Thursday, March 31, 2011

First line of defence?

Labour have apparently not learned the lesson of last weekend and associating themselves with the violence of those who oppose cuts (yes we know most of the marchers were peaceful, but they didn't grab the headlines) Instead Millipede E has launched their local election campaign with the slogan "First line of defence against the cuts" whilst probably hoping no-one will ask why the cuts are necessary and/or blaming the banks for Labours spending spree.

Ed Miliband has launched Labour's campaign for council elections in England, saying the party will be the "first line of defence" against cuts.
The Labour leader argued local authority budget cuts will hit the poorest communities hardest and his party will stand up for those affected.
David Cameron told Conservative MPs on Wednesday they could win the "big argument" over the extent and speed of coalition plans to cut the deficit.
I know they are pushing hard, I've been canvassed twice here in the last couple of weeks, that's more than they managed in the last 10 years I've been here. It's the same message too that somehow or other their plans to help recover the economy are going to be kinder than the oppositions. All again without mentioning why we're in such a mess and not liking it at all when asked and no I don't take "it was the banks fault" as an acceptable answer, I know about PFI, the growth in the public sector, the pensions raid, the gold sell off and whilst the financial sector might have been complicit in starting the recession, they are not to blame for the state of the countries finances, that can be laid right back at the door of Labour and their economic incompetence, particularly that of one G Brown esq.
So no, Labour aren't the first line of defence unless of course you are in the public sector, what they should be is the last resort of the mentally unstable, not so much as scraping the bottom of the barrel, but scraping what's left underneath it. Labour have a great deal of nerve pontificating over the mess they left the country and their attempts to shift the blame for their mess and the cleaning up onto the Tories, not that the Tories are doing such a grand job themselves, but at least they admit the full scale of the problem even if doing nowhere near enough about it.
Problem is, Labour have entrenched too many people on non jobs in the public sector and these have to be peeled back layer by layer despite the strenuous objections of the public sector unions. Unemployment will rise inevitably, but it will get the states finances back under control. It would be nice to see the country run without borrowing for one thing. Job creation has to be a genuine thing, public sector jobs are essentially non contributory to the economy so the private sector needs to be encouraged to grow, best way to do that would be to leave the EU...

And there's the problem, the elephant in the room, we can't sort out the mess till we leave and we definitely can't sort out the mess by voting Labour, they put us there after all, the EU keeps us there and the Tories and Lib Dems won't get us out either.
You can see why I probably wont vote for anyone around here, they wont do what I want.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She's not a political prisoner she's a very naughty girl!

I've railed constantly at the mindset of the left on this blog and their beliefs in entitlement and social superiority flying in the face of common sense and decency, but there are times that they manage to make me laugh out loud with their sheer idiocy.

Guardian (CIF)
Cuts protest: I'm a political prisoner now

Why was I jailed with other peaceful UK Uncut supporters arrested at Fortnum & Mason? We'd messed with the rich, apparently.
On the day of the anti-cuts march the comedian Josie Long tweeted: "UK Uncut is about fun and peaceful protest." It's the same fun and peaceful protest that historically earned the group praise from the Daily Mail, celebrity fans from Radiohead to Duncan Bannatyne, and participants aged from three to 83. It is also the reason that I am proud to have attended numerous UK Uncut protests, from those that transformed Boots stores into hospitals to those that opened schools in Lloyds TSB. I've seen my fellow protesters bring along children, grandchildren, parents, friends and colleagues.
The occupation of Fortnum & Mason on 26 March was no different, as footage of the protest demonstrates. Despite this, and despite the police in the store praising the protest as "sensible", we were dragged away, arrested and taken to police stations around London. One of the protesters was 15 years old.
 No Imogen, what you did was trespass, breaking and entering, criminal damage and theft and you're clearly no Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst or Martin Luther King, just some stupid girl who ended up in Fortnum and Mason's (75% owned by a charity) stealing wine and generally making a nuisance of yourself. You really want to know what it is to be dealt with firmly by the police, try being a member of the EDL when the Greater Manchester Police use their Tactical Aid Unit (TAU) and set the dogs on you without cause and without reason.
You Imogen were committing an offence, a criminal offence, not a political thought crime and not something likely to get you sent off to the UK equivalent of the Gulag Archipelago. You'll end up with a slap on the wrist, maybe a fine, perhaps some community service. Members of the EDL whose marches have been largely peaceful have ended up with 10 year ASBO's forbidding them to associate, meet, travel or even go on the EDL web pages so you'll forgive me if my sympathy for you is absolutely zero.
My advice is to grow up, cease your pathetic whines and bother us no more with your faux outrage, it's pathetic and fools nobody but a few deluded leftists in the Guardian as the comments rather show.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Government can bind the actions of its successor

Simple quote and not exactly rocket science is it, but it's part of what remains of the UK constitution. That's why I'm taking David Cameron's attack on Alistair Darling about bailing Portugal out with a pinch of salt.

DAVID Cameron last night rounded on Alistair Darling over an EU deal that could leave British taxpayers facing a multi-billion-pound eurozone bailout.
The Prime Minister clashed with the former Labour Chancellor in the Commons over the UK’s involvement in a £50billion rescue fund. It was set up after the financial crisis in Greece last year.
Dreamed up by eurocrats and Labour ministers while negotiations to form the coalition Government were under way last May, the deal could mean Britain paying up to £6billion to support Portugal.
Tory MPs are furious that the deal was agreed by Mr Darling, in virtually his last act in office, after Labour had lost the last General Election. Mr Cameron told MPs: “I have always said that a successful eurozone is in Britain’s national interest. But I have also said that Britain isn’t in the euro and isn’t going to be joining the euro and so it is right we shouldn’t be involved in the euro area’s internal arrangements.
It is also why I believe we should not have any liability for bailing out the eurozone. But with the current emergency arrangements, we do.”

No Dave we don't, the only reason we are as far as I can see is that your lot agreed that we should, no government can bind the actions of its successors, all you need to turn around and say is that that was a decision of the previous government and we are not bound by its actions in bailing out the Euro. Fact is your Chancellor agreed to this with Darling in the interim period whilst the coalition was being set up and I suspect that some Lib Dems as well as the Kenneth Clarkite wing of the Tories might just kick up a fuss if you repudiate giving our cash away to prop up a currency that we aren't even a part of such are the traitors to the UK that you harbour in your party.
You see Dave, we've noticed even before you got into power that you tried to talk the talk but singularly failed to walk the walk on EUskeptisism, after all where's that referendum you promised us as opposed to the referendum on AV we have that you didn't promise us. Since then your government has done its best to block every anti-EU move and call for a return of sovereignty along with an in/out referendum that has been proposed. You even had to give prisoners the vote because the ECHR said you had too, so you clearly aren't in line with the wishes of the majority of people in this country.
Until you do actually decide to get real on the EU, I'm afraid your party will not be getting my votes, same for the Labour Party and the Lib Dems at local or national levels. You simply can't be trusted.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sounds about right

Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly feeling the pinch here or pleading poverty, I have no idea what real poverty is like after all having merely seen it when abroad travelling to do the odd bit of engineering work in the third world. Closest I have come to it would be doing the servicing of some warehouse cranes in Romania where I'd go out with the local crew and watch them nurse a drink all night whilst a round cost me little more than a couple of drinks here. The equivalent of £10 would get me absolutely wasted over there and I didn't mind buying the drinks, it was more or less covered by my company eating expenses which were the same no matter which country we were in.
Still, this article from the BBC does not surprise me.

