the climate-change economist Richard Tol shows, any single regional carbon-reduction scheme will have a very small effect on emissions and temperature rises across the globe. That's not an argument against ever implementing one: but it means that it's crucial that the numbers stack up.
The EU recently stated that it would cost £39 billion a year to meet its emissions target. That figure is implausibly optimistic. Averaging out the best-regarded economic models shows that, even if politicians got their policies exactly right, the cost would come to at least £90 billion a year.
And Europe has not got it exactly right. Instead, it has made things worse, by introducing additional red tape, complication and constraints – in particular, that 20 per cent renewable-energy target. This is expensive because popular "green" energy sources such as wind and solar power cost more than replacing coal with gas. As a result, the real cost of EU policy is likely to be as much as £170 billion. 
In other words they are wasting time, money resources and strangling it in red tape too, how typically EU is it not? But the UK itself does no better, the coalition have stuck an utter moron in charge of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, yes we're looking at you Chris Huhne. This is the man that wants a 30% cut in carbon envisions, 2500 more useless wind turbines, the type that don't work when there's no wind and too much wind, oh yes and is willing to pay them not to work when there's too much power. He even wants to remove the carbon subsidy for the nuclear industry, the only "green" power generating plant that's guaranteed to work when we need it. The man is an utter menace to civilisation and really should never have been allowed near government (he is a Lib Dem after all), never mind a ministry.
The real tragedy is of course further down the article.
The tragedy is that the EU could do much better for the world, and for itself. For far less than £8 billion a year the EU could halve the incidence of malaria, provide micronutrients (particularly vitamin A and zinc) to 80 per cent of the world's undernourished children and prevent a million deaths from TB.
 But sadly that doesn't bring in "green" taxes from the proles, so is not a priority.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Illusions of freedom

Nick Clegg has set up a "Your Freedom" site to solicit suggestions as to which government legislation we'd like to see repealed.

We want to restore Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses.
For some odd reason I can't see a suggestion of leaving the EU which by some estimates provides up to 80% of new regulation going down a storm with young Nick, mostly because he might lose his pension and benefits if it does happen. In fact I can't see any suggestions being taken up that might interfere with the coalitions plans for the UK, just suggestions that wont really affect things and the lifestyle that politicians and the political classes aspire too.
What in my view we are seeing in the UK is the destruction of civilisation and a slow and inexorable slide into revolution and possible barbarism. Of course it depends on what your view of civilisation is and there are many definitions including that of material goods, educated classes, Public order, law, trade, military power? Yet none of these actually define what civilisation is, Aztec priests cut the hearts out of living victims, yet the Aztec were a great civilisation, hence too the Romans crucified thousands during any outbreak of revolt yet too they were civilised. So by any means the definition of civilisation cannot be what many think it is, but at core civilisation seems to me to be any system which permits the maximum number of people in a country to enjoy the best possible quality of life for the longest duration. Yet this is a fragile thing and needs to be defended, often from our own people and more often from a political elite who seek to subvert it for their own benefit. And in the UK we have a political elite who are demonstrably wrecking the political system for their own ends with the twisting of the law away from justice into rules, with unelected judges, gerrymandered politicians who will be elected in certain constituencies no matter what, safe unaccountable bureaucrats dictating how policies will be administered, unpoliced journalists either hiding the truth or force feeding the public lies or tat, self appointed activists, minority pressure groups, all seeking to undermine the basis of UK civilisation and freedom. The most obvious signs being the robbing of the public purse to line their pockets. We have it with the coddling of the criminal classes and idiot sentencing, which affect the majority not the elite safe in their leafy boroughs. The wrecking of education whilst the said elites send their offspring to private schools, the gradual destruction of power generation which will sooner or later leave the majority of us in the dark, poor unreliable public transport coupled with the gradual demonisation of car drivers making it ever more expensive to drive and limiting choice of employment. Petty rules and regulations in our personal lives, don't drink, don't smoke, eat 5 a day. The creation of an underclass as well as a 5th column of religious extremists all have taken our society to the brink. If we had the society we have imposed on us by a foreign government it would be tantamount to a crime against humanity, practically an act of war.
Then again the political classes are to all extent and purpose foreigners, even if they share citizenship with the majority of us, yet they have renounced this citizenship, this shared commonality with us to set themselves up as elites who presume to control our lives and tell us what to do by thousands of petty regulations, one drip at a time until the day we wake up and find that Big Brother was no book but a living nightmare with an untouchable, unreachable elite in charge who don't see us nor do they care so long as we obey.
The political class have moved on from being a parasite, they are no symbiont, they seek only their own pleasure, their own domination of the body politic and are sucking the life and joy out of society bit by bit.
We owe these people nothing, they are at war with us and we haven't realised this, some blogs have started fighting back, even a few politicians, though the majority are hopelessly corrupted by the system. The main 3 parties are up to their necks in it which is why they'll never again get my vote, nor should they get yours.
It's also why Nick Clegg's "Your Freedom" is a waste of time. Until we can bring down the political elite, here and in the EU, we cannot win, they will not let us. Nor will a revolution help as inevitably it will lead again to another elite gaining power, these things rarely if ever work out peacefully. It has to be done from within, simply start by saying no to their aims as a start. Vote against them, for minority parties or independents if necessary.
Above all know who your enemy is, it's an unelectable elite running things behind the scenes with the connivance of our elected politicians.
Can we win? Some days I believe so, a lot of days though I expect the UK to go whimpering into the long night, divided and conquered and living in a state of barbarism. It's what the elite want, that means they'll always be in control.