Thursday, September 30, 2010

The luck of the Irish

Apparently all bad as this little stunner has emerged.

The Irish Central Bank has said it will need to increase the amount of support to the country's banking sector.
The total amount has risen to 45bn euros (£39bn), or 32% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
The Bank said supporting Anglo Irish Bank alone would cost from 29.3bn euros to a "stress scenario" bail-out of up to 34bn euros (£29.2bn).
The finance minister, Brian Lenihan, says it is "manageable". Without the bank support, the deficit would be 12%.
In comparison, the UK's deficit - including the cost of its bank support - is just over 10% of GDP for this year.
Last month, the cost of the bail-out of Anglo Irish was estimated at between 22-25bn euros.
32% of GDP is an incredible amount to have to pay back, it means the Irish state is in a terrible position and may have to default on some of the loans it has. Certainly there may be a need to bring in the IMF. The problem is of course that because of global markets, these things don't happen in isolation, what affects Ireland, affects the EU and will affect the UK. If the EU (as is feared it will) steps in to assist the Irish, then they'll look to find the money to do so from somewhere, they're already assisting the Greeks and if the Irish situation gets out of hand well out will come the begging bowl with menaces. The Germans are already unhappy about what they've had to do to bail the Greeks out, so any more handouts are not going to go down well, possibly even ending up with the Germans leaving the Euro, assuming they don't just decide to go ahead and leave anyway, German EUphilism having been stretched pretty much to its limits by the current crisis and the usual intransigence of the French who as ever only seem to be looking out for their own interests, rather than the EU's as a whole.
I'm no expert, there are those like "The Slog" who have been predicting this fiasco since it more or less started. But I'm starting to really worry now, a complete financial collapse will leave a lot of people feeling vulnerable and scared, that's when extremist groups rise, that's when wars start.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The fecal flow is hitting the rotary impeller

It's always interesting watching how people in the EU react to economics, stereotypes abound of course with the French supposedly going on strike at the drop of a hat and Greeks rioting etc. However with the near collapse of the Euro, the problems of tying so many disparate nations into a political whole seems to be a case of chickens coming home to roost, for Brussels.


Thousands of people from across the EU are expected to march in Brussels to protest against sweeping austerity measures by many national governments.The European Trade Union Confederation says its protest could be one of the biggest in Belgium's capital for years.
The union says EU workers could become the biggest victims of a financial crisis set off by bankers and traders.
A general strike has begun in Spain and protests are planned in Greece, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Ireland and Serbia.
Many governments across the 27-member bloc have been forced to impose punishing cuts in wages, pensions and employment to deal with spiralling debts.
In Greece and the Republic of Ireland, unemployment figures are at their highest level in 10 years, while Spain's unemployment has doubled in just three years.
In Britain, the government is planning to slash spending by up to 25%, while France has seen angry protests against a planned increase in the minimum retirement age.
Labour unions in Spain have started a general strike by marching through the capital, Madrid, in an effort to shut down the city. There has been mass picketing outside bus and metro stations since midnight. There were also protests in Barcelona.
Be interesting to see how the commissars and apparatchiks actually deal with the people they've been ignoring  for so many years whilst they set up the perfect system for enhancing their bank balances and pensions. Then again I rather expect most will have taken the day off or clocked in early then went home as normal. Give the EU its due though, they've set themselves up as a massive target for continental rage as they've been blowing their own trumpet as to who actually is in charge for so many years. Sort of the equivalent of painting a giant bulls-eye on their bodies, particularly as they've shown no restraint on treating themselves out of our pockets. Bit of luck they'll burn the place down and hang all apparatchiks, but I'm not normally that lucky.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mistake yes, but not the whole story

Ed Milliplonker has stood up in his speech today and attacked the decision to go to war in Iraq. Fair enough I suppose, though his previous voting record in "They work for you" isn't too impressive.

 Voting record (from PublicWhip)

How Edward Miliband voted on key issues since 2001:
Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
Voted very strongly for more EU integration.
Voted a mixture of for and against a transparent Parliament.
Voted moderately against greater autonomy for schools.
Voted moderately for replacing Trident.
Voted very strongly for introducing a smoking ban.
Voted very strongly for a stricter asylum system.
Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
Voted very strongly for equal gay rights.
Voted very strongly for allowing ministers to intervene in inquests.
Voted a mixture of for and against laws to stop climate change.
Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.
Voted for removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
Voted very strongly for a wholly elected House of Lords.
Ed Miliband has said Labour "needs to change" after its election defeat, in his first big speech as party leader.
He praised the party's achievements but said they had to face "painful truths" - such as the Iraq war being "wrong".
In an hour-long speech he also said the party failed to listen to voters' concerns on immigration.
Mr Miliband, who paid tribute to "extraordinary" brother David, said the "new generation" in Labour were now "the optimists" in British politics.
In a more personal part of the speech he told how his parents' experience as refugees fleeing the Nazis shaped his values.
The former energy secretary, 40, was named Labour leader on Saturday having won the ballot of MPs, party members and trade unionists by just 1%.
You can see just what a tight arsed little hypocrite he is just by checking out his record, there's also the fact that he hasn't had a real job in his life to consider too, it's all been politically based in journalism and education. So he's playing to the gallery really, but these days the gallery consists of bloggers too and we can fact check him down to his roots, still I doubt many of the old guard of the Labour left will be giving what he says much scrutiny. Too busy lapping up the rhetoric and hoping for a return of the good old days of bringing the country to its knees whilst selling out to the old Soviet Union EU, more money for bribes expenses too. No-one seems to have pulled him on the fact that he was the author of the 2010 election manifesto and so has a hell of a lot to answer for on their current circumstances.
So it's all change for Labour as the Milliplonker E tries to salvage something from the ruins of Labours defeat not quite a win though judging from his past voting record, he and Cam the man are not so different at all, just Blair mk2's, all style, no substance and both committed to handing us over to the EU.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reverting to type

Seems the Labour party have tired of power as the new union controlled front-man Ed Milliplonker has decided to announce a raft of policies that will keep Labour out of government until they realise antagonising people in the name of class just doesn't work.

ED MILIBAND last night fuelled concerns that Labour is lurching decisively to the Left under his leadership by signalling his support for swingeing tax rises and refusing to condemn militant trade unions.
On his first full day in his new post, the newly-elected Labour leader used a TV interview to back a string of Left-wing policies bound to alarm millions of middle-income voters.
He called for a hike in the tax burden to reduce public spending cuts, proposed a 2p income tax increase for graduates to fund higher education and backed plans for a High Pay Commission to curb higher salaries.
And he provoked fears of a major growth in union muscle by refusing to condemn threatened strikes at British Airways and the BBC.
Forced on the defensive amid accusations of being a puppet of the unions whose votes at the party conference in Manchester clinched him the Labour leadership, Mr Miliband insisted: “I’m nobody’s man, I am my own man. I am very clear about that.” And putting a final nail in the coffin of Tony Blair’s more moderate brand of Labour leadership, Mr Miliband added: “The era of New Labour is past. A new generation has taken over and it’s not about the old labels any more.”
The thing that every left winger and socialist forgets is that New Labour (as opposed to run of the mill Labour) won 3 general elections on the trot by basically no antagonising any social group save perhaps the English as a whole. It only started to go wrong when they kicked out the architect and replaced him with an incompetent who did not understand the means of keeping power is not to make an enemy of the people who tend to vote in larger numbers than any other social grouping. This in essence is also where Cameron failed as the middle classes of England are mostly EUskeptic and saw through his red lines and cut off referendums, they aren't as stupid as politicians would like to believe.
So, if Milliplonker is going to go after the middle class in an effort to impress the so called working class, he's onto a loser, they might be impressed, but they don't tend to go out and vote either, though truth be told, a lot of them aspire to be better off and escape their class roots, taxing the middle class means that there might be nothing worth aspiring too.
Still anything that keeps Labour howling in the wilderness is to be welcomed, we just need to try and get the Tories and the Lib Dems in the same place, at least until they wake up and give the people what they want, rather than what they think we want.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today I will be mostly making goulash

Every so often I decide to cook, not because I have too, but because I want too, I've accumulated various favourite recipes over the years and get around to cooking up a storm every couple of months or so. This is my goulash recipe, it's not to be mistaken for traditional goulash, but is in my own inimitable style (ie what works and is available from local supermarkets)

Goulash. (serves 4)


1 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1” 1 cubes
1 medium onion,chopped
2 tsp cooking oil
1 can beer (or bottle approx 500ml/pint)
6 fl,oz water
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp caraway seed
1/4 tsp pepper
3 potatoes (about 1 lb.)
8 oz sauerkraut
2 tbsp snipped parsley (use 1 tbsp dry if necessary)


In a large pan cook meat and onion in hot oil until meat is brown.