The average employee takes home £1,088 a year less than two years ago when the sum is adjusted for inflation, research commissioned by BBC Panorama suggests.
The sharp drop, in real terms, highlights the effect of stagnant wages and above-target inflation on incomes.
The average British worker earned £20,149 at the start of 2011 - a real terms fall of 5% from what they were earning in the middle of the recession.
The research was based on actual salaries paid into bank accounts.
It was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Studies and based on data on salaries from the payment processor, Vocalink, which looks after more than 90% of deposits into employees' bank accounts.
It was commissioned by Panorama to work out how much worse off employees have become since wages hit their peak.
People are indeed feeling the pinch, low percentage pay rises coupled with a higher rate of inflation coupled to an even higher cost of living means that peoples budgets no longer stretch as far as they once did. The still rising cost of fuel just keeps adding to everyones burdens as well as pushing the price of everything else up. 20% VAT hasn't helped either, though that's just pin money to the government.
What I expect to see is a return to a bit of self reliance, my Dad grew his own fruit and veg to supplement the family finances it helped a lot, other families did pretty much the same thing in the North East, getting an allotment was the equivalent of digging up gold so I'm wondering if there will be a return to such hobbies here. Certainly allotments are still very popular, but most gardens around here are still for relaxation, flowers and trees etc. So it strikes me that we're not quite into penury yet, but I do expect it to get worse before it gets better and I also plan to buy some decent gardening tools this year as well, self reliance is starting to become quite important to me, though I doubt I'll apply for an allotment, I'd be dead before I got one around here such is the waiting list. I'm also looking at a second hand wood burning stove plus a 3kw diesel generator. My good lady thinks I'm mad, but I'd rather be mad my way than the madness of ignoring the sign and partying till the last.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


They're still tallying up the cost of yesterdays march in London, though I doubt it will be cheap, yet already a new set of protests are being planned.

Union leaders today vowed to continue campaigning against the Government's spending cuts amid mounting anger at the trouble makers who clashed with police and damaged stores and other buildings during a huge TUC demonstration.
A leading Labour politician described those involved in clashes in the West End as a "tiny minority of violent, parasitic unrepresentative hooligans", while London's Deputy Mayor said they were "fascist agitators".
I of course fully support their right to peaceful protest, what I don't condone is the hypocrisy of the left who have tried to get other marches by the EDL banned or stopped on the grounds of cost and created a minor media frenzy over it.

EDL supporters from across the UK and Europe converged on Luton, the Bedfordshire town that spawned the far-right movement.
Over 1,000 police including mounted officers and dog units were deployed to keep the two sides apart at a cost of £800,000.
Note, there was no violence at the EDL demo, nor has there been any violence at the previous 5 demo's Yet there are some local council members who want to stop the EDL from marching and are citing the cost of policing them as a case for doing so.

Birmingham Mail.
Selly Oak Labour MP Steve McCabe said it was time for Theresa May to use her powers to ban the march.
“I’ve not been in favour of a blanket ban on the EDL before but on this occasion I think it should be imposed,” he said.
“You have a group of people with a track record of violence on the same day as a local derby and we know football matches are a prime recruiting ground for the EDL.”
Joining him in his call was MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab, Perry Barr) who said if the Home Secretary did not ban the march, she should provide West Midlands Police with extra officers or cash.
I for one would wonder at the reaction from the TUC, Labour etc. if the government told the TUC you're banned because we can't afford to police you, I can just see that one going down a storm.
Marches might not change things but those who would seek to ban them should give pause and think, because it might be them next, certainly there is now a case for banning a TUC march similar to the one yesterday due to the cost and the violence, but I doubt you'll hear a squeak from the media or the left about doing so, which would of course show them to be major hypocrites if they try to get other marches banned simply on cost.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not in my name

There's an anti cuts demo in London today, the public sector have finally woken up to the fact that there's no money left and have decided to march in protest of the government slowing down its borrowing and many local councils deciding that they'll try to blackmail the government by cutting real services rather than the pretendy makework jobs in the diversity co-ordinator sector.
I've been doing some looking around this week and as a result felt like I needed several showers on those days. Why. Well, by visiting the anarchist and hard left sites. The sites are awash with big talk. Talk of setting London a flame. Of bringing down the banks.
However they still choose to ignore the fact that it was Labour who did that in the first place.
Still you can't keep a good leftist loony down.

Soon after 1330 GMT, a small group splintered off from the main protest and broke through a thin police line to head up Regent's Street to Oxford Circus where scuffles broke out and Top Shop was attacked, reported BBC correspondent Tom Symonds.
Many were wearing black, with their faces covered by masks and they were carrying flags. Some let off flares and fireworks were heard.
The police said light bulbs containing ammonia were thrown at officers.
And they accuse the EDL of being violent mindless thugs. Also, I couldn't help notice when the EDL marched in Luton the media repeatedly mentioned how much policing the event cost but no mention at all here.

Why these people did not protest during the 13 years of Labour just smacks of hypocrisy. Ok, no one wants to lose their job and it is terrible that people have to go through it. However, did the public sector speak out for the private sector when it was decimated in 2007/8?
So the march today is not in my name, if anything the government haven't went anything  like hard enough on public expenditure, they've tried to manicure when they should have been attempting amputation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I don't get expenses for this, why should they?

Seems our troughing MP's just can't resist having the taxpayers stump up for their perks and privileges.

TAXPAYERS will soon have to pay millions more to fund MPs’ expenses.
An anti-sleaze watchdog has agreed concessions with them, including allowing more to claim rent for a home in London.
Other changes include paying housing and travel costs for children over the age of five and raising staff budgets. MPs will also be able to use Parliamentary credit cards more to ease “cashflow’’ problems.
Officials would not say what the changes could cost but one said it would be “a very few million at most”.
The proposals by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority should take effect next month, the deadline MPs had given the body to reform or face an overhaul. MPs complained that the system put in place after the expenses scandal is too bureaucratic and leaves them thousands in the red.
Commons Leader Sir George Young welcomed the steps “towards a regime that better enabled MPs to do their jobs”.
My company wont pay travel costs for over fives and would laugh at me if I even tried, plus if I have cashflow problems, that's my concern, not theirs. It seems like the MP's were hell bent on fleecing us anyway as their threat to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to overhaul it. Nor can I understand how an MP on at least £64,000 a year can be in the red. As for being better enabled MPs doing their jobs, well that's just bull anyway, they don't do their jobs, they rubber stamp EU legislation most of the time and drag us into pointless foreign wars whilst taxing us to the hilt to pay for their expenses, their bureaucracy and their imbecilic ideas on power generation.
I've been of the opinion now that MP's should whilst working in London stay in travelodge style accommodation and not be allowed to buy a second home on expenses, nor indeed furnish it at our expense. If I were to be working away from home by my company, they wouldn't do anything other than that anyway.
Seems as if our corrupt troughers really haven't a clue how the common people really live, or if they do, then don't give a toss about how their dipping into the public purse to fund their lavish lifestyles looks.
I just hope payback will be an utter bitch for them if or when we finally decide we've had enough.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oh my God, they're arming kids, run for the hills!!!! etc...

I have a shotgun and a shotgun license, I've never shot anyone, nor have I ever felt the urge to shoot anyone and I've been shooting since I was about 14. Nor does anyone I know at the club I go to ever deliberately fired their weapon at anything other than game or in my case clay pigeons.
So it is with amusement and of course a sense of alarm that I see a couple of righteous organisation trying to shock the world in announcing that kids under 10 have been issued with shotgun licenses.

Thirteen children under the age of 10 have been issued with shotgun certificates in the UK over the past three years.
The youngest child to be granted a licence was seven years old, figures obtained by BBC News show.
Last year, the Association of Chief Police Officers suggested that Under 10s are banned from using shotguns.
The fact that they've applied for licenses means that somewhere along the lines there are adults involved, it means they will be using the guns responsibly and will probably be trained in the safe use of said weapons. It's not like they are going to their mates and getting hold of weapons under the counter now is it?
I'm not sure why ACPO are involved in this, other than they're possibly afraid that an armed society might put them out of a job, I can't find any case of a 10 year old in an armed robbery with a shotgun, they seem to be remarkably well behaved in that sense. So it just seems that ACPO want them banned for the sake of being banned in the same way that pistols etc have been banned, it's a knee jerk reaction from righteous organisations fearful that the people they oppress might just turn around and bite them, so remove the weapons, but not the cause. Thing is, all they've done is left us with the situation where only the police/armed forces and criminals have fire arms, that and the odd few who are criminalised because they have their granddads WW2 pistol tucked away as an antique.
Still they are reviewing the laws again, so I fully expect another group of law abiding people will be victimised by the state for enjoying their sport and have their equipment banned or removed from use. It's what the state does these days when it isn't taxing us to the hilt and making our lives a misery, it removes the tools necessary to remove them by force.
Their day will come of course, though I doubt I'll use my shotgun, I'd much prefer to hang them and watch them struggle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No exit

I don't think Libya is worth the life of a single UK serviceman, I don't think it's worth the cost and I can't see the benefits, even if we seized the oil fields, what then?


The Government does not know how long the Armed Forces will be engaged in Libya, a defence minister admitted as debate intensified over the likely outcome, cost and leadership of the mission. 

Nick Harvey, the Armed Forces minister, was asked how long Britain would be involved in the military operation in north Africa. He replied: “How long is a piece of string? We don’t know how long this is going to go on for.”
His admission, three days into the intervention, came as ministers faced mounting pressure to set out the limits of Britain’s involvement and explain their eventual exit strategy.
MPs were becoming increasingly concerned that Britain would be “sucked in” to a prolonged conflict.
Adding to the sense of uncertainty, France and Britain remained at odds over a plan for Nato to take over command of military operations when the US winds down its involvement, a transition expected in days.
Wonderful, we still seem to have a bunch of politicians in charge who believe that 1984 is an instruction manual.
"We've always been at war with Eastasia"
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter3

Being the relevant quote and that seems to be what they are proposing, war without end with various foreign regimes, simply to keep the proles from asking what's actually going on, at least until the dumbing down process in the education of our youth along with the mind numbing "variety/talent/celeb" shows which keeps them occupied all without questioning the motives of the powers that be.
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 7

The Romans called it "Bread and Circuses" as it kept the proles out of the affairs of their so called betters as well as making them susceptible to the odd demagogue who would use them to riot on his behalf.
But no matter the name the process remains the same, though I believe this time they may have bitten off a bit more than they can chew as the public sentiments are no longer behind such a war despite the best efforts of the MSM and government cheerleaders. We've seen too many flag draped coffins and heard too many Islamoloons spreading their vile hate to know that these are not people you can reason with, Melanie Phillips is being investigated (allegedly) by the police for calling Islamists savages and it's hard to blame her, the very rebels we have chosen to support have been sending their people until recently to fight us in Afghanistan. Even now the Arab League who called for a no fly zone are complaining that they didn't mean it the way it ended up, probably trying to get the best of both worlds I should imagine, claim they were trying to help then criticise the helpers.
So, here we go again, another war, another media onslaught and another round of dead soldiers courtesy of "Islam R us"


Don't you just love Big Brother?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Send an Easter message to your local enemy

Cadbury has an online 'virtual catapult', which sends an Easter Creme Egg soaring through the heavens and, using Google maps, landing anywhere on earth.


You can target anywhere, the White House, USA, right down to Medway Council Offices...

You can were you of such a mind, target your local Mosque, MP, Labour, Tory, Lib Dem HQ, Mecca, Medina, the presidential Palace Libya, ex school bullies or even ex schools...
I wonder how long before this gets banned?

Still, I could do this all day, it's not getting old yet

Monday, March 21, 2011


I was canvassed yesterday by the Labour Party in Medway, they wanted to know my opinion on Cameron's cuts. They went away when I asked where the £4 trillion debt came from, but they did leave me with this.

I had to retrieve it from the recycling hence the poor quality

Now apart from the sheer hypocrisy of Labour having a go at anyone because they are having to rein back the budgets due to 13 years of ruinous overspending and economic incompetency there is the problem that the last Labour government left the Medway area in that they had been stinting the local budget by gerrymandering John M Ward a fellow blogger has the details on the hows and why's but it boiled down in the end to Medway being Tory and unlikely to become Labour hence the massive shortfalls in their local government funding being channelled to Labour strongholds. Labour seem to do spite very well, yet scream blue (or should that be red) murder when the economic reality of their idiocy comes home to roost.
All budgets everywhere are being cut, there is some attempted blackmail going on by local councils threatening to cut frontline services rather than the "diversity co-ordinator sector" simply to try and squeeze more money to keep their political pets happy. So Labour don't want "Cameron" to rob us of the police, perhaps if they hadn't spent us into penury we might yet keep them, assuming this isn't scaremongering of which I wouldn't put it past them either.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The price of freedom

Wooton Bassett, soon to be renamed Royal Wooton Bassett honours our war dead by the people giving a simple silent roadside vigil as the bodies of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq return home. It's not that they approve of the wars, it's not jingoism, simply respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of this country. It's quite moving and genuine, which is why some people hate it and loathe the very idea of it.

A cartoon mocking Wootton Bassett's tributes to dead soldiers has been condemned by senior Conservative and Labour politicians.
After the Queen honoured the town by renaming it Royal Wootton Bassett, the Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell wrote in a cartoon: "Welcome to Royal Wootton Deathfest."
His cartoon also said the town is "not twinned with Fallujah", a reference to the Iraqi town where US forces were accused of killing civilians.
The town's residents have been widely praised for their silent roadside vigils as the bodies of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq return home.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox told the Sun: "It's tasteless and offensive. It shows a total lack of respect for our fallen.
"It's cowardly and bad taste which stands in stark contrast to the pride of the people of Royal Wootton Bassett."
A spokesman for Labour leader Ed Miliband told the paper: "There is no doubt that to the vast majority of people in country, Wootton Bassett deserves its Royal designation.
"It should be a matter for some pride and should not be denigrated in this way."
Many Guardian readers praised Bell's cartoon on the paper's website.
Cartoon and comments can be viewed here.

Now Steve Bell and the Guardianistas are perfectly entitled to their opinions on the wars being fought, indeed as is often pointed out men (and women) fought and died so they can do this sort of thing. However as for the attack on the people of Wooton Bassett, well yes they have that right too, though in this case they make themselves out to be petty, ignorant and spiteful though again this is the level to which the left have sunk recently so it doesn't surprise me.
However a quick scan through the comments and you see the calls for this sort of thing to be classed as treason.
Posted by: Oh Polemic on March 18, 2011 8:49 AM
Traitor. A person who betrays their own nation, family, friends, ethnic group, team, religion, social class, or other group to which they may belong.

Treason. A citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the nation.

Steve Bell, also his editor Alan Rusbridger, might both be wise to note that whilst the Death Penalty in Britain for murder was repealed in 1969 it nonetheless actually remained on the statute books for the offence of Treason until 1998.

My comment is not a joke.
Which it clearly isn't, crass certainly, sick, yes, treasonous, no. Steve Bell is a political cartoonist and political comment in the UK by cartoon has its roots back to the days of Hogarth and beyond to the pamphleteers of the English civil war. He has the right to try and make a point this way, just as we have the right to tell him, not funny at all mate. What we don't try to do is get him and the Guardianistas locked up or accused of treason or even have Steve Bell sacked as some have called for.
The only things that can and should be done is for those who don't like itis to comment back in the Guardian or boycott the paper, though the way things are going with the Guardians finances I doubt it can survive that long, particularly if the government were to take away its almost total monopoly on government job offers, something the Government seems loathe to do admittedly.
So yes Steve bell has the right as it were to have his view and have it printed, but equally he also has the right to be criticised for an unwarranted attack on the people of Wooton Bassett. What shouldn't happen is that he be silenced in any way, that's a slippery slope we have already gone far too far down with, by various governments already.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So how do you set up something to fail?

So, how do you set up something to fail? Particularly when it's about the erosion of British sovereignty by European courts? Well if you stuff it with EUrophiles and then bar it from considering whether Britain should withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, you can pretty much guarantee its failure or deadlock.