Add the beer, water, tomato purée, paprika, salt, caraway seeds and pepper.

Cover; simmer 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, cut potatoes into 1" pieces and microwave till semi soft.

Add potatoes, sauerkraut, and parsley to pan.

Cook, covered, about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until mixture is thickened and most of the liquid is evaporated. (only uncover if necessary, if it's thick enough leave covered)

Serve, with vegetables, rice, chips, dumplings, whatever floats your boat, goes nice with naan bread too.

Oh I'm also making apple brandy with cloves and nutmeg today but that's a recipe for another time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sick? Well purrhaps

Some people have a strange idea on humour, some things that make me laugh out loud will have my partner struggling to raise a smile, still whilst I personally wouldn't do this, I did laugh, no doubt animal lovers everywhere will think I'm going to hell.

AN ANIMAL lover just home from the pub thought he’d had one too many large gins when a bright pink cat flew over his garden fence.
But the terrified creature turned out to be the all-too-real victim of a cruel joke. And the RSPCA is now hunting those responsible.
Vet Penny Gillespie, who is caring for the naturally white cat, nicknamed Pink, at a cattery in Marlborough, Wilts, said: “She is so bright she almost glows in the dark.
“Apparently, when the man who found her in Swindon told his wife she replied, ‘Don’t be daft, dear. Go to bed and sleep it off.’
“Pink is a lovely cat and I do not understand why somebody would be so cruel as to dye her and throw her over a fence.
“We do not know what the dye is but it is fortunate that it is not toxic because it could have been fatal. We’ve washed her once but it didn’t make much difference. It could take 18 months for the colour to grow out.”
Animal welfare officer Carl Hone said: “We are very keen to trace the person responsible for this sick prank. I would urge anyone with information to call the RSPCA.”
Now knowing cats as I do, giving one a dye job would be about as tricky as giving one a bath (barring a very unusual cat) So I don't suspect yobs, as doing the job would be far more trouble than it's worth, setting fire to it yes, dyeing it pink? No I think not. I suspect that there might be a very embarrassed owner out there looking for a very angry escaped cat who dare not claim back the animal as they'd end up being investigated by the RSPCA or animal stasi as they are oft known these days. Considering most dyes require you to leave yourself coated for 20 mins before removing (according to my good lady) there's either a loving trusted owner out there missing a pink pussy or a seriously clawed and slashed gang of amateur hairdressers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The right to offend?

First, let me make this clear, I do not like burning books, any book be they the Necronomicon, Bible, Koran or even the Sunderland AFC yearbook (tempting as that is). But, I do believe that people have a right to do such things provided that it is their own property, nor do I believe they should be arrested for such either. However when it comes to the so called "Religion of Peace" it seems they have protected righteous status.

Six Tyneside men have been arrested after filming themselves apparently burning copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Police said the men, all from the Gateshead area, were detained after a video appeared on the internet.
They were arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred and released on bail pending further inquiries.
Plans by a US preacher to burn copies of the Koran on 11 September resulted in widespread condemnation.
In a joint statement, Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council said: "The kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not representative of our community as a whole.
"Our community is one of mutual respect and we continue to work together with community leaders, residents and people of all faiths and beliefs to maintain good community relations."
Two men were arrested on 15 September and a further four on 22 September.
In the video a group of men wearing tea towels are seen pouring fuel over what appear to be copies of the Koran and setting light to them.
Plans by a US preacher Terry Jones to burn copies of the Koran, sparked worldwide protests and brought condemnation from American president Barack Obama.
 No doubt these guys will be charged under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, which was brought in by New Labour to protect their (mostly) Labour voting Islamic pets. To my eyes though, as others have said, you do not have any right not to be offended, this applies to any situation. If Islam is not mature enough to deal with those of us who deride its 7th century barbaric mores and cultures written by a mass murderer/sociopath pretending to be the word of (a) god, then the fault surely lies with Islam and its adherents.
No religion in our land should have protected status, no religion should have its followers riot because it can't handle abuse or criticism. If they can't abide by the law other than having to hide behind laws introduced to protect what seems like only them, then surely there is no place for them in our society?
The government really needs to remove this law and other like it, what I or others choose to do with our own property so long as it harms no-one else is none of the states business, the Koran is just words on paper, same as the bible, whilst I wouldn't burn either, I surely have the right too if I own them? This is something the righteous state have imposed on the majority to pamper a minority, give them special status.
It's a recipe for disaster, no doubt about it, something will crack and it wont be pretty when it does. You cannot legislate away peoples thoughts and feelings. The majority in this country are beginning to view Islam as more trouble than it's worth, sooner or later the political parties will have to deal with it, not bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is nice in multiculty Britain because they have protected their pets by law.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The idiocy of Vince Cable

He can't see it himself, nor can the hordes of other Marxist/Social Democrats of the Lib Dems but in reality Vince Cable is just pissing into the wind over his belief that the public are up in arms over bankers bonuses. It wasn't the bankers that reformed the financial system removing control of it by the Bank of England and giving it to the useless FSA, it was the pseudo socialists of New Labour, a group of people Vince still believes in his heart of hearts that the Lib Dems should be allied with rather than the Tory "friends of the bankers" Party.

The Business Secretary told the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool that it was right that the public was angry about the bankers’ bonuses.
We're actually much more angry about the public sector ripping us off with pensions and wage increases as well as certain MP's dipping into our pockets over expenses. Yes we can see the bankers giving themselves large bonuses, but...And this is a big but... "THEY AREN'T DOING IT WITH OUR MONEY!!!" Nor could we see the point of bailing out the banks "WITH OUR MONEY" by the Labour party simply because the banks they bailed out were technically in Labour Heartlands.
That's where the public anger is aimed in my opinion, not at a bunch of people giving themselves bonuses for making a profit. Now I can sort of understand why people would be angry at the bankers in a publicly owned bank getting angry about bonuses being paid, at least until they pay back their debt to the taxpayer, but that's a different story to other banking bonuses, they simply don't affect us and it's not coming out of our pockets either.
What Vince cable is getting on his Marxist high horse about is the usual politics of envy as espoused by socialists the world over where they see people doing well out of a system that they couldn't hope to compete with in a million years. So their first act is to scream blue murder at the successful despite the fact that most of them are corrupt to the core as witness the expenses scandal. Cable and his little bunch of social democrats within the Lib Dems would do well to put the public sector back in order with its overpaid executives, and staff with their bonuses before even having the nerve to criticise the private sector for making profits and paying bonuses. The big difference from my point of view is, the private sector pays bonuses out of profits, the public sector pays them for performance, they take from the taxpayer and I don't know if they've noticed, but I haven't seen much in the way of an improvement in services to justify high salaries or bonus payouts.
Cable is barking up the wrong tree (as ever) but that's typical of the left in their own little fantasy world of evil capitalists, they always forget just whose money it is when it comes to spending ours on their major welfare schemes.
Reform public services, before even daring to criticise the private sector for doing what it's supposed too.