A panel set up to challenge the erosion of British sovereignty by European courts was branded a ‘con’ last night.
It emerged that the commission investigating the creation of a British Bill of Rights would be barred from considering whether Britain should withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.
Critics also claimed the commission was ‘dominated’ by Europhiles and human rights lawyers likely to be in favour of the supremacy of the European courts.
The supposedly independent commission was hurriedly set up by the Coalition in response to mounting public outrage at a European ruling ordering Britain to give prisoners the vote.
But Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced yesterday that the body will be barred from debating whether Britain should pull out of the European Convention of Human Rights – the basis for Labour’s controversial Human Rights Act.
It will instead have to ‘incorporate and build on all our obligations’ under the Convention.
The remit means that even if the commission eventually recommends a British Bill of Rights, it will have to embrace the principle that the European Convention on Human Rights should be enshrined in UK law.
Ah yes good old Ken Clarke traitor extraordinaire, the man who would sell us all down the EU river to his masters in Brussels telling a committee debating a British Bill of Rights that they will have to do it in the existing system and not tear up the current system, the one which has been over-riding our national sovereignty and caused the founding of the committee in the first place.
In other words the committee is a total waste of time and a mere charade, a sop to the public who were outraged over the prisoners votes fiasco, yet totally toothless and unable to change a thing.
Tories, same as Labour, same as Lib Dems, run by traitors for the EU, not the British people and certainly not for the English.
Can we just leave the EU? Now?

Hyper-injunctions -The Secret Misery

I don't often link to other blogs directly, but if you have the chance take a wander over to Anna Racoon's and look at this post.
Then get very angry.
Then pass it on before they come up with a way to stop us.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The mark 1 eyeball

What is it with some people that they will put common sense to one side when dealing with technology?

A RED-FACED trucker stranded £150,000 worth of brand new cars when he followed his sat nav directions up a mountain cattle track.
Markus Lutz, 38, drove his truck up a woodland path in Cochem, Germany, that was normally used by local dairy farmers taking their herds to and from pasture.
"I just did what it said on the screen and the road got smaller and smaller. In the end I couldn't go forward or back," the driver told police.
It's not the first time I've heard such tales either, it's not just Germany after all, back in 2008 there were reports that Sat Navs had caused up to 300,000 accidents in the UK because drivers tended to rely on them more than common sense. Back in February a 4 year old girl died because her parents following the instructions of a Sat Nav turned right into traffic despite there being sign saying no right turn. The highway code is actually quite clear about sign-age, Signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive. Plates below signs qualify their message. No right turn means no right turn regardless of what the Sat Nav says. But people are far more trusting of the Sat Nav than their eyes and I'm not sure why, they'll follow its instructions in the face of practically anything else. No I'm not blaming the Sat Navs themselves, they're programmed by people and they are only as good as the info in them, the problem seems to be people. Little Britain seems to have the whole thing nailed with their "computer say no" sketches, where technology was the be all and end all of the whole thing no matter what the people involved seemed to want and very humorously done too.
So I guess that I'll stick to my maps and my common (road) sense and my route planning for now and ignore the blandishments of over 50's insurance with their offer of a free Sat Nav and trust that the next car I see coming the wrong way up a dual carriageway or one way street isn't another victim of technology, I don't need technology to get me into trouble, I'm pretty good at finding it without additional help.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Playing the racist card, something that many on the left and certain sub groups are known for to try and divert attention away from something that is being criticised or speculated on in an ethnic or religious sub group, essentially it's a debate stopper used to shut down debate. Yet it's always fun to turn the tables and shine its light on some member of the righteous who comes up with something so outrageous yet can't see just how hypocritical they are for doing so..

A Labour shadow minister was last night facing calls for her dismissal after she was recorded saying that the Government "don't want Muslims living in central London". 
Ms Buck's comments were made at a public meeting in Islington. Sharing a platform with local MPs, Ms Buck suggested that planned cuts to housing benefit were politically motivated to force poor, ethnic minority and Muslim families out of the centre of London.
She said: "[The Government] do not want lower-income women, families, children and, above all, let us be very clear – because we also know where the impact is hitting – they don't want black women, they don't want ethnic minority women and they don't want Muslim women living in central London.
And what about the poor whites also living in London being hit by these measures? Well we don't know as Ms Buck seems to be concentrating on Labours pets, but it does seem to be somewhat hypocritical of Ms Buck to be accusing the government of racism when they are hitting everyone equally. Or does equality only count for black and ethnic minority women and Muslims these days whilst the rest of us can simply get on with being oppressed?
Now I can see exactly why the government has decided to limit housing benefit to £400 a week for the largest homes and £290 a week for two-bed flats, I may not agree with the figures, but I do see the point of putting a cap on the payments, we've basically run out of money and savings have to be made. This is an area they've looked at and that's what they decided to do and I somehow doubt that anyone in on the decision would have even thought that this is a good way to get at black, ethnic minority women as well as Muslims, nor do I expect they thought this would be a way to get at white people either, only an idiot would think otherwise and only an imbecile would announce what they thought to the world and as an average Labour MP, Ms Buck matches both points quite adequately.
There are calls for Ms Buck to be sacked, but if I were in the government, I'd say nothing, a loose cannon like Ms Buck in the Labour front benches is a gift from God simply because she's swallowed whole the guff that somehow ethnics are far more important than the indigenous and isn't afraid to say it or smart enough to qualify her statements. But she's clearly a racist for saying what she said, even if many on the left don't think you can be racist if you're defending ethnics, but Ms Buck clearly thinks that poor white people should be forced out of London whilst poor black, ethnic minority women and Muslims should be paid more to stay. Or that's how it reads to me anyway.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can't have it both ways

Guenther Oettinger, the EU's energy commissioner is somewhat of an idiot, a very dangerous type of idiot to be sure, but still an idiot. Currently he's blatting out soundbites about the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan...


Europe contemplates 'nuclear free' world in wake of Japan disaster
All Europe's atomic power reactors will be subjected to natural disaster tests in the wake of a the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant. 
Tuesday's EU decision came after Germany moved to shut down seven aged atomic plants amid panic over the safety of nuclear power as the Japanese crisis worsened.
Guenther Oettinger, the EU's energy commissioner, warned that a third explosion and fire at the Fukushima plant on Tuesday heralded the world's worst nuclear disaster.
"There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen," he said.
Mr Oettinger said that "stress" testing was needed to ensure that Europe's 143 reactors could withstand earthquakes and other emergencies.
"We want the safety of all reactors to be reviewed in the light of events in Japan," he said. 
"It has to raise the question of whether we in Europe, in the foreseeable future, can secure our energy needs without nuclear power?" 
 Nuclear power is dangerous, no doubt about it, however it has to be pointed out that in Europe few if any of our nuclear plants are built on or near tectonic fault lines so there's not much chance of a tsunami belting up the English Channel to inundate Dungeness after a massive earthquake off the south coast of Devon. Nor I suspect will the French be amused by Oettinger's outburst either as 80% of their power generation is nuclear in origin and as the EU is run for the benefit of the French Oettinger is probably doing the verbal equivalent of pissing into the wind. I suspect Oettinger is from the old school Green movement in Germany, the ones who produced all those nuclear power nein danke stickers back in the heyday of the old Berlin Wall East West protests, plus Germans have always been a little ambivalent about nuclear power anyway. But what Oettinger seems to have forgotten is that the EU is hell bent on carbon free power generation and quite frankly as much as he'd love to have us believe it, wind and solar power just won't hack it, we can't even make them competitive without massive subsidies, government lies notwithstanding on the issue.
So like it or not, nuclear power is the only option for the EU that actually works and will deliver the power necessary to keep the howling savages at bay from stringing up EU energy commissioners.
Saying or suggesting anything else would be a lie and I suspect Oettinger knows this, but his distaste for nuclear power is well known and clearly colours his judgement. Looks like he couldn't resist the opportunity to put the boot in despite the likelihood of a similar disaster as happened to Japan ever happening in northern Europe.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tell us something we don't know

One of the more astonishing things about Labour was how they took a country with a balance of payment surplus into a multi trillion pound deficit. Not because this is the sort of thing that the left do as they only have a very slim grasp if any on the relationship between spending and income, but because of how they wasted it. They poured billions into projects such as the NHS and education and yet at the end of the day they ended up not getting any sort of value for the money they paid in at all.

LABOUR failed to give taxpayers value for money from the billions they poured into hospitals, a report has found.
Despite NHS spending increasing by 70 per cent over the past decade, productivity actually declined in hospitals, the Public Accounts Committee said last night.
Committee chairman Margaret Hodge, a former Labour minister, said: “Over the last 10 years, the productivity of NHS hospitals has been in almost continuous decline. 
“Over the same period, the amount spent on the NHS increased from £60billion to £102billion a year.
“The quality of the health service has improved as a result of this increase in spending.
“But the taxpayer has been getting less for each pound spent.’’
One key problem is that national pay contracts were not used effectively to manage staff performance. While consultants had enjoyed significant pay rises, their productivity had fallen.
Previous research showed the number of NHS managers doubled under Labour and rose six times as fast as that of nurses.
Managers’ pay also rose faster than that of nurses.
 This is one of the greatest flaws in public services, there is no price for failure. A private company would go bankrupt, be sold, be split up, be audited and move towards efficiency or go under. The NHS does no such thing, it simply asks for more money and if threatened with cuts immediately looks to cut frontline services rather than management because that provokes the greatest outrage in the gullible public who think mostly that the NHS is about doctors and nurses and who are often enough under the illusion that it's free. Indeed, only the Chinese Army and the Indian State Railways are believed to employ more people — with 2.3 million and 1.5 million staff respectively — but both workforces represent a far smaller proportion of the national populations.This all has to be paid for out of taxpayers money and we deserve value for that money. I'm not saying that the NHS has to run at a profit, but it does need to be efficient, a public service run on private lines so to speak. This is what Labour failed to deliver, nobody begrudged the nurses and doctors getting a decent pay rise, but nobody expected the massive growth in bureaucracy and the subsequent slip in productivity and standards of care and hygiene, well nobody except the right wingers to whom Labour spending and wise decisions are a bit of an oxymoron.
The committee isn't telling us anything we didn't know, it isn't telling us anything we didn't know 5 or 6 years ago, all they are doing is confirming that yes it happened, despite all the bluster and denial from the left that it wasn't.
What it isn't doing is really telling us how it's going to be put right, efficiency savings of up to £20 billion by 2014 might sound good, but the proof rather will be the details rather than the soundbite. The monster that is the NHS admin will move heaven and earth to save their jobs, they are after all the ones who will be tasked to make the savings, so I fear that the initial savings will be as you guessed it doctors and nurses along with primary care. The left and the liberals will then scream that the evil Tories are gutting the NHS and the whole ghastly business will start all over again.
I think it's long overdue that we looked for and implemented a replacement for the NHS, something that gives the care we need, but provides value for money. I'm sure some country in the world has a better example of how it can be done.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Tommy this and Tommy that...

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

You may not agree with our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan,you may believe that Iraq was an illegal war (it wasn't, Parliament decides legality not the people and Parliament decided it was legal) But the courage of our soldiers is not open to any form of disagreement.

In an extraordinary show of courage, British soldiers are making themselves deliberate targets to flush out a Taliban sniper who is terrorising a base in Helmand.
Two snipers have killed two soldiers and injured six more over the past four months at the outpost in Qadrat. One marksman has been killed but the second is still resisting attempts to trap him.
Now, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment are volunteering to present themselves as targets.

Lieut Jamie MacDonald, 24, the commander of the base, has himself set up vehicle check points to try and draw out the sniper.
He said he would not expose his men to a danger he would not face himself: He told The Daily Telegraph: 'I've done it a couple of times. I don't ever sit still, I just keep moving.'
Lieut MacDonald said that the sniper currently opens fire on every patrol heading north. The lieutenant has twice come close to being shot when rounds have narrowly missed his head or body. Soldiers have returned to base with bullet holes in their armour and backpacks.
The lengths these brave men and women are prepared to go to for their comrades in arms and their duty to their regiments defies description save only that as the Mail says, they are "The bravest of the Brave"  They rise time and time again over their shameful treatment by successive governments and their Ministry of Defence, their courage shames politicians, bureaucrats and those who would call them murderers and rapists when they march home from doing their duty.
Perhaps it is time to bring them home, perhaps it's time to bring them home to clean house from the scum who shame this nation by their antics in insult or denying them the tools to do their job.
Words cannot express my horror at our young people putting their lives on the line to do this, words cannot express my pride in their courage.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Knowing your roots

I love history, be it local or national, even international and I'm an avid watcher of various documentaries about history and often get wrong or told to shut up by my good lady when I start to contradict the presenter. I'm even at the stage now of being told in advance of any film or programme to just keep quiet and enjoy it rather than nit pick the fallacisms in dress, weapons, facts and what really happened. I guess I'm quite the bore to the family, on the otherhand I tell them I'm not interested in who's having who in Corrieastendhollyoaks or whatever they're watching. All part of family life in castle QM and possibly a few other families, though I really wouldn't know, it's just a guess.
One of the things I did discover today though is that England is unique, sadly we're unique in being the only country in Europe that stops teaching history at 14, rather than 16.


Children’s understanding of the past is being undermined by poor history teaching and crowded timetables, Government inspectors warned today.

Ofsted said history suffered in many primary schools because of weak subject knowledge among staff and the use of “disconnected topics” in lessons.
At secondary level, growing numbers of pupils are now exposed to just two years of compulsory history classes instead of the recommended three.
In a damning conclusion, the watchdog warned that England was the only country in Europe where schoolchildren were allowed to stop studying history at the age of 13.
History teaching was good in around three-quarters of primary schools, Ofsted said, but teachers “found it difficult to establish a clear mental map of the past for pupils”.
The report told of one primary school curriculum that skipped from the Romans and Ancient Egypt to the Tudors and then the Victorians in subsequent years.
 Keeping the narrative going is something that schools even back in my days weren't so good at, though I don't recall learning about ancient Egyptians in history, we did cover them somewhat in RE though and I do remember something about papyrus too. We learned a bit about Rome though, again mostly due to the fact that we lived next to the Roman Wall and that the Romans were in England for 400 years and built a lot of roads, smacked down Boadicea (before Boudicca became de rigeur) built a wall to keep the barbarians out, then left. We then did a little bit about knights and Robin Hood, also some Scots guy and a spider before a massive jump through to the Tudors, mostly concentrating on the Elizabethan age and the Spanish Armada, quick trip into the Stuarts and the English civil war (though not why, simply a look at puritans, roundheads and cavaliers) and that was primary history over and done with.
Secondary history was a complete shambles, we studied from the most boring book imaginable, "A social and economic history of Britain" a book so utterly unique that it managed to erase all mention of the Napoleonic wars along with the Bill of Rights, and focussed instead on child poverty and the Chartist Movement, though it did mention the Peterloo massacre and the Tollpuddle Martyrs, looking back it was a socialist re-editing of history to remove the fun and the interesting bits along with any sense of glory and national pride.
Yet history if taught properly and accurately is vital to our society as it binds us together and gives us a sense of belonging, no wonder socialists hate the subject, imperialism and nationalism being a couple of their bogeymen. 
I guess I was lucky my love for history wasn't erased at school, though I suspect a bit of that was down to my family being interested in it along with a liking for historical cinema of the epic variety. Films like Spartacus, El Cid etc all combining with an inquisitive mind to make me go looking through dusty tomes at the local library, not that their selection was that great, but it was still better than what was available at school.
These days it's so much easier with the internet available yet still teachers struggle with the curriculum and history, mostly it's down to trying to cram too much in, it should be simplified and some stuff removed. But history of our nation should be made both interesting and compulsory up to 16, not random bits, but a narrative stream to show how we came to be. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Self inflicted?