H/T Guido. 
Dr. Eamonn Butler biographer of Adam Smith says…
“Business Secretary Vince Cable is wrong on capitalism and wrong on Adam Smith. Unfortunately, we have a business secretary who doesn’t understand business and who misinterprets the founder of modern economics too. It is not capitalism that kills competition. It is regulation, and regulated capitalism. Adam Smith was perfectly clear… Where free competition reigns, businesses cannot keep out competitors. Government policy should focus on increasing competition, ensuring that trade is honest – and on reducing other regulation.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I've just spent most of today creosoting the fences around my house so currently I'm sitting here blogging in a bit of a miasma of coal tar fumes so I don't know exactly where I'm going here. I only managed half of the fencing but as I've ran out of the creosote substitute that I've been using it was as good an excuse as any to call a halt and try and clean myself up. I think I managed, though it's difficult to tell, the smell is everywhere and whilst I look clean enough, I suspect there is an aroma of T-Gel anti dandruff shampoo on or about my person.
I was forced to use a creosote substitute for some reason or other, apparently the local DIY superstores no longer are allowed to sell or keep the real deal and being the curious type I wondered why this was. Apparently it's to do with the EU (surprise surprise) because there is a chance of it being a carcinogen.
The European Union has had concerns over the carcinogenic potential of creosote and coal tar creosote for some time. In 1994, to control the specification of the creosote in amateur products, they restricted the levels of one of the chemicals in amateur creosote products, benzo-alpha-pyrene, to less than 0.005 % by mass, and this was implemented in Great Britain via restrictions on the specification of products approved under The Control of Pesticides Regulations.

However, since then a recent study has led a EU scientific committee (the CSTEE) to conclude that creosote has a greater potential to cause cancer than previously thought, and that the level of the risk gives them reasons for concern.

To protect human health and the environment the European Commission have therefore taken action to prohibit amateur use of creosote products and to restrict the use of creosote treated wood.

The action being taken across the EU to ban the amateur use of creosote is a precautionary measure. Any risk of cancer to members of the public is likely to be extremely small.
So, an extremely small risk, but the usual heavy handed ban it all response. Still whatever it is I'm using (Creocote) seems to be doing the job ok, looks like creosote, smells like creosote, but not as harmful (apparently)
Do wish they'd been able to do something about the smell though.

Monday, September 20, 2010

9000 reasons to cut government spending

It comes to something when the (supposedly) most powerful man in the land the Prime Minister earns less than over 9000 public servants. Oddly enough I don't think Cameron is going to insist on a pay rise either, though at £142,000 he's clearly not short of a bob or two in earnings.


Public sector pay: 9,000 on public payroll are paid more than the Prime Minister
More than 9,000 public sector employees earn more than the Prime Minister, according to most comprehensive analysis of state pay levels ever undertaken. 
In a stark illustration of the financial rewards available to workers in the NHS, schools and police forces, the study found a total of 9,187 earning more than the £142,500 paid to David Cameron. There are also 38,000 who earn more than £100,000 a year.
The study, by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for the BBC’s Panorama programme, is the first to put an overall total on the number of state employees earning more than the Prime Minister. The figure is substantially higher than previous estimates suggested by surveys of civil servants, council or NHS workers. 
The research threatens to undermine calls by trade unions for “civil disobedience” and co-ordinated strike action over the Coalition’s proposed programme of cuts to public sector pay and perks.
It follows official statistics last week showing that state employees earn an average of £74 a week more than their private sector counterparts.
Public sector workers also enjoy more generous pension packages and have traditionally had greater job security.
Business and workers’ groups called last night for urgent steps to bring high public sector pay “back to reality”.
The British Chambers of Commerce said “messed up” incentives were undermining the economy by tempting talented people away from the wealth-creating private sector.
GPs, head teachers, policemen and BBC executives are among the public servants identified as earning six-figure salaries in the latest study.
Nearly 6,500 NHS staff are paid more than the Prime Minister, with two GPs earning about £475,500 a year. Another 10 GPs are earning more than £300,000 a year.
In the education sector, 385 teachers in England earn more than £100,000 and 17 get more than the Prime Minister.
The best paid was an unnamed teacher from Essex on £232,500, followed by Mark Elms, the head teacher of Tidemill Primary School in Lewisham, south-east London, on £231,400.
The highest-paid policeman is Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson on £280,489, while his deputy, Tim Godwin, is paid £246,969.
In the Armed Forces, 832 individuals earn more than £100,000 a year – excluding civil servants working in the Ministry of Defence – and 2,013 working in the judiciary are on six-figure salaries.
Local councils employ 362 people on more than or the same pay as Mr Cameron. The highest paid council employee is Gerald Jones, the chief executive of Wandsworth borough council in south London, who earns £299,925 a year. Peter Gilroy, the chief executive, is paid £243,388.
The figures were obtained for Panorama through more than 2,400 Freedom of Information requests.
I've heard all the excuses, that they need to offer competitive salaries to attract the best, but quite frankly this looks more like largesse run wild, no-one in the public sector should be on more than the Prime Minister who (technically, though not in reality) can call upon our nuclear forces to obliterate the odd small(ish) nation, and no I don't think Cameron should earn over £299,925 either, the amount is obscene!
These people need to be removed from the public services, expertise or not, these people are the ones the Unions are calling upon civil disobedience by the general public to defend their wages! This is the direct result of New Labours profligacy over the last 13 years where public services have taken the extra money provided to them and boosted pay rather than improved services in general. They took on administrators before frontline staff, in short they lined their pockets and then had the nerve to blame bankers and their bonuses as an excuse for industrial action.
This all comes from taxation either local or national, these people and those that hired them played fast and loose with our money and now have the sheer bloody nerve to complain when the government says enough is enough, looking to cut doctors, nurses, teachers army regiments rather than look to where the real dead wood lies. The civil service, both local and national looks out for the civil service, not the public and certainly not the government, the bigger the budget, the more the salaries, the worse the service provided, they forget who the paymasters are, like several corrupt MP's did. It's been many years now that the politicians had a measure of control over the public services, after all it's the public servants who provide the politicians with the information that they use to make decisions. Easy enough to "massage" the data given to support the public services budgets and needs, I doubt any politician would even know where to look to find the independent data needed to make decisions on cuts. But a good start would be to remove any and all public servants earning more than the Prime Minister.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This will send the Righteous up the wall

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing an article which is almost guaranteed to send the "Righteous" into paroxysms of outrage because it's being promoted by the ordinary proles out there, will be voted on by the proles and if passed will become law and there's nothing the political/chattering classes of the "Righteous" who think they and only they know what's best for us can do about it, other than moan about it in the Guardian.
One of the things that gets their goat is the fact that the USA has the death penalty and they use Europe, dear old civilised Europe as an example of how superior their system is to the barbarous USA (They ignore China and other foreign death penalty states as it's a cultural thing and besides they are not white, so that makes it ok)

Pravda. (Yes I know, but if you want to know what's really going on in the EU and Europe it's best to take an outsiders view)

Switzerland is ready to challenge European traditions again. The controversy about the prohibition on the construction of minarets in this country had hardly subsided before the small nation prepared another surprise to the tolerant Europe. The Swiss started collecting signatures to conduct the referendum to reinstate death penalty.

Capital punishment was officially cancelled in Switzerland in 1942, but was valid during the war period. The last execution by shooting took place in Switzerland in 1944. Twelve death sentences were enforced in the country during the WWII years: eleven of them were about the citizens of Nazi Germany, whose actions caused considerable damage to the security of Switzerland.
What made the Alpine nation think about the retrieval of such anachronism? The initiative was set forth by a group of seven people, whose relatives had fallen victims to paedophile rapists. The members of the group believe that Switzerland should retrieve death penalty "for those committing a murder or responsible for a death resulting from sexual abuse of children, sexual violence or rape."
One shall assume that the restoration of death penalty in the country may trigger protests in Switzerland's neighbouring nations. They will obviously pay attention to the fact that such will expressions contradicts to the European Convention for Human Rights. It would not be a first for Switzerland, though: the country has been previously accused of the same twice. Whatever the case, the authorities of the Alpine nation found no obstacles for collecting signatures.
The group will have to collect 100,000 signatures for the referendum to occur on February 24, 2012. We do not know what common people think about the initiative, but the leaders of many political parties of the country treated it extremely negatively.
Yes, just 100,000 signatures triggers a referendum where everybody gets a vote, the main political parties might hate it, however in Switzerland they have very little power once the people have spoken. It's one of the reasons why we don't have strong local democracy or a tradition of referendums in the UK, after all if the people got to decide what they wanted, where would that leave the political classes?
Now, my main objections to the death penalty are that if you make a mistake, it's impossible to put it right, not against offing violent criminals per se. However in cases where there is no doubt whatsoever, I have no objection, getting rid of the likes of Sutcliffe, Huntley and sundry others who cost us money to feed and house for the rest of their pampered lives.