You'd think that if you injured yourself or incapacitated yourself deliberately that the powers that be would not allow you to claim more than the bare minimum of benefits, rather than the additional invalidity/incapacity benefits available.
Yes I know, that was incredibly naive of me...

A JOBLESS layabout who rakes in taxpayers’ cash for alcoholism has been branded a “sponger” by a furious judge.
Judge John Walford told feckless Stanley Clifton, 31, that he was “the embodiment of the welfare dependency ­culture”.
Father-of-four Clifton receives hundreds of pounds a month in handouts, including incapacity benefit after claiming he was unfit for work because he drank seven litres of strong cider a day.
Clifton was given a community order with an unpaid work requirement at Teesside Crown Court in March 2009 for common assault.
But Judge Walford was told on Tuesday that he had failed to turn up for appointments to do the work.
And he had completed only 49 hours of the 100-hour order before probation officials realised he was ineligible for the work because he claims incapacity benefit and cannot be insured.
As far as I'm aware alcoholism is a self inflicted condition, having known an alcoholic in my family for several decades, I'm pretty much sure that they can work and carry out tasks if they stay off the drink. In fact alcoholism merely describes the condition of not wanting to come off the drink, rather than an addiction as such. Nor is it a disease, Malaria is a disease, Cancer is a disease, cholera is a disease. You have a choice whether to abuse alcohol or not - no one holds a gun to your head and forces drink down your neck.
The worst part of this article is when the "defendant" claims he now only drinks when he's stressed out. I'm just dying to hear what someone who doesn't need to work for a living gets stressed out about. Because it can't be the worry of where the next penny is coming from. He strikes me as the perfect Labour voter. Left school at 18 and spent 13 years loving that Labour kept him in whatever he needed.
So this "alcoholic" has managed to make HIS problem a taxpayer's problem. It's not that I'm unsympathetic. It's just that I've hit the limit. Now I really don't care. If this guy was cut off from all welfare and was later found dead in the gutter I wouldn't even yawn. I'll save what's left of my compassion for someone who deserves it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'll take my chances

Seems every year now we get some sort of health scare, not just the get your flu jabs kind, but a potential pandemic plague of biblical proportions. It's reached the stage where after the super flu and the bird flu along with swine flu people are just shrugging their shoulders and wondering what all the fuss is about.

ONLY worldwide mass vaccinations can prevent a possible deadly flu pandemic, experts warned yesterday. People under 50 are at risk of the H2N2 strain – similar to the H1N1 swine flu virus that struck fear across the world in 2009.
Four million people are thought to have died in the last devastating global outbreak of the H2N2 bug in the 1950s and 1960s. A vaccine was produced but the jabs programme was stopped in the late 1960s. It means older people may still be protected but younger people will be at risk because they missed out on the doses. The virus is still present today among birds and swine. Dr Gary Nabel, of the US Vaccine Research Centre in Maryland, said: “Our study suggests people under 50 have little or no immunity.

“Resistance also dramatically increases for those older than 50.” He added: “One approach would be to manufacture the vaccine produced in 1957 and immunise enough of the world’s population to provide ‘herd immunity’ to the rest.”
I probably won't bother, this is of course my choice and I don't have a problem with anyone else getting the jabs, though I'm highly suspicious at the death tolls and scaremongering that has gone on with the various non-existent (it seems) pandemics that  have the various news agencies, doctors and politicians up in arms every year. I'm even at the stage now where I think that these scares are simply a way to try and keep the population living in a state of fear as well as lining the pockets of big drug companies, you can only take so much hype after all and this no longer pushes any buttons of mine, not that it ever has.
Over the years I've become so jaded with various official and MSM announcements about things I should fear that I'm probably in grave danger of risk if something really dangerous comes along, simply because I won't believe them, such has been their effect on my life. I'm not quite at the stage where I'd go out and spot check any politician who tells me the sun will rise in the East, but it's getting close and I'm certainly at the stage where I'd be trying to figure out his angle in telling me. Those in authority and to a certain extent the MSM have by their lies and their general obfuscation and unwillingness to make any statement without various caveats and conditions have lost the confidence and trust of the people they are supposed to be representing. Multi-culturalism, global warming, the EU, immigration, foreign wars, all lied about, all defended to the point of idiocy and still being rammed down our throats as if they are sacred cows to be defended at all costs. It strikes me that in many issues the general public are way ahead of the righteous, certainly in common sense at any rate. Yet at the back of my mind there is the fear that all their machinations might just leave a Pandora's box open one day because we wont believe a word they say which is just another reason to despise them, even if it will be too late.
I'll take my chances with H2N2, I'm over 50 after all, but I am so tired of all the scare stories, the problem is they don't scare any more, they're mostly just sensationalised. So I'll take my chances and just hope that if something really nasty comes along I'll recognise it and do something about it, I'm probably statistically pushing my luck, but I'm definitely not alone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is what happens if you make the price too high.

It's something that is well understood by the public but seems to be a bit of a blindspot for those in authority whether in government or utility companies. If you price a commodity too high or even attempt to ban it, then people will find a way around it legally or illegally. Happens with drugs, happening with cigarettes and tobacco and happening with alcohol. There are really times I am blessed by living 45 miles from Dover, I can make massive savings by doing a booze cruise as and whenever I need too, others will use "a man in a van" to buy their cut price ciggies, it happens all over the place and the righteous have only themselves to blame for trying to socially engineer out of demand something that the people clearly are not prepared to do without.
Now it's starting to happen with electricity...

Criminal gangs are targeting people with electricity pre-payment meters in a doorstep fraud with hotspots reported in Kent, London and the Midlands.
Crimestoppers has warned people to be alert to the doorstep fraud and offered a £10,000 reward for information.
The fraudsters sell illegal, cut-price electricity top-ups by pushing a cloned key into people's meters to add credit.
Data from six energy companies has shown more than 120,000 people have been affected across the UK.
More than 5,300 incidents have been reported in Kent this year. Birmingham saw 6,978 incidents.
Across the country, customers have given the criminal gangs more than £7m, figures from British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE have shown.
Over the last 13 years ever since governments got heavily into the climate levy scam, electricity and gas prices have risen well above that of inflation and this affects those particularly at the bottom end of the financial scale who struggle from week to week juggling their budgets and making decisions as to heat the house, top up the car or have something other than beans on toast as their main meal for once. So if someone comes along and offers a £10 top up for £5 what do you think is going to happen? Pretty much the same as what happens when someone offers cheap ciggies, booze or a half inched pay as you go mobile top up. No, I'm not saying everyone will do this, but if the government and by proxy the utility companied continue to squeeze us all financially then sooner or later people will look for ways around it. It will be unregulated uncontrolled and at times illegal and yes people will get caught, it won't stop others from doing it though and new scams will develop as the people doing it get more sophisticated. I rather expect that when the companies try to foist smart meters on us all that someone somewhere will develop a hack so they can't be controlled from outside or at least appear as if they are working when they aren't.
There's probably some natural law or formula out there to describe the phenomena of diminishing returns for price increases, the laffer curve I know describes it. Private industry know it quite well and it affects their pricing policies, however when governments become involved then this goes out of the window as they just raise prices and duties to fill their coffers without regard to the consequences. One of the consequences is of course that people will look for an alternative, happens every time, without fail legally or illegally. Prohibition in the USA shows what happens when governments interfere too much in the market, criminals step in to fill the gap because the demand doesn't go away it just goes underground.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stalking by blog

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but apparently it is...

A hospital administrator has made British legal history by becoming the first man to be jailed for stalking a woman by blog.
Stephen Andreassen, 38, compiled up to 35 website blogs in which he repeatedly insulted an ex-girlfriend after she ended their month-long relationship, Manchester Magistrates' Court heard.
Over 18 months Andreassen regularly updated his sites telling men to stay away from mature university student Rebecca Pattinson, 36, while bombarding her with Facebook messages, texts, phone calls and e-mails begging for her to take him back.
Ok, the guys obviously obsessed, but stalking by blog? I don't see how it can be done, it's not like the lady in question or other people were forced to read this guys blog and he's certainly no Guido with hundreds of thousands of readers. There are also a good few swearblogs around who do pick targets and go around being very insulting too, but you don't hear of them being closed down by the police either. I suspect this is probably just additional material to justify (rightly) imprisoning the guy for his campaign against Miss Pattinson.
Normally I'd just ignore Daily Mail sensationalism, but it does seem as if the judge and the police used his attempts at blogging as part of the evidence against him, though my own thoughts on the matter having blogged for about 2 years in this incarnation are that he would have struggled to get any hits on any of his 35 blogs. New blogs in particular don't normally tend to be high profile unless the blogger is high profile and blogging from a high profile site as witness Norman Tebbit. The way it's normally done for us lesser mortals is to go around commenting on others sites and gradually attract notice that way, assuming you want to be noticed of course, but it is satisfying in a way to get the odd comment, even if they don't agree with what you have to say. I blog because it helps release the occasional anger and frustration I feel at the direction this country is going in and it alleviates my frustration at not really being in a position to do anything about it (for which you should probably be thankful) Mostly like today I pass comment on something I read, sometimes about something I do and I don't really attract a lot of notice, even after 2 years, yes it's grown steadily, but I'd be deluding myself if its because of my talent, more I suspect my persistence in outlasting a good few better (in my opinion) bloggers than myself..
So, Andreassen was convicted of stalking, though mostly it was harassment by facebook and text which seem to be the usual medium of the stalker today, but he did use blogs as well to advertise his mental state, I suspect though he'll be unique, not as a stalker, but as someone who used blogs to stalk.
Unless you know different?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No smoke without fire?

The Joanna Yeates, case was all the rage not so long ago as the 25 year old was found murdered and there was a lot of speculation as to who and what. One of the first arrests was of her landlord Christopher Jefferies, though eventually it was her neighbour Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak who was eventually charged with her murder. One of the things I discovered about Jefferies today though is that he was held on bail for 9 weeks and only released from police bail last Friday.

THE landlord of murdered landscape architect Joanna Yeates, 25, has finally been released from his police bail without charge, it emerged yesterday.
Retired public school master Christopher Jefferies, 66, believes police made a “ghastly mistake” in arresting him, say friends.
He has now put his £245,000 Bristol flat up for sale and told friends, who say he has been hounded out of his home, that he wants to “move on”.
Avon police confirmed that Mr Jefferies was released last Friday but declined to reveal why he was held on bail for so long.
So why hold the guy for so long when they had already arrested someone for the crime? There had already been a lot of unfair speculation about Jefferies anyway simply because he looked a bit odd and the fact that he was on bail for so long didn't help. Nor have the police exactly helped the guy by not commenting on why he was on bail so long so you'll still end up with a lot of speculation as to what it is that had them so interested for so long. Could it have been an error? Well yes, but usually the police will admit it and apologise (actually they'll put out a statement absolving them of guilt in a wishy washy manner that might look like an apology, but manifestly isn't) As it is they've left Jefferies in the position of guilt by association and possibly themselves in line for a massive damages claim that will eventually no doubt come out of the taxpayers pocket.
The fact that he was released after 9 weeks without charge stinks to high heaven though, it looks bad on him as people will still presume guilt (they'll have his DNA and a record too) it looks bad on them because after 9 weeks they simply let him go without explanation or apology and it looks like their actions have forced an innocent man into having to sell up and leave.

I await their explanation with interest, but I'm not going to hold my breath against the possibility of actually getting one.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The silence of the Imam

Evolution, not everyone agrees with it, particularly those of a religious conviction, but it strikes me as a non religious type as being as good a theory as any, not perfect, but reasonable enough compared to say God creating the world in just 6 days 6000 years ago but taking the time to add fossil records dating back millions of years, still I suppose that's what you get if you have a perfectionist God, well the religious types think so anyway I guess.
Still most followers of a religion are pretty tolerant of us non religious types and our doubts and don't threaten us or their co religionists if they wander from the paths of orthodoxy, but, there are always a few...

An imam has retracted statements about evolution and the right of Muslim women not to cover their hair after death threats were made against him.
Dr Usama Hasan, a science lecturer, has voluntarily suspended his role in taking Friday prayers at Leyton Mosque in east London.
He said he went too far in the way he defended the theory of evolution.
He acknowledged many British Muslims believe in creationism, adding that he intended only to begin a debate.
Yes, you guessed it, it's our friends in the religion of peace trying to stifle debate (again) and yes I know Christian fundamentalists in the USA could no doubt give them a run for their money, though admittedly they usually don't carry out their death threats unlike Islamists.
Now in most areas I'm not bothered by what people believe, some people live in their own little fantasy worlds for a good deal of their lives anyway, politicians and those who believe that the state owes them a living for example. I do believe though that any belief system has the right to be challenged and yes that does include evolution and most certainly includes creationism. I also believe that most belief systems are robust enough to handle criticism and can certainly give you a damned good run for your money when it comes to debates. I don't even mind if the debate eventually falls back on insults and slander, it's not pleasant but some people can't handle not winning a debate, I usually take it as I've won if someone has to descend to abuse, though I am prepared to dish it out if they start first.
Where I do draw the line though is death threats and Islam has a history of trying to stifle any sort of criticism over the centuries by threatening, bullying and killing any and all who dare to even mildly criticise anything to do with it. Take a look at the murders in Pakistan over its blasphemy laws where individuals have taken it upon themselves to murder any who said "hang on this isn't right".
So, again the adherents of the religion of peace show their true colours, believe as we believe or die. Personally I don't believe there's a place in the UK for people who  think like that, but that just makes me a racist or fascist or Islamophobe for saying so in some peoples eyes. The tide however is turning and peoples tolerance of the intolerant is being strained to its limits, something will snap eventually and it wont be pleasant when it does. I foresee interesting times ahead.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some good news

I'm very selective where I spend what little spare cash I have, I try not to give to fake charities and I'm quite suspicious of street collectors too, I will support the poppy appeal, Help for heroes and the RNLI though and I'm not averse to helping the PDSA, though I wont help the RSPCA, it's a personal thing with me and should be with everyone. Of the non-charities I have donated too, one was the appeal to raise the cash to get the last Vulcan bomber flying again. £300,000 was duly raised to cover the maintenance costs and it got its airworthy certificate so it will fly again.

The last airworthy Cold War Vulcan bomber has been given the go-ahead to return to the skies later this year after passing vital safety inspections.
In 2007, Leicestershire-based Vulcan to the Sky Trust restored XH558, which saw action during the Falklands War.
Each year it needs to undergo strict checks by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ahead of its display season.
In November, the bomber was saved from being grounded after enthusiasts raised £300,000 to meet maintenance costs.
CAA inspectors audited XH558's maintenance operations at its base at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire last month
The aircraft successfully retained its permit to fly, and final tests were carried out on the engines on Thursday.
The trust's engineering director Andrew Edmondson said: "I am proud to report that, thanks to the knowledge of our technical team and the generosity of the supporters who helped pay for the winter service, XH558 is in fine shape and looking forward to her biggest display season ever."
 Now I'm sure there are a few people out there who think my money could have been better spent on abused kids or animals, but you see it's my money and no you don't have the right to tell me how to spend it, I get enough of that from the government and I normally ignore them too, so you have no chance. This is about personal choice and as I'm an engineer and the Vulcan is a superb piece of engineering, that's where my money went, you can spend your money where you see fit, you wont hear me complain.
I'll be at an airshow at some stage in the summer and I'll probably pick one where the Vulcan will appear, it's my pat on the back for contributing, well done me...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Forcing this wont work either.

I was rubbish at maths when I was in school, though I could do fairly complex sums by way of mental arithmetic simply by knowing my times tables by rote. It wasn't until I left school and went to college via day release in my apprenticeship that maths suddenly became comprehensible as it was applied to engineering and electrical constraints. Until then it was just complex formulas seemingly for the sake of complex formulas. It didn't take college long to get various young men (women didn't really do engineering then) of low education standards (the smart one went on to 6th form and university) up to A level standards in mathematics, even using calculus at some stage. The key I believe (at least for me) was seeing how the application worked in phase theory and power generation where a mystical formula could be transformed to give the results required to show what you actually got when you built something, in other words how the maths applied to a real life problem.


Pupils who fail to get good GCSE grades in English and maths should be forced to keep studying the subjects until they are 18, under Government-backed proposals.

An independent review of vocational education also found up to a third of non-academic courses are "pointless" while others actually harm employment chances.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is expected to adopt many of the recommendations.
A senior Government source close to Mr Gove told Sky News: "This is a blueprint of what we want to do. We agree with 99% of it.
"In particular, Michael Gove is very inclined to adopt the policy of compulsory English and maths."
Under the plans, around 300,000 pupils a year who fail to achieve at least a C grade in English and maths will be forced to keep studying the subjects until the age of 18.
I simply can't see this working other than making kids even more disruptive in class unless they can somehow come up with a way to make it relevant to the kids. Whilst there is the possibility of some kids coming under the tutelage of an inspiring teacher who can make it interesting, I suspect many of them will be faced with the same old, same old treatment in maths which they get every year and which if the reports are to be believed fail them year in year out.
Perhaps a look at how the subject is taught might be better than simply making it compulsory until they leave school. I don't know what the answer is, but unless we can get it to the stage where maths is something kids want to do, we aren't going to get much further. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Living on another planet to the rest of us

Yes it's stick the boot into arch ecoloon Chris Huhne.


HEATING bills will go down once renewable energy is commercial, the Climate Change Secretary has promised.
Chris Huhne said yesterday that the UK needed to prepare for a low carbon future.
In a speech to CentreForum in London the Liberal Democrat admitted there would be costs to consumers at first, but that in the end renewable energy would prove cheaper.
Setting out his vision for a low-cost future, he said the UK needed a “portfolio” of options, adding: “No-one knows what the most successful low carbon technology will be in 30 years.”
The Green Deal, to be rolled out in 2012, will see homes fitted with energy-saving packages.
Householders will pay for the improvements through savings on their bills, Mr Huhne said.
 Unless there is a massive breakthrough in the efficiency of solar power or the wind starts blowing all the time and the bird choppers suddenly become maintenance free (ie unbreakable) then nothing of the sort in the wonderful world of Chris Huhne is going to happen, though admittedly I can't predict 30 years ahead, on the other hand neither can he. I can predict though that prices will go up and not come down without the sort of breakthroughs mentioned and that much of the price we pay for these "green initiatives" will be subsidies and will remain a drain on our energy bills via government taxation.
At the moment though the only thing making green energy even remotely competitive with conventional energy generation is a massive energy subsidy from the government currently at over £1 billion a year for windfarms alone, roughly £32.50 on everyones bills.
The only genuine low carbon energy generating option is nuclear power and it has been an utter joy to watch the green movement dump all its opposition to this viable energy source over the last few years compared to their attempts to close down nuclear plants in the 80's and 90's. Again though because of the safety implications involved in generating by nuclear power, a nuclear plant is a hell of a lot more expensive than a coal or gas powered plant. Perhaps the generating industry could look at clean burn technology in those areas, though it seems unlikely whilst the government pisses our taxes away subsidising wind farms and solar panels that are energy inefficient.
So, unlike Chris Huhne, I'm not prepared to believe that energy prices will come down until or unless the government drop their insistence on renewables as a workable form of energy generation, but that's because I live in the real world, not one inhabited by politicians, the gullible and environmental extremists.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I don't think that was Labour.

Personal debt has risen £3.3billion in January to the extent that the consumers in the UK owe about £1.4 trillion.



BRITONS now owe £1.4trillion in personal debt – more than the country produced over the past year.
Total lending in January rose by £3.3billion, including a rise of £1.8billion in secured lending.
After more than a decade under Labour, the average UK household is now £8,416 in debt, not including mortgages and unsecured loans.
When mortgages are included, the figure is £57,635, the charity, Credit Action, said yesterday.
Debts led to 337 people being declared bankrupt or insolvent every day, the figures revealed.
Property repossessions reached 87 each day. Meanwhile, each day last year 474 new people had been unemployed for over 12 months.
Redundancies hit 1,589 people every day in the three months to the end of December. And debt is continuing to grow with 24.1 million credit card purchases daily, with a total value of £1.15billion.

Now I blame Labour incompetence for a lot of things from the pensions grab, the gold sell off, the green energy scam to underfunding the army. But I don't see how they can be to blame because people were silly enough to get themselves in over their heads in personal debt. Sure they made cheap credit available via their economics, but they didn't make people take out credit on anything, though they didn't help the economic conditions in which people have ended up out of work.
No this is down to personal choice, though many people will no doubt be coping or struggling, that's one of the risks of ramping up your debts whilst the going is good and often enough you can take out insurance which will help a little in hard times, though it's often only for 6 months, after that you're facing bankruptcy.
Even bankruptcy is nothing to be really feared any more, yes it blights your credit records, but you can recover if you keep your head down and simply save up and spend what you earn rather than buy things on credit. Plus there are often enough ways around getting stuff you really need if anything important breaks. About all that will happen is that credit will be a lot harder to get and more restrictions will be put on it, but that's the fault of going mad on spending money that wasn't really theirs, or at least those who are stuck with debts they can't pay back and who will have made it more difficult for others to get a loan or a credit card.

So no, on this the Express is wrong, Labour might have set up the conditions where cheap credit was on offer, but they didn't make people borrow, that was purely down to the people themselves.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When sorry seems to be the hardest word

Seems Ken Clarke has plans to help a lot of people avoid jail and fines for shoplifting and petty theft by making them say sorry to their victims instead.

FURY erupted yesterday at controversial plans to make shoplifters apologise to ­victims instead of suffering tougher punishments.
Jail sentences and hefty fines will be scrapped as punishment for stealing from shops under plans soon to be unveiled by Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke.
Instead, he wants thieves to make face-to-face apologies to victims – and pay compensation.
The move was revealed to Parliament by Prisons ­Minister Crispin Blunt.
“We want to make restorative justice and compensation orders the first point of departure for such offences so offenders can make good to their victims,” he said.
Mr Clark, 70, has enraged Tory MPs by threatening to scrap minimum jail terms for murder and command more ­community orders than prison terms.
Last night critics warned retailers will be infuriated by his soft approach to s­hoplifters who last year cost £1.1billion.
Well that certainly has a deterrent value, can just imagine a lot of the professional shoplifting gangs quaking in their feet over having to go back to the scene of the crime and apologise, I'm sure the threat of jail or a piddly fine (paid for by the state) is going to have them giving up their life of crime and go into retirement as penitent sinners. Not that I'm advocating hanging, flogging, limb removal, transportation to a penal colony (though all those empty Scottish isles look tempting) or life sentences. I just believe there should be some sort of deterrent built in to any sort of sentence for the crime, at least enough to ensure that no-one in their right mind would wish to go back to whatever it is. Loss of liberty was at least some sort of deterrent, though the way that prisons have been transformed over the last few years it's certainly not an uncomfortable place to be anymore, not pleasant by any means, but not something to be feared either.
And that's what I think we've lost over the years as various human rights acts kicked in, the fear factor in getting caught. No I'm not suggesting prisons should be hell holes that release a traumatised damaged human back into society, but there should be enough of a deterrent either by length of sentence or by lack of luxury (no tv, etc) to make sure that it's the last place they want to go back too.
So again Ken Clark is out of step with the majority of society who do not like the idea of crime paying. So sorry doesn't really cut it and probably ever will save possibly in only the mildest of cases of a first time conviction and even then only with kids, adults of course should know better.

I'm almost tempted to add Ken Clark as a tag, as he's probably even a better gift to blogging than Bob Crow.