Still, if anything, this Swiss attempt will drive the righteous to distraction and give them something to do which might make them leave us alone... Well I can dream can't I?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Out and about

I have family visiting at the minute, means my pc time is a bit limited as family comes first.
Still one of the treats we managed was a trip to London to take in a West End show, not one of the big ones, but a show called "Stomp" at the Ambassador Theatre and very good as well as funny it was too.

Only lasted an hour and 40 minutes, but they did work hard for that time as well as involving the audience.
I suppose it's one of the advantages of living near London yet not being part of London, similar to living near Dover for the booze cruises.
Still we also managed a few pints of real ale at a pub the Angel and crown in WC2, I had a pint of Wainwright and very nice it was too. Then a quick trip home on the train and back to real life. 

(No that isn't me in the photo)

It's something I can recommend to anyone, even those who don't like London,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apologising for telling the truth

It's always interesting to watch the righteous/leftists in action as they deal with the truth. Take Tony McGuirk who claimed that some (note not all) workers in the public sector are "bone idle". Apparently the Fire Brigade Union had been inundated with angry calls about the comments (no doubt from offended bone idle workers). The interesting thing is that he said during his time as chief officer, the number of firefighters at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service had been cut from 1,550 to 850.
He said the 40% reduction had not had a detrimental effect on the service, but had actually improved it. Which rather suggests that indeed some staff were not doing a good job and that there was room for improvement. However that's simply not allowed in today's society, telling the truth, particularly when it's inconvenient or shows a righteous/leftist organisation up in a bad light particularly when you have the evidence to prove it is a big no no. So he had to apologise, Mr McGuirk has said in hindsight he used language which he now "regrets".
But Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack said the apology was insufficient and has called for his resignation, after all pointing out that his members were bone idle and getting rid of 40% of them plus improving the service offered was quite clearly a bridge too far. Matt Wrack pointed out that by sacking McGuirk and reclaiming his £200,000 salary they could employ another 6 (bone idle) firemen who would no doubt be in the union and contribute towards his pay and pension.
Mark Dunne, chairman of Merseyside Fire Brigade Union (FBU), did not go as far as calling for his job but said his remarks were the latest in a long line of "inappropriate comments". 

So inappropriate is now another word for truthful?
"We have received dozens of e-mails from people within the NHS and other public sectors bodies expressing their disgust at his speech," said Mr Dunne.
"The majority of us work in the public sector because we believe in it and we understand that we are providing an essential service."

So dozens of emails are an inundation now?
I don't think the public sector really realise just how they are viewed by those of us who work in the private sector. We know all the tales, the horror stories and the truth about how little at times they have to do. We note the featherbedding and the pensions and we also note the pay rises in a recession when the private sector in some cases took pay cuts to keep jobs.
Tony McGuirk simply said what a lot of us think about the public sector, personally I think he was if anything rather mild in his criticism.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Almost as important as climate change?

Doesn't sound too important at all then, but Lady Greenfield, one of Britain's most prominent female scientists, claimed the issue of the harmful effect of the internet was "almost as important as climate change".

Society should be aware of the potentially harmful effects of the internet, networking sites and computer games on the brain, leading neuroscientist and peer Baroness Susan Greenfield has said.
Lady Greenfield, one of Britain's most prominent female scientists, claimed the issue was "almost as important as climate change".
"I think the quality of our existence is threatened,'' she said. ''We need discussions about this, we need debate, we need more of an effort put in.
"We need to recognise this as an issue rather than sweeping it under the carpet.
"We should acknowledge that this is bringing an unprecedented change in our lives and we have to work out whether it is for good or bad."
In January Lady Greenfield controversially lost her job as director of the Royal Institution.
She spoke at the British Festival of Science at Aston University in Birmingham.
She said some ''very good things'' were emerging from information technology but added: "By the same token we have got to be very careful about what price we are paying."
Possible benefits of the technology included a higher IQ, better memory and faster processing of information.
On the other side of the equation, social networking sites might reduce empathy, said Lady Greenfield.
Using search engines to find facts may hinder the ability to learn, while computer games could "make us more reckless in our day-to-day lives".
"Rather than sleepwalking into this we should be the masters and not the slaves of technology and harnessing it in ways that we could do exciting and fulfilling things with," she added.
Lady Greenfield insisted that she was not scaremongering.
"We have anecdotal evidence from talking to parents," she said. "Every single parent I have spoken to so far is concerned.
"I have yet to find a parent who says, 'I am really pleased that my kid is spending so much time in front of the computer.'
"We need to take control of our own lives and society. If we don't, who else will?"
 Ok, the effect of violent computer games on people is constantly being thrown up as one of the causes of violence in society, usually by those who weren't involved in the football violence and race rioting in the 1970's when as far as I'm aware there weren't computer games polluting our brains. If anything the effect has been to make people more private and less likely to go out looking for trouble so I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. Most of the parental worry I suspect is down to the fact that they don't really understand what their kids are up to or who they are talking too, rather than the effect of the technology. The mass use of telephones cause similar complaints when people suddenly found they couldn't get their kids off the things, even today you can see it in texting and other mobile phone uses. In the end it comes down to parental control rather than the effect of the technology in general. Whilst the use of search engines to find facts can cause problems particularly when the facts are wrong, it's no worse than nipping down to the library to find out information and whilst books are accurate to a degree, they aren't always the latest information out there and indeed may be well out of date too. Still it is a worry, though generally anyone using a source like wikipedia to advance an argument had better watch out as they are likely to be torn to shreds by other more knowledgeable in their fields.
I do agree with her that we should take control of our lives and society, I just don't see the unexpected use of technology to be an issue in this. I suspect it's more down to trying to cut off the supply of information and news to us that's at the root of this issue. After all if they can keep us in the dark, we cause them any problems. I suspect they'd wished that had happened over global warming where we'd just done as we were told and believed the lies, rather than used the internet to question and organise against them.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ofsted putting the boot in...

I don't have a lot of time for quango's (see previous post) but this did amuse me if only for the predictable response it garnered.

Thousands of pupils are being wrongly labelled as having special educational needs when all they require is better teaching and support, Ofsted has said.
It said up to 25% of the 1.7m pupils in England with special needs would not be so labelled if schools focused more on teaching for all their children.
The education standards watchdog said the term "special needs" was being used too widely.
The National Union of Teachers said such claims were "insulting and wrong".
Now a lot of us blogging types have been saying this for years, but it's sort of nice to see Ofsted pile in as well. Not that having bad teachers in the system is fully the cause of our poor education standards and our slipping down the league tables of education exams. But it does highlight the tendency to label difficult pupils (feral youth types) as having special educational needs rather than disciplining them and focussing their attention on learning. Then again years of wishy washy leftist dogma in the teaching trade have left the pupils as the masters, rather than the teachers, the teachers can't really deal with them and the pupils know it.
The NUT response is predictable though, it is kind of their job to defend teachers, it's just that often enough they shield the really bad along with the best. They also later on in the article claim that over full classrooms don't help, but I grew up going to schools with full classrooms and managed, just about all my class were quite rowdy too, but never to teachers, we knew what would happen if we did!
I think it's time to tilt the balance back to giving the teachers more power when it comes to discipline, however that would mean tearing up so many bits of EU and leftist child protection rules that the only way it could be done is to start from scratch. Make teachers self employed ans allow any two of them to set up a school anywhere that they can, even a house or pub with a spare room. Give all kids an education voucher and let the system sort itself out. The best teachers will survive and thrive, the bad wont be kept on in place when their contract runs out. Parents will be far more involved as trying to find a good school or teacher will be their responsibility, behavioural contracts can be drawn up. Small villages can source teachers to teach their kids in the local pub and keep communities going that way rather than export their kids to the nearest town.
I know there may be problems with implementing the scheme, but our current system isn't working too well anyway. We need to do something and moving the emphasis back to discipline and teaching rather than child care and SAT's cannot hurt. Getting politicians out of the process would help too.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Most of us if we were responsible for looking after funds to help the poor wouldn't use the funds to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Then again, most of us aren't quangocrats either who didn't think twice about billing the taxpayer for a £700 a head lunch.

HIGHLY paid executives at an anti-poverty quango have stayed at five-star hotels and dined in top restaurants at the taxpayer’s expense.
Damning documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal eye-watering expenses claims by officials at the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
Taxpayers were billed for a £700 dinner by Sir Malcolm Williamson, the CDC’s chairman for five years up until 2009, at London’s Michelin-starred L’Autre Pied restaurant.
Another executive at the Government quango, Anubha Shrivastava, claimed £530 for a night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong, while Richard Laing, the chief executive, who is paid £970,000 a year, claimed £7,414 in expenses.
The CDC was set up after the war to invest in the world’s poorest countries. It has access to Government funds of £2.5billion.
For the past 15 years, the CDC says it has been “self-financing”. It is owned by the Department for International Development, but any profits it makes are “reinvested” in its projects. It has been criticised for departing from its original remit by targeting the rapidly growing economies of China and India.
Last night the department confirmed that International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell had launched an “urgent review” of the situation.
John Hilary, executive director of the charity War on Want, said: “CDC has completely abandoned its mandate of poverty reduction in favour of wealth creation. It is a travesty.” However, Miriam de Lacy, the CDC’s communications director, said: “The expenses we incur are reasonable.”
 Reasonable expenses? £2.5 billion budget and they squander some of it on themselves, spending more than a years wage for an unskilled Kenyan worker (£500 to £700pa) on a meal or hotel room.
Whilst I'm a great believer in charity beginning at home, if we are to help the poor in other countries, I expect the cash to go to them and whilst I don't expect those charged with distributing it to work for nothing, I do expect them to keep expenses to a minimum, I don't expect them to squander it on themselves. Though frankly I'm not that surprised that they do, profligacy in quango's is a well known corruption and these people are plainly corrupt to the core.
Just another justification for a bonfire of the quango's that the current government never seems to get around too despite all their promises.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hypocrisy thou art a Union Leader...

Apparently Brendan Barber head of the TUC thinks that the public wont stand for large scale spending cuts, this is a guy who has never had a proper job in his life along with other union leaders coining it in from members benefits who are telling those of us who do work for a living and are struggling to manage to fight the spending cuts we all know the country needs to break even.

TUC chief Brendan Barber has said the public will not accept large-scale spending cuts, as trade unions gather in Manchester.
Mr Barber said unions would reach out to the wider community to form a "progressive alliance" to make the case for alternatives to spending cuts.
RMT union leader Bob Crow called for a campaign of "civil disobedience" in protest at spending cuts.
Ministers say they must take action to tackle the £155bn budget deficit.
Without "decisive action", Chancellor George Osborne argues that Britain's economic stability and reputation would be put at risk.
Now I don't know what Brendan Barber earns, but I'm suspecting it's way above the national average. Plus his Wiki tells me this...

Early life

He was educated at the independent school, St Mary's College, Sefton (then a direct grant grammar school). Between school and university, he spent a year with VSO teaching in the Volta Region of Ghana. At City University, he earned a BA Hons in Social Sciences in 1974, then spent the next year as the President of the Students' Union..


He spent a year as a researcher for the Ceramics, Glass and Mineral Products Industry Training Board based in HarrowTUC.
In 1975 he got his first job at the TUC as a policy officer. In 1979 he became the head of the TUC's Press and Information Department.
In 1987 he became head of the Organisation and Industrial Relations Department and in 1993 he became Deputy General Secretary.
In other words he hasn't had much experience of life in the private sector and doesn't really know how sick we are of the public sector creaming off our taxes to expand and increase their numbers and wages at our expense.
As for Bob Crow, well I've actually met the man and I know what an utter knob he is, however if you take a look at this little list from here...
Bob Crow (RMT) - £79,564 in salary, £26,115 in pension contributions, £13,013 expenses
John Hannett (USDAW) - £81,742 salary, £16,389 pension contributions
Billy Hayes (CWU) - £83,530 salary, £14,190 pension contributions
Sally Hunt (UCU) - £63,743 salary, £7,612 pension contributions, £2705 car benefit (start of June 2006 to end of May 2007)
Paul Kenny (GMB) - £81,000 salary, £21,000 superannuation (pension contributions), £8,000 car
Dave Prentis (Unison) - £92,187 salary, £23,603 pension contributions, £11,646 expenses and car benefit
Derek Simpson (Unite-Amicus) - £62,673 salary, £16,156 pension contributions, £13,333 car allowance, £26,181 housing benefit (Derek Simpson now receives nearly £200,000 in pay and benefits, with his pay package increasing 17 percent this year. He also has the right to stay in his £800,000 house in Hertfordshire until he dies, after which his partner will be able to remain there at a heavily subsidised rate.
Simpson, according the Times, demanded that the union subsidise his accommodation to "make it affordable" - a perk worth about £40,00, bringing his total remuneration to £194,252.)
Mark Serwotka (PCS) - £82,094 salary, £26,104 pensions contributions, £2,245 additional housing cost allowance and additional housing cost supplement
Steve Sinnott (NUT) - £99,846 salary, £23,963 pension contributions
Tony Woodley (Unite-TGWU) - £59,333 salary, £9,552 pension contributions, car fuel £3,360
Matt Wrack (FBU) - £66,389 salary, £44,281 pension contributions, £5,134 car
You can see the man telling us all to get into civil disobedience to fight public sector cuts whilst not being short of a bob or two himself  along with the other "leaders" of the working men/women who are in a union. You can bet your bottom dollar they wont suffer no pay or perks if we go on strike.
So the people calling for civil disobedience are well off, wont be hit by getting no pay and wont be worse off at all if there is civil disobedience.

Yes, that stinks of hypocrisy to me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Advice on how not to do it surely?

The baby P case was a scandal that rocked the nation and lead to the sacking and disgrace of Sharon Shoesmith the £130,000-a-year head of social work with Haringey council. Desperate attempts to cover up the scandal and damage limitation exercises meant that fewer heads rolled than were probably due, but that's the type of system we have to deal with these days where nobody is to blame despite a heinous crime and extreme neglect on the part of the experts.
Still it was a surprise to see Shoesmith hit the news again other than for her appeal against her sacking that is.

CHILD protection experts were furious last night after it emerged that disgraced Baby P chief Sharon Shoesmith has been invited to give MPs advice on child safety.
Ms Shoesmith, whose team repeatedly missed chances to save the little boy from being beaten to death, will give evidence next week.
She is one of five “experts” asked to speak at the Education Committee in a one-day inquiry into safeguarding children.
Angry politicians have branded her appearance at the House of Commons committee as an “insult” to Baby P. Margaret Morrissey, the founder of lobbying group Parents Outloud, and a former Ofsted inspector, said last night: “Shoesmith oversaw one of the most horrendous cases of child abuse in recent years. There is no parent in this country who would have any confidence in her views.
“To have elected politicians choosing someone who has been a failure in her field is simply staggering. Whatever has possessed them? The committee needs to think seriously about the impression this gives.”
Ms Shoesmith was sacked from her £130,000-a-year post with Haringey council in north London in December 2008 after a damning report by inspectors.
Baby P, now known by his real name, Peter Connelly, died in August 2007 at the hands of his mother, her lover and a lodger. The boy had suffered 50 injuries despite receiving 60 visits from social workers, doctors and police over the final eight months of his life.
Ms Shoesmith is taking her legal battle over the decision to sack her without compensation to the Court of Appeal. 
Tory Education Committee chairman Graham Stuart said: “Our job is to take evidence from people, whether they are popular or not.”
The remarks of the people involved there just about sum it up, save only for Graham Stuart of course, then again I can sort of see his point if the enquiry were to find out how to stop things going wrong and how not to look after children in danger. Though somehow I doubt that's what's on the cards there.
The only way the shambles that child protection services can be reformed is to increase the numbers of social workers and pay them well. This however has to be coupled with a removal of the safety net from the social workers should things go wrong, no more shifting the blame and far greater accountability. This includes the family courts where again things have gone wrong and innocent parents have had their children stolen off them by the state. No more anonymity in these cases and no more closed door trials.
If the enquiry does improve child safety (instead of complicating it and allowing cover ups to continue) these are the matters that need to be addressed. If Shoesmith acts as an example of what can go wrong and how to avoid it, fair enough, anything else would be a total farce.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coded propaganda

Extreme Islamists have bombed buses and the tubes in London and attempted to drive a petrol bombed car into Glasgow airport, that's one of the reasons that the police and security services keep an eye on them. Animal rights protesters have attacked scientists and labs, even going into the arcane world of body snatching, so they are kept an eye on too, not sure if they've killed anyone yet, but I suspect it will only be a matter of time, we're dealing with a group with a lunatic fringe after all. right wingers.... Well right wingers... well there must be something, damned if I know what it is though after all the police seem to think communities should keep an eye on their groups.

The most senior counter-terrorism officer in south-east England has called on communities to help identify people at risk of being radicalised.
Speaking ahead of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in America, Det Ch Supt George Turner said Al-Qaeda extremists posed the "greatest threat".
But he said other threats to UK security included animal extremism and "extreme right-wing activity".
However, he said the South East was at no greater risk than other regions.
The counter-terrorism unit headed by Mr Turner is based in West Berkshire and covers the Thames Valley, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent police force areas.
Speaking to the BBC in his first broadcast interview, he said: "There are problems in this area as there are in every region and in every community.
"There's been some very high profile terrorist incidents. There's been some very high profile, what we call domestic extremism."
The region covered by the South East unit includes sensitive sites such as Portsmouth Naval Base, Gatwick Airport and the Port of Dover.
Mr Turner said that the regional unit supported the work of county forces such as Sussex at Gatwick.
He added: "Historically there have been some links to the major terrorist, iconic attacks, that have taken place throughout the UK and some of those investigations.
"That was obviously a factor in the unit being set up."
'Violent extreme views'
Mr Turner said working with local communities was another key function in helping to defeat terrorist activity.
He added: "There are specialist officers with particular skills at regional level.
"Then each force has its own specialist working with communities to try to identify vulnerable people and prevent them becoming terrorists.
"It is also about supporting those communities who want to have a voice against those with violent extreme views who perhaps feel intimidated.
"It is communities that defeat terrorism."
 He's probably correct in that it's communities that defeat terrorism, however as the "Righteous" have more or less allowed some communities to tell the rest of us to mind our own when any criticism produces howls of Islamophobe and homophobe that in general communities don't look out for trouble as they're usually the ones who get it in the neck from the state.
However as for extreme right wing activity, well this is just "Righteous" codespeak for any who oppose their views whether they are right wing or not, though to my mind it's usually not. They label groups like the EDL and the BNP as right wing, despite the fact that they obviously aren't, they even label Nazi's as right wing, but a quick check their tells you that's not the case either, statist socialists rather than international socialists would be a more accurate term, but socialists hate the idea that these groups are so close to their collectivist thinking that they have to try and label them away from themselves, hence the terms fascist and right wing. In actuality there's very little difference between a member of the SWP and the BNP one hates anyone different and the other hates, well, anyone different, just the BNP are a bit more honest about hating foreigners and the SWP hate pretty much anyone patriotic. Put either one of those groups in charge of the country and it would be a disaster, save only that the SWP would probably kill more of us, it's what socialists do, kill off the intelligentsia and make a society of slave labourers controlled by an unelected elite. Pretty much like the NWO hope to do via the EU.
So the code "right wing" can be taken as reading "not of us" as in not under state control and generally it's applied to racist groups or groups that they want to label racist like the EDL. These groups tend to be either single issue protest groups or in the case of the BNP racist socialists, after all what else would you call a group who see nationalisation of the countries resources and transport as a means to an end? Certainly not a right wing idea is it? And as for the Islamists, well I'm not exactly enamoured of the title kuffar which as I see it is about as nasty a term as it gets, definitely a case of them and us, yet ignored by our political masters as it's convenient for them to do so.
So in reality, the threat to todays society comes from extremist Islamists, extreme left wingers and the NWO, all statists who would use the power of the state to control us, not the extreme right of which there are no extreme groups at all, simple a conglomeration and ever growing group who simply want to be left alone by the state and who protest at its ever growing encroachment.
There is no extreme right wing activity in the UK, it's all extreme statist activity by those who would wish to enslave us in the name of the state and it's all left wing socialist based.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dangerously naive, ill informed or speaking in spite of knowing better.

Talking about the political class of course and one John McTernan in particular, he's of the opinion that Daniel Hannan's attempt to get a referendum on the EU is a waste of time and money or as he put it, an expensive distraction.

Daniel Hannan’s quixotic campaign against the European Union (EU) continues. In his blog, and in the paper, he announces the launch of a petition calling for a referendum on EU membership. I don’t have a problem with critics of the EU (some areas desperately need reform) or with those who wish to leave. I just don’t think it’s a particularly pressing issue. Successive Tory and Labour governments have kept the UK out of the most dangerous European institution – the Euro – and have maintained Britain’s opt-out on key areas of domestic policy. And the last Labour government resisted directives that would place onerous costs on business.

When I was up in the Northeast, I asked my Dad about the Common market referendum (he's quite the Eurosceptic, I must say) as he actually got to vote on it.

QM: Was it clear when we joined the EU back in '72 that EU law would have primacy over British law?

Dad: Yes, and Heath hid it.

It was always clear that Blair and Brown wanted the UK to join the Euro, and set out the necessary conditions for us to do so, that we couldn't meet them was more down to the UK economy, rather than the desire to keep us out of it. McTernan seems to have a very selective memory when it comes to Labours record on the EU, it was Brown who sneaked into Lisbon to sign away our political future, it was Blair and Brown who caved into EU pressure to give up our rebate.
By and large the settlement is fair and good for Britain, and for Europe. The EU brought Spain, Portugal and Greece into the European family when their respective Right-wing dictatorships fell – and economic growth from integration has transformed living standards in those countries.
Yes EU membership was good for these countries, until now, because they used the EU as a foil to rack up massive debts as left wing governments are apt to do. Now the debts are being called in however the chickens are coming home to roost.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall the Eastern European countries freed from communism have been allowed to enjoy the same support. That has been hugely important for Europe, and I am proud that Britain played a leading role in ensuring fair access to markets for workers and companies in those countries. This, in a way, is the heart of it – the Europe we joined in 1975 was a trading bloc, and at heart it still is. With the rise of China and India the negotiating power of Europe to lower trade barriers is critical. But, still, the lasting contribution made by Britain was Margaret Thatcher’s – driving a conception of the internal market within the EU that is far more free-market than France or Germany wanted. And one which delivers for British firms to this day.
The EU is a trading cartel that uses tariffs on imports to prop up its own internal markets, it restricts outside trade and tries to keep it expensive and uncompetitive. Prime example is the Common Agricultural Policy which keeps food prices high and strangles African farm development. The EU is not and never will be good for trade, the UK has a massive trade deficit within the EU, they sell us far more than we sell them.
I could go on, but the main objection to Daniel Hannan’s proposition is not that he has miscalculated the actual benefits of EU membership. It is that he has created a monstrous and dubious new constitutional convention with his idea that there should periodically be periodic votes to reaffirm decisions that were made in the past. (A sort of Buffy the Vampire approach – “unto every generation shall be born a referendum”.)  I’m not myself a huge fan of referendums – by and large I don’t like to see the House of Commons weakening its own authority, but the case for using them to affirm major constitutional change is strong. But the compelling case for a referendum is that – if won – they affirm a change of state, an irreversible change. Why reaffirm membership of the EU any more than we should reconfirm membership of NATO, or our commitment to the NPT (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). The argument that no one under 55 has had the chance to vote on EU membership is a nice try. But by that token no one under 87 voted for the NHS.
If enough people wanted a referendum on those policies, I say why not give them one. The EU however is of dubious benefit, costing us around £80 billion pa of which we get around £6 billion back. This is a classic strawman argument by McTernan, he ought to know better, probably does, but his article seems aimed at EUphiles and the hard of thinking.
Now, I know, there’s an argument that the question could be settled by a referendum. Unfortunately, this is just not true. Opponents of the EU, like the Scottish nationalists who support independence, have a faith-based politics. And that can never be dislodged by a mere plebiscite. Defeat is merely the beginning of the battle for the next vote. Not a referendum but a neverendum.
Um the ScotNats are in favour of an independent Scotland remaining in the EU (yes this is a bit of a contradiction in terms, but that's what they think they'll have) Though I'm probably reading this wrong and he's implying that the ScotNats are fixated on referendums until they get the result they want, bit like the EU with Ireland, Germany and Denmark really, when they kept going with referenda until they got the result they wanted, then no more referenda amazingly enough. So McTernan seems to imply only the EU is allowed to ask people to change their minds, at least until they get the answers they want, then tough, no more mind changing. Anyone else seeing the hypocrisy writ large in that point he's trying to make?
Whatever Daniel Hannan argues, the EU is not an Evil Empire. It is a flawed, but progressive institution which has done more good than harm. And a referendum on withdrawal – a policy not held by any major political party (including the Tories) would be an expensive and unnecessary distraction from the very real problems facing Britain.
Evil? No, corrupt to the core and costs us far more than we gain from it. Were the UK free to trade with the rest of the world our balance of trade would go up, prices would come down and we could still trade with the EU, just not be tied to it's cartel, bit like Switzerland and Norway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another day, another scandal

Despite the denials, followed by the half truths that their might be a problem, followed of course by promises to do something about it Labours disaster of an immigration policy devised on the ludicrous lines of rubbing the "rights" face in multiculturalism continues to rumble on after they really ought to have been buried in the polls over it.

IMMIGRATION officials were last night accused of covering up a massive backlog of asylum claims that could take years to clear.
Fresh evidence of the asylum chaos left behind by the Labour Government has come to light with confidential figures revealing that the UK Border Agency is failing frequently to hit official targets for processing claims.
And thousands of failed asylum seekers are staying in Britain for months or even years rather than being sent to their country of origin.
A series of Freedom of Information requests made in an investigation by Channel Five News found that just 40 per cent of asylum cases are dealt with within six months compared with a Home Office target of 75 per cent.
And just three per cent of asylum applicants who arrived last year were removed from the UK within six months of arrival, statistics revealed.
The figures contrasted with official claims that 60 per cent of asylum claims are concluded within six months, and that overall half of asylum seekers are sent home. But officials rejected the cover-up allegations, insisting the new figures were based on “regional snapshots” of the system rather than the national picture.
Angry critics last night accused the Border Agency of “manipulating” statistics to hide the chaos. Tory MP David Davies said: “I’m appalled at the manipulation that has been going on at the Home Office.
“These figures suggest that month in, month out, only a tiny percentage of asylum seekers who shouldn’t be here, are removed, except for the month they like to release where they got rid of significantly more.”
 First off part of the problem is the "Human Rights Act" introduced by Blair ostensibly to protect the rights of citizens but in my view, more to do with giving his Mrs a nice little earner. The Act also protects those who have abrogated the social contract of this country too making it difficult if not impossible to remove them particularly if they are being sent back to countries where they may face worse punishment. The act also means that they don't or can't be forced to integrate with us and allows them to ghettoise themselves and lock their culture away from mainstream society creating an atmosphere of hate and suspicion on both sides.
Secondly, the Home office as is most ministries of government in the UK, not fit for purpose, it's rationale is the preservation of the Home office, rather than do its job efficiently, the bigger it is, the more powerful it is as the mandarins running it can't measure success by profit or efficiency, merely size. It's not in the interest of the Home office to sort this mess out, if they did, what would they do? Heads might roll, so chaos suits it just fine. This is the problem most governments face, politicians come and go, immature politicians see the opposition parties as the enemy, whereas the real enemy is the civil service whose very existence now is to preserve the civil service rather than serve the people. This in a sense is why the senior levels of civil servants are pro EU and deftly shape government policy along those lines, the EU is a corrupt bureaucracy and like seeks like.
Democracy in a sense has failed the UK, the civil service ignores politicians and panders to their own little games keeping them well away from the levers of power, a politician gets too near and scandals emerge and he's removed from the picture.
The end result is usually a bloody revolution or civil war, then the whole ghastly business starts over again, drip by drip.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why am I not surprised?

New Labours obsession with replacing learning with propaganda and politically correct indoctrination is starting to come home to roost as the UK started to slip down the graduate league. That's not to say that we don't have good schools and good teachers or even smart kids, just that their education and the way we went about it has been changed to reflect political desires rather than what business and industry want.

Figures show that Britain fell from joint third to 15th in rankings based on the number of university graduates being produced.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said the country's "competitive advantage" had been lost in just eight years, slipping behind Poland, Iceland, Portugal and Slovakia. 
Analysts warned that cuts to higher education funding – and a possible future reduction in the number of university students – could damage the economy.
Andreas Schleicher, head of the OECD's indicators and analysis division, said that graduates earned far more in later life than those who left education at 16 or 18, meaning they paid higher taxes and exercised more spending power.
It comes amid fears that university budgets could be slashed by up to a third when the Government publishes its Comprehensive Spending Review next month.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said: "Today's report shows a worrying decline in the UK's standing in the world of education.
"We have plummeted down the graduate league table, going from a major player to a relegation candidate in less than a decade. The coalition Government's refusal to fund sufficient university places this summer will come back to haunt us.
"Other countries are preparing to play a leading role in the new knowledge economy while we risk consigning a generation to the scrapheap of inactivity and being left behind."
Dr Wendy Piatt, director-general of the Russell Group, which represents 20 top universities, said Britain "risks jeopardising the competitive advantage which has made its universities the envy of the world".
 What follows is a usual bleat on funding, however the damage was done before the coalition got into power and before cuts became necessary. The facts as it stand show that government interference in education by New Labour has wrecked our young peoples chances of being the top in their fields because they have been taught such things as citizenship and equality studies rather than have a solid grounding in the basics. No amount of money can fix this situation, the poison has to be removed from the education body before it can be restored to health. Focussed spending on what the country needs (scientist, engineers, doctors, mathematicians etc) rather than media studies and Harry Potter degrees, not that I'm saying universities shouldn't offer such courses, just that the state shouldn't pay anything towards it nor offer student loans to the course attendees. The top courses could easily be fully funded with the government paying the full course fees as well as offering grants towards lodgings and support, the rest can go the way of market forces, ie pay your own way.

As an aside, I think I must be getting old, I find myself making sure the texts I send are grammatically correct complete with punctuation and spelling. The ones I get in return are legible (barely) and sometimes make me cringe at what otherwise intelligent people can do to the language.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Like a lot of people these days I have little or no time for the big public service unions such as Unite or the teaching unions, seeing them more as a barrier to change and reform rather than looking out for the interests of their members. That isn't to say I don't see the use or value of unions, just that they should occupy their correct niche in society and look after their members interests, rather than the interests of the union and its senior organisers and full time staff.

TPA. (Pdf)   

In other words our taxes both local and national are paying the union officials rather than the subs of their members. This is on top of the Labour Party scam of the Union Education Fund which took taxpayers money and more or less matched the contributions the unions made to the Labour Party funding.
More interesting is the fact that the unions themselves are heavily involved in lawmaking in the EU, something our own parliament can do little about as they don't have the ability to veto EU legislation, merely letting it through on the nod without scrutiny.
From my point of view, if the government wants to look to make savings, this is an area where they may find rich pickings, it would also have the bonus of hitting Labour in the pocket too by restricting union influence and money coming to them from the taxpayer rather than the union members themselves. It might also have the added benefit of putting the union leaders under scrutiny for their profligate lifestyles.

Bob Crow, head of the transport union the RMT, takes home £105,679 a year.
The average Tube driver earns £40,000 a year and station staff £26,000 but Mr Crow wants his members to launch a ‘class war’ in the wake of a two-year public service pay freeze.
While the average civil servant earns £22,850 a year, Mark Serwotka, head of the PCS union which represents them, earns £111,112. The average teacher takes home £32,630 annually but NUT head NUT Christine Blower takes a salary of £124,483.
Derek Simpson of the Unite union lives in an £800,000 grace-and-favour house with his second wife while taking a salary of £120,328 from his members.
Nothing like seeing how the other half lives and how it's the supposed guardians of the working class who are robbing us blind.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer? What summer?

The Victorians used to reckon the 1st of September as being the first day of autumn, though technically it should be on or around the 21st (equinox) So there is a headline around saying summer is over.

Last week’s final seven days of the school holidays saw a run of almost wall-to-wall sunshine across most parts of the country and temperatures up to 22C.
But the Met Office said autumnal weather arrives on Monday with no sign of an Indian Summer as the rest of September sees sharp showers rather than sunshine. 
The forecast dashes hopes of Britons clinging onto the thought of a decent September to make up for the coldest August in 17 years.
A Met Office statement warned of possible gale-force winds across England and Scotland on Tuesday.
Forecaster Charlie Powell said: “We had a decent last week of summer in the last week of the school holidays - but from Monday we get an autumnal feel to the weather.
“We had a nice last week but it will now be wetter and windier, as Monday sees a change from the dry weather we enjoyed last week.
“The emphasis is on persistent, heavy rain in the west and south-west parts of the UK on Monday, with stronger winds with very breezy conditions in more easterly parts due to south-easterly winds.
“The rain pushes north-east across the country on Monday night and it will remain breezy further north-east, with sharp showers between clearer spells.
“The same is true on Wednesday, but the showers will be heavier and with a risk of thunder and lightning and temperatures not feeling too great.
“Thursday and Friday see more showers either side of dry spells as the weather turns markedly more unsettled across the UK.
“And looking into the next week or two, showers and longer spells of rain will affect many parts.
“The rest of the month will be unsettled with no sign of any more decent settled weather on the horizon.”
Now admittedly the weather in the Northeast was pretty good last week and from what I'm told has been ok throughout most of August. In the Southeast however particularly Kent we've not had a good summer, it was pretty cold up until the 21st of June, then on technically the first day of summer it was like someone up there had switched on the bars of an electric fire for a couple of weeks and it got pretty warm for a while. But as soon as the kids started their holidays, it calmed down, not cold, but certainly no blazing summer either. The BBC were even forced to tell us about the brushfires due to hot weather in Russia to support their global warming climate change agenda whilst conveniently ignoring the cooler weather elsewhere in the Northern hemisphere as well as the bitterly cold weather in the Southern hemisphere. Of course this is just "weather" we're told, climate is something else, though it seems to me if you get enough weather it becomes climate, then again I'm probably guilty of applying common sense here as a complete layman when it comes to this sort of thing.
So no barbecue summer, though we had a few barbecues, the weather was better in the North but not amazingly so, Scotland apparently was quite cold at times. Certainly what is going on doesn't match the predictions of anyone, though many in the warmist camp still like to pontificate as if they know what is happening (whilst denying any and all mentions of shenanigans within their corrupt camp)
So, my predictions for next year?

We'll have lots of weather and nobody will get it completely right what kind it will be.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fingers crossed

Tax, seems the inland Revenue have made a bit of a blunder and both undercharged and overcharged the taxpayers of the land in their ever voracious grasping into our wallets and purses.
Seems some people could owe £1500 whilst other could be owed £418. I must admit I hope I'm in that group, or the group who owe and are owed nothing at all.

Nearly six million people in the UK have paid the wrong amount of tax.
About £2bn was underpaid via the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system in the past two years, with about 1.4 million people owing an average of £1,500 each.
But £1.8bn has also been overpaid and some 4.3 million people will get a rebate because they have paid too much.
Treasury minister David Gauke said that in the current financial climate, the government was not in a position to "just wave goodbye" to the money owed.
He said the government had inherited the problem and the PAYE system - which was created in the 1940s - was struggling to cope with modern working patterns.
A new computer system introduced by HMRC in 2009 has allowed more discrepancies to be identified.
As a result millions of letters will be sent to taxpayers across the UK informing them of errors in their contributions.
The first 45,000 are expected to arrive on Tuesday, with 30,000 informing recipients they are due a rebate of on average £418.
The remaining 15,000 letters will tell taxpayers they have underpaid and will have their tax code altered next year to recoup the money.
Times are hard for many folk at the moment and the last thing they need is an unexpected tax bill, particularly when it isn't their fault but that of their employer or HMRC.
Perhaps if people were more responsible for their own tax there would be fewer mistakes, then again PAYE makes it easy, although it puts the onus on employers rather than the people to pay their tax. Someone once posited abolishing PAYE and everyone gets a tax (local and national) bill on the 5th of April, Elections are then held the week after, they reckoned it would reduce bills and eliminate waste as councillors and politicians would move heaven and earth to be re-elected including providing true value for money.

It's worth a thought anyway.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My beautiful homeland

I have many homes, there's the one in Kent where I live with my good Lady, there's also my parents house in Gateshead, although I never lived there long, but there's also the North-East of England where I was born and where my roots come from. It's this aspect I look too when I tell my friends I'm going home and it's where a bit of magic still plays on my emotions. Yes the North East is a bit of an economic disaster area, many of the jobs are now government issue types in the civil service and make-work job creation schemes. Quite a bit of a come down for an area that was once one of the great industrial heartlands of the UK, produced ships as well as mined coal for the whole of the country and had the largest armament manufacturers outside of London. Sadly such days are gone though the people remain resilient if somehow staunch Labour supporters, despite all the crap Labour have handed out to them over the years.
But as for scenery, well you can't beat it, I walked along a section of the Roman Wall from Steelriggs to Housesteads Roman fort with my kids, dog and good Lady just drinking in the view.

Just a small part of the 74 miles the Romans built as a reminder of just who owned the land South of the Wall. It's not as some would like to believe the border between England and Scotland, that's much further to the North of Berwick, nor do the people of the area class themselves as Scots or even Borderers, they're English, complete with Northumbrian accents.

It's just not something you really see in the South of England, though there are many areas with their own beauty, though few where it is so wild and untouched by man's civilising influence, only the stonewalls of the fields marking where years of backbreaking labour have gone into pushing back nature, indeed many of the local houses owe much to the Roman Wall as ready cut building material.
We also enjoyed some good beer as well as good conversations in the local hostelries, the variety being as much and as varied as any pub in the country, though again much threatened by the establishments crusade against anything they deem to be harmful to us, the overwhelming opinion being they should mind their own business, though few seem ready to take the fight back to them yet.

I'm back home from home now, tomorrow I'll take a look at what's been happening back in the world and offer an opinion. Tonight I'll dream of wild Northumbria and the stark beauty of the land of my birth